By Graham "GSM" Matthews
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins Interrupted Roman Reigns
I would hope that WWE would have learned their lesson by now and would know not to give a live mic to Reigns, but then again, how would he ever improve on the stick? Luckily, this crowd was very pro-Reigns and they ate up everything he said. He held his own on the mic and Rollins also played his role well. I didn't believe for a second that the title match would be made for anything but Survivor Series, so it was funny The Authority built the live crowd up only to knock them down. They acted as heels here, but I'm sure they'll be back to babyface mode by next week.
Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens def. Dolph Ziggler (Non-title)
It's a shame Ziggler has been diminished to mean nothing over the past year as a title program between him and Owens would be great if he was more credible. Nevertheless, they always work well together and this was another nice match from them that also successfully furthered the feud between Tyler Breeze and Ziggler. Hopefully we see more of Breeze on Raw in the coming weeks in a speaking role so the main audience can be properly introduced to him. A video package highlighting his work from NXT would do wonders.
Cesaro def. The Miz
This was a basic battle of the losers as neither of them having anything going at the moment, but it was decent while it lasted. Cesaro's connection with the crowd certainly helped and Miz was a good foil for him. I guess something on the Raw Pre-show set this up, but I didn't see it and I'm assuming a majority of the audience didn't either, so it would've helped if we got a promo from one of them before or after. I was glad to see Cesaro score a rare win, but now it's time for WWE to find something for him to do.
Bray Wyatt Addressed The Brothers of Destruction
I might be in the minority here, but I was blown away by the special effects and the fantastic video package highlighting The Brothers of Destruction. I didn't pay much attention to what Wyatt was saying because it wasn't anything we haven't heard before and the material was nothing new. That said, I'm intrigued as to where they're going with this. Will The Undertaker and Kane be facing The Wyatt Family at Survivor Series, or have they been kidnapped by them?
The Lucha Dragons def. King Barrett and Sheamus
The vignette that aired for The Lucha Dragons prior to the match made it somewhat obvious they were winning (and it didn't feature much outside of what they're capable of in the ring), but it was a step in the right direction. They've been underutilized since they arrived on the main roster after WrestleMania 31, but with The Usos and The Dudley Boyz back and now this, it appears WWE wants to really start pushing their babyface teams. The match was fun for what it was and the win for Dragons went over well. If only we knew more about who they are, the crowd just might be able to connect with them more.
United States Champion Alberto Del Rio def. R-Truth (Non-title)
I'm still on the fence about Alberto Del Rio being back. It was nice to see them acknowledge the Zeb Colter/Jack Swagger alliance backstage (in what was likely Swagger's first televised appearance of any kind in months), but I'd rather see Swagger join them than feuding with them (again). The match was a standard squash for Del Rio and a repeat of what we saw on SmackDown last week. The crowd was quiet for a majority of it, but Del Rio's new finisher is brutal, so at least that was cool.
Paige def. Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and Brie Bella in a No. 1 Contender's Fatal 4-Way for the Divas Championship
What a match! This was easily the best women's match we've had on the main roster in some time and I absolutely loved how mic time was given to each of the ladies before and afterward. That is how a "revolution" is done, not with pointless six-woman tag team matches. Yes, Paige winning was never in doubt, but the match itself was a real treat. Everyone shined at one point or another and Banks only lost because Paige was an opportunist. She'll get her time in the title picture sometime soon, but for now, it's important they tell the story with Paige and Charlotte that's been building for a while.
Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Ryback and The Usos def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens and WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day in a Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match
Initially, I wasn't high on the idea of doing a traditional Survivor Series tag team match in the main event of Raw because it gave away one of the focal points of the pay-per-view and it would mean some people might have to pull double duty, but it ended up working out for the best. It's great The Usos are back after a long layoff and they were made to strong from the get-go with their back-to-back eliminations of New Day members Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston. The rest of the match held up well, though the two babyfaces vs. one heel dynamic was odd toward the end. The disqualification protected Reigns and Rollins and it was a far better option than having Reigns pin Rollins before their championship clash on the big stage.
After last week's impressive episode, the latest edition of Raw was equally entertaining. With the exception of a few matches, everything served a purpose or furthered some sort of story and the wrestling on the whole was excellent again. Not only did the main event hold my interest, but it got me excited for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series as well as other expected matchups including The Usos vs. The New Day and Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens. The road to Survivor Series has been exceptional thus far and the videos that aired throughout the night looking at elimination tag team matches from past years made the event feel special for a change.
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