RECOMMENDED NEW PODCAST - EX-WWE CREATIVE TEAM MEMBER DISHES ON BACKSTAGE WWE OPERATIONS...
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app)
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 2, 2017
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Booker T, Corey Graves.
-They opened with a moment of silence with the gathered roster on the stage observing a moment of silence for the horrific gun attack in Las Vegas, Nev. the night before. The camera panned by several wrestlers along with Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon.
-A video package aired, focused on the Roman Reigns-Miz saga leading to the match tonight including dramatic music as Miz & Co. beat down Reigns three-on-one.
-They went to the arena live, with no Raw opening, as Seth Rollins’ music played.
-They went to the announcers on camera. Phillips said he was filling in for Michael Cole.
(Keller’s Analysis: As far the “brand split,” WWE doesn’t care enough about differentiating between the brands to use a third string announcer, such as 205 Live’s Vic Joseph. Given that Graves announces both shows, it would have been pointless not to just use Graves both nights this week.)
(1) SETH ROLLINS vs. BRAUN STROWMAN
The bell rang about six minutes into the show. Graves said Seth is called the architect and has a mental plan for every match he enters. He said Set said he had studied footage and plans to exploit vulnerabilities in Strowman’s style down too is footwork. Strowman powered Seth to the mat early, but Seth avoided a charge and kicked his legs. He quickly mounted Braun and punched away, but Braun came back with a shoulder check. Seth avoided a powerslam and then slapped Braun. Braun asked him if he is stupid. Seth bailed out to ringside. Braun charged after him. Seth kicked Braun in the head and dove off the top rope, but Braun avoided him and went for a chokeslam. Seth avoided that, but Braun did a lift-and-drop instead. Not even three minutes in, with Braun dominated, Graves said Braun could end it any time he wants and Seth knows it. Graves said you can plan for armageddon, but until it strikes, you have no idea if you really are prepared. Seth teased a comeback, but when he went for a dive through the ropes, Braun punched him out of mid-air. They cut to a break at 4:00. [c]
Back from the break, Seth caught a charging Braun with a boot to the face. Braun then gave Seth an overhead fallaway slam. Seth rolled to the floor from the momentum. Braun picked up Seth, but Seth slipped out and shoved Braun into the ringpost. Then he dove through the ropes and knocked Braun hard into the ringside barricade. He went for another dive, and hit it again. Braun went down to one knee. Back in the ring Seth hit Braun with a flying clotheslines to just stagger Braun. He then hit a blockbuster off the top rope, but Braun powered out of the cover at one. Seth superkicked Braun next, and Braun dropped to one knee. Seth superkicked Braun, but Braun came back with a short-arm clothesline. Then he hit a running powerslam for the clean three count.
WINNER: Braun in 11:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Dean and Seth were used to try to rebuild any lost credibility Braun had after losing to Brock Lesnar so quickly after sudden F5 at No Mercy. Since Seth and Dean are in the tag division, they can be “sacrificed” although they were booked to put up a good fight first to protect themselves.)
-After the match, Braun gave Seth a second running powerslam. He left the ring, but teased a return for more punishment. Dean Ambrose ran out to his music to stop him. He leaped at Braun in the aisle. Braun kneed Dean and threw him into the ring. As he entered the ring, Dean kicked the top rope into Bruan’s crotch and then hit a running dropkick. The crowd popped. Graves said Dean’s “lunatic fury” was effective so far, but Braun then chokeslammed Dean out of mid-air and gave him a second chokeslam. Then he gave him a running powerslam mid-ring. He raised his arms. “Braun, he don’t want no bread, he don’t want no salad, all he wants is meat,” said Booker. Great line.
-After Braun left, Cesaro & Sheamus walked to the ring. Booker told Graves to relax because “maybe they just want to talk.” Sheamus set p Dean for a Neutralizer by Cesaro. Then Sheamus gave Seth a Brogue Kick as Cesaro held him.
(Keller’s Analysis: So not only did WWE rebuild Strowman in as much as that was necessary, but also got some heel heat on Dean & Seth’s top rivals by having Sheamus & Cesaro get some heel heat for taking advantage of them when they were down.)
-The announcers discussed the Susan G. Komen Foundation organization that raises awareness for breast cancer. The arena was projected with pink lights and the ring apron was lit up with the Komen name. The middle rope is pink.
-A video package aired on the Mickie James-Alexa Bliss exchange last week.
-They went to Mickie backstage who asked Alicia Fox what was so funny. She said nothing, other than perhaps what she said about Alexa last week, but nobody was really listening. Then Emma approached her and said, “Even at your age, you still have a secret admirer.” She said someone left something for her in her locker room. She said it looks nice. Mickie walked into her locker room and it was a box of Depends and a walker. She threw the boxes in anger. Emma and Fox were giggling in the hallway. Mickie asked if she thinks its funny. Fox said, unconvincingly, no. They pointed her toward Bliss’s locker room. Mickie pounded on the door and out came Nia Jax instead. She asked if he wants something. Mickie said she wants Alexa. Alexa walked out and said she doesn’t want to be in the ring with someone that mature and fragile, “but Nia doesn’t have an issue.” Mickie said, “You’re on.” She seemed slightly worried.
(Keller’s Analysis: I just don’t see WWE doing a storyline about a 38 year old man being fragile because of age. Why draw attention to that? It’s not like Mickie looks 50 or anything. Shouldn’t someone, like the announcers, say it’s ridiculous for anyone to characterize Mickie as old? It’s treated like a given that Mickie is Shane McMahon’s age or someone else in their late 40s.)
-Bray Wyatt was shown rocking in his chair and saying over and over, “She’d never lie to me, she’d never lie to me” over and over. Graves said it seems to him Bray is “unravelling.”
-They showed Elias heading toward the entrance stage. [c]
-Elias sat mid-ring and said they call Denver the Mile High City, and he’d rather drown himself a mile underwater in the ocean than live there. He said worst of all, he has to fight “that clown Titus.” He asked everyone to silence their cell phones and hold their applause and shut their mouths because he has a song to sing. “Titus, when you gonna learn; Elias gonna make your world burn; the people of Denver are the worst in the USA; the parents are losers and the kids are all the same.” Titus interrupted with his music. Graves was very happy.
(2) TITUS O’NEAL (w/Apolo Crews) vs. TITUS O’NEAL
Graves asked if there was any truth that Booker was being recruited to Titus Worldwide. Booker said there is no truth to it. Booker said time off is your worst enemy and said to take notice of Titus’s love handles. Booker said tonight Titus will find out Elias is the real deal. Titus powerslammed Elias and gave him a big boot. Elias bailed out to ringside. Crews yelled him to get back into the ring. Elias shoved him. Titus grabbed Elias by his hair and yanked him onto the ring apron. Elias dropped Titus throat-first over the top rope. Elias gave him Drift Away for the win.
WINNER: Elias in 4:00.
-The announcers hyped the Hell in a Cell line-up and WWE Network in general.
-They showed Mickie heading toward the entrance stage. Graves said we’d find out if the insults got to her next. [c]
-An Asuka vignette aired.
(3) MICKIE JAMES vs. NIA JAX (w/Alexa Bliss)
When Bliss came out after Jax did, Graves said it was too good to be true. Jax attacked a distracted Mickie at the bell. She tossed her around the ring. Mickie fired back, but Jax stopped her with a headbutt. Jax threw Mickie to the floor a couple minutes later and they cut to a break. When Phillips asked if she could get back in it, Graves said she was never in it. [c]
Back live, Graves said it’s been all Jax during the break. Jax got mouthy and cocky. Mickie made a spirited comeback with a barrage of blows. Jax caught Mickie and slammed her. Graves said it wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. He was right about it not being pretty. It led to a two count. Jax settled into an extended bear hug. Mickie tried to fight back, but Jax shoved her hard to the mat. Mickie made another comeback at 9:00. Jax lifted her and shoved her hard into the corner.
Mickie kicked Jax in the face and blocked a chokeslam and then landed a tornado DDT. Bliss attacked Mickie as she went for the cover. The ref called for the bell. Graves asked if they were about to see a gigantic upset. Booker said Jax was still knocked out.
WINNER: Mickie via DQ in 10:00.
-When Alexa went after an exhausted Mickie at ringside, Mickie popped up and slapped her and delivered a superkick. Her music played as she leaned over and blew Bliss a kiss. Jax stood up in the ring and rolled her eyes. Graves said Mickie is a six-time former champion and trailblazer who has competed at WrestleMania.
-They went to the announcers who threw to last week’s show-closing angle with Neville and Enzo. They included Enzo saying he made 205 Live relevant, then Neville coming out and attacking Enzo when he got cocky. Then they aired Strowman beating up Enzo after Raw went off the air, followed Strowman inviting the rest of the Cruiserweight Division to beat up Enzo.
-Renee Young interviewed Enzo. The crowd booed when he came on camera. Renee said what happened last week has never happened in WWE history. She described it as a mutiny in response to him being champion of their division. She asked how that felt to be “abhorred” by the whole division. He choked up and looked to be on the verge of crying. Scattered boos. After a long pause, Renee thanked him and ended the interview. Enzo looked broken up and started blinking nervously.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s strange for WWE to ignore what happened since that post-Raw beatdown on 205 Live. Enzo has already responded to that and didn’t seem to have the same emotional reaction as he did here six days later.)
-The announcers plugged Miz defending against Reigns. [c]
-They replayed the Alexa-Mickie post-match incident.
-Backstage, Charlie Caruso congratulated Mickie on her victory. Mickie said she showed those “girls” what “this old lady really can do.” She said there is nothing she’d like to do more than represent the WWE Universe as the new Raw Women’s Champion. Kurt Angle walked up and congratulated her as well. He said based on her history as a six-time Women’s Champion and her performance tonight, she gets a title shot against Bliss at TLC. Mickie was giddy. She said, “Oh, it’s true It’s damn true!”
-They showed a clip from earlier in the night that originally aired on WWE’s Facebook page of Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows calling Jason Jordan and Matt Hardy nerds. They agreed to have match. Jordan told them to remember they asked for this.
(4) MATT HARDY & JASON JORDAN vs. LUKE GALLOWS & KARL ANDERSON
The announcers talked about the value for Jordan of teaming with Hardy. Booker said Jordan seemed like he was trying to climb the ladder too quickly. Graves said Jordan was impressive hanging in there with Reigns and John Cena which opened a lot of eyes. Booker said that experience is worth its weight in gold. How much, exactly, doesn’t “experience” weigh? Graves said Jordan is a thoroughbred. Booker said Jordan needs to focus on getting better every week, not talking about titles yet. Graves said, “Championships are why we do what we do.” Jordan and Matt cleared the ring of the two heels a couple minutes in. They cut to a break. [c]
The announcers noted that Jeff will have surgery on his torn rotator cuff tomorrow. Jordan tagged in after the break. He eventually tagged Matt back in after some sustained offense by Anderson & Gallows. He rallied against Gallows and scored a two count. He rammed his head into the each of the turnbuckles in a corner from top to bottom, then played to the crowd and got cheered. Gallows came right back with a toradno DDT. He leaped off the second rope with a flying elbow for another two count, broken up by Anderson. Jordan dropkicked Anderson off the ring apron. At ringside, though, Anderson threw Jordan into the ringside barrier. Matt went for a Twist of Fate, but Gallows escaped. A brief distraction by Anderson opened up Gallows and Anderson to turn the momentum and then hit the Magic Killer for the win. A fan held up a “Too Sweet” sign at ringside as Anderson & Gallows celebrated. Then another fan held up a sign that said, “Gallows = Festus.”
WINNERS: Anderson & Gallows in 11:00.
-The announcers hyped Enzo would address the entire Cruiserweight Division. They also hyped Reigns vs. Miz again. Then they threw to clips of the Sheamus & Cesaro attack on Seth & Dean earlier. Graves said they picked the bones of Seth & Dean like jackals or hyenas.
-They went to Reigns backstage strapping on his vest. Boos from the crowd. Caruso walked up to ask him for a comment on what happened earlier with Seth and Dean. He said he’s not surprised because Seth and Dean have beaten them so badly so often, Sheamus & Cesaro needed to make a statement. He said he’s not worried about them because they’re big boys who are probably coming up with a strategy for next week. He said he’s got to stay focused on his match later with Miz. He said he doesn’t believe in complicated strategies himself. He said he likes it simple – destroy anything that gets in his path, hopefully he gets to break Miz’s jaw, and most of all, leave Denver with the IC Championship. Cheers and then some boos. [c]
-A video aired on Susan G. Komen.
-In the ring, Dana Warrior stood with three breast cancer survivors. The Raw Women’s Division stood behind them. She unveiled three pink WWE Title belts as Warrior’s entrance music began to play. The women shook the ropes. The women wrestlers then hugged the breast cancer survivors.
(5) THE MIZ (w/Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel) vs. ROMAN REIGNS – Intercontinental Title match
As Miz’s music played, he didn’t come out right away. Then he, Bo and, Curtis appeared in the crowd where The Shield usually made their ring entrance. Phillips said Reign is laser focused on Miz & Co. in the ring. Booker called it a power walk. Miz bailed out to ringside. The ref held Reigns back as Jo Jo introduced the match. Boos and then cheers for Reigns. Reigns went after Curtis and Bo at ringside with Superman Punches. Graves called it a brilliant strategy. He gave Axel a Drive-by. Then he threw Miz into the ringside steps. Reigns looked under the ring and pulled out a folding chair. He went into the crowd and and chased down Bo and Curtis who were stumbling their way toward the stage. Axel made his way to the stage and Reigns caught up and jabbed him with the chair, then bashed him across the back. Bo attacked Reigns and picked up the chair, but Reigns gave him a Superman Punch. He hit them each with chairshots over and over. They cut to Miz looking wide-eyed from the ring at the carnage. Referees and trainers came out to check on Bo and Curtis. Reigns turned to look at Miz, who gulped. They cut to a break. [c]
The bell rang and Miz charged at Reigns. Reigns gave Miz an uppercut and then threw him into the ringside barricade. Miz rolled into and then right out of the ring again. When Reigns went after him, Miz tripped him and threw him into the ringside steps. Booker said Miz is smart, cunning, and conniving. Phillips said Miz’s back up plan is out of the picture with Bo and Curtis beaten down by Reigns. Reigns, cheered on two fans dressed as Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage at ringside, beat the count. Miz DDT’d him and scored a two count. Miz settled into a chinlock. Miz delivered a boot to Reigns’s face and scored two count. Graves said Miz isn’t impressed by the aura of Reigns, which ma work to his advantage. [c]
Miz remained on offense after the break. When Miz did the rapid-fire Yes kicks, Reigns blocked a kick and grabbed Miz’s leg and powerbombed Miz for a near fall. Reigns stood up and looked at the crowd. Boos. He signaled for the Superman Punch. Miz ducked and ht the Skull Crushing Finale for a near fall. Graves said, “I don’t know how Roman Reigns kicked out!”
Reigns came back a minute later with a Superman Punch out of nowhere for a believable near fall. As Reigns set up a spear, Cearo and Sheaus yanked him out of the ring and attacked him. You could see that coming when Reigns took some verbal digs at them during his promo earlier. The ref called for the DQ.
WINNER: Reigns via DQ in 12:00 so Miz retained the IC Title.
-Afterward, Miz joined Cesaro and Sheamus in beating up Reigns. They delivered a Neutralizer. Sheamus delivered a Brogue Kick next. Sheamus and Cesaro then offered Reigns to a smiling Miz, who delivered a Skull Crushing Finale. Graves called Miz “one lucky Intercontinental Champion.” The heel trio left the ring, but then turned around to add more punishment. The crowd chanted “Shield! Shield! Shield!” The heels entered the ring Shield style and then gave Reigns a Shield-style triple powerbomb. Phillips said based on what they’ve seen tonight, it doesn’t seem like the Shield will reunite at TLC in Minneapolis since Seth and Dean didn’t run out to help Reigns. Graves said, “No chance in hell.”
-The announcers commented on highlights on the angle before the break. They commented on the ultimate insult being the Shield style fist bump afterward.
-Finn Balor made his ring entrance. They went to the announcers who commented on Balor beating Goldust last week, followed by Bray Wyatt messing with his head. Graves said he’s never been able to decipher Bray Wyatt’s messages, but he seems to be unravelling. Balor said, “This is Balor Club, right here in Denver, Colorado.” Cheers, of course. He said he doesn’t like to come to the ring and just talk. He said he likes to fight. He said Bray likes to come out there and play mind games. He said if Bray actually had the whole world in his hands, he wouldn’t know what to do with it. He said Bray isn’t an eater of worlds, he’s a coward. He said he lost to The Demon at Summerslam and he lost to The Man at No Mercy, and he can make excuses, but the fact is, he’s afraid. He said he’s afraid that despite all his games, he can’t beat him. He asked him to face him if he thinks he’s wrong.
Bray appeared on the big screen. He repeated “She never lied to me. She never lied to me. But you did.” He said she warned him about people like him. He said Balor lied to him by claiming he was just a man, but at No Mercy, he was more. He said Balor claimed The Man created The Demon, but in reality The Demon fuels The Man. He said he peels his skin to reveal the Demon. He said if he brings the Demon, then he will reveal his own true dark side. “Abigail is alive and she is dying to meet you,” he said in a sinister tone with horror music in the background. The screen then changed Bray to a bloodied demon with black eyes. He laughed maniacally. [c]
-A video package aired on Asuka, this time with fellow women wrestlers talking her up, including Carmela, Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Emma, Sasha Banks, and Bayley.
(6) SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY vs. EMMA & ALICIA FOX
Phillips said Banks is trying to work herself back into the title picture. Graves said Banks needs to focus on more than how popular she is or arguing with Bayley over who is better friends with Stone Cold on Twitter. He said she needs to step up her game if she wants to be champion. A soundbite aired with Emma, who said Nia let her down so badly last week, she didn’t even trend on Twitter. The announcers talked about all four women wanting to be in the position Mickie James is. Booker was a big fan of Emma, but he did concede it is a stretch when Emma says she started the Women’s Revolution. The heels threw Bayley and Banks out of the ring and they cut to a break. [c]
The heels dominated for a long stretch. Banks eventually tagged in Bayley. When Fox reached for a tag to Emma, Emma pulled her hand away and dropped to the floor. Bayley then gave Fox a Bayley-to-Bely for the win.
WINNERS: Bayley & Banks in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I like the talk during this show and in this match in particular that everyone is fighting to position themselves for championship matches. This match seemed to set up an Emma vs. Fox feud, too, which is nice since it means not every women is involved in the same storyline.)
-The announcers commented on clips of the Cruiserweight Division beatring up Enzo after Raw last week. [c]
-Enzo made his ring entrance. Enzo did his usual mic work on his way to the ring. They showed kids in the crowd wearing his wig. Graves said Enzo looks like he’s ready to go skiing he hopes he finds “that Bono guy’s ski instructor.” That’s harsh. Enzo said he wanted to get right to it. He said as far as the entire Cruiserweight Division is concerned, they can go to hell. He said any of the haters out there who want to agree with their sentiments, they can go to hell, too. He promised he’s a nice guy. He said he’d loan them his certified GPS, the same one he used to put 205 Live on the map. He said not only did he make 205 Live relevant, he made it the main event two weeks in a row. He strutted a bit. He said the same Cruiseweight Division is in the main event that you guys dubbed the Snoozerweight Division.
He said now he’s supposed to be the bad guy. He said nobody helped him after he was beat down flat as a pancake. Then he said he heard a “You deserve it” chant. The crowd started it again. Enzo did a silly obnoxious dance to the beat of the chant. Then he held up his Cruiserweight Title belt and said they’re damn right he deserves it. “If having success is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.” He said he makes more money than all the cruiserweights put together. He said he earned every single penny. He said whoever said talk is cheap never booked him for one of his appearances and paid the bill “because I’m a ratings draw and star.” He said he puts more butts in seas than La-Z-Boy and gets more butts than an ashtray. He said he has skills, charisma, and athleticism. He said he’d show them because he’s hurt. He said his back is hurting, probably from carrying the Cruiserweight Division on his back.
He said he didn’t have to wait in line to win the Cruiserweight Title, he crossd the line, and now the other Cruiserweights can fall in line. He said none of them have a shot at his title belt. He said they all put their hands on him, and when he entered the ring, he had a clause that said if they laid their hands on him, they’d forfeit any opportunity at a future title shot. He said now he got another document signed by Angle which says if any cruiserweight wants to lay a hand on him tonight, they will get fired. He said it’s lonely at the top. He began insulting Neville and called any of the Cruiserweights to step into the ring and he’ll show them there’s only one word to describe them. S-A-W-F-T.
Neville led the Crcuiserweights to the ring. Enzo bailed out of the ring. Enzo asked if they like their jobs or want to be in the unemployment line. They surrounded him. He kept talking, and then entered the ring. The cruiserweights surrounded him on the ring apron. He held up the document and began insulting each of them one at a time. He even insulted Ariya Daiari. It’s almost like last week’s 205 Live didn’t happen. He kept calling Neville the Keibler Elf.
Angle ‘s music played and he walked onto the stage. The crowd chanted “You suck!” and he smiled. Enzo told Angle to tell the wrestlers to leave. Angle said none of the cruiserweights on the ring apron can challenge him for his title or lay their hands on him. He said none of that applies to the newest member of the Cruiserweight Division that he just signed. After a dramatic pause, Kalisto came out to zero pop. Enzo leaned on the top rope and acted like this didn’t impress him. Kalisto charged. Enzo swung his belt at him, but Kalisto ducked and gave Enzo his Salido del Sol. Kalisto pumped his arms to try to get the crowd going. It didn’t work.
-They cut backstage to Reigns who coughing and selling the beatdown. It seemed creepy that the camera guy just filmed that for no apparent reason. In walked Dean. A “Shield!” chant started. Reigns stood up gingerly and looked at Dean. Then in walked Seth from the other side. More cheers. Reigns nodded. Dean walked away. Seth turned and walked away. The show ended.
Send email questions and comments for tonight’s post-Raw “Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast,” available via Podcast One tonight a few hours after Raw ends. You can find the show HERE in the early a.m. hours on Tuesday or subscribe in Apple Podcasts (iTunes) HERE.
Follow me on Twitter @thewadekeller and our website @pwtorch.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT 9/25: Reigns on Miz TV in opening segment, Miz vs. Reigns booked, Matt Hardy & Jordan vs. Miztourage