This episode of WWE Monday Night Raw comes from the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Raw opened with Baron Corbin talking about Crown Jewel and Survivor Series. Corbin announced that he’d face Kurt Angle in the main event to see who would be the captain of Raw’s Survivor Series team, which already includes Braun Strowman and Dolph Ziggler. Also, Alexa Bliss will captain the women’s team but not wrestle because she’s still injured. Strowman chased after Corbin. This was a solid opening segment as they start to set the stage for Survivor Series.
Natalya & Sasha Banks, & Bayley comment on tonight’s Evolution rematch. Natalya will wear her dad’s sunglasses to the ring tonight.
The Riott Squad vs. Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya ended in a no contest when Ruby Riott stomped a pair of glasses belonging to Jim Neidhart. Bayley and Sasha consoled Natalya. Well, they got a lot of time, that’s for sure. It was okay, rather lethargic, and the strikes were all over the place with many of them and some kicks looking as if they were missing by a mile. The finish, in theory, was done to get heat on the Riott Squad and should have been a count-out, but stupidly just ended while the fans did the ref’s job and counted out the Squad.
Braun searches for Corbin but can’t find him, but scares a poor man on the toilet.
Apollo Crews defeated Jinder Mahal. Nice to see Crews win, but will it just be another 3-week push like Mojo, or the start of something real?
Seth Rollins arrives and has the Raw tag team titles. He talks about losing the world cup and runs down Corbin for helping Brock win the universal title back, especially after all of Roman’s work, and it’s a slap in the face to everyone. Rollins would tell that to Brock, but shockingly, Brock’s not here. Three weeks ago the Shield was on top of the world, but Ambrose won’t even give him an answer for his actions. It’s impossible for him to defend the tag titles, but Corbin arrives onscreen and is agrees and books a tag title match for right now…
Handicap Match for the Raw Tag Team Championship: AOP defeated Seth Rollins, sans Dean Ambrose. After the match, Ambrose showed up and attacked Rollins. This was a great babyface performance from Rollins, and I am happy that the AOP won the titles. This felt like a HUGE missed opportunity to solidify the AOP as monsters as they theoretically should have just run through Rollins in dominant fashion. Rollins has enough equity with the audience that it wouldn’t’ have hurt him at all and the AOP needed a dominant win more than Rollins needed a gutsy babyface performance. Good match, but questionable booking of it.
Corbin is barricaded backstage, hiding from Braun. He claims he’s not afraid. Braun starts breaking into the room, kills everyone, and Corbin runs again.
Ziggler says Shane is not the best in the world, because he is. Ziggler is obviously plying delusional heel, but part of me thinks he really believes what he’s saying. He claims conspiracy in the world cup and Elias arrives. The crowd loves him. The crowd chant "Ohhhhhh Walk With Elias!" to the tune of Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, so of course Elias starts playing along on his guitar. He calls Ziggler a loser and says he talked with the Gallaghers and if he plays this song, Oasis will reunite. He plays his tune, running down Ziggler as a tool. Ziggler challenges him to a match.
Elias defeated Dolph Ziggler. I am all for matches getting time and love that Elias won. But this was flat, lethargic, and bordering on boring at times. The work was technically fine, and the match was solid, but seemingly lasted forever.
Kurt Angle is interviewed about tonight’s match. Angle says Corbin is dangerous, but he knows how to beat him and a fire has been lit inside him.
Ronda Rousey cut a promo on Becky Lynch, saying that Becky may be “the man,” but she is the baddest bitch on the planet. This was a decent, short, and to the point promo from Rousey. Not her best work though. I’m looking forward to Rousey vs. Becky a lot. Nia can go away.
Nia Jax defeated Ember Moon in what was basically a squash match. Did they really have to use Ember Moon here? It makes her look weak now. After the match Tamina Snuka once again appeared, hugged Jax, and the two of them beat up Moon. I am almost amazed each week as how Jax continues to be largely bad and never seems to improve. It’s all the same stuff, worked with no real sense of urgency or heat. Moon worked really hard, was a great babyface, and bumped and sold like a champ for Jax. I have no interest in Jax as an upcoming title challenger. I have even less interest in a Jax/Tamina pairing.
Finn Balor is interviewed. Balor says Lashley is powerful and explosive, and getting more vicious by the week. He plans to get revenge tonight.
Baron Corbin drove away from the arena because he was scared of Braun Strowman, and named Drew McIntyre his replacement.
Bobby Lashley defeated Finn Balor. After the match, Drew McIntyre came out and had a staredown with Lashley. McIntyre helped Balor up, then hit him with a Claymore. I was really hoping that the Lashley heel turn would lead to him channeling what made him so much fun in Impact, but it hasn’t. Lashley continues to feel like he’s missing something and isn’t even having good matches with Balor, who bump and sells his ass off for him. This was a nothing match, it was okay at best.
Drew McIntyre defeated Kurt Angle by submission with an ankle lock. After the match, Braun Strowman made the save for Angle. I loved the story of Angle fighting with all he had, only for the new breed in McIntyre basically putting him down to prove himself. Strap the rocket on brother McIntyre. The match was solid, but a bit depressing. You can see that the inner fight is strong with Angle, but his body just isn’t willing anymore. The match was pretty good and told a good story and accomplished the goal of putting Drew over, but it’s likely for the best that Angle doesn’t work singles anymore, although I greatly respect his effort.
End of show.