This week’s RAW in Manchester kicks off with the entire roster out on the stage (and security guards barricading the ring), ready for Acting RAW General Manager Baron Corbin’s announcements about Survivor Series (on November 18). What we know now:
- As already announced, the Champion vs. Champion matches will be Brock Lesnar (RAW) vs. AJ Styles (SmackDown) and Ronda Rousey (RAW) vs. Becky Lynch (SmackDown).
- On the RAW Men’s traditional Survivor Series team, despite the collapse of their alliance (at least on one member’s part), Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, and Braun Strowman will fill three of the five spots on the team.
- Alexa Bliss will be the captain for the RAW Women’s traditional Survivor Series team (sorry, Alicia Fox). Though it’s really more like a coach position, as she won’t be wrestling for the team (meaning there are still five spots available). She will be deciding all the members of the team, which Sasha Banks definitely doesn’t look happy about. That also means she’ll be watching all the matches tonight very closely.
- Thanks to an interruption from Kurt Angle, the captain of the Men’s team—which will also be a non-wrestling role—will be determined by the winner of Corbin vs. Angle, which happens tonight.
Next week, RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon will be on the show to address the issue of SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon swooping in and winning the WWE World Cup Tournament at Crown Jewel. We also know that Braun Strowman is not happy after the events of WWE Crown Jewel—where Corbin attacked him before the Universal Championship match began, giving Brock Lesnar the advantage… which Corbin now calls a “teaching lesson”—and as a result, he wants Baron Corbin to get these hands.
Instead, the security guards get Strowman’s hands, but Corbin certainly gets the message… as well as the hell out of Strowman’s reach.
The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, & Sarah Logan) vs. Natalya, Bayley, & Sasha Banks went to a No Contest
Before this match, Charly Caruso interviews Natalya, Sasha Banks, and Bayley to ask them if they think they’ll be able to beat The Riott Squad again in this Evolution rematch. They absolutely do, especially as Natalya has her father Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart’s sunglasses with her. Those sunglasses will be the good luck charm necessary to keep this trio’s hot streak going.
The match also starts off hot, and Natalya is even able to put Ruby Riott into the Sharpshooter early on—which Sarah Logan is luckily able to break up. During this match, all six women definitely show they have the “killer instinct” Alexa Bliss is looking for during her Survivor Series team scouting.
But, as if The Riott Squad haven’t disrespected Natalya enough, this competitive match ends as Natalya puts Sarah Logan into the Sharpshooter… and Ruby decides to snap Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart’s sunglasses in half on the outside. The Squad then walk off together, leaving Natalya in tears over the gift from her late father.
Apollo Crews def. Jinder Mahal
Tonight, Apollo Crews plans to start a win streak to prove that he’s “Monday Night RAW’s human highlight reel.” And “win and prove” is exactly what he does, defeating the former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, showing off both his ridiculous power and athleticism in the process.
Seth Rollins is willing to admit Crown Jewel didn’t turn out well for him, but what he’s more upset about is Baron Corbin’s “slap in the face” to Roman Reigns (and everyone in the locker room, as well as the WWE Universe) by helping Brock Lesnar win the Universal Championship back. And he’s also still upset about Dean Ambrose’s refusal to answer his questions last week
(about why he betrayed him), but he’s not going to waste his breath and call out Ambrose when he knows he won’t come out and answer him.
Instead, Rollins (or should we call him “Sethy Three Belts”?) is here to relinquish the RAW Tag Team Championship—due to the whole Dean Ambrose situation, whatever the reason is behind that—because he doesn’t believe he can successfully defend both the Intercontinental Championship and the RAW Tag Team Championship at the same time. Unfortunately, Corbin—who shows up on the Titantron, having the door of whatever room he’s in barricaded by security—won’t let him get out of this so easily.
So he puts Rollins into a tag team title defense… against both members of the AOP.
AOP (Akam & Rezar) def. Seth Rollins (c), for the RAW Tag Team Championship
Despite his plan to relinquish the titles, Seth Rollins fights this match as hard as he possibly can to retain. But one member of the AOP is bad enough to face in a match. With both members, it would be a miracle for him to get the win (other than a countout or DQ situation).
Rollins does such a good job—this is Monday Night Rollins, after all—taking on these two challengers and even controlling the match, but the numbers don’t lie, and they ultimately spell disaster for Seth freakin’ Rollins. Especially since Drake Maverick gets involved too, stopping Rollins’ inhuman momentum for a moment. Rollins somehow survives that, but the stomp that would usually spell victory ends up being turned into a powerbomb on the AOP’s end. And then it’s soon over.
Post-match, adding insult to injury, Dean Ambrose finally comes out… and attacks Rollins. (So, also adding injury to injury.) Instead of answering the “Why?” question, he just hits a Dirty Deeds on his former brother. Ambrose leaves after that, but Rollins is eventually able to make it to his feet on his own.
Elias def. Dolph Ziggler
doesn’t the match, Dolph Ziggler wants to make clear that Shane McMahon is not the best in the world: Dolph Ziggler is. Scratch and claw, etc. He claims it’s a conspiracy that always kicks in just when he’s about to truly prove just how much he is the best in the world.
Now Elias is the one who does the interrupting, as he interrupts Dolph Ziggler before their one-on-one match, calling him a loser and name-dropping Liam and Noel Gallagher. (Noel is actually in attendance for this RAW, and he loves this.) As it turns out, that ends up working for “The Drifter,” as he gets the early psychological advantage.
However, Ziggler perhaps has the actual wrestling advantage, as he’s in control for most of this match. And when Elias gets a big elbow drop, he ends up diving into an empty pool, as Ziggler rolls away. Ziggler seemingly has an answer for everything Elias tries to do. But a Drift Away out of nowhere gets him this hard-fought,
Charly Caruso asks Kurt Angle if he has any concerns about facing Baron Corbin, but Angle makes clear he knows Corbin’s weaknesses. (Like the fact that Corbin has been running for his life from Braun Strowman all night long?)
Seriously, throughout the entire night, Braun Strowman has been searching for Baron Corbin. And Baron Corbin has been running (and getting upset with Charly Caruso for revealing his hiding places).
When Charly Caruso finds Baron Corbin before Lashley vs. Balor, he’s heading to a car. In fact, he’s out of here, and he won’t be facing Kurt Angle tonight: Drew McIntyre will be. Corbin rushes out as soon as Braun Strowman arrives (and before Strowman can flip the car over).
You can read about Ronda Rousey’s “respectful” message to the SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch here.
Nia Jax def. Ember Moon
The “Natural Born Killer” Ronda Rousey may have to keep her head on a swivel though, as she has Nia Jax gunning for her and the RAW Women’s Championship post-Survivor Series. Jax is rooting for Rousey at Survivor Series and believes in her, but she just wants her to remember: “I’ll be waiting for you. Champ.” And what about Ember Moon? She’s focused 100% on her friend, in a rematch from last week, when Jax took a distraction from Tamina as a moment of opportunity to defeat Ember.
Again, this “friendly competition” could lead to a spot on the Women’s Survivor Series team. Although, with the amount of dominance Jax shows in this match—absolutely rag dolling Ember at times—it looks like Ember probably won’t make it onto the team.
Post-match, again Tamina comes out for a confrontation with Nia Jax. Only this time, Tamina and Jax actually join forces in beating the already defeated Ember down (after Jax pretends to be shocked by Tamina’s actions at first). So much for Ember Moon and Nia Jax’s friendship. Family over friendship, I guess.
Bobby Lashley def. Finn Balor
As Finn Balor tells Kayla Braxton before the match, with Manchester repping Balor Club tonight, he’s pretty confident he’ll be able to overcome the vicious Bobby Lashley and his little “runt,” Lio Rush.
Lio Rush, on the other hand, makes sure everyone in the Manchester crowd knows he wishes they were in Liverpool instead. (“BOOOOOOOO!”)
As is his way, Lashley dominates for much of this match. But Finn Balor just has no quit in him and won’t stay down. Until he finally does, that is. Maybe the key to Lashley winning is for Lio Rush not to have a live microphone. No “LASH-LEY! LASH-LEY!” and Lashley wins. See? Easy.
Strangely enough, Drew McIntyre shows up post-match and gets in Bobby Lashley’s face, daring him to make a move. Lashley doesn’t, and instead he and Rush leave in peace. Then, McIntyre actually helps Balor up to his feet…
…just to Claymore him right back down. And now Kurt Angle has to go up against this psychopath. No pressure.
Drew McIntyre def. Kurt Angle
As soon as Angle gets into the ring, he is on McIntyre. He knows what he’s doing, and he knows he might not physically be at McIntyre’s level, but—oh no, McIntyre just got him with a Glasgow Kiss (the massive headbutt). And now he’s just beating the Hall of Famer down. But Angle gets an opening for an Angle Slam, and he takes it… only for McIntyre to take the opportunity to roll right out of the ring.
But Drew McIntyre still ends up with the advantage, because, well, he’s Drew McIntyre. Just beating Kurt Angle down, but Angle
Then he calls Angle an “embarrassment” and “nothing,” which really riles Angle up, to the point that he’s able to get an intense ankle lock on McIntyre.
But McIntyre gets out of the hold, Angle Slams Angle, and finishes him off with a deep ankle lock. So the question is: Is this the end of Kurt Angle’s career altogether?