By Steven Flora
After Roman Reigns suffered a 3-on-1 beatdown at the hands of Intercontinental Champion The Miz, Cesaro & Sheamus, he received a visit from Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose, marking the first time the former members of The Shield have stood united in three years. Have The Hounds of Justice returned?
Ambrose, Reigns & Rollins stand united amid Shield reunion rumors
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Roman Reigns def. The Miz (via DQ … Miz remains champion)
The Miz has demanded respect for months now, but the Intercontinental Champion aping The Shield with his squad might have been a bridge too far. After he and The Miztourage mimicked The Shield’s entrance through the crowd (one week after doing the fist bump, mind you) before his title match with Reigns, The Big Dog snapped, obliterating Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel with a steel chair before the match could start.
Miz, impressively, nearly finagled his way to a count-out win in the ensuing title bout and later reversed the Superman Punch into a Skull-Crushing Finale, but Reigns would not be denied. He kicked out of Miz’s big move and clocked him with a Superman Punch, but Cesaro & Sheamus quickly interfered before Reigns could uncork a Spear on The A-Lister.
“The Bar” — whom Reigns had less-than-flattering words for after their beatdown of his old allies Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins — worked in perfect sync with Miz to decimate Reigns, feeding him into each other’s signature moves (Neutralizer, Brogue Kick, Skull-Crushing Finale) before administering The Shield’s final signature, the Triple Powerbomb, to Reigns, and joining in the signature fist bump. (The display was enough to earn "The Bar" a guest slot on "Miz TV" next week.) Winner: Roman Reigns via DQ.
Ironically, while Reigns licked his wounds at the very end of Raw, he received a pointed visit from Ambrose and Rollins, who wordlessly stood by The Big Dog’s side in solidarity. The Miz has been asking all along if The Shield could hang with today’s WWE, three years after they imploded. He might get his answer yet.
Side Note: Huge, HUGE pop for all three guys. I didn't think they'd actually go through with it, but it seems as though the opposition will be Miz and Sheamus/Cesaro. Regardless of the timing, a Shield reunion will be massive for not only WWE but sports entertainment. Not only does this transcend the business, but it gets eyes on the company and by building up this reunion to TLC, it would seem they hope to do great numbers for the event. Of course, not only a marketing ploy, hearing Sierra, Hotel, India, Echo, Lima, Delta, SHIELD … would be absolutely epic!
Strowman takes out the Raw Tag Team champions
Braun Strowman def. Raw Tag Team Champion Seth Rollins
Rollins talked the talk, and he walked the walk … until Strowman put him in the ground. The Kingslayer’s plan to defy expectations by challenging Strowman ended in the same familiar fashion as The Monster Among Men’s other conquests — Running Powerslam, 1-2-3 — though not before the Raw Tag Team Champion landed some impressive maneuvers of his own after a brief brawl outside the ring. Winner: Braun Strowman.
Nonetheless, not only did Strowman prevail, he quickly went to work on his foe after the bell. Rollins received some post-match reinforcement in the form of his tag team partner, Dean Ambrose, but Strowman made quick work of The Lunatic Fringe as well. Adding insult to injury, Cesaro & Sheamus resurfaced to inflict some more punishment on the Raw Tag Team Champions in the form of a Neutralizer to Ambrose and a Brogue Kick to Rollins. If nothing else, "The Bar" will not be cleared so easily.
Side Note: Great match, really great storytelling and making you believe Rollins may actually defeat Strowman, of course, that was never the case. Strowman looked on another level tonight and I still find it hard to believe he couldn't beat Lesnar. I wish he won the title because now that Lesnar won, he's hardly on TV anymore, yet Braun is on TV running riot on Raw. Hopefully after WrestleMania, Strowman can get his shot at the Universal Championship.
Kalisto confronted WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore
Last week, WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore was annihilated at the hands of every single Cruiserweight in the division, a tear-inducing humiliation that carried the silver lining (for Enzo) of each Superstar forfeiting a title opportunity, as they had each violated The Certified G’s No-Contact clause. This week, Enzo didn’t just rub that lack of restraint in their faces, he introduced another Kurt Angle-ratified clause: That any Cruiserweight who touched him tonight would be fired.
Enzo went on to proclaim himself the most dominant, and relevant, of all the Cruiserweights, and at the end of his diatribe, Neville marshalled the division to surround Muscles Marinara once again. While Enzo seemed nervous at the outset, his tune quickly changed when he produced the updated clause, at which point Smacktalker Skywalker ran them all down individually and in astounding fashion (except for Akira Tozawa, who got a free pass thanks to a Twitter compliment).
That is, until he got to Neville, and Kurt Angle himself arrived to point out a glaring loophole in the clause. While none of the Cruiserweight at ringside could lay a hand on Enzo, Angle did sign a new Superstar exempt from the red tape: Kalisto.
The former US Champion made quite the first impression in the Cruiserweight division, laying out the champion with a jaw-dropping Salida del Sol. Muscles Marinara might have the sauce, but he might have just met the fly in the ointment.
Side Note: It's quite something when Enzo Amore actually makes sense. Everything he said was true, especially the case where he made 205 live relevant, because he has, all on his own. I'm enjoying the swagger from Enzo and hope it continues. As for Kalisto, he should've been in this division a long time ago and now that he is, he may give Enzo a run for his money.
Mickie gets revenge on Alexa Bliss
Mickie James def. Nia Jax
With Mickie James circling Alexa Bliss, it appears the Raw Women’s Champion and Nia Jax’s on-again off-again partnership is on, again. Though, if what happened during Jax’s bout with Mickie (a match seemingly finagled by Alexa after a backstage prank put James in the path of Little Miss Bliss’ occasional enforcer) is any indication, even that might not be enough to hold James back in the long run.
Not only did Mickie refuse to give in despite a powerful display from Jax, the six-time Women’s Champion James pulled off a miracle reversal to hit a tornado DDT off the ropes. The move seemed like such a surefire match-ender that Bliss broke up the ensuing pinfall attempt, handing James a disqualification victory. Winner: Mickie James.
A post-match Mick Kick to Little Miss Bliss left Alexa humiliated for the second straight week, but her combined effort against both Superstars was enough to land Mickie what she was looking for since the beginning: A Raw Women's Title Match at WWE TLC.
Side Note: Decent match and it is clear as day as to what approach they're taking to forming a Raw Women's championship match at WWE TLC. Though I find it odd how WWE had to rely on Mickie James to bring about a feud that may garner some interest from the WWE universe. After Sasha's failed title defenses and Bayley's fall from grace, it seems as though Asuka can't come soon enough.
Sister Abigail is DYING to meet Finn Balor
Bray Wyatt has battled every permutation of Finn Bálor, but it would appear that Finn Bálor has not seen The Reaper of Souls’ own personal demon just yet.
Following The Eater of Worlds’ ominous serenade last week, Bálor demanded answers from Wyatt and received them; while The New Face of Fear did indeed fall to The Demon and the Man, the former WWE Champion still believed Finn was still truly a demon at heart. He commanded Finn to bring The Demon once again, and in return, Wyatt would reveal his own true self.
“Abigail is alive,” he said, as his face transformed before Bálor’s eyes, “and she is dying to meet you.”
Side Note: Having previously dissed WWE creative last week for the Bray segment, this Bray segment was absolutely creative as hell. The CGI mixed onto Bray's face, almost depicting the 'Woman in Black' type character was so great for those watching live. The big story comes out that Sister Abigail is coming to meet Balor and everyone is buzzing to see who it is. I have a slight feeling of who it could be but instead of spoiling it, Twitter will tell you everything you need to know about Sister Abigail.
Other notable moments
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Emma & Alicia Fox: Last week, Emma's tag team with Nia Jax fell short both in the ring and in the Twitter trending department, so she deduced a plan to find a partner who respected her accomplishments and complimented her skills. Alicia Fox fit the bill, but the impromptu alliance went much the same way as the previous one when tested by the team of Bayley & Sasha Banks — well, almost the same way. Oddly enough, it once again fell apart when Emma’s partner suffered a head-on collision. With Nia it was the ring post, but Alicia was thrown straight into Emma as a last-ditch effort by a weakened Banks, who tagged in Bayley to bat cleanup. Fox, who turned in an impressive performance all match long, went to tag in Emma after slowing The Huggable One down, but Emma straight-up ditched her partner, leaving Fox to suffer a bone-rattling Bayley-to-Belly and the pin. You’ve gotta hand it to Emma: Even in a loss, she makes it all about her. Winner: Sasha Banks & Bayley.
Elias vs. Titus O'Neil: Make it two in a row for Elias, who completed his sweep of Titus Worldwide’s resident heavyweights when he defeated Titus O’Neil in a bout stemming from a post-match altercation with The Big Deal on last week’s Raw. Titus stormed out of the starting blocks, manhandling his opponent across the ring and tossing Elias by his head around the squared circle. Once again, however, an outside-the-ring altercation — this one between Elias and Apollo Crews — turned the tide, as the sinister songsmith bounced Titus’ throat off the top rope when he approached the cables, leading to a fateful Drift Away for the win and a brief post-match confrontation with Crews, but Elias opted not to follow through with a fight. The performance was concluded; no encores for Denver. Winner: Elias.
Matt Hardy & Jason Jordan vs. Gallows & Anderson: Forced together by circumstance, Matt Hardy & Jason Jordan caught lightning in a bottle by claiming a tag team win last week, and after running afoul of Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson in the backstage area tonight, a few fighting words were exchanged — “nerd” chief among them — leading them to join forces one more time for an effort against the good brothers. If only it went as well this time around. Much like last week, Hardy pulled Jordan out of the fire following an extended isolation at the hands of Gallows & Anderson. But the end result was as different as could be, as Anderson disposed of Jordan by hurling him into the barricade, and Gallows rammed Hardy into a turnbuckle he had discreetly exposed earlier in the match, weakening Matt for the ring-shaking Magic Killer. While it would obviously be a shame for an impromptu team as fun as Hardy & Jordan to go one and out, it’s fair to wonder after tonight if the more established tandems of Team Red have them figured out.
Dana Warrior and the Raw Women’s division presented breast cancer survivors with custom championships: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to honor survivors across the nation, Dana Warrior — wife of late WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior — gathered with the Raw Women’s division to bestow Dianne Primavera, Julie Zaveral and Sherri Goldstein with custom Raw Women’s Championships to honor their “Warrior spirit.” Remember, to help with the fight against breast cancer, please visit www.wweshop.com, where a portion proceeds from the WWE Susan G. Komen Collection benefit the search for the cure.
Overall Raw Rating: C+
Things to look forward to next week
Is anyone ready for Asuka?
Who is Sister Abigail?
Will The Shield reunite?
Where are The Revival?
Has Kalisto got Enzo's number?
Can Mickie James become a Six-time Women's Champion?