The December 18th edition of WWE RAW took place at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI.
– This week’s broadcast opens up with a video package replaying last week’s match between Kane and Braun Strowman to determine who will face Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble.
– Kurt Angle comes out to the ring to kick off the show. Kurt says since there wasn’t a decisive winner of Strowman vs. Kane last week, he will announce tonight who will face Lesnar at the Rumble. Kurt gets interrupted by Braun Strowman, who comes into the ring with a mic and points out that he was the last man standing last week. Kane interrupts next, and gets in the ring and talks about his years of destruction in WWE. Paul Heyman comes out to the stage next to interrupt, and he says there won’t be any conversations without including his client, Brock Lesnar. WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar comes out and marches down to the ring. Lesnar steps in the ring, and Kurt Angle says before things get out of hand, he’s going to make his announcement right now. Kurt says at the Royal Rumble it’ll be a triple threat: Lesnar vs. Kane vs. Strowman. Kurt quickly says “its’ true, it’s true” and gets out of the ring before all hell breaks loose. Kane, Lesnar and Strowman circle each other. Kane and Lesnar dump Strowman outside, then Kane and Lesnar grab each other. Lesnar gets the better of the exchange and hits the F-5 on Kane. Lesnar holds up his Universal Title belt and then leaves the ring to join Heyman back on the ramp. Before they leave, Kane sits up and gets to his feet just moments after the F-5, and Lesnar and Heyman look concerned.
– Seth Rollins comes out for a match against Samoa Joe, but instead of Joe — Jason Jordan comes out. Jordan gets on the mic and says he thinks he deserves a shot at Joe first. Rollins starts to tell Jordan he’s out of line, but Samoa Joe interrupts. Samoa Joe comes out to the stage and tells them to fight each other, and he’ll face the winner. Rollins declines, saying he’s already been booked in a match with Joe, but then Jordan shoves down Rollins. That’s enough for Rollins, and he agrees to face Jordan. The ref makes it official, and Joe sits at ringside to watch.
– Jason Jordan vs. Seth Rollins: This winner of this one will face Joe later tonight. The opening bell sounds and Jordan overpowers Rollins early on, but Rollins decks him with a running big boot. Rollins throws Jordan outside and Joe taunts Jordan. Back in the ring, Jordan gets the upper hand and beats down on Rollins in the corner. Jordan hits some shoulder strikes, and some fans are chanting “boring.” Rollins tries to come back, but Jordan shuts him down with a backbreaker and keeps him grounded. Rollins gets off a good shot to Jordan’s face, but once again Jordan shuts him down and takes over. Rollins finally starts to mount a real comeback and he hits a slingblade on Jordan. Rollins hits a springboard clothesline for a two count. Jordan answers with a suplex for a two count of his own. Rollins hits some elbows an throws Jordan to the outside. Rollins goes for a suicide dive and crashes into Jordan hard. Rollins and Jordan make it back in the ring at the 9 count. Rollins hits some kicks, and Jordan answers with a Northern Lights suplex. Jordan rolls through and hits another one with a bridge for a two count. Jordan gets frustrated and he continues to beat on Rollins. They fight on the turnbuckle and Rollins knocks Jordan down to the mat, then follows up with a frogsplash for a two count. Jordan rolls outside and Rollins comes flying off the apron with a knee to Jordan’s head. Joe gets in Rollins’ face at ringside. Rollins shoves Jordan into Joe, and Joe charges but he runs into a superkick from Rollins. Rollins takes Jordan back in the ring, and Jordan grabs him in a roll-up for a two count. Rollins gets up and immediately hits a flying knee to the face for the three count.
Winner: Seth Rollins
– Joe attacks Rollins after the match and they brawl out to ringside. They fight back into the ring and the ref gets between them. Joe hits a cheap shot and the Uranage. Joe contiinues to beat on Rollins until more referees haul him off. Joe heads up the ramp while Jordan and Rollins are both checked on by officials.
– Seth Rollins is backstage with Seth Rollins, and they confront Kurt Angle. Rollins says he wants Joe no matte what tonight, and Ambrose says he wants Joe tonight too. Jason Jordan walks in and says he also wants Joe later. Ambrose tells him to get in line. Angle decides to make a six man tag match later: Rollins, Ambrose & Jordan vs. Joe, Sheamus & Cesaro.
– The announcers talk about “Woken” Matt Hardy, and then we cut to a pre-taped segment with Bray Wyatt. Wyatt cuts a promo on Matt and says The Great War between them must end. He sings a bit before leaving.
– Handicap match: Finn Balor vs. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel: Axel and Dallas use frequent tags in the opening moments to control the match against Balor. Balor eventually fights them off out of the corner, but Axel shuts him down again. Axel goes for a sunset flip, but Balor stomps on him for a two count. Dallas distracts Balor and Axel drops him again. Axel takes Balor up top, but Balor drops him down to the mat. Balor looks for the Coup De Grace, but Bo knocks him off the turnbuckle. Bo comes in the ring and stomps on Balor until the ref calls for the bell.
Winner via DQ: Finn Balor
– After the match, The Mistourage beats on Balor until NXT’s Hideo Itami comes out for the save. Itami drops Axel and Dallas, and we go to commercial.
– Hideo Itami & Finn Balor vs. The Miztourage: Back from the break, we’re told this one was made an official tag match during commercials. Itami works on Dallas early on, then Balor tags in and hits a shot off the top. Balor picks up Dallas, and while the ref is distracted by Axel and Itami arguing, Dallas thumbs Balor in the eye. Axel tags in and continues the assault on Balor, and he hits a backbreaker for a two count. Axel continues the beat down until Itami gets the hot tag. Itami unloads with kicks on Axel ad hits a knee. Bo comes in but Balor takes him out. Balor dropkicks Bo into the barrier at ringside. Itami grabs Axel and hits the GTS for the three count.
Winners: Hideo Itami & Finn Balor
– Itami’s music plays and he and Balor celebrate in the ring as Axel and Dallas are down on the floor at ringside.
– Cedric Alexander does an interview in the back where he talks about how bad he wants to beat Enzo for the Cruiserweight Title. He says he’s not overlooking Drew Gulak tonight, and will beat Gulak and go on to win the Cuiserweight Title.
– Enzo Amore comes out to the ring with Drew Gulak. Enzo cuts his usual promo, and then hands the mic off to Gulak for a brief promo. They both made some Star Wars references. Cedric’s music interrupts, and their #1 contender match is on.
– Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander: The winner of this one will face Enzo for the Cruiserweight Championship, and Enzo is on commentary for this match. They go back and forth in the opening moments until Cedric sends Gulak out to the floor. Cedric runs the ropes and goes flying with a suicide dive on Gulak. They fight into the ring and then back out to ringside. Gulak takes control and they get back in the ring. Gulak puts Cedric in some holds but doesn’t get the submission. Enzo gets a text message at the announce table, and he gets up and leaves. Gulak is distracted by Enzo leaving, and Cedric gets some time to recover. Cedric gets up and fires back with some stiff shots, and Gulak starts bleeding from his nose. Cedric hits a springboard clothesline, and then nails the Lumbar Check for the three count.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
– We see Enzo backstage approaching Nia Jax. Enzo says he got Nia’s message, and Nia says she wants to continue their conversation from last week. Gulak interrupts and apologizes to Enzo for losing. Gulak won’t leave Enzo alone and keeps bugging him about the match. Gulak has paper towel in his nose to stop the bleeding. Nia tells Enzo they’ll talk later and leaves. Enzo freaks out at Gulak for interrupting.
– We see a pre-taped promo from Alicia Fox where he says her match against Asuka won’t get interrupted this week, and she’ll finally be able to take out Asuka tonight.
– Asuka vs. Alicia Fox: Asuka dominates this one early on. Fox comes back with a big boot and a headlock. Fox hits a Northern Lights suplex for a two count on Asuka. Asuka quickly mounts a comeback and hits a dropkick. She throws Fox across the ring, and catches Fox in an armbar submission for the win.
– Jason Jordan, Seth Rollins & Deam Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe & The Bar: Jordan, Rollins and Ambrose seem to argue about how will start off in this one, but they decide on Rollins. Jordan then tags himself in on Rollins’ back before the action starts. Rollins is not happy, but he leaves. Jordan and Sheamus start off. Sheamus whips Jordan into his corner and Jordan knocks Joe and Cesaro off the apron. Sheamus drops Jordan with a lariat, then Joe tags in. Joe stomps on Jordan and then lays into him with punches up against the ropes. Cesaro tags in now, and his team continues to use frequent tags to stay in control of Jordan. Jordan finally gets Cesaro off of him and hits a suplex. Rollins tags in and hits the slingblade on Cesaro, then Rollins knocks Joe off the apron. Rollins superkicks Cesaro for a two count. Rollins sends Cesaro outside and hits a suicide dive, then Rollins gets back in the ring before Joe and Sheamus can get to him. Joe tags in and hits a series of knee strikes to the body of Rollins. Joe drops Rollins and now slows things down with a head lock. Rollins hits a jawbreaker, but Joe drops him right back down with an elbow for a two count. Sheamus and Cesaro now use tags to repeatedly double team Rollins. Rollins starts to fire up, but Joe tags in and shuts him down with a kick to the head. Sheamus comes in next and he misses a spear in the corner. Cesaro tags in before Rollins can tag someone in, and he puts Rollins in a front face lock. Cesaro throws Rollins outside, and Joe and Sheamus start stomping on him. Jordan and Ambrose run around and start brawling with Joe and Sheamus. Back in the ring, Rollins almost get the hot tag to Ambrose, but Cesaro runs in and boots Ambrose in the face. Cesaro and Ambrose spill out to ringside, then Rollins hits a suicide dive onto Cesaro and Joe at ringside. The referee and a medic are checking on Ambrose on the floor at ringside. Rollins brings Cesaro back into the ring, but Rollins is distracted by Ambrose’s injury. Cesaro lays out Rollins with a cheap shot, and the ref gets in the ring just in time to count to three.
Winners: Samoa Joe & The Bar
– After the match, Joe, Sheamus and Cesaro celebrate on the ramp and stage. Ambrose is still being checked out by a trainer on the ringside floor.
– A limo pulls up to the back of the arena, and Stephanie McMahon gets out. She walks into the building as we go to commercial.
– Matt Hardy does a pre-taped interview where he cuts another “Woken” promote on Bray Wyatt, and he mentions “the great war.” Hardy says he’ll stand by his “woken” followers, and that Wyatt and Sister Abigail must be stopped. Hardy does some more catch phrases and starts a “Delete” chant.
– Joe and the Bar attack Ambrose and Rollins backstage while they’re being checked on by trainers. Joe flips over a production case onto Ambrose’s arm. On commentary, Cole says that Ambrose has been taken to the hospital for damage to his arm.
– The Revival vs. Rhyno & Heath Slater: Rhyno and Slater take over on Dawson early on. Slater continues the offense, until Dawson drops him and gets the tag to Wilder. They briefly double team Slater and take turns beating him down. The Revival knocks Rhyno off the apron, then they hit the Shatter Machine on Slater for the win.
Winners: The Revival
– Stephanie McMahon is seen speaking with Kurt Angle backstage. Cole wonders if they’re making plans for next week’s Christmas edition of RAW.
– Slater and Rhyno are backstage and they are greeted by Kurt Angle. Angle says with the new year coming up, Rhyno and Slater need to toughen up and improve their win-loss record. Kurt walks off, and Rhyno tells Slater that he knows exactly how to toughen them up. Rhyno walks off, and Slater follows him, asking if this is going to hurt.
– Elias is in the ring for a song. He cuts a promo about New England and Tom Brady. Elias says Tom Brady isn’t a real legend, Elias is. He says he’ll enter and win the Royal Rumble match on January 18th. Elias starts singing a song, but he gets interrupted by Sasha Banks’ entrance music. She comes down to the ring and Elias starts to resume his song, but then he gets interrupted by Mickie James’ entrance. Elias tries to sing his song again, but this time he gets interrupted by Bayley’s entrance music. Bayley tries to give Elias hug as he leaves, but he declines and walks past her.
– Sasha Banks, Bayley & Mickie James vs. Absolution: Mickie starts off against Paige, and Paige seems to get the upper hand. Sasha and Sonya tag in and start going at it, but this one quickly devolves into an all-out brawl between all the women. The ref calls for the bell, and it looks like this one is a no contest.
Winner: No contest
– Nia Jax runs in for the save and starts taking on Absolution. Nia hits a double Samoan Drop on Sonya and Mandy, but then Paige runs up and takes out Nia’s knee from behind. The rest of the women’s locker room clears out and hits the ring to brawl with Absolution. They keep fighting until Stephanie McMahon’s music hits and she makes her way down to the ring. The wrestlers stop fighting and form a half-moon around Stephanie who is in the middle. Stephanie talks about how inspiring the women are, and then announces that at Royal Rumble there will be an all-woman battle royal. Stephanie tells the crowd that if there was ever a time for a “Yes” chant, this is it. The crowd cheers and some join along in Stephanie’s “Yes” chant. The women in the ring look excited about the news and RAW goes off the air with everyone in the ring happy.