Star Ratings + Results:
- Carmella and R-Truth defeat Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox to get the #30 Spot in the Royal Rumble @5:37 *
- The Bar defeat New Day and The Usos to retain the SD Live Tag Titles @12:20 ***3/4
- Natalya defeats Ruby Riott in a Tables Match @12:46 ***1/4
- Finn Balor defeats Drew Mcintyre @12:09 ***
- Rey Mysterio defeats Randy Orton in a Chairs Match@11:30 ***
- Ronda Rousey defeats Nia Jax to retain the Raw Women’s Title @11:00 ***3/4
- Daniel Bryan defeats AJ Styles to retain the WWE Championship @23:52 ****3/4
- Dean Ambrose defeats Seth Rollins to win the IC Title @22:52 ***1/4
Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox vs. R-Truth and Carmella MMC Final for the Royal Rumble #30 Spot:
- Is this seriously who’s in the Mixed Match Final?
- Truth and Mahal start the match.
- Annoying dance break mid-match, the Singh brothers join.
- None of these wrestlers deserve the #30 spot in the Royal Rumble, especially R-Truth.
- Hot tag by Truth.
- Fox goes for the scissor kick on Truth because he stole her hat but Carmella hits a superkick for a near fall.
- Sloppy transition into the leg submission thing Carmella does to tap out Fox.
Winner: Carmella and R-Truth get the #30 Spot @5:37!
Rating: *, This is peak annoying for WWE. This is who they chose to fight for the prestigious Royal Rumble spot. The dance break was annoying, the match had no action, and it felt too long at 5 minutes. No Thanks.
The Usos vs. The Bar(c) vs. New Day for the Smackdown Tag Titles:
- Kofi Kingston and Sheamus start the match.
- Strikefest between Usos and Cesaro and Kofi sends Cesaro ringside, Jey goes for a suicide dive but is caught over the ropes with an uppercut by Cesaro. Sheamus catches Woods running with an Irish Curse Backbreaker for a near fall.
- The Bar isolating Xavier Woods, Woods hits a draping missile dropkick to Sheamus to open up tags. Hot tag by Kofi.
- Jimmy Uso tags himself in blindly, Cesaro catches Kofi mid-air in a vertical suplex hold. Jimmy dives to Kofi to slam him down, great spot.
- The Usos superkick party everything, doing it a little bit better than the Bucks. And follow it up with a pop-up Samoan Drop on Kofi, near fall save by Woods.
- Jimmy Uso hits the Frog Splash, Cesaro grabs Uso and throws him into the post to try and steal the pin on Kofi and gets a great near fall.
- Cesaro Swing to Kofi goes 12 times and steps into the Sharpshooter, Woods comes in with a DDT through the ropes to Cesaro to break the hold.
- Sheamus goes for a Brogue Kick, Kofi rolls it up for a near fall. Kingston hits a standing double stomp to Sheamus. Trouble in Paradise by Kofi followed up by the Diving Elbow by Woods for a near fall save by the Usos.
- Cesaro knocks Jey Uso down with a pop-up European uppercut. Once everybody goes outside, Kofi hits the diving trust fall to ringside.
- Through the ropes DDT by Woods gets caught with a Brogue Kick by Sheamus to close the match.
Winner: The Bar Retains @12:20!
Rating: ***3/4, This was a very fun triple threat tag match between 3 of the best ever WWE tag teams. While it could’ve been much better, I’ve learned to temper my expectations with the WWE but this was very solid. It had some great new spots from these guys that seem to repeat spots over and over especially New Day. The match was surprising and fast-paced and very enjoyable.
- Baron Corbin comes down to the ring to propose a match against the injured Braun Strowman with Heath Slater as the referee to get himself the easy win via countout but Strowman returns and brings a ton of Raw people out to attack Corbin capping off with Kurt Angle hitting an Angle Slam and Finn Balor with the Coup De Grace, Heath Slater counts the pin giving Strowman a match against Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble for the Universal Title.
Natalya vs. Ruby Riott in a Tables Match:
- Feud over the late Jim the Anvil Neidhart is a bit cheap.
- Natalya tries to german suplex Riott off the apron into a table she fails but decides to spear her off instead, Liv Morgan hops in to take the spear off the apron through the table to save the match for Riott.
- Natalya kicks a table into the midsection of Sarah Logan to stop her from interfering.
- Natalya whips Riott into the barricade, Natalya hits a bodyslam to Logan sending her through a table set up ringside.
- Riott pushes Natalya up against the table with Jim Neidhart printed on it getting great heel heat, Riott chucks Natalya into the steel steps.
- Riott tries to through Natalya through the table with her father on it but Natalya fights out and locks Riott in the Sharpshooter, Riott dumps the table on Natalya to escape the hold.
- Riott struggles to set up the table, Natalya deadlifts her up and hits an electric chair driver.
- Natalya brings out a table with Ruby Riott printed on it and she grabs the jacket of Jim Neidhart and pays respect. Natalya catches a Riott kick and attempts to dump Riott through her own table but doesn’t succeed and eats a superkick.
- Off the middle rope, Natalya hits a powerbomb sending Riott through the table with her on it to close the match.
Winner: Natalya @12:45!
Rating: ***1/4, Natalya put in an amazing babyface performance knocking out Riott and her squad with intensity. Riott also played an amazing heel and stirred the pot whenever she could. While there were moments of awkwardness and in-ring roughness it was a relatively clean match that told a very good story out of a bad feud.
Finn Balor vs. Drew Mcintyre:
- Mcintyre starts the match dominantly.
- Dropkick to the knee by Balor gets him some space but Drew gets back on top with chops in the corner.
- Mcintyre gets Balor up on the top rope but Finn breaks free and assaults the leg of Mcintyre.
- Huge Belly to Belly suplex by Mcintyre launches Balor across the ring but also hurts Drew’s knee.
- Another huge suplex by Mcintyre launches Balor across the ring and gets the first near fall.
- Deadlift vertical suplex by Mcintyre shows impressive strength.
- Finn Balor hits a comeback sequence but Mcintyre halts it. Balor escapes and hits a double stomp to get him space from Drew.
- Tornado DDT by Finn Balor, Balor sends Drew to ringside. Tope con hiro by Balor wipes out Drew.
- Slingblade by Balor, shotgun dropkick caught into a Tilt-A-Whirl Backbreaker by Mcintyre for a near fall.
- Inverted Alabama Slam by Mcintyre gets rolled into a pinning combo by Balor for a near fall.
- Coup de Grade attempt by Balor fails as Mcintyre chops him on the top rope and delivers a great Super Air Raid Crash for a near fall.
- Balor traps Mcintyre’s legs in the ring apron and attacks him with strikes. Mcintyre gets free and Finn goes for a penalty kick but Drew knocks him off the apron to a hard landing. Mcintyre hits a stiff headbutt ringside.
- The referee is distracted as Dolph Ziggler hits a superkick to Mcintyre, Ziggler goes for a steel chair shot but Drew kicks it back into his face.
- Finn Balor shotgun dropkicks the chair into Mcintyre then hits a Coup De Grace on the chair to close the match.
Winner: Finn Balor @12:09!
Rating: ***, This was a Raw match on PPV that should’ve been better. The pace was mostly slow except for bursts of offense from Balor and Mcintyre did an okay performance as a dominant heel but took the loss nonetheless. The Dolph Ziggler interference was unnecessary and added nothing. Yet, it was a match between two very talented men and they mixed in some good wrestling here.
Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton in a Chairs Match:
- Mysterio immediately attacks Orton with a steel chair. Mysterio bounces off a chair and dives at Orton but Orton catches him and sends him into the corner. Orton hits Rey with a steel chair shot in the corner.
- Mysterio kicks Orton off the apron and uses the chair as a boogie board to dive under the ropes and crossbody Orton with the chair, great spot.
- Rey sits Orton on a chair ringside and goes for a senton but Orton dodges and Mysterio flies hard into the chair.
- Orton removes the hood of the Raw announce table and places a chair on top of it, Facebuster by Orton drives Rey into the chair on the table.
- Mysterio huricanranas Orton into a chair set up in the corner, Orton no sells it and hits a powerslam to get a near fall on Mysterio.
- Hangman DDT by Orton escapes, Mysterio gets in a failed 619 attempt. Mysterio springboards at Orton but Randy throws a chair at him.
- Mysterio hits Orton with a chair to the back sending him into the ropes for a successful 619, Orton no sells it again to remove Mysterio from the top rope. Orton slams Rey face first into a chair from the tree of woe.
- Orton sets up a row of 4 chairs, Rey flips off the chairs to hit a pinning combination and win the match.
Winner: Rey Mysterio @11:30!
Rating: ***, This match had a very weird layout but kept interesting with some unique spots. Like most Orton matches, this was really really slow at parts but the energy of Mysterio kept some moments highlights. This was a match ripped from WWE in 2009 but with men who have aged. There was almost no story here but there was a dynamic of cocky heel versus underdog face that was worked decently.
Ronda Rousey(c) vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Title:
- Rousey gets Nia in an armbar attempt early buy Jax reverses it into a Sit-out Powerbomb.
- Jax throws Rousey into the post and hits a hip attack from the apron jamming the shoulder of Rousey into the post.
- Guillotine Choke by Rousey, Jax tries to vertical suplex out of it but Rousey locks in a sleeper from the back, Jax tries to escape but Rousey locks in an armbar. Jax rolls with Ronda to ringside and throws Rousey into the barricade.
- Powerbomb attempt by Jax but Rousey huricanranas out. Ronda sidesteps Jax sending Nia into the post.
- Rousey climbs the top rope and hits a diving crossbody to ringside to take out Jax in a risky spot by Ronda that was executed greatly.
- Rousey fires up and hits Ronda with a series of strikes including an amazing one-two of a step up knee then a superman punch for a near fall.
- Diving Crossbody by Rousey but Jax rolls through and hits a Samoan Drop for a great near fall.
- Nia Jax climbs the ropes with Rousey on her shoulders but Ronda fights out and powerbombs Nia off the middle rope for a great near fall.
- Tamina distracts Rousey so Jax can avoid the armbar and Jax goes for the Facebreaker but Rousey hangs on and goes into an armbar and Nia immediately taps.
Winner: Ronda Rousey @11:00!
Rating: ***3/4, It’s finally totally hit me how well Rousey has taken to the WWE. She is incredible. She carried one of the worst current wrestlers on the women’s roster to a near 4-star match. She fights with amazing intensity and hits her moves so cleanly. Jax did some good work in this match but most of it was on Ronda’s side. The match felt big and Ronda impressed again. This is yet another showcase of how good women’s wrestling has gotten in WWE.
Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles WWE Championship:
- I love this Daniel Bryan more than I love myself.
- I have high hopes for this match.
- Daniel Bryan immediately rolled ringside and plays mind games with Styles.
- Styles clotheslines Bryan to ringside after a flurry of offense begins the match’s momentum. Styles goes for a plancha dive but Bryan catches Styles with a mid-kick in the air.
- Bow and Arrow lock by Bryan weakens Styles for a while until he gets a rope break.
- Stiff chops in the corner by Bryan, Styles returns the favor with chops of his own in the corner. Bryan strikes him down and gets him in the Tree of Woe to continue and work the back.
- Bryan does Yes! Kicks against the ropes until he knocks Styles to ringside.
- The slower pace at the beginning stretch here.
- Corner Dropkicks by Bryan, Styles meets him before the 3rd one with a lariat flipping Bryan.
- Spinning Backfist by Styles gets the first near fall. Styles starts to stomp at Bryan’s face similar to how Daniel did after his title win.
- Styles sends Bryan into the post and begins to fire up ringside, Styles rolls him back in ring and Bryan tells him to wait, Bryan tries to sucker him in but Styles hits an UshiGoroshi Backbreaker.
- Styles goes for the Reverse DDT but Daniel gets a Cravat Locked in, Daniel hits a series of brutal knees and suplexes him back.
- No! Kicks by Bryan and the final one clips Styles on the head, near fall.
- Styles flips out of a suplex attempt by Bryan and hits him with an enzuguri to get space.
- Styles goes for the Phenomenal Forearm but Bryan kicks him down. Styles gets back up to repeatedly kick out the leg of Styles.
- AJ wrenches the knee of Bryan around the post to continue work on the leg.
- In-ring, Styles hits a chop block to take out Bryan’s leg.
- Avalanche Huricanrana by Bryan rolled into a pin by Styles for a near fall, Styles decides to go for the Styles Clash but Bryan fights out.
- Single Leg Boston Crab by Styles locked in on the weakened leg of Bryan, Styles has it deep in the middle of the ring, Bryan slides out and transitions into the LeBell Lock (Yes! Lock) Styles fights into a rollup for a near fall, Bryan gets a roll-up for a near fall. Both kick each other out to end an awesome sequence.
- Strikefest, Bryan goes for a Running Knee but eats a dropkick from Styles.
- Springboard 450 by Styles for a great near fall.
- Calf Crusher by Styles locked in and continues to work the injured leg of Bryan, Styles wrenches it in but Bryan finally gets to the ropes. Bryan rolls ringside.
- “This is awesome” chants go which is impressive because this is a storyline match and not a flip fest like the WWE fans like.
- Phenomenal Forearm off the barricade ringside by Styles. Styles goes for the Phenomenal Forearm back in-ring but Bryan dodges, Running Knee by Bryan misses, Styles rolls up Bryan for a near fall but Daniel rolls up Styles for the win.
Winner: Daniel Bryan @23:53!
Rating: ****3/4, This was INCREDIBLE and easily the best thing WWE has given us this year. This was a barnburner but didn’t feel long at all, I never wanted this to end. These guys told an incredible story and Daniel Bryan is the best heel in the world right now even though that’s a weird sentence today. The WWE crowd resonated with the storyline too getting this is awesome chants even though the match was never at a breakneck speed. They mixed the typical amazing in-ring work like always and had a lot of great technical wrestling moments in here too. This was a stand-out match in a bad year for the WWE.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Title:
- This has been one of WWE’s better feud this year mostly because of an incredible performance from Dean Ambrose.
- Rollins runs at Ambrose ringside, Dean catches him and drops him face first on the announce table.
- Corey Graves keeps talking about Renee Young’s relationship with Ambrose which makes the commentary hilarious because she gets awkward as hell.
- Ambrose whips Rollins into the corner and on the rebound hits a discus lariat for the first near fall.
- Diving standing elbow by Ambrose for another near fall, Dean is working at a dominant slow pace.
- Ambrose goes for a ton of pins and doesn’t get any and becomes frustrated.
- The crowd is very quiet and has been all night.
- Ambrose begins to work the knee of Rollins and locks in a Cloverleaf, Rollins grabs the ropes.
- Suicide Dive attempt by Rollins gets caught with a fist by Ambrose from ringside.
- Rollins lariats Ambrose to ringside and is finally able to hit the suicide dive on 2 different sides of the ring.
- Rollins goes for a sunset bomb off the top rope but can’t get it due to his knee calling back his injury from a while ago. Rollins still powers him up for the buckle bomb though.
- Strikefest into a Double Crossbody taking both out. Fuck this crowd man.
- Another strikefest into a Wheelbarrow Facebuster by Ambrose for a near fall.
- Rollins goes for the Falcon Arrow but the knee gives in and he drapes himself over the top rope, Ambrose hits a flying clothesline taking Rollins off the top rope for a near fall.
- “This is boring” chants.
- Ripcord Knee by Rollins for a near fall.
- Frog Splash by Rollins, Ambrose gets the knees up and rolls up Rollins for a near fall.
- Super Falcon Arrow by Rollins for a near fall.
- Rollins went for the superkick but Ambrose wanted the Shield fist bump and Rollins knocks Dean down and hits the superkick. They brawl to ringside.
- Buckle Bomb into the barricade by Rollins.
- Rollins slaps Ambrose and fires up and runs at him, Ambrose hits a Dirty Deeds for the win.
Winner: Dean Ambrose New Champion @22:52!
Rating: ***1/4, the crowd ruined a match that was a genuine fight with so much great storytelling. Yes, this was a disappointing match but it wasn’t boring or even bad. I kept expecting it to end via DQ or Countout but Ambrose won cleanly which no one expected. The match never kicked into really any gear but kept itself running off of great storytelling. I want them to get another chance to put on a banger because I believe this match should’ve been better than it was. It was worked really slowly which is shocking from Rollins and Ambrose but the crowd really took a shit on this one.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte vs. Asuka in a TLC Match for the Smackdown Women’s Title:
- I am so so happy that this is main eventing.
- Flair and Lynch begin to argue so Asuka takes them both out.
- Asuka and Flair bring in ladders, Flair shoves the ladder out onto Asuka on the floor.
- Flair sets up a table in the corner and smashes Asuka’s face into it but it doesn’t break, while Lynch is focused on Asuka Lynch sets up a ladder but Flair boots the ladder into her face.
- Spear by Flair countered into a codebreaker by Asuka.
- Asuka slams Lynch off the top rope into a hard landing on a ladder.
- Flair starts to climb the ladder but Asuka pulls her down, Asuka powerbombs Flair through a table set up in the corner.
- Asuka starts to climb the ladder but Lynch knocks her off with a missile dropkick.
- Hip attack by Asuka knocks Lynch off the apron, Flair fires at Asuka with a chair shot. With both ringside, Flair hits a diving moonsault off the top rope.
- Flair sets up a table, Lynch starts to attack both Flair and Asuka with a chair. Flair throws Lynch into the barricade.
- With Asuka and Flair on the announce table, Lynch begins to climb up a huge ladder and flies down with a senton hitting brutally on Flair but not Asuka who rolls off. Great spot.
- Lynch and Asuka begin to climb a ladder in the ring, Flair comes back with a kendo stick to attack both getting them off the ladder.
- Lynch hits a Bexploder against a table on the barricade to Charlotte, Asuka goes crazy with kendo stick shots to Lynch.
- Amazing spear through the barricade by Flair sends Asuka into the crowd.
- Lynch begins to climb the ladder in-ring, Flair grabs her down and they stare off. Lynch and Flair strike off and look intense, they begin to fight ringside and Flair unloads with chops.
- Flair sets Lynch up on a table ringside, Amazing Swanton bomb off the top rope through the table below by Flair.
- Flair climbs up the ladder but Asuka runs up to meet her, they strike off for the title. Lynch brings in a ladder to the side of the other ladder, Flair knocks Asuka down. Lynch and Flair strike off for the title now. Ronda Rousey comes down and dumps Becky and Charlotte off setting up a match at Wrestlemania.
- Asuka climbs up the ladder to great crowd response and wins the match.
Winner: Asuka New Champion @22:39!
Rating: ****3/4, This was another incredible match out of nowhere and it’s amazing to see how far the women have come in WWE. This main evented a PPV for another reason than the fact that they were women which to me is the biggest step in the evolution so far. These 3 ran through insane spots while working really clean and stories were getting continues, Rousey comes out to attack Lynch and Flair and Asuka completes her dream. This was similar to a match like Lesnar vs. Rollins vs. Cena from Royal Rumble 2015 but an amazing step in history for women’s wrestling. I’m proud this was the last WWE match this year.
Last Word: This is without a doubt one of WWE’s best shows in the past 2 years. While unfortunately, that isn’t saying much this show feels like a huge step in the right direction. While outside of 2 amazing matches the show suffered from being really long and WWE’s typical lame booking, those 2 matches were some of the best WWE matches in a long time. Styles vs. Bryan was an amazing storytelling technical match and Asuka vs. Flair vs. Lynch made history and looked great doing it. While WWE still has it’s problems they are now realizing what they can do to make it better. I believe Vince Mcmahon is stepping down on Monday and giving control of the company to his kids who while HHH loves killing the indies, the WWE will be in more relevant hands. I’m looking forward to 2019 because this show sets a precedent for what could be.