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With almost the entire Survivor Series card already set in stone, this week’s Raw had plenty of time to work on developing those stories as well as addressing other feuds.
Jeff Hardy, Riddle and Elias were given a second chance to qualify for the Raw men’s Survivor Series team. The winner will join Braun Strowman, AJ Styles, Sheamus and Keith Lee.
We also saw a non-title singles bout between Asuka and Nia Jax while Ricochet battled Mustafa Ali after being attacked by Retribution last week.
Not only did The New Day appear on MizTV, but Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston teamed up with Drew McIntyre to take on Randy Orton, The Miz and John Morrison.
Let’s take a look at everything that happened on this week’s Raw.
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After a lengthy recap video of last week’s show, The Miz and Morrison made their way to the ring for an interview with The New Day.
The Miz plugged his new show and The Viper comes down to the ring in a rage. He says The A-Lister is a coward who can only win the WWE title with the MITB briefcase. He gives Miz an opportunity to attack him from behind but he doesn’t fall for it.
Woods and Kingston came out and taunted all of them from the stage. Orton ended up hitting Kingston with the RKO while Miz and Morrison took out Woods. McIntyre tried to come help but all three men ganged up on him. The segment ended with Orton, The Miz and Morrison leaving together but The Viper still looked upset.
Continuity is important and WWE often forgets its own history. Seeing Orton have issues with The Miz despite both men being heels due to The A-Lister trying to cash in last week was good.
That being said, everything else about this opening segment was predictable. In fact, WWE should have booked the six-man match after this fight instead of announcing it before the show.
Neither of the feuds featured here will be included at Survivor Series, so we likely have many more weeks of Orton and McIntyre fighting ahead of us. Whether that is a good thing or not is up to you.
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The final member of the Raw men’s team was determined in a triple threat match with Riddle, Elias and Hardy fighting for the open slot. Elias was in the ring to give a promo and play a song before the bout began.
The first exchange saw all three men attempt to win with quick rollups, which never makes any sense in a match like this when there is always someone to break it up since nobody is hurt yet.
Riddle pulled Hardy out of the ring and they traded strikes until Elias took out both of them with a dropkick through the ropes. We returned from a break to see Elias still dominating the action as Styles looked on from backstage.
The Charismatic Enigma began to go on a rampage but Elias took him down with Drift Away. Riddle broke up the pin in the knick of time. After knocking Hardy out of the ring, Riddle hit Bro Derek on Elias for the win.
Elias acting like he was going to play a song just to see if was interrupted was pretty funny, especially since once he was actually going to start, he was immediately cut off by Hardy’s music.
The action was fun but nothing to write home about. We saw all the usual triple threat spots sprinkled in throughout the match. All three men looked like potential winners at different times.
Riddle winning is not surprising, especially since Hardy and Elias will likely continue to feud for the next month of two before having one final blowoff match.
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Lana took on Shayna Baszler this week after the other women’s tag champ, Nia Jax, put her through a table several times over the last couple of months.
As soon as the ref called for the bell, Lana tried to jump on Baszler’s back. The MMA fighter threw her down to the mat and delivered a stiff kick to the body.
She stomped on Lana’s arm but missed a running knee in the corner. She dropped The Ravishing Russian with a gutwrench and a knee strike for a near-fall. She scored the win with the Kirafuda Clutch.
Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke saved Lana from being put through a table again.
If the plan was to develop sympathy for Lana after these repeated attacks, WWE has dropped the ball in a big way. For that to work, she has to give us a reason to like her again.
The match was short and didn’t look good. Baszler was fine but Lana looked even more inexperienced than usual, which is odd since she has shown more talent in the past than she did here.
WWE is setting up for something at Survivor Series. Maybe Lana will turn on her team and help SmackDown win or maybe she will be the lone survivor. Either way, WWE needs to do something to give us a reason to care.
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Styles called a team meeting in the ring that led to him telling everyone he got Adam Pearce to book this tag match with Styles as the special guest referee.
Lee and Sheamus started for their teams. The Limitless One took control and brought in Riddle for some body blows. Once Strowman came in, he started demolishing Riddle with his superior power.
Sheamus got in Styles’ face at one point and it allowed Riddle to take him down with a gutwrench suplex. Riddle accidentally hit Styles with a knee strike after Sheamus avoided the contact. The same thing happened a moment later with a kick.
Lee and Strowman ended up colliding with Styles between them and he went down. Styles had to stop his bodyguard from getting involved as the show went to a break. We returned to see Styles trying to keep things under control as the match progressed.
The match came to an end when Sheamus hit Strowman with a Brogue Kick and Riddle took advantage of the situation with a roll-up.
This was almost the same segment we saw last week with Riddle added to the mix. The Raw team doesn’t get along and WWE wants to make sure we all know it.
Styles is an entertaining heel who kept this from being a total waste of time but the match that followed felt unnecessary to the ongoing story. The physicality was good, though
The debate over who gets to be team captain is never as interesting as management thinks it is, so all of this manufactured drama means nothing. It would be enough just knowing these guys don’t like each other. We don’t need a meaningless position as captain for them to want to fight each other.
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MVP and Bobby Lashley were out after the break. They said The Hurt Business would win the tag titles next week and Lashley would win at Survivor Series. Titus O’Neil came out to yell at them for attacking him a couple of weeks ago. He said The All Mighty never defends his title so Lashley agreed to put it on the line.
A ref came down and made the match official. MVP tried to distract O’Neil but he avoided Lashley and started unloading on him with rights and lefts.
The All Mighty hit one Spear before applying The Hurt Lock for the submission win.
Making Lashley look good before Survivor Series was a good idea, but WWE picked a guy who hasn’t had a significant win in years so the victory was all but meaningless.
O’Neil is someone who has always been misused ever since WWE broke up his team with Darren Young. He is great at public outreach but management clearly doesn’t see him as a star.
This was another segment that felt more like filler than anything else.
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They started off with a physical exchange that saw Asuka attempt a few different submissions. The more powerful Jax was able to break free each time.
We returned from a break to see Jax in control while Baszler cheered her on from ringside. Rose, Brooke and Lana were all pulling for Asuka.
The Empress nailed her with a spinning back fist and a hip attack for a two-count. Lana and Baszler ended up on the apron and Asuka knocked them both down. Baszler attacked her to cause a DQ. This led to a huge brawl between everyone.
The women’s tag champs cleared the ring of everyone but Lana, which allowed them to put her through another announce table.
Asuka and Jax had a nice physical bout going before the disqualification. They had a couple of sloppy moments but that tends to happen when two wrestlers are trying to be aggressive.
Putting Lana through another table and then telling her to quit is an important point for this storyline. If WWE is going to build sympathy for her, it needs to start happening now.
Having her align with Rose and Brooke might be a good way to turn her babyface but it will take a little while before the crowd wants to cheer for her again. This was better than what we saw from Lana and Baszler earlier but not by a lot.
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Erik, Tucker, Drew Gulak, Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik, Akira Tozawa and R-Truth all competed in a very quick match for the 24/7 title.
The belt changed hands several times. Every single competitor won it at least once before Truth regained it at the end and ran away.
Comedy has its place in wrestling. This business is ridiculous by its very nature, so comedy goes hand in hand. However, it has to be done well to be meaningful.
This segment was the epitome of everything that is wrong with how the 24/7 title has been used lately. It went from producing some of the most humorous segments every week to something that just fill time.
R-Truth deserves every bit of screen time he gets but it’s time to either retire this belt or change how it is booked. It is painful to give anything with Truth an F but this whole segment was abysmal.
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