Match Ratings, Podcast Notes For WWE Raw 1/7/18 From Sean Ross Sapp Of Fightful.com

Opening Stuff

  • The show kicks off with a Mean Gene Okerlund tribute image.
  • We go right to a shot at Gorilla of Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley brawling. Everyone is trying to stop them.
  • They spill outside to the ringside area and have to be separated.
  • This was a good brawl, no commentary over top of it.
  • John Cena comes out and says this is WWE Raw, and it's what Seth Rollins is fighting for. Cena announces that he's going to enter the 2019 WWE Royal Rumble match.
  • Drew McIntyre comes out and says he's been waiting for this moment for years. He doesn't care about Cena's haircut or girlfriend.
  • Cena says he's so sick of the same promo that he left so people would come up with a new one.
  • As McIntyre and Cena are about to fight, Lio Rush is LIVID. He cuts a good promo about how Lashley will take legal action.
  • They're attacked by Rollins, who is attacked by Dean Ambrose, and then Finn Balor comes out to a gigantic pop to take everyone else out. We're getting a tag team match, playa.
  • We get this goddamn shaky camera for some reason. The segment is marred by it.

Seth Rollins, Finn Balor & John Cena defeated Dean Ambrose, Drew McIntyre & Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush)
6.5/10

  • This is a whole lot of top talent in one show, so I wouldn't be surprised if this match lasts until 8:45 or 9 PM EST.
  • Finn Balor gets beaten up thoroughly in the heel corner, but Cena is tagged in. His quick burst is stopped by a Drew McIntyre headbutt.
  • Every time I complain about WWE's terrible zooms, camera shakes and cuts I think "Maybe I'm living in a bubble. Maybe it's for the casuals. Casuals love seizures."
  • Cena hits an AA on Lashley, but Ambrose tags in and drags him down. Cena is sent into stairs before a commercial break.
  • Back from the break, Balor is tagged in and is ROLLIN. He's flat on his ass after eating a Claymore though.
  • Rollins is the latest hot tag, and his is the best. He is on fire in Orlando. He does a fantastic moonsault to the outside, and back inside hits McIntyre with a Falcon Arrow.
  • After a nice series, Rollins wins with a Stomp on Ambrose. This was a blast.
  • I'm really interested to see what WWE puts on the last two hours of this show with so many guys in this match.
  • Rollins sees Triple H chatting up with Boss N' Hug Connection on the big screen, and storms off. He slaps HHH's coffee out of his hand and wants Ambrose tonight. He gets it, falls count anywhere for the title tonight.

Let me yell ya somethin' Mean Gene

  • Hulk Hogan comes out to an underwhelming reaction, but gets "Hogan" chants.
  • He says he came out in character, because Mean Gene would have wanted it that way.
  • Hogan throws to a great, emotional video package.
  • Hogan does a tribute and his catchphrase one more time.
  • Rest in Peace, Gene.

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
Lumberjack Match
Gable & Roode (c) defeated The Revival
6.25/10

  • Gable goes wild with Ricky Morton flying headscissors.
  • Revival keep getting sent outside the ring, then sent back in, then back out.
  • A back body drop senton hits for Roode & Gable.
  • The Revival have #FTR on their trunks.
  • A blind tag leads to Gable getting suplexed on the ropes where he ALMOST lands on Dash.
  • Wilder eats a German Suplex/Blockbuster. Great tag team work is covering for your partner when he's late to break up a pin. This happens with Dawson, he kicks out.
  • Gable barely kicks out when Dawson gets a flying splash on him AFTER Gable German suplexes Wilder.
  • Gable and Dawson really tussle for a series of pins, but Roode turns one over and Gable wins, even though Dawson's feet are in the ropes.

Baron Corbin defeated Elias
4.5/10

  • Elias plays the guitar and recaps his 2018. He says he's going to be in the Royal Rumble.
  • Corbin interrupts and says the crowd doesn't appreciate how hard it is to do the job he did. He's entering the Royal Rumble as well.
  • Elias gets a mule kick, then dives onto Corbin outside the ring.
  • Coming back from commercial, Corbin is in control and gets "you got fired" chants. Elias hits a big knee and neckbreaker.
  • "CM Punk" chants. This match was a bad idea. Elias misses a flying elbow drop and gets punched.
  • Corbin gets End of Days to win.
  • I don't know how WWE expects people to be into Corbin matches at this point, but it's not happening. He's fine in the ring, so it's not that.

The Night That Wrestling Fell Asleep

  • Braun Strowman comes out to the ring, but no Lesnar or Heyman.
  • Heyman and Lesnar are backstage and Heyman says that Lesnar wouldn't have an opponent to face if he came out there face-to-face.
  • Braun cuts a goddamn miserable promo trying to get Lesnar. Man, I can't properly express how mega garbage this was. They're letting Braun die out there.
  • Brock comes out and walks around the ring and leaves.
  • WWE paid Brock for that? They paid BRAUN for that?

Ember Moon & Apollo Crews defeated Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox (w/ Singh. Bros)
SQUASH

  • Every so often I still have people tweeting me pretending the Mahal main event push worked.
  • He targets the crowd with a good ol' YOU PEOPLE promo about tranquility. Some of it is kind of funny. He enters the Royal Rumble.
  • Dive onto Jinder and the Singhs outside, Eclipse on Alicia. That's it.

Moment of Bliss

  • Alexa Bliss still hasn't wrestled since October 20.
  • She yells at a stagehand to bring her coffee.
  • She brings out Ronda Rousey, who brings up Sasha Banks as the person she should challenge.
  • Nia interrupts with gagging noises and then says Rousey has a crush on Sasha.
  • Sasha Banks comes out and says it'd be an honor to face Ronda.
  • Nia Jax says she is three hundred point five ounces, which is 18 pounds.
  • Nia says Sasha needs to get in line which she says "bitch, what line?" Nia says she's the bitch but not "a" bitch.
  • Nia and Braun Strowman just ad libbing for thirty minutes, give it to me, then have Anderson and Gallows narrate it after.

Top Contender Match
Sasha Banks (w/ Bayley) defeated Nia Jax (w/ Tamina)
4/10

  • Sasha Banks hits the Dalton Castle merry-go-round kick off the apron. Bayley has come down to support her, as has Tamina for Jax.
  • Sasha has a guillotine applied and it's turned into a Jax suplex.
  • Nia ends up press slamming Sasha onto a crate, then powerbombing her in the ring for a two count.
  • Back from the break Sasha applies a Banks Statement, but it's turned into a Samoan drop.
  • Sasha goes for a powerbomb off the ropes, but Nia drops Sasha across the top rope. It looks rough, but vicious.
  • Tamina tries to get involved, and Bayley throw her into the barricade.
  • Nia posts herself when Sasha moves out of the way.
  • I'm not sure what Sasha was doing, a huracanrana on the apron slams Sasha into the floor. She should have sold that more.
  • Banks Statement applied, the win.
  • This was a bad match. Sasha Banks will have a way better one with Rousey.

Intercontinental Championship
Falls Count Anywhere
Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins to retain the title
6/10

  • Rollins attacks, and they're backstage. Ladders, weapons, everything already in play.
  • Rollins tries to wheel a big steel structure into Ambrose, but the latter moves.
  • Ambrose slams Rollins into some flat, steel surface and hits him with a ladder. Both get two counts.
  • Imagine going to a commercial in the middle of a backstage war for the IC title. Crowd report: "the feed went off the screens in the arena. heavy boos. quickly went back up."
  • Rollins punches Ambrose right in the face in the crowd, and they want tables.
  • In the ring, a Buckle Bomb and superkick hit, as does THE STOMP. Bobby Lashley pulls him out of the ring and attacks.
  • Ambrose crawls to the pin for the victory.
  • Lashley puts Rollins through a table to end the show.

Rating guide

10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor

Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5.The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.

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