WADE KELLER PODCAST - EARLY PREVIEW OF ROYAL RUMBLE 2020 MEN'S MATCH, PLUS 2019 AND 2010 LOOK-BACK ROUNDTABLES
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On Monday’s Raw, WWE started a WWE Title tournament after Seth Rollins suffered a knee injury that forced the title to be vacated. Plus, Bray Wyatt planned to eulogize The Undertaker and Kane…
WWE Raw TV Report
November 9, 2015 – Episode #1,172
Taped in Manchester, U.K.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
Live Raw on USA Network
Raw opened with Michael Cole introducing the show and hyped an historic night due to “breaking news” concerning the WWE World Title. WWE cut to a shot of the title belt resting comfortably on a podium in the middle of the ring. Triple H’s music then played to bring out Hunter to address the title situation.
As Hunter walked down to the ring, Cole relayed the update that Seth Rollins tore his knee in Dublin, Ireland last week, forcing him to vacate the WWE Title, which sets up a WWE Title tournament culminating at Survivor Series.
In the ring, Hunter looked around the arena before taking a moment to acknowledge a great champion. “The Man, Seth Rollins,” he said. Hunter said that when he and Stephanie McMahon chose Seth as The Future of WWE, they had extremely high hopes. He said Seth exceeded all of their expectations. Because every obstacle and opponent that was put in front of Rollins was overcome. But, on his way to becoming one of the greatest of all-time, “tragedy fell upon Seth Rollins.” And this past week in Dublin, Ireland, Seth Rollins blew out his knee.
Hunter said that while Seth Rollins is stilL The Man, he is no longer WWE World Hvt. champion. The crowd booed and cheered. So, who will step up and fill the void? Hunter said that a few weeks ago, they determined a new #1 contender to face Rollins at Survivor Series for the WWE Title. He said it’s time to bring that man out right now, Roman Reigns. Another mix of boos and cheers.
Reigns slowly made his way through the arena down to ringside, then he slowly entered the ring to stand opposite Hunter. Reigns stared at the WWE Title belt, then backed away. Hunter said it looks pretty good. Hunter said a tournament starts tonight to determine who will be the new WWE champion. He said it seems unfair that Rollins is no longer champion and also unfair that Reigns has to go through a tournament after earning a #1 contender spot two weeks ago.
Hunter said it doesn’t have to be that way; it could be a lot easier. Hunter said maybe Reigns doesn’t have to enter that tournament and everyone else has to battle to determine who faces Reigns for the WWE Title. Hunter said that seems much more fair. He then took Reigns back in time to when they considered Rollins as The Man. He said they “strongly considered” Reigns first. Hunter said Reigns has it all – everything you could want, except for one thing. “Except for one thing that Seth Rollins had – the willingness to do absolutely anything to be The Man,” Hunter told him. (It sounded like he was going to tell Reigns that he doesn’t have heart.)
Hunter said that is why Seth Rollins has been WWE World Hvt. champion and Reigns has not. How did it feel at WrestleMania when Rollins rolled into the match and took his dream away from him? Yeah, it sucked. Could he have beaten Brock Lesnar? Kept the title for months and months? They’ll never know because Seth was willing to do whatever it took to become WWE World Hvt. champion. And here they are months later with Reigns still having nothing to show for himself. Hunter said he could make all of the walls and roadblocks go away. “Do you want to be The Man?” Hunter asked. He told Reigns he just has to be his man.
Reigns asked if he wants him to be a sell-out. Hunter cut a promo on the “sell-out” term, telling him not to let morals get in his way of success. Hunter said criticism comes with the game, pal, but if he wants to be successful, he needs to ignore everyone and listen to him. Hunter put the title belt over Reigns’s shoulder to let him take a look at the belt. Hunter played the family card, saying he could give Reigns everything he ever wanted in life. “Just be my man,” Hunter said before extending his hand.
Reigns replied that everything he has in life he earned and he’s never taken a hand-out. He said no one can ever take that away from him. The crowd booed as Reigns unconvincingly tried to get fired up. “You can take your offer and you can shove it,” Reigns told Hunter to some cheers. Hunter thanked Reigns for showing him why he picked Seth Rollins in the first place. He sent Reigns to the back of the line, then Big Show’s music played to bring out Reigns’s opponent. Show and Hunter met on the entrance ramp for a fist pump, creating that regular thought trying to remember whether Show is heel or face. Cole – the lead play-by-play announcer who should be helping out the babyfaces – dogged Reigns for having to deal with his decision now. Cole said it’s the first match of the First Round, next.
[Q2] [Commercial Break at 8:16]
1 — ROMAN REIGNS VS. BIG SHOW — First Round WWE Title Tournament match
Big Show tossed Reigns around early on as JBL and Byron Saxton argued about Reigns turning down Hunter’s offer. Cole did not join the discussion since he already made his bed on his position. Show, sporting a giant brace over his left knee, went for a big splash to Reigns’s mid-section. Show was slow to cover, though, resulting in a two count. Show then lightly tossed Reigns out of the ring. Show left the ring and tossed him right back into the ring before slowly, slowly walking up the ring steps. Show slowly returned to the ring and bodyslammed Reigns. Show remained in control as a lifeless Reigns stayed on the mat heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:25]
Reigns was finally showing some life back from break. But, Show put Reigns in a bear hug. Reigns escaped with a half-Samoan Drop putting Show on the mat, then out of the ring. Reigns kinda walked around the ring apron offering a kick or two to Big Show as the crowd broke into the wave, disinterested in the sluggish match.
[Q3] Back in the ring, Reigns smacked Show in the mouth with an uppercut. Reigns followed with a two-foot dropkick to the side of Show’s head. Reigns followed with another two-foot kick to the head. He then pounded the mat looking for the Superman Punch, but Show caught him in mid-air for the chokeslam. Cole said Show is going to advance in the tournament, which meant he’s not, and Reigns kicked out.
Show dropped the straps and called for the KO Punch, but Reigns nailed a Superman Punch, which staggered Show against the ropes. Show then turned around and took a spear, giving Reigns the pin and the win.
WINNER: Reigns at 11:57 to advance to the quarter-finals. Drab match. Reigns set the tone in the pre-match verbal exchange lacking authentic emotion responding to Hunter. Not sure what will light a fire under him or his character. That’s the big question out of all this – does WWE want him to play this almost robotic-like, unflappable big-man who is not connecting with the audience on the mic, or is Joe Anoa’i unable to draw out strong emotions conveyed through the Roman Reigns character? It’s concerning either way if he’s being pegged for the top babyface role.
Tournament Bracket: Roman advances to face the winner of Cesaro-Sheamus. Also on his side of the bracket are Alberto Del Rio-Stardust and Kalisto-Ryback.
Suddenly, the Wyatt Theme interrupted. A video flashed back to Survivor Series 1990 when The Undertaker debuted. Then, a look back to Bad Blood 1997 when Kane debuted. Tonight, Bray Wyatt has vowed to eulogize Taker and Kane after “consuming their souls.”
[Commercial Break at 8:35]
Back from break, WWE showed Wayne Rooney from Manchester United sitting ringside on the front row. Lots of boos, so apparently there were Manchester City fans in the crowd.
Kevin Owens’s music interrupted to a loud reaction. Owens asked for the music to stop so he could talk. Owens said WWE needs change after cheering for the same old garbage for years. He said the British fans consider themselves the smartest fans in the world, but they’re probably the dumbest. Because they worship a false idol, The Queen, and the Royal Family. Owens said the change he’s going to bring is not for the English fans or WWE fans in America or anywhere else. “No, this change is to benefit me. And me only,” Owens said. Owens said he is a prize-fighter and when he stands in this ring as both Intercontinental and WWE World Hvt. champion (cheers), no one will be able to deny that this is the Kevin Owens Show. The Prime Time Players’s music then brought out Titus O’Neil to face Owens.
2 — IC champion KEVIN OWENS vs. TITUS O’NEIL — First Round WWE Title Tournament match
The match moved to the outside in the first minute, then Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:42]
[Q4] Raw returned to chants of “Rooney Sucks.” Owens and O’Neil battled back-and-forth, then Owens nailed the pop-up powerbomb out of nowhere. It was good for the win. Afterward, Owens grabbed JBL’s cowboy hat and walked away from ringside, looking pretty sharp with the extra headgear. Owens discarded the hat before stomping round ringside some more.
WINNER: Owens at 6:50 to advance to the quarter-finals. Next up for Owens is the winner of Neville-Barrett in the second bracket opposite Reigns’s bracket.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Paige to discuss facing Charlotte for the Divas Title at Survivor Series. Paige quickly ran down Renee for being accusatory in their last interview. Renee then asked Paige about facing Becky Lynch tonight, and perhaps awakening a dragon inside her. “No, no, she’s more like a rat.” Paige vowed to take out the B tonight before it’s just her and “that C” at Survivor Series. Renee sold being taken aback by Paige’s crude analogy.
Taker & Kane Flashback: WrestleMania 1997 when Taker beat Sid for the WWF Title. Then, a look to 2010 when Kane cashed in MITB on Rey Mysterio to win the World Title. Tonight, Bray Wyatt recognizes the souls he has taken.
[Commercial Break at 8:54]
In-ring: Becky Lynch was introduced to the ring back from break. Becky, from Dublin, Ireland, received a solid reaction from the European crowd. Paige, from Norwich, England, sauntered down to the ring to a mixed reaction. No sign of Divas champion Charlotte for a closer look at the action before she defends the title against Paige at Survivor Series.
[Q5 — Second Hour]
3 — PAIGE vs. BECKY LYNCH
After an even lock-up, Paige took control of the action. Meanwhile, Charlotte was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Paige and Becky traded finisher nearfalls, then Becky found a way to roll up Paige from behind. She even hooked the tights in a desperation move and secured a three count on Paige.
Post-match, Paige couldn’t believe that the tables were turned on her. She blasted Becky out of the ring, then threw her onto the announce table. Paige put Becky in the PTO right in front of the announcers, then Charlotte’s music finally played. The Divas champion ran off Paige to a mix of boos and Woos, then checked on Becky.
WINNER: Becky via heel tactics at 5:01.
Tournament Update: Reigns and Owens have advanced to the quarter-finals tonight. Still to come tonight, it’s Cesaro-Sheamus, Ambrose-Breeze, and Miz-Ziggler up next in the Battle for Cleveland.
Next Week: WWE Legends talk about The Undertaker on WWE Network. It’s Undertaker Week to celebrate 25 years of Taker.
[Commercial Break at 9:09]
Announcers: Cole hyped WWE getting ready for WrestleMania 32 in Texas and claimed record-breaking ticket sales already for AT&T Stadium. Cole then threw to a video from the WM32 kick-off party hosted by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
The video showed the line wrapped around the stadium to get tickets. WWE found youthful and female fans in the crowd to interview. WWE showed a soundbyte interview with Austin, then more soundbytes from fans getting tickets. Next were clips of the NXT matches, including Samoa Joe. Cole said a new allotment of tickets are now available.
[Q6] In-ring: The Miz was introduced to the ring to new music? Or, they picked up his music at the very end before starting over? Odd. Anyways, Dolph Ziggler was out next for the Browns’s intra-squad scrimmage.
4 — DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. THE MIZ — First Round WWE Title Tournament match
Miz targeted the knee early on, slowing down Ziggler. The crowd was respectfully quiet as the two wrestlers battled on the mat with Ziggler unable to mount offense. Miz went for the figure-four leglock, but Ziggler refused to tap out. Miz let go, then kind of stumbled around the ring. That gave Ziggler an opening to land a desperation superkick. It was good for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Ziggler at 5:01 to advance to the quarter-finals; Ziggler faces the winner of Ambrose-Breeze, which will be intriguing either way.
The Wyatt theme played again, leading to a flashback to Survivor Series 2005. Randy Orton won for Team Smackdown, then The Undertaker returned to take out the Smackdown brand. WWE also went back to Night of Champions 2012 for Daniel Bryan and Kane winning the Tag Titles, setting up the “I Am the Tag Team Champions” run back when Bryan had shorter hair on his head and chin. Apparently Wyatt has also consumed Orton and D-Bryan’s souls.
[Commercial Break at 9:26]
[Q7] Video Flashback: John Cena opened up the U.S. Title Open Challenge at Hell in a Cell, which produced Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio subsequently won the U.S. Title from Cena, sending Cena packing to the abyss known as morning television.
On-stage: Alberto Del Rio’s music played to bring out Alberto with Zeb Colter on his scooter. Zeb said he and Alberto are uniting the U.S. and Mexico to form one great nation. He said they would ask the U.K. to join, but they are hated around the world. Zeb said he senses hate in the crowd. He said they need to face some hard truth – Germany pushes you around, Scotland wants nothing to do with you, and refuges are crossing your border. Zeb said it wouldn’t surprise him one day to see a man by the name of Vladimir Putin telling the English what to do.
Zeb went for an under-arms joke, then Alberto spoke that this place is populated only by haters. Colter transitioned to opportunities. He said Alberto is fully prepared to take advantage of a WWE Title opportunity this Thursday on Smackdown. Zeb said Alberto will become the first Mex-American Hvt. champion. “Viva Mex-America!” Alberto declared to conclude the segment.
Backstage: Team B.A.D. was shown walking down the hallway. They’re in action next.
[Commercial Break at 9:35]
In-ring: Natalya was standing by. She’s trying to drive a wedge in Team B.A.D. by wondering who the leader of the group is to step up and challenge her. Naomi’s music played, making it pretty apparent based on the theme. Naomi was joined by Sasha Banks and Tamina.
5 — NAOMI (w/Sasha Banks and Tamina) vs. NATALYA
Before the bell sounded, the crowd broke into “We Want Sasha” chants, which Natalya encouraged to try to rile up Naomi. Naomi responded by slapping Natalya across the face. Natalya found herself on the outside, where Sasha posted her outside of the ref’s view. Natalya sold a leg injury as Naomi dragged her back into the ring. Natalya shook off the pain and scored a quick roll-up on Naomi.
Post-match, Sasha hit the ring and attacked Natalya from behind. Natalya shook her off, though, and went for the Sharpshooter, but Tamina kicked Natalya in the head. Sasha then put Natalya in the Bank Statement and Team B.A.D. put Sasha’s trademark glasses over Natalya’s face. Natalya frantically tapped out before Team B.A.D. stood over her.
WINNER: Natalya at 2:07. All of a sudden, Natalya is winning matches. But, it seems like it’s to feed her to Sasha.
Another Undertaker video went back to Summerslam 2008 when Taker and Edge battled inside Hell in a Cell. Then, a look back to 2005 when Edge and Lita tried to marry, but Kane interrupted and ruined the ceremony. So, Wyatt has consumed the souls of everyone with serious injury history?
[Q8] In-ring: Sheamus’s music played to bring out Mr. MITB with King Wade Barrett. Does Sheamus have to relinquish the briefcase if he wins the title? What are the chances of WWE exploring this situation? Cole wondered if Sheamus will be in the next round of the tournament when Raw goes to South Carolina next Monday.
[Commercial Break at 9:46]
Back from break, Cole plugged King Barrett appearing on ESPN SportsCenter tomorrow night. Why? Cole went to video from during the commercial of Barrett verbally challenging English footballer Wayne Rooney to a fight. Barrett ran down Rooney, then Cole recapped the history of Barrett believing Rooney took a dive during a match against Barrett’s team.
6 — SHEAMUS (w/King Barrett) vs. CESARO — WWE Title Tournament First Round match
Cole noted that Barrett faces Neville this Thursday on Smackdown in the title tournament. In this match, Sheamus got frustrated by Cesaro, so he bailed to the outside for a chat with Barrett. Cesaro continued to frustrate Sheamus as the crowd broke into a football chant. Sheamus finally answered with the Irish Curse backbreaker. He followed with five of ten forearms to the chest, then a clothesline. Cesaro sold on the ring apron heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:55]
Raw returned with Cesaro elbowing out of a standing hold, but Sheamus dropped him with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Sheamus then started yelling in Cesaro’s face heading to the top of the hour.
[Q9 — third hour] Sheamus lost control of the match and Cesaro nailed a reverse torture-rack slam. Cesaro wanted the Big Swing, but Sheamus grabbed the bottom rope for a break. Big kicks exchanged. Sheamus and Cesaro then suplexed themselves over the top rope to the outside. Both men sold on the floor as Barrett surveyed the scene. Both men made it back into the ring at a nine count for the match to continue.
Sheamus nailed White Noise, but Cesaro kicked out of a pin. The crowd appreciated the effort as both men recovered in the ring. Sheamus teased the Brogue Kick, but Cesaro ducked and slapped on the Sharpshooter. Sheamus made it to the bottom rope, though. Cesaro continued to sell a right elbow injury before snapping off a big dropkick that knocked Sheamus to the outside.
On the floor, Cesaro uppercut Sheamus into the timekeeper’s area. Cesaro slapped hands with Wayne Rooney, then Barrett walked over. The distraction allowed Sheamus to smash Cesaro from behind. Sheamus then got in Rooney’s face as Barrett laughed in the background.
Barrett sent Sheamus back into the ring to keep fighting, then he walked over to Rooney, who slapped Barrett across the face. Sheamus was stunned back in the ring, allowing Cesaro to smash him with a clothesline. Cesaro followed with an inside roll-up for the pin and the win. Post-match, Cesaro celebrated with Rooney while the heels threw a fit in the ring.
WINNER: Cesaro at 15:30 to advance to the quarter-finals against Roman Reigns next week. Solid match, nice involvement by Wayne Rooney enhancing the heels, and Cesaro advances to a big-boy match against Reigns next week. That’s the beauty of a tournament giving the audience big match-ups to anticipate.
Up Next: Tyler Breeze vs. Dean Ambrose in another tournament match.
[Commercial Break at 10:09]
Back from break, WWE flashed a graphic for Batista being part of the “#1 Movie in the world,” the James Bond movie “Spectre.” Cole read a prepared statement on the movie’s success.
[Q10] In-ring: Dean Ambrose was introduced for the next match. WWE then cut backstage to Tyler Breeze and Summer Rae jockeying for position on the selfie stick camera. Renee Young walked in for a pre-match interview. Breeze joined everyone else running down Young, before vowing to make the world a more beautiful place. Summer ran down Ambrose looking homeless. Breeze told Renee to look at this face, because he will be the New Face of WWE after Survivor Series. WWE cut back to Ambrose doing Shinsuke Nakamura mannerisms before Breeze’s intro music played. Summer Breeze made their ring entrance, including posing in front of the WWE Title belt positioned ringside. Meanwhile, Cole – the lead play-by-play announcer – endorsed Breeze’s introductory heel tactics sneak-attacking Ziggler trying to get noticed, because everything in WWE revolves around getting noticed.
7 — DEAN AMBROSE vs. TYLER BREEZE (w/Summer Rae) — WWE Title Tournament match
Breeze handed over the selfie stick and the bell rang for Breeze’s in-ring TV debut. Ambrose opened with a headlock, then Breeze needed a time-out after sensing hostility from Ambrose. But, Breeze walked into a lariat, then Ambrose clotheslined him over the top rope. Dean wanted a suicide dive, but Breeze moved and Summer went way over-the-top freaking out about Ambrose almost flying through the ropes toward her. Ambrose then ducked a clothesline from Breeze and nailed the suicide dive anyways. Ambrose did Breeze’s casual pose on the guardrail heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:19]
Back from break, Ambrose and Breeze traded control. Breeze, whose voice even sounds like Ziggler when he’s yelling, shouted at Dean that he’s not better than him. Dean responded with jabs and blows into a sunset flip pin for a two count. After a nearfall exchange, Dean teased Dirty Deeds, but Breeze escaped. Dean answered with a rebound lariat as JBL teased the potential Ambrose-Reigns Finals down the road. Cole noted Hunter did not even bring up Ambrose as a Shield member they were scouting in the opening segment.
Ambrose went to the top rope and nailed a flying dropkick, then he sold a right shoulder injury. The referee asked if he wanted to continue, and Dean just writhed in pain. Breeze took advantage with repeated shoulder attacks into the ringpost. Breeze followed with a modified backstabber for a two count. Breeze then slapped on an armbar submission wrenching back on the shoulder. Dean escaped, though.
Breeze nearly got himself DQ’ed for punishing Ambrose in the ropes, pushing a five count. Ambrose finally yanked Breeze out of the ring to get a breather. Everything stopped when a kid on the front row just lit up Breeze, calling him a Ziggler knock-off. It was epic audio. Breeze, clearly thrown off, stormed back into the ring and walked right into an inside cradle for the pin. Ambrose sold the shoulder injury celebrating the win on the outside.
WINNER: Ambrose at 11:08 to advance to the quarter-finals to face Ziggler. They tried to give Breeze enough offense and make him look vicious to be taken seriously, but losing your debut TV match makes for a bad first impression in the eyes of the audience.
[Q11] Taker Flashback: WrestleMania 28 when The Undertaker survived Triple H, Shawn Michaels as special ref, and the HIAC structure to keep The Streak alive. Next was a look back to the 2001 Royal Rumble for Kane picking up 11 Rumble eliminations.
[Commercial Break at 10:31]
Smackdown plug: Ryback vs. Kalisto, Barrett vs. Neville, and U.S. champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Stardust in the three remaining WWE Title tournament matches.
WWE went to an exterior shot of Manchester City’s football stadium. The other half of the crowd booed.
In-ring: New Day’s music played to bring out Big E., Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods dancing on-stage. Xavier, with trombone in-hand, shushed the crowd so that Kofi could speak. Kofi said there is a 16-man tournament and not a single New Day member was included? They couldn’t believe it. “This is outrageous!” Big E. shouted. He said the powers-that-be want to treat them like outcasts? The trio hit the ring to cheers, then Kofi offered a reminder that just so recently, they laid out Dolph Ziggler, the Dudleys, and golden boy John Cena (boos). Xavier said this is for their captain, Seth Rollins. “Because New Day… Rocks.”
Neville’s music played next. Out came the (not new anymore) sensation for six-man tag action. The Usos were out next for their intro war dance. Neville and the Usos hit the ring as New Day got organized outside the ring.
8 — WWE tag champions NEW DAY (KOFI KINGSTON & BIG E. & XAVIER WOODS) vs. THE USOS (JIMMY & JEY USO) & NEVILLE — six-man tag match
Xavier shouted that he’s got this and started the match for New Day, but he was cleared to the outside. Raw quickly cut to break 30 seconds into the match.
[Commercial Break at 10:42]
[Q12] The match resumed with New Day working over Jey Uso in their corner, with the story of the tag champs taking advantage of his rustiness returning to the ring from injury. Xavier busted out the trombone to play a tune while Kofi and Big E. worked over Uso. Neville finally got a hot tag and cleaned house. Missile dropkick took down Xavier, then a standing moonsault scored a two count.
Chaos broke out, then the Usos cleared New Day to the outside. Neville perched himself on the top rope and nailed a top-rope corkscrew moonsault onto New Day and the Usos, wiping out everyone. Neville then tried to hit Red Arrow on Xavier back in the ring, but more chaos provided a distraction. Neville went for Red Arrow anyways, but a trombone was slipped into the ring. The ref lost focus, allowing Big E. to shove Neville off the top rope. Xavier then rolled up Neville with his feet on the ropes for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: New Day at 8:43. Half of the matches had the same finish tonight. The crowd was pretty lukewarm for Neville in his home country, likely for this reason of WWE booking Neville 50/50 in his matches or to look silly, making Neville blend in with the rest of the mid-card.
Up Next: Bray Wyatt eulogizes The Undertaker and Kane.
[Commercial Break at 10:53]
Brother Bray’s Eulogy
Raw returned three minutes before the top of the hour with Bray Wyatt’s theme music. Bray, not joined by Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman, slowly walked down to the ring as the arena was lit up by cell phones. Once Bray hit the ring, the lights remained down to cover the arena in darkness. Bray waited out the crowd singing, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”
Bray spoke that how you deal with change ultimately defines who you are. So, tonight, they celebrate change. “Tonight, we celebrate the spirits of Kane and The Undertaker,” Bray said.
[Q13 — over-run] Bray said that for over two decades, they have been the benchmark of power. Only Kane and Taker have had the power to control the light and darkness. But, now, he controls their powers. Bray asked the crowd to pay their respects to Kane and Taker. He laughed as the crowd broke into an “Under-taker” chant. Bray said they will no longer pay respect to them, as he took their torch and used it to burn them to ashes. Bray said that as their bodies rot, his grows stronger.
Bray said that right now their power is pulsating through his veins. So, now he summons the lightning and thunder. “And the demons march to Bray Wyatt’s command,” he said. Bray said there is no more time for salvation because all you can do is look to the sky and know that this will all be over soon. He said the apocalypse is here.
Bray took a knee, then two knees and looked down to the mat. Suddenly, a video played on the Titantron. WWE highlighted the Brothers of Destruction running roughshod on WWE individually and collectively through the years. Very dramatic video. Back live, Kane’s pyro shot off in the ring and Bray got spooked. Lightning then flashed and Taker’s bell tolled. The crowd popped as Taker’s entrance played.
Suddenly, Undertaker walked out on-stage and the crowd freaked. He was joined by Kane. Cole said Taker and Kane have risen. Both men stood on the stage as Bray knelt down in the ring unable to process what he was seeing. Taker and Kane slowly walked through the blue fog of Taker’s ring entrance as Bray remained frozen in the ring.
Taker hit the ring steps and raised the lights as Kane also entered the ring. Bray remained standing in the ring as the two giants stood opposite him across the ring. Suddenly, the Wyatt theme played. The lights went out, then came back on for Wyatt’s back-up of Rowan, Harper, and Strowman. That’s a lot of large men in the ring right now.
Bray decided to charge, but he was knocked down. Kane and Taker cleared Rowan, then Strowman hit the ring to boos. Strowman removed his mask to catcalls, then Kane and Taker chokeslammed Harper and Rowan. But, Strowman double-clotheslined Taker and Kane to boos. The Brothers sat up, then pushed Strowman over the top rope to the floor. Bray was alone in the ring. Taker knocked him down, then the Brothers left the ring and chucked Strowman into the announce table.
Taker and Kane turned around to stare down Bray remaining in the ring. Bray walked into a double chokeslam and the Brothers stood over Bray’s fallen body. Taker’s music played as he and Kane stood tall in the ring. After a replay of the Brothers taking out the Wyatts, the arena turned blue for Taker & Kane to make their exit to the stage. The Brothers turned around to look back into the ring, where Bray was recovering. Taker & Kane then threw up their right fists and lightning flashed to close Raw 12 minutes past the top of the hour.
REAX: Big moment on Raw to close the show, but it felt like the end of the feud with such a decisive comeback over the Wyatts. Bray will likely get something back on next week’s Raw to set up a Survivor Series situation, but it’s cutting it close with only one more Raw remaining.
OVERALL: A solid show despite some flaws like repeat finishes and a lack of background on why certain guys were included in the tournament. Like two weeks ago, most of the matches had purpose and meaning with the tournament format and they set up some intriguing quarter-final, semi-final, and finals situations that the audience can anticipate the next few shows.
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