SETH AS VOICE OF THE FANS…
Recap: The show began with Seth Rollins in the ring. He called Baron Corbin out to the ring. Seth accused him of abusing his power and making the entire show about him.
Seth then began to channel the frustrations many fans have had with the show. He criticized Corbin for putting a talented team like the Revival in Lucha House Party Rules matches. He criticized the Drake Maverick urine segments. He even brought up record low ratings.
Seth went on to say all of Corbin’s decisions are to mask his own insecurities. He then turned to Corbin’s support for Brock Lesnar, an absentee chanmpion. He mentioned that Brock hasn’t had a match on Raw since 2002.
Corbin responded that he didn’t care what Seth or the fans thought. He said things would get worse for Seth as time went on. After Corbin mentioned his scheduled TLC match on Sunday, Seth challenged him to a TLC match immediately. When Corbin declined, Seth repeatedly called him a coward until he finally accepted.
In a backstage interview, Seth said he was taking a stand against Corbin because he’s a leader.
In the main event, referee Heath Slater knocked Seth off of the ladder and attempted to help Corbin up the ladder, presumably to save his job. Seth recovered in time to powerbomb Corbin from the ladder into a table. Seth followed that up with a superkick to Slater and Curb Stomp to Corbin before climbing the ladder for the win.
Evaluation: The open segment was fascinating. The writers took “smart” fan criticisms of the recent episodes of the show, packaged them up, and turned them into heel heat for the GM. They even went so far as to mention the absurd Lucha House Party matches, even though that involved face Seth criticizing face Lucha House Party to put over heels (the Revival). It worked, as Corbin was heavily booed.
Ultimately the show still had too much Baron Corbin.
Forecast: Hopefully this means the writing on Raw will be changing direction. The AOP match didn’t involve any urine references and there were no matches under Lucha House Party rules, so we’re off to a good start.
NEW TAG CHAMPIONS…
Recap: Chad Gable and Bobby Roode had a rematch against Authors of Pain for the tag titles. It was announced that Corbin had made it a handicap match, adding Drake Maverick to the heel team.
Toward the end of the match, AOP put Bobby Roode down as part of a neckbreaker/powerbomb combo. Drake Maverick begged to be tagged in for the pin. Drake celebrated over Roode, mocking his “Glorious” taunt. Roode took advantage of the delay by rolling up Drake for the win.
The new champions did have a goofy backstage interview later, closing by saying they felt “glorious.”
Evaluation: Having Gable and Roode win on a fluke does nothing to help them look strong. Then again, no tag teams are booked seriously so they’re not necessarily slotted low on the tag team totem pole.
At least there was no urine.
Forecast: Gable and Roode will probably hold the title for a month or two as a goofy comedy act. Eventually Gable annoys Roode and they split.
NOT A LUNATIC…
Recap: In a backstage segment, Charly Caruso interviewed Dean Ambrose. When she introduced him as the “Lunatic Fringe,” he told her to never use that nickname again. When asked how Roman Reigns would feel about the split between he and Seth, Dean responded, “Roman? Who cares?” Charly then showed Dean a clip of the emotional reaction to Roman’s announcement, followed by clips of Dean’s more recent behavior. He walked away from her without saying a word.
After Seth’s main event win, Dean appeared on the ramp for a stare down.
Evaluation: Dean’s promo was pretty good. He was believable by avoiding the silly stuff about the fans smelling.
Forecast: Renee mentioned something tonight about Dean becoming Intercontinental Champion being good for her household, so I still think something is coming there.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – RAW 12/3: Ronda Partners, Dolph and Drew Split, Dean Keeps Up the Insults