Braun Strowman Attacked Acting Raw General Manager Baron Corbin
Believe it or not, Survivor Series is in less than two weeks. Yes, even with Evolution and Crown Jewel in the rear-view mirror, we still have Survivor Series coming up quickly. On the bright side, it looks to be an exciting lineup on paper, and in this segment, a few members of the men's and women's teams were revealed for the event. Corbin won't be wrestling, but Team Raw will consist of Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Strowman as of now. Plus, Alexa Bliss will be team captain for the women. This was a solid show-opening angle that accomplished a few different things, including furthering the feud between Corbin and Strowman.
Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natalya vs. The Riott Squad Ended in a No Contest
These two trios had a better-than-expected outing at Evolution last month and the hope was that their never-ending rivalry had finally culminated with the babyfaces reigning supreme. Well, apparently not. I had zero interest in this rematch, though I give credit to the girls for putting forth a real good effort. You could see The Riott Squad targeting the sunglasses of Natalya's late, great dad coming from a mile away, which was hokey, but it was the non-finish that bothered me more than anything. That means the rivalry will continue. Ugh.
Apollo Crews def. Jinder Mahal
It's comical that Mahal went from holding the WWE Championship to losing to Apollo Crews within one year. But hey, I'm not complaining because he's currently exactly where he should be on the card. Meanwhile, Crews is incredibly underrated because he has never truly been given the chance to shine on the main roster. This was a fine showing from Crews, but I'm hoping his push sticks this time and doesn't go the Mojo Rawley route where he's briefly showcased before being knocked back down to enhancement talent status.
AOP def. Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match to Win the Raw Tag Team Championship
Most fans figured this was inevitable once Dean Ambrose turned on Rollins immediately following their Raw Tag Team Championship win two weeks ago. It was just more a matter of when, not if. Rollins' pre-match promo did an excellent job of addressing Brock Lesnar becoming the new Universal Champion at Crown Jewel (could Rollins eventually capture the title and dedicate the win to Roman Reigns?) as well as Ambrose's actions. The match itself was a ton of fun while it lasted with Rollins showing amazing babyface fire with his comeback. Hopefully AOP can start becoming more dominant from this point forward.
Elias def. Dolph Ziggler
Man, Elias was the most over person on this entire show. The Manchester crowd could not get enough of him, showering him with chants and cheers. Ziggler, on the other hand, is pretty boring on his own and his pre-match promo did nothing for me. Their match was well-wrestled albeit slightly lethargic and probably lasted longer than it should have, but the important thing is that Elias won and that he's picking up steam as a babyface.
Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey Addressed SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch
It's cool that Rousey seems to be getting more and more comfortable on the mic with each promo she cuts, especially when she isn't overly scripted. Similar to Lynch's promo last week on SmackDown Live, Rousey kept this short, sweet and straight to the point. Their match at Survivor Series should be an absolute banger. At the end of this segment, Jax interrupted Rousey and planted the seeds for their eventual championship clash.
Nia Jax def. Ember Moon
The Raw rematches roll on. Their original one-on-one encounter last week was abysmal and this wasn't much better. Not only was the in-ring action mostly average, it was difficult for the crowd to care and I can't say I blame them. Moon losing back-to-back bouts to Jax is a bit of a bummer, but it's not shocking considering Jax is the No. 1 contender to the Raw Women's Championship right now. Afterward, Jax and Tamina solidified their alliance by ganging up on Moon, which I assume is a sign that women's tag team titles are coming.
Bobby Lashley def. Finn Balor
I'm honestly stunned how little chemistry these two have. Despite that, they continue to be paired together and have produced a less-than-stellar series of matches. This was no different with Lashley largely dominating Balor before picking up the victory. There was no sense of urgency and they failed to hold my interest for the six minutes they had. McIntyre attacking Balor post-match was intriguing, though, and I'd be all for those two feuding with each other.
Drew McIntyre def. Kurt Angle
For those unaware, one of Angle's last matches in IMPACT almost three years ago was with McIntyre, who he lost to in the United Kingdom of all places. That was a terrific match, but then again, that was in early 2016 and Angle isn't the same performer he was even then. That said, they focused more on the storytelling here than the wrestling, which was a smart move. Angle tried his hardest to battle back, but to no avail. It was sad to see, but I suppose that was the point. McIntyre comes away from this looking like a bona fide star, so fingers crossed he can ride this wave of momentum and be positioned as a main event player on the show going forward.
The build to Survivor Series is in full force (as it should be given it's less than two weeks away), but Raw remains a tough show to get through every Monday night. I almost fell asleep at one point before the third hour started, which is a rarity for me, so that should tell you everything you need to know about how dull this edition of Raw was on the whole. The atmosphere in England is always awesome, but there wasn't a ton for them to get excited over. Thankfully, McIntyre's dominance in the main event was well booked, Rousey's promo was a treat and AOP as the new Raw Tag Team Champions is a refreshing change of pace for that depleted division, but everything else was mediocre at best.