Monday Night Raw
Date: October 29, 2018
Location: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
It’s the go home show for Crown Jewel and the question now is how they survive the fans not wanting to hear about the show. When Undertaker can’t make mention of the show without being booed out of the building, they’re in serious trouble. Brock Lesnar is here tonight too and that means a lot of Ladies and Gentlemen. Let’s get to it.
We open with the Roman Reigns announcement from last week. Nothing wrong with that.
Here’s Baron Corbin with the Universal Title to say that personally, he wants Reigns to beat leukemia but professionally, he hopes he’s never back on Raw. He likes the feeling of this title on his shoulder…and here are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman to interrupt. Corbin starts hyping up the title match but Heyman cuts him off for stealing his shtick. This Friday, history will be made when the Universal Title goes back on Lesnar’s shoulder where it belongs. That’s a guarantee instead of a prediction and you don’t get that very often.
You know something big is happening in the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup Finals and the Academy Awards, but this time you know for a fact what’s coming. Cue Braun Strowman to say Lesnar is going to get these hands. Corbin tries to separate them and gets powerslammed. Lesnar and Strowman stare each other down until another powerslam leaves Corbin laying. Brock picks up the title and puts it on his shoulder so Corbin gets powerslammed again. That means an F5 for Strowman and Brock poses. Just a hype segment for the title match and it was fine.
We look back at Dean Ambrose turning on Seth Rollins.
Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley
Balor gives Corbin a Too Sweet sign as he’s carried out. I knew it would be Lashley before the announcement because they’ve only done the match once and that means it’s time to do it at least once more the next week. Lio Rush comes out to say that Balor didn’t deserve that win last week because he has way too much false bravado. Maybe Balor can help cheer for Lashley instead of standing there in his leather jacket. Lashley takes him straight into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs and a side slam. The nerve hold goes on as Rush says Lashley smells like money. Does Rush just walk around smelling Lashley?
Balor gets up and dropkicks him to the floor for the big flip dive and they’re both down as we take a break. Back with Balor in trouble and the nerve hold going on again. Balor fights up and punches his way out of a powerbomb attempt, setting up the double stomp to the ribs. Lashley’s spinning Dominator gets two, at least partially because Lashley stops to adjust the headband. The delayed vertical suplex is escaped and the Sling Blade drops Lashley. Rush shoves him off the top to break up the Coup de Grace and the DQ at 8:59.
Rating: C-. I’ll take that over Lashley taking another pin though it’s not like Balor really benefits from this. These two have no direction of note at the moment and it’s a little disappointing that things haven’t picked up a bit with the empty space on top of the card. You would think they might see what sticks up there but having Lashley get pinned one week and then Balor win via DQ the next isn’t going to get them there.
Post match Lashley beats Balor down and Rush gets in a slap. He gets a message on his phone and seems very pleased.
Back from a break, Lashley and Rush go to see a banged up Corbin. He liked seeing Balor get what was coming to him and thinks Lashley should get a reward. Therefore, he’s now in the World Cup of Wrestling, replacing John Cena because he didn’t qualify in the first place.
After Evolution, Becky Lynch interrupted Ronda Rousey after an interview and said she’ll see her soon. They meet at Survivor Series.
Lita/Trish Stratus/Bayley/Sasha Banks/Natalya vs. Riott Squad/Alicia Fox/Mickie James
Alexa Bliss is with the villains. Trish takes Logan down to start and does the same off a flying headlock takeover. She does it to Logan again with a headscissors to Riott at the same time. Lita comes in for a clothesline to Morgan in the corner and the DDT plants Morgan again. It’s too early for the moonsault so Bayley and Banks hit stereo baseball slides and dives off the apron as we take a break.
Back with Fox in trouble as Banks and Trish drop a double elbow. Fox takes over on Banks though and it’s off to Mickie for a chinlock. Notice that Mickie talks a lot of trash during the hold. So many people would just sit there and glare at the camera. It adds a little something and keeps the hold from being so bland, which is a nice little touch. Logan comes in for a chinlock of her own and screams a lot while holding onto Banks.
It’s off to Fox, who gets kicked into the wrong corner, though she manages to knock down everyone but Natalya. That means it’s off to Natalya for a basement dropkick and the discus lariat for two. Everything breaks down and Bayley and Lita hit stereo Twists of Fate, setting up a top rope elbow from Bayley to Morgan and the moonsault to Riott. Lita holds Fox for the Hart Attack clothesline from Natalya (Shouldn’t she be playing the Neidhart role?) for two, followed by the Sharpshooter to make Fox tap at 13:24.
Rating: C. This was straight out of the night after Wrestlemania XXV with Ricky Steamboat in the ten man tag. The legends looked fine (Lita barely ever hit the moonsault that well when she was active) and even one of the modern wrestlers got the win. This was perfectly fine and it’s not like Fox losing is a new thing.
The winners pose and Bayley bows to Trish and Lita.
Nia Jax says she’s cashing in her title shot at some point after Survivor Series. Ember Moon comes in and says she feels like she caught lightning in a bottle last night when she eliminated more people than Nia. That’s not cool with Jax, who thinks she’s being disrespected, so a match is set up for later.
We look at Ambrose turning on Rollins again.
We look at Undertaker and Kane attacking DX at Super Show-Down.
Here’s Elias for a song. He got here early because Ric Flair had been wanting to hang out with him. Flair told him that Elias was his favorite and Elias already knew. As per Flair’s request, here’s a clip of Elias laying out Baron Corbin last week to a rather positive reaction. As much as it hurt him to break one of his Fender guitars, that felt good. Elias has a song for Corbin tonight but since Corbin can’t be out here right now, he’ll take the music to Corbin.
He heads to the back, denies a good looking woman a song, tells a guy to take a cake to his dressing room, and knocks on Corbin’s door. Corbin says go away, but Elias tells him to silence his phone and sings about Corbin being a disappointment and a taller stupider version of Kurt. Corbin comes out and is told that he used to be the lone wolf but now he’s just Stephanie’s….and here’s Jinder Mahal to jump Elias. Their match is next.
Jinder Mahal vs. Elias
Jinder jumps the banged up Elias at the bell and hits a chinlock with a knee in the back. That’s switched to an abdominal stretch for a good while until Elias mule kicks him down. That sets up some clubberin in the corner and Drift Away is good for the pin on Mahal at 4:06.
Rating: D. It’s nice to have Mahal down where he belongs with almost no mention of him being the former WWE Champion in that abomination of an idea. For a first match with Elias on the side of good….it could have been worse. He fought through adversity and won, but putting him in there against Mahal wasn’t the brightest idea in the world. Hopefully the eventual match with Corbin is a little better.
Here are the World Cup brackets:
Video on Kurt Angle.
Angle says everyone better be ready, because he’s coming to prove that he’s still the best in the world.
Ascension vs Bobby Roode/Chad Gable vs. AOP
The other four jump the AOP before the bell and send them into metal objects. Joined in progress after the break with Cole talking about how it’s not clear what’s going to happen to the Tag Team Titles. Roode gets pulled off the apron to break up a hot tag attempt from Gable and Konnor hits a spinebuster for two with Akum making a save. Gable dropkicks Konnor into Akum to send him outside and it’s Rolling Chaos Theory into a neckbreaker to give Roode the pin on Viktor at 1:08.
Post match the AOP destroy all four of them.
Some kids with cancer tell Roman Reigns to get better.
Another look at Ambrose turning on Rollins last week.
Here’s Rollins without the Tag Team Title to thank the fans for all the support they’ve given Reigns. Last week was a crazy night that ended with him winning half of the Tag Team Titles. Then his best friend turned on him and maybe it was Seth’s fault. Maybe Ambrose couldn’t forgive Seth for four years ago when Rollins did the same thing to him.
The only person who can answer that is Dean himself but if Ambrose doesn’t want to be found, he’s not going to be found. However, Rollins knew he could find Ambrose here so if he wants the spotlight so badly, come out here and get it. Ambrose’s music plays but no one comes out. Ambrose pops up in the crowd without saying anything so Seth says at least he faced Dean like a man when he turned his back on him.
Dean comes down a few steps but still won’t say anything. Seth yells about Dean spitting on them on the most emotional night in the history of the Shield. Dean made it all about himself and now he has the spotlight, plus all of Seth’s attention from now on. With nothing being said, Seth goes up the aisle after him but Dean gets out having never said a word. They’ve got something here and watching Dean and Seth tear into each other could be amazing.
Rush talks about how the only thing left for Lashley to accomplish is to be the best in the world.
Video on DX being ready for the Brothers of Destruction.
Nia Jax vs. Ember Moon
Ember wastes no time in trying the Eclipse but Nia pulls her down and drops a big elbow for two. The bearhug goes on and Nia throws her into the corner with no effort. Of course the charge hits the post (it’s an epidemic around here) and Moon flip dives off the middle rope to drop Nia again. Nia is back up anyway and throws Moon inside…but here’s Tamina to interrupt. It doesn’t seem to matter as Nia runs Moon over and drops a leg for the pin at 3:24.
Rating: D. This didn’t have time to go anywhere and now we’re setting up Nia vs. Tamina. I know I get annoyed at Tamina being around but this feud is going to be the worst thing they can do for her because it’s going to showcase the problem: Nia is everything Tamina is supposed to be but better. Nia is bigger, stronger, moves better, has more charisma, isn’t as injury prone, is from the same family and is even younger than Tamina. How in the world am I supposed to be interested in Tamina when there’s a better version across the ring from her?
Tamina and Nia have a post match staredown.
Lucha House Party vs. Revival
It’s Lince Dorado and Kalisto for the House Party here and I’m completely down with this. The tag division needs more teams and there’s always room for a luchador tag team. Kalisto kicks Wilder out of the corner to start as Graves already can’t stand the House Party. Wilder comes back in for a hot shot and belly to back suplex before handing it off to Dawson for a snap suplex. Dawson grabs a Gory Stretch before knocking Dorado off the apron. A little trash talking is a bad idea though as Kalisto hits a springboard Salida Del Sol to finish Dawson at 3:20 as Dorado dives onto Wilder.
Rating: D+. While I shed another tear over the Revival losing to another team, it’s a good idea to send the House Party to the main roster. It’s not like they have anything else to do on 205 Live and with the new names showing up, moving them on is hardly a stretch. Kalisto is a former US Champion so he can certainly hang on the main roster. Makes more than enough sense to me.
Here are Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre for a chat about Crown Jewel, which McIntyre isn’t on. Now that they’ve broken the Shield, Drew is looking at Lesnar vs. Strowman for the Universal Title. Ziggler says that’s cool, but Angle saying he’s going to win the World Cup isn’t so cool. He’s looked up to Angle for most of his life but now things have moved on. Ziggler is the best in WWE and the best in the world so he’s going to steal the show again.
Apollo Crews vs. Dolph Ziggler
Joined in progress with Ziggler charging into an elbow. The jumping clothesline gives Apollo two but he seems a bit shaken up. Ziggler pulls him off the top for a close two but Apollo is up again. That means a very delayed gorilla press into the standing moonsault for two on Ziggler. Apollo takes too long going up again though and the frog splash hits knees. A superkick finishes Apollo at 2:57.
Clip of Undertaker and Kane filling graves in front of tombstones for Shawn and HHH. The tone deafness of this company is amazing at times.
Here are Kane, because running Knoxville is a part time job at best, and Undertaker for the big closing segment. The fans chant for Undertaker, who says it’s not easy to reach the end. But when the reaper calls, no matter how hard you fight, it’s your time to go. I’ll let it sink in that UNDERTAKER is talking about how you have to go when your time is up. Kane says what started as a whisper has now become a deafening cry.
This Friday at Crown Jewel (minor booing), the Brothers will take the battered souls of DX to the firey gates. It will be the end of DX’s error, but that’s on Friday. Tonight, DX is being summoned to the ring right now to have their souls destroyed. Cue HHH (with glow sticks, because WWE can’t decide if this is supposed to be serious or fun) without Shawn so Kane goes up the ramp after him, allowing Shawn to sneak in and superkick Undertaker. DX bails as Undertaker sits up (after going down from something he shouldn’t fall for) to end the show. This was four old guys talking about how old they are like they’ve done for years now.
Overall Rating: D+. This was the hard sell show for Crown Jewel and….it kind of worked. The thing is, the show isn’t that interesting on its own. WWE has hit the brakes on it in a hard way because of all the controversy around it and the card never looked all that great in the first place. There’s a tournament for a prize that seems to have no meaning beyond Friday and four other matches, one of which might not even happen if the rumors about Daniel Bryan are true. That’s not exactly inspiring stuff.
That being said, this show was much more in WWE’s wheelhouse: focusing on one show (announcing Lynch vs. Rousey was a one off segment and didn’t take away any focus from Friday) and hyping it up as hard as they could. That’s been lacking due to Super Show-Down and the Evolution, so it was a necessary thing to do. It’s too little too late to really excite me over the concept, but at least it’s an effort, which is more than they’ve had so far.
Finn Balor b. Bobby Lashley via DQ when Lio Rush interfered
Trish Stratus/Lita/Bayley/Sasha Banks/Natalya b. Riott Squad/Alicia Fox/Mickie James – Sharpshooter to Fox
Elias b. Jinder Mahal – Drift Away
Bobby Roode/Chad Gable b. Ascension and AOP – Rolling Chaos Theory/neckbreaker combination to Viktor
Nia Jax b. Ember Moon – Legdrop
Dolph Ziggler b. Apollo – Superkick
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