WWE Raw results, recap, grades: NXT takeover continues, Rey Mysterio lays down a challenge
The black and gold brand kicked down Raw's door Monday night on the heels of taking over SmackDown
On the heels of an eventful (to say the least) weekend for WWE which included added controversy in Saudi Arabia and a SmackDown episode that drew a copious amount of buzz despite being backed into a corner, Raw emanated live on Monday night from the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. SmackDown on Friday night laid the groundwork for the upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view in Chicago on Sunday, Nov. 24 with the announcement that the NXT brand would be joining the festivities, and Monday night on Raw, the build to one of WWE's premier events of the year kicked into high gear.
Monday night, the NXT invasion of the traditional main brands continued as the Wednesday night black and gold crew once again made some noise led by the godfather Triple H. Through it all, two huge Survivor Series matches were confirmed that highlight the Raw vs. SmackDown vs. NXT theme, while NXT champion Adam Cole was once again showcased in a main event spotlight against a top talent.
Let's have a look at everything that went down on Monday's edition of Raw.
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NXT makes its presence felt again
Raw opened up this week with Triple H arriving to the arena at the head of a caravan of luxury SUVs. Upon exiting his vehicle, he approached the SUV behind him but we weren't able to see who else had arrived to the Nassau Coliseum along with him.
A dejected Seth Rollins made his way out for an in-ring promo to address his future. Rollins admitted that he knows some fans were thrilled he lost the universal title, but he doesn't give a damn about that. What's more, with Brock Lesnar back on Raw at the top of the mountain as WWE champion, all of his hard work to get the universal title away from him feels like a wash. What's next for Seth Rollins? He said for the first time in a long time, he doesn't know. Triple H was out, and he reminded Rollins that anytime he's appeared lost in his career, their paths always seem to cross. He warned Rollins that he's either with him or against him as all four members of the Undisputed Era emerged out of the crowd and hopped on the ring apron. The OC came out to chase off the Undisputed Era, but Dominik Dijakovic and Damian Priest showed up to blindside AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows while Undisputed Era joined in. A slew of mid-carders from the Raw roster ran out to finally chase off the NXT crew. Backstage, Rollins caught up with Triple H and said if he returns to NXT, he's returning as a top guy. He said he wanted Adam Cole for the NXT championship, and Triple H was happy to grant the request.
Becky Lynch cut a backstage promo with Charly Caruso where she revealed that at Survivor Series, she'll be going up against SmackDown women's champion Bayley and NXT women's champion Shayna Baszler. Baszler showed up and took over Caruso's chair. Face-to-face, she told Lynch that though she's longtime friends with Ronda Rousey -- she's not Ronda Rousey. She told Lynch that she was going to make her tap out, she just needed to decide which limb she's going to take for her own. Lynch fired back by letting Baszler know that warring with here changes you forever. The two then got up for a tense face-off.
NXT Championship -- Seth Rollins def. Adam Cole (c) via disqualification after Kyle O'Reilly reached under the bottom rope and grabbed the leg of Rollins. Post-match, the Undisputed Era beatdown commenced until members of the Raw roster stormed out to make the save. This brought out the remaining members in attendance from the NXT roster, and a massive brawl then ensued. As the chaos reigned on the outside, Ricochet hit a Shooting Star Press onto a pile of bodies, while a visual of Keith Lee hitting a somersault over the top onto the outside on even more bodies closed out Raw.
This NXT invasion didn't seem as exciting as Friday's, but the unexpected circumstances leading to the SmackDown episode we got three days ago certainly helped in that regard. Still, NXT was presented as very much on par with the big boys and girls from Raw, and the added twist of Triple H trying to lure a vulnerable Rollins back to NXT following his universal title loss was a nice touch that cast just the slightest bit of doubt that Cole would leave with the NXT title. Ultimately, though, it was a welcome sight to see the fresh talent from NXT mixing it up on a "main roster" brand, and it also accomplished the mission of hooking in viewers to tune in Wednesday night on USA to see who from Raw and SmackDown will kick down the doors in Full Sail seeking retribution. Grade: B+
Rey Mysterio tames 'The Beast'
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman charged to the ring. Heyman elaborated on Lesnar being allowed to switch brands on a whim, claiming his client has a no-cut contract, and given the investment the company has in him, WWE can't fire him. Lesnar's contract has been officially absorbed by Monday Night Raw. Heyman then turned his attention to the task at hand: hunting down Rey Mysterio. He said that Lesnar will commit a felony against Mysterio, and if someone doesn't cop to his whereabouts, Lesnar will turn the arena upside down and inside out on the hunt. The two left to the back where Lesnar was screaming for Mysterio before bullying helpless backstage workers.
Lesnar and Heyman later made their way to the announce table. Heyman attempted to get the whereabouts of Mysterio from Jerry "The King" Lawler, warning the Hall of Famer that "no one would resuscitate him this time when he dies on the air again." Dio Maddin stepped in to defend Lawler, but he ended up crashing through the announce table courtesy of an F5. As Lesnar was admiring his carnage, Mysterio emerged and began brutalizing "The Beast" with a pipe. Mysterio took aim at Lesnar's knees, and then laid out the champion on the ramp with a shot from his own title. Back from commercial, they showed Lesnar limping to the back. Backstage, Mysterio laid down a challenge to Lesnar for the WWE championship at Survivor Series, asking him if he was man enough to come after him like he was tonight. It was announced later in the show that Lesnar had accepted, and the WWE title bout in Chicago is official.
Pro wrestling is always enjoyable when a pleasant surprise emerges. Here we are in the year 2019, right on the cusp of 2020, and we're getting a feud for the top title on Raw featuring two heralded veterans in Brock Lesnar and Rey Mysterio. And while fans would normally bicker about a 42-year-old (Lesnar) and a 44-year-old (Mysterio) being slotted in this position, the fact of the matter is that this program is on a trajectory towards being remembered as one of the better ones of the entire year. What's really intriguing about this feud, though, is that it's not just Mysterio playing his customary underdog role against Lesnar; the actions of Lesnar making this personal are bringing out a vicious side of Mysterio -- which we saw both at Crown Jewel and Monday night -- as he pursues another WWE championship. The build has been great to this point, and the match should be even greater come Survivor Series. Grade: A-
What else happened on Raw?
- Natalya & Charlotte Flair def. The Kabuki Warriors in a non-title match via submission after Natalya forced Asuka to tap to the Sharpshooter.
- Buddy Murphy def. Cedric Alexander via pinfall after Murphy's Law.
- Zelina Vega & Andrade def. Carolina & Sin Cara via pinfall after Vega his the Basement Rana on Carolina.
- Rusev def. Drew McIntyre via disqualification after Bobby Lashley blindsided him with a crutch shot to the back. Rusev had originally challenged Lashley, who emerged on the crutches and said he torn his groin "doing things" to Lana. McIntyre was then revealed as his opponent. Post-match, as Rusev was getting the upper-hand on Lashley, Randy Orton slid in to deliver an RKO outta nowhere to the "Bulgarian Brute." Ricochet then made his way out to make the save and chase off the heels.
- The OC def. Humberto Carrillo & The Street Profits via pinfall after AJ Styles rolled up Carrillo and used his feet on the ropes for leverage.
- The Viking Raiders def. The East Hampton Polo Boys via pinfall after a top-rope splash from Ivar. Prior to the bout, it was announced that The Viking Raiders would square off against SmackDown tag team champions The Revival and NXT tag team champions Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly at Survivor Series.
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