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11/01/21 RAW Rundown

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Reverse Hipster's What Mattered

6.Queen Zelina and Carmella vs. Rhea and Nikki

Queen Zelina and Carmella defeated the tag team champions. I think this was a good thing. I know I criticized WWE for putting the King of the Ring in a tag feud. However, the women's division is different. It has much less talent in terms of numbers. Also, both of these teams needed this pretty badly. Also, I think Zelina beating the champions is a solid start to her reign. They definitely took their backstage segment straight from Mean Girls, and I wasn't a fan, but the end result outweighed the build. However, I would like more character development from all four women.

5. Finn Balor vs. Chad Gable

Finn Balor defeated Gable in an excellent match. Finn caught Gable's leg when he tried to roll from a superplex to a suplex. Instead, he was pinned. These two are of the better wrestlers in the company, so I hope they thrive on RAW.

4. Dirty Dawgs vs. Street Profits

Dirty Dawgs defeated the Street Profits via distraction. The match was excellent, and that's why it makes the what mattered list. The Dirty Dawgs and Streets Profits are excellent workers, so of course, they entertained. Omos interfered again, and I'm not sure why AJ and Omos are still feuding with RKBro, they lost multiple times.

3. T-Bar vs. Damien Priest

Damien Priest beat T-Bar in a street fight. Damien has been leaning more into the demonic parts of his character. However, so far, we haven't got many stories to support the transition. I will say Damien Priest definitely showed a shift in attitude in this match. He absolutely destroyed T-Bar hitting him with multiple chair shots and shattering a table by slamming T-Bar through it. Strong showing for the champion. However, after the match, Apollo came out and challenged Damien to a match next week.

2. Big E vs. KO

Big E beat KO in the main event of RAW and got yet another quality win over another quality opponent. The match is a little tainted because Seth interfered, which caused KO to choose between capitalizing and being honorable. Kevin went for the win, and Big E countered and won instead. KO got the Big Ending after he tried to apologize. Now, KO and Seth have a match next week, but I wouldn't be surprised if KO went heel next week on Big E.

1. Bianca vs. Becky/Liv

Becky defeated Bianca by pulling her tights after throwing her into the exposed turnbuckle. I actually really enjoyed this match and the finish. Becky got to show off her technical ability, and Bianca got to show off her strength and her athleticism. I think Becky cheating to win was the best outcome for a Becky win. She stays strong by being the champion, and Bianca doesn't lose momentum because she was cheated. Also, after the match, Liv Morgan stepped to Becky backstage, and I'm very excited to see Liv in the main event scene.

Rob’s What Mattered

5. Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley vs. Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella

This is the best segment a women’s tag match has delivered in a while, though that’s not saying much. Again, the women’s tag champions lost, but I thought it made sense in the context. WWE continued their trend of giving small backstage segments to give meaning to the match. The characters and dynamic between Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley shined. Carmella could be a good tag partner for Queen Zelina Vega, who is starting to build momentum with her new gimmick and this win.

4. RKBro on Commentary

I didn’t care that much about the tag match because we’ve seen these teams so many times, but I thought Randy Orton and Riddle shined on commentary. It showed there was still magic in their team. Whether intentional or not, Orton seemed to care so little that he was making mistakes on commentary while Riddle was so excited to call the action, he said some of the funniest stuff of this year’s Raw.

3. Rey Mysterio vs. Austin Theory

This fun undercard feud continued this week. It’s a cliché, but I like Austin Theory’s character being the new guy who doesn’t respect legends, and his selfie gimmick puts a fresh twist on it. At the risk of sounding like Vince McMahon, Theory looked good next to Rey Mysterio because it let him look bigger and use more dominant offense. Mysterio was the perfect opponent for him because he let Theory show off a range of moves and sold amazingly for every one of them. Right now, the chemistry with Theory and Mysterio is reminding me of Mysterio’s earlier feud with Andrade.

2. Damian Priest vs. T-Bar

This match stole the show for me. Damian Priest has been a consistently excellent mid-card champion in-ring, and he did it again here. This week, he won me over on his new gimmick by giving context in the backstage promo. His new entrance video gave good imagery to his character to Damian (like Demon) with the red devilish aura and Priest with the angelic pure aura. I thought the contrast made it super interesting, and there is a lot of potential for Priest to give pure babyface promos while delving deeper into the dark-side of his in-ring persona. T-Bar showed shades of Dominik Dijakovic in NXT moving his look to be less Retribution goon and more main event star and bringing insane moves back to his arsenal. This action was brutal and meaningful. In my mind, we got a PPV match for free on this Raw.

1. Just Keep Fighting

After a solid segment between Big E and Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens interrupted to get a match with Big E. Owens gave one of the defining promos of his career. While his career trajectory and rumors imply his time in WWE is coming to an end, he put every bit of passion he had into this promo, and he is putting his body on the line every night for the company. In terms of feud and match, this is the Big E vs. Big O match I had wanted since Big E spoke about how much it hurt him to see Owens replace him for one night only in the New Day. They are both babyfaces, but there is still an unexplainable animosity and friction among them, as continued by the interaction between Big E and Owens after the match. The additional layer of story between the three is creating an awesome story ripe for a triple threat match. There is a degree of animosity between all three men and an ambiguity to play with in what happened in the main event.

Rob’s What Didn’t Mattered

2. WWE Cuts Away

At the end of the tag match, WWE cut away just as Randy Orton was about to confront Omos. Why you would tease the confrontation and cut away with no resolution is an inexcusable mistake for a consistently mediocre production team.

1. Women’s Championship Opens the Night

The biggest promoted match coming into the show wasn’t the main event. Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair had a good not great match because it was disappointing for it to open the show, the pacing was a little off, and smart fans knew something was up because it wasn’t the main event. That meant we weren’t going to get a good finish, and this wasn’t going to be Belair’s big moment. Maybe it’s unfair to hold the women to this standard, but it feels like a step down from last week’s promo segment. It’s also WWE’s fault for booking the match in the first place and not making it a main event. I’m not sure how much longer this program can go on without WWE full-on pulling the trigger on Belair before it becomes disappointing.

Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter

1. The Hook

The matches were good because WWE has some of the best wrestlers in the world. However, the show overall was kind of soulless. Nothing that happened on RAW really shook things up. I'm intrigued because of all the time I have invested in the WWE product, I know these characters, and I want to see them succeed. However, if I had just tuned in, I wasn't given much of a reason to tune back in next week. Even as a long-term fan, there isn't a story that I feel I have to see the next part of. WWE needs to refocus on making the weekly shows a must-watch. As a hardcore fan, I can often see when a favorite isn't going to prevail in a particular story, but it doesn't matter if the story is good. Right now, there is excellent match quality, but the stories haven't been as good.

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