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The November 4 episode of Raw featured the fallout of three significant happenings in the WWE Universe: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defeating Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship at Crown Jewel, NXT invading SmackDown just 24 hours later and sparking the road to Survivor Series, and Brock Lesnar quitting the blue brand and heading to Mondays to avenge a steel-chair assault at the hands of Rey Mysterio.
Which Superstars from the black-and-yellow brand, if any, made their presences felt Monday on the USA Network, and how would Rollins react to losing his coveted title?
What pain and suffering awaited Mysterio at the hands of the beastly WWE champion?
Find out with this recap of this week’s broadcast.
1 of 10
WWE champion Brock Lesnar kicked off this week’s episode of Raw alongside advocate Paul Heyman.
The mouthpiece for The Beast threatened to have his client go over the guardrail and beat everyone in the audience, none of whom would do a damn thing about it, including Rey Mysterio.
Heyman vowed that Mysterio would get what was coming to him or Lesnar would “turn the Nassau Coliseum upside down.”
He finished by exclaiming that tonight was the funeral for Mysterio’s career, going so far as to speak Latin as he administered last rites.
This was a fantastic bit of business from Heyman.
An angry advocate, with a pissed off Beast, makes for phenomenal television. Lesnar’s backstage rampage, in which he overturned tables and intimidated employees in search of Mysterio, was exactly what we have not seen out of him in quite some time.
That reaction out of Lesnar, born of humiliation dealt him byThe Master of the 619, instantly raises the stakes of the program and forces the luchador to encounter a monster of a competitor the likes of which he has never faced before.
The question is whether WWE Creative can present Mysterio as enough of a threat to make the impending match between them believable and interesting.
2 of 10
After an emotional weekend that saw her make history in the first women’s match in Saudi Arabia, Natalya returned stateside to team with Charlotte Flair to battle women’s tag team champions The Kabuki Warriors.
The babyfaces outwrestled the champions early, but Asuka and Kairi Sane seized control of the bout, working over Natalya heading into the break. They isolated The Queen of Harts from her partner until a well-timed tag to Charlotte sparked a comeback.
Asuka, opportunistic, broke up the official’s count by draping Sane’s foot on the bottom rope following Natural Selection, robbing Flair of a pinfall victory. This infuriated the second-generation star, who took her eye off the proverbial ball, allowing Asuka to hang her up in the ropes going into the break.
Back from the commercial, Flair inched closer and closer to her partner, but Sane cut her off at the last second and stomped away in the corner. The Queen finally broke free long enough to tag in Natalya, who exploded into the match, taking the fight to The Empress of Tomorrow.
A German suplex to Asuka downed her, and Natalya tried for a Sharpshooter. Asuka escaped and applied the armbar and then a triangle choke. Nattie escaped and applied the Sharpshooter.
Sane interrupted; Flair dropped her with a spear. Natalya again countered, this time out of an Asuka Lock, and tapped out her opponent to the Sharpshooter.
After the match, Lesnar and Heyman returned to the Raw stage, confronting the commentary team. Dio Maddin stood up in defense of Jerry “The King” Lawler and wound up receiving an F-5 through the announce table.
Mysterio finally appeared, attacking Lesnar with a bat, targeting his legs before blasting him with his own championship. The Master of the 619 left Lesnar reeling to close out the segment.
Flair and Natalya defeated The Kabuki Warriors
This was a really strong match and a great indicator of what these two teams will be capable of if and when they are given a pay-per-view stage on which to work their magic.
Asuka and Sane are growing into a fantastic tandem, with great chemistry and solid heel work. The more opportunities they have to work these lengthy tag matches, the better they will become.
In Natalya and Flair, the champions have more-than-credible opponents against whom they can work the type of match they are capable of. While it would be nice to see an established team benefiting from working with the heels, it is not out of the ordinary for WWE to operate in this fashion in regard to its tag division.
The post-match events with Mysterio and Lesnar were fantastic, and theirs is a rivalry developing into one of the best in the entire company. It has been a very long time since Rey has been treated like the legitimate main event competitor he is, and booking him to stand up to Lesnar is a fantastic was to reintroduce him to a lofty role in the company.
3 of 10
Two veterans of the cruiserweight division squared off as Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy rekindled their rivalry in singles competition.
The action spilled to the floor quickly, where Murphy threw a chop at his opponent, only to connect with the ring post. The momentary injury did not halt his ability to seize control of the match, as Murphy targeted the left arm of his opponent, grounding him and digging his own elbow into the shoulder joint.
A back elbow rocked Murphy, though, and Alexander delivered a handspring enzuigiri to the face. A tope suicida stunned the Aussie, and a dive flattened him. A springboard flatliner by Alexander earned him a count of two.
Murphy caught Alexander in midair and tried for Murphy’s Law, but his opponent countered into a roll-up for a near-fall. A Michinoku Driver by Alexander earned him another close two.
A knee to the back stunned Alexander, though, and Murphy scored the impressive victory with Murphy’s Law.
Murphy defeated Alexander
Even rushed, Alexander and Murphy have strong enough in-ring chemistry to deliver an above-average match.
The contest was hard-fought and showcased what both competitors do well. Murphy winning continued his recent roll and put him in a position to enjoy a fairly significant push in the weeks to come. Hopefully, Paul Heyman and the rest of the Raw creative team have a plan for him because The Best Kept Secret has been patient enough and has more than earned his opportunity to shine on one of the main roster brands.
4 of 10
Seth Rollins returned to Raw after losing the universal title to Bray Wyatt at Crown Jewel and wasted little time denouncing the loss and turning his attention to the current state of the red brand.
Frustrated, he said Brock Lesnar is back on Raw and the WWE champion once again. He said everything he accomplished this past year feels like it was for nothing, and now he is right back where he started. “What’s next for Seth Rollins? I don’t know.”
Triple H’s music played, and The King of Kings made his way to the squared circle.
The COO said for Rollins to know what his future holds, he must retrace the steps of his past. He retold the story of The Architect, from his run as the first NXT champion to The Shield and his first stint as WWE champion.
Rollins asked if they were for his benefit or for Triple H’s.
The Game put over Adam Cole’s victory over Daniel Bryan on SmackDown and the statement NXT made as a result. He continued recruiting Rollins to join NXT, reminding him he knows what it takes to make him great. “You are either with me in this moment—” Triple H began, as Undisputed Era made its way through the crowd and a chant of “NXT” spilled from the stands, “—or against me,” he finished.
The O.C.’s AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson arrived on the scene, chasing The Undisputed Era through the crowd. Dominik Dijakovic jumped Styles, and Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong returned to do battle.
The Raw roster arrived and chased the invaders out.
It was nice to see The O.C., of all people, defend Raw’s honor, but that and the ensuing brawl was not the noteworthy development here.
While it may appear on the surface as if Rollins pledged his allegiance to Raw, he never actually said he was not going to align himself with Triple H and Co. He also did not involve himself in the physical encounter.
The intrigue of that decision and his actions going forward is enough to create anticipation for the upcoming battle of the brands at Survivor Series.
Rollins confronted Triple H after the break and demanded an NXT title match against Adam Cole later in the night, but that does not rule out that the entire thing is a ruse. Even if it is on the up and up and Rollins is to remain aligned with Raw, there is enough here to keep fans invested.
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Andrade attacked Sin Cara from the bell, but the masked babyface sidestepped and sent El Idolo to the floor. As Zelina Vega distracted Sin Cara, Carolina laid Andrade out with a dive. The babyfaces rolled heading to commercial.
During the break, a tornado DDT by Vega downed Sin Cara on the floor and allowed the heels to take over. Andrade laid into his opponent with a knife-edge chop to the chest. He set his opponent up top for a superplex, but Sin Cara fought back with a series of forearms. He launched the former NXT champion across the ring with a sunset flip powerbomb.
The women exploded into the match, Carolina erupting with a headscissors and a crossbody. Vega ripped at her opponent’s mask, slowing her down. A wheelbarrow bulldog was countered into a face plant by Carolina.
Recovered, Vega talked trash to Sin Cara, only for Carolina to drop her with a Gory Special. Carolina caught Vega in midair and tried to power out, but Vega escaped and put her away with a basement rana for the pinfall victory.
Andrade and Vega defeated Sin Cara and Carolina
What is the point of debuting Carolina a week ago, having her fail to help Sin Cara beat Andrade, and then booking her to lose to Vega in a Mixed Tag Team match? How does that help her get over?
It does not.
Luckily, the match itself was a fun little sprint that showcased Vega more than anyone else. Long one of the more underutilized talents on the roster, she is certainly capable of making the most of her opportunity.
Why it had to come at the expense of a young newcomer is a question only the decision-makers can answer.
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Rusev hit the ring and issued a challenge to Bobby Lashley, demanding he come out to fight him. The All Mighty appeared, seconded by Lana, and revealed he tore his groin. Not by wrestling or during the Crown Jewel tag match but, rather, by “doing things and performing in a way you could only dream of.”
Lana grabbed the microphone and revealed there is someone who has volunteered to fight her husband: Drew McIntyre.
Chants of “Rusev Day” ensued as the combatants squared off. McIntyre rocked Rusev early, putting The Bulgarian Brute on the defensive. When Rusev attempted a comeback, The Scottish Psychopath halted his momentum with a wicked back elbow.
The show headed to break with McIntyre in control.
A fallaway slam by Rusev later in the match did little to slow McIntyre as the heel regained control of the contest. Eventually, the babyface mounted a comeback and delivered a big spinning heel kick as the crowd came alive.
As Rusev built momentum for himself, Lashley hit the ring sans injury and blasted his rival with a crutch.
After the match, Rusev fought off Lashley and waited for McIntyre when Randy Orton came from out of nowhere and obliterated him with the RKO.
The heels beat down their prey until Ricochet hit the ring and made the save. The babyfaces stood tall as the villains retreated.
Rusev defeated McIntyre via disqualification
This is leading to a traditional elimination match at Survivor Series, isn’t it?
The match itself was fine for what it was, but neither man really benefited. In fact, with the exception of Lashley and Rusev, this feels like a bunch of guys interacting because there is nothing else for them to do right now.
Orton, Ricochet and McIntyre feel as if they are in a holding pattern of sorts. Given their immense talent, that is not necessarily a good thing.
7 of 10
Charly Caruso conducted a sit-down, face-to-face promo between Raw women’s champion Becky Lynch and NXT women’s champion Shayna Baszler.
Lynch called herself the target of 2019 and recalled the many encounters she has had in the last 12 months.
Baszler admitted she had waited a long time to meet Lynch and then informed her that she is not Ronda Rousey. She said one of Lynch’s limbs will belong to her at Survivor Series when she pins or submits her.
The Man responded, saying she hasn’t figured out whether she respects The Queen of Spades or wants to slap her face off. She warned her that fighting Lynch will change her and said she’s not taking her eyes off SmackDown’s Bayley, either.
Baszler said she was happy they met, while Lynch implored her to bring her best so they can determine who the baddest woman on the planet is at Survivor Series.
Simple, effective storytelling in the form of an intense promo in which both women were allowed to be themselves.
They were believable, their words came across as natural and the audience was able to invest in it. The result was a stellar promo that elevated the significance and heat of the Survivor Series women’s match.
If anything, the lack of Bayley hurt this because it has fans wanting desperately to see her and Lynch wage war in a singles match, not in a convoluted three-way to keep with the brand warfare theme.
8 of 10
The O.C. battled The Street Profits and Humberto Carrillo in the continuation of two ongoing programs.
AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson isolated Montez Ford, cutting the ring off from his partners.
A hot tag to Carrillo sparked a babyface comeback. The former cruiserweight competitor exploded into the match with a moonsault to Styles, only for Gallows to break up the pin.
Ford turned the match into a one-on-one encounter, wiping out Gallows and Anderson at ringside.
Back inside the squared circle, Styles dropped Carrillo with a powerbomb and scored a tainted victory by way of using the ropes for added leverage.
The O.C. defeated Carrillo and The Street Profits
This was a heatless match preceded by a brutal promo that did nothing to help anyone involved.
The Street Profits once felt like the hottest act on Raw not all that long ago, but they were left out of the Tag Team Turmoil match at Crown Jewel to protect them before turning around and losing this tag match.
And what, exactly, is the purpose of Carrillo? WWE books him as an underdog babyface, but he never wins and is not necessarily gaining anything in the way of momentum by constantly getting beat by Styles.
This did not work, and the crowd let management know it.
9 of 10
Erik and Ivar, the Raw tag team champions, battled jobbers The Polo Boys.
The champions obliterated the competition in one minute, scoring the uncontested victory.
After the match, The Viking Raiders admitted they were beaten at Crown Jewel but insinuated that the issues between them, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are far from over.
The Viking Raiders defeated The Polo Boys
We have seen this before, but the Viking Raiders do squash matches well enough to keep them mildly entertaining.
The post-match promo was one that could have been accomplished in a pretaped segment that aired during their entrance.
Overall, a match that existed just to get the champions on TV. Nothing more, nothing less.
10 of 10
The top prize in NXT was up for grabs in the night’s main event as Seth Rollins challenged Adam Cole.
The action was back-and-forth, neither man gaining a sustained upper hand but both scoring their own dramatic near-falls.
At one point late, Rollins delivered a falcon arrow that netted him a two-count. As Rollins began building steam, he looked down at Triple H and called for the Stomp. Before he could execute his finisher, though, the NXT invasion ensued once more.
Undisputed Era, Dominik Dijakovic, Matt Riddle, Damian Priest, Keith Lee, Tommaso Ciampa and more brawled with and overwhelmed the Raw Superstars until Ricochet launched himself from the top rope with a springboard shooting star press.
The brawl continued as the show went off the air.
Rollins defeated Cole via disqualification
This felt more like the CliffsNotes version of a show-stealing classic than the dream match it should have been. The Superstars hit their trademark stuff and looked good doing it, but the crowd did not come across as hot as it should have been, nor was there a sense of urgency one would expect from two guys battling over such a significant championship.
The interference was to be expected, and the brawl was a fun and energetic exclamation point on the show.
To its credit, management has taken steps to portray NXT as equals to Raw and SmackDown, something that was absolutely necessary. As a result, fans will see that brand as significant enough to tune into, perhaps sparking its comeback in the Wednesday Night War with All Elite Wrestling’s Dynamite.