WWE Raw Recap: January 8, 2018
S2018 episode 1285 Aired on January 8, 2018

Still amped from his epic Intercontinental Title defense against Samoa Joe last week, Roman Reigns came into Memphis looking to expand his Roman Empire. Little did he know, he stepped into a good brother town.

To be fair, it wasn’t exactly The Big Dog’s boasting or his proclamation that “if you mess with one of the members of The Shield, you mess with all of us” that raised the collective ire of Finn Bálor, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, the reunited running mates now calling themselves The Bálor Club. That fault lies with Jason Jordan, whose Raw Tag Team Title win with Seth Rollins led the young Superstar to get a little too familiar with Reigns and Rollins.

Jordan’s boast that he, Reigns and The Kingslayer (disappointed, for what it’s worth, at his partner’s lack of “timing”) might be nothing less than “the most dominant three-man group in WWE” was what brought The Bálor Club out in earnest, leading to a confrontation that boiled over when the good brothers insinuated that Jordan was a nerd. Jordan responded with a slap to the face of Gallows, and Raw General Manager Kurt Angle provided the solution, sanctioning a Six-Man Tag Team Match between the two groups for later in the night.

Last week, Braun Strowman told Kane that he was in it for himself in their Universal Title Triple Threat Match against Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble. And while animosity continued to brew this week between the Universal Champion and The Big Red Machine, The Monster Among Men picked his opportunity to strike.

After Lesnar and Paul Heyman responded to Kane’s attack last week and the circumstances of the match — in short, Heyman promised dominance despite the stacked odds against his client and the lack of an “old-school” one-on-one challenge — The Devil’s Favorite Demon attacked again, jumping The Beast at the top of the stage and brawling with Lesnar into the backstage area, at which point Strowman trucked them both.

The Gift of Destruction threw Lesnar clean across the hallway, smashed Kane with a road crate and produced a grappling hook that he used to pull the backstage rigging down on both of his opponents. The attack left The Beast loaded in an ambulance en route to a local medical facility, while Kane hobbled away with an injured leg. Suddenly, a Lesnar victory doesn’t seem quite as certain as Heyman would have everyone believe.

In a match spawned from the question of whether The Bálor Club or the so-called “Champions Club” was the most dominant three-man team in WWE, the good brothers landed a deafening salvo when they knocked off the gold-plated trio of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan, who were shown up again when another three-man squad came calling after the bout.

As for the epic Six-Man Tag Team Match, The Bálor Club brawled to the victory by working seamlessly as a group; one was never far from the other, so even when Finn found himself pummeled by Reigns, his partners were there to distract The Big Dog and tilt the match back in their favor. The “Champions Club,” on the other hand, seemed a step out of sync, and an overzealous Jordan rushed the ring and blinded the ref to a key tag from Rollins to Reigns (there’s that timing issue again). The Kingslayer was left as easy pickings for a bone-rattling Magic Killer, and while Reigns dispatched Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson singlehandedly outside the ring (taking himself out of action in the process), Finn Bálor seized control, tossing Jordan from the ring and spiking the wounded Rollins with a missile dropkick and chest-caving Coup de Grâce for the win.

The night only got worse for the title-toting trio, as The Miz & The Miztourage struck while they argued among themselves, dispatching the Raw Tag Team Champions before wiping Reigns out with a Skull-Crushing Finale and, in the ultimate act of disrespect, a Triple Powerbomb. Consider the favor repaid and the message relayed.

In other action … Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville … "Woken" Matt Hardy def. Curt Hawkins … The Miz returned and set his sights on the Intercontinental Championship … Cedric Alexander def. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore via Count-out … Titus Worldwide def. Cesaro & Sheamus … Samoa Joe def. Rhyno … and Nia Jax attacked Asuka.