Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Wrestling Lockup With Brandon 1/2/18: RAW Miami 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! First off, Happy New Year wrestling fans, I hope 2018 is a great year for all of you.

Last week on RAW, John Cena returned as we get closer to the WWE Royal Rumble. Roman Reigns survived by getting DQ'ed against Samoa Joe, to retain his WWE Intercontinental Championship. The shocker of the show was the newly aligned team of Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan defeating Sheamus and Cesaro to win the WWE RAW World Tag Team Championship. What surprises would the New Year bring us with the first RAW of 2018 live in Miami, Florida.

** Monday Night RAW Card **

- WWE RAW World Tag Team Champion Jason Jordan battled Cesaro.
- Bray Wyatt battled Apollo Crews.
- WWE RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss battled Asuka in a non title match.
- Braun Strowman battled Rhyno.
- WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns defended his title against Samoa Joe. If Roman Reigns gets DQ'ed then Samoa Joe is automatically the new champion.
- Cedric Alexander and Goldust battled Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari.
- The Balor Club reunited to battle Elias Samson and The Miztourage in a Six Man Tag Team Match.

** RAW Highlights **

- Kurt Angle Kicks Off The Show: RAW GM Kurt Angle kicked off RAW to wish us a happy 2018. Angle then gets into business by announcing that John Cena has officially entered this year's Royal Rumble. Angle announces that the rules to the women's Royal Rumble will be no different than the men's. Angle goes to announce tonight's plans, but gets interrupted by Sheamus and Cesaro. Sheamus and Cesaro state that they were robbed of the tag titles last week and Angle is playing favorites by allowing Jason Jordan to team with Seth Rollins and get their title shots. Sheamus and Cesaro demand their rematch tonight, but Angle cuts them off and says they'll get it when Angle says they can have it. Jason Jordan interrupts next and a verbal back and forth argument breaks out between Jordan, Angle, Sheamus and Cesaro. Seth Rollins interrupts next and says he'll stand in Jordan's corner as Angle announces Jordan vs. Cesaro right now.

- Cesaro vs. Jason Jordan: The bell sounded to kick off the opening match, as Rollins stood in Jordan's corner and Sheamus stood in Cesaro's corner. The match closes out with Cesaro taking out Jordan's knee and then arguing with the referee, allowing Sheamus to get in a cheap shot. Cesaro applies a half crab and then turns it into a Boston Crab submission. Jordan is able to reach the ropes for the submission break. Sheamus attempts another cheap shot, but Rollins stops him and lays Sheamus out. Jordan catches Cesaro during the distraction and scores the pinfall.

- Bray Wyatt vs. Apollo Crews: The second match of the night saw the eater of worlds, Bray Wyatt, battle Apollo Crews of Titus Worldwide. The match closes out with Bray in control of Crews and goes for his crab walk. Dana Brooke gets on the apron and shouts encouragement to Crews, distracting Bray. Bray scares Dana off the apron causing her to fall onto Titus. Crews hits a jumping kick on Bray and goes for the Apollo Bomb. Bray counters and hits Sister Abigail to score the pinfall. After the match, Woken Matt Hardy interrupts on the TitanTron, says he's transformed Wyatt's fireflies into his Woken Warriors and says that once Sister Abigail is gone, Bray will be deleted.

- Alexa Bliss vs. Asuka: Last week, Asuka sent a message to Alexa that she was winning the Royal Rumble and coming for Alexa. This match was made official by Kurt Angle earlier in the night. Before the match, Alexa tried to get her best friend Nia Jax to stand in her corner, however, Nia left the building to be with Enzo Amore, who was in the hospital with the flu. The match closes out with Alexa working over Asuka's rib area. Alexa unloads on Asuka in the corner and then slaps Asuka. Asuka gets fired up and unloads a series of dropkicks on Alexa. Asuka hits a corner hip attack and then a running hip attack. Asuka locks Alexa in the cross arm breaker submission and taps out the champion.

- Braun Strowman vs. Rhyno: The fourth match of the night saw #1 Contender Braun Strowman battle the ECW icon Rhyno. Heath Slater tries to distract Braun, which forces Braun to dare Slater to get in the ring and fight too. Slater does and he and Rhyno double team Braun. The match closes out with Braun hitting the running power slam on Slater and Rhyno and scores the pinfall. After the match, Braun hits three more running power slams on both Rhyno and Slater.

- "WWE Intercontinental Championship Match, If Roman Reigns Gets DQ'ed He Loses The Title": Roman Reigns (c) vs. Samoa Joe: The fifth match of the night saw Roman Reigns putting the WWE Intercontinental Championship on the line against Samoa Joe. After losing by DQ last week, the rule was set that Joe would win the title if Reigns gets DQ'ed again. The match closes out with Reigns getting warned to not to use the steel steps on Joe. Reigns hits a Superman Punch on Joe outside and another inside the ring for a near fall. Joe counters the spear and then shoves Reigns into the referee. The referee thinks Reigns hit him on purpose and goes to call for the bell, but Reigns begs him not to. Joe hits the Uranage on Reigns and gets a near fall. Joe argues with the referee and demands that Reigns should've been DQ'ed. Joe goes for the Coquina Clutch submission, but Reigns escapes and hits the spear to score the pinfall and retain the title.

- Drew Gulak And Ariya Daivari Call Off The WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari are in the ring and announce that Enzo Amore is not here tonight to defend his title against Cedric Alexander, due to the flu. Cedric interrupts and states that since Enzo is too scared to show up then either Gulak or Daivari need to take his place. They agree but only if Cedric can find a partner and make it a tag team match. Goldust suddenly interrupts and agrees to team up with Cedric.

- Cedric Alexander and Goldust vs. Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari: The sixth match of the night saw this match made official. The match closes out with Goldust unloading on Gulak. Goldust hits the bulldog on Gulak and then climbs the ropes and hits a cross body on Gulak and Daivari. Cedric tags in, hits a double springboard clothesline and then hits the Lumbar Check on Gulak for the pinfall.

- "Six Man Tag Team Match": The Balor Club vs. Elias Samson and The Miztourage: Earlier in the night, Finn Balor informed Kurt Angle that he found his tag team partners for tonight to battle Elias Samson and The Miztourage. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson appeared with Balor, reuniting The Balor Club. The match closes out with Axel getting tossed outside. Anderson nails Elias and sends him into the ring post. Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer on Dallas as Balor hits Coup de Grace afterwards and scores the pinfall.

- The Year Of The Beast: Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman closed out RAW this week with a promo in the ring. Heyman talks about the WWE stacking the deck against Lesnar yet again by making him fight Kane and Braun Strowman. Heyman guarantees that Lesnar will walk in and walk out of the WWE Royal Rumble still the champion. Heyman says one on one Lesnar would beat Kane, Strowman and all 30 men in the Royal Rumble. Heyman hypes Lesnar up to victory when suddenly Kane interrupts and choke slams Lesnar. Lesnar sits up like Kane, laughs at Kane and hits Kane with the title. The RAW locker room empties out and keeps Kane and Lesnar separated to end the show.

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