Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann def. Noam Dar and Tony Nese
Alexander and Swann have made for a fun tandem over the last week considering their chemistry together and I'd love to see them get a shot at the Raw Tag Team Championship. Unfortunately, WWE will probably relegate them to the Cruiserweight division forever, which is a shame. At any rate, this was a well-wrestled match with a nice pace to it. It wasn't quite as good as the Cruiserweight tag team match from TLC, but I enjoyed it for what it was.
Drew Gulak def. Gran Metalik
As I've said before, Gulak's PowerPoint presentation shtick has (surprisingly) gotten over big with me and his pre-match promo here was entertaining as always. I assumed Akira Tozawa would interrupt him, but I'm glad that was saved until afterward and that feud was dragged out a little longer. Gulak and Metalik contested a solid match that led to a credible victory for Gulak.
Sami Zayn Confronted SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon
Apparently, Shane's logic for leading the SmackDown Live invasion on Raw was because he felt Kurt Angle bragged too much about Raw being the better show. Okay, then. He did acknowledge how Angle asked to use AJ Styles for TLC and for Raw the next night and how that literally opened the door for them to get into the building, but this entire "brand supremacy" storyline feels forced and rushed. As for Zayn, I loved his interaction with Shane and he has flourished in the heel role thus far. This also successfully hyped Zayn vs. Randy Orton for the night's main event.
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin def. The New Day
These are the two biggest babyface tandems in the tag team division on SmackDown, so I figured it would be a while before we saw this match. They can always go back to it once Gable and Benjamin inevitably win the tag titles, and this was fun while it lasted. Benjamin and Gable winning by being opportunists was interesting and I'm glad they're gradually building momentum before they challenge The New Day.
Matt Hardy def. Curt Hawkins
Jeff Hardy's injury really should have opened the door for WWE to start pushing Matt on his own, especially considering how over with the audience he still is, but instead he's been relegated to meaningless matches on Raw and Main Event. It's a shame to say the least, but he did look good in this fun little sprint against Hawkins, who always excels at losing. The crowd was engaged in the action, too, so that helped.
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows def. Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews
It isn't often we see O'Neil and Crews work as a tag team, but they would be a welcome addition to Raw's tag team scene at the moment (although I would much rather prefer Crews teaming with Akira Tozawa). This was a decent match while it lasted, but it never seemed to reach that next gear before abruptly ending coming out of the commercial break. Anderson and Gallows desperately need some wins, but Crews needs direction and/or character development just as much.
Raw General Manager Kurt Angle Announced Matches for Survivor Series
Was it just me or did Angle announcing the Raw vs. SmackDown Live matches for Survivor Series come off as extremely underwhelming? Of course, none of the four matches he confirmed for the card are incredibly exciting except for Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs. The Usos (no Shield reunion, damn), but this should have had more fanfare than it did because the crowd hardly reacted to any of it. Meanwhile, it made sense for The Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro to have beef with Angle following TLC and for Angle to immediately put them in a six-man tag team match to kick off the show against Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and AJ Styles. Speaking of Styles...
Raw Tag Team Champions Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins and AJ Styles def. Intercontinental Champion The Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro
Styles wrestling on a Raw-exclusive event as a "favor" to Raw was almost excusable, but this was completely unnecessary. I love Styles as much as the next guy, but it's comical when Michael Cole is spouting on commentary, "Survivor Series is the one night of the year you can see Raw and SmackDown stars face off!" as Styles is beating up on a Raw guy in this match. It's insulting to our intelligence as fans, and while I realize that this isn't the first time that's happened, it was extra evident here. I understand Styles was filling in for Roman Reigns, but they couldn't have just used someone else from the Raw roster in this spot instead? On the bright side, this was an excellent match that received a ton of time and kicked off the night on a hot note.
Sasha Banks def. Alicia Fox (Kickoff Match)
Needless to say, I couldn't have cared less about this bout coming into the event because they've feuded before and have never had the greatest in-ring chemistry, but this was actually a pretty passable matchup and the women made the most of the time they were given (almost 11 minutes, surprisingly enough). Banks winning was a no-brainer, but I hope she has some direction going forward, possibly going to back to teasing tension with Bayley.
Asuka def. Emma
I fully expected this to be Squash Match City in favor of Asuka, but that's not what this was. Instead, it was all about Emma for the most part before Asuka battled back in the final minute or so of the bout before locking in her finisher and forcing Emma to submit. This didn't live up to expectations and it got to a point where the crowd got bored of seeing Emma on offense and likely would have wanted Asuka to destroy her. This could have been a stronger debut for Asuka, but it was still decent.
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