Adam Pearce Addressed Team Raw's Survivor Series Win
It should have been said before Survivor Series that Raw's men's team could be in the running for a shot at the WWE Championship. That would have actually raised the stakes a bit and made me care about who won. This was a decent segment that served its purpose in establishing what the night's qualifying matches would be for next week's Triple Threat match and explaining why Braun Strowman would not be a part of them. And no, I doubt anyone actually cares about Pearce getting attacked when his role on WWE TV has yet to be established on the show. Can we just label him the general manager and call it a day?
Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) def. The Hurt Business (Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander)
I enjoyed last week's outing so much that I hoped the feud would continue, though I didn't think we'd get a rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championship a week later. This was fun, but the restart in the middle didn't do it any favors. I'm assuming that was a botch because of how awkward it came across. I was pulling for Hurt Business to take the titles here, but no such luck. Hurt Business need to become champions sooner rather than later because there doesn't seem to be anyone left for New Day to defend against.
Riddle def. Sheamus to Advance to Next Week's WWE Championship No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match
The matches these two have are always physical and this was no exception. It was cool that they were given an ample amount of time and they made the most of it in my opinion. Sheamus was my pick to win because of his recent interactions with Drew McIntyre, so Riddle escaping with the win was a pleasant surprise. I'm all for him becoming a bigger player on the show, though they have to position him in a more serious role and drop the comedic aspects of his character. He comes across like too much of a goof sometimes.
Raw Women's Champion Asuka def. Lana by Disqualification; Asuka and Lana def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (Non-Title)
Lana said during a backstage interview earlier in the evening that she felt she should be next in line for a Raw Women's Championship opportunity and Asuka obliged her request. I didn't think their match would be long anyway, but the fact it ended within a minute with Jax and Baszler attacking Asuka and causing the contest to be thrown out was a joke. Obviously, it was done to set up the subsequent tag team affair that saw Lana help Asuka pin Baszler. It was passable, but I'm just not buying into Lana as a babyface. She may eventually give Jax her comeuppance, but there's not a ton she can do beyond that.
Keith Lee def. United States Champion Bobby Lashley by Disqualification to Advance to Next Week's WWE Championship No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match (Non-Title)
This is a match I didn't know I wanted until we got it here. They wrestle similar styles and both are crazy athletic. It's definitely a feud I can get behind if WWE goes in that direction and I feel like they will with Lee winning here. MVP interfering made no sense since the belt wasn't up for grabs, but WWE likely did that to prevent Lashley from getting pinned. I assume Hurt Business costs Lee the victory next week and we get a title rematch at the TLC pay-per-view. This was a blast while it lasted and I'm glad Lashley finally appears to be getting a real threat to his title.
Alexa Bliss def. Nikki Cross
I've been really digging Bliss' alliance with Bray Wyatt in recent months. I was skeptical of WWE giving this match away on Raw without advertising it in advance, but it was probably for the best given how it played out. It was less of a match and more of an angle, but I didn't mind it. Bliss winning should put an end to their feud and allow both of them to move on. Wrestling won't be Bliss' strong suit in this new character, so like The Fiend, she shouldn't be in the ring often.
AJ Styles def. Randy Orton to Advance to Next Week's WWE Championship No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match
As the commentators brought up several times, Orton and Styles are former WrestleMania rivals from last year. This wasn't on the same level as that match and the heel vs. heel dynamic hindered it a bit, but it was still solid and made for an enjoyable main event. I totally forgot about The Fiend targeting Orton, so that was a clever out for him losing here and allowing Styles to advance instead. I know McIntyre vs. Orton vs. Fiend would make sense at TLC, but I am so tired of Orton in the title picture that I'm okay with Styles, Riddle, Lee or even Strowman getting the shot instead. Fingers crossed Lee vs. Riddle vs. Styles gets the time it deserves next week.
Survivor Series is in the books and Raw wasted no time in beginning the build for TLC. There was a heavy focus on the WWE Championship picture, though it's odd McIntyre and Mr. Money in the Bank The Miz were nowhere to be seen. The qualifying matches were entertaining and that Triple Threat is a nice hook for next week. The rest of Raw wasn't remotely as memorable, but they filled the time well. It was a middle-of-the-road show with some successful storyline progression, fallout from Survivor Series, and hype for a huge main event next Monday night.