RAW Dialogue 11/4: The trombone returns! Becky Lynch wrestles! Sheamus carries a briefcase around!
Last week’s RAW was a marked step up in quality. Did this week’s episode continue the trend? If you don’t know, there’s no need for you to call somebody just keep reading.
Roman Reigns finally feels like a legitimate threat to Seth Rollins’ WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign (and one the fans are more willing to accept) and this promo did wonders for their feud.
After the usual “I am the person who is going to win the match because you are not going to win the match” banter, a clash between the two was teased for the main event then taken away from the Denver crowd, who were then insulted by The Authority. I guess Triple H and Stephanie are full heel now? Their characters have no consistency, but this is definitely when they’re at their best.
Triple H made a Team Rollins vs. Team Reigns Survivor Series match for the main event. Very cool way to go with this.
Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler
A run-of-the-mill match that saw Dolph Ziggler put over not one, but two other superstars. Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens picked up the win over The Showboat with a pop-up powerbomb, then Tyler Breeze hit the Beauty Shot on Ziggler for good measure. Ziggler may not be having the best of luck record-wise, but he’s working with some great superstars; these sorts of segments will elevate everyone involved.
Winner: Kevin Owens (and the fans who chanted “Tyler’s gorgeous”)
Bray Wyatt’s Ancient Magics
Every one of my wrestling watching friends said this was a kitschy segment that did nothing for Bray. I disagree. This was a great callback to the mystique that characters like Kane and The Undertaker possessed in their prime when seen through the eyes of a child. It felt nostalgic for me, and Bray’s great mic work made the firework superpowers he’s stolen from the Brothers of Destruction less kitschy and more symbolic. This feud could benefit from more screen time, but Bray is using the time he has now to full effect. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch vs. Paige vs. Brie Bella (Fatal 4 Way match to determine the No. 1 Contender for the Diavs Championship)
This may have been the best match of the night. The non-Charlotte NXT women were finally given their chance to shine and they did exactly that. Brie Bella held her own against the competition. Paige showed she’s still the consummate performer who won the Divas Championship during her first RAW appearance.
We all knew who was going to win this match, but that doesn’t mean the close calls and amazing performances didn’t plant the seed of doubt in our minds. The Charlotte/Paige feud is great for WWE’s women’s division and, if WWE isn’t apprehensive about putting two women’s bouts on pay-per-view, I’m a proponent of a Becky-Sasha-Brie No. 1 Contender’s triple threat match at Survivor Series.
Survivor Series rules: Team Rollins (Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and The New Day) vs. Team Reigns (Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, The Ryback and The Usos)
This match served a number of purposes. It was a fun way to get Rollins and Reigns into the main event and across the ring from each other. It facilitated the return of both Xavier Woods and The Usos, all of whom made sense as part of the match. This match served as an introduction to the Survivor Series-style team elimination tag match the Nov. 22 pay-per-view is named after. It was a lesson for new fans and an advertisement for the November event all in one.
This was an entertaining and smartly-booked main event. Some highlights included a possible start to an Owens/Ambrose feud, The New Day’s antics (they pantomimed their two teammate’s hard rock entrance music to hilarious effect) and a classic heel move by Rollins to end the match via disqualification.
Seth Rollins’ tenure as champion has seen him put in a number of high-quality title defenses, but the writers haven’t been kind to him. If a legend is going to call him second-rate, he needs to have some kind of response. If he’s going to lose on RAW, it can’t be clean. Seth Rollins looked incredibly cunning at the end of the show. That’s my kind of champion.
Winners: Team Reigns (last fall via disqualification)