09th Jan2019

WWE Raw – January 7th 2019: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

2018-raw-logo

Welcome to this week’s Raw review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have more Monday Night delight…I’m not saying that again. I thought of it, but I’m not saying that again. All right, it’s time to get to Raw.

Match #1: John Cena, Seth Rollins & Finn Bálor def. Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose, Drew McIntyre & Bobby Lashley

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

On any given Raw in 2018, you could count on Seth Rollins to routinely steal the show and take control of the conversation. 2019 is shaping up to be no different: While John Cena and Drew McIntyre had the first word of Raw’s opening 20-odd minute Six-Man Tag Team Match by way of their confrontation at the top of the show, The Kingslayer wrestled the headline right out from under them by pinning Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose and setting himself up for another crack at The Lunatic Fringe’s title. In fact, Cena’s role for most of the match was that of the underdog in peril, as his team’s opponents — Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley and Ambrose — battered The Cenation Leader until Finn Bálor bailed him out in the nick of time. The Irishman effectively reset the terms of the match, and Seth Rollins swung the bout back in his squad’s direction with a lengthy press against McIntyre. The Scottish Psychopath narrowly evaded what might have been the deciding Frog Splash from The Architect, setting up Ambrose to tag in and potentially pick the bones. But Rollins wriggled free of Dirty Deeds, administered the Stomp and scored the pin — a display Triple H agreed was close enough to the “old” Seth Rollins to give The Kingslayer an Intercontinental Title rematch later tonight in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. Not a bad showing for Seth Freakin’ Rollins, and there’s a lot of freakin’ show left.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was a pretty good bout that was a bit slow for a match with this caliber of athletes. It would have been nice for this match to have been a bit more than just a commercial for what everyone else is up to (feuds), but it worked fine for that purpose.

Match #2: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable def. The Revival (Lumberjack Match For The Raw Tag Team Champions)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

When The Revival said they wanted to bring back the classic hallmarks of tag team wrestling, screwy losses were probably not what they had in mind. And yet, there Dash & Dawson were, once again falling short of Bobby Roode & Chad Gable’s Raw Tag Team Titles thanks to an officiating error that paired quite nicely with their loss a few weeks ago, when they were erroneously pinned by the wrong man. In the ref’s defense, the end of the title match — contested under Lumberjack rules — was more than a little chaotic, as Scott Dawson and Chad Gable traded intricate rollups and backslides all the way across the ring until they found themselves on the edge of the ropes with Dawson in the cover. Roode, however, quickly made his move, flipping Gable into the advantage while the ref was occupied. Dawson’s foot landed squarely on the ropes, but the zebra didn’t notice and counted the 1-2-3 that kept the titles squarely in glorious hands. The Four Horsemen would be proud, though it’s fair to say Dash & Dawson probably saw themselves in the legendary swindlers’ shoes, and not the ones of the team they thwarted.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – The wrestling was excellent, but the finish and the length robbed this title bout of what it needed to stand the test of time.

Match #3: Baron Corbin def. Elias

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

It feels like Baron Corbin and Elias have been fighting each other forever, but believe it or not, the two Superstars have never had a one-on-one match before Raw tonight. They’re almost guaranteed to have a second one, though, because Corbin only defeated The Living Truth by way of some well-timed aggression and a ref who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time: Corbin went to throw Elias into the turnbuckle, and The Living Truth was forced to stop short rather than pancake the official. Elias’ moment of hesitation was enough for Corbin to rally from what was a fairly deep deficit and administer the End of Days. So the first time ever is in the books, but between the narrow win and both Superstars having declared for the Men’s Royal Rumble Match, things might just be getting started.

My Take: 1.5 out of 5 – The wrestling was not what you’d call “good”, but Baron and Elias are trying to get better. It’s a shame that they weren’t allowed to get better before they made it to TV, but at least they still have a chance to get to where they need to be before their careers end.

Match #4: Apollo Crews & Ember Moon def. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

In hindsight, Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox’s unsuccessful attempts to get the Orlando crowd to meditate with them were, perhaps, an omen of things to come. In a rematch of the Mixed Match Challenge Semifinals, Mahal & Fox once again squared up with Apollo Crews & Ember Moon and found the result reversed thanks to a fast, house-on-fire effort from their opponents. Mahal and Crews found themselves more or less equally matched, but The War Goddess quickly sealed the deal upon tagging in by forcing Alicia into the corner and swooping down with the Eclipse.

My Take: 1 out of 5 – It came, it went and ended before it could mean anything. It’s hard to see Apollo’s new push when he’s back to wrestling the same sort of match in the same kind of conditions as before. Remember when Jinder Mahal was cavorting around the world while he proudly told every-body he was a big star now? I feel bad for Jinder, because no one is supposed to have to deal with this level of bull-$#!@ in their life. Hopefully, these people are able to get some attention from their promoter…well, more than just segment #6 on the run sheet. Is that what it’s called, a run sheet? Who cares.

Match #5: Sasha Banks def. Nia Jax to earn a Raw Women’s Championship Match against Ronda Rousey

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

A while ago, Ronda Rousey gave a podcast interview where she named Sasha Banks as a dream opponent, but cautioned she wasn’t sure she was ready to have the match just yet. Well, it’s sink-or-swim time — or, more aptly, it’s Boss Time, because Banks is officially Rousey’s next challenger for the Raw Women’s Title, thanks to a big-ticket victory over Nia Jax on Raw. She earned the win despite every effort by The Irresistible Force to get the victory by less-than-chivalrous means: Tamina was lurking at ringside — Bayley played backup for The Boss — and Jax attempted to wrangle a count-out victory when she press-slammed Banks on top of a production crate positioned in the audience. The Boss took Jax’s great equalizer out of the equation when she dodged the #Facebreaker and Jax pummeled the mat by mistake, but the power advantage proved almost too much to overcome, especially when Jax dropped her opponent sternum-first across the top turnbuckle. Sasha still stuck around, leading to an attempted interference from Tamina that Bayley quickly snuffed out. With Nia reeling and Tamina out of the equation, The Boss rolled her foe into the Bank Statement, cranked back, and forced Nia to tap. Ready or not, here she comes.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – Ronda must be impressing Vince, because she gets to wrestle Sasha for the title, thanks to the results of this fight. Sasha did an excellent job of carrying Nia, who didn’t seems to cause Sasha any accidental damage to her body, so that’s a step in the right direction. Overall, this was pretty good and it’s great to see Sasha get a big match booked for her at the Royal Rumble.

Match #6: Dean Ambrose def. Seth Rollins (Falls Count Anywhere Match For The Intercontinental Championship)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

In his efforts to channel the old Seth Rollins, The Kingslayer forgot the very important, hard-earned lesson from a few years back that helped spark his change of heart in the first place: What goes around, comes around. Yes, for all The Architect’s furious, man-on-fire efforts against Dean Ambrose in an Intercontinental Championship Falls Count Anywhere Match, his best-laid plans were blown up by Bobby Lashley, who was humiliated by Rollins at the top of the show and apparently spent the whole night plotting his payback. The All Mighty reared his head at the exact perfect moment, blowing up a performance from Rollins that included a brawl through the curtain, a body slam on top of the announce table and, in a maneuver as effective as it was rudimentary, a straight right square to the nose of The Lunatic Fringe.

Ambrose was similarly eager to exploit the anything-goes scenario of the match, but thanks to a pre-match ambush by The Kingslayer, Ambrose never quite managed to find his footing and found himself flattened with a Stomp. That’s when Lashley struck, hauling Rollins out of the ring and tearing him apart so viciously all Ambrose had to do was crawl over and make the cover. He did, slowly and painfully, and it was enough to retain his title. But The All Mighty wasn’t done, as he plowed The Kingslayer through a table with a one-handed spinebuster that well and truly left Rollins in ruins — proof if there ever was that Seth Rollins, new, old, or otherwise, might have his work cut out for him with Bobby Lashley. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he’ll make it to the level Triple H wants him at, of course … but he might do well to think of a Plan B.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – Dean’s lack of flexibility is still evident, but he is a smart wrestler that figured out how to wrestle without having a full range of movement. Dean’s predicament reminds me of what Kurt Angle goes through whenever he wrestles, as he moves much slower but still packs a wallop in everything he does. Seth looked great and did the wild stuff for Dean, who himself still took a few risks out there, like taking bumps on the concrete. Overall, this was a fine main event.

News Of The Night:

  1. Hulk Hogan cut a promo after performing a ceremonial speech for “Mean” Gene Okerlund, who died over the past week.
  2. Ronda Rousey was the first guest on Alexa Bliss’s new talk show, “A Moment Of Bliss”. Nia Jax came out and did a good promo, despite it not really doing her any favors.
  3. Seth Rollins got attacked by Bobby Lashley and lost because of the damage done by Lashley.
  4. Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar had a confrontation without ever touching.

Final Verdict: 3/5

This ended up being pretty good, even though Vince’s hatred for a real wrestling show is keeping this league from reaching its potential.

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