WWE Raw results, recap: Triple H surprise, Strowman drives Kane through the ring
Slow start, bad ending and hot fire in between: We’ve seen this recipe for Monday Night Raw more than a few times. Still, WWE did well to keep things hot ahead of Sunday’s much-anticipated Survivor Series card with a go-home show that featured a surprise return from Triple H (one which received glowing praise on social media) and the announcement of a true “dream match” between The New Day and The Shield this weekend.
The continuous soap opera between Raw general manager Kurt Angle and his son Jason Jordan regarding the youngster’s status on the Raw Survivor Series team provided the three-hour show with a strong backbone, even if the show’s ending of a Braun Strowman-Kane match — and the head-scratching finish which followed — seemed ill-advised at best.
Let’s take a look back at all of the highs and lows from Monday’s episode.
Triple H steps in at Survivor Series
The night’s biggest reveal came following a two-hour build of the storyline regarding whether Angle should pull his son from Survivor Series due to the injury he suffered during his Monday’s victory over Bray Wyatt (see more, below). While icing his left knee in the locker room, Jordan referenced Angle’s history of fighting through injuries before telling his father, “This is my big break, the opportunity I’ve been waiting for my entire life. I deserve this.” Angle finally entered the ring to announce his decision, saying it was the toughest he had to make in his career. Out came a hobbled Jordan on crutches to emotionally speak his case one final time. “Don’t do this, don’t take this away from me,” he pleaded. Angle warned him not to make this any harder than it needed to be. Jordan, who called his father his idol, entered the ring to say that “I’m just like you, I can do this.” With Angle still waffling, an impatient commissioner Stephanie McMahon came out to order him to make an announcement.
When Angle still paused, Triple H’s music hit. “The Game” entered the ring with anger to grab the microphone from Angle and get in his face. “If you won’t make the announcement, I will,” he said. Triple H then kicked Jordan off of the Raw team and named himself as the replacement. Adding insult to injury, he then hit an injured Jordan with a Pedigree before staring at Angle and walking away.
This one was well set up and perfectly delivered with Triple H’s finishing move acting as a resounding exclamation point. No one is booked stronger the few times he returns to non-NXT television each year than Triple H. That’s not necessarily a good thing in the long term as each of his appearances tend to coincide with a top young talent getting buried ahead of a major card. But there’s no denying in the short term just how good each one feels for business and just how effective the Triple H continues to be in his corporate destroyer role.
This is the bed WWE has made for itself, and while you can criticize that all you want, the formula still works. The fact that this happened ahead of Survivor Series and not WrestleMania is a good sign for fans and shows you how important Sunday’s card is to the company. Whether Triple H spins off into a feud with Angle or ends Survivor Series at odds with SmackDown captain Shane McMahon, the potential for heat is strong.
Braun Strowman, Kane produce bizarre ending
Despite their main event match not beginning until 11:03 p.m. ET, Strowman dominated early with an extended beatdown outside. The referee, however, never began a count as they traded chair shots and Kane set up a table on the floor that was never used. The action continued from to the top rope and then back into the ring. Strowman picked up Kane and hit a running powerslam on him that sent both through the canvas into a sink hole below the ring. The credits played with no finish.
Dead crowd, dead angle, dead finish. WWE has no one to blame but itself for giving so much time and ridiculous booking to this feud. The silent crowd spoke volumes in this one as a big spot was used to cover up for a lack of storyline. All this feud has done is water down Strowman, who has been literally and proverbially stained by being stuck in a garbage truck for two weeks after TLC.
What else happened on Raw?
- The Shield challenges The New Day at Survivor Series: Stephanie McMahon opened the show by calling out Angle and questioning to his face whether he has gone soft. After ripping Angle for naming Jordan to the Raw Survivor Series team and losing John Cena to SmackDown, McMahon countered Angle’s offer to break Shane McMahon’s ankle on Sunday. “I don’t want an ankle, Kurt, I want my brother’s head on a platter,” she said. “I want to decimate Team SmackDown. I want them gone.” With Stephanie appearing on the verge of possibly firing Angle, out came The Shield to stand up for him. A humorous exchange between Stephanie and a returning Roman Reigns ensued, in which they called each other out for being absent of late from Raw. Reigns closed by saying, “We don’t do what you tell us to do. We do what we want to do.” He then challenged The New Day to a match that was later added to Survivor Series.
- Bayley def. Mickie James and Dana Brooke via pinfall: With the fifth and final spot on the Raw women’s Survivor Series team on the line, this one had had a decent amount of intensity and stiff shots. After Brooke rolled out of the ring and denied Asuka a chance to help her up by taking a cheap shot, the former NXT champion responded with a spinning wheel kick to knock her out cold. Inside the ring, Bayley countered a MickDT from James to hit a Bayley-to-Belly suplex for the pin.
- Enzo Amore & Drew Gulak def. Kalisto & Akira Tozawa via pinfall: Before the match, Gulak hilariously responded to Amore’s rhetorical catchphrase of “how ya’ doin'” with a deadpan response of “I’m doing great, thanks for asking.” The best sequence of the match came from the babyfaces as Tozawa hit a missile dropkick from the top rope onto Gulak before diving between Kalisto’s legs to hit a suicide dive onto Amore moments later. Kalisto immediately followed with a springboard 450 onto Gulak outside. But Amore used a distraction late to steal the pin as he ran Tozawa into Kalisto before hitting him with a Jaw-Done-Zo for the 1-2-3.
- Miz TV with Cesaro & Sheamus: After Miz ripped Baron Corbin for constantly squandering opportunities, the Raw tag team champions came out to refer to Raw as the “A show” in the battle against SmackDown. Miz angrily cut off Sheamus to chastize the crowd for booing. The trio of heels then cut a lengthy promo on The Shield with Miz saying “their “happy reunion tour ends tonight.”
- Jason Jordan def. Bray Wyatt via pinfall: Jordan overpowered him early until a left knee injury gave Wyatt life. A series of reversals closed the match, ending with Jordan countering out of Sister Abigail to roll up Wyatt for the victory. Angle and Stephanie celebrated the victory on a backstage monitor. But Jordan was viciously attacked from behind after the match by Wyatt. A limping Jordan needed help to leave the ring as the crowd trolled him with chants of “thank you Wyatt” and “nah, nah, nah … hey, hey, hey.”
- Paul Heyman cuts a promo with Brock Lesnar on AJ Styles: Lesnar’s advocate didn’t speak an ill word of Styles while hyping their “champion vs. champion” match at Survivor Series. Instead, Heyman presented five selling points as to why Lesnar-Styles has potential to be so unique and special. The promo was pedestrian for Heyman’s standards, but the best part was ad-libbed. The crowd became distracted due to a mid-promo proposal somewhere in the arena, which caused an excited chant of “she said yes!” Heyman took a long pause before saying, “Just so you know, she only said yes because she has never been up close to a beast like Brock Lesnar.” After a pause to allow the crowd to cheer, Heyman closed with, “Just so you know, interrupting my promo is like stepping into the ring with Brock Lesnar — you ain’t got a chance.”
- The Shield def. The Miz, Sheamus & Cesaro via pinfall: In their first match as a reunited trio, the match had no shortage of pay-per-view intensity. Chaos prevailed late with all six men in the ring and The Shield avoiding multiple pin attempts. In the end, The Shield took out The Bar, leaving The Miz alone in the ring. The Shield connected with their trademark powerbomb to end it.
- Finn Balor & Samoa Joe def. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows: In an effort to seal their chemistry before Survivor Series, Angle booked a tag team match for Balor and Joe. Despite a push from Joe to start the match, the duo made a dangerous team. Joe hit a suicide dive on Gallows outside to set up Balor’s Coup de Grace on Anderson for the win. But before the announcement declaring them winners was even finished, Joe headed up the ramp to exit the arena.
- Alexa Bliss cuts promo on SmackDown: During a backstage interview, the Raw women’s champion ripped her former brand for being the “B show.” She then teased an appearance on Tuesday’s episode during the Natalya-Charlotte Flair SmackDown women’s championship match that will produce her opponent on Sunday.