KELLER INTERVIEWS ROB VAN DAM FOR FIRST TIME...
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WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
BAKERSFIELD, CALIF. AT THE RABOBANK ARENA
OCTOBER 7, 2019
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Dio Maddin
Arena, Hell in a Cell Results, and Items Advertised by WWE
WWE returns to the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, CA. for the first time in over a year in a half when they ran Smackdown. Raw’s last appearance in the building was in June of 2008. Tonight’s episode will be the second of the new “season” of Raw.
It’s been a crazy week with the season premiere and new-look Raw last week, the head-to-head on Wednesday between NXT and AEW Dynamite, the debut of Friday Night Smackdown on Fox, and last night’s Hell in a Cell. Here are the results of that show:
- Natalya defeated Lacey Evans via submission
- Becky Lynch defeated Sasha Banks in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan def. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper in a tornado tag team match. They hugged it out afterwards. Dr. Shelby was smiling somewhere.
- Randy Orton defeated Ali
- The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) defeated Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
- The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) & “Meat Castle” Braun Strowman defeated The O.C. (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson and U.S. Champion A.J. Styles)
- Chad Gable defeated “King” Baron Corbin
- Charlotte Flair defeated Bayley to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship
- Seth Rollins retained the Universal Championship over Bray Wyatt in a Hell in a Cell match. No official decision was announced.
We now turn our attention in terms of PPVs to Crown Jewel which comes to us on Halloween this year from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We know of one match on the card already as Team Hogan (Seth Rollins, Rusev…) takes on Team Flair (Randy Orton, King Baron Corbin…). As of this writing, WWE does not have their official preview up, but their website advertises two items both of which we’ve seen on TV. We’ll talk about those as well as storylines we can expect to have follow-up:
- WWE to offer Tyson Fury an open microphone
- Natalya to battle Lacey Evans in a last woman standing match
Matches & Segments:
- Last Woman Standing Match: Natalya vs. Lacey Evans
Natalya and Lacey Evans have had quite the feud going all the way back to the Royal Rumble if you really want to get into it. They were numbers one and two respectively. They’ve had a series of matches on Raw lately and last night where Natalya got Lacey to tap out to the sharpshooter. At the end of the match, Natalya gave Lacey a taste of her own medicine when she gave her a Woman’s Right.
Later on, it was announced that they would have a Last Woman Standing match on Raw tonight. Here’s Lacey on Twitter:
Frank’s Analysis: I wish this was the feud Lacey had when she first came up instead of working with Becky Lynch. That said, there has been improvement in her in-ring work. Natalya is the right opponent. I could see Lacey going over tonight.
Tyson Fury Gets an Open Mic
This past Friday on Smackdown, Braun Strowman & the Miz & Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker) defeated Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode, Randy Orton, and U.S. Champion A.J. Styles. Undefeated British boxer Tyson Fury was on hand for the debut episode on Fox. During the match, Strowman threw Ziggler in Fury’s direction and then got into a stare down. After the win, Fury started charging the ring but was held back by security.
According to Wikipedia, Fury has had 30 fights in his career and won 20 by knockout and had one draw. Like Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson before him, he steps into a different world as WWE gives him an open mic tonight. Here’s a tweet from Fury:
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) October 6, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: Multiple sources have a match happening between Strowman and Fury at Crown Jewel. They could also join forces against the O.C.? These special attractions are the types of matches you can expect at these shows, as we might get with Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez. It’s also a good idea to do something gimmicky with Strowman.
The draft takes place starting on Smackdown this Friday night and will continue on next week’s Raw. That puts things in a virtual holding pattern. The next PPV is over three weeks from today. We only know of the Team Hogan vs. Team Flair for that event, and thus we may expect more wrestlers to be added to each team. Otherwise we’ll probably get follow-up on what we saw last night and last week, if we even want to see that. Let’s look at some of the stories:
Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt
Last night at Hell in a Cell, Seth Rollins retained the Universal Championship over “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt when the referee stopped the match. Seth hit Bray with a sledgehammer while he was on the ground and also had a chair, a toolbox, a ladder, and two pipes from one of the bathrooms (alright I made that one up, but you get what I’m saying). This followed hitting about 20 stomps and Bray getting up. While the paramedics were coming out to help Bray, he sat up and gave him a mandible claw. He then gave him two Sister Abigails while the crowd chanted “AEW.”
Frank’s Analysis: This was problematic from the get-go, as putting Bray in a title match much less a Hell in a Cell for the first match between these two was risky. You knew they weren’t going to put the title on Bray, so they needed to get out of doing a decisive finish. I was trying to figure out what the crowd was rejecting, and I think it was the totality of the situation. Seth to me is not necessarily over as a babyface champion, he was ridiculous looking scared the past few weeks, and people dig the Fiend character let’s be honest. It’s like loving the Freddy Kreuger or Jason. I think people just crapped on the way the match unfolded and didn’t like what they saw. The problem is, what do you do now with either of these two?
Next Up for Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch
On a better note, Becky Lynch retained the Raw Women’s Championship over Sasha Banks to open festivities in a Hell in a Cell match. It was Sasha’s second trip inside that structure while it was Becky’s first, although she’s worked steel cage matches before. After the match, Sasha was visibly disappointed as was Bayley who later on lost the Smackdown title to Charlotte Flair. Charlotte and Becky are the respective champions for the first time since Becky’s “run” which started at SummerSlam last year (unless you count the 15 minutes Charlotte was champion when she beat Becky at Money in the Bank for the Smackdown title before Bayley cashed in). Here’s Becky on Twitter:
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) October 7, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: I was a little surprised Sasha didn’t win here. It makes pushing her a big heel a little weird if they weren’t going to pay it off with a title win over Becky, who’s had it for a while now. It’s hard to say, but I wonder if she gets drafted to Smackdown to feud with Charlotte to feud over that title. It would be hard to see Sasha as the heel in that, but it’s WWE and they’ll do what they want! They could also figure out a way to keep the feud going with Sasha and Becky if they wanted. Who knows, but again I emphasize tonight’s episode finds WWE in a holding pattern.
The Kiss Scene ‘Round the World… and by Rusev for Quite Some Time
Rey Mysterio was to have challenged Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship last week on Raw. After Brock Lesnar took out Rey and his son Dominick, a recently returning Rusev was slotted into the match. Rollins and Rusev went at it with Randy Orton and “King” Baron Corbin looking on seeing as they are on Team Flair while Rusev and Rollins are on Team Hogan for that match in Saudi Arabia. As the match unfolded Bobby Lashley’s music played. We hadn’t seen Lashley since Extreme Rules when he lost a last man standing match to Braun Strowman. Nonetheless, Lana followed with her music playing and the two of them played tonsil hockey for about two minutes. Rusev looked on and did nothing. He had been hinting of “problems at home” with Lana but wasn’t specific. Bray Wyatt came out and attacked Rollins in advance of their match last night.
If you care, here’s a WWE exclusive of unseen reactions to Lashley and Lana kissing:
Frank’s Analysis: This is stupid. If you’re going to do something like this, at least build it over time so that when it happens, you’re more shocked and upset. Even that might not have worked because everybody knows Lana and Rusev are married in real life, so it’s dumb to show them apart on screen. I don’t think this will help Lashley, Lana, or Rusev. This is more annoying than anything else.
Other Match Results and Notable Segments from Last Week
- Sasha Banks defeated Alexa Bliss
- Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defeated Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker) to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship
- The Viking Raiders defeated Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
- Ricochet defeated Cesaro
- A.J. Styles defeated Cedric Alexander to retain the U.S. Championship
- Lacey Evans defeated Natalya
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.