Hello again everyone! It is our final RAW before TLC, so it should be a good show. The go-home show will, of course, be setting the tables (and ladders and chairs) for Sunday’s final WWE PPV of 2018. There will be plenty to follow up from last week as well-we have a Dolph Ziggler blossoming face turn; a new WWE referee-he’s got kids!; and, well, Baron Corbin continues to abuse his temporary GM duties ahead of his clash on Sunday with Braun Strowman-if the Monster Among Men can even compete. All that and more, so without any further hype, let’s crack open this Nutshell!
Best Match of the night:
Rollins and Corbin. It was good, not great…but on a night like tonight, that is good enough.
Worst match of the night:
This one might strike some as funny, but this match deserves this. The match? That would be the RAW tag title match. Yes, Roode and Gable won the titles, but it was just not a good match. I have no doubt it will be a short reign, because you don’t have a goofball team beat a monster team-by pinning their barely-a-wrestler-manager, if you expect or intend to keep the belts on the new champs for too long. The way this all works out for the best? If AoP fires Drake Maverick and brings back Paul Ellering.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
Burn it down
we want tables
Star of the Night
Seth Rollins, without a doubt. Delivered a passionate opening promo and capped the show with a strong performance in a rare RAW TLC match, retaining his Intercontinental title against Baron Corbin and the overly helpful Heath Slater.
Spot of the Night:
Rollins. Frog splash. Through Corbin and the table. Hands down has to be here.
Jobber of the Night:
How about Heath Slater, former Superstar (and not that long ago, a tag champion), doing the job as bad ref tonight.
Upset of the Night:
Can you say: new tag champs? On paper, given the way things had been going, there’s no way on any planet that the Authors of Pain should have lost to Gable and Roode. So, it was Authors of Pain AND Drake Maverick, and we know who took the loss.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Interesting, if a bit chaotic, opening rant by Seth Rollins. Yes, a lot of what he went off on was true (bad segments and bad ratings), but some stuff was babyface, some heel, and some really didn’t belong together. All that being said, it was an interesting way to open the show, and perhaps it’s WWE’s way of saying “hey, we know RAW has really sucked lately, message received, we will be working on it”.
Botch of the night:
Minor one at that, but go watch the driver Drew McIntyre delivered to Dolph Ziggler from the second rope. I have to assume that the landing was perhaps planned that way, but that’s not typically how drivers get landed…so it lands here. But again, minor.
LOL Moment of the night:
For me, it was Elias saying that “normally, I don’t condone hitting children with guitars, but last week I made an exception”. Of course, he was referring to his clobbering of Lio Rush with his guitar from a week ago.
Elias and Bobby Lashley has now been given a stipulation-it’ll be a ladder match. The catch? Hanging above the ring will be a guitar, so whoever grabs it is free to tune up the other.
For the first time in six years on RAW, we have a TLC match-Corbin versus Rollins.
Really not sure what to make of the unexpected tag title change. Did WWE sour on AoP already? Is something bigger coming, and this was just a set up? If it’s not setting up something bigger…well, then it’s a head scratcher.
It’s good that in some way, in public, WWE acknowledged that most RAW programming has sucked lately. Did not always make sense for Rollins to say it, but regardless, it needed to be said.
I was bummed that Strowman didn’t factor in to the main event at all. Especially after it was clear that Slater was aiding Corbin, I fully expected Corbin to be atop the ladder, at which point Strowman’s music could hit. Heck, you could even have him not actually be there-the music alone would have distracted Corbin enough.
Also, I have to assume Natty signed off on using her dad Jim’s likeness. Doesn’t mean we have to love it.
Nice main event. Not awesome, but good enough for the most part. Not enough to right the ship or anything, but we must take baby steps here.
After the final bell:
Not a horrible show…but was it enough? Was it a “go-home” effort? I honestly don’t know that it was. Some spots were better than others-Rollins and Ambrose I think was sufficiently good, for example. But I wasn’t really feeling Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey (though, these two would be overshadowed by the SmackDown trio anyways).