Raw is War
January 1, 2018
Happy New Year everybody!
Alexa Bliss went to see Kurt Angle backstage. Alexa is complaining to Kurt about awarding Asuka’s bad behavior with a match with her. Kurt Angle says that she will not change his mind, and that she would have to settle it with Asuka in the ring. He tells her that she’s lucky this is a non-title match.
Kurt Angle wishes everyone a Happy New Year. He says that 2018 will be even greater than 2017. In three weeks RAW will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Then talks about the Royal Rumble and that John Cena entered. He talks about the rules of the Royal Rumble, same rules apply for men and women. The winner gets his and her opportunity at a title shot at Wrestlemania.
The Bar’s music hits and they make their way to the ring. Sheamus says that they were robbed last week. “You look stupid” chant breaks. Cesaro says that they cannot stand favoritism. He gave his son a tag team title shot. What he did after the match was too much says Cesaro. They shows a clip of last week’s main event, with Kurt Angle applauding and hugging Jason Jordan. The Bar asked for a rematch tonight. Kurt Angle says that they will get their rematch when he says so.
Jason Jordan’s music hits and he comes out. Jason says that if he didn’t deserve an opportunity at the tag team titles, then why does he have the title? Jason says last week’s opportunity was based off his track record not his DNA. Seth and him earned the tag titles. They start arguing, then Kurt Angle makes a match right now. Seth Rollins comes out. Seth tells Jason that even though they are tag champions, he has a lot to learn about being a teammate. Seth explains that Jason was outnumbered right now. That needs to stop being so self-absorbed. Seth tells Jason that he will be in his corner tonight, but the way he sees it, he is out here tonight to watch him lose.
Jordan vs. Cesaro up next.
— COMMERCIALS —
Cesaro w/ Sheamus vs Jason Jordan w/ Seth Rollins
Uppercut by Cesaro. Jason fights back with a drop kick and a cover, 1,2 and Cesaro kicks out. Jordan has Cesaro in the corner, Cesaro fights back with an uppercut again, and then again. Takedown by Cesaro and applies a sleeper hold. Jordan gets up and fights back. He picks Cesaro and runs into the corner with him. Sheamus gets up on the apron to distract Jason, this allowed Cesaro to attack Jason’s knee, while distracted. Cesaro continues to work on Jason’s left leg/knee. Both men are up and Jason clotheslines Cesaro and then back body drops him to the outside, while limping on his leg. On the outside, Cesaro attacks Jason’s leg again, then high fives Sheamus.
— COMMERCIALS —
Cesaro still in control and we see Jason down on the outside. Cesaro throws him back in. Uppercut by Cesaro. Cesaro applies a half crab on Jordan. Both men are back up and Cesaro delivers a couple of uppercuts. Jason tries to fight back with a couple of belly to back suplexes. Jordan delivers a modified Perfect Plex and covers, 1,2 but Cesaro kicks out. Cesaro attacks the leg again, then Jason is down leaning on the second rope, and Sheamus hits him. Rollins takes out Sheamus on the outside. In the ring, Jordan delivers the belly-to-back neckbreaker for the win.
Winner: Jason Jordan
Roman Reigns is being interviewed by Renee Young. She asks him about his title match tonight. Roman calls Joe a punk. He says tonight it’s going to be intense and ugly.
Mike Tedesco taking over here. Thank you to our wonderful webmaster for taking the first portion of this hour!
Bray Wyatt makes his entrance. The arena fills with fireflies. He’ll be in action next.
Sasha Banks says her New Year’s Resolution is to win the first Women’s Royal Rumble match because she’s a legit boss.
Bray Wyatt vs. Apollo Crews w/ Titus O’Neil
Dana Brooke, the statistician of Titus Worldwide, is also at ringside. A “DELETE” chant fires up. They lock up, and Wyatt powers him to the corner. Wyatt lets him go and tries for a cheap shot, but Crews sidesteps him. Wyatt then freaks him out by arching his back. Crews applies a side headlock, but Wyatt fights out and punches him around the ring. Crews gets to the apron, kicks him in the face, hits a slingshot senton, and drops an elbow for a two count. Crews goes back to the side headlock. Wyatt fights him off. Crews goes into the ropes, but Wyatt takes him down with a vicious head-butt. Wyatt chokes him on the ropes. Wyatt sends him to the corner, but Crews slingshots over him and does a cartwheel. Crews then dropkicks him down for a one count. Crews puts him in the corner, but Wyatt drops him on the apron. Crews punches him back and goes to the top rope, but Wyatt uppercuts him. Wyatt then hits a jawbreaker off the ropes! Wyatt smiles and stares at his prey.
We come back from the break to see Wyatt hit the ropes and crush him with a body block for a near fall. Wyatt kicks him in the head and punches him back. Wyatt sends him into the ropes, but Crews catches him with a rebound dropkick. Both men are down, and the crowd is clapping. Crews hits a bicycle kick to the head before hitting a leaping clothesline. Crews kips up and hits a standing shooting star press for a near fall. Wyatt gets out of the ring, and Crews kicks him. Crews then hits him with a moonsault block off the apron. Titus O’Neil is pumped up. Crews gets him in the ring, but Wyatt nearly takes his head off with a clothesline. Wyatt arcs his back. Dana Brooke gets on the apron and is shouting encouragement. Wyatt looks at her and scares her so bad that she falls off the apron into O’Neil. Wyatt turns into a kick from Crews. Crews goes for his finisher, but Wyatt counters into Sister Abigail for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Bray Wyatt
“WOKEN” Matt Hardy pops up on the screen. Hardy says he transformed all the fireflies into WOKEN WARRIORS. Wyatt cannot escape his WOKEN WISDOM for much longer. Hardy is all around him. He’s the omniscient presence around him. Once Sister Abigail is gone, he will DELETE him. Hardy laughs while the screen multiplies a bunch of times. A loud “DELETE” chant picks up.
Brock Lesnar will appear live later tonight. We’ll also see Roman Reigns defend the Intercontinental Championship against Samoa Joe.
Alexa Bliss comes up to Nia Jax and says she needs her in her corner for her match against Asuka. Jax is on her way to the emergency room for Enzo. Bliss says it’s either her or Enzo. Jax says her chicken soup is getting cold and leaves.
Alexa Bliss will take on Asuka, next.
A replay is shown from last Monday’s RAW when Asuka announced her entry into the Women’s Royal Rumble Match because nobody is ready for her. Asuka then viciously kicks her in the head.
RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Asuka
The bell rings, and they circle the ring. Bliss ducks a lock up and avoids a kick before putting herself through the ropes. Bliss looks terrified. Bliss does her best to stay away from Asuka and avoids some spinning back fists. Bliss puts herself through the ropes again to keep her back. Bliss applies a waistlock, but Asuka fights out and wrenches the arm. Bliss turns it into a hammerlock, but Asuka quickly reverses that. Bliss gets out and applies a full nelson. Asuka quickly gets out and takes her down before applying a front facelock. Asuka quickly hooks a knee bar on, but Bliss quickly gets out. Asuka applies another facelock before transitioning into a side headlock. Bliss takes her down by the hair, but Asuka is quickly up. Bliss runs scared to the ropes to keep her back. Asuka has a whip into the ropes reversed, and she shoulder blocks Bliss down. Asuka then mocks her. Asuka wipes her out with a running hip attack. Asuka dances around the ring while Bliss recovers at ringside. Bliss stalls for a few moments outside the ring and slowly gets in before rolling back out. Bliss stalls for even longer before getting in the ring. Asuka hits her with a snapmare and knees her in the face twice. Bliss puts herself through the ropes once again before getting a cheap kick in on Asuka. Bliss immediately gets out of the ring. Asuka wasn’t hurt by the kick.
We come back from the break to see Asuka trapped in a body scissor. During the break, Bliss tied her in the ropes and kicked her in the ribs. Asuka gets out of the body scissor and applies an ankle lock. Bliss claws to the ropes and pulls Asuka ribs-first into the ropes. Bliss goes outside and twists Asuka’s midsection around the ring post. Bliss gets her in the center of the ring, punches away at her, and picks up a two count. Asuka quickly pins her for a two count. Bliss takes her down with a backbreaker before punching away at her to pick up another two count. Bliss reapplies the body scissor. Asuka is trapped for a bit, but turns around. Bliss then hooks her in a guillotine. Asuka gets out with a Kimura Lock, but Bliss gets to the ropes. Bliss quickly takes her down with a shot to the ribs and stomps her in the corner. Bliss feigns an avalanche and slaps her. Asuka angrily slaps her back and dropkicks her twice. Asuka then comes off the second rope with a missile dropkick. Asuka hits a running hip attack in the corner before throwing her by the hair. Asuka hits a second running hip attack and stalks her. Bliss blocks a takedown and elbows her. Asuka blocks a kick and viciously knees her in the face. Bliss stumbles to the corner and tries for a desperation victory roll, but Asuka sits on her shoulders for a near fall. Bliss then dropkicks Asuka out of the ring. Asuka kicks her in the side of the head, gets in the ring, and applies her arm bar. Bliss taps out!
Winner by Submission: Asuka
Asuka celebrates in the ring while Bliss clutches her title at ringside looking terrified about what just happened.
Video Package: Samoa Joe’s attack on Dean Ambrose along with the Reigns/Joe match from last week
Renee Young is backstage with Samoa Joe. She says he doesn’t even have to defeat Roman Reigns to win the Intercontinental Title tonight. Joe says he’ll defeat him just like he has in the past. Joe owns Reigns and has exposed him. Due to him, The Shield will never be champions together. Dean Ambrose is a stay-at-home husband living off his wife’s paycheck because of him. Renee Young, Ambrose’s wife, shakes her head. Joe says he’ll put Reigns to sleep and become the new Intercontinental Championship. This may be Reigns’ yard, but he’s living in Joe’s world.
Braun Strowman makes his entrance. He’ll be in action, next.
Braun Strowman vs. Rhyno w/ Heath Slater
JoJo announced that it was Heath Slater taking on Braun Strowman, but it is actually Rhyno.
They lock up, but Strowman pushes him back. An “ECW” chant picks up. They lock up again, but Strowman powers him to the corner and flexes his muscles. A “Let’s go Rhyno” chant fires up. Strowman hits a shoulder block and big boots him down. Heath Slater gets on the apron, but Strowman scares him back. Strowman then goes outside and grabs a microphone. Strowman says he has two options: keep being a cheerleader or get in the ring with his partner. A “YES” chant fires up. Slater thinks about it. Rhyno attacks him from behind, and Slater joins the action to beat Strowman down. Strowman then shoves him away and avalanches them both. Strowman then hits a Running Powerslam on Rhyno for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Braun Strowman
A “One More Time” chant picks up. Strowman grabs Rhyno, but Slater attacks him. Strowman swats him away and hits a Running Powerslam to a big ovation. The crowd once again chants, “One More Time!” Strowman grabs Rhyno and hits him with a Running Powerslam to an even bigger ovation. Strowman’s music plays, but it stops when he grabs Slater for a huge pop. Strowman once again levels him with a Running Powerslam. Rhyno struggles to get up, but Strowman won’t let him. Strowman hits him with a third Running Powerslam. Strowman then picks Slater up with one arm and hits him with a vicious Running Powerslam. The crowd is in love with Strowman right now.
Braun Strowman will face Kane and Brock Lesnar in a triple threat match for Lesnar’s WWE Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble.
Brock Lesnar will appear before the crowd later tonight.
Roman Reigns is seen in his locker room when Seth Rollins walks up to him. Rollins says he heard what Samoa Joe said and wants to make sure Reigns is keeping his cool. Reigns says he’s cool, but Joe is a joke since he’s still running his mouth. Reigns says you do not mess with their brother. Rollins warns him to not get DQ’d tonight. Jason Jordan walks in and says on behalf of him and Seth, they will take The Bar out if they try to interfere. Jordan says, “Believe that,” and walks off. Reigns and Rollins look at each other with incredulity.
Braun Strowman is walking backstage when he looks over at Kane. Kane has his hands up. Kane says he just wants to talk about Brock Lesnar, the Beast he’s never faced before, but Strowman has. They’re the alpha monsters of WWE. Together, they can contain the beast. Kane has a plan. All it’ll take is them being on the same page. Strowman says he doesn’t care about Kane’s plan. He’s the only alpha monster. When he takes Lesnar down, it’ll be on his own terms. Kane backs off.
Elsewhere backstage, Kurt Angle is talking about how there will be 30 women in the Royal Rumble match. Finn Balor walks in and says he was the first Universal Champion that never lost the title and was never given a rematch. If that means he’ll have to go through 29 other superstars to get that rematch, he will. Balor enters the Royal Rumble. Angle says that’s great, but he figured he’d want to talk about something else, namely if Balor has found some partners. Gallows and Anderson walk in to a huge ovation. Balor has stood with them and faced them in the past. It’s better to have them with you than against him. It’s better than having a couple of… NERDS!
Samoa Joe makes his entrance. He’ll face Roman Reigns for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, next.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns (c)
If Roman Reigns is disqualified, he will lose the Intercontinental Championship. The “Champion’s Advantage” is stripped away tonight. The referee for this match is Jon Cone, the same official Reigns shoved last week and was fined $5,000.
The bell rings, and Joe punches away at Reigns before being backed up. Joe elbows him in the head before kneeing him in the ribs. Joe jabs away at him in the corner, but Reigns makes a comeback with some right hands. Reigns stomps him down in the corner before the referee pulls him back. Reigns punches away at him before the official backs him up again. Joe quickly pops out of the corner and connects with a back suplex for a near fall. Joe punches him in the head before hitting a snap suplex. Reigns rolls out of the ring to recover.
We come back from the break to see Reigns trapped in a chin lock, but he quickly fights out. Reigns hits the ropes, but Joe floors him with a running back elbow for a two count. Joe knees him in the face and jabs away at him. Joe goes for a suplex, but Reigns blocks it before countering with a suplex. Reigns goes for a shoulder thrust, but Joe moves. Reigns hits the ring post shoulder-first. Joe rolls him up for a two count. Joe applies a submission hold to target that injured shoulder. Reigns fights out and hits a pair of clotheslines. Joe comes right back with a right hand to the face before hitting a running elbow in the corner followed by a snap overhead kick for a near fall. Joe is in disbelief. Joe chokes him on the ropes and continues to pepper him with forearms, punches, and elbows. Joe whips him hard to the opposite corner. Reigns collapses to the mat. Joe slowly gets him up and viciously whips him into the turnbuckles again. Joe seems to be enjoying himself. Joe hits a snapmare before applying a modified straightjacket. Reigns fights up, but Joe knees him hard in the midsection. Joe whips him to the corner, but Reigns explodes out with a leaping clothesline.
Both men are down, but they’re soon to their feet. Reigns gets Joe in the corner and hits 10 clubbing blows in the corner before hitting a running big boot to knock him out of the ring. Reigns goes outside the ring and hits a Drive By Dropkick. Reigns gets him in the ring and picks up a near fall. Reigns punches away at him in the corner before the referee backs him up. Joe takes advantage of that by putting him on the apron. Joe then hits a running forearm to knock him to the floor. Joe immediately follows up with a suicide dive! They’re both down at ringside, but manage to get into the ring at the referee’s count of nine to avoid a double count-out.
We return from the break to see Joe hitting Reigns with some head-butts. Replays are shown of the impressive suicide dive from right before the last break. Joe takes his time between blows, going back and forth between kicks and punches. Reigns is getting fired up and screams at Joe to hit him harder. Joe obliges, but Reigns fights back and connects with a Samoan Drop for a near fall. Reigns cannot believe he kicked out. Reigns sets up for a Superman Punch, but Joe rolls out of the ring to recover. Reigns looks furious. The referee keeps Reigns back to prevent him from leaving the ring. Reigns manages to get out of the ring and tries to leap off the steps, but Joe forearms him in the chest. Joe bounces him off the steel steps four times before rolling in the ring to break up the count. Joe goes for a whip, but Reigns reverses it into the steel steps. Reigns lifts up the top half of the steps, which would cause a disqualification (but a whip into the stairs isn’t). The referee warns him. Reigns puts the steps down and hits Joe with a Superman Punch. Reigns gets him in the ring and hits a second Superman Punch for a near fall. Reigns sets up for a Spear, but Joe kicks him in the face. Joe goes for a uranage, but Reigns elbows out. Joe shoves Reigns into referee John Cone. Cone contemplates a disqualification, but Reigns begs him off. Reigns then shoves Cone out of the way of an oncoming Joe. Joe then sidesteps Reigns and hits a uranage for a near fall. Joe argues with the referee.
A “This is awesome” chant fires up. Reigns punches Joe back, but Joe hooks the Coquina Clutch. Reigns whips him off and connects with a Spear for the win!
Winner and still WWE Intercontinental Champion: Roman Reigns
Kurt Angle is smiling at the result of the Intercontinental Championship match. Paul Heyman walks in. Heyman says if Braun Strowman and Kane team up to beat up Lesnar, Lesnar will be proactive, not reactive. This will be the Year of the Beast.
Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari are in the ring with a letter from Enzo Amore. Gulak reads deadpan Enzo’s usual shtick before saying that he’s not defending the Cruiserweight Championship due to the flu.
Cedric Alexander makes his entrance to zero reaction. Alexander says he came here expecting a Cruiserweight Championship match and competition. Since Enzo is “sick,” which one of them will step up and take his place? Gulak and Daivari converse quietly. Gulak says they’d oblige… only in a tag team match. The two of them versus Alexander and anyone who walks down that ramp. Since Alexander doesn’t have any friends, they wish him luck.
Goldust’s music hits, and he will team up with Cedric Alexander. The commentators make cracks about him not being 205 pounds. Goldust says he has friends in little places, but none are lower than Gulak and Daivari. Goldust says he’s friends with Alexander.
Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari vs. Cedric Alexander and Goldust
Alexander starts against Daivari. Alexander takes him down before hitting a head-scissor takeover. Alexander kicks him for a two count. Gulak distracts Alexander, and Daivari capitalizes by sending him face-first into the turnbuckle. Daivari applies a chin lock. Alexander fights up, but Daivari punches him down. Alexander then takes him down with a back elbow. Goldust and Gulak tag in. They botch a bulldog, but Goldust saves it by punching him, pulling him to the corner, and hitting a bulldog. Goldust floors Gulak with a scoop powerslam before punching Daivari. Goldust goes to the top rope and hits a twisting cross-body block. Alexander tags in and hits a diving clothesline off the top rope. Goldust uppercuts Gulak before Alexander hits him with a Lumbar Check for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Cedric Alexander and Goldust
Finn Balor will team with Anderson and Gallows in a reformation of The Club, next.
John Cena entered his name into the Royal Rumble match earlier today.
Elias is in the ring and greets the crowd. Elias says this show is his and he owns the WWE Universe. Who wants to walk with Elias? That gets a good pop. When he wins the Royal Rumble, he will main event WrestleMania and give the performance of a lifetime. As for tonight, he’s excited to be teaming with two very talented musicians, The Miztourage. Bo Dallas enters the ring with a cowbell, and Curtis Axel has sleigh bells. Dallas says they’re dedicating this match to their hero, who will return to RAW next week, The Miz. Axel sings an off pitch version of “Auld Lang Syne,” and Dallas just whistles. Elias stops them and starts to trash Miami to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne.”
Elias and The Miztourage vs. Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, and Finn Balor
We join the match in progress to see Axel power Balor into the corner and hit some shoulder thrusts. Axel hits a snapmare followed by a rolling neck snapper for a near fall. Elias tags in and punches away at Balor. Balor comes back with a kick, but Elias shakes it off and stomps him down in the corner. Elias gets him to his feet, but Balor punches him back. Elias quickly takes him down for a two count. Elias applies an arm bar, but Balor fights up. Elias quickly takes him down again, but Balor once again gets up, takes Elias down, and hits a double stomp.
Gallows and Dallas are tagged in. Gallows clotheslines Dallas and knocks Axel off the apron. Gallows big boots Dallas and kicks him in the midsection, but Elias breaks it up. Elias is knocked out of the ring. Balor is tagged in. Anderson and Gallows hit Magic Killer on Dallas, and Balor follows up with Coup de Gras for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, and Finn Balor
Brock Lesnar will be out, next.
The Miz will return next week on RAW.
Brock Lesnar addresses his Royal Rumble match
WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar makes his entrance alongside his advocate, Paul Heyman. A replay is shown of Braun Strowman declining Kane’s plan that would have them team against Lesnar to eliminate him. A “Suplex City” chant fires up. Heyman says WWE’s New Year’s Resolution is to continue to stack the deck against his client, Brock Lesnar. Heyman asks how else you could explain Lesnar having to defend his championship against challengers. Heyman is upset that the normal “challenger” has become plural in “challengers.” Lesnar has to defend his title against both Braun Strowman and Kane. Strowman is seen watching backstage. If Strowman beats Kane, Lesnar loses the title. If Kane beats Strowman, Lesnar loses the title. Heyman says he didn’t say anyone will beat Lesnar because that’ll never happen. Heyman says Lesnar will defend the title 100%. You can line up Strowman – Lesnar would defeat him. You could line up Kane – Lesnar would defeat him. You could line up all 30 superstars in the Royal Rumble and have them fight collectively or individually, and Lesnar would beat them. Lesnar is the most dominant champion in WWE. Lesnar fears no challenger or challengers. Lesnar doesn’t believe in monsters and doubts Kane is the Devil’s Favorite Demon. Heyman has been to hell and knows Lesnar is the devil’s favorite. Heyman speaks Latin before throwing the microphone down.
Kane’s music hits, and he walks down to the ring. Kane simply grabs Lesnar by the throat and Chokeslams him! Kane goes to leave the ring, but Lesnar sits up and laughs! Lesnar then wildly clotheslines him over the top rope. The RAW roster runs down and separates them. Lesnar gets a few shots in before they’re finally separated. Lesnar holds the Universal Title up to end the show.