11th Dec2018

WWE Raw – Dec 10th 2018: Results & Review

by Phil Wheat

2018-raw-logo

Welcome to this weeks review on WWE Raw… a show that has made me dread Monday night TV (OK, so Tuesday night TV, there’s no way I’d ever stay up to watch THIS live like I did a few years ago!). Although the online buzz about this episode has got me a little more interested in the show than in recent weeks.

Match #1: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable def. AOP & Drake Maverick in a 2-on-3 Handicap to become the new Raw Tag Team Champions

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After AOP attacked Chad Gable backstage during a match between Bobby Roode and Drake Maverick last week, Baron Corbin turned that singles bout into an impromptu 2-on-3 Handicap Match that allowed Maverick to pick up a humiliating win over The Glorious One. Though AOP looked strong in the height of their Raw Tag Team Championship Match this week, Maverick’s cocky nature sank his team team’s title reign. When he made the mistake of requesting a tag and obnoxiously mocking Roode’s glorious pose, the fallen Roode quickly pulled him down and rolled him up for the 1-2-3! Roode and Gable are the new Raw Tag Team Champions!

My Take: Huh? What?! So we’ve got new tag champs in the hope that fans will believe the duo to be a credible tag team? Yeah… not gonna happen. So is that the end of AOP now? Feels like The Ascension all over again.

Match #2: Drew McIntyre def. Dolph Ziggler

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After Dolph Ziggler received an assist from Finn Bálor and dealt Drew McIntyre his first pinfall loss since The Scottish Psychopath returned to Raw last week, McIntyre demanded a rematch against his former tag team partner. In the final moments of the brutal matchup, the resilient Ziggler hit a Zig Zag out of nowhere to pick up a near-fall, but McIntyre narrowly kicked out and roared back with an earth-shattering Claymore Kick for the victory. Even after the bell, McIntyre continued the attack on Ziggler – even after the officials came forth to pull him away – and delivered a second Claymore Kick while flashing a wicked smile.

My Take: How have these two gone from amazing tag matches to dull one-on-one matches? McIntyre isn’t going to be THE guy with matches and feuds like this.

Match #3: Bayley def. Alicia Fox

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Following Finn Bálor’s injury, Apollo Crews was announced as Bayley’s new partner for the WWE Mixed Match Challenge Semifinals showdown against Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox. But first, Bayley went one-on-one against Fox on Raw. When The Modern Day Maharaja and The Singh Brothers began to unfairly influence the tough matchup, Crews emerged to even the odds, and he and Sasha Banks took out Mahal and The Singhs, paving the way for Bayley to hit Bayley-to Belly for the major victory.

My Take: Another throwaway match to sell Mixed Match Challenge. Which no-one is watching. A waste of talent right here folks.

Match #4: Lio Rush def. Elias

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

In the midst of a pre-match musical interlude, Elias expressed his regret for striking a “child” like Lio Rush with his guitar last week and promised to overcome his opponent Bobby Lashley at WWE TLC. When Heath Slater emerged to reluctantly serve in his first match as a referee for the strumming Superstar’s match against Rush, it was clear that The One-Man Band would be something of a wild card. When Elias went for the pinfall on The Man of the Hour, Lashley attacked his adversary and prevented Slater from making the three-count. Then, after Lashley intimidated Slater so that he would not call for the disqualification, Rush grabbed Elias’ guitar and opened the door for Lashley to play a tune on his adversary’s back before forcing Slater to count to three and declare Rush the winner.

My Take: I’m starting to feel REALLY sorry for Elias. And that’s something I wouldn’t have said before his face turn… So there’s that. Why sorry? Because he’s stuck in this feud with Lashley and Lio; and I wouldn’t wish that on my mortal enemy. But hey, at least these two are making Elias look good – at the expense of themselves!

Match #5: Ember Moon def. Tamina

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Six days before she challenges Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey at WWE TLC, Nia Jax and Tamina joined Alexa Bliss in the ring, and The Irresistible Force unloaded with a verbal assault on The Baddest Women on the Planet, saying Rousey should come lay the title at her feet. When she’d heard enough, Rousey emerged ready to fight. Though Jax and Tamina exited the ring when The Rowdy One charged, they quickly regrouped and prepared to reenter for a 2-on-1 assault. Before they could execute their attack, however, Ember Moon emerged to stand at Rousey’s side prior to taking on Tamina in an impromptu bout. In the height of the bout that followed, Rousey neutralized Jax’s interference by hurling The Facebreaker over ringside barricade, opening the door for Moon to triumph with the Eclipse.

My Take: Ember Moon once again had to carry her opponent, as she’s done week after week when it comes to Tamina and Nia Jax. It shows just how good EMBER is – now she just needs the chance to show it against opponents that can match her skills!

Match #6: Seth Rollins def. Baron Corbin in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match to retain the Intercontinental Championship

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

With Heath Slater once again in the precarious position of referee, Baron Corbin challenged Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental Championship in a TLC Match, a contest where the match could only end when The Kingslayer or The Lone Wolf climb a ladder to retrieve the Intercontinental Title hanging above the ring. Despite Rollins starting the match strong, Baron Corbin gained control and completely dismantled The Architect with a brutal assault that incorporated every destructive implement in reach. Still, the resilient Rollins clawed his way back into the bout and kept The Lone Wolf from ascending the ladder and seizing the Intercontinental Title.

Though Rollins roared back, Corbin caught him yet again and drove him through the table outside the ring. Fighting through the pain, Rollins rebounded and again prevented his opponent from climbing the ladder with the help of the chair. During his attack, however, Rollins accidently took down Slater with the steel. Outside the ring, Rollins placed Corbin onto the table and drove him through the hardwood with an incredible Frog Splash. Just when it looked like Rollins was going to reach his title, however, Slater suddenly reappeared and dumped the ladder from under him.

A reluctant Slater helped Corbin back into the ring and assisted him in climbing the ladder, but the tough-as-nails Rollins hit the ring like a bolt of lightning, grabbed the “General Manager-Elect” and hurled him through the table with a bucklebomb. Face-to-face with Slater, Rollins hit the reluctant official with a superkick before blasting Corbin with the stomp and climbing the rungs to claim his title. As the dust cleared, Rollins stared up the ramp at the emerging Dean Ambrose as the two prepare to go to war this Sunday at WWE TLC.

My Take: You can’t fault Seth Rollins. He ALWAYS puts on a decent match, no matter the opponent – he even makes crap opponents, like Corbin, look good. Fair play to Baron Corbin he did play the part of pantomine villain quite well in this match but he’s still terrible at actually wrestling (but he can take a bump – I’ll give him that too). And yes, I’m already getting tired of Heath Slater as referee “under the influence” of Corbin. A decent main event that wasn’t spoiled by any interference or post-match waffling.

News of the Night:

  1. Seth Rollins promo that opened the show was something of a pipe-bomb for the current state of Raw – saying EVERYTHING fans have been saying about the show for weeks now. Hell, he even referenced terrible ratings!
  2. Finn Balor to be replaced by Apollo Crews on Mixed Match Challenge – my guess is he got the lurgy in South America.
  3. Ruby Riott insulted Natalya with a Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart Table.

Final Verdict: 3/5

You know what? When Baron Corbin ISN’T the focus of Raw and Seth Rollins is instead we actually get good WWE TV! Because it was Rollins who opened the show with a SUPERB promo and closed the show with a SUPERB display of wrestling excellence. Everything else was pretty much trash (well apart from Ember Moon who shone as usual, though I felt bad for her having to carry Tamina in her match). So all three of this weeks point rest solely on the shoulders of Seth Rollins.

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