Original Air Date: October 22, 2018
Event Date: October 22, 2018 (aired live)
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
Ring Announcer: Jojo
Roman Reigns heads to the ring. Reigns says that he feels like he owes everyone an apology. He’s said a lot of things as Roman Reigns, but they’ve all been lies. His real name is Joe, and he’s been living with leukemia for eleven years. His leukemia is back, and that means he has to relinquish his Universal Championship an step down.
Despite his illness, WWE was the one team that gave him a chance. He’s appreciative to the WWE, and he’s thankful for all the fans who have reacted to him, positively or negatively, over the years.
Right now, he has to go home to focus on his family and his health. But this is not a retirement speech. After he beats Leukemia, he’s coming back to WWE with a purpose. He wants to show the whole world that when life throws a curve-ball at Roman Reigns, he will swing for the fences every single time. He will beat this, he will be back, and we will see him very, very soon.
Reigns pauses, then he sets the Universal Title down in the center of the ring. He walks up the ramp to the stage where he is met by Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Tearfully, The Shield holds out their fists together.
Finn Balor vs Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Finn Balor wins via pinfall with a schoolboy
Time: 5:07 (1 break)
Pretty good match. I’ve liked the pairing of Rush and Lashley, and I think facing some actual adversity will help develop them as a pair. And of course, Balor can make the best of anything, so he was fun to watch in this match.
Dolph Ziggler thanks Drew McIntyre for what he did last week. Ziggler says he and McIntyre have set an example together, and he has the chance to be the best in the world at Crown Jewel. McIntyre says he’s not afraid of Braun Strowman, and after tonight Ziggler won’t have to worry about anything. McIntyre then leaves to go monster hunting.
Sasha Banks w/ Natalya, Bayley vs Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan
(referee: Shawn Bennett)
Result: Ruby Riott wins via pinfall after the Riott Kick (and some distractions from ringside)
Time: 6:18 (1 break)
Good match. This was mostly just buildup for Evolution this Sunday, and I think it worked well for that. Both women looked good and it got me slightly interested in their upcoming six-person tag match.
The video from last week of Undertaker and Kane talking about what they will do to DX is shown again.
Nia Jax says Evolution will show that women can do anything. She plans to win the battle royal this Sunday on her way to another title reign.
Shawn Michaels and Triple H head to the ring as D-Generation X. Triple H starts talking about fear. He says it’s going to take a lot more than the video Kane and Undertaker did on Kane’s lunch hour to instill fear into DX. Michaels talks about nostalgia. He understands that saying “nostalgia” is just a polite way of saying “old.” Triple H points out that he and Michaels filled a stadium in Australia recently, so maybe “old” is just a polite way of saying they’re better.
Triple H says they aren’t headed to Crown Jewel to make Kane and Undertaker laugh, and they’re not coming out of retirement for nostalgia. They’re coming back to kick ass.
A video appears on the tron. Kane and Undertaker are in a graveyard, and they say the DX reunion will “be the vessel of their entire annihilation.” DX can’t turn back the clock, they can’t outrun the reaper, and they can’t survive the Brothers of Destruction.
Paul Heyman is in the building.
Dana Brooke says Evolution means change is here. Brooke has been passed over during her time on RAW, but winning the battle royal will change that.
In the ring, Paul Heyman says his thoughts and prayers are with Roman Reigns. He is humbled by the courage and greatness he has been in contact with tonight. He says Reigns made a sacrifice by relinquishing his title because that’s what the title and the fans deserve.
So what happens now? Reigns would be the first person to say that the show must go on, and that will happen. Either Brock Lesnar or Braun Strowman will be the next champ, and Strowman is not worthy of carrying on the greatness set by Reigns. Lesnar is the only person who can carry that weight. Strowman might bill himself as a monster, but Lesnar is a beast. Heyman goes on, but he is interrupted when Braun Strowman comes out to the stage.
Strowman says the only words Heyman needs to say are to inform Lesnar that Strowman is headed to Crown Jewel to beat Lesnar and take the title. As he finishes, he is surprised by a Claymore Kick from Drew McIntyre. Strowman is slow to get up as McIntyre walks away.
Dolph Ziggler is proud of Drew McIntyre for what he just did. Charly Caruso wonders if McIntyre is worried about the repercussions of attacking Strowman. McIntyre isn’t a child. He doesn’t look under his bed for monsters. The truth is, Strowman needed McIntyre and Ziggler. And now, McIntyre and Ziggler can focus on defending the RAW Tag Titles.
In the ring, Elias plays his guitar. He’s still upset about what Apollo Crews did last week, and he’s written a song about it. Of course he doesn’t get a chance to play it, because Apollo Crews interrupts him and heads to the ring.
Elias vs Apollo Crews
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Elias wins via pinfall after Drift Away
Time: 4:27 (1 break)
This was a fun match. Crews needs to wrestle on RAW more. I like him and think he helps make other people look good because his matches are usually fun to watch. THere was nothing surprising in this match, but there didn’t need to be. I think both of these guys need a solid match right about now, and this certainly was that.
Kurt Angle finds it ironic that even though people have debated whether he was the best in the ring at one time, he will be competing to prove that he is currently the best in the world at Crown Jewel. Angle then talks about each of the competitors in the WWE World Cup.
On the stage, Elias once again attempts to play his new song. Baron Corbin immediately interrupts him. Corbin apologizes, but as acting GM he has to keep the show moving. Corbin insults Elias’ “little guitar” and says that he would fire Elias is Stephanie McMahon didn’t like him. Corbin orders Elias to leave the stage.
Elias wasn’t paying attention. He was writing a new song, and he’d like to play it right now. So he does. His song insults Corbin, so Corbin had Elias’ mic cut off. Elias walks away, but as Corbin begins to talk to the crowd, Elias returns and smashes his guitar on Corbin’s back.
Ronda Rousey walks toward the ring area.
Michael presides over the contract signing between Ronda Rousey and Nikki Bella. Nikki, along with Brie Bella, are the first to head to the ring. Ronda Rousey comes out next.
As Rousey enters the ring, everyone else leaves. Nikki says it’s obvious Rousey is here to fight, but Nikki just wants to sign the contract. Rousey says she’s not going to beat Nikki up tonight, she wants to make sure Nikki signs so she can beat Nikki up on Sunday.
Nikki and Brie reenter the ring and mock Rousey. Nikki talks about Rousey’s mother. She wonders what Rousey’s mother will think when a “diva” beats Rousey for her women’s title. Nikki signs the contract, then she slaps Rousey. Rousey smiles, signs the contract, tells Nikki that she is going to end her. Rousey walks away with her title belt.
Charly Caruso asks Rollins and Ambrose if they can talk about their emotions. Ambrose says there are no words. He doesn’t know what to say, so he and Rollins will do what they always do: win. Rollins says they will channel their emotions into tonight’s match and become the new RAW Tag Champs.
Fatal Four Way Match
Nia Jax vs Dana Brooke vs Tamina vs Ember Moon
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Ember Moon pins Tamina after the Eclipse
This was very short. It was really just a promo for the battle royal at Evolution, though I was a little surprised that no one threw anyone over the top rope.
Ziggler and McIntyre get pumped up for their title defense.
Titus O’Neil stands on the stage with six breast cancer survivors as he talks about Susan G. Komen.
Charly Caruso welcomes Trish Stratus and Lita. Trish says Evolution isn’t about Alexa and Mickie making jokes and running from a fight. Lita says she and Trish are ready for a fight. Alicia Fox walks up and says Alexa and Mickie are going to make history at Evolution by making history of Trish and Lita. While they are distracted, Mickie James attacks Trish and Lita from behind. The four women brawl as referees try to break it up.
RAW Tag Title Match
Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (IC Champ) vs Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre (RAW Tag Champs)
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Seth Rollins pins Dolph Ziggler after a curb stomp, Rollins and Ambrose become the new RAW Tag Champs
Time: 11:53 (2 breaks)
This was a very high-energy match. Ambrose and Rollins were running on emotion, so Ziggler and McIntyre just had to keep up. The emotion did get the better of Ambrose and Rollins at times and led to McIntyre and Ziggler getting some powerful offense, but this really felt like The Shield’s match to lose. It especially felt that way when Braun Strowman made his presence known towards the end of the match when he and McIntyre brawled all the way out of the ring area and through the crowd. This was fun and pretty exciting in a lot of ways.
After the match, Ambrose hits Rollins with Dirty Deeds. Ambrose seems distraught after the attack, but he doubles down by kicking and punching Rollins as he’s helpless. Ambrose asks Rollins if he thinks it’s funny, and he tells Rollins to “say it.” Ambrose continues to attack Rollins while telling him to watch his mouth.
Ambrose pulls up the mats on the floor and again hits Rollins with Dirty Deeds. Ambrose throws his shirt into the ring and walks away through the crowd.
This was certainly an emotional night, and one the that ultimately felt like nobody won. I think it was interesting how they handled the fallout from Reigns’ announcement. Everything was tense before, and with him out of the picture, everything seemed to fall apart tonight. As much as I hate what’s happening to Reigns and wish him the best, I’m glad it seems the main story on the show finally looks like it’s headed somewhere.
I think Paul Heyman’s speech was probably once of the best things of the night as well.
Match of the Night
RAW Tag Title Match
Everything seemed to take a step back tonight because of the weight of Reigns’ announcement, but this match fed on it. It was certainly memorable.
Official Results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2018-10-22