The road to Survivor Series continues to be a bumpy one for WWE with equal amounts of promising storylines and head-scratching execution depending upon your preference. The same can be said for a busy episode of Raw on Monday which saw everything from the dramatic returns of Braun Strowman, Stephanie McMahon and Samoa Joe to another tour de force from Kane that featured less-than-desirable booking.
But there was a little bit of something for everyone on this night over three-plus hours, from a pair of title bouts to a trick or treat street fight. Let’s take a look back at what took place.
Braun Strowman gains brutal revenge
In a recurring backstage story that dominated the majority of the episode, The Miz became increasingly paranoid of Strowman’s presence after smelling a trash bag in the locker room. Attempts to recruit Kane, Sheamus and Cesaro to help proved unsuccessful as fellow heels told Miz he was on his own (save for Miztourage cohorts Curtis Axel and a returning Bo Dallas). The Miz, who defended his intercontinental title against Matt Hardy and was scolded by Raw general manager Kurt Angle early in the episode for arriving late to the arena, saw his desperate attempt to exit the arena blocked by Angle. Once the final match came to a close, The Miztourage loaded their bags into a limo and hopped in. But a garbage truck backed up to block them. Strowman, who hasn’t been seen or heard from since being thrown into the truck at TLC, emerged from out of nowhere with a scream.
Strowman chased the Miztourage back to the arena, where he tossed Axel and Dallas across the stage. After throwing Miz into the video wall, Strowman followed him into the ring. He fought off the Miztourage again, hitting Dallas with a running powerslam before landing four consecutive slams on Axel as Miz crawled away. With the crowd egging him on, Strowman carried Axel up the ramp to the announce table where he landed one more powerslam through it to close the show.
This segment more or less summed up WWE’s recent booking issues. For as fun as Strowman’s havoc wreaking was visually, his emergence from the garbage truck (and the suspension of disbelief necessary to assume he had been hiding there for a week) was comically childish. It also failed to make much sense that Strowman particularly targeted The Miz considering it was Kane who turned on him at TLC and was most responsible (along with Cesaro and Sheamus) for throwing Strowman into the garbage truck.
Stephanie McMahon, Daniel Bryan make appearances
Angle opened the show by apologizing to the locker room for putting them in harm’s way during last week’s SmackDown “under siege” attack ahead of Survivor Series by misdiagnosing Shane McMahon’s actions as “friendly competition.” Angle promised it would never happen again. Out came Raw commissioner Stephanie McMahon, who hasn’t been seen in months, to enthusiastically welcome the crowd and praise Angle. Stephanie’s praise quickly turned to insults, however, as she verbally accosted Angle for allowing the “shallow, conniving and manipulative” Shane to take advantage of him. As a punishment, Stephanie made Angle the captain of…