WWE Raw results, recap: New Day shocker brings title change before Survivor Series
Raw finally picked up the pace ahead of Survivor Series with some notable moments in the show
The road to Survivor Series hasn't been the smoothest ride for WWE since the launch of its latest invasion angle, but things appear to be looking up as we draw closer to Nov. 19 in Houston, helped along by a strong close to Monday's episode of Raw which saw an appearance from SmackDown's The New Day and a surprising title change.
All in all, WWE produced an entertaining three hours of television for the second successive week, even if there were more than a few painful bumps in the road to get there. What has stood out the most, however, has been the quality of wrestling and Raw delivered once again with more than one pay-per-view quality match.
New Day invasion spurs surprise title change
Sheamus and Cesaro approached Raw general manager Kurt Angle early in the night to complain about favoritism and demand an opportunity to represent the brand as tag team champions. After some posturing, Angle agreed to give them one more chance at Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in the main event. The match was high energy from the opening bell and continued to escalate in terms of intensity and quality after each high spot and near pin. Rollins and Ambrose appeared on the verge of victory late in the match following a wild sequence. Rollins intercepted Cesaro's leap off the top rope with a boot to the face and then superkicked Sheamus. Ambrose followed with Dirty Deeds on Sheamus to set up a frog splash from Rollins. But Cesaro dove in to break up the pin seconds before New Day's music hit.
All four members of the match froze in fear, unable to find the invaders. Finally, New Day appeared in the crowd and cut a promo on Raw's lack of retaliation from SmackDown's invasion attack two weeks ago. Angle began to form a team of angry Raw members backstage seeking retribution. They entered the arena and circled the ring. Xavier Woods yelled out for Raw to "prepare yourself for 'under siege' part two, baby!" But just as New Day quickly escaped back through the crowd, Sheamus used the distraction to hit a blindside Brogue Kick on Rollins and steal back the titles with a pin.
After a rough start to the SmackDown invasion angle and patchy work one week ago as WWE attempted to retroactively fill the plot holes, this was a welcome addition to the overall arc. New Day's poking of the bear should lead to an entertaining counter invasion of some kind from Raw. It also might lead to a New Day-Shield match at Survivor Series that would be a version of a dream match. Raw announced Roman Reigns would return from illness next week and reunite with The Shield, and it couldn't have come at a better time in terms of the storyline.
Kane returns to face off with Braun Strowman
Miz TV opened the show with The Miz humorously calling Baron Corbin "the bathroom break of SmackDown." He finished his promo on Corbin by challenging him to bring his "A" game at Survivor Series "because I'm going to beat you so badly, I'm doing to do something you have never been able to do. I'm going to make your title relevant." Out came Angle as Miz's guest. After a brief argument in which Miz blamed Angle for planning the "systematic elimination" last week of both Daniel Bryan (at the hands of Kane) and The Miztourage (by Braun Strowman), Angle finally snapped and booked Miz into a match against Strowman.
"The Monster Among Men" dominated physically throughout and easily fought off distractions from The Miztourage. He knocked out Bo Dallas with one punch outside and threw a neck-brace wearing Curtis Axel into the barrier wall. Strowman then grabbed Miz and yelled "you can't run" before tossing him over the top rope onto Dallas and Axel. Out came Kane to trigger a disqualification. An angry Strowman mouthed the words, "You threw me in a garbage truck! You can't kill me. I'm the only monster on Monday Night Raw." A brawl ensued. Strowman powered out of a chokeslam attempt and hit his running powerslam but Kane sat back up. Strowman clotheslined him to the floor before The Miztourage attacked from behind. Strowman powered out and hit Miz with a powerslam of his own.
Kane's run-in couldn't have been any more predictable or paint-by-numbers. Despite their love for Strowman, even the crowd refused to sell for the segment. Even worse, the psychology felt off as to why Kane was initiating the attack considering it was he who threw Strowman into the garbage truck in the first place. WWE's decision to job out Finn Balor in consecutive weeks against Kane and then act like it never happened was just as puzzling. Attempting to get over 50-year-old Kane just so he can be served up to Strowman feels like nothing more than a shortsighted decision considering the collateral damage it took to build it.
What else happened on Raw?
- Jason Jordan def. Elias in a guitar on a pole match: After trolling the British crowd by offering to play "Wonderwall" only to rip both them and Oasis, Elias' acapella song was interrupted by Jordan's entrance. Once the match started, Elias was first to pull the guitar off the pole. Jordan ducked and eventually reversed Elias into a belly-to-belly suplex before breaking the guitar over his back to win. Later in the show, after leaving SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan a voicemail to apologize for Kane's attack, he congratulated Jordan and offered him a spot on the Survivor Series team, which Jordan took with glee.
- Asuka def. Stacey Coates via submission: Another week and another squash match for the former NXT champion. Asuka used hard kick to break Coates down before applying the Asuka Lock to force the tap.
- Samoa Joe attacks Titus O'Neil, fights Finn Balor to double countout: Joe's match against O'Neil never took place due to his blindside on the entrance ramp and a quick Coquina Clutch. Joe grabbed the microphone and said, "If you stand in my way, I will put you down." He then offered a challenge for anyone to prove him wrong. Out came Balor, setting up their singles match, which took place over three segments and produced PPV-level drama with constant near-falls and big spots. Late in the match, Balor escaped the Coquina Clutch and went on to land a beautiful Tope Con Hilo on the floor. But a brawl ensued on the ramp with neither wrestler able to beat the count. Balor initiated another melee, which took a group of referees to break up. Angle came out to name both superstars to Raw's Survivor Series team. Balor broke free to hit a running splash off the stage on Joe.
- Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Nia Jax & Alicia Fox via submission: Unhappy they have yet to be added to Raw's Survivor Series team, Banks and Bayley looked for revenge on team captain Fox. Banks picked up a hot tag late and cleaned house. She then reversed a Fox roll up attempt into her Banks Statement to force the tap. After the match, Fox grabbed the microphone to announce Banks (but not Bayley) had been added to the team. "I need you on my team," Fox said. "I want you on my team!"
- Pete Dunne def. Enzo Amore via pinfall: Amore opened by delivering a rambling and endless promo, which caused Kalisto to run in. But Angle quickly followed, announcing the WWE's United Kingdom champion as his opponent in this physical, non-title match. "The Bruiserweight" looked great throughout and hit his Bitter End finisher for the 1-2-3. Kalisto entered to raise Dunne's arm and applaud over Amore's lifeless body.
- Alexa Bliss called out Natalya after the SmackDown women's champion claimed she chased Bliss out of the show and over to Raw. Bliss referred to her as a "crazy cat lady" and promised she would prove that she was the dominant champion at Survivor Series.
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