10/3 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship, TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick in a non-title match, Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson guest star

newrawlogo1By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Los Angeles, California at Staples Center

The Raw opening video aired and then Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton introduced themselves and hyped previously announced segments…

Roman Reigns made his entrances to a ton of boos. “Listen to that reaction for Roman Reigns,” Graves said. The broadcast team recapped his U.S. Title win over Rusev at Clash of Champions. One of the color commentators said some people boo, some people cheer, but everyone is making noise.

Powell’s POV: You know, because the fans would just stop making noise if he turned heel. Just because it worked for John Cena means it’s the right course of action for Reigns.

Reigns spoke about his family history in the business briefly and then mentioned that he is the first member of his bloodline to win the U.S. Championship. Lana interrupted Rusev and joined him in the ring. Lana claimed Rusev didn’t know where she was. Reigns called her on the silliness of that statement.

Lana said Rusev was challenging him to a U.S. Title rematch. She said Reigns has no respect for her or her husband and tried to destroy her wedding celebration. Reigns smiled. “Wipe that smile off your face, you stupid boy,” she said. Reigns told her to relax, go backstage “and deliver your husband his Bulgarian bulge, and tell him to come out here and say it to my face.” Lana told him to shut up and go to hell. Rusev came out and fought with Reigns in the entrance area. Reigns got the better of the ringside brawl and then rolled Rusev inside the ring.

Rusev went for his Superman Punch, but Rusev caught him and worked him over a bit. Rusev caught Reigns with a punch, causing Rusev to go back to ringside. Reigns leapt off the ring steps and into a kick from Rusev, who ran him into the ring steps. Rusev got a running start and gave Reigns a big boot that knocked him over the barricade. Rusev picked up the U.S. Title and held it above his head.

As Rusev celebrated on the stage, Reigns suddenly appeared behind him and hit him with a Superman Punch. Reigns took his title back and looked back to the fans, who booed him. Reigns said if Lana wants him to go to hell, then he’s taking them both with him. Reigns announced the rematch would take place inside Hell in a Cell…

[Q2] The broadcast team spoke and Cole said Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley would need to make it official. Cole hyped TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick in a non-title match, which led to a video package on both wrestlers. Cole hyped the match as coming up after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Reigns just keeps standing tall in his feud with Rusev. He already took the title from him and will be viewed as the heavy favorite. There’s still time, but they definitely need to do something to make Rusev look like a threat to take the title. It will be interesting to see if it’s the only HIAC match or if they will set up more than one match to be held inside the structure. The TJP and Kendrick video package was solid and provided a nice recap of their storyline.

1. WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick in a non-title match. Cole said Kendrick spent a lot of time with Perkins when TJP was in high school. It sounded really awkward, but they clarified that he would pick him up and take him to wrestling school. Okay, it still sounds awkward, but I get it.

The wrestlers shook hands. Perkins dropkicked Kendrick to start the match. Kendrick came back and put the fingers of Perkins’ inside the turnbuckle and then stood on his hands. There’s something you don’t see on Raw every week. [C]

Perkins performed a huracanrana off the top rope. Perkins remained on the offensive and applied the kneebar finisher at 7:00, but Kendrick reached the ropes. Kendrick came back with Sliced Bread No. 2 and got a two count. Kendrick applied the Captain’s Hook. Perkins rolled it into a pin to escape it. A short time later, Kendrick hooked the nose of Perkins as he was going for a move and reapplied the Captain’s Hook and got the win…

Brian Kendrick defeated TJ Perkins by submission in a non-title in 9:00.

[Q3] Cole hyped a sit-down interview with Seth Rollins for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A solid match. It seemed a bit odd to see the champion lose this early in his run, but I guess they had to get to the rematch somehow. Kendrick continues to shine in the personality department. Here’s hoping their pay-per-view match gets more time and is given a chance to feel special. It would also be nice to see both wrestlers get squash style wins between now and the pay-per-view to help establish their key moves more. They’ve done well with their submission holds so far, but Kendrick’s Sliced Bread No. 2 feels like just another move because TJP kicks out of it.

A pre-taped Michael Cole sit-down interview with Seth Rollins aired. He said his doctor’s advised him not to appear in Los Angeles “but you know me.” Rollins complained that Kevin Owens was handed the WWE Universal Championship by Triple H. He said he deserves a rematch.

Cole said people believe that Owens’ rise to prominence is similar to Rollins’ rise. Rollins said he can see why. He said he alienated a lot of people on the way up and he said they were sitting in a room with all his friends. He said Owens is the guy in the office who does half the work and gets the promotion. He complained again about Hunter handing him the championship.

Rollins said that no one was there to help him when he cashed in the Money in the Bank contract and won the title at WrestleMania. He said everyone has a Kevin Owens in their life, and he has the Kevin Owens. Cole asked him about Hunter replacing him with Owens. Rollins said Owens is just a cog in the machine. Rollins said his eyes are open and he’s going to tear that machine apart and it starts with Owens and the championship.

Rollins said he had Owens beat at Clash of Champions, then restated his claim about Stephanie McMahon bringing out the replacement referee at just the right time. Rollins said he knows how the game is played. Rollins said he will cancel the Kevin Owens Show and prove to the world that he’s still the man…

The broadcast team spoke about the interview. Graves said there’s a time bomb in Rollins head right now. Saxton hyped that Owens would respond to Rollins later in the show… [C]

Powell’s POV: This was a small step in the right direction for Rollins as a babyface. He wasn’t complaining about Owens using the same heelish tactics that he did. However, this was not that bonding moment with the fans that it feels like his character is still lacking. He may get over as the top babyface without it, but it seems like it could take him longer.

[Q4] Cole hyped WWE’s work with the breast cancer charity…

2. Braun Strowman vs. Chase Silver. Before the match, Silver was interviewed in the ring by Saxton. Silver said he just moved to Hollywood where dreams come true. He said he had a dream that he was going to beat Strowman, who laughed at him. Strowman destroyed Silver and finished him off with a power slam…

Braun Strowman defeated Chase Silver in 1:40.

After the match, Saxton interviewed Strowman in the ring and asked him what’s next. Saxton said he is the gift of destruction and his talent is being wasted. Strowman told Saxton to tell Mick Foley that if he doesn’t get him real competition next week then there may not be next week…

The broadcast team hyped Charlotte vs. Sasha for the main event… A shot aired of Sasha stretching backstage. Bayley showed up and played up Charlotte and Sasha being in the Raw main event. She said it was “Trish and Lita territory.” Sasha said it’s more than being in the main event. She said it’s about taking back what she worked her entire career for. Bayley said she can’t think of a more deserving person than Sasha, who said she will dethrone the wanna be queen because she was born to be champion… [C] An ad for Smackdown hyped AJ Styles, John Cena, and Dean Ambrose going face to face to face…

Powell’s POV: More of the same with Strowman, who beat a guy named after a credit card. Was that a threat by Strowman to jump to Smackdown, take out Foley, or just end the world? Sasha would be a lousy friend. You praise her and she just tells you how great she is.

Cole hype the Royal Rumble returning to the Alamodome. He screwed up and said it is located in San Diego, though he did correct himself and list San Antonio. The broadcast team also announced Reigns vs. Rusev in a Hell in a Cell match for the pay-per-view of the same name…

WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens made his entrance and was accompanied by Chris Jericho, who brought up his “list” clipboard.

[Q5] Owens said he just watched Cole’s interview with Rollins, and noted that Cole was terrible and Rollins is stupid. Owens said Rollins is looking to blame people for his loss at Clash of Champions, but only he is responsible for it. Owens brought up Jericho standing by his side. Jericho said it’s because they are the best of friends.

Owens said that’s true, but it’s not why he had him come out. Owens said Rollins has blamed the referee for his loss at Clash of Champions. There was a “stupid idiot” chant. Owens said it’s ironic that the fans chant that and think their cool because they are actually stupid idiots.

Owens brought up the idea of making Jericho the referee of his match against Owens. Jericho said their win over Enzo Amore and Big Cass last week left him thinking they should challenge New Day for the Raw Tag Titles. Owens said that sounded great, but Cesaro and Sheamus already have a tag title opportunity lined up.

Jericho said Sheamus and Cesaro are not best friends. He said they could be tag team and WWE Universal Champion at the same time. Owens said it sounds like a lot of work and he has a lot on his plate. Jericho said it’s not like he’s asking for a shot at Owens’ championship. The fans chanted Y2J loudly. Owens then agreed that they should go after New Day.

New Day made their entrance and cut a promo from the stage. Kofi Kingston said they have the best friendship in WWE. New Day spoke about having a champions’ huddle and said Jericho wasn’t invited. Jericho said they just made the list. Owens said New Day knows what they want and if they weren’t going to give it to them then they should go away.

Owens accused them of putting the health of children around the world at risk by feeding them questionable cereal. He also said they jumped the shark about seven months ago. Xavier Woods said they should know that they don’t swim. He told Owens to look at himself and ask himself when is the last time he jumped over anything. Owens told Jericho to put Woods on the list again. Woods said they were going to watch Luke Cage, but if they want a match then they have it. Woods said they will never beat New Day to become champions…

Cole set up footage of Sheamus and Cesaro arguing as they arrived at the building in the same vehicle earlier in the day… Graves hyped the women’s main event…

Powell’s POV: A fun segment with a good back and forth between the two sides. It was really encouraging to hear the crowd be so receptive to the idea of Chris Jericho getting a title shot. His babyface run was a flop, but his heel run has been entertaining enough that he has definitely won over a lot of fans. You know, kinda like Roman Reigns could. Anyway, the buzz is that it will be Owens vs. Rollins vs. Jericho at the pay-per-view, and this may be step one toward that match.

[Q6] [C] Actor Ryan Phillippe was shown at ringside. Apparently, USA is finally going to air that “Shooter” show soon… Cole announced that Bill Goldberg will appear on ESPN on Wednesday night to discuss the WWE video game and his relationship with WWE…

3. Sami Zayn vs. Titus O’Neil. Before the match, they aired a clip of Titus talking about how it’s the grand opening of the Titus Brand. He said it’s taking over everything from fashion to music to movies. He closed by saying “Making a Wish.” The broadcast team had no idea what the Titus Brand was all about either.

Titus got the better of Zayn early and mocked his entrance music. At 2:30, Zayn performed the exploded suplex in the corner and then followed up with the Helluva Kick for the win…

Sami Zayn beat Titus O’Neil in 2:40.

Powell’s POV: It seems like Titus should be the guy with the tearaway suit given his new gimmick, but I have no idea what they are going for with this. I just assume it’s nothing special since he lost this match decisively, and I pray that it doesn’t somehow lead to more matches with Darren Young.

Backstage, Cesaro and Sheamus had a forced sounding fight about which one of them was responsible for the duo getting lost. Mick Foley showed up and spoke about how they should be bonding together on the road. Foley said the two of them were good last week, but they weren’t on the same page. He encouraged them to get out there and prove him right…

Footage aired of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson looking dominant in past matches. Graves said their eyes are totally on the tag title and said they would be in action after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: I guess Foley doesn’t care about the tweet they played up on the pre-show that had Daniel Bryan asking Cesaro when his contract expires and saying they would love to have him on Smackdown.

Golden Truth made their entrance while the lyrics to their song appeared on the screen with a bouncing Goldust head. Footage aired from the pre-show of Anderson and Gallows saying New Day has ruined the tag division…

4. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. R-Truth and Goldust. Anderson caught Goldust with a kick, and Goldust sold it by going face first into the middle rope, which is pink for the breast cancer charity.

[Q7] Later, Truth caught Anderson with his scissors kick and covered him, but Gallows broke up the pin. They came back with the Magic Killer on Truth for the win. Gallows and Anderson hit the same move on Goldust after the match…

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson beat R-Truth and Goldust in 3:20.

Powell’s POV: This was supposed to be about Gallows and Anderson, but it’s hard to view this as a big moment for them when Anderson had to be saved by his partner from being pinned by R-Truth. Still, I hope that WWE is serious about doing more with the duo.

Owens and Jericho were walking backstage when they encountered Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson. Jericho threatened to put them on the list. Masterson took the mic and said the list had people who don’t appreciate a good scarf and people who lose to Fandango at WrestleMania. Jericho denied the last one.

Kutcher said he and Masterson are brothers, but he has questions about Owens and Jericho. Jericho said they could be Siamese Twins. Owens said That ’70s Show would have been better with him and Jericho. Owens walked away. Kutcher said he and Masterson will be watching their match with New Day at ringside…

Powell’s POV: This will only be great if Red shows up and puts his foot in all their asses. Spoiler Alert: Life had a better ending with Kelso and Jackie ending up together than the show did.

Enzo Amore and Big Cass stood in the ring with three breast cancer survivors and a table that had a pink covering over something. Enzo had “Aunt” and “Ellen” written on his wrist tape. Cass noted that it’s the fifth year that WWE has teamed up with the breast cancer charity. Enzo noted that the three women were survivors. Cass said you’ll see the women all month long as they share their stories. Enzo called out for a spoiler alert and said they won their battle. They took the covering off the table and presented them with three WWE Women’s Championship replica belts and said they are not sawft…

The broadcast team hyped upcoming segments…

Powell’s POV: One of the women is named Tina Foreman, but I don’t think she’s related to Red. Speaking of red, at least they had the decency to give the women those replica belts rather than Universal Championship replicas. One of the women held up her belt upside down. Maybe she’s be a big Miz fan.

[Q8] [C] 5. Big E and Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens in a non-title match. Kutcher and Masterson sat in on commentary. Masterson hyped their “The Ranch” show by alienating about half the viewing audience by saying it represents red states and city folks probably won’t get it as much. Jericho ended up with a bloody nose, perhaps in honor of those red states that Masterson mentioned. The heels were in control going into the break. [C] Cole noted that New Day have held the titles for 407 days. Kutcher asked what the longest reign is. Cole actually knew the length and that it was Demolition.

[Q9] Masterson said he loves Owens because they both have beards. Kutcher said he wants a dad body like Owens. Vince McMahon must be thrilled to hear actors mocking the physique of his Universal Champion.

As Owens was working over Woods, Seth Rollins’ music hit. Rollins walked onto the stage and Owens threw a fit. Owens turned into a kick from Woods. After tags, Big E worked over Jericho until Owens checked in and cut him off briefly. E cleared Owens to the floor, then Woods performed a dive over the top onto Owens. Jericho came back and applied the Liontamer on Woods. Rollins headed to ringside and Jericho released the hold. New Day hit The Midnight Hour on Jericho for the win…

New Day defeated Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens in 16:20.

After the match, Rollins hit a rough looking Pedigree on Jericho while Owens stood on the stage. Kutcher said if that had been Masterson, he would have been in the ring to help him. Cole thanked the duo and plugged their Netflix show…

Powell’s POV: I was looking forward to this match before I realized WWE was going to ruin it by having Kutcher and Masterson talk about their Netflix comedy and pretend to be interested in their storyline issues with Jericho. By the way, there’s actually a fun pro wrestling edition of That ’70s Show’s first season with The Rock, Ken Shamrock, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and Ernie Ladd making appearances. That said, I’m out if WWE books Randy Pearson or Big Rhonda for guest spots.

Cole set up a video recap of the opening segment involving Reigns, Rusev, and Lana…

Backstage, Tom Phillips interviewed Charlotte and Dana Brooke. Charlotte boasted about being genetically superior and said she is the only reason that Sasha is in the main event. Charlotte said she was born for these moments, and would expose Sasha as the overachiever that she is. She said she would knock her off the pedestal that social media put her on…

Cole hyped a Rich Swann vs. Tony Nese match, then set up a brief Swann video package… [C]

[Q10] Members of the Los Angeles Rams team were shown standing in the front row. They must be no-name players because they were not identified by name. Josh Reddick of the Dodgers was shown in the front row…

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon scolded Rollins for getting involved when he’s not medically cleared. Rollins said Stephanie doesn’t get to tell him what to do anymore. Steph recalled Rollins saying he’s all alone. Stephanie said he’s right. She said there’s no Shield or Authority. She told him he won’t last long and he will find out that he is replaceable “just like everybody else.”

Rollins said Triple H made the second worst decision of his life when he stabbed him in the back. Steph asked what the worst decision was. Rollins said it was marrying her. He said he will burn Raw to the ground and take Owens and Jericho with him. Rollins walked away and Stephanie made a weird face…

6. Rich Swann vs. Tony Nese. Cole hyped Total Bellas for Wednesday night on E. Swann sanced and clapped his hands, but few in the crowd played along. Nese received an entrance and a brief clip aired of him saying that all he hears is how much everyone loves Swann. He said maybe he should just twerk like a second rate Amber Rose.

The wrestlers shook hands before the match just like the heavyweights, er, just like in Ring of Honor. At 2:10, Swann backed away with Nese in the ropes. Nese caught him with a cheap kick and was scolded by the referee. Swann came back and controlled the bulk of the offense, but Nese put him away with a pump handle into a Michinoku Driver (or “whatever you call it” as Graves said) for the win…

Tony Nese beat Rich Swann in 4:40.

Cole set up a Hispanic Heritage month video package on Mil Mascaras… Backstage, Sheamus cut in front of Cesaro, then Cesaro returned the favor…

Powell’s POV: Another week of the live crowd reacting to the flashy moves more than the personalities. Swann is very charismatic and I assume it’s only a matter of time before he starts to click. By the way, October is National Italian American Heritage Month, so where is my Nunzio video package?

[Q11] [C] “The Makeover of Emma to Emmalina” will be premiering soon on Raw, according to a brief video teaser…

7. Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Raul White and Mark Carradine. Cesaro’s music interrupted Sheamus’s “fella” yell. They argued over who would start the match. Sheamus tagged himself in. Cesaro wore pink shoulder tape for the breast cancer month. There was a spot where Cesaro ran and leapt off the back of Sheamus into a DDT on one of the opponents. Sheamus put the other one away with a Brogue Kick…

Sheamus and Cesaro beat Raul White and Mark Carradine.

Cole hyped the main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: Sheamus wasn’t happy about Cesaro leaping off his back, so they are still going to be telling the story of the duo not being on the same page.

Oscar De La Hoya’s statue outside the building was shown, and then the boxing great was shown in the front row of the crowd… A Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks video package aired. It chronicled their history in NXT from two years ago. It noted their tag team history and Charlotte said “unfortunately there’s only one title.” Sasha said she taught Charlotte everything and helped her. The video footage also showed Charlotte retaining the championship at WrestleMania, and Sasha beating Charlotte to win the title on Raw, and Charlotte regaining the championship at SummerSlam…

[Q12] Charlotte and Brooke were shown walking backstage. Charlotte stopped and mocked Bayley, calling her everyone’s favorite little sister. Charlotte said one day Bayley will grow up to be a big girl and graduate Camp WWE to be be a main eventer. Bayley tried to respond, but Charlotte told her that her title was talking too loud and she has to go main event. Charlotte told Brooke it was time to go. Brooke stuck around and mocked Bayley, who moved her hand away. Brooke pressed her against the wall. Bayley threw her into a crate. Brooke remained on the ground and held her knee in pain…

Sasha made her entrance while Cole hyped the main event as coming up next… [C]

Powell’s POV: A nice video piece, but I’d love to see a 30-minute version of this air on WWE Network similar to a UFC Countdown show. Still, this was really good for the time it was given. I just wonder if it should have aired earlier in the show to help get viewers excited about the main event and keep them watching or at least turning back to Raw for the main event. Meanwhile, I love the way Charlotte talked down to Bayley, as that’s the type of thing that made fans get behind the Bayley character in the first place. Is Brooke getting hurt a setup for Charlotte losing because she doesn’t have help or is that just what they want us to think?

8. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Sasha received a strong ovation, and Charlotte was booed loudly. Cole noted that Charlotte is 12-0 in pay-per-view title defenses. He stressed that this is not a pay-per-view, and Sasha defeated Charlotte on Raw previously.

Charlotte went for her finisher in the opening seconds, but Sasha kicked her off. Sasha ended up performing a suicide dive onto Charlotte and they took another break. [C] Charlotte controlled the action coming out of the break.

[Overrun] Sasha came back around 7:45 with a double knee press for a two count. There was a botched spot with Charlotte sweeping the legs of Sasha with the apparent goal of catching her and then driving her into the edge of the ring, but Charlotte fell forward and then just awkwardly threw her back inside the ring.

At 10:40, Charlotte set up for a superplex, which always seems to be blocked in every promotion these days. Sure enough, Sasha blocked it and knocked Charlotte down with a headbutt, then performed the double knee press off the top rope for a good near fall that the live crowd was into.

Sasha sold her back injury from some of the offense that Charlotte used earlier in the match. Sasha went for the Backstabber, but Charlotte held the ropes and dumped Sasha to ringside. Charlotte went up top and performed a corkscrew moonsault, which popped the crowd.

Back inside the ring, Charlotte performed the Natural Selection for another good near fall at 12:50. Charlotte showed frustration and slapped Sasha repeatedly while telling her to stay down. Moments later, Sasha caught Charlotte in the Bank Statement. Charlotte rolled it over into a pin, but Sasha rolled her over again and this time Charlotte tapped out…

Sasha Banks defeated Charlotte in 14:15 to win the Raw Women’s Championship.

After the match, Charlotte was in tears as she vented about losing the match while facing the big screen as Sasha posed with the championship in the ring. “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Boss time,” Cole said to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A strong main event. The live crowd was hot for the match and into the big spots and near falls. I never wanted WWE to rush the women into a main event just for the sake of doing it. They did it right. It was also cool that WWE didn’t go overboard with that self-congratulatory hype for being so progressive and putting the women in the main event. By avoiding that approach, it felt like the match and the women belonged in the main event, which they clearly do.

Overall, a solid edition of Raw in the three-hour era. There’s still all the problems with the marathon, but they had a strong main event and it seemed like are taking a page out of the Smackdown playbook by finding meaningful roles for more mid-card talent rather than just focussing on the top guys. I’m now curious to see where they go with Cesaro, Sheamus, Braun Strowman, and Emma. I will have more to say about the show in my WWE Raw Hit List and in an All Access audio review on Tuesday. My apologies if you’ve tried to reach me by email or Twitter tonight, but I shut everything down so that I could avoid spoilers on the football game.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ProWrestling.net staffer John Moore returning for an in-depth discussion on NXT, AEW, Impact Wrestling, MLW, and the NWA, and more...


Readers Comments (2)

  1. “I was looking forward to this match before I realized WWE was going to ruin it by having Kutcher and Masterson talk about their Netflix comedy and pretend to be interested in their storyline issues with Jericho.”

    Ironically, they seemed to be paying more attention to the match than the actual commentators.

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