Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw – 11 Dec. ’17

The Penfield House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is just outside of Cleveland. Picture by Kevin DiFrango/Stunt Granny LLC.

The WWE starts us off with a video package the Samoa Joe/Roman Reigns feud. Samoa Joe is already in the ring after we get a tour of the evenings main matches. He is not impressed with The Shield. He’s ready for his match tonight against Dean Ambrose but then calls out Reigns. Seth Rollins tells Ambrose to go after him. Joe keeps ranting and raving about how weak The Shield is. Oh, Ambrose was just fetching Reigns. They start brawling. Cesaro & Sheamus hit the ring. It distracts Reigns long enough for Joe to lock on the Kokina Clutch. Ambrose & Rollins try to make the save but are too late. Joe makes this dynamic with The Bar work more as a threat to The Shield. The Miz is great but I never felt like there was a chance his team won.

Bayley & Mickie James comes out with Sasha Banks. They note the historic main event of Banks & Alexa Bliss in Abu Dhabi. Mandy Rose & Paige have Sonya Deville as their side car. Absolution gets more mic time but I’m still not understanding what their purpose is. I have no reason to believe either Rose or Deville can legitimately back it up either against this level of competition. Mickie ends up getting the hot tag against Rose and proves my point. Graves tries to argue otherwise after Rose gets the pin. Sorry, she got a cheap win since there were distractions on the part of Absolution. Good try though.

We have dueling Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt for a moment. Is this the same segment? I’m still laughing either way. Hardy is the best foil for Wyatt ever.

We geta  recap of Nia Jax hitting on Enzo Amore. He is talking to Drew Gulak back stage. Rich Swann is clearly not getting the Cruiser Weight Title shot so we have another match. Enzo mentions Jax. Gulak learns the wrong lesson but it saves Enzo from admitting his crush.

Finn Balor is taking on Curtis Axel with Bo Dallas at ring side. The Miz is missing the home town appearance. Dallas attacks before the bell. Balor sells a shoulder injury. Axel works over his shoulder. Balor goes into over drive. Sling Blade. Corner drop kick. Coup De Grace for a quick win.

Kane is in the utility room as usual. He is ready to take down Braun Strowman to face Brock Lesnar for the first time. Really? I’m a little surprised by that news.

Seth Rollins comes out for his match against Sheamus. It’s been a good back and forth match. As expected, the heel has more offense on the injured baby face. Rollins has his leg worked on. Sheamus locks in the Clover Leaf but they’re near the ropes. Sheamus pulling them back into the middle of the ring allows Rollins to counter. Sheamus goes back to the knee to slow Rollins offense. Rollins catches a slow Sheamus with a Superplex followed by a Falcon Arrow. It only got two. Sheamus presses Rollins then goes into a Rolling Hills. Brogue Kick misses. Super kick by Rollins. He follows up with the Rainmaker Knee for the win.

Renee Young wonders if Dean Ambrose’s strategy changed because of the attack earlier today. He does a crazy guy promo. Not my favorite variety from him.

Drew Gulak is at the announce desk. Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari get a second chance to possibly take on Enzo. The WWE continues to give these guys more time consistently these days. Better than short matches and no mic time on Raw. I could still handle more mic time. Alexander saves the match up after Ali hit the inverted 450 splash. Alexander & Ali slug it out. Alexander gets the upper hand and Lumbar Checks Ali. Daivari Saves the match. Nese saves the match. Ali saves the match. Alexander cleans house. Lumbar Check on Daivari for the win. I’m a very big proponent of Alexander. Thought he was great in his time in ROH. I think he has better mic skills than the WWE has show cased so far. His post match speech not that great though.

Drew Gulak mentions becoming Cruiser Weight Champion. Enzo lights him up for thinking they’re on the same level. Enzo is excited when Nia Jax shows up. She wants to talk when Drew isn’t around. Enzo is intrigued and wondering where the urge is coming from.

Cesaro has his match with Roman Reigns. Much like the earlier match, baby face is selling the earlier attack. Cesaro really gained control during the break. Cesaro is working over the right shoulder. It was interesting that Reigns used some leverage moves to work out of a predicament instead of brute force. Reigns is off and running. Drive By gets him a two count. Cesaro clothes lines Reigns bad arm. Slick move. Cesaro locks in a Cross Face. Cesaro tosses Reigns shoulder first into the post. Reigns catches Cesaro charging. Superman Punch off the stairs. Reigns rolls him back in but only gets two. Reigns goes for a second Spear. Cesaro catches him with a knee. He follows up with a Super Uppercut. Cesaro only gets two. Cesaro locks on the Cross Face again. Reigns rolls a Swing into a Power Bomb. Cesaro gets two with a small package. Reigns back body drops out of a Neutralizer. Spear for the win. The crowd being this happy cracks me up.

Braun Strowman likes the electrical room too. Kane will not be standing in his way for long.

Asuka is taking on Alicia Fox again. Oh, no she isn’t. Absolution took her out. They need to take her out, even though they respect her. Asuka just shakes her head no. Asuka takes out Rose & Deville. Asuka gets Paige in an arm bar. Rose & Deville recover. They assault Asuka. The women’s locker room empties and attacks Absolution.

Jason Jordan apologizes for going crazy on Kurt Angle last week. Jordan tries to get his match with Samoa Joe. Angle remind Jordan that he hasn’t won any of his high profile matches. Jordan acts butt hurt and walks off. He even called him “Kurt” instead of “Dad.”

Samoa Joe & Dean Ambrose have their match while Jordan watches from the ramp. Despite Joe paying some attention to Jordan, he gets the upper hand early. Ambrose keeps in the match through tenacity. Even connecting with a Lunatic Lariat. Joe suplexes Ambrose then starts talking trash to Jordan. Ambrose tries to take advantage. He gets Joe outside the ring. Jordan tosses Ambrose back in the ring. Joe attacks Jordan. Ambrose suicide dives onto both of them. Jordan distracts the ref costing Ambrose a pin. Ambrose butts heads with Jordan. Joe suicide dives onto both of them. Jordan gets a senton for his insolence. Kokina Clutch on Ambrose for the pass out win.

Dana Brooke is joining Titus World Wide. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows call them nerds. Braun Strowman scares them apart.

The match is a hard hitting affair. The level of the match seemed to go up quickly but nothing unusual. Strowman runs through Kane and the barricade. The referee calls for a double count out. They slam stairs together outside. Strowman gets the better of it. Strowman throws the table in the ring. Kane sets it up though. Strowman clothes lines Kane down. Kane sits up. Strowman does moments later. Kane is concerned. Strowman powers out of a choke slam. Power slam thru a table. Fun ending but Corey Graves is right, who is going to take on Brock Lesnar since it was a double count out? – Kevin DiFrango

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