WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Oct. 16

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterOctober 17, 2017

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Oct. 16

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Monday's WWE Raw acted as a celebration of The Shield's return.

    Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins kicked off the show in their old gear. The Raw tag champs battled it out with The Bar, and Reigns ended the night going to war with Braun Strowman inside a steel cage.

    WWE leaned on The Hounds of Justice to promote Sunday's TLC: Table, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view, and it worked.

    The Portland, Oregon, crowd ate up The Shield's being on center stage again. And the trio electrified the airwaves.

    What other stories unfolded on the go-home show? What stars flourished? What matches underwhelmed?

    The following is a breakdown of Monday's Raw from its opening moments to a clash in a steel enclosure.

The Shield Arrives

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    Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins entered through the stands and recalled their days as The Shield. In front of a riled-up crowd, they called out their TLC opponents.

    Strowman, The Bar and The Miz charged out, but Raw general manager Kurt Angle restored order before things got out of hand. He announced that Cesaro and Sheamus would challenge Ambrose and Rollins for the tag titles later in the night.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • The Shield dons its old trademark gear.
    • "You get out of our yard, or we beat your ass."—Reigns.
    • "The Shield is back and better than ever, baby!"—Rollins.

        

    Grade

    B

        

    Analysis

    It's surprising WWE didn't save The Shield's reversion back to its old entrance and attire for the PPV, but it made for a fun moment to kick things off.

    The brief segment did a solid job of setting up the rest of the night, offering a tease of what's to come. Angle infused more logic into the product, as he kept the heels at bay by threatening to take away their big opportunities.

    Ambrose looked revitalized in his old role as The Shield's wild card. The Shield reunion is going to be huge for him.

Elias and The Club vs. Apollo Crews, Jason Jordan and Titus O'Neil

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    With Elias on guitar, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson broke into song. Elias led the way as the three men mocked Jason Jordan.

    Titus O'Neil, Apollo Crews and Jordan stepped out to interrupt. The babyfaces cleared the ring and had their foes reeling. Everyone soon got involved as both teams fought in the ring.

    Crews finished off Anderson with a spinning powerbomb.

        

    Result

    Crews, O'Neil and Jordan win via pinfall.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • The Club sings "Honky Tonk Man."
    • O'Neil clotheslines Gallows out of the ring.

        

    Grade

    D

        

    Analysis

    The Club yipping and singing Honky Tonk Man's old tune are the latest additions to a long list of bad ideas WWE has handed the team.

    Jordan's teaming with the Titus Worldwide crew felt random. The match had zero stakes and offered minimal highlights as it barreled to the end in a hurry.

    The company doesn't seem to have a clear plan for anyone involved here.

Cedric Alexander vs. Jack Gallagher

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    Brian Kendrick lurked around before the action began. Rich Swann came out to watch Cedric Alexander's back.

    Alexander blasted Jack Gallagher in the early going. A distraction earned the heel an opening, and he took over with a methodical attack. The Gentleman kicked his foe relentlessly.

    But Alexander was able to charge back and hit Lumbar Check for the win.

        

    Result

    Alexander wins via pinfall.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Swann yanks Kendrick off the ring apron.
    • "You wouldn't know much about the streets, Cole."—Booker T.
    • Swann DDTs Kendrick out on the floor.

        

    Grade

    C-

        

    Analysis

    An OK match served as a reminder that Alexander and Swann vs. Kendrick and Gallagher is part of the TLC card. We saw only flashes of what either wrestler can do. The PPV bout should be a slightly better showcase for them.

    There's not much to this rivalry to this point other than Kendrick and Swann's looking out for each other.

The Miz Welcomes Braun Strowman

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    The Miz stood in the ring flanked by Cesaro, Sheamus and Curtis Axel as he talked about taking down The Shield. The intercontinental champ downplayed The Hounds of Justice's greatness.

    When Strowman arrived, he promised to bring pain to The Shield.

    The Miz tried to add another guy to his team for TLC. Angle said Strowman had to beat Reigns in their cage match to get what he wanted. If Strowman lost, he would be pulled from the TLC match.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fans chant for Axel.
    • "I know you're all jealous of the hawk."—Sheamus to the fans.
    • The Miz calls The Shield an "overhyped nostalgia act."

        

    Grade

    B+

        

    Analysis

    The Miz was given repetitive material, but he pulled it off with his usual verbal flair. He sounded as if he truly believes he and his crew are better than The Shield.

    Angle again came off as a logical force in a topsy-turvy world.

    The three-on-four setup was fine as it was. There's no need to go messing with it. Still, it never hurts to add big stakes to a TV match.

Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks

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    Sasha Banks pounced on Alicia Fox right as the bell rang. She nearly had her beat with the Bank Statement, but the heel survived the storm.

    Fox took over, yanking The Boss around in a rear chinlock.

    Banks countered with another Bank Statement. And this time, Fox tapped out.

    Backstage, Fox attacked her rival, forcing a team of officials to step in.

        

    Result

    Banks wins via submission.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Where is my T-shirt?"—Fox.
    • Fox floors Banks with a running back elbow.
    • Banks leaves the match with a bloody mouth.
    • Fox shoves a referee.

        

    Grade

    B

        

    Analysis

    Fox hasn't looked this good in a long time. Banks seems to bring out the best in her. Even in a short, squash-like contest, she and Banks were able to churn up a good amount of excitement.

    It's great to see her getting some spotlight and be a part of a story again.

Enzo Amore Leaves the Champion Out Cold

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    Enzo Amore bemoaned the fact he lost the Cruiserweight Championship last week. He accused Mustafa Ali and Kalisto of stealing the gold from him.

    Kalisto confronted him, only angering Amore even more.

    Drew Gulak, Noam Dar, Ariya Daivari and Tony Nese ambushed the champ. Amore made fun of Kalisto as the attack went on.

    Ali charged out and began to clean house, but the heels overwhelmed him.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I got nuked, dubbed and robbed for my Cruiserweight Championship."—Amore.
    • "I got money stacked taller than you."—Amore.
    • Fans chant "We want Neville!"

        

    Grade

    B-

        

    Analysis

    There needs to more of an explanation as to why the heels joined forces with Amore. For weeks, he was slapping them around with insults.

    Amore continues to grow into his heel role and sure made it easy to root against him as he mocked his victims.

    Ali was made to look courageous and formidable thanks to his part in all of this. He's more charismatic than Kalisto and one of the best in-ring performers in the division. His time in the limelight is long overdue.

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro and Sheamus (Raw Tag Team Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    A high-energy match saw Ambrose and Sheamus trade hard shots. A cheap shot allowed The Bar to take over. The heels wore down Rollins for much of the match.

    The Lunatic Fringe went on a flurry as the pace of the match picked up.

    Ambrose withstood the challengers' best double-team moves. He landed Dirty Deeds to put the match away.

        

    Result

    Ambrose and Rollins win via pinfall to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Ambrose and Rollins both launch themselves at The Bar outside the ring.
    • Sheamus flings Rollins in the air; Cesaro uppercuts him in midair.

        

    Grade

    A-

        

    Analysis

    The Shield reunion has brought out a high-voltage version of Ambrose. He looked terrific here, getting the crowd riled up.

    There was a great energy throughout this bout. The Bar's offense was plenty creative. The two teams continued their run of entertaining matches against each other.

    As the announcers pointed out, adding Strowman, Reigns and the TLC environment to this mix is going to make for quite the wild ride.

Finn Balor's Message for Bray Wyatt

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    Finn Balor's new alter ego.
    Finn Balor's new alter ego.Credit: WWE.com

    Finn Balor talked about the legends he heard as a child. He warned Bray Wyatt about the demon inside him.

    Balor transformed into an orange-faced entity via special effects.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I too will slay a monster."—Balor.
    • "My demons dream about nightmares."—Balor.

        

    Grade

    D-

        

    Analysis

    This feud took a long while to get truly weird, and now here we are with two men set to enter TLC as their supernatural alter egos.

    Balor's second self is as bad as Wyatt's Sister Abigail, but that's not saying much. Pumpkin-faced Balor is far from the best thing he could be right now. This story has been an albatross around his neck.

    The TLC audience is going to laugh this bout out of the building.

Emma and Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James and Bayley

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    Bayley reaches out to tag Mickie James to escape from Alexa Bliss.
    Bayley reaches out to tag Mickie James to escape from Alexa Bliss.Credit: WWE.com

    Alexa Bliss overpowered Bayley to kick things off. It didn't take long for things to unravel as the teams argued outside the ring.

    Bayley and Emma traded the advantage in the ring before the heels wore down The Huggable One.

    James led a comeback. Bayley jumped into the fray. A kick from James left Bliss out for the count.

        

    Result

    Bayley and James win via pinfall.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Bayley repeatedly slams Emma's face into the turnbuckle.
    • Emma stomps Bayley into the security barricade.

        

    Grade

    C+

        

    Analysis

    It could have been played up more, but there was some good tension between James and Bliss as they stared each other down. Emma was briefly made to look formidable ahead of her match with Asuka.

    James' victory is meant to create some doubt about Bliss' chances to retain on Sunday, but The Goddess of WWE remains the heavy favorite. A longer build would have allowed WWE to pump up James more.

    The match also served as a reminder that Bayley doesn't have anything going on right now.

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman (Steel Cage)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Backstage, Axel tried to fire up the troops. After some hesitation, he went to go pick a fight with Reigns. The Miz later found Axel hung upside down from a forklift.

    The A-Lister sat in on commentary.

    In the cage, Reigns and Strowman collided, with neither titan able to get a clear advantage at first. The Monster Among Men eventually overwhelmed his foe, batting him around like a dead mouse.

    Reigns looked to escape, but The Bar got in the way. Ambrose and Rollins yanked the European bruisers off the cage and a brawl broke out.

    Kane's music played as he tore through the ring to lay a beating on The Big Dog. Kane and Strowman battered the helpless powerhouse until he couldn't get up.

        

    Result

    Strowman wins via pinfall.

        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I need this match more than anything."—Axel.
    • Strowman flings Reigns across the ring.
    • Strowman yanks Reigns back into the cage for a superplex.
    • Reigns counters a toss from Strowman to land a Superman Punch.

        

    Grade

    A-

        

    Analysis

    Monday's main event, especially the brawl outside the cage, provided a quality preview for TLC's big bout.

    The stakes added to the action. The idea of a fifth heel being added to The Miz's crew gave the show and this contest a sense of purpose.

    Strowman looked great in the steel cage. WWE should make that match one The Monster Among Men battles in often, turning it into his home field so to speak.

    Kane's addition is all kinds of random. WWE plucked him from semi-retirement to be the fifth man. More explanation is surely on the way, but for now, The Big Red Machine's motivation is unclear.