PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
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MONDAY NIGHT RAW
DECEMBER 24, 2018
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. AT GOLDEN 1 CENTER
REPORT BY TED, PWTORCH VIP MEMBER
About 20 percent of the audience left after the live Raw ended. The second Raw began about four minutes after the first Raw ended.
It began with Elias in the ring playing his guitar, wearing a Santa hat. He promised an “original Elias Christmas song.” He sang for a few minutes, with the primary chorus being “Bobby Lashley sucks.” The crowd was into Elias’s singing.
He was interrupted by Lashley’s entrance music.
(1) Elias vs. Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) in a Miracle on 34th Street fight. The ring was surrounded by Christmas trees, Christmas presents, and (of course) two tables with plates of food. Lashley started the match using a Christmas tree as a weapon on Elias. Lio Rush tried to interfere by doing a top rope splash on Elias, but Elias raised his knees to block Lio. On the outside Lashley lined up presents into a neat row so he could body slammed Elias into the presents. Lio Rush handed Lashley a big present box. Lashley opened it and emptied a large amount of Legos into the ring as if they were tacks. The crowd erupted into a “We want Legos” chant. Elias reversed Lashley and dumped him onto the Legos. Elias later dumped Lio Rush off the ring onto one of the food tables, breaking the table and getting Lio covered in food. Elias sprayed Lashley with a fire extinguisher. Then Elias got a bowling ball and hit Lashley flush with the bowling ball for a 7-10 split. Elias then got a Cello out of a present box and hit Lashley with it across Lashley’s back for the win at 10:30.
(2) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs. The Revival for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Roode and Gable were introduced first. The Revival isolated Gable for the first five minutes. Gable and Roode retained in 7:30 after a few rapid near falls from both teams. Very good TV match.
(3) Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler in a triple threat match. Drew came out first and was interviewed in the ring by Charley Caruso before the other introductions. Drew predicted he would be in the Main Event of WrestleMania during a brief, intense promo. Lots of one-on-one action where the wrestlers took turns recovering on the outside while the other two fighters fought. The crowd was cheering hard for Finn against Drew at 8:00. Finn Balor beat Dolph with the Coup de Grace at 8:45 for big cheers. Drew then got in Dolph’s face about the loss, but Dolph reversed the situation and attacked Drew and got to exit to his own music.
(4) Mickie James & Dana Brooke & Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks & Ember Moon & Bayley. The Heels all came out to Mickie James’ music. The Face team got to enter one at a time to their own music. The biggest cheers for either side were for the Bayley Buddies. All six of the women had changed into different wrestling gear since their match taped earlier in the night. Bayley pinned Mickie with a Bayley to Belly at 5:30. After the match the Riott Squad came out and cleared the Face team from the ring, and then left without attacking any of the six wrestlers at ringside.
Paul Heyman entered while an XFL Commercial aired, so he will likely be in the ring coming back from a commercial. His mic wasn’t working at first, which really looked like it pissed him off. He said that the sound tech must have been from Sacramento which got huge boos. He sang a full rendition of “Silent Night,” with lyrics about Brock was beating Strowman. He got the loudest boos of the night.
Then Heyman went into a full promo, starting by introducing himself, hyping the Lesnar/Strowman match at Royal Rumble. Among other things, he said that Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer couldn’t help Strowman find a path to the Universal title. It sounds corny, but Heyman made it work. Then Braun’s music hit and the crowd erupted in cheers. Braun put a Red Nose and Antlers on Heyman and called him Paul Heyman the red nosed advocate. He told Heyman to tell his client that he was going to Get These Hands. Very good segment to hype their fight.
(5) Natalya vs. Ronda Rousey. Both got their own music and full ring introductions. Cheers for Natalya. A mix of boos and cheers for Ronda Rousey. They wrestled a face vs. face style. Back and forth mat wrestling. Dueling “Let’s go Natty / Ronda Rousey” dueling chants tried to get started. At 5:00 Ronda had Natty in a leg scissors. Natty went for the Sharpshooter and Ronda threw her outside. Natty looked hurt and Ronda showed remorse. Natty used that to her advantage and threw Ronda into a ringpost. Natty tried to get Ronda into a sleeper at 7:45. That shifted into Natty applying an abdominal stretch after Ronda escaped the sleeper. Natty continued to work Ronda over until the 10:15 mark when Ronda got the upper hand. Ronda was selling that she didn’t want to hurt Natty. Natty got Ronda into another Sharpshooter, then Ronda reversed it got Natty to tap out at 13:15. They ended up hugging mid-ring. Ronda helped Natty to the back.
(6) Heath Slater vs. Jinder Mahal (w/the Singh Brothers). The crowd was dead for this match, but managed to start a good “3MB” chant. Then Santa came out in the crowd, giving out presents. At the two-minute mark the Singh brothers mercifully (for the crowd) interfered so Slater won by DQ (no announcement). Santa then came into the ring to rescue Slater. Santa was revealed to be Rhyno who gave Jinder a Gore for the save.
Charley Caruso interviewed Seth Rollins backstage.
(7) Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin. Seth came out to big applause. Corbin is still wearing street clothes instead of wrestling gear. Good back and forth action. The crowd was definitely cheering for Seth. Baron got in the majority of the offense. Seth eventually reversed the End of Days into a Stomp for the win at 10:00. Seth gave everyone at ringside a high five.
Raw ended after about an hour and fifty minutes. It was much faster with no commercials.
While the show may include backstage promos, they only showed one very brief Seth Rollins promo to the live crowd, possibly to move the show along since that was the second episode of Raw being presented to the audience.
The only promised match for the event in the WWE advertising was Seth vs. Dean, which never took place. Although we did get to see two full Raw episodes.
By the end of the show, more than half of the original crowd had already gone home and wasn’t there for the Seth/Corbin match.