WWE Raw Review – 11.18.19
The go-home episode of Raw before Survivor Series kicked off with “The Man” Becky Lynch. After weeks of Shayna Baszler and Bayley jumping from show to show, Becky called them out, saying she is right here, so if they want to fight, let’s not wait until Sunday.
Instead of Baszler or Bayley, the IIconics interrupted Becky. But they did not get far into what they had to say before Lynch cut them off, and challenged them to a two-on-one fight. However, Charlotte Flair, who was supposed to be Becky’s tag partner tonight, did not want to be left out of the action. Right before the break, Samoa Joe’s music hit, and he joined the commentary team.
After the break, the IIconics jumped both Becky and Charlotte right after the bell. They isolated Flair in their corner, but the IIconics two-on-one attack was quickly turned around by Charlotte. Flair then wasted no time locking in her figure-eight leg lock on Billie Kay while Becky took care of Peyton Royce with a bexploder. Kay tapped out, and two “frienemies” walked away victorious.
But as Flair and Lynch walked off, Baszler and her friends Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke entered the ring, going after the IIconics. Once Becky and Charlotte realized what was happening, they made a beeline to the ring. While Flair and Lynch did not back down, the three-on-two odds got the better of them, with Baszler laying out Lynch with a couple big kicks.
While the three NXT women retreated through the crowd, Lynch and Flair ran through the crowd to try and even the score. Out of frustration, Lynch decked a security guard. WWE did an excellent job here to build up the inevitable confrontation between Lynch & Baszler, and their encounter in the ring was brief. It all sets up for Becky to try and settle the score at Survivor Series this Sunday, but something tells me we may see another encounter before.
While Smackdown continues to open shows with Baron Freaking Corbin, Raw gets it right by opening the show with their top superstars. Having Flair and Lynch open the show is a much better way to get the crowd engaged than having Corbin spew words for 20 minutes.
What else happened on the go-home episode of Raw? Check out the rest of my review below, where I rank the segments best to worst, followed by my overall rating at the end.
Kevin Owens vs. Drew McIntyre:
These two men waste no time going after each other, as Owens hit a few chops and then hit a dropkick from the middle rope. McIntyre then sends KO into the corner before unleashing a massive chop of his own before hitting a neck breaker for a near fall. Drew did not waste any time going back on the attack, but McIntyre would miss KO and crashed into the ring post, which allowed Owens to execute his cannonball.
The fight then went to the outside for a bit, and the two men traded blows once again. Right before the commercial, McIntyre threw (literally) KO from the ring apron into the barricade. Back from the commercial, Drew was working over KO in the middle of the ring, and then Drew hit a belly to belly slam for a near fall. Owens is able to fight back, forcing Drew to the outside, where KO landed a cannonball from the apron.
Back in the ring, KO wants to go to the top rope, but McIntyre rolls out of harm’s way and nails Owens with a headbutt. McIntyre then hits a death valley driver on the ring apron, and KO barely beat the ten-count. Drew immediately hits a powerbomb for a two-count.
These two men end up on the top rope, Drew looked for a superplex, but KO fought it off and hit a HUGE frog splash on McIntyre, but it was only good for a two-count. KO’s stunner attempt was blocked, but then connects with a superkick, but McIntyre decks him with a lariat. However, off the ropes, KO connects with his signature pop up powerbomb, but Drew kicks out at two! Owens stays on the attack as he goes to the top rope, but Drew got his knees up on Owens’ senton attempt.
Drew then blocks another stunner attempt before connecting with a Claymore Kick, but Owens gets his foot on the ropes at two! Owens then finally connects with a stunner, but KO is slow to cover Drew & he got his foot on the ropes this time. Drew then hit a DDT for a two-count, then he headed to the top rope and missed with a knee, which led KO to hit another stunner!
Just as KO went for the cover, Triple H’s music hits. After the break, HHH talks with KO about his time in NXT and how he maybe more than anyone helped put NXT on the map. HHH then said Raw and Smackdown did not want KO, and he knows where he belongs.
A brawl then ensues, with Raw superstars taking down the NXT superstars that were with Triple H. Then, the Undisputed Era wind up in the ring and beat down KO. The O.C. then comes down for the save, and the Era run off into the crowd.
Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa:
This was Tozawa’s first match on Raw since the WWE Draft. Tozawa went on the attack early with a few chops and then hit a huricannarana followed by a basement dropkick. Murphy, though, catches Tozawa and hits a suplex onto the floor and then back in the ring Murphy gets a two count.
Tozawa, back on his feet, is able to send Murphy over the top rope with a hip toss and drilled a superkick that leveled Buddy. Tozawa then went up top to hit a missile dropkick. Staying on the attack, Tozawa connects with a snap German Suplex for a near fall, then a shining wizard for another two-count.
After that, Tozawa headed to the top rope, but Murphy got out of the way. The two battle on the ropes before Tozawa kicks Murphy and the connects with a poison huricannarana, but Murphy wisely rolls to the outside. However, this set up Tozawa for a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Tozawa hits his senton with Murphy hanging over the ropes, but it is only a near fall. Murphy then stopped Tozawa’s momentum with a massive knee to the face followed up by Murphy’s Law for the win.
This was quite the entertaining match, and WWE did a solid job of putting Tozawa over even in defeat. Also nice to see Murphy getting more time in the ring, and hopefully, this becomes a consistent sight on Monday nights moving forward.
Backstage, Murphy goes to knock on Aleister Black’s door again, but Black was there waiting for him. The two had an intense staredown.
Seth Rollins vs. Andrade:
This match was for Rollins’ Survivor Series spot. Early on, these two jockeyed for position with waist locks and wristlocks. Both Rollins and Andrade both tried reversals and were at a stalemate.
The match suddenly quickened, and Rollins executes a couple of arm drags, locks in armbar, and hits a kick, but a dropkick from Andrade gives us our first near fall. Andrade then beat down Rollins in the corner for a bit before Rollins fought back with chops, and then a back body drop put him on the ring apron. This led to an attempted interference by Zelina Vega, but Rollins caught her hurricanrana attempt, and the referee threw her out!
Back from the break, Rollins hit a sling blade, then a blockbuster, and then sent Andrade over the ropes. Rollins then hit a pair of suicide dives and went to the top rope and connected with a knee to the head for a near fall.
Rollins missed the stomp and then attempted a buckle bomb, which Andrade turned into a hurricanrana. With Seth down in the corner, Andrade hit his double knees and nearly won the match. After that, the two jockey for position again. Then Rollins lifts Andrade up for a buckle bomb and then connected with a kick for another near fall.
The two men once again trade strikes before Andrade connects with a trio of suplexes for a two-count. Andrade then goes to the top rope, Rollins meets him there but gets hung over the turnbuckles and somehow dodges the double stomp. Rollins then hit a falcon arrow for a near fall, then Seth heads to the top rope, but the…Lucha House Party interfere?
Rollins and Andrade eventually fight off the House Party. The two men look at each other and acknowledge that they will finish what they started at a later time. Not a fan of this match ending in a DQ finish, but I guess WWE did not want to beat either man.
After the match, Buddy Murphy is seen knocking on Aleister Black’s door, and he wants a fight. Black answers the call, but Murphy already had walked off. After that, Triple H is shown arriving at the arena, and he is not alone.
Randy Orton surprises us all:
Samoa Joe said it best on commentary, “Well, this is unexpected,” as Orton picked Ricochet as his mystery partner. Ricochet started off the match against Erik, and early on, Orton came to save his teammate from a powerbomb on the outside and then hit Ivar with a forearm. After that, Orton planted Erik on the apron, but they cut backstage as members of Smackdown have officially invaded Raw.
Back in the ring, Orton worked over Erik for a bit before Ricochet and Ivar came into the match. This was pretty incredible as the two men (who are vastly different in height & size) both executed the same move set, doing flips in the ring. Orton tagged in, and after Ivar beat down Richocet outside the ring, he attempted to get back in the ring, only to be hit with a draping DDT by Orton.
But just as Orton was setting up for the RKO, team Smackdown entered the arena and beat down all four members of the match for a bit. The four Raw members were able to fend off the assault, but out from the back ran the NXT superstars to throw down with the Smackdown roster. After laying out the blue brand, NXT turned their attention to Raw, and more NXT talent poured in from the crowd.
Then total chaos ensued when Raw’s roster poured out of the back, and the ring area was flooded with talent. Triple H then was shown backstage saying this is just the beginning, and his doors are wide open Wednesday night. The show went off the air with one final shot at the madness in the ring.
Humberto Carrillo vs. Karl Anderson:
The O.C. makes their way to the ring, where AJ Styles says Carrillo disrespected him last week, and his buddy Karl is going to make him pay. While Anderson got the upper hand right away with a kick, which backed Carrillo into the corner. Carrillo would take over from here, as he hit a springboard crossbody headbutt, which put Anderson in position to hit the moonsault. However, Gallows and Styles were there to pull Anderson out of harm’s way.
Just as it looked, the O.C. may take off, the Street Profits enter the arena, and Carrillo hits a dive onto the O.C. as the break hits. After the break, Anderson regains his control as he hit chops and punches in the corner and then slammed Humberto to the mat for a two count. Carrillo finally broke free of the chin lock and hit a dropkick to regain the momentum.
Carrillo then connected with a standing moonsault for a near fall and then up the top rope, Humberto hit a cross body for another near fall. Staying on the attack, Carrillo would go for a springboard, but it was countered into a spinebuster by Anderson for a near fall. Right by up, Carrillo sent Anderson into the post, hit a springboard kick, and set Karl up for the top rope moonsault.
However, Styles runs interference, and Anderson snaps Carrillo’s neck over the top rope, and Anderson rolls him up, but the Street Profits push Carrillo into the cover for the win.
It is nice to see Humberto becoming a featured part of Raw, and slowly the crowd seems to be getting behind him. After several start and stop pushes for superstars over the past year, are we finally seeing a true push for an up and coming superstar?
Paul Heyman is here to tell the story of what Brock Lesnar has done in the last couple of months. Heyman says that Lesnar is 100 percent, but says that the match this Sunday is now a no holds barred match.
Mysterio said that Brock made a mistake making this a no holds barred match, and he accepts. Mysterio then says he is going to hunt Lesnar down and make him pay.
Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins earned a tag team title match for tonight, but they were cut off backstage by the Authors of Pain. The AOP beat Ryder and Hawkins down, meaning they are likely going after the Raw Tag Team Titles.
Asuka vs. Natalya:
Asuka as a heel is great, but personally, I am not a massive fan of the green face paint. The Empress of Tomorrow took control of the match early on, hitting a back elbow for a two count. Asuka then locked in the octopus stretch.
Nattie got back in it with a couple of suplexes and then hit a clothesline for a near fall. On the outside, Kairi Sane tried to interfere with Nattie, but she fought her off. However, Asuka hit a dropkick to Nattie and then back in the ring hit a roundhouse kick for the win.
Bobby Lashley vs. No Way Jose:
Before the match, Lana lets the crowd know she has filed for divorce. Lashley dominates early before Jose delivers a few strikes. However, Lashley slams him to the mat and then hits a shoulder tackle. Bobby then locks in a full nelson, and Jose cannot escape. And so this storyline rolls on.
Rowan once again has his crate with him, still not sure what they are going for here. He is here to take on a jobber Alex Malcolm. The Singh Brothers run down along with R-Truth. Rowan levels the brothers, then makes quick work of Malcolm for the win. I am not sure where this is going, but so far, I am not a fan. Hopefully, things turn around.
Overall I thought this was a pretty solid go-home show for Raw. Right from the opening match, it was clear that this show was under siege from not only Smackdown but also NXT. The only thing that sort of bothered me is that they showed Triple H arriving. If it were me, I would have made it more of a surprise and announce that NXT is here.
Other than the Erik Rowan segment, I thought this show moved along rather nicely. There were also solid matches throughout the night that showed off of Raw’s lesser-used talent. The Rollins/Andrade match, as well as the Owens/McIntyre match both, are main-event level matches that did not get definitive finishes, but they had the crowd engaged.
My rating: 4 out of 5.