Welcome to our coverage for Monday Night Raw for December 18.

Brock Lesnar returns to Monday Night Raw for the first time in a while. He returns to address the fact that he does not have an opponent for Royal Rumble 2018. Braun Strowman and Kane were supposed to settle their differences last week but things ended in a no contest again. Now Lesnar will address the two in what is likely to become a Triple Threat match at Royal Rumble.

Cedric Alexander and Drew Gulak will battle tonight to determine the new number one contender to Enzo Amore’s Cruiserweight Championship. This comes a week after Alexander earned the right to compete, following Rich Swann’s suspension. Enzo has been ridiculing Gulak for weeks, which leads me to believe Gulak will win and perhaps take a face turn prior to Royal Rumble.

Elsewhere on tonight’s show, Roman Reigns is in need of a new challenger for his Intercontinenal Championship, Absolution has been put on notice by the entire women’s division, and Matt Hardy continues his woken excellence. Remember to download the Ringside Talk app and enjoy the show!


Monday Night Raw opens with a look at the Kane/Braun Strowman rivalry.

Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, makes his way to the ring. Angle welcomes us to the show an says that by the end of tonight we will have an opponent for Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble. However tonight…

Angle is interrupted by Strowman, who stomps to the ring. Strowman simply tells Angle that he has earned the right to face Lesnar because last week he was the only man left standing. Just then, The Big Red Machine makes his way to the ring.

Kane says that nobody has caused more chaos and carnage in WWE over the past twenty years than him. And while Lesnar’s list of victims is long and includes his brother, The Undertaker, but it doesn’t include him. So he will face Lesnar at the Royal Rumble, unless Strowman has something to say about it. The two behemoths square-up before being interrupted…

The WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, and Paul Heyman make their way to the ring. Brock circles the ring before entering and the three big men stare at each other. Kurt Angle grabs the mic and says that he has an announcement to make before this gets out of hand: at Royal Rumble it will be a Triple Threat between Lesnar, Strowman, and Kane. Angle says it’s true before hopping out of the ring. The three behemoths circle each other before Kane hits Lesnar. Strowman attempts to clobber Lesnar but gets clotheslined over the top rope. Kane grabs Brock for a Chokeslam but in turn he gets hit with an F5. Lesnar leaves the ring an Strowman stares at him from the opposite side. With Lesnar on the ramp, Kane sits-up and Brock looks taken aback.

Up next, Seth Rollins will go one-on-one with Samoa Joe!

*Commercial Break*

Seth Rollins makes his entrance to a pretty good reception. Rollins gets in the ring and waits for his opponent, Samoa Joe.

Jason Jordan comes out instead to loud boos. Jordan says he understands that he’s not the guy Rollins wants to see right now. Rollins wants Samoa Joe, he gets it, but he’s not the only one. Jordan has been asking Kurt Angle for a match against Samoa Joe for two weeks. Jordan gets in the ring. Jordan says he’s done asking. He has nothing but respect for Rollins, but if he has a bone to pick with Joe, he’ll have to pick the bones that are left when he’s done with him. Rollins grabs a microphone and says he appreciates what he’s trying to do, but this isn’t his big opportunity.

Samoa Joe’s music hits, and he comes out to the stage as the crowd chants “Joe.” The Samoan Submission Machine says he feels like the belle of the ball and all the boys want to dance with him. Since they both want to get their hands on his so badly, how about they have Jason Jordan take on Seth Rollins. The winner gets beat down and put to sleep by him. Rollins says that sounds wonderful except for the fact that their match has already been made. Rollins tells him to mosey on down and let him kick his teeth down his throat. As for Jordan, he can look for Daddy’s approval somewhere else. Jordan shoves him down and stands over him. Rollins rips off his shirt and agrees to the match against Jordan.

Seth Rollins Vs. Jason Jordan

The bell rings, and they circle the ring before Rollins sidesteps a lock-up. Jordan takes him down and hits a pair waistlock takeovers. Jordan bridges him for a two count. Samoa Joe sits at ringside. Jordan applies a side headlock, but Rollins fights up and whips him off. Jordan shoulder blocks him down and hits the ropes.

Rollins ducks a clothesline and kicks him in the ribs before clotheslining him over the top rope. Jordan lands at Samoa Joe’s feet.

*Commercial Break*

We come back from the break to see Rollins kick Jordan and clothesline him over the top rope. During the break, Kurt Angle said the winner will face Samoa Joe in the future. Rollins jumps off the apron, but Jordan catches him and viciously drives him into the barricade. Jordan gets him in the ring and picks up a two count. Jordan puts him in the corner and turns him around to drive some shoulders into Rollins’ lower back. Jordan then whips him hard into the corner to pick up a two count.

Jordan lifts Rollins up and slams him into the corner with his shoulder. Rollins chops out of the corner, but Jordan again picks him up and powers him into the corner. Jordan then applies a knee to the back chin lock. Rollins fights up, but Jordan scoops him up and runs across the ring with him three times, each time slamming him into the corner. Jordan takes him down for a two count. Jordan punches him and walks around with his hands on his hips in frustration. Jordan continues to punch him before hitting a backbreaker for a near fall. Jordan then goes back to the chin lock in the middle of the ring.

Rollins fights up and elbows out. Jordan goes for a back suplex, but Rollins turns over and covers for a two count. Rollins then pulls him face-first into the turnbuckle. Jordan quickly blocks a superkick and hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.

*Commercial Break*

We come back from the break to see Rollins hit a Sling Blade and a leg drop to the neck. Rollins hits a springboard clothesline for a two count. A “Joe” chant picks up. Jordan pulls himself up and hits a running forearm. Rollins looks at Samoa Joe before charging Jordan. Jordan catches him and hits another overhead belly-to-belly suplex for a two count. Jordan counters a Ripcord Knee, and Rollins sends him out of the ring. Rollins charges and hits a baseball slide. Rollins then hits a suicide dive and crashes back-first into the barricade with Jordan.

Both men are being counted out, but they both make it back in at the nine count. The crowd lets out a loud groan. Rollins kicks Jordan back and goes for a springboard clothesline, but Jordan counters into rolling northern lights suplexes for a two count. Jordan puts him on the top rope and goes for a superplex. Rollins blocks it and punches him to the mat. Jordan charges again, but Rollins head-butts him down. Rollins then hits a frog splash for a near fall. Jordan rolls out of the ring to recover, so Rollins dives off the apron to attack him. Rollins then approaches Samoa Joe, who gets up from his seat. Rollins sends Jordan into Joe before giving Joe a superkick.

Rollins gets Jordan back into the ring. Jordan catches him with a roll-up for a near fall. Rollins then hits a Ripcord Knee for the win.

Winner: Seth Rollins

As soon as the match ends, Rollins and Joe start brawling at ringside. Rollins gets Joe in the ring and punches away at him. Joe then gets a cheap shot in and gives Rollins a uranage. Joe then starts to punch away at him. Joe leaves the ring, and referees surround him to make sure he goes to the back. Joe then turns and viciously clubs Jordan against the apron.

Still to come tonight, Drew Gulak Vs. Cedric Alexander, as well as 6-woman tag match featuring Absolution.

*Commercial Break*

Seth Rollins is backstage with Kurt Angle and Dean Ambrose. Rollins wants a shot at Samoa Joe tonight. Angle declines the match. Ambrose says he wants a shot at Joe. Jason Jordan then comes in and says he wants a shot at Joe. Angle puts them in a six-man tag. Rollins, Ambrose, and Jordan will take on Samoa Joe, Cesaro, and Sheamus.

We get a video package that shows the transformation of Matt Hardy to WOKEN. Bray Wyatt’s video flashes on the screen. Wyatt wonders what it is that draws the crowd to Matt Hardy. Is it the childish laugh or the funny faces he makes. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. That’s where he comes in. He’ll make sure the right people get hurt. The right people are Matt Hardy and everyone in the crowd. If Matt Hardy wants to continue on this chess match, he won’t play by the rules. Wyatt says the great war must end. Run!

Finn Balor makes his way to the ring. He’ll face The Miztourage in a handicap match, next.

*Commercial Break*

We return to see Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel make their entrance.

Finn Balor Vs. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel

Balor starts against Bo Dallas and sidesteps him. Dallas and Curtis Axel talk strategy. They go for a test of strength, but Balor quickly backs off. Axel tags in, and they lock up. Axel applies a waistlock, but Balor gets out and shoves him away. Balor applies a waistlock, but Axel shoves him to the corner and shoulders him. Dallas tags in and stomps him. Axel then tags back in and stomps away at him. Axel then taunts the crowd.

Balor punches Axel back and elbows Dallas down. Axel quickly punches him back, but he has a whip reversed. Balor rolls through a sunset flip and dropkicks him in the face for a two count. Balor then applies a chin lock. Axel fights up and pushes him into the ropes. Dallas tries for a cheap shot, but Balor punches him. Axel then takes Balor down. Axel’s nose is bleeding. Dallas tags in and attacks. Balor comes back with a double stomp and covers, but Axel breaks it up.

Axel tags back in and attacks Finn. Axel puts him in the corner and climbs, but Balor knocks him off. Balor sets up for the Coup de Grace, but Dallas grabs his legs. The Miztourage starts to double-team him, so the referee calls for the bell.

Winner Via Disqualification: Finn Balor

The Miztourage continues to double-team Balor. Out of nowhere, Hideo Itami runs down for the save! Itami kicks Axel in the chest. Then, Balor holds Dallas up, and Itami headkicks him. Itami and Balor celebrates in the ring. Wow, didn’t see that coming. I think we’re getting a tag match.

*Commercial Break*

Finn Balor & Hideo Itami Vs. The Miztourage

We join the match in progress. Itami starts attacking the arm of Dallas. Balor tags in and comes off the top rope with a club to the arm. Balor then applies an arm bar. Dallas gets out with an eye rake. Axel tags in and stomps away at Balor, before hitting a backbreaker for a near-fall. Axel stomps him before applying a chin lock. Dallas tags in and clotheslines him in the corner before sending him into a knee from Axel for a two count.

Axel applies a chin lock and grounds Finn in the middle of the ring. Balor fights up, but Axel knees him and sends him to the corner. Axel charges, but Balor sidesteps him. Itami tags in and knocks Dallas off the apron before twisting Axel around and kneeing him. Itami comes off the top rope with a clothesline for a two count. Itami reverses a whip and kicks him in the face. Itami hits a strike combination and the Busaiku Knee, but Dallas breaks it up. Balor gets Dallas out of the ring and dropkicks him in the corner. Itami then hits the GTS, the move he innovated, for the win.

Winners: Finn Balor & Hideo Itami

Tonight’s main event will see Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Jason Jordan take on Samoa Joe, Cesaro, and Sheamus.

Renee Young is backstage with Cedric Alexander. She asks if he’s overlooking Drew Gulak. Alexander says he wants to be the champion so bad he can taste it. Alexander wants to show the world what the Cruiserweights are made of. This is a second chance, and he’ll take full advantage of it. As for overlooking Gulak, the only way he’ll do that is when he’s standing over him after beating him.

*Commercial Break*

WWE congratulates The Rock for receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore makes his entrance with Drew Gulak. Enzo says Gulak’s match against Cedric “The Entertainer” Alexander will be better than the new Star Wars. Gulak says he’s considered him a Jar Jar Binks, which draws boos. Tonight is the biggest match of his life, and he owes it all to his mentor and best friend, Enzo Amore. As a token of appreciation, he has an Enzo Amore tribute of a PowerPoint presentation. Cedric Alexander’s music hits to interrupt. Enzo Amore joins the commentary table.

Drew Gulak Vs. Cedric Alexander

They lock up, and Alexander powers him to the corner before giving a clean break. Gulak takes him down by the leg, but Alexander hooks the head. Alexander hits a headlock takeover. Gulak fights up, but Alexander takes him down with a handspring head-scissor.

Alexander knocks him out of the ring and hits a summersault senton. Alexander points at Enzo before putting Gulak in the ring for a two count. Alexander chops the chest a few times, but Gulak applies a waistlock. Alexander applies a front facelock and they go over the top rope in a nasty suplex spot.

*Commercial Break*

We come back from the break to see Gulak hard Irish whip Alexander into the corner. During the break, Gulak shoves Alexander off the top rope to the floor and hurt his back. Gulak continues to work the back for a two count. Gulak chops him back, but Alexander sidesteps him. Gulak turns him inside out with a clothesline for a two count. Gulak applies a surfboard stretch, but Alexander gets out.

Alexander hits a back body drop and connects with a clothesline and a back elbow. Alexander chops him, but Gulak comes back with a sunset flip for a two count. They trade pins before Alexander hits him with a standing Spanish Fly for a near fall. A “CM Punk” chant is starting up. Alexander punches and uppercuts him. Gulak counters a kick into a modified bow and arrow stretch. Alexander gets to the bottom rope.

Enzo is texting while the match is going on and not interested, sadly like most of the crowd. Enzo then gets up and leaves. Gulak is distracted by that. Alexander kicks Gulak in the face and they stand around awkwardly before Alexander hits a springboard clothesline. Alexander then hits a Lumbar Check to become the #1 Contender!

Winner: Cedric Alexander

Still to come, Sasha Banks, Mickie James & Bayley face Absolution. We see highlights from last night’s Clash of Champions. Asuka is up next.

*Commercial Break*

Enzo Amore is walking around backstage and he comes up to a smiling Nia Jax. Enzo says he got her DM. She wants to finish their conversation unless he wants to check on his friend, Drew Gulak. Enzo says Gulak isn’t his friend. Gulak runs up and apologizes. Gulak wants to own up to his failings and says he lost to Cedric Alexander. Enzo says it’s ok. Gulak says he let Enzo and the Zo Train down. Jax says she’ll let him deal with it. They can talk another time. She walks off. Enzo says Gulak did a lot of things wrong and storms off.

A pre-taped interview is shown with Alicia Fox. Fox is upset that Paige and her “fangirls” attacked her. If she loses tonight, she’ll freak out.

Asuka vs. Alicia Fox

The bell rings, and Fox immediately puts herself through the ropes. An “Asuka’s gonna kill you” chant picks up. Asuka charges, and Fox sidesteps her. Fox looks terrified. Fox ducks a punch and puts herself through the ropes. Asuka blocks a kick and applies a waistlock. Asuka applies a side headlock, but Fox whips her off. Asuka shoulder blocks her down and taunts her. Asuka takes her down for an arm bar, but Fox quickly gets to the bottom rope.

Foxy leaves the ring to collect her thoughts. Fox snaps her off the top rope and hits a big boot for a two count. Fox hits a northern lights suplex for a two count. Fox applies a chin lock, but Asuka fights up. Asuka gets pumped up and hits a missile dropkick. Asuka hits a running hip attack in the corner before hitting a running snapmare. Asuka kicks her in the face and wraps her in an armbar for the submission win.

Winner: Asuka

Coming up next, we’ll see Rollins, Ambrose, and Jordan take on Samoa Joe, Sheamus, and Cesaro.

*Commercial Break*

Samoa Joe, Sheamus and Cesaro make their entrances, followed by Jason Joran and The Shield boys. Replays are shown from earlier in the night when Samoa Joe attacked Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan.

Samoa Joe, Cesaro & Sheamus Vs. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose & Jason Jordan

Seth Rollins starts against Sheamus, but Jason Jordan blind tags in before anything happens. Rollins is not happy. Jordan punches Samoa Joe off the apron and attacks Sheamus. Jordan knocks Cesaro off the apron, but Sheamus viciously clotheslines him down. Joe jabs away at him and punches him down. Cesaro tags in and punches away at Jordan.

Sheamus tags in and stomps him down. Sheamus drops a knee for a two count. Cesaro tags in and comes off the second rope with a kick for a two count. Cesaro applies a chin lock, but Jordan counters out with a back suplex. Rollins tags in and hits a springboard clothesline before connecting with a Sling Blade. Rollins superkicks him and picks up a near fall. Cesaro drops him on the apron, but Rollins comes back with a leg drop to the neck. Rollins then hits Cesaro with a plancha.

*Commercial Break*

We come back from the break to see Samoa Joe tag in and beat on Rollins. Joe knees away at him and strikes him down. They continue to work on the previously injured back of Rollins. Sheamus hits him with some Irish Curse Backbreakers before Rollins counters into a DDT. Joe blocks Rollins from making a tag and hits his strike combination in the corner. Jordan runs in and attacks, so Sheamus and Cesaro knock him out of the ring.

Rollins slides off the back of Sheamus to avoid White Noise. Rollins then avoids a shoulder and Sheamus hits the ring post shoulder first. Cesaro stops Rollins from making a tag and drags him away from the corner. All hell is breaking loose with lots of brawling at ringside. Rollins gives Cesaro a back body drop. Ambrose gets Rollins in the ring and looks for a tag. Cesaro runs in and big boots Ambrose off the apron. Rollins gets Cesaro and Joe out of the ring before hitting a suicide dive to take everyone out.

The referee calls the trainer over to check on Ambrose, who might be legitimately injured. Rollins gets in the ring and gets a Brogue Kick. The referee is checking on Ambrose and takes a few moments before coming in the ring to count the pin.

Winners: Samoa Joe, Cesaro & Sheamus

A replay is shown of the opening segment with Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, and Kane.

A limousine pulls up backstage and out steps RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon.

*Commercial Break*

WOKEN Matt Hardy is playing chess with someone we can’t see. It turns out to be a goldfish in a bowl. Hardy thinks this goldfish is Napoleon Bonaparte. Hardy says the vast battlefield of the WWE is like a chessboard… every move strategic and precise. One wrong move can lead to total ANNIHILATION! His light will illuminate brighter than any darkness Wyatt can cast. Now that the new battlefield is set, he’ll stand side by side with his WOKEN WARRIORS! Wyatt and his evil, heinous queen Sister Abigail must be stopped… they must be DELETED! Hardy chants “DELETE” before doing his crazy laugh and smacking his teeth.

We return and see replays of the tag team match that just happened, focusing on Ambrose’s injured hand. Backstage, we see Dean Ambrose being checked on by a referee with Rollins by his side. Out of nowhere, Sheamus, Cesaro and Samoa Joe run up and attack them. They throw Rollins into the wall, then Joe slams Ambrose’s hand into a production box.

*Commercial Break*

Replays are shown of what just happened to Dean Ambrose. Michael Cole says he’s being moved to a hospital.

Heath Slater and Rhyno make their way to the ring. Their opponents are the returning  The Revival!! A highlight package is shown of The Revival.

Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. The Revival

Dash Wilder starts against Rhyno. They lock up, and Rhyno takes him down. Heath Slater tags in, and they hit Wilder with a double-team back elbow. Titus O’Neil, Apollo Crews, and Dana Brooke are shown watching backstage.

Scott Dawson tags in and attacks Slater. Slater reverses a whip and splashes Dawson. Dawson sidesteps a second splash and clotheslines him down. Dawson punches away at him and tags in Wilder. They hit a double-team slam for a two count. Slater punches him back, but Wilder pushes him into the ropes before applying a chin lock. Slater gets out and hits Dawson with a big kick. Wilder tries to attack Rhyno, but he’s knocked back into Slater. Wilder then pulls Rhyno off the apron and they hit Slater with the Shatter Machine for the win.

Winners: The Revival

Stephanie McMahon is talking with Kurt Angle backstage but we can’t hear.

Coming up next, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Mickie James will take on Paige, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville.

*Commercial Break*

Heath Slater and Rhyno are walking backstage when Kurt Angle comes up to them. Angle says it was a tough loss, but he appreciates the effort. With the New Year coming up, he needs them to toughen up if they want more opportunities. Angle walks off. Slater is worried about losing his job. He’s got kids. He needs this job. Rhyno says Slater has to toughen up and knows how to do it. They walk off and Slater is worried about that his idea will get him hurt.

Elias is in the ring and he’s ready for another song/walk. Elias plays a Christmas riff on his guitar before asking who wants to walk with him. The crowd gives him a big reception. Elias says Tom Brady told him his music is the soundtrack of his success. Elias imagines Brady listens while deflating balls and manipulating the rulebook. Elias says he’s a real legend. He took Roman Reigns to the limit and survived Braun Strowman. Kurt Angle is afraid of what he’s becoming. Elias says that January 28 will be the performance of the year when he enters and wins the Royal Rumble match. Tonight, he has a song and it’s dedicated to Roger Goodell.

Sasha Banks cuts him off. She gets in the ring. Elias thanks her for joining him, and he continues on with his song. Mickie James then interrupts. Elias says all the women want to walk with Elias. If they know the words, they can join in. Bayley then interrupts. Elias gets up to leave. Bayley goes for a hug, but he avoids her.

*Commercial Break*

Absolution makes their way to the ring an we see highlights of last week when the roster finally fought back against them.

Mickie James, Sasha Banks & Bayley Vs. Paige, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville

Mickie James starts against Paige and takes her down with a running forearm. Sasha Banks tags in, and they hit a double-team suplex for a one count. Paige quickly forearms her and sends her into the ropes, but she lowers her head and eats a kick. Paige quickly superkicks her for a two count. Mandy Rose is tagged in, and she stomps away at Banks.

Sonya Deville tags in and punches away at Banks. Paige tags back in and stomps Banks down. Paige then taunts Bayley and James and screams this is her house. Paige takes Banks down and picks up a two count. Paige stomps her in the corner and backs up. Deville and Rose get some cheap shots in. Paige then kicks James off the apron. Deville and Rose then attack Bayley and James at ringside. In the ring, Banks goes to the top rope and hits a seated senton, but Rose breaks up the pin. Rose and Deville double-team Banks, and the referee calls for the bell.

Winners Via Disqualification: Sasha Banks, Mickie James & Bayley

Nia Jax’ music hits, and she gets in the ring. Absolution stare at her before Deville and Rose try to attack, but Jax overtakes them. Jax puts them in the corner and lifts them both up for a double Samoan Drop. Paige looks stunned before chop blocking Jax. Paige hits a running knee to the face and stomps away at Jax. Rose and Deville are quickly to their feet for the triple-team. The RAW Women’s Division empties out and the brawl ensues.

Stephanie McMahon’s music hits, and everyone stops brawling.The commentators talk about her name carrying weight. McMahon gets in the ring and says a revolution started three years ago with the women in the ring, the women on SmackDown Live, and every woman who competed before, including The Fabulous Moolah and The Great Mae Young. They turned it into an evolution and they’ve had a women’s Hell in a Cell, TLC, and a match in the Middle East for the first time ever. They inspired little girls all over the world. But that’s not enough. How about they make history once again? On January 28, the Road to WrestleMania kicks off in Philadelphia, and we’ll have the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble match! McMahon tells the crowd to do a “YES” chant, and the crowd chants.

Well, that’s some huge news. It kinda sucks for the Women’s Champions, who won’t get to compete in the match, although it’s still a very big deal. That’s it for tonight’s Raw. Let us know what you thought of the show and I will see you next time!

Curtis Dillion

Curtis does our weekly live match-by-match coverage of WWE RAW and SmackDown for Ringside News. In addition to SmackDown, Curtis also does WWE & NXT special event coverage as well. He has been helping out at for Ringside News for many years.

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