Monday Night Raw featured all the fallout from the TLC PPV and laid the platform for the battle of the brands that has become Survivor Series. Without wanting to sound negative, there wasn’t much on this show that made much sense at all.
Kurt Angle announces matches for Survivor Series. Grade: B-. The fans welcomed their Olympic Hero with chants of “You Still Got It”, and are they ever right. He announced that at Survivor Series the champions of Raw and Smackdown will go head to head, before the Miz interrupted and continued to abrade the General Manager as he does so well. The booking of Survivor Series is another article in itself but an effective segment nonetheless.
AJ Styles, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose defeated The Miz & The Bar. Grade: A- Just look at the talent involved in this match and it’s no wonder it was a joy to watch. A wonderful six-man tag match where all involved looked excellent in action. Kane laid out the babyfaces after the match; having the Big Red Machine destroy AJ Styles & The Raw Tag Team Champions is just absurd, where this has come from I have no idea.
Kane cut a promo and defeated Finn Balor. Grade: D- Can anyone explain why Finn Balor, 24 hours after one of the biggest wins of his career, is putting over a 50-year-old Kane so strongly? Answers on a postcard please. Kane’s promo was good enough and I understand building him strongly so he can ultimately be decimated by Braun Strowman, but sacrificing Finn Balor who received an enormous reaction upon his arrival from the crowd in this situation is just unforgivable. Absolutely disgraceful.
Asuka defeated Emma. Grade: C. May as well have copied and pasted the match from TLC, as the rematch fared no different. The exact same sort of match with Emma dominating the majority of the match only for Asuka to come back and win, all while the commentators struggled to cohesively sell the danger of The Empress of Tomorrow. Can anyone explain why Asuka isn’t being booked as a bonified killer, but instead as just any other woman on the roster? WWE sure knows how to make a Japanese megastar feel like nothing, see Shinsuke Nakamura.
Alexa Bliss Promo. Grade: B. Bliss is always fantastic on the mic and she was no different here. She expressed her disappointment in the crowd for not giving her the appreciation she deserves, but instead losing their minds for AJ Styles & Finn Balor. Bliss tried to get the crowd to chant at her but to no avail. Mickie James laid out the champion and how she hit those moves in those heels was remarkable. This feud looks set to continue and rightfully so, their whole feud so far has been fantastic!
Elias vs Jason Jordan ends in Disqualification after Elias smashed his guitar over Jason Jordan. Grade: C+ Elias gave the crowd another musical performance which was interrupted by technical sound difficulties which Jason Jordan seemed to claim responsibility for. Elias and his “who wants to walk with Elias” draws such a great reaction, he has truly done a remarkable job since his call up to the main roster. The match was once again nothing special and hardly any different to their TLC match 24 hour earlier. A brutal guitar shot should hopefully spark this feud, but Jordan has just become impossible to care about since this awful father-son angle (see what I did there); however unfortunately it’s hard to imagine WWE putting Elias over in the end here.
Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar respond to Jinder Mahal’s challenge. Grade: A+ This is exactly why Paul Heyman is the greatest talker in WWE history, no one else could spark such interest in this match however after his work tonight, I cannot wait to see The Beast Incarnate decimate the Maharaja. Heyman trashed Mahal’s title reign essentially saying he’s an awful WWE Champion and not even in the same conversation as some of the greatest to hold that belt, including his client. He laughed off the idea that Mahal offers any sort of challenge to Lesnar and promised Brock would take him to Suplex City at Survivor Series. Heyman referencing what happened the last time a Smackdown Star took on Lesnar at Survivor Series and the events of the match with Randy Orton last year reinforced the danger and capabilities of Lesnar. Paul Heyman, take a bow.
Alicia Fox defeated Sasha Banks & Bayley. Grade: B+ If this is the start of a big push for Alicia Fox then count me in, her crazy character is refreshing and hilarious, and her as the captain of the Raw Women’s Survivor Series team is sure to be comedy gold. This also teased ever so slightly more tension between Bayley & Sasha which ultimately has to be the biggest women’s feud WWE has up their sleeve.
Kalisto, Gran Metalik, Mustafa Ali, Rich Swann & Cedric Alexander defeated Enzo Amore, Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari & Noam Dar. Grade: C- This was really an absolute mess. We still have no reason or explanation as to why all these heels are siding with Enzo after they all destroyed him only a matter of weeks ago. One segment with as many guys thrown together as possible is not the way to showcase the Cruiserweight Division on Raw. What was entertaining here was Drew Gulak doing Enzo’s usual promo before the match; Gulak truly is hilarious and his character is very underappreciated.
Smackdown invades Raw. Grade: D. Kurt Angel was about to announce the Raw Survivor Series team members when the Smackdown Locker Room led by Commissioner Shane McMahon invaded and decimated the entire Raw Locker Room. While the intensity was great here, it is exactly the same as what happened last year and made absolutely no sense at all. Great intensity, great action, but the lack of story and how little sense this whole thing makes leaves this writer feeling quite underwhelmed.