Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Wrestling Lockup With Brandon 12/26/17: RAW Chicago Recap

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

It's the beginning of the week and time to kick things off in wrestling with Monday Night RAW! It wasn't just a normal Monday night this week, it was Christmas night, live in Chicago, Illinois. How rowdy would the tough Chicago crowd be on one of the most festive days of the year??

** Monday Night RAW Card **

- John Cena battled Elias Samson.
- Brian Kendrick battled Hideo Itami.
- Mickie James, Bayley and Sasha Banks battled Absolution in a Six Woman Tag Team Match.
- Kane battled Heath Slater.
- Finn Balor battled Curt Hawkins.
- WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari battled Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and Akira Tozawa in a Six Man Tag Team, Miracle on 34th Street Fight Match.
- WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns defended his title against Samoa Joe.
- The Miztourage battled Braun Strowman in a Handicap Match.
- WWE RAW World Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro defended their titles against Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan.

** RAW Highlights **

- John Cena Returns: Cena kicks off the show with a Merry Christmas to the fans of Chicago. Cena talks about why he is a huge fan of the holidays when suddenly Elias Samson interrupts. Elias says he's sick of being interrupted on a weekly basis and demands the opportunity to perform tonight. Cena hands Elias a stool to sit on as Elias prepares himself and his guitar. The crowd unloads "CM Punk" chants at Elias as Elias attempts to sing. Elias sings a Christmas song then mocks the city of Chicago before getting interrupted by Cena. Cena tells Elias that he's pretty damn good, but when he starts treating the fans like jerks that's when Elias comes off as the real jerk. Elias agrees, sings the song again and praises the city of Chicago. Elias then asks Cena to finish the song for him, but then cheap shots Cena from behind. Elias says Christmas is overrated, Chicago sucks and he doesn't cater to Cena or the fans. Elias beats down on Cena some more, calls for a referee and demands his Christmas present of a match against John Cena right now.

- John Cena vs. Elias Samson: The first match of the night sees Elias get his wish from RAW GM Kurt Angle, with a match against Cena. The match closes out with Cena trapping Elias in the STF submission, but Elias escapes and knees Cena. Cena is able to lock in the STF submission a second time, but Elias reaches the ropes. Elias takes advantage and gets a couple near falls on Cena. Cena hits the running shoulder blocks and then the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena lifts Elias up and nails the AA to score the pinfall.

- Brian Kendrick vs. Hideo Itami: The second match of the night saw the cruiserweights in action. Kendrick and Jack Gallagher demanded this match with Itami to see if he belongs in the cruiserweight division or if he's just another passing fad. The match closes out with Itami escaping a Kendrick submission. Itami hits a clothesline, a kick and unloads a series of strikes. Itami drop kicks Kendrick into the corner and then hits the Go To Sleep to score the pinfall.

- "Six Woman Tag Team Match": Mickie James, Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Absolution: The third match of the night saw Absolution continue their feud with the women's locker room, mainly Mickie, Bayley and Sasha. The match closes out with Bayley hot tagging and unloading on Paige. Bayley goes for a pinfall, but Sonya breaks it up. All six ladies start brawling around ringside now as Bayley and Paige fight in the ring. Bayley climbs the ropes, but gets crotched on them after Paige kicks the ropes. Paige hits RamPaige on Bayley and scores the pinfall.

- Kane vs. Heath Slater: The fourth match of the night saw the #1 Contender to the WWE Universal Championship, Kane, battle the one man band, Heath Slater. Slater's tag team partner, Rhyno, accompanied Slater and told Slater that this match is step number one in toughening Slater up. The match closes out with Slater getting completely destroyed by Kane. Slater is able to land a high knee on Kane, but gets grabbed by the throat on an attempted charge. Kane choke slams Slater to hell and scores the pinfall. After the match, Kane goes after Rhyno, but Rhyno unloads on Kane and goes for the Gore. Kane counters and choke slams Rhyno to hell. 

- Finn Balor vs. Curt Hawkins: The fifth match of the night saw Finn Balor answer Curt Hawkins' open challenge. Hawkins has gone all of 2017 without a single win and looked for his Christmas miracle tonight. The match closes out with Hawkins getting in some offense and a near fall. Hawkins gets frustrated and gets hit with the Slingblade from Balor. Balor drop kicks Hawkins into the corner and then hits the Coup de Grace for the pinfall.

- Bray Wyatt And Woken Matt Hardy Feud Continues: Backstage, Bray Wyatt begins his promo by stating that Sister Abigail hated the holiday season because it reminded her of people like Matt Hardy. Bray accuses Matt of using the Woken Warriors for his own personal gain and warns Matt that they are all surrounded by darkness. Bray makes his way to the ring and immediately gets jumped by Matt Hardy as the lights come on. Bray counters the Twist of Fate and escapes to the floor. Bray retreats up the ramp as Matt gets the Chicago fans chanting "Delete".

- "Six Man Tag Team, Miracle on 34th Street Fight Match": Enzo Amore, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari vs. Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and Akira Tozawa: The sixth match of the night saw Enzo and his Zo Train battle #1 Contender Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and Akira Tozawa. The match closes out with Ali hitting an inverted 450 Splash on Daivari, but Gulak stops the pinfall. Enzo tries to use a candy cane kendo stick, but Cedric catches him. Enzo escapes as Cedric unloads on Gulak with the kendo stick. Daivari gets a near fall rollup on Cedric, but Cedric comes back with the Lumbar Check on Daivari for the pinfall.

- "WWE Intercontinental Championship Match": Roman Reigns (c) vs. Samoa Joe: Samoa Joe has taken full credit for taking out Dean Ambrose for 9 months with an elbow injury. Joe stated that he'd put Reigns to sleep tonight and take his title. Reigns stated that Joe hurt one of his brothers, so Reigns would hurt Joe in return and leave Chicago still the champion. The match closes out with Joe applying the Coquina Clutch submission on Reigns. Reigns tries to fight it and escape as Joe continues to apply the pressure. Reigns reaches the ropes and rolls outside finally. Joe suicide dives Reigns into the barricade and Reigns busts his elbow on it. Joe beats on Reigns' injured elbow, but Reigns fights back and unloads on Joe in the corner. Reigns refuses to let up and gets DQ'ed. After the match, Reigns hits the Superman Punch, sending Joe outside. Reigns sends Joe into the ring post twice, hits Joe in the face with the steel steps and then hits Joe with a steel chair.

- "Handicap Match": The Miztourage vs. Braun Strowman: Throughout the night, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas had been attempting to spread Christmas cheer with the positivity of The Miztourage and The Miz. The match closes out with Strowman making quick work of Dallas and Axel with a quick squash match. Strowman hits the running power slam on Dallas for the pinfall. After the match, Strowman grabs Axel and lays him out with a running power slam as well.

- The Year Of Bliss: Alexa Bliss is in the ring and wishes everyone a Merry Blissmas and then mocks the fans for stuffing their faces over the holiday. Alexa calls 2017 the year of Bliss, she's dominated everyone, mentions the Women's Royal Rumble coming up and takes full credit for that announcement. Asuka suddenly interrupts and heads to the ring. Asuka announces her entry into the Royal Rumble, states that no one is ready for her and then stares down Alexa. Asuka suddenly lays Alexa out with the Asuka Kick to the head and celebrates.

- "WWE RAW World Tag Team Championship Match": Sheamus and Cesaro (c) vs. Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan: Earlier in the night, RAW GM Kurt Angle made the decision to put Rollins and Jordan together as a tag team with Dean Ambrose being out for the next 9 months with his elbow injury. Rollins hates the idea and Jordan doesn't want to go back to being in a tag team. Angle tells them to deal with it and wishes them a Merry Christmas. The match closes out with Sheamus and Cesaro taking out Jordan on the floor and stopping Rollins from getting a way to tag out. Jordan finally recovers and hot tags in. Jordan drives Sheamus into the corner four times, hits a corner spear  and gets a near fall suplex. Sheamus and Cesaro regain control of the match and Sheamus is able to trap Jordan in the Texas Cloverleaf submission, but Jordan holds on and reaches the ropes. Sheamus and Cesaro go for the double team, but Rollins trips up Cesaro as Sheamus plants Jordan with White Noise. Sheamus goes after Rollins, but gets sent into the steel steps. Cesaro follows and blows up Rollins with a huge uppercut. Jordan is able to hit a pop up neck breaker out of nowhere and score the pinfall to win the titles.

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