Raw on Christmas Day last week subsequently meant Raw on New Year's Day this past Monday. While it's not the start of a new season for WWE when one year turns into another, it always sort of feels that way. Mostly because it's finally January and the build to the Royal Rumble can begin. Well for the first time ever in 2018 there will be two of the over the top epics in one night, and thankfully this week's Raw started off with an announcement about just that.
5. The Women's Rumble Will Have 30 Participants
It's truly a #RumbleForAll at this year's @WWE #RoyalRumble for both the men AND women...— WWE (@WWE) January 2, 2018
- 30 Superstars
- Eliminations occur when a Superstar is thrown over the top rope & both feet touch the floor
- Winner earns title match at @WrestleMania#RAW pic.twitter.com/I2iViayCqa
Ever since Stephanie McMahon announced that there will be an all female Royal Rumble match this year, fans have been speculating about how exactly it would pan out. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle went about clearing up a little of that this past Monday. The Olympic gold medalist began by clarifying that the match will follow the exact same rule set as the men's match. The more interesting point was confirmation that the women's match will feature 30 competitors. The rumor was that this would indeed be the case, but the problem with that is there are only 19 women between both brands right now who would be eligible to enter the match. So who will be filling those other eleven spots?
4. The Jason Jordan Push Is Gaining Momentum
On the Christmas Day edition of Monday Night Raw the show came to an end with Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins defeating The Bar for the show's Tag Team Championships. Well the final act of Raw in 2017 fed right in to the first of 2018 as the show opened with a match between new Tag Team Champion Jordan and one half of his defeated opponents last week, Cesaro. Rollins stood at ring side to ensure that The Swiss Cyborg and Sheamus couldn't take advantage via the numbers game and it's a good job that he did. The Architect wound up having to run interference, and after a hard fought battle Jordan managed to finish off Cesaro with the same move that won him and Rollins the Tag Team Titles last week.
3. The Champ Is Not Ready For Asuka
As well as announcing further details about the women's Royal Rumble match at the beginning of the evening on Raw this week, Kurt Angle also booked what he cited as being a WrestleMania caliber matchup. The Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss versus Asuka. It was a bout most fans probably thought they wouldn't see until New Orleans in a few months. We got it early though and it didn't disappoint. Luckily for Bliss on this night her championship was not on the line. Five Feet Of Fury did put up one hell of a fight though and there were times when you may have been fooled in to thinking that Asuka's undefeated streak was at risk. The Empress eventually won out though and forced Bliss to tap to her patented arm bar. Does that mean she gets a title shot now?
2. Roman Reigns Is Still Intercontinental Champion
The rivalry between Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe has been raging on in recent weeks and for the past couple of them The Big Dog has had to defend his Intercontinental Title against The Destroyer. In fact during the Christmas Day edition of Raw, Reigns only managed to retain because he lost his cool and got himself disqualified. That would not be happening this week. Reigns had to defend his title against Joe for a second consecutive week but this time if he got disqualified, the champ would lose the belt. There were a couple of moments where that looked like it might happen, but the three-time WWE Champion kept his cool. After escaping Joe's lethal Coquina Clutch, The Big Dog turned the tables and hit his opponent with a spear, keeping the IC Title over his shoulder in the process.
1. Kane Is No Match For Brock Lesnar
Midway through the evening on Raw this week Kane stopped Braun Strowman back stage, but not for the reason you might think. The Big Red Machine attempted to form an alliance with The Monster Among Men so that they could better take down Brock Lesnar, but Strowman was having none of it. That meant come the end of the night it was Kane and Kane alone who went out to try and prove a point against a visiting Lesnar. Things got off to a good start for The Devil's Favorite Demon as he planted Lesnar flat on his back via a chokeslam. The Beast Incarnate then turned the tables however by sitting up like Kane and The Undertaker have done for the past two decades or more just seconds later. The Beast then nailed Kane in the face with his Universal Title with such force that both men went flying over the top rope. It was at that point the majority of the locker room poured down the ramp to pry the two men apart.