RAW and SmackDown Recap - November 19th and 20th
After an exciting PPV on Sunday night, I was interested to see the direction that the WWE was going to go with regarding certain storylines. The RAW and SmackDown following a PPV is usually the most intriguing, because it gives insight for weeks to come. Here are some highlights from the two shows.
*Winners of matches are bolded*
Stephanie McMahon and Baron Corbin bragged about the RAW sweep at Survivor Series.
· Braun Strowman interrupted, McMahon announced match between Corbin and Strowman at TLC.
· If Strowman wins, he gets a shot at Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship.
· If Corbin wins, he becomes RAW’s permanent General Manager, but if he loses, his authority is stripped away.
· 6-man Elimination Tag Match: Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, and Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman, Finn Bálor, and Elias ends in No Contest.
· Corbin, Lashley, and McIntyre attacked Strowman ending the contest. Strowman will be out for a few weeks and will require elbow surgery. He still is expected to compete at TLC.
· Seth Rollins called out Dean Ambrose. Ambrose challenged Rollins to come find him, gave him clues throughout the whole show.
· Women’s Tag Team Match: Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Nia Jax and Tamina.
· Men’s Tag Team Match: Lucha House Partyvs. The Revival.
· Ronda Rousey addressed the RAW Universe after her match with Charlotte at Survivor Series.
· She demanded to compete and is granted her wish, putting her title on the line against Mickie James.
· RAW Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rouseyvs. Mickie James.
· Men’s Tag Team Match: Bobby Roode and Chad Gablevs. AOP.
· Women’s Singles Match: Ruby Riott vs. Natalya.
· Dean Ambrose addressed the crowding, referring to the LA fans as hot garbage.
· Ambrose lured Rollins out to the ring, they attack each other going into the crowd.
· The two met back in the ring where Ambrose proceeded to Low Blow Rollins, then dropped him with 2 Dirty Deeds.
This wasn’t a bad show, but not great. The action seemed very dull which is not a good sign for the brand, especially right after a PPV. Right now, the biggest rivalry going forward on RAW is definitely Rollins and Ambrose, but this episode of RAW added nothing to it. This rivalry has so much potential, but I fear that they aren’t going in the right direction with it. I didn’t care for them using Roman Reigns’ Leukemia diagnosis in their rivalry to add heat, I just feel it is distasteful, but this isn’t foreign to WWE creative. The storyline between Braun Strowman and Baron Corbin seems to be a solid one, but it looks like we aren’t going to see Braun Strowman at least for a few weeks. I’m not even sure he will be ready for TLC, which is another negative against RAW right now. Ronda Rousey looked strong in her promo, but I don’t expect the storyline with her and Nia Jax to go past TLC. I understand it is only one week of buildup for many of these storylines, but for the majority of the show, the angles seem a little weak, but we will see how it all unfolds leading up to the next PPV.
Charlotte Flair kicked off the show, taking pride in her attack on Ronda Rousey.
· Paige came out to inform Flair that she will be fined for attacking referees at Survivor Series.
· The IIconics interrupted the two and Flair challenged the two of them to a match.
· Women’s Singles Match: Charlotte Flairvs. Billie Kay.
· Women’s Singles Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Peyton Royce (DQ).
· Miz TV with guest Shane McMahon.
· The Miz tried to recruit McMahon as a permanent tag team partner, then the two challenged local competitors to a tag team match.
· Men’s Tag Team Match: The Miz and Shane McMahon vs. The Bryant Brothers.
· The New Day introduced the 1st ever Thanksgiving Feast Fight against The Bar.
· Thanksgiving Feast Fight Tag Team Match: The New Dayvs. The Bar and Big Show.
· Women’s Tag Team Match: Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs. Naomi and Asuka.
· It was announced that Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles will face each other at TLC for the WWE Championship. Daniel Bryan addressed the crowd.
· Bryan’s heel character was seen vividly after he gave an explanation to his vicious attack on AJ Styles last week on SmackDown. He referred to himself in 3rd person for the whole promo.
· After his promo, he ordered the ring announcer to announce him as The New Daniel Bryan.
· Men’s Singles Match: Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio.
· SmackDown closed with Randy Orton holding up Rey Mysterio’s mask.
Every week it is becoming more and more obvious that SmackDown exceeds RAW in quality. I personally feel like it is because the difference between a 2 and 3-hour show. Charlotte Flair looked very confident in her promo and it will be interesting to see what develops in the next few weeks with her. As far as the promo with Shane McMahon and The Miz goes, I’m not sure if this spot is actually signifying them becoming a team moving forward, but I kinda like the idea of the two of them teaming up. The New Day rivalry with The Bar is in a very weak spot right now and it’s a shame, because the two teams are very good in the ring. It appears that we are seeing the beginning of the end with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, I personally have not really understood why they were together. I never felt the two meshed that well. The New Daniel Bryan, as he wants to be referred as, promo was the highlight of the night. The promo gave insight to the potential of Bryan’s new heel character and I have to say, I am very impressed. It was announced that AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan will face off at TLC and I fully expect this match to be great. The rivalry of Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton started off on a strong note, mostly due to Randy Orton’s marvelous heel work. Orton holding up Mysterio’s mask at the end of the show, as if it were a trophy, was a heat-seeking moment and it did not disappoint.
*Make sure to tune into WWE Network on Sunday at 8pm EST for WWE Starrcade. It was announced last week that it would air on the Network as a special airing. The event is taking place in Cincinnati, Ohio.