The Raw Women’s Champion named her challenger, but both of them have a common enemy to deal with. Can Ronda and Sasha coexist against The Samoan Dynasty?
- Ronda Rousey & Sasha Banks VS Nia Jax & Tamina; Rousey & Banks win.
- Lucha House Party VS The Revival; The Revival wins.
- Six Woman Tag: The Riott Squad VS Bayley, Natalya & ???; Bayley, Natalya & Nikki Cross win.
- Jinder Mahal w/ Samir Singh VS Finn Balor; Finn wins and stays in the #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat: Dean Ambrose VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashey w/ Lio Rush; Lashley wins and becomes the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.
- WWE Universal Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Baron Corbin VS Drew McIntyre VS Finn Balor VS John Cena; Finn wins and will face Brock Lesnar for the title at the Royal Rumble.
PLAY BY PLAY
Now arriving in a limousine…
It’s Vincent Kennedy McMahon! The Chairman is here for Raw, but he wants his driver to make sure the limo is perfectly clean. Vince then heads in, what will he have to do and say tonight in Memphis?
BRAUN is here, too!
The Monster Among Men awaits his second chance against The Beast at the Royal Rumble, but he was hoping to get a fight out of Brock Lesnar last week. Strowman tried goading Lesnar into reacting, but Paul Heyman and Lesnar simply brushed off all Strowman’s insults. Memphis chants “Get These Hands!” for Strowman has he picks up a mic. “You know he’ll never admit it, but Brock Lesnar has always been afraid of me.” When Strowman was the Monster in the Bank, Lesnar was constantly looking over his shoulder. When Strowman was about to beat Roman Reigns, Lesnar came down to bust the door of the Cell. And when Strowman was gonna beat Lesnar directly at WWE Crown Jewel, Baron Corbin rigged the match.
“Hey, Beastie Boy, I hope you’re watching this from training camp. Because I’m all healed up.” And Corbin is no longer in power, so there’s no one to save Lesnar now. Lesnar’s biggest fear will come true in Phoenix, because Strowman will get the Universal Championship, and Lesnar will #GetTheseHands! But speaking of Baron Corbin, he comes out on stage. Fans boo as Corbin tells Strowman that he may not run raw anymore– Because he got fired! But as Corbin was– Strowman gets it. “You Got Fired~!” Corbin says fans can chant all they want but they’ll still have to listen to him, even if he has to be out here all night. In fact, if Corbin’s out here for just another five minutes, that’ll be longer than Strowman lasted against Lesnar!
Corbin tells Strowman needs to stop lying. Fans believe in him but all he does is let us down. Strowman can’t win, and he knows it! Corbin will then win the Royal Rumble and go to where Strowman never will: the main event of Wrestlemania! But Strowman rushes Corbin on stage! The chase is on and ends up backstage. Strowman demands to know where Corbin is, and the Singh Brothers can’t decide which way, so he throws them both into catering! Strowman continues his hunt, where will the Monster Among Men find The Lone Wolf? The Drifter appears to sing as the bard of WWE. He knows where Corbin went, saw it with his own two eyes. Now the Monster’s on a chase, there’s something he should know. Corbin’s hiding in that limo. Strowman thanks Elias with a nod and closes in on his target.
Strowman goes right at the limo, and smashes the mirrors off! He drags out the driver and tosses him! The doors are locked, so Strowman demands Corbin get out. Corbin doesn’t, so Strowman finds himself a pipe! And he smashes the windows! Corbin screams as Strowman pulls the door right off!! Corbin escapes the other side and runs away. But then Strowman encounters the limo’s owner, Vince McMahon! McMahon is naturally angry, and perhaps for the first time in his life, Strowman is worried. What will the consequences be of demolishing the Chairman’s car?
Raw returns, and Strowman tries to fix the limousine.
It doesn’t work. McMahon sees this human wrecking ball, a walking danger zone. Look what he did! Strowman will have to pay $100,000. For this piece of crap?! If Strowman wants to raise his voice and be a bad guy, then his title match is off! Strowman is furious, so he decides to take it out on what’s left of the limo! He gets it up and over! But vehicular destruction aside, who will take Strowman’s shot at Lesnar?
Braun Strowman is escorted out of the building.
The Monster is out, and Corbin is laughing it up. Will the Lone Wolf capitalize on this opportunity?
Ronda Rousey & Sasha Banks VS Nia Jax & Tamina!
The Baddest Woman on the Planet challenged The Boss to be her next challenger, but the Irresistible Force wouldn’t let herself be passed up. Banks beat Nia in a #1 Contenders match and now Ronda and Sasha will have that title match. However, to keep the Samoan Dynasty out of their business, the #RowdyBossAlliance has been formed for tonight! Will they be able to coexist and survive to reach the Royal Rumble?
Raw returns as the teams sort out. Sasha starts against Nia as a rematch from last week, but Nia and Tamina talk it over first. Nia circles with Sasha and Nia says she wants Ronda. Fans like the sound of that, but Sasha hits Nia with forearms! Nia shoves Sasha but Sasha comes back to huricanrana Nia to a corner. Sasha runs in for double knees, then does it again. But Nia catches those and puts Sasha up top. Sasha boots back then runs to sunset flip. Nia lifts her up and puts her back in the corner. Sasha dodges to rock Nia with a chop. Sasha goes acrobatic to arm-drag, but Nia blocks! Nia yanks Sasha up but Sasha slips into a sleeper hold! Nia puts Sasha on buckles again, but Sasha hops back on! Sasha is a backpack but Nia tosses her off.
Nia runs in but Sasha dodges. Sasha hits a knee, then climbs up. She boots Nia again to hit a bulldog! Sasha keeps going, shining wizard! Cover, TWO! Sasha tags to Ronda and the Rowdy One kicks away! She throws hands, too, but Nia powers her to the corner. Tamina tags in and Tamina throws headbutts. She rocks Ronda, but Ronda comes back with a takedown into the armbar! Tamina flails and Nia saves her! The Samoan Dynasty regroups as fans boo and jeer. Ronda waits for Tamina, but she and Nia make Ronda wait a little longer as they talk strategy. Tamina finally returns, then ducks back out. Fans boo and jeer but the Samoans simply smile. Tamina slowly returns, but Sasha Meteoras Nia! Sasha saw through their plan, and things continue after the break.
Raw returns as Nia thrashes Sasha about in a bearhug! Fans rally for Sasha as she endures the squeeze. Sasha fights out but Nia pushes her away. Sasha rolls up but into a powerbomb! High stack, TWO! Nia barrels into Sasha with a senton! Cover, TWO! Nia is shocked but keeps on Sasha with a cobra clutch. Fans rally up again and Sasha continues to endure. We go picture in picture as Sasha feeds off the rally. Sasha stands but Nia wrangles her right back down. We return to single picture as Nia leans on Sasha. Sasha stands and jawbreakers out! Sasha runs but into a back elbow! Nia drags Sasha up and over, then tags in Tamina. Tamina stomps a mudhole into Nia, then drags Sasha up again.
Tamina scoops but Sashas slips out to roll up! TWO, and Tamina catches Sasha’s leap! Sasha’s so close but Tamina shoves her away from Ronda. Tamina hits Ronda down, and the ref has to keep Ronda back! Tamina runs into Sasha’s boot! Sasha fights out, goes up and over and Tamina hits Nia! Rolling leg sweep into the crossface! Tamina taps, Sasha and Ronda win!
Winners: Ronda Rousey & Sasha Banks, Sasha by submission
The Boss and the Baddest make it a win as a team, but now they’re back to being opponents. Charli Caruso interviews them in the ring and comments on that teamwork. It’s easy to trust each other when there’s respect. Sasha’s a great superstar, and it will be Ronda’s honor to defend against her. Ronda winning against Sasha will be the best win yet. Sasha heard that comment. Ronda didn’t mean it in a bad way. The way to show her respect is to make her tap out. Tap Sasha out? Again, that’s not how it sounds.
Sasha doesn’t like Ronda thinking she’s the only submission star here. Just ask Nia and Tamina what Sasha did. Sasha is ready to go any time, any where. And she’ll be the one teaching Ronda how to lose with class. Then teach by example, because Ronda’s not about to become the world’s classiest loser. Again, Ronda tries to say it’s not how it sounds, but Sasha won’t let her forget who she called out. Ronda said Sasha’s the best. Sasha isn’t afraid. And Ronda will get used to not having eh way around here, because Sasha’s gonna tap Ronda out and take back that title. #BankOnIt. Sasha leaves, but Ronda wants to apologize. This is meant to be respectful. Sasha isn’t listening, this is her house. But will that be her title again after the Rumble?
Mr. McMahon has a line outside his door.
But coming out of the office is Jerry “The King” Lawler! No Way Jose passes by with his conga line and King is clearly confused. But what is all this business about?
An argument breaks out backstage!
Ronda and Sasha won’t stop, so their friends Bayley and Natalya step in to keep the peace. Natty tells Ronda to just cool off in the locker room while Bayley tells Sasha to go somewhere else. Natty says Sasha needs to learn how to control herself. Bayley takes offense and says it’s Ronda who riled Sasha up. Ronda is the one talking out of both sides of her mouth. Natty says Ronda didn’t do anything, it’s just Sasha being sensitive. Now these two argue!
And the Riott Squad come by to tease everyone for “falling apart”. This isn’t any of their business. Oh sorry, is Bayley upset over Sasha dumping her for the Raw Women’s Championship? Again, this has nothing to do with them. Oh it has everything to do with them. Because they love making bad situations worse. If Bayley and Natty can find themselves another friend, they can have a match. Natty accepts for the both of them, but is that a wise move right now?
Lucha House Party VS The Revival!
The #TopGuys cry conspiracy over the two times they lost in Raw Tag Team Championship matches controversially, but also all those Lucha House Rules matches they were stuck in. Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson say LHP saw the ropebreak last week, but instead of saying anything, they just turned their backs. Tonight, they’ll pay the price for that. Will Dash & Dawson #SayYeah to some of their own personal justice?
The teams sort out, and Lince Dorado is the odd amigo out. Dash starts against Kalisto and circle. They tie up and Dash arm-drags Kalisto fast. Dash mocks the lucha chants, then hugs Dawson. Kalisto and Dash tie up again and Dash powers Kalisto to ropes. Dash arm-drags but Kalisto cartwheels through. Things speed up and Kalisto dropkicks Dash. Kalisto chops and goes acrobatic, for a big arm-drag! Kalisto tags in Metalik and they double whip Dash. They hip toss Dash down, then add the wheelbarrow senton! Cover, TWO! Metalik keeps on Dash and tags Kalisto. Kalisto climbs and hits the elbow. Kalisto wrenches but Dash tags Dawson. Atomic drop dropkick combo! Cover, TWO! Dawson drops leg drops while we check on Mr. McMahon’s office.
Dawson drags Kalisto up to whip and elbow him down while Dasha Fuentes notes that everyone wants that title match with Brock Lesnar. Dasha interviews one hopeful in Apollo Crews. Dawson drags Kalisto to a corner while Apollo says this line is crazy. That’s how important the Universal Championship is! Dawson rocks Kalisto with European Uppercuts and CHOPS. Dawson snap suplexes Kalisto then covers, TWO! Curt Hawkins comes in and says everyone is deserving. But no one brings what he brings to the table: The Streak! “You feel me?” No… Dawson keeps on Kalisto with a chinlock while The Top One Percent is spotted in line! EC3 just grins, because he doesn’t need to say anything more.
Kalisto endures the chinlock as fans rally up, but The B-Team speak to Dasha. The B stands for Brock! Wait, what? So who will face him then? Is that what this is for? Kalisto fights Dawson off with body shots, then slides under. The B-Team is undecided and will get back to Dasha on that. Kalisto kicks Dawson away, hot tag to Dash! Dash stops Kalisto from tagging Metalik while Slater and Rhyno walk up. Slater does NOT want to face Lesnar, he’s got kids. But Rhyno might give it a try. Kalisto kicks Dash away, hot tag to Metalik! Metalik swing kicks Dash then springboards to crossbody! Metalik boots Dawson and slingdogs him! Then he handsprings at Dash to huricanrana! Dawson tag sin but gets a dropkick!
Dash avoids Metalik, and the Revival regroup. They double suplex, but Kalisto saves Metalik. Kalisto rolls Dash for a Listo Kick! Dawson clobbers Kalisto! Metalik runs, springboards and sunset flips! TWO!! Metalik runs and walks the ropes, but Dawson ducks under. Dawson misses, Metalik ducks, but Dawson makes it a DDT! Cover, and Dash denies a ropebreak! The Revival win!
Winners: The Revival, Scott Dawson pinning
Poetic justice or bending the rules in their favor? It doesn’t matter to the #TopGuys, they got a win! Will they continue to “correct” the wrongs against them?
More stars wait outside Mr. McMahon’s office.
Vince comes out and sees Dasha. They want to know the scoop, right? Well he’s going to tell us, in the ring. Who has The Chairman chosen to be the Monster Among Men’s replacement?
Mr. McMahon heads to the ring!
Memphis is happy to see The Chairman in person as he picks up a mic. But before Vince can say anything, JOHN CENA appears! Cena stands across from Vince and tells him we already know what happened. The Universal Championships match is in jeopardy on the Road to Wrestlemania, so Vince wants someone to step up. Cena saves Vince the time and the trouble. When everyone else left Vince high and dry, from Stone Cold to The Rock, and even Brock Lesnar when he said “I’m going to play football”, Vince told the rejects and misfits to step up. Cena came up like a man and said “You give me a chance, I will not let you down.” Vince gave Cena that chance, and Cena didn’t let him down.
And then another chance and another chance. Cena missed birthdays, weddings and funerals for the WWE. That’s not for sympathy, but because he stepped up. So Cena just wants another chance, and promises not to let Vince down. Cena vows to walk in, defeat Lesnar, and become a 17-time world champion!! How does Cena know? Because he has something no one else has: RUTHLESS AGGRESSION! “No, no, no!” Drew McIntyre says this stops right now. How dare Cena do this. McIntyre doesn’t care about the title reigns, about the movie plugs or book deals, but he will not stand for Cena standing here with a straight face and claim that he still has that ruthless aggression. McIntyre will show us real ruthless aggression! Cena’s time is up, and McIntyre’s time is now! So like Stone Cold, just like Rock and just like Lesnar, Cena should just leave.
But Baron Corbin comes out now, and says that his life was threatened by Strowman. He’s not the kind of guy who has a lawyer on speed dial, but if he was, Mr. McMahon and Corbin could come to an agreement. Give him that Universal Championship match! Whoa whoa whoa. Finn Balor doesn’t want to interrupt, but he’s tired of being left out of the conversation. These three can claim a lot of things, but Finn is the only one who was ever Universal Champion. Vince likes the guts, but he’s not big enough for “all this beef.” Finn knows Vince never believed in him. But the fans did! And still do! Finn knows Vince is stubborn, and nothing he says will work. “So how about I show you.” And a fight breaks out! Finn rocks Corbin and McIntyre rocks Cena, but then McIntyre Claymores Finn!
The Scottish Terminator takes aim at Cena again, and hits another Claymore! McIntyre glares at Vince, and Vince likes what he sees! Each one of these men wants the title, so let’s find out who gets it! A Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender’s match! McIntyre stands tall in the scrum, but will he stand tall at the end of the night?
Vince McMahon encounters Jinder Mahal backstage.
The Modern Day Maharaja is honored to be in Vince’s presence. And Mahal is a little offended he wasn’t considered for that contenders match. He was a great WWE world champion, and was a finalist in the Mixed Match Challenge tournament. Plus, the WWE Universe was robbed of Lesnar VS Mahal a couple Survivor Series ago. So Mahal wants at the title? Yes, he wuold’ve been part of that argument if not for Strowman attacking the Singhs! Please, just one shot. Vince says that Mahal can choose one of those other four men. If he beats them, he takes their spot. Mahal accepts, and chooses Finn Balor! Then good luck. Will Mahal be able to rob Finn of his chance to grab his?
Six Woman Tag: The Riott Squad VS Bayley, Natalya & ???
Ruby, Sarah and Liv poked fun at the Huggable One and the Queen of Harts while they were in the middle of arguing about the argument between Sasha and Ronda. They were dared to find a third “friend” to make this match, but who did they find? It’s NIKKI CROSS!! The Loony Lass is on Raw as a free agent, will she make a major impact in her debut?
The teams sort out, and Sarah Logan starts against Bayley. They circle while Nikki runs about on the apron. But then Bayley thinks Nikki should have her turn, and fans like that idea! Tag to Nikki and she goes right at Sarah! Nikki hops on but Sarah throws her off, only for Nikki to dropkick Sarah down. Liv tags in but Nikki throws her around! Nikki grins as she slaps herself, and Ruby tags in. These two revisit their time in NXT together, but the Squad backs her up. Natty and Bayley come in, but Nikki tells them she’s got this, “Let Nikki play~!” Natty and Bayley let her play with the entire Squad! Nikki tackles Ruby and the Squad hurry to get their leader to safety. But then Bayley and Natty wreck Liv and Sarah with dropkicks!
Nikki drags Ruby under the ring! Nikki has Ruby in the apron skirt and hammers away! The wild one is in control, sorta, while we go to break.
Raw returns and Sarah toys with Bayley. Sarah drags Bayley up but Bayley fights back with forearms. Sarah whips but Bayley goes up and crossbodies! Cover, TWO! Sarah catches Bayley to toss her! Sarah runs and cartwheel knee drops! She scrapes Bayley out then goes out to fetch her. Sarah stomps Bayley and throws her back in. Bayley rolls Sarah, TWO! Sarah drags Bayley by her ponytail and tags in Liv. Liv climbs up and Sarah feeds Bayley to the knees and bulldog! Cover, TWO! Liv grins as she stalks Bayley to the ropes. Fans rally as Liv hops on for a sleeper pulling Bayley back. Liv lets up but Ruby gets in a cheap shot. Liv adds her dropkick then high stacks, TWO! The Squad keeps their cool as they toy with Bayley. Liv drags Bayley back but Bayley kicks her. Sarah tags in and stomps Bayley out.
Sarah drags Bayley up in a cobra clutch, but fans rally. Bayley endures and sits up. She fights back but Sarah gives her a backbreaker and toss into buckles. Sarah stomps Bayley then whips her to a corner. Bayley hits buckles hard, and Sarah roars as she runs in. Bayley gives her snake eyes! Sarah grabs Bayley but Bayley evades to hot tag Natty! The Queen of Harts rallies and German Suplexes! Then the discus clothesline! Natty keeps going with a whip, but Sarah wheelbarrows. Natty powers through to facebuster! Cover, but Ruby breaks it! Ruby drags Sarah away but Bayeley knees her down! Liv still tags Sarah, and runs to headscissor Natty! Cover, but Nikki breaks it! Liv swings but Nikki screams at her. Liv turns around into the Sharpshooter! But Liv pushes away, Nikki tags in!
Natty picks Liv up, Nikki climbs, SUPER Hart Attack! Nikki thrashes Liv around, then sees Sarah coming. Nikki gives her a neckbreaker, Natty gives Ruby a German! Ruby and Sarah end up in the same corner, Nikki sandwiches them with a splash! Bulldog for Ruby! Natty whips Nikki back to monkey flip Sarah! Natty adds a basement dropkick, then Nikki DIVES onto Ruby and Liv from the apron! Fans fire up with the frenzied Nikki, but Liv kicks her back. Liv brings Nikki back to the ring, but Nikki blocks the kick. Liv goes Matrix to dodge Nikki’s clothesline, then rolls Nikki up! TWO, and Nikki tags Bayley. Nikki gives Liv a draping neckbreaker! Bayley climbs, Nikki positions Liv, Macho Elbow! Cover, Bayley and team wins!
Winner: Bayley, Natalya and Nikki Cross, Bayley pinning
The crazy Cross makes a successful Raw debut! Will Nikki stay red or go to SmackDown blue tomorrow? And what of the issues between Bayley, Natty and each of their best friends?
Dean Ambrose speaks.
“Right versus wrong.” Right: Ambrose, all the time about everything. Wrong: a Triple Threat match for the title! Wrong: Seth Rollins is one of those two men! Also wrong: Bobby Lashley being the other! And the most wrong: defending it here in Memphis. But the odds could be 50-50 or 33 and one third chance, Ambrose will still win because no one is taking his title. Right or wrong, will the “Moral Compass” still be champion?
Finn Balor heads to gorilla.
Who is that talking to Mickie James and Dana Brooke? Why it’s the Lady of NXT, Lacey Evans! The Model Soldier talks her fabulous wardrobe, but when will she bring her ring gear to Raw and SmackDown?
Jinder Mahal w/ Samir Singh VS Finn Balor!
The Modern Day Maharaja is down a Singh after what Braun Strowman did, but he will soldier on in his attempts to become champion. He wants to remove the Extraordinary Man from tonight’s Fatal 4 Way, but will that be easier said than done?
Raw returns as Finn makes his entrance, but he doesn’t get to finish it! Samir Singh anchors Finn’s foot on the top rope, and Mahal blasts Finn off it! Mahal goes after Finn on the outside as fans boo and jeer. Mahal throws Finn into the apron again and again, then into the barriers! The referee tells Mahal to back off, but Mahal says he’s going to the Rumble to face Brock. Mahal throws Finn into more barriers, then back into the apron. He puts Finn in the ring, and tells the ref to ring the bell. The ref checks on Finn first, and Finn wants this match to happen, too. The bell rings, Mahal runs in, and boots Finn down! Cover, TWO! Mahal is furious this match isn’t over already, but he drags Finn back up for haymakers. He adds clubbing crossfaces, then puts on a chinlock.
Finn endures as fans rally for him. He fights his way up but Mahal wrangles him back down. Mahal and Samir trash talk but Finn fights his way up again. Finn fights but Mahal knees low. Mahal whips but Finn reverses. Mahal sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick! Finn grits his teeth while Mahal rolls away. He fetches Mahal but Mahal back suplexes him up! Finn fights out and swing kicks Mahal! Mahal falls to the floor and Finn aims from the apron. Finn kicks but Mahal blocks it to sweep the legs! The Maharaja has the odds in his favor while we go to break.
Raw returns as Mahal drops knees at the ropes! Mahal stops to grind his knee into Finn’s face, then backs off at 4. Finn gasps and sputters while Mahal uses Shanti to keep focus. Mahal stomps Finn then drags him up. He whips Finn corner to corner and Finn hits buckles hard. The ref checks on Finn but Finn refuses to quick. Mahal drives elbows into Finn’s forehead, then pulls him back in a partial camel clutch. Finn endures as Mahal shifts to a half nelson. Fans rally again and Finn fights his way up. Mahal lifts for a big back suplex but Finn makes it a crossbody! TWO, and Mahal gets the chinlock again. Finn endures all over again, but fans rally up again. Finn jawbreakers free, and then throws hands! Mahal shoves and they collide, PELE! Both men are down and fans rally up!
Samir coaches Mahal up as both he and Finn stand. Mahal runs but into Finn’s feet. Finn hits a big forearm smash! Finn whips but Mahal reverses, only for Finn to hit another forearm. He trips Mahal up and hits the double stomps! Fans fire up with Finn as he aims from the corner. Finn runs but Mahal denies the slingblade. Finn sees Samir get up so he dropkicks him down! Mahal kicks Finn but Finn back drops him out of the ring! Finn builds speed to FLY! Direct hit hit on Mahal and Samir! Finn flexes and roars as he puts Mahal back up and in. Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” as Finn hits the slingblade! And the blasting dropkick! Mahal’s down while Finn climbs up, COP DE GRACE!! Cover, Finn wins!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall; stays in the #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way
The Extraordinary Man was truly extraordinary to survive this match! But he’s still banged up going into tonight’s match with Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and John Cena. Will Finn be able to be even greater than extraordinary and punch his ticket to Phoenix?
Lio Rush speaks.
“In order to step up, you need to be willing to step on others.” Both he and Bobby Lashley understand that. They’ve suffered that, but now they’ll make others suffer. That includes Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Lashley is the man Raw needs as champion, because Lashley is a fighter. Lashley will become Intercontinental Champion whether fans like it or not. Ambrose and Rollins better come correct or not at all, because Lashley is here to dominate and collect. That triple threat for that title, is next!
WWE Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat: Dean Ambrose VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashey w/ Lio Rush!
The Lunatic Fringe doesn’t like anything about this Triple Threat match, but he doesn’t have much of a choice. Will he be able to settle things with The Architect while also denying the Rocky Mountain Machine? Or will one of them end his reign to bring that title down the Road to Wrestlemania?
Raw returns as Lashley makes his entrance with Lio. Rollins has a quick backstage interview. Is this his last chance to win back the title? Maybe it is, but that’s life. You need to make the best out of opportunities, and Rollins vows to do that when he kicks Ambrose’s teeth down his throat. Rollins is still hurting from Ambrose’s horrifying betrayal on the night of Roman Reigns’ life altering announcement. Ambrose betrayed six years of friendship, and Rollins cannot forgive him. As for Lashley, he’s impressive and intimidating, but all that only gets you so far. What matters is what you do, and no one on this planet does what Rollins does. If this is his last chance, then Rollins will lay it all on the line to take that title back. Rollins makes his entrance, and Memphis is ready to #BurnItDown!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! The fans are on Rollins’ side as the three men circle. Ambrose tells Rollins that they can still work together against Lashley. Rollins seems to accept, but then he throws Ambrose at Lashley! Rollins didn’t fall for anything, and got Ambrose first! Lashley throws Ambrose out but Rollins throws hands and chops. Rollins whips but Lashley reverses, and things speed up. Rollins dropkicks Lashley out of the ring, then slingshots out! He takes Lashley out but Ambrose comes around. Rollins senses him coming and hits Ambrose first. Rollins puts Ambrose in, shoulder shim away, then leaps for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Lashley runs in but Rollins throws hands. Ambrose hits Rollins then grounds ‘n’ pounds. Lashley throws Ambrose off to rain down on Rollins.
Ambrose talks with Lashley, and now he talks an alliance between them. Lashley goes with it and puts Rollins in the corner hard. Ambrose throws haymakers then lets Lashley pick Rollins up. Lashley suplexes and floats over, ONE! Ambrose tells Lashley to take it slower, and they work together to mug Rollins. Lashley drags Rollins up for a neck wrench, then helps Ambrose mug Rollins again. Rollins gets to the apron but Ambrose drags him back in. Ambrose chokes Rollins on the ropes with Lashley’s help. Lashley holds Rollins for Ambrose to hit a forearm smash in the corner. Fans rally for Rollins while booing Lashley and Ambrose. Lashley puts Rollins in the corner to run and ram a shoulder in! Ambrose keeps on Rollins, then whips Lashley in. Rollins dodges and then rallies on both enemies! Rollins runs, but into a BIG spinebuster!
Ambrose shoves Lashley out and covers Rollins, but Rollins small packages! TWO, and Rollins clotheslines Ambrose out! Then he DIVES on both opponents! Rollins keeps going, but Lio Rush gets in! Rollins stops the kick to flip Lio. Lio dodges and the chase is on! Rollins runs into another spinebuster! Lashley catches Ambrose and throws him overhead! The former Shield brothers are down while we go to break.
Raw returns and Lashley has Rollins in a chinlock. Fans rally as Rollins endures. Ambrose returns but Lashley throws Rollins down to go after him. Ambrose gets away, and Lashley runs into Rollins’ boot. Lashley staggers into Ambrose’s clothesline! The former brothers use a familiar string of moves as Ambrose hits the sliding lariat and Rollins drops a knee! Ambrose drops the elbow, and even as enemies, they’re still in sync. They stomp away on Lashley a la The Shield! Rollins and Ambrose clothesline Lashley out of the ring, but they keep on him. They go to the steel steps and pull off the top. They aim at Lashley, and ram him with the steel! Lashley is down and Rollins returns to the ring. Ambrose and Rollins stare down, and the fight is own!
Rollins chops, Ambrose chops, repeat! Rollins gets an edge but Ambrose knees low. Ambrose runs but into Lashley’s roaring elbow! Rollins lifts Ambrose but Ambrose back drops out. Rollins sunset flips, TWO! Ambrose has the suplex, but Rollins reverses to a Falcon Arrow! Cover, but Lio breaks it on Lashley’s behalf! It’s legal because of No Disqualifications, but now Lio regrets getting everyone’s attention. The chase is on, again! Lio gets Rollins on the return, but Rollins grabs Lio. Ambrose runs in but only gets Lio! Rollins rolls Ambrose, TWO, SUPERKICK! Lashley clotheslines Rollins out! Cover on Ambrose, TWO!! Lashley is furious, but he refocuses from a corner. He aims at Ambrose, runs out, but into a kick! And an eye poke! Ambrose underhooks but Rollins springboards in!
Rollins goes after Lashley with the enziguri! Then he climbs up top. Frog Splash! But Ambrose throws Rollins out! Cover on Lashley, TWO!! Ambrose can’t believe it, but he’s not finished yet. Memphis admits “This is Awesome!” as Ambrose climbs up top. Ambrose aims but Rollins leaps up to join him! Lashley stands up and grabs Rollins! Electric chair leads to an unlikely Doomsday Device! But Rollins lands on his hands and knees to spring up and SUPERKICK Lashley! Mule kick for Ambrose, but Lio dumps Rollins out! SPEAR from Lashley to Ambrose! Cover, Lashley wins!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall; NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion
The Almighty Fighter finally has this title on his record! Lio helps Lashley celebrate, but he does share part in this victory. Will the Rocky Mountain Machine dominate even more as we roll down the Road to Wrestlemania?
Alexa Bliss’ assistant brings her her latte.
But she doesn’t respond right away, so he enters the dressing room. To find Alexa’s in the middle of changing!! She didn’t hear him at the door, and tells him to put the coffee on the table. He explains she’s up next then hurries out of the room. The second Moment of Bliss is up next, but will The Goddess be able to compose herself?
It’s time for a Moment of Bliss!
The Goddess welcomes Memphis to the second episode ever. And this past Christmas, Vince McMahon announced the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. But he didn’t tell us when and where. Bliss promises the inside information: Five weeks in Houston Texas, three teams from each brand, will compete in a Tag team Elimination Chamber Match! The surviving team will walk out the inaugural Women’s Tag Team Champions! And Alexa reveals the belts! Exciting, right? But that’s what Moment of Bliss does: make history!
Now to business. Welcome the special guest, the greatest manager in WWE history, who now introduces himself. “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman.” And yes, please welcome him, he’s very welcome in Memphis. Heyman congratulates Bliss on interviewing the Advocate for the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar.” Give him your best shots. Bliss says it’s a wild night. Bobby Lashley is the new Intercontinental Champion. And Heyman was to talk Lesnar VS Strowman, but Strowman’s out. Lesnar defends against a new contender. With all this chaos, what are Heyman’s emotions? Emotions play no part, but it’s strategy that “practically guarantees” that the Universal Champion will still be Brock Lesnar.
The four challengers could line up and be defeated individually or all at once. But why clear out the entire Heavyweight Division at once? There can only be one, but who will that one be? Will it be the great John Cena? Heyman must remind everyone that “The Foundation of Suplex City” was built on Mr. Hustle, Loyalty & Respect. Will it be the ruthless Drew McIntyre? Heyman would be a liar if he didn’t admit he’s had his eye on McIntyre since his return. We all should be watching McIntyre! That man is almost guaranteed to be a future Universal Champion, just not now. Or what about the conniving Baron Corbin? Heyman knows Corbin isn’t that popular right now, but admit it, he was almost permanent GM but-
Wait, who is that making his way out on stage? It’s Otis Dozovic of Heavy Machinery! “Hashaaa!” The Dozer is ready, but what is he doing here now? “Boom shaka loo, yeah~!” Otis, no, this is not a Moment of Dozer. But Dozer says he and Tucker are COMIN~! Tucker Knight comes out to fetch his overenthusiastic friend away form the “pretty lady”, this is not their time to debut, either. But anyway, that ends the Moment of Bliss. And now it’s time to see who exactly faces Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble! The main event is after the break!
WWE Universal Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Baron Corbin VS Drew McIntyre VS Finn Balor VS John Cena!
The Lone Wolf, the Scottish Terminator, the Extraordinary Man and the Franchise Player all want their shot at the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion, but must prove themselves strong enough to make it through this match! Finn was roughed up by Jinder Mahal both before and during their “qualifying” match earlier tonight, but he still manages a smile as he enters. Will he be a factor in this match? Or will he fall to “all this beef”?
The bell rings and Corbin goes right at Finn! McIntyre goes at Cena and throws him out while Corbin puts Finn in a corner. Finn dodges and slips to the apron to kick Corbin back. Corbin’s down, Finn climbs, but Corbin grabs him first. Corbin brings Finn down for the choke slam backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Cena and McIntyre return, and Cena finds himself between a Terminator and a Lone Wolf while we go to break.
Raw returns and Cena throws hands with Corbin. Corbin knees low then runs in, but gets nothing but post! Corbin falls out of the ring but McIntyre returns to stalk Cena. McIntyre drags Cena up to throw at Finn, but Finn dodges. Cena hits the floor while Finn slingshots and sunset flips McIntyre. TWO, and McIntyre runs, but Finn throws him out. Finn wrecks McIntyre with a dropkick, but Corbin blasts Finn off the apron! Corbin runs but into Cena’s feet. Cena leaps for a tornado DDT! Cover, McIntyre breaks it! McIntyre grounds ‘n’ pounds Cena with heavy rights. McIntyre says “You Can’t Bloody See Me!” and laughs. He runs but Cena dodges to hit the shoulder tackles! Cena hits the spin-out bomb, then tells McIntyre “You Can’t See Me!” Five Knuckle Shuffle hits! Cena lifts McIntyre, Attitude Adjustment! Cover, but Corbin breaks it!
Everyone is down, but Corbin and Cena are in the ring. Corbin clubs away on Cena with shots to the lower back. But Cena goes to lift! Corbin slips out and suplexes back, but Finn comes in to help Cena double suplex Corbin! Cena decides to work with Finn to mug Corbin in a corner. They haul Corbin up top, then climb up together. They want to superplex but McIntyre comes in to add on, DOUBLE Super Powerbomb! Corbin drags McIntyre up but McIntyre hits back. McIntyre climbs now, but Corbin trips him up! Corbin throws hands and McIntyre is in the Tree of Woe! But McIntyre sits up to throw Corbin off! McIntyre takes aim, but we go to break!!
Raw returns one more time, and Finn is in the ring. He builds speed but runs into End of Days! Cover, but McIntyre breaks it! Corbin and McIntyre stare down, and the brawl is on! McIntyre shoves Corbin, Corbin slides out then in, but into the Glasgow Kiss! Cena climbs up top and leaps! But into a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! McIntyre can’t believe it! All four men are down from exhaustion but “This is Awesome!” Cena and McIntyre stir, then Corbin and Finn follow. McIntyre and Corbin crawl with Cena and Finn. Corbin stomps away on Finn while McIntyre stomps Cena down. Fans boo and jeer as McIntyre stomps Cena’s hands. Corbin drags Finn up for haymakers, then McIntyre does the same. But Cena and Finn fight back! They go back and forth and pick up speed. McIntyre runs but is dumped out, Finn slingblades Corbin!
Cena lifts Finn, but Finn slips out. Finn boots Cena down then climbs up! But Cena stops Finn with fists! Cena climbs up to join Finn, and fireman’s carry. Finn fights back, but Cena keeps going. Cena hits a SUPER AA!! But Corbin throws Cena out to cover Finn! TWO!! Fans rally for Finn while Corbin is frustrated. Corbin gets up and goes outside to fetch a chair. This is No Disqualifications, after all. Corbin jabs and SMACKS Cena! He SMACKS McIntyre, then jabs him while he’s down. Corbin goes back to Finn in the ring, and grins as he looms over Finn. Corbin waits for Finn to sit up, before he SMACKS Finn back down! And SMACKS him again! Cover, but Cena breaks it!
Cena goes after Corbin but Corbin punches back. Corbin picks up the chair again, aiming for Cena. Cena dodges, lifts, AA!! CLAYMORE fro M McIntyre! Finn runs, tilt-o-whirl DDT! Cena’s down, Finn climbs! COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, FINN WINS!!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall; will face Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble for the Universal Championship
Extraordinary is now an understatement! Finn Balor wins two matches in one night, and now has new life in the title hunt! Cena tells Finn that you fight to earn respect. Vince didn’t believe in Finn, but Finn said the fans did. “For what it’s worth, you’ve got one more person that believes in you.” Cena hopes Finn gives Lesnar Hell at the Rumble, and then raises his hand in victory. Will the endorsement of an all-time great give Finn the momentum to be greater than extraordinary against The Beast?
What an interesting episode for Raw. Vince arrives but mostly to shake up the hyped up Lesnar VS Strowman rematch. We’re not getting that match any more, but I hope that means Strowman can enter the Royal Rumble match and earn his opportunity that way. Sasha & Rousey VS Nia & Tamina was a decent tag team match, and we should’ve expected Ronda and Sasha to start losing that friendly attitude. All of Ronda’s friendly rivalries, outside of Natty’s, turns sour so this is just natural. And it continues to plug the possibilities that Ronda will finish up with the NXT Four Horsewomen and go into Horsewomen VS Horsewomen.
I wasn’t surprised to see Bayley and Natty arguing, that’s natural progression, too. I wasn’t surprised to see The Riott Squad to get at them. But I was surprised to see the third partner wasn’t Ember Moon! Nikki Cross makes her Raw in-ring debut and it was great! She got a much better Raw appearance than Lacey Evans and her cameo, or EC3 in that backstage segment. For that matter, that backstage segment was wasted being picture-in-picture with The Revival VS Lucha House Party. While it was hard to pay attention to that tag match, it was clear Dash, Dawson, Kalisto and Metalik were doing well. Revival wins by cheating, but that’s fine, they’re the Heels. I’m thinking they’ll cheat their way back to the tag titles, and maybe even cheat to finally win them, which will actually be great for them anyway.
But then, things got really good with the latter half of the show. The Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat was great, and I’m actually happy to see Lashley gets the title. Rollins and Ambrose never really needed that title for their feud, so it’s good to get it out of the way. Lashley can take that title with him against all sorts of Faces. Lashley VS Apollo or Lashley VS EC3 would be a lot of fun. Moment of Bliss was great with Heyman’s promos and the reveal of those amazing looking Women’s Tag Titles. Heavy Machinery’s cameo was pretty funny, too. The Women’s Tag Elimination Chamber match will be great, and I think we can all predict Sasha losing at the Rumble to fall back to this match with Bayley. And given that, they might not even win, and it’ll be The IIconics or Riott Squad winning instead.
Then the story of Strowman’s replacement was pretty well done. McIntyre stands tall after that brawl, but clearly Cena VS McIntyre is the story coming out of this. Mahal VS Finn was good, because of Finn toughing it out to win. And then I was shocked but excited to see Finn wins it all! Cena giving him props is also great, and brings Cena kinda full circle in his career from when he got the nod from American Badass Undertaker. I have no idea if Finn wins at Royal Rumble, but he better show up as Demon Balor to make a strong showing plausible. And if Finn does somehow win, I feel like Chase Field will explode, the internet will be broken, and I myself might truly, truly mark out. The Fresh Start is not real until Lesnar loses that title, and the sooner the better.
My Score: 8.5/10