This week’s episode of RAW begins with a recap of last week, with Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe squaring off for the Intercontinental Championship. This video package portrayed the fight as very epic, with Roman Reigns winning. After that, we go to the live feed in Memphis, TN. Roman Reigns comes out to the ring. Roman Reigns gets a mic and says that Samoa Joe wasn’t ready for him. While Roman was cutting his promo on Samoa Joe, Jason Jordan came out, interrupting Reigns. Jason Jordan dis-ingenuinely complimented Roman, by saying that he proved that this was “your yard”. Seth Rollins came out after this. Seth said that Jason has a lot to learn, saying that he is “stepping on” Roman’s moment right now. This trio continued to talk, until the newly reformed Balor Club (if you don’t know who that is, it’s Finn Balor, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson) came out. Balor says that their trio is better, and has been around since before he knew Kurt Angle was his father. Balor Club are playing heel roles, but the crowd is loving it.
The trio came into the ring, and said that “2018 is the year of the Balor Club”. As Seth and Roman stay silent, Jason Jordan continues to talk, saying that he is part of the “Champions Club”. Jason Jordan gets called a nerd by Gallows, and that sets him off. He tries to attack, but gets held back by Seth and Roman. After this, Kurt Angle comes back and books this as a 6-man tag match for tonight. This ends the segment.
I thought that this segment was good. Jason Jordan did a good job of sticking out like a sore thumb in this segment, being the person who everyone in the Shield dislikes, but has to live with. Seth and Jordan are playing the gimmick of two people who are good in the ring together but lack the ability to stand each other in different situations. Besides that, the one thing I dislike about this is that both of these teams are loved by the crowd. Seth and Roman are loved by the crowd (for the most part), and Balor Club is really over right now. Unless this match will be so that Balor Club are able to get more heat, I don’t understand why this pairing is happening. Also, I’ll be interested in seeing if the coexisting storyline will continue between Jordan and The Shield (excluding Dean) during this match.
Sasha Banks, Bayley w/ Mickie James vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville w/ Paige (Absolution)
Our first match of the evening is Sasha Banks and Bayley facing Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville of Absolution. Mickie James accompanies Banks and Bayley, and Paige accompanies ⅔ of Absolution. By the way, I don’t know if I have mentioned this, but it seems like WWE is doing exactly the same strategy with this wave of female call-ups as they did last time when Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch debuted. They had factions that eventually split up. This isn’t a knock on WWE at all, just found it as an interesting observation.
Late in the match Bayley targeted Sonya outside of the ring while Banks put Mandy in the Bank Statement for the win. This match was sorta lame. We didn’t see much though, commercials covered a significant amount of it. I noticed while watching this match that Sonya Deville has a gimmick, but Mandy Rose doesn’t really. I can’t pick out one characteristic about Mandy Rose which wouldn’t just be “heel” or “dirty player”. Also, Mickie James did nothing during this, I don’t think I even saw her onscreen during the fight. She almost popped up out of nowhere after and I reacted like “Wait? Oh yeah nevermind she was ringside.
Matt Hardy vs. Curt Hawkins
Matt Hardy has made his return of some sort this week, with new entrance music, and full insanity. He is facing Curt Hawkins, because Curt Hawkins needs to get his first loss of 2018, and first like millionth in a row. As expected, Hardy finished off the match with a Twist of Fate, in just over a couple of minutes. After the match the lights went off then on, and Bray Wyatt showed up in the ring. The two stared each other down, both laughing. This continued until the cameras cut away. Wonder how this wrapped up as they went to commercials? I’ll never know.
MizTV with Elias
As promoted before the break, this segment is MizTV. When we come back from the break, Elias is in the ring. After numerous minutes of his performance, he surprising doesn’t get cut off, but introduces The Miz at the end of his song. The Miz, alongside his Miztourage, make their way to the TV Set/Ring. Miz has a more older school spiked up hair style, different from his slicked-back style that he had for quite some time now.
The Miz’s guests this week are Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. For Dallas and Axel to show their appreciation for The Miz, they both gave him gifts. Bo Dallas gave him a framed photo of The Miz. Axel and Dallas starting taking articles of clothing off, and gifting them to The Miz, in a competitive fashion. The Miz breaks this up, and gets both of them to sit down. The Miz cut a pretty good promo after that skirmish, and mentioning that he is coming for his IC Title. I loved the promo, but why did they have to have such a goofy skit with Axel and Dallas before? It felt like too much, but whatever. Nonetheless, I still think this segment was pretty good.
Cedric Alexander vs. Enzo Amore (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)
Before the next segment we see a commercial promoting a new episode of Straight To The Source, interviewing Enzo Amore. The next segment is Enzo Amore versus Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship. During this match the feed showed numerous times that Nia Jax is watching this match. Midway through the match, Enzo starts bleeding near the eye. The amount of blood increases. They do a spot where everyone is outside the ring, and Enzo gets counted out. Medic is wiping blood off of Enzo during the end of the match. I’m not sure if it was a work or not, I genuinely have no clue, but if it was real they handled it pretty well. If it was a work, that was one poorly done segment.
The Bar vs. Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews w/ Dana Brooke
Before the break, The Bar were backstage asking for a challenge. Kurt Angle told them to head out to the ring for their challenge. Titus and Apollo Crews came out as their challenge. Titus pulled an upset on The Bar, defeating them. This left the crowd, and The Bar in shock. Not sure why they did this, but maybe it’ll lead to something good.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came out to promote their Royal Rumble appearance. The promo from Heyman was solid as always. After that, Kane jumped Lesnar. They brawled to backstage, where Stroman joined the fight too. Stroman downed borth guys, then yanked a huge metal bar down ontop of both of them. This was great, because we saw Paul Heyman talk all this game, just for Stroman to crush him. It leaves the question if he will actually be able to face the challenge at the Royal Rumble.
Rhyno vs. Samoa Joe
The next match is Rhyno versus Samoa Joe, for some reason. Coquina Clutch ended the match, as usual. After the match, Joe announces his entrance into the 2018 Royal Rumble.
Asuka Gets Jumped
Asuka comes to the ring for a match, but then gets jumped by Nia Jax. The commentators say that this was to “build momentum” for the Royal Rumble. This was the last segment that was a part of midcard hell.
Balor Club (Finn Balor, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) vs. Seth Rollins, Jason Jordan & Roman Reigns
It is finally time for our main event of the evening, Balor Club versus Rollins, Jordan and Reigns. Karl Anderson hit a Spinebuster late in the fight on Seth Rollins, which got a really close count. I liked that spinebuster. As Seth was going for a hot tag on Roman, Jordan accidentally distracted the ref. Ref didn’t see the tag, which cause a lot of confusion, letting a Magic Killer hit Rollins. Jordan again got in the way as he was trying to get Seth up, only to get moved out of the way for Balor to hit a Coup De Grace on Rollins for the win.
This ended the match, and ended the show. I thought the finish to this match was amazing. Jordan completely screwed over his team, increasing the tensions within The Shield and Jason Jordan. Alongside that, this was a pretty well fought match. I enjoyed watching this fight. One quam that I have is that this isn’t the top storyline on RAW, but it got the most time, the opening segment, and it closed off the show. Lesnar’s storyline should have contested at least one of those options.
After the fight, The Miz and his Miztourage jump everyone, especially Roman, who is the IC champion currently. This closed off RAW.