Monday Night Raw
Date: December 11, 2017
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T.

It’s officially time to start getting ready for the Royal Rumble as we have a #1 contenders match to crown a new challenger to Brock Lesnar. Tonight it’s Braun Strowman vs. Kane for that title shot in a match that seems to be so simple that there almost has to be something screwy going on. Let’s get to it.

The narrated recaps are back, this time setting up tonight’s three singles matches between the Shield and Samoa Joe/The Bar.

Samoa Joe is in the ring to talk about how the Shield has taken out so many people over the years. He’s not impressed though because he’s already taken care of Reigns and Rollins and tonight he’ll add Ambrose to the list. For now though, he wants Reigns to come out here like a man. We cut to the back where Rollins sends Ambrose to get Roman. Joe goes on about how no one can face him until Reigns finally joins his partners in the back, only to come out a few seconds later. The fight is on but here are the Bar for the beatdown. Shield comes in, only to get beaten down in short order.

Bayley/Mickie James vs. Mandy Rose/Paige

Before the match, Absolution says they’re here to destroy everything and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Bayley and Mandy start things off but Paige is in almost immediately. Mandy breaks up a double suplex but Absolution is sent outside. That means a double dive from the apron and we take a break.

Back with Bayley fighting out of a chinlock but getting kneed in the chest for two. Paige hits a running knee of her own and mocks Bayley not being able to get to the corner. Bayley rolls away and the hot tag brings in Mickie for some house cleaning. A flapjack and top rope Thesz press gets two on Mandy as everything breaks down. Paige kicks Mickie in the head though and Mandy steals the pin at 8:22.

Result: Mandy Rose/Paige b. Bayley/Mickie James – Kick to James’ head (8:22)

Clash of Champions preview.

Bray Wyatt is here but Matt Hardy is WOKEN.

Post break, Wyatt talks about how there will always be darkness vs. light but Matt, with a WOKEN graphic, says the Great War has gone on for eons. They both talk about being light and dark with Matt saying he’s met Sister Abigail before when they walked hand in hand, admiring the Gardens of Babylon. The Woken Warriors are preparing for battle against the Wyatt swarm and they shall delete. A laugh off ensues.

We look back at Nia Jax having a thing for Enzo Amore.

Enzo is admiring his Cruiserweight Championship when a suited Drew Gulak comes in. Tonight there is going to be another fatal four way with the winner getting to face Gulak next week in a #1 contenders match. Enzo mentions Jax and Gulak is rather confused. Drew says he gets it before saying that was Enzo trying to teach him to be ready for anything.

Finn Balor vs. Curtis Axel

Axel mocks Finn’s entrance and THE BRACE IS OFF! Bo Dallas gets in a cheap shot to start and we’re ready to go after a pre-match beatdown. Curtis gets in an early Hennig necksnap and cranks on the neck. Balor pops up, hits the shotgun dropkick and finishes Axel with the Coup de Grace at 1:39.

Result: Finn Balor b. Curtis Axel – Coup de Grace (1:39)

Kane is ready to enter the abyss with a fellow monster. He’ll climb back out alone though.

Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus

Seth wastes no time in knocking him outside for a suicide dive. They get back in with Sheamus hammering away to take over with the power offense. Sheamus misses a kick in the corner though as Booker rips on CrossFit. A Blockbuster connects and Sheamus is knocked outside again, only to knee Seth down as we take a break. Back with Sheamus holding a bad looking chinlock before Sheamus starts in on the knee.

We hit a modified Brock Lock before Seth tries a hurricane. That’s quickly countered into a Cloverleaf which is countered into a small package for two. Seth gets two more off a DDT, followed by the low superkick for the same. Sheamus goes after the knee but gets caught in the superplex into the Falcon Arrow for a very delayed two. The knee is shot though and Rollins can’t follow up. Sheamus grabs a Regal Roll but misses the Brogue Kick. Seth’s Wind-Up knee is good for the pin at 13:47.

Result: Seth Rollins b. Sheamus – Wind-Up knee (13:47)

Ambrose’s strategy for tonight: avoid getting kicked in the face and avoid the Koquina Clutch.

Ariya Daivari vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese

The winner gets Gulak, on commentary here, next week. Cedric and Tony slug it out to start before heading outside so Ali can hit a good looking flip dive off the top. Back in and Daivari hammers away on Cedric as Gulak won’t answer if he’ll lay down for Enzo should he get the title shot.

Nese comes back in but can’t hit a pumphandle slam on Ali. Daivari hits Nese by mistake but Ali DDT’s Alexander to put all four down. Back from a break with Ali fighting out of a chinlock, only to get pulled right back down. The fans are almost eerily silent because we’re in a rest hold in a four way. Ali’s rolling X Factor gets two with Nese making the save. Nese gets dropped for the 054 with Cedric making a save of his own this time.

Cedric and Ali slug it out until a Lumbar Check plants Ali. Daivari tries to steal the pin, only to have Cedric pull him out as well. Nese adds a big flip dive to the two of them, followed by the running knee. Ali gets in a save of his own but Alexander cleans house, capped off by a Lumbar Check to end Daivari at 13:02.

Result: Cedric Alexander b. Tony Nese, Mustafa Ali and Ariya Daivari – Lumbar Check to Daivari (13:02)

Post break, Gulak comes up to Enzo and says he’ll win next week then go on to become champion. It’s just some friendly banter but Enzo doesn’t like it, saying Gulak works for him. Enzo says there’s one word to describe the PowerPoint presentations, but Gulak says that word is informative. Nia comes up and says she and Enzo should talk when he’s not busy. Gulak: “Informative.”

Intercontinental Title: Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro

Reigns is defending and starts fast with uppercuts and clotheslines. They fight to the floor and we take an early break. Back with Cesaro cranking on the arm after swinging it into the barricade for a sick thud during the commercial. Reigns fights out with a backslide for two, followed by a rollup. That’s reversed into a Fujiwara armbar and then a regular armbar. Reigns fights up again and hits the apron kick to the face for two, only to get pulled into a Crossface.

Reigns reverses into a Samoan drop for two, only to be sent HARD into the post. It doesn’t seem to matter that much though as Reigns scores with a Superman punch off the apron. The arm won’t let him follow up properly though, allowing Cesaro to grab another Crossface. The Swing is reversed into a sitout powerbomb for two more but Reigns can’t follow up. Cesaro slugs away in the corner but the Neutralizer is countered with a backdrop, followed by the spear to retain the title at 16:53.

Result: Roman Reigns b. Cesaro – Spear (16:53)

Strowman is ready to go to the Royal Rumble.

Alicia Fox vs. Asuka

And no match as Absolution has attacked Fox. Absolution jumps Asuka as well with the rest of the division running out for the save.

Jason Jordan still wants a match with Samoa Joe but angle turns him down again. Angle says he’ll get there eventually but it’s when Angle says so. Jordan: “Ok Kurt.”

Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe

Jordan comes out to watch from the stage, allowing Ambrose to jump a distracted Joe. A crossbody bounces off of Joe so he stomps away for a bit. Dean goes after the knee and takes it to the floor but gets sent into the steps as we take a break. Back with Joe missing the backsplash but peppering Dean with jabs to the face.

Joe grabs a suplex to cut him off again but here’s Jordan for a distraction. Jordan and Joe go face to face but Dean dives on him. Dean gets in his face so Joe dives on both of them as well, followed by a backsplash to Jordan. Back in and the Koquina Clutch knocks Ambrose out at 10:49.

Result: Samoa Joe b. Dean Ambrose – Koquina Clutch (10:49)

Titus Worldwide announces Dana Brooke as statistician and head of research and development.  Anderson and Gallows come in to laugh at them but Strowman comes up and scares everyone away.

Video on Strowman vs. Kane.

Kane vs. Braun Strowman

The winner gets Lesnar at the Rumble. Strowman wastes no time by splashing Kane in the corner, followed by a running dropkick for one. Kane avoids a charge though and a chokeslam gets two. Another chokeslam gets the same before Strowman chokeslams Kane for good measure. They fight into the crowd and Strowman spears Kane through the barricade for a double countout at 4:31.

Result: Braun Strowman vs. Kane went to a double countout (4:31)

The fight continues post match with both guys picking up steps. Said steps are rammed together with Strowman getting the better of it but he can’t crush Kane’s throat again. Kane chairs Strowman in the knee and then the back, finally taking the monster down. Kane sets up a table but a double clothesline gives us a double situp. Strowman muscles him up for the powerslam through the table to end the show.

Paige/Mandy Rose b. Mickie James/Bayley – Kick to Mickie’s head
Finn Balor b. Curtis Axel – Coup de Grace
Seth Rollins b. Sheamus – Wind-Up knee
Cedric Alexander b. Mustafa Ali, Ariya Daivari and Tony Nese – Lumbar Check to Daivari
Roman Reigns b. Cesaro – Spear
Samoa Joe b. Dean Ambrose – Koquina Clutch
Braun Strowman vs. Kane went to a double countout


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