Match Ratings: WWE Raw 12/17/18 Podcast Notes From Sean Ross Sapp Of Fightful.com

IT'S TIME TO SHAKE THINGS UP A---wait no it's not.

  • Vince McMahon comes out and says he can't run Raw by himself anymore, and the great thing about Raw is that it changes with the times. He brings out Stephanie McMahon. Triple H and Shane McMahon all follow. 
  • Stephanie McMahon says they haven't been listening to the audience -- in a completely kayfabe perspective. They blame middle management for running the show into the ground. 
  • In a kayfabe perspective, WWE has four characters that have been shitty authority figures that don't listen to the fans saying that's over. They're going to make sure that changes. Fresh faces and matchups.
  • Shane says the same thing about Smackdown Live. Triple H says now the fans are the authority.
  • Baron Corbin comes out to giant boos and says what happened last night wasn't fair and he just wants to have a conversation.
  • Corbin keeps trying to talk but is booed for several minutes, including a commercial break. Finally he says what happened last night wasn't a fair situation that he was prepared for. 
  • You know what #Raw needs!? The 20+ minute opening segments that worked so well in 03.
  • All four McMahons say no to Corbin, but Triple H gives Baron a shot -- against Kurt Angle
Big Swole Updates Fans On Her Condition

 

If Baron Corbin Wins, He's Permanent Raw GM
Special Ref: Heath Slater
Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable & Apollo Crews defeated Baron Corbin
N/A

  • We go to a commercial, and come back to see Corbin beating up Angle. Triple H announces it's a handicap match. Gable, Roode and Apollo all come out.
  • Corbin is at an all you can eat ass kicking buffet and tries to walk out.
  • Heath Slater is adjusting the turnbuckle while a 4-on-1 beat down goes on. 
  • Shane McMahon comes out and makes the match a No DQ match. Slater starts beating up Corbin.
  • Roodesault and a Frog Splash hits. Angle Slam gets the win.
  • Angle Slam through the table ends this. The commentary during that first match was incredibly patronizing

Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler
5.75/10

  • A dropkick from Ziggler leads us to a commercial break.
  • We come back to see Balor in control as he gets an Eye of The Hurricane and a Slingblade.
  • Ziggler reverses the front dropkick into a big DDT. A Zig Zag follows, but it's a two count. 
  • Drew McIntyre comes out and distracts Balor to the point Ziggler hits a FameAsser for two. 
  • Drew interferes and takes both men out. Okay. New Raw. 

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dean Ambrose (c) defeated Tyler Breeze
6/10

  • Dean Ambrose trolls Seth Rollins and tries to goad him into coming out. He then drops an "all you people" line because that worked so well leading into last night.
  • Ambrose makes an open challenge to anyone not named Seth Rollins.
  • Tyler Breeze answers the challenge. Cole references Breeze facing Ricochet on NXT TV. 
  • Breeze gets the advantage as we go to commercial.
  • Ambrose puts the pain on Breeze until he's able to come back with a huracanara, Beauty Shot and a superkick. 
  • Ambrose snaps a really quick Dirty Deeds off and gets the win.
  • A fine performance from both. 
  • Ambrose goes off about Rollins not being there. Rollins is one of the SWAT team and attacks.

 

CALL UPS AND CRAPPENINGS

  • Lacey Evans, Heavy Machinery, EC3, Lars Sullivan and Nikki Cross are coming up. They each get vignettes. 
  • Baron Corbin blames Seth Rollins for all of his problems backstage. Rollins responds by punching him in the face. 
  • Sami Zayn is coming back soon. I've heard that he has a friend 

 

Top Contender For The Tag Team Titles
The Revival defeated B-Team, Lucha House Party (w/ Gran Metalik) and AOP (w/ Drake Maverick)
5/10

  • Shane McMahon is being interviewed when he's approached by Drake Maverick and AOP. Maverick says that they want their rematch. Shane says mandatory rematches are antiquated and will give them an opportunity instead. I've been begging to end mandatory rematches for a long time.
  • Lucha House Party are so annoying, but they kick The Revival's ass. We go to a commercial without really much of anything happening.
  • B-Team and Revival end up duking it out. Dallas gets Au Revoir on Dawson, but Dash breaks it up. 
  • AOP comes in the ring but Dawson and Dallas band together to get them out, then launch Lucha House Party over the top onto each other. 
  • Shatter Machine wins it for Revival.
  • This was a rough, sloppy match, but the end result works. This was a different kind of match than we usually see and a way to keep AOP off the title picture. 

Top Contender Gauntlet Match
Natalya wins, last beating Sasha Banks
6.75/10

  • Ronda Rousey comes out and cuts a goddamn weird Gatorade promo again. She issues an open challenge.
  • We see all the women arguing backstage and Stephanie screams her balls off at them. She says there's a top contender gauntlet match to determine a contender.
  • Alicia Fox vs. Bayley is the first one up, and we go to a commercial early. Bayley stun guns Alicia in the corner, and reverses a pin with a crucifix for the pin. 
  • Dana Brooke is in next. Bayley's knee is jacked up and sells it big time. She tries several pins, but a Bayley to Belly finishes it off.
  • Mickie James next up. She works over Bayley with a neckbreaker, but can't get the win. Bayley is selling her ass off, even after a belly-to-back suplex. She's working her ass off. She almost gets the win on a flying elbow drop, but Mickie grabs the ropes. A Bayley to Belly gets blocked, and Bayley is dropped over the top rope. Big DDT from Mickie wins it. 
  • Bayley worked 21 minutes.
  • Ember Moon's on deck. She and Mickie counter each other heavily. Ember catches Mickie with a Codebreaker off the top and pins her with Eclipse.
  • Natalya is in, and there's a weird rest hold spot before Moon's corner swinging suplex. Natalya pins her with an Okata roll. 
  • Ruby Riott and Natalya wrestle a very watered down version of their previous matches, outside of a few nice Natalya suplexes and a Ruby STO. No water in the pool for a Ruby senton and Natalya rolls her up. No Riott Squad in the gauntlet.
  • Sasha Banks comes in and gets her knees in the corner. Banks reverses a powerbomb with a DDT in a great spot. Sharpshooter is applied after a commercial and Sasha almost taps out, but slams Natalya's head into the bottom buckle. Sasha applies a half crab and transitions into a Banks Statement.
  • A snap German suplex lands for Natalya, but Sasha comes back with a beautiful Meteora. Banks goes for her rolling DDT again but walks into an Alley Oop. A Sharpshooter gets the submission. Excellent match.
  • Rousey comes to the ring and raises Natalya's hand.

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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