HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 8, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
-The show opened with Triple H’s King Of Kings music blaring in the arena. Instead of his corporate gear, Triple H walked out in his leather jacket “game” gear and a scowl on his face. As he walked to the ring, Michael Cole ran down Triple H’s resume and told the audience he was in a foul mood after the events of Super Show-down. Once Triple H got to the ring, he paused on the apron as Shawn Michaels walked out. Once Michaels got to the ring, both men took in the audience and paced in circles with anger on their mind.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Huge pops for both of these guys. Amazing to think that someone like the Undertaker could be positioned as the “heel” here, but that is the angle the announcers took when talking about Triple H being in an ornery mood.
On the microphone, Triple H said that 25 years was a long time to climb a mountain. He said you climb it though because it was the biggest and most dangerous mountain in the world. From there, he said he and Michaels made it to the summit of the mountain by beating the Undertaker at Super Show-down, but that the ensuing avalanche that came after his win may have proved the mountain to be a lie all along. After those words, a recap video aired that detailed the events of Super Show-down.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good video as usual. The first of many I surmise which could get tiring as the show goes one regardless of how good they are.
Back in the ring after the video, Triple H talked about respect. He referenced Shawn’s retirement and that him sticking to his word is the epitome of respect. Michaels then chimed in on respect as well and that sometimes you respect someone for what they used to be rather than what they are. Michaels said that the flight from Australia to Chicago is a long one and that he had a long time to think about the beat down he took with Triple H at Super Show-down. He then said that as soon as he got off the plane, he heard three words he never thought he’s hear from Triple H. “Are. You. Ready.” The crowd roared and Triple H then asked if the Undertaker and Kane would be ready. Shawn Michaels then talked again and said that DX was ready. He then finished up by saying that he was saying these words with no respect and that if Taker and Kane weren’t down with that, he had two words for them. As soon as he said that, Michaels and Triple H tore off their shirts to reveal new DX shirts as the audience continued to cheer. They then did the crotch chop and walked out of the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Overall, I liked the promo. It was dramatic in nature and got to the point. That said, I’m surprised as to just how far they went with Undertaker as being the disrespectful star. Triple H and Michaels came off as more sympathetic which seems like an attempt to make them the babyfaces in all this. That will be a tough task. Further, for as effective as this promo was, this type of match still is not how I personally envisioned Michaels returning to the ring. Even though I get it from Shawn’s perspective, this tag match (and any tag match) feels beneath him at this point.
-After the segment, the announce ran down the other events on the show including upcoming matches from the Shield and Ronda Rousey. (c)
-Out of the commercial break, Bobby Lashley’s music hit and he walked to the ring with Lio Rush.
(1) BOBBY LASHLEY w/ Lio Rush vs. KEVIN OWENS
Lashley got a tepid response as usual, but Owens got a very large roar from the Chicago crowd. Once Kevin Owens got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. Lashley over powered Owens early in the bout and as he executed those moves, Lio Rush got on the microphone to hype up his performance and relay instructions. From there, Lashley continued to dominate and as he did he stopped to pose at Owens. At that point, Rush hit the microphone again to gloat about how good he looked. Right after that, Owens countered Lashley offense and tossed him over the top rope. As that happened, Rush addressed the fact that Owens was getting cheered and tried to get a Lashley chant going.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Rush is beyond annoying here and its heelish in nature. The crowd booed Rush trying to start a Lashley chant and cheered the ensuing Owens offense. Something seems to be afoot. Double turn?
As Rush tried to get Lashley cheered, Owens continued his offense and connected with an over the top rope dive. After he connected, Owens rolled into the ring to a massive ovation from the audience. (c)
Out of the break, Lashley was back in control of the match and had Kevin Owens firmly locked into a head lock. The audience booed a bit, but cheered after Kevin Owens escaped. Again, Rush tried for a Lashley chant, but this time Kevin Owens jumped out of the ring and chased him down to a huge ovation from the crowd. Once he caught him, Owens tried for a move, but was hit from behind by Lashley. The audience booed this as well as Rush yelled at Kevin Owens to never touch him.
Heydorn’s Analysis: If this is a double turn, it’s working. Rush is incredibly unlikable and is effectively working the crowd against Lashley and not for him.
From there, Owens battled to get control of the match, but was immediatley smashed to the mat with a spinebuster. From there, Lashley lifted Owens up for his delayed suplex and connected with it before covering for a two count. As Lashley held him up, Rush talked on the mic to a chorus of boos from the audience. The crowd roared after the kick out, but Lashley quickly kept up the offense by locking in a submission. Owens countered the submission with a Stunner, but Lashley kicked out of the following pin attempt at two. Out of that pin, Owens climbed to the top rope and was distracted by Rush. This caused Lashley to knock him off and then he followed that with vicious kicks to Owens’s knee. In the end, after the work on the knee Lashley hit his finishing move for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Lashley via pinfall
-After the match, Rush chanted Lashley and celebrated with his client in the ring. Both men then walked off, but Rush sent Lashley back to the ring. Once Lashley got back in, he destroyed Owens and smashed the injured knee against the ring post multiple times.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great stuff. For one thing, both Rush and Lashley were able to lean on their natural personalities which are heelish in nature. Rush was annoying on the microphone and Lashley complimented that by showcasing true danger in beating Owens up after the match. It’s a win-win for both guys. As for the story, this finally gives something for Lashley to sink his teeth into. As for Owens, its about time for a babyface run and tonight showed why. Really good stuff on both ends. Double turns aren’t easy to pull off, but it worked like a charm in this instance.
-Michael Cole and the announce team announced the upcoming WWE World Cup and then aired a hype video for John Cena. They then plugged that Baron Corbin would be hosting a battle royal on tonight’s show with the winner being entered into that tournament.
-Elias strummed his guitar and was briefly introduced before the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Bayley and Finn Balor were shown backstage. Both smiled and addressed their rematch against Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox. They said that Mahal and Fox weren’t on the same planet and that they were two peas in a pod. As they spoke, Lio Rush and Lashley interuppted. Rush heelishly gloated about Lashley’s win and Lashley said that he ripped Kevin Owens into pieces. Rush then called it too sweet before walking off with his client.
Heydorn’s Analysis: More good stuff from Rush and Lashley. Lashley has been a heel for literally 6 minutes and he is already more entertaining that he has been since he returned to Raw. Good stuff.
-Elias was introduced again and strummed his guitar as the audience cheered. He then did his typical act. He then addressed John Cena and said that even Cena could admit that WWE stand for Walk With Elias. Elias then said that him losing at Super Show-down wasn’t his fault and that he wrote a song about it. As he sang, the audience booed and they booed louder when he talked about the Cubs. The Cubs remark got lots of heat and Elias paused to milk those boos. As the boos reigned down, Ronda Rousey’s music hit and Ronda got a massive pop from the crowd.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Loads of heat for the Cubs comment which set up Ronda’s entrance perfectly. This was the pop Lashley should have gotten last week in Seattle. As usual, Elias milked that moment effectively and helped make Ronda’s reaction even bigger. Well done.
From there, Ronda walked to the ring as she waved to her cheering audience. Seeing this Elias left the ring as Ronda got in and awaited her match with The Bellas against the Riott Squad. (c)
(2) RIOTT SQUAD vs. RONDA ROUSEY & THE BELLAS
Out of the commercial break, the Bellas made their entrance and were followed by The Riott Squad. Once the Riott Squad got to the ring, the match began.
Out of the gate, the action was fast paced and devolved into a brawl that spilled ringside between Liv Morgan and Brie Bella. The other members of their teams broke up the brawl and each side went back to their corner. From there, Rousey and Sarah Logan tagged in with Rousey getting the early upper hand. She took Logan down with various judo throws and then walked off Morgan and Ruby as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the fast paced nature of the beginning of the match. It was a logical direction to take the feud coming out of Saturday’s Super Show-down. As usual, Rousey looked really strong and her offense got a good response.
Out of the break, Nikki Bella took control of the match and connected with a spinebuster on Riott. Out of that, she connected with her step up enziguri and went for a pin attempt, but Riott kicked out at two. After, Nikki tagged Brie into the match to keep up the momentum. Eventually, Sarah Logan got the upper hand back by destroying Brie with a clothesline on the outside of the ring. From there, the Riott Squad owned the match, cut the ring in half, and tagged in and out to stay fresh. As this happened, the audience clapped for Brie to will her on for the hot tag. Finally, Brie made the hot tag to Rousey who cleared house quickly. Within that offense, Riott caught her and rolled her up for a near fall pin attempt. Right out of the pin attempt, Rousey fired up though and decimated Riott with shots to the gut in the corner. After hitting those, Rousey connected with her inverted Samoan Drop. Rousey then teased the Arm Bar as the Riott Squad members tried to interfere. They were held up by the Bellas which allowed Rousey to finish the Arm Bar and get the submission victory.
WINNER: Rousey & The Bellas by pinfall
-After the match and after celebrating together, Nikki attacked Rousey from behind. As she did, Brie joined in and the duo beat up Ronda in the ring. Rousey battled back and cleared the ring, but then as assaulted again on the outside of the ring. They tossed Rousey into the ring post and then slammed her into the stairs. In the end, The Bellas dragged Rousey back into the ring and stood above her as the audience booed. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: The match was what it was, but the post match angle was almost perfect. The Bellas turned out of nowhere and got the heel reaction they were looking for. Both looked relatively ferocious in the turn as well. On Ronda’s side, she battled back enough to make her look like an unstoppable force, but sold when the time was right and did so effectively. Good stuff and a good foundation for a heck of a story moving toward an inevitable showdown at Evolution.
-After the break, highlights aired of the Bellas turning on Ronda Rousey. The announce team then broke the segment down and discussed what happened between those three women.
(3) FINN BALOR & BAYLEY vs. JINDER MAHAL & ALICIA FOX
Both Bayley and Finn Balor got nice responses from the crowd. Bayley did Balor’s entrance as the audience discussed that both were on the same page. Mahal and Fox were next and got a small reaction from the Chicago audience. The match started with Mahal and Balor. Jinder quickly took Balor down and kept him down with a series of head locks. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Bayley and Balor both got good reactions from the audience. The fact that THIS is what they are doing on WWE television though is sad to watch if you were looking for them to be serious characters on the show. They just aren’t that right now. Far from it and this match proves it.
Out of the break, Alicia Fox was firmly in control of the match until Bayley made the tag to Balor. Balor fired up and destroyed Mahal with a dropkick before connecting with a double stomp. After a few reversal attempts by Mahal, Balor connected with side slam. He then went for a pin, but it was broken up by Fox. Seeing this, Bayley knocked her and Sunil Singh out of the ring. This allowed for Balor to hit Mahal into place for the Coup De Gras. He proceeded to connect with it and then covered for the 1,2,3 win.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A to B match to be sure. The finish got a loud response though. Given the fact that neither Balor or Bayley are involved in anything real at the moment, that reaction is a testament to just how good both are. If and when WWE wants to heat them up for something big, the audience is clearly ready.
-After the match, Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre were shown backstage. Ziggler pleaded his case and said that he had one slip up at Super Show-down. He then worked to energize the team until McIntyre yelled at him. He said that they knew what to do and that he was sick of Ziggler calling the shots. He then called Ziggler out for losing at Super Show-down and that he needed to start pulling his weight. Ziggler responded by pleading his case again, but Strowman yelled for him to shut up. Strowman reminded them that they were there to watch his back as he tried to win the Universal Championship. Before walking off, he said that he didn’t want excuses for either of them.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good segment and each man came off well. Drew especially. Strowman saying that they were with him to help him win the Universal Championship was a telling moment and one that could be used down the road if McIntyre ever leaves the group. Whether that is later this month or a year from now, seeds were planted in this segment for this group to self destruct. Given the lines that McIntyre got here, he may be the one to blow it up too.
-Baron Corbin was shown walking backstage and was confronted by Heath Slater. Slater said he wanted in on the Global Battle Royal. Corbin thanked him, but said that he wasn’t good enough. (c)
-Out of the break, the announce team highlighted and cued up a video that detailed the events of earlier in the evening with DX.
-With various random jobber wrestlers in the ring, Baron Corbin walked out to address the Global Battle Royal. He got a ton of heat and said that he couldn’t believe the fans were booing him. Corbin pumped up the Crown Jewel event and then hyped the WWE World Cup. Corbin said he could have put himself in the tournament, but he wanted to prove himself. He then walked to the ring and said he would win the Global Battle Royal to earn his entry. He then sarcastically talked about the competition and sarcastically compared them to the Avengers. From there, Corbin introduced each one.
(4) GLOBAL BATTLE ROYAL
After the introduction, Baron Corbin destroyed the combatants in the ring and tossed them one by one over the top rope. As he celebrated, he noticed that the Conquistador was yet to be eliminated. From there, he ran after him, but the Conquistador ran into the ring. As Corbin chased him into the ring, he was hit with three German suplexes. From there, Corbin was hit with an Angle Slam before being knocked over the top rope.
WINNER: The Conquistador
-After the match, the Conquistador revealed himself to be Kurt Angle to a massive pop from the audience. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: A pretty fun moment in which Kurt Angle didn’t look like a dumbfounded GM. He looked the part of a babyface getting retribution and came off as more over because of it.
-Out of the commercial break, Kurt Angle was shown walking backstage. He was stopped and said that he was technically still on vacation. He then winked and walked off.
(5) EMBER MOON vs. NIA JAX
Moon was in the ring after the Angle interview and Jax came out right after. Jax received a nice pop and the announce team said they were fighting because they both wanted healthy competition.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Did WWE just go ahead and take care of a straighten your tie moment? It looks like it. Just a few weeks ago, random matches like this one took place without explanation. Tonight we got one with two babyface fighting against each other. Was it a big deal? No. It certainly wasn’t hard to execute either though.
Soon after the match began, Nia Jax owned all momentum. Eventually, Moon fired up and knocked Jax to the outside. From there, Moon went for her suicide dive, but was caught in mid air by Jax. The two then battled on the outside of the ring. In the end, Jax ran into the apron which allowed for Moon to jump back into the ring to beat the count.
WINNER: Moon via count-out
-After the match, Jax and Moon hugged and Jax raised Moon’s hand in the air.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Not sure the purpose of this one. Screen time? Who knows. Ember getting the victory is an interesting turn of events given the push Jax has received compared to the one she has. Something is afoot.
-When the show returned from the break, Trish Stratus’s music hit over the loudspeakers. Stratus got a huge pop from the audience. Once she got to the ring, Stratus grabbed a microphone and said that in three weeks she’d be making history inside of the first women’s PPV, Evolution.
She then addressed Alexa Bliss and her Moment Of Bliss from last week. Stratus said it was a moment of BS and that she wanted to enlighten Little Miss Brat with a moment of Stratusfaction. This prompted Bliss to hit the ring and she got a big reaction too. Bliss made fun of Stratus and the audience to which Stratus responded by making fun of Bliss’s mathematical error in her promo last week. Trish then told Bliss that that wasn’t the only place she came up “short.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: I liked Trish here. She wasn’t as awkward as normal and was able to deliver a funny line that captured the audience against Bliss. She has a likable charm that will help make this feud click.
Bliss then suggested putting the insults aside and sarcastically said that it was an honor to be out there with her. She talked Stratus up, but then said that Trish Stratus sucked. The crowd booed loudly as Bliss then said that Trish was lucky she wasn’t around during her time on top because Stratus would have lived in her shadow. To this, Trish said that there was a ring right there and called on Bliss to step in it and face her. The crowd roared as Bliss walked down, but before they could fight, Mickie James got involved and told Bliss not to do it because the Chicago crowd didn’t deserve it. She then said that nothing good happened in Chicago.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Mickie, didn’t you win your first Women’s Championship in Chicago? Never mind.
From there, Stratus told James to protect her best friend because she knew what it was like to be in the ring with Trish Stratus. Stratus then told James and Bliss that at Evolution she would hand them both a Hall Of Fame beatdown. After hearing this, James suggested that maybe her and Bliss would team up to take Stratus on. Trish thought that was a good idea, but said that she’s need to find a partner. She then toyed around a bit before announcing Lita. To a huge ovation, Lita walked out and ran down to the ring as all four women brawled. In the end, the babyfaces cleared the ring with Lita almost connecting with her moonsault.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Some people may feel slighted that Trish or Lita won’t be wrestling in singles matches. This is the better scenario though. It gives each woman a safety net and showcases the history between Trish and Lita as well. Bliss is the perfect opponent for them. She plays the arrogant young lion role perfectly and can showcase the attitude that goes along with it. Good stuff.
-After the segment, the Shield cut an old school selfie promo in black and white backstage. They talked about not breaking at Super Show-down and called themselves a brotherhood. They then addressed Strowman, Ziggler, and McIntyre. They said that the Shield were the true bad guys and not them. Reigns then chimed in and said that whether it was Australia or Chicago, the story between them all would be the same. From there, Rollins called them the constant before Reigns said to believe in the Shield.
Heydorn’s Analysis: These selfie promos don’t stand out as much as they did back in the day given that all acts use them now, but for this group its an effective tactic. The visual is good in black and white and the format protects Roman against fan backlash. Further, it is a piece of their gimmick that got them over at the beginning.
-Out of the promo, Bobby Roode and Chad Gable made their entrance. (c)
-Right after the break, the entrance was still in progress. From there, the Ascension were introduced.
(6) CHAD GABLE & BOBBY ROODE vs. THE ASCENSION
Before the bell rang. Konnor got on the microphone and gloated about beating each man in singles competition. He then said they would end their team and send them to the wasteland. Roode and Konnor started things off with Konnor getting the upperhand. Gable made the blind tag into the match before connecting with a top rope dropkick. He then went for a pin, but Konnor kicked out and sent Gable flying to the outside. From there, it was all Ascension. As they beat down Gable, the audience chanted “CM Punk.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: There it is, folks. I’m from Chicago, but … eye roll.
In the end, Roode attempted his top rope neck breaker, but before he could land it Gable tagged himself in and connected with his own Rolling German Suplex for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Gable & Roode via pinfall
-After the match, Gable celebrated as Roode looked on with a wondering look in his eye. As this happened, AOP ran out and decimated both Roode and Gable. They then beat up the Ascension as well. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great stuff from AOP. This is how they needed to be booked out of the gate. They came off as top level monsters that are unstoppable. Good stuff. As for Gable and Roode? At least it’s going somewhere. Roode’s looked proved that and hopefully that somewhere is a Roode heel turn that can help rejuvenate his character.
-Out of the break, the announce team highlighted the events of the evening between the Bellas and Ronda Rousey. They then announced that Nikki Bella would take on Ronda Rousey at Evolution for the Raw Women’s Championship.
-The announce team then cued up a recap video package from earlier in the show that detailed the events with Triple H and Shawn Michaels. The announce team then cued up a DX hype package.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Both Triple H and Shawn Michaels need to keep whatever iteration of DX this is as serious one. The feud is personal and the story is serious. In turn, their interactions need to be serious as well. There was a time and place for DX tomfoolery. Now isn’t that time.
-After the video, Paul Heyman walked out onto the ramp and made his official introduction. He said he was at the show to watch a fight. He said Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman beat each other up in Australia and flew across the world to do it again. From there, he sarcastically said that that is what WWE Superstars do to put smiles on the faces of the WWE Universe. In contrast, he said that in suplex city, Brock Lesnar was sleeping in his own home and waking up to a home cooked meal. Heyman then called Lesnar the hardest working champion in WWE and said to him it wasn’t about “we” but about “me.” Heyman then declared that Brock Lesnar would be walking out of Saudi Arabia as the Universal Champion once again.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A good promo from Heyman that stuck with the narrative of Brock being a bad guy because he wasn’t around. Given how that back fired on WWE just a mere months ago, it’s hard to believe they are still going with it. Yet, here we are.
-After Heyman wrapped up, The Shield’s music hit for the main event. Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose entered through the audience and did so to a huge pop from the crowd as the show went to commercial break. (c)
(7) THE SHIELD vs. BRAUN STROWMAN, DOLPH ZIGGLER, & DREW MCINTYRE
After the commercial break, Strowman, Ziggler, and McIntyre entered the arena. When they got to the ring, the teams faced off in the ring as the bell rang. McIntyre and Rollins started the match off with McIntyre getting the quick momentum. He slapped Rollins in the face before attempting to slam him to the mat. Rollins countered this and tagged Ambrose in. Dean took over and hit Drew with a slew of strikes before McIntyre tagged Strowman into the match. After he entered, Strowman dominated Ambrose until Ambrose made the tag to Roman Reigns. As Reigns entered, the audience booed.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Chicago is not a friendly crowd for Roman Reigns. Never has been. Within the boundaries of the Shield, his reaction has been positive tonight. This tag was the the first thing he did on his own and he was booed loudly for it. The protection isn’t working for Reigns, but it is working in terms of cutting down the popularity of Rollins and Ambrose. At some point, that needs to be considered and addressed by WWE.
Once Reigns entered the ring, he hit his standard offense on Strowman before attempting to lift Strowman up for a Samoan Drop. Strowman ended up being too heavy and Braun took over on offense. Team Strowman worked to suplex Reigns, but Rollins and Ambrose saved him and cleared the ring to leave Strowman all alone. Instead of fighting Reigns, Strowman rolled out of the ring and yelled at his team as the show went to a commercial break. (c)
Out of the break, Strowman regained control of the match on Roman Reigns. Eventually, Reigns dodged a Strowman shoulder tackle which sent Braun into the ring post. From there, Reigns lifted Strowman up and actually hit the Samoan Drop. After this, Reigns made the hot tag to Rollins and Strowman did the same to Ziggler. Rollins hit the ring and hit a flurry of moves including a running suicide dive and a springboard clothesline. Out of the clothesline, Rollins went for a pin, but Ziggler kicked out at two. Rollins then called for the Stomp, but Ziggler countered with a pin attempt. Right out of the pin, Rollins nailed Ziggler with a buckle bomb, but McIntyre made the save. In response, Ambrose crushed McIntyre. Each Shield member then proceeded to hit moves on Strowman before Ambrose and Rollins connected with tandem suicide dives. From there, Reigns connected with a flying splash over the top rope onto each man in the match. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great move from Reigns that got a nice reaction from the crowd. Sometimes he can have flashes of being a good babyface and this was one of those times. Good on him, but he needs to find a way to make it last and turn that solitary reaction into a regular ones. Being in the position he’s in, “flashes” just doesn’t cut it anymore.
When the show returned, Strowman and company were back in control. They decimated Rollins in their corner and tagged in and out to stay fresh.
From there, Rollins made the hot tag to Ambrose and Ambrose owned the match from there. He nailed McIntyre with clotheslines and followed that with a roll up pin, but Drew kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Ambrose nailed Drew with a twisting neck breaker, but again, McIntyre kicked out at two. Right out of the second attempt, Ambrose lifted McIntyre to the top rope for a high risk move. Drew knocked Ambrose off and then went for a move, but Ambrose countered. He tried to hit Dirty Deeds, but instead McIntyre connected with a spinebuster. In the end and after helping Reigns fend off Braun Strowman, Ambrose rolled back into the ring and got nailed with the Claymore. McIntyre then made the cover for the 1,2,3 victory.
WINNER: McIntyre, Strowman, and Ziggler via pinfall
-After the match, Dean Ambrose left and walked to the back without engaging or looking at his fellow Shield members. Rollins and Reigns confusingly looking at each other as the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good television match that was successful in limiting the boos that Roman Reigns received. As for the ending, it’s a nice tease for next week, but even more out of the blue than the last time they tried to tell this story two weeks ago. Just two days ago, Ambrose was fully “with” Rollins and Reigns. Now after taking the loss he’s potentially leaving? It seems quick to me.