KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app)
HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
NOVEMBER 11, 2019
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Vic Joseph and Jerry “The King” Lawler
-The show opened with the official Raw video intro package and music. From there, pyro went off in the arena and the announce team welcomed the audience to the show. They hyped Survivor Series and said that battle lines had been drawn between the brands. Then, Becky Lynch’s music hit to a big reaction from the Manchester crowd. Lynch walked to the ring and posed on the ramp as her own steam pyro hit behind her. As Lynch posed in the ring, Vic Joseph announced that Becky and Charlotte would take on the Kabuki Warriors for the women’s tag team titles later in the show. After she posed, the announce team referenced Dio Madden’s absence. Lawler thanked him for helping handle Brock Lesnar and said that he owed him one.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the consistency with Dio Madden concerning Brock Lesnar. Madden isn’t a wrestler, so an attack from Lesnar should significantly impact him. Lawler conveying that here not only helps present the storyline as logical, but enhances Lesnar as a monster heel.
Back in the ring, Becky held the microphone and paused as the audience chanted her name. She said the man was in Manchester and the crowd cheered even more. From there, Lynch spoke about training as a kid in England and then becoming the face of the business. Lynch continued and said that the list of challengers was getting longer and harder. To that, she said “bring it on.” She called those challengers savages and said to bring them on regardless of the training or work they’ve been through. This prompted the audience to chant again. Lynch continued and said that if Shayna Baszler, the Kabuki Warriors, or others think anything less, she’d continue to slap their heads around the ring and make them better. The audience cheered once again. To that, Lynch said that it was high time that she become Becky two belts again and said she would become a women’s tag team champion with Charlotte right there in Manchester. From there, Charlotte made her entrance to the ring to a nice pop as well.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A good promo, but not a great one. Lynch addressing her history and tying that back to present day was a nice touch, but the promo stuck in one gear and felt formulaic while addressing upcoming competition. She said the right things and got cheered in the right spots, but felt less passionate than usual.
Once Charlotte got to the ring, she exchanged looks with Lynch, but didn’t engage in any significant way. Next, Asuka and Kairi Sane walked out to a loud reaction of boos from the crowd. Once they got to the ring, they posed on the ropes before official championship introductions were made. After, the show went to commercial break. (c)
(1) CHARLOTTE FLAIR & BECKY LYNCH vs. THE KABUKI WARRIORS – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match
Out of the break, the bell rang, and the match began. Lynch and Asuka tied up in the middle of the ring and exchanged holds until Asuka got the upper hand on top of her. Lynch slid out and mocked Asuka’s strut. In response, Asuka attacked again and connected with a flurry of strikes until Lynch countered them with a running shoulder tackle. Lynch kicked Asuka in the face after it and followed by whipping Asuka into the ropes. Asuka countered with a kick to the face of her own and then tagged Kairi Sane into the match. Sane continued to keep momentum and smashed Becky’s face on the turnbuckles. The third time, Lynch countered and took Sane down with an arm drag before locking Sane into an arm submission. From there, Lynch went for a flying forearm, but Sane countered. She tried for her Plan walk, but Lynch moved out of the way and connected with a suplex. Out of the move, Lynch covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Lynch tagged Charlotte into the match. Flair got a big reaction of cheers that was magnified even louder as she shopped Sane. From there, Sane furiously hit Charlotte with punches, but she no sold them and clocked Sane to the mat. After, Charlotte strutted to big cheers.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That no-sell got a pop, but was a smug move by Charlotte. If that’s how you treat the challengers, what does it mean to beat them? In addition to that, WWE needs their champions to have credibility. No selling punches in that way detracts from achieving that goal. Not smart.
Charlotte kept momentum from there and slammed Sane into the mat after she jumped on her back for a sleeper hold. Charlotte then allowed Sane to tag Asuka into the match. Asuka hit the ring and immediately tool Charlotte down to the mat with a side headlock. Charlotte escaped, but Asuka kicked her and locked the hold in again. Soon after, Charlotte escaped the hold again and pushed Asuka into the ropes. Both women exchanged paths running the ropes until Charlotte hit Asuka with a vicious back elbow. With Asuka down, Shayna Baszler walked into the ringside area from the crowd. Vic and Jerry proclaimed that NXT was in the house and questioned why she was there. The show then went to break. (c)
Out of the break, the action continued with Charlotte owning control of the match over Asuka. She decked Asuka with a punch before kicking Sane off of the ring apron. From there, she walked back toward Asuka who was waiting with a drop toe hold. The move sent Charlotte crashing into the ring post. This gave Asuka the upper hand again. She hit Charlotte with some strikes, but Charlotte countered back with chops. Eventually, the action spilled to the outside of the ring where Sane was waiting. She stomped Charlotte to a chorus of boos before rolling her back into the ring. There, Asuka and Sane hit double team offense on Charlotte and taunted her as the audience booed. Sane took over from here and controlled the match in her corner. Sane and Asuka exchanged tags and then connected with a double team vertical suplex. After, Asuka covered, but only got a two count. Finally, Charlotte battled her way out of the corner with punches and strikes to both Sane and Asuka. She dove for the tag, but Asuka countered it into a submission hold. Charlotte deadlifted Asuka into the air and slammed her to the mat to break the hold. Charlotte also made a cover, but Kairi Sane interuppted it. After she did, Sane got some shots in and then legally tagged into the match. As she did, Lawler and Joseph put over Sane as smart for making the save the way she did.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Dear announce team – they are heels. Help them get heat by letting the audience know that move and ensuing attack is illegal.
Eventually, Charlotte made the tag to Becky. Lynch got a big pop as she hit the ring and dropped Asuka and Sane with clotheslines. After, she posed to the crowd and connected with a series of forearm shots on Asuka in the corner. Sane tried to stop her, but got a Beck-Sploder for her troubles. After, Lynch hit a double dropkick. As she went for the cover, Shayna Baszler climbed onto the ring apron for a distraction. It worked until Bayley popped up from behind and pulled Shayna off of the apron. Baszler beat her up and continued to stare Lynch down. From there and with Lynch distracted, Asuka rolled Becky up for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Kabuki Warriors via pinfall
-After the match, Lynch tried to go after Baszler, but was attacked by Bayley. Baszler then walked off as Bayley looked on at the ringside area.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I liked the match, but once Baszler walked out, the ending was pretty much said and done. Baszler felt like a star out there too. The Survivor Series stipulations and brand cross overs leaves WWE with the task of juggling many booking balls at one time. Here they had to book the match itself, heat between Becky and Bayley, Becky and Baszler, Baszler and Bayley, and Raw vs. SmackDown vs. NXT. That’s a lot and with that much going on, its hard for the angles to feel special and get over like they should.
-Backstage, Ricochet was discussing things with Randy Orton. Then, The OC was shown messing with Humberto Carrillo. Ricochet left Orton and questioned what the OC was doing with Carrillo. Styles made fun of Ricochet and Carrillo and told them to get moving out of the locker room. They stood still which prompted Styles to question whether or not they wanted a match with later. Styles told them to find a third partner. After a while, Randy Orton reappeared and said they wouldn’t have to look far.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Babyface Orton? We’ve seen that not work in the past as Orton has a genuine heel aura about him. That said, this would be the formula to make it successful. Let him be his heelish self toward heels to get the legacy babyface reaction and put over the RKO as something the audience wants to see (and they do.)
-After the segment backstage, Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring. As he did, the show went to break. (c)
(2) DREW MCINTYRE vs. SIN CARA
Out of the break, Sin Cara finished up his entrance, and the bell rang. Drew took over right away and chopped Cara to the mat. From there, he tossed him around the ring and taunted him. Cara got some offense in in the form of a moonsault, but Drew still controlled with his vicious punches. From there, Cara tossed Drew out of the ring with a hurricanrana and jumped over the ropes to hit another one. McIntyre caught him and slammed him to the mat with a powerbomb to counter. Drew then tossed Cara back into the ring and hit the Claymore Kick for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: McIntyre via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A squash, but one that presented Drew McIntyre in a big and intimidating way. The crowd appeared to be dead during this for the most part, but Drew looked strong and important in the presentation. He needs something tangible and relevant to sink his teeth into to full realize his potential. It’s time.
-After the match, Erick Rowan looked into a camera and talked as if he was speaking to a baby. The show then cut back to the ring where R-Truth made his entrance. As he rapped in the ring, the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, the Singh Brothers made their entrance with the 24-7 title. Once they got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(3) R-TRUTH vs. THE SINGH BROTHERS – WWE 24/7 Championship Match
To start, both Singh Brothers did their Bollywood Dance. Truth quickly punched them to the mats and whipped them into the ropes. From there, the Singh Brothers took over and double teamed Truth as the audience booed. Truth drummed up some momentum, but this caused the Singh Brothers to roll out of the ring. They grabbed the 24-7 belt and then ran away from Truth around the ring. Truth tried to dodge them off, but eventually they ran backstage. Truth chased them and both Singh Brothers ran into the women’s locker room. Truth knocked on the door to try and get in. Both Singh Brothers opened the door and pushed Truth into the concrete wall. They ran off again and this time into a dark room. When the switched the lights on, Erick Rowan appeared and beat both of them up. As they lied there, Truth walked in and went face to face with Rowan. Truth said he needed privacy and shut the lights off again before leaving.
WINNER: No contest – though the 24-7 title is always on the line.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Eye roll. Just not sure this warrants full analysis at this point. It’s all ice cold.
-After the match, Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the commercials, Seth Rollins made his entrance to a big reaction from the Manchester audience. As he walked to the ring, the announce team talked about his match with Adam Cole from last week’s Raw. From there, they cued up highlights of NXT invading Raw and SmackDown last week.
When the video ended, Rollins stood in the ring and addressed the crowd. They booed a bit which caused Rollins to smile surprisingly. Rollins told the audience that he loved their energy and told them to keep bringing it. Rollins then recapped the happenings of last week between himself and Triple H. He said that Triple H did light a fire under him. He said that he started in NXT, but that Raw is his show and his home. He said that NXT started the fight, but that his team would finish it at Survivor Series. In response, the crowd chanted for NXT.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Like the booking of Rollins against the Fiend, this brand war is going to hurt Rollins. He already has issues being over as the WWE’s top babyface and has come across as uncool. Going against the cool brand in NXT is just going to fan those flames.
Rollins continued and called himself the best wrestler on the planet. He said he didn’t get that way by not wrestling. From there, he issued an open challenge to UK’s best. Walter walked out to a cheering crowd and addressed Rollins. He said that if Rollins wanted the best, “here they are.” Walter introduced Imperium and said that they were there to reignite the honor of their sport. Walter then told Rollins that just because they were in the UK it didn’t mean that he was immune to an NXT TakeOver. In response, Rollins accepted Walter’s challenge and told him to get down to the ring so he could burn it down. From here, the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: An interesting match, but a big one that is rushed only because its Survivor Series time.
(4) WALTER vs. SETH ROLLINS
Out of the break, the bell rang, and the match began. Walter took Seth down with a hip toss to start things off. Both men tied up after it, but Walter got the upper hand again with a shoulder tackle. After, Rollins battled and connected with chops before hitting Walter with a Sling Blade. From there, Rollins attempted a springboard knee strike, but Walter countered and hit him with a German suplex. Walter followed the suplex with a body slam and elbow drop before covering for a one count. Out of the pin, Walter locked in a side headlock. Both men exchanged offense until Rollins hit a stride of momentum that grounded Walter. From there, Rollins cued up the Stomp, but was quickly attacked by the other members of Imperium. This caused the referee to call the match.
WINNER: No contest
-After the match, Imperium continued to beat on Rollins. As they did, the Street Profits ran out to make the save. Imperium controlled things again, but Kevin Owens ran out. Owens, the Street Profits, and Rollins battle Imperium off and cleared the ring as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Sure, Walter vs. Rollins was a fun match on paper to see. I’ll give WWE that. That said, having the first time they wrestle end this way is disappointing. You only get to do things “first,” one time. If this was the outcome, leave the match at the door and do something else to keep that “first” moment intact. Long term, its more impactful. Big pop for Kevin Owens during his run out. Take notice WWE.
-Out of the break, a four on four match was underway involving the competitors who had brawled ahead of the commercial break.
(5) IMPERIUM vs. THE STREET PROFITS, KEVIN OWENS, & SETH ROLLINS
Rollins got worked over near the Imperium corner right away. Imperium hit him with a variety of offense including stomps in the corner as they tagged in and out of the match to stay fresh. Eventually, Walter connected with a dropkick on Rollins and followed that with a pin. As Walter covered, Owens broke it up. This caused a mini brawl that ended with Imperium taking control. From there, Walter climbed to the top rope for a move. In response, Rollin jumped up and connected with a top rope superplex.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Huge spot that got a really nice pop. Still doesn’t feel right seeing it between Rollins and Walter without a build and significant stakes.
Finally, Rollins made the official tag to Owens. He received a big pop and cleared the ring before connecting with a Swanton Bomb. From there, the match broke down. Rollins connected with a suicide dive and Montez Ford followed suit. In the ring, Owens hit a stunner and Rollins connected with a Stomp for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Rollins, Owens, and Street Profits via pinfall
-After the match, Rollins celebrated with his team as the show went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: A fine, A to B match. Nothing more. Again, the brand supremacy storylines hurt matches like these. The personal depth is gone which limits the emotions that the talent have to play off of.
-Out of the break, Cedric Alexander made his entrance and was followed by Andrade. As Andrade and Zelina Vega made their way to the ring, the announce team played clips of their match with Sin Cara last week. Once they got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(6) ANDRADE w/Zelina Vega vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER
To start, both men tied up in the middle of the ring. Andrade quickly took the momentum and clocked Alexander with a punch to the face. From there, he whipped Cedric into the corner, but Alexander countered and took him to the mat with a springboard hurricanrana. To follow, Alexander went for his springboard kick, but Andrade countered with a dropkick. After, Andrade hit a flurry of punches and covered for a two count before locking in a shoulder submission. Eventually, Zelina Vega interfered which allowed Andrade to hit Alexander with the Hammerlock DDT. After, he covered for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Andrade via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: The Andrade push continues. Not only is he winning, but Zelina Vega is being featured as a key to his success. Very smart booking as Vega has always been an ingredient that helps his act. Here, we don’t just hear about it, but we see why as well. Good stuff.
-After the match, a pre-taped Aleister Black promo aired. He talked about sins and insanity before admitting that he spoke to the audience in riddles. From there, he referenced secrets that could put the picture together. He addressed “someone” and told that person to knock on his door and pick a fight with him. The show then went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Words, words, and more words. Like Drew McIntyre, it’s time for Black to be involved in something real that can take him to the next level.
-Out of the break, a Veteran’s Day appreciation montage aired.
-When the montage ended, Lashley and Lana were shown arguing backstage. Vic Joseph questioned whether there were cracks in their relationship as the show went to break. (c)
-After the break, Lana made her entrance. Once she got to the ring, she grabbed a microphone as the announce discussed her appearance on the Kings Court. From there, Lana spoke and said she came out to the ring to confess her sins. She said that her loving boyfriend, Lashley, did not want her to talk about it. The audience loudly booed. Lana kept going and said that even though Lashley didn’t want her to speak the truth, she needed to. She said at the end of the day she’d rather be hated for who she is than loved for who she isn’t. From there, Lana admitted that she cheated on Rusev. The audience booed loudly and she responded by saying that she did it because Rusev cheated on her first. From there, Lana continued and told her story. She said that seven weeks ago she had sex with Lashley for the first time. Lana talked about that and then addressed being hit by Lashley because of Ricochet last week. She said nobody could understand what she went through after that. Lana continued and said that Lashley convinced her to go to the doctor. There, she said she found out that she was healthy, but nine weeks pregnant. From there, Lana did math for the “working class Manchester folk” and admitted that the baby was Rusev’s. Lana called the baby a monster baby and was disgusted to be carrying Rusev’s child.
From there, Rusev made his way to the ring to a loud reaction. Once he got there, Rusev waved to the cheering fans. Lana mocked him for being the father of her child as the audience chanted “daddy’s home.” Then, Rusev spoke and said he just wanted to understand the situation. He questioned Lana’s claims about him until Lana called him a liar. Rusev tried to calm her down and said he wasn’t calling her a liar. Both argued with each other until Lana slapped Rusev in the face. She continued to slap Rusev until Lashley came out. After Lana raked Rusev’s eyes, Lashley beat Rusev up in the middle of the ring as Lana looked on and smiled. From there, they walked out of the ring as Rusev was laid out in in it. At the top of the ramp Lana said that she couldn’t believe Rusev believed them before making out with Lashley again. They then left to the backstage area.
Heydorn’s Analysis: My goodness. What do you say? This isn’t angle that is going to draw and keep eyes on the WWE product. Period. That said, if Lana revealed that she was lying on the ramp without a microphone, are we supposed to think that Rusev still believes her? She never outright said that to him. Ugh, my head hurts.
-After the segment, Erick Rowan was shown walking to the ring as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Rowan walked to the ring with something in his hand. He left that with the announce team and then climbed into the ring for his match.
(7) ERICK ROWAN vs. JOBBER
Rowan crushed his opponent with a vicious clothesline and berated him before tossing him over the ropes. Rowan hit a running cross body and then rolled him back into the ring as the announce team questioned whether the thing in Rowan’s cage was moving. Back in the ring, Rowan slammed his opponent to the mat and covered for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Rowan via pinfall
-After the match, Rowan rolled out of the ring and looked inside the cage he left with Joseph and Lawler. He questioned whether or not Joseph touched what was inside before taking it and walking it backstage. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: “what’s in Rowan’s cage?” A riveting storyline to try and keep an audience engaged for three hours. Eye. Roll.
-Out of the break, Mark Andrews and Flash Gordon Webster made their way to the ring. After, the Viking Raiders walked out. Once they got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(8) MARK ANDREWS & FLASH GORDON WEBSTER vs. THE VIKING RAIDERS
Andrews and Gordon took over early with high flying attacks and fast paced counters. Erick slowed their momentum with some stiff shots and strikes and owned the match with Ivar until the end. Andrews tried to connect with a Pele Kick and connected, but was quickly hit with the Viking Experience to give the Viking Raiders the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Viking Raiders via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Typically, I’m not at all concerned with size differential between opponents in the ring. Not that this was booked as even acts fighting, but the size difference really jumped off the page. That said, this needed to be a dominant win from the Viking Raiders and it was. Well done.
-After the match, the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Randy Orton was shown getting ready backstage. Ricochet confronted Orton and asked whether he thought he was stupid. He said that the reason why Orton wanted to be on his team was so he could hit him with another RKO. Orton shrugged it off and said he had nothing to worry about. He said that the last thing that Ricochet would want was for Orton to be in his head. From there, Orton left the shot and the announce team cued up a highlight video detailing the Lesnar/Mysterio happenings.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That’s some good work from Orton. He conveyed a handful of different nuances with his facial expressions and body language to help tell the story. Good stuff.
-After the highlight video, Vic Joseph and Jerry Lawler ran down the Survivor Series card. When they wrapped, Randy Orton made his entrance to the ring. As he did, the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo made their entrances. After, The OC walked out and the match began.
(9) THE OC vs. RICOCHET, RANDY ORTON, & HUMBERTO CARRILLO
The babyface team took over early even though tension was teased between Orton and Ricochet. Orton tagged Carrillo into the match and then stared down Ricochet. In the ring, Carrillo went to work and connected with a springboard and very high flying arm drag off of the ropes. After, he tagged Ricochet into the match and Ricochet maintained control. From there, Orton and Ricochet got into again as Carrillo worked to play peacemaker as the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, the action continued with the OC taking the momentum over Carrillo. Eventually, Carrillo made the tag to Ricochet who entered the ring and cleared it of the OC with his high flying offense. Ricochet attempted a move on Karl Anderson, but Anderson countered it into a stiff Spinebuster that caused Ricochet to roll out of the ring. After, Anderson jumped out to roll him back in and then locked in a side headlock to ground him. From there, the OC continued the offense on Ricochet with Gallows, Styles, and Anderson tagging in and out until Ricochet made the tag to Carrillo. Carrillo ran in and connected with a nice standing moonsault on Styles. After, he attempted a top rope moonsault, but missed after Styles rolled out of the way. From there, Carrillo tagged Orton into the match and he connected with his power slam and second rope DDT on Styles before cuing up the RKO. As he went for it, Karl Anderson countered. After, Ricochet hit Gallows with his facebuster finisher before Carrillo hit him and Gallows with a moonsault to the outside of the ring. This left Orton, Ricochet, and Styles in the ring. Orton teased hitting Ricochet with the RKO, but Styles instead. He then tagged Carrillo into the match and he hit his moonsault on Styles before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Orton, Ricochet, and Carrillo via pinfall
-After the match, Ricochet celebrated with Carrillo but looked confused and untrustworthy regarding what Orton did. Orton approached Ricochet and teased another RKO before telling him that he does what he wants, to whoever he wants, whenever he wants. From there, Orton walked off as the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: The match was what it was, but the Orton and Ricochet encounters were well done. Orton looked like a star throughout because of his presentation. The story of him as a rogue wrestler who does what he wants is refreshing too. All in all though, it was a main event about as newsworthy as the show in general which isn’t saying much.
NOW CHECK OUT HEYDORN’S PREVIOUS REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 10/28: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including final hype for Crown Jewel, Rollins vs. Rowan, divorce court, and more