To begin this week’s Raw Deal, I just want to say it was really sad waking up on Monday to the news of the mass murders that took place at a concert in Las Vegas. One guy lost his mind and killed over 50 people while injuring hundreds more. It’s sickening. It was tough to do “normal” things after something like that happens, yet we have to keep going in our lives as best we can. Hopefully watching and writing about Raw for three hours will be a nice escape.
I won’t have a Smackdown review this week because I’m flying to Houston for a friend’s wedding. I leave early Wednesday morning and have to get up really early to get to the airport a few hours away, so I just won’t have time to write about Smackdown. I return home next Monday night, which means I can still do a Raw Deal next week. It also means the Hell in a Cell review will be delayed by a few days, but I’m pretty sure Kurt Zamora will cover for me on TJRWrestling with a live review. This is my first week off this year and I’m excited about it because I really need it.
Live from Denver, Colorado this is the Raw Deal for episode #1271. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
Raw started with the superstars on the stage and Jojo the ring announcer asked fans to stand for a moment of silence to honor those affected by the shooting in Las Vegas. Kurt Angle was in the middle along with Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon as well.
— WWE (@WWE) October 3, 2017
There was a video package from last week’s Raw when Roman Reigns beat The Miz clean in a match that wasn’t for the Intercontinental Title held by The Miz. After the match, Reigns was beat up by The Miz, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas, who used steel chairs to neutralize Reigns. Nobody came to the aid of Reigns as Miz and the Miztourage stood tall.
Seth Rollins, who is one half of the Raw Tag Team Champions, made his entrance. The middle rope is pink for breast cancer awareness month.
The announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Booker T was shown on camera welcoming us to the show. Phillips is replacing Michael Cole for this week only because Cole’s son got married this week, so Cole is missing the broadcast, which is rare for him.
Miz vs. Reigns for IC Title coming up later. Braun Strowman made his entrance.
Braun Strowman made his entrance for this opening match.
Analysis: Starting Raw with a match is refreshing because WWE usually starts the show with promos. They are doing it this way because the NFL game starts at 8:30pmET, so they have a half hour without competition from the NFL.
Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman
Rollins slapped Strowman in the face early on, Strowman said “are you stupid?” and chased after him. Strowman launched Rollins into the air leading to Rollins taking a bump on his stomach. Rollins got a bit of a comeback going as Strowman was on the floor, but when Rollins went for a dive out of the ring, Strowman was there to deck him with a punch to stop him.
Back from break, Strowman charged at Rollins in the corner and Rollins got his boot up to block him. Rollins jumped off the turnbuckle, Strowman caught him and hit a fallaway slam that sent Rollins to the floor. There were two fans dressed like Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan in row one. Strowman sent Rollins into the ring post. Rollins countered a slam by shoving Strowman into the ring post. Rollins hit a suicide dive that sent Strowman into the barricade. Rollins hit another suicide dive that sent Strowman into the barricade. Back in the ring, Rollins hit a springboard clothesline and he hit the clothesline for a second time. Rollins went up top for a Blockbuster neckbreaker that got a one count. Superkick to the face by Rollins followed by a low side kick, but Strowman countered the knee attempt with a clothesline. Strowman hit a Running Powerslam for the pinfall win after about 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Braun Strowman
Analysis: **1/2 That was a solid match with Rollins getting on some defense towards the end, but it was no surprise that Strowman got the win. The advantage of doing a match in the opening slot is that the crowd tends to be hotter at that point in the night. The win meant that Strowman beat Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins clean in back to back weeks.
After the match, Phillips said Strowman was unstoppable. I guess he’s unstoppable except for when Brock Lesnar beat him clean in under ten minutes eight days ago at No Mercy. WWE wants us to forget that.
Post match, Strowman picked up Rollins again and hit another Running Powerslam. Strowman teased leaving, but then he turned back to the ring. Dean Ambrose ran out to make the save. Ambrose kicked the top rope while Strowman was trying to get in the ring, so it stunned Strowman. Running dropkick by Ambrose. Strowman caught Ambrose coming off the turnbuckle and hit a Chokeslam. Strowman picked up Ambrose again for another Chokeslam. Strowman hit a Running Powerslam on Ambrose. Strowman left while Ambrose and Rollins were out in the ring.
Analysis: It was an ass kicking by Strowman like we’ve seen so many times from him. I think the last two weeks of Raw was what I like to call “character rehab” because WWE booked Strowman to be dominant in the last year, then he lost clean to Lesnar and now they are going to book him to beat up everybody to make fans forget the loss.
Sheamus and Cesaro walked by Strowman and they headed to the ring. Cesaro hit Ambrose with the Neutralizer. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Rollins. Cesaro was wearing a mouthguard because of the painful injury to his teeth from last week.
Analysis: The rivalry isn’t over. Cheap attack by the heels. Solid booking.
Later on Raw is Miz vs. Reigns for IC Title.
There was a video package about breast cancer awareness month because that’s what WWE does every October.
There was a plug for the Susan G. Komen organization that WWE works with to raise money for breast cancer research.
A video package aired about Mickie James and Alexa Bliss having an argument last week. It led to James kicking Bliss out of the ring.
Mickie James was shown walking backstage. She saw Alicia Fox and Emma standing there in the hallway. Emma told Mickie that she had gifts in her locker room. Mickie went into the room to find Depends as well as a walker. Mickie was furious. Mickie asked Emma where Bliss was and Emma pointed to the locker room down the hall. Mickie knocked on the door, Nia Jax opened the door and Bliss hid behind Jax. Bliss said she didn’t want to be in the ring with a mature woman like Mickie and said that Jax has no problem. Mickie told Jax she is on.
Analysis: It was a little hokey with some of the dialogue, but Mickie did a good job showing anger about the old references in the locker room. Saying Mickie is old isn’t something I’m a fan of, but it’s cheap heat and gets Mickie a storyline that she needed. Remember when Jax attacked Bliss to end Raw at one point to show that she was targeting her? Apparently they are still buddies.
Bray Wyatt was shown in his rocking chair talking about how “she would never lie to me” referencing Sister Abigail.
Elias was shown walking backstage because he’s up next.
PLUG TIME: It’s WWE Hell in a Cell week and because of that, I wrote a detailed column about the first HIAC match ever: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker for The Comeback. The match took place 20 years ago this week (Oct 5) and I loved it just as much today as I did back then. Article includes notes on the build, the actual match and why it’s so great. Please read, share and let me know what you remember about it too.
Elias told the people of Denver in the mile high city that he’d rather drown himself a mile below than live there. Elias did one of his songs without asking “who wants to walk with Elias?” His song had a lyric about the people in Denver being the worst in the USA. Titus O’Neil’s song interrupted.
Elias vs. Titus O’Neil (w/Apollo Crews)
Elias grounded O’Neil with a headlock and O’Neil came back by sending Elias into the turnbuckle. Body slam by O’Neil, splash in the corner and a boot to the face. Graves and Booker talked about O’Neil’s potential. Elias was sent to the floor, so he shoved Crews. O’Neil grabbed Elias by the hair, Elias stunned him by pulling his head against the top rope and Elias went back in the ring for a kick to the knee followed by the Drift Away neckbreaker. It went three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Elias
Analysis: 1/2* Bad match with some sloppy moments in there. Result was no surprise since O’Neil rarely wins any matches.
The announcers shilled WWE Network while plugging Smackdown’s Hell in a Cell this Sunday. There’s also Raw’s TLC show on October 22.
The great Mickie James was shown walking backstage because she’s up next.
There was a video about Asuka’s Raw brand debut at TLC on October 22.
Nia Jax made her entrance. I heard she’s not like most girls. It’s not a rumor since it’s in her song. Mickie James was up next to a decent reaction. Alexa Bliss, Raw Women’s Champion, was out at ringside to watch the match. The reaction for Bliss was better than the other two.
Mickie James vs. Nia Jax (w/Alexa Bliss)
Jax ran over James early with a running body attack. James tried to fight back, but Jax threw her across the ring. Booker did a good job talking about Mickie being a veteran and how when you’re at that point you wonder if your good enough with Booker saying you have to be mentally strong. Jax slapped on a bearhug followed by a body slam. Headbutt by Jax and then she tossed James to the floor as the show went to break.
Back from break, James ran towards Jax in the ring and Jax ran her over with a clothesline. The camera was on Bliss a lot, so we missed when Jax hit a move. James did a comeback with punches as the crowd rallied behind her. Jax picked up James by the legs and slammed her down. That was a sloppy looking move by Jax. Chinlock by Jax followed by a bearhug. James finally broke free with some kicks, two forearms to the face and a dropkick to the knee. Jax drove James into the corner. James kicked Jax, grabbed a headlock and hit a sweet Tornado DDT out of the corner. James covered, but Bliss was there to attack before the ref could even count. It went ten minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Mickie James
Analysis: *1/4 It was just an okay match. Watching Nia Jax on offense for ten minutes is boring. The DDT spot was really the only highlight. Jax is still limited in a lot of ways in terms of what she can do in the ring. The match was just Jax on offense for about 90% of it. The finish was done to protect Jax because they don’t like to beat her in singles matches that often, so having Bliss attack was the predictable way for it to end.
Bliss tossed James out of the ring while Jax was out in the ring. Bliss went after James on the floor, but Mickie punched her, Mickie sent Bliss into the barricade and Mickie kicked Bliss in the head to end it. Jax got back to her feet while James walked away. Mickie said “I’m going for number seven” referencing her six title reigns (5 Women’s, 1 Divas) and wanting one more. The crowd response for James beating up Bliss was pretty good.
Analysis: That was done well in terms of giving Mickie a “win” without getting a victory in the match. Having Mickie get the upper hand was what this segment needed to be. I’m just glad Mickie is being booked in a relevant way for the first time since she was moved to Raw earlier this year.
A video aired about Enzo Amore winning the Cruiserweight Title and then getting beat up last week on Raw. They even showed an “After Raw” clip of Braun Strowman beating up Enzo as well as the other cruiserweights beating up Enzo.
Enzo Amore was interviewed by Renee Young in the interview area. Renee asked him what his reaction was to being abhorred by the whole division. Enzo didn’t say anything because he had a shocked look on his face. Renee thanked him for joining her.
Analysis: Best Enzo interview ever! What’s weird is that on 205 Live, Enzo got the upper hand on Neville with an attack using a chair, but they didn’t even mention that.
Miz vs. Reigns for IC Title is later.
A video aired about musician Carlos Santana for Hispanic Heritage month.
A replay aired of Mickie James getting the upper hand on Alexa Bliss in the previous segment.
Mickie James was walking backstage when Charly Caruso walked up to her. Mickie said that there’s nothing that she wants more than a shot at the Raw Women’s Title. That led to Raw General Manager Kurt Angle informing her that based on her history and her performance earlier, Mickie is going to get a Raw Women’s Title shot against Alexa Bliss at TLC. Mickie was happy about it and said, “it’s true, it’s damn true” in an excited way. She was thrilled.
Analysis: It would have been nice if Mickie got a pinfall win to earn a title shot, but I guess the DQ win from earlier was enough. It’s possible that James wins the title at TLC. That’s what I want to see although I think Bliss retaining is more likely.
A video from Facebook earlier set up a tag match between Gallows & Anderson vs. Matt Hardy & Jason Jordan. Gallows called them nerds, which is something I enjoy.
Analysis: If you missed it last week, Jeff Hardy is having shoulder surgery this week, so he’ll be out of action for about six months or so.
Matt Hardy & Jason Jordan vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Jordan is wrestling is trunks now. He used to have a singlet. Gallows worked on Jordan for a bit, Jordan hit a clothesline off the ropes. Hardy hit a Side Effect on Anderson. Double team clothesline by the faces sent Gallows over the top to the floor. The match went to break a few minutes into it.
Back from break, Hardy was getting worked on by the heels and then Jordan got a tag. Jordan hit a belly to belly overhead suplex on Anderson and a shoulder tackle in the corner. Gallows got the that tag leading to a kick to the head of Jordan as the heels took control. The heels worked over Jordan in their corner with Anderson applying an armbar. Jordan hit a snap belly to back suplex on Anderson. Hardy got the hot tag against Gallows with the fans chanting “Delete” for his punches. Gallows missed a corner attack, Hardy with three clotheslines and a bulldog as well as a clothesline to Anderson at the same time for a two count. Matt sent Gallows’ head into the turnbuckles, Gallows came back with a punch to the face and Hardy came back with a Tornado DDT. Hardy hit an elbow drop off the middle rope for a two count as Anderson made the save. Jordan hit a dropkick to send Anderson out of the ring. Anderson sent Jordan into the barricade. Anderson distracted Matt, so Gallows splashed Matt against the turnbuckle. Anderson tagged in and they hit the double team Magic Killer on Hardy for the win with Jordan unable to make the save. It went 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Analysis: **3/4 That was a solid tag match with the heels doing a good job of finding a way to win with a crafty double team attack. I think the right team went over because Gallows & Anderson need some wins so they can become the next contenders for the title. Building up contenders with victories is the right way to do it. The Hardy/Jordan team is only a temporary thing to give them something to do and add depth to the division for now. Matt did very well after the hot tag like he’s done so many times.
Later on Raw, Enzo Amore addresses the Cruiserweight Division. Also, Miz vs. Reigns for the IC Title.
A replay was shown of Ambrose and Rollins getting beat up by Sheamus and Cesaro earlier.
Roman Reigns was shown backstage getting ready for his match when Charly Caruso walked up to him. Charly asked about what happened to Dean and Seth. Reigns said that Dean and Seth are big boys that are probably coming up with a strategy for next week. Reigns talked about how he doesn’t believe in complicated strategies against The Miz and said that his goal is to not leave Denver without the Intercontinental Championship.
There was a video about women that have survived breast cancer and WWE’s work with Susan G. Komen. Go to BeMoreThanPink.org for more info.
There was an in-ring segment with Dana Warrior along with three women and the Raw women’s division (all eight of them) were in the ring. Dana mentioned her late husband The Ultimate Warrior, which drew a big pop. The women were wearing an “Unleash Your Warrior” shirt except Dana. The three women in the ring were breast cancer survivors. The three women were given pink WWE Championships. The WWE women hugged them to end the segment.
Analysis: It’s something WWE does every year to help raise awareness for breast cancer. There’s nothing wrong with devoting five minutes to it. As for the Ultimate Warrior, he said some of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard when he would rip on gay people and trashed Droz for being in a wheelchair. Maybe Warrior regretted it, but celebrating him like that is silly to me considering some of the things he said in his life.
Miz vs. Reigns is up next.
The Miz made his entrance along with Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. They entered by walking in through the crowd similar to what The Shield used to do. A replay aired of The Miz and the Miztourage destroying Roman Reigns last week with an assist from a steel chair.
Roman Reigns entered the match as the challenger with Graves saying that Reigns “took the torch of this company” from John Cena at No Mercy. That’s an interesting narrative they are trying to tell and the fans don’t really agree with it. Reigns got a mixed reaction like usual.
Analysis: The match took place towards the end of hour two, which is around when halftime of the Monday Night Football NFL game took place. Same slot they were in last week.
Reigns nailed Axel with a Superman Punch before the bell rang. Reigns also hit a Superman Punch on Dallas. Reigns hit a Drive By dropkick on Axel. Reigns sent Dallas into the steel steps at ringside. Reigns hit a clothesline that sent Axel over the barricade into the crowd. Reigns grabbed a steel chair and Axel went up the ramp to try to get away. Reigns hit Axel in the back while on the ramp. Dallas saved Axel briefly, but Reigns decked Dallas with a Superman Punch. Reigns hit Dallas and Axel with four chair shots each to the back. Referees showed up to get Reigns to stop. Reigns walked down to the ring as the show went to break.
Analysis: That was a good way to start the match because Reigns wanted revenge for being attacked last week. Taking out the Miztourage like that portrayed Reigns as a smart wrestler that knew what he had to do in order to get the advantage early on.
The bell rang to start the match with no sign of the Miztourage around.
Intercontinental Championship: The Miz vs. Roman Reigns
Reigns was in control early on by sending Miz into the barricade around ringside. Miz left the ring, drew Reigns in and Miz sent Reigns into the steel steps. Miz dumped Reigns over the barricade. The ref counted Reigns out, but Reigns got back in the ring before the ten count. Miz hit a DDT on Reigns for a two count. Miz slapped on a headlock, Reigns broke free and Miz hit a boot to the face for two. The fans were chanting for Reigns as Miz hit a running attack to the back of Reigns for a two count and the show went to break there.
Back from break, Miz hit the weak looking kicks to the chest that he stole from Daniel Bryan. As usual, the last one didn’t connect, Reigns grabbed him and hit a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Miz avoided a Superman Punch and hit a Skull Crushing Finale for two. That was a good spot. Miz was stunned by not winning with the SCF. Both guys were down. Reigns came back with a Superman Punch for a two count. Reigns was shocked by that move only getting a two count even though he doesn’t win matches with that move. Reigns set up for the Spear, but Cesaro and Sheamus showed up to pull Reigns out of the ring. The ref called for the bell for the disqualification. It went 11 minutes. The crowd was booing all of this.
Winner by disqualification: Roman Reigns
Analysis: ***1/4 That was pretty good with a predictable ending because I didn’t expect Reigns to win the title. I doubt many people did. I liked the way Miz looked against Reigns because it could have been something where Reigns was booked in a more dominant way, but Miz was given a lot of offense. Reigns has shown many times he can have good matches like that, which is why I always find it weird when his haters complain to me about his matches. He’s really not that bad. I’m not saying Reigns is the best in the ring, but he’s improved a lot in the last few years.
Sheamus and Cesaro sent Reigns into the barricade at ringside. The heels brought Reigns into the ring as Miz joined them in beating up Reigns. Cesaro set up Reigns and hit the Neutralizer on Reigns. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Reigns. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Reigns. The heels celebrated their attack on Reigns and they left. Miz stopped them.
The fans chanted “Shield” as the three heels stood on the ring apron. The three heels went in the ring, Cesaro and Sheamus hoisted Reigns up and they hit a three man Powerbomb on Reigns like The Shield had done so many times. Miz, Cesaro and Sheamus did The Shield’s fist pose over a fallen Reigns in the ring. Miz’s music played to end it. The crowd reacted to it with boos and just a loud reaction.
Analysis: It’s the second week in a row where Reigns got his ass kicked and nobody saved him. That also means it’s going to Miz, Cesaro and Sheamus against The Shield at TLC although it’s not official yet. Last week in my review I mentioned that as a possibility because doing Miz, Dallas and Axel wouldn’t have been strong enough. Since Cesaro and Sheamus have the story with Rollins and Ambrose right now, it makes sense to do it this way. Plus, there’s more star power here.
A replay aired of what happened before the break.
Let’s Hear From Finn Balor
Finn Balor made his entrance to a good ovation. He was in his ring gear including the leather jacket. A replay aired from last week with Balor beating Goldust and then he was serenaded with kids singing “he’s got the whole world in his hands” for Bray Wyatt. The announcers pushed the “extraordinary” nickname for Balor.
Balor said “this is Balor Club right here in Denver, Colorado.” Cheap pop. Balor admitted that he doesn’t like to come out there and talk. Balor said he likes to come out there and fight. Balor mentioned Bray Wyatt likes to play mind games like last week when he’s got kids singing. Balor said that if Wyatt had the whole world in his hands he wouldn’t know what to do with it. Balor said Wyatt may call himself a God and the Eater of Worlds, but Balor sees Wyatt as a coward. Balor pointed out that Wyatt lost to the Demon at SummerSlam and he lost to “the man” at No Mercy. Balor said that Wyatt can make excuses, but the fact is that he’s afraid. Balor added that despite all of Wyatt’s games, he can’t beat Balor. That led to Balor inviting Wyatt to come out there.
Wyatt was shown on his rocking chair in a dark room with Wyatt saying “she never lied to me” but added that Balor did. Wyatt said that at No Mercy, Balor was more than just a man. Wyatt called Balor a liar for saying the man created the demon. Wyatt wanted Balor to show his true face. Wyatt wanted Balor to bring his Demon so Wyatt can show him what he’s all about. Wyatt: “Abigail is alive and she is dying to meet you.” Wyatt laughed as his body was faded out and they showed more of a skeleton like figure in his There was also a woman’s laugh to signify that Abigail was there with him in spirit.
Analysis: The feud just got creepier with that. It’s possible that they might debut a woman with Wyatt as Sister Abigail. I know that in the past he has said that she is dead, but Wyatt is a heel and we know heels lie. I thought No Mercy was the end of this feud. Nope. It just keeps going. Yawn.
A video package aired about Asuka with other WWE women talking about how good Asuka is. Asuka debuts as part of Raw on October 22 at TLC.
Sasha Banks and Bayley made their entrances separately. Bayley gave her jacket to a girl that was wearing Bayley gear. A clip aired of Banks and Bayley beating Emma and Nia Jax last week.
Emma made her entrance and did a pre-match promo. Graves had a funny line about how he wants Emma to be successful so she can buy the rest of her gloves. That’s funny because Emma’s got those half gloves for her entrance.
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Emma & Alicia Fox
Banks had some success against Emma early on. I’m not an expert in women’s hair extensions, but Banks sure has some long hair for this match. Longer than normal. Emma sent Bayley head first into the turnbuckle, Bayley no sold it, Bayley sent Emma’s head into the turnbuckle, Fox distracted Bayley and Emma hit a forearm to Bayley to take control. Fox dropkick on Banks and Fox dumped Bayley to the floor as the show went to break.
Back from break, Fox and Banks got into a weak looking exchange of punches. The heels worked together to isolate Banks for a few minutes. Banks was bleeding from the mouth a bit. Emma hit a butterfly suplex on Banks for a two count. The crowd didn’t care about this too much. Fox hit a backbreaker for two. The heels kept working on Banks with Banks nearly tagging out, but Fox prevented it. Bayley got the hot tag leading to a neckbreaker using the ropes for an assist. Bayley hit a running elbow to Fox in the corner. Fox hit a jawbreaker. When Fox tried to tag out, Emma pulled her hand away and Emma left. Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly suplex on Fox for the win after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Sasha Banks & Bayley
Analysis: *1/4 Boring match that went too long. The fans don’t see Emma and Alicia Fox as stars, so when they are in a match for over ten minutes the crowd barely reacts to it. Emma walking away puts over Emma’s gimmick as an egomaniac even though she loses nearly every match she’s in. It also felt repetitive because we saw Bayley and Banks team together to win last week against Emma with a different partner in Nia Jax. That match was boring too. The lack of storyline direction for Bayley and Banks has hurt both of them. I hope that Banks turns heel soon.
There was another replay of last week’s Raw where Braun Strowman and the cruiserweights destroyed Enzo Amore after Raw.
Enzo Amore addresses the cruiserweight division up next.
Next week on Raw: Miz TV with Sheamus and Cesaro as the guests.
Enzo Amore Addresses The Cruiserweight Division
Enzo Amore made his entrance. Graves had some lines about adoption since he had a Twitter exchange with Enzo and Graves mentioned his son liked Enzo. Enzo had the Cruiserweight Title on around his waist. Enzo was limping his way down to the ring to sell the beating he took last week on Raw.
Enzo said he’s doing great, but let’s get down to brass tax. Enzo said that as far as the cruiserweight division is concerned, they can go to hell. Enzo said anybody that agrees with what they did can go to hell. Enzo bragged about making 205 Live relevant and he made it the main event two weeks in a row.
(This is where I can point out that last week’s third hour of Raw lost about 500,000 viewers from the first hour, which was one of the biggest third hour drops in Raw history.)
Enzo talked about how last week when he took that beating he heard people chanting “you deserve it” and said you’re damn right he deserves that title. Enzo added that if having success is wrong, he doesn’t want to be right. Enzo talked about how he’s making cheddar more than any of the cruiserweights put together. Enzo bragged about how he’s earned that money. Enzo said whoever said talk is cheap obviously never booked Enzo Amore. Enzo added he’s a ratings draw (see my earlier point) and he kept on going while admitting that he’s hurting. Enzo made a joke that his back was hurting from carrying the cruiserweight division on his back.
Enzo mentioned that last week, he had a clause in a contract that said if any of the cruiserweights put their hands on him then that means they forfeit a title shot. Enzo got another clause in a contract saying that if any cruiserweight puts their hands on him then they lose a title shot and they are fired. Enzo said that means he has no opponents. Enzo kept on ranting while doing his “SAWFT” bit with the crowd chanting along.
Analysis: That went on for far too long. It appears that Enzo is in a heel role, but he still does a lot of things he did as a face. The whole thing feels like a partial turn rather than a full turn. Whatever you want to call, it’s clear that WWE believes in Enzo enough to give him time in the main event slot of Raw.
Neville walked out with members of the cruiserweight division. They were all in their ring gear. Enzo left the ring and he was surrounded by cruiserweights with different guys in different parts of the arena. When Enzo went back in the ring, the cruiserweight division stood on the apron. Enzo brought out the paper. Enzo ripped on everybody on the apron while telling Drew Gulak it’s good he’s got a suit on because he should join Corey Graves on commentary. That’s Enzo ripping on Graves. Enzo called Kendrick a hobo. Enzo told TJ Perkins to present an ID because he doesn’t want to beat up a minor. Enzo asked Neville if he wants to hit Enzo and lose his job. Enzo reminded them they’ll lose their job if they do something stupid.
Analysis: There was more to it with Enzo ripping on each guy, but you get the gist of it from my review. I’m very tired of Enzo’s promos by this point.
Kurt Angle, the Raw General Manager, showed up to interrupt. Angle said that based on last week, none of the cruiserweights can challenge Enzo Amore for the Cruiserweight Championship and they can’t hit Enzo or they will be fired. Angle said that none of this applies to the newest member of the cruiserweight division that he just signed.
It’s Kalisto, who is a former WWE United States Champion. Mild reaction for him.
Kalisto went in the ring, kicked Enzo in the gut and hit a snap hurricanrana. Kalisto hit the Salida del Sol on Enzo. Kalisto’s music played.
Analysis: Congrats to WWE for remembering that Kalisto is a cruiserweight and finally giving him something to do. I like Kalisto. The problem is that he has done nothing for so long that it may be tough for the fans to get behind him. Kalisto should have been a part of the division for the last year. At least this will give Enzo a credible opponent and a fresh rival in Kalisto.
Roman Reigns was seated in the locker room looking hurt from the attack he suffered earlier in the night. The fans booed mostly when he was on the screen. Dean Ambrose showed up on Roman’s right side. Reigns stood up to stare at Ambrose. Seth Rollins walked into the picture on Roman’s left side. The crowd cheered loudly as the three former members of The Shield stood together again. The crowd’s cheers grew louder. They all nodded their heads. Ambrose left. Rollins left and Reigns was left alone as Raw ended.
Analysis: Great reaction for it. Nobody said a word, but we all knew what they meant. The segment earlier with Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro beating on Reigns set this up along with Sheamus and Cesaro beating up Ambrose and Rollins. The return of The Shield was inevitable. Might as well do it now without much else going on the Raw brand. It keeps Reigns busy as well since he’s already feuded with Braun Strowman enough while there’s no Brock Lesnar or John Cena on the show.
Three Stars of the Show
1. The Miz
2. Roman Reigns
3. (tie) Braun Strowman
3. (tie) Seth Rollins
4.5 out of 10
Last week: 5
2017 Average: 5.85
Average since brand split starting July 25/16: 5.86 (Smackdown is 6.61)
Last 5 Weeks: 5, 5, 6, 7.5, 6
2017 High: 8 (April 3)
2017 Low: 4 (Jan. 9, Feb. 27 & June 12)
I give it a 4.5 out of 10.
It was a boring show. Raw is hurting in terms of star power right now. The Shield reunion was obviously going to happen since Raw doesn’t have a lot going on heading into TLC. As cool as it is to see The Shield back together, we just saw Rollins and Ambrose lose singles matches in back to back weeks. That doesn’t make them look good at all.
There’s no real storyline for one of their biggest stars Braun Strowman, which is a shame because of the superstar presence he brings.
Putting the cruiserweights in the “main event” again doesn’t feel like a big deal. As I noted earlier, less people watch the third hour than the other hours, so that’s why WWE does it that way.
October is usually one of the worst periods for WWE programming. The Shield reunion will provide some excitement, but the Raw product overall isn’t that exciting right now.
That’s all for this week. See ya next time for the Smackdown review.
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