Roman Reigns returns to Raw! What will his medical update say about his battle with leukemia? Plus, we celebrate Ric Flair’s 70th Birthday!
- The Revival VS Aleister Black & Ricochet; Black & Ricochet win.
- Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS The Riott Squad; Rousey & Natalya win, by disqualification.
- Open Challenge: Jinder Mahal w/ the Singh Brothers VS ???; Kurt Angle wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Finn Balor VS Lio Rush; Finn wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
- Braun Strowman VS Bobby Lashley; No Contest.
- No Disqualifications: Dean Ambrose VS Drew McIntyre; McIntyre wins.
- Bayley w/ Sasha Banks VS Nia Jax w/ Tamina; Bayley wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
October 22, 2018 – Roman Reigns revealed his real fight.
The Big Dog wanted to be a workhorse, but he couldn’t. “The reality is, my real name is Joe, and I’ve been living with Leukemia for 11 years.” And it returned. Roman could not fulfill his role as fighting champion, and would relinquish the WWE Universal Championship. But by no means is Roman retired. He has faith that he’ll whoop Leukemia again and will return home to the WWE.
Tonight, February 25, 2019 – Roman Reigns returns to Raw!
The Big Dog heads down the ramp as Atlanta gives him a standing ovation. Roman high-fives and shakes hands with all the fans in the front row, as well as giving hugs to his family. He takes a moment to soak it all in before entering the ring. Atlanta continues to give him the ovation as well as chant “Welcome Back!” Roman picks up a mic and knows he’ll say this a lot, but starts with “Thank you.” Atlanta says “You are Welcome!” Roman admits, he misses them. Seriously, there is no other job like pro-wrestling. There is no other fanbase like the WWE Universe. Fans let him know “This is Your Yard!” Roman admits he’s adlibbing, but this isn’t his Yard, this is “Our Yard”.
Roman’s a man of faith, has always believed in God and the blessings He gave, but that night in October, Roman was scared. He wasn’t sure about sharing that secret. Mostly because he wasn’t sure how fans would react. When he arrived home, the outreach in texts, calls, Tweets, Instagram and Facebook, “If there was a way to get to me, y’all figured out how to do it.” The amount of thoughts and prayers sent his way was completely overwhelming and appreciated. Not just WWE fans but everyone. Anyone and everyone who knew him was surrounding him with love and support. So many people prayed for Roman, God’s voicemail was full. God must’ve wondered what was going on just for one man. But that was how strong it was to feel the love and grace of other people. The strength they gave him made Roman feel he could do anything.
Fans take a moment to chant “Thank You, Roman!” before Roman continues. That overwhelming support gave him “new life” and a new purpose. In the WWE, a lot of purpose is to win and climb the mountain. But now, Roman only wants to make his return. And if he does, he’ll use this WWE global platform to raise awareness and support others in need. Fans cheer on that new mission.
Roman knows this was advertised as an update, so now it’s time for that update. When Roman made his announcement in October, he vowed to swing for the fences. “We did better than that, y’all.” They not only swung for the fences, they hit that home run. Roman is again so grateful and humbled, to announce that- “Wrestlemania!” No, no, let’s walk before we can run. But the good news is that he is in remission! Atlanta loves to hear that! And with that said, The Big Dog IS back! Fans bark for the Big Dog, and then chant “Welcome back!” Before Roman takes his leave, he wants to say it again. “Thank you so much, y’all.” Roman loves the fans and the fans love him. When and where will Roman return to full action?
Seth Rollins heads to the ring!
The Architect times it right and meets Roman at the top of the ramp. The Shield brothers embrace after hearing the amazing news.
The Revival VS Aleister Black & Ricochet
Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson are the NEW Raw Tag Team Champions, but they already lost to the NXT Champion and North American Champion last week. This week, they face the Embodiment of the End and the King of Flight. Will the #TopGuys be able to break even against the new guys?
But before the bell, The Revival attacks! They send Ricochet tumbling out and club away on Aleister! Fans boo as the Revival double hip. Aleister slips through and Ricochet returns with a crossbody! Jumping neckbreaker for Dawsno and a handspring headscissor and dropkick for Dash! Aleister fakes them both out, but Ricochet DIVES! Ricochet takes out Dash, Aleister FLIES onto Dawson! The chaos calms while we go to break!
Raw returns and teams have sorted out. Dash has Ricochet in a keylock but Ricochet reaches for Aleister. Ricochet fights back with forearms but Dash suplexes. Ricochet lands on his feet and leaps over Dash, tag to Aleister! Aleister rallies on Dash and then sweeps the legs to drive in the knee! He roundhouses Dawson, then springboard quebradas Dash! Cover, TWO! Aleister keeps on Dash while the GLORIOUS Duo watch backstage. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable like what they see as Aleister hauls Dash up. Dawson saves Dash from the German Suplex and tags in. Dawson climbs while Dash swings on Aleister. Aleister dodges and hits Dawson but Dash hits Aleister. Aliester knees out of the suplex but Dawson leaps for a sunset flip! High stack cover, TWO!
Aleister fires off counter punches on Dawson, but gets caught in a DDT! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Dawson tries again, TWO! The Revival are frustrated but Dawson drags Aleister up for an electric chair. Dash climbs up but RIcochet shoves him down! Aleister slips away, Ricochet moonsaults onto Dash! Aleister rolls Dawson but Dawsno sits on it! TWO! BLACK MASS!! Cover, Aleister and Ricochet win!
Winners: Aleister Black & Ricochet, Black pinning
A big win for the Dark and the Flight! Will there be a tag title opportunity waiting for them when they make the full-time jump?
Backstage interview with Baron Corbin.
The former GM made light of things like Roman Reigns’ fight with leukemia, and even hoped Roman would never return. Is there any concern now that he’s returning? Why is everyone living in the past? Corbin gets it, they’re desperate for a story. But he never said those things. They have footage of it, though. Okay, okay, it was all out of context given the stress of being in charge and in the ring. No one can understand what he was going through. Running Raw was more difficult than dealing with a disease? Corbin says that for Roman’s sake, they better not cross paths.
Shawn Michaels is spotted on the Raw Red Carpet.
HBK spots Johnny Gargano and they talk while being interviewed. What part will the Hall of Famer play in Ric Flair’s birthday party?
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter is in Atlanta, but he’s immediately interrupted by Lacey Evans! The Model Soldier walks and waves and then leaves without a word. But she’s not the only one to interrupt Elias, Dean Ambrose appears! The Lunatic Fringe sees all this celebrating and he’s in a festive mood. He’s nostalgic, if you know what he means. There’s positivity flowing through him and he feels dangerous. Ambrose issues an open challenge for a rematch with Drew McIntyre. But he wants everyone to hear this part: NO DISQUALIFICATIONS!
Elias ignores Ambrose’s wishes but Ambrose interrupts again. Trying to play him off like this is the Academy Awards? No, because if it was, Elias would have a second standing ovation. What Ambrose did was interrupt his song about loving Atlanta. Atlanta is so fascinating. It is fully capable of hosting a Super Bowl. Winning it is a different story. Ambrose is actually a big fan, and he has a request. Does Elias any Temple of the Dog? Yes. Nightranger? Yes. Yankee Doodle? Of course. Thunderstruck? Yes. How about… Dirty Deeds? Just saying. Elias could play anything, but he swings at Ambrose! Only to GET Dirty Deeds! Ambrose heads out despite fans, and Renee, wanting an encore. Will Ambrose get his request of a No DQ redo with the Scottish Terminator?
Elias sits up, but he still gets interrupted by the Riott Squad! Ruby, Liv and Sarah want to settle the score with the Baddest Woman on the Planet, after the break!
Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS The Riott Squad!
The Rowdy Raw Women’s Champion has run through the entire Squad on her own, but she teams with good friend in the Queen of Harts to take them all at once. Will Ronda roll right down the Road to Wrestlemania? Or will Ruby, Liv & Sarah prove to be a riotous roadblock?
The teams sort out and Sarah starts against Natty. The Kentucky Viking spinebusters Natty down fast! She fires hands off on Natty against ropes! She clubs Natty down then taunts Ronda. Sarah kicks Natty to the corner and tags in Ruby. Ruby snapmares Natty to kick her in the back. Cover, TWO! Natty powers Ruby to the corner and tags in Ronda! Ronda and Natty work together to double suplex Ruby down! Liv barks from the apron to distract Ronda, Ruby STO’s Ronda down! Ruby brings Ronda over to stomp a mudhole into Ronda, then tags Sarah. Sarah keeps up those stomps and throws right hands. Sarah tags back to Ruby and they both stomp Ronda down.
Ruby drags Ronda out but Ronda reaches for Natty. Ronda fights back buy Ruby whips her to the corner. Ronda hits Sarah then Ruby, then tags Natty! Natty rallies on Ruby but Ruby reverses the whip. Natty dodges in the corner to rebound sit-down Ruby! She hits Sarah down, then walks all over Ruby. Liv trips Natty and brags about it, but Ronda comes around the side. Liv turns around, into a Rowdy Hart Attack! Natty throws Ruby back in but Sarah shotgun knees Natty down! The Squad brings the riot while we go to break.
Raw returns and The Squad isolates Natty. Sarah uses Ruby for a human weapon, leg drop! Cover, TWO! Ruby keeps on Natty with a chinlock but fans rally up. Natty endures but Ruby keeps on the grind. Fans chant and Natty powers up to fight out. Ruby grabs hair to throw Natty down! High stack cover, TWO! Ruby argues but the ref tells her it was a two. Ruby intercepts Natty and powers her to the Squad’s corner. Tag to Sarah, and Ruby whips her in for a big corner splash. Sarah eggs Natty on but Natty fights out of the corner! Natty scrambles for Ronda but Sarah catches her! Sarah drags and drops a senton on Natty! Sarah howls but fans boo and jeer. She drags Natty up in an inverted cloverleaf! Natty endures as Sarah pulls and bends her back.
Fans rally up as Natty grits her teeth. Natty powers out of the hold! Sarah swings on Ronda but gets swatted. Natty crawls and tags Ronda! Ronda rallies on Sarah with judo throws! Ronda fires off body shots but Ruby runs in! Ruby ends up stacked on top and gets body shots for herself! Ronda throws Sarah again, then knocks Liv off the apron! Huge shining wizard! Cover, but Ruby breaks it! Ruby throws Natty out but Natty drags her out with her. Discus clothesline takes Ruby out! Ronda drags Sarah up into the fireman’s carry, for Piper’s Pit! Cover, but Becky Lynch appears!? The Man again violates suspension and DECKS Natty!
Winners: Natalya & Ronda Rousey, by disqualification
Becky doesn’t care about anything but going after Ronda! So Ronda goes after her! Security does their best but its’ a fight with those crutches! Fans are thunderous as security reinforcements arrive! They barely pull Ronda and Becky apart, but Ronda fights them off! Becky almost gets loose but Ronda gets at her first! More serious authorities arrive and Atlanta police have to haul Becky away! Ronda wants to rip into Becky but the referees, security and police keep between them. Becky is cuffed and booked! Will Becky be forced to watch the rest of Raw behind bars?
Raw returns as Ronda helps Natalya to the back.
The Queen of Harts got the sucker punch from Becky but she’s up and walking again. As for Ronda, she storms to the ring and goes to the ring. “It’s time to end this!” She demands Vince McMahon to show himself! Ronda paces, but gets Stephanie McMahon instead. Stephanie wants Ronda to remain calm. Ronda gets to the point: reinstate Becky, add her to Wrestlemania! Stephanie knows Ronda is upset, and we all saw why. But reinstating Becky is the least of our problems. Becky has been arrested. Then take care of that, too! Drop the charges, reinstate Becky, tell “daddy” all of this. Just do it!
But it’s not that easy. Stephanie reminds Ronda that her opponent is Charlotte Flair. It’s not what anyone wanted and it didn’t go the way anyone wanted, but Becky is a loose cannon! Becky did this to Becky. So instead of the Road to Wrestlemania, Becky’s on the road to jail. But isn’t this about what’s best for business? Ronda wants it, fans want it, it’s what that “ginger douche” wants! The first-ever Women’s Main Event at Mania! Think about what this would mean to Stephanie’s legacy. Think about what it would mean to Stephanie’s daughters. Fans chant “Triple Threat!” but Stephanie says no. Ronda says no to Stephanie, and demands Becky be brought back NOW! Stephanie doesn’t want Ronda to talk like that to her. Vince was right, Ronda’s no better than Becky with a bad attitude. Nobody is bigger than the WWE!
Ronda says no one controls her. She’s bled enough to be set for life. She is not a worker bee, she is RONDA ROUSEY! Ronda carries the title as long as it carries the best of the best. But it means nothing now! It’s just a gaudy accessory. Ronda will not stand here endorsing the violation of this title! Vince says he’s able to make the tough decisions, but it’s time to make the right decision. Ronda puts the belt down, and leaves the ring. Stephanie sees Ronda’s Rowdy Ultimatum, but what is her response?
Triple H finds Stephanie backstage.
They talk about Ronda’s sudden actions. Will they be able to convince Vince to do as Ronda asked?
Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers are in the ring.
Fans boo The Modern Day Maharaja as he says that “All of this talk about Ric Flair’s birthday. What has Ric Flair ever done?” Does Mahal not know his wrestling history? But it’s really that he’s upset that he wasn’t invited to the part. No party is complete without the Maharaja and the Bollywood Boys! Mahal issues an open challenge to those on the guest list! As far as Mahal is concerned, the party’s over!
Open Challenge: Jinder Mahal w/ the Singh Brothers VS ???
The man to answer the challenge: KURT ANGLE! The Olympic Gold Medalist is naturally on the guest list, but will Mahal ruin the fun for him already?
The bell rings and the Singh Brothers distract Angle. Mahal boots Angle down! Cover, TWO! Mahal keeps on Angle with elbows to the head and knees to the back. Mahal stomps Angle down then throws haymakers to put Angle in a corner. Fans rally for Angle while Mahal says Shanti. Mahal snapmares Angle to a chinlock, but Angle endures. Fans rally up and Angle feeds off the energy. Angle fights out but Mahal wrangles him back down! Cover, TWO! Mahal drives in more elbows and puts on a half nelson with chinbar. Angle endures again, and fans rally up again. Mahal puts his weight on Angle but Angle powers his way back up. Mahal throws hands but Angle counter punches! Angle gets a BIG German Suplex!
Fans fire up as Angle and Mahal are slow to standing. Angle is up first and stalks Mahal. Mahal stands, and gets another German! And then another! And the hat trick! Angle fires up and blasts the Singhs down! Mahal grabs Angle but Angle arm-drags and drop toeholds, to the Ankle Lock! Mahal taps, Angle wins!
Winner: Kurt Angle, by submission
The Singh Brothers run in but they get German Suplexes, too! The Olympic Gold Medalist still has what it takes! Will Angle make a big move on this Road to Wrestlemania?
It’s time for another Moment of Bliss!
The Goddess is on stage as Raw returns. Before getting started, Alexa just wants to say, “Bye, Ronda.” Don’t let the red carpet smack you on the butt on your way out. As a three-time Raw Women’s Champion, she would never have insulted the title the way Ronda did. But if the McMahons want someone to take Ronda’s place, they know where to find Alexa.
As for tonight’s episode, it will be Extraordinary, for her guest is the NEW Intercontinental Champion, Finn Balor! Finn walks out with jacket and belt as fans give him a great ovation. Alexa welcomes him to the show and he’s happy to be here. At Elimination Chamber, Finn beat both Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley to win the title. Finn must be on top of the world. But one downside is that the title covers up those great abs. Let those bad boys breath. Is Bliss trying to make him blush? Alexa makes him a deal: show off the abs, and she’ll- Here comes Lio Rush!
The Man of the Hour stares Finn down as he says “This whole talk show is a sham.” Finn doesn’t deserve that title. Bobby Lashley deserves to be champion. Finn says if Lashley wants to challenge him, then just come find him. Lashley is preparing for Braun Strowman, so for now, Finn answers to Lio. Lio won’t stop until Lashley gets that belt back. Even if it means taking it himself. Wait is Lio challenging Finn for the title? So that Lio can prove he’s better? N-no! That’s not what this is. But that’s what it sounds like. Finn isn’t sure what anyone else will say, but he believes Lio is deserving of opportunity. Finn accepts the challenge! It makes perfect sense, really. Finn pinned Lio, Lio should get the rematch.
Lio won’t let Finn stir the pot but too late. Finn asks Atlanta if they want to see Finn VS Lio, for the title, tonight? “Yes! Yes!” Alexa asks if Lio isn’t man enough to do the job himself. Lio accepts Finn’s offer! Those tighty-whities don’t make you tough! Lio wants time to prepare, but Alexa says that match is now. Fine, just give him a proper entrance. His theme plays, and Lio heads to the ring. Will the 24 Year Old Piece of Gold finally get some gold for himself?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Finn Balor VS Lio Rush!
Raw returns as the belt is raised and the match begins! Lio and Finn circle and tie up. Finn puts Lio in a corner but Lio slips out. The chase is on as Lio redirects himself and tilt-o-whirls Finn! He adds a dropkick and covers, ONE! Lio talks trash but Finn shrugs it off. They circle again and tie up. Finn gets a headlock, and holds on as Lio tries to power out. Finn gets the takeover but Lio gets the headscissors, only for Finn to slip out. They get up, Lio handsprings and mule kicks to enziguri! Dropkick sends Finn out! Lio builds speed but Finn comes in to run him over with an elbow!
Finn stalks Lio to the ropes to stomp away. Lio bails out and Finn backs off, only for Finn to wreck Lio with a dropkick! Finn hurries to the apron, but Lio intercepts the Penalty Kick! Lio springboards to ASAI! Direct hit, but Lio keeps moving. Lio DIVES with a tope! And then AGAIN! Lio puts Finn in fast, then climbs up top. Lio leaps, Final Hour gets knees! Both men are down but Finn catches his breath and stands up. Finn stomps Lio more despite the bad knee. He puts Lio in a corner and CHOPS! Finn whips Lio corner to corner and still CHOPS again. Finn whips again but Lio goes up and over. Slingblade! Finn aims from the other end, runs, but Lio dropkicks the legs out! Finn clutches the leg but Lio is on him with stomps and an elbow drop to the knee.
Lio pulls on the leg but Finn fights back. Lio stands and stomps the leg more. Then he yanks it! Lio keeps on the knee with another toehold but fans rally for Finn. Finn kicks with his free leg, driving the knee into Lio’s back. Finn gets free but Lio is right back on him, only to get an enziguri! Both men are down while Finn clutches his leg and Lio shakes out the stars. Finn catches the kick to CHOP Lio again. Finn throws forearms into the back then drops Lio with an elbow drop DDT! He drags Lio up in a dragon sleeper, but Lio slips out of 1916 to roll Finn up! TWO, but Lio spins for a roundhouse! Cover, TWO!! Finn lives and Lio grows frustrated.
Lio sees Finn is in a drop zone so he climbs up top. Moonsault but Finn dodges! Finn clotheslines Lio off his feet! Finn sees Lio is in the drop zone and he drags himself to the corner. He climbs up now, but Lio springs up! Lio trips Finn, then throws haymakers. Lio positions Finn and climbs up to join him. SUPER STEINER, SUNSET FLIP! But Lio rolls through and stacks Finn, TWO! Lio kicks away but Finn throws forearms. Lio kicks, Finn forearms, repeat. Finn CHOPS, but Lio mule kicks the leg. Lio runs, springboards, but gets caught into the 1916! Finn hurries to the top rope, even on one leg! Finn leaps, COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, Finn wins!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall; still WWE Intercontinental Champion
The Extraordinary Man proves he’s extraordinarily tough by winning on one leg! Will Lio be back for more? Will the Almighty Lashley want his own rematch? Or will someone else move up on the Road to Wrestlemania?
Tucker Knight encounters The Ascension.
Konnor tells Viktor they’ve got some fresh meat. But where’s the pet pig, Otis? Probably dumpster diving. Watch what you say about Dozer. He’s got a big temper. Probably not as big as his gut. Or his neck. What neck? He’s like a bowling ball on a boulder. Tucker warns them, Otis may not be smart but he is sensitive. Otis comes along and sees The Ascension. Tucker tells Otis what The Ascension says about being a pig and a bowling ball, and dumpster diving for food. Dozer SMASH! “That’s what you get for messing with Heavy Machinery!” Will everyone on Raw and SmackDown learn not to make light of these heavy hitters?
Bobby Lashley is furious with Lio Rush.
That was supposed to be LASHLEY’s shot, but then Lio gets it for himself. And then he loses anyway! Lio, look at him. You had one job. He can’t be worried about Lio when he has Strowman to worry about. Can he trust Lio? He can’t hear you! Can he trust Lio. Yes. Lashley’s music hits, and Lio accompanies Lashley to the ring.
Braun Strowman VS Bobby Lashley!
The Monster Among Men owes Baron Corbin’s entire pack some payback after what they did to him at Elimination Chamber. Strowman already put Corbin through a table, but what will he do to the Rocky Mountain Machine?
Lashley attacks Strowman from behind! He doesn’t let this match begin as he rams in shoulders and throws hands on the Monster. Lashley kicks a leg out then clubs away on Strowman’s back. Fans boo Lashley as he knocks Strowman down. Lashley cravats then drags Strowman to a corner to bump off buckles. Lashley throws body shots and goes to suplex, but Strowman’s just too big and strong! Strowman gourd busters Lashley instead! Strowman runs but into an elbow. Lashley runs but into a boot! Strowman runs corner to corner to squash Lashley! Then he clubs Lashley down with one hand! Fans roar with Strowman as Lashley bails out. Lio checks on Lashley, but Strowman comes out and around the corner! Strowman runs Lashley over, then comes back for Lio!
Strowman lets Lashley know that he’s coming for all three of them! Corbin got a table, and Lashley got run over! Will Drew McIntyre be the one to #GetTheseHands?
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins!
The Architect has a pep in his step after hearing the fantastic news. Rollins was so obsessed with Brock Lesnar lately, and his Wrestlemania match for the Universal Championship will be his biggest ever. But tonight, that’s secondary because he has his brother back. Roman is in remission and tonight is about love and celebration. Speaking of, Roman’s probably got some ice cold beverages waiting for him. Will chilling out now help Rollins #BurnItDown later?
Ric Flair arrives!
The Nature Birthday Boy is here! Time to party!
WWE superstars visit the site where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
We can only imagine today the heartbreak of losing such a great man, and can only thank him in spirit for his hard work and sacrifice.
No Disqualifications: Dean Ambrose VS Drew McIntyre!
The Lunatic Fringe has been in the mood for a fight, and he wants to fight the Scottish Terminator again! But with the rules thrown out the window, will Ambrose be able to get even with McIntyre?
Ambrose rushes McIntyre on the ramp! They start brawling and Ambrose throws McIntyre into barriers! Ambrose throws McIntyre into more barriers, then into a post! McIntyre staggers away and gets his coat off to punch and CHOP Ambrose back. Ambrose hits back and bumps McIntyre off the apron! Ambrose runs and tackles McIntyre into a corner as the bell rings. Fans count as Ambrose gets 5 corner punches. Ambrose punches and chops and whips, but McIntyre kicks back. McIntyre runs but Ambrose dropkicks the legs out. Ambrose kicks McIntyre while he’s down, then takes off a belt! Ambrose is wearing two belts?! McIntyre boots Ambrose away before he can be whiplash’d, and then he picks up that belt! He WHAPS Ambrose, then WHAPS again! McIntyre WHAPS Ambrose against the ropes! And then across the chest!
Ambrose writhes but McIntyre ditches the belt to drag Ambrose up. McIntyre pushes and SPINEBUSTERS, jackknife cover, TWO! McIntyre takes the belt back to WHAP Ambrose more! He makes it a leather fist but Ambrose dodges to punch and chop! Ambrose clotheslines McIntyre out, then builds speed, to DIVE! But McIntyre catches him to slam him into the barrier! And then slam him into more barriers before throwing Ambrose overhead! McIntyre looks to make Ambrose regret making this challenge, but we go to break.
Raw returns and Ambrose leaves McIntyre leaning against barriers while he climbs up. Ambrose LEAPS for a Lunatic Elbow! He clobbers McIntyre back into the barriers! Ambrose fires off furious hands and goes to whip McIntyre, but McIntyre reverses to send Ambrose at steel steps. Ambrose stops himself, then dodges to let McIntyre run into the steps himself! He puts McIntyre in the ring and rolls McIntyre, TWO! McIntyre swings but misses and Ambrose hits a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Ambrose keeps his cool and hears the fans calling for the belt. Ambrose picks the belt up and grins as he gets to WHAP, WHAP, WHAP away on McIntyre! McIntyre can’t cover up enough for Ambrose’s furious lashing. But McIntyre gets up to give Ambrose a Glasgow Kiss! The headbutt sends Ambrose out of the ring!
McIntyre is still stinging but he follows Ambrose out. McIntyre picks up steel steps, and runs at Ambrose! Ambrose drop toeholds and McIntyre crashes into the steps himself! Ambrose bounces McIntyre off the steps again and again and again! He drags McIntyre up and fans fire up, but here comes Elias! Elias SMASHES Ambrose with the guitar! The Drifter gets away with it, and puts Ambrose in the ring for McIntyre. McIntyre accepts Elias’ help, then aims at Ambrose from the corner, CLAYMORE! Cover, McIntyre wins!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
And now Baron Corbin comes out, with Bobby Lashley! It seems Corbin’s pack of wolves have a new friend as Elias joins in on stomping Ambrose out! Corbin drags Ambrose up for a choke slam backbreaker! Lashley SPEARS Ambrose down, but here comes Seth Rollins! The Architect has a chair! And Roman Reigns! They take out Corbin and Lashley at the ramp! Rollins takes care of Elias while Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES McIntyre! SUPERMAN PUNCH for Lashley! Curb Stomp for Elias! Roman fires up and lets out the battle cry, to SPEAR McIntyre! Roman and Rollins stand tall, but they leave Ambrose to pick himself up. The Big Dog really is back, but is The Shield back? Or will it take a little more time to heal those wounds?
Bayley w/ Sasha Banks VS Nia Jax w/ Tamina!
The Boss & Hug Connection are the inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, but that just means the line of challengers is forming. The Samoan Dynasty have the first shot, and tonight the Irresistible Force looks to fire a first shot of her own. Will Nia and Tamina carve a path of destruction on the Road to Wrestlemania?
The bell rings and Nia shoves Bayley around. Nia runs in but misses in the corner, but she headbutts Bayley back. Nia runs but Bayley dumps her out. Bayley clubs away on Nia the moment she returns, and then manages a hip toss! Cover, ONE! Nia backs off to ropes but Bayley is on her with more furious hands. Bayley runs and forearms but Nia barely staggers. Nia grabs Bayley and shoves her right out! Sasha checks on her best friend while we go to break.
Raw returns and Nia scoops Bayley up for a bearhug. Bayley endures the squeeze while fans rally up. Bayley fights with elbows and scrambles to a sunset flip. Nia stays standing and drops down, but misses! Bayley runs to drop a knee but Nia dodges. Nia drops an elbow but Bayley dodges. Both women stand up and Bayley dropkicks a leg out. Bayley runs and bulldogs Nia down! Nia hurries to a corner but Sasha coaches Bayley up. Bayley runs in for a big shoulder tackle! Then wacky waving- Nia runs Bayley over! Nia mocks the wacky waving before raining rights down on Bayley! She lets up at 4 then stalks Bayley to the ropes. Nia drags Bayley up and tosses her across the ring! Nia chokes Bayley on the ropes but lets up at 4. She drags Bayley up for a cobra clutch and thrashes Bayley around.
Fans rally while Bayley endures. Nia squeezes tight but Bayley feeds off the energy. Bayley fights out with elbows and then a jawbreaker! Nia staggers while Bayley crawls to a corner. Nia storms over but is yanked into buckles! Bayley drags herself up and stomps a mudhole into Nia! Then she knees Nia right out of the ring! Nia hurries back up but gets a hotshot! Bayley fires forearms on Nia, then runs for a dropkick! Nia tumbles back down and Bayley waits. Bayley fires off on Nia as soon as she returns, and hits a big knee! Bayley leaps but is caught, Nia slams Bayley into the Tree of Woe! Fans boo as Nia goes corner to corner, for the Samoan hip attack! Nia stomps Bayley more but backs off at 4.
Sasha checks on Bayley, but Nia grabs her by the hair! Bayley hits Nia with a knee! Tamina runs in but is sent into steps! Bayley hits the Macho Elbow on Nia! Cover, Bayley wins!
Winner: Bayley, by pinfall
This round goes to the champs! Bayley and Sasha get momentum towards their title match, will Fastlane help them accelerate towards Wrestlemania?
Happy Birthday, Ric Flair!
The cake and balloons are in the ring while the superstars are on stage. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon head to the ring to officially begin the festivities. Mondays are already hectic, but the Road to Wrestlemania amps things up. Take tonight as an example. Roman Reigns returns to his Yard, Ronda Rousey issues an ultimatum, and Becky Lynch goes rogue and then goes to jail. But all of that will pale in comparison to why we’re here now: to celebrate the 70th birthday of the greatest pro-wrestler of all time! The Nature Boy, Ric Flair! But of course a party needs guests, so Stephanie introduces Shawn Michaels! HBK makes his way to the ring, having a bit of fun with the superstars on stage.
Of course, we also need Ric’s greatest rival, Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat! The Dragon makes his way out, and playfully chops the superstars, such as Seth Rollins. Stephanie introduces the Olympic Gold Medalist, Kurt Angle! Angle high-fives and joins in on the “You Suck!” ovation from Atlanta. And last but not least, the Icon, STING! String shakes hands with the superstars, and lets out his own howling “WOO!” to Atlanta. A lot has been said about Ric over the years, there isn’t much more to add. The kiss-stealing, wheeling-dealing, stylin’ and profilin’, limousine-riding, jet-flying sonovagun, gets a video tribute! “What’s really causing all this? I’m gonna tell ya!” Bright lights, big cities and pretty ladies on top of the historic 16 world championship reigns, “It’s time to style and profile!”
Ric Flair will always be a champion, so he will receive a custom Big Gold Belt to immortalize his career. So without much more, HHH introduces The original Man himself, Ric Flair! Fans and superstars alike applaud, but where is Ric? Wait, is that Batista?! He’s dragging a camera man along into Ric’s dressing room, only to close the door behind him! Batista drags Ric out of his dressing room!? The Animal wants to know if he has HHH’s attention. HHH hurries to the back to confront Batista, while everyone else is speechless. HHH finds Ric, along with security and officials. Batista has since disappeared, but he’s the least of anyone’s concern. HHH and the others shout for doctors, will the Nature Boy be alright?
Wow, what a great Raw! Granted, pacing felt odd but that’s because Raw’s been doing more commercials than usual. But those aside, there was so much to love about tonight. First off, Roman Reigns is in remission and that is something to truly celebrate. This result came much sooner than I’m sure anyone expected, but it’s obviously well-received. And they wasted little time getting him going again, as they tease Baron Corbin thinking Roman should stay away, and then Roman helping Rollins save Ambrose. I’m thinking that, even with Roman and Rollins leaving Ambrose behind, the Wrestlemania moment they should build to is The Shield VS Corbin’s pack, even if it’s a handicap match. Shield wins, and whether Ambrose is taking time off or leaving for good, their last Shield fist bump will make for a great send-off.
I did not expect Aleister & Ricochet VS Revival but they did pretty good. Revival loses again, which might mean Ricochet and Aleister will temporarily be a team. This builds on what NXT has them doing by seemingly taking on The Undisputed Era as a tag team. Of the four newest NXT “call-ups”, I’m pretty sure Ciampa & Gargano are the ones to get the belts. But a crazy Triple Threat would be great, Revival VS DIY VS Ricochet & Black, to really elevate those titles. Because I’m a little worried Heavy Machinery is already going down a bad path. Making Otis into a hothead when he was never that in NXT, Vince is already taking too much control of the beef.
For just a moment, I really thought that was supposed to be a Handicap Match of the entire Riott Squad VS Ronda & Natty. Honestly, what would it have changed if it was? Liv Morgan got involved either way, and then the match doesn’t even have a clean finish. Becky shows up, attacks Natty because she got in the way, and then has only a partial scrap with Ronda before “being arrested”. The Stone Cold parallels are the most apparent they’ve ever been, but it’s not necessarily bad. Ronda threatening to quit was a good move, though. This will obviously compel the McMahons to bring Becky back and we have our Triple Threat. However, the McMahons won’t have to make a move on it yet, there’s still a lot of time. I picture the McMahons trying to talk Ronda out of it, and then cave to her demands around Fastlane.
Angle finally gets a win now that he’s back! Maybe he and Strowman, being that they have issue with Corbin, McIntyre and all that, will help The Shield, or at least Roman, come Wrestlemania. The match might even start as Corbin’s Pack VS Roman, Angle & Strowman, stuff happens and Ambrose jumps in to help them, thereby reuniting Shield. Apparently, Alexa Bliss is the Goddess of Flirting. She flirted with EC3, now Finn. Finn VS Lio for the title was great, adds more to this divide between Lio and Lashley. Maybe Lio turning will be another part of Corbin’s Pack VS The Shield & Friends. Lio really should get more title shots, but for Cruiserweights, I’m not sure if he’ll win the contender’s tournament to challenge Murphy at Mania.
Bayley VS Nia was pretty good, for yet another go of this same rematch. Obviously the champions have to stay strong so Bayley wins. I would think they’d make it through Fastlane, and then either take on a SmackDown team or a legendary team for Wrestlemania. Maybe even an NXT team if they really want *cough* Sky Pirates */cough*. Honestly it’s either legends or NXT or all at once, because the SmackDown teams alone don’t have time to be built into Wrestlemania ready contenders. But to everyone’s surprise, there is a Wrestlemania story ready in Batista VS HHH. I did not expect Batista to show up and “attack” Ric Flair like that, but wow! Instant heat between them and now they can build from here to Mania.
My Score: 8.4/10