The must-see former WWE Champion The Miz makes his Monday Night Raw return and sets his sights towards Royal Rumble.
WWE Raw 1/8/18 – FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, WWE Hall of Famer Booker T
WWE Raw 1/8/18 Rapid Video Recap by Fred Richani:
WWE Raw 1/8/18 Highlights and Results:
The makeshift Shield is out with Jason Jordan, who continues to alienate his WWE Raw Tag Team Champion partner Seth Rollins and WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns. The Shield is interrupted by the newly reunited Bullet Club — I mean — Balor Club consisting of Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, and Finn Balor. The Balor Club cuts a promo briefly going over their individual successes in WWE, conveniently leaving out the part when Gallows and Anderson became job guys and Balor getting destroyed by Kane.
Crowd gives Balor Club a nice ovation as they poked fun at Jordan and called him a NERD. Jordan tried to attack Balor Club much to the chagrin of The Shield. Raw GM and resident daddy Kurt Angle books The Shield vs. Balor Club tonight for our main event.
WWE Raw 25th Anniversary Show in two weeks features the returns of WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley), The APA (Ron Simmons and JBL), Shawn Michaels, “Razor Ramon” Scott Hall, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Jim Ross, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Kevin Nash, Triple H, New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn), Bella Twins, and The Undertaker. Now THAT’S a stacked lineup of WWE legends.
Bayley and Sasha Banks def. Absolution’s Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville (with Paige). Banks submits Rose with the Banks Statement.
Michael Cole says there are 15 women in the 30 woman Royal Rumble match already confirmed, including all five here. Once again, Paige is not wrestling following an injury scare after taking a kick from Sasha Banks at a New York house show a couple weeks ago. Hopefully, this is just a precaution and not a sign of more injury woes for Paige. Kind of a surprising finish here considering WWE is attempting to push Absolution as a strong entity. Then again, they had Riott Squad lose all not that long ago on SmackDown Live as well. Go figure.
Miz TV hosted by The Miz and Miztourage
Elias Samson plays his guitar seemingly forever and sings a nice song for Memphis until he throws some insults fans’ way in the second verse. Mercifully, this ends and Elias introduces The Miz who is fresh off of filming “The Marine 6” and the Miztourage. Miz says Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel are his guests because they turned their careers around under his tutelage. Dallas gives Miz a picture of well, Miz and says “it’s going to be hard sleeping with that.” Axel takes off his jacket and tells Miz it’s his new sports coat. Dallas gives Miz his watch. Axel gives Miz his shoes. Miz gets them to stop bickering and cuts a promo on Roman Reigns.
Miz shows a clip of when The Shield took him out two months ago and now that he’s back, it’s time to get back the Intercontinental Championship. After being named Rolling Stone’s “Superstar of The Year,” Miz is going to make sure 2018 is the year he puts himself among the all-time great IC Champions including Shawn Michaels, Ultimate Warrior, and Bret Hart. Miz tells Reigns “believe that.” Great mic work by Miz who got an absolute babyface reaction.
“Woken” Matt Hardy def. Curt Hawkins. This is a perfectly fine showcase match for Hardy, but not much crowd noise outside of a few DELETE chants. Hardy wins via Twist of Fate. Hawkins remains winless. After the match, Bray Wyatt appears in the ring for an awkward staredown. Once again, both men just laugh for a ridiculously long time.
I love Hardy’s gimmick, but this is getting real old, real fast. Much like Balor Club/Bullet Club Lite, it seems like WWE is having Hardy do all the superficial traits of his character (i.e. constant DELETE chants) rather than give fans the full scope that made it great in the first place. Broken/Woken Hardy is best when he’s perceived as unpredictable and truly off the rails.
Speaking of Balor Club, backstage the trio have the most wooden conversation that is only saved by Gallows and Anderson’s natural charisma. Gallows and Anderson reminisce about the days in Japan and even mention Bullet Club member and NJPW star Bad Luck Fale. Anderson also sneaks in a “Hot Asian Wife” reference (referring to his real life wife) before Balor cuts them off and says they need to focus on the present to create new memories. Awkward.
Goldust channels Burgess Meredith to inspire 205 Live BFF Cedric Alexander:
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander def. Enzo Amore (c) via countout. Alexander wins, but Amore retains his title.
Decent match by Amore standards, but sloppy in many parts. Amore gets busted open the hard way by Alexander and is bleeding profusely. Finish comes when Alexander dives on Amore on the outside with the champ selling an apparent leg injury. Alexander makes it back to the ring before the 10 count, while Amore deliberately looks like he hesitated at nine. WWE’s medical team wipes Amore down and takes him to the back as his potential bae Nia Jax awkwardly looks at the monitor backstage.
Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins vs. The Bar for the Raw Tag Team Championships is confirmed for Royal Rumble 2018.
Titus Worldwide – Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews def. The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro).
Well, this is an upset. Titus gets the win on Sheamus after a distraction via the dreaded school boy pin rollup. Weird way to buildup the number one contenders unless Titus Worldwide is being added to the title match at Royal Rumble.
— WWE (@WWE) January 9, 2018
Huge news for The Miz and Maryse Mizanin via WWE.com and USA Network:
USA Network has greenlit “Miz & Mrs.,” a docuseries chronicling the lives of The Miz and Maryse. The six-episode, half-hour series will feature the married pair, known for being larger than life both in and out of the ring, as the Superstars become parents for the first time.
Who says The Miz isn’t money?
Mickie James officially enters the women’s Royal Rumble match:
WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are out to address Royal Rumble challengers Kane and Braun Strowman. Kane attacks Lesnar, but Strowman brawls with both men and destroys them backstage. Strowman finds a grappling hook because of course he does and uses it to pull down the steel structure behind the Raw set down onto Lesnar and Kane. It’s attempted murder, but don’t worry, it’s WWE, so it’s OK. This was a great visual. Strowman continues Mark Henry’s legacy of causing destruction with inanimate objects.
Back from commercial break, WWE’s medical team and Heyman are tending to Lesnar. Kane somehow stumbles around. I guess if you’re going to have Strowman lose another title match, this is a good way to keep his heat to say the least.
— WWE (@WWE) January 9, 2018
Cole tells viewers Lesnar has been taken to a local medical facility that may or may not be a hospital.
Samoa Joe def. Rhyno (with Heath Slater). Joe gets the quick win over Rhyno with the Coquina Clutch submission.
Nia Jax comforts Enzo Amore backstage.
Roman Reigns vs. The Miz for the WWE Intercontinental Championship is official for WWE Raw 25.
WWE Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss tries to manipulate Nia Jax backstage. Jax later takes out Asuka in the ring as she sets her sights on a Royal Rumble victory.
Balor Club def. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Jason Jordan. Balor pins Rollins after miscommunication with Jordan. Solid tag match and a great win for the formerly directionless Balor Club.
Post-match, The Miz and Miztourage attack The Shield and Jordan. Miz lays out Reigns with a triple powerbomb to further state his intention of regaining the IC Title.
Overall, not a great in-ring Raw, but eventful enough to set up some interesting developments heading into Royal Rumble.
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