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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 7, 2019
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Dio Maddin, Jerry Lawler
-They opened with a video recap of last week’s Raw main event between Rusev and Seth Rollins ending with Bobby Lashley walking out and making out with Lana. They spliced in footage of the Lana-Rusev wedding and other instances of them being affectionate toward each other.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s telling they chose not to open the show by drawing attention to the finish of the Hell in a Cell Universal Title match debacle from last night.)
-The new Raw opening aired with “Legendary” by Skillet.
-They cut right to the ring where Randy Orton and King Corbin were stomping away at Rusev. The announcers were in a frenzied state. Rusev elbowed Orton, so Orton and Corbin bailed out. Joseph said they were supposed to be featured Rusev vs. Orton. Then Lashley showed up on the big screen smiling. He said it doesn’t look like he’s having a good time at all. Lashley showed off a white robe he was wearing. He spun around. He said it’s Rusev’s robe, and he looks great in it. He said that means he’s probably at Rusev’s house. The camera panned back and showed it was apparently Rusev’s bed. Lashley took off his robe and was in shorts. He crawled under the covers. The camera panned left and revealed a smiling Lana. She was wearing very little and took off her robe and crawled into bed and got affectionate with Lashley. Lana said, “Everything we own is now in my name. And we don’t have a joint checking accounts anymore. It’s all mine!” Rusev looked to be on the verge of crying. Lana acted like she could see Rusev through the camera. “Rusev, it looks like you’re not having fun, but we are.” Lana then moved her shoulder straps and cuddled up with Lashley.
-Back live, Rusev wiped away a tear. Lawler said this was the most uncomfortable thing he’s ever seen. Orton and Corbin were laughing at Rusev. Joseph said this isn’t a laughing matter at all. Rusev noted Orton and Corbin were laughing and he got fuming mad and he tackled Corbin at ringside, then Orton. He bashed them with the ringside steps. Then he threw Orton into the ringpost and gave a Machka Kick to Corbin. Then he kicked Orton. Not one of the announcers called it by its name, which was strange. Joseph said they were supposed to have Orton vs. Rusev. Lawler said everyone can relate to what is going through Rusev’s mind right now.
-They went to Joseph, Maddin, and Lawler. Lawler said he wanted to go help him. They hyped Tyson Fury was there to confront Braun Strowman. Also, Miz TV with Becky Lynch and Charlotte, plus Lynch & Charlotte vs. The Kabuki Warriors and Lacey Evans vs. Natalya in a Last Woman Standing match. [c]
(Keller’s Analysis: Still no mention of Hell in a Cell of The Fiend. Usually Vince McMahon’s instinct is to be defiant in the face of criticism. This appears to be a retreat. That opening segment was uncomfortable, but not in an entertaining way. By the way, it’d be nice if WWE told us who Dio Maddin is why anyone should care what he has to say about what happens on Raw, since his announcing so far is not exactly “speaking for itself.” He’s like Percy Watson early on NXT TV when he didn’t know what to say or when to say it and mostly stayed silent. There’s no discernible personality yet, but it’s early.)
-A commercial aired for NXT with a clip of Finn Balor and a few other NXT stars, but it was otherwise generic.
(Keller’s Analysis: You’d think they’d be pushing some specifics for NXT this week after the far distant second it placed to AEW on Wednesday. I guess if they act like they don’t care all the much, it’s less embarrassing if the ratings gap remains or grows. I’d like to see them put up more of an effort to get people excited about what is planned for NXT this week.)
-Evans stood at ringside in front of a metal trash can with Natalya painted on it. She said she’s going to take Natalya out like the trash she is.
(1) NATALYA vs. LACEY EVANS – Last Woman Standing match
Natalya took it to Lacey aggressively from the start. Lacey made a comeback and swung Natalya hard into the ringside barricade. The ref counted to eight. Natalya stood. Lacey kicked her. Lacey pulled a table out from under the ring. (GRAB A SLEDGEHAMMER. IT’S NO DQ MATCH! Oh, never mind.) Then shoved it back under the ring. Hmmm. Strange. Lacey threw Natalya into the ringside steps instead. [c]
Back live, Lacey threw Natalya into the time keeper’s area. She hit Natalya with a kendo stick. Lacey beat up Natalya while she sat on an office chair. This methodical pace continued with a move or two by Lacey with a weapon, then the ref slowly counting toward ten, then Natalya standing. Lacey hit Natalya with a trash can full of food waste. She climbed onto the ringside barricade and took way too long, leaving Natalya to stand waiting for he dive for too long. Then when she dove, Natalya bumped early and Lacey practically entirely missed her. Lacey then threw Natalya onto the new stage set. She slid down on the slope part. Then they went to the Raw announce table. Lacey threw Natalya into it, then cleared the desk and put Natalya on top of it. Lacey then suplexed Natalya on it. Natalya made a comeback and powerbombed Lacey off the stage onto a table below. Lacey landed in the right spot to break the table right down the middle. The ref made it to ten as Natalya gasped for her breath on the stage.
WINNER: Natlaya in 17:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m not a fan of the Last Man/Woman Standing format, and this didn’t sway me. This is a Raw between a PPV and the draft, so there’s not a lot storyline-wise they can do, so this is the type of show I anticipated – matches longer than would otherwise happen and longer than should be.)
-They cut to Tyson Fury with his wife and three young kids backstage. Joseph said he was up next.
-A commercial aired for the WWE Draft on Smackdown on Friday later this week. [c]
-A breast cancer awareness message was read by Joseph as they showed the Susan G. Komen logo on the stage.
-Aleister Black sat in front of a black blackdrop. He said he is as unforgiving as fire and as cold and permanent as death. He said he is forever restless, so he challenged someone to knock on his door.
-The Street Profits, still without any explanation, are shown hanging out backstage to comment on the show’s happenings so far and the upcoming draft. They did a “scouting report.” They commented on Apollo Crews, Buddy Murphy, and Drake Maverick. When Angelo Dawkins said Drake is like a 40 year old virgin, Montez Ford said he’s probably not a virgin, he just hasn’t consummated his marriage.
(Keller’s Analysis: Raw has become a show where characters are debating whether Drake is a virgin? And is there a worse way to hype The Draft than to list those three names, who have been largely discarded or diminished in recent months.)
-Then they threw to Tyson Fury and Strowman interacting at Smackdown, with Joseph and Lawler saying they thought Fury was just being playful. But then Braun triggered Fury’s temper and he jumped the barricade. They showed some headlines from major corporate media sites such as Yahoo! and USA Today touting the angle with Fury.
FYI, if you aren’t familiar with Tyson Fury’s background, here’s a snippet of the controversial aspect of WWE’s latest hire, featured on Friday Night Smackdown on Fox last Friday. This is from The Independent in the UK last December (FULL STORY LINK)
Fury has rarely been shy in expressing his backwards beliefs. In a 2013 interview, Fury claimed that he would hang his sister if he deemed her to be promiscuous, and has said he believes that “a woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back.”
In the build up to his 2015 fight with Wladimir Klitschko, Fury likened homosexuality to paedophiliaand explained that he believes the legalisation of homosexuality and abortion are two of the “three things that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home.”
These comments derailed his hopes of winning Sports Personality of the Year crown back in 2015 but a year later he told fans: “Everyone just do what you can, listen to the government follow everybody like sheep, be brainwashed by all the Zionist, Jewish people who own all the banks, all the papers all the TV stations. Be brainwashed by them all,” before comparing the existence of transgender peopleto the practice of bestiality, claiming sexual relations with animals would be legalised within 10 years.
Though Fury’s supporters will point out that he has apologised for these incidents, it means little to the people from these communities when he often doubles down on his statements and only offers vague, unconvincing apologies when faced with immense public pressure.
When quizzed about his various comments by ITV back in April of this year, Fury refused the chance to show remorse, telling the interviewer: “No comment. Don’t even go there,” before announcing the interview “terminated” following a question about his doping ban.
-Charly Caruso interviewed Fury. She asked why he’s provoking Strowman. Fury said he’s not provoking him, but he felt Braun tried to make a fool out of him by throwing Ziggler into him, and then he made a mistake by jumping over the barricade. Fury said if he doesn’t get an apology, Strowman will “get these hands.”
-The Viking Raiders made their ring entrance. [c]
-A commercial aired for NXT, the generic one that’s been airing showing big moves and Triple H declaring “We Are… NXT.”
(2) DOLPH ZIGGLER & ROBERT ROODE vs. THE VIKING RAIDERS
(Keller’s Analysis: So before the break the Viking Raiders were coming out, but they didn’t say against whom. It turned out it’s against the Raw Tag Team Champs. Wouldn’t that be worth mentioning before the break? Shouldn’t that be framed as a big deal? I’m not saying it is actually a big deal, but part of the reason for that is instances like this when the tag titles and tag champs aren’t presented as a big deal.)
Lawler said with the draft coming up, everyone wants to put themselves in the best light to be a top pick in the draft. Lawler said Roode and Ziggler could get drafted to opposite brands. Joseph said you can’t blame Fox or USA for wanting the best on their show. They cut to a break about seven minutes in.
(Keller’s Analysis: The worst thing you can do if you’re WWE is actually talk the logic behind the draft, not because a draft couldn’t be presented logically, but because WWE doesn’t explain at all how it works and who’s picking for each show, so when they start talking about these details, history suggests there’s nothing about how it’s presented next week that will match their conversation and speculation. Vince & Co. have never been consistent or clear regarding how this works. It’s interesting to hear them implying here that the executives with USA and Fox are actually conducting the draft. Is this the last we’ll hear of that or the beginning of WWE running with that?) [c]
Ivar got a hot tag and eventually the Raiders finished Ziggler with a Viking Experience finisher.
WINNERS: The Viking Raiders in 17:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Too long without much sign of crowd enthusiasm start to finish. This match was “snuck” onto the show without hyping it in the opening when they previewed their biggest scheduled matches. That framed it as something less than it could have been had the announcers enthusiastically hyped that the Viking Raiders would have a chance to earn a future tag team title match against the tag champs. Of course, that doesn’t undo that this was yet the latest example of a champion losing to the challengers in a non-title match on TV, which WWE falls back on way too often. This show just feels creatively bankrupt so far, like WWE is just shell-shocked by the backlash against Hell in a Cell last night – which, by the way, they haven’t mentioned yet.)
-Black then said he was going to head down to the ring to see who wants to pick a fight with him.
-A commercial for Crown Jewel IN SAUDI ARABIA aired focused on Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair as team captains.
(Keller’s Analysis: The ad did not mention the event was taking place in Saudi Arabia, or even a general reference that it was in the Middle East. WWE clearly knows that’s toxic to mention, but they’re still taking their money, as are Hogan and Flair and other highly-paid special attractions whose mere presence at the events sends a message that they’re okay with that country’s controversial policies and leadership and actions.) [c]
-Samir & Sunil Singh stood in the ring and claimed they were 205 Live’s greatest tag team, but they are back on Raw and making their case that they should be a top draft pick. They were about to sing a Bollywood song when Black’s entrance began.
(3) ALEISTER BLACK vs. SUNIL & SAMIR SINGH – Two-on-One match
Black withstood a brief two-on-one attack, landed a Black Mass, and scored a submission win.
WINNER: Black in 1:00.
-The announcers threw to a highlight package of Smackdown on Fox.
-Backstage they showed Strowman talking to someone a lot short than him. They were very emotive. [c]
-Caruso interviewed Braun backstage about Fury. He said he was just trying to have some fun, “but if he wants to get all serious, so will I.” He said if he wants an apology, he better ask nicely, because he can pack a good punch himself. He closed with, “He might get these hands.”
-The announcers talked about the headlines WWE received from Premiere Week with clips regarding Balor returning to NXT, Ronda Rousey on Total Divas, and Smackdown on Fox. Then they talked about Rey Mysterio being attacked last week by Brock Lesnar.
-Caruso interviewed Rey backstage. She asked how Dominick was doing. Rey thanked the support shown by his colleagues and fans. He said Dominick was brutalized by Lesnar. He said “he took a beating like a man.” He said his physical scars will heal soon, but his emotional scars will take longer. Rey said when men and women become parents, they vow to love and protect their kids. He said he was beaten so badly, he had to watch the disgusting bully Lesnar maul his son and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. He said he felt he left his family down. He then said that Cain Velasquez is Dominick’s godfather. He said he is the only man who can brag accurately that Brock fears him. He said if someone is going to avenge what happened to his family, it’s Cain. He got some cheers when he spoke in Spanish with passion.
-The O.C. walked out. Joseph said they’d be facing Lucha House Party next. [c]
-A Total Divas ad aired hyping the revelation of the Women’s Tag Team Titles.
-Another generic NXT ad aired.
-An Author of Pain vignette aired again. They spoke with captions in English about their upbringing defining who they are. They said they will take food from another family to feed their family more than they need. They said they were raised this way and enjoyed growing up this way. They said they’ll take the food, money, and careers of any of their opponents. They said they have the will to do violence against their opponents.
(4) THE O.C. (A.J. Styles & Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) vs. LUCHA HOUSE PARTY (Kalisto & Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado)
More announcer talk about the draft in this one. [c]
Styles eventually landed a Phenomenal Forearm on Kalisto for the win.
WINNER: The O.C. in 10:00.
-The O.C. beat up LHP afterward including a Styles Clash on Dorado off the second rope afterward.
-A commercial for the WWE Draft did say “network supremacy is at stake.” [c]
-The announcers hyped the Braun-Fury situation.
-Miz TV: Miz came out in a suit. He talked about WWE Premiere Week last week. He introduced his guests, Becky Lynch and Charlotte. They each made their full ring entrances while carrying their title belts. They sat down on either side of Miz. Miz told Becky that it seemed like just yesterday they were on the set of a “Marine” movie, and look at what she’s done since then.
Becky bragged about beating Sasha. Charlotte bragged about beating Bayley for the title. Things heated up between Charlotte and Becky, as Becky said she made Charlotte’s blue belt famous and Charlotte bragged about being The Woman ten times now. Miz said they’d be tested against the new Women’s Tag Team Champions, The Kabuki Warriors.
The Warriors walked onto the stage and spoke in Japanese in a heelish way (I think), seeming to amuse each other with insults aimed at Becky and Charlotte. Becky kicked over a chair and said she’s been waiting for Asuka, so come on to the ring. The Warriors charged to the ring and brawled with Charlotte and Becky. They slidekicked both Asuka and Kairi Sane. As they cut to a break, Joseph said their tag match was up next. [c]
-A commercial aired for NXT that focused on Undisputed Era in a generic way. It didn’t hype anything specific, but said to tune in to see them.
-Another Crown Jewel commercial aired focused on Hogan and Flair.
(5) CHARLOTTE & BECKY LYNCH vs. ASUKA & KAIRI SANE
Lawler said USA Network executives are high on Asuka and she could be their first pick. Charlotte flew off the top rope with a moonsault onto Asuka and Kairi on the floor. Back in the ring she went for a figure-four on Asuka, but Kairi interrupted. Charlotte suplexed her and then slingshot herself over the top rope. Asuka kicked her mid-air. [c]
As the ref had his back turned, Asuka sprayed Becky with green mist, and Joseph reacted with some sense of outrage over the tactic. Kairi then rolled up Becky for the three count.
WINNERS: The Kabuki Warriors in 12:00.
-After the match, Charlotte attacked Asuka, but Kairi joined in and they beat on Charlotte. Alexa Bliss and Nikki ran out for the save, attacking the Kabuki Warriors.
(Keller’s Analysis: Although Bliss’s promo on the Kickoff Show last night questioning the merits of the Warriors getting a tag title shot came across as heelish, it was more or less her jumping the gun on treating the Warriors like “undeserving cheating heels.” It’s clear with that save that Bliss & Nikki are still together and still babyfaces, and if there was any ambiguity over whether the green mist was supposed to be a “heel tactic” or a “cool looking equalizer,” they made that clear here too.)
-The announcers excitedly touted Fury’s boxing accomplishments. It included a headline from Fury saying he has no interest in being a role model.
-Joseph finally acknowledged Hell in a Cell for the first time and said they’d recap the Seth Rollins vs. Fiend match later.
-A Roman Reigns “Conor’s Cure” video package aired. [c]
-Another generic NXT commercial aired.
-They showed a family who got moved to ringside due to a sponsor upgrade.
-The announcers on camera threw to a video recap of the opening segment with Rusev brawling with Corbin and Orton after the Lashley/Lana segment in the bedroom.
-Caruso interviewed Apollo Crews and asked what he’s trying to prove with his match against Ricochet. Crews said he and Ricochet go way back and he respects him. He said he’s been grinding and hustling, and tonight what happens to Ricochet is nothing personal, “but this is my showcase.”
(Keller’s Analysis: That was good. He was confident and didn’t do anything over-the-top, and that is refreshing on a pro wrestling shows sometimes.)
-A vignette aired with the Viking Raiders saying they’ll become Raw Tag Team Champions next week.
-Sarah Schreiber backstage interviewed Ricochet about his match against Crews. He said he’ll be proud if his last Raw match is against a great friend of his in Crews. He said the draft is about opportunity and a fresh start. He said he might be on Smackdown or Raw from now, but he’ll keep proving that superheroes can be real.
-Ricochet’s ring entrance took place. [c]
(6) RICOCHET vs. APOLLO CREWS
The bell rang to start the match right after the break ended. Dio said next week he’s going to be more territorial because he wants the best show. Lawler suggested Dio might get drafted to Smackdown. Joseph chimed in right away and said Dio will be right there on Raw. Back and forth action until Ricochet kicked out of Crews’s standing moonsault and then caught Crews with a Recoil. Joseph didn’t call the signature move name. (He’s been terrible with names of moves so far.)
WINNER: Ricochet in 4:00.
-Joseph threw to a video package on the Seth vs. Fiend match. He said it was “downright disturbing.” A video package aired with freeze frames and short snippets of key moments in the match.
(Keller’s Analysis: I was beginning to think Hell in a Cell was just a dream.)
-They showed a smiling Fury shaking hands of wrestlers backstage such as Cedric Alexander, Curt Hawkins, and Zack Ryder.
(Keller’s Analysis: He must assume none of them are Jewish, “promiscuous women,” or gay.) [c]
-Lawler introduced Fury. As Fury came to the ring, Joseph said: “Never one to hold back punches or thoughts, he doesn’t bite his tongue. I can’t to see and hear what he has to say.” Lawler asked him for his opinion on what happened with Braun. He said he was there to demand an apology. He was interrupted by Braun, who made his ring entrance. Strowman said he just wanted to have some fun last night, but Fury looked at him wrong. Fury asked how many heavyweight titles Braun’s won. Fury shoved Braun. Braun came back and lifted Fury into the corner. Security separated them. Fury pushed past them and leaped at Braun. They were pulled apart again. Braun broke free. They locked up in the corner. The WWE locker room emptied to separate them. They kept breaking free and then getting separated again. Braun was finally escorted to the back as his music played while Fury looked his way from inside the ring.
-Backstage Caruso asked if his opinion has changed of Fury. Braun said he’s a tough man, but he’s going to get these hands now. Caruso asked if he’ll ever get the apology he wanted. Braun said of course not, not after his actions tonight in his home. Strowman charged back to the ring. The crowd popped and the show went off the air with more of a pull apart brawl between them.