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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (1/8/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Absolution VS Bayley & Sasha Banks w/ Mickie James; Bayley & Sasha win.
  • WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Curt Hawkins; Hardy wins.
  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Enzo Amore VS Cedric Alexander; Alexander wins by count out, Enzo retains the Cruiserweight Championship.
  • The Bar VS ???; Titus Worldwide wins.
  • Samoa Joe VS Rhyno w/ Heath Slater; Joe wins.
  • Asuka VS ???; no contest.
  • Six Man Tag: The Balor Club VS Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan; Balor Club wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Samoa Joe says The Big Dog’s Yard is in HIS World.

The Destroyer came after Roman Reigns’ Intercontinental Championship last week on Raw, but even with threat of No Champion’s Advantage, Roman retained his title. Can this fighting champion hold onto his title all the way through the Road to the Royal Rumble?

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring.

Memphis has a mixed reaction to The Big Dog as he saunters out and grabs a mic. “After all his hype, you’d think Samoa Joe would be ready for me.” He wasn’t. When it was time to put up or shut up, Joe was silenced and Roman is still champion. And not because Roman is better but because he was fighting for Dean Ambrose. If you mess with one Shield brother, you mess with all of them! That was last week. This week, it’s– Jason Jordan?

The Gold-Blooded Son and one-half of the Raw Tag Team Champions heads right to the ring with a mic, to Memphis’ displeasure. Jordan compliments Roman’s match, he got “goosebumps.” He feels like he’s finally a part of something bigger. On behalf of Seth Rollins, Jordan would like to say that Roman proved this is his Yard. And thank you. He wants to Shield fist bump?

Seth Rollins comes out to clear this up.

Look, Jason, Rollins appreciates this. But he still has a lot to learn. Rollins taught him about teamwork, which worked, but this week… “We are really gonna have to work on your timing here, brother.” ROllins knows Jordan means well but he’s stepping on Roman’s moment. But this is all their moment. They all had problems with Joe and Roman took care of it. Jordan and Rollins are champions alongside Roman, and “we run this show!” We? You’re teamed with Seth, Roman is The Guy. “And we’re all champions!” They can take on as many men and teams as possible. This may not be the Shield, but this could be the “most-dominant three man group in all of WWE.” Finn Balor & The Club would like to differ!

Jordan is excited, clearly, but does he really think he’s part of the most dominant trio in WWE? Balor ran with The Good Brothers for ten years before Jordan even knew Angle was his daddy. Burn! Memphis trolls Jordan with “Who’s your daddy!?” The Balor Club has been running a long time, and you can even use the WWE Network to see the new special all about it. When Finn came to WWE, the Good Brothers stood alone for a time. They were Raw Tag Team Champions, Finn became the inaugural Universal Champion. Too Sweet. They were doing their own thing, but now they’ve reunited to take over. The year 2018 is the Year of Balor Club! Jordan laughs that off. This is the Champion’s Club. Get it? Is that the cute new version of The Shield? Must be, because the Lunatic Fringe isn’t out here. We have the Architect, the Big Dog, and… What’s the word? NERD!

Jordan shoves Gallows, we’re about to have a brawl! Rollins keeps the peace between his own side, Kurt Angle comes out to help. He makes this fight between champions and great friends the main event! “Oh it’s true, it’s DAMN true!” Which side will hold it together to come out the superior trio?

 

Absolution VS Bayley & Sasha Banks w/ Mickie James!

The Women’s Royal Rumble is set to make history, and every woman from Raw and SmackDown hopes to gain momentum before the big day. Will it be Gladiator and Golden Rose or the Hugger and Legit Boss getting a step ahead of the pack?

The bell rings and Mandy starts against Bayley. Bayley gets headlock control, Mandy powers out and runs Bayley over. Mandy trash talks, runs, and catches Bayley mid-jump. She puts Bayley in a corner but Bayley turns things around to unload a mudhole stomp. Mandy turns things around on Bayley and gives furious forearms. She trash talks Sasha, Bayley kicks back. Mandy scoops and slams then covers, TWO. She keeps on Bayley with a neck-wrench, Paige liking what she sees. Fans rally and Bayley gets up but Mandy throws her down by her hair. Bayley gets to a corner, Mandy trash talks too long, Bayley runs her over with a lariat. Bayley goes to tag Sasha but Mandy gets her a sucker punch. Mandy trash talks again, Bayley gives her a saido suplex! Mandy is bailed out by Absolution, we go to break.

Raw returns, Mandy throws Sasha down by her hair. They speed up, Sasha hip-tosses Mandy down to then give double knees! Cover, TWO, Sasha backs Sonya off. Mandy hits Sasha back with forearms, trash talks some more, and pie-faces Sasha. “This is Absolution, baby!” SLAP from Sasha! Sasha gives a shot to Sonya, too, but then Mandy hits a big knee strike! Cover, TWO, and Absolution gets frustrated. Tag to Sonya, she gives right hands to Sasha in the corner, then martial arts kicks.

Sonya snapmares and bodyscissors Sasha around the ribs. Paige likes what she sees, but fans rally for Sasha. Sasha tries a cover, TWO and Sonya has to let go. She slows Sasha down with a body shot, then dares her to put her hair up and square up! Body shot after shot from Sonya, she is all fired up now. She drags Sasha back to Absolution’s corner, tag to Mandy. Sasha fights back, Mandy clubs her down then chokes her on the rope. Mandy stretches Sasha on the ropes, tags to Sonya, they kick vice Sasha down. Paige applauds while Sonya covers, TWO. Sonya taunts Bayley, Sasha fights back, Sonya slows her down again. Sonya whips but Sasha kicks her away, double clotheslines bring both women down! Paige is furious while the fans rally. Hot tag to Mandy, and she intercepts Sasha before knocking Bayley down. Mandy brings Sasha back to ropes, Sonya gets a hot shot on her behidnt eh referee’s back! Small package surprise from Bayley, TWO! Bayley throws Sonya out, then throws hands. Mandy puts Sasha in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Sasha reverses! Bank Statement in full!

Mandy taps, Banks & Bayley win! Paige storms the ring but the best friends and Mickie get away. If the other women of Raw can pull Absolution apart, can they make sure Paige and her allies don’t win the Rumble?

 

Cedric Alexander and Goldust meet backstage.

Tonight’s Cruiserweight Championship, the Bizarre One encourages the #1 contender to “eat lightning ‘n’ crap thunder!” Then he reconsiders, considering that sounds unpleasant. Alexander thanks Goldust for the peptalk, but he doesn’t need one. He’s living the dream, and won’t let anyone stand in his way. Goldust can see his dream, but the one thing in the way is not Enzo Amore, or The ‘Zo Train. It’s Alexander. Alexander is in control, no one else. Thanks, Goldy. Now go out there and show them… Goldust’s voice can’t handle that. But Enzo won’t be able to handle Alexander! With Goldust’s faith behind him, can Alexander finally shut up the Trash Talker Skywalker?

 

WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Curt Hawkins!

The WOKEN Wisdom finally hits the ring in the WWE! Will Hardy DELETE Mr. Loss Streak once and for all?

The bell rings, Hawkins is very wary of the WOKEN One. Hawkins stays at the ropes, then sucker punches Hardy. He wrenches Hardy’s arm, Hardy bites Hawkins’ hand! Hardy hits back and then clubs away in the corner. Elbow to the back of the head then a swinging neckbreaker, Hardy is fired up. He German Suplexes Hawkins into buckles!

Hawkins elbows back, then hops up, but misses the crossbody. Hardy gives Hawkins DELETE DELETE buckle bumps, before the corner clothesline and Side Effect! Hardy declares DELETE before Twist of Fate! WOKEN Hardy wins, and Hawkins loses again.

But then Bray Wyatt wishes to respond, by appearing in the ring! The two beings of supernatural power stare each other down. And then laugh. And laugh, and laugh. Who will have the last laugh when the Great War is over?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter is in Memphis, and they don’t want him here. Elias doesn’t care, he still plays his guitar. “Now c’mon, that was good.” Elias has walked all over the world, met a million people and heard a million stories. One truth is that WWE stands for “Walk With Elias!” Tonight’s Raw is special, and there’s no better place to celebrate than Memphis. So please, silence cellphones, hold applause, this came from the heart. Elias plays again, “It’s January 8th, Elvis’ birthday–” Wait, what’s wrong with Elvis? He’s The King and Graceland’s only miles away. “There’s a star on the way, who has taken over the entertainment biz”, here comes the Miz!

Yes, the Hollywood A-Lister is back! He and his Miztourage head to the ring, and Memphis welcomes him back! “Did you miss me?” Yes! In that case, here is an impromptu episode of Miz TV! Marine 6 wrapped, the holiday tour is over, Miz is back on Raw! He is the glue that holds Raw together, and he thanks two people for keeping him in our minds: Bo Dallas & Curt Axel! They are living embodiments of a New Year’s Resolution done right.

The year 2017 was the best year of Axel’s life, and he thanks Miz for that. Having Miz’s wisdom was like winning the Mizzies, and Bo thanks him for that. They even start the chant, “Thank you, Miz!” Bo got Miz a present: a framed photo of himself. It was Bo’s personal night light. Axel does Bo one better! He takes off his jacket to give it right to Miz. Bo gives Miz his watch! Axel gives Miz his shoes. Miz gets them to stop fighting, and to sit down. Miz agrees, 2017 was an incredible year. He was an Intercontinental Champion and made everything he touched turn to gold! But Miz didn’t forget about The Shield. Their attack on him was an “indignity”, and Roman is merely borrowing that Intercontinental Championship! Miz wanted that title to be bigger than him, but Roman has failed. Miz will have his first child in 2018, and will become the longest reigning “single greatest” Intercontinental Champion of all time! The Miz will be the iconic IC Champion of this generation!

“So, Roman Reigns. I hope you enjoyed your time in the spotlight I allowed you to have.” Miz is going to end it. He is back, and is coming for that championship. Believe that. Mic drop from The Miz, can he follow through on his promise to The Big Dog?

 

The Balor Club talks backstage.

Enough nostalgia, let’s look to the future and talk strategy. They are talking strategy. Instead of throwing them back with Tama, Fale and the others, time to throw down with Reigns, Rollins & Jordan. Well alright, that’s a good point. New situation, same tactics. Just don’t let Anderson near Saigon brides. He’s already got a smoking hot Asian wife. True. Time to show the world 2018 is the Year of Balor Club. Too Sweet, fOreVER!

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Enzo Amore VS Cedric Alexander!

The Certified G is no longer ill with the flu, now he must face his #1 contender in the Carolina Kid. He thanks Nia for the chicken noodle soup, but he did still watch last week’s Raw. And he saw The ‘Zo Train face Alexander and… Goldust? Well that’s the closest Alexander’s getting to gold in 2018! There’s only one word to describe him: S A W F T!

The bell rings, Enzo keeps Alexander back with jabs, then cowers at the ropes. Alexander backs off, but rocks Enzo with a right! Enzo is dazed, but he manages to slip out of the ring. The Bonafied Stud is upset, he trash talks, but then runs away from Alexander. Alexander rocks him with a swing kick, seeing through the cat and mouse. Nia Jax is watching as Alexander yanks Enzo off the ropes and dares the champ to fight.

Enzo crawls away but Alexander is right on him. The referee counts them both, so Alexander lets up, but Enzo dumps Alexander down and out! Alexander writhes in pain while Enzo gets back in the ring and we go to break.

Raw returns, Enzo grinds Alexander with a chinlock. They roll but Enzo holds on and squeezes Alexander tighter. Fans rally, Alexander feeds off the energy and gets up to then throws Enzo to buckles. Nia looks worried as Enzo flounders. Enzo sticks out a foot and drives Alexander down, cover, TWO! The Certified G keeps on Alexander by wrapping him int a modified clutch and clubbing away with crossface punches. Enzo shoves Alexander’s face into the mat, runs and dropkicks him, cover, TWO. Back to the chinlock, Alexander reaches for ropes. Fans rally again, Alexander gets up, and powers Enzo to a corner. Alexander backs off then runs back in, but into a knee. Enzo goes up, flies, but into a dropkick! Both men are down, Enzo crawls to ropes. Enzo rests against them before getting to his feet, Alexander just kip-ups. Alexander rallies, blocks a kick to give a back elbow. Alexander handsprings, to hit the Neuralizer enziguri!

TWO! Alexander can’t believe that didn’t work, Enzo is busted open! Alexander won’t let off, Enzo resists the Lumbar Check and then sends Alexander out, only for another kick to the face! Springboard lariat! Enzo rolls all the way out, Alexander FLIES! A major crash landing, Enzo’s foot is in pain! The medics come in to check Enzo while the ring count climbs up past 7. Alexander gets in, but Enzo lets it go out! Alexander wins with a count out, but that won’t get him the title, Enzo is still Cruiserweight Champion. When will Alexander get another chance at Enzo’s championship? Is Enzo even in shape to be champion after tonight?

 

Medics attend to Enzo Amore in the back.

That’s when Nia Jax visits to check on him. Enzo’s good, don’t worry about him. But that’s jsut a brave face. Is Enzo okay to compete?

 

The Bar visits Kurt Angle in his office.

They want their rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championships. But, Jordan is in a Six Man Tag to keep him away? They smell something: favoritism. When are they getting their rematch? Angle smells opportunity. They will have their match, at the Royal Rumble PPV. Sheamus & Cesaro are glad to hear it! As for tonight, they want competition. Well, head to the ring and meet your competition. The Bar heads down, who is Angle going to send them?

The Miz now visits Angle in his office.

Miz TV got the USA Network executives’ attention. Miz has a new unscripted series featuring himself and Maryse. He knows how to run a show, USA Network knows how to run a show, but apparently Angle doesn’t. Angle can give Miz his Intercontinental Championship rematch, on the 25th Anniversary episode of Raw. Angle agrees to give him that match. Can the A-Lister dethroned The Big Dog in two weeks?

 

Alexa Bliss talks with Asuka.

The Goddess isn’t here to talk fighting. The Empress was lucky to win against her, because Nia Jax is going to make Asuka pay for what she called her. Will the Brutal Beauty be ready for Asuka this time?

 

The Bar VS ???

The Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg were told to head to the ring, so they have. Who is it that the Olympic Gold Medalist has chosen to be their competition? None other than Titus Worldwide~!

The bell rings and the Real Deal CEO Titus starts against Sheamus. Sheamus doesn’t take him seriously as he keeps side-stepping and grinning. Titus rushes him, Sheamus gets to ropes, then gives him a cheap shot. Sheamus puts on a headlock, Titus powers out, then runs Sheamus over! Titus brings Sheamus over, tags in Apollo Crews, who gives Sheamus double ax handles. Sheamus powers Crews to his corner, tag to Cesaro for a running European Uppercut. He and Crews brawl but the EuroUpper rocks Crews down. Crews powers out of the chinlock and things speed up, dropkick drops Cesaro. Standing moonsault before the cover, TWO! Crews brings Cesaro up, Cesaro slips out of the suplex, tag to Sheamus. Crews whips but Sheamus pulls the ropes down, Crews crash lands and hurts his leg. Dana checks on Crews while The Bar boasts.

Sheamus gives Crews a big knee then throws him to the barriers. They return in the ring, Sheamus drags Crews and tags Cesaro. The Bar splits the wishbone, then Cesaro grinds Crews with a headlock. Cesaro keeps Crews grounded with a half-nelson, but Titus and the fans rally. Crews gets up, Cesaro tags to Sheamus, The Bar gives Crews the Bar Lariat. Sheamus adds a knee drop, covers, TWO! He keeps Crews grounded, Dana takes notes before cheering Crews on. The fans rally again, Crews works his way up and fights back. Sheamus slows him down with a knee, but Crews cradles, TWO. Sheamus misses in a corner and hits post! Cesaro tags in, hot tag to Titus! The Gator rallies on The Bar, boot for Cesaro! He fires up, lets out the barks, and squashes Cesaro in a corner before the powerslam, TWO! Titus keeps focus, dragging Cesaro up again. Sheamus distracts, Cesaro pounces and clobbers Titus. Cheap shot from Sheamus, tag in to Sheamus, they bring Titus up but Crews comes back in! He shoves Cesaro out and ASAIS him down, Titus rolls Sheamus, Titus Worldwide WINS! They shock The Bar, can they make major gains in the New Year? As for The Bar, how can they become Raw Tag Team Champions losing like this?

 

Memphis is Suplex City!

The Beast is back again after his confrontation with the Big Red Machine on last week’s Raw. The Advocate for the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK LESNAR” hopes Memphis can appreciate the “credo in this industry” of “old school.” Heyman & Lesnar have respect for the Old School, but it won’t blind them to the fact that this industry is always in need of “new, fresh, innovative ways” to show the product. So forgive Heyman for being hypocritical, but there is something “very old school” that doesn’t help the product. Old school way of promoting a title match: find a challenger, a single man, to fight the champion. That one man must think they are the better man, and rise to be the new champion. But things have gotten away from that. It isn’t “who can defeat Lesnar?” It is “can Lesnar survive this scenario?” Heyman assures us, he isn’t complaining. Lesnar took the choke slam and sat upto laugh! The match is Lesnar VS Kane VS Strowman: Beast VS Machine VS Monster, aka Champion VS Challenger #1 VS Challenger #2. Lesnar does not walk into the Rumble facing “How will Lesnar survive?” He goes in with “Will Lesnar pin Kane or Strowman? Or will he just stack them up on top of each other and pin them both?” Lesnar is THE most dominant champion in the WWE, no one has proven themselves able to out-fight him. Another mic drop from the Advocate, he and the Beast go to leave, but out comes KANE!

The Big Red Machine ambushes The Beast and fights him all the way off the stage and to the open area off to the side. They end up going backstage now, brawling all the way, when STROWMAN blindsides them both! He hurls Lesnar into trunks, then hurls a trunk into Kane! The Monster Among Men isn’t done, he opens up a trunk to search for something. A grappling hook? The security beg he not do what’s going on in his mind, but he still throws that hook up over the rafters, to bring them down on Kane and Lesnar!

No one can believe what he has just down to Beast and Machine, will there even be a triple threat at the Royal Rumble?!

 

Raw returns to the wreckage backstage.

Medics arrived over the break to help Brock Lesnar and Kane out from under the structure Strowman brought down upon them. Paul Heyman could only watch as Lesnar was helped to a stretcher and wheeled away. Kane dragged himself away, but wasn’t in much better shape. As Lesnar was brought to an ambulance, Heyman apologized to his client. Meanwhile, Kane simply walked away into the shadows. Lesnar refused to leave but not even Heyman would allow him. Has Strowman crossed a line?

 

Samoa Joe VS Rhyno w/ Heath Slater!

This is more of The ManBeast trying lead by example to toughen the One Man Band up. Has he chosen the wrong example in The Destroyer?

Raw returns and the bell rings. The two men circle, tie up, and Joe throws fast forearms. He backs off, Rhyno comes back with right hands of his own. Rhyno whips but is reversed, Joe hits the back elbow and Pele! Slater coaches RHyno back up, Joe chops Rhyno into the corner. Rhyno throws heavy hands, Joe hits back just as hard. Joe shows Slater what he’s gonna learn as he crossface punches RHyno. A stiff chop and kick from Joe but Slater rallies the fans for Rhyno. Joe keeps chopping, Rhyno fires up slowly. Rhyno chops back, whips but Joe kicks him away, standing STO! Cover, TWO, Joe is annoyed. He brings Rhyno up again, atomic drop then the boot, back senton on top. Cover, TWO, Joe is growing frustrated. Joe brings Rhyno up again, and throws right hands. Rhyno throws hands back, fireman’s carry but Joe slips out, into the Coquina Clutch! Rhyno goes down, taps, Joe wins! Joe glares at Slater, perhaps Slater & Rhyno will think twice before trying to toughen up the hard way.

In-ring interview with Samoa Joe.

The Destroyer won here tonight, but he must still be stinging from last Raw’s loss. Last week was no loss in Joe’s book. Roman’s “little win” was a “Pyrrhic victory.” That is to say, a victory that comes at such a cost, it was practically a loss. Joe beat years of Roman’s career, and the “cracks in the foundation are coming.” Roman will crumble and fall, and Joe will be there to finish him.

Until then, Joe will pursue worthier prey: the Royal Rumble! The other 29 men entering, such as Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, and John Cena– Cena? When it comes to Joe’s career, John Cena is a name that he will never forget. In the Royal Rumble, Joe promises to eliminate Cena first. The ultimatum has been sent, how will the other 29 men respond?

 

Alexa Bliss finds Nia Jax.

How is Enzo? He’s fine, not that she cares. She does care, because she cares about Nia. Nia is strong, pretty, smart and her best friend. Nia can do so much, but Alexa is just worried Enzo is going to hold her back. Enzo doesn’t hold her back, he motivates her. That’s why Nia is entering the Women’s Rumble. Great! Alexa is sure she’ll win. But, everyone else thinks Asuka will win. Maybe if Nia takes Asuka out first, then wins the Rumble herself, it can be best friends at Wrestlemania! Oh c’mon, Alexa, even Nia knows she’s just upset over losing to Asuka. That’s not true! And, Asuka’s said stuff, so– “Can it, Bliss.” Nia and Asuka are headed for each other eventually. But, what did Asuka say? Assuming she said anything. Okay, well, look, Alexa doesn’t want Nia to get upset. What did she say!? Don’t shoot the messenger but… Asuka said Nia… *whisper whisper* Wait, she said that? Wait, was it in Japanese first? Because Asuka doesn’t speak English. The Goddess got caught in her scheming, will it come back to haunt her?

 

Asuka VS ???

The Empress of Tomorrow doesn’t sweat taking on 29 other women in the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble, because nobody is ready for Asuka! However, Asuka wasn’t ready for Nia’s ambush! Electric Chair Drop from the top rope! The Brutal Beauty goes after Asuka more, rolling senton!

She has sent a message to the undefeated odds-on favorite, as well as the other 28 women in the Rumble. Which one of these two titans of the Women’s (R)Evolution will take the spotlight on the Road to Wrestlemania?

 

Six Man Tag: The Balor Club VS Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan!

One trio is Too Sweet, the other is golden with titles, but which one is truly the elite trio in the WWE?

The leader of the Balor Club starts against the Architect of the “Champion’s Club”, a rematch from their Universal Championship match. The two circle and tie up, Finn gets a waistlock to headlock takeover, Rollins headscissors and then reverses roles with Finn, popping out of headscissors himself. Rollins kicks low and whips but Finn reverses. Sunset flip rolled through, dropkick to cover, TWO. Finn brings Rollins over, tag to Anderson. The Machine Gun gives Rollins a side backbreaker, cover, TWO. Anderson keeps Rollins grounded with an armlock, but Rollins stands up. Anderson tags Gallows, double back suplex escaped, The Big Dog tags in. He and Rollins rally on the Good Brothers, but then Finn comes in to rally on them. Finn runs, but into double shoulders. Rollins throws Finn out, The Good Brothers take a Drive-by Dropkick then Rollins slingshots onto Finn! The Shield Brothers are fired up, the Gold-Blooded Son comes in to excitedly celebrate before we go to break.

Raw returns, and Finn keeps Rollins grounded with an armlock while fans rally for him. Rollins gets up and fights back with right hands, but Finn keeps him from tagging out by whipping him to The Club’s corner. Rollins knocks the Good Brothers down then gives Finn a buckle shot! Finn staggers, Rollins slips under, tag to Roman! Roman rallies on Finn, whip reversed but the jumping lariat knocks Finn down. The Big Dog gives the Extraordinary Man close-range clothesline in the corner then slings Finn out for a boot! Finn is down but Roman fires up. Roman locks and loads, but has to knock The Good Brothers away again, Slingblade from Finn! Finn tags Anderson, he rains rights down on Roman. Cover, TWO, but Anderson keeps on Roman. Anderson throws hands in the Balor Club cover and tags Gallows. Gallows rocks Roman with right hands, then brings Roman up for a big roundhouse. Cover, TWO, but a close one. Gallows grinds Roman with a chinlock, fans duel “Let’s go, Roman!” “Roman Sucks!” Roman gets to his feet and fights out with body shots, but Gallows yanks him down by his hair. Tag to Anderson, he stomps on Roman. Anderson forces Roman to lie down, big knee drop, cover, TWO. Anderson keeps Roman down with the chinlock. Roman gasps for air as fans continue to duel and make noise. Roman reaches for his corner, but Anderson wrenches him away. The fans keep making noise as Roman powers out, but Anderson gives him a right hand to slow him down. Anderson runs, into a tilt-o-whirl sideslam!

Both men are down, their teams are rabid for tags. Anderson and Rmoan crawl, tag to Gallows who stomps on Roman. Gallows brings Roman up, for a snap suplex! Cover, TWO, so Gallows drives elbows into Roman’s shoulder. Back to the chinlock, fans keep dueling. Roman stands up again and fights out with heavy right hands. He runs, but into the boot for Gallows, to SUPERMAN PUNCH outta nowhere! The fans and the teams are both fired up again, hot tags to Anderson and Rollins! Rollins rallies on The Balor Club, Blockbuster to Anderson before giving Gallows & Finn a DIVE! The Kingslayer keeps moving, Slingblade to Anderson! He goes corner to corner for the forearm smash, suplex and roll-through to Falcon Arrow! TWO, to Rollins’ surprise. Rollins keeps focus on Anderson, calling for the knee. Anderson gets a ropebreak, Gallows pries Rollins off. Rollins fights back, Jordan takes Gallows out with a clothesline. SPINEBUSTER from Anderson to Rollins, TWO! Anderson and Rollins are down from exhaustion, Jordan is the only man on the “Champion’s Club” corner. Rollins can’t escape Anderson, tag to Gallows. Gallows takes out Jordan but Rollins hits the PELE! Rollins and Gallows are down again, but Roman is back. Finn tags in, but Rollins counters his Slingblade with a back suplex! Roman wants in so bad, and Rollins crawls over, but Jordan comes in and distracts! The tag is made but doesn’t count! Rollins takes MAGIC KILLER! Roman still fights The Good Brothers off, then asks Jordan what he was thinking.

Jordan doesn’t think he did a thing, and doesn’t help Roman when he’s against the Good Brothers. Roman gives Anderson a SUPERMAN PUNCH and Gallows a SPEAR! Jordan stands Rollins up, only for Rollins to take Finn’s blasting dropkick! Finn then takes Jordan out with a forearm, and climbs up top! Coup De Grace!! The Balor Club wins! Their friendship and unity is just Too Sweet, but what will the fallout be within the Raw Tag Team Champions?

No time to worry about that, The Miztourage attacks! Miz takes Jordan out whiel Bo and Axel go after Roman! Miz also takes Rollins out and joins his henchmen in the ring to make it 3v1 on Roman. They haul Roman up, Miz gives him the Skull Crushing Finale!

That’s just the beginning, as The Miztourage wants to give us a sequel to their parody Shield Triple Powerbomb!! The former Intercontinental Champion makes a major statement and sends a message to the current Intercontinental Champion. Will The Hollywood A-Lister restart his historic IC Championship legacy with the Raw 25th Anniversary show?

 

My Thoughts:

This was a great episode of Raw, very strong from start to finish. Paige acting as manager for Absolution while she recovers makes perfect sense, she should’ve done more of that so the in-ring focus would be on the newer superstars. It even works that they lose tonight, to keep Bayley & Sasha strong before the Rumble, as well as frame it as the Rose & Sonya still needing Paige to be strong. WOKEN Hardy wins his debut because he should, and it helps Hawkins grow his historic losing streak. The laughing stare-down between Hardy and Wyatt was also great. These two don’t need to be physical until the Rumble, and then whatever over-the-top off-site match they end up having. I didn’t expect Enzo to retain his title the way he did, but it all still works in favor of his Heel character. It also helps his story with Nia, and Nia’s own story in the Women’s Division, which was great tonight. Nia going after Asuka is great because now it gives us two front-runners for Women’s Rumble winners. I love that The Bar got upset by Titus Worldwide, Titus & Apollo have been waiting a long time to do much of anything, so perhaps they can find a way into the tag team title scene in 2018.

I hope Rhyno & Slater failing to “toughen up” won’t lead them to breaking up. We lost Raw tag teams in 2018 that we shouldn’t have, so maybe Rhyno & Slater are instead building to that moment when they finally get a “tough win” and we can all celebrate with them like when they won the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Meanwhile, Joe calling his shot while also calling out John Cena, that is setting up a top tier feud for 2018. The interactions of Roman, Rollins & Jordan were spot on for how they should be, and I actually liked Jordan giving off this vibe that he wanted to be New Dean Ambrose with how he paraphrased Ambrose’s dialogue from when the Shield reunited. The Balor Club take a Tweener role right now, as they should. There were also great references from commentary about the Bullet Club, and I am glad to see The Balor Club gets a win off of the story building between Jordan and Rollins. The Miz also continues where he left off, in a good way, and his rematch with Roman could go either way. Lastly, holy crap Braun Strowman continues to be the best thing in wrestling with yet another uncanny feat of strength. His not being champion yet is a shame but he still has all of 2018 to get there, and I have no doubt he will.

My Score: 8.5/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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