10/2 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: The Miz vs. Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship, Braun Strowman vs. Seth Rollins

By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Denver, Colorado at Pepsi Center

[Q1] Raw opened with the wrestlers on the stage and ring announcer JoJo asking fans to stand for a moment of silence for the Las Vegas shootings. Vince McMahon stood at the center of the stage and Shane McMahon stood next to him… A video recapped last week’s television show…

The broadcast team featured Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Booker T. Michael Cole had the week off due to his son’s wedding. The trio recapped Braun Strowman destroying Curt Hawkins last week…

1. Braun Strowman vs. Seth Rollins. The middle rope is pink for breast cancer awareness month. Rollins used his quickness to get some early offense, but Strowman threw him into the air and let him drop face first on the mat. Strowman was in offensive control heading into the break. [C]

[Q2] Rollins battled back and performed a Blockbuster. Rollins covered Strowman, who kicked out at one. A short time later, Strowman performed his powerslam finisher for the win…

Braun Strowman pinned Seth Rollins in 10:30.

After the match, Strowman scooped up Rollins and performed his finisher again before leaving the ring. He stopped at ringside and was heading back toward the ring when Dean Ambrose’s music hit and he ran out for the save. Ambrose worked over Strowman inside the ring briefly, but Strowman caught him coming off the ropes and chokeslammed him.

Strowman picked up Ambrose and performed the move again. Strowman scooped up Ambrose and gave him the powerslam. After Strowman left the ring, Sheamus and Cesaro came out and walked past him, then worked over Rollins and Ambrose. Cesaro wore a mouthguard following his recent dental issues…

Graves hyped The Miz vs. Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Title and questioned whether Reigns could win the one title that has eluded him… [C] An ad for Hell in a Cell and focussed on Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens…

Powell’s POV: More Strowman destruction coming out of his loss to Brock Lesnar. The finish was expected, but the most compelling part of this that Strowman allowed Sheamus and Cesaro to pass by him, which leads me to believe that the theory Dot Net staffer Jake Barnett’s threw out weeks ago regarding The Shield reuniting to face Strowman, Cesaro, and Sheamus is in play. That’s far more compelling to me than The Shield vs. The Miztourage. On a personal note, my heart goes out to everyone affected by the Vegas shootings. I have stayed at Mandalay Bay a few times and I am beyond horrified by this senseless act of violence.

An ad aired for the breast cancer charity that WWE works with. Phillips acknowledged the pink ring rope and spoke briefly about the charity… The trio set up a video package on last week’s Alexa Bliss and Mickie James exchange…

Backstage, James walked past Alicia Fox, who laughed at her and said maybe it’s because of what she said about Bliss last week. Mickie kept walking and Emma said that even at Mickie’s age, she still has an admirer. She said she had a gift in her dressing room. James opened the door apprehensively and found Depends undergarments and a walker. James left the room and found Emma and Alicia laughing.

[Q3] James approached Bliss’s locker room door and pounded on the door. Nia Jax opened it and Bliss stood behind her. Jax asked if James wanted something. James said she wanted Bliss. Jax said Bliss thinks Mickie is too fragile. Bliss offered James a match against Jax, which she accepted…

Bray Wyatt delivered a promo from a smoky room while seated on a rocking chair. Wyatt spoke about how he was told to drop his bow and arrow and to fight with his hands. He said she taught him everything. “She never lied to me,” he said. “She never lied to you. She never lied to me”… Elias was shown walking backstage and the broadcast team said he was in action next…

Powell’s POV: Mickie James recently turned 38 years old. Male wrestlers don’t put up with this nonsense at that age. I’m happy she is getting the spotlight again, but I hope this isn’t all about her age. Meanwhile, I have no clue what Wyatt was talking about. I want to believe it will lead to something, but history suggests that it’s just gibberish. By the way, we are having thunderstorms in the area, so if I stop updating that means the power went out. Hopefully it won’t be an issue.

Elias sat in the ring and said he would rather drown himself a mile deep in the ocean rather than live in Denver. Elias sang a song about facing Titus O’Neill that was borrowed from Alice in Chains’ “Nutshell” with his own lyrics…

2. Elias vs. Titus O’Neil (w/Apollo Crews). Elias won clean with his Drift Away finisher…

Elias pinned Titus O’Neil.

The broadcast team hyped the Hell in a Cell event for Sunday and ran through some of the top matches… A shot aired of Mickie James walking backstage. Graves questioned whether the insults had gotten to her and said viewers would find out after the break…

[Q4] [C] A video hyped Asuka’s debut…

3. Mickie James vs. Nia Jax. Alexa Bliss came to ringside just before the bell. Jax had James down at ringside before the break. [C] James came back and landed some kicks, but Jax tackled her awkwardly for a two count. James came back again and struggled to get Jax down, but finally dropkicked her knees. Jax came right back by driving James into the corner.

[Q5] James ended up hitting a tornado DDT and went for the cover, but Bliss ran in and broke it up for the DQ. James caught Bliss with a kick at ringside afterward…

Mickie James beat Nia Jax by DQ in 9:35.

Powell’s POV: A nice match with a smart DQ finish. James gained something by having Jax down, but Jax lost nothing since the match ended in a DQ.

A video recapped Enzo Amore’s antics from last week and they aired footage of the cruiserweight roster beating him down after the show went off the air…

Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Enzo Amore and asked for his reaction to being attacked by the rest of the division. Enzo didn’t respond. “Thank you very much, Enzo,” Young said… Graves hyped the IC Title match for later in the show… [C]

The Hispanic Heritage Month video focussed on musician Carlos Santana… The broadcast team recapped the women’s match…

Backstage, Charly Caruso interviewed James, who said she would love nothing more than to represent the WWE Universe as the Raw Women’s Champion. Kurt Angle entered the picture and informed her that she was getting the title shot at TLC. She thanked him and then used his “it’s damn true” catchphrase…

[Q6] 4. Matt Hardy and Jason Jordan vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Phillips noted that Jeff is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday. Footage aired of Facebook angle that set up the tag match with some backstage bickering between the teams. The babyfaces cleared the heel duo from the ring heading into a break. [C] Late in the match, Gallows and Anderson used the Magic Killer on Matt for the win…

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson beat Matt Hardy and Jason Jordan in 11:00.

Graves hyped Enzo Amore addressing the cruiserweight roster and making them pay the consequences for breaking the no contact rule last week. Phillips hyped the IC TItle match… The broadcast team recapped Sheamus and Cesaro attacking Rollins and Ambrose after the opening match…

Backstage, Caruso asked Reigns about what happened to Ambrose and Rollins. Reigns said he’s not surprised at all because Ambrose and Rollins beat Sheamus and Cesaro for the tag titles and knocked Cesaro’s teeth into his brains. He said Ambrose and Rollins are big boys, then spoke about taking the IC Title from Miz…

[Q7] [C] An ad for Smackdown hyped Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens meeting face-to-face…

Powell’s POV: Last week, the plan was not to make Jordan and Matt Hardy a regular team while Jeff Hardy is sidelined, so I’m not sure if they are just killing time this week or if there’s been a change in plans. Either way, it’s logical to put the long term tag team over.

Another breast cancer charity commercial aired with Titus O’Neil and a survivor…

JoJo introduced Dana Warrior, who teared up as she spoke about her late husband Ultimate Warrior once saying live strong, act bold, be brave, and always believe. She was in the ring with three breast cancer survivors and the members of the Raw women’s division, including Dana Brooke. The survivors were presented with three pink title belts and Ultimate Warrior’s music played while Dana introduced them by name. The survivors shook the ropes Warrior style… Graves hyped the IC Title for after the break… [C]

The Miz’s entrance music played, but he didn’t make his entrance via the stage. Rather, Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel walked to the ring through the crowd while the broadcast team pointed out that they were doing The Shield’s entrance. Roman Reigns made his entrance…

[Q8] JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Reigns received more cheers than usual along with a mix of boos. Reigns attacked Dallas and Axel before the match and then pulled a chair out from underneath the ring. Graves said Reigns was seeking revenge for what Miztouratge did to him last week. Reigns worked over Axel with a chair on the stage. Dallas hit Reigns from behind, but he ate a Superman Punch. Reigns hit both men with several chair shots to the back while Miz looked from the ring. Several referees and trainers came out. Reigns turned his focus back to Miz and headed to the ring… [C]

5. The Miz (w/Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel) vs. Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship. Miz was at ringside. Reigns grabbed him, but Miz caught him with a punch. Phillips said the bell rang during the break It rang anyway seconds later while Phillips said the match officially started. Reigns rebounded and worked over Miz at ringside.

At 9:15, Miz ducked a Superman Punch and put him down with a Skull Crushing Finale for a good near fall with Reigns kicking out at the last moment. Reigns came back with a Superman Punch only to have Miz kick out at the last moment. Reigns went to the corner for the spear, but Sheamus and Cesaro pulled him to ringside and attacked him for the DQ.

Roman Reigns beat The Miz by DQ in 11:15.

[Q9] After the match, Reigns fought back inside the ring, but Miz hit him from behind. The three heels worked over Reigns and Cesaro gave him a Neutralizer. Sheamus performed a Brogue Kick on Reigns. Miz performed the Skull Crushing Finale on Reigns. The three heels performed The Shield’s Triple Powerbomb on Reigns and left him lying. The heels did the Shield fist bump pose…

Powell’s POV: So is it Sheamus and Cesaro teaming with Miz rather than teaming with Strowman? That’s still a million times better than Miztourage facing The Shield. Anyway, the IC Title match was fun and it was nice to see The Miz treated like a credible wrestler rather than as borderline jobber fodder for Reigns.

[Q10] The broadcast team recapped the previous angle…

Finn Balor made his entrance. Footage aired from last week of the Balor vs. Goldust match and the creepy kid song that played afterward. Balor said it was Balor Club in Denver. He said he didn’t like to come out and talk, he’d rather come out and fight. Balor said Wyatt comes out and plays mind games. Balor said Wyatt wouldn’t know what to do with the world if he had it in his hands (insert orange man joke here).

Balor said Wyatt is a coward who lost to The Demon at SummerSlam and the man at No Mercy. Balor said Wyatt is afraid that he can’t beat him despite all of his games. Balor told Wyatt to come out and face him if he feels otherwise. Wyatt appeared on the big screen and said Balor lied to him. Wyatt claimed Balor peels his skin to become the Demon. “Abigail is alive, and she is dying to meet you,” Wyatt said. They used some special effects that made Wyatt look like a zombie as he laughed maniacally…

Powell’s POV: Wait, so Randy Orton didn’t burn the soul of Sister Abigail when he burned down that shack? I can’t keep up. Hey, at least his babbling earlier appears to be leading to something.

An Asuka video package featured Becky Lynch, Carmella, Bayley, Charlotte, Dana Brooke, and Sasha Banks singing her praises while footage of her entrance and in-ring work was shown…

6. Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Emma and Alicia Fox. Emma had a pre-tape air before the match and said Fox was a partner who was happy to follow her lead. Banks and Bayley took turns rolling around Emma’s back at different times. [C]

[Q11] Sasha appeared to be bleeding from the mouth. The heels isolated Sasha until she shoved Fox into Emma, then Bayley took a hot tag at 11:45 and worked over Fox. Alicia caught Bayley with a kick and then tried to tag Emma, who walked out on her. Bayley performed her finisher on Fox and pinned her…

Sasha Banks and Bayley beat Emma and Alicia Fox in 12:50.

Footage aired from last week’s cruiserweight segment and the post show beatdown that Enzo Amore took from the other cruiserweights. The broadcast team hyped Enzo Amore addressing the rest of the cruiserweights for after the break…

Powell’s POV: A needlessly long women’s tag match and another week where apparently Enzo Amore and the cruiserweights will close the show. It’s almost like WWE is encouraging viewers to give up on the show after the second hour main event.

[Q12] [C] Graves hyped Sheamus and Cesaro as the guests on Miz TV for next week’s Raw…

Enzo Amore made his entrance and did his usual schtick. Once in the ring, he said all of the cruiserweight division wrestlers can go to hell. He said anyone backstage who agrees with their sentiments can go to hell too. Enzo boasted that he put 205 Live on the map. Enzo said he made the cruiserweight division the main event two weeks in a row (ugh).

Enzo said fans called it the snoozerweight division before he put it on the map. Enzo said that he heard fans saying “you deserve it” after he was laid out last week. Enzo held up the WWE Cruiserweight Championship and said you’re damn right he deserves it. Enzo said people are jealous of him and he would be too because he is money. “I earned that money,” Enzo said.

Enzo said that whoever claimed talked is cheap never booked him. He said he puts more butts in seats than La-Z Boy. He said his back hurts, probably from carrying the cruiserweight division. Enzo recalled his “no contact” clause from last week that read that anyone who touched him forfeit their chance at the title. Enzo said he got another clause. He said this time it says that any cruiserweight who touches tonight would be fired. Enzo said he’s sitting on his throne and he has no opponents. He said he considers them all lucky. He did the sawft bit for the entire division.

Neville’s music played and he walked out with the other cruiserweights. “Here comes last place,” Amore said. He explained that if you’re not first, you’re last (Reese Bobby’s legendary words). The cruiserweights eventually stood on the apron while Enzo stood in the ring and insulted them individually while reminding them that they would be fired if they touched him.

[Overrun] Kurt Angle’s music played and he headed to the ring. Angle confirmed that the wrestlers at ringside could not touch him or get title shots. Angle said none of it applies to the cruiserweight he just signed. Kalisto made his entrance and ended up working over Enzo inside the ring while the other cruiserweights watched from ringside. Kalisto put Enzo down with the Salida Del Sol and then posed for the crowd…

Backstage, Roman Reigns sold his injuries while sitting inside his locker room. Dean Ambrose showed up. Eventually, Seth Rollins entered the room on Roman’s other side. Reigns and Rollins nodded. Ambrose left the picture, then Rollins did as well. The camera focussed on Reigns to end the show…

Powell’s POV: These cruiserweight segments scream “give up on Raw after the second hour main event” far more than “watch 205 Live.” I like Kalisto joining the cruiserweights, but all of this feels like it’s too little, too late because the roster of cruiserweights has been so damaged. You also have to wonder how many viewers called it a night when they saw the cruiserweights were in the final segment again, and thus completely missed the Shield moment backstage. The Shield was a nice tease for next week, but I can’t help but wish that the company would work harder to explain why the camera was present. Were they just going to close the show with the shot of Reigns wincing had the other two not shown up? Anyway, the show dragged again, particularly in the third hour. I will have more to say in my members’ audio review later tonight.


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