WWE Raw for November 14, 2016
Watch: USA Network, Hulu
Keybank Center – Buffalo, New York
Welcome once again Wrestling With Words readers! This is Trevor here back again to be reviewing Monday Night Raw.
Tonight is the go-home show for Survivor Series. Goldberg and Brock Lesnar will be going face to face right before their Fantasy Warfare match this Sunday, plus Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan come to Raw to represent Team Blue. Let’s hop right into this review to see if this go-home Raw entertains or disappoints!
The show starts out with Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley in the ring to welcome the Buffalo crowd to Raw. All the participants in this Sunday’s Survivor Series matches from the Raw teams are on the stage. Stephanie reminds the audience that Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan from SmackDown will be on the show later tonight. Stephanie continues her speech by reminding each wrestler on stage what they need to prove in their matches against the members of Team SmackDown. This has been done every week already in the build for Survivor Series and even last week I said it was getting redundant. Here it’s completely overkill. I’d rather the wrestlers themselves talk about what they need to prove than Stephanie shouting it down to them every week. At least she isn’t explaining the rules for Survivor Series matches again, I guess. Stephanie and Mick announce some matches for later on tonight: Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman and Chris Jericho vs. The New Day in a six-man match and Alicia Fox and Nia Jax vs. Charlotte and Sasha Banks.
Kevin Owens & Roman Reigns def. Cesaro & Sheamus
This was a semi-decent opener to the show. Kevin Owens looking bored and mocking Roman Reigns in the ring worked very well again like it did last week. The dysfunctional tag team angle has been far beyond overplayed in the build to this Survivor Series, but here I’d say it was done more low-key rather than completely forced. Sheamus and Cesaro looked like a well oiled machine in this match and I think it will be the start of them acting more like a real tag team. Sheamus ended up taking the pin however when Kevin Owens was down from a Brogue Kick, Roman speared Sheamus and dragged Kevin Owens on top of him for the win.
Backstage we get Jericho talking to Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins. In attempt to get everyone on the same page before their match with the New Day, he gives both of them new scarves they can wear out to the ring. Rollins ends up declining the gift and Braun rips Jericho’s own scarf in half. Braun on the mic here didn’t work as well as he normally does for me. If he was a bit quicker with his words and didn’t leave an awkward pause before he speaks I think his dopey one liners would come off much stronger.
Sami Zayn def. Bo Dallas
Coming back from commercial Bo Dallas is in the ring ready to square off with Sami Zayn. This was a really short match. Bo Dallas got in some hard hitting knee strikes before Sami Zayn took over and landed a Helluva Kick for the victory.
After the match Byron got in the ring to interview Sami about his Survivor Series opponent. Sami could be facing either Dolph Ziggler or the Miz depending on the result of their championship match on the upcoming SmackDown Live episode. He verbally attacks both the Miz and Ziggler and tells everyone he’s bringing the Intercontinental Championship to Raw.
Backstage all the members of the Cruiserweight division are chatting. Brian Kendrick steps up on a box to address everyone. He reminds them all that he is the savior of the Cruiserweight division so they should all be assured that the Cruiserweight division is staying on Raw–as he’s facing Kalisto from SmackDown at Survivor Series with the entire Cruiserweight division up for grabs between the brands. TJ Perkins interrupts and says he wants his rematch for the Cruiserweight Championship. Rich Swann also throws his name in the hat on the merit that he’s pinned Brian Kendrick twice now. Noam Dar brings up that last week Brian Kendrick attacked him so naturally he wants a piece as well. Lastly, Sin Cara gets in Brian Kendrick’s face and the two need to be separated. All the Cruiserweights being together backstage was actually really neat to see and further drives home that they’re their own separate and unique division of competitors.
Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman def. The New Day
The members of Team Raw once again did the “team that doesn’t act like a team” shtick here in this match. There was a moment where Rollins was about to hit the Pedigree, but waited an absurdly long amount of time and Jericho tagged himself in. These kinds of spots simply just warrant an eye-roll as we have been seeing them every match every week for the last month. I wish Rollins would stop using the Sling Blade. He does it extremely lazily, therefore it’s not a convincing move at all when used by him and it really showed when he pulled it out in this match. The match was still entertaining however with Braun Strowman being the blatant highlight. The way he throws people around so stiffly added with New Day selling it so well made it truly great to watch. The match ended with Braun Strowman landing a running powerslam on Xavier Woods for the pinfall.
Oh yeah, and after the match Rollins Pedigree’d Jericho just because.
Brian Kendrick def. Sin Cara
After the break Brian Kendrick is on his way out to face Sin Cara. I got excited when I heard his theme because I was so happy we were getting more wrestling right away for a change. Brian Kendrick attacks Sin Cara before the match, but Sin Cara still wants to fight. Brian starts out dominating Sin Cara, but Sin Cara pulled off an impressive counter of Kendrick’s Tornado DDT into a Northern Lights Suplex. Sin Cara fights his way back into the match until Brian Kendrick plays another one of his dirty tricks and turns Sin Cara’s mask sideways so he can’t see. Brian Kendrick locks in the Captain’s Hook for the win. This got decent length and was a well paced match. I love Brian Kendrick as the old school cheating bad guy. I also thought it was kind of cool to see Brian face off with Kalisto’s former tag partner before Survivor Series.
After commercial we see a line of security guards dividing the ring in half diagonally as a barrier for Brock Lesnar and Goldberg’s face off. Both men make their ways to the ring to exchange some heated words. Before Heyman can speak for Lesnar, Goldberg cuts him off to tell him he wants to hear from the beast himself. Heyman lets Goldberg know that he should talk with more respect because Goldberg’s family is in the crowd which leads to Goldberg ripping his shirt off. Heyman tells Goldberg that Lesnar is going to beat him so bad that Goldberg’s own son will start to call Lesnar “Daddy”. I have to say that was a great line. Goldberg starts taking out all the security guards so he can get to Lesnar, but Lesnar leaves the ring and goes back up the ramp. I liked instead of doing another brawl with security guards involved like we see in all of Lesnar’s feuds that there actually wasn’t a fight at all. Instead we’ll just have to wait until Survivor Series to see Fantasy Warfare.
Sasha Banks & Charlotte def. Nia Jax & Alicia Fox
So this match. We have two people that hate each other vs. two people that hate each other so we already know how this is going to go–just like the other matches tonight with this same angle. Not really much to say about this one. Charlotte and Sasha argue throughout the majority of the match, but end up pulling it off in the end when Sasha Banks locks in the Bank Statement on Alicia Fox.
Enzo, Cass & The Club def. The Shining Stars & Golden Truth
While this match ran with tonight’s theme of enemies working together again, the spots weren’t quite as overdone as they could have been here. After a short back and forth match with a commercial break thrown in, The Club land the Magic Killer on R-Truth. The Club calls for Enzo to go up top for the Bada-Boom-Shaka-Laka, but The Club laugh at Enzo and just pin R-Truth themselves. I thought this was a pretty clever spot in a very plain match.
To finish off the show Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley are in the ring to bring out Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan. They make their entrances to a great reception and get in the ring to promote Team Blue. Shane and Stephanie go at it, arguing about if Raw or SmackDown is the better show. The members of Team Raw come out and get in the ring to intimidate Bryan and Shane. Just as that happens though the members of Team SmackDown start making their way through the crowd and into the ring to back them up. This is what I finally wanted: the two teams to actually build some real heat between them. Owens and Styles exchange some words each of them saying the other one is a weak champion. Chris Jericho enters the conversation to add AJ Styles to the list because of his soccer mom hair. Jericho then goes onto single out James Ellsworth who is there because he’s SmackDown’s mascot. Jericho adds Ellsworth to the list because Ellsworth looks weird which really saddens James Ellsworth. Ellsworth’s reaction was priceless as it was hilarious to see someone truly be upset about being on Jericho’s list.
After that Bray Wyatt confronts Braun Strowman for abandoning his brothers and that leads to Orton and Strowman getting in each other’s faces. Rollins gets on the mic next and warns Shane McMahon that tonight he shouldn’t be picking a fight with Team Raw. Dean Ambrose interrupts and punches Jericho in the face before pretending like he had something to say. A huge brawl breaks out between Team Red and Team Blue. AJ Styles and Ambrose get Braun on the ropes and out of nowhere Shane McMahon comes sprinting in and actually clotheslines Strowman over the top rope. This had me losing it because they’ve really built it up to were it seems like nobody can take Braun off his feet, and suddenly in comes Shane-O-Mac leveling Braun out of the ring. After a couple more spots eventually Rollins lifts Styles up on Roman’s shoulders and powerbombs Styles to the outside of the ring onto the rest of Team SmackDown to close out the show.
WWE RAW FOR NOVEMBER 14, 2016
Decent - 6/10
This episode of Raw suffered from a lot of the same problems I had with the last episode. The dysfunctional team angle has simply gotten stale as the build for Survivor Series as has gone. The same spots done over and over warrant many eye-rolls throughout the night. There was a good amount of wrestling on this show and the matches were all decent or average for WWE television. The final segment of the show was great, it had a lot of great spots/moments that finally put some actual heat between the teams and got me hyped up for Survivor Series.