Original Air Date: January 8, 2018
Event Date: January 8, 2018 (aired live)
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T
Ring Announcer: Jojo
Last Monday, Roman Reigns successfully defended the IC Title against Samoa Joe despite nearly getting disqualified.
Roman Reigns heads to the ring. Reigns says that after all his talking, Samoa Joe should have been ready last week. But he wasn’t. He got silenced. Reigns was fighting for his brother Dean Ambrose last week. He’s about to talk about this week when Jason Jordan interrupts and heads to the ring.
Jordan tells Reigns that he felt like he was part of something meaningful last week when he was watching Reigns fight Joe. On behalf of his partner Seth Rollins, Jordan thanks Reigns. He then holds out his fist. Reigns doesn’t respond.
Seth Rollins heads to the ring. Rollins tells Jordan that he still has a lot to learn. Tonight’s lesson is about timing. Rollins tells Jordan that he’s stepping on Reigns’ moment, but Jordan says this is everyone’s moment. They all had problems with Joe, and Reigns took care of it. Jordan says he, Rollins, and Reigns might be the most dominant three man group in WWE. Finn Balor, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows come out to the stage.
Balor says he’s been with Gallows and Anderson since before Jordan knew Angle was his dad. Gallows and Anderson talk about being successful on their own before coming together to take over WWE. They enter the ring, and Finn says 2018 is the year of Balor Club. Jordan says he’s happy to be part of the Champions Club. Rollins and Reigns shake their heads. Gallows calls Jordan a nerd, and a fight nearly breaks out when Jordan tries to slap him.
Kurt Angle comes out and cools things down by saying that he just found tonight’s main event.
Sasha Banks & Bayley w/ Mickie James vs Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville w/ Paige
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Sasha Banks forces Mandy Rose to submit to a Bank Statement
Time: 7:21 (1 break)
Pretty good match. It was essentially a handicap match with Sasha Banks spending pretty much the entire match as the legal person for her team. Banks got beat up a lot, but she survived long enough to let Bayley help her out here and there. It was an interesting decision to have the match progress like that. Maybe Bayley’s hurt. That’s what it seemed like.
In celebration of 25 years of RAW. Mankind has Yurple the Clown cheer up Vince McMahon in a hospital, then Steve Austin attacks.
Goldust quotes Mickey from Rocky for Cedric Alexander, but Cedric says he doesn’t need a pep talk. Cedric has nearly reached his dream, and he is in control.
The commentators show a Facebook video of Alicia Fox finding out that Goldust will be her parter in the Mixed Match Challenge starting next week.
Matt Hardy vs Curt Hawkins
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Matt Hardy wins via pinfall after a Twist of Fate
It wasn’t quite a squash, but it was close. Hawkins barely got any offense. This was nice for Woken Matt Hardy though. He was super-aggressive which was good to see.
After the match, Bray Wyatt appears in the ring. He and Matt laugh at each other.
In the ring, Elias plays his guitar. He also has a song about Elvis which he uses to introduce The Miz. The Miz and The Miztourage head to the ring.
Miz is excited to be back, but he was never forgotten thanks in part to the efforts of Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Dallas and Axel thank Miz for helping them have the best year of their careers. They then try to outdo each other by giving The Miz gifts. Miz tells them both to sit down.
Miz says 2017 was great, but he has some unfinished business. He let Reigns borrow his IC Title, but now he wants it back.
Finn Balor wants to talk strategy with Gallows and Anderson. Gallows and Anderson keep talking about old times, and Balor eventually sees that their strategy tonight will be the same as it’s always been. 2018 will be the year of Balor Club.
Enzo talks about being sick last week and watching the Zo Train fight Cedric Alexander and Goldust last week. That’s the closest Cedric is going to get to gold in 2018.
Cruiserweight Title Match
Enzo Amore (Cruiserweight Champ) vs Cedric Alexander
(referee: Dan Engler; watching in the back: Nia Jax)
Result: Cedric Alexander wins via countout
Time: 5:46 (1 break)
I liked this match, but the ending made it kind of disappointing. The match started off with some back and forth, but Cedric started to dominate as the match went on. Cedric bloodied Enzo late in the match, and Enzo looked like he was getting beat up quite a lot. Unfortunately, Enzo looked like he got hurt on a dive from Cedric to the floor, and that pretty much stopped the match down completely.
Medical staff informs Enzo Amore that he needs an x-ray on his ankle. Nia Jax comes to check on Enzo, but he says he’s okay. When Nia leaves, Enzo is visibly frustrated and in pain.
Sheamus asks Kurt Angle why they’re not getting their rematch tonight. Angle tells Sheamus and Cesaro that they’ll have their opportunity to regain their titles at the Royal Rumble. They like that idea, but they want some competition tonight. Angle agrees to give them some, but he doesn’t tell them who they’ll be facing.
Cesaro and Sheamus leave, and The Miz walks in. Miz tells Angle about his new “unscripted” series with Maryse. He then tells Angle he wants his rematch for the IC Title at the RAW 25th Anniversary show. Angle likes the idea, so he makes the match.
In a Facebook video, The Miz finds out that he’ll be teaming with Asuka in the Mixed Match Challenge.
Alexa Bliss tells Asuka that her “luck” is about to run out. Alexa says that when Nia Jax hears what Asuka called her, Nia will not be happy.
Sheamus & Cesaro vs Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil w/ Dana Brooke
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Titus O’Neil pins Sheamus with a schoolboy
Pretty good match. It was certainly unexpected. Sheamus and Cesaro dominated most of the match, but Crews and O’Neil got some offense at some very advantageous points in the match. This isn’t something I’d really watch again, but I like what it does for both teams going forward. It definitely adds some interest all around.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar head to the ring. Heyman explains that pro wrestling is a progressive industry that always needs new ways to present its product. The old school way to promote the Universal Title would be to get one guy to step up and compete with Lesnar, but the new way is to just see if Lesnar can survive a new predicament. Lesnar is faced with surviving a monster and a machine, but for Lesnar, it’s not about survival. It’s about who he’ll pin.
As Lesanr leaves the ring area, Kane attacks him from behind. They brawl to the backstage area where Braun Strowman joins them. Strowman knocks down both Lesnar and Kane before using a grappling hook to pull down some big steel structure on top of them.
Samoa Joe vs Rhyno w/ Heath Slater
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Samoa Joe wins via submission with a Coquina Clutch
Joe was dominant in this one. He was in complete control from bell to bell. It wasn’t a particularly harsh beating, but it was certainly one-sided.
In the ring, Charly Caruso asks Joe about his loss last week. Joe says he didn’t lose, Reigns simply got a Pyrrhic victory. Joe takes years off Reigns’ career every time they step in the ring together. Eventually, Joe will finish Reigns off. For now, Joe is on to more worthy things. Like the Royal Rumble. Charly mentions John Cena, so Joe says Cena will be the first man he eliminates from the match.
Alexa is worried that Enzo is holding Nia Jax back. Nia says Enzo inspires her to be a champ, so she’ll be entering the Royal Rumble. Alexa then says that Asuka said something about Nia Jax. SHe whispers something into Nia’s ear, then Nia asks if Alexa speaks Japanese. She doesn’t, and Nia says Asuka doesn’t speak English. Nia walks away as Alexa looks frustrated that Nia saw right through her.
Asuka heads to the ring for a match, but Nia Jax attacks her from behind before the match starts. The local talent runs away as Nia smiles.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson & Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan (RAW Tag Champs) & Roman Reigns (IC Champ)
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Finn Balor pins Seth Rollins after Coup de Grace
Time: 11:56 (1 break)
Pretty good match, but it was mostly focused on the story of Jason Jordan. Being constantly made aware that Jordan wasn’t getting tagged in and wasn’t communicating made the match feel not as good as it could have been. Balor Club also got beat up a lot more than they should have considering it was essentially a handicap match.
After the match, after Balor Club leaves, The Miz and the Miztourage attack Rollins, Reigns, and Jordan. Miz hits a Skull Crushing Finale and a triple-team powerbomb on Reigns as the show ends.
There were some slightly interesting things here and there, but nothing was particularly great or noteworthy. Not a great RAW.
Match of the Night
Cruiserweight Title Match
No match tonight was great. The Cruiserweight Title match was marred by an unfortunate ending, but I liked it up until that point.