ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 331
All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service.
- ROH World Tag Team Championships: The Motor City Machine Guns VS The Dawgs; The MCMG win and retain the ROH WTT Championships.
- Josh Woods VS Jonathan Gresham; Gresham wins.
- Triple Threat Tag: The Young Bucks VS Best Friends VS Dragon Lee & Titán; The Young Bucks win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Previously on ROH TV…
The Kingdom lost to Dalton Castle & The Boys, but they didn’t accept it gracefully. Instead, Taven, O’Ryan & Marseglia attacked the ROH World Heavyweight Champion and his fan boys from behind!
The Boys were thrown out of the ring, and Taven drove Castle’s head into the mat with his reverse DDT. Then The Kingdom would celebrate backstage, and Taven would shout “Did you see that?!”
“I just left your new champion laying in the middle of the ring!” Everyone that steps to Matt Taven goes down, from Will Ospreay to Jay Lethal “and the list goes on and on.” If Taven doesn’t get the opportunities he deserves, he vows to just come out and take them. He vows to be the next ROH World Heavyweight Champion. Why? “Because I’m MATT TAVEN!” Will the sight seen between episodes be the sight we see at Castle’s next title defense?
Cheeseburger joins commentary for the opening match!
The lovable underdog wants to see ROH action up close because “Oh! Hell! Yeeeah…!” The Dawgs appear!
“Whoa whoa whoa, don’t be silly!” It’s Big Dawg Titus and Lil’ Willy. And truth of the matter, Philly, they have something in common with Carson Wentz: “We’re gonna tear, it, up!” The fans boo such a reference to Wentz’s season-ending injury, but the Dawgs move on to their match.
ROH World Tag Team Championships: The Motor City Machine Guns VS The Dawgs!
Somehow, someway, Big Rhett and Lil’ Will earned a shot at Alex Shelley’s & Chris Sabin’s titles. Can the MCMG keep these dogs from having their day?
Cheeseburger knows Ferrara well from their days as a team, but he has no love for the man who turned on him. The Dawgs reluctantly uphold the Code of Honor, then start Will Ferrara against Alex Shelley. The fans are firmly behind the MCMG, but Ferrara is confidently behind himself. Ferrara kicks low then trash talks before whipping. Shelley reverses, things speed up, Shelly runs Ferrara over with a back elbow and pays tribute to the Macho Man. Shelley runs but Rhett gives him a cheap shot knee to the back, so Shelly knocks him off the apron with a stiff right forearm! Ferrara pounces and clubs Shelley down. Another whip but another reversal, Ferrara grabs ropes and bails out. Ferrara gloats, but turns around to take a Penalty Kick from Sabin!
Rhett returns and goes right at Shelley, but Shelley gets the standing switch while Sabin comes in. Sabin hits the enziguri and Shelley hits the roaring elbow, MCMG hit a forearm-superkick combo! Rhett rolls out, the fans fire up while the MCMG coordinates. Shelley uses the slingshot to feint, then opens the way for Sabin to DIVE on the Dawgs!
The champions are in control while we go to break.
ROH returns to find that The Dawgs have taken control back. We see that during commercials, a slingshot attempt was derailed by a dropkick, and then Ferrara gave Sabin a tornado DDT from the apron. In the present, Rhett holds Shelley in a chinlock but Shelly gets and fights back. Shelley’s strike fest is stopped by one sharp left from Rhett. Rhett brings Shelley over and tags in Ferrara, The Dawgs cross Shelley’s arms and use them to send him backward into buckles. Ferrara wants to whip but Rhett spins it around to send Ferrara into Shelley for a shoulder tackle. Ferrara gets mad at Rhett, but Rhett just turns that around to send Ferrara back into Shelley. Lil’ Willy’s temper keeps going, but Rhett trips him up to catapult Ferrara at Shelley for a flying lariat.
Cover, but Sabin breaks that up. Rhett goes after Sabin and throws him out, then The Dawgs go after Shelley. Shelley fights them off from a corner, then topples Rhett with a crossbody. Ferrara grabs Shelley in a full nelson, Rhett runs in but Shelley boots him back. Shelley then spins Ferrara off him to shove him into Rhett, then hits Ferrara with a big back suplex! Both men are down, but Shelley fires up and gets to his feet quick. He heads for his corner, but Rhett yanks Sabin off the apron to deny the tag!
Not only that, but Sabin also bounces face-first off the apron edge and clutches his face. Fans boo and jeer while Ferrara pounces on Shelley in the corner. While Rhett climbs up top, Ferrara clobbers Shelley with the hammerlock lariat! Rhett jumps for the Doggy Splash, but it’s a belly flop as Shelley avoids it in time! Sabin returns and makes the tag! Sabin jumps in and boots Ferrara away. He then rallies on Ferrara with forearms and kicks, then goes for a powerbomb, but Ferrara sunset flips over. Sabin rolls through, and hits another Penalty Kick! Sabin runs at Rhett, Rhett side steps but Sabin boots him back before hopping up. He jumps and hits the flying huricanrana! Rhett ends up in a corner, Shelley makes his way back up. Sabin hits the back elbow, then Shelley helps for the double kick combo in the corner!
Ferrara stands up, Sabin kicks him and lifts but Ferrara fights out. Sabin runs in but takes a back elbow. Ferrara jumps up, goes for another tornado DDT but Sabin denies it. Sabin tries for the step-up tornado but The Dawgs deny that. Ferrara powers Sabin into a corner, Rhett runs in for a big boot! Rhett lifts Sabin, Ferrara fires up but Sabin slips out to let the Dawgs collide. Shelley returns, atomic drop starts the MCMG dream sequence: low dropkick, chancery, baseball slide! The fans fire up while Ferrara gets up. The MCMG hit the ASCS Rush: back kick to SUPERKICK then SUPERKICK-ENZIGURI! But that’s not the end. They bring Ferrara around, and hit Made in Detroit!
The MCMG win and retain the titles!
However, the Briscoes appear!
“Cut that damn music off!” Jay & Mark “congratulate” the MCMG. “But like we’ve been saying, enjoy those titles while you can.” As far as #DemBoys are concerned, those titles are still their property. They vow to reclaim their property “and there ain’t a damn thing you can do to stop it!” The MCMG are not afraid of the Briscoes, will they #ManUp to deny the Briscoes their ninth reign?
SoCal Uncensored finds Shane Taylor backstage.
The Addiction and Scorpio Sky say they have a major offer for the Notorious Hitman of ROH. They are headed to the ring, and hope Taylor will be security to make sure no one from The Bullet Club interferes. Taylor stands up and says it doesn’t matter who or why. If someone signs the check, he’ll take out whoever the need. Christopher Daniels hands over the envelope then shakes hands with Taylor. But then Taylor tells SoCal Uncensored that if the check doesn’t clear, “I’ll find you.” Daniels assures Taylor he’s The Smartest Man in the Room, so he’s definitely smart enough to have the funds. With the Hitman watching out for them, will the SCU have nothing to fear?
Kenny King speaks.
“Son, keep your head on a swivel.” Kenny’s late mother would tell him that all the time about all things. But at Final Battle, Kenny failed to keep such awareness, and that’s why Silas Young got away with a beer bottle to his head. Kenny failed again last week and he didn’t see Silas’ new ally coming. But if The Last Real Man thinks that’ll stop the K I N G from making him #BendtheKnee, then he’s crazy. Kenny vows to take back his golden throne that is the ROH World Television Championship.
Josh Woods VS Jonathan Gresham!
Mr. Top Prospect 2017 lost when he went for the ROH WTVC, and The Octopus of Team Search & Destroy has lost quite a bit as of late. But the last time these two faced off was during the Final Battle internet-exclusive kickoff match, and Gresham won to the surprise of The Goods. Can Gresham keep it going in 2018 to make it the Year of the Octopus?
The Code of Honor is upheld while fans cheer for Gresham. The bell rings, fans start dueling with chants. The two men circle, feel each other out, but it’s Woods that gets the first takedown. Gresham works to counter and block, but Woods merely stands over Gresham as he moves to the ropes. The referee calls for the break, Woods honors it but keeps his eyes focused on Gresham. They circle again, tie up, Woods gets another takedown but Gresham kicks him sharply in the chin. Gresham tries a drop toehold, but Woods is too big to be brought down like that. “Look at these quads, baby, c’mon!” Gresham admits those are good quads, so he instead goes after the knee joint!
Woods staggers back and falls down, then gets to a corner. Gresham runs in but Woods elbows him back. Woods puts Gresham in the corner and runs in, but Gresham evades and kicks the back of that bad knee. Gresham takes aim while Woods staggers, Gresham hits that bad knee with a dropkick. The referee checks on Woods but he’s okay to continue. Gresham trips Woods up then gives the leg a knee wrench. Woods gets to ropes but Gresham is right on him again to put on a toehold. Woods fights back but the torque forces him to let go. Gresham keeps up the attack with another spinning toehold. Woods uses his good leg to roll Gresham to a cover, ONE, back to the toehold. Gresham goes to wind it up again, Woods shoves him off. Things speed up a bit, Gresham comes back with a unique rolling kick.
Both men are down, but fans applaud the even match-up. They rally while the two men stand up, Woods goes after Gresham with strikes. He rocks Gresham then chops him down, but Gresham blocks the big roundhouse to dropkick that bad knee out again. Gresham hears the fans rallying while we go to break.
ROH returns and Gresham monkey flips Woods corner to corner. Gresham gets up and wants a second, but Woods blocks with raw strength. Woods lifts Gresham up to the top rope, and goes to shove him off, but Gresham counters with a bodyscissors! Woods hits the floor, fans fire up, and Gresham takes aim. Gresham slingshots over and topples Woods down again!
The Octopus is fired up, and he puts Woods back into the ring before climbing up top. Fans rally while Gresham jumps, into Wood’s jumping knee strike!
Gresham is stunned ad Woods is down while fans have mixed reactions. Woods grins as he gets up and takes aim at the dazed Gresham. Gresham gets to the ropes, Woods runs over, hops to the apron and gives Gresham another knee! Woods then hops back into the ring, and gut wrenches Gresham for a throw! He holds on, lifts Gresham again, for another gut wrench suplex. The fans want “One more time!” so Woods lifts Gresham for the gut wrench powerbomb!
TWO, but very close! Woods grins again while he and Gresham get to opposite corners. Woods fires up and runs in, big corner knee strike! He rolls Gresham in the waistlock, but then Gresham counters with a victory roll! TWO, and Gresham gives the bad leg a halfway dragon screw. Woods staggers, then swings a kick, but that bad leg can’t take the weight. Gresham runs, springboards, and hits the quebrada!
Gresham keeps going, rolling Woods over to stomp the bad knee! Then he rolls Woods with La Mahistrol and shifts to the bridge, flashbacks to Final Battle! Gresham wins again!
And The Goods cannot believe it!
Even so, Woods stands up, and per good sportsmanship, shakes Gresham’s hand again. Can The Goods turn his year around? Will the Octopus keep rolling to the top of ROH?
Time for Coleman’s Pulpit!
The Most Versatile Man in Sports Today, Caprice Coleman, welcomes Shaheem Ali & Leon St. Giovanni, otherwise known as Team Coast 2 Coast.
Coleman gets right to business. Team C2C has put it upon themselves that if they lose again, they will split up. Is that true? Yes, absolutely. But is that what they want? Coleman looks at them and can tell they’re good friends. They’re roommates, teammates and spend a lot of time together, so what would splitting up do to them? They’d both have to start over from the bottom. Ali and LSG don’t want to break up, they’re like brothers. But if they can’t win, it’ll have to happen. LSG promises to still have Ali’s back either way. Ali agrees, but the losses have stacked up. They don’t know what they’re doing wrong, and it frustrates them.
Coleman asks whose idea it was to put this stipulation on themselves. Ali takes credit for that idea. He personally feels that they have a lot of respect for the other tag teams who could get it done in their place. Coleman wonders who’s the weaker link in the team. Team C2C takes offense to that, they’re his guests. They’re the ones who chose to put their team on the line, because they’ve tried again and again, “opportunity after opportunity”. This will be “one last time, do or die”, but they will win because losing is not an option. Coleman lets them know that he is in the know, and can give them a heads-up on their future opponents, if they ask him. Do they want to know? Of course they want to know! Then find out, after the break!
Coleman’s just kidding! Their future opponents are… War Machine! Team C2C sees they’re up against steep odds, but Coleman encourages them, “anything is possible.” He has faith they can win. That ends this edition of Coleman’s Pulpit, where you find out the truth and the truth will help you see you later!
Cody comes to the ring!
Cody speaks, “I am victim to my hubris” and stands before Philadelphia “no longer world champion.” Fans boo, but Cody continues. “I thought if I took away the panache, the charisma, the pomp and circumstance” and even The Boys from The Peacock, “all that would remain is just a man.” However, at Final Battle, Dalton Castle was more than man, he was the better man. Cody spent 13 years “pining for the world championship”, so Castle can have his fun with it, because Cody is guaranteed his rematch. “And although I don’t have the beautiful, brand-new world championship,” Cody acknowledges he still has “one thing”: the literal and “official” Ring of Honor.
But then, The Kingdom appears?
Taven asks “Am I supposed to feel bad?” Taven wonders if he’s supposed to feel bad about “a man that literally has been handed everything on silver platter because of your last name–even though we can’t mention it here.” Fans know those are fighting words as Taven then enters the ring and gets in Cody’s face.
He continues to berate Cody by saying that even when Cody “had the chance to break out on your own”, Cody just didn’t have the balls. Cody went and kissed ass and joined the Bullet Club, “like that’s never happened before.” “So while you and your little cheerleaders play your little games and have all the ROH officials fooled”, Taven is not fooled. Taven has defeated everyone in ROH yet he keeps being overlooked for guys like Cody. Not to worry, because Cody just did Taven a big favor by exposing himself. Cody was handed the title and every opportunity to keep it, but now look at him. The synopsis of Cody’s career will read “a little, undeserving, spoiled brat has now become nothing more than a little bleach-blonde bitch!” Mic drop!
Cody speaks up as Taven turns to leave. “I would love to give you the last word. And that? So dramatic.” But Cody points out that his hair changing to blonde got a bigger pop than Taven will ever hear in his life. The fans applaud that burn, then chant for “Cody’s Hair!” Cody continues, saying that there’s only one thing left for them to do. He holds out his hand, and wants Taven to kiss the ring.
The fans chant “Kiss the ring!” Cody says this is so they can be fans. Taven kisses the ring, to then kick Cody in the crotch! Why? “Because I’m Matt Taven.” Taven leaves Cody writhing, will Taven come to regret disrespecting the former champion?
ROH takes a look at Punishment Martinez.
“I am the end. I am the Executioner.” The Reincarnation of the Purple Mist has made it known that he wants the ROH World Heavyweight Championship. Who will he destroy to get it?
Triple Threat Tag: The Young Bucks VS Best Friends VS Dragon Lee & Titán!
The partnership between ROH, NJPW and CMLL is strongly represented here in this amazing main event! Which team will take a step forward towards the ROH World Tag Team Championships?
In ROH, such a triple threat tag only allows two men in at a time. Therefore, The Young Bucks opt out and let the Kentucky Gentleman start against the two time CMLL Mexican National Welterweight Champion. Titán opens with a sharp open hand chop to Chuckie T that makes even the Bucks wince. Titán dares Chuck to respond, and Chuckie does with an incredibly sharp chop of his own. They go back and forth with the chops, neither man backing down. Titán kicks away at Chuckie’s legs then gets running, but into Chuckie’s boot! Chuck brings Titán up and whips him, things speed up and Titán jumps over Chuckie to handstand walk into the airplane headscissors!
Chuckie staggers to a corner, and Titán himself is a bit dizzy. Titán runs in at Chuckie but is put on the apron. He kicks Chuckie away then springboards, but Chuckie intercepts with a dropkick!
The fans cheer for “Chuckie T!” as he brings up Titán, then cheer as he tags in Trent! Best Friends whip Titán and knock him over with back elbows, then hug before dropping elbows. The fans cheer for “Best Friends!” and the Bucks even clap along. Trent brings Titán up, for a stiff chop that sits him back down. Trent whips but Dragon Lee tags in. Titán dodges Trent’s lariat and Lee catches him with a kick, Titán keeps moving to hit a running headscissors. Nick Jackson tags in from Trent and springboards at Titán for the flying arm-drag! However, Dragon Lee finally jumps in to give Nick his own flying arm-drag. Nick runs and gives Lee a headscissors but Lee cartwheels through. Lee goes to chop but Nick blocks and chops back, to then run for the acrobatic arm-drag!
Lee gets to a corner, Nick runs in and hits a corner clothesline. He runs back but Lee follows to hit a corner dropkick! Lee trips Nick up and hits a wrecking ball dropkick! Cover, TWO, so Lee tags in Titán. Team CMLL keep on Nick, double whip and things speed up, drop toehold to baseball slide dropkick. Matt gets their attention and shoulders into Lee. He slingshots over and mule kicks Titán, then uses Lee to help with the Sliced Bread!
The Young Bucks regroup, pop-up missile dropkick takes Lee out. They go after Chuckie T now, another pop-up to the headscissors! Trent returns, but he gets caught in the headscissor dropkick! The fans fire up for the Bucks as they now control the ring. The Bucks prepare the Terminators, and the drums follow. The Bucks rise, build speed, and DIVE on the Best Friends!
However, they don’t see Titán getting to the apron and holding the ropes open for Dragon Lee to DIVE!
And Team CMLL isn’t done there! Titán springboards for a SUPER ASAI MOONSAULT!
Titán hits so hard, he ends up in the crowd! The fans are fired up and cheering for “ROH!” a everyone regroups. Chuckie T gets back in the ring, builds speed, but Trent intercepts with a hug! That way, the Best Friends can BOTH FLY!
Philadelphia are thunderous for the Best Friends while they get Matt Jackson in the ring. Chuckie scoops and slams Matt and Trent prepares “the most dangerous move in professional wrestling”… Only to take a SUPERKICK!
Matt revives and SUPERKICKS Chuckie, then Nick gives the slow German Suplex to Trent on the apron. Team CMLL returns, but they both get tripped up, to be put into double “Cease-Shooters”! The fans thunderously chant “The! Elite! The the Elite!” while we go to break.
ROH returns and Dragon Lee reverses a corner to corner whip. Nick puts Lee on the apron but Lee kicks him away. Lee climbs up but Nick rocks him with a right. Nick climbs up to join him, but his super steiner is blocked into a Tree of Woe, for draping double stomps! Lee crawls for his corner but Titán isn’t there. Trent is, so Lee tags him, but Nick tags Matt at the same time. Trent throws Matt with a German Suplex, then goes corner to corner for a big back elbow. He sends Matt corner to corner for Chuckie’s jumping knee strike, then comes back to hit Matt with a shotgun knee! Nick returns, Trent gets him in the half-nelson, and Chuckie helps feed Nick the Sole Food Suplex!
Chuckie has Matt, and throws him to the long dart cutter! TWO! The Best Friends keep on Matt, assisted whip but Matt throws Chuckie out of the ring. Trent runs in, Matt boots him away. Both men are down, Matt staggers and Titán tags in, for a springboard missile dropkick. Trent staggers, Titán runs but Nick shoulders him back. Nick slingshots and hits the facebuster! Then the cartwheel Asai to Chuckie! Nick gets the Terminator drums started again but Dragon Lee leaps over for a flying huricanrana!
Titán goes after Trent while Lee returns. Titán unloads furious forearms from both sides, then runs corner to corner for an A-list clothesline, then Lee gives Trent the bicycle knee strike. Lee hits a Poisoned Rana, Titán hits a springboard frog splash! Cover, Chuckie breaks it just in time. He also goes after Lee with a mudhole stomp. Matt tags Trent and he stomps a mudhole into Titán. The two coordinate, and whip Team CMLL at themselves. Team CMLL reverses, but Matt and Chuck dosido and clothesline Team CMLL down! Now Matt and Chuck stare down. Chuck wants a hug, Matt gives him the hug! However, Matt turns it into a handshake and asks, “Where do you think you’re going?!” SUPERKICK from Nick!
A SUPERKICK for Trent! And a SUPERKICK for Lee! Titán rolls up Nick, SUPERKICK for Nick!? Now Titán rolls up Matt, TWO! Matt scoops up Titán, and has him in Tombstone position. Nick gets to the apron but Titán headscissors to send Matt into Nick! Lee runs at Nick, but Nick counters this time to apron-powerbomb Lee down! Even Nick looks shocked. Titán boots Matt back, then hops up, but his asai is caught and brought up into the Tombstone position! Nick runs to FLY onto Trent! Then he leaps to the apron and springboards for the MELTZER DRIVER!!
The Young Bucks win! They are two-thirds of the ROH World Six Man Tag Champions, could this win help them back towards ROH World Tag Team Championships?
But wait, Scorpio Sky appears!
The Bucks take notice of him, but they should watch their backs! Because The Addiction ambushes them with double chop blocks!
So Cal Uncensored go after those knees over and over, but they forgot about The Hangman!
Adam Page runs the SCU off with a chair, but the damage might have been done. Will SoCal Uncensored use every trick in the book to take those ROH World Six Man Tag Championships from the Bullet Club’s elite?
Another solid episode for ROH here, especially with tag team wrestling. I personally do not see The Dawgs as tag title ready, but their recent wins were apparently enough for this televised challenge. MCMG win for such obvious reasons, but especially because the Briscoes are coming for the titles. That tag match will be incredible, given the different in-ring styles and personalities for great storytelling. Either team could come away with the titles, but it’d probably mean a lot more if The Briscoes become nine-time World Tag Team Champions to further solidify their legacies in ROH.
Speaking of legacies, great reference during the Woods-Gresham match to the currently defunct ROH Pure Championship, aka the ROH Pure Wrestling Championship. While the ROH PWC had an open division, it had specific rules, and I feel/hope Gresham’s current angle is going to bring him to reviving such a belt. A second mid-card belt isn’t unheard of in a wrestling promotion, and if ROH were to revive the Pure Championship it would be a great sign of ROH’s personal success and growth. Gresham being the first new champion would also be big for him personally, as he puts himself on the same short but star-studded champions list with AJ Styles, Jay Lethal, Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan.
Then, as always, the Young Bucks are a major part of an incredible tag team match, as well as the winning part. Dragon Lee, Titán and Best Friends did great as well, but The Young Bucks win because they’re The Young Bucks. They are exciting, entertaining and on the top of tag team wrestling today. They also win to give the SoCal Uncensored an opening to attack like the True Heels they are. Daniels, Kaz & Sky going after “The Hung Bucks” so aggressively now ties into the story of Joe Koff’s “Your days are numbered” ultimatum. The Addiction wants at least one reign as ROH World Six Man Tag Champions before they’re forced out of the company. It would be too soon for them to get it the very first time, but I could see this becoming a year-long “chase titles” angle for the SCU.
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?