The December 11th edition of WWE RAW aired live from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH.
– This week’s RAW broadcast kicks off with a video recapping recent events between Samoa Joe, The Bar, and The Shield.
– Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T welcome us to RAW, and Samoa Joe is already coming out to the ring. Joe immediately gets on the mic and starts talking about The Shield. He says they started off strong, but he’s not impressed with them now. He calls Dean Ambrose a human cockroach, and mentions putting Reigns to sleep multiple times. Joe mentions that he has a match with Ambrose later tonight, but he’s here for one reason: to finish what he started with Roman Reigns, and he wants to finish it right now. Joe says he doesn’t want Reigns’ lapdogs with him, he wants just Reigns. We see Rollins and Ambrose watching on a monitor backstage. Rollins tells Ambrose to go get Roman and tell him to check it out. Joe talks trash about taking down Reigns last week, and says if not for that silly bastard Jason Jordan. Joe continues trashing the shield, and saying he punked Reigns last week. We see backstage that Reigns has joined Rollins and Ambrose by the monitor, and says he’s “got this” then starts walking to the gorilla position. The Big Dog comes out to interrupt. Reigns hits the ring and he and Joe start brawling. Reigns backs Joe into the corner and stomps on him, then Cesaro and Sheamus run in. Reigns knocks down The Bar, then Joe grabs him and locks him in the Coquina Clutch. Rollins and Ambrose come out for the save and they start brawling with The Bar at ringside, while Joe is still choking Reigns. The Bar takes the other Shield members into the ring and they hit a Super White Noise on Rollins, then they beat down Ambrose with the help of Joe. Joe hits a version of the Rock Bottom on Ambrose. The Bar and Joe pose in the middle of the ring as The Shield is left laying.
– Mickie James & Bayley vs. Absolution: The babyfaces come out to the ring first, then Absolution comes out to the ramp and cuts a promo trashing them. Paige and Mandy Rose are representing Absolution in this match. Sasha is with the babyfaces. The opening bell sounds and the fight spills out to ringside early on where Mickie and Bayley both hit splashes on Paige and Mandy separately. Back in the ring, Bayley starts working over Mandy and hits some elbows. Mandy comes back with a knee to the face for a two count. Mandy takes Bayley into her corner and stomps on her, then tags in Paige. Paige starts working over Bayley now and hits a knee to the face. Paige goes for more knees, but Bayley drops her and now both women are down. Mickie finally gets the hot tag, and Mandy tags in too. Mickie cleans house and hits some kicks on Mandy. Mickie hits a facebuster, then knocks Sonya off the apron. Paige and Bayley both run in and start brawling. The ref takes Bayley back and Paige capitalizes with a cheap shot kick to Mickie’s head. Mandy rolls up Mickie for the win.
– Michael Cole plugs SmackDown’s Clash of Champions this Sunday, and plugs a 30-day free trial offer for the WWE Network currently going on.
– We see Bray Wyatt appear on the big screen, but then the word “woken” covers the screen and Matt Hardy appears. Matt says he has woken, and laughs. The screen cuts to say “woken.”
– Bray Wyatt is back on the big screen and says there is nothing new – it’s always been darkness vs. light. He says history has always had good vs. evil, and it’s his favorite game. “Woken” appears on the screen again, and Matt appears and starts talking about the great war. He says now the battle continues in the battlefield known as WWE. Bray comes back and says he’s been waiting for Matt, then Matt says his woken wisdom and broken brilliance will illuminate the masses. Wyatt says Matt is a liar, which makes Matt laugh. Matt then talks about the soulless Sister Abigail has been around for centuries, but she got addicted to evil and possessed Bray Wyatt. Wyatt then calls Matt a jester and calls himself king. Matt says the woken warriors are preparing, and they shall DELETE. Wyatt and Matt duel evil laughs again, then we go back to the announce table, where they introduce a video package about Enzo and the cruiserweights.
– We see Enzo backstage admiring his cruiserweight title belt. He’s with Drew Gulak, who mentions that Rich Swann’s opportunity has been revoked, so when Gulak wins tonight he’ll be going on to face Enzo for the title. Enzo starts listing off possible opponents and accidentally says Nia Jax — Gulak calls him out. Gulak says he thinks Enzo is teaching him a lesson to prepare for the unexpected, and Enzo goes along with him.
– Finn Balor makes his way out to the ring next. He’s got a match against Miztourage member Curtis Axel.
– Finn Balor vs. Curtis Axel: Bo Dallas comes out with Axel and they laugh at Balor on the way to the ring. Axel dramatically takes his neck brace off and then he gets a cheap shot in on Balor before the bell. Dallas rushes the ring and they both beat down Balor until the ref hauls off Dallas. The ref gives Balor some time to recover then he calls for the opening bell. Axel continues the beat down on Balor in the opening moments of the match. Balor blocks a shot in the corner and fires back with a Sling Blade. Balor hits a big running dropkick and Axel starts selling the neck again. Balor follows up with the Coup De Grace for the quick win.
Winner: Finn Balor
– After the match, Balor heads up the ramp while Dallas checks on Axel in the ring.
– Kane is backstage somewhere deep in the arena. Kane says he and Braun Strowman both aren’t normal, and it’s a delight for him to enter the abyss with a fellow monster tonight. Kane says he’ll crush Strowman and walk out alone tonight, and then he’ll go on to compete with Brock Lesnar.
– Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus: Rollins dumps Sheamus outside early on and hits a suicide dive through the ropes. Back in the ring, Sheamus fires up with some strikes and he drops Rollins in the corner. Sheamus stomps on Rollins in the corner, but Rollins fires back with a knee strike to the face. They brawl through the ring and Rollins stuns Sheamus before hitting a blockbuster off the middle rope. He dumps Sheamus outside and goes for a suicide dive, but Sheamus dodges it. Sheamus rolls back in the ring, and as Rollins tries to get back in, Sheamus hits a knee to the face that sends Rollins flying back outside. Back in the ring, Sheamus controls the match and starts working over Rollins’ knee. Rollins tries to fight away, but Sheamus takes him down again and locks him in a Texas Cloverleaf. Rollins fights out, but he’s selling the knee. Rollins reverses a suplex attempt into a DDT, and follows up with a kick. Rollins rolls up Sheamus for a two count, then follows up with a superkick for another two count. Rollins some suplexes for a two count, and is really selling his knee now. Sheamus comes back with some strikes and rolling Senton. Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick, but Rollins ducks it and fires back with a superkick. Rollins hits the flying knee to the face for the three count.
Winner: Seth Rollins
– Dean Ambrose is backstage for an interview with Renee Young. She asks about his strategy for Samoa Joe tonight. Ambrose says he wants to avoid getting kicked in the face and getting put in the Coquina Clutch, but decides not to talk much about his strategy. He says he’s redy to get his hands on Joe and walks off. Ambrose vs. Joe is coming up later tonight.
– Fatal 4 Way: Cedric Alexander vs. Daivari vs. Tony Nese vs. Mustafa Ali: Gulak is on commentary for this one. Cedric and Ali clear the ring to start, then start going at it with kicks and flips. The fight spills outside where Ali hits a big suicide dive on Nese. Daivari now gets back in the fight and starts working over Cedric in the ring. Cedric hits a facebuster on Daivari, then Neese runs in and decks Cedric from behind. Ali is back in now and he eats an elbow to the face from Nese. Cedric takes out Davari and Nese, then Ali grabs Cedric and hits a tornado DDT. Ali and Cedric fight up to the top rope where Cedric looks for a top rope powerbomb, but Ali reverses into a hurricanrana. Daivari now runs in and starts working over Ali. Daivari hits a spinebuster on Ali for a near-fall. Ali starts firing up but Nese runs in and decks him with a right hand. Ali elbows Nese away and then hits the inverted 450 splash, but Cedric breaks the pin. Ali and Alexander start going at it in the middle of the right now and trade punches and elbows. Cedric comes back with a crazy looking version of the Spanish Fly, then hits the Lumbar Check, but Daivari knocks Cedric outside so he can’t pin. Cedric and Daivari brawl out to ringside, then Nese comes flying out of the ring with a suicide dive on both. Back in the ring, Nese hits a running knee to the face of Ceric, but Ali breaks the pin. Ali boots Cedric then dumps Nese outside. Cedric hits a flying clothesline on Ali, then Daviari decks Cedric. Cedric starts firing up on Ali and decks him. Cedric knocks Nese off the apron, then hits the Lumbar check for the three count. Cedric now advances to face Gulak next week, and the winner will face Enzo for the Cruiserweight Title.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
– After the match, Cedric does an interview where he says this is his shot and he’s going to take advantage of it. He says after he beats Gulak next week, he’ll beat Enzo to become cruiserweight champ.
– Gulak approaches Enzo backstage and tells him now that he knows he’s going to beat Cedric next week, then he’ll go on to become the next Cruiserweight Champ. Enzo takes offense to this, and says he’s not friends with Gulak – Gulak works for him. Enzo says Gulak isn’t on his level, and he starts dissing Gulak’s powerpoint presentations. He shoos off Gulak, then walks over to Nia Jax. He asks Nia how she’s doing, and she says he’s doing just fine. Nia tells Enzo hey should talk sometime when she’s not busy, and walks off. Graves says it’s like “real life lady and the tramp, except I just threw up in my mouth a bit.”
– Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro: The Intercontinental Title is on the line in this one. The opening bell sounds and they go right at it. They briefly brawl out to ringside and then back in, where Cesaro gets off some cheap shots on Reigns when he re-enters the ropes. Cesaro hits some uppercuts until Reigns fires back with a lariat. Reigns keeps striking Cesaro until he falls, then he takes him into the corner for a series of clotheslines. Cesaro blocks one clothesline and slams Reigns’ arm over the turnbuckle. Cesaro charges but Reigns stuns him with a punch, but is selling the right arm. They go out to ringside where Reigns attempts the Drive By, but Cesaro kicks him out of mid-air and takes control. Cesaro whips Reigns into the fan barricade arm-first, then takes him back in the ring where he continues to work on the arm. Cesaro gets Reigns in an armbar, but Reigns fights out and hits a back body drop. Reigns headbutts Cesaro down and he falls across the bottom rope, then Reigns runs around the ring and hits the Drive By. Back in the ring, Reigns calls for the Superman punch, but Cesaro hits him out of mid-air. Cesaro goes for an armbar, and then a Crossface, but Reigns fights out and hits a Samoan drop. Reigns is slow to get up, and Cesaro starts laying into him with uppercuts. Cesaro throws Reigns shoulder-first into the ring post and he falls out to ringside. Reigns manages to hit Cesaro with a big boot at ringside, then he drops him with a right hand. Back in the ring, both men are getting tired and trade strikes. Cesaro goes for the Crossface again, but Reigns powers out and hits a sitdown powerbomb for a two count. Fans chant “this is awesome” as both men are down. They slowly get up and trade strikes, and when the ref gets between them Cesaro hits a cheap shot. Cesaro then argues with the ref as Reigns gets up. Cesaro starts teeing off with uppercuts until the ref warns him. Cesaro hits more uppercuts then goes for the Neutralizer, but Reigns backdrops him and hits the spear for the three count.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– Reigns raises his IC Title high in the air as his music hits and we go to replays.
– We see a backstage promo by Braun Strowman, who says he’s going to be the one who wins tonight and then goes on to beat Lesnar at the Rumble.
– We’re told Alicia Fox will be getting another shot at Asuka tonight, and that’s up next.
– Asuka vs. Alicia Fox – No Contest: As Asuka is waiting in the ring for her opponent to come out, instead she is greeted by Absolution again. The three women come out to ringside and Paige is on the mic. Paige warms Asuka and says she either gets out of the way, or they’re going to move her. They surround her on the ring aprons. They eventually step in the ring and start beating down Asuka. Asuka puts up a good fight, but she’s outnumbered, and Absolution gets the better of her. The RAW Women’s locker room starts clearing out from backstage and heading to the ring to back up Asuka. Sasha, Bayley, Dana, Nia, Fox, Alexa, and Mickie all come out and start brawling with Absolution. Nia Jax steps in the ring and hits a big boot on Rose, then Paige and Sonya pull Rose out to safety at ringside. Absolution retreats up the ramp as the rest of the RAW women look on from the ring with smiles on their faces.
– Jason Jordan walks into Kurt Angle’s office and starts apologizing for his behavior last week, and for demanding a match from Kurt. He says he gets the intensity from his father. Jordan says he’ll keep his cool, but then starts complaining about not being given a match against Samoa Joe tonight. Jordan says he’s the only one who can beat Joe, but Angle points out that Jordan hasn’t beaten many of his big name opponents. Angle says Jordan will get the match when it’s the right time, then Jordan storms off.
– Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe: As Ambrose and Joe circle each other, Jason Jordan comes out to the stage for a closer look. Ambrose gets distracted, and Joe cheap-shots him and starts beating down The Lunatic. Ambrose takes out Joe’s knee and starts mounting a comeback. Joe shuts him down and attempts a running senton, but Ambrose rolls out of the way. They trade strikes in the ring until Ambrose hits a series of clotheslines and drops Joe. Jordan is now sitting on a chair on the stage. Joe hits a suplex then taunts Jordan, showing that he’s got suplexes too. Jordan stands up and walks down the ramp, as Ambrose takes advantage of the distraction and decks Joe from behind. Ambrose and Joe fall out to ringside, where Jordan throws Ambrose back in the ring. Joe gets up and locks Jordan in the Coquina Clutch at ringside, then Ambrose comes flying out of the ring and hits a suicide dive on both of them. Back in the ring, Jordan distracts Joe and Ambrose capitalizes with a big elbow. Ambrose covers Joe, but the ref is distracted by Jordan and doesn’t count the pin. Ambrose confronts Jordan at ringside and Jordan grabs him for a suplex. Before Jordan can do the suplex, Joe comes flying out of the ring with a suicide dive on both of them. Joe rolls Ambrose back in the ring, then hits a senton on Jordan on the floor. Joe locks Ambrose in the Coquina Cutch in the middle of the ring for the win.
Winner: Samoa Joe
– After the match, Joe’s music hits and he leaves while Jordan and Ambrose are still down.
– We go backstage where Titus O’Neal and Apollo Crews inform Dana Brooke that she is being hired by Titus Worldwide. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson walk up and call them all nerds, and then Braun Strowman comes marching through and everyone in the area scatters.
– Braun Strowman vs. Kane: The winner of this match gets a shot at Brock Lesnar’s Universal Title at Royal Rumble. The opening bell sounds and Braun charges Kane back into the corner. Braun starts laying into him with strikes, then drops him with a headbutt. Braun hits a splash, then runs and hits a dropkick. They briefly brawl around ringside, before getting back in the ring where Kane seems to back down from Braun. Kane dodges a splash in the corner, and Kane follows up with a chokeslam for a two count. Kane continues to beat down Braun, and he hits a second chokeslam. Kane pins again and gets another close 2 count. Kane goes for another chokeslam, but Braun counters and delivers a chokeslam of his own. Kane also kicks out at 2. They go out to ringside where Kane starts getting the upper hand, until Braun tackles him through the fan barricade. The fan barricade crashes to the ground, and so do KAne and Braun, and the ref counts them both out.
Winner: Double count out
– Fans boo at the double count out as Braun and Kane get to their feet. Braun starts beating on Kane, then he goes to get the ring steps. Kane grabs the other ring steps, and they collide the steps together. Kane goes for more weapons, but Kane grabs him and they start going back and forth with strikes. Braun rolls Kane back in the ring, then he puts a table in the ring. Kane grabs a steel chair and nails Braun with it. Kane goes for another one, but Braun gets off a right hand to the face of Kane. Kane fires back with a successful chair shot, then hits several more repeatedly. Kane drops down out of exhaustion, and when they get back up they collide and both men go back down. Kane sits up, then Braun sits up, and they stare at each other. Kane looks scared and starts backing up into the corner. They get up and Kane goes for a chokeslam but Braun fights out. Braun scoops up Kane and hits a running powerslam through the table. Braun stands tall as his music hits. Graves wonders what this means for Lesnar’s future as Champion, and RAW goes off the air.