There are some interesting matches on tonight’s card. Ricochet faces Mustafa Ali to try to get some payback for Ali setting RETRIBUTION on him last week. Asuka and Nia Jax have a non-title match for no obvious reason, but it should be good anyway. Jeff Hardy, Elias, and Riddle get a second chance to qualify for RAW’s Survivor Series team. And we have a slightly odd six-man tag, Drew McIntyre and The New Day versus Randy Orton, The Miz, and John Morrison. Weirdly, The New Day are the guests on Miz TV as well. I think you’d get pretty good odds on that being a shambles.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Riddle def. Elias and Jeff Hardy
Shayna Baszler def. Lana
Keith Lee & Riddle def. Sheamus & Braun Strowman
Bobby Lashley def. Titus O’Neil
Asuka def. Nia Jax (DQ)
Mustafa Ali def. Ricochet
Drew McIntyre & The New Day def. Randy Orton, The Miz & John Morrison
♦ The Miz and John Morrison opened the show with Miz TV. They, and their guests, would also be closing it as part of the six-man tag. Miz teased a cash-in of the Money in the Bank briefcase in his opening segment and plugged the new season of “Miz and Mrs.” Randy Orton showed up before they could introduce The New Day, and he was annoyed.
It would appear he felt disrespected by Miz and Morrison’s patter, and he challenged Miz to take the title if he wants it. Miz and Morrison did some backtracking and justifying. They’re hoping to get a shot at the tag titles.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods arrived then, laughing at the suggestion Miz and Morrison could beat them and offering to be an audience for them. Kingston took and RKO. Woods was thrown out of the ring by Miz. Drew McIntyre ran down to join the fun and Miz hit him with the briefcase while he was brawling with Orton. Miz and Morrison held McIntyre still then threw him to Orton for the RKO, and we’ll revisit this in about two and a half hours.
♦ There will be a final farewell to The Undertaker at Survivor Series, and The Undertaker will be appearing on the show.
♦ Elias vs Jeff Hardy vs Riddle – Survivor Series Second Chance Qualifier – Elias got to do some talking before Jeff Hardy arrived, and it looked briefly like he might get to sing, but it wasn’t to be. Can we just take a moment to say goodbye to Matt Riddle’s first name and agree that Riddle on its own is a truly ridiculous name. Elias had said in his ramble that he needed this win, and he backed that up by upping the aggression factor. Very entertaining match. Riddle got the win, pinning Elias with Bro Derek after Elias had taken Jeff Hardy out with a knee that nearly took his head clean off.
AJ Styles told Charly Caruso, after she approached him finishing a conversation with Adam Pearce, that he was happy with Riddle’s inclusion on the team. Sheamus came over and enthusiastically disagreed. He also disagreed with Styles being captain, as did Braun Strowman who wandered over just to add that.
♦ Mustafa Ali said Ricochet is a good and honourable man, brave and courageous, but he’s a damned fool. He believes one man can change anything, but that’s a lie. When he accepts that’s a lie, maybe they will accept him.
Reckoning said it’s easy to feel alone when you’re manipulated and misguided. But where does that leave you? Barely afloat and gasping for every breath while some pink-and-green-haired trash is laughing at your suffering (there was a rumour she would go after Asuka and I am so here for it).
No mercy was shown to them, so no mercy will be shown to others. They are RETRIBUTION and they will not rest until they shut it down.
♦ Drew Gulak approached The Hurt Business and made his pitch to become a member. MVP politely declined. Bobby Lashley grabbed him by the tie and found it was a clip-on. MVP was outraged and Gulak was beaten down and left laying by Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. After The Hurt Business left, R-Truth pinned Gulak for the 24/7 title.
♦ Lana vs Shayna Baszler, with Nia Jax, seemed like a bad idea from the start. Judging by Lana’s obvious anxiety, she’d had second thoughts as well. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke joined commentary and expressed their concern about Lana rubbing people the wrong way and whether the team would be able to get on the same page. All the time they were talking, Lana was getting beaten up. They were still talking when she tapped out in the Kirifuda Clutch.
Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke stuck up for Lana and kicked Jax to make her put Lana down, so the commentary team got to keep their desk for a bit longer.
Backstage, Lana thanked Rose and Brooke. They said they didn’t do it for her, they did it to send a message to Jax and Baszler, and reminded Lana she cost them the titles last week. Lana said she was trying to help and Mandy Rose told her to stay out of their way if she wanted to help.
♦ AJ Styles, with his associate, hosted a Team RAW team meeting. It didn’t take long for his pep talk to descend into a series of arguments. Riddle gave them all codenames. Styles tried to scare them all with what the SmackDown team could do to them. They still couldn’t agree that Styles should be captain. Styles revealed the content of his earlier conversation with Adam Pearce. Keith Lee & Riddle vs Sheamus & Braun Strowman, with him as the special guest referee. The intention was to give everyone respect for each other and the match started after a break. It was a quite bad-tempered match from the off, but it broke down completely after Style took not one but two accidental knees in the face from Riddle, both aimed at Sheamus. Then Styles got caught in the middle when Lee and Strowman collided, at which point his associate got in the ring. Annoyingly, he was at ringside again by the time we came back from a break, and the match was under control again. Lee threw Sheamus at Strowman then Spirit Bombed Riddle onto Sheamus at Riddle’s insistence. Riddle got the win with a rollup on Sheamus after Sheamus Brogue Kicked his partner off the apron for tagging himself in.
♦ Alexa Bliss was sat picking petals off roses when Nikki Cross approached her. Cross tried to get through to her, but Bliss has changed. She was friendly and happy, but very obviously Firefly Fun House Bliss. Cross said Bliss had to choose between her and ‘him’. Bliss chose him.
♦ Charly Caruso announced that The Hurt Business’ Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin have a tag title match next week. MVP predicted that the match at Survivor Series would be The Hurt Business versus The Street Profits. He also predicted Bobby Lashley will turn Sami Zayn into a human ragdoll. Lashley said there was no question of him letting Sami Zayn walk out of Survivor Series with a victory. The only question is whether he lets Zayn walk out of it at all.
Titus O’Neil came out to complain about the way The Hurt Business treated him when he asked to join. He refused and asked Lashley what the point of him having the US title if he didn’t defend it. So, Bobby Lashley (C) vs Titus O’Neil – United States Championship match – happened there and then. O’Neil started really well, but the whole thing was over courtesy of Lashley’s Hurt Lock, in under two minutes.
♦ Sheamus complained about the Survivor Series team to Drew McIntyre. They had a nice friendly chat and reminisced about teaming together. McIntyre was in a great mood and promised they’d have a night out drinking when he got the WWE Championship back.
♦ Asuka vs Nia Jax, with Shayna Baszler, took place with the rest of the RAW team watching at ringside. There was some confusion between Baszler and Jax backstage during Jax’ pre-match interview as to who was in charge, but Jax is confident it’s her. After she’s led the team to victory at Survivor Series, she might beat Asuka again and take the title. It could have been a quick match if Asuka’s early submission attempt had worked, but Jax got under the bottom rope, then dragged Asuka out of the ring and swung her into the barricades.
Everyone got involved to make the end interesting. Shayna Baszler got up on the apron when Asuka got Jax in an armbar. Lana got up to shout at her and was immediately put in a Kirifuda. Asuka hip-attacked them off the apron onto Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose. Jax went for a Samoan drop but Asuka wriggled free and got Nia Jax in the Asuka Lock. Baszler kicked Asuka in the back before Jax could tap. Rose and Brooke jumped on Baszler, Lana jumped on Jax. Asuka slipped out of the ring and left them to it. Rose and Brooke were thrown out of the ring and Lana took yet another Samoan Drop through the announce desk.
Before she and Baszler left Jax told Lana she doesn’t belong there and will drag the team down, so she should quit.
♦ Angel Garza is apparently fighting to show every woman in the world that they deserve a man like him and all other men are unworthy.
♦ R-Truth told Sarah Schreiber he was going to the ring for a magazine shoot. She had to inform him he was going to defend his 24/7 title in a seven-way match. Sadly for him, she was right. R-Truth (C) vs Drew Gulak vs Erik vs Lince Dorado vs Gran Metalik vs Tucker vs Akira Tozawa – 24/7 Championship match – was complete and utter chaos. Everyone won it at least once. A couple of them won it twice, but the title left with R-Truth and he ran off with everyone chasing him.
♦ Ricochet vs Mustafa Ali looked like a losing battle from the outset for Ricochet, as Ali brought the rest of RETRIBUTION with him. He ordered them off the apron though and they didn’t get involved until Ricochet was in control of the match and found himself alone outside the ring. They surrounded him but didn’t do anything, which was just enough distraction for Ali to get the upper hand as Ricochet got back in the ring. We went for a break just as that happened, but the match was ongoing when we came back. Happily, RETRIBUTION stayed uninvolved for most of the match. Ricochet and Mustafa Ali are two of the most talented and entertaining wrestlers on the roster, and this match was great. Ali made it clear, throughout, he wanted Ricochet with him and kept repeating he was trying to help him. Ricochet took a dive to the outside to wipe out all or RETRIBUTION except Reckoning, but Mustafa Ali dodged his Phoenix Splash and put him to sleep with a Koji Clutch.
♦ Before the main event began, Adam Pearce told Randy Orton he will defend the WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre next week. Orton wasn’t happy. He got Pearce against the wall by the throat, while Pearce protested he was just the messenger and told him to tell the staff who organised it to go to hell.
Randy Orton, The Miz, & John Morrison vs The New Day & Drew McIntyre was another fun match in a RAW of fun matches. Randy Orton wanted no part of it though. He flatly refused to tag in and eventually got off the apron and stood watching from the announce desk. He got back on the apron intermittently, but kept well away from any possibility of a tag, even when Miz asked him outright. Miz and Morrison were doing ok on their own though and Xavier Woods took a hell of a beating before he got to McIntyre.
After a hammerlock DDT on Morrison, McIntyre dragged him into their corner and begged Orton to tag himself in. He almost did, but took his title and went to the stage. Watching him nearly cost McIntyre the match, but McIntyre finished it with a Claymore on Morrison while he stared into Randy Orton’s eyes.
So, what we’ve learned from tonight is that neither of RAW’s Survivor Series teams can be in the same place without fighting. They still have one week to put their many differences aside and form a cohesive team, we’ll see if that happens next week. And you have to wonder if The Fiend might make his presence felt in Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre’s title match.