Tons of hype for the Royal Rumble, mostly for the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match, which will feature 30 women. Yep. WWE better not disappoint with this one, and hopefully with all of these new matches for women, they can keep up the roster and continue this awesome trend for years to come.
The show kicks off with Kurt Angle welcoming us to 2018 and hypes up tonight’s matches. Immediately interrupted by The Bar who complain about their title loss from last week. Jason Jordan immediately interrupts the immediate interruption and earns himself some funny crowd chants of “Daddy’s Boy” among others. Jordan talks tough and almost puts the tag team championships on the line before Seth Rollins interrupts (notice a trend?) and talks down Jordan, and berates him to the crowd’s enjoyment. We get Jordan vs. Cesaro.
Despite the crowd taking a massive dump on Jordan, he turns out to be awesome. If you get past the horrible, terrible, pathetic, and completely ridiculous gimmick, Jordan and Cesaro put on a fantastic plex-fest. Thanks to Rollins taking out Sheamus, his partner Jordan manages to get the pinfall victory.
Man, no one likes Jordan, and this has made his career. Keep the hate flowing, watch Jordan become #1 heel in less than a year.
Next up, Bray Wyatt defeats Apolo Crews in match that took longer than microwaving my pasta. In his corner are Titus O’Neal and Dana Boobs. She’s there just to be some sort of eye candy. She’s got the “sexy professional” look going, and that’s all she’s got going for her. This match went longer than I think anyone expected. Give credit to Crews for some big moves, but he still seems green. Lots of talking during the match, Michael Cole covers it up by saying Wyatt is playing mind games. Yeah.
Post match: “Woken” Matt Hardy cuts a titan-tron promo, so awesome. Save this for WrestleMania please.
Backstage: Alexa Bliss pleads with Nia Jax to be in her corner, but she leaves to bring Enzo some chicken soup, because he is in the hospital. Ha!
Asuka defeats Alexa Bliss (non-title)
Great match. I expected Bliss to pull the dislocated-arm routine, but didn’t happen. At this point we would know it’s fake. Good match, Alexa played the coward heel very well at the beginning of the match. Lots of back and forth, some issues during the match where it appeared Bliss wasn’t willing to take the shots from Asuka head-on.
Braun Strowman devours Heath Slater and Rhyno. It began with Strowman and Rhyno, until Strowman challenged Slater to get it. Despite a crowd chanting “EC-Dub” it was just a matter of time until Strowman delivered repeated powerslams for victory. Crowd loved it. I loved it.
Backstage: Kane asks for a truce with Strowman. Request was, denied.
Backstage: Rollins tries to keep Reigns from losing his head before his upcoming title defense, until Jason Jordan appears to challenge The Bar. Both Reigns and Rollins appear perplexed. Man, they don’t want anyone liking Jordan.
Backstage, again: Kurt Angle meets with Finn Balor about a six-man tag match for tonight, and Balor brings in his tag team partners… KARL ANDERSON AND LUKE GALLOWS.
— Graham “GSM” Matthews (@WrestleRant) January 2, 2018
Wow. The “too sweet” chants start five minutes ago.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns
The whole segment was no shorter than 30 minutes. Good lord. Great match. Fantastic match. Joe wins MVP for sure, but Reigns impressed me. Hey, as much as we hate his legacy of defeating the Undertaker and being shoved down our throats for a year, I will not deny the props to Reigns. Lots of back and forth. Lots of near falls. Some near-DQs. Joe told the story of a ruthless SOB who wanted to wreck and rule. Roman Reigns wins the match clean via counter into the spear. It was clean, and no five-moves of doom set up.
Backstage (lost count): Kurt Angle is approached by Rabbi Paul Heyman who warns of conspiracy and the impending declaration 2018 will be the “Year of the Beast.”
With Enzo in the hospital with the flu, Drew Gulak and Ariya Davari arrive. Gulak is hysterical trying to relay Enzo’s lines such as “a cuppa… wait, that’s not right… we have a couple of haters here.” Out comes Cedric Alexander and instead we get a tag bout, and Cedric’s partner is… Goldust. This night just gets crazier by the moment. Goldy and Cedric win the bout via a spine-shattering Lumbar Check. Primus, I love this move.
In the ring, we are graced with Elias who declares WWE now stands for “Walk With Elias” and brings out Curt Axel and Bo Dallas. They butcher the music. I don’t even know what they are singing. The tragedy here, is we have seen them sing, and now they are good. Elias is unable to save the segment, and suddenly he sounds out of tune. Odd. Out comes The (Bullet) Club, as Anderson, Gallows, and Balor take on The Miztourage and Elias. Easy win for Balor and Co.
We learn The Miz will join us on RAW next week.
Brock Lesnar with Rabbi Paul Heyman closes out the New Year’s Edition of WWE Monday Night RAW. Heyman conducts a gorgeous verbal symphony. After the conclusion, Kane, emerges from the back, chokeslamming Brock. Except, Brock does the ol’ Undertaker sit-up, which shocks Kane and they go tumbling to the floor. The locker room is sent down to break them up. Show over. Bit of a bummer. Brock is out for all of five minutes, and doesn’t even get much action either.
We could have concluded with Heyman’s performance, and hell, Brock didn’t even need to be there. At. All. The show was great, really fun to watch, something I have noticed WWE is embracing more and more with each week.
I am looking forward to the Royal Rumble. As of now, I believe we cannot predict the winners of either Rumble match. There are a lot of possibilities, and of course, the off-chance WWE goes with someone else to win the big one.