Date: November 5, 2021
Location: Ford Center, Evansville, Indiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
We’re just over two weeks away from Survivor Series and it might be time to start talking about the show. Since it absolutely has to be Raw vs. Smackdown, it shouldn’t be that hard to get things going. The show almost has to be better than last week’s so at least they have a clear bar to clear. Let’s get to it.
Here is the Bloodline to get things going. Roman Reigns talks about taking last week off after smashing Brock Lesnar, but now he’s back so this tiny little no name town can acknowledge him. He was on a private island running around naked last week (his wife loved it), but not everyone had a good time. Brock Lesnar got fined a million bucks, but there was one more thing.
Reigns asks Paul Heyman what happened to the Usos, with Heyman talking about how it was a non-title match. When flat out asked though, Heyman has to admit that the New Day won the match. Reigns likes the New Day, even though the Bloodline is better. He wants to know what happened, with both Usos blaming the other for taking the pin. Eventually it’s Jimmy who admits he lost, so Reigns wants to know how he’s going to fix it.
Jimmy promises to make everyone acknowledge the head of the title and the Universal Champion, but here is New Day to interrupt. Woods thinks the King is supposed to be at the head of the table, but Reigns hasn’t stopped talking about sitting there for a long time now. Kofi thinks the table has been forgotten on Reigns’ island of relevancy. As for tonight, Woods has an idea: Woods vs. Jimmy, and when Jey loses, he has to bend the knee to the King. Jimmy says the Bloodline bows to no one but Reigns accepts for him, with Woods having to bend the knee if he loses.
We look at Sonya Deville cheating Naomi out of a match with Shayna Baszler last week.
Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler
In the back, Sonya Deville insists that it has been tough love on Naomi. They start fast with Naomi hitting a Thesz press and then kicking Baszler in the face. Baszler snaps off a German suplex though and they fight outside, with Naomi sending her into the apron. Back in and a good high crossbody gets two on Baszler but she drops Naomi onto the apron.
We take a break and come back with Naomi hitting a Heatseeker onto the apron. A sunset flip gets two but Baszler switches into the Kirifuda Clutch. That’s broken up with a rope break so Naomi grabs a rollup for the pin at 6:33. Hold on though because here’s Sonya Deville to say that should have been a rope break, so restart the match. Cole: “WHERE’S JACK TUNNEY???” The Kirifuda Clutch finishes Naomi at 7:30.
Rating: C-. Yeah we know. It’s the kind of story that we have seen over and over again: a corrupt authority figure does something to mess with a wrestler. The good thing here though is that it could bring Sonya back into the ring and that is certainly a positive. It has been a while since we’ve seen this so it’s far from the worst thing, but they might as well have had a big NOPE sign as soon as Naomi got the pin.
Roman Reigns is ranting to the Usos about what happened last week, saying he took a week off and this place is almost as bad as Raw. Jimmy laughs so Reigns gets in his face, saying they don’t lose.
Remember how Xia Li was coming? She still is.
Ridge Holland is here to meet his idol, Sheamus, because he would fight right in back home. He and his friends were all big fans and everything he knows he learned from watching Sheamus. That is bad news for everyone around here. Quite the interesting backstory.
We look back at Shotzi attacking Sasha Banks.
Shotzi talks about how she has lost everything, from matches to the support of the WWE Universe. That was her breaking point and she is going to run over everyone, even without the tank. This was a good example of someone writing a promo for a wrestler, even if it is not something that fits with their personality. Someone like Shotzi would never say “the support of the WWE Universe” but that’s how WWE people talk so here we are.
Los Lotharios vs. Mansoor/Cesaro
Mansoor takes Garza down by the arm to start but gets caught in a spinebuster as we get an inset interview from some bragging Lotharios. Carrillo comes in to punch Mansoor into the corner and a backdrop allows Garza to TAKE OFF HIS PANTS. The half crab goes on but Mansoor escapes and brings in Cesaro to start cleaning house. The springboard corkscrew elbow sets up the Swing but Carrillo makes the save. Mansoor breaks up the near fall and Cesaro gets knocked into Mansoor. Something like a Muta Lock from Carrillo sets up a basement dropkick from Garza (The Cero de la Silla?) for the pin at 4:59.
Rating: C. You can always use a team like Los Lotharios and they were doing their thing well enough here. The tag divisions have been dying for new talent so this is a perfectly fine addition. Now just let them win some matches and go somewhere with it and they might be on to something.
Aliyah hits on Jeff Hardy but leaves so Jeff can have his interview. Hold on though as Jeff goes over to Aliyah, who runs into Sami Zayn. Sami wants to help her out, so he has one suggestion: pants suit.
Here’s Drew McIntyre for this week’s open challenge.
Drew McIntyre vs. Ricochet
Ricochet says Drew needs to watch his mouth or someone is going to come out here and slap him in the face. That’s what Ricochet does so Drew starts fast, including a heck of an overhead belly to belly. Drew is knocked outside but he catches a running hurricanrana and drops Ricochet onto the apron. Back in and another belly to belly has Ricochet sprawling into the corner.
We cut to Mustafa Ali, who seems interested because he and Ricochet have a lot in common. Back to full screen with Ricochet dropkicking McIntyre out of the air. A standing shooting star press is blocked though and a brainbuster gives Drew two. Ricochet hits some superkicks but a middle rope moonsault press is Claymored out of the air (DANG) for the pin at 3:41.
Rating: B-. WWE is getting the hang of these awesome short matches as of late, as they packed in so much stuff that I thought they had gone twice as long. I’m glad to see Ricochet on the show again and that finish looked great. Then there’s the Ali stuff and while I’m still nervous, they might have shifted away from what it seemed to be in the first place.
New Day is ready for the main event and dancing ensues.
Mustafa Ali comes up tor Ricochet and proposes a team. Ricochet turns him down though, because Ali complains all the time, was mean to his last partner, and is just a jerk. Ali isn’t pleased.
It’s time for Happy Talk, with Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss laughing about how they have no competition. That brings them to their guests this week, the Viking Raiders, who seem to impress McAfee. The Raiders say they aren’t here to be guests but to raid this corny show. Corbin laughs at the idea of two guys in their Halloween costumes. Moss tells them a joke about how bad vikings smell so the set is wrecked.
Viking Raiders vs. Happy Corbin/Madcap Moss
Erik powers Corbin around to start so it’s off to Ivar to work on Moss’ arm. A Corbin distraction lets Moss come back with a spinebuster to Erik though and it’s time to stomp away in the corner. Ivar has to make a save of his own but Moss shoves him through the ropes for something you don’t see very often.
Deep Six gets two on Erik but he knocks Corbin away and brings in Ivar to start breaking people. A crossbody hits Moss for two and there’s the seated senton in the corner. Ivar cartwheels away from Corbin (McAfee: “A VIKING DID A CARTWHEEL!”) and drives Erik into the corner. Corbin is sent outside and Erik powerbombs Moss (after almost dropping him at first) but Corbin pulls Moss to the floor. The threat of an Ivar dive sends Moss and Corbin away for the countout at 5:41.
Rating: C-. This didn’t have much time to go anywhere but they followed the formula so it wasn’t that bad. The Raiders getting pushed again is a good idea and I could go for seeing them face the Usos for the titles. Corbin and Moss are more likely to get the push though, which isn’t surprising and also not the most exciting. Odds are the rematch is next week and a Nakamura/Boogs cameo wouldn’t surprise me.
Hit Row runs into Sami Zayn, who is giving them some advice as the locker room leader. Zayn thought their entrance a few weeks ago sucked, but with some work, they could be stars. Top Dolla asks him to demonstrate a big entrance and the team is rather excited to see this.
Here is Sami Zayn, who is rather fired up during his entrance. With that out of the way, here is Hit Row, who seems to get a bit of a more positive reaction, to send Sami away in some shame.
The Usos ask if Roman Reigns is coming to the ring with them. Reigns asks how many of their mistakes does he have to fix.
King Woods vs. Jimmy Uso
Kofi Kingston and Jey Uso are here too and the loser has to bend the knee. Woods starts fast by knocking Jimmy outside to start. Back in and Woods dropkicks him out of the air for two but Jimmy drops him on the top. We take a break and come back with Jimmy stomping away in the corner before grabbing the chinlock.
Woods fights back up and knocks Jimmy down for a change, setting up a heck of a top rope legdrop for two. Jey offers a distraction though and it’s a super Samoan drop to give Jimmy his own near fall. The Superfly Splash hits raised boots so Jey offers a hand but the referee catches the cheating. Woods grabs a rollup (and pants) for the pin at 9:21.
Rating: B-. I was getting into this one by the end and they had me on a few of the near falls. Woods winning is the right call as he is getting some energy out of the crown, so you don’t want him losing so soon. The match was good action with solid drama and that’s not bad for a total midcard main event.
Post match Jimmy reluctantly starts to bend the knee but here is Roman Reigns to jump Woods and set up the beatdown. Woods’ leg gets taken out and Reigns promises violence next week. New Day is going to need some backup, perhaps in the form of the WWE Champion, who is probably going to be facing Reigns at Survivor Series later this month anyway. That’s some amazing timing.
Overall Rating: C+. Yeah last week was a one off as this was definitely a return to course after last week’s near train wreck. This week had better matches and some good story advancement, so well done on getting things closer to Survivor Series. I want to see what happens when a serious Big E. comes after Reigns and Naomi get to beat up Sonya, plus wherever they are going with Drew McIntyre’s open challenges. Good show here, and that’s nice to see again.
Shayna Baszler b. Naomi – Kirifuda Clutch
Los Lotharios b. Cesaro/Mansoor – Assisted basement dropkick to Cesaro
Drew McIntyre b. Ricochet – Claymore
Viking Raiders b. Madcap Moss/Happy Corbin via countout
Xavier Woods b. Jimmy Uso – Rollup with a handful of pants
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