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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (1/29/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Elimination Chamber Qualifying, Last Man Standing Match: Kane VS Braun Strowman; Strowman wins and enters the Elimination Chamber Match.
  • Second Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Elias; Elias wins and enters the Elimination Chamber Match.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz w/ The Miztourage VS Roman Reigns; Miz wins and retains the WWE IC Championship.
  • The Revival VS Heath Slater & Rhyno; The Revival wins.
  • Sasha Banks VS Asuka; Asuka wins.
  • WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar VS Titus Worldwide; The Bar wins and retains.
  • Third Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: John Cena VS Finn Balor; Cena wins and enters the Elimination Chamber Match.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Royal Rumble truly made history!

No one was ready for Asuka in the inaugural Women’s Rumble match, but not even Asuka was ready for the surprise appearance of one “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey! “Hot Rod” Ronda walked right up to the Queen, the Empress and the Goddess to let them and the world know that she was going to Wrestlemania, too. She set the world on fire and blew up the internet with a smile and a handshake, will she burn the house down at Wrestlemania 34? And against who?

 

The Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon, heads to the ring.

The Billionaire Princess enjoyed the inaugural Women’s Rumble in person last night, and now welcomes Philly back. Last week was the celebration of #Raw25, and now we start a new 25 years! She commends Sasha Banks for lasting almost an hour, Nia Jax for proving she is an Irresistible Force, and every legend from Lita to Trish Stratus for making impressive appearances. Then “The Game changed” when THE Ronda Rousey appeared. But all that aside, Stephanie wants to celebrate THE winner, the undefeated Empress of Tomorrow, ASUKA!

Asuka walks out to the ring and the fans give her a huge ovation. Stephanie congratulates Asuka personally and would ask whether Asuka is facing the Raw or SmackDown Women’s Champion, but she must first inform us that there will now be an inaugural Women’s Elimination Chamber match! The fans like the sound of that. Stephanie lets Asuka enjoy her moment now. “Arigato, Stephanie. Arigato, WWE Universe!” Asuka uses her native Japanese to explain that she is the one and future champion! She points to the Wrestlemania sign, and everyone knows what that means. “At Wrestlemania, I will become the Champion! Because no one is ready for Asuka!” But now The Legit Boss, Sasha Banks, heads to the ring.

Sasha says hello and apologizes for the interruption. Last night was a dream come true as every woman made history and main evented again. Sasha was in the ring with 29 other great women, including Asuka, and congratulates Asuka for her win, too. But the part Sasha doesn’t like is that Asuka brags “no one is ready” for her. Sasha is ready, tonight! Stephanie keeps the peace and makes the match: The Boss VS The Empress! Which woman will be better prepared for the other?

 

Elimination Chamber Qualifying, Last Man Standing Match: Kane VS Braun Strowman!

Or rather, a Last Monster Standing as The Monster Among Men takes on the Big Red Machine. Strowman brings out all the props the moment he hits the ring, is he about to slay a demon!?

Raw returns to the match already underway! Strowman scoops Kane but Kane slips out to shove him into a post. Kane stalks Strowman around the ring then SMACKS him with a kendo stick. He rocks Strowman with an uppercut and now the behemoths move into the audience area. Strowman fights back and they slug it out near the extra special seating. The Monster brings the Machine over to the production area and bounces him off desks before he SMACKS Kane with a chair! They keep moving, and now they’ve come very close to the commentary area. Strowman takes a trunk and rams it into Kane’s head against barriers! Another chair comes into play and commentary already wants to get away. Kane is prone on the ground as Strowman jabs that chair into his ribs. Strowman considers his options, calculates the logistics, and makes a decision. HE DEADLIFTS THE COMMENTARY STAGE ONTO KANE!!

The Philly fans lose their minds, and this match is over already! Strowman victoriously walks onto the stage while referees and medics panic to save Kane. Strowman roars, Strowman leaves, is the Big Red Machine gone for good?

Staff manages to uncover Kane.

Somehow, someway, the legendary demon is not crushed into nothingness, but he needs a stretcher all the same. That’s when Strowman returns!! Corey Graves talks with him. “That’s a human being, what did you just do!?” “I did my job, Kurt Angle said ‘Last Man Standing’.” And Strowman is standing. The Monster enjoys watching the medics attend to Kane. Now that he is in the Elimination Chamber match, will anyone else stand a chance?

 

Kurt Angle encounters Braun Strowman backstage.

Do they really have to keep talking this over?! With the whole world watching, Strwoman continues to endanger everyone else! Can he give Angle just one break!? Strowman says Angle’s right. He’s right that Strowman didn’t do more! He won like he was supposed to! And now at Elimination Chamber, he’ll do it all again to be the last one left! Then Strowman promises to do the same to Lesnar at Wrestlemania!!

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter is still in Philly and still plays his guitar. He once again asks, “Who wants to walk with Elias!?” Not that he cares what they think. Elias sings for himself, and to hear his own voice. Elias was disappointed to be eliminated in the Rumble by John Cean, but promises John will get what’s coming to him. We must look to the future, and that means the WWE Elimination Chamber and Wrestlemania. And of course, WWE means “Walk With Elias!” In order to qualify, Elias must defeat The WOKEN One, who he has a song for. “On the Road ot Wrestlemania, got Brock Lesnar in my sight. It’s Elias’ night. After I win the Chamber, it’s Brock Lesnar who will be in danger. It’s Elias’ night.” The fans boo and jeer while Elias enters the chorus. But then “Ye-e-e-e-e-e-e-es~!”

Second Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Elias!

The time has come to DELETE! Will the WOKEN WISDOM carry Hardy’s mortal vessel through to the Chamber’s contender opportunity?

Raw returns as the bell rings. The two circle, Elias powers Matt to a corner but Matt turns it around. They scrum in the corner and the ref counts, but Hardy lets up. Elias kicks but Hardy counters, and laughs! He shouts “DELETE!” at Elias, but Elias puts on the headlock and takeover. Hardy endures, gets to his feet and fights back but Elias holds on. Hardy gives more body shots and a back suplex to break free. He kicks Elias while he’s down and then goes after him in a corner, but Elias fights back while a new table is being constructed. Elias denies the Side Effect with elbows and Hardy staggers to a corner. Hardy evades and “DELETE” chops Elias over and over. Hardy brings Elias out and gives him a neckbreaker, cover, TWO! Elias endures a cravat hold from Hardy, and Hardy laughs and shouts “DELETE” the entire time. Elias fights back with body shots then knees. He chops Hardy back then whips him to ropes but Hardy kicks. Hardy goes for the Twist but Elias counters and then runs Hardy over with a lariat. Hardy staggers to a corner, Elias runs in and unloads strikes. The referee backs Elias back but Elias is enraged, he gives Hardy one more stiff stomp. The Drifter drags Hardy around and swings the arm into the post!

Hardy writhes in pain, Elias refreshes the count, then slams the arm into the post again. Elias returns into the ring and grins while we go to break.

Raw returns again to see Elias working over that arm while the announce table finishes assembly. The fans rally for Hardy, and Hardy slowly stands up. Hardy fights back, Elias throws Hardy to ropes but Hardy hits back. But then Elias yanks the beat up arm to slow him down. The two brawl back and forth, Hardy unleashes headbutts, then whips to back elbow Elias down. Russian leg sweep and cover, TWO! Hardy gives Elias “DELETE” buckle bumps!

He then hits the corner clotheslines, then another, but Elias powers out of the bulldog. Hardy elbows back and hops up for a flying ax handle. Side Effect! Cover, TWO! Just as Hardy calls for his Twist, Bray Wyatt makes his presence known. The Eater of Worlds is nowhere to be seen, Elias pounces with a boot and the Drift Away neckbreaker! Elias wins! Elias becomes the second of six men to qualify, can he make the others #DriftAway on this Road to Wrestlemania?

Bray Wyatt appears on the titantron.

He simply laughs at the failed WOKEN One. Will he have the last laugh at the end of the Great War?

 

The Miz speaks via social media.

“Roman Reigns is owed an Intercontinental Championship rematch?” Really? What about what The Miz is owed for being the one who brought back the prestige and honor to the title? He is owed rose petals when he walks and silence when he talks. On top of that, he is owed a standing ovation. Kinda like the one Brady will get when he defeats the Eagles. Super Bowl aside, can The Miz keep his title from ending up back in The Yard?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz w/ The Miztourage VS Roman Reigns!

While everyone else wants a shot at the Universal Championship, these two men know the legacy this championship holds. The A-Lister won the IC Title back only last week at #Raw25, can he hold onto it to the end of tonight?

The bell rings and the two circle. Miz rushes Roman, but runs right into an uppercut! Roman keeps The Miztourage back before rocking Miz with more right hands. Miz flounders to a corner but Roman is on him with headbutts. The Miztourage get close again but Roman scares them off before whipping Miz corner to corner. Roman runs in but Miz boots him away. Miz chops but Roman just absorbs it. Miz tries again, but still no effect. Roman rocks Miz with another right hand uppercut, Miz goes down! The Miztourage coach their leader up but Miz gets clothesline’d out of the ring! The Miztourage check on Miz but Roman slips out to the outside. Roman walks over and The Miztourage back off, and then Roman throws Miz into steel steps. The Miztourage bark at Roman but he backs them down again. Roman returns to The Miz and they both reenter the ring, only for Roman to clothesline Miz out again. The Miztourage return to check on Roman, and the referee begins a count. Roman slips outside again, but now the Miztourage gain some courage. So Roman grabs a chair!

Bo and Axel have less courage as he walks over, they run for the hills! Roman keeps his eyes on Miz now but he still has the chair in hand. He raises it, the referee stops him, this will disqualify him. Roman throws the chair away, then refreshes the count. Miz shoves Roman into a post! The champion has some control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Miz has Roman in a chinlock. The fans duel while Miz squeezes and stretches Roman. Roman wills his way to his feet, powers out and lifts Miz, but Miz wiggles and slips out. Miz grabs Roman in the full-nelson but Roman breaks it, to then Samoan Drop Miz! The two men are down but slowly stirring while the ref starts a ten count. They brawl on their knees then up to their feet. Miz throws haymakers from both sides with Philly’s support, but Roman blocks and lariats back! Roman rallies now, hitting the leaping lariat off the reversal. The Big Dog fires up and gives Miz all ten of the close-range clotheslines! Roman runs and boots Miz down, then gets to a corner while Philly gets loud both ways. He locks, loads and aims,… But Miz chop blocks the leg out! Roman goes down, clutching his knee, while Miz catches his breath. Miz starts up the “It Kicks!” He prepares the buzzsaw, Roman blocks and lifts! Miz sunset flips and into the Figure Four Leglock!

Roman flails and writhes from the pain in the knees! He reaches for ropes, but Miz slowly drags Roman away. Roman endures while the fans duel again. He gets his second wind, and Miz puts more pressure into it, but Roman manages to roll it over! Now Miz takes the pressure and has to endure! Miz reaches for ropes, and gets the break. The hold is undone and both men clutch their knees as they gain space. Roman and Miz stand up, but Miz kicks out the bad leg! Miz hobbles over and goes for it again, but Roman rolls him! Deadlift into the sit-out powerbomb!

TWO! Both men are down again, but Miz rolls his way to a corner. Miz goes after a turnbuckle pad, just like #Raw25! The referee catches him, then Roman storms over and goes after Miz. The referee pulls Roman away, Miz pokes Roman’s eyes, and hits the Skull-Crushing Finale! TWO!? The Miz cannot believe Roman survived! But he won’t stop there, he hobbles up and around while fans continue to duel. He drags Roman up for another try, but Roman powers him to a corner and throws in an elbow. Roman hobbles away but then runs into a post! Miz runs, SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO! Both men catch their breath while the fans acknowledge “This is Awesome!” Miz and Roman crawl to opposite corners, but The Miztourage return! Axel distracts while Bo gets Miz out of the ring. Roman clobbers Axel, then sees Bo. He hobbles out and walks over to uppercut Bo down. Miz swings but msises, he gets an uppercut! Roman puts Miz back in the ring, but Miz exaggerates to distract the ref and Bo goes after Roman! Roman elbows Bo away, then throws him into the ring! SUPERMAN PUUNCH for Axel, SPEAR for Bo!

Roll up from behind, Miz steals the win! The A-Lister retains his title once and for all–with help, of course. Who will The Miz move on to now? And where does The Big Dog go from here?

 

Paul Heyman shares his thoughts on the Elimination Chamber announcement via Twitter.

 

The Revival VS Heath Slater & Rhyno!

The #TopGuys got even with the Good Brothers in the Rumble Kickoff show, and look to further reestablish themselves. Can they break the One Man Band and his ManBeast here tonight?

Raw returns to this match while in progress, Rhyno has a headlock on Dash Wilder. Dash powers out but Rhyno runs him over. Rhyno tags in Slater, the “Wild Man” hits a flying ax handle. Slater yanks on Dash’s arm again and again, and fans chant “E C Dub!” for Rhyno. Dash whips Slater but Slater fires out with a forearm, then a forearm smash in a corner. Dash escapes the ring and regroups with Scott Dawson to talk this through. Slater has the fans cheering “Heath’s Got Kids!” while The Revival flank him. Slater fights Dawson off but Dash comes from behind with an armbar DDT. Dash hammers away then tags Dawson to stomp away on that arm. Dawson gives Slater a hammerlock back suplex to further attack the arm. Rhyno rallies fans, Dawson drives in knees. Slater crawls but Dawson drags him over and tags in Dash. Dash gives a flying knee to the arm, then wrenches it with a keylock. The fans continue to chant “E C Dub!” for Rhyno and Slater, but Dash keeps Slater down with knees. Dash suplexes Slater but Slater lands on his feet to counter with a neckbreaker! Dash tags Dawson, Dawson denies Slater a tag, but only momentarily! Rhyno gets in and rallies on The Revival. He whips Dawson but Dawson reverses, Rhyno elbows him away before giving him a flying shoulder tackles! Rhyno rams in shoulders and then gives a belly2belly. Slater takes out Dash, but Dawson chop blocks Rhyno’s leg! Slater goes down, Dash tags in, Shatter Machine!

The Revival win!

In-ring interview for The Revival.

“We just defeated the first-ever SmackDown Tag Team Champions,” so perhaps, how do they compare to the legendary Graham Brothers? Charly isn’t familiar with them. That’s no surprise, because no one seems to care about the old days! Fans chant “E C Dub” trying to get themselves over. Unlike the fans, The Revival learn from the past instead of just leaving in it. Strong words and impressive wins, can these #TopGuys make their way towards the Raw Tag Team Championships?

 

The newest WWE Hall of Fame Inductees: The Dudley Boys!

Bubba Ray & D-Von ruled and revolutionized tag team wrestling from ECW to WCW to WWE and all around the world! Now they finally enter WWE’s HoF and truly immortalize themselves and Dudleyville!

 

Finn Balor speaks via Twitter.

The Extraordinary Man lasted an extraordinary 57 minutes in the Men’s Rumble this year. But John Cena was the one who ended his run. Now he’ll step up to the Face that Runs the Place and then step over him to get another chance. Can Balor Club dethrone CENAtion tonight?

 

Backstage interview with Sasha Banks.

From first woman in the Women’s Rumble to facing the Empress tonight, Ssaha is “moments away from defeating Asuka.” She’s waited for this opportunity for a long time. Asuka may have made history, but Sasha vows to do the same.

Sasha Banks VS Asuka!

The Legit Boss has all the confidence in the world, but does she have what it takes to give the Undefeated Empress her first loss?

The bell rings, and the two circle. They tie up, Sasha puts Asuka in a corner and gives her a shove with attitude. She then rolls Asuka, ONE, and Asuka gets a headlock on. Sasha fights out but Asuka runs her over. Asuka runs, rolls and hip-tosses Sasha but Sasha counters with an armlock. The fans have mixed reactions while Asuka gets up to her feet. Sasha powers her to a corner, then throws forearms and stomps. The Legit Boss backs off, then runs back in, but Asuka puts her on the apron. They trade blows but Asuka kicks Sasha between ropes. Asuka runs, hip attack sends Sasha down tot he ground. The referee starts a count on Sasha while Asuka catches her breath in the ring. The count reaches 5 before Sasha stirs. Sasha crawls up and in at 8, Asuka drives her hips into Sasha some more.

She threatens Sasha in Japanese before grinding a boot into her chin. The ref has Asuka back off now, but she comes back with kicks and a yank on the arm. Asuka puts Sasha in an armlock, but Sasha endures. Asuka makes it part Fujiwara and even bends the fingers. Sasha is grounded while fans enjoy Asuka enjoying herself. Sasha gets up and forearms Asuka, so Asuka hits back and whips her to a corner. Asuka walks into Sasha’s elbow, Sasha counters a kick with a knee, then double knees! Cover, TWO, but Sasha keeps her cool as she taunts. The Boss boasts while we go to break.

Raw returns and Asuka unloads her vicious kicks into Sasha. Sasha ends up in a corner but evades and turns Asuka sideways. Stock Drop knees! Cover, TWO, but Sasha comes back with stomps. She drives knees into Asuka’s back and bends her arms back in a half-surfboard. The fans slowly build to a rally for Asuka, but Sasha puts Asuka right into the mat as she pulls harder. Asuka refuses to quit, she gets back to her feet. Sasha throws Asuka down by her hair, then taunts her again. She drags Asuka up, snap suplex to cover, TWO. Sasha grows frustrated, but she keeps on Asuka with a snapmare and running slap! The fans boo and jeer, but Sasha keeps toying with Asuka. Asuka stands up and fires up with open hand strikes! She whips Sasha, tilt-o-whirl takedown into crossface! Asuka endures Sasha’s signature submission and makes it a cover, TWO! Asuka rolls into a backslide, TWO, crossface! Sasha pulls Asuka back but Asuka endures and again shifts her weight. Asuka gets to her feet but Sasha knees low. Sasha throws Asuka out, but Asuka lies in wait while Sasha runs. Sasha DIVES but gets kicked out of the air! The Boss crash lands onto the ground! Asuka drags her up and into the ring, but Sasha revives. The two brawl with elbows but Asuka gets the edge. She shoves Sasha, pop-up knee! Spinning backhand after backhand then the back heel kick! Asuka runs, Shining Wizard! Sasha gets to a corner, big hip attack from Asuka! Asuka won’t let up, she climbs up top! Big missile dropkick and cover, TWO!! Sasha survives hit after hit, but Asuka is not deterred. She lifts Sasha, Sasha rolls, TWO, takedown to the cross armbreaker! Sasha reaches, flails, rolls, TWO! Asuka stands up and runs while Sasha is on the apron, but now Sasha sends Asuka tumbling! Sasha takes am, and hits big double knees!

She drags Asuka up and in now, then climbs up top. SUPER Double Knees, TWO!! Sasha is at a loss for what to do! The fans cheer both women on, and they both stand up. Sasha blocks but Asuka counters, chickenwing but Sasha rams Asuka into buckles for the Back Stabber to Bank Statement crossface again!

Asuka reaches and crawls for ropes! Sasha denies the break and rolls Asuka, but Asuka adjusts for her Asuka Lock!! Now Sasha is trapped, body scissors on, she taps! Asuka wins and remains undefeated!! This instant classic is truly proof of the Women’s (R)Evolution!

 

John Cena speaks via Twitter.

Only the Rumble Winners know they’re going to Wrestlemania, so even Cena himself has to wonder, “How do I get to Wrestlemania?” He knows he can gain a spot in the Chamber, and then the Chamber will lead to Wrestlemania. Why is that important to Cena? Well because he wants to answer the question “When are you done?” with “I’m just getting started!”

 

WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar VS Titus Worldwide!

While the Swiss Cyborg & Celtic Gladiator won back the titles from The Architect & The Gold-Blooded Son, they did lose a couple times to The Real Deal and his top client. Can Titus & Apollo shock the world with a win here tonight?

The bell rings, the belts are raised, and we start with Sheamus and Crews. The two circle and Crews rolls up quick, TWO. Sheamus bails out and regroups with Cesaro to keep his cool. They don’t want to get flustered against the other team already. Sheamus clubs Crews and whips but Crews slips out to another roll up, TWO. Crews runs at Sheamus in a corner but Sheamus shoulders him away. Sheamus locks on a headlock but Crews powers out, only for Sheamus to run him over again. They speed up, Crews dropkicks Sheamus and covers, TWO. Crews brings Sheamus over and tags in Titus, they double whip and double elbow. “Worldwide~” boasts while Cesaro complains. Sheamus elbows Titus away, then gives him a European Uppercut. He clubs away on Titus, but then Titus uses his power to turn it around and unload on Sheamus. Titus chops and uppercuts, but Cesaro tags in. Cesaro goes after Titus and even talks trash before giving his own EuroUppers and body shots. The Swiss Cyborg gloats but the Gator carries him corner to corner! Titus unloads more chops, then throws Cesaro across the way! The fans fire up and bark along with Titus, big corner splash. Sheamus distracts, Titus backs him down, but then Cesaro runs at him. Sheamus tags in, Titus slams Cesaro but gets clobbered by the Gladiator. The Bar has control again while we go to break.

Raw returns and Titus pries his way out of a headlock to back suplex Cesaro down. Cesaro tags Sheamus, he blasts Crews away before running Titus over. Tag back to Cesaro, The Bar whip and Bar Lariat Titus down. Cover, ONE, but Cesaro keeps Titus down. The fans build to a rally, Titus stands up but Sheamus tags in. The Bar mugs Titus, then throws him out to the floor. Sheamus distracts the ref, Cesaro stalks Titus. Titus sees him coming and boots him down! Sheamus is shocked but he goes after Titus himself now. Titus rocks him with a right hand, then another. Titus gets the hat-trick then hotshots Sheamus back. Sheamus stands up while Titus reenters, and rock shim with a knee, only for Titus to respond with a big clothesline! The fans rally with Titus Worldwide. Hot tags to Crews and Cesaro, Crews rallies! Crews mule kicks then boots, Cesaro ends up in a corner. Cesaro puts Crews on the apron but Crews knocks him away before climbing up. Flying crossbody, TWO, standing moonsault landed on his feet. Cesaro whips Crews but Crews goes up and over and handsprings back for a big leaping lariat! The fans fire up with Crews, then standing shooting star hits!

TWO! Crews drags Ceasro up but Cesaro fights back. Cesaro escapes the trophy lift then tags Sheamus, double hip toss but Crews lands through. Crews comes back, pop-up to what may Crews have meant to been headscissors but it’d double-edged as Crews hits the ground hard. Cesaro drags Crews up, but Crews revives and throws Cesaro out. Sheamsu rolls up, TWO, enziguri from Crews! Standing moonsault once more, Cesaro breaks the cover! Titus returns and throws Cesaro back out, but then Sheamus boots him down. Cesaro tags in but Crews doesn’t know, flying crossbody, roll-through, TWO! Cesaro rams Crews into a post, then feeds to Sheamus, A-Swiss-ted White Noise! The Bar wins and retains in furiously fast action!

 

Third Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: John Cena VS Finn Balor!

Either The Face that Runs the Place or the Extraordinary man who does Extraordinary Things, only ONE will go to the Elimination Chamber match!

The bell rings and the two circle. Cena hears the “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!’ chants. They tie up, Cena powers Finn to a corner but Finn turns it around. Finn honors the break and grins as he backs off. The fans cheer for Balor, which Cena takes note of. They circle again and FInn gets the waistlock, but Cena powers out to a wristlock. Finn rolls but can’t get away, Cena puts him on the mat. Finn handsprings and arm-drags to an arm-lock on Cena. Cena stands up, fans duel again, but Cena pushes Finn to ropes. They both honor the break but Cena whips. Finn reverses and arm-drags Cena a couple more times, and returns to the arm-lock. The fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” again. Cena gets up and lifts Finn, Finn slips out and runs but Cena runs him over. Cena puts Finn in a headlock and gets the takeover. Finn headscissors but Cena pops out and hits another takeover. Finn headscissors again and Cena pops out again for a third takeover. The fans duel again as Finn goes for a third headscissors. Cena blocks but Finn turns that to a ghost pin, TWO! Cena bails out and cools off while the fans fire up. He lets them know he hears them, then gets back in the ring. The two tie up again, and engage in a test of strength. They’re deadlocked but Cena eventually brings Finn to his knees. Cena glares at the booing fans but Finn gets to his feet! Finn spins around and rolls him up, TWO, Cena decks Balor with a right hand. The 16 time champion has control and Finn is dazed as we go to break.

Raw returns once again and Finn rallies but Cena runs him over again. Cena lifts Finn and slams him, then covers, TWO. Finn gets himself to a corner, Cena walks over and whips him corner to corner hard. Cena watches Finn as he slowly gets up. He whips Finn corner to corner again even harder! The fans boo and jeer and Cena plays dumb as to why. He brings Finn up again and whips him a third time, but Finn boots back now. Finn rallies with forearms on the run, then trips Cena up for double stomps! The fans fire up for Finn as he gives Cena a running chop. Then they go corner to corner but Cena fires out and rallies with his shoulder tackles. Spin-out bomb, and fans know what that means.

“You Can’t See Me,” but Finn evades the Five Knuckle. Finn says “You Can’t See ME”, then elbow-drop DDT!

TWO! Finn keeps focus, the fans are behind him as he drags Cena up. Cena counters with a fireman’s carry but Finn slips out. They brawl, haymaker after haymaker, with Philly on Finn’s side. Finn shifts to forearms and gets an edge but Cena shoves him and boots him down. Cena keeps Finn in place as he drops the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He picks Finn up, but Finn pops out to PELE! TWO! Finn keeps moving, Slingblade to Cena! Then he aims from the corner, and runs out, but into Cena’s clothesline! Philly boos and jeers again. Cena runs at Finn, Finn boots back, Finn goes for another, but Cena blocks to cradle Finn up and onto his shoulders, “Too Sweet” AA! TWO!! Cena is shocked!

The fans give back “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while Cena thinks on what to do. Cena makes his way out to the apron and lets the fans boo and jeer. He climbs up, but Finn kicks him down! Finn blasts him with the dropkick, then heads up top himself. He takes aim, COUP DE – No, Cena evaded, trips Finn, STF! Finn endures, flails, and crawls! He powers himself and gets to the ropes! Cena must let go, but the damage may have been done. Finn kicks him from the apron, then drags himself up top again. Cena revives, grabs Finn, and the fans freak out as they know what’s coming. SUPER AA!! Cena wins and moves on to Elimination Chamber! He has his ticket to Elimination Chamber, will Cena punch a ticket to Wrestlemania?

 

My Thoughts:

This was a damn good episode of Raw for following up the Rumble. Sasha logically carries over her animosity from the Women’s Rumble and heads right at Asuka, that was an incredible match the two had. Those spills Asuka and Sasha took were a bit scary, though, I almost thought Asuka was going to win by a referee’s stoppage. The Boss and Empress raise the stakes for what it takes to finally defeat Asuka even once. The Revival at least build themselves up and I continue to appreciate some of the things they say about how fans make it about themselves–see tonight’s off-camera Beach Ball Mania incident–when they should find a way to keep it about the talent. I don’t know when they’ll get tag title chances but they going up against The Bar could be a lot of fun even if neither side turns. Speaking of The Bar, they and Titus Worldwide have a great match themselves, and Crews looks like the way he did when he first arrived on Raw. The Bar wins out because there is meant to be a Raw Tag Team Championship rematch with Rollins & Jordan, but I sense the rematch will only serve to further divide the haphazard team. After that, then I wouldn’t mind seeing another chance for Titus & Apollo.

The episode also makes big inroads towards the next PPV with the Chamber qualifying matches. Braun Freaking Strowman opened tonight with the moment of the night by doing yet another thing I’d never even heard of: flipping the stage onto someone! Strowman in the Elimination Chamber is amazing in itself, he can do so much in such a structure. Social media and commentary did well to sell Kane’s side of things, but hearing the updates made me wish they would’ve done an Attitude Era style hospital scene so everyone could see Kane do the Deadman sit-up and then somehow “escape” the hospital. Elias gets quite the nod for being included in the Chamber match, and the Wyatt VS WOKEN angle continues in a somewhat logical way as Bray costs Hardy via the distraction. WWE is probably trying to build up the anticipation to when they finally present us with The Great War theatrical match, but they have to get going much faster with this or the anticipation will deflate into boredom. Then the main event was great, but even without “Cena Wins LOL”, it seemed inevitable Cena would win since Elias is in the Chamber match. Cena and Elias need to have their feud, since Elias is being the stand-in for Samoa Joe, but I just wish it wasn’t at Balor’s expense. Balor looks strong even in losing since it took the Super AA, but I’m not sure where he is going just yet. Roman VS Miz was a great match, but with Miz retaining, perhaps he and Finn can have a program with The Miztourage and Club at their sides.

My Score: 8.5/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (1/22/19)

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SmackDown prepares for the Royal Rumble in the biggest ways! Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas, 2 out of 3 Falls! Who gains momentum while breaking the tie?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Naomi VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville; Rose wins.
  • The Miz w/ Shane McMahon VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus; Cesaro wins.
  • Mustafa Ali VS Samoa Joe; Joe wins.
  • Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas; Mysterio wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Man starts off SmackDown!

Becky Lynch prepares for her shot at the Empress of Tomorrow at the Royal Rumble PPV, but she’s here in Wichita to say that there’s nothing more than she likes than being in the ring fighting. But The Man has something to say first. It wasn’t too long ago that no one paid attention to Becky. But now everyone has an opinion on who and what she should be. Becky will say this: the only thing The Man should be doing is main-eventing Wrestlemania! Fans agree with that! And she’ll slap the heads off anyone and everyone who gets in her way. That journey starts on Sunday, against Asuka. Becky’s watched Asuka clean out NXT, steamroll the main roster, and is undoubtedly one of the best. “But I’m better.”

Becky reminds us that Asuka never beat Becky for the title. And the fact that isn’t eating her up tells Becky something. The others have warmed themselves on the fire Becky lit, but things change at the Rumble. Becky has dethroned a Queen, and will break the Empress! Becky will walk through fire and brimstone- But speaking of the Empress, here comes Asuka! Asuka stands across the ring from Becky and holds up the belt. She tells Becky in Japanese that she’s not intimidated by the talk. Fans duel as these two argue, but here comes Charlotte! The Queen is going to be in the Women’s Rumble, but she has a mic to tell both Becky and Asuka tonight that “As much as I’m enjoying this, and excited for your match this Sunday”, nothing will be better than her throwing out 29 other women to win the Rumble.

And then the choices she’s got on her plate. Ronda VS Sasha, but Sasha’s someone Charlotte’s beaten so many times, and has beaten the Hell out of Ronda via “Ken” the kendo stick. Then Asuka VS Becky, Charlotte broke the Empress’ Streak, and “The Man” may have gotten her the last few months, but Charlotte has owned the division for four years. And Charlotte IS the Main Event! Charlotte lets out a “WOO~” but Asuka fires off on Becky! A brawl goes down in the ring and Charlotte watches in amusement. Fans cheer but referees come out to break this fight up! Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and they do fight, but security comes out to try their hand. It’s no good, Becky gets after Asuka now! Asuka throws Becky into barriers then stomps away! The brawl continues, and Becky throws Asuka over the announce desk!

Referees and security reprimand Becky but she uses her own jacket to whiplash Asuka over and over! The Lass Kicker stands tall, to then clobber Asuka back down! Fans are thunderous as Becky finally backs off. Asuka gets up and is furious, but she’ll have to wait for Sunday to settle things. With this level of fire inside both of them, which woman will blaze a trail down the Road to Wrestlemania?

 

The brawl continues backstage!

Asuka caught up to Becky and the fight again has to be pulled apart! Will these two even make it to Phoenix?!

 

Naomi VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!

The Glow found out about the Golden Goddess trying to seduce and humiliate her husband, but she threw down in the hotel room. This fight finishes in the ring, will Naomi make Mandy #FeeltheGlow in the strongest way? Or will Mandy dim the lights instead?

Naomi doesn’t wait for the bell! She charges through Sonya and gets right at Mandy on the ramp! She throws Mandy into the apron then into the ring. Naomi wants to keep going, but Mandy SLAPS her! The bell rings and now things are official as Naomi fires off slaps of her own! She tops it off with a backhand and Mandy rolls out. Mandy regroups with Sonya while we go picture in picture. Sonya helps Mandy catch her breath and Mandy returns. Naomi is right on Mandy but Mandy puts Naomi in the corner. Mandy stomps a mudhole then backs off at the count of 4. Naomi gets up and SLAPS Mandy! Naomi snapmares and runs for the sliding lariat! Leg drop cover, TWO! Naomi keeps on Mandy with an armlock while Mandy checks her nose.

Naomi wrenches and Mandy endures. But Naomi rubs Mandy’s face into the mat, then pulls her hair before stomping her back down. Mandy checks her nose again as Naomi scoops and slams her. Naomi runs and drops the splits! Cover, TWO! But Naomi doesn’t let up, she’s right back on Mandy with a facelock. They stand up and Naomi whips. Mandy reverses but Naomi slides and shoulders back in. Sonya runs in but gets a kick, Mandy blasts Naomi with a knee! Mandy drags Naomi up and in and covers, TWO! Mandy keeps on Naomi with a rain of right hands! She drags Naomi up for a thrashing chinlock, but now Naomi endures. Naomi fights her way up but Mandy reels her in. Naomi dodges and rolls Mandy up, TWO! Jawbreaker as we return to single picture!

Naomi roundhouses Mandy, then runs for lariats and elbows! Mandy clotheslines Naomi back down then covers, TWO! Mandy glares at Naomi as she stomps her back down. She kicks Naomi to the ropes then chokes her against them. Mandy lets up at 4 while fans boo and jeer. Mandy drags Naomi up for forearms in a corner, but backs off at 4 again. Naomi boots back, and hits the enziguri! She kicks Mandy while she’s down, then stands her up for forearms of her own! Mandy shoves Naomi away, but Naomi come back to hit a huricanrana! Mandy staggers about and Naomi runs, but is put on the apron. Naomi hits Mandy away, but Sonya anchors feet. Mandy takes advantage by shoving Naomi into the post! Cover, Mandy wins!

Winner: Mandy Rose, by pinfall

The duo formerly known as Absolution works together for victory! However, the Royal Rumble is always every superstar for themselves. Will Sonya be willing to help Mandy then? Will Mandy go into business for herself? Or will Naomi get back at both of them with an elimination?

 

Rey Mysterio speaks.

“2006, I was in the Royal Rumble match for over an hour.” He used every trick he had to survive. His speed got the better of bigger competitors. His training gave him the stamina to never slow down. And his will to keep fighting shocked the world. This Sunday, Rey looks to repeat history. But tonight is about respect as he faces Andrade Almas again. Almas took a shortcut to win, but now he won’t have La Muneca ringside. The playing field is even, and Almas will learn that in order to gain respect, he has to earn it. Who will earn massive momentum towards this year’s Royal Rumble match?

 

The Miz meets with Shane McMahon.

Is he ready? He’s ready. The Most Must-See Superstar takes on the Swiss Cyborg up next!

 

The Miz w/ Shane McMahon VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus!

The #BestTagTeamintheWorld challenges The Bar for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships on Sunday, and the Hollywood A-Lister looks for a singles sweep leading into it! He got the better of the Celtic Gladiator on Shane O’Mac’s birthday, and Shane even got to give Sheamus a Coast2Cake dropkick. Can Miz gain his team more momentum tonight? Or will Cesaro save the champs from going 0-2 against 1/3rd Best in the World?

The bell rings and Sheamus distracts right away so Cesaro can blast Miz with big European Uppercuts! Cesaro does not let up on the EuroUppers until the ref counts 4! Cesaro then deadlift gut wrenches and tosses Miz! The Swiss Cyborg taunts Shane then drags Miz up for a headlock. Miz powers out and things speed up, but Miz gets caught into a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps on Miz with a whip but Miz reverses. Miz runs, blocks the boot and kicks the leg against the ropes! Miz backs off, but runs back into another EuroUpper. Cesasro dumps Miz but Miz sunset flips to the Figure Four! Miz has Cesaro in the legendary leg lock but he heads for the ropes. Sheamus helps Cesaro get the ropebreak, then helps him escape the ring.

Miz goes for the wrecking ball dropkick, but gets another EuroUpper for it! The Bar is fired up but Shane keeps Sheamus in check while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Miz fights out of a headlock. Cesaro throws hands but Miz counter punches! Miz backs Cesaro down with rights and lefts, then kicks! Miz goes corner to corner for a dropkick! He keeps going and hits another dropkick! Miz wants a hat trick, and hits the A-List lariat! Fans fire up and Shane applauds while Sheamus panics. Miz climbs up but leaps into another EuroUpper! Cesaro has feet on the ropes but Shane stops that! Sheamus come around and runs Shane over! Miz rolls Cesaro, TWO! Cesaro swings but into a full nelson. He elbows out of the Finale and puts Miz on the ropes. Cesaro chokes, Sheamus gets a cheap shot! Gotch Neutralizer!! Cover, Cesaro wins!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

But Shane comes back with a vengeance on Sheamus! Cesaro goes after Shane but gets those same fast hands! Shane shoves Cesaro into a post, then clocks him again! Fans are riled up for Shane as he clears off the announce desk! Shane puts Cesaro on top then climbs up high. Fans are anticipating Shane’s trademark madness, but Sheamus shoves Shane down at the barriers! Sheamus drags Miz up to throw him into a post, then The Bar mugs Shane! Cesaro feeds Shane to a BROGUE!! Fans boo and jeer as The Bar stomp away on Shane, but Miz shields Shane with his body. Miz gets clubbing hands and then dragged over to the table.

Cesaro scares off the referee while Sheamus drags Shane up. The Bar work together, to body slam Shane through Miz and the table!! Fans lose their minds over this, but does this mean Shane & Miz will lose out on those titles?

 

Mustafa Ali speaks.

The Beacon of Light was meant to face the Destroyer in a match last week, but the Destroyer decided to destroy Ali before the bell ever rang! Joe left Ali for dead, but Ali being a former Chicago police officer, he doesn’t back down so easily. Ali learned that eyes tell the whole story. Joe gave Ali a beating and kept asking “Do you understand?!”

Ali understands, but it wasn’t the punching and post tosses that told him. It was Joe’s eyes. And those eyes said Ali wasn’t worthy. Those eyes said Ali was just an example being made. Those eyes said Ali was nothing in Joe’s eyes. But now Joe will have to look into Ali’s eyes and see a man with no fear. It will be a light so bright the darkness has nowhere to hide. Ali’s eyes say he can win. But will his body back up what his eyes are saying?

 

Vince McMahon sees what happened to his son.

He watches backstage as referees and medics help Shane and Miz get up. Somehow Shane and Miz are okay after what The Bar did, but Vince can’t worry about them right now. He has to keep the peace between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles in their face-to-face encounter, next!

 

Vince McMahon heads to the ring!

Wichita greets The Chairman with an ovation as he enters. He’ll hold his thoughts to himself about what just happened to Shane, but he’s sure that tag title match will be incredible. And that brings him to the two most passionate and athletic superstars on SmackDown having their own title match on Sunday. First, the challenger and former champion, The Phenomenal AJ Styles! Styles makes his entrance, and fans give him an ovation. Then, the champion himself, “The New” Daniel Bryan! Fans boo this time for the man who killed the Yes Movement.

But Bryan doesn’t stand in the ring, despite this being a “face-to-face.” Bryan claims this is a trap, and refuses to step into a ring with the “sociopath”, the same man who slammed Bryan into a bunch of “animal carcasses” last week. Bryan’s too embarrassed to stand in the same ring as a man who pandered to the people. He had a vision of the future of AJ Styles once again being WWE Champion. It is an ignorant future, an impotent future and an illiterate future! AJ Styles cannot be allowed to have the title, because he uses it for fame and fortune. Bryan uses it for the “greater good”! Greater good? Is that “Greater good” Bryan acting like a jackass?

This behavior is why the fans want Styles to be their champion. He makes them laugh and cheer and jump around, but he doesn’t make them think or feel guilty when they should feel guilty every day of their lives! Bryan doesn’t care about their feelings, because he’s not the “People’s Champion”, he’s the Planet’s Champion! The planet doesn’t need Styles, it needs Bryan to use this platform to be its voice. If the planet had a voice, it’d be shouting for Bryan to shut up. Styles doesn’t remember Bryan pedaling a bike here. He probably got on a plane to get here. There’s a word for that: fickle. Fans echo “Fickle!” at Bryan. And Bryan talks of being embarrassed? That’s not the feeling. It’s fear.

Styles stood across from many men and has seen that look in their eyes, too. Bryan is afraid of what will happen at the Royal Rumble. Bryan should be afraid. He’s corrupted himself just to have the title. But what happens when he no longer has that title? What will Bryan have left? “Nothing.” Bryan quotes Carl Sagan, but Vince insists he get in the ring. Fans say “YES! YES!” but Bryan knows Vince obviously doesn’t want to listen. The Baby Boomers are the greatest parasites of this world! These fans bow down to Vince, but they don’t realize that Vince’s entire generation just takes and takes but never gives back! They BOW to Vince for it! It’s like Vince just pulled this incredible illusion to conceal the economic debt, but fans are satisfied with social media garbage.

Meanwhile, Vince hordes the wealth and power! Vince has created such an environment where someone like Styles can be a hero! Damn it, Bryan, get in the ring! Styles knows Vince advertised a face-to-face, but that doesn’t mean it has to be in a ring. Styles chases Bryan on the outside! And catches him! Styles throws haymakers then throws Bryan into barriers! Bryan scampers away but Styles keeps on him, throwing him into steel steps! Styles puts Bryan in the ring, takes aim, and springboards, but Bryan uses Vince as a shield! Styles aborts but gets the Knee Plus for it! Fans boo as Bryan takes the belt and retreats. The New Daniel Bryan won’t have anywhere to run at the Rumble, will the real AJ Styles get that belt back?

 

R-Truth and Carmella talk about their respective Royal Rumble matches.

Truth is excited to be Mr. 30 and book his trip to face the Phenomenal AJ Styles or the New Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania. So not the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar? Brock Lesnar’s champion? No, Truth does not want to go to Sioux Falls City. No it’s Suplex City. Same thing. But Truth wouldn’t mind trying the Cruiserweight Champion, Bobby Murphy. No it’s Buddy Murphy. And there’s a weight limit to that Division, Truth. Oh so he’s fat? No he’s just not 205! As for Carmella, she encounters Charlotte. Charlotte thinks she’s just going to waltz her way into the Rumble and Mania? She wasn’t even in last year’s. This isn’t’ just any match, it’s a tornado. You gotta keep a head on the swivel and hold onto the ropes. Plus, Carmella’s Ms. 30, the #GatekeeperinGucci. No one gets through her.

Charlotte tells Carmella it’s fine to be confident. Being 30th is an advantage, but Charlotte is Charlotte. And with a trip to Mania on the line, the match isn’t a tornado, Charlotte is. Who will survive their respective Rumble matches to headline the Greatest Show in Sports Entertainment?

 

Mustafa Ali VS Samoa Joe!

The Beacon of Light said his peace, but The Destroyer’s expression says it all for him on his way out. This match will finally happen, who will send the biggest message this close to the Royal Rumble?

SmackDown returns as Ali makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. Ali and Joe approach and Joe throws those swift jabs! Joe stomps Ali in the corner, then grinds his boot in. He scrapes Ali out of the ring, then pursues while trash talking. Joe stand Ali for a CHOP, and Ali staggers to the ramp. Joe drags Ali up and says Ali still doesn’t understand. He throws Ali at the post but Ali hops up to fly back for a crossbody! Ali keeps on Joe with fast hands, and both men get in the ring. Ali dropkicks Joe down, then throws haymakers! The ref counts and backs Ali off, but Joe CHOPS Ali off his feet! Joe drags Ali up and headbutts him back down.

Joe drags Ali up by his hair to then throw into buckles. He runs but misses, Ali forearms him away! Ali slingshots but into throat chops! Ali crashes and burns, we go picture in picture. Joe leaves Ali down and out while a ring count climbs. But Joe then goes out to fetch Ali with a grin, and drags him up for roundhouses. Joe paces around Ali like a shark with blood in the water before putting Ali back in. He rains down rights and stomps on Ali, still smirking. He sits Ali up into an arm surfboard and digs a knee into Ali’s back. Ali endures and powers up to fight out! He runs, but into Joe’s elbow! Joe glares down at the dazed Ali before covering, TWO! Ali lives but Joe is just annoyed. Joe drives his elbow into Ali’s head, then looms over him menacingly.

Joe puts Ali in a corner and gives more jabs and elbows. He stops at 4, but Ali crawls after Joe. Joe says Ali asked for this, and throws hands, but Ali counter punches! Ali backs Joe down then whips, but Joe reverses. Joe runs in for the back elbow and Pele! Ali goes down, Joe covers, TWO! Joe grows further annoyed, but he just smirks as he looks down at Ali. He drags Ali up for a neck wrench, but Ali endures again. Fans rally up and Ali powers up. Ali fights back but Joe knees low and backs Ali down. Joe whips corner to corner but Ali slips out to hit back. Ali slingshots for the facebuster! But he’s too tired to cover! Fans rally up as the ref counts. Both men stir and stand.

Ali ducks the punch to dropkick Joe back! And another dropkick sends Joe out. Ali builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit! Joe staggers but Ali pursues, but Joe puts him in the timekeeper’s area. Ali returns with a leaping crossbody! He tackles Joe down and rains down rights! Ali drags Joe up but Joe shoves him into the ring. Joe returns but Ali kicks and SUPERKICKS, and SUPERKICKS again! Joe staggers, Ali leaps, tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Ali can’t believe Joe lives, but he doesn’t’ give up. He drags Joe over to a drop zone and climbs up. Joe trips Ali up, then drags him into the Coquina Clutch! Ali flails but Joe drops down with the body scissors! Ali taps, Joe wins!

Winner: Samoa Joe, by submission

But Joe won’t let go until Ali falls asleep! Joe sends his message to Ali and the other 28 superstars entering the Men’s Rumble. Will Joe destroy the entire field? Or will there be a shining light in his way?

 

The New Day do Royal Rumble research.

They watch the many saves of Kofi Kingston’s career. Kayla Braxton comes in to ask them about The New Day going every man for himself. Everyone asks this question! Tom Phillips, Renee Young, Mike Rome, now Kayla? Is Tony Chimel gonna ask next? He does! Chimel, be gone! Be gone, Chimel! “Every man for himself”, but that doesn’t matter to The New Day. When one of them wins, they all win! Now, they’ll dog walk erryone, but Kofi wonders if this is the year he can’t save himself. Woods and Big E keep Kofi’s chin up, and Kofi gets an idea. He has a new idea! But he’s not telling you, Kayla. Kayla, no no no. What will Kofi do to keep himself in the Rumble this time? Will this finally be the year he actually wins?

 

Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Rey Mysterio VS Andrade Almas!

The King of Lucha Libre and El Idolo have gone back and forth, and now they’ll settle things in the main event before the Royal Rumble! Without Zelina Vega, can Almas stay tranquilo? Or will Mysterio show Cien how it’s done?

The bell rings and we begin the first fall. Almas and Mysterio approach and Almas fires of kicks and punches. He whips and elbows Mysterio down, then drags Mysterio up for a shove. Mysterio kicks back then runs again, but into a torture rack. Almas swings but Mysterio makes it an arm-drag! Mysterio aims at Almas on the outside for a flying huricanrana! Almas is down and we go to break!

SmackDown returns again, and Almas looms over Mysterio. Almas whips but Mysterio reverses, only to be put on the apron. Mysterio shoulders in then swing kicks Almas away. Almas is dazed while Mysterio catches his breath. Mystiero springboards for the seated senton! He keeps moving to springboard again but into a dropkick! Cover, TWO! Almas keeps his cool as he drags Mysterio back up. Almas hammerlocks but Mysterio slips out to sunset flip DESTROYER! Cover, TWO! Mysterio keeps calm and heads to a corner. He hops up as Almas crawls over, flying wheelbarrow to victory roll, but Almas counters! TWO, and Almas puts Mysterio on the top rope. Mysterio adjusts but Almas trips him up! Almas climbs now, but Mysterio trips him up!

Mysterio goes to the outside, CHOPS Almas, then climbs up to join him. Almas fights Mysterio then gets a fireman’s carry. Mysterio stops Almas, then adjusts to SUPER- No, the Steiner is blocked to a SUPER SIT-OUT POWERBOMB!! Cover, Almas gets the first fall!

Almas – 1; Mysterio – 0

But this is just the first! The second fall begins, but both men have already given so much. Fans know “This is Awesome!” as both men catch their breath. Almas stands while Mysterio leans on the ropes. The ref gives the signal, and Almas kicks Mysterio. Powerbomb lift, rebound, another sit-out! Cover, TWO!! Mysterio survives this bomb, but Almas just fires himself up. Almas drags Mysterio up for another bomb, but Mysterio pops through for another DESTROYER!! Cover, Mysterio gets the second fall!

Almas – 1; Mysterio – 1

Things are tied up faster than a hiccup, and now it all comes down to this third and final fall! Both men are down and catching their breath, so we go to one last break.

SmackDown returns once more, and Mysterio dodges Almas in the corner! Almas crashes and burns from corner to floor! Mysterio recovers in the ring while Almas is down and out. Mysterio takes aim, builds up speed, and slides, but into the facelock! Almas drags Mysterio out but Mysterio shoves him into barriers. Mysterio adds an enziguri, but the 10 count climbs. Mysterio returns to the ring at 6, but he’s not gonna leave Almas alone. Sliding sunset bomb into the barriers! Mysterio drags himself away from Almas and gets himself some water. Fans are loving this as Mysterio returns to Almas. He puts Almas in the ring then takes aim from the apron. Fans fire up as he springboards, West Coast Pop! Cover, TWO!! Almas lives but both he and Mysterio are exhausted.

Fans rally up with chants of “619!”, and Mysterio goes to Almas at the apron. Almas drags Mysterio into the draping armbar! Almas lets go at 4, and fans boo as Almas fires himself up. He goes after Mysterio, and throws him into buckles hard. Almas soaks up the heat, and even shimmies like Latino Heat, as he drags Mysterio up. He throws Mysterio at the corner again but Mysteiro stops himself. Mysterio puts Almas on the apron but Almas forearms him back. Almas shoulders in but into Mysterio’s knee. Mysteiro slingshots for another sunset flip powerbomb, but Almas back flips through! Mysterio rolls up but into a bomb to the post! ALmas puts Mysterio in fast, drags him up, hammerlock DDT! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Mysterio survives and Almas cannot believe it! Almas grits his teeth while fans rally for Mysterio again.

Almas goes after Mysterio’s arm with a Fujiwara! Mysterio endures and rolls around, but Almas holds on. Almas brings Mysterio back down but Mysterio refuses to quit. Mysterio drags himself over but Almas drags him away! Almas adds leverage with his legs but fans cheer Mysterio on. Mysterio keeps moving, rolls through, but Almas pushes for a cover. ONE, and Mysterio springs up to the ropes. But Almas trips him up, only for Mysterio to make it a roll up! TWO, and Almas quickly puts Mysterio up on his shoulders. Mysterio hits a reverse-rana! He crawls to a cover, TWO! Both men are exhausted, but Mysterio forces himself back tot he apron. Springboard huricanrana puts Almas on the ropes! Mysterio dials it up, 619 connects! But wait, Samoa Joe!? He apron bombs Mysterio!!

Winners: Rey Mysterio, by disqualification

Mysterio gets the second fall but not the way anyone wanted! But Joe isn’t just after him, he goes right after Almas, too! He throws Almas right into the post, then goes back to Mysterio on the outside. Joe puts Mysterio in the ring, and drags him into the Coquina! Mysterio can’t tap, he’s got nothing left! Joe lets Mysterio go and demands a microphone. “I told you people I came here to make a statement!” And what he just did is exactly what he’ll do to 24 other Rumble entrants. “Because my name is Samoa Joe”– RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!! The Viper returns after being gone for weeks! Randy Orton is another of the Rumble participants, is he going to be the one in Joe’s way?

 


 

My Thoughts:

What a great SmackDown go-home! We have another opening talk segment, but it was to great effect with Charlotte coming out to stake her claim, and then we get that awesome brawl. It was great to have the return from commercial have even more brawling, it really boosts the heat between Becky and Asuka. I’ve been talking about a Triple Threat at Mania, but it really is a shame if it’ll be at the expense of Asuka. The title match will be great, but a part of me wouldn’t mind if Asuka retained and Becky found a different way to go after Ronda. And with hyping Charlotte and Carmella for the Women’s Rumble, I bet Charlotte wins after all to complete the Triple Threat.

Naomi VS Mandy was a surprisingly good match, but that recap package, I feel like this entire story has been about paralleling USA Network’s original reality show, Temptation Island. Ugh. Things like this are why it’ll be better for SmackDown to get on Fox. But as for this story, it’s probably not over since Mandy and Sonya had to cheat. Naomi might find herself a tag team partner to go against them both, and even be part of the Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber match, and that will serve as the blow-off.

Vince McMahon’s presence was better used here than on Raw. He helped the show transition from the great Miz VS Cesaro and subsequent beat down into the champion-challenger face-to-face. With the beating The Bar gave Miz and Shane, I’m really hoping Miz and Shane win the belts. It’s not burying The Bar but pushing the Miz-Shane story further. I almost don’t want them to fight each other now, Miz and Shane are doing pretty good together, but it might still happen. And then things can truly be freshened up in the SmackDown Tag Division so a team like SAnitY or Heavy Machinery can come into prominence. Then the Styles-Bryan face-to-face was good, with Bryan’s newest Eco-Heel promo and Vince just not having any of it. Bryan gets away while standing tall, I wonder if that means Styles wins.

Ali VS Joe was good, but naturally Joe won. Ali is talented, and he had a great video promo a la his 205 Live promos, but he’s just not at the level to defeat Joe yet. Mysterio VS Almas was incredible, but Joe attacking at the end was both awful and perfect. Mysterio VS Almas can’t settle just yet, not on a go-home, and Joe makes himself a real threat for the Rumble. But wow, what a great way for Orton to return! RKO Outta Nowhere is classic and effective. I don’t really want Orton to win the Rumble, but there were rumors of Orton VS Styles at Mania. Even if Rollins wins to give us Finn VS Rollins 2, Orton can still find a way through Elimination Chamber or Fastlane. It’s not really the match I want, but it might be coming after all.

My Score: 8.5/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (1/21/19)

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Raw Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey, defends her title at the Royal Rumble, but she first tests the waters against Sasha Banks in tag team action!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Finn Balor VS Braun Strowman; Finn wins, by disqualification.
  • Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Apollo Crews; Lashley wins.
  • Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre; Rollins wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Lucha House Party VS Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers; Lucha House Party wins.
  • Elias VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • Heavy Machinery VS The Ascension; Heavy Machinery wins.
  • Raw Tag Team Championships, Special Referee: Curt Hawkins; Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Revival; Roode & Gable win and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
  • Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS Sasha Banks & Bayley; Banks & Bayley win.

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE honors Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream.

WWE has a 10 bell salute for this great man and his fight for “love and justice between fellow human beings.” #LongLivetheDream

 

The Beast returns to Raw!

The Royal Rumble approaches, and that means a WWE Universal Championship match comes with it! Paul Heyman has a mic and while fans boo and jeer, he again introduces himself as The Advocate for “the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK LESNAR!!” And to get down to business: on last week’s Raw, in front of a global television audience, Finn Balor pinned John Cena. It was not a fluke, it was not controversial, it was simply Finn Balor stepping up and seizing the moment. “So much so” that John Cena took to the mic to say he believes in Finn. Cena should, because the WWE Universe has declared “We Believe in Finn!” And the WWE Universe should, because even Paul Heyman believes in Finn!

Heyman gives Finn credit where credit is due, because even Finn believes in Phoenix, he will do the very same thing he’s always done: capitalizing on fate and opportunity. And not just in any match, but a title match. Not just any title match, but a Universal Championship match. And not just against any Universal Champion, but against Brock Lesnar, who trained to prepare for Braun Strowman. Lesnar wont’ defend against the temperamental Monster Among Men but against a man with a completely different style. And that is why Finn believes in Finn, and why Heyman believes Finn believes in Finn. And that’s why when Finn says this himself, you should listen to him, for he is the voice that matters.

However, Heyman’s is the voice that martyrs. At the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar will make Finn into that martyr, “sacrificed for the sin of making you believe he can conquer the unconquerable”! Sacrificed for believing Finn can take what Lesnar’s got! Sacrificed for thinking Finn is a “Slim Reaper” who will slay The Beast. But here comes that spoiler alert for Raw and the Rumble: “Even miracles fear Brock Lesnar.” Sunday, Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona, THE Royal Rumble PPV, Brock Lesnar will put to bed the “ridiculous notion” that Finn Balor even belongs in the same ring, with Finn looking up from the mat saying “Oh my God, I believe in Brock Lesnar.” But wait, that’s Vince McMahon! And The Chairman heads straight for the ring!

Vince takes up a mic and with fans cheering him, he tells Heyman that he’s actually going easy on Finn. That was some old school promoter style drumming up of business. Heyman saying FInn stands no chance against Lesnar is rather passe. Now you should try David and Goliath. One day, David went out, ate all the mushrooms, and thought he could take on a big nasty giant. He did, and Goliath beat the hell out of David, until he was reincarnated as Finn. What? Vince says Finn earned his opportunity, and both men have their fans, but even in “Hillbilly Land” Oklahoma City, the fans know- What’s wrong? He’s speaking too fast. Well if any fans actually believe Finn will win, then you all believe in fairy tales. But this is no fairy tale, this is BRAUN!!

The Monster Among Men may not get Lesnar at the Rumble, but he wants Lesnar now! Vince asks Strowman what the hell he thinks he’s doing out here, but Strowman and Lesnar are too busy staring down. Fans chant “Get These Hands!” while Lesnar grins and gives Strowman space to enter. Strowman has his own mic and says “Last Monday was the worst night of my life, thanks to Baron Corbin.” $100,000 and a title match down the drain. But that was also the luckiest night of Lesnar’s life. If Lesnar still has the title after Sunday, Strowman will be waiting on the other side to rip Lesnar up like that limousine! Vince warns Strowman, he’s lucky to still have a job. But here comes Finn Balor! The Extraordinary Man smiles but so does Lesnar as Finn joins everyone in the ring.

Finn says “Same old Monday Night Raw.” Braun doing Braun things, while Finn’s the guy who beat three other men, including the GOAT, John Cena. Heyman says he’s the second greatest, behind Lesnar. Well Finn still earned his opportunity against Lesnar. As for Vince, he may not believe in Finn, because he doesn’t leave in fairy tales, but Finn does. And Balor Club believes. And at the Royal Rumble, Finn will take back his Universal Championship! Strowman says he definitely could’ve beat Lesanr, and has no idea if Finn could, but he better. Finn appreciates the support, but keep your nose out of his business because he’ll do what Strowman hasn’t. Lesnar laughs as he wants to leave but Vince says Lesnar should stick around for this.

Finn tells Vince has the story backwards. David stood up to Goliath and everyone laughed at him. But they didn’t know who David was, and what he was made of. Goliath fell face down in the dirt, BOOM. And no one was laughing after that. Vince has an idea: Lesnar should be ringside to watch this real-life David VS Goliath! Finn VS Strowman, even Vince will stick around for this! Will Finn prove the story true? Or will Strowman prove he should still be the man to face The Beast?

 

Finn Balor VS Braun Strowman!

Raw returns and Finn jawbreakers free of Strowman’s grip! Strowman knees low but runs into a dropkick! He stays standing and runs at Finn in the corner. Finn dodges and kicks him back! Lesnar laughs and Strowman gets distracted. Finn SLAPS Strowman, and that only angers Strowman! Finn goes for the legs but gets clubbed down. Strowman drags Finn up but Fin n lips free. Finn boots Strowman but his slingblade is denied! Strowman clubs Finn down again! Strowman kicks Finn out of the ring but fans rally up for Finn. Finn drags himself up but Strowman runs out to run him over! Even Lesnar was impressed by that.

Strowman drags Finn back into the ring, then stalks Finn to a corner. He squashes Finn with a splash then hauls Finn up. Finn slips out and gets to a corner but gets another splash! Cover, TWO! Finn lives but Strowman keeps his cool. Strowman clamps on a nerve hold and Finn endures the grip on his shoulder. Fans rally and Finn stands, only to be headbutt out of the ring. Strowman goes for another lap, but Finn slingblades him! Lesnar is now impressed by that. Finn hurries back in the ring and the ring count begins. Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” as the count rises to 5. Strowman stands and shakes it off to enter at 7, but Finn dodges in the corner.

Finn comes back with forearms, but Strowman only staggers. Finn keeps trying but Strowman grabs him! Strowman scoops but Finn slips into a sleeper hold! Finn holds on tight but Strowman backs him into buckles. But Finn hops back on! Strowman drops to a knee, but pries Finn’s arms away! Finn drives elbows in fast and furious! Fans fire up as Strowman falls back, Finn double stomps! Finn fires up and climbs. He makes sure Lesnar is watching, but Strowman grabs Finn to throw him at Lesnar! For Lesnar to throw overhead! Finn just took a quick visit to Suplex City, then he gets in the ring with Strowman. The match-up we were meant to get might go down here, but Finn trips Lesnar to dropkick him into a post!

Finn gets back in the ring with Strowman, builds up speed and FLIES onto Lesnar! Lesnar’s down but Finn has Strowman still chasing him. They go around and into the ring, and Finn throws hands. Finn runs, slingblade again! Finn dropkicks Lesnar out of the ring, then goes out to dropkick him into barriers! Fans are thunderous for Finn as he grits his teeth. But Strowman grabs Finn by his head and hauls him right up! Strowman hip tosses Finn in, but misses in the corner to hit post! Finn runs back at him for a shotgun dropkick! Strowman’s down, Finn climbs up and fans fire up with him. COUP DE GRACE! But Lesnar attacks! F5!!

Winner: Finn Balor, by disqualification

Finn wins here but not the way he wanted. The Beast is mad, but will he just be the Goliath to Finn’s David?

 

Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush head to the ring!

The Rocky Mountain Machine is the NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion, and both Men of the Hour had a part in making it happen. Lio Rush praises Bobby Lashley as being better than both Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Lashley is also better than everyone else in the locker room. Lio and Lashley aren’t issuing an open challenge, open challenges are for kids. Lashley is a professional fighter. A fighter! They don’t do this for fun, but for the money. They are here to celebrate, and what better way than for Lashley to stand on a podium and show off his physique? Lashley stands on the podium while Lio puts the title on Lashley’s waist so everyone can see why Lashley IS The All Mighty! Hit the lights!

Lashley stands in the spotlight as Lio straps the belt on him. Lashley flexes but Apollo Crews comes out! Apollo joins Lio and Lashley in the ring with his own mic. He congratulates Lashley on becoming the new champion. There’s no doubt that Lashley is a stud, just look at him. But let’s be real: no one paid money to see Lashley pose. They paid money to see Lashley compete. Now Apollo knows this isn’t going to be a title match, but how about they lock up? Lio says Apollo is not in Lashley’s league! But hey, maybe if Apollo wins in a pose off, he’ll get a match. Pose off? What? Apollo doesn’t know how to do that. Well judging from his track record, he doesn’t know how to be champion, either!

Lashley stands on the podium again, the spotlight hits, and we get the double guns! Apollo mocks the flexing as he gives a little pop-lock action! And some Hulkster and Savage. Lashley takes another turn for the side chest. Only Lio is impressed. Apollo takes another turn, and winds it up for his own side pose! Fans like Apollo way better. Lashley takes one more turn, for his Most Muscular! Lio thinks Lashley has won this, but Apollo gets his final turn, for a spin and flex. And Lashley attacks! Lashley whips Apollo but Apollo throws Lashley out instead! And then Lio gets caught, for a trophy lift toss at Lashley! Apollo flexes and Lashley is furious! Will Apollo get his match after all?

 

Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Apollo Crews!

Raw returns, and yes he does! But Lashley also has Apollo in a bearhug. Apollo endures the squeeze and fights out with haymakers. He runs but Lashley follows, to get Apollo with a complete shot! Cover, TWO! Lashley keeps his cool and drags Apollo up into a corner. He throws hands and whips corner to corner. Lashley rams his shoulder in, then hauls Apollo up top. Apollo kicks Lashley away to then missile dropkick him down! Both men slowly stir and stand, and Apollo mule kicks and boots. Lashley swings but misses while Apollo hits a leaping lariat! Apollo kips up and fans fire up with him. Apollo climbs up and aims, but Lashley gets under. Lashley runs but Apollo leaps over! Roll up, TWO!

Apollo raises the roof because he raises Lashley in a trophy lift! Apollo drops Lashley but it took a lot out of him, too. He manages to stand first, though, and drags Lashley up. Apollo tries again, and gets a proper drop. Lio protests and distracts, so that Lashley has time to avoid Apollo’s moonsault. Apollo dodges to enziguri Lashley down, but Lio distracts again. Apollo tosses Lio in but Lio runs around and dodges. But Lio gets caught into another trophy lift, only for Lashley to SPEAR Apollo! Cover, Lashley wins!

Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall

The 24 Year Old Piece of Gold pays dividends again as he helps Lashley leave Apollo down and out. But they don’t get time to celebrate this win, because here comes Seth Rollins! Oklahoma City is ready to #BurnItDown, but The Architect isn’t here for Lashley. Rollins has a match with Drew McIntyre, and wants that match next. Will Rollins gain some major momentum going into THE Royal Rumble match?

 

Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre!

Raw returns as Rollins takes up the mic. “Today we celebrate the life and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Even now, perhaps especially now, we can learn a lot from him. MLK once said a measure of a man is not where he stands in times of convenience, but in times of challenge and controversy. Rollins feels like he’s in times of challenges and controversy. He had two titles and two brothers, but now he’s got none of either. But life isn’t about what we don’t have, it’s about what we do have. What Rollins has is what he’s always had, and it’s the business. As long as Rollins has the ring, the fans and the fire, he’ll win the Royal Rumble! Even saying it out loud makes it sound like a crazy long shot, but Rollins has always been about long shots.

Rollins knows he’s not huge or powerful, but he’s from a small town much like Oklahoma City. His parents were working class, he could’ve been working in a factory, on a farm or driving a truck himself. But the reason he’s not is because of this feeling. Love, passion, determination, whatever it is isn’t just in his chest but ingrained in his soul! Long shot, sure. Thirty men putting it all on the line to headline Wrestlemania. But Rollins promises to be one man left standing and going to Wrestlemania, and that is THE MAN, “Seth Freakin’ Rollins!” But now, the Scottish Terminator makes his entrance.

McIntyre tells Rollins that he’s going to kick his head off tonight, but he must also offer a rebuttal. McIntyre does not stand idly by as Rollins lies to the fans! Rollins is not winning the Rumble, and it’s just Rollins’ style. His reckless abandon will get him eliminated. But what would happen if Rollins harnessed that same passion into the body of a Terminator? That’s “Drew Freakin’ McIntyre!” This means everything to Rollins, so McIntyre hopes they’re the final two, because McIntyre wants to see the look in Rollins’ eyes when he’s thrown out and hears the announcement that the winner is Drew McIntyre! Fire fights fire, after the break!

Raw returns as McIntyre runs back into the ring, only for Rollins to clothesline him back out. Rollins then builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit floors McIntyre, but Rollins puts him back in quick. Rollins springboards and hits a flying clothesline! Cover, ONE! Rollins keeps his cool as he CHOPS McIntyre at the ropes. He whips but McIntyre reverses, only for Rollins to kick him away. Rollins elbows McIntyre, then puts him out all the way tot he floor. McIntyre clutches his back while Rollins assesses the situation. Rollins climbs up high, aims from the post, and leaps! But McIntyre sends him into barriers! McIntyre wraps Rollins around the post and pulls back! He lets up at 4 to then cover Rollins, TWO!

McIntyre keeps on Rollins with an armlock, but fans rally up. Rollins feeds off the energy but McIntyre throws him down by his hair. McIntyre returns to the armlock and adds a chinbar. Fans continue to rally and Rollins powers up again. Rollins jawbreakers free! Rollins runs but into a big elbow from McIntyre! Cover, TWO! McIntyre stalks Rollins and drags him up for a CHOP of his own! McIntyre stomps away on Rollins while fans cheer Rollins on. Rollins throws haymakers and whips, but McIntyre reverses hard! Rollins tumbles up then down, McIntyre covers, TWO! McIntyre stomps Rollins more, then chops Rollins to a corner before tossing him overhead! Cover, TWO! McIntyre turns to the armlock to keep Rollins down.

Fans continue to rally for Rollins and Rollins fights up again. Rollins whips but McIntyre reverses, then kicks Rollins out of the air! Rollins rolls out but McIntyre pursues. McIntyre chops Rollins then drags him up for the Inverted Alabama Slam to the floor! The Terminator dominates and smirks while we go to break.

Raw returns again and both men slowly stand as fans declare “This is Awesome!” Both men start chopping away, but then Rollins runs and dodges to slingblade! He boots McIntyre out of the corner and hits a blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Rollins grits his teeth while fans fire up again. He goes back to McIntyre for a powerbomb but McIntyre back drops. Rollins sunset flips, TWO! McIntyre flips Rollins around for his own powerbomb lift, but Rollins huricanranas! Cover, TWO! Rollins runs, tilt-o-whirl to Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives but Rollins keeps his focus. Rollins gets to the ropes to stomp, “Burn It Down!” Fans chant and Rollins mule kicks. Rollins runs but misses the stomp! McIntyre clubs and scoops but Rollins lands on his feet to shove McIntyre into buckles!

Rollins puts McIntyre up top backwards, but McIntyre elbows him away. Rollins hops up to swing kick McIntyre into the Tree of Woe! He climbs but McIntyre sit sup for a suplex! But Rollins gets back up and runs in, only to miss! McIntyre gets up and runs, but into a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre lives but both he and Rollins are down. OKC again says “This is Awesome!” as they both stand. Rollins and McIntyre brawl and chop and forearm back and forth. Rollins gets an edge but walks into the Glasgow Kiss! McIntyre is too dazed to cover, but he gets himself back up. McIntyre drags Rollins up for a fireman’s carry, and then climbs a corner. He prepares Rollins, for a SUPER Celtic Cross! Cover, TWO!! But right into a sit-out bomb!! Cover, TWO!? Rollins shocks McIntyre and OKC!

McIntyre crawls over to Rollins and drags him up again. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” but this has to end. McIntyre swings Rollins but Rollins rolls him up, Rollins wins!!

Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall

The Architect survives to surprise the Terminator! Can Rollins surprise everyone by keeping his word of winning the Men’s Royal Rumble match?

 

The Revival plead their case to Vince McMahon.

First there was the pin on the wrong man, and then there was the missed ropebreak, they are feeling robbed! Vince wants to know what they’re after. The Revival wants one last chance at the titles, with a very special guest referee. Someone who has 20/20 vision and is going to call it right down the middle. But then Curt Hawkins comes by and wants one more shot to break his own Streak. Maybe Hawkins should be the Revival’s referee. Well Hawkins does know three counts. Vince makes the deal, and The Revival make nice with Hawkins. Will the History Factory be the man to help The Revival get justice?

 

Dean Ambrose speaks.

“Earlier tonight, a certain Architect quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” It was cute, made Ambrose tear up, but another quote from MLK is that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. And it is an injustice that Ambrose is not Intercontinental Champion right now. Rollins and “Bend Over’ Bobby, he’s coming for you both at the Royal Rumble. He’ll chop them in the throat and kick them in the balls, and then dump them both out of the ring. 2018 was not Ambrose’s year, after he spent half of it in the hospital. He owes it to himself to win this year’s Rumble, it will be his Miracle on Ice. Ambrose vows to own the Road to Wrestlemania, and justice will be served. Will the Moral Compass redirect Raw down the right path? Or just down his path?

 

Six Man Tag: Lucha House Party VS Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers!

Kalisto, Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado have had a lot of fun since forming, and it’s even led Kalisto to the Cruiserweight Championship this Sunday. But there’s no room for fun with The Modern Day Maharaja and his Bollywood Boys. Which trio will make big inroads towards titles on their own Road to Wrestlemania?

Mahal starts against the Golden Lynx, but Lince has to worry about Samir & Sunil. Mahal puts Lince in a corner but backs off at 4. He swings but Lince dodges to kick away. Mahal pushes and scoops Lince to slam him down! He wraps Lince in a chinlock and the Singhs want in. Mahal tags Samir and they mug Lince. Samir gets an atomic drop and dropkick from Lince but tags in brother Sunil. Sunil runs but into a big back drop! Lince CHOPS Sunil then tags Kalisto. Kalisto gets help for an elevated splash, Lince adds the planking! Cover, ONE! Kalisto keeps on Sunil with a CHOP, then an acrobatic arm-drag! Sunil runs but into another arm-drag. Sunil grabs Kailsto’s mask to whip Kalisto hard out of the ring, then tags Mahal.

Mahal drags Kalisto into the ring, covers, ONE! Mahal keeps on Kalisto with a rough chinlock, but fans “Lucha! Lucha!” Tag to Sunil and he wraps on a headlock. Kalisto endures as Sunil leans on him. Kalisto powers out but gets caught short of his corner. Sunil hits Lince, Kalisto hits a heel kick! Both men are down and crawling, hot tag to Gran Metalik! The King of the Ropes springboards to crossbody, then springboards to triangle dropkick Samir and Mahal! Metalik handsprings but Sunil dodges, only to run into a scoop backbreaker! Cover, Lucha House Party wins!

Winner: Lucha House Party, Gran Metalik by pinfall

Mahal is furious but the fiesta is rolling in Oklahoma City! Will this victory help the luchadores head for tag titles? And what of Kalisto’s own title match at the Royal Rumble?

 

Dana Brooke is impressed by EC3’s Top One Percent physique.

She asks him fitness and match preparation tips, but The Drifter passes by. EC3 does his best to explain his “alone time” to Dana, but we’re getting Elias next!

 

Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.

Oklahoma City is glad to see him and hear his guitar playing. “Brothers and sisters, 2019 is going to be an incredible year.” Elias will win the Royal Rumble but there will be more rivers to cross and mountains to climb. No matter how far he goes, there will always be a truth that brings him back: that WWE stands for “Walk With Elias!” OKC knows that. As for tonight, Elias has a song that might be his finest work yet. Elias sets to playing but Baron Corbin walks out to interrupt. Fans boo the Lone Wolf but he tells them to shut up, too. Corbin tells Elias that he ratted Strowman out and almost got Corbin killed. Fans like that, though. Corbin realizes Vince is right that OKC is a bunch of hillbillies. But Corbin is going to put Elias in his place!

Elias doesn’t know what world Corbin is living in, but he’s not the Raw GM. So Elias is gonna sing that song after all. Corbin keeps talking over Elias, but Elias has Corbin’s mic cut. Elias likes that. He’s skipping his Rumble song to sing a new one. “Baron interrupts my performance. Will this ever end? Baron against Elias, do we really need to see that again?” At the Royal Rumble, Corbin stands no chance, Elias sees it clear. So Corbin needs to shut his mouth, so that he can hear: Nobody cares, people are tired. Why does Corbin still wear that stupid vest? Remember, he got fired! Fans remind Corbin that, “You Got Fired!” But Corbin rushes Elias! Only to narrowly avoid the guitar shot! Elias and Corbin will throw down again, who gets the last word before the Rumble?

 

Elias VS Baron Corbin!

Raw returns and Elias goes Old School but for an arm-drag! Corbin bails out but Elias wrecks him with a dropkick! Fans fire up with Elias as Elias rams Corbin into barriers. Corbin retreats to the ring but Elias is on him on the apron. They brawl, Elias blocks a kick but gets pushed into the post! Elias goes down in a heap and Corbin acts like he’s already won something. Corbin drags Elias back up and throws him face first into the post. He puts Elias in the corner, then rains down rights. Fans rally up for Elias while taunting Corbin with “You Got Fired!” Corbin tunes the fans out but Elias hits back with body shots. Elias whips but Corbin slides out then in to lariat! Cover, TWO! Corbin grows frustrated, but trash talks the fans first.

Corbin throws Elias out but Elias stays on the apron. Elias hits back, then shoulders in, then jumps over Corbin’s slide. Corbin comes back in but into a leaping knee! Inverted swinging neckbreaker, TWO! Elias grows frustrated but he stomps away on Corbin. The referee backs him off, but Elias comes back to whip. Corbin holds the ropes and the ref backs Elias off again, only for Corbin to rock Elias with a right! End of Days! Cover, Corbin wins!

Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall

The fans don’t like it, but Corbin did win. Corbin rolls on towards the Rumble, will he be the End of Days for 29 other superstars?

 

It’s time for another Moment of Bliss!

The Goddess appears on her set and takes a seat before picking up her custom mic. Alexa welcomes the fans back to her show, and notes that Sunday will have the Women’s Rumble match for a chance to main event Wrestlemania. As such, this Royal Rumble edition will present just some of the 30 participants for that match. Obviously there will be Carmella, who won the right to be Ms. 30, but there are also the IIconics, the Riott Squad, the Samoan Dynasty, Ember Moon, Zelina Vega, Nikki Cross, Alicia Fox, Bayley and Charlotte Flair. As for Alexa’s guest, her best friend and worst enemy, and perhaps the odds on favorite for the Rumble, Nia Jax! The Irresistible Force is all smiles as she joins Alexa on set.

Alexa cuts to the chase. Nia winning means choosing either champion to face at Wrestlemania. Which brand would Nia choose? But before she can give a proper answer, Ember Moon appears! The Goddess did not invite the War Goddess here. Ember snatches Nia’s mic and Nia tosses a chair over. But Ember says she got tired of waiting for an invitation that would never come. She is making her mark, and vows to win the Women’s Rumble. But the Captain, Alicia Fox, comes out. She snatches the mic and tells everyone that as Captain of the Women’s Division, she’s setting a course for Wrestlemania. It starts by going through the other 29 women this Sunday. But then Mickie James appears! She thinks it’s “super cute” they’re all arguing, but Mickie stole the show at Mania once, and looks to do it again.

The four women argue, but out come The Riott Squad! Alexa wants a little bit of control on her own show. She gets up on her chair to shout for them all to stop. This is HER show, okay!? Hers! If this becomes some kind of brawl, they’re all embarrassing themselves as catty women, but also they’re ruining this show’s reputation! Everyone hears Alexa out, until Nia starts trouble with a shove! The women all brawl, and Nikki Cross is even in the mix without being an official member of Raw! Referees hurry to get them tot he back, but that only puts the brawl into the gorilla position! Nikki throws Ruby around while Ember tackles Nia into the curtains! Alexa is at a loss for words. The only thing she can say is that the entrants this year are very passionate.

But this Moment of Bliss will be one we won’t ever forget: because Alexa is officially back in action in the Women’s Rumble! But wait, it’s Lacey Evans! The Lady of NXT turned the Model Soldier says “What a bunch of nasty, classless little girls” she just saw. Luckily for the WWE Universe, the winner of this year’s Women’s Rumble will not be some sawed off girly little runt, i.e Alexa. It will be Lacey, a “classy, sophisticated lady.” Lacey leaves Alexa speechless even more than that brawl. But has she only incurred the wrath of the Goddess?

 

Titus O’Neil speaks.

Many think him winning the Royal Rumble will be nothing short of a miracle, but luckily he believes in miracles. And that is why Titus enters the Rumble- Hey, who is that interrupting his shot? Just walking in and then out? Well excuse you! But will Titus Worldwide~ be the one to head to Wrestlemania?

 

Heavy Machinery VS The Ascension!

Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic are COMIIIN’ to the main roster, but before choosing a side, the #BlueCollarSolid boys will show the WWE Universe what the power of #SteaksandWeights can do! Is it enough to avoid the Wasteland against Konnor & Viktor?

The teams sort out and we start with “Dozer” and Viktor. They tie up, and Dozer powers Viktor to a corner. The ref backs them off but Viktor shoves Dozer. Dozer comes back but Viktor throws hands. Viktor bumps Dozer on buckles but Dozer fires up. Viktor dodges but Dozer throws him off to then scoop, spin, spin, spin some more, and then slam Viktor! Tag to Tucker, and they give us some BOOM SHAKA LOO double falling headbutts! Viktor flounders but boots Tucker away. Viktor chops away then whips corner to corner, but Tucker goes up and over to crossbody! Tag to Dozer, and Heavy Machinery march around. They double belly bump Viktor, then Konnor runs into double shoulders!

Dozer does the kick pump, into the elbow drop! Dozer squashes Viktor in a corner, then fans fire up. Otis pumps up and gives us the Caterpillar! Tag to Tucker, and Viktor gets the Compactor! Cover, Heavy Machinery wins!

Winners: Heavy machinery, Tucker Knight pinning

HASHAAA! Tucker & Dozer win their debut, but this is only the beginning! Will Heavy Machinery steamroll the Tag Team Division right out of the gates?

 

Raw Tag Team Championships, Special Referee: Curt Hawkins; Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Revival!

The #TopGuys are convinced that it’s somewhere between a conspiracy and utter incompetence, but for whatever reason, the other referees on Raw haven’t given them a fair match finish. But now they’ll put Mr. Losing Streak in the stripes to see if they can’t get the justice they deserve. Will Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson finally get those titles? Or will the champions continue to be Absolutely… GLORIOUS?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the teams sort out. Dash starts against Gable and ties up. Dash wrenches the wrist but Gable rolls and bridges through. Gable gets a headlock, armlock then drop toehold fast! He has the arm then tags Roode. Hawkins is very strict about the tag, insisting that Roode needed to hold the tag string. The tag does not count, and Dash gets away with throwing Gable down by his hair. Dash calls Hawkins over to officially tag with Dawson. Dawson bumps Gable off buckles then throws chops and forearms. Dawson throws European Uppercuts and Gable bails out. Gable fights back but Dawson whips him for a hard hitting EuroUpper! Dawson rocks Roode, which Hawkins reprimands him for, but The Revival double whip Roode. Roode dodges and then baits The Revival into Gable’s clotheslines!

Roode and Gable throw both Revivals with exploders! Gable builds speed and Roode helps him FLY onto Dash! But Dawson runs Gable over! Hawkins works to regain order while we go to break.

Raw returns and Dawson reels Gable in, but Gable reverses to a big back suplex! Both men are down but fans fire up as they crawl. Hot tag to Dash, and Dash stops Gable. He scoops but Gable slips out to tag Roode! Roode rallies on Dash and hits a back drop! Dawson flies in but into an urenage! Roode fires up as he runs in at Dash, for a big shoulder tackle. Roode hops up, takes aim, but Dash dodges. So Roode clotheslines Dawson out before giving Dash a spinebuster! Fans fire up more as Roode goes after Dash on the apron. Roode suplexes but Dash makes it a crossbody! Cover and Dawson holds Roode’s feet down! But Hawkins sees that! He’s being a fair referee by reprimanding Dawson for that.

Roode gets Dash but Dash reverses and scoops. Roode slips out and rolls up, TWO! Dawson with a cheap shot that Hawkins doesn’t see! Dash rolls Roode, but puts his feet on the ropes and Hawkins catches him! Hawkins reprimands the Revival for this, so Dash tags Dawson. The Revival double whip but Gable tags in. Roode kicks Dawson but Dash clotheslines him out. Gable flies but Dawson rolls through! He’s holding the tights! Hawkins sees that again, so Dawson gives up. Dawson throws Gable out, then starts shoving Hawkins. Hawkins reminds him who the ref is, and Dawson runs into Gable’s shoulder. Gable sunset flips but Dash keeps him from falling over! Hawkins breaks that up, Gable gets his sunset flip, Gable & Roode win!

Winners: Chad Gable & Bobby Roode, Gable pinning; still Raw Tag Team Champions

The plan backfires! The Revival tried to cheat to win but Hawkins would not let them get away with any of it. Dash & Dawson try to reason with Hawkins, but they end up beating him down instead! But here comes Zack Ryder! The Broski fights the #TopGuys off, protecting his former Edgehead bro. Is this a save for old time’s sake? Or are we seeing a reunion in the making?

 

Backstage interview with Ronda Rousey.

The Baddest Woman has a tag team match up next, what would she say to challenger, Sasha Banks? Ronda wants to focus on her match tonight, but she’s trying to figure out why she should apologize. And she’s concluded that she doesn’t owe Sasha a damn thing! Ronda took her moment to hype up Sasha, and then Sasha goes and turns it all into an insult? What does Sasha expect from Ronda? Ronda’s been respectful since day one. Is she supposed to wash Sasha’s feet? Ronda practically had to beg Sasha to have this match! Sasha is too busy living the Boss life than actually try to be a champion! Sasha’s so high on herself that she’s not hungry anymore! That’s the difference between them, and Ronda will show that even The Legit Boss answers to someone!

 

Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS Sasha Banks & Bayley!

Ronda is definitely rowdy tonight, and she joins forces with her pal, The Queen of Harts, to face the #LegitHuggable best friends! Will the Baddest Woman build some last momentum before going 1v1 with Sasha at the Rumble? Or will tonight be #BossTime rolling into the title match?

Raw returns once more as Natalya makes her entrance. The Boss & Hug connection enter as Natty works to keep Ronda calm. Sasha picks up a mic to talk about resentment. Who does Ronda think she is? Sasha’s the four time champion, one of the first to be a in a Hell in a Cell, and lasted 40 minutes in that inaugural Women’s Rumble. Yet Ronda just shows up and gets handed everything. Sasha and Bayley put their hearts and souls in the ring every day, yet Ronda talks about desire? Stop talking about worthy competitors, Sasha already is one. She earned her shot by beating Nia and making her tap out. And that will happen to Ronda at the Rumble! This fight is ready to go now, and each friend has to keep Ronda and Sasha from tearing into each other.

The referee keeps the peace, and teams finally sort out. Natty convinces Ronda to stand down, and she starts against Sasha instead. The two circle with the bell, Sasha hits Ronda! Sasha gets Natty down while the ref keeps Ronda back! Sasha wrenches Natty and tags in Bayley. They double whip and crisscross Natty into the corner. They double suplex Natty down, Bayley covers, TWO! Bayley keeps on Natty with buckle bumps, then tags in Sasha. Sasha and Bayley uses Poetry in Motion to hit Natty, then tag back. They double whip and double hip toss, Bayley back elbows and Sasha boots! Ronda just runs in and tackles Bayley! Ronda throws Sasha, and now she controls the ring while we go to one last break.

Raw returns once more and Bayley fights out of Natty’s waistlock. Bayley runs but into Natty’s tackle into the corner! Tag to Ronda, and they give Bayley a Rowdy Hart Attack! Sasha did swipe at Ronda but it didn’t bug her at all. Ronda and Sasha trash talk but the ref keeps the peace. Ronda tags to Natty and Natty fetches Bayley into the ring. Bayley crawls but Natty stops her from reaching Sasha. Natty snap suplexes Bayley down, then stomps her down before covering. TWO, and Bayley hurries to Sasha. Tag made, Sasha knees Natty! Bayley adds a knee side to side before Sasha hits a swinging meteora! Cover, TWO! Sasha trash talks Ronda back before dragging Natty up. She bumps Natty on buckles and hauls her up. Bayley tags in as fans rally for Natty. Tag again, SUPER STEINER to METEORA! Cover, TWO!

Sasha keeps her cool while Ronda reaches for Natty. Sasha swings on Ronda, then hops up onto Natty. But Natty holds her, tag to Ronda! Electric Chair drop, roll through to Rowdy Slam, but Sasha throws elbows! Sasha backslides, ONE! Russian leg sweep, into Bank Statement crossface! Ronda endures but Natty breaks it up! Sasha throws Natty out but Ronda rolls Sasha up, TWO! Ronda boots Sasha, but Sasha boots Ronda! Tag to Bayley, back stabber but Ronda counters with a judo throw! Ronda covers Bayley, TWO! Ronda fires up again, and throws heavy knees into Bayley. Then a big boot puts Bayley in a corner. Rowdy dares Bayley to stand, but Sasha stands in her way. Bayley pushes Sasha out of the way and still gets those strikes! Ronda wants more, but she runs into a toss from Bayley! Tag to Sasha!

Sasha climbs, Bayley has Ronda, ax handles to Ronda’s arm hit. But Ronda gets Sasha with a takedown into the armbar! Sasha scrambles towards ropes, and they end up under them. Ronda lets go but reaches for Sasha. Sasha kicks Ronda, but Natty tags in. Natty suplexes Sasha in hard! Natty walks all over Sasha then hits her with a basement dropkick! She puts on the Sharpshooter! Sasha endures but Bayley saves her! Bayley tackles Ronda, but runs into the discus! Natty goes back to Sasha, powerbomb lift but Sasha slips out to knee! Back stabber, to Bank Statement!! Natty endures, but taps! Sasha & Bayley win!

Winners: Sasha Banks & Bayley, Sasha by submission

Ronda returns and Sasha lets Natty go. The Boss tapped out The Queen, but what about the Baddest Woman on the Planet? These two stare down and trash talk more, and fans want to “Let Them Fight!” We go off the air but we know this fight is coming. Who will win when the title’s on the line?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This was not a great go-home but this was better than most Raw has had as of late. It had a really good beginning and a pretty good end, but the middle was rough. To get those out of the way, Lucha House Party VS Mahal & The Singhs wasn’t much of anything other than a filler Six Man Tag. I don’t know if I want a feud between these two trios, but I do appreciate it means the Bollywood Boys are getting actual matches on television. I would also appreciate it if it meant they were joining the Cruiserweight Division and 205 Live per the Fresh Start initiative. Then another Elias VS Corbin is literally what Elias was saying we shouldn’t be getting in his song. Corbin wins to keep himself afloat, but Corbin really should just leave Elias alone after the Rumble, regardless of what happens.

The opening segment, for being another 20+ minute talking segment, was a good talking segment because Heyman did good again, Vince going off on a truly inaccurate retelling of David VS Goliath, and then it all leads to that really fun opening match. Throwing Lesnar in at ringside and having him do those shenanigans was actually a good move to me, it gets some heat between Lesnar and Finn quickly since this is all rather sudden. There has been talk all over about if Demon Balor returns and what that would mean. I’m pretty sure Demon Balor returns only if Lesnar is losing, which is still an uncertainty. I obviously want Finn to win, especially as Demon Balor. And if the talk of Rollins winning is true, Finn VS Rollins to bring the Universal Championship full circle would be great.

The pose-off between Apollo and Lashley was cheesy, but their match was pretty good. Apollo didn’t win but I hope he still gets a chance at the Intercontinental Championship. I feel like those two could really give us something great in such a match, I’m just not sure if Apollo would win. Rollins VS McIntyre was great, but perhaps Rollins winning with just a roll-up means there will be more to come after the Rumble. Again, if Rollins wins, him and Finn would be great for Mania, but that doesn’t mean McIntyre can’t go after the title at Elimination Chamber or Fastlane. Now depending on the validity of John Cena’s ankle injury, McIntyre’s story with him might be on pause, but that can allow McIntyre to do a lot of other things while waiting.

Heavy Machinery was a lot of fun in their debut, it was reminiscent of their early matches in NXT. I just hope going against The Ascension doesn’t foreshadow how they’ll be treated. I’m hoping they go to SmackDown, but even over there, if a team like SAnitY can’t get any screen time, I’m not sure about Heavy Machinery. Then going into The Revival’s segments, it seems like their tag team division concerns are only going to grow. Obviously it’s story, but Hawkins being an exceptionally good referee messes The Revival up again, and now it seems The Revival might be going against a revived Edgeheads. This will be great for Ryder & Hawkins, but it just means more mouths to feed in the tag division, which hurts The Revival and all teams on Raw. But maybe The Revival’s concerns will wake creative up and all teams get a fair shake.

I’m still not sure about EC3 being the Top One Percent Mute. When is he going to get his in-ring debut like Nikki Cross and Heavy Machinery? Lacey Evans had a good appearance after a fun third Moment of Bliss. Is Lacey going to be the woman to make Alexa Bliss turn Face? That would be big for Alexa, but also because she’s officially okay for action. I don’t know the chances of Alexa winning the Rumble, but her and Lacey being each other’s Road to Mania feud is great. I just hope Alexa doesn’t need to take that Woman’s Right punch if the concerns are for Alexa’s head.

And of course, the main event featuring the women was actually really good. For one, Ronda’s promo and Sasha’s counter were pretty good, though I think Sasha’s was better. The story in the match was good, and we never really got a prolonged Sasha-Ronda moment, so that leaves a lot left for them in their match. I’m still confident in thinking Ronda wins, Becky wins, and Mania gives us some sort of Undisputed Women’s Champion match, even with a third opponent via the Women’s Rumble. But I’m thinking Sasha is going to give Ronda one of her toughest matches in sheer technical skill and charisma.

My Score: 8.1/10


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