The following report contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the upcoming Dec. 31st edition of WWE RAW, which was pre-taped this Saturday night at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI due to this coming week’s show falling on New Year’s Eve.
— DREW MCINTYRE def. DOLPH ZIGGLER IN A STEEL CAGE MATCH
It looks like McIntyre has entered the Royal Rumble match, although whether or not this was a stipulation of the match or if he just declared himself an entrant after the fact, we’re not sure. McIntyre won what was described as a “good, not great” match, although others said it was “very good” so we’ll have to wait and see. The fans were into Ziggler and booed McIntyre accordingly, and they taped the match right away so the crowd was hot. He won with two Claymore Kicks, then came back after the match with a steel chair and attacked Ziggler again.
— Seth Rollins came out talking about the McMahon family being back in charge and the “fresh starts” that are being promised. He wants Dean Ambrose again, but Triple H comes out instead and reminds him there’s no such thing as obligatory rematches anymore, and he’ll have to get in line and earn his title shot like everyone else. Triple H goads him on a bit, saying he wants to see the “old Seth Rollins” come out again, and gives him an opportunity tonight… against Lashley.
— APOLLO CREWS WON A BATTLE ROYAL TO BECOME #1 CONTENDER TO THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
This was basically all the midcard and undercard wrestlers on the show — Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Mojo Rawley, etc. — a few tag teams like the Lucha House Party and the Ascension, and really it was just Finn Balor and maybe Baron Corbin you could count as a big star that participated. Apollo Crews actually ended up winning the match, which was a pretty big surprise. After Mustafa Ali and Rusev got pushes on Smackdown, it’s looking like they might actually be taking a risk with opportunities for people that don’t normally get them.
— Natalya announces herself for the Women’s Royal Rumble match in a backstage promo, but is attacked by Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka.
— Baron Corbin came out but was interrupted by Elias, who sang a New Year’s song about Corbin losing his job as acting-GM and his general downward spiral over thee last few weeks. The ended up brawling, Elias got the better of it, and Corbin bailed.
— EMBER MOON, BAYLEY & SASHA BANKS def. THE RIOTT SQUAD
— BOBBY LASHLEY def. SETH ROLLINS via DISQUALIFICATION
Rollins eventually got sick of Lio Rush getting involved and beat down Lashley with a steel chair to force the DQ finish. He attacked Rush with the chair as well, and hit him with the Curb Stomp as Lashley watched.
— DEAN AMBROSE (c) def. APOLLO CREWS TO RETAIN THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
— RONDA ROUSEY & NATALYA def. NIA JAX & TAMINA SNUKA