KELLER’S MONDAY NIGHT RAW REPORT
AIRED DECEMBER 24, 2018
TAPED DEC. 17 IN SACRAMENTO, CALIF.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
-They opened with a “Night Before Christmas” opening with the words changed to apply to the backstory of the scheduled matches: Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin, Ronda Rousey vs. Natalya, Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre, Elias vs. Bobby Lashley.
-The announcers introduced the show.
-Elias sat mid-ring with a Santa hat on. He played his guitar. He asked who wants to walk with him. Fans cheered and chanted for him. He asked people to silence their cell phones and let his music fill their soul.
Children can be so annoying
Especially this time of year
But nothing is more annoying than Lio Rush
Especially when he’s pointing at Lashley’s rear
Under the mistletoe
Beautiful women Elias will be kissing
But my Christmas list is Bobby Lashley goes missing
It’s Christmas with Elias
Blessings to all of you
When times get tough
Ask yourself what would Elias do
I hope the New Year
Brings you all good luck
But if it doesn’t, just remember
You could be Bobby Lashley
And Bobby Lashley sucks
Bobby Lashley sucks
Bobby Lashley sucks
(1) BOBBY LASHLEY (w/Lio Rush) vs. ELIAS – Miracle on 34th Street match
They had Christmas props at ringside including cookies, egg nod, Christmas trees, and gift boxes. Elias used a tree as a weapon against Lashley. The announcers went into the announcing mode where they’re talking to the family members over for the holidays who don’t usually watch, speaking in broad character strokes than the nuances of the feuds. Elias beat up Lashley with the Christmas props. He pulled out a Christmas cane (kendo stick with red stripes). A Rush distraction gave Lashley the opening to bash Elias into the ringside steps. They cut to a break. [c]
Lashley dumped out a pile of Legos in the ring. Graves said stepping on a Lego hurts enough, so imagine being slammed on them. Lashley set up Elias for a superplex. Renee said it should be illegal. The Legos were nowhere near where Elias would land on a superplex, way too close to the corner so even if the superplex was pulled off, Lashley would land there, not Elias. But, of course, Elias fought back and knocked Lashley onto the Legos. “Oh the humanity!” exclaimed Cole. Three Legos were stuck to his back. Elias sprayed Lashley with a fire extinguisher. They cut to crowd responses more than usual, letting casual viewers at home know how they’re supposed to feel and react to these amusing exchanges.
Elias produced a green bowling ball at ringside. He brought it into the ring and aimed at Lashley’s legs, which were spread apart. Elias bowled the ball into Lashley’s balls. Renee: “No love on Christmas.” Elias then pulled out a cello. He bashed Lashley with it and then scored the three count. Cole called the Miracle on 34th Street a holiday tradition in WWE.
After the match Elias shoved Christmas cookies in Rush’s mouth and then moved his jaw to chew them. Then he poured a bowl of egg nog on him.
WINNER: Elias in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: They could have done more to establish why Rush and Lashley deserved what Elias was dishing out, since this seemed to be aimed as a more casual audience than usual. The crowd seemed to eat this up.)
-Cole threw to a video package showing highlights of the McMahon Clan last week announcing changes for Raw. [c]
-Heath Slater stood in front of a fireplace. He said he has kids, so Christmas can get expensive at his home, but all his kids want is for his best friend, Uncle Rhyno, to get his job back. Slater said that’s his wish, too. Cole said viewers can see more Christmas wishes from WWE wrestlers on WWE.com.
(2) BOBBY ROODE & CHAD GABLE vs. THE REVIVAL – WWE Raw Tag Team Title match
Renee said this could go down as one of the more influential tag team matches in a long time. (What does that mean?) Graves said The Revival feel they’ve been on a bad luck streak since arriving to Raw, and that could end with this opportunity tonight. Graves explained Revival’s wrestling style and personalities as if many were watching them for the first time. Cole touted the partnership between “youngster” Gable and “veteran” Roode. Revival snapped Gable throat-first over the top rope as the ref tried to get Roode out of the ring when he was trying to counter double-teaming. They cut to a break after a two count. [c]
The heels strategically kept Gable from tagging in Roode. Eventually Gable made the tag. The tired crowd didn’t pop as Revival fed Roode their bodies to be slammed around for a minute. Roode flipped Dash onto Dawson and then speared Dash in the corner. He clotheslined Dawson over the top rope and then gave Dash a spinebuster for a near fall. Revival blind-tagged in and then double-teamed Gable with a cool pinning sequence, but Roode broke up the pin. Revival went for another double-team move, but Roode intervened, then Gable small package Dawson for the win.
WINNERS: Roode & Gable in 13:00 to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Titles.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good solid tag match. The formula you’d expect with these two teams, but well executed start to finish.)
-Renee plugged Seth vs. Corbin.
-Backstage B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) sang a “12 Days of Christmas” spin-off as they pitched Apollo Crews give their B-Team t-shirt to his kids. Crews said he’s already done his Christmas shopping, but thanked them anyway. They went back to singing. [c]
-Lucha House Party chanted “Lu-cha” as they looked over a Christmas list.
-Curt Hawkins said he’d like a new hover board and a pet giraffe. Someone off camera gave him a look. He said truly what he’d like is to win a match.
-No Way Jose listed boots, sweats, jackets, polar bear repellant, and hot chocolate. He said he’d bring the entire WWE Universe all the way to the North Pole so he and the conga line can be sure that Santa has a great Christmas.
-Graves threw to a video package on the six wrestling from NXT coming soon.
-A selfie promo aired with Dolph Ziggler. He said he’s had quite a year, and he’s not sure if he’s been naughty or nice. He said for Christmas he deserves to have Shane McMahon hand him his Best in the World trophy. He said when he beats Balor and Drew, it will prove he’s just that damn good.
-Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring. [c]
-A vignette aired on the pending return of Kevin Owens.
-Charlie Caruso interviewed Drew in the ring. She asked if he was worried that Dolph and Balor might team up against him. He said a mountain lion doesn’t worry if two deer stand together in the wild, it smiles because it’s extra food. He said Balor and Ziggler should gang up on him, but it won’t make a difference because they are limited and he is limitless. He said he will beat Ziggler and Balor, will go on to win the Royal Rumble, and then he’ll fulfill his destiny by main eventing WrestleMania. “Bring them out!” he shouted. Cole said, “I wouldn’t bet against him.”
-Ziggler made his ring entrance. Then Balor.
(3) DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. FINN BALOR vs. DREW MCINTYRE
Balor and Ziggler gave each other a glance, then clotheslined Drew over the top rope to the floor. Ziggler rolled up Balor a second later for a two count. He dropped him with an uppercut and a standing dropkick for another two count. Cole said Dolph considered Drew his friend. Graves agreed they shared a bond. Drew, at ringside, reached in the ring and tripped Balor and yanked him to the floor and threw him into the barricade. Then he caught a charging Ziggler and slammed him on the edge of the ring. [c]
Back live Drew had Balor grounded with an armbar. Cole then “re-introduced” Drew to the casual fans watching the show, speaking about how during Drew’s first tour of WWE he wanted to get along, but on this second stint he’s his own man. Graves quoted “Fight Club” – “It’s only when you lose everything you are free to do anything.” Cole talked about Drew leaving to learn more about himself. Graves wondered what is going on in the mind of Ziggler. Cole talked about the McMahons saying this is a fresh chance and he wondered if that should worry Ziggler who’s been in WWE for a decade. Renee said Ziggler believes he’s the best at what he does. Graves said you can have the best matches, but you need to win. Renee said she can’t disagree with that.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s one of the best exchanges on WWE TV in years. Totally spot on what they should be saying on TV more often – winning is what the wrestlers are there to do, not show off or steal shows or “be great with a losing record.”)
Balor took down Drew and went for the Coup de Grace, but Drew moved and then Ziggler surprised Balor with a Zig Zag for a two count. Ziggler hit a Fameasser on Balor next, but Drew sidetracked him from making a cover. Drew then catapulted Ziggler onto Balor mid-ring with a splash. Drew made the cover on Balor, good for a two count. Balor made a comeback and climbed to the top rope again. Ziggler knocked him off balance. Then he superkicked Drew. Ziggler made the cover, but left Drew open to a Coup de Grace. Balor leaped with a stomp on Drew, then dropkicked Ziggler. Balor climbed to the top again, and then this time landed the double stomp for the three count.
WINNER: Balor in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s the “right” finish at this point, as Ziggler is back in his designated jobber who takes good bumps role, while Balor needed a win more than Drew at this point. It was a “feel good” win, too, for the holiday audience.)
-Afterward, Drew grabbed Ziggler and said he’s screwing everything up while he’s trying to save this place. He said there’s not enough room for the both of them. He slapped Ziggler as the ref yelled at him and threatened him with fines. Ziggler gave Drew a parting Zig Zag before leaving the ring. Ziggler’s music played because while he lost, he hit the last post-match move.
-A Tribute to the Troops video recap aired. They showed Baron Corbin, Ronda Rousey, Booker T, Alicia Fox, Mickie James, Braun Strowman, Paige, Triple H, Brian Kendrick, Alexa Bliss, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Christian, Ric Flair, The Usos, Finn Balor, Sheamus, Xavier Woods, Cesaro, Kurt Angle, The IIconics, Mojo Rawley, Naomi, Ember Moon, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Shelton Benjamin interacting with troops with some nice words by the wrestlers about the value of the troops and their respect for their sacrifices.
-Backstage B-Team kept singing “12 Days of Christmas,” but they lost their place at eight and had to start over. Bo was into it, whereas Curtis was frustrated. [c]
-Vince McMahon was dressed up as Santa Claus. He talked about having presents for boys and girls. He said John Cena is back on Raw and back on Smackdown. He announced they’d have Women’s Tag Team Titles. He said on New Year’s Eve there’d be a cage match between Ziggler and McIntyre. “Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas!” He then took off the fake beard and wig and said it’s hot. He asked if people saw the movie “Bad Santa” and then laughed.
(Keller’s Analysis: There was some news there.)
(4) EMBER MOON & SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY vs. MICKIE JAMES & DANA BROOKE & ALICIA FOX
Mickie James, Dana Brooke, and Alicia Fox skipped to the ring first. Then Sasha Banks, Ember Moon, and Bayley came out to their music one after another onto the stage, then headed to the ring together. A few minutes in Moon dove through the ropes and knocked Mickie hard into the ringside barricade. [c]
In the end, Banks hit a back stabber and then Bayley hit the Bayley-to-Belly for the three count on Mickie.
WINNERS: Bayley & Banks & Moon in 8:00.
-Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan jumped the babyface trio after the match, knocking them out at ringside. They gloated in the ring.
-They replayed Seth Rollins saying Raw ratings are at an all-time low because of Corbin along with other interactions with them to hype their match later. (I cannot believe they replayed that.) [c]
-Paul Heyman sang (poorly) “Silent Night” with altered lyrics about Brock Lesnar who “won’t get those hands.” He said Lesnar is their Christmas Grinch. He then went into regular Heyman voice. He took a dig at the locals and introduced himself to them. He said at the Royal Rumble, Lesnar will defend his Universal Title against Braun Strowman.
Heyman said he got into Strowman’s personnel file and apparently when Braun was seven years old, he prayed that Santa would bring him a “replica title.” (He means “championship,” for those raised on Vince McMahon Speak.) He said now Strowman wants the real deal, not a replica title, at the expense of Lesnar. He said there is no way Santa will deliver to Strowman the Universal Title at the expense of Lesnar. He said Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer won’t find him a path to the Universal Championship. He said all Braun is going to get from Santa is one big lump of coal. He was interrupted by Braun’s music. Heyman looked suddenly full of worry and regret.
Braun entered the ring. Renee said he has six weeks to get the elbow right. He walked up to Heyman who smiled and wished him Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. He said he is just Lesnar’s advocate. Strowman put Heyman in a red nose and reindeer antler hat. He said at the Rumble he will be healed up and Lesnar will “get these hands.” His music played. He threw down the mic. Heyman looked away. Strowman raised his arms and yelled.
-A recap aired of Natalya winning the Gauntlet and then hugging Rousey afterward.
-Caruso interviewed Natalya backstage about facing Rousey who is both a good friend and a training partner. Natalya said Rousey expects her best. She said she knows her better than anyone because she helped train her. Natalya said 2018 was a challenging year for her, but she is determined to end it with the Raw Championship. [c]
-Alexa Bliss said for Christmas she’s not asking Santa for anything because she’s perfect. She said she wants Santa to give Bayley a personality, Sasha some humility, Nattie is a lost cause, and Ronda some good make-up. “Merry Blissmas, everyone,” she concluded.
-Tyler Breeze said he wishes his best friend Dango a speedy recovery and a pair of Ariana Grande tickets. A producer said he only gets one thing. He thought briefly, then said, “I’ll take the tickets.”
(5) RONDA ROUSEY vs. NATALYA – WWE Raw Title match
After formal ring introductions by Jo Jo, Renee said Rousey looked nervous. Renee talked about Natalya growing up in pro wrestling while Ronda’s mom was a judo champion. Graves wondered if Natalya resents Rousey winning the championship so early while Natalya’s been working her entire life in pro wrestling. (They managed to have this conversation while avoiding actually saying “pro wrestling” at any point.) They wrestled like two babyfaces trying to out-leverage each other and outmaneuver each other for several minutes. Rousey scored a couple one counts. Graves talked about how smooth Ronda is and how she does little things that usually take years to master. At 5:00 Natalya went for a sharpshooter. Rousey kicked out hard and sent Natalya through the ropes to the floor. [c]
Natalya came back and applied a sleeper. Ronda escaped, but Natalya clotheslined her. Cole said Natalya’s body language is indicating she is feeling this could be her night. Natalya applied an abdominal stretch. Renee said Rousey looks emotionally defeated. Natalya grabbed Rousey’s leg, turning it into the Octopus that Sheik Adnon El Kaissey used in the AWA as his finisher in the early 1980s. Cole said Natalya is bringing it, while Rousey is holding back, “and I think that has been apparent throughout this match.” Natalya landed a suplex on Rousey and then made a cover for a soft two count. Rousey finally fired up and threw a barrage of punches at Natalya, then judo threw her and landed a leaping knee for a two count. It seemed to pain Rousey to hurt her friend and mentor. Rousey told Natalya to stay down. Natalya rolled up Rousey for a quick leverage two count. Then Natalya hit a discus clothesline for a two count.
Cole said Natalya taught Rousey everything she knew about “the sports entertainment industry” and Rousey hasn’t forgotten that. Renee said Rousey grew up watching WWE and she adores the Hart Family. Rousey took control and then signaled for the armbar finisher. She paused. Natalya countered and applied the Sharpshooter mid-ring. Natalya was smiling, anticipation victory. Cole said Natalya thinks this is her time and she’s going to make Rousey tap. Rousey spun out of it and then cranked on her armbar. Natalya tapped out. Rousey released almost before the tapout in a sign of respect once she knew Natalya was done. Rousey and Natalya hugged and shed some tears together afterward.
WINNER: Rousey in 15:00 to retain the Raw Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: I liked the story told there. Natalya wanted to believe Rousey was bringing her best, but the story told by Rousey’s expressions and the announcers was that Rousey was holding back until she couldn’t afford to hold back. It kept Natalya strong, but made it clear Rousey is a level above her. Rousey treated it straight forward like she would if it were a real competition, which is the right way to do it and not everyone from “outside pro wrestling” understands the importance of doing so and the lack of shame in going all in like that.)
-A backstage promo aired with Dean Ambrose saying he got the Christmas present he deserved – the Intercontinental Championship. He said Seth will have a lousy Christmas if he loses to Corbin tonight. [c]
-A vignette aired advertising Sami Zayn’s pending return.
(6) HEATH SLATER vs. JINDER MAHAL (w/The Singh Brothers)
When Graves said Slater’s poor kids are at home without their dad, Cole jumped in and said Slater is trying to earn a paycheck and make a living. Graves said he hopes Jinder puts Slater in his place tonight because Slater didn’t appreciate the opportunity to be a referee. Suddenly “Santa” showed up in the crowd tossing presents to fans. Jinder turned his back and yelled at Santa. Slater caught Jinder with a wheel kick and made the cover. The Singh Brothers attacked him for the DQ.
WINNER: Slater via DQ in 1:00.
-Santa entered the ring and fans chanted “Santa!” He beat up the Singh Brothers and Mahal. Slater helped him clear the ring. The announcers played dumb the entire time until the beard came down and Santa hit a Gore. He then revealed himself as Rhyno. “Rhyno’s back!” yelled Cole.
-Backstage B-Team were exhausted as they continued to try to get through “12 Days of Christmas” successfully. [c]
-They showed Vince McMahon as Santa making his announcements earlier. The announcers commented on the cage match next week between Drew and Ziggler, plus the return of Cena.
-They went to the announcers on camera who said the McMahon Family are now in charge of Raw and they are introducing new faces. A vignette aired on the five NXT acts arriving soon.
-Caruso interviewed Seth about facing Corbin and whether his mind is on Dean. Seth said tonight he is focused on putting an end to Corbin once and for all. He said Dean cannot take his reputation or his heart.
-Seth made his ring entrance. [c]
-Apollo Crews said for Christmas he needs a tank so he can flip it over like Big Show flipped over a Jeep and like Braun flipped over an ambulance, and then he’ll moonsault over it.
-Konnor of the Ascension said all they wish for is punishing their opponents. Viktor was sad they aren’t doing Secret Santa. Konnor said obviously he’d be his Secret Santa. Viktor excitedly said he knew it was him all along.
-Kurt Angle said Christmas came early when he made sure Corbin wouldn’t become permanent G.M. of Raw.
(7) SETH ROLLINS vs. BARON CORBIN
Seth landed an early dive through the ropes on Corbin at ringside. Renee said something has changed in Seth and you can see it in his eyes. Corbin took over briefly, but Seth threw him out of the ring again and landed another dive. Graves said Seth is still reeling from Dean outshining Seth and calling his IC Title victory ahead of time. Cole said he seems more focused then he’s ever seen him before. Corbin knocked Seth off the top rope and punched him on the way down. [c]
Corbin was in control after the break. He methodically beat down Seth as Graves talked about how much Corbin loved being G.M. and was counting on being in that position permanently. Cole said of course he loved it because he got to do whatever he wanted to do. Seth caught a charging Corbin with a boot and took over with a flurry of offense. Corbin avoided a Seth attempt at a Stomp and hit a Deep Six out of nowhere for a two count. Corbin yelled out in frustration. Corbin lifted Seth onto the top rope and set up a superplex. Seth punched out of it. Seth kicked Corbin and springboarded toward Corbin, but Corbin caught him mid-air with a chokeslam backbreaker for a near fall. Corbin yelled at the ref for a slow count. Seth countered End of Days with a small package for a near fall. Seth superkicked a kneeling Corbin next and then hit the Stomp for the win.
WINNER: Rollins in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: They gave Corbin a lot offense and credible ring time with Seth, continuing the statement that they consider Corbin more than an expendable G.M. who had his time in the spotlight but is going to be phased out. Instead, despite losing clean, he was treated as being in Seth’s league. The match itself was rudimentary and passable, but still something short of dramatic because Corbin isn’t perceived as actually having a shot to beat Seth, plus Corbin just isn’t the worker that most of Seth’s top tier opponents are. Corbin didn’t look totally out of place, though, so he’s making some progress in that regard.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: It was refreshing to watch a Raw that wasn’t centered around a G.M. or a segment with McMahons in blended meta territory. If you can tolerate the holiday-themed humor, most of which was harmless relative to some of the Thanksgiving and Halloween nonsense they do each year, this had enough good wrestling to fill three hours with solid in-ring content and less talking than usual.
Below is the report from our on-site correspondent with the results of tonight’s episode of Raw which was taped after the Dec. 17 episode of Raw in Sacramento, Calif.
MONDAY NIGHT RAW TAPING REPORT
DECEMBER 24, 2018
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. AT GOLDEN 1 CENTER
REPORT BY TED, PWTORCH VIP MEMBER
About 20 percent of the audience left after the live Raw ended. The second Raw began about four minutes after the first Raw ended.
It began with Elias in the ring playing his guitar, wearing a Santa hat. He promised an “original Elias Christmas song.” He sang for a few minutes, with the primary chorus being “Bobby Lashley sucks.” The crowd was into Elias’s singing.
He was interrupted by Lashley’s entrance music.
(1) Elias vs. Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) in a Miracle on 34th Street fight. The ring was surrounded by Christmas trees, Christmas presents, and (of course) two tables with plates of food. Lashley started the match using a Christmas tree as a weapon on Elias. Lio Rush tried to interfere by doing a top rope splash on Elias, but Elias raised his knees to block Lio. On the outside Lashley lined up presents into a neat row so he could body slammed Elias into the presents. Lio Rush handed Lashley a big present box. Lashley opened it and emptied a large amount of Legos into the ring as if they were tacks. The crowd erupted into a “We want Legos” chant. Elias reversed Lashley and dumped him onto the Legos. Elias later dumped Lio Rush off the ring onto one of the food tables, breaking the table and getting Lio covered in food. Elias sprayed Lashley with a fire extinguisher. Then Elias got a bowling ball and hit Lashley flush with the bowling ball for a 7-10 split. Elias then got a Cello out of a present box and hit Lashley with it across Lashley’s back for the win at 10:30.
(2) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs. The Revival for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Roode and Gable were introduced first. The Revival isolated Gable for the first five minutes. Gable and Roode retained in 7:30 after a few rapid near falls from both teams. Very good TV match.
(3) Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler in a triple threat match. Drew came out first and was interviewed in the ring by Charley Caruso before the other introductions. Drew predicted he would be in the Main Event of WrestleMania during a brief, intense promo. Lots of one-on-one action where the wrestlers took turns recovering on the outside while the other two fighters fought. The crowd was cheering hard for Finn against Drew at 8:00. Finn Balor beat Dolph with the Coup de Grace at 8:45 for big cheers. Drew then got in Dolph’s face about the loss, but Dolph reversed the situation and attacked Drew and got to exit to his own music.
(4) Mickie James & Dana Brooke & Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks & Ember Moon & Bayley. The Heels all came out to Mickie James’ music. The Face team got to enter one at a time to their own music. The biggest cheers for either side were for the Bayley Buddies. All six of the women had changed into different wrestling gear since their match taped earlier in the night. Bayley pinned Mickie with a Bayley to Belly at 5:30. After the match the Riott Squad came out and cleared the Face team from the ring, and then left without attacking any of the six wrestlers at ringside.
Paul Heyman entered while an XFL Commercial aired, so he will likely be in the ring coming back from a commercial. His mic wasn’t working at first, which really looked like it pissed him off. He said that the sound tech must have been from Sacramento which got huge boos. He sang a full rendition of “Silent Night,” with lyrics about Brock was beating Strowman. He got the loudest boos of the night.
Then Heyman went into a full promo, starting by introducing himself, hyping the Lesnar/Strowman match at Royal Rumble. Among other things, he said that Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer couldn’t help Strowman find a path to the Universal title. It sounds corny, but Heyman made it work. Then Braun’s music hit and the crowd erupted in cheers. Braun put a Red Nose and Antlers on Heyman and called him Paul Heyman the red nosed advocate. He told Heyman to tell his client that he was going to Get These Hands. Very good segment to hype their fight.
(5) Natalya vs. Ronda Rousey. Both got their own music and full ring introductions. Cheers for Natalya. A mix of boos and cheers for Ronda Rousey. They wrestled a face vs. face style. Back and forth mat wrestling. Dueling “Let’s go Natty / Ronda Rousey” dueling chants tried to get started. At 5:00 Ronda had Natty in a leg scissors. Natty went for the Sharpshooter and Ronda threw her outside. Natty looked hurt and Ronda showed remorse. Natty used that to her advantage and threw Ronda into a ringpost. Natty tried to get Ronda into a sleeper at 7:45. That shifted into Natty applying an abdominal stretch after Ronda escaped the sleeper. Natty continued to work Ronda over until the 10:15 mark when Ronda got the upper hand. Ronda was selling that she didn’t want to hurt Natty. Natty got Ronda into another Sharpshooter, then Ronda reversed it got Natty to tap out at 13:15. They ended up hugging mid-ring. Ronda helped Natty to the back.
(6) Heath Slater vs. Jinder Mahal (w/the Singh Brothers). The crowd was dead for this match, but managed to start a good “3MB” chant. Then Santa came out in the crowd, giving out presents. At the two-minute mark the Singh brothers mercifully (for the crowd) interfered so Slater won by DQ (no announcement). Santa then came into the ring to rescue Slater. Santa was revealed to be Rhyno who gave Jinder a Gore for the save.
Charley Caruso interviewed Seth Rollins backstage.
(7) Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin. Seth came out to big applause. Corbin is still wearing street clothes instead of wrestling gear. Good back and forth action. The crowd was definitely cheering for Seth. Baron got in the majority of the offense. Seth eventually reversed the End of Days into a Stomp for the win at 10:00. Seth gave everyone at ringside a high five.
Raw ended after about an hour and fifty minutes. It was much faster with no commercials.
While the show may include backstage promos, they only showed one very brief Seth Rollins promo to the live crowd, possibly to move the show along since that was the second episode of Raw being presented to the audience.
The only promised match for the event in the WWE advertising was Seth vs. Dean, which never took place. Although we did get to see two full Raw episodes.
By the end of the show, more than half of the original crowd had already gone home and wasn’t there for the Seth/Corbin match.