Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Ah, one of the yearly non-live episodes of Raw from overseas.
THE QUEENDOM WHERE THE KINGS BOW DOWN! Stephanie McMahon opened Raw. I wonder who has opened the most Raws in history. Surely Stephanie is in the top five. She talks about Raw vs. Smackdown being a thing at Survivor Series. She hyped Goldberg/Lesnar II before bringing out the four announced members of Team Raw. In order, Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman came out. She then brought out the final member, Seth Rollins, which upset Owens and Jericho. Seth made sparkle crotch jokes and said that the issues with Owens and Jericho aren’t over. They showed Team Smackdown (AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton) on the screen. Stephanie brought up how Bray held Braun down, said that all five of them should be on Jericho’s list, mentioned the Shield and wants Owens to show that he’s the real top champion around here. Stephanie told them to fight like their lives depended on it because they do. She walked off so Owens picked up the mic and said they all need to get on the same page. Jericho called himself and Owens the Universal Champion and called Seth and Roman stupid idiots, but said they’re their stupid idiots. They called themselves the co-captains and said that the Shield split because Seth and Roman are terrible people. Seth and Roman attacked but Braun ended up beating everyone up. Stephanie showed back up and made a main event where the five teammates meet in a Fatal Five Way match to get this out of their systems.
They announced that the Raw tag teams competing at Survivor Series are New Day, Enzo and Cass, Gallows and Anderson, Cesaro and Sheamus and the Golden Truth.
Dar got a pretty great pop in his hometown for his debut. He got pyro and played the babyface even though he teamed with Kendrick. They went to a commercial break early. Returning, Swann was battling with Kendrick and hit a sweet leaping rana and rolling thunder splash. Swann pulled Kendrick into a pinning combination and won. We didn’t get to see much of this actually and what we got was only okay. They gave Dar a cool moment of debuting in his home country but barely had him do anything.
Kendrick got a microphone and blamed Dar for the loss, saying he has no talent. He called Dar disrespectful and attacked him. Dar fought back, swept the leg and hit a running kick to send him packing. Maybe Kendrick vs. Dar vs. TJ vs. Swann at some point?
They ran a hype video to promote FANTASY WARFARE EVEN THOUGH IT HAPPENED ALREADY, Goldberg vs. Lesnar II. It was done surrounding Goldberg.
Stephanie was shown in the back when Sami Zayn came up to her. She was on the phone and invited Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan to Raw next week. Stephanie invited him to the office because she finds him irritating. He’s too enthusiastic and she is annoyed that Mick Foley made Sami the man to accept Dolph Ziggler’s Intercontinental Title challenge at Survivor Series. Stephanie thinks Rusev deserves the spot so she books Rusev vs. Sami for tonight with the winner facing Ziggler at Survivor Series.
Enzo and Cass came out and did their usual opening spiel. The rest of the teams involved in the Survivor Series match on the Raw sides followed. The crowd loved Enzo but Sheamus spoke and talked smack about Scotland. He and Cesaro bickered over who the captain was. Enzo dissed Sheamus for being pale and basically called him the Lucky Charms leprechaun. Everyone got on one another, including Cesaro on Sheamus, until Goldust asked everyone to calm down. He was quickly shot down. Finally, the real captains, New Day, showed up. They wore kilts, their faces pained like Braveheart and Xavier pretended to play the bagpipes. Sheamus and the Club nearly backed out of the team because of their captains. Big E pretty much quoted the entire big Braveheart speech, which got a huge pop. The teams all agreed to get behind New Day, even Sheamus. The Club agreed but promised to stab them all in the back if they got the chance. They called New Day jokes, New Day said they beat them a bunch of times and they meet again next. This segment was pretty fun. Lots of characters interacting can be a joy. I would have liked some R-Truth stuff though.
This was joined in progress. Kofi started hot but surprisingly, it was Big E who took a bit of a beating when he was tagged in. Kofi came in hot and hit the Boom Drop. Anderson ducked Trouble in Paradise but ate a springboard cross body. New Day’s finish got cut off before Kofi and Karl had a very awkward interaction. Magic Killer on Big E ended it. Not much here. Some of it was cut off and what we got didn’t do much for me. Outside of the match at Clash of Champions, these teams have never really clicked.
In the back, Goldust was excited about being on the Survivor Series big tag match. R-Truth said that they needed a vacation so he traded their spots for a timeshare in Puerto Rico. Goldust read the pamphlet and saw that the timeshare had no roof and the buffet was actually eating off of Jimmy Buffet. Goldust left to get their spots back.
They did another look at Goldberg/Lesnar, this time focusing on Brock. Brock straight up said that at WrestleMania XX, he didn’t give a shit. Next week, Brock and Goldberg will be face to face.
Backstage, Jericho and Owens went to Braun Strowman’s locker room to try and get him on their side. Owens wanted this at least, but Jericho was upset about getting thrown around by Braun earlier and nearly put him on the list. Owens sucked up but Braun said that he’s on Team Braun and left. Why would he leave his own locker room?
Another Emmalina vignette aired. I still don’t see why they’re changing something about her when she was nailing her role before the injury.
There was no word on whether or not this actually impacted the spots in the Survivor Series match. Early on, there were boring chants so Epico called the fans boring. The teams traded offense but the crowd couldn’t care less. Even Goldust’s hot tag got next to no pop. The Shining Stars won when Primo rolled up Goldust with his feet on the ropes. Apparently, it made the spot at Survivor Series official.
Michael Cole was in the ring and went over the Survivor Series rules. He got booed. He introduced the women of the Raw Survivor Series team, starting with Charlotte. Charlotte spoke first, saying that she was born a leader. Nia was next and she wasn’t intimidated by Charlotte at all, saying she doesn’t work for her. Alicia Fox was third, to no reaction. Alicia cut a weak promo saying that she’ll get along with Nia for Raw’s sake. Bayley was introduced next to a huge ovation. The crowd for Bayley so much that she could barely finish her promo. The fans just kept singing to Bayley to point where Charlotte couldn’t continue. Charlotte brought out Dana Brooke as the final member but once she got to the ring, Cole said that Dana wasn’t the final member. Out came Sasha Banks to fill out the team. Charlotte said that she made Dana an alternate. Sasha gave Bayley her glasses and sang to her too. Charlotte got behind Nia and tried to get her to attack Sasha but a commercial broke it up. The Raw women’s segments are so bad. Smackdown does these way better.
According to Michael Cole, this was an impromptu match. Bayley and Nia started but Alicia got an early tag to rekindle their garbage feud. Nia played the dominant female, using her size to her advantage. After the commercial break, everyone got involved. Bayley beat up Charlotte, Nia squashed Alicia and Charlotte accidentally hit Nia with a big boot. Charlotte took out Sasha but got hit with a Bayley to Belly to take the loss. Fun little tag here. Everyone got some shine to help set up Survivor Series.
Seth Rollins was interviewed in the back but Braun Strowman interrupted. He told Seth not to worry about his future because he won’t have one after tonight. Braun never liked him and promised to snap him in half like a twig.
I love both guys but I cannot sit through Dolph/Rusev again after their lame series of matches last year. Rusev came out of the blocks hot, attacking Sami instantly. Sami made a small comeback before the commercial break. Returning, Sami connected on a sweet dive to the outside and a cross body inside. Rusev fought back and just as things were getting interesting, Sami pulled out the win with a Helluva Kick that knocked Rusev off the top. The match was just starting to get good when this ended abruptly. Remember when beating Rusev was hard? This ended up being too easy.
The action started quickly. They did the big tease or the supposed big matchup between Reigns and Strowman. Seth pulled out a kendo stick and a table but Strowman cut off the table spot heading into the break. So many commercials. After the break, Braun got a pop for hitting Reigns with the reverse chokeslam. There were a lot of cool interactions here, including one between Braun and Owens. Reigns and Rollins worked together to try to take out Braun but Owens and Jericho broke up their Shield powerbomb attempt. However, Seth was able to powerbomb Jericho onto Owens and through a table. They got up rather quickly though and Jericho broke up a pin following a Seth Pedigree on Owens. The finish was cool as Seth hit a Pedigree on Jericho. Owens superkicked him and Reigns nailed him with the Superman punch. Owens fell onto Jericho and got the three, continuing the theme of mistrust and dysfunction between the five. Lots of fun, fast paced stuff.
Overall: Like most pre-recorded episodes of Raw, this was highly lackluster. There were some good moments, like the main event and the opening segment, as well as the big tag team segment. The women’s promo time wasn’t good but their match was decent. The cruiserweight stuff still lacks direction and the two other tag matches sucked. Raw continued to have major problems.