10/9 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Sheamus and Cesaro on Miz TV, Bray Wyatt and Sister Abigail, the build to WWE TLC continues

By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Indianapolis, Indiana at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

[Q1] Raw opened with a recap of The Miz vs. Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship from last week and the attack by Sheamus and Cesaro… The broadcast team was Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T…

Ring announcer JoJo introduced The Miz, who was already in the ring with Curtis Axel and a table with a few trophies. Miz welcomed viewers to The Mizzies part two. There was an applause sign on the big screen. He said he went from being an A Lister to The Guy last week. Miz said the Miztourage is family, and when you attack one of them you attack all of them.

The Miz awarded a Mizzie to Axel for perseverance. Axel thanked Bo Dallas. Miz said they were thinking of Bo and they hope he gets well soon. Miz gave the next award for best supporting actor to Sheamus and Cesaro, claiming it was a tie. Cole said Bo Dallas is under the weather, but he questioned whether it had something to do with the attack by Reigns last week.

Sheamus and Cesaro made their entrance. A fan held up a sign that read, “Roman watches Chrisley Knows Best.” Hilarious. Sheamus thanked Miz for the awards and said he and Cesaro raised the bar again last week. Sheamus thanked Reigns for making it all possible. The fans booed. Cesaro wore his mouthguard and thanked Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose as well, saying that without them knocking his teeth out they wouldn’t have had a reason to put them back in their place.

Miz mocked the idea of the fans dreaming of a Shield reunion. “They don’t want any of this,” Miz said. He claimed they changed the landscape in WWE by putting an end to Reigns. Miz gave his final Mizzie Award to the man who led the charge and is the Big Dog of WWE – himself. A small “you deserve it” chant broke out. Miz dedicated the award to his future child and every child out there who needs a new role model.

Roman Reigns’ music played. Cole said that rumors of Roman’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Miz mocked Reigns for standing on the stage with his tail between his legs. Reigns said this is where Miz shuts up. Reigns gave them all one chance to get out of his ring. Miz mocked the idea of Reigns facing the four of them by himself.

[Q2] Miz told Reigns to go back and get Ambrose and Rollins. He said the rumors of a Shield reunion are what Roman is – nothing but hype. “Rumors? Who said anything about rumors?” Reigns asked. Ambrose’s music played and the crowd popped big as he walked out and joined Reigns. Seth Rollins’ music played and he walked out and joined Reigns and Ambrose on the stage.

The Shield headed to ringside while the heels bunched up in the middle, then the trio climbed onto the apron and eventually entered the ring and brawled with the heels. Reigns quickly took out Axl and ran him into the ring steps. The Shield trio quickly cleared Shemaus and Cesaro from the ring while Miz stood on the floor with bug eyes and begged off.

The Shield surrounded Miz at ringside. Miz ran into the ring where Reigns was. Ambrose gave him the Dirty Deeds finisher. They picked up Miz and gave him the Triple Powerbomb. Roman’s music played and the trio did the Shield fist bump while standing over Miz.

Cole questioned whether Sister Abigail is alive. They went back to showing The Shield head up the ramp and play to the crowd. Cole questioned whether Graves thought he would ever see this moment. Graves said not in a million years… [C] An ad for Smackdown hyped Baron Corbin vs. AJ Styles for the U.S. Championship…

Powell’s POV: The Shield reunion was very well received by the live crowd. The placement of the reunion meant that WWE was more concerned with making sure all viewers saw it rather than teasing it for later in the show and risk losing viewers to the football game. I actually found the Rollins and Ambrose reunion to be much better television because of the story they told leading up to it, but it’s not like they could go back and tell a similar story this time around. They destroyed Miz to the point that I’m back to wondering whether they end up going with Braun Strowman teaming with Shemaus and Cesaro at TLC.

1. Jason Jordan vs. Karl Anderson (w/Luke Gallows). Jordan’s entrance was televised, but Anderson were already in the ring coming out of the commercial. Anderson kicked the knee of Jordan heading into a break a couple minutes into the match.

[Q3] [C] Late in the match, Gallows temporarily distracted the referee while Anderson thumbed the eyes of Jordan and rolled him up for two. Jordan came back and performed his popup neckbreaker for the win…

Jason Jordan defeated Karl Anderson in 8:25.

Elias was shown walking backstage. Cole said Elias would debut a new song after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: The Indy crowd was kinder to Jordan than most disinterested crowds have been since he became Kurt Angle’s storyline son. We’ll see if it’s a sign of him starting to click or just one crowd.

Backstage, a trainer was tending to Miz’s back while Axel held a icepack on Miz’s neck while holding his own ribs. Kurt Angle checked on Miz and told him he’s getting what he wants. Angle booked Miz, Cesaro, and Sheamus vs. The Shield in a TLC match at the TLC pay-per-view…

Elias sat in the ring and said he’s “in an Indiana town on an Indiana night.” Nice Tom Petty tribute. He quickly turned on the fans and teased not performing for them. When they cheered, Elias said, “Just kidding, I like the sound of my own voice too much.” Elias started playing, but he was interrupted by a banjo. Titus O’Neil came out playing the banjo and asked who wants to walk with Titus Worldwide.

[Q4] Titus sang the banjo poorly and sang about how Elias would lose to Apollo Crews. Apollo’s entrance music played and he made his entrance… [C]

2. Elias vs. Apollo Crews (w/Titus O’Neil). The match was joined in progress. Elias ended up hitting Drift Away for the win…

Elias defeated Apollo Crews.

A shot aired of Enzo Amore walking backstage… [C]

Enzo Amore made his entrance. Graves made another Guns N Roses reference by saying that Enzo is the living embodiment of what it feels like the morning after night train. Nice. Enzo delivered an in-ring promo and called out Kurt Angle, saying he wasn’t doing anything important.

[Q5] Angle made his entrance. Once Angle was in the ring, Enzo referred to himself as a cash cow. He pulled out the “no contact” paperwork and had Angle confirm that any cruiserweight who put his hand on him would be fired. Enzo questioned why Kalisto was awarded a title shot at TLC. Angle said he signed Kalisto after he signed the clause. Enzo accused Angle of hustling him.

Angle ended up booking Enzo vs. Kalisto for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship for later in the show. Enzo said he’s the realest champ in the room and said he would only defend the title if it’s in the main event. There were some groans. Angle shook Enzo’s hand. Angle started to leave, but then stopped and announced that the no clause contract was off and it would be a lumberjack match…

The broadcast team stood behind their desk and hyped an update on Bray Wyatt and Sister Abigail, and then spoke over footage of The Shield reuniting in the opening segment… Braun Strowman was shown walking backstage. Graves said Strowman would be in action after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Yes, three weeks in a row with the cruiserweights in the main event slot. The crowd went from being flat about the main event announcement to at least approving of the lumberjack stipulation. Because what would the Raw main event segment be these days without a bunch of random cruiserweights standing around? I continue to question whether these Raw closing segments are driving people to 205 Live or causing them to turn off Raw earlier than they normally would. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Jason Jordan went to Indiana University, which may explain the favorable reaction.

Ring entrances for the Braun Strowman match took place…

[Q6] 3. Braun Strowman vs. Matt Hardy. Cole noted that Jeff underwent successful shoulder surgery last week. He said Matt better be careful with Strowman or he may join his brother on the injured list. Graves said Matt has been in a delirious state of mind recently without his brother at his side. Matt threw punches, but Strowman kept shoving him away. Matt went for the Side Effect, but Strowman tossed him aside and then knocked him to ringside. [C]

Hardy dodged a charging Strowman, who went through the ropes and into the ring post. Matt hit a Twist of Fate and went for a cover, but Strowman kicked out at one. Strowman chokeslammed Hardy and then performed a powerslam for the win. The broadcast team put over how many people Hardy has beaten with the Twist of Fate.

Braun Strowman defeated Matt Hardy in 6:30.

After the match, Strowman attacked Hardy after the match and hauled him up the ramp. The Shield trio came out (wearing new t-shirts) before he could do anything. Strowman dropped Hardy and glared at The Shield. Strowman moved first and picked up Reigns by the neck and ran him back first into the wall. Rollins and Ambrose got involved. Reigns speared Strowman.

The Shield trio put the boots to Strowman. They cleared the broadcast table and performed the Triple Powerbomb through it and then Strowman rolled to the floor just off the stage. The crowd popped big… [C]

Powell’s POV: I went from being impressed that they gave Hardy so much offense to being surprised that they had The Shield destroy Strowman. And, yes, now I’m back to wondering if the big man is in the TLC match. It’s worth noting again that Strowman isn’t even advertised for TLC on the WWE Live Events page or on the Target Center website, so we’ll see what happens.

[Q7] The broadcast team spoke over highlights of The Shield taking out Strowman…

The Shield were shown walking backstage when Charly Caruso approached them. Rollins cut her off and said they are back and stronger than ever. Ambrose said they will destroy everyone in their path whether it’s three, four, five, or six guys in their path. Reigns said they are the three workhorses who run the business now…

Powell’s POV: Those are heelish words. As much as I’d love to see the trio run roughshod over WWE as heels, I don’t see it happening with those new kiddie t-shirts they are wearing.

Mickie James made her entrance to a mild reaction while the broadcast team hyped her title shot against Alexa Bliss at TLC. James said she felt like she didn’t belong since she returned to Raw. She said it felt like the people backstage didn’t get her. She questioned whether it was that she sings country music, has an accent, or her age.

James said the person to thank for making her feel that way is Bliss. She said Bliss talks behind her back and hid behind her bodyguard. James said she was a second away from beating her best friend when Bliss attacked her from behind. James said it was time for Bliss to put on her big girl pants. “I don’t play games, honey, because I am all woman,” James said. “Can you say the same? I don’t think so.” James said age ain’t nothing but a number and the only number she cares about is number seven because she will become a seven-time women’s champion.

Bliss made her entrance and spoke from the stage. Bliss claimed she was sorry and said to prove it she made a tribute video for James, adding that younger WWE fans may not know who she was. The black and white video had a narrator who told age jokes and labeled James a senior citizen. Bliss laughed after the video aired and asked, “Isn’t it past your bedtime, grandma?”

Bliss continued to tell age jokes. James said she couldn’t hear her and invited her to bring her biscuit butt to the ring. A biscuit butt chant broke out. Bliss headed to the ring and then turned to leave, but James caught her and ended up working her over inside the ring. Bliss ducked a kick and retreated…

Cole hyped the Enzo vs. Kalisto lumberjack match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship for later in the show… [C] An Asuka video aired to hype her main roster debut at TLC…

Backstage, Kurt Angle acted impressed by the video while talking with Bayley and Sasha Banks. Bayley asked to face Asuka at TLC. Sasha Banks did the same. Alicia Fox entered the picture and went way over the top while complaining that she’s been in WWE for ten years and still doesn’t have a t-shirt. Dana Brooke showed up and said sometimes she feels like she doesn’t exist. Emma showed up and made her case. Fox was pissed at Emma for walking out on her last week. Angle booked them all in a five-way match with the winner getting the match with Asuka at TLC…

Powell’s POV: Congratulations to the winner of that match for losing at TLC.

4. Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher vs. Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali. The broadcast team recapped footage from 205 Live, which finally showed Raw viewers that Gallagher turned heel. Kendrick hit Sliced Bread No. 2 on Ali for the win…

Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher beat Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali in 3:35.

Cole questioned whether Sister Abigail is alive and said we may find out after the break… [C] The Hispanic Heritage Month video was for
Andres Cantor, the guy who yells “goooooooooooal” while calling soccer games….

Powell’s POV: “(Insert wrestler name) picks up a big victory here on Monday Night Raw.” I swear Cole says that after every meaningless cruiserweight match on Raw.

A shot aired of the exterior of the Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. Cole noted that it’s the same venue where the Shield debuted, broke up, and now reunited. The broadcast team recapped The Shield’s segments from earlier in the show…

[Q9] Backstage, Kurt Angle was on the phone telling someone that TLC is going to be incredible. The Miz entered the picture and said he, Sheamus, and Cesaro were happy to face The Shield as long as they were men of their word. He recalled them saying they would face more than three men earlier and said he wanted to add a partner. Angle agreed, then Miz introduced Strowman, who kicked through the door and stared down at an intimidated Angle before walking away. Miz smiled and pointed at Angle before making his exit…

The broadcast team sat in front of what was their broadcast table and spoke about the addition of Strowman to the TLC match. Booker said someone is going to get hurt and he’s loving every minute of it. Sick f—er….

Finn Balor made his entrance while Cole questioned whether Balor would meet Sister Abigail. Once in the ring, Balor said Wyatt introduced the world to Sister Abigail. He said he doesn’t even know what to say anymore. He said Wyatt is like a virus that keeps mutating with more lies and mind games. He said Wyatt is desperate for attention and to instill fear and to have WWE fans listen to his garbage. “Bray, I am not afraid of you,” Balor said. He said if that was Sister Abigail then bring her on.

The Wyatt video flash interrupted and an empty rocking chair was shown. Wyatt sat down in the chair and said that Balor may not be afraid of him, but he will be afraid of her. Wyatt said she was young and beautiful and knew the truth so they feared her and turned her into a monster. Wyatt said he was there and she took her final breath.

Wyatt said she’s here and then he once again morphed into zombie mode and his voice changed and apparently Abigail spoke through him about Wyatt being different and special. He/she said she is rising from the ash to fulfill the promise of always being by his side. Abigail said she is worse than anything his world has ever dreamed of. Her touch could have saved Balor, but her kiss will burn it to the ground. Abigail laughed maniacally and morphed back into himself and continued laughing…

The broadcast team had to go from that to plugging the main event. They also hyped the women’s five-way as coming up after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Sister Abigail speaking through Wyatt is absurd. Can someone give the creative forces behind this a chance to write a horror movie script for Wyatt so that they can get this out of their system in a medium where it actually belongs? Meanwhile, I’d actually prefer TLC to be a three-on-three affair minus Miz, and that’s coming from someone who tends to enjoy Miz’s work. The heel team actually feels stronger without him despite the numbers advantage.

[Q10] A breast cancer charity video aired and Cole plugged WWE’s involvement…

5. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Emma vs. Alicia Fox vs. Dana Brooke in a five-way elimination match to earn a match against Asuka at WWE TLC. Cole noted that Brooke won the Female Image Awards at the Mr. Olympia ceremony a couple weeks back. Graves noted that Asuka beat Bayley for the NXT Championship and said he wouldn’t mind a rematch. Cole put over Asuka’s winning streak without going into details. Graves questioned why any of the women would want to step in the ring with Asuka.

Brooke botched a bodyslam on Bayley, who came back with a Bayley to Belly and pinned her to eliminate her from the match. Cole acknowledged that he thought it was a five-way and not an elimination match. Fox caught Bayley with an ax kick and eliminated her. The match was down to Fox, Banks, and Emma heading into the break. [C]

Powell’s POV: The broadcast team is completely melting down. Cole didn’t know what type of match it was, Graves, had a rare moment of stammering, and Booker brought up Japan and how Mike Tyson lost to Buster Douglas, which Cole said he didn’t understand because TLC is in Minneapolis rather than Japan. The funny thing is that I got what Booker was going for and they’ve let far worse slide.

Banks threw a nice dropkick that knocked down both heels. A short time later, Banks performed the Backstabber and put Fox in the Bank Statement for the tapout. Emma rolled up Sasha and pinned her to win the match…

Emma beat Sasha Banks, Bayley, Alicia Fox, and Dana Brooke in a five-way elimination match to earn a match with Asuka at WWE TLC.

Powell’s POV: The most logical opponent of the women in the match. I’m sure they want to save Sasha and Bayley as Asuka opponents for somewhere down the road, and Emma strikes me as being more likely to hold up her end of the match than Fox and especially Brooke.

[Q11] [C] Renee Young interviewed Finn Balor backstage. He said he fears that Wyatt may have unleashed something awful. “When she spoke, I heard her words echo through my head,” Balor said. “I felt a shiver up and down my spine. I felt pure evil. But I also felt that now I know what I have to do”…

Powell’s POV: Go back to New Japan as soon as your WWE deal expires to get away from this nonsense? Dear lord, Balor was the guy who saw through Wyatt’s games, but now he’s being asked to sell it as if he’s fearful of some campy production work.

The broadcast team once again recapped The Shield’s actions throughout the evening. Graves announced Reigns vs. Strowman in a cage match for next week…

Powell’s POV: Meh, it’s not a falls count anywhere cage match. Kidding.

Backstage, Charly Caruso interviewed Kalisto, who received no reaction from the live crowd. He spoke about Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero again. They inspired him to make his dream a reality. He said Enzo Amore is a slap to the face of everyone before him. He said he hopes he can make Mysterio, Guerrero, and the WWE Universe (he forgot to say proud) when he becomes the new cruiserweight champion…

Powell’s POV: You know what Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio didn’t do? Mention their idols constantly during their promos. Kalisto needs to be his own man, but instead they have him reference the legends over and over again because it’s good for a cheap pop even though it’s not doing any good for him.

Cedric Alexander, Akira Tozawa, Tony Nese, and Rich Swann made their entrance for the main event. Cole said there were more cruiserweights to come for the lumberjack match… [C] Graves hyped Rich Swann vs. TJP for 205 Live…

[Q12] The other cruiserweights were at ringside and served as lumberjacks. Enzo Amore made his entrance and did his pre-match routine to the flattest reaction he’s ever received on WWE television. Once in the ring, he told the lumberjacks that they couldn’t chop down this tree if they were Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox. He spoke about being real again. Few fans seemed to care. He did the sawft bit, which got a decent response. Kalisto made his entrance…

6. Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto in a lumberjack match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. JoJo delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match. Cole noted that today is the birthday of Eddie Guerrero. Enzo did his dance after holding the ropes to avoid a kick. He left the ring, looked at the lumberjacks, and ran back inside. They let him go back inside a second time. Kalisto led a “lucha” chant and took Enzo down heading into a break. [C]

Kalisto ended up at ringside and some of the heels threw him back inside. Later, Enzo kicked at Mustafa Ali from the ring. Ariya Daivari pulled him down and barked at him. A brawl broke out amongst the cruiserweights on the floor.

Meanwhile, Enzo took a kick to the face from Kalisto on the ropes. Kalisto followed up with a suplex from the top rope and onto all the cruiserweights on the floor. The fans chanted “holy shit” and they even did a closeup shot of a fan chanting it. Crazy spot. A “this is awesome” chant broke out briefly.

Back inside the ring, Kalisto set up for his finisher, but Enzo avoided it and performed his Eat Defeat finisher and had him pinned, but Ali pulled him to ringside as revenge for earlier. Enzo barked at Ali and clotheslined him. Enzo tripped up Kalisto on the ropes. They fought on the ropes and Kalisto hit Salida Del Sol from the top rope and covered Enzo for the win…

Kalisto defeated Enzo Amore in 14:35 to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

Cole said imagine the party on 205 Live for Kalisto taking the title. Ali and Alexander put Kalisto on their shoulders in the ring. The broadcast team narrated highlights from the match. They cut back to Kalisto, who was still on the shoulders of Ali and Alexander while Swann and Tozawa stood behind them. Cole closed the show…

Powell’s POV: This was definitely the best of the cruiserweight segments that have closed Raw over the last three weeks. It will be interesting to see if the main event love continues now that Enzo dropped the strap. It will also be interesting to see what those third hour viewership numbers are like tomorrow because they told viewers well in advance that the lumberjack match would close the show. Obviously, the key moments of the show involved The Shield reunion, which was over in a huge way with the live crowd. I will have more to say about the show in my All Access audio review on Tuesday morning. I’m off to record the Ross Report podcast tonight for its Tuesday night release, so be sure to check it out at Podcastone.com.

Readers Comments (3)

  1. WWE should be applauded for helping thin traffic out every week by putting Enzo and the Spot Monkeys in the main event slot every week.

  2. Powell lost me with his curious statement of “Rey didn’t constantly mention his idols …” Well to be fair Powell lost me many years ago with his strange POV’s. But that might be the most baffling one yet. And that’s saying something.

  3. In defense to Michael Cole not knowing that the 5-way women’s match was elimination, I’m sure it had to do with a lack of communication between him and backstage.

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