WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 8
Just 13 days before Survivor Series, WWE Raw hit the USA Network airwaves with a show headlined by Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins as the familiar foes reignited a rivalry that saw them do battle on wrestling's grandest stage in 2020.
Their latest encounter was born of a controversial conclusion to last week's show, where Owens failed to capitalize on Rollins' interference during his match with Big E. The Prizefighter sought to silence The Visionary, but too much damage would threaten Raw's Survivor Series team, on which both are slated to compete as partners.
What went down Monday night in the pay-per-view-quality match, and what, if any, role did WWE champion Big E play in things?
Find out now with this recap of the November 8 broadcast.
Seth Rollins Kicks Off Raw, Narrowly Escapes KO's Fury
After a recap of last week's show, Kevin Owens attempted to apologize to Big E for appearing to try to capitalize on interference from Seth Rollins in the name of victory. "I don't care," the WWE champion said before walking off. "Well, I do," Owens said ominously.
"Burn it down!" popped the live audience, and pyrotechnics exploded from the stage as Seth Rollins made his way to the ring, dressed in his ridiculous best and clutching his No. 1 contender's contract.
Rollins wasted little time calling into question Owens' character, questioning whether he is an honorable man or a gutless snake. "As long as I've known Kevin Owens, I've known...that he would stab you in the back!" He reminded the fans of Owens' history with Sami Zayn and New Day and exclaimed that KO could not be trusted as far as he could be thrown, which isn't very far at all.
Owens hit the ring, chased Rollins around the squared circle and teased an apron powerbomb, but The Visionary escaped his clutches and bailed to the locker room.
This built heat for the night's main event, sure, but what it did beyond that was create questions about Owens' sincerity. Is he really sorry for nearly underhandedly beating Big E last week, or was he a desperate man seeking any means necessary to score a much-needed victory?
Is he actually honorable, or is he the snake that Rollins claims?
It creates intrigue for the top of the Raw card and gives fans a reason to tune in beyond what should be a quality, entertaining main event. You cannot ask for more than that out of a show-opening promo segment. That it didn't overstay its welcome is the proverbial icing on the cake.
8-Man Tag Team Match
Backstage, Riddle and Randy Orton talked about their ongoing issues with Omos, during which The Viper said he didn't give a damn about The Street Profits. Riddle alerted him to the fact that Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford were behind him, and Orton reiterated his lack of concern for the former tag team champs, telling them not to involve RK-Bro in their issues with the giant.
The two teams would have to put their differences aside as they battled the aforementioned Omos, AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode in a big eight-man tag team match.
Following a quick commercial break, the heels took turns working over Riddle, cutting him off from his opponents and isolating him in their corner. The Original Bro finally created separation and made the tag to Orton, who entered the ring a house on fire, teeing off on any and all in his path.
After another commercial, Omos overpowered and pummeled Ford as the heels regained control of the bout. Following several moments of one-sidedness, Ford was able to tag in Dawkins, who replicated Orton's energy and offensive flurry from earlier.
Omos again cut off the offensive, clearing the ring of The Street Profits and dropping Riddle. As Orton tried to interject on behalf of his partner, The Dirty Dawgs dropped The Viper on the ring steps. Back inside, the heel team imploded, with Ziggler demanding to enter the match. Omos laid out Roode, who dropped AJ. Ziggler slid in and pinned Riddle, earning the win for the heels. Orton delivered an RKO for good measure before checking on his partner.
Ziggler, Roode, Styles and Omos defeated The Street Profits and RK-Bro
WWE does these multi-man matches extremely well, and this was no different.
Omos was highlighted appropriately, treated like the special-attraction monster he is. More importantly, he was protected, never asked to do anything that would expose his limitations between the ropes. He was absolutely dominant, causing even a momentary pause from the typically fearless Orton.
The dissension among the heels was a nice touch, too. So many times, we see babyfaces senselessly fail to work together when, in reality, it should be the egotistical bad guys who can't get along. That was finally the case, and it worked nicely, even if Ziggler and Co. still went over.
This is all part of the slow burn for the inevitable heel turn by Orton that will coincide with his frustration with the Bro over his inability to listen to simple instructions. That feud will be fantastic, will create an even bigger star out of Riddle and will give Raw the boost it needs in singles star power.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Bobby Lashley
Rey and Dominik Mysterio made their way to the ring and were joined by WWE official Adam Pearce. The artist formerly known as Scrap Daddy admitted he made a mistake by assigning the latter to Team Raw because every other member is a former world champion and, gosh darn it, he wants to win—despite running both Raw and SmackDown.
He revealed that Dominik could stay on the team, but only if he beat Bobby Lashley.
Dominik used his speed to keep The All Mighty off guard, but he took to the air one too many times, landing in the waiting arms of Lashley, who sent him into the ring post. Rey had no choice but to watch as Lashley punished his only son, even preventing Dominik from tapping out to the Hurt Lock.
Lashley attacked Rey, sent Dominik back into the post for the second time and set up for the spear. He delivered it but did not follow up. Instead, he reapplied his submission hold, forcing the tapout from Dominik.
Lashley defeated Dominik via submission
If the goal was to put over Pearce as a more ruthless, no-nonsense heel authority figure, this worked. It also restored some heat and credibility to The All Mighty, who was last seen losing to Goldberg in Saudi Arabia. Lashley was brutal, unforgiving and relentless in his punishment of young Dominik, a straight-up bully even.
Not only did this eliminate Dominik from Team Raw and fill Lashley into his spot, thus boosting star power, but it also set up a potential feud for Rey and Lashley after the upcoming pay-per-view. Given the lack of midcard programs on the red brand, that's a great position for those veterans while they await their return to the main event.
Big E vs. Chad Gable
Big E made his way to the ring for a match with recent Full Sail University valedictorian and Alpha Academy leader Chad Gable, accompanied to the ring by protege Otis.
Gable struck first, delivering a nasty dragon screw leg whip in the corner that buckled the knee of the WWE champion and put him on the defensive. He added a moonsault and German suplex for separate near-falls, impressing the commentary team along the way.
Big E fought back, using his power to stun Gable and then delivering the Big Ending for the emphatic victory.
After the match, Otis entered the ring and stared Big E down, teasing a colossal clash between heavyweights. The referee kept them at bay as the segment ended abruptly.
Big E defeated Gable
Taking an ass-kicking for an entire match and then hitting one or two moves for the win is exactly the sort of thing that turned the crowd against John Cena. That is in no way an indictment on Big E, who is awesome and has earned every moment of this push, but rather, something WWE Creative and producers will want to be wary of as they push their new champion moving forward.
Gable looked great for the second week in a row. Last Monday, he and Finn Balor had a nice little match, and here, he was allowed to show strength and technique as he battled the champion.
The tease of Big E vs. Otis is intriguing, but it feels like the latter has taken a major step back since his days in Heavy Machinery and as the beau of Mandy Rose. He's too one-dimensional, with no real opportunity to showcase any of the charisma or character that made him a breakout star in the first place.
A feud with Big E might help him regain some momentum, but it won't replace what was the perfect storm of personality and story he had going for him just over a year ago.
24/7 Championship Match: Reggie vs. Drake Maverick
24/7 champion Reggie hit the ring for a defense against familiar foe Drake Maverick. The anytime, anyplace rules were waived for this match, allowing the competitors to focus on their in-ring exploits.
The champion frustrated his challenger momentarily, but an appearance by R-Truth and The Hurt Business resulted in a distraction that allowed Maverick to roll Reggie up for the win and title. Then, Akira Tozawa arrived from under the ring for another roll-up and win.
Corey Graves won the title, then Byron Saxton and Maverick again. Eventually, Reggie regained it and escaped with his championship intact.
Drake, then Tozawa, then Graves, then Saxton, then Maverick and then Reggie all won the title
The worst part about all of this is that it literally accomplished nothing. All those title switches, and in the end, Reggie left with the gold once more. It was filler of the worst kind and something that could have been saved for the backstage area.
The fact that the entire title has devolved into repetitive shlock each week rather than the creative, fun and energetic segments that existed early in its run is apropos because the same exact thing happened to its precursor, the WWE Hardcore Championship.
At least that one came with funhouses, stooges, the superb Raven, broken tables and dented chairs along the way.
Liv Morgan vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair vs. Carmella vs. Queen Zelina
Raw women's champion Becky Lynch joined the Raw announce team ahead of the Fatal 5-Way match to determine the next challenger to her title. Prior to the match, a frustrated Doudrop approached Bianca Belair and questioned how The EST has been on Raw only a matter of weeks but can afford to lose and still potentially get a title shot.
Belair hit the ring and was soon joined by opponents (and Survivor Series teammates) Carmella, Queen Zelina, Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan.
Zelina and Carmella, recent allies, worked together to pummel Ripley at one point. Egos got in the way, though, as neither woman let the other score a pinfall and abscond with the title opportunity. Morgan reentered the match and teed off on Carmella, taking her down with an enzuigiri and knee. Zelina took her down and out, only to find herself at the mercy (or lack thereof) of Ripley.
Belair reappeared and took the fight to Carmella and Zelina, only to be deposited back to the floor via double knees from Morgan. Zelina delivered a tornado DDT to Ripley for two before Belair hoisted her overhead and deposited her to the floor, wiping out the other three competitors at the same time.
Back from the break, Belair brought both Vega and Morgan down with a double powerbomb out of the corner, only to eat a big dropkick from Ripley. Carmella dropped her with a superkick and proceeded to score near-falls on all opponents.
Moments later, Ripley delivered Riptide to Belair before Morgan broke up the pin at the last second. Morgan delivered Oblivion, only for Zelina to break up that pin.
The EST delivered the K.O.D., but Doudrop pulled her out, preventing her from securing the win and title shot. Carmella tried to steal the win, but Morgan stopped her and delivered a crucifix roll-up for the victory.
Morgan defeated Ripley, Belair, Carmella and Zelina to win the title opportunity
The effort was off the charts here, and while it would have been nice to see the teamwork between Zelina and Carmella extend to later in the match, this was just a ton of fun. It showcased the heels, wisely centered the action around the criminally underutilized Ripley and let Belair have her spots before the inevitable screwjob finish.
The EST splitting off to feud with Doudrop should help bolster the women's division, but it's really time to drop that ridiculous name and let the heel be Piper Niven again. That name, like the partnership and feud with Eva Marie, went nowhere. Cut the losses, and then cut Niven loose and let her show what she can do against the MVP of women's wrestling in 2021.
Morgan has worked so hard and is so passionate that it is about damn time that she gets the opportunity to challenge for a title in a substantial feud. There is no bigger, better dance partner in her field than Big Time Becks, who will do everything in her power to make sure the fans are 100 percent behind the challenger in what should be a great underdog story.
Will Morgan win? No, but a performance of a lifetime against one of the best ever to do it should win her favor among management, which has been entirely too on and off in regard to her pushes.
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
WWE champion Big E made his way back into the arena, where he sat ringside for the night's main event. Before that match could get underway, though, Austin Theory arrived and tried to take a selfie, only to have his phone smacked away.
Seth Rollins hit the ring and claimed that last week's actions were the result of a weeks-long plan concocted by himself and Kevin Owens. KO angrily hit the ring and chased Rollins into the stands as the show headed to break.
A fuming Owens dominated the action following the break, uncorking two cannonballs and driving the air out of his opponent. Owens set up for a powerbomb on the ring apron, but Rollins targeted the knee, halting his momentum. The Visionary teased a suplex onto the apron, but Owens sent him crashing onto the announce table. Rollins got his knees up to block another cannonball attempt and sent KO into the announce table ahead of another break.
The heel established control of the match coming out of the break and worked the midsection of his bigger, stronger opponent. A missed splash by Rollins allowed Owens to seize an opening and deliver a frog splash for two, a momentary delay in pinning him due to injured ribs being the only thing preventing a victory.
The competitors traded kicks before Owens leveled Rollins with a lariat clothesline. The fight continued to the ropes, where Owens countered Rollins and delivered a big fisherman's superplex for two. Rollins survived and downed KO, pounding away and talking trash while doing so.
The Visionary delivered a buckle bomb, but Owens rebounded and delivered a pop-up powerbomb for two. The fight spilled to the floor, and after a convoluted finish that saw Big E inadvertently prevent Owens from beating the count, Rollins was declared winner via count-out.
After the match, an emotional and frustrated Owens attacked Big E, kicking him in the face and sending him into the steel steps. He followed with a powerbomb onto the apron before agents and officials attempted to corral the screaming, enraged competitor.
Rollins defeated Owens via count-out
Rollins and Owens had a hell of a match going before the finish. While clunky, it was absolutely necessary to get to what unfolded next.
Owens turning heel could be seen coming from a mile away, particularly given how many times he asked his fellow Superstars if they believed him throughout the course of the show, but that did not make it any less effective. After a month or two of Owens indicating how badly he needed wins, particularly going back to the ladder match and his interaction with Finn Balor, it made absolute sense that frustration would boil over and he would snap.
The beatdown of Big E was great, the emotion he expressed in the closing moments of the show was on-point and the fact that we now have two challengers for the WWE Championship ready to go in the coming weeks and months is a great thing.
Rollins saved heat by winning in the cheapest way possible, the attention turned to Owens as a new threat to the title and Big E suddenly looks like a champion in peril. Forget not that he also faced the challenge of Otis earlier in the night and may even have heat with Austin Theory for smacking away his phone.
WWE Raw, for all of the complaints about how stale and complacent the show had become prior to the draft, is setting up fresh new rivalries for the foreseeable future and putting the babyface champion in a position where he has challengers coming from every direction. That makes for more interesting, compelling television and will benefit the much-maligned brand well into the new year if the creative team can continue to build on its newfound momentum.