11/07 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Five-way main event, Rusev vs. Sami Zayn for an Intercontinental Title shot at Survivor Series

newrawlogo1By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Taped earlier today in Glasgow, Scotland in SSE Hydro Arena

[Q1] Raw opened with a recap of Mick Foley introducing Roman Reigns as a member of Team Raw at Survivor Series along with Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns. Footage also aired of Seth Rollins helping Reigns after his U.S. Title defense against Jericho… The Raw opening video aired…

Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary. Cole said it was the first time in its 23-year history that Raw has gone to Scotland…

Stephanie McMahon made her entrance to boos and apathy. Cole said there has been suspicion all week about who would be named the fifth member of Team Raw at Survivor Series. Stephanie said Mick Foley couldn’t be there tonight, which drew boos. Stephanie said it’s a tumultuous time with neighbor vs. neighbor, brother vs. sister, and red vs. blue. “That’s right, Raw vs. Smackdown at Survivor Series.” The crowd sat mostly quietly. Ouch. She hyped Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar and got the crowd to chant Goldberg.

Stephanie introduced the members of Team Raw. Kevin Owens was out first while Cole explained the rules of the Survivor Series elimination matches. Chris Jericho was out next to a nice pop. Roman Reigns was out to boos. Yes, the Scottish hate Reigns too. Graves told Cole that he could barely hear Cole because of the “rousing ovation” for Reigns. Funny. Braun Strowman was out to the type of reaction that made it seem like Stephanie received a Road Warriors pop.

Stephanie introduced Seth Rollins as the fifth member of Team Raw. Cole brought up the history of Stephanie and Rollins and called the announcement a surprise. Owens questioned whether Rollins being on the team was a joke. Rollins said she knows that she needs him to guarantee a win at Survivor Series.

Team Smackdown was shown as Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, and Dean Ambrose. Stephanie played up what would happen with the former members of The Shield in the ring together. She said Bray held Strowman down and never let him have the spotlight. She said all five opponents should be on Jericho’s list. She asked if Owens would prove he’s the better champion or is it Styles.

Stephanie said she needs them on the same page and said they need to fight like their jobs depend on it “because they do.” Stephanie dropped the mic and walked off to a very minor reaction. Owens said Stephanie is right. He said he and Jericho made enemies and maybe they’ve made mistakes. Jericho said they are sorry.

[Q2] Jericho said the their teammates might be stupid idiots like everyone in Glagow, they are “our stupid idiots.” Owens said they all have to listen to the co-captains of Team Raw. Owens said they need to be a well oiled machine unlike The Shield. Owens said the faction died because they are terrible human beings who kept turning on each other. Jericho said they should keep their mouths shut and do what they say.

Rollins said he digs, then threw punches. Reigns joined him. Strowman threw Rollins off of Jericho, then splashed Jericho in the corner and shoulder blocked Rollins. Strowman slammed Jericho to the mat face first. As Strowman left the ring, he encountered Reigns and traded a look. Stephanie came out and said she was going to let them get this out of their system. She booked the five men in a Fatal Five-way match…

Saxton hyped that New Day will address the entire Team Raw tag team…

Cole said he will be part of the announcement for the open spots on Team Raw’s women’s team… A shot aired of Brian Kendrick walking backstage. They showed footage of the botched spot from his match with TJ Perkins, then hyped he would be in action with a debuting superstar after the break… [C] An ad aired for 205 Live…

Powell’s POV: Reigns and Strowman tied for mic time with zero. Owens and Jericho were entertaining and were probably the most popular wrestlers in the ring, though people liked Rollins as well. By the way, this show was taped earlier today and while the spoilers are available on the main page, I will not be mentioning any in this review until they air on the show. Jake Barnett will take the same approach for Smackdown Live tomorrow night.

The Perkins vs. Kendrick botched spot was shown again… They showed Celtic Football Club stadium, which seemed to draw boos…

1. Brian Kendrick and Noam Dar vs. Rich Swann and Sin Cara. Sin Cara didn’t get a televised entrance, but the other three did. Cole and Graves spoke briefly about the 205 Live show during the entrances. Dar received a big reaction when he was introduced as Scotland’s own. He received a basic pyro blast as part of his entrance. Cole said the cruiserweights will remain on Raw when 205 Live stars. Kendrick pulled Sin Cara off the ropes and down to the floor while the ref was distracted. [C]

[Q3] Sin Cara performed a Senton on Dar on the floor. In the ring, Swann pinned Kendrick. After the match, Kendrick called Dar a loser who lost in the Cruiserweight Classic because he has no talent. Kendrick said Dar has no heart, and he failed to recognize that he’s the best cruiserweight in the world. Kendrick said Dar and Perkins lose when it matters most. Kendrick punched Dar and then put the boots to him. Dar came back and ended up hitting Kendrick with a running kick…

Rich Swann and Sin Cara beat Brian Kendrick and Noam Dar.

Cole hyped Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, and said there would be a segment from Goldberg’s perspective next… [C]

Powell’s POV: A nice introduction of Dar in his home country. It was odd that he was paired with Kendrick since it led to the crowd not getting behind the babyface team, but the post match angle at least established Dar as a babyface.

[Q4] A Goldberg video package aired. It included footage from his career, the buildup to his match with Lesnar, and of him working out inside the gym. Goldberg said when Brock sees him, he sees a little of himself, and he feels the same. Goldberg said the fans have been clamoring for someone kick Lesnar’s ass, and he believes he’s the guy to do it…

Powell’s POV: This was much more effective than Goldberg’s appearance last week, assuming fans haven’t been conditioned to view video packages as bathroom break or channel changing material.

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon was on the phone rejecting an invitation for Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan to appear on Smackdown tomorrow night. However, she issued an invitation for them to appear on Raw. Sami Zayn was in the room per her request, and she complained that Shane didn’t have the guts to talk smack to her face and wanted her to appear on Smackdown Live.

Stephanie told Zayn that his presence is irritating and it’s over the top rah-rah. She assumed he bothered Mick Foley to the point that he is getting the Intercontinental Title shot. Stephanie said that spot belongs to Rusev, so she booked Zayn vs. Rusev later in the show with the winner getting a shot at Ziggler’s Intercontinental Title at Survivor Series. Stephanie said the winner better bring the title back home to Raw… [C]

Powell’s POV: I was wondering which set of authority figures would look like the idiots. Congratulations to Shane and Bryan’s characters for agreeing to risk losing their secondary championship to Raw while getting nothing in return.

Enzo Amore and Big Cass made their entrance while the enthusiastic crowd spoke along with them. Cass said Team Smackdown Live is sawft. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson made their entrance and were quickly followed by R-Truth and Goldust, then Cesaro and Sheamus. Cole said New Day would address the rest of Team Raw after the break. [C]

A Roman Reigns PSA aired with him encouraging viewers to vote…

Powell’s POV: Fans everywhere are cancelling the plans to vote just to spite Reigns.

New Day didn’t come out right away. Sheamus spoke about what a great Celtic country Ireland is. Cesaro said the fans liked him there about as much as everywhere else.

[Q5] Sheamus took a soccer jab, which worked like a charm. Sheamus said he’s the captain of his team with Cesaro, who disagreed. Sheamus named himself captain of Team Raw. Enzo and Cass played the “how you doin'” game with Sheamus, and the crowd enthusiastically chanted along. Gallows called Sheamus a nerd and threatened to smash him. Cesaro mocked the line. He said they could have insulted him by saying he looks like the third member of The Club or by saying Sheamus looks like Red Rooster. Sheamus said he was out of Team Raw and he hopes they enjoy being humiliated by Team Smackdown.

New Day made their entrance before Sheamus could leave the ring. The trio came out wearing kilts and Braveheart face paint. Xavier Woods pretended to play bagpipes. The locals chanted New Day rocks. Kofi Kingston called Woods on singing into the mic rather than playing the bagpipes. Woods said the bagpipes are Francesca’s Scottish cousin Agnes, and he has a new respect for bagpipe players because he can’t get a noise out of them.

Sheamus threatened to quit the team, then mocked New Day’s attire. Woods said they like to have a good time, then did the tag team champions bit. Golden Truth clapped for it. Woods said the other teams would fight for the love and pride of Raw. Anderson said he and Gallows were out too because they would lose with New Day as captains.

Big E went William Wallace in Braveheart on the crowd, which ate it up. Woods called him on his awkward accent. Enzo said he didn’t know what they had been smoking in the bagpipes, but he liked it. Enzo said Smackdown is going down like a hole in the ground. Goldust said he and R-Truth are in. Cesaro said he and Sheamus are in. Sheamus said he’s the captain, then agreed that they would be in.

New Day asked Anderson and Gallows if they would fight with them and Scotland. Anderson said they could wear their costumes and call themselves captains, but they are not the captains of them because no one is. They said they would stab them in the back the first chance they get. Gallows said they will handle Smackdown Live easily. New Day said they requested a match against Anderson and Gallows that was granted by Stephanie… [C] An ad for NXT aired…

Powell’s POV: New Day was comical before the segment overstayed its welcome. If the goal was to make me care even less about the tag team version of the Survivor Series match then mission accomplished.

[Q6] 2. Big E and Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in a non-title match. The match was joined in progress. New Day remained dressed in their Braveheart gear while working the match. Ugh. Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer on E and got the win…

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson beat Big E and Kofi Kingston.

Powell’s POV: The best thing I can say about this match is that it didn’t involve a pumpkin. We’ve seen one step forward for Gallows and Anderson before and it’s always followed by two steps back in WWE. Have they set a new record for most televised non-title wins by a tag team in WWE history?

Backstage, Goldust spoke with R-Truth about the Survivor Series match. Truth told him that they needed some R&R, so he traded their spot on Team Raw for a timeshare. Truth ran Goldust through the Shining Stars brochure. Goldust was not happy…

Cole hyped a Lesnar video package for after the break… [C] An ad for Smackdown Live hyped Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss for the Smackdown Women’s Championship… Sasha Banks wants you to vote tomorrow too…

Powell’s POV: The Team Raw spot for a fake timeshare seems like a fair trade to me. We’re almost halfway home, folks. Two matches in 90 minutes?!?

[Q7] Byron spoke about having goosebumps because of the season finale of Total Bellas. What a tool. The broadcast team also hyped Survivor Series…

The Brock Lesnar video package aired regarding his match with Bill Goldberg. Brock asked why Goldberg would issue himself a death sentence. Lesnar said he didn’t give two shits (censored) about wrestling when he lost to Goldberg because he had “unfinished athletic business” to take care of. Lesnar said it’s foolish for a man to pick a fight with him. Brock said he’s the only ass kicker. Paul Heyman spoke about how Lesnar sent Rock back to Hollywood, ended The Streak, and was kryptonite to Super Cena, and elbowed Randy Orton’s head.

“Bill Goldberg’s been out of the squared circle for 12 yeas,” Lesnar said. “Really? It ain’t gonna happen. So if you’d like to tune in at Survivor Series and watch Bill Goldberg get his ass kicked at Survivor Series, subscribe to the network. This man is not going to beat Brock Lesnar. I don’t give a damn what his ten year-old son is going to think. I’m not going to show any f—ing mercy.” Lesnar said Goldberg’s wife and son should stay home and hopefully Goldberg will return home…

Cole hyped Goldberg and Lesnar for next week’s show… Backstage, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho spoke about trying to get Braun Strowman on the same page. Jericho barged into Strowman’s room and complained about Strowman throwing him around. Owens called off Jericho and said they are a team. Strowman asked if Jericho is going to put him on his “little list.” Owens praised Strowman and said the name Team Kevin, Chris, and Braun sounds pretty good. Jericho begrudgingly agreed. Strowman stood up and said, “I’m on Team Braun”…

Powell’s POV: I’m on Team Don’t Let Braun Talk Anymore. Meanwhile, the Lesnar video was great. Lesnar is awesome in the sit-down environment and I love that he’s pointing out the absurdity of Goldberg returning after 12 years rather than being asked to act like his character is swearing Goldberg.

An Emmalina video package aired. She’s still in “premiering soon” mode…

[Q7] 3. Goldust and R-Truth vs. The Shining Stars for a spot on Team Raw at Survivor Series. Cole explained that the spot was on the line because Goldust convinced Stephanie McMahon to make the stipulation.

The Shining Stars beat The Golden Truth in 4:45 to earn a spot on Team Raw.

Cole has the honor of announcing the two remaining Team Raw women. He’s told us it’s his honor twice so far… [C]

Powell’s POV: Not that it would have made a difference in terms of making the crowd actually care about the match, but it’s odd that they didn’t bother to tell the Scottish fans that the Survivor Series spot was a stake. I’m fighting to stay awake at this point and it has nothing to do with the time change.

A graphic listed Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan for Raw next week while Byron questioned whether they would actually be there. That’s hype…

Cole stood in the ring and explained the rules of the Survivor Series elimination matches. Cole introduced Team Raw captain Charlotte, who said she was a born leader. Cole introduced Nia Jax, who said Charlotte might be the leader, but she doesn’t work for her. Cole introduced Alicia Fox as someone who can bring nearly ten years of experience to the team. She said that if Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt can be civil, then so can she and Nia. Ugh.

[Q9] Bayley was introduced as the fourth member of the team. The crowd chanted and sang so much that Bayley had a hard time getting her promo out. Cole said there was one more member of the team. Charlotte took the mic and said she would handle the honors. She acted bothered by the crowd singing for Bayley. “What are you even saying?” she asked. “These accents are terrible.” Charlotte introduced Dana Brooke for her team, which got the crowd to stop singing in favor of a brief boo and then silence.

Cole said there was no disrespect to Brooke. Sasha Banks entered as the real fifth member of the team. The singing for Bayley started up again shortly after Sasha came out. They tried to talk again. Sasha stopped and sang the “will you be my girl” part to Bayley briefly. Charlotte bickered. I stopped caring… [C]

Powell’s POV: Seriously, I checked out mentally from that segment. No, I don’t blame the crowd and I’ll roll my eyes at the inevitable talk that the fans were disrespectful to the women. This show blows. The Scottish fans waited all these years for their first Raw, and WWE has given them three matches in two hours, and one of those matches was Golden Truth vs. Shining Stars. Let them have their fun because lord knows WWE isn’t providing much.

4. Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Alicia Fox vs. Charlotte, Dana Brooke, and Nia Jax. Cole said it was an impromptu match. Jax worked over Sasha heading into a break while the crowd continued to amuse themselves by signing. [C]

[Q10] Sasha eventually made a hot tag to Bayley, who worked over Charlotte. Bayley had Charlotte pinned when Brooke broke it up. Nia tossed Fox into the corner and splashed her. Sasha caught her with a double knee lift. Charlotte tried to kick Sasha, who moved, causing Jax to take the kick. Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly on Charlotte and pinned her. “Who’s the weak link now?” Cole asked…

Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Alicia Fox beat Charlotte, Dana Brooke, and Nia Jax in 11:30.

Powell’s POV: They showed the graphic for the women’s match at Survivor Series and it had six women listed. I’m guessing it means Brooke will be in the corner, but who knows?

Backstage, Charly Caruso interviewed Seth Rollins, who said he’s not going to make people like him. He said it’s okay because he doesn’t like them either. He said he was promised future opportunities for joining Team Raw. Braun Strowman showed up and said Seth shouldn’t worry about his future opportunities because he might not have a future when he’s done. Strowman said he would snap Rollins like a twig, then walked away. Rollins said one more person who doesn’t like him. “Sounds like a party,” Rollins said… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’ve been so distracted by the other nonsense on this show that I forgot to mention that there hasn’t been any notable followup to Rollins saving Reigns last week. They were in the ring together, but Reigns never even spoke earlier. I guess we’ll see if they do anything in the main event.

Cole hyped that a member of the Chicago Cubs was shown wearing a WWE Championship in the Chicago Tribune…

Lana stood in the ring. She thanked the crowd for cheering for her and then said she doesn’t need “the support of this pathetic village.” Funny. She also called them America and told them to stand up and cheer for her husband. Rusev, who trimmed his bad beard, mead his entrance.

[Q11] Sami Zayn made his entrance and the crowd sang along with the music…

5. Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Sami Zayn for a shot at the Intercontinental Title at Survivor Series. Rusev attacked Zayn to start the match. Zayn caught Rusev with a dropkick. Rusev rolled to ringside heading into the break. [C] Rusev dominated the offense coming out of the break and showed frustration when he couldn’t pin Zayn. Rusev went to the top rope for that move he’ll never perform. Zayn caught him with the Helluva Kick and then pinned him…

Sami Zayn pinned Rusev in 8:45 to earn an Intercontinental Title shot at Survivor Series.

Graves hyped the five-way main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m sure it will be fine because they are going to attempt to steal the show, but we now have Zayn vs. Ziggler in a match between two guys who typically work from underneath and sell, sell, sell before making their comeback.

[Q12] The broadcast team hyped Goldberg and Lesnar appearing face-to-face on next week’s Raw. The graphic once again showed Shane and Bryan for Raw, and Saxton once again questioned whether they will accept the invitation… Ring entrances for the main event took place…

6. WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman in a non-title Fatal Five-Way. Strowman elbowed Jericho. Graves said it was too the throat and cracked that it might make Fozzy have to cancel their Download tour plans. Rollins used a kendo stick on Strowman. Rollins pulled a chair out from underneath the ring, but Strowman cut him off and grabbed the table. [C]

[Overrun] Late in the match, Jericho held Reigns in place on the floor while Owens let out a war cry and then performed a cannonball. Rollins came back and powerbombed Jericho onto Strowman, driving both men through a table. A few Scottish fans finally got to chant “holy shit” at Raw.

In the ring, Rollins hit the Pedigree on Owens and had him pinned, but Jericho pulled the referee from the ring. Later, Rollins performed a Pedigree on Jericho. Owens caught Rollins with a superkick. Reigns caught Owens with a Superman Punch, causing Owens to fall onto Jericho and get the three count.

Kevin Owens beat Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Braun Strowman in 16;05 a Fatal Five-Way.

Owens celebrated after the match while the broadcast team touted Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown. Cole hyped Goldberg and Brock Lesnar appearing in the same ring on next week’s Raw…

Powell’s POV: The three-hour misery is over. This was one lousy episode of Raw. The main event was fine for what it was if you can get past the silly logic of having teammates beat the hell out of each other as some type of bonding exercise. The finish is intriguing in that it potentially strains the Owens and Jericho friendship, which is still more interesting than Owens feuding with either Rollins or Reigns at this point. Unfortunately, I still don’t care about Braun Strowman. The first two hours of the show were mostly painful and I don’t blame the crowd a bit for taking matters into their own hands and having some fun during the women’s segment. I’ll have more to say in the member exclusive podcast later tonight, and in the WWE Raw Hit List on Tuesday. Get out and vote! Or don’t. I honestly don’t care what you do.


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