Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins is the only thing WWE wanted to tell us was happening ahead of tonight’s show. Rollins and Owens are two of the competitors named over the weekend in RAW’s Survivor Series Team. The rest of the team is Finn Balor and Rey and Dominik Mysterio. The women’s team is Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley, Liv Morgan, Carmella, and Queen Zelina.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
AJ Styles, Omos, & The Dirty Dawgz def. RK-Bro & The Street Profits
Bobby Lashley def. Dominik Mysterio
Big E def. Chad Gable
24/7 title changes – Reggie > Drake Maverick > Akira Tozawa > Corey Graves > Byron Saxton > Drake Maverick > Reggie
Liv Morgan def. Carmella, Bianca Belair, Queen Zelina, and Rhea Ripley
Seth Rollins def. Kevin Owens
♦ Kevin Owens started the show much the way he finished the last one, by apologising to Big E, but backstage this time. Big E was cocoa-buttering and not interested in Owens explaining he’s not that guy who used to turn on people anymore. Despite Owens’ explanations, Big E didn’t forgive him, just told him he didn’t care and left.
♦ Seth Rollins’ jacket reminded me of the raincoats they put on dolls. Nice colour though. He’s a visionary and the next WWE Champion etc, and he’s named himself the captain of Team RAW. The crowd gave him a ‘You look stupid’ chant, and they’re not wrong but he’s looked worse.
What he wanted to talk about was, who is Kevin Owens. Which incarnation of Owens is it? Is he the prize-fighter, the hero, the man who will put his body on the line and do anything for the WWE Universe? Or is Kevin Owens a snake, a gutless spineless coward and a liar?
They’ve known each other for a long time. They came up together. And the one thing you’ve always been able to count on is that Owens would stab you in the back any chance he got. If we don’t believe him, we should ask Sami Zayn or The New Day. He’s a snake and a liar and he shouldn’t be trusted. And after he beats him, Owens will be the biggest liar and the biggest loser.
Owens arrived and punched Rollins until he made his escape.
♦ Riddle was very excited about teaming with The Street Profits. Randy Orton told him off because Riddle got involved in someone else’s fight when he told him not to. Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford heard him say he didn’t care about The Street Profits, but Orton told them he meant every word. He’s not getting involved in their vendetta with Omos.
After he’d gone to the ring, Riddle told Ford and Dawkins that went as well as could be expected, then ran off after his partner.
RK-Bro & The Street Profits vs AJ Styles, Omos, & The Dirty Dawgz was an excellent, high-energy opening match. Lots of good teamwork from RK-Bro and Street Profits and so much skill on display. Whatever stress partnering Riddle has caused Orton, it’s got to be at least partially compensated by the jump in popularity caused by Riddle being his biggest cheerleader. I can’t remember him getting such huge reactions in a long time.
Omos saved Styles from a big fall after Orton threw him out of the ring and he caught him. It looked like Omos wanted a piece of Orton, but we got an ad break. When we returned, Omos was throwing Montez Ford around. Robert Roode tagged himself in, which is weird because if you’ve got Omos, you surely leave him in until the opponent has stopped moving.
Roode, Ziggler, and Styles all took a turn punishing Ford before he kicked Ziggler in the head and tagged Dawkins. Dawkins did fine until Omos got back in. Riddle tagged in after Omos had levelled Dawkins and Ford, with Orton telling him not to. Omos laid him out too, and the Dirty Dawgz stopped Orton helping.
Ziggler tagged himself in when Omos was reaching for Styles. Roode yelled at Styles for objecting and shoved him, so Omos put him into a barricade. Meanwhile, Ziggler quietly got back into the ring and pinned Riddle, who hadn’t moved since Omos’ slam.
Orton gave Ziggler a post-match RKO and told Riddle off all the way up the ramp.
♦ Kevin Owens spoke to Rey Mysterio to ask him to say he believed he didn’t mean to take advantage of Rollins attacking Big E. Mysterio was going to the ring with Dominik to meet with Adam Pearce, so he told him they’d talk about it later. Owens was visibly agitated.
Pearce talked about the history of Survivor Series and said he’s expecting this year’s team RAW to do the same thing as last year’s and pick up a clean sweep. He thinks he made a mistake picking Dominik for Team RAW because everyone else on the team is a former champion. He’s still in the team at the moment, but only if he can win the match he’s set up for him.
Pearce walked away without announcing his opponent, then Bobby Lashley’s music hit.
Dominik Mysterio, with Rey Mysterio, vs Bobby Lashley, with MVP, was a mauling. There were about thirty seconds where Dominik had reason to be optimistic. Once Lashley caught him coming over the top rope and smashed him into the canvas, it was all over bar the formalities. Lashley wouldn’t let Dominik tap in the Hurt Lock. Instead, he threw him out of the ring. Rey pulled Dominik off Lashley’s shoulders when he went to bounce him off the post again, so Lashley kicked him in the face and then did it. Eventually, Lashley put Dominik back into the Hurt Lock and let him tap.
Bobby Lashley is now in Team RAW in Dominik’s place, and Rey Mysterio is his teammate.
♦ Seth Rollins got support for his theory that Kevin Owens is a liar from Chad Gable. Otis was there as well. And a word of advice to Gable from someone who also finished a master’s degree this year – no one cares, sweetie.
Big E vs Chad Gable, with Otis, was good. Gable took out Big E’s left knee and worked it mercilessly. The commentary went wild for Gable suplexing Big E and getting him up in his shoulders, albeit briefly. Gable is so smooth in the ring, but they’ve never nailed a character for him that doesn’t feel insincere. Despite Gable running the majority of the match, Big E’s Big Ending secured the win.
♦ Kevin Owens looked to R-Truth to believe in him. Truth assured him he did, but also told him he believes in Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and that the earth is flat but round in parts and places. KO wandered off shaking his head.
♦ Sonya Deville confirmed the women’s Survivor Series team in the locker room. Doudrop wanted to know why she wasn’t included over Bianca Belair, as Belair has had and lost her opportunity. Dana Brooke wanted to know why she’s been overlooked. And Nikki A.S.H. reminded them she’s a former champion. Carmella patronised Nikki, so Ripley threatened her.
♦ In the trainer’s room, Rey Mysterio confirmed Dominik has a neck strain. He thinks people should be questioning Adam Pearce’s integrity instead of Kevin Owens’ Pearce could have just switched Dominik out, there was no need to hand him over to Lashley.
Austin Theory leaned in and took a selfie while Rey was tending to Dominik.
♦ Reggie (C) vs Drake Maverick – 24/7 Championship match – was chaos. I’ll never quite forgive WWE for the way they played with Maverick during the firing-rehiring thing, but I’m glad to see him having fun on RAW. It’s a bit sad to see he’s still using the music he had with Killian Dain (now Big Damo once more).
Anyway, Reggie flipped around the place while Maverick failed to catch him. R-Truth arrived with a ref, despite the 24/7 rules being suspended during the match. He got attacked by Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. Maverick pinned Reggie while Reggie was debating helping. Akira Tozawa pinned Maverick immediately.
Corey Graves pinned Tozawa at ringside. Byron Saxton pinned Graves. Drake Maverick pinned Saxton and Reggie pinned Maverick before they’d finished announcing the change, and escaped with everyone in pursuit.
♦ Doudrop asked Belair to explain how she could have a title opportunity and lose, having only been on RAW three weeks, and still get another opportunity. She said she was speaking for all the other women. Belair corrected her and said she was speaking for herself, then went to the ring.
So, on Saturday you announce Team RAW for Survivor Series, only one of which was on RAW before the draft. On Monday, you put them all in a match in the spirit of building team harmony or something. Bianca Belair vs Rhea Ripley vs Liv Morgan vs Carmella vs Queen Zelina – Fatal Five-Way Number One Contender’s Match – Becky Lynch joined commentary to find out her next opponent after the Champion vs Champion match against Charlotte Flair at Survivor Series. She was a little disparaging about Liv Morgan’s commitment. She’s got all the potential but hasn’t fulfilled it. Lynch’s theory is that success would alienate Morgan from the fans, who have never known success, and she needs the fans right now. All the other women in the match have achieved something, except Morgan. She had nicer things to say about Rhea Ripley, admitting she thinks Ripley might be champion, one day, after she retires.
Carmella and Zelina Vega attacked Belair and knocked her outside before the bell went because Belair was too busy yelling at Lynch. Ripley and Morgan piled in as well and we got a ringside brawl for the ad break. The match proper started when we came back. Carmella and Zelina Vega worked together until it came to one of them trying to get a pin. Rhea Ripley took the worst of the punishment from them, including a chop block from Vega,
Later in the match, Vega delivered a tornado DDT to Ripley that almost got her the win, and got her some praise from Lynch. Moments later, Belair picked Vega up and threw her over the top rope to take down everyone. After a break, Belair was trying for a tower of doom with Ripley at the top but only managed to powerbomb Morgan and Vega. Ripley missile dropkicked her to the mat then Carmella superkicked Ripley. Carmella tried to pin everyone, and they all kicked out.
Belair dropped Carmella on the announce desk face-first and we got a quick insight into how good Belair vs Ripley in an extended feud could be. Ripley got the Riptide, but Morgan prevented the pin. Morgan got Oblivion on Ripley, but Vega broke things up. Belair kicked Morgan out of the ring and would have got the pin from a K.O.D. on Vega if Doudrop hadn’t appeared and pulled her out of the ring. Doudrop put Belair into the post. Carmella tried to steal the pin on Vega but Morgan pulled her away and pinned her with a crucifix.
Considering everything Lynch had said about Morgan, she looked very wary when they went face to face on the announce desk.
♦ The feud between The Bloodline and The New Day on SmackDown got so much coverage, because King Woods and Roman Reigns have a match this week, that RAW could practically have fitted another match in without it.
♦ Seth Rollins spoke to Big E backstage, to try to understand where Big E’s head is at about Kevin Owens. Big E said he didn’t trust either of them, but he’d be sitting ringside to make sure everything went smoothly.
Austin Theory wandered down to ringside and took selfies with the commentary team. Big E was already there and knocked the phone out of his hand. And shooed him away.
Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens was the main event of the evening. Rollins wanted to offload his conscience before the match, telling Big E that last week was a plan between him and Owens that they cooked up weeks ago. Owens marched straight to the ring and punched him in the face. Rollins had to hop the barricades into the crowd to get enough space to take his coat off.
When they got underway, Owens was just straight up looking to tear Rollins apart. Rollins took a few breaks on the outside, one of which saw him getting whipped into the barricades and take a senton and cannonball. Another, unintentional trip to the outside was courtesy of Owens throwing him from the apron to the announce desk and delivering another senton. Rollins got his knees up for that and bounced Owens off the desk.
Rollins missed with a frog splash. Owens got all of his, but the damage he’d taken to his ribs made him too slow to cover. Rollins’ arrogance whenever he was in control makes him preen between moves, and he regularly paid for giving Owens that kind of space.
Owens’ second ropes suplex left them both laid out, and it took Owens way too long to cover. Rollins got the Pedigree but also took too long to cover. Rollins delivered a buckle-bomb, but Owens countered the Stomp into a pop-up powerbomb.
Owens rolled to the outside and Rollins went out another side to give himself a run-up. Big E was already out of his seat before Rollins’ momentum, launching himself off the steps, landed them on the chair he’d been sitting on. The referee was counting during this time. Rollins scrabbled to his feet and made it back in on nine. Owens collided with Big E and got counted out.
Kevin Owens kicked Big E in the head and beat him up post-match. He’d thrown him into the steps twice, and given him a pop-up powerbomb onto the apron before he started to walk away. Then he came back and stamped on him a bit. Owens screams of fury and frustration closed the show.
Through the show, there were little clips of classic Survivor Series moments, including the Montreal Screwjob. Having barely mentioned Survivor Series last week, they must have said the words a hundred times in three hours this week. Some good matches, and most of them given time to tell their stories again, so no complaints on that front.