Monday Night Raw
Date: October 18, 2021
Location: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
It’s the go home show for Crown Jewel, though the audience is going to be decimated by a mixture of the MLB Playoffs and Monday Night Football. The card does include Charlotte defending the Raw Women’s Title against Bianca Belair, along with a rematch between Drew McIntyre/Big E. vs. Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler. Let’s get to it.
Here is Charlotte to get things going but she isn’t sure why there are no champagne and balloons for her final night on Raw. There is a conspiracy against her because Bianca Belair isn’t even on the roster yet but has two title shots this week! Charlotte: “AND YOU PEOPLE THINK I’M ENTITLED???” After dealing with the crown and various chants, Charlotte says Belair needs to get over it already because Charlotte is the mountain that she can’t climb. Belair can deal with Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks…or she can interrupt right now.
Belair doesn’t think there is a conspiracy against Charlotte because this is just desserts. Belair has done everything she said she would and has earned this shot. She had Charlotte beaten until Becky Lynch had to save things. Now Charlotte is throwing a fit because she can’t get a celebration before she leaves? Belair promises to win the title and take it to Crown Jewel, where she can leave with both titles. Charlotte goes after her but has to avoid the KOD, allowing Belair to kick her off the apron.
We recap the Raw half of the King of the Ring.
Xavier Woods is ready to join the likes of King Shamrock, King Mabel and King Bookah. Kofi Kingston says Martin Luther King had a dream but Woods’ dream is to be king. Woods is ready to sit on that throne at Crown Jewel as King Woods I. Points on a King Shamrock reference as I wouldn’t have bet on that one.
Video on Seth Rollins.
King of the Ring Semifinals: Xavier Woods vs. Jinder Mahal
Veer and Shanky are here with Mahal while Woods has Kofi Kingston. Saxton actually brings up these two facing off in the semifinals of the US Title tournament for some history. Woods starts fast by knocking him into the ropes for a running crotch attack, setting up some right hands in the corner. Mahal runs him over with a shoulder though and it’s time to crank on a headlock. That’s broken up with a Russian legsweep and a running basement dropkick. Mahal isn’t having that and plants Woods with a side slam, setting up a shot to the face. Woods gets tossed outside and into the steps for a crash and we take a break.
Back with Mahal hitting a gutbuster for two and telling Woods to COME ON. The Khallas is blocked so Mahal settles for a side slam instead. Woods fights back up and knocks Shanky off the apron, setting up a top rope ax handle….only to dive into the Khallas. Somehow Woods grabs the rope for the break Mahal puts him on top but gets knocked down, setting up the rope walk elbow to send Woods to Crown Jewel at 9:57.
Rating: C. The action wasn’t great, but my goodness that was a relief to see Woods win. WWE has shown a tendency to be so obsessed with Mahal that it isn’t hard to imagine him getting the win here (or even the crown). Woods might not win the whole tournament, but they have done the right thing to set up the finals.
Post match Kofi gives Woods the cape and scepter for the big pose on the stage.
We look back at Austin Theory beating Jeff Hardy last week.
Earlier today, Theory said he did look up to Hardy, but last week he was looking down at him. Then the 24/7 goons run by, with Theory saving Reggie from R-Truth. Theory: “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM???” Truth: “I have a theory!” The challenge is thrown out for later, but Truth wants Theory to make sure his mom says he can stay up that late.
Video on Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg.
Austin Theory vs. R-Truth
After Theory makes his entrance and the Lashley vs. Goldberg video, Truth comes out in street clothes. There was a misunderstanding: Truth didn’t answer the challenge for himself, but for his friend.
Austin Theory vs. Jeff Hardy
Theory runs him over to start and mocks Hardy’s dance, only to get small packaged for two. They head outside with Hardy being neckbreakered off the apron as we take a break. Back with Hardy getting in a few shots of his own and sending Theory outside for a dropkick through the ropes. Poetry in Motion off the steps sends Theory up against the barricade but the Swanton Bomb is countered. Theory TKO’s him onto the knee for the pin at 7:04.
Rating: C. Another middle of the road match but Theory is looking like a star every step of the way. Giving him another win over a legend like Hardy is a great thing and it is so nice to see him do this without losing a fall so fast. Totally watchable match too, which is more than you usually get on Raw.
Post match Theory takes another selfie but Hardy pops up and gives him the Twist of Fate. Hardy takes his own selfie because he’s a sore loser.
We look back at Drew McIntyre and Big E. getting in a fight last week, causing them to lose their tag match.
Drew McIntyre and Big E. say they’ll work together tonight but then the best man will win on Thursday. Drew: “Don’t worry, I will.” Big E. does his full intro in McIntyre’s face, so McIntyre throws in some posing for a funny response.
Charlotte interrupts Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce and yells about how horribly she was treated earlier tonight. She thinks it’s a conspiracy, which is a word I’d love to see banned from wrestling. Deville says it isn’t, but Charlotte promises to win anyway.
Drew McIntyre/Big E. vs. Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler
Big E. powers Ziggler around to start but Roode comes in for a cheap shot. The referee misses a shot to the eye but Big E. gets in a leapfrog. A shot to the face puts Roode down and another takes Ziggler off the apron. There are the forearms to the chest on the apron, setting up the apron splash, with Ziggler breaking it up at the last minute. That’s fine with Big E., who counters the Fameasser by sending Ziggler into the timekeeper’s area. Roode sends Big E. into the steps though and we take a break.
Back with Ziggler stomping Big E. in the corner and getting two off a dropkick. The sleeper goes on but Big E. is up in a hurry, only to get raked in the eyes. Roode grabs a chinlock for a bit but Big E. runs Ziggler over and finally brings in McIntyre to clean house. The belly to belly puts Roode down and Ziggler gets Alabama Slammed onto him for a crash.
Roode fights out of a fireman’s carry but Ziggler pulls Big E. off the apron (and he grabs his knee on the landing), leaving Roode to grab a spinebuster for two. An assisted Fameasser drops McIntyre for two more but he gets in a shot for a breather. Big E. is back up for the reluctant tag and the Big Ending plants Roode for the pin at 12:48.
Rating: C+. There was a nice story in here as McIntyre and Big E. know they have to work together and wan to win, but then want to take the other’s head off on Thursday. I was glad they didn’t have McIntyre walk out or something instead of taking the big tag, but at least they went with something a little more original. Good enough stuff here, even if it was similar to what they did two weeks ago.
Post match McIntyre and Big E. yell at each other but it doesn’t get physical.
The Street Profits are hyped up for Crown Jewel, including the Raw Tag Team Title match. They think AJ Styles is the kid in school who doesn’t do any work in the group project but still gets an A. Ford: “I was that kid.” They want the smoke, but here are AJ Styles and Omos to say they’re winning the titles at Crown Jewel. That’s enough to make the Profits laugh because they want the smoke. Styles thinks Street Profits is a dumb name.
Video on Kevin Owens.
Mansoor vs. Cedric Alexander
Shelton Benjamin is here with Alexander, who goes right after Mansoor to start. Some right hands in the corner set up some right hands on the mat for two and we hit the waistlock. Back up and Mansoor manages to kick him down and spins into a reverse DDT to stagger Alexander. The slingshot neckbreaker finishes Alexander at 3:46.
Rating: C-. This would have been fine as the main event of any Main Event and that’s all it needed to be. Mansoor gets a win to heat him up a bit on the way to Crown Jewel, where he is likely to be the most popular star on the show. Mustafa Ali will make him look good, just like Cedric did here.
Post match, here is Mustafa Ali in a suit to promise to take the smile from Mansoor and everyone else at Crown Jewel. Mansoor tells him to shut up and promises to take him out on Thursday.
We get a sitdown interview between Goldberg and Bobby Lashley, with Goldberg saying that his threats are promises. Lashley says that’s criminal but he isn’t going to get the authorities involved. Goldberg doesn’t look interested as Lashley says it’s going to be like Summerslam. Lashley brings up Goldberg’s son, which is enough to get Goldberg’s attention.
Lashley talks about how he is going to have Goldberg begging for mercy at Crown Jewel. Goldberg: “Are you finished yet?” That’s enough for Lashley to walk out, with Goldberg threatening to kill him on Thursday. This was more of what we have had the whole time: old man Goldberg talking a lot and looking bored until he says his next line.
We look back at Omos taking out Riddle before Randy Orton took out AJ Styles.
Riddle thinks Randy deserves a Kids Choice Award for his acting last week. He knows it was a great plan, but Orton insists there was never a plan. As Orton seems like he’s trying not to break up, Riddle wants to know the plan for the Street Profits tonight. The plan tonight is the same as it is at Crown Jewel: win. Now let’s go get some smoke.
Video on Keith Lee.
RKBro vs. Street Profits
Non-title. Riddle starts with Ford and takes him straight down into a cross armbreaker. Ford manages to slip out in a hurry and grabs a headlock, followed by a dropkick to take Riddle down again. A double dropkick does it again and Dawkins backflips Ford onto Riddle for two. Everything breaks down and the Profits are sent outside, where Orton helps take Dawkins down. Riddle adds a penalty kick and springboard Floating Bro, only to have Ford flip dive onto both of them for the big crash.
We take a break and come back with Riddle gutwrenching Ford and swinging him around (that’s a new one) before hitting the gutwrench suplex. Ford is trying to count his fingers until Riddle covers him for two. The chinlock goes on but Ford fights up and kicks Riddle in the head for the breather. The diving tag brings in Dawkins for the house cleaning, including a t-bone slam to Riddle.
Dawkins hits the Silencer for two but Riddle gets in a shot of his own, allowing the hot tag to Orton. That means Ford gets powerslammed into the hanging DDT (with Ford staying still on his head on the landing for a cool visual)…and we have Omos. That’s enough for AJ Styles to come in with the Phenomenal Forearm to Orton for the DQ at 10:20.
Rating: C+. This was getting better near the end but they weren’t exactly hiding how this was going to wrap up. It’s kind of early to burn through a match like this, even if it didn’t have a clean finish. At least they didn’t have one of the teams lose, but egads RKBro vs. Omos/Styles needs to wrap up already, as the title picture really needs some fresh blood at the moment.
Post mach Orton and Omos beat RKBro down, including a chokeslam to Riddle and a kick to Orton’s side (as Omos couldn’t quite hit the head).
Video on Becky Lynch.
Queen’s Crown Tournament Semifinals: Shayna Baszler vs. Doudrop
Before the bell, here is Zelina Vega to watch, albeit with the crown and cape on. Baszler kicks away at the leg but gets caught with a quick Saito suplex. There’s the Cannonball in the corner and Doudrop loads up an over the shoulder piledriver, only to get reversed into the Kirifuda Clutch. That earns Baszler a ram into the corner and a toss gets Doudrop out of trouble. The basement crossbody misses though and the Kirifuda Clutch goes on for a good while….until Doudrop leans back and pins Baszler at 2:39. Somehow, one of the longer matches of the tournament so far.
Nikki Ash and Rhea Ripley welcome Bianca Belair to Raw, complete with a hat. They do know she was here last year right?
Finn Balor vs. Mace
Xavier Woods is here and Balor doesn’t look impressed. Mace starts fast and hammers away, including knocking Balor down in the corner. Balor avoids a charge in the corner but walks into a swinging Boss Man Slam for two. We hit the nerve hold but Balor is up in a hurry. Mace’s powerbomb is countered and Balor hits a quick double stomp for a breather. There’s the Sling Blade to drop Mace and the Coup de Grace finishes for Balor at 2:44.
Post match Balor goes up to Woods and shoves him away. Kofi Kingston comes out to hold them apart, with Woods saying Balor is going to remain a prince.
John Morrison is meditating to find his chi but the Viking Raiders don’t get it. Why search for chi if you can’t use it to raid?
Crown Jewel rundown.
Raw Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Charlotte
Charlotte is defending and we get the Big Match Intros. Feeling out process to start until they both try running dropkicks for an early standoff. Belair jumps over her in the corner and tells Charlotte what to kiss. They head outside with Belair being thrown over the announcers’ table as we take a break.
Back with Charlotte kicking Belair to break up a handspring and nipping up to try a handspring moonsault of her own. That only hits knees though, allowing Belair to show her how to do it right. A baseball slide dropkick hits Charlotte, who is right back up with a powerbomb. Charlotte hits the double jump moonsault for two and comes up to show off a bloody mouth. Belair is back with a spinebuster so Charlotte bails straight to the floor in a smart move.
That’s fine with Belair, who follows her out and tosses Charlotte onto the announcers’ table as we take another break. Back again with Belair getting two off a cradle but Charlotte kicks the air in front of Belair’s face to put her down again. Belair gets sent outside for the moonsault, with Charlotte again not quite making full contact. Back in and Belair counters Natural Selection and hits a release Glam Slam (that didn’t look quite right) for two of her own.
The KOD is countered and Charlotte is right back with she spear for two and the big shocked face kickout. Charlotte pulls her around by the braid and goes up top but misses the moonsault. Belair suplexes her over for two and goes up, where Charlotte kicks her in the leg. A sunset bomb off the top gives Belair two though and they’re both down. Then Charlotte hits her with a chair for the DQ at 22:42.
Rating: B-. They were having a good (albeit kind of sloppy at times) match here until the really weak ending. I’m not sure what happened with the finish but I’m almost sure they ran out of time and had to find something to wrap it up. Odds are we’ll see this one again, as both of them are going to be major players going forward. Also of note: Charlotte looked like something happened to her mouth, as it was banged up and the referee was checking on her quite a bit.
Post match Belair takes the chair and hits Charlotte with it to end the show. That absolutely felt like they were out of time and had to go home immediately.
Overall Rating: C. There were certainly parts that didn’t work, but above all else, this show benefited from having a focus. They were trying to set up Crown Jewel tonight and that worked out about as well as could be expected. Now that being said, the show they were building towards isn’t exactly interesting, but they did have something to shoot for here and it helped. Nothing was terrible and they got some stuff done, so we’ll call this one in the middle, as it still wasn’t good but it was better than normal for Raw as of late.
Xavier Woods b. Jinder Mahal – Rope walk elbow
Austin Theory b. Jeff Hardy – TKO onto the knee
Big E./Drew McIntyre b. Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler – Big Ending to Roode
Mansoor b. Cedric Alexander – Slingshot neckbreaker
RKBro b. Street Profits via DQ when AJ Styles interfered
Doudrop b. Shayna Baszler – Rollup
Finn Balor b. Mace – Coup de Grace
Bianca Belair b. Charlotte via DQ when Charlotte used a chair
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