All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service.
- Fifth Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round match: Akira Tozawa VS Mark Andrews; Andrews wins and advances to the second round.
- Sixth Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round match: Tony Nese VS Drew Gulak; Gulak wins and advances to the second round.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Cruiserweight Championship tournament’s opening round hits the halfway point.
Cedric Alexander, TJP, Kalisto and the shocking entry of Roderick Strong have all advanced to the second round. Now we begin the second half to see which other four superstars will join them. Another former Cruiserweight Champion will battle a member of the WWE’s United Kingdom Division, and PowerPoint pals will be forced to put their friendship aside. But in the end, they all want one thing: to win the vacated Cruiserweight Championship as a Wrestlemania Moment!
Fifth Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round match: Akira Tozawa VS Mark Andrews!
The Stamina Monster once dethroned the King of the Cruiserweights to become champion, while the High-Fiving, Stage-Diving Welshman would like his first taste of WWE gold period. Will Tozawa keep out the crossover competitor on this Road to Wrestlemania?
Quick backstage interview with Mark Andrews.
What does it mean to him to come all the way from the UK to compete for this opportunity tonight? He’s really excited because everyone from around the world, from the UK to Japan, have been talking about 205 Live. Andrews is psyched to be part of it now, to high-five and stage-dive all the way to the Grandest Stage of Them All: Wrestlemania! Especially if it means he can become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
Andrews makes his entrance and we have our match.
The two circle with the bell, and Tozawa starts up the “HAH! HAH!” battle cry. He and Andrews tie up, Tozawa gets the waistlock. They circle around, Andrews gets the headlock takeover but Tozawa gets the headscissors. Andrews holds onto the headlock and the two stand up, but then Tozawa rolls and floats over to a cover, TWO. The two stand off, and the fans applaud. Tozawa and Andrews circle again, Andrews getting the single leg takedown into a knee wrench toehold. Andrews deepens the bend and twist with a toe ‘n’ ankle while keeping the other leg down. 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick watches backstage as Tozawa works to free that trapped leg.
Andrews keeps twisting and Tozawa keeps enduring. Tozawa crawls for ropes but Andrews drags him away to add on another twist. Andrews keeps Tozawa grounded, but Tozawa gets free, so Andrews stands up to wrench the arm and wrist. Tozawa rolls and reverses the hold, starting up the “HAH! HAH!” at the same time. Tozawa spins Andrews to a waistlock, but Andrews spins out to reverse the armlock. Andrews grounds Tozawa again, and then wraps Tozawa up in an Octopus Stretch!
He bends the free arm back and back, looking up at the Wrestlemania sign for motivation. Tozawa starts working his way out, but Andrews easily shifts into a sunset flip, TWO! They get up, Andrews arm-drags Tozawa a couple times, but Tozawa blocks the third with pure strength. Tozawa brings Andrews back up, Andrews slips around him and gets that arm-drag hat trick! They both get back up, Tozawa kicks in low. He runs, Andrews ducks and Tozawa jumps over for the sunset flip, but Andrews back-flips out of it into a low dropkick! Cover, ONE, but Andrews keeps his cool. He stomps Tozawa, then drags him back up. Tozawa frees himself and chops Andrews stiff in the chest. Andrews chops back, and we have a chop fight. They go back and forth, Tozawa fakes a chop to get the jab!
Andrews staggers to a corner and Tozawa comes over to stomp a “HAH! HAH!” mudhole into him. The fans join in, even as Tozawa backs off at the ref’s count. He brings Andrews up and out for a snapmare, then runs for the Penalty Kick and back senton! Cover, TWO, but Tozawa keeps his cool. He goes after Andrews in a seated abdominal stretch, giving Andrews a taste of his own medicine. Andrews slips out but is brought back down, and Tozawa stomps on Andrews. They go to a corner and Tozawa brings Andrews up for more chops. Tozawa ax handles Andrews a couple times, then snapmares him into another form of the seated abdominal stretch. Fans slowly build to a rally and Andrews pries himself free again. Andrews fights back with forearms, one after another, and Tozawa sits down. Andrews brings him back up for a European Uppercut, but Tozawa knees low. Tozawa throws Andrews, but Andrews responds with a surprise 619!
Andrews takes aim while Tozawa staggers away, and springboards for a big flying crossbody!
Cover, TWO, and now Andrews feels some frustration. He kicks Tozawa while he’s down, then puts Tozawa’s leg back in the spinning toehold. Andrews now puts Tozawa in the Indian Deathlock to go right after the knees.
Tozawa endures, then chops Andrews in the chest. Andrews chops back while maintaining the hold. When Tozawa refuses to tap, Andrews stands up and pulls him out of the hold to go back after the arms. Andrews moves back into the Octopus Stretch but Tozawa resists stronger this time, letting out the “HAH! HAH!” Tozawa gets free, fights back with back elbows, but Andrews backs him down with kicks to the leg. Andrews whips but Tozawa reverses, Tozawa gets Andrews in the huricanrana! Then he hits Andrews with a screaming Shining Wizard!
Tozawa doesn’t stop there, he puts Andrews in position and with fans echoing “HAH! HAH!”, Tozawa climbs up up top. He takes aim, but Andrews slips out of the ring. Tozawa doesn’t complain, he just hops down and builds speed to DIVE!
The Tozawa Torpedo downs Andrews and the fans fire up. Tozawa puts Andrews back in the ring, covers, TWO! Frustration won’t stop Tozawa, he gets up and drags Andrews back over to a corner. The fans “HAH! HAH!” again as Tozawa climbs back up top. Tozawa takes aim again but Andrews stands up. Andrews runs over, Tozawa jumps over, and they both go corner to corner for Andrews to hit double knees in a corner! Then he brings Tozawa out for the Northern Lights suplex, and Andrews rolls through for a standing corkscrew moonsault!
TWO, and Andrews feels frustration growing. He catches his breath and cools off before bringing Tozawa back up. Andrews grabs Tozawa in a full nelson, but Tozawa arm-drags out of it. Tozawa back kicks, swings, slips under, blocks and hits the saido suplex! He crawls to a cover, TWO! Tozawa gets up again and brings Andrews up for big forearms. He “HAH! HAH!” with each one as he drops Andrews to a knee, then roars before running into Andrews’ mule kick. Andrews kicks Tozawa again, then runs only to run into Tozawa’s boot! Tozawa runs, Andrews slips past him, comes back to tilt-o-whirl into Stun Dog Millionaire! Cover, TWO! Both men are down from exhaustion, but Tozawa rolls himself away slowly. Andrews sits up and sees Tozawa in the corner. He walks over to hoist Tozawa up, keeping him there with a chop. Andrews climbs up, goes for the Super Steiner, but Tozawa blocks with more of that strength! Tozawa lifts Andrews up powerbomb style, but Andrews hits SUPER STEINER after all!
He crawls to the cover, TWO!! The frustration boils over, Andrews can’t believe that didn’t work. But he sees Tozawa in position, and hurries to the corner again. Andrews climbs up and takes aim at Tozawa. Shooting Star, but he has to bail out as Tozawa evades! Tozawa hits the spinning roundhouse! Tozawa goes for La Mahistrol, but Andrews counters with his own cover! ANDREWS WINS!!
And Tozawa’s face says it all, this is a major surprise!
It was fast and it was fair, there’s no way around it. Andrews points to Tozawa to give props and respect, but he also points to the Wrestlemania sign. Can Andrews make it all the way to the end and become a crossover Cruiserweight Champion?
Backstage interview with Jack Gallagher.
Gentleman Jack will face the Pakistani Prince, Mustafa Ali, next week as part of the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament’s opening round. And he’s absolutely delighted to hear it. However, before he can continue, 205 Live GM Drake Maverick enters.
Spud says hello to Dasha then compliments Gallagher’s suit. “John Phillips, London. I have two myself.” That aside, Spud questions Gallagher thinking that’s “appropriate attire in a WWE ring.” Because Maverick doesn’t. As he told others before, this is a new 205 Live. Next week, Gallagher better be here in proper wrestling attire. Spud does say Gallagher is one of the best in the Cruiserweight Division today, and perhaps even in the entire WWE. “So sort yourself out, mate.” Spud says bye to Dasha before taking his leave, leaving Gallagher with much to consider. Will Gallagher be seen back in his old trunks again starting next week?
205 Live announces next week Cruiserweight Championship Tournament matches.
The Privileged Persian Lion will take on “NXT’s Best Kept Secret”, Buddy Murphy!
A former NXT Tag Team Champion as well as fiance to the Goddess of Raw, Murphy does admit that losing the tag titles brought him crashing down in the ranks. However, he pulled himself up and looked himself in the mirror to say, “That’s who I was. Now it’s time to create who I’m going to be.” Spud gave him the call and that sparked a fire in Murphy to get back in championship shape. Training to get under 205 has been “the hardest thing I’ve possibly ever done in my life”, especially since he’s normally competed over that weight. Spud even went to the Performance Center to hold Murphy’s official 205 Live Cruiserweight Division weigh-in. Murphy stepped up to the scale, and his official weight…
At 204.4 lbs, Murphy narrowly makes it in! But that was just step one. Murphy vows that in step two, the Cruiserweight Championship tournament itself, he will step over everyone else to “walk down the ramp at Wrestlemania.” Can the Best Kept Secret break out into the best spotlight of them all?
Sixth Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round match: Tony Nese VS Drew Gulak!
Though friends under “Team PowerPoint” and a certain certified train, the Philly Fury and the Premier Athlete were each cut to the heart with comments from the 205 Live GM. Tonight they battle to not only see who is the better, but who is more deserving of the Cruiserweight Championship. Will their friendship become stronger, or crumble apart, with gold on the line?
The bell rings and the two circle with intensity in their eyes. Gulak offers a handshake of respect, but Nese kicks it away. Nese is too focused on the title for there to be friendship and respect, so Gulak just comes at him to grapple. Nese powers Gulak down to the mat, then flexes to show off the peaks. Gulak gets up and they circle again. Nese lunges but Gulak catches him with a shoulder to the abs, then a takedown. Gulak floats over to an armlock, then a chinlock that grinds and thrashes Nese to the mat. Nese rolls and covers, Gulak bridges at ONE. Gulak brings Nese back up to a deep neck wrench then a forearm grinding on the face. Nese gets up, takes Gulak down and goes for a toehold but Gulak quickly counters and shifts to an armbar, which Nese quickly blocks by clasping hands. The referee gets down low to check shoulders while Nese tries to power Gulak to a cover. Gulak counteracts with a palm on Nese’s face. Nese gets to his feet and grabs a leg but Gulak uses the other leg to sweep and then get the mount. He pushes Nese back to a cover, ONE, and Nese stands up to go after Gulak’s leg again. Nese drags Gulak and goes for a half-crab, but Gulak kicks him away with his free leg.
Nese staggers to a corner while Gulak gets up. Gulak runs in for a big running haymaker, then he whips Nese corner to corner. Nese stops himself short and back elbows Gulak away, to then jump up and jump back! Gulak gets under the corner moonsault, but Nese lands on his feet. Gulak runs at Nese but Nese Matrix handsprings to evade. Nese mule kicks Gulak then kene lifts, roundhouses and sweeps, cover, TWO! The fans applaud this exchange even as Nese stomps and kicks Gualk while he’s down. Gulak stares up at him defiantly so Nese keeps kicking. Nese brings Gulak up and goes for a suplex but Gulak body shots back. Gulak goes to hip toss, but Nese blocks and rolls Gulak to the mat. Nese puts Gulak’s legs in a sort of Figure Four while also trapping an arm in a unique combination of holds.
Gulak endures this unique submission, and fans actually rally for him! Nese rolls him to a cover, TWO, but Nese keeps on him by throwing him out of the ring. Nese takes aim, slingshots over, but Gulak moves so Nese lands on the apron. Gulak rushes Nese to sweep the legs but Nese cartwheels over to land on the ground and rock Gulak with a left forearm!
Gulak falls down and Nese leaves him out there, but then Gulak gets right back up to drag Nese right back out. Nese ducks the clothesline to throw in a kick, but Gulak blocks to put the leg on the apron to back suplex Nese to the ground!
Nese hits with a thud as the ref starts a ring count. Gulak gets in but Nese only writhes as the count gets to 5. The count climbs and Gulak seems satisfied to accept this, but then he sees Nese get up. Nese beats that count but Gulak is right on him, covers, ONE. Gulak clubs Nese then springboard stomps on him from both sides. Gulak grabs Nese’s leg and DDT’s the foot into the mat to jam the ankle. Cover, TWO, but Gulak shifts right into an armlock on Nese’s dominant left arm. Nese endures, and wills his way back up. He fights back with body shots, but Gulak rams a knee into his head. Gulak runs, but Nese blasts him with a running back elbow! Both men are down, but Nese drags himself to ropes. Gulak walks over but Nese blocks the punches to counter punches. Gulak keeps trying, but now Nese hits him with a cravat knee strike, then runs for a boot to the mouth! Nese keeps going, getting the staggered Gulak with the windmill kick! Gulak goes down but fans fire up with Nese. Nese runs into the corner and hits Gulak with a spinning back elbow! He keeps going, and brings Gulak down with a leaping lariat!
Cover, TWO! The frustration builds but Nese brings Gulak up and around. He wants a pumphandle but Gulak elbows out. Gulak whips but Nese slips under to pumphandle after all! But Gulak slips out and shoves Nese to ropes, then jumps but Nese shoves him down! Cover, TWO! The two men are exhausted but still stirring. Fans build to a rally for both men, Gulak hits Nese with a body shot but then Nese lifts Gulak in a fireman’s carry, for a gutbuster drop!
Cover, TWO, and the frustration grows. Nese glares down at Gulak, then drags him up again. Gulak fights back with body shots and a shove, but Nese rocks him with another left forearm. Nese runs but Gulak follows and responds with a dropkick! Gulak grabs Nese for a wicked single-leg suplex!
Cover, TWO! Gulak is surprised, but he actually grins. He dares Nese to get up for more, but Nese fights back with lefts and rights. Nese staggers Gulak again, then kicks him while he’s down. Now Nese dares Gulak get up as he keeps kicking and kicking. Nese roars, but Gulak grabs him by the beard! Gulak slaps Nese across the face again and again! Then Gulak shovels Nese up onto his shoulders, for the Electric Chair Drop!
Bridging cover, TWO!! Nese crawls to the ropes, but Gulak stalks him from behind. Gulak grabs Nese into the guillotine, with body scissors!
Nese endures the squeeze, tries to power out and reach ropes, but Gulak grabs that reaching hand to bring it back in. However, Nese turns that wristlock around into his own, so that he can suplex Gulak up. Gulak resists and brings himself down to land on the apron. The ref calls for a ropebreak, but instead, Gulak tries to suplex Nese to the outside! Nese lands, and breaks free. He swings a kick but Gulak blocks, so Nese sweeps the legs, falling Gulak to the apron! Gulak tumbles down, Nese builds speed, to FLY!
The Premier Athlete brings Gulak down in clear defiance of #Drewtopia rules. Not only that, but Nese puts Gulak in the ring to climb to the top rope! Nese jumps for the 450, but flops when Gulak rolls away! Gulak hurries up to his feet, goes for the dragon sleeper, but Nese slips out and under, pumphandle into the Michinoku Driver!
TWO!! Somehow Gulak survives, and Nese’s frustration builds again. Both men slowly stir as the fans build to a rally. Nese stands up but Gulak hits first with headbutts to the ribs. Gulak rushes in but into Nese’s knee. Nese brings Gulak over to a corner, and gives him a reverse powerbomb into the top buckle. Gulak is dazed as Nese waits down below. Nese rolls Gulak, but Gulak has that arm, so Nese deadlifts Gulak to powerbomb him all the way into the adjacent corner’s buckles!
Gulak is down, but Nese gets himself up. He wills himself to stand up while Gulak is still dazed. The knee pad comes down, Nese runs to the other corner and back, but Gulak avoids the Premier Kneese by rolling out of the ring. Nese goes out to fetch Gulak, but Gulak springs to life to resist. Nese still slaps Gulak across the face, then puts him into the ring. Gulak grits his teeth and his eyes fill with fire as he blasts Nese off the apron and to the announce desk! Now Nese is dazed as he falls to the floor. The referee has to check on Nese, which gives Gulak time to recover in the ring. Gulak won’t let Nese get off easy, shouting at him, “We finish what we start!” He throws Nese into the side of the announce desk! The referee reprimands Gulak but Gulak keeps going, throwing Nese even harder into the announce desk!
He puts Nese into the ring, then glares up at the Wrestlemania sign before reentering the ring. Gulak runs, to flip Nese upside-down with a lariat! The referee tells Gulak to stay back as he checks on Nese, but Gulak refuses! He picks Nese right up to throw him right back down with a powerbomb!
And then deadlifts him for another! The referee checks on Nese again as Gulak roars. Gulak drags Nese up, for the Gu-Lock Dragon Sleeper, complete with body scissors!
The referee calls it, Nese is out cold! Gulak wins, but he’s still burning with rage aimed at the Premier Athlete.
Perhaps Nese regrets not accepting the handshake at the start now, because it might have gained him so mercy here tonight. With this new fire lit inside him, can Gulak rip his way through the tournament and become the new Cruiserweight Champion at Wrestlemania?
A damn good episode right here. The opening package was great and the quick interview with Andrews just before going out was also great. The best thing about the tournament these last couple weeks has been the surprise factor, where the win goes to the unexpected choice. I was pleasantly surprised last week when still-NXT-superstar Roderick Strong won, and I am again pleasantly surprised when WWE UK superstar Mark Andrews won tonight. The Cruiserweight Division has been needing a bit of crossover with other Divisions, so starting small like this is actually a very big thing. The best Andrews could do, in my estimation, is get to the semi-finals, but depending on how the bracket works out (still haven’t seen one from WWE) he might be used to help bolster one of the other favorites. He might even face the winner of the other match from tonight, in the incredible rough and tumble main event. Before that, I also enjoyed Spud now getting on Gallagher’s case in terms of his misuse of character. If it means Gallagher returns to his rainbow-striped trunks, I’m actually kinda for this continued reprimanding of the Heel Cruiserweights. Then, that main event, WOW. Great in-ring stuff with even greater character development. Commentary did a great job reminding us of the back story here without mentioning Enzo. I loved it when Gulak slapped Nese again and again, very much like what Oney Lorcan in NXT would do. There was a great visual aesthetic with Nese and Gulak, too, with the red vs blue, a classic trope of opposites that still parallel and rival each other (just look at Raw and SmackDown). I imagine this might’ve been what their blow-off would’ve been like had the ‘Zo Train finished the way it was meant to. Either way, Gulak himself might not make it to the semifinals but he and whoever he’s up against will put on great matches in the coming rounds.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/24/22)
Time to weigh in before the Rumble!
Raw prepares for the Royal Rumble!
Before fighting for the WWE World Championship, Bobby Lashley and BRRROCK LESNARRR step on the scales to make this one heavy Monday Night Raw!
- Bianca Belair VS Queen Zelina Vega; Belair wins.
- WWE United States Championship: Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins by disqualification, and Priest retains the title.
- Six Woman Tag: Rhea Ripley, Dana Brooke & Liv Morgan VS Tamina, Carmella & Nikki A.S.H; Ripley, Brooke & Morgan win.
- The Alpha Academy Academic Challenge Round 1, Spelling Bee: The Alpha Academy VS RKBRO; RKBRO wins and gets to choose next week’s challenge.
- Randy Orton w/ Matt Riddle VS Chad Gable w/ Otis; Orton wins.
- AJ Styles VS Austin Theory; Styles wins.
- The Mysterios VS The Street Profits; The Mysterios win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Corey Graves is in the ring with Adam Pearce.
Pearce welcomes the fans to the official WWE World Championship weigh-in for the Royal Rumble. “Without further ado, please welcome the challenger, Bobby Lashley!” The Rocky Mountain Machine makes his way out, MVP right behind him, and some pyro added to his pose, and some more pyro in the ring. And of course, the WWE Champion, Br- “Ladies and gentlemen.” Paul Heyman walks out on stage to give his introduction, and says he’s so tired of everyone trying to steal his shtick, especially when no one does it as good as he does.
So about to walk down the aisle and step onto the scale, your REIGNING! DEFENDING! UNDISPUTED! WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD~! BRRROCK! LESNARRR!! Lesnar makes his entrance, wearing a cowboy hat and jeans, and he goes to the ring to join Lashley. But given the attire and the smirk on his face, it’s hard to say he’s taking this serious. Graves points it out, and Lesnar asks if Graves would like Lesnar to get naked. How about just carrying on with this then? Graves says Lashley is the challenger, so he will go first. Lashley throws off his jacket, steps over, and stands on the scale.
The ref checks, and Lashley weighs in at 273 pounds. MVP says, “See that? 273 pounds of All Mighty killing machine! 273 pounds of specimen like no other. Closer to a god than a man. 273 pounds of bottled lightning that Brock Lesnar will have to contend with at the Royal Rumble.” The match so many had written off as impossible is happening. But Lashley knew it was inevitable. 273 pounds, and then after the Rumble, Lashley will gain some weight. The exact amount as that WWE Championship weighs. Lesnar and Heyman laugh that off, and Graves says it is Lesnar’s turn. Lesnar takes off his hat and lets Heyman hold that while he steps on the scale.
The ref checks, and Lesnar weighs in at 286 pounds. Lashley is upset, though. Lesnar thinks this is funny, huh? He’s acting like a fool because he knows Lashley will beat him for the title this Saturday. “Mark my words: this will be the shortest title run of your entire career. And that’s not a prediction. That’s a spoiler.” Lesnar laughs and says, “Well who’s the comedian now? Paul, get this. On Sunday morning, hot off the press, Bobby Lashley beats Brock Lesnar in the Hurt Lock. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new champion! The new reigning, defending, WWE Heavyweight Champion of the world~! Bobby Who?”
Lesnar laughs, takes his leave with Heyman, but it’s only a matter of time. Will Lashley have the last laugh when he’s the one leaving St. Louis with the title?
Bianca Belair VS Queen Zelina Vega!
The EST is dressed in gold, because she’s ready to go for gold in the Women’s Rumble! Will the Queen of the Ring merely be a stepping stone on Bianca repeating history?
Raw returns and Vega makes her entrance. The bell rings and they tie up. Bianca scoops and puts Vega on the apron. Bianca then blows a kiss, ducks the haymaker, drags Vega back into the ring and swings her around in the waistlock before a SLAM! Fans rally for the “EST! EST!” and Bianca avoids Vega stomping her foot! Bianca ripcords and whips but Vega reverses, only for Bianca to go up and over. Bianca handsprings, eggs Vega on, then dropkicks her down! Bianca kips up, drags Vega up, and suplexes! Bianca holds Vega up but Vega STUN-DOG MILLIONAIRES! Vega stomps away on Bianca in a corner and digs her boot in!
The ref counts, Vega lets off at 4 to then JUMP KICK! Vega keeps moving, and she KNEES Bianca down! Vega soaks up the heat, takes a bow, and then drags Bianca up. Bianca shoves Vega away, runs in but is sent into buckles! Vega then goes up, but Bianca ROCKS her first! Bianca scowls, trophy lifts Vega off the corner, but Vega fights free to a SLEEPER! Bianca RAMS Vega into buckles but Vega just throws elbows! Vega brings Bianca down to her knees, squeezes tight on the sleeper, but fans rally up. Bianca fights up, RAMS Vega into more buckles and then throws Vega off! Bianca scoops but Vega headscissors, but Bianca handsprings through!
Bianca rallies on Vega, dropkick and kip up! Fans fire up as Bianca brings Vega in for a suplex! Roll through, another suplex, and she even jogs in place before the SLAM! Bianca runs, handsprings, and MOONSAULTS onto knees! Vega grits her teeth, hops on, CODE- NO! No red, Bianca pops Vega off to a torture rack! KISS OF DEATH! Cover, Bianca wins!
Winner: Bianca Belair, by pinfall
Well, she just beat a queen, so this was the royalEST win Bianca’s gotten yet! Will she go back-to-back at the Rumble and return to WrESTleMania?
Backstage interview with Kevin Owens.
Kevin Patrick tries to talk with him before his US Championship match but Kevin Owens refuses to talk. K-Peezy points out KO was the first person to give Damian Priest a pinfall loss here on Raw, and KO agrees with that. But he faked an injury. What? What did K-Peezy say? Faking an injury? Is he accusing KO of lying? Has K-Peezy been in the ring? No, he hasn’t, so his opinion is moot. KO says he fought through pain! Just reed his shirt! “Just Keep Fighting.” Now tonight, KO gets his US title match, and guess what he’ll do tonight? Read the third! Just Keep Fighting. That’s right! And he’ll do that until he is the new United States Champion.
WWE United States Championship: Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens!
The Archer of Infamy knows the Prizefighter is two-faced, but now he knows what to expect after being duped into a defeat. Will Priest keep the gold away from KO? Or will Damian make it hard for him to hold back?
Raw returns and Kevin makes his entrance. The introductions are made, the title is raised, and we see who goes into the Rumble with gold already around their waist!
Kevin kicks, Priest pushes him away and fires off in the corner! Kevin dodges to CHOP and CHOP and forearm in return! The ref counts, Kevin lets off but Priest turns things around to fire off fast hands! Priest CHOPS, whips corner to corner, but Kevin reverses. Kevin runs in but blocks the knee to throw the leg down. Priest ROCKS Kevin with an uppercut, then throws more forearms! Priest runs, but Kevin drops to come back and CLOBBER Priest with an elbow! SENTON! Cover, TWO! Kevin argues the count but he goes after Priest in the corner. Kevin stomps, the ref counts and Kevin backs off. Kevin then runs in, but into a choke grip!
Kevin slips out of the choke slam to CHOP and forearm, but he runs into a BOOT! Kevin bails out, Priest builds speed, and Priest goes up the ropes. Kevin gets away, Priest hops down and goes out after Kevin. Priest blocks the superkick and throws Kevin into barriers! Priest puts Kevin back in, but Kevin SUPERKICKS him off the apron! Kevin hurries to the apron, SWANTON onto the knees! Priest was ready this week! APRON CHOKE SLAM! Priest is fired up and so are the fans as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Priest fires off kick after kick then a ROLLING ELBOW! Kevin goes to a corner, Priest hits a back elbow! But Kevin fights off the suplex, only to get a BELL CLAP! And a HEADLOCK DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Priest drags Kevin up, puts him in a corner and hoists him up top. Priest ROCKS Kevin with a right, climbs up, but Kevin hits back! Kevin adjusts and headbutts away on Priest! Then TORNADO DDT! Priest is in a drop zone, Kevin goes up top! FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Kevin can’t believe it! Kevin argues with the ref but the ref defends it was two. Kevin waits on Priest to get up, SUPERKICK!
Kevin gets Priest back up, whips but Priest holds ropes. Priest BOOTS back, ducks and dodges, to FLAPJACK Kevin down! Then a HEEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Kevin survives almost being beheaded but Priest keeps his cool. Kevin claims he’s got a bad arm, but Priest doesn’t trust that! Priest stomps away on Kevin at the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts 4. Kevin still says he has a bad arm but Priest KICKS him out to the apron. Priest rushes over, Kevin HOTSHOTS him! Kevin give sup faking and rolls Priest up, with tights, TWO!! STUN- NO! Priest powers out to LARIAT! Priest is fuming, is Damian coming?
Priest KICKS Kevin into a corner, stomps away, fires down hands, but the ref backs him up. Priest still comes back for more, the ref has to push him away again. Priest BOOTS Kevin, fires off more elbows, but the ref calls for the bell!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by disqualification (Priest retains the WWE US Championship)
Damian got the better off Priest, but he still has the belt. Kevin may have gotten the win, but will he think again before pushing Priest’s buttons?
Royal Rumble entrees speak.
Rhea Ripley says, “I have a score to settle with Nikki A.S.H. But the one thing that’s consuming my mind right now is the Royal Rumble. This Saturday, it’s every woman for herself, so I’m going to win at any cost. It’s gonna be an absolute nightmare for the 29 other women when I win the Royal Rumble and move on to WrestleMania.”
Dana Brooke says, “Call me crazy, but this year is gonna be my year! As reigning 24/7 Champion, I’m ready any time, at any place. And this Saturday, I’m gonna continue riding that wave, and winning the Royal Rumble.”
Liv Morgan says we’ve all seen her from being happy to be here to the girl that took the Raw Women’s Champion to her limit. We saw her nearly become champion. But at the Royal Rumble, there won’t be “nearly.” She’ll win to become the NEW Raw Women’s Champion.
Sonya Deville finds Damian Priest backstage.
He was outta control! When the ref says to do something, he should listen. Or else he’ll get fined, suspended, or worse. So get it under control! Will Priest find a way to contain the rage inside?
Six Woman Tag: Rhea Ripley, Dana Brooke & Liv Morgan VS Tamina, Carmella & Nikki A.S.H!
We just heard from one team about the Women’s Rumble, but can they back it all up with actions? Or will they almost have momentum after facing the Daughter of Superfly, the Most Beautiful Woman in the WWE, and the Almost SuperHero?
Raw returns as Dana makes her entrance, followed by Liv. Then Mella makes her entrance, followed by Tamina, and lastly, Nikki. The teams sort out, Mella gets her protective mask while Dana starts with Tamina. They tie up, Dana wrenches to a wristlock, Tamina shoves her away then runs her over! Tamina soaks up the heat, taunts Liv and Rhea, then stomps Dana. Tamina rains down forearms, wraps on a chinlock and she thrashes Dana before clamping on a neck wrench. Fans rally and Dana fights up, Dana throws elbows. Tamina CLUBS Dana, back suplexes, but Dana lands on her feet to tag Rhea! Rhea dropkicks Tamina, then swipes at Nikki!
Rhea DECKS Mella, wrenches Tamina and hits her with short arm clothesline after short arm clothesline! Then a ripcord HEADBUTT, and a sweep to the legs! Rhea runs to basement dropkick! Fans fire up with Rhea, she brings Tamina up but Tamina shoves her away. Rhea comes back to sobat, then she NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Mella gets in and FABULOUS KICKS Rhea! Liv ENZIGURIS Mella! Nikki kicks Liv for a TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Dana SHOTGUNS Nikki, Tamina CLOBBERS Dana! Mella tags in, she pie faces Rhea, and that just pisses Rhea off! Rhea trips Mella, ties up the legs, PRISM TRAP!! Mella taps, Rhea’s team wins!
Winner: Rhea Ripley, Dana Brooke & Liv Morgan, by submission
That mask didn’t protect the legs! Will it protect Mella from being thrown out? but then Nikki SUCKER PUNCHES Rhea! What kind of hero uses a cheap shot?! Will Rhea personally make sure the Rumble is a nightmare for her former friend?
The Alpha Academy Academic Challenge Round 1, Spelling Bee: The Alpha Academy VS RKBRO!
In order for Matt Riddle & Randy Orton to earn a rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championships, they have to show their mental strength is superior in a series of challengers! Otis looked a little worried about that last week, but will he and “Master” Chad Gable be able to outsmart the Stallion & Viper? Or will #4PointOtis no longer be top of the class?
Raw returns and Kevin Patrick presides over this challenge. He welcomes to Raw Tag Team Champions, the Alpha Academy. Gable says that was a fine introduction but a terrible explanation. So he’ll put it in a way that even the mindless morons of Ohio can understand. SHOOSH. Tonight is the first in a triad of events over the coming weeks. Fans chant, “You Suck!” and Otis gets upset. Gable says SHOOSH, and realizes vocabulary isn’t Ohio’s strong suit. Triad means three, so there will be three events. These events will prove Gable is a genius, just as his Master’s Degree and 4.0 GPA does. Don’t boo education! If anyone needs it, it’s Ohio.
Now, this will also prove his protégé, his prized pupil, Otis has both the brawn and brains the size of a tree trunk when he and Gable decimate RKBRO into mental submission. Gable is so proud of Otis. And lastly, Gable will use this platform to officially announce that the Alpha Academy are in the Men’s Royal Rumble! And you better believe one of them is winning, and then the Alpha Academy will headline WrestleMania! Thank you! Kevin Patrick then introduces the former tag team champions, RKBRO! Orton & Riddle head to the ring, and Kevin Patrick reminds us that this is a spelling bee. Tonight’s winners will then choose next week’s challenge stipulation.
The champions open, and first up is Otis. Gable says Otis has this, and Otis nervously steps to the mic. Otis’ word is… Emmental. Can Kevin use that in a sentence? A form of Swiss cheese. E-M-M-E-N-T-A-L! CORRECT! Gable is proud and Otis is sure they’ve already got this. First up for RKBRO, it’s Riddle. Fans fire up as The Bro goes to the mic. Riddle’s word is… Calibration. Cali-bro-tion? No, calibration. Can he use that in a sentence? Uh, ok. “A simple calibration is used to set up the system for individual implementation.” Please put that into letters for Riddle. No, Riddle, you have to spell it. Oh, okay, like when he calibrates his scale for measuring ounces and-
Riddle, just spell it then! Right, sorry. C-A-L-I-B-R-A-T-I-O-N. CORRECT! Tied at 1-1 and Riddle is fired up! Gable is now up, and his word is… Disillusion. Gable laughs that one off. He was hoping for a challenger. For the sake of sportsmanship, give him the definition! SHOOSH! He didn’t need it! This is Mr. 4.0, baby! It is the disbandment of a group or organization- No, Kevin said disillusion, not dissolution. D-I-S-S-O-L-U-T-I-O-N! NO, Gable! Wrong word! What?! That was dissolution but Kevin said disillusion. This is a joke! Kevin said the word wrong! Gable says he spelled a word right! But it wasn’t the word that was said.
Orton says maybe Gable can just a freakin’ seat! Orton is ready to get this over with. Then his word and the win is… Well, one of the most commonly misspelled words. Dumbbell. Riddle says Orton has this! And looking at Riddle, Orton has this. D-U-M-B-B-E-L-L. CORRECT! Gable is furious! Dumbbell for Orton? Riddle IS a dumbbell! Gable, shut your mouth! And Ohio, let’s go ahead and shut Gable’s mouth for him! They can go 1v1 right here, right now! Gable is furious, and Orton says Gable is clearly not that smart so maybe he’ll spell out how he’s gonna beat Gable: the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment, R K O!!
Randy Orton w/ Matt Riddle VS Chad Gable w/ Otis!
Raw returns and the match is on! Orton and Gable circle, fans rally behind “Randy! Randy!” and ties up with Gable. Orton headlocks, grinds Gable but Gable fights up. Gable pries the hold, has a top wristlock and he brings Orton down. Otis says that’s the power of leverage, and Gable wernches to a wristlock. But Orton powers out to drop toehold and facelock! Gable moves around, Orton gets away, and the two circle again. They tie up, Gable wrenches, wristlocks, but Orton fights up. Riddle and the fans rally up, Orton wrenches through and headlocks. Gable powers out, Orton runs him over! Riddle is fired up as Gable gets to a corner.
Orton and Gable reset, tie up again, and Gable wrenches to a hammerlock. Orton slips around to hammerlock back, then headlocks. Gable powers out, Orton runs him over, and things speed up. Gable arm-drags, and arm-drags again! Gable keeps on the arm and fans boo as he wrenches the shoulder. Orton fights up, fans keep rallying, and Orton whips Gable to a corner. Gable goes up and over but Orton fakes out the arm-drag! RK- NO! Gable pushes Orton away, and then bails out of the ring to regroup with Otis. Fans boo and a ring count starts. Otis says you can’t RKO someone with no neck! Gable gets in the ring, he circles with Orton and they tie up again.
Orton wrenches to a wristlock, but Gable rolls, bridges, spins and handsprings to spin through and headlock. Gable then spins to the toehold and has the ANKLE LOCK! But Orton slips away and bails out to regroup with Riddle. Gable says it was that close, but Orton keeps his cool. Orton takes his time returning, but Gable throat chops him! Gable CHOPS Orton to a corner, throws body shots and haymakers, but lets off as the ref counts. Gable fires off more forearms, strikes a pose, but then Orton kicks back! Orton fires off EuroUppers over and over, whips Gable to ropes, then CLOBBERS him with an elbow!
Gable bails out again, Orton stalks up behind him! Back suplex to the announce desk! Gable flops to the floor and Otis can only glare as Orton looms over Gable. Fans are all fired up as Orton puts Gable in the ring. Otis gets on the apron, Orton knock shim down! But Gable CHOP BLOCKS a leg! Gable runs, runs Orton over, then hurries up the corner! MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Orton survives and Gable can’t believe it, while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Gable has a standing toehold. Orton endures, Riddle coaches him up, but Gable stomps Orton down! Gable has Orton in a corner, hooks a leg in the ropes, then gets the other for a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! The ref keeps Gable back but Gable shoots in to get the left leg. Orton CLUBS Gable, whips him but the bad leg gives up! Gable whips Orton into a corner, but Orton comes back to LARIAT! Orton manages to rally, and he dodges to BACK DROP Gable away! Gable goes to a corner, Orton runs in to clothesline! Fans are thunderous for RKBRO as Orton reels Gable in. Gable switches, Orton bucks the waistlock and hits a BACK2BACKBREAKER!
Fans fire up as Otis coaches Gable and Riddle coaches Orton. Orton puts Gable through ropes, drags him out, time to spell “vintage!” DRAPING DDT! Orton slowly gets up as fans fire up behind him. Orton hears the voices and he waits on Gable. Riddle sees Otis getting on the apron and runs over that way. But Otis gets him for an EXPLODER! Orton is distracted, Gable backslides him! TWO, and Orton hits a POWERSLAM! Orton’s bad leg slows him down, but the fans still rally as hard as ever. Orton stands over Gable, then aims from the corner. Otis shouts to Gable, but Orton runs in, only for Gable to dodge the punt! ANKLE LOCK!!
Orton endures as Gable thrashes the bad leg! Fans rally, Riddle CLOBBERS Otis with his scooter! And then again! And again! Gable is distracted, Orton rolls to send Gable into buckles! RKO!!! Cover, Orton wins!!
Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall
RKBRO gets extra credit on The Alpha Academy! A win in the spelling bee and a win in the ring, but Riddle gets a mic. Riddle congratulations Orton, and reminds us that they get to choose the second Academy Challenge. Riddle thinks it’s time to go old school to gym class! What better way to show some physical prowess than a good, ol’ fashioned… scooter race! Is that really part of gym class? And does Otis even stand a chance of finding a scooter that can hold him up? Will RKBRO make it a 2-0 sweep? Or can Gable find a way to make a comeback?
Alexa Bliss continues her therapy.
The doctor thinks they’re making progress. Oh? He asks her a personal question: When was the very first time that Alexa met Lily? Oh, well, Lily’s been around her whole life. Any time Alexa was looked down on or bullied, Lily was there to be her friend. Alexa was just six years old when she met Lily. These two teenage girls picked on Alexa cuz she wore glasses, and they shoved her off the monkey bars. Alexa got knocked out, and when she came to, Lily was there. Those cute button eyes and the braids and stitching. Is that too much? No, keep going. Okay.
That day, Alexa and Lily got ice cream and played on the monkey bars. Lily said those mean girls would never come back, too. Then they ate candy and gumdrops, and they did that game where you stuff marshmallows in your mouth and try to say, “Chubby bunny.” Well, Alexa has plenty more to say, will we get to the bottom of Lily’s hold over Alexa?
Vince McMahon talks with Austin Theory.
Vince knows Theory is doing really good lately, especially the selfies. Yeah, look at this one! No, not that one. Well, it did feel good destroying Finn Balor, just like Vince wanted. And in the Rumble, Theory will win and face the champion of his choosing at WrestleMania! That’s exciting. If it’s not too much to ask, maybe Theory could get a late number? Like 26 or 27?Why would Theory think Vince has any influence over that at all? Especially right now, when he should focus on his opponent, AJ Styles. Whoa, as in, former WWE Champion, US Champion, Intercontinental Champion, Tag Team Champion, Grand Slam Champion AJ Styles? Yep! That AJ Styles.
Theory says that’s fine. Sounds good, even! Okay, hang on. Don’t forget your phone. And bring back a really good selfie. Yes, sir! Will Theory be able to be more than Phenomenal here tonight? Or does he finally fall out of favor with Mr. McMahon?
AJ Styles VS Austin Theory!
The Phenomenal One himself just got finished with a bright and shining star with a big ego in Grayson Waller. Will Styles check off another future star in Vince’s newest pet project?
Raw returns and Theory makes his entrance. The bell rings, they tie up, and Theory powers Styles to a corner. The ref counts, Theory lets off to mock Styles’ pose, but Styles keeps cool. They tie up again, Styles powers Theory to a corner but Theory turns it around. The ref counts, Theory lets off, and then he double guns. Styles still stays cool, ties up with Theory and gets a headlock. Theory powers up but can’t power out as Styles holds tight. Theory powers out, Styles ducks the hurdle, rolls Theory up, TWO! Theory fireman’s carries, but Styles sunset flips! TWO, Styles wheelbarrows to a victory roll, TWO! Styles dropkicks Theory right outta the ring!
Fans fire up and Styles takes aim. Slingshot and FOREARM! Direct hit and Theory checks his chin. Styles puts Theory back in the ring, stalks Theory to ropes, brings Theory up and bumps him off buckles. Styles CHOPS, Theory staggers to another corner, but Styles brings him out. Theory kicks but Styles blocks. Theory ROCKS Styles with a forearm, but Styles KICKS Theory’s leg! Theory hobbles to the corner, but Styles storms over. Theory YANKS Styles into buckles! And then throws him down by his hair! Slingshot STOMP, deadlift suplex! Cover, ONE!! Theory is annoyed and he rains down rights before wrapping on a headlock.
Theory grinds Styles but fans rally up. Styles fights up, puts Theory in a corner, but Theory turns things around. Styles dodges to CHOP! And CHOP! Theory falls and crawls, but he throws body shots. Styles KICKS Theory in the side! Styles runs for a BIG knee drop! Cover, TWO! Styles gets Theory up, snap suplexes, covers, TWO! Theory grits his teeth but Styles drags him back up. Theory FLAPJACK HOTSHOTS him! Styles sputters while Theory seethes, and Theory stomps Styles down! Theory drags Styles up, throws forearms, then whips corner to corner. Styles hits buckles hard, and Theory gets in his face! “How’s that feel?!”
Theory throws fists down but the ref back shim off. Theory stands on Styles’ head, but lets off as the ref counts. Theory drags Styles up but Styles DECKS Theory with a forearm! Styles drags Theory up, but Theory suplexes for a GOURD BUSTER! Styles flounders in the corner, Theory hoists him up top. Theory throws forearms, climbs up to join Styles, but Styles throws body shots in return. Styles ROCKS Theory, Theory drops but then somersaults to SHOTGUN DROPKICK Styles to the floor! Fans boo but Theory grins as he looks down at Styles, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Theory has a headlock. Styles throws body shots, Theory knees low. Styles kicks back, then ENZIGURIS! Theory staggers, Styles runs in but Theory catches his crossbody for a BACKBREAKER! Then a SWINGING BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Theory grins as Styles survives, and he stalks Styles to ropes. Theory bumps Styles off buckles, then RAMS a shoulder into his back! And again, and again! Theory lets off as the ref counts, and Theory throws down more fists. Theory brings Styles up, but Styles JAWBREAKERS free! Styles ROCKS Theory with a right, then CHOPS him to ropes. Styles whips, Theory reverses and BACK DROPS! Cover, TWO!
Theory says HE is phenomenal but fans boo. Theory drags Styles up to snapmare and stomp him down! Theory mocks Styles’ pose again, but misses the elbow drop! Theory grits his teeth as he gets back up and runs in at the corner. Styles elbows Theory away, then QUEBRADA DDT! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Theory and Styles are on opposite ends, Styles runs in to LARIAT! Theory kicks back but Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz! Styles hits a clothesline in the corner, then suplexes Theory to a NECKBREAKER! Styles runs, SLIDING FOREARM! Cover, TWO! Theory is still in it but Styles keeps his cool.
Styles drags Theory up, fireman’s carries but Theory slips out. Styles ducks the haymaker but not the back elbow! Theory hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Theory checks his chin again, drags Styles up and says he’s got this. JAWBREAKER! Styles runs in, but into a BOOT! Theory somersaults for a BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Styles survives and Theory can’t believe it! Theory shakes his head, convincing himself he can do this. Theory gets Styles up to throw big forearms in the corner. Theory puts Styles up top, climbs up to join him, but Styles resists! Styles slips through and trips Theory up! Styles waistlocks, but Theory elbows out hard!
Theory reels Styles in, but Styles fights out of the powerbomb! Styles ducks and dodges to PELE! Both men are down again and fans are rallying! Styles reels Theory in, but Theory fireman’s carries! Styles fights free, rolls Theory, CALF CRUSHER!! Theory scrambles, ROPEBREAK! Styles lets go and both men slowly get up. Styles grabs at Theory but Theory holds the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak, Theory throat chops! But Styles BOOTS back, goes to the outside, but Theory trips up his springboard! High stack, but with ropes! The ref sees that and stops the count! Theory and the ref argue, but Styles ROCKS Theory!
Styles is on the apron, he springboards in, PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Now that was phenomenal! Will Styles use this momentum to take the Royal Rumble and that golden ticket to WrestleMania? And what of Theory facing Vince’s wrath?
Raw holds a simultaneous interview with Becky Lynch and “Doudrop” Piper Niven.
Commentary wants to start with Piper. This match has been a long time coming, and Piper ran through the rest of the division to- Becky speaks up and asks if this is their first time. We start with the champion. And she’ll start with a champion of “a wee lass named Doudrop.” When she first got her start across the pond, who did she idolize? Becky. Who did she want to face most? Becky. Tell ’em how Becky paved the way, and as the groundbreaker she is, she gave Piper this match. People are asking, “Why would anybody in their right mind choose someone who can clearly out power them? Who can clearly break all their bones with one slam to the mat?”
Maybe that’s the answer! Maybe Becky isn’t in her right mind. Or maybe Becky is that confident in how damn good she is! Or that generous to grant an opportunity to a fellow Celt. Piper speaks up to suggest that maybe, Becky handpicked Piper because Becky is desperate. Maybe ever since she returned, she’s been ducking, dodging and scrambling just to hold onto the title. Maybe Becky thought putting the new girl in would be an easy victory. The only easy thing here will be how easy it is for Piper to break every single one of Becky’s ribs.
Becky wants “Doudou” to hold on there. Becky should be thanked for giving Piper her biggest match, her first title match here, and for paving the way and giving Piper a match at one of the biggest events of the year. If Piper had just said thanks, but no. Piper waited for Becky to get in and offer a handshake, so of course Becky slapped her across the face. And being the bigger person, Becky offers to lead Piper to victory in the tag match. But then Piper splashed Becky, dropped her, left her lying. Becky admits, she didn’t see that coming. But Piper’s in for a rude awakening at the Rumble when she steps in the ring with the #VanGOAT and Becky wins to stay Raw Women’s Champion.
Oh, is Becky done? Piper zoned out when she started hearing that whining, nagging sound, or else she was gonna lose it. But Piper will show gratitude when Becky shows respect. But Becky won’t, she will keep whining. She’s not a goat, she’s a little lamb on the way to the slaughter. The Dome is the slaughterhouse, and the new champion will be Doudrop! Becky says Piper was just another name to fill out the roster before this. Piper needs to know her place. It’s dead space and- Oh, Piper’s getting off the mic? She gonna run? She can’t run from the truth, or from this fight. Becky’s been champ for nearly three years !But then Piper barges into Becky’s room!
Piper and Becky scrap and referees rush in to stop it! Piper says her place is with the title, standing over Becky! Will Piper be the one to make Becky DouDROP that title?
Backstage interview with Rey & Dominik Mysterio.
Sarah congratulates Rey on being the WWE 2K22 cover superstar. What does it mean to be among the ranks like Stone Cold, The Rock, John Cena and The Undertaker? Rey says this is so dope. You have no idea what an honor it is to represent. Most superstars spend their careers chasing achievements, from main eventing WrestleMania or entering the Hall of Fame. Being on the cover of a WWE video game is no different, especially when that game is FIRE! Although, the one thing prouder would be seeing Dom on the cover one day. Dom says now Rey’s talking. Dom used to play those games growing up, and he knows he has to create his own legacy to be in those games. That starts Saturday when he wins the Royal Rumble.
Well okay, but that’d mean he has to throw Rey out. That’s not happening, right? Well after last week, he might be first to go! Dom’s got jokes. He’s playin’ right? Dom grins and heads out, but Rey laughs it off. Will “every man for himself” be true even for the Mysterio Familia?
The Mysterios VS The Street Profits!
Rey & Dom won alongside Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins last week, but now they’ll go against each other for some last minute momentum! Who will be on fire going into the Royal Rumble match after tonight?
Raw returns as the Mysterios make their entrance. The teams sort out, Dawkins starts against Dom. They circle, tie up, and Dom headlocks. Dawkins powers out, things speed up, Dom RANAS! Dom throws hands, knuckle locks and CHOPS, then goes up to FLYING ARM-DRAG! Dawkins dodges, Dom keeps moving, Dawkins hits a big back elbow! Cover, TWO! Dawkins drags Dom up, whips him to ropes, but Dom wheelbarrow sand throws Dawkins out of the ring! Rey gets in, holds the way open., Dom DIVES! Direct hit onto Dawkins, and then Rey crossbodies Ford! Rey runs, but Ford throws him out onto Dom!
Dom manages to catch Rey, but Ford FLIES! Direct hit and down goes everyone! Ohio is fired up as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Dawkins grinds Dom down in a chinlock. Dom endures, fights up, throws body shots, but Dawkins DECKS Dom with a right! Cover, TWO! Dom is still in this but Dawkins wraps on another chinlock. Dom endures again, fights up, Rey coaches him through it, and Dom gets to his feet. Dom throws more body shots, but Dawkins knees low. Dom ends up in a corner, but he dodges the cyclone splash to kick and TORNADO DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up! Dawkins and Dom crawl, hot tags to Ford and Rey! Rey dodges Ford to tilt-o-whirl and headscissor! Ford ends up in a corner, puts Rey on the outside, but Rey ROCKS him!
Rey goes up top, leaps, SEATED SENTON! Rey keeps moving, dodges again, but Ford FLAPJACKS Rey down! Ford somersaults, to a SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Rey gets to ropes, Ford whips him, but Rey kicks back. Rey slides under, Dom gets in, and he gives Rey a boost to RANA Ford on tropes! The Mysterios dial it up but Dawkins trips Dom and drags him out! Ford runs in but Rey drop toeholds him to ropes! 6 1 NO! Ford blocks that, gets Rey up in an Electric chair, but Rey victory rolls! The Mysterios win!!
Winners: Rey & Dominik Mysterio, by pinfall
The King of Lucha finds a way to snatch this one away from the Profits! But then Dom gets behind Rey and lifts him up, but Rey RANAS Dom out! Rey tells Dom he needs to try better than that, but then Ford TOSSES Rey! But then Dawkins tosses Ford! Dawkins says he got Ford there! But then the DIRTY DAWGS get in, and they both throw Dawkins out! Roode & Ziggler talk trash, but then the Mysterios and the Profits get in to go after them! It’s a huge scrap, but the Dawgs get tossed! And then the remaining four all square off in their own corners! Will any of these men make it to the end of the Rumble match this Saturday?
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.
Kevin Patrick brings up how the Usos are barred from ringside during the Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble, and Rollins says that sounds so good. Rollins likes K-Peezy and will give him a little “insider information.” This was never about The Usos, or anyone else but Roman VS Seth, Seth VS Roman. Now they go 1v1 at the Rumble for the title, and historically speaking, Rollins likes his odds. Rollins knows he can beat Roman because he’s already done it. Roman knows Rollins has his number. Roman wants people to think very highly of him, but Rollins is the one who can put Roman in his place.
So speaking of Roman, Rollins is going to pay SmackDown one more visit this Friday, because unlike Roman, Rollins delivers his messages in person. See you Friday, brother! Rollins laughs it up, but will he have the last laugh this Friday? And will this Saturday be the first time Roman gets the better of Rollins?
The Miz heads to the ring!
The Hollywood A-Lister promised it last week, and now it’s here! Maryse’s birthday celebration will be here on Raw, and the ring’s already filled with presents! Will all go smoothly for the It Couple this close to the Royal Rumble? We’ll see, after the break.
Raw returns and Miz welcomes us to the Maryse Birthday Extravaganza! It’s a celebration of his wife’s birthday, and then Saturday, we will celebrate The It Couple beating The Grit Couple! So without further ado, welcome the birthday girl, a woman more gorgeous, more sexier and more intelligent than anyone here, Maryse! Maryse makes her entrance, and there’s security at ringside. Miz says he speaks for everyone here when he says, “Open your first gift!” Maryse pulls the veil off a painted portrait of her and Miz as a prince and princess! Miz has done it! She feels even more special than the day she became a mother!
Or when he got her that pink Rolls Royce! Or when he got her that $500,000 ring. Well no expense spared. He got top of the line security to make sure there will be no intruders! They checked the ceiling so there wouldn’t be a Brood Bath! There will be no Edge or Beth here! Miz speaks for all of us when he says, “Open your second gift!” Miz hands it to Maryse, she pulls off the lid, and it’s… A custom hand purse! It says “No limit” on the side because there is no limit to their love. Wait, what’s this big one? Miz thought Maryse got him something. Uh, it’s her birthday. Why would she… Wait, then if he didn’t get that, and she didn’t get that… Then what’s in the box?
SECURITY! Get in here and open the box for Miz! The guard goes up to it, rips the paper away, and it’s all a trick! Miz put the brick that Maryse hit Beth with in a frame! This demonstrates that these two will always be one step ahead of Edge & Beth. Just watch this recap video as proof! Maryse asked Beth to call off the Mixed Tag, Beth refused, Miz tried to jump Edge but failed, but it still distracted Beth enough so Maryse could CLOBBER Beth! Fans boo but Miz & Mrs. just soak it up. Now it is time for everyone to get up out of their seats and sing Happy Birthday to Maryse. On three. One, two, DO NOT BOO! This is a birthday celebration! Stand up and sing!!
Now, one! Two! Three! HIT IT! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you~! Miz is so sour… But here comes EDGE! AND Beth! Edge has the music cut to tell Mike ‘n’ Maryse that they’ve been real clever. But being clever won’t matter on Saturday. All these security guards won’t matter on Saturday. Because Miz & Maryse stepped in it now! They’ve got a pissed off Rated R Superstar, and an extremely pissed off Glamazon on their hands. These two are gonna show everyone why that’s not a good thing. The Grit Couple storms to the ring, CLOBBER guard after guard, and Beth scoop SLAMS the next one! Edge TOSSES another, Beth sends one more into the steps!
The It Couple bail out of the ring, so Edge and Beth tear everything up! Beth SPEARS one guard, Edge SPEARS another! Miz & Maryse freak out over the cake being in harm’s way, but the Grit Couple give a guard a HART ATTACK! Shout out to the days of Beth teaming with Natty. Another guard gets in, he gets a 3D!! A shout out to some of Edge’s greatest rivals, before he BOOTS another guard! Edge sees the cake still standing, and Miz says he better not! Edge drags the guard up, reels him in, and POWERBOMBS him through the cake AND table! The terror on the It Couple’s faces is real this time! Will they even show up in St. Louis for that Mixed Tag match?
I have a feeling word got back that last week’s Raw was pretty sad, because they made sure this week’s Raw was really good. Now, a weigh-in segment for a title that doesn’t really have weight restrictions was really just an excuse to get Lesnar and Lashley to interact one more time. But Lashley and Lesnar are both doing really well on the mic these days, and Lesnar being dismissive of Lashley is such a great element of this. It’d be wild if Lashley won this but there’s a good chance Lesnar retains and we still get something of Lesnar VS Roman, title for title. Rollins has a good promo rather late in the night, but him hyping up the SmackDown go-home means something good is coming.
Bianca VS Vega was a short match, as was the Six Woman Tag, but sadly that’s how things are in RawDown these days… But at least we got a great promo segment from Becky and Piper. Piper leaving her room to find Becky and brawl with her was awesome stuff, and their match is going to be awesome stuff, but pretty sure Becky wins. Then they’ll set up Becky VS Bianca at WrestleMania, Bianca finally avenges her SummerSlam loss. Also, Alexa Bliss has to be returning to action during the Rumble. She might not win but she could have a really good showing to reestablish herself. Tonight’s vignette didn’t really do much, it just had her rambling about Lily’s origin story with no serious revelation.
We got a really good US Championship match, but it was a bit cheap for Priest to get disqualified when “Damian” let loose. Maybe Kevin comes back after the Rumble to try again and that builds to a US title match at the Elimination Chamber PPV in February. Styles VS Theory was a great match, too, just wish Vince would’ve let Theory and Finn have a match as good as that. And if Styles was still feuding with Grayson Waller, we could’ve built to Styles & Finn VS Theory & Waller, but nope. Vince has apparently given up on Finn, but not enough to cut him the same way they cut a lot of other great people. What a weird old man.
I loved so much of the Academic Challenge segment. Great promos from everyone, and I love that Gable got so cocky that he went with what he thought he heard and not what Kevin Patrick really said. Then we got an awesome match of Orton VS Gable, that also had the awesome aside of Riddle attacking Otis with the scooter. Now, going with a scooter race next week isn’t really something you’d see in gym class from what I’ve experienced, but it’s definitely a Riddle kind of choice. I’m not sure how, but Alpha Academy is definitely finding a way to win to push this to the third challenge, which RKBRO will win to get a tag title match.
The Mysterios VS Profits was really good, with Ford and Rey really standing out in this match. Mysterios get the win for momentum, but then the Dirty Dawgs get in on things for a nice brawl. I don’t see any of those six winning, though, but maybe the Mysterios come out tag title contenders for after RKBRO and Alpha Academy sort out. And then we got a pretty good final segment. As birthday parties that get ruined goes, I like that Miz swerved us with the giant box and then we get Edge & Beth straight up crashing the party. I spotted the Tate Twins among the security guards that got bodied, I hope that means they’re signing with NXT 2.0. The Grit Couple standing tall here, the math would suggest The It Couple finds a way to win, but who knows, Edge & Beth could defy the math.
My Score: 8.3/10
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