16th Oct2018

WWE Raw – Oct 15th 2018: Results & Review

by Phil Wheat


Welcome to this week’s review of WWE Raw. With the WWE in the middle of a possible politic crisis it will be interesting to see how this episode pans out in terms of promoting the forthcoming Crown Jewel PPV in Saudi Arabia…

Match #1: Seth Rollins def. Drew McIntyre via Count-out to qualify for the WWE World Cup

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Dean Ambrose provided a key assist in helping Seth Rollins advance over Drew McIntyre to a slot in the WWE World Cup — a development that should have put to rest any question of whether The Lunatic Fringe is still all in on The Shield, except the aftermath of Ambrose’s interference left Rollins and Roman Reigns with more questions than answers as to where their brother’s head is at these days. It’s not that Ambrose was conspicuously absent for the pre-match confrontation between Rollins, Reigns and Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & McIntyre — the “pack” that has tormented them over the past couple of months and handed Ambrose the deciding, demoralizing pinfall in last week’s main event. Rollins knew Ambrose would show up when it mattered, and he did, though he waited until the last possible minute to do so (Ziggler had interfered several times from ringside), instigating a scramble outside the ring that led to a narrow count-out victory for The Kingslayer after he hit McIntyre with a Stomp on the arena floor. Rather, any questions about The Shield’s unity will likely stem from their interaction after the match in the backstage area, where Rollins gently razzed Ambrose for his down-to-the-wire timing. “Lunatic time,” Rollins called it, but Ambrose didn’t take it as a term of affection. The former WWE Champion lashed out at his brothers over the implication that he was only good for a laugh until they needed bailing out before walking off to prepare for his own qualifier against Ziggler, alone.

My Take: Can you say anymore about the combination of McIntyre, Rollins, and Ziggler? Each and every week they have been keeping Raw afloat, keeping the show alive with good, nay excellent, wrestling. Each and every goddamn week. And who gets all the focus for Crown Jewel? A bunch of old guys and Brock Lesnar. For shame WWE. For shame. Woe betide WWE if any of these guys get injured… How the hell will you get people to watch Raw then?

Match #2: Nia Jax & Ember Moon def. Dana Brooke & Tamina

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The future will be rewritten at WWE Evolution in more ways than one, as Raw brought the announcement of a Battle Royal to determine a future Women’s Championship challenger. If what happened on the red brand is any indication, there’s an early favorite, and it might not be who you expected. It seemed the early momentum would go to Nia Jax, who teamed with Ember Moon to defeat Dana Brooke and the returning Tamina. But after the victory — via an Eclipse from The War Goddess to Brooke — Jax found herself overwhelmed by the unlikely alliance of Moon and Tamina, who tossed The Irresistible Force over the top rope. While those two Superstars began to throw down, Dana made her move, sneaking up behind them to dump both women to the outside. It was a power move, but not that surprising of one: Dana has said for weeks she wanted an opportunity to compete at Evolution. It appears she won’t be letting it go to waste.

My Take: Another great women’s match, with the returning Tamina looking badder than ever – holding her own against Nia Jax and showing off her power to perfection. And Dana Brooke gets the post-match push? Colour-me surprised! Definitely raising interest for the women’s PPV Evolution later this month thats for sure!

Match #3: Dolph Ziggler def. Dean Ambrose to qualify for the WWE World Cup

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Seth Rollins is in the WWE World Cup thanks to Dean Ambrose. Dean Ambrose is out of the WWE World Cup despite Rollins’ attempt to return the favor. The Kingslayer rushed the ring as an equalizer against Drew McIntyre, who crashed The Lunatic Fringe’s match with Dolph Ziggler in the hopes of providing a key assist to his fellow Raw Tag Team Champion. Ambrose shoved Rollins on his backside after a ringside scrap — in fairness, he was rising to his feet and may not have realized who was out there with him — but unfortunately, he rolled back into the ring and ran straight into a superkick from The Showoff that ended the match and rounded out the Raw participants of the World Cup. Needless to say, Ambrose was in no mood to put on a happy face after the loss; he and Rollins got into a shoving match at the top of the stage that was so heated Roman Reigns emerged in a desperate attempt to play peacekeeper. Luckily for them — kind of — Acting General Manager Baron Corbin showed up and sanctioned a rubber match between The Shield and Braun Strowman, Ziggler & McIntyre as an opportunity for The Hounds of Justice to “redeem” themselves

My Take: Am I going to be repeating myself each and every week? Another great match from these two, with yet another small step forward in the “Will Dean leave The Shield?” storyline, WITHOUT making it any real focus of the match. Plus Ambrose seems to be getting more and more agile each week, getting back to form whilst retaining his more powerhouse persona that he’s had since his post-injury return.

Match #4: Finn Bálor def. Jinder Mahal

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Finn Bálor’s red-hot run continues, but one Superstar remains unimpressed. After The Extraordinary Man Who Does Extraordinary Things knocked off Jinder Mahal in a continuation of their Mixed Match Challenge-adjacent series (Bayley and Alicia Fox were present at ringside again, and Samir Singh rejoined his brother Sunil to Corey Graves’ unmitigated delight), Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush crashed the victory lap. With Rush singing Lashley’s praises, “The Rocky Mountain-Made Machine” snatched Bálor’s moment with such blatant dismissiveness of the first-ever Universal Champion that Bayley had to seemingly talk Finn out of doing something drastic.

My Take: Something of a squash match in Balor’s favour. Nothing amazing, but made Balor look strong – which is probably the reason for this match given that Lashley interrupted the post-match celebration. New possible feud? Let’s hope Balor buries Lashley if so.

Match #5: Bobby Lashley def. Tyler Breeze

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

If brushing off Finn Bálor and beating Kevin Owens up so bad he needs surgery wasn’t any indication, Bobby Lashley is a much meaner dude these days than the smiling muscleman who made his return the night after WrestleMania, and Tyler Breeze found out as much in agonizing fashion on Raw. Prince Pretty is an underrated, tremendously talented competitor in his own right, but he was little more than an appetizer for the ravenous Lashley, who mauled The Gorgeous One with a full nelson and flattened him into the mat while Lio Rush sang his praises from ringside. For all his perhaps-excessive boasts, The Man of the Hour was right on point in at least one part of his hype: There are very few people like Bobby Lashley, in presence or in attitude.

My Take: Oh f**k off WWE. A terrible match, with a terrible performance from Lashley who, given how he been used so far, should go back to MMA/Impact Wrestling! Lashley is dragging Lio Rush down with him too IMHO. I feel sorry for Tyler Breeze, he deserves better than this crap. Oh and for the first time I found myself agreeing with (shudder) Corey Graves in regards to Lio Rush – proving my “Lashley is dragging Lio Rush down”statement unequivocally.

Match #6: AOP def. The Conquistador (Handicap Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Kurt Angle took a vacation from his vacation to sneak into the WWE World Cup under the guise of The Conquistador last week, last eliminating Acting General Manager Baron Corbin from a Battle Royal to punch his ticket to the tournament. Corbin, of course, wasn’t thrilled about this, hence slotting Angle into a Handicap Match against AOP — ostensibly a tune-up for The Olympic Hero but perhaps also a not-so-subtle attempt to feed Angle to Akam & Rezar to balance the scales from last week’s humiliation. Angle, who was visiting backstage and didn’t bring his gear, seemingly arrived to the ring in the only outfit he could scrounge up: The Conquistador bodysuit. But after AOP quickly dispatched the golden competitor as Corbin watched from a steel chair on the ramp, they unmasked him to reveal a local of similar build. The real Angle was lying in wait, and he made his presence known in the most dramatic fashion possible: By sneaking up behind Corbin and dropping him with the Angle Slam while still dressed in his Hawaiian finest. Now that’s intelligence.

My Take: Can you call this a match? I wouldn’t. This was another extended promo in disguise, something the WWE have gotten a little too fond of utilising recently.

Match #7: Natalya def. Ruby Riott via DQ

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Give The Riott Squad credit for hanging tough after a pair of losses last week, but give Natalya even more credit for refusing to get baited into a three-on-one attack after her locker room got vandalized by the Squad: The Queen of Harts brought Bayley and a returning Sasha Banks to the ring as backup for her singles match against Ruby Riott, and The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection paid major dividends down the stretch for the former SmackDown Women’s Champion. After Sarah Logan attacked Natalya to break up the Sharpshooter and hand her a disqualification win, Bayley & Banks thwarted The Riott Squad’s attempt at a post-match mugging and sent them scurrying to regroup, having found — at least for tonight — the limits to the chaos they were willing to endure.

My Take: An OK match that felt much more like a time filler than anything else. Hopefully this match is a sign that tag Team belts are on the way rather than the filler it felt – the womens division not only need tag titles, they need tag teams too and this felt like a test of all the women involved to see what the tag division could be. Or am I being waaaaay too hopeful? Probably. The WWE have crushed my dreams before so why not now?

Match #8: The Shield def. Braun Strowman & Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

It was a tale of two teams in Raw’s main event, and the third bout between The Shield and Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre seemed like it wouldn’t come down to who could hit a Powerslam or a Stomp first, but which team would crack after weeks and weeks of stress. Would it be The Shield, who were threatening to implode thanks to the mercurial Dean Ambrose? Or would it be Strowman’s “pack,” which was under such pressure from their putative leader it was bordering on antagonism? For a while, it looked like The Shield would crack, especially since Ziggler shoved Seth Rollins into Ambrose to spark a fresh round of hostilities among The Hounds of Justice. But Strowman’s increasingly hostile demands that his teammates pull their weight led to some internal hostilities of their own, so Ziggler went back to the well and shoved Rollins into Ambrose again, this time as he was attempting to record the deciding pinfall after hitting McIntyre with Dirty Deeds.

Ambrose was so heated that he attempted to hit Rollins with his signature maneuver as well, but Roman Reigns quickly rushed the ring to clean house. Not only did he olé McIntyre into blasting Braun with a Claymore, he shook off a Zig Zag attempt moments later that sent The Showoff tumbling into the waiting clutches of a Triple Powerbomb. Ambrose scored the winning pinfall, The Shield embraced in solidarity after surviving the night, and then Strowman went to work. Having hit his limit, The Monster Among Men flattened Ziggler with a Running Powerslam, only to be Claymore’d again by McIntyre, this time on purpose, before the Scotsman turned and left Strowman and Ziggler in the ring. In short, faced with Strowman’s warning of “get-these-hands,” Drew McIntyre has seemingly done the one thing that could possibly counteract The Monster Among Men: He went looking for them.

My Take: See my thoughts on match #1 and match #3 of tonights Raw and repeat…

News of the Night:

  1. Looks like Elias and Apollo Crews will be feuding. At least that’s Vince’s plan this week.
  2. The team of Ziggler, McIntyre and Strowman has officially imploded.
  3. No Way Jose was on Raw! A background segment yes, but he was on Raw. He’s not as “dead” as pundits have been saying!

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Literally a win for Raw tonight based on the Ronda Rousey promo alone… Sod the rest of the show, Ronda’s blast of the Bella twins was a highlight of not only this episode, but of the past few weeks! I hope to god this means Rousey is going to be allowed to rip Nikki Bella to shreds at Evolution. Probably not, but one can dream right? As I mentioned in my thoughts on the first match of the night, it was YET AGAIN down to Ziggler, McIntyre, Strowman, Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns to carry yet another episode of Raw. Not that I’m complaining, I’d rather watch that lot go at it for 90% of the show than sit through the likes of Lashley’s match again.


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