Sometimes the most unlikeliest of teams work the best.
Monday Night RAW was live from the Allstate Arena in Chicago.
Seth Rollins was hesitant to team with Jason Jordan in the main event, even if it was for the tag team titles. Jordan promised that he wouldn’t regret it, claiming that he would be a better partner than Dean Ambrose.
Reluctantly, the two faced off against the Bar. Jordan took himself out of the match early while trying to attack Cesaro and Sheamus, almost proving Rollins’ point. He was able to make it to his corner when it mattered, however, getting the tag and taking it to the champions.
The Kingslayer provided some help when needed, which proved to be the difference maker. After throwing Sheamus into the steel steps, he was hit with an explosive uppercut by Cesaro. But this caused enough of a distraction for Jordan to hit his finisher, capturing the titles for him and Rollins.
John Cena kicked off the show by making his much-anticipated return, even giving one lucky kid the shirt off his back. Elias then proceeded to interrupt the moment, just like he’s been interrupted so many times.
Cena decided to play along and asked the Drifter if he would play a song. Elias obliged, but took one too many jabs at Chicago. He asked for a do-over after being called a jerk, but instead punched Cena in the face and challenged him to a match.
Elias’ early shot gave him the advantage, as he continued to inflict punishment on his opponent. However, it didn’t take long for Cena to turn the tide. He used his signature moves and capped it off with an Attitude Adjustment for the win.
The Cruiserweights were up next, as Hideo Itami took on The Brian Kendrick. In his RAW singles debut, Itami came out flying with a flurry of kicks. Gentleman Jack Gallagher provided a distraction that helped Kendrick gain back some momentum.
But Itami would not be denied, surviving the onslaught and hitting the Go to Sleep to pick up the victory.
In women’s division action, it was Absolution (Paige, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose) vs. Sasha Banks, Bayley and Mickie James. Their matches over the past couple weeks helped Banks, Bayley and James adapt and focus on Deville and Rose.
Their plan worked at first, but eventually Paige’s partners were able to take out Banks. The Boss was able to make a desperate tag to Bayley, who took it to Paige.
A Bayley-to-Belly almost put the match away, but Deville was able to pull the former Divas champion to safety. This allowed Paige to hit Bayley with the Ram-Paige to give Absolution to win.
Looking to heed Kurt Angle’s words and “toughen up”, Rhyno had a plan for his tag partner Heath Slater. Unfortunately for the One-Man Band, this meant going against Kane. Not even a pep talk could help Slater, as the Big Red Machine took him out with ease.
Rhyno tried to help his partner after the match, but Kane ended the assistance with a brutal Chokeslam.
Next, Curt Hawkins came to the ring wanting one thing for Christmas: for his 146-match losing streak to end. So he laid out an open challenge to anyone in the back, which Finn Balor accepted.
Hawkins tried a few roll-ups, one of which almost stole him a victory. But that was all the offense he could muster, as the Demon King hit him with a Coup de Grace to increase the losing streak to 147.
The war of words between Bray Wyatt and “Woken” Matt Hardy finally got physical.
As he made his way to the ring, the Eater of Worlds was confident that his “fireflies” outnumbered Hardy’s “woken warriors”. But waiting in the ring was the “Woken” One, attacking Wyatt and almost hitting him with a Twist of Fate. As Wyatt retreated, the WWE Universe joined Hardy in a resounding “Delete” chant.
More Cruiserweight action was up next, as Enzo Amore, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari faced Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and Akira Tozawa in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight.
The Champ and the rest of the Zo Train stood no chance against their opponents, as the three took great pleasure in delivering some Christmas beatings. Alexander capped it off by hitting Daivari with a Lumbar Check to give his team the win.
Wanting to get some revenge on Samoa Joe, Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns faced him in a match for the title. Reigns took the fight to Joe early on, taking the challenger out of his element.
Joe got some offense in, working on the champion’s left arm. But the Big Dog got Joe into a corner and started unloading on him. He eventually threw the ref out of the way, causing a disqualification.
The end of the match didn’t stop the assault, as Reigns took out Joe’s shoulder with a combination of strikes and the steel steps. He almost used a steel chair, but Joe was able to escape before more damage was done.
Earlier in the night, Angle told the Miztourage that he had a “Secret Santa match” ready for them. But it would not be a welcome surprise for Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, as the surprise was Braun Strowman. The match was predictably short-lived, with the Monster Among Men flattening the Miztourage with running powerslams.
After last week’s Women’s Royal Rumble announcement, RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss addressed the WWE Universe. She took credit for the entire thing, claiming that 2017 was her year. Someone who didn’t agree was Asuka, who came out to declare that she was the first RAW woman to enter the match.
The Empress of Tomorrow vowed to win, because nobody was ready for her. She proved that point by nailing Bliss with a devastating kick to the head.