SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NOTE: Raw was taped earlier today. Although we didn’t receive a correspondent report for the taping, ProWrestling.net did. So if you’re interested in reading results of the full taping from an in-perspective, CLICK HERE.
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
NOVEMBER 7, 2016
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SSE HYDRO ARENA
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
ANNOUNCERS: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves.
-A video package aired on last week’s top angles with Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho, and Roman Reigns leading to Owens interfering and attacking Reigns to end the main event followed by a beatdown by Owens and Jericho, then a save by Rollins.
-The Raw opening aired. Then they went to the arena with the camera panning the venue as pyro blasted. Cole said this is the first time in 23 years of Raw that it has taken place in Scotland. The arena looks great on camera. Love the circular look, very retro and modern at once.
-Stephanie McMahon walked out and said how proud they are to be in Glasgow, Scotland. I love that she followed up that compliment with this: “But in all seriousness.” I don’t know if she meant it that way because she is, after all, a heel. She looked beautiful tonight, by the way, but in all seriousness she then started to talk about the Survivor Series. She called it “Fantasy Warfare come to life” when referring to Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg. The way she said “Goldberg” led to a “Goldberg” chant. She then introduced the five singles male wrestlers representing Team Raw. Out came Kevin Owens first.
Cole asked fans to imagine what it’ll be like if Owens enters the ring against A.J. Styles. Byron fantasized about Dean Ambrose vs. Owens, too. Then Chris Jericho came out. The crowd’s arms shot up when his music began. He sauntered out in full character, clutching his clipboard with his List. Next came Roman Reigns. Loud boos, and I’m not exaggerating when I say not one arm shot up when they showed a wide angle of the crowd as his music began. It’s crazy. Then Braun Strowman.
Stephanie then revealed the last member – Rollins. The crowd popped. Owens told Steph she can’t be serious putting him on the team. Seth said if she wants to win, she knows she needs “The Man” on the team. “I’ve been given certain assurances just to be on this team,” he said. He added that after Survivor Series, nothing is finished between him and Owens or him and “old Sparkle Crotch here.” Jericho went wide-eyed. The chant started briefly.
Stephanie then pointed at the big screen with a picture of A.J. Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and Baron Corbin. Stephanie talked about each of them one at a time. She told Jericho that each of them should be on his list. She said the five of them need to work together to be a team or else they’ll prove Daniel Bryan right when he said Raw Superstars are “lazy and complacent.” She asked if that’s who they are. She said she and Mick Foley drafted them beacuse they are the best of the best, and they will prove that at Survivor Series. She said they must decimate and annihilate Smackdown and fight like their jobs depends on it, “because they do.” She dropped the mic and left.
Owens said she is right. He acknowledged that they’ve made some enemies and maybe made some mistakes. Jericho said they’re man enough to apologize. He told Seth that he’s clearly mad “because Kevin and I are Universal Champion.” He said the rest of them are stupid idiots (cheers) just like the fans in Scotland (boos), “but you’re our stupid idiots.” Owens declared himself and Jericho the captains. Owens said they have a lot of potential if they listen to them. Then they made fun of the name “The Shield.” Owens said The Shield failed because they’re both terrible human beings who kept turning on each other. He told them to keep their mouths shut and eyes open. They asked over and over if they understand. Seth said, “I dig.” Then he punched him. Strowman stood by for a few seconds as Seth and Reigns beat on Jericho and Owens. Then he attacked Seth, then Jericho, showing he wasn’t taking sides. Graves said if those five can’t coexist, there’s no way they can beat Smackdown Live.
Steph walked out and said she’s going to give them a chance to settle their differences and get this out of their system. She said while they’ll be a team at Survivor Series, it’ll be every man for himself tonight in a five-way main event.
-The announcers hyped that New Day would address the other four duos they’ll team with at Survivor Series and that they’ll reveal the full women’s team later.
-They showed Brian Kendrick heading to the entrance stage.
-A commercial aired for “205 Live” coming on Nov. 29 to WWE Network with shots of Cruiserweights flying around. [c]
-They showed from a couple angles the nasty bump T.J. Perkins took on the back of his neck on the edge of the ring apron at Hell in a Cell last weekend in a match against Kendrick.
(1) RICH SWANN & SIN CARA vs. BRIAN KENDRICK & NOAM DAR
Cole talked about the new WWE Network show “205 Live” starting at the end of the month. Graves said he’s excited that the cruiserweights can show the world the full extent of what they’re capable of on their own platform. Cole clarified that the Cruiserweights are going to still be on Raw each week, too, even though they’re getting their own show.
Sin Cara dove through the ropes onto Kendrick a minute into the match. Byron said being in the Cruiserweight Division has given Sin Cara new life in WWE. The crowd started amusing themselves with chants. [c]
More spots after the break in pretty rapid-fire fashion. Dar broke up a pin attempt by Swan on Kendrick. Sin Cara springboard flipped onto Dar on the floor. Back in the ring, Swan scored a three count out of nowhere on Kendrick with a victory roll. The announcers said that Swan might have Kendrick’s number.
WINNERS: Swan & Sin Cara at 7:22.
-Afterward, Kendrick said he didn’t lose the match. He angrily told Dar that he lost it. He said he is a loser. “You lost at the Cruiserweight Classic because you don’t have any talent. You lost in your home country because you don’t have any heart. Most importantly, sprout, you lost as my partner because you failed to recognize that I am the best Cruiserweight in the world.” He held up the belt and was booed. He said he’s just like Perkins, failing when it matters the most. The crowd chanted “Noam Dar.” Kendrick gave Dar a cheap shot and then stomped on him. The crowd popped for Dar’s comeback. He played to the crowd, who cheered him as he stood on the second rope.
-Cole pivoted to plugging Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar. Graves called it a “mega-match.” [c]
-Roman Reigns told viewers to vote. Then a plug aired for election coverage on NBC and MSNBC.
-Graves plugged the official theme song of Survivor Series, “False Alarm” by the Weeknd.
-The announcers threw to a video package previewing the Goldberg-Lesnar match “from the point of view of Goldberg.” Various clips aired including Lesnar vs. Goldberg 12 years ago, Goldberg training, and Goldberg saying that when Lesnar sees him, he sees a little bit of himself. He said he thinks fans have been clamoring for someone to kick Lesnar’s ass, and he believes he can be that person.
-Backstage Stephanie told someone on the phone that she appreciates the invite, but she can’t be on Smackdown tomorrow night because she has a shareholders’ meeting back in the States. She invited Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon to appear on Raw next week. Sami Zayn walked in and asked why she called him in for a talk. She told Sami that she finds everything about him annoying. She revealed that Sami accepted Dolph Ziggler’s challenge to face him for the Intercontinental Title at Survivor Series. Steph said she’d rather it be Rusev, so she’s having Sami face Rusev tonight, the winner goes on to face Ziggler for the IC Title at Survivor Series. She said whomever wins later better bring the IC Title back home.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s really good, actually, for Sami’s WWE career if Steph acts like everything about him annoys her.) [c]
-Enzo Amore & Big Cass danced out as the crowd applauded. Enzo gyrated and danced into the ring. Cass did a little mic work. Then Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows came out followed by Goldust & R-Truth and Cesaro & Sheamus. They each got partial ring entrances to keep things moving along swiftly. Enzo annoyed the heck out of Sheamus and, dare I say, he started pushing it with everyone else, too, with that “dance.” He looked like a Looney Toons character trying to run on a sheet of ice. Sheamus said since New Day didn’t show up, he wanted to say to Scotland what a great Celtic country Ireland is. Cesaro said no one likes him, not even here. Sheamus said they have no chance of beating Shamckdown Live at Survivor Series with the unicorn wearing captains of their team. He made some football references and seemed to be having a good time with the crowd’s response. He then declared himself captain of Team Raw.
Cass interrupted and said the last thing he needs to worry about is being the captain of anything. Enzo insulted Sheamus with some usual lines about how he should be scared of the son, kids stealing his Lucky Charms, mirrors, and dying alone. Sheamus told Anderson & Gallows that Enzo & Cass have their number. Gallows called Sheamus a “nerd” and said they’ll smash him and his partner into a Eurotrash Siamese Twin. Cesaro said that was so creative. He suggested he follow that up by calling him Swiss Miss or bald. He said there were many better insults for Sheamus, such as calling him The Red Rooster. Cesaro and Sheamus bickered. Cesaro started a “Shame!” chant. Goldust asked everyone to take a deep breath. Sheamus told everyone to do a river dance and said he’s not going down with this Titanic. He said they’ll all be humiliated at Survivor Series and he said he was out of there. The New Day finally arrived to their music.
Xavier Woods was playing bagpipes and their music switched to something you’d hear on the soundtrack of “Braveheart.” They were dressed like that, too. Kofi Kingston critiqued New Day’s accent, saying he sounds more like a pirate. Big E continued and asked if they’d be willing to trade all the days for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell Smackdown Live that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom. I wonder if anyone tuned in at this moment and mistook this for the craziest political rally in U.S. Presidential history? Goldust told Big E that he has such a “big heart.” Cesaro said he and Sheamus are in. Sheamus asked Cesaro since when does he speak for him. Sheamus said, “We’re in.” He asked them to give a rest to the “Braveheart” thing. New Day turned to Anderson & Gallows. Anderson said they’re going to stab them in the back first chance they get. He stomped on New Day’s toy sword. Xavier went bonkers. Gallows said they’re all a joke. Xavier said, “If we’re jokes and we beat you multiple times, pray tell, what does that make you?” Kofi said they knew they were going to say something like that, which is why they requested a special match with them tonight. Big E said they will show the world at Survivor Series that “Team Raw Rocks!” The crowd chanted along. [c]
(2) NEW DAY vs. KARL ANDERSON & DOC GALLOWS
Graves lamented the possibility that Demolition will end up having their record broken by “a couple of fools” who dresses up like New Day. Bryon said they’re fools who know how to win. Nice defense. Big E spanked Anderson to the beat of “New… Day Rocks!” Between that spot and New Day wrestling in the “Braveheart” garb, it was just hard to take any of the moves seriously or have the sense that anything was at stake other than filling TV time. Gallows pinned Big E. after the Magic Killer.
WINNERS: Gallows & Anderson in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: The predictability of challengers beating champions in almost every situation other than when titles are on the line isn’t just cliche and predictable, but it’s killing any drama in these matches.)
-Backstage Truth told Goldust he traded their spot in the Raw Tag Team match for time shares in Puerto Rico. Goldust was unhappy. Truth smiled about how New Day were dressed like “Game of Thrones.” Goldust pointed out the “All You Can Eat Buffet” at the time share is actually “All You Can Eat Off Jimmy Buffet.” Yep. They really aired that. Goldust said he has to go fix this because being in this match meant so much to him. [c]
-Sasha Banks told viewers to vote. Then a plug aired for election coverage on NBC News and MSNBC.
-A plug aired for Jay Leno’s Grage on CNBC with Goldberg showing off his classic cars collection.
-They showed the SSE Hydro Arena, then went to the announcers who plugged the season finale of “Total Bellas” on E! Then they threw to a video package on Brock Lesnar’s vs. Goldberg “from Lesnar’s perspective.” They plugged that Goldberg and Lesnar go “face to face” next week.
-Backstage Jericho complained to Owens about what Strowman did to them. When Jericho wanted to go into his locker room and give him a piece of their mind, Owens talked him out of it. He said they ought to try to talk him into being on their side because they’ll have their hands full with Reigns and Rollins. He said maybe they could get Strowman on their side not just at Survivor Series, but all the time. Jericho barged in and Strowman was sitting in the middle of the room alone. Owens tried to pivot away from Jericho’s aggressive tone and say they were all teammates. Strowman called Jericho’s list “stupid.” Owens said they’re glad to have him on their team. Strowman stood up and said, “I’m on Team Braun.” He walked away. Jericho swiftly put him on his list. [c]
(3) GOLUDST & R-TRUTH vs. SHINING STARS
Cole said Goldust got Stephanie to agree to put this match together with the winner getting a spot on Team Raw. Primo got the pin on Goldust with a roll-up from and behind and a yank of the tights, so the Stars join Team Raw.
WINNERS: Shooting Stars at 5:30. [c]
-Graves hyped that Shane and Bryan would be on Raw next week.
-Cole stood mid-ring and was booed on general principles. He talked about the various ways one can be eliminated from a Survivor Series tag match. He said it can end up four-on-two or one-on-one or even five-on-one. He said it was time to introduce the women’s Team Raw. Cole congratulated Charlotte on a great week, winning HIAC and also being captain of Team Raw. She said she was born a leader. Nia Jax came out and said she’s her own leader and won’t take the lead from Charlotte. Alicia Fox said if Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt can be civil as divorced parents, then they can do it. “The name of the game is survival, and Team Raw is the Survivor.” Wow. Someone wrote that and someone said that. Cole then introduced Bayley, and said she has a connection with the WWE Universe unlike anyone he’s ever seen. Graves asked Byron how jealous of Cole he was right then.
Bayley said while Charlotte thinks she’s the weak link, she’ll prove her wrong at Survivor Series. Bayley talked about different match-ups that could happen in their match at Survivor Series. She said if Team Raw is going to dominate they have to work together. Charlotte snarled at the thought. Charlotte took the mic from Cole and announced the final member of Team Raw Women. The crowd was busy singing to themselves. Charlotte freaked out and yelled, “What are you even saying?!” and blamed the bad accents. She crossed her arms in protest and said with disdain, “I will never forget this.” Charlotte said the final team member made her a better person and a better champion, and she is Dana Brooke. So this was meant to tease Sasha Banks as the final member, but Charlotte played to much into the crowd hijacking the segment and it took any cadence away from that bait-and-switch.
Cole said Brooke is not the fifth member of the Survivor Series team. He said it’s actually Sasha Banks. Out came Banks to a nice pop. Charlotte said she didn’t think Banks would make it to Survivor Series, which is why she made Dana an alternate. “I didn’t even think of you,” Charlotte said. Sasha said it’ll take a lot more than a couple of tables to stop her. The crowd kept singing and the women kept pausing and encouraging it, and it ground the segment to a halt each time. Charlotte made a Lindsay Lohan reference in another clearly prewritten line that landed with a thud. Charlotte said she made history at Hell in a Cell and now the world is a different place. Charlotte told Sasha to ask Jax if she thinks she’s her boss. Cole interjected and threw to a break. It felt like they might have just cut the segment off early. That was a mess. [c]
(4) NIA JAX & CHARLOTTE & DANA BROOKE vs. ALICIA FOX & BAYLEY & SASHA BANKS
Graves said Nia Jax might make Dana Brooke’s role an alternate necessary if one of her opponents doesn’t make it out of this match in one piece. They cut to a break at 3:00. [c]
Jax beat up Fox. Banks entered. Charlotte went to kick her, but Sasha ducked, so Charlotte gave Jax a boot by mistake. Charlotte tossed Banks out of the ring and gloated. Bayley came up behind Charlotte and gave her a Bayley-to-Belly for the win. Cole: “Who’s the weak link now!”
WINNERS: Bayley & Fox & Banks in 11:00. [c]
-Charly interviewed Seth who said not many people like him around there, and that’s okay because he doesn’t like many people, either. He said when he joined Team Raw, he was promised rewards. Strowman interrupted and said he shouldn’t be worried about his future opportunities, because after tonight he might not have a future. He said he’s never liked him and he’s going to snap him in half like a twig. Seth laughed it off and said, “Another person who doesn’t like me; sounds like a party.”
(Keller’s Analysis: That was just a bad reaction to Strowman. I’m not saying Seth should cower in fear, but his reaction wasn’t natural and didn’t really say anything other than his comeback was scripted and memorized. Didn’t WWE learn anything from the Goldberg promo and how the authenticity of it was the key to it getting over as much as it did?) [c]
-Cole showed a Chicago Cub wearing an honorary WWE Title replica belt next to the World Series trophy.
-Lana stood mid-ring to introduce Rusev. When the crowd cheered her, she told them to be quiet because she doesn’t need the support of their pathetic village. She then introduced Rusev by asking “America” to please stand for her man. Was that a scripted mistake or did she forget she wasn’t in America.
(5) SAMI ZAYN vs. RUSEV (w/Lana)
Rusev attacked Sami as he was taking his shirt off. He dominated for the first couple minutes until Sami dropkicked him out of the ring. [c]
Back from the break, Rusev was back in control. Graves said Sami doesn’t have any quit in him, but that doesn’t mean it’s smart to keep fighting. Rusev wrenched on a standing headlock that looked legit. Then he gave him a nasty roundkick to the side of the head for a two count. Sami avoided a Rusev corner splash and then went for a Helluva kick. Rusev caught him charging with a boot to the face. Sami kicked out. Sami kicked Rusev off the top rope and scored a surprise three count. The crowd sang along to his song, which Stephanie hates, of course.
WINNER: Sami in 8:00 to earn the IC Title shot at Survivor Series.
-A commercial for next week’s Raw played off of the election by saying some combination of Shane & Bryan vs. Stephanie & Foley will take part in a “State of the WWE Universe” next Monday after Raw on WWE Network. [c]
-Announcers plugged Lesnar vs. Goldberg for next week, plus Shane and Bryan show up next week on Raw.
(6) KEVIN OWENS vs. CHRIS JERICHO vs. ROMAN REIGNS vs. SETH ROLLINS vs. BRAUN STROWMAN
Order of entrance: Seth, Strowman, Jericho, Owens, and Reigns. Why is the Universal Champion coming out before the U.S. Champion? And why didn’t they protect Reigns by having him come out during the commercial break? Loud boos for Reigns when his music started.
Seth brawled with Owens and Jericho at ringside. That left Reigns and Braun to square off. Graves said Braun is “making the Big Dawg look like an insignificant little puppy.” Seth threw Jericho into the ringside barrier as Reigns and Strowman engaged in a long staredown. Strowman won the first battle by checking Reigns hard to the mat. He went to the floor and approached Seth. Seth hit him with a kendo stick. Cole said this was a no DQ match. Strowman no-sold the first ten shots, but eventually cowered in pain after another ten. Seth the pulled a table out from under the ring. Strowman hit Seth from behind. They cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Seth avoided being thrown through a table at ringside. He tagged in Reigns against Braun seconds later. Braun lifted and tossed Reigns hard face-first to the mat. Owens entered and tried to talk with Strowman, but then took some cheap shots at him. Strowman clotheslined him hard to the mat.
All four other wrestlers beat up Strowman at once. Cole called it a wise strategy. Strowman tossed them all off of him. Reigns finally knocked Strowman to the floor with a Superman Punch. Seth knocked Strowman against the security barrier at ringside with a dive through the ropes. Reigns and Seth double-teamed him at ringside. Owens and Jericho rejoined the fight, and Owens gave Reigns a cannonball splash in the corner. Seth powerbombed Jericho onto Strowman and through a table at ringside. Back in the ring, Owens and Seth went at it with rapid exchanges. Seth countered a Pop-up Powerbomb with a Pedigree. Jericho yanked the ref out of the ring by his legs to stop the three count. Cole noted again it’s legal. Seth dove through the ropes and tackled Jericho. Seth springboarded toward Jericho, but Jericho ducked. Seth blocked a Walls of Jericho attempt, then landed a kick and a Pedigree. Owens kicked Seth out of the ring. Reigns gave Owens a Superman Punch. Owens fell on top of Jericho and the ref counted to three. “Owens pinned Jericho!” declared Cole. “That was… weird.” Owens absorbed the moment, then accepted his hand being raised.
(Keller’s Analysis: A lot of focus on Strowman early, and then further seed planting for an Owens vs. Jericho match at the end. An entertaining main event.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This show did something definitive – it made it clear who is fighting whom now at Survivor Series. What it lacked in originality, as lot of the segments were variations on the same thing, it made up for in establishing the line-up. That said, all in all, this was a rough show to get through for a wide array of reasons. The awkwardness of the whole premise of the Survivor Series is a big reason, but not the only reason.