Monday, November 9, 2015
WWE Monday Night Raw Review - November 9th, 2015
Live from Manchester, England. The UK crowd is sure to be on fire. Raw being in England has it's major perks, but major disadvantages as well. The perks are the crowd & the atmosphere. The negatives being the fact that it's taped and spoilers being literally everywhere online. This year, I set out to avoid spoilers completely and I came closer than ever before. I've only seen one match spoiler and one partial segment spoiler. SO, mostly everything will be fresh and I must say I'm excited. Where does WWE go with 2 weeks left before Survivor Series and no WWE Champion in the books?
Triple H opens the show with the answer to my aforementioned question. The tournament starts tonight. He brings out Roman Reigns and tries to persuade him to join his side. Well, in his words, Hunter wanted Reigns to "be his man" in order to be THE man so there's that. Reigns refuses despite Triple H selling me and probably 75% of the audience on joining his team. That man was on fire here. Reigns tells HAITCH to shove it and gets Big Show in a first round match for his troubles.
1) Roman Reigns vs. The Big Show - First Round Tournament Match
WWE's corniness was at it's finest here with Michael Cole reaching a new low. First he says that Reigns' last man standing match with Big Show put him on the map, then, Big Show roared about being a giant and Cole sounded like a child reiterating with "yes you are!" It was atrocious. The show goes on, though and nothing was notable aside from the closing sequence. The crowd surprisingly bites for the nearfall off a chokeslam from Show and I even got into it from that point on as well. Show goes for his punch and gets caught with a superman punch followed by a spear. Reigns goes to the second round.
Match rating - **1/4
2) Kevin Owens vs. Titus O'Neil - First Round Tournament Match
Big Kev cuts arguably his best main roster promo yet as he walks down to the ring. His best on Raw, at least. I say it nearly every review, but he appears to get more comfortable every single week and it shows. Titus is another favorite of mine so this was bound to be loads of fun. Trash talking was running rampant throughout. Owens slapping and yelling for Titus to bring it set up an awesome fire-back spot from GATOR himself. O'Neil fires up only to get slung into the ropes and POP UP POWERBOMB! A nasty one, too! Owens is headed to the second round and faces the winner of Neville/Barrett.
Match rating - **1/2
3) Paige vs. Becky Lynch
Becky's music is catchy as fuck, man. This match bridges off last week's #1 contender's four way where Paige stole the win from Becky. Despite that, Paige is still the favorite due to this being her house, pun intended. Paige is still aggressive and working heel. Becky mounts some offense after being controlled for a minute or two. Her comeback is interrupted by a superkick which is followed up by the RAMPAIGE. They are basically in the corner so Becky is able to get the ropes after a two count. Paige rolls up Becky with a hand full of tights only for Becky to reverse AND SHE GRABS PAIGE'S TIGHTS! That's a three count! I liked the finish. The match wasn't much, though. It was basically all about that finish.
Match rating - **
Paige is furious after the match and attacks Becky. They brawl on the outside and Paige throws Becky onto the announce table. LAWD! She locks in the PTO on the announce table before Charlotte runs down to make the save. Paige retreats as the Divas Champion looks on.
UP NEXT: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
LATER: Cesaro vs. Sheamus
4) Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz - First Round Tournament Match
This match was the definition of short and sweet. Ziggler & Miz matches have a TINY space in my heart after their TV match last year that was so much fun. They have a solid chemistry that isn't really talked about. It was clear from the get go that they didn't have much time to work with however they still squeezed as much as they could out of their time. Fast paced exchange of counters that leads to a stalemate to start, Miz targets the leg to set up for the figure four, Ziggler sells it like a champ for the next few minutes, Miz finally gets the figure four in and the crowd goes mild. I hate to say it, but Miz has ruined that move. No pop at all for the signature move of one of the all time greats. Ziggler manages to get the ropes and lands a killer superkick out of nowhere to win.
Match rating - **1/2
5) Natalya vs. Naomi (w/ Sasha Banks & Tamina)
The crowd is chanting "We Want Sasha" right off the bat. It's times like these when I realize that the main roster officials are completely out of touch with their fanbase. You KNOW the UK is full of hardcore fans that love Sasha and you don't even have her wrestle. So dumb. I like both Natalya & Naomi though so I don't want to take anything away from them because they tried here and managed to put on a decent little contest. Natalya forces Naomi to tap and Sasha attacks her after the match. The crowd pops hard... then goes mild? YUP. That was edited. I hate WWE sometimes. Really. Nothing else to say about this because that was so annoying.
Match rating - **
6) Cesaro vs. Sheamus - First Round Tournament Match
Cesaro steals the show again? You'd be correct. Him & Sheamus just create magic together because they like to hit each other really hard. It seemed like the crowd was edited/toned down some once again during portions here, but it still didn't take away from this great match. It really picked up when Cesaro mounted his comeback and reversed out of a backbreaker attempt in amazing fashion. He was ever innovative here as usual. Sheamus went out of the box here as well by hitting a crazy manuever from the top rope that I can't even describe. There WERE some shenanigans with Barrett slapping Wayne Rooney at ringside however it was entertaining stuff and didn't affect the match in the least. Cesaro hits the uppercut on the floor, does the same in the ring, then wraps Sheamus up in one of his famous pinning combinations to get the win. He faces Reigns next week.
Match rating - ***1/2
7) Dean Ambrose vs. Tyler Breeze - First Round Tournament Match
It's Breeze's first match since debuting on Raw. Ambrose is undoubtedly a good opponent to have even though this almost guarantees a loss for Breeze. I'd say this was a solid debut match for him though. He took Ambrose to the brink by dominating a fair portion of the match then taking advantage of an injury in the last quarter of the contest. Ambrose hit his top rope dropkick and clinched his arm immediatedly afterwards. Breeze worked away at the arm only to get caught in a roll up which allowed Ambrose to come out victorious. Ambrose faces Ziggler next week.
Match rating - **3/4
8) The New Day vs. The Usos & Neville
This was a match I wasn't expecting at all so I was pleasantly surprised by this. Somehow, I had forgotten that The Usos returned last week. I'm an idiot. None the less, this was exactly what you'd expect from a TV match between New Day and a dream trio like Neville & The Usos. Jey gets isolated then the crazy finishing run ensues. Neville got the hot tag and hit a standing shooting star press for a nearfall. Big E & Kofi broke up a near fall, Usos come in and duck a clothesline, SUPERKICK TO BIG E & KOFI. They roll to the floor, Usos dive onto them. Xavier ends up on the apron and Neville dropkicks him onto the pile before scaling the turnbuckle to hit a corkscrew moonsault onto everyone. Super fun final few minutes here. New Day get a cheap victory with a three count on Neville using the ropes.
Match rating - ***
Bray Wyatt is out and with this segment being last, I expected The Undertaker. It turned out tobe what we got as the Brothers of Destruction returned from what was basically described by Bray Wyatt as purgatory. They corner the Eater of Worlds before the lights go out and his family appears as back up. Harper & Rowan get taken out by Kane & Taker. This leaves Strowman with a huge moment as he clotheslines them to the mat. The Brothers sit up and lay him out. The beatdown ends with a double chokeslam on Bray Wyatt. Cool ending although I'd be lying if I said I marked out for it. I'm really indifferent when it comes to The Undertaker these days. I was never a Taker guy to begin with and now in the shape he's in, it's just hard for me to get into what he does, but I figure the forthcoming match against The Wyatt Family will deliver much like the HIAC battle with Brock did. The Brothers of Destruction are back and I dig it even if I'm not as hyped on all aspects of it as others.