Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair def. The IIconics
It was illogical enough that Lynch and Flair competed for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship last week and it made even less sense for them to team up again here. They won't be in the same match at Survivor Series, so I don't understand what purpose this was supposed to serve. Meanwhile, I completely forgot The IIconics were on the Raw roster until they resurfaced here. The match was fine but nothing special. Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir attacking The IIconics afterward did a nice job of planting the seeds for the inevitable Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen clash, even if it's a long ways off.
Humberto Carrillo def. Karl Anderson
Carrillo pinned AJ Styles in last week's six-man tag team main event, hence why he took on Anderson here. I assume he'll get another shot at the United States Championship after Survivor Series. This was a well wrestled match that lasted a little longer than I thought it would considering the outcome was never in doubt (let's face it, has Anderson ever won on his own in WWE?). It's worth noting The Street Profits received a pretty good reaction when they came out to help Carrillo fend off The O.C.
Bobby Lashley def. No Way Jose
Vic Joseph mentioned how this was Lashley's first match on Raw in over four months. This should have been as simple as Lashley dominating Jose, which he did, but of course Lana had to speak and botch her promo again. She mistakenly said that the restraining order meant that Rusev would have to stay 90 miles from her at all times when in reality she meant 90 feet. This is your weekly reminder that the storyline sucks.
Seth Rollins def. Andrade
If Andrade won, he would have replaced Rollins as the captain of Team Raw for the men at Survivor Series. Needless to say, there was never any chance of that happening, but I enjoyed this outing, nonetheless, especially since it felt fresh. Zelina Vega getting ejected from ringside before the commercial break allowed them to do their thing before the interference from The Lucha House Party. I realize they're SmackDown Superstars, but it was lame. Rollins promised Andrade afterward that they'll do battle again down the road, but the whole point of this was for Andrade to earn his way onto Team Raw. I'm glad Andrade didn't get pinned, but it was weak, nonetheless.
Buddy Murphy def. Akira Tozawa
Before making his way to the ring, Murphy actually knocked on Aleister Black's door and called him out for a fight, but Black answered the door after he walked away. Tozawa hasn't been given a chance to shine since being drafted to Raw over a month ago, so I'm glad he got that chance here. This was fairly competitive for the time it was allotted and Tozawa looked credible in defeat, but Murphy winning to maintain his momentum was the right call.
Erick Rowan def. Alex Malcom
Rowan is still carrying an unknown animal to the ring in a clothed cage. It's honestly more intriguing than Rowan at this point, which shouldn't come as any surprise. He put Malcom away with ease, but not before beating up The Singh Brothers at ringside. The 24/7 Championship is so pointless that nobody bothered to pin them for the title, not even R-Truth. It's officially run its course and should be retired sooner rather than later.
Kevin Owens vs. Drew McIntyre Ended in a No Contest
Both of these guys will be on Team Raw for the men at Survivor Series, yet they faced off here. I'm not sure what this was intended to accomplish in terms of getting them on the same page, but at least it was an entertaining encounter. The crowd was quiet early on, but that didn't stop them from beating the hell out of each other and getting them invested in the action down the stretch. They kicked out of everything in their respective arsenals, but before either of them could win, Triple H's entrance music hit and the show cut to commercial. When it returned, Triple H was in the ring with Owens and McIntyre was gone. Huh? I liked the subsequent segment with HHH and Owens (despite how it was too similar to what we saw from Rollins and HHH two weeks ago), but they could have at least addressed how the match ended.
Paul heyman and Rey Mysterio Commented on the WWE Championship Match at Survivor Series
After recapping the events that have led up to Sunday's pay-per-view, Heyman announced that Lesnar vs. Mysterio will be a No Holds Barred match. Lesnar thrives in that stipulation, so it should be a blast (assuming Lesnar doesn't decimate Mysterio in a matter of minutes). Mysterio's rebuttal was well done, but I wish he and Lesnar would have had at least one more face-to-face ahead of Survivor Series.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Asuka def. Natalya
Natalya resumed her rivalry with The Kabuki Warriors on this show, yet her tag team partner Charlotte was busy with Lynch earlier in the evening. Strange. This was another case where both women will be representing Raw at Survivor Series but were pitted against each other, anyway. It was the quality contest, but unfortunately, the crowd couldn't have cared less. If nothing else, at least Asuka won. Hopefully her rivalry with Lynch is revisited coming out of the pay-per-view.
Randy Orton and Ricochet def. Raw Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders by Disqualification
Orton picking Ricochet to be his mystery partner could be seen coming from a mile away after what happened between the two last week. However, it was nice to see two Superstars who will be teaming up at Survivor Series make the effort to coexist. This would have benefited from more time as they weren't able to reach that next gear, but I liked it for what it was. You had to know a big brawl with Raw, SmackDown and NXT going at it would close out the show since, well, that's what WWE does every year. The reaction was lukewarm due to it being so predictable.
In defense of this show, the wrestling was much better on the whole compared to most weeks thanks to Owens vs. McIntyre (which the best bout of the night), Rollins vs. Andrade, and Murphy vs. Tozawa, but as the go-home show for Survivor Series, it failed to get me more excited for the event than I was previously. The brand supremacy stuff will forever be meaningless. NXT's involvement this year has been refreshing and the card for the pay-per-view looks strong on paper, but the storytelling screams laziness. I'd say that I'm looking forward to WWE getting Survivor Series over with so we can move on, but I fear there aren't any plans in place for most people and that Raw will continue to be a chore to sit through.
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