SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
OCTOBER 11, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. AT CHASE ARENA
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-Jimmy Smith introduced the show and hyped the main event tag team match: Charlotte & Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks.
-Drew McIntyre made his ring entrance in street clothes, carrying his sword with him. The announcers talked about this perhaps being his last chance to win the WWE Title. Graves said he’d like to arrive on Friday nights for Smackdown as WWE Champion. Drew talked about this being the home of the Golden State Warriors. He talked about “the stacked line-up of Crown Jewel.” He said the match everybody will be talking about is him vs. Big E because he will once again become WWE Champion. He said this is his last opportunity at the title before he goes to Smackdown and he won’t let it slip through his fingers. He said had a story but then Big E’s music interrupted. Graves said Big E, “the face of Monday Night Raw,” has been living the best life and noted he was at a big college football game and boxing match over the weekend.
Big E said he understands why Drew wants to be WWE Champion so badly. He said he has tasted the spoils of being WWE Champion. He said he let the sweet juices of “the nectar drip down his chin, onto his neck, and betwixt his nipples.” He said Drew is a specimen, but he will never take his title from him. He said he the train has left the station, and he can get off the tracks or get run over. Drew said he’s talking about his nipples for some reason. He asked if he remembered the adrenaline rush of winning the WWE Title. He said he is on Cloud 9 and he should be. Drew said he held the WWE Title for 300 days and he’s damn proud of leading WWE “through uncertain times,” but he is still chasing his moment. He said that moment is coming at Crown Jewel. He said he will roll through him and win back his title and there’s nothing Big E can do about it. The Usos interrupted them jawing at each other.
The Usos made their way out. Saxton wondered what the Smackdown Tag Team Champions were doing there. Jey and Jimmy talked about who they think will win at Crown Jewel. Drew asked what they were doing there. The Usos entered. Jey said the Bloodline got drafted to Smackdown, but tonight they’re sending out warning shots. He said it’s 100 percent that Roman Reigns will beat Brock Lesnar, and they’re trying to figure out who is going to be WWE Champion. Graves inserted, “He’s talking about Survivor Series.” He warned Drew not to get in the cross hairs of the Tribal Chief and he warned Big E that he might add the WWE Title to his trophy case. Jimmy said they’ve already got plans for Big E’s boys. He brought up that if Big E wins, he’ll be facing Reigns at Survivor Series.
As they began to leave the ring, Big E said they can’t just do all that talking and just leave. He said he thinks he speaks for Drew. Drew said he cannot speak for him. The Usos challenged them to a match. They agreed to it. The Usos then jumped them and landed superkicks.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m not sure it is going to serve Drew McIntyre to sound like the corporate hype man for any WWE event, much less Crown Jewel. Big E got to be the weirdo he likes to be briefly, and Drew was good in at least reacting like Big E is a weirdo. It wasn’t difficult to see they were heading toward a tag match once the Usos came out. This ultimately was just paint-by-numbers formula segment for WWE we’ve seen with different players many times before. We’re in that post-Draft, pre-implementation zone where wrestlers from either brand are appearing on the other show. It doesn’t make a ton of sense that wrestlers who were on Smackdown and are staying on Smackdown get to wrestle on Raw, though.)
-Backstage, Kevin Patrick asked Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston what would happen if they end up facing each other in the semi-finals of the King of the Ring tournament. They both giggled obnoxiously and said their music is playing, so they had to head to the ring. Xavier stared at the crown on the stage before heading to the ring.
-A generic NXT 2.0 commercial aired with a barrage of brief images of wrestlers on the roster. [c]
(1) XAVIER WOODS (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. RICOCHET – King of the Ring Tournament first-round match
A soundbite aired with Ricochet as he made his ring entrance. Early in the match, a graphic hyped Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Theory later on Raw. They cut to an early break at 2:00 after a Ricochet superplex. [c]
Xavier scored a near fall after a gut-buster a few minutes after the break. When Xavier bailed out to ringside a minute later, Ricochet landed a running flip dive onto Xavier. He followed with a spear through the ropes. He then went for a third dive, but Xavier side-stepped him and threw him hard into the barricade. Xavier landed a springboard elbowdrop next for the three count. Xavier told the crown on the stage afterward that it’s “coming home to daddy.” He continued to yell in celebration.
WINNER: Xavier in 11:00 to advance to the second round.
-Highlights aired of the Randy Orton-Omos challenge and resulting angle last week.
-Backstage, Orton was sitting in the locker room listening to his headphones when Riddle walked in. Riddle said someone has challenged him to a one-on-one match later. Orton said, “Riddle, what did you do?” Riddle said Orton’s plan worked so well last week, he learned from him. He said he looks at Orton like a wise uncle. He said his history teacher in 8th grade told him about a man named Jack who trapped a giant. Orton said what happened last week was a one-time thing and he shouldn’t have challenged Omos himself. “Bro, you’re on your own,” he said. Riddle said, “No plan? Just like we’re ‘not getting matching snake-skin Speedos?'”
-Mansoor and Mustafa Ali made their ring entrance. [c]
-They went to the announcers at ringside. Jimmy Smith said it’s been quieter lately on Raw because Miz has been on “Dancing with the Stars.” Graves plugged votes for Miz.
(Keller’s Analysis: Isn’t it only fair if people vote for Miz because of how he performs on the show rather than turning it into some sort of cheap popularity contest void of any merit? How dare WWE besmirch the integrity of reality TV competition shows.)
(2) MANSOOR & MUSTAFA ALI vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER & SHELTON BENJAMIN
As the match began, a graphic hyped Riddle vs. Omos. And just like that, the match was over, as Mansoor dove onto Shelton at ringside as Ali missed a top rope 450 splash, and then Cedric landed a Michinoku Driver into a jackknife cover for the three count. Graves said sometimes it’s just one big win that can boost their confidence and start a winning streak. When Mansoor tried to help Ali up, Ali shoved him down and said he’s sick of this. He stormed off.
WINNERS: Cedric & Shelton in 2:00.
-They replayed Shayna Baszler injuring Nia Jax and Eva Marie, but then Doudrop saving Dana Brooke from the same fate last week on Raw.
-Shayna began her ring entrance. [c]
(3) SHAYNA BASZLER vs. DANA BROOKE – Queen’s Crown Tournament first-round match
Brooke’s ring entrance didn’t air. The match began right after the break. Brooke escaped an early Kirafuda Clutch attempt and put up a spirited fight for a minute until she ate a knee to the chin and got pinned. After the match, Baszler took some cheapshots at Brooke. Brooke yelled from ringside, “Uncalled for! Uncalled for!” Way to tell her, Dana!
WINNER: Baszler in under 2:00 to advance to the second round.
-They showed the brackets showing that Baszler will face the winner of the Natalya vs. Doudrop match, and the the winner of that will face the winner of Carmella vs. Zelina Vega in the fianls.
-Backstage, Charlotte said, “Who cares about Shayna Baszler?” She said she is the Raw Women’s Champion and she only cares about herself. She said she is royalty and the most decorated woman in WWE history. She took digs at her opponents tonight. She said she hopes Sasha Banks walks out as Smackdown Champion, and then she’ll become the double champion and meld the titles together.
-Graves hyped the tag match later with Charlotte & Becky vs. Sasha & Bianca. He said it could have more discord than anything they’ve ever seen on Raw before.
-Riddle made his entrance. Graves wondered if this is a trap that Riddle has set for Omas. [c]
-After Omos made his ring entrance with Styles, A.J. Riddle said he’s been doing a lot of thinking. He said he’s good at thinking, and cited Brogurt as evidence of his great ideas. He lost his train of thought and he said it happens to him all the time. Riddle then yelled, “Okay, Randy! Now!” Orton didn’t show up. Riddle said that’s classic Randy, and he’s probably waiting for his secret code word. He sang, “I hear voices in my head.” Styles said this is ridiculous because he’s just stalling. He said San Francisco can see it and they’re not the smartest people in the world. He said Riddle is stalling, so he told the ref to just ring the bell. Riddle got a “Randy! Randy!” chant started.
(4) RIDDLE vs. OMOS
The bell rang, and Riddle slid to the floor immediately and kicked away at Styles’s chest. Omos yanked him back into the ring by his hair. He splashed Riddle in the corner, then chokeslammed him and put his foot on his chest. The ref began counting, but Styles told him to remove his foot before the three count. Styles said they can “beat the crap out of him as long as they want.” He told him to round kick him. Omos delivered a round kick to Riddle’s head. Styles said it was beautiful. Styles asked to see it on replay. They aired it on the big screen. He asked to see it in sl0-mo. They replayed it in slo-mo, although they sped it up at the impact point. Omos then gave him a chokeslam. Styles told him to put his foot on his chest because they’re done with him. Omos did, and he got the three count.
WINNER: Omos in under 3:00.
-Styles entered the ring and said Omos is done, but he’s not. He set up a Styles Clash, but Orton’s music played. Styles and Omos looked around for Orton, but Orton didn’t come out at first. Orton finally did come out and he came up behind Styles and gave him an RKO. Riddle smiled and celebrated with Orton afterward.
(Keller’s Analysis: I get their commitment to Omos being this unbeatable giant who is on some other level than anyone else, but whatever benefit Riddle is getting from associating with Orton is being wiped out by being jobbed out to Omos like this where he’s not even treated as a threat to last against him. They tried to “protect him” a bit by having him go after Styles instead of being focused on the match, but that didn’t make a difference in the end since Riddle looked so hapless.)
-Clips aired of the opening segment. Then Drew confronted Big E backstage over what happened earlier. Big E said they’re going to beat the bricks off each other at Crown Jewel, but they have to figure out how to face the Usos tonight. He offered to let bygones be bygones. Drew said he was making good points. He said the Usos are clearly there with Reigns’s permission, and so that means the Head of the Table is scared and concerned about them. He said a win tonight would be big for them. Big E said he saw Drew’s dimples start to percolate when he started talking about the nectar juices and nipples. Drew smiled and shook Big E’s hand Mega Powers style. They ended with a fist bump.
-Saxton hyped the Drew & Big E vs. Usos tag match and said it appears that Drew and Big E can coexist.
-Bobby Lashley made his entrance. Smith said they weren’t expecting him tonight. [c]
-They showed a postcard shot of Chase Center. Then a recap aired of the Goldberg promo last week including him telling Lashley he’s going to enjoy watching his “lifeless body gasping for air.”
-Lashley stood mid-ring and said a lot of people have asked him why challenged Goldberg to a No Holds Barred match. Goldberg said vowing to kill someone is not befitting a WWE Superstar or a WWE Hall of Famer. He asked fans who they are going to root for – someone like him dressed like a million dollars who defended the WWE Title with honor the entire year or someone dressed with cutoff sleeves, frothing at the mouth, and screaming about murder. Fans chanted “Goldberg.” He said, “Really classy.” He said that’s why he challenged him to a No Holds Barred match. He said he can’t go into a normal match with someone acting like a rabid animal. He said that dog needs to be put down. He said he will do that at Crown Jewel. He said he will finally end Goldberg’s career. He said Goldberg can’t beat the All Mighty or even hurt the All Mighty and he damn sure can’t kill the All Mighty.
-A backstage promo aired with Sasha Banks. She told Belair to sit back and follow her lead. She said she’s the standard and the blue print for a reason.
(Keller’s Analysis: Other than doing that hideous laugh, she seemed back on Planet Earth when delivering that promo, unlike her demeanor earlier this year on camera time after time.)
-Jeff Hardy made his ring entrance. [c]
-A clip aired of Austin Theory attacking Jeff Hardy last week.
(5) AUSTIN THEORY vs. JEFF HARDY
Graves said he doesn’t believe just because someone has been around a long time that they deserve everyone’s respect. Smith said Theory is regarded in the locker room as an up-and-comer worth looking out for. A minute into the match, Reggie was chased to the ring by 24/7 Title contenders. Reggie and Tozawa ran into the ring and then to the floor. Reggie ran through the crowd. R-Truth entered the ring. Theory asked if he knows who he is. Truth shook his head no and ran. Hardy then went after a DISTRACTED Theory with an inverted atomic drop and legdrop followed a Twist of Fate. When he went for a Swanton Bomb, Theory moved, then rolled up Hardy with a yank on his jeans for the win.
WINNER: Theory in 2:00.
-A video package aired on the contract signing gone awry on Smackdown last Friday.
-Backstage, Belair spoke about winning with character and heart, whereas Charlotte thinks winning comes from being ruthless, but for her that usually means cheating. She said she doesn’t have to cheat to win, and she’ll show that at Crown Jewel. In response to Sasha wanting her to follow her lead, she brought up beating her at WrestleMania. She said she’ll be happy to make Becky “Becky No Belts” again. She talked about putting Becky and Charlotte through tables.
-Jinder Mahal made his ring entrance along with Veer and Shanky. [c]
-Patrick interviewed Xavier and Kofi. He asked then again who would win if they end up in the semi-finals. Kofi said, “Who? Who?” Xavier told Patrick to let him do his work. He made his way to the ring.
(6) KOFI KINGSTON (w/Xavier Woods) vs. JINDER MAHAL (w/Veer, Shanky)
Graves touted Veer’s upside. Smith said Jinder “has a storied PAAASST.” (Why did he accentuate the word “PAST” like he just that second bit into an onion thinking it was an apple? Can’t he just emphasize words in the natural flow of how humans normally speak instead of this phony put-on accentuating of random words as if it’s some sort of slick professional technique or something? He would oddly accentuate the word “ME!” when he’d lean on the phrase, “Are you kidding ME!?” in his early weeks on Raw. It’s a breakable bad habit.) Kofi leaped onto Jinder off the second rope. Xavier made some grating noises at ringside as he celebrated, and they cut to a break as Veer and Shanky went to check on Jinder. [c]
Back from the break, Jinder was in control. Kofi made a comeback a scored a two count after a splash off the ropes. He followed with a Boom Drop. (Smith didn’t seem to know that’s what it was called.) Xavier went after Veer and Shaky at ringside, but he got taken out by a Veer clothesline. Kofi went to Xavier’s aid. Jinder went after Kofi from behind. Kofi fought back and leaped off the top rope, but Jinder countered into a Khalas for the win. Jinder celebrated by sitting on the throne.
WINNER: Mahal in 8:00 to advance to the second round.
(Keller’s Analysis: Wrestlers look so foolish getting so excited about sitting on the throne or winning the crown.)
-Becky spoke backstage in response to what Sasha, Belair, and Charlotte said earlier. She said she’s always five steps ahead. She said teaming with Charlotte “might be about as repulsive to me as the smell of piss in a downtown alley.” She bragged about beating Belair in 28 seconds and said Sasha just runs home and cries every time she loses. “Bring on the tears, because I’ll be walking out of Crown Jewel the same way I walked in – as Smackdown Women’s Champion.”
-Sasha made her ring entrance. Saxton said they can expect discord, disdain, and dissension more than they have ever seen before. [c]
-Belair made her ring entrance, twirling her braid the whole way. Saxton hyped the Lynch vs. Belair vs. Banks match at Crown Jewel. Charlotte came out third. Then finally Becky.
-Charlotte stood in her corner and just tried to ignore everyone. Belair and Banks argued over who would start the match. Banks yanked Belair by her braid into the corner. Belair shoved Sasha into her corner. Becky attacked Belair. Charlotte stepped out of the ring, but knocked off the ring apron. Banks yanked Belair off of Becky. Belair and Becky fought in one corner as Banks and Charlotte fought in another corner. They continued to fight for a minute as the ref tried to restore order before starting the match. Charlotte surprised her partner Becky with a boot. Saxton said they can’t be surprised by any of this. Charlotte then climbed to the top rope, but Banks knocked her off. Belair then threw Sasha off the top rope onto Becky and Charlotte on the floor. WWE officials ran out to try to restore some order. Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce stepped onto the ramp and scolded them. Sonya said they need to get back in the ring and start the match. The four women brawled as they cut to a break. [c]
(7) BECKY LYNCH & CHARLOTTE FLAIR vs. SASHA BANKS & BIANCA BELAIR
When Smith kept mispronouncing “melee” as “mee-lee,” Graves called him on it and asked if “may-lay” and “mee-lee” are the same thing. Smith insisted they’re the same thing and they’re interchangeable. (They’re not.) Charlotte tagged herself in by just slapping Becky’s head over and over from behind. She then told Becky to “get your ass out of here.” As Charlotte mouthed off at Becky, Sasha jumped Charlotte from behind. Belair and Sasha then fought. Belair dropped Sasha face-first into the top turnbuckle. The ref called for the bell. Smith said, “It’s gone from a tag match to a no contest.”
WINNER: No contest in 5:00.
-Afterward, Becky blocked a back stabber and then dropped Sasha with a spinning side kick and a uranage. ‘There is it is!” said Smith, oddly.
–They showed Jimmy Uso on the phone apparently talking with Roman Reigns about accomplishing their designated mission. The Usos said Drew and Big E are going to be at each other’s throats tonight.
-Doudrop made her ring entrance. [c]
-They showed Stephanie McMahon getting inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame.
-They went to the announcers on commentary. Smith said the WWE Draft has changed everything. He said he can’t wait to see the Rated-R Superstar (Edge) on Raw. They showed a graphic of the roster and Saxton marveled at Gable Steveson coming to Raw. Graves predicted Keith “Bearcat” Lee is going to inflict a lot of damage.
-An inset interview aired with Doupdrop as Doupdrop continued to dance in the ring. She said if she’s lucky enough to defeat Natalya tonight, she’ll be one step closer to being Queen.
(8) NATALYA vs. DOUDROP – Queen’s Crown Tournament first-round match
Natalya took control early including a near fall and then an abdominal stretch. Doudrop powered out of it and then splashed Natalya in the corner. She went for a cannonball in the corner, but Natalya moved and she landed on her head. Natalya hit a discus clothesline for a near fall. Natalya went for a sharpshooter, but Doudrop slapped her to escape, then schoolboyed her for the win. As Doudrop celebrated, they showed Baszler reacting with a smile backstage.
WINNER: Doudrop in 4:00 to advance to the second round.
-They cut backstage to John Morrison meditating. Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. showed up. Ripley asked what he was doing. Morrison said he obviously is tapping into his chi so he can share his inner-most thoughts with the world. “There is a lot going on up here,” he said. Nikki said everyone should follow their dreams. Ripley asked Nikki if she knows what he is talking about. Nikki said, “Nope.”
(Keller’s Analysis: So Vince McMahon must’ve heard someone touting meditation and he thinks it’s so new weird thing people are doing that he can make fun of, right?) [c]
-Backstage the camera was filming Mansoor walking the halls for some reason when Patrick suddenly approached him to ask what happened earlier. Mustafa Ali walked up to him and called him a giant waste of time. He said he doesn’t deserve to be in WWE and he’s just a fanboy wanting to make friends and dance. Ali said without him he’s going to get eaten alive and he can’t wait to see it. He said the day he met him, he should have told him to his face that he’s a worthless loser and nothing. Mansoor looked crushed. Patrick said that must’ve been hard to hear. Mansoor said he’s have a talk with him later. Ali jumped him from behind and beat him up for a minute.
-Drew and Big E made separate ring entrance. [c]
(9) BIG E & DREW MCINTYRE vs. JIMMY & JEY USO
Jimmy said, “Turnaround is fair play.” (Is that the same as “Turnabout is fair play?” Jimmy would insist it is.) The Usos isolated Big E in their corner. Big E made a comeback, but went for a splash on the ring apron and crashed. The Usos threw him into the ringside steps. They cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, the Usos were still on offense. Big E eventually hot-tagged Drew. He eventually got stereo superkicked leading to a near fall by Jey. Drew made a comeback. He signaled for the Claymore. Big E tagged himself in. Graves said it’s payback for last week. Big E told Drew to get out of the ring. He then walked right into a Jey superkick. And another. That led to a near fall. Graves said Drew didn’t attempt to save Big E. Jey then climbed to the top rope, but looked over at Drew. Big E moved. He set up a Big Ending, but Jey shoved Big E into Drew, knocking him to the floor. Big E caught a charging Jey with a uranage, but when he made the cover, Drew pulled Big E by his boot to ringside. Big E and Drew shoved each other. Then they came to blows. Drew bled from the forehead. The ref counted them out. The crowd groaned.
WINNERS: The Usos via countout.
-Afterward, the Usos leaped onto Big E and Drew on the floor. They threw Big E into the announce desk. They threw Drew into the ringside barricade. Big E made a comeback with a suplex. Drew then gave Jimmy an overhead suplex. Big E called Drew into the ring. They resumed fighting each other. Big E set up a Big Ending, but Drew slipped free and landed a Claymore. Drew’s music played as Big E was out cold on his back in the ring.