Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of Monday Night Raw!
Tonight’s show will feature the return of Seth Rollins’ Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge! These challenges are always exciting because anyone can show-up. That said, it seems likely that Dean Ambrose will rear his bald head at some point.
Braun Strowman will not be on tonight’s Raw, leaving something of a monstrous hole. In his wake however, Baron Corbin will, once again, battle Finn Balor. It’s unclear if Strowman will make the TLC PPV next month, so hopefully we find out tonight.
Also, there’s a tag team title match on Raw tonight, as AOP defend against Chad Gable and Bobby Roode. We’re going to see plenty of title action tonight, and let us know who you think will come out on top. Remember to download the Ringside News app, follow us on Instagram, and enjoy the show!
Acting General Manager Baron Corbin is in the ring, alongside Bobby Lashley, Lio Rush, and Drew McIntyre. Corbin welcomes us to the show and says he hoped everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving, before saying they’re greedy.
Lashley says he’s thankful for all the beta males in the audience, who let him take whatever he wants. McIntyre says he’s thankful for the savage beatdown he gave to Braun Strowman. Corbin says he is right, that’s a moment in time that will live forever. That said, he wants to see the replay of it.
The fans are booing when we return. Corbin says he knows what everyone is thinking; after a beatdown like that, we won’t see Strowman for a very long time. Corbin says that won’t be the case because he has some pull. We see a video from earlier today of Braun Strowman sitting shirtless on a hospital bed. The big man says he’s in Birmingham, Alabama, getting his arm fixed – an arm that is severely bruised. He says he wishes he was in Milwaukee. Strowman then says that the surgeon has never seen an injury like his, but it will seem like a paper cut compared to what he does to the three of them when he gets back.
We’re back with Corbin and co. in the ring and the fans are chanting “get these hands”. Corbin says there is no way Strowman will be able to compete at TLC, so we’re looking at the new, permanent General Manager of Monday Night Raw. Corbin then talks about how he now has full power, and he will remember who has stood by him, and who hasn’t. Suddenly the lights go out in the arena and Corbin demands they come back. We hear the strum of a guitar, then Elias is sitting on the stage. He says he can’t believe that Corbin is General Manager, that anyone would do a better job. He says “Drake Maverick pissed himself and he would do a better job”. Elias says tonight he has to focus on Bobby Lashley, and he has a song he wants to sing about the big guy. Elias sings his song, in which he gets the entire crowd singing “Bobby Lashley sucks”. Elias then makes his way to the ring, where he will face Lashley, next!
The fans chant “Lashley sucks” as the bell rings. Elias and Lashley tie-up and Bobby forces him to the corner. Elias fires back with rapid chops to the chest but Lashley stops him dead with a knee to the gut. Lashley drives Elias to the corner, slams some shoulder tackles in, and then takes him down with a side headlock.
Elias fights to his feet but Lashley counters with a waistlock takedown. Lashley goes back to the headlock. Elias escapes, kick Bobby, then tosses him out of the ring. Lashley regroups with McIntyre and Corbin, but Elias dives through the ropes with a dropkick to Lashley that floors him. Drew yells at Lashley to get back into the ring.
Bobby gets back inside and hits Elias with a stun-gun on the ropes. Lashley stomps Elias around the ring and chokes him with his boot. Lashley connects with a clothesline and makes a pin attempt to no avail. Back to the side headlock. Once again, Elias fights to his feet but Lashley whips him to the corner. Elias counters with a back elbow, followed by a front dropkick in the corner. Lashley tosses Elias out of the ring, where Drew McIntyre stares him down. Elias gets back onto the apron but Lashley rams him into the ring post and he falls to the floor. Lashley poses as we take a break.
We return to see Elias kick Lashley out of the corner, and follow up with a clothesline. Elias beats on Lashley in the corner until the referee separates them.
Elias ducks a clothesline and knees him in the face. Elias goes to the top rope and drops an elbow. While the referee is counting the pin, Lio Rush pulls him out of the ring. The referee calls for the bell.
Corbin grabs a microphone and says he’s restarting the match as a No Disqualifications match.
Lashley attacks Elias from behind and shoulders him in the midsection. Lashley goes for a move, but Elias gives him a back body drop. Corbin pulls Elias out of the ring.
Elias shrugs Corbin off, then sidesteps McIntyre, sending him into the ring post. Elias grabs his guitar and goes to hit Lashley, but Corbin attacks him from behind. A loud “Corbin sucks” chant picks up. Lashley stomps the guitar and throws it out of the ring.
Corbin, Lashley, and McIntyre are in the ring. Corbin hits Elias three times in the back with a chair. McIntyre sends Elias into the barricade and apron. Lashley joins in as well. McIntyre then lays Elias out with a Claymore Kick on the floor. McIntyre then gives Elias an inverted Alabama Slam onto the steel steps!
Corbin and McIntyre then lift Elias up and hold him, while Lashley runs around the ring and spears him! Similar to Strowman last week. Lashley poses before putting Elias in the ring. Lashley poses before kneeling on Elias to pin him.
Lio Rush grabs the microphone and announces ‘The Almighty’ Bobby Lashley” as the winner. Lashley poses with Corbin, McIntyre, and Rush.
Baron Corbin will take on Finn Balor later tonight. We’ll also see AOP defend the RAW Tag Team Championships against Bobby Roode and Chad Gable. Seth Rollins will also have an open challenge for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Coming up next, we’ll hear from Dean Ambrose’s personal physician, which Cole described as “disturbing”.
Baron Corbin is yelling at a stagehand for turning the lights off for Elias. Corbin fires him. Alexa Bliss then walks up to him and says Corbin was very impressive. Bliss says she thinks Corbin is doing an amazing job. If she can help, all he has to do is ask. Corbin says he has a ton on his plate. She played a vital role as captain of the Survivor Series team. Corbin puts her in charge of the entire Women’s Division. Corbin says she looks good and he looks good. It’s that simple. They shake hands and the rumours of Bliss transitioning to a more GM role were true.
We get a video package chronicling the Ambrose/Rollins rivalry. Dean Ambrose is shown in a doctor’s office. Ambrose says he’d never expose himself to the toxic dump that is Milwaukee. Obviously Seth Rollins feels safe enough to put his Intercontinental Championship on the line in an open challenge. Ambrose says he’ll be back next week. Ambrose is getting a flu shot right now. The people are vermin. They revolt him. Ambrose shows off his puncture wounds so far from shots he’s received. The doctor gives him a rabies shot. The doctor then holds up a huge needle that has to go in Ambrose’s hip. Ambrose says there is no medicine for Rollins. Ambrose says he’ll do the decent thing and put Rollins out of his misery for good. The commentators ask Renee Young about her husband, Dean Ambrose, but she says they know as well as her that he’s “complicated”. Her on commentary is the most confusing part of this story-line, considering she has to pretend like she doesn’t speak to him everyday. What a crappy, and cheap-heat seeking promo that was.
The Lucha House Party makes its entrance. They’ll be in action, next, all three of them, I assume.
We’re getting a repeat of last week, in which one of the best tag teams in the world jobbed out to some ridiculous new fad that will no doubt be over in a few weeks.
We’re starting with Gran Metalik and Dash Wilder, with Kalisto and Lince Dorado in the former’s corner. Metalik quickly takes Wilder down and tags Kalisto. The former Curiserweight Champion hits a splash, followed by Lince Dorado, and Metallik with splashes of their own for a near fall.
Dawson tags in and hits a torture rack backbreaker. Dawson attacks Kalisto for a one count. Wilder applies a stretch on Kalisto. Dawson tags in, but The Lucha House Party soon overtakes him. Kalisto hits Salida del Sol, followed by a senton from Metallik, and a shooting star press from Dorado for the win.
There are no words.
Replays are shown of Nia Jax breaking Becky Lynch’s nose a few weeks back. Nia Jax will give Ronda Rousey a lesson on being a champion, next!
We’re back and get another hype video for the upcoming debut of Lars Sullivan. The announcers refer to him as a “free agent”, which I think means he’ll either be on Raw or SmackDown Live, or there will be some sort of bidding war to get him.
Nia Jax makes her way to the ring, accompanied by Tamina Snuka. Jax holds up her fist while the crowd boos. She says we have a lot to be thankful for this year. The RAW roster is thankful for her being the sole survivor at Survivor Series and leading Team RAW to victory. Jax is most thankful for breaking Becky Lynch’s face. She put Lynch on the shelf with a concussion. Jax says “The Man” was no match for “The Facebreaker.” As for Ronda Rousey, she’s taking her title. Ronda came into WWE on fire, but since then her career has been on a downward trend. Footage is shown of Jax dominating Rousey at WWE Money in the Bank in June. They then show stills of Charlotte Flair’s vicious attack on Rousey. Jax then mocks Rousey with a terrible impersonation. Jax says Rousey’s worst day is coming at WWE TLC. Jax says the top of the mountain belongs to her.
Ronda Rousey’s music hits and the RAW Women’s Champion makes her way to the ring smiling from ear-to-ear – albeit with a big bruise on her face. Rousey says she’ll give Jax credit, and reminds us that Jax won the Battle Royale at Evolution. A “Ronda Rousey” chant fires up and Rousey looks like she might cry. Rousey says Jax is lucky she’s from a warrior culture and that she changed history by becoming the facebreaker. That’s where her luck dries up. Rousey stands guard on top of this mountain. At TLC, she’ll rip Jax’ arm off and slap Charlotte Flair in the face with it. Since Jax is so eager to fight and Rousey was born ready, unless Jax has a date with Tamina, how about they have a match right here and now.
Jax stares at her with fury, while the Milwaukee fans chant “YES”. Jax says they’re not going to do it that way. Rousey tells her to stop making excuses and fight. Jax says she’s just stalling for time. Jax and Tamina stand on both sides of Rousey. Natalya runs down to help, but she’s blindsided by Ruby Riott and her goons!. Rousey runs out and fights them, sending them scurrying to the back. Rousey kneels down to help Nattie, while furiously staring up the ramp.
Finn Balor will take on “General Manager-Elect” Baron Corbin later tonight. Seth Rollins will also hold an open challenge for the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
Footage is shown of Drake Maverick urinating in his pants at WWE Survivor Series. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable made fun of him on RAW. Later that night, Gable and Roode defeated AOP. They’ll face them for the RAW Tag Team Championships later tonight. We see AOP and Maverick backstage. Drake Maverick says he’s sure the WWE Universe had a real laugh at his expense. 99% of them have never experienced real fear. They’ve never had to look a 7-foot giant in the eye. If they did, they’d probably lose their bodily functions. Maverick will make sure Roode and Gable experience that later tonight. Akam says, “Laugh now.” Rezar says, “Cry later.”
Charly Caruso is backstage with Bobby Roode and Chad Gable. She asks for their thoughts heading into the match against AOP. Roode says there will be a glorious celebration tonight. Gable says this is the reason they’re teaming in the first place, and that they’re ready, willing, and so on. They make their entrance, followed by AOP.
Drake Maverick takes Bobby Roode’s robe, distracting him as the referee rings the bell. Akam attacks him from behind and knocks Chad Gable off the apron. Roode fights back, but he can’t take him down with a sunset flip. Roode elbows Akam, but the big man just tosses him to the corner. Akam scoops up Roode, but he slides down his back and tags in Gable.
Gable hits a missile dropkick. Akam turns to his corner and Rezar tags in. Gable punches away at him, but Rezar just knocks him down like he wasn’t feeling it. Gable quickly applies an arm bar over the top rope. Gable hits a head-scissor takeover while Roode tags in. They go for a double-team suplex, but they can’t lift Rezar. One half of the Champions then suplexes the two of them! Maverick is still wearing Roode’s robe and runs to the back with it as we take a break.
We’re back and AOP are still firmly in control of Chad Gable. Akam connects with a stiff elbow to the jaw of Gable, that looked like it rocked him. Gable slides from the ring and Akam goes out to bring him back in.
Rezar tags in, and Gable DDTs him. We go backstage to see Maverick still wearing Roode’s robe. Roode and Akam tag in. Roode chops him before hitting a dropkick to the knee. Roode shoulders him in the corner before trying for a neckbreaker, but Akam fights out. Akam quickly catches Roode and hits a fall-away slam. Rezar tags in, but he misses a big boot. Roode knocks Akam out of the ring and kicks Rezar in the knee.
Maverick is shown wearing the robe in a bathroom. Maverick takes it off and puts it in the toilet. Maverick stomps it into the bowl and proceeds to urinate on it. As he finishes he says “glorious”. Wow. That’s like a skit from the late 90’s/mid 2000’s.
Meanwhile, in regards to actual wrestling, Roode is knocked into Gable, who flies off the apron again. Akam tags in, and AOP hits their powerbomb/neckbreaker combo for the win.
Bayley and Sasha Banks are talking backstage when Alexa Bliss walks up to them. Bliss says they’ve never had a chance to get to know each other. Banks says they know all they need to. Bliss says they’ll go out tonight and have an open forum by answering questions from the WWE Universe. Banks and Bayley look skeptical.
Ember Moon makes her entrance, she’ll be in action against Alicia Fox next!
We return to a handheld promo from Finn Balor. He says Corbin talks about being on the right and wrong side of history. He says if you don’t stand with Corbin, you stand against him. Well tonight, he will prove that Finn Balor is on the right side of history.
We return to see Curt Hawkins join Ember Moon. Apparently they are a team on Mixed Match Challenge, since Strowman got injured, so we get to see them in action before a “playoffs” match tomorrow night.
Fox quickly hits a big boot and applies a chin lock. Moon eventually fights up and powers out. Moon elbows Fox back and hits a tornado snap suplex. Moon hits the Eclipse for the win.
Curt Hawkins celebrates like he himself won the match, which is fair considering his gigantic losing streak. No Way Jose makes his entrance – there’s a blast from the not-so-distant past. He’ll face Jinder Mahal, next.
The bell rings and Jinder is off the mark with punches to Jose. No Way fights him off and slams him for a two count. Mahal counters Jose with a kick to the head that floors him. Mahal punches him down and applies a chin lock. Mahal continues to beat on Jose and drops some knees. Mahal hits a suplex for a two count. Jose eventually fights back and hits a sloppy cross-body block. Jose takes Mahal down, but Mahal knocks him off the top rope. Mahal hits the Khallas for the win.
A replay is shown of Dean Ambrose getting shots at the doctor’s office. Ambrose said he would put Seth Rollins out of his misery.
Seth Rollins will have a WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge next. Not gonna lie, this episode of Raw has been abysmal.
Out comes The Kingslayer, Seth Rollins for an Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge!
Rollins welcomes the crowd to “Monday Night Rollins.” Rollins says he was a lunatic last week and the crowd deserves better. It’s time for him to get back to being a fighting champion. Rollins says Dean Ambrose is a liar and is probably here tonight. It doesn’t matter because he’s Seth Freakin’ Rollins!
Well, it’s the Show-off, Dolph Ziggler, who answers the challenge. Ziggler says if Rollins wants to go back to being himself, he’ll lose. Ziggler is going back to being the best in the world and Intercontinental Champion. I guess this makes sense for the storyline but it’s disappointing – the reason this was a beloved thing with John Cena, is because people from NXT popped-up to challenge, as well as retired wrestlers, making it feel like anything could happen.
They match begins and they lock up, and Rollins applies a waistlock. Ziggler quickly gets to the ropes, and Rollins backs up. Rollins catches him in a full nelson, but Ziggler fights out. Rollins wrenches the arm and applies a hammerlock. Ziggler elbows him in the face and applies a side headlock. Rollins whips him off, leapfrogs him, and hits a hip toss. Rollins clotheslines him out of the ring and poses on the ropes as we head to the break.
We return from the break to see Ziggler hitting Rollins before catching him with a neckbreaker for a two count. Dolph applies a chin lock with a body scissor and slows the momentum.
Rollins fights out of it, but Ziggler soon takes him down with a dropkick for a two count. Ziggler rolls him up again for a two count. Rollins continues to try to fight him off, but Ziggler takes him down and goes back to the chin lock. Rollins fights up again and looks for a back suplex, but Dolph lands on his feet. Ziggler then gives Seth a back body drop over the top rope and the Architect is out on the floor as we take another break.
We come back from the break to see both men down. Rollins makes a comeback, culminating with a Sling Blade. Rollins kicks him back and gets fired up. Ziggler drops him on the apron, but Rollins punches him back. Rollins hits a springboard diving clothesline for a two count. Seth goes to the top rope, but Dolph cuts him off. Ziggler goes for a superplex, but Rollins fights him off. Ziggler runs up again, but Rollins knocks him down to the mat. Rollins goes for a frog splash, but Ziggler moves and hits a famouser for a near fall.
Both men get to their feet slowly, Seth looks for a suplex but Dolph counters into a roll-up for a two count. Ziggler applies a sleeper hold, but Rollins falls back to break the hold. Rollins superkicks Ziggler for a near fall. Rollins gets the crowd fired up and kicks Ziggler. Seth looks for the Stomp, but Ziggler moves. Ziggler follows up with a Zig-Zag for a near fall.
Rollins struggles to his feet as Ziggler talks trash. Rollins may have been playing possum though, as he catches him with an inside cradle for a near fall. Ziggler quickly cuts him off with a big DDT. Ziggler goes to the top rope, but Rollins cuts him off with a superplex/falcon arrow combo for the win.
A decent match – I really like that the finish wasn’t a finisher so-to-speak, it’s good when that happens every now and again. That said, we’ve seen this pairing so many times in 2018 it’s lost all meaning… kinda like the main event.
Finn Balor will take on Baron Corbin later tonight. Alexa Bliss is seen talking to a stagehand backstage. She’ll host an open forum with the WWE Universe for Sasha Banks and Bayley, next.
Alexa Bliss makes her entrance – I feel like the Milwaukee crowd is completely dead following 2+ hours of trash. Bliss mentions she’s been put in charge of the women’s division. She’s going to have an open forum with the WWE Universe. They can ask whatever they want, with Charly Caruso at ringside to take the questions. Sasha Banks and Bayley make their way out, accompanied by the wacky waving inflatable arm men!
Bliss makes fun of some fans before calling on one. A fan asks, if they could, what they would change about the women’s division. Bayley says she loves the women’s division and wouldn’t change anything. Banks says she would change one thing: she’d send Alexa Bliss back to SmackDown, which garners a small cheer. Bayley says she’d send Bliss back to hell where she came from. Mickie James, Alicia Fox, and Dana Brooke attack them from behind, but Banks and Bayley soon clear the ring. Another woeful segment on one of the worst Raw’s of the year.
After the break, Finn Balor will take-on Baron Corbin in our main event.
We’re back to see some entrances.
The bell rings, and Balor quickly opens up with some punches. Corbin immediately takes him down with a clothesline and punches away at him. Corbin applies a chin lock to ground Finn.
Balor fights up, but Corbin kicks him in the gut to drop him. Corbin hits the ropes, but Balor dropkicks him. Balor chops the chest and takes him down. Balor stomps away at him before Corbin rolls out of the ring. Balor gets on the apron, runs, and kicks Corbin in the face. The GM is in trouble!
We come back from the break to see Corbin knock Balor out of the ring. Corbin slams him into the barricade a few times before getting in the ring to look for a count-out. Balor gets in the ring with no drama. Corbin stomps away at Balor and throws him to the apron. Balor shoulders him in the midsection and goes for a slingshot, but Corbin forearms him in the face. Corbin pulls him into the ring and picks up a two count. Balor tries to fight him off, but Corbin comes back with a misdirection clothesline for a near fall. Corbin stomps away at Balor before applying a chin lock. Balor fights out and boots him, but Corbin quickly kicks him. Corbin tries for a powerbomb, but Balor gets out, sweeps the legs, and hits a double stomp to the midsection.
Balor fights back at him and takes him down. Balor hits a chop and a Sling Blade. Balor charges, but Corbin catches him with a Deep Six for a near fall. Balor gets out of the End of Days and hits a DDT. Balor dropkicks him into the corner before going to the top rope. Corbin avoids the Coup de Grace and rolls out of the ring. Corbin grabs a microphone and says this match is now a 2-on-1 Handicap Match with Drew McIntyre teaming with him.
McIntyre’s music hits and he makes his way down the ramp as Corbin readies himself to jump back in.
As soon as the bell rings Balor doesn’t waste any time; he knocks Corbin off the apron and leaps over the top rope to hit McIntyre running down the ramp with a somersault senton! Balor dropkicks Corbin into the timekeeper’s area. McIntyre quickly attacks him from behind and drops him on the barricade. McIntyre puts him in the ring and waits for him to get up. McIntyre hits a Claymore Kick for the win.
Bobby Lashley’s music hits, and he comes out to the ring with Lio Rush. Lashley gets in the ring, grabs Balor, and hits an over-the-shoulder slam. Corbin follows up with the End of Days on Balor. McIntyre shouts that Balor is a boy in a man’s world. McIntyre has them pick Balor up for another Claymore Kick. Corbin, McIntyre, and Lashley pose over Finn to end the show.
That’s it for this week’s Raw! Let us know what you thought and be sure to come back tomorrow for all your wrasslin’ news!