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WWE RAW Review: Nov. 8th 2021

Welcome one and welcome all to the WWE Raw Review for Nov 8th, 2021. Now, before we go any further, I feel I should be honest with you here. I have a love/hate relationship with the WWE and RAW especially. It’s around a 20/80 split. 20% of the time, RAW will do something that has me hooked and 80% of the time, I’ll find myself wondering whatever in the blue hell possessed me to put myself through three hours of abject garbage.

This is down to the fact that I’m convinced that Vincent Kennedy McMahon is insane and that nobody on RAW, Smackdown, or NXT has the testicular fortitude to stand up to the boss and say “Nope, that’s just stupid”, but I’m also a realist. No matter how much I love AEW – and I love AEW – the WWE are still the biggest ‘sports entertainers’ in the business. So with that in mind – and not wanting to leave their flagship show out of the review rotation – I’ve opted to at least try and understand the WWE product in its current state. Wish me luck.

WWE RAW shot of Rey and Dominik Mysterio backstage after the Bobby Lashley match

WWE RAW started backstage, with Kevin Owens trying to convince Big E that what had happened the previous week – where Seth Rollins had come to the ring, chinned the champ, and then Owens had covered – was an utter accident and he hadn’t meant to do it. It seemed as if KO was really concerned with what people in the back thought of him but come on, this was the prelude to the most telegraphed heel turn in the history of pro-wrestling. And the man who would be responsible for this shocking change in KO’s manner – Seth Rollins – would follow up this segment with a promo, ragging on The Prizefighter.

This was actually alright. Sure, as soon as I saw that Kevin was trying to convince everyone that he was still a good guy, it was as plain as the nose on Triple H’s face what was eventually going to happen, but all three men are highly entertaining, so I’ll ignore that the best part of the opening 20 minutes of WWE RAW was taken up by goddamn promos.

Eight-Man Tag Match: RKBro and The Street Profits vs. AJ Styles, Omos, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode

When we finally got to some wrasslin’, the opening match pitted the four top tag-teams on RAW in a heroes v.s villains contest, and it was actually pretty good. Up to a point. I’m a fan of all those that were involved here – hell, even Riddle’s grown on me now I’ve figured out that his entire schtick is just ripped off of Jason Mewes in the Jay and Silent Bob movies – and they were given more than enough time to show what each and every one of them could do, as this was allowed to go as long as it needed to.

A special shout-out has to go to The Street Profits. Just how good are they? Montez is a human highlight-reel and Dawkins is amazingly agile for a guy whose main role is to bulldoze anyone he steps in the ring with. They are truly on a different level and I think that if RKBro hadn’t become such a big hit, they’d already have had a really long title run under their belts. That’ll happen, of course, though not until Orton RKO’s Riddle into oblivion, until then I’ll happily watch them week in and week out, tear it up on RAW.

Sadly, not everything about this match was as good as the in-ring performances, and it’s time for The Kevin Dunn Ruined A Match Award. Randy Orton had been on a roll, laying a world of hurt on all the heels – including sending nearly all of them to the outside – and he found himself in a staredown with Omos. This is what we’d been waiting for. Would The Viper and The Giant come to blows? Well, we shall never know as just as it was about to get interesting, Kevin Dunn in all his wisdom, cut to a commercial. Really Kev? Really? You couldn’t have waited a couple of minutes so that we could see what unfurled? The need to push Tribute to the Troops was that strong that you couldn’t help but shoot your bolt? I’m with Moxley on this, Kevin Dunn is an asshole who is far too protected for his own good. The sooner Vince steps down and the next in line to the throne fires his ass, the better.

The match itself ended after Omos had pummeled Riddle into the ground and Dolph Ziggler stole the tag to get the pin. Which went down as well as could be expected and saw Roode on the ass end of an ass-whupping from Omos and Ziggler eat a very tasty RKO. Yet bar the Kevin Dunn nonsense, this was quality.

Winners: AJ Styles, Omos, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode

Survivor Series Spot Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Dominik Mysterio

And just like that, a Vince McMahon Bull-Honky Award appeared. This was so pointless, so downright stupid, that it could’ve only been thought up in the fevered brain of Big Vinnie, as his continuing quest to surround himself was as many big, sweaty men as possible continues unabated.

The deal was that Adam Pearce had decided he’d picked his Survivor Series team a tad prematurely and with hindsight, had realized that Mini Mysterio was the only member of Team RAW that hadn’t been a World Champion, Instead of just taking away the place from Dominik – as Rey would point out later – he told him if he won his match against an unnamed opponent, he’d keep his spot.

With that, Bobby Lashley came to the ring and murdered him.

I hate this crap. Dominik Mysterio has already proven that he has the makings of a top-class, grade-A talent and yet it seems every week he’s booked into oblivion in one way or another. I mean, what did he do? Is he being punished for being someone’s son? It just doesn’t make any sense. If you ask me – and you haven’t, but I’m gonna tell you anyway – he’d be better off leaving the WWE for pastures new. Somewhere – anywhere – his talents in the squared circle are appreciated, nourished, and given a chance to fully develop, otherwise his fate will be that he spends every show getting beaten up by guys Vincent feels need to be fed children.

Bull-Honky of the highest order.

Winner And New Member Of Team RAW: Bobby Lashley

Big E vs. Chad Gable

This, however, more than made up for the dross I’d just had to sit through. Chad Gable is such an impressive wrestler that I can only think that it’s his height that’s stopping him from being pushed to the moon. We all know the template for Big Vinnie’s top stars, they have to be tall, bulging with muscles, and about as charismatic as a fart in a bath – okay, I may have made that last bit up – and Gable has definitely got the look – the dude is ripped seven ways from Sunday – so it can only be that he isn’t six feet eight that is keeping him down.

He’s no slouch in the ring either, as he proved here focusing on taking away Big E’s base by attacking his legs as well as suplexing him into oblivion, so it can’t be due to any perceived lack of ability, it’s just got to be that Vinnie Mac doesn’t think that the WWE Universe would take a smaller guy seriously as a title contendor. Which is stupid. Anyway, Big E hit the Big Ending to pick up the win, but Gable came away looking very impressive. Here’s hoping Vince McDaddy saw this on the monitors and felt the same way.

Winner: Big E

WWE 24/7 Title Match: Drake Maverick vs. Reggie

Ugh…Goddamn it…this…f*cking this is why I hate the WWE at times. So Maverick took on Reggie and in about two minutes, R-Truth appeared, got attacked by Shelton Benjamin – does anyone else remember when Shelton was the talk of NJPW? – and Cedric Alexander. This caused a distraction allowing Maverick to get the winner.

Winner And New 24/7 Champion: Drake Maverick

While he was celebrating, Akira Tozawa rolled him up for the win.

Winner And New 24/7 Champion: Akira Tozawa

While he was celebrating, Corey Graves rolled him up for the win.

Winner And New 24/7 Champion: Corey Graves

While he was celebrating, Byron Saxton rolled him up for the win.

Winner And New 24/7 Champion: Byron Saxton

While he was celebrating, Drake Maverick rolled him up for the win

Winner And New 24/7 Champion: Drake Maverick

When he tried to escape through the ring, Reggie hit him with a crossbody for the win.

Winner And New 24/7 Champion: Reggie

So, six title changes, just to get us back to where we started. When the 24/7 title was originally given life, it was a laugh. Now, it just needs to be taken out behind the woodshed and have a bullet put in its f*cking head.

Fatal 5 Way #1 Contender’s Match: Carmella vs. Queen Zelina Vega vs. Liv Morgan vs. Bianca Belair vs. Rhea Ripley

This match was the perfect capsule of everything good, bad, and ugly in the WWE Women’s Division. The good is Rhea Ripley. She’s an incredibly talented wrestler who has been pushed hard and rightly so. She’s a safe pair of hands who gives it her all and will be in and around the title scene for as long as she’s with the company. The bad is Zelina Vega and Liv Morgan. Two brilliant wrestlers who – usually – get used as cannon fodder for the others on the roster. And the ugly is Carmella. A nine-year veteran at this point, who is still greener than a sick Kermit The Frog.

The observant of you may have noticed I haven’t placed Bianca Belair on that list, and that is simply because the jury is still out on her. I like her, think she has promise, but I’m also convinced that she’s been given too much too soon and hasn’t had the proper time to hone her craft. She still makes rookie mistakes, and even though time will sort that out for her, I don’t feel she deserves the protected spot she currently occupies. Let her learn, let her earn her stripes, then we can talk.

The match had some brilliant moments, but none more so than Liv Morgan actually winning the damn thing! I’m one of these Twitter people that Becky Lynch was ripping on during commentary  – a roll I’d love to see her do more often as she is hysterical – and have been crying out for Liv Morgan to get some sort of momentum, though I honestly didn’t expect her to win this. Hopefully, they now go the whole hog and have her face The Man and win the belt, but I doubt it very much and this one moment of ‘Woah! They did what!’ will be replaced once again by the status quo. All I can hope is that Lynch had some say on who her next opponent would be, and if she has that stroke she’ll know that she has to see it through and drop the title to Morgan. In doing that, another main event superstar will be born.

Winner And New #1 Contender: Liv Morgan

Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens

This match was my Fight of the Night, which might make my next statement seem strange, to say the least.

Kevin Owens needs to get as far away from the WWE as possible.

If anyone thinks that KO is getting a push at the top of the card now for any other reason than his contract is up in about two months, and they want him to resign, well then I’m sorry, you’re deluded. This is the only reason we’ve had so much Kevin Owens on our screens of late. If he becomes a free agent, he’s AEW bound and the WWE knows it, so they try to sweeten any deal they are thinking of offering him by saying “‘Hey, look KO, we’ll give you the push you deserve’. I guarantee you, if he does put pen to paper again, then he’ll be shot back down the card faster than Shinsuke Nakamura after he failed to get his dick punching character over with the fans.

It is a crime that someone as talented as KO should be reduced to losing by count-out and then turning heel just because creative has no idea what to do with proper wrestlers, but that’s what happened here. Both he and Rollins put on a hell of a match, as only two guys who’d been through the Indies together and know each other so well could, but instead of letting KO get the pin – which would’ve had no effect on Seth as it’s not possible to hate him any more than we already do – they had KO bump into Big E at ringside, and get counted out.

This was universally hated by the fans in attendance, and if he then hadn’t laid a whupping on the WWE Champion, RAW would’ve gone off the air to a cacophony of boos that even Kevin Dunn couldn’t have muted out. Yes, it sets up a title feud between the two, but this will all go away as soon as the ink is dried on any contract, and he’ll be reduced to doing goddamn talk show segments again.

Get thee to AEW, Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho is waiting for you to kick his ass.

Winner By *Sigh* Count-Out: Seth Rollins

Written by Neil Gray

SPOBS very own Mouth Of The South (West).

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