WWE RAW PRIMER 11/18: Final Survivor Series hype on Raw, Who’s the Captain, Frenemies Pair Up, Rey Preps for the Beast, Major Chance for Hawkins & Ryder, Nattie vs. The Empress

By Frank Peteani, PWTorch contributor



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WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
BOSTON, MASS. AT THE TD GARDEN
NOVEMBER 18, 2019
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8 P.M. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Vic Joseph, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Dio Maddin

Arena, Top 10 Moments from Last Week, and Items Advertised by WWE

WWE returns to a familiar destination in the TD Garden in Boston, Mass. for tonight’s Raw. The show appeared in March of this year in the run-up to WrestleMania. The arena opened in 1995 and has been a frequent host to both WCW and WWE events. From 2011-2017 there was one PPV per year including the 2014 Money in the Bank where Seth Rollins procured the contract with the help of Kane.

Here is the YouTube clip of the top 10 moments of last week’s show:

This will be the final show from the Raw side before Survivor Series, as we get ready for the 33rd version of that event coming next Sunday as well as NXT: Takeover coming this Saturday. Here is what’s lined up for tonight:

  • Seth Rollins to wager his Survivor Series berth against Andrade
  • Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair to compete in tag team action
  • Rey Mysterio to appear live before challenging Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series
  • Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins to challenge Raw Tag Team Champions the Viking Raiders
  • Natalya to battle WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Asuka

Matches & Segments:

Team Raw Captain Spot: Seth Rollins vs. Andrade

Last week it was announced that Seth Rollins would captain team Raw in the Survivor Series triple threat match against team Smackdown and team NXT. He will line up alongside Ricochet, Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre, and Kevin Owens. He had an impromptu match last week against NXT UK Champion Walter which lead to the Imperium (Walter, Fabian Aichner, Alexander Wolfe, and Marcel Barthel) taking on Rollins, Owens, and the Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins). Rollins stomped Wolfe to pick up the win.

Back to Survivor Series, Zelina Vega and Andrade had something to say about Rollins being team captain. Rollins responded via Instagram:

 

 

The captain spot for team Raw is on the line tonight as Rollins puts up his spot against Andrade. Andrade did not partake in last year’s festivities. Rollins was the Intercontinental Champion and defeated then-U.S. Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Unrelated to this topic, Nakamura ironically walks into this year’s event as the IC Champ.

Frank’s Analysis: I don’t necessarily rule it out, but I doubt they take Rollins off the team in favor of Andrade. I could see a feud developing between the two, and down the line it may involved Vega and Becky Lynch although I don’t know if they want to draw attention to Becky and Rollins being a couple as they did earlier in the year. I don’t think that did either one of them any favors. If you watch the Instagram video, it’s funny to hear Rollins talk about “whether they love or hate me.” We heard that for years with John Cena and even a little with Roman Reigns. We never heard that with Daniel Bryan or C.M. Punk that I recall. (Okay, let’s not go down this rabbit hole.)

Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a Tag Team Match

Last week, Charlotte Flair and Natalya were to challenge to Kabuki Warriors (Kairi Sane & Asuka) for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. Natalya couldn’t be there and was replaced by Charlotte’s long time (I don’t know anymore) Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Becky was working on her finishing sequence when NXT Champion Shayna Baszler got involved and then Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley jumped in and went after Baszler. Becky who had been distracted by everything going on got rolled up by Asuka to allow the Warriors to retain.

Winning the titles would have made Charlotte the second women’s grand slam champion after Bayley, holding every women’s singles title (NXT, Smackdown, Raw) and the tag titles. Becky would have been “Becky Two Belts” again (sort of, I guess). Tonight, Becky and Charlotte team up again against an unknown team.

Frank’s Analysis: Let me get this out of the way. I’m sick of Becky and Charlotte being within 100 yards of each other. Also, why couldn’t they just wait until tonight to have Charlotte & Natalya challenge for the titles? Why can’t they just do it tonight? Whatever, anyway, I get the sense Survivor Series will be wrapped into this. They haven’t named the women’s team yet, but I don’t see anyone besides Charlotte being the captain, right? Now since there’s a Trump wall between Smackdown and Raw but not between NXT, I could see a couple of the NXT women show up. Rhea Ripley, Tegan Nox, Dakota Kai, and Mia Yim were on Smackdown Friday taking on Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, Carmella and Sasha Banks.

Rey Mysterio to Appear

Rey Mysterio is set to challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series. Two weeks ago, on Raw, Lesnar officially moved from Smackdown to Raw and began looking for Mysterio. He attacked several backstage people and eventually commentator Dio Maddin. As a side note, Maddin was not on last week’s show. Nonetheless after the attack Mysterio showed up and attacked Lesnar, striking him on his knee.

Neither gentleman was on last week’s show. Rey appears tonight ahead of his challenge to Lesnar at Survivor Series. Here was a tweet from Rey a few weeks ago after the attack:

Frank’s Analysis: WWE.com says in its preview that “there’s always the possibility that Lesnar isn’t far behind.” It’s pretty fair to expect him and Heyman to show up. I look forward to this, but I’m also a mark for Mysterio. He’s on my roster any day of the week if I’m starting a wrestling company.

Raw Tag Team Championship: Viking Raiders (champs) vs. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins

Former Raw Tag Team Champions Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins earned a shot at the titles via winning a triple threat tag team match over the O.C. (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) and the Street Profits at a house show in Mannheim, Germany. Here’s a post from WWE’s Instagram account:

Hawkins and Ryder last won the Raw titles at WrestleMania this year and had a two-month reign ended by the Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder). Last week on Raw, the Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) defeated Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews in a non-title match. At Survivor Series, the Viking Raiders take on NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) and Smackdown Tag Team Champions New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) in a triple threat match.

Hawkins and Ryder challenge the Raiders for the Raw straps tonight.

Frank’s Analysis: As much as I have a partiality towards Hawkins & Ryder with them being from Long Island, I don’t see how this is anything other than a quick match. I’m sure the NXT guys will get involved building up the Survivor Series match.

Natalya vs. Woman’s Tag Team Champion Asuka

Two weeks ago, on Raw, Natalya and Charlotte Flair defeated Women’s Tag Team Champions the Kabuki Warriors in a non-title match. Natalya tapped Asuka out to her Sharpshooter. As I wrote earlier, they were to challenge for the titles, but Natalya couldn’t be there and was replaced by Becky Lynch.

Tonight, Natalya goes one-on-one with Asuka. I couldn’t find any history of a singles match between these two.

Frank’s Analysis: See my notes on Becky and Charlotte teaming up earlier.

Other Match Results and Notable Segments from Last Week

  • Drew McIntyre defeated Sin Cara. Sin Cara has asked for his release from WWE.
    The 24/7 Championship was defended. I forgot if Truth was the champion or one of the Singh Brothers. Who cares.
  • Vic Joseph called the fans “finicky” when Seth Rollins got a mixed reaction upon his entrance. Is that a graduation, a demotion, or a lateral move from “fickle?”
  • Andrade defeated Cedric Alexander.
  • Aleister Black asked somebody to knock on his door for the 6,738th time.
  • Lana lied about being pregnant. Bobby Lashley beat up Rusev. The story still sucks.
  • Erick Rowan won a squash match and debuted something in a cage. Remember Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ snake Damien? It’s his son. No wait, it’s Koko B. Ware’s bird Frankie’s son. I don’t know.
  • Randy Orton & Ricochet & Humberto Carrillo defeated the O.C. Throughout the show tension was teased between Orton and Ricochet. Orton warned Ricochet not to let him get in his head. It appears Orton is turning babyface?

Summary & Closing Thoughts

Overall, it wasn’t a terrible Raw last week from a wrestling standpoint. The problem, at least for me, is this Lashley-Lana-Rusev story drags the show down. It’s doing none of them any favors. It’s not putting good heat on Lana and Lashley. Rusev looks like a big doofis. It really ruins the whole show. If somebody thinks that’s good TV, that’s your business. The ratings continue to drop, and wrestlers keep asking for their release. Now you’re seeing Oney Lorcan wanting to leave. Storylines are not consistent week to week. You’re made a fool to pay attention because one week they’ll do one thing and the next week another (example is the Becky-Charlotte-Natalya situation with the Kabuki Warriors). I’m hoping once this Lana-Rusev story ends and we get past Survivor Series, we can get back to some semblance of normal, whatever that may be.

CATCH UP… HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 11/11: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including Lana’s big announcement, Becky Lynch addresses Survivor Series opponents, women’s tag team title match, and more


Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.

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