0 of 10
The Shield reunited Monday night, unleashing hell on the Raw brand and any villain who stood in its path.
Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose elicited an electric reaction as they laid waste to The Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus and Curtis Axel at the top of the show, then replicated their dominance on Braun Strowman later in the broadcast.
The reunion of The Hounds of Justice was not the only newsworthy moment of the show, as Asuka’s first main roster opponent was determined, the rivalry between Mickie James and Alexa Bliss continued and Enzo Amore dropped the cruiserweight title to Kalisto in the main event.
The show, an integral one on the road to TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on October 22, was a strong effort after a noteworthy SmackDown Live pay-per-view just 24 hours earlier.
Find out which segments left the greatest mark, what worked and what did not with this recap of the October 9 episode of WWE’s flagship show.
1 of 10
Cesaro and Sheamus joined The Miz for the latest edition of Miz TV.
Also joining the intercontinental champion was Miztourage member Curtis Axel, who was the first recipient of a Mizzie Award, which the host was giving out to his guests. Axel was awarded for perseverance, while Sheamus and Cesaro were named Best Supporting Actors.
Miz awarded himself The Big Dog of WWE Mizzie, a knock at Roman Reigns.
The former three-time WWE champion interrupted the proceedings but was quickly criticized for standing on the rope like a coward.
Miz brought up the rumors of a Shield reunion, to which Reigns asked, “Who said anything about rumors?”
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins joined Reigns, signifying the official reunion of The Shield.
Together, the trio wreaked havoc, culminating with the triple powerbomb to Miz. With their rivals disposed of, Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins engaged in the three-way fist bump to a raucous ovation.
You can argue whether WWE should have saved The Shield reunion for a hotter, more monumental program, but the genuine electricity that existed when Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins joined forces to unleash hell on Miz and company is the sort of thing sorely missing from WWE programming.
It was a strong segment, a quality reintroduction to the group and a sign of things to come.
More importantly, it injected life into the broadcast right out of the gate and gave the show more meaning than it would have had with any other segment penciled into this slot.
2 of 10
A week after a loss against Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows with Matt Hardy as his partner, Jason Jordan sought a measure of revenge as he battled Anderson in singles competition.
Anderson took out Jordan’s leg following a distraction from Gallows.
After a brief commercial break, Jordan managed to fight his way back into the match. He sidestepped a charging Anderson, sending him into Gallows.
A neckbreaker finished Machine Gun off.
Jason Jordan defeated Karl Anderson.
Jordan’s winning a match over a tag team specialist, whose partner was at ringside, does nothing to elevate his star while simultaneously killing any credibility Anderson and Gallows may still have.
A waste of a match that likely did nothing to encourage fans to stay tuned rather than switching stations to Monday Night Football.
3 of 10
Elias was in the ring, strumming his guitar when Titus O’Neil interrupted. He mocked The Drifter, poorly playing the banjo, before introducing Apollo Crews.
The match, a rematch from the No Mercy pre-show, saw Elias control early.
Crews fought back, delivering a huge moonsault to the arena floor.
As Crews continued to bring the fight to Elias, the referee called for a brief break. As he backed the babyface off, Elias sent Crews throat-first into the ropes.
Drift Away finished him off and continued Elias’ winning streak.
Elias defeated Apollo Crews.
Is it really much of a feud when Elias continues to win every time he is matched up with O’Neil or Crews?
The Drifter feels a step above the lower-midcard act, and every victory solidifies that feeling.
Perhaps this should be the final encounter between these two parties unless WWE Creative has something greater in store for them.
4 of 10
Cruiserweight champion Enzo Amore produced the no-contact clause Raw general manager Kurt Angle signed a week ago as he confronted the Olympian Monday night.
None-too-pleased that he had been assaulted despite supposed protection, Amore asked how Kalisto was able to put his hands on him last week and still receive a title shot at TLC. Angle admitted he signed the masked luchador after signing the clause.
Amore continued to run his mouth until Angle announced a title defense against Kalisto would not wait until TLC but, instead, would occur on Raw.
Ever the egotist, Amore demanded the match take place in the main event. Angle agreed and announced a Lumberjack stipulation, waiving the no-contact clause for the night and preventing Amore from getting himself disqualified or counted out.
Amore as the obnoxious villain whose mouth gets him in trouble is such an organic and realistic role for him that it is hard to imagine management thought he could ever play another role. He is so believable, perhaps because it is an extension of his real personality.
Having Angle’s legal loopholes offset his demands was a nice touch, as was having the general manager reassert his authority and waive his own rules.
It puts the loudmouth villain at a disadvantage and sets up a potential title change for fans to stick around for later in the night.
5 of 10
Matt Hardy became the latest Superstar to test Braun Strowman Monday night, squaring off with The Monster Among Men in singles competition.
Strowman casually tossed Hardy away, breaking a headlock. The big man bowled Hardy over heading into the break, establishing dominance in the process.
Back from the break, Hardy attempted to fight his way back into the match and was even able to use Strowman’s momentum against him, sending him shoulder-first into the ring post. Hardy delivered boots and elbows, then followed with a tornado DDT to flatten Strowman.
The Twist of Fate followed as the fans came alive.
The monstrous heel, though, kicked out at one, as if the finisher barely fazed him.
The running powerslam finished Hardy off moments later as Strowman continued his reign of dominance post-No Mercy.
After the match, the reunited Shield hit the ring and laid waste to Strowman, ending with a massive spear from Reigns.
The triple powerbomb through a table finished Strowman off as The Hounds of Justice stood tall to close out the segment.
Braun Strowman defeated Matt Hardy.
The match was little more than an excuse to get Strowman in front of the live audience and execute the Shield beatdown.
Given how many times Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns have been victims of Strowman, it made sense they would target him in their first night as a reunited force.
A strong segment that demonstrated the dominance the group has in store for the Raw roster.
6 of 10
Mickie James made her way to the ring and questioned why she felt so different than the rest of the women’s locker room.
Perhaps it was her Southern accent or the fact she sang country music. No, she decided, it was her age.
She ran down the events of last week, discussing her match with Nia Jax, before vowing to become a seven-time women’s champion.
Alexa Bliss interrupted and rolled a video that again poked fun at her TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs opponent.
James called her to the ring, and a brief scuffle broke out, ending when Bliss scurried to the protection of the arena floor.
The idea of one last shot at glory for an aging veteran, against a younger and more disrespectful upstart, is an intriguing one. If nothing else, it is a tried-and-true story that has worked before and generally stands the test of time.
Hell, at least it is a story.
For so long, the Raw women’s division has been a series of matches over the title with little in the way of honest-to-goodness story development.
Changing that up is a welcome addition to the show.
Mickie, to her credit, has done a phenomenal job of carrying the program and proving she is still a fantastic performer who is deserving of the spotlight at this point in her career.
7 of 10
Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher worked over Cedric Alexander early in the match, but an enzuigiri turned the tide in the babyfaces’ favor.
Alexander took the fight to Gallagher outside the ring, while inside Kendrick and Mustafa Ali paired off.
The former cruiserweight champion delivered Sliced Bread No. 2 and pinned the dynamic young star’s shoulders to the mat, delivering the win for the heels.
Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallager defeated Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali.
WWE Creative can spend every Tuesday night building fun little rivalries between cruiserweights, but when they are thrown onto Monday night in meaningless matches, fans tune out. There is no reason to care because the Superstars are never allowed the opportunity to develop their characters or tell their stories.
They are a bunch of guys who wrestle matches with no rhyme or reason for them to occur.
This was no different.
8 of 10
Bray Wyatt’s tease of Sister Abigail on last week’s show did not faze Finn Balor, who almost laughed it off. He referred to Wyatt as a disease, a poison, and was in the midst of vowing to beat him at TLC in October.
Bray Wyatt appeared and quickly transformed into his Sister Abigail alter ego.
The mysterious, enigmatic figure featured an altered voice and some sort of face paint under the long, stringy hair of The Eater of Worlds.
The entire ordeal can best be summed up as an ominous warning of sorts to Balor.
Was the altered voice silly? Yes. Is the idea of a female alter ego for Wyatt somewhat strange? Maybe. With that said, WWE Creative ignored the more obvious route and took a different path with Sister Abigail, introducing her to its audience as an alter ego of The Reaper of Souls.
It is an interesting concept but one whose success will be determined by the execution of the gimmick. If it comes across as hokey or forced, it will be dead in the water and Wyatt will return to the status quo.
It could also hurt Balor by proxy, so hopefully, that is not the case.
Making Sister Abigail a truly terrifying, truly awe-inspiring and dangerous personality will be of the utmost importance.
9 of 10
Sasha Banks, Emma, Alicia Fox, Bayley and Dana Brooke battled Monday night for the opportunity to challenge Asuka in her first main roster match at TLC.
Brooke was eliminated early, and Bayley followed shortly thereafter in what was a surprise elimination.
After a brief commercial, Banks found herself on the receiving end of a two-on-one assault at the hands of Emma and Fox.
The Bank Statement led to the elimination of The Foxy One, but Emma quickly seized an opportunity, rolling Banks up and scoring a fairly impressive win.
Emma defeated Sasha Banks, Alicia Fox, Bayley and Dana Brooke.
Was this sham of a match really that much more effective than having Angle punish a mouthy Emma with a match against Asuka?
The match featured such rapid-fire eliminations that the action meant nothing and fans had no time to digest any of it. A waste of an opportunity to feature women’s wrestling with an outcome that could have been accomplished through other means.
10 of 10
Enzo Amore cut another promo ahead of the main event for the cruiserweight title. Kalisto entered to relative silence, proving that a sudden and unwanted rise to title contention does not a red-hot babyface make.
Kalisto outwrestled Amore heading into the break.
Amore controlled the match after the commercial, but Kalisto fought back into the bout. The cruiserweights at ringside, their own issues well-documented on Tuesday night’s 205 Live, broke out in a brawl.
A superplex from Kalisto to Enzo, onto the pile of Superstars on the arena floor, drew a huge ovation from the fans.
Back inside, Amore delivered a version of Gail Kim’s Eat Defeat, but Mustafa Ali pulled Amore out of the ring before the count of three.
Moments later, Kalisto obliterated Amore with Salida del Sol from the top rope to score the victory and the title.
The cruiserweights celebrated with the new champion to close the show.
Kalisto defeated Enzo Amore.
Yes, winning the title helps earn Kalisto heat ahead of TLC, thus making that match a higher-stakes affair. If WWE hopes to make him an integral part of the cruiserweight division, it only makes sense to book him relatively strong.
With that said, so much effort and main event time had been spent on building Amore into the centerpiece of the division that it just does not make sense to take the title off him.
Yeah, he probably regains the title at TLC, but hot-shotting it for the sake of putting over a Superstar who could not remain consistently popular despite two previous United States title reigns seems like the wrong decision.