Considering the way Raw came to a close last week there were some scores that needed settling on Monday's edition of WWE's flagship show. Not only did The Bar manage to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships against Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose in last week's main event, but Samoa Joe helped them achieve that feat. Add to that the fact that The Destroyer is currently obsessed with Roman Reigns and you have a recipe for a running theme throughout Raw. Add to that a huge (literally) match to decide the next challenger to Brock Lesnar's Universal Championship and all of a sudden this Raw was can't miss, but what exactly did we take away from Monday night's show?
5. Absolution May Have Met Their Match
Paige returned to in-ring action for the first time in over a year last week with a victory over Sasha Banks. This week she made it two in a row when she teamed up with Mandy Rose as the Absolution pair laid waste to Mickie James and Bayley. That was all well and good, but later in the evening the trio may have realized that they have bitten off more than they can chew. Paige and co finally decided to attack Asuka after two weeks of teasing it but what they didn't anticipate was the rest of the Raw women's roster coming to The Empress' aid. It's all well and good picking off stars one by one but eventually they'll want revenge, and on Monday the decided to seek it out on mass.
4. WWE Need To Tread Carefully With Woken Matt
"The soul of Sister Abigail has existed for eternities...And now, her HORRENDOUS soul is the prominent passenger of the vessel known as @WWEBrayWyatt!" - @MATTHARDYBRAND #RAW pic.twitter.com/theeEvIALy— WWE (@WWE) December 12, 2017
For the second week in a row Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy didn't come to the ring, but they did go back and forth in a promo battle from their respective unknown locations. The war of words between the two wasn't as good as it was seven days ago, but to be fair to them both and WWE, the surprise of Matt cutting off Bray last week was always going to be hard to top. What all parties involved do need to be wary of is the production quality of everything involving Matt. This week it felt a little over-produced, and that simply cannot happen going forward if WWE wants this angle to work.
3. Sheamus Bumped A Lot For A Guy With Spinal Stenosis
There have been rumors circulating for the past few days that Sheamus is currently suffering from spinal stenosis, the same injury that brought a premature end to Edge and Stone Cold's careers. He apparently was even being protected from aggravating it during his matches in Abu Dhabi over the weekend. Well there was very little sign that The Celtic Warrior was suffering from an injury this past Monday night. Sheamus went one on one with Seth Rollins in a lengthy match during which he took an awful lot of bumps. The Raw Tag Team Champion may not have won the match but he certainly didn't seem to be hindered by anything going on with his back.
2. Jason Jordan Has A Death Wish
The third of the three matches involving Shield members came in the form of Dean Ambrose versus Samoa Joe. As the match got underway Jason Jordan appeared in the entrance way and sat on a steel chair, mimicking what Joe had done during his match against Roman last week. Jordan had previously been backstage questioning why Kurt Angle hadn't pitted him against Joe and was clearly quite peeved at being passed over. Later on in the match Jordan slowly made his way to the ring and got a little too involved. Luckily for him a suicide dive from Dean freed him from Joe's coquina clutch. Jason didn't repay the favor though and effectively cost The Lunatic the match. Ambrose had Joe covered for three but Jason had the referee distracted. Shortly after it was Dean's turn to be placed in the coquina clutch and after he passed out Joe was declared the winner.
1. Brock Lesnar Still Doesn't Know When He'll Be Working Next
It was probably assumed by most that their match on Raw this week would be the one that brought the curtain down on the long running rivalry between Braun Strowman and Kane. Well judging by how the match finished, that's probably not going to be the case. Rather than one man winning the bout and earning a shot at Brock Lesnar's Universal Title, the two monsters fought outside the ring and the match ended in a double count-out. Naturally that didn't stop the two of them relentlessly trying to destroy each other as the pair of them used whatever they could get their hands on in order to dole out some damage to one another. Despite a spirited effort from Kane, it was Braun who was standing tall come the end of the show after powerslamming The Big Red Machine through a table. That alone won't be enough to earn him that title shot though.