Monday Night Raw
Date: January 15, 2018
Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T.

It’s the go home show for the Raw 25th Anniversary Show which is the go home show for the Royal Rumble. That makes tonight almost the go home show for the pay per view, as next week’s show is going to have a completely different vibe. Tonight we have Asuka vs. Nia Jax so let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Brock Lesnar fighting Braun Strowman last week until Strowman pulled a huge piece of the set down onto Lesnar and Kane.

Here’s Strowman to get things going. He has a short story for us but it has a happy ending. Before he can get to his story though, Kurt Angle, flanked by security, cuts him off. Angle lists off all the obvious problems with what Braun did but Strowman says it could have been worse. Kurt gets in the always dumb sounding “unsafe worried environment” line with Strowman saying he did his job.

Strowman is ready to do whatever he wants and if that means ripping the walls off of Suplex City, so be it. Angle says Strowman is lucky Kane and Lesnar can still compete at the Rumble. As for Strowman though, he’s out of the match because HE’S FIRED.

In the back, Braun leaves while threatening security.

Raw moment: Hugh Jackman is guest host.

Post break, a security guard orders Strowman to leave and the destruction is on. Braun promises to do even more.

The Bar vs. Titus Worldwide

Rematch from last week where Titus scored a fluke pin. Cesaro powers Crews into the corner to start but it’s quickly off to Titus for an exchange of chops in the corner. Cesaro uppercuts Crews down though and Sheamus adds a top rope clothesline as we take a break.

Back with Sheamus getting two off a middle rope ax handle and grabbing a chinlock on Crews. Apollo fights up and brings in Titus for the forearms to the chest and an impressive toss to Cesaro. Everything breaks down and Crews moonsaults to the floor just like last week but Cesaro is ready for him this time. An uppercut to Titus knocks him into a rollup for two, only to have the Neutralizer broken up. Apollo’s high crossbody and standing moonsault get two each but Sheamus picks him up for White Noise. Cue Jason Jordan for a distraction though, allowing Crews to roll Sheamus up for the pin at 10:48.

Result: Titus Worldwide b. The Bar – Rollup to Sheamus (10:48)

Seth Rollins comes out to ask Jordan what he’s doing.

Strowman kicks in the door to Angle’s office and breaks a lot of stuff.

Post break, Strowman wrecks catering and chokeslams Curt Hawkins through a table. He does however take a piece of chocolate cake from a nearly catatonic worker.

Tony Nese vs. Cedric Alexander

Before the match, Enzo Amore says he’s like Frankenstein and Cedric is like Dracula because he sucks. Goldust is in Cedric’s corner and says Cedric is a box office smash. After the title match at the Rumble, the one word to describe Cedric will be champion. Cedric says that between Amore’s face and his ankle, the only word to describe him is sawft. We’re joined in progress after a break, but not before seeing Strowman shoving a dumpster through the back.

Cedric catches him with an ankle scissors but Nese knees him in the ribs as Booker talks about how Angle shouldn’t have fired Strowman live in the ring. We hit the neck crank on Cedric with Enzo talking so much trash that Goldust goes after him, even mocking the dance. Cedric fights up and hits the springboard clothesline for two, only to get slowed down by a headlock. Back up and Cedric elbow shim in the face, followed by the Lumbar Check for the pin at 5:52.

Result: Cedric Alexander b. Tony Nese – Lumbar Check (5:52)

Angle is thinking about calling in a SWAT team but is told Strowman is heading towards the production trucks.

Post break Strowman goes into the truck and shoves a bunch of papers around before leaving without causing too much damage. The whole thing starts shaking though as Strowman has unhooked the semi from the truck and is trying to turn it over. Angle comes up to say he’s called the cops. His phone rings as Strowman leaves, only to come back and flip the truck over with the camera going spastic with cuts.

Strowman heads into the arena and goes after commentary, picking Cole up by one hand and carrying him over the stage. Angle and security shows up with Kurt saying he’s called the cops off. Stephanie has rehired Strowman and he’s back in the title match if he lets Cole go. Braun does let him go, with a flying toss off the stage and onto the security guards.

Tom Phillips replaces Cole on commentary.

Nia Jax vs. Asuka

Asuka gets tossed around to start but comes right back with a Black Widow (ala AJ Lee) into something like an abdominal stretch. Nia calmly shoves Asuka’s leg off though and catches her with a backbreaker. A triangle choke cuts Nia off again until she lifts Asuka up for a powerbomb into the corner as we take a break. Back with Asuka fighting out of a bearhug and avoiding a sitdown splash. Asuka’s running kick to the chest drops Jax but she’s right back up with a hard powerbomb. Asuka grabs a kneebar to send Nia bailing to the ropes and they head outside. Asuka avoids a charge and sends Nia into the steps, only to have Nia get her knee caught between the ring and the steps. Nia beats the count back in but the referee stops it due to the knee injury at 10:45.

Result: Asuka b. Nia Jax via referee stoppage (10:45)

Alexa Bliss comes out to check on Nia.

Jason Jordan comes in to see Angle, who is still upset over Braun. Jordan has been watching his dad’s back all night and wouldn’t have let Strowman do anything. He thanks Angle for the opportunities again but thinks Seth needs a warmup for next week. Say against Finn Balor tonight, which Angle makes for later.

The announcers talk about Martin Luther King Day.

Video on Martin Luther King.

Bliss blames herself for Nia’s injury when Enzo comes in to check on Nia as well. Nia tells Bliss that Enzo has this so Alexa leaves while not looking happy.

Revival vs. ???/???

Dawson suplexes jobber #1 and gives hi a hard clothesline for good measure. Dash comes in with a jumping knee to the face before sending it off to jobber #2. In a new spot, Revival loads up #2 for something like a Snapshot (elevated DDT) but Dash flips him up like a backdrop, only to have Dawson send him forward in a gordbuster. The Shatter Machine ends #1 at 1:39.

Result: Revival b. ???/??? – Shatter Machine to #1 (1:39)

Post match Revival brags about their tag team skills because too many people are worried about Instagram likes or video games. As for next week, Revival isn’t thrilled with meeting any of the veterans at Raw 25 because there’s nothing old school about beer bashes and crotch chops. They’re professional wrestlers instead of sports entertainers so WWE doesn’t want them to succeed. Next week at Raw 25, the superstars from around the world are coming to their universe and the Revival is setting the tone for the next 25 years.

Here’s Elias for a new song. He’s looking forward to the Royal Rumble but wants to eliminate Cena, along with 29 others. Elias insults the San Antonio Spurs and introduces Miz and the Miztourage for a chat before their match. Miz talks about the fans cheering him last week because they recognize greatness. The fans knew something was missing from Raw and it wasn’t Cena or Lesnar but rather Miz. Last week Miz and the Miztourage beat up Roman Reigns and it felt awesome. That spark is why he and Maryse are getting their own series on USA and next week he’s getting the Intercontinental Title back. It’s going to feel awesome.

Roman Reigns vs. Miztourage

Non-title. Miz offers an early distraction to no avail as Reigns punches both lackeys down. Axel’s cheap shot allows the Miztourage to send Reigns into the steps and the beating is on. We hit the chinlock for a good while until Axel has to save his partner from a suplex. Instead Dallas gets two off a DDT, followed by some double teaming to keep Reigns slowed down.

Reigns fights up and hits a Samoan drop, followed by knocking Dallas off the apron. Axel is thrown into Dallas, who DDTs his partner by mistake when Reigns knocks them down. The Superman Punch drops both guys and Miz’s distraction fails, allowing Reigns to spear Axel for the pin at 8:16.

Result: Roman Reigns b. Miztourage – Spear to Axel (8:16)

Sasha Banks vs. Sonya Deville

The rest of Absolution, Bayley and Mickie James are at ringside. As we get started, Paige is officially ruled out of the Royal Rumble. Nothing is mentioned beyond that though. A very early Bank Statement attempt send Deville bailing to the ropes but Mandy offers a distraction so Sonya can get in a few shots. We hit a chinlock with a body vice as Booker compares Sonya to Ken Shamrock in a rare name drop. Banks fights up and goes to the middle rope, only to dive into a kick to the chest for the completely clean pin at 2:26.

Result: Sonya Deville b. Sasha Banks – Kick to the chest (2:26)

Some wrestlers were at the National Civil Rights Museum last week.

Rollins tells Jordan to calm down and stop trying to be his spokesperson.

Matt Hardy vs. Heath Slater

Joined in progress with Matt hitting a splash to Slater’s back and hammering away. Matt sends him into the ropes and laughs a lot so Slater heads outside for a meeting with Rhyno. Back in and Matt bites the hand before launching Slater into the corner. Matt thinks Slater must be deleted so it’s the ten rams into the buckle and a Twist of Fate for the pin at 3:37.

Result: Matt Hardy b. Heath Slater – Twist of Fate (3:37)

Goldberg is official for the Hall of Fame so it’s time for a long video package.

We look back at Strowman’s path of destruction earlier tonight.

Royal Rumble rundown.

Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins

Jordan, Gallows and Anderson are at ringside. Balor armbars him to start but gets armdragged away, followed by a kick to the back. Seth gets sent outside though and a kick to the chest puts him down as we take a break. Back (after a Raw moment of the 1-2-3 Kid pinning Razor Ramon in a huge upset) with Rollins hitting the Blockbuster but hurting his knee. It’s fine enough to try the suicide dive though and Balor is down again.

They get back inside with Rolling hitting a forearm to the back but having Balor slip out of the Falcon Arrow. The Sling Blade takes Rollins down, only to have Seth come back with his own. Balor gets in another Sling Blade but charges into a superkick for two. The Wind-Up knee is countered with a forearm so Rollins enziguris him down. Seth has to roll through the Phoenix splash and gets caught with the shotgun dropkick in the corner.

The Coup de Grace is broken up with the superplex into the Falcon Arrow for two more and both guys are down. Seth’s frog splash hits the knees though and Balor rolls him up for….two apparently but here’s the Bar to interrupt. The brawl is on at ringside with Anderson and Gallows fighting the Bar until Balor hits a flip dive to take all four out. Another kick to the head sets up the Coup de Grace but Rollins rolls away. Cesaro’s distraction allows Jordan to trip Balor and Rollins hits the curb stomp for the pin at 15:18.

Result: Seth Rollins b. Finn Balor – Blackout (15:18)

Balor is rather shaken up and the camera stays on him for a long time to end the show.

Titus Worldwide b. The Bar – Rollup to Sheamus
Cedric Alexander b. Tony Nese – Lumbar Check
Asuka b. Nia Jax via referee stoppage
Revival b. ???/??? – Shatter Machine
Roman Reigns b. Miztourage – Spear to Axel
Sonya Deville b. Sasha Banks – Kick to the chest
Matt Hardy b. Heath Slater – Twist of Fate
Seth Rollins b. Finn Balor – Blackout


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