This episode of WWE RAW took place at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California.
The show opens with WWE Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins in the ring. Rollins hypes this weekend’s TLC match against Ambrose, but is also here to spit some truth. He invites Baron Corbin to the ring. Corbin says they should be doing this in private, and kisses Rollins’ ass a bit. Rollins tells him to hut up and listen. Rollins says under Corbin’s leadership, Raw has sucked because Corbin has made the show all about him. Corbin says he’s allowing him to vent but that Rollins needs to watch his tone. Rollins praises the roster and the fact that Corbin has no idea what to do with them. Rollins cites the case of the Revival being buried in Lucha House Party matches. He also brings up the horrible PISSING segments. Rollins then runs down Brock for never being here, and hasn’t had a Raw match since 2002. Rollins says fan & roster support, morale, and ratings are at an all time low due to Corbin. Corbin says he doesn’t care, because this is his show, and threatens to make things worse. He will win at TLC, become permanent GM, and then put Rollins through hell. Rollins challenges Corbin to a match right here and now…a TLC match. Corbin refuses. Rollins calls him a coward repeatedly. Corbin finally accepts and it will be for the IC Title.
I’m not a fan of them running a TLC match on Raw ahead of the PPV, but I thoroughly enjoyed Rollins burying Corbin here, but it also felt really WCW in the final days. It was Vince scripting a segment blaming himself on how bad ratings have gotten and using Corbin as his surrogate. It’s entertaining on one level, but you really shouldn’t tell your audience the show sucks, no matter how truthful it is.
Rollins is interviewed backstage. It may not be a smart decision, but he has to be a leader and take a stand.
Handicap Match for the Raw Tag Team Championship: Bobby Roode and Chad Gable defeated AOP (c) and Drake Maverick. Roode and Gable now have matching robes and gear. Roode pinned Maverick, who is not one of the Tag Team Champions, to win the Tag Team Championship.
The match was ok, but it was nice to see the babyfaces actually overcome the odds and pull off a win. Unfortunately, the AOP title run was a complete waste filled with piss jokes.
Natalya says she usually smiles, but has to talk about Ruby Riott. She loves this business and WWE, but Ruby has no respect at all. Ruby made this personal and tried to destroy her father’s legacy. Natalya says she had to fight for everything, brings up the Montreal screw job, and is proud to be a Hart and represent her family. At TLC she will teach Ruby about respect and is dedicating her match Sunday to her father, Jim Neidhart. She will take everything she has and drive Ruby’s ass through a table. The Riott Squad arrives with a table. Ruby mocks Natalya for crying again. Ruby says Natalya doesn’t need respect, she needs a good counselor. Natalya doesn’t represent her family, she disgraces it. Ruby reveals the table has a picture of Jim Neidhart on it. Sunday, at TLC, when she puts her through this table, Natalya and Jim will be closer than ever.
They are trying to make people care about Natalya, but I’m just not feeling it at all. It really felt like they were trying too hard here.
Balor is not here “due to injury.” His match with McIntyre is still advertised for Sunday. McIntyre says he beat Balor so bad, he’s not here tonight, and he will finish the job on Sunday.
Drew McIntyre defeated Dolph Ziggler. McIntyre won the match with a Claymore. After the match, McIntyre continued to attack Ziggler.
It was pretty good, but played well as McIntyre won and kicked the shit out of Dolph post match to stand tall ahead of Sunday’s PPV.
We get highlights of Slater beating Rhyno, and that led to Rhyno being gone from Raw and Slater becoming a referee.
Bayley defeated Alicia Fox. Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers tried to interfere on Fox’s behalf, so Apollo Crew and Sasha Banks attacked them to even the odds. Bayley won with a Belly-to-Bayley.
The match wasn’t much as they were focused on the stuff on the floor, because Apollo Crews is replacing Finn Balor on tomorrow’s Mixed Match Challenge, teaming with Bayley.
Charly Caruso interviews Dean Ambrose. Ambrose doesn’t care about Rollins, and says he called himself the architect to keep attention on himself. He says Rollins has a huge ego and always had to step on others to be the man. If Rollins is still IC champion after tonight, he’ll take it on Sunday. Ambrose is asked what Roman would think about all of this, and Ambrose says, who cares? They show footage of Ambrose turning on Rollins, the night of Reigns’ leukemia news. We also get footage of last week’ Bane impersonation. Ambrose then stands there like a goof and leaves.
Elias is here for a special performance. He runs down Lashley and praises San Diego. Elias has a match with Lio Rush tonight and will tease him a lesson. Elias plays his song.
Lio Rush defeated Elias. Elias had the match won with a powerbomb, but Bobby Lashley interfered and attacked him. Referee Heath Slater didn’t disqualify Rush in an attempt to please Baron Corbin. Lashley hit Elias with a guitar, giving Rush the pin.
This was all about screwing Elias and playing up Slater as too scared to do his job because Lashley is pals with Corbin. It was no good.
Corbin tells Slater he did well tonight, and has another match to ref later.
Alexa Bliss set up another public forum segment involving Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey. Nia cut a long promo about how she’s going to break Ronda’s face at TLC. Rousey said she wasn’t here to talk, she was here to fight. Ember Moon showed up to back her up, leading to a match without Rousey or Jax in it!
Ember Moon defeated Tamina. Rousey prevented Jax from interfering, and Moon was able to win with an Eclipse.
This wasn’t good, Moon worked really hard and looked like she was running laps around Tamina at times. Tamina is just so bad, no flow to her work, no sense of urgency, and constant positioning issues.
Corbin is interviewed about his main event match. He doesn’t see this as abuse of power. He just accepted a challenge and is making sure fans see him in a TLC match. Charly says there are rumors that Braun will be at TLC, which Corbin dismisses.
TLC Match for the Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins (c) defeated Baron Corbin. Heath Slater was once again the referee, and took orders from Corbin during the match. When Rollins was about to win, Slater pushed over the ladder. Rollins was able to recover, superkicked Slater, buckle-bomed Corbin through a table and hit The Stomp. He then climbed the ladder to win the match. Dean Ambrose stared at him from the stage.
All praise in the world to Seth Rollins, who busted his ass for 25-minutes to try and make Baron Corbin look like a competent professional wrestler and a real threat to his championship. It really didn’t work, but Rollins put on an amazing one-man show here tonight. Thanks to Rollins, the smoke and mirrors, and the big bumps, it ended up a pretty good match. But really, with nearly 25-minutes, all the advantages, and working with Rollins, the fact that Corbin couldn’t have a very good to great match with Rollins speaks volumes. Corbin’s deficiencies as a worker were on full display here, with poor pacing when in control, bad selling, and just no sense of urgency or real aggression. Add in the cliché evil ref shit to go along with Corbin’s tired act and they are all negatives.
End of show.