RAW Highlights – Imperium Makes Appearance (11/11/19)

Rollins RAW

This week’s RAW (though taped last week) was live from Manchester, United Kingdom.  Taped last Friday just after SmackDown, it featured a surprise debut, the continuation of the Lana/Rusev/Lashley angle and an exhausted UK crowd.  Without further ado, let us dive right in and look at the results.

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RAW opened with the Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) facing off against Becky Lynch and Charlotte.  This was a solid, lengthy match that featured some good wrestling and a Kabuki victory.  This occurred when NXT Women’s Champion, Shayna Baszler, tried to interfere but was attacked by Bayley.  Becky was distracted and rolled up by Asuka.  This began a chain of events which led to Bayley attacking Lynch, after the obligatory “Hey Bayley” chants from the UK crowd.  Overall, this was a good way to start the show.

Drew McIntyre then squared off against Sin Cara.  In what proved to be a highly anticipated, lengthy match-up of technical excellence, Drew squashed Cara in just over a minute.

If the last match-up wasn’t enough to wow the crowd, then the next one sure did.  R-Truth faced off against the Singh Brothers for the 24/7 Championship.  Ended in a no contest after the Singh Brothers ran away.  Cowards.

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Next out was former WWE Champion, Seth Rollins, who received a mixed reaction from the UK crowd.  Given some recent hostile receptions, he was probably relieved.  Rollins issues an open challenge to the “best the UK has to offer”.  Well, apparently the best the UK has to offer is a faction of Germans, a Frenchman and an Austrian.  Yep, NXT UK‘s Imperium debuted and they got an overwhelmingly favorable reception.  NXT UK Champion, WALTER, accepts the challenge and so begins WALTER vs Rollins.  The match ended in a DQ finish after Imperium interfered after a Curb Stomp to WALTER.

However, this wasn’t the end as The Street Profits and Kevin Owens came out to even the odds.  This led to a four-versus-four match, culminating in a win for the babyfaces.  It is worth mentioning that Kevin Owens got a massive pop here and might have had the best reaction of the night.

Ricochet and Humberto Carillo find a partner in the shape of Randy Orton, as the three confront The OC backstage.  Possibly the strangest trio ever.

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Andrade defeated Cedric Alexander in an underwhelming match.  Both of these guys deserve so much better than what they are currently getting.  Most of all, it’s sad to see Alexander get so quiet a reaction, even from a UK crowd.  Sad.

Next up is the continuation of the Lana/Rusev/Lashley story.  This was just… bad.  The angle got a lot of heat, admittedly, but potentially not the good kind.  Unless all heat is good heat.  Regardless, it happened.  Lana dropped the bombshell that she is pregnant with Rusev’s child.  Rusev comes out and claims to be a “sex addict” for a massive pop – a small “Rusev Night” chant got going.  This is why it’s called RAW, ladies and gentlemen.  That needs to take off.  The segment ended with Rusev getting Nakamura‘d by Rusev in the testicles.  Again, this segment happened.

Erick Rowan – carrying a mysterious, concealed item – squashed an enhancement talent.  There was zero reaction to this segment.  However, it will be interesting to see what Rowan is hiding.  Maybe it’s Luke Harper‘s career?

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In what was a tragic moment for Wales, The Viking Raiders defeated Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews in a relatively short match.  This wasn’t a complete squash, however; Andrews and Webster got some decent offence in.

Closing RAW was Team Orton (Orton, Ricochet and Carillo) defeated The OC (Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and AJ Styles) to close the show.  There was heat between Ricochet and Orton, so keep an eye on that one.  However, in what was presumably a dark match segment, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt appeared and destroyed The OC on his own.  Wyatt got a tremendous pop and standing ovation from the crowd.

Overall, this was an okay show.  RAW was a better show than the SmackDown which came before it, but was far from a great show.  The moment of the night was undoubtedly the debut of Imperium, who the crowd were clearly happy to see.  With Survivor Series just over a week away, there is much work to be done to promote the show.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.   WWE fan? Check out the WWE Network to fulfill all of your WWE needs.  And while you’re at it check out our NXT primers to learn more about some of the men and women we saw tonight.