This weeks episode of WWE Monday Night RAW comes from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, the night after Survivor Series.
The show opens with Baron Corbin gloating about *sweeping* Smackdown Live at Survivor Series. Stephanie McMahon came out and congratulated the Raw roster. Corbin asked to be made permanent GM, but Braun Strowman interrupted him and said he wanted to get his hands on Corbin. McMahon made a match at TLC between Corbin and Strowman. If Corbin beats Strowman, he’ll become permanent general manager of Raw. If he loses, he loses all power on Raw. McMahon announced if Strowman can beat Corbin, he’ll get a title shot against Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Strowman said he could pick the stipulation and called for it to be a TLC match. Corbin tried to make a handicap match for later in the evening against Strowman, but McMahon interrupted and announced it would be a six-man tag match up next. This was solid opening segment, playing off of the PPV, and setting up for TLC and after. It was completely paint by numbers, but solid stuff and the six-man makes sense following recent weeks.
Six-Man Tag Team Elimination Match: Braun Strowman, Elias and Finn Bálor versus Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley and Baron Corbin. McIntyre eliminated Bálor with the Claymore. Elias was counted out after Lashley speared him on the outside. Strowman landed the running powerslam on Corbin, but McIntyre attacked him with a chair to earn the disqualification. Braun Strowman, Elias, & Finn Balor vs. Lashley, Drew McIntyre, & Baron Corbin went to a no contest @ 30:00 (**) McIntyre and Lashley beat Strowman around ringside. Corbin grabbed a chair and continued to beat on Strowman before crushing his arm with the steel stairs. Well there was no official announcement, so we’ll call this a no contest. The match started out pretty hot, but the longer it went on, it faded in terms of quality. The beat down was good, and was set up to give Corbin the advantage going into TLC, and accomplished its goal. But I am not a fan of running really long matches without a finish.
Seth Rollins came out to the ring and cut a promo on Dean Ambrose. Rollins called out Ambrose for hiding and not showing his face since attacking him. Ambrose showed up on the titantron and said he wasn’t going to get riled up and run down to the ring. Ambrose said the Shield would have to pay for what it did when the cameras stopped rolling and pointed at what Roman Reigns is dealing with as an example. Ambrose then challenged Rollins to come to the back and find him. Rollins ran to the back and attacked a security guard. This didn’t do much for me, they are trying to build the feud and make it really personal but are still relying on the Reigns factor too much for cheap heat, and while I like both guys, it’s not making me want to see the match at all.
A vignette hyping the arrival of Lars Sullivan played.
Nia Jax and Tamina versus Sasha Banks and Bayley. Jax pinned Bayley after connecting on the Samoan Drop. Tamina & Nia Jax defeated Sasha Banks & Bayley @ 11:07 via pin [*] Get ready for Jax to run through the division as she heads for her match with Rousey. It makes sense, but she and Tamina are really bad. They work with no energy and considering Banks & Bayley did everything they could to make them look like monsters, they still didn’t look good. Yes, Jax has heat with the crowds due to the Becky thing, but she’s really quite awful.
Ambrose interrupted Charly Caruso to again call out Rollins. Rollins tried to find him backstage to no avail.
The locker room made fun of Drake Maverick for peeing his pants at the hands of Big Show at Survivor Series. Maverick yelled at Chad Gable and Bobby Roode and said they’d pay for it against AOP later in the evening.
3-on-2 Handicap Match: The Revival Lucha House Party. Lince Dorado pinned Dash Wilder after landing the shooting star press. Lucha House Party defeated Dash & Dawson @ 2:50 via pin [DUD] So the Luchas, with the unfair advantage, are the faces, while the hard-working guys who just want to wrestle are the heels? They have already killed what made Lucha House Party so good on 205 Live, fuck this match.
Ronda Rousey hit the ring and cut a promo about being a “true champion.” Rousey took her jacket off and called for a challenger to come out and fight for her title. Corbin came to the ring and denied her request to defend the title. Rousey talked Corbin into letting her defend the title and said he’s go to the back and find her a challenger.
Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) defeated Mickie James. Rousey tapped James out with an arm bar. Nia Jax came out and polished off her knuckles as Rousey celebrated her win at the top of the stage. Champion Ronda Rousey defeated Mickie James @ 2:20 via submission [NR] WWE was reportedly very concerned over the negative reaction Rousey got at Survivor Series, so this was a rebound to put her over as a resilient and dominant champion, even when hurt.
Chad Gable and Bobby Roode versus Authors of Pain. Gable rolled up Akam with a sunset flip off the top rope. Roode & Gable defeated Champions AOP @ 3:20 via pin [*½] I like the Roode & Gable pairing, they are good, but I just wish that the set up for them getting a tag title shot wasn’t based on piss jokes. It was short, they tried, but the crowd was too into making pee jokes to care.
Rollins was shown leaving the arena.
Natalya versus Ruby Riott. Natalya rolled up Ruby Riott despite outside interference from Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan. Natalya defeated Ruby Riott @ 8:20 via pin [**] I would kill for Ruby Riott to have an actual wrestling match where she actually wrestles and we don’t have all the Riott Squad bullshit because she’s really good. This was ok, but no matter how much they try, I just don’t care about Natalya; she just takes up space.
Michael Cole announced Strowman suffered a fractured elbow after his attack at the hands of Corbin.
Ambrose cut a promo in the ring when Rollins came running down to the ring to attack him. Ambrose tried to escape through the crowd, but Rollins threw him back to the ringside. Rollins tried the Curb Stomp, but Ambrose moved and hit a low blow. He then picked him up and connected on Dirty Deeds. Ambrose left the ring, but came back hit another Dirty Deeds. He held up Rollins head as Raw went off the air.
Overall show rating: 3.5 out of 10.