With only six days remaining until the Survivor Series pay-per-view, WWE provided an excellently entertaining go-home show that featured a number of monumental moments. While the night might've had a few low points, there's no doubting that this was easily the best edition of Monday Night Raw in quite some time.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of prediction and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in coming weeks.
Randy Orton def. Dolph Ziggler
Good match between Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler to kick off the show. These two have awesome chemistry, so it was disappointing to see their match cut short.
However, it led into a tag team match involving other Survivor Series competitors, so that was logical. Also, I liked how Orton picked up the victory here with a roll-up rather than an RKO, which is rare for the Viper.
I always enjoy when WWE opens their shows with matches, as it is most definitely a nice change of pace.
Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler def. Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton
Great tag team match with Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler defeating Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton. As previously stated, it made sense to have this match based on what transpired earlier, but I still found it hilarious that they had Teddy Long of all people make the announcement, who is notorious for making tag team matches.
The action was non-stop and enjoyable, and having the heels go over was certainly a smart move.
Vickie Guerrero Offers More "Evidence" of John Cena and AJ's Alleged Affair
Ridiculous segment involving Vickie Guerrero, Dolph Ziggler and AJ. This is the third consecutive week that they've shown "evidence" of AJ and John Cena having an affair (which is illogical since they're both single anyway), and it only gets worse each time.
Ziggler was good here, but that was about it. Cena coming down to protect AJ was predicable, which only confuses me as to why he's not facing Ziggler at Survivor Series.
The only true part of this whole angle that intrigued me on this show was the brief backstage bit between AJ and Cena, where the two flirted and showed mild interest in one another.
World Heavyweight Champion Big Show def. William Regal (non-Title)
Brief match with World Heavyweight Champion Big Show squashing William Regal. First, I'd like to thank WWE for fulfilling my longtime wishes and putting Regal back on television.
From this match, it seems like they're trying to build upon Regal's "friendship" with Sheamus, which I hope will ultimately lead to something. The match didn't last long at all and was used merely to make Show look like a beast going into Survivor Series, but I enjoyed Regal's television time on Raw while it lasted.
Kaitlyn def. Layla to Become the No. 1 Contender for the Divas Championship
Fine match with Kaitlyn defeating Layla to become the No. 1 contender to Eve's Divas Championship. Granted, the match should've been longer, but it was harmless and effective.
While she may not be the best in-ring worker, Kaitlyn is a fresh face in the title picture and has more of a Cinderella story if she wins the title on Sunday.
CM Punk Interrupts Jerry Lawler
Strong promo featuring WWE Champion CM Punk, Jerry Lawler and Mick Foley. I'll start off by saying that Lawler's return was very well done.
As much as I dislike having Jim Ross leave the booth, it's nice to see Lawler back on commentary and it was made to feel special. Of course, having Punk interrupt Lawler and take shots at his health was a cheap way to garner heat, but it was undoubtedly effective.
Punk provided some fantastic mic work, but I will agree with the majority in saying that Paul Heyman's "heart attack" crossed the line and was unnecessary. As tasteless as that might've seemed, you have to remember that it wouldn't have happened if Lawler wasn't cool with it, but still, that shouldn't happen one day prior to the seven-year anniversary of Eddie Guerrero's heart attack that cost him his life.
As for Mick Foley, he showed some great intensity on the mic and was also able to hype the main-event match by announcing his involvement in the contest.
Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd def. Prime Time Players, Primo and Epico
Fun eight-man tag team match with Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd defeating the Prime Time Players, Primo and Epico. Not only did this receive good time, but the action was extremely enjoyable.
All four teams meshed well together and proved what the tag team division is capable of. Cool finish with the combination of finishers and giving Gabriel some spotlight by allowing him to hit the 450 Splash for the win.
It's quite possible we could see these teams meet again in some capacity at Survivor Series, and I surely hope they do, as I'd love nothing more than to see a rematch with all eight adrenaline junkies.
R-Truth def. Tensai
Decent match with R-Truth defeating Tensai. The action was fine for what it was, but it was mostly used to give Truth some momentum going into his U.S. Championship match at Survivor Series.
Speaking of such, this is the most they've hyped a match over the U.S. title in about a year, so it was nice to see the belt finally get some love on Raw. Antonio Cesaro bashing the United States on Veterans Day was very fitting as well.
Ryback def. Brad Maddox
Basic squash match with Ryback dominating Brad Maddox. I, for one, actually enjoyed the result because Ryback shouldn't be losing to a referee, but it was a bit shocking, to say the least.
Sure, the action was pretty boring since there wasn't enough heat on Maddox to begin with, but the post-match beatdown was brutal. Everyone expected interference, but it never came.
If nothing else, it gave Ryback some monster momentum going into his WWE Championship match on Sunday.
Sheamus def. David Otunga; Big Show attacks William Regal Backstage
Throwaway match between Sheamus and David Otunga. We've seen this match multiple times before and each time it feels meaningless.
Sheamus is already looking good going into Survivor Series, so this bout was nothing more than an unneeded glorified squash. However, Big Show knocking William Regal out backstage was an effective way to get even more heat on the World Champion going into their match on Sunday, and anything involving Regal on WWE television always gets a thumbs up from this viewer.
WWE Tag Team Champion Kane and The Miz def. Team Rhodes Scholars
Solid tag team match with WWE Tag Team Champion Kane and The Miz defeating Team Rhodes Scholars. I couldn't be more thrilled with Miz's face turn, as it was long overdue and is something very fresh for his stale character.
Additionally, Raw was in his home state of Ohio last night, so that made it even more fitting. The match itself was well wrestled and furthered the feuds going into the five-on-five tag team match on Sunday.
On a side note, Daniel Bryan's jealously act at ringside was an absolute riot.
John Cena def. WWE Champion CM Punk (non-Title)
Excellent match between WWE Champion CM Punk and John Cena in the main event. These two are incapable of having bad matches, and this was no exception.
Their in-ring chemistry is amazing and it made for yet another very entertaining contest. I'm fine with Punk losing here, as all signs point to him winning on Sunday, and it was a nice win for Cena.
The post-match staredown between all three men was very intriguing and has me highly anticipating their Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series.
Overall, a very entertaining show that featured a lot of enjoyable moments and successful build for Sunday's Survivor Series pay-per-view. The three hours didn't feel like they dragged as much as they normally do and most matches and segments on this show felt like they had a purpose.
WWE did a superb job as far as booking goes on this show, and it succeeded in getting me extremely excited for the upcoming Survivor Series event.
Watch my latest WrestleRant video for my full thoughts on the show.
Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling, like me on Facebook and listen to my SAVE US GSM radio show every Wednesday night at 10/9c for more of my thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, reviews, recaps and more.