The January 8th, 2018 edition of WWE Monday Night RAW took place at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN.
The following recap was written by Eric Lynch of Rajah.com
– This week’s broadcast begins with a video package recapping the history of Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns.
– Michael Cole welcomes us to the FedExForum in Memphis, TN. He’s joined by Corey Graves and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T at the broadcast table.
– WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns comes out to the ring first to kick off tonight’s show. Reigns gets on the mic and talked about beating Samoa Joe last week. Fans are already giving Reigns the “What” chants. Reigns started to talk about avenging Dean Ambrose, but then Jason Jordan comes out to interrupt. Jordan gets in the ring and starts thanking Reigns for what he did to Joe last week. Fans chant “Who’s your daddy” at Jordan until Jordan’s tag partner Seth Rollins comes out. Rollins sets in the ring and tells Jordan he appreciates what he’s trying to do, but he’s got a lot to learn. Rollins says Jordan means well, but he’s stepping on Reigns’ moment right now. Jordan interjects that this is all of their moment, and they’re all Champions now who run the show. Reigns says enough of this “we” stuff. Jordan admits they’re not The Shield, but the three of them are pretty good, maybe the most dominant group in all of WWE. Fans boo Jordan more until Finn Balor, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson come out to interrupt. Balor gets on the mic and says he’s been rolling with Gallows and Anderson pre-WWE, 10 years before Jordan even knew Kurt Angle was his dad. This prompts more “Who’s your daddy” chants from the crowd. The Club comes down to the ring and they call Jordan a nerd. Jordan looks like he wants to fight, but RAW GM Kurt Angle comes down and tells them to wait until the main event tonight. The six-man tag of Jordan, Reigns & Rollins vs. Balor, Gallows & Anderson is booked for tonight’s main event.
– Still to come: WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar is in the house, and The Miz will make his return.
– We see Bayley, Sasha Banks and Mickie James are backstage, headed towards the gorilla position. They face Absolution next.
– Back from the break, we see another replay of Stephanie McMahon’s female Royal Rumble announcement.
– Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose: Mandy starts off against Bayley and gets the upper hand early on. Mandy beats down Bayley in the corner then hits a powerslam for a two count. Bayley fights back and lands a suplex of her own. Paige and Deville pull Rose to safety, and Sasha tags in. Sasha fires up and knocks Sonya off the apron, but when she turns around she receives a knee to the face from Mandy for a two count. Sonya tags in and continues the beat down on Sasha. Rose tags back in and knocks Bayley off the apron. Sonya gets in a cheap shot on Sasha while the ref is distracted. Sasha rolls up Mandy out of nowhere but Sonya breaks it up. Bayley knocks Sonya to the outside, then Sasha comes back with a Banks Statement on Mandy in the middle of the ring. Mandy taps out.
Winners: Sasha Banks and Bayley
– Absolution recovers at ringside while Sasha, Bayley, and Mickie celebrate in the ring.
– Still to come: The Club vs. Reigns, Rollins and Jordan.
– We see a replay of Brock Lesnar and Kane brawling last week. Lesnar is in the house and he’ll address Kane later tonight.
– Goldust shows up in Cedric Alexander’s locker room for some words of encouragement. Goldust says he believes in Cedric, and wishes him luck in his Title shot.
– Speaking of Goldust, the announcers promote the Mixed Match Challenge and show us footage of Goldust meeting his partner Alicia Fox.
– Matt Hardy vs. Curt Hawkins: “Woken” Matt Hardy comes out to the ring with new entrance music. We see a pre-taped video of Matt announcing his participation in the Royal Rumble this year. The opening bell sounds and Hardy and Hawkins lock up. Hardy bites Hawkins when the ref isn’t looking, then works over Hawkings in the corner. Hawkins fights back and goes up top for a cross body, but misses. Matt hits a German s lex into the corner, and repeatedly slams Hawkins head into the corner. Matt follows up with the Twist of Fate for the three count.
Winner: Matt Hardy
– After the match, Bray Wyatt hits the ring. Wyatt and Hardy stare each other down and trade evil laughs, and the segment ends.
– Back from commercial break, Elias is in the ring under the spotlight with his guitar. Elias sings a song trashing Memphis and then sings a song which ends up being an entrance for The Miz.
– The Miz’s real music hits, and The Miz comes out to the ring with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. They enter the ring for a special edition of Miz TV. Fans chant “welcome back” as The Miz begins to talk. He discusses filming The Marine 6 and visiting troops overseas. Miz says he is thankful to two people right now, Axel and Dallas for representing The Miztourage and turning their careers around. Dallas and Axel each present The Miz with gifts, trying to one-up each other. Dallas and Axel start gifting Miz the watches and coats they’re wearing right now. Miz tells them to shut up and sit down in the chairs. The Miz says he has a lot more planned and says everything he touches turns to gold. He says he hasn’t forgotten about being attacked by The Shield. He says 2018 will be a year of celebration – for his daughter being born, and for him recapturing the IC Championship. The Miz declares now that he’s back, he’s coming for Reigns, and Reigns can “believe that.” Miz drops the mic and leaves with Axel and Dallas.
– Balor, Gallows, and Anderson are backstage talking about their pre-WWE experiences together, and the strategy for tonight. Balor says 2018 is the year of The Balor Club.
– Still to come: Cedric Alexander finally gets his Cruiserweight Title shot from Enzo Amore.
– WWE Cruiserweight Champ Enzo Amore is out to the ring for a promo. He talks about being sick for New Year’s Day and unable to compete because he was in the hospital. He thanked Nia Jax for bringing him soup when he was sick and tells Cedric that Goldust is the closest he’ll come to gold in 2018.
– WWE Cruiserweight Title: Enzo Amore (c) vs. Cedric Alexander: The opening bell sounds and Cedric takes control early on. Cedric hits a big kick as we see Nia backstage watching on a monitor. Enzo turns it around and sends Cedric out to the ringside floor. Back in the ring, Enzo uses the ref for a cheap shot and continues beating on Cedric. Enzo hits a running dropkick for a two count. Cedric starts to fight back, but Enzo stuns him with a knee to the face. Cedric comes back with a dropkick and follows up with a handspring into a flying kick. Cedric pins for a two count, then Enzo starts fighting back with elbow strikes. Cedric fires back with another kick to the head, then springboards in for a flying clothesline but Enzo dodges it. Enzo rolls outside and Cedric hits a suicide dive on him. Enzo starts selling an ankle injury as Cedric rolls back in the ring. A trainer is out to check on Enzo and the ref counts him out.
Winner via count out: Cedric Alexander
– Enzo retains the Cruiserweight Title due to the count out finish. We see Nia backstage again looking concerned about Enzo’s injury. Enzo is helped to the back as Cedric celebrates his win.
– Back from the break, Enzo is backstage being checked on by a trainer. He says Enzo will undergo x-rays and maybe an MRI. Nia Jax walks in and Enzo thanks her and starts trying to no-sell his injury.
– RAW GM Kurt Angle is backstage on the phone with a surprise entrance in the women’s Rumble match. Angle says they haven’t been in the ring in years, but he knows they’ll be great for the Rumble. The Bar walks in and interrupts. They want their Tag Title rematch, and Angle books it for the Royal Rumble PPV. The Bar also wants competition for tonight, and Angle tells them to head down to the ring and wait for their opponents. The Miz walks in and talks about he and Maryse having their own reality show on the USA Network soon. Miz says Angle can prove he knows how to run RAW by giving Miz another IC Title shot against Reigns at the RAW 5th Anniversary Show. Angle thinks it’s a good idea and books the match.
– Asuka is backstage warming up, and she gets interrupted by Alexa Bliss. Bliss warns Asuka that Nia Jax might be coming for her.
– Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews: Dana Brooke is at ringside in Titus Worldwide’s corner. Sheamus and Titus start off with back and forth brawling. Titus decks Sheamus with a shoulder tackle, then tags in Crews. Crews briefly works over Sheamus until Sheamus fights him off and tags in Cesaro. Cesaro and Sheamus briefly double team Crews until Crews fires back with a dropkick. Crews follows up with a standing moonsault for a 2 count. Crews throws Cesaro outside and Cesaro starts selling an injury. Back in the ring, Sheamus tags in and double teams Crews with Cesaro. Sheamus starts dropping knees on Crews and keeps him grounded. Sheamus misses a shot in the corner and hits the ring post, allowing Crews to get the hot tag to Titus. Titus tags in and cleans house. The match falls apart with the non-legal men running in, and the finish comes when Titus rolls up Sheamus out of nowhere for the three count.
Winners: Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews
– After the match, Sheamus and Cesaro are in shock at the loss. Titus Worldwide celebrates as we see the replays.
– We see another replay of what happened between Kane and Brock Lesnar last week.
– WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar is out to the ring next with Paul Heyman by his side. Heyman introduces his client and talks about Lesnar having to defend against multiple challengers at the Royal Rumble PPV. He says Lesnar took what Kane had and laughed in his face, the same way he will at the PPV with Kane and Strowman. Heyman says the only question is whether Lesnar will pin Kane or Strowman. Or, will Lesnar stack them and pin both. Heyman continues to talk about how dominant Lesnar is before leaving. As Lesnar and Heyman are leaving, Kane attacks Lesnar from behind. Kane and Lesnar brawl into the backstage area and Strowman runs in and joins in the fight. Strowman tosses Lesnar onto a table, then hits Kane with a road case. Strowman grabs a grappling hook and throws it up onto some scaffolding. Everyone around is yelling at Strowman to stop. Strowman pulls the structure down using the grappling hook, and it falls into Lesnar and Kane. Heyman screams as we go to commercial.
– Lesnar is being stretchered out as we return from commercial. Kane was able to get to his feet and he stumbles away. Lesnar begs Heyman to get him out of the ambulance, but they ride off to the local medical facility.
– Rhyno takes on Samoa Joe next in a match that we’re told Rhyno requested so he can show Heath Slater how to toughen up.
– Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno: Slater is at ringside in Rhyno’s corner. Joe controls the opening moments of this one. He hits an inverted atomic drop and a senton for a two count. Joe keeps control as Slater cheers on Rhyno. Rhyno tries to mount a comeback, but Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch for the quick win.
Winner: Samoa Joe
– After the match, Joe stares down Slater, then Charly Caruso comes in the ring to interview Joe. He says he’s beaten years off of Reign’s career each time they stepped in the ring. Joe says everything is coming crashing down on Reigns, and Joe is going to finish the job. He says until then, he’s focused on winning the Royal Rumble, and says he plans to eliminate John Cena first.
– Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax are backstage talking about Enzo. Alexa says she thinks Enzo is holding Nia back, but Nia disagrees. Nia talks about entering the Royal Rumble, but Alexa tries to get her to focus on Asuka. Alexa brings up a possible Bliss vs. Jax WrestleMania 34 dream match if Nia can take out Asuka first. Bliss says Asuka was talking trash about Nia, but Nia points out that Asuka doesn’t speak English and walks off.
– Asuka is on her way down to the ring when Nia Jax attacks her from behind. Nia continues the assault and stands tall as Asuka sells the beating. Referees check on Asuka and Nia leaves towards the back.
– Roman Reigns, Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson: The opening bell sounds and Balor and Rollins start this one off trading holds. Rollins connects with a kick, and then they trade counters until Balor connects with a kick of his own for a two count. Anderson tags in and hits a spinebuster on Rollins for another two count. Anderson works over Rollins some more, then tags in Gallows. Reigns tags himself in and hits a Samoan Drop on Gallows. Balor runs in, but Reigns and Rollins double team him and throw him outside. Reigns hits a Drive By on Gallows and Anderson at the same time at ringside, then Rollins hits a suicide dive on Balor at ringside. Rollins and Reigns stand tall in the ring, as Jordan joins them acting like he did something. Back in the ring, Balor goes at it with Rollins. Balor is working over Rollins’ arm, but Rollins counters and sends Balor into the turnbuckle. Reigns tags in and unloads on Balor with clotheslines, then drops him with a big boot. Reigns goes for the superman punch, but he gets distracted knocking Anderson and Gallows off the apron. Balor takes advantage of the distraction with a Sling Blade on Reigns. Anderson tags in and pummels on Reigns. Gallows tags in now and continues to beat on The Big Dog. Gallows drops Reigns and keeps him grounded and fans try to rally behind the IC Champ. Reigns fights back but Gallows pulls him down by the hair. The ref warns Gallows, and he tags in Anderson. Anderson runs in and hits a knee on Reigns for a two count. Reigns catches him with a big tilt-a-whirl slam, then Anderson tags in Gallows. Reigns tries to get the tag, but Gallows stops him with a big boot. Gallows hits a suplex on Reigns for a two count, then continues beating on Reigns. Reigns comes back with a superman punch, then Anderson and Rollins tag in at the same time. Rollins gets the upper hand on Anderson, then he knocks Gallows and Balor off the apron. Rollins hits a blockbuster on Anderson, then hits a suicide dive on Balor and Gallows at ringside. Back in the ring, Rollins hits a slingblade on Anderson, then a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Gallows and Anderson try to double team Rollins, but Rollins fights them both off. Jordan runs in and clotheslines Gallows to the floor. Anderson hits a spine buster on Rollins for a two count. Gallows stops Rollins from tagging in Jordan, then he knocks Jordan off the apron. Rollins hits an enziguri on Gallows, then Gallows tags in Balor. Rollins dodges a slingblade and drops Balor. As Reigns waits for the tag from Rollins, Jordan enters the ring and the refs gets distracted by him. The confusion leads to Gallows and Anderson hitting a Magic Killer on Rollins. Reigns comes in and drops them both, then Jordan comes in again and Reigns argues with him. Anderson pulls Reigns to the floor and Gallows joins in brawling with him at ringside. Reigns sends Gallows into the ring post, then hits a superman punch on Anderson. Reigns spears Gallows on the floor next. Jordan helps Rollins to his feet, but Balor charges and hits dropkick on Rollins as Jordan moves. Balor knocks Jordan down, then hits the Coup De Grace for the win.
Winners: The Balor Club
– After the match, Reigns and Jordan exchange heated words while Rollins is down on the mat. Balor, Anderson and Gallows celebrate their win on the ramp. As Jordan checks on Rollins, The Miz, Dallas and Axel run in and attack. They beat down Jordan and Rollins first, then triple team Reigns. Miz hits a Skull Crushing Finale on Reigns, then fans chant “one more time.” Miz hits another one on Reigns as Axel and Dallas celebrate. The Miz stands tall over Reigns as RAW goes off the air.
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