Welcome to the Raw Review for January 22 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.
The Chairman and the Rattle Snake
There was only one real way to start off the 25th anniversary of Raw. Stephiane and Shane Mcmahon introduced the man who started it all and Vincent K Mcmhaon strutted to the ring. After thanking everyone, Mr Machon took over, gloating about his success and mocking the Brookylin crowd. This bhrought out Stone Cold Steve Austin. Mr. Machmon tried to play off his age, and when that did not work, gave up Shane to take the Stunner. He offered the Rattle Snack a beer. Austin took it, but still gave him a stunner. A second stunner to Shane and the beer bash was on. Just a great opening, reminding everyone about Raw in the late nineties.
The APA was set up again as they played poker, being joined by old and new superstars every time we came back to them. MVP, The Usos, Jeff Hardy, Natalya, The New Day, Titus Worldwide. It was so fun, it made me think of a thought a had as a kid, where WWE has a parallel universe where all the characters are real and they got into all sorts of adventures. The person who won was the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase. I guess that everyone has his price, but DAMN, does he need any more money?
Rest in Piece
The Undertaker returned to deliver what might have been his final promo. Taking in character, Undertaker mentioned Stone Cold, Mick Foley, and Kane as victims that he has buried. He ended by saying that after 25 years, it was time to rest in piece. This might have been the retirement speech for the Undertaker. If so, he leaves behind one of the greatest careers of all time, respected by every fan and ever wrestler. This is the way he should go, not in pain after a match, but leaving on his own terms.
Match of the Night
Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns vs The Miz (Intercontinental Championship match) (The Miz win by pinfall to become the new Intercontinental Champion)
It was a hell of a fight. Roman reigns seemed to be in control, but a few distractions from the Mizterouge started to add up. The Miz went for quick moves, trying to wear Reigns down. Eventually, Reign was able to hit a Superman punch, but the Miz was able to kick out. A final distraction got both Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel banned from ringside. What we didn’t know until later was that Miz used this moment to take off a ring pad and he slammed Reigns face into it. One Skull Crushing Finale later, The Miz had his belt back. Will Reigns get a rematch at the Rumble, or should he now go for a bigger prize.
Lots of stars came back. The Dudely Boys, The Bella Twins, Trish, Erick Bischof, Lillian Garcia, Brother Love, Boogyman, the list goes on and on. The Balor Club are Too Sweet with DX. This was a fun night, and a great kickoff to the Road to Wrestlmania.