WWE Raw 1/1/18 Highlights + Results: Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe

The first WWE Raw of the New Year is headlined by Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe for the Intercontinental Championship!

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WWE Raw 1/1/18 on the USA Network took place at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL.

WWE Raw 1/1/18 Highlights and Results:

WWE Raw GM Kurt Angle confirms the women’s Royal Rumble match will feature 30 female superstars like the male version. So far, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Paige, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Asuka, Natalya, Naomi, and Bayley have been officially confirmed for the match as of press time.

The Bar confronts Angle about their rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championships. Jason Jordan comes out. Crowd chants “Who’s your daddy” and “Daddy’s boy.” Hilarious. Seth Rollins interrupts and tells Jordan they need to do things as a team. Rollins outright tells Jordan he’ll lose against Cesaro. Leading to…

WWE Raw Tag Team Champion Jason Jordan (with Seth Rollins) def. The Bar’s Cesaro (with Sheamus). Jordan won with his neckbreaker slam with some help from Rollins. It looks like Jordan is once again being positioned for a heel turn as he dismissed Rollins before and after the match.

Sasha Banks is official for the Royal Rumble match.

Bray Wyatt def. Apollo Crews (with Titus Worldwide). Nice, competitive match with a commercial break. After the match, Matt Hardy appeared on screen cutting a bizarrely amazing promo on Wyatt that has to be seen to be believed. Woken Matt Hardy is an incredible troll.

John Cena is officially confirmed as a Royal Rumble entrant.

Nia Jax chose to visit the ailing Enzo Amore in the hospital over cornering Alexa Bliss against Asuka tonight. Bliss wasn’t happy.

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Monday Night Raw – Jan. 22 on USA Network:

Asuka def. WWE Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss in a non-title match. This match was unnecessarily competitive and went way too long with a commercial break in between. Asuka got the win via armbar, but the crowd was not into this at all. With all due respect to Bliss, while she has been a great character, it is odd to see a small heel booked so strong in recent months without using underhanded tactics. I don’t want to say this killed Asuka’s aura, but it sure as hell did her neither superstar any favors. Well, other than Asuka getting the win.

Braun Strowman destroyed Heath Slater and Rhyno. Strowman gave each guy a couple more running powerslams for good measure, much to the thunderous delight of the crowd.

Kane is backstage trying to convince Strowman to take out Brock Lesnar with him to improve their odds. Strowman isn’t interested.

Renee Young aka Dean Ambrose’s real wife interviews the man who took out her husband — Samoa Joe. Joe cuts an epic heel promo saying Ambrose is now a stay at home husband who has to mooch of his wife’s money. Renee’s facial expressions were great here. Joe says he’s the reason The Shield can’t be champions together and that he’ll defeat Roman Reigns for the IC Title tonight.

Backstage, Finn Balor tells Kurt Angle he’s entering in the Royal Rumble and will be teaming up with the Club for the first time in WWE. Crowd popped big with “Too Sweet” chants for the Bullet Club reunion. Ironic the two founding members of the Bullet Club (Balor and Anderson) are reuniting just three days before NJPW Wrestle Kingdom….

In the locker room, Rollins tells Reigns to keep his cool in the ring. Reigns tells him not to worry. Jordan comes out of no where saying if The Bar interferes, he has Reigns’ back. “Believe that.” Reigns and Rollins stare at each other wondering whether Jordan’s verbiage is that bad or if he’s really the corniest man alive other than Drew Gulak.

Goldust and Cedric Alexander def. Ariya Daivari and Drew Gulak. Gulak explained before the match that Enzo Amore was in the hospital due to the flu (true story — same flu that kept Strowman off of house shows last weekend), so the Cruiserweight Title match is off. Gulak and Daivari told Alexander he had no friends, so well-over-205lb Goldust became his friend. Makes sense? No? Oh well. Crowd was happy to see Goldust and chanted “you still got it” even though Dustin Rhodes never lost it. As awesome as Alexander is in the ring, he doesn’t click at all as a personality. Then again, 95-percent of the 205 Live roster doesn’t either.

Hideo Itami vs. Jack Gallagher is official for Tuesday night’s 205 Live. Last week, Itami broke Brian Kendrick’s nose and orbital bone with the GTS per WWE.com. Guess that’s the last time we’ll see that move for awhile.

WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns def. Samoa Joe to retain the IC Title in a match where if Reigns was disqualified, he’d lose the title. Excellent TV match as Reigns continues his impressive streak of strong in-ring performances on TV and PPV. I’m not sure why they added this stipulation if Jordan wasn’t going to cost Reigns the title, but the match was so good, I can overlook that. Michael Cole, Booker T, and especially Corey Graves, did a tremendous job on commentary putting over Reigns in victory and Joe in defeat.

Finn Balor, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows def. Elias Samson, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel. The Club were complete babyfaces here with no swerve at the end. I’d like to see a Balor heel turn at some point. Maybe that would finally get him out of this year-long midcard purgatory.

Paul Heyman cut a wild promo hyping Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane for the WWE Universal Championship at Royal Rumble 2018. Heyman did his usual great sell job, but it’s truly hard to get excited to Mayor Kane in the title picture in 2018. Speaking of Kane, the Big Red Monster came out and chokeslammed Lesnar. Lesnar sat up like The Undertaker and went after Kane. The two were separated by various WWE superstars as Raw went off the air.

Overall, a decent Raw that dragged in many spots, but was propped up by a rabid Miami crowd and the best match of 2018 so far (see what I did there). Go out of your way to watch Reigns vs. Joe. Now.

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