Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw – 15 Jan. ’18

The WWE starts us off with a video package about Braun Strowman being awesome. And he tried to straight up murder his competitors. Strowman hits the ring and tells a “story” about how he’s going to win the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. Kurt Angle comes out and says that on Raw, people settle things in the ring, not with a grappling hook. Angle fires Strowman. They open the show. Strowman is mad backstage when one of the security guards gets mouthy. Strowman doesn’t attack, yet. Security puts their hands on Braun so he attacks. I hope they get their hospital bills covered on top of actual pay.

Cesaro & Sheamus are being cheered. They are taking on Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil again. Dana Brooke still enhancing the match. O’Neil fighting the Bar is a perfect fit. They can all just tee off on each other. Crews ends up getting caught with a blind tag so that Sheamus can take over. Titus gets a hot tag. Booker T  is forgetting his entire career with the position he takes against Titus. Cesaro & Sheamus pull off the same combo as last week that won it for Titus Worldwide. O’Neil kicks out. He tags in Crews who gets a near fall on Cesaro. Sheamus & Cesaro set up for Super White Noise when Jason Jordan’s music hits. He come out on the ramp which distracts Sheamus. Crews rolls him up for the win. Sheamus is incredulous. Seth Rollins comes out talking to Jordan but nothing is over heard.

Someone warns catering that Strowman is coming. Curt Hawkins gets choke slammed through a table. Strowman also eats a large slice of chocolate cake.

Enzo Amore comes out with Tony Nese. Amore is also a monster among men. He’s going to walk out of the Royal Rumble as Cruiser Weight Champ. Cedric Alexander comes out. Goldust does all of the talking. Alexander then calls Amore “SAWFT.” I love Cedric but that was just terrible. Nese gets a near fall on gut buster on Alexander. Goldust ends up chasing off Enzo but nothing comes of it. A head lock stop the Lumbar Check. They end up exchaning reversals. The series seemed less than fluid. Lumbar Check for the win.

Kurt Angle is finally going to call the cop. He is warned that Braun is going after the production trucks which Angle informs us are worth 12 mill. He clears them out of the room. Braun detaches the truck portion fo the trailer. Angle informs his that the police have been called. Strowman then flips the tractor. He comes back to ring side. He goes after Michael Cole. Just when he’s ready to get tossed, Angle informs us that Stephanie McMahon has re-hired him & put him back in the Championship match. Strowman tosses Cole onto a bunch of security guards anyway.

Tom Phillips fills in for Cole after the break. They recap the situation. Nia Jax comes out for her match with Asuka. Jax thwarts some of Asuka’s usual offense. Asuka puts on an Octopus type move. Jax takes over with her power. Asuka locks in an arm bar. Jax powers out and throws her into the turn buckles. Asuka goes for a Sunset Flip. Jax misses squashing her. Asuka kicks her in the face. Asuka strikes hard but it barely phases Jax. Asuka gets power bombed by Jax. She is tired and allows Asuka to recover enough to kick out. Asuka reverses into a knee bar. Jax reaches the ropes. Jax tosses Asuka outside. Jax starts toying with her. Asuka takes out her legs when she’s on the stairs. Jax gets in to avoid the count out. The ref calls for a stoppage because Jax can’t stand. Jax continues to only lose by beating herself.

Jason Jordan is entirely too happy about all of the destruction of Braun Strowman. Jordan suggest Finn Balor as an opponent for Rollins. Angle agrees to the match.

We get the MLK video package at the 1:30 mark of the show. Has that changed in years?

Alexa Bliss is trying to give Nia Jax grief but Enzo saves her. Interesting dynamic going on there.

The Revival are taking on two jobbers. Shatter Machine in short order. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder do get some mic time. They are just worried about wrestling. No one from the Attitude Era are old school enough for them. They are professional wrestlers, damn it, not sports entertainers. Are they just rusty on the mic?

Elias goes solo on the guitar. His mini promo leads to his song about John Cena. He’s ready to toss him from the Rumble. Elias then introduces The Miz and the Miztourage, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel. The Miz says that he was the missing ingredient from Raw which is why he got the reception he did last week. The Miz wants his IC Championship back. Roman Reigns hits the ring. He is taking on Dallas & Axel. The Miz ditracts Reigns long enough for Dallas & Axel to toss Reigns into the steps. Through hook and crook, Dallas & Axel keep the pressure on Reigns. Roman keeps away Dallas then pushes him into a tag. Axel ends up being on the end of the ass kicking despite being fresh. The Miz steps in the ring. Superman Punch on Axel. The Miz pushes Bo Dallas into another Superman Punch. Axel almost takes advantage of another distraction. Spear for the win.

Sasha Banks comes to the ring with Mickie James & Bayley. Sonya Deville came to the ring with Mandy Rose & Paige. Tom Phillips does say that Paige will be out of the Women’s Royal Rumble because of a neck injury. That’s not a good sign.Banks looks in control. Deville catches her going for the double knee by kicking her in the stomach. Deville pins Banks for the win. That’s a high profile win.

The MLK video from the previous week in Memphis is really well done.

Rollins doesn’t have a problem with what Jason Jordan did, just how he did it.

Matt Hardy comes out. The extra production going along with this gimmick is pretty awesome. Heath Slater is his opponent. Rhyno is on the outside. Slater does get in some offense. They are putting over Matt’s primal attitude and offense. Twist of Fate for the win. Can Slater match Curt Hawkins streak?

Seth Rollins is taking on Finn Balor. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson are at ring side along with Jason Jordan. Balor gets the upper hand early. Rollins turns things around and works over Balor’s neck. Balor takes charge again. Final Cut by Balor gets a two count. Rollins charges a couple of times then gets caught with a Sling Blade. Balor then got caught with a Super Kick. They trade big blows. Rollins misses a Phoenix Splash but doesn’t eat it. Rollins with a Superplex then a Falcon Arrow. That only gets a two count. Balor gets a fall but the official calls it off. Sheamus & Cesaro comes out. He dodges an attack so that they attack Gallows & Anderson. Jordan pulls Balor’s leg, Rollins Curb Stomps him for the win. Is someone getting in trouble for that finish? – Kevin DiFrango

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