John Cena def. Jason Jordan; Roman Reigns Confronted Cena
WWE doesn't do continuity too often, but it was cool for Cena to "repay" Kurt Angle from 15 years ago by giving his "son" Jason Jordan an opportunity to shine in a match against him. This was an awesome showing from Jordan and a very well-wrestled match on the whole. I still get the sense Creative has no clue what to do with Jordan, but throwing him a bone every once in a while with memorable matches such as this one only help his cause. As for Cena's post-match face-off with Roman Reigns, they delivered big time on the mic for the second straight week and Cena got the better of Reigns verbally once again (despite Reigns getting the last word in).
Sheamus and Cesaro def. Heath Slater and Rhyno
Slater and Rhyno are rarely featured on Raw these days, so you know this was destined to be a squash match as soon as they were seen in the ring already. I'm minutes removed from watching the match and I don't remember a single thing Seth Rollins or Dean Ambrose said on commentary, but perhaps it was a positive they didn't take away from the action (for as long as it lasted, anyway). It was announced Sheamus and Cesaro will get their rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championship at the No Mercy pay-per-view.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz def. Jeff Hardy
It was weird that the referee would boot The Miztourage and Matt Hardy from ringside but not Maryse, who ended up getting involved toward the end. Nevertheless, this was a terrific title match and they were given a ton of time to work with. I didn't think Hardy was winning the title, but he came close on a few occasions and the fans bought into the nearfalls. The (relatively) clean finish was a pleasant surprise and a nice endorsement of Miz by the company seeing as how Hardy doesn't lose decisively on a frequent basis.
Enzo Amore, Cedric Alexander and Gran Metalik def. Drew Gulak, Tony Nese and Noam Dar
It's pretty pathetic that Enzo's pre-match promo was longer than the match itself. I know talking is his strong suit, but none of what he said was remotely entertaining. We saw the same exact six-man tag team match on 205 Live last week, and this wasn't even as good as that was. Enzo is clearly being protected in these multi-man match situations, but the rest of the Cruiserweight division is suffering as a result.
Bray Wyatt Interrupted Finn Balor
Balor isn't the best talker, but I thought he handled his promo here fairly well in establishing that he's out for revenge after Wyatt cost him his shot at the Intercontinental Championship on last Monday night. Wyatt's rebuttal was fine, too, but we are beyond the point where I care about anything he says. We all know how this feud is going to end, so it's not worth investing in. As long as Wyatt continues to spin his wheels, I won't give a shit.
Emma and Nia Jax def. Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks
Banks and Bliss were much more willing to coexist than I thought they would be, but at least they explained that earlier in the evening in a backstage segment where they made it clear they don't want it to be a Fatal 4-Way at No Mercy, regardless of their hatred for each other. There wasn't anything technically wrong with this match, but the crowd sat on their hands for a majority of it. Personally, I liked that the stakes were high and I'm glad it will indeed be a Fatal 4-Way title match, because if nothing else, it finally gets Emma in the championship picture.
Raw Tag Team Champions Dean Amborse and Seth Rollins def. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows (Non-title)
I thought the Raw Tag Team Championship feud received enough attention at the start of the show with Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Slater and Rhyno and that this easily could have been saved for another week. With Raw being three hours, it forces WWE to burn through first-time-ever matches such as this one, unfortunately. I appreciated that the match was as lengthy as it was (even if the outcome was never in doubt) and the champs further boosted their momentum with this win. Anderson and Gallows lost, again, but they were attacked by Sheamus and Cesaro afterward. Who did they piss off backstage?
Braun Strowman def. Big Show in a Steel Cage Match
On paper, Strowman vs. Show doesn't sound like the most exciting match of all-time, but after their last two matches this year exceeded my expectations, I've since learned to not doubt them. Sure enough, they put together a hell of a hard-hitting main event that the crowd came alive for. Both men deserve credit for their performances and they really do bring the best out of each other. The attention to detail with the commentators constantly bringing up how the ring was reinforced was a wonderful touch as well. It's almost amazing how much better this was than anything Show did with Big Cass this summer. Strowman proceeding to toss Show through the steel cage wall following his victory was an incredible sight. If you didn't think Strowman was ready for Brock Lesnar before, he surely is now.
WWE typically doesn't put forth any effort when it comes to their holiday shows, but they advertised a handful of matches beforehand and gave viewers several reasons to tune in. I doubt the rating will be through the roof, but it was an enjoyable edition of Raw all things considered, and the first hour was especially excellent. The subsequent two hours dragged a bit, but at least they capped off the night with a bang. Several storylines were progressed heading into No Mercy and three great matches took place, so that's a thumbs-up show in my book.
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