“We Waited 25 Years For This”  Raw Recap 1/22/2018

Raw this week is coming from both the Manhattan Center in New York City and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The show starts with Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross from the Manhattan Center, before throwing it over to the regular announce team in Brooklyn.

Thank you Swerves

Shane and Stephanie McMahon are already in the ring and thank the crowd in attendance, the fans watching at home, the superstars, and all the people in the back for 25 years. They throw it to a video showing some of RAWs most memorable moments. Back from the video, Stephanie mentions that if it wasn’t for one person, then none of them would be there.

With that, Vince McMahon is introduced. Vince soaked in the cheers as he made his way to the ring. Vince starts with tanking everyone and talking about how important everyone is. As Vince is leaving Stephanie mentions they have one more gift. They present Vince with a plaque which signals for Vince to switch to the Mr. McMahon character.

Welcome Back Mr. McMahon

Vince goes into straight promo mode call the plaque cheap just like Brooklyn. The insults continue until Vince is able to get the crowd to turn against him. As Vince says it was all him that created the company, the familiar glass breaking rings in the arena and the crowd goes through the roof as Stone Cold Steve Austin makes his way to the ring. Vince talks about being a senior citizen and then like a true heel offers up Shane who get stunned. A few minutes later, Austin stuns Vince also before celebrating in the ring without saying a word.

The tribute video was truly amazing. It highlighted just enough to remind you of some great moments without being too cheesy. Vince McMahon showed how easily he can turn the crowd against him. And the stunner let fans know how much nostalgia to expect.

Nia Jax, Absolution, Alicia Fox vs. Sasha, Bailey, Asuka, Mickie James

Before the match starts, Jax attacks Asuka which leads to a melee in the ring. After the match starts, Asuka dominated Deville for the beginning of the match. Asuka eventually makes way for Banks to come in. Banks gets some moved in against Nia Jax before she is able to get control. From there, the heels dominate most of the rest of the match. As Banks is about to come off the ropes, another melee starts outside the ring. Banks is able to hook in the Banks Statement on Fix for the win.

After the win during the celebration, Asuka tosses the other three faces over the top rope.

Winner: Asuka, Banks, Bailey & Mickie James

I think the match was set up only to get Asuka over at the end. Bailey and James never even got into the ring. No explanation as to why Jax and Fox suddenly were willing to team up with Absolution.

That allot of people in the office

Jonathon Coachman is meeting with Angle in his office talking about all the familiar faces before we are exposed to Brooklyn Brawler, Harvey Wippleman, Teddy Long, Brother Love, and finally, the Boogey Man all coming in.

Not done yet.

Back in the Manhattan Center, Lawler and Jim Ross intro a video package featuring The Undertaker. After the video tribute, The Undertaker makes his way to the ring. Undertaker says for the last 25 years he has been digging holes and burying opponents. As he ends, he suggests that all those who have fought him before it is time for them to rest in peace.

The entire promo felt as if this was the end of the line for the Undertaker. He did not say that he would be in the Rumble, but it seemed as if he was coming back for more matches. I thought maybe they didn’t have the ability to lower the lights for his entrance, but they did so later, so I am not sure why they did not do it here.

But He has Kids

Backstage, Heath Slater is losing big to the APA is cards. A wad of money hits the table as the camera pans to reveal The Million Dollar Man wants to be dealt in.

The Miz vs. Roman Reigns

Reigns starts off by showing off his strength and pushes the Miz towards the corner. Reigns dominates the match early including fighting off distractions from the Miztourage. Eventually, Miz is able to take advantage of the distractions and runs Reigns into the ring stairs. The advantage continued to go back and forth as each wrestler got in a good amount of offense. Several near falls for each of the wrestlers leads to the Miztourage to try and help. As the ref attempts to remove the Miztourage from ringside, The Miz dropped Reigns into an exposed turnbuckle for the win.

Winner: The Miz

With possible legal problems on the horizon, it makes sense to get the belt of Reigns now. Even if his name had not been mentioned in a drug case, it makes sense to give the title back to The Miz. He is over as a heel and has been amazing on the mic.

It’s Time for the Peep Show

Backstage the game continues with Jeff Hardy, The Usos, and MVP all joining the game.

In the ring, Christian is set up for a special edition of The Peep Show. Christian mentions that he knows something about tag teams since he is a nine-time champion. Christian brings out Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan to the show. Jordan interrupts Rollins and gets booed and booed every time he tries to talk after that. The crowds disdain for Jordan finally get interrupted by The Bar coming out to the ring. Sheamus and Cesaro have the crowd fully behind them as they lead a “You Suck” chant against Jordan. As the fight picks up, Rollins accidentally knees Jordan in the shoulder.

The segment set up some tension between Rollins and Jordan. Jordan is hated by the crowd nearly as much as Cena is.

A Clash of Champions

As Alexia Bliss is being interviewed backstage, Charlotte comes in and starts insulting Bliss. Charlotte says, to be the woman you have to beat the woman. Ric Flair comes out to agree and say Charlotte will be the champ until she doesn’t want to be. WOOOOO.

Bray Wyatt vs. Woken Matt Hardy

The two go right at each other with Wyatt trying to hit Sister Abigail right away. After lots of back and forth, Matt Hardy hits the side slam and tries to go for the Twist of Fate. Wyatt is able to reverse the move and turn it into the Sister Abigail for the win.

Winner: Wyatt

I have no idea why this match was given away tonight with no buildup. The crowd was dead for the entire match. I am not sure if this was the blow-off to the feud. But either way, it is obvious that Woken Matt Hardy is not getting over.

Elias is on The List

As Elias made his way out to the ring, he ran into Chris Jericho. Jericho sang a little song about not wanting to walk with Elias, and how he is a stupid idiot who just made the list

Elias makes he way out to the ring where he wrote a song about all the celebrities who were at Raw tonight. He threatens to leave twice before introducing Jimmy Fallon in the front row. Elias runs down all the former wrestlers before mentioning John Cena. The insult, of course, leads to Cena coming out to the ring. Elias tells Cena he ruined his moment and Cena him to do something about it. After a back and forth, Cena tried to hit the Attitude Adjuster. Elias slips out and takes Cena down before grabbing his guitar and hitting Cena with it.

This was huge for Elias. Hopefully, it leads to somewhere. Amazing that Jericho actually got away with wearing an Alpha Club shirt

Titus Worldwide vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno

After a disagreement during the poker match in the back, this match was set up. Cruz hits a couple of big moves before putting Slater into a suplex that he held for about three minutes. Back from break, the match has completely broken down. The Ref calls for the end of the match which brings out The Dudley Boyz. The others throw Slater into the ring. The Dudleyz hit the Whatz Up and the 3D into a table.

Winner: No contest

Hopefully, this was a one-off, and we aren’t forced into another Dudley Boyz run.

Degeneration X and The Bad Guy

Triple H and Shawn Michaels come out with glow sticks in hand and dancing around the ring. Triple H mentions that they were the last twenty-five years and will lead the next Twenty-Five. Of course, they didn’t come alone. Out comes The New Age Outlaws, and X-Pac. After running through the catchphrases, X-Pac mentions you can not have a reunion without Scott Hall. Hall comes out mentions the show is too sweet which brings out The Balor Club.

Gallows & Anderson vs. The Revival.

The Revival attacked Gallows and Anderson to get the advantage early. The revival continued to hit high impact moves and work over Anderson. Anderson was able to hit the leg lariat and hit the hot tag. Gallows comes in and works over both member of the Revival and hit the double neck breaker for the win.

After the match, everyone hits their finishing moves on members of the Revival with Balor coming off the top rope for the explanation point.

Winner: Gallows and Anderson

Once again, I have not idea why this match was given away on TV with no buildup. The Revival looked good last week. All of that was lost with this joke match. It is good to see Gallows and Anderson getting something going however.

The Championship Meet-Up

Braun Strowman came out first followed by Kane. Superstars kept the two men separated until Lesner came down. Lesner takes down Strowman and F5’s Kane. Strowman came into the ring and knocked Lenser out of the ring, tossing him into the Ringside barrier. Strowman clears the announce table and slams Lesner through the table to end the show.

I just can’t, just can’t. It made absolutely no sense to end the show like they did. No reason that these guys should have been in the ring together before The Rumble. Just a poor choice overall.

So, for the whole show, there were four matches. I understand wanting to celebrate the 25th year of Raw but perhaps a date that isn’t the last show before a major PPV.

Gregory Brothers
Ohio born and raised. Avid comicbook fan who is always trying to find time to get through my ever growing read pile. When not working on that I Teach, coach youth sports, and cheer on my hometown Cincinnati teams, and Buckeyes. Can also be heard talking comics and pop-culture on The Comics Agenda Podcast.

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