Monday Night Raw
Date: October 11, 2021
Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
We’re less than two weeks away from Crown Jewel and last week, Smackdown added a Hell in the Cell match to the card. That could mean Raw needs to add a huge match of its own, but you never can tell with these things. Hopefully this show can add a nice feeling to the Queen’s Crown Tournament, as the Smackdown matches were nearly insulting last week. Let’s get to it.
Here is Drew McIntyre, with his sword, to get things going. He thinks it’s a fun idea that the Scottish Warrior is kicking it off in the home of the Warriors and welcomes us to the show. Drew runs down the Crown Jewel card and says he’ll be winning the WWE Title in the match everyone is going to be talking about. McIntyre has a story from earlier today but here is Big E. to interrupt.
Big E. talks about the sweet nectar of being champion dripping down his chin and between his nipples. While Drew may be a specimen, he is not going to take the title from him. Drew can get to moving, or stay on the tracks and get run over. That makes Drew chuckle and he talks about how Big E. remembers what it means to win the title because it wasn’t that long ago. Drew is a two time champion who held the title for over 300 days, but he is still looking for his moment. That moment is coming at Crown Jewel and there is nothing Big E. can do about it.
Cue the Usos to say they’re hyped up for the match and that the Bloodline is in their city. They know that Roman Reigns is going to beat Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel, but who is he facing at Survivor Series? Either way, they think that Reigns is going to take the WWE Title and add it to his trophy case. The Usos go to leave but Big E. calls them back, with the challenge being set for tonight. A double superkick drops McIntyre and Big E.
Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston are in the back and have no comment about the idea of facing each other in the King of the Ring. Good thing they were there for that non-answer and not out there to help chase off their longtime rivals the Usos, who have titles they might want and just attacked their best friend.
King of the Ring First Round: Xavier Woods vs. Ricochet
Kofi Kingston is here with Woods and all three of them admire the crown. Feeling out process to start with neither being able to get very far. Woods knocks him to the apron and breaks up a springboard to bring Ricochet right back down. That means Woods can go up top, with Ricochet walking over for a top rope superplex and a heck of a crash to leave both guys in trouble as we take a break.
Back with Ricochet dropping Woods again and getting two off a backsplash. Woods manages to send Ricochet ribs first into the ropes though, setting up a stomp to the back and a middle rope legdrop for two. Back up and Ricochet grabs a fireman’s carry for a rolling Death Valley Driver and a kick to the face. Woods is smart enough to roll outside, only to have Ricochet hit a huge flip dive over the post to take Woods down again. Back in and Ricochet nails a suicide shoulder. Make it an attempt at a pair but this time Woods sends him into the barricade two. Back in and the rope walk elbow finishes Ricochet at 10:45.
Rating: B-. As much as I don’t like seeing Ricochet lose, I do like seeing Woods getting a chance to do his own thing. Woods has been obsessed with winning the tournament over the last few months and it makes sense to go with that. If nothing else, Woods has never gotten any singles glory so even a nice run in the tournament would be more than he usually gets.
We recap RKBro fighting with AJ Styles/Omos last week.
Riddle comes up to Randy Orton and says he has challenged Omos to a match tonight. Riddle says he was following Orton’s example from last week because he thinks of Orton as a mentor. Orton says there is no plan because fighting Omos one on one isn’t a good idea. Tonight, Riddle is on his own. Riddle thinks “no plan” is the plan and knows he’ll see Orton out there later. With Riddle gone, Orton sighs a bit.
Cedric Alexander/Shelton Benjamin vs. Mustafa Ali/Mansoor
Ali slips a bit while backflipping out of an atomic drop so it’s off to Mansoor, who kicks Alexander in the face. Everything breaks down and Alexander Michinoku Drivers Ali for the pin at 1:22.
Post match Mansoor goes to help Ali up but gets shoved back down.
We recap Shayna Baszler’s recent path of destruction, with Doudrop saving Dana Brooke’s arm last week.
Queen’s Crown Tournament First Round: Dana Brooke vs. Shayna Baszler
In case last week’s squash wasn’t enough. Brooke gets powered into the corner to start but fights back with some right hands in another corner. The Kirifuda Clutch is countered into some rollups for two on Baszler but she is back with a knee to the face for the pin at 1:25. So yeah, somehow after the complaints over the Smackdown matches not getting time, they managed to make this one even shorter.
Charlotte doesn’t care about the tournament because she only cares about herself. Tonight she is in a match with a bunch of women who can’t walk the walk, because Charlotte is the greatest ever. This was also longer than the tournament match.
Riddle vs. Omos
Before the match, Riddle talks about how he has been thinking lately, which is something he does a lot. He was the one with the idea of Brogurt, but it is clear Omos has been on the brotein. Riddle forgets what he is talking about, which probably happens to everyone at some point. Riddle: “OK RANDY NOW!” Singing Orton’s song doesn’t work either so AJ Styles says Riddle is just stalling, as everyone can see. Riddle: “RANDY! RANDY! RANDY!”
The bell rings so Riddle drops to the floor to kick away at AJ, leaving Omos to pull him back inside. A corner splash sets up the chokeslam to cover Riddle, but AJ says not so fast. AJ wants to see some of the martial arts Omos learned in second grade, so we see Omos kicking him in the head. AJ calls for two replays and then the chokebomb finishes Riddle at 2:29.
Post match Orton’s music hits but there is no Orton. AJ even turns around to see if Orton is running in and then sends Omos outside to watch. Somehow Orton gets inside anyway and hits the RKO on Styles.
We recap the opening segment.
Drew McIntyre comes up to Big E. to yell about what happened. Big E. thinks they need to get on the same page. For one night only, they’ll let bygones be bygones. Drew agrees, thinking that Roman Reigns is scared of them. Big E. talks about his nipples before we get a mock Mega Powers handshake. I have no idea why Drew waited 45 minutes to find Big E. and have this chat.
Here’s Bobby Lashley to look at a recap of his feud with Goldberg. Back in the arena, Lashley asks if fans saw Goldberg talking about ending Lashley’s life. Lashley talks about how that is a horrible thing to a father and how he is a man who defended the WWE Title for half a year. Or would you rather cheer for a guy in cutoff sleeves screaming about MURDER? Lashley talks about how the match at Crown Jewel has to be No Holds Barred because Goldberg is a bit crazy. Goldberg can’t beat him, and he certainly can’t kill the Almighty.
Bianca Belair doesn’t want to hear about Bianca Belair because she is the blueprint of greatness. Tonight she’s beating Charlotte and then winning the Smackdown Women’s Title at Crown Jewel.
Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Theory
Hardy sends him into the corner to start and scores with a middle rope ax handle. The Twisting Stunner is blocked early on and Theory hits a rolling dropkick. The armbar goes on….and it’s time for the 24/7 Title chase, because presenting a potential future star in Theory isn’t as important as a comedy title. With that waste of time out of the way, Hardy does his usual but misses the Swanton, allowing Theory to roll him up (with pants) for the pin at 2:06. That’s a huge relief after where it felt like they were going.
We recap the non-contract signing from Smackdown.
Bianca Belair remembers beating Sasha Banks at Wrestlemania and she is never forgetting what Becky Lynch did to her at Summerslam.
King of the Ring First Round: Jinder Mahal vs. Kofi Kingston
Before the match, Xavier Woods and Kofi still can’t talk about a potential match between the two of them. Veer, Shanky and Woods are here too. Mahal takes him down to start and stomps away in the corner but Kofi hurricanranas him to the floor. The middle rope trust fall drops Mahal again and we take a break.
Back with Kofi hitting the SOS but landing on the back of his own head for a scary landing. Kofi is good to continue so Mahal hits a gutbuster for two before taking Kofi up top. That’s broken up and Kofi’s top rope splash to the back gets two. Kofi loads up Trouble in Paradise but has to deal with everyone brawling outside. The top rope ax handle misses though, allowing Mahal to hit the Khallas for the pin at 9:00.
Rating: C. I can see both sides of this, as while it is annoying to have Mahal win anything, a battle between the New Day members should be something that matters. Throwing them out there on a week’s notice in a semifinal match would be a big waste so Mahal winning here was the right call. Assuming they don’t do something crazy like having Mahal advance to the finals, this was their best move.
Becky Lynch promises to leave Crown Jewel with the title.
Becky Lynch/Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks/Charlotte
Becky’s entrance now has a huge 3D image of herself looking over her sunglasses to send terror into your dreams. It’s a huge brawl before the bell and a bunch of referees come down to yell at everyone. Charlotte loads up the moonsault but gets broken up, with Belair tossing Banks onto the other two. Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville come out to yell as well and say the match is happening.
Back from a break and the bell rings so Charlotte and Banks can trade some standing switches. A wheelbarrow drops Banks but she kicks Charlotte in the face. Belair and Becky come in with Bianca working on the arm, but Banks doesn’t seem happy to be coming back in. Becky avoids Belair’s middle rope ax handle but Belair is right back with a suplex. Banks knocks Belair down but Charlotte tags herself in as Becky tries the Disarm-Her. Charlotte yells at Becky to get out so Banks gives Charlotte the Backstabber. Belair comes back in to clean house, including on her own partner, so the referee throws it out at 3:39.
Rating: C-. This existed for the sake of being able to say it existed, which isn’t quite what I had in mind when I saw it announced. That being said, it was looking like Charlotte was going to win a match over the three people fighting for a title next week so this could have been a lot more annoying. I’m over the partners who are about to fight each other trope, but we have another version of it for later tonight so I can’t get that annoyed yet.
Post match Belair can’t hit the KOD on Becky so Banks takes Belair down. The Manhandle Slam and Backstabber are both countered until Becky kicks Banks in the face and gets the Slam to leave her laying.
We recap the opening sequence.
The Usos are on the phone with Roman Reigns and tell him not to worry. Tonight, their job is to complete the mission.
Queen’s Crown Tournament First Round: Doudrop vs. Natalya
Natalya slaps her in the face to start but a headlock doesn’t get Natalya very far. Doudrop misses a backsplash though and gets caught in the abdominal stretch. That’s broken up as well and Doudrop misses the Cannonball. Natalya’s discus lariat gets two so she tries the Sharpshooter, which is countered into a small package to give Doudrop the pin at 3:04.
Rating: D+. It shouldn’t be a celebration when they break three minutes but that is where we are with this thing. Doudrop beating Natalya to set up the match with Shayna Baszler isn’t a bad idea, but it’s kind of sad seeing Doudrop as the dancing woman already. You knew it was coming, but it doesn’t make things that much better.
John Morrison is meditating when Nikki Ash and Rhea Ripley come up. He’s trying to get ready to expand his mind because there is a lot in there. They think that’s cool but once they leave, they admit they have no idea what he’s talking about. This is something WWE decided was worthy of time on this show.
Austin Theory photo bombs a warming up Big E.
Mustafa Ali yells at Mansoor, saying Mansoor only wants to dance and make friends. Ali has had his back but he should have told him the truth from day one: he is a loser and NOTHING. With Ali gone, Mansoor says he’ll talk to him later but Ali comes back in and jumps him from behind.
Big E./Drew McIntyre vs. Usos
Non-title. Big E. powers Jimmy into the corner without much effort to start and we get the non-New Day version of the Unicorn Stampede. Drew suplexes Jimmy for two but Big E. gets caught in the wrong corner so the Usos can make a wish. The chinlock goes on for a bit before Big E. makes the comeback. That’s broken up as well and Big E. is sent into the steps as we take a break.
Back with Big E. still in trouble but suplexing his way out of the corner. That’s enough for the hot tag to McIntyre for the house cleaning, including a spinebuster for two on Jimmy. The double superkick gets two on McIntyre but he’s right back up with the jumping neckbreaker.
The Claymore is loaded up but Big E. tags himself in (as McIntyre did last week), only to get superkicked down for two. Jey misses the Superfly Splash but counters the Big Ending as well. Drew gets knocked off the apron though and now the Big Ending connects, only to have Drew break up the pin. The fight is on and Big E. is counted out at 15:12 as the brawl continues.
Rating: C+. Better match than the tag match with a similar story and the Reigns factor looming over everything helps, but I’m so sick of this tag team deal. It’s one of WWE’s favorites and they run it so frequently, as the idea of diminishing returns continues to be lost on this company. That being said, there was good action and they went with the smart finish so it could have been much worse.
Post match the Usos jump Big E. and McIntyre and load up the announcers’ table. McIntyre (busted open) and Big E. fight back and get inside, where McIntyre hits the Claymore to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. There was some good stuff on here, but egads the bad things dragged it back down. I’m rarely a fan of setting up two shows at once, but they have already started on the main event of Survivor Series (which must be champion vs. champion, due to reasons of “well, that’s what we do”) without getting Crown Jewel out of the way first. They didn’t officially add anything to the card tonight, though I think you can pencil in Ali vs. Mansoor, as you have been able to do for a few months now.
The biggest problem here though is the Queen’s Crown. The four first round matches combined to be just over eight minutes combined, or less than any one of the men’s first round matches. There is no hiding the fact that WWE does not care about the tournament and it makes me wonder why I’m supposed to care about it either. Even if the semifinals and finals are better, and they almost have to be, WWE has sunk the thing before it can get started. It’s a shame that we waited this long for the thing and now have to see it take place under a regime that has such little interest.
There were some bright spots on the show (Ricochet vs. Woods was good, the Drew vs. Big E. build has gone as well as could be expected under the circumstances, and Theory looked like a star), but this was a rough sit as we move into one of the weaker times of the year. The show is trying to do a lot of things at once and since WWE can barely single task most of the time, multitasking is completely lost on them. Not the worst show, but a rather frustrating one in a trend that is likely to continue.
Xavier Woods b. Ricochet – Rope walk elbow
Cedric Alexander/Shelton Benjamin b. Mustafa Ali/Mansoor – Michinoku Driver to Ali
Shayna Baszler b. Dana Brooke – Knee to the face
Omos b. Riddle – Chokebomb
Austin Theory b. Jeff Hardy – Rollup with jeans
Jinder Mahal b. Kofi Kingston – Khallas
Charlotte/Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks/Bianca Belair went to a no contest
Doudrop b. Natalya – Small package
Usos b. Big E./Drew McIntyre via countout
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