The Intercontinental Title is defended, The Beast arrives and a six man tag gives us glad tidings for a new year of Raw action!
Monday Night Raw is LIVE from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL on 1/1/18!
We start with what matters most. Thrust into the latter part of Raw’s third hour, we find out that Elias and The Miztourage will take on Finn Balor and two partners of his choice.
Cue the “Good Brothers”. The Balor Club is made whole unless it’s a one off, but Anderson, Gallows and Balor defeat the trio that stands opposite them after a Magic Killer and a Coup De Grace.
It was fantastic and the crowd ate it up. Let’s hope the writers paid attention.
Nobody can defeat Asuka! It was true again tonight as the “Empress Of Tomorrow” bests the current Raw women’s champion, Alexa Bliss, in a non-title affair via submission.
Asuka has been booked tremendous and right now, she is easily the odds on favorite to win the first ever women’s Royal Rumble.
Bray Wyatt defeats Apollo Crews in a surprisingly good match as it was given some time. Sister Abigail spelled the end for the star of Titus Worldwide.
We then looked to see a “Woken” conversion of the “Fireflies” as Matt Hardy made his presence known once again with his maniacal laughter.
This is developing into one of the hottest programs to start this new year off and it seems that both men are destined for their first collision inside the Royal Rumble match itself.
First, we get a reshuffling of the Cruiserweight Title match scheduled between Enzo Amore and Rich Swann because of Swann’s legal issues outside the ring, but after we get the red-hot Cedric Alexander scheduled for a title match, Enzo is sick.
They continue this Nia Jax/Enzo Amore debacle as she looks to bring him chicken noodle soup to help with his flu, but they give us Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari against Alexander and Goldust?! Whatever.
It’s always nice to see the veteran on Monday Nights, but this was straight up filler. Alexander won with a Lumbar Check and hopefully we’ll actually get a title defense next week barring any other nonsense.
No Rewards For The Work Horse
It took everything in my power not to put the IC title match between Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns as a “high” because as expected, it was a fantastic match. What’s incredibly stupid is that we all know that Roman Reigns is going to win the Rumble and go on to Wrestlemania to face Brock Lesnar because Vince wants that and we don’t transition the title.
Samoa Joe has been the backbone of Raw over the past few months and him winning the title with a controversial finish would have been just fine and it could have led us to programs with Finn Balor and others. Roman wins clean and now I’m left scratching my head wondering why they have Roman go over CLEAN when it really doesn’t accomplish anything.
It’s a gripe that should have ended last year, but we need the writing team to focus and give the fans something to actually put them in seats that aren’t obviously empty on live TV.
As per the norm, Paul Heyman cut a fantastic promo for the Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, who looked as menacing as ever. Everyone expected a collision with the two challengers for the title, but instead, we got a chokeslam on the champ from the veteran Kane.
Cue the Raw locker room emptying and a seperation of the talent and you get the finish that we’ve seen WAY too many times to end the broadcast.
Jason Jordan defeated Cesaro in a fine match after interference from Sheamus and Seth Rollins. Seth was out there to watch Jordan “lose” after both men secured the tag team titles last week.
Sheamus tried to interfere on behalf of his partner, but Rollins distratced him and Jordan capitalized with a suplex victory. The match was fine, this just wasn’t anything special in my opinion.
We seemed to “phone in” much of this week’s Raw, probably due to competition from NCAA title games. This is your first show of the year though and you need to deliver and in my opinion, this week, they didn’t.
Hopefully with the return of The Miz next week and familiar eyes on the product, we’ll get back to business as usual.
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