WWE Raw 25 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterJanuary 23, 2018

WWE Raw 25 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    In between WWE Raw 25's hottest moments, a number of dumpster fires raged.

    Raw's 25th anniversary had a surplus of star power, but the show inconsistently put those names from the past to good use. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin transported the audience to the Attitude Era with a Stunner rampage. A number of other talents, though, only showed up in cameo form.

    Lots of short segments filled the airwaves on Monday night, and faces popped up for a moment. It was often the pro wrestling equivalent of junk food.

    It was hard to know how to feel after Undertaker's return.

    The Miz reclaimed the Intercontinental Championship from Roman Reigns in the night's best match. The Revival, meanwhile, was on the wrong end of WWE's love affair with the past.

    Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view got some love here and there, but this was a night focused on celebrating Raw. There is plenty to break down from Monday's show, from the fun to the dreadful.

Raw 25 Kicks Off Stone Cold Style

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    Stephanie and Shane McMahon kicked things off, thanking everyone involved with Raw. Clips of some of the show's best moments aired.

    The WWE chief brand officer welcomed her father, Vince, to the ring, where the chairman tearfully embraced his family.

    Vince's kids presented him with a plaque to celebrate Raw's 25th anniversary, a gift he scoffed at. Mr. McMahon then berated the fans and claimed he built the show all by himself.

    Austin soon strutted out to dispute that.

    Stone Cold hit Shane with a Stunner and offered another to Vince after the two shared a beer.

             

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • The Manhattan Center was made to look just like the show's original set.
    • "We're really just getting started."—Stephanie on Raw.
    • "Don't start that!"—Vince to fans chanting "Thank you, Vince."
    • "I'm an AARP member."—Vince.

         

    Grade

    A-

         

    Analysis

    The highlight package was superb and did well to set the tone for the night.

    Austin and McMahon starring in the opener was as fitting as you could get. Those two were the center of the show for so long. Fans knew what was coming and still ate up every second.

    This was a hit of pure nostalgia for the audience.

Absolution, Nia Jax, Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks, Mickie James, Asuka, Bayley

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    A brawl erupted before the match officially began.

    Once things calmed down, Asuka tagged Sonya Deville with a flurry of strikes. She led the way as the babyfaces controlled the bout early on.

    Nia Jax seized the momentum by laying out Sasha Banks. Deville, Alicia Fox and Mandy Rose beat on The Boss. As the other women fought outside, Banks cranked on the Bank Statement on Fox for the victory.

    Asuka turned on her teammates and threw them over the top rope.

         

    Result

    Banks, James, Asuka and Bayley win via submission.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Asuka knocks Fox off the ring apron with a hip attack.
    • Asuka hurls Mickie James and Banks over the top rope.

         

    Grade

    C

         

    Analysis

    Since her recent injury, WWE has kept Paige in a managerial role for Absolution. That's one of the many ways the company can use her if she is done in the ring.

    The match had solid energy but was nothing special. It was briefly an Asuka showcase and a means to remind us of Banks' heart, but too many commercial breaks hurt the bout's rhythm.

    Asuka's attack was a good post-match addition, a potential preview of what she'll do at the Rumble on Sunday.

Undertaker's Return

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    An Undertaker highlight package aired before The Deadman appeared in person. The Manhattan Center crowd showered him with chants.

    He recalled his accomplishments and rattled off a list of victims before leaving.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "The carnage began on this sacred ground of evil 25 years ago."—Undertaker.
    • "I declare for all of those who have fallen it is truly time to rest in peace."—Undertaker.

             

    Grade

    B-

             

    Analysis

    A fog continues to obscure Undertaker's status. He never officially retired after WrestleMania. And he may have done so here, but his speech wasn't a clear confirmation.

    If this was his goodbye, it won't rank in terms of emotional power anywhere near those of Edge and Daniel Bryan.

    It's always great to see Undertaker roam the Raw landscape. He is so infrequently around that every appearance is a huge deal.

Boogeyman Scares/Poker Game

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    Kurt Angle, Harvey Wippleman, Brother Love, Teddy Long and Jonathan Coachman laughed with each other backstage until Boogeyman arrived. The scary Superstar placed live worms in Coachman's hand before leaving.

    In another segment, Ted DiBiase joined Heath Slater, Rhyno and The Acolyte Protection Agency in a backstage poker game. Jeff Hardy, Montel Vontavious Porter, The Usos and others later joined in. Dana Brooke helped out by tracking the game's stats.

    Eventually, Slater was caught cheating and a fight nearly broke out.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "How did Coach worm his way in here?"—Michael Cole.
    • "Flush. Queen high. Hearts of course."—Natalya.
    • "Just like my wife's favorite show: full house."—Slater.

         

    Grade

    C-

         

    Analysis

    The poker game was obviously WWE's means to throw in as many stars as possible. It didn't produce much in the way of memorable fare, though. Of all the segments to give multiple slots, one starring Slater is an odd choice.

    Brooke did make her biggest mark as Titus Worldwide's statistician to date. She looks ready to run with that role.

Roman Reigns vs. The Miz (Intercontinental Championship)

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    Past Raw general managers Eric Bischoff, William Regal and John Laurinaitis took the stage. SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan soon joined them.

    The Miz and Bryan stared each other down while The A-Lister sauntered to the ring.

    Reigns dominated to begin, but The Miztourage's interference allowed the challenger to take control. The Miz took advantage of Reigns smashing into the ring post.

    The referee ejected both Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel.

    The Skull-Crushing Finale wasn't enough for The Miz to get the win. Reigns crashing into an exposed turnbuckle was, however.

            

    Result

    The Miz wins via pinfall to win the Intercontinental Championship.

              

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Reigns punches The Miz out of the air.
    • The Miz uses the ring ropes for illegal leverage for a close two-count.
    • Reigns hurls Axel over the security barricade.

              

    Grade

    A-

             

    Analysis

    Reigns' stretch of excellent IC title bouts continues.

    The hard-hitting action didn't reach the high gear it could have, but dramatic near-falls and great chemistry powered the contest. The interference got in the way at points but was clearly meant to soften the blow of Reigns' loss.

    This frees up Reigns to go after Brock Lesnar and the universal title, while The Miz can thrive in a spot he has mastered.

Peep Show with Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Christian welcomed Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins. The crowd booed over everything Jordan tried to say.

    Cesaro and Sheamus interrupted, and the former tag team champs' insults lead to a fight in a hurry. During the scuffle, Rollins accidentally nailed his own partner with a flying knee.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "My dad really doesn't suck."—Jordan.
    • Cesaro and Sheamus sing "You suck!" to Jordan.

         

    Grade

    C+

         

    Analysis

    For as little time as this received, it was decently efficient. We got some animosity between the two rival teams and another misunderstanding between the champs. But it wasn't especially entertaining.

    Christian didn't offer much here. He was asked to be the setup man and get out of the way.

    This story's slow-burn pace requires a good amount of patience from the audience, but Jordan's heel turn should be worth the wait.

Bray Wyatt vs. Woken Matt Hardy

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    Matt Hardy was briefly able to outquick Bray Wyatt. The Eater of Worlds, though, slowed things down with his power game. The rivals stared each other down as they clashed.

    A Sister Abigail ended Hardy's night soon after.

         

    Result

    Wyatt wins via pinfall.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Wyatt attempted Sister Abigail as his first move.
    • "He's not bizarre. He's crazy."—Jerry Lawler.

            

    Grade

    D-

         

    Analysis

    While this was surely not the climax of their feud, it was a disappointing chapter. Nothing of note happened. Hardy's new persona didn't evolve in any way.

    A rivalry that should be weird and creative looked banal here.

Elias Clashes with Chris Jericho and John Cena

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    The Bella Twins, Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Lilian Garcia, Jacqueline, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Terri Runnels, Maria Kanellis and Trish Stratus all took the stage as WWE honored women of the past.

    Later, Chris Jericho met Elias backstage and sang to him, putting The Drifter on his famous "list."

    Elias soon played his guitar in the Barclays Center. He mocked Raw's legends before John Cena showed up.

    The two men barked at each other before things got physical. Elias won the battle thanks to a low blow and a guitar shot to the back of the head.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "It took them 25 years to find me. And I have to say, they finally got it right."—Elias.
    • Fans chant "Stupid idiot!" at Elias.
    • "John [Cena] is a lot like Brooklyn, as in he has no balls."—Elias.
    • Elias smashes a guitar over Cena's body.

         

    Grade

    B+

         

    Analysis

    WWE is all in on Elias. He not only got to interact with Jericho, he ended his night looking down on Cena's fallen body. It's clear WWE is replacing the injured Samoa Joe with Elias as Cena's adversary for the Royal Rumble.

    This was a potential star-making scene for Elias.

    This feud is going to be huge for him. Cena will push Elias to new heights in the ring and on the mic.

Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Before the bout, Mark Henry and The Godfather caught up backstage. The Godfather revealed he is now married.

    Slater's aggression had things going his way for a moment. Apollo Crews took charge, though, showing off as he took down his foe.

    After things got out of control between the two teams, The Dudley Boyz charged in. Titus Worldwide and Rhyno tossed Slater into the ring, where he took a beating from the former champs.

         

    Result

    Match ends in a no-contest.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Crews holds up Slater for a long delayed vertical suplex.
    • "Maybe Titus Worldwide can set up a branch in Dudleyville."—Corey Graves.
    • "Oh, D-Von be careful. You've put on a few pounds."—Booker T.
    • The Dudley Boyz send Slater through a table.

            

    Grade

    D

             

    Analysis

    Why rush through so many of the other segments to give this so much time? Slater and Rhyno vs. Titus Worldwide is the definition of filler. This didn't need to make the cut, even with The Dudley Boyz's appearance.

    And everyone being buddy-buddy with D-Von and Bubba Ray in the end moments was nonsensical. Rhyno just watched these guys put his partner through a table.

D-Generation X Reunion/The Revival vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Shawn Michaels and Triple H reminisced about their past Raw memories. The Game had to remind Michaels the show was rated PG.

    The New Age Outlaws joined their brethren. X-Pac wasn't far behind. Scott Hall walked out soon after. The Balor Club came out to meet the Hall of Famers.

    Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder attacked early, leaving Karl Anderson in trouble. Luke Gallows responded with some big kicks. The Magic Killer than put The Revival away.

    The Revival's night worsened, as it took a pounding from Finn Balor, D-Generation X and Hall.

            

    Result

    The Balor Club wins via pinfall.

                  

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "This right here is the place. This is where it all started."—Triple H.
    • Fans chant "One, two, three!" to X-Pac.
    • The Balor Club and D-Generation X "too-sweeted" each other.

             

    Grade

    D

              

    Analysis

    WWE's acknowledgment of Chyna here was a welcome sight. The same can't be said about another example of the old guard spitting on the new one.

    The Revival getting run over is short-sighted stuff meant to garner a pop for one night. Having the heels attack someone or at least look formidable against the legends would have been a far better move.

Showdown Between Brock Lesnar, Kane and Braun Strowman

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Roster members and returning stars surrounded the ring as the beasts met inside it.

    Paul Heyman welcomed Brock Lesnar, who attacked both Braun Strowman and Kane. The Monster Among Men counterpunched with a running powerslam through a table.

            

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Heyman claims Lesnar is the most relevant star in Raw history.
    • Strowman smashes Lesnar through the announce table.

                 

    Grade

    C

                 

    Analysis

    Not surprisingly, this felt hurried. It came on well into the overrun. Kane was a non-factor. The Superstars at ringside didn't add much.

    The segment didn't come off as well thought out. It was not a creative Strowman moment, merely an echo of a scene from SummerSlam.

    It's great to see Strowman dominant again. It means little if that doesn't carry over to the Rumble on Sunday, though.