For the 1st Raw of 2018, WWE had advertised an appearance from Universal champion Brock Lesnar, a cruiserweight championship match and the big Intercontinental championship match up between Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns.
Raw started with Alexa Bliss backstage demanding an explanation from Kurt about the match that she was in (against Asuka). Kurt said he wanted to start the year with a WM worthy match up and that she’s lucky it’s not a title match.
Kurt came out to the ring, went through the match card before announcing the rules for the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble about to take place later this month. The rules were to be the same as the men’s Rumble match and that there would be 30 Women in the match. Surprises and debuts guaranteed. He also said something about how his year went and how 2018 would be even better. Sheamus and Cesaro interrupted demanding there won explanation about last weeks Tag team title match and accusing Kurt of favouritism. Then they rolled a clip of Kurt celebrating with JJ and Seth Rollins after there win. Sheamus and Cesaro then asked for a rematch to which Kurt replied by saying that they will get there rematch when Kurt says they will. Jason Jordan came down to the ring and got in Cesaro’s face to which Kurt replied by making a match between the two. Before the match could start though Rollins came down to the ring and made it quite clear that he wasn’t happy either at being partnered with Kurt’s illegitimate son. He said he came down to defend his half of the tag team titles and told Jordan that he’s probably gonna lose anyway.
The match started with Jason Jordan matching Cesaro for strength and it put Jordan over well as being a powerful wrestler. As the match went on Cesaro targeted Jordan’s knee and cut him down. From that point onwards Cesaro kept dominating the match but Jason Jordan just about stayed in it and kept fighting. The finish came when Rollins took out Sheamus and the momentary distraction gave Jason Jordan the opportunity to hit his finisher for the pinfall win.
Roman Reigns cut a backstage promo on Samoa Joe and put over the fact that Joe injured Ambrose and such and that he “Hoped” to stay within the rules. Next match was Bray Wyatt Vs Apollo Crews with Titus Worldwide (complete with Titus and Dana Brooke) at ringside. Bray Wyatt had the upper hand but Crews also got some good offence in in this match before Bray Wyatt ended the match with a Sister Abigail to get the pinfall win. Woken Matt cut another crazy promo after the match and vowed to DELETE Bray Wyatt or was it Sister Abigail, I don’t remember this feud is getting stale, they need to have a match quickly.
Nia had some soup and seemed to be heading out. Alexa Bliss tried to recruit her to accompany Alexa to ringside for the match against Asuka. Nia said Enzo was in the hospital and left Alexa saying the soup is getting cold. Alexa got to the ring and clearly did not want to face off against Asuka. Asuka dominated the match and made Alexa tap to the armbreaker. Alexa has been having a terrible time since she lost to Charlotte at Survivor Series. She’s barely been on TV, when she has been on TV, she’s been an extra in the brawls with Absolution. No clear-cut feud either and now she’s been buried by Asuka. I for one am not so sure about her being the champion now. She’s been booked poorly, here’s hoping that her booking gets better by the time WrestleMania rolls around.
Samoa Joe cut a savage backstage promo talking to Renee Young. He talked about Reigns and how he injured Ambrose and that Ambrose is now a stay at home husband living off of his wife. Joe is brilliant on the mic. Imagine if Joe and come to WWE earlier and had a feud with Shawn Micheals.
Back to the present and Rhyno looked to show Heath Slater how to toughen up against Braun Strowman. Strowman was dominating the match and even asked Heath Slater to get his hands full. For a moment it looked as if Rhyno and Heath Slater had the big man down but Strowman threw Heath Slater off before finishing the match by pinning Rhyno with a running powerslam. After the match, Strowman treated the crowd to another powerslam party.
Rollins was talking to Reigns backstage before his big match against Samoa Joe when Jason Jordan walked in and reassured Reigns that he and Rollins would be there if The Bar decided to interfere in there match. Believe that. Rollins and Reigns did not look amused. Then Kane showed off his diplomatic skills by trying to negotiate with Strowman so they could gang up on Lesnar. Strowman did not like the idea. Another backstage segment and this time it was Finn Balor who went to Kurt’s office to have a talk with him. Balor looked really happy and announced that he was entering the Royal Rumble. Kurt said that he thought Balor was here for something different to which Balor replied by revealing Gallows and Anderson as his partners. The Club has gotten together.
Now came the big match. Joe Vs Reigns. Joe came out first to his awesome theme music and incredible crowd chants. Reigns and Joe have really good chemistry and it showed in this match. They put on another fantastic match in which for a moment it looked like Reigns wouldn’t get the opportunity to hit his spear and Joe had Reigns in the Coquina Clutch. Roman Reigns though got through the fight and hit the spear on Joe for the pinfall win. I personally thought this was the perfect opportunity for Reigns to drop the title to Joe and start his Road to Wrestlemania but clearly, WWE has other plans.
Drew Gulak and Ariya Daiwara made their way out to the ring to deliver a message from Enzo. Cedric Alexander interrupted and said he wants competition. Gulak agreed to a tag match, stating that Cedric had to tag with whoever made there way down to the ring. Goldust came out and the team of Goldust and Cedric Alexander won the match with Cedric Alexander hitting the Lumbar Check for the pin.
Next up we had The Miztourage and caretaker leader Elias against The Balor Club. Elias dominated early on against Balor before Anderson and Gallows proceeded to clear the ring and the Magic Killer, Coup de Grace combination got the win for the Balor Club.
Brock Lesnar returned and Heyman put him over besides putting over the diffivulty of the two other monsters that he will be with in the ring. Kane came down to the ring and without wasting anytime chokeslammed Lesnar. Lesnar sat up laughing like he did against Undertaker at SummerSlam (What a moment that was). This moment couldnt compare as a little mini brawl ensued which never felt complete nor did it get a proper conclusion.