This episode of WWE Raw comes live from the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
As expected, no matter how bad the shows have been, Vince gets a huge reaction, and the fans bow to him. Vince says raw has been on air for over 25-years, and have changed with the times, and despite his intelligence, creativity, and brilliance, he can’t do it all by himself anymore. He brings out Stephanie, Triple H, & Shane. Steph admits that they haven’t been doing a great job or listening to the audience. They are here for a fresh start, and the four of them will be taking back Monday Night Raw and Smackdown. They will give the fans what they want something new & fresh, and there will be new faces, stars, and matches. The fans are now the authority, and as long as they work together, WWE will always be then, now, forever. Baron Corbin arrives and says he’s excited for a fresh start. He kisses their asses, but says that what happened last night’s WWE TLC PPV was not fair to him and he wants to have a conversation. They boo Corbin out of the building as the McMahon’s keep egging on the crowd. Corbin says he did his best and the superstars let him down. He wasn’t prepared for the unfair attack at the PPV; Triple H mocks Corbin for being predictable. Corbin still wants to be GM, the McMahon’s huddle, and that’s a negatory ghost rider. Vince says there may be a way, if Corbin wins his match right now, he can become the new GM.
- You almost have to admire the way they deflected all blame onto “the people” they let run the show and took no blame so that they could come off as the heroes. The Corbin stuff got good heat, but it was pretty much what I expected; McMahon’s appearing for the artificial ratings pop and empty promises in a 20-minute opening promo.
Kurt Angle (with Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode, and Chad Gable) (and Heath Slater as the guest referee) defeated Baron Corbin. Everyone attacked Corbin with chairs again, hit a bunch of signature moves on him, and Angle pinned him after an Angle Slam. Corbin is now no longer an authority figure.
- Don’t get me wrong, I love a good comeuppance and Corbin getting his ass handed to him, but they promised new and fresh and basically did a rehash of the angle they ran at TLC where these guys all kicked Corbin’s ass. The good news is that the crowd was completely into seeing Corbin getting killed after all of his bullshit.
Finn Bálor vs. Dolph Ziggler was a no contest when Drew McIntyre interfered and attacked both men.
- This was good, continued the issues with all three, and should lead to a triple threat match at some point soon.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Dean Ambrose (c) defeated Tyler Breeze. This was an open challenge. Ambrose won with Dirty Deeds. After the match, Seth Rollins (dressed as one of Ambrose’s gas mask entrance henchmen) attacked Ambrose.
- This was a good match with a good post match angle. Breeze may have lost but he got another chance to shine.
A video package announced a new group of NXT stars coming “to WWE,”including EC3, Lars Sullivan, Heavy Machinery, Nikki Cross, and Lacey Evans.
Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley cut a promo making fun of Elias and doing poses. Elias showed up and attacked them with a guitar.
We get a Sami Zayn returning soon video package.
Number One Contender Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Match: The Revival defeated AOP, The B-Team, and Lucha House Party. Lucha House Party rules are gone, thank God. The Revival won with a Shatter Machine on Bo Dallas. They’ll get a future Raw Tag Team Championship match against Bobby Roode and Chad Gable.
- The match was ok, a bit sloppy at points, but at least the Revival won.
Rollins talks about his loss to Ambrose, and says he heard the crowd and has town that. He will end Ambrose. Corbin arrives and blames Rollins for everyone thinking he’s done a poor job and that he got fired. Rollins lays him out.
Ronda Rousey cut a promo about how champions should defend their championships the night after pay-per-views no matter what condition they’re in. Too many women wanted to answer her open challenge, so Stephanie McMahon put them all into a gauntlet match.
Natalya won a Number One Contender Gauntlet Match. Bayley eliminated Alicia Fox by countering a pinfall attempt into a crucifix, then eliminated Dana Brooke with a Belly-to-Bayley. Mickie James eliminated Bayley with a DDT. Ember Moon eliminated Mickie James with an Eclipse. Natalya pinned Moon and Ruby Riott with a roll-ups. Natalya was then able to submit Sasha Banks with a Sharpshooter to win the match.
Natalya will face Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship on next week’s Christmas Eve Raw. Rousey and Natalya shook hands and hugged.
Natalya winning works here, because next week’s Raw is taped, and you don’t burn the Banks vs. Rousey match on a taped show, Natalya is a fine place filler, and WWE has wanted to do that match. The match was really long, the layout wasn’t horrible, but all of the breaks really killed it each time they seemingly locked in momentum. Overall it was good, and it was nice to see the women get the chance.
End of show.