Raw is War
January 8, 2018
“Then. Now. Forever.” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video kicks off the show recapping the WWE Intercontinental Championship match between Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe from last week’s RAW. If Reigns was disqualified in that match, he would lose the title. After a few close calls, Reigns got out of a Coquina Clutch and speared Joe down for the win to retain his title.
Roman Reigns’ music hits, and the WWE Intercontinental Champion comes out to loud boos from the Memphis crowd, but they’re soon joined by another portion of the crowd cheering him. Reigns stands in the ring, and the boos are heard much more clearly now. Reigns stands there looking out into the crowd. Reigns says after all the attacks and hype, you’d think Samoa Joe would be ready for him, but he wasn’t. Last week, when it was put up or shut up time, Joe got silenced. That’s why he’s still the Intercontinental Champion. Reigns isn’t better than Joe, but he was fighting with a purpose for Dean Ambrose. This is a message to anyone in the back: if you mess with one of the members of The Shield, you mess with them all.
Jason Jordan’s music hits, and one half of the RAW Tag Team Champions makes his way to the ring. The crowd is booing him even louder. Jordan says when he watched Reigns’ match against Joe, he got goosebumps. Jordan felt like he was part of something meaningful. A “You both suck” chant picks up. Jordan says when someone messes with one of them, they mess with all of them. On behalf his partner, Seth Rollins, Reigns proved this is his yard. Jordan thanks Reigns and puts his fist out. A “Who’s your daddy” chant fires up.
Seth Rollins’ music hits, and the other half of the RAW Tag Team Champions makes his way to the ring. Rollins says Jordan has a lot to learn. Last week, he taught Jordan a lesson on teamwork, which worked. This week they have to work on his timing. Rollins knows Jordan means well, but he’s stepping on Reigns’ moment. Jordan says they’ve all had problems with Joe, and Reigns took care of it, just like they took care of The Bar. Now they run the show. Reigns says he’s had enough of this “we” stuff. Jordan is on a team with Seth, but he’s THE guy. Jordan says they’re all champions and can take everyone out. They’re not The Shield, but they’re pretty good. They might be the most dominant three-man group in all of WWE.
Finn Balor’s music hits, and he makes his way to the stage alongside Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. The Balor Club is back. Balor says he knows Jordan is excited to be a part of something big, but he’s not really a part of the most dominant three-man group in WWE. Balor says he’s run with Gallows and Anderson for ten years before Jordan knew Kurt Angle was his dad. Another “Who’s your daddy” chant starts up. Anderson says they’re been running with “good brother” Finn for a long time. If you go to the WWE Network, there is a special all about it. Gallows says when Balor came to WWE, they knew it was time to stand alone. They won the RAW Tag Team Championships, and Balor made history by becoming the first ever WWE Universal Champion. Balor and Gallows do the “too sweet” hand signal. Anderson says they did their own things, but they eventually knew they’d come together and take this place over. They get in the ring. Balor says that day was last Monday on RAW. Just like Jordan, they’re excited because 2018 is the year of the Balor Club. Jordan laughs at the name. Jordan says he’s happy to be a part of the champion’s club. Reigns and Rollins shake their heads in sadness. Balor says that must be a cute name for The Shield, but The Lunatic Fringe isn’t here. They see The Architect and The Big Dog, and now they see the… NERD! Jordan slaps Gallows in the face. Their respective teams hold them each back.
RAW General Manager Kurt Angle comes out to the stage. They have a great show planned with Brock Lesnar and The Miz’ return, but he just found his main event. Angle says he’d love to see who would win this match. It’ll be Reigns, Rollins, and Jordan taking on The Balor Club in tonight’s main event. Oh it’s true! It’s damn true!
Brock Lesnar will respond to the situation with Kane last week. Later tonight, we’ll have an edition of Miz TV with the returning Miz.
Bayley and Sasha Banks will be in action, next.
A replay is shown of Stephanie McMahon announcing
Mandy Rose starts against Bayley. They lock up, and Bayley hooks a side headlock. Rose whips her off and shoulder blocks her down. Rose hits the ropes and catches Bayley trying a leapfrog before throwing her to the corner. Bayley turns her around and stomps her. Rose then turns her and forearms away at her chest. Bayley kicks her back, but Rose comes back with a scoop slam for a two count. Rose then applies a neck vice. Bayley fights up, but Rose takes her down by the hair. Bayley then comes back with a clothesline. Rose quickly gets up and knees her in the midsection. Bayley then takes her down with a back suplex and a knee to the head. Absolution pulls Rose out of the ring to regroup.
We come back from the break to see Rose slam Banks down by the hair. Banks sends her into the ropes and hits a hip toss. Banks then hits a double knee for a two count. Rose chops the chest and forearms her back. Rose shoves her a few times, so Banks slaps her in the face. Banks forearms her and knocks Deville off the apron. Rose then takes her down with a running knee for a near fall. Deville is tagged in, and she punches Banks to the corner before stomping her. Deville applies a body scissor and hooks the head for good measure. Banks gets out with an elbow, but Deville quickly stops her with a punch to the midsection. Deville punches away at her. Rose tags in, but Banks fights back. Rose quickly stops the momentum and chokes her on the ropes. Rose attacks the back a few times before tagging Deville in, who picks up a two count. Banks tries to make a comeback, but Deville stops her with some punches. Deville sends her into the ropes, but she lowers her head and eats a kick. They then wipe each other out with a double clothesline. Rose is tagged in, and she stops Banks from making a tag. Rose then punches Bayley off the apron. The referee holds Bayley back while Deville snaps Banks off the top rope. Banks then catches her with an inside cradle, but Deville breaks it up. Bayley knocks Deville out of the ring. In the ring, Banks applies the Banks Statement for the win.
Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Jason Jordan will face The Balor Club in tonight’s main event.
Replays are shown of Kane giving Brock Lesnar a Chokeslam only for Lesnar to quickly sit up and laugh. The RAW roster emptied out to stop the brawl between them.
Brock Lesnar will be on the show tonight to respond to what happened last week.
Replays are now shown of Goldust teaming with Cedric Alexander last week on RAW.
Cedric Alexander is warming up when Goldust comes in reciting the lines of Mickey from “Rocky.” Alexander says people laughed at him, but he’ll beat Enzo Amore tonight. Goldust says Alexander is the one in control.
Goldust will team with Alicia Fox on the Mixed Match Challenge one week from tomorrow.
“WOKEN” Matt Hardy makes his way to the ring to a good ovation with some new music. He’ll be in action, next.
Hardy says at the Rumble of Royalty, he will DELETE 29 other superstars. Then he’ll go to WrestleMania and become champion of the MULTIVERSE!
Hawkins is 0-152. Hawkins tries to stay away from Hardy before kicking him. Hardy bites him and punches away at him in the corner. Hardy elbows him in the neck and hits a neckbreaker. Hardy clubs him and hits a German Suplex into the turnbuckles. Hawkins elbows him back and goes for a springboard cross-body, but Hardy moves. Hardy then bounces him off the turnbuckles before clotheslining him in the corner. Hardy hits a Side Effect before connecting with a Twist of Fate for the win.
Bray Wyatt’s video flashes, and the lights go out. It flashes again, and Bray Wyatt is standing behind Hardy. Hardy turns and stares at Wyatt. Hardy then laughs wildly and says, “YES!” Wyatt starts laughing, and they’re engaged in a laugh-off. This goes on for a while until the screen flashes again.
The Miz will return with another edition of Miz TV, next.
Elias is in the ring on a stool. Elias plays a riff, and the crowd gives him a hand. Elias has a question for everyone tonight: who wants to walk with Elias? He has walked all across this earth and heard a lot of stories, but one truth always remains the same. WWE stands for Walk With Elias. The crowd actually shouts it. Today is a very special day. There is no better place to celebrate this than Memphis. Elias acknowledges Elvis Presley’s birthday, and the crowd boos it for some strange reason. Elias then sings a mostly nice song about Memphis before saying he doesn’t care about them. A star is on the way that is taking over the entertainment business. Elias asks them to welcome The Miz. That gets a big reception.
The Miz’ music hits, and he makes his entrance, returning to WWE after a six week hiatus. The Miztourage is at his side. A “Welcome back” chant fires up. Miz asks if they missed him, and they loudly cheer. Miz says he’s back, but he wasn’t forgotten. Miz is the glue that holds Monday Night RAW together. Miz makes this show “must see.” Mostly he wasn’t forgotten because of two people, his guests at this time: Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, The Miztourage. They turned their careers around in 2017. After sitting under the learning tree, they are living embodiments of a New Years’ Resolution done right. Axel thanks Miz. Dallas says Miz’ wisdom is like winning The Mizzies every single day. Dallas and Axel start a “Thank you Miz” chant. Dallas got Miz a framed photo of him. Dallas says it’ll be tough to sleep without that tonight. Miz seems weirded out. Axel then takes off his coat and gives it to The Miz. Dallas takes off his watch and gives it to The Miz. Axel takes off his shoes, and they’re competing to give Miz the better gift. Miz tells them to be silent with the raising of his hand and orders them to sit down.
Miz says 2017 was an incredible year for him, but he has a lot more planned. In 2017, he held the Intercontinental Championship for 200 days, elevated The Miztourage’s career, and held up this show. Everything he touched turned to gold. Hell, he’s Rollins Stone’s Superstar of the Year. Still, he hasn’t forgotten about this: a replay is shown of The Shield viciously attacking Miz and giving him a Triple Powerbomb through the commentary table to take him out for six weeks. Miz says that was an indignity not befitting someone who has done so much for WWE. Miz let Roman Reigns borrow the Intercontinental Championship, but the title doesn’t make the champion. The champion makes the title, and Daddy’s home. In 2018, he’ll celebrate the birth of his daughter. In 2018, he will become the longest reigning, single greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. When children grow up in this generation, they’ll think of him with the title like Ultimate Warrior and Shawn Michaels before him, but now he’ll be the only person they think of. Miz hopes Reigns enjoyed the spotlight he allowed him to have. It’s all coming to an end. He’s back and is coming for the title. Reigns can believe that.
Finn Balor is talking with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. Tonight is not about reminiscing; they need to talk strategy. The situation may be different, but the tactics remain the same. They have an opportunity to show everyone that 2018 is the year of the Balor Club.
Later tonight, we’ll hear from WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. Coming up next, Enzo Amore will defend his WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Cedric Alexander.
Enzo Amore makes his entrance and goes through his usual shtick. Last week, the doctors said he couldn’t compete, which makes that the luckiest day in Cedric Alexander’s life. Enzo was in the hospital for New Year’s Day with chicken soup and a soda. Enzo watched RAW with Nia Jax last week and saw Cedric Alexander teaming with Goldust. That’s the closest he’ll get to gold in 2018. There’s only one word to describe Alexander: S-A-W-F-T!
The bell rings, and Enzo quickly puts himself through the ropes to keep Alexander back. Alexander then takes him down with a right hand. Enzo looks surprised and gets out of the ring. Enzo says Alexander doesn’t deserve to be in the ring with him. Alexander chases Enzo into the ring and kicks him in the head. Nia Jax is seen watching backstage. Alexander pulls Enzo to the center of the ring, but Enzo quickly crawls out. Alexander grabs him and goes to the second rope, but Enzo shoves him off the turnbuckles to the floor.
We come back from the break to see Alexander trapped in a chin lock. Alexander fights up, but Enzo takes him down down quickly. Alexander fights up and runs him into the turnbuckles. Enzo quickly boots him down for a two count. Enzo continues to attack before coming off the second rope, but Alexander dropkicks him out of mid-air. Alexander makes a comeback culminating with a handspring kick for a near fall. Enzo’s eye is busted open bad. He’s bleeding bad. Enzo holds the ropes to prevent a Lumbar Check. Alexander knees him in the face and hits a springboard clothesline, but Enzo rolls out of the ring. Alexander hits him with a summersault senton and actually lands on Enzo’s ankle. Enzo grabs his ankle in pain and may be legitimately hurt. The referee counts Enzo out.
Cedric Alexander smiles in the ring, despite not winning the title. Doctors check Enzo at ringside. Enzo is all kinds of messed up.
Trainers are with Enzo Amore in the back saying they need to do some x-rays. Nia Jax checks on him, but he says he’s fine. She leaves, and he begins crying.
Kurt Angle is on the phone with a woman who hasn’t been in the ring in years, but she’d be great in the Royal Rumble. Angle then gets off the phone and The Bar walks in. They were guaranteed a rematch for the titles, but due to favoritism they haven’t. Angle says they’ll have their rematch at Royal Rumble. They’re happy about that. What about tonight? It gets boring without anything to do. Angle tells them to go to the ring, and he’ll find them some competition.
The Miz then walks in. Angle asks what he can do for him. Miz says the network executives of the USA Network were hanging on his every word. Miz will have a show on the USA Network with his wife. Miz wants a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship. Miz wants it to be at the 25th Anniversary of Monday Night RAW. Angle says that’s not a bad idea. He’ll have his rematch there in two weeks.
The Miz will team with Asuka for the Mixed Match Challenge.
Asuka is stretching when Alexa Bliss walks in. Bliss says she was lucky to beat her last week. Her luck is about to run out. When her best friend Nia hears what she called her, she wouldn’t want to be her.
The Bar makes their entrance. They’ll be in action, next.
The Bar squares off against Titus Worldwide. Cesaro is in the ring with Apollo Crews, who takes him down with a dropkick and a standing moonsault for a two count. Sheamus tags in, and he pulls the top rope down to get Crews out of the ring. Sheamus attacks Crews and gets him in the ring before tagging in Cesaro. Cesaro attacks the knee and punches him down. Cesaro then applies a chin lock. Sheamus tags in, and they hit a double-team clothesline. Sheamus drops a knee for a two count. Sheamus then applies an overhead wristlock. Crews fights up and rolls Sheamus up for a two count. Crews then sends him shoulder-first into the ring post.
Cesaro and O’Neil are tagged in. O’Neil clotheslines Cesaro and avalanches Sheamus. O’Neil clotheslines Cesaro and gives him a big boot. O’Neil avalanches Cesaro and slams him down for a two count. O’Neil is distracted by Sheamus, so Cesaro uppercuts him. Sheamus knees O’Neil in the face and is tagged in. Crews shoulders Cesaro out of the ring and avoids a Brogue Kick by giving Cesaro a moonsault off the apron. O’Neil then rolls Sheamus up for the win!
We’ll hear from Brock Lesnar, next.
WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar makes his way to the ring with his advocate, Paul Heyman. Heyman and Lesnar believe in old school, but they’re not building up this Universal Championship match in an old school way. This is a progressive industry, but they’ve gotten away from the real build. Last week, Lesnar took Kane’s best shot and laughed. There is only one cliffhanger in mind: will Brock Lesnar pin Kane or Strowman or stack them on top of each other and pin them both? This is the most dominant champion in the history of WWE. Heyman has yet to see anyone out there that can beat and put down Lesnar.
Kane attacks Lesnar from behind on the ramp and punches away at him. Lesnar tries to fight back, and they spill to the backstage area. Braun Strowman then wipes them both out. Strowman throws Lesnar into some crates and through a table. Strowman picks up a road case and hits Kane with it before slamming it on him. Strowman then gets a grappling hook, throws it onto a metal structure, and pulls it down onto Kaen and Lesnar! Heyman screams in horror. Strowman lifts up his arms and screams triumphantly before walking off.
Replays are shown of Braun Strowman’s vicious attack on Brock Lesnar and Kane. During the break, Lesnar and Kane emerged from the wreckage. Lesnar was taken out on a stretcher. Lesnar did not want to go to the hospital.
The bell rings, and they circle the ring before locking up. Joe punches away at him before backing up. Rhyno comes back with some right hands before having a whip to the corner reversed on him. Joe hits a running elbow followed by a snap kick to the head. Joe chops the chest, but Rhyno comes back with some chops. Joe quickly takes him down and talks trash to Slater. Joe hits some crossfaces before chopping the chest and kicking him. Joe chops and head-butts him. Rhyno chops him back and sends him to the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Joe catches him with an STO for a near fall. Joe hits an inverted atomic drop followed by a big boot and a senton splash for another near fall. Joe continues to punch him before Rhyno goes for a slam. Joe slides off and applies the Coquina Clutch for the win.
Charly Caruso is in the ring with Samoa Joe. She says this win can’t take the sting away from Roman Reigns’ victory. Joe says Reigns’ win was a pyrrhic victory. It’s a victory that comes at such a great cost it might as well be a loss. Joe has beaten years off Reigns’ career. The cracks are forming. When it comes tumbling down, he’ll be there to finish the job. Until that time, he’ll pursue more worthy things. Tonight, he announces his entrance and participation in the Royal Rumble match. She asks how he’ll match-up against 29 other superstars and legends like Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, and John Cena. Joe says when it comes to his career, John Cena is a name that he’ll never forget. In the Royal Rumble, he’ll be the first man he eliminates.
Alexa Bliss comes up to Nia Jax and is worried about Enzo Amore holding her back. She says Enzo isn’t holding her back. Nia says she’ll be in the Royal Rumble. Bliss says she’s the favorite. Maybe she can eliminate Asuka to ensure her victory. Jax says they’re on a collision course anyway. Bliss says Asuka was talking badly about Jax. Jax says Asuka doesn’t speak English and walks off.
Asuka makes her entrance and is posing on the turnbuckles when Nia Jax grabs her and gives her an electric chair drop. Jax then gives her a senton splash before walking off!
The commentators then run down the card for the Royal Rumble, which happens in three weeks.
Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Jason Jordan are backstage. They’ll face The Balor Club, next.
Asuka will face Nia Jax next week on RAW.
Finn Balor will start against Seth Rollins. Balor applies a waistlock, but Rollins takes him down. Rollins sends him into the ropes, but Balor reverses it. Balor counters a sunset flip with a dropkick. Karl Anderson is tagged in, and he gives Rollins a backbreaker for a two count. Anderson applies an arm bar before tagging in Luke Gallows. They go for a double-team back suplex, but Rollins flips through. Roman Reigns tags in, and he gives Gallows a Samoan Drop. Anderson and Gallows are knocked out of the ring. Reigns hits them with a Drive By Dropkick. Rollins then takes Balor out with a suicide dive. Jordan celebrates with them in the ring like he did something. They just look at him in disbelief.
We come back from the break to see Rollins punch out of an arm bar applied by Balor. Rollins gets out and knocks Anderson and Gallows off the apron. Reigns is tagged in, and he hits Balor with a trio of clotheslines. Reigns clubs him 10 times in the corner before giving him a nasty big boot. Reigns punches Anderson and Gallows off the apron before turning into a Sling Blade from Balor. Anderson tags in, and he punches away at Reigns for a two count. Gallows tags back in and kicks Reigns down. Gallows stands him up and kicks him down for a near fall. Gallows applies a chin lock, but Reigns soon fights up. Gallows pulls him down by the hair. Anderson tags in and drops a knee for a two count. Anderson then applies a chin lock. Anderson holds it for a while before Reigns fights up. Reigns then gives him a tilt-a-whirl slam. Gallows tags in and stomps Reigns. Gallows hits a snap suplex for a two count. Gallows elbows away at the chest before applying yet another chin lock. Reigns fights up, but Gallows punches him back. Reigns then rebounds with a Superman Punch.
Rollins and Anderson are tagged in. Rollins hits a springboard clothesline before knocking Gallows and Balor off the apron. Rollins hits a blockbuster before hitting Balor and Gallows with a suicide dive. Rollins then hits Anderson with a Sling Blade. Rollins hits a running forearm on Anderson before hitting a suplex into a sit-out falcon’s arrow for a two count. Rollins grabs Anderson, but he holds the ropes. Gallows grabs Rollins, but Rollins fights out. Jason Jordan clotheslines Gallows out of the ring. Anderson hits a big spinebuster on Rollins for a near fall. Gallows is tagged in, and he knocks Jordan off the apron. Rollins then hits an enzuigiri on Gallows. Balor tags in, and Rollins hits him with a back suplex. Jordan runs in and distracts the referee while Reigns is tagged in. The referee keeps Reigns out because he didn’t see the tag. Anderson and Gallows hit Rollins with a Magic Killer while the referee kicks Reigns out. Reigns takes out Gallows and Anderson and yells at Jordan. Reigns then spears Gallows at ringside. Balor dropkicks Rollins into the corner and knocks Jordan out of the ring. Balor then hits Rollins with the Coup de Grace for the win.
Replays are shown of the major error Jason Jordan made in this match that cost his team. The Balor Club goes up the ramp celebrating. Reigns continues to admonish Jordan. The Miz and The Miztourage then attack all three from behind. Miz hits Reigns with a Skull Crushing Finale. The Miz goes to leave, but he stops and reenters the ring. The Miz and The Miztourage then give Reigns the Triple Powerbomb!