The Shield Interrupted Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and Raw General Manager Kurt Angle
Stephanie was a bit more bearable here than she was when she returned two weeks ago, but the writers have to know that she causes viewers to contemplate changing the channel whenever she shows up. She rarely does the roster any favors by running them down and Angle was no exception to her emasculation in this segment. Thankfully, The Shield salvaged it by standing up to her and challenging The New Day to a match at Survivor Series.
Bayley def. Mickie James and Dana Brooke in a Team Raw Qualifying Triple threat Match
Between these three women, there was never any doubt that Bayley was going over, and she should have. I'm not sure why Brooke was given an out for losing by having Asuka attack her, and I have no clue as to whether she's still a babyface or not, but who could possible care anyway? It was a fine little match that officially got Bayley on Team Raw, though I was waiting for Paige to resurface afterward. She was rumored to be backstage, but officials could be holding off on bringing her back until next week.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore and Drew Gulak def. Kalisto and Akira Tozawa
Enzo and Gulak are becoming quite the comedic duo, even if crowds aren't eating up their shtick. Unfortunately, the entertainment ends with their promos because this tag team match featured nothing of note whatsoever. If nothing else, it was a decent way to further the feuds involved and give Enzo a win ahead of his Cruiserweight title defense against Kalisto at Survivor Series. I wouldn't be surprised to see that match moved to the Kickoff show.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz Hosted Miz TV with Raw Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro
While everyone's mic work in this segment was solid, I'm not sure what purpose it served other than killing time. I mean, the match with them against The Shield later in the night had already been announced earlier in the evening on social media. This would have been effective if they held the six-man tag team match next week, but I did like how it gave Miz one last chance to rip into his Survivor Series opponent Baron Corbin. It's obvious Miz is winning that war of words.
Jason Jordan def. Bray Wyatt
It's both hilarious and sad that WWE made such a big deal out of Reigns' Raw return, yet Wyatt was randomly announced as Jordan's opponent on this show. There was no fanfare whatsoever, which might a fitting way of summing up his entire WWE career. Needless to say, Jordan as a babyface has been a bust because the crowd vehemently booed him here and the match was beyond boring as a result. Wyatt looked like a loser, though him injuring Jordan put his status for Survivor Series into question.
Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman Addressed WWE Champion AJ Styles
Many have claimed that Heyman has become repetitive with this promos, and while that is true to an extent, there is still no one better in the business at giving a main event a big fight feel better than him. This was no different and he successfully got me more excited for Lesnar vs. Styles at Survivor Series more than I was before, which I thought was impossible. They had almost no time to build up this bout, but it's a vast improvement over Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal, to say the least. By the way, who the hell proposes during a Paul Heyman promo?
The Shield def. Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Raw Tag Team Champions Sheamus & Cesaro
The Shield were the saving grace of Raw in 2013 and 2014 with their tremendous six-man tag team matches, so this brought back memories and was a lot of fun. The in-ring action was exciting, everyone played their roles well and it was the best thing on the show up to this point. I would assume this was meant to blow off Shield's feud with these three (since they weren't able to do it at TLC) unless there's plans to return to this rivalry after the pay-per-view.
Triple H Attacked Jason Jordan
Jordan might have benefited from being a part of Team Raw, but he offered zero star power, so the decision to go with Triple H over him was a wise one. His acting here was better than usual, but the fact of the matter is that as a babyface, he's not over at all. A heel turn coming out of this would be great, though, possibly with him costing Team Raw the victory on Sunday. Make no mistake about it, either: HHH and Angle going face-to-face in this segment was definitely designed to plant the seeds for a future WrestleMania match between them.
Finn Balor and Samoa Joe def. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
On paper, this sounded like a really cool match, but honestly, Anderson and Gallows haven't meant much in ages and thus the outcome to this match was obvious from the get-go. The story was whether Balor and Joe could work together, and ultimately, they did. The finishing sequence was well done and I loved how Joe stormed off immediately after they scored the victory.
Braun Strowman vs. KAne Went to a No Contest
I figured we would get this match before Survivor Series considering Kane wasn't booked for the card, but the match never actually got underway. Rather, they brawled for a bit and then Strowman put Kane through the ring. It wasn't that crazy of a brawl, so it wasn't as if it ended the night on a hot note, and it had nothing to do with Survivor Series. Perhaps that was WWE's way of explaining why Kane won't be at the event.
Of course, the card for Survivor Series is super strong now compared to what it was even one week ago and I'm very much looking forward to it. As for this go-home edition of Raw, there wasn't a ton to write home about it, but Heyman's promo, The Shield's six-man tag team match and Triple H's return were highlights. That made this an average episode in my eyes, so we'll see how they handle this momentum heading into Survivor Series and if they can book the show properly.
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