WWE Raw results (12/18): Powell’s live review of Damian Priest and Finn Balor vs. Julius Creed and Brutus Creed for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles, Gunther vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Title


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw (Episode 1,595)
Des Moines, Iowa at Wells Fargo Arena
Aired live December 18, 2023 on USA Network

[Hour One] The Raw opening aired and then pyro shot off on the stage. Michael Cole and Wade Barrett were on commentary, and Samantha Irvin was the ring announcer. The stage was decked out with Christmas trees and gifts.

The Judgment Day faction Rhea Ripley, Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, and JD McDonagh made their entrance. Cole said this wasn’t the way he wanted to start out his holiday. Priest welcomed fans to Raw and then delivered the “all rise” line.

Balor congratulated Julius Creed and Brutus Creed for winning the gauntlet match to become No. 1 contenders for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles. Balor said it was probably the biggest night of the Creed’s lives, whereas it was just another day at the office for him and Priest.

Ripley told Ivy Nile that if she runs her mouth again, she will make what she did to Maxxine Dupri pale in comparison to what she does to Nile. Ripley said Judgment Day ran 2023 and will run 2024. Dom tried to speak and was booed loudly.

R-Truth made his entrance dressed in a Judgment Day t-shirt that had his name added in marker on on a piece of tape at the bottom. He said they left him and he loves opening up the show. Truth welcomed the fans to Raw. Truth said the beatdown they gave him last week was his initiation. He said they crossed the line because all of the licks he took hurt him physically and emotionally.

Truth said he knows that Priest didn’t mean it when he said he didn’t like him. “I saw it in your eyes,” Truth said. McDonagh said that if getting hurt is what concerns Truth then he should get the hell out of the ring. Truth said everybody seemed to be looking for a fight. Truth said he needed somebody to beat up on. Priest pointed to McDonagh, who went face to face with Truth.

Truth called for a Miracle on 34th Street Fight. McDonagh pointed out that the match was already advertised. Truth said they better get going because 34th Street was a long ways away. Truth said it was a loser leaves Judgment Day match. Priest said it was a good idea. Balor said he liked it. McDonagh said Truth would need a miracle to beat him. Truth did the “What’s Up” line…

1. R-Truth vs. JD McDonagh (w/Dominik Mysterio) in a Loser Leaves Judgment Day match. Dom stuck around while the other members of Judgment Day headed to the back. Dom handed a kendo stick striped like a candy cane to McDonagh while Cole noted that there were no disqualifications.

There were various Christmas items set up at ringside. Truth ducked a Christmas tree that McDonagh threw at him. Truth threw a gift box to McDonagh and then kicked it. Truth celebrated with Dom, who then shoved Truth into the ring post. Cole asked why Dom always has to be the Scrooge heading into a commercial break. [C]

Truth set up a table in the ring. Truth put McDonagh down and hit him with a Five Knuckle Shuffle. Truth went for an Attitude Adjustment, but McDonagh slipped away. Truth sent McDonagh to ringside and then joined him on the floor. Truth grabbed a Christmas tree and hit McDonagh with it before rolling him back inside the ring.

Truth placed McDonagh on top of the table and then went to the middle rope, but McDonagh recovered and cut him off. McDonagh joined Truth on the ropes and headbutted him. Truth grabbed McDonagh and they both crashed through the table with Truth on the top. The referee made the three count.

R-Truth defeated JD McDonagh in roughly 10:00 in a Loser Leaves Judgment Day match.

Powell’s POV: Good dumb fun. Truth comedy isn’t always for me, but the live crowds eats it up. I am getting a kick out of Truth thinking he’s in Judgment Day. It’s also comical that McDonagh jumped through so many hoops and already finds himself out of the faction, even if it’s only temporary. I was surprised that the Balor character endorsed the match stipulation given that he’s been McDonagh’s biggest ally.

Kayden Carter and Katana Chance delivered a brief backstage promo about challenging Chelsea Green and Piper Niven for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. Carter said it’s their time to party and then did a dorky “whoop whoop” bit with Chance…

Nia Jax made her entrance… [C] Cole hyped pushed tickets for the WrestleMania weekend events…

Jax stood in the ring with a mic in hand, but Becky Lynch’s entrance music played before she could speak. Lynch made her entrance, which caused Jax to exit the ring and walked toward the back. Lynch asked where she was going and if she was scared. Lynch said Jax had a mic and said that if she had something to say about her, she could say it to her face.

Jax spoke from ringside while saying that she had more important matters to take care of. Jax said she was going to announce that she’s entering the Royal Rumble match. Lynch said the fans don’t care. Lynch said The Man came around to Des Moines and she came looking for a fight.

Jax said the reason they’ve never fought is that “they” are afraid what she might do to Lynch. Jax said Lynch is the moneymaker for the company and that would end if they fought. Jax said Lynch is the size of her leg and she would squash her.

Lynch said she is the moneymaker because she will fight anyone, anytime, anywhere. Lynch said Jax is the one who is afraid of what will happen. She said Jax’s entire existence in WWE has been on the back of someone else’s name. She said first it was Jax’s cousin’s name, and now it’s hers.

Lynch said she will go down as the greatest to ever do it, while Jax’s claim to fame is that she broke the nose of the greatest to ever do it. Lynch said that Jax could prove her wrong by fighting her on the spot. Jax called for a referee, and then a referee ran out and entered the ring.

Jax climbed onto the apron and teased entering the ring before dropping back to the floor. “See how badly you want this, you’re not going to get it,” Jax said. Jax added that it will happen on her terms. She said the match will go down in her hometown of San Diego in two weeks on the Day 1 themed edition of Raw. Jax said Lynch’s daughter will cry and ask her why she’s uglier than usual.

Jax started to walk toward the back while gloating. Lynch left the ring and hopped on the back of Jax. Security pulled Lynch away. Jax punched Lynch from behind and knocked her down. Lynch held the back of her head while selling the punch as Jax smiled and headed to the back…

Powell’s POV: A basic segment in terms of the heel teasing a fight and ultimately backing down, but it worked because Lynch showed good fire and Jax’s character is so unlikable.

Highlights aired of “Kofi Claus” coming out earlier in the night and tossing gifts to the fans…

Backstage, Kofi Claus asked Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa what they want for Christmas. Ciampa said the WWE Tag Team Titles. Kofi Claus reached inside his sack and pulled out a Yeet t-shirt, which he gave to Gargano.

After Kofi Claus left the area, Gargano and Ciampa approached The Miz. Gargano said they had their differences in the past, but last week was great. They shook hands. Ciampa said it was actually awesome and then shook Miz’s hand.

Jackie Redmond showed up and asked Miz about added pressure due to the stipulation that he won’t be able to challenge for the Intercontinental Title again while Gunther is champion if he comes up short. Miz capped off a brief promo by saying that she should ask the man who never wants to face him again if there’s any added pressure…

The Miz made his entrance for the Intercontinental Title match… [C] Gunther made his entrance…

2. Gunther vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship. Samantha Irvin delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Cole said Miz could win the title for the ninth time and tie Chris Jericho for most reigns. Miz caught Gunther in an early leg lock submission hold.

Miz rolled on top of Gunther while maintaining the hold and threw punches at him. Gunther reached the bottom rope to break the hold. Miz booted Gunther, who went to the floor. Miz followed and ate a big chop from Gunther, who powerbombed him on the ring apron. [C]

Gunther dominated Miz coming out of the break and barked that Miz is a wannabe who doesn’t belong in the sacred ring with him. Gunther chopped Miz and encouraged him to bring the fight. Gunther got Miz to his feet and threw another chop. Miz fired back. After a couple chops each, Gunther dropped Miz with an uppercut, smiled, and then threw knees at him in the corner.

Miz rallied with a clothesline in the corner. Miz went for a crossbody block from the ropes, but Gunther caught him. Gunther placed Miz on the top turnbuckle and chopped him. Miz fell to the floor and was followed by Gunther, who threw a chop that Miz avoided, causing Gunther to chop the ring post. [C] Miz was on the offensive coming out of the break and dropped Gunther with a DDT.

[Hour Two] Gunther eventually came back with a shotgun dropkick. Gunther powerbombed Miz and covered him for a two count. Gunther immediately put Miz in a Boston Crab, which Miz broke by reaching the bottom rope. Gunther continued to sell his hand and a “this is awesome” chant broke out.

Miz had a flurry of offense and hit his Skull Crushing Finale finisher for a good near fall. Miz threw kicks at Gunther. Both men ended up on the ropes. Gunther knocked Miz down, but Miz came right back by kicking Gunther’s hand. Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale from the middle rope. Miz rolled over to pin Gunther, who rolled out of the ring while the fans booed.

Miz went to the floor and rolled Gunther back inside the ring. When Miz followed, Gunther grabbed him and powerbombed him. Gunther followed up with a short-term clothesline and then powerbombed Miz again and pinned him…

Gunther defeated The Miz in 21:10 to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

Powell’s POV: A top notch television match. There were scattered fans who could be visibly seen pulling for Gunther, but they couldn’t be heard because the vast majority of the fans were backing Miz while hoping to see the title change. Cole was really good on commentary while backing Miz and openly rooting for him to pull off the upset. Miz may spend his holiday weekend with icepacks on his chest from those wicked Gunther chops.

A video package aired on Julius Creed and Brutus Creed… The broadcast team hyped Shinsuke Nakamura’s “The American Nightmare Before Christmas” segment for after the break… An ad for Smackdown hyped that AJ Styles is back and going after Solo Sikoa, the eight-woman holiday themed tag team match, and the semifinals of the tournament to determine the No. 1 contender to the U.S. Championship… [C]

Gunther was shown shaking his injured hand while he walked backstage. He was greeted by Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci, who applauded him. Kaiser laid it on thick while saying it was a joy to watch.

Gunther said they have no reason to be celebrating. He said the last year for them was a complete write-off. Gunther said that he would be stepping away to recharge for a few weeks. He said while he’s away, he expects them to grind, work hard, and impress him. Gunther made his exit.

Kofi Claus showed up and tried to talk with Kaiser and Vinci, who wanted nothing to do with him. Kofi Claus gave Kaiser a wrapped gift. Kaiser unwrapped the gift and found coal, which Kofi Claus laughed out loud over. Kaiser and Vinci walked away. Kofi Claus yelled that he knows when they are naughty and nice…

Shinsuke Nakamura read from a storybook and spoke about his feud with Cody Rhodes to the rhythm of “Twas The Night Before Christmas.” Once Nakamura finished, he was attacked by Cody Rhodes. They brawled into the arena while security tried and failed to separate them.

Nakamura rolled over the barricade to get to ringside. Cody fought off security and then jumped off the barricade before hitting Nakamura. Cody cleared the broadcast table. Cody hit a suicide dive on the security guards and Nakamura. Cody brought Nakamura to the table and went for his finisher, but a security guard pulled Nakamura away.

Nakamura entered the ring and smiled at Cody, who stared him down while standing on top of the broadcast table. Nakamura rolled out of the ring and was ushered to the back by producers. A “let them fight” chant broke out…

Adam Pearce asked Akira Tozawa if was really the match he wanted. “Let’s do it,” Tozawa said before leaving. Chelsea Green and Piper Niven showed up. Green wanted Pearce to cancel their match and cited the holidays. Pearce said no and added that the match was up next. After the women’s champions stormed away, Bronson Reed showed up and said he heard Pearce had plans to determine Gunther’s next challenger. “Let’s talk,” Reed said…

Powell’s POV: I won’t spoil it, but I’m guessing that Tozawa’s opponent will be the person he’s been facing at house shows. Check out Chris Vetter’s report via the main page on last night’s live event in Rochester, Minnesota for more details. I’ll just add that it would make sense to reintroduce this person on television before the Royal Rumble.

Kayden Carter and Katana Chance made their entrance… [C] Cole and Barrett wished Trish Stratus a happy birthday… Chelsea Green and Piper Niven made their entrance…

3. Chelsea Green and Piper Niven vs. Kayden Carter and Katana Chance for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. Carter performed a senton Green for an early two count. Niven tagged in and knocked Carter off the apron. Niven got the better of Chance briefly. Chance tagged out and then tagged in again while the challengers set up for their finisher, which Green stopped from the apron. Niven splashed both challengers from the middle rope and covered Chance for a near fall. [C]

Green hit a Codebreaker on Carter and then held her on her knees while Niven splashed her. Niven covered Carter and had her beat, but Chance broke up the pin. Carter fought back and dropped Niven with a kick. The challengers hit the Keg Stand on Niven, but Green pulled Chance off (a half-second late it appeared in real time) to break up the pin.

Chance put Green down with a lung blower. Chance tagged Cater and then they teamed up to hit Green with the Afterparty. Carter covered Green and pinned her to win the tag titles…

Kayden Carter and Katana Chance defeated Chelsea Green and Piper Niven in 10:50 to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles.

Powell’s POV: The crowd was very quiet for both entrances, but the wrestlers were able to get them into the match even before the obligatory title change pop at the end.

Backstage, Ivy Nile was warming up while Chad Gable, Otis, and Maxxine Dupri stood by. Nile said she asked Adam Pearce for a match with Rhea Ripley because her goal is to become the Women’s World Champion in 2024.

After Nile made her exit, Akira Tozawa showed up and said he had a match tonight. When the Alpha Academy asked him who his opponent was, he pointed and said him. Ivar was shown standing with Valhalla. Gable told Tozawa that when he told him to go big in the new year, he didn’t mean that big…

Ivar and Valhalla made their entrance… [C]

Powell’s POV: Welp, so much for my guess.

Cole and Barrett recapped the Carter and Chance winning the tag team titles…

Backstage, Carter and Chance celebrated their win and were greeted by and Kofi Claus, Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell, Shayna Baszler, Zoey Stark, Natalya, and Tegan Nox. Kofi asked what they wanted for Christmas. They indicated that the belts were enough. LeRae and Hartwell went off to celebrate with Carter and Chance. Natalya said the champions would need new challengers. Baszler said that’s exactly what she was thinking…

Akira Tozawa and Maxxine Dupri made their entrance…

4. Ivar (w/Valhalla) vs. Akira Tozawa (w/Maxxine Dupri). Tozawa went right at Ivar, who tossed him to ringside. Tozawa returned and went right at Ivar again and ended up performing a DDT. Tozawa charged Ivar, who caught him with a boot to the chest. Ivar went for a top rope splash that Tozawa avoided.

Tozawa tore off his t-shirt for a mild pop. Tozawa went to the ropes and was distracted by Valhalla. Dupri pulled Valhalla off the apron. Valhalla charged Dupri, who sidestepped her and ran her into the barricade. Tozawa hit a top rope senton on Valhalla for a near fall.

Ivar threw a spinning kick at Tozawa and then went up top, but Tozawa was able to cut him off. Tozawa threw a leaping enzuigiri at Ivar and then joined him on the ropes. Ivar stuffed a huracanrana attempt and ended up powerslamming him from the middle rope before pinning him…

Ivar defeated Akira Tozawa in 4:05.

Powell’s POV: This was fun for what it was. Tozawa looked obliviously courageous in defeat even though the outcome was never in question. By the way, my guess was that Omos would be Tozawa’s opponent since they’ve been working house show matches. I still suspect that they will role out Omos soon to have him in the Royal Rumble match.

Cole mentioned CM Punk’s name for the first time all night when he set up a video package that recapped his promo and verbal exchange with Seth Rollins from last week’s Raw…

World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins was shown strutting through the backstage area while Cole hyped his appearance for after the break… [C]

[Hour Three] World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins made his entrance and his home state crowd sang along with his song. Rollins declared that he’s the best champion in the entire industry. He said if you thought 2023 was something, wait until you see what they do in 2024. He said it starts with his Day 1 title defense.

Drew McIntyre’s entrance music interrupted Rollins. McIntyre walked out in non-wrestling attire and without the sword. Rollins laid his title belt down in front of him and removed his jacket to reveal what looked like a red version of Jerry Seinfeld’s puffy shirt.

McIntyre entered the ring and told Rollins that he’s proud of him. McIntyre said there are people in the back who are turning a blind eye and “kissing arse” when it comes to CM Punk, but Rollins said what needed to be said and that makes him a real leader.

McIntyre spoke about a recent trip home that made him feel guilt. He said he saw his father and others getting older and he questioned whether his sacrifices have been worth it. He said Rollins’ wife can relate to what he’s doing because she sacrifices by being away from home every week.

McIntyre spoke about his mother’s passing and sacrificing. McIntyre said he needs the title to show that the sacrifices he made were worth it. He said he would do whatever it takes to take the title from him at Day 1.

Rollins said people don’t know how to take McIntyre. Rollins said he doesn’t know whether to believe McIntyre or call him out on his crap. Rollins said McIntyre told him he would find a away back to the top and he’s done that, but he asked McIntyre what makes him think the outcome will be any different than the last time they met.

Rollins said McIntyre has changed, but in some ways he’s still the same because he points his finger and blames others. Rollins said McIntyre needs to take responsibility for his actions by looking in the mirror and admitting that the only person keeping him from being a world champion is McIntyre himself.

Rollins said he looked a man in the eye last week and told him that he hates him. Rollins said he meant that. Rollins said he doesn’t hate McIntyre, he pities him. “Merry Christmas, Drew, I’ll see you in a couple weeks.” Rollins tried to leave the ring.

McIntyre grabbed Rollins, who beat him to the punch and sent him to ringside with a superkick. Rollins hit a suicide dive. Rollins mounted McIntyre and threw punches at him until McIntyre shoved his head into the barricade. McIntyre performed an Alabama Slam onto the ring steps. Rollins came up clutching his left elbow…

Powell’s POV: A good angle to put more heat on McIntyre heading into their title match on January 1.

Julius Creed and Brutus Creed were talking about their match when Cody Rhodes showed up and thanked them for their help last week. Cody told the Creeds to crack Judgment Day around for him and said he hopes they leave as champions. Once Cody walked away, the Creeds geeked out over meeting Cody…

Kofi Claus showed up at ringside and tossed t-shirts to the fans. Cole wanted one and said he’d been great this year, but Kofi Claus blew him off and threw the shirts to the fans. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci showed up and attacked Kofi Claus. They brought him to the ring and double teamed him. Vinci ripped off Kofi Claus’s beard and shockingly revealed that it was Kofi Kingston (what?!?).

Jey Uso’s music played and he ran to the ring and threw punches at Kaiser and Vinci while the fans yelled “yeet” each time. Jey cleared the heel duo from the ring and then performed a dive onto them. Jey played to the fans and then helped Kingston get to his feet. The camera mic picked up Jey challenging Kaiser to meet him in the ring… [C]

5. Jey Uso vs. Ludwig Kaiser (w/Giovanni Vinci). The match was joined in progress. Kaiser clotheslined Jey to ringside and then joined Vinci and standing over him. [C] Kingston returned to ringside and took out Vinci with a Trouble in Paradise kick. In the ring, Jey speared Kaiser and then hit him with a top rope splash for the win…

Jey Uso defeated Ludwig Kaiser in 10:20 of television time.

Cole hyped the tag title match as the main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: The highlight of the segment was Jey shoving Kingston away when Kingston went for a post match hug. Jey pointed at his Santa suit’s stuffed midsection and said he was fat.

The Judgment Day members mocked JD McDonagh for losing to R-Truth. Damian Priest said McDonagh was out of the faction per the match stipulation. McDonagh pleaded with him. Rhea Ripley told Priest enough. Priest said McDonagh was still with Judgment Day for now. Ripley said she would put her title on the line against Ivy Nile at Day 1. Finn Balor shifted the focus to the tag title match. McDonagh tried to follow, but Ripley shoved him onto the couch…

The broadcast team listed the following matches for the Day 1 themed edition of the January 1 Raw: Becky Lynch vs. Nia Jax, Tegan Nox and Natalya vs. Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark, Rhea Ripley vs. Ivy Nile for the Women’s World Championship, and Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre for the World Heavyweight Championship…

Entrances for the main event took place. Ivy Nile came out with the challengers, and Rhea Ripley came out with the champions…

6. Damian Priest and Finn Balor (w/Rhea Ripley) vs. Julius Creed and Brutus Creed (w/Ivy Nile) for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles. Samantha Irvin delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The Creeds cleared the champions from the ring during the first minute of the match. [C]

Priest ran Brutus just past Ripley and into the ring steps. Ripley turned around and told the broadcast team that they nearly got her. A short time later, Priest hit Brutus with a shoulder block that sent him over the broadcast table heading into the final break. [C]

Julius took a hot tag and worked over both opponents. Julius hit a standing shooting star press on Balor for a near fall. The Creeds set up for the Brutus Ball, but Priest took out Brutus while Balor rolled up Julius for a two count. At ringside, Ripley hit Nile from behind. Ripley tried to put Nile in Electric Chair position, but Nile slipped away, put Ripley in that position, and dropped her on the apron.

In the ring, the Creeds hit Balor with the Brutus Ball and had him beat, but Priest broke up the pin.Priest went for his finisher on Julius, who flipped out of it and threw a dropkick that sent Priest to the floor. Julius performed a top rope senton onto Priest on the floor.

In the ring, Balor hit a sling blade clothesline on Brutus and went to the ropes for his finisher. Julius ran over and broke it up, but the Creeds fought back and hit the Brutus Ball on Priest. Julius had Priest pinned, but Balor performed a Coup de Grace onto the back of Julius to break up the pin. The fans chanted “holy shit” and it was annoyingly censored. Priest put Julius down with the South of Heaven chokeslam and pinned him

Damian Priest and Finn Balor defeated Julius Creed and Brutus Creed in 16:10 to retain the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles.

After the match, Cole said there was no doubt in his mind that the Creeds will be the champions someday, but Judgment Day were still at the top of their game. Priest threw Julius out of the ring and celebrated with Balor and Ripley…

Powell’s POV: Priest came up grabbing the side of his head after taking the Brutus Ball. It looked like Brutus may have partially landed on him. That said, Priest was walking around and didn’t look woozy, so hopefully he was just selling. The match was entertaining and the live crowd was hot for the Creeds’ unique offense. I really like that they put over the champions clean as opposed to going with a cheap finish. There should be no shame in losing a competitive match to the champions, especially when the challengers are new to the main roster and the match was laid out to make it seem like they gave the champions a run for their money.

Overall, this was a good episode, especially considering it was the last show before Christmas. There was a little holiday comedy, but it did not dominate the show. They also did a nice job of setting the table for the Day 1 themed edition of Raw on January 1. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review of Raw for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Raw by grading it below.

WWE Raw Poll: Grade the December 18 edition

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. Okay, that Shinsuke Nightmare reading was one of the best things they’ve done with him. So very good. (Calling Dusty inbred was the last straw there.)

  2. At this point it’s hard to believe Kofi Kingston was WWE Champiom.

  3. If there’s nothing else to point out about this year in WWE that’s good (and I’m saying that knowing full-well there’s actually quite a bit) it’s that they aren’t phoning shit in anymore. At this point in December they’re usually goofing off and doing silly stuff with no point. Yes, they are still doing some silly stuff, but I don’t feel altogether like it’s more than they’ve BEEN doing so it doesn’t come off lame like it usually does this time of year – it fits with the storylines they are trying to tell which in itself is miles above what they’ve done this time of year traditionally too.

    H gets that if you are on TV anyway, give people a reason to watch.

    I’m REALLY hoping 2024 is the year that Tony finally says alright, at the very least I need to surround myself with some really good wrestling minds (which, hey, T, you have plenty of them in that company – create a circle of smart, non-drama brains and you’ve got something here).

    A guy can wish right?

    • I wrote about the holiday shows not being phoned in last week and spoke about it in audio again last night. They ran back-to-back Christmas week shows in my local Twin Cities market in recent years. I had zero interest in going because I knew how corny those shows would be. I’m officially lifting my personal edict to never attend a WWE holiday week television show after watching Raw over the last two weeks. We’ll see if Smackdown makes me reinstate it, but I don’t think it will. Add this to the long list of reasons why I don’t miss Vince McMahon’s late career booking.

  4. Let me say this, I gotta give HHH his flowers and I’ve been a hard critic of his, but this is the first Christmas Raw that was actually good for the first time in more than 15 years. Raw has really turned the corner and I stated how important that draft was earlier in the year for Raw. They are smoking SmackDown right now as SD has become unwatchable outside of The Bloodline and Damage CTRL. Hopefully, SD when it moves to USA next fall gets its quality from the last 4 years back.

    Raw was enjoyable the entire episode and this has been a trend for a while now as it reminds me of when HBK fixed NXT last year and it started to get better and better slowly. HBK built NXT around Toxic Attraction and that worked and now Triple H has built Raw around The Judgment Day and that’s working.

    R-Truth really knows how to get the crowd excited and involved as this Des Moines crowd was one of the best Raw crowds of the year as they were into every match and segment. Aligning Judgment Day and R-Truth was genius as I know they’re going to continue tease him being a member of the group. If done right, he can be an actual member and maybe become more serious and go through a character development stage.

    Another thing I gotta give HHH credit for is the way he’s booked Nia Jax, what a total 180 on her character. They did a great job of using the real heat that Jax has been getting and turning it into something really positive as she’s become a great dominant heel these past few months and her rivalry with Becky feels real and personal.

    Lastly, my favorite moment of the entire year in the WWE happened with Kayden Carter & Katana Chance winning the tag team titles. That was a proud moment for them as they should be tag team champs. They had a great run in NXT and they feel like the champions because they’re an actual tag team. They have an exciting in-ring brand to watch as you can tell the casuals in the audience still don’t know them that well, but they always seem surprised when they see them in these matches. They’re building a nice division around these two as well. Chelsea Green was actually amazing in that match, I think they should move her to the singles division.

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