Happy New Year, and all the best for the many upcoming Rusev Day’s to come! We’re less than four weeks out from the Royal Rumble, and the Monday Night RAW crew have been building steadily to WWE’s next Big Four PPV. Elias and John Cena have become the first two members of the flagship show to declare their participation, and we already have an announced Universal Championship match between Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, and, well, Kane. We have new tag-team champions, a women’s division that’s getting consistently more entertaining, and #WOKEN Matt Hardy is here to DELIGHT everyone.
With Hayden getting some recovery time from last night’s New Year’s festivities, I’ll be acting as the surprise mystery partner for this week’s edition of Monday Night Hayden; I’m @SpennyLove, you’re Over the Top Rope, and welcome to your first official edition of Monday Night Spencer!
Last Week’s RAW:
Jason Jordan is quickly turning into the IWC’s latest version of Roman Reigns. Every time it seems like we couldn’t possibly hate him anymore, well…
That’s right. Jason freakin’ Jordan is now the first person in WWE history to hold the NXT, Smackdown Live and RAW Tag-Team Championships. While I’m genuinely interested in where the storyline goes from here,
More Quick Hits:
- Roman Reigns was disqualified during his Intercontinental Championship match with Samoa Joe, setting up a rematch for this week.
- #WOKEN Matt Hardy attacked Bray Wyatt from behind prior to their scheduled match
- On a side note, #WOKEN Matt Hardy continued to be the man.
- Absolution defeated Sasha Banks, Bayley and Mickie James
- Enzo Amore and Nia Jax furthered their relationship storyline
- Alexa Bliss had her face kicked off by Asuka
- Kane defeated Heath Slater
State of the Belts:
Universal Champion Bork Laser makes an appearance on tonight’s edition of RAW, likely because it’s a statutory holiday and he gets paid time-and-a-half. My bold prediction of the evening – Brock bounces, Paul Heyman sells the hell out of this match, and Lesnar delivers either a suplex, F5, or some combination of the two. If anything else happens, I’ll genuinely be shocked.
Samoa Joe is the top heel on RAW right now, and I think it can finally be said without question. After taking out Seth Rollins prior to WrestleMania, and now claiming Dean Ambrose as a victim, Joe’s sights are now set on the Intercontinental Championship, and by default, Roman Reigns. After Reigns was disqualified from last week’s match, general manager Kurt Angle announced a title match for tonight; if Reigns is disqualified, the Joe of Samoa becomes your new champion.
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) December 29, 2017
Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan are the new RAW Tag Team Champions, but even before their match Rollins was hesitant about the relationship. Much like the top singles title, there’s really not much to go off of from last week; tonight’s RAW should (hopefully) further explain the dynamic between the champions. While Rollins said last week that Jordan “would never be Dean Ambrose“, has his opinion changed after being handed the gold?
There’s still a RAW Women’s Championship, but you wouldn’t know it from how little it’s been utilized. While Alexa Bliss is a great character, we haven’t had her defend her title since OCTOBER. With the women’s Royal Rumble approaching, it doesn’t look likely that she’ll defend until next month – unless, of course, Asuka decides she wants a shot at the champ, which she seemed to indicate pretty clearly with a kick to Bliss’ face.
Cedric Alexander will take on Enzo for the Cruiserweight Championship, and I feel like a title change. Alexander is easily one of the most developed cruiserweights, and it truly feels as though this is the time to put the championship on him. Remember, this is the guy who was fully endorsed by Triple HHH himself after the Cruiserweight Classic two years ago; it’s about time for him to be a champion.
Here and There:
Finn Balor, for the umpteenth week in a row, made little to no progression with anything coming close to resembling a storyline. With the Royal Rumble coming up, I expect him to declare his participation in the next few weeks. Could we even see it as early as tonight?
It was a scary moment last week when it became known that Paige potentially was injured at a house show in Long Island. Nothing official has been confirmed by WWE, and the Anti-Diva is expected to be on tonight’s show, but it’s worth keeping an eye on her to see how much in-ring action she handles. Paige has flawlessly stepped back onto Monday Night’s, and it appears as though WWE is grooming her for a showdown with Asuka; let’s hope this doesn’t derail plans.
Braun Strowman was sick last week, and was sent home to recover from WWE’s live events. With a few extra days to build some rage, I’ll be he absolutely destroys something – but frankly, that’s an easy bet.
Three Things to Watch For:
- Many people voted Braun Strowman as the most-improved wrestler of 2017, but my vote went straight to Elias. Easily one of my least-favourite wrestlers during his NXT run, he’s truly turned my opinion around more than anyone through the past year. He’s steadily improving in the ring, and is one of the few heels in the WWE today that can draw legitimate heat. I expect big things this year, and will start 2018 walking with Elias.
- Much like Hayden Love pointed out in this week’s This Week in Wrestling, WWE seems to have no idea what to do with Hideo Itami. Itami is one of the most talented wrestlers in the world, and while his momentum in NXT was slowed due to injury, there’s no way he should be receiving receptions as lukewarm as he’s been getting. Now, they’ve (seemingly) taken away the GTS as his finisher; is this the beginning of the end for the former KENTA?
- John Cena officially threw his hat in the ring for the Royal Rumble, confirming his participation in an early morning tweet. Instantly, Cena becomes a favourite to win, and a victory would open up the opportunity to compete for a record-setting 17th championship. How will WWE build on Cena’s announcement?
A sunny morning on the first day of 2018. Possibilities are endless, opportunities are plentiful. Time to #EarnTheDay because on January 28th, I’m entering the #RoyalRumble match and earning a chance at history @WrestleMania! #Raw
— John Cena (@JohnCena) January 1, 2018
That’s it, that’s all! Watching, Win Column’ers? Let us know your thoughts on tonight’s episode in the comments, or get ahold of us @WCSportsCA!
WWE: Last 5
- The Top 10 Wrestlers of 2017
- This Week in Wrestling: December 29th
- BREAKING: Paige Potentially Injured at WWE Live Event
- NXT Preview and Predictions: December 27
- BREAKING: Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Injured