Opening Segment

Kurt Angle walked to the ring and whoever brought the “Bring Back Boogeyman” sign in the front for deserves a medal. Angle ran down the events of last week concerning Kane and Strowman, he said Lesnar is there tonight and by the end of the night they’ll figure out who will face Lesnar.

Then Braun Strowman came out and said he earned the opportunity to face Lesnar. Then, before Angle could say anything Kane came out to throw his two cents in. Paul Heyman made his entrance and introduced Brock Lesnar in his usual fashion.

Brock entered the ring and looked Kane and Braun in the eyes. Then Angle announced it would be a triple threat match at Royal Rumble and got out of the ring very quickly. After a skirmish between the three of them, Braun left the ring so Brock hit Kane with an F5.

Seth Rollins vs Samoa Joe

Jason Jordan came down instead of Joe and JJ said Seth isn’t the only one who wants a match against Joe. Then he said he’s done asking and he’s stepping up. Rollins started to reason with him, but Samoa Joe decided to join the conversation too.

Joe said JJ and Rollins should wrestle to see who gets to face him. Seth didn’t like that and said the match was already made and JJ should go search for his daddy’s approval elsewhere so Jason shoved him down. Then Seth took off his t-shirt that you can get at WWE Shop and I guess it’s an official match now.

Seth Rollins vs Jason Jordan

These two would now fight to see who gets to take a Coquina Clutch later on in the evening. JJ and Rollins worked together well and Jordan was able to hang with Seth by actually making it look like he could beat him.

Jason took advantage as he splashed Rollins and hit him with some measured kicks. Jordan locked Rollins in a submission hold and wrenched at his back as Seth got to his feet.

“This is boring” chants broke out and that’s never a good thing.

Rollins fought back but JJ caught his foot and hit him with a nice suplex while Samoa Joe sat at ringside on a metal folding chair smiling at he display in front of him.

Rollins hit a slingblade but JJ lifted Seth on the apron, this turned out not to be the wisest move, because Seth hit Jason with a springboard clothesline. Jordan caught Seth again and hit another suplex and got a two count out of it.

Jordan ended up on the floor and Rollins hit a dropkick through the ropes followed by a suicide dive. Both guys got back in the ring just before the referee counted to ten.

Seth went for a top rope deal and Jason caught him for that nice Northern Lights followed up by another suplex thing he does into the bridge that he does so very well.

Rollins hit a nice frog splash off the top rope after they fought on the top turnbuckle for a bit. Jason rolled outside and Rollins hit a knee to the side of the face during a dive. Samoa Joe rose from his steel chair and got in Rollins’ face so Rollins tossed JJ into him like a weapon and kicked Joe’s head off.

JJ almost pulled off a roll-up pin, but Seth caught the knee and picked up the win.

Winner: Seth Rollins via pinfall

After the match, Samoa Joe rolled in and destroyed Seth Rollins a little bit while no other members of The Shield came to help. While he walked up the ramp, he took Jason Jordan out with a stiff clothesline as well.

Backstage Segment

Seth, Dean, and Jason Jordan all said they wanted a shot against Samoa Joe. Then Kurt Angle booked a six-man tag between Seth, Dean, and JJ vs The Bar and Samoa Joe

Matt Hardy Is Still Woken

Bray Wyatt cut a backstage promo in a smoke-filled room. He was speaking about Matt Hardy and wondered why people like him so much. Was it his childish laugh of the funny faces he makes?

Wyatt said he’s going to make sure the right people get hurt. If said if Matt wants to continue with their “little chess game” then Wyatt’s game. Bray said he’s all around him and the Great War must end… run.

Finn Balor is Over in Rhode Island

Balor was set for a 2 on 1 handicap match against The Miztourage because that’s how you use three great talents like these guys, after all, it’s not like there are two former NXT Champions in this match.

Miztourage tagged in and out and tried to keep an advantage over Balor, but Finn kept one-upping them. Bo went for a cheap shot but Finn ducked and Axel caught him with a hard shot.

Axel got his nose busted and Bo got the tag. Balor wrestled around for a bit and took a double stomp to the chest but Axel broke up the pin.

Balor tried for a Coup De Gras after Axel hit the canvas hard but Bo Dallas jumped him. Then both members of the Miztourage stomped on Balor as the referee called for the bell. Suddenly Hideo Itami ran down to help out his buddy.

This was Hideo Itami’s debut and boy, did he make an impression. He kicked the stuffing out of the Miztourage and they went crawling away.

Finn Balor and Hideo Itami vs Miztourage

Hideo Itami and Finn Balor took a little punishment but this was all about getting Itami over. He hit all of his signature moves and once the room was cleared and it was just him and Axel, he connected with a GTS and won the match.

God, it’s great to see the GTS on Raw once again.

Winners: Hideo Itami and Finn Balor via pinfall

Cedric Alexander was interviewed backstage and he seemed certain he was going to beat Drew Gulak to become the #1 contender for the WWE Cruiserweight Title

Drew Gulak vs Cedric Alexander

They made a Star Wars reference and Gulak said he always considered himself a Jar Jar Binks… there are so many ways you could go with that one. Gulak was about to give an Enzo Amore tribute Powerpoint presentation when Alexander came out to disrupt this for good reason.

Enzo got on commentary for this match as Gulak and Alexander fought for the right to face him for his “boo.”

Cedric hit a nice flipping dive on Gulak and landed on his feet like a cat which was very nice while Enzo continued to run his mouth on commentary. Cedric chopped Gulak in the corner and countered out of a waistlock with a headlock and then the two traded some holds for a bit until the suplexed each other out of the ring in a very nice and dangerous looking move.

Gulak got on the Gulak Grip submission hold until Cedric got to the bottom rope. They continued to fight on trading moves and really gave their all in this spotlight match.

The finish came after Cedric hit a Lumbar Check outta nowhere and scored the pinfall.

Winner: Cedric Alexander via pinfall

Enzo Amore was walking backstage after the match and ran across a smiling Nia Jax. She looked smitten and said she got “that DM.” She said they can finish that conversation and Enzo said he’s been thinking about “that tweet” from a couple weeks ago and the answer’s at the tip of her tongue.

Then Gulak came in with a wadded up tissue in his bloody nose and made a big scene saying he let the Zo Train down. Nia Jax said she was going to let Enzo handle this and walked off.

Enzo said Drew did a lot of things wrong and walked off.

Asuka vs Alicia Fox

Fox cut a little promo backstage that they played during her entrance and her crazy woman gimmick is pretty great. “Asuka’s gonna kill you” chants broke out as soon as the bell rang and I’ve always thought that chant was rather morbid, right?

When Asuka went for her armbar, Foxy quickly escaped out of the ring. She returned and kicked Asuka in the head for a one-count after a pinfall. Then Foxy his a Nothern Lights suplex for a two count.

As Michael Cole really put over the fact that Asuka has never lost a match, it started to make me nervous they were going to make her lose soon. But just as I thought this, Asuka hit a dropkick followed by a hip attack, a snapmare takedown and a kick to the head. Then Asuka locked in the armbar and Foxy tapped out.

Winner: Asuka via submission

“The question is, who will ever stop Asuka?” Cole asked.

Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Jason Jordan vs The Bar and Samoa Joe

Since Roman Reigns wasn’t there for Raw, Jason Jordan made a fine replacement, right? Sure!

These two teams fought all around the ring and Rollins took a real beating for his team. They really cut the ring in half by not letting Seth get to anyone. But suddenly Rollins had the heels on the outside and he hit everyone with a suicide dive including Ambrose.

Ambrose fell weird on his arm and the referee called for a doctor. Cesaro hit an uppercut on Rollins while he was distracted and the referee slid in to make the pin.

Winners: The Bar and Samoa Joe

Woken Matt Hardy plays chess

Matt was playing chess and said there’s no need for foul language to his opponent and the camera panned out to reveal he was playing against a goldfish in a bowl. He said when the fish was back in a human vessel they can play again. Nice. Just nice.

Then Hardy cut a promo about himself and Bray Wyatt saying they’ve been at this since the beginning of existence. Now that the new battlefield has been set he will stand side by side with all of his Woken Warriors against Bray and his heinous Sister Abigail must be stopped… and deleted. DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!

Then he Matt smiles and chomped his teeth.

Dean Ambrose is injured

Michael Cole brought up Ambrose’s injured arm and then they showed Seth and Dean backstage as a trainer looked at Dean’s arm. Suddenly, The Bar and Joe showed up and gave the babyfaces a little beatdown where Ambrose had a piece of production equipment slammed against his arm which would never happen if he was actually hurt so there you go. Dean Ambrose might be injured, but only in a kayfabe sense.

Heath Slater and Rhyno vs THE REVIVAL

Say yeah! The Revival was back, and they had new merch too.

It was great to have the Top Guys back as they tagged in and out so fluidly as they kept Heath Slater from getting to the Man Beast. Wilder and Slater collided and Dash rolled out of the ring but it was a strategy to pull Rhyno down off the apron.

One Shatter Machine later and The Top Guys were back with a win.

Winners: The Revival via pinfall

Slater and Rhyno were walking backstage and Angle met them and told them they had a good effort. He said they need to change things up in the new year if they want more opportunities. Rhyno said they need to toughen up and he knows exactly how to do it.

Ladies and Gentlemen… Elias

Elias took a long beat before saying anything to let the crowd soak up his presence and then he played a nice little run on his guitar that included the intro to Jingle Bell Rock. Everyone wanted to walk with Elias when he asked them.

Then he got some boos for mentioning Tom Brady in Rhode Island.

Elias said he will enter and win the Royal Rumble and that got a pretty good pop out of the crowd. He started to play on his guitar and then Sasha Banks came down. Elias started to play again and Mickie James came down.

Elias remained on his stool in the middle of the ring and said he normally doesn’t like being interrupted but all the women want to walk with Elias.

Then Bayley came down when he started to play again. One of Bayley’s tubemen looked like he was sleepy and while she tried to wake it up, it didn’t work. Elias left while avoiding a hug from Bayley in the process.

Absolution vs Sasha Banks, Mickie James, and Bayley

Mickie got things started off in a hurry against Paige and then they hit a double suplex on Paige. Sasha was wearing some new merch too which was a common theme tonight.

Mandy Rose got the tag and then tagged Sonya Deville after applying some damage to The Boss. Paige got the tag from Deville after a short time while The Anti-Diva yelled “this is my house” and continued her assault on Banks.

Paige and distracted the official when she got Mickie riled up so her associates could continue to lay the abuse to Banks. Then Absolution took out the other babyfaces and while Paige watched on, Banks hit a top rope dropkick.

Absolution jumped in an beat on Sasha Banks until the referee called for the bell. Nia Jax came down and Absolution didn’t back down.

They went after Nia but she shoved everyone away and then started giving out headbutts. Jax just tossed everyone to the corners and then she hit a double Samoan Drop on Deville and Rose.

Paige chop blocked Nia Jax and then everyone stomped on her. The rest of the locker room ran down and suddenly Stephanie McMahon came out and everyone stopped fighting.

Steph stood in a semi-circle in the middle of everyone while Steph put over the evolution of the Women’s Revolution and then she announced the fist-ever Women’s Royal Rumble match will happen on January 28th in Philly.



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Aaron Varble hasn’t just been writing for more than a decade in various formats including sketch comedy, stand up, television, radio, and other various projects; nor is he just another professional wrestling fan with a master's degree in journalism and Tourette’s syndrome. He's always looking to explore the why not with the why and the how come along with the how. Follow on Twitter @TheVarble