Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw – 14 Jan. ’19

Leavitt Shell in Memphis TN. Saved from

The WWE starts us off with Vince McMahon coming out of a limo, because that’s what the fans want. Please read sarcasm into that line. He makes his limo driver buff out a minor scratch. People cheer. I hate you already Memphis.

Braun Strowman comes to the ring first though. At least he kept his promo short this week. The WWE still thinks we want to see Baron Corbin. They’re knocking it out of the park tonight with things I want to see tonight. Corbin is focusing on the Royal Rumble and going to Wrestlemania. Strowman chases him backstage. Elias is back there singing. He gives Strowman Corbin’s location, which is a limo. Most likely Vince’s. McMahon shows up and is flustered. They come back from commercial for the dressing down. Strowman talks back to Vince. He takes Strowman out of his championship match with Brock Lesnar.

Ronda Rousey & Sasha Banks are taking on Tamina & Nia Jax. We have a brief moment of Strowman being shown out of the building by “police.” As if that has stopped someone in wrestling from showing back up. Banks starts against Jax who requests Ronda. She doesn’t get her wish. Banks getting in plenty of offense early. Ronda gets tagged in but so does Tamina. She gets an arm bar attempt but Jax pulls her out of the ring. Banks is back in after a break. She’s taking the beating which makes way more sense. Tamina tags in. She knocks Jax off the apron with an errant spear. Sasha locks in the Bank Statement for the tap out win. Charley Caruso interviews Banks and Rousey. Ronda steps on her toes by talking about Banks being another accomplishment. Ronda keeps stepping in it, this time by calling Sasha a loser. Hey, a segment I liked. Banks is getting some of that “Boss” attitude.

They’re still arguing backstage with Bayley & Natalya intervening. They get into an argument. The Riott Squad shows up. Liv Morgan correctly points out that Bayley has been dumped for Sasha to chase the Raw Championship. Ruby Riott wants them to find a third for a six woman tag match. The Riott Squad is unfamiliar with the boatload of women’s talent on the roster for Nattie & Bayley to choose from. My bet is on Ember Moon though.

The Revival is taking on the Lucha House Party. Lince Dorado is taking this match off. Kalisto starts off against Dash Wilder. Why the fuck are Apollo Crews and Curt Hawkins being interviewed during the match? Even sports games don’t interview other people during the action. The Revival gets a cheap win over Gran Metalik. Just not a way to get anyone over.

Vince McMahon comes out. He is quickly followed by John Cena. He wants to be the new Universal Champion. Drew McIntyre is the next to make his claim. For some reason, we’re seeing more Baron Corbin. Even my wife is annoyed. Finn Balor is the last out, I hope. He says that Vince never believed in him, which I don’t really agree with. I’m just glad Vince didn’t appoint Drew as his choice.

Jinder Mahal is on my TV. Vince gives him a match against anyone so that he can get into the Royal Rumble. He chooses Finn Balor.

The Riott Squad is out first. Bayley, Natalya then Nikki Cross comes out. I can type that ahead of time because Jeremy still thinks that I watch this on time despite the name of the column. Bayley tags her in after she gets quite an ovation. Bayley is taking a beating after a commercial. This match is only interesting with Cross in it. The problem is, her character isn’t really a team player but she is one tonight. Cross with a hung up neck breaker. Bayley with the Macho Elbow for the win. As much as I like Nikki, it was an odd showcase for her.

Lacey Evans is back stage talking to Mickie James and Dana Brooke while Finn Balor wonders through before his match with Mahal.

Dean Ambrose is not happy about being in a title match being a three way match. No one is taking away his Intercontinental Championship.

The match happens after Balor gets a proper entrance. I will always not complain about Balor getting as much or more TV time than Baron Corbin. Mahal attacks while Balor is on the apron. Mahal maintains control even after the ref allows a lot of time for Balor to recover. Balor creats an opening with an overhead kick. Balor goes for the Sling Blade but ends up drop kicking Sumir Singh off the apron. Mahal gets tossed outside. Flip dive by Balor onto both of them. Sling Blade. Coup De Grace for the win.

Lio Rush says that him and Bobby Lashley have lacked some agression recently but they’re ready to change that. Lashley glares at him. I continue to like serious Rush. Seth Rollins gets a promo while Lashley & Ambrose wait in the ring. That’s got to be weird for them. He wants to win because he’s awesome. My short hand for the promo. Ambrose proposes a joint venture attack on Lashley as the match starts. Rollins attacks both of them instead. They end up teaming against Rollins. Seth gets a small hope spot but Lashley takes over on both of them. Rollins & Ambrose take out Lashley. They ram him with the top half of the steps. Rollins invites Ambrose into the ring. Rollins hits a Falcon Arrow. Lio Rush breaks up the pin. Rollins goes after Rush and chases him back to the ring. Ambrose takes him out by accident. Rollins gets a pin fall on Ambrose. Lashley comes in and takes out Rollins. Ambrose stops a Spear attempt. Rollins spring board clothes lines Ambrose. Enziguri to Lashley. Rollins follows with a Frog Splash. Ambrose comes in and tosses Rollins out of the ring. Rollins flips out of Doomsday Device. Wow. He super kicks both of them. Rollins heads to the ropes and Rush low bridges him. Lashley spears Ambrose for the win. Wow. I did not see that coming. At all.

Some random PA is telling Alexa Bliss that she is up next. For some reason, Bliss isn’t dressed yet. Comedy ensues. It doesn’t but it sounds better. She wants to get to the bottom when the women’s tag team titles are happening. Three teams from each of Raw & Smackdown will fight in the Elimination Chamber for the rights to these titles. She is ready to introduce Paul Heyman when he announces his arrival. Heyman is doing his usual review of possible Brock opponents. Even I glazed over. For some reason, Otis Dozovic comes wonder on stage. Tucker Knight comes out and wrangles him.

So they really are just going straight to the Fatal Four Way, huh? John Cena gives Drew McIntyre an AA for the first near fall of the match. Balor & Cena team up against Corbin while McIntyre takes a break. McIntyre comes in and power bombs Cena & Balor who were going for a superplex on Corbin. McIntyre tries to take out Corbin fails but then tosses him showing off his core strength. End of Days on Balor after a commercial. McIntyre breaks up the pin. McIntyre with the Glasgow Kiss afetr the pole run by Corbin. Cena comes off the top but McIntyre gives him a power bomb. Cena kicks out at two. The heels beat up on the faces. Balor & Cena fight back. Balor kicks down Cena. He stops Balor on the top rope. Middle rope AA by Cena. Corbin tosses Cena out of the ring. Balor kicks out of the pin. Corbin attacks Cena & McIntyre with a chair on the outside. He slowly attacks Balor in the ring. It costs him when he goes for the pin and Cena breaks it up. Cena with an AA on Corbin. McIntyre with a Clay More on Cena. Balor DDTs McIntyre. Balor with a Coup De Grace on Cena for the win. Cena gives his endorsement after the match.

Kevin DiFrango

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