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The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 12/31/18 Review (New Year’s Eve Raw)

The John Report: WWE Smackdown Live 12/18/18 Review

Completely satisfied New Yr, my buddies. Thanks for studying one other version of the WWE Raw Deal for the final Raw of 2018, which is being posted on January 1, 2019. I’ve by no means been a New Yr’s Decision type of man. If you might want to change issues in your life or set objectives, do it any day within the yr as wanted, not simply when it says January 1 on the calendar. What I can inform you is that I’m extra pushed than ever to make TJRWrestling greater than ever. The indicators of progress in the previous few months are encouraging. Inside the subsequent two weeks, I feel I’ll make a publish in search of writers so as to add to our staff. What am I wanting ahead to? The NFL Playoffs arising. Go LA Rams. I haven’t been this excited a few playoff run in about 15 years. Anyway, let’s get to Raw.

Reside (on tape) from Detroit, Michigan, that is the Raw Deal for episode #1335 of Monday Night time Raw. Comply with me on Twitter @johnreport. If you wish to help us at TJRWrestling, right here’s a Donate Hyperlink for our Paypal to contribute indirectly to assist us develop the location.

The present started with the metal cage decreasing above the ring. The announce staff of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Younger ran down a number of the matches on the Royal Rumble on January 27 together with Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman for the Common Title in addition to the lads’s and ladies’s Royal Rumble matches.

There was a metal cage across the ring with Dolph Ziggler making his entrance first. He’s again in face mode for this match towards his former tag workforce companion Drew McIntyre, who was up subsequent.

Evaluation: It’s good to start out Raw with a match that has an enormous really feel to it with a metal cage match.

Metal Cage Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler

A wrestler can win a metal cage match by pinfall, submission, escaping the cage by climbing out or leaving by means of the door. If it was as much as me it will solely be climbing out of the cage, however it’s less than me…sadly.

McIntyre was in management with a tough chop to the chest adopted by a suplex. McIntyre arrange Ziggler on the highest rope main to a different chop to the chest. Ziggler obtained again into it with a leaping DDT off the ropes for a two rely. McIntyre hit his Glasgow Kiss headbutt to the top of Ziggler. When McIntyre tried to climb out, Ziggler went after him to cease him they usually had a slugfest. Ziggler despatched McIntyre face first into the cage a number of occasions, however McIntyre tripped up Ziggler resulting in Ziggler getting crotched on the highest rope. McIntyre additionally turned crotched on the highest rope when he fell, so each guys collapsed holding their groins.


The match returned with McIntyre in management with some trash speaking as Finn Balor was proven watching on a TV backstage with Cole noting that Balor gained a triple menace with these two guys final week. Ziggler hit the Fameasser for a two rely. McIntyre blocked a superkick try adopted by a slam try, however Ziggler acquired a rollup for 2. Ziggler despatched McIntyre into the cage 3 times, which might have led to a blade job pre-2008, however not in at the moment’s WWE. Ziggler hit a superkick on McIntyre for a two rely. Good nearfall. Ziggler tried to climb out of the door, however McIntyre dragged him again in resulting in a double headbutt spot with each males collapsing to the mat. Ziggler tried to go away by means of the door once more, McIntyre went after him and Ziggler slammed the door into Drew’s head to knock them each down. After each guys have been down promoting for about one minute, Ziggler hit one other Fameasser for a two rely.


The match continued with Ziggler on the prime of the cage with McIntyre punching him to maintain him from leaving. McIntyre got here again with an enormous superplex off the highest rope into the ring. That was a fantastic spot. That appeared like a tough touchdown for Ziggler coming off the cage. The followers chanted “this is awesome” for them. McIntyre advised Ziggler to rise, McIntyre stated that Ziggler meant nothing to him and McIntyre launched Ziggler face first into the metal cage. McIntyre informed Ziggler he’s not going to get off that straightforward as McIntyre tossed Ziggler suplex fashion into the cage. Drew advised Ziggler it’s not over and he advised him to struggle. Ziggler got here again with a kick to the knee and a Zig Zag for a two rely with the gang popping massive for it as a plausible nearfall. Ziggler arrange for a superkick, however McIntyre beat him to the punch with a powerful Claymore Kick to the top. That was superior. Cole stated that it might be probably the most devastating ending maneuver in WWE with Graves agreeing with him. McIntyre hit one other Claymore Kick and he pinned Ziggler to win the match after about 19 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Evaluation: ***1/2 That was an excellent match to start out the present they usually obtained lots of time. It looks like the top of this rivalry with McIntyre going over because the man that’s being pushed extra today. It’s refreshing to see a match within the first phase of the night time. I hope that continues extra typically on this “new” period of WWE. Ziggler obtained in plenty of offense for many of it, which led to McIntyre coming again and searching dominant because the winner. That first Claymore Kick from McIntyre appeared nice as he beat Ziggler to it and I assumed Ziggler bought it completely. These guys work nicely collectively.

After the match, McIntyre slowly left the cage because the winner with the announcers placing him over large and Cole suggesting that McIntyre could have the most effective yr of his profession in 2019. I feel that’s proper. When McIntyre left the cage, Ziggler requested: “is that all you got?” McIntyre grabbed a metal chair and went into the ring. McIntyre put the chair towards Ziggler’s head and Drew dropkicked the chair into Ziggler’s head into the cage. The followers chanted “one more time” after that.

Evaluation: It was a basic heel beatdown to place McIntyre over large even after he gained the match clear.

McIntyre did a promo saying that he’s the king of the Raw jungle. McIntyre informed Ziggler it didn’t need to be this manner, however he stored coming for his scraps. McIntyre informed Ziggler he’s pathetic, he’s lifeless weight and he doesn’t even deserve Drew’s scraps. McIntyre stated now that this chapter is closed, we will concentrate on what actually issues. Drew stated that it’s time to show that he’s the king of the WWE and he claimed that he’s going to win the Royal Rumble match and eventually fulfill his future when he wins the Common Championship.

McIntyre left the ring, however when he appeared on the Titantron, he noticed Ziggler was again on his ft. McIntyre went again into the ring and he gave Ziggler one other Claymore Kick to knock him out. That put an finish to it.

Evaluation: That was a top quality promo from McIntyre filled with depth. Ziggler obtained his ass kicked, however he additionally sells that Claymore Kick in addition to anyone probably might. It places over McIntyre big. McIntyre is clearly in line for an enormous push on Raw and I feel he deserves it.

A limousine was proven arriving to the world. Shane McMahon and Triple H made their entrance as the 2 brothers-in-law confirmed as much as run the present. Shane did his annoying dancing routine, which annoyed Hunter. Hunter had a glance on his face as if to say “dude, we’re almost 50.” Perhaps not the “dude” half.

This week on Smackdown, John Cena is again on the New Yr’s Day version of the present.


PLUG TIME: The 10th Annual WWE Johnny Awards have been posted a couple of days in the past and I acquired numerous nice suggestions on them, so thanks for that. Lots of NXT stars acquired some awards this yr whereas some foremost roster stars did properly too. It coated lots, so please test it out…I additionally posted my rating of the 10 greatest WWE matches of 2018. It was robust to select simply ten and putting them in the appropriate order was troublesome too. I had enjoyable placing it collectively….You also needs to take a look at my column on The Comeback the place I did a countdown of the eight largest WWE tales this yr together with Roman Reigns, the ladies’s evolution, Ronda Rousey, the subsequent WWE TV contracts and extra…I took a break with the WWF in 2000 critiques, however I plan on getting again into it later this week and verify them out in our WWF in 2000 part.

Finn Balor was proven saying that his New Yr’s Decision is to be the brand new Common Champion…Ember Moon stated that in 2019, she’s going to win the Ladies’s Royal Rumble…The Ascension did their New Yr’s Decision with Viktor eager to convey again the Style Information and Konnor eager to win the Raw Tag Workforce Titles…The Lucha Home Get together didn’t say a lot aside from begin their “Lucha” chant.

Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins made his entrance for what would usually be the opening promo on the present, however as an alternative it’s coming about 35 minutes into the present. High-quality with me. Altering it up a bit is an effective factor. Huge pop for Rollins.

Rollins stated that he’s not too massive on New Yr’s Resolutions as a result of life strikes too quick for that particularly in WWE. Rollins stated he’s not ready for the ball to drop in Occasions Sq. as a result of he needs to get the get together began proper now. Rollins talked about how he’s acquired himself a rematch towards Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship and he needs to try this proper now.

Triple H made his entrance to the “King of Kings” music. Hunter was in go well with sporting mode because the followers gave him a pleasant pop.

Evaluation: That additionally explains why this isn’t the opening phase since Triple H and Shane have been proven arriving after the primary match.

Hunter stated that it’s been some time. He stated that every single day that you simply get up you could have a chance for a recent begin at life to do something you need to do. Hunter famous that nothing can be handed to anyone and there will probably be no automated something, which is why Hunter is there to inform us there’s no automated rematch for the IC Title. Hunter stated he’s unsure Seth deserves a rematch anyway. Hunter stated that it takes no pleasure in saying that and he stated that he was Seth’s most vocal supporter. Rollins stated that Hunter solely believed in him as a result of he (Seth) was his puppet.

Hunter advised Rollins that he made Hunter consider in him. Hunter stated that Rollins made him consider that Rollins can be the face of Raw and be the person there. Hunter informed Rollins that he took every little thing that he ever needed there and he believed in him. Hunter famous that when he didn’t consider in Seth, Rollins took him to WrestleMania and he kicked his ass till Hunter believed in him once more. Hunter needed to know the place is the man that took what he needed as a result of he sees the man that’s asking for stuff. Rollins famous that he has been carrying Monday Night time Raw on his again for the final yr, which led to cheers. Rollins stated that whereas Brock Lesnar was someplace up in Saskatchewan doing what he does, Rollins was in right here churning out classics with Finn Balor, Dolph Ziggler and Mojo Rawley of all individuals. Rollins stated that he’s glad Hunter isn’t handing out alternatives as a result of Seth needs to earn it. Rollins requested if he needs the ruthless bastard again and Hunter advised him to burn it down beginning down tonight towards Bobby Lashley. Rollins stated he’ll take every part Lashley has to provide and he’ll take every little thing Dean Ambrose has to offer after which he’ll take Brock Lesnar down if he will get in his approach (the followers cheered that). Rollins stated he’ll take down Hunter’s entire household in the event that they get in the best way. Rollins acquired proper in Hunter’s face as he stared at him.

Evaluation: That was intense and properly completed with Hunter motivating Rollins in a approach that was wanted. Rollins did a incredible job of speaking about all of the issues he did on Raw this yr whereas additionally specializing in the longer term by mentioning Lesnar. The rumor is Rollins vs. Lesnar at WrestleMania, so if that’s the plan, it’s sensible for Rollins to say Lesnar in his promos. The followers actually acquired behind Rollins as nicely, which ought to inform the artistic workforce that they’re doing the proper factor by pushing Rollins if that’s the plan. I hope it’s as a result of he deserves it.

Shane McMahon’s music hit and he ran right down to the ring. Shane famous to Hunter that Seth might burn it down. Shane informed Rollins he has to organize for his match with Lashley later. Shane stated that there’s a “fresh start battle royal” with the winner getting an IC Title match towards Dean Ambrose later.

Finn Balor made his entrance as one of many superstars within the battle royal. Triple H and Shane left. Hunter did a “too sweet” hand gesture to Finn whereas Shane bumped fists with him. Rollins left the ring as Balor posed.

Evaluation: It was a clean transition from establishing the Rollins match to the battle royal.


The ring was filled with Raw superstars. The finish of No Means Jose’s entrance was proven after which Baron Corbin acquired his full entrance. One of many guys in there was Zack Ryder in his first Raw match of the yr. He’s been on the present since April, however not used.

Battle Royal for an Intercontinental Title Match

The wrestlers all battled towards the ropes as No Method Jose did an airplane spin on Viktor, so Apollo Crews did press slams on each guys to remove them. Dean Ambrose was proven watching on a TV backstage. There wasn’t something happening because the announcers talked about Ryder’s lack of matches. Titus O’Neil went after the Lucha Home Get together guys, however the three of them labored collectively to dump O’Neil out.


The match continued with the Lucha Home Celebration engaged on Balor, however Balor eradicated Gran Metalik when he was on the highest rope. Balor despatched Kalisto to the apron and kicked him out. Balor tossed Lince Dorado excessive to get him out of there too, so Balor removed the complete Lucha Home Social gathering. Corbin missed a operating shoulder deal with on Balor and hit the ring submit. Crews dumped each members of the B Staff (Axel and Dallas) out of the ring on the similar time with a again physique drop. Crews dumped Konnor and Mojo Rawley out of the ring to remove them. Crews with a press slam on Breeze to remove him for his seventh elimination within the match. Corbin with a Chokeslam on Crews. Balor with a Slingblade and dropkick to Corbin. Balor with an elbow to the chest of Ryder and Corbin eradicated Balor, which drew boos as a result of the followers needed Balor.

The remaining 4 are Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Apollo Crews and Baron Corbin. Ryder labored over Corbin towards the turnbuckle, he went for his Broski Guide and Corbin dumped Ryder out with again physique drop. Corbin laughed at Hawkins, who fought again with punches. Hawkins prevented elimination. Hawkins tried to remove Corbin, however Corbin dumped him out. Crews and Corbin have been the ultimate two with Crews going up prime, Corbin prevented an assault and Crews met him with a step up enziguri adopted by one other step up enziguri to ship Corbin excessive to the ground. That was Crews’ eighth elimination to win the match. The followers cheered for Crews for the win after about 12 minutes.

Winner: Apollo Crews

The win by Crews meant that he will get to face Dean Ambrose for the IC Title afterward Raw.

Evaluation: **1/four It was a mean battle royal with Crews wanting spectacular by eliminating a lot of the guys within the match. I like the best way he was put over in an enormous approach. Good bump by Corbin on the finish there to actually put over Crews. The followers needed Balor to win, however they have been completely satisfied that it was a face like Crews.

Publish match, Crews was interviewed within the ring by Charly Caruso. Crews stated that he hoped for a recent begin like this and it took 364 days, however the alternative is there for him. Crews stated he’s going to turn out to be the Intercontinental Champion tonight.

Natalya was interviewed by Dasha Fuentes backstage resulting in highlights of final week’s nice match the place Natalya misplaced to Ronda Rousey in a aggressive match. Natalya stated that 2018 was a whirlwind of a yr for her like dropping her dad, however it had nice reminiscences just like the Evolution PPV, coaching with Ronda Rousey and final week’s nice match. Natalya stated she needs to do it once more at WrestleMania, so she’s getting into the Royal Rumble. Nia Jax confirmed as much as ask what occurs if Ronda Rousey isn’t the champion at WrestleMania and if one thing occurs to derail these plans. Tamina attacked Natalya from behind. They tossed Natalya into some containers backstage. Jamie Noble and Adam Pearce confirmed as much as separate the women resulting in a break. Jax trash talked Natalya about it questioning the place Rousey was for her.

Evaluation: It was an affordable assault that was finished to arrange the apparent tag staff match for later. I can say apparent as a result of I learn spoilers, however I additionally know acquainted WWE reserving patterns once I see them.

Evaluation x2: That was a reasonably good first hour of Raw plus one other jiffy to complete that match. It was higher than the standard first hour. I’m making an attempt to start out the brand new yr in a constructive approach.


There was a replay of Natalya getting attacked with the announcers speaking about it.

Baron Corbin was within the ring doing a promo whining about dropping the battle royal. He stated that he was making an attempt to please all of us, however all we (the followers) did was boo. Corbin stated that he deserved a reward for operating Raw. Elias appeared on the stage for the interruption. There have been cheers for him.

Elias performed the New Yr’s music “Auld Lang Syne” a bit on his guitar. Elias informed Corbin his time is up and it’s time for a New Yr’s Rockin’ Eve with Elias whereas telling Corbin that he doesn’t invite losers to his celebration, so Baron has to go. The followers chanted “you’re a loser” at Corbin. Elias stated this is identical man when he was Common Supervisor, he was by no means going to deliver Raw to a wicked and run-down metropolis like Detroit. Elias stated he received on the telephone together with his buddy Child Rock (Detroit’s personal) they usually agreed that Corbin operating his mouth ain’t a great way to spend New Yr’s. Elias stated that this metropolis is making a comeback and now that he’s there, the town will probably be resurrected. He did his “WWE stands for” bit resulting in followers chanting “Walk With Elias” for him. Elias stated he’s received a music to sing tonight.

Elias did a track about Corbin ruining Raw, so Elias will save Mondays. Elias claimed that whoever stated that Corbin is entertaining ought to be sued. Elias sang about how he didn’t give a rattling about Corbin dropping his job as a result of he’s in Detroit Rock Metropolis. That led to Elias main “Detroit Rock City” chants.

Corbin left the ring resulting in a brawl with Elias outdoors the ring. Corbin tossed Elias over the barricade. They went brawling into the gang, Elias tossed a drink onto Corbin they usually went again over the barricade to ringside with Elias hitting Corbin with a forearm to the top. Elias shoved a cart into Corbin. Corbin managed to flee and he ran up the ramp to get away.

Evaluation: That may in all probability result in an Elias match towards Corbin on Raw subsequent week. The phase was okay. The Corbin promo was the identical factor he has been saying for weeks, which will get him a number of warmth and Elias was cheered rather a lot for his promo. The drawback I’ve is I’ve little interest in seeing them have a match as a result of I doubt it’s going to be good. Elias must be in there with smaller guys as a result of he struggles towards greater opponents. Elias promos are superb and entertaining, however when it comes to matches, there has but to be something that was significant for him as a face.

It’s official for afterward Raw: Ronda Rousey and Natalya vs. Nia Jax and Tamina.


The group of AOP and Drake Maverick did New Yr’s Resolutions with Drake saying that they are going to be extra brutal in 2019. Rezar popped a balloon…The Riott Squad stated they’ll apply strain on the others…Zack Ryder’s New Yr Decision is to have extra matches on Raw and get extra motion figures…No Method Jose stated let’s simply benefit from the second and have fun proper now. His buddies danced with him.

The trio of Ember Moon, Sasha Banks and Bayley made their entrances individually for a six-woman tag group match. The Riott Squad made their entrance because the opponents. This match was arrange after final week’s squad with The Riott Squad attacking the three faces after the faces gained a six-woman tag staff match final week.

Evaluation: The artistic workforce loves reserving six-woman tag workforce matches on Raw.

Sasha Banks, Bayley and Ember Moon vs. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan)

Morgan took down Bayley with Cole noting that each one of those ladies are within the Royal Rumble. Banks tagged in, Bayley with a cross physique block and Banks with a double knee assault on Logan. The announcers talked about Logan’s Viking wedding ceremony, however to not who it was. It was Rowe of the NXT tag workforce Conflict Raiders. Bayley tagged again in with a clothesline on Logan. Moon tagged in with Cole saying his standard line about Moon being a former champion that he says in each match she’s in. Riott was authorized for the heels with Moon hitting her with a dropkick. Morgan tagged in with a kick on Moon for a two rely. The heels took turns stomping away on Moon towards the turnbuckle, so Bayley and Banks saved their companion. Morgan kicked Bayley down, Banks kicked Morgan and the present went to a break.


The match returned with Bayley in command of the heels with arm drags for Riott and Morgan. Banks tagged in, then Moon tagged in and Moon hit a splash on Morgan within the nook adopted by a rollup for 2. Banks was authorized once more as she labored over Morgan towards the turnbuckle, Logan distracted the referee and Riott tripped up Banks to provide the heels the benefit. Morgan drove her foot to the again of Banks. Riott tagged in with a operating elbow on Banks for a two rely. Logan again in, she slammed Riott onto Banks and coated for a two rely of her personal. Logan with a hair whip adopted by a operating knee that seemed nice for an additional two rely. Morgan again in with a facebuster main to 3 nearfalls. Banks broke free after a backslide and a knee to the face. Logan prevented a tag with a headbutt on Banks. Logan kicked Bayley off the apron. Moon hit a cross physique block excessive to take out Riott and Morgan on the ground. Bayley made the blind tag, Banks with a Backstabber and Bayley went up prime with an elbow drop on Logan for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Sasha Banks, Bayley and Ember Moon

Evaluation: **half It was a mean six-woman tag staff match.  The workforce of Banks, Bayley and Moon acquired the win once more, in order that exhibits that WWE is concentrated on actually placing over Banks and Bayley as a workforce resulting in the introduction of Ladies’s Tag Group Titles. The Riott Squad are within the image when it comes to being a cohesive staff on Raw, however they lose extra typically than they win. It might have been good if Moon was featured extra. The end was good.

Seth Rollins faces Bobby Lashley up subsequent.


A video aired about Complete Bellas returning in a number of weeks. It seems terrible like normal. Poor Daniel Bryan. I hope he’s paid properly.

There was a video package deal about Braun Strowman displaying destruction he brought about in 2018. Poor Kevin Owens. Strowman was not on the present this week, so it’s a solution to maintain him recent in minds of the viewer.

Seth Rollins was within the ring for his match. Bobby Lashley made his entrance with hype man Lio Rush, who had a microphone. Rush referred to as Lashley a fighter that fights. Rush stated that after Lashley is completed dominating Rollins, that’s when Lashley will do his well-known pose. Rush informed Lashley to dominate.

Evaluation: The drawback with Rush placing over Lashley onerous is that Lashley obtained beat simply by Elias final week within the comedic road battle match that they had.

Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush)

Rollins began with a operating dropkick and Lashley got here again with a waistlock takedown. Lashley despatched Rollins into the turnbuckle adopted by a operating shoulder deal with. Lashley jumped on the again of Rollins, who got here again with chops and a leaping kick to the top. Rollins with a knee to the again of Lashley to ship him out of the ring. Rollins with a slingshot assault excessive to take out Lashley on the ground. Rush prompted a distraction, so Lashley prevented a Rollins assault resulting in a flatliner for 2. Rollins with a jawbreaker, however Lashley got here again with a clothesline and dumped Rollins out of the ring. Rush adopted that with a headscissors that despatched Rollins into the ring publish.


The match continued with Lashley slapping on an armbar on Rollins. When Rollins tried to battle again, Lashley whipped him into the turnbuckle. Lashley teased a suplex, Rollins fought out of it and hit a boot to the face. Lashley went for a clothesline, Rollins ducked it and hit a Slingblade neckbreaker adopted by a clothesline to ship Lashley out of the ring. Rollins hit a suicide dive on Lashley adopted by one other suicide dive. Rollins despatched Lashley again into the ring whereas Rush appeared annoyed at ringside. Again within the ring, Rollins hit a springboard clothesline. Rush grabbed Seth’s foot and Lashley got here again with a powerful spinebuster for 2. Rollins prevented a nook cost, rollup for 2 and kick to the face. Rollins up prime, Rush on the apron and Rollins chased after the speedy hype man. Rollins managed to hit him with a clothesline. Rollins despatched Rush face first into the barricade. Lashley hit Rollins with a clothesline from behind. Rollins had sufficient, so he hit Lashley within the again with the chair resulting in a DQ because the followers cheered that finish of the match after 11 minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Bobby Lashley

Evaluation: **1/four It was okay with Lashley dominating most of it till Rollins made the thrilling comeback to get the gang into it. The lack of a end was nice due to the story they have been telling with Rollins being motivated to get that aggressiveness again.

Rollins continued the assault after the match with a chair to Lashley’s again, then Lashley went into the ring and Rollins hit Lashley with extra chair photographs to the again. Rush jumped into the ring, so Rollins hit him within the intestine with the chair. Rollins continued the chair photographs to the again of each guys. Rollins hit The Stomp (nonetheless wants a greater identify) on Rush, who bought it with a flip. Rollins had a critical look on his face with Cole and Graves noting it was a special Seth Rollins, however it reminds Graves of one of the best Rollins that they’ve ever recognized, which suggests his heel run in 2015 as WWE Champion.

Evaluation: I assumed it was very efficient as a storyline that put over the concept Rollins is extra targeted than ever. You’ll be able to inform that WWE is able to give Rollins that huge push by doing the “he’s better than ever” commentary routine. Lashley has been made to seem like a loser for a number of weeks now, which doesn’t hassle me a lot, nevertheless it does harm his credibility. This was extra about pushing Rollins.

Ronda Rousey and Natalya have been proven backstage wanting able to go. Ambrose vs. Crews continues to be to return.


The announcers talked about how John Cena is again on Raw subsequent week for a stay Raw from Orlando.

The video package deal aired selling the NXT stars coming to the primary roster quickly: Lars Sullivan, Lacey Evans, Heavy Equipment, Nikki Cross and EC3. They’ve been promoted in video packages during the last month.

Jinder Mahal, Samir Singh and Sunil Singh vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno

Mahal took management early with a clothesline. The Singhs hit a double workforce suplex on Slater for a two rely. Slater hit a spin kick on Samir. Rhyno obtained a pop for the tag as a result of he’s from Detroit. Rhyno with a shoulder deal with on each Singhs towards the turnbuckle and a stomach to stomach suplex by Rhyno on each Singhs on the similar time. Mahal again in and Rhyno hit a spinebuster on him. Renee stated Rhyno seems to be like one million bucks, Graves questioned if that was pesos and she or he stated Canadian dollars. That was a very good trade. Slater did a leaping assault on Samir on the ground. Mahal capitalized with a kick to Rhyno and The Khallas slam by Mahal on Rhyno for the win after three minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Jinder Mahal, Samir Singh and Sunil Singh

Evaluation: * A fast match between characters that don’t imply a lot on Raw. It was good to see the Singhs in a match as a result of they’re gifted regardless that I doubt they’re often put in matches.

Dean Ambrose did a backstage promo about how he’s the ethical compass of WWE. Ambrose stated that he’ll make it his private obligation to make sure that Apollo Crews’ recent begin has a rotten finish.


The tag group champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable stated they’ll convey within the subsequent yr subsequent week by beating The Revival whereas making the tag group division superb…The Revival stated they are going to be tag staff champions to deliver credibility to the division…Bayley and Sasha Banks have been proven on digital camera with Bayley saying her decision is to be the primary ever Ladies’s Tag Group Champions in WWE together with her greatest pal Sasha Banks. Banks stated that 2019 would be the yr for the Boss ‘N Hug Connection.

Evaluation: There have been Ladies’s Tag Group Titles about 30 years in the past, however I assume WWE goes to order their expertise to say that this a brand new factor.

Dean Ambrose made his entrance with the IC Title with Graves asking Renee what Dean’s decision is. She didn’t reply that whereas mocking him for considering they make resolutions. Replays aired of how we acquired to this match with Apollo Crews profitable the battle royal. Apollo Crews made his entrance for this IC Title match.

Intercontinental Championship: Dean Ambrose vs. Apollo Crews

Crews began on hearth with a dropkick, then he used his athleticism to keep away from an assault and a leaping elbow. Crews with a sundown flip rollup for a two rely. Crews despatched Ambrose out of the ring with a clothesline and a moonsault off the apron to the ground. Ambrose bailed to the ground on the opposite aspect of the ring resulting in a break.


The match returned with Ambrose hitting a clothesline. Crews got here again with an inside cradle for 2. They did a double clothesline spot resulting in each guys being down on the mat. Crews obtained some momentum going with a Samoan Drop for a two rely. Crews up prime with a cross physique block right into a pin for 2. Crews hit a standing Capturing Star Press for 2. That all the time seems nice and the gang popped for it. Crews with a suplex adopted by a splash towards the turnbuckle. Crews picked up Ambrose, who raked the eyes and Crews got here again with a leaping kick to the top. Crews hit a sitout Powerbomb for a two rely with Ambrose getting his hand on the underside rope. Crews hit a somersault dive excessive onto Ambrose. Again within the ring, Crews went for a Frog Splash, Ambrose moved and Ambrose hit a Soiled Deeds DDT. Ambrose did a sluggish clover together with his arm throughout the chest of Crews for the pinfall win after round 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dean Ambrose

Evaluation: *** It was a really aggressive match with Crews coming near profitable a couple of occasions. Seeing a man like Crews in a very good match like that is what we would like once we speak about recent faces getting an opportunity to point out what they will do. I favored the story of the match with the heel Ambrose on the defensive the entire match with Crews on offense for about 90% of it. The story ended up being about how Ambrose discovered a option to get the job executed as a intelligent heel that capitalized when Crews missed his huge Frog Splash. Crews misplaced, however he seemed nice through the match. I hope he doesn’t get misplaced within the shuffle after this. Give Crews extra alternatives.

The pretty Alexa Bliss did a promo speaking about modifications on Raw and the way she’ll miss the Raw ladies’s division. Bliss stated that she made historical past when she was in cost. Bliss stated she’ll make historical past once more as a result of subsequent week on Raw, she’ll get to host her personal speak present referred to as “A Moment of Bliss” with Bliss noting that she’s the primary lady to host a chat present in WWE historical past. Bliss stated her first visitor is Ronda Rousey. Bliss stated she is aware of Rousey seems to be as much as Roddy Piper, however Rousey shall be within the presence of a goddess and never in some pit (a reference to Piper’s Pit).

Evaluation: Bliss internet hosting a chat present is ok with me as a result of she’s entertaining when she does promos. I consider she’s near being cleared to the return to the ring and it is perhaps across the Royal Rumble later this month, however that’s not confirmed. She has been out for about two months with concussion points.

The ladies’s tag group match is the primary occasion.


There was a video about Common Champion Brock Lesnar being on Raw subsequent week.

Nia Jax and Tamina made their entrance for the primary occasion. Natalya was up first for the face staff. Ronda Rousey, the Raw Ladies’s Champion, was final and she or he obtained one of many loudest ovations of the present. Rousey did her critical march right down to the ring somewhat than enjoying to the gang like she does typically.

Rousey and Natalya went into the ring with punches, which led to the heels retreating to the ground. Cole put over the story that Rousey was mad about Tamina and Nia doing a budget assault to Natalya earlier within the night time.

Ronda Rousey and Natalya vs. Tamina and Nia Jax

Rousey labored over Tamina with knees to the ribs and tossed Tamina down. Jax tagged in, Rousey went for an armbar on her and Jax managed to toss Rousey throughout the ring. Jax with a splash on Rousey towards the turnbuckle adopted by a physique slam. Jax missed a splash try. Natalya tagged in towards Tamina with Natalya hitting a dropkick. Natalya hit two suplexes on Tamina. Tamina missed a nook assault and Natalya hit a physique slam for 2. Jax pulled Tamina out of the ring, so Natalya hit a baseball slide dropkick to knock down the heels. Rousey tagged in, went to the highest rope and hit a cross physique block onto the heels on the ground. That was spectacular.


The match continued with Jax and Tamina in management with Jax hitting a operating shoulder deal with on Natalya to make her the face in peril. Jax with a physique slam on Natalya and a whip into the ring submit. Jax slapped on a chinlock on Natalya whereas Rousey was in search of a tag. Natalya with a jawbreaker to interrupt free, however Jax shoved Natalya again into the turnbuckle. Tamina tagged in together with her personal chinlock. Natalya ran the ropes resulting in a cross physique block. Natalya kicked Tamina away, Rousey received the tag and so did Jax. Rousey labored over Jax with punches to the physique, a takedown and a operating knee to the face by Rousey obtained a two rely. Rousey hit a leaping punch to the face. Graves stated that it was an elbow. I say punch. Jax picked Rousey up with a press slam for a two rely with Rousey kicking out. Jax put Rousey on her shoulders and she or he went to the center ropes, however Rousey fought out of it and Tamina made the blind tag. Tamina went into the ring and hit a superkick for a two rely. Good nearfall there although no one believes Rousey will get pinned in a tag staff match like this. It’s nonetheless a great spot to have a nearfall. Rousey with the armbar on Tamina, however Jax broke it up with a leg drop on Rousey. Natalya again within the ring with the spinning clothesline on Jax and Tamina with a superkick on Natalya to knock her out of the ring. Tamina coated Rousey for 2. Tamina went up prime for the splash, jumped off, Rousey received her ft as much as block and Rousey slapped on the armbar on Tamina resulting in a tapout win.

Winners by submission: Ronda Rousey and Natalya

Evaluation: **1/four It was a predictable tag group match with Natalya because the face in peril, Rousey getting the recent tag and ending off the heels for the win. I feel the difficulty with Rousey matches more often than not is you understand she’s going to lose in a tag match like this, so there’s not a lot drama when the heels get a nearfall. They’re following the tag staff formulation for a match and that’s high-quality, however it’s not that thrilling both.

There have been photographs proven hyping up subsequent week on Raw: Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar return to Raw. Plus, Chad Gable and Bobby Roode vs. The Revival for the Raw Tag Workforce Titles. Alexa Bliss hosts the “Moment of Bliss” speak present with Ronda Rousey because the visitor. Additionally, John Cena is again subsequent week.

Rousey and Natalya celebrated the win with their arms raised within the air and that was the top of the present.

Evaluation: They’re pushing subsequent week’s present exhausting, which is sensible as a result of they’re reside once more after two taped exhibits. The drawback with subsequent Monday is that the school soccer championships are subsequent Monday on ESPN with Alabama dealing with Clemson (I’ll decide Bama to win) and that’s a recreation that may get about 15 million or extra viewers. The week after that’s when Raw may get again a few of the viewers they’ve misplaced in current months. Followers of WWE know January is Royal Rumble season, so that ought to result in a lift in viewers later within the month.

SEE YOU IN 2019! #RAW pic.twitter.com/Jd3FXXIqzY

— WWE (@WWE) January 1, 2019


Three Stars of the Present

1. Drew McIntyre

2. Dolph Ziggler

three. (tie) Apollo Crews

three. (tie) Seth Rollins


The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Final week: 5.5

2018 Common: 5.63

Final 5 Weeks: 5.5, 5.5, 5, four.5, 2.5

2018 Excessive: eight (February 19)

2018 Low: 2.5 (November 26)


Last Ideas

I give it a 6.5 out of 10.

It was a reasonably good present with some entertaining in-ring motion all night time lengthy. The greatest match was the cage match to start out the present with Drew McIntyre wanting dominant together with his efficiency. Apollo Crews had a superb night time as properly with a robust displaying within the battle royal and he was very aggressive within the IC Title match as properly.

I additionally thought it was an efficient present when it comes to how Seth Rollins was booked all through the night time with the promo change with Triple H after which his actions towards Bobby Lashley. I’m all for the push of Seth Rollins to the highest of Raw.

There was extra of a concentrate on in-ring motion this week. That results in a greater present. It’s not nice, however no less than we obtained an above common Raw to finish the yr. That’s a constructive heading into the brand new yr.

The subsequent WWE pay-per-view is Royal Rumble on Sunday, January 27 in Phoenix. Right here’s what we all know thus far.

Males’s Royal Rumble Match (R-Fact is #30, Drew McIntyre)

Ladies’s Royal Rumble Match (Carmella is #30, Natalya, Ember Moon, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan)

Common Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Braun Strowman

There are different matches, however I don’t need to spoil it for these of you that select to keep away from spoilers. You possibly can take a look at the Smackdown evaluate for these new matches.

You’ll be able to contact me utilizing any of the strategies under. See ya subsequent time for the Smackdown assessment. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. They’re all good! Thanks for studying.

John Canton

E-mail: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

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