Monday Night Raw
Date: October 31, 2022
Location: America Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
We’re on the way to Crown Jewel but first we need a big stop for Halloween. This is going to include the traditional Trick Or Street Fight, this time between Matt Riddle and Otis, but also an appearance from Roman Reigns. Hopefully it involves the Bloodline and not Logan Paul, but we might not be that lucky. Let’s get to it.
Bianca Belair vs. Nikki Cross
Non-title. Belair drives her into the corner to start so Cross sticks her head out and shouts at Belair to hit her. That’s fine with Belair, who hammers away but gets taken outside for a tie up in the ring skirt as we take a break. Back with Belair managing a suplex but favoring her leg.
Said leg is fine enough to hit the handspring moonsault but Cross grabs a choke. They crash out to the floor to break it up but here are Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai to distract the referee, allowing Bayley to sneak in and post Belair. Cross beats up Damage Ctrl but walks into the KOD to give Belair the pin at 9:26.
Rating: C. Kind of a weird match here as Cross is back but has already lost her first match. The good thing about Cross is she is the kind of agent of chaos who can lose matches and still be enough of a force that it doesn’t really matter. You don’t need her to beat Belair of course, but the result was a bit disheartening.
Post match Damage Ctrl comes in for the beatdown but Asuka and Alexa Bliss return for the save.
We look back at Brock Lesnar returning and going after Bobby Lashley.
Asuka and Alexa Bliss have Bianca Belair’s back but also want a Tag Team Title match tonight.
We get a split screen sitdown interview with Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley…..minus Lesnar. Lashley talks about being ready to prove he is more than just a Lesnar knockoff but here is the real Lesnar in the arena. Lesnar gets to the point: he isn’t here for an interview but rather for a fight, so here comes Lashley. The fight is on in the aisle with wrestlers and referees trying to split them up. Even HHH comes out but Lesnar can’t be held back. They’re finally separated after a big man brawl.
Austin Theory vs. Seth Rollins
Non-title and the result of Rollins not having the best things to say about Theory on commentary last week. Rollins sweeps the leg down to start and grabs a headlock. It’s too early for a Pedigree though and Theory bails out to the floor. Rollins heads outside and gets rammed into things to put Theory in control as we take a break.
Back with Rollins hitting a suicide dive, followed by the basement superkick for two. Rollins loads up the Pedigree but gets reversed into a brainbuster onto the knee for two more. A standing Blockbuster gives Theory two and the fans think this is awesome. A Town Down is broken up but Theory blasts him with a superkick and a forearm for the double knockdown. With nothing else working, Theory tries his own Pedigree but gets reversed into the Stomp to give Rollins the pin at 14:50.
Rating: B. This was a heck of a match and the kind of match that Theory has been needing. No he didn’t win, but he was able to feel like he fit in with one of the biggest stars in WWE today. They were trading one big move after another and it made for a rather good match. I could still go for Theory winning one of these big matches, but I’ll take this over him losing every time.
Here are Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman for a chat. The fans chant UCEY but Reigns assures them that Jey Uso will be a much more ucey man soon. That brings Reigns to Crown Jewel, where he is facing someone with two matches under his belt. Reigns laughs off the Logan Paul threat but Heyman sounds a bit more worried. Cue the Miz, who says he knows Logan Paul better than anyone and offers an alliance with Reigns. All Reigns has to do is help Miz against Mustafa Ali and he’ll teach Reigns everything there is to know about Logan Paul. One Superman Punch later and Reigns says he isn’t interested.
Post break, Miz is in the trainer’s room and doesn’t want Johnny Gargano’s video on Miz and Dexter Lumis airing. Mustafa Ali comes in to comment on the rather small size of Miz’s testicles.
Karl Anderson vs. Damian Priest
The rest of the OC and the Judgment Day are here too. It’s a brawl to start and they head outside, where a Judgment Day distraction lets Priest get in a cheap shot. We come back with Anderson fighting up but a Rhea Ripley distraction lets Priest take him down again. The Reckoning is loaded up but Anderson reverses into a cradle for the pin at 7:15.
Rating: C. A lot of this match was during the break but it was nice to have the OC get a win before what is likely going to be a bad loss at Crown Jewel. A member of Judgment Day losing to a fluke rollup isn’t going to hurt him that much, even if it is to someone other than AJ Styles. Still though, not much of a match here but the result was the right call.
Post match the brawl is on with Ripley being left alone for the Judgment Day but AJ Styles and Anderson can’t do anything. The rest of Judgment Day gets back up and the big beatdown is on.
MVP laughs off the idea of Braun Strowman beating Omos at Crown Jewel. MVP will be at Smackdown with a surprise for Strowman.
Here is JBL to suck up to the Texas fans by listing off various Texas sports teams and legends. Then he insults kids who go door to door begging for food on Halloween, which is what this safe space generation doesn’t need. No one here in this arena deserves to be called a Texan. As for everyone here, get on your feet for Baron Corbin!
Cue Corbin, to thank everyone for spending their last dollar to come spend every last dollar they have and the truth is…..and cue R-Truth. This would be cowboy R-Truth, complete with a horse between his legs. JBL calls Truth a buffoon but Truth wants to know what is up with the costumes. The fight is on and JBL throws his hat at Truth, allowing Corbin to hit the End of Days. At least it wasn’t a match.
Nikki Cross is with Damage Ctrl.
Matt Riddle vs. Otis
This is a Trick Or Street Fight (meaning a bunch of pumpkins and various Halloween things are around the ring) and Riddle, with Elias, is dressed as Ezekiel. Chad Gable is here with Otis and….they’re Chippendale Dancers, ala Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley from Saturday Night Live.
They fight to the floor early and take a rather quick break. Back with Otis working on a neck crank but Riddle is back with a knee. Otis runs him over and hits a Worm but Riddle is back up with a candy corn kendo stick. A World’s Strongest Slam plants Riddle but Elias sends Gable through a table. The distraction lets Elias put a pumpkin on Otis’ head, setting up the RKO to give Riddle the pin at 7:38.
Rating: C. This was another quick match that didn’t do much but the weird thing was the Halloween theme after an otherwise mostly serious show. I get the idea of having the Halloween match and that’s cool, but it’s still something that feels like it belongs on another show. For now though, Riddle getting a nice win is good for him and it isn’t like Otis has anything to lose. Even with a pumpkin on his head.
Bayley gives the rest of Damage Ctrl a pep talk.
Miz vs. Mustafa Ali
Miz is a big banged up after Reigns hit him in the face earlier but he’s fine enough to sucker Ali in to stomp away. Ali threatens a shot to the face and rolls Miz up for two. The rolling neckbreaker gives Ali two but he has to bail out of the 450. Miz rakes the eyes and sends him face first into the buckle as we take a break.
Back with Ali shrugging off the YES Kicks so Miz plants him with a DDT for two. Ali sends him outside and hits a dive before they fight over the announcers’ table. Cue Dexter Lumis to go after Miz before security chases him off. That lets Ali knock Miz down and hit the 450 for the pin at 10:04.
Rating: C. So Ali wins but it doesn’t really feel like it means anything for him. Instead, it comes off as the next chapter in the Miz vs. Dexter Lumis deal, which isn’t the best way to go. I’ll take it over Ali coming up this short again though, which has happened far too often over the last few months. Make these wins feel like they matter and we could actually get somewhere with him.
And now, WWE Investigates, looking at Dexter Lumis and the Miz. Byron Saxton talks to Johnny Gargano, who claims to have bombshell news. Gargano talks about knowing Lumis for years, including various clips of The Way’s wacky antics. Then Lumis lost his job and fell on hard times. We get a re-enactment of Lumis as an artist on the street, with Miz offering him $10,000 to fake the whole stalking ordeal for….some purpose.
Gargano even produces a recording of Miz talking to Lumis (who doesn’t talk) about the whole plan. Gargano shows clips, suggesting that Miz is just doing this for attention. Then somewhere, at least Gargano thinks, Miz stopped paying Lumis and the whole thing fell apart, with Lumis wanting his money. This was certainly a way to go and it’s actually a way out of explaining the whole nutty deal so I’ll take it. I’m not sure if it’s the most logical or even a good way to go, but this should be better than some of their other ideas. I think.
Crown Jewel rundown, with Bray Wyatt announced for an appearance.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Damage Ctrl vs. Alexa Bliss/Asuka
Bliss/Asuka, with Bianca Belair, are challenging and Bayley is here with the champs. Bliss stomps Sky into the corner to start and the fight is on fast but Sky is back up with a dropkick to the ribs. Kai comes in to stay on the ribs but Bliss fights up and brings Asuka in to clean house. A quick suplex drops Kai and a clothesline cuts her off again.
The champs are knocked outside but Kai is able to dropkick Bliss down as well. Asuka kicks away at Sky but gets taken down with a dragon screw legwhip as we take a break. Back with Asuka rolling Sky up for two and the hot tag brings in Bliss to clean house. Bliss Code Reds Kai out of the corner for two and it’s back to Asuka. Sky crushes her in the corner, setting up the springboard missile dropkick for two.
Asuka Codebreakers her out of the air and grabs the Asuka Lock, but the distracted referee doesn’t notice the tap. Bayley and Belair fight onto a box near the timekeeper’s area, where a Bayley to Belly sends Belair through a table. Back in the ring and Kai kicks Asuka in the face, only to get sent into the steps by Bliss. Asuka kicks Sky in the head and Bliss goes up top for Twisted Bliss and the titles at 16:21.
Rating: C+. This was a perfectly nice match which got some time and ended with a surprise title change. At the end of the day, it isn’t like Damage Ctrl needed to have the titles and the change is a good thing. Bliss and Asuka get to come back and get their revenge plus the titles, making this a rather logical way to go.
Pyro goes off to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. It wasn’t a great Raw and other than one or two spots, the Halloween aspect was barely a factor. That being said, I’ll take what we got over a bunch of lame Halloween jokes (ala a Halloween party). They do really need to get past the Logan Paul stuff though, as it comes off as such a lame detour from what could be a lot of good options otherwise. Outside from that, Crown Jewel is set and we should be in for a nice show. That was mostly the case here, but other than the Rollins vs. Theory match, you’re probably better off just looking at a recap.
Bianca Belair b. Nikki Cross – KOD
Seth Rollins b. Austin Theory – Stomp
Karl Anderson b. Damian Priest – Rollup
Matt Riddle b. Otis – RKO
Mustafa Ali b. The Miz – 450
Asuka/Alexa Bliss b. Damage Ctrl – Twisted Bliss to Sky
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