SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following is the latest in a new series of weekly in-depth articles exclusive to PWTorch which will help put in perspective major wrestling promotions with a weekly overview, looking at news and roster developments, results, future line-ups, social media activity, key interviews, plus a timely commentary at the end. We will be featuring similar features on other promotions each week and each will be updated weekly.
•Top Stories of the Week
- Rusev won the United States Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura on Smackdown
- Vince McMahon was on Raw this week and announced that Women’s Tag Team Championships would be coming to WWE in 2019. He also announced that John Cena will be back on Raw and Smackdown soon.
•WWE Weekly Event Results
WWE Live Event – Raw Roster (New York, N.Y.) 12/26/18
(1) Finn Balor defeated Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre in a Triple Threat Match when Balor pinned Ziggler
(2) Apollo Crews won a Battle Royal to earn a future Intercontinental Championship match. No Way Jose, Zack Ryder, Rhyno, Titus O’Neil, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, & The Ascension were the other participants
(3) Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush) beat Elias in a Guitar on a Pole match
(4) Natalya & Ember Moon defeated The Riott Squad when Natalya forced Liv Morgan to tap out to the Sharpshooter
(5) Matt Riddle, Pete Dunne, Ricochet, Aleister Black, & Velveteen Dream defeated Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa, & Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, & Roderick Strong w/Bobby Fish)
(6) Dean Ambrose (c) beat Seth Rollins in a Steel Cage match to retain the Intercontinental Championship
(7) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (c) beat Authors of Pain (w/ Drake Maverick) & The Revival to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships
(8) John Cena defeated Baron Corbin
(9) Ronda Rousey (c) beat Nia Jax (w/ Tamina) to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster (Chicago, Ill.) 12/26/18
(1) Jeff Hardy beat Samoa Joe
(2) Lana & Naomi defeated The IIconics and Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose in a Triple Threat tag team match
(3) Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, & Shelton Benjamin beat Aiden English & The Colóns
(4) Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows defeated Sanity
(5) Rey Mysterio beat Randy Orton
(6) R-Truth & Carmella defeated Andrade Cien Almas & Zelina Vega
(7) Rusev (c) beat Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the United States Championship
(8) The Bar (c) defeated The Usos & The New Day in a Triple Threat tag team match to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
(9) Daniel Bryan (c) beat The Miz & Mustafa Ali in a Triple Threat Steel Cage Match to retain the WWE Championship
(10) Asuka (c) beat Becky Lynch & Charlotte to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship
If you attend a live event, please send results to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
•WWE TV Match Results
Monday Night Raw TV Results 12/24/18
(1) Elias defeated Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush) in a Christmas themed street fight
(2) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (c) beat The Revival to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships
(3) Finn Balor defeated Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler in a Triple Threat Match when he pinned Dolph Ziggler
(4) Bayley, Sasha Banks, & Ember Moon beat Mickie James, Dana Brooke, & Alicia Fox when Bayley pinned Mickie James
(5) Ronda Rousey (c) beat Natalya to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
(6) Heath Slater defeated Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers) via DQ. Rhyno (dressed as Santa) rescued Slater from a post-match attack.
(7) Seth Rollins defeated Baron Corbin
Smackdown Live TV Results 12/25/18
(1) Mustafa Ali beat Andrade Cien Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)
(2) The Usos & Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows beat The Bar & Sanity
(3) Samoa Joe defeated Jeff Hardy via DQ
(4) Rusev beat Shinsuke Nakamura (c) to win the United States Championship
205 Live Results (Aired on WWE Network) 12/26/18
No matches this week. 205 Live was dedicated to replaying/revisiting the major cruiserweight matches throughout 2018
Drake Maverick announced three qualifying matches with the three winners advancing to a Fatal Four-way Match at the Royal Rumble with Buddy Murphy for the Cruiserweight Championship. Kalisto vs. Lio Rush and Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak will happen next week. Cedric Alexander vs. Hideo Itami will happen in two weeks.
•Upcoming Lineups for Stadium/PPV Events
WWE Royal Rumble on Jan. 27 from Phoenix, Ariz.
- Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship
- Men’s Royal Rumble Match – winner receives a championship match at Wrestlemania
- Known Entrants: R-Truth (will enter last)
- Women’s Royal Rumble Match – winner receives a championship match at Wrestlemania
- Known Entrants: Carmella (will enter last)
- Buddy Murphy vs. (Kalisto/Lio Rush) vs. (Akira Tozawa/Drew Gulak) vs. (Cedric Alexander/Hideo Itami) in a Fatal Four-way Match for the Cruiserweight Championship
- Thur. 12/27/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.
- Thur. 12/27/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
- – Ronda Rousey vs. Mickie James (w/ Alexa Bliss) for the Raw Women’s Championship
- – Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship
- – Braun Strowman vs. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre in a two-on-one handicap match
- Fri. 12/28/18 WWE Raw (WWE.com has Raw scheduled for Friday 12/28 in Detroit, Mich. Tickets being sold through the site also have it listed as a Raw television show for Friday 12/28)
- Fri. 12/28/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, Md.
- Sat. 12/29/18 WWE Smackdown (WWE.com has Smackdown scheduled for Saturday, 12/29 in Pittsburgh, Pa. Tickets being sold through the site also have it listed as a Smackdown television show for Saturday 12/29)
- Sat. 12/29/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, United Center, Chicago, Ill.
- Sun. 12/30/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Amalie Arena, Tampa, Fla.
- Sun. 12/30/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Keybank Center, Buffalo, N.Y.
- Mon. 12/31/18 WWE Raw – No listing currently on WWE.com, WWE could be playing tape delayed version of Raw from 12/28 scheduled Raw event
- Tue. 1/1/19 WWE Smackdown – No listing currently on WWE.com, WWE could be playing tape delayed version of Smackdown from 12/29 scheduled Smackdown event
- Fri. 1/4/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Columbus Civic Center, Columbus, Ga.
- Sat. 1/5/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Greensboro Colliseum, Greensboro, N.C.
- Sat. 1/5/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Fla.
- Sun. 1/6/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, N.C.
- Sun. 1/6/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Hertz Arena, Fort Myers, Fla.
- Mon. 1/7/19 WWE Raw, Amway Center, Orlando, Fla.
- Mon. 1/7/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, S.C.
- Tue. 1/8/19 WWE Smackdown, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Fri. 1/11/19 WWE Live Event – Charleston Civic Center, Charleston, W.Va.
- Sat. 1/12/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Knoxville Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tenn.
- Sat. 1/12/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Freedom Hall Civic Center, Johnson City, Tenn.
- Sun. 1/13/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
- Sun. 1/13/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, Ala.
- Mon. 1/14/19 WWE Raw, FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tenn.
- Mon. 1/14/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, McKenzie Arena, Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Tue. 1/15/19 WWE Smackdown, Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Ala.
- Fri. 1/18/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
- Sat. 1/19/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Taylor County Coliseum, Abilene, Texas
- Sat. 1/19/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.
- Sun. 1/20/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Chi Health Center, Omaha, Neb.
- Sun. 1/20/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Kay Yeager Coliseum, Wichita Falls, Texas
- Mon. 1/21/19 WWE Raw, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Okla.
- Mon. 1/21/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Landon Arena, Topeka, Kan.
- Tue. 1/22/19 WWE Smackdown – Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kan.
- Sun. 1/27/19 WWE Royal Rumble, Chase Field, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Mon. 1/28/19 WWE Raw, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Mon. 1/28/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Tucson Convention Center, Tuscon, Ariz.
- Tue.1/29/19 WWE Smackdown, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Fri. 2/1/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Sasktel Centre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
- Sat. 2/2/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Brandt Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
- Sat. 2/2/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Sun. 2/3/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Canalta Centre, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
- Mon. 2/4/19 WWE Raw, Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
- Mon. 2/4/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Yakima Sundome, Yakima, Wash.
- Tue. 2/5/19 WWE Smackdown, Angel of the Winds Arena, Everrett, Wash.
- Fri. 2/8/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
- Sat. 2/9/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Tribute Communities Centre, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
- Sat. 2/9/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, NIU Convocation Center, Dekalb, Ill.
- Sun. 2/10/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, The DOW Event Center, Saginaw, Mich.
- Sun. 2/10/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Ind.
- Mon. 2/11/19 WWE Raw, Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Mon. 2/11/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Canton Civic Center, Canton, Ohio
- Tue. 2/12/19 WWE Smackdown, Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio
- Fri. 2/15/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Bert Ogden Arena, Edinburg, Tex.
- Sat. 2/16/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Sames Auto Arena, Laredo, Tex.
- Sat. 2/16/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Rapides Coliseum, Alexandria, La.
- Mon. 2/18/19 WWE Raw, Cajundome, Lafayette, La.
- Mon. 2/18/19 WWE Live Event, Lake Charles Civic Center, Lake Charles, La.
- Tue. 2/19/19 WWE Smackdown, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, La.
•Latest TV Highlights
Monday Night Raw
- Two successful championship defenses on Raw this week. Ronda Rousey beat Natalya to retain the Raw Women’s Championship and Bobby Roode & Chad Gable defeated The Revival to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships
- Vince McMahon dressed as Santa made three big announcements on Raw. He announced that WWE would soon have Women’s Tag Team Championships, he also announced that John Cena would be back on both Raw and Smackdown soon, and lastly he announced that Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler would be having a cage match on next week’s show.
- Rusev won the United States Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura in the main event of Smackdown this week.
- Vince McMahon was on Smackdown again in a backstage segment where he challenged A.J. Styles to find his inner “animal.” After a short pep talk, Vince slapped A.J. and Styles responded by punching Vince. A.J. stood over Vince after punching him and yelled until a referee ran up and checked on Vince who smiled when he was asked if he was okay.
- Shane McMahon was on a Miz TV segment and after reiterating the changes the McMahon family are going to be making to Raw and Smackdown, he finally agreed to partner with The Miz after Miz told a story about his father never saying he was proud of him, not even after headlining WrestleMania. The Miz then said if he could form a tag team with Shane, his dad would be proud of him. Shane responded by saying “You better not screw me or there will be major consequences, but let’s try this” and shook Miz’s hand.
•WWE in the Media
Sami Zayn was on Talk is Jericho with Chris Jericho this week. They open the conversation by talking about Zayn’s double shoulder surgery. Zayn mentioned that one shoulder had been a nagging injury that had been put off, but the other shoulder was much more severe and that’s what caused him to go get them both repaired. Zayn was very honest in saying that he’s loved the time off and doesn’t currently miss anything about travelling with the company, but knows he’ll enjoy being back on the road with WWE once he’s healthy.
Sami then talked about his friendship with Neville saying they’ve spoken frequently since Neville left WWE. Jericho mentions that The Young Bucks and Cody tried to get Neville to wrestle at All In, Neville wanted to make his official return at Dragon Gate out of loyalty to that company. Sami also mentioned Kevin Owens and what a coincidence it is that they both were injured around the same time. He also said that he and Owens both have similar timelines for a return to the ring.
The last thing they discussed is Sami Zayn’s airport etiquette and how he feels he’s at his worst when at an airport. He says he is “sometimes a jerk to fans” at the airport and the more he thinks about it, he now realizes instead of ruining a fans day or their image of him, he can be nice for five or ten seconds to make their day and shape the way they see their role models.
Sami discussed other topics as well, much more than what I’ve recapped here. If you want a full review of every topic he and Jericho discussed you can read that HERE or you can listen to the podcast HERE.
•Listen to the latest Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-Show – Smackdown Post-Show
PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a full rundown and analysis of the Christmas edition of WWE Smackdown Live including a strange show-closing angle with Vince McMahon and A.J. Styles, Miz plays to Shane McMahon’s daddy issues, Rusev Day captures U.S. Title, and a comatose crowd makes a ton of noise somehow. Then, in bonus segments, Wade’s reviews of Raw episode from five years ago and ten years ago this month. First, the Dec. 30, 2013 edition of Monday Night Raw featuring WWE’s previous…
•WWE Social Media Highlights
If you’ve ever wanted to see Vince McMahon in a Santa suit and didn’t watch WWE this week, you’re welcome.
— WWE (@WWE) December 26, 2018
Raymond Rowe of NXT and Sarah Logan announced their marriage late last week.
— Raymond Rowe (@RAYMONDxROWE) December 22, 2018
It’s time for this week’s Becky Lynch update. This week she comments on Charlotte and Road Warrior Animal:
While the rest of the division is on break and painting each others toenails, The Man is back around Dublin teaching and learning, working and improving. Any 1% chance Ronnie had of beating me is gone. My Christmas will be smashing that little weirdo in 2019. pic.twitter.com/DsfmXbm52O
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) December 22, 2018
— Charlotte Flair (@MsCharlotteWWE) December 22, 2018
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) December 22, 2018
The first four words of your headline are a lie. https://t.co/34PaztOiee
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) December 24, 2018
Start of 2018, I couldn’t even get on TV. You’re never truly down, you’re never truly out. Stand up and fight. Keep swinging even if you don’t know what you’re swinging for, or at. If you’re like me you’ll eventually slap a head that deserves it and the whole world will notice. https://t.co/tPcrj6P5A7
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) December 26, 2018
I thought it would be fun this week to quickly summarize the year for each WWE Main Roster championship because it feels like forever ago that we saw Roman Reigns as Intercontinental Champion or Bobby Roode as United States Champion! So for this, I am going to list the champions throughout the year starting with who had the title as of January 1, 2018, as well as the number of days they were champion. Logically, the next person on the list is the person they lost it to.
A.J. Styles-371 Days
Brock Lesnar-503 Days
Roman Reigns-63 Days
Raw Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss-222 Days
Nia Jax-70 Days
Alexa Bliss-63 Days
Smackdown Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch-91 Days
Roman Reigns-62 Days
The Miz-75 Days
Seth Rollins-71 Days
Dolph Ziggler-61 Days
Seth Rollins-119 Days
United States Championship
Bobby Roode-53 Days
Randy Orton-27 Days
Jinder Mahal-8 Days
Jeff Hardy-89 Days
Shinsuke Nakamura-163 Days
Enzo Amore-92 Days (Title vacated following his release from WWE)
Cedric Alexander-180 Days
Raw Tag Team Championships
Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan-33 Days
The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus)-70 Days
Braun Strowman & Nicholas-1 Day
Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt-79 Days
The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)-49 Days
Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose-14 Days
Authors of Pain-34 Days
Bobby Roode & Chad Gable-Current
Smackdown Tag Team Championships
The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)-182 Days
The Bludgeon Brothers (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan)-135 Days
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods)-55 Days
Some of the first reigns listed obviously extend back into 2017, but I still thought it was interesting to put the full length they were champion. From this list it’s obvious that the Raw Tag Team Champions are the hot potato titles of the WWE with eight different changes in 2018. Just by looking at that list of champions, it’s pretty clear those titles weren’t exactly top priority.
The winner for total time spent as champion in 2018 belongs to A.J. Styles, who spent 310 days of 2018 as the WWE Champion. Brock Lesnar will finish second with 289 days as champion (as of December 31, 2018). Brock barely beat out Alexa Bliss, who was champion for 285 days, and fourth on the list is Seth Rollins, who spent a combined 237 days as Intercontinental Champion and as part of the Raw Tag Team Champions. Seth also had the most individual reigns as a champion with four (two as IC Champion and two as Raw Tag Champion).
Seth also makes the list for one of the shortest reigns as champion, finishing third when he and Dean spent only fourteen days as the Raw Tag Team Champions following Dean’s turn on Seth. Jinder Mahal had the second shortest reign of 2018 spending only eight days as United States Champion. Jinder won the title at WrestleMania and after being moved to Raw following the Superstar Shake-up, he lost the title to Jeff Hardy the same night he debuted on Raw. The shortest reign of 2018 belongs to Braun Strowman and Nicholas as the Raw Tag Team Champions. Braun and Nicholas won the championships from The Bar at WrestleMania and were forced to relinquish the championships due to Nicholas’ schedule (still being in grade school).
Oh what a year 2018 was for WWE. All I can say is hopefully this McMahon shake-up is more than words. With some new call-ups and new Women’s Tag Team Championships on the way, 2019 should be very interesting to say the least!
NOW CHECK OUT OTHER WEEKLY OVERVIEWS HERE.