11/19/18 WWE Monday Night Raw Recap
by Patches Chance
Less than 24 hours after dominating the fight for brand supremacy, Monday Night Raw comes to us from the same building where that statement was made. For the third night in a row, WWE invades the Staples Center, and there’s plenty of Survivor Series fallout to come. Perhaps most interesting will be the reaction to Raw’s “clean” sweep of SmackDown. Raw’s tag teams dropped the ball on the Kickoff Show and apparently didn’t get the memo about sweeping SmackDown, but WWE deemed the Kickoff Show meaningless and pretended it never happened.
Along the way, Braun Strowman managed to keep his word and avoided destroying Baron Corbin. With that promise fulfilled, he’s now got his eyes on destroying Corbin and taking the Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar as soon as possible.
Speaking of champions, Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins went to war with United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and picked up a win for Raw. Seth wasn’t able to savor the win for long, as he was told just after the match that he’ll be defending his Intercontinental Championship against Dean Ambrose in four weeks at TLC.
As for the Raw Women’s Championship, it would be an understatement to say that Ronda Rousey had a rough night. It would also be an understatement to say that she’s got a rough road ahead. In the Women’s Traditional Survivor Series Match, Raw picked up the win, but only after Nia Jax stole the spotlight from Sasha Banks and let The Boss get eliminated. Nia pinned Asuka after a series of leg drops and a Samoan Drop. While Sasha will surely be looking for revenge, Nia now has her eyes on her future title opportunity against Rousey.
Meanwhile, there’s no telling what kind of condition Ronda Rousey is in after being brutalized by SmackDown’s Charlotte Flair. Ronda may have won the match by disqualification, but she didn’t exactly get to celebrate. Charlotte demolished more than one kendo stick by hitting Ronda with it until the stick was in pieces. Charlotte drove her face-first into a steel chair with Natural Selection. Then, as the cherry on top, Charlotte wrapped a chair around her throat and stomped on it to damage the neck of the Raw Women’s Champion even more. What kind of condition could Rousey even be in tonight?
This live recap will be updated as the show airs. Please refresh the page for the most recent updates.
Promises Made, Promises “Kept”
At Survivor Series, Monday Night Raw “swept” SmackDown Live by winning every match. Except they lost on the Kickoff Show, which has since been deemed meaningless. In similar fashion, Stephanie McMahon’s appearance at the beginning of Raw came with her insistence that her “word is [her] bond.” There’s an asterisk on Raw’s “clean sweep,” and there seems to be one on her promises as well.
At Survivor Series, Stephanie made clear to Baron Corbin that she would consider making his position as Acting General Manager something more permanent if he swept the board. In accordance with Stephanie’s standards, he “swept” the board, but that wasn’t the only promise Stephanie made. Last week on Raw, she promised Braun Strowman a future shot at the Universal Championship, a match with Brock Lesnar, and the chance to choose the stipulations of those matches. She promised this as long as Braun didn’t lay a hand on Corbin before Survivor Series and helped lead Team Raw to victory.
With both conditions fulfilled, Strowman made his way to the ring to seek his deserved rewards. Stephanie fulfilled them, but with asterisks as always. With both promises in mind, everything looks to TLC. In four weeks, Braun Strowman will face Baron Corbin. By Strowman’s request, they’ll compete in a TLC Match, and Stephanie has clear consequences for either outcome.
Should Braun Strowman win, he will earn the right to compete against Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. That win would also be detrimental to Baron Corbin, who will lose all authority on Raw should he lose. However, if Corbin can manage a win, he’ll become the permanent General Manager of Raw. All of that will be decided in four weeks at TLC, but tonight Baron Corbin was looking to inflict damage on Braun Strowman.
First, Corbin said Strowman would be competing in a handicap match against Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley. Still being in a “celebratory” mood, Stephanie upped the ante and made it a six-man tag team match with Elias and Finn Balor teaming with Strowman against McIntyre, Lashley, and Corbin. During the commercial break prior to that match, Baron Corbin added one final twist by making it an elimination match. What followed was a great match, but one that clearly had ulterior motives from the beginning. Finn Balor was eliminated by Drew McIntyre, and Bobby Lashley destroyed Elias with a spear that caused him to be eliminated by countout.
With those two eliminated, the trap was set. Strowman looked poised to eliminate Corbin when Drew McIntyre suddenly struck him in the back with a steel chair. What followed was a calculated beatdown of Braun Strowman by Corbin, Lashley, and McIntyre. Strowman’s arm was eventually sandwiched between steel stairs and seriously damaged. Trainers came out to attend to him, and Braun could be heard at times saying he couldn’t feel his arm and couldn’t feel his fingers. The issues between Strowman and Corbin are far from over, but The Monster Among Men has been seriously damaged.
Ronda Rousey wants to be a fighting champion
While Raw was victorious during most of Survivor Series, it was Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey whose win came at the largest cost. After being brutalized by Charlotte Flair, there were plenty of questions about Rousey’s condition following the attack. However, her future challenger looked as fresh and dangerous as ever. Nia Jax is looking to take the Raw Women’s Championship from Rousey at TLC, and her roll of momentum started tonight. Nia picked up a strong tag team win with Tamina over Bayley and Sasha Banks.
You’d think Ronda would take the night off, but instead she came out and clunkily delivered a tirade about how she doesn’t deserve to be champion if she can’t defend the belt on her worst day. The underlying message seemed to be that Becky somehow isn’t a fighting champion because she wasn’t medically cleared for Survivor Series, which fell pretty flat in a Staples Center packed with fans that can’t wait to get their dose of The Man tomorrow night on SmackDown Live.
Despite the awkwardness of her words, Ronda laid out a clear open challenge with disregard for her current condition after Charlotte’s beatdown. Acting General Manager Baron Corbin tried to deny the request in order to protect his champion, but Rousey insisted. After a commercial break to find an opponent, Rousey defended her title against veteran Mickie James. Ronda struggled early on and was clearly still feeling her injuries, but it didn’t take her long to slip on an armbar and make Mickie James tap out. After the match, Nia Jax approached Nia on the ramp and feigned a punch, providing a cocky reminder for what could lie ahead.
WWE Mind Games: Dean Ambrose
When Raw works best, it tends to be in conjunction with a story that gets told in several parts throughout the show. A lot of this week’s edition of Raw felt disjointed, and the sins of Survivor Series carried over into tonight’s writing as well. The bright spot of the night, save for one controversial comment, was in the form of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. The issues between these former Shield brothers were put on hold during Survivor Series, but now the focus turns to TLC.
In four weeks, Seth Rollins will defend his Intercontinental Championship at TLC, but the title isn’t much more than an afterthought in this blood feud. Seth Rollins continued to talk about how Dean Ambrose refuses to “face him like a man” about turning on Seth the night Roman had to relinquish his championship due to a cancer diagnosis. At every turn, Seth tries to get Ambrose to face him, and Dean slips by. This back and forth continued throughout the night. Dean even appeared on a television monitor during a different segment to alert Charly Caruso that Seth Rollins can find Dean in the place “The Shield used to call home.”
Once the message was delivered, Rollins kicked down the door to the stairwell that often held The Shield. Ambrose wasn’t there, but “BURN IT DOWN” was on the back of the door in black spray paint. Fed up with Dean’s games, Rollins decided to leave the arena early and catch his red eye flight. With Rollins out of the picture, Dean Ambrose made his way to the ring at the end of the night to address the crowd and their foul stench. Oh, and the stench of their dirty little children.
Ambrose proceeded to light into the crowd and Rollins about how easy his manipulation was, but things took an abrupt turn when the video screen showed Seth Rollins was still in the arena and burning a path to the ring. The Architect hit the ring and the brawl was on, but a low blow put Ambrose right back in control. Dean continued the beatdown in the final moments of Raw, and somehow things have gotten even more personal between these two.
- Just pretend Braun Strowman’s temporary heel turn never happened. That’s what WWE is doing.
- The opening segment and subsequent tag team match occupied almost the entire first hour of Raw. So, a third of the show hinges on a championship held by an employee who never shows up.
- Dean Ambrose said The Shield has done more bad than good over the years, and the time will come for each of them to answer for it. He also said Roman is already having to answer for it, so that happened…
- Lars Sullivan is coming, and judging by the video package airing on Raw now, that’ll be his new home.
- WWE is continuing to push Nia Jax as “Facebreaker.” Gross.
- Dean’s mind games with Seth keep getting more interesting. The so-called “Lunatic” is completely in control, and that makes him more dangerous than ever.
- *Insert joke about Drake Maverick pissing his pants here*
- Apparently “Lucha House Rules” means all three members of Lucha House Party can compete in a tag team match. So…a handicap match?
- Ronda Rousey’s mic work is truly cringeworthy. It’s bad, and bad writing is making it worse.
- WWE later reported Braun Strowman is suffering from a “shattered elbow” because of the attack by Baron Corbin and company earlier in the night.
- The rivalry between Natalya and Ruby Riott still feels incredibly forced. Hopefully it can come to an end soon, because it’s not helping either of them.
- “I turned my back on all of you and your dirty little children!” – Dean Ambrose
- Braun Strowman, Elias, and Finn Balor def. Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin via disqualification
- Tamina and Nia Jax def. Sasha Banks and Bayley
- Lucha House Party def. The Revival
- Ronda Rousey def. Mickie James to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
- Chad Gable & Bobby Roode def. The Authors of Pain in a non-title contest
- Natalya def. Ruby Riott