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WWE Raw results, live blog (Jan. 8, 2018): The Miz returns

WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 8, 2018) from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for later this month in Philadelphia.

Advertised for tonight: The Miz returns, Enzo Amore defends the cruiserweight championship against Cedric Alexander, and more!

Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)


I could not look back, you’d gone away from me. I felt my heart ache, I was afraid of following you. When I had looked at the shadows on the wall, I started running into the night to find the truth in me... and it turns out I’m here to liveblog this pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with a recap of last week’s Intercontinental Championship match between Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe.

Live in the arena, Reigns makes his entrance. He says after all the talk and all the hype you’d think Samoa Joe would be ready for him, but he wasn’t. When it was time to put up or shut up, Joe was silent, and that’s why he’s still Intercontinental Champion. And it’s not that he’s better than Joe, it’s that he was fighting with a purpose, fighting for his brother Dean Ambrose.

With Dean on his mind, Roman offers a message to the locker room; if you mess with one of the Shield, you mess with all of them. But that’s last week and this is this week, and it’s time--

Enter Jason Jordan. He says when he watched their match last week he had goosebumps and for the first time in his life he thought he was part of something meaningful. It’s just like Reigns says, somebody messes with one of them, they miss with all of them, and on behalf of his partner, Seth Rollins, he wants to say that Roman proved that this is his yard, baby!

And on behalf of himself and Seth he wants to thank Reigns, and he offers his fist up for the bump, but that just brings Rollins out. Seth says he appreciates what he’s trying to do but he still has a lot to learn. Last week he had to be taught about teamwork, that went pretty well, but this week, man, they really have to work on his timing.

He knows Jason means well, but he’s stepping on Roman’s moment. Jordan says this is everyone’s moment, and just as Roman took care of Joe, he and Rollins took care of the Bar, and now they’re all champions and they run this show! Reigns tells him to cut the “we” stuff out, he has a team with Seth but he’s the Big Dog. Jason launches into a version of Dean’s “we can take on five guys” bit before acknowledging that they may not be the Shield, but they’re the most dominant three-man group in WWE.

That brings the Club out, Finn Balor and all. Finn questions the idea that the ersatz Shield are the most dominant group in WWE. He’s been teaming with Gallows and Anderson for ten years BEFORE Jordan even found out Kurt Angle was his dad! Karl says they’ve been teaming together for a good long time and there’s even a special on WWE Network about it.

Gallows says when Finn came to WWE, they knew it was time to stand alone and they did, winning the tag titles while Balor made history by being the first-ever WWE Universal Champion. They Too Sweet and Machine Gun continues, saying eventually they knew the three of them would come together and take this place over. That day was last Monday, so just like Jason they’re excited, and 2018 is the year of Balor Club.

Jordan mocks them and says he’s happy to be part of the Champions Club, which leads to much facepalming and sighing from the Shield lads. Karl asks if that’s the new version of the Shield and Finn points out that the Architect is here, the Big Dog is here, but no Lunatic Fringe, instead he sees... what’s the think they call Jordan? NERD!

That sets Jason off but Seth and Roman hold him back and Kurt Angle comes out, mic in hand. He says they already have a great show planned tonight but he thinks he just found his main event. He polls the crowd on the idea of a six-man tag and he makes it!

Commentary hypes up the response of Brock Lesnar and the return of the Miz for later tonight.

We see Bayley and Sasha Banks run into Mickie James walking backstage and we go to break.

Back from commercial in time for entrances.

Absolution (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville) vs. Bayley & Sasha Banks

Rose and Bayley to start, collar and elbow, Hugger gets a side headlock, shot off, shoulder block knocks her down. Drop down, leapfrog but Mandy catches her and throws her in the corner! Bayley turns it around, forearms lead to putting the boots to her but referee John Cone backs her off and gives Rose the opportunity to get a few licks in herself.

Front kick from the Hugger, knocking her back, but Mandy scoops her up and slams her for a two count. Neck crank applied, transitioning to a mat slam, Rose blows a kiss at Sasha and Bayley strikes, running her over! Wristlock, arm wringer, Mandy counters with a knee and gets caught by a back suplex and a running knee in return! Absolution pull their woman out for a breather and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Rose in control of Banks, mat slam, leap frog to a roll, hip toss from the Boss, off the ropes with sliding double knees for two! Jawing at Deville, back to Mandy and she cracks her in the face with a couple forearms. Piefacing her with disdain, but Banks fires a big forearm back! Block a punch, another forearm, clear the apron but Rose hits a WICKED knee for a nearfall!

Choking Sasha in the corner, tag to Sonya, she comes in kicking away. Snapmare to a bodyscissors, rolling it around to keep her off balance before breaking it to put her hair up ala her catchphrase and pummel her with strikes! Tag to Rose, right hands, a choke over the ropes, kick to the ribs, she hooks the Boss over the ropes and tags Deville in for stereo kicks.

Cover comes up empty, whip, Sasha sees the back body drop and counters with a kick and both women wipe out on a double lariat! Crawling, Mandy tags in and cuts Banks off and knocks Bayley to the floor. Taking Sasaha to the ropes, distracting the ref so Sonya can snap her over the ropes but the Boss is ready with a small package that Deville has to break up!

Bayley and Sonya fighting on the floor, Sasha reverses a whip, hits the lungblower...

Bayely & Sasha Banks win by submission with the Bank Statement from Banks on Mandy Rose.

Paige throws a bit of a fit after the match and yells at the babyface women.

Commentary hypes up Balor Club vs. the Shield & Jason Jordan and we go to break.

Back from commercial we get some hype for the 25th anniversary episode coming soon.

This feeds into a recap of the formation of Cedric Alexander’s unlikely-but-excellent team with Goldust last week.

Cut to Cedric in the locker room when Goldust pops up behind him dressed like Mickey from Rocky. He tells him he wants him to eat lightning and crap thunder before deciding that sounds uncomfortable and informing him he’s doing a bit from Rocky. Alexander says he appreciates it but he doesn’t need it for a moment he’s been dreaming about since he was a kid.

He’s this close to making his dream a reality, and Goldy says there’s one thing that could stop him, and it’s not the Zo Train, it’s not Enzo Amore, it’s Cedric. He’s in control, not them. Alexander thanks him for the advice and Goldust has a coughing fit trying to tell him he believes in him.

This leads to the video establishing Alicia Fox as Goldust’s Mixed Match Challenge partner and then commentary hype up some of the other teams.

Broken Matt Hardy’s laughter plays out across the arena and piano music hits! Matt will be in action after the break.

Back from commercial in time to find out who Matt will be wrestling.

Matt gets a picture-in-picture promo, promising to delete 29 other superstars at the Rumble of Royalty and become the champion of the multiverse with the help of his woken warriors!

Curt Hawkins vs. Matt Hardy

Circling, Hawkins immediately breaks for the ropes and uses the ruse to grab an armbar but his Broken Brilliance counters by biting his hand! Clubbing him in the corner, wild windmill punches, overhead elbow into a swinging neckbreaker. Headed around, another club sets up a short German suplex into the turnbuckles! Back elbow up on a charge but a springboard crossbody comes up empty and Hardy takes advantage!

Jamming his head into each turnbuckle again and again, corner club, the Side Effect finds home, delete fingers...

Matt Hardy wins by pinfall with a Twist of Fate.

(Wyatt noise.)

When the lights come back up Bray Wyatt is behind Matt Hardy and Matt slowly turns to face him. Face to face, Hardy laughs and Bray laughs back. They gurn at each other some more, getting practically nose to nose before Wyatt backs off.

(Wyatt noise.)

Commentary promises MizTV after the break.

Back from commercial, Elias is in the ring to sing us a song.

He plays a bit of guitar before launching into his usual spiel, saying that today is a very special occasion and where better than Memphis? The song, of course, is about Elvis’ birthday and how he doesn’t care about it.

Miz comes out with the Miztourage in tow and asks if we missed him. He does his introduction and says the Marine 6 has wrapped, the USO Holiday Tour is over and now he’s back on Raw! But he wasn’t forgotten, because he’s the glue that holds Raw together and because of the valiant efforts of two people. Please welcome his guests, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, the Miztourage!

In 2017, he says, those two turned their careers around, and after months under his learning tree they’re the living embodiments of a new year’s resolution done right. Curtis says 2017 was the best year of his life and every day was like Mizmas, and Bo says 2017 was like winning the Mizzies every day and he gets a “Thank you, Miz!” chant going.

Dallas got him a present, and it’s a framed picture of Miz that he admits he’s gonna have trouble sleeping without. Axel got him a present too, the literal sportscoat off his back. Bo one-ups him, taking the watch off his wrist, which leads Curtis to desperately offer his shoes and Miz to put his hand up and tell them to sit down.

Miz says 2017 was incredible for him but he has a lot more planned. In 2017 he held the Intercontinental Championship for more than 200 days and turned everything he touched to gold, becoming Rolling Stone’s superstar of the year in the process. But don’t think he forgot about the Shield ambushing him, which he rolls a video clip of.

He says that was an indignity unbefitting of someone who’s done as much for WWE as he has, and he’s only allowed Roman Reigns to borrow his Intercontinental Championship because he wanted the title represented while he was off filming a movie. He wanted it to be bigger than him in his absence, but the title doesn’t make the champion and daddy’s home.

In 2018 he’ll celebrate the birth of his daughter, and become the longest-reigning, single greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. When children grow up they’ll think of him with the title like they did Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart before him, but for these kids, he’ll be the only one. So he hopes Roman’s enjoyed his time in the spotlight because it’s all coming to an end.

Miz is back and he’s coming for his Intercontinental Championship, and you can believe that.

Backstage, Balor Club are excitedly reminiscing when Finn says tonight is about making new memories. Karl talks about throwing them back with Tama, Fale, and so on and says instead they’ll be throwing it down with Roman, Seth, etc. Balor says he sees, the situation is different but the principles are the same, and Luke says something that leads to Anderson bringing up his Hot Asian Wife.

Balor says 2018 is the year of Balor Club and they Too Sweet.

Commentary hypes up our Cruiserweight Championship match and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Enzo Amore makes his entrance, he does the deal.

He says last week a doctor told him he can’t compete and he spent his New Year’s Day in the hospital with chicken soup and soda from Nia Jax. He sat there and watched Raw and saw the Zo Train competing against Cedric and-- he must be hallucinating-- Goldust? But it hit him, a moment of clarity, that Cedric was teaming with Goldust because that’s the closest he’d get to gold.

Amore pledges to end 2018 the same way he started, as Cruiserweight Champion, and he calls Alexander SAWFT.

Cedric Alexander vs. Enzo Amore (c) (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)

Feeling out, Enzo throwing light probing jabs to keep Cedric away but Alexander drops him with a right of his own! Amore out to the floor, headed around and back in and Cedric clocks him with a kick from the apron! Cutting him off before he can escape, yanking him back in by his leg and then by his head but referee Dan Engler warns him and Enzo takes advantage, knocking Alexander to the floor and sending us to break.

Back from commercial, Enzo is in control with a reverse chinlock, rolling through when Cedric tries to escape and keeping him square in the middle of the ring. To his feet again, Alexander manages to shake Amore into the turnbuckles but gets caught with a stomp on a followup. Only a nearfall, Enzo grabs kind of a low-angle camel clutch and throws a few crossfaces.

Off the ropes, basement dropkick to the face, the cover again only gets two. Front chancery, Cedric rams the champion into the corner to break but runs into a knee strike. Enzo going for a dive and Alexander clocks him mid-air with a dropkick! Cedric kips up, fired up, lariat, axehandle, catch a kick, spinning backfist, the Neuralyzer connects... NOPE!

Thinking Lumbar Check, Amore’s bleeding a gusher but fights out and Alexander heads to the floor and kicks him in the face again! Springboard lariat, crimson mask and Enzo rolls to the floor... TOPE CON GIRO! Amore comes up lame clutchhing his shin and screaming, and a medic comes over and checks on him. Referee Dan Engler is counting, Cedric rolls in, Enzo sees that he’s inside and decides it’s not worth it...

Cedric Alexander wins by countout.

Medics and referees tend to Amore while Nia Jax watches on a monitor backstage. Enzo posts up to one foot and tries to pogo out under his own power but collapses.

We go to break on an ad for the 25th anniversary episode of Raw.

Back from commercial we get a recap of what we just saw because Raw is three hours long.

Cut to the trainer’s room, where a medic tells Enzo he’s gonna need an x-ray and maybe an MRI when Nia Jax rolls up to check on him. He claims he’s okay and thanks her and she heads away and he goes back to feeling bad for himself.

Kurt Angle is on the phone with a big star for the women’s Royal Rumble when the Bar roll up. Sheamus complains that he promised them their contractual rematch this week but now they put Jason Jordan in a six-man tag. Can you smell that? Smells like favoritism. Angle says it smells like opportunity, and they’ll have their chance to reclaim the titles at the Royal Rumble.

Sheamus tells him he should have just said that, that’s great news. But what about tonight, they’re here in their finest with nobody to fight. Kurt tells ‘em to go to the ring right now and he’ll get them a match, and Cesaro drops their catchphrase on his way out.

Angle turns around to see the Miz and Kurt asks what he can do for him. Miz drops the “don’t you know who I am?” gimmick on him, talking about how USA officials were all over him and his new unscripted series starring him and Maryse. He questions Angle’s ability to run his show and says that he wants his rematch, but not just any rematch. He wants the match at the 25th anniversary Raw!

Kurt says that’s not a bad idea and he makes the match official. Miz pats his shoulder, Angle tells him not to touch him, and the A-Lister takes his leave.

Commentary hypes up Mixed Match Challenge and throw to the video announcing Miz and Asuka’s team.

We go in the locker room where Asuka is stretching and Alexa Bliss rolls up. She says Asuka got lucky last week but she should enjoy it while she lasts because her luck will run out, and she wouldn’t want to be her when Nia Jax finds out what she called her.

The Bar make their entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial in time to find out who the Bar will be wrestling.

The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus) vs. Titus Worldwide (Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil)

Titus and Sheamus to start, the Celtic Warrior ducks a lariat and passes by O’Neil a second time, taunting, before getting caught up in the ropes and breaking dirty. Side headlock, off the ropes, lariat, he runs into the shoulder block! Tag to Crews, axehandle to the arm, but Sheamus backs him right up and tags Cesaro in. Big uppercut from the Swiss Superman, another, Apollo throwing back but Cesaro locks him down with a reverse chinlock.

Off the ropes, leapfrog, drop down, Crews hits the big dropkick into the standing moonsault! Tag to Sheamus, off the ropes, duck the lariat but Sheamus low-bridges him and Apollo hits the floor! The Celtic Warrior puts him into the barricade and brings him back in, pick the leg, make the tag and the Bar wishbone his legs! Right hand, a loose sleeper applied, tag to Sheamus.

Double whip, double clothesline, off the ropes for a knee drop that gets two and Sheamus grabs a keylock! Apollo to his feet, body blows, Sheamus goes for a suplex and Crews reverses to a small package! No pin, sidestep, Sheamus takes the post hard and Cesaro tags in. Titus in as well, lariats and boots, fired up, Stinger splash, big falling body slam gets two.

Setting up the tossing World’s Strongest Slam but Sheamus runs interference and clobbers him with a knee. Apollo back body drops Cesaro to the floor and moonsaults away from a Brogue Kick! Titus takes advantage...

Titus Worldwide win by pinfall with a schoolboy pin from Titus O’Neil on Sheamus.

Commentary promises us Brock Lesnar’s response after the break.

Back from commercial commentary recaps last week’s Kane/Lesnar faceoff.

Brock Lesnar makes his entrance, flanked by Paul Heyman as always. Paul does the usual introductory schtick before saying Memphis especially should appreciate what he has to say. There’s a credo in this industry called old-school and he and his client have a lot of respect for it but they’ve never let it blind them to the fact that this is a progressive industry always in need of new styles and new presentation to market the product to both the core audience and the general public.

But you’ll have to forgive him tonight for being a bit of a hypocrite because they’ve gotten away from something old-school that’s taken away from the tenure of the Universal Champion. Old-school way of promoting a Universal Championship match was to find a challenger, one man, to step up and challenge the champion, saying he’s worthy of taking on the baddest dude on the planet.

And we’ve gotten away from that, because the Universal Championship isn’t marketed as who can step up, but rather how can Brock Lesnar survive this predicament. He doesn’t like it, and Brock thinks the whole concept sucks. But they’re not out here whining and kvetching, because last week Brock took Kane’s best shot and laughed in his face the same way he will at the Royal Rumble.

Brock Lesnar vs. Kane vs. Braun Strowman. Beast vs. Monster vs. Machine. Where are we going now? Brock isn’t walking in with a cliffhanger of how he’ll survive, and the only question is will he pin Kane, will he pin Strowman, or will he stack them on top and pin both of them? He calls Brock the most dominant champion in history and promises there’s not a being alive that can put him down.

Brock and Paul go to leave... AND KANE ATTACKS LESNAR FROM BEHIND! Right hands, Brock fires knees back and they fight back stage! Trading punches as road agents scurry away and Braun Strowman is here! Braun throws Brock through a table and clobbers Kane with a huge road case! HE THROWS THE CASE ON TOP OF KANE! BRAUN ISN’T DONE WITH THEM YET! HE’S GOT A GRAPPLING HOOK!



Back from commercial, we see a recap of what we just saw, because Raw is three hours long and, in fairness, it was super awesome.

We then get footage from during the break of EMTs tending to Brock, who manages to crawl onto the gurney under his own power, if barely. Kane crawls along as well, seemingly ignored by medical staff but able to make it up some steps. Loaded into the ambulance, Lesnar calls for Heyman to get him out of here.

We get entrances for another match, but the match itself will have to wait until after the break.

Back from commercial in time for the bell.

Rhyno vs. Samoa Joe

Circling, collar and elbow, Joe shifts to forearms and backs Rhyno into the ropes. The Man-Beast thrwoing hands of his own, whip reversed, corner elbow into the enzuigiri, following it up with chops but Rhyno returns with aplomb! A headbutt knocks him down, crossfaces while taunting Heath Slater. Chest kicks, eyes locked on Slater, clubbing blow, drawing him up for another chop and a headbutt but Rhyno’s trying to fire up.

More chops, a whip lands but Samoa has the back body drop scouted, hits the kick and follows it with an STO for a nearfall. Manhattan Drop, Mafia kick, a running senton, all that gets a nearfall and Heath cheers his buddy on. Drawing Rhyno up again, right hands to the forehead, the Man-Beast fires back, fireman’s carry denied and the Coquina Clutch is on! Joe falls back...

Samoa Joe wins by submission with the Coquina Clutch.

Joe is interviewed after his victory and says last week wasn’t a loss. No, see, Roman’s little win was merely a pyrrhic victory. A pyrrhic victory is one that comes at such a great cost you might as well have marked it as a loss. He claims he’s beaten years off of Roman’s carrer every time he steps in the ring with him, and the cracks in the foundation are showing.

When it all comes tumbling down, Samoa Joe will be there to finish the job, but until then, he’ll pursue more worthy things, like his entry into the Royal Rumble! He’s asked about all the other superstars in the match and takes offense to John Cena being brought up. When it comes to his career, Cena’s a name he’ll never forget and he’ll be the first man he eliminates.

Nia Jax is walking backstage when Alexa Bliss pulls her aside to ask how Enzo is. Nia says he’ll be fine and Alexa doesn’t care, but Bliss protests that she does and puts Jax over as her best friend who can do anything but she’s worrked Amore is holding her back. Nia says if anything, Enzo inspires her to be a champion like he is, and she’s going to enter the Royal Rumble as a result.

Alexa says she’s her favorite to win but everybody thinks Asuka’s gonna win, so if she could just take Asuka out they could have their dream match at WrestleMania. Nia sees right through her and says Asuka and her are on a collision course already, but she is curious as to what Asuka said. Bliss tries to keep it from her but Jax keeps pressing her and she claims that Asuka said... and she pulls Nia in to whisper so we can’t hear.

Jax then realizes that Alexa doesn’t speak Japanese and Asuka doesn’t speak English and walks off to send us to break.

Back from commercial, Asuka makes her entrance for a match but Nia attacks her from behind while she’s posing on the turnbuckles!

Electric chair drop and a somersault senton off the ropes leave Asuka writhing in pain! Point made, Nia takes her leave.

Commentary hypes up the Royal Rumble and we go backstage where we see the Shield and Jason Jordan discussing strategy to send us to break.

Back from commercial, commentary hypes up the fan vote for Bayley’s partner in Mixed Match Challenge as well as announces Asuka vs. Nia Jax for next week.

Balor Club (Finn Balor, Karl Anderson, & Luke Gallows) vs. Jason Jordan & the Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins)

Balor and Rollins to start, collar and elbow, go behind, side headlock takeover, Seth reverse to a headscissors, headlock of his own, Finn reverses, off the ropes, dropkick, tag to Anderson. In with a boot, backbreaker, kneeling armbar, tag to Gallows. Double back suplex, lands on his feet, blind tag from Roman, Samoan drop for Big Hoot! Balor fighting ‘em two on one but he gets run over and tossed to the floor.

Two for one Drive-By from the Big Dog and Rollins hits a dive to follow! Jordan celebrates like he helped and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Finn charges in and takes the reverse STO into the turnbuckle from Rollins! The Architect tags the Big Dog in, he comes in hot off the ropes, big leaping lariat and he’s fired up! Corner lariats ensue, tossing Balor aside and laying him out with a boot! Knocking the Good Brothers off the apron as they run interference but that gives Finn room for Sling Blade!

Tag to Machine Gun, repeated right hands into a cover, only two. Body blow and an uppercut, tag to Luke, he hits the big slicing right and follows it with a roundhouse kick for two. Reverse chinlock, trying to grind Reigns down but the Intercontinental Champion posts to his feet and throws body blows to escape. A mat slam cuts him off and Gallows tags Karl in.

Big knee drop, again just a nearfall, and a reverse chinlock of his own, keeping Roman grounded. To his feet, off the ropes... Roman catches him with a tilt-a-whirl slam! Sex Ferguson tags back in, snap suplex gets a nearfall and he follows with overhead elbows to the collarbone and a rear chinlock. The Big Dog gets to his feet, breaking with right hands, off the ropes, he runs into a big boot but manages to rebound and hit the Superman Punch!

Both men down and out, crawling for the tag, Anderson and Rollins legal! Seth clears house, empties the apron, hits the diving blockbuster and dives on Balor and Gallows! Sling Blade on Machine Gun, straight suplex, he rolls through and does the deal, Falcon Arrow... NOPE! Architect feeling focused, calling for the knee, wristlock but Karl gets the ropes and Luke pulls Seth off!

Rollins throws hands, Jordan makes the save but Anderson is able to hit the spinning spinebuster... ALMOST! Karl picking the leg, tag to Big Hoot, he clears Jason off the apron but takes the enzuigiri from Seth! Finn thinking Sling Blade, Rollins counters to a back suplex, Reigns wants the tag and gets it but Jordan was in the ring and referee Dan Engler didn’t see the tag and isn’t allowing the switch!

Good Brothers get Seth up... MAGIC KILLER! Roman clears house and gets into a face-off with Jordan! Machine Gun yanks Roman outside, he passes Gallows into the post, Superman Punch for Anderson, spear for Gallows! Jordan tries to help Rollins out but all he does is inadvertently set him up for the shotgun dropkick! Finn perches up top...

Balor Club wins by pinfall with the Coup de Grace from Finn Balor on Seth Rollins.

Balor Club throw up the Too Sweets while Roman confronts Jason Jordan for costing them the match.


Miz and the Miztourage stand tall and go to leave but decide to turn around and head back in for one more. The A-lister calls for it... TRIPLE POWERBOMB!

Miz and his goons stand tall over the Intercontinental Champion.

That’s the show, folks.

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