Welcome to the Raw Review for December 18, 2017. For both this and Smackdown, I will go over what the big talking points were, pick the match of the night, and look ahead to the next show.
Who will face Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble? As Kurt Angle prepared to make the announcement, Braun Strowman came out to argue his case. Moments later, Kane came out and pointed out that he had never lost to Lesnar. Finally, the Advocate, Paul Heyman, came out to introduce The Beast to the discussion. Angle made the announcement that all three men would be in the title match at the Royal Rumble and then got the hell out of there. Lesnar was the finally man standing, but even he looked unsure when Kane sat up after an F-5.
It seems that Finn Balor can not rid himself of Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Decding once and for all to end this, Balor took on the two members of the Mizterouge in a handicap match. Eventually, Dallas and Axel decided that the best thing to do was to beat down Balor, even if they got DQ’d. As they continued their assault, Hideo Itami ran down to make the save. Hideo has some of the nastiest looking kicks in the business. He will make his official debut as part of the roster of 205 Live. A nice point was the announcers acknowledging his and Balor’s real life friendship.
The WWE fixed their mistake with Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy from last week. Allowing both men to have their say in separate segments made both feel more important. Wyatt acted more insane then usually, telling Hardy that he should apologize to everyone he ever loved. Hardy was shown playing chess against a goldfish, who was actually Napoleon (who knew?) The right amount of insane and funny, this feud can go on for a very long time.
Moment of the Night
Stephanie McMahon Announces the First Ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match
This is not to say there were no good matches. There were, but this announcement deserves it’s spot on this list. After a women’s match between Absolution and Sasha Banks, Mickie James and Bayley broke down, prompting the entire women’s locker room to join in, Stephanie made her entrance and everything stopped. Going through the history of the women’s division, Stephanie announced the match in January. The biggest thing of note was that Stephanie was not talking as her heel character, this was a real moment. My money is on Nia Jax to win, if picking up both Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville at the SAME TIME for a Samoan Drop did not convince you.
The Revival is back and their beat down of Rhyno and Heath Slater might have sparked a change in attitude for the two. Jason Jordan is becoming more heel by the day, but Samoa Joe is still the baddest man on the Raw Brand. Cedric Alexander will face Enzo Amore. Dean Ambrose might have been injured for real ,and I hope it is not too serious. Next week, Christmas is Raw and John Cena returns for the first time in months.