KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
NOVEMBER 13, 2017
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Booker T, Corey Graves
-The show opened with a video recap of the first Under Siege, now tellingly led by New Day as they gang attacked Raw wrestlers backstage. They aired a clip of the interactions with Kurt Angle and Daniel Bryan all the way through New Day costing Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins the WWE Raw Tag Team Titles last week.
-Cole introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd.
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-Stephanie McMahon’s music played and she strutted out. They showed the announcers on camera discussing what happened with New Day on Raw last week. Booker said with Stephanie in the ring, “The law is about to be put down, and I love it!” She said as commissioner of Raw, she has to make a lot of decisions that impact shareholders, fans, and employees all over the world. “Decisions of such magnitude, you cannot possibly fathom or understand in your normal everyday lives,” she said. Therefore, she said she needs a strong general manager. She introduced Kurt Angle. Angle walked out to cheers.
Angle immediately said that he understands she may be upset, but he was 100 percent prepared for Smackdown’s raid last week. She said as far as that goes, she wanted to know how New Day got into their building last week. She said condescendingly that at least he is honest. She asked if it was actually “a raid,” implying he overreacted. She said maybe she’s being hard on him because “they cheer for you… sort of.” She then gave him a hard time about adding Jason Jordan to the Survivor Series Raw Team. She asked who he is. He said Jordan is more than capable. She interrupted and asked again who he is. Angle said, “My son.” She asked what accolades or achievements he has that make him a valuable team member for Raw. “He’s very talented,” said Angle. She asked who Smackdown’s fifth member is. Angle paused, sighed, and said, “John Cena.”
Stephanie said Cena is a 16-time champion and franchise player. She said last time she saw him, he was on Raw, so that means either Angle chose Jordan over Cena, or Cena was so embarrassed by his actions as Team Captain that he decided he’d rather be on Smackdown. “Which one is it?” she asked. Angle said she’ll have to ask Cena. She asked the fans if they still believe in Angle. She asked what the first thing is he’ll do at Survivor Series. Angle got intense, stepped toward Stephanie, and said, “I’m going to break your brother’s ankle.” Stephanie smiled. He said he’s starting the match “and if Shane has any balls at all, he’ll start the match, too.” She asked if he thinks it’s the 1990s and Shane is going to put himself on the line like that. She said Shane will let everyone do the dirty work for him. She said she thinks Angle can’t even break ankles anymore and he’s gone soft. She said she might have made the biggest mistake of her career making him Team Captain of Raw. She said Shane is trying to ruin the show her father created 25 years ago. She said she put her faith in him, but nothing he’s said has comforted her. She said she wants her brother’s head on a platter and decimate Team Smackdown. She said he has left her no other choice. As she was about to say “Kurt Angle, you’re fired!” The Shield’s music interrupted.
Ambrose and Rollins stepped out and then shortly thereafter Roman Reigns appeared. Cole said it was “The Shield in full force!” Graves noted that the entire arena was on its feet. Reigns stared down Stephanie. They paused and soaked up the crowd reaction. Stephanie told the fans to get it together. “Are you cheering for The Shield or aren’t you?” she asked. Dean said there is no leader better than Angle and at TLC he proved he’s still got it. Stephanie said he may still have it, but where are their tag team titles. She said it’s Angle’s fault. She asked if they’re even competing at Survivor Series. She wondered if they should blame New Day, who made them look like fools, just like Angle. She asked Reigns, “Where the hell have you even been?” Reigns smiled and said she has a lot of questions. He said he has a question for her. “Where the hell have you been?” he said.
Reigns said she went through a table at WrestleMania and she’s been gone for like ten months. “Your husband put you through a table at WrestleMania,” he said. Reigns said maybe in her time off she forgot how this works, but they do what they want to do. He said they want to fight The New Day. He said if New Day accepts, they’ll be booked at Survivor Series. He said Angle will lead Team Raw to victory, and they will whoop New Day’s ass and destroy them. Cole said the challenge has been laid out.
(Keller’s Analysis: Stephanie was at her nastiest, which seemed to be more than anything a way to assure the most positive reaction possible for The Shield walking out. Angle took a verbal beating in the process. Reigns didn’t address why he was gone. They’re just not going to talk about it because, well, superheroes don’t get viral infections and miss work. I like the New Day vs. Shield match as a payoff for the Under Siege angle at this point. The Cena announcement, that was made on social media last week, was just thrown out there as if it were common knowledge at this point with the millions watching on USA Network live. Not much fanfare, but it was a keen example of Angle maybe not matching Shane when it comes to strengthening their teams with a strong fifth and final member.)
-The announcers hyped Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman speaking later, plus the three-way match up next.
-A commercial aired for NXT Takeover this Saturday night. [c]
(1) MICKIE JAMES vs. BAYLEY vs. DANA BROOKE
Cole said Mickie sent out a message on social media touting her credentials to be on Team Raw. Booker said Dana has been working out. He called her “Dan-uh” instead of “Dane-uh” seconds after the ring announcer got it right. Cole brought up that Team Mickie beat Team Michelle McCool at a prior Survivor Series. Graves said she’s the best possible option to join. The rest of Team Raw stood at ringside and watched. Early in the match, Dana knocked Bayley hard to the floor and they cut to a break. [c]
Booker said he thinks Bayley has the most to prove and that will lead her to victory. A few minutes later Mickie gave Bayley a neckbreaker and Bayley rolled right to the floor. Dana and Mickie rammed each other’s heads into the mat. Dana rolled to the floor. Dana didn’t like how close Asuka got to her and yelled at her, then punched her. Graves said that was a giant mistake. Asuka chased Dana into the ring and then back to ringside. Asuka kicked her at ringside and let out some yells. Mickie schoolgirled Bayley for a near fall. Then Bailey got a backslide for a two count. Mickie then went for a DDT, but Bayley blocked it and landed a Bayley-to-Belly for the win. Nia Jax, Asuka, Alicia Fox, and Sasha Banks joined her in the ring afterward.
WINNER: Bayley win 8:00 to earn a spot on Team Raw.
-They went to the announcers on the stage. Booker talked about the newly crowned WWE Champion A.J. Styles facing Brock Lesnar. He said the only question is “who will reign supreme.” Graves hyped the men’s Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown match, with the full teams set. Cole discussed the women’s Survivor Series tag match. Graves plugged the “WWE 24” documentary on Goldberg which airs tonight after Raw. They hyped the free WWE Network sign-up. Then they plugged Miz TV with the new tag champs, Sheamus & Cesaro. Graves plugged Drew Gulak and Enzo Amore. They showed them backstage. Gulak’s sign said, “No chants.”
-A commercial for Smackdown hyped Charlotte challenging Natalya for the Smackdown Women’s Title on Tuesday. [c]
-Enzo and Gulak walked out to Enzo’s music. Cole plugged that Enzo would defend against Kalisto on the Survivor Series Kickoff Show. When Enzo asked, “How ya’ doin’?” Gulak said he is doing fine. Enzo said he is competing for the future of 205 Live.
Got comments or questions about Raw? Be sure to send them to email@example.com during the show and we might read them on tonight’s taping of the Post-Raw edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast on Podcast One.
(2) AKIRA TOZAWA & KALISTO vs. DREW GULAK & ENZO AMORE
Cole said Drew is on a campaign to get all chanting to stop in WWE arenas. When Kalisto led the crowd in a “Lucha” chant, Cole said that must be driving Gulak nuts. Kalisto tagged in Tozawa right away as Tozawa began chanting. They cut to an early break. [c]
Tozawa and Kalisto rallied a couple minutes after the break and dove onto the heel duo at ringside. Graves said this is what 205 Live is all about – non-stop high-flying action. Gulak yanked Enzo out from under Tozawa on the top rope. Kalisto then went after Gulak at ringside with a flip dive off the steps. Enzo, though, threw Tozawa into Kalisto as he got back onto the ring apron. Then he gave Tozawa his finisher for the win.
WINNERS: Enzo & Gulak in 7:00.
-They showed Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel walking backstage. [c]
-Angle told Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Jason Jordan, and Braun Strowman that Stephanie tore him apart so he’s not taking any chances. He said he needs to know that Balor and Joe can get along so he’s teaming them later against Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. Angle told Jordan that Stephanie says he’s playing favorites by adding him to the team, but he’s going to prove her wrong. He said he’ll face Bray Wyatt later. Angle turned to Braun, who interrupted him and said, “I want Kane!” Angle said okay, that will be the main event.
(Keller’s Analysis: Angle called him “Braun Strawn-mun.” That’s a good line-up for the rest of the show.)
-Miz and The Miztourage then came out for Miz TV. Cole noted that in Charlotte, N.C. tomorrow night, Sin Cara challenges Baron Corbin on Smackdown, so Miz will face the winner of that match at Survivor Series. Graves said after their war of words on social media, he knows Corbin wants to get his hands on Miz bad. Miz said Corbin isn’t on his level and he can’t compete with him. He got cheers. He said if he doesn’t have opportunities that he believes he deserves, he creates new opportunities. He said tonight he has an opportunity to have one of the most monumental match of his career when he faces The Shield with Miztourage by his side. He then introduced his guests who will partner with him against The Shield later.
They replayed the New Day distraction that led to Sheamus & Cesaro winning the Raw Tag Team Titles. Miz congratulated them on their victory. Sheamus said he and Cesaro really appreciate it, but it was no surprise because they did what they always do. He said they’ll face the champions of the little B-show, the Usos. The crowd chanted “You look stupid!” Then Miz told the fans that when his hands goes up, their mouths go shut. He said facing The Shield is their moment and their opportunity, and the Happy Reunion Tour ends tonight.
(Keller’s Analysis: Paint-by-numbers solid heel promo work from everyone there. I still get a kick out of Cesaro really milking the lisp from wearing a mouthpiece.)
-Cole threw to a video recap of the Under Siege angle. Back live, Cole said The Shield challenged New Day earlier, and New Day accepted the challenge. Kofi said on Twitter: “Roman was gone because he got sick from eating his own poop.” Big E said: “We request that all shock-absorbing body armor including (but not limited to) protective vests, shoulder pads, and heavy wool sweaters be disallowed for competitive use.” Xavier Woods, with “Austin Creed” showing up as the name above his handle, said, “Unicorns vs. Hounds. One is magical and brings happiness to all. The other drinks out of the toilet and eats its own excrement. We’ll totally fight you, we just ask that you don’t breathe in our general direction.” Graves framed it as two of the most dominant three-person groups doing battle at Survivor Series. Cole hyped Lesnar and Heyman showing up later to talk about facing Styles. [c]
-They showed a Tweet of Cena doing squats, bragging about the specifics, and saying he will be ready at Survivor Series.
(3) BRAY WYATT vs. JASON JORDAN
They didn’t make a big deal at all about Bray’s return or even note that he’s been gone for weeks. Booker said he likes that Kurt made Jordan prove himself. Cole cornered Booker into admitting that if Jordan wins tonight, he will endorse him as the fifth man in the tag match. Bray extended his arms once he arrived but didn’t seem to get much reaction. When Jordan stepped onto the stage, Booker said he looked to be nervous. Graves disagreed. They showed Angle watching on a monitor backstage. He looked to be in a worried trance. Jordan powered Bray into the turnbuckles and let out that grating squeal. Then he gave Bray an overhead suplex. Bray rolled to the floor. Jordan charged at him at ringside, but Bray moved. Jordan crashed into the barricade. Bray said, “You don’t know who you’re messing with, kiddo. Ha ha ha ha ha.” [c]
As Bray continued to beat on Jordan, Booker said Jordan was nervous and this is the result. Graves said Bray is a former WWE Champion and Jordan was focused early, so he doesn’t buy what he’s saying. He said Bray is getting in offense because he’s good, not because Jordan is nervous. When Bray bent over backwards in the corner, Jordan recovered enough to stand and punch Bray in the face. Bray came back with a Sister Abigail set-up, but Jordan escaped and rolled up Bray for the win. “What the!?” exclaimed Booker. They showed Angle celebrating backstage as Stephanie smiled next to him.
WINNER: Jordan in 7:00.
-Bray attacked Jordan after the match. He got some cheers. He rammed Jordan’s leg into the ringpost. They cut back to Angle who freaked out and ran to the ring to check on him. The fans chanted “Thank you, Wyatt!” Booker said the fans weren’t being very nice. I’m not sure he’s supposed to acknowledge those chants at all. Booker said he doesn’t condone what Bray did at all. Jordan couldn’t put his weight on his leg and had help getting to the back. [c]
-Backstage Angle talked with Jordan. Jordan said he’d be fine. Angle said he doesn’t think he’ll be ready on Sunday. He said he needs him at 100 percent, not 90 percent. Jordan tearfully said this is his big break and the opportunity he’s been waiting for his entire life. “I deserve this… Dad.” He had never said dad before, I don’t think. It seemed to sink in with Kurt, who seemed to reconsider the situation.
(Keller’s Analysis: Jordan is still the opposite of over with the fans. And with this injury, he’s either going to be a weak link or he’s going to be bitter about being taken out of the match, either of which could lead to the next much-needed stage of this Jordan-Angle storyline.)
-Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman made their entrance. An “A.J. Styles – Suplex City” battle chant broke out. Heyman made a face at Brock as if to say, “Well, well, well, listen to that.” Heyman said he is the advocate for the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion.” The crowd said the familiar phrase along with Heyman. Heyman said he has been authorized to list the top five selling points you need to be a WWE Network subscriber when the PPV goes on the air on Sunday night.
Number one, this is the first time in history that a Universal Champion will be going one-on-one with a WWE Champion and the first time Brock will step into the ring with A.J. Styles. Lesnar smirked a little. He said this may be the only time Brock Lesnar steps into the ring with Styles, “so – pardon the oversimplification – if you want to see Brock Lesnar vs. A.J. Styles, it happens this Sunday.” So don’t miss it.
He said he has four more to do. He said he wants to see Lesnar vs. Styles. He said no one knows Lesnar better than he does and no one can tell him the virtues of Lesnar better than he can. He said Lesnar has been against opponents who are bigger and stronger, but he’s never seen Lesnar in the ring with anyone that could claim to be better than him. He said Styles is elusive, yet abusive. He said Styles has mastered the tactics that speed kills. He was interrupted by a “She said yes!” chant. Heyman and Lesnar stopped and looked over. Lesnar laughed and smiled. Graves said someone just proposed “in the WWE Universe.” Heyman said, “She only said yes because she’s never been up close to a Beast like Brock Lesnar.” That got the pop of the night. Heyman leaned through the ropes: “Just so you know, interrupting my promo is like stepping into the ring with Brock Lesnar – you ain’t got a chance.”
Heyman then said selling point number three is that Styles is the single most talented in-ring performers of this generation. He said some would say that applies to Finn Balor, but he’ll let them settle that between themselves. He said Styles is the ultimate opponent for Lesnar. He said Styles is on a roll and has more momentum than anyone other than Lesnar. He said he can be respected and admired. He said Styles has to now come from behind and be the ultimate underdog because this good ol’ boy from Georgia is going to step into the ring with the 6-3, 285 pound Georgia Bulldog Eating Carnivore (boos) who will make the declarative statement that he is the number one champion in WWE – then, now, and forever. He said these are the odds that Styles has to overcome.
He moved to selling point number four. He said Styles is a “Rocky” movie come to life. A loud “A.J. Styles” chant started. Heyman said neither he nor his client disagree with then. He said Styles in the last year has scored definitive victories over John Cena, Shane McMahon, and Jinder Mahal, which is why this is such a compelling, riveting story this Sunday.
He said selling point F5 is that this isn’t a freakin’ Rocky movie come to life. His demeanor changed from giving compliments to Styles to saying, very seriously, that Styles cannot survive the onslaught of the conquerer or the F5. He said he looks forward to pontificating on his heroic effort at Survivor Series, that he put on the show of his life and got beaten, victimized, and conquered by Lesnar.
-Cole hyped Lesnar vs. Styles. Lesnar shook hands with some fans at ringside. [c]
(4) THE SHIELD (Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) vs. CESARO & SHEAMUS & MIZ (w/Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas)
Dean and Seth tagged in and out against Cesaro early. Cole said he saw Ric Flair backstage tonight and he said he looked great.
Cole reset the show at the very start of the third hour, getting in a bunch of plugs and recaps. When Booker slipped up and said something about Smackdown instead of Raw, the announcers gave him a hard time. He talked about his history on Smackdown, and Graves said he has no idea what he was talking about. He said something about back in 1987, Cole said Smackdown started in 1999. Graves said he was three years old back in 1987. Booker scolded Graves and said he should know his history. Sheamus settled into a keylock. Six-way action broke out. Reigns clotheslined Sheamus over the top rope. Dean and Seth clotheslined Cesaro. Seth and Dean sling-shot themselves onto Sheamus and Cesaro on the floor. Miz rolled out of the ring and retreated once Reigns shot him a look. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel tried to protect Miz, but Dean and Seth beat them up. Miz then ran away through the crowd. Graves said Corbin is laughing right now. They cut to a break. [c]
Reigns got the hot-tag and threw punches and clotheslines. We know he wasn’t learning new moves while he was gone! He hit Cesaro with eight clotheslines in the corner. Then Cesaro caught him with a boot, but Reigns fired right back with his own boot and then a Samoan Drop. He said he’s “one mean, mean Samolian right there.” Reigns signaled for the Superman Punch to a mixed response. Miz grabbed his leg. Ambrose dove through the ropes at him. Cesaro attacked a distracted Reigns. Sheamus kicked Reigns. Cesaro hit a lift-and-drop uppercut for a near fall. Dean yanked Sheamus off the ring apron as Cesaro reached for a tag. Reigns then hit Cesaro with a Superman Punch. Boos. Reigns let out his yell, then went for a spear, but Cesaro caught him with an uppercut and then set up a Neutralizer. Reigns backdropped out of it and blind-tagged in Miz. Miz ducked and Reigns hit Cesaro with a Superman Punch. Miz snuck in and rolled up Reigns. When he set up a Skull Crushing Finale, Seth hit a flying knee to Miz. Dean then gave Sheamus a Dirty Deeds. Miz was face-down in the ring with all three Shield members. Dean waited for Miz to stand, then Miz realized what surrounded him. “Yes!” chants. Reigns hit a spear. Then they played up the powerbomb. And then they delivered.
WINNERS: The Shield when Reigns pinned Miz in 15:00.
-A video package aired of the Kane-Braun Strowman saga.
-Backstage Kane said even someone as sick and depraved as he is can smile. He said all he has to do is remember what he did to Braun Strowman. He said he can still remember the sound of the garbage truck crushing his body, “a true symphony of horrors.” He said he’ll show Strowman tonight there are worse things in life than death. “That’s me!” [c]
-A sponsored ad showed Trish Stratus vs. Lita from back in 2004.
-Angle stood mid-ring and said he is about to make the toughest decision he’s ever had to make in his career. He said his son Jordan was injured tonight against Wyatt, so as the Team Captain and G.M. of Raw, he cannot allow his son to compete. He said he has decided to name a replacement. Jordan walked out and told him, “Don’t do this.” Angle told him not to make it any tougher than it already is. Jordan’s voice cracked as he talked about this being the first time he has a chance to fight alongside his dad. Angle said he’s injured. Jordan said that by Sunday, he’d be fine. Jordan entered the ring and said to Kurt that he was injured, but he won a Gold Medal. Jordan said he is just like him and he can do it. Jordan said he has emulated him his entire life. He said this has been a dream come true for him to compete on Raw with his dad as G.M. He told Kurt that he picked him because he was the best option. On the verge of sobbing, he told him not to take this way from him. Boos got louder in the crowd. He said he won’t get another chance like this. He said it’s an honor to represent Raw and the Superstars in the back. The crowd tried to settle on a protest chant. He went on and on. He begged Angle to reconsider. Stephanie interrupted and said, “Give me a break.” Cheers. She told Angle to make his announcement “and do it now.”
Triple H’s music played and he walked out. Cole said, “Oh my God! It’s WWE COO Triple H! Triple H is here! Stephanie’s husband, Triple H is here!” Triple H briskly walked up to Angle and stared at him. He said if Angle won’t make the damn announcement, he will. He said, “The fifth member of Team Raw is me!” He dropped the mic and stared at Angle as the announcers went ballistic. “Yes!” chants from the crowd. Triple H turned and saw a weepy Jordan looking on in dismay. Hunter then (officially turned babyface and) gave Jordan a Pedigree. Angle checked on him as Triple H left.
(Keller’s Analysis: Compared to a week ago, Survivor Series just got a lot bigger with Styles instead of Jinder facing Lesnar and the additions of Cena and Triple H. I’m curious how the Triple H-Angle dynamic plays out, and I wonder if Jordan is just a background player to get to this or if they have something in mind for him going heel. Quicker the better, I think, assuming he’s deemed worth the time.) [c]
(5) SAMOA JOE & FINN BALOR vs. LUKE GALLOWS & KARL ANDERSON
Joe and Balor argued before the match, then Joe shoved Balor down. Joe, through, saved Balor from a double-team. Booker said they’re working together well after a rocky start. They cut to a very early break. [c]
The announcers talked about the Triple H development. The heels took control and a couple minutes later they cut to another break. [c]
Back to the match, Graves said Anderson and Gallows were showing superior teamwork, whereas Joe looked frustrated that Balor was taking such a long, sustained beating. Balor eventually hot-tagged Joe, who took it to Anderson with a flurry of rapid-fire offense. He knocked Gallows off the ring apron, too. Balor made sure Gallows didn’t get back into the ring. Joe then tagged in Balor. Joe dove through the ropes at Gallows as Balor landed the Coup de Grace for the win. Joe marched to the back without celebrating or even waiting for the ref to raise their hands.
WINNERS: Balor & Joe in 13:00.
-The announcers hyped Survivor Series.
-Charlie Caruso interviewed Alexa Bliss. She asked if she had any preference. Alexa said her choice is the Queen of Cats and the Queen of Disfunction. She said she deserves more time to prepare. She said Smackdown has become the B-show since she left. She said she usually DVR’s Smackdown and forgets to watch it later. She hinted she might show up and watch it live, though. She said either way, the Goddess will reign supreme. [c]
-Graves plugged Kalisto’s big birthday celebration on 205 Live tomorrow.
(6) BRAUN STROWMAN vs. KANE
After Kane’s entrance, they showed an extended video package on the Kane-Braun saga. Braun took it to Kane early. Kane rolled to the floor. Graves wondered if Kane was regretting his actions. As they battled at ringside, Cole said the match hadn’t even officially began yet. Braun set up a suplex of Kane off the ropes onto a table at ringside, but Kane blocked it. Braun headbutted Kane to the mat. Kane grabbed Braun by his throat but Braun broke free and leaped at Kane with a double axe-handle. Braun then gave Kane a running powerslam. They crashed through the ring. The crowd gasped as the ref looked on bewildered. After a minute and no one resurfaced, there was a lady in the front row who looked legitimately worried as they went dark.
WINNER: No decision.
(Keller’s Analysis: There’s a cliffhanger.)
Got comments or questions about Raw? Be sure to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org during the show and we might read them on tonight’s taping of the Post-Raw edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast on Podcast One.