Dean Ambrose with swat team in gas masks

‘I am proud to stand alone in this ring as the moral compass of WWE.’ – Monday Night RAW – 03/12/2018

Welcome to another Monday Night RAW review. There’s not much on the preview this week, Dean Ambrose will be on the show, Baron Corbin will appear, and Alexa Bliss will be there. The only advertised match is Ronda Rousey and Natalya versus Nia Jax and Tamina. All I want, all any of us want really, is a better show than last week.

I’m Amanda, and I’m here to guide you through RAW.

Match Results

Sasha Banks and Bayley def. Mickie James and Alicia Fox via pinfall

Lucha House Party def. Scott Dawson via pinfall

Dolph Ziggler def. Drew McIntyre via pinfall

Drake Maverick and AOP def. Bobby Roode via pinfall

Heath Slater def. Rhyno via pinfall

Finn Balor def. Jinder Mahal via pinfall

Ronda Rousey and Ember Moon def. Nia Jax and Tamina via submission

Bayley and Sasha Banks
Credit: wwe.com

The Best Bits

» Ronda Rousey and Natalya vs Nia Jax and Tamina should have opened the show but it never started. The Riott Squad appeared with a table and Jax and Tamina attacked Natalya and Rousey while they were distracted. Jax and Tamina took Rousey by one side of the ring and The Riott Squad beat up Natalya on the other. The Riott Squad set up a table, Rousey tried to get to Natalya but was beaten down by Jax and Tamina, and Natalya was put through it by The Riott Squad. Natalya appeared to have hurt her elbow.

Backstage, post-ads, Rousey was shown getting Natalya some help. While medics were treating Natalya, Rousey looked like she was planning her next murder.

Later, Rousey caught up with Bliss in the corridor and shouted at her. Bliss said she’d sent The Riott Squad home and their actions would be addressed. Rousey said she was going to get Jax and Tamina tonight, even if it was in a corridor or catering. Bliss said she couldn’t let her do that, she’d find her a partner. Rousey said she’d find her own and stalked off leaving Bliss looking shaken.

Ronda Rousey and Ember Moon vs Nia Jax and Tamina closed the show Nia Jax’ pre-match promo with Charly Caruso was exactly what I wanted to see from her last week. Jax and Tamina attacked Rousey before Ember Moon could get there. Moon ran down and they cleared the ring then took down Jax and Tamina on the outside. Once they got the match started, it was decent. Ember Moon took the long stint for her team, which is fair considering Rousey isn’t at full strength, and Moon took a lot of punishment. Jax prevented Moon tagging out by knocking Rousey off the apron. Moon managed to dodge Tamina, causing her to knock Jax off the apron and eventually tagged in Rousey. After beating on Tamina for a few seconds she demanded Jax. Tamina tagged her in but Jax tagged out again before Rousey could touch her. Rousey dragged Jax back into the ring anyway and easily thwarted Tamina’s attack from behind. Jax had to break up a pin attempt. Rousey and Moon dealt with Jax together, Tamina nearly rolled up Rousey but took an eclipse from Moon before Rousey slapped on an armbar and submitted her.

» Bliss hosted an in-ring segment. She said that last week she was appointed to oversee the entire RAW women’s division. With great power comes great responsibility so she promises to work hard every week to give us the best the division has to offer. That being said, her open forum last week didn’t go to plan, so they’re going to try it again. It was an opportunity to get to know Sasha Banks and Bayley, what drives them and what makes them tick.

When they got to the ring, Bayley asked how many questions they would get to take before Alicia Fox, Mickie James, and Dana Brooke attacked them again. Bliss said she’d reprimanded them for that and it was in the past. Then they actually answered questions.

1)     How do they respond to the social media comments that Sasha Banks is using Bayley?

Banks played along, said that Bayley wasn’t supposed to find out, and got a dig in at Corey Graves for constantly accusing her of waiting for an opportunity to backstab.

2)     If they could have a match with any female superstar of any era, who would it be?

They simultaneously said, Trish and Lita at WrestleMania.

3)     If they had a superpower, what would it be?

Bayley said she’d make things disappear, starting with Bliss. Banks agreed.

4)     What changes would they bring to the RAW women’s division in 2019?

Bayley said Evolution was a first ever and a great success, but they want to be the first ever WWE women’s tag team champions.

Brooke, Fox and James ran down to the ring, Bliss stopped them, then made a tag match Mickie James and Alicia Fox vs Sasha Banks and Bayley which started during the break. We joined it with James and Fox firmly in control of Bayley and it stayed like that until Bayley struggled free to tag in Banks. Within a minute Mickie James was having to break up the Bank Statement on Fox. Bayley broke up James pin on Banks a few moments later and took out Fox and Brooke for good measure. Mickie James threw Bayley out of the ring and went for the Mick-DT but Banks got free and tagged in Bayley for their Backstabber/Bayley to Belly combo finish.

» Drew McIntyre Appreciation Night was a thing that happened. Baron Corbin oversaw proceedings and started by reminiscing about his journey to General Manager-elect, then said his journey had been easier of late because of one man, and that’s why it’s Drew McIntyre Appreciation Night.

He brought McIntyre out, thanked him for everything he’s done, and gave him ‘RAW’s gold medal of excellence’ in a presentation box.

McIntyre said it means the world to him, but he was simply doing what no one else was strong enough to do. He arrived on RAW to stamp out weakness and eradicate complacency. When he walked around backstage superstars were playing on their phones, they had no fire and passion in their eyes. They were happy to collect a paycheque and they were on social media talking to fans and retweeting compliments like they belonged in the audience and not on his roster. That’s why he decided to re-form RAW in his image. And, apparently, he’s doing a very good job.

He moved on to talk about Finn Balor and how he thinks of himself as a voice of the pathetic people, but he’s nothing more than a boy in a man’s world, and at TLC, McIntyre is going to hurt him.

That was as far as he got before Dolph Ziggler joined the party. Ziggler said he thought they had an alliance, he brought McIntyre to RAW, they dominated together. But he wasn’t in his little video package and he wanted to know what’s going on because it seems like his invite to the party got lost.

McIntyre said, the truth is, Ziggler was never invited. McIntyre was the brains the muscle, the talent, the whole damned package. Their business relationship was working for him, but it’s not anymore. Ziggler’s role was to get him into a prominent position and he succeeded, for once. He thanked him and dismissed him. When Ziggler didn’t leave McIntyre said Ziggler should be kissing his feet because he’s the reason Ziggler became relevant for the first time in ten years.

Ziggler punched him a bit, delivered a ZigZag, and left. Baron Corbin called Ziggler back and gave them a match.

Drew McIntyre vs Dolph Ziggler – The match ticked along fairly slowly in the early stages. McIntyre stopped for a chat in the middle and said he thought he might still have a soft spot for Ziggler because he feels like he was going easy on him, so he was going to pretend he was someone he doesn’t like, like Finn Balor. It seemed to work for him because he was destroying Ziggler.

Balor himself appeared to watch from ringside which distracted McIntyre enough for Ziggler to get back into it. Ziggler took control of the match for a while after a huge DDT, but a headbutt from McIntyre and a slam onto the barricade, one leg either side, put Ziggler down.

McIntyre tossed him into the ring and Ziggler bumped the ref. While the ref was distracted, Balor dropkicked McIntyre into the barricade. McIntyre barely beat the count back into the ring, ate a superkick from Ziggler and got pinned. That’s the first time McIntyre has been pinned since he returned to RAW.

Backstage Charly Caruso asked McIntyre if he thought it was wise to shun his friend. McIntyre said Ziggler was never a friend, he was an asset now he’s an enemy. Ziggler’s not celebrating the victory, he’s terrified because Ziggler knows how dangerous he can be. And Finn Balor is a marked man.

» Dean Ambrose’s entrance was accompanied by sirens and six men in swat gear and gas masks. Ambrose was also wearing a gas mask. He said it was all to protect himself from whatever diseases they may be carrying and from Seth Rollins because last time he was in that ring he was viciously attacked, unprovoked, by Seth Rollins. – Happily, he took the mask off so it was easier to understand him – or maybe a bit provoked. He’s been trying to rile Seth for a couple of weeks, but he was surprised by how easy it was. That because Rollins, like the public, is needy and emotional. He’s always got to be in control always got to get his way. Rollins is the biggest lowlife on the planet and people cheer for him because he makes them feel important. The Shield used to be something he was proud of but after a while, all Rollins and Reigns cared about was trying to be role models. The crowd chanted ‘we want Rollins’. Ambrose said sometimes life sucks and you don’t always get what you want. Rollins and Reigns changed, they sold out. He never changed, he’s the last man in the industry with integrity. The only thing he’s guilty of is trusting people but no more. He’s proud to stand alone in the ring as the moral compass of WWE. At TLC he could take the Intercontinental Championship by force, but that’s too easy. He’s going to make Rollins lose control emotionally and take it that way.

Rollins arrived then and threw Ambrose over the top rope. Ambrose sent his lackey into the ring and Rollins took them all out then chased Ambrose into the crowd. They brawled in the crowd and Ambrose hit Rollins with a gas mask as he came over the barricade at him then beat on him. A Dirty Deeds at ringside put Rollins down then the lackeys rolled him back into the ring. Ambrose pulled him up by the hair, gave him another, and left him laying in the ring

This week Renee Young finally snapped at Corey Graves. She said no one is entitled to know what goes on behind closed doors between husband and wife, how dare he.

Ronda Rousey kicks Nia Jax
Credit: wwe.com

The Other Bits

» Scott Dawson vs Lucha House Party – Somehow, this was a singles match under Lucha House Rules, I think that’s called a handicap match. In fairness, it was a fun match to watch. Dawson did great for a while, then Lucha House Party started flying about all over the place and the win came pretty quickly.

» Elias didn’t get to sing his song after he told the crowd Bobby Lashley was frightened and hiding from him, because Lashley and Lio Rush arrived on the stage. Rush says very little, but he says it loudly and using many words. He did that again, including running through some of Lashley’s poses. Elias charged up the ramp with a guitar and they brawled on the stage. Lashley tried to throw Elias through the back screen but Elias reversed the momentum and Lashley hit the screen. Elias chased Rush, but he got away. Elias was still on stage when Rush was thrown back on by Finn Balor. Elias hit Rush with the guitar.

» Bobby Roode vs Drake Maverick – Baron Corbin set this match and promised Roode he and Gable would get another title shot if he beats Maverick. AOP and Chad Gable were banned from ringside. It had barely started when the screens showed AOP beating up Gable out the back. Corbin arrived and told AOP he’d changed his mind and it was a three on two handicap match. AOP ran off but Gable wasn’t getting up anytime soon. Roode tried to finish Maverick before they got there but they arrived while he was trying to pin him and beat Roode up. Gable staggered down to the ring holding his head and tried to fight Akam and Rezar by himself. AOP hit the Super-Collider and tagged in Drake Maverick to pin Bobby Roode.

» They are splitting up Heath Slater and Rhyno. Baron Corbin said there is only room on RAW for one of them, either one of them could quit to save the other’s job, or they could fight it out in a loser gets fired match. Heath Slater vs Rhyno lasted less than a minute. Rhyno started by slapping Slater and took control. Heath Slater hit one neckbreaker and got the pin. There were long sad looks between them as Slater left the ring. Backstage, Heath Slater asked if there was anything he could do for Rhyno. Corbin said the only thing he could do was his job, handed him a ref’s shirt., and told him his days as a superstar are over.

» Finn Balor vs Jinder Mahal was plodding along nicely until the Singh brothers got involved. Then Apollo Crews turned up and took them out and it got a bit chaotic for a few moments. Balor launched himself over the top rope onto Mahal, rolled him back into the ring for the setup and Coup de Grace.

Charly Caruso asked Balor, backstage, about his night but Drew McIntyre attacked him before he could say anything other than ‘it’s been a hell of a night’.

Dolph Ziggler superkicks Drew McIntyre
Credit: wwe.com

This was better than last week, but there’s some weird stuff going on. It’ll all play out eventually, but it’s hard to see where they’re going, or why they’re going there, with some stuff.