SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Miz TV – MISS: So Raw is centering around their Team Raw men’s and women’s teams for Survivor Series. Both of those teams can’t get along. There is so much of the storytelling on Raw right now that surrounds these two teams fighting each other. So for some reason, WWE thought it was a good idea to build this week’s main event around another team that can’t get along. WWE is focusing on The New Day against The Street Profits at the PPV, but that might change since New Day is facing the Hurt Business for the Raw Tag Team Titles next week. So, why muddy the waters with yet another team in Miz & Morrison trying to earn a Title shot too? I did like Randy Orton’s mic work here where he was much better than last week. But there was just too much going on here with Miz and his MITB briefcase to go on top of the rest of it.
Second Chance Triple Threat – MISS: WWE does this far too often. They have a series of qualifying matches for something big like being part of team Survivor Series (not that that’s actually big), or Money in the Bank, or whatever, and then all the losers get into some type of multi-person match for a 2nd chance. The problem is that it undercuts those qualifying matches. I was told to care about who won between Matt Riddle and Sheamus, but in the end, they both got onto the team. The match itself was fine, but nothing special.
Women’s Team – MISS: I’m just not a fan of what WWE is doing with the Women’s Survivor Series team. This is really hurting Shayna Baszler who should be a top star. They haven’t done anything to make me care about Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose as a team. They want me to cheer for Lana for not quitting, but that isn’t working either. Nia Jax is the only one who looks like she might come out of this better than before.
Riddle & Lee vs. Sheamus & Strowman – HIT: The long talking segment which set up this tag match with A.J. Styles as the guest referee was okay. I did enjoy the match even if I’m not enjoying the storyline overall. Obviously, there was a lot of talent in the ring. I thoroughly got a kick out of Styles getting kneed and kicked by Riddle and then squashed by Kieth Lee and Braun Strowman before the commercial break. The match had good wrestling action. It went a good length at 12 minutes. This was fun.
Bliss – Cross – MISS: I do appreciate the fact that WWE is trying to continue the story of how Alexa Bliss’ relationship with Bray Wyatt has effected her friendship with Nikki Cross. The performances here were fine. The problem is that WWE seems to be angling The Fiend to be a babyface against Randy Orton. Yet here, Bliss is treating her former best friend in a very heelish manner. So, why should I cheer for her like they want me to when she’s with Wyatt?
Lashley vs. O’Neal – HIT: Hits don’t have to be big moments. Sometimes a strong heel like Bobby Lashley getting a 2 minute squash over a jobber like Titus O’Neal is enough to get a Hit. I continue to greatly enjoy what MVP is doing on the mic right now, and Lashley and O’Neal were good here too in setting up this short United States Championship match.
Jax vs. Asuka – HIT: It is not surprising that this match ended in a non-finish with Baszler attacking Asuka in the end to cause a disqualification. What was surprising to me is how much I enjoyed the match before that. Asuka is great in the ring, but Jax is far from it. However, she can have good matches with the right opponents and Asuka does seem to bring out the best in her. The match was short at 8 minutes considering about half of that was on the commercial break, but I did enjoy what we saw. This was the one bright spot in the otherwise poor presentation of Raw’s women’s team.
24/7 Crap – MISS: This is a waste of time and at least some talent. I get that three hours is a long time to fill on a show and this helps them do it, but there have to be ways of filling the time that are much better than this.
Ricochet vs. Ali – HIT: While I don’t care about Retribution and feel it is odd to have them trying to recruit Ricochet onto their team right after Hurt Business tried to do the same. Mustafa Ali is very talented, but his words ring hollow when he talks about ending or ruining things. So, the storyline is bad, but this was a great match. Ricochet and Ali are so talented in the ring, that it isn’t surprising that they would put on such a good match especially when they were given 14 minutes. It is just a shame that their characters have been so wasted at this point.
Main Event – MISS: This Miss is largely a continuation of the Miss from MizTV in the opening segment. I did appreciate the fact that Drew McIntyre got to end the show standing tall, but they keep jobbing out Mr. Money in the Bank. At least it was John Morrison who took the pin fall here, but Miz continues to be a loser. In a vacuum, I like the idea of Orton never tagging into the match, but again, it was on the same show where two other big teams couldn’t get along. So seeing this team not being able to get along in the main event didn’t have the same impact. The wrestling in the match was fine, but nothing special.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonMezzera.