RAW: Never fire a monster

Posted on Jan 16 2018 - 1:10am by Shalene Hixon
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Photo of Braun Strowman courtesy of WWE

Kurt Angle might want to reconsider his decision-making next time.

RAW was live from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

After Braun Strowman’s actions last week, which involved dropping a piece of the stage onto Kane and Brock Lesnar, Angle decided that he needed to face punishment. The general manager decided to remove him from the triple threat match for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble and fire him. This did not sit well with the Monster Among Men, as he went on a complete rampage after being escorted to the backstage area.

He decimated the security guards walking him to the exit and decided that no one in the arena was safe. Strowman destroyed the catering area before turning his attention to one of the production trucks. He unhitched the trailer from the truck and ended up tipping the truck over by himself.

But Strowman wasn’t done there, he made his way back onto the stage and locked in on the announce table. He grabbed Michael Cole and was ready to inflict some pain on him before Angle stopped him. Stephanie McMahon called the general manager and told him to rehire Strowman and place him back in the match at the Rumble.

It’s safe to say that Angle learned a valuable lesson: never fire a monster.

To kick off the action for the night, the Bar looked to get some revenge on Apollo Crews and Titus O’Neil. While Crews and O’Neil had control early, the former RAW Tag Team Champions withstood the onslaught and battled back. They were just about to hit a tag team finisher when Jason Jordan’s music hit.

The distraction allowed Crews to roll up Sheamus and earn the upset victory for the second week in a row. While Jordan seemed proud of his actions, his tag partner Seth Rollins joined him on the ramp and disapproved the interference.

The Cruiserweights were up next, with Tony Nese taking on Cedric Alexander. Enzo Amore stood in the corner of his Zo Train ally, while Goldust backed up Alexander. The Realest Champ in the Room shouted words of encouragement to Nese, which worked until Goldust scared him off.

Alexander took the opportunity to stage a comeback. It took a couple tries, but he was finally able to hit the Lumbar Check for the win.

In a much-anticipated women’s division match, Nia Jax clashed with Asuka. The Irresistible Force used her size and strength to her advantage early on, but the Empress of Tomorrow was able to wear her down with a few submissions.

The fight then made its way to ringside, where Jax continued to punish Asuka. But the former NXT Women’s Champion found an opening, pinning Jax’s leg between the ring and the steel steps. While Jax was able to get back into the ring, the referee deemed that she was unable to compete and stopped the match.

There was more tag team division, when the Revival faced local talent. It didn’t take long for them to pick up the win, hitting the Shatter Machine in short order. They then put the entire division on notice, vowing to never change from their old school, hard-hitting style.

After last week’s beating to close out the show, Roman Reigns wanted revenge against Miz’s Miztourage. He got that opportunity, facing Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel in a handicap match.

The numbers game got to Reigns early on, especially with the Miz lurking at ringside. Axel and Dallas took turns wearing him down, but the Intercontinental Champion showed his resiliency. Despite the Miz’s repeated efforts to try and interfere, Reigns completed the comeback and hit Axel with a devastating spear for the victory.

In some one-on-one action, Absolution’s Sonya Deville took on Sasha Banks. As Bayley, Mickie James, Mandy Rose and Paige looked on at ringside, the two women in the ring traded blow after blow. Just when it looked like the Legit Boss was ready to hit a top rope maneuver, however, Deville countered with a knee that caught her in mid-air.

That stunned Banks long enough for Deville to get the pinfall, earning Absolution yet another tally in the win column.

Still trying to toughen up with the help of Rhyno, Heath Slater fought Matt Hardy. But the Woken One was too much for the One Man Band to handle. While he put up a good fight, Slater was easily taken down by Hardy with a Twist of Fate.

In the main event, Finn Balor faced off against Seth Rollins. It was a fantastic match, reminiscent of when they fought for the Universal Championship at Summerslam a few years ago. Each man went back and forth, trading blows and counters.

Balor looked poised to win, seemingly scoring a pinfall. But the referee determined that Rollins kicked out before the three count.

The Bar then made their presence known, going straight after Jordan after his antics in their match earlier. They then got into an all-out brawl with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, which Finn interjected himself into.

He the focused his sights back on Rollins, but was tripped up by Jordan when the referee’s back was turned. This allowed the Architect to hit the Curb Stomp to pick up the controversial victory.