WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Major title change ahead of Survivor Series caps tremendous show

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WWE

From the time Randy Orton won the WWE championship from Drew McIntyre at Hell in a Cell, it felt like the clock was ticking on his run with the title. McIntyre was focused on winning back the belt, Bray Wyatt had Orton in his sights, and The Miz was a constant threat to cash in the Money in the Bank contract and steal the title. But on this week's Raw, it was McIntyre who ended the reign, beating Orton in a fantastic main event to regain the title.

With the win, McIntyre now advances to Survivor Series, where he will face off with SmackDown's universal champion Roman Reigns in Sunday's main event. But Orton and The Miz could both play a factor when McIntyre faces off with "The Tribal Chief."

CBS Sports was with you all night, bringing you recaps and highlights of all the night's action. Read on for everything you need to know for Raw's Survivor Series go-home show.

Drew McIntyre regains the WWE championship

McIntyre opened the show with an in-ring promo targeting Randy Orton and Roman Reigns. He was interrupted by Orton on the Tron, who talked about being the most fined and most suspended superstar in the locker, saying he's still in WWE despite all that because he is the greatest wrestler ever. After McIntyre said he was going to put his foot through Orton's head, The Miz and John Morrison were next up to interrupt, saying they would be ringside for the title match later in the night -- and that Miz would be the man holding the title at the end of the night. 

Bray Wyatt def. The Miz via pinfall after hitting Sister Abigail. A Miz line in his earlier promo about Wyatt being a "crazed and delusional madman" led to Wyatt laying out the challenge for the match during a Firefly Fun House match. Miz tried to apologize before the match, saying there was no good reason to have the match and instead find a peaceful solution, such as working together to take out Orton in the main event. Alexa Bliss came out from the back and said, "He says no." Nikki Cross then came out and told Bliss she needed to leave Wyatt, only to be slapped and attacked by Bliss. Morrison got involved on the outside multiple times, but was eventually attacked by Alexa Bliss, with the pair tumbling over the ringside barricade. Miz tried to capitalize on the distraction but was taken out by a Sister Abigail for the finish, effectively removing Miz from the equation for the main event.

WWE Championship -- Drew McIntyre def. Randy Orton (c) via pinfall to win the title. McIntyre had a new entrance, walking to the ring wearing a kilt and stabbing a giant claymore sword into the entrance ramp -- both were given to him earlier in the night by Sheamus, who said he got them from McIntyre's mother and that they were family heirlooms. McIntyre dominated early, forcing Orton to decide to walk off and take the 10 count, but Adam Pearce interrupted to say the match now featured no count outs or disqualifications. Orton quickly brought a chair into the equation, using the weapon to take over. Orton would continue to take shortcuts, using the ring steps and a thumb to the eye as McIntyre was on his comeback. McIntyre was able to hit a Future Shock DDT for a two count and then knocked Orton from the ring apron through a table set up at ringside for another near fall. After more back-and-forth action, McIntyre hit the Claymore to win back the championship.

The show as a whole was kept together with a tight focus on the main storylines heading into Survivor Series with little unnecessary fat around the edges. That paid off well as the night felt like it was in a constant build to the main event. McIntyre and Orton were then given time to put on a match that could have main evented almost any card. The only minor misstep was having Miz completely absent because of being taken out by Wyatt, which eliminated a bit of the "What if?" feel that was established in the opening segment. For anyone grumbling about a short title reign for Orton, I suggest you look at the history of the NWA World Championship to realize that even in the 70s and 80s, sometimes doing business called for a short run. Grade: A

Survivor Series team issues continue

Asuka, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke def. Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler & Lana via submission after Asuka put Lana in the Asuka Lock. Before the match, Baszler and Jax told Lana -- who was the one who requested the match -- that she was not to tag in under any circumstance. Baszler did her stomp to the arm on Rose on the ring steps early in the match. Baszler locked Asuka in the Kirifuda Clutch but Lana tagged herself in and hit a kick for a two count. Asuka then quickly locked in the Asuka lock for the finish. This, of course, meant Jax followed up the end of the match by putting Lana through the announce table with a Samoan drop. Later, as Brooke was giving a backstage update on Rose's health, she was attacked by Reckoning and stomped into some equipment crates. Rose and Brooke were announced as now being unable to compete at Survivor Series, with Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans announced as their replacements.

Retribution def. Riddle, Keith Lee, Braun Strowman & Sheamus via pinfall when Mustafa Ali rolled up Riddle. The match was put together by AJ Styles as an attempt to build team chemistry, something Ali seemed to take issue with, claiming his group is not a collection of pawns and he would simply wait to see Team Raw fall apart. The issues within Team Raw immediately bubbled to the surface with Strowman and Sheamus getting into it before it spilled over into an argument with Styles over his claim to be the team's captain. Lee had a big burst of offense after a hot tag, setting his team up to take over, but Sheamus used a blind tag to get in the ring, Strowman did the same seconds later and then Sheamus stopped Strowman from hitting the powerslam. This led to an argument among the team, allowing Ali to roll up Riddle for the win. 

Similar to the WWE title picture, everything was pretty tightly focused throughout the night here, but the changes in the women's team didn't make a ton of sense unless there are legitimate injuries at play. It is believed Rose was legitimately hurt last week, which would necessitate removing Brooke from the match as well as they are a tag team presumably going after the titles soon. The men's team looks so dominant on paper that further establishing the issues between the members was a very good move heading into Survivor Series. Grade: B

What else happened on WWE Raw?

  • Raw Tag Team Championship -- The New Day (c) def. The Hurt Business via pinfall to retain the titles. This was a fantastic tag match with everyone going full speed and some very convincing near falls both ways before Xavier Woods pinned Shelton Benjamin after hitting Daybreak. That cements New Day for the Survivor Series match with SmackDown tag champs The Street Profits.
  • Jeff Hardy confronted Elias in the locker room after Elias had plastered the backstage area with "wanted posters" featuring Hardy and the car crash that took Elias out of action months ago. Hardy insisted he'd been proven innocent and threatened to do worse that hit Elias with a car if he didn't back down.
  • Asuka was interviewed backstage and said she was looking forward to beating SmackDown women's champion Sasha Banks at Survivor Series.
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