Hey everyone! Welcome to tonight’s Raw report. Hope you have an awesome holiday season, however you spend it. We are LIVE from THE Ohio State University. Cool, the Christmas set is out! Someone’s getting thrown through a Christmas tree, right? Right?
We start with Owens and Jericho in the ring. KO welcomes us to the “Chris and Kevin Show!” Chris tells the monkeys in the back to play the stills from last night’s main event from Roadblock. KO screams “MONKEYS!” right as Cole starts to describe the stills. I…don’t think he was supposed to do that. Owens says he should’ve known that Jericho would have his back. Jericho calls the fans “Muttonheads” and declares a moment for THE HUG OF JERICHO: BRING IT IN, MANNNN…..Awesome. I love it. KO and Jericho start to ridicule Santa Claus, and Jericho officially adds Kris Kringle to The List!
This brings out Foley. Uh oh…you shouldn’t have dissed Santa in Jolly St. Mick’s presence. Foley shows clips from the end of the PPV, where Owens and Jericho get put through a table. Owens, a Canadian, declares himself a “National Treasure” in Ohio. Foley says that Santa actually has a present for the both of them. It’s a shark cage, a la Jim Cornette and JJ Dillon from NWA shows of yesteryear.
Foley says Jericho will be in the cage during Owens’ Championship rematch with Reigns at the Royal Rumble, or else he will lose his job. Whoa, the Alamo Dome is pretty cavernous…you sure you wanna do that? They test the cage, and Foley ends up locking Jericho inside the shark cage. Foley can’t find the key, and ends up giving the signal to raise the cage by accident. Foley apologizes and says he’s going to look for the key, but until then…have a nice day! Maybe it wasn’t an accident. Good, but scattered opening promo.
When we return from the break, Jericho is agonizing in the back as Owens consoles him. Jericho’s overacting is so funny right here.
Big Cass and Enzo are in the house! Ooh, some light boos from the jaded 30-year-olds. Kids still love their act, even though the act is PG-13. Go figure. Cass is interrupted before his catchphrase by Lana and Rusev.
Match #1: Rusev vs. Big Cass
Cass hits some haymakers and body shots as the crowd chants, “How you doin?!” Cass continues to punch and kick Rusev, dropping him in the corner as the ref counts to five. Wait, what?! There was literally no wrestling moves in this match. Just punches, kicks, and a quick DQ win for Rusev. Zero stars. Rusev taunts Enzo and Cass as he cowers to the back.
Sasha Banks promo. She has the Tiny Tim thing going on, walking to the ring with just one crutch. Hey, just in time for Christmas! At least we know what role she’ll play if Vince decides to do a full version of “A Christmas Carol” (don’t laugh, he’s done parts of it in the 1980s. Go find it.) Sasha once again tells us she left everything in the ring last night. I’m telling you…she’s gonna forget something one of these days.
Sasha says that last night, she walked to the back without her title. Wait, she walked?! I thought she almost broke one of her legs. Sasha says, “I don’t feel like The Boss anymore.” She asks Charlotte to come out to the ring. Instead, she gets Nia Jax. This is a present that you can’t exactly return. Nia says, “You’re weak. You’re wounded…and above all else, you’re just a little girl.” Then she kicks her leg out of…her leg. Owen would be so proud. Then she proceeds to destroy her. God bless us, everyone. I guess we know who wants to be Scrooge.
Cedric Alexander and Alicia Fox are on their way to the ring. Cruiserweights next!
Sheamus and Cesaro are admiring their tag titles as Foley shows up. Foley gloats about putting the team together, congratulating them on their win vs. The New Day last night at Roadblock. Foley unveils new tag team championship belts as a gift. The crowd audibly groans. Way to go, guys. It’s basically the same belt with a silver plate instead of the bronze plate, and a red strap (for Raw).
As Cesaro and Sheamus argue, a referee asks Foley to come help him with a situation. It’s an angry and frothing Braun Strowman, who’s throwing furniture and screaming. Strow says he wants Zayn. Foley says that Zayn has the night off, and won’t be at Raw. Braun tells Foley, “IT’S GONNA BE OR ELSE.” What does that even mean?
Match #2: Cedric Alexander vs. Noam Dar
Austin Aries makes his Raw debut! He’s on commentary for this cruiserweight match. Dar with a killer elbow, but Alexander responds with an elbow of his own, followed by a headscissors and a dropkick as Dar goes to the outside. After the break, Dar has the advantage. He misses a double stomp from the top, and Alexander hits Dar with an incredible handstand in the ropes, and crushes Dar with a back elbow.
Alexander hits a floating lariat from the top. He follows that with the Lumbar Check for three! Wow. Another short match. Didn’t even last two minutes after the commercial break. 1/2* Dar says this isn’t over because he’s still crazy about Alicia Fox. His accent is such that it literally sounds like he’s saying “Alicia Fucks”. I wonder what USA Network thinks about that.
New Day make their way to the ring! They declare that their tag title reign hit a “Roadblock”. Xavier looks back on 483 glorious days when they were the tag champs. Kofi says that Ric Flair had 16 title reigns and 15 losses, trying to put their title reign in perspective. Big E interrupts with a SWEET dig, saying “Just like Charlotte in a month.”
They vow to once again become tag team champions. Cesaro and Sheamus come in with some bad odd couple comedy. Crowd cheers Cesaro and boos Sheamus. It’s definitely a unique dynamic. New Day gets SALTY over the new champions getting new belts. Sheamus is publicly shamed by Xavier, and holy cow…I wouldn’t be surprised if that sticks. “SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!” I’m dying laughing over here.
Sheamus then predicts a 20-year title reign. Xavier harkens back to the days of Unicorns, Breakfast Cereals, and “The Old Day”, which Kofi and Big E ask him not to bring up. Hilarious. Gallows and Anderson come out and do a bizarre promo while doing a bunch of insider hand gestures. What?! Then the COLONS come out to sell timeshares! This leads to a schmozz. This promo just flew off a cliff after the champs arrived.
We’re 70 minutes in, and there’s been about 3 minutes of in-ring action. Yeesh.
After the break, we apparently have an impromptu eight-man tag team match!
Match #3: Eight-Man Tag Team Match: Kofi, Big E, Sheamus, and Cesaro vs. Primo, Epico, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows
Crazy action to start. Most notable is Epico turning a double-arm suplex into a Codebreaker on Kofi! This gets two. Epico tags Gallows into the match and hits a sweet kick on Kofi for two. Gallows hits a headbutt and tags in Anderson. I kinda feel bad for Karl…I just don’t think he fits in with the WWE Universe. Great worker, just doesn’t fit in. He tries a reversed dropkick for two on Kofi. Gallows comes in with some serious fists. He misses an elbow and Kofi finally tries to tag. He’s interrupted and chokeslammed to HELL for two.
After the break, Kofi fights out of a sleeperhold from Anderson. Anderson takes Kofi to the top, but Kofi counters with a Tornado DDT. Anderson tags Gallows before Kofi can get to the corner. Gallows hits another Mafia Kick, followed by an Anderson Boot of Doom for two! Kofi finally tags in Big E who is a HOUSE OF FIRE. Big E hits three monster suplexes, but he gets tagged by Sheamus as he’s going for the big splash. Sheamus hits the forearms on Epico, followed by the running rolling senton. Primo distracts for a nearfall on Sheamus! EVERYONE’S HITTING BOOTS AND KNEES. Cesaro hits the lifting uppercut on Anderson and the Giant Swing to Epico! This leads to the Sharpshooter, and Epico taps immediately! It was fine. ** Nice to finally see some wrestling on this show.
They recap the first segment, and then we’re backstage with Enzo and Cass. Enzo is saying that he’s holding Cass back, but Cass isn’t having it. Enzo is given a letter where he’s told that he needs to attend “Sensitivity Training” as a result of exposing himself last month. So…that’s all he’d be punished with? WWE: Setting a good example for everyone.
Neville’s on his way out to the ring. If you missed it last night, he laid out Rich Swann and TJ Perkins, and it was pretty awesome. In a great promo, Neville tells the fans he doesn’t want their sympathy or their pity. He tells the fans, “Take your cheers and shove it!” He declares that he will obliterate the entire Cruiserweight division. This brings out Rich Swann, who is immediately told to shut up.
Neville said, “It was me that took you under my wing in Japan. Where’s the gratitude! Where’s the respect to the true King of the Cruiserweights?!” Swann says that Neville can call himself anything he wants, but he can’t call himself champion. This brings out Kendrick, who says that Swann has no respect for the people that paved the way for this division. They proceed to destroy Swann until TJ Perkins comes to save the day! Actually, TJ was destroyed in one shot by Neville.
Oh, wow. I got a bad feeling about this segment. “Sensitivity Training” with Enzo. The other cast members in this are Bob Backlund, Darren Young, Bo Dallas, and Jinder Mahal. Enzo says that he exposed himself because of his partner. The host tries to ask about his partner, and it goes as well as you’d think. This actually gets kinda stupid, because Enzo comes off as an obnoxious geek. You’d think he’d be able to keep his cool in a situation like this, but they booked him like some punk teen who hasn’t been officially diagnosed with ADD yet. It was really, really weird. I have no idea where this is going.
Match #4: Sin Cara vs. Titus O’Neil
They have a 15-second match that immediately ends when BRAUN STROWMAN comes in to clear the ring of the jobber crew. Zero stars. He powerslams Titus and plants Sin Cara onto the mats on the outside. Strowman carries Sin Cara up the ramp, but he’s interrupted by Mick Foley. Braun screams, “I TOLD YOU SAMI ZAYN OR ELSE.” Then, like a real Grinch, he throws Sin Cara into the Christmas Tree (YES!), knocking him unconscious…and then Mr. Grinch destroys a Christmas tree just to drive the point home. So THERE’S our Scrooge. This is supposed to be serious, but it’s just so silly and ridiculous.
Jericho is backstage when Owens tries to calm him down once more. Great comedy here. Jericho declares himself a “Sexy Pinata” hanging in the air. Well, alright then.
Charlotte comes out for a promo. She says to the crowd, “Bow down to your Queen!” She states that she has solidified herself as the greatest superstar that the WWE has ever seen. Charlotte then starts namedropping past women’s wrestlers (including Moolah and Trish) saying that they are nothing compared to her. She flubs up her cheap heat football reference. Good one, Charlotte.
Before the train goes completely off the tracks, Bayley interrupts. Charlotte screams, “Why….ARE YOU INTERRUPTING ME?!” Bayley says she’s here to congratulate Charlotte. Charlotte dismisses her, and says she deserves to be a fan and not a wrestler. Bayley says that Charlotte’s feud with Sasha was over, but their feud is just beginning. Bayley is not exactly a lovable geek here. Charlotte says that Bayley has always been the ass-end of the Four Horsewomen. Bayley then challenges Charlotte to a match right now, and Charlotte accepts!
Match #5: Bayley vs. Charlotte (non-title)
Bayley has a headlock on Charlotte, and gets a shoulder block early on. Charlotte warns her, “It’s gonna take more than that.” She’s great…she really is following Flair’s path. Great sequence leads to Charlotte rolling Bayley around by a headscissors. The crowd cheers on Bayley as she resets. She takes advantage of another headlock, but Charlotte rolls out of it. Bayley catches Charlotte with a back elbow and a knee to the breadbasket. Bayley’s definitely had control early on.
Just as I say that, Charlotte muscles Bayley to the mat for two. Bayley gets some offense going, followed by a flying press for two. Bayley starts strutting and woo-ing! Then she starts doing the “Around the World” spot on Charlotte and…wow. The air just got sucked out of the crowd. After the break, Charlotte has Bayley in another headscissors. Now she’s driving Bayley’s head into the mat using her headscissors. After a 30 minute match? You need to sell more, honey. Charlotte hits a huge chop to the “Woo!” from the crowd. After another two-count, Charlotte is in control but Bayley is trying to fight back. They clothesline each other, and the crowd is pretty darn silent. They trade forearms and then Bayley hits a sloppy Thesz Press. Bayley hits an elbow and a clothesline, and then tries to hit a neckbreaker from the ropes. Her offense isn’t exactly connecting. Running back elbow in the corner by Bayley, but Charlotte counters and knocks Bayley to the ground. Charlotte hits a moonsault for one, two, no! Bayley rolls up Charlotte! One, two, no! Charlotte quickly knocks Bayley down.
Out of nowhere, Bayley catches Charlotte with the backslide for the ONE, TWO, THREE!!! **1/4 Kinda sloppy, but again…just happy to get some wrestling on this show. Controversy is created by Corey Graves, as he declares Charlotte’s shoulder to lift before the three count. He’s right!
We’re back to “Sensitivity Training”. Enzo buries Jinder Mahal and calls him a “Schmuck”. Dude, Enzo vs. Jinder. I’m buying tickets for all of my friends. During the break, these guys somehow graduate training. This leads to Jinder and Rusev cornering Enzo and destroying him before he could give the host his Instagram username. That’s just wrong.
Main Event: Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens
Rollins with a slingblade clothesline for two. Rollins literally stomps Jericho out of the ring. Reigns is tagged in after Rollins hits a suplex. Reigns gets a two after a big elbow, as Jericho makes the tag to Owens. Reigns hits a huge right hand, and Owens tags out to Jericho. Reigns catches Jericho with a clothesline in mid-air. Rollins comes in and Owens saves Jericho before a double team attack can happen.
They head towards the exit, but the former Shield members bring them back into the ring. Reigns tags in Rollins and levels Jericho with a clothesline. Rollins and Reigns hit a double-team move as we go to break. The show returns with a hot tag to Reigns, who catches Owens and Jericho with some clotheslines and rights. He throws Kevin into the barricade and hits the dropkick on Owens. Jericho distracts Reigns and Owens then catches him with a kick for two. Owens screams at Roman, “YOU’RE NOTHING BUT BARK.” Ouch…I’ve heard of people being called a robot before, but Owens just flat out called him a tree. Oh. Wait. Big Dog.
Reigns fights out of a sleeperhold, but Jericho dropkicks Reigns and tags in Owens. Acting like sixth grade buddies, Owens kicks Reigns and asks Jericho, “Did you see how far I kicked him!” Jericho slaps Reigns around, but Reigns turns around with right hands. This guy needs some new offense. Owens and Jericho are hilarious with the trash talk in this match. Reigns fights out of a second sleeperhold with a Samoan Drop. Dueling tags, and Rollins hits the Block Buster on both Jericho and Owens. Rollins hits running forearms, and then an incredible DDT/neckbreaker combo on BOTH guys.
Rollins and Jericho trade counters, and Rollins hits a Ghetto Blaster, sending Jericho to the outside. Suicide dive by Rollins to Owens and Jericho! Owens hit by Reigns with a Superman Punch. Inside the ring, Jericho counters a moonsault and puts Rollins in the Walls of Jericho. Rollins gets to the ropes, and Jericho gets blasted with the Superman Punch by Reigns.
We’re back to another hot tag, but THE GRINCH IS BACK. Braun Strowman comes out and literally throws Reigns from the apron to the ground. I guess the match is over. ** Braun catches Rollins and destroys him with a forearm and a running powerslam. Owens and Jericho throw Reigns into the ring, where Braun destroys him with a powerslam. Owens and Jericho celebrate on the outside as Strowman continues to froth at the mouth. Credits.
Final Thoughts: I think the total time of the matches was around 30 minutes. That’s pretty pitiful for a three-hour show. The skits were seriously hit or miss, though Braun Strowman frothing and throwing grown men through Christmas trees gave me some holiday cheer. Tonight’s show just wasn’t as good as their previous efforts this month.