WWE Raw results, Jan. 8, 2018: Finn Balor and The Club send painful message to Roman Reigns
Raw Results : Full Details
○ The Bálor Club confronted Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan
Still amped from his epic Intercontinental Title defense against Samoa Joe last week, Roman Reigns came into Memphis looking to expand his Roman Empire. Little did he know, he stepped into a good brother town.
To be fair, it wasn’t exactly The Big Dog’s boasting or his proclamation that “if you mess with one of the members of The Shield, you mess with all of us” that raised the collective ire of Finn Bálor, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, the reunited running mates now calling themselves The Bálor Club. That fault lies with Jason Jordan, whose Raw Tag Team Title win with Seth Rollins led the young Superstar to get a little too familiar with Reigns and Rollins.
Jordan’s boast that he, Reigns and The Kingslayer (disappointed, for what it’s worth, at his partner’s lack of “timing”) might be nothing less than “the most dominant three-man group in WWE” was what brought The Bálor Club out in earnest, leading to a confrontation that boiled over when the good brothers insinuated that Jordan was a nerd. Jordan responded with a slap to the face of Gallows, and Raw General Manager Kurt Angle provided the solution, sanctioning a Six-Man Tag Team Match between the two groups for later in the night.
○ Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville stole the spotlight in a Six-Woman Tag Team Match last week, but the two young Superstars might not be quite ready to go it without Paige just yet. Facing Sasha Banks & Bayley, Rose & Deville looked no less impressive, but their inexperience ended up costing them down the stretch against the two former Raw Women’s Champions despite Paige offering instruction at ringside (Mickie James flanked Banks & Bayley to even the odds).
That leaves a bitter pill for the Women’s Royal Rumble-bound Absolution to swallow, especially given how thoroughly Rose & Deville asserted themselves against The Boss while keeping Bayley isolated on the apron. The Huggable One eventually tired of the cheap shots from Deville, however, and tackled her through the ropes, sending both spilling onto the ringside floor. A single misstep by Rose allowed Banks to lock in the Bank Statement for the tapout win, much to Paige’s chagrin.
○ "Woken" Matt Hardy def. Curt Hawkins
The WWE Universe has seen Matt Hardy progress past his breaking point and ascend to a “Woken” state on the mic. Now, they got their first look at what the reborn Superstar could do in the ring at the expense of Curt Hawkins. The Prince of Queens was unable to shake his T-shirt-certified losing streak, as a newly-aggressive Hardy gnawed on his arm, pummeled him with flailing fists and finally put him down with a neck-wrenching Twist of Fate.
And apparently, this is just the beginning. Hardy already has his eye on 29 more potential deletions, having officially declared for the Men’s Royal Rumble Match. However, the reappearance of his rival Bray Wyatt in the center of the ring moments after his victory cut his celebration short. The two merely laughed in each other's faces in an otherwise silent confrontation, but Wyatt's appearance, as well as his own declaration for the Rumble Match, was a stark reminder that while becoming “Champion of the Multiverse” may yet be in the cards for Hardy, there is still one major obstacle in his way.
○ Cedric Alexander def. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore via Count-out
Seven days ago, a bout of “influ-Enzo” pushed Enzo Amore’s WWE Cruiserweight Title defense back a week. Now, an injury has extended his reign beyond even that. Although Muscles Marinara was feeling optimistic about his chances against his resilient challenger Cedric Alexander — who had received a “Rocky”-esque pep talk from Goldust earlier in the evening — a few early shots sent Amore scurrying for cover almost instantly.
Luckily for Enzo, he shoved Alexander off the top rope to the floor to give himself a ground-and-pound advantage, until a springboard knee from Alexander busted Amore’s eyebrow open and spurred a fantastic rally from the challenger. It ended up inadvertently thwarting his efforts, however, as an over-the-top-rope plancha left Enzo with a tweaked ankle that prevented him from beating the 10-count and left the champion so agonized in the trainer's room that not even the presence of Nia Jax could comfort him.
○ Titus Worldwide def. Cesaro & Sheamus
Cesaro & Sheamus may have successfully negotiated their Raw Tag Team Title rematch for Royal Rumble with Raw General Manager Kurt Angle, but that was about the only good news they got on the night. Requesting that Angle supply them with some competition, The Bar got more than they bargained for when the surprise opposition of Titus Worldwide pulled off an upset of the three-time Raw Tag Team Champions.
In an effort that was all but written off even by Raw’s commentary team, Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews struggled to get out of the blocks against The Bar. Crews was brutalized by Cesaro & Sheamus, though he also allowed O’Neil the opportunity to score the upset win when he hit a moonsault off the apron that both dodged a Brogue Kick and took out an interfering Cesaro. The Big Deal sprang with a roll-up on the Irishman, and Titus Worldwide had a win in the books. The Bar, on the other hand, were left to pick up the pieces for the first time in a long time as their title rematch approaches.
○ Braun Strowman attacked Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Kane
Last week, Braun Strowman told Kane that he was in it for himself in their Universal Title Triple Threat Match against Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble. And while animosity continued to brew this week between the Universal Champion and The Big Red Machine, The Monster Among Men picked his opportunity to strike.
After Lesnar and Paul Heyman responded to Kane’s attack last week and the circumstances of the match — in short, Heyman promised dominance despite the stacked odds against his client and the lack of an “old-school” one-on-one challenge — The Devil’s Favorite Demon attacked again, jumping The Beast at the top of the stage and brawling with Lesnar into the backstage area, at which point Strowman trucked them both.
The Gift of Destruction threw Lesnar clean across the hallway, smashed Kane with a road crate and produced a grappling hook that he used to pull the backstage rigging down on both of his opponents. The attack left The Beast loaded in an ambulance en route to a local medical facility, while Kane hobbled away with an injured leg. Suddenly, a Lesnar victory doesn’t seem quite as certain as Heyman would have everyone believe.
○ Samoa Joe def. Rhyno
Rhyno’s quest to toughen up Heath Slater continues apace, though neither of the inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions have found much luck in their efforts of yet.
One week after picking a fight with Braun Strowman in an attempt to show Slater the way, The Man Beast squared off with Samoa Joe to demonstrate his grit to The One-Man Band. Unfortunately for Rhyno, it was Joe who put on the definitive demonstration of the contest. The Man Beast proved just difficult enough to defeat for Joe to get annoyed, but the two-time NXT Champion locked in the Coquina Clutch to submit his opponent all the same.
Joe wasn’t even sweating his loss the previous week, labeling Roman Reigns’ win over him as a Pyrrhic triumph that Joe would follow up on when the time was right. Until then, however, The Samoan Submission Machine was setting his sights on the Men’s Royal Rumble Match, targeting one particular Superstar as his first elimination: John Cena.
○ Nia Jax attacked Asuka
Alexa Bliss couldn’t get Nia Jax to back her up against Asuka last week. Nor could she convince Nia that The Empress of Tomorrow had said something less than flattering to orchestrate a potential confrontation this week (the jig was up when Nia realized that even if Asuka did insult her, Alexa couldn’t possibly have understood it, as the two Superstars don’t speak the same language). But “The Irresistible Force” made a statement out of the undefeated Superstar all the same when she attacked Asuka in advance of her planned contest. The assault left Asuka writhing in pain on the mat and earned her a match with Jax next week. But with Nia having declared for the Women’s Royal Rumble Match (inspired to pursue a title by Enzo Amore, no less), it might be time to ask if Asuka is ready for her.
○ The Bálor Club def. Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns & Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan
In a match spawned from the question of whether The Bálor Club or the so-called “Champions Club” was the most dominant three-man team in WWE, the good brothers landed a deafening salvo when they knocked off the gold-plated trio of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan, who were shown up again when another three-man squad came calling after the bout.
As for the epic Six-Man Tag Team Match, The Bálor Club brawled to the victory by working seamlessly as a group; one was never far from the other, so even when Finn found himself pummeled by Reigns, his partners were there to distract The Big Dog and tilt the match back in their favor. The “Champions Club,” on the other hand, seemed a step out of sync, and an overzealous Jordan rushed the ring and blinded the ref to a key tag from Rollins to Reigns (there’s that timing issue again). The Kingslayer was left as easy pickings for a bone-rattling Magic Killer, and while Reigns dispatched Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson singlehandedly outside the ring (taking himself out of action in the process), Finn Bálor seized control, tossing Jordan from the ring and spiking the wounded Rollins with a missile dropkick and chest-caving Coup de Grâce for the win.
Post match, as Seth Rollins was recovering, Roman was upset and got in Jason Jordan's face. Rollins eventually broke it up between the two, holding Roman back and as he had his back turned, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows beat down Jordan from behind! As Rollins turned around and tried to help, they went after him too, along with Balor and Roman joined in. The Balor Club managed to take out everyone except Roman Reigns, who was left laying in the middle of the ring, for Finn Balor. Balor climbed up the top and leaped off, nailing Roman with the Coupe de Grace! Monday Night Raw ended with Finn holding the WWE Intercontinental title in the air and Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows taunting behind him.
WWE SmackDown LIVE results, Jan. 9, 2018: Shane-O-Mac doubles down on match-altering decisions for The “Yep!” Movement
Smackdown LIVE Results : Full Details
○ Tensions rose on Team Blue as Shane McMahon made a major main event
BIRMINGHAM — WWE Champion AJ Styles kicked off SmackDown LIVE with an in-ring interview conducted by Renee Young. Styles vented about the position Team Blue General Manager Daniel Bryan put him in last week when he placed The Phenomenal One into a 2-on-1 Handicap Match against Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn with the WWE Title on the line at Royal Rumble. Styles stressed that he was trying to keep himself removed from the beef between Bryan and Shane McMahon, but he didn’t sound overwhelmingly thrilled with either.
Before he could continue to expand, however, he was interrupted by his Royal Rumble opponents. The “Yep!” Movement, in no uncertain terms, claimed that they would beat Styles down at Royal Rumble and go on their way to becoming co-WWE Champions. However, their dreams quickly came crashing back down to earth by the arriving Shane-O-Mac. The Commissioner revealed that they would be in yet another Handicap Match against Styles … just with Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton as The Phenomenal One’s partners.
○ Becky Lynch def. Ruby Riott
Following her straight fire return to SmackDown LIVE last week, Becky Lynch, flanked by SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and Naomi, took on Ruby Riott, who had Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan of The Riott Squad by her side.
The action was explosive, as The Irish Lass Kicker sought retribution for The Riott Squad’s ruthless attack that sidelined her for several weeks. Near the end of the hard-hitting brouhaha, Lynch locked Riott in the excruciating Dis-arm-her, and with Charlotte and Naomi keeping the rest of The Riott Squad at bay via an intense ringside staredown, Riott was forced to tap out to give Lynch a clutch win in her first match back.
○ The Bludgeon Brothers def. The Ascension
After twice inserting Breezango into matches against The Bludgeon Brothers, The Ascension got a taste of what it’s like to officially go to battle against Harper & Rowan. With their “best friends” Tyler Breeze & Fandango preparing for their match later in the night against Rusev & Aiden English, Konnor & Viktor had to go it alone against The Bludgeon Brothers, and the warriors from The Wasteland were no match for the bludgeoning, as Harper & Rowan picked up another fast victory. After the contest, Konnor went to check on his fallen partner, but he was quickly met by an attack from The Bludgeon Brothers, who punctuated the beatdown with their painful double-team maneuver.
○ Mojo Rawley def. Zack Ryder in a First Round United States Championship Tournament Match
Following Mojo Rawley’s shocking betrayal of his Hype Bros partner Zack Ryder several weeks ago, the two faced off in the final first round matchup of the United States Championship Tournament.
Bobby Roode, who was slated to face the winner of this bout after already advancing to the semifinals of the tournament, made his way down to get an up-close view and scout his potential opponents. What The Glorious One saw was a brutally physical contest between two men who used to be as close as brothers. Rawley weathered the veteran’s flurries and overcome his former buddy for the second time since ending their partnership, getting the win with a furious running fist.
After the match, Roode entered the ring and faced off with his upcoming opponent. Each stared the other down, trying to get the mental edge for their semi-final match in the United States Championship Tournament before Mojo slowly made his exit.
○ Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable demanded justice
Infuriated that their SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match last week was restarted after the two illegal men were involved in the pinfall, Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable hit the scene on Team Blue this week demanding justice.
After watching Benjamin & Gable air their grievances, SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan arrived, and although he sympathized with Gable & Benjamin, he also stated that last week’s decision was final. However, when Gable began to wonder out loud if he and his partner had to beat The Usos twice in one night to prove they were worthy of the titles, The “Yes!” Man got an idea: a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match between the two teams with the titles on the line at Royal Rumble!
○ Breezango def. Rusev & Aiden English
Officially declaring for the Royal Rumble (or Rusev Rumble as The Bulgarian Brute would like it to be called), Rusev & Aiden English had to focus on the present and the formidable challenge of Breezango on SmackDown LIVE.
The Fashion Police executed their dynamic onslaught on the Rusev Day celebrators, and Fandango caught The Super Athlete by surprise with a lightning-quick rollup for the win.
Not a happy Rusev Day. Not at all.
○ AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton def. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
In the complete inverse of what WWE Champion AJ Styles will have to face at the Royal Rumble event, The Phenomenal One teamed up with Shinsuke Nakamaura & Randy Orton to take on the undermanned Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn in the main event of SmackDown LIVE.
The “Yep!” Movement did their best to keep it competitive in the early goings, but then finally chose to walk off and take the count-out loss. However, Shane McMahon refused to see the match conclude in such anti-climactic fashion and came out to announce that the bout would now be no count-out. Shane-O-Mac had to pop in again when KO & Sami tried to get themselves disqualified after Owens assaulted his opponents with a steel chair, leading Shane-O-Mac to declare that this was now also a No Disqualification Match.
Styles retaliated by pelting KO with a chair in an attack that led both men to the backstage area. From there, Sami was left to tangle with Orton and Nakamura all by his lonesome, and he soon became the recipient of a steel steps attack and was driven into the announcer’s table. That all led to the reeling Zayn eating both a Kinshasa and an RKO for a crushing, albeit controversial, loss.