It’s time for the Christmas Day edition of Monday Nigth Raw because why not? The first hour is promoted as being commercial free as well so that’s fun. John Cena is advertised and who knows what will happen when Raw gets a dose of Holiday cheer?

Opening Segment

John Cena came out first and gave his shirt and hat to a kid at ringside. Then when Cena started to talk, everyone heard the strum of a guitar and knew Elias was on his way.

Elias played a little riff on the guitar while he walked to the ring and he’s actually getting better. “That’s good stuff” Booker T.

Elias said WWE stands for “Walk with Elias” which is genius, how have we not thought of that before?

People started to chant “Yes” when he asked who wanted to walk with Elias, and Cena said he did too. “CM Punk” chants started too which is interesting. Then Elias said, “it’s for damn sure CM Punk ain’t gonna interrupt me” then Cena told him Chicago people are going to chant for hometown heroes so it gave them a pass to do it more.

It sounded like they were egging the crowd on a bit. The lights went down and a spotlight hit Elias but when he started to play, a huge CM Punk started again. When he started to play, they booed heavily and John Cena stood next to him shirtless looking confused while Elias sang he couldn’t think of a worse place to spend his holiday.

Cena told them to turn on the lights and then he told his not to say anything bad about Chicago. Cena told Elias his songs are good until he called the people jerks and then he said they’re not jerks because he is a jerk.

Elias said he’s never thought about it that way, “it is Christmas, maybe you’re right. Maybe I am a jerk.” Then he said he would love to do the song again if Chicago would give him a second chance.

Then Elias changed the lyrics to he can’t think of a better place to spend his holiday and as Cena started to sing the end of the song that sounded like “have yourself a merry little Christmas”… Elias punched Cena in the face and laid him out.

That is one way to really sell Elias’ right hand because Cena laid there for a bit. Then Elias took a knee to John’s face as he got up and stomped him down. “Santa didn’t visit me this morning so I’m gonna give myself the gift of challenging you right now” Elias said.

John Cena vs Elias

The Drifter beat on Cena and the 16 time WWE Champion sold like a champ. Then Elias draped Cena off the apron and hit him with a running knee on the floor. They fought on the outside and Elias maintained control the whole time. Elias has certainly come a long way since NXT.

Elias hit a stomp to the chest that knocked the wind out of Big Match John for a two count. Seriously, John Cena got no offence in for a very good amount of time until he started to mount a small comeback but Elias just lifted his boots in the turnbuckle and brought Cena right back down while in a charge.

Elias went for another stomp but Cena moved and hit a clothesline. They traded some position and it looked like Cena was trying for an AA off the top rope but Elias turned it into a sitdown powerbomb which sent Cena rolling out of the ring.

Cena Hulked up a bit and started to go for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Elias rolled out. Then Cena went chasing after Elias and The Drifter turned it around on Cena to keep him down once again. Elias hit a backbreaker and got another two count out of the match.

Cena locked in the STF but Elias kicked Cena off and hit a knee to the face. Cena rolled outside and looked tired. Elias hammered on Cena from the apron as John tried to hang on he flipped over Elias and locked in the STF once more.

Elias hit a modified version of his Drift Away and stalked the 16x WWE Champion. Elias hit a jumping elbow on Cena and continued to pick away at Cena as the crowd started to chant “this is boring.”

Cena turned it around and slammed him down, hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle and the AA. 1-2-3 and Elias put forth a great effort.

Winner: John Cena via pinfall

Backstage Segment

Kurt Angle was putting some ornaments on a tree backstage like he did all the decorating himself. Jaron Jordan walked in and hugged his daddy. Then Seth Rollins came in and said he wanted a match against Samoa Joe.

JJ said he wanted Samoa Joe and then he and Seth argued about who gets to face him. Then Kurt Angle said if they wanted Joe, then they’d have to take on The Bar first. Rollins said he didn’t want to do that, and Jason said he just came out of a tag team and he didn’t want to take a step backwards.

Rollins took umbrage to being considered a backstep and Angle said they would be unstoppable if they could utilize their talents. Then he booked them in a match for the Raw Tag Team Championships.

Suddenly, Roman Reigns was standing there and Angle told him he had Samoa Joe tonight and it was a title match.

Hideo Itami vs The Brian Kendrick

Yeah, Hideo Itami is on the main roster finally but he’s on 205 Live. That could be a bummer but then again if they can build the Cruiserweight Division around him then it just might work.

Itami hit some awfully hard strikes, punches, kicks, and slams followed by another kick to the spine. He is quite stiff.

Kendrick took advantage from a dropkick and kept the pressure on for a bit. Then Itami took control once again, hit the GTS in Chicago and everyone loved it.

Winner: Hideo Itami via pinfall

Here’s a fun fact, The Brian Kendrick’s nose was busted up pretty badly after taking that GTS as evidenced by the fact he was bleeding a bit as the ringside medical staff tended to him.

Backstage Segment

Mickie James, Bayley, and Sasha Banks were backstage when they ran into the Miztourage who wished them a Merry Mizmas then they sang a Mizmas Carol that was really quite something.

Absolution vs Mickie James, Bayley, and Sasha Banks

Mandy and Sasha got a nice chance to wrestle around for a bit until Deville got in and took Banks out in very brutal fashion. The crowd was chanting for Paige and she got the tag for a bit but Rose got the tag back again. Corey Graves just loves Mandy Rose.

Deville got a tag and punched Banks in the stomach before pinning her for a two count and wrapping her legs around her in a grapevine. But Banks got up with Deville still wrapped around her but Deville brought her back down and tagged in Paige.

Banks fought back but Paige laid her out with another clothesline. Rose got the tag and took Banks out with a knee to the face. Absolution just wouldn’t let Banks get to the corner then Mandy turned around and slapped Mickie off the apron. Mandy got thrown into Paige, and Bayley got the tag as did Paige.

Bayley rallied on Paige and hit a suplex. She followed it up in the corner but Paige moved. Bayley knoced Deville off the apron and Paige took a Bayley To Belly but Deville and Rose pulled Paige out. There was a brawl on the outside and Paige took a bump inside.

Bayley climbed up to the top rope, but Paige knocked her down and hit the Rampaige for the pin.

Winners: Absolution via pinfall

They played highlight footage of Dean Ambrose’s injury to write him off television for a bit and then they updated us on his surgery. They said he could be out of action upward to nine months.

Backstage Segment

Samoa Joe was interviewed by Renee Young (Dean Ambrose’s wife) and he didn’t seem too upset about Dean-O being out of action. He’s also not too worried about Roman Reigns either.

Kane vs Heath Slater

This looks like step one in Rhyno’s plan to toughen up Heath Slater… good idea!

As awesome as Slater is, he took a beating from Kane and rolled out of the ring. Rhyno told him to get back in there, “I’m trying my best!” Slater said.

Then he got back in and Kane clotheslined him right back outside. Slater and Rhyno were arguing when Kane grabbed Heath to pull him back in the ring. Slater mounted a mini-comeback but Kane knocked him right bak down and hit a chokeslam to end it.

Winner: Kane via pinfall

“That’s one man in red you don’t want coming down your chimney” Michael Cole said before Kane targeted Rhyno.

The Manbeast fought back and speared Kane in the corner but when he went for a Gore Kane grabbed him by the throat and chokeslammed him as well. That was quite unceremoniously but served its purpose when it put Kane over for his triple threat match at the Royal Rumble.

Kurt Hawkins’ Open Challenge

Hawkins said normally he’d be telling people to “face the facts” but tonight he needs to tell himself the face the facts. He said 2017 hasn’t been too kind of his win/loss record but the year isn’t over yet and he feels a Christmas miracle is possible. Then he issued an open challenge while usually works out well for him.

Suddenly, Finn Balor came out to add to Hawkins’ 146 loss record. Even though it wasn’t a total squash match, Kurt Hawkins still suffered a Coup De Gras and then defeat once again.

Winner: Finn Balor via pinfall

Backstage Segment

The Miztourage were backstage once again spreading Mizmas cheer when they ran into Goldust. They sang him a song about his career losing its luster and then gave him a copy of Santa’s Little Helper starring The Miz and Paige. Titus Worldwide came around the corner and Goldy gave Titus the DVD.

Bray Wyatt Is Still Creepy And Awesome

Bray said “she always hated this time of the year” where pagan rituals could bring about this kind of happiness because it reminded her of Matt Hardy because he gives people something to believe in.

Bray said Matt’s surrounded by his fireflies and “her” then he said “Chicago, I’m here”

Bray Wyat walked to the ring surrounded by his fireflies and he looked to be full of whatever the opposite of Christmas cheer is.

But when Bray got in the ring, he Matt Hardy showed up out of nowhere and jumped him. Wyatt went running and Hardy got a live WWE microphone for the first time as Woken Matt Hardy and he used his time wisely to laugh manically over and over again… that was it.

Backstage Segment

The Bar was backstage complaining about having to be in a match defending their titles. Sheamus gave Cesaro a present while the crowd chanted “Hardy” and “Delete” so loudly you couldn’t hear them.

Cesaro opened his present and pulled out a Dean Ambrose Elite figure mssing an arm and they said it’s authentic and brand new.

Then Cesaro gave Sheamus a gift and it was Seth Rollins Elite figure and Sheamus said he can’t wait to break it just like he’ll break the actual Seth later tonight. Then Sheamus got another figure and it was Jason Jordan.

Sheamus said he didn’t want it and Cesaro said Seth doesn’t want JJ as his tag team partner and Kurt Angle doesn’t even want him as his song… ouch.

Enzo Amore, Drew Gulak, and Ariya Daivari vs Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, and Akira Tozowa – Miracle On 34th Street Fight

Enzo was still very over in Chicago. It’s also notable that Enzo was dressed like Santa while Gulak and Daivari were dressed like elves.

This match included using Christmas trees and presents as weapons. The gifts were empty cardboard boxes so those probably didn’t hurt too much but the tree was probably a different story as it was propped against the turnbuckle and Enzo took a bump into it.

Alexander grabbed a kendo stick dressed up to look like a candy cane and tried to hit Enzo but after a skirmish, Gulak took some whacks. Then Cedric hit a Lumbar Check on Daivari for the win to build momentum for Cedric as he heads toward Enzo Amore and the Cruiserweight Championship next week. Looks like they’re rushing that match to possibly get Enzo Amore into another feud by Royal Rumble time… possibly Hideo Itami?

Winners: Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, and Akira Tozowa via pinfall

Enzo was walking around backstage and suddenly we heard Nia Jax say “how you doin'” suddenly Enzo and Nia flirted a little and there was some body language and suddenly they spotted mistletoe above their heads.

“How you doin’?” Enzo asked, and as they were about to kiss Alexa Bliss busted in and told Nia she had to talk to her about the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble match, “come on, let’s go!” Bliss said in a panic.

After Nia Jax and Bliss walked off Enzo looked rather dismayed, “Well how you doing too Nia” he said with his Santa hat in hand.

Roman Reigns was interviewed about Samoa Joe and Reigns said if you hurt one of my brothers, I’m going to hurt you. I guess they’re going with Dean Ambrose was injured by Samoa Joe and not wear and tear and crazy bumps when he was likely injured a long time ago but just had to have the surgery now because it had gotten to the point where it was required?

Somao Joe vs Roman Reigns (Intercontinental Championship)

Reigns took advantage early on and pulled off a few moves including a driveby. But Samoa Joe’s tenacity showed with a chop and a headbutt that rocked The Big Dog. Then Roman took some punishment from Joe.

Reigns fought back and caught a boot to the face. He measured Joe for the Superman Punch, but Joe tangled himself in the ropes instead. Then Joe started firing away with punches and hit a shoulder and kick in the corner for a two count.

Roman hit a Samoan Drop on Samoa Joe but only got a two count. Joe blocked a powerbomb but Roman hit a sunset flip for a two count. Roman rolled out of the way of a senton and hit a Superman Punch for a two count because everybody kicks out of the Superman Punch anymore.

Roman geared up and yelled at the ceiling but Joe met him with a knee when he went for the spear. Joe hit the uranage slam for a two count. Roman hung Joe up on the top rope, but Joe caught the Coquina Clutch when Roman came back in the ring.

Joe had in his submission hold but Reigns kept fighting back, Joe grapevined Roman’s arm when he reached for the ropes but Reigns fought back and grabbed the rope to break up the hold in a dramatic moment. Reigns rolled out of the ring and Joe hit him with a suicide dive as Roman started to sell his arm.

Joe latched on a submission hold when they got back in the ring until Da Big Dawg fought out with a headbutt and some strikes. Roman started kicking Joe in the corner and the referee tried to pull him off but Roman pushed the referee to the side and continued wit the beating. The referee called for the bell after that to end the match in a very “meh” way.

Winner: Samoa Joe via DQ

After the match, Roman Reigns hit a Superman Punch in the ring and another on the outside. Then he tossed Joe into the steel post while selling his arm the whole time. He pulled Joe up and tossed him into the other post while the referee begged for Roman to stop. Then Reigns picked up the steel steps and carried them over to Joe where he rocked Joe with them.

This was supposed to be a receipt for hurting Dean Ambrose but it came off as bloodthirsty, then again the Chicago crowd chanting “one more time” also helped in that observation as well.

Joe ran off just before Roman could obliterate him with a chair. “He’s hurt enough, huh?” the referee said as they held Roman back while Joe limped away.

Backstage Segment

Seth told JJ he’s only doing this match for two reasons, because “I owe your dad a favor” and because he wanted a piece of Sheamus and Cesaro. Rollins said this can’t be a case of JJ losing and saying he was able to hang with the top competition.

Then JJ said he makes a pretty good replacement for Ambrose. Then Seth said as good as JJ thinks he is, he will never be Dean Ambrose. “Right, I’ll be better,” Jordan said before walking away. The nerve of that kid.

Miztourage Secret Santa Match

Dallas and Axel were out there in their awesome ugly Christmas sweaters and they were so excited because Kurt Angle told them they were in a Secret Santa Match. But they were going to sing Mizmas Carols until their opponent showed up.

Then Braun Strowman came out and destroyed them and their sweaters.

Winner: Braun Strowman via everything

After the match was over, Strowman gave out another running powerslam apiece to really cement himself as a threat heading into the big Royal Rumble triple threat match.

Alexa Bliss Speaks

Alexa wished everyone a Merry Blissmas and said she gave everyone the gift of a goddess. Then she said 2017 has been the year of Alexa Bliss and she’s not wrong for a lot of reasons while she said she’s dominated “everything like a freaking Jedi from Star Wars.” Then she said she did it without the fans before and she doesn’t need them now.

But everything changed when the Woman’s Royal Rumble match was announced. Bliss said, “you’re welcome” and the Women’s Royal Rumble is all thanks to her. Suddenly the lights went down and Asuka came out… the place was lit as a Christmas tree.

Asuka said she’s entering the Women’s Royal Rumble and “I will win because nobody’s ready for Asuka.” The two stood face-to-face for a few moments and Bliss looked a bit worried as Asuka licked her lips… then Asuka kicked Bliss’ head off leaving Alexa sad heap on the mat.

Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan vs The Bar – Raw Tag Team Title Match

The babyfaces gained an advantage early on and Rollins capped it off with a suicide dive after JJ couldn’t quite handle The Bar on his own. But Sheamus would soon take advantage of Seth Rollins thanks to a clothesline on the outside.

Cesaro got the tag and kept the pressure on Seth with a stiff kick to the midsection. Rollings fought back but JJ was previously taken out by The Bar so there was nobody to tag.

Jason Jordan was still selling on the outside while Seth tried his best to stay in the match. The Bar lifted Seth up and hit him with a double team uppercut for another two count. Jordan jumped in and tackled Sheamus then he rolled back outside and got to his corner.

Seth kicked Cesaro out of the way and tagged JJ in as Sheamus got the tag on the other side. Jason rallied on Sheamus and capped it off with a German Suplex for a two count. JJ kicked out of a roll up after a distraction on the outside and took a stiff clothesline for a two count. The Bar hit a doubleteam backbreaker for another two count and then Cesaro locked in a sharpshooter.

Rollins jumped in and Cesaro broke up the hold. Then The Bar hit Jordan with another double team move but Seth hit a springboard move right into Sheamus’ arms so it distracted the referee. Sheamus locked JJ in a cloverleaf but he got to the bottom rope and caused a break.

“Let’s do this!” Sheamus yelled as he tagged Cesaro. But Seth held Cesaro’s feet as he was perched on the top rope. Sheamus hit the white noise and rolled out to chase Rollins. Sheamus took the steel steps on the outside and Cesaro hit Rollins with an uppercut.

Then Cesaro returned just in time to get hit with JJ’s finisher.

Winners and new Raw Tag Team Champions: Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan via pinfall

Merry Christmas!




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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