ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 330
All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service.
- Will Ospreay VS Jay Lethal; Lethal wins.
- Kenny King VS Brian Milonas; King wins.
- Six Man Tag: The Kingdom VS Dalton Castle & The Boys; Castle & The Boys win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Will Ospreay VS Jay Lethal!
The Aerial Assassin takes on the Franchise Player of ROH to start off this “double main event” night! Lethal wants to be back on top as ROH World Heavyweight Champion, can he make good showings against a former Best of the Super Juniors winner?
The two respect the Code of Honor, the bell rings, and the two circle as the fans in Philly are fired up. Lethal is wary of Ospreay’s speed, and is first to get the wristlock. Ospreay rolls and kip-ups over and over before flipping Lethal over. The fans applaud while Lethal gets to his feet, and the two go again. Lethal gets another wristlock, then the arm wrench and he yanks on the shoulder. He wrenches again, grinds an elbow in, then wrenches once more. Ospreay spins and rolls again to reverse and put Lethal in a hammerlock, but Lethal reverses to a headlock. Ospreay powers out, Lethal runs him over with a shoulder, and fans applaud again. Things speed up, Lethal hip tosses Ospreay and cartwheels through, but Ospreay springs up to dropkick him instead!
Lethal slips out of the ring, Ospreay takes aim and builds speed, to fake Lethal out with a handspring, but Lethal trip up his trickery! Lethal drags Ospreay out to throw him into barriers! He then gets in the ring and builds speed himself, to DIVE on Ospreay!
That was one, Lethal gets back in the ring, and DIVES for the the second! Lethal keeps moving, the fans fire up as he DIVES and hits the third! Lethal walks it off while Ospreay is stuck in the crowd and the crowd chants “This is awesome!” But look who is making his way out to ringside.
Yes, it’s The Villain, Marty Scurll. He applauds Lethal’s actions, and Lethal takes notice of his Final Battle opponent while we go to break.
ROH returns as Lethal puts Ospreay back in the ring. Ospreay staggers to a corner, Lethal whips him corner to corner hard, then hits a backbreaker. Lethal holds Ospreay up for another backbreaker, and another! Scurll meanwhile joins commentary to simply promise and confirm “this Jay Lethal is the old Jay Lethal!” Lethal covers Ospreay, ONE, and Scurll continues to say this Lethal is the Lethal he wanted, the one Scurll is proud of for doing what he had to at Final Battle. The fans duel in chants for “Lethal!” and “Ospreay!” while Lethal puts Ospreay in a chinlock. Ospreay fights out and backs Lethal down, but Lethal reverses the whip to a corner. Lethal runs in, Ospreay boots him back and slips to the apron then kicks him away before hitting a big slingshot senton.
The fans applaud while Ospreay clutches his back. He walks off the soreness and gives Lethal stiff forearms in the corner. Ospreay drags Lethal up and around for a European Uppercut. Lethal staggers to a corner, Ospreay keeps up the attack with kicks and more EuroUppers. Ospreay whips Lethal but Lethal holds onto ropes, so Ospreay rocks him with another forearm. Lethal ends up dangling on the apron, Ospreay brings him back in and whips. Lethal reverses, and hits a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO, and both men are slow from soreness. Lethal shakes out the cobwebs before putting Ospreay in a corner with a buckle bump. He throws Ospreay in again and Ospreay falls to the mat. Lethal brings Ospreay up for a EuroUpper of his own, Ospreay leans on the ropes. Lethal stands Ospreay up, for a stiff chop! Ospreay powers up from the chop, only to take another one. Scurll likes the aggression he sees from Lethal, and feels they must both dislike Ospreay. While Ian Riccaboni disagrees, Ospreay unloads knee strikes on Lethal! He uses a jawbreaker and a roundhouse to rock Lethal, then he fires up for a running EuroUpper. Ospreay sits Lethal down and runs around the world, but Lethal dodges the kick. Lethal goes back in, blocks Ospreay’s boot, but Ospreay responds with a stiff enziguri. Ospreay runs while Lethal leans on ropes, and comes in with an elevated 619!
Scurll is worried for Lethal now as Ospreay grins. Ospreay slingshots but Lethal chops him. Lethal goes to bring Ospreay in but Ospreay counters with a bodyscissors to throw Lethal out! Fans rally as Ospreay builds speed, handsprings and FLIES!
Ospreay slowly gets up and brings Lethal back while we go to break.
ROH returns again to Ospreay still in control. The fans duel, Scurll continues to tout Lethal’s greatness along with his own. Ospreay builds up the energy, gets running and springboards, but Lethal ducks under to then mule kick Ospreay back. Lethal calls for his finish and handsprings, but Ospreay catches him! Standing switch into a back elbow, Ospreay goes for the “Ospreay Injection”, but Lethal catches him into the torture rack! Scurll calls it the “Lethal Express”!
Lethal jumps around to bend Ospreay back over and over, then he rolls for an Argentina rolling senton!
Cover, TWO! Scurll is upset, that should’ve finished Ospreay. Lethal drags Ospreay over and then takes off the elbow pad before climbing up. Ospreay stirs and stops Lethal with a EuroUpper. He climbs up and gives Lethal forearms but Lethal hits back. Lethal adjusts, Ospreay returns, and hits a jumping ROCK ‘N’ ROLLER frankesteiner!
Ospreay stalks Lethal as he staggers around, and catches Lethal with the hook-around superkick! Then he lifts Lethal in the dragon sleeper for a big Bloody Sunday!
Cover, TWO!! But Ospreay is not deterred. He waits for Lethal to sit up, and gives him the killer backhand! TWO, and Opsreay is stunned! Scurll feels so stressed just watching. Ospreay gets up again, and watches Ospreay closely. Fans rally, Ospreay runs in but Lethal dodges the Ospreay Special kick to hit the Lethal Combination! Lethal gets up, eyes wide with rage. He climbs up, takes aim, and Hail to the K– Ospreay puts up a foot, but Lethal catches it! Lethal goes for the Figure Four but Ospreay counters with a small package, TWO! Ospreay is right on Lethal with a buzzsaw, mule kick and Os– Lethal Cutter!
Ospreay flounders about, Scurll loses his mind, and Lethal finally hits Lethal Injection!!
Lethal wins! The Villain praises The Franchise Player and declares himself Lethal’s biggest fan, but which one of them will reach the ROH WHC first?
Marty Scurll applauds Lethal on his way out, but Lethal stays so he and Ospreay can maintain the Code of Honor. When will we see the Aerial Assassin back on ROH TV?
It’s time for Coleman’s Pulpit!
The Most Versatile Man in Sport Today, Caprice Coleman, has Team Search & Destroy’s Octopus, Jonathan Gresham, as his guest. However, to have a little fun with his guest, Coleman set out two chairs, one very high and one very low. Which does Gresham pick?
Coleman conducts his interview despite having to literally look up to his guest. Coleman has read Gresham’s Wikipedia page, and must say it’s “a little short.” Gresham has wrestled for 12 years and is well-traveled. Who has Gresham been trained by? Mr. Hughes and Jay Fury in an Atlanta wrestling school. Gresham started in 2005 and just blossomed. Coleman admits that Gresham’s style is impressive, with how he can tie up wrestlers who are bigger, stronger and taller than him. Is there some kind of mantra Gresham uses? The Octopus is a great nickname, but is there something more to it than that? Coleman recalls that, while impressive, Gresham hasn’t won a lot.
Gresham tells Coleman to watch what he says right now. Coleman apologizes, and Gresham still admits he has a losing record right now. Gresham also says pro-wrestling is about how you pick yourself up after each loss. He believes he loses for “all the wrong reasons.” Coleman has to stop him there. Is Gresham making excuses? Gresham feels that while he’s losing, he knows he’s at least mastered his own style. He wants to show his style here in ROH. So is it a pure wrestling style or what? Gresham wants to introduce a special term for those who just love pure pro-wrestling, and that will help further his own style. Coleman asks what rules does Gresham have. Where is he on establishing that? Gresham admits he hasn’t gotten that far just yet, but he’ll work on it. That’s all for Coleman’s Pulpit, where Coleman finds the truth and the truth will help you see you later.
Kenny King VS
The K I N G may not be the ROH World Television Champion anymore, but he’s determined to get that title back from the Last Real Man. Can Kenny make The Kingpin #BendtheKnee on the road to his rematch?
The bell rings, the fans applaud the Code of Honor, and Kenny ducks a lunge to put on a headlock. The Top Prospect 2017 semifinalist powers out by throwing Kenny to the ropes. Kenny comes back and shoulders into him but Milonas solidly stays standing. Kenny dances it off, Milonas swings but he ducks under and runs. Milonas gives a hip toss but Kenny lands on his feet. Kenny kicks, Milonas blocks and swings Kenny around, Kenny hits the Eddy Gordo kick.
Kenny dropkicks and staggers Milonas, but Milonas rocks Kenny back with a big right. Milonas runs in but Kenny dumps him out, Kenny fires the fans up before he builds speed. Kenny slingshots over and FLIES onto Milonas!
Milonas goes down, Kenny gets up and takes a selfie with a fan.
Kenny kicks Milonas before getting back into the ring, then he hits a springboard legdrop. Cover, TWO, and Milonas gets himself to a corner. Kenny throws jabs and chops, dances like Michael but Milonas scrapes his eyes. Kenny jumps at Milonas but gets caught, Milonas powers him into snake eyes. Milonas gets running for a big corner squash! The Kingpin stands over the K I N G and gloats a moment before putting him into another corner. He taunts Kenny, Kenny fires forearms back. Kenny runs, but into a lariat that drives him right down. Milonas literally walks all over Kenny, then takes his time stalking him. A chop and a corner to corner whip but Kenny goes up and over for the sunset flip. Milonas wobbles but steadies himself, jumps to sit down, but Kenny rolls out and Milonas lands on the mat. Kenny gets to a corner, and gives Milonas a running, rolling roundhouse!
Milonas wobbles again, Kenny keeps on him with jabs and body shots. Kenny builds it up, and hits the spinning heel kick! Milonas finally falls in the ring, then gets himself to a corner again. Kenny runs in and hits double knees, then tries the fireman’s carry. Milonas is too big and strong, he puts Kenny in a corner before running back in. Kenny dodges and retaliates with a jump kick. He then takes aim, and hits a springboard blockbuster!
Cover, Kenny wins!
Kenny King picks up a mic to speak.
He gives respect to Milonas, but Kenny addresses “one giant piece of crap named Silas Young.” Kenny can’t get the feeling out, like he wants to “knock his ass out.” Kenny calls Silas out, Silas appears!
Silas Young, title in hand, storms right to the ring. He gets in the ring, and we have a brawl!
The fans love it, but the referee tries to stop it with rings of the bell. The bell has no effect, Silas runs but into Kenny’s spinning heel kick! Silas bails out, but he left the belt behind. Kenny picks it up and tells Silas it’s going to be his again soon enough.
The Beer City Bruiser appears to help his pal.
But it’s Brian Milonas who hits Kenny from behind!
The Kingpin stomps away on the K I N G, and that’s when Bruiser and Silas join in. The Bruiser told Silas last week that he’d have a new tag team partner, and here he is! Silas picks up his belt and tells Kenny it’s staying with him. The beating continue while ROH turns away, is there any hope of Kenny taking back his title now?
SoCal Uncensored is on ROH TV.
Scorpio Sky joined forces with The Addiction’s Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian at Final Battle to ruin the fun of the ROH Six Man Tag Team Champions, “The Hung Bucks”. Daniels speaks, and properly introduces “the hottest new act” in ROH, yes, SoCal Uncensored! “Make some noise for the SCU!” However, ROH COO Joe Koff speaks up!
Koff explains that he is the reason the SCU are in the ring right now. Koff knows the fans don’t want to see him, they want to see “the best wrestlers”. And that’s NOT the SCU. The SCU are the “most disruptive” wrestlers in ROH, and that’s all they’ve been lately. Koff would fire them here and now. Is that a threat? In that case, The Heavy Metal Rebel says he’s gonna kick Koff’s “corporate ass”! Daniels stops Kaz from going too far. There won’t be physicality, because Daniels has a reason why they won’t be fired. Does Koff remember when Daniels was ROH WHC? Does he remember the talks they had about Koff’s “grand plans” for ROH and its worldwide expansion? Daniels remembers. And if Daniels is fired, he might just give his friend Don Callis a call and share those ideas. Better yet, Daniels might just go to his good buddy “AJ” and get him to pass those ideas along. That company would love to hear those plans. Daniels makes sure Koff knows that “we know where the bodies are buried.” Koff knows Daniels was going to go there. He is a business man, and he lets everyone know he called attorneys. Koff knows Daniels’ contract is up in one year’s time. Therefore, the SCU better enjoy this year while it lasts, because come Final Battle 2018, “you’re done.” An ultimatum has been sent, are the SCU on borrowed time?
The Briscoes speak from the parking garage.
Mark & Jay want everyone to know “it ain’t nothing personal.” Alex Shelly, Chris Sabin, you two are just happy to be ROH World Tag Team Champions. But #DemBoyz are “all killer, no filler.” There is not a single tag team in the world that can do what The Briscoes do! “Nobody is on our level!” It just makes sense, then, that #DemBoyz get those titles back. When will these two top tier tag teams tie up over the titles?
Six Man Tag: The Kingdom VS Dalton Castle & The Boys!
Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan & Vinnie Marseglia cry conspiracy at not being ROH champions of any kind, and surely The Peacock would love to have those ROH Six Man belts back to add to his collection. Which trio will move up in the ranks here in this “second” main event?
Castle starts the match against the Sassy Wild Horse. The fans cheer on Castle as he chases after O’Ryan. They tie up, O’Ryan manages to put Castle in a corner but Castle powers his way out. O’Ryan still puts Castle in a corner, then gives a clean break before patting Castle on the shoulders to let him know he is “T K O!” Castle pie-faces O’Ryan, then gets a double leg takedown! He rolls O’Ryan, slips around to a gutwrench hold and deadlifts him. O’Ryan lands on his feet and wristlock reels Castle in, but Castle ducks the lariat to hit his Peacock Pose!
Castle stares O’Ryan down as he hurries to the Kingdom’s corner. Ring leader Taven distracts so that the Horror King Vinnie can tag in. Vinnie creeps up over to Castle, Castle turns around and gets the bicycle boot right to the face. Vinnie runs adjacent to hit a big forearm smash, then runs again for a second. He puts Castle into buckles but Castle turns things around to put him into the Peacock corner. Vinnie evades Castle, Boy 2 tags in. The fans fire up for The Boys, and Boy 2 walks right up to Vinnie. Vinnie doesn’t take the Boy seriously, but he does give him a hard right hand. Boy 1 tags in, Vinnie runs in but gets a swing kick, then Boy 2’s enziguri, then a high springboard crossbody from Boy 1!
Cover, TWO, Boy 1 drops Vinnie with a dropkick. However, he can’t get to Vinnie before Vinnie gets to the Kingdom’s corner, and Taven tags in. Boy 1 backs up, Taven calls out Castle. The Peacock climbs up and tags in, and it is clear this could be a ROH WHC match-up down the line. Fans chant for “Dalton Castle!” as the champion truly enters the ring. Taven brushes off the chants as he circles with Castle. Taven kicks low and puts on a headlock. Castle slips out and around to put on his own, Taven powers out. Things speed up, Taven tries for a roll up but Castle buckles him off. Taven tries for a hip toss, Castle counters with a fireman’s carry and roll. Castle slips around to a waistlock, Taven puts him in a corner. Taven runs out then back in, Castle evades, Taven rolls and enziguris Castle down! He toys with Castle now, then stands him up for chops. Corner to corner whip, but The Boys become steps for Castle to climb! Castle reaches the top rope then jumps for a crossbody of his own!
The Boys take care of Vinnie and O’Ryan, then slip out so Castle can clear the ring of Taven. The Boys and fans rally while Castle builds speed, Castle fakes out The Kingdom to strut and pose!
The Kingdom is furious over falling for that. Taven returns into the ring and tags to Vinnie. Vinnie goes right at Castle but gets caught and thrown in a waistlock slam. Castle then puts Vinnie in a corner, and throws him out with an overhead suplex. He drags Vinnie over, tag to Boy 2, flying double stomps to Vinnie’s arm just before we go to break.
ROH returns once more to see Boy 2 building speed. Taven intercepts, and uses a fireman’s carry hotshot! Castle comes in but the referee keeps him back, this allows Vinnie & O’Ryan to throw Boy 2 right into barriers. And back the other way!
The Kingdom fires up but the fans are mixed. Taven tags O’Ryan and feeds Boy 2 to him, O’Ryan tags in Vinnie. They toy with Boy 2, the referee tries to maintain order. Boy 2 fights back but to no avail, The Kingdom whips him into a double flapjack! Leg drop and back senton combo, TWO! Vinnie keeps on Boy 2, and gnaws on his forehead! He tags Taven back in, Taven has Vinnie let Boy 2 go. Taven taunts Boy 2 to try and tag out, but then brings Boy 2 up. Boy 2 slips out of the back suplex, Taven grabs him before the tag and tries again, but Boy 2 still slips out. Boy 2 turns Taven around and dropkicks him to the Peacock corner! Taven back elbows Castle but Boy 2 tags his brother. Boy 1 shoulders in and slingshots for the sunset flip. Taven rolls through, and rocks Boy 1 with a penalty kick!
Taven checks his bloody lip before covering, TWO! He drags Boy 1 over and tags O’Ryan. O’Ryan lifts Boy 1 up for a big back suplex, then embraces the heat. O’Ryan uses Boy 1’s man bun to drag him up and over to the Kingdom’s corner. Boy 1 fights back, dodges O’Ryan, and back elbows O’Ryan a couple times before using a kick. Hot tags to Vinnie and Castle! The Peacock rallies on the Kingdom, rocking each of them with stiff forearms and back elbows. Vinnie dodges and hops up, but jumps into Castle’s arms for an overhead throw! The fans fire up with Castle as he stalks Vinnie, but Taven comes in. Castle dodges him, prepares the Tombstone but Taven reverses. Taven wants tombstone but Castle reverses, only for Taven to reverse, and back again! They keep going back and forth, and it ends on Castle, Peacock Tombstone!
The fans are thunderous, but O’Ryan comes in and boots Castle right in the head. O’Ryan gloats already, Castle comes back and gets him in the Bangarang!
Vinnie gets in and knees Castle away, but then Castle wrestles him down with a waistlock roll, and into the keylock, and the “Julie Newmar”!
However, Taven slips the hatchet in! Vinnie reaches but he can’t, he taps while the Boys FLY!
Castle & The Boys win, and have toppled The Kingdom over for good measure. The Peacock is already ROH WHC, can he become the first dual World Heavyweight and World Six Man Tag Champion?
This was a great episode right here, and perhaps rightfully uses the idea of “double main event” a bit more accurately than other promotions. Lethal VS Ospreay wan indeed main event or even PPV caliber for being a non-title match, and Scurll even added to the quality being on commentary to feed the story between him, Lethal and the ROH WHC. Ospreay always impresses, even in a loss, and Lethal stays strong to keep his chase for the title relevant. Scurll surprises us by not interfering, but keeping his attachment to Lethal amicable, if only for the moment. I would love a rematch from Final Battle of Lethal VS Scurll to determine a #1 contender, but I anticipate Lethal would need a true Heel turn to get past The Villain that time. Then major developments as The Addiction get an ultimatum from the emboldened Joe Koff. I loved the name drops Daniels made to TNA Impact and WWE, and if this is worked shoot of Daniels leaving ROH come the end of 2018, I would love to see Daniels either go back to Impact or try for WWE again.
I sensed Milonas was The Beer City Bruiser’s new mystery partner, and he makes total sense. Both men are big hosses, Milonas came off as a Heel during last year’s Top Prospect Tournament and he maintains that now as he makes Silas’ duo into a trio. Whether or not Silas keeps the ROH WTVC, this could still branch off into the three “real men” trying for the World Six Man titles to once again revisit Silas’ feud with Castle & The Boys. And speaking of, great match for the true main event, and great to see Castle & The Boys win against The Kingdom. The Kingdom can continue their ranting about conspiracies, and whether it’s SoCal Uncensored or The Bullet Club’s “Hung Bucks”, The Peacock can make a great Face towards their Heels.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report & Results! (12/17/18)
It’s the Raw after TLC, and The Chairman makes a return! What will Vince Kennedy McMahon have in store to “shake things up again?”
- Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle; changed to…
- 4v1 Handicap Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable; changed to…
- 4v1 Handicap No Disqualifications Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable; Angle, Crews, Roode & Gable win, and Baron Corbin is NOT Raw GM.
- Finn Balor VS Dolph Ziggler; Finn wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: Dean Ambrose VS Tyler Breeze; Ambrose wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
- Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Authors of Pain VS The Revival VS The B-Team VS Lucha House Party; The Revival wins and will face Roode & Gable for the Raw Tag Team Championships.
- Raw Women’s Championship Open Challenge: Ronda Rousey VS ???; changed to…
- 8 Woman Gauntlet Match: Natalya wins and is the #1 contender to Ronda Rousey’s Raw Women’s Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Mr. McMahon is here!
The Chairman, Vincent Kenny McMahon, is on the Raw after TLC! And he knows we want to know what’s going on with Raw. Tonight, we find out. Raw has been on the air for over 25 years, an extraordinary feat. And that’s because the show changes with the time. “Despite one man’s brilliance, despite one man’s creativity, despite one man’s vision,” Vince can’t do this alone. Vince can do it without the fans, though. Fans boo, but then Stephanie McMahon appears! The Commissioner, and daughter of Vince, heads to the ring and gives her father a big hug. Fans boo but Vince asks they be nice. And then, Triple H appears! The Game, the COO, joins wife and father-in-law in the ring, and even gives Vince a hug.
Fans are excited to see these three in the ring, but there’s more! Shane McMahon is here! The SmackDown Commissioner joins father, sister and brother-in-law in the ring, and now we have all the power players of WWE at the same time! Stephanie says they’re all out here because they’ve all realized, “we haven’t been doing a good job lately.” They’ve all realized that there’s need for a change, and this will be a fresh start. These four will be “taking back Monday Night Raw”, and even SmackDown. These four know they are the ones ensuring the best possible experience for their fans and empowering their superstars. They will finally give fans what they want. “Something new, something fresh.” There will be new faces, new matches, and now the fans are the Authority! WWE will always be #ThenNowandForever.
But wait, here comes Baron Corbin! The Constable lost his job at TLC when he lost his TLC Match to Braun Strowman, but he seems to think he has another chance. “No one is more excited for a fresh start than me.” Fans rain down the boos and jeers, to which Stephanie makes sure Corbin understands. Corbin knows they’re all upset, but he’s so very excited to have the entire McMahon family in charge of Raw. However, those promises were amazing, but there’s something they didn’t mention. “Fair”. Last night’s TLC Match was not fair, so let’s talk this out. What will Corbin have to say? Find out after the break!
Raw returns and Corbin joins the McMahons and HHH. Fans still boo as he defends the Sacramento crowd does not reflect the WWE Universe as a whole. HHH tells the fans if they keep booing, Corbin can’t finish speaking. Corbin needs to explain himself. HHH asks the fans please stop for a moment. Stephanie wants fans to speak up, Vince is harder of hearing. But the fans eventually calm down, but Corbin riles them up again. Shane actually encourages the booing. Corbin ties to defend that he does his best. Vince tells Corbin he can be louder with his microphone. Fans chant “You Suck!” but Corbin does not take the blame. He says superstars aren’t living up to the challenge. Strowman was not supposed to be at TLC, Corbin was not prepared, and Corbin was not prepared for being outnumbered. If fans think that is fair– They do!
HHH tells Corbin that “as predictable as you are”, Corbin is here to say it’s a “travesty of justice” and hopes they all reconsider Corbin as GM. Is that it? Yes! And Corbin is thankful they’re all here to sort this out. Corbin would’ve won if not for Finn Balor, Kurt Angle and the rest. Are they letting that travesty stand? Or will they overturn the decision? Fans boo but Corbin says “Think of what we can accomplish with you guys backing me.” The McMahon Family huddles up, and then it comes down to a vote. Shane and HHH go with “No”, Stephanie says “No Chance in Hell.” Vince thinks of a way. They huddle up again and perhaps Corbin does deserve a chance. Fans don’t agree, but Corbin is willing to take that chance. Then Corbin will get that chance.
If Corbin wins a match tonight, right now, he’ll be permanent Raw GM! Just beat this man. KURT ANGLE! The previous Raw GM and Olympic Gold Medalist returns to action himself, and gets a chance to shut Corbin up once and for all! Will Corbin fail to make good on this second chance? Or will he find a way to revive his tyranny?
Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle!
Stephanie “remembers” the special guest referee for this match. It’s Heath Slater! The One Ref Band gets to be part of this payback! Slater rings the bell and we begin!
Corbin swings but Angle counter punches! Angle bumps Corbin off buckles to then stomp and punch away! Slater lets Angle continue and whip Corbin corner to corner. Corbin reverses but misses, Angle throws him with a German Suplex! Corbin bails out of the ring while we go to break.
Raw returns and Corbin has Angle down. Corbin eggs Angle on while fans rally up. But then HHH returns to say he “forgot” something else. This is a Handicap Match.
4v1 Handicap Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable!
The rising star AND the Raw Tag Team Champions appear to reinforce Angle! Corbin finds himself flanked by the people he wronged, and now they’re getting further payback! Roode, Gable & Apollo rain down hands and stomps, then feed Corbin to Angle. Angle drags Corbin up for another German Suplex! And another! And the hat trick! Angle tags in Gable, and Gable drags Corbin up for his own German Suplex! Gable tags Roode, and the tag champs coordinate to double whip. Roode whips Gable to whip Roode in for a clothesline! Tag to Apollo for a big enziguri! Corbin bails out again but he can’t get away from Apollo and the champs! They drag him back to ringside, tossing him over barriers!
Gable puts Corbin in and Angle returns. The four of them surround Corbin, but look to Slater. Slater literally looks the other way as they stomp Corbin out! But now Shane O’Mac appears, and says he was so pumped to be in Sacramento, he “forgot” this is No Disqualifications!
4v1 Handicap No Disqualifications Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable!
Now the foursome don’t have to worry about Slater’s disapproval. In fact, Slater gets in on the action! Slater stomps Corbin while the others get chairs! Angle, Gable, Roode & Apollo repeat last night’s humiliation with new chair shots! They jab, they SMACK, repeat! Fans love seeing Corbin getting what he deserves! But “We Want Tables!” Gable climbs while Roode brings Corbin up, GLORIOUS Combination! Apollo climbs for the frog splash! They bring Corbin up and feed him to Angle’s Olympic Slam! Cover, Angle’s team wins!
Winner: Team Angle, Kurt Angle pinning; Corbin is NOT Raw GM
Finally, the dictatorship of Constable Corbin ends! The Lone Wolf really was all alone against his “disgruntled employees”, and now he is out of power! Who will take his place in this new Raw?
But the punishment isn’t over! Apollo, Gable & Roode set a table up in the ring, and everyone but Corbin is grinning. They haul Corbin up again, for an Olympic Slam through the table!! Now the celebration begins!
John Cena wins the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
The Face that Runs the Place is honored to receive this award, but he wouldn’t win this award without being a friend and philanthropist to so many.
Finn Balor VS Dolph Ziggler!
The Extraordinary Man helped The Show-Off to stick it to the Scottish Psychopath. And Ziggler would return the favor, mostly to stick it to Drew McIntyre. However, neither man is thankful for the other’s help, and look to show what they can do on their own. Who will gain some major momentum as we approach the New Year?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans are already fired up as they tie up. Finn and Ziggler go around and Ziggler puts Finn on the ropes. Ziggler backs off but gives a shove. They tie up again and Ziggler gets a headlock. Finn goes to power out but Ziggler holds on. Ziggler grinds and gets the takedown. Finn moves around to make it a cover, TWO! Ziggler keeps on Finn with the headlock, but fans rally. Finn gets up and powers out now, then things speed up. Finn arm-drags Ziggler around and into an armlock. Ziggler quickly headscissors but Finn quickly pops out, and fans cheer this close match-up. Finn kicks low, snapmares and kicks Ziggler, then brings him up again. Finn whips and dropkicks Ziggler down! Ziggler bails out while fans cheer Finn. Finn soaks it in as we go to break.
Raw returns and Ziggler whips Finn. Finn reverses but Ziggler sunset flips. Finn rolls through to dropkick! Both men are down as Finn clutches his leg. Finn gets up and to a corner, and boots Ziggler on the way in. Ziggler keeps after Finn but Finn counter punches and chops him! Finn whips but Ziggler reverses, only for Finn to run him over with forearms! Finn fires up and gets a takedown to a double stomp! Fans fire up as Finn aims at Ziggler. Finn runs out but the Slingblade is rolled up! TWO, and Ziggler uppercuts Finn. Ziggler taunts Finn, but misses the Famouser, to get the elbow drop DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn keeps moving as he aims at Ziggler again. Finn runs at Ziggler, and hits the Slingblade! He takes aim again, but the shotgun dropkick goes into the Satellite DDT! Cover, TWO!
Both men are down but fans rally up. Ziggler sits up but Finn gets to a corner. Ziggler runs but the ZigZag is denied. Finn goes to the apron and swing kicks Ziggler down! Finn climbs but Ziggler trips him up! Ziggler throws Finn into the post! ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler is shocked and sore, but he gets up in a corner. He takes aim, but here comes McIntyre! Ziggler kicks McIntyre, then leaps out! McIntyre catches Ziggler but they still brawl it out! McIntyre shoves Ziggler but Finn FLIES! Ziggler clobbers Finn! Ziggler puts Finn in, FAMOUSER! Cover, TWO!! Finn lives and the match continues! Fans rally for Finn while he and Ziggler stir. Ziggler stands first, tunes it up, but gets another Slingblade! Finn aims again, but McIntyre attacks!
Winner: Finn Balor, by disqualification
The Scottish Terminator targets both thorns in his side as he throws Finn out and gives Ziggler the Glasgow Kiss headbutt! McIntyre rains rights down on Ziggler, then yanks him right up for a Claymore! McIntyre aims at Finn, Claymore! Fans boo and jeer McIntyre as he seethes all the way to the stage. Will McIntyre eliminate Ziggler and Finn on the road to the Royal Rumble?
Dean Ambrose heads to the ring!
The Lunatic has his siren and his gas-mask wearing henchmen accompany him and his newly won WWE Intercontinental Championship. Ambrose picks up a mic while fans boo and jeer. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Fans should show more respect! But they boo. “You disgusting little people” should be bowing to Ambrose, because he made his prediction come true. Rollins spun out of control, dropped the ball in the fourth quarter and choked. Rollins failed himself and failed the fans. Ambrose doesn’t need respect, because he has the belt. And it wasn’t too long ago that Rollins had two belts, now he has none. But Ambrose is just getting started. When Ambrose is done, Rollins will truly have nothing!
Ambrose promises to take Rollins’ career, take Rollins reputation and drag it through the mud! But there’s another option. “The Moral Compass” has an obligation. Rollins can come out here and be a man of character and integrity to admit Ambrose was right! Rollins, tell everyone that Ambrose was right! Fans boo while Ambrose waits. They chant “Burn It Down!” but Rollins doesn’t appear. Ambrose waits but has a new idea. “How about an open challenge?” But not for the title, Rollins doesn’t deserve it. But maybe Rollins wants to take out his anger. Ambrose dares Rollins to appear, but he doesn’t. This proves Rollins is no hero, he’s “a selfish little whiner who always has to get his way.” Rollins lost and is too ashamed to show his face.
So Ambrose moves on to a third idea: Ambrose will stay a page from the playbook and actually give an Open Challenge for the title, to anyone not named Seth Rollins. And out comes… Tyler Breeze!
WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: Dean Ambrose VS Tyler Breeze!
Prince Pretty wants his shot and this is his chance! Can Breeze make that Intercontinental Championship gorgeous? Or will Ambrose make an example out of him?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Ambrose goes after Breeze but Breeze is ready! Breeze throws hands, whips but Ambrose reverses. Breeze hits big forearms then stomps away in a corner! He backs off at 4 and dropkicks Ambrose! Breeze clotheslines Ambrose out! Prince Pretty is fired up while we go to break!
Raw returns and Ambrose stomps Breeze out. Ambrose laces up the legs and puts Breeze in a modified Queen Angelito stretch. Breeze endures and crawls for ropes. Ambrose grabs that arm to stomp it! Breeze crawls but Ambrose is on him with a whip. Ambrose elbows Breeze down, covers, TWO! Ambrose keeps on Breeze with a chinlock. Fans rally up as Breeze endures. Breeze fights his way up but Ambrose wrangles him down hard! Ambrose keeps Breeze grounded, but fans rally for Breeze. Breeze gets up but Ambrose knees low. Ambrose clubs and scoops Breeze, but Breeze slips out to enziguri! Ambrose is dazed, and Breeze gets up to huricanrana! To a cover, TWO! Breeze enziguris from a corner, then sends Ambrose into post! Cover, TWO!
Breeze hits the Beauty Shot heel kick! But Ambrose gets up again so Breeze climbs up. Breeze leaps, big crossbody! Cover, TWO! SUPER MODEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Ambrose survives Breeze’s best, but he is dazed. Breeze gets up and stalks Ambrose. Breeze brings him around but the Unprettier is denied. Dirty Deeds! Cover, Ambrose wins!
Winner: Dean Ambrose, by pinfall; still WWE Intercontinental Champion
The Lunatic says that is the performance of a champion with character! Rollins didn’t show because Rollins– “BURN IT DOWN!” But where is Rollins?! He’s one of the gas-mask men!! Rollins SUPERKICKS Ambrose down! And then throws fast hands from all sides! The other henchmen hurry in but Rollins fights them off. Ambrose runs away with the belt while Rollins tosses the henchmen away, and SUPERKICKS another! Rollins tells Ambrose to bring the fight, but Ambrose continues his retreat. Will Ambrose back up his words and be brave enough to face The Kingslayer?
Backstage interview with Shane McMahon.
The McMahons promise a fresh start, but what does that mean? Fresh faces and new opportunities! There will be tough decisions to make, but here comes Drake Maverick. These two finally meet, and Maverick introduces the “rightful” Raw Tag Team Champions, Akam & Rezar. Maverick says those titles were stolen from them. But now that the McMahon Family is here, they’ll make this right. Authors of Pain get their title rematches tonight. Now, now, hold on. The mandatory rematch clause Maverick is citing is “antiquated”, Corbin handed AoP those titles in the first place. Let’s create an opportunity. But they’re the former champions! Shane suggests AoP take on The B-Team, The Revival and… Lucha House Party! Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender’s match! Shane wishes them luck, but the AoP are just upset. Will they make the best of this huge opportunity?
WWE takes a look at the new faces coming to the main roster!
Monsters, Beasts, Vipers, Giants. None of them compare to the Leviathan! Lars Sullivan is a dominate Freak and promises to destroy the roster.
The Lady of NXT, the Model Soldier, Lacey Evans is armed with a Woman’s Right to hit hard and class it up.
#SteaksAndWeights fuel Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic in tag team wrestling! They have a “damn good time” in the ring, and they’re COMIIIIN’!
The Loony Lass loves to play! SAnitY’s Twisted Sister finally joins her chaotic crew, who wants to play?
The Top One Percent prepares for #VictoryAfterVictory on the main roster! Will he find brand new success as he jumps from #NX3 to TV?
“Ladies and Gentlemen: The Almighty Bobby Lashley.”
Lashley and Lio Rush are in the ring, parodying Elias’ usual greeting and performance. These two will give the fans something they’ve never seen before. It turns out Elias isn’t the only gifted guitarist. The greatest music Elias ever heard was a guitar smashing into his back at the hands of Bobby Lashley! And be honest, no one here wants to hear another of Elias’ boring songs. They’re all here to witness a “true work of art.” And that is exactly what Lashley will give you. But before that, please silence phones, hold applause, and shut your mouths!
Lashley gets up with the mangled guitar, and starts posing. The double biceps, the side chest. Comparing Lashley to Elias is like comparing the Golden State Warriors to the Sacramento Kings. But of course, there’s always the “favorite pose”, the double glutes! Lio and Lashley laugh it up, but “Ladies and gentlemen, Elias.” The Drifter SMACKS Lashley with a guitar! Lashley gets back up but Elias gets away. There won’t be an encore tonight, but when will these two create another smash hit together?
Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Authors of Pain VS The Revival VS The B-Team VS Lucha House Party!
Drake Maverick knows Akam & Rezar feel robbed over the feud they had with Roode & Gable, but considering they got those titles through unfair means to begin with, they have no automatic right to a rematch. Can they rip their way through Dash & Dawson, Axel & Dallas, and the luchadores of 205 Live? Or will one of those other teams step up to the GLORIOUS challenge instead?
The teams sort out and we start with Curt Axel and Lince Dorado. They circle but Axel stays back when Lince handsprings. “Lucha! Lucha!” starts, as do the matracas. But “B-Team! B-Team! GO GO GO!” counters. The chants duel but Axel swings into a dropkick! Lince tags Kalisto and they combine for an alley-oop dropkick! Scott Dawson tags in and now The Revival revive their feud with LHP. Dawson slaps Kalisto, Kalisto fires off forearms! They brawl, and Dawson rocks Kalisto with a right. Dawson wrenches the arm and kicks Kalisto to the ropes. Dawson chops Kalisto on the ropes, but keeps his distance from AoP. He bumps Kalisto off buckles and gives European Uppercuts. Dawson mocks the lucha chant, then suplexes Kalisto. He drops an elbow, then tags Dash Wilder.
The Revival go after Kalisto together but they get a double DDT! Kalisto tags Lince, and hist the elevated splash! Lince hits the planking splash, covers, TWO! Dash scrambles and Akam tags in. Lince goes after Akam but Akam shoves him away. Lince dropkicks but Akam tags Rezar, for a pop-up and tackle into a corner! AoP mug Lince while we go to break.
Raw returns as Dash has Lince in a Gory Special! Lince endures as fans chant, but Dash reaches back to go after the mask. Dash mocks the lucha chant, but Lince pops out to arm-drag Dash! Axel tags in, Dash gets an enziguri! Axel goes after Lince but Lince handsprings to the Golden Rewind! Both Lince and Axel are down and fans rally up. Chants duel while Axel crawls. Hot tags to Bo Dallas and Kalisto! Kalisto springboards and crossbodies! Kalisto kicks and whips, Bo reverses but Kalisto springboards for a corkscrew crossbody! Fans fire up with the Lucha Dragon as he tackles Bo in a corner. Axel returns but gets the tornado DDT! Kalisto kicks Bo then whips, but Bo reverses. Dawson tags in and goes after Kalisto to throw him out. Dawson slaps Bo but Bo fires off hands!
Bo boots and clotheslines Dawson, then brings him up for the draping neckbreaker! Cover, but Dash breaks it up! Dash takes his time leaving, but Kalisto comes in to tilt-o-whirl DDT Dash down! Axel swings but gets a kick! Kalisto dodges Rezar, Bo and Dawson clothesline him out! But then Akam grabs them both, only to get haymakers. Akam shoves them back but is sent out. Lucha House Party are LAUNCHED onto both AoP! Bo and Dawson are alone, Dawson rolls Bo up but Bo rolls him back! Cover, TWO! Small package, TWO! Dawson scoops but gets another cradle, TWO! Bo shoves Dawson but Dash tags in. SHATTER MACHINE! Cover, The Revival win!!
Winners: The Revival, Dash Wilder pinning; new Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders
#SayYeah! Now that Dash & Dawson got a fair shake, they can get another shot at those tag titles! Will they be #ReadyWillingAndGLORIOUS against Roode & Gable?
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins!
The Architect got back at Ambrose just a bit earlier, but he still feels rough from last night’s “disaster.” Personally, professionally, it was all wrong. He let Ambrose get in his head and take that title, and Rollins heard the crowd. Rollins takes the blame for all of that, and vows to move forward. This isn’t about his in-ring performance or titles, this is his life! “This is everything that I’ve dedicated everything to!” It’s going off the rails, but Rollins will right the ship by ending Ambrose.
But Baron Corbin comes over, and tells Rollins that everyone thought he was doing great until Rollins had to speak up. Rollins goaded Corbin into a match, Rollins is why Strowman won, and Rollins is why the McMahons are back in charge. Ambrose was right. And Corbin would take Rollins title, if Ambrose hadn’t already done that. Rollins hits Corbin! The Lone Wolf gets further comeuppance, but when will the Lunatic get his?
Ronda Rousey is here!
And the Baddest Woman on the Planet is still Raw Women’s Champion after a physical match with Nia Jax! Ronda denied the #FaceBreaker her victory, but she didn’t stop there. She got her payback on The Queen, Charlotte Flair, and The Man, Becky Lynch, by throwing them off their ladder in the SmackDown Women’s Championship TLC Match! The Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka, has the throne now, but what does that mean for both shows now?
Ronda smiles as fans duel. She says “I told Nia Jax she could kiss that right hand she’s so proud of good-bye. I told Charlotte Flair I was going to write the next chapter of our story. And I told Becky Lynch I am the last woman on Earth she should provoke.” Ronda didn’t come out here to justify her actions, but to define what a real champion is. “A real champion is so much more than just a title someone puts in front of your name or an object you can hold”. It’s so much more than the winner of a match. A real champion represents the limit of human potential, physically, mentally and morally. A real champion is the best the human race has to offer, and steps up to the challenge. That is why Ronda is here tonight!
Fans still duel as Ronda suggests a new tradition. Every Raw after a PPV, the champion shows up no matter what to defend their title! Ronda wants a fight, this is her open challenge, so who wants a shot!?
Raw Women’s Championship Open Challenge: Ronda Rousey VS ???
There’s a traffic jam at gorilla position! So many women want their shot at Ronda, the production team can’t figure out what song to play! Stephanie McMahon leads them out in front of the fans, microphone in hand. Stephanie lets Ronda know that everyone wants their shot. And they’re deserving, but there won’t be any favorites anymore. These women will all earn their shot, in a Gauntlet Match! And that’s right now! And we start with Alicia Fox, against Bayley!
8 Woman Gauntlet Match!
Who will be the last woman left to challenge Ronda for her title?!
Bayley circles with Alicia and tie up. Bayley rolls Alicia, ONE. Alicia backs off to circle with Bayley again. They tie up and Bayley gets an arm wrench. She brings Alicia down and then Mahistrols, TWO! Alicia scrambles to ropes for safety, and fans boo as she takes her time getting up. Alicia kicks low, still holding the ropes, then throws forearms. She throws Bayley down by her hair, covers, ONE. Alicia keeps on Bayley in a corner for buckle bumps, then stomps her in another corner. She backs off to snapmare Bayley to a cover. ONE, but Alicia wraps on a chinlock. Fans rally up and Bayley feeds off the energy. Alicia clubs Bayley but misses the scissor kick to get a saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Alicia runs away again and we go to break.
Raw returns as Alicia stomps Bayley. Alicia kicks Bayley down and around at the ropes. Bayley gets to a corner, Alicia throws forearms. Alicia taunts Bayley to whip her corner to corner. Bayley slips to the apron and shoulders in. She slides under to sunset flip, TWO! Alicia clobbers Bayley quick! Alicia chokes Bayley on the ropes but backs off at 4. She pulls on Bayley’s ponytail, then throws more forearms. Bayley kicks and kicks, then throws forearms. Alicia kicks low but fans rally for Bayley. Alicia whips Bayley hard into buckles! Cover, TWO! Alicia keeps her cool, but then she starts slapping Bayley around in the corner. Bayley pushes Alicia away then flapjacks her on the buckles! Bayley whips but Alicia reverses, but Bayley goes up and over. But Bayley’s ankle gives out, and Alicia boots her down! Cover, but Bayley reverses it, Bayley ELIMINATES Alicia!!
Dana Brooke comes out now, and hurries to capitalize. She goes after Bayley with an enziguri! Dana handsprings corner to corner for the elbow! Cover, TWO! Dana tries again, TWO! Dana rains rights down because she wants this chance. She puts Bayley in a body scissor squeeze and trash talks, but Bayley fights out. Bayley makes it a cover, TWO! Dana chop blocks the bad leg! The ref checks on Bayley, but she won’t quit. Dana bumps Bayley off buckles and stomps a mudhole. Dana whips but Bayley can’t even run on the leg. Cover, TWO! Dana keeps on Bayley with a chinlock but fans rally. Bayley endures the thrashing, and fights her way up. Dana throws her back down by her hair, then covers. TWO, Dana tries again, TWO!
Dana grows frustrated but she keeps on Bayley in a corner. She stomps in another mudhole, then backs off at 4. Dana taunts Bayley, but gets a Bayley2Belly! Cover, Bayley ELIMINATES Dana! The Huggable One continues in this Gauntlet while we go to break!
Raw returns and Bayley’s third opponent is Mickie James. Mickie has Bayley in a chinlock but Bayley fights her way up. Bayley fights back but Mickie knees low. Mickie whips Bayley to a corner, but runs into a boot! Bayley runs out but into a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Mickie is frustrated that a beat up Bayley is still going. Ronda watches backstage as Mickie toys with Bayley. Mickie drags Bayley up to choke her on the ropes. She stops at 4, but runs, only to miss and get ropes! Bayley covers, TWO! Mickie brings Bayley up and kicks, but then runs and misses, Bayley rolls her up! TWO, and Mickie flapjacks Bayley! Mickie kips up and heads up top. Bayley stands, Mickie hits the flying seated senton! Cover, TWO and Bayley sunset flips, TWO! Mickie high stacks, TWO, roundhouse! Cover, TWO! Bayley still lives!
Mickie grows frustrated, but aim to finish this. Bayley slowly stands, but denies the Mick-DDT to a saido suplex! Fans fire up with Bayley, but Mickie kicks her out of the ring. Mickie builds speed, to slide, but Bayley spins her around for a big knee! Bayley grits her teeth as she heads back up. Bayley has a bad footing on the ropes but she still elbows Mickie. She leaps for a crossbody, but can’t keep the cover! Mickie gets to a corner, Bayley runs in for a big knee! Bayley tosses Mickie out to climb back up. Bayley leaps, Macho Elbow! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Mickie survives and Bayley grows frustrated. Bayley gets up and goes after Mickie but gets body shots. Mickie steps in for a hotshot! Bayley fires herself up, but Mickie grabs hair! Bayley powers Mickie back, but Mickie elbows Bayley.
Mickie goes for the Mickanrana but is put on the apron. Mickie hits back and bumps Bayley off buckles! The Mick-DDT hits! Cover, Mickie ELIMINATES Bayley! But there’s no rest for the wicked, Ember Moon heads in! Mickie dropkicks Ember right as she slides into the ring! Mickie stomps away but backs off at 4. Ember gets up but Mickie kicks her to a corner. Mickie grinds her boot in but stops at 4. Ember gasps for air but Mickie is on her with a slap. Ember and Mickie kick each other, Mickie whips but Ember flips through the hip toss to arm-drag! Mickie runs into a leg sweep, Ember misses the dropkick! Mickie covers, TWO! Ember blocks a kick but gets a kick. Mickie runs, but she misses. Ember runs, springboard crossbody! Cover, TWO!
Mickie slides out, because she wants a time-out. But Ember doesn’t give her one. ember runs and slides out, but Mickie kicks her on the return. Mickie wants a draping DDT but Ember fights her off. Mickie slides out and wants a bomb! Ember holds on for dear life and fights Mickie off, but Mickie trips her up! Ember hits apron while we go to break.
Raw returns and Ember slams Mickie! Both women are down but stirring. Mickie throws a forearm but Ember throws one back. Ember throws more forearms, then ducks to swing. Mickie dodges but Ember dodges and mule kicks, Ember enziguris! High stack cover, TWO! Ronda still watches backstage as Mickie gets to a corner. Ember runs in but misses, and Mickie rolls her up. She uses ropes but gets caught! The referee reprimands Mickie, but Mickie still flapjacks Ember! Mickie kips up again, then heads up top. Mickie leaps, but into a code breaker!! Ember hurries up top now, for the ECLIPSE! Cover, Ember ELIMINATES Mickie! But here comes The Queen of Harts! Natalya hits the ring but Ember rolls her up, TWO!
Natty gets Ember down, but the Sharpshooter is denied. Ember ducks the discus to SUPERKICK Natty! Cover, TWO! Ember drags Natty up into a chinlock but Natty endures. Natty works her way up and fights out, but Ember kicks her back. Ember brings Natty up to trap an arm in the standing chinlock. Natty endures the modified stretch, even as Ember clubs her on the back. Natty fights out and fireman’s carry, but Ember fights out. Ember throws forearms, then whips, but Natty reverses. Natty runs into a boot, and Ember hops up. Ember brings Natty over, tornado snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Ember clubs Natty again, then heads up top. Natty stands and gets clear of the Eclipse, to discus clothesline Ember! Cover, TWO!! The War Goddess survives and the Queen of Harts is frustrated.
Natty goes for legs but Ember fights her off. Cradle, TWO! Natty rolls Ember up, Natty ELIMINATES Ember!! Natty shocks Sacramento, but The Riott Squad heads out together. Will it be a rematch of TLC to determine a #1 Contender? We’ll find out after the break.
Raw returns and Ruby has Natty in a chinlock. Natty endures and pries her way out of the chinlock, but Ruby puts on body scissors. Liv and Sarah smirk as Ruby squeezes Natty. Natty turns around to club Ruby, so Ruby slaps Natty! Ruby wraps Natty in a guillotine now, but Natty still endures. Natty powers up and powers Ruby off with a scoop slam! Fans fire up as Natty and Ruby double clothesline! Both Ruby and Natty are down but the Squad coach Ruby up. Ruby gets up first and kicks Natty in the ribs! Ruby drags Natty up to throw her down, then brings Natty up to bump her off buckles. She stomps a mudhole into Natty but stops at 3. Natty rolls her up! TWO, and Ruby clobbers Natty again. Cover, TWO!
Ruby grows frustrated, but puts Natty in a cravat. Natty endures and fights her way back up. Natty arm-drags Ruby off, but gets a knee to the chin! Ruby throws Natty down, covers, TWO! Ruby keeps her cool, and toys with Natty, but Natty slaps her! Natty gets up but Ruby rolls her, TWO! Natty boots Ruby down, then catches her breath. She scoops Ruby but Ruby sunset flips, TWO! Natty dropkicks Ruby down! Ruby and Natty are slow to get up but Natty rallies with ax handles and lariats. Natty kicks low, then fires the fans up with a snap suplex! And another! Natty slaps Ruby then whips her to a corner. Discus meets STO! Ruby positions Natty in the drop zone then climbs up. The Squad cheer on the back senton, but it misses! Roll up, Natty ELIMINATES Ruby!
But it’s Boss Time! Sasha Banks goes at Natty, and rallies the moment she hits the ring! She blocks a kick to give a knee, then turns Natty sideways in the corner. Stock Drop knees! Cover, TWO! Natty survives but The Boss keeps her focus. Sasha puts up the four and says she wants that belt, but Natty powers her to a corner! Natty rams her shoulder in but then misses. Sasha goes up, but Natty gets under to roll her up! TWO! Sasha runs, sunset flip DDT! Cover, TWO!! Natty still lives and this match continues, after one more break!
Raw returns and both women are down. A 10 count begins, and Sasha sits up at 6. She stands at 7 and Natty follows. Natty blocks the kick to trip Sasha up, then she walks all over her to dropkick! Cover, TWO! Natty fires up the fans as she brings Sasha around. She wants the Sharpshooter but is denied with a roll up, TWO! Sasha backslides, TWO! Sasha knees Natty but Natty discus clotheslines! Cover, TWO!! Natty grows frustrated, but she wants that Sharpshooter. And she gets it! Sasha endures as Natty drags her from ropes! Fans fire up and duel as Sasha crawls. Sasha reaches but Natty drags her away again! Natty sits down deep but Sasha gets a second gas, to roll Natty into buckles! Both women are down and the ref checks on them.
Fans rally up as both women are okay to continue. Natty goes for the legs but Sasha rolls through to a Half Crab! Natty endures, crawls and reaches! Sasha shifts to the Rings of Saturn, to a cover, TWO! Bank Statement crossface!! Natty endures as Sasha pulls back hard! Natty powers Sasha around, but Sasha holds on. Fireman’s carry, but Sasha slips off. Natty throws Sasha with a German Suplex! Fans rally and duel while both women stir. Sasha gets to a corner, but Natty stands up. Natty runs in, but into a boot! Sasha elbows Natty away, then hops up. She leaps, Meteora! Cover, TWO!! Natty lives and Sasha can’t believe it! Sasha and Natty slowly stand, and Sasha wants the backstabber. Natty bucks her off, but walks into a takedown!
Sasha wants the crossface but Natty arm-drags her off. Sasha runs and rolls again, but into an inverted bomb! Natty gets the legs, Sharpshooter is on! Sasha endures as she’s far away, and TAPS! Natty wins the Gauntlet!!
Winner: Natalya, by submission; will face Ronda Rousey for the title next week
The Queen of Harts just won herself the best Christmas present ever! Natty shows Sasha respect, but here comes Ronda to congratulate her friend. Natty and Ronda celebrate this accomplishment together, but now friends must become opponents. Ronda offers a handshake, and Natty accepts it. Will friends stay friends after their title match?
Well this wasn’t what I expected from a post-PPV Raw. And sadly it wasn’t worth the hype. Vince and the McMahon family promised change and finally giving fans what we want, but this first night doesn’t quite give that impression. The only change might’ve been that there were way more commercials than I can remember being on a Raw. Did WWE need to pay some bills or something? This would’ve been a better Raw just on the virtue of keeping the flow going with less ads and more action. It’s not like having more of those commercials changed how Raw actually ran, either. The opening was a talk segment to give us this supposed “change”, and Vince’s time on his own show to shine. The only reason it wasn’t a consecutive 20 minutes is because a commercial happened 5 minutes in.
Now, I did appreciate that the McMahons were the Faces in this scenario, and gave Corbin further comeuppance. It was proper karma with the running gag of “remembering” things. However, another “change” seems to be we won’t get Angle back as GM or even someone new, like a rumored WOKEN Hardy. But perhaps if that means HHH is technically in charge, there’s a sliver of hope he’ll get this thing running as it should. In fact, Finn VS Ziggler was a really great match, but I am a bit disappointed McIntyre interfered. We’ve already been told there will be a Triple Threat for this story on the Christmas Eve edition, so that sounds like a good time. And for those who don’t already know, the Christmas Eve Raw will be recorded TONIGHT and put on tape delay. I don’t know if the live audience is lucky or being tortured…
There are also these “new faces” to address. The NXT Call-Ups have been announced in advance, but honestly I hope most of them go to SmackDown. We’ll have to wait and see how the “fresh start” affects SmackDown, but I’d imagine SmackDown will still be just as good as it was before. Therefore, they’d be able to use Lacey Evans, Heavy Machinery and EC3 much better than Raw. In fact, we were all worried about what Faces could face the Heel Daniel Bryan, maybe The Top One Percent can be that Face.
It seems Tyler Breeze is Mr. Open Challenge, with having gone back to NXT long enough to challenge Ricochet then returning to Raw to answer Ambrose’s Open Challenge. Rollins being in disguise as a gas-mask man was a standard twist, but still fitting of the story. If only Rollins interfered during the match to cost Ambrose the title. But perhaps that in itself proves Ambrose right: Rollins won’t go after Ambrose unless he can get the title back. Rollins VS Corbin will be the Christmas Eve match, and perhaps Ambrose attacks him back to keep pace. I wonder if their title rematch would be at Royal Rumble to keep them out of the Royal Rumble match… Perhaps that’s for the best if Rollins isn’t going to win to then challenge for the Universal Championship.
A Fatal 4 Way tag to determine contenders was good, and the match itself was alright. I’m sure many fans are happy that The Revival are finally back in the title scene, and I for one am glad the Raw Tag Division didn’t have to worry about pee jokes and lucha rule inaccuracies. Revival VS Gable & Roode should be a good one, if they’re allowed to go NXT level with HHH behind the wheel. Fans would be even more amazed if The Revival finally won. At the same time, we’re getting some Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn “returning soon” hype, I wonder if they finally aim for tag titles on top of singles. It’d make a lot of sense to me, at least, as Kevin would get his Grand Slam with the help of his best friend.
It seems the Raw Women’s Division has finally turned the corner to match up to SmackDown’s. Ronda wanted a match already, and the Gauntlet was a great surprise. I am genuinely surprised but pleased that Natalya is facing Ronda “next week” rather than Sasha Banks. There is story to be had with Ronda VS Raw’s NXT Horsewomen, but everyone was expecting Ronda VS Natty to have happened at some point, so this seems like a good a time as any. Ronda VS Natty, tired as they both might be, will still be a solid match, and I just hope that there’s no interference. At least not until the title match gets to a really hot point. The Riott Squad or the Samoan Dynasty might be expected given Raw stories, but I’m thinking it should be Charlotte and Becky for payback from TLC to move that story forward.
My Score: 7.7/10
The Chairshot Match Of The Year Final Match Pool
How did the last week of voting pan out for Second Chance and November? Only one way to find out. Take a look at our 12 MOTY matches and let’s see where Andrew’s 5 votes are going.
Last week was our final vote to round out the 12 matches in the Match of the Year pool. Since we love Top 5s here, the idea will be for everyone to whittle the 12, down to their 5 favorite, and then we get our final 5 to vote on.
Let’s see what matches we have in our MOTY Pool:
- January – NXT Takeover Philly NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas(c)
- February – New Beginning in Osaka IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs SANADA
- March – NJPW Strong Style Evolved: Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks
- April – NXT Takeover NOLA NXT Championship: Andrade Almas(c) vs Aleister Black
- May – WWE Backlash Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins(c) vs The Miz
- June – NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs Kenny Omega
- July – G1 Climax 28: Hirooki Goto vs Tomohiro Ishii
- August – G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
- September – All In NWA Championship Match: Cody vs Nick Aldis(c)
- October – Evolution SmackDown Women’s Title Last Woman Standing Match: Becky Lynch(c) vs Charlotte
- November – NXT Takeover WarGames II NXT Championship Match: Velveteen Dream vs Tommaso Ciampa (c)
- December/Second Chance – Impact Wrestling Redemption World Championship Triple Threat: Fenix vs Austin Aries (c) vs Pentagon Jr
Now as you can see, the overall list has some decent balance. Five from New Japan and WWE, along with 2 outlier matches. So it’s not heavily tipped one way or the other.
For the rest of this article I’ll just list out my 5 picks from this list, and then we can get to everyone’s votes.
5. NXT Takeover WarGames II NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs Velveteen Dream
This makes my Top 5 from our MOTY pool because this was just a good combination of all things wrestling. Solid wrestling, homages, callbacks, high suspense moments, big crowd reactions…just everything. Sure it might not have been a work rate master piece, but there’s more to wrestling than work rate.
4. NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Kenny Omega
This was almost a given since it already won Tokyo Sports Best Bout, which marks the fifth year in a row Okada was involved in the Best Bout, and the first time since Kenta Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa that the same pairing won back to back. Though it wasn’t the best of their four matches in my opinion, you can’t overlook the storyline ramifications.
We saw this match finish off the ascent of Kenny Omega, as well as, send Kazuchika Okada into some goofy balloon loving spiral. Love or hate the Elite, this story had a lot of attention and was told pretty damn well.
3. All In NWA Championship: Cody vs Nick Aldis (c)
In a similar vein to the Okada/Omega match, this had a lot of story significance. Cody challenging for all of the World Championships he could was one, him trying to be the first second generation wrestler to capture the NWA Championship was another and of course, the emotions tied with Dusty was the one most of us cared about.
As I said when I reviewed All In, this match was a love letter to his father. Yes it was a very old school southern style match. Obvious blade jobs, a goofy possible knock out for the DDP pop, Brandi putting herself in the way of a move to protect her husband, this was all love. It was a match I think most old school fans would enjoy, and unless you really need flips or work rate, this match evoked some emotion out of most watchers.
This is wrestling.
2. NXT Takeover Philly NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas (c)
An early contender that still holds up nicely. This was the first match since Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura to really just blow me away. They both turned it up, the double knees into the post looked brutal and the whole thing was a great culmination of Andrade’s character.
It was after this match, most of us were sold that he figured it out and would be huge. Now we just have to hope Vince sees it too.
1. G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
It’s not often we get a match where one of the competitors considers the other one God. Ibushi and Tanahashi have immense respect for each other, and they also have an undeniable chemistry. Ibushi gets a lot labels as a “flippy shit” wrestler, but he sells wonderfully and knows how to tell a story in the ring.
On top of Ibushi’s athletic prowess and overall wrestling ability, we couple that with Tanahashi’s masterful pacing and his own artistic way of building a match…this was just poetry in motion. It definitely helps this is my personal number 1 match all year, so of course I was ecstatic that it made The Chairshot MOTY pool. Beautiful match.
If you didn’t partake much in the match votes leading up to this pool, now’s you’re chance to make your voice heard. Vote for your Top 5, and then we can have the final vote starting next week, for our second Chairshot MOTY. Our first ever vote went to, NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada (c).
Will New Japan end up winning this year also?