November 13, 2017
From the Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T
We get a video package of the past few weeks where Smackdown has continued to get one-up on RAW and GM Kurt Angle.
Stephanie McMahon heads down to the ring. She talks about making decisions daily, such as ones that effect shareholders and employees across the company. Stephanie said she needs leaders to help make decisions, like the GM of RAW, then brings out Kurt Angle. He understands that Stephanie might be upset but says he was 100% prepared for Smackdown’s raid. Stephanie then asks how the New Day got into the building as Kurt replies “I don’t know” then makes fun of him for getting manipulated again by her brother. She then suggests putting together a compilation reel of this for the 25th Anniversary of RAW. Stephanie then becomes upset over Angle naming his son, Jason Jordan, as the 5th member of the RAW Survivor Series team despite having few accolades unlike Smackdown’s 5th memer John Cena. She then says the last time Cena was on TV happened on RAW, meaning Angle chose Jordan over Cena or that Cena was so embarrassed to be part of RAW that he went to Smackdown. Angle then told Stephanie to ask Cena why he chose to be on Smackdown. Stephanie now asks Angle what he will do at Survivor Series as Angle promises to break Shane’s ankle and challenges him to start off the match. However, Stephanie says “what’s this, the 90’s” and that Shane will have people do his dirty work then continues to run him out until demanding they decimate Smackdown. The Shield come out from the crowd to interrupt as Stephanie is pissed. Dean talks about seeing a lot of leaders come and go but that Angle is the best that proved at TLC he still has it, drawing a chant from the crowd. Stephanie then tells The Shield they looked like fools then asks Reigns where he has been. However, Reigns flips the question around and says the last time we saw her she went through a table courtesy of her husband before saying they do what they want and what they want is to fight the New Day. And, if the New Day has balls and accept, it will happened at the Survivor Series. Reigns promises victory for Team RAW and themselves before The Shield celebrate with Angle.
The stuff between Stephanie and Angle was terrible and went on forever but luckily The Shield got the crowd going and a match against the New Day should be a blast.
Mickie James vs. Dana Brooke vs. Bayley
The four members of Team RAW (Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Asuka, Sasha Banks) are watching from ringside. Cole brings up how Mickie is undefeated at Survivor Series. She takes down both women then they all switch off until Bayley gets knocked off of the apron right before commercial. We return as Bayley hits both women with back suplexes but walks into a flapjack from Mickie. Bayley cuts Mickie off of the top rope but is knocked off as Mickie flies off with a Thesz Press as Dana makes the save. Mickie hammers away on Dana then catches Bayley with a neckbreaker. Mickie clears the ring then Asuka goes to help up Dana, who hits her then rolls inside. Asuka chases her back out and hits a roundhouse kick. Back inside, Bayley uses a few pin combinations then blocks a DDT and hits the Bayley-to-Belly (7:32) **.
Thoughts: It was fine for what it was. Mickie and Bayley had solid showings and they kept it easy for Dana. Bayley becomes the 5th member for the RAW Women’s Survivor Series team and I assume they start some sort of conflict between Sasha and herself.
Enzo Amore & Drew Gulak head out to the ring. We learn that Enzo will defend the Cruiserweight Championship against Kalisto on the Survivor Series Kickoff Show. Enzo asks the crowd “how you doin'” then tells Gulak to be quiet when he says he’s doing great and tells the crowd to stop chanting. Enzo then says his pockets are deep, unlike Kalisto who is like a pair of “NBA Shorts” because he has no pockets. Gulak is then about to talk about how he has benefited from being on the ‘Zo Train but is interrupted by Kalisto & Akira Tozawa.
Enzo Amore & Drew Gulak vs. Kalisto & Akira Tozawa
Gulak and Tozawa start off as the crowd chants with Tozawa. Enzo makes a blind tag then attacks Tozawa from behind but Kalisto makes a blind tag of his own and sends both men outside with a springboard dropkick. We head to break then return with Gulak working the neck of Tozawa. Gulak cheap shots Kalisto but Tozawa comes back with a suplex as both men are down. Kalisto tags in and runs wild on Enzo then flies out with his partner as everyone is out on the floor. Back inside, Tozawa drops Enzo with a kick and sets up for the senton but Gulak pulls his partner to safety. However, Kalisto takes him out then Enzo shoves Tozawa into Kalisto and hits the Jordanzo for the win (7:47) **.
Thoughts: Nothing exciting here as they give Enzo some momentum heading into his title defense.
Replay from earlier when Stephanie ran down and issued an ultimatum to Angle about winning at Survivor Series. And when The Shield issued a challenge to the New Day.
Angle is backstage with Team RAW. He tells Finn Balor and Samoa Joe they will team up against Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows to prove that they can work together. Angle tells Jordan his selection to the team has pissed people off so he will face Bray Wyatt as Braun Strowman demands Kane as Angle makes that the main event of RAW. These are not the most exciting matches.
Miz TV with guest The Bar. He first addresses “internet tough guy” Baron Corbin and how he has the opportunity to face him at Survivor Series as long as he doesnt squander his chance against Sin Cara tomorrow night. Miz calls out Corbin for being unable to compete and pissing away opportunities, unlike himself who is able to create his own opportunities. He then brings out The Bar, his partners against The Shield tonight, as they talk about not being distracted and focusing on the Tag Team Championships. The Bar talk about The Usos being the champions on the “B” show then Sheamus becomes the target of a “you look stupid” chant. Sheamus then says they are the Champions of the flagship show as Cesaro promises they will break the Uso Penitentiary. Miz then switches focus to The Shield and how they had their moment and the happy reunion tour will end tonight as they are the champions.
The promo was fine as they all put over their Survivor Series matches and their match tonight against The Shield.
A replay of when Smackdown took RAW under siege.
The New Day accept The Shield’s challenge.
Bray Wyatt vs. Jason Jordan
Jordan catches Wyatt with a dropkick after the two felt each other out. Wyatt then cheap shots Jordan as we see Angle watching backstage. Jordan picks up and rams Wyatt into the corner twice then hits an overhead suplex but sadly the crowd does not care whatsoever. They head outside where Jordan crashes into the barricade then we head to break. The action returns as Wyatt works a chinlock. Wyatt then hits a senton for a two count and hammers away on the back of the neck. Jordan’s knee gives out on a floatover then he gets planted with an uranage. The crowd gets behind Wyatt and boos Jordan’s comeback attempt. Wyatt has Jordan in the position for the Sister Abigail but Jordan gets out and uses a rollup for the win (7:11) *1/2. After the match, Wyatt knocks Jordan outside and gets cheered. Wyatt then attacks the injured leg of Jordan as a worried Angle leaves the monitor where he was watching with Stephanie. A “thank you, Wyatt” chant breaks out then Jordan tries to make it to his feet but a referee helps him out as the crowd does the “good bye” chant.
Thoughts: The match was flat and the crowd was booing Jordan. Even if Jordan does turn on Team RAW, will it even get over? The guy is toast as is and they even cheered possibly the stalest character in the company over him. The Angle/Jordan storyline was awful from day one and has remained that way so the quicker it ends and those involved move on to something else, the better.
Angle is Jordan in the trainer’s room. Jordan says he saw Angle work through injuries and wants his big break. He then says “I deserve this “dad” as the camera cuts away.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman head out to the ring. Heyman then gives us some selling points of why we should see the Survivor Series and talks about AJ Styles has mastered the strategy of “speed kills.” The fans then start a “she said yes” chant as someone proposed to their girlfriend as Heyman jokes about her saying yes because she has not been up close to a beast like Lesnar. Heyman now talks about AJ being the ultimate opponent for Lesnar as he has more momentum than anyone else in WWE and is a respected and admired champion. However, this time AJ has to be the ultimate underdog because he’ll step in the ring with a “Georgia bulldog eating carnivore” that is the #1 Champion in the WWE. Heyman said that AJ is a “Rocky” movie come to life as the crowd chants for their hometown hero before Heyman puts over how Lesnar will win. Heyman sold this match as good as you can with one promo. It was probably the best thing on the show.
Miz w/ Miztourage & The Bar vs. The Shield
Rollins and Cesaro start off the match. Rollins wins that battle as The Shield work over Cesaro for a while. Ambrose ends up trapped in the wrong corner then Miz mocks Reigns as The Bar cut off the ring. Ambrose fights back then The Shield clear the ring. Rollins & Ambrose hit topes on the bar as Miz bails to avoid Reigns. Miz tries to fight behind The Miztourage but they get destroyed so he takes off through the crowd then we head to break. The action returns as Miz almost puts Rollins away. Rollins comes back with a clothesline as both men are down. Sheamus tags in and kicks out of a small package before roughing up Rollins. He leaps off the top rope but Rollins kicks in and tags out as Reigns runs wild. Miz grabs Reigns leg from the outside then Ambrose takes him out with a tope. The Bar beat on Reigns and almost put him away but The Shield help out Reigns, who hits Cesaro with the Superman Punch but Cesaro cuts off a spear with an uppercut. Miz makes a blind tag then the match breaks down as The Shield clear the bar from the ring then Reigns hits Miz with a spear then The Shield hit a triple powerbomb for the win (15:07) ***.
Thoughts: An enjoyable match that picked up in the second half after a dull beginning. They really only used Reigns at the end as they appear to be easing him back into action. They could have saved this match until after Survivor Series as there was no good reason to have Miz and Cesaro lose heading into the PPV.
We get a package on what happened between Strowman and Kane at TLC.
Kane is backstage and gloats while recalling what he did to Strowman at TLC to hype up their match tonight. This was a bad promo presented in a goofy manner.
Angle is in the ring. He talks about what Stephanie said earlier tonight about making choices as a leader and since Jordan is injured, he cannot allow him to compete. The crowd cheers then Angle is about to name his replacement but Jordan is on the ramp, pleading with his dad not to take the chance away from him as its the first time he can fight side-by-side with his dad. Jordan said he will be fine by Sunday but Angle said he’s not 100%. Jordan talks about Angle being his idol and how its a dream come true to be on RAW and that he was chosen on the team due to being the best option. Jordan continues to plead and beg but Stephanie comes out and tells Angle to make the announcement. However, Triple H comes out and says if Angle will not make the announcement, he will, then names himself as the 5th member of RAW. Jordan then says he can prove himself as Triple H looks at him while the crowd chants for the Pedigree, so he hits it and the crowd cheers.
The big news is that Triple H is back and on team RAW. Also, Jordan and Angle had a cringeworthy back-and-forth to cement this entire storyline as one of the worst in 2017 and not just in the WWE. Jordan’s toast and the WWE is to blame for the reactions he’s getting from the fans. If you put this story together and thought it would succeed, then you have no business in the entertainment industry. And once again, Angle comes off as an incompetent and soft.
Finn Balor & Samoa Joe vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
Joe shoves Balor before the bell, allowing Anderson to attack from behind. Balor fights back and tags out then quickly returns as Joe saves him from an attack just before the break. We return as Balor & Joe work together and beat on Anderson. Gallows distracts Balor as we has perched on the top rope then Anderson cuts him off. Gallows tags and beats on Balor for a bit. Anderson is back in and works a chinlock then switches to the arm. Anderson catches Balor with a spinebuster as we head to another break. The match returns as Balor hits Gallows with a pele kick. Balor then tags out as Joe runs wild on Anderson. Balor takes out Gallows on the outside with a running soccer kick and Joe dives out with a tope before Balor puts Anderson away with the Coup de Grace (12:55) **. After the match, Joe heads up the ramp by himself.
Thoughts: The final minute was fun but the rest was terribly dull. Despite shoving Balor down, Joe played nice for the match then left by himself.
Charly Caruso is with Alexa Bliss. She asks her about facing the winner of Natalya vs. Charlotte at Survivor Series and does not care as Smackdown is the “B” show, something see usually DVR’s and forgets to watch later but might just show up live tomorrow night before promising to reign supreme at Survivor Series.
Tomorrow night on 205 Live there will be a birthday celebration for Kalisto.
Kane vs. Braun Strowman
Kane slaps Strowman then gets knocked down. Strowman stomps away as Kane rolls outside but Strowman follows and hammers away. Kane sends Strowman into the steps then pulls out a table and a chair from underneath the ring. Kane whacks Strowman in the back with the chair and attempts a chokeslam but that gets blocked. Strowman whacks Kane then beats him down and tries a superplex to the floor through a table but Kane fights him off. Strowman then hits Kane with a double axe handle before hitting a running powerslam through the ring and we see a replay then the show ends.
Thoughts: The bell never rang so it was not an official match. I expect them to face off again, perhaps in a stipulation match. The going through the ring spot did not get the reaction it was intended and that’s because Strowman has done far more impressive stuff with better opponents. The brawling itself was slow and plodding.
Final Thoughts: On paper, the Survivor Series card is stacked. Since the original plans were uninspired, they decided to give us Styles/Lesnar and Sheild/New Day along with other stars in the RAW vs. Smackdown match. It should be an excellent PPV.
With that being said, the built for the show has been poor. Hotshotting everything for a PPV is fine but what are we left with on RAW next week and until the end of the year? Strowman vs. Kane, More of the Jordan/Angle saga, and more of the Authority neutering a babyface GM? Besides that there isn’t much else going on here and what I listed has not been good. And god forbid they go back to the Balor/Wyatt stuff.
If you continue to book PPV’s in this manner and craft storylines that struggle to connect, then you are not giving fans a reason to watch your TV show.