Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey Crashed Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and Braun Strowman's Negotiation
There was a lot to unpack here, but it was a solid segment on the whole. First of all, having Strowman crash the tag team Battle Royal was dumb because it made the entire division look like a bunch of losers. I realize that is indeed the case, but this further illustrated that (it's like having the commentators call wrestling fake/scripted even though everyone is already aware). Beyond that, though, there was a good amount of hype for Survivor Series in this segment. Stephanie's presence was completely unnecessary, but Rousey getting physical with Corbin was cool.
Tamina def. Ember Moon
Needless to say, I am no fan of this newfound alliance between Nia Jax and Tamina, regardless whether a women's tag team division is on the horizon or not. They are awful together, let alone on their own, so I don't have much faith for their future as a unit. Unfortunately, Moon is paying the price for it because she has now lost to them in singles competition three weeks in a row. This was a pretty abysmal match with the expected outcome.
Dean Ambrose Interrupted Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins
I've really, really enjoyed the progression of this storyline up to this point. Rollins has come across as extremely likable and forgiving of his now-former friend, while it's smart for Ambrose to make viewers want to hear him explain his actions by dragging it out over a few weeks. This was an excellent interaction between the two, and Ambrose's logic for betraying The Shield was basically what everyone assumed it would be (which isn't a bad thing). Look for Ambrose to play a factor in the finish to Rollins' match with Shinsuke Nakamura at Survivor Series.
Finn Balor def. Dolph Ziggler
I had hope that Drew McIntyre attacking Balor following his loss to Bobby Lashley last week would lead to a feud between the two, and that appears to be the direction they're headed in based off what we saw in this segment. Their verbal exchange was strong and I'm very happy McIntyre is being positioned as a top talent finally. The match itself was the best thing on the show up to this point and Balor's win was encouraging, earning him a spot on Team Raw.
The Riott Squad Attacked Natalya
The Riott Squad bullying Natalya last week and breaking her father's sunglasses was such a stupid angle and I didn't think it could get any worse. Well, it did on this show. I can't imagine actually thought Ruby Riott was being sincere when she "apologized" for what she did before saying she enjoyed every second of it. Their beatdown on Natalya was so bad that it was embarrassing. I highly doubt anyone truly cares about this feud.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable Won a Tag Team Battle royal to Become the Team Captains for Raw's Tag Team Survivor Series Team
WWE already established earlier in the evening that their tag team division means nothing, so why even bother holding the Battle Royal at this point? None of this was exciting in the slightest, and I couldn't believe it came down to Roode and Gable, The B-Team, and The Ascension. The latter two tandems are jokes, while Roode and Gable likely won't be together in the long-run. What a waste of time this was.
Universal Champion Brock Lesnar Attacked Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers
It was about damn time Lesnar made an appearance on Raw where he did more than bounce around and deliver one F5. This segment reminded me of Lesnar's first few years back in WWE when he would unleash all hell on a handful of enhancement wrestlers. Mahal and The Singh Brothers were the perfect people to take a beating him here, and I liked how Mahal mentioned that they almost did battle at Survivor Series last year before AJ Styles took the WWE Championship from him. Imagine how atrocious that match would have been had it come to fruition.
Bobby Lashley def. Elias by Count-out to Qualify for Raw's Men's Survivor Series Team
It brings a smile to my face that the "Ohhh Walk With Elias!" chants that started on Raw in England last week are sticking if this crowd was any indication. Beyond the fans eating up everything Elias did, however, this was a poor segment/match. Lashley joining Team Raw isn't terrible, but Elias deserves that spot so much more considering he has way more momentum at the moment. If nothing else, he wasn't pinned, so perhaps this turns into a feud between them coming out of the event.
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley Ended in a No Contest
I can't say I'm shocked the match ended up being for nothing because Alexa Bliss had her fifth member (Riott) picked out the entire time, but what we got from Banks and Bayley was entertaining. It's just a shame neither will be at Survivor Series as of now and their horrid 2018 continues to disappoint. Thankfully, things picked up when Becky Lynch was shown brutalizing Ronda Rousey backstage before leading the charge into the ring. She looked like a complete badass! My only nitpick about the massive brawl that broke out between the women of Raw and SmackDown Live was that Charlotte Flair was involved and fighting proudly for the blue brand alongside her arch-rival Lynch. I would have held off on that until SmackDown, because with the story they've been telling with her in recent weeks, she should not have been so quick to join the squad just because the rest of the ladies wanted to make a statement. Other than that, this was an awesome way to end the evening leading into Sunday's show.
Raw is in a rut right now, but that much was obvious. The build for Survivor Series has suffered as a result, and while I'm not at all invested in the Raw vs. SmackDown stuff, the matches for the pay-per-view on paper have promise. As a go-home show, though, this edition of Raw was mediocre at best. Only the ending really sparked my interest (Rousey vs. Lynch must main event Survivor Series), whereas everything else was either just kind of there or left me underwhelmed/indifferent. Call me a pessimist, but I'm not counting on that changing any time soon.
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