Raw general manager Kurt Angle has wasted no time getting fans excited for the new year. On Friday night, the Olympic gold medalist and Hall of Famer announced a major match on the upcoming episode of Monday Night Raw:
Samoa Joe will get a rematch with Roman Reigns, who was disqualified in this week's match after a vicious attack that brought on a $5,000 fine from the WWE. Reigns attacked Joe with the steel steps and a chair, but got to retain his championship since he only lost by DQ.
The feud between Reigns and Samoa Joe dates back to earlier in the year. Their rivalry has been on-and-off, but the creative team has had to make multiple changes with the likes of Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt and most recently Dean Ambrose sidelined due to injuries.
Their feud started up again once Joe and The Bar started feuding with Ambrose and Seth Rollins, Reigns' Shield counterparts. Ambrose suffered a legitimate elbow injury that will sideline him for nine months, so Reigns and Joe could earn much of the main event status for most of 2018.
Reigns first won the Intercontinental Championship on the Nov. 20 episode of Monday Night Raw, ending The Miz's 169-day reign. With the win, Reigns became part of the exclusive Grand Slam Champion club, winning every title in the WWE.
As the creative team continues to push Reigns as the face of the company, Samoa Joe has been an excellent partner to go up against him. Both are extremely gifted in-ring talents, and their matches have been among the best in 2017.
Though he's only been the champion for slightly over a month, Reigns has already defended the Intercontinental Title five times. We'll see if he fails to successfully defend it on Monday, and if Samoa Joe can win his first title on the main roster.