The Shield is back together on the WWE Raw brand after Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose ended last week’s show by silently staring at eachother. On this week’s Raw, the trio was back together in Raw’s opening segment wearing their own t-shirts. Later in the show, they found some new t-shirts for The Shield and kicked ass together. All of it is leading to a big match at TLC. Here’s a summary of The Shield related items from this week’s Raw.
The Shield interrupted “The Mizzies” on Miz TV with some serious payback
There was a Miz TV segment to start Raw with The Miz handing out awards to Curtis Axel, Sheamus, Cesaro and himself for their work beating up The Shield guys. No Bo Dallas because he was sick. Miz did a good job of talking about how it was a great moment in his career to be at the helm for the destruction of Roman Reigns.
Reigns interrupted the promo and told Miz to get out of the ring. Miz mentioned the rumors of The Shield returning were nothing but hype. Reigns wondered what he meant by rumors, which led to Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins standing beside Reigns. The crowd was cheering loudly at the visual of the three Shield guys together again.
The Shield trio went down to the ring, hit all their big moves on Axel, Sheamus and Cesaro followed by a three-man Powerbomb on The Miz, who was wearing a suit. It ended with Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose doing the Shield three-man fist pose in the ring. Once again, the crowd loved it all.
In backstage segment, Raw General Manager Kurt Angle told The Miz that at TLC it would be Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose vs. Sheamus, Cesaro and The Miz in a TLC match. That was no surprise. I think they should have had Angle go on the stage to announce it when The Shield guys were in the ring because it would have generated a bigger response.
Braun Strowman defeated Matt Hardy and was attacked by The Shield
Braun Strowman had a seven-minute match with Matt Hardy that Strowman won easily. The match had a commercial in it, so they only showed about four minutes of it. Hardy hit his Twist of Fate finishing move, Strowman kicked out at one and dominated from there with two Chokeslams as well as Running Powerslam to win.
After his victory, Strowman put Matt on his shoulders and teased giving him a Powerslam through the screen that was on the stage similar to what he did to Curt Hawkins. However, The Shield trio of Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose showed up. This time, they were wearing the brand new Shield t-shirts.
Strowman went after Reigns, but Ambrose and Rollins were there to help. The three Shield members stomped away on Strowman, cleared off the announce table and gave Strowman a three-man Powerbomb through the announce table. Michael Cole called it the “Shieldbomb,” which isn’t a name that WWE used in the past, so they will probably try to get it over as a new name for their three-man Powerbomb. The crowd went wild for that too.
There was also a promo by the three Shield guys with Ambrose talking about how they would take on any three, four, five or six men. Reigns said they were the three workhorses that run the business now. Reigns simply said Reigns’ “and you can believe that” catchphrase to end it.
Later on Raw, Miz went up to GM Angle and referenced Ambrose’s promo noting that Ambrose can beat four people, so Miz wanted another partner in his match. Angle said fine, so Miz introduced another partner: Braun Strowman.
That means the TLC match at TLC will be The Shield trio of Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins vs. Strowman, Miz, Cesaro and Sheamus. I’m picking The Shield to win even in a 3 on 4 setting. It would be foolish to have them lose their first match in over three years.
Nostalgia is cool in wrestling. The Shield are also cool because their dominant run in WWE from late 2012 to mid-2014 helped them become the top guys they are now. While it’s only been about 3 years and 4 months since The Shield ended, you can tell by the crowd response that the fans are digging it. I am too. Seeing Roman, Seth and Dean together again brings back a lot of good memories. There’s really nothing else that’s exciting on Raw, so a Shield reunion right now is as good of a time as any to do it.
This Week’s Raw Matches
I’ll go through this quickly because it was another boring week of matches on Raw. I feel like saying that every week and I hate it, but it’s the truth.
Jason Jordan defeated Karl Anderson
Clean win for Jordan in about nine minutes. There wasn’t a point where I thought Anderson was going to win since he’s a tag wrestler and it would have made no sense for Jordan to win. Luke Gallows tried to help his partner Anderson, but Jordan avoided that and got the clean win with a lifting neckbreaker.
Jordan was in the hunt for the Intercontinental Title and now he’s not in the picture anymore. Jordan doesn’t have a feud. He could use one.
Elias defeated Apollo Crews
Elias did his singing routine, but was interrupted by Titus O’Neil with a banjo. That led to Elias beating Crews for the second time in three weeks. Elias beat O’Neil last week. Is any of this exciting in any way? No.
Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher defeated Mustafa Ali & Cedric Alexander
It was a short cruiserweight tag match with a bad finish. It was designed to get over Kendrick and Gallagher as a heel duo with Kendrick serving as a mentor for Gallagher. It was just a weird match with Alexander getting worked over for the few minutes, Ali got the hot tag, he was on offense for a bit and then Kendrick beat him easily with Sliced Bread #2 neckbreaker. Alexander wasn’t there to make the save. It felt like Alexander missed his spot and it was going to continue, but it just ended like that. Finishes are usually booked better than that.
Emma defeated Bayley, Sasha Banks, Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke in a Fatal 5-Way
This was set up after a poorly acted backstage segment featuring these five women where they all talked about wanting to face Asuka for her debut at TLC. Some of the dialogue in that promo was so bad. Can WWE learn to write for women as if they are adults instead of a bunch of whiny teenagers? I don’t understand how the writing can be so bad sometimes.
I find myself using the word “bad” again when talking about this match because they seemed off from the moment it started. There were clearly chemistry issues. You could also tell that Michael Cole had no idea it was a Fatal 5-Way because after Bayley pinned Brooke he was like “so the match continues.” That was followed by an awful spot with Banks looking right at Fox to make sure she was in the right place so that Fox could shove Banks and then Fox hit an Axe Kick on Bayley to pin her. The spot looked bad. Banks made Fox tap out and Emma got the dreaded surprise rollup on Banks to win.
Emma winning was done because we all know Asuka is going to win that match and Emma is not a big name opponent. Save the bigger names like Banks and Bayley (if Bayley still is considered a big name after being booked so badly this year) for bigger shows.
Why wasn’t Nia Jax in the match? Because WWE likes to protect her and if she isn’t going to go over, keeping her out of the match is the right move.
Kalisto defeated Enzo Amore to win the Cruiserweight Championship
This match was set up from an Enzo promo complaining about Kalisto attacking him last week. Enzo called out Raw General Manager Kurt Angle about how Enzo had to defend the Cruiserweight Title against Kalisto at TLC. Angle changed it to a match on Raw. Enzo said fine, but only if he got to be the main event for the third week in a row. Angle said fine and also made it a Lumberjack match.
It was a solid match. Nothing special because Enzo is limited to what he can do in there, but there were a few cool moments that got the crowd going. Best spot was when Kalisto gave Enzo a Superplex off the top rope onto the cruiserweights on the floor. You can’t do a spot like that without people there because it’s too risky. However, with other wrestlers there to break your fall it’s a unique spot worth doing. Enzo got a nearfall with his boot to the face move, but Mustafa Ali pulled Enzo out of the ring because Enzo kicked him earlier in the match. Kalisto ended up winning soon after with a Salida del Sol neckbreaker after about 13 minutes. It was treated like a big title change even though this title has changed hands a lot in the last two months.
— KALISTO (@KalistoWWE) October 10, 2017
They will probably have a rematch at TLC in less than two weeks and I think Enzo is going win the title back in that match. It just feels like this was done to create a moment on Raw. Plus, WWE loves booking quick title changes these days. It has gotten to the point where I start to predict short title reigns instead of the more reasonable long reigns because of how often they love title changes. Think back to Akira Tozawa beating Neville, then Neville won it back six days later, then Enzo beat Neville and that reign lasted less than a month thanks to Kalisto’s win.
Other Key Items From Raw
1. Bray Wyatt introduced Sister Abigail to Finn Balor
Finn Balor called out Bray Wyatt for being a weirdo again like he has done for about three months, but this time there was something different. It was Wyatt with a cloak over his head while he said it was Sister Abigail speaking because we heard a woman’s voice. The idea is that Wyatt can become Sister Abigail, which gives him some sort of power.
The whole thing is ridiculous, but I’ll give WWE some credit for trying something different. I think it would be hysterical to try to watch this 300-pound man Bray Wyatt wrestling with a cloak over his head claiming to be Sister Abigail. It would have been easier if they just found a woman for the role, but this is WWE and they just aren’t capable of doing things that are easy like that.
2. Mickie James and Alexa Bliss exchanged words
There was another promo exchange between challenger Mickie James and Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. It started with Mickie ripping on Bliss for her terrible old jokes, which led to Bliss doing more terrible old jokes including a highlight reel in black and white.
Keep in mind that Mickie is 38 years old while Shane McMahon just headlined Hell in a Cell at 47 years old and he wrestled for 40 minutes. There are several male wrestlers older than Mickie including Raw’s Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. I don’t know why they insist on going with the “old” route for this feud especially when Asuka, a debuting “new” Raw star, is a year younger than Mickie. Once again, that’s WWE writing hurting a feud.
Mickie wanted Alexa to come to the ring, Bliss got close, Mickie punched her a bit and Bliss avoided a kick and left.
Mickie and Alexa are both good at promos, but they are being hampered by the poor writing. People like personal feuds. They don’t want bad jokes. It should be a solid match at TLC with Bliss likely retaining, but I would love a win for Mickie.
Looking Ahead to WWE TLC
— WWE (@WWE) October 10, 2017
The next Raw brand WWE pay-per-view is TLC on October 22.
Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match: The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) vs. Braun Strowman, The Miz, Cesaro & Sheamus
Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James
Asuka vs. Emma
Other likely matches are Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt and Kalisto vs. Enzo Amore.
Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and John Cena are not scheduled for the show.
The best part of the show was clearly the destruction caused by The Shield. I thought all of it was booked in a way that put them over huge. Other than that, it was another average edition of Raw with boring matches, some decent promos, but nothing that memorable other than what The Shield did. If you missed The Shield stuff, check out those clips I posted. The rest of Raw was mostly forgettable.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a Smackdown review.