She’s Here – Monday Night Raw – 10/30/2017

No, Roman wasn’t there, his Meningitis is apparently pretty bad.

A lot of great things have come out of Baltimore.  Cal Ripken’s consecutive starts streak.  The Wire.  The debate about whether Joe Flacco is elite.  And tonight, Monday Night Raw is coming to us from Baltimore.  And if you’re going to continue to set up for Survivor Series, how better to kick off the show than with the return of the Raw Commissioner.  That’s right, the real queen is here to lay down the law.

Welcome to the Queendom

Angle started the show already in the ring with the Raw roster at the top of the ramp.  He kind of apologized to them for not being better prepared, and vowed they would retaliate.  Screw that noise, that’s not good enough.

Bring on the Queen.  While we are all well aware that the character she plays on TV isn’t even remotely the character we’ve come to realize she is in real life, she’s out to be The Authoritarian (and I choose that descriptor wisely here).  Not only will Kurt bring home a win at Survivor Series, he will have to physically do it himself.  She orders Angle to captain the team for the Red Brand and there will be hell to pay if her demands are not met.  And her demands……Total Annihilation.

What else we got?

  • Bayley vs Nia Jax: Alicia Fox was scheduled to have a match with Bayley, but she can’t be burdened with unnecessary matches while she’s busy putting together a team.  So she found a replacement opponent, and following Nia Jax defeat of Bayley, Alicia Fox asked the monster among women to join her squad.  And then there were two.
  • Weirdly enough, Samoa Joe kind of interrupted the end of this segment, going to the ring and talking about being back to hurt people and hating everyone in the WWE Universe.  He then has a match with Apollo Crews, which Joe wins with the Cochina Clutch, then Titus decides to try to run him off and takes a CC for himself.
  • Daniel Bryan is here, and seemingly conspiring against Shane McMahon in an effort to smooth things over with Kurt regarding the actions of the Smackdown roster last week.  He’s then left in a room by himself, where the lights go out and he seems to get Chokeslammed through a table by Kane.  I say it seems because you heard a table crash but the lights were out, so you couldn’t see that Bryan still isn’t cleared for anything of this sort.
  • Miz vs Matt Hardy for the Intercontinental Championship:  When the Miz arrived late following Angle getting chewed out, Angle proved to Miz that shit rolls down hill, telling him that he doesn’t trust him to beat Baron Corbin so he’s going to have to defend his title tonight.  It’s later revealed that The A-Lister will face “Not Quite Yet Broken” Matt Hardy.  Miz picks up the win and retains the title.
  • Finn Balor vs Cesaro:  It’s a match I never considered but totally wanted to see as soon as they announced it.  Sort of odd booking for Balor of late, because they clearly can’t decide what they want to do with him.  I might have assumed he’d get the nod to take on Miz for some reason.  In any event, Balor picks up the win in a fairly straightforward match where neither guy really did anything astounding.  It was fine, they’d have a great PPV match I believe.  For some reason Kane attacked Balor at the top of the ramp, landing a Tombstone on top of the stage.  Why is the future Mayor of Knox County out here beating up poor little Finn Balor?
  • Kane vs Seth Rollins:  Because there’s a purpose for this match either, Kane Tombstoned Balor and then went to the ring for this match.  Sheamus and Cesaro hung around for this one, getting involved to beat down on Dean Ambrose.  Kane wasn’t done after picking up the win via the Chokeslam and a pinfall.  He would then land Tombstone Piledrivers on both Shield brothers.  So at this point, building Kane up for a confrontation with Braun Strowman revolves around him picking on significantly smaller face wrestlers and attacking a broke neck general manager.  Makes sense.  There’s logic in here somewhere.
  • Someone dumped garbage in Miz’s locker room.  He went searching for help in case Strowman was back, but was left rather abandoned by Kane and The Bar.  As you can imagine, this meant Miz had a monster of a problem (puns!).
  • Slater & Rhyno vs Gallows and Anderson:  The Good Brothers were dressed as their Southpaw Characters and the former tag champs were dressed as Santa and Ms. Claus, for whatever reason.  This is your annual Trick or Street Fight.  Pumpkins on people’s heads, dunking people in the apple bobbing bin, etc.  It’s kitschy, but it’s fun to see once a year (you hear that Smackdown, please don’t feel the need to do a second one).  The Kendo sticks were even taped to look like candy corn, which was a nice touch.  Slater and Rhyno get the win, and WWE continues to squander the value of any former Bullet Club members.
  • WALK WITH ELIAS:  Elias tried to sing, Jason Jordan interrupted him and destroyed his guitar.  I’m over anything involving Jason Jordan.  He’s even making me not like Elias segments.  It isn’t something I do often, but #BooThisMan
  • Kalisto vs Drew Gulak:  This match could have been fantastic, but it was only given like three minutes.  Kalisto wins with the Salida Del Sol, but gets attacked from behind by Enzo Amore following his win.  People would be much more apt to tune in on Tuesday nights for 205 Live (or Hulu on Wednesday) if they’d let these guys have time to put on a show when they get Raw time.
  • Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James for the Women’s Championship:  Alexa’s Chucky inspired entrance attire was pretty awesome.  The match was ok, but they didn’t do much special (sort of like the Balor-Cesaro affair).  “Ask her, she’s old” during a sleeper hold was pretty great.  The crowd wasn’t invested at all, and like a typical restless crowd they launched into the CM Punk chant for whatever damn reason.   It was actually an odd main event match here, especially with what’s coming.  Alexa Bliss retains the championship via pinfall after a …. forearm strike???
  • Miz was attempting to escape the building following the conclusion of the Women’s title match, trying to get out before Strowman could find him.  Didn’t help.  Miz fled the parking area and out towards the ring.  Bliss was still in the ring celebrating as the chase made its way out to the stage.  Strowman destroyed Miz and the Miztourage (welcome back Bo Dallas).  It’s always fun to watch him destroy people, which is why him losing to Lesnar was no fun.


Final Thoughts

Going on this episode of Raw alone, I anticipate a clean sweep at Survivor Series for Smackdown, aside from Brock Lesnar obliterating Jinder Mahal.  There’s just entirely too much infighting on the Raw roster, which is an odd thing to have to type because this is a wrestling show where the point is to build stories around infighting, but between Kane attacking everything he sees and a pissed of Braun Strowman alone, how the hell can Raw function properly?  Anyway, it was a decent episode that actually had a lot of things going on, which is great because it has been Promo City of late and no actual wrestling.  I’ll give it a B.  

And I have to ask, are they building to a match between Corey Graves and Booker T?