Monday Night Raw – October 23, 2017: Steven Seagal Couldn’t Have Done It Better

Monday Night Raw
Date: October 23, 2017
Location: Resch Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T., Corey Graves

It’s the night after Tables Ladders and Chairs and the big question now is how many wrestlers are still under the weather. At the moment, Bo Dallas, Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt are all missing in action and there’s no word on when they’ll be back. It should be interesting to see how things shake out as we head towards Survivor Series. Let’s get to it.

First off, Happy Birthday wife.

We open with a long recap of last night’s main event, with the garbage truck stuff being left out. I’ve heard people say that it was one of the worst matches ever but it’s not even the worst WWE pay per view main event this year.

Here’s Kurt Angle to open the show and you know what chants he’s going to get. Now it’s time to talk about Survivor Series though, with various matches already being set. It’s going to be champion vs. champion with:

Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya

Miz vs. Baron Corbin

Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins vs. Usos

Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal

In addition to these matches, there will be a men’s and a women’s elimination match with participants to be named later. Cue the Miz and the Bar to cut Angle off with Miz saying that Angle has overstepped his boundaries. Last night was too far and tonight, it’s time to pay. Angle goes to leave but everyone surrounds the ring. Cue Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose for the save and everyone bails. Angle isn’t done though and makes a match right now, including a guest star who stuck around after last night.

Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose/AJ Styles vs. The Miz/The Bar

Rollins stomps Sheamus down in the corner to start and it’s Dean dropping some elbows for two. Ambrose comes in and gets slammed by Cesaro, only to have Seth hit a running kick to the chest to take over. It’s off to AJ with a ROAR and some forearms have Cesaro in trouble. The villains are sent to the floor for a triple dive and we take a break.

Back with Ambrose in an armbar from Sheamus before it’s off to Cesaro for a chinlock. Dean reverses a suplex into one of his own and the hot tag brings in Seth. A Falcon Arrow takes Cesro down but Miz grabs a heck of a DDT for two on Rollins. Back from a second break with Miz firing off the YES Kicks to Seth’s chest.

The big one is countered into a rollup and Miz bails to the floor where Ambrose knocks him over the barricade. Back in and it’s the hot tag to AJ as everything breaks down. Rollins breaks up a rollup for two and it’s the stereo dives to Miz and Sheamus. The Phenomenal Forearm ends Cesaro at 19:56.

Rating: B. Nice long match here and having AJ around is a good idea. The fans love him and are going to cheer anything he does, which makes him as smart of an attraction as you can have. Of course that’s not going to be enough to put him over the likes of Jinder Mahal but why do that when you can have Jinder keep the title another five and a half months?

Post match Kane comes out and helps destroy the winners. Back from a break with Kane in the ring and another highlight package from last night’s main event. Kane says he’s heard stories about Braun Strowman destroying Roman Reigns and surviving attacks in an ambulance. He liked what he heard but needed to see it for himself. When he saw it in person though, all he saw was trash. That’s why he put Strowman in the back of a garbage truck and liked hearing the gears grinding away. Kane will always be Raw’s resident monster and now he wants competition. That means an open challenge and we have an answer.

Finn Balor vs. Kane

Balor gets chased to the floor to start and comes back in where Kane hammers him down in the corner. A big boot cuts off a comeback attempt but Balor slugs him out to the floor anyway. Back in and the running corner clothesline sets up the side slam for two as this has been mostly Kane. A backbreaker keeps Finn in trouble and it’s another trip to the floor for more punishment. They head back inside where Balor hits a quick Sling Blade, followed by the shotgun dropkick. Balor loads up the Coup de Grace but Kane chokeslams him off the top. Two more chokeslams give Kane the clean pin at 8:50.

Rating: D-. Stupid, dumb, idiotic, short sighted, moronic, FREAKING RIDICULOUS and any other adjectives you care to name here. The idea is to build Kane up for a match with Strowman and there’s nothing wrong with that. What there IS something wrong with is using Balor to help build that up when he’s FINN FREAKING BALOR. You have him go over Styles on Sunday and lose to Kane clean on Monday? This is one of the dumbest decisions I’ve seen in a long time and that’s not a good sign going into one of biggest shows of the year.

Angle is in his office when Shane McMahon comes in for some friendly banter about the battle of the brands at Survivor Series. Things are smoothed over without too many issues though.

Asuka vs. Emma

Rematch from last night. An early cross armbreaker has Emma in trouble (just like last night) and the hip attack sends her out to the floor. Emma sends her shoulder first into the post but has to fight out of the Asuka Lock. Asuka gets in a missile dropkick, followed by some strikes to the head. Another hip attack gets two as the fans are trying to stay into this one. Back up and Emma tries a rollup, only to be reversed into the Asuka Lock for the tap at 5:13.

Rating: D+. Well it was shorter than last night but it’s basically the same match: Emma beats her down for most of the match but gets hip attacked and taps out for the finish. This makes Emma look like an overachiever and Asuka more like a person already melting under the spotlight. What a great way to bring her up people. Not with a squash or anything like that, but rather going move for move (and often worse) with one of the lowest rated women in the division. Nicely done WWE and a great way to mess up what should have been easy.

Here’s Alexa Bliss and she’s not in a good mood. She dispatched the leader of the old folks home last night in the performance of her career but it didn’t get the reaction she deserved. Then Finn Balor and AJ Styles stood in the ring and stared at each other for ten minutes so the fans thought it was awesome. Therefore, she’s going to say a chant and the sheep here are going to repeat it back to her. The chant is YOU DESERVE IT but here’s Mickie James to cut her off instead. A MickieDT onto the title leaves Bliss laying and Mickie says that Bliss does deserve it.

Bayley and Sasha Banks are in Kurt’s office where he says that they should be the captain of the women’s Survivor Series team. Alicia Fox comes in and wants to play Rock Paper Scissors for the captain spot. Angle thinks a triple threat might be better.

Here’s Elias to complain about what happened last night. After an insult to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, it’s time for a live musical performance. Elias starts insulting the crowd but the microphone keeps cutting out. He threatens to go beat up the sound technician but here’s Jason Jordan to cut him off.

Jason Jordan vs. Elias

Rematch from last night and we’re joined in progress with Jordan taking a big elbow drop for two. A double kick to the chest sets up a chinlock to keep Jordan in trouble. The first suplex drops Elias though and Jordan takes him outside for three straight drives into the corner. Not that it matters as Elias comes back with a guitar shot for the DQ at 3:20.

Rating: D+. So that happened and is likely happening again in the near future. Jordan vs. Elias isn’t all that interesting but at least they have something for Jordan to do. He’s not floundering in the role so far and a big win over Elias should help him, though the Angle son thing is still doing nothing for him.

Jordan leaves with a heck of a welt on his arm.

Here are Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar to respond to Jinder Mahal. Paul finds it interesting that someone has an issue finding Lesnar as the undisputed champion of WWE. There is someone who thinks that they can match up to Brock and that makes little sense to Heyman. We live in an age of trash talk but Heyman didn’t talk trash about Goldberg, Samoa Joe or Braun Strowman. Instead he praised all of them because they deserved it. Then there’s the joke of a champion like Jinder Mahal.

When we think of a champion, we think of Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, John Cena and BROCK LESNAR. This isn’t about Lesnar wanting to wave the Raw flag. This is about Smackdown thinking that it wasn’t treated fairly in the Superstar Shakeup. Whichever show has Brock Lesnar is the undisputed top show and at Survivor Series, Jinder is going to Suplex City. The challenge is accepted and Brock looks angry.

Kalisto is invoking his rematch clause tomorrow night on 205 Live. Tonight though is about family. Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann, Mustafa Ali and Gran Metalik come in and we hit the LUCHA dance.

Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox

The winner is the captain at Survivor Series. Everyone goes at it to start with Fox hitting the northern lights suplex for two on Bayley, followed by the same thing to Sasha. A double dropkick puts Fox on the floor and it’s time for the staredown. Fox gets knocked of the apron and a double dropkick does it again.

Back from a break with Fox holding Banks in a chinlock. That goes nowhere so Fox takes her to the top for a superplex, only to get pulled down into the Tower of Doom with Bayley getting the least of it. A big boot gives Fox two on Bayley so Fox shouts that she doesn’t want to play. She heads outside and rings the bell, only to walk into the Bayley to Belly for two. Bayley fights Banks off and walks into a Bayley to Belly from Fox, only to get caught in the Bank Statement. That’s broken up as well so Fox throws them into each other and pins Bayley at 11:18.

Rating: D+. Fox winning is more interesting and it’s not like these two aren’t going to be on the team anyway. It wouldn’t have hurt them to let Banks take the fall for a change though as neither of them are exactly lighting the world on fire at the moment. This division has become such a mess and it’s not showing any signs of improving anytime soon.

Lucha Lucha vs. The Zo Train

Kalisto, Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, Gran Metalik

Enzo Amore, Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Noam Dar, Ariya Daivari

One fall to a finish. So it turns out that Enzo can’t talk so Gulak ready his prepared statement, albeit with better grammar. The villains spell out S-A-W-F-T with Enzo nearly coughing the T. Kalisto wants to start with Enzo but has to kick Daivari in the face instead. Metalik comes in and flips away from Nese before doing his rope walk into a dropkick. The lucha guys clear the ring and a quadruple superkick puts Gulak on the floor as we take a break.

Back with Dar working on Swann’s arm until it’s off to Daivari. A double crossbody puts both of them down and everyone else starts brawling on the floor. Daivari gets kicked into the corner and tags Enzo, who gets kicked down by Enzo. The DDG gets two on Kalisto as Swann makes the save. Double dives take down some villains, followed by stereo moonsaults to the floor. Kalisto grabs the Salida Del Sol to end Enzo at 9:05.

Rating: C. The dives were fun but this match really isn’t doing anything to help the fact that most of these people aren’t interesting in the slightest. So many of them feel like they’re just a person who happens to be in the match, which doesn’t exactly make me want to watch most of them. Kalisto vs. Enzo isn’t an exciting match but it’s what we’re stuck with for now. Hopefully it wraps up tomorrow night.

Here’s Angle to announce the Raw men’s team but Shane comes out of the crowd, flanked by almost the entire Smackdown roster. Shane says Raw is under siege and Angle bails to the ramp. The Smackdown roster is told to go get them so they march to the back. First up is Titus Worldwide, who are beaten down in short order. The Raw women run away and it’s time to beat up some jobbers.

They head into the locker room to beat on Jason Jordan and Matt Hardy before heading into another room. More people are beaten up in another room and now it’s the women fighting each other. Rollins and Ambrose come in with chairs but are beaten down without too much effort. Baron Corbin and Rusev capture Angle and make him watch the beating before taking him back into the arena where Shane is waiting. Shane says they’ll finish this at Survivor Series. I liked this a lot more than I thought I would as they made it feel like an invasion for a change and it could go somewhere for a change.

Overall Rating: C. The wrestling and the booking left something to be desired but the storytelling was good. Survivor Series is being built up in a hurry and I want to see where some of the stories go. The Raw vs. Smackdown stuff has potential but they have a few weeks left to maintain that momentum. Having some big names missing didn’t help things but there’s more than enough time to bring them back in. Not a bad show this week, though much more of a stepping stone than anything else.

Results

AJ Styles/Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins b. The Miz/The Bar – Phenomenal Forearm to Cesaro

Kane b. Finn Balor – Chokeslam

Asuka b. Emma – Asuka Lock

Jason Jordan b. Elias via DQ when Elias used a guitar

Alicia Fox b. Bayley and Sasha Banks – Whip into Fox

Lucha Lucha b. The Zo Train – Salida Del Sol to Amore

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Updated History of the Intercontinental Title in E-Book or Paperback. Check out the information here:

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11 comments

  1. Prophet says:

    Because the last invasion Shane was involved in worked out so well…

    [Reply]

  2. Pickle says:

    There are 17 goddamn heels on Smackdown. Plenty enough for this angle to work without making beloved faces like New Day, Becky, Nakamura, Gable and Tye Dillenger look like assholes.

    Also, Finn losing is the peak of WWE stupidity, but not that surprising. Sure, Finn’s over and had a great match/moment last night, but they gotta build Kane, to build Braun, to eventually build Roman some more.

    It’s always one step forward, two steps back with this company.

    [Reply]

    Jerichoholic94 Reply:

    But it’s for brand supremacy don’t you see?

    [Reply]

  3. Jay H (the real one) says:

    I think it’s a little unfair to say Asuka is melting under the spotlight seeing as how she’s won her first couple of Matches and keep in mind most her Matches in NXT were competitive as well. Also can we not hit the panic button on Finn Balor losing to Kane?

    Awesome ending by the way with Smackdown invading and beating up alot of the RAW guys/girls. Im already liking the build with that as compared to last year’s.

    [Reply]

  4. Liam Fenech says:

    I don’t know why but I think Elias rocks. Also the ending made me pumped for Raw vs Smackdown it makes me want to see how Raw responds tonight.

    [Reply]

    Liam Fenech Reply:

    So offen you see Raw vs Smackdown because it’s Survivor Series and it fits the schedule.Now imagine how this tag match is better because Smackdown have actually given a reason for the brands to fight each other.

    [Reply]

    Ovelesky Reply:

    umm what is the reason to fight? is it for title? is it for money?

    [Reply]

  5. Dragon says:

    Fin Balor will be fine no matter how many times he loses.

    [Reply]

    Greg Reply:

    That’s not the point.

    [Reply]

  6. BestSportsEntertainer says:

    I really don’t understand Finn Balor losing.

    So we build up Kane to build up Strowman who needs building up after getting squashed by Lesnar who has to look strong to get Reigns over.

    So let’s halt Balor’s momentum just to try to get Reigns over for the 17th time. Okay.

    [Reply]

  7. Mike M. says:

    Seriously? Rhyno, Titus O’Neil, Apollo Crews, Matt Hardy? None of them could have done the job to Kane last night. And it’s been said several times already, but Balor got squashed to build up Kane to get squashed by Braun to put him over (isn’t he already?) to put Reigns over, in a match we’ve seen far too many times. If they insist on pushing Reigns, have Balor put him over. I realize that they had to scramble due to the circumstances, but there were other options out there.

    On to the good, the opening 6-man was great. I was actually expecting AJ to jump Rollins/Ambrose after the match to start the push to Survivor Series, but clearly they had something much bigger planned. The end segment was incredible. It felt like something out of a movie. It was almost uncomfortable to watch and by far the best invasion since the Nexus.

    [Reply]

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