Note: This article contains full show match results for WWE Monday Night Raw from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, which aired on Monday, December 3, 2018.
It’s fair to say that Monday Night Raw feels like it’s in something of a holding pattern until 2019 and the Royal Rumble.
That’s despite there being one big pay-per-view left of the year… TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2018.
Last week’s show was an exercise in going through the motions, but did yesterday’s three-hour extravaganza manage to get things back on track? Read on for six things we learned.
1. WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles are SURELY coming soon
The big rumour about WWE Evolution was that the event would be used to announce and/or crown new WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles.
That didn’t happen, but the rumour has persisted.
Last week, Sasha Banks and Bayley had been talking up the prospect on social media, but declined to mention it during their Alexa Bliss-mandated Open Forum.
They didn’t make that mistake again, and this time around they stated their ambition for the Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection to make history.
Nothing’s been confirmed yet, but now the idea is out there on WWETV it really feels like a matter of time.
And the former NXT darlings put themselves in pole position last night with a fine victory over Alicia Fox and Mickie James.
Perhaps it’d be in everyone’s interests to fast-forward this one and get our inaugural champs crowned at TLC to end the year with a bang?
2. Rhyno has been FIRED (and Heath Slater is now a referee)
For all his dastardly posturing, Baron Corbin hasn’t actually been THAT evil as Constable/Acting GM/GM-Elect of Monday Night Raw.
That changed last night when he decided to engage in a bit of corporate downsizing.
With spots apparently now limited on the roster, he teed up a match of brothers: Rhyno vs Heath Slater with the loser being FIRED from Raw.
Despite predictably dominating, it was Rhyno who suffered a shock defeat and is now without a job, just before the holiday season.
And despite his victory, Heath Slater won’t be competing in the ring again either, as Corbin switched the former 3MB man from Superstar to Referee.
Sad times for sure, but it does remind us how stale things are getting on Raw, and perhaps the answer is a more widespread shakeup of the roster here and on SDLive.
3. Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose is beginning to hot up
After that bizarre inoculations stuff the other week, this one got back on track with some of the coolest visuals of the night.
Dean Ambrose in a gas mask flanked by a SWAT team sporting the same looked like cross between something from a Nicolas Cage movie and Doctor Who (and yes, that’s very much A Good Thing).
The former Lunatic Fringe called out his former Brother/Architect and outlined why in fact he’s in the right in this reignited blood feud.
Despite Seth trying to get the jump on Dean and his pals, it was Ambrose who ended the night on top after a swipe with his mask and a couple of Dirty Deeds.
With all sorts of empty scuffling going on around them, these two are slowly building up their feud buried away in the middle of the card.
4. Finn Bálor vs Drew McIntyre needs booking ASAP with some decent stakes
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre were an odd couple who hit it off after the Scot’s impressive return to the main roster.
It netted the pair Raw Tag Team gold (and an IC Title run for Dolph sandwiched between two Seth Rollins reigns).
But the partnership has fizzled out, and finally was put out of its misery last night it seemed when the two went at it in the ring.
It looked as though Drew would Claymore the last bit of of love out of their relationship, but some interference from Finn Bálor gave Ziggler an opening for a Superkick that gave McIntyre his first pinfall/submission loss since his return to the main roster.
Drew would have his revenge later that evening, getting involved after Finn’s match against Jinder Mahal to mete out a beating.
It’s pointing towards Finn Bálor vs Drew McIntyre, which is an excellent match on paper and just needs some stakes to push it towards Classic Feud status.
5. Ronda Rousey looks comfortable ahead of her title defence at TLC
Nia Jax has been touting her face-breaking fist as a reason why Ronda Rousey should be afraid of her going into their title match at TLC.
But it looks like Ronda is pretty comfortable with the prospect of taking on Jax once more on PPV later this month.
Originally the pair were set for a tag team match to open Raw: Ronnie and Nattie vs Nia and Tamina.
But The Riott Squad’s continued persecution of Natalya meant that the Queen of Harts was forced to withdraw.
No matter, as Ronda teamed up with utility player Ember Moon for the main event.
And despite all her talk and swagger, Nia Jax seemed lost at sea when faced with the prospect of going toe-to-toe with the champ.
She left her pal Tamina to face off against The Rowdy One, and while she eventually tried to help, it was too little, too late as Ronda finished things off with an armbar.
If Nia is to spring a shock at TLC, she’ll have to seriously work on her strategy.
6. Monday Night Raw is really missing Roman Reigns
For all the hate Roman Reigns attracted (and absorbed) – his presence is sorely missed on Monday Night Raw.
Brock Lesnar’s absence is taken as a given. Champ or not, he will barely show up on Monday Nights and no-one in Authority seems too bothered about affecting his position.
When Roman was on Raw, you were never allowed to forget that Brock Lesnar was skiving off work with the WWE Universal Championship held hostage.
He complained, moaned and whinged, and endlessly goaded The Beast in his absence.
It wasn’t the most scintillating telly week in and week out, but it made a pretty simple point: The WWE Universal Championship is the goal every male wrestler on the Red Brand should be targeting.
If you allow fans to forget the tutke, or its holder, exist from week to week, you’re not doing things right.
With Roman fighting cancer and Braun Strowman nursing his shattered elbow, it feels as though there’s no-one left on the roster who really cares about the WWE Universal Championship or Brock Lesnar.
For a show without much cohesion or narrative at times, it’s becoming a serious flaw and one they need to rectify asap, with or without the Big Dog.
WWE Monday Night Raw full show match results – Monday, December 3, 2018
- Mickie James & Alicia Fox vs Sasha Banks & Bayley
WINNERS: Sasha Banks and Bayley
- The Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado, Kalisto and Gran Metalik) vs. Scott Dawson [Lucha House Rules]
WINNERS: The Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado, Kalisto and Gran Metalik)
- Drew McIntyre vs Dolph Ziggler
WINNER: Drew McIntyre
- AOP (Akam and Rezar) & Drake Maverick vs Bobby Roode & Chad Gable [3-on-2 Handicap Match)
WINNERS: AOP (Akam and Rezar) & Drake Maverick
- Heath Slater vs Rhyno
WINNER: Heath Slater
- Finn Bálor vs Jinder Mahal
WINNER: Finn Bálor
- Nia Jax & Tamina vs Ronda Rousey & Ember Moon
WINNERS: Ronda Rousey & Ember Moon
What did you think of Monday Night Raw? Let us know at @digitalspywwe.
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