Monday Night Raw – November 16, 2015: How Low Can You Go?

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 16, 2015
Location: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton, Michael Cole

It’s all about the tournament again tonight with the four quarterfinals leading in to Sunday’s Survivor Series. We might also get some more about the Authority recruiting Reigns to the dark side. Other than that we should find out some more of the card as very few of the matches have been announced yet. Let’s get to it.

The roster stands on the stage in a moment of silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Nothing wrong with that.

Opening sequence.

Recap of the tournament and the quarterfinal matches.

We’ve got druids to open things up, followed by the Brothers of Destruction. Undertaker talks about how no one can take away their souls (Yeah what was up with that? Did the Wyatts take their souls or whatever and then just let them go?). Kane has a place prepared for the Wyatts to suffer in the fire. Undertaker says Bray can select the two members for the sacrifice because they will never rest in peace.

Cue the Wyatts so Bray can talk about twenty five years being long enough. He is the one to take down the brothers and the creatures of the night are his. The lights go out again but the Wyatts are still there. The druids are now in sheep masks and charge the ring, only to be easily beaten down. Undertaker waves the Wyatts down but Bray stops them. This would work so much better if I thought the Wyatts had any chance.

WWE World Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Neville vs. Kevin Owens

Non-title. Neville works on the arm to start but gets caught in a headlock. Back up and the threat of the Red Arrow sends Owens running so Neville drops him with a top rope moonsault. Back from a break with Owens running Neville over and slapping on a chinlock. Neville tries to speed things up and flips to the apron (this guy’s balance is insane), only to eat a superkick (that’s one) for a nine count. Owens gets two more off a gutbuster but misses a charge in the corner and gets caught in a snap German suplex.

The middle rope Phoenix splash (You should not be able to do that. Like, no one should.) gives Neville two but Owens shakes the ropes to break up the Red Arrow. The Pop Up Powerbomb is countered into a superkick (that’s two) and a reverse hurricanrana for a very close two. Neville has to bail out of the Red Arrow again and it’s the Pop Up Powerbomb to send Owens to Survivor Series at 10:46.

Rating: B-. This got a lot better after the commercial when they let both guys just go. That’s the NXT style and it works just fine on the big stage. Owens winning by pin will help a lot when he goes down on Sunday, either to Ambrose or Reigns. Either way I hope it’s not clean, but you know that’s coming eventually.

We look at Paige debuting the night after Wrestlemania XXX and winning the Divas Title, which is her claim to starting the Divas Revolution.

HHH and Kevin Owens shake hands in the back while talking about something we can’t hear.

Clip of Reigns beating Big Show last week.

Update on Rollins’ knee injury.

Tyler Breeze vs. R-Truth

Truth slams him down to start and does a little dance before dropping a leg for two. Another suplex puts Tyler into the corner and we stop for some lip balm. It seems to work as Tyler cranks on a half crab for a bit, only to have Truth fight up with that sitout gordbuster. The two kicks set up another gordbuster but the Beauty Shot puts Truth away at 4:10.

Rating: D+. Standard “let’s have R-Truth lose to someone because Truth is still over with his rapping” match here which is like your first merit badge on the main roster. Truth is still fine in the role and can do this for a long time to come. Breeze is going to be fine if he gets a decent feud, but I’m not sure where he goes to start.

WWE World Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose

The winner gets Owens. Feeling out process to start with both guys working on the arm until it’s a standoff. Dean tries Dirty Deeds but Ziggler gets away because it’s way too early. The announcers talk about how the champ is going to be on various talk shows because that’s what we’re still supposed to believe.

Ziggler takes him down and puts on a surfboard followed by a cravate into a rollup for two. A nice dropkick staggers Dean and a backbreaker does the same to Ziggler. Dean grabs a half crab of his own for all of ten seconds before going with the top rope standing elbow drop. Ziggler’s sleeper doesn’t go anywhere so he settles for two off a sunset flip. Dirty Deeds is broken up again and they cross body each other. Both guys go up top and fall out to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Ziggler getting two off a Fameasser. He loads up a superkick (Cole: “Looking to pay homage to Shawn Michaels!” If that’s the case then Shawn is now the world’s fourth largest religion.) but has to settle for a sleeper instead, which Dean counters into the rebound lariat for two. Dean’s small package and Ziggler’s superkick (that’s three) get near falls each. Back up and Ambrose slugs away until he gets rolled up for two, only to come back with Dirty Deeds to advance at 16:47.

Rating: C. This was watchable but it felt like they were trying to have a big match which almost never works. I wasn’t wild on the idea of these two working together and the result was about what I was expecting. I’m not sure who wins between Ambrose and Owens but it has the potential to be a better match than this. It wasn’t a bad match but I really didn’t like how it went.

Post match Dean says he’s turning the place upside down if he wins. No more suits, more pyro, less talking, we’ll replace Michael Cole with a fish tank and have breakfast for dinner.

We look at Stephanie McMahon starting the Divas Revolution four months ago. So why are they still arguing about who started it? And can we please never see this again? That would be nice.

Here’s New Day to say we should be talking about the one year anniversary of the New Day. They didn’t get an invite to the Tonight Show or a chance to be on Sportscenter. Woods brings up Jey’s shoulder injury and Big E. has a little impression. Big E.: “WHEN I SAY US, YOU SAY OW!” As for Ryback, don’t let him drag you down into the much of negativity because NEW DAY ROCKS.

New Day vs. Ryback/Usos

Jey and Woods start things off while Cole tells us about Kevin Owens and Melissa Joan Hart feuding on Twitter. After some dives from the Usos, Jey gets caught in the Unicorn Stampede as Woods plays the trombone. Now it’s off to a discussion of Patrick Swayze movies as Big E. gets two off the Warrior Splash. There’s the abdominal stretch to put Jey in more trouble before it’s off to Kofi for a middle rope stomp. Jey gets over for the tag but the referee didn’t see it (now there’s an old trope I’d like to see make a comeback). Ryback comes in anyway and cleans house, eventually shoving the referee for the DQ at 5:49.

Rating: D+. The time killed this but you know we’re getting the Usos vs. New Day on Sunday. I’m still not sure what that leaves Ryback with as they’re not going to do Woods vs. Ryback. Unless there’s a rematch of this, Ryback might be left off the card. Also, no mention of Ryback losing to Kalisto. We did however about Terry Funk being in Road House.

Post match New Day is dispatched, including a double superkick from the Usos (that’s four and five).

Clip of Charlotte winning the Divas Title from Nikki Bella. They’re pushing the heck out of the contract signing later.

HHH suggests that it might be time for Cesaro to grab the brass ring. He’ll be watching to see if Cesaro takes that next big step tonight. Hey stop laughing. It could…..I mean it’s possible……who am I kidding.

Here’s Roman Reigns to ask if the Roman Empire is here tonight. He recaps HHH’s offer and says he thought it it very hard, but he’ll never sell out. The road is going to get harder but it ends with him as WWE World Champion. Believe that.

WWE World Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro

Cesaro takes Reigns into the corner to start but lets go with a clean break. A top wristlock doesn’t get Cesaro anywhere so Reigns puts him on the top, only to have Cesaro cartwheel off. Cesaro gutwrench suplexes him for two as JBL talks about the Buffalo Bills losing all the time back in the day. Reigns misses the running clothesline and the springboard spinning uppercut (that always looks great) drops him again. Things get even worse for Roman as he’s sent shoulder first into the post, followed by a running uppercut against the barricade as we take a break.

Back with Reigns being thrown to the floor but Cesaro gets kicked in the face. Reigns takes him inside and slugs away with the bad arm, only to have the apron kick caught and countered into the Cesaro Swing. Cesaro takes him over into the Sharpshooter and then the Crossface on the bad arm. That’s still not enough to beat Reigns as he powers up into a Samoan drop for two. A backdrop sends Cesaro over the top and he goes elbow first onto the apron.

Back in and Reigns fires off clotheslines with the bad arm until Cesaro punches the arm away. So Cesaro’s fist is much harder than his chest. Cesaro grabs the arm but gets lifted up into a sitout powerbomb for two. The Superman Punch is countered into Swiss Death for two more as these near falls are getting nuts. Cesaro loads up the apron superplex but Reigns escapes and hits a quick Superman Punch. Back in and the spear is blocked by another uppercut. The Neutralizer is countered but Cesaro grabs a backslide, only to take the Superman Punch and the spear to send Reigns to Survivor Series at 20:24.

Rating: A-. Outstanding power match with both guys just beating the heck out of each other. They had me for a second with Cesaro getting in those last few counters at the end. There was no way Cesaro was going to win here but it was awesome to see them get a lot of time and just beat the tar out of each other like this.

Clip of Paige turning on Charlotte. So is the contract signing closing the show? Really?

In Memory of Nick Bockwinkel graphic, with thirty five minutes to go in the show.

Dudley Boyz vs. Ascension

Viktor grabs a headlock on Bubba to start and gets kicked in the face for his efforts. Bubba gets taken into the corner for some right hands from Konnor, who is quickly put down with a Rock Bottom. The hot tag brings in D-Von and the 3D puts Viktor away at 3:13.

Rating: D. Was the show running short or something? I had almost forgotten that the Dudleyz were back as they haven’t done anything since the last match against New Day. Ascension on the other hand hasn’t done anything since they debuted because WWE wasted all the effort put into them, but I’m sure they’re just having fun while they fight on Friday night, which is the best night in the world of sports entertainment right Maggle?

Colter brags about how awesome MexAmerica is because it has no crime or taxes. HHH comes up and suggests Del Rio could be more than he is now.

WWE World Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio

Non-title. Kalisto says flukes don’t happen when you’re fighting for your dreams. Del Rio starts fast in the corner but misses a charge to the floor, allowing Kalisto to snap off a hurricanrana from the apron. Back with Alberto getting two off a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and tying Kalisto in the Tree of Woe.

Alberto rips at the mask and stomps away, only to miss a charge into the post (popular mistake tonight). Kalisto hits his corkscrew cross body and the hurricanrana driver for two but the Salida Del Sol is countered with Del Rio dropping him on the top rope. Del Rio gets him in the Tree of Woe for the double stomp to go to the semi-finals at 10:26.

Rating: D+. It wasn’t a total squash but DEAR GOODNESS I can’t stand that stupid stomp. It’s the new 619, though less exciting. Yeah it looks cool, but couldn’t they find something new to set it up other than whatever TOTALLY NATURAL way they have that week. Kalisto was never going to win here so the ending is fine, but I could have used a few more hope spots for him.

Here are the semi-finals.

Roman Reigns

Alberto Del Rio

Kevin Owens

Dean Ambrose

It’s time for the contract signing, which is actually the closing segment. Cole asks where this friendship went wrong. Paige says there is no friendship and she’ll prove it on Sunday. Charlotte asks what happened to Paige because they started off cut out from the same mold. She even wanted to be like Paige when she got here. Charlotte got into the business because of her brother, who isn’t alive to see her success.

She starts to cry so Paige makes fun of her as a heel should. Paige rips on the idea of PCB because she didn’t need them anymore. Charlotte isn’t going to be champion forever but when she loses the title it won’t be to someone like Paige. A brawl is about to start when Paige rips on Ric for not being here and being way over the hill.

Paige brings up Charlotte’s brother again and the fight is on with Charlotte taking it to the floor and beating Paige down. They get back in and Paige throws a table at her before they brawl in the corner again. The crowd is mostly dead for all of this and that’s not a good sign. They’re finally pulled apart and stare at each other to end the show. Charlotte was in WAY over her head here as she just isn’t ready to do this kind of talking and it showed badly. They tried something new here and it’s really hard to call it anything but a failure.

Overall Rating: C-. The wrestling alone makes it a passable show but this was the awkward part of the tournament where you knew what you were getting and just had to clean out all the people who didn’t have a chance. On top of that we still only have five matches announced for Sunday (Divas Title, Wyatts vs. Brothers and the three tournament matches) though you can probably pencil in a few others. The show felt uneven as they were trying to have a regular show while also focusing on the tournament the entire time.

I’m still trying to get over the idea that the contract signing closed the show. It’s a very different idea and I’m guessing they went with it as a hail Mary to mess with the sagging ratings. Charlotte’s story about her brother was good but it would have been better if she had been able to go into details. A heroin overdose isn’t going to fly on today’s show though so there wasn’t much they could do. Anyway, good show at times tonight but it felt all over the place.


Kevin Owens b. Neville – Pop Up Powerbomb

Tyler Breeze b. R-Truth – Beauty Shot

Dean Ambrose b. Dolph Ziggler – Dirty Deeds

New Day b. Ryback/Usos via DQ when Ryback shoved the referee

Roman Reigns b. Cesaro – Spear

Dudley Boyz b. Ascension – 3D to Viktor

Alberto Del Rio b. Kalisto – Top rope double stomp

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10 Responses

  1. Vintage Nick says:

    How surprised will you be if WWE actually had the Wyatts pull out an upset win?

  2. deanerandterry says:

    Although I don’t feel WWE went too far at all last night the segment didn’t really do it for me. A segment like that should make you either hate the guts of the heel or have massive sympathy for the face and at least on my end neither was accomplished and I don’t feel any different about either girl after that to be perfectly honest.

    It was nice seeing WWE try something different though even if it didn’t quite work as well as they hoped.

  3. El Killjoy says:

    I was perfectly fine with Charlotte here. She may not be good at talking but she did put up a reason for fans to care. Of course, then there’s the glaring plothole large enough to suck up a planet in the form of Becky Lynch. Where the hell was she? Why was she not involved in any of this despite being a part of it literally until this segment came along. She beat Paige clean last week. Is she in the same parallel dimension as John Cena that no one mentions her? What the hell?

  4. beckett929 says:

    Gave up on the show prior to the contract signing, because I know what Charlotte does worse than wrestle is talk. Glad I missed it by all accounts.

    A big thing for me in this tournament could/should have been the “anything can happen!” a la March Madness. Give upsets in more than one place, because these are simply one-off matches with no backstory to them.

    Shuffling the bracket could have really helped this too without making anyone look too weak. For instance, last week, Titus beating Ziggler instead of Ziggler over Miz to get to Ambrose, while Owens beats Miz last week and still beats Neville this week accomplishes all the same things (Owens/Ambrose semi-final) while still mixing it up.

    Also, Kalisto could have gone over ADR here tonight, and accomplished two goals – anyone can win on any given night, and set up a feud with Del Rio/Zeb, where Sin Cara gets recruited by Colter and turns on Kalisto. BANG, easy 2 months worth of programming for all involved.

  5. M.R. says:

    Cesaro was the heavy favorite in the poll of who you’d like to see win the tournament. Not that it matters, but it probably should.

  6. Jay H (the real one) says:

    I was surprised they had Paige bring up Reid like that and was surprised they ended with them but people complain all the time they need to change it up a bit which is what they did. Pretty good go home overall with Roman/Cesaro and Kevin Owens/Neville being very good.

    Looking forward to seeing Survivor Series in person on Sunday. I am guessing they add a Tag Title Match,hoping for a Elimination Match of some kind,and something on the Kickoff to round it out.

    • beckett929 says:

      They shouldn’t be burning a New Day/Uso title match yet.

      They could have Usos/Ryback/Ziggler vs New Day/ /Breeze and then roll forward from there.

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