Elias def. Bobby Lashley (Miracle on 34th Street Fight)
What Happened: For weeks on end, Elias has dealt with Bobby Lashley pretty well, only to have Lio Rush come behind and help ruin his fun. Tonight, WWE’s Sinister Songsmith looked to silence the former ECW Champion once and for all in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight. Elias had the match well in hand, that is until Lio Rush got involved again. From there, the Almighty dominated, but a present that he had opened quickly turned into coal when Elias dropped his foe onto a pile of Lego bricks. After taking some time to send the 24-year-old hype man through a cookie-laden table, the Drifter cracked a cello over Lashley’s back to put him away for good.
Analysis: Nothing like a good old Street Fight to kick off the Christmas Eve edition of Monday Night RAW. With new matchups promised for 2019, this should mark the end of this feud.
Chad Gable & Bobby Roode (c) def. The Revival (RAW Tag Team Championships)
What Happened: There may be a new era dawning in WWE, but Chad Gable and Bobby Roode are still the RAW Tag Team Champions, albeit with a bit of controversy. The Revival were hellbent on winning the RAW Tag Team Championships after finally earning an opportunity in a Fatal 4-Way match last week. Going back to their old methodology isolate and destroy, Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson brawled back and forth with the champions. So exactly why is the champions’ victory in question? In the closing moments, Roode ambushed Dawson to save Gable, who in turn pinned Wilder. The only issue was that Dawson was the legal man, not Dash. So Gable and Roode retain the title, but Dash and Dawson have a legitimate gripe.
Analysis: Okay, okay. A bit of controversy between two fan favorite tag teams on RAW. There’s bound to be a rematch next week, but perhaps the beginnings of a legitimate rivalry in the tag team division.
Finn Balor def. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler (Triple Threat Match)
What Happened: In recent weeks, Dolph Ziggler and Finn Balor have come to an agreement that neither on of them like Drew McInytre. But that hasn’t stopped them for tearing into each other, a fact that McIntyre took advantage of to lay waste to both men last week. Tonight, the three men looked to finally settle their differences in a Triple Threat Match. For the Showoff and the Extraordinary Man, they had no problem doing that, going right after the Scottish Psychopath. With McIntyre out of the running for much of the match, Balor and Ziggler ripped into each other without mercy. But once, McIntyre recovered, the alliance was back on as a superkick-Coup de Grace combination put down the Scotsman for good. From there, the inaugural Universal Champion was the first to capitalize with a second Coup de Grace to Ziggler to escape with the win. After the bell, McIntyre went after Ziggler, who responded with a Zig Zag.
Analysis: So, Balor is supposed to get a huge push, but McIntyre is the clear favorite to win the Royal Rumble match. I have a feeling that one of those is going to give in the long run.
Mr. McMahon makes more bombshell announcements
What Happened: As promised last week, the changes to RAW and Smackdown Live are only getting started. As a holiday present to the WWE Universe, Mr. McMahon made three huge announcements. First, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre will face off inside a Steel Cage next week. Second, 16-time champion John Cena will be returning to both RAW and Smackdown as a free agent. And finally, you wanted it, you got it. Coming in 2019, there will be new WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
Analysis: Right around Evolution, Stephanie McMahon said WWE wasn’t ready for women’s tag team titles. Exactly what changed between, then and now, I don’t know, but hey, we’re finally getting the titles. As far as John Cena is concerned, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be here from the Royal Rumble to Wrestlemania and then be gone again.
Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Ember Moon def. Alicia Fox, Dana Brooke, and Mickie James
What Happened: With the promise of Women’s Tag Team Championships, the women of RAW looked to get a jumpstart on getting their bid for the titles in six-women tag team action. Alicia Fox and Mickie James put their veteran status on display and Dana Brooke continued to hone her aggression. On the other side, Ember Moon reminded everyone of her superior athleticism and Sasha Banks and Bayley were the epitome of teamwork, putting James away with a combination of a Backstabber and Bayley-to-Belly. After the bell though, the Riott Squad made their presence known, taking out Banks, Bayley, and Moon.
Analysis: I get the bad scent of monotony brewing. It seems as though RAW is going to use the creation of women’s tag titles as an excuse to go back to repetitious six-women tag team matches.
Ronda Rousey (c) def. Natalya (RAW Women’s Championship)
What Happened: A meeting that was set to happen last month, Natalya faced her best friend and training partner Ronda Rousey for the RAW Women’s Championship. Natalya, who won an eight-women Gauntlet to earn the opportunity, took advantage of Rousey’s hesitation to fully engage. The Rowdy One defended when necessary, but never bring herself to fully commit to a gameplan until she found herself caught in the Sharpshooter, at which point she quickly fought out the hold and applied the Armbar to save her championship.
Analysis: I don’t know if this was planned by WWE or is a part of Rousey’s relative naivety, but I don’t like how this match went down. I feel like we were robbed of an opportunity to see an excellent match in the RAW women’s division.
Heath Slater def. Jinder Mahal via Disqualification; Rhyno returns to RAW
What Happened: With the ousting of Baron Corbin last night, Heath Slater got his job back as a RAW Superstar and got back an old friend. In his first assignment as a reinstated competitor, the One Man Band took on his former 3MB teammate Jinder Mahal. The Modern Day Maharaja had things in control, but got distracted when Santa Claus showed up and started giving out presents to the crowd. Slater took advantage, but was quickly ambushed by the Singh Brothers. Old Saint Nick quickly made his way to the ring and assisted Slater in fighting back, spearing Mahal before revealing himself to be none other than Rhyno, who was apparently rehired when Corbin was stripped of power.
Analysis: This was a pretty fun way bringing Rhyno back. Rhyno is an ECW and WWE legend, so the level of disrespect in having Rhyno retire due to Corbin would be unforgivable.
Seth Rollins def. Baron Corbin
What Happened: In case you didn’t know, Baron Corbin blames his firing as RAW GM solely on Seth Rollins. Tonight, he looked to make the Kingslayer pay for it. Long story short, he failed. To his credit, the Lone Wolf showed very little ring rust from his administrative duties, but Rollins was also looking for a bit of peace of mind after his recent battles with Dean Ambrose. So before he knew it, Corbin found himself Stomped into the canvas to continue his horrible end to 2018.
Analysis: We get the point that Corbin is going back to the swamp. Can we please move on now? Thank you very much.
Segment of the Night
Simply because Elias has grown on me all year, my Segment of the Night goes to the Miracle on 34th Street Fight.