WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights for October 7
On the heels of a noteworthy (for better or worse) Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, WWE Raw hit the USA Network airwaves with a jam-packed show.
It included the explanation for Bobby Lashley and Lana's torrid lip lock at the end of last week's broadcast, a battle between Team Hogan's Rusev and Team Flair's Randy Orton, and the conclusion of a heated rivalry as Lacey Evans and Natalya battled in a Last Woman Standing match.
Who emerged victorious from the in-ring action, what storyline developments captivated the fans and how will it affect the brand going forward as it prepares for the WWE draft beginning Friday night?
Find out with this recap of the October 7 episode.
With Rusev already in the ring for his match with Randy Orton, Bobby Lashley appeared on the video screen, live from The Bulgarian Brute's bedroom. He taunted his newfound rival until Lana showed up and joined The All Mighty in bed.
"Everything we own is now in my name," Lana revealed. She removed her top under the sheets as a teary-eyed Rusev watched from inside the squared circle. At ringside, King Corbin and The Viper watched on, laughing at the tormented babyface.
Rusev took the fight to them, sending Corbin into the steel steps and repeatedly bashing his face on them. The incensed face grabbed the stairs and proceeded to ram them into both Team Flair members. "Are you laughing at me?!" he yelled.
He finished the assault and marched up the ramp with no match taking place.
Where was this Rusev last week?
Monday night, he reacted to his wife and her lover taunting him exactly as you would expect, beating the ever-loving hell out of anyone in his path. It did not matter if it was the majorly pushed Corbin and Orton; he unleashed hell, and it was magnificent.
No longer comic relief or a stoic foreign fanatic, Rusev expressed genuine emotion, and it was the best character development he has enjoyed in quite some time—even if the emphasis for it is a little too soapy.
Last Woman Standing: Natalya vs. Lacey Evans
Lacey Evans vowed to throw Natalya away like the trash she is before their Last Woman Standing match and nearly paid for the taunt, enduring a beating at the hands of The Queen of Harts early.
Natalya trapped Evans in the Sharpshooter, but with no submissions, count-outs or disqualifications, the hold was essentially useless.
Evans gained the upper hand heading into the break, dropping her opponent at ringside.
Back from the commercial, The Sassy Southern Belle launched Natalya into the timekeeper's position, with the third-generation competitor crashing into chairs.
She followed up with a kendo-stick attack targeting the back and midsection. The brash and arrogant Evans took a seat in one of the office chairs, awaiting her opponent's recovery. When Natalya did make it to her feet, she threw her face-first into the ring post.
Natalya wielded the kendo stick and got in a strong shot across the back of her opponent before the heel downed her again, not allowing the veteran to build any momentum for herself.
The match spilled back into the ring, where Nattie rolled out of the way of a wildly swung kendo stick and right back to the arena floor. Evans followed her out and flattened her with a swinging neckbreaker. She blasted her opponent with a trash can and added insult to injury, throwing the garbage in her face. A moonsault followed.
A suplex on the entrance ramp continued the heel's roll.
Evans suplexed Natalya on the announce table, which failed to break, leaving The Queen of Harts to bounce off and onto the stage.
The Queen of Harts finally strung two moves together and they were, arguably, the two most important of the match.
She countered a suplex into one of her own, stunning Evans. From there, she powerbombed her off the stage and through a table on the floor. The referee counted to 10 and victory was hers.
Natalya defeated Evans
Make no mistake about it, the effort was most certainly there. Natalya took some hellish bumps, and Evans was at her heel best.
The problem with the match was its layout. Evans dominated: She beat the hell out of Natalya and left her screaming in agony. But after several minutes of punishing her rival, she fell to a single suplex? Then, after finding herself on the receiving end of a very back-focused attack, The Queen of Harts managed to effortlessly powerbomb her opponent off the stage?
It lacked logic, spat in the face of psychology and rendered the story meaningless.
While it was nice to see Natalya win a high-profile match, the manner in which it came about left a lot to be desired.
The Viking Raiders vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
The Viking Raiders looked to move into Raw Tag Team Championship contention when they battled Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode in a non-title match.
Erik and Ivar rolled early, punishing the champions with their unconventional offense, size and strength advantages. Erik grounded Roode and worked a left armbar. The Glorious One escaped, got a bit too confident and ate a big knee lift to the face that sent him to the sanctuary of the arena floor.
The titleholders looked to regroup as their opponents watched from the squared circle. The prospective No. 1 contenders rolled heading into the break.
The heels seized control, isolating Erik and working him over. A hot tag to Ivar sparked a babyface comeback that saw the big man throw his size around with reckless abandon, demonstrating the athleticism that makes him one of the more mesmerizing performers on the roster.
Roode and Ziggler regained the upper hand and looked to be on the verge of a win, but the Raiders proved resilient and put away The Showoff with the Viking Experience for the impressive victory.
The Viking Raiders defeated Roode and Ziggler
And with that, we moved closer to the inevitable Viking Raiders championship victory, something that should have happened long before now.
Erik and Ivar are a rarity, a big-man tandem with the athleticism of much smaller men and an impactful arsenal that pops crowds. Here, they proved they can fight from underneath and win when the chips are down.
After months of inconsistent appearances and squash matches, they are right where they belong. Working with pros such as Ziggler and Roode—two of the more underutilized performers on the roster—will only help them develop their in-ring games more than they already have.
Another higher-profile match between these two teams should be a ton of fun.
Sunil and Samir Singh Call Out Aleister Black
After weeks spent in obscurity and no television presence to speak of, Aleister Black returned to answer the challenge of Sunil and Samir Singh.
Black made short work of The Bollywood Boyz, dropping one with Black Mass and tapping out the other with a new submission.
Black defeated The Singh Brothers
Do you know what would have helped position Black as a potential top-tier draft pick? Putting him on television in a meaningful role at some point in the last two months.
This did nothing to create any momentum for him. If anything, it was a not-so-subtle reminder of the creative ineptitude that has engulfed WWE more often than not lately.
Six-Man Tag Team Match: Lucha House Party vs. The O.C.
On the heels of a pay-per-view loss at Hell in a Cell, United States champion AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows sought a much-needed win against Lucha House Party's Kalisto, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik in a Six-Man Tag Team match.
The masked babyfaces kept The O.C. off guard early, leaving the team reeling heading into the commercial break with a high-flying aerial assault.
Back from the interval, Anderson worked over Dorado with a nasty series of uppercuts while Dio Maddin sold the idea of The O.C. wanting to leave an impression during draft season to improve their stock. A crossbody block by Dorado allowed him to create some separation and tag Kalisto.
The former United States champion exploded into the ring, taking the fight to Styles and Co. His onslaught was short-lived, though, as The Phenomenal One halted his momentum and scored the pinfall victory.
After the match, the trio bullied and beat down the opposition, culminating with a middle-rope Styles Clash to Dorado.
The heels stood tall to close out the segment, having firmly established themselves as a wrecking machine on the red brand—at least for now.
The O.C. defeated Lucha House Party
One thing WWE does consistently well is multi-man tag team matches. The different styles, the in-ring chemistry of the Superstars involved and the storytelling throughout make them difficult to mess up.
This was no different.
No one really believed Lucha House Party had a chance of defeating Styles, Anderson and Gallows, but that was more indicative of the discrepancy in credibility than any fault of the performers.
Still, the team provided a spark of energy late while putting over the opposition as the united force it needs to be for the sake of future storylines on either Raw or SmackDown.
Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch Join 'Miz TV'
Just 24 hours after defeating Sasha Banks and Bayley in respective matches to leave with all the gold from Hell in a Cell, Raw women's champion Becky Lynch and new SmackDown women's titleholder Charlotte Flair joined "Miz TV."
Miz put over the SmackDown debut on Fox, running down the list of celebrities who made their presences felt on the show. The Hollywood A-Lister then introduced Lynch, who entered to a thunderous ovation from the fans in Bakersfield, California. Flair followed, joining her sometimes-friend, sometimes-enemy for the promo segment.
Lynch and Flair ran down their accomplishments from Sunday's pay-per-view, and the latter suggested Miz just call them the most dominant women in the business.
Suddenly, the tension between the two reared its head as The Queen tried to suggest her 10 reigns as champion made her the better woman, to which The Man claimed her one reign has been more meaningful.
Asuka and Kairi Sane took exception to the idea that Lynch and Flair are the most dominant competitors in the women's division, and after some trash-talking in Japanese, a brawl between the four women broke out.
This was a mostly unnecessary segment, but it did remind fans there is no love lost between Lynch and Flair, whose rich history of hatred dates back just a year.
The potential dissension between them, coupled with a match against the suddenly rolling tag team champions The Kabuki Warriors, sets them up for failure just one night after triumphant victories.
If the segment had to accomplish nothing, there were far worse ways to do it.
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair vs. The Kabuki Warriors
Asuka and Kairi Sane had Becky Lynch reeling at the start of their Championship Showcase match, rocking her with a double-team offense that did not allow The Man to build any sustainable momentum for herself.
A dropkick by Lynch allowed her to create separation, and she finally made the tag to Charlotte Flair. Asuka tagged in for her team, and the two competitors renewed their rivalry.
Flair fired off a series of chops and dropped The Empress of Tomorrow with Natural Selection, but she was unable to make a pin as Asuka rolled to the floor.
The Queen followed up with a moonsault that wiped out both Asuka and Sane on the floor.
After the commercial, Flair dropped Sane and tagged Lynch back into the match. The Man dodged the InSane Elbow and the action broke down.
Flair blasted Asuka with a big boot off the apron. Sane responded, taking out The Queen's knee, the same knee Bayley damaged a night earlier. With the SmackDown champion neutralized, Lynch applied the Dis-arm-her to Sane. With the referee distracted, Asuka appeared and spat green mist in Lynch's face.
Sane rolled up The Man for the win.
After the match, the tag team champions double-teamed Flair until Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross made the save and chased off The Kabuki Warriors.
The Kabuki Warriors defeated Lynch and Flair
If you needed a taste of what Sane and Asuka can do in an actual long-form match, this was a perfect example. Now that they appear to be full-blown heels following the hints Sunday night and the underhanded way in which they won Monday, expect further greatness from the women's tag team champions.
It was interesting to see Lynch take the pin so soon after a defining win inside Hell in a Cell, but after Flair's up-and-down 2019, it makes sense that WWE Creative wouldn't want her to lose after she won gold Sunday.
Bliss and Cross as a babyface duo work, if only because it is finally something wholly different for the former to do.
The Goddess has been a heel since her call-up to the main roster in 2016. Letting her showcase some of her gymnastics-based offense in the role of a babyface and allowing her teammate to be the frenetic babyface who explodes off the hot tag is a formula that works for them.
A feud with The Kabuki Warriors will help them and hopefully elevate the tag team titles in the process.
Ricochet vs. Apollo Crews
Dubbed a "WWE Draft Showcase" match, Ricochet squared off with close friend Apollo Crews.
The bout showcased the raw athleticism of the Superstars, but it was Crews who gained the upper hand first, thanks to a delayed vertical suplex. Ricochet fought out and delivered a springboard clothesline.
The One and Only followed with a standing Shooting Star Press for two. Crews responded, dropping Ricochet with an enzuigiri.
Ricochet weathered the offense and delivered the Recoil for the pinfall victory.
Ricochet defeated Crews
There was nothing to this match beyond two super-talented guys stringing a few moves together until the finish. That finish? The obvious one, in which the more prominent Ricochet beat a Crews whose push has been inconsistent, to say the least.
The only thing this showcased was the fact WWE Creative really doesn't have anything for either Superstar to do at the moment.
Tyson Fury Speaks
Friday on SmackDown, Braun Strowman and heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury confronted each other, leading to a pull-apart featuring arena security.
Monday, Fury appeared on Raw and demanded an apology from The Monster Among Men.
Strowman instead interrupted the show-closing promo and warned Fury against entering his squared circle. The boxing star's response? Reminding The Monster Among Men he hasn't won any world championships in his given profession.
A brawl erupted and security filled the ring. As the massive competitors broke through the human barricades, WWE Superstars spilled from the locker room and sought to restore order.
Strowman eventually headed backstage, where interviewer Charly Caruso greeted him. He declined to apologize and rushed the squared circle, where the brawl once again broke out.
The show faded to black with chaos reigning.
This was no "Stone Cold" Steve Austin versus Mike Tyson.
With that said, it was still a well-booked, super-intense brawl that laid the groundwork for a match between the two. The most likely destination is Saudi Arabia and the Crown Jewel on Oct. 31, but do not be surprised if WWE holds off until Survivor Series, a show whose stature could be enhanced tenfold by a match of that magnitude.
Leaving fans wanting to see more rather than bringing the brawl to a definitive end was a nice touch. That it never really came across as a heavily scripted battle only helped.