Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 11/14/16: On The Same Page
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
On The Same Page
– With this the go-home show before Survivor Series, we expected to see “strange bedfellows” as the prominent theme, but could only imagine how much of the show it’d consume. Anyways, the opening segment with General Manager Mick Foley, Commissioner Stephanie McMahon, Seth Rollins, WWE United States Champion Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens, WWE Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, The Shining Stars, Cesaro, Sheamus, Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Sasha Banks, WWE Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte, Bayley, Nia Jax and Alicia Fox was packed, but set the show off right. Steph hyped the appearance of SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan and SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon for later in a “Survivor Series Summit” and addressed how she wanted everyone to work well together or there’d be changes. Foley booked Cesaro/Sheamus against Owens/Reigns. Steph booked Rollins/Strowman/Jericho against ND. Foley booked Banks/Charlotte against Jax/Fox. At least we had stuff to look forward to, but damn.
– The Owens/Reigns-Cesaro/Sheamus match had the story of both sides with reluctant partners. Emphasis was particularly placed on Owens’ continued mocks of Reigns, as he refused to tag him in and even mimicked him before a cannonball strike. On the other side, Cesaro/Sheamus did their mirrored crowd reaction competition. A longer match than expected, but always nice to lead things off. The finish was meh, but we get why they did it. Owens was hit with the Brogue Kick, which prompted Reigns to spear Cesaro and dragged an unconscious Owens on top of him for the pinfall. Surely this was a precursor of what was to come with Reigns/Owens.
– The backstage segment with Jericho, Strowman and Rollins was funny thanks to Jericho and his attempt to win over his new partners with expensive scarves. Rollins sort of came off as a douche in the way he turned down the scarf and only wanted to get in the ring. Strowman was great here though, as he convinced Jericho to give him his own $750 scarf and teared it to shreds. We can all agree that was very Strowman of him.
– The Bo Dallas-Sami Zayn match was a logical buffer bout for Zayn to retain momentum as he headed towards a shot at the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series for a chance to bring the gold to the red brand. The match itself stemmed from a pre-show segment where Dallas voiced his disapproval of Zayn and felt he himself deserved that honor instead. Zayn gave up some offense to the aggressive Dallas, but the Helluva Kick made us forget all about that part. Zayn’s post-match promo set his eyes towards Sunday, as he insulted both WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler and The Miz. With those two set to battle for the belt the next night on SmackDown Live’s 900th episode, we’d have to see who’d Zayn faces.
– The backstage segment with WWE Cruiserweight Champion Brian Kendrick, TJ Perkins, Rich Swann, Noam Dar, Sin Cara, Tony Nese and Drew Gulak had the right message, but was foolish in its setup. It was odd to think that the Cruiserweight Division was in its own locker room, separate from the rest of the roster. We liked the future implications it had, as we saw Kendrick hype his Survivor Series Title defense against Kalisto, where if he retained, the Division would stay on Raw, but if he lost, the Title and Division would go to SmackDown Live. Him calling himself a “savior” fit his character and opened the door for others like Perkins to doubt him and Swann to remind everyone he had two victories over Kendrick. Dar was also skeptical based on last week and then Sin Cara had the final blow, as he called Kendrick disrespectful. This of course, sparked light physicality. This would continue later.
– The Six-Man Tag between ND and Strowman/Jericho/Rollins began with your pandering ND promo where they put themselves over with catchphrases and merchandise galore. They also mentioned their near-450 day Title reign. The match itself was pretty good, with Xavier Woods as an in-ring highlight, while Jericho was eager to show Rollins how effective he was as a self-appointed captain. Strowman man-handled Big E and Kofi Kingston towards the end. Good finish, as we saw Jericho shove Woods into a running powerslam from Strowman to end it. That was about right. The post-match angle where Rollins put down Jericho with a pedigree was expected. We also found it brave of Rollins to walk up the ramp with his back turned to Strowman right behind him.
– The backstage segment with Steph, Foley and Paul Heyman provided nice hype for the face-to-face segment between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg for later. We saw Heyman and Steph share an exchange of wits before he tried to plant seeds of doubt in her head that SmackDown was the better team. This prompted Foley to tighten up security for later. That always works in wrestling, don’t you know.
– The backstage segment with Charlotte and Banks was basic argument filler as they accused each other of being immature and jealous. Oh, and the Raw Women’s Championship was also important. The two would team up later, so at least we had that to look forward to.
– The Kendrick-Sin Cara match lasted longer than necessary, but it was nice to see that they told a story throughout. Kendrick attacked even before the bell rang for an extra advantage. There were flips, but no substance and the crowd was easily out of it. Eventually, after 12 minutes of action, we saw Kendrick fasten Sin Cara in his Captain’s Hook submission and had his mask twisted around for dramatic effect. Made sense since this was Kalisto’s partner.
– The backstage segment with Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows pushed their match later where they’d team up. This set out their differences and it wasn’t without lame punchlines, at least on the Enzo/Cass spectrum. Enzo/Cass warned The Club not to stab them in the back here. Oh god.
– The Face-To-Face in-ring segment with Lesnar, Heyman and Goldberg was easily the show’s best thing and it wasn’t close. Thanks to the visual aid of security as a diagonal divide between the two men and Heyman’s purposed mic work, they didn’t have to do much to get the crowd more into it. It also helped that the crowd in Buffalo, NY was highly pro-Goldberg and the chants nearly tore the roof off the arena. Eventually, it blew over when Heyman mentioned Goldberg’s family once too many and he made quick work of the “tightened security” as we saw him gesture for Lesnar on the apron to join him inside. True to his recent heel ways, Lesnar teased it before he ultimately backed off. It has actually been great that they’ve held off on physicality for so long, as the feud has actually benefitted from it.
– The Charlotte/Banks-Jax/Fox match with Bayley on commentary followed the same “strange partners” angle of the night, but mixed with third hour fatigue and uninspired commentary from Bayley, there wasn’t much to salvage. Luckily, Jax had a good showing as a force on the wrong end of things, as it was more about the long-term rivals bickering and inadvertently helping each other win. Kind of sloppy towards the finish, but we saw Banks make Fox tap out to the Bank Statement. Bayley came down to play peacemaker after the bell, but that didn’t result in much.
– The backstage segment with Foley, Strowman, Jericho, Owens, Rollins and Reigns set final hype for the “Survivor Series Summit” as we saw Jericho/Owens take credit for the night’s success and tried to get Foley to admit it too, but to no avail. Foley convinced everyone to stick around for the “fireworks to come soon.” Gee, wonder what that means.
– Another Emmalina hype video aired as she was set to still premiere soon. Any week now, Emmalina…
– The Eight-Man Tag between Enzo/Cass/Gallows/Anderson and The Shining Stars/The Golden Truth was over in ur minds before it even began. That’s the third hour for you. It doesn’t get lower than the undercard of the Raw Tag Team Division and it showed. They tried to keep fans into it with high-impact moves, but even that only gets you so far. Nothing to note besides the finish, where Gallows/Anderson played cheerleader for Enzo to hit his big splash, only to steal the pin for themselves. The hook was to see if Gallows/Anderson would “play better” come Sunday. Ugh.
– The final “Survivor Series Summit” in-ring segment with Steph, Foley, Rollins, Jericho, Owens, Strowman, Reigns, WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, James Ellsworth, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Bryan and Shane was at least entertainingly eventful. What did it most was the intrigue of verbal interactions with key players from Raw/SmackDown Live that were connected before the draft. We also had our exchange between authority figures, as Bryan/Shane preached opportunity and Steph berated Shane for being a SD team member. The Owens-Styles exchange was great over whose Championship meant more, as was the “List” stuff as Jericho put Styles and Ellsworth on there. The Wyatt-Strowman exchange was also good, as we saw Wyatt accuse Strowman of abandoning him (though he was drafted out of his control) and the action began when Ambrose hit Jericho with a cheap shot after Rollins made a Shield reference. The brawl was designed to make all involved look good, though SD came off as the good guys on Raw, go figure. In the end, it was Team Raw who got the better of things as we saw Rollins/Reigns do their double powerbomb that took Styles over the top rope and onto his teammates below. Our problem was that beyond the cool promo work, it was hard to emotionally invest in this when it’s hard to choose one brand over another or have a reason to do so. On the surface, we’d be conditioned to root for SD over Raw since their show’s better in quality, but shouldn’t Raw be the good guys here? This worked as a Survivor Series angle, but we can’t say we care for the actual match or anything beyond the interbrand Title matches that actually matter.
- Roman Reigns/Kevin Owens def. Cesaro/Sheamus via pinfall
- Sami Zayn def. Bo Dallas via pinfall
- Six-Man Tag – Braun Strowman/Chris Jericho/Seth Rollins def. The New Day via pinfall
- Brian Kendrick def. Sin Cara via submission
- Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke)/Sasha Banks def. Nia Jax/Alicia Fox via submission
- Eight-Man Tag – Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson/Enzo Amore/Big Cass def. The Golden Truth/The Shining Stars via pinfall
Posted on January 17, 2017, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alicia Fox, Bayley, Big Cass, Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Brian Kendrick, Brock Lesnar, Byron Saxton, Cesaro, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Corey Graves, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Drew Gulak, Emmalina, Enzo Amore, Goldberg, James Ellsworth, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Luke Gallows, Michael Cole, Mick Foley, Nia Jax, Noam Dar, Paul Heyman, Randy Orton, Raw, Rich Swann, Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, Seth Rollins, Shane McMahon, Sheamus, Sin Cara, Stephanie McMahon, Survivor Series, The Golden Truth, The New Day, The Shining Stars, TJ Perkins, Tony Nese. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.