Original Air Date: October 23, 2017
Event Date: October 23, 2017 (aired live)
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
Last night at TLC, Kurt Angle returned to the main event after being put through a table and pinned The Miz with some help from Ambrose and Rollins.
Kurt Angle heads to the ring. He is proud of the new chapter he wrote in his story last night. The next chapter for RAW will take place at Survivor Series, the PPV Kurt Angle debuted at. Angle announces some of the RAW versus SmackDown matches, so far being four champion versus champion matches. Also at Survivor Series will be two five-on-five elimination matches, one for the men and one for the women. As he finishes his announcements, The Miz comes out to the stage with Curtis Axel, Sheamus, and Cesaro.
The Miz accuses Angle of abusing his power at TLC so he could have one more selfish moment in the spotlight. He calls for Kurt Angle to resign his position as GM immediately. Angle dismisses the idea and attempts to head back to his office. Instead, The Miz and his friends surround the ring in a way similar to The Shield. Before they cross the ropes into the ring, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins rush to the ring from the crowd.
The Miz’s group backs away, but he points out that he still has the numbers on Angle and The Shield members. Angle corrects Miz, setting up a match with Miz, Cesaro, and Sheamus versus Rollins, Ambrose, and a man who decided to stay on RAW an extra night, AJ Styles.
Cesaro & Sheamus & The Miz (IC Champ) w/ Curtis Axel vs Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins & AJ Styles
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: AJ Styles pins Cesaro after a Phenomenal Forearm
Time: 12:53 (2 breaks)
Very good match! The pace built up quickly, then kind of reset after the first commercial break so it could build up again over two more segments. Lots of action in this, and a whole lot of fun. Styles looked great with Ambrose and Rollins, and everyone on both teams looked very good in this. My favorite pairing was between Styles and Cesaro, but everyone worked well together. The match got chaotic as one would probably expect, but it all made sense and flowed nicely.
After the match, Kane heads toward the ring. Along with Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus, and Axel, Kane beats up Rollins and Ambrose after dumping Styles from the ring.
Still in the ring after a commercial break, Kane talks about Braun Strowman and the stories he’d heard about him. When Kane finally met Strowman, he saw a pile of trash. That’s why he tried to murder him in the back of a dump truck. Kane claims that he will always be RAW’s only monster. With Braun gone, Kane wants competition. Or else. Someone answers the challenge…
Kane vs Finn Balor
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Kane wins via pinfall after three chokeslams
Pretty good match. Having Balor answer the challenge added some intrigue, but this was ultimately (and obviously) Kane’s match all along. The match was fairly one-sided, though the circumstances of the finish don’t really hurt either guy.
Shane McMahon greets Kurt Angle in his office. They get into a debate about who has the better roster that ends with them agreeing to some friendly competition between brands.
Asuka debuts on RAW. Tonight.
Asuka vs Emma
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Asuka wins via submission with the Asuka Lock
Very good match. Asuka started strong, but Emma started coming back before building up to a nice finish. There were some nice sequences here, and the match had a strength and energy that most RAW women’s matches don’t always have.
Alexa Bliss heads to the ring. She gloats about her win over Mickie James and quickly moves on to Survivor Series. She says she will dismantle the “cat lady,” Natlaya. Alexa is also sick of not getting the respect she deserves. She accuses the fans of handing out chants (such as “this is awesome”) like Halloween candy ** which they do, and it gets annoying **. She then attempts to start her own “you deserve it” chant, but the crowd doesn’t really cooperate.
Mickie James comes out and heads to the ring. Mickie says nothing, instead she walks up to Alexa and promptly DDTs her. She then lets Bliss know that she does deserve it.
Sasha Banks and Bayley compliment Angle on his performance at TLC. Angle wants to talk to Banks and Bayley about being captain for the women’s team at Survivor Series, but Alicia Fox will have none of it. Angle stops an argument by saying there will be a triple threat match to determine the women’s captain. Everyone seems to be okay with that.
Already in the ring, Elias is still a little upset about Jason Jordan interrupting him last night at TLC. Tonight he will provide an uninterrupted performance though. He begins to sing about Green Bay when he starts having technical difficulties. With his song interrupted, Elias announces that he’s going to beat up whoever is responsible for his problems. Before he can head to the back, Jason Jordan heads to the ring.
Elias vs Jason Jordan
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Jason Jordan wins via DQ after Elias hits him with a guitar
Time: 3:19 (joined in progress)
Jordan showed some nice aggression, but this match was really just a plot point to continue the thing between him and Elias. This might build up to a decent payoff match. This match was just a step toward that.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman head to the ring. Heyman talks about how someone apparently has a problem with the word “undisputed,” the same someone who has barely survived every challenge to his SmackDown title. Heyman’s client, on the other hand, has dominated to become and remain the undisputed champion in WWE.
Heyman also talks about how everyone loves to trash talk, but despite being the king of trash talk, Heyman doesn’t automatically trash Lesnar’s challengers. He praises them when praise is due. Jinder Mahal is not worthy of praise though. Mahal is a consolation prize champ that SmackDown got stuck with. There is no brand rivalry. Whichever brand has Brock Lesnar is the better brand. That is undisputed. And at Survivor Series, Mahal is going to suplex city. He then reminds everyone of what Lesnar did to the last SmackDown challenger that faced Lesnar (when he destroyed Randy Orton, though he didn’t mention Orton by name).
In summation, Brock Lesnar accepts Jinder Mahal’s challenge.
Charly Caruso welcomes Kalisto. Kalisto wants his match for the Cruiserweight Title tomorrow on 205 Live, but tonight is about familia. Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann, Mustafa Ali, and Gran Metalik join Kalisto and start a “lucha, lucha” chant.
Triple Threat Match
Sasha Banks vs Bayley vs Alicia Fox
(referee: Darrick Moore; stipulation: the winner will be captain for the women’s Survivor Series team)
Result: Alicia Fox pins Bayley after a belly to belly suplex and throwing Sasha Banks into Bayley, Alica Fox will captain the women’s team at Survivor Series
Time: 7:47 (1 break)
Quite a good match! It got a little strange with Fox taking her time and wandering around the ring at one point, but the action was good and I thought the ending was great. This was a very fun match with a mildly surprising finish. I like it, and I like what it means for Survivor Series.
** As a side note, the developments between Alicia Fox and Darrick Moore have been interesting even though they haven’t been talked about at all. Fox shoved Moore last which which led to her being fined, then he officiated the match where Fox lost at TLC, and tonight Fox kissed him after her match. They really should make a little sub-story around those two. **
Enzo Amore heads to the ring with Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, Noam Dar, and Ariya Daivari. Enzo is having some voice issues, so Gulak reads a prepared statement on Enzo’s behalf.
Enzo Amore (Cruiserweight Champ) & Drew Gulak & Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari & Noam Dar vs Kalisto & Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann & Mustafa Ali & Gran Metalik
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Kalisto pins Enzo Amore after Salida Del Sol from the apron to the inside of the ring
Time: 5:48 (1 break)
With so many people and so little, it was clear this was going to be chaotic. It was, and it was fun. Kalisto looked good when he got Enzo one-on-one, and this was a good buildup for their title rematch on 205 Live.
Kurt Angle heads to the ring. In what felt like a continuation of the opening segment (and more than a little deja vu), Angle starts by talking about Survivor Series. As he begins to announce the members of his team for the elimination match, Shane McMahon’s music interrupts.
Shane heads to the ring from the crowd with a bunch of SmackDown superstars right behind him. Shane enters the ring as the superstars surround it. Shane says two words: “under siege.” Angle leaves the ring and heads up the ramp. Shane tells his susperstars to “go get him.”
The SmackDown superstars encounter Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews in the back, so they attack them. Next, Corbin attacks a crew member while his teammates destroy the backstage interview area. Goldust, Curt Hawkins, Curtis Axel, and Rhyno attempt to fight back, but they are overwhelmed. Next, they attack Jason Jordan in a locker room (Chad Gable getting the first punch). Finn Balor and Matt Hardy emerge from a bathroom (not together, maybe) and get beat up as well. Next up on the path of destruction are Anderson, Gallows, and Elias.
The group walks up to Sasha, Bayley, Alicia, and Mickie, so the SmackDown women quickly beat them up. Rollins and Ambrose attempt a sneak attack, but they get overwhelmed as well. Corbin and Rusev then show up with Kurt Angle in tow. The group heads back to the ring area.
Angle is forced back into the ring. Shane tells Angle to bring everything to Survivor Series, because SmackDown is going to finish what they started.
I liked this show overall. The only segment I wasn’t totally into was the Jordan/Elias segment, but even that was okay. I don’t necessarily understand or agree with all of the individuals who participated in the SmackDown beatdown (Gable attacking Jordan, Styles being okay with Anderson and Gallows getting attacked, Nakamura participating at all, etc.), but it was still pretty fun to watch. I get it though, it works well to set up Survivor Series.
With the look Shane was giving Angle (and vice versa), I really hope they reference their King of the Ring battle as a reason for Shane’s seemingly out-of-character aggression and desire to destroy Angle’s team. That would definitely help make his motivations clear and believable. I guess the rest can be chalked up to mob mentality, but it still feels strange for all of those people present in the SD mob to be there and okay with what they were doing.
Match of the Night
Asuka vs Emma
The opening tag match was great too, but I’m giving it to this one tonight because I really like how they played on what they’ve done before and how they put together a hard-hitting, compelling match even though the winner was never really in question.