Match Ratings For WWE Raw (1/1/18): Sean Ross Sapp's Analysis And Notes

Opening Segment

  • Kurt Angle welcomes us to WWE RAW, and reveals that the women's Royal Rumble will have the same rules as the men's.
  • Cesaro is sans mouth guard just days after I was told how funny Vince McMahon thinks it is. He and Sheamus aren't happy about the nepotism.
  • Jason Jordan isn't happy about nepotism, and gets a match with Cesaro. Seth Rollins comes out and says Jason Jordan has a lot to learn, and he's out here to see Jordan lose.
Three Matches Announced For 4/27 WWE NXT

Jason Jordan (w/ Seth Rollins) defeated Cesaro (w/ Sheamus)

  • Jordan's dropkick is great, and I'm very much looking forward to Cesaro vs. Jordan matches.
  • Jason Jordan has to get some gear that makes him not look like he's the leader of The Bar.
  • Cesaro works over Jason Jordan's leg masterfully.
  • Rollins being a wiley vet taking a youngster under his wing rules. This isn't a pair I thought I'd see, and I like that. I want to see new, different combinations.
  • Rollins intercepts Sheamus, and Jordan hits his finish for the win. Solid stuff.

Bray Wyatt defeated Apollo Crews (w/ Titus Worldwide)

  • Apollo hits the old hilo, which I love.
  • I like Booker T calling out Apollo Crews for grabbing a headlock while he was on a roll.
  • A rope hung jawbreaker from Wyatt hits, and looks nice. 
  • This is a fine match, the result is just never in doubt.  Apollo Crews does well, and gets clotheslined and body pressed out of his boots. 
  • Dana Brooke has never been better on the WWE main roster, and she falls onto Titus O'Neil. This was hilarious.
  • Apollo Crews almost comes back, but eats Sister Abigail for the loss. 
  • We get a Woken promo after and Bray Wyatt sells it so well.

Backstage Crappenings

  • Nia Jax taking Enzo chicken noodle soup! Fantastic. Alexa Bliss needs her, but she says her soup is getting cold after Alexa tries to make her choose.
  • Samoa Joe says Dean Ambrose is living off his wife's paycheck in the middle of an awesome promo.
  • The Club is back together! What a great pop for those three. Balor is in the Rumble. So is Bayley. Absolution, too.

Asuka defeated Alexa Bliss 

  • The two start off with some decent chain wrestling
  • Asuka's ass taunts and offense seem so out  of place for her character.
  • It looks like a cue was missed for a commercial, because the spot was set up, Michael Cole sounded like he was throwing to one, and Bliss powdered out again.
  • Alexa's rope hung kick on Asuka is nice. The bow and arrow on the post sets up Alexa attacking the back really well with a hair pull backbreaker.
  • Alexa Bliss pulls out a guillotine, but the crowd doesn't care about it. Alexa gets mad and ends up taking two dropkicks as badly as I've seen in a while before actually letting one connect with her. 
  • There's like a hip-toss GTS that misses Alexa by a mile that the commentators sell big time.
  • Asuka submits Alexa.
  • The oft-missed offense really ruined that for me.

Braun Strowman defeated Rhyno (and kind of Heath Slater)

  • Heath Slater's theme represents he and Rhyno (two men) by referring to both one and three man bands. 
  • Strowman kills Rhyno, then gets mad that Slater is on the apron.
  • Strowman says "get these hands" in a promo urging Heath Slater to join the match.
  • Slater and Rhyno gain the advantage for a second, then they die. 
  • Braun.
  • I just don't know how WWE could avoid having Braun Strowman as a dominant champion that tears shit up all the time. Isn't this guy the WWE wet dream anyway? Just do it. I'll take Reigns vs. Braun No DQ at Mania.
  • He kills Heath Slater and Rhyno some more. 

WWE Intercontinental Championship
If Roman Reigns Gets DQ'd He Loses the Title
Roman Reigns (c) defeats Samoa Joe

  • These two have great, hard-hitting chemistry.
  • I'll keep saying it -- Reigns' clotheslines aren't good. 
  • Not a lot stands out here. It's just good, upper card level work. 
  • Why do they even have Roman Reigns tease using the stairs? It's dumb, 1990 pandering. 
  • Back inside the ring, the crowd is really hot. Joe shoved Reigns into the ref, who threatens to DQ him. 
  • Reigns is really the master of the 2.99999. He's gotten so good at kicking out at just the right time. (In b4 "hes had so much practice hurdurr).
  • Coquina Clutch gets countered into a spear. Reigns retains.

Cedric Alexander & Goldust defeated The Zo Train

  • Drew Gulak cuts a promo for Enzo Amore, which is really good. Cedric Alexander wants a match tonight. They say they'll give him a tag team match. GOLDUST comes to side with Cedric Alexander.
  • What an awkward way to start a match.
  • I wonder if agents, wrestlers, whoever realize that someone getting beaten up when they turn their back on someone isn't seen as sympathetic these days. Nobody wants to identify with being a dumbass. 
  • Goldust and Gulak mess up a running bulldog spot, but Goldust gets "you still got it" chants. He takes about a year to set up a body press.
  • Lumbar Check, win.

The Balor Club defeated Elias & Miztourage

  • Miztourage announces Miz is returning next week.
  • The first time Balor has teamed with Anderson and Gallows since March 2014, I believe.
  • Balor looks thrilled. There's also some motivation in Gallows I've not seen in a while. Last time I remember him in the ring, he didn't look so great. 
  • Magic Killer/ Coup De Grace gets it done, and Anderson hits a slingshot body press.


  • You've heard a Paul Heyman promo before. It was good. 
  • Kane comes down to the ring and Chokeslams Lesnar.
  • Lesnar sat up, laughed and cracked Kane with the title. Both men sailed over the ropes.
  • Nobody does a pull apart brawl better than Lesnar.
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