This week’s episode of Monday Night Raw took place in Manchester, England and it had plenty of intrigue to go around.
Under Siege Part 2
I’ll tell you what, man. We’re going to look back in 10 years and we might be saying the New Day had a longer impact on pro wrestling than the Shield and it’s because of segments like this one.
The main event of this show was a Tag Team Championship match between The Shield and The Bar. These guys always kill it in their matches so you know this was no different. I want to give a mention to Cesaro BOWLING through Ambrose to break up a near pinfall. It was such a cool visual and so perfectly in character for who Cesaro and Sheamus are.
But the story wasn’t this match. Oooooooh no. It was those dastardly SmackDown boys making a fool of Raw. Again.
Right near the end of the match, New Day appeared on the Shield’s signature aisle and they mocked the hell out of Raw’s entire show. They laughed at the 3 hours, applauded the fans for staying awake, and cackled over how weak Raw’s response to being Under Siege was.
The only answer is Under Siege Part 2 bay-beeeeee!
Angle quickly assembled the roster and directed them into the arena – don’t think I didn’t see Balor and The Club innocently leading the charge, WWE. I’m a sucker; I notice these things – only for New Day to laugh and run away.
And in all the confusion, a Brogue Kick won The Bar the Raw Tag Team Championships.
It’s another slap to Raw. SmackDown’s leaders can seemingly make Raw flinch at will. But when you consider Michael Cole casually mentioning that Roman Reigns is back next week, it all seems to make sense, doesn’t it?
New Day vs. The Shield. Let’s do this!
WE CAN GO ALL DAY
It took nearly an hour into the show to get to some fireworks that would wake the crowd up, though. An uninspired first hour finally led to Titus O’Neil facing Samoa Joe…but that never happened. Instead, Joe jumped the Titus and Apollo Crews on the way to the ring and left them both to sleep on the stage.
Joe would hop into the ring and state that it doesn’t matter if you’re as powerful as Titus or as freakish an athlete as Apollo – no one can stop Samoa Joe. It was a killer promo and merely your latest reminder that Joe is the baddest man in WWE with a microphone.
But he wasn’t done. He wanted some true competition. And who else would answer such a challenge other than Finn Balor?
…Do I really need to describe the match? It’s two of the best wrestlers in the world; it rocked. The true beauty of it was in the booking – the match served to make both of these wrestlers appear unstoppable. They countered each other’s signature moves as commentary played up their long-time rivalry.
In the end, the match was thrown out due to count out. Instead of leaving it there, the two men brawled and scrapped and clawed until security broke them apart. Angle rushed out to reward both men for their passion and disregard of the rules by adding them to his team at Survivor Series.
It’s a really smart play by WWE from my perspective. Survivor Series always relies on the nuances of the teams. When you have powerful names like Strowman, Balor, and Joe, you need some wrinkles to the team that can add some doubt. Can Joe and Balor put aside their differences for the good of their show? I feel WWE would be smart to show their run in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic next week to show what they’re capable when they team together as well; Joe and Balor were champs.
I want to mention this as well: WWE must be encouraged by the crowd reaction here. You didn’t get the divisive cheers for the heel in this match. It seems Balor and Strowman are the only babyfaces on Raw that can avoid those.
YOU THREW ME IN A GARBAGE TRUCK
“Please. Please Kurt. Don’t do this.”
Those are the words of The Miz on MizTV last night. Miz started his night railing on SmackDown’s Baron Corbin before turning his attention to his guest: Kurt Angle.
You know, the Miz’s character is essentially a spoiled child on the playground who thinks entirely too much of himself. He puts together these strings of logic to justify his temper tantrums and then looks shocked that an adult would put him in the corner for it.
That’s essentially what happened here. The Miz complained so Angle put him in a match with Braun Strowman.
It went how you’d expect. The Miztourage tried to help – completely in vain, I might add – but Braun just demolished these guys. Not even poor Curtis Axel was safe.
But before things could get truly ugly…Kane showed up.
I have to admit I enjoyed a bit of schadenfreude at how Kane got literally no response from the crowd. THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR PUTTING A 50 YEAR-OLD OVER FAN FAVORITES –
You know what? Strowman took that moment to shout “YOU THREW ME IN A GARBAGE TRUCK” at Kane and now I’m totally over it.
Braun put the hurt on Kane, fighting off a Chokeslam to hit his own Running Powerslam. Kane sat up immediately after the Powerslam though, and that was a really nice touch. The crowd responded to that too. It’s almost as if that supernatural touch that went along with Kane’s cruel streak in the past is what made him a believable “monster.” Gee, who woulda thunk?
So now this feud’s looming over the Survivor Series 5-man match. You’d have to imagine Angle does something next week to try to keep these two apart at Survivor Series. After all the trouble he went through to field his team tonight, Angle would be a fool to forget.
Best of the Rest
MizTV – The only thing I really have to say here is my god they do a lot of video recaps. It slows down the show and caters too much to “casual viewing” in my opinion. I’d be trying to do the opposite with the show if I were in charge.
Jordan def. Samson – Boos for Jordan from the British crowd. You’ll always get a clean read on how the most passionate fans feel about your product from a British crowd and tonight was no different. Jordan’s not the only face in WWE with presentation issues though.
As for the match, pole matches make no sense. So Samson and Jordan are to fight to get something off the pole, right? And yet once it’s down, both are free to use it. That’s just weird to me. Jordan was later added to the team at Survivor Series. It makes sense that Angle would favor a trusted hand when his job’s on the line. Good storytelling!
Asuka def. Poor Stacey Coates – Not much interest from the crowd here. Asuka destroyed a poor jobber en route to earning a spot on Raw’s women’s team at Survivor Series. Now that she’s on the team, things should (hopefully) pick up for Asuka.
Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Alicia Fox & Nia Jax – How’s this for intrigue? Banks picks up the win on Fox via the Bank Statement. After the match, Fox declared Banks for the team but not Bayley. And the segment ends with Bayley looking devastated and Banks grinning ear to ear. This could be a fun story to tell.
BRUISERWEIGHT – Enzo talked. And talked. And talked. Until Graves said, “Guys, I’mma go take a nap. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
And then PETE FREAKING DUNNE debuted to put the hurt to Enzo. It was glorious.
Raw’s male Survivor Series team is set with Angle, Balor, Strowman, Joe, and Jordan. The women’s team of Fox, Jax, Asuka, and Banks is still missing one member. And now it seems we’re on a crash course for New Day vs. The Shield.
I felt like this show suffered from a little too much “routine” at times. But how can you complain with a pull apart brawl, a surprise title change, and the debut of Pete Dunne?
Tuesday is my 25th birthday. Say nice things to me in the comments and comment on the show, I guess. If you have to.