Monday Night Raw – November 6, 2017: British Invasion II: Smackdown Bluegaloo
Monday Night Raw
Date: November 6, 2017
Location: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T.
We’re on the other side of the world this week as Raw takes its annual trip over to England. That means the show has been spoiled in advance, but it also means that we’re nearly guaranteed to see something happen. That could range from a title change to a big surprise and all points in between so let’s get to it.
We open with a message of condolences for the attack in Texas yesterday. Nothing wrong with that, as always.
Long recap of Braun Strowman returning last week and destroying Miz and the Miztourage.
Miz is in the ring for MizTV. He starts fast by saying if Baron Corbin ever talks about his wife or unborn daughter again, he’ll take Corbin’s head off. Then Corbin got on Twitter and said at Survivor Series, Miz will be calling him daddy. Corbin is the bathroom break of Smackdown but Miz is the whole show on Monday nights. At Survivor Series, Miz is going to make him relevant for the first time. As for tonight though, Miz brings out Raw’s captain at Survivor Series: Kurt Angle.
They’re rather salty with each other and Miz makes it worse by showing Angle’s dressing down from Stephanie McMahon last week. Angle says Smackdown has had a good run, but it’s always going to be known as the B show. Miz shows the siege (again) as well as Kane attacking Daniel Bryan last week. Angle apologized to Bryan but Miz brings up the Strowman situation, which has left Axel in a neck brace. Kurt laughs it off and says Strowman is on Team Raw in exchange for a match. Tonight. Against Miz.
Here’s Elias for his guitar on a pole match but first, a little A Capella. The fans want Wonderwall but get a song about how horrible Manchester is.
Jason Jordan vs. Elias
Guitar on a pole and you win by using the guitar rather than by pin. They both go after the guitar and are stopped just as quickly as we take an early break. Back with Jordan rolling some suplexes until Elias slips over and grabs the guitar. Jordan takes it away and the chase is on until Jordan blasts him in the back to win at 7:20.
Rating: D. Uh, yeah. I have no idea why Jordan couldn’t just get a pin here unless this feud is continuing for whatever reason. The feud hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire but at least the fans haven’t been completely rejecting Jordan either. They’re bringing him along slowly here and that’s FAR better than they could have done.
The Bar comes in to see Angle because they want a Tag Team Title match tonight. Angle grants the request.
Asuka vs. Stacy Coates
Asuka wastes no time in kicking her down, followed by the hip attack. The Asuka Lock is good for the submission at 1:15. Squash.
Alicia Fox pops up and announces that Asuka is on Team Raw.
Titus O’Neil is ready to take care of Samoa Joe.
Samoa Joe vs. Titus O’Neil
Joe jumps him during the entrance and chokes Titus out on the ramp. No match.
Joe gets in the ring and issues an open challenge….so here’s Finn Balor.
Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe
The announcers start talking about the history between these two until Finn kicks him in the head. It’s too early for the top rope double stomp though as Joe moves away and scores with a kick to the head of his own. The backsplash gets two on Balor and Joe cranks on the neck until Balor fights up with a forearm to the jaw. Balor sends him outside for a shot to the chest and Joe stops for a breather. That just earns him another running forearm and we take a break.
Back with Joe avoiding the shotgun dropkick and getting two off another backsplash. Balor gets caught on top again but he comes down and hits the shotgun dropkick. The Coup de Grace misses again and the Rock Bottom out of the corner gives Joe two. The Koquina Clutch is broken up and Joe is sent outside for a heck of a flip dive over the top. They fight up the aisle and it’s a double countout at 14:39.
Rating: B-. It’s amazing how much better Balor looks when he’s not getting dropped on his head by a 50 year old Kane. This felt like a match I’d like to see more of and it’s not surprising given how awesome these two were in NXT. Hopefully they do some more of this and Balor can get some steam back.
The fight continues until referees break it up. Angle comes out and puts them both on Team Raw, making it Angle, Strowman, Balor and Samoa Joe. Balor isn’t done and dives onto Joe.
Miz and the Miztourage are worried with Axel suggesting they just run now.
Angle puts Jason Jordan on the team as the fifth member.
Bayley and Sasha Banks want in on Team Raw and are ready to prove it tonight.
Bayley/Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox/Nia Jax
The fans bring back the HEY BAYLEY song and she looks rather pleased with the return. Fox bails from Bayley to start and it’s Jax driving her into the corner without too much effort. Banks comes in and has her rollup stomped away. Fox comes in and gets double teamed in the corner with the good ones in control as we take a break.
Back with the fans still singing, even as Nia drops an elbow on Bayley. Some forearms to the head don’t do much to Jax and she hits a running Snake Eyes to drop Bayley again. For some reason Jax decides to bring Fox back in and it’s all of three seconds before the hot tag brings Banks in. Everything breaks down in a hurry and Jax gets sent outside, leaving Fox’s rollup to be reversed into the Bank Statement for the tap at 11:49.
Rating: C-. Not much here but it’s a good way to (likely) round out the rest of Team Raw. Bayley and Banks are kind of obvious on the team as there’s not exactly anyone else to fill out the roster. There’s a story to them not getting on the team yet though and if you can get two stories out of one match, rock on.
Post match Fox puts Banks on the team but not Bayley.
We look at Strowman being garbage trucked at TLC.
The Miz vs. Braun Strowman
Non-title because why would Strowman want something like a belt? Miz bails to the floor to start and has a huddle with the Miztourage. They get inside and the beating is on in a hurry with Strowman throwing him around like the tiny man that he is. The spinning Big Ending plants Miz again and Dallas looks scared on the floor. That is only made worse as Strowman goes outside and hits an incredibly loud right hand to Dallas’ jaw. Miz gets thrown onto the Miztourage but here’s Kane for the showdown and a DQ at 5:05.
Rating: D+. This was much more of an angle than a match and that’s fine. Miz getting destroyed is fine as long as he doesn’t get pinned, which is what would have happened in other times around here. At least Strowman got to look awesome all over again, which is exactly what should be happening to him.
Post match Kane can’t chokeslam Strowman, who hits the running powerslam. Kane pops up and gets clotheslined to the floor, where he lands on his feet. The Miztourage tries to jump Braun and gets beaten up again.
Ambrose and Rollins are ready to fight because that’s what they do. They haven’t forgotten about Team Blue and after Survivor Series, they’ll be Team Black and Blue. Ambrose: “And yellow. And purple.” Rollins: “What kind of bruises…..”? Anyway back to Sheamus and Cesaro, no one wants them to win and the Shield fist is the real bar. They leave and Renee does the Shield fist as well.
Here’s Enzo Amore for a chat. He talks about everyone who wants to follow him around and see what the champ is up to. Recently he saw a kid who asked what was next….and here’s Kalisto to interrupt. Kalisto sits by the barricade though as Kurt Angle comes out to announce a surprise opponent for Enzo.
Pete Dunne vs. Enzo Amore
Non-title. Dunne takes him down with a single shot as Kalisto watches from the floor. Back in and Dunne works on the fingers until Enzo pulls him throat first into the top rope. Enzo grabs something like a camel clutch until Dunne fights up and kicks him in the face. Kalisto distracts Enzo though, setting up the Bitter End to put Enzo away at 3:35.
Rating: D+. I’m more and more impressed by Dunne every time I see him. He’s one of those guys who just seems to get it and, to steal a phrase, you can’t teach that. I can’t imagine this is anything more than a one off appearance and there’s nothing wrong with that for the sake of the live crowd. Nothing to the match, but that’s what you have to expect with Enzo in the ring.
Kalisto raises Dunne’s hand.
Video on Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal.
Lesnar and Paul Heyman will be back next week.
Alexa Bliss didn’t run from Natalya but will run circles around her at Survivor Series. Isn’t it interesting that Natalya never won the title when Alexa was on Smackdown? Bliss is a two time champion on both shows and two and two makes one. That’s one goddess of WWE you see.
Roman Reigns is back next week.
Tag Team Titles: The Bar vs. Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose
Rollins and Ambrose are defending. Ambrose jumps Cesaro to start and it’s a Hart Attack with Rollins hitting a Sling Blade instead of a clothesline for two on Sheamus. The champs hit dives to the floor and knock them outside again as we take a break. Back with Ambrose in trouble and things getting worse as the Bar hits double superkicks to the ribs.
Cesaro kicks Rollins off the apron to break up a tag attempt but can’t get the top rope superplex on Ambrose. A middle rope clothesline is enough to bring in Rollins so house can be cleaned in a hurry. Rollins hits a suicide dive on Sheamus and a Falcon Arrow gets two on Cesaro. Swiss Death cuts Rollins off but can’t put him away just yet. Everything breaks down and the champs’ double dives are broken up.
Dean is sent back first into the barricade and a top rope clothesline/powerbomb combo gets two on Rollins. Back in and Dirty Deeds takes Sheamus down for the frog splash but Cesaro knocks Dean into the cover for the save. Cue the New Day of all people in the crowd for a distraction though, with Woods congratulating the fans on staying awake. As New Day talks, Angle rallies the troops in the back.
New Day says it’s Under Siege 2 (that’s getting into some dark territory) as the Raw roster surrounds the ring. They go after New Day, leaving Sheamus to Brogue Kick Rollins for the pin and the titles at 18:55. That’s actually a finish lifted from WCW where Harlem Heat took the Tag Team Titles from Sting and Lex Luger while the Outsiders came into the arena.
Rating: B. These four are just incapable of having a bad match and that’s always a good problem to have. I like the booking a lot as Rollins and Ambrose can do other stuff while Sheamus and Cesaro pretty much had this or nothing else. The ending was a nice touch too which protects both teams and advances the story. Well done all around.
Overall Rating: C. For a taped show, this actually wasn’t half bad. They accomplished a lot for Survivor Series and that’s more important than filling the show with good yet not important matches. The title change at the end is a good idea and things should be even bigger next week when Lesnar and Reigns are back. Good enough show here, which is quite the compliment given the circumstances.
Jason Jordan b. Elias – Jordan hit Elias with the guitar
Asuka b. Stacy Coates – Asuka Lock
Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe went to a double countout
Sasha Banks/Bayley b. Alicia Fox/Nia Jax – Bank Statement to Fox
Braun Strowman b. The Miz via DQ when Kane interfered
Pete Dunne b. Enzo Amore – Bitter End
The Bar b. Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose – Brogue Kick to Rollins
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