Tonight is the final show before Survivor Series and the final opportunity for both Team RAWs to get on the same page. The men’s team have their opportunity when they face RETRIBUTION tonight. Who knows what will happen with the women’s team. There are two title matches on the card. The New Day versus The Hurt Business’ Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. And Randy Orton gives Drew McIntyre his rematch.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Asuka, Mandy Rose, & Dana Brooke def. Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, & Lana
The New Day def. The Hurt Business
RETRIBUTION def. Braun Strowman, Keith Lee, Sheamus, & Riddle
Bray Wyatt def. The Miz
Drew McIntyre def. Randy Orton
♦ Drew McIntyre opened the show, to talk not to fight. He invaded SmackDown on Friday, beat Jey Uso, and got into it with Roman Reigns. We got highlights of that before McIntyre welcomed everyone to Monday Night RAW. He talked about Survivor Series being a Thanksgiving tradition and the things he’s thankful for like family and friends and his fans. But he’s also thankful for the doubter because they make him believe in himself and work to prove them wrong.
He also talked about Roman Reigns, the pedestal he’s put himself on and how far up his own arse he has his head. He’s planning to humble him at Survivor Series after he beats Orton.
Randy Orton appeared on video to tell McIntyre what he’s thankful for. He’s thankful for being a 14-time champion and he’s thankful that the fine he got for putting his hands on Adam Pearce didn’t phase him. He went on to talk about all the fines he’s had and the times he’s been suspended. Apparently, it’s more than any other superstar who has ever been under contract. And he’s still there because he is the greatest wrestler ever. He’s going to prove that tonight and walk out still champion.
McIntyre mocked him for not mentioning the RKO and said they’ve been doing this for so long they’re finishing each other’s sentences, but it ends tonight. This time he won’t be crashing off Hell in a Cell, his foot with come crashing through Randy Orton’s head and he will once again be WWE Champion.
The Miz and John Morrison arrived before McIntyre could leave the ring. In the most long-winded way possible, they told McIntyre they would have a front-row seat for the title match and Miz is probably going to cash in.
♦ We got to see a compilation of all eight times Nia Jax has put Lana through the announce desk. Apparently, Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, & Lana vs Asuka, Mandy Rose, & Dana Brooke was Lana’s idea. She’s trying to prove that she belongs, but Jax told her under no circumstance was she to tag herself in. So, the final opportunity for team building ahead of Survivor Series puts three-fifths of the team against the other two-fifths. It’s weird.
Lana almost started the match, but Baszler tagged herself in. Jax held Mandy Rose still on the steps for Baszler to stamp on her heavily taped shoulder. Rose tapped Dana Brooke avoided getting her arm stamped on. Lana, of course, did tag herself in. Baszler had Asuka in the Kirifuda Clutch and she would have tapped out if Baszler had been legal, but Asuka kicked out of Lana’s kick in the head. Asuka returned the favour and kicked Lana in the head before tapping her out in the Asuka Lock.
Nia Jax told Lana she showed a lot of courage so she wasn’t going to put her through the table, and welcomed her to team RAW. Then she said ‘Sike’ and put her through the announce desk for the ninth time.
♦ Four of the men’s Survivor Series match team were arguing backstage. AJ Styles and his associate tried to stop them and give them a pep-talk. It sort of worked. He gave them their team t-shirts and talked about the match against RETRIBUTION, which he is not involved in. When everyone left Styles and his associate, Riddle came back and tried to give him a nickname, which led to Styles finding out he speaks English…
♦ Dana Brooke was giving and emotional interview about Mandy Rose’s condition and how over the line Shayna Baszler was, when she was attacked by Reckoning.
During the next match, it was announced that Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke are out of the Survivor Series team due to injury.
♦ Bray Wyatt, in the Firefly Fun House with Alexa Bliss, challenged The Miz to a match tonight. There was a training montage.
♦ The Hurt Business had a lot to say about how great they are and how they’re going to dominate everything. The New Day cut them off and talked a lot about how much The Hurt Business talk. Between them, they talked from one ad break to the next. Eventually, The New Day (C) vs The Hurt Business – RAW Tag Team Championship match – got underway. It was a fantastic tag match, with twists and turns and back and forth. Clever tags and double teams and bodies flying around all over the place. It could have gone to either team half a dozen times with no complaints, but it was the Day Break on Cedric Alexander that allowed Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods to retain the titles.
♦ Sheamus and Drew McIntyre had another backstage chat. Sheamus had a present for McIntyre a big trunk with a lot of stuff in it, that’s somehow connected to his family and got him reminiscing. When he turned around, Sheamus presented him with a sword that made him misty-eyed.
♦ RETRIBUTION had a backstage promo segment before Braun Strowman, Keith Lee, Sheamus, & Riddle vs RETRIBUTION, where Mustafa Ali said Team RAW are no different from each other, they’re all just waiting to stab each other in the back, and they’ll implode without RETRIBUTION having to do anything. AJ Styles joined commentary for the match but found himself paying mediator between Sheamus and Braun Strowman. They shoved him but his associate caught him. It was another highly entertaining match, and the RAW team still couldn’t get along. Mustafa Ali’s words proved prophetic. He was the one to roll Riddle up and pin him while they were all arguing. AJ Styles got in the ring and started yelling as well, and the segment ended with them all still arguing.
♦ Nikki Cross told Sarah Schreiber friends never give up on each other. The Fiend has got in Alexa Bliss’ head and she’s not herself, so Cross has to get her back. No matter what.
♦ Elias still thinks Jeff Hardy hit him with his car. Hardy tried to tell him again that he didn’t. When that didn’t work, he shoved him up against the wall and told him that if he didn’t stop accusing him, he’d be guilty of something worse than hitting him with a car.
♦ The Miz, with John Morrison, vs Bray Wyatt, with Alexa Bliss, started with Miz trying to declare all their history ‘water under the bridge’ and saying they didn’t need to have the match. Instead, he suggested they work together. Wyatt could take down Orton and Miz could cash in the briefcase and they’d both get what they want.
Alex Bliss has a new theme or rather a twisted version of her old one. She came to the stage and said, ‘He said no’ and giggled. Nikki Cross rushed out and tried to convince Bliss to give him up because he’s bad for her. Bliss slapped her and they brawled until they were pulled apart. When the Firefly Fun House music started, Bliss was immediately smiling and childlike again. Wyatt looked at Nikki Cross for a long time before they linked arms and went to the ring.
I think ‘children’s tv presenter’ Wyatt is actually creepier than The Fiend. The match was good. Twice, John Morrison got involved. The second time Alexa Bliss launched herself at him from the steps and the momentum sent them both over the barricade. She reappeared with a creepy smile after Bray Wyatt pinned The Miz with Sister Abigail, and walked across the top of the barricade to him like a child does. As they were leaving, The Fiend appeared on the big screen.
♦ They were really hyping the WWE Championship match. There was a whole package detailing both their journeys and who they became entangled. I like WWE video packages, they’re generally very well done.
♦ Adam Pearce confirmed to Charly Caruso that Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke are out and will be replaced by Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce.
Caruso also interviewed Asuka who is very excited for Survivor Series. She’ll beat Sasha Banks because no one is ready for Asuka.
♦ The Undertaker’s Final Farewell will take place at Survivor Series. I have to say, it has the potential to be a very good PPV.
♦ Charly Caruso tried to interview Randy Orton about his upcoming match but all he told her is he’s dealing with a long list of distractions and she doesn’t want to be one of them.
♦ Angel Garza compared women to roses and himself to the thorn protecting all of them. I’m not sure what the point of these promos is.
♦ Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler discussed losing Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke from the team. Jax was a bit annoyed at Baszler for taking out Rose, but Baszler told her they were the only two that mattered anyway. Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce came over and Evans tried to be assertive. Royce backtracked before they could get beaten up and told them they’re very excited to be part of Team RAW and asked if they wanted to strategize. When Jax and Baszler said they were busy, Royce pulled Evans away. Nia Jax is distinctly unimpressed with the new team members.
♦ The main event of the evening, Randy Orton (C) vs Drew McIntyre – WWE Championship match – started with over half an hour of the show left, or the entrances did. Drew McIntyre came out in a kilt with the sword and stuck it into the stage. It was PPV levels of hype with flames either side of the ramp as he made his way to the ring and pyro once he got there. Randy Orton’s entrance was much simpler, just a little of the falling sparks pyro when he posed on the turnbuckle. Very much the big match feel. Orton decided very early on he was taking his title and going home. McIntyre put a stop to that and beat him back to the ring, but he missed the Claymore and tried again to leave. Adam Pearce appeared on the stage and made it No Count Out, No DQ.
McIntyre looked pleased about the announcement, but it was Orton who took the opportunity to bring a chair into play and used it to try to re-break McIntyre’s jaw. He also hit McIntyre with the steps and bounced him off the barricade and smashed him into the announce desk a couple of times. But in return, McIntyre bounced him off the announce desk a couple of times. McIntyre went for a Claymore while Orton was stood in front of the desk, but Orton moved and McIntyre landed on it. It was another great match, but as is often the case, it was somewhat spoiled by the ridiculous number of camera cuts. It starts to make you dizzy after a while. Orton was bleeding from his back after going through a table at ringside. McIntyre took a draping DDT off the announce desk and another in the ring. It looked like it might be over for McIntyre, but he pushed Orton away as he went for an RKO and delivered a Claymore for the win. The Miz did not make good on his threat to cash in.
It will be WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs Universal Champion Roman Reigns at Survivor Series.
That was a good episode of RAW by recent standards. I think only having five matches and letting most of them have a little more time, worked in its favour. Survivor Series is usually one of the better PPVs of the year. That looks like it should be the case again, but the potential for chaos is immense.