WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 24
Professional wrestling is an all-year sport. Like clockwork, WWE Raw begins every week at 8 p.m. ET on Monday and goes on for three hours. That includes Christmas Eve, though at least this year the wrestlers got to tape the show a week early.
Still, WWE expects fans to tune in for the weekly event, setting up a series of big matches for the evening. Many major feuds were headed for their next chapters, with multiple title clashes also promised.
Natalya ran through the gauntlet to challenge her friend and training partner, Ronda Rousey, for the Raw Women's Championship. The Revival earned a Raw Tag Team Championships shot against Bobby Roode and Chad Gable after defeating The Authors of Pain, Lucha House Party and The B-Team.
Elias was set to fight Bobby Lashley in a Miracle on 34th Street fight, while Drew McIntyre would finally get a chance at revenge in a Triple Threat against the two men who have recently pinned him, Finn Balor and Dolph Ziggler.
More than all that, WWE promised holiday festivities with wild action and cheerful, colorful segments for this time of the year. It was to be a special-event episode of Raw to entice everyone to celebrate the holidays by watching the show.
Elias vs. Bobby Lashley (Miracle on 34th Street Fight)
Elias sang a tune about Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush before their match, with The All Mighty interrupting to start this unique street fight.
From Lego to a Christmas tree, everything was used in this bout before Elias caught The Dominator with a cello to the back to seal the victory.
Afterward, Elias embarrassed Rush by dumping eggnog on him.
Elias def. Lashley by pinfall
It's refreshing to have Raw start on a match, especially one with this much high energy. It was easily the most fun these two have had in a match together, and it took heavy gimmick reliance. That isn't a bad thing if it works, though.
Since this was a specialty Christmas event, it was not surprising for the babyface to emerge victorious. He basically dominated Lashley, which may be a sign he's moving on to bigger things soon.
Raw Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs. The Revival
Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder worked over Chad Gable early in this match until he escaped with a back suplex.
Roode took the hot tag and ran with it before the amateur wrestler recovered enough to get back into the action and roll up Dawson for the victory.
Roode and Gable def. Revival by pinfall to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships
These teams are good together for the most part, but they can do better than this. They fought hard throughout, making the ending feel like a statement that this feud is only just beginning.
The Revival deserves a title run soon, but Roode and Gable are just starting as champions. Right now, neither team can afford a loss, so at least Dawson and Wilder were protected by a surprise roll-up.
Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler
A confident Drew McIntyre came into this match so ready to win that he declared his victory early as well as his entry into the men's Royal Rumble.
However, his confidence was shattered as he was knocked out of the fight by a superkick and Coup de Grace.
With The Scottish Psychopath out of the way, Finn Balor took out Ziggler with the Coup de Grace to claim the win. McIntyre tried to get some revenge, but he took a Zig Zag instead.
Balor def. Ziggler and McIntyre by pinfall
These three are stuck in a rivalry that feels like it is going nowhere fast, but it is allowing fans to get repeatedly strong matches. These wrestlers have great chemistry and are genuinely great on their own as well.
This was a fun Triple Threat that moved quickly and showed off why all three should still be seen as legitimate threats on Raw. Balor continues to rack up wins that appear to signal he is in for a huge run in 2019.
Vince McMahon Celebrates the Holidays with Big Announcements
Dressed as Santa Claus, WWE chairman Vince McMahon celebrated the coming new year by declaring several big changes.
McIntyre will fight Ziggler in a steel cage match next week, while John Cena will soon return to both Raw and SmackDown. Most importantly, though, the women's tag team championships will be introduced in 2019.
In the spirit of the season, this was a solid way to show how WWE will continue to evolve. The match should be great, while Cena will likely bring some much-needed relevancy to both brands.
However, the biggest announcement was the women's tag team championships officially being on the horizon. This has been a long time coming, and the women's division will benefit from more gold being on the line.
Sasha Banks, Bayley and Ember Moon vs. Mickie James, Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke
The cohesive team of Sasha Banks, Bayley and Ember Moon looked dominant in this six-woman tag.
After Moon took out Fox with The Eclipse, The Boss and Hugger hit the backstabber into the Bayley-to-Belly for the win.
Afterward, though, The Riott Squad wiped out the faces and stood tall.
Banks, Bayley and Moon def. Mickie, Fox and Brooke by pinfall
This was a fine bout, and it was nice to see a six-woman tag match that didn't rely on Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan for once. It was also an important way of establishing who could be chasing the tag team titles on Raw.
Banks and Bayley are still the clear favorites on the red brand, followed by The Riott Squad. Meanwhile, The IIconics and Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville will be vying for that opportunity on the blue brand.
Celebrating the Holidays with Paul Heyman
After Paul Heyman declared the dominance of Brock Lesnar and his future victory over Braun Strowman, The Monster Among Men came out without a cast on his arm before putting Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer attire on The Advocate's head.
The Monster Among Men then promised to win at Royal Rumble on January 27.
This was weird and nothing special, but Heyman and Strowman are too good to have a bad segment together.
Despite their many moments together, there's not enough story here to sustain all the way to the Rumble. The Monster needs to either stay out of action entirely or get a second rival for the next month.
Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Natalya
The more experienced Natalya took over this match early and wore down Ronda Rousey to prepare for The Sharpshooter.
The Baddest Woman on the Planet refused to stay down, though, and battled back to block her friend's signature move.
The UFC Hall of Famer looked poised to take the win late, but she hesitated and fell right into The Sharpshooter. However, she managed to reverse the move into an armbar to take the win.
Afterward, the two embraced as friends.
Rousey def. Natalya by submission to retain the Raw Women's Championship
This was another excellent title defense from Rousey, who tells a new story with each opponent.
She and Natalya have great chemistry, and they pushed each other to be better. This was easily the toughest challenge of the champion's title reign.
This worked as a great end to the year for the former UFC star, and it was one of Natalya's best in recent memory. The Queen of Harts has had a quietly excellent 2018.
Heath Slater vs. Jinder Mahal
Early in the night, Heath Slater stated that all he wanted for Christmas was Rhyno getting his job back.
During his fight with Jinder Mahal, The Singh Brothers attacked, causing a disqualification.
As the three heels ganged up on The One Man Band, Rhyno returned dressed as Santa and saved his tag team partner.
Slater def. Mahal by disqualification
Slater vs. Mahal would take serious story development to be truly worthy of a spot on Raw, but this battle of enhancement talent did at least have a purpose, with The Modern Day Maharaja reintroducing his former 3MB teammate to in-ring action.
It was no surprise when Rhyno was fired by then-acting general manager Baron Corbin a few weeks back, but it is also no shock to see him back. He mainly serves as a well-known name who can put over talent.
Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin
Seth Rollins stated before this match that Dean Ambrose would not take his heart, and he showed it by going right after Baron Corbin in their fight.
Even though the disgraced former GM used devious tactics to wear down the ex-WWE intercontinental champion, Rollins stayed in the fight.
Even after Corbin's best shots, The Architect fought back and hit a superkick into the Curb Stomp for the win.
Rollins def. Corbin by pinfall
Rollins and Corbin already had their best match together, and this felt like an unnecessary retread that should not have been the main event. It is especially disconcerting that the former acting GM is still working the main event.
Hopefully, this was just meant to be one last attempt to use The Lone Wolf's infamy for a satisfying end to the Christmas edition of Raw. It is time for a full reset for Corbin.