Welcome to Monday Night Raw! After that amazing and historic pay-per-view last night, we open this Halloween edition of RAW with Goldberg making his way to the ring. These things aren’t related. I was just hoping something would be.
Once the “Goldberg!” chants start to die off, Goldberg gets about five words into his call-out of Brock Lesnar before Paul Heyman comes out to interrupt. The crowd takes up another “Goldberg!” chant on principle, and when Heyman says that’s pissing him off there’s a big laugh.
It’s a fairly typical Heyman promo – Lesnar is a beast, he conquered the Undertaker, he doesn’t want to wait until Survivor Series to get his hands on Goldberg and pummel him. Goldberg starts jumping in the ring like a puppy as Lesnar’s music hits and Heyman points to the ramp, but no Lesnar appears. Heyman is laughing like this is the cleverest practical joke anyone has ever thought of as he gleefully cries “Gotcha!”.
Goldberg starts to advance threateningly on Heyman, who backs away screaming that he’s just an advocate and isn’t actually in the business of hurting or being hurt when Rusev’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ramp. No Lana, today. The crowd chants “We want Lesnar!” as Rusev takes the microphone and demands to know who Goldberg thinks he is. The crowd reminds Rusev that his name is Goldberg. What a good, helpful crowd they are in Hartford tonight! But Rusev goes on that he understands that he is talking to Goldberg, but what does Goldberg actually have to deliver, here? He can talk trash about Lesnar, who isn’t even in the building, but what is he actually going to do?
Rusev punctuates this speech with a big right hand to Goldberg. Goldberg responds with a Jackhammer to Rusev and a Spear to Paul Heyman before he makes his way up the ramp.
We cut to the commentary team, and I don’t know what I’m seeing. Corey Graves is looking sharp in a pumpkin-print suit, while Byron Saxton, the adorable little poppet, is wearing a blue onesie with duckies on it. I think they’re talking about Hell in a Cell. I don’t know. What are they wearing, and why isn’t Michael Cole joining in? Corey says he looks like an adult baby.
MATCH: Enzo (with Big Cass) vs. Luke Gallows (with Karl Anderson) – Trick or Street Fight
Anything goes in this Halloween-themed match! Gallows and Anderson are heels, meaning they don’t play along, but Enzo and Cass make their way out dressed as Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Cass looks a tiny bit like a cowboy stripper in his tiny trunks, while Enzo looks like an overgrown child. Enzo promises a beatdown ‘to infinity and beyond’, and then pulls Cass’s pullstring so he can cut a promo. This is a rather less G-rated version of Woody, as he lets off a string of candy-themed jokes about dicks before the match begins.
- The match gets underway, and Enzo is still wearing his plastic Buzz Lightyear wings. He then hits Gallows with a skeleton and sticks his head in an apple-bobbing barrel.
- When we’re back, Gallows is in control, throwing Enzo around outside the ring before covering him with pumpkin pulp and breaking a jack-o-lantern on him.
- Back in the ring, Gallows clothesline Enzo to the mat, before striking him with a candy corn coloured kendo stick.
- Enzo in the corner ducks out of the way of the kendo stick, sending Gallows into the corner, then throws a whole mess of pumpkins at Gallows.
- Gallows with more strikes with the kendo stick, but Enzo dropkicks him in the knees, knocking him down. He picks up a pie in preparation to hit Gallows with it, but when Anderson grabs him, Anderson takes the pie in the face instead.
- Cass in with a big boot on Anderson, and Enzo hits Gallows with a low blow with a pumpkin. Cass pops a pumpkin on Gallows’ head, and then Enzo hits the DDG for a successful three-count.
I can’t believe I just watched a wrestling match where one of them was wearing inflatable plastic wings. I love wrestling.
Somewhere backstage, we cut to an ambulance and are informed that Heyman has been rushed away after that Spear from Goldberg.
MATCH: TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick – Cruiserweight Championship Match
Apparently, after Kendrick became the champion last night at Hell in a Cell, Perkins is getting his rematch immediately. Kendrick takes the mic and explains that he’s been playing mind games with Perkins, but he’s got a plan for how he’s going to retain the title now he’s got it.
- Perkins declines the traditional handshake, going in immediately for an assault as soon as the bell rings.
- When we come back from commercial, Kendrick has regained some control of this match, but Perkins takes him down with a dropkick.
- Perkins ducks a clothesline, then plants Kendrick with a slam.
- Missile dropkick from Perkins, then he locks in the kneebar but Kendrick makes a ropebreak.
- Both men tumble to the outside, and Perkins makes it back into the ring shortly before the ten count. Kendrick moves like he is about to get back in too, but jumps off at the last minute – Kendrick is counted out, and retains.
Perkins is furious about this, and jumps out of the ring to lock in the knee bar on the outside. Kendrick frantically taps, and when Perkins finally lets him go, Kendrick just curls up in the foetal position with his title.
Backstage, Mick Foley is interrupted by Braun Strowman. Strowman wants to be part of Team RAW at Survivor Series, because he’s sick of jobber matches. If he doesn’t make the team, he’s going to destroy half the roster. Foley tries to placate him by saying he can’t bend to threats, but there’s a battle royal later tonight and the winner joins Team RAW, so that’s a good opportunity for Strowman.
I hate battle royals.
Foley makes his way to the ring next up, to talk about the Hell in a Cell pay per view. There’s a new Cruiserweight champion, there was a triple main event, and the first women’s Hell in a Cell match. Hey, Foley, how about we congratulate the new women’s champion too? Or, hell, how about we acknowledge how awesome it is that Sasha and Charlotte actually main evented a WWE pay-per-view instead of calling it a ‘triple main event’?
But no, Foley wants to talk… about Chris Jericho. His actions left a bad taste in Foley’s mouth, so he wants to acknowledge this. Kevin Owens’ music hits, and Kevin and Chris make their way to the ring to a respectable ‘Y2J’ chant. Kevin asks what ‘we’ did that left a bad taste in Foley’s mouth, what ‘we’ did that was so wrong. Was it that his best friend entered the cell? Was it that he beat Seth Rollins, the number one draft pick? Or, was it that Kevin Owens stole the show, making history as the first man to successfully defend the Universal title, and dominating the show in the main event?
Yeah, that was the historic thing that happened last night. How could I forget? Here’s me thinking about the ‘women’ or something. I could have sworn they did something historic last night. I guess I was wrong. Okay, I mean, I get it, Kevin is a heel, but I don’t think that really excuses the fact that no one else has addressed it either. I mean, yes, we spoke about the fact that it was the first women’s Hell in a Cell match, but I’d like to see a proper acknowledgement of them main eventing instead of playing up the ‘triple main event’ thing like it doesn’t ‘really’ count that they were on last.
While I’m focused on that, Foley, Kevin and Chris are still talking. They try to argue that Foley is jealous of Kevin Owens because Foley has lost a number of Hell in a Cell matches and Kevin won his first one. Foley retorts that he did so with help and that kind of ruined the excitement of the moment of Kevin retaining.
Roman makes his way out to join, and as people boo, he wishes everyone a happy Halloween because there are obviously some ghosts in the crowd tonight. Jericho yells at Roman for not wearing a Halloween costume, and Roman claims he was going to dress as a ‘stupid idiot’ but the shop was all out of Jericho costumes. Well, Jericho is so offended by this that Roman isn’t even worthy of making the list. Nor is he worthy of being United States Champion – Jericho is Canadian and hates everything and everyone in the United States, but would still make a better United States Champion than Roman.
Foley is still unhappy with Jericho, so when Roman says he’s more than happy to fight Jericho he makes it official – Roman will defend the United States title against Chris Jericho later tonight.
Next up is a video package about last night’s historic women’s match. Charlotte will be coming out later tonight to talk about her championship!
MATCH: Battle Royal – Survivor Series Qualifier
Before commercial, we see Sami come out first, and after commercial, we cap it off with Braun Strowman. A large portion of the roster is out there already waiting.
- The Golden Truth and Sami Zayn team up on Strowman, but Strowman eliminates R-Truth quickly, then Bo Dallas.
- Cesaro and Sami team up on Strowman next, and send him out of the ring – but through the middle rope, not over the top.
- Cesaro and Sheamus team up to eliminate Darren Young, and then sort of begrudgingly fistbump about their collaboration.
- Strowman back in the ring next, and eliminates someone, but I missed who.
- Sami Zayn eliminates Titus O’Neil, and Sheamus and Cesaro eliminate Goldust. Cesaro throws Sheamus over afterwards, then Strowman eliminates Cesaro.
- Neville, Strowman and Sami the only three men left in the ring. Neville and Strowman going at it, with Sami collapsed in the corner, but then Strowman eliminates Neville.
- Sami back on his feet with strikes on Strowman, but Strowman floors him with a clothesline as big “Ole!” chants take up.
- Strowman gets Sami over the rope and onto the apron, and Sami desperately tries to cling on and pull Strowman over. It’s tense for a moment, but Sami is just too small, and Strowman eventually knocks him to the ground.
I was thinking that they might throw us for a loop by having the rather small Sami get an unexpected victory over Strowman – but realism took over on this one and Strowman is going to be joining us at Survivor Series fighting for Team RAW.
Emma’s rebranding as Emmalina is coming soon. I got confused because of all the swimsuit model shots and thought it was an ad. I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you, Emma!
The New Day are all dressed up for Halloween and have a little chat about the SmackDown tagteam division, as they’re captaining RAW at Survivor Series. Xavier doesn’t watch SmackDown Live because he has D&D on Tuesdays, so needs a refresher on who they might be up against. There’s Slater and Rhyno, the captains, the Hype Bros, who just say their name over and over and are really annoying, and then… who else? Breezango (“Charles”), the Usos (“Jim”), and the Vaudevillains (“who? – oh, wait, they owe us a time machine”). They can’t think of anything bad to say about American Alpha, and all Xavier knows about them is that they’re ‘sick’.
MATCH: Rich Swann, Lince Dorado & Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese & Drew Gulak
There’s been an awful lot of six-man tag matches in the Cruiserweight division lately, and I’m not a particularly big fan of six-man tag matches at the best of times. Certainly not in a division that is theoretically supposed to be primarily about singles competition, not tag-teams.
- Dorado and Daivari in the ring together. Daivari gets in early offense.
- Dorado with a hurricanrana, then a tag to Swann.
- Swann working Daivari’s arm, then a tag to Alexander for a double stomp to the arm from the top rope.
- Daivari backs Alexander into the corner and makes the tag to Gulak.
- Gulak with a Northern Lights Suplex. Alexander regains some control of the match and makes a tag to Nese.
- Nese trips Gulak, then both men out of the ring. Nese sends Gulak into the barricade.
- Back in the ring, Daivari tags in and keeps up the pressure with a few elbow drops.
- Alexander kicks to break free, but Gulak holds him back from making the tag. Finally, Swann tags in and clotheslines Nese.
- Swann with a rolling thunder splash, but the pin is disrupted. Suddenly, everyone is in the ring! Dorado and Alexander take out Gulak and Daivari, giving Swann a chance to pin Nese.
I’ve been following the Cruiserweights in general a lot less closely than I ought to be, so this moment is sort of lost on me.
After the break and a quick recap of the Goldberg segment, it’s Charlotte time! Charlotte is excited to have made history last night at Hell in a Cell, though she takes all the credit for this; Sasha was there, pushing her to succeed, but ultimately, it was Charlotte who came out on top.
Hell in a Cell is in the past, though – let’s talk Survivor Series! Bayley comes out to the ring, and wants to gush a bit more about Hell in a Cell, but Charlotte shuts her down. While Charlotte has been succeeding in the women’s division, and achieving things, Bayley is little more than a fangirl in a Halloween costume. She instructs Bayley to prove herself against ‘their’ teammate at Survivor Series, and Bayley says she’s more than willing to beat Dana again. But oh no, Charlotte isn’t talking about Dana Brooke.
MATCH: Bayley vs. Nia Jax
Nia makes her way out to the ring and I gotta say, I’m really excited to see Nia Jax in a match like this. Have we seen much of her since facing Alicia Fox at Clash of Champions? I can’t even remember. Charlotte is on commentary for this match!
- Lock-up, with Nia slamming Bayley down with force. Bayley attempts a waistlock, but Nia shoves her off with ease.
- Bayley works Nia’s arm, but Nia hits a shoulder-breaker on Bayley.
- Bayley thrown across the ring into the corner, and Nia follows with a splash, but Bayley sends her head into the turnbuckle.
- Nia whips Bayley into the opposite corner, then goes for a bear hug. Bayley reverses into a guillotine choke, but Nia breaks the hold.
- Nia drops Bayley with a strike then seems to tease the leg drop, then goes to the second rope instead. Bayley follows, but ends up being sent to the outside, landing badly on her knee.
- Nia throws Bayley into the barricade, then back into the ring for a Samoan Drop for a successful three-count.
- Bayley looks disappointed after her loss, while Charlotte looks smug. All three of these women are confirmed for the five-on-five women’s match at Survivor Series against the SmackDown women.
MATCH: Cesaro & Sheamus vs. The Shining Stars
Unfortunately, this is another one of those matches that I struggle to care about. I’m still not sure how I feel about the Cesaro/Sheamus story and I don’t care much for the Shining Stars.
- Cesaro and Sheamus spent the beginning of the match having an argument, and Primo rolls up the distracted Sheamus for a two-count.
- Rolling senton from Sheamus, then tag to Cesaro for a double stomp.
- Cesaro calls for the Cesaro Swing, but Primo grabs the ropes to counter, then back drops Cesaro.
- Primo knocks Cesaro to the floor with a dropkick, then tags in Epico.
- Epico with a senton, then a sequence of quick tags to keep Cesaro isolated in the corner away from Sheamus.
- Cesaro finally breaks away and tags in Sheamus. Sheamus is in quickly, knocking Primo away and draping Epico over the ropes for strikes.
- Sheamus locks in the Cloverleaf on Epico. Primo tries to break it up, but Cesaro comes in to stop him, and Epico taps.
Backstage, Jericho and Kevin are talking about Jericho’s upcoming match against Roman for the United States title. The United States Championship is new territory for Jericho, despite that he has a very long list of title reigns behind him, and now he’s got his opportunity to turn it into the Canadian championship.
MATCH: Chris Jericho vs. Roman Reigns – United States Championship Match
- Jericho gets in early offense by throwing his scarf at Roman in the corner.
- Jericho with an Irish whip, but Roman reverses and follows with a back elbow.
- Jericho with a dropkick, then goes to the top rope, but Roman is back up in time and goes for a superplex; Jericho fights him off and hits a crossbody for a two-count.
- Strikes from Roman taking the offense, and both men go to the outside with Roman slamming Jericho’s head into a variety of surrounding objects.
- After commercial, Jericho is back in control with a series of knees, then a side suplex for a two-count.
- Roman sends Jericho into the corner then follows with a series of clotheslines.
- Samoan Drop for a nearfall, but Jericho ducks the Superman Punch that follows, and tries to convert to the Walls of Jericho. Roman counters.
- Roman down from a back elbow, but gets his knees up to block the Lionsault.
- Jericho ducks another Superman Punch, then Roman counters the Codebreaker, but Jericho locks in the Walls of Jericho.
- Roman powers out, then powerbombs Jericho for a nearfall. Calls for the Spear, but is distracted by Kevin Owens on the apron.
- Roman hits a Superman Punch, then a Spear. Kevin Owens disrupts the pin, but this isn’t a tag match – Roman wins by disqualification!
Kevin and Jericho lay into Roman, as the crowd takes up in a huge ‘we want Rollins’ chant. They get their wish – Seth makes his way down for the save on Roman, or possibly just for an opportunity to attack Kevin Owens. Slingblade to Jericho, then a suicide dive to take down Owens. Seth attempts to Pedigree Jericho, but Owens drags him away.
Seth and Roman stand in the ring and look at each other. Roman looks confused about why Seth would come in for the save, and Seth does not indicate one way or another why he would do it. The crowd takes up in an enormous ‘yes’ chant, and we close on this dubious teased Shield reunion.