The year will not end on a positive note for WWE's flagship brand, as Raw posted yet another less-than-stellar outing Monday night in Chicago (technically Rosemont, Ill.).
Raw enduring a slump is certainly nothing new, as it has endured quite a few over the years that it inevitably climbs out of, but it is even more noticeable when the brand's Tuesday counterpart, Smackdown Live, is seemingly hitting its stride when it comes to its weekly installments and pay-per-views.
It isn't that Raw doesn't feature quality wrestling on a weekly basis because it does. It's that there are episodes where it feels like nothing really happened over the course of three-plus hours.
Not every episode has to be a proverbial home run, but I shouldn't struggle to figure out what actually occurred during the show.
However, I find myself in that position this week.
With that said, here are the full match results from the Allstate Arena:
- WWE Raw Tag Team championship – Sheamus & Cesaro def. The New Day
- Nia Jax def. Scarlett
- Charlotte Flair def. Bayley
- Neville def. TJ Perkins
- Braun Strowman vs. Seth Rollins ended in a no contest
- Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows def. The Golden Truth
- Rich Swann def. Ariya Daivari
- WWE United States championship – Roman Reigns def. Kevin Owens
Same old thing in the main event
If Raw felt like a rerun this week you were not alone.
That is because we got yet another lengthy match between Owens and Reigns with Reigns coming out the victor despite interference from Jericho.
Oh yeah, and Rollins helped out, too, despite having the daylights beaten out of him by Strowman and Jericho earlier in the night.
Like I said earlier, the wrestling that took place here was of quality. That's never really an issue with Raw or any other brand in WWE.
The issue here is the lack of variety in the story that is being told. It simply feels like we're watching the same exact show every single week, especially when it comes to Reigns, Owens, Jericho and Rollins.
Also, why does Owens take so many clean losses? He's the Universal champion, which means he is the best Raw has to offer. However, he is constantly put into some sort of underdog role.
I understand that babyfaces are supposed to be better wrestlers than heels and the only way a heel gains an advantage or wins a match is by cheating, but you usually don't get the payoff of the babyface vanquishing the heel until the pay-per-view.
However, we just saw that Monday night.
I just don't understand what it did to help either man involved.
Strowman-Sami Zayn story sees another chapter
For the second week in a row, Strowman was busy destroying things and people because he could not get his hands on Zayn.
In an effort to take out his frustrations, Strowman destroyed The Shining Stars, Bo Dallas and Darren Young before the four men were scheduled for a tag team match. His destruction of the poor souls actually garnered him cheers in a scene reminiscent of 911 in Extreme Championship Wrestling.
He then tossed around Rollins until Zayn showed up and got in a few licks on him. Once Strowman gathered himself, Zayn took off and the larger Strowman wasn't quite fast enough to keep up.
Strowman won't have to chase Zayn next week, as he will get him in the ring for a last man standing match.
I never thought that I would find a rivalry between Strowman and Zayn to be the most interesting thing on Raw, but that is where we are at this time.
Referee Dana helped Charlotte beat Bayley
Since Charotte's shoulder was off the mat during her loss last week to Bayley, the match was expunged from her record thanks to some legal maneuvering.
She then managed to get a rematch with Bayley with the referee of her choosing, which turned out to be Dana Brooke.
I honestly don't remember much from the match and maybe that was WWE's intent since this was only a television contest, but Brooke helped her mentor win by counting Bayley's shoulders to the mat in quick fashion and ignoring Charlotte's feet being on the ropes for leverage.
After putting these two together in the ring the last two weeks, I'm ready for WWE to get a little more creative in building up this rivalry.
Jack Gallagher continues to entertain
Gallagher challenging Daivari to a gentleman's duel was arguably the best part of Raw.