Raw Women's Champion Bianca Belair def. Nikki Cross (Non-Title)
Cross was back to being crazy Nikki Cross from her NXT days, which is the right role for her. That said, I wish she cut a promo establishing her new personality, or a brief vignette would have been nice. I honestly didn't mind her losing one week after returning because it's about Belair heading into Crown Jewel, but I thought they had a very good opener. Then again, they always worked well together in NXT, so I can't say I was surprised by the quality of the contest.
Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley Brawled
This was originally supposed to be a one of those split screen interviews with the two, but Lesnar opted to go to the ring and call out Lashley instead. The two briefly brawled and the roster had to break them up, so no one got the upper hand this week. It wasn't much different than what they've done already, but the crowd was into it, so why fix what isn't broken? I'm very curious to see what kind of match they have at Crown Jewel after their initial encounter at Royal Rumble underwhelmed.
United States Champion Seth "Freakin" Rollins def. Austin Theory (Non-Title)
Did I miss the part where Rollins and Theory had beef? I know Theory faced and beat Mustafa Ali last week, but I don't remember Rollins and Theory getting into it at all. Booking a heel vs. heel match was a weird call, but this ended up being the best bout of the night by a wide margin. Theory looked like he was on Rollins' level and gained some credibility in defeat, though him continuing to lose as Mr. Money in the Bank isn't doing him or the briefcase any favors.
Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns Attacked The Miz
Reigns doesn't appear often on Raw, so this was a treat. This existed solely to hype this upcoming clash at Logan Paul at Crown Jewel, and although Miz coming out at first felt random, I like how they tied it back to Miz's alliance and subsequent feud with Paul with Miz mentioning that Paul could realistically get that "lucky shot" in on Reigns to win the title, only for Reigns to drop Miz. This was well done, and Reigns showing a new layer to his character by acting offended and frustrated that anyone sees Paul as a legitimate threat to him is fantastic.
Karl Anderson def. Damian Priest
For those following the situation, Anderson's match for the upcoming New Japan Pro-Wrestling show (the same day as Crown Jewel) has been cancelled, so he may not yet have to vacate the NEVER Openweight Championship after all. This was a well-wrestled affair. Anderson lost to Finn Balor last week, so it was logical for him to win this week. Despite that, The Judgment Day stood tall afterward, so The O.C. haven't quite figured out how to counteract Rhea Ripley.
Baron Corbin Attacked R-Truth
I've seen several people make the comparison that JBL is WWE's Dan Lambert and I couldn't agree more. I loved Lambert in the beginning of his AEW run, but his shtick got old after a while and I hope JBL plans to switch it up eventually if the plan is for him to stay with Corbin in the long run. As for Truth, he was only out there to be attacked and put more heat on Corbin, so mission accomplished. I assume we'll get a match between them next week on Raw. Truth has been all over WWE TV lately between Raw, NXT and Main Event, so it's nice to see him get a mini career resurgence of sorts and be used in proper doses. This was a a simple and straightforward segment.
Matt Riddle def. Otis in a Trick or Street Fight
If you've been reading my reviews long enough, you'll know I'm a sucker for the holiday-themed matches, specifically the Trick or Street Fights. It's total Halloween campiness, sure, but they're always a blast and these were the right people for it (though I prefer to see Riddle back to being the serious singles star he was during the rivalry with Rollins). Alpha Academy were the stars of this thing and Riddle dressing up as Ezekiel made me chuckle.
Mustafa Ali def. The Miz
It sounded like Ali received a slightly bigger reaction this week compared to past weeks, but he's still not as over as he should be given how much television time he's had lately. I'm seriously wondering what it's going to take. Him beating Miz here is a step in the right direction and it was a nice match while it lasted, but I can't imagine most of the audience buy him as being on Rollins' level currently.
Johnny Gargano Revealed The Miz’s Secret in “Tell-All” Interview
This was a parody of 60 Minutes and a funny one at that. Byron Saxton played his role well as the interviewer and the reenactments from Gargano were hilarious. That said, I do think Gargano has leaned a little too heavily into the comedy in recent weeks. It feels like a step back from what he was doing previously. As for him revealing that Miz and Dexter Lumis were in cahoots early on, it's quite the stretch, but I appreciate the explanation. I was hoping for something juicer than that, personally. Can this storyline be salvaged?
Alexa Bliss and Asuka def. Damage CTRL (IYO SKY and Dakota Kai) to Win the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship
This came together after Bliss and Asuka thwarted Damage CTRL's interference in the opener. As Kai said backstage, however, there was no reason for the titles to be on the line because the babyfaces did nothing to deserve a shot. They're one of three women's teams WWE has, so that's probably why. The match was solid, but I wasn't a fan of the finish. Damage CTRL didn't do much as champs and they've already lost them in less than two months. If Bayley loses to Belair again at Crown Jewel, it might be time to pull the plug on this group because it clearly isn't working as well as we all thought it would.
For a holiday show, I enjoyed this edition of Raw on the whole. It had the usual mix of entertaining action, successful storyline progression and hype for Crown Jewel on Saturday. The title change was also a slightly eventful way to end the night, for whatever it's worth. This wasn't Triple H's strongest shows as the momentum died down the stretch, but it was an improvement over last week's dull three hours. Happy Halloween!