WWE Raw Review (October 4, 2021)

This week’s Raw is the second part of the WWE Draft. As WWE stated on Smackdown, the new rosters won’t take effect until Smackdown on Friday, October 22, which is one day after the Crown Jewel PPV. Some of the roster was eligible to be drafted on Friday’s Smackdown while the other half of superstars will be eligible to be drafted this week on Raw.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1479 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place in Nashville, Tennessee. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past (including my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order) and present. Let’s roll.

The opening video package hyped up the fact that the WWE Draft continues tonight.

The Raw announce team of Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves welcomed us to the show. They ran over the draft rules again while talking about some of Raw’s draft picks already.

Let’s Hear from Becky Lynch

This week’s Raw began with the WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion “The Man” Becky Lynch. I guess the roster rules don’t really exist during the draft shows. They showed a clip from Smackdown when Smackdown picked Raw Women’s Champion. At the end of Smackdown, Charlotte kicked Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair with boots to the head. Lynch defends the SD Women’s Title against Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks at Crown Jewel on October 21.

The fans chanted “Becky” for Lynch, who is a heel. Lynch said it’s been about a year and a half since she has stood on this stage on Raw. Lynch said that she might make some executives angry, but she doesn’t care because she does what she wants. Lynch said that she is the first draft pick for Raw. Lynch said she’s holding the Smackdown Women’s Title now, but she never lost that Raw Women’s Title. Lynch said that after the last time she beat Charlotte Flair, Lynch has been better than ever and Flair can’t stand it. Becky thinks it is time to be Becky Two Belts once again.

Charlotte Flair interrupted the promo in dress clothes with the Raw Women’s Title around her waist. Charlotte got into the ring with Becky in a familiar sight between two past rivals that were once best friends.

Flair said hello to her old friend Becks. Flair said that before Lynch beat Flair, she was “Becky Pre-Show” and Charlotte claimed she made Becky famous. Charlotte said that Lynch will always be looking up to Charlotte, who said it’s a good thing that Becky left Smackdown because clearly, they have unfinished business.

Bianca Belair made her entrance since she was drafted to Raw even though the new rosters don’t take effect until October 22. Belair said that she had unfinished business with both of them. Belair said that they both took cheap shots at her during and after her match with Sasha Banks. Belair said that neither of them are ready for Bianca to be the EST of Raw because she goes here now. Charlotte told Belair that she should “ssshhh” because the champions are having a conversation. There were fans chanting “Charlotte sucks” so Charlotte chanted “WHAT” at them. Belair said that Charlotte is standing there, but technically Charlotte doesn’t go there anymore. Charlotte clarified she’s not a girl, she’s a woman and went over the credentials of Belair while noting she almost did what Charlotte has done. Charlotte said that Belair should thank Charlotte for paving the way for her.

Lynch said if it was her she’d face Charlotte but she’s beaten her so many times before. Lynch suggested a match between Charlotte and Bianca. Charlotte said she only gives out opportunities, not charities. Belair took off her earrings looking like she wanted a fight.

Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville, the WWE Officials, walked onto the stage. Sonya said for the first time ever, tonight on Raw it’s Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair. Plus, Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H. defend their titles against Natalya & Tamina. The US Title is on the line up next.

Analysis: It’s a typical Raw where they used the opening segment to set up a major match later in the show. Last week I wrote a column about ten matches I wanted to see following the WWE Draft and one of them was Charlotte vs. Bianca, so it’s cool that we are getting it now. Lynch did a nice job as a bit of a tweener that was there to instigate the matchup between Charlotte and Bianca while not wanting a part of either woman herself. The crowd hated Charlotte, liked Bianca a lot and was mixed when it comes to Becky although a lot of people did cheer. Anyway, it was an interesting dynamic between the three women.

Jeff Hardy made his entrance as the challenger for the United States Championship. That match is after a break.

(Commercial)

It’s time for some draft picks as announced by WWE Officials Adam Pearce (reading Raw) and Sonya Deville (reading Smackdown).

WWE Draft – First Round

#1 Raw – Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch.

#2 Smackdown – Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos. Paul Heyman and The Usos were shown backstage with Paul saying “thank you” because Roman told him to make sure they were drafted to Smackdown.

#3 Raw – Bobby Lashley

#4 Smackdown – Sasha Banks

Analysis: The only change is Lynch going to Raw while the other three picks are people staying on the shows they were on. Lynch is a big addition to Raw while also being able to continue her rivalry with Bianca Belair since Belair was drafted to Raw too. The Usos staying on Smackdown makes sense obviously since they are tied to Roman Reigns. Lashley staying on Raw is cool. He has had a great run over the last year. Banks is awesome in a face or heel role.

Damian Priest entered as the United States Champion that has been on a roll. No singles match losses for Priest this year.

United States Championship: Damian Priest vs. Jeff Hardy

Priest with a shoulder tackle to knock Hardy down. Hardy with a jawbreaker, Priest with a jumping kick to the head and Hardy to the floor. Hardy went for a diving attack off the apron, Priest moved and Hardy hit the floor. Hardy was walking around on the floor, so Priest hit a flipping dive off the steps onto Hardy on the floor.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Hardy knocking Priest off the turnbuckle and hitting the Whisper in the Wind attack for two. Priest hit a spin kick on Hardy for two. They each countered moves, Priest with a kick, Hardy with a neckbreaker and a Twist of Fate into the mat. Hardy went up top, he jumped off and hit the Swanton Bomb on Priest for two as Priest kicked out with his left shoulder up and hooked Hardy for a crucifix pin for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Damian Priest

Analysis: **3/4 Priest’s winning ways continue with the pin attempt after kicking out of the Swanton Bomb. They had good chemistry just like in the triple threat with Sheamus. Priest winning is consistent with how he has been booked. Hardy looked competitive before falling in defeat.

Post match, Priest shook hands with Hardy, who did Priest’s arrow shooting gesture. Hardy was interviewed in ring by Sarah Schreiber. Jeff said he loved the fans. Jeff said it’s so good to be in front of you again saying that he’s reached the highest of highs, but also crashed back to reality. Jeff said that going to Smackdown might be the perfect opportunity to see a different side and different ego of Jeff Hardy. Jeff said he intends to make the most of his next three weeks on Raw.

Analysis: I hope Jeff’s promo means there are plans to give him a push on Smackdown and to give him some momentum. The fans love the guy. He is always going to be popular. Just give Jeff a shot with a meaningful push on Smackdown. If he gets some wins and momentum, he can be in the main event picture because of how much the crowd believes in him.

Austin Theory ran out to the ring in his wrestling gear and had his cell phone in his hand. Theory said that his dream has come true saying he got drafted to Raw and now he’s in the ring with the legendary Jeff Hardy. Theory said that his whole childhood, he watched Jeff, he literally inspired him and look where it’s got him. Theory doesn’t mean to “fanboy” right now, but he wondered if he could take a selfie with Hardy. Theory had his phone, and teased doing a photo, but then Theory hit Hardy with a clothesline. Boos for that Theory hit a spinning slam with Jeff’s head hitting the knee. Theory went to the mat to take the selfie with Jeff. Theory celebrated his actions while the fans booed.

Analysis: A smart way to get Theory over as a lying heel. Theory was a heel in NXT too, so I think that’s the best role for him. Theory is a young guy WWE is going to build around for the future since he’s just 24 years old and very talented already. Theory is drafted to Raw while Jeff is drafted to Smackdown, so Jeff will probably put him over before the WWE Draft moves start on October 22.

Randy Orton and Riddle were interviewed by Kevin Patrick, who mentioned they defend the Raw Tag Team Titles against AJ Styles & Omos at Crown Jewel. Riddle sucked without Randy last week. Riddle said it’s time to get some sweet revenge on Styles and Omos. Riddle kept on ranting while Orton asked if he is done with his useless facts. Orton said that they have the opportunity to shut up AJ & Omos once and for all, but that doesn’t happen until Crown Jewel. Orton has a proposition saying he thinks it is time for Omos to go one on one with the Legend Killer. Riddle had a shocked look on his face.

Shayna Baszler entered for a match. They showed highlights of Baszler injuring Nia Jax and Eva Marie over the last two weeks. Dana Brooke was shown warming up as the opponent.

(Commercial)

More draft picks from Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville:

WWE Draft – Second Round

#5 Raw – Seth Rollins

#6 Smackdown – Intercontinental Champion King Nakamura & Rick Boogs. They were shown celebrating backstage at Raw.

#7 Raw – United States Champion Damian Priest

#8 Smackdown – Sheamus

Analysis: Seth Rollins to Raw was obvious since his wife Becky Lynch is also on Raw, so they stay together and probably bring their baby girl on the road most weeks. Seth’s current rival Edge was already drafted to Raw too. I think Big E vs. Rollins for the WWE Title would be a great feud for both guys. The Nakamura/Boogs combination stays on Smackdown while Priest stays on Raw, so the secondary titles remain where they are. Sheamus has been on Smackdown many times before. What’s interesting about that is that the only title Sheamus hasn’t won is the Intercontinental Title that is on Smackdown. I know Sheamus has said he wants the IC Title some day and he tweeted about it on Monday night as well.

Shayna Baszler vs. Dana Brooke

Brooke worked over Baszler with punches. Baszler hit a reverse DDT into a backbreaker-like move with Brooke favoring her left arm. Baszler whipped Brooke into the turnbuckle. Baszler went for the stomp on the left arm, Brooke got a rollup, Baszler applied an armbar and then a Kirifuda Clutch for the submission win in under two minutes.

Winner by submission: Shayna Baszler

Analysis: * Another dominant win by Baszler. I like that they are booking her in a strong manner again.

Post match, Brooke left the ring and Baszler kicked the left arm into the LED board at ringside. Baszler put Brooke’s left arm against the bottom half of the ring steps. Doudrop went down to ringside to interrupt, then she checked Brooked at ringside and Baszler hit Doudrop with a forearm in the lower back. Doudrop helped Brooke back up to her feet.

Analysis: I didn’t expect this storyline to lead to a Baszler/Doudrop storyline, but here we are.

The Usos were shown walking backstage with the Smackdown Tag Team Titles with Paul Heyman. Kevin Patrick congratulated Heyman for keeping The Usos on Smackdown due to his influence. Heyman said that he was the warden of the Uso Penitentiary, then Patrick mentioned Heyman about how he maintained Brock Lesnar’s status as a free agent, Heyman said nothing, The Usos stared at Heyman and The Usos left while Heyman was left in silence.

Analysis: Heyman is such a great actor going from being jubilant about The Usos to stunned silence when Brock Lesnar is mentioned. The reactions from Heyman are always great.

(Commercial)

There was a plug for Escape The Undertaker on Netflix featuring The Undertaker and The New Day.

Mustafa Ali & Mansoor vs. Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo

Carrillo worked over Mansoor with punches and kicks. Mansoor hit a reverse DDT on Carrillo. Ali tagged in with a dropkick on Garza. Ali with a kick to the head of Garza, but then Garza took him down with a punch to the head. Ali with a knee to the ribs followed by a twisting neckbreaker. Mansoor sent Carrillo out of the ring to the floor. Mansoor tried a dive, but Carrillo hit him with a clothesline. Garza and Carrillo worked together with Ali getting sent to the ring post and Garza pinned him after that. It was under two minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo

Analysis: * This was rushed. They were doing hot tag spots one minute into the match. I feel bad for the wrestlers because they need more time to have a better match, but they had to rush through everything.

Big E made his entrance as the WWE Champion as the show reached the end of the first hour.

(Commercial)

They showed Clay Travis from Fox Sports/Outkick at ringside with his family.

WWE Draft – Third Round

#9 Raw – AJ Styles & Omos

#10 Smackdown – Shayna Baszler

#11 Raw – Kevin Owens

#12 Smackdown – Xia Li

Analysis: Styles & Omos stay where they are. Baszler going to Smackdown is a fresh start for her, but sometimes the SD women barely get TV time. Kevin Owens needs a fresh start whether he’s a face or heel, so I’m fine with that move for him. That seems like a reach for Xia Li, who was never pushed that much in NXT and there are a lot of bigger names left to be picked.

Let’s Hear from Big E

Big E spoke about how he was the WWE Champion on his show Raw. Big E mentioned that for the second year in a row, Kofi and Woods were picked on the show that he was not on. The fans booed because they didn’t like that. Big E spoke about how he made sure that Bobby Lashley fell down to his knees and Big E proved that he is your rightful WWE Champion. Big E said after his win, his next challenger appeared with Big E saying he’s a two-time WWE Champion, an actual swordsman and he said it was Drew McIntyre. Big E called Drew out to come to speak his mind.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance with the sword he named Angela. McIntyre was drafted to Smackdown this past Friday.

Drew said, “It’s a Drew day, yes it is.” Drew said he was drafted to Smackdown, but he has unfinished business on Raw. Drew said that he was screwed out of his title shots against Bobby Lashley, he was waiting for a hero to step up and Big E vanquished Lashley to become the WWE Champion. Drew told Big E he deserves to be WWE Champion with the fans cheered that. The fans chanted “you deserve it” for Big E. Drew said that Big E has the love from the people, the boys & girls in the back and Drew said that Big E has earned his respect, so Drew congratulated him. Drew shook Big E’s hand and the fans cheered.

Drew had a big “but” saying technically you did cash in on an injured Lashley. Drew said that Lashley attacked Drew from behind when Drew got cashed in on (by The Miz) and nobody likes Lashley anyway. Drew said that Lashley no longer holding the WWE Title allows Drew to do this – he challenged Big E to a WWE Championship match.

Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode showed up for the interruption. Roode said that they are minding their own business in the back to find out who is going to draft the Dirty Dawgs. Ziggler said that he is proud of Big E and congratulated him on becoming WWE Champion. Ziggler said that he is behind Big E 100% and he wondered why Big E forgot to thank Ziggler. Big E was shocked by that. Ziggler cued up a video that showed Big E debuting with Ziggler in 2013 when Ziggler was the World Heavyweight Champion. They showed some video with them dominating together. Ziggler said that without him, there’s no New Day, and without DZ, there is no Big E. McIntyre said that Ziggler might have a point. Ziggler said that McIntyre was next. Ziggler cued up the video of when he was teaming with Drew McIntyre in 2018 when they were a duo that worked together. Ziggler said that all he ever wanted was a simple “thank you” from Drew.

Big E said Ziggler wants “thank you” from the two of them. Big E and Drew spoke together. McIntyre joked that Ziggler upgraded from the both of them. Roode said that he is twice the friend that they are and Roode claims that they call him Big Bob with Big E saying nobody does that. Ziggler said that this is about him asking for a simple thank you because he is the perfect gentleman. Drew asked the crowd, who said “no” to that. Big E said that they do owe them something and that something is an ass-whooping. Big E and “Big D” suggested they team up against the Dirty Dawgs right now. That match is next.

Analysis: That was a lot of talking and it took like 15 minutes to get through all of that. If it was Smackdown they probably would have done it in about five minutes. Drew and Big E had a good exchange showing respect to eachother while Drew made it clear he’s coming for the WWE Title. Ziggler commenting on his history with both guys was cool because sometimes people ignore history in WWE, so when you can embrace it, that’s a cool thing to see. Anyway, it’s the classic way to set up a tag team match in WWE where everybody is in their ring gear and you know the match is coming.

This Friday on Smackdown, the King of the Ring tournament is back and the Queen’s Crown Tournament also begins.

(Commercial)

Big E & Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode

Drew with a clothesline on Ziggler and a suplex into a slam. Big E tagged in with a running splash on Ziggler. Roode tagged in leading to Big E hitting a back elbow. Drew hit a neckbreaker on “Big Bob” Roode. Big E was back in, Roode sent him into the turnbuckle and Ziggler tagged in with a dropkick. Roode was back in with a suplex followed by a knee drop off the middle rope, Big E moved and Roode hit the mat. Big E tagged in with a boot to the face, an overhead suplex with Roode and a suplex across the ring. Drew with an overhead suplex across the ring on Ziggler. Drew went for a shoulder tackle on Roode, who moved and Drew hit the ring post. Ziggler hit McIntyre with a superkick while on the floor. They went to break there.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Drew fighting out of the heel corner as he hit Roode with a headbutt. Ziggler tagged in against Big E with Big E doing his usual hot tag routine including two belly to belly suplex, belly to belly side slam and the running splash by Big E. Ziggler went for an eye gouge, Big E fought out of that and hit a uranage slam with Roode making the save. Big E charged at Roode, who got a knee up and Ziggler hit Big E with a Zig Zag for two, but McIntyre made the save. Roode knocked Drew out of the ring. McIntyre got a hold of Roode on the floor, then turned and hit a belly to belly suplex on the floor. Ziggler with a rollup on Big E, but Big E avoided it and hit a clothesline. Big E wanted the Big Ending, Drew tagged in and Drew hit a Claymore Kick on Ziggler for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Big E & Drew McIntyre

Analysis: *** A good match by four veterans that know what they are doing to set up the big spots in this kind of match. The result was never in doubt since Big and Drew are pushed heavily while the Ziggler/Roode team is barely on television. Drew tagging himself in is a classic example of a face wanting to outshine the guy he’s facing at the next PPV.

After the match, Roode ran into the ring, Big E caught him and hit the Big Ending on Roode. McIntyre picked up the WWE Championship, but Big E got it back from him. Big E told Drew that they can do this match at Crown Jewel and Drew agreed to it.

Analysis: That Big E/McIntyre match at Crown Jewel is yet another big match for that show. I assume Drew puts over Big E clean since they are both babyfaces. It should be good.

Reggie was shown walking around with the 24/7 Title. Reggie went up to Adam Pearce saying he heard he wanted to see him about the WWE Draft. Pearce said he had some bad info. Reggie nearly walked into the Viking Raiders and then Reggie had to run away from the 24/7 Title midcard wrestlers. Reggie did some flips onto some things and then off of some things. Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez were there, Crews said it was good to see him again and Reggie ran away because he was getting chased by other people.

Analysis: Riveting television as usual.

Charlotte Flair was shown stretching backstage.

Kevin Owens made his entrance to a good pop. He was drafted to Raw earlier in the show. The announcers wanted us to vote for The Miz on Dancing with the Stars as if I care about that. Owens is up next after a break.

(Commercial)

They showed country music artist Hardy at ringside. I have no idea who that is.

Kevin Owens was in the ring for a promo and he was about to say something, but he was interrupted. It was Akira Tozawa. Akira Tozawa did a promo saying he’s sorry to interrupt and welcomed back Kevin Owens to Raw. Tozawa said that he doesn’t want to fight Owens, he wants to fight Reggie for the 24/7 Title right now. Owens turned Tozawa around and gave him a Stunner. Owens didn’t even say a word and he left.

Analysis: That was quick and easy.

WWE Draft – Fourth Round

#13 Raw – The Street Profits

#14 Smackdown – Viking Raiders

#15 Raw – Finn Balor

#16 Smackdown – Ricochet

Analysis: The Street Profits back to Raw was an obvious call since Montez Ford is married to Bianca Belair, so they are going to be on the same show. Viking Raiders haven’t been pushed at all this year, so maybe the move will help them. From a logical point of view, it doesn’t make sense that it took 15 spots for Balor to get picked. Balor is a main event talent that should have been gone sooner. Balor should benefit from the move and I hope we see him against AJ Styles like I wrote in a column last week. Ricochet is one of the most poorly used wrestlers in WWE. I hope it’s good for him, but I have my doubts about him being used right.

The Women’s Tag Team Champions Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. entered as the champion. They showed a pre-tape promo from them.

(Commercial)

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H. vs. Natalya & Tamina

Nikki started with Natalya, which led to Natalya running away and Tamina tagged in with a kick on Nikki. Tamina tossed Nikki across the ring. Tamina worked over Nikki with power moves for a bit. Natalya back in, she wanted a Sharpshooter, Nikki with a cradle and Ripley tagged in. Ripley with a headbutt to the chest, then a snapmare and a dropkick. Ripley hit a spin kick to the gut, Natalya with a slingshot suplex and a Northern Lights Suplex for two with Tamina breaking up the pin. Tamina tagged herself in, Ripley with a kick that knocked Tamina off the apron to the floor. Nikki jumped off the top with a cross body block on both opponents on the floor. Ripley hit the Riptide slam on Tamina. Ripley lifted up Nikki and dropped her into a splash on Tamina for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H.

Analysis: ** That was a more dominant win by Rhea and Nikki compared to when they won the titles using a cradle. Tamina usually is protected more than Natalya in terms of who loses their matches, so it was a bit of a surprise to see Tamina as the one that got beat in this match. Now Rhea and Nikki can go on to face other teams although it’s not like WWE has a lot of women teams right now.

A video aired showing when Bobby Lashley applied the Hurt Lock to Goldberg’s son Gage at SummerSlam, so now Goldberg is at Raw for a face to face showdown with Lashley.

The WWE Draft continues next. That was the end of two hours.

(Commercial)

It was time for more draft picks as read by WWE Officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville.

WWE Draft – Fifth Round

#17 Raw – Karrion Kross

#18 Smackdown – Humberto Carrillo & Angel Garza

#19 Raw – Alexa Bliss

#20 Smackdown – Cesaro

Analysis: Karrion Kross remains on Raw where he got a bit of a push and then hasn’t been seen that often. Carrillo & Garza are a tag team with a lot of potential, so hopefully they can break through on Smackdown. Alexa Bliss stays on Raw whenever she comes back from her absence. Cesaro was pushed earlier in the year and then he hasn’t done much of late. Cesaro and Sheamus are back on the same show, so maybe we could see The Bar together or as a feud again.

Face to Face: Goldberg and Bobby Lashley

The WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg made his entrance to a good pop and the fans chanting “Goldberg” for him.

Goldberg said that Bobby Lashley has the audacity to say that what he did to Goldberg’s son was a misunderstanding. Goldberg said it wasn’t because it was intentional. Goldberg said he was inviting Lashley to this ring so he can “intentionally” break his neck.

Bobby Lashley’s music hit as the “All Mighty” former WWE Champion entered in a suit. Lashley said that what happened to Goldberg’s son was a misunderstanding. Lashley said he’s not going to risk ripping this custom-made suit and mocked Bill for dressing like it’s 1998. Lashley said that Goldberg has been perpetuating this myth that Lashley hurt Goldberg’s son on purpose and Lashley said that Goldberg owes him an apology. Lashley said he’ll give Goldberg a match, but said that the match is No Holds Barred.

Goldberg told Lashley that No Holds Barred gives him a license to kill. Goldberg said Lashley thinks Goldberg is crazy and he is. Goldberg told Lashley he’ll apologize to Lashley’s kids for leaving his lifeless body in the ring. Goldberg ended it by saying: “You’re next and you’re dead.”

Lashley told Goldberg that you can’t kill the All Mighty. Goldberg said that if Gage has the balls to do what he did last time, this time it won’t be a misunderstanding. Lashley asked Goldberg if somebody jumped on his back. That led to Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin attacking Goldberg from behind. Goldberg attacked them with a knee strike and he hit Benjamin with a Spear. Goldberg’s music hit as Goldberg celebrated. Lashley and Goldberg had a staredown to end it.

Analysis: It was obvious they were going to have a match at Crown Jewel since Goldberg tends to be featured on those Saudi shows. They had some good lines in talking about the feud they have had and it makes sense to do a No Holds Barred Match since it is a grudge match. Plus, it’s better for Goldberg because then he can battle outside the ring and they can use weapons.

They showed a video of the cheap attack by Austin Theory on Jeff Hardy earlier in the show.

The announcers commented about all the superstars drafted to Raw during this year’s draft while clips were shown of all the Raw picks.

Seth Rollins was interviewed by Kevin Patrick with Rollins saying he’s back. Rollins told “Mike” that he’s better than he’s ever been. Patrick mentioned also drafted to Raw is…and Rollins said don’t say his name (referring to Edge). Rollins said that he doesn’t give a shit who steps to him because he’s on another level. Rollins said he is Seth Freakin’ Rollins.

Analysis: Congratulations to Rollins for swearing with the “Shit” usage there. Rollins mentioned it on Twitter, so I’m glad he got to say it.

The New Day entered for tag team action. Xavier Woods posed with a fan with a “Xavier Woods for King” sign because Woods has said he wants to be King of the Ring.

(Commercial)

The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander

Benjamin with a back body drop on Kofi as the heels took control. Benjamin and Alexander were selling Goldberg’s moves against them. Alexander was in briefly, Benjamin was back in and Kofi hit a jumping DDT out of the corner. Woods tagged in against Alexander with a jumping side kick, Woods with a side Russian legsweep and Woods slipped off the apron. Kofi with a double stomp on Shelton on the floor. Woods with a kick to Alexander’s eyes. Woods went up top, he walked the ropes and hit an elbow drop across the ring for the pinfall win after two minutes. Woods went into the camera: “Crown me! Crown me! Hail King Woods.”

Winners by pinfall: The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)

Analysis: *1/2 That was quick. These teams wrestled many times in the past, but this was all about putting The New Day over in a big way. What Woods said at the end was about him wanting to be King of the Ring.

The Street Profits showed up congratulating New Day on the win, the movie on Netflix with The Undertaker and Montez Ford reminded us that they are back on Raw. Angelo Dawkins joined in to say that “we want the smoke.” Kofi drank some of Ford’s drink and did some dance moves.

A video aired about Finn Balor being drafted by Raw. They showed highlights of Balor in action as well as “Demon” Balor also doing some moves.

Analysis: They treated Balor like a big deal here, but he was only the 15th pick in this part of the draft. That didn’t make him feel like a big deal. Hopefully they book him well. I’m saying that a lot on this show.

Randy Orton and Riddle made their entrance as the Raw Tag Team Champions. Orton wanted to face Omos in a singles match and we will find out if Omos accepts the challenge.

(Commercial)

Randy Orton did a promo asking if Omos is AJ Styles’ personal colossus or is he just AJ’s big bitch. AJ Styles entered with Omos saying they were celebrating the win over Gilligan (Riddle), who has that name because Riddle calls Styles “Skipper.” Styles said that Omos would destroy Orton. Styles said that he’s excited that they have all been drafted because when they take the titles back they can gloat about how they were the ones that brought an end to this asinine team called RK-Bro. Omos tried to speak, but Orton decked Styles with a punch. Omos slammed Riddle down. Orton ducked Omos, then he hit Styles with an RKO and Orton bailed to the floor with Riddle. The announcers said that Orton didn’t really want to face Omos, he just wanted to lure him out there and outsmart him.

Analysis: It was probably the right call to not do a match since Omos is still inexperienced and it might be a bad showing against Orton in a singles match. Sometimes it’s better to do a segment instead of a match and this was one of those times.

Bianca Belair was shown warming up for her main event match against Charlotte Flair up next.

(Commercial)

The announcers plugged NXT 2.0 as highlights were shown from last week’s show. It ended with Toxic Attraction’s Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne attacking Raquel Gonzalez, the NXT Women’s Champion. Mandy Rose wants the NXT Women’s Championship, so they told us to watch NXT 2.0 on Tuesday night. I’ll have a review on Wednesday.

It was time for more draft picks as read by WWE Officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville.

WWE Draft – Sixth Round

#21 Raw – Carmella. Corey Graves was excited saying there is a God and his prayers were answered. Carmella was happy backstage.

#22 Smackdown – Ridge Holland from NXT.

#23 Raw – Olympic Gold Medalist Gable Steveson.

#24 Smackdown – Sami Zayn.

Analysis: Carmella to Raw was expected since she’s dating Corey Graves, so now they can be on the same show together. That’s why Graves was so excited about it. Holland has a lot of potential as a guy that looks physically imposing and a bright future for sure. Speaking of bright future, Gable Steveson may have the brightest future of everybody and he hasn’t even had a match in WWE yet, but they are fast-tracking him by saying he’ll be joining Raw. I assume Steveson will have an accelerated WWE training crash course while also finishing his senior year at the University of Minnesota. Steveson is only 21 years old, so he’s somebody worth getting excited about. Sami Zayn remains on Smackdown where he gets used sparingly. I wish they did more with him.

They showed Gable Steveson with his mom and dad at home. Steveson hugged his parents.

Bianca Belair made her entrance to a good pop as they plugged Raw taking place in San Francisco next Monday. Charlotte Flair made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Champion that was drafted to Smackdown last Friday.

Becky Lynch made her entrance as the Smackdown Women’s Champion to watch the match.

(Commercial)

There was a plug for Raw Talk on Peacock/WWE Network for some more draft picks and interviews.

Becky Lynch is on commentary for the main event just like she was on Smackdown when Bianca Belair faced Sasha Banks.

Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair

It was started with about 13 minutes left. They did some posturing and exchanges of quick moves. Charlotte with a kick to the gut and head whip for a takedown. Belair did an impressive cartwheel, then Belair dropped down and Flair hit her with a dropkick to put her down. Lynch talked about how she knew how to outsmart and outlast her opponents. Flair sent Belair into the turnbuckle. Belair showed off her athleticism again, then to the middle rope for some butt slapping and a backflip into a dropkick. Flair got a rollup for two. Belair tossed flair into the turnbuckle. Belair tossed Flair into the turnbuckle. Belair charged, Flair with a boot to the face and Charlotte flipped to the apron. Flair hit Belair with a forearm. They battled on the apron, Flair grabbed the hair, kicked the knee and hit an elbow drop into the ring apron. Flair threw Belair into the barricade and that led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Belair hitting a dropkick followed by a delayed dropkick. Belair went for a cartwheel into a moonsault, but Flair got the knees up to block. Saxton said that this was a first time ever match, but I remember it in NXT. Anyway, there was a rollup into a pin attempt and then Flair hit a Powerbomb for a two count. Flair went for Natural Selection, Belair blocked it, Flair grabbed the hair and then Belair got a hold of Flair going for the KOD and then Flair landed on her feet. Flair bounced off her feet for a Spear that only got a two count. Flair went to stomp on the left knee, but Belair moved and Belair hit a spinebuster for a two count. That looked a bit dangerous although it ended up fine. Belair went up top, Flair hit the ropes and kicked her in the head. Flair went up top and went for a moonsault, Belair moved and Flair hit the standing moonsault (the Andrade spot) for two. Belair with a cradle for two. Belair hit the KOD slam for two as Becky Lynch showed up to interfere for the DQ. It went 12 minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Bianca Belair

Analysis: ***1/4 It was good while it lasted and then they went with the predictable DQ finish just like the Belair/Banks match on Smackdown. At some point, you would think WWE might be tired of booking DQ finishes in these main event matches featuring top women, but I guess they feel like it needs to be a cheap ending rather than have somebody get beat. It’s just a bit frustrating as a viewer. I thought the first half of the match wasn’t that interesting, but then Banks and Flair did a lot of counters and big moves in the second half, so the crowd got into it. This was really good by the end until the finish.

Lynch hit Belair with an Exploder Suplex into the barricade. Back in the ring, Lynch hit a Manhandle Slam on Belair. Sasha Banks showed up with a cheap attack on Lynch and Belair. Banks with double knees on both women. Banks with the Backstabber to Lynch. Banks stood tall to end it. That was the end of Raw.

Analysis: It’s a way to give Banks some positive momentum again. The way the draft played out, they put Banks and Flair on Smackdown while Lynch and Belair are going to be on Raw, so it will be interesting to see if there are title changes or a title swap with Flair/Lynch changing titles.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Big E
  2. Drew McIntyre
  3. Charlotte Flair/Bianca Belair

 

The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2021 Average: 6.07

 

Final Thoughts

It was just a decent Raw this week. It was missing the great matches that the last few weeks had when I was rating this show a 7.5, 7.75 and 7.5 out of 10 in the previous three weeks. This week wasn’t at that level although there were a couple of good matches. There were better matches in previous weeks and that helps a lot when sitting through a long show.

With that said, due to the presence of the WWE Draft, it takes up a lot of time and that means the matches are shorter. I thought the Big E/McIntyre vs. Ziggler/Roode and Charlotte vs. Bianca matches were the best although neither really stood out that much. The Priest/Hardy match was the best of the ones under ten minutes.

Some of the promos were fine with Goldberg/Lashley doing a nice job of setting up their Crown Jewel match while Big E and Drew McIntyre did a nice babyface exchange promo putting eachother over before agreeing to their match. There were less goofy segments too, so that’s always a plus.

The next WWE PPV is Crown Jewel on Thursday, October 21 from Saudi Arabia. Here’s what we know so far:

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Championship: Big E (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks

Raw Tag Team Championships: Randy Orton & Riddle (c) vs. AJ Styles & Omos

No Holds Barred Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Bill Goldberg

WWE Crown Jewel is live on Thursday, October 21, at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.

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John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

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