Monday Night RAW would open up with Charly Caruso waiting for a black van to arrive with Authors of Pain. She would ask why they attacked Kevin Owens and they would answer in their own languages. Caruso would ask for a translation and AOP would comment on her looks.
After the fireworks, RAW would kickoff with Seth Rollins coming down to deliver an apology to the brand’s roster after his harsh, passionate, albeit accurate comments he made last week. He would apologize to the fans, to the roster, and would the call out Kevin Owens to apologize face-to-face.
Kevin Owens would come out and call out Rollins on his giant pile of rodeo BS before AOP would come out and speak to them in their own language, before flipping back to English, challenging Rollins and Owens to a match. Rollins would accept the challenge, but Owens, always the skeptic and a bit of a smartass, assumed all three were just going to attack him, so he welcomed them to get it over with.
Rollins would bow out and leave the ring, walking between AOP without a fight. Owens on the other hand, hungry for payback, would challenge AOP to come down to the ring, preferably one at a time, so he can cash in some checks. Instead of fighting, AOP would laughingly walk away. Owens would stay in the ring and demand a match with someone.
After the commercial break, Owens would still be in the ring, looking for a fight, when Lana would come out. To announce that she filed another restraining order, calling him a danger to the fans and a danger to society. Owens would shut her up and the two would bicker better than any married couple before Lana would introduce his challenger, Mickey Mouse. I’m just kidding, if only right? This story would be so much more interesting if that happened.
Kevin Owens wins by DQ over Bobby Lashley – ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
I’m not going to lie, I was really excited for an Owens – Lashley match. The two even put on a great show filled with near-falls and fantastic spots—but then AOP had to go and interfere in the match. They attacked Owens, who put up a bit of a fight, and dragged him backstage.
After the commercial break, Charly Caruso would be in the ring interviewing Lashley and Lana about AOP’s interference. Lana would turn the conversation back around on how dangerous Rusev is and why they had to hire a security team to protect them. This would prompt Rusev attack Lashley from behind, coming in from the crowd, and having the two security guards lazily watch Rusev attack Lashley before taking off back into the crowd.
Lashley would have words with his security guards before shoving past one of them. This would cause Lashley to get arrested for assaulting an officer of the law. This would cause Lana to slap an officer, getting herself arrested also. During the commercial break, Lana would be driven away as R-Truth and the Street Profits watched.
Drew McIntyre vs. Akira Tozawa – ⭐⭐☆☆☆
Apparently WWE has forgotten that Drew McIntyre was on Team RAW, Team Flair, wrestled against The Undertaker, and had a rivalry with Roman Reigns before scheduling this “enhancement match.” McIntyre would win with a Claymore, sending Tozawa flipping through the air.
McIntyre would then cut a fantastic promo, calling the RAW roster a bunch of cowards with their cryptic tweets on social media, and then would call out Randy Orton, replaying a clip of the two chopping one another from last week’s match.
The two would exchange words before The OC would come out and get in on the fun. AJ Styles would continue his bit from last week before the Good Brothers would take the reigns, blaming Orton for everything that’s happened to Styles. Styles only wanted one thing: Randy Orton. He didn’t care how. He wanted Orton.
The three would attack Orton before Ricochet would come out to the ring, followed by Humberto Carrillo, and Rey Mysterio. The babyfaces would stand tall over the OC. After the commercial break, Orton would thank the three performers before leaving.
Aleister Black def. Tony Nese – ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
Two enhancement matches in a row? Seriously? And against Tony Nese, one of the more talented 205 Live performers? I’m a little insulted. Black would win with the Black Mass.
Backstage, Charly Caruso would interview Buddy Murphy, asking if he regretted knocking on Black’s door. Murphy says that Black takes himself too seriously (which I’ve been saying for how long?) and he needs to calm down, or Murphy would calm him down.
Andrade def. Eric Young – ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
ANOTHER ENHANCEMENT MATCH!? I mean, I’m happy to see Andrade win clean any day of the week, but this makes three enhancement matches in a row. Andrade would win with the Hammerlock DDT in another decent match filled with near-falls.
Continuing the 24/7 Title shenanigans, R-Truth would race down to ringside and hide beside NASCAR drivers Kyle Busch and Michael Waltrip. With a referee shirt on, Waltrip would count as Busch pinned Truth for the title.
We’d get another WWE Black Friday segment, this time with the Street Profits and No Way Jose.
After a brief recap of what happened earlier this evening with Kevin Owens and AOP, Charly Caruso would interview Rollins backstage, who would understand his position that no matter what he does or says, it doesn’t matter. Seth Rollins isn’t cool.
Erick Rowan def. No Way Jose – ⭐⭐☆☆☆
F@%& my life, four enhancement matches in a row. That makes the entire second hour of RAW nothing but enhancement matches. Rowan would win with the Iron Claw but would pull Jose back up to drop a second Iron Claw for the win.
Charlotte Flair vs. the Kabuki Warriors – Handicap Match – ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
The Kabuki Warriors have a new entrance! Nothing else about this match matters!
Predictably, the Kabuki Warriors won the match with Kairi Sane delivering the Insane Elbow on Flair while she was performing the Figure 8 on Asuka off a blind tag, but what a fantastic match. I genuinely believed Flair was going to win this thing after the double Spear, but I’m happy to see it was m girls who came out on top.
The Viking Raiders vs. Jobbers – ☆☆☆☆☆
And just like that, the momentum from the handicap match is gone with another squash match with the Viking Raiders.
The OC def. Rey Mysterio, Ricochet, & Humberto Carrillo – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
What a fantastic combination of veteran skill, ring awareness, speed, and precision. No matter where the camera went during their match, something was going down to only heighten the action between these six men. AJ Styles and Rey Mysterio really are the masters of selling hits, and the masters of selling new blood. You would think that Ricochet and Carrillo have been wrestling for RAW for years.
In the end, it would boil down to Styles and Ricochet, and like so many times before, Styles would pick up the win with the Styles Clash from the mid-rope because Ricochet took his eyes off the prize. Styles would celebrate his win and Randy Orton would sneak in to deliver the RKO to close out the show.
Coming off of previous reports saying that this show was going to suck tonight, I was skeptical from the first pyro, but despite the three enhancement matches and two squash matches, this show certainly didn’t suck. The drama was enjoyable, and yes, that includes Lashley and Lana getting arrested. I’d like to know where AOP took Kevin Owens after dragging him off at the start of the show, but maybe we’ll find out next week.
I do not believe Erick Rowan, Drew McIntyre, Andrade, Aleister Black, and the Viking Raiders need any more enhancement/squash matches. Each of these performers is far more talented than most of the locker room in the back. Having Akira Tozawa face off against McIntyre is like putting a Chihuahua in a cage with a rabid Pitbull. It’s overkill. The Black/Nese match was great, I don’t know why Nese isn’t on the main roster, he has “that” look, and if you’ve been watching WWE for as long as I have, you know what I mean.
The final match was the only way you were going to end this show on a high note. Adding Orton to the formula was a cherry on top of a sundae. Carrillo and Ricochet truly are the future of the business, and I love watching these two grow as performers, and working with such amazing veterans.
The second hour is what really hurt RAW in the long run. You just can’t have back-to-back-to-back-to-back enhancement/squash matches like that. We already know they’re going to win, so the mystery isn’t there for us, we’re not as emotionally involved as WWE wants us to be.
For me, watching RAW or Smackdown isn’t just about the matches and the drama, it’s also about the flow of the show. I want to be surprised that it’s been three hours, not looking at my watch and saying, “Crap, another hour to go.”
This week’s episode of Monday Night RAW receives a very soft…