10/29 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Brock Lesnar appears, Dean Ambrose turning on Seth Rollins follow-up and what happens with the Raw Tag Titles, the night after WWE Evolution, final hype for WWE Crown Jewel

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on October 29, 2018 from Charlotte, North Carolina at Spectrum Center 

[Hour One] Raw opened with a video package that recapped Roman Reigns announcing his leukemia battle on last week’s show… Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young were on commentary…

Acting general manager Baron Corbin was introduced by ring announcer JoJo. Corbin stood in the ring with the WWE Universal Championship belt over his shoulder. He said that while he wishes Reigns the best in his battle, he hopes that when he returns he does not come back on Raw. Corbin said Reigns made his professional life difficult.

Brock Lesnar’s entrance music interrupted Corbin. Lesnar and Paul Heyman headed to the ring. Corbin tried to give Lesnar the big build. Heyman told him to stop. Heyman told Corbin to do his own schtick and let him do his. Heyman introduced Lesnar, then said history will be made in four days when his client takes the WWE Universal Championship.

Heyman said Lesnar will beat Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel. “That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler, that’s a guarantee,” Heyman said. “I couldn’t be more clairvoyant in the outcome of this match if it were predetermined.” He spoke of events like the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards being times when fans know history will happen and said fans could see history unfold before their very eyes on Friday via Crown Jewel.

Braun Strowman made his entrance. Strowman said he will become the Universal Champion and told Lesnar he will get these hands. Corbin tried to stand in front of Strowman, who ended up roughing him up and giving him a powerslam. Lesnar laughed and held the Universal Championship over his shoulder. Fans called for “one more time.” Lesnar was in favor of it and Strowman obliged. Strowman turned his back on Lesnar after performing the move. Lesnar gave him an F5 and smiled about it. Lesnar posed with the title belt…

The broadcast team discussed the angle and then recapped Dean Ambrose attacking Seth Rollins. Cole said both men were in the building and Rollins is demanding answers. Graves hyped that Undertaker, Kane, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H would appear. Young hyped Trish Stratus, Lita, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya vs. Riott Squad, Alicia Fox, and Mickie James “in a historic” ten-woman tag match…

Finn Balor made his entrance and gave a too sweet sign to Corbin, who was being helped backstage by two referees. Cole said Balor would face Lashley after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: The good news is that this live crowd was hot for Strowman and loudly chanted “get these hands.” His heel turn was a foolish one and there was no telling whether fans would be quick to get back onboard with him following his abrupt return to the babyface role, but this crowd was behind him. The actual angle was very basic and it was hard to not feel like Strowman was an oafish dope for turning his back on Lesnar. Heyman did his usual strong mic work and his “predetermined” line was a gem.

Still shots aired from WWE Evolution… Lio Rush walked onto the stage and spoke about Balor’s extraordinary tagline. Rush said Lashley said Balor beating him last week was a fluke. Rush said “the big man” would humble, dominate, and beat him. Rush introduced Lashley, who made his entrance…

1. Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) vs. Finn Balor. Rush had the live mic and played cheerleader for Lashley during the match with his usual lines and Lashley chants. Balor dropkicked Lashley to ringside and then performed a flip dive onto him going into a break at 1:30. [C]

Late in the match, Balor was setting up for his Coup de Grace finisher when Rush shoved him off the top rope for the DQ. Lashley roughed up Balor afterward and then held him while Rush slapped him and jawed at him about messing with Lashley. Rush had Lashley pick up Balor again and hold him while he slapped him…

Finn Balor defeated Bobby Lashley by DQ in 9:00.

Cole said the world was buzzing about “the historic” Evolution. He said they would look back at Ronda Rousey’s win and something fans didn’t see on the pay-per-view… [C]

Powell’s POV: Rush slapping Balor should help make fans want to see Balor get his hands on him, but that’s only assuming they didn’t turn the channel because Rush’s house mic bit is so obnoxious. By the way, drink whenever they say “historic” regarding Evolution, just don’t sue me if you end up hospitalized.

Backstage, a wounded Corbin praised Lashley and Rush for what they did to Balor. Corbin praised Lashley and told him that he was so impressed by his performance that he qualified for the World Cup tournament. Lashley noted that the tournament was full. Corbin said Lashley would replace John Cena…

Powell’s POV: And there it is. The story came out last week that Cena and Daniel Bryan object to working Crown Jewel due to the controversy with the Saudi Arabian government. In other words, don’t be surprised if there’s an angle on Smackdown to get Bryan out of his advertised match with AJ Styles.

The broadcast team recapped the Evolution main event, then announced Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch for Survivor Series while noting that it’s the one night a year that Raw and Smackdown wrestlers compete. Footage aired of Charly Caruso interviewing Rousey backstage when Lynch showed up. They referred to one another as champion and had an uncomfortable exchange… The babyfaces made their entrance for the ten-woman tag match… [C]

2. Trish Stratus, Lita, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya vs. Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Alicia Fox, and Mickie James (w/Alexa Bliss). The entrance of the heels was televised. Lita used Stratus as a springboard and it led to an awkward clothesline on Morgan because Stratus collapsed a bit. Lita set up for a moonsault on Morgan, but the heels pulled Morgan to the floor. Sasha and Bayley dove onto the heels going into a break. [C]

[Hour Two] Late in the match, Lita and Bayley performed a double Twist of Fate. Lita performed a moonsault onto Morgan. Fox cut her off from getting the pin, but Lita held her up and Natalya performed a Hart Attack clothesline for a near fall. Natalya applied a Sharpshooter on Fox and got the submission win. Bayley got down on her knees and bowed to Trish and Lita, then the babyfaces hugged…

Trish Stratus, Lita, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya beat Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Alicia Fox, and Mickie James in 12:20.

Powell’s POV: A crowd pleasing sendoff for Trish and Lita.

Graves narrated still shots of Nia Jax winning the battle royal at Evolution. Jax was interviewed backstage and was asked when she would be challenging Rousey. She said she’d be waiting for her after her Survivor Series match. Ember Moon showed up and spoke about capturing lightning in a bottle during the battle royal. She said she respects Jax and she hopes Jax will respect her more when she challenges her to a match. Jax said she may have caught lightning in a bottle, but she still beat her. She accepted her challenge…

The broadcast team recapped Dean Ambrose turning on Seth Rollins last week. Cole called it one of the most selfish things he’s ever seen in WWE. Graves said Rollins wants answers tonight…

Cole set up a video package on Undertaker and Kane attacking Shawn Michaels and Triple H after the Super Show-Down main event… Young said all four men were in the building… Elias strummed his guitar heading into a break… [C]

Additional still shots aired from Evolution…

Elias sat on a stool in the ring and played his guitar. Elias said he is the truth and it shall set you free. He said everything he says is designed to get you to the promised land. He did the walks with Elias line and the crowd was receptive. Elias said he came to Charlotte early because Ric Flair wanted to hang out with him.

Elias said Flair told him that he’s his favorite and he’s so happy about what he did to Baron Corbin last week. Elias said Flair wanted to relive it again. Elias set up a replay on the big screen. Fans cheered. Elias said it felt good. Elias said he had a song for Corbin, but he probably couldn’t come out. Elias said the song was too good and he was going to deliver it to Corbin.

Elias headed up the ramp and told a fan not to cry because he paid for an Elias performance and would get one. Dana Brooke asked Elias if he would play her a song. Elias replied, “For you? No.” Elias knocked on Corbin’s door and Corbin yelled from behind the door. Elias performed his song that included a line about Corbin being a taller, stupider version of Kurt Angle.

Corbin opened the door. Elias was about to sing a line about Corbin being Stephanie’s little bitch when Corbin slammed the door. Jinder Mahal jumped Elias from behind and left him lying. Corbin came out holding his ribs and laughed at Elias, then informed him that his match with Mahal was up next… [C]

3. Elias vs. Jinder Mahal (w/Sunil Singh, Samir Singh). Graves said Jinder was in a band at one point in his WWE career. Cole reminded him that Jinder was also WWE Champion. Graves said the Singh Brothers are WWE’s version of Slash and Duff McKagan. Elias won clean after performing Drift Away…

Elias beat Jinder Mahal in 4:05.

Powell’s POV: This was not a strong follow-up to Elias turning babyface last week. Man, Jinder has really fallen since his title reign. Oh, and I’m all for GNR references, but Graves’s latest wasn’t very clever.

Highlights aired from the segment involving Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, and Baron Corbin… The broadcast team hyped a video on Kurt Angle’s career… [C]

Mainstream media headlines (from their pro wrestling sections in most cases) regarding Evolution were shown…

Brackets for the World Cup were shown: Rollins vs. Lashley and Angle vs. Ziggler on the Raw side, Hardy vs. Miz; Mysterio vs. Orton on the Smackdown side. Cole set up the Angle video package…

Kurt Angle delivered a promo from a gym. Angle said winning the World Cup would mean more to him now than anything he’s ever accomplished. He said he’s coming to Crown Jewel to prove he is best in the world…

Powell’s POV: At this point, Angle has to be considered a favorite since he’s the only guy talking about the match.

The Ascension were in the ring for a Triple Threat tag match. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode made their entrance. A pre-tape aired with Gable asking how much Roode’s robe costs. Roode didn’t answer, but Gable said it was glorious. Gable asked if it cost more than $800. Roode confirmed it did. AOP made their entrance…

4. AOP (w/Drake Maverick) vs. The Ascension vs. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode. Cole said the match was set up three weeks ago and showed AOP destroying both teams. AOP was attacked by both teams as they tried to enter the ring. [C] The match apparently started during the break. Roode tagged himself into the match while Gable was performing a suplex on Viktor, and Roode kinda performed a neckbreaker on the way down. Roode covered Viktor for the win. AOP attacked both teams afterward and left them lying…

Chad Gable and Bobby Roode beat The Ascension and AOP.

Powell’s POV: They showed more of the entrances than the match and Ascension’s entrance wasn’t even shown.

Cole spoke about Reigns’ announcement and how he visited a children’s hospital in Dallas with a group of WWE personnel. They showed kids from the hospital delivering messages of support to Reigns. Cole paused while some fans chanted “Roman” and then set up a video package on Ambrose turning on Rollins last week… Graves said Rollins wanted his answers after the break… [C]

[Hour Three] Additional still shots aired from Evolution…

Seth Rollins made his entrance. Rollins said it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions and he thanked fans on behalf of Reigns for the love and support they sent his way. A “thank you, Roman” chant started. Rollins said he also became a Raw Tag Champion for the third time. He said he should be celebrating that with Dean Ambrose, but Ambrose turned his back on him, The Shield, “and all of us.”

Rollins said he felt guilty and wonders if what he did four years ago was something Ambrose couldn’t forgive. Rollins said he’s frustrated and confused and the only one who has the answers is Ambrose, but he’s the type of guy who won’t be found if he doesn’t want to be. Rollins said he didn’t call or text because he knew he would be at Raw. Rollins asked Ambrose to come out and tell him why.

Ambrose’s music played, but he didn’t come out via the stage and fans booed. Ambrose appeared in the area where the Shield normally enters. Rollins told him to come to the ring, face him like a man, and give him the answer he deserves. Ambrose stood silently. Rollins said when he put the knife in Ambrose’s back, he had the decency to tell him why he did it. He once again told Ambrose to face him like a man.

Ambrose took a couple of steps down and pulled out a mic. Ambrose teased speaking, then looked off at the fans and scowled a couple times. A loud “you sold out” chant started. Rollins said Ambrose really is a cold hearted bastard. Rollins said it was the most emotional night in the history of the Shield and Ambrose spat on them and made it all about himself. Rollins said Ambrose wanted the spotlight so bad and he could have it. He said he would make Ambrose’s life a living hell.

Rollins said maybe it’s not a nickname, Ambrose really is a soulless lunatic. Rollins said if Ambrose didn’t want to come down, he’d go to him and beat an answer out of him. Rollins left the ring, but Ambrose simple walked away without saying a word. Rollins’ music played to end the segment…

Powell’s POV: Rollins did a nice job with his end, and obviously they left viewers wanting the explanation from Ambrose.

Caruso interviewed Lashley and Rush backstage about the possibility of Lashley being known as best in the world. Rush spoke about Lashley’s accomplishments and said when you look and smell like money then it’s a foregone conclusion that he will prove he is best in the world…

A clip of a recent DX promo was shown and then Graves hyped they are in the building and so are Undertaker and Kane… Nia Jax made her entrance… [C]

5. Nia Jax vs. Ember Moon. Moon’s entrance was televised. Graves accused Moon of trying to leach off the celebration of Jax. Moon performed a senton dive onto Jax, who was standing on the floor. Later, Tamina’s entrance music played and both women stopped and looked at her. Jax hit Moon while she was still looking at Tamina, then performed a legdrop for the win…

Nia Jax pinned Ember Moon in 3:20.

After the match, Tamina entered the ring and looked at Jax, then turned around and left…

Powell’s POV: Moon was annoying earlier to the point she seemed heelish. Now Jax takes advantage of a distraction created by Tamina and she seems potentially heelish. I have no idea what they want from viewers in this oddball storyline.

The broadcast team hyped the Crown Jewel lineup… Cole hyped the Raw debut of the Lucha House Party for after the break and a brief highlight video aired on the trio from 205 Live… [C]

6. Kalisto and Lince Dorado (w/Gran Metalik) vs. “The Revival” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. Graves heeled on the Lucha House Party trio. Late in the match, Dawson was distracted by Metalik and his noisemaker. Kalisto performed a Salida del Sol on Dawson, then Dorado performed a cross body block on Wilder, and Kalisto got the pin…

Kalisto and Lince Dorado beat The Revival in 3:20.

Cole hyped something involving Dolph Ziggler for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Have they found roles for all the cruiserweights on the main shows yet so they can pull the plug on 205 Live? Either way, congratulations to the Lucha House Party for joining a tag division that may or may not have champions and a bunch of poorly used teams such as The Revival. By the way, we now have results of tonight’s Smackdown live event in Macon, Georgia available on the main page.

Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre came to the ring for a promo. McIntyre said his full attention will be on the WWE Universal Championship match at Crown Jewel. Ziggler took offense to Angle saying he would win the World Cup. Ziggler said they’ve told the truth from the beginning. He said he looked up to Angle for what he did for collegiate wrestling. Ziggler said he is best in the world and dropped the mic. Apollo Crews made his entrance going into a break… [C]

7. Dolph Ziggler (w/Drew McIntyre) vs. Apollo Crews. The match was joined in progress. Late in the match, Crews stuffed Ziggler going for a facebuster from the ropes and shoved him to the mat. Crews went for a frogsplash, but Ziggler put his knees up. Ziggler threw a superkick and scored the pin…

Dolph Ziggler pinned Apollo Crews.

Cole hyped DX and Undertaker and Kane for after the break… [C]

[Overrun] Undertaker and Kane made their entrance. There were some boos when Taker mentioned Crown Jewel. He said they would take the beaten and battered souls of DX for the first and last time to the gates of hell. He said it would be slow and agonizing pain (remember that line if it’s a lousy match). He said it wouldn’t just be the end of their era, it would be the end of their errors. Kane said that’s Friday, but tonight they are being summoned to the ring.

The DX theme cut off Taker’s “rest in peace” line. Triple H came out and threw glow sticks to the crowd. Hunter looked behind him, then pointed. Suddenly, Shawn Michaels showed up in the ring and hit Taker with Sweet Chin Music. Taker sold it like he’d been shot. Taker eventually sat up and his music played while Hunter and Michaels acted concerned. Cole hyped their Crown Jewel match as being for the first time ever. A graphic noted that the House Hardy Halloween Special was up next even though a Modern Family rerun aired on USA Network…

Powell’s POV: I’m just not feeling it. Even putting aside the whole idea of running in Saudi Arabia at this time, I’m just not feeling DX vs. Undertaker and Kane. In fact, I can’t believe how underwhelming the in-ring return of Shawn Michaels feels. As for Raw, the last two hours felt mostly flat. Will we see the Raw wrestlers invade Smackdown this year to breathe some life into the bad Raw vs Smackdown feud at Survivor Series? I will have more to say about this show in my audio review later tonight.

Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Jerry Lynn.


Readers Comments (13)

  1. Reasons I plan to watch Crown Jewel:
    1. I’m a WWE fan.
    2. Too many things are already tangled up with politics to add sports entertainment to the mix.
    3. Whatever I may think of Vince McMahon, the Superstars have done nothing wrong.
    4. Whatever I may think of the Saudi Crown Prince, it’s no fairer to punish the citizens of Saudi Arabia for his crimes than it is to judge me based on Donald Trump’s actions.
    5. With all the senseless violence and death happening in the Middle East every day, I find it rich that the murder of one journalist is the tipping point for people.
    6. We’ve gotten so adept at condemning, blaming, and dividing up into bickering factions that we’ve forgotten how to reach out and find common ground with our adversaries. Sports is the one entity history has proven can bring people together. Why would we waste the chance to reach out now when the world so desperately needs it?

    • That’s a reasonable, well thought out, adult perspective.

      Unfortunately this is the website that employs Jake & Will so there’s no chance of that maturity or thoughtfulness being reciprocated.

      • Have I missed Will and Jake attacking your opinions directly? Seems like you are attacking their opinions while assuming they wouldn’t be openminded enough to hear someone out if they had an opposing view.

      • “Dat Boy”-here is an idea, if you don’t like the people Jason employs on his site, go to another site then, instead of whining and getting your panties up in a bunch here. Your welcome for the advice.

    • well said ++1 my thoughts

  2. Good for Cena (and Bryan maybe) for standing up for what is right and giving up the huge payday. Sure most of the others feel the same, but don’t have the power/want to risk getting fired by skipping the show.

  3. Renee sucks at commentary. Besides the annoying, constant “ohs”, she has this boring, robotic, monotone voice with zero emotion when she speaks. I am sure Vince and Kevin Dunne don’t want to say anything since she is female, so I guess we are stuck with her. They should have had her work on being an announcer in NXT (still do the interviews/hosting on the main shows), instead of just putting her on the RAW team. I liked Booker T on commentary as although he wasn’t very good as we all know, but he was entertaining with the stupid stuff he would say and Corey or Cole would call him out on it.

  4. Cole and Groves looked like complete idiots tonight. As broadcasters not once questioning Renee on her husbands actions or his frame of mind during the week. I get kayfab but they bring it up often enough on the show other weeks, so why on potentially the one time the response could of been interesting did they not go there?

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