Published Nov 12 2018 By Andre Corbeil:
Tonights #WWERaw took place in #RawKansasCity, Missouri on Monday, November 12.
Opening segment: Braun Strowman ultimatum. Stephanie McMahon answers Braun Strowman: The show began with a Battle Royal to determine the captain of Team Raw’s tag match at Survivor Series. However, Strowman quickly interrupted and took everyone out. He insisted he would not go anywhere until Baron Corbin got “these hands”, prompting an appearance from Stephanie McMahon, who agreed to let Strowman face Corbin and Brock Lesnar in future matches if he helps Team Raw win on Sunday.
Ronda Rousey and Baron Corbin appear: Rousey then appeared and looked as though she was going to send a message to Becky Lynch by locking in an armbar on Stephanie, but Corbin’s music hit and he tried to calm the situation down. Rousey then threw Corbin to the mat with an arm drag and the segment ended with Strowman issuing the following warning to Corbin: “Enjoy your time being Stephanie’s lapdog. After Survivor Series, I’m gonna neuter you.”
Verdict: Very good. Opening segments can drag sometimes but that wasn’t the case here. Strowman was as popular with the crowd as he’s ever been, while #BaronCorbin proved once again why he is WWE’s most improved Superstar on the mic in 2018.
Match 1: Ember Moon vs. Tamina. Summary: With Nia Jax watching on from ringside, Tamina hit Ember Moon with an awkward top-rope splash to pick up the win in relatively quick fashion. Following the match, Jax continued to attack Moon and the segment ended with her hitting a leg drop on her former friend.
Verdict: It seems #WWE has sacrificed Moon’s recent push to give Jax the spotlight ahead of her match against Ronda Rousey. It’s understandable — Rousey needs a heel to face after #SurvivorSeries — but can’t they have somebody other than #EmberMoon lose on a weekly basis instead?!
Dean Ambrose explains his actions. Summary: Seth Rollins told #CoreyGraves that he “doesn’t give a damn” about his Survivor Series match against Shinsuke #ShinskeNakamura because all of his focus right now is on Dean Ambrose. Appearing on the big screen, Ambrose refused to enter the arena and told #SethRollins that being a -TheShield member was a “burden that made me weak”. He then picked up his Shield vest and threw it into a burning trash can.
Verdict: I’ve not been as invested in this storyline as much as most people have, but this was a very good way to further the rivalry. Heel #DeanAmbrose is something we’ve all been waiting a very long time for. I wasn’t a fan of Ambrose’s babyface promos but this promo — his first as a bad guy in over four years — was very promising.
Match 2: Dolph Ziggler vs. Finn Balor. Pre-match: Drew McIntyre said he has “never been more disgusted” than when he saw Kurt Angle cry during their match last week. He then declared Raw “my show” and said no more nostalgia acts should be allowed on it. Finn Balor appeared and defended Angle before challenging McIntyre to a match. The Scot said he will only lower himself to Balor’s level if he can beat Dolph Ziggler.
Match: After a back-and-forth 10 minutes, Balor launched himself over the top rope to take out Ziggler and McIntyre. It looked as though Ziggler would get the win moments later after he dodged a Coup de Grace and rolled Balor up for a pinfall. However, the Irishman reversed it into a unique pinfall of his own to pick up the victory.
Verdict: WWE is lacking star power on Raw right now, but they have a star of the present and future in McIntyre. His intense promo before the match was among the best we’ve seen on WWE television in recent months. The match itself was as action-packed as you would expect from Balor and #DolphZiggler. Roll on the inevitable #FinBalor vs. #DrewMcIntyre match next week.
Ruby Riott addresses her actions from last week. Summary: After breaking #JimNeidhart’s sunglasses last week, #RubyRiott feigned guilt before admitting that she “enjoyed every second of it” and she “didn’t take it far enough”. Natalya attacked her from behind but it didn’t take long for The Riott Squad’s numbers game to work to their advantage. The segment ended with Ruby hitting a Hart Attack on Natalya.
Verdict: This storyline is a great way to keep #NatalyaNeidhart’s legacy going. It was obvious that Ruby wasn’t sorry for what she did last week but that didn’t make her promo any less impressive. We’ve seen plenty of #RiottSquad matches over the last six months that have had little-to-no meaning, so it’s good to see that WWE is using them in a real storyline for once.
Match 3: Battle Royal (winners captain Team Raw tag match. Summary: The rearranged #RawBattleRoyal was over relatively quickly, with #HeathSlater & #Rhyno, #TheRevival, #LuchaHouseParty and #TheBTeam being eliminated to leave #BobbyRoode & #ChadGable and The Ascension as the only teams remaining. In the end, Gable caught #Konnor up in the ropes and #BobbyRoode capitalised by throwing #theAscension member to the outside.
Verdict: Battle Royals are usually entertaining with lots of little stories playing out at the same time. This, however, was underwhelming and felt very rushed.
Paul Heyman hypes Survivor Series. Summary: Paul Heyman said there is nobody on Raw, SmackDown Live, NXT or in UFC who Brock Lesnar wants to beat more than AJ Styles. Lesnar’s advocate was all set to close with his usual “that’s not a prediction – that’s a spoiler” line when #JinderMahal’s music hit. Mahal and #theSinghBrothers tried to show Lesnar the “Shanti” breathing technique. However, the Universal champion decided to show the three men his own technique — Suplex City — before hitting an F5 on Mahal at ringside.
Verdict: I’m confused why #BrockLesnar is in the middle of rivalries with two top babyfaces, #BraunStrowman and #AjStyles, yet he is throwing heels around to get a pop from the crowd. But hey, who cares! This was an entertaining segment.
Match 4: Bobby Lashley vs. Elias (winner joins Team Raw. Summary: Bobby Lashley was showing off his muscles in the middle of the ring when he was interrupted by Elias, who phoned child services to report his opponent for kidnapping a 10-year-old (aka Lio Rush). Once Lashley invited his rival to settle things in a match, Elias made his way to the ring and the action began. However, it didn’t last long, as #LeoRush grabbed Elias’ foot from underneath the ring to cause a count-out, meaning #BobbyLashley earned a spot on the Raw Survivor Series team. #Elias attacked Lashley and Rush following the match.
Verdict: The finish was underwhelming but Elias’ pre-match phone call was hilarious. This face turn is working out very well so far.
Match 5: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley. Summary: Team Raw captain Alexa Bliss named Natalya, Mickie James, Nia Jax and Tamina on her Survivor Series team. She then set up a match between Sasha Banks and Bayley to determine who takes the final spot on the team. One of the biggest moments from the match came when Bayley hit Banks with a #Bayley-to-Belly on the ring apron. However, it didn’t last much longer, as #TaminaSnuka, #NiaJax and #MickieJames attacked Bayley and #SashaBanks, leading #AlexaBliss to reveal #RubyRiott as her fifth choice. Cameras then cut backstage, where Becky Lynch had Ronda Rousey in an armbar. Lynch made her way to the ring and the rest of the SmackDown Live roster followed her to cause a brawl between both women’s divisions before #SurvivorSeries. Lynch, with a bloodied face and possible broken nose from the brawl, stood tall to the close the show.
Summary: Incredible! The reveal of the women’s team was an afterthought — this was all about the brawl. Although cameras didn’t catch the exact moment when Lynch was busted open, it appeared as though Nia Jax was the one who caught her in the corner of the ring. The pictures of a bloodied Lynch standing tall at the end will be shown again and again over the next few days.
Elsewhere on the show
- #StephanieMcMahon added Finn Balor to the men’s #RawSurvivorSeriesteam, making the final line-up: #Strowman, #McIntyre, #Ziggler, #Balor and #Lashley.
- #RondaRousey cut an intense promo backstage midway through the show about how she did not change the meaning of “fight like a girl” so that people like #BeckyLynch can call herself “The Man”.
- It was confirmed that the 10-on-10 tag match at #SurvivorSeries will take place on the kickoff show.
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