Monday Night Raw
Date: September 24, 2018
Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
Somehow Super Show-Down is next week and that means we need to firm up the card a little bit. They’ve done a great job of setting up HHH vs. Undertaker for the Australia show, but there are still a lot of other things that need to be put together. Tonight’s show could go in a variety of directions so let’s get to it.
There’s a new Then, Now and Forever video, which is a rather nice improvement.
Baron Corbin opens the limo for birthday girl Stephanie McMahon and HHH. He even starts singing Happy Birthday but Stephanie gives him the look. HHH (wisely) leaves and Stephanie gets some birthday balls for giving himself a Universal Title shot last week. Stephanie makes a six man tag for tonight with Baron needing to find some partners.
Here’s the Shield to open things up. Dean says they’re the three workhorses in WWE. They may have lost some battles but they’ve never lost a war. Reigns (cue the booing) says you can read off their resumes but that would take all day. All you have to do is look at them hold up their titles because these are the keys to the kingdom. That’s why Brock Lesnar is back and it’s why Corbin did what he did last week.
As for tonight, the world’s largest substitute teacher has to find some partners so get out here right now. Cue Corbin to sound rather cocky because here are Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre with Strowman saying the Shield is about to crack. Strowman promises a 4-2 fight at “WWE Super Show” because Ziggler remembers Dean being WWE Champion on his own two years ago.
Drew and Ziggler talk about Dean being taken for granted because he’s the only one without a title. Dean is always the one sacrificing himself and making the other two champions. They make it very clear: switch sides and become Intercontinental Champion. Reigns cuts them off and wants to fight but Corbin runs out to keep anything from happening, promising to take Shield out with his still unnamed partners. The Dean stuff is interesting, but it seems too early to break up the Shield again.
Finn Balor vs. Jinder Mahal
Preview for next week’s Mixed Match Challenge match so Bayley and Alicia Fox are here as well. Mahal doesn’t even get an entrance here in case you needed more proof of his collapse. An early shot to the ribs takes Balor down and we hit the headlock on the mat. The fans are behind Balor, mainly because the other option is to be behind Mahal. Balor knocks him to the floor and hits the big flip dive as we take a break.
Back with Mahal in control and putting on an abdominal stretch, only to have it broken up in a hurry. Balor makes the comeback but runs into a superkick. That goes absolutely nowhere as Balor hits a Sling Blade but Singh trips him up. Bayley trips Mahal just as fast and the fight is on, including a Bayley to Belly to Sunil Singh. That’s enough of a distraction for Balor to roll Mahal up for the pin at 9:55.
Rating: D+. This was as good as Balor vs. Mahal was going to be when the match was there to set up what will likely be a match focused on the women. As usual, Raw is designed to be a big commercial for whatever else they can find, which is a big reason why the show is harder to sit through as of late. The Mixed Match Challenge match will be fine, but I could go for something a little more interesting than a ten minute commercial.
Post match Mahal and Fox berate Sunil before sitting down and shouting SHANTI.
Video on Ronda Rousey’s Open Challenge from last week and the Riott Squad answering until the Bella Twins made the save.
Riott Squad vs. Natalya/Bella Twins
Liv and Nikki start things off with Nikki running her over, because Nikki is a star or something. It’s off to Brie for the YES Kicks….and one of them hits Liv in the face, seemingly knocking her cold. Brie almost has to drag her to the corner for the tag off to Logan, because Brie is somehow managing to screw up LIFTING HER LEG INTO THE SAME PLACE OVER AND OVER.
Liv is finally good enough to come back in for a triple suplex to send the Squad out to the floor as we take a break. Back with Morgan gone to the trainer’s room and Logan catapulting Brie into a forearm from Riott. A double hair takedown takes Brie and Logan down, allowing the hot tag to Natalya. House is cleaned but Riott tags herself in to break up the Sharpshooter, setting up the Riott Kick to finish Natalya at 10:27.
Rating: D-. So aside from Brie kicking Liv in the face and knocking her silly (egads man), this was a bad match with no real flow and an ending only designed to set up the six woman tag at Super Show-Down. I’m sure glad we spent months building the Squad up so they can be used to get the oh so precious Nikki set up for her match with Rousey, which the world is just dying to see.
The roster is on the stage as HHH and Stephanie are in the ring for the Connor’s Cure segment. Some kids are brought out and presented with title belts and a big check is presented to Connor’s Cure from a Hyundai charity.
Ziggler comes up to Ambrose in the back to ask where the rest of the Shield was when Dean was out for nine months. Dean just needs to watch what happens tonight.
Chad Gable vs. Konnor
Gable thinks he should just ask what Bobby Roode would do, and that means BE GLORIOUS. Konnor promises carnage and pounds away to start as we’re in the chinlock thirty seconds after the bell. Gable’s armbar over the ropes and a dropkick to the knee have Konnor in trouble, followed by a German suplex. The moonsault misses but Gable lands on his feet. Konnor runs him over though and grabs a Dominator for the clean pin. OH COME ON ALREADY! We’ve sat through FOUR matches between these teams and now Gable loses to Konnor? To set up what better be Roode’s heel turn? This is the best they have???
Stephanie and HHH are leaving when HHH says if Undertaker is worried about HHH wearing a suit, he’s already lost the fight. For Undertaker, the end is near.
Tag Team Titles: Dolph Ziggler/Drew McIntyre vs. Revival
Revival is challenging and get a jobber entrance. Ziggler shoves Dawson into the corner to start so Dawson takes over off a wristlock. Wilder comes in but gets to deal with McIntyre, who takes him back into the corner. It’s already back to Ziggler as the fast start continues. Ziggler gets caught in the corner and Wilder adds a slingshot clothesline for two. The running DDT is countered into the Rings of Saturn but Ziggler rolls over into a cradle.
Back up and a crossbody puts both guys on the floor in a big crash. Ziggler avoids a charge to send Wilder into the steps and it’s McIntyre getting two off a suplex as we take a break. We come back with Dawson getting the hot tag and hitting a leg lariat of all things to drop Ziggler. A tiger driver gets two and a PowerPlex (sweet) is good for the same with McIntyre making the save.
The Fameasser is countered into an electric chair for a Doomsday Device (dang they’re opening the playbook this week) as the fans are way into this. Ziggler slips out of something and brings McIntyre back in for the power. A powerslam is broken up with a dropkick to the back and Wilder falls on top for two. It’s quickly back to Ziggler though and the Claymore into the Zig Zag retains the titles at 12:38.
Rating: B-. Revival was trying to get noticed out here and while that’s not likely to happen, I can certainly appreciate the effort. Ziggler and McIntyre retaining wasn’t much of a secret but at least they had some fun out there and gave us a good match. It’s so weird seeing Revival as the de facto faces but they pulled the role off quite well.
Here’s Elias in front of what looks like a talk show set. Since we’re in Denver, Elias is going to pass this off to Kevin Owens for the Kevin Owens Show. Owens is excited to team with Elias to face John Cena and Elias at Super Show-Down but there’s someone else Owens wants to address. That would be his guest this week: Lio Rush, who Owens says can just walk to the ring instead of flipping and diving. Owens pulls out a booster seat, which Rush laughs off by bringing out Lashley.
Bobby Lashley vs. Elias
Well that wasn’t much of a talk show. Lashley throws him down to start and then does it again for good measure. Elias manages a headlock to slow things down so Lashley runs him over. A crossbody and side slam give Lashley two so Elias gets smart by taking out the knee. Said leg is wrapped around the post as Rush continues the hype. A leglock keeps Lashley down and Elias is getting frustrated when it only gets two. Lashley is back up with a clothesline to the floor but Elias takes the knee out again and we take a break.
Back with Elias working on a half crab until Lashley sends him outside. A Downward Spiral gets two back inside and Lashley’s knee is fine enough for the delayed suplex. The spear puts them both on the floor as Owens chases Rush, eventually kneeing Lashley in the face for the DQ at 13:12.
Rating: D+. Not great here, and I have no idea why I’m supposed to be worried about Cena and Lashley having trouble with Elias and Owens. Rush and Lashley are a good pairing and there’s some potential for comedy with Cena and Rush. That being said, there’s potential for all of these guys and none of it has gone anywhere in a long time. Maybe Owens can quit again to get some of the spark back.
Post match Owens goes after Rush but Lashley makes a save.
Rollins comes up to McIntyre in the back and asks why McIntyre isn’t getting his own singles titles. I wonder that every day. Rollins leaves and Ziggler comes up, with McIntyre telling him not to worry about it.
Kevin Hart is in a movie about being a teacher so Alicia Fox teaches him a few things. This is really not funny.
Nia Jax vs. Alicia Fox
Ember Moon, Alexa Bliss and Mickie James are all here. Fox is scared to start so Jax makes it better by throwing her to the floor. Back in and a quick neckbreaker gives Fox two and it’s off to the chinlock. That lasts as long as you would expect so Fox throws some forearms, only to charge into the Samoan drop for the pin at 2:56. The finish was almost all of Jax’s offense.
Ziggler asks Dean what’s going on and brings up Seth stabbing Dean in the back before.
Video on HHH vs. Undertaker.
Shawn Michaels will be here next week.
Shield vs. Baron Corbin/???/???
The partners are of course the AOP, because who else was it going to be? Braun, Dolph and Drew come out to watch, all with their own chairs. Ambrose and Corbin start things off with Dean actually taking it to the mat so Rollins can come in for a double suplex. Corbin hands it off to Akam so the Authors can run everyone over. Reigns gets to face Rezar, who talks a lot of trash and then gets hit in the face.
A few more shots put Rezar down but he pops back up to Reigns’ shock. The Shield clears the ring so here come Strowman and company with the chairs for a distraction. The Authors beat them down and Corbin gets two off a chokeslam as we take a break. Back with Reigns dropping Corbin in a Samoan style so Rollins can come back in to speed things up. The Blockbuster gets two on Akam but Drake Maverick offers a distraction so Corbin can low bridge Rollins to the floor.
We hit the neck crank from Rezar and an elbow runs him over for good measure. Corbin comes in and runs Reigns off the apron in a smart move but the delay lets Rollins hit a Sling Blade. Everything breaks down and Reigns takes a Last Chapter on the floor. Deep Six gets two on Rollins but he’s able to get out of the side slam/double stomp combination.
The hot tag brings in Ambrose to clean house until Akam crotches him on top. Ambrose is fine enough for a jumping neckbreaker on Corbin but Reigns has to break up the Last Chapter. The Stomp hits Corbin and Rollins hits a suicide dive, leaving Dean to hit Dirty Deeds on Corbin. Ambrose dives onto Akam, leaving Reigns to spear Corbin for the pin at 19:14.
Rating: C+. Pretty standard six man tag here though nothing too bad. Seeing Shield all together is almost always fun and that was the case here, though I could have gone for the Authors having a more dominant venture into the main event scene. At least Corbin took the fall, which was the only way this should have ended.
Post match Ambrose looks at Strowman and company before heading back inside for the fist pose to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. Raw is the land of feast or famine. If you’re in the main event, you have a story going, motivations and everything else you could need. Outside of that though, you’re lucky to get TV time and if you’re Gable, you’re wondering where it all went wrong. This show has gone falling off a cliff in recent weeks with the build either being focused on everything else or nothing at all and that’s a hard trick to pull off. It’s certainly not the worst it’s ever been, but there needs to be a switch back to a better path in a hurry before things get even worse.
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