Monday Night Raw – November 14, 2016: Nope. Send This Back.

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 14, 2016
Location: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re ready for Survivor Series on Sunday and tonight is the last chance for the red show to pump things up. The big story here is Goldberg and Brock Lesnar being in the same ring before their showdown, which you may or may not find interesting. Finally we should get to hear about the big debate between Stephanie and Shane McMahon tonight….which is taking place on the Network after the show. Let’s get to it.

All of the Raw Survivor Series participants are on the stage as the bosses are in the ring. Stephanie plugs the debate after the show tonight and Foley says Sunday is about proving what’s better between the two shows. This leads to Foley doing Enzo Amore’s dance, much to Amore’s delight. Stephanie threatens to change Sunday’s lineup if some people don’t impress them tonight. That includes Cesaro/Sheamus vs. Kevin Owens/Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho/Seth Rollins/Braun Strowman vs. New Day and Charlotte/Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox/Nia Jax.

Roman Reigns/Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro/Sheamus

Naturally Reigns and Owens have to do entrances again after being on the stage before the break. Cesaro and Reigns get things going and Owens is looking bored on the apron. A dropkick sends Reigns into the corner and it’s time for an argument between the dysfunctional team over who gets to beat him up. Sheamus dives into an uppercut as I cringe at the thought of that being a World Title feud about a year ago. Owens finally gets involved, only to be taken down by a slingshot dive as we take a break.

Back with Owens clotheslining Cesaro in the corner to set up the Cannonball for two. The hot(ish) tag brings in Sheamus for the apron forearms but he loses a fight to Reigns on the floor. Apparently there was a tag in there somewhere as Reigns is allowed to come in and beat on Sheamus, including the Superman Punch for two. Owens tags himself back in and eats a Brogue Kick, only to have Reigns spear Sheamus to give Kevin the pin at 12:10.

Rating: D+. This is feeling like the leadup to Money in the Bank with the random matches that don’t go anywhere. This was a boring tag with the “regular” team losing clean and the makeshift team seemingly setting up something after Survivor Series. I really wasn’t feeling this one and the rest of the show doesn’t seem like it’s going to be much better.

Jericho tries to get Rollins and Strowman to calm down and work together later, ala Owens. He even has presents for both of them: scarves! Rollins declines and Strowman rips up Jericho’s scarf because he doesn’t like Chris.

Sami Zayn vs. Bo Dallas

This is over Dallas not being happy with Sami getting the Intercontinental Title shot. The standard arm work doesn’t last long so it’s Dallas being aggressive in the corner to take over. Sami comes right back and hits the exploder into the corner followed by the Helluva Kick for the pin at 2:30.

Brian Kendrick has a speech for the cruiserweights. He knows everyone is concerned about moving to Smackdown but there’s no way he’s going to lose because he’s the standard bearer of this division. Most of the division starts talking about how they could beat Kendrick and an argument breaks out. This really didn’t need to exist.

New Day comes out for their match and they’ve got a merchandise cart. They’ve been WWE Tag Team Champions for nearly 450 days because they know how to survive. With the holidays right around the corner, you need their gear to survive, with gear such as New Day Socks. You can stuff that sock with a unicorn horn or a certain brand of cereal.

New Day vs. Seth Rollins/Braun Strowman/Chris Jericho

Jericho and Kofi start things off and that’s not a bad thing. An elbow to the jaw puts Kofi on the mat and it’s quickly off to Woods vs. Rollins with the latter coming in off a chop to the chest. That goes nowhere either as they hit the mat for Seth’s headlock before it’s back to Jericho as New Day takes over. The Warrior splash gets two and Kofi comes back in, only to get slammed by Braun as we take a break.

Back with Braun holding Kofi in a nerve hold before handing it back to Rollins. Some double knees put Seth down but it’s Strowman running cross the ring to kick Big E. in the face. We wind up with Woods kicking Jericho in the back and Strowman plowing through the other two opponents. Woods finally kicks him in the face and forearms Rollins in the jaw. That’s enough for Braun though as it’s a powerslam to end Xavier at 14:06.

Rating: C. This picked up a lot near the end as Woods continues to be great at the last chance offense. Strowman is getting better at being a rampaging monster but he’s still in need of some more experience. I liked the match well enough though and New Day will be fine with a loss like this. That being said, it’s getting harder and harder to care about these one off matches between people with no animosity.

Paul Heyman interrupts the bosses and suggests that there won’t be a match if Lesnar isn’t happy. Mick orders more security.

Charlotte is in the back with Sasha for the weekly “women like to bicker with each other” segment. The big deal here is that Sasha has a title rematch down the line and they don’t like each other.

Brian Kendrick vs. Sin Cara

Non-title and Kendrick jumps him during the entrances. Cara says ring the bell so Brian beats him up in the corner as we hear about 205 Live, which really isn’t the best idea during this dull match. The chinlock evolves into the choking on the ropes but a backdrop puts Kendrick outside for a suicide dive. A second dive hits the barricade and we take a break. IN THIS MATCH.

Back with Kendrick choking even more because that’s what a heel cruiserweight does. Brian misses a charge in the corner and a top rope spinning splash gives Cara two. The crowd is just GONE here as Cara gets two off a sitout powerbomb. Kendrick goes for the mask and puts on the Captain’s Hook (looks terrible) for the tap out at 11:05.

Rating: D. Was this Cara’s punishment for the fight with Jericho? This was slow, boring and completely killed what little energy the crowd had left. As has been the case for months now, WWE has no idea what to do with a cruiserweight division. An eleven minute match is bad enough but having it be mostly spent on chinlocks and choking before finishing with a chinlock. This division really needs to go somewhere else and maybe its own show is the solution, but not without some major changes.

Enzo and Big Cass are in the back when Anderson and Gallows come up. They don’t trust each other in their eight man tag tonight.

It’s time for Lesnar and Goldberg as it’s nearly halftime of Monday Night Football. Lesnar slips a bit during his jump to the apron but it’s not bad. There’s a wall of security as Goldberg tells Lesnar to shut up and stay out of this. Heyman gets cut off by the GOLDBERG chants before finally going on about all the people Lesnar has killed. Goldberg cuts him off again to say his name isn’t on that list, only to have the chants start up again. Heyman starts to offer something but Lesnar grabs the mic and tells the fans to shut up.

The offer is for Heyman to find a replacement for Sunday’s match. That means Goldberg takes off his shirt so Lesnar shoves some guards down. Heyman says the beating will be so bad that Goldberg’s son will call Lesnar daddy. The security is quickly dispatched and there’s no one left between them. Lesnar, with one of the palest chests I’ve ever seen on a wrestler, walks away. This was WAY too long but they don’t have a choice because there’s nothing left for them to do on the show.

Sasha Banks/Charlotte vs. Nia Jax/Alicia Fox

Bayley is on commentary. Charlotte gets to face Nia to start and Sasha bails to the floor because they’re partners that don’t like each other. I didn’t know if they had made that clear in the two previous matches with the same stories. The champ can’t get anywhere with the monster and bails to the floor for an early break.

Back with Sasha rolling Alicia up for one and hitting the chinlock. Charlotte and Sasha finally break down and get in a fight, allowing Fox to bring Alicia back in. A big boot staggers Jax but another fight allows Alicia to come in with a high crossbody. Charlotte neutralizes Nia and the Bank Statement makes Fox tap at 7:45.

Rating: C-. Boring match (due to seeing the same story for the third time in just over two hours) but it makes sense to actually have them get in a fight for a change. I really don’t need to see Charlotte vs. Sasha again but I’m sure they’ll have one more gimmick match to really hammer home how important it is. Also, well done on having Alicia job here, which you can imagine them screwing up to try to swerve the audience.

Foley gives the Raw team another pep talk.

Enzo Amore/Big Cass/Anderson and Gallows vs. Shining Stars/Golden Truth

Cass throws Epico around to start and everything breaks down, leaving Golden Truth vs. Enzo and Cass. Uh, epic? We take a break just over a minute in and come back with a double Russian legsweep to Anderson. Karl pops right back up and grabs a chinlock on Truth as the fans are some combination of confused over who to cheer for and bored half to death. Primo tags himself in and gets to face Big Cass as everything breaks down. The Magic Killer plants Primo and Anderson tells to go up for the Bada Boom Shaka Lacka before just taking the pin himself at 9:03.

Rating: D. Yeah go back and look at one of the ratings for the same idea earlier on and substitute in the appropriate names. I don’t think there’s much that I can add to this one because there’s almost no story here. Anderson and Gallows don’t like the rest of the division and they’re mean to their partners. Next segment please.

Here are all four bosses for the really long closing segment. They bicker a lot, the fans chant for Smackdown, Stephanie gets in a funny line with “YOU GUYS ARE AT RAW!”, Bryan points out that Foley and Shane are known for jumping off of tall structures and they debate the cruiserweight division being on the line.

Stephanie brings out the Raw team but here’s the Smackdown team through the crowd. Owens and AJ get in an argument over whose title is more important with Owens saying it’s his because he holds it. AJ suggests that Owens might wind up on the list but Jericho gives him a hug to calm things down. That means AJ JUST MADE THE LIST (pop of the night). Oh and that stupid soccer mom haircut? IT JUST MADE THE LIST! Jericho still isn’t done as he sees James Ellsworth, who is a weird looking guy. “Do you know what happens to weird looking guys on Raw? YOU JUST MADE THE LIST!”

Bray grabs the mic and yells at Braun for abandoning him after being given the keys to the kingdom. This Sunday, Smackdown destroys the monster that Bray created. A staredown ensues but Seth grabs the mic, only to start the brawl. Everyone goes after Braun with Shane getting to knock him outside. Orton gets back in but it’s Reigns cleaning house and getting booed out of the building. A DoubleBomb sends AJ onto Team Smackdown to end the show. This got really good once the bosses shut up but it’s way too late to save this dog of a show.

Overall Rating: D. The wrestling was acceptable (albeit boring) but the problem here was the lack of effort. This three plus hour show had two main ideas: wacky tag team partners who don’t get along and Goldberg vs. Lesnar. The latter of those ideas took fifteen minutes and the other idea took up the rest of the show. Save for a WAY too long cruiserweight match (Yeah I know, I criticize the cruiserweights. Get over it.) and a nothing Sami vs. Dallas match, that’s all this show was. For three hours. Two ideas.

I can tolerate a show focused on one thing or a show that is trying to accomplish a goal but this was WAY over the top. You can’t showcase someone on the team against people not on the pay per view roster? Or do ANYTHING other than the same idea for most of the show? I checked out on this show as soon as I realized they didn’t have anything tonight and that’s not something that should ever happen. The quality wasn’t the worst here and the ending segment did it a lot of favors but the lack of effort destroys it.


Kevin Owens/Roman Reigns b. Cesaro/Sheamus – Spear to Sheamus

Sami Zayn b. Bo Dallas – Helluva Kick

Braun Strowman/Seth Rollins/Chris Jericho b. New Day – Powerslam to Woods

Brian Kendrick b. Sin Cara – Captain’s Hook

Charlotte/Sasha Banks b. Alicia Fox/Nia Jax – Bank Statement to Fox

Enzo Amore/Big Cass/Anderson and Gallows b. Shining Stars/Golden Truth – Magic Killer to Primo

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book, KB’s Complete 2014 Raw and Smackdown Reviews Part I at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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  1. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    I very much liked both the ending segment and the Goldberg/Lesnar segment( have exceeded expectations with this feud just because Goldberg has got some undefinable charisma). Agreed on the pointlessness of the wrestling. Liked the idea behind the crusierweights tonight at least. It was cool to see Zayn get two midcard wins in a row to build up some momentum for his IC title match. All in all this show did a better job than most Raw go home shows mostly because Raw couldn’t give most of the matches away for free.

  2. Jay H (the real one) says:

    KB for once I will agree with you on the Cruiserweight Match. It was pretty slow and plodding. That being said I thought this was a strong go-home Show especially the Goldberg/Brock Lesnar and RAW/Smackdown closing segments. I think they did a very good job of hyping up Survivor Series.

  3. Travis Woolum says:

    Could you do the Eddie Guerrero SmackDown tribute show this week?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Already done it actually.

  4. Travis Woolum says:

    Could you review the Eddie Guerrero SmackDown tribute show this week?

  5. Your Eternal Reward says:

    So there still is absolutely no reason for Smackdown vs Raw to be happening right? What’s stopping KO, Jericho and Styles from just walking off because why the fuck should they care?

    IC Reply:

    Well, you see there’s the stipulation that whichever brand wins…
    Wait, no there isn’t. Not a Royal Rumble pick, draft pick, Wrestlemania main event, nothing, zero, zip, zilch, goose egg, nada.

  6. M.R. says:

    Does 205 Live mean the cruiserweights are leaving Raw? I thought the idea of the division was to be less storyline driven and just have a bunch of small athletic guys fly around the ring for 5-8 minutes.

    Greg Reply:

    They said on Raw last week that they are not leaving Raw.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’m still not sold on that.

    M.R. Reply:

    I’d be alright with their absence.