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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 28, 2019
ST. LOUIS, MO.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Jerry Lawler, Dio Maddin
Tonight after WWE Raw, join me live with guest cohost Travis Bryant from the PWTorch East Coast Cast to break down the show with live callers, mailbag, and an on-site correspondent from St. Louis, Mo.
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-The Raw opening theme aired.
-They went live to the arena for the pyro blasting as the camera panned the lower bowl of cheering fans. Then they went to the announcers. Joseph said you can feel the energy. He said they are just three days away from Crown Jewel. Dio plugged the Seth Rollins vs. Erick Rowan match with Falls Count Anywhere stipulations. Lawler said he was excited to host King’s Court with Rusev and Lana. He said “King’s Court could become Divorce Court.”
-Paige made her entrance onto the stage. She said she’s proud to be a small part of the recent success of Asuka & Kairi Sane. They made their way onto the stage to almost no reaction, sporting the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. (Small thing, but does Paige, who is already taller than the wrestlers she’s managing who are wearing wrestling boots, need to wear the highest heels ever made for a human being so she towers over them even more than she would otherwise?) They played a clip of Raw three weeks ago of Asuka spraying Becky Lynch to help Kairi Sane pin her in a tag match. Joseph noted Becky faces Kairi tonight.
Paige said six months ago she introduced to everyone a tag team of force in the Women’s Evolution. She said Kairi was a former NXT Women’s Champion and first-ever Mae Young Classic winner. She said Asuka was the first-ever winner of the all-women’s Royal Rumble and a former Women’s Champion, too. She said they are now the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Asuka yanked the mic from Paige and spoke angrily in Japanese. She handed the mic back to Page, but Kairi yanked it from her. She laughed uproariously. Paige tried to get the mic, but it fell. Paige picked it up. Asuka sprayed her in the face with the green mist. Paige sold it like it burned. She called frantically for some water. A trainer gave her a towel to wipe her face. Asuka and Sane smiled. (You couldn’t have staged a more incompetent looking scene of trainers helping someone with burning eyes. They sprinkled water on the towel Paige was holding like it was a precious limited commodity.)
Becky Lynch ran out and knocked Kairi and Asuka out of the ring as fans chanted “Becky!” Dio said he doesn’t know where the green mist comes from, but it definitely burns the eyes. Kairi and Asuka double-teamed Becky at ringside. Becky threw Asuka into the time keeper’s area and then threw Kairi into the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m glad that they’re tying up the loose end of Paige being the absentee manager of Asuka & Kairi, but it seems odd that Paige seemed oblivious to the tactics and attitude change of her team in recent weeks.) [c]
(1) BECKY LYNCH vs. KAIRI SANE (w/Asuka)
Joseph asked Lawler what the pressure must be like being a top draft pick, like Becky is to Raw. Lawler said he had no idea. Several minutes in Kairi tried to blind-side Becky after an Asuka distraction, but Becky caught her with a forearm as she flew at her. But then Becky turned back to Asuka to yell at her, which gave Kari a chance to recover and then she upkicked Becky into the ringside steps. They cut to a break at 5:00. [c]
Back from the break, Kairi was stretching Becky mid-ring. Becky eventually mounted a comeback including two clotheslines and a kick that missed but Kairi sold anyway. Lawler asked, “When she snaps like this, is it called a ginger snap?” Joseph: “Come on, King.” Becky hit a Becksploder. Kairi came back with a roll-through into a cross-legged bridge submission. Becky leveraged Kairi’s shoulders down for a two count. They awkwardly met mid-ring and sort of froze, after which Becky shoulder tackled her. Both were down and slow to get up. Kairi small packaged Becky for a two count. Becky attempted a suplex, but Kairi turned it into a face-plant instead. Yikes. Nice bump by Becky. Kairi scored a two count. Kairi climbed to the top rope, but Becky knocked her off balance. Kairi came back with a headbutt. Becky countered with an up-kick and then a slam to the mat. She followed quickly with a legdrop off the second rope for a believable near fall. As Becky bled from her right elbow, the ref put on rubber gloves. Becky kneed and round-kicked Kairi, then leaped off the ring apron onto Asuka as she was about to interfere. When Becky returned to the ring, Kairi landed a spinning backfist for a very near fall. Becky then snuck on a Disarm Her for the tapout win.
WINNER: Becky in 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: With the exception of a couple awkward spots, this was a really good match start to finish. Becky needed to beat Kairi at this point, but Kairi was treated as a formidable competitor for sure. It seems Asuka vs. Becky could be a future singles feud now that Asuka is heel.)
-They replayed clips of the restaurant angle with Rusev, Lana, and Bobby Lashley last week. Dio then plugged that Ricochet would face Drew McIntyre later with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair in their respective corners.
-R-Truth made his ring entrance and sang his “What’s Up?” on his way to the ring. Maddin said Truth vs. Buddy Murphy was coming up. [c]
-Charly Caruso interviewed Truth in the ring. Truth was still dancing. Truth said Murphy isn’t his buddy, but Charly clarified that’s his name. Truth showed off new bifocals to show that he now has two pairs of eyes watching out for him. He said when he beats Ranjin Singh, he will become the 52-time 48/7, 7-Eleven, 24/7 European Television Champion. Murphy’s entrance music interrupted him.
(2) R-TRUTH vs. BUDDY MURPHY
Murphy entered the ring and said Truth seems focused on everything other than him, Australia’s finest. He said Truth may not know who he is yet, but after tonight, Truth won’t forget him. He threw the mic down. The bell rang and Murphy took early control. They continued to talk about Murphy being WWE’s best kept secret. Truth came back with his tornado forearm for a two count. Murphy came back with a series of kicks, but Truth countered with a hard leaping sidekick for a two count. Suddenly a parade of 24/7 Title contenders ran out and chased after the Singh Brother and his title belt. They circled the ring over and over and over. Truth leaped out of the ring and joined in, but then returned to the ring to beat the countout but ate a knee from Murphy and got pinned. Then Truth popped up and ran out looking for his 24/7 Title.
WINNER: Murphy in 3:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: If the goal was to establish Murphy, it didn’t work. This was just about the 24/7 stuff that feels like it’s in replay mode now and has lost whatever comical novelty factor it once had.)
-A Smackdown commercial hyped that Miz TV would feature Bray Wyatt plus Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin. [c]
-An NXT commercial aired saying if you’ve been looking for something more, then watch.
-An AOP segment aired. They introduced themselves in English as Rezar and Akam. Then they spoke in their native tongues and said they’ve heard other tag teams are disconncerted by that. They said warfare isn’t just physical, it’s also mental. They said in every language, every style, and every discipline, they will own the tag division. They said victory for the sake of their legacy, violence for the sake of violence. “And that’s all you get to know this week about the Authors of Pain,” concluded Rezar.
-The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) made their way through the crowd with their red plastic cups. They entered the ring and talked about their victory last week and thanked Kevin Owens. Dawkins said any of the Superstars who want to throw down with them, “they’ve done messed up, man.” Ford said they want the smoke. Some fans chanted, “We Want the Smoke,” then it seemed to fade. They tried hard to get the chant going, but it didn’t really catch on with the whole crowd or sustain itself. They sang it themselves as they made their way back through the crowd with the wireless mics.
(Keller’s Analysis: It was strange seeing them talk in the ring instead of backstage. The Profits come cross as one the freshest acts on Raw or Smackdown right now. That said, it didn’t sense they weren’t over, but I also didn’t sense they were crazy over based on crowd response. It was fine, though.)
-They showed Hulk Hogan (w/Jimmy Hart) and Ric Flair on split-screen.
-An NXT ad talked about the shocking new side of Finn Balor. [c]
-Back from the break, Ric Flair was already in the ring. Hogan and Jimmy were on their way into the ring already as Hogan’s music played. Hogan cupped his ears. They showed the Team Hogan vs. Team Flair graphic. Joseph called it an all-star assembly of wrestlers. Back in the ring, Hogan and Flair bickered. Hogan then signaled for Ricochet, whose entrance took place.
(3) DREW MCINTYRE (w/Ric Flair) vs. RICOCHET (w/Hulk Hogan)
Ricochet charged at Drew when the bell rang before Drew took off his ring jacket. Then he dove over the top rope onto Drew. Ricochet sold injured ribs that were taped up coming into the match. Back in the ring, Drew grabbed Ricochet by his neck and dropped him ribs-first over the top rope. At ringside, Drew gave Ricochet a gut-wrench overhead toss, then hard chops. Back in the ring, he stomped away at Ricochet.
A few minutes in Ricochet showed some life, but Drew knocked Ricochet down and landed a legdrop. Then he dropped to the floor and got in Hogan’s face. They exchanged some heated words. Drew told Hogan to take off his glasses and look him in the eye. Drew put Ricochet in an abdominal stretch mid-ring.
Every time Ricochet started a comeback, Drew would overpower him. Drew then mocked Hogan’s posing routine. Drew then chopped Ricochet at ringside. Ricochet fired back with a few. Drew brushed it off and chopped Ricochet again and then dropped him chest-first over the ringside barricade. He taunted Hogan by punching Ricochet a few feet away from Hogan. Jimmy acted like he was holding Hogan back. They cut to a break at 8:00. [c]
Drew went for a running crucifix buckle bomb, but Ricochet countered with a huracanrana that sent Drew into the corner. Ricochet followed up with an enzuigiri. Drew was down for the first time in the match. Both were slow to get up. Ricochet tried to lift Drew onto his shoulders, but he didn’t have the strength. Drew elbowed Ricochet in the corner and then flap-jacked him face-first hard to the mat for a two count. Fans began chanting “This is awesome!” Drew headbutted Ricochet and then clotheslined him, flipping Ricochet 360 for a two count. Hogan tried to give Ricochet a pep talk, saying Drew was hurt. Ricochet climbed to the top rope. Drew met him up there and tossed him to the mat. Ricochet surprised Drew with a superkick and the climbed to the top rope for his finisher. He clutched his ribs as he set it up, then he went for it. Drew rolled out of the ring to avoid it. Randy Orton then ran in and gave Ricochet an RKO. They showed a very emotive girl in the crowd reacting. Orton leaned over and high-fived Flair.
WINNER: Ricochet in 17:00 via DQ.
-Afterward Drew, Flair, and Orton celebrated together. Orton’s music played. Joseph said the momentum has shifted to Team Flair. Drew leaned over and yelled at Hogan with the Hoganesque finger point, “You!! Are screwed!” They replayed the girl in the crowd’s reaction.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match that really sold the idea of Drew’s size and power being able to stop short any sustained Ricochet rally, but then Drew ending up vulnerable late because he just lacked the endurance to keep up with Ricochet even with Ricochet’s sore ribs. The finish was fine in the sense that it in theory put heel heat on Orton for his interference and also saved either Drew or Ricochet from doing the job, all to build up the big tag match. The RKO is over enough, even if it cuts a match short, people seem happy to see it.)
-The O.C. approached Humberto backstage. Styles said he was impressed by him last week. Styles said a long time ago he was a rookie, and now he’s an inspiration and perhaps more well liked in the locker room than anyone. Styles said if he was looking to impress people, try his luck against a real champion like him. Styles held up his U.S. Title belt. They O.C. did their club finger gesture as he stood and sort of smirked and soaked it all up.
-A commercial aired for WrestleMania 2020 in Tampa Bay, Fla. Tickets go on sale Nov. 5. [c]
-They showed some postcard shots of St. Louis.
(4) THE VIKING RAIDERS vs. RIZZO & BRYANT
Rizzo & Bryant were in Chicago Cubs gear and were introduced as “The Chicago Cubs.” (WWE knows Raw is available in Chicago, right?) The Raiders, of course, dominated and won with their Viking Experience finisher. Lawler said he was disappointed he didn’t see Ivar’s cartwheel.
WINNERS: The Viking Raiders in 2:00.
-Joseph plugged Carillo vs. Styles. They showed Bobby Lashley and Lana backstage together. Lana looked distressed and Lashley comforted her. [c]
-Andrade and Zelina Vega made their ring entrance.
-Backstage Caruso asked Sin Cara how he will counter Zelina Vega’s presence at ringside. What a convenient question, as Sin Cara introduced Catalina who spoke in Spanish and sounded determined to offset Zelina. Sin Cara then made his entrance.
(5) ANDRADE (w/Zelina Vega) vs. SIN CARA (w/Catalina)
Sin Cara knocked Andrade to the floor, when he climbed to the top rope, Andrade shoved him hard to the floor. Andrade dominated and scored some two counts early. Sin Cara avoided a charging Andrade, who tumbled to the floor. Sin Cara then leaped at Andrade with corkscrew splash on the floor. When Sin Cara went for a cover in the ring, Zelina distracted the ref. Catalina went after Zelina. Zelina tried to head scissor Catalina to the floor, Catalina stopped her and swung her into the ringside barricade. Andrade then rolled up a distracted Sin Cara with his feet on the middle rope to get the win.
WINNER: Andrade in 3:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I don’t think Andrade should be losing to Sin Cara, yet it’s not exactly an impressive debut for Catalina as an equalizer if her presence backfired like that.)
-The showed Charlotte and Natalya walking backstage for their tag match up next. [c]
(6) THE IICONICS (Peyton Royce & Billie Kaye) vs. CHARLOTTE & NATALYA
As ring entrance took place, Joseph plugged that Triple H would be on Corey Graves’ new podcast. Charlotte opened up strong against Royce, but some hair pulling by Royce once Natalya tagged in gave the heels the advantage. Kaye tagged in. They isolated Natalya for a few minutes. Charlotte broke up a pin by Kaye on Natalya after a double-team. Natalya surprised Kaye with a sharpshooter, and then Charlotte cut off Royce from interfering. Kaye tapped out.
WINNERS: Natalya & Charlotte in 4:00.
-Caruso interviewed Seth Rollins backstage. Seth got a mixed reaction. Sounded like mostly boos. Seth threw St. Louis into his opening line to try to win over the crowd. The mention got some cheers. He said he’s accepted this match against Rowan just three days before Crown Jewel because, to borrow a line from Mark Henry, this is what he does. He said he fights and fights and fights. He said he didn’t think the Firefly Funhouse would be gone forever because he’s not stupid, and it’s back already which makes Bray more dangerous than ever. (So bad strategy from the start, huh?) He said the ref can’t stop it this time. He said the only way to end the Fiend is to beat the Fiend and retain his Universal Title “and burn it down.” [c]
-WWE Fact: Brock Lesnar won the WWE Title at age 25 and had the longest Universal Title reign (with the lowest density of title defenses, but they didn’t add that).
-Seth’s ring entrance took place.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m not saying Rowan is the most dynamic of promos, but to sell this as a significant TV match without hearing from the heel setting the stage is strange.)
(7) SETH ROLLINS vs. ERICK ROWAN – Falls Count Anywhere
Joseph talked about how this match could end anywhere including under the St. Louis Arch. At 3:00 they brawled into the concourse. When they got out there, fans had already been pushed away by security. (Gee, how did they know Rowan would choose to drag Seth up to that particular area of the concourse? Dumb.) Rowan threw Seth into the merch table. They cut to a break after Seth’s kickout. [c]
They were back at ringside after the break with Seth in control. Seth hit his obligatory mid-match dive through the ropes. Rowan took over with some power moves at ringside, then carried Seth toward the stage. Seth fought himself free, but ate a clothesline. Seth ended up leaping off the announce desk onto Rowan below. They brawled into the back and used a ladder. Seth put Rowan under a fork lift and ordered the driver to push it down onto Rowan – whose shoulders were down – and then stood on the fork lift platform as the ref counted to three. Seth wasn’t even touching Rowan, but the ref counted it as a pin – 1-2-3. Dio said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone kick out of a forklift.”
WINNER: Seth in 15:00.
-Lashley gave Lana a pep talk and they smooched. [c]
-Aleister Black sat in the back somewhere and talked about how the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different outcome. He said the outcome for him is the same over and over, but he doesn’t want them to change, so does that make him a madman? He said next time he walks to the ring, he will make sure that whomever he faces will have an intimate relationship with fear right before he takes their head clean off. Plus, they will come running, knocking down his door, ready to pick a fight with him. He got intense at the end.
-They went to the commentators on camera who plugged Crown Jewel, including a clip of Brock Lesnar’s attack on Rey Mysterio and Dominic.
(8) A.J. STYLES (w/Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows) vs. HUMBERTO CARILLO
Styles gave Humberto a DDT onto the floor a few minutes in and then they cut to a break. [c]
Humbero made a comeback and went for a top rope move, but Styles moved. Humberto landed on his feet. Styles caught him with a sudden inverted DDT for a near fall. Humberto then landed a moonsault headbutt onto Styles’s chest. He overshot slightly. It was good for a two count. It looked okay on replay. Styles side-stepped Humberto’s next top rope move and checked his knee mid-air, then applied a quick Calf Crusher for the win.
WINNER: Styles in 10:00.
-Afterward, Styles offered a handshake to Humberto. Humberto hesitated, but then was going to shake Styles’s hand, but Styles pulled his hand away. Humberto didn’t like that, so he slapped Styles. Styes kicked Humberto’s injured leg and then delivered a Styles Clash. The Street Profits ran out for the save and cleared the ring of The O.C. and helped Humberto up.
(Keller’s Analysis: A good set-up for a six-man tag.)
-A recap aired of the Lana, Lashley, Rusev situation. [c]
-King’s Court: Rusev seemed to be in a good mood as he entered he ring and shook Lawler’s hand. She sauntered out to her music in a blue gown. She said she’s tired of the fans tearing into her, but she had some truth to reveal. When they booed, she asked if they wanted the truth. She said Rusev was a sex machine who wanted sex morning, noon, and night, on the road and at home. She said Rusev didn’t care about her, though, he just wanted to put a baby in her. She speed-talked that he just wanted a baby Machka to crush everyone. Rusev said he wanted to have a family with her, but that’s not the only reason he wanted to be with her. She said she’s a model and she can’t have a baby because she’d have stretch marks. Lawler asked Lana if she is with Lashley because Rusev wanted a baby. Lana said that wasn’t the reason; the reason is because Rusev cheated on her. Rusev went, “What?!?!” Lana said Lashley told her and she believed him. Rusev denied it and called Lashley a liar.
Lashley then walked out to his music. Rusev attacked Lashley at ringside. Rusev got the better of Lashley in the ring and slammed him to the mat. Lana watched at ringside. Rusev then took off his wedding band and held it up and asked Lana, “Is this what you want?” Rusev turned and shoved it into Lashley’s mouth. Lana hit Rusev with a kendo stick. Rusev absorbed a few shots, then grabbed it. He asked her, “Why are you doing this? I loved you!” Lashley gave Rusev a low-bow from behind. Then he kicked him in the crotch with a running start. Rusev went down. Lashley stood over Rusev and punched him. Lana then initiated a rough make-out session with Lashley while they stood over Rusev.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m off to live podcast about this show with callers, so join us. Details below. As usual, I’ll edit and update this report with more analysis later.