Monday Night Raw emanates from Glasgow, Scotland tonight. With just a couple of weeks left until the big Survivor Series PPV, we should see the three Raw teams get rounded out for the matches coming up against Smackdown Live. Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman are four names announced for the biggest brand vs. brand match. Hopefully they name the final participant to complete the team. Charlotte, Bayley and Nia Jax are the ladies announced for the women’s brand match. Two spots are open with very few options left on the roster.
The tag team Survivor Series match has even more question marks with only New Day currently on the team. Will two members join force with four other teams or will they get creative in finding a way to form the ten names out of tag teams? Time is ticking and all of these teams need to be complete with the show less than two weeks away. Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar is the other big story in play. The road to the huge match has seen both men appear in rotating weeks. We have yet to see them in the same ring together. We’ll see if that or anything of note changes tonight with five huge takeaways from Raw this week.
5. Lack of Goldberg and Brock Lesnar
Raw taking place in Scotland meant neither Goldberg nor Brock Lesnar would make the trip for the show. Both Goldberg and Lesnar essentially call their own shots with limited appearances. WWE was forced to have no presence of either man in the ring this week. Survivor Series only having one more episode of Raw after this week means it was a huge hole on the show.
WWE showed two video packages highlighting both Goldberg and Lesnar. Goldberg’s focused on his desire to come back revolving around his kid seeing wrestle for the first time and influencing countless other kids all over the world. Lesnar warned Goldberg’s family that he is going to destroy him in front of their eyes. The segments were okay but it did little to add excitement. Goldberg and Lesnar will meet face to face next week in a highly anticipated showdown desperately needed to go well in hopes of selling the PPV.
4. Interpromotional Intercontinental Championship
Dolph Ziggler continued the string of matches pitting Raw against Smackdown Live last week on Smackdown. A challenge was made by Ziggler to anyone on the Raw roster that wanted a shot at the Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series. Sami Zayn defeated Rusev tonight to earn the opportunity to face Ziggler for the IC Title. The brand split is already paying dividends with matches lie this feeling way more important.
Zayn is in need of a big PPV match and this is just what the doctor ordered. Ziggler has spent years in obscurity waiting for another noteworthy push on WWE television and he’s getting it. The recent feud against The Miz has made him a credible IC Champ. A great match would go a long way in helping both men on their respective brands. It will also be interesting to see how things progress with Miz in the background.
3. Tag division is a hot mess
The reveal of the teams in the brand war tag team Survivor Series elimination match proved Raw’s tag division is a mess. This match was not the best idea on paper. Ten men on each team in an elimination match can be overkill. The Raw team consists of New Day, Enzo Amore and Big Cass, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, Cesaro and Sheamus, and The Golden Truth.
A painfully boring segment with all eleven wrestlers felt like it went on forever and did them no favors. The Shining Stars later defeated Golden Truth to replace them in the Survivor Series match. Golden Truth wasn’t a top team by any means but Shining Stars are probably the only team significantly worse than them. Having five teams on each squad is definitely more than what was needed here and the Raw team proves that.
2. Big night for Bayley
Charlotte Flair revealed the rest of her Raw team for the Survivor Series five-on-five match against the women of Smackdown Live. Joining Charlotte, Bayley and Nia Jax will be Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox. The selection of Fox was surprising but the team wanted the experienced Raw veteran on their side. Tonight was a night for the fans of Bayley in Glasgow. The crowd responded to her with a huge ovation.
Similar to her appearances there with NXT, the fans in attendance started singing messages of love towards Bayley. Scotland continued to sing for Bayley throughout the entire promo segment and six-woman tag match. Bayley, Fox and Banks defeated Charlotte, Jax and team alternate Dana Brooke when Bayley pinned Charlotte. A pin fall victory over the champion and the crowd serenading her made Bayley the most popular star of the night.
1. Trouble in paradise
Seth Rollins joined the singles male Raw team for their match along with the already named Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns. The very unconventional team will oppose Smackdown’s squad of A.J. Styles, Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin, Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt. All five of the Raw stars got into it verbally and physically to start the show causing Stephanie McMahon to make a main event pitting the five men against each other.
Owens won the outstanding match by accidentally pinning his best friend Jericho. Reigns hit the Superman Punch on Owens causing him to fall on Jericho for the victory. The drama on every level between Owens, Jericho, Rollins and Reigns is the main story behind the Raw team. Strowman is the perfect variable to add another dynamic. Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan were announced to appear on Raw next week. Things should get interesting with the dysfunctional Raw team possibly interacting with Smackdown Live.