WWE: Then. Now. Forever.
December 2018 recap
The Red Brand rode their Survivor Series success into the final month of the year and as TLC approached, all eyes were on the war between former Shield brothers Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Their upcoming Intercontinental match should be a great one. In other news Braun Strowman has been out several weeks with an elbow injury but he will return at TLC to take on the would-be full time General Manager Baron Corbin. RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey continues to dedicate herself to being the champion RAW deserves and has pressed herself into title defenses twice this month against Dana Brooke and Tamina but her biggest challenge in the form of Nia Jax looms at TLC.
Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon continued to take his brand’s disappointing very hard, turning to near paranoia. Early in December, McMahon accused commentator Corey Graves of acting as a spy for RAW and threw him out of the building. The next week Byron Saxon tried to stand up for his friend and McMahon fired him too. Since then, WWF Hall of Famer Booker T has been working a two man booth with Tom Phillips. Champion Daniel Bryan has continued to show a complete disregard for anyone other than himself, prizing his championship above anything else but at TLC his rematch with AJ Styles promises to be can’t-miss. The triple threat TLC match between Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Asuka is a fan’s dream come true and although all three superstars have a real shot at the championship, only one can be the Man, as they say.
Champion Buddy Murphy has been dominant as the Juggernaut of 205 but he’ll be defending his title at TLC against former champion Cedric Alexander. The brand has gained some more veteran talent with Tyler Breeze joining from RAW as well as the Lucha House Party being made 205 exclusive. General Manager Drake Maverick has also announced a fatal four way for the Royal Rumble but participants haven’t been named yet.
Following the chaos of War Games, NXT went into December with three men wanting to challenge Tomasso Ciampa for the NXT title: Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano and The Velveteen Dream. That set the stage for a three way dance on the final NXT of the year where Black was victorious and will go to TakeOver Phoenix to try to reclaim his gold. Though Pete Dunne and Ricochet were allies at War Games the WWE UK Champion has made it clear he wants the North American Title. Adam Cole also has his sights set on recapturing his gold. The first NXT of the year will feature Cole vs Dunne to see who the challenger is. The war between Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane took a new dimension when each woman found backup at War Games. It appears that these six women are headed to a collision. The Undisputed Era may claim dominance of NXT but, they have a war brewing with some deranged vikings. At TakeOver Phoenix the Undisputed Era will have to defend their Tag Team Titles against Rowe and Hanson as this war rages on. And finally, the King of Bro's has begun his ascension but a bitter foe just won't let go. At TakeOver Phoenix, Matt Riddle will look to vanquish Kassius Ohno for good and then climb the mountain in N-X-T, B-R-O.
In the fall, Triple H, continued his vision of reshaping the business with the launch of the first ever WWE brand devoted to the United Kingdom, NXT UK. After debuting with much fanfare, the first major event for the brand was announced: NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool. WWE UK Champion, Pete Dunne, has been in a battle for his championship (and potentially his career) with the union of the Coffey Brothers and Wolfgang known as Gallus. At NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, Dunne will put his title on the line against the leader of Gallus, Joe Coffey. Is this the time when Dunne finally falls? Perhaps the hottest up and coming tag team in NXT UK are Mustache Mountain (Tyler Bate & Trent Seven). Bate is a fan favorite to NXT American audiences after his battles with Dunne and hes a favorite to the UK crowd as well. They have made it to the finals of the NXT UK Tag Team Title tournament and will hope to grab the gold at TakeOver. Eddie Dennis has been on a tear of NXT UK since it launched and no one has seemed to be able to stop the trouble that he caused. But, perhaps the one guy who can is the big bruiser, Mastiff. NXT UK General Manager Johnny Saint has decided to send Mastiff after Dennis and this unusual match up of styles will collide at TakeOver. At the end of November, Rhea Ripley, captured the NXT UK Womens Championship by beating the 2018 Mae Young Winner, Toni Storm. Storm said that she would cash in her shot at a womens title (as part of winning the Classic) in a rematch with Ripley. That rematch is set - at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool it will be new NXT UK Womens Champion Rhea Ripley defending against perhaps the best women's wrestler in the world, Toni Storm.
All Elite Wrestling opened its doors in December with none other than Y2J Chris Jericho at the helm, good ol’ JR Jim Ross involved behind the scenes and the hefty checkbook of the Khan family who invested an initial $2,500,000 in the project and their new show, Tuesday Night Dynomite will debut on AXS. Normally a new company needs time to find its wings but off the bat the top free agents in the world all put their names on the dotted line. Cody, Kenny Omega, Adam Page, Marty Scrull, and the Young Bucks turned the wrestling world on its head by becoming the bedrocks of AEW. Now we wait to see who else will sign up for this new venture.
Ring of Honor continues to grow and put on well received shows and events. What the company brings to the table in skill, some say they are lacking in star power now especially with the defections of some of their top names to All Elite. Who will step up or join up with ROH to replace those who have left?
Jeff Jarrett is giving Global Force Wrestling another try but many industry insiders don’t think he’ll be able to make a go of it. With limited funding and a lot of question marks for the roster this may end up being Jarrett’s swan song.
New Japan Pro Wrestling continues to expand its influence on North America as their AXS show carries on, now without the voice of a generation behind the mic. Fighting an uphill battle against the entrenched WWE, can New Japan continue to increase its foothold and cut into the American market?
Finally, what is there to say about Impact Wrestling that has not already been said in one simple word: terrible? The quality of the product continues to suffer as they hemorrhage talent but they may have a bright spot on the horizon from a place not many would have predicted in years past. The WWE and Impact have formed what is being described as a working relationship as the year comes to an end. It will be interesting to see how 2019 treats the fledgling former proud promotion.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Buddy Murphy © vs Cedric Alexander
-The Juggernaut of 205 Live shows why he’s garnered that nickname as he overpowers Alexander around the ring in the opening moments. He gets several two counts, showing no mercy as he punishes the challenger but when he misses a splash in the corner, Alexander mounts a comeback, staggering Murphy with a series of right hands before nailing a pinpoint dropkick. Alexander is feeding off the crowd and goes to the top but Murphy hits the ropes and crotches him. Murphy climbs up, secures Alexander on his shoulders, and falls back delivering a devastating Samoan Drop. He makes the cover for the 1…2…no, Alexander kicks out! Murphy, by now clearly annoyed and frustrated he picks up Alexander who still hasn’t recovered, and delivers Murphy’s Law for the win.
Universal Title Match/Full General Manager Stipulation
Braun Strowman vs Baron Corbin
-A still injured Strowman fought off an early barrage by Corbin intent on ending the match quickly but the Monster Among Men fought back. Strowman looked close to victory but his arm gave out, dropping Corbin into the referee. Corbin slid to the outside to collect a chair but Kurt Angle ran down to ringside and entered the ring, delivering an Angle Slam from behind before Corbin could use the chair on Strowman. Angle revived the ref as Strowman collected himself before putting Corbin down for the three count with a big powerslam.
RAW Women’s Championship
Ronda Rousey © vs Nia Jax
-The match opens with Ronda, for the first time, showing..concern as she cannot get a handle on how to get Nia off her feet. Nia really dominates alot of this match throwing Ronda around and using her size advantage to beat the champion down. Nia scores with several near falls (including after rolling the champ in following a jumping leg drop from the steps onto Ronda on the floor) but, she can't put Ronda away and becomes frustrated. The tide turns when Nia charges Ronda in a corner but the champ sidesteps and Nia hits her head on the ring post. Ronda begins to battle back with some stiff shots and finally is able to scoop Nia up and nail her version of the Death Valley Driver for a 2 count. When Nia goes for the armbar, Nia swings to deck Ronda but Ronda ducks and spins out. Nia is able to grab the champ and go for the Samoan Drop but, Ronda is able to wiggle around and lock on the arm bar while being on Nia's back. Nia is forced down to a knee and Ronda stands up and finally locks it on fully. Nia is screaming and just as she is about to tap, Tamina runs in and delivers a stiff kick to Ronda's face forcing the ref to ring the bell and award the match to Ronda by DQ.
Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins
-The fight begins before the bell even rings as Ambrose ambushes Rollins coming down the ramp. They brawl around ringside for a few minutes before entering the ring. Rollins begins teeing off on Ambrose getting a near fall but Ambrose rolls out of the ring and when Rollins follows, he’s sent head first into post. Ambrose quickly slides him back into the ring and hits Dirty Deeds but at the last second Rollins gets his foot on the ropes. Ambrose looks manic and begins to pick up Rollins to deliver another DDT when Rollins pulls him into a small cradle and gets the win.
Smackdown Live Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch © vs Charlotte Flair vs Asuka
The match lives up to the hype as all three women use everything that isn’t nailed down to batter each other. Lynch is the first to employ a chair as she wears out Charlotte across the back but Asuka ducks a wild swing and kicks the chair back into Becky’s face. Asuka and Becky brawl around the outside, teasing someone going through the announcer’s table and not paying attention to Charlotte who climbs to the top and moonsaults off, taking out the other two. Becky is the first to her feet and seeing an opportunity she goes to climb a ladder but Asuka follows her up and while they trade right hands at the top of the ladder, Asuka does an amazing jumping swinging backhand to knock Becky off the ladder and she lands in a heap. But before Asuka can reach up to the championship, Charlotte picks up the ladder and tilts it until Asuka falls off to the outside, through a table which had earlier been set up. Charlotte, with a wide grin climbs the ladder and yanks down the belt to become yet again the Smackdown Women’s Champion.
No Disqualification Match
Randy Orton vs Rey Mysterio
-Under the guise of no disqualification, this grudge match which has been building for weeks finally explodes and it’s the smaller Mysterio who unleashes a violent aggression that hasn’t ever been seen from him. From all around the ring to every corner inside, Mysterio keeps Orton on his heels as he punches, kicks and flies, landing attacks from every angle. Orton finally recovers with a low blow and deals out his own form of punishment for the next several minutes. Orton’s sadistic smile begins to show as he keeps trying to focus on re-injuring Mysterio’s throat but when he goes to throw Mysterio into the corner with a chair wrapped around his head, Mysterio blocks it with his feet, then mulekicks Orton low. With the Viper stunned, Mysterio takes the chair off, measures Orton and then cracks him in the head once, twice, three times with the chair. The last hit knocks Orton into the ropes, in perfect position as Mysterio bounds off them and connects with the 619. He makes the cover and gets the win and his dignity back.
Daniel Bryan © vs AJ Styles
-Daniel Bryan seems to be one step ahead of AJ in this match from the beginning, forcing the former champion to react out of emotion and frustration instead of a solid game plan. Bryan dodges and slips away, hitting and moving away while taunting but that ends when AJ catches him with a pele kick. AJ goes on the offense, determined to regain his championship but Bryan flips over AJ during an attempted vertical suplex and hits a quick german suplex before synching in the Yes Lock. AJ fights and gets to the ropes and Bryan doesn’t break until almost the five count. AJ slips to the outside, and climbs onto the apron as Bryan closes in but AJ knocks the champion onto his back with a big right hand. Looking to the crowd, AJ sizes Bryan up for the Phenomenal Forearm. Bryan begins to get to his feet when suddenly the three members of Sanity come from under the ring and yank AJ off the apron. The referee calls for the bell as Eric Young calls the shots and orchestrates the beat down of Styles which culminates with a spike piledriver onto the floor. Meanwhile Daniel Bryan collects his championship with a crooked smile as he watches and the show goes off the air.
RAW General Manager
Acting RAW General Manager
WWE Universal Championship
WWE Intercontinental Championship
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
The Authors of Pain
WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Smackdown General Manager
WWE United States Championship
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
The Big Show
205 Live General Manager
WWE Cruiserweight Champion
The Brian Kendrick
NXT General Manager
NXT North American Champion
NXT Tag Team Champions
Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong
NXT Women’s Champion
No Way Jose
The Velveteen Dream
NXT UK General Manager
NXT UK Championship
NXT UK Women’s Championship
A video is shown recapping the previous night’s TLC event, highlighting the RAW brand matches with still photos and audio from the commentary team.
Following the opening package we’re taken to the announcer’s table where Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young hype the two big matches of the night:
A return match for the RAW Women’s Championship between Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax…..
...and in the main event, Dean Ambrose versus Finn Balor.
RAW CEO Stephanie McMahon comes down to the ring with Baron Corbin in tow. She hypes last night’s TLC but before she can continue, Corbin begins blaming his loss to Braun Strowman on everything but himself. He says he’s been a great Acting General Manager and last night shouldn’t matter but before he can go on, familiar music hits.
Kurt Angle comes down to the ring and says that Stephanie said if Corbin lost he was fired and since he lost, Kurt says he’s ready to end his imposed vacation and get back to work. Stephanie seems to consider all this, then announces that she’s tired of excuses so if Corbin wants to be GM and Angle wants to be GM they’re going to go one on one tonight and the winner gets the job. And that match starts….right now!
We’re shown a pre-taped message from Nikki and Brie Bella in which they say they’re both entering the Women’s Royal Rumble and one way or the other, twin magic will come out on top.
Kurt Angle is in his office when Alexa Bliss comes in. She congratulates him on being GM again and he commends her for the job she’s done running the Women’s division. Angle tells her that for now he’s going to evaluate her performance but she can keep then job. She thanks him and says she won’t let him down.
Backstage Dean Ambrose is just hanging out. He says that last night some would say he lost but in truth he won. He won because he got to hurt Seth Rollins a little bit and the next time he gets his chance he’ll hurt him some more but tonight Finn Balor will be the one getting hurt. Tonight Finn Balor may win a match but he may lose his career.
A vignette for Lars Sullivan airs just as it has for a month. Renee Young wants to know when we’ll see him on RAW or Smackdown, to which Graves says he never wants to hear that show’s name again.
Elias is in the ring with his guitar and stool. He goes through his ‘WWE stands for…’ schtick but then touches on his opponent tonight, Drew McIntryre. Elias says McIntyre used to be called the Chosen One but the only thing he chose was to become is a joke. He then sings a few lines of a song taunting his opponent when McIntyre’s music cuts him off.
We see Alexa Bliss standing by with a wide smile. She hypes the fact that tonight’s rematch for the RAW Women’s Championship was her idea and her call and it just goes to show how important she is. As the segment ends, Renee Young questions if Alexa could be any more full of herself but is quickly sniped by Corey Graves who says Young should never insult the Goddess.
Backstage we see Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle. She congratulates him for his win tonight and says she’d like a clean slate because what is most important is that RAW continue its dominance. He agrees and says it’s good to be back where he belongs. However when he leaves the room her smile turns to a sneer.
The Riott Squad continues to triple team Sasha in the ring but the crowd comes alive when Bayley comes running down to the ring. She delivers a Bayley-to-Belly to Sarah Logan, backdrops Liv Morgan, then grabs Ruby Riott by the hair and slings her out of the ring. Even with the numbers advantage, the Riott Squad backs up the ramp, wanting no part of Bayley as she attends to her friend.
Bobby Roode’s music hits and as he has for the last few months, Chad Gable jumps out in front of Roode but this time the smile on Roode’s face drops and he grabs his tag team partner by the hair, swinging him around and throwing him face first into the video screen. The music cuts out as Roode circles the hurt Gable like a shark before picking him up and hitting a Glorious DDT on the stage. Officials come out and force Roode away to attend to Gable.
A replay is shown of Bobby Roode blindsiding his former partner in his brutal attack on Chad Gable.
Just as the referee hands Rousey her championship, Nia Jax blasts her from behind, shoving her chest first into the corner before hitting her with a running avalanche. With Ronda on the ground, Jax climbs to the second rope and drops a massive legdrop on her before rolling out of the ring and grabbing a mic saying that she’s going to win the Rumble and then at WrestleMania she’s going to end Rousey’s career!
Braun Strowman is shown in a pre-taped video. He says that last night he earned his shot at Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. If there is anyone who deserves to get these hands it’s the Beast and when they get in the ring, they won’t be going to Suplex City. They’ll be going to Monsterville...population one.
The announcers let us know that after what we saw tonight it’ll be Sasha Banks and Bayley against Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan next week on RAW!
A vignette for the Royal Rumble is shown, hyping the beginning of the Road to WrestleMania.
Ambrose picks up the chair after the referee drops it to check on Balot and smacks Balor across the back. He clearly doesn’t care about the bell ringing or the referee who he shoves out of the ring. He whacks Balor with the chair once again then prepares to deliver Dirty Deeds on top of the chair when Seth Rollins comes running down to the ring and Ambrose ditches out to the outside. As the show ends, Rollins makes sure Balor is alright as Ambrose is shouting to Rollins that more pain is on the way.
A vignette recapping last Sunday’s TLC is shown, spotlighting Charlotte Flair becomming the Smackdown Women’s Champion again and Daniel Bryan keeping his WWE Championship when Sanity attacked AJ Styles.
Tom Phillips and Booker T talk about an earlier tweet from Smackdown Live General Manager Paige….
…….and hype that the four man tournament begins now!
As Xavier Woods and Big E tend to Kofi, a jubilant Miz makes his way back up the ramp. He’ll meet the winner of Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy next week for the right to face Daniel Bryan at the Royal Rumble.
A pre-taped video of Samoa Joe is shown. He says that his destiny is to become the WWE Champion and step one is outlasting twenty-nine other men to earn a shot at WrestleMania so that’s what’s he’s going to do and if you don’t believe him, just wait.
After the match, Sonya checks on Mandy, only to be shoved away. A clearly frustrated Mandy brushes past Sonya and leaves the ring with her best friend trying to catch up to her.
The Bar head back up the ramp with their championship as the crowd boos but the champions don’t seem to care as they’ve survived the Usos.
Daniel Bryan is in his locker room, and turns to address the camera. He says there’s been a lot of talk about this four man tournament to determine who he’s going to defend his title against but the truth is it doesn’t matter who it is because he is the greatest wrestler in the world and he can defeat anyone. Because everyone has a weakness and everyone has a line they won’t cross...even Randy Orton. The old Daniel Bryan used to worry about that line but he’s dead now. The new Daniel Bryan only has one concern and that is keeping this championship by any means necessary!
Backstage, Paige is standing by with Kayla Braxton. She says that the actions of the Bar are not the actions of true champions so next week there will be a rematch for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship ands if the Bar are counted out or disqualified they will lose their titles!
Former Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch comes down to the ring and after a moment she says that she’s here for one reason and that’s to call Charlotte Flair down to the ring. She doesn’t have to wait long.
Charlotte comes down to the ring and Becky says that at TLC Charlotte did what she needed to do. She took advantage of circumstances the same way Becky would have and now she’s the Queen of Smackdown Live again but the fact is the Queen didn’t beat the Man and there is going to come a time very soon that the belt will be back where it belongs. Charlotte casts a knowing grin and the two begin to edge a little closer when they’re interrupted.
The IIConics come down the ramp mocking Becky and Charlotte but finally Becky has heard enough and tells the two of them to get their asses in the ring because if they’re not going to shut their mouths, then the Queen and the Man will do it for them!
In a pre-taped video, Naomi says that it’s time that the Royal Rumble feels the glow and after she wins the second annual Women’s Royal Rumble she’ll light up WrestleMania as only she can!
Sanity continues its assault on Styles, but for a moment he makes a comeback, finally getting Young one on one again but Dain clobbers him from behind and soon it’s three on one again. As the show ends, Sanity stands over the fallen former champion.
Last edited by Pipers Pit : 12-09-2018 at 05:38 PM.
We're divvying them up. Pipers Pit handles most of the booking and writing for Raw and SD Live while I handle the womens matches and segments. I handle NXT and NXT UK, the scheduling for the company and most of talent relations.
It's definitely an ambitious endeavor.
Following the match, Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir come down to the ring and surround Shirai as she celebrates. Shirai prepares to battle them both but, Belair kicks her from behind and Shayna Baszler's henchwomen strike. They beat down Io while the champ slowly saunters down to the ring.
With Duke and Shafir holding a nearly unconscious Shirai, Baszler tells her to consider this a message to Kairi and Dakota Kai. She tells them that the Horsewomen will destroy them at TakeOver before nailing Shirai with the belt. The Horsewomen laugh and celebrate.
A video meant to look like a promotional vid for Matt Riddle is shown but, its Kassius Ohno portraying the King of Bros in a training ring. With every move that he does, he botches them and finally appears to stub his toe and cries out for mommy. The "Matt Riddle is coming to NXT" banner is shown and then altered to say "Matt Riddle will be humbled...bro".
Adam Cole is backstage with the Undisputed Era. He talks about the travesty of justice that has occurred in NXT. Adam Cole was the first NXT North American Champion. For over a year, the Undisputed Era has dominated and taken apart everyone that they've encountered. And, because, Pete Dunne and Ricochet got lucky at War Games, Adam Cole gets shafted? Nah-uh. Tonight, that travesty of justice gets rectified. Tonight, Adam Cole Bay Bay takes on and destroys Pete Dunne and heads to TakeOver to take back his North American Title. And that? That's Undisputed.
The history of Tomasso Ciampa and Aleister Black is shown, including Johnny Gargano's actions in recent months and the War Games victory. The video then cuts to Ciampa in a dark room saying that the time has come to prove that the black mass that has settled over NXT is not Aleister Black...its the NXT Champion Tomasso Ciampa. In two weeks at TakeOver, Black gets his chance but, its just an opportunity at a suicide mission. The dark days of NXT are here but, not because of Aleister...they're here because of the champ. Next week, the champ will be on NXT and he will send a message to Aleister that no one will deny.
Last edited by Kimberly : 12-09-2018 at 06:39 PM.
I'm really struggling to read the yellow on grey. Don't know if it's me or do others have the same problem?