Live from Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma!
A look back at the conclusion of last week’s Main Event was the key part of the video package to catch fans up at the start of the show, as Dolph Ziggler got involved in a Number One Contendership match between Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns. Having been aligned with Drew since McIntyre returned to Raw, it was assumed that Ziggler was there to help him towards victory. However, in a surprising turn of events, Dolph Superkicked Roman Reigns, handing “The Big Dog” a victory by Disqualification. His reasoning wasn’t clear, until he locked eyes with Drew McIntyre. Flashing a smirk at his friend, who distanced himself from Dolph in recent weeks, it was clear that Ziggler knew exactly what he was doing.
Opening up the show, it was Dolph Ziggler who made his way to the ring. As he did, Michael Cole put over the fact that last week was about “respect” for Dolph Ziggler, who had been pushed aside once he no longer served a purpose for Drew McIntyre.
Clearly in a fairly light-hearted mood, a smiling Dolph Ziggler gave off the air of somebody with no “Fs” left to give. Explaining his actions last week, Ziggler made it clear that what happened had nothing to do with Roman Reigns, because he doesn’t care about Roman Reigns. It wasn’t about the Universal Championship either. It was about respect, and it was about a friendship that clearly didn’t mean a thing to Drew McIntyre.
But it did mean something to Dolph Ziggler, and when he got to the back last week, he wondered if he was the only one any of this mattered to anymore. Taking on a much more serious tone, Dolph Ziggler said that when Drew McIntyre came to Raw, they had a mission. It wasn’t just about winning matches, it was about making a difference… together. But Drew McIntyre forgot about that, just like he forgot about Dolph Ziggler. Last week was just Dolph’s reminder (since Drew wouldn’t answer his calls, or speak to him in the back) that he still existed. Ziggler added that he would have been happy to stand with Drew McIntyre last week, but Drew forced him to do it differently. Dolph Ziggler said that he would be the first to admit that Drew McIntyre deserved a shot at the Universal Championship, but nobody knows better than him that in the WWE, you don’t always get what you deserve. By now, Drew McIntyre had heard enough.
Making his way to the ring swiftly, Drew McIntyre was furious at the sight of Dolph Ziggler. He grabbed a microphone from ringside, but once he entered the ring his only intention was to take Dolph down. Dropping his former friend to the mat, Drew McIntyre began to lay into Dolph Ziggler, hitting him with heavy shots to the head. McIntyre had lost it, and there would be nothing that could stop him from laying into Ziggler.
When McIntyre finally let up, it was only momentary, as he left the ring to grab the Steel Steps. Drew McIntyre clearly had sinister intentions, wanting to make Dolph pay for what happened last week. As Dolph Ziggler dragged himself back to his feet, Drew McIntyre ran at him, hitting him with the Steel Steps. Drew then set one half of the steps up in the ring, placing Dolph Ziggler on them. When it became clear that Drew McIntyre intended to take Ziggler out completely, Kurt Angle came to the top of the ramp.
Kurt Angle threatened to get security on Drew, ordering him to put the Steel Steps down. McIntyre didn’t take a microphone, but instead shouted towards Angle, telling him that by the time security made it to the ring, it would be too late. Angle then turned to begging McIntyre to put the Steel Steps down, asking him what it would take for him to put them down. Drew McIntyre’s demands were simple, as he took the microphone and said that he already pinned Braun Strowman, and he wanted a shot at the Universal Championship. Kurt Angle had a compromise, telling Drew that there was already a Universal Championship match at Starrcade, but he offered him a shot at Dolph Ziggler at the show. Drew McIntyre responded to this by lifting up the Steel Steps to take Ziggler out. This forced Angle to change his offer, suggesting that Drew McIntyre faced Dolph Ziggler tonight. He added that if Drew McIntyre won the match, he’d add him to the Main Event of Starrcade this Sunday! That seemed to appease Drew McIntyre, as he threw the Steel Steps down and left the ring.
Back from the break, the commentators put over the Main Event of Raw, before heading to the back where Roman Reigns was questioned about what had just transpired. Roman Reigns made it clear that he didn’t give a damn about the result of the Main Event, saying that all he’s focussed on is becoming the WWE Universal Champion! Before then, Roman Reigns was scheduled to face Kevin Owens, and he was more than happy to show Braun Strowman… and possibly Drew McIntyre… exactly what would be in store for them at Starrcade!
Joined by Ronda Rousey during her entrance, Natalya went one on one with the woman who would face Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship at Starrcade. Once Natalya was in the ring, Ronda Rousey joined commentary, and spoke during the match about her desire to get her hands on Shayna Baszler after Starrcade. Ronda admitted that Baszler was a huge challenge for Nia Jax, and “The Queens of Spades” showed why against Natalya. Brutalising the veteran Superstar, Shayna Baszler showed zero respect to the former Smackdown Women’s Champion. Her violent approach was too much for Natalya, and she was eventually able to lock in the Rear Naked Choke to score the victory.
Shayna Baszler bt. Natalya
After the match, Baszler took a little too long to release the Choke, and Ronda Rousey felt compelled to get involved.
Ronda Rousey entering the ring resulted in Shayna Baszler releasing the hold, and going nose to nose with the woman who she turned on two months ago. The two looked close to coming to blows, when the music of Nia Jax hit.
The Raw Women’s Champion came down to the ring, getting between Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler. Looking down towards Ronda Rousey, Nia Jax told Ronda to “keep out of it!” Jax then turned her back on Ronda, looking to Shayna Baszler. Ronda clearly didn’t like this, but accepted that Starrcade (which she had earlier confirmed she would be in attendance for) wasn’t about her.
Returning to the show, the feed was “taken over” as the commentators spoke, with footage being shown from “The Hardy Compound”.
Sat in his dilapidated boat, Matt Hardy was seen laying back, “fishing” in the Lake of Reincarnation. When the interruption was over, the commentators were bemused by what they had seen, wondering if Hardy was looking for Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, who hadn’t been seen since they were thrown into the Lake.
Also interviewed about the Main Event, Braun Strowman was equally prepared for his match with Roman Reigns to become a Triple Threat, also featuring Drew McIntyre. Braun Strowman was also dragged in another direction, asked for an update on the wellbeing of Rey Mysterio. Braun said that he spoke to Rey Mysterio earlier, and he’s ready to compete tonight!
Joined by The Revival, Robert Roode talked about his defeat to Seth Rollins last week.
Despite the loss, Robert Roode was equally confident in his chances against Dean Ambrose, who he would face on Raw. Roode once again put over the fact that Ambrose & Rollins had one eye on their match at Starrcade, and as a result would fall victim to “The Glorious Revival” of Robert Roode.
Robert Roode was proved wrong once again during the match, as Dean Ambrose came out of a hard-fought contest victorious. Ambrose had also been helped by Rollins’ ability to deal with Dash & Dawson on the outside.
Dean Ambrose didn’t get much chance to soak in his victory after the bell however, as Jason Jordan and The Authors of Pain came to the top of the ramp. Proudly holding his Intercontinental Championship, Jason Jordan also had a microphone in his hand.
Jason Jordan told Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose that the result Sunday’s match was already written in the stars, and the former Shield members probably shouldn’t bother showing up. Jordan explained that the three men stood at the top of the ramp were going to get one step closer to being “THE Golden Alpha” this Sunday, and they would do it, whether they had to go through Seth & Dean or not…
WWE Raw - December 2018 - Live on the USA Network!
Returning to Raw, footage was played from “During The Break”, as Jason Jordan & The A.O.P returned to the back in high spirits. Confronted by Kurt Angle, the General Manager told Jason Jordan that his night was far from over, because he was going to go the ring right now… and he’d be calling Jason Jordan out to join him!
Back live, Kurt Angle followed up his words by making his way to the ring, grabbing a microphone as he looked to address the WWE Universe.
Kurt Angle put over Sunday’s Starrcade show, talking about the Universal Championship match and the Raw Women’s Championship match. While the issues around those matches were settled, with the only question remaining being answered in the Main Event, Kurt Angle’s focus was on the Intercontinental Championship. Kurt Angle then called Jason Jordan (and only Jason Jordan) to the ring. Willing to step in the ring with his father alone, Jason Jordan didn’t even try and bring Akam & Rezar out.
Jason Jordan rolled his eyes at Kurt Angle calling him out, telling him that it better be worth his while. Kurt was sure that Jordan would want to hear what he said, as he confirmed the five men who would face him at Starrcade. Pointing to the titantron, Kurt Angle revealed one by one the competitors in Starrcade’s Intercontinental Championship match:
“Finn Balor… Baron Corbin… Bobby Lashley… Randy Orton… and Rey Mysterio!”
Such a star-studded match angered Jason Jordan, who looked down to his Intercontinental Championship, concerned that it was slipping out of his fingers. Before Jordan could have fully processed the fact that he’d be facing five huge challengers at Starrcade, Kurt Angle informed him he was in action next… against Rey Mysterio! Just for good measure, Kurt Angle barred The Authors of Pain from ringside, allowing Jordan a preview of what it will be like to go it alone at SummerSlam…
Coming out of the gates like a house on fire, Rey Mysterio took the fight to Jason Jordan, showing little sign of Baron Corbin’s unprovoked attack last week. Jason Jordan nonetheless targeted Rey’s leg, and eventually managed to slow the Lucha Legend down. Rey Mysterio would come back in to the match, but his task had been made much more difficult after some good work from Jason Jordan. Resilient as ever, Rey closed in on victory, only for Baron Corbin to once again get involved in his business.
Dragging Rey Mysterio out of the ring, Baron Corbin’s interference caused the referee to call for the bell. Despite losing, Jordan didn’t seem to mind the match being over, as he prepared for the toughest challenge of his reign at Starrcade.
Rey Mysterio bt. Jason Jordan (DQ)
Instead of attacking Rey Mysterio at ringside, Baron Corbin dragged the smaller Superstar up the ramp by his arm. The commentators wondered where Corbin was planning on taking Mysterio, and were sure that it wouldn’t end well for “The Master of the 619”...
Remaining in the ring after Corbin and Mysterio were no longer visible, Jason Jordan had a moment with his Intercontinental Championship, maybe for the last time on Raw...
As the commentators discussed what had just happened, they received word that Baron Corbin had been located in the back. Having taken Rey directly to the Parking Lot, Baron Corbin had obviously laid a few more shots at Rey Mysterio along the way.
Throwing Rey Mysterio shoulder first into a wall, knocking him down, Baron Corbin focussed on the lnee of Mysterio. Singling out the leg, Baron Corbin headed across the Parking Lot, getting onto his Motorcycle. It soon became clear that Corbin’s intention was to end the career of Rey Mysterio, as he started up the engine. Revving up his Motorcycle, Baron Corbin put his foot down, ready to do the unthinkable and destroy Rey Mysterio’s knee for good. However, Corbin’s Motorcycle didn’t move, to his confusion. Corbin looked behind him, as the camera panned back to reveal that Braun Strowman was holding the back of the Motorcycle.
Somehow managing to stop Corbin from moving forward, the incredible strength of the WWE Universal Champion had saved his friend Rey Mysterio from a career-ending injury. Baron Corbin got off the bike, but was taken down by Braun Strowman with ease. Strowman then pulled the keys out of the Motorcycle, throwing them across the Parking Lot. With Baron Corbin now under his boot, Braun Strowman tore the handlebars of Baron Corbin’s Motorcycle, before also pulling the front wheel away from the frame. The superhuman feat of strength shocked Corbin.
Having destroyed the Motorcycle completely, Braun Strowman grabbed Corbin by the throat, warning him about ever doing something like that again!
Returning to Raw, a vignette was shown once again, promoting “the fact that The Big Bang Is Coming!”. This time, a specific date was given, as Christmas Day was named as the moment “The Big Bang” would take place.
In the back, Braun Strowman was shown to be checking on Rey Mysterio’s, after he was again attacked by Baron Corbin. As Braun Strowman was approached for an update, he was cut off by Roman Reigns before he could say anything.
Roman Reigns said that he understands that Braun is only looking out for his friend, but he needs to keep his eye on the ball ahead of Starrcade. Braun Strowman didn’t like Reigns’ interruption, with the long-term tension between the two resurfacing. Reigns followed up by telling Strowman to “stay focussed”, before walking away. Shaking his head, Braun kept his eye on Reigns as he walked away.
With focus returning to the ring, Elias was seen ready for a performance. After being unable to speak to the WWE Universe last week, Elias was now able to talk about what happened.
Elias spoke about what happened to Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel, saying that there was no reason for Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy to do what they did to them at The Hardy Compound. Elias spoke about having to carve his path solo, which led into a song about him “walking alone”. Instead of his usual insult based songs, Elias’ performance portrayed a man who had been deeply turn by the loss of Dallas & Axel. As the song continued, he was interrupted by the laugh of Bray Wyatt. Appearing on the screen, “The Eater of Worlds” had a song of his own.
Laughing maniacally as he sang “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”, Bray Wyatt quickly got under the skin of Elias. Having had his performance ruined, Elias stopped playing and left the ring.
Moving on from Elias’ troubles, the Women’s Locker Room was the location of the following segment. With Nia Jax packing up her stuff, she was approached by Ronda Rousey.
Ronda Rousey said that she agreed with what Nia Jax said earlier, admitting this Sunday isn’t about her. Ronda promised that she would not get involved at Starrcade, but added that regardless of her personal issues with Shayna Baszler, she would be coming for whoever held the Raw Women’s Championship after the show.
Coming into the match with a clear focus, Roman Reigns may have had a eye on Starrcade, but didn’t let it take away from his performance. Kevin Owens looked to slow the match’s tempo, but the explosive Roman Reigns would not be kept down. As a result, Reigns was able to overcome the tactics of Kevin Owens, only to fall into his back-up plan. That back-up was the involvement of Sami Zayn, who came into the ring as Reigns set up for the Superman Punch.
When Reigns changed his path, in order to hit Zayn with the move instead, Sami ducked. As Zayn ducked, Kevin Owens came at Roman Reigns with a Superkick. Backing up into the corner, Kevin Owens then took time to recuperate, while also grabbing the referee’s attention. This allowed Sami Zayn to attempt to take down Roman Reigns, only for “The Big Dog” to throw him out of the ring. When the referee realised what had been going on, he sent Sami Zayn to the back. Kevin Owens’ continued protestation regarding the decision is what would then cost him, as Reigns defeated him following a Spear.
Roman Reigns bt. Kevin Owens
After the match, Roman Reigns celebrated his victory, with comment being made about how having to deal with both Owens and Zayn was a great warm up for Sunday’s Starrcade. Standing tall, a focussed Roman Reigns looked more ready than ever to become the WWE Universal Champion!
WWE Raw - December 2018 - Live on the USA Network!
Following a look back at the rivalry that has developed between Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley, the latter came down to the ring. Joined by Dan Lambert, it marked the first time in several weeks that Lashley’s trainer was present. Prior to the match, Lambert spoke about the intention of Bobby Lashley to become the WWE Intercontinental Champion at Starrcade, an ambition shared by Lashley’s opponent for the night, Finn Balor. When the match got underway, it seemed like Bobby Lashley was on his way to an impressive victory, until the action went to the outside. The referee tried to get the action back in the ring, as Finn looked in danger, but Dan Lambert argued with him. This caused a distraction designed to work in Lashley’s favour, but which instead had the opposite effect.
Appearing at ringside, Randy Orton used to fact that the referee’s back was turned to hit Bobby Lashley with an RKO outta nowhere. By now, Finn Balor was back in the ring, and when Randy Orton rolled Lashley back in, the rest was simple. Hitting Lashley with a Coupe De Grace, Finn Balor picked up an upset victory over “The Destroyer”, albeit with an assist from Randy Orton
Finn Balor bt. Bobby Lashley
Before the next match, Mickie James spoke with her partner for the evening, Ember Moon. While the two often haven’t seen eye to eye, Mickie asked that Ember trusted her, saying it was their only way to survive against the numbers game of The Riott Squad. As they went to leave the Locker Room, Mickie James turned to Alexa Bliss, but said nothing. Bliss rolled her eyes at Mickie James, saying that she fought off The Riott Squad alone last week, and there’s no reason Mickie should come calling for her this week…
When it came to the match, Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan picked up the win for The Riott Squad, with Liv Morgan at ringside giving more than a helping hand. After the match, Alexa Bliss was shown watching events transpire in the back, clearly not happy as Liv Morgan stood front and center of The Riott Squad, hogging the spotlight.
Just before the Main Event, Dolph Ziggler was interviewed about the upcoming match. Looking over his shoulder, Dolph Ziggler was fired up about the match. Ziggler said that last week, he cost Drew McIntyre his shot at the Universal Championship. He thought that would be enough. But this week he gets the chance to do it again. And Dolph will relish the chance, not because he’s bitter of jealous, but because when he beats Drew McIntyre in the Main Event, there’s no way he will ever forget him.
After a look back at what Dolph Ziggler did, costing Drew McIntyre his Number One Contendership match last week, it was time for the contest to get underway. Straight out of the gates, it was clear the match would be physical. While Dolph Ziggler did his best to compete with Drew McIntyre, it didn’t take long before the difference between the two showed. At the very top of his game, a fired up and determined Drew McIntyre made the task look fairly straight-forward. While Dolph did eventually give him some scares, as someone as resilient as him always will, Drew McIntyre was almost always in control. Wanting to send a message to Dolph, as well as Braun and Roman, as to what happens when you cross him, Drew McIntyre took pleasure in the beating he gave to Dolph Ziggler.
However, when Dolph Ziggler rolled him up for a two count, McIntyre realised it was time to zone in. Taking Dolph Ziggler down with a brutal slap to the face, Drew McIntyre set up for the finish, eventually hitting a Claymore Kick to Dolph Ziggler. The move that put down Braun Strowman at Survivor Series, there was no chance Dolph Ziggler was getting up.
Drew McIntyre bt. Dolph Ziggler
With his arm raised in the air, Drew McIntyre was confirmed as being added to the Starrcade Main Event. The WWE Universal Championship match would now be competed as follows: Braun Strowman (c) vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns.
Demanding a microphone from ringside, Drew McIntyre had no time to bask in his victory. Instead, he had a message for Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns. McIntyre reminded the WWE Universe, and his Starrcade opponents, that the last time he stepped foot in the ring with Braun Strowman, he did what nobody on the active roster has been able to do, and that was beat him 1… 2… 3! Drew McIntyre said that Roman Reigns might offer him a different challenge, but the result would be the same. He didn’t care if it was Braun Strowman, or Roman Reigns, but Drew McIntyre promised that after his foot connects with the jaw of either man… they will be looking at the new WWE Universal Champion! Fired up, Drew McIntyre stood tall, as Braun Strowman came to the top of the ramp.
Holding the Universal Championship high above his head, Braun Strowman made it clear that he’d heard Drew’s words, and he was ready for whatever he had in store in the Main Event of this Sunday’s Starrcade!
Shayna Baszler bt. Natalya
Dean Ambrose bt. Robert Roode
Rey Mysterio bt. Jason Jordan (DQ)
Roman Reigns bt. Kevin Owens
Finn Balor bt. Bobby Lashley
Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan bt. Ember Moon & Mickie James
Drew McIntyre bt. Dolph Ziggler