Raw was held in Memphis Tennessee tonight at the Fed Ex Forum as part of the road to the Royal Rumble. There were some highlights and some takeaways as I give my take on this show with my WWE Raw Review 1/8/18.
The show opened with Roman Reigns. He talked about beating Samoa Joe last week. Jason Jordan, Seth Rollins, and Balor Club would interrupt setting up a 6 man tag for the main event.
Analysis: I guess they are making Finn as a heel. It’s a little more interesting to see what he does with Anderson and Gallows. Jason Jordan is still very green on the mic. He definitely is very cringe-worthy on it as well. I will say at least this whole segment didn’t go too long like the usual half an hour we get.
Bayley and Sasha Banks def. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville by submission with Sasha making Mandy tap out with the Bank Statement.
Analysis: It was okay. A shame that Paige couldn’t do much due to her recent injury.
Matt Hardy def. Curt Hawkins. After the match, Bray Wyatt appeared and had a laugh off with Woken Matt Hardy.
Analysis: Dang it, the undefeated streak of Hawkins in 2018 was broken. Oh well, the true highlight was the laugh off between Bray and Matt. I love the back and forth between them and can’t wait to see how they will be when they actually wrestle.
Elias appears in the ring, insults Memphis, Elvis and introduces the return of The Miz. Miz said he allowed Reigns to borrow his Intercontinental title. He also claims he will become the greatest intercontinental champion of all time in 2018 when he gets his title back. Later on in the night, Kurt Angle announces to Miz that he will get his IC title rematch at the 25th Anniversary of Raw.
Analysis: Elias was great as always, it’s a shame he was only there for the introduction. However, Miz delivered in his promo and showed why he is one of the best talkers today. This coming from a guy who use to hate Miz. I also think it’s a great idea to have the IC title match on the 25th anniversary since it is a special Raw event.
Cedric Alexander def. Enzo Amore by countout. Enzo retains the title.
Analysis: Match was good, though it wasn’t the best of the night. Bad 2018 so far for Enzo, gets the flu and gets busted open. I thought the decision for Enzo to get a count out loss was right judging by how Enzo was when he was bloodied.
Titus O’Neal and Apollo Crews def. Sheamus and Cesaro by roll-up.
Analysis: This was a definite takeaway for me. Why have Sheamus and Cesaro lose when they have their tag title rematch at the Rumble? I really didn’t understand it. The match itself was what it was.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman come out. Paul Heyman does his usual “My name is Paul Heyman” introduction. Heyman also says Brock will walk into Rumble with one thing in mind, to stack both of his opponents on top of one another and pin both of them. Kane attacks Brock from behind. They fight into the backstage area until Braun Strowman comes and clobbers both of them. He throws Brock into a table and hits Kane with a metal crate and throws it on him. Braun then grabs a grappling hook, gets it onto a big metal structure and pulls it down onto them.
Analysis: I thought this was just going to be a usual Paul Heyman talking to build up the match. Then after the whole brawl between the three, I thought it was the best segment of the night. It definitely showed Braun’s unpredictability and gives audiences the belief that he could win at the Rumble.
Samoa Joe def. Rhyno by submission. Joe gets interviewed in the ring and says Roman’s win was a fluke victory. He says he will finish the job on Roman and will be in the Rumble match. He says the first man he eliminates will be John Cena.
Analysis: Match was okay, great promo by Joe afterward. If this sets up John Cena vs Samoa Joe for Wrestlemania, I’ll be totally fine with it.
Asuka vs. Nia Jax had no winner because Nia attacks Asuka during her entrance.
Analysis: I like that this is different with Asuka being the one laid out by someone bigger than her. The backstage segment with Nia and Alexa Bliss was good and showed that Nia is a smart woman with what Bliss was trying to do to get Nia to take Asuka out.
The Balor Club def. Jason Jordan, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns with Finn pinning Rollins. Miz and his entourage attack Jordan, Rollins and layout Reigns.
Analysis: The match was good. Still teasing Jason Jordan turning heel which hopefully happens soon. Miz standing tall over Reigns was a decent way to end the night as well.
Overall: This was a decent Raw. The segment with Brock, Braun, and Kane was easily the best moment and made the show for me. The matches were okay but nothing really special.
What did you guys think of Raw?