Monday Night RAW Review: TLC Is Over, So The Road to Survivor Series Begins

RAW kicks off with honorary Shield member, and RAW GM, Kurt Angle talking about TLC and moves right onto Survivor Series. The following matches are announced, as this year is a complete Raw vs. SmackDown theme:

The Miz vs. Baron Corbin, Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya, Two-Thirds Shield vs. The Usos, and Jinder Mahal vs. Brock Lesnar.

Wow. If that’s not enough, there will also be 5-on-5 Men’s and Women’s Survivor Series elimination matches.

Let’s make the opening even crazier. Kurt is interrupted by The Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus, and Curt Axel. Miz is ready to unleash on Angle. For the save are Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and to even the odds, AJ STYLES! 

Our opening bout is a six-man wrestlefest. My word, this could have been the main event of a PPV. Let’s just have these guys go every week for three hours and call it a show. Seriously. Tons of dramatic near-falls, some huge spots, all culminating with Styles earning a pinfall victory. Things heat up, pun somewhat intended when Kane shows up and demolishes the babyfaces, then directs his attention to Braun Strowman. He claims to be the only monster in WWE, and says Strowman fears him. Kane demands competition, so we get right into our next match…

Finn Balor vs. Kane

Balor answers the open challenge. Good match, and I was surprised at no interference, and a clean win by Kane via three chokeslams. Wow, Balor put Kane over.

All this in the first hour. Yes. All of this happened by 9pm.

Backstage: Shane McMahon shows up and banters with Kurt about Survivor Series. Here comes the annual “my brand is gonna beat your brand.” He then says that RAW might just be “under siege.”

Up next is a rematch from TLC, and repeats itself, as Asuka defeats Emma once more. Shorter match, similar to last night, nice finish with countering a rollup into the Asuka-Lock. Well done ladies.

Alexa Bliss out to the ring, upset how Styles and Balor get a “This is Awesome” chant just by staring at each other, but Bliss gets nothing. Good heel mode by Bliss. Although crowd constantly cheers her antics, she still goes the heel route by disregarding the adoration. During her rant, she drops words about Mickie James, so inevitably James comes out, lays Bliss out and taunts her. Title rematch in the near future I take it.

We continue with the women of RAW, as backstage, Kurt Angle is with Sasha Banks and Bayley informing them they will be on team RAW, but only one can be Team Captain. Suddenly, a wild Alicia Fox enters! She plays the loony toon and Kurt makes it a triple threat. He reminds Fox, pinfalls count in the ring only, but she laughs it off. She’s funny.

I still don’t get the “Team Captain” concept. It’s not like it means anything.

Elias attempts to sing again, but once more, Jason Jordan causes trouble. They have a match which comes to an abrupt conclusion by disqualification when Elias DESTROYS THE GUITAR over Jordan… and is LEGIT INJURED as the guitar causes visible damage to Jordan’s arm. Oh, that did not look good. Geez.

Rabbi Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar out to discuss the challenge made by Jinder Mahal. Heyman’s promo. Holy Primus. He completely bashed Mahal. There was a split second I thought this might have been a shoot. Heyman went right for the jugular. Calling Mahal a paper champ, a filler, and wow… just things many of us might have thought. He shared his thoughts on Mahal’s lackluster reign as champ, barely getting by Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura. Heyman continues berating Mahal, that he never talked trash about Goldberg, Samoa Joe, and Strowman, however he has no issue running down a no-name placeholder and should not be in the same category as Bruno Sammartino or Randy Savage.

Heyman’s promo was incredible.

Alicia Fox defeats Sasha Banks and Bayley to become the RAW Women’s Team Captain. Just to have a match. Fox was funny during this one, mimicking Bayley, ringing the bell mid-match. Really good match.

Kalisto, Mustafa Ali, Gran Metalik, Cedric Alexander, and Rich Swann defeated Enzo, Drew Gulak, Davari, Tony Nese, and Noam Dar.

Drew Gulak starts the Cruiserweight segment of the night, hilariously talking for Enzo. I find it funny how only a few weeks ago everyone beat the hell out of him, but suddenly Gulak, Dar, Davari, and Tony Nese are all buddy-buddy with Enzo in order to maintain their heel status. Poor Enzo, unable to even get the letter ‘T’ out. Gulak warns off Kalisto from flying, this is a “no fly zone” only to earn a quadruple superkick. Match inevitably turns into a flying spot-fest, as Kalisto pins Enzo to win.

In the final segment, Kurt Angle announces Team RAW, but is interrupted by Shane McMahon and the entire SmackDown roster. Well, this got interesting fast. Shane tells Kurt that RAW is “Under Seige.” Shane then commands his roster to go chase after Angle and the RAW locker room. It begins with Titus O’Neal and Apollo Crews taken out. Bacon Rorbin then beats up a stagehand. Women run, midcarders get beat up, I mean, I’m sure Curt Hawkins really stood a chance. Interesting development, as Chad Gable attacks Jason Jordan. Finn Balor and Matt Hardy are taken out. The rest of the show seems RAW guys being taken out in pairs, it’s as though everyone has their own private locker room. The SmackDown women appear to easily overmatch the RAW women. Ambrose and Rollins are taken out next.

Shane tells Angle this will end at Survivor Series. Well, that’s certainly a way to promote the next PPV. Well, SmackDown is tomorrow night, so I’d expect RAW to show up.

Where was Brock Lesnar when all this went down?

Good show tonight. Good show.