Date: December 10, 2018
Location: Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, CA
The Big Takeaway --
They acknowledged the general crumminess of Raw the past while. In storyline, Seth Rollins placed the blame on Baron Corbin, flat-out saying the show has sucked under his control. This led to a tables, ladders and chairs match in the main event for the IC title, where Rollins retained his belt over Corbin.
Heath Slater was the referee and tried to help Corbin, but Rollins prevailed. It wasn’t necessarily a heel turn for Slater. They teased that Braun Strowman would be at TLC, though Corbin was still in denial.
Also, Chad Gable and Bobby Roode won the tag titles, and Drew McIntyre beat Dolph Ziggler.
There was no mention of Dynamite Kid or Larry Hennig.
Show Recap --
Seth Rollins was in the ring to start the show. There were ladders, tables, and chairs all over the stage and surrounding the ring. They played Rollins’ music with him already in the ring and kept playing “burn it down” over and over. It’s possible they’ve added that to his theme, or it was just for the purposes of this segment.
Rollins said he would burn it down at TLC when he fights Dean Ambrose, and that would be the theme tonight. He wasn’t here to call out Ambrose, though, because he had a few words for Baron Corbin. Corbin came out and was booed as he spoke. He offered to have a private conversation with Rollins.
Rollins told him to cut the crap and told him to “shut up and listen.” Rollins said he’s been a little busy with Ambrose and hasn’t had a chance to tell Corbin what he thinks of him. “Under your leadership, Monday Night Raw has sucked. And it has sucked because of you.” The crowd chanted “Corbin sucks.”
Corbin said he allowed Rollins to vent but told him to watch his words. Rollins didn’t care about his warning. He put over the talented roster in the back, which the crowd cheered. He put over the Revival and called the Lucha House Rules ridiculous. The crowd cheered. Rollins also bemoaned the “urination segments.”
Rollins said Braun Strowman must’ve hurt Corbin’s feelings, which is why he handed the Universal title back to Brock Lesnar, who hasn’t had a match on Raw since 2002. He called the Corbin era an abject failure. Rollins also mentioned that locker room morale, fan support and TV ratings were at an all-time low, and it was all because of Corbin.
Corbin didn’t care what Rollins, the locker room, or the fans thought and said he would be in charge for a very long time. He said things would only get worse for a guy like Rollins. Corbin said Ambrose would win the IC title and he would beat Strowman by forfeit, which is too bad because he always wanted to have a TLC match.
Corbin said he would become the permanent GM and put Rollins through hell. Rollins dared him to put him through hell tonight and challenged him to a match. Corbin brushed it off, so Rollins said they could have TLC match and Corbin would get his wish. Corbin said no.
Rollins repeatedly called him a coward and the fans joined in. Corbin accepted. The fans cheered. Corbin added that the match would be for the IC title and Rollins was fine with that.
Backstage, Dasha Fuentes asked Rollins if it was smart to get himself into this match. Rollins said probably not, but he wanted to be a leader for everyone on the roster. He had to take a stand, because if he didn’t, he doesn’t deserve the title.
3-on-2 handicap match: Chad Gable & Bobby Roode defeated AOP & Drake Maverick to win the Tag Team Championship (8:25)
Gable and Roode wore matching robes and in-ring attire (Gable wore trunks instead of a singlet). Early in the match, Gable and Roode sent AOP to the outside, then launched Maverick on to them by tossing him over the top rope, which was impressive-looking. Of course, after a break, AOP were in control.
Roode made a hot tag but AOP cut him off and did the super collider. Gable tried fighting back, but they gave him a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo. Maverick wanted to tag in, so AOP gave it to him. Maverick did the Glorious pose and went for a cover, then Roode caught him in a crucifix pin for the win. Roode and Gable are the new champs.
Drew McIntyre will face Dolph Ziggler tonight. They said McIntyre asked for his rematch as if he lost a title match. They also mentioned that Finn Balor wasn’t there because of an injury.
Charly Caruso asked Roode and Gable about their win. Roode said there hasn’t been a lot of reason for hope on Raw lately, but they knew if they put in the work they would become champs. Gable called it glorious.
Natalya came to the ring. She said she loves this business and WWE, but Ruby Riott doesn’t respect anything or anyone in this business. Ruby disrespected her family. Natalya said Ruby thinks she got an easy ride to WWE because of her name, but Riott doesn’t remember the past. Natalya recalled the Montreal screwjob and Bret Hart punching Vince McMahon in the face.
Natalya said she had to overcome all of that and more to make it to WWE and she was proud of her family name. She said she would beat Ruby at TLC and was dedicating the match to Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. Natalya teared up and the crowd cheered for her. Natalya said, “I will drive your ass through a table,” which brought out the Riott Squad.
Ruby mocked Natalya for crying again and suggested she find a good counsellor. Ruby said Natalya doesn’t represent the Harts, she disgraces them. Ruby had an early Christmas gift for Natalya and unveiled a table with a cardboard cutout of Jim Neidhart pasted on it. Ruby said she would Natalya through that table so her and her father could be closer than ever.
Ziggler did a selfie promo. He said you can add McIntyre to the long list of people who took him for granted. He picked McIntyre from obscurity and could send him back there tonight. Ziggler said he wasn’t the good guy or the bad guy in this story. He also didn’t understand Balor trying to help, because he didn’t need it. He advised McIntyre to remember who he’s facing tonight.
Drew McIntyre defeated Dolph Ziggler (7:51)
Before the match, Caruso asked McIntyre why he would ask for this rematch this close to his facing Balor at TLC. McIntyre said he wasn't like the rest of the “boys” in the back and he was the only real man left. He said nobody stays undefeated forever--not Andre the Giant, not the Undertaker at WrestleMania, and not even himself.
McIntyre said losing just made him more dangerous--just ask Balor. He told the fans they should listen when he speaks and warned Ziggler he was about to get his head kicked off.
After a break, Ziggler was mounting a comeback but McIntyre cut him off and gave him a White Noise off the middle rope. Ziggler landed awkwardly on the move. Ziggler rolled to the outside, then posted McIntyre. McIntyre just barely beat the ten count.
Ziggler went for a superkick but just collapsed, presumably from the damage taken so far (the match was six and a half minutes old). McIntyre grabbed Ziggler by the face and mocked him. Ziggler popped up, kicked McIntyre in the leg and hit a Zig-Zag for a nearfall. Ziggler went for a superkick again, but McIntyre caught him with the Claymore kick for the win.
After the match, McIntyre continued beating on Ziggler. With a million tables and chairs around the ring already, McIntyre set up the steel steps. Before he could use them, a bunch of officials ran out to stop him.
With Ziggler sitting against the ring’s video board, McIntyre nailed him with another Claymore kick, then rolled around with a smile on his face, which made him look like a lunatic. McIntyre left as the officials checked on Ziggler. This was good.
Bayley (w/Sasha Banks) defeated Alicia Fox (w/Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers) (3:43)
With Balor’s apparent injury, Apollo Crews is replacing him as Bayley’s partner in the Mixed Match Challenge. The announcers said the winners of the MMC will earn the number 30 spot in the Royal Rumble match.
Bayley was in control but a distraction from the outside allowed Fox to nail her with a big boot. Crews ran out for the assist. Banks gave Sunil Singh the double knees, then Crews took out the other Samir and Mahal. Banks asked Crews to lift her up and throw her at the bad guys. So he did. Bayley gave Fox the Bayley-to-belly for the win.
Backstage, Caruso interviewed Ambrose and introduced him as the “lunatic fringe.” Ambrose told her not to call him that again. He added that Rollins gave himself the “architect” nickname to keep the spotlight on himself. He said Rollins was losing control, which is why he got himself into this match tonight. Ambrose stopped short of calling Rollins a piece of shit.
Caruso asked Ambrose what he thought Roman Reigns would think of all of this if he knew what was going on. (Why wouldn’t he know what’s going on?) Ambrose responded, “Roman? Who cares?”
Caruso said she wanted his thoughts on something, and they cut to a very dramatic and long video package of Reigns announcing his leukemia, Ambrose turning on Rollins that night, and basically the entire aftermath from the following weeks. They cut back to Ambrose who eventually just walked away without saying anything. This wasn’t good.
Elias was in the ring. He claimed Bobby Lashley did a radio interview where he stated that every sports team in San Diego should move to L.A. Elias sucked up to the crowd by saying Lashley shouldn’t be allowed to perform in San Diego.
Elias also said he’d rather perform in a place like the “Gaslamp district” (Gaslamp Quarter) than in front of L.A. trash. Elias, now a babyface, said he wanted to perform but first advised everyone to turn off their phones and shut their mouths. The crowd clapped along to the performance until it was interrupted by Lashley and Lio Rush. Elias is a very strange babyface.
Lio Rush (w/Bobby Lashley) defeated Elias (4:12)
Heath Slater came out separately (no music) to officiate the match. Rush got a moment to shine after Elias clotheslined Lashley outside the ring. Elias caught Rush with a sit-out powerbomb and had the match won, but Lashley broke up the cover. Slater didn't disqualify Rush, and instead, Lashley beat up Elias.
Slater was about to call for the DQ, but Lashley stopped him. Lashley smashed the guitar over Elias, then Rush covered him and Slater reluctantly counted the fall. The story was that Slater didn’t want to stop Lashley given his relationship with Corbin. Cole said Slater “needs” this job.
Young and Cole voiced their frustration with how Corbin was running the show and Young said they might as well call it Monday Night Corbin. They showed replays of Rollins’ promo, Gable and Roode winning the tag titles, the segment between Natalya and Ruby Riott, and McIntyre beating Ziggler. Cole said Corbin is rewarding those close to him.
In the locker room, Corbin sarcastically asked Slater how Rhyno was doing. Slater was about to remove his referee’s shirt, but Corbin told him he had another match to officiate tonight.
Ronda Rousey/Nia Jax face-to-face moderated by Alexa Bliss
Bliss came out, but before she could say anything, Jax and Tamina entered. Jax had a statement. She made cracks about Rousey probably having brain damage from her time in UFC. She said if Rousey had half a brain left, she would just hand Jax the title right now.
Jax said she didn’t need to talk trash to hype a fight like Rousey does, because she’s a six-foot-tall, 300-pound Samoan woman and she was the anti-Rousey. Her secret weapon was her fist, the one that broke the face of Becky Lynch. She went on for a while, then shrieked into the mic, letting us know she would win the title.
Rousey marched out and said she wasn’t out there to hit her poses or talk, she was here to fight. She jumped in the ring but the heels bailed. Jax and Tamina jumped on the apron, but Ember Moon ran down to back them off. If you’re a fan of long Nia Jax promos, this was the segment for you.
I don’t normally mention these, but there was an amusing promo for MMC. Miz said their team would win as long as Asuka didn’t screw things up. She looked annoyed, said “right,” then chopped him in the chest.
Ember Moon (w/Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey) defeated Tamina (w/Nia Jax)
Moon won with the Eclipse. Jax tried to interfere, but Rousey yanked her off the apron and tossed her over the barricade into the crowd.
Caruso asked Corbin if this match tonight was an abuse of power. Corbin said that was a loaded question and wondered if she was trying to get shipped to Smackdown, then told her he was just kidding. All he did was accept Rollins’ challenge.
She asked if he was worried that Strowman would show up on Sunday because there were rumours he would. Corbin wondered if she got that from Twitter or Instagram and said she was smarter than that. Corbin said Strowman was the one-armed man because of him and warned Rollins of what was to come. Corbin said it would be “all hail Baron Corbin” after TLC.
The announcers ran down the TLC card. Cole then said he had breaking news and announced that Elias vs. Lashley would be a ladder match with a guitar hanging over the ring. He said it was breaking news even though he read it off a small booklet of papers that was already sitting on the announce desk.
Lars Sullivan video.
No mention of Dynamite Kid or Larry Hennig.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs match: Seth Rollins defeated Baron Corbin to retain the Intercontinental Championship (24:25)
Heath Slater is the referee. Early on, Corbin demanded Slater get him a ladder. As he did, Rollins caught Corbin with a springboard clothesline and they went to commercial 90 seconds into this TLC match for the IC title.
After the break, Corbin was in control and nailed Rollins repeatedly with a chair, then drove him into the barricade. Corbin suplexed Rollins into a ladder set up in the corner of the ring.
Corbin sent Rollins to the outside then began climbing a ladder as people screamed the closer he got to the belt. Rollins leapt onto the ladder, but Corbin yanked him off, then drove him into the ladder.
After a break, Rollins missed a move off the top and Corbin nailed Deep Six. About 16 minutes into the match, Corbin was dominating Rollins in a fair fight. Rollins finally fired back and hit an enziguri. Corbin then ran into a chair he set up himself in between the ropes. Rollins grabbed the chair and went to town on Corbin.
Rollins followed with a suicide dive, but when he attempted another one, Corbin caught him and chokeslammed him through a table. As Corbin climbed the ladder, Rollins jumped back in and hit him with a chair. Rollins tried a running charge with the chair, but Corbin moved and he took out Slater instead. That led to a “he’s got kids” chant from people in the first few rows.
Rollins dodged a charge from Corbin, who ran into the steel steps, then Rollins hit a superkick. Rollins placed Corbin on a table outside the ring, then hit a damn frog splash off the top rope. Crowd chanted “holy shit.”
Rollins climbed the ladder but as he got close to the top, Slater grabbed the ladder. Rollins begged him to stop, but Slater pushed the ladder, causing Rollins to fall to the outside. Slater helped Corbin to his feet and he slowly climbed the ladder as Cole screamed about the abuse of power.
Rollins climbed back into the ring, grabbed Corbin and powerbombed him through a table. Slater tried to plead with Rollins, but Rollins superkicked him. Rollins then gave Corbin a curb stomp, climbed the ladder and grabbed the belt. Rollins retains the title. The bell rang and Rollins music played, despite there being no referee.
Ambrose sauntered out onto the stage and stared down Rollins as the show ended. The crowd was into this, especially at the end, and popped big for Rollins coming back in and winning.