With the end of the year fast approaching and Raw's next pay per view being the Royal Rumble at the end of January, the red brand currently has nothing to build to. It's a tough position to be in and one that requires WWE to create some interim rivalries. It's probably why Samoa Joe choked out Roman Reigns last week and will hopefully mean a bright spotlight for the newly awoken Matt Hardy. Those two were naturally key characters in this week's Raw, but what else did we takeaway from Monday night's show?
WWE are in Roman Reigns-mode when it comes to their push of Jason Jordan right now. They seem to think that inserting him into angles with big time players will instantly make him a big deal. That's why to open up this week's Raw he leap-frogged Samoa Joe in order to get an Intercontinental Title shot. The former NXT star goaded his on screen father, then Reigns himself, then an unexpected suplex finally forced Roman to accept the challenge. It was a great match but Jordan ultimately came up short. After the match Joe and Reigns clashed, then Joe and Jordan butted heads also. On the back of that Jason went to his dad asking for yet another match, this time against Joe, but an attack from The Destroyer mid-request may have had him second guessing that wish.
Paige has made quite the impact on Raw the last few weeks with her new former NXT stars at her side. This week though she actually had a match, and even though Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose were at ringside it was a singles match. Sasha Banks was Paige's first opponent in over a year and The Boss was unsurprisingly quite the adversary. In fact Banks probably would have won had it not been for chaos ensuing at ring side as the rest of Absolution clashed with Bayley and Mickie James. The former laid waste to the latter and while Sasha debated going out to help, Paige turned her back around and delivered a Rampaige in order to pick up the win. A formidable trio with no equals, at least not right now anyway.
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Despite getting off to a rocky start with his 205 Live brethren, Enzo Amore has managed to recruit a few followers from the purple brand since becoming Cruiserweight Champion. A group he affectionately refers to as The 'Zo Train. This week on Raw, Amore gave his train a pep talk as two of them, Tony Nese and Drew Gulak, prepared to do battle in Fatal Four Way action against Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali. Drew Gulak managed to pick up the win but Muscles Marinara's mind may have been elsewhere. After his pep talk Amore ran into Nia Jax. Nia was smiling at Enzo like a love struck teenager. She asked Smacktalker Skywalker how he was doing before hurriedly taking her leave. What WWE has planned with this one is anyone's guess.
It's the angle we never thought we would see in WWE. Matt Hardy is Broken - sorry Woken - under the watchful eye of Vince McMahon. Not only that but if his first promo as Woken Matt Hardy is anything to go by then WWE are letting the veteran go all in on the character. Hardy's promo detailed to those fans who didn't already know exactly what Woken Matt is all about. That his body is merely a vessel and that he has in fact existed for thousands of years. It's all very strange but it's what made the character so great in TNA and clearly he is being allowed to run with it. What's more is Woken Hardy's first feud is against Bray Wyatt. It may not be The Broken Hardys versus The Wyatt Family, but judging by their exchange on Monday night it'll still be pretty entertaining.
Monday night's main event came in the form of a Tag Team Championship match. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose got the title rematch they were owed following their loss to The Bar before Survivor Series. In actual fact they sort of got two title matches. The first one came to an end when Sheamus lost his cool and wouldn't stop putting the boots to Seth Rollins, even though The Celtic Warrior wasn't the legal man. That got him and Cesaro disqualified but it meant they kept their championships. Not a good enough note for Raw to end on in Kurt Angle's eyes. The Raw GM restarted the match and made it no disqualification. Just as Rollins and Ambrose looked to have things sewn up, enter Samoa Joe. Clearly The Destroyer now has beef with all of The Shield and Roman Reigns coming to the rescue was too little too late. Joe's interference proved enough for The Bar to regain the advantage and successfully defend the Raw Tag Team Championships.
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