WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 5November 6, 2018
WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 5
WWE Crown Jewel surprised many with some unique moves that were certain to affect WWE going forward, and that was clear in the buildup to the November 5 edition of Monday Night Raw.
Brock Lesnar has regained the WWE Universal Championship, putting the power over Raw back in the hands of a man who is not likely to appear often on the red brand. However, The Beast Incarnate only won thanks to the assistance of Baron Corbin, who cost Braun Strowman everything.
The Monster Among Men was certain to be on a warpath, with the Raw general manager primarily in his sights. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins also promised chaos, with both still technically Raw tag team champions even as they tried their best to destroy each other.
With Survivor Series on the horizon, Ronda Rousey was set to answer Becky Lynch's emphatic promise on SmackDown to rip The Baddest Woman on the Planet's arm off. Two rematches were also set for the show with Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley and The Riott Squad vs. Natalya, Sasha Banks and Bayley.
Fallout was the name of the game on Raw, as the brand refocused on how to contend with SmackDown at Survivor Series with so much bad blood defining the roster.
Baron Corbin Tries to Set the Stage for Raw's Success at Survivor Series
Protected by security, acting GM Corbin opened the show to address Survivor Series, announcing that he would captain the men's team with Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Strowman as the first three members. He then told The Monster Among Men not to take his attack at Crown Jewel personally.
For the women, he announced Alexa Bliss as captain. She came out and demanded all the women step up to take their spots in the match. After Bliss announced Riott Squad vs. Natalya, Banks and Bayley, Kurt Angle arrived to challenge Corbin to a match for the captain role of Raw.
The interim GM accepted before The Monster arrived and was barely held back by the Raw Superstars on the stage long enough for Corbin to escape.
This went on far too long for all that it accomplished. Pushing on 20 minutes, this segment simply set up the beginning of the Raw men's and women's teams for Survivor Series. It could have been done in five minutes, certainly 10.
The Raw men's team is shaping up quickly as a powerhouse with or without Angle. Since SmackDown will almost certainly have Shane McMahon on its side, it will be hard to believe the blue brand has a clear advantage over the red brand going in.
The Riott Squad vs. Natalya, Sasha Banks and Bayley
Fueled by the words of Bliss, The Riott Squad showed early that it would do anything to dominate this match. The team managed to isolate Bayley for a long stretch of this clash, but Natalya finally got the hot tag and took control of this match easily.
As The Queen of Harts had Liv Morgan trapped in the Sharpshooter, though, Ruby Riott snapped Jim Neidhart's sunglasses in half. This caused Natalya to release the hold. The heel trio retreated up the ramp as the faces tried to support their weeping friend, who had lost a remembrance from her father.
Riott Squad vs. Natalya, Banks and Bayley goes to a no-contest
This six-woman tag match was not up to the level of the Evolution clash, but it was certainly a solid TV match. However, it was completely unnecessary with nothing on the line, which was only emphasized by the complete non-finish.
While snapping the sunglasses of The Anvil was a heinous act that can add heat to this overlong feud, it lacked a definitive purpose. The heels didn't win because of it. It was as if the moment just caused everyone to forget there was a match.
Jinder Mahal vs. Apollo Crews
In a pretaped interview, Apollo Crews promised to start to add real victories to his many moral victories. While Jinder Mahal managed to grind down Crews for a time, the athletic face picked up steam and then gained the victory with a standing moonsault.
Crews def. Mahal by pinfall
Raw's complete inability to build talent continues to be center stage each week with matches like this. Weeks after seemingly restarting his run by calling out Elias, the former member of Titus Worldwide picked up his first real victory in a squash of a supposed high-level opponent in The Modern Day Maharaja.
Just because Mahal won the world title, though, doesn't make the win matter because the red brand turned the Indian star into a non-factor from the moment he returned to Raw. He's in the exact same role he was before leaving for SmackDown, complete with the dead-end Man of Peace gimmick.
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. The Authors of Pain (Raw Tag Team Titles)
Rollins talked about Ambrose again before seemingly looking to forfeit the Raw Tag Team Championships. Corbin interrupted and announced The Architect and The Lunatic Fringe vs. The Authors of Pain for the tag titles next.
This match looked impossible for a time, with Akam and Rezar dominating a handicap match. The WWE intercontinental champion, though, hit a major second wind, hitting a series of suicide dives and a blockbuster. Even when Drake Maverick got involved, Rollins nearly won with a pair of superkicks.
The Authors, though, refused to stay down and managed to get the win thanks to an assisted powerbomb. The Lunatic came out to speak to an injured Rollins, teasing an answer for why he turned but only giving the Dirty Deeds again.
Akam and Rezar def. Rollins and Ambrose by pinfall to become the new Raw tag team champions
This was a good way to move the tag team championships quickly to a pair who can make them feel legitimate, even if The Architect got in a bit too much offense. The match sold the idea to the fans that Rollins could win, but he never really got close.
The Authors can now take over the tag team division with so many potential rivals lined up. Akam and Rezar finally feel as dominant as they were in NXT. Meanwhile, Rollins and Ambrose continue to slow-build the best feud on the brand.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Elias
Ziggler refused to acknowledge Shane McMahon's win at Crown Jewel, calling himself the best in the world. Elias interrupted and sang a song, insulting The Showoff until the two agreed to a match. These two went all out as The #Heel tried to grind down The Drifter to no avail.
Ziggler finally connected with the Zig Zag only for the musician to get his boot on the bottom rope. As Ziggler got frustrated, Elias caught him with the Drift Away and stole the victory.
Elias def. Ziggler by pinfall
These two don't have natural chemistry together. They may develop it over time, but their first outing took far too long to get anywhere. Once they reached the home stretch with the loud crowd, it was a fun match. It just took forever to get there.
After standing tall as Raw's representative at Crown Jewel, it was awkward to have The Showoff lose the next night clean. Granted, Drew McIntyre wasn't in his corner here unlike on Friday, but Ziggler did not need this loss right now, even if Elias will benefit from the victory.
Ronda Rousey Calls Out Becky Lynch; Nia Jax vs. Ember Moon
Ronda Rousey put over Becky Lynch as an entertaining performer before saying she was not convinced The Irish Lass Kicker was ready. The Baddest Woman on the Planet called herself a natural-born killer who would gladly take on any challenge, as she had honed her skills for this kind of fight.
Nia Jax interrupted to remind Rousey she was next up to fight the champion. Ember Moon followed to set up a rematch from last week. While The War Goddess pushed her to her limit, Jax still caught her former friend with a sudden Samoan drop for the win.
Tamina appeared, and Jax's attitude changed. Tamina hit a Samoan drop on Moon and then locked in a Boston crab so that Jax could hit a series of running elbow drops.
Jax def. Moon by pinfall
Rousey's promo was uneven but got the point across. Both champions are focused and ready for their match. The way it transitioned into Jax vs. Moon would have worked better if Moon also got a chance to speak. Instead, she was just here to take a beating again.
The match was better than last week with more time, but the result was the same. Jax was treated as the far bigger star. The heel turn that followed was expected, if weirdly delivered. This should have been a big story. Instead, it was a sudden move with no explanation for why Tamina caused Jax to turn.
Bobby Lashley vs. Finn Balor
Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley annoyed the crowd until Finn Balor arrived for his match. While The Dominator again had control of most of this match, the Irishman refused to stay down. He ended up getting close to the victory before Rush distracted Balor long enough to take a Dominator for the loss.
Afterward, McIntyre arrived early for his match with Angle, getting in Lashley's face until the big man backed down. He then helped Balor to his feet just to hit him with a Claymore.
Lashley def. Balor by pinfall
A good crowd really can make the difference sometimes, as this was the most interesting match these two have had to date. Lashley and Balor told a strong story, and it was not played out in front of a dead crowd. Manchester, England, was focused on the action, which made that action matter.
I would prefer this feud end so that Balor can move on to more interesting rivals like McIntyre, and there's still not much life in this Lashley and Rush pairing. This was just a slight improvement on what should have been a great rivalry but has turned into a dud.
Kurt Angle vs. Drew McIntyre
Before Corbin escaped from the arena to avoid Strowman, he announced McIntyre would take his spot in the match with Angle. Knowing he was in trouble, The Olympic Gold Medalist went right after The Scottish Psychopath to get even the smallest advantage.
McIntyre completely overwhelmed the WWE Hall of Famer, basically ending this already with a Claymore. However, the big man taunted the veteran until pure adrenaline pushed Angle to lock in the ankle lock. The heel then sealed the match with an Angle Slam and ankle lock.
McIntyre def. Angle by submission
This was not a great match in the traditional sense, but it told a fantastic story. Rather than letting Angle ride the momentum of his return to action, he's being forced to face adversity. McIntyre humiliated him because he's still not the man he once was.
It was so one-sided and brutal that this felt like it could be the end of Angle's run. It will take a fresh story to sell The Olympic Gold Medalist rising from the ashes to fight again. Meanwhile, McIntyre was just made in the main event.