Date: November 12, 2018
Location: Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO
The Big Takeaway --
Becky Lynch was the star of Raw. Lynch attacked Ronda Rousey and led the Smackdown women in attacking Raw’s women’s Survivor Series team. Lynch was covered in blood by the end of it, perhaps from a broken nose, but stood tall at the end of the show.
Show Recap --
A video was shown for Veterans Day in the United States.
Tag Team Battle Royal ended in a no contest
The match was supposed to determine tag captains for Survivor Series. I was about to express my surprise that a match started Raw, but of course, almost as soon as the match started, Braun Strowman marched down to destroy everyone.
A few guys tried to overwhelm him but he fought them off. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, who won a multi-man tag match a couple of weeks ago, were part of the carnage. Strowman grabbed a chair which caused Roode and Heath Slater to run from the ring. The match just ended without an announcement.
Strowman sat down on the chair and announced that he wasn’t chasing Baron Corbin anymore, and he would stay in the ring until Corbin got these hands. Stephanie McMahon came out. She understood his frustration but said he couldn’t hold Raw hostage. Stephanie tried to talk about Shane McMahon winning the world cup for Smackdown.
Strowman said he didn’t care about Shane. Stephanie got in his face and said he better care about Raw and Survivor Series. Strowman said he knows how management looked at him, but wasn’t going to be manipulated by her. He demanded she bring out Corbin. Stephanie knew he was smart and had a business proposition.
She noted that Raw has defeated Smackdown two years in a row, and if Strowman leads them to victory again, he can have whatever he wants. Strowman didn’t care about her promises, he wanted another title match against Brock Lesnar. Stephanie agreed. Strowman also wanted Corbin and wanted to pick the stipulation. Stephanie agreed.
However, she said Strowman can’t lay a hand on Corbin until after Survivor Series. Strowman said she better deliver or he’ll go to WWE headquarters and destroy the whole building. As Stephanie spoke about wanting the Raw roster at their best, Ronda Rousey interrupted. Stephanie was about to introduce her, but Rousey grabbed the mic away.
Rousey said Stephanie couldn’t offer her anything to make her more motivated than she already was. She’s been waiting for a challenge like Becky Lynch since she got here and couldn't wait to show “the man” how it’s really done. Rousey looked at Stephanie like she might practice on her first, but Corbin interrupted.
Corbin wanted to motivate his team too and said they shouldn’t get overconfident while looking right at Rousey. He put his hand on her shoulder, so she flipped him to the ground and marched off. Strowman then faced off with Corbin but Stephanie got in the middle and told Corbin to “shut up.” Strowman said he would neuter Corbin after Survivor Series.
The crowd liked Strowman. The show was 18 minutes old by the time this segment was over. They went to break letting us know that Ember Moon would wrestle Tamina next. Tamina and Nia Jax were shown bullying random people backstage.
Tamina (w/Nia Jax) defeated Ember Moon (8:35)
Moon was all over Tamina and the crowd lightly chanted for her. Jax distracted Moon, allowing Tamina to knock her over and send the rest of us to commercial two minutes into the match. Tamina had Moon in a headlock after the break. Moon fought back and gave Jax a suicide dive during her comeback, but Jax didn’t budge.
Moon managed to catch Tamina with a springboard crossbody, then went to the top, but was again distracted by Jax. Tamina knocked her off the top, then hit a diving splash for the win. Jax attacked Moon afterwards and posed with Tamina as the crowd booed.
Moon is fun on offense but this was no good. She was distracted by Jax at least four times during the match.
Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs were shown at ringside.
Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose segment
Corey Graves was in the ring and introduced Seth Rollins. Graves asked him about his state of mind going into his first time ever match against Shinsuke Nakamura. Rollins hyped the match, but said he didn’t care about Nakamura. Graves warned him that if he wasn’t focused, Nakamura would knock his head off.
Rollins said he would be ready for Nakamura on Sunday, but he wanted answers from Dean Ambrose right now. Rollins told Graves that Ambrose knows why he did what he did, he’s just not man enough to come say it to his face. Ambrose was shown on the big screen, sitting on the hood of a red car, next to a trash can on fire to keep him warm.
Ambrose said he was man enough to get out of the cold and beat the hell out of Rollins, but he wasn’t going to do that. He said the people don’t deserve an explanation and he doesn’t owe anyone anything. He mocked all the fans who come up to him and asked him why he did what he did on that night of all nights.
Ambrose said maybe Rollins is wondering if he shouldn’t have talked to him like he was an imbecile. Or maybe Dean Ambrose has been the same guy this whole time, but Rollins was too self-absorbed to notice. He pretended that he wanted them to forgive him one day, but didn’t want that.
He used to think the Shield was stronger together. But the Shield, the symbol, the attire, it was making him weak. The burden of watching their backs made him weak. He said every day was a new day and this was his chance to take the past “and burn it down.” Ambrose tossed his Shield vest into the fire and left.
They cut to a frustrated Rollins who stormed out of the ring. Michael Cole asked Renee Young about Ambrose. Young said it was making everyone uncomfortable, but it was Dean’s story to tell. She said he was speaking in riddles and didn’t understand it.
They aired a video package of Kurt Angle getting beat by Drew McIntyre last week. Young called it the most uncomfortable match in Raw history and said it was likely Angle’s last match.
Drew McIntyre promo
Angle’s music hit, but of course, he didn’t come out. Dolph Ziggler’s music played and he came out with McIntyre. McIntyre said he warned us about what he was going to do. He broke the Shield and then Kurt Angle. He credited Angle with giving him everything he could, but he could see Angle’s will to win fading during the match. Then, he saw Angle crying.
McIntyre said he has never been more disgusted in his life and was happy to put down Angle with his own ankle lock. McIntyre said he’s been making sacrifices for the past 18 years and now Raw was his show. He said there would be no more nostalgia acts on his show. Finn Balor interrupted.
Balor said McIntyre went too far last week. He said McIntyre could’ve just beaten Angle, he didn’t have to humiliate him. McIntyre told him he could’ve done much worse, and said Balor was only out here because McIntyre kicked his head off last week when he thought he was there to save him from Bobby Lashley.
McIntyre said guys like Balor were what was wrong with this place and told him to go cry to his Balor Club. Balor cut him off, told him to shut up and challenged him to a match right now. McIntyre accepted, but the match would be with the true best in the world, not Shane McMahon, but Dolph Ziggler.
McIntyre said he would consider lowering himself to his level if he could beat Ziggler. Ziggler seemed confused by this, then McIntyre suddenly headbutted Balor.
This was fine, but it’s strange they put two long talking segments in a row. I guess it should be noted they put McIntyre, not Rollins/Ambrose, in the top-of-the-hour segment.
Finn Balor defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/Drew McIntyre) (12:12)
The announcers noted that McIntyre didn’t want to lower himself to Balor’s level, but he thought it was okay for Ziggler to face him. Balor, who was headbutted before the match, was barely at his feet when the referee determined he was fine to compete. Ziggler had control through a break, but Balor came back with a Pele kick, enziguri, and foot stomp for two.
Balor hit a slingblade, but Ziggler came back with a leaping DDT for two, then a Fameasser for two. Balor nailed a running dropkick, then dropkicked McIntyre who was about to interfere. Balor then took out both men with a flip dive. Balor missed a Coup de Grace and Ziggler rolled him up, but Balor countered into a rollup of his own for the pinfall win.
Balor posed on the ramp as an angry McIntyre looked on. This was good. The crowd was into Balor.
Backstage, Stephanie congratulated Balor on his win and was impressed with his courage. She wanted him on team Raw. He was happy and shook her hand. McIntyre confronted Balor, then Stephanie reminded him they were on the same team at Survivor Series.
She tried to motivate them, telling Ziggler he had an opportunity for revenge on Shane, and wanted to see McIntyre punish Shane the way he punished Angle. She said they were free to tear each other apart after they win at Survivor Series.
Charly Caruso asked Rousey about Lynch. Rousey said she wasn’t trying to mock Lynch and her path to get here. She just thought it was ridiculous that Lynch thought she rip her arm off. She said Lynch could dish out it, but she certainly couldn’t take it.
Rousey said Lynch wasn’t just “the man,” she was the “millennial man.” She continued, “you are the skinny jeans wearing, v-neck sporting, avocado toast munching, winged shoe wearing millennial man with a bubble wrapped ego and a porcelain self-perception.”
Rousey said she didn’t change the meaning of the term “fight like a girl” so the leader of the women’s revolution could call herself “the man.” Jax and Tamina showed up to wish her luck.
The Riott Squad came out for a promo. Ruby Riott acted remorseful about breaking Jim Neidhart’s shades last week, but of course, she was faking it. She said she loved every moment of it and suggested that Neidhart wore those shades because he was ashamed of looking at his own daughter. Natalya’s music hit, then she jumped Riott from behind. The Riott Squad got the better of her, though, and finished her off with a Hart Attack.
Chad Gable & Bobby Roode won a tag team battle royal (3:07)
The entire team was eliminated if just one member was tossed out, which was weird. Slater was eliminated first, so Rhyno just left the ring. Scott Dawson was eliminated, then B-Team eliminated Dash Wilder unnecessarily. All three members of Lucha House Part were in the match for some reason. They were eliminated by the Ascension, then B-Team were tossed next. Finally, Gable and Roode eliminated Konnor of the Ascension for the win. This was lame.
Gable and Roode celebrated like they just became number one contenders, but they actually became team captains of a team they likely would’ve been a part of anyway. Sure enough, after a break, they announced that the teammates for Gable & Roode at Survivor Series would be the B-Team, Revival, Ascension and Lucha House Party.
Paul Heyman promo
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came out. They were booed. Heyman said congratulations were in order. He congratulated Strowman on being almost unbeatable, and noted Lesnar beat him after five F5’s. He also congratulated Strowman on weaseling another title shot.
He congratulated most of the Smackdown roster for avoiding a match with Lesnar at Survivor Series. Heyman moved on to AJ Styles, but before he got started, the crowd chanted for Styles. Heyman said people chanted for Styles because they thought he had a fighting chance after his effort last year.
He said Styles would check into Hotel California on Sunday and told the younger fans in the crowd to Google the reference. Heyman said there was no one on Smackdown, NXT or UFC who Lesnar wants to take to Suplex City more than AJ Styles. Heyman said it would be Suplex City and an F5 for Styles, and Lesnar would be crowned the champion of champions.
Heyman was about to say that this was a spoiler, but before he couldn’t finish, he was interrupted by Jinder Mahal and the Singh brothers (which I’m sure was deliberate). Mahal said he should’ve been the champion facing Lesnar last year. Mahal offered to help Lesnar and wanted them to hear his mantra.
Heyman wasn’t interested, but Lesnar wanted to hear it. Mahal did his little chant, then Lesnar attacked him. He launched each Singh brothers ten feet in the air with multiple German suplexes and tossed Mahal from the ring. Lesnar launched Sunil out of the ring into Mahal, then gave Mahal an F5 on the floor. This was fun.
Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) vs. Elias
Before the match, Rush had Lashley do some poses. Lashley wore sunglasses with his regular wrestling gear. Rush had Lashley do the mooning pose like last week and one of the announcers (Cole, I think) had to fake laugh at it. Elias interrupted.
Elias was on the phone and said, “Hello, this is Elias.” He was on the phone with child protection services, calling about Lashley kidnapping 10-year-old Lio. Lashley cut him off and called him a clown. Elias told Lashley that he sucked, then told Rush he was just trying to help him. Elias played on his guitar and had the crowd yell “walk with Elias” before getting in the ring.
Lashley won a short match by countout. Elias seemed to be in control until Lashley shoved him into the steel steps. Lashley slipped back in the ring, but before Elias could do the same, Rush (who was hiding under the ring) grabbed him by the legs preventing him from beating the ten count. Lashley joins team Raw with the win. After the match, Elias tossed Lashley into the steps, then launched Rush into Lashley.
Alexa Bliss came out flanked by Mickie James, Nia Jax and Tamina. Bliss said Survivor Series would be personal and they would prove that Raw was the superior show. Bliss noted that Natalya, one of her team members, had an emotional night and told her to go home and channel that energy against Smackdown.
She introduced the rest of her team: James, Jax and Tamina. She hoped that her and Jax could put their past differences aside. The final member would be determined in the upcoming match, Sasha Banks vs. Bayley. This was pretty dull.
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley ended in a DDQ/no contest (8:37)
They went back and forth until Bayley went for a dropkick under the bottom ropes, but Banks caught her and swung her into the post. Banks followed with double knees in the corner, but Bayley avoided a second attempt and used a schoolboy for two.
They fought on the apron and Banks caught Bayley with a knee, but Bayley managed to grab Banks and give her a Bayley-to-belly on the apron. They fell to the outside leading to a break. After the break, Bayley went for a diving elbow drop but Banks got her knees up and applied a crossface.
Tamina, Jax and James jumped in and attacked both women and the referee called for the bell. Bliss said neither woman won, so she introduced the fifth member of her team -- Ruby Riott. Cole wondered what the point of that match was. Riott came out and posed with the other heels.
The camera cut to a commotion backstage, which was Lynch giving Rousey a Disarmer until officials came in to break it up.
Lynch’s music hit and she marched to the ring wearing a blue Smackdown shirt. As the Raw heels stared at her, the Smackdown women’s roster ran in through the crowd, all wearing blue shirts, and attacked. Alicia Fox ran down to help Raw during the brawl.
Smackdown was in full control and the crowd briefly chanted “this is awesome.” Rousey’s music hit and Lynch bailed. Rousey tossed around a couple of women, but Lynch showed up from behind with a steel chair and nailed Rousey in the gut.
Lynch’s face was bloody and there was blood on her hands. The Smackdown women (including Charlotte) cleared the ring as Lynch hit Rousey a few more times with the chair.
Lynch, with blood all over, posed on the steel steps as the Smackdown women began leaving through the crowd. Graves said she Lynch might have a broken nose. Lynch then left through the crowd and posed again at the top of the stairs. (Some fan wanted a high five from Lynch, despite her hands being covered in blood.)
They cut backstage and Stephanie was livid with Corbin. She admonished him for not knowing where security was. She demanded to know how he would fix it. He said he would find a way as they cut back to the ring to a pissed Ronda Rousey.
The brawl itself wasn’t great, but Lynch standing tall covered in blood was quite the visual and this was a good segment by the end. Lynch came off like a big star. They should’ve ended with that and not done the bit with Stephanie.
The show did, in fact, end at 11:00 pm.