The past few weeks have been a bit awkward on RAW, as officials were trying to simultaneously build Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series. With Hell in a Cell out of the way, they were able to push everything toward Survivor Series, as we got a lot of clarity when it comes to the namesake matches at the show.
We've been hearing about these RAW vs. Smackdown Survivor Series matches, and while Smackdown has started to put teams together, we had no response from RAW. Finally, Monday night put those matches into motion.
First, in the men's match, four of the five members were named, and the fifth was heavily implied. As expected, based on some recent interactions, Mick Foley joined Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho in the ring, and announced they would lead Team RAW. However, Foley said he had already decided on another member, and out came Roman Reigns. So no surprises there.
There was a bit of a surprise next, though. Braun Strowman demanded to have a spot, and while Foley didn't give him one immediately, Strowman won a Royal Rumble to earn his spot.
The final spot hasn't been announced yet, however, Reigns and Jericho had a match for the U.S. title. The match ended in DQ when Owens got involved, and after Owens and Jericho beat down Reigns, Seth Rollins came out to make the save. The show ended with Rollins and Reigns warily eyeing each other, and it would be a major upset if Rollins didn't end up being the fifth member.
The women's team got clarity as well. Charlotte, celebrating after her title win at Hell in a Cell (complete with the throne entrance), announced she would captain Team RAW in the women's match.
The vitriol in her promo wasn't directed at Sasha Banks, but instead someone who was part of Team RAW, Bayley. Charlotte then brought out another member of the team to face Bayley, Nia Jax. Presumably the other two spots will be filled by Sasha and Dana Brooke, as it's hard to see anyone else on the team. We didn't get much resolution on the tag side of things, other than The New Day as the captains. Sheamus and Cesaro did win over The Shining Stars though, so you can bet that they'll be involved.
Add that to another Goldberg segment, this one with Paul Heyman, and Survivor Series is coming together nicely from the RAW side. We'll have to see what Smackdown responds with.
The Rest of RAW:
--I mentioned the Bayley/Nia Jax match before, which ended up being a pretty dominating win for Nia. And many people were upset about it. I get it. Bayley has been pushed aside a bit, and has taken some unexpected losses. But what were they going to do here? Nia has been billed as an unstoppable monster, and hasn't been seen in over a month. To return and take a loss would set her much further back than Bayley taking a loss. And for Bayley to be Bayley, she can't be booked as a juggernaut immediately. Most of the fans watching RAW didn't watch Bayley in NXT. They didn't go on the two-year journey that we went on with her that saw her claw her way up, and become the ultimate underdog. To be Bayley, she needs to go on that journey again with the new audience. It doesn't need to be two years long, but she can't be on top of the division instantly. She'll get to where we want her to be, but it'll take some time.
--The show kicked off with Goldberg coming out, but he was quickly interrupted by Heyman. He teased that Goldberg, and the fans chanting Goldberg, had pissed off Brock Lesnar, and Lesnar was there to confront him. Well, that didn't happen, and Heyman got the reaction that he wanted. Goldberg looked like he was going to attack Heyman, and Rusev came out. That allowed Goldberg to throw some weak knees at Rusev, and hit him with an abridged Jackhammer. While that didn't look great, the spear that Goldberg hit on Heyman was good. The other moves certainly raised some questions though, and hopefully if he hadn't already, he'll make sure to get into ring shape before Survivor Series.
--Brian Kendrick continued his role of being a great old-school heel. T.J. Perkins got his title shot back, and the two had a physical battle. The two were dumped to the outside on a hurricanrana where it looked like Perkins almost broke his neck. Perkins was able to get back in the ring, and Kendrick could have rolled back in, but he decided to take the countout loss and retain his title. I do enjoy the old-school tactics, so this is working for me. In the meantime, Rich Swann picked up the pin in a six-man tag, and a Swann/Kendrick feud for the title could be exactly what the cruiserweight division needs.
--Enzo beat Luke Gallows in one of the contrived holiday-related matches that WWE feels the need to have every Halloween/Thanksgiving/Chrismas/Fourth of July.
Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section here, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also hear my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout