WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from October 11
WWE is currently setting up the card for the Crown Jewel pay-per-view on October 21, but it also has Survivor Series to worry about next month.
The past week has seen management announce the King of the Ring and Queen's Crown tournaments that will culminate with the finals in Saudi Arabia, so we have been seeing various quarterfinal matches for the men and women.
Monday's show included a showdown between Big E and Drew McIntyre. With The powerhouse of The New Day on Raw and McIntyre drafted to SmackDown, it looks like The Scottish Warrior is making one last play at the WWE Championship.
We also saw rivals team up when Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks battled Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in tag team action.
Let's take a look at what happened on Monday's Raw.
Raw opened with McIntyre making his way to the ring with his trusty sword, Angela. He didn't get to speak for long before Big E entered the arena looking fired up.
He told the Scot that he gets why he wants to be WWE champion again because he has seen the benefits that come with having the title.
The Scottish Warrior said he is going to run through Big E as he has Goldberg and Randy Orton, and there isn't a damn thing he can do about it. Before they could go any further, The Usos came out onto the stage.
After some trash talk, they agreed to a tag team match later in the show. The announcers made sure to mention that WWE management has to make it official. The Usos attacked McIntyre and Big E before making a quick exit.
This was a cut-and-dried talking segment. Two rivals traded some words before they were forced to align against a common enemy. We have seen this kind of thing hundreds of times over the years.
The best part was Big E's portion of the exchange. He can make anything funny, but it wasn't enough to make the whole segment anything special. This could have been copied and pasted from another script with the names changed and nobody would have noticed.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods gave a backstage interview before heading to the ring for the first match. Why didn't they run out to help Big E when The Usos attacked?
Ricochet vs. Xavier Woods
The KOTR tournament continued with another first-round match between Woods and Ricochet. They locked up and exchanged wristlocks and counters until Woods hit a running shoulder to score the first knockdown.
Ricochet tried to springboard into the ring but Woods hit the top rope to trip him. They both ended up on the top rope where The One and Only hit a massive superplex to send us into a break.
We returned to see Ricochet get a two-count. Woods hit a beautiful gutbuster to get a near-fall as he began to make a comeback. He grabbed Woods for a cartwheel slam and a running kick, but he wasn't able to make a cover before his opponent rolled out of the ring.
The high-flyer leaped over the ring post and took out his rival at ringside. He went back into the ring and drilled him with a suicide dive. When he went for a second, Woods countered and sent him into the barricade. He brought Ricochet back in and climbed to the top rope for a flying elbow drop to get the pin.
This match allowed both men to show off some of the skills they don't always get to use, and that saw them put on a fantastic show.
The length of the bout was fine but they would have had the match-of-the-week award without question with a few more minutes. Some of the spots were performed with incredible precision.
This is Woods' first step toward achieving his destiny to become the King of the Ring. If he doesn't win the tournament, then what are we even doing here?
The Hurt Business vs. Mustafa Ali and Mansoor
The reunited Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander took on Mustafa Ali and Mansoor in the next match.
Ali and Benjamin started for their teams, but they both tagged their partners relatively quickly.
Ali and Mansoor hit a double-team move to Alexander but he avoided the 450 from Ali. He hit a Michinoku Driver for the pin while Benjamin held Mansoor back.
Ali shoved Mansoor to the mat and walked away looking angry after the match.
It should be noted that the poor grade for this match is a reflection on whoever booked them to only get two minutes, not the four Superstars involved.
Mansoor is still growing but Ali, Benjamin and Alexander are all great workers who have the potential to steal the show on any given night. This kind of match is unnecessary and does nothing to help anyone.
Shayna Baszler vs. Dana Brooke
Shayna Baszler got off to a strong start against Dana Brooke, but the former bodybuilder was able to get in some of her own offense before The Queen of Spades grabbed her in the Kirifuda Clutch.
Brooke countered into a pin for a two-count, but the MMA fighter grabbed her in an ankle lock and her opponent countered once again.
She was met with a stiff kick to the face to give Baszler an easy win.
While this match was just as short as the tag bout we got before it, booking it this way made a lot more sense because they are trying to build Baszler back up into a monster competitor.
She shouldn't be having long, competitive matches with the likes of Brooke. She should be beating these women quickly and with malice aforethought.
However, even though this was the right call from a booking standpoint, it still wasn't long enough to be a great contest and has to be graded with both those facts in mind.
Riddle vs. Omos
After taking on AJ Styles last week, Riddle challenged Omos to a match. While The Phenomenal One accompanied his tag team partner to the ring, The Viper was nowhere to be seen.
Riddle grabbed a mic and said some random stuff before forgetting what he was talking about. He then called for Orton to strike, but he never appeared. Styles said The Original Bro was stalling and just needed to accept Omos would decapitate him.
The ref finally called for the bell but Riddle rolled out of the ring and attacked Styles. Omos grabbed him by the hair and brought him into the ring so he could crush him in the corner.
He hit a big chokeslam but Styles told him not to go for the cover yet because they could keep beating him up. He asked Omos to hit a roundhouse kick and he drilled The Bro right in the face. Styles asked for and got an instant replay.
Omos picked up Riddle for another chokeslam to get the easy pin. Orton eventually arrived and hit the RKO to Styles before making a quick exit.
Just because it's fun to see someone decimate Riddle with ease doesn't mean this match was good. It was simple by design to mask Omos' inexperience, but it had some fun moments.
Styles asking for instant replays in slow motion was funny even if the crowd didn't seem into it. Orton allowing his partner to be destroyed before finally showing up tracks with his character.
At least WWE had Omos win clean. He should continue to be positioned as a monster until he can have longer matches.
Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Theory
After attacking Jeff Hardy during the WWE draft last week, Austin Theory had a match with The Charismatic Enigma on Monday.
The veteran ducked a clothesline and took control right away. He took Theory from corner to corner and hit a double ax handle from the middle rope. Theory countered a Twist of Fate and hit a nice rolling dropkick for a two-count.
He grounded Hardy in a submission as Reggie ran down while being chased by a bunch of other wrestlers. He released the hold and went after R-Truth.
Hardy took advantage of the distraction and hit the Twist of Fate. Theory avoided the Swanton and rolled him up with a handful of pants for the win.
Other than the opening bout between Woods and Ricochet, every match on Monday's card to this point had been less than five minutes. It gets a lot of people on the show but every match suffered as a result.
This could have been a fun exchange between two talented athletes. Instead, it was a short contest that included shenanigans from the 24/7 champion.
What little Hardy and Theory did looked good. Let's hope they get another chance to have a proper performance.
Jinder Mahal vs. Kofi Kingston
The second King of the Ring quarterfinal of the night featured Kofi Kingston taking on Jinder Mahal. Veer and Shanky were at ringside for support, while Woods came out with Kingston to keep things fair.
The Maharaja hit the first takedown with a waistlock slam. He taunted Woods before taking him down in a headlock. He knocked Kingston down with a shoulder tackle twice in a row.
The high-flyer hit a dropkick and a hurricanrana as he started building up a head of steam. He hit the trust fall from the middle rope to the floor as we went to a commercial.
Kingston went for the SOS when we returned, but they landed awkwardly. Mahal kicked out after a crossbody from the top rope. He hit Kingston with a gutbuster for another two-count.
Woods got into a fight with Veer and Shanky, but the distraction ended up leading to Mahal beating Kingston to advance in the tournament.
Mahal has never been too popular because WWE has never made his character enjoyable, but he is actually a good in-ring worker who doesn't get enough credit for his reliability. He knows how to work against just about any kind of opponent and make them look good.
The outcome was not ideal but everything that came before it was solid. Kingston had a few great sports but also made a couple of minor mistakes along the way.
Taking away the possibility of seeing Woods vs. Kingston in the semifinals is going to make a lot of fans angry, though.
Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair vs. Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch
Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks tried to put their differences aside for one night to team up against two women who hate each other just as much, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
The Boss and The EST of WWE argued over who would start for their team and it quickly turned physical. Lynch attacked them and was was shoved into Charlotte on the apron. All four women began to brawl while several officials tried to break them up.
The Queen was going to hit The Man with a moonsault, but Banks prevented it. Belair ended up throwing The Boss into both women. Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville came out and said this was unacceptable. They told them to get in the ring and start the match, but they just kept fighting their own partners.
We returned from a break to see everyone ready to start the match. Banks and Flair started for their teams. The Queen attempted to lock in the Figure Four early but The Boss countered into a pin for a two-count. Big Time Becks tagged herself in but missed a leg drop.
Belair tagged in and ended up sending Banks out of the ring with a backdrop. She took Lynch down and hit a running splash for a near-fall. The Boss tagged herself back in and dumped Belair off the top rope to the floor. The Queen slapped Lynch in the back of the head to tag in and prevent her from locking in her finisher.
Belair dropped her own partner on the top rope and the ref called for a double DQ. They all kept fighting until The Man was the last woman standing.
The pre-match brawl was chaotic and fun, but the bout that followed failed to keep that same energy before breaking down.
The way this played out made more sense than how WWE usually books rivals as tag team partners, but the overall execution felt off somehow. They brought the physicality, though.
Doudrop vs. Natalya
Another Queen's Crown match took place on Monday, with Natalya taking on Doudrop in the quarterfinals.
Nattie talked some trash and slapped Doudrop before they locked up and fought to the corner. The veteran unloaded on the newcomer with lefts and rights.
Doudrop countered a headlock takeover and ran over her with a shoulder tackle. The Queen of Harts avoided a senton and hit a low dropkick for a two-count.
She put Doudrop in an abdominal stretch but she broke free and sent Nattie to the corner. She hit a big discus lariat for a near-fall and then tried to apply the Sharpshooter, but Doudrop rolled her up for the win.
This was a short but decent match. Natalya looked aggressive and Doudrop did things that highlight her strengths as a performer.
The outcome wasn't a huge surprise but it would have been nice if they had a little more time. WWE has been booking a lot of quick women's matches lately and it's becoming a bad trend.
The Usos vs. Big E and Drew McIntyre
Jimmy and Jey Uso were out for their tag team match with Big E and McIntyre, but Paul Heyman was not in attendance.
We started with Jimmy and Big E in the ring. The New Day powerhouse dominated Uso before he and McIntyre used one of his team's tricks with the Unicorn Stampede.
Jey tagged in but the current and former WWE champions were able to stay on offense. Once they got Big E cornered, The Usos took turns stomping on him.
For the next few minutes, Big E was at the mercy of the heels. He almost made a comeback but a missed splash on the apron allowed Jimmy and Jey to send him into the steel steps. We returned from a break to see The Usos still in control.
McIntyre eventually got the tag, but The Usos hit him with a double superkick for a close two-count. The Scottish Warrior countered a Samoan drop and hit a pair of neckbreakers on Jimmy. He called for his finisher but Big E tagged himself in instead.
Jey nailed him with a pair of superkicks but Big E was able to kick out. McIntyre pulled Big E out of the ring as he was making a cover. They fought at ringside and the Scot was busted open when Big E slammed his head into the table. The ref counted Big E out before The Usos took them down with dual dives over the top rope.
After they got the upper hand on Jey and Jimmy, McIntyre hit Big E with a Claymore to end the show standing tall.
We already saw two pairs of partners who were unable to coexist on this show, so seeing WWE do the same thing with Big E and McIntyre felt a little lazy.
Everything else in this match was great, though. The Usos can carry any team to a good match, but Big E and McIntyre are also talented, so it ended up being a competitive contest.
McIntyre came out on top this week, so we should expect Big E to be looking for revenge before they meet at Crown Jewel.
This show had some highlights but as a whole, it wasn't that great. It had too many short matches and a few outcomes that were headscratchers.