The October 15, 2018 edition of WWE RAW took place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.
Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre opened Raw recapping Dean Ambrose getting pinned at the end of last week’s six-man tag match. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins hit the stage and Rollins challenged McIntyre to have their World Cup qualifying match immediately. This was a fine opening segment, plying off of the established angle, but not really breaking any new ground.
WWE World Cup Qualifying Match: Seth Rollins defeated Drew McIntyre via countout. Ziggler pulled the top rope down while the ref was distracted, as Rollins tumbled out of the ring. Dean Ambrose hit ringside and attacked Ziggler. After McIntyre hit Ambrose, Rollins hit the Curbstomp for the countout victory. This was a good opening match, with Drew being protected in loss and showing that Dean is still friends with Seth, at least for now.
A recap of D-Generation X reuniting last week was shown, followed by a vignette of the Brothers of Destruction.
WWE announced a women’s battle royal for Evolution with a future title shot on the line. They also announced Torrie Wilson would be part of the big event.
Ember Moon and Nia Jax defeated Dana Brooke and Tamina via pinfall. Moon hit the Eclipse on Brooke for the victory. After the match, Tamina superkicked Jax. Moon and Tamina lifted Jax over the top rope, then Tamina and Moon brawled before Brooke tossed both of them over the top rope. Well, it wasn’t pretty or good, but at least they tried to sell the battle royal.
WWE recapped the Bella twins turning on Ronda Rousey last week. Rousey called out the Bella Twins and demanded to know why she was attacked. The Bellas refused to give her an answer, but said they were disrespected. Nikki Bella said Rousey doesn’t deserve the title, she does. Rousey called them “Do Nothing Bellas.” The Bellas called out security and Rousey tore through them as the twins ran back up the stage. Some will complain that Rousey was “being disrespectful” to the divas era (give me a break, in story this is an overly entitled woman that most fans absolutely loathe vs. a legit athlete that many love), but this was everything it needed to be. Some will say that the show is about empowerment, and that they went “slut-shaming” here, and while it may be low hanging fruit, they’ve done it before with Nikki, and it got a great reaction. Sure I’d love a match for the title built on pure competition, but that’s hard to do when you use “the legend” Nikki Bella who has no right to a title shot and isn’t believable as a challenger. I was completely shocked by the amount of Diva era defenders I saw on social media that were upset that “they treated Nikki so poorly” for “a cheap pop.” In terms of character, they came off well. Nikki came off as a delusional heel listing her accomplishments, while Rousey played well into the segment of fans that believe in what she said and hates the Bellas. This was way better than I expected, and hit the right buttons to get the crowd involved. If you want to get into a division presentation argument and the lack of female writers, that’s fair, but to claim this was something new or insulting to Nikki, she just did a whole season of a reality show based on her on again, off again, on again, off again relationship with Cena, which she produced and got paid handsomely for; I’m sure she was ok with it. They were playing roles to sell a match, and the dynamic worked. Despite a couple of minor stumbles, Rousey did really well in a big and long form promo segment here.
WWE World Cup Qualifying Match: Dolph Ziggler defeated Dean Ambrose via pinfall. Ziggler superkicked Ambrose for the win. After the match Rollins asked Ambrose what his problem was and Ambrose shoved past him. Reigns came out to break up the skirmish. This was a perfectly solid match, but felt lethargic and lacked the energy of the Rollins vs. Drew match from earlier in the show.
Finn Balor defeated Jinder Mahal via pinfall. Balor hit the Coup De Grace on Mahal. After the match, Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush confronted Balor.
Bobby Lashley defeated Tyler Breeze via pinfall. Lashley hit the Yokosuka Cutter for the win.
Trish Stratus and Lita challenged Alexa Bliss and Mickie James to a warm up match. Bliss and James teased taking on the challenge, but left back up the entrance ramp.
Authors of Pain defeated who they thought was Kurt Angle via pinfall. AOP pulled off the mask of the man they thought was Angle revealing a jobber. Angle surprise attacked Baron Corbin and hit the Olympic Slam on the stage.
Sasha Banks returned alongside Bayley to be in the corner of Natalya against Ruby Riott.
Natalya defeated Ruby Riott via disqualification. Sarah Logan attacked Natalya, who had Riott in the sharpshooter. The Riott Squad tried to set up for the Heart Attack when Bayley and Banks made the save. That was actively bad, they did nothing and we got s shit finish and either build to the Evolution battle royal or a six-woman tag.
Elias started to play the guitar when Apollo interrupted him. Elias tried to attack him, but Crew turned the tables and hit a press slam.
The Shield defeated Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler via pinfall. Ambrose attempted Dirty Deeds on Rollins, but Ziggler broke it up with the Zig Zag. McIntyre accidentally hit the Claymore on Strowman, Reigns hit the spear on him and the Shield hit the powerbomb on Ziggler for the victory. After the match, Strowman laid out Ziggler and McIntyre connected on the Claymore on Strowman as Raw went off the air. This was a good main event, but it feels like diminishing returns as the matches have all started running together, feel repetitive, and haven’t been as good. They continued the Ambrose tease angle, but all seems well for now as it was the heel that have imploded. Hopefully this means a singles push for Drew soon and the end of these six feuding.
End of show.