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Csonka’s WWE Raw Review 12.31.18

December 31, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Natalya Ronda Rousey WWE Raw
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Csonka’s WWE Raw Review 12.31.18  

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Csonka’s WWE Raw Review 12.31.18

Steel Cage Match: Drew McIntyre defeated Dolph Ziggler @ 19:30 via pin [***]
Battle Royal: Winner Gets WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Apollo Crews @ 11:35 [**]
– Bayley, Ember Moon, & Sasha Banks defeated The Riott Squad @ 12:30 via pin [**¾]
– Lashley defeated Seth Rollins @ 11:20 via DQ [**½]
– Mahal & The Singhs defeated Slater & Rhyno @ 2:55 via pin [NR]
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Champion Dean Ambrose defeated Apollo Crews @ 9:15 via pin [**¾]
– Ronda Rousey & Natalya defeated Nia Jax & Tamina @ 12:50 via submission [**]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– You can check out my top 32 matches of NOVEMBER list at this link.

Steel Cage Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler: This is pin, submission, or escape. Ziggler attacks right away tries to escape, but Drew stops that and follows with chops and a suplex. Ziggler tries to fire back, but eats more chops. Drew talks shit but Ziggler counters back with a DDT. They trade strikes, and Drew follows with a head butt. He tries to escape, Ziggler tries to stop him and does. They trade strikes, Ziggler slams Drew into the cage repeatedly but Ziggler gets crotched and then Drew gets crotched. Post break, and Drew demands that Ziggler fight back, so he does and hits a famesser for 2. Drew cuts off the superkick, but gets a cradle for 2. He sends Drew into the cage a few times, hits the superkick and that gets 2. Ziggler looks to go out the door, but Drew cuts that off and hits a head butt. Ziggler again looks to go out the door, but Drew stops him only for Ziggler to slam the door into his face. Ziggler hits the fameasser for 2. Post break, and Ziggler is trying to escape, but Drew stops that and hits a superplex. Drew fires up, demand that Ziggler get up and fight. Drew lawn darts him into the cage, and then flings him into the cage again. Drew keeps talking shit, but Ziggler hits a zigzag and that gets 2. Claymore by Drew! Drew backs off and hits another claymore for the win. Drew McIntyre defeated Dolph Ziggler @ 19:30 via pin [***] This was an overall good match, with McIntyre picking up a rather dominating win to move on from Ziggler.

– Dolph talks shit post match, so Drew pummels him some more and sets a chair in front of his face and destroys him with another claymore. Drew decals himself the king of the Raw jungle. Dolph is nothing, pathetic, and dead weight not worthy of his scraps. Drew declares he will win the Rumble and Universal title. He then returns and hits another claymore on Dolph.

– A limo arrives and it’s Triple H and Shane.

Seth Rollins Talks: Rollins arrives and plays to the crowd. He’s not big on resolutions, but he’s not going to wait and says he has a rematch with Dean Ambrose and wants to do it tonight. Triple H arrives. The Hs says it’s been awhile, and says it’s always a chance for a fresh start, and that there are no more automatic rematch clauses. The Hs aren’t even sure he deserves it, but he’s always supported Rollins. He says Rollins made him believe in him, made him believe he’d be the man because Rollins took everything he wanted. Rollins even beat him and kicked his ass at Mania and made him believe all over again. Where is that guy? Because all he sees is a shell of that guy. Rollins says he’s carried the show while Lesnar was off and away. All he did was have great matches with everyone, even Mojo Rawley. Rollins wants to earn it, so does Triple H want that ruthless bastard back, and Triple H says yes, burn it down tonight, starting with Lashley tonight. Rollins says fine, he’ll do it and that take out anyone in his way, even Lesnar. If Triple H gets in his way, he’ll take down the McMahon family. Shane arrives, tries to calm things, and says Rollins needs to get ready for his match. Shane books a battle royal, and the winner gets a shot at Ambrose tonight. Good segment, with Triple H trying to bring back the old Rollins while solidifying some of the changes and Rollins showing great fire.

Battle Royal: Winner Gets WWE Intercontinental Championship Match : Finn Balor, Zack Ryder, Titus O’Neil, Curt Hawkins, Kalisto, Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik, Mojo Rawley, Konnor, Viktor, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, No Way Jose, and Baron Corbin are participants. We get the big brawl to begin. Crews dumps Jose and then Viktor. Crews runs wild, and it breaks down into more brawling. The luchas dump Titus. Post break, and Balor tosses Metalik, Kalisto, and then Dorado. Corbin attacks Balor, but posts himself. Crews now dumps the B Team and then Konnor and Mojo. He then tosses Breeze but Corbin cuts him off. Balor goes John Woooooooo on Corbin and starts attacking others until Corbin attacks and eliminates him. He then tosses Ryder. Down to Hawkins, Corbin, & Crews. Hawkins fights, tries to eliminate Corbin, but Corbin tosses him. Crews counters chokebreaker, and eliminates Corbin to win. Apollo Crews @ 11:35 [**] This was ok, standard battle royal stuff, but they did a good job of positioning Crews as a threat with 8 eliminations.

– Dasha interviews Natalya. Natalya is asked about her loss to Rousey last week. Natalya says she’s not sure what 2019 will hold for her, and that 2018 was a roller coaster ride. She’s entering the Rumble. Nia Jax arrives and she and Tamina beat down Natalya. What a shocking turn of events.

– Corbin complains that he should have won the battle royal and that he deserves a real fresh start. He deserves a reward, and Elias appears. Elias says a party is about to begin, but he doesn’t invite losers, so Corbin has to go. Elias runs down Corbin’s stint as GM, but Elias talked with Kid Rock and got Raw to come to Detroit. Elias then busts out an anti-Corbin song. They end up brawling in the entranceway, and then into the crowd. Takes control and runs a production box into Corbin. Corbin runs away.

Bayley, Ember Moon, & Sasha Banks vs. The Riott Squad: Liv and Bayley to begin, Live takes control and tags in Logan. Bayley makes the comeback, blind tag by Banks and she works over Logan. Logan cuts her off, but Banks fires back with knee strikes and Bayley tags in and covers for 2. Moon & Ruby tag in, they work into counters and pin attempts, Liv blind tags in and cuts off Moon and covers for 2. The Squad works a series of quick tags; isolating Moon and it completely break down. Post break, and Bayley hits an arm drag on Ruby. Liv tags in, runs into arm drags, and banks tags in and the faces work over Liv and Moon then covers for 2. Banks in and Ruby says Liv from the corner knees and that allows Liv to cover for 2. Ruby tags in and takes control, covering for 2. Logan tags in as they double team Banks, and again cover for 2. Logan now hits a running knee strike and again, covers for 2. Liv in as they continue to double team Banks and pick up near falls. Banks finally cuts her off with a knee strike, but Logan in and head butts her and it breaks down as Moon hits a suicide dive. Bayley tags herself in, backstabber, top rope elbow and that’s that. Bayley, Ember Moon, & Sasha Banks defeated The Riott Squad @ 12:30 via pin [**¾] This was a pretty good match, but the heat on Banks felt as if it dragged on a bit too long.

– We get a Braun Strowman video package.

Seth Rollins vs. Lashley: Lio is at ringside. Rollins attacks at the bell with a corner dropkick and strikes. Lashley fires back and quickly overpowers him. The corner spear follows, but Rollins fights back with chops and strikes. He dumps Lashley to the floor and follows with a plancha. Lio distracts Rollins, allowing Lashley to take control and cover for 2. Rollins his a jawbreaker, but Lashley levels him with a lariat and dumps him. Lio then RANAs Rollins into the post. Post break, and Lashley is in control, grounding the action. Rollins tries to fire back, but Lashley cuts him off and covers for 2. Rollins fights off a suplex, lays n chops and hits sling blade. He dumps Lashley, hits a suicide dive and another. Back in and Rollins hits the flying clothesline, and looks to finish things off. Lio trips up Rollins, leading to a Lashley spinebuster for 2. Rollins fires back and hits the superkick and heads up top. Lio distracts him, Rollins chases and finally takes him out on the floor until Lashley attacks. Rollins gets a chair and lays into Lashley with it for the DQ. Lashley defeated Seth Rollins @ 11:20 via DQ [**½]

This was a perfectly solid match that felt like it never got out of second gear. We get the big pep talk from Triple H, and Rollins wrestles the same match as always, the only difference being the post match chair beat down. Good plan, poor execution.

– Post match, Rollins beats down Lashley & Lio with the chair. He then lays out Lio with the blackout.

– John Cena will be on Raw next week.

– Time for the weekly “oh hey, these NXT guys are coming soon” video package.

Rhyno & Slater vs. Mahal & The Singhs: Mahal and Slater to begin, with Mahal taking control and working quick tags with the Singhs. They double team Slater, but Slater fires back and tags in Rhyno. Rhyno runs wild on the Singhs, belly to bellys both at the same time. Mahal in and runs into a spinebuster. The Singhs distract Rhyno, and Mahal hits the Khallas for the win. Mahal & The Singhs defeated Slater & Rhyno @ 2:55 via pin [NR] It was a math that happened, it wasn’t bad, but it was just there.

– Roode & Gable will defend against the Revival next week.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Apollo Crews: Apollo attacks right away with a dropkick, and picks up the pace right away. The sunset flip follows for 2. Apollo dumps Ambrose and hits an apron moonsault to the floor. Post break, and Ambrose has taken control, hitting a clothesline for 2 and grounding the action. Apollo dumps Ambrose, and back in cradles Ambrose for 2. Apollo follows with a clothesline, and both men are down. Apollo fires up, lays in kicks, and a Samoan drop for 2. Apollo up top, and the high cross gets 2. The standing shooting star press follows for 2. Apollo now hits an overhead suplex, but Ambrose rakes the eyes but Apollo fights through and hits the Apollo bomb for 2. The tope follows, back in and Apollo up top and MISSES the frog splash. Dirty deeds finishes Apollo. Champion Dean Ambrose defeated Apollo Crews @ 9:15 via pin [**¾] Pretty good match, but the crowd just wasn’t invested enough in Apollo yet as the crowd really died as it went on. It was a good showing for Apollo though.

– Alexa Bliss announces “a moment of Bliss,” her new talk show next week. Ronda Rousey will be her guest.

– Brock will be on Raw next week.

Ronda Rousey & Natalya vs. Nia Jax & Tamina: Rousey & Natalya attack right away. Rousey works over Tamina, and Jax tags in and Rousey rolls for an am bar. Jax fights back, tosses her across the ring and follows with a slam. Natalya and Tamina tag in, Natalya runs wild with suplexes on Tamina, and that gets 2. Natalya follows with a slam, but Jax pulls Tamina to the floor to save her. Rousey tags in and hits a high cross to the floor onto Tamina & Jax. Post break, and Jax & Tamina are working over Natalya, working a slow and bland heat segment. Jax grounds things, but Natalya hits a jawbreaker. Tamina tags in and she now grounds Natalya. Natalya escapes, they run into each other on what was supposed to be a double cross body spot but Tamina has no ups. Rousey tags in, runs wild on Jax, and the superman punch gets 2. Jax cuts her off with a press slam for 2. Jax teases the super Samoan drop; Rousey slips out but eats a superkick from Tamina. Tamina misses a head butt, Rousey looks for an arm bar, but Jax hits a leg drop. It breaks down and Tamina covers Rousey for 2. Tamina heads up top, Rousey counters the splash and arm bars Tamina for the win. Ronda Rousey & Natalya defeated Nia Jax & Tamina @ 12:50 via submission [**] This was ok, it was far from bad, but Jax & Tamina are not imposing, they don’t come off as a threat, and are also extremely lethargic and bland in the ring. They can go away now.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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The final score: review Average
The 411
The New Year’s Eve edition of Raw kept the trend of the pre-taped Raws being better than the recent live shows. It was far from a great show, it wasn’t even a good show really, but it was solid and that’s always better than dumpster fire bad.

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RAW, Tremendous, WWE, WWE Raw, Larry Csonka