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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Dec. 3, 2018): That’s more like it

Time to reset ourselves and get back on track.

Ambrose triggers all

When Dean Ambrose turned on Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, fans were drooling at the prospects. A mean, vicious version of Ambrose in WWE? What could be more fun?! What followed of course...yikes.

But those blunders almost made this version of Ambrose more fun. Armed with a siren over his entrance music and a gas mask, Ambrose waded into the stench of Houston and revealed a bit more of what’s going on with him.

Seth Rollins was always so needy. He had emotions and feelings and always wanted something; Ambrose likened it to the fans, actually, always wanting an autograph or picture with him.

And so, what’s a man to do? Ambrose has been intentionally antagonizing Rollins with his antics, doing what he knows will make Rollins snap. But with that explanation and Ambrose’s “fans are like Rollins” comparison, it stands to reason that he’s been messing with us as well, right? Ambrose knows that we’d like to see the mean, callous performance that he could give, and he’s intentionally withheld it. Because he knows what makes us snap, just like Rollins.

...Am I reaching there? Oh well.

Anyway! Rollins charged the ring and initiated a brawl that eventually left Ambrose standing tall. Ambrose prophetized that Rollins would make a mistake at TLC, that he would fail. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s right.

But yeah, this was a much more entertaining affair from this feud than in previous weeks.

One of the biggest criticisms of last week’s show was how brutal the babyface beatdown was. It felt like the entire show was the heels putting the boots to the good guys.

Well, one man made sure that didn’t happen again.

Yeah, you probably guessed. It was Finn Balor.

He first showed up at the start of the second hour to come to Dolph Ziggler’s aid. Our kinda, sorta, not really GM Baron Corbin hosted “Drew McIntyre Appreciation Night” in the aforementioned’s honor, and it quickly became clear that Ziggler would get no credit in McIntyre’s ascension on Monday Night Raw. As McIntyre ranted about how much he hated Balor, Ziggler interrupted to ask what gives.

McIntyre took gruesome pleasure in revealing what he really thought of Ziggler, claiming that he used Ziggler’s name to fast-track himself on the show while allowing Ziggler to think he was in charge. But of course, McIntyre was always the brains, brawn, and everything else of their operation. And then McIntyre demanded the Show Off to get out of his sight.

Ziggler socked him one and Corbin booked a match. Before I get to the Balor bit, I want to say how much I enjoyed this interaction. McIntyre confirmed aloud all the little looks and non-answers he’s given for months; I think that’s really neat. McIntyre’s callousness also provided Ziggler with a really nice babyface turn.

Anyway, Balor came out to stand ringside and picked his spot, dropkicking McIntyre into the barricade to nearly earn Ziggler a count out victory. McIntyre dove into the ring and clumsily got to his feet, only to walk into Ziggler’s Superkick.

1-2-3. McIntyre’s first pin fall loss since his return. Balor grinned as he backed away.

He wasn’t done, though. When Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush came out to mess with Elias, Balor made sure that they didn’t get away unscathed. Balor grabbed Rush by the coattails and threw him into a guitar shot by Elias.

Finally, Balor had his own match against Jinder Mahal. It was fine, and featured a really weird run in by Apollo Crews to help fend off the Singhs – where on earth did THAT come from? Either way, that’s four babyfaces getting some shine after a show where all hope was stomped into oblivion.

I like what this did for the Balor vs. McIntyre feud. McIntyre’s claims about how Raw is filled with coasting superstars is directly challenged by Balor going the extra mile to help everyone. McIntyre says he got where he is because of hard work, but who worked harder on this show than Balor?

The feud needs stakes, and it needs further escalation next week, but Raw desperately needs this feud to deliver for the sake of the show. This was a very good first step in the right direction.

The Rest

Ronda Rousey and Ember Moon def. Nia Jax and Tamina - This feud bookended the show, and it was fine, I guess. It didn’t really energize me though, and that’s why I’ve decided against featuring it in the review.

My big issue here is what the hell is Alexa Bliss up to? Is she trying to fake being a babyface? She claimed to have sent the Riott Squad home after they attacked Natalya to open the show, but I’m skeptical to say the least.

Women’s Tag Team Championships – In a rerun from last week, Alexa Bliss held another open questionaire. The notable thing was Bayley name dropping female tag team titles for the first time on this show.

That’s good! It’s been a long time coming and the female roster needs more titles for their midcard. The only issue there is...well, the men’s tag team division isn’t very good at the moment. What will make this one any different?

The Revival get conned again – You know what? I’m not even mad this time. I actually found The Revival demanding a singles match and getting a 3-on-1 handicap match with Lucha House Party Rules comical enough to just enjoy the damn thing.

AoP def. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable – Here’s where Corbin stuck his nose on this show. The original match, Roode vs. Drake Maverick, was changed to a 3-on-2 handicap match once the AoP assaulted Gable backstage. I don’t get the inconsistency of where Corbin sticks his shiny bald head on any given night.

Heath Slater def. Rhyno – Oooooh this was intriguing. Corbin demanded these two fight for their jobs and Slater won...only to be told he’d be a ref instead of a wrestler. This could be good, so expect it to get ruined immediately.

I think that the WWE did a very smart thing with this show. They really focused on their workhorses - McIntyre, Ziggler, Balor, Ambrose, and Rollins – to make this show a success. And it worked! Funny how good wrestlers and good guys winning sometimes can make for an entertaining show, eh?

There’re still plot holes in places, of course. I feel like everything with the women’s roster needs to get better as well. But this was a much better outing than the show that we shall not mention.

Grade: B-

Better than last week, Cageside?

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