Raw heads across the pond tonight as the show takes place in Glasgow, Scotland at SSE Arena. The Survivor Series teams for Smackdown are just about all filled out, but Raw has some slots left. Who will join up with Charlotte, Bayley, and Nia Jax to take on the Smackdown women? There’s one slot left on the men’s team – who will get the nod there? New Day is going to lead the tag teams, but who will they team up with for a ten on ten match? We won’t see Goldberg or Brock Lesnar tonight, but how will WWE attempt to build their “fantasy battle” while they’re stateside? Also, will we see two-thirds of The Shield – Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns – reunite to try and take down JeriKO?
Show Open, Taped Earlier 11/7/2016 from the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland:
They recapped Mick Foley making Roman Reigns a member of Team Raw for Survivor Series along with Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. They also recapped Seth Rollins running out for the save after Reigns’ title defense against Jericho. Cole, Graves and Saxton checked in for the call, and Cole hyped that it’s the first time in 23 years that Raw has come from Scotland.
Stephanie McMahon came to the ring. She was booed, or fans just didn’t care. Cole hyped that there has been suspicion all week as to who would be the fifth man on Team Raw. Stephanie said Mick Foley couldn’t make the trip and that drew boos. She talked about it being a tumultuous time, with neighbor vs. neighbor, brother vs. sister, and red vs. blue. “That’s right, Raw vs. Smackdown at Survivor Series.” No one cared. She hyped Lesnar vs. Goldberg and got a “Goldberg” chant going briefly.
She introduced the Team Raw members. Cole explained Survivor Series rules during the introductions. Kevin Owens came out first, then Jericho got a nice reaction. Reigns got booed, which Cole played off as a “rousing ovation.” Strowman was introduced to a reaction that would have made Stephanie’s reaction seem like a pop for the Road Warriors.
Steph made it official that Seth Rollins was the fifth man on the team. Cole noted their history and called the selection a surprise, while Kevin Owens called it a joke. Rollins said she knows she needs him to guarantee a win. They showed Team Smackdown (Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin), and Steph hyped that all three Shield members would be in the ring again. She said Wyatt held Strowman down and never let him have the spotlight, and all five of them should be on The List. She asked if Owens would prove he is the better champion to AJ Styles.
She said she needed the men to be on the same page and fight like their jobs depend on it “because they do.” Steph dropped her mic and left to almost no reaction. Owens agreed, and said that he and Jericho have made mistakes and made enemies, and Jericho added that they’re sorry.
Jericho said their teammates might be stupid idiots like everyone in Glasgow, but “they’re our stupid idiots.” Owens said they have to listen to them, and be a well oiled machine unlike the Shield. Owens said the faction died out because they’re terrible human beings who kept turning on each other. Jericho said they should shut up and do what they say.
Rollins said he dug it, then threw punches. Reigns joined in. Strowman threw Rollins off of Jericho, then splashed him in the corner. He shoulder blocked Rollins, then slammed Jericho to the mat. Strowman exited and traded looks with Reigns. Stephanie came back out and said she would let them get this out of their system and booked a fatal five way for the main event.
No mic time for Reigns or Strowman here, but Jericho and Owens did their part very well. They were entertaining and pretty well popular with the fans. Rollins got a nice reaction too. Stephanie and Strowman – well, they just didn’t care much. Oh, Drew covered the spoilers for today’s show – I will try to not get too far ahead and bring stuff up.
Saxton hyped New Day addressing the Team Raw tag team, and Cole said he would be part of the announcement regarding open spots on the Team Raw Women’s team.
They showed Brian Kendrick backstage, then ran footage of his match with TJ Perkins. They hyped that he would be in action with a debuting star after the break.
Match #1 – Sin Cara and Rich Swann vs. Brian Kendrick and Noam Darr;
Winner: Sin Cara and Rich Swann
The Summary: No entrance on TV for Sin Cara, but the other three men got one. Cole and Graves did note the new “205 Live” show during the other three entrances. Noam Dar got a huge reaction and pyro for his entrance, as he’s from Scotland. Cole also pointed out that the cruiserweight division will stay on Raw along with the 205 Live show.
Sin Cara hit Dar with a senton, and in the ring Swann had Kendrick pinned for the win. Kendrick got a mic and called Dar a loser who lost in the CWC because he had no talent. and he has no heart and failed to realize Kendrick is the best cruiserweight in the world. Kendrick said Dar and Perkins lose when it matters most and punched him then continued to beat him down. Dar came back and hit Kendrick with a running kick.
A good introduction of Dar in his home country. The post match angle definitely positioned him as a babyface going forward, so let’s see if the character development continues back stateside.
Cole hyped Goldberg vs. Lesnar and said we’d get a pretape segment from Goldberg’s perspective.
They ran said video package, which included footage from throughout Goldberg’s career along with the buildup to his match with Lesnar. Goldberg said that when Brock sees him, he sees a little of himself, and he feels the same. Goldberg said the fans have been clamoring to see someone kick Lesnar’s ass, and he believes he’s the guy to do it. This was more effective than his appearance last week.
Backstage, Steph was on the phone rejecting an invitation to appear on Smackdown, but instead invited them to appear on Raw next week. Sami Zayn was in the room with her, and she complained that Shane didn’t have the guts to talk trash to her face to face and wanted her to appear on Smackdown.
She called Zayn’s presence irritating and over the top rah-rah. She assumed he bothered Mick enough to get the Intercontinental Championship shot. She said the shot belongs to Rusev, so she made a match between Zayn and Rusev with the winner getting a shot at Dolph Ziggler at Survivor Series. Steph said the winner better bring the title back.
So, Shane and Daniel Bryan get to “look like idiots” right out of the gate by putting up their secondary championship, while getting nothing in return. Nice. Anyhow, I assume Ziggler retains come pay per view time, unless they have plans to mix up rosters (way too early, I might add).
Enzo and Cass made their entrance, and the fans were into them and spoke along. Cass called Team Smackdown’s tag team, team, SAWFT. Gallows and Anderson came to the ring, then Golden Truth, then Cesaro and Sheamus. Cole said New Day would address Team Raw’s tag team, team, after the break.
New Day didn’t immediately come out. Sheamus talked about how great Ireland is, and Cesaro said the fans liked him there as much as anywhere else. Sheamus made some soccer jabs which got him some heat Sheamus called himself the captain of his team with Cesaro, who of course disagreed. Sheamus made himself captain of team Raw. Enzo and Cass spoke up and played the “how you doin'” thing with Sheamus, and the fans were into that.
Gallows called Sheamus a nerd and threatened to smash him, which Cesaro mocked. He said they could have called him the third member of the Club or called Sheamus the Red Rooster. Sheamus said he was out and hoped they enjoyed being humiliated by Team Smackdown.
New Day came out in kilts and wearing Braveheart face paint. Woods pretended to play bagpipes as the locals chanted New Day Rocks. Kingston called Woods out on singing into the mic rather than playing the bagpipes. Woods called bagpipes Francesca’s Scottish cousin Agnes. He said he respected bagpipe players because he can’t get a note out of them.
Sheamus again threatened to quit then mocked how New Day was dressed. Woods said they liked having fun and they did the tag team champions bit they do. Golden Truth liked it. Woods said the other teams would fight for the love and pride of Raw. Anderson said that he and Gallows were out because they would lose with New Day as captains.
Big E did his best William Wallace (Braveheart reference) that the live crowd ate up, but Woods called out the awkward accent. Enzo said he didn’t know what was in the bagpipes but he liked it. Enzo said Smackdown will go down like a hole in the ground, and Golden Truth said they were in. Cesaro said he and Sheamus were in. Sheamus said he’s the captain, then agreed they were in.
New Day asked Gallows and Anderson if they were in. Anderson said they could wear the costumes and call themselves captains, but no one is the captain of them. They would stab them in the back at first chance. Gallows said they would handle Smackdown easily. New Day said they requested a match with Gallows and Anderson, and Stephanie agreed.
This ended up overstaying its welcome. I think this cut my interest in what they’re doing for Survivor Series for the tag teams. By the way, a really, really long time to get to the second match…
Match #2 – Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. New Day; Non-Title Match
Winner: Gallows and Anderson
The Summary: They joined in progress, where New Day was still in Braveheart costumes. Gallows and Anderson won with the Magic Killer on E. The best thing about this? No election day jokes and no pumpkins. And again, a step forward for Gallows and Anderson, which should soon be followed by two steps back.
Backstage, Goldust and R-Truth talked about Survivor Series. Truth said they needed some R&R, so he traded their spot for a timeshare. Truth showed Goldust the Shining Stars brochure and that didn’t please Goldust much.
Cole hyped a Lesnar video package. The Smackdown ad hyped Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch for the Women’s championship.
Byron Saxton hyped the season finale (?! 6 episodes?) of Total Bellas and the commentary team hyped Survivor Series.
They aired the sit-down with Brock Lesnar. He asked why Goldberg would issue himself a death sentence and said he didn’t give two shits about wrestling when he lost at Wrestlemania 20 because he had unfinished athletic business to tend to. He said it’s foolish for any man to pick a fight with him and he’s the only ass kicker. Heyman said Lesnar sent Rock back to Hollywood, ended the Streak, and was kryptonite to Super Cena, and elbowed Randy Orton’s head til it bled.
Lesnar noted that Goldberg has been out of the ring for 12 years. “Really, it ain’t gonna happen. So if you’d like to tune in to Survivor Series and watch Bill Goldberg get his ass kicked at Survivor Series, subscribe to the network. This man is not going to beat Brock Lesnar. I don’t give a damn what his ten year old son is going to think. I’m not going to show any fucking mercy.” Lesnar told Goldberg’s wife and son to stay home and hopefully Goldberg will return home.
Lesnar is fantastic in these sit-down segments. I loved that he pointed out the 12-year gap in Goldberg’s career. It’s something they should make note of and point out. Lesnar shouldn’t be sweating Goldberg. This was well done.
Cole said Goldberg and Lesnar will both be on Raw next week.
Backstage, Owens and Jericho talked about trying to get Strowman on the same page with them. Jericho barged into Strowman’s locker room and complained about throwing him around earlier. Owens called him off and said they’re a team. Strowman spoke up and asked if Jericho was going to put him on the list. Owens praised Strowman and said “Team Kevin, Chris and Braun” sounds good. Jericho agreed, and Strowman stood up. “I’m on Team Braun.”
I’m on “Team Braun Shouldn’t Talk Any More.” And while some of this talking is getting somewhere with Survivor Series and all that, this show is really devoid of wrestling – and if the Twitter feed is of any indication, people are bailing on this show left and right.
We got an Emmalina video package. She’s still debuting soon.
Match #3 – Goldust and R-Truth vs. The Shining Stars; Survivor Series Team Spot on the line;
Winner: The Shining Stars
The Summary: Who knew the spot was at stake? Cole explained that somehow Goldust begged Stephanie to make the stipulation. It was awkward, I didn’t care, and the Shining Stars are now on the Survivor Series team. This show is dragging ass hard, and there’s still an hour to go. Ugh.
Cole said he will have the honor to introduce the two remaining women for Team Raw’s women’s team.
They hyped Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan appearing on Raw next week, and Saxton asked if they would actually show. Cole was in the ring, and he explained the rules of Survivor Series matches before introducing Charlotte. Cole called her the team captain and said she is a born leader. He introduced Nia Jax, who said that while Charlotte might be the leader she doesn’t work for her. Cole introduced Alicia Fox next, saying she can bring ten years’ experience to the team. He said if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can get along, so can Fox and Jax. What?
Bayley was the fourth team member introduced and she got a huge reaction. Bayley had a hard time getting her promo in. Cole said there would be one more member and Charlotte grabbed the mic to say she would handle it. She acted irritated by the crowd singing for Bayley. “What are you even saying? These accents are terrible!” Charlotte introduced Dana Brooke, which got the crowd to stop singing and transition to a brief boo then silence.
Cole said there was no disrespect to Brooke, but Sasha Banks was the real fifth member. The singing for Bayley got started again, and they tried to cut promos again but no dice. Sasha sang the “will you be my girl” part of the Bayley song. Charlotte got upset. And, it was at that point that I checked out.
The Scottish fans waited 23 years for Raw to come to them. Tonight, they got 3 matches in two hours. One of them was a Golden Truth vs. Shining Stars match. None of the matches have been really good. WWE gave them NOTHING tonight. This is embarrassing. I don’t blame the crowd for taking over like they did here.
Match #4 – Bayley, Alicia Fox and Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte, Dana Brooke and Nia Jax
Winner: Bayley, Fox and Banks
The Summary: Cole called this an “impromptu” match. Jax worked on Sasha going to commercial. The live crowd continued to sing. Sasha got the hot tag to Bayley, who went to work on Charlotte. She had a pin that Brooke broke up.
Chaos breaks out. Nia threw Fox to the corner and splashed her, then Sasha caught her with a double knee lift. Charlotte threw a kick but Sasha moved, so Charlotte clocked Nia. Bayley hit Charlotte with Bayley to Belly for the win. Cole asked “who’s the weak link now?”
On the graphic for the women’s match at Survivor Series, they showed six women. I wonder if that means Dana Brooke will be in the corner, as will Natalya for the Smackdown team?
Charly Caruso interviewed Seth Rollins, who said he isn’t going to make people like him. He said that’s okay because he doesn’t like them either. He said he was promised future opportunities for joining Team Raw. Braun Strowman showed up and told Rollins he shouldn’t worry about those opportunities because there may not be a future when he’s done. Strowman threatened to snap him like a twig. Rollins said one more person doesn’t like him. Sounds like a party.
Interestingly, no follow up on the Reigns-Rollins interaction last week yet on this show. Still time for it, I suppose.
Cole pointed out that a member of the Chicago Cubs was wearing the WWE Championship sent to them during the World Series parade.
Lana was in the ring and thanked the fans for cheering her but she doesn’t need the support of “this pathetic village.” She called them America for some reason and told them to stand up and cheer for her husband, Rusev. No longer Wolverine Matchka here. Sami Zayn got his entrance and the fans sang along with his music.
Match #5 – Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Sami Zayn; Winner gets a shot at Dolph Ziggler at Survivor Series for the Intercontinental Championship
Winner: Sami Zayn
The Summary: Rusev attacked right away to start the match. Zayn came back with a drop kick and Rusev took a powder going to commercial. Back with the action, Rusev dominated but couldn’t put Zayn away. Rusev went top rope, which is something that he’d never do, only to take the Helluva Kick. Zayn picked up the win.
This will be fine and I’m sure the match at Survivor Series will be great, but the one concern I have is that Zayn and Ziggler are both guys who work from underneath and sell, then make their comeback. Not sure how it will work stylistically but I think they’ll come up with something that will be pretty solid.
Graves hyped the main event. They also hyped Goldberg and Lesnar appearing face to face next week, as well as Shane and Daniel Bryan appearing but Saxton stupidly asked if they would accept. We got entrances for the main event, and Twitter went bonkers that Reigns was introduced last (though it does make little sense….).
Match #6 – Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman; Fatal Five Way
Winner: Kevin Owens
The Summary: Strowman threw an elbow at Jericho, and Graves said it was to the throat so Fozzy might have to cancel Download Tour plans. Rollins broke out a kendo stick to beat on Strowman. Rollins then went for a chair, but Strowman cut him off and grabbed a table instead.
Late in this one, Jericho held Reigns in place, and Owens let out a war cry before hitting a cannonball. Rollins powerbombed Jericho onto Strowman on a table, driving both men through it. Small “holy shit” chant moment.
Rollins hit Owens with the Pedigree and had him beat but Jericho pulled out the official. Rollins hit it again, this time on Jericho. Owens caught Rollins with a superkick, and Reigns hit Owens with the Superman Punch. Owens fell onto Jericho and won the match. Owens celebrated while the commentary team hyped Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown and Goldberg and Lesnar appearing next week.
The main event was fine for what it was, but the logic failed me. These guys are all teammates, and they beat each other up in what boiled down to a hardcore match as a bonding exercise. Weird. I do like the finish in that there’s now tension there between Jericho and Owens, which is a more interesting feud than either Reigns or Rollins for Owens. Though, I see advertising in Pittsburgh that it’ll be Reigns and Owens at Roadblock in December. Sigh.
This show was abysmal, there’s no other way to say it. The first two hours lost a lot of people (just go back to the Twitter feed for proof) and nothing happened in the third to really redeem it. I think they did a good job of consistently hyping things for next week, but you’d think the company would put on a better effort for the first Raw visit to Scotland in 23 years. They just didn’t. I don’t blame the crowd for going into business for themselves during the women’s segment either.
Drew will have more to say on this show and all things pro wrestling tomorrow on Around the Ring, and he has your Smackdown coverage (likely to be done in the same format as WWE is still overseas in Europe). Join him then, and I’ll be back later this week with Ring of Honor coverage and Ring Rap Audio. Thanks for hanging out tonight.