Original Air Date: October 30, 2017
Event Date: October 30, 2017 (aired live)
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T
Ring Announcer: Jojo
Last week, Shane and some superstars from SmackDown put RAW under siege.
Superstars from the RAW locker room stand on the stage as Kurt Angle stands in the ring. Angle addresses the locker room and apologizes for putting them in harm’s way. He took his friendship with Shane for granted and everyone paid the price. As he speaks, he is interrupted by Stephanie McMahon who heads to the ring.
Steph thinks Kurt has “been doing a hell of a job,” despite his illegitimate son, the “virus” that has infected the locker room, and Strowman getting possibly murdered in a garbage truck. She is very disappointed that Kurt allowed Shane to invade RAW though. She’s angry at Kurt’s incompetence. He can make it up to her though. He’ll start by being the captain of RAW, and he’ll need to finish with the “total annihilation” of SmackDown. Otherwise, he’ll need to find a new job.
Angle tries to apologize to Steph again, but she tells him that she meant every word she said. Kurt can ask Mick Foley if he doesn’t believe her. Steph rides away in a limo while The Miz arrives with Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. Miz is angry that Angle is “rewarded” with the captain’s spot on Team RAW. Kurt doesn’t want to hear it though. Instead, he tells Miz to get ready to defend his IC Title tonight.
Bayley heads to the ring for a match with Alicia Fox. Alicia comes out to the stage, but she says her duties as captain of Team RAW mean that she doesn’t have time for a match right now. She has a replacement though…
Bayley vs Nia Jax
(referee: John Cone; on the stage: Alicia Fox)
Result: Nia Jax wins via pinfall after a running leg drop
Time: 3:54 (1 break)
Not a bad match, but almost kind of a squash (figuratively and literally).
Alicia Fox picks Nia Jax as her first teammate for Team RAW. As Nia Jax leaves the ring and heads up the ramp, Samoa Joe comes out and heads to the ring!
After a commercial break, Samoa Joe says he hasn’t missed any of the fans. They didn’t care for him during his time away, so he doesn’t care for any of them. As he beats up his opponent in the ring tonight, he’ll imagine that the person is each and every member of the crowd.
Samoa Joe vs Apollo Crews w/ Titus O’Neil
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Samoa Joe wins via submission with a Coquina Clutch
A good exhibition for Joe. Much like the previous match though, this was practically a squash.
Titus gets into the ring and angrily walks towards Joe. Joe backs away, but when Titus turns around, Joe attacks and put Titus in the Coquina Clutch.
Intercontinental Title Match
Matt Hardy vs The Miz (IC Champ) w/ Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: The Miz wins via pinfall after a Skull Crushing Finale
Time: 10:00 (1 break)
Good match. Matt quickly took control and dominated most of this match. To his credit though, The Miz survived and looked good while doing it. I liked how this match went along, and even though the finish wasn’t terribly surprising, I enjoyed the match as a whole.
Alexa Bliss tells Angle she can help him. She has some suggestions on how to improve the women’s division, mostly by firing Mickie James. Angle, still in a terrible mood, tells Alexa she’ll be defending her title against Mickie in the main event tonight.
Asuka vs Stacie Cullen
(referee: Shawn Bennett)
Result: Asuka wins via pinfall with an Asuka Lock
Some earlier matches tonight might have been close to squashes, this one as utterly a squash. Even though I’m not a huge fan of squashes, I understand their purpose. Also, it’s fun to watch Asuka beat people up.
Kurt Angle freaks out because Daniel Bryan is in his office.
Back from a commercial break, Bryan tries to explain why he’s there. He wants to talk with Kurt about what happened, but Angle doesn’t want to hear it.
Clips of Jinder Mahal, Brock Lesnar, and Paul Heyman regarding Mahal’s challenge to Lesnar at Survivor Series.
Daniel Bryan talks on the phone when the lights go out.
After a commercial break, Kane attacks Daniel Bryan in the dark.
Finn Balor vs Cesaro w/ Sheamus
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Finn Balor wins via pinfall after a diving stomp to the back of Cesaro’s head
Time: 8:15 (1 break)
Very good match. This built to a few nice sequences and an exciting finish. I liked that neither guy really stuck to their typical playbooks with this one. They both put new twists on moves they usually do. This was a lot of fun to watch, even if it didn’t mean anything to any story.
Finn Balor walks up the ramp after the match, but Kane comes out and tombstones him on the stage. Kane then makes his way down to the ring. As he stands in the ring, Rollins and Ambrose comes from the crowd and head to the ring as well.
Kane vs Seth Rollins (RAW Tag Champ) w/ Dean Ambrose (RAW Tag Champ)
(referee: Rod Zapata; at ringside: Cesaro, Sheamus)
Result: Kane wins via pinfall after a chokeslam
Pretty good match. I didn’t really like some of the under-selling from Kane, but I understand that they are rebuilding a monster here. It makes sense, but overall the match felt like Seth running all over the place with Kane just standing there and waiting. That can work, and it did to an extent, but it doesn’t always make for a terribly exciting match.
After the match, Cesaro and Sheamus attack Rollins and Ambrose. After a while, Kane ends up tombstoning both Ambrose and Rollins.
D-Von Dudley and Jamie Noble oversee as Daniel Bryan is taken away on a stretcher.
The Miz wants to celebrate with Axel and Dallas, but something smells awful in his locker room. There’s a bag of garbage, so Miz thinks Braun Strowman is in the building. That worries him.
The Miz finds Kane and asks him if he remembers when he threw Strowman into the garbage truck. He wants Kane to help him out if Strowman is in the building, but Kane says Miz in on his own.
Trick or Street Fight
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
(referee: Shawn Bennett)
Result: Rhyno pins Karl Anderson after a spinebuster through a table
This was kind of a mess, but I guess it was sort of fun. There were some smirk-worthy moments, but it’s a good thing the match was short.
The Miz tries to explain to Cesaro and Miz why he’s so scared. Sheamus says there’s no way Strowman could recover from being murdered in just a week. He and Cesaro also tell Miz that he’s on his own though.
In the ring, Elias sings about Jason Jordan being an embarrassment to Kurt Angle. Jordan runs to the ring and attacks Elias. After Elias leaves the ring, Jordan stomps Elias’ guitar. Elias is upset.
Miz attempts to leave with Axel and Dallas, but Angle stops him. Angle tells Miz that all three of them have to stay until the end of the show. Or else.
Enzo Amore heads to the ring where Drew Gulak says that Kurt Angle is incompetent. Enzo agrees. Enzo thinks that Kalisto is incompetent as well. Gulak ends with Enzo’s catchphrase, spelling “soft” correctly for a change. Gulak seems proud of himself.
Drew Gulak w/ Enzo Amore (Cruiserweight Champ) vs Kalisto
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Kalisto pins Drew Gulak after Salida Del Sol
Another near-squash. Kalisto was super-fast, but the match consisted of only a few moves.
After the match, Enzo attacks Kalisto from behind. Enzo yells at Kalisto as the segment ends.
Miz tells Axel to call the limo driver and get him ready to leave as soon as the show ends.
RAW Women’s Title Match
Alexa Bliss (RAW Women’s Champ) vs Mickie James
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Alexa Bliss pins Mickie James after a right hook
Time: 7:42 (1 break)
Good match. It seemed to end rather suddenly, but everything up to that point was good. Bliss has been cheating less in her matches over the last few months, and I think that’s good for her status as champ. This was another one where she kind of survived an onslaught for a while, but she took the offensive at times as well.
The Miz, Axel, and Dallas attempt to leave in their limo, but a garbage truck is in their way. In a heavily edited sequence, Braun Strowman (sort of) emerges from the back of the truck. Miz, Axel, and Dallas run away.
Bliss is still celebrating in the ring when Miz, Axel, Dallas, and Strowman arrive on the stage. Strowman beats up Miz and his friends until the show ends.
I think this show started strong, but it felt like all the excitement was loaded towards the front. The opening with Stephanie, Samoa Joe returning, Daniel Bryan showing up, the impromptu IC Title match. It was all a lot of fun. Then they started the plot line of Miz and Strowman, and everything else seemed to take a backseat.
The women’s title match could have been the highlight of the night, but it was undercut by the knowledge that the Miz/Strowman angle hadn’t been resolved yet. It took some of the intrigue out of the match, because we knew Miz was probably going to end the show in some way. That meant that either Mickie’s win would be relegated to the second to last thing we saw, the match would be interrupted, or, most likely, Mickie would lose. Any of those options means it wasn’t as important as Strowman.
Speaking of Strowman… I really, REALLY wish they would stop with the pre-taped, overly edited sequences. When the garbage truck backed up and opened in front of Miz’s limo, there were cameras set up all over the place, but of course we didn’t see any of them even though we could sometimes see where they should be. There was a camera in the limo, there was a camera on the hood of the limo, there was a camera beside the limo. As I’ve said before, even if the editing of Strowman’s emergence from the truck was seamless (which it very much wasn’t), having so many camera’s set up takes me out of the show. This is still portrayed as a sporting event happening live, and the attacks are supposed to feel unexpected. Having cameras cover every angle of a moment that shouldn’t mean anything feels extremely unnatural and unrealistic.
Oh, and like The Miz, I also think of Strowman when I see a garbage bag. That’s because Strowman is a bag of garbage.
Match of the Night
Finn Balor vs Cesaro
I’d like to say the main event was the best match of the night, but it wasn’t. The finish in the Balor/Cesaro match was better, the action was better, and the undercutting of the tension in the main event meant watching Balor vs Cesaro was more intriguing.