15th Jan2019

WWE Raw – January 14th 2019: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel


Welcome to this week’s Monday Night Raw review, right here in Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have a weird yet satisfying card to get to, so let’s do so.

Match #1: Ronda Rousey & Sasha Banks def. Nia Jax & Tamina – Tag Team Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Good enemies make better allies, but nobody should get the idea that Ronda Rousey’s team-up with her challenger Sasha Banks was anything but a partnership of convenience. As crisp as both were against Nia Jax & Tamina in the first match of this week’s Raw, things went from civil to tense in a hurry during a post-match interview. Following the victory — via Bank Statement over Tamina — Rousey got a little ahead of herself in the process of praising The Boss by predicting that her inevitable victory will rank among her greatest accomplishments. Sasha, obviously, took exception to being overlooked, and Rousey’s attempts to cool the situation down only led to a backstage confrontation between the two that Bayley and Natalya narrowly managed to defuse in the backstage area — though they quickly ended up at odds over which Superstar was the instigating party. The Riott Squad, who never met a button they didn’t like to push, showed up to push some buttons and “take a bad situation and make it worse” by challenging Bayley and Natalya to a match later in the night … provided they found a friend to join them.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 –This was a nice little match that Sasha carried all the way through, but Ronda also did very well here. Nia and Tamina aren’t bad, but they do leave a lot to be desired.

Match #2: The Revival def. The Lucha House Party

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Last week, The Revival were surrounded by a ring full of Lumberjacks, none of whom managed to alert the referee that Scott Dawson’s foot was on the ropes during the fateful pinfall that cost them a chance to win the Raw Tag Team Titles. So the “Top Guys” came to Raw in search of some retribution against three of those Lumberjacks, a team with which they have unfinished business: The Lucha House Party. With the accursed Lucha House Rules no longer in play, The Revival found themselves on much more firm footing against the team who “turned their backs” on them the previous week. Despite the impressive combo of Kalisto & Gran Metalik to battle the two-time NXT Tag Team Champions, LHP fell to the “Top Guys” in almost poetic fashion, with Dash Wilder knocking Metalik’s boot off the ropes to nullify a pin break and allow the ref to complete the three-count. Clearly, teams turn their backs on The Revival at their own risk, whether they’re in the match or not.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This turned out nicely, with this being a more even match than the Lucha House Rules bouts were. It’s becoming apparent from these Twitter comments that Dash has made that his attitude may be contributing to the diminished commitment from Vince to make this team headliners. Actually, I want to say I saw a word or two from Scott that might be enough to put him in there as someone who could be throwing off the momentum of the team. Also, Vince booked to have this match as a split screen with a lot of lousy acting about getting a new Universal Title challenger. This thing gets some points because the match was good, but you’d never know that because the match was an inch tall. All Elite Wrestling is still waiting around the corner for more of these stupid mistakes to get the roster ready to leave when their contracts are up. Apparently, Vince has forgotten that he’s got competition again.

Match #3: Nikki Cross, Bayley & Natalya def. The Riott Squad

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Hello, Nikki Cross. For now, anyway. The Twisted Sister of NXT officially became the first member of the black-and-yellow brand’s newest class to compete on Monday Night Raw, teaming with Bayley & Natalya in a winning effort against The Riott Squad. Whether Team Red is the she-demon’s permanent home, however, is another matter entirely, as the six NXT veterans will be appearing on both shows until they are assigned to a specific brand. For the sake of The Riott Squad, they better hope she leans toward SmackDown LIVE. Cross was a one-woman wrecking crew in the match, tagging in early and almost singlehandedly decimating the opposing trio in the early goings. When she wasn’t tagged in, she disrupted the contest by way of her mere presence. And while Cross didn’t earn the victory, she teed Bayley up for the fateful pinfall by dropping Liv Morgan with a hanging neckbreaker off the ropes. The Huggable One followed up with an elbow drop off the top turnbuckle, and that was that. Call it a successful debut for Nikki Cross, though whether it was just a cameo appearance or a taste of things to come is a question that has yet to be answered.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a fun match that gave Nikki Cross a fine debut. Every-one looked strong, especially Cross, who wrestled like she had to prove to herself that she could do it.

Match #4: Finn Bálor def. Jinder Mahal to keep him out of the Fatal 4-Way to determine Brock Lesnar’s challenger

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Jinder Mahal, challenge Brock Lesnar? It’s been a while since The Maharaja sniffed a World Title, but as he pointed out to Mr. McMahon, he’s as deserving as anyone of an opportunity. After all, he is a former WWE Champion, and he was about a minute away from facing The Beast at Survivor Series 2017 before AJ Styles swooped in and stole his glory. The Chairman, convinced to a point, gave Mahal an ultimatum: Defeat one of the Fatal 4-Way participants, and he’s in the match. If not, he gets back in line. Long story short, he’s going back in line, though not for lack of trying against Finn Bálor. Mahal took no chances in the make-or-break opportunity, ambushing Finn during his entrance after Samir Singh distracted The Extraordinary Man and forcing the Irishman into an early pit he had to claw his way out of. To the surprise of no one, except perhaps Mahal, he did: Bálor slowly but surely rallied, disposing of Singh with a dropkick and putting Mahal away with a picture-perfect Coup de Grâce. The Irishman remains in the race, but with Mahal having visibly weakened him, at what cost?

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was solid, thanks to Finn doing the heavy lifting. Jinder tries, but his skills aren’t the most refined out there. Jinder would do a lot better in Japan, but since he’s in the WWE, he has to wrestle the WWE way. Finn worked hard here and made the match go well, so it’s a real thrill to see him win.

Match #5: Bobby Lashley def. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to become the new Intercontinental Champion (Triple Threat Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Bobby Lashley made a point of marking the amount of time since he’d held WWE gold on Twitter over the weekend. The All Mighty can stop the clock now. Following a power play on last week’s Raw that thrust him into the Intercontinental Title picture, Lashley finally broke his championship drought by winning a Triple Threat Match against Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to win the ivory title for the first time in his career. He did so more or less by force of will, as Seth Rollins opted a blaze-of-glory game plan and fought everything that moved, while Dean Ambrose selected a canny, enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend strategy, forging and fracturing alliances seemingly by the minute. The most effective of those team-ups was with Rollins, a tentative union that nonetheless took Lashley out of the running and set up a one-on-one battle between the two former brothers-in-arms. Thanks to Lio Rush, however, The All Mighty stayed in the running. The Man of the Hour interfered at two crucial moments, breaking up a Rollins pinfall and high-lowing The Kingslayer over the top rope right when he appeared to be closing in on the victory. Lashley capitalized immediately, hurling himself into a Spear that de-cleated The Lunatic Fringe and handed the Intercontinental Championship to The All Mighty.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a fine match that had a bit of an awkward start, but it settled into the greatest hits method of wrestling, which worked well for this title match. At one point, Ambrose tried to work with Rollins, but he wouldn’t have it. Lashley winning was the best outcome for this and I hope that means we’ll see Lashley getting more attention from Vince this year.

Match #6: (Main Event) Finn Bálor def. John Cena, Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin to earn the right to challenge Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Even by his standards, Finn Bálor’s last few days have been extraordinary: The Irishman started the weekend as a guest of honor at the opening of the UK Performance Center, ended up fighting his student at NXT UK TakeOver, and in the course of one Raw, went from long-shot title hopeful to two-time winner and next man up for Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. Not bad for a guy who Mr. McMahon supposedly didn’t believe in, especially considering he defeated John Cena — the man The Chairman has called the greatest of all time — Drew McIntyre, the onetime “Chosen One,” and Baron Corbin, who Mr. McMahon once trusted to run his show. The Irishman played the match perfectly too, weathering the perfect storm of conflicting agendas until he finally picked his moment to strike: Big Match John had the big match moves, but was a hair too slow to close out. McIntyre was a marvel, but seemed more focused on making a statement than winning the match, and Corbin’s desire to slowly dismantle everyone with a steel chair left him vulnerable to a retaliatory strike from The Cenation Leader that set up the conclusion.

After the 16-time World Champion downed The Lone Wolf with an Attitude Adjustment, McIntyre blew him off his feet with a Claymore Kick and Bálor pounced, disposing of the Scotsman and drilling Cena with a Coup de Grâce to seal the match. Despite suffering the deciding pinfall, Cena still got to his feet to deliver proper respect to the victor, declaring that Bálor had made a believer out of him. If he walks out of the Royal Rumble with the Universal Title, there won’t be a person in the world who doesn’t agree, from the kids on the floor to the man in the office.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was an excellent match that put over the right guy in Finn Balor. The action was pretty good and it really picked up in the final act of the fight. I always wanted to write a sentence that sounded like it was a prison riot on Broadway and I think that last one might’ve been it. Cena looked like an idiot with that new Office Space haircut of his…especially when you consider that he was wearing the same doofus jorts and sneakers like usual. Cena should just shave his head bald while wearing red trunks and tape up his hands like a martial arts fighter so he doesn’t look like JBL during his mid-life crisis. Drew looked tough here and I would bet that Vince is excited about what he can do with him this year, considering that he has the presence of an alligator in heat. Baron is still a lousy wrestler, but he seems to be a nice guy and one who is willing to play the fool, which is important in wrestling. All my $#@!%?*| aside, this was all about Finn and how much he deserves this match with Lesnar, let alone at the Royal Rumble Pay Per View.

News Of The Night:

  1. Braun Strowman attacked Vince McMahon’s limousine in an effort to hurt Baron Corbin and lost his title match at Royal Rumble.
  2. John Cena cut one of those arrogant promos where he buried a roster of people like Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair, Batista and Randy Orton (among others) by calling them “misfits” and “rejects”. The comments were in regard to when Vince called on his roster to “step up” and become his next star when Brock Lesnar and Goldberg left (among others). The idea was that every-one but him had the guts to be a big star. Cena actually says stuff like this all the time in very obnoxious interviews, where he claims that no one works hard but him.
  3. Otis Dozovic ruined Paul Heyman’s great promo in the worst debut since The Shockmaster.
  4. Alexa Bliss debuted the Women’s Tag Titles on her talk show and said they will be contested for at Elimination Chamber.
  5. Finn Balor is now in an angle with Vince McMahon where the old $#@! doesn’t believe that Finn can be champion.
  6. John Cena lost the fall to Finn and put him over with a quick promo after the main event.
  7. Finn Balor fights Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Universal Title.

Final Verdict: 3/5

This was beyond strange, from the way matches went to commercial in the middle of the moves to bizarre introductions to Vince being in nearly every part of the show. Finn winning saved this night and the idea of Finn and Vince having this angle of worth is very intriguing. Quite frankly, Finn should be the one to fight Brock at Wrestlemania, but it remains to be seen what happens next.


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