The last two Raws before this week's edition of the red brand have been holiday shows. The first ever live Raw on Christmas Day took place and then a New Year's Day show seven days later. As entertaining as they were, it was nice to return to normal service, and truly begin the road to the Royal Rumble. There was a lot of build to said event thus there were a lot of big, hard hitting moments on Monday night's show. Here are the five that we deemed to be the very biggest from the three plus hours.
5. The Woken One Puts Hawkins To Sleep
Curt Hawkins is desperately trying to bring an end to his epic losing streak. The experienced Superstar has now lost over 150 matches in a row, so things aren't exactly going great. It was never very likely that his streak was going to come to an end against his opponent on Raw this past Monday night, Matt Hardy. In fact Hawkins didn't even come close. The Woken One tossed his opponent around like a rag doll. While the move that finished Hawkins off was the Twist of Fate, the nastiest looking move of the match was the suplex shown above. Hardy absolutely slams his opponent into the turnbuckle in a move that would likely knock anyone giddy.
4. Apollo's Apron Moonsault
Are you sick of The Bar being involved in the Tag Team Title scene yet? Well if not we have good news for you, they'll be getting another shot at the gold at Royal Rumble. It's looking highly likely that they won't be the only challengers though. This past week on Raw, Sheamus and Cesaro lost a match to Titus O'Neill and Apollo Crews. No offence to the European pairing but that's pretty embarrassing considering the respective teams' placing on the card. The events that led to the ending of the match were pretty impressive though. Crews dodged a Brogue Kick from Sheamus while standing on the apron by performing a moonsault from it on to an unsuspecting Cesaro. As the Irishman watched on in shock O' Neill rolled him up for the three count.
3. A Stiff Kick To Enzo Amore
Enzo Amore is over his illness and finally ready to defend his Cruiserweight Championship. Despite being a heel he didn't seem that bothered about it either. You'd have thought his on screen character might have hammed it up a little in an attempt to have his title defense postponed for another week. That didn't happen and if anything the champ will have garnered even more sympathy with the WWE Universe following Monday night's match. Although the buckled left leg count-out finish and ensuing back stage segment was all clearly a part of the show, the nasty cut above Amore's eyebrow was not. Alexander kicked his opponent in the head and seconds later the champ had blood pouring down his face. Nasty.
2. A Patented Triple Powerbomb
There have been times in WWE where it has felt like Vince McMahon has been obsessed with the majority of his Superstars being in factions. Right now it feels like we may be on the cusp of that again, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The main event of this week's Raw pitted the makeshift faction of Jason Jordan alongside Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins going up against the newly reformed Balor Club, formerly known as The Bullet Club of course. Balor Club picked up the win thanks to Jordan's misgivings, then another faction entered the fray. The Miz and his Miztourage came to pick the bones of the losers and left an indelible mark on The Big Dog in particular. All three men picked up Reigns so that they could give him The Shield's triple powerbomb. The worst kind of insult added to injury for the Intercontinental Champion.
1. Brock Lesnar: Lawn Dart
There are very few people on the planet that can manhandle Brock Lesnar. In fact you really need someone who can monster handle him, and Braun Strowman can do that. The Monster Among Men proved that at SummerSlam when he sent the Universal Champion from the arena on a stretcher. Well The Monster Among Men did that once again this past Monday night, except this time The Beast did not return. Lesnar and Kane were brawling backstage when Strowman took them by surprise and began to put the boots to both men. While the take home image from the back stage brawl was Strowman pulling the truss on top of his foes, what he did to Lesnar individually beforehand will last long in the memory. Raw's Resident Monster picked up The Beast Incarnate and launched him into the wall like he weighed nothing more than a few pounds. It was similar to what Kevin Nash famously did to Rey Mysterio in WCW 20 years ago, but it was to a man twice the luchador's size.