By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,486)
Indianapolis, Indiana at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Aired November 15, 2021 on USA Network
[Hour One] Raw opened with a recap of last week’s drama involving Big E, Kevin Owens, and Seth Rollins… Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary, and Mike Rome was the ring announcer…
WWE Champion Big E made his entrance. He stopped and fist-bumped a fan who had a sign asking to acknowledge his birthday. Graves hyped Big E vs. Roman Reigns for Survivor Series and said it could be the most physical battle of the year.
Big E brought up Roman Reigns. He said Survivor Series was just supposed to be brand vs. brand and champion vs. champion, but Reigns took it to a place they can’t come back from when he put his hands on his family.
“So now that means I gotta beat your ass like you stole something,” Big E said. Big E said he had to make sure there are empty beds in the Brooklyn hospital for Reigns. Big E shifted the focus to Kevin Owens. He told him to bring his “lying treacherous ass” to the ring so they could handle their business.
Kevin Owens made his entrance and was booed as he stood on the stage with a mic in hand. Owens took issue with Big E getting in his way and costing him last week’s main event against Seth Rollins. He said he’s lost three straight matches on Raw, and he took issue with Big E questioning his integrity. Owens said he snapped and questioned how he couldn’t snap.
Owens said he wasn’t lying, but Big E decided that he was and now everyone thinks he was. Owens said anyone who doubted him could go to hell. Owens said he’d be the bad guy that everyone wants him to be. He said he would break bad on every wrestler in the locker room and on every person in arenas around the world.
Owens said he would break bad on Big E because he deserves it and now everything that happens is Big E’s fault. Big E called for Owens to join him in the ring for a fight. Owens turned and headed toward the back. Big E left the ring and pursued Owens.
Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso attacked Big E just before he could walk to the back. The Usos brought Big E back to the ring and worked him over. One of them took the mic and said that Roman Reigns said that he would see Big E at Survivor Series.
Riddle ran out and fought the Usos. Big E recovered and joined Riddle in clearing the Usos from the ring. Sonya Deville walked out with a mic in hand and told the Usos to return to the ring for an impromptu tag team match. Seth Rollins made his entrance while Deville headed to the back… [C]
Powell’s POV: Good mic work from Big E and Kevin Owens. I didn’t see the Usos attack coming, but it’s logical that the company would do something to set up Survivor Series, where they will be facing Riddle and Randy Orton in one of the champion vs. champion matches.
1. Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. WWE Champion Big E and Raw Tag Team Champion Riddle in a non-title match. Seth Rollins sat in on commentary. The match spilled over to ringside. Big E tossed one of the Usos at Rollins, who moved. Rollins jawed at Big E, who punched him. Big E returned to the ring and ate a kick from the other Uso. Rollins entered the ring and the bell rang for what Smith said was a disqualification.
Big E and Riddle defeated Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso in 2:55 by DQ in a non-title match.
After the match, Randy Orton ran out and put one of the Usos down with an RKO…
Powell’s POV: There wasn’t much to this match, as it seems pretty obvious that they were setting up a six-man tag match.
2. WWE Champion Big E and Raw Tag Team Champions Randy Orton and Riddle vs. Seth Rollins and Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. The match was joined in progress. Big E performed a splash on the apron on one of the Usos heading into a break. [C]
Late in the match, there was a series of rapid fire spots that left only Rollins and Riddle inside the ring. Rollins hit Riddle with a pair of rolling elbows and then rolled him up and pinned him.
Seth Rollins, Jimmy Uso, and and Jey Uso defeated Big E, Randy Orton, and Riddle in 18:25.
After the match, Rollins left the ring while the Usos went after Riddle. However, Riddle cleared one Uso from the ring and then Orton dropped the other with an RKO. Big E reentered the ring and jawed the fallen Uso to “tell your Daddy Roman” that he got his message. Big E hoisted up Uso and jawed into the camera while saying he wants everything Reigns has to offer. Big E hit the Big Ending…
Powell’s POV: Good action despite this feeling like a meaningless match. The post match angle was solid with Big E showing great confidence while sending his message to Reigns. I assume we’ll be seeing more “impromptu” matches on this show given that they didn’t announce any matches before the show.
Footage aired from last week of the issues involving Bianca Belair and Doudrop…
Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Bianca Belair said that if Doudrop wants to mix it up with her then they should do it. Belair said she wasn’t trying to take away from Doudrop’s ability, but pointed out that Doudrop keeps sticking her nose in her business.
Tamina entered the picture and told Belair that she’s her business. Belair said she was hoping for Doudrop, but Tamina would do. Belair made her entrance for the match against Tamina… [C]
Kevin Owens was walking backstage when he was approached by Sarah Schreiber, who pointed out that he said he would meet Big E in the ring and he didn’t. Owens said he was lying and recalled telling fans he would be the man they want him to be, which means he was actually telling the truth and is a man of his word.
Finn Balor showed up and said he was sorry he wasn’t there when he needed people to vouch for him last week. He said he would have told Owens to his face that he’s a liar. Balor said he was supposed to face Seth Rollins, but now he’s been informed that he would face Owens instead. Owens said that’s too bad for Balor, and added that it was no lie…
3. Bianca Belair vs. Tamina. Tamina’s entrance was not televised. Doudrop was shown watching the match in the backstage area. A graphic listed The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy for later in the show. Late in the match, Tamina had Belair down and went up top for her finisher. Belair recovered and slammed Tamina to the mat. Belair went for her handspring move, but Tamina put her knees up. Belair avoided a Samoan Drop and then powered up Tamina and hit the KOD for the win…
Bianca Belair beat Tamina in 4:40.
After the match Doudrop made her entrance in non-wrestling attire. She said Belair must be exhausted. She said it wouldn’t be fair of her to take advantage of the situation, but she’ll be looking for her after Survivor Series…
Powell’s POV: Belair won the match, but lost an eyelash in the process. The match was a little more competitive than I anticipated, which isn’t a negative given that you know they’ll push Tamina as a powerhouse again going into the Royal Rumble. Can they please abandon this Doudrop nonsense and have her go back to being Piper Niven?
Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch made her entrance… [C] Lynch welcomed Indianapolis “to the big time.” She set up footage of Charlotte Flair’s “uh oh” promo from Friday’s Smackdown. Lynch said she was once Flair’s best friend and rode everywhere with her. Lynch said she was also a shoulder that Flair cried on when things didn’t go her way.
[Hour Two] Lynch said the friendship was conditional in that Flair had to be the star while she stayed in the background. Lynch said she had to do so much more than be a one note ripoff of somebody else. She said she’s had to reinvent herself time and time again to become the biggest star in the industry.
Lynch said she’s the person whose success has made Flair the most miserable human being she’s ever met, which made Flair so bitter that she doesn’t even like herself anymore. Lynch said she’s the person that Flair would have to face at Survivor Series, and force her to face all of her insecure demons. She said that if Flair doesn’t remember who she is, on Sunday’s she’ll be the person who beats the ever living piss out of her.
Liv Morgan’s entrance music cut off Lynch. Morgan recalled Lynch walking away from her last week and said she couldn’t let her do that. Morgan said she finally won the opportunity that she’s been waiting for. Morgan said she has a chance to take the title off of the person she once admired the most.
Lynch cut her off and said she left last week to give Morgan a moment after her victory and added that it’s not like she gets many of those. Lynch set up video footage of Morgan on Talking Smack four months ago where she told the story of Lynch whispering in her ear that she would be champion by the time she returned from her maternity leave.
Back live, Lynch said it was her bad for getting Morgan’s hopes up. “I had no idea that you would underperform so badly,” Lynch said. There were some boos. Lynch said it’s not her fault because she wasn’t even there. She said some people have it and some people don’t. Lynch boasted that she left for 18 months and regained the title in just 26 seconds.
Lynch asked Morgan what she did during that time. Lynch told Morgan that she told her to get the title while she was gone because she won’t get it now that she is back. Morgan said Big Time Beck is really just “a big time bitch.” Lynch went for her Manhandle Slam finisher, but Morgan countered into an arm drag that sent Lynch to ringside. Morgan picked up the title belt and held it above her head while Lynch fumed at ringside…
Powell’s POV: A really good segment with Lynch showing babyface fire while delivering a strong rebuttal to Flair, and then flipping the switch into heel mode for her exchange with Morgan. She did an especially good job of putting her spin on Morgan’s story about Lynch telling her she’d be champion when she came back.
Backstage, Randy Orton barked at Riddle about trying to play hero. Orton said the only things that matter to him are their team and the titles. “So you do care about me?” Riddle asked. Orton groaned and walked away.
“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins showed up. Riddle said Orton wants him to start being more like him. Riddle said the “we want the smoke” line with the Profits, who teased being upset, then celebrated with him before heading to the ring for their match against Alpha Academy… [C]
A graphic touted Adweek listing Stephanie McMahon as one of the most powerful women in sports for the third consecutive year… Alpha Academy made their entrance…
4. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis. The broadcast team touted Gable’s success at Full Sail University. Ford took out Gable with a flip dive at ringside, but Otis put both Profits down on the floor heading into a break. [C]
Dawkins was isolated by the heels until he avoided a Gable moonsault. Ford took a hot tag and failed to knock Otis down with four clothesline attempts. Otis performed a popup powerslam and had Ford pinned, but Dawkins broke it up.
Gable tagged in again. Otis went after Dawkins on the floor but ended up being run into the barricade. In the ring, Gable went for a top rope cross body block, but Ford rolled through it and scored the pin…
“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins beat “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis in 11:05.
Powell’s POV: A good tag team match with the usual protection for powerhouse Otis. I got a kick out of Gable yelling, “No, that was my move, you know that,” afterward.
Highlights aired of Bobby Lashley returning and destroying Dominik Mysterio in their match last week…
WWE authority figure Adam Pearce was texting on his phone when Rey Mysterio stormed into the room and vented about Dominik being removed from Team Raw at Survivor Series. Rey asked Pearce if he was a man of his word or not. Pearce took issue with Rey questioning what kind of a man he is, then said he’s the man putting him in a match with Lashley for later in the show…
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Rhea Ripley and Nikki ASH made their entrance. A graphic listed ASH vs. Queen Zelina, and Ripley vs. Carmella in singles matches… [C] A Veer Mahaan video package aired. He’s still listed as “coming to Raw”… Carmella and Zelina Vega made their entrances…
5. Nikki ASH (w/Rhea Ripley) vs. Queen Zelina (w/Carmella). ASH performed a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. ASH went up top, but Zelina cut her off. Zelina hit the Code Red and scored the pin.
Queen Zelina beat Nikki ASH in 2:45.
Zelina put her crown on after the match and Carmella applauded her. Carmella jawed at Ripley, who was checking on ASH at ringside. Ripley removed her title belt and entered the ring for her match while Carmella ducked to ringside… [C]
6. Rhea Ripley (w/Nikki ASH) vs. Carmella (w/Queen Zelina). The match was joined in progress. Carmella wore her face mask. Carmella connected with a late superkick to a seated Ripley, who came back and hit her Riptide finisher and scored the pin.
Rhea Ripley defeated Carmella.
After the match, Zelina took the mic and congratulated Ripley on her win, then taunted ASH by saying she assumed she should congratulate her for being friends with a winner. Zelina said she would lead Team Raw to victory at Survivor Series while Nikki would be home alone. Ripley consoled ASH, who was visibly upset…
Powell’s POV: Here’s hoping that the heels drive a wedge between the ASH and Ripley characters, because Ripley really needs to get out of this team. Nikki could even get her last name back now that Karrion Kross is no longer with the company. Meanwhile, the broadcast team is having some fun during Carmella’s matches. They don’t openly talk about her being engaged to Graves, but Saxton is all over Graves in a comical way by rooting for her opponents.
Backstage, Big E spoke with Pearce, who said Raw needs him. Big E spoke about facing Reigns and then noted that he had Rollins and Owens coming after him. Pearce said he didn’t want Big E anywhere near the Balor vs. Owens match. Pearce said that if Big E didn’t think he was serious, he had two words for him – Brock Lesnar…
Finn Balor made his entrance… [C] Imagery was shown of the Indianapolis sports teams. Graves wondered whatever happened to the punter that the Colts had and said that guy (Pat McAfee) used to drive him up the wall. Members of the Colts team were shown in the front row…
Backstage, Seth Rollins was interviewed by McKenzie Mitchell. Rollins said he’s not just a part of Team Raw, he will lead Team Raw to victory at Survivor Series. Rollins said he would take the WWE Championship and lead Raw to the mountaintop.
[Hour Three] Kevin Owens made his entrance…
7. Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens. Saxton said Rollins seems to be caving to some of the expectations that some people have of him. Graves said that if people want Owens to be the bad guy, then he’ll be the baddest guy you know. Saxton called out Owens for caving. Graves said Rollins was scheduled to face Rollins until Rollins was “goaded” into taking part in the six-man tag match. Balor sent Owens to ringside and performed a flip dive. [C]
Balor took offensive control coming out of the break and dropkicked Owens at ringside. Balor rolled Owens back inside the ring. Balor went up top and went for his Coup De Grace finisher, but Owens avoided it while Balor landed on his feet. Owens performed a Popup Powerbomb for a near fall. Owens went for a Swanton, but Balor put his knees up. Balor went up top, but Owens cut him off again. Owens kicked Balor and put him down with a Stunner for the win…
Kevin Owens defeated Finn Balor in 12:20.
Powell’s POV: I’m surprised we got a clean finish rather than Owens doing something heelish to win. I’m not complaining. I like the idea of heels going over clean at times, as it makes them seem even more dangerous than always needing to cheat in order to win.
A video package aired of the WrestleMania ticket release party with The Street Profits, Stephanie McMahon, Undertaker, Big E, and more… Graves hyped that tickets are on sale for the April 2-3 event…
Backstage, Schreiber interviewed AJ Styles and Omos. Styles said the world would be a better place if The Usos did their job and got rid of New Day. Styles said Loki had an army in The Avengers. Styles said he had his own army in the form of Omos. Styles complained about The Dirty Dawgs stealing a win from them. Omos took the mic and said he would make them suffer…
“The Dirty Dawgs” Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler delivered a backstage promo. They compared Omos and Styles to the lead characters of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito’s Twins… Styles and Omos made their entrance… [C]
Powell’s POV: For those keeping score at home, Twins was released in 1988. I think the dated reference was by design to make Roode and Ziggler look like weenies, but it’s hard to tell sometimes.
A Damian Priest video package aired… The broadcast team listed Priest vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a champion vs. champion match for Survivor Series… Roode and Ziggler made their entrance…
8. AJ Styles and Omos vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. Omos dominated Roode and then dropped him in the corner and encouraged Ziggler to tag in. Ziggler complied. Omos manhandled Ziggler too. Styles called for a tag and then hit Ziggler with a Phenomenal Forearm and pinned him…
AJ Styles and Omos beat Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler in 3:20.
Powell’s POV: So they protected Roode and Ziggler for a couple of weeks just to squash them in this match? Strange.
Bobby Lashley was interviewed by Schreiber, who asked him about removing Dominik Mysterio from Team Raw. Lashley said he never should have been on the team in the first place. Lashley said the look on Rey’s face when he found out they had a match was the same look his son had when he was in the Hurt Lock. Lashley also said he would walk through all of Team Smackdown at Survivor Series…
Rey Mysterio made his entrance along with son Dominik Mysterio… [C]
Powell’s POV: I can’t imagine Rey vs. Lashley filling out the remainder of the show’s time. Are we getting a Smackdown invasion or do they have something else in mind to close out the show?
Graves hyped Roman Reigns as a guest on Wednesday’s “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on NBC…
The Smackdown recap video package aired… The broadcast team ran through the Survivor Series lineup, which also includes RKO Bro vs. The Usos, and the Team Smackdown men’s and women’s team still have an open slot each… Smith set up footage of Lashley destroying Dom last week…
Bobby Lashley made his entrance while Graves hyped Raw for next week in Brooklyn… [C]
Powell’s POV: Well, maybe they will be able to milk this out long enough to close the show with Rey vs. Lashley. It’s worth nothing that while MVP was listed in the match graphic with Lashley, he did not accompany him during his entrance.
Big E, Austin Theory, and Liv Morgan were hyped as the guests for Raw Talk…
9. Bobby Lashley vs. Rey Mysterio (w/Dominik Mysterio). Lashley set up for an early powerslam, but Rey fought free. Lashley put him down moments later with a big boot. Adam Pearce was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Dom stood on the apron and distracted Lashley long enough for Rey to take offensive control momentarily.
Lashley came right back and put Rey on his shoulders at ringside. Rey performed a huracanrana that sent Lashley into the ring post. Rey performed a baseball slide splash under the rope and onto Lashley on the floor. Rey dove from the ring onto Lashley, who caught him and then tossed him at the barricade. [C]
Lashley started to dominate the offense, causing Graves to say that he was toying with his food, just as he had the week before. Lashley put Rey on his shoulders at ringside and swung him into the ring post. Back inside the ring, Lashley held up Rey for a vertical suplex and taunted Dom before executing the move and covering Rey for a two count.
Rey came back and hit a 619. Rey performed a top rope splash for a two count. Lashley powered him up and put him in the Hurt Lock and got the submission win.
Bobby Lashley defeated Rey Mysterio in 11:10.
Afterward, Lashley glared at Dom while keeping his father in the Hurt Lock. Lashley released the hold. Dom teased entering the ring while the broadcast team called for him to stay where he was. Lashley celebrated the win and left the ring as Dom tended to his father.
Backstage, Schreiber asked Adam Pearce if he had any last minute thoughts on Survivor Series. “Absolutely,” Pearce said. He asked if she minded if he borrowed the mic. Pearce walked onto the stage and said that it pained him to say that for the wellbeing of Raw and Rey Mysterio, he was left with no choice but to remove Rey from Team Raw at Survivor Series with a replacement to be named later.
Dom protested the announcement in the ring. Austin Theory snuck on up on him and put him down. Pearce returned to the stage and said he liked Theory’s style. Pearce announced that Theory would replace Rey on Team Raw at Survivor Series. Theory took selfies in front of the fallen Rey and Dom to close the show…
Powell’s POV: The heel turns of Pearce and Deville continues. The main event was fine, though it didn’t really feel like a main event. It was the type of match that could have been placed in any other slot on the show. It’s interesting that MVP returned last week and didn’t get any promo time, and then just seemed to disappear tonight aside from being shown in the graphic with Lashley. I don’t always catch everything they broadcast team said and thus I may have missed something, but I didn’t hear them mention anything about MVP.
Overall, this show wasn’t as good as the two previous episodes. It was weird mix of Survivor Series hype combined with reminders of the actual Raw feuds. I’m actually fine with them half-assing the build to Survivor Series, if only because the brand loyalty nonsense doesn’t work for me. That said, it’s not a wise business move and the company really should just do away with the theme since even the creative forces are not showing any faith in it this time around. I will return shortly with my weekly same night Raw audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
Join me for my live review of WWE Survivor Series on Sunday night.