The Shield Reunited and Crashed Miz TV with Intercontinental Champion The Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro
I've been waiting over three years to write "The Shield" in one of these reviews, so of course, I was anxiously anticipating this reunion like everyone else and it was absolutely amazing. Miz's setup with "The Mizzies" and Sheamus and Cesaro was great and then Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins crashing the party blew the roof off the building (the same city where The Shield formed and broke up, might I add). This was seriously one of the most magical moments Raw has produced in recent memory and words can not describe how excited I am to hear The Shield's original entrance music come TLC.
Jason Jordan def. Karl Anderson
Following last week's loss in tag team action, it was important for Jordan to get some momentum back, so this was a smart way of accomplishing that. Anderson is rarely showcased on his own, so this was solid showing for him as well. Jordan isn't exactly over with the audience just yet, but picking up small victories such as this one are steps in the right direction. I wouldn't be surprised if he contends for the Intercontinental Championship again sooner rather than later.
Elias def. Apollo Crews
There is no doubt that Crews is a skilled athlete, but he loses more often than not, including against Elias on two previous occasions. Thus, why did fans have any reason to care about this contest? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Elias continues to win and I've been digging his act on the main roster more than I ever thought I would, but this program is pointless if Titus Worldwide is being steamrolled during every encounter.
Raw General Manager Kurt Angle Confronted WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore
Well, we've been saying for a long time now that the Cruiserweights needed more focus and storyline progression on Raw, and we got what we wanted in the form of this segment. Both men played their roles well as Angle pushed the scheduled Cruiserweight Championship match between Enzo and Kalisto at TLC to the main event of this show. I'm not sure how wise it was to announce in advance that the Cruiserweights were closing out the night again, but at least WWE is trying something new with them.
Braun Strowman def. Matt Hardy
Unfortunately, my immediate thought when I realized Hardy was Strowman's opponent was that he would be squashed in the matter of minutes, but thankfully, I was wrong. Yes, Hardy did lose decisively, but he gave Strowman a hell of a fight and even hit his finisher on him (which not many can lay claim to). I simply do not have faith WWE has any plans for Matt on his own and that's a massive shame, but on the bright side, The Shield ambushing Strowman afterward was another awesome moment and led to Strowman being added to the TLC main event.
Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss Confronted Mickie James
James desperately needed the time to talk about her motivation for being back in WWE and why fans should invest in her as a legitimate challenger to the championship. Sadly, this feud is all about her age, despite how she looks better now than she did before she left WWE in 2010. That said, this was a decent promo exchange from the two and I'm happy James is getting the spotlight for a change.
The Brian Kendrick and Gentleman Jack Gallagher def. Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexnader
I guess I shouldn't have been shocked, but the ongoing angle with Alexander, Gallagher and Kendrick hadn't received much attention at all in recent weeks on Raw even though it's been going on for a while now. Nevertheless, this was a well-wrestled matchup that the crowd sat on their hands for. The heels won as they should have given they are being built up as an unstoppable force on 205 Live and Alexander is attempting to overcome the odds.
Bray Wyatt Interrupted Finn Balor
Are we sure WWE isn't just showing replays of past Balor and Wyatt verbal exchanges every week on Raw? Because this wasn't much different from anything they've said before, aside from how it basically confirmed the rumor that caused the internet to explode last week that Wyatt is Sister Abigail. I'm sorry but that is incredibly asinine. This feud resuming beyond No Mercy was unnecessary to begin with, but that is just downright dumb. As if the Bray Wyatt character wasn't already dead in the water...
Emma def. Sasha Banks, Alicia Fox, Bayley and Dana Brooke in a Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match to Earn the Right to Face Asuka at WWE TLC
WWE sure does love their multi-woman matches, eh? It really didn't matter who won given they are going to get squashed by Asuka in her debut regardless, but as a match, this was pretty bad. I had no idea it was elimination-style until Brooke was eliminated and it only got worse from there. My god, Fox and Brooke are absolutely atrocious. Meanwhile, Emma winning is a logical move since Banks and Bayley should be saved as opponents for Asuka for later down the line.
Kalisto def. Enzo Amore in a Lumberjack Match to Win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
It's interesting that these two were a part of the "heavyweight" division two months ago and they have since been brought into the Cruiserweight division to help salvage it. Neville (who was conspicuous by his absence here) couldn't manage to get a passable match out of Enzo at No Mercy, but Kalisto had better luck and the two had an average outing. The Lumberjack stipulation made sense after everything that's happened in the last few weeks, but it didn't seem to make a difference in terms of the crowd being any more receptive toward this contest early on. They did pick up the pace down the stretch, though I don't recall there ever being no disqualifications in a Lumberjack match. The finishing sequence was fun, but I question the decision to take the title off Enzo so soon. I bet they'll put the belt back on him as soon as TLC, but time will tell.
Needless to say, the show peaked with The Shield reunion and nothing else on this episode came close to topping it. Per usual, the three hours dragged and there wasn't much worth watching beyond The Shield stuff, but at least the crowd came alive at the end when Kalisto captured the Cruiserweight Championship. More importantly, the hype for TLC has been well done so far, but there's a number of matches that still need to be announced for the card and they have only one week left to do so.
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