SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
OCTOBER 8, 2018
CHICAGO, ILL. AT ALLSTATE ARENA
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00PM EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Arena / Super Showdown Recap
WWE Raw returns to the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois for the first time since Christmas Day of last year. Who can forget the arena hosting WWE’s NXT: Takeover and Money in the Bank this past year as well. We’ll put Super Showdown behind us now and begin to turn our attention in a couple of directions. The all-women’s PPV Evolution comes to us in less than three weeks on Oct. 28. The Saudi Arabian show, Crown Jewel, comes to us Friday Nov. 2. That show, of course, will not feature any of the WWE women.
As of this writing WWE.com is not advertising any matches or segments for tonight, but rather follow up on the Super Showdown results from the Raw perspective. The Shield defeated Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre. Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey & The Bella Twins defeated the Riott Squad. Bobby Lashley & John Cena defeated Kevin Owens & Elias. Triple H defeated the Undertaker in their “Last Match Ever,” and we certainly got some unexpected extra-curricular activity following the match.
Undertaker & Kane Betrayal of Triple H & Shawn Michaels
Triple H, with his best friend Shawn Michaels in his corner, defeated the Undertaker who had Kane in his corner. This turned out to be the main event of Super Showdown. The match was announced as a no-DQ at the onset. All parties certainly got involved throughout the match. Several objects including tables, chairs, and Triple H’s sledgehammer were used. Triple H & Undertaker were out on the arena floor for several minutes at one point, and for some reason were not counted out. Anyway, in the end Shawn Michaels would hit sweet chin music on Undertaker followed by Triple H hitting his pedigree and scoring the pin fall.
Following the match, Triple H & Michaels showed respect for Undertaker & Kane and vice versa. All four men raised each other’s hand, leading us to believe the festivities were over. Undertaker gave Triple H his tombstone piledriver. He and Kane then put Michaels through a table to conclude the show. While WWE is not advertising any of these men for tonight, they will follow up on the situation no doubt with Crown Jewel looming.
Frank’s Analysis: Daniel Bryan vs. Miz barely goes three minutes, but this goes nearly a half hour. Let’s just think about that for a minute. The match was not good. Undertaker vs. Triple H should not main-event a PPV/Network show in 2018. The dynamics are uber-confusing. Michaels is beloved, while Triple H’s on-screen character is a heel. Undertaker & Kane are beloved but acted like the heels during their post-match attack. I don’t know for whom I should cheer. All signs are pointing to a tag team match at Crown Jewel. Is that the way we want to see Michaels return? I’m not quite astute at international affairs, but Saudi Arabia hardly strikes me as a country in which he would want to perform for the first time in over eight years given his religious beliefs. Wouldn’t it be better to spend a Michaels return on a match more worthwhile? Daniel Bryan, A.J. Styles, Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins as opponents would all be a million times more interesting to watch.
Ronda Rousey’s Next Challenger
Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey teamed with the Bella Twins, Nikki & Brie to defeat the Riott Squad consisting of Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan. For the conclusion, Rousey put a double armbar on Morgan and Logan and got both women to tap out. Following the match, Rousey and the Bellas celebrated in the ring and had an exclusive interview with WWE.com:
WWE announced that Rousey would defend her championship at Evolution against a challenger to be determined.
Frank’s Analysis: It had been rumored that Rousey would defend against Nikki Bella. Nothing during this match lead us in that direction. It’s still not out of the realm of possibility. WWE may have wanted to save whatever they were doing to set the match up for Raw. Seeds for a turn on Nikki’s part have been planted on TV recently. Another possibility is Ruby Riott, given her good showing against Ronda on last week’s Raw. You can’t rule out Nia Jax, given they didn’t have a conclusion to their match at Money in the Bank. Ember Moon would be a solid opponent, and let’s not forget Rousey’s good friend Natalya. She did answer the open challenge not too long ago only to be thwarted by the Riott Squad. It would be nice to see some sort of legit way of determining the number one contender, as Smackdown has done recently with their championships.
Next Up for The Shield
The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) defeated Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre. During the match, it was teased that Ambrose could be turning on the Shield as they have done recently on Raw following Ambrose’s return to WWE programming. At one point with Reigns and Rollins reeling in the ring, Strowman & Ziggler & McIntyre surrounded the ring “Shield” style. Ambrose, who had laying on the floor, jumped onto the apron as well teasing he would join in on attacking Reigns and Rollins. That did not happen, as he went after Strowman. For the finish, Ambrose would hit his signature Dirty Deeds on Ziggler and score the pin fall for his team. The Shield celebrated their victory.
Reigns will defend his Universal Champion at Crown Jewel in a triple threat match against former champion Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman. Rollins is still the reigning Intercontinental Champion, and thus a new challenger is likely in order. Dean Ambrose does not have a championship, but still stands beside his Shield “brothers.” Ziggler & McIntyre are the Raw Tag Team Champions, and thus they can expect new challengers as well.
Frank’s Analysis: This match was just a continuance of the storyline these two factions have had recently, centered mostly around Ambrose’s loyalty to the Shield. I would lean on Ambrose not turning right away, since they have teased it so heavily. I’m not saying he won’t turn. If it does happen, it will happen when things settle down and we least expect it. I don’t expect Reigns to turn on the Shield, as WWE has been steadfast in keeping him babyface. Rollins turning on the Shield has been done already. For now, we can expect them to stay strong, while we start to see cracks in the alliance of Strowman, Ziggler & McIntyre.
Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush to Boast Victory?
Bobby Lashley & John Cena defeated Kevin Owens & Elias in tag team action at the Super Showdown. Lio Rush was not present in Lashley & Cena’s corner. Lashley did most of the work throughout the match, but hot-tagged Cena in to allow him to score the pin over Elias utilizing his “sixth move of doom,” a jab to the chest. Lashley & Cena celebrated their victory. Cena gave a short speech following the match, telling the crowd that WWE is home to him and he will never forget where he came from. He appreciated the people letting him perform (I thought it was WWE paying him, umm…anyway).
Frank’s Analysis: By the way, Cena sported a haircut that looked similar to JBL’s. I can’t take credit for this observation. It was my beautiful wife who pointed this out. I agree with her, but your mileage may vary. Hairstyles aside, I can do without Cena performing in WWE if he‘s going to spend not even a minute in the ring and basically squash Elias, a guy who’s trying to establish his career. Say what you want about Triple H and Undertaker, but at least they go out there and perform like they care. Do me a favor WWE and don’t put names on a show for the sake of putting names. Give me people that want to perform to the highest of their ability. With that said, Lashley and Owens will likely continue their feud, with Elias mixed in. We can certainly expect trolling of the Chicago crowd on Elias’s and Owens’s part given the Cubs recent elimination from the MLB playoffs. We’ll see if they generate the nuclear heat (I call it cheap heat) similar to what they got from the Seattle crowd last week discussing the ‘Sonics departure. With Sami Zayn out of the picture, the Owens/Elias alliance looks to remain on TV for the time being.
Other Items from Raw Last Week
- The B-Team defeated the Revival in another fluke victory. They were attacked by the Authors of Pain, flanked by Drake Maverick, following the match. The Revival continues to be pushed/squashed/push/squashed. I don’t understand why things are the way they are for such a good tag team, especially in what is a weak tag team division.
- Konnor of the Ascension defeated Bobby Roode, flanked by his tag team partner Chad Gable. Roode continues to be buried, although I’ll remain hopeful this is leading to a heel turn.
- Bayley, with her Mixed Match Challenge partner Finn Balor in her corner, defeated Alicia Fox who had her partner Jinder Mahal in her corner. Balor continues to be a comedic figure. Mahal continues to be ice cold. It is hard not to be disappointed at the money WWE has left on the table with Bayley and Balor to this point. I even say Mahal is more useful. Wasn’t he the WWE Champion last year? I mean there couldn’t have been an ulterior motive with that, right? (#sarcasm) (#ItWasAllAboutTheIndiaShow) (#totalmisfire)
Start Time & Matches Advertised
The arena’s website is advertising a start time of 6:30 p.m. local time (CDT) but don’t specify when doors are opening. Like last week’s arena, a six-man tag is advertised featuring The Shield vs. Braun Strowman & Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre. They also show Bobby Lashley and Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey appearing.
Follow me on Twitter @FrankPeteani and ask any questions you may have. Thank you for reading!