Welcome to the Raw Review for January 1, 2018. 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.
Not on the Same Page
The story line with Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan became much more interesting then a young wrestler finding a mentor. Jordan interrupted Sheamus and Cesaro and decided to take on the Swish Superman in a one or one match. Rollins came out, but he was not happy to be there. Insisting that he was protecting the Tag Team, Rollins stayed in the corner until Sheamus interfered one too many times. This allowed Jordan to pick up the win, but Rollins seemed upset with Jordan. Will Jordan come around or will his attitude sink this new tag team
Finn Balor would be taking on the Mizterouge and Elias, provided he could find some partners. He wasted no time, getting Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. These three were members of the Bullet Club in Japan and one of the best factions in pro wrestling. They worked together as if no time had passed and made sort work of the musical trio. I’m hoping that these three will be teaming together much more often. The smile on Balor’s face was too genuine to be a one time thing.
Year of the Beast
Brock Lesnar returned with Paul Heyman to address the Triple Threat Match at the Royal Rumble. Heyman described how this is just another example of the deck being stacked against Lesnar, a nice little call back to the story line around Summerslam. Heyman concluded by guaranteeing that Lesnar would retain. Their exit from the ring was interrupted by Kane, who proceeded to chokeslam the Champion. Lesnar sat up and laughed, before launching Kane over the top rope. If Braun Stowman and Kane do not find a way to stop the Beast, he might again walk out Universal Champion.
Match of the Night
Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe (Intercontinental Championship Match) (Reigns wins by pin fall)
It what was probably one of the longest matches on Raw, Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns put on an absolute classic. The stipulation that Reigns would lose the tile if disqualified added to the match, while not becoming the main focus. Joe was at his absolute best here, attacking Reigns and urging him to get DQed. Reigns showed toughness and the will to be a champion that anyone can get behind. The ending was the right call, as this feud has a ton more miles to it.
John Cena, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Balor and Absolution all entered the Royal Rumble. Cedric Alexander did not get his title shot, Enzo Amore was legitimately sick, but did find a tag team partner in Goldust. Matt Hardy continued to play mind games with Bray Wyatt. Alexia Bliss felt the wrath of Askua. Next week, Raw becomes awesome as the Miz returns.