27th Nov2018

WWE Raw – Nov 26th 2018: Results & Review

by Phil Wheat

2018-raw-logo

Welcome to this weeks review of Raw, the WWE’s “flagship” show which is – currently – getting so bad that I’m considering switching to a highlight reel for these reviews. Anyway… let’s see if this weeks episode can turn things, and my opinion, round!

Match #1: Bobby Lashley def. Elias

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

“All Mighty” or not, even Bobby Lashley needs a hand sometimes. Faced with a gritty challenge from Elias, Lashley found himself bailed out by “General Manager-Elect” Baron Corbin when The Lone Wolf turned the match into a No Disqualification bout after Elias connected with a top-rope elbow drop and Lio Rush broke up a surefire three-count by yanking the ref out of the ring. That opened the door for Drew McIntyre and Corbin to join in on a 3-on-1 beatdown too savage for The Living Truth to overcome. Off the strength of a little help from his friends, Lashley sealed the night with a parade of poses, culminating with a knee on Elias’ chest that — despite a last-gasp effort to break the count — was enough to put the guitarist down for three.

My Take: Lashley and Elias had a match two weeks ago. A match that had the same b*llshit overpowering of Elias as this one. Only their previous pairing had a lot more humour from Elias (that “child protective services” line is still one of the best of the year). This match was just dull. And annoying. And a waste of time and talent. But that’s Raw all over these days.

Match #2: The Lucha House Party def. The Revival (Lucha House Rules Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The Revival’s never-ending Lucha House nightmare continues, as Dash & Dawson’s rematch with The Lucha House Party was once again contested under the “Lucha House Rules” that allow Kalisto, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado to all compete legally in the contest. Who exactly authorized the stipulation was somewhat up for debate, as Corey Graves screamed that “General Manager-Elect” Baron Corbin hadn’t signed off on the change. In any case, whatever game plan the “Top Guys” had was quickly overwhelmed by rapid-fire tags that the stipulation afforded their opponents. Despite some mid-match adjustments — including a cheeky Gory Special from Dash Wilder — the speed was too much for the two-time NXT Tag Team Champions, who made a pre-match show of painting Lucha House Rules as disrespectful to the tag team traditions they claim to embody. As such, the final trifecta of Kalisto’s Salida del Sol, Metalik’s senton off the ropes and a Shooting Star Press from Lince Dorado didn’t so much end the match as put Dash & Dawson out of their misery.

My Take: Last week this was exciting. This week less so. Still the best match of this weeks Raw – though given the rest of the card that isn’t too high a praise!

Match #3: Raw Tag Team Champions AOP def. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Bobby Roode & Chad Gable relentlessly made fun of Drake Maverick for his bladder mishap last week, but they probably wish they hadn’t right about now. Though the fresh-faced tandem earned a championship match with Maverick’s AOP as a result of their non-title victory last week, they found themselves unmanned by a dastardly distraction from the 205 Live General Manager-turned-tag-team impresario. During the title match, Maverick slyly stole Roode’s robe and waltzed into a backstage bathroom, where he draped the garment over a toilet and loudly relieved himself all over $10,000-plus threads. Adding insult to injury, he whistled Roode’s theme song while doing the deed. This inglorious distraction was more than enough to throw off Roode & Gable, allowing AOP to bulldoze Roode into Gable at ringside and administer the powerbomb-neckbreaker combo to The Glorious One to retain their titles.

My Take: Right… So Drake Maverick (formerly Rockstar Spud) is going to fill the exact same idiotic role in WWE as he did in TNA/Impact. Only this time the WWE are throwing in a pee fetish too. Fantastic! Next they’ll be copying Joey Ryan’s signature move. Oh no, they won’t because pee jokes are funny to 12 years old and penis flips aren’t (they are). Everyone involved in this match should be ashamed. Ashamed enough to sign with AEW when they launch – at least then they might stand the chance of a respectable match rather than participating in this sh*t.

Match #4: Ember Moon def. Alicia Fox

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Among the ripples of Braun Strowman’s injury has been its unexpected effect on the Mixed Match Challenge: With the Raw playoffs set to start tomorrow night, Ember Moon now has to start fresh with a new partner in Curt Hawkins. Teaming up with a Superstar that boasts a 236-match losing streak is tomorrow’s problem, though, and Moon certainly looks primed to shoulder her share of the load. The former NXT Women’s Champion defeated Alicia Fox with a breathtaking Eclipse in a preview of tomorrow’s match, much to the delight of Hawkins, who now has some genuine hope to add a long-awaited notch to the win column. Hawkins and Ember even joined in on No Way Jose’s conga line before Jose’s match against Jinder Mahal — a pre-emptive celebration, to be sure, but it’s been a long, hard road for The Prince of Queens, and the light at the end of the tunnel may finally be within sight.

My Take: Dear WWE; please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, PLEASE stop dragging the crap that is the Mixed Match Challenge onto the main roster. We don’t care about that show and no matter how hard you ram its “storylines” down our thorats we’re still not going to improve the risible viewing figures! If Hawkins 236-match losing streak is broken on MMC tomorrow night consider that the ultimate slap in the face for a man who’s made a success out of loss.

Match #5: Jinder Mahal def. No Way Jose

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Jinder Mahal has had a rough go of it over the past few weeks, but the WWE Universe got their first glimpse in a long time of the vicious competitiveness that once carried The Modern Day Maharaja to the WWE Championship. Mahal was as dominant as could be against No Way Jose, even securing the match-ending Khallas without the assistance of The Singh Brothers at ringside. It’s a first step back to form and a long way back to the top, but if this attitude is what all that inner peace has brought Mahal, then great things are sure to follow.

My Take: Yawn… two guys who the WWE have given up on, wrestling a filler match. Woooooo! Let’s get psyched for this one. Not even that load of b*llocks in the official WWE write-up can make this match interesting. Poor No Way Jose; he really is the new Adam Rose. And it seems all the WWE want to do is hinder Jinder – well the big money is no longer in India is it Vince?

Match #6: Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Dean Ambrose has gotten very creative in his mind games with Seth Rollins — this week, he got vaccinated — but The Kingslayer isn’t about to let The Lunatic Fringe worm any deeper into his head. Or so he says. Despite reinstating his Open Challenge to prove he was above Ambrose’s tricks, Rollins was a step slower than usual, and his challenger, Dolph Ziggler, was quick to capitalize.

The Showoff was clearly looking to take advantage of Rollins’ struggles by catching him off-guard in an Open Challenge for the second time this year, and it didn’t hurt that Ziggler is actually coming off a win against Rollins in their series. As such, the match was mostly all Dolph until Rollins began to slowly claw his way back into it. By the time The Architect had built up a full head of steam, Dolph was scrambling to keep up — Drew McIntyre was conspicuous by his absence here — but when he finally had Rollins where he wanted him, Ziggler went to the top turnbuckle to make a statement instead of putting the match away quickly. The big gesture gave Rollins time to recover, scale the ropes and execute the superplex-Falcon Arrow twofer for the win. So Rollins reclaims a little pride and retains his championship, but make no mistake: The true test is yet to come.

My Take: Well here we go again. Kudos to these two for putting on a solid match. Only this is how many weeks of the same match(es)? The WWE need to stop relying on the same group of guys to put on the good matches each week: Ziggler, McIntyre, Rollins… these three are working their arses off to give fans great matches, only the tide is turning. After the 4th/5th match, even a superb match will feel more like a repetitive dull one and that’s becoming evident this week.

Match #7: “General Manager-Elect” Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre def. Finn Bálor

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

In retrospect, Finn Bálor probably should have seen this coming. After The Extraordinary Man Who Does Extraordinary Things overwhelmed Baron Corbin in The Lone Wolf’s first match as “General Manager-Elect,” Corbin grabbed the microphone to announce that this was now a Handicap Match, and Drew McIntyre was his partner. Given that Bálor was worn down from a full match before Corbin pulled the rug out from under him, it was obviously going to be a tall task for the first-ever Universal Champion to get the win. He fought hard, as Finn Bálor always does, but a fresh McIntyre and the numbers advantage were too much to overcome, so The Scottish Psychopath’s match-ending Claymore was all but elementary. The bell had barely rang when Bobby Lashley quickly got in on the fun, subjecting Bálor to the second three-on-one beating of the night from the GM-Elect and his enforcers. McIntyre provided the coup de grâce, so to speak, with another Claymore, before which he, Lashley and Corbin shared a victorious pose — not for the first time and, if Corbin gets his way, certainly not the last.

My Take: I get that Baron Corbin is a heel GM. What I don’t get is how sh*t he is at being a both a heel and a GM. His flat, and often stumbling, delivery ruins pretty much any chance of excitement, momentum, or danger for ANY match in which he is involved/sets up. But then what else would Corbin do if he wasn’t the GM? He’d probably be in matches with Jinder Mahal and No Way Jose or not on TV like Bray Wyatt. And poor Finn Balor – Universal Champion to matches like this… that’s what you get for not being a “big” guy and fitting Vince’s muscle-man fetish.

News of the Night:

  1. General Manager-Elect Baron Corbin (yes, that is what he’s calling himself) declared the TLC pay per view match between him and Strowman is STILL going to happen despite Strowman’s “injury.”
  2. Ronda Rousey and Natalya got into a brawl with Nia Jax, Tamina and The Riott Squad.
  3. Alexa Bliss is apparently overseeing the Raw Women’s division. Does that confirm her in-ring career is over?

Final Verdict: 1/5

Are we sure this weeks episode of Raw wasn’t a repeat? It certainly felt like it, with re-treads of a number of matches and feuds from recent weeks. It’s almost as if the WWE writers room have run out of ideas – we’re back to 2001 again aren’t we. Back when Vince was more interested in his XFL promotion and everyone’s efforts went into that “side-project” rather than WWE programming. Hmmmm… hold on, isn’t Vince BACK on the football bandwagon? OK. So it IS 2001 all over again!

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