We kicked the show off with Jerry Lawler standing in the ring and introducing Lana and Rusev as this was the signing of their divorce. Lana noted that she would have loved Rusev when the WWE Universe said that he would be fat, stupid and couldn’t wrestle. As soon as they started to chant “Rusev Day” the fame went to his head. She added that Rusev and the entire WWE Universe would be responsible for the failure of their marriage.
In the end, Rusev said that it would get ridiculous and excitedly said that it would be time to sign the papers. Then they had a debate over who should sign first and who would get the dog. In the end, Lana signed first, called him a son of a bitch and then Rusev told her to shut up.
Before Rusev signed the papers, he said that he would want one last thing from Lana. She thought that he would want sex, but he told her that he would want a match against Bobby Lashley. Lashley’s music hit and he made his entrance. He also noted that it would get ridiculous and then added that he would ask Lana to marry him as soon as the divorce would be official. Rusev told him that he could do so and signed the papers. Lashley attacked him and a brawl started. In the end, Rusev sent him through the table in the ring with a Belly to Belly Suplex.
Opinion: Funny that they said two times in this segment that it would get ridiculous while the WWE Universe thinks so about this feud already for quite a while. Anyways, it seems as we finally will get the match between Lashley and Rusev at TLC to hopefully finish that whole nonsense.
Kevin Owen’s backstage segment and Drew McIntyre vs. Matt Hardy
Charly Caruso interviewed Kevin Owens in the backstage area and asked him if he has figured out why AOP attacked him last week. KO said that it was obliviously because Seth Rollins told them so. He added that he would be the only one who got in Rollins face and told him the truth and that the AOP would have a problem now due to their attack from last week.
He walked away and met Rey Mysterio in the backstage area. The United States Champion offered him to watch his back. Owens answered that he would appreciate the help, but it wasn’t needed. Mysterio gave him the lead pipe which he used against Brock Lesnar. KO smiled and thanked him as he walked on.
Then, Drew McIntyre made his entrance for his match against Matt Hardy who was already in the ring. McIntyre had a mic in his hand as he walked down the ramp to talk trash about Hardy and his kids. However, as he entered the ring, Hardy attacked him and the match kicked off. Hardy had some moments to show his offensive moves, but in the end, McIntyre bet him after the Claymore Kick.
Opinion: So, the storyline around KO, Rollins and AOP continues what is good to see. Meanwhile, we don’t see McIntyre in matches against local wrestlers, but also not really men on his level. He picks up win after win and perfectly works as a heel. Hopefully, this push will lead to something meaningful.
Backstage segments and “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins for the RAW Tag Team Championships
We saw a video from “earlier tonight” in which Charlotte Flair approached Becky Lynch. Charlotte said that she wouldn’t like Lynch, but the Kabuki warriors would be even worse. The Man mocked Charlotte and noted that she would face the Kabuki warriors herself later in this episode.
After that, we saw Owens who walked through the backstage area and asking everybody if they would have seen the AOP. He met Mojo Rawley who gave him confusing answers and laughed. KO answered with a slap and walked on.
Then, the Viking Raiders made their entrance and said that they would look for worthy opponents and offered an open challenge. The Street Profits made their typical entrance through the crowd and then the match started. Just after about three minutes, Erik and Ivar performed the Viking Experience for the win.
Opinion: It was good to see that the Viking Raiders beat someone different than local wrestlers in their typical squash matches. However, a shame that they put the Street Profits away in three minutes in such a meaningless match. Just imagine which feud and match we would get when these two teams were on NXT.
Rollins and Owens
The Beast Slayer made his entrance and told the Street Profits and the Viking Raiders that they were welcome to stay in the ring to hear what he had to say. However, all four wrestlers left the ring and Rollins was the only man left in it. The Architect called out the AOP to face him. Anyways, KO made his entrance and joined him in the ring. Owens wondered when the AOP would arrive, so they could all attack him together. Rollins told KO once more that he would have nothing to do with AOP. Then, Akam and Rezar were shown arriving in the building with a black van.
Rollins left the ring and Owens made fun of the idea that AOP would show up while they two were in the ring together. The Architect noted that he would do something “very unpopular” to prove himself to Owens by leaving. Owens once more called out the AOP as Rollins was already away. Akam and Rezar appeared on the big screen and talked in their native language. Owens answered that they had strong points and he couldn’t argue with any of them.
Then, Sami Zayn’s music played and he came out together with Rawley. Zayn noted that he shouldn’t be here since he’s a wrestler of SmackDown but added that he would be here since he received a manager’s license. The Canadian also noted that he wouldn’t be a manager but a liberator. He and Rawley entered the ring where he told Owens that he should apologize to Rawley for his slap in the backstage area.
Before Owens had the chance to say anything, Rawley took the mic and talked aggressively towards Owens. Zayn told him that he shouldn’t do that when KO had that look in his eyes and a pipe in his hand. Rawley said that everybody would be tough with a pipe in his hand. KO answered that they could test this theory, threw the pipe towards Rawley who caught it and then delivered a Stunner.
Opinion: Clearly the best segment until now. Good work by all men involved, but we are already used to the fact that Rollins, Owens and Zayn are all three strong with the microphone in their hand.
Aleister Black vs. Akira Tozawa and Humberto Carrillo vs. Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega)
Before the match between Aleister Black and Akira Tozawa, we saw a little pre-taped promo by Buddy Murphy who talked about his upcoming match with Black at TLC. The match itself was good and after not even four minutes Black put his opponent away with the Black Mass Kick.
Then, Caruso wanted to interview Humberto Carrillo in the backstage area, but suddenly Andrade got in his face. They shoved each other and talked in Spanish. Zelina Vega then asked “Tonight?” as both men went out of the picture. Then, we got another video package about Liv Morgan’s makeover which will be “coming soon”.
After that, the match between Andrade and Carrillo kicked off. As you would expect from such two amazing athletes, they performed great and delivered a solid match. In the end, Andrade ran towards Carrillo, who moved out of the way and due to that “El Idolo” hit Vega off the apron. This moment of distraction allowed Carrillo to pin Andrade with a roll-up. After the match, Vega and Andrade argued who’s fault it was as the segment closed.
Opinion: A well-worked match between Andrade and Carrillo with an interesting ending. They sold it as Carrillo’s biggest win since Andrade was until then unbeaten since his draft to RAW. However, he hasn’t beaten any great wrestlers, so this is not such a strong argument. However, a good match, but hopefully this isn’t the beginning of a split of Vega and Andrade since they need each other to fulfil their potential.
Buddy Murphy vs. Zack Ryder (w/ Curt Hawkins)
Then, we saw Rey Mysterio in the backstage area for a little promo. He said if AJ Styles would beat him tonight for the United States Championship, he would be the first one to congratulate him. Anyways, he also promised that he would do anything possible to defend the title. Also, we saw KO once more in the backstage area searching for AOP.
After that, we saw the match between Buddy Murphy and Zack Ryder which logically Murphy won after a very short time. We also saw a pre-taped promo by Black in which he said that Murphy’s biggest mistake was that he knocked on Black’s door.
Opinion: I’m really looking forward to the fight between these two. Additionally, for the first time in a while, WWE made everything right in letting two men just have some promos ahead of the PPV match and no single brawl. At TLC, we’ll see for the first time that these two would get the hands on each other.
AOP’s attack and the reveal
In the backstage area, KO found the black van of AOP and destroyed it with Mysterio’s pipe. He opened the back of the van to look for AOP, but they weren’t inside. Instead, they attacked him from behind and destroyed him. They even slammed the back door of the van against his head. Then a hooded person appeared in the back of the van and revealed himself as Seth Rollins. “It’s a shame,” Rollins said before he gave KO a Curb Stomp. “I’m sorry.” The Architect then walked away with AOP to then came out alone on the stage just a few moments later after the commercial break.
He asked the audience what they would want from him. Rollins added that he and the fans came so good along together and he asks himself why this isn’t the case anymore. He continued by saying that he would never take a night off and give everything for the fans in and out of the ring. “I get spit on and disrespected,” Rollins continued. “And I’m sick of it.” He recalled that he said that he would have nothing to do with Akam and Rezar and noted that this would have been true. However, the fans believed Owens. He added that he tried to tell them once more tonight but they didn’t believe him. He said that nothing was good enough for the fans. Rollins noted that he bet Lesnar two times this year and it was still not good enough.
The Beast Slayer said that it would be time for a push back and added that the negativity of the fans led him to be standing side by side with the AOP who then made their entrance and joined Rollins on the apron. Rollins gave the microphone to Rezar and then all three headed backstage.
Opinion: Incredibly strong segments. The attack, as well as the promo by Seth, were outstanding. It would be even more special when they would have waited longer until they reveal this, but they surely did so to have a match at TLC. Anyways, I like the idea of Rollins having the AOP on his side since these two men look really dangerous. Besides, it seems as they improved their wrestling abilities which were sometimes not the best in NXT. Bray Wyatt carries SmackDown while it seems as Rollins does the same on RAW.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions “The Kabuki Warriors” Kairi Sane and Asuka vs. RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch in a handicap match
The three women received quite some time to work together as the match ended after 13 minutes. Until then, Lynch was several times close to getting the win, but the Kabuki Warriors always saved each other to benefit from the handicap match. Anyways, in the end, Asuka hit Lynch with a chair for the DQ. After the match, they set up a table and placed the Man on it. Then, Kairi Sane performed the InSane Elbow to put Lynch through the table.
After the match, we saw the OC in the backstage area as they held a promo. AJ Styles was talking about that Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson would take the RAW Tag Team Titles away from the Viking Raiders and he would win back the U.S. Championship. The Phenomenal One added that if Randy Orton puts his nose in their business again, they would need to end his career.
Backstage, we saw how Charlotte once more approached Becky who received medical treatment. The Queen asked her how that went and the Man just said that it would be fine if it means she will get her hands on Asuka. Charlotte left the room to then get attacked by Asuka and Sane.
Opinion: Just the fact that the Women’s champion faces with a partner who is in truth a rival of her the Women’s Tag Team Champions shows that they have no women on the RAW roster who has a big enough name to challenge Lynch. Charlotte is the only one and the people just don’t want to see another feud between these two in the next time. Hopefully, neither Becky and Charlotte win the titles nor Charlotte will turn on Lynch.
Erick Rowan vs. local wrestler, backstage segments and “The WWE Monday after the Weekend Update”
As the bell rang, the local wrestler left the ring, grabbed Rowan’s cage and ran with it to the stage where he placed it on the floor. Rowan followed and checked on whatever there is inside. The local wrestler returned to the ring and thought that he would get a count-out victory, but Rowan was fast enough back in the ring to destroy him with several Claw Slams before the ref stopped the match. After that, the opponent of Rowan had to eat another Claw Slam.
Kayla Braxton asked in the backstage area the Kabuki Warriors what was next for them. At first, they talked in Japanese, but then Braxton asked them to say it in English. They challenged Lynch and Charlotte for their WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Charlotte and Lynch were shown sitting in the backstage area talking about their match at TLC.
Then “The WWE Monday after the Weekend Update” was aired with Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. It looked like a news program and they talked about several feuds in the WWE including Wyatt vs the Miz, King Corbin vs Roman Reigns and others.
Opinion: I hope that it won’t take that long anymore until they reveal what’s in Rowan’s cage. The show with Ford and Dawkins looks pretty funny as these two guys are just great.
Rey Mysterio vs. AJ Styles for the United States Championship
At first, Gallows and Anderson weren’t at ringside what was a bit surprising. However, after a while, they also came out to support Styles. The Phenomenal one and Mysterio showed a great match which was clearly the best one of the whole episode. In the final stage of the match, the Phenomenal One wanted to perform a Styles Clash from the middle rope, but they messed it up and both fell down which looked a bit weird. However, instead, he set up Mysterio for a normal Styles Clash and performed it. Suddenly, Orton rolled into the ring, winked at Styles and went back to ringside. This distraction allowed Mysterio to perform an inside cradle for the three count.
Opinion: The botch at the end was the only bad thing about this main event. The match was good and also great to see not another RKO out of nowhere. Instead, the Viper showed up, winked and was away again. Good to let Mysterio defend the title and the feud between Orton and Styles will be really interesting!
All in all, the episode was good, but we had almost no real competitive matches. More than the half of the fights in this episode were shorter than three minutes and besides, we had so many backstage segments about the storyline about Rollins and the one about Lynch and Charlotte. Anyways, they weren’t really able to fire me up for TLC, but there are still some good feuds in the making on RAW.