Just a few days after WWE Evolution and a few days out from Crown Jewel, this was a week of Superstars in doing their best to hype up a pretty unpopular event… without ever mentioning its controversial location. Oh, and Brock Lesnar was back. Here’s our recap and the results of WWE Raw, SmackDown, and NXT for the week of October 29th through 31st.
Monday Night Raw – October 29th
The Beast is back.
Constable Corbin opened the show with the up-for-grabs Universal title over his shoulder. Just as he was talking about how good it looked on him, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman interrupted, promising that The Beast would dominate at Crown Jewel. In fact, they guaranteed it. Enter Braun Strowman. He said that Lesnar was gonna “get these hands” while Corbin tried to stop him from getting too close to his future opponent. Strowman then powerbombed the Constable (three times) amid cheers from the crowd. But then The Monster Among Men got hit with an F5 from Lesnar who just laughed, raised the title belt, and walked off.
Finn Balor defeated Bobby Lashley via disqualification.
A cocky Bobby Lashley returned for a rematch against Finn Balor this week. Lio Rush hyped him up and taunted Balor, calling his win last week a “fluke.” It was all generally pretty annoying. During the match, Rush tripped Balor and pushed him from the top rope, leading the ref to call for the DQ. Lashley then began to beat down Balor while Rush slapped him in the face. Oh, and we learned that Lashley will be replacing John Cena in the World Cup at Crown Jewel. (Cena has refused to wrestle in Saudi Arabia.)
Trish Stratus, Lita, Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Natalya defeated The Riott Squad, Mickie James, and Alicia Fox. This 10-woman tag match was a throwback to Evolution’s big stars, but a lot of the women ended up just standing around. The faces controlled the match and finished things with a Hart Attack by Natalya that honored her late father, Jim Neidhart, followed by a Sharpshooter on Alicia Fox for the tap-out.
Elias defeated Jinder Mahal. Elias opened on guitar before heading backstage to find Corbin, mocking him with a song just outside his dressing room. Jinder Mahal attacked, giving Elias a kick to the face, and Corbin booked them into a match. Despite his pain, Elias fended off interruptions by the Singh brothers and finished with a Drift Away for the pin.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable defeated The Authors of Pain and The Ascension. This was a three-way match between tag teams. Roode and Gable linked up with The Ascension to get rid of Akam and Rezar early, attacking before the match even started. To finish, Roode and Gable double-teamed Viktor with a sunset flip suplex and neckbreaker for the 1-2-3. After the bell, AoP took them all out to stand tall.
Seth Rollins addresses Dean Ambrose. After last week’s heel turn by Ambrose, Rollins came to the ring to sort things out. He thanked the crowd for their support of Roman Reigns before saying how confused he was by his friend’s actions. Rollins said he didn’t know whether to blame himself or not (because he broke up The Shield himself a few years back) but invited Ambrose down to explain. The Lunatic Fringe’s music hit but he appeared in the crowd instead, saying nothing, instead of heading to the ring. Eventually Rollins lost it, yelling at Ambrose to explain himself and threatening to make his life a living hell. The Architect stormed into the crowd to come after him, but Ambrose just walked off.
Nia Jax defeated Ember Moon. During a backstage interview, Moon challenged Jax to a match. In the ring, Jax dominated most of the time despite a powerful Swanton Bomb from Moon. Tamina Snuka caused a distraction that allowed Jax to hit a Samoan Drop combined with a running leg drop for the pin. Things ended with Snuka and Jax in a staredown.
The Lucha House Party defeats The Revival. In their Raw debut, Kalisto and Lince Dorado pinned Scott Dawson for the win using a Salida del Sol following a distraction by Gran Metalik.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Apollo Crews. Ziggler cut a promo hyping the World Cup before this match, giving respect to his former role model Kurt Angle but promising to take him out nonetheless. During the match, Crews attempted a frog splash but hit Ziggler’s knees. The heel got him with a Superkick for the win.
DX drama with the Brothers of Destruction. Kane and The Undertaker cut a promo to hype their upcoming match at Crown Jewel. (Yes, another one.) This time they promised slow, agonizing pain for the DX duo before they send them to the fiery gates of hell. Triple H showed up, hinting that Michaels was right behind him, but HBK popped up behind The Deadman and hit him with Sweet Chin Music, doing his best to avoid Kane. Then Triple H and Michaels did their totally age-inappropriate “suck it” move and The Undertaker sat up to end the show.
SmackDown – October 30th
Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles discuss the WWE Title…
Styles apologized for last week’s “accidental kick” and Bryan just reiterated his respect for the current WWE Champ. But of course, Bryan is still all about that title belt. He said that throughout his injuries, he dreamt of it and it kept him fighting. Now only Styles stands in the way… and he’ll beat him at Crown Jewel. The Big Dog then admitted that he lied – the Pele Kick last week was meant for Bryan. Not surprised, Bryan said felt like hitting Styles on purpose too. The Big Dog responded that he’d defend the title right here, right now.
Commissioner Shane McMahon appeared and he confirmed that Crown Jewel’s WWE Championship match would take place between Styles and Bryan tonight. (Not all that shocking since Bryan has refused to travel to Saudi Arabia.)
AJ Styles defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Title
This was a great match because these two are simply great wrestlers. Styles began by targeting Bryan’s knee and Bryan tried a side suplex from the top and a Yes! Lock, almost getting the submission before Styles broke free. Styles then turned a triangle choke into a Styles Clash which Bryan reversed into another headscissors. Bryan used his injured knee to get in several kicks but Styles was able to overcome, hitting him with a Styles Clash followed by the Calf Crusher for the tap-out victory.
After the bell, the two shook hands and hugged in respect, but then Samoa Joe, wearing street clothes, smashed Styles in the back and locked on the Coquina Clutch. Bryan tried to save him but Joe stomped on his injured leg and locked on the clutch again. With both men incapacitated, Joe seized the title belt and raised it over his head. Joe and Styles will now have a title match at Crown Jewel…
Big E defeated Cesaro in a Trick or Street Fight. Dressed up as Christian, Edge, and Gangrel of The Brood (remember them? Yep, same music and everything!), The New Day came out to a ring full of pumpkins, passing out pancakes for Halloween along the way. Big E took on Cesaro while Sheamus and Kofi Kingston battled outside the ring. Big E used a kendo stick, Cesaro managed a two-count, and the other two members of The New Day avoided a chokeslam from The Big Show with fake blood (like The Brood used to use). The distraction helped Big E get the win.
Nakamura defeated R-Truth to retain the US Championship. Truth stopped the match for a dance break with Carmella but ultimately lost to Nakamura following a Kinshasa.
Becky Lynch wants Ronda Rousey.
Lynch strolled to the ring wearing an “I’m the Man” t-shirt to cut a promo amid cheers of “Becky! Becky! Becky” from the crowd. She opened simply with, “I won.” Then she talked about how she was the best… in the SmackDown locker room and the Raw locker room. So what’s next? Ronda Rousey, of course. She addressed the Baddest Woman on the Planet (and that nickname), saying that she’s walking into Survivor Series to rip Rousey’s arm off.
Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio defeated Randy Orton and The Miz.
The heels isolated Hardy for a while, keeping him from tagging in Mysterio and targeting his head and neck. After hitting a Whisper in the Wind, Hardy was finally able to tag in Mysterio. The masked Superstar got a two-count on the Miz with a DDT and avoided a Skull Crushing Finale with a tag to Hardy. The finish came with a 619 by Mysterio followed by a Swanton Bomb by Hardy to pin Miz for the win. After the bell, Orton attacked both winners with an RKO for each.
Paige asked Charlotte Flair to captain the SmackDown Women’s Team at Survivor Series after praising her match at Evolution. The Queen said she doesn’t think she’s the right woman for the job, but Paige gave her a little pep talk and asked her to think about it.
NXT – October 31st
Nikki Cross defeated Mercedes Martinez.
Cross is so crazy and she always delivers chaos. This match was no different, bloodied nose and all. She even hit herself in the face a few times to get psyched up. Martinez controlled at first, but Cross came back with a corner splash, bulldog, and crossbody from up top. Martinez responded with a neckbreaker and a couple of backdrop drivers, but Cross hit her Swinging Fisherman Neckbreaker to get the pin.
Post-match, Candace LeRae jumped into the ring and accused Cross of toying with people’s lives (re: her husband, Johnny Gargano) but she just creepily backed away up the ramp. Aleister Black appeared and made his way to the ring to face LeRae and ask where Gargano was. After she said he wasn’t there, Black responded, “Your husband is GONE.”
A Brawl and a WarGames announcement. In a backstage promo turned brawl between Undisputed Era and The War Raiders, Ricochet joined in to target Adam Cole. As the chaos made its way to the ring, chairs got involved and Undisputed Era began to dominate. Pete Dunne charged in to help out and he and Ricochet cleared the ring. But William Regal showed up to make an announcement: This isn’t how they do things. Instead, they’re going to settle it with WarGames at NXT TakeOver.
The Street Profits defeated The Mighty. Continuing this feud, The Street Profits dominated early on with a few aerial maneuvers, but The Mighty were able to isolate Montez Ford with a spinebuster and a lot of punishment before he could make the hot tag to Angelo Dawkins. Dawkins saved the day, later breaking up a near pin and Ford ended things with a frog splash on Shane Thorne for the win.
Matt Riddle defeated Luke Menzies in his NXT debut. Menzies offered a fake handshake turned cheapshot, but Riddle countered with a jumping forearm. Riddle hit a belly-to-belly suplex followed by stikes, elbows, and his submission finisher, the Bro-mission.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch defeated Raul Mendoza and Humberto Carrillo. Despite their lucha-speed and high-flying aerial style which fended off Burch and Lorcan initially, Mendoza and Carrillo fell to the British-American team following a missed moonsault and DDT on Mendoza.