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Csonka’s WWE Raw Review 12.18.17

December 18, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s WWE Raw Review 12.18.17  

Csonka’s WWE Raw Review 12.18.17

– Seth Rollins defeated Jason Jordan @ 19:38 via pin [***]
Handicap Match: Finn Balor defeated Axel & Dallas @ 5:45 via DQ [½*]
– Balor & Itami defeated Dallas & Axel @ 3:35 via pin [**]
Cruiserweight #1 Contender’s Match: Cedric Alexander defeated Drew Gulak @ 12:55 via pin [**½]
– Asuka defeated Alicia Fox @ 3:41 via submission [*]
– Sheamus, Cesaro, & Joe defeated Rollins, Ambrose, & Jordan @ 13:19 via pin [**¾]
– The Revival defeated Slater & Rhyno @ 3:20 via pin []
– Mickie James, Sasha Banks, and Bayley defeated Paige, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville @ 3:20 via DQ [*]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– I ranked the Raw women’s division from worst to first at this link.
– I ranked the Smackdown women’s division from worst to first at this link.
– I wrote about the winners in the battle for the Broken Universe at this link.
– I wrote about the top 10 female NXT stars at this link.

– We get highlights from last week’s show.

Kurt Angle Talks: Angle makes his way to the ring to kickoff the show. He addresses last week’s Kane vs. Strowman non-finish, but Lesnar is here tonight, and Angle will announce a #1 contender later tonight. BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUN arrives. He tells Angle that he earned a shot at Lesnar, because he was the only one standing. Compelling case, I agree large human. Kane arrives. Kane says he’s cause destruction for 20-years, and no one will step in front of his. Lesnar’s list of victims is impressive, including Undertaker, but it doesn’t include him. He’ll get his chance at the Rumble unless Braun is man enough to stop him. Paul Heyman arrives and says this discussion won’t take place without Lesnar. Here comes the champ. Lesnar enters the ring and Angle looks confused. He then books the expected triple threat and bails before he gets killed. The monsters brawl, Lesnar tosses Braun and after some trouble, F5s Kane. This was every opening segment ever, with the expected announcement. Thankfully it was shorter than usual.

– Lesnar leaves and Kane sits up.

– Rollins makes his way to the ring, and Jason Jordan arrives. He says that he wants Samoa Joe, and gets in the ring and says he’s done asking for Joe. He respects Rollins, but he’ll have to wait for Jordan to be done with him first. Rollins says he respects him, but says that this isn’t Jordan’s opportunity. Joe arrives and says he feels like the belle of the ball. Since they have a problem, he has a solution, and says they can face and the winner gets him. Rollins says they already have a match, and tells Jordan can go and look for daddy’s approval. Jordan shoves down Rollins, and we have a match.

Seth Rollins vs. Jason Jordan: Jordan works amateur throws and grounds Rollins as Joe watches on from ringside. Rollins picks up the pace, and hits a superkick and clotheslines Jordan to the floor. Post break, and Jordan takes control. Rollins cut him off and clotheslines him back to the floor. Rollins off the apron and gets caught and then slammed to the barricade. Back in they go, and Jordan covers for 2. Jordan then attacks the lower back, and again covers for 2. Jordan continues to control, grounding Rollins and still working the back of Rollins. Jordan again slams Rollins to the buckles repeatedly. The corner spear follows and Jordan covers for 2. Jordan maintains control, as we get some boring chants. Rollins fires back with chops, but Jordan hits the side back breaker for 2. Jordan grounds things again, but Rollins counters and sends Jordan to the buckles. Jordan rebounds, hitting an overhead toss. Post break, Rollins hits sling blade, and then a leg drop in the ropes. The springboard forearm follows, and he covers for 2. Jordan fights back, hitting an overhead suplex. He fights off the ripcord knee, but Rollins fights him off and hits a suicide dive. They beat the count, but Jordan counters the springboard and hits rolling northern lights suplexes for 2. Jordan sets Rollins up top, but Rollins fights him off and sends him back to the mat. The high fly flow follows and Rollins covers for 2. Jordan to e floor and Rollins hits the knee off of the apron. He argues with Joe, and then slams Jordan into Joe and hits him with a superkick. Back in they go and Jordan counters a sunset flip for 2. Ripcord knee by Rollins and that’s that. Seth Rollins defeated Jason Jordan @ 19:38 via pin [***] It started slow, but built well and they ended up having a good match. Jordan Is putting together a nice collection of TV matches, but still coming up short. The entire segment was a nice piece of business.

– Post match, Joe & Rollins brawl and Joe lays him out. Joe also lays out Jordan on his way out.

– Rollins gets a match against Joe at a future date.

– Joe meets with Angle and wants Joe tonight. Ambrose is there and also wants a shot at Joe. Jordan arrives and Angle books Sheamus, Cesaro, & Joe vs. Rollins, Ambrose, & Jordan.

– We get a video package on the “Woken” Matt saga. This leads to Bray cutting a promo, who says he’s ready to play Matt’s game.

Finn Balor vs. Axel & Dallas: Balor beat Axel & Dallas in back to back weeks. Balor and Dallas begin. Balor plays keep away to begin, avoiding the 2 on 1. Axel tags in, he tries to power Balor to his corner, but Balor escapes. Axel finally rushes Balor to the corner, and the heels beat him down. Balor tries to fight back, hits a basement dropkick, covering Axel for 2. Balor takes out Dallas, but Axel takes advantage of the distraction and lays the boots to Balor. The double teams follow as Dallas hits a clothesline for 2. Balor makes a comeback, hits a standing double stomp but Axel makes the save. Balor fights off Axel, but Dallas cuts off the double stomp and that leads to Dallas & Axel being DQ’d for kicking too much ass. Finn Balor defeated Axel & Dallas @ 5:45 via DQ [½*] They have no idea what to do with Balor, and facing Axel & Dallas for weeks does nothing for him. I have absolutely no idea how you waste a talent like Balor, but here you go. The Itami save was an interesting way to debut him on the main roster, linking him to Balor, unfortunately Balor doesn’t have much equity these days, he’s just a dude.

– Post match Balor gets beat down until Hideo Itami makes the save.

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Balor & Itami vs. Dallas & Axel: So Balor has a friend and we go Teddy Long with a tag match. Dallas and Axel have the heat, working over Balor and isolating him in their corner. Balor battles back and gets the hot tag to Itami. Itami runs wild, hitting a top rope clothesline and covering for 2. He runs wild with strikes and hits the running knee for 2 as Dallas makes the save. Balor dumps Dallas and Itami hits the GTS on Axel for the win. Balor & Itami defeated Dallas & Axel @ 3:35 via pin [**] This was a solid little impromptu tag, introducing Itami and giving him a win. Hopefully the Raw debut creates some interest for tomorrow’s 205 Live.

– Cedric Alexander says he wants to win the cruiserweight title so bad, but knows he has to beat Drew Gulak tonight to make that a reality.

– Enzo arrives and does his shtick. He then hypes the Gulak vs. Alexander #1 contender’s match, which is next. They make some Star wars reference, with Gulak calling himself Jar Jar Binks. He teases a PowerPoint presentation, but as always he gets cut off.

Cruiserweight #1 Contender’s Match: Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak: Enzo joins commentary. They work some basic back and forth to begin. Alexander picks up the pace, hits a head scissors and dropkick. The tope follows and then backing, covers for 2. Gulak works body shots as they work for a suplex, and Alexander suplexes Gulak to the floor and he spills over the ropes with him. Post break, and Gulak has control. The corner clothesline follows, and Gulak covers for 2. Alexander avoids a charge, but Gulak turns him inside out with a clothesline for 2. SHUT UP ENZO, he is completely annoying and the shitty commentary is ignoring the match. Gulak grounds the action working the back of Alexander. Alexander escapes, fires away with strikes and hits a backdrop. Clotheslines and back elbows follow, and then they trade strikes, with Gulak getting a sunset flip for 2. They trade pinning attempts, and Alexander gets the Spanish fly for a good near fall. Alexander drops the elbow pad and lays in forearms, the neutralizer is countered and Gulak locks in a modified camel clutch. Alexander makes the ropes. Enzo leaves commentary as he got a call. Gulak is distracted and Alexander hits an enziguri, the back elbow follows and then the springboard clothesline. The lumbar check finishes Gulak. Cedric Alexander defeated Drew Gulak @ 12:55 via pin [**½] This was a solid match, they worked hard, but it was missing something to really pull me in and make me care. Also, the commentary was atrocious, and added nothing to the match.

– Enzo meets with Nia Jax, because she sent him a DM. Gulak interrupts them, apologizing for losing. He has a bloody nose and keeps apologizing, as Enzo wants him to leave. Jax tells Enzo to handle this and they’ll talk another time. Gulak wants to watch the tapes with Enzo, but Enzo yells at him and leaves.

Asuka vs. Alicia Fox: Fox plays keep away to begin. Asuka takes her down and looks for an arm bar, but Fox makes the ropes. Fox connects with a kick and the axe kick, covering for 2. Fox follows with sloppy strikes and a northern lights for 2. Fox grounds the action, Asuka gets pissed and lays in strikes. The second rope dropkick follows. Asuka tosses Fox around, hits the head kick and arm bar and Fox taps. Asuka defeated Alicia Fox @ 3:41 via submission [*] It’s absolutely absurd that Asuka is going 50/50 with Alicia Fox. They still have no idea how to present her on the main roster.

Sheamus, Cesaro, & Joe vs. Rollins, Ambrose, & Jordan: Jordan’s a douche that no one likes, so no honorary Shield membership for him tonight. Rollins is a bit gimpy on his entrance, selling his earlier match, which I appreciate. Rollins and Sheamus begin. Nope, Jordan tags himself in and attacks Joe, and then brawls with Sheamus and gets cut off. Joe tags in and beats the hell out of Jordan, Cesaro tags in and delivers uppercuts on Jordan. The heels work quick tags, isolating Jordan and beating him down. Cesaro back in, hits a boot off the ropes, covering for 2. Rollins gets the tag, runs wild hitting a sling blade and knocking Joe & Sheamus to the floor. He and Cesaro now work back and forth. Rollins tosses him to he floor and hits plancha. Post break, Joe is working over Rollins with knee strikes, Joe then runs him over, covering for 2. Sheamus tags back in and he and Cesaro work double teams, covering for 2. Sheamus takes control, working the back that was worked over in the opener by Jordan. Rollins manages a desperation DDT, but Joe tags in and cuts him off. Joe runs wild, hitting the corner enziguri, Jordan makes the save but gets tossed to the floor. Rollins keeps fighting, avoids the charge and Sheamus posts himself. Cesaro cuts off Rollins, stopping the tag. Rollins tries to power up, great fight spot here from Rollins, but he gets tossed to the floor. Sheamus and Joe lay the boots to him, but Ambrose and Jordan make the save. Ambrose and Rollins take over on the floor, and back in, Rollins cleans house, clearing out he ring and hits a suicide dive, wiping out the pile. Ambrose is selling his arm and the doctor arrives, and back in, Rollins eats a brogue kick and that’s that. Sheamus, Cesaro, & Joe defeated Rollins, Ambrose, & Jordan @ 13:19 via pin [**¾] This was a pretty good tag match, but it appeared that they rushed to the finish just as things were picking up. Ambrose looked pissed when he went down, I hope he was just selling really well and isn’t seriously injured.

– Stephanie McMahon arrives.

– We see Woken matt playing chess with a fish possessed with the essence of Napoleon. Matt then talks about the WWE battlefield, relating it to a game of chess. He says he’s been playing the game since the beginning of existence. He then promises deletion.

– As Ambrose gets medical attention, Sheamus, Cesaro, & Joe jump he and Rollins. They trap Ambrose’s arm in a box and do further damage, ok good, it was a work, I’m glad he’s not seriously inured. This should serve as a good hook to bring Reigns back next week and the Shield getting revenge.

The Revival vs. Slater & Rhyno: Slater & Rhyno control early as Titus, Crews, & Dana Brooke (playing Alexandra York 2k17) watch on backstage. The Revival battle back, with Dawson cutting off Slater and grounding the action. They double-team him, but Dash and Slater collide for a double down. Rhyno gets taken out and Slater eats shatter machine for the loss. The Revival defeated Slater & Rhyno @ 3:20 via pin [*½] It was short and clunky, but it’s great to see the Revival back.

– Angle tells Slater & Rhyno to toughen up if they want more opportunities. Slater fears being fired, but Rhyno has a plan.

– Elias is here to sing us a tune. He talks bout inspiring Tom Brady. He then says he took Reigns to the limit and survived Strowman, and says he is entering and winning the Royal Rumble; he gets interrupted by Sasha Banks’ music, and then Mickie’s music, and then Bayley’s music.

– Hideo Itami debuts on 205 Live tomorrow.

– John Cena returns on Raw next week, Merry Christmas.

Paige, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville vs. Mickie James, Sasha Banks, and Bayley: Paige and Mickie to begin. Mickie connects with kicks, and tags in Banks. They suplex Paige, and Banks covers for 2. Paige cuts off banks, takes her to the corner and Rose tags in. Deville in as they work quick tags, isolating Banks. Paige back in and continues the heat on Banks, as the Deville and Rose pull Banks to the floor. They attack Bayley and Mickie. Brawling follows, but back in and Banks hits meterora for 2. Rose and Deville attack and get DQ’d for kicking too much ass. Mickie James, Sasha Banks, and Bayley defeated Paige, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville @ 3:20 via DQ [*] This was here to set up the post match brawl and to set up the announcement, so not a good match at all, but it served the purpose to get to he announcement.

– Nia Jax arrives and beats down Rose 7 Deville, and gives them the double Samoan drop, Paige attacks the knee of Jax and hits a running knee strike. The rest of the women hit the ring to brawl and Stephanie McMahon arrives.

Main Event Interview Time: Stephanie McMahon is here and talks about the women’s revolution, and praises the women of WWE and how they inspire little girls with their passion and talent. But it’s not enough, she wants them to make history again, and announces the first ever women’s Royal Rumble. The announcement got a great reaction.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Tonight’s show was a pretty typical mid-to late December edition of Raw, where they are in a holding pattern for the Rumble. The big things were the announcement of Lesnar vs. Kane vs. Braun, Cedric earning a cruiserweight title shot, the continuation of The Shield vs. Joe & The Bar, the slow burn to Jordan’s full heel turn and the announcement of the women’s Rumble. It wasn’t bad, but there was a lot of hit and miss.

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RAW, Tremendous Tirades, WWE, Larry Csonka