11/14 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Brock Lesnar and Goldberg face-to-face, final push for WWE Survivor Series


newrawlogo1By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Buffalo, New York at KeyBank Center

[Q1] Michael Cole, who was joined on commentary by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton, welcomed viewers to the show. A shot aired of the various Raw wrestlers who will be in the Survivor Series elimination matches on Sunday, as well as Brian Kendrick and Sami Zayn. Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley stood in the ring and welcomed viewers to Raw.

Stephanie called the men and women on the stage the best and said they will prove it on Sunday. She noted that Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan were in the building. Foley said Survivor Series is about more than just Raw vs. Smackdown. He mentioned Kevin Owens proving that he’s a better champion than AJ Styles, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins proving who the best member of The Shield is, etc.

Stephanie pointed to Enzo Amore and Big Cass. Foley did the Enzo dance. Stephanie said they could prove to American Alpha that they are the best up and coming tag team in WWE. She also addressed Kendrick and Zayn. Foley said the teams need to work together “or Mick Foley and I will make some serious changes.”

Foley booked Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns. He was about to say it would start right now, but Stephanie wanted to book another match. Stephanie said Seth Rollins powerbombed Chris Jericho on top of Braun Strowman and through a table. She booked Rollins, Jericho, and Strowman vs. New Day in a six-man tag. Stehp danced and said New Day rocks. Ugh. Foley booked Charlotte and Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox and Nia Jax. Steph then gave Foley approval to say the Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Owens and Reigns match would start now…

Cole hyped Brock Lesnar and Goldberg appearing face-to-face later in the show… [C]

Powell’s POV: The odd pairings are logical given the format of Survivor Series. If nothing else, it shakes up the tired Raw formula for one night. Stephanie was tough to tolerate in this segment, so I’m really dreading the debate they are holding on WWE Network after Raw.

1. Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus and Cesaro. A portion of Owens’ entrance was shown, and Reigns got a full entrance so that he could be booed or something. Cole read a tweet about how every team has conflict and his goal is to win everything.

[Q2] Sheamus and Cesaro took turns working over Reigns in their corner, then started bickering for no reason. Cesaro wound up for a big uppercut on Reigns, but Sheamus tagged himself in. Owens confronted Reigns on the floor and jawed at him. Cesaro dove onto both men heading into a break. [C]

At 11:00, Reigns caught Sheamus with a Drive By and followed up with ten clotheslines and a Superman Punch. Cesaro broke up the pin attempt. Owens tagged Reigns before he could perform his spear, and they bickered in the corner. Sheamus caught Owens with a Brogue Kick only to be speared by Reigns, who then put Owens on Sheamus for the win…

Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns beat Sheamus and Cesaro in 12:20.

Powell’s POV: I would complain about the match dragging a bit, but I think that’s more wrestling than we saw in the first two hours of Raw last week. They made sure to get a shot of Owens and Reigns holding their belts and arguing afterward. They are advertised for a WWE Universal Championship match at the Roadblock pay-per-view, so we’ll see whether they do more to set that up on Sunday.

Backstage, Chris Jericho told Rollins and Strowman that he was going to captain their team and make sure they win. Jericho said they need to work together to win just as Stephanie told them. He presented them with gift boxes that contained scarves. “It’s the scarf of Jericho,” he said. “Try it on, man.” Rollins said he would have raided Lady Gaga’s closet if he wanted to dress like him.

Jericho told Braun to open his gift box. Strowman told Jericho that he wanted the scarf he was wearing. Jericho said it cost $750, then decided to let him have it. Jericho pulled out the cheap anchor patterned scarf that he bought for Strowman, who tore the expensive one and said, “I don’t like scarves and I don’t like you”…

[Q3] Cole hyped the Goldberg and Lesnar segment… [C] An ad for Smackdown hyped Edge interviewing Team Smackdown, plus Undertaker returns, and Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship…

Powell’s POV: A comical segment with Jericho leading the way. I’m still not sure if they want us to like or dislike Strowman.

The broadcast team pimped WWE Network and the NXT live special and Survivor Series in the process…

2. Sami Zayn vs. Bo Dallas. Footage was shown from the backstage angle from the pre-show that set up this match. Bo still has the political sign. Zayn won with a Helluva Kick…

Sami Zayn beat Bo Dallas in 2:30.

Afterward, Byron Saxton entered the ring and interviewed Zayn about facing either Dolph Ziggler or The Miz. Zayn said whether he has to beat the guy who dresses like he’s in a Poison tribute band or a guy who belongs in community theater, he is bringing the IC Title back to Raw…

Powell’s POV: This was just a showcase match for Zayn heading into this Intercontinental Title match. Hey, how about we have a debate between Paperboy Zayn and Glam Rocker Ziggler over attire after Raw next week?!? I should be careful what I joke about.

[Q4] Backstage, all the cruiserweights were standing around talking amongst themselves when Brian Kendrick entered the room and spoke about how he would retain the title on Sunday. TJ Perkins said he is owed a rematch. Rich Swann said he has multiple wins over Kendrick. Noam Dar said they don’t believe a word coming out of Kendrick’s mouth. Sin Cara stepped up and Kendrick only wants to save himself…

Powell’s POV: Well, that was awful. So the cruiserweights really are just a bunch of guys who hang out together despite the heel/babyface dynamic. It’s the X Division all over. Sad. Here’s hoping they move to Smackdown and get better treatment. Oh, and shouldn’t they all be giddy about 205 Live?

New Day made their entrance and had a cart with them. They did a schtick on the entrance ramp about the New Day Survival Kit. It contained a bunch of of their merchandise, including New Day Socks, which led to the obligatory chant. Cole hyped their match against Jericho, Rollins, and Strowman for after the break… [C] A video hyped WrestleMania tickets going on sale on Friday…

Powell’s POV: See the main page for a couple of passwords that are available for Wednesday’s WrestleMania ticket pre-sale.

[Q5] An ad aired for the authority figure debate that will air after Raw on the network…

3. Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, and Big E vs. Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, and Chris Jericho. Rollins laughed at Jericho being toyed with by New Day. Jericho chopped Rollins to tag him in. Cole wondered what opportunities Rollins was promised that would keep him so cool in that situation. Later, Jericho chop tagged Strowman into the match. Strowman slammed Kingston face first heading into a break. [C]

Late in the match, Big E clotheslined Strowman to the floor, then Kingston leapt off his back and onto Strowman, who caught him and slammed him. Strowman followed up by taking out Big E. In the ring, Rollins caught Woods with a high knee and was setting up for his finisher in the corner when Jericho tagged himself in. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho, but Woods caught him with an inside cradle for two. Jericho caught Woods with a kick and then tagged in Strowman, who hit a running power slam for the win…

Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, and Chris Jericho beat New Day in 15:20.

[Q6] After the match, Jericho told Rollins that he’s the captain now. Rollins gave him the Pedigree and left the ring, and Stromwan followed… The broadcast team hyped Goldberg and Lesnar, as well as all of the authority figures appearing later in the show… [C]

Powell’s POV: You had to know Jericho was going to tag himself into the match when Rollins went for the Pedigree in the corner for the first time in history. Still, the match held my interest and was good down the stretch.

Backstage, Steph and Foley were happy about their team members performing well. Paul Heyman entered the room clapping and said he loves seeing that competitive spirit coming out of Stephanie. She responded by taking a jab at Heyman’s weight. Be A Star!

Heyman said the shot was okay. He shifted the focus to Lesnar facing Goldberg. He said Brock will be representing Raw. He said the rumor around the locker room is that the Smackdown team is looking “pretty, pretty, pretty good.” Larry David showed up and blasted Heyman with a chair. Okay, that didn’t happen. Foley made a call to make sure there was enough security to make the Lesnar and Goldberg face-to-face segment happen…

Backstage, Charlotte preached to Sasha Banks about being the captain of the team and not being able to get along with her teammates. Sasha said she’s not the only person who doesn’t like her. Charlotte said jealousy has been oozing out of Sasha since she beat her at Hell in a Cell. Sasha reminded her that she still has a championship rematch coming. She said it’s about proving that they are better than Smackdown, but the title will come back to her on Monday…

Saxton hyped the women’s tag match for later in the show…

Brian Kendrick made his entrance for a match. Cole said he would be in action after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m not a fan of the scripted Sasha and Charlotte segments. The tension between the two of them should be so strong that they can’t even be in the same room together let alone get through a verbal exchange without getting physical. The question of whether they can coexist on Sunday would be better if they kept them apart until then.

[Q7] Cole hyped Survivor Series and the stipulation of the Kendrick vs. Kalisto match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship…

4. Brian Kendrick vs. Sin Cara in a non-title match. Kendrick attacked Sin Cara from behind before the bell. The referee checked with Sin Cara and then called for the bell to start the match. Sin Cara dominated a good stretch, but then Kendrick dodged him charging through the ropes and shoved him to the floor. [C]

Kendrick was in control coming out of the break and there were some audible boring chants. Later, Kendrick applied Captain’s Hook while Sin Cara’s mask was twisted over his face and got hte submission win…

Brian Kendrick beat Sin Cara in 11:40.

Powell’s POV: Wow, WWE must be really sensitive to criticism for the lack of in-ring action on last week’s show to give nearly 12 minutes to the cruiserweights. Sin Cara could wrestle a match with his mask on fire and I’d be bored because the character is so stale. It’s nothing against the guy under the mask. They really should have scrapped the dead gimmick and created a new masked persona for him. Maybe they’ll bring back Brawl For All for him.

The broadcast team announced Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson vs. The Shining Stars and Golden Truth…

Backstage, Enzo Amore and Big Cass had a verbal exchange with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Cass extended his dated reference streak alive by comparing his partners for the evening to Dr. Evil and Mini Me. Cass recalled Anderson and Gallows saying they would stab any team in the back at Survivor Series. Cass said they would never trust them…

[Q8] The broadcast team spoke about the video game. Apparently, there’s another way to download Goldberg even though they told you the only way would be if you pre-ordered the game. Shocking…

Backstage, Mick Foley was shown barking instructions to the security team that assembled. Cole said Lesnar and Goldberg in the same room at the same time was up next…

Powell’s POV: Mick Foley, security expert. Anyway, the exchange between the tag teams could only have been worse if it had featured their opponents. I’m now convinced that they would have had the usual amount of talking tonight, but they weren’t sure what to write since they already gave the authority figures an hour for the post show debate.

Security stood in the ring. Brock Lesnar’s music hit and he made his way to the ring along with Paul Heyman. There were some Goldberg chants. Goldberg’s music hit and he was shown walking through the backstage area (minus security) wearing a shirt with the sleeves cut off. Once both men were in the ring, the Goldberg chants increased (and suddenly the volume turned up too).

Heyman tried to introduce himself, but Goldberg cut him off and said it has nothing to do with Heyman, “it’s about Brock and me.” The Goldberg chants picked up again. Heyman spoke again, but Goldberg told him to shut up and get the rental cops out of the ring so that “the only two real men in this ring can get it on.”

Heyman said Goldberg threw him off his game, so he was going to start over. Heyman tried to introduce himself. Goldberg to him to shut up again. Heyman said the “great men in uniform” were not rent-a-cops. He said they were there for Goldberg’s protection. The crowd chanted again. Heyman introduced himself and said Lesnar is the only thing that should be on Goldberg’s mind, not the security who were there to save Goldberg’s ass.

Heyman said security won’t be there on Sunday. Goldberg said he heard what Heyman said about his family. Goldberg said the next time Heyman mentions his family, he’s going to rip off his head and feed it to Lesnar. The crowd cheered and chanted for Goldberg.

[Q9] Heyman apologized for raising his voice and said it was unprofessional. He said the hype for Survivor Series is that fantasy warfare just got real. He said Goldberg is fantasy, whereas Lensar is very, very real. Heyman said he had an offer for Goldberg. He said he knows people never take these offers, but he wants him to consider it.

The fans chanted Goldberg again. Heyman told them to shut the hell up. Heyman said the fans were pissing off his beast. Heyman said he could get Goldberg’s son a gift card for the network so that he could see Lesnar do his thing. Goldberg tore off his shirt. Heyman said his beast is a violent beast, and Goldberg is getting too agitated in front of him.

Heyman said Goldberg shall be beaten, victimized, and conquered by Lesnar. Brock shoved the middle security guards to the mat. Heyman said Goldberg’s son will call him daddy. Goldberg beat up the security members while Heyman fled to ringside and Lesnar stood on the apron. Once the remaining security fled, Lesnar toe off his shirt (as a fan held up a giant Colt Cabana head sign behind him).

Lesnar teased entering the ring and instead dropped off the apron, which drew loud boos. Another loud Goldberg chant broke out. Goldberg wiped his brow with a torn t-shirt and tossed it toward Lesnar and Heyman. Goldberg’s music played as Cole said there is no backing down on Sunday at Survivor Series. Graves questioned whether Lesnar saw something in Goldberg’s eyes that has him doubting himself for the first time in his career…

The broadcast team hyped the Survivor Series Summit between the authority figures, and the women’s tag team match… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good segment with Heyman working as an agitator for both Goldberg and the live crowd. There’s no guarantee that Toronto will be pro-Goldberg on Sunday, but that question mark is a small part of the appeal of the match for me. Goldberg showed that he’s in great shape and came off really well as the guy who lost it once Heyman brought up his family too many times. Perhaps the best part about this is that they resisted any urge they may have had to show Goldberg and Lesnar getting physical before Survivor Series.

5. Sasha Banks and Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke) vs. Nia Jax and Alicia Fox. Bayley sat in on commentary and spoke about how excited she is to appear on Survivor Series for the first time.

[Q10] Sasha ran into the brick wall of Jax, then sold it by rolling to ringside heading into the break. [C] Things broke down between Sasha and Charlotte and they traded forearm shots and then knocked each other down with simultaneous forearms. Ugh. They still managed to come back and Banks put Fox away with the Bank Statement.

After the match, Sasha and Charlotte continued to bicker. Bayley entered the ring and raised their arms. Bayley hugged Sasha and offered one to Charlotte, who left her hanging…

Sasha Banks and Charlotte beat Nia Jax and Alicia Fox in 7:40.

The broadcast team spoke about NXT Takeover: Toronto and mentioned the main event, then hyped Survivor Series. They plugged WWE Network. Finally, they hyped the Survivor Series Summit…

Backstage, Foley told Team Raw that they proved you don’t have to be best friends to win matches. Jericho said he and Kevin Owens are best friends and deserve credit. Foley thanked his co-captains and the rest of the team. He said if they can do the same thing on Sunday, they can make him a happy GM by dominating Smackdown. He invited them to stick around for the fireworks show…

Powell’s POV: Cole played up the idea that the Raw women couldn’t win on Sunday if Sasha and Charlotte fought like they did. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone really cares about who wins and loses these matches as far as the teams go. We still have no reason to root for one brand over the other, and it’s pretty much impossible to make people feel that way given that they obviously want fans to watch both shows.

Another Emmalina teaser aired. “Premiering soon” is still being used…

Ring entrances for the tag match took place. Enzo and Cass delivered their usual mic work on their way to the ring. Once in the ring, Enzo said their opponents are their partners, and their partners are their opponents.

[Q11] Cass said they are with and against their Survivor Series partners. They tried to do the sawft schtick to describe them, but Anderson and Gallows cut off their entrance music. The Stars made their entrance, then Golden Truth did their sing along while the producer awkwardly found shots of black fans to show during the “what’s up?” chorus…

6. Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson vs. The Shining Stars, Goldust, and R-Truth. They cut to an early break after showing all those entrances. [C] Late in the match, Anderson and Gallows teased letting Enzo and Cass perform their finisher, but Gallows took the pin over one of the Stars instead…

Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson beat The Shining Stars, Goldust, and R-Truth in 9:05.

Cole hyped the Survivor Series Summit for after the break… A 205 Live teaser aired. The show starts in two weeks…

Powell’s POV: The third hour fatigue has set in. There are only so many times in one night that you can listen to Cole say he hopes these teammates get along better on Sunday.

[Q12] [C] Stephanie and Mick Foley stood in the ring. Steph said they have unfinished business. Shane McMahon’s music mercifully cut her off. Daniel Bryan’s music played and he joined Shane on the stage, and then they headed to the ring together.

Steph and Shane worked in a plug for the 900th Smackdown. Stephanie wanted to talk about Survivor Series and how they will prove they are the dominant brand. Shane said the deck was stacked against them, but they drafted better and have a better show. Fans cheered. “You guys are at Raw,” Stephanie said as a Yes! chant broke out.

Stephanie called Shane a hypocrite and said everything is all about him. She said people like him because he panders to them and jumps off tall structures. Bryan pointed out that the description also applies to Foley. Bryan said we all love him for it.

Bryan said he put Shane on Team Smackdown because he is a real leader who knows who to bring people together “unlike some people I know.” Bryan said Shane can get as wild and crazy as everybody else. Foley got fired up as he spoke about believing in his talent, such as Kendrick by putting up the entire cruiserweight division.

Stephanie said Shane competing in the match makes it all about his ego. Shane called it leadership by example. Stephanie said she and Foley are managing as executives. Stephanie introduced Shane to his opponents. Team Raw made their entrance to the theme song. Steph said they would show Shane how lazy and complacent they are. Steph and Foley left the ring.

Bryan took the mic and asked if they honestly thought they came alone. They both motioned and Team Smackdown emerged through the crowd. AJ Styles was the first person in the ring, then Dean Ambrose and James Ellsworth, Bray Wyatt, and Randy Orton.

There was actually a holy shit chant as if these people hadn’t all worked against one another a few months ago. Owens welcomed Styles to the Kevin Owens Show. He said AJ’s title means nothing on his show. Styles took the mic and emphasized that it’s the World Championship. Styles said Owens’s title means he’s no more than a paper champion, whereas his title says he’s the champ that runs the camp.

Owens said it’s great that he stole someone else’s catchphrase. Owens said his title means more because he’s the guy holding it. Styles said the only thing Owens has proven is that he’s “stuck on Chris Jericho’s sugar tit.” Styles said he and Jericho got along once, but past performances predict future behaviors, so Owens shouldn’t be surprised if he gets stabbed in the back or his name on the list.

[Overrun] Owens stood up for Jericho, who hugged him. Jericho called Styles a stupid idiot. He called Raw the big leagues and said when you insult him and Owens, you make the list. Jericho said he doesn’t AJ’s stupid soccer mom hair, and put it on the list. Jericho pointed at Ellsworth and asked “what the hell is that?” A loud Ellsworth chant broke up (they didn’t turn up the volume). Jericho said they have a lost child at ringside.

Jericho said Ellsworth is a weird looking guy, and put him on the list. Ellsworth was distraught over this. Bray took the mic and addressed Braun Strowman. Bray said he gave him the keys to the kingdom “and this is how you repay me.” Bray accused Braun of abandoning him. Bray said “we destroy the monster that I created.” Braun stepped up, but then Randy Orton stepped up too.

Rollins said Shane is a nice guy but not a tough guy. He said Shane has no idea of what he and Reigns are capable of when they are on the same page. “You know what?” Ambrose asked before pacing around. Ambrose punched Rollins, which led to a big show closing brawl.

Strowman took out Shane with a splash in the corner. Cole called him the ace in the hole. Styles and Ambrose worked over Strowman together, then Super Shane knocked him over the top rope with a clothesline. Ambrose performed a suicide dive onto Rollins. Jericho knocked Styles off the apron with a springboard dropkick. Orton gave Jericho the RKO. Reigns hit Orton with a Superman Punch. Wyatt went for his finisher, but Reigns avoided it and connected with a Superman Punch, which killed the mood.

Styles cut off Reigns and set up for his finisher, but Rollins ended up putting Styles down with a Pedigree. Rollins and Reigns stood together while Stephanie chanted “Raw” at ringisde. Rollins picked up Styles and they powerbombed him over the top rope and onto the other Team Smackdown members on the floor. Cole said he was powerbombed back to Smackdown. Team Raw stood tall and Cole questioned whether it would stay that way on Sunday. Cole said you have to give Shane and company credit for showing up in enemy territory on Raw. Cole hyped the debate for WWE Network to close the show…

Powell’s POV: The early comedy elements were fun, but didn’t leave me anxious to see this match. Smackdown came off like the babyfaces on Team Raw’s own show more often than not. Raw won the battle, and my guess is that Smackdown wins somehow on Sunday unless they are protected by having Ellsworth turn on Ambrose or something along those lines.

The final segment was solid in terms of playing up whatever intriguing storylines exist involving nine guys who haven’t been in the ring together for a whopping three months. Shane getting the final show that knocked Strowman over the top rope was laugh out loud for all the wrong reasons. I’ll have plenty more to say in tonight’s member exclusive audio review and in Tuesday’s WWE Raw Hit List. Thanks for watching along with me. Be sure to stop back on Saturday for Zack Zimmerman’s NXT Takeover: Toronto live coverage, and on Sunday for my Survivor Series live review.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. “Goldberg’s music hit and he was shown walking through the backstage area (minus security) wearing a shit”

    Was it a big ol turd with stink lines?

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