WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from October 26

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterOctober 27, 2015

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from October 26

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The first WWE Raw—after Hell in a Cell prevailed as such a resounding hit—was an upset victory.

    WWE was without Randy Orton, John Cena, Brock Lesnar and Undertaker. And Steve Austin only showed up for an instant to hawk WWE 2K16.

    Still, after weeks of dragging narratives and hollow matches, Monday's Raw flourished. 

    Low on firepower in terms of megastars, the company instead opted for smart booking and a focus on the WWE title. Roman Reigns and the recently returned Alberto Del Rio were among the four men vying to become Seth Rollins' next challenger.

    Like with Hell in a Cell itself, WWE did well to both generate excitement about the moments unfolding before us and the ones yet to come. 

    The following is a look into all the night's highs and lows. Even with the show's misfires, Monday's Raw earned far more fridge-worthy grades than recent shows.

The Authority Congratulate Seth Rollins

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    The Authority fawned on Seth Rollins, calling him the leader of a generation. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H talked about how they set up challenges for Rollins and how he passed each test.

    In front of a giddy Rollins, the two executives then announced that the No. 1 contender spot would be decided by a series of matches throughout the night. The winners of the bouts would enter a Fatal 4-Way to earn a shot at Rollins.

    Roman Reigns charged in, promising to be the last man standing in that gauntlet.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "You survived every single test, finding a way to win no matter what the odds, just like my husband Triple H has done throughout his career."—McMahon.

    "They will earn the privilege of getting beaten by Seth Rollins."—Triple H.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    While it was long-winded as usual, the opening promo did set up the rest of the show well.

    Having a battle throughout Raw to crown Rollins' next challenger was just plain smart. It provided high stakes for several matches. And it promised to give the eventual winner a robust supply of momentum.

    Reigns' very last moments in the ring is how he needs to be all the time: succinct, intense and more glaring than gabbing. The rest of it showed off his limitations on the mic and his unnatural delivery.

Roman Reigns vs. Kofi Kingston (For Spot in Fatal 4-Way No. 1 Contender's Match)

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    Big E and Kofi Kingston goofed around before the latter stepped into the ring with Roman Reigns.

    Reigns frustrated the high-flyer, clotheslining him off his feet and suplexing him to the mat. Big E's distraction opened things up for Kingston, though. The heel wore down Reigns with Big E rooting him on from ringside.

    It took Reigns making a fiery comeback to overcome Kingston. He avoided Trouble in Paradise and countered with a spear for the win. 


    Result

    Reigns wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "His greasy hair is booty. His style is not on fleek."—Big E on Reigns.

    "You might as well call me Harry Potter because I'm about to go inside that ring and make some magic."—Kingston.

    Kingston sends Reigns crashing into the guardrail with a sliding dropkick.

    Reigns lifts Kingston off the mat for a powerbomb.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    WWE should have Reigns sell the Hell in a Cell match against Bray Wyatt more. Tape his ribs, have him come out with a limp or just generally be weaker. There is no way he should have been so spry after that war.

    There wasn't a great flow to the clash at some points, but it served its purpose. The New Day got some spotlight; Reigns got a hard-earned win.

Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens (for Spot in Fatal 4-Way No. 1 Contender's Match)

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    A brash Kevin Owens overwhelmed Cesaro early. He alternated between tagging the King of Swing with punches and showboating. The intercontinental champ made sure to call out Michael Cole throughout.

    Cesaro responded with a flurry of uppercuts that had Owens retreating.

    The strongman charged up the crowd with a series of electric moves. He had the champion on the defensive, clinging to the ropes.

    A cheapshot of a superkick turned things around for Owens, however. He followed up with a pop-up powerbomb for the win.


    Result

    Owens wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "WWE didn't have a history until I showed up."—Owens.

    "Get a good look at this, Michael."—Owens to Cole.

    Cesaro hits a running uppercut while carrying a "Cesaro Section" sign.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Every time these two meet, it's more clear that WWE needs to have a best-of-seven series between them at some point. They work tremendously well together.

    This was cut short before it went from really good to great territory. 

    It's not clear why Owens is so obsessed with Michael Cole. WWE can't be thinking of doing a feud between the two. Involving the announcers like that never works out.

Charlotte, Paige and Becky Lynch vs. Team Bella

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    Backstage, Paige showed off about appearing on Conan. She managed to convince her former teammates to take her back.

    When the bout began, Paige was out to prove herself. She took many of the early lumps thanks to Nikki Bella.

    The heels remained in control when Charlotte entered. Becky Lynch, however, was a whirlwind when she entered the fray. 

    It wasn't enough to stave off defeat, though. Nikki's Rack Attack did her in.

    Paige ambushed Charlotte and knocked out Lynch after the bell. She wore a smug grin as she gloated over her fallen teammates.


    Result

    Team Bella wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Every talk show wants a piece of Paige."—Paige.

    Paige and Charlotte kip up simultaneously.

    Fans chant, "We want Becky!"

    Charlotte botches a neckbreaker on Brie.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    Charlotte and Lynch looked foolish for trusting Paige again. It's hard to buy that they didn't see that attack coming.

    And WWE continues to overuse tag matches with the women's division. This one was an underwhelming contest with low stakes. It's not surprising that the crowd was most excited when Paige attacked her allies.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Neville (for Spot in Fatal 4-Way No. 1 Contender's Match)

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    Renee Young spoke with Zeb Colter and Alberto Del Rio backstage before the action began. Colter explained that he wanted to forget about countries and form a new nation named Mex-America. 

    In the ring, Del Rio pounced on Neville, stunning him with measured strikes. Neville had a few counterattacks, but the U.S. champ was mostly in charge.

    The champ took Neville's best shots and came back with a vicious onslaught. He stomped on Neville's face to secure the win.


    Result

    Del Rio wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Del Rio scoffs at Neville for being an entitled immigrant. 

    Neville slides from a wheelbarrow position into a bulldog.

    A Backstabber bounced Neville into the air.

    Del Rio hits a double foot stomp on Neville as he was hung up in the corner.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    Del Rio looked excellent in the ring, and the announcers did their best to make his return to Raw a big deal. They talked up his accomplishments, his condition and his viciousness.

    He looked every bit like the sadistic villain he did at his peak. Neville provided some good, fun spots to add to the bout.

    The drawback here, however, is the odd explanation for Del Rio's alliance with Colter. Logic is lacking with WWE's reasoning. Why is Colter suddenly all about uniting with Mexico? Why is Del Rio so quick to forgive his old enemy?

    WWE needs to find a way to improve that narrative, or it will stumble moving forward.

The Dudley Boyz and Ryback vs. Sheamus, King Barrett and Rusev

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    Chaos opened the bout as all six man went at it. Once the referee gained control of the situation, Rusev, King Barrett and Sheamus took turns beating up on D-Von Dudley.

    Ryback shifted things in the babyface's direction with a big flurry. He and The Dudley Boyz then worked in sync to overwhelm their foes.

    Barrett, though, rolled up Bubba Ray Dudley when he tried to grab a table in order to steal the win. The heels then retreated in a hurry.


    Result

    Barrett, Sheamus and Rusev win via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Ryback clubs Sheamus off the ring apron with a nasty forearm shot.

    The Dudley Boyz join in on a "Feed me more!" chant.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    Not a great match here. This was another six-man tag team match with no real animosity between the teams, something WWE has gone to a lot of late.

    The heels did form a bond here, though, in the process of stealing a win. WWE would be wise to keep the trio together, give them a name and a direction and roll with it. There's potential for something excellent to unfold there.

The Eater of Worlds Explains Himself

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Bray Wyatt told the crowd that he would not go after Roman Reigns again until he was revitalized. He would to that by feeding on Undertaker's soul.  

    Destroying The Deadman would allow him to resurrect himself. Wyatt then asked for a moment of silence for Undertaker's lost soul. 

    Kane stormed out in response, but blackness soon enveloped the scene. The Wyatt Family emerged, surrounding the ring. Kane managed to fend them off, but only at first.

    Wyatt's clan overpowered him and dragged him away as they did with Undertaker at Hell in a Cell.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Last night, The Apocalypse showed its face: destruction, desolation, legends and fear."—Wyatt. 

    "That wicked, wicked, horrible feeling is in the air."—Wyatt.

    "The whole thing was a trap."—John "Bradshaw" Layfield.

    Grade

    A

    Analysis

    This diatribe had the perfect tone. It offered an intriguing explanation for what Wyatt is after. It didn't just ignore the Reigns feud, but it transitioned smoothly toward the future.

    Wyatt gave one of his best, most focused performances here. He seemed energized in real life and not just as part of the angle.

    WWE just needs to fully capitalize on it. Wyatt has made these kinds of threats before. It's time for them to lead to more than they have in the past.

Big E vs. Dolph Ziggler (for Spot in Fatal 4-Way No. 1 Contender's Match)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Tyler Breeze and Summer Rae sat at ringside in a mock-up VIP section for the action.

    Big E overpowered Dolph Ziggler for much of the bout. The Showoff tried to use a sleeper to slow the powerhouse, but it failed to bring him down. 

    With Kofi Kingston playing cheerleader, Big E was a stalking predator in the ring. He showboated too much, though, leaving himself open for a superkick and the babyface's comeback.

    Result

    Ziggler wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "The hits don't lie!"—Kingston.

    Big E plays "The New Day rocks!" chant on Ziggler's ribs while holding him in an abdominal stretch.

    Big E slingshots Ziggler over the top turnbuckle and out of the ring.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    It's smart of WWE to have Breeze do things differently. His VIP section played to his character well.

    Not mentioning Ziggler and Big E's past relationship was a missed opportunity. That would have added another layer to the story.

    Ziggler dramatically sold his hurt ribs throughout the matchup, showing again why he's such an elite seller. That made Big E's offense more meaningful, adding to how powerful he looked here. 

    Despite the loss, Big E came off like a hoss here. He's blending the comedy elements of his character with a more serious, sinister side beautifully.

Fatal 4-Way to Crown No. 1 Contender for WWE World Heavyweight Championship

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    Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

    Seth Rollins sat in on commentary as four men battled to become his next challenger.

    Roman Reigns brawled with Alberto Del Rio outside. Kevin Owens clashed with Dolph Ziggler near the guardrail. The action stayed chaotic with each man landing big blows.

    Owens and Del Rio formed a brief alliance, only to start brawling moments later. Ziggler and Reigns had their own showdown within the match, complete with huge dropkicks and near-falls. 

    The contest turned more chaotic as it went on, with everyone landing their best moves. Reigns emerged the winner. 

    He and Rollins then stared each other down as the crowd roared around them.

    Result

    Reigns wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Del Rio leaps from the guardrail to club Ziggler.

    Reigns hits a sliding dropkick onto Del Rio atop the announce table.

    Del Rio tries to steal a pin after Reigns hit Ziggler with a Superman Punch.

    Owens hits a cannonball, and Reigns hits a Drive By on Del Rio at the same time.

    Reigns counters a pop-up powerbomb with a Superman Punch.

    Grade

    A

    Analysis

    A great energy permeated this entire bout. A fresh matchup filled with hungry talent, combined with high stakes made for one of the best matches on Raw this year.

    WWE wisely made Reigns earn his spot. Too often, it just hands out title matches (see Kane, Sting), whereas The Big Dog looked more than worthy of the opportunity after surviving that four-man war.

    Rollins facing Reigns will allow him to gain momentum as champ. There is a good supply of history to build on, and the two have great chemistry as seen in that final staredown.