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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Live Report! (3/12/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Sonya Deville w/ Absolution VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley; wins.
  • The Bar VS The Miztourage; no contest.
  • Finn Balor VS Seth Rollins; Balor wins.
  • Asuka VS Mickie James w/ Alexa Bliss; Asuka wins.
  • Nia Jax VS Joan King; Nia wins.
  • Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Battle Royal: Braun Strowman wins and will challenge The Bar for the Raw Tag Team Championships at Wrestlemania(?)

PLAY BY PLAY

Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, heads to the ring!

The Olympic Gold Medalist and WWE Hall-of-Famer is in Detroit, and thanks Detroit’s WWE Universe for welcoming him. “I can’t tell you how excited and honored I am to compete at this year’s Wrestlemania with my tag team partner, Ronda Rousey!” They will team against The Authority, Stephanie McMahon & Triple H, and Angle almost feels sorry for Stephanie. But he’s already not sorry for HHH! Speaking of, on to the Universal Championship match of Lesnar VS Reigns, “a match for the ages”! As for tonight, it turns out Brock Lesnar won‘t be here tonight, either. Regardless of why, the rest of the show will be great! However, Roman Reigns comes out to respond!

The Big Dog enters the ring, a look of stern disappointment on his face. He looks Angle in the eye as he says, “I wish I was surprised, Kurt, but I’m not.” Reigns wasn’t lying when he said Lesnar doesn’t’ respect him, the company or anyone in Detroit. Lesnar barely respects those watching around the world. Reigns feels he speaks for everyone when he says, “Lesnar didn’t show up for work today, or last week. What are the repercussions are there, Kurt?” Is Lesnar going to be punished? Reigns knows the answer is “No, because he’s Vince’s Boy.” And don’t shut him up! This is the truth! What would happen to anyone else if they didn’t show up for work? They’d get fired, or fined, meaning they can’t feed their families.

That’s a problem. Angle is the middle man, but the real problem is Vince McMahon. Roman walked past Vince and yet Vince didn’t even let Reigns know what was happening! Angle had to tell Reigns and everyone live on TV! Reigns travels the world, not home with his family because he’s out here for the company. It’s one thing for Lesnar to disrespect him, but Reigns will NOT be disrespected by Vince McMahon! Reigns storms out, and gets in the face of Vince McMahon!

Vince wants to talk in his office, and throws things to commercials. Reigns is appeased with some respect, but will it last?

 

Renee Young waits for someone to exit Mr. McMahon’s office.

The person to come out is Roman Reigns. She wants to ask what happened, but he immediately exits the scene. Next comes Vince McMahon. He gets us up to speed and says that Lesnar is not Vince’s Boy, or even Heyman’s Boy, Lesnar is his own man. That said, the disrespect is not the case, Roman is a great competitor. Vince reminds Roman of something The Rock used to say, “Know Your Role and Shut Your Mouth.”

Lesnar does have his privileges, and it is true Lesnar doesn’t like most people. That doesn’t mean Lesnar is bad. Does Lesnar disrespect the WWE Universe? Probably. But Lesnar respects competition in the ring. He’s earned his privileges, though maybe abuses them. Vince does assure us that next week, Lesnar will be on Raw, and compete for the title at Wrestlemania against Reigns. Vince puts his word on this.

“One other thing”, the talk of respect, based on what happened, Reigns is temporarily suspended. There are repercussions for the Big Dog, how can he get his head on for Wrestlemania if he’s off the show?

 

Sonya Deville w/ Absolution VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley!

The friendship of the Legit Boss and the Huggable One is a bit strained to say the least, but they can both agree they dislike the Glampire’s Gladiator & God’s Greatest Creation. Can Sasha stay ahead of the Jersey Devil? Or will Sonya show Sasha what happens when you put your hair up and square up?

The bell rings, and Sonya goes right at Sasha, only for Sasha to dodge and retaliate with forearms. Sasha whips Sonya but Sonya reverses. Sasha sunset flips over, TWO, and Sonya lunges back in. Sonya’s takedown is foiled by a backslide, but Sonya breaks out. Sasha tries an armbar takedown but Sonya throws her off. Paige coaches Sonya into things, but things speed up, and Sasha dropkicks Sonya down twice. Cover, ONE, but Sasha keeps focus. Sonya fires back a forearm but Sasha throws her out of the ring. Absolution regroups while we go to break.

Raw returns and Sonya has control, squeezing Sasha with a bodyscissors.

Sonya also adds on a chinlock, but Sasha fights her way out. She bridges back, TWO, but Sonya dumps Sasha down with a spinebuster! Cover, TWO, and Sonya grows frustrated. She bumps Sasha off buckles then rams in shoulders. Sonya kicks Sasha but Sasha hits back. Sonya kicks again and puts Sasha back in the bodyscissor. Fans rally for Sasha as she rolls and stands up, but Sonya is on her back. Sasha backs into buckles and snapmares Sonya off. Sonya kicks Sasha down again! Then the sliding knee! Cover, TWO, and Sonya is furious. She kicks and rams shoulders back into Sasha in a corner. The ref backs her off, and Ssaha dodges to send Sonya into buckles.

Sasha kicks back from a corner, then boots. She slides out and kicks Sonya again, then hops up to hit meteora knees! Cover, TWO! Mandy Rose moves to distract, but Bayley trips her up! Sasha sees Sonya coming, backstabber into Bank Statement! Sonya taps, Sasha wins! Bayley helped out her friend after all, but then leaves without celebrating. Is Bayley on her side or just against Absolution?

Absolution moves in to test that, flanking Sasha on all sides. Sasha sees she’s all alone, so she strikes first! It’s still 2v1 with Paige directing her girls, and Sasha gets beat down. Bayley doesn’t return, leaving Sasha vulnerable to the roundhouse from Sonya! Absolution is unified, when will they be vindicated with a championship?

 

WWE announces the 2018 Celebrity Wing inductee for the Hall of Fame: Kid Rock!

Detroit’s own global rockstar has been partners with the WWE for over two decades, and has performed on Raw, Tribute to the Troops and Wrestlemania. Most of all, his songs have been theme songs for the Real American Badass Taker! He’ll once again rock the WWE with a theme song for Wrestlemania.

 

It’s time for Miz TV!

“The Most Must-See WWE Talk Show” is without The Miztourage because they have a chance to “punch their tickets” to Wrestlemania. His boys are all grown up, and it shows that “if you hang with the Miz, I will elevate your career.”

Speaking of, he has two guests whose careers he will elevate when he defends against them in his “final hurdle” to become the all-time longest reigning Intercontinental Champion! Without further ado, he welcomes Seth Rollins! The Architect comes out and takes a seat, then Miz introduces Finn Balor!

The Extraordinary Man also takes a sweet as fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” The Miz sees they’re both very comfortable out here, even when he’s in the ring with the guy who is in the way of a great singles match he and The Miz could have. They’re the “work horses” of the WWE and could’ve burned things down at ‘Mania. Finn is a “great up-and-comer” but he doesn’t have the accolades Miz and Rollins have. Rollins doesn’t have a 1v1 match because Finn keeps getting in the way, right? Miz, do you think they’re “a bunch of idiots”? It will be a Triple Threat, get over it.

Well then, Finn is “The Man of Bingo Halls.” Sure Finn has a lacking resume, but he does have a win over Rollins to be the inaugural Universal Champion. That’s still huge. Maybe Miz should focus on Finn, maybe Finn deserves that great 1v1 against “the greatest Intercontinental Champion”. If Finn is better than Rollins, why should he have to prove it again? Miz, you literally just tried this with Rollins, and you’re doing it again. If you want to keep that title, you’ll have to do better than that. Right, because everyone wants to have this title, to see this title, the title that Miz made prestigious again! Yet Miz is somehow the bad guy? Detroit says “YES! YES!”

Miz wants Rollins to admit he hates Finn for winning the Universal Championship. And Finn, surely you don’t trust Rollins who lures people in to stab in the back. Just ask The Shield. Miz, please shut up. It’s not about Miz, it’s about Wrestlemania! If MIz wants the truth, the truth is Rollins is going to take the Intercontinental Championship, and Finn doesn’t stand a chance. Finn counters by saying “with all due respect”, what happened the last time they had a championship match? Oh right, Finn won with one arm! Going there, huh? In four weeks, Rollins is going to stomp Finn on his way to becoming Intercontinental Champion! Why wait? Let’s do this here tonight!

The fans want to see that! Miz wants to see it! But then they both look at Miz, and he runs for it!

Rollins catches him, and both Rollins and Finn give him punches before Finn clotheslines Miz out. Then Rollins blindsides Finn! Rollins vows he’ll be Intercontinental (and Grand Slam) Champion at Wrestlemania. Will Miz’s plan work in his favor? Or will it only get him in the cross-hairs of both opponents again?

 

The Bar VS The Miztourage!

While the Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg insist they’ve defeated everyone there is to defeat on Raw, Bo Dallas & Curt Axel have the confidence to speak up and say it’s their turn. Not only that, but they go right at The Bar during their entrance! Cesaro falls down and Sheamus is isolated, but the Raw Tag Team Champions regroup. They rush back in but get sent back out by the fired up Bo & Axel! The referee calms things down while The Bar regroups again, and now The Bar uses strategy. Cesaro goes one way, Sheamus the other, and they managed to get things in separate brawls!

Sheamus stomps out Bo, Cesaro punches down Axel, but in come The Revival!? Dash & Dawson go after Sheamus & Cesaro, respectively. This keeps things form being a proper match but that doesn’t mean the fighting stops! Three teams throw hands, here comes a fourth in The Club! Anderson & Gallows add on for four team madness, and The Bar retreats! Except Titus Worldwide and Slater & Rhyno appear! The entire division might as well be out here brawling it out! The Bar is the focus of the horde! Two separate 4v1 beatings are going down and mixing it up, and Detroit loves it! Cesaro slips free on one side, Sheamus on the other, but they still have to fall back. What does this mean for the overly confident tag team champions at Wrestlemania?

 

JOHN CENA is here!

The Franchise Player, the Face that Runs the Place, and the Leader of the Cenation is not a 17-time world champion after SmackDown’s Fastlane Six Pack Challenge. “We are less than four weeks away” but Cena has finally found his Road to Wrestlemania! It isn’t the ideal path but if he’s brave enough to be here after everything, then he can face the truth. Cena hears the fans, because the truth is that after several opportunities on both brands, “I did not get the job done.” He will not make excuses or pass blame. Every superstar wants to contribute to Wrestlemania, so he is here tonight–with fans chanting “Undertaker!”–to say that he will not be contributing this year. Fans have mixed reactions, and Cena hears both sides out.

Cena explains he’s not quitting, walking away, or just missing Wrestlemania. He will be there, but just like the WWE Universe. Cena feels the energy, and gets to be the energy, as a fan. That may be a shock, but the WWE Universe is always the most important part! Without the fans, there’s no action, excitement or noise. He’s not going to go complaining, he’s going to go for fun. He’s excited, fired up, and might even be seated next to the fans, having a drink! “This is awesome!” Yes, he starts a chant. “Let’s go Roman!” “Roman sucks!” Well, alright.

Cena returns to the ring, and continues by saying there’s one last thing they have to address. Get it out of your systems now: “Let’s go Cena!” “Cena Sucks!” The fans follow along. He realizes the only way he’d hear that chant is if he did something he wasn’t supposed to do. Wait, what if he did that thing now? What’s the worst that could happen? Cena decides to once again challenge the Undertaker!

And fans chant “YES! YES!” He was told it was impossible, despite how much he wants it. He accepted it, but why? Why is it impossible? Because of the executives? No, they’d shut him up and suspend him. To clear the air, Cena tries again: “I challenge the Undertaker to a match at Wrestlemania.” He says it again and again, and the fans grow louder and louder. So the problem isn’t the WWE execs…

The one individual in the way of this match is The Undertaker. Cena wishes to address Taker directly: “Get over your own ego.” The difference between them is that when Cena fails, he puts a smile on his face and keeps going. When Taker fails, he hides because he’s ashamed. To think a symbol so strong is so fragile. Don’t hide behind lame excuses. Taker is not too old, washed up or broken down, or else he wouldn’t have workout videos on his wife’s Instagram. The only person in the way of the match is Taker, “you self-centered, conceited, ego-maniac!”

If Taker’s ego needs satisfaction, let’s try this: “Do you want to see the Undertaker Tombstone me in front of 75 thousand people at Wrestlemania?!” “YES! YES!” The fans want to see it, Cena wants to see Taker try. Cena is either a fan at Wrestlemania, or as Taker’s opponent to make history. “The ball is in your court, Deadman. Time to see if you’re still alive.” If Cena was him, he’d want #OneMoreMatch. A powerful challenge to a living legend, will Taker come out from the shadows to accept?

 

The Bar meet with Kurt Angle in his office.

Cesaro & Sheamus tell Angle that what happened was uncalled for. Well, they asked for teams to step up, and teams did. Yeah, but not to physically assault them! They want competition! The Bar has beat all those teams, but they don’t feel safe right now. Sheamus heard rumors of a post-Mania shake-up. Put them down for a trade, right now! They want to beat up The Bludgeon Brothers, the New Day, or even the Usos! Champions VS Champions! Or even just Breezango. Because the Bar knows when they’re not wanted. Angle won’t trade them, he’ll decide on their opponent for Wrestlemania when the Raw tag teams participate in a tag team battle royal tonight. Who will be the last team standing to face The Bar?

 

Raw takes a look back at the Symphony of Destruction.

The Drifter and the Monster Among Men waged war with musical mayhem, but only after Bruan Strowman caught Elias running away. The performance was a bit one-sided as the “Maestro Among Monsters” manhandled Elias and beat him like a drum. In fact, the only instrument Strowman didn’t hurt Elias with was the drums, as he instead slammed the bass cello and piano on him! Strowman won, will Elias learn to pick his lyrics more wisely from now on?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

Somehow the Drifter is well enough to be here. He does have a neck brace, however, and it’s hard to speak. Even so, he says, “This is your fault.” He sets his guitar down, and leaves? It’s rare for Elias not to play his guitar. Will he ever be able to play again?

But waiting backstage, is Braun!

He dropped a piano on Elias, but why doesn’t he have a Wrestlemania match? He’s not going to wait for someone to give him a path, eh’s gonna carve one! And he’s gonna make sure someone will #GetTheseHands at ‘Mania!

 

Finn Balor VS Seth Rollins!

The Extraordinary Man and the Architect will get to fight it out here tonight, after all! Who will win this rematch from the inaugural Universal Championship match and gain momentum going into their Wrestlemania Intercontinental Championships match?

The bell rings and the two slowly circle. They tie up, push each other around, and Rollins puts Finn on the ropes. The break is clean, but Finn doesn’t like the shoulder pats. They tie up again, Finn gets the wristlock, but Rollins spins to reverse. Rollins brings Finn to a knee but Finn gets up to roll and reverse. The Miz watches, pleased to see his two contenders fighting it out.

Rollins is brought to his knees by an armlock, and Finn wrenches the arm again. Rollins reverses but gets a forearm from Finn! Finn brings Rollins up but Rollins pushes him and things speed up. Rollins runs Finn over with back elbows!

Finn stands up, Rollins chops him. Rollins snapmares and kicks Finn, then even toys with Finn. He brings Finn up and into a corner, to give jabs and stomps. He backs off at the count of 4, and Finn gets out of the corner. Rollins is right back on him with a chop, then another. Finn  reverses the whip but Rollins sunsets, Finn rolls through to dropkick! Finn throws Rollins out, builds speed, and hits a wrecking ball dropkick. Then from the apron, Finn takes aim and hits the Penalty Kick! Rollins goes down, we go to break.

Raw returns, and Rollins is back in control as he puts Finn in a cravat neck wrench.

Finn endures, working his way up and out. The fans rally but Rollins brings Finn right back down. Finn tries again, fighting out with body shots, but Rollins headbutts him down. Rollins goes to the outside, drags Finn to the apron, then clubs away before hitting a running knee! Finn writhes in the ring and Rollins returns to cover, TWO. Rollins is right back on Finn with a new chinlock, and Miz continues to watch, pleased with what he’s seeing.

Finn fights his way up again, only for Rollins to sit him back down. Rollins shifts to a standing neck wrench, but Finn stands up again. Finn fights out, then backs Rollins down. Rollins catches Finn for a buckle shot! Rollins then takes aim, springboards but Finn ducks under to boot Rollins back. Finn rallies with forearms, then whips, but Rollins reverses, into a leaping lariat! Finn fires up and hits a running chop in the corner, then goes corner to corner for another running chop. Another corner to corner whip, but Rollins reverses, Finn goes up and over. Rollins boots Finn, hops up but Finn kicks him to bring him down. Finn keeps going, elbow DDT!

High stack cover, TWO, and Finn grows frustrated.

Finn stands up and aims at the slowly stirring Rollins. He goes for the slingblade but Rollins blocks, runs, but into 1916- No, Rollins knees out of the slam! He grabs Finn, wristlock reel for Revolution- No, Finn intercepts with a forearm! Finn hits a strike fest, but Rollins gives a roaring elbow, PELE to PELE! Both men go down, but the fans fire up. The ref counts, fans declare “This is Awesome!” and Rollins mule kicks. Finn evades, rolls up, TWO, takedown to double stomps! Finn hits Slingblade this time, then runs, but into a SUPERKICK! Cover from Rollins, TWO! Rollins is too tired to be frustrated. They’re both down, but stirring, and Rollins stands up first.

Rollins turns to Finn in the corner, and runs in for the forearm smash! Then another, but Finn evades the third. Finn swing kicks Rollins down, then hurries to the top rope. He takes aim but Rollins springs up to sit him down with an elbow. Rollins climbs up, but Finn fights back. Finn drives in elbows and Rollins tumbles back. Finn adjusts, but Rollins returns, a sudden SUPERPLEX to Fal- NO! Small package counter! FINN WINS! When it’s 1v1, Finn is 2-0 on Rollins!

Finn grins, but Rollins storms off. Can Rollins turn things around to get his Grand Slam? Or will Finn be up over him once again?

 

WWE celebrates Women’s History Month by honoring The Fabulous Moolah.

She rose to greatness in an era of revolutionary women in sports, and challenged the norms to become the inaugural WWE Women’s Champion, that she would hold for 27 years. She fought for equality, was the first woman to compete at Madison Square, and was the oldest WWE Women’s Champion when she won it back at the age of 75! Moolah is one of the matriarchs of the Women’s Division, and is an inspiration for the (R)Evolution that continues to this day. To truly honor her, Wrestlemania 34 will be the inception of the Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal, which is open to all the women of all WWE’s three brands, from Raw to SmackDown to NXT! Moolah made history in her lifetime, who will make history in the battle royal that honors her legacy?

 

Raw takes a look at the appearance of Ronda Rousey.

The Rowdy “Most Dangerous Woman in the world” made her presence known at the Royal Rumble, then signed her contract at Elimination Chamber. However, Angle exposed the truth about Triple H & Stephanie McMahon, and that upset Rousey. A physical confrontation led to a tense encounter on the following Raw. Things looked to be patched up, until HHH sucker punched Angle! That then led to a new and intense confrontation, where Stephanie and HHH tried to “put this all behind us”. Rousey spoke up, but Stephanie reminded her of her Wrestlemania debut. Rousey knew she could choose her opponent, so she chose Stephanie! HHH tried to save his wife from the humiliation, only to get roped into it! Stephanie & HHH will both face Rousey & Angle in a Wrestlemania Mixed Tag Match! Will the Authority regret treating their gold-medal employees like trash?

 

Asuka is here!

The Empress of Tomorrow, still undefeated, also won the Women’s Royal Rumble. Therefore, she was allowed to challenge for whichever Women’s Championship she wanted. And she showed up at Fastlane to challenge the SmackDown Women’s Champion in Charlotte Flair! So then, what is she still doing on Raw? Charly Caruso brings this all up, and asks her why. But before she can answer, Alexa Bliss comes out! Oh, and with Mickie James, too.

The Goddess says “last night was so exciting!” Did you see how Charlotte looked? But Asuka’s English isn’t so good, interviews aren’t her strong suit. Alexa will explain things on Asuka’s behalf. Firstly, Asuka is fierce, and very smart. She has the longest undefeated streak in WWE History, but how does she do that? She’s smart, and doesn’t want to risk taking on someone as good as Alexa. But Asuka is The Empress, and “nobody is ready for Asuka.” Well two weeks ago, Alexa defied the odds in the inaugural Women’s Elimination Chamber. Asuka knows she can’t beat Alexa now, “so why even try?” Some say that’s “cowardly”, but don’t listen to them. Alexa will root for Asuka to knock The Queen off her throne. Good move choosing the B-Show.

Asuka replies by saying yes, she chose Charlotte, because “to be The Woman, you got to beat The Woman.” Asuka wants the best in the WWE! Is this the language barrier? Alexa “translates” by saying Asuka went with the easier choice. No, Asuka’s beaten Alexa, so she can beat her again. Right now even! “Dream on, sweetheart.” Asuka didn’t choose Alexa, so go up against the woman who has unfinished business: …? Where is she? Um, one moment, please. Alexa and Mickie talk in private, and then punk Asuka out with a cheap shot!

Mickie says she’s ready for Asuka, that match is coming up next!

 

Asuka VS Mickie James w/ Alexa Bliss!

Raw returns to this match underway, and Mickie stomping a mudhole into Asuka. She backs off but then snapmares Asuka out for the cover, ONE. Another try, another ONE. Mickie hammers away on Asuka with right hands, then drives a knee into Asuka’s back before giving crossface punches. She drags Asuka up to knock her down, but fans rally for Asuka. Asuka fights back with elbows, then whips but Mickie reverses. Asuka dodges to hip attack Mickie down. She keeps going, kicking Mickie hard in the chest again and again. Asuka fires up, runs, but Alexa helps Mickie get out of the ring. Asuka keeps going, hitting Mickie with a sliding knee from the apron! Mickie goes down, and Alexa is frightened as Asuka drags Mickie up and in.

Mickie slips back out, but Asuka pursues her. She kicks Mickie at the barriers, and drags her off the barriers to throw her into the LED apron. Mickie stands up, Asuka swings a kick, but Mickie ducks! Asuka’s foot hits the post!

Asuka falls, a ring count begins! The Streak could be just ten counts away from being over! Asuka crawls on one foot and gets back in, but Mickie is right on her. She goes after the bad leg, wrapping it up in the ropes. Asuka writhes, rolling out to the apron. Mickie goes after her out there, swinging the leg back into that post. Alexa loves what she sees as Mickie drags Asuka back in.

Asuka gets to a corner, but Mickie is still on her. Mickie puts that leg in the ropes again but Asuka fights her off. Mickie mule kicks Asuka down, then bgrings her up, only to end up in the Asuka lock! Wait it’s a cover, TWO!! They both spring up, SUPERKICK from Asuka! Both women are down, but then crawl over to each toher. They brawl back and forth with forearms. Asuka gives off backhands and haymakers, then runs at Mickie for a corner hip attack! She keeps going, pop-up knee and cover, TWO! Asuka fires up, but misses a kick, Mickie chopblocks it out. Then the flapjack to kip-up and Mickie goes to the top rope. Asuka gets up there and stops her, but Mickie fights back. Mickie sunset flip powerbombs!

TWO!! Another cover, TWO, and Mickie throws more hands. She is frustrated, but keeps going, Mick Kick misses! Asuka Lock is on!! Mickie reaches, cries for Alexa, but there’s nothing they can do! Mickie taps, Asuka wins and keeps the Streak! The Goddess storms away, upset her plan didn’t work.

But more importantly, can Asuka’s leg recover in time to challenge the Queen?

 

Alexa finds Nia Jax backstage.

What happened? She gave the cue, but Nia didn’t show up. Angle said not to, because Nia has a match next. But Alexa set this up for Nia! She knows Nia wants payback and redemption. Please don’t still be sulking. So what if she let people down? She’s Alexa’s friend. And Alexa was there to pick up the pieces, because she loves her. Love you, too, Bliss. They hug it out, and Alexa gives some “tough love.” Does Nia have Alexa’s back next week? Yes. Okay, good! Now go show the world that the Irresistible Force is back!

 

Nia Jax VS Joan King!

The Brutal Beauty has Bliss’ love and support, but is that enough to put her back on track in the Raw Women’s Division? Joan King better hope not… The bell rings and Nia corners Joan right away. Joan begs for mercy, but Nia shows none. She throws, flattens and throws Joan again, before hitting a BIG running elbow drop! Nia isn’t done with Joan yet. She lifts her in the fireman’s carry, and hits the Samoan Drop! Nia wins quick, seems the pep talk worked.

Backstage, cameras turn on while Alexa & Mickie talk.

Asuka should be grateful she didn’t have to face Nia tonight. But speaking of, Mickie can’t believe what Alexa said to Nia last week. The truth hurts. But that was being nice. Alexa could’ve been meaner. Meaner than calling her an outcast? Mickie almost died when Alexa got all tearjerker. Yeah it’s like watching Shrek in TSA. But Nia is happy being Alexa’s bag-carrier. Nia needs to be coddled because she can’t handle the truth: Alexa uses her, and can because Nia is vulnerable. Just look at the difference between the two of them.

But she screwed them over tonight. Alexa assures Mickie that Nia will do what she wants. She’s easily manipulated, and is as dumb as she is big. And gullible! “Aw I love you too~!” Nia is nothing without Alexa. Alexa makes Nia relevant. Like high school. Nia will do the heavy lifting, Alexa gets all the glory. Though if Nia for whatever reason thinks for herself for once, they can both just beat her up. Where is Charly, by the way? She finally shows up, but points out the cameras and mics were live… Oh… Oh…!! Nia makes her way to the back, holding back the tears, and replacing it with anger! She heads for the locker rooms!

Alexa & Mickie sense they’re in danger, and run for it, through the back. Smart move, as Nia comes barreling in and ripping everything apart! Nia finds Alexa’s jacket, tosses it, then tosses everything else! No interview, but will there be hell to pay?

 

Raw gives us a glimpse of Ultimate Deletion!

“For eons, the Great War has waged between” WOKEN Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. To Wyatt, Hardy is a fool, and “his words mean nothing.” But the eternal battle must reach a completion, but “a god can never die.” Therefore, Hardy challenged Wyatt to a battle at the Hardy Compound. Queen Rebecca, King Maxell, Lord Wolfgang, Senor Benjamin and Vanguard One will help Hardy banish Sister Abigail from Bray Wyatt’s vessel. The Lake of Reincarnation shall free Wyatt, where he shall be DELETED!

But Bray Wyatt responds.

“Matt Hardy is a liar.” And a fool. But above all, Hardy is “just a man.” And a man that has made a bad decision. Wyatt knows Hardy is listening, so he gives some advice: “When the Devil is standing at your doorstep, you should never let him in.” That said, Wyatt accepts the invitation to the Hardy Compound. Hardy has a lovely home, and a beautiful family, so it’d be a real shame if something bad were to happen to all of them. “I’m coming for you, Matt. Run!”

Angle reacts to all this.

He always knew Bray was crazy, but what happened to Matt? But he’s visited by a referee. Angle lets the referee know that since this Ultimate Deletion is under Raw jurisdiction, they need an official to oversee it. Did he do something wrong? No, but angle just wants to make sure things are safe enough that both superstars return to Raw in one piece. The referee heads out with his orders, but what can one man in stripes do when the Great War breaks loose?

 

Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Battle Royal!

The Bar said they defeated all the teams there were to beat on Raw, but then all the teams on Raw showed up to beat The Bar down! Now all the teams available on the Raw roster will compete until only one remains in the ring. Which duo will outlast all the others to test Sheamus & Cesaro on the Grandest Stage of Them All?

Speaking of, Sheamus & Cesaro reappear to watch this match first hand while on commentary. But then, Braun Strowman appears?!

But he’s not in a tag team! He gets in the ring, and the fans chant “Get These Hands”! The bell rings at Strowman’s demand, and he goes and eliminates Apollo Crews! The other teams all fight, but Slater tries to take on Strowman, only to be thrown down. Strowman chases Slater out of the ring, through the middle rope so they’re both viable, and Strowman blasts Slater into barriers! The battle royal continues in the ring, but Strowman brings Slater around to tosse him back in. Strowman returns and keeps after Slater, to throw him right out! Rhyno and all the others see it’s just him versus the eight of them.

With numbers on their side, they go after the Monster Among Men! They push Strowman to the ropes, but then The Revival throw Rhyno out to eliminate that team.

Titus goes after the #TopGuys, and that means less men on Strowman. Strowman powers his way out and rocks everyone from The Miztourage to the Club. Titus returns and stands up to Strowman while the others regroup safely on the outside. Titus changes his mind, he regroups with them. The eight huddle up while we go to break.

Raw returns and Strowman is climbing back in, but ends up in another 8v1 beating. He powers out and explodes out!

He rocks the Revival with uppercuts, but Anderson, Titus and Gallows all boot him one after the other. Strowman falls out, but thruogh the middle rope. The Club goes after Titus while the rest throw Strowman into steps! Then teh Revival use the steps to knock him backward. The Miztourage do the day, but Strwoman stays up. That brings all four using the steps an dthey battering ram Strowman into the timekeeper’s area! Meanwhile, Titus fights off the Good Brothers, while the other teams reenter. Titus takes care of each of them in turn, and focuses on Dash with body shots. He chops Dash then throws him across the way, and fans fire up with him!

Titus barks, and runs corner to corner to squash Dawson, before hitting Clash of the Titus! The Miztourage go after Titus together, stomping the Gator out. Dash helps out, then they all coordinate again to drag Titus up. When that doesn’t work, the Revival turn on The Miztourage. They stomp Axel, but then Dawson gets dumped out by Bo! The Revival still work together to go after Bo, but Axel grabs Dash and throws him out! No more #TopGuys, but the Good Brothers revive to take care of the Miztourage. Titus revives to knock the Good Brothers down, then works to toss Gallows. Strowman returns to toss out Titus!

Gallows kicks away on Strowman, but runs into a clothesline that sends him out! The Miztourage go after Strowman, but that’s not enough! POWERSLAM for Axel! POWERSLAM for Bo! Strowman throws them both out in turn, but Anderson kicks out Strwoman’s legs! The Machine Gun kicks and kicks, and mule kicks, but Strowman catches that last one to toss Anderson back! And then, he lifts Anderson, shouting “I’m going to Wrestlemania!” as he throws Anderson out onto the others! Strowman wins?! But, he’s still not a tag team! How can he challenge The Bar as just one man? Er, as just one monster?

 

My Thoughts:

Well this was a strange, confusing but overall exciting Raw. WWE still uses Lesnar’s absence as reason enough for Reigns to be upset and the reason fans should like him more. Reigns is still doing good mic work with it, but it seemed a little hypocritical for Reigns to criticize Lesnar as “Vince’s Boy” when in reality, so is Reigns. Reigns being “suspended” for the night is just kayfabe establishing that Reigns is the Steve Austin in this situation and it’ll add to his fire when he finally encounters Lesnar.

The Women’s Division segments were pretty good, such as the question of Bayley’s friendship with Sasha. It might be a slow turn, but Bayley going Heel would be an interesting choice. Nia is clearly going to go Face, though, given how Alexa was exposed as an even meaner Heel than anyone thought. Also great to hear about the Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal, that is gonna be a fun way to get more women involved on Wrestlemania and fill out a bit more of the insane run time WWE insists on.

The Miz is still best Heel in all of the WWE, getting two Faces to go after each other like he did. Finn winning again is actually great for Rollins, because it’ll paint him as the underdog challenger. I don’t see Miz as an underdog since he can pounce on opportunities created by Finn and Rollins, so it’ll be up to Rollins to be better than both Miz and Finn combined if he wants that Grand Slam. Cena went hard, too, calling out The Undertaker that way. The Undertaker could easily show up tomorrow night to give him and Cena six shows to build things with since both are “free agents” between brands, and it’d really help SmackDown get the ratings it desperately needs.

Ultimate Deletion on Raw is going to be great, and thinking about it, it is better it’s on WWE TV and not a PPV because the live audience at ‘Mania will be much more upset they end up just watching big screens compared to a smaller Raw venue audience. The “match” could go either way and still leave both men for something even bigger at ‘Mania. The Tag Team Division got a lot of play tonight, and that “Bar brawl” was a fun surprise, where even the jobber tag teams of Slater-Rhyno and The Miztourage got their hits in. But then the battle royal being joined by the Monster Among Men is the strangest moment, because he’s just the Monster, singular. He has no teammate, but he was still allowed into the match (out of fear), and still won the match! I love Strowman, but what’s going on?!

My Score: 8.5/10

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Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Analysis (12/9/10)

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What happened in CMLL, AAA, and the world of Lucha Libre this week? Joe Dinan has you covered!




CMLL

Last Friday Arena Mexico

So this was the Legends of Mexico show or Leyenda de Mexicana. The main event was a legends match which… wasn’t exactly good. It’s fun to see legends in the ring, and that’s why the fans were there but judging from a match point of view they couldn’t really move well. The match included Rayo de Jalisco, Atlantis, and Blue Panther vs Mascara Ano 2000, Canek, and Villano IV. In fairness Blue Panther can still move really well for his age. Rayo, Blue Panther, and Atlantis won the match. There was a 6 man tag titles match between Los Guerrero’s facing Sanson, Cuatrero, and Forastero. Los Guerrero’s retained their titles. Mano Negra, Solar, and Felino faced off against Fuerza Guerrera, Jerry Estrada who hasn’t been in Arena Mexico for 25 years, and Negro Navarro. That match was okay.

Arena Puebla Monday Show

The main event saw Rush and Terrible facing Volador and Diamante Azul. Volador and Azul won the match and at the end Terrible wanted to face Volador in a match. That’ll happen in the future I assume. Co Main event saw Atlantis, Soberano, and Valiente facing Felino, Bucanero, and Cavernario. It was a fun match with the latter winning.

Arena Mexico Tuesday Show

The main event of this show saw Sanson, Cuatrero, and Forastero facing Atlantis, Angel de Oro, and Niebla Roja. This was a fun match which saw the latter winning. I feel like they’re setting up an Atlantis match with Sanson out of this. Titan, Triton, and Esfinge faced off against Mephisto, Luciferno, and Ephesto. It was a really fun match with Mephisto, Luciferno, and Ephesto winning. Misterioso defeated Black Panther in a lightning match as well.

Arena Mexico Friday

The card this Friday sees the main event being Volador Jr facing Ultimo Guerrero in a singles match. It doesn’t appear that the heavyweight championship is on the line. Atlantis, Valiente, and Azul face Rush, Terrible, and Cavernario in the co main event. This really isn’t that big or important of a show based off the match card. I don’t expect the attendance to be over 10,000 this week.




AAA

AAA was live on Twitch on December 2nd. Every title was on the line but the story during the show was Brian Cage sent in a video message with Melissa Santos explaining in Spanish that he had a ton of injuries and couldn’t make it to the show. I think that was just to save face since Fenix also couldn’t wrestle because Cage just worked a match on Wednesday. Fenix comes out to cut a promo and explain things. The fans boo him because AAA stupidly kept promoting the match knowing for 9 days that Fenix wasn’t going to wrestle. He even mentioned it on their Lucha Capital show on Facebook the previous Wednesday. The false advertisement and use of card subject to change to trick the fans is bullshit. Subject to change means the card changes if an injury or last minute thing happens. It’s not a free pass to advertise matches you know you’re never going to do. Anyway on to the card.

Lady Shani won the title in the first match. Keyra was supposed to be in the match to make it a 5 way but she was at a WWE try out in Chile. So it was a four way and Scarlett Bordeaux left the match mid way through. So Shani won the match after Faby had a spat with the ref. The next match built on the angle of Mascara and Maximo. Mascara and his team win the match further continuing the feud. There’s talks of Maximo and Mascara being in a hair vs hair match.

Laredo Kid, Hijo Del Vikingo, and Angelikal who is now called Myzteziz Jr, as AAA La Parka pronounced him earlier in the show (Have fun typing Myzteziz.), faced Porde de Norte for the 6 man tag titles. The story going in here was the former team beat Porde de Norte 3 straight times so conventional thinking is they won’t win this match, but they actually did, crowning new champs. There was an impromptu match afterwards where Vikingo was taken out by the OGTs and La Parka replaced him. They still beat the OGTs, later we learned this match was because there was no Fenix vs Cage match.

Pagano and Joe Lider faced Ciclope and Miedo Extremo and Texano and Rey Escorpion for the tag titles in a hardcore match. It wasn’t as hardcore as the previous matches but it was still pretty hardcore. Texano and Rey retain their titles. Fantasma faced Drago to defend his Latin American championship. The story of the match was Fantasma was dominating and Drago just kept kicking out and Drago basically rolled him up for the win. As said before Cage and Fenix didn’t wrestle.

The main event was between Blue Demon Jr and Killer Kross facing Dr. Wagner Jr and Psycho Clown. Scarlett came out with Kross to distract. Vampiro came out to stop her but Kross kills him. Kross and Blue Demon ended up winning and Scarlett was hitting Wagner after the match. You know she’s going to get hers soon. Better not show anyone in the United States. They’ll complain to Roshfrans.

AAA on Twitch 12/8

There’s a show on the 8th which isn’t much of a star driven show. The main event features Dr. Wagner Jr, Psycho Clown, and Pagano facing Blue Demon Jr, Killer Kross, and Rey Escorpion. I’m sure Scarlett Bordeaux will be by ring side for that. The Co-Main event sees the OGTs facing Porde de Norte. That’s Averno, Chessman, and Super Fly vs Mocho Cota Jr, Carta Brava Jr, and Tito Santana. Aerostar will face Monster Clown in a special singles match. Laredo Kid, Hijo Del Vikingo and a luchador surprise who might just be Myzteziz Jr will face Taurus, Australian Suicide, and Jack Evans.




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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (12/10/18)

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TLC is on the horizon, and Raw is in the home stretch! The Architect looks to speak on both the state of Monday Night Raw, and the Lunatic’s state of mind!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Raw Tag Team Championship 3v2 Handicap: The Authors of Pain & Drake Maverick VS Bobby Roode & Chad Gable; Roode & Gable win and become the new Raw Tag Team Champions.
  • Dolph Ziggler VS Drew McIntyre; McIntyre wins.
  • Bayley w/ Sasha Banks VS Alicia Fox w/ Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers; Bayley wins.
  • Lio Rush w/ Bobby Lashley VS Elias; Rush wins.
  • Ember Moon w/ Ronda Rousey VS Tamina w/ Nia Jax; Moon wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship TLC Match: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin; Rollins wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

Seth Rollins starts off Raw!

The Architect is already in the ring and San Diego is ready to #BurnItDown with him. That will be Rollins’ rallying cry when his Intercontinental Championship is on the line against Dean Ambrose. But more importantly, that will also be the theme for tonight! Rollins isn’t here to call out Ambrose, he’s out here to “spit some truth.” We’ve all seen “General Manger Elect” Baron Corbin talking about being on the right side of history. Rollins calls Corbin out to get a dose of reality. The Lone Wolf appears and grins as he joins Rollins in the ring. Corbin still seems so confident that he’ll win by forfeit at TLC in the TLC Match, given there has been no word from anyone about Braun Strowman’s return to action.

The fans boo and jeer as Corbin takes up his own mic. If Rollins wants to talk, they can do this in private. Corbin’s door is always open to someone of Rollins’ caliber. Rollins wants Corbin to cut the crap, because no one wants to hear it. Just shut up and listen! Rollins admits these last few months, he’s been real warpped up with Ambrose, and hasn’t commented on Corbin’s quality as GM. It doesn’t matter if he’s appointed GM, GM elect, or Head Idiot in Charge, Corbin’s “leadership”, Raw has sucked. It has sucked because of Corbin! Corbin comes out all the time to make things all about him. He abuses power, ends careers, and more. Fans agree as they chant. What Corbin has done as GM is not okay, not right, and just plain wrong.

Corbin can tell Rollins is frustrated, but he’s allowing Rollins to vent. Just watch how you speak to him. Or what? Fire him? Corbin doesn’t even know what to do with his roster. Those are the most talented men and women ever, and Corbin cant’ even use them right. There are amazing tag teams like The Revival, who should be contenders, but they’re in these weird Lucha House Rule matches? What even is that? And if he fires everyone, what? It’s just Corbin, Lashley & McIntyre patting each other on the back. Or maybe more pee segments. Everything Corbin has done is to mask his own insecurities. Was Strowman being mean? Did he hurt Corbin’s feelings? To the point where Corbin had to hand that Universal Championship over to Lesnar, a man who only shows up when he wants?

The problem is, Lesnar doesn’t’ want to show up!! Where is he?! Not here! Because he didn’t’ want to be here. The last time Lesnar was on Raw in a match, was way back to 2002! So the “Baron Corbin Experiment” is an abject failure. The talent support, the morale, the fan support and TV ratings are all at an all-time low, because of Corbin. Corbin “appreciates” the feedback, but maybe write it down and put it on his desk to be filed under “I Don’t Give a Damna!” Corbin doesn’t care what anyone in the company thinks, let alone the fans! This is Corbin’s show, so if you don’t like it, too bad! Corbin’s gonna be in charge for a very long time. And it’ll only get worse for someone like Rollins. How can they get worse?

It’ll get worse when Ambrose beats Rollins for the title, and Corbin wins at TLC by forfeit! Which is too bad, because Corbin’s been wanting a TLC Match. But either way, Jojo will announce him as permanent GM of Raw! And then next week’s Raw, all the way until Rollins quits, he’ll be going through Hell! Corbin putting Rollins through Hell? Why wait until next week? If Corbin wants to put Rollins through Hell, start tonight in a match! Corbin will wait until he’s Permanent GM. True, 1v1 isn’t good enough. Well, Corbin’s always wanted a TLC Match, and the “tools of the trade” are all set up right here… So how about Rollins VS Corbin in a TLC Match!? Fans want that! Does Rollins understand what Corbin would do to him with a table, ladder or chair? It’d be the end of Rollins. Or a good tune-up for Sunday.

Corbin says Rollins being a hero will cost him everything. Corbin will use Rollins as an example to show everyone what happens when you disrespect the GM. But his answer is still now. “Coward.” Rollins and San Diego all call Corbin a coward. No matter what he says, he’s a coward! Maybe he’s Coward Elect! Corbin snaps and gives Rollins that TLC Match! But for the Intercontinental Championship! Will Rollins #BurnItDown and show Corbin he’s not fit to be the boss? Or will it be the End of Days for Rollins’ reign even before facing the Lunatic?

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.

He surely didn’t expect to be defending the title and in such a dangerous match type. It may not have been the smartest move, but Rollins refuses to let Corbin get away with things. If he wants to be a locker room leader, he has to take a stand. If Rollins is a true champion, he’ll take a stand. Otherwise he doesn’t deserve to be champion.

 

Raw Tag Team Championship 3v2 Handicap: The Authors of Pain & Drake Maverick VS Bobby Roode & Chad Gable!

Drake Maverick may have rained on the parade of the #ReadyWillingAndGLORIOUS duo, but that hasn’t stopped Roode & Gable from fighting. The deck is stacked against them, surely courtesy of Corbin, but is a huge upset still possible?

Raw returns as the champs and Maverick stand in the ring ready for a fight. Roode & Gable make their entrance, both wearing matching replacement robes and even matching tights. The teams sort out, the belts are raised, and we begin! Gable starts against Akam, and Gable’s dropkick is deflected. Akam stomps then tags in Rezar. AoP feed Gable to a big knee, then Rezar chokes Gable on ropes. Rezar throws big forearms then clubs Gable down. He hits Roode for good measure, but Gable fights back. Gable’s kick gets caught and he gets clobbered again. Maverick tags in to cover, ONE! Maverick quickly tags out and lets Rezar stomp Gable more. Tag to Akam, and AoP double whip. Gable holds ropes and boots Rezar back. Gable dumps Akam out, tag to Roode! Double clotheslines send Rezar out!

Maverick shouts orders, but that gets Roode & Gable on him! Double hip toss! Roode and Gable then pick Maverick up to LAUNCH him out at AoP! The champs and manager are down while we go to break!

Raw returns and Rezar wrenches Gable’s neck. Fans rally up and Gable fights his way up, only to be wrangled back down. Rezar drags Gable over and tags in Maverick. Maverick throws hands and then taunts Roode. He stomps Gable and feels full of himself. Maverick slaps Gable, but Gable gets fired up! Maverick quickly tags out but is still caught. Rezar saves Maverick as he clobbers Gable, then tags in Akam. AoP mug Gable into a corner, then Akam trash talks as he drives in stiff elbows. Akam whips Gable corner to corner, then runs in but misses! Gable hurries, hot tag to Roode! Roode tackles Akam and dropkick Rezard. He dodges Akam to fires off haymakers and chops! He whips but Akam reverses, only to get kicked away. Roode runs but is put on the apron. Roode htis Akam away then climbs up, for a flying- Back drop!

Akam tags Rezar and they go after Roode. They bring Roode up for an atomic knee! Cover, but Gable breaks it! Akam whips Gable hard into buckles, and Maverick tells them to end this. The AoP bring each man up, Super Collider! But gable headsicssors through! Rezar boots Gable down, and the AoP both go after Gable. Suplex powerbomb neckbreaker! Maverick wants in to repeat last week, and Rezard obeys. Maverick mocks the GLORIOUS, but Roode rolls him up!! ROODE & GABLE WIN!!

Winners: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable, Roode pinning; NEW Raw Tag Team Champions

Victory out of nowhere! Maverick’s ego costs his own team, and now the tag titles are GLORIOUS! But a rematch will be happening to be sure, will Roode & Gable survive the next chapter?

 

Backstage interview with Roode & Gable.

They’re feeling great now that they’re champs. There haven’t been a lot of reasons to have hope on Raw, but they knew that putting int he work would bring them the titles. If you told them they’d do it in a 3v2 handicap, they would’ve thought you were crazy. But only one word describes this feeling: GLORIOUS!

 

Natalya heads to the ring!

The Queen of Harts looks for revenge on Ruby when the two compete in a Tables Match this Sunday! Before the match, Natty admits she’d usually have a smile on her face. But she needs to say something in regards to Ruby Riott. Natty loves this business, but Ruby doesn’t respect anyone or anything. Ruby made this personal when she destroyed The Anvil’s sunglasses. Ruby keeps talking about Natty’s been “spoon fed” because of her family. But Natty has overcome so much just to get in. Does Ruby not know what the Montreal Screw Job is? Does Ruby not remember when Uncle Bret punched Vince McMahon in the face? There was that and more in Natty’s way. So Natty is damn proud to be a Hart! Fans appreciate that.

Natty tells Ruby that she will learn respect, and it’ll be a match dedicated to the man who helped Natty get here. To the man Natty loves and respects more than anyone: her father, Jim The Anvil Neidhart! Fans cheer for the late great Anvil and Natty gets emotional. Natty vows to take these tears and more to drive Ruby through table! “And there’s not gonna be a thing you can do about it!” But it’s here that the Squad make an entrance, with a special table under a curtain. Ruby has her own mic to respond. “Aw, look! Natty’s crying again. Like we’ve never seen this before.” All Natty does is walk around feeling sorry for herself. And she’s coming out here talking about respect? Natty doesn’t need respect, she needs to get some counseling.

Ruby knows no one else has the guts to say this, but Natty doesn’t represent The Harts. She disgraces them! Ruby isn’t going to be invited to the family Christmas party, she did pick Natty up a present. And believe her when she says this: “This is the gift that keeps on giving.” The special table, has a picture of The Anvil on it! Fans boo and jeer, but Ruby says that everyone knows how close Natty and The Anvil were. But this Sunday, when Ruby puts her through this exact table, they’ll be closer than ever. Has The Squad gone too far? Or will it just be more fuel for the fire when Natty gets to go after Ruby?

 

Dolph Ziggler speaks.

“Last week, I beat Drew McIntyre. And now we add that name to the long list of people who took me for granted.” But what Ziggler doesn’t’ understand is McIntyre’s attitude. He plucked McIntyre from obscurity, and he’ll throw him back into that. And make no mistake, Ziggler isn’t’ the good guy or the bad guy, he’s Dolph Ziggler. He also doesn’t understand why Finn Balor got involved. But McIntyre made the mistake of pretending he was Finn, and not remembering he was Ziggler. These two will settle the score, can Ziggler win on his own? Or will Ziggler get a Claymore meant for Balor?

 

Dolph Ziggler VS Drew McIntyre!

The Show-Off beat the Scottish Terminator thanks to The Extraordinary Man giving an assist, and McIntyre wouldn’t stand for it. McIntyre would find Finn later in the night and attack him, which is part of why Finn’s not here tonight. Now that it’s just 1v1, who will come out the superior superstar?

Before the match, McIntyre is interviewed in the ring. If he still has that match with Finn on Sunday, why risk a rematch with Ziggler? McIntyre lets us in on a little secret that no one else wants to admit. “Nobody stays undefeated forever.” Not Andre the Giant, not The Undertaker at Wrestlemania, and not even McIntyre. But that doesn’t make him any less dangerous. Just ask Finn. But you can’t, because he got beat up that badly. McIntyre vows to finish Finn at TLC. And when McIntyre talks, everyone listens. He is making this show a better place for the fans, so they will respect him. And as for Ziggler, it doesn’t matter if he’s a good guy or a bad guy, he’s the guy who’s gonna get his head kicked off! Speaking of, Ziggler makes his entrance and we begin!

Ziggler goes right at McIntyre with fast hands, but then he runs into McIntyre’s shoulder. McIntyre drags Ziggler up to CHOP him off his feet! McIntyre drags Ziggler up for another chop, and then into a modified clutch, just to CHOP him more. Ziggler gets to a corner but McIntyre stays on him. Ziggler fires back, but McIntyre launches him with a belly2belly! McIntyre covers, TWO! The Terminator looms over Ziggler as we go to break.

Raw returns as McIntyre CHOPS Ziggler on the top rope! McIntyre climbs up to throw more hands on Ziggler. McIntyre SLAPS Ziggler, but Ziggler fights back! They brawl up top fast and furious, and McIntyre gets the edge. McIntyre brings Ziggler up, SUPER Celtic Cross!! But McIntyre can’t make the cover from his own impact! He crawls to the cover, TWO! Ziggler survives and McIntyre is actually amused. Fans rally up as Ziggler crawls away. McIntyre stalks Ziggler to the ropes, then dumps him out. McIntyre follows after as Ziggler crawls. He deadlift suplexes but Ziggler slips out! Ziggler dodges to send McIntyre into a post! The ring count climbs as Ziggler leaves McIntyre behind! The count passes 8 before McIntyre sits up! McIntyre gets in at 9.5!

Both men are down but fans are loving this match. Fans rally up and Ziggler stands. Ziggler aims at McIntyre, but his legs give out before the superkick! McIntyre laughs, and he toying kicks Ziggler back. McIntyre mocks Ziggler as he climbs up the ropes. “Keep fighting! Don’t give up!” Ziggler stands but McIntyre grabs his hair. Ziggler kicks, ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre’s ego almost cost him there! Both men crawl to get up, and Ziggler fires up with the fans. Ziggler aims again, but into a CLAYMORE! Cover, McIntyre wins!

Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall

The Scottish Terminator unloads his best move outta nowhere, but the Show-Off pushed him to his limits. With Finn Balor banged up from McIntyre’s attack, but McIntyre pulling this one out, will either man be ready for their match?

But McIntyre isn’t through with Ziggler! He throws Ziggler into the post, then throws fast hands on the ground! McIntyre throws steel steps around then drags Ziggler over to them. Fans boo and the ref warns McIntyre, but security and other officials fortunately come in to save Ziggler. McIntyre backs off, but then comes back to boot Ziggler into the LED! McIntyre laughs his way to the back, but will he have the last laugh at TLC?

 

Bayley w/ Sasha Banks VS Alicia Fox w/ Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers!

The #LegitHuggable friends are ready to be the first WWE Women Tag Team Champions together, but for now they’ll support each other in singles competition. Bayley goes against #Mahalicia tomorrow in the Mixed Match Challenge Semifinals, but sadly NOT with Finn Balor. Instead of B’n’B, it will be A’n’B, for Apollo & Bayley are now a new dynamic duo! Can the Huggable One get some major momentum before teaming with a new star this Tuesday?

The bell rings and Bayley ties up with Alicia. Bayley powers Alicia to the corner, but backs off at 3. Alicia powers Bayley to a corner but backs off at 3. Bayley elbows Alicia away then hits a flying elbow! Cover, TWO! Bayley puts Alicia on the apron but Alicia slips out to hotshot Bayley back. Alicia runs in for the swinging neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Alicia keeps on Bayley with a chinlock, but Sasha and the fans rally. Bayley feeds off the energy but Alicia clubs her back down. Bayley stands but Alicia wrangles her back down. Sasha argues with Mahal and the Singhs, but Alicia thrashes Bayley around. Fans rally up again and Bayley gets up. Bayley powers out but Alicia goes up and over to sunset flip. Bayley rolls through to clobber Alicia with a clothesline!

The Singhs shout for Alicia but Bayley throws haymakers! Bayley saido suplexes Alicia down then fires up. She puts Alicia in a corner but backs off at 4. She comes back with a big knee, then puts Alicia out for the hotshot! Bayley checks the ponytail but the Singhs distract. They run off as Alicia boots Bayley down! But here comes Apollo! Bayley’s new buddy takes the Singhs out with back drops, and Sasha adds a meteora! Apollo goes after Mahal now, and throws Sunil into him! Sasha wants to be a weapon, so Apollo picks her up to throw at Mahal and both Singhs! Strike! Bayley dodges Alicia’s boot, and hits Bayley2Belly! Cover, Bayley wins!

Winner: Bayley, by pinfall

Victories all around for the Boss, Hug & Crews Connection! Can Apollo & Bayley make it work as a tag team to go to TLC’s Mixed Match Challenge Finals?

 

Backstage interview with Dean Ambrose.

The Lunatic hates being called that. But what are his thoughts on Rollins’ speech earlier? The Architect? That’s just a name Rollins used to keep the spotlight on himself. But that’s not the man Ambrose knows. Rollins can’t think straight. He went out there with no plan, and now his title’s on the line tonight? Why? Because of his ego! Rollins always has to be The Man, but he steps on everyone else, like Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Rollins isn’t a man, he’s a piece of… Well, if Rollins is somehow still champion, it’ll just be easier for Ambrose to take it. And then he can tell Rollins what he thinks on Sunday.

Speaking of Roman, if he was aware of their bad blood, how would he react? Ambrose doesn’t care. Charly insists on getting an answer out of Ambrose, and plays the footage of that very night when Rollins and Ambrose won a match dedicated to Roman, only to betray everyone. Then the footage cuts to Rollins confronting Ambrose the next night, and Ambrose explaining the next week after that. Ambrose said The Shield only made him weaker. Ambrose would burn his Shield vest, and move on to last week, wearing a gas mask to visualize his disgust for the “vermin” of the WWE Universe. Rollins would attack back, only for Ambrose to beat him down. Back in the present, Ambrose simply says nothing. Will he have the last word after TLC? Will the title come along with it?

 

Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.

The Drifter is in San Diego and plays his guitar. San Diego digs it. Elias isn’t sure if anyone’s heard Bobby Lashley on the radio, but Lashley said he’d take all the sports teams and move them to LA. Fans don’t like that. But what Lashley doesn’t realize is that if San Diego had their way, they wouldn’t let a loser like him perform. Elias would love to perform in the gas lamp district rather than in front of “a bunch of LA trash.” Everyone here knows what Lashley will find out, and that is that WWE stands for “Walk With Elias!” Now Elias considers himself a “pretty good guy”. Hitting children with his guitar is not on his list, but he made an exception for Lio Rush. Elias will teach Lio a lesson, but he has a song to perform. So please silence phones, hold applause and shut mouths.

Elias begins, saying “I’ve been in the air so long, waiting for something to come along. Bring me back down to Earth, keep my feet above the earth. But this life ain’t like no other, oh can you hear me, brother?” Actually hold on, Elias can’t stop thinking about how bad Lashley sucks. Speaking of, here come Lashley & Lio! Lio’s going to make his Raw in-ring debut, next!

 

Lio Rush w/ Bobby Lashley VS Elias!

Raw returns as we wait for a referee. It’s HEATH SLATER! The One Man Band beat his best friend, Rhyno, to stay on Raw, but it wasn’t until after the match that Corbin revealed he’d be staying as a ref. Slater rings the bell and we begin.

Lio and Elias circle, but Elias corners Lio. Lio slips uot and speeds things up. he redirects Elias and ducks under, but then gets caught. Elias flips LIo but LIo lands on his feet. Elias shoves and flapjacks Lio! Lio crawls to a corner but Elias is on him with a wristlock. Elias lifts Lio up and then drops him. Elias grins as he brings Lio up and. Lio sunset flips but Elias picks him right up. Elias says this’ll hurt him more than it hurts Lio, and he tosses Lio across the way! It still looks like it hurts Lio more. Elias smirks as he stalks Lio to a corner. Elias stands Lio up for a chop! Slater counts but Elias whips Lio corner to corner hard! Lio tumbles out in a heap but Elias continues after. Lashley caoches up his hype man but Elias puts Lio back in.

Slater is busy checking on Lio, so Lashley goes after Elias! Elias kicks Lashley off and rocks him with a right! But Lio wrecks Elias with a dropkick! Then a handspring kick! Elias gets back in but Lio ducks and kicks to rock Elias back! Lio whips but Elias reverses. Lio goes up but gets caught into the Electirc Chair. Elias spins Lio around, for the sit-out powerbomb! Cover, but Lashley attacks! Slater hesitates, and tells Lashley to stop. Lashley tells Slater to stand down, because this means Slater’s job. Slater lets Lashley continue, and he gives Elias the SPINEBUSTER! Lashley then helps Lio up, and Lio wants to use Elias’s guitar. Lio grabs it, brings it into the ring, and Slater tries to tell them to stop. Lashley takes the guitar and SMACKS Elias on the back!

Elias writhes, Lio covers, and Lashley makes Slater count. Slater counts, Lio wins.

Winner: Lio Rush, by pinfall

The 24 year old piece of gold gets a win, but it was with a lot of help. Will Elias get back at both Lashley & Lio at TLC when it’s someone else refereeing the match? Will Slater be able to live with himself over being bullied into a screw job? Or are these just more signs of what the Corbin Era will be?

 

Baron Corbin finds Heath Slater backstage.

Corbin doesn’t get why Slater’s so down. He did a good job out there. How’s Rhyno doing? Get over how you ended his career. Slater wants to go home, but Corbin says there’s still another match for him to officiate tonight. Is it the match we dread it is?

 

Alexa Bliss heads to the ring!

The Goddess is also Women’s Division manager, and has called for a face-to-face of both champion and challenger for the Raw Women’s Championship. However, the Samoan Dynasty heads to the ring without waiting for any introductions. Nia Jax has wanted after Ronda Rousey for weeks, but she tells Alexa that before we do the questions, she has a statement. “This Sunday, I’m going to become the Raw Women’s Champion.” Fans don’t like the sound of that. And it will be at the direct expense of Ronda. “Getting cracked in the head with those four ounce gloves in the UFC has really done a number on Ronda.” If Ronda had half a mind, which she doesn’t, she’d just give the title over. That way, she can avoid the humiliation that’s coming to her.

Nia knows Ronda is from a world about trash talking to hype things up. Nia doesn’t talk trash. She is a six foot, 300 pound Samoan woman, and Ronda’s worse nightmare. She is the “Anti-Rousey”. And her secret to success? The hand that breaks faces, like Becky Lynch’s. And it only took the one punch. But when the bell rings and Ronda goes Ronda, Nia will punch her in the face. And not just once, but over and over and over, until Ronda gives up. Nia isn’t just the most imposing force in the WWE, she’s also a strategist. Ronda is a world-class judoka, a Strike Force and a UFC champion, so if by chance she avoids this punch to go for the armbar, Nia will open her fist to pry free and then still break Ronda’s face.

This hand took Becky from her fans, and this hand will hold “MY TITLE”, as she erases the myth of Ronda. But speaking of Ronda, here she comes! Ronda isn’t here to talk or pose. She’s here to fight! And Ronda rushes the ring! Alexa, Tamina and Nia clear the ring for the Baddest Woman on the Planet. The Samoan Dynasty flank Ronday, but here comes Ember Moon! The War Goddess still wants after Nia for her betrayal, but she’ll settle for the Daughter of Superfly, next!

 

Ember Moon w/ Ronda Rousey VS Tamina w/ Nia Jax!

Raw returns as Tamina headbutts Ember down. Tamina whips Ember but Ember slips through the hip toss to arm-drag Tamina. Ember then dropkicks Tamina right out of the ring! Fans fire up as Ember builds speed. Nia saves Tamina from the baseball slide, but fans boo and jeer. Ronda comes up to reinforce Ember and stare Nia down. Nia taunts Ronda but Ember keeps after Tamina in the ring. Ember rolls Tamina up, TWO, and Tamina shoves Ember. Things speed up, Ember springboards into a SUPERKICK! Now Ember rolls out of the ring, and Nia wants the count out. Tamina waits as Ember slowly climbs back in. Tamina is right on Ember with a cover, TWO! Nia coaches her cousin up as Tamina bumps Ember off buckles.

Tamina whips Ember corner to corner and crushes her with a corner splash. She snapmares Ember to a cover, TWO! Nia wants a faster count but Ronda rallies the fans. Tamina wraps on a chinlock, but Ember fights her way up. Ember fights back but Tamina wrangles her back down. Tamina squeezes tight but fans still rally. Ember gets up again and fights back. Tamina rocks Ember with an uppercut! Tamina whips Ember again, but misses in the corner. Ember gasps for air but she kicks Tamina away. Ember reaches up to headscissor Tamina! She fights back with kicks now, and sweeps the leg. Ember urns to hit the sliding shot! Cover, TWO! Nia is relieved and Ronda cheers Ember on. Ember runs but into a powerslam! Cover, TWO! Nia is surprised.

Tamina whips Ember, Ember goes up to hit a flying code breaker! Ronda cheers Ember on to finish this, but Nia makes a move. Ronda trips Nia up and then throws her over the barriers! Ember dodges Tamina for a hotshot! Ember is back up, and hits the Eclipse! Cover, Ember wins!

Winner: Ember Moon, by pinfall

The Rowdy One helps the War Goddess celebrate, and even raises her hand. Will Ronda be able to do the same to Nia at TLC? Or will things be very different for the Baddest Woman on the Planet?

 

Backstage interview with “General Manger Elect” Baron Corbin.

His match is coming up next, just days before the TLC pay-per-view. Isn’t this an abuse of power? That sounds like a loaded question. Is she trying to get shipped off to SmackDown? Just kidding. This is just Corbin accepting a challenge. Corbin wants the fans to see him in a TLC Match, since he won’t be getting one from Strowman this Sunday. But there are rumors- Rumors? Was that from the internet or something? Strowman is a one-armed man after what Corbin did to him. Just imagine how Rollisn will feel after what Corbin does to him. Rollins is getting a taste of what the future holds. And as for the rest of Raw, “All Hail Baron Corbin.”

 

Lars Sullivan speaks.

“What happens this Sunday will be a minor tremor compared to the catastrophic earthquake that will occur when I come to the WWE!” The one of a kind Leviathan is lurking. Is he coming to Raw to shake things up? Or will he go to SmackDown to crush everything in his path?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship TLC Match: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin!

The Architect called the Constable out and the Constable accepted. However, we can already see “General Manager Elect” Corbin is rigging things in his favor as he appoints Heath Slater as the referee! Will Slater be again stuck between a rock and a hard place as Rollins defends his title before Sunday?

Raw returns as Rollins and Corbin make their entrances. The belt hangs high above the ring per championship TLC rules, so all Slater has to do is signal the bell. Rollins and Corbin circle, and Rollins fires off hands! Rollins stomps a mudhole into Corbin, but stops after about a dozen. Corbin kicks back and clubs Rollins back. Corbin whips but Rollins kicks him away. Rollins runs but into a knee. Corbin suplexes Rollins but Rollins knees out. Rollins knees Corbin out of the ring, then goes out after him. Rollins throws more hands and then bumps Corbin off the apron. Fans fire up as Rollins picks up a chair! Rollins brings it but Corbin gets in the ring. Rollins slingshots, but into a haymaker!

Corbin tells Slater to go fetch him a ladder. Slater does as ordered, but Rollins springboards and clotheslines Corbin! Corbin runs off while we go to break.

Raw returns as Corbin keeps Rollins down. Corbin grabs a chair and takes aim. He SMACKS it across Rollins’ back! Fans boo and jeer but Corbin smirks as he SMACKS Rollins again! Corbin stalks Rollins, and stands on him to jam the chair into Rollins’ ribs. Corbin holds the chair up triumphantly despite all the boos. He taunts Rollins to get up, but SMACKS Rollins again. Rollins rolls out and Corbin follows. Corbin brings Rollins up to throw him into barriers! Then into other barriers! Corbin taunts Rollins, then goes for a ladder. He brings the ladder around into the ring, but Rollins dropkicks it into Corbin! Rollins goes out to pick up the ladder and put it in the ring. He leaves Corbin behind to stand the ladder up, but Corbin returns to clobber him!

Corbin stands the ladder up in a corner, and brings Rollins around. Corbin suplexes Rollins into the ladder! It proves just a touch double-edged as Corbin clutches his ear. But Corbin still stands up to wedge a chair in a corner. Corbin goes back to Rollins, drags him up by his hair, and whips Rollins. Rollins reverses but Corbin slides out then in to clobber Rollins again! Fans boo and jeer, but Corbin ignores them all to go for a table. Corbin stands that table up in a corner, then mocks Strowman’s roar. He drags Rollins up to scoop him, and wants his own Monster Slam, but Rollins slips out! Rollins dodges and rocks Corbin with a right! Rollins runs but is tossed out of the ring! Corbin then grabs the ladder to stand it up under the belt! Corbin climbs, but Rollins returns to leap right up!

Rollins fights Corbin down, so Corbin yanks him off. Rollins mule kicks but misses the stomp. Corbin elbows Rollins and then shoves him into the ladder! Both Rollins and ladder fall over, but Corbin isn’t done. Corbin dropkicks Rollins out of the ring! We go to one last break as Corbin watches Rollins writhe.

Raw returns once more, and Rollins leaps at Corbin! Corbin gets under, and hits the Deep Six! But Corbin is down, too, from exhaustion. Fans rally up for Rollins as he and Corbin stir. Corbin is up first, and he brings Rollins back up. Corbin punches Rollins down, and then does it again, and again. Fans boo and jeer as Corbin continues to rain rights. Slater stays back as Corbin watches Rollins stand up. Corbin punches but Rollins counter punches! Rollins fires off chops and haymakers, but Corbin knees low. Corbin whips but Rollins reverses. Corbin slides out then in but misses to get a Pele! He staggers about, but is baited into the chair he set up earlier! Both Rollins and Corbin are down as Slater checks on them.

Fans chant “We Want Tables!” but Rollins takes that chair from the corner. Rollins aims at Corbin, and SMACKS him back! And SMACKS and SMACKS and SMACKS! Rollins keeps on Corbin with that chair for everything Corbin has done. Corbin bails out, but Rollins builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Corbin reeling, but Rollins keeps going, to DIVE again! Corbin goes down but Rollins won’t stop. Rollins runs once more, to DIVE, into a CHOKE SLAM through a table!! But Corbin is down from exhaustion again, and Slater checks on them both. Fans admit “This is Awesome!” even if Corbin’s involved. Corbin returns to the ring to stand the ladder up again. He begins the climb, but Rollins is stirring.

Corbin goes up a rung at a time, but Rollins returns to SMACK him with another chair! Rollins SMACKS Corbin off the ladder, but then Corbin dodges and Slater takes the hit!! Corbin clobbers Rollins out of the ring, and rolls out to follow Rollins. Corbin brings Rollins up, but Rollins slips out of End of Days. Rollins dodges to send Corbin into the steel steps! Rollins mule kicks Corbin, then puts him on the table. Fans fire up as Rollins does the math. Rollins climbs a corner, aims at Corbin, and leaps! FROG SPLASH through the table!! Fans are thunderous as Rollins leaves Corbin for dead. Rollins hurries to the ladder and up the rungs. His body is sore but that won’t stop him. Rollins is fingertips away, but Slater grabs the ladder?! Slater needs this job, so he tips the ladder over!!

Fans boo as Slater stands the ladder back up. Slater drags Corbin up and into the ring. Corbin is dead weight as Slater drags him to the ladder. Corbin grins as he sees the title. He climbs, reaches, but Rollins returns!? Rollins hits Slater, then drags Corbin off for a buckle bomb through a table!! Corbin eats wood again, but Slater pleads with Rollins. Rollins SUPERKICKS Slater! Then Rollins stomps, and runs at Corbin, for the Curb Stomp! Rollins scrambles up the ladder, grabs the belt, and takes it off! Rollins wins!

Winner: Seth Rollins; still WWE Intercontinental Champion

The Architect reigns, if only for now. Rollins will have to regroup for TLC, and Ambrose appears to remind him of their coming war. Will Ambrose cure himself of his disgust for Rollins? Or will Rollins #BurnItDown even brighter than before?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Another Raw go-home, with another mixed bag of good and bad.  It would seem, after the two incredibly sour weeks, Corbin becomes the kayfabe face for how everyone, even other WWE talent, sees everything from ratings to booking. In the absence of other top Faces, such as Finn Balor from his injury (both kayfabe and possibly real from the South American tour), Rollins takes up the role of being the person to say all this. I’m thinking that this is more damage control than it is elaborate planning from Vince McMahon, but it can still work out in the end. Hopefully now that they’ve called out the things like the pee gag and the Lucha House Rules, we won’t ever have to worry about those again.

The Raw Tag Team Championship handicap match was an interesting choice, and I suppose that means Maverick & AoP can now Freebird the titles, if they get them back. It was a good moment for Roode & Gable to get these titles. This entire time, fans were expecting this team to fall apart when Roode turned on Gable, but I’m actually glad they’re still together this far in. And maybe now we can get things back on track in the Raw Tag Team Division with The Revival being allowed to actually win, the Lucha House Party playing things by normal rules, and maybe AoP ditching Maverick to go back to being independent.

The Women’s Division does a touch better tonight. I was surprised Natty didn’t have a match with a Riott Squad member, but the “Hart-breaking” promo Ruby gives instead at least gives some good story build towards their Tables Match. The Mixed Match Challenge tie-in was done well, and just like the other major players that are also busy at TLC, Finn Balor is out so he can focus on his match with McIntyre. Apollo Crews will make a good replacement, but he’s mostly stepping in by default because there’s almost no one left. This is where I would’ve thrown in Lars Sullivan, but there’s only a route to wasting him if he’s not going to win the Rumble after winning the MMC Finals. Then the championship scene was great, Ember gets a great match with Tamina and Ronda looks ready to retain against Nia.

Ziggler VS McIntyre was a great match, if perhaps just a high-level filler. Hopefully this isn’t the last for these two, we need at least one more go in a fuller feud between them. It was great to see Lio competing on Raw, up until we found out Slater was being made the special referee to then screw Elias over. I also saw Slater being ref for tonight’s main event coming a mile away. Slater will have his moment soon enough, maybe even at TLC PPV. Rollins VS Corbin was pretty great because of Slater’s involvement, too, but obviously Rollins retains. This might all just be a precaution in case Strowman really doesn’t show up at TLC, just as Corbin sarcastically said in his backstage promo. I’m still banking on a Strowman surprise and maybe an all out brawl with the superstars Finn united against Corbin.

My Score: 8/10

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