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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
NOVEMBER 26, 2018
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
-The show began with Baron Corbin in the ring with Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre, and Lio Rush. Corbin welcomed the audience to the show and made fun of the fans for eating Thanksgiving food. Corbin then said he was thankful for the job he’s done as Raw GM. Lashley said he was thankful for beta-males. McIntyre wrapped up and said he was thankful for the beating the three of them gave to Braun Strowman last week. Corbin agreed and then cued up a recap video of what happened.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ripping on the fans for eating Thanksgiving food? NOW they’ve crossed a line.
When the video ended, the arena crowd was loudly booing. Corbin acknowledged them and said that Braun Strowman wouldn’t be seen on Raw for a very long time. He then played a video of Braun Strowman ahead of getting surgery on his injured elbow. Strowman said he was in Birmingham, but would rather be in Milwaukee to hand out payback. Strowman said that he would come back 100% and that all three would “get these hands.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: I really liked that video promo from Strowman. He addressed the severity of his injury, but also presented it as out of this world. That went well with his character. Then, he defined his mission and the retribution he’d get upon his return. A minor gripe is that he failed to mention his quest for the Universal Championship. I’m nitpicking there though. Really good stuff.
The audience chanted “get these hands” after the video and Corbin said that there was no way that Braun Strowman would be medically cleared to wrestle at TLC. He said that the match would still be on for TLC and that he’d win by forfeit. To that end, he said he would become the official General Manager of Raw and that every superstar would need to determine whether or not they’d be with him or against him. At that point, the lights went out and Elias introduced himself to a cheering crowd. He said he couldn’t sit in the back any longer and had to play a guitar riff for the crowd. He proceeded to do so and then did his typical Elias shtick. From there, Elias said that anyone would be better than Baron Corbin as the Raw GM. Elias then called Bobby Lashley, Bobby “Trashy,” before singing a song about him. The song made fun of Lashley’s butt pose and then transitioned to a sing along of “Bobby Lashley sucks.” The audience ate it up and cheered as Elias walked down to the ring for his match. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Kind of a flat way to start the show. The combination of Corbin and Lashley felt over rehearsed and the fact that a star like Drew McIntyre was along for that ride is a miscalculation on the part of WWE.
(1) BOBBY LASHLEY w/ Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre vs. ELIAS
Out of the break, the bell rang and the match began. Lashley backed down Elias to start things off and Elias responded by nailing Lashley with a slew of chops to the chest. Lashley battled back by hitting Elias with some shoulder tackles in the corner before covering, but Elias kicked out at two. Out of the pin, the announce team debated whether or not Elias was a beta-male as Lashley locked in a sleeper hold. Eventually, Elias broke the hold and dodged another shoulder tackle that sent Lashley to the outside of the ring. Elias capitalized and proceeded to connect with a dropkick through the ropes. The action spilled back into the ring and when it did, Lashley took over and connect with a round of furious punches that he capped off with a clothesline. After the clothesline, Lashley locked in a second sleeper hold.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good commentary on Bobby Lashley here. They addressed his change and related it back to Lio Rush. Sure, we needed this analysis weeks ago, but I’ll take it. It defined Lashley well and made sense of his relationship with Rush.
Soon after the hold was put in place, Elias broke it and dropkicked Lashley into the corner. Elias then hit a few more chops before being sent out of the ring. While he was out there, he was distracted by Drew McIntyre and Corbin. As he worked to get back into the ring, Lashley slammed him against the metal ring post. From there, the show went to commercial break. (c)
Right out of the break, Elias took control of the match after hitting Lashley with a mule kick. He then pounded on Lashley in the corner before connecting with a jumping high knee. After, Elias climbed to the top rope and hit Lashley with his top rope elbow drop. From there, Elias went for the pin and as the referee was going to count three, Lio Rush pulled him out of the ring. After the ref rang the bell, Corbin announced that he forgot to mention that the match was a no disqualification match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A little too predictable. We’ve seen this from Corbin before, but it didn’t seem to generate extra heat for him then and didn’t now either.
After the announcement, the commentary turned to whether or not Corbin was ethical in his decision. Young called it an attack on Raw’s values and Graves chimed in to defend it. From there, Elias brought a guitar into the ring, but it was discarded by Corbin. Corbin destroyed the guitar and then he, along with McIntyre and Lashley, decimated Elias all around the ringside area. The audience booed loudly as the punishment reigned in on Elias. At that point, McIntyre connected with the Claymore Kick before nailing him with a reverse Alabama Slam into the steel steps. Next, Lashley hit a running spear before posing to the crowd. Lashley then rolled Elias back into the ring as Michael Cole called the events a disturbing display of power. Once Lashley had Elias in the middle of the ring, he made the pin for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Lashley via pinfall
-After the match, Lashley celebrated in the ring with Corbin and McIntyre. The announce team then hyped other matches on the show including Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin, AOP vs. Gable and Roode, and an IC championship open challenge by Seth Rollins. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Pretty much a paint by numbers match and segment with the goal being to get heat on this trio of heels. I suppose they succeeded at that goal, but it just felt like we’ve seen this type of thing for weeks on end now. What’s the payoff? Silver lining is how Elias sold this beat down. He drew some nice sympathy and played his babyface cards nicely.
-Out of the commercial break, Baron Corbin was berating a stagehand for turning the lights off while he was talking. Corbin then fired the stagehand before being approached by Alexa Bliss. Bliss said she was ready to help Corbin with anything he needed and he said he needed help running the Raw Women’s Division. Corbin then asked if Alexa Bliss would run it and she obliged. Corbin finished by saying that she looked good and he looked good before shaking hands.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I’m interested in Alexa Bliss running the women’s division on Raw. I’ll give WWE that. What’s with the strange comment from Corbin on their looks though? Totally out of the blue and made no sense. It’s that kind of stuff that needs to be cleaned up on a week to week basis.
-After the Corbin/Bliss segment, a recap video aired that highlighted the events between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins from last week. After the video, Ambrose was addressed the crowd from a doctors office. He said he wasn’t in Milwaukee and was glad about it before making fun of the Milwaukee crowd. He called the audience vermin like Rollins and said that he needed protection from them both. From there, Dean Ambrose got shots for various diseases and said that there was no cure for the sickness in the soul of Seth Rollins. He said that at TLC, he would do the merciful thing and put him out of his misery. After the segment, Graves and Cole asked Renee Young where Ambrose’s head was at and she annoyingly shrugged them off.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This bordered on too much on the goofy Ambrose side of things. He got laughs from the audience which is counter productive to the evil, unhinged character he’s looking to play. It also waters down the utilization of Roman Reigns. How can you appallingly use that as a story one week and then have Ambrose joke around in a doctors office a week later?
-The Lucha House Party made their way to the ring as the show went to commercial break. (c)
(2) THE REVIVAL vs. LUCHA HOUSE PARTY
Out of the break, The Revival hit the ring. They made excuses for their match last week and said that the Lucha House Party doesn’t understand tag team rhetoric. They then made fun of the lucha chant and the audience responded doing the chant. From there, they told LHP that they wanted a rematch and the match began. As it started, the ring announcer said that the match would take place under “Lucha House Rules.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: The Lucha House Rules apparently state that they can have a 3-2 advantage? They are supposed to the babyface here. Having a 3-2 advantage hurts all babyface psychology.
Out of the gate, the Lucha House Party took control of the match with their high flying offensive attacks. Eventually, Dash and Dawson took over and cornered Kalisto with strikes and traditional submission holds. Finally, and after using the LHP rules to their advantage, each member of LHP hit their finisher before making the pin for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Lucha House Party via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: How is something like that fun to watch? It’s high flying action just for the sake of doing it. The entire thing made no sense and then where it all led to made even less sense. Eye roll.
-After the match, Graves ranted on the merits of the Lucha House Rules before the announce team cued up a recap of Nia Jax hurting Becky Lynch ahead of Survivor Series. They then said Nia Jax would address the crowd after the break. (c)
-Out of the commercial break, a hype video aired for Lars Sullivan.
-From there, Nia Jax hit the ring with Tamina to a very loud, negative, reaction from the audience. Jax said that the Raw roster was thankful for her leading team Raw to victory at Survivor Series. Jax then said that she’s most thankful for breaking Becky Lynch’s face.
She then said that “the man” was not good enough to get through the “face breaker.” At that point, Jax began to run down Ronda Rousey and said that since their match at Money In The Bank, her career has gone down the toilet.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This is embarrassing for Jax. It truly sounds like she’s reading her promo and feels totally disengaged from the words she’s saying. Not a good look at all.
Jax then cued up videos of her beating up Ronda Rousey at Money In The Bank and Charlotte Flair beating her up at Survivor Series. After the video, Jax made fun of Ronda making claims as champion. She said that the top of the mountain belonged to her as the audience booed. From there, Ronda Rousey hit the ring to a nice reaction from the crowd. Rousey smiled on the ramp and then high fived people on her way to the ring. Once she got to the ring, Ronda began to speak, but paused as the crowd chanted her name. She then started again and said that Jax earned her title opportunity. Rousey said that she was lucky with what she did to Becky Lynch but that her luck will run out at TLC. Rousey said at TLC, she would break Jax’s arm and then slap Charlotte Flair with it. Rousey finished up by saying that she felt like fighting tonight though and challenged Jax to a match. The audience cheered loudly, but Jax said that she was not going to things that way. From there, Jax and Tamina surrounded Rousey, but Natalya’s music hit to even the odds. As Nattie ran to the ring to make the save, she was assaulted by the Riott Squad. As they beat Nattie up, Rousey helped fend them off and picked Nattie up as the segment ended.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Calling that segment disjointed would be an understatement of a lifetime. Jax was all over the place, seemed disinterested, and lacked authenticity throughout the entire promo. Rousey was a bit better and save the segment from totally sinking, but even she seemed to forget her lines at times. They need a redo on this one.
-The announce team recapped the events between the team of Chad Gable and Bobby Roode. From there, Drake Maverick addressed the audience in a promo and said that 90 percent of them have not experience real fear. He said it was true fear of the Big Show that made him lose control of his bodily functions. Maverick then said that he’s make Gable and Roode feel that fear during their match with AOP. (c)
-Out of the commercial break, AOP made their entrance with Drake Maverick at their side.
(3) AOP w/ Drake Maverick vs. CHAD GABLE & BOBBY ROODE – WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match
After their entrance, Gable and Roode were interviewed backstage. They said that they enjoyed laughs, but this opportunity is what they’ve been working for. They said they became a team to win the tag titles and make the tag team division glorious.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Finally, some seriousness from these guys.
From there, Gable and Roode made their way to the ring and the match began. Out of the gate, AOP owned the match with their physicality. Roode and Gable showed flashes of offense, but it all came back to AOP keeping the upper hand. After AOP connected with a double suplex on Roode and Gable, Drake Maverick stole Roode’s robe and mocked him with a glorious chant. The show then went to a commercial break. (c)
Out of the break, the action continued as Maverick was shown backstage with Roode’s robe on. From there, the hot tag to Roode was made and Roode cleared the ring before attempting the Blockbuster on Akam. Akam countered the move and hit Roode with a fall away slam instead. In the end, the scene cut back to Drake Maverick who urinated on Roode’s robe. When he was finished, he said that felt Glorious. Back in the ring and after the distraction, AOP connected with their finisher on Roode and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: AOP via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: So, how serious was that match for you Bobby Roode? You were distracted because of your robe? So, you care more about the robe than you do the tag team titles. Got it.
-After the match, Sasha Banks and Bayley were shown backstage. They were approached by Alexa Bliss and Bliss thanked them for helping her team win at Survivor Series. Banks dismissed Bliss and Bliss responded by giving them an open forum to interact with the WWE Universe in the middle of the ring later in the show.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This had “bad” written all over it. I’m worried, folks.
-Ember Moon’s entrance hit and she made her way to the ring to a nice reaction from the audience. (c)
-Out of the break, a selfie promo aired from Finn Balor. He addressed Baron Corbin and said that he got his message loud and clear. He said that he may be sacrificing his career by going against Baron Corbin, but he would fight to be on the right side of history.
(4) EMBER MOON vs. ALICIA FOX
After the Balor video, Alicia Fox made her entrance. She got a very small reaction from the crowd and as she walked down to the ring, Michael Cole hyped the upcoming Mixed Match Challenge playoffs. Once Fox got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. Out of the gate, Fox owned Moon and hit her with a neckbreaker before locking in a sleeper hold submission. As this happened, Alexa Bliss was shown watching backstage. Eventually, Moon hit Fox with a vertical suplex before nailing her with the Eclipse and covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Moon via pinfall
-After the match, Moon celebrated with her MMC partner, Curt Hawkins. As they celebrated, No Way Jose’s music hit and he and the conga line moved down to the ring. Moon and Hawkins joined the line as the show went to break ahead of Mahal vs. Jose. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: A nothing match. Plain and simple. The commentary on Bliss was interesting though. Cole was flabbergasted that Alexa Bliss was in charge and part of the active Raw roster. No mention of the fact that Baron Corbin has been featured in the exact same way for months.
(5) JINDER MAHAL vs. NO WAY JOSE
After the commercials, the match began. Mahal owned the early part of the match, but that momentum was halted as Jose rolled him up for a two count pin. Out of the pin, Mahal took over again and decimated Jose with strikes before grounding him with a sleeper hold. Out of that, he hit Jose with a suplex before going for a pin. Jose kicked out at two. In the end, Jose got in some last second offense, but Mahal countered it into the Collous for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Mahal via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: It felt as if this existed simply to take up time. No story. No excitement. Nothing.
-After the match, the announce recapped Dean Ambrose getting vaccinated in a doctors office earlier in the show. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Yes, that sentence is real.
-Out of the break, Seth Rollins hit the ring to a massive pop from the Milwaukee crowd. Once he got to the ring, he picked up a microphone and welcomed everyone to Monday Night Rollins.
He said he hadn’t been himself lately and said that his fans deserve better. He said it was time to get back to doing what he does best which is being a fighting champion. From there, he called Dean Ambrose a liar and coward, but that he didn’t care because he is Seth Freaking Rollins. Rollins then opened up the IC open challenge and awaited his opponent.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Solid babyface promo from Rollins there. Good stuff.
Dolph Ziggler’s music hit and he walked to the ramp.
Heydorn’s Analysis: It can’t be real can it?
He addressed Rollins and said that he hasn’t been the same since Ambrose turned on him. Ziggler said that if Rollins was going back to being him, he’s have to start by losing to him. Ziggler then said that he’ll beat Rollins and become the Intercontinental Champion. From there, Ziggler walked into the ring and official announcements were made for the match.
(6) DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. SETH ROLLINS – WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
After the bell rang, the match began with a tie up in the middle of the ring. The audience chanted “lets go Rollins” as the announce team reminded viewers that Rollins lost his title to Ziggler because of an open challenge before. Back in the ring, Rollins threw Ziggler over the top rope as the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, Ziggler owned full momentum of the match over Rollins. He connected with a neckbreaker and then locked in a sleeper hold as the audience chanted for Rollins. Seth attempted to break free a handful of times, but each time was grounded by the sleeper. Finally, Rollins did escape, but was quickly knocked to the mat with a dropkick. Ziggler continued to keep momentum and stalked Rollins into the corner before slamming his face off of the top turnbuckle. After, Ziggler locked in a sleeper again as the announce team called Rollins a broken architect.
Heydorn’s Analysis: The commentary team is selling the Rollins narrative here. Good on them to tell that story and it could end up being something we see play out all the way to a big win at WrestleMania.
Back in the ring, Rollins broke the hold, but was tossed over the top rope by Ziggler as the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, Rollins worked to gain momentum back. He hit Ziggler with the Sling Blade and followed that with a step up enziguri. From there, Rollins connected with a springboard clothesline before covering for a two count near fall. Right after the pin attempt, Rollins climbed to the top rope, but was knocked off balance by Ziggler. Ziggler then climbed up after him and attempted a superplex. Rollins countered by knocking Ziggler off and followed by attempting his Frog Splash. Ziggler countered by rolling out of the way and hit his Fame-Asser on Rollins instead. Out of that move, Ziggler made a cover, but Rollins kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Ziggler looked to hit a DDT on Rollins, but Rollins countered it into a roll up. Ziggler kicked out at two and then laid in another sleeper hold on Rollins. Eventually, Rollins escaped and nailed Dolph with a superkick before making a two count pin. Out of that pin, Rollins attempted two Stomps, but each time Dolph evaded it. Ziggler then hit Rollins with the Zig-Zag before covering, but Rollins kicked out at two.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Nice sequence there. These guys have some great chemistry.
Out of the pin, Ziggler cued up his finisher, as Rollins collapsed to the mat. Ziggler then taunted Rollins, but Rollins rolled him up for a pin. Ziggler kicked out at two and then nailed Rollins with the DDT that he had countered earlier in the match. In the end, Rollins nailed Ziggler with a top rope suplex and used his momentum to hit the Falcon Arrow right after. From there, he covered Ziggler and got the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Rollins via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: All in all, that was a really good TV match. The entire thing was a disappointment from the start because of the fact that Ziggler was the open challenge opponent. Just more of the same that got everything off to a very negative and been there, done that start.
-After the match, Seth Rollins celebrated in the ring. Alexa Bliss was then shown backstage getting ready for her open forum segment with Bayley and Sasha Banks. (c)
-Out of the break, Alexa Bliss hit the ring. Once she got to the ring, she announced again that she had been put in charge of the women’s division. Bliss said she opened a forum for Sasha and Bayley because she wanted the fans to really get to know the women’s division on Raw. From there, Bliss introduced Sasha Banks and Bayley. Both got a nice reaction from the audience. Once they got to the ring, Bliss trolled some fans while looking for questions. Finally, she found someone in the audience to get a question from. They were asked what they would change about the Raw women’s division. Bayley answered by saying she wanted more opportunities and Banks stated she would ship Alexa Bliss back to SmackDown. Bliss responded by saying Banks should want Bayley shipped elsewhere because she’s brought Banks down. Bayley then said she disagreed with Sasha and thought that Bliss should be shipped back to hell where she came from. Then, Banks and Bayley were attacked from behind by Alicia Fox, Mickie James, and Dana Brooke. Banks and Bayley cleaned house and stood tall in the ring as Bliss walked up the ramp. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: So that was, yeah. This was an attempt to get heat on Alexa Bliss, but the entire thing was silly. Bayley laughed as she delivered her final line. You can’t effectively get heat with that kind of thing going on.
-Out of the break, Finn Balor hit the ring to a nice pop from the crowd.
(7) FINN BALOR vs. BARON CORBIN
Balor did his full entrance as the announce team debated Baron Corbin’s accomplishments as Raw General Manager. Corbin walked out next. Once Corbin got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. Out of the gate, Corbin took over with power strikes before locking in a chin lock. Each time Balor tried to escape, Corbin broke him down. Finally, Balor took over the match after nailing Corbin with a running dropkick. After that, Balor capitalized and connected with a series of stomps that sent Corbin to the outside of the ring. From there, Balor nailed Corbin with a running Pele Kick as the show went to commercial break. (c)
Out of the break, Corbin had regained control of the match and was dominating Balor and beating him up around the ringside area. The action spilled back into the ring, but Corbin kept up control after nailing Balor with a knee to the chest. From there, Balor attempted to regain control, but Corbin ended the momentum by delivering a stiff clothesline to Balor in the middle of the ring. As the beat down continued, the audience chanted “Corbin sucks.” In the end, Balor went for the Coup De Gras, but Corbin countered by rolling out of the ring. Corbin then grabbed a microphone and changed the match into a 2 on 1 handicap match. He announced it would now be Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre vs. Balor. In response, Balor nailed McIntyre with a suicide dive before taking Corbin out. Eventually, the numbers were too strong for Balor to overcome and McIntyre nailed him with the Claymore Kick for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: McIntyre and Corbin via pinfall
-After the match, Bobby Lashley walked out to join Corbin and McIntyre. Together, all three men beat down Balor in the middle of the ring as the audience booed.
Heydorn’s Analysis: The idea here is to get heat on Baron Corbin and his regime of Lashley and McIntyre. To that end, I suppose it worked. That said, the attempt was cookie cutter and lacked creativity. A sentiment that could be attributed to most segments on tonight’s show.