Monday Night Raw
Date: November 26, 2018
Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
We’re coming up on TLC and the card is already starting to come into focus. Last week saw two big matches set up and you can imagine some more taking place tonight. We also don’t know any of the big gimmick matches yet, which are often some of the most important things on the show. Let’s get to it.
We open with Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Lio Rush and Drew McIntyre in the ring. They talk about how great their Thanksgiving was, though they didn’t indulge themselves like these common people. They’re all thankful for everything they do, including what they did to Braun Strowman last week.
We see last week’s attack that put Strowman on the shelf and then go to Birmingham, Alabama where Strowman says he’ll be on the shelf for a while. His surgeon has never seen an injury like this before nor worked on an arm this size. He’ll be back though and what happened last week will look like a paper cut compared to what he’s doing to the three of them.
Back in the arena, Corbin is fine with winning via forfeit at TLC and becoming permanent GM. He’s going to remember everyone who didn’t respect him…and there go the lights. It’s Elias time and he runs down the idea of Corbin as permanent GM. Anyone would do a better job, including Rush, even though he would violate some kind of child labor law. This week’s song says little more than Lashley sucks and it’s time for a match after a break. Long promo here that accomplished absolutely nothing. Elias is already collapsing under the weight of bad face jokes.
Elias vs. Bobby Lashley
Corbin, McIntyre and Rush are at ringside. Lashley’s new nickname seems to be the Almighty. I’m sure that’ll work just fine. Elias chops his way out of the corner to start but gets taken down into an early chinlock. Back up and Elias sends him outside, setting up a baseball slide, much to Lashley’s friends’ annoyance. Lashley comes back in and drops Elias with a right hand for a choke with the boot.
The chinlock goes on again until Elias gets sent to the floor. A hard posting has Elias in trouble and we take a break. Back with Elias hitting a running clothesline, followed by the jumping knee. A top rope elbow gets two with Rush pulling the referee out for the DQ at 9:24…or not as Corbin says this is No DQ, which he didn’t get the chance to announce after Elias interrupted him.
Elias fights back but gets pulled to the floor and has to deal with Corbin and McIntyre. It’s time for the guitar but Corbin jumps him from behind. Lashley stomps on the guitar and Corbin chairs Elias out to the floor. A double whip sends him into the barricade as the beatdown just keeps going. McIntyre gets in a great looking shot with a reverse Alabama Slam onto the steps, followed by Lashley hitting the spear. Lashley finally throws him back inside and a gator roll gets the pin at 14:11.
Rating: D. The angle part at the end made this feel way longer than it should have been and that doesn’t work well for a match. It’s a good sign for Elias that he’s getting this kind of treatment, though the latest heel trio isn’t the strongest thing in the world. The show still needs some top faces and having them beaten down like this isn’t helping things.
Post break Corbin fires a production worker for the spotlight on Elias. Alexa Bliss comes up to him and offers her services for anything Corbin might need. Since this is no longer the Attitude Era, Corbin puts her in charge of the women’s division. That would make her the third heel authority figure on this show.
Dean Ambrose was at his doctor’s office earlier today and said he won’t be at the show tonight in the toxic waste dump of Milwaukee. That’s why Rollins was fine with an open challenge for the title tonight because there was no chance Dean would be in the arena. As for tonight, Dean is getting his shots to avoid all the diseases that the fans carry. There is nothing that can wash away Rollins’ sins though and at TLC, Ambrose is putting him out of his misery for good.
Renee Young still won’t talk about what’s up with Dean.
Lucha House Party vs. Revival
In case last week wasn’t enough. Before the match, the Revival talks about the tag team etiquette that the House Party didn’t show last week with their lucha rules. And again, this is under Lucha House Rules, meaning it’s 3-2. Metalik dropkicks Wilder down to start and it’s off to Kalisto to climb onto Dorado’s shoulders for the splash. Dawson comes in for a torture rack kneeling backbreaker, followed by various drops for two. Not that it matters as the luchadors all come in and take over on Dawson, including the Salida Del Sol. The shooting star finishes Dawson off at 2:32 and I want to pummel whoever wrote this nonsense.
We look back at Nia Jax breaking Becky Lynch’s face.
Bayley and Sasha Banks sell stuff for Cyber Monday.
Video on Lars Sullivan.
Here are Nia Jax and Tamina for a chat. Nia says she has a lot to be thankful for this year, mainly being breaking Becky Lynch’s face. That brings her to Ronda Rousey, so we see Jax beating Rousey up at Money in the Bank. Then it was Charlotte beating her up at Survivor Series, leaving Ronda to talk about how hard a champion has to fight. Nia is now on top of the mountain but here’s Rousey to interrupt.
Rousey yells at her about how Nia is from a warrior culture who likes to hit people in the face. She could fight the champ right now, but Jax just got done washing Becky’s crusted blood off her hand. The double teaming seems imminent but Natalya runs in….and gets jumped by the Riott Squad. Rousey makes the save.
We recap the Drake Maverick issue from Survivor Series and ensuing jokes.
Maverick is ready to see the AOP crush Bobby Roode and Chad Gable.
Tag Team Titles: AOP vs. Chad Gable/Bobby Roode
Gable and Roode are challenging. Maverick goes after Roode’s robe and the distraction is enough for Akam to get in a few shots in the corner. Gable comes in with a missile dropkick and the armbreaker over the ropes to keep Rezar in trouble. Maverick now has the robe on and stands on the stage for the GLORIOUS pose as we take a break.
Back with Roode coming in off the hot tag but getting caught in a fall away slam from Akam. A low bridge sends Akam outside though…and we cut to Maverick in the robe in the bathroom where he puts the robe in the toilet and….yeah I think you get the idea. Roode is so distraught that it’s the sitout powerbomb/neckbreaker combination for the pin to retain at 9:04.
Rating: F. Nope.
Alexa comes in to see Banks and Bayley and thinks they need to get to know each other. Banks isn’t happy but Bliss offers them the chance to go to the ring for an open forum from the fans. The two of them aren’t pleased but seem to agree.
Finn Balor is ready to face Baron Corbin tonight.
Ember Moon vs. Alicia Fox
Mixed Match Challenge playoffs preview, with Ember’s new partner….Curt Hawkins. He and Jinder Mahal, with the Singh Brothers, are here as well. Fox kicks her in the face for a very early two and a neckbreaker gets the same. The chinlock doesn’t last long and Moon hits the spinning suplex out of the corner. The Eclipse finishes Fox at 1:53.
Post match Hawkins celebrates like he won in a funny bit. No Way Jose comes out and Ember gets dragged into the conga line and starts dancing because WWE has no idea how she is supposed to work.
No Way Jose vs. Jinder Mahal
Jinder kicks him down to start and it’s off to an early chinlock. Some knee drops keep Jose in trouble and the chinlock goes on again. Jose comes back with a middle rope crossbody and some clotheslines but Mahal drops him across the top rope. The Khallas gives Mahal the pin at 4:27.
Rating: F. A four minute match shouldn’t include two chinlocks. How can your offense be that limited when you’ve been doing this for so many years now? While I don’t think this is the resurgence of Mahal’s career, it’s painful to watch his terrible matches and seeing him win brings back some really harsh memories.
Intercontinental Title: Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
Open challenge and I actually collapsed a bit when I heard the record scratch. Ziggler says he’s going to get back to being the best in the world by becoming champion again. They hit the mat to start and Ziggler can’t quite keep up. Instead Rollins sends him outside and we take a break.
Back with Rollins in trouble and Ziggler ripping at his face. The chinlock goes on, Ziggler chokes on the ropes, and the chinlock goes on again. Ziggler puts on a third chinlock before throwing him outside for a second break. Back again with Rollins making a comeback and hitting the Sling Blade. An enziguri rocks Ziggler and Rollins heads up, only to get crotched back down. He shoves Ziggler down but misses the frog splash, setting up the Fameasser to give Ziggler two.
Ziggler’s jumping DDT is blocked so he settles for two off a small package instead. The sleeper goes on but Rollins drops him back and hits the low superkick for two. Rollins misses the Stomp and walks into the Zig Zag for another near fall. After looking at some fans being excited, Ziggler heads up top but Rollins catches him with the superplex into the Falcon Arrow to retain at 22:45.
Rating: B. It was a good match and I’ll give them some big points for the non-finisher ending, but egads I never need to see these two fight again. The match took a long time to get going but things picked up a lot after the break. I was starting to get into it at the end and that’s the best thing I can say about something on this show. As usual, Rollins is one of the more entertaining people, even if he was out there with Ziggler.
Here’s Bliss to host the open forum with Bayley and Banks. The first question is what would either of them change about the Raw women’s division. Sasha wants to send Bliss back to Smackdown but Bliss asks why Banks has let Bayley drag her down. That goes nowhere though as here are Mickie James, Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke to jump Banks and Bayley (last night Brooke was on the Starrcade special teaming with the two of them). Bayley and Banks clean house with ease anyway.
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
Balor goes straight at him but gets hit in the jaw. Just to get the self parody going. Corbin has a chinlock on less than thirty seconds in. Corbin gets sent outside for a kick to the chest and we take a break. Back with Corbin holding another chinlock and sending Balor into the corner. That means ANOTHER chinlock, followed by a clothesline, followed by the fourth chinlock in less than ten minutes. This isn’t the kind of thing you want in a featured match.
Deep Six looks to set up the End of Days but Balor is right back with the shotgun dropkick. The Coup de Grace misses though and Corbin grabs a mic, making it a 2-1 handicap match with Drew McIntyre joining him. Balor flip dives onto McIntyre and dropkicks Corbin into the timekeeper’s area but McIntyre jumps him from behind. The Claymore is good for the pin on Balor at 13:25.
Rating: D-. Corbin is just so bad in the ring and this was more of the same heel abuse of power stuff that we’ve seen for the better part of forever. Balor was just cannon fodder here and the match was bad because they let Corbin run things instead of doing anything exciting. Terrible main event.
Post match Lashley comes out for the triple beatdown to end the show. At least McIntyre seems to be away from Ziggler now and that’s some of the only good news on this show.
Overall Rating: F. As I said earlier, nope. This was a complete wreck of a show with about 1947 chinlocks and one terrible match after another. They were doing every warmed over leftover that they could find here. Rollins vs. Ziggler again. Corbin vs. Balor again. Jinder Mahal still being employed again. The heel authority figure that we’ve seen for TWENTY YEARS NOW again, and this time he spawned a new heel authority figure.
I guess it’s WWE’s version of a greatest hits show as they just do the same things they’ve done all year and present it like it’s new. Hopefully Christmas comes early this year so they can be asked to do something more interesting come Rumble time. Like Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman! Again!
Bobby Lashley b. Elias – Gator roll
Lucha House Party b. Revival – Shooting star press to Dawson
AOP b. Chad Gable/Bobby Roode – Sitout powerbomb/neckbreaker combination to Roode
Ember Moon b. Alicia Fox – Eclipse
Jinder Mahal b. No Way Jose – Khallas
Seth Rollins b. Dolph Ziggler – Falcon Arrow
Baron Corbin/Drew McIntyre b. Finn Balor – Claymore
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