This show started with the crowd earnestly booing the Raw brand. The show ended with WWE disrespecting their entire tag team division and saying Raw won the night 6-0.
I need (another) drink.
Channeling the Man
This was match of the night for me. And I don’t think it was particularly close.
And it just comes down to gripping the audience, doesn’t it? After Becky Lynch took the WWE by storm and invaded Raw like a conquering hero, WWE had to scrabble together a match in 6 days.
And that scrabbling, that urgency? It did immense favors to this match.
There was just this feeling that the match mattered more than everything else that had happened on the show. Charlotte was doing everything she could to chop down the Raw champ, to soften her up for a submission finisher.
That’s what the Man asked her to do, after all.
And that kind of became the story of the match. Ronda Rousey was facing one of the very best in WWE and it showed. She was bloodied from an elbow early in the match and was having to fight much more realistically from underneath. Rousey’s usual rally never really came.
That’s what makes the ending so interesting, too. Charlotte Flair freaking snapped.
A kendo stick shot ended the match and was followed by Flair throwing Rousey into the steps, more kendo shots, Flair getting violent with some referees, and a Natural Selection onto a steel chair.
And all throughout, Los Angeles cheered for Charlotte.
WWE tried to run the story that Rousey’s never been pummeled so badly and I don’t expect that to do her babyface runs any favors. And honestly, that might be the point. Rousey staggered up the stage and had a peculiar look on her face when the crowd booed her. Her pal Shayna Baszler is already calling out fans on Twitter for being fickle. I think we all know where this might be headed.
But all that can wait; for now, these two tore the house down.
Lesnar matches, man
I hate Lesnar matches.
I hate them. I hate how they all look the same. I hate how they all feel the same, like no one has a prayer of beating the Beast.
And do you know what I hate the most? I hate the fact that despite how emotionally checked out I am for all of Lesnar’s matches. Daniel Bryan STILL got me with that submission false finish.
The first 10 minutes of this match were just Lesnar doing Lesnar things. The L.A. crowd at one point chanted “same old shit” at him.
He grinned, of course.
But eventually, Bryan showed some life. Taking advantage of the ref getting knocked down, he punted Lesnar in the groin before landing his finishing knee strike that earned a two count. Bryan proceeded to run Lesnar ragged for several minutes which all led to that Yes Lock. Lesnar lay there red-faced, eyes bulging as he fought out of the hold only for Bryan to smash his head in with some vicious forearms and put the hold on again.
But then, y’know. Lesnar.
Shoutout to the Cruiserweights
Can I direct your attention to a tweet by Sami Zayn?
Because this. Exactly this. On a night with some questionable decisions, it’s just nice to see 205 Live quietly tearing the place apart.
I haven’t watched much of Buddy Murphy lately and I thought he looked incredible tonight. Mustafa Ali’s been on a fantastic tear and I wish WWE would find a way to get these guys on Raw or SmackDown in come capacity. Because as it stands, the only 205 member on a main show is I-Pissed-My-Pants-Maverick.
...Might want to find a new leader, AoP.
Tag Team Elimination Match: Team SmackDown def. Team Raw
This was our first taste of Suvivor Series action and my goodness, it was HILARIOUS that the crowd wants to boo Raw so fiercely. Xavier Woods is such a gem, too; once he noticed, he kept saying “Monday Night Raw” with a sly grin on his face.
Pre-match antics aside, this match was a bit sloppy and I think it’s fair to blame that on having 23 men at ringside. Everyone tried to get their stuff in and do it quickly and it caused moments that just didn’t connect.
With that said, once the match got down to Roode/Gable and the Revival versus the New Day and the Usos, things picked up in a big way. There were a bunch of cool spots to the outside, a ridiculous German Suplex off the top turnbuckle into a crowd of people on the floor by Gable, and an insane Shatter Machine from the Revival.
In the end, the Usos outlasted the Revival to pick up the first victory for SmackDown on the night...oh wait. Except the WWE confirmed that the pre-show doesn’t count today. Whoops.
Women’s Match: Team Raw def. Team SmackDown
I have so many issues with this match. The story here is clearly Nia Jax so I’ll get to her in a second, but let me start with Bayley and Sasha Banks. Guys...what the hell are you doing joining this team?! Alexa Bliss and company did their damndest to make you look like a joke last Monday. And you push all of that aside because of “brand supremacy.”
That’s so dumb. Bayley, Sasha, you are both are so dumb.
So let’s talk about the big story here – Nia Jax. She was viciously booed for her part in Lynch’s injury and WWE used that hatred by having her be the sole survivor on the match.
I hate it.
Do you want to watch Jax get a push from all of this? Me neither. And I wouldn’t be surprised if fans quickly move to sabotage this Jax/Tamina pairing moving forward. The only way I’m cool with this is if Lynch showed up and obliterates her.
Men’s Match: Team Raw def. Team SmackDown
Is anyone else noticing that Braun Strowman’s not getting the fervent fan reaction that he used to? I’d imagine the flip-flopping alignment is to blame, hmm?
The story here was that Raw is a chaotic bloody mess and it still doesn’t matter because LOL-WE-GOT-STROWMAN. It gets tiring. Shoutout to Finn Balor for kicking Drew McIntyre in the face and basically going kamikaze out there. Get your ish in, Finn.
I though Rey Mysterio stood out well, too. Rey’s always been fun as hell and I think he always will be.
I don’t really have anything else to say about this. It was not very fun.
Seth Rollins def. Shinsuke Nakamura
This was a good match...but only good, I’d say. And I feel weird for even saying that.
I don’t know why it didn’t click with me. Perhaps it was missing something emotionally. Perhaps it played like a greatest hits of every 2018 Rollins match. Perhaps it felt more like a teaser for an actual feud someday. I’m not sure.
And c’mon, this still rocked. It just didn’t knock my socks off. A frantic finish had Nakamura missing a Kinshasa to get hit with a Blackout.
AoP def. The Bar
Enzo Amore is an attention-seeking waste of space and Drake Maverick pissed his pants. I hate wrestling sometimes.
The good on this show was very good, but the majority of it was just boring, quite frankly – especially with all three Survivor Series matches. I think that is simply indicative of some serious storytelling issues on each show.
If you missed the show, I’d recommend seeing Charlotte vs. Rousey. And that’s probably it, to be honest.
Hopefully the shows can sort themselves out as we approach the start of WrestleMania season.