Monday Night RAW: We’re in Knoxville, So Kane’s Gonna Fight Everyone

The show opens with a recap of the Braun Stroman and Kane feud that has been going on since TLC, most recently involving Kane ambushing Braun last week.

First to come out is the new Intercontinental champion Roman Reigns. Roman talks about the SHIELD reuniting, how he’s on top, and thanking everyone for a “you deserve it” chant. Then we were treated to a exclusive last week of the SHIELD ganging up on the Miz.

Roman proceeds to tell us that this is his yard and the Intercontinental title is the title. The Miztourage comes out telling Roman they are so angry that Roman stole the title from the Miz and that they will avenge the Miz. Elias comes out to say he can help the Miztourage avenge the Miz by taking the Intercontinental title from Roman. Roman accepts but warns him that after tonight he’s going to need a neck brace like Curtis Axel.

Seth Rollins comes out next to face Cesaro. The match starts with Cesaro and Rollins trade a series of blows. Cesaro picks up Seth and drops him on the top rope, he rolls out of the ring in pain going into the commercial. Coming back from the break Cesaro has Rollins in a hold. Cesaro lands a gut buster on Rollins. Cesaro takes Rollins to the top rope, Rollins fights off Cesaro, tries to jump on Cesaro, but Cesaro catches him and turns it into a spine buster. Cesaro tries a number of pins on Rollins but can’t get a three count. Rollins turns the tide as he gets Cesaro out of the ring with a leg drop in the middle of the ring ropes. Cesaro falls out of the ring and Rollins suicide dives into Cesaro, commercial break. Rollins gets Cesaro into the ring, attempts to pin but fails. Cesaro tries the calf crusher on Rollins but Rollins grabs the rope and breaks free. Cesaro grapples Rollins but Rollins reverses into a back body drop. Cesaro gets up, tries to do a punch off the rope, Rollins super kicks Cesaro right in the jaw, and gets the pin. Rollins wins.

After the match, Rollins talks about how the SHIELD is stronger than ever with Roman getting the Intercontinental title. And to prove this Rollins invokes his and Dean’s rematch clause. Next week is the tag-team championship match. Rollins and Cesaro had a great match, I look forward to another tag match between the Bar and the SHIELD next week, and they always put on great matches.

A group of cruiserweights including Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann are complaining to Kurt Angle about the Zo-Train on 205 Live. Kurt says there will be a challenger for Enzo’s title in three weeks. This week there will be a fatal four way, followed by another fatal four way next week, the week after that, the two winners will face off to see who will face Enzo for the Cruiserweight championship.

Next match is Samoa Joe vs. Titus O’Neil with Apollo Crews ringside. Titus starts by swinging at Joe, Joe quickly counters by trying to put Titus in the coquina clutch. Titus turns the tables by striking back at Joe, Titus and Joe start to trade blows. Eventually Samoa Joe gets Titus into a coquina clutch causing Titus to tap out. Apollo comes in to avenge Titus, he tries to land a mid-air kick on Joe but Joe avoids and puts the clutch on Apollo with the ref eventually breaking them up.

It seems like they are trying to turn Joe into a world-beater, but it is not clear who Joe will be taking on yet. This will probably become clearer in the next few months.

Up next is a six-woman tag team match featuring Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Mickie James vs. Paige, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville. As the entrance music for Mickie starts no one comes out, the same happens for Bayley. Paige’s music plays and she comes out with Rose and Deville. Paige shows Sasha footage backstage of Mickie and Bayley injured backstage and unable to fight.

Paige proclaims to Sasha that she was the woman who started the woman’s revolution in WWE erasing the name Diva. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville go into the ring with Paige and proclaim their new name, Absolution. Paige demands Sasha pledge her allegiance, Sasha refuses and lands a hit on Paige, Rose and Deville enter the ring and beat down Sasha. Paige joins in as the three women beat up Sasha. The women take their easy victory as Paige’s music plays.

Right before the commercial break Bray Wyatt cuts in to say “I’m back,” as he blows out his lantern it cuts to commercial.

Coming back from the break Bray Wyatt enters the arena. Bray goes into one of his long speeches, something about how we are all puppets and we have already died but don’t know it. At this point, the Bray character has become so uninteresting, he can’t just come out and give speeches every week, at some point he needs to do something. Eventually Matt Hardy comes out to interrupt Bray Wyatt as we go into commercial.

Bray and Matt are in the middle of the match as we come back from the commercial break. It’s a very bland match as it goes on Bray and Matt trade blows and slams but none of it is exciting, and there doesn’t seem to be any stakes here. Matt tries to hit a jump off the top rope but Bray rolls out of the way. Bray gives Matt the Sister Abigail and gets the pin as the match ends. The only interesting thing is that at the end of the match Matt Hardy begins to do the “delete” which may lead to a Broken Matt arc in the future.

After a recap of last week between Braun Stroman and Jason Jordan, Jason talks to Kurt about having a match with Kane to silence all the doubters. Kurt agrees and sanctions a match between Jason Jordan and Kane.

The next match we see is the Fatal Four Way between Akira Tozawa, Noam Dar, Rich Swann, and Ariya Daivari. Daivari and Dar are knocked out of the ring quickly leaving Swann and Tozawa to trade blows in the ring. Dar and Daivari team up on Tozawa and put the beat down on him. Swann tries to get back into the ring but is blocked by Daivari. Daivari and Dar slam Swann outside of the ring as it goes into commercial. Coming out of commercial Daivari and Dar get Tozawa on the top rope, Rich Swann gets under and power bombs the three of them. Swann tries to pin Tozawa but he breaks free. Tozawa gets to the top rope and slams Daivari, before Tozawa can pin Dar throws Tozawa into the ring post. Dar tries to pin Daivari failingly then Tozawa but can’t complete the pin. Before another attempt, Swann gets Tozawa out of the ring. Swann kicks Dar goes to the top rope getting the phoenix splash on Noam Dar, pinning him and winning the match.

Overall, a good Cruiserweight match, it’s hard to see whom they would give the title to over Enzo. Having Enzo, as a fixed point at the top of the card seems to be good for the division, since Enzo is the weakest wrestler he does not need to compete with the rest of the card. He can just use his mic skills and smack talking to help propel everyone else in the division.

After the commercial, Elias is in the ring on his stool dedicating a song to the Miz. During the song the Miztourage comes out to assist the with the song on harmonica. Chants for “we want Roman” start for a few seconds as Roman comes out. As the match starts, Elias gets in a lot of the blows early hitting Roman and throwing him into the ring post. Elias gets Roman into the middle of the ring and puts a number of holds on Roman. It’s a slow match to start, Roman starts slamming Elias into the mat as the match heats up. The Miztourage comes in to distract Roman; Elias gets a cheap shot, attempts to pin but Roman breaks out just before three. Roman throws Elias out of the ring, gets out and puts the beat down on Elias and the MIztourage. Elias gets back into the ring, as Roman gets back in Elias gets an elbow drop on Roman off the top rope. Next Elias does a midair turn power bomb to Roman but can’t get the pin fall. Roman gets up and spears Elias for the pin fall.

It’s a great match, I was surprised how good Roman made Elias look, he has a lot of talent, and at his size might be able to headline matches, he just seems to be overshadowed by his guitar gimmick.

As Roman walks up the ramp, Samoa Joe comes out and puts Roman in the coquina clutch causing Roman to pass out. Joe starts calling Roman out and it seems like we may have the next feud for Roman Reigns, maybe Joe can take a shot at the Intercontinental Championship.

Next match is Asuka and Dana Brooke. In less than 5 seconds, Asuka puts Dana Brooke into the Asuka Lock and Dana taps out. Asuka’s entrance was ten times longer than the actual match was. Best match of the night. Paige comes out at the end of the match with Absolution (Rose and Deville). The three of them circle the ring and stare down Asuka as she leaves the ring.

Jason Jordan comes out saying that he is fine despite his knee injury. The match starts with Kane throwing around Jason and eventually out of the ring, Jason can’t make it in time and his counted out. Even though the match is over Kane puts the beatdown on Jason Jordan and destroys his knee.

In the middle of Kane’s beat down on Jason Jordan, Finn Balor comes out. As the match starts Finn tries to get in a lot of hits early. Kane counters and tosses Finn around the ring and puts submission holds on Balor. Finn gets out and kicks Kane out of the ring and dives into him. Kane gets a chair beating Finn with it and is disqualified from the match. Kane continues his vicious beatdown of Finn with the chair.

As Kane gets ready to finish Finn, Braun comes out to face Kane. Kane hits Braun with the chairs but Braun doesn’t flinch. Kane backs way from Braun as Braun unleashes onto Kane. Braun and Kane get out of the ring as Braun takes the stairs to Kane. Back in the ring Braun slams Kane onto the steel stairs Braun brought into the ring. Braun takes a chair to Kane’s throat, getting revenge from what Kane did to Braun last week. Braun does this move, not once, but twice, to deal a savage beatdown to Kane. Kane attempts to escape over the barricade through the crowd as he clutches at his throat. The show ends with Kane gasping for breath leaving the arena.

Overall, it was an okay show. It’s hard to drum up a lot of excitement with the holidays coming, a lot of what we will be seeing over the next month will be building up to the Royal Rumble. For now, I’m ok with these minor feuds. My favorite part is Asuka, if she can start taking down multiple women week after week I’ll be happy. I hope they give her the early Braun Stroman treatment and have her start working handicap matches and winning decisively.