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By Mike Johnson on 2018-12-16 22:55:00

They noted Byron Saxton is missing the PPV due to illness.  We mentioned that earlier tonight here on the site.

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Bar vs. The New Day vs. The Usos.

Sheamus and Kingston started off.  They went back and forth until Kingston nailed a big dropkick.  Everyone began battling and it went to the floor.  Jey Uso went for a big dive but Cesar cut him off with a big uppercut.  Sheamus drilled him with the Irish Curse for a two count.

Xavier tagged in but was overpowered by Sheamus.   Sheamus and Cesaro tagged in and out, overwhelming Woods.  Cesaro cinched in a rear chinlock.  Sheamus tagged in and went for a superplex but Woods battled back and Sheamus caught himself on the top rope.

Woods made the tag to Kingston, who nailed Cesaro.  Uso tagged himself in as Kingston climbed to the top.  Kingston hit a flying bodypress but Cesaro caught him.  Uso hit a bodypress of his own and almost scored the pin.  The Usos began superkicking the hell out of everything in sight.   They nailed a pop-up Samoan Drop for a two count.

Jey went to the top for a flying splash but Cesaro tagged him right before he leapt, so Cesaro took advantage and scored a two count on Kofi.  Cesaro nailed Kofi with the big spin.  Cesaro then turned him over into the Sharpshooter.   Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick but Kingston avoided it.  Kingston nailed a big stomp.  Woods tagged in and ascended to the top.  Kingston nailed Trouble in Paradise.  Woods nailed a big flying elbow for a two count.  Great stuff.

Everyone battled.  Cesaro nailed Jimmy Usos with a pop-up uppercut.  Kingston went to the top and nailed a big stage dive onto everyone on the floor.  Woods and Sheamus battled it out in the ring.  Sheamus nailed a big boot on Woods on the apron and nailed the Brogue Kick for the pin.

Your winners and still Smackdown Tag Team Champions, The Bar!

A very good match, but the finish seemed very anti-climactic, as if it came out of nowhere.  I wonder if they had time clipped.  The work was very good bell to bell and you could see the crowd live was really into the proceedings.

Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs match: If Corbin wins, he becomes the permanent Raw General Manager.  If Strowman wins, he challenges Brock Lesnar at the 2019 Royal Rumble.  If Corbin loses, he will be fired as acting Raw GM

Heath Slater is the referee.  He was booed by the audience live.

Corbin did a promo bragging about how he would officially be General Manager once Braun Strowman was counted out.  He ordered Slater to make the count, but Braun’s music played and out he came with his arm in a sling.

Braun took a ring mic and told Corbin he forgot something important.  He said that there are No DQs, so if someone wanted to help Braun, like someone who is sick and tired of dealing with a “crappy GM”, it would be perfectly legal. 

Apollo Crews popped up at ringside with a steel chair.  Raw Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable arrived at ringside with chairs as well.  Corbin tried to leave but Finn Balor was on the other side of the ring with a chair.    They all got up on the apron.  

Corbin ordered Slater to throw them out of ringside, but he took off his referee’s shirt and drilled Corbin with a right hand.  Corbin was surrounded and beaten with chairs until he was knocked out of the ring.    Corbin tried to walk up the aisle.  Out came Kurt Angle.  Well, we HAD heard plans for him to return tomorrow changed.  We had not heard it was happening tonight.  Angle had a chair as well.  Angle chased him back to the ring.

Corbin was nailed with a series of finishing moves by everyone in the ring.  Angle nailed the Angleslam.    Balor nailed the Coup de Grace.  Slater placed the referee shirt back on as Braun entered the ring and stepped on Corbin’s chest for the pin.

Your winner, Braun Strowman!

The crowd loved this and there was a big pop when it was announced Corbin was no longer the GM of Raw.

Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship is official for the Royal Rumble PPV.

This was all shenanigans, but it was entertaining shenanigans.

Natalya vs. Ruby Riott (with Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan) – Tables Match

The Riott Squad came out with the table that featured Jim Neidhart emblazoned across it.

Riott worked over Natalya early.  Natalya fired back, sending Riott to the outside.  She slammed Riott’s face into a table at ringside and tried to back Suplex her off the apron through the table.  Riott fought her off.  Natalya tried to spear Riott off the apron through the table but Liv Morgan shoved her away and ended up taking the bump, crashing through the table to the floor.  Riott and Morgan immediately tended to Morgan on the floor.

Morgan tried to bring a table into the ring but Natalya drove it into her.  Natalya sent Riott into the barricade and called Riot a "b****" while asking her if she wanted to mess with her family.  Natalya set up a table outside and tried to powerbomb Riott through the table.  Riott fought back.   Morgan tried to interfere but ended up slammed through a table by Natalya.  Riott grabbed Natayla and forced her face against Neidhart's photo, telling her that her father was ashamed of her.  Ugh.  She sent Natalya into the ring steps.

Riott brought the table featuring Jim Neidhart's photo in the ring.  The crowd chanted "Let's go Nattie" as she recovered on the floor.   She tried to send Natalya into the table but Natalya saved herself and attempted to hit a German suplex into it.  Riott broke the attempt but was locked in a Sharpshooter with the idea that Natalya positioned her to have to look at Neidhart as she submitted.  Riot was able to knock the table over so it fell over on Natalya, breaking the hold.

Riott, selling injury to her knee, set up the table but was caught from underneath by Natalya.  Natalya nailed an Electric Chair.  Riott had tipped the table back over to prevent Natalya from putting her through it.  Riott rolled to the outside but Natalya tossed her back in.   She went under the ring to retrieve a new table, one that had Riott emblazoned on it.  That got a nice reaction from the crowd live.  She then went under the ring and pulled out her father's Hart Foundation ring jacket.

Natalya took a long time to set up that table.  Natalya tried to grab her but Riott, after they had a weird interaction, drilled her with a superkick.  She placed Natalya on the table but Natalya recovered after she ascended to the top.  Natalya placed her on the table and had words with Riott.  Natalya climbed the ropes but was nailed with a leapoing kick.  She went for a top rope rana but Natalya caught her, held her in the air, and drove her down through the table with a powerbomb.

Your winner, Natalya!

A very good back and forth Tables match.  Solid all the way through with a nice story.

Natalya held up the broken table with Riott's picture, celebrating and smiling.

Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor

They went back and forth with solid action early on, trading kicks and strikes.  McIntyre stomped away on Balor and drilled him across the chest with chops in the corner.  Balor came back with a hard kick near the knees. Balor placed him on the buckles and told him he could have just walked away.  Balor slipped out from underneath and nailed McIntyre.

McIntyre cut him off, grabbing him by the throat and nailed a big belly to bell Suplex, although his knee showed signs of injury from Balor’s attacks.  McIntyre worked over Balor and mocked him, daring him to fight back.  Balor nailed several shoulderblocks but before he could really capitalize, Drew cut him off and sent Balor flying across the ring.

Balor and McIntyre fired back and forth with kicks and strikes.  Balor was drilled with another Suplex for a two count.  Balor tried to fire back with leaping forearms.  McIntyre clubbed him across the back, but Balor was eventually able to take him down, nailing a double stomp.  Balor followed up with a twisting DDT.  Drew went to the floor, where Balor nailed him with a flip to the outside.

McIntyre came back with a tiltowhirl backbreaker for a near fall.  He nailed a Kryptonite Krunch off the ropes for a close near fall.  Balor was dumped to the floor.  McIntyre went to follow but Balor trapped him behind the ring apron and began beating him.  Balor went for a kick on the apron, but Drew caught him and swept the leg, slamming him face-first into the apron.  McIntyre drilled him with a headbutt.

Dolph Ziggler showed up at ringside and superkicked Drew while the referee was checking on Balor.  Ziggler grabbed a chair but Drew kicked it into his face and brought him into the ring.  Drew went to use the chair on Ziggler, but Balor dropkicked him with Drew landed on the chair.  Balor came off the top with the Coup de Grace on the chair for the pin.

Your winner, Finn Balor!

A good, physical match from bell to bell with Drew playing his physical bully heel well and Balor looking strong as the underdog babyface.  The Ziggler stuff wasn't really needed.  I guess someone could argue it made sense as a way to escape Drew losing clean, but I'd argue it took a good match and ruined it by creating a blah finish that got one one over.

Coverage continues on Page 3!

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