The Shield Interrupted Raw General Manager Kurt Angle
I thought we would have to wait until TLC to hear "Sierra Hotel India Echo Lima Delta The Shield" and see all three guys wearing their tactical vests again, but apparently not, and I have no complaints about that. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins cut good, intense promos in this segment to hype up their first match back together at TLC against The Miz, The Bar and Braun Strowman. Angle also advertised the Steel Cage main event and the Raw Tag Team Championship match for later in the night.
Jason Jordan, Apollo Crews and Titus O'Neil def. Elias, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
These are two feuds I honestly couldn't care less about at the moment, and combining them both in a multi-man match didn't change that. The in-ring action was actually decent and it received a better reaction than it would have later on in the night, but I'm almost positive that we'll either get a rematch of this or Jordan and Matt Hardy vs. Anderson and Gallows again on the TLC Kickoff show.
Cedric Alexander def. Gentleman Jack Gallagher
Anything outside of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship picture is rarely featured on Raw, so it was nice to see Alexander, Gallagher, The Brian Kendrick and Rich Swann receive some television time. I was shocked that the crowd didn't completely sit on their hands for this, and while Alexander and Gallagher didn't go all out like I know they can, this was an enjoyable little match to build toward the tag team match taking place at TLC. Interestingly enough, it isn't currently slated for the Kickoff show according to WWE.com, but that could always change.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz Hosted Miz TV with The Bar and Braun Strowman
The mic work from Miz and The Bar was more of the same from last week, but it effectively furthered their feud with The Shield heading into their main event TLC match. Strowman's promo was short and sweet as it should have been, but this segment wouldn't have been anything out of the ordinary if it wasn't for Angle announcing the stipulations for the Steel Cage match: an extra man would be added to Miz's team if Strowman won, whereas Strowman would be removed if he lost.
Sasha Banks def. Alicia Fox
Banks eliminated Fox from last week's Fatal 5-Way elimination match, hence the reason behind this bout. That said, I could have done without it because I immediately lose interest in anything involving Fox. It was fine for what it was, but Fox isn't and has never been a threat to anyone. Banks won as she should have, but based off the backstage attack afterward, it looks like we're in for another Banks vs. Fox match on Sunday. I guess they have to fill out the card somehow with John Cena and Brock Lesnar taking the night off and the remaining top stars working the main event.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore Attacked Kalisto
As much as I was originally dreading the thought of Enzo in the Cruiserweight division, he has been carrying it these past few weeks. His promo here was far superior to Kalisto's, but if nothing else, they did their best to hype their upcoming rematch for the title. It was weird to see the heels align with Enzo after they were positioned against him for so long, but it did make Kalisto and Mustafa Ali out to be sympathetic babyfaces.
Raw Tag Team Champions Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins def. Sheamus and Cesaro
Needless to say, these two teams have had better matches before at SummerSlam and No Mercy, but this was still a hell of a television match and the audience ate up everything The Shield did. It was silly to think that the tag titles would change hands so close to the pay-per-view, but it helped make the match more meaningful and it was easily the best thing on the entire show.
Finn Balor Addressed Bray Wyatt
There must be something going on in the Rotunda family considering Wyatt and Bo Dallas haven't been on Raw these past two weeks. Obviously, Wyatt will be back by Sunday, but his absence as of late hasn't done anything for his feud with Balor. It shouldn't have continued to begin with, but if it wasn't already evident, this has been a complete waste of Balor. Will he be bringing "The Demon" to TLC when he faces Wyatt again? Better question: will it even matter?
Mickie James and Bayley def. Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss and Emma
Aside from all the talk about how "old" she is (I know heels are supposed to be bullies but it would be better to not draw attention to something as insignificant as that), James has come a long way since he first challenged Bliss for the Raw Women's Championship. She went from being just another woman on the roster to pinning Bliss in this bout. It was well-wrestled and gave viewers an incentive to believe that she has a shot of becoming champion. I don't think she will, but I appreciate the effort, nonetheless.
Braun Strowman def. Roman Reigns in a Steel Cage Match; Miz Added Kane to Their Team at WWE TLC
While this wasn't the greatest match Reigns and Strowman have ever contested together, it was a quality contest hindered by the interference from The Bar, Ambrose and Rollins. The big spots delivered, but the rest of it was largely brawling up until the return of Kane, which I don't think anyone saw coming. I figured he wouldn't resurface until his political stuff had wrapped up. He has history with The Shield from years ago (he was actually a part of their debut match), though it would have been awesome if the commentators bothered to mention that before the show went off the air.
As a go-home show for the TLC event, it certainly succeeded in getting me extra excited for the main event, but you had to know the undercard was going to be thrown together because that TLC match contains so much star power. I can't say I'm thrilled by the other matches on tap for the pay-per-view, but maybe they will exceed my expectations. Once again, The Shield stole this show with their matches along with their opponents, but mostly everything else came across as filler.
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