Akira Tozawa def. Drew Gulak
Gulak's Halloween-themed PowerPoint presentation was a treat (pun intended) and I enjoyed the match he had with Tozawa. Their feud over the last month hasn't been anything out of the ordinary, but the matches have been solid. Unfortunately, the crowd wasn't into the action and didn't make this match too memorable. Tozawa winning clean might mark the end of the feud, but I suppose we'll find out next week.
Rich Swann def. The Brian Kendrick
Kendrick and Gentleman Jack Gallagher offering Swan and Cedric Alexander an ultimatum last week for Alexander to join them was a cool cliffhanger for this week's show, but they killed any interest I had in this rivalry as soon as Swann and Alexander entered dressed as clowns. There is no doubt in my mind that was a Vince McMahon call. The match itself was well-wrestled, but it was difficult to take any of it seriously because of the stupid costumes. And this is why people view the Cruiserweight division as a joke.
SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon Named Himself the Captain of Team SmackDown Live at Survivor Series
Shane did his best to rationalize his actions in attacking Raw last week, but the SmackDown roster still came across like heels last Monday night. It's a good thing Shane is as beloved by the fans as he is because this promo may not have been as well-received otherwise. Meanwhile, it felt anticlimactic when he announced himself as the captain of Team SmackDown Live at Survivor Series, as that should have been the bigger focal point in this promo. It was cool to hear, nevertheless, and makes sense after he and Kurt Angle went face-to-face during the SmackDown invasion.
Bobby Roode def. Dolph Ziggler in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match to Qualify for Team SmackDown Live
The first two matches Roode and Ziggler had were nothing special and fairly forgettable, so while saying it was the best of the bunch isn't a huge endorsement of the outing, it truly was pretty good. The first two falls were rather basic (and I hate when they're rushed because it defeats the purpose of the stipulation), but they picked up the pace in the third fall and worked well together. Roode winning was absolutely the right call and he should benefit from being a part of a star-studded Survivor Series team.
Jason Jordan def. Curt Hawkins
If it isn't already apparent, the Jason Jordan experiment (as a babyface, anyway) just isn't working. Fans like him based off the reaction he received from the audience here, but probably not as much as officials had hoped when they paired him off with Kurt Angle. Meanwhile, Hawkins never ceases to make his opponents look good, so this was a successful showing for Jordan where he was able to pick up an easy win.
Cedric Alexander def. Tony Nese
I've always enjoyed Alexander and I was happy to see him shine in singles action against a talented opponent in Nese. They worked well against each other and produced a nice little match with the crowd gradually getting more and more behind Alexander as the bout progressed. He's one of the few Cruiserweights I could see thriving outside of 205 Live, so here's hoping he either captures the championship or escapes the division before it's too late (see: Austin Aries and Neville).
Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon Confronted Raw General Manager Kurt Angle
The day I have feared would inevitably come, has finally come: the return of Stephanie McMahon to WWE TV. How many times have I said that there is absolutely no need for her to be a regular on Raw anymore? She was all smiles at first before dressing down Angle the same way she has with everyone else on the roster. That shtick grew tiresome years ago. On the bright side, Angle will be wrestling for Team Raw at Survivor Series, making me much more interested in that match for the pay-per-view than I was before.
Nia Jax def. Bayley
Jax's Raw return was rumored to be imminent, and this was a good spot for her to be brought back in with Survivor Series looming large. I appreciated Michael Cole mentioning that it was Jax who put Bayley on the shelf with an injury prior to SummerSlam, and although they've had a million matches in the past, this was successful in reestablishing Jax as a threat and getting her on Team Raw for the women. Meanwhile, Alicia Fox does nothing for me as the captain as I find her antics to be extremely obnoxious in a channel-changing way.
Chavo Guerrero, Bam Neely and Mark Henry def. ECW Champion Matt Hardy, Finlay and Evan Bourne
This was two days removed from the excellent ECW Championship match between Hardy and Bourne at Cyber Sunday, and I thought it was a shame they didn't continue that feud beyond that event. Nevertheless, this was a well-wrestled and enjoyable six-man tag team match. Everyone played their roles well and Guerrero pinning Hardy would seemingly set up a future title match between the two.
Jack Swagger def. Tommy Dreamer
Swagger had just arrived on ECW, so it was smart to pair him off with someone as experienced as Dreamer for his first feud. I expected this to be a total squash, but I'm glad Dreamer was made to look competitive while also showcasing Swagger's abilities. This was a pretty good match and a nice win for Swagger. Thankfully, the rivalry resumed after this match and they produced more solid matches together.
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