This week’s RAW (in Kansas City, MO) kicks off with a tag team battle royal to determine which team will be the RAW captain for the 10-on-10 tag team match at Survivor Series (on the Kickoff Show). All the teams are already in the ring when the show begins—and the Lucha House Party even has three members to vie for this captain spot, which kind of seems like cheating—and things are fast and furious… until Braun Strowman comes out for destruction. And the tag team division also accommodates him in this quest for destruction, as Viktor (of The Ascension) comes at Strowman and fails.
And then everyone else comes at Strowman and fails. (Seriously, they are all quite unsuccessful. This would never happen on SmackDown LIVE, by the way.) Unfortunately, this does not make Braun Strowman the de facto RAW captain for the 10-on-10 tag team match at Survivor Series.
“Tonight’s Monday Night RAW episode is brought to you by ‘The Monster Among Men.’”
Strowman sits on a chair in the middle of the ring and says he’s tired of chasing RAW Acting General Manager Baron Corbin around—and he’s not leaving the ring until Corbin gets these hands. Instead of that, however, Strowman gets the RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon… who does not look pleased. At all. She tells Strowman he has all the right in the world to be this angry, but he can’t just hijack RAW: He needs to channel his rage for Survivor Series. In fact, she tries to fire him up with brand loyalty—especially after Shane McMahon stole the “Best in the World” win at Crown Jewel—but Strowman makes clear he doesn’t “give a damn” about Shane or brand loyalty.
Stephanie tries to tell him he needs should, but he interrupts her and lets her know he’s not the “mindless meat castle” WWE corporate may think he is. So Stephanie makes him a deal: Team RAW has defeated Team SmackDown the past two years at Survivor Series, so is Strowman can lead them to victory for a third time, she’ll give him whatever he wants. “My word is my bond,” she tells him. What Strowman wants? Another Universal Championship shot against Brock Lesnar. “Done,” Stephanie says. But before that? He wants Baron Corbin, and he wants to pick the stipulations. “Done” and “done.” But with that promise, he’s also not allowed to touch Corbin until after Survivor Series—after he proves he can be a “team player.” Fine. But if Strowman doesn’t get what he wants after upholding his end of the bargain, he promises to go and destroy WWE Headquarters. Stephanie says she’s here to be transparent and not manipulate anyone…
…and in a bit of perfect timing, that inspires the RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey, to come out and join the party in the ring. You can read more about her in-ring confrontation with both Stephanie McMahon and Baron Corbin (as well as her short and sweet point about her match against Becky Lynch at Survivor Series) here.
Speaking of Corbin, the RAW crowd would love for him to “get these hands”—but because of the deal, we know he won’t—and he comes out to note how the matches at Survivor Series are all a “must-win situation.” Once Rousey makes more of a fool of Corbin than usual, she heads to the back, leaving Corbin and Strowman in the ring with Stephanie. Strowman stares a hole through Corbin, while Corbin teases, “You can’t touch me,” and Stephanie has to kicks Corbin out of the ring for messing things up. But just one more thing: Strowman promises Stephanie’s “lapdog” Corbin that, post-Survivor Series, he’s going to “neuter” him.
Tamina def. Ember Moon
Due to their new alliance, Nia Jax comes out right before Tamina makes her entrance. (Also, Alexa Bliss is watching this match intently in the back, looking for RAW Women’s Survivor Series match teammates.)
Ember Moon starts this match on top, which is only put to a stop when Nia Jax distracts her on the outside. After that, Tamina definitely takes advantage of the change in momentum, but Ember Moon is able to fight back. But her big mistake is trying to eliminate Nia Jax with a suicide dive at one point during this hot streak… but she only bounces off her former friend in the process. Seriously. After that, Ember Moon is able to get back at Tamina and get to the top rope for an Eclipse, but a distraction from Nia and a superkick from Tamina sets her up for Tamina’s splash and the loss.
Post-match, Nia Jax punishes Ember Moon with the leg drop.
Corey Graves has Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins come out to the ring to talk about Rollins’ Champion vs. Champion match against United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura (a first-time ever match) at Survivor Series. Actually, more importantly, he wants to talk about Rollins’ mental state. (It’s not great, Bob.) Rollins says he doesn’t “give a damn about Shinsuke Nakamura” right now, and while Graves tries to warn him that if his head’s not in the game, Nakamura’s gonna take it off, Rollins just says he’ll focus on it on Sunday. Tonight, he officially wants answers from Dean Ambrose. Because Rollins says Ambrose isn’t dumb—he definitely knows why he did what he did, so maybe it’s just that “he’s not man enough” to say it.
Then Ambrose is on the TitanTron, sitting on the hood of a car outside in cold Kansas City, next to a fire in a barrel. Ambrose says he’s “man enough” to tell him why he did what he did, but honestly, neither Rollins nor the WWE Universe deserves his answer. Especially the people who come up to him—people with “no manners,” he calls them—and ask him “why Dean, why?” But you know what, he’ll still give it to them:
“Maybe I regret my actions. Maybe I am remorseful. Maybe I hope that one day my brothers can forgive me for what I’ve done. Nah, that’s not it. … The truth is: The Shield made me weak. You made me weak. Roman made me weak.”
Ambrose then calls this “a chance to be reborn,” as he douses his Shield vest in gasoline and throws it into the fire in a barrel. He’s decided to “burn it down.” The past, that is.
Somehow, after last week’s brutal beat down at the hands of Drew McIntyre, Kurt Angle’s music hits. Maybe his career is still alive.
And whoops, it’s actually Dolph Ziggler—trolling the hell out of the WWE Universe—and “The Scottish Psychopath” himself, Drew McIntyre. McIntyre wants to know if the WWE Universe believes him now about his original promise to take over the WWE. Because first, he broke The Shield; and last week, he broke Kurt Angle. “I saw his will to win fading,” McIntyre says about their match. He even mocks Angle’s crying during the match, adding, “I have never been more disgusted in my entire life.” So he “was more than happy” to put the WWE Hall of Famer down.
“RAW is my show now. It belongs to me, and I will mold it in my image. There is no more room for weakness. I will not allow any more nostalgia acts on this show.”
That doesn’t sound bad at all, actually, but before he can continue listing his rule of law, Finn Balor comes out and interrupts him. Balor doesn’t want to hear any more about the joy McIntyre felt destroying Angle. “Last week, you crossed the line,” Balor says, adding that McIntyre didn’t have to “humiliate” Angle and could’ve just won the match. But McIntyre says, “Dignity is not a right reserved for all, buddy.” In fact, he says Balor is “exactly what’s wrong with this place,” with his “feelings” and “emotions.” Again, Balor interrupts him and says he knows how to deal with a bully—how about a match right now? The Kansas City Balor Club seems to like this idea.
McIntyre accepts… only, not on his behalf, on Dolph Ziggler’s, who he calls “the true Best in the World” (sorry, Shane McMahon). If Balor “can defeat somebody like Dolph,” he’ll consider “lowering” (a lot of short jokes coming from McIntyre here) himself to someone at Balor’s level. Ziggler pretends he’s not quite into the idea of the match, but that’s only so McIntyre can hit Balor with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt to soften him up.
Finn Balor def. Dolph Ziggler
Of course, during the commercial break, Baron Corbin sanctioned the match between Balor and Ziggler, despite Balor clearly not being 100% after that headbutt. So Ziggler begins this match in complete control of the situation. But Balor has that resilience and is able to stay in the match.
Soon enough, this match becomes a very stiff back-and-forth competition, with Ziggler knowing he can’t risk losing—especially with McIntyre right on the sidelines, after all he’s said—and Balor knowing this is his ticket to getting his hands on McIntyre. And McIntyre honestly starts pacing outside the ring, clearly nervous about his partner-in-crime’s chance against Balor. Especially since a win by Balor would mean he has to keep his promise and “lower” himself to Balor’s level.
Balor is on a roll, so much so that he even takes out McIntyre before he finally gets the chance to hit the Coup de Grace. He misses—and possibly hurts his knee in the process—and Ziggler rolls him up. But Balor reverses that roll-up and steals the win from Ziggler. McIntyre is furious, but Balor still just got a “too sweet” win.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon praises Balor for winning and for standing up for his convictions, putting him on the Survivor Series team as a reward. Corbin tries to talk to her about this decision—since he and Balor of course don’t get along—but he’s interrupted by a furious McIntyre (and Ziggler).
Stephanie tells McIntyre to “stand down” and not to hurt his teammate. They don’t have to like each other, but they have to work together. After they win? “Feel free to tear each other apart.” (She also wants McIntyre to treat her brother Shane like he treated Angle during the Survivor Series match.)
Natalya wants revenge on the leader of The Riott Squad for breaking her late Hall of Famer father’s sunglasses, and they’re supposed to have a singles match.
But before the match, Riott cuts a crocodile-teared promo, as she goes on about how Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart wore those glasses to shield himself from seeing his daughter Natalya. Eventually, Natalya has heard enough and comes out for the match. Actually, she comes out to whoop some ass, as she comes from behind to get to Ruby. But she also comes out outnumbered, and the numbers game gets the better of her.
Then, to make matters worse, Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan take her out with the Hart Attack.
Bobby Roode & Chad Gable won the Battle Royal to become RAW Survivor Series 10-on-10 Tag Team Captains
While it didn’t quite work out at the start of the show, now the RAW tag team division is going to try again to see who will be captains at Survivor Series. We even get some “B-TEAM! B-TEAM! GO! GO! GO!” vs. “LUCHA! LUCHA! LUCHA!” action until The Ascension beat them down.
Eventually, the match comes down to rivals The Ascension vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, with Roode eliminating Viktor (as Gable has him in an armbar on the ropes). So in the 10-on-10 tag team match, the RAW team will be “GLORIOUS.”
Brock Lesnar is back on RAW, and yes, he’s got Paul Heyman with him. Heyman calls Braun Strowman “an almost unstoppable monster,” but five F-5’s (at Crown Jewel) is what it took to stop him. Five F-5’s from Brock Lesnar. So he congratulates him for that and for “worming his way” into another Universal Championship shot.
He also congratulates all non-AJ Styles SmackDown talent for not having to face Lesnar at Survivor Series. But then he congratulates WWE Champion AJ Styles—and the crowd chants for Styles—for doing as well as he did last year at Survivor Series against Lesnar. But Styles still went to Suplex City, and he will again this year. Heyman’s actually “here to educate” Styles: Because due to how close he came to beating Lesnar last year, “there is NO ONE” who Lesnar wants to beat more than him. And once he does, he will be called “the Champion of all Champions.”
And then Jinder Mahal (and the Singh brothers) has the audacity to interrupt Paul Heyman’s speech, telling Heyman not to underestimate Styles. If you remember, last year, it was supposed to be Lesnar vs. Mahal (who calls himself “the
He even F-5’s Mahal outside the ring, so I guess that says how Lesnar vs. Mahal would’ve gone last year.
Bobby Lashley def. Elias via Countout, for the last spot on the RAW Men’s Survivor Series team
Thankfully, Elias interrupts this juvenile act of—who even knows what Bobby Lashley’s deal anymore—and also allows the crowd to sing “OH, WALK WITH ELIAS” before he even says a word. And when he does, he calls Child Protective Services on Lashley for kidnapping Lio Rush weeks ago. “Son, how old are you,” Elias asks, only to say he imagines Rush “can’t be more than 10.” Also, Elias is confused too: “Bobby Lashley was just bent over. Why? I literally have no idea.”
Lashley tells him to shut up—which doesn’t work—and then Elias plays a little music for the Kansas City crowd. They did pay to walk with Elias, after all.
When the match actually gets going, Elias is on a roll… but he ends up losing via countout when Lio Rush gets under the ring and holds onto his leg, preventing him from getting back into the ring. So after the match, Elias goes after Rush, tossing him right into his man and wiping both men out.
Finally, Captain Alexa Bliss is ready to announce her team for the RAW Women’s Survivor Series match. Bliss says she’s “put together the most talented team in Survivor Series history.” Natalya is part of the team, but after tonight’s brawl, Bliss apparently told her to go home and rest up.
Most of the rest of the team came to the ring with Bliss: Mickie James, Nia Jax (who Bliss attempts to let bygones be bygones with), and Tamina. As for the last member of the team? She claims to want someone who will “risk anything to win—even friendship.” So the winner of the upcoming match (greenlit by Stephanie McMahon) will be the fifth team member. And the upcoming match is Sasha Banks versus her bestie, Bayley. Corey Graves can barely contain his excitement.
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, for the last spot on the RAW Women’s Survivor Series team went to a No Contest
After all these years, it’s possible Sasha Banks and Bayley are harder-hitting in their matches against each other than they are in matches against people they can’t actually stand. And to make matters more complicated—but also kind of more fun—they know each other so well, so they also have seemingly endless counters to each other’s moves. In fact, they’re tearing each other apart so much— check out that Bayley-to-Belly on the apron—neither one might make it to Survivor Series.
Coming back from commercial, Sasha Banks is able to get Bayley in a Banks Statement… but Tamina interferes and stomps them both down. In fact, the whole team beats them down, only for Bliss to announce the real final member of the team: Ruby Riott. What does that mean for her teammate—and, quite frankly, nemesis—Natalya? (Also, neither woman is making it to Survivor Series.)
Before that could question could be answered or even really asked, the women of RAW—including RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey—were under attack—in a charge led by SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. You can read all about that battle here.