WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Seth Rollins goes Fiend hunting, title change, Crown Jewel signing
The universal champion took the 'burn it down' catchphrase to a whole new level on Monday night
Raw on Monday night in Denver was primarily centered around the conclusion of the two-night 2019 WWE Draft as the rosters take shape while the company moves full speed ahead into a new television era along with the Fox and USA networks. While some notable moves were made with Raw emerging with a stacked roster, the flagship show this week also attempted to push along some prominent storylines as the Crown Jewel event on Thursday, Oct. 31 in Saudi Arabia looms ahead.
Now that attempt to push along the prominent angles was not necessarily a successful effort, to say the least. Raw this week featured some solid and entertaining in-ring efforts that provided a positive outlook for the show and the plethora of talent moving forward, but the two main storylines featured on the episode came off both as awkward and unnecessary -- which is ironically sort of fitting given the stage they're set to be headlining.
Let's have a look now at everything that went down Monday night on Raw in Denver.
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Seth Rollins enters the Firefly Funhouse
Raw opened up by revisiting the events leading up to what would become one of the most infamous pay-per-view event finishes in recent memory in universal champion Seth Rollins vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt at Hell in a Cell. The video montage concluded with footage from this past Friday on SmackDown where "The Fiend" emerged from underneath the ring to attack Rollins during his show-opening bout with Roman Reigns. In a backstage interview with Charly Caruso a short time later, Rollins was asked about the unresolved issues between he and "The Fiend." This is where Rollins revealed that he would be going "Fiend hunting" on Raw to find Wyatt and end this once and for all.
Later in the evening, it was announced that Rollins will defend the universal title against "The Fiend" in a falls count anywhere match at Crown Jewel.
An episode of "Firefly Funhouse" aired in the final segment of the evening. Wyatt praised Rollins as being smart and strong, but he said "The Fiend" never forgets. Rollins showed up in the Funhouse and began pummeling Wyatt who at one point, in near tears, pleaded with Rollins to stop. Rollins continued the beating, and then he vowed to burn it down ... which he literally did. Rollins lit the table on fire, flipped it and the Firefly Funhouse went up in flames while flashes of "The Fiend" appeared on the screen and his maniacal laughter took us off the air to close out this week's episode.
Well enough should have been left alone following the debacle that was the Hell in a Cell finish, and we all should have just cut our losses and moved on ... but, no, apparently. Though Wyatt and Rollins are now officially members of separate brands, they're going to run it back for the top Raw title in Saudi Arabia with another stipulation tied to the match. Problem is: in no way do you get the feeling any wrong from Hell in a Cell will be righted on Halloween. Maybe they will find a much better route to make "The Fiend" look strong coming out of another unsuccessful challenge for the universal title, but I'm not going to hold my breath as the company continually does everything in its power to present Rollins as the conquering babyface champ against the wrong opponent in the beloved "Fiend" character. And as for the final segment inside the Funhouse on Monday night that was crammed into the final three minutes of airtime on USA? It was the definition of corny and eye-rolling, from the rapid camera cuts to Rollins' painfully awkward delivery of his "burn it down" catchphrase before cementing his name alongside Randy Orton on the list of superstars who favor the route of arson against Wyatt. Grade: D-
Crown Jewel contract signing
Moderated by Jerry "The King" Lawler, a contract signing took place for the Crown Jewel matchup between Braun Strowman and the lineal heavyweight boxing champion of the world Tyson Fury. Strowman began at the table by calling out Fury for attempting to steal the WWE spotlight by showing up at the SmackDown on Fox premiere. He vowed to deliver Fury his first loss at Crown Jewel. Both men signed the contract before Fury said he was at the premiere with his kids to show support for Strowman. The heavyweight champ said that he's not out of his element in any ring, and he promised to knock Strowman out in Saudi Arabia. The two men stood face-to-face across the table from one another before Strowman broke the table with his bare hands. Fury, after a few awkward attempts, broke the pen in half in front of Strowman's face before walking off.
I've been a staunch supporter of this program from its inception a few weeks ago, but this was far and away the most awkward interaction between the two; and, yes, that includes what took place at the press conference this past Friday in Las Vegas. This all just felt a little too forced and awkward for my liking, and it didn't resonate with the live crowd whatsoever. With a few weeks left until Oct. 31 and the showdown at Crown Jewel, here's to hoping that this contract signing segment was merely a bump in the road for what has been an otherwise entertaining and intriguing storyline featuring one of the more charismatic stars in combat sports. Grade: C-
What else happened on Raw?
- Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair via pinfall with a crucifix rollup to earn Raw the top draft pick for the night.
- Andrade def. Ali via pinfall after the Hammerlock DDT. Zelina Vega provided assistance on the outside with the apron hurricanrana to Ali.
- Raw Tag Team Championship -- The Viking Raiders def. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode (c) via pinfall to win the titles after the Viking Experience to Ziggler.
- Aleister Black def. Eric Young via submission with the Dark Ritual.
- The OC attacked the Street Profits backstage as the latter were celebrating being drafted to Raw this past Friday on SmackDown. Later in the night, a more serious Street Profits informed The OC that they want all the smoke. A six-man tag was advertised on Twitter for later in the show, but that match never materialized.
- Ricochet def. Shelton Benjamin via pinfall after connecting with the Recoil.
- Lana was shown getting a massage, and the therapist was eventually replaced by Bobby Lashley as the two once again trolled Rusev.
- Buddy Murphy def. Cedric Alexander via pinfall after Murphy's Law.
- The Kabuki Warriors def. Lacey Evans & Natalya via pinfall after Asuka rolled up Evans for the victory.
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