SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Recap: At the top of the show, Triple H and Shawn Michaels came to the ring. Triple H recounted finally “climbing the mountain” only to have an avalanche fall on him. He then showed a video recap of his victory in Australia followed by the post-match beatdown he and Michaels received from the Brothers of Destruction.
Shawn Michaels then said that his prior respect for the Undertaker had ceased to be a two way street. He said he had been thinking about it on the entire flight back from Australia. He said that when they touched down in the US, Triple H said three words he thought he’d never hear again, to which Triple H chimed in, “are you ready?” Triple H said that question was actually for Undertaker and Kane, and challenged them to a match at Crown Jewel.
Michaels then said “with absolutely no respect at all”, that he had “just two words” for them, to which the crowd yelled, “Suck It!”
Evaluation: I like that WWE bothered to explain why Shawn was going back on his retirement promise after all of these years. The segment did a good job explaining that it was because Shawn had honored the promise out of respect, but that after Saturday he could no longer respect the Undertaker.
It was also good that Shawn seems to have abandoned the overly goofy persona he’d adopted on-screen in recent years.
Forecast: I still like seeing Triple H wrestle a couple of times a year. I was never a big Kane fan, but he’s still fine. The jury is still out on Shawn Michaels. With respect to the Undertaker, however, I’d be happy to never see him in the ring again. Unfortunately, I predict that November 2 won’t be the last time I have to endure one of his matches.
LASHLEY TURNS HEEL…
Recap: During the night’s second segment, Bobby Lashley came out for a match with Kevin Owens. Lio Rush narrated the match to the crowd in the most irritating way possible. The match dragged forever, and was made to seem especially long due to Rush’s incessant yapping.
After Lashley defeated Owens, Lio prodded Lashley to return to the ring and attack Owens. He whipped both of Owens’ legs around the ringpost and left to boos.
Evaluation: Lio Rush reached a level of irritating I never thought possible during this match. Such levels of annoying have only previously been achieved by Hollywood actresses preaching during their unbearable awards shows.
This was a good move. Lashley was dying as a face, and Lio Rush is very clearly a heel manager. WWE had nothing to lose with this turn, and could possibly gain a good heel act.
Forecast: The big unanswered question is whether this was also a face turn for Kevin Owens. Considering how sympathetic he’s looked in storyline since the summer, I hope/predict that this is a face turn rather than simply being offered up as a sacrifice to Lashley.
MORE BREAKUP TENSION…
Recap: In a backstage promo, Dolph Ziggler attempted a pep talk with Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman. A frustrated Drew interrupted him, saying he was tired of Dolph acting like he ran the show. As the two began to bicker, Braun told them to shut up. He said they both needed to remember why they were there, to get Braun the title. Braun said that was best for the entire group.
The Shield later cut an old-school Shield promo where they all spoke into a camera they were holding. Seth reminded said that they were the true bad guys. Roman said the outcome tonight would be the same as in Australia. Dean said they were the Hounds of Justice.
In the main event, the Shield faced the heels in a six man tag. During the match, Braun grabbed Dolph by the throat and told him to carry his own weight. Drew came to Dolph’s defense, and got into a shouting match with Braun. This allowed Seth to roll up Drew, but he kicked out at two.
The match ended with Drew pinning Dean with the Claymore kick. After the match, a disappointed Dean walked out, leaving his partners in the ring.
Evaluation: Teasing tension in both teams is a good thing, as it has been adding intrigue to the feud. We’re not at the point yet where this has been drawn out too long, so I have no complaints.
Forecast: Ultimately I expect the heels to break up first, as Drew McIntyre seems poised to be a main eventer, a role he can’t have as backup for Braun Strowman.
Since the Bellas turned heel tonight, rekindling the heat on Brie Bella for her kicks to Liv Morgan was a smart idea….
Kurt Angle looked very good tonight, and it will be interesting to see him in the new World Cup tournament….
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – RAW 10/1: The Temptation of Dean, Heat for Elias, Brothers of Destruction, Thoughts on Ruby Riott’s Philosophy