By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on November 26, 2018 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Fiserv Forum
[Hour One] Acting general manager Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Lio Rush stood in the ring. Corbin spoke about fans stuffing their faces over the holiday weekend. All three heels spoke about what they are thankful for, which included McIntyre talking about the beating they gave Braun Strowman last week. Corbin set up a video recap of that segment.
Corbin set up footage of Strowman in a hospital bed in Birmingham, Alabama. Strowman showed off his bruised elbow and said he was there for surgery, but he’d much rather be in Milwaukee. Strowman claimed doctors have never seen an injury like his before, nor has he ever had to work on an arm his size. He said he hopes the doctors have the tools to get it figured out. He said he would return 100 percent and the gore of his surgery would feel like paper cuts compared to what he will do to the heels. Strowman said all three heels would “get these hands” and winced when he tried to lift his bad arm.
Back live, the fans chanted “get these hands.” Corbin said there’s no way Strowman would be medically cleared to compete at the TLC pay-per-view. He said it’s too bad because the match is still on and he will win by forfeit and become the permanent general manager. He warned that he will remember who stood by him and who was against him. As he spoke, the lights went out. Corbin demanded the lights come back on.
Elias was on a stool on the stage and he strummed his guitar as the lights were turned on. Elias said literally anyone would be better than Corbin as general manager. He said he would be facing Lashley and he wrote a song about it that wasn’t quite finished. One of the lines questioned why Lashley was always bent over while Rush pointed at his ass. Fans joined in on the chorus of “Bobby Lashley sucks.” Elias headed to the ring while Michael Cole hyped their match for after the break. Cole was joined on commentary by Corey Graves and Renee Young… [C]
Powell’s POV: Corbin saying his match with Strowman is still on for the pay-per-view seems to be a sign that the company expects Strowman to be healthy enough to work the match. If it turns out he’s not ready, they can always write their way out of the match somehow. It’s interesting that Dolph Ziggler was left out of the beatdown last week given how much he’s been tied to McIntyre. It could simply be a way of moving them apart without a big split, but I’m surprised they didn’t include him if only because they could have had Strowman plow through him in a revenge match.
1. Elias vs. Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush, Baron Corbin, Drew McIntytre). Cole said Corbin knows that Strowman won’t be able to compete at the pay-per-view and that’s why he keeping the match scheduled. Lashley dumped Elias to ringside where the other heels surrounded him. Elias was allowed to return to the apron unscathed, but Lashley used the distracting to run Elias into the ring post. [C]
Elias performed a top rope elbow drop on Lashley and had him pinned, but Rush pulled the referee from the ring. Lashley was going to be disqualified by the ref, but Corbin said Elias interrupted him earlier before he would announce it was a no disqualification match. Elias tried to use his guitar on Lashley, but Corbin attacked Elias from behind. A Corbin sucks chant broke out. Lashley stomped on Elias’s guitar. Corbin hit Elias with a chair over the back a few times. All three heels worked over Elias at ringside. and eventually Lashley pinned him…
Bobby Lashley defeated Elias in 14:05.
The broadcast team hyped previously advertised segments and a video from Dean Ambrose… [C]
Powell’s POV: I suspect it will get worse with Corbin abusing his power before it gets better and he loses the match and his general manager position in the process. The big beatdown was violent and well done, but this doesn’t seem to be generating strong heat for the heels, perhaps because fans have seen all of this so many times before with different players. By the way, are all the babyfaces just horribly self-absorbed characters and that’s why they rarely run out to help in situations like this?
Corbin fired a crew member backstage. Alexa Bliss showed up and said it was very impressive. She said he is doing an amazing job and volunteered to help. Corbin asked her to oversee the entire women’s division. Bliss thanked him. Corbin said they both look good and it’s that simple, which led to a handshake…
The broadcast team spoke and Young vented about how ridiculous the situation was. Graves was pro-Corbin. Cole set up a video package recapping the Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose feud…
Ambrose was shown in a doctor’s office where a doctor was waiting to give him shots. He said he wouldn’t be in Milwaukee and said if they were disappointed they should get over it because they should be used to disappointment. He was getting various shots before appearing in Houston. He said there is now shower that can wash away the sins of Rollins. He said he would do the merciful thing by putting Rollins out of his misery for good at the pay-per-view…
Powell’s POV: Insulting the fans is simple, yet effective. Ambrose could easily become a popular anti-hero, but insulting the fans regularly seems to be preventing that for now.
Graves said Ambrose went off the deep end. Young had her arms crossed and said he’s complicated and even though she lives with him she won’t always have answers for them. Cole hyped the match for the pay-per-view… Lucha House Party made their entrance… [C]
The Revival made their entrance and spoke about how lucha house rules goes against the etiquette of tag team wrestling. Dawson said they demanded a rematch because if LHP can’t respect tradition then they don’t belong in their division…
2. The Revival vs. Lucha House Party in a Lucha House Rules match. Graves said Corbin told him he had nothing to do with the lucha house rules. LHP all performed top rope moves on Scott Dawson and pinned him…
Lucha House Party defeated The Revival in 2:30.
The broadcast team recapped Nia Jax punching Becky Lynch and hyped Jax appearing after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: How does anyone really benefit from these silly lucha house rules? LHP win the matches and gain nothing because it’s an unfair advantage, and the Revival just keep on losing. I don’t get what they are going for.
Cole and Graves said Lars Sullivan is the hottest free agent and he has both Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon bidding for his services. A Sullivan video package aired. Young said she hopes Sullivan comes to Raw…
[Hour Two] Nia Jax and Tamina made their entrance. Jax said the Raw roster is thankful for her being the sole survivor at Survivor Series and leading Raw to victory. She said she is most thankful for breaking Becky Lynch’s face. Fans booed loudly. Jax boasted that she put Lynch on the shelf with a concussion and added that The Man was no match for The Facebreaker.
Jax shifted the focus to her match against Ronda Rousey. She said everything has gone downhill for Rousey since they met. Footage aired of Jax working over Rousey in their match at Money in the Bank. Jax set up another clip of Charlotte Flair beating Rousey with a kendo stick.
Jax mockingly impersonated Rousey with a twist on her true champion speech from last week. Jax boasted that she’s been on a roll after winning the Evolution battle royal, breaking Lynch’s face, and being the sole survivor at Survivor Series. She said the top of the mountain belongs to her.
Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey made her entrance. Rousey said it was true that Jax won the battle royal. She paused while the fans chanted her name. She said Jax is lucky she’s from a warrior culture where one punch from her can be heard around the world. Rousey said she stands on top of the mountain and she will rip off Jax’s arm at the pay-per-view and slap Charlotte across the face with it.
Rousey challenged Jax to face her on the spot “unless you and the monolithic mute have a hot double date tonight.” Jax said it wasn’t going down like that. She said she just finished wiping Lynch’s blood from her knuckles and she does have a double date. Jax said she was just stalling for time. Jax and Tamina approached Rousey, but Natalya’s music stopped them in their tracks.
Natalya came out, but she was attacked from behind by Riott Squad. Rousey ran off Riott Squad and then tended to Natalya at ringside…
Powell’s POV: A poor segment. Jax came off as slightly intimidated by Rousey by backing down from the fight. And her line about stalling for time made no sense since she and Tamina could have attacked her at any point. And I’m very bored by the ineffective weekly attempt to make everyone feel bad for Natalya.
Footage aired of Drake Maverick pissing himself and they actually replayed the bad piss jokes from last week’s show. Maverick cut a promo backstage while AOP stood behind him. He said fans have never faced fear like he did when he met Big Show, and he assumed fans would have lost control of their bodily functions as well. Maverick said he would make sure AOP’s challengers felt the same feeling. Laugh now, cry later,” AOP added… [C]
3. AOP (w/Drake Maverick) vs. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode for the Raw Tag Titles. Before the match, the challengers were interviewed by Charly Caruso and both men said the time for jokes is over, and Roode worked in another glorious line. Maverick ended up taking Roode’s robe from the ringside attendant. Akam of AOP took advantage of the distraction to start the match. Maverick put the robe on and did the glorious pose before going backstage. [C]
As the match continued, Maverick was shown posing in Roode’s robe while looking at himself in a mirror. He was eventually shown on the big screen. Maverick placed Roode’s robe over a toilet and pissed on it while Roode looked dismayed. Rezar shoved Roode into Gable, then AOP hit their powerbomb and neckbreaker finisher on Roode and pinned him…
AOP defeated Bobby Roode and Chad Gable in 8:30 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: Awful. Roode looked like an idiot for caring more about his robe than winning the tag titles, and the fans clearly didn’t give a damn about any of this based on their non reaction. I wish someone had pissed on the Raw script tonight.
Backstage, Bliss approached Sasha Banks and Bayley and tried to play nice and say they never got to know one another. Banks mouthed off. Bliss said she was giving them a chance to go to the ring and take questions from the WWE Universe…
Ember Moon made her entrance… [C] Finn Balor delivered a selfie promo about how some say he is jeopardizing his career by standing up to Corbin. He said he viewed it as a case of jeopardizing his career if he did not stand up to Corbin…
4. Alicia Fox (w/Jinder Mahal, Singh Brothers) vs. Ember Moon (w/Curt Hawkins). Cole hyped the Mixed Match Challenge playoffs beginning tomorrow. Bliss was shown watching on a backstage monitor. Cole complained about Bliss being an active member of the roster being put in charge of the women’s division. Moon hit her Eclipse finisher and got the win.
Ember Moon pinned Alicia Fox in 1:50.
Hawkins flipped out in celebration afterward. No Way Jose led his goof troop out and Hawkins danced with them. Cole hyped Mahal vs. Jose for after the break… An ad for NXT hyped EC3 being in action…
Powell’s POV: Just when it looked like this Raw had hit rock bottom, out come the Rosebud Rejects.
5. Jinder Mahal (w/Singh Brothers) vs. No Way Jose. Mahal controlled the majority of the offense. Jose came back and let out a primal scream to fire up the crowd (if failed). Mahal came back and hit his finisher for the win…
Jinder Mahal beat No Way Jose in 4:25.
Graves hyped the open challenge for the Intercontinental Championship as coming up next… [C]
Powell’s POV: Wow, this Wisconsin crowd couldn’t be more quiet if they were replaying last night’s Packers vs. Vikings game on the big screen. I can’t blame the fans a bit. Here’s hoping they have something cool in mind for the Rollins segment because this has been a dreadful show thus far.
Cole set up a recap of the Ambrose segment from the doctor’s office…
Seth Rollins made his entrance for the open challenge, which woke up the crowd. Rollins cut a promo about getting back to being a fighting Intercontinental Champion. He said he’s finished chasing Ambrose around and looking for answers. Rollins recalled Ambrose saying he would not be at Raw this week and called him a liar and a coward while assuming he was lurking around the building.
[Hour Three] The awful record scratch played and the even worse Dolph Ziggler entrance theme followed. Ziggler said if Seth wants to go back to being “Seth Freakin’ Rollins” then he would go back to losing to him…
6. Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Rollins clotheslined Ziggler to ringside early and they went to break. [C] And then it was Ziggler dumping Rollins to ringside heading into the next break over ten minutes into the match.
Ziggler avoided a frogsplash and then followed up with a Fameasser, which resulted in the same two count his Fameasser always does. A short time later, Ziggler avoided a pair of Stomps and then hit the Zigzag for a near fall. Rollins got a near fall off an inside cradle. Ziggler came right back with a DDT. Ziggler went up top. Rollins superplexed him and performed a falcon arrow for the win…
Seth Rollins defeated Dolph Ziggler in 20:50 to retain the Intercontinental Championship.
Graves hyped Finn Balor vs. “General Manager-Elect” Baron Corbin. Bliss was shown talking to a crew member backstage, and Young hyped the Q&A with Sasha and Bayley for after the break… [C] An ad for Smackdown hyped AJ Styles and Becky Lynch appearances…
Powell’s POV: It’s no secret that Rollins and Ziggler work well together, but their feud has simply been overexposed. I assume that the powers that be are well aware of this or they would have advertised the actual match rather than listing it as an open challenge.
Alexa Bliss came to the ring and said she wants fans to get to know the superstars. She pointed out that Charly Caruso was at ringside ready for take fan questions. She introduced Sasha and Bayley, who headed to the ring.
Bliss pointed to a fan, who asked if they could change the division what would they do. Bayley wouldn’t change anything (except replace Vince McMahon as head of creative), she would just continue to give talent opportunities. Banks said she would ship Bliss’s little butt back to Smackdown.
Bayley said she wouldn’t ship Bliss back to Smackdown, she’d ship her back to hell where she came from. Sasha and Bayley celebrated like Kelso after he dished out a burn, then they were attacked from behind by Mickie James, Alicia Fox, and Dana Brooke. Sasha and Bayley bounce back and cleared the heels from the ring…
Powell’s POV: I’d like to personally thank the USA Network executives who made the call to scrap the Raw overrun. Another 6-15 minutes of this episode might drive me over the edge tonight.
7. Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin. Balor ran over and threw punches at Corbin as soon as the bell rang. Corbin fought back, but Corbin caught him with a kick from the apron while Corbin was on the floor going into a break. [C]
Corbin went on the offensive coming out of the break. Balor came back and dropkicked Corbin in the corner. Balor went for a Coup de Grace, but Corbin rolled to ringside. Corbin took the mic and announced that the match was now a handicap match against him and his partner Drew McIntyre.
Balor punched Corbin and then performed a flip dive onto McIntyre as he arrived at ringside. Balor hit Corbin again, but McIntytre knocked him down from behind. McIntyre rolled Balor inside the ring and hit him with the Claymore Kick before pinning him…
Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre defeated Finn Balor in a handicap match at 13:40.
After the match, Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush came to the ring. Lashley put Balor down with a move, then picked him up and threw him to Corbin, who performed End of Days. McIntyre gave Balor another Claymore Kick. Cole and company recapped the segment and the show came to a merciful end…
Powell’s POV: What a lousy night of television for WWE. The heel trio has no chemistry, and the show featured a pair of overexposed matchups, undercard matches that no one cares about, a weird Q&A, and a man pissing on another man’s robe. I realize they are missing Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns, but this was just painful to watch. I’ll have more to say in what will likely be an NSFW edition of my Raw audio review for members later tonight.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Jake Barnett discussing the All Elite Wrestling potential startup promotion.
Seriously? Baron Corbin vs Finn Balor? I’m gonna scream!!!!
well this is one cluster fu*k of a show so far
Man, You sure do love getting those Packer digs in when you can I’m guessing Bray Wyatt comes out at the end of the Balor-Corbin match.
I’d dare to say that the only hit-worthy thing about tonight’s show is the announcement that Becky Lynch will appear on Smackdown Live tomorrow night. Here’s hoping that, as I write this, Bray Wyatt returns just to shake things up a litle bit.
Smackdown Live is the A show by far, no matter what Vince “it’s 2018 and I still laugh at bad comedy segments” McMahon thinks.
EDIT: Well, no Bray tonight. What a horrible show.
This was wcw monday nitro 2001 bad….sheesh was a train wreck
Spoiler for a future match.
AOP VS Lucha House Party
Drake steals one of the Pinatas & takes it backstage & pisses on it to cause a distraction in another AOP win.
Vince: “Hire this man!”
I watched the shortened Hulu show and skipped over 90 percent of it because it’s just boring and recycled matches. Bayley is awful on the Mic btw, I see Jax getting go away heat soon as well as Corbin. I think Nitro in 2001 was better because at least you had Scott Steiner as top heel. This is bad and Ratings are evidence