Monday Night Raw
Date: January 1, 2018
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T.

It’s a new year (yes it is) and that probably doesn’t mean much. We’ll be getting ready for the Royal Rumble in less than a month and tonight that includes an appearance by Brock Lesnar. Other than that we have Roman Reigns defending the Intercontinental Title against Samoa Joe and Cedric Alexander challenging Enzo Amore for the Cruiserweight Title. Let’s get to it.

Alexa Bliss goes to see Kurt Angle in the back because she’s not happy with having to face Asuka tonight. Angle basically says get over it.

Here’s Angle for a chat. Angle talks about how great 2017 was and promises 2018 will be even better. In a few weeks we’ll be having the 25th Anniversary of Raw and then the Royal Rumble. John Cena entered the men’s Royal Rumble earlier today and that brings us to the women’s Royal Rumble. The same rules will apply for the men: thirty entrants with the winner getting a title shot at Wrestlemania.

Cue the Bar to complain about Angle giving Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins a title shot last week and then celebrating with the new champions after the show. They won’t stand for this favoritism. The Bar wants their rematch tonight but Angle says it’s when he chooses. Cue Jordan to say he and Seth earned the titles last week but Cesaro isn’t convinced. Angle makes a match for right now but here’s Rollins to interrupt as well. Rollins thinks Jordan is going a bit too fast but Seth will be in his corner….to watch Jason lose.

Jason Jordan vs. Cesaro

Joined in progress with Cesaro in control and grabbing a chinlock. Back up and Cesaro’s dive is pulled out of the air, allowing Jordan to drive him into the corner over and over. Sheamus offers a distraction though and Cesaro takes the knee out. Cesaro cranks on the knee in a variety of ways before Jordan manages to send him outside. That just earns him another shot to the knee, followed by a knee crusher onto the apron.

We take a break and come back with Cesaro baseball sliding Jordan out to the floor again. Cesaro grabs a half crab but Jordan fights up and grabs some suplexes. Both guys are down again and Sheamus knocks Jordan into a rollup, followed by another half crab. Seth goes after Sheamus though, allowing Jordan to grab the wheelbarrow neckbreaker for the pin at 15:13.

Result: Jason Jordan b. Cesaro – Wheelbarrow neckbreaker (15:13)

Roman Reigns promises to stay in the rules tonight because if he gets disqualified he loses the title.

Sasha Banks says she’ll win the Royal Rumble.

Bray Wyatt vs. Apollo Crews

Bray takes him into the corner without much effort but has to punch his way out of a headlock. An enziguri into a slingshot hilo doesn’t do Crews much good as Bray runs him over with a headbutt to the chest. Crews kicks him down again but gets crotched on top. Bray glares down at Dana Brooke and we take a break.

Back with Bray holding a chinlock until Crews fights up for a running kick to the face. Crews looks for the Toss Powerbomb but gets his head taken off with a hard clothesline. Dana gets on the apron and gets scared off onto Titus, allowing Crews to hit the jumping enziguri. The Toss Powerbomb is easily reversed into Sister Abigail though and Crews is done at 10:23.

Result: Bray Wyatt b. Apollo Crews – Sister Abigail (10:23)

Post match Matt Hardy pops up on screen to say he’s all around Bray and intends to delete him. The screen turns into hundreds of small screens featuring Matt’s face and Bray looks disturbed.

Nia Jax is trying to leave because Enzo Amore is in the hospital with the flu. Alexa cuts her off and says she needs her at ringside. Bliss says it’s Enzo or her and Nia leaves.

Alexa Bliss vs. Asuka

Non-title. This was set up last week when Asuka kicked Bliss in the head. An early spinning backfist misses so Asuka goes with a front facelock instead. Bliss has to bail from a kneebar but the hip attack puts her on the floor. Back in and Bliss gets kicked down as this is one sided so far. Bliss bails to the floor again and we take a break.

Back with Bliss holding Asuka in a bodyscissors, only to be reversed into an ankle lock. Bliss makes a rope and kicks her in the ribs again, followed by some forearms to the back. A backbreaker lets Bliss hammer away with right hands and it’s back to the bodyscissors. That’s switched into a guillotine choke before Bliss stomps away in the corner.

A running slap just ticks Asuka off though and it’s some dropkicks to put Bliss in trouble again. There’s a running hip attack and a hard knee to the face but Bliss comes out of the corner with a sunset flip. Asuka counters that into a cradle for two, followed by the cross armbreaker to make Bliss tap at 14:35.

Result: Asuka b. Alexa Bliss – Cross armbreakar (14:35)

We look back at Roman Reigns attacking Samoa Joe last week and causing a DQ in their title match.

Joe is ready for Reigns because he’s already broken up the Shield. It’s because of Joe that Dean Ambrose is a stay at home husband living off his wife’s (who happens to be doing this interview) paycheck.

Bayley enters the Rumble.

Braun Strowman vs. Rhyno

The announcer introduces Slater as the opponent. Strowman drops him with an early shoulder and goes outside to grab a mic. Braun tells Strowman to either stay on the floor and be quiet or take a beating. Slater comes in and the double teaming actually works for a good five seconds. The running powerslam ends Rhyno at 2:31.

Result: Braun Strowman b. Rhyno – Running powerslam (2:31)

Post match, multiple powerslams ensue.

Rollins comes up to Reigns in the back and Roman says he’s keeping his cool. Jordan comes in and says they’ll take the Bar out tonight. Jordan: “Believe that.” Seth and Roman share a funny look.

Strowman runs into Kane, who just wants to talk about Lesnar. Kane wants to team up to deal with Brock but Strowman says no

Finn Balor comes in to Angle’s office and enters the Royal Rumble. Angle is pleased but wants to know who Balor has for partners tonight in a six man tag. Cue Anderson and Gallows with Balor asking who else it would be.

Intercontinental Title: Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns

Reigns is defending and loses the title if he’s disqualified. Joe pops him with the right hands to start but Reigns comes back with some forearms to the back. The referee breaks up some shots to the face in the corner though and the momentum is broken. A suplex puts Reigns on the floor and we take a break.

Back with Joe running him over with an elbow for two. Reigns grabs a suplex though, only to miss a charge and go shoulder first into the post. Joe works on the arm but Roman is back up with a clothesline. That just earns him a charge to take him down again as the pace stays slow. A hard whip sends Reigns into the corner and Joe takes him down to the mat to crank on the arm some more.

Reigns fights up again and hits a running clothesline, followed by the standing clotheslines in the corner. The running apron dropkick gives Reigns two but hang on a second as the referee has to warn for a DQ. Joe sends him outside though and there’s the suicide elbow for a double knockdown.

They’re both back in at nine and we take a second break. Back again with Reigns getting headbutted down but yelling at Joe to hit him harder. Reigns gets two off a Samoan drop and Joe bails to the floor. Roman dives into a shot to the chest and gets sent into the steps but thankfully Joe rolls back inside to break the count. A whip into the steps is reversed but that’s not enough for the DQ.

Joe gets in a shot to the face, only to eat a Superman punch off the steps. Back in and another Superman punch gets two with the kickout stunning Reigns. The spear is blocked and Joe sends Reigns into the referee, who is talked out of the DQ. Another Superman punch is countered into the spinning Rock Bottom for two more and now Joe is yelling at the referee. The Clutch goes on but Reigns spins out of it and hits the spear to retain at 24:53.

Result: Roman Reigns b. Samoa Joe – Spear (24:53)

Paul Heyman comes in to see Angle and basically says Lesnar is awesome.

Absolution is entering the Rumble.

Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari are in the ring with Drew reading Enzo’s promo off a letter Enzo wrote for them. Enzo isn’t defending the title tonight due to the flu and would love to face Cedric, who interrupts in short order. The villains are willing to have a tag match but Cedric doesn’t have a partner. Cue Goldust of all people to ask if Cedric wants to be friends.

Drew Gulak/Ariya Daivari vs. Cedric Alexander/Goldust

Daivari takes Cedric down into a chinlock to start but gets elbowed in the face for his efforts. That’s enough for a pretty early double tag to Goldust and Gulak as the pace quickens. They botch Goldust’s running bulldog (Gulak seemed to trip) but the second attempt works just fine. Goldust actually goes up top and hits a pretty good looking twisting crossbody. Cedric’s springboard double clothesline takes both guys down and it’s the Lumbar Check to end Gulak at 3:26.

Result: Cedric Alexander/Goldust b. Drew Gulak/Ariya Daivari – Lumbar Check to Gulak (3:26)

Finn Balor/Anderson and Gallows vs. Elias/Miztourage

Before the match, Elias has the Miztourage come out of the shadows with a cowbell (Bo) and some bells (Axel). Miz is back next week so they dedicate a little Auld Lang Syne to his honor. This goes as well as you would expect and even Elias cuts them off. Joined in progress after a break with Axel getting two on Balor before it’s off to Elias for some boots in the corner. Balor gets over to the corner for a hot tag to Gallows though and house is cleaned in the form of some kicks to the head. A splash crushes Dallas and the Magic Killer into the Coup de Grace puts him away at 3:24.

Result: Finn Balor/Anderson and Gallows b. Elias/Miztourage – Coup de Grace to Dallas (3:24)

Video on Miz’s return next week.

Here are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman to close things out. Paul thinks the company’s New Year’s Resolution is to stack the deck against Lesnar by throwing multiple challengers at the same time. It used to be challenger and now it’s CHALLENGERS because there’s no other way to stop Brock. That makes things more complicated because Brock can lose the title without getting pinned, which is the only way it could happen.

Heyman mocks the announcers talking about the odds but says Brock is always 100%. If it’s one on one, no one is beating Brock. You could even throw all thirty Royal Rumble entrants against him and it would be the same slaughter. They go to leave but here’s Kane (with Brock pausing due to a delay in Kane’s music hitting) to chokeslam Brock but Lesnar sits up like Undertaker. A Cactus Clothesline puts them on the floor but some of the locker room comes out for the break up. No Braun as Brock poses to end the show.


Jason Jordan b. Cesaro – Wheelbarrow neckbreaker
Bray Wyatt b. Apollo Crews – Sister Abigail
Asuka b. Alexa Bliss – Cross armbreaker
Braun Strowman b. Rhyno – Running powerslam
Roman Reigns b. Samoa Joe – Spear
Cedric Alexander/Goldust b. Drew Gulak/Ariya Daivari – Lumbar Check to Gulak
Finn Balor/Anderson and Gallows b. Elias/Miztourage – Coup de Grace to Dallas


Remember to check out my website at, follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Volume VI: July – December 1999 in e-book or paperback. Check out the information here:

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