WWE Raw: Roman Reigns gets revenge on Samoa Joe, Brock Lesnar returns

By Wade Sheridan  |  Jan. 2, 2018 at 6:58 AM
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Jan. 2 (UPI) -- The first Raw of 2018 on Monday, featured Roman Reigns defending his Intercontinental Championship against Samoa Joe in a competitive grudge match.

The bout was made after Joe won against Reigns by disqualification last week after The Big Dog would not stop assaulting his longtime rival in the corner.

Joe's disqualification win last week led to Monday's confrontation having the added stipulation that if Reigns gets disqualified again, he will lose his Intercontinental Championship.

Reigns has been emotional when fighting Joe as The Destroyer recently attacked and injured Dean Ambrose which has put an end to The Shield's reunion. Ambrose will be out of action for about nine months due to a high-grade triceps tendon injury.

Reigns, in wanting to punish Joe on Monday, nearly got himself disqualified during the match when he thought about using the steel steps to assault his opponent with. Reigns was also seemingly going to get disqualified when Joe pushed him into the referee after a failed Spear attempt.

Reigns still ended up victorious, however, after he fought himself out of Joe's Coquina Clutch submission maneuver and delivered a ring-rattling Spear for the three count.

Also on Raw, Universal Champion Brock Lesnar returned to the red brand alongside his advocate Paul Heyman who proudly declared that 2018 was going to be "The year of The Beast."

After Heyman discussed how Lesnar will remain Universal Champion despite having to once again defend his title against multiple challengers, one of The Beast's Royal Rumble opponents, Kane, entered the arena and proceeded to Chokeslam Lesnar.

As Kane began to exit the ring, Lesnar suddenly sat up and laughed, a nod to Kane's brother The Undertaker who Lesnar famously defeated previously at WrestleMania 30.

After Lesnar sent himself and Kane over the top rope, the Raw locker room raced to the scene in order to break up the fight between the two giants. Lesnar defends his Universal Championship against Kane and Braun Strowman in a Triple Threat Match at the Royal Rumble on Jan. 28.

Other moments from Raw included general manager Kurt Angle saying that the Women's Royal Rumble Match would feature the same rules as the Men's version; Jason Jordan defeating Cesaro; Bray Wyatt defeating Apollo Crews before being taunted on-screen again by Woken Matt Hardy; Strowman defeating Heath Slater and Rhyno; Cedric Alexander and Goldust defeating Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari; Finn Balor reuniting with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to defeat Elias and The Miztourage; and Asuka defeating Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss in a non-title match.

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