Monday Night Raw
Date: October 14, 2019
Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Dio Maddin, Vic Joseph
It’s time for another big episode here, because we just can’t have a regular show these days. This time around it’s the second night of the Draft and that means maybe we can find out how WWE can manage to screw it up again. They’ve gotten really good at that in recent weeks and there is no reason to believe they won’t do it again. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the Fiend vs. Seth Rollins, including everything that happened at Hell In A Cell. Normally I would say “they’re really just moving on like that wasn’t a big deal” but of course they are, because WWE knows that they can get away with it, which they of course will, even running another Cell show next year and talking it up as the ultimate evil which it hasn’t been in the better part of twenty years. Nothing ever changes, which is the biggest problem around here.
Here is Becky Lynch for a chat. She’s proud to be the #1 overall draft pick but it turns out that Sasha Banks isn’t here because of the beating Becky gave her in the Cell. We have a replacement on hand though and it’s a woman Becky just can’t get away from. She’s ready to rip an arm off though so let’s do this.
Charlotte comes out and says maybe she can be drafted to Raw so they can fight forever. She doesn’t want the people to think she’s selfish though because she doesn’t even want to fight Becky. Instead, she would rather the two of them be friends again. Then she hits Becky in the face again and the fight is on in the corner. Referees break it up and we take a break before the opening bell.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
Non-title, the winner’s show gets the first pick. They slug it out to start with Becky’s forearms beating Charlotte’s chops, only to have Charlotte pull her down by the hair. We hit the figure four necklock, complete with some faceplants to send Becky into the mat. Back up and Charlotte forearms her in the back of the head, only to get dropkicked down. Becky sends her to the apron and then kicks her to the floor but gets posted as we take a break.
We come back with Becky hitting some clotheslines, plus a missile dropkick for two. Charlotte shrugs it off and grabs a Boston crab before switching to a failed Figure Four attempt. Becky’s middle rope forearm misses though and Charlotte hits Natural Selection for two more. A big boot gets another two so it’s time to go for the leg. Becky kicks her into the buckle for two off a rollup and the middle rope legdrop gets the same. Charlotte gets in a spear but Becky crucifixes her ala Wrestlemania, meaning Charlotte’s shoulder is up as the referee counts the pin at 14:43.
Rating: B-. I’m thinking Becky needs to drop the crucifix as she can’t keep shoulders down no matter what she does. The match itself was the usual good back and forth stuff between these two, though Charlotte is absolutely right about these two fighting each other so many times that it stops having any impact.
We explain the Draft rules.
Seth Rollins is happy that it’s Draft night and he’s ready to keep things going with Bray Wyatt. He isn’t happy with what he did in the Cell but he isn’t ashamed of it either. Tonight, he’ll find Wyatt and end this by burning it down. That would imply there is something positive that can be burned and that is not the case here.
Jim Cramer of Mad Money (a stock show) goes over draft picks.
We see the War Rooms again and…..yeah the overacting is still strong.
Here’s Stephanie McMahon for the first round picks:
Raw – Seth Rollins
Smackdown – Brock Lesnar
Raw – Charlotte
Smackdown – New Day
Raw – Andrade/Zelina Vega
The expert panel (Samoa Joe, Renee Young, Booker T., Beth Phoenix) talks about the picks.
Andrade vs. Ali
On the way to the ring, Zelina Vega talks about how everyone on Raw will learn to suffer a loss to Andrade. Joined in progress with Ali hitting a dropkick but getting crushed in the corner. Andrade shoves him off the top and out to the floor in a heap so the posing can begin. Ali gets sent shoulder first into the post and then the arm gets bent around the rope for a bonus.
As the armbar goes on, we get breaking news: THERE WILL BE A NEW FIREFLY FUN HOUSE TONIGHT. That’s uh, quite the huge story there commentators. The arm gets bent over the top rope this time but Andrade misses a charge and falls out to the floor. Vega offers a distraction so Ali jumps over her for the big flip dive. The referee distraction lets Zelina hurricanrana Ali from the apron, setting up the hammerlock DDT to finish Ali at 5:48.
Rating: C. This was an extended squash as Ali continues to go nowhere in WWE after a big debut. I get that it happens to a lot of people but it can be a little saddening when someone shows that much heart in their matches. On the other hand, Andrade is someone who has seemed ready to move up to the next level for a long time now and maybe this is his chance after a long time waiting around.
Raw – Kabuki Warriors
Smackdown – Daniel Bryan
Raw – Rusev
Smackdown – Bayley
Raw – Aleister Black
It is made clear that the Women’s Tag Team Titles will still be defended on both shows. So they’re already having loopholes in the thing.
The Saturday Night Live guys from the Wrestlemania battle royal talk about how awesome this is. I refuse to believe that these things have any kind of a significant impact on the show’s audience as I would hope that people aren’t that dense.
Raw Tag Team Titles: Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode vs. Viking Raiders
The Raiders are challenging and start fast with a running dropkick into the corner. Roode gets sent to the floor for a dive and a top rope splash gets two on Ziggler with Roode making a save. Ziggler gets back up with a chop block to Erik and a posting makes it even worse. Something that was supposed to be a Zig Zag sends Erik into the timekeeper’s area and we take a break.
Back with Erik fighting out of a chinlock but a pull of his beard breaks up the hot tag attempt. Roode dropkicks the knee out and Ziggler adds the elbow drop. A few shoves are enough to annoy Erik, who forearms the heck out of Ziggler for the double knockdown. It’s off to Ivar for the house cleaning as everything breaks down.
The Zig Zag/spinebuster combination gets two on Erik and a Fameasser gets the same. Ziggler avoids a charge to send Erik into the post and it’s a superkick into the Glorious DDT for two with Ivar making a save. Ivar hits a double handspring elbow to both champs and it’s the Viking Experience to Ziggler for the pin and the titles at 12:06.
Rating: C-. Well that was about….forever overdue. The Raiders have been one of the most dominant teams in years and it made little sense to leave them on the sidelines or toiling against nothing teams while a makeshift team like Roode and Ziggler held the titles. The match was a little boring at times, but the right team won and that’s what matters most.
NHL analysts talk about wrestlers making good hockey players.
The War Raiders are ready to defend their titles. They list off the titles they have won before, including the IWGP and Ring of Honor titles. The raid is here.
Raw – Cedric Alexander
Smackdown – Shinsuke Nakamura with Sami Zayn
Raw – Humberto Carrillo
Smackdown – Ali
Raw – Erick Rowan
Aleister Black vs. Eric Young
Young goes straight at him to start but has to bail to the floor to avoid Black Mass. Back in and some kicks to the chest set up the dragon sleeper (the Dark Ritual) to finish Young at 1:36.
Raw – Buddy Murphy
Smackdown – Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode
Raw – Jinder Mahal
Smackdown – Carmella
Raw – R-Truth
The Street Profits are glad to be on Raw when the OC comes up. They could be better hosts of Raw and the beatdown is on with the Profits being left laying.
Ricochet vs. Shelton Benjamin
Ricochet hits the dropkick to start so Shelton snaps off the belly to back suplex to send him outside. Back in and a big boot takes Ricochet down and we hit the chinlock with a bodyscissors. Ricochet fights back up with a kick to the face and a springboard clothesline. The 450 is broken up but Ricochet flips over him from the top and this the Recoil for the pin at 4:45.
Rating: D+. Ricochet has as much potential as anyone in WWE at the moment and it would be nice to see him get a big push on Raw. That being said, I’m not sure how you put him on Raw when he belongs on a bigger stage like Smackdown. Maybe he’ll have a better chance to shine on Raw though and that’s what matters in the end.
Video on Tyson Fury.
Lana is getting a massage at a spa. She likes the deeper rubs, so here’s Lashley to handle the rest. Rusev was never as good as he is so the towel is removed and she flips over so Lashley can get the other side.
It’s time for the contract signing between Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury. Jerry Lawler recaps everything and brings the two of them out for the big staredown. Strowman talks about how big of an ego that Fury has and that’s why he was at the premiere of Smackdown. He isn’t letting Fury use him to advance his career so he’ll beat him at Crown Jewel.
Fury says he isn’t out of his element in any ring and Strowman will be looking up at him after Fury knocks him out. They stand up and Fury snaps the pen before leaving. Fury is a good promo but Strowman is still one of those forced promos where the writers have to get in their lines that they think sound good because they don’t know how humans communicate with each other.
Al Roker talks about changes in the company like it’s a weather report.
Raw – Samoa Joe
Smackdown – The Miz (the FOX war room lets off confetti)
Raw – Akira Tozawa
Smackdown – King Corbin
Raw – Shelton Benjamin
So to clarify, the pecking order in WWE goes Humberto Carrillo, Samoa Joe, the Miz, Akira Tozawa, King Corbin.
Buddy Murphy vs. Cedric Alexander
Well it worked on 205 Live. Cedric spins out of a wristlock to start so Murphy does the same as neither can get anywhere. Murphy is smart enough to pull him down by the hair so they take turns sweeping the legs until we get a staredown. An elbow to Cedric’s head sets up a whip into the middle buckle, followed by a drop onto the top turnbuckle for a fall to the floor.
Back from a break with Murphy kneeing him in the face to block the springboard Downward Spiral. Murphy hits the big flip dive and the top rope Meteora gets two. Cedric is right back with a shot to the face and the suicide dive to the floor. Back in and the springboard Downward Spiral connects this time around but Murphy catches him with a kick in the corner. The Powerbomb out of the corner sets up Murphy’s Law for the pin at 9:06.
Rating: C+. Yeah this was entertaining like their previous matches were, though it still isn’t enough to make me believe that WWE is going to push either of them with anything that sticks. Cedric came close but then was put in his place by AJ and the OC while Murphy just vanished after a few weeks of what looked like a huge push. Hopefully it’s different this time around, but I can’t bring myself to believe it.
Crown Jewel rundown, including Seth Rollins defending against the Fiend in a Falls Count Anywhere match.
The Street Profits are ready for the OC and want the smoke.
Hosts of the NBC Premiere League show compare chants from both sets of fans.
The final picks:
Raw – Rey Mysterio
Smackdown – Shorty Gable
Raw – Titus O’Neil
Smackdown – Elias
Raw – Liv Morgan
The expert panel talks again.
Kabuki Warriors vs. Natalya/???
Non-title. Natalya has been asked to pick a partner so she has picked someone who has taken her to the limit. Say it with me: Lacey Evans. I actually laughed because this match might miss the point more than anything since….well since the end of Rollins vs. Wyatt really, though that doesn’t make this any better.
Joined in progress with Lacey in trouble and being knocked outside for a spinning backfist from Kairi. Back in and Kairi hits her in the face again, allowing Asuka to come in for some Kawada kicks. Lacey fights up and makes the ice cold tag to Natalya, who snaps off a release German suplex to Asuka. A kneebar has Natalya in trouble but she rolls through, only to get rolled up by Asuka for two each.
The Sharpshooter has Asuka in trouble until Sane makes the save with a bulldog. Asuka’s hip attack sends Natalya to the floor and we take a break. Back with Natalya fighting out of Asuka’s Octopus Hold and scoring with a basement dropkick. Asuka breaks up the hot tag attempt and ties up the leg while pulling the arm back (kind of the first half of a surfboard crossed with half of a camel clutch).
That’s broken up so Asuka grabs a regular armbar as the fans are eerily silent. Sane comes back in for a double suplex for two and we hit the chinlock. These women were sent out there to die and they are achieving it to near perfection. Natalya muscles her up for a suplex and makes the hot tag to Lacey to clean house.
The slingshot Bronco Buster into the slingshot dropkick rocks Sane for two but Lacey gets caught in the corner. Sane hits an Alberto top rope double stomp for no count as Natalya makes the fast save. The sliding forearm hits Lacey in the corner and Asuka tags herself in. The Woman’s Right knocks Sane out on her feet but Asuka rolls Lacey up for the pin at 15:26.
Rating: D-. What in the world was THAT? They set up Lacey as some big partner for Natalya and then they have a match that went on far too long (I was very surprised when they went to a break) where Lacey just gets pinned? No angle, no title hunt, nothing of the sort. It’s like they were experimenting with something and didn’t realize that it was taking place on Raw. On top of that, the match was incredibly boring with one hold after another as we waited on Lacey Evans, who we’re now supposed to cheer for, to get the hot tag. This feels like they tried something and forgot the ending, leaving it as a total mess.
It’s time for the Firefly Fun House to end the show. Bray thinks Rollins is smart but the Fiend never forgets. Ramblin Rabbit says Rollins is on his way but Wyatt doesn’t think much of it. Rollins comes in and jumps Wyatt from behind so the beatdown is on (with the friends freaking out in a nice little touch). Seth breaks the pictures but Bray gets up and asks why Seth is doing this.
They go through a wall off camera and Rollins gets an evil look on his face. He says burn it down….and then lights Bray’s table on fire. The wall catches fire and the pictures burn as the Fiend starts to laugh to end the show. I mean, the character was in trouble anyway so they might as well get rid of the thing. Then again, odds are he’ll find a way back before losing to Rollins (again) in Saudi Arabia.
Overall Rating: D. Maybe it was the extra hour but this had most of the same problems that Smackdown had yet felt even longer. The picks make next to no sense in places (Carrillo over Mysterio, Corbin, Samoa Joe and Miz?), the War Room stuff was still stupid and the wrestling was just something they threw out there to stretch out the shows.
In a way this felt like a go home show, as it isn’t this week that matters, but what you’re seeing set up this week. The fans were completely done with this show after about an hour and can you blame them? It was a bunch of nothing matches, a token title change to make the show seem important, and Stephanie trying to make Akira Tozawa and Liv Morgan sound like important picks. WWE has been doing things like this a lot recently and they need to get back to normal so we can have something enjoyable for a change. This was really bad and I don’t see single branded shows being their big way out.
Becky Lynch b. Charlotte – Crucifix
Andrade b. Ali – Hammerlock DDT
Viking Raiders b. Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler – Viking Experience to Ziggler
Aleister Black b. Eric Young – Dark Ritual
Ricochet b. Shelton Benjamin – Recoil
Buddy Murphy b. Cedric Alexander – Murphy’s Law
Kabuki Warriors b. Lacey Evans/Natalya – Rollup to Evans
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