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WWE Raw results, live blog (Dec. 17, 2018): Vince McMahon returns

WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Dec. 17, 2018) from the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, featuring the fallout show from the TLC pay-per-view (PPV) that went down just last night in San Jose.

Advertised for tonight: Vince McMahon returns to “shake things up,” Dolph Ziggler vs. Finn Balor, 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 can feel you waiting for me as the sun retreats to the hills and I, below the blanket of a burning sky, wrap myself within. Embraced by dead leaves as the rain leaves trails of black down my face, and I creep through the twilight to that hidden place beyond the lonely. I’ll meet you tonight in the whispers when no one’s around. Nothing can stop us now, so I’ll liveblog this pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with Vincent Kennedy McMahon making his entrance.

He says he doesn’t want to hear any boos and of course the crowd boos him. He says he’s asked himself what’s wrong with Raw and tonight we’re gonna find out. Raw’s been on the air for 25 years and one of the reasons for their success is that they change with the times, and despite one man’s brilliance, creativity, and vision, he can’t do it all by himself anymore.

He CAN do it without us, though, and he then introduces Stephanie McMahon. She comes to the ring and they hug before Vince asks the crowd to be nice. She motions for another entrance and...

(Behold, the king.)

(The king of kings!)

(On your knees, dog.)

Triple H makes his entrance, followed shortly thereafter by Shane McMahon. Steph says they’re out here tonight because they haven’t been doing a very good job for us lately and they haven’t been listening to their audience. They’ve let middle managers air their petty grievances and they’ve suffocated their superstars, and that all starts tonight. They’re off to a fresh start, she says, and Triple says as of now, the four of them will be taking Monday Night Raw back.

Shane says that goes for SmackDown too, and they’re going to ensure we have the best possible experience. Stephanie says they’re going to empower the roster and us, and Hunter says they’re going to give us what we want. Something new, something fresh, and in the coming weeks and months we’ll be seeing new faces and matchups, and as of now, WE are the Authority.

Vince concludes by saying that WWE will always be then, now, and forever.

Enter Baron Corbin. He says no one is more excited for a fresh start than he is, and the crowd rains boos down on him, which Steph is only happy to explain. He says he understands we’re upset but he’s excited that the entire McMahon family is running Raw, but there’s one word they forgot to mention, “fair,” and what happened to him last night was absolutely not fair.

He just wants to talk, to have a simple conversation, and we go to break.

Back from commercial and Corbin’s in the ring with the McMahons as the crowd serenades him with boos.

Baron says this crowd isn’t representative, which just earns him more boos. Hunter tells the crowd if they keep doing it it makes it hard for Corbin to speak, at which point they boo harder. Baron asks if they’ve got no respect, and Shane asks the crowd to let him hear it before telling him to go ahead. The Lone Wolf says every night he comes out here and does his absolute best before getting cut off again.

Vince intervenes and reminds Baron that he’s got the microphone and they don’t, and Corbin says it’s not his fault if the roster can’t rise to his challenge. Last night Braun Strowman wasn’t supposed to be here and he wasn’t prepared for the match nor all the people Braun brought with him. My cable dies for a minute and when I get it back, Hunter is saying they should give Corbin a chance.

If he can win his match tonight, right now, he can be permanent general manager of Raw, all he has to do is beat this man-- KURT ANGLE!

The McMahons go to leave but Steph stops and turns around and announces a special guest referee-- HEATH SLATER! Triple instructs him to call it down the middle, he shakes Vince’s hand, and we’re off!

Baron Corbin vs. Kurt Angle

Angle ducks a lariat, right hands, boots in the corner, punches here and there, whip reversed but he sidesteps the charge and hits a German suplex that sends Corbin to the floor and us to break!

Back from commercial and Corbin is in control, jawing at Angle. He draws him up and Hunter comes out to say that in all the confusion and loud booing he forgot to mention that actually this is a handicap match!

Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, & Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin (Handicap Match)

Our three new participants beat Corbin down and throw him into Angle for the trifecta of German suplexes! Tag to Crews, in with an uppercut, Baron tries to bail but they retrieve him and throw him back inside where Kurt is waiting again. They circle him as referee Heath Slater tries to decide what to do before turning around to check the turnbuckle covers while Corbin eats a beating from all four men!

Shane McMahon comes down and says he was so pumped up and forgot to mention that this match is actually no disqualification!

Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, & Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin (No Disqualification Handicap Match)

Slater puts boots to Corbin while everybody gets chairs! They tee off on the Lone Wolf all at once and Roode calls for it... NECKBREAKER / MOONSAULT COMBO! Crews up top... FROG SPLASH! They pick him up for Angle...

Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, & Kurt Angle win by pinfall with the Angle Slam from Angle.

Our babyface trio head out and get a table and set it up in the ring before hoisting Corbin up... ANGLE SLAM THROUGH THE TABLE!

Commentary hypes up Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler for after the break.

Back from commercial, commentary congratulates John Cena on winning the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Finn Balor

Circling, collar and elbow, struggling into the ropes and Ziggler grabs a side headlock. Shot off, trading arm drags, headscissors into a stalemate! Knee to the gut, snapmare into a kick, whip across and Dolph falls to the floor as we go to break.

Back from commercial and Balor fights himself back in with a dropkick and comes up lame. Kick to the face, right hand, whip across and he comes off the ropes with a flying forearm, all fired up! Sling Blade reversed, cover gets two, Ziggler yells at him to get up but Finn ducks the Fameasser and hits an inverted headlock elbow drop for two! Sling Blade connects, and Dolph gives him the big DDT in return for a nearfall!

Balor shrugs him off, gamengiri from the apron sets him up but Ziggler’s able to cut him off, put him into the post, hit the Zig Zag... NOT ENOUGH! Dolph tuning up the band and fending Drew McIntyre off with a knee when he runs in! Hammering Drew with forearms on the floor and Finn takes him out with a tope con giro! Dolph throws him back inside and hits the Fameasser... STILL NO!

Setting up the superkick but Balor hits a Sling Blade, charging in and Drew is in the ring for a lariat and referee Chad Patton has no choice...

Finn Balor wins by disqualification.

McIntyre decks Ziggler with a headbutt and hammers him with mounted punches before hoisting him up and sending him off the ropes... CLAYMORE! One for Finn on the floor!

We go backstage where Dean Ambrose is chilling with his Intercontinental Championship. He picks the title up and starts walking as we go to break.

Back from commercial, Dean Ambrose makes his entrance.

He gets on the mic and says the more things change the more they stay the same and the people should be showing him respect, bowing down to him right now because everything he said would happen at TLC happened. Seth Rollins spun out of control, he dropped the ball, and he failed himself and all of us. He wants to be clear, he doesn’t need our respect because he’s got the title, and it wasn’t too long ago Rollins had two titles and now he’s got none.

But he’s just getting started, and when he’s done, Seth will have nothing left-- nothing! Dean’s gonna take his career and reputation and throw it in the gutter where it belongs, but there’s another option. Because he’s the moral compass of WWE he has an obligation to do the right thing and give Rollins a chance to come out here face to face and tell the whole world that he was right.

”Burn it down!” chants go up and Ambrose tells Seth his reputation is on the line and he’s gotta come down here. He then says he has an idea and tries offering an open challenge, not for the title, but to punch him in the face a few more times, to take out his rage, anger, and frustration. When Rollins doesn’t come out, Dean runs him down for crumbling like all of us, unwilling to even show his face after losing the title.

Since Rollins doesn’t have the guts to come out here, he’ll go ahead and do the full-on Intercontinental Championship open challenge gimmick for anyone who isn’t Seth.


Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Tyler Breeze (WWE Intercontinental Championship)

Duck a lariat, Breeze throwing punches, whip reversed, flying forearm and then another in the corner before putting boots to Ambrose. Duck a lariat again, kick, clothesline to the floor and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Ambrose is stomping away before grabbing a rear chinlock. Stomp to the hand as Breeze nearly gets the ropes, whip across for a back elbow gets two. Sleeper hold applied, Tyler gets to one knee and to his feet when Dean breaks and fires off a few clubbing shots. Float over a slam, enzuigiri connects and the champion is staggered. Snapping off a hurricanrana... NOPE!

Boot up in the corner, pass Ambrose shoulder-first into the post, folding press, only two! Beauty Shot connects, slow to capitalize, Breeze heads up top for a diving crossbody... STILL NO! Superkick... SO CLOSE! Underhooks, Ambrose shoves him off the ropes and hits Dirty Deeds...

Dean Ambrose wins by pinfall with Dirty Deeds to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

Ambrose gets on the mic and says that was a performance from a champion with character and integrity, unlike Rollins, who is nothing but a piece of--


ONE OF THE GAS MASK GUYS SUPERKICKS AMBROSE! IT WAS SETH ALL ALONG! Mounted punches ensue and the other goons pull Seth off! He clears them out with ease, finishing the last one with a superkick and Blackout! Dean retreated up the ramp in the meantime and he and Seth stare each other down.

Backstage, Shane McMahon is interviewed as to what a fresh start means.

He says it means lots of new faces and stars that haven’t gotten opportunities getting them and tough decisions to be made. Drake Maverick rolls up and introduces McMahon to the rightful tag team champions, AOP, who had their titles stolen last week. He knows they’re here to save the day and he wants to give Shane an easy decision to give them their rematch.

Shane says the mandatory rematch is antiquated and Corbin handed them the titles in the first place, so he’s going to give them an opportunity to earn them back by wrestling the B-Team, the Revival, and Lucha House Party in a four-way tonight for a chance to wrestle for the titles! They storm off.

Commentary promises a look at some of the fresh faces coming from NXT, including EC3, Lars Sullivan, Heavy Machinery, Lacey Evans, and Nikki Cross, after the break.

Back from commercial we get an ad for Tribute to the Troops.

The promised look at the NXT callups follows, starting with Lars Sullivan before moving onto Lacey Evans, then Heavy Machinery (the team of Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight), then Nikki Cross, and then last but not least, the man once known as Derrick Bateman, then as Ethan Carter III, former TNA World Heavyweight Champion, EC3.

Lio Rush is in the ring with Bobby Lashley, who is going to... sing us a song?

Lio says since tonight is about fresh starts they’re going to give us a performance we’ve never seen before, since Elias isn’t the only one who can play guitar. In fact, the greatest music he ever heard was the guitar cracking him over the back, and nobody came here to hear the Drifter sing, they came here for a true piece of art like Bob will give us.

Butt, before we begin, silence your cellphones, hold your applause, etc. Rush walks him through some poses and goes for some cheap heat before asking for the favorite pose, the butt. Lashley obliges and Elias attacks with the guitar! Bob kinda shrugs it off as the Drifter leaves.

Lucha House Party are shown walking backstage as we go to break.

Back from commercial, New Day hype up their Wednesday night special.

A video package hypes up the return of Sami Zayn!

AOP (Akam & Rezar) vs. Lucha House Party (Kalisto & Lince Dorado) vs. the B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) vs. the Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Match)

Dorado and Axel to start, trading taunts and Lince tags Kalisto in for a dropkick. Dawson tags in, disdainful slaps and Kalisto fires up only to get clubbed down. Right hands and boots, short-arm knee lift, uppercuts in the corner, snap suplex and an elbow drop and a tag to Wilder. Kalisto snaps off a double DDT, off the ropes for the splash combo after Lince tags in, only two!

Akam tags in, gets dropkicked into a tag to Rezar, who catches Dorado and slams him into the turnbuckles as we go to break.

Back from commercial and Wilder has a Gory Special locked on Dorado, parading him around the ring as he wrenches on his arms and legs! Mocking the Lucha! chant, Lince slings him off and Axel tags in! Handspring Ace Crusher connects and the way is clear! Crawling... TAGS MADE! Kalisto in with a diving crossbody, leg kicks, whip reversed, springboard tornillo and he’s fired up!

Charging knee, sending Dallas staggering, elbow for Curtis and a tornado DDT but Bo whips him into the Revival and Dawson tags in! Dallas with right hands, off the ropes for a boot and then a double axhandle and he’s fired up now! Dragon screw neck whip... DASH BREAKS IT UP! Kalisto runs Wilder off with a tornado DDT, clocks Axel with a kick, sidesteps an Author and the legal men work to dump him!

Akam in, shoving them both aside and he gets low-bridged to the floor! Lucha House Party get back body dropped to the floor onto the former champions! Bo gets a cover, nope, small package, still no, tag to Wilder, flapjack...

The Revival win by pinfall with Shatter Machine on Bo Dallas, becoming #1 contenders to the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship.

Seth Rollins is interviewed backstage.

He admits that last night was a disaster in every way, and he heard everything the crowd had to say. That’s on him, he has to own that and move forward, and this isn’t just about championships, this is his life, what he loves, that he’s dedicated everything to, and it’s gone off the rails. But he’s gonna right the ship, and that starts with him ending Dean Ambrose.

He turns around to see Baron Corbin standing there. Baron says everybody thought he was doing a good job until Rollins said something and goaded him into a TLC match, so he’s the reason the whole locker room is against him and the McMahons are back in charge, and everything Ambrose said about him is true. If half the locker room hadn’t attacked him he’d take his title, oh wait, Dean already did that.

Seth decks him... WITH ONE PUNCH!

A recap of the opening segment follows, because Raw is three hours long. (Three hours long.)

Commentary hypes up Ronda Rousey for after the break.

Back from commercial, Ronda Rousey makes her entrance.

She gets on the mic and says she told Nia Jax she could kiss her right hand goodbye, she told Charlotte Flair that she’d write the next chapter of their story, and she told Becky Lynch that she’s the last woman on earth that she should provoke. She didn’t come here to justify her actions, but to define what a real champion is. A champion is much more than the decision of a referee, a real champion represents the limit of human potential.

The best of the best, physically and morally, a real champion. She wants to start a new tradition that the champion defends their title the night after a pay-per-view no matter what shape they’re in, so it’s an open challenge!

At Gorilla literally the entire women’s roster is shouting and bickering when Stephanie McMahon appears and shouts them down, ordering them out to ringside. She says all these women want a title match, and they all deserve one. But she says she’s not playing favorites anymore, so they’re all getting an opportunity to earn it in an eight-woman gauntlet match starting right now!

Alicia Fox vs. Bayley vs. Dana Brooke vs. Ember Moon vs. Mickie James vs. Natalya vs. Ruby Riott vs. Sasha Banks (WWE Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Gauntlet Match)

Bayley with a schoolboy pin for one, collar and elbow, wristlock, arm wringer, wrenching her down, stepover, La Casita for one and Fox runs to the safety of the ropes! Right hands, a cover for one, smashing the Hugger’s face into the turnbuckles. To the next corner, putting boots to her, snapmare into a cover, still just one so she locks a reverse chinlock on.

Off the ropes, scissors kick ducked and Bayley hits a back suplex for two as we go to break.

Back from commercial and Fox is in control, kicking away at Bayley’s ribs. Forearms to follow, whip across, the Hugger ducks to the apron, shoulder thrust, sunset flip, only two. Alicia with a lariat, choking her over the middle rope before swatting at her head with disdainful slaps. Right hands, Bayley returning forearms, and Fox whips her hard into the turnbuckles.

Bayley puts her in the turnbuckles, whip reversed, up and over and she comes up lame, leaving an opening for Alicia to hit her with a big boot! Cover, reversed...

Bayley eliminates Alicia Fox by pinfall with a crucifix pin.

Dana Brooke out next, she hits a handspring back elbow for two. Mounted forearms into a bodyscissors, the Hugger counters with elbows and bridging back into a pin but Brooke hits a chop block that leads referee Dan Engler to ask if she wants to stop the match but she’s still fighting! Dana putting boots to her, cover made off the knee damage and she follows it with a reverse chinlock.

Mat slam to break it up, cover for two but she can’t put the Hugger away! Outta nowhere...

Bayley eliminates Dana Brooke by pinfall with the Bayley-to-Belly suplex.

We go to break before we can find out who our next entrant is.

Back from commercial we get a video package hyping up the return of Kevin Owens!

In the ring, Mickie James is in control and hits a big neckbreaker for two. Drawing Bayley up the ropes, choking her over the middle, off the ropes but the Hugger sidesteps and James gets hung up in the ropes! Cover gets two, kick combo from Mickie, off the ropes, sidestep, schoolboy for two. James with a flapjack, she kips up, and heads up top to follow it up.

Diving Lou Thesz Press, reversed into a sunset flip, trading pins, superkick from Mickie... NOPE! Kick to the knee, looking for the DDT, reversed to a back suplex! Bayley fired up, fighting herself back into it, James kicks her to the floor. Off the ropes, baseball slide caught and the Hugger lands a flush knee to the side of the head.

Headed up top, she comes up lame off the turnbuckles but keeps it together enough for a back elbow, diving crossbody but damn her knee! Charging in, knee strike, up top again, diving elbow... BUT MICKIE’S GOT HER HAND ON THE BOTTOM ROPE! James to the apron, Bayley catches her with the Stunner over the middle rope, charges in, Bayley-to-Belly reversed, ram into the turnbuckles, back elbow, block the headscissors and they’re jockeying for position over the ropes.

Back in, MickieDT connects...

Mickie James eliminates Bayley by pinfall with the MickieDT.

Ember Moon is out next and James catches her with a dropkick before she can even get all the way in the ring! Superkick, choke in the corner, trading strikes, whip across, hip toss reversed to an arm drag, legsweep, off the ropes but Mickie’s got the dropkick scouted and covers her for one. Superkick blocked, kick combo, off the ropes, sidestep the forearm, Ember with a springboard crossbody for two!

Off the ropes, baseball slide, nobody home, back in, Mickie cuts her off, slides under, thinking powerbomb off the apron but she can’t get it so she settles for a trip and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Moon gets a slam and both women are down and out. Rising to their feet, trading forearms, Ember pulls ahead, ducks a lariat, into her own kick combo for two. Mickie looking for a cover, hand on the ropes and referee Dan Engler warns her off. Lying in wait, flapjack, kip-up, up top for a dive and Moon counters with a Codebreaker! Up top...

Ember Moon eliminates Mickie James by pinfall with the Eclipse.

Natalya out next, Moon almost takes her right out with a schoolboy! Block the Sharpshooter, duck the discus lariat, superkick connects for Ember but it’s only two! Rear chinlock applied, Neidhart fights to her knees but Moon’s right on her with a modified Cobra Twist / rear chinlock to keep her locked down. Nattie with a fireman’s carry, Ember slips out, whip to the corner.

Boot up on the charge, to the second, tornado suplex connects but Moon can only get two off it! Ember up top, Nattie cuts her off, discus lariat... NOT ENOUGH! Looking for the Sharpshooter, Moon firing slaps off to block, turning it into a small package for two. Neidhart from behind...

Natalya eliminates Ember Moon by pinfall with an O’Connor roll.

The Riott Squad come down to ringside and we go to break.

Back from commercial and Ruby Riott is in control with a rear chinlock and a bodyscissors. Natalya turns it around on her but Riott shifts to a guillotine choke. Nattie counters with a bodyslam, but Ruby stays on her and puts her into the turnbuckles to put boots to her. Neidhart with a schoolboy, Riott drops her with a lariat for two and she follows it up with a cravate to grind her down.

Natalya throws her aside but Riott is right back in with a knee to the face for a shockingly deep two. Neidhart pastes her with a slap, kicks out of a sunset flip and nails her with a boot to the chest before hoisting her up. Reversed to a sunset flip, Nattie with a dropkick after the kickout but she’s having trouble capitalizing. Lariats as Neidhart builds momentum, snap suplexes, slap to the face and a hammer whip.

Ruby’s got the discus lariat scouted and counters with an STO, dragging Natalya into position before heading up top, diving senton, nobody home! Nattie capitalizes...

Natalya eliminates Ruby Riott by pinfall with a schoolboy.

Sasha Banks is out next, in with a forearm! More forearms, catch the boot, hard kick, knees in the corner get two. Banks taunts, Natalya fires up, shoulder thrusts in the corner, Sasha slips to the apron and up top but nobody’s home on the dive. Schoolboy from Nattie, nope, the Boss off the ropes, rolling DDT... NOT ENOUGH! And so to break we go.

Back from commercial and both women are down and out as referee Dan Engler counts. Banks rises first, drawing herself up the ropes, but Natalya catches a kick into a trip, off the ropes with the running stomp to the back of the neck and the basement dropkick for two! Fired up, picking the legs, Sharpshooter blocked, schoolboy pin for two! The Boss looking to end it, backslide into a knee but Neidhart hits the discus lariat... NOPE!

Back to the Sharpshooter, Nattie locks it on in the middle of the ring! Sasha reaching, clawing, crawling, Neidhart yanks her back in the middle of the ring! Crawling... SHE ROLLS THROUGH AND PUTS NATALYA’S NECK THROUGH THE BOTTOM TURNBUCKLE! Following it up, Sasha’s got a half-crab and Nattie wavers before crawling, pivoting, trying to turn it around, Banks with a crucifix pin and then the Bank Statement crossface in the middle of the ring!

Wrenching back, Natalya flagging, posting to her feet, roll through, fireman’s carry, Banks slips out but Neidhart hits a German suplex! Nattie gasping, trying to will herself back into it while Sasha recovers in the corner. Banks with a boot up, an elbow... METEORA! SO CLOSE! Lungblower blocked, the Boss picks her arm but Nattie throws her off. Charging in, rolling... GALLON THROW!

Natalya follows it up, pick the legs...

Natalya wins, last eliminating Sasha Banks by submission with the Sharpshooter to become #1 contender to the WWE Raw Women’s Championship.

Ronda Rousey comes down to the ring while Neidhart celebrates. She turns around and Ronda raises her hand and brings her in for a hug before getting serious and squaring up. Rousey offers a hand and Natalya accepts before going in for another hug. One more square up and they leave together.

Commentary hypes up Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor, Bobby Lashley vs. Elias in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight, an appearance from Paul Heyman, as well as Baron Corbin vs. Seth Rollins for next week.

That’s the show, folks.

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