Roman Reigns is the #1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and will be facing Seth Freakin’ Rollins at Survivor Series and the world appears to be OK with it. Just a reminder to the IWC: This is what we wanted and this is a good thing. The beginning of a slow burn that will hopefully lead to a Shield triple threat at Wrestlemania for the title. Rejoice! Seth is a slimy heel that everyone wants to see get his comeuppance, Reigns has bounced back in a huge way post Mania 31, and Dean Ambrose is a wild card here. There is history here and three young and fresh faces are in the main event picture. This has all of the elements for a great story and great matches. Rejoice!
Roman Reigns came out to the Denver, Colorado crowd to a pretty big ovation. He cut a short and sweet promo before Seth Rollins interrupted. Both guys offered compliments to one another but Seth made sure Roman knows that he will always be known as the guy who carried his bags. I don’t buh-lee dat. Roman strikes me as an individual that would be pissed if he had to push his own shopping cart. The Authority came out and made the title match between these two official at Survivor Series. Steph looked lovely as always. HHH with the political, non-PG, weed referenced zinger. Booyah. In the spirit of SS, The Authority made a traditional 5v5 elimination match for the main event: Team Rollins vs. Team Reigns. Sweet.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens
Great way to open the show. Is it just me, or does it feel like Dolph is taking a punishment that should have gone to Rusev? Oh, and whenever the Bulgarian Brute comes back, it needs to be with Lana.
Kevin Owens works the leg the entire match and Ziggler sells it like a champ. We get some back and forth and the match is interrupted by a Tyler Breeze appearance. He and Summer have a seat in the VIP next to announce. Tyler has a gimmick that is perfectly suited for NXT and I’m not sure it’s going to translate well on the main roster. If we have to see that entrance every week and be subjected to the selfies and hear the announcers talk about him taking selfies, then this is going to get annoying very quick. And not in the glorious New Day way either. More in the “Adam Rose” and “I hear you’re on Superstars” way. We’ll see. KO gets the victory with a pop-up powerbomb after Ziggler was distracted by Tyler. He tried to get a selfie with a laid out Ziggler, who attempted to fight, but Ziggler gets hit with a Beauty Shot. Tyler still accomplished his selfie-taking mission.
We get the first of three great Survivor Series video packages. WWE’s production team doesn’t get nearly enough praise.
We also saw Seth recruiting KO for his team for later tonight. Seth entices him with a vision for Champion vs. Champion at Wrestlemania. KO liked the sound of that. “Remember, you owe me one.” Wooooo! I like potential seeds being planted. If WWE cared about things like nuance and continuity, this may be something great sometime down the road.
Let’s Talk Divas
Renee interviews Becky Lynch asking her about the dastardly deeds of Paige. It’s nice to see some shine on Becky; she’s got personality galore. Brie interrupts and some hate seeds get sprinkled to prepare us for the Fatal 4-Way later on tonight. Sasha also got some backstage interview time with Jojo and the table is set.
Just when I thought the flame was starting to die out on the Divas, we got a much needed injection via the interviews and this incredible match. I think what was needed was just for the Nikki/Charlotte thing to die out. Paige is WAAYYYYYYY better suited as a heel. She is just someone who I love to hate. I say that with love.
The match itself was fantastic. I normally don’t like triple threats and fatal 4-way matches because there can be awkward pauses/breaks/overselling until it’s time for a spot. Brie was in the corner for what felt like 5 minutes. Overall, the match was outstanding. Becky stood out and Sasha is still The Boss. My heart was sad that Sasha didn’t win, but my head understands that it’s not her time just yet. Paige and Charlotte have a score that needs to be immediately dealt with first. It’s the reason I appreciated the ending of the match with Paige and Becky. Sasha still looks good and we can move forward with an emotionally driven personal feud.
Paige’s promo at the end of the match was hot fire. Taunting the crowd, calling Charlotte ‘Baby Flair’, and telling Byron Saxton that he can go. Go Byron. Just keep going. Go.
In case you haven’t figured it out, I loved the Divas action tonight. Great women’s wrestling and promo work by all. High praise and champagne. Look forward to Survivor Series (and Wrestlemania season).
Cesaro vs. The Miz
Wow. Miz still wrestles. Didn’t know that. At this point, I think he’s better served as WWE’s ambassador and straight to DVD person. Cesaro was on fire the whole match as he is every night. I don’t know exactly what he needs to get over more but it’s substantially more than just fans holding up Cesaro Section signs. I throw my hands up in defeat every time I see him. I don’t know what more a wrestler needs. Someone school me with thoughts. Seriously. I’m all ears.
Cesaro wins after a 25+ revolution swing and sharpshooter on Miz. Oh, and Stardust and The Ascension were at ringside for some reason.
Bray Wyatt Promo
Bray was another man on fire last night delivering an incredible promo. He told us about the successful harvesting of both Kane and The Undertaker’s souls.
“I have become that higher power.”
How? Bray didn’t go into the exact specifics about the soul harvesting process. Perhaps that was for the best. I was genuinely curious. One thing is for certain: That promo was wrestling at its corny best. Great job. Seed planted for Brothers of Destruction vs. The Wyatt Family? Hmmm.
Lucha Dragons vs. King Barrett & Sheamus
So 'pleasant surprise of the night' honors goes to this Raw gem right here. Not only was this match given ample time, but the Lucha Dragons got a CLEAN VICTORY. Holy crap. I was so happy. Those two are too talented. I’ve raved before about Kalisto. That dude is amazing. Could you imagine a match between him and Prince Puma from Lucha Underground? My brain melts thinking about it. This tag match was amazingly good considering the difference of styles between the two teams. Good call on giving the Dragons a clean victory. I dig a push for them.
R-Truth vs. Alberto Del Rio
So some people are upset that Del Rio is back. I don’t mind seeing him back. In fact, I don’t think he should have ever been fired for that incident way back when. But him going over Cena the way he did? Ugh. That was a giant poop on all those U.S. challengers. But, whatever. I can move on. I don’t understand this Mexamerica thing but all roads seem to point to a Jack Swagger vs. Del Rio feud. Meh.
Truth vs. Del Rio was fairly decent given the allotted time and Del Rio is looking better than he ever did. Also more of an aggressive streak. I also dig that he’s winning matches with moves other than his arm bar. It should make his matches more interesting. Anyway, nice to see him back and we’ll see if his signing was a smart business deal moving forward.
New Day and Seth Rollins are backstage. New Day volunteer themselves for Team Rollins. Rollins notices they are one short. But, through the power of positivity and magical unicorn horns, they summoned Xavier Woods! He’s back! And Trombone! Missed you, Buddy! Team Roll-ins! Team Roll-ins! Team Roll-ins!
5v5 Traditional Survivor Series Match – Team Rollins vs. Team Reigns
New Day went out into the arena and we were graced with the greatest iteration of the Harlem Shake I’ve ever seen. Big E is GOLD. They are met with New Day Sucks chants and Xavier shushes the crowd.
“You know we’re going to talk, right?”
Amazing. I feel like this should be the response to any crowd that uses that ‘WHAT?!’ chant. Just be equally as annoying and shush ‘em. Oh, and I need that magical New Day shirt in my life. I just… need one. I haven’t the slightest clue as to how Kevin Owens maintained a straight face while New Day rocked out to both of his and Rollins theme song. I was cackling like a friggin’ banshee.
Team Magical Unicorns faced the team of Roman Reigns, the returning Usos, Ryback, and Dean Ambrose. It was an incredible main event and action packed. My only gripe was the first elimination was too much like Mark Henry last year. It’s too fresh. And Trombone wasn’t at ringside which made me double sad.
After the immediate elimination of Xavier, Kofi was eliminated with a Frog Splash from Jay, Jay was eliminated by Big E, Jimmy was eliminated by KO, Ryback eliminated Big E, Seth eliminated Ryback, Dean eliminated KO after an inadvertent knee to the face by Seth, and then Seth gets DQed after he beats Dean and Roman with a chair. Roman managed to get a Superman Punch off and it sent Seth flying out. Great Raw and great main event.
Side Note: Keep Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens FAR from each other. These two need to feud at some point and it can’t be for anything less than the WWE Heavyweight Title. There’s a chance for Dean to play an important role in the Seth and Roman feud. Heel turn perhaps? There’s enough of a history to tell a story through Wrestlemania. I’m adamant about it.
Raw has been great these last two weeks. Two Cena-less Raws. Things are looking up and I’m excited. What did you think of Raw last night? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Until next time!