Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

Happy New Year everyone! It’s our final Nutshell of 2018, and we are back after we took off for Christmas last week. Tonight we are given another pre-recorded show, with WWE also giving it’s people off on the actual holidays-a smart move, to be honest. Tonight’s show should be a decent one. We have a six woman tag match, as The Riott Squad squares off against Bayley, Sasha Banks and Ember Moon. There’s a battle royal to determine who next fights Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship-with that bout our main event. We get to see what Seth Rollins is up to, now that he has no title. All that and more, as we get set to see RAW closing out 2018 with a bang. Let’s crack open this Nutshell!

Best Match of the night:

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I could flip a coin, there were a few choices.

For what it was, Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley was good. Mostly for how it’s redeveloping Rollins in a sense, but it was fun to watch.

Apollo Crews and Dean Ambrose was pretty good too. Nice to see Crews finally get a chance to be more than a sidekick on a mid-card act.

But, really, this one went to the opening bout. Opening the show with a cage match is a tough act to follow for anyone, but tonight’s was especially tough. It was a very good cage match

Worst match of the night:

If you pushed me on this, I’d say Rhyno and Slater against Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers

Crowd Chants of the Night:

You’re a loser

burn it down

Star of the Night

Unquestionably, this goes to Drew McIntyre. Whatever plagued him in his last main roster run (and I frankly don’t recall), he’s done away with it. He was dominant in NXT (though, somewhat ironically, as a babyface). He’s been dominant since returning to the main roster too. For the time being, the heel persona suits him, though I do think he carried the mantle of a babyface well too. Regardless, he’s one of the best things going on either brand.  Honestly, if WWE is that high on him (and word is they are), I would seriously consider Lesnar versus McIntyre for WrestleMania, complete with a face turn for Drew. There are far worse people you could have as champion.

Spot of the Night:

I could mention the four Claymore kicks delivered by Drew McIntyre, couldn’t I? I could…but I feel like something else should get mentioned too…

For this, I give it to Rhyno. The man beast delivered a belly to belly to belly suplex, taking out both Singh Brothers in one shot.

Jobber of the Night:

Well, in spite of that move, Rhyno and Slater sure felt like jobbers out there tonight.

Upset of the Night:

Hard to say really. I guess maybe it was a minor one to see Apollo Crews win the battle royal? But not really

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

On one hand, I could call out how vicious McIntyre was in the cage. It was the perfect heel showing, and Drew absolutely played the part to perfection.

On the other, I’d go with Hunter pushing Seth Rollins’ buttons, which resulted in Seth snapping against Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush. He lost the match via DQ, but laid both men out with a steel chair.

Noteworthy Moment:

McIntyre opened the show as part of the cage match with Ziggler. He also was announced as being in the Rumble match. Based on how the cage match went, he’s got to be seen as a strong favorite.

Overall lowlights:

Relative to the card, not much. Some might gripe about Hunter and Shane shown arriving after the cage match-which I’d agree with. Otherwise, my big gripe in general is my disdain for pre-recorded shows. However, I am a big fan of WWE shutting down for the holidays, so not having a show on either Christmas or New Years is actually a huge plus.

Overall highlights:

The opening cage match.

Giving Apollo Crews a better shot.

Seth Rollins with a new fire in his eyes. Sure feels like he’s being primed for a bigger battle with a bigger prize.

After the final bell:

All in all, not a bad way to close out 2018. 2019 should be even bigger, if the McMahon family means what they said and delivers on it.

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