On December 18, WWE aired its weekly Monday Night Raw show from Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The show featured a traditional Miracle on 34th Street Fight. Men’s and Women’s Tag Team Titles were defended on the show. Gunther will defend his IC Title against The Miz. Let’s take a look at everything that was featured on Monday Night Raw.
Miracle on 34th Street Fight
R-Truth vs. JD McDonagh
The show kicked off with The Judgment Day. Balor and Priest welcomed fans to Monday Night Raw and talked about their opponents, The Creed Brothers. Rhea Ripley also sent a warning to Ivy Nile. Dom wanted to talk, but the crowd won’t let him. He shouted that Judgment Day runs all of WWE.
R-Truth arrived in a Judgment Day t-shirt with his name taped on it. Truth was still considering himself a party of Judgment Day. He hilariously called Damian Priest “DP.” Truth said that everyone talked about a fight, so he also wanted to beat up McDonagh. The match was made as a Miracle on 34th Street Fight. Truth suggested it to be a “Loser leaves Judgment Day” match, and Priest agreed.
Only Dominik stayed at ringside for the match. We saw the use of a candy cane, a kendo stick, and a table decorated with cookies. R Truth was hilarious. He took out McDonagh with a gift on his face. Truth hugged Dim, who shoved him into the ring post. Truth took out a table from under the ring. Dom tried to take out Truth but accidentally sent his head right into McDonagh’s crotch, causing a low blow. Truth sent Mysterio into a Christmas tree. Truth then used a fire extinguisher on JD and set up the table.
Truth then paid homage to his childhood hero, John Cena. He used the shoulder tackles and a 5-Knuckle Shuffle. JD escaped the Attitude Adjustment. In the end, both competitors were on the ropes with a table set up below. Truth fell on top of McDonagh through a table to get the win. McDonagh is out of The Judgment Day, as the match stipulation had it.
Analysis: It was a great, fun match to open the show. Usually, the result of these kinds of matches doesn’t impact the storylines. However, this had a loser leaving the Judgment Day condition, which will be a comedic thing moving forward.
Nia Jax and Becky Lynch’s promo
Jax was in the ring, and Becky arrived. Nia tried to leave, but Lynch asked him to say everything to her face. Jax said that she had other important stuff to do, and she declared herself for the Royal Rumble match. She talked about breaking Becky’s face once again. Lynch said that the only achievement Jax had was breaking the nose of the greatest ever to do it.
Jax called for a referee, and it looked like we were getting a match. Then, Nia said that the match would happen on her terms on the Day 1 Edition of WWE Raw. Jax then inserted Becky’s daughter in it, which led to Lynch attacking her. The guards broke it up and pulled Becky away. Jax took it to her advantage and attacked Becky from behind.
Analysis: It is a valid story going on in the women’s division, which will be compiled on the Day 1 episode of WWE Raw.
Intercontinental Championship Title Match
Gunther vs. The Miz
Backstage, we saw Kofi in Santa Claus attire, and he gifted a “YEET” shirt to Gargano and Ciampa. The Miz challenged Gunther for the IC Title. If Miz loses, he won’t be able to challenge Gunther for the IC Title ever again. Gunther mocked Miz early on in the match. He went for a Boston Crab, but The Miz survived. Miz bounced back with a modified ankle lock and then an Indian Death Lock. Miz sent Gunther outside to go for a baseball slide. The champ moved away and delivered a violent chop, followed by a powerbomb on the apron.
Gunther delivered a big boot and mocked The Miz with “IT” Kicks. Gunther dominated with chops, and Muz’s chest was destroyed. The champion talked trash and told The Miz that he didn’t belong in this ring. Miz came back with a patented clothesline in the corner. Gunther blocked the flying cross-body. The Ring General delivered a few more chops.
Gunther applied some more submissions in the ring. The Miz got some life with a kneeling DDT followed by another DDT. The A-Lister ducked a chop and delivered a massive twisting Satellite DDT for a near fall. Gunther with a dropkick and a powerbomb, but The Miz somehow kicked out. A Boston Crab by the Ring General, but Miz somehow reached the bottom rope. Miz was fired up and told Gunther to bring it on. Gunther went for a chop, but Miz kicked the injured hand. It was a skull-crushing finale by The Miz, but The Champion kicked out. Gunther with a brutal lariat. The Miz delivered a Skull Crushing Finale from the middle rope. The Ring General wisely rolled out of the ring to escape. In the end, Gunther, with a brutal sequence, delivers a powerbomb, a clothesline, and another powerbomb to pin The Miz and successfully retain his title.
Analysis: Wow! A great match, probably the best of The Miz’s illustrious career. It also proved the worth and ability of Gunther to deliver in the ring with anyone.
The American Nightmare before Christmas
Shinsuke Nakamura was backstage with the book entitled “The American Nightmare Before Christmas.” Shin targeted Cody, his daughter, and his father in his promo. Rhodes found him and attacked him. Both reached the arena during the brawl. Security arrived to stop them. Rhodes took out everyone with the suicide dive. He went for a Cross Rhodes on Nakamura on the commentary table, but a security person pulled Nakamura away.
Women’s Tag Team Championship Title Match
Chelsea Green and Piper Niven vs. Kayden Carter and Katana Chance
The Women’s Tag Team Titles were on the line. It was a dull match, but it picked up pace in the end. In the last moments, Chelsea hit a Codebreaker on Carter, followed by a Senton Splash by Niven. It looked like it was over, but Chance broke the pin. Kayden with a superkick on Piper. Carter and Chance delivered the Keg Stand, but Green saved the pinfall. Green suffered the After Party finisher, and Chance and Carter are your new Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Winner: Katana Chance and Kayden Carter
Analysis: Chance and Carter have potential. Let’s see where they take these Women’s Tag Titles. They need to do something better with Chelsea Green.
Ivar vs. Akira Tozawa
Tozawa himself made the match when he requested Adam Pearce. Akira had some offense early on. He delivered a hurricane and a Spike DDT. Ivar crashed him with a seated Senton. Tozawa escaped a splash from Ivar. Valhalla was taken out by Maxxine at ringside. Tozawa delivered his diving senton splash for a near fall. In the end, Ivar delivered a massive World’s Strongest Slam from the second rope for the win.
Analysis: It was a quick match. Ivar is doing brilliant work as a solo star. The way he moves with this size is awesome.
Drew McIntyre confronted Seth Rollins
The World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins appeared and welcomed everyone to Monday Night Rollins. He said that he is the best champion in the industry. He said that if fans thought 2023 was something else, 2024 would be more of a happening year. Rollins told fans that his 2024 would start on Day 1 when he will defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Drew McIntyre. The crowd was booing at McIntyre’s name.
Drew came out and gave a passionate promo about his family sacrifices. He said that he needed to win the title and he would do that on Day 1, no matter how much it takes. Rollins gave him a reality check and said that Drew would keep pointing fingers and blaming other people, but the only person keeping him away from a World Title was Drew McIntyre himself.
Rollins said Merry Christmas to Drew and tried to walk off. Drew grabbed him. Rollins threw some punches and a superkick, followed by a suicide dive. McIntyre caught him at ringside and delivered an Alabama Slam onto the steel steps.
Analysis: It was a great segment to hype up the World Heavyweight Title match between Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins on the Day 1 edition of Raw. Both superstars made valid points on the mic.
Jey Uso vs. Ludwig Kaiser
Kaiser got the upper hand early on. He delivered elbow shots and a running uppercut on “Main Event” Jey Uso. Jey fought back with an enzuigiri. A running hip attack by Jey for a two-count. Kaiser with a Rolling Death Valley Driver for a near fall. Uso hit a superkick and went for a splash. Vinci distracted Jey on the top rope and threw him down. Kaiser delivered an enzuigiri, but Uso was kicked out. Kofi Kingston joined Uso at ringside in his Santa Claus attire and took out Vinci with a Trouble in Paradise. Inside the ring, Jey pinned Kaiser after a spear and a splash.
Winner: Jey Uso
Analysis: Jey Uso finally got his first singles victory since joining Monday Night Raw. Imperium again suffered a loss, and Gunther won’t be pleased with that.
Undisputed Tag Team Title Match
Finn Balor and Damian Priest vs. The Creed Brothers
Ivy Nile was at ringside with Creed Brothers to take care of Rhea Ripley of The Judgment Day. The Creed Brothers were on fire in the beginning, and they soon took out both Balor and Priest as we went to break. We saw a double-team fireman’s carry and a double-team gutbuster on Balor by the Creed Brothers. Damian Priest blind-tagged in and changed the momentum towards Judgment Day. Ge delivered a clothesline and sent Julius into the steel steps.
Balor tagged back in but suffered a beautiful-looking gut-wrench suplex from Brutus. In came Priest, and he exchanged forearms with Brutus. Damian was soon out, thanks to a back suplex from Brutus. Julius was tagged in, and he delivered a series of belly-to-belly suplexes on Balor and Priest. The Creed Brothers went for Brutus Ball on Finn, but Priest saved it.
Ripley and Nile started action at ringside. Ivy slammed Rhea on the apron. Brutus Ball successfully connected with Finn, but Priest saved the match. Julius escaped South of Heaven chokeslam and delivered a somersault senton on Priest to the outside. Balor hit a sling blade followed by a dropkick. Finn climbed for Coup de Grace, but Julius caught him on the top rope and delivered a suplex. Brutus Ball was on Priest, but Balor saved the match this time with a Coup de Grace. Brutus and Balor took out each other out of the ring. Priest got the victory in the ring with a South of Heaven chokeslam on Julius.
Winners: Finn Balor and Damian Priest
Analysis: It was a great main event bout. The Creed Brothers looked like a legitimate threat to any team in WWE. Small things from Finn Balor always make Judgment Day’s matches brilliant.
It was a solid WWE Raw episode. We saw some further progression toward the Royal Rumble PLE. Most importantly, there was a lot of focus on the special Day 1 episode of WWE Raw.