This past Monday night Raw aired live for the first time ever on Christmas Day. Normally, a holiday signals a lackluster show for WWE as they aren’t expecting much in the way of viewing figures, so the don’t want to further angles too much. Hopefully, that wasn’t going to be the case this week. They may have managed to sell out the Allstate Arena in Chicago, but they still wouldn’t have wanted to drag Superstars away from their families on Christmas Day for a nothing show that wasn’t worth watching. With two major title matches on the card as well as the return of John Cena, it was probably safe to say that Vince McMahon wasn’t simply going to give us a filler show.
5. WWE Stands For Walk With Elias
It was no secret that John Cena was making his triumphant return to WWE television on the Christmas edition of Monday Night Raw. The 16 time World Champion didn’t keep the sell-out Chicago crowd waiting either. The first person through the curtain was Big Match John although he was quickly interrupted by Elias. The Drifter informed Cena and the fans that WWE actually stands for Walk With Elias, who knew? Anyway following some very loud CM Punk chants Elias and Cena had a match, further compounding the fact that Vince McMahon is a big fan of the guitar-wielding Superstar. Elias didn’t win the match, of course, but he got an awful lot of offense in before succumbing to Cena’s Attitude Adjustment.
4. No One Knows What To Do With Balor
Finn Balor seems to be simply floating along without much purpose on Raw right now. In fact, you could argue that has been the case since the Irishman returned from injury a little after WrestleMania 33. Apparently, the initial plan was to have Balor cash in his Universal Championship rematch against Brock Lesnar at some point, however, those plans seem to have been canceled before anyone else had an idea on what should take their place. Now, Balor faces random opponents for no real reason from one week to the next. This past Monday that opponent was Curt Hawkins. The man on the epic losing streak was looking to break that streak before 2017 came to an end and issued an open challenge. Balor answered that challenge and needless to say, Hawkins’ losing streak is still intact.
3. Samoa Joe Pushed Roman Reigns To His Breaking Point
Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan continued bothering Kurt Angle in an attempt to get a match against Samoa Joe. Neither man got their wish, and instead, Roman Reigns took on The Destroyer, but he had to put his Intercontinental Championship up for grabs. That was no problem for The Big Dog as he went looking for retribution for his fallen brother, Dean Ambrose. Thanks to Joe, The Lunatic Fringe may be sidelined with his arm injury for up to nine months. Clearly, that combined with the countless times Joe has blindsided the champ caused Reigns to see red. After a period of back and forth, Reigns got his opponent in the corner and stomped a hole in him until he was disqualified. The vicious beating didn’t stop there. Reigns continued to decimate Joe with anything he could get his hands on and the former TNA Champion is lucky not to be on the shelf alongside Ambrose.
2. The Women Remembered They Don’t Like Each Other
Last week, Stephanie McMahon closed Raw by making the monumental announcement that on Jan. 28, 2017, there will be the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble match. That in itself is pretty incredible, but the way McMahon went about breaking the news was less than desirable. One second every woman on Raw was brawling in the ring, the next they were all holding hands and crying. This week, however, normal service was resumed as the women remembered that they are in fact supposed to dislike each other, especially now that they’re all going to be in the same match together with only one of them able to emerge victorious. Absolution finished what they started last week in six-woman tag team action against Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Mickie James, while Asuka sent a physical and verbal message of intent to Raw Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss.
1. We Have New Tag Team Champions
As mentioned above, it was Roman Reigns who got the chance to take on Samoa Joe this past Monday night. Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan had to settle for a Tag Team Title match against The Bar instead, although that probably doesn’t seem like a consolation prize now. WWE’s history is littered with odd couples that managed to become Tag Team Champions, and now you can add one more to that list. The Architect didn’t believe that Jordan was a worthy partner but come the end of the night, it was he who won them the gold. Jordan performed what looked like a neck breaker crossed with his kayfabe father’s Angle Slam on Sheamus and the innovative move proved enough to keep The Celtic Warrior down for the three count. Raw now has new, albeit odd, Tag Team Champions.
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