Live from ThunderDome!
WWE didn’t make as big a deal of it as they have in years past, but Raw did “win” Survivor Series last night. But the way they picked up those four wins illustrated why Monday nights can be a frustrating viewing experience. It was definitely evident in the two women’s matches.
Raw Women’s champ Asuka got her first chance in months to remind us she’s one of the best in the world, and remind us of what we’ve been missing out on. She and her blue brand counterpart Sasha Banks put on a heck of a show, and the Empress lost via roll-up to help convince us The Boss’ 2020 babyface push is different from previous ones.
It seems like they’re setting the stage for RECKONING (aka Mia Yim) to step-up as a challenger, and that should deliver some good matches. I’m not sold on the story, but hopefully Mustafa Ali can sell us on whatever creative comes up with. The issue is - while I hate to get too far ahead of myself - what’s next for whoever wins that feud?
Then, there’s the tale of Raw’s victorious women’s Survivor Series team. It led to Lana standing tall while he tormentor (and one half of the WWE Women’s Tag Team champions) Nia Jax glared in anger. But Lana’s only victory was not quitting. That’s actually a more useful message that WWE often delivers, doesn’t put the Ravishing Russian in the title picture. We’ve seen her face Asuka, and she’s not even aligned with another wrestler for a run at Jax & Shayna Baszler. She’s probably getting put through the announce table again tonight.
At least Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke are poised to want revenge for Baszler’s attack on Rose last week. Honestly, I’d rather see the tag belts make their way to SmackDown or even NXT, where a more interesting team like the Riott Squad or Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell (or Dakota Kai & Raquel González, or Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro) can travel across brands with them.
That would free Shayna up to pursue singles gold again. She’s not everyone’s cup of team, but she’s a legitimate threat and capable of better matches than most of the other available options.
Peyton Royce looked good for a stretch, and Lacey Evans looked like Lacey Evans, but I think WWE’s made it clear they’re both midcarede
With Rhea Ripley’s time in NXT seemingly over, her name has been bandied about as a solution. She certainly could be, though the usual fears about main roster booking apply. And I can’t believe I’m saying this after her omnipresence was a problem in and of itself in the first half of 2020, but I’m looking forward to the return of Charlotte Flair.
Something needs to happen. In the meantime, we’ve got Lana being put through a table to look forward to.
The title scene
While we’re salivating for another showdown between Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre, the WWE champ needs a challenger on his own show. Signs point to that being his friend Sheamus... will the Celtic Warrior turn on the Scot, or is theirs going to be a good fella vs. good fella program?
After putting over Street Profits at Survivor Series, Raw Tag Team titleholders The New Day should probably keep their eyes on The Hurt Business. Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander gave Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston all they could handle last Monday, and MVP will be looking to build on that - and United States champion Bobby Lashley’s win over Sami Zayn last night - by adding more gold to his crew.
12 hours and counting on R-Truth’s 45th run as 24/7 champion. God is good.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- The Fiend didn’t crash Undertaker’s Final Farewell, and Randy Orton’s time in the WWE title picture should be done for now. Look for Bray Wyatt to turn his attention to “forgiving” the Viper.
- We may have moved past the forgiveness phase of Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross’ relationship. Who knows what it says about their character’s alignments, but since Nikki’s been unable to break Wyatt’s spell on Bliss, seems it’s time for them to fight.
- Miz will try to parlay his pre-show battle royal win into a successful Money in the Bank cash-in. Good luck with that.
- They beat the team that ran the table on SmackDown, and “hacked” WWE’s Twitter. Can RETRIBUTION keep that momentum going?
- Speaking of Team Raw, weeks of in-fighting didn’t hurt them at all. So are Skipper, Mongoose, Fireface, Bro-Lee & Dopey friends now? Or will we get some feuds out of their pre-PPV dysfunction?
- For reasons that still aren’t clear, Elias continues to insist Jeff Hardy ran him over with a car.
lt’s the Survivor Series fallout show!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?