‘Twas The Raw Before Christmas

Welcome everybody to this week’s edition of A Sovereign Statement! Now this week’s episode of Raw is pretaped which means that spoilers have been out for this for a week now. I will admit that I did look at them last week but when I watched this week’s episode, I had forgotten all of them and I came into this episode with fresh eyes. Holiday episodes are always special and fun so let us dive into this one.

 

Miracle on 34th Street Fight

Prior to this match Elias cut yet another great promo. He is truly one of the best on the mic right now in WWE and is able to get the crowd in the palm of his hand with such ease. It is a shame that we didn’t get a Christmas album from Elias this year but maybe we can get one next year. The match itself was a lot of fun and I wonder if this was the blow off to this feud because it certainly did feel that way. There was a nice twist on the thumbtacks spot in this match because they used Legos instead of thumbtacks and as someone who has stepped on a Lego, that does indeed hurt. Elias ended up picking up the victory in this match over Lashley as he was able to get Lashley to knock Lio Rush into a table and he picked up the win after smashing a cello on Lashley. Elias then dumped a bowl of eggnog onto Lio as he laid on the floor after going through the table

 

Heath Slater’s Christmas Wish

This was the first of a few WWE superstars who said what their Christmas wish was, and Heath owned this own. From having multiples sheets of papers to show how many kids he has and they all wanted the same thing. That was for their Uncle Rhyno to have his job back and we will see more about that later.

 

Olympic Glory vs The Revival

This is exactly what I have been wanting from the Raw tag division for so long. This was such a high-quality tag team championship match, and this did well for both teams. Gable and Roode seem to have found their groove as a tag team and Roode actually looks like he is having a good time with Gable. The Revival are some of the best workers in the division and they had a chance to show it here. The pace started off a bit slow at first but then when it picked up, it picked up. Plenty of near falls throughout this match and these two teams have quite a good chemistry amongst each other. Olympic Glory, that’s what I am going to continue to call this team, picked up the win with a small package but as the replays showed, looks like the illegal man from the Revival was pinned. Looks like this is just the start of something that can be very good.

 

B-Team Caroling

This was just flat out hilarious, and the B-Team have such great comedic timing. Apollo Crews was good here too and showed some personality as well. There may be hope for him yet as it looks like he is putting in work to grow. My one hope is that whenever the Fashion Police come back that we can have an interaction between them and the B-Team.

 

More Superstar Christmas Wishes

The Lucha House Party did fine with their wishes, but this segment was stolen by Curt Hawkins. The fact that wishing for a win went over his head until it was pointed out was fantastic. We also had a No Way Jose sighting and that was a sight for sore eyes. He showed the charisma that he has, and I hope something can be done with him.

 

Dolph Ziggler Backstage Promo

This was about as standard of a Ziggler promo that we can get. He talked about being best in the world and that he will show it again. Pretty cut and paste promo really from him.

 

Triple Threat Match

Drew McIntyre simply has IT and it shows each and every single week he is on Raw. He has become a master on the mic and in the ring and you can just sense that he is ready to be the man. Then we have the match itself and it should be no surprise that this was a fantastic match. Finn, Ziggler and McIntyre are all fantastic in the ring and it showed here in this match. Great chemistry between all three men and some very close near falls as well. That is something that is always tricky to pull off in a multi-man match but they did it very well. Much to my surprise, Finn picked up another win and it looks like he may be getting a push of sorts. After the match it looked like McIntyre was going to give Ziggler another beat down but Dolph was able to get the upper hand this week with a Zig-Zag.

 

More B-Team Caroling

Another hilarious segment from Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas and these two are just a match made in heaven. Axel having to calm down Bo after he got frustrated while caroling and knocking over a Christmas tree was perfect.

 

Vince Claus Brings Us News

Vince made several announcements while dressed as Santa Claus and only one of them was something major. He said that John Cena would be returning to both Raw and Smackdown in 2019 and that Dolph and Drew were facing off in a cage match next week. The biggest thing he said was that the women were getting their own tag titles next year. That has been the worst kept secret during all of 2018 and we have all just been waiting for the formal announcement. This is major news and I personally expect the inaugural champions to be crowned at Wrestlemania and I think they will be quite IIconic…..

 

Six-Woman Tag Team Match

This was a fun match here and all six women had their chance to shine here. I am loving that Dana Brooke has been used more in recent weeks because she is someone that has been working hard to get better and it has shown when she has been given a shot. There was plenty of back-and-forth throughout the match that saw the team of Sasha Banks, Bayley and Ember Moon pick up the win over Alicia Fox, Mickie James and Dana Brooke. The Riott Squad came down after the match and attacked the face women and it looked like they were laying their claim to the future women’s tag titles.

 

Paul Heyman In-Ring

Bless Heyman for going out there and trying to sing but man did it hurt my ears 😂. Heyman did what he does best and hyped up the Strowman/Lesnar match at the Royal Rumble and it looked like that would be it when Braun Strowman came down to the ring. Heyman was hilarious when he started wishing Strowman a happy this and a merry that and Strowman did a great job putting on a red nose and antlers on Heyman. Strowman then kept it nice and short in saying that he will be ready for the Royal Rumble and that Brock will “Get these hands!”

 

Natalya Backstage

Natalya has never been the strongest on the mic, but she did a good job here talking about her match with Ronda Rousey. She did a good job selling that she is ready to beat her good friend and I enjoyed her here.

 

Superstars Wishlist Part 3

This was hilarious on so many levels that had me dying. Alexa Bliss was totally in character and perfect in every way. Tyler Breeze has hilarious as well and the fact that he chose Ariana Grande tickets over a speedy recovery for Fandango had me dying. #GiveBreezeAChance

 

Ronda Rousey vs Natalya

I have had my critiques about Ronda Rousey, but I have nothing to say about her in this match. This was quite possibly the best story she has told in the ring and Natalya was the perfect person to tell it with. Both did a great job in selling how they were friends, but they were there to win the match. Word going around is that they called the match completely in the ring and if that is the case, Ronda has picked this up better than any of us could imagine. Ronda picked up the win here in a very competitive match and one of her best matches to date. If you have yet to see this match, please go out of your way to see it because it is darn good.

 

Dean Ambrose Backstage

Dean Ambrose as a heel has worked and hasn’t worked at the same time. I know that sounds contractor so let me explain. He was able to get on himself fast when the heel turn first happened and it was working but something has felt off in recent weeks. I don’t know if it is the script for his promos or what but that same fire isn’t there in them. We all know that Ambrose is capable of being a great heel and I just hope this is an end of the year slump and that he can turn it around in 2019.

 

Jinder Mahal vs Heath Slater

I really had no idea why this match was happening but the more I thought about it, it made sense. Jinder is 100% back to jobber status and looks like Heath may be getting something to do. This match ended up getting thrown out when the Singh Bros got involved and during the match, a man dressed as Santa was walking around in the crowd, so we knew what that meant. Slater was getting beaten down when Santa decided to intervene. Slater’s kids Christmas wish ended up coming true as Santa was revealed to be Rhyno in disguise and he delivered a Gore to Jinder Mahal to save Heath.

 

B-Team Caroling Some More

The B-Team tried their best to keep caroling throughout the night, but it proved too much for them and they were worn out. They sold it perfectly and it was hilarious.

 

Christmas Wishes Part 4

Apollo showed some charisma here in wishing for a tank and maybe there is something there. The Ascension spoke but it didn’t do much for me. They tried but it is hard to listen to anything they say. Kurt Angle spoke as well, and he kept it short and sweet. These Christmas wish segments were a lot of fun, but this was the weakest one sadly.

 

Seth Rollins vs Baron Corbin

Seth Rollins was interviewed by Charly Caruso at the Gorilla position prior to the match and he gave a good interview. He really showed his passion and the desire he has to get back at Ambrose. I am going to say this right now that I think Seth may be the best worker on the main roster right now. It is darn near impossible for him to have a bad match and he brings the best out of everybody. This may have been Corbin’s best match in a long time and Seth brought it out of him. This was a fantastic main event that had a really good back and forth throughout. Seth picked up the win with a Blackout, that is what it should be called and not just “The Stomp”, and the crowd went home happy. I do have to wonder what is next for Corbin after his GM run because I fear he could fall back down the ladder. He did show he was able to get over as a heel, so I hope they do not waste his momentum.

 

Final Statement

This was one of the best episodes of Raw and you can see the changes happening. They are giving more time to matches, like what Smackdown has done so well, and letting the workers work. There was no real low points and the highlights were definitely the Raw Tag and Women’s title matches, the triple threat and the main event. Happy Holidays and be sure to tune in next week for another Sovereign Statement from yours truly, Sovereign S.A.M.