What better way to kick off the new year than with a brand new episode of Raw? As we learned on Christmas Day the WWE machine stops for no holiday. Thankfully there were no obvious signs of New Year's Eve hangovers, aside from Enzo Amore being absent with the flu although that may very well be mere coincidence we're sure. Anyway, here are the five biggest moments from the very first Raw of 2018.
5. Jason Jordan Does It Again
It feels like there are a few things missing when it comes to WWE turning Jason Jordan into the complete package that they want him to be. One of those things is not his in-ring ability. Since arriving on Raw the former American Alpha member has more than held his own with some of the best Superstars WWE's flagship show has to offer. What Kurt Angle's storyline son did need however was a finishing manoeuvre, and he most definitely has one now. Jordan used the Angle Slam/neckbreaker hybrid to win the Tag Team Titles for himself and Seth Rollins last week, and it got another outing this past Monday, this time to defeat Cesaro in singles competition.
4. Goldie's Still Got It
The main appeal of 205 Live and the cruiserweight division is the incredible moves and high flying acrobatics you're likely going to get treated to during their matches. The competitors are lighter and more athletic and it just comes with the territory. Well on Raw this week, Cedric Alexander needed a partner in order to take on Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari, but it wasn't exactly someone who fits the cruiserweight bill. Instead pro wrestling veteran Goldust answered the call. The long-tenured Superstar did his very best impression of a cruiserweight during the matchup though. In what was the highlight of the match, The Bizarre One performed a diving cross body onto his opponents, taking the both of them out and beginning the momentum that would earn he and Alexander the win.
3. Samoa Joe's Suicide Dive
The present day pro wrestling business often comes under fire for Superstars using too many unnecessary high flying moves. One of the most overused of these high flying moves is the suicide dive. It hardly seems like a match goes by nowadays without one or more of the competitors performing the often scary looking dive between the ropes. Ninety percent of the time it's exactly the kind of Superstar you would expect to be performing the move. Every now and again though some of the bigger, more agile wrestlers give it a go. Samoa Joe is one of those men. The Destroyer may not have been successful in his attempts to become Intercontinental Champion this week, but he certainly gave it a good go. Midway through the match Joe connected with his heavy set suicide dive, a move that Michael Cole astutely compares to being hit by a Boeing 747.
2. Powerslam After Powerslam After Powerslam
Ask, and you shall receive, @WWEUniverse!#RunningPowerslam #RunningPowerslam #RunningPowerslam #RunningPowerslam #RunningPowerslam #RunningPowerslam #RunningPowerslam #RunningPowerslam #RunningPowerslam#RAW @BraunStrowman pic.twitter.com/r5qGCK8vmn— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) January 2, 2018
Kurt Angle wants Heath Slater and Rhyno to prove themselves and up their game. Well they might want to consider doing it against Superstars who are a little smaller and a little less terrifying. Last week Slater found himself suffering a beating at the hands of Kane and this week both he and Rhyno were at the mercy of Braun Strowman. Slater wasn't even supposed to be in the match but his constant jumping up onto the apron basically forced The Monster Among Men to invite him in. Strowman still won the match of course, but clearly there was some time to fill as the former Wyatt delivered a litany of his signature Running Powerslams to both men. Such a simple but effective move for a man of Strowman's size.
1. An Ineffective Chokeslam
It may seem a little crazy to have what was basically a move that got shrugged off by the Superstar that received it at the top of the list this week, but it did make for a great moment in what was an otherwise pretty terrible closing segment. We had been promised Brock Lesnar throughout the evening and when WWE saved him until last it was safe to assume that there would likely be some sort of altercation. That did indeed happen as Kane came to the ring to get revenge for that F5 he received a couple of weeks ago. Trouble is before Kane could even get out of the ring Lesnar had sat back up, just like The Big Red Machine has been doing for the past 20 years. What's more is the Universal Champion laughed out loud as he did it. Clearly it'll take more than just the one chokeslam to keep The Beast down at the Royal Rumble.