Raw Recap: December 4, 2017
S2017 episode 1280 Aired on December 4, 2017

Even by his brazen standards, Jason Jordan may have made what was his boldest bid for respect yet this week on Raw. After misses against Braun Strowman and Kane, the gold-blooded Superstar challenged Roman Reigns for a title bout right as the Intercontinental Champion was demanding Angle sanction a match between himself and Samoa Joe, and even offered to throw down with Joe himself when the former NXT Champion stole his thunder by emerging to accept Reigns’ challenge.

When Reigns failed to treat Jordan’s presence seriously, the young Superstar suplexed the champion out of nowhere, forcing Reigns into a title match while Joe watched from the ramp. Jordan made good on the opportunity to showcase his abilities (catching Reigns midair out of a Superman Punch and charging him into the steps was a thing of beauty, as were his one-legged Northern Lights Suplexes), but the win was once again just beyond his grasp. Reigns sealed Jordan’s fate by targeting his taped-up knee — which Jordan re-injured after a tumble over the ropes — and landing the devastating Superman Punch-Spear combo for the win.

Jordan wasn’t about to let his effort be overlooked by Joe, however, as he intruded on a post-match attack from The Samoan Submission Machine by suplexing him away from Reigns just as Joe was locking in the Coquina Clutch. The Big Dog repaid Jordan by Superman Punching him out of the ring, and when Jordan demanded a match with Joe from Angle moments later in the locker-room area (while Angle was defending himself to Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon on the phone, no less), The Samoan Submission Machine added insult to injury by sneak-attacking him right in front of his father.

Last week’s loss to Bray Wyatt seemed to have destroyed Matt Hardy. Not so. The former Raw Tag Team Champion deployed a message to interrupt Wyatt’s latest sermon, enlightening the WWE Universe as to what, exactly, had happened to him seven days prior.

The Eater of Worlds had warned the WWE Universe against trusting “the ramblings of a madman,” but Hardy countered that his true self had become “woken,” and that he had burst free of his mortal "vessel" as a result of his defeat. While Wyatt promised he would “burn” all those who opposed him, Hardy got the last word this time around, sentencing Wyatt to nothing less than “deletion.”

Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins’ bid for their second Raw Tag Team Championship fell short not once but twice in a single evening, as their battle with Cesaro & Sheamus quickly descended into chaos that involved a reconfiguring of the match and an unwelcome appearance by Samoa Joe.

The Lunatic Fringe and The Kingslayer technically defeated The Bar at first, albeit via disqualification when Sheamus rushed the match without a tag to stomp Rollins into a pulp. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle disputed the conclusion of the title bout and restarted it under No Disqualification rules, which opened the door for The Samoan Submission Machine to provide a decisive (and legal) assist. His interference handed The Bar a more concrete victory over their challengers when Sheamus connected with a savage Brogue Kick on Ambrose after Roman Reigns hit the scene to chase Joe off.

The Alabaster Gladiator threw legal man Cesaro on top of The Lunatic Fringe to notch a pinfall that Reigns was a beat too late to save, though he did manage to help drive The Bar and Joe back up into the high ground of the WWE Universe. They may find, however, that giving Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns a common enemy could leave them with precious few places to hide.

In other action … Paige def. Sasha Banks … Drew Gulak def. Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and Tony Nese … Braun Strowman attacked Elias … Asuka def. Alicia Fox … and Finn Bálor def. Bo Dallas.

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