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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 29, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
-The show opened with a recap video montage that highlighted the Roman Reigns cancer announcement from last week.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Touching video. Even with a week to absorb the news, hearing it again is still shocking. Incredibly sad stuff.
-After the video, the shot went to the live crowd and acting General Manager, Baron Corbin, was in the ring to address the audience. With the vacant Universal Championship on his shoulder, Corbin said that last week was one of the most emotional nights of his career, but that the show must go on. He personally wished Roman Reigns all the best in his battle with cancer. He then addressed Reigns professionally and said that he hoped he didn’t come back to Raw once he got healthy due to the fact that the Universal Title looked good on him. This caused the audience to boo and Corbin went on to say that Reigns made his life difficult as the General Manager. As he continued to talk, Corbin was interuppted by Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman at his side.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Huge pop for Lesnar. As for Corbin’s promo, it walked the fine line of becoming inappropriate. It never crossed that line, but it was close. WWE needs to be careful not to blatantly use Reigns’s illness for heat. Especially when the news is so fresh in everyone’s mind.
As Lesnar walked to the ring, Michael Cole plugged the Universal Championship match at Crown Jewel between Lesnar and Braun Strowman. Once Lesnar got to the ring, Corbin tried to introduce him, but Paul Heyman stopped him so that he could do his introduction instead. Heyman did his thing and then said that we were all living in historic times. He said history would be made at Crown Jewel when Brock Lesnar takes the Universal Championship home once again. Heyman then said Lesnar would defeat Braun Strowman and that that statement wasn’t a prediction, but a spoiler. Heyman wrapped up by telling the audience to tune in on Friday because history would be made.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Solid promo from Heyman as usual. Nothing fancy, but direct, to the point, and effective. A bit surprised that Heyman didn’t bring up their last match together. Lesnar beat Strowman handily and he could have easily “went there” as he talked about Lesnar winning being a spoiler. It would have given the babyface Strowman an added hill to climb while acknowledging past history too.
As soon as Heyman stopped talking, Braun Strowman’s music hit and the audience erupted with cheers. Strowman skipped his roar at the top of the ramp and briskly walked to the ring instead to confront Brock Lesnar. Once he got inside, Strowman asked for a microphone and stood face to face with Brock as the audience chanted “get these hands.” From there, Strowman told Lesnar that he would become the new Universal Champion at Crown Jewel because Lesnar was going to “get. these. hands.” As he said those words, the audience cheered and Strowman dropped his mic. He slowly walked up to Lesnar, but Corbin tried to separate them. When Strowman noticed that Corbin touched him, he pushed Corbin out of the way. Corbin tried to attack Strowman from behind, but was hit with a Power Slam for his troubles. Strowman hit Corbin with two additional Power Slams as Lesnar picked up the Universal Title and taunted him with it. After the third, Lesnar caught Strowman from behind and nailed him with an F-5. The audience booed loudly for this and booed even louder as Lesnar held up the Universal Championship afterwards. In the end, as Brock Lesnar walked off, Strowman got to his feet and yelled.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This worked. Brock hit his move on Strowman and the world saw Braun get up from it. The same can’t be said Lesnar and the Power Slam and that is the payoff. This gave away enough physicality to build the match, but kept enough the table to entice fans to tune in. Good stuff.
-After the segment, Michael Cole explained to the audience why the Triple Threat Universal Championship was off at Crown Jewel. He then addressed Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose dedicating their tag team championship match last week to Roman Reigns before cuing up highlights of their celebration which included the Ambrose turn. As the highlights aired, Cole said Ambrose’s attack on Rollins dishonored Roman Reigns.
Heydorn’s Analysis: The announce team went out of their way to use Roman Reigns to fan the flames of emotion for this turn. I was on board with them doing the turn last week to “indirectly” use the Reigns announcement to garner as much heat as possible for Ambrose. This work by the announce team is overkill. I don’t want to see this go down the road of how they used Eddie Guerrero’s name all those years ago.
-When the recap segment ended, Michael Cole said that Seth Rollins was in the building and wanted answers from Ambrose. From there, Finn Balor’s music hit and the audience erupted huge as usual for him. As he continued his entrance, the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Michael Cole cued up a recap video that highlighted Balor’s win over Bobby Lashley from last week. From there, Lio Rush hit the ramp and addressed Finn Balor. He said that Balor got lucky last week and that he didn’t deserve the win because it was a fluke. Rush said that nothing bothered Lashley more than someone with a huge false sense of confidence. Rush then said that “the big man” would beat him tonight before running down the city of Charlotte. Rush ended by introducing his client to a chorus of boos.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Rush toned down being annoying in that promo and it worked much better for him. Rush has an authentic feel to him and this promo tapped into that. If he stays in this lane with Lashley, they can get over as big time heels.
(1) FINN BALOR vs. BOBBY LASHLEY
Once Lashley made it to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. Out of the gate, Lashley manhandled Balor and connected with a series of shoulder tackles before connecting with a sidewalk slam. After hitting it, Lashley posed as Rush chanted his name on the microphone. When he finished up posing, Lashley locked in a submission as Rush continued to chant. Eventually, Balor escaped the hold and hit Lashley with a dropkick. This caused Lashley to roll out of the ring and Balor responded by connecting with his over the top rope dive. After he hit it, the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: So much for Rush not being annoying, huh? Rush doesn’t need this to get heat. He has a natural charisma about him that can do the trick in a less obnoxiously produced way.
After the commercial, Lashley was back in control of the match. He had a neck submission locked in on Balor and then slammed him to the mat. Rush’s commentary continued on the outside of the ring as Lashley went back to the neck submission maneuver. From there, Lashley continued to dominate the match until Balor connected with a boot to the face. He proceeded to hit two forearm shots before nailing Lashley with a double foot stomp. Out of that, Balor connected with a series of chops before attempting a running splash. Lashley countered and dropped Balor with a suplex. After he hit the move, Rush told him to finish up and get what he came for. In response, Lashley tried to hit his delayed vertical suplex, but Balor countered and then hit the Sling Blade. Out of that move, Balor connected with his turnbuckle dropkick, but was then distracted by Rush. Balor climbed to the top rope for the Coup De Gras, but Rush knocked him off. In the end, Balor attempted the move again, but Rush again knocked him off all the way down to the outside mats. This caused the referee to ring the bell.
WINNER: Balor by disqualification
-After the match, Lashley rolled to the outside of the ring and decimated Balor. From there, he rolled Finn into the ring to continue the attack. Rush joined in and slapped Balor in the face a handful of times while saying “you’re messing with Lashley now.” When the attack was over, Rush told Lashley they needed to leave and the two walked back up the ramp. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: The match itself was pretty standard, but the post-match angle was really good and a perfect example of how Rush can get heat for Lashley without being annoying. Lashley looked ferocious as he delivered the beating and Rush sold that ferociousness with a cocky smile. Rush was also able to get ferocious on his own when he slapped Balor in the face. Ultimately, the angle turned the heat way up on the feud and made it a viable mid card program on the show. Well done.
CHECK OUT THE “WWE EVOLUTION” POST-GAME CALL-IN SHOW WITH GREG PARKS INCLUDING AN ON-SITE CORRESPONDENT AND GREG’S ANALYSIS OF EACH MATCH
-Out of the commercial break, Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley were shown walking backstage. Rush said that “he wanted to see us immediatley.” From there, they walked into the training room to meet with Baron Corbin. Corbin told them that what they did to Finn Balor was impressive. Lashley thanked him and then said that his loss the week prior was a fluke. Lashley also said that Balor wasn’t on his level. Corbin responded by saying that Lashley was one of the best in the world and wanted to give Lashley a chance to prove it. From there, Corbin said that Lashley had qualified for the World Cup Tournament at Crown Jewel. Lashley and Rush celebrated and asked who they were replacing. Corbin then announced he would be replacing John Cena.
Heydorn’s Analysis: There it is, folks. Major props to John Cena for keeping his word on the matter of Saudi Arabia. At least someone inside WWE has a conscience.
-After the segment, Young and Graves debated how fair Corbin’s choice was before Michael Cole said that we’d see how it all plays out on Friday at Crown Jewel. From there, Cole and the announce team highlighted WWE Evolution. They discussed the Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella match at length and then announced that at Survivor Series, Ronda Rousey would take on Becky Lynch in a champion vs. champion match. From there, Cole cued up a WWE.com exclusive in which Becky Lynch confronted Ronda Rousey. Each woman had words with the other before Lynch said that “she’d be seeing her soon.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: Why does WWE like to play with fire so much? They’ve batted one thousand with Rousey since she debuted and have built her up as their number one attraction. The match with Becky Lynch is a gross miscalculation on their part. Rousey is massively over, but she isn’t the same type of over as Lynch. Sure, Lynch is written as a heel so the match makes sense on paper, but she isn’t reacted to as a heel by the crowd. Even an extremely over and popular Rousey is unlikely to change that reaction. When she doesn’t, the boo birds could come for Rousey and erode the great work WWE’s done with her to this point.
-When the backstage video was over, Lita’s music hit to a big pop from the audience. Lita was followed by Trish Stratus who got a decent response as well. From there, Natalya, Sasha Banks, and Bayley joined them as their partners in the upcoming ten woman tag team match. All five women did Bayley’s entrance together before the show went to break. (c)
(2) LITA, TRISH STRATUS, SASHA BANKS, NATALYA, & BAYLEY vs. THE RIOTT SQUAD, ALICIA FOX, & MICKIE JAMES
Out of the break, the entire heel team walked to the ring together for the match. Graves and the announce team highlighted the Riott Squad and talked up their performance at Evolution. Once the heels got to the ring, the bell rang and the match began. Trish Stratus and Sarah Logan kicked things off. Stratus nailed Logan with a series of headlock take downs and then took down Liv Morgan with punches. From there, Trish tagged Lita into the match and they hit a double team move on Morgan who was posted up in the corner. Out of that move, Lita connected with her spinning hurricanrana on Morgan. From there, Banks and Bayley got involved with tandem baseball slides and splashes on their opponents who were illegally participating in the match. The show then went to commercial. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: I know this Trish and Lita have been away for a while, but they look slow here. Even Liv Morgan who isn’t the greatest worker in the world is waiting on them in the ring for moves and spots. They are just a step behind.
Out of the break, Mickie James had gained full control of the match over Sasha Banks. Banks worked to escape and gain momentum as the audience cheered, but was knocked back to the mat with punches. Banks attempted to make tags to her team, but each time was unsuccessful and brought back into her opponent’s corner. Team Riott Squad tagged in and out to maintain control. Eventually, Ruby Riott taunted Sasha’s entrance and then charged at her for a splash. Banks countered which caused Riott to crash into her Riott Squad partners. From there, Fox made the blind tag and entered the match. She tried to roll up Banks for a pin, but was unsuccessful. Banks then finally made the hot tag to Natalya. Nattie cleared the ring and decimated Fox with all kinds of offense. From there, the entire match broke down. Trish hit her big moves on Mickie James before Bayley and Lita hit tandem Twist Of Fates on the Riott Squad. From there, Bayley connected with an elbow drop on Ruby Riott before Lita went to the top rope for her moonsault on Morgan. Then, Nattie and Lita hit Fox with a double team before Nattie locked in the Sharpshooter for the win.
WINNER: Banks, Bayley, Natalya, Lita, & Stratus by submission.
-After the match, the winning team celebrated in the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: It was what it was and it worked. Trish and Lita got their spots in and they also showed off some offensive creativity in double teams. No big stories out of this one, but it was a feel good moment for the crowd and the women in the ring coming off of a great event at WWE Evolution the night before.
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-Michael Cole and the announce team recapped the Battle Royal from Evolution. The winner of that Battle Royal, Nia Jax, was then interviewed backstage. She said that she’d be waiting for Ronda Rousey after Ronda makes Becky Lynch tap out to prove that Raw is the dominant brand.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This again? I know its that time of year, but really? Eye roll.
Ember Moon was then brought into the interview. She said that last night she caught lightning in a bottle and was thrilled to make history. As she kept talking she was interuppted by Jax. Jax told Moon that she was impressive, but wasn’t victorious. Nia then asked the interviewer if she wanted to ask her more questions about Ronda Rousey. Moon was clearly offended by those words, but said that she respected Jax. Moon then challenged Nia to a match tonight and Jax accepted.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That felt like seeds planted to me. Moon is an over enough babyface to help Jax turn heel if that is the direction they’re going. With Jax feeling disrespected here, the turn could be upon us sooner than later.
-Cole and the announce team once again highlighted the Dean Ambrose attack on Seth Rollins from last week. Cole then recapped the events between DX and the Brothers Of Destruction from Super Showdown before hyping their Raw appearance. Then, Elias’s guitar strummed for his appearance before the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Elias was introduced and in the middle of the ring. He strummed his guitar as the audience cheered. From there, Elias called himself the living truth. He then did his WWE stands for shtick and said that he got to Charlotte early to hang out with Ric Flair. Elias then said that Flair was happy about what he did to Baron Corbin from last week. Elias then cued up the highlights of those events from last week. Back in the ring, the audience cheered those events and chanted “yes” for Elias. He then said that even though it pains him to break his guitars, breaking it over Corbin’s back felt good. From there, Elias said that he planned on singing a song about Baron Corbin but that Corbin couldn’t join him in the ring. Instead, Elias decided to walk backstage to play the song directly for Corbin. As Elias walked he dissed Dana Brooke to a huge pop before knocking on Corbin’s door. Corbin yelled to go away, so Elias played outside of his door instead. The song prompted Corbin to confront him and Elias continued his song face to face. Eventually, Corbin went back into his locker room and Elias was attacked from behind by Jinder Mahal. After the assault, Corbin announced that Elias would face Mahal in a match. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, this was cheesy in a lot of ways. That said, its clear that Elias is a babyface now, but he didn’t abandon the elements of his gimmick that got him over. He was still arrogant and called himself “the man,” but simply had a different scope and tone to those words. Too often when someone turns babyface in WWE, they lose what brought the audience to their side. Elias maintained that here which is a major story for his character.
(3) ELIAS vs. JINDER MAHAL
Out of the break, the match began. Both men tied up to start things off, but Elias took over with chops and elbows to Mahal’s face. Eventually, Mahal took the momentum of the match and worked the ribs of Elias. Mahal then locked in a reverse chin lock as the announce team played up and sold the beat down that Elias got ahead of the match. From there, Mahal switched his move to an abdominal stretch which prompted the audience to cheer for Elias to escape. Finally, Elias escaped the hold and connected with a flurry of right hands on Mahal in the corner. In the end, Elias connected with the Drifter for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Elias via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A to B match that existed simply to get Elias a babyface win. In that regard, it worked well.
-After the match, the announce team recapped the events earlier in the show between Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar. (c)
-Out of the commercial break, Michael Cole revealed the World Cup brackets for Crown Jewel. The announce team then cued up a video package on Kurt Angle.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Pretty cool video on Angle. He sure has done a lot in the WWE and this video got most of it. Good stuff.
-After the video, a selfie promo aired from Kurt Angle. In it, he said that he’s been hearing what people have said about his chances of winning the World Cup at Crown Jewel. Angle then ran down those people by giving examples of him overcoming the odds in wrestling. Angle then said that winning the World Cup now would mean more to him than anything. He said that his opponents better be ready and that he’s going to Crown Jewel to prove that he is the best in the world.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I’m not a selfie promo fan, but this was really good. Angle left all of his goofy self at the door and spoke about being the best wrestler in the world. This is the Kurt Angle fans know, love, and will get behind. Well done.
-After the selfie promo, The Ascension were shown in the ring. From there, Bobby Roode’s music played for him and Chad Gable. As they did their entrance, a pre-taped promo aired from them. Gable asked Roode how much his robe was and said it was Glorious. AOP entered the ring next with Drake Maverick at their side. As they walked to the ring, the announce team showed clips of AOP beating him all four men who were in the ring. Once AOP was about halfway down the ramp, they were attacked by Gable and Roode. This caused a brawl around the ringside area as the show went to commercial break. (c)
(4) AOP vs. BOBBY ROODE & CHAD GABLE vs. THE ASCENSION
Out of the commercial break, the match was underway and in control. As it carried on, Cole said that it could go a long way in determining who would be in line to challenge next for the tag team titles. The Ascension took control early over Chad Gable. Eventually and quickly, Gable made the tag to Roode. With Roode as the legal man, Gable hit his finisher which allowed Roode to make the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Roode and Gable via pinfall
-After the match, AOP destroyed everything in sight as Cole asked “how do you stop AOP?” They called AOP dangerous as they stood tall in the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Just a nothing match with the wrong winner. AOP clearly are being positioned as the dominant tag team on Raw. If they were just going to destroy everything, why not give them the victory too? Roode and Gable winning in two minutes and then getting massacred does nothing for them anyway.
-Michael Cole recapped the Roman Reigns cancer announcement and then cued up videos of children cancer patients that recorded messages of encouragement for Reigns. These were the same kids that Reigns visited a few months ago. Out of these videos, the audience loudly chanted “Roman.” Cole then cued up another video that recapped last week’s events between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really touching stuff in those videos. Clearly WWE is going to feature Roman Reigns and his fight as a means to enhance what they do for cancer patients around the world. If Reigns is up for that, more power to him, and he is incredibly courageous to do so. That said, Cole cuing up the Rollins/Ambrose stuff so close to Reigns and now the kids supporting him is too much for me. It’s just too close at this point. They did the turn last week and should leave it at that and let the feud work itself out away from the Reigns story.
-After the commercial break, Seth Rollins hit the ring to a large pop from the crowd. Rollins was pumped up as he walked out and the announce team discussed how he felt after being betrayed last week.
Once Rollins got to the ring, he grabbed a microphone and said that he’s experienced a roller coaster of emotions over the last week. He then said he was gracious for all of the support fans have shown Roman Reigns throughout the last week. After he said that, the audience chanted “thank you Roman.” Rollins then said he felt good last week when he became a tag team champion for the third time. From there, he said he also felt said because he should be out celebrating with his friend, but that he couldn’t because Ambrose turned his back on him and the Shield. Rollins then said that that made him feel guilty and questioned whether or not Ambrose turning was his fault. He then went through various reasons as to why Ambrose turned on him, but said that the only man who knew for sure was Ambrose. From there, Rollins said he didn’t call or text Ambrose because he knew he could find Ambrose at Raw. Rollins then called Ambrose out.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Rollins set this up well. He addressed his wide range of emotions, but then showed a human side in questioning what he could have done to cause Ambrose to do this. He came off as a real person here which allowed the audience to really connect and buy in to what he was saying.
Once he did, Ambrose’s music hit, but Dean didn’t appear. Instead, Ambrose appeared in the stands with the fans. Rollins responded by telling Ambrose to stop mocking the Shield and get in the ring to face him man to man. In response, Ambrose did nothing but stare at Rollins in the ring. This angered Rollins a bit and he told Dean that when he stuck the knife in his back 4 years ago, he was able to do it face to face like a man. Ambrose then teased a walk down, but stopped and took a microphone out of his pocket instead. As he did, the audience booed which prompted Dean to pause.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great facial expressions by Ambrose. Dean didn’t have to say a word and you could feel exactly how he wanted you too. Well played on his part.
Because Ambrose didn’t say anything, Rollins called him a cold-hearted bastard. Rollins said that Ambrose spat on the Shield and everything they stood for. He said that Ambrose made it all about him and that he would make Ambrose’s life a living hell. Rollins then called Ambrose a soul-less lunatic and said that if he wouldn’t come down, he’d go up to him and beat an answer out of him. This got a huge pop from the audience, but before Rollins could get up there, Ambrose walked away. Back near the ring, Rollins looked visibly upset and emotional.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A very well executed next chapter in this story. Ambrose torturing Rollins by not giving him an explanation is a nice touch that really helped Ambrose be a heel. Ambrose is a great talker, but is so smooth there that he’s likable. Not talking is the perfect way to remove that from his equation. Rollins played the babyface well and had loads of sympathy. If this segment is an indication of things to come, we’re in for a treat here. Good stuff.
-Bobby Lashley was shown backstage with Lio Rush. Rush spoke for him and said that winning the World Cup would be an added accomplishment for Bobby Lashley and that by winning he would prove that he is the best in the world.
-The announce team showed the World Cup brackets again and talked up the field of the tournament. They then cued up another hype video for DX vs. The Brothers Of Destruction at Crown Jewel.
-After the video, Nia Jax’s music played and Jax walked to the ring for her match against Ember Moon. The show then went to commercial break. (c)
(5) NIA JAX vs. EMBER MOON
Out of the break, Moon made her entrance to a nice reaction. Once she made it down, the bell rang and the match began. To start things off Moon attacked Jax and got some strikes in. From there, she hit a step up enziguri and climbed to the top rope for an Eclipse. Instead, Jax knocked her off. Jax controlled the match from there and stomped Moon before dropping an elbow. After the elbow, Jax made the cover, but Moon kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Jax wore down Moon with a bear hug as the audience cheered Moon on to escape. Eventually she did, but Jax continued the beating by tossing her across the ring. With Moon in the corner, Jax attempted a running shoulder tackle, but Moon moved which sent Jax crashing into the post. This caused Jax to roll to the outside of the ring. Seeing this, Moon hit a flipping senton on Jax before rolling her back into the ring. From there, Tamina hit the ring which caused Jax and Moon to be distracted. Jax ignored Tamina first and decimated Moon with a vicious elbow. Out of that, Jax hit her leg drop and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Jax via pinfall
-After the match, Tamina and Jax went face to face before Tamina walked off.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Not sure where they are going with this. I hope I’m pleasantly surprised. That said, dismissing Ember Moon and treating making her second fiddle to the likes of Tamina is a mistake.
-Michael Cole and the announce team ran down and hyped WWE Crown Jewel from Saudi Arabia.
Heydorn’s Analysis: No mention of Saudi Arabia on their part, but if they are going, they need to own up to it and speak the words. Cowards.
-From there, the show went to break after Michael Cole promoted the upcoming Raw debut of the Lucha House Party. (c)
-Out of the break, the Lucha House Party made their entrance. Kalisto, Gran Metalik, and Lince Dorado all walked to the ring with The Revival waiting.
(6) LUCHA HOUSE PARTY vs. THE REVIVAL
As the Lucha House Party walked to the ring, Renee Young said that they were all about having a good time, but once the bell rang, it was all business. When they got to the ring, the bell did ring, and the match began. Kalisto started things off against Dash and was crushed with chops to the chest. Kalisto then connected with a moonsault to reverse momentum before tagging Dorado into the match. As soon as he entered, Dorado hit a suicide dive before tagging Kalisto back in. Dash quickly took momentum back by hitting a back suplex on Kalisto. It was all Revival form this point forward as Dawson tagged in seamlessly to keep up the offense. In the end, Kalisto was able to battle out and connect with the SDS on Dawson for the win. (c)
WINNER: Lucha House Party via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: It’ll be interesting to see what Lucha House Party can do on Raw. There are elements of their gimmick that will play well on this particular show and the win positions them nicely. What do you say about the Revival at this point? An incredible fall from grace.
-Out of the break, Dolph Ziggler hit the ring for his match with Drew McIntyre at his side. Ziggler got a small response from the audience and as he walked the ramp, the announce team hyped his first round World Cup match against Kurt Angle. Once Ziggler got to the ring, Ziggler addressed the audience and said he had his eyes on the prize. Ziggler then gave the mic to McIntyre who said that now that the Shield is broken, he’s turned his focus to the Universal Championship match at Crown Jewel.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A mission statement from McIntyre. Good stuff and smart given that the run with the Shield is over.
Ziggler the continued by saying that it made no sense for Kurt Angle to say that he’d win the World Cup. Ziggler proceeded to say that he looked up to Kurt Angle. Ziggler then said he would cement his own legacy when he wins the World Cup at Crown Jewel. He then called himself the best to ever set foot in the ring and that he was the best in the world. From there, Apollo Crews made his entrance as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good promo from Ziggler. He didn’t yell and he heelishly conveyed what winning the World Cup would mean for him. Well done.
(7) DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. APOLLO CREWS
Out of the commercial break, the match was underway and the audience was chanting boring. Crews connected with some kicks before he elbowed Ziggler in the face. From there, Crews whipped Ziggler into the ropes and connected with a flying clothesline. Out of that, Crews hit a step up enziguri before attempting a pin. Ziggler kicked out at two and Crews climbed to the top rope right after. Seeing this, Ziggler knocked him off and then took over the match. He attempted a superkick, but it was countered by a Crews overhead suplex. After, Crews hit his standing moonsault and went for the win, but Ziggler kicked out at two. In the end, Ziggler countered a top rope splash by crews and hit the superkick for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Ziggler via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A good match ahead of Ziggler’s World Cup appearance at Crown Jewel. The World Cup concept is silly, but if you’re going to do it, positioning every guy in it in a prominent way is important. WWE did that here with Dolph.
-After the match, a video aired with a message to DX from the Brothers Of Destruction. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: I haven’t been a fan of these videos and I wasn’t a fan of this either. It’s simply too produced for me.
Out of the break, Kane made his entrance. As he did, Cole plugged Crown Jewel once again. After Kane, Undertaker’s music hit and walked out to the ramp to meet his Crown Jewel tag team partner.
Together, both men walked to the ring together as Cole and the announce team talked them up. When they got to the ring, the audience cheered and chanted “Under-taker.” Undertaker paused and then said that when the reaper calls, it’s “your time to go.” Kane then spoke ominous words before Undertaker addressed Crown Jewel and said that he and Kane would take the beaten souls of Triple H and Shawn Michaels to the gates of hell. Taker said it wouldn’t be the end of an era, but the end of their error. Kane then chimed in and summoned Triple H and Shawn Michaels to the ring. “Are You Ready” then blared in the arena and Triple H walked out. He tossed glow sticks to crowd and then realized that HBK wasn’t with him. Kane then walked out of the ring to confront Triple H and left Undertaker alone. Then from behind, HBK hit Sweet Chin Music on Undertaker and rolled out to join his partner on the ramp. DX stared holes through Kane with Undertaker laying on the mat. Undertaker then sat up and got to his feet to join the stare down as the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: So much fluff involved in this feud. If you can even call it that. We know that they are fighting each other, but WWE has not done a good job in telling us why. It’s happening and with that being the only thing to work off of, I suppose this worked. At the same time, this entire thing is hanging on by a thread and if it is the only match Shawn Michaels will have, it’s a shame.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 10/22: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including the Reigns cancer announcement, final Evolution hype, Rousey/Bella contract signing, and more