A MASSIVE Monday Night Raw opens 2020!
A Raw Tag Team Championships Triple Threat! A United States Championship rematch! And the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Champion, BROCK! LESNAR! What goes down on the first Raw of the New DECADE?
- WWE United States Championship: Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Rey Mysterio; Almas wins and retains the WWE United States Championship.
- Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The Viking Raiders VS The Street Profits VS The OC; The Viking Raiders win and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
- Erick Rowan VS KJ Orso; Rowan wins.
- AJ Styles VS Akira Tozawa; Styles wins.
- Charlotte Flair VS Sarah Logan; No Contest.
- Drew McIntyre VS No Way Jose; McIntyre wins.
- Aleister Black VS Shelton Benjamin; Aleister wins.
- Six Man Tag: Seth Rollins & The Authors of Pain VS Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe & ???; Owens, Joe & Big Show win, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Most Ravishing Wedding in history was RUINED!
Whether it was Lana’s first husband, Bobby Lashley’s first wife, or Liv Morgan revealing she and Lana were together, Lana and Lashley could not get through their “I do’s”! And then RUSEV popped out of the admittedly over-sized cake. No holy matrimony, only MACHKA! But the question is now, what comes next in WWE’s own personal soap opera?
Oklahoma City is SUPLEX CITY!
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman return to Raw to open the New Year! And while fans boo and jeer, The Advocate wishes them a “Happy New Year, b*tches.” Heyman then gives his usual introduction for the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! And to kick off the New Decade, let’s make history. “Because that’s what Brock Lesnar does: Brock Lesnar makes history.” Lesnar told Heyman he wonders who will dare challenge him for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. Heyman said back, “Well, Brock, who do you think is worthy of stepping into the ring with the Conqueror? The Beast! The single-greatest fighter in sports entertainment history!” Lesnar’s answer was, “There is not one single member of the Raw, SmackDown or NXT roster that is man enough to step into the ring, let alone worthy enough of sharing the spotlight.”
So to get it straight: fans aren’t allowed to boo Lesnar. But they do. Not when Lesnar is about to do something unprecedented. Something that is legitimately advertised as first-time-ever. Every time Lesnar makes history, it’s unprecedented. The Undertaker couldn’t lose at WrestleMania? Lesnar conquered the Streak! No man could ever be NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion, UFC Heavyweight Champion, WWE Universal Champion or WWE World Champion, and yet Lesnar is. So how about a dream match at the Royal Rumble? Every single challenger that wants Lesnar at the Rumble can have Lesnar at the Rumble, because here’s the official announcement: “Brock Lesnar hereby enters the Royal Rumble match!” Wait, wait, not just entering it! That would be slightly historic. “Let’s go all the freakin’ way.” Lesnar enters the Rumble… FIRST.
That means that if Roman Reigns is in the Rumble, it’s like Lesnar VS Reigns. If Seth Rollins is in the Rumble, it’s like Lesnar VS Rollins. Every single man that steps into the Rumble will be face-to-face with Brock Lesnar! Because while Lesnar takes the ring first, Lesnar will be victorious at the end. This is unprecedented, historic and even brazen! But The Beast will conquer the Royal Rumble, will WIN the Royal Rumble, and that’s not just a prediction, Heyman says that’s a spoiler. A huge move from the WWE World Champion! Will Lesnar clear out the field of 30 to deny everyone an automatic WrestleMania main event?
Rey Mysterio speaks backstage.
And in passionate Spanish, at that. He speaks about respect and excellence. Clearly tonight’s WWE United States Championship match means a lot to Mysterio. At this point in his career, it could be a matter of days left, not years. Mysterio thanks Dominic for convincing him to stay and compete against the best of the best. With the way El Idolo has been acting, Andrade Almas doesn’t deserve to represent the Latino community as champion. That is why Mysterio is taking that title back, and NOW!
WWE United States Championship: Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Rey Mysterio!
The King of Lucha Libre is as fired up as he’s ever been! He lost the title in Madison Square Garden but has been raring for this rematch! Will he be able to humble Andrade? Or is 2020 the Year of El Idolo?
Raw returns as Almas and Vega make their entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and Almas rushes Mysterio right away! Almas clubs away but Mysterio dodges to come back with a huricanrana! Then he slides to huricanrana again! Fans are fired up and Vega is panicking! Almas gets up but Mysterio kicks away. Mysterio puts Almas in and covers, ONE. Mysterio has fans cheering for “Lucha Libre!” but Almas throws forearms and body shots. Almas whips but Mysterio kicks him back. Mysterio runs, springboards and hops onto Almas’ shoulders. Mysterio headscissors Almas out but Almas holds on and still has Mysterio on his shoulders! Almas spins around but Mysterio pops out of the Electric Chair to victory roll Almas into steel steps! El Idolo is down and Vega is in shock!
The referee checks on both men but somehow Almas is okay to continue. Vega coaches Almas up but Mysterio stands first. Fans rally behind Mysterio as a ring count begins. Mysterio puts Almas in and takes his time aiming from the apron. Mysterio springboards but Almas dropkicks him out of the sky! Vega is relieved and Almas is back in control as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns as Mysterio has Almas up top. Mysterio climbs and the two brawl, but Almas sends Mysterio down. Almas sunset flips but Mysterio slips through to buzzsaw! Both men are down and Vega is worried again. Almas and Mysterio slowly rise as fans rally up again. Mysterio counter punches Almas and then throws haymakers. Mysterio whips but Almas reverses, only for Mysterio to huricanrana again! Almas ends up in a corner, Mysterio runs in but Almas puts him on the apron. Mysterio enziguris back then springboards, seated senton! Mysterio keeps moving, springboard but Almas catches him, only for Mysterio to tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Almas lives and Vega is again relieved, but Mysterio keeps his cool.
Mysterio drags Almas up as fans chant “6 1 9!” Almas elbows free and runs in but into a boot. Mysterio climbs but Almas clubs him on the back. Almas climbs up from the outside and has Mysterio in a Tree of Woe! Almas aims from up high, WOE STOMPS but Mysterio evades! Almas stomps the apron and tumbles to the floor! Mysterio frees himself from the Tree of Woe, then builds speed to side and sunset flip! But Almas slips through, Point-Blank CIEN SHADOWS! A ring count begins again but Almas puts Mysterio in. Almas slingshot sentons then covers, TWO! Mysterio still lives and Almas grows frustrated. Almas rises and drags Mysterio up to suplex. Uno amigo! Almas spins through and suplexes, Dos Amigos! Almas wants the third, but Mysterio cradle counters! TWO!!
Almas runs but Mysterio dropkicks the legs out! Almas is on the ropes but gets clear, boot to ELBOW! Cover, TWO!! Almas goes to drop knees but Mysterio blocks and jumps up, DESTROYER!! Cover, but Vega gives Almas the ropebreak!! The ref counts three but sees the leg on the rope just after! Mysterio does NOT win! This match has to continue because La Muneca gets away with another cheat! Fans protest, as does Mysterio, but this match does not end! The ref tries to explain it to Mysterio while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Almas whips Mysterio corner to corner hard! Almas runs in, but Mysterio dodges and Almas’ knee hits buckles! Almas tumbles all the way out of the ring! Mysterio goes to the apron and Vega is worried all over again. Mysterio leaps for a huricanrana, sending Almas into barriers! Fans fire up with Mysterio as he stares Vega down. Mysterio drags Almas up and into the ring, then hops on for another DESTROYER! Cover, TWO!! Almas survives and Vega coaches him up. Mysterio rises as fans rally behind him. Mysterio goes to where Almas is on the apron but Almas throws body shots. Mysterio kicks back and we have a brawl! Almas CHOPS but Mysterio dropkicks! Mysterio runs, SUNSET BOMB into post! Almas crashes down but Mysterio won’t let up. Mysterio drags Almas up as fans chant “This is Awesome!”
Mysterio has Almas in a drop zone and springboards, LEG DROP! Cover, TWO!! Almas shocks Mysterio and Vega is shouting for him to stand! Mysterio heads up top first, wanting another one. Mysterio leaps and wheelbarrows, but Almas makes it a FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Almas and Vega are furious, but Almas puts Mysterio in the corner. Almas stomps a mudhole then backs off to run corner to corner! CIEN BUCKLES! Mysterio springboards, huricanrana puts Almas on ropes! Dial it up, 619!! Mysterio heads up top, but Almas bails out thanks to Vega. Mysterio runs and leaps! But Almas catches the seated senton, to toss Mysterio onto Vega! Down goes La Muneca! Mysterio can’t believe it, but Almas just throws him into steel steps!
Almas puts Mysterio in and leaves Vega behind to hammerlock. But the ref won’t allow it! Mysterio looks in bad shape and the referee tells Almas to leave him be. Mysterio rolls out of the ring to check on Vega, but he should be more worried about himself. Referees check on Vega while Mysterio seems to be very upset. Almas doesn’t care, NOW he hammerlocks and LA SOMBRA DDT! Cover, Almas wins!!
Winner: Andrade Almas, by pinfall; still WWE United States Champion
Only now does Almas care about Vega. Or, no, is he just grabbing the United States title? And then he SNATCHES Mysterio’s mask!! Insult to injury of the highest order! Almas hands the mask to Vega as a trophy of her own, but will watching the footage back nullify this good will?
Backstage with Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe!
Seth Rollins has been trying to divide and conquer, and went onto Twitter to say these two are “individualists” who do not stand a chance against a “united front” like him and the Authors of Pain. Kevin wants to get this out of the way: Rollins is right about Kevin and Joe. Kevin doesn’t play well with others, and Joe just doesn’t play. But this situation has brought them together, “and the fact is, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” So against a force like Rollins & The AOP, Kevin and Joe need each other to watch each other’s back. That is what they will do here tonight. Joe admits he is prideful, but even he knows when back-up is needed.
So Joe poses a challenge to The Architects of Pain: the three of them against the three of them. Wait, he surely doesn’t mean including Charly in this. No no, Joe has a guy. Who is it? Just trust Joe, and let their opponents worry about the rest. Kevin still worries a little. But who is it that’s joining this battle against Rollins and his heavy hitting henchmen?
Backstage interview with Rollins & The AOP.
Charly asks for The Architect’s response to this Six Man Tag challenge. Akam and Rezar are already annoyed but Rollins handles this. They don’t need to be briefed on some challenge. They’ve faced challenges every single day of their lives! The only concern is about taking Raw to the next level. Rollins didn’t ask to be the Chosen One, but the WWE Universe made him that. Rollins has sacrificed everything he stands for to be the visionary and Messiah of Monday Nights. As for this “challenge,” KO, Joe and a surprise? No one stands with Kevin or Joe! The Architects of Pain are inevitable! And those who stand up against them, they will be taken care of. But with a variable in the equation, can Rollins and the AOP really #BurnItDown?
Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The Viking Raiders VS The Street Profits VS The OC!
Erik & Ivar are the champions but Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson are the Best Tag Team in the World! However, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins have a win over the Good Brothers, and have taken on the raid and pushed it to its limits! So what will this make the Profits if they happen to win tonight? Who will be the Best Tag Team in the UNIVERSE after this match?
Before the match, Ford and Dawkins have mics. “Everybody seems to be talking about the Golden Globes, or who’s Kevin and Joe’s mystery partner here tonight. But we’re here to tell you that NOW, we are changing the conversation!” The first Raw of the DECADE, “and we ain’t ringing it in. We blinging it in!” So the OC can hold up their little hand signs, but there won’t won’t be kliq’ing. And the Raiders may be the champions, they may be Vikings, but the Profits are pillaging! The Profits are up, and #WeWantTheSmoke! Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! The OC make their entrance, followed by the war machines, Erik & Ivar! Will this match be the fire that blazes a trail into the New Decade?
Raw returns with the bell as Erik starts with Anderson. They tie up, Erik puts Anderson on the ropes but backs off. Anderson kicks low and headlocks but Erik powers out. Things speed up, Anderson dodges but collides solid with Erik! Erik trips Anderson and turns him over to waistlock and dead lift, to then slam Anderson down! Tag to Ivar and Erik feeds Anderson to Ivar’s knee. Ivar feeds to Erik’s knee and down goes Anderson! Cover, TWO! Ivar drags Anderson back over and tags Erik. Ivar rams his shoulders in then Erik rams his. Tag back to Ivar and Ivar drags Anderson up to scoop. Anderson slips out but Ivar bucks him off. Dawkins tags in off Ivar before Ivar runs Anderson over! Dawkins and Ivar stare down but back away.
Dawkins headlocks Anderson but Anderson powers out. Dawkins hurdles Anderson then throws him tot he ropes to dropkick down! Ford is fired up as he tags in. Dawkins whips and Ford dropkicks Anderson! Ford shoulder shimmies at the Vikings, but Anderson tags out to Ivar! That’s allowed in a Triple Threat, obviously. Ford isn’t as fired up now that the War Beard is back. Ford and Ivar circle and tie up, and Ford headlocks. Ivar powers out but Ford slides under. Ford tries but can’t arm-drag Ivar! Ivar whips Ford, Ford goes up and over and shows off his agility! Fans like that but Ivar runs at Ford. Ford dodges and ducks but Ivar rolls off Ford’s back! Ivar shoves Ford and Ford comes back, to handspring off Ivar’s back!
Ivar swings on Ford but Ford cartwheels. Ford swings on Ivar but Ivar cartwheels! Both men cartwheel! Fans are loving this stand-off, but the OC aren’t! They attack Ivar and Ford from behind, then take out Erik and Dawkins as they come in! The ref restores order but Gallows tags off Ivar. Gallows stomps Ford down then puts Ford in the open corner. Gallows throws big body shots and an uppercut! Gallows throws the Too Sweet up but fans boo. Gallows drags Ford to the OC corner and tags in Anderson. The Good Brothers mug Ford and Anderson throws European Uppercuts. Anderson rakes Ford’s eyes then pulls on his ears. Anderson throws haymakers and grinds a knee in! The ref backs Anderson off and Gallows tags in. Gallows butterfly suplexes Ford and covers, TWO!
Gallows keeps on Ford with big elbows into the shoulders and chest! And then he wraps on a thrashing chinlock! Ford endures and fans rally up. Ford fights to his feet but Gallows knees low and hard. Tag to Anderson, and the OC hit the back suplex neckbreaker combo! Cover, but Dawkins breaks it! Anderson protests but then he knocks Dawkins off the apron! Ford enziguris Anderson down! Both men are down but Gallows tags in. Gallows stalks up Ford and suplexes but Ford slips out! Ford doges, hot tag to Erik! Erik fires off strikes on Gallows, then lifts him for an EXPLODER! Dawkins returns but Erik gives him an EXPLODER! Anderson returns, but gets Ace Ten Mao! Shotgun knees for Gallows!
Tag to Ivar and the Raiders scoop slam Dawkins! Then Erik scoop slams Ivar onto Dawkins! The Raiders fire up and Erik tags back in. Ivar corner clotheslines Gallows, then is the human weapon, hip attack! But Ford tags in off Gallows! Ford runs in, avoids the clotheslines, but not THOR’S HAMMER!! Cover, but the OC break it up! Ivar throws Anderson out and Erik throws Gallows out. Ivar DIVES Onto Dawkins and Anderson!? Erik DIVES onto Gallows, but gets caught! And thrown into barriers! Then into the crowd! The Best Tag Team in the World has control as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Erik fights up and out of Gallows’ chinlock. Fans fire up but Gallows knees low. Gallows throws big hands on Erik in the OC corner then tags Anderson. Anderson drags Erik out for EuroUppers! Anderson rains down angry right hands then covers, TWO! Anderson keeps on Erik with a chinlock but fans rally again. Erik fights up and throws hands but Anderson EuroUppers back. They brawl in OC territory! Tag to Gallows and the OC mug Erik in their corner. Gallows stomps a mudhole then headbutts Erik against ropes. Gallows throws body shots then tags Anderson. Anderson snapmares Erik to a chinlock. Fans rally with “We Want the Smoke!” Anderson grinds Erik down but Erik is fighting his way up again. Erik pushes but Anderson throws more hands.
Erik pushes and fights out of the OC corner, but Anderson whips him away. Erik goes up and over, hot tag to Ivar! Ivar rallies and sidewalk slams Anderson! BASEMENT CROSSBODY! Ivar whips Anderson but Anderson dodges! But runs into a seated senton! Ivar cartwheels and clotheslines Gallows! Fans fire up and Ivar runs corner to corner, but Anderson avoids the bronco buster! Dawkins tags in off Anderson but Erik tags in off Ivar. Dawkins ROCKS Erik with a right, and dropkicks Ivar! Dawkins throws Ivar with an EXPLODER! And body blocks Erik into a corner! Dawkins decks Gallows, cyclone splashes and bulldogs Erik! Tag to Ford, and Dawkins whips him corner to corner at Erik. Erik puts Ford on the apron but Dawkins SPINE BUSTER!
Ford is up top but Anderson tags in before the WORLD STAR SPLASH! Anderson pushes Ford out of the ring! And hits Dawkins! Cover on Erik but Ivar breaks it! Dawkins hits a spinning back elbow on Ivar, but Gallows YAKUZA KICKS Dawkins! Ford dropkicks Gallows but Anderson whips Ford. Ford dodges to FLY out onto Gallows! Erik sneaks up on Anderson, but Anderson mule kicks and UPPERCUTS! Anderson runs side to side, but no Rocket Kick! Ivar tags in. POWERBOMB and VIKING SPLASH!! Cover, the Viking Raiders win!
Winners: The Viking Raiders, Ivar pinning; still Raw Tag Team Champions
The raid continues! Erik & Ivar keep the gold, even after facing two teams at once! Are they truly the Best Tag Team in the Universe? Or will a new challenge arise in this New Year?
Backstage with Samoa Joe!
Charly wants to ask Joe about this mystery opponent for tonight’s Six Man Tag. Will he give us who that is? Well Joe is sure that everyone is eager to hear about who Joe managed to recruit, especially the “Monday Night Messiah” and his disciples. But everyone will just have to wait. Kevin comes by, and says he’s probably the most eager. Kevin has done a lot of bad things to people in the WWE, so he just wants to know in case he has to smooth things over first. Perhaps it’s best of Joe shows Kevin who they have. Charly hurries after but we go to break. Just who did Joe get?
Raw returns as Joe, Kevin and Charly arrive at a door.
Is Kevin ready? Sure. Just go through this door. Cameras, please stay outside. Kevin peeks in, and has a smile on his face. Good? Yeah, that’s good. But Rollins & The AOP won’t be. Charly asks who is in there, but Joe has his mystery friend “lock it up.” Well it seems we have no choice but to wait.
Becky Lynch is here!
Oklahoma City is fired up to see The Man dressed up in her Kill Bill best! The Raw Women’s Champion takes the mic as fans chant her name. “Man, it is so good to hear your voices.” Becky says that she’s been walking around for months now, “wondering what kind of a champion I am.” She let the doubters get in her head and forced “the powers that be” to give her this coming title match with Asuka. But to be honest, Becky’s starting to doubt herself on this one. Becky’s life has changed so much in just the last year, living in a whirlwind. Over the holidays, she finally had time to think about “what it really means to be The Man.” Should she just be content to have made the history she has? Should she just be happy with being on cereal boxes and red carpets? Should she follow all the advice from the people backstage “looking out for her?” Should she avoid the one woman she just can’t seem to beat?
Footage replays of last year’s Royal Rumble, when The Man and The Empress fought for the SmackDown Women’s Championship that Asuka held. Becky was fired up and pulled out all the stops, but Asuka tapped her out! Of course, we do know that Becky would shift gears later that night to win the Women’s Rumble, but a loss is a loss. And footage now shifts to a tag team match back in November, The Man & The Queen VS The Kabuki Warriors. Becky tried but Asuka had an answer for her each time to get the roll-up. And of course, TLC 2019, the Women’s Tag Team Title TLC match. That was brutal to say the least, and in the end, Asuka had a trick up her proverbial sleeve to deny Becky a new belt!
Back to the present, Becky says she realized something in all of this. But before she can share that wisdom, Asuka appears! “Hey, hey, hey!” The Kabuki Warriors’ Asuka is here! And Becky, of course you can’t win against her! “Mudi mudi mudi,” it’s not going to happen! “Baka baka!” You dummy! Baka Lynch! The fans know! It will be “easy peasy” all over again! Asuka swaggers as she walks into the ring and around Becky. Becky DECKS Asuka! No matter what language you speak, actions speak louder than words! Asuka is furious but Becky is smiling. Who will be the one that can say they won it all in Houston?
Erick Rowan walks backstage.
And encounters Mojo Rawley. Mojo just wants to take one look at what’s in the cage. Please? Rowan considers it, and says “help yourself.” But don’t tell anyone. Mojo takes his peek, and FREAKS! “What is wrong with you, man?! What the hell!?” What the hell is in there to horrify Mojo!?
Backstage interview with Zelina Vega and Andrade Almas.
El Idolo is still holding onto Mysterio’s mask, so Sara asks if he feels he’s crossed a line tonight. Crossed the line? Almas says he has the mask of Mysterio after he just ended Mysterio’s final run. But Mysterio ATTACKS! He’s more concerned about revenge than he is of lucha libre tradition! Vega shouts at Mysterio to stop this but Mysterio gets his mask back. And now that he has it back on, he really fires off on Almas! Vega freaks as Mysterio snatches the belt away! Security backs Mysterio off but this is far from over!
Erick Rowan VS KJ Orso!
Mojo was SHOOK after seeing what Rowan’s pet really is. Will we ever see the nightmare inside the cage? Or will Rowan be the scariest thing in Oklahoma tonight?
Rowan doesn’t even wait for the bell to grab Orso with both hands! “You wanna see what’s in the bag, don’tcha?!” No, no he doesn’t! But Rowan still throws Orso out and keeps him from running away! “You want to look?! Take a look!” Orso breaks free to run away into the ring. He would rather take the beating than see whatever scared a grown man that badly. Rowan throws his jacket aside and gives Orso that fight. The bell rings and LEG LARIATS Orso down! Then corner to corner splash! IRON CLAW SLAM! Cover, Rowan wins!
Winner: Erick Rowan, by pinfall
That was scary fast, but also natural. But Rowan still won’t spare Orso, he makes Orso look at the pet!! Orso freaks out, and his face is all red!? Was that from the creature?! What did it do to him?! And why is Rowan laughing!? Will no one be laughing as Rowan runs roughshod over Raw?
AJ Styles VS Akira Tozawa!
The Phenomenal One is not in a good mood. And it isn’t just that The OC didn’t get the Raw Tag Team Championships, it’s that he got suckered by The Viper! Randy Orton faked a foot injury just to lower Styles’ guard and hit an RKO outta nowhere! Will Styles take his frustrations out on the Stamina Monster? Or will it throw him off his game enough for Tozawa to get his biggest win on Raw?
The bell rings and Styles talks trash to Tozawa but Tozawa pushes him. Tozawa dodges Styles’ punch and throws punches of his own! Tozawa has Styles in the corner but the ref backs him off. Tozawa whips, Styles reverses, then Styles runs in, to miss! Tozawa runs in but gets boots and a forearm. Styles springboards and PHENOMENAL FOREARM! Cover, but Styles pulls Tozawa up! Styles is angry now and wants to make Tozawa rethink hitting him. Styles drags Tozawa up, in position, but thinks better of it. He puts Tozawa through the ropes and fans all get what’s going on here! Styles copies Orton with the draping DDT! Fans boo but Styles soaks it up as he looms over Tozawa. Fans chant for “Randy! Randy!” but Styles hears the voices in his head, just like Orton! RKO!! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
The Phenomenal One copies The Viper and still gets the win! Styles even copies the Orton pose! But with a match next week between the two, how will Orton respond to Styles?
Bobby Lashley and Lana are here!
At least, their music hits. It makes sense they’d be hesitant to appear after the humiliation they must’ve felt after their on-air wedding went sideways. Lashley and Lana still go down the ramp and to the ring, and the wedding officiator is back! Lana snatches his mic to address the fans. They boo so she tells them to be quiet. “For all of you who didn’t want us to get married, that is too damn bad.” Because tonight, they’re getting married here and now! Yes, this is the Most Ravishing Elopement ever! With all the objections out of the way last week, “by the emergency power” invested in nWo Bill Belichick by the state of Oklahoma, he now pronounces Lashley & Lana husband and wife. Lashley may now kiss his bride. And they kiss.
Lana snatches the mic back and says the money she paid was not worth it. She is supposed to be happy, but she’s not. Lana is “extremely, extremely sad,” but not because of her or Lashley. It is not their fault what happened last week, it is “every single person” that does not want to see a ring on Lana’s finger! She therefore shows it off to everyone, and hopes they’re taking a long look at it. All these civilians should be honored to be in her presence! Those at fault for making Lana feel so sad are all the exes that literally interrupted the wedding ceremony over and over and over! Lana can’t even with their jealousy! They should be ashamed! Lashley says the worst one of them all is Lana’s “sorry excuse for an ex-husband,” Rusev. Rusev ruined the greatest day of Lana’s and Lashley’s lives, for what?! So that he and “these little idiots” can have a laugh? Fans chant for “RUSEV DAY!” as Lashley says Rusev wasn’t man enough to keep his own wife!
But wait, Rusev is on the titantron! Rusev says hi to Lana and “Bob” and congratulates them becoming “Mr. & Mrs. Bob.” Now they have a joint bank account. Rusev and Lana used to have one, “before she cleaned it out.” But with them claiming everyone else is miserable, it seems like those two “are more miserable than anyone else in the arena.” And now that they’re not on their honeymoon, Rusev took one of his own! He’s on a beach by a restaurant, but he doesn’t want to be selfish or rude. He got them a very special Lana & Bob wedding album as their present. “And oh boy are you going to like this. Enjoy.”
It is a slideshow from their wedding last week! Lashley slamming that first husband of Lana’s, Liv and Lana cat-fighting, and of course, Rusev popping out of the cake to tackle Lashley. And Machka Kick him. And Liv rubbing Lana’s face into the frosting. Rusev is tearing up. Lana and Lashley are not happy in the slightest. Lashley tells Rusev he’s an SOB and Lana shouts she HATES Rusev so much! But Lashley then tells Lana to shut up!? Lana is both shocked and furious, bu doesn’t speak up. Lashley continues to address Rusev, saying Rusev “used to be a man.” But apparently his ex stripped him of his manhood. So if Rusev has any balls left, he should show up next week so Lashley can castrate him and shove those balls down Rusev’s throat!
Rusev says NO! Because it won’t happen that way. This will be the return of THE Bulgarian Brute, and he promises to do “unspeakable things” to Lashley. Rusev will brutalize every part of his body, and whatever is left is Lana’s. The challenge has been made. Who will be the one to survive this battle full of hate and tainted love?
Backstage interview with R-Truth!
The historic 29-time 24/7 Champion is here on the first Raw of 2020, and what is in store for him? Well Liv Morgan appears first, and Charly is excited to interview her, too. Of course she is. Liv wants to congratulate Truth on his record-setting reign with the title. Thanks, much obliged. But Liv couldn’t help but hear about Rusev VS Lashley. That means Lana is going to be in Lashley’s corner. So Rusev will need someone in his corner, right? And that is a moment she’d live for. Truth likes the word play. Will Liv be dying to get her hands on Lana at the same time Rusev goes after Lashley?
Charlotte Flair VS Sarah Logan!
The Queen is the first woman to officially declare for the Women’s Royal Rumble match, but you can be sure there are many others to follow her into that huge match. Will the Country Valkyrie make a mark in her own return to Raw?
Attacking from behind sure helps! Sarah clobbers Charlotte and stomps her down! Sarah rams Charlotte into the post, then pursues Charlotte on the outside with a BIG KNEE! Sarah shows no mercy as she clubs away on Charlotte! The ref backs Sarah off but that doesn’t last long. Sarah whips Charlotte but Charlotte reverses to send Sarah into barriers! Now Charlotte fires off clubbing forearms on Sarah! Charlotte dumps Sarah out to the crowd but Sarah brings Charlotte with her! The fans enjoy seeing this brawl up close, and Charlotte shoves Sarah over the barriers the other way. Charlotte climbs over but Sarah shoves her back into the post! The ref can barely keep Sarah off Charlotte, but Sarah goes into the ring on her own accord.
Sarah circles Charlotte’s feathered robe and paws at it. She drags it up to show it to Charlotte, and then thrashes it around! Charlotte sees Sarah wipe her feet on the robe before throwing it out. Sarah goes out after Charlotte again, but Charlotte SPEARS her down! And then rams her back into barriers! The ref pleads these two stop but Charlotte throws Sarah all around, EXPLODER into the barriers! Fans “WOO~” for The Queen as she drags Sarah up to bounce off the apron. Sarah shoves Charlotte into another post! Sarah stomps and kicks but Charlotte hits back. Charlotte shoves then BOOTS Sarah down! Charlotte dusts herself off and demands the ref fetch her robe. The ref does as told and Charlotte puts her robe back on. She didn’t have a match but she did win this fight. First Natalya scraps with Charlotte and now Sarah, just how violent will the Women’s Rumble be this year?
Drew McIntyre VS No Way Jose!
The party might be over as the Fighting Fiesta faces the studly Scottish savage! Will it all be over but the crying here in OKC?
McIntyre starts off by going after the conga line! Jose is furious as McIntyre TOSSES the hula fire dancer! The bell rings and Jose fires off fists on McIntyre! Jose whips, McIntyre reverses but Jose goes up and over, only for McIntyre to kick him out of the air! McIntyre runs in corner to corner to then overhead suplex Jose across the way! Jose writhes but McIntyre goes back out to target the man in the kilt! The kilt wearing hipster trips and McIntyre has him! McIntyre rips the man’s shirt off to CHOP him! And then inverted Alabama SLAM into the apron! McIntyre returns to the ring at 8 but Jose BOOTS! Jose throws fast ball haymakers from all sides but McIntyre boots him away. McIntyre runs corner to corner, misses, Jose rolls him up, ONE! FUTURE SHOCK! McIntyre kips up just to show off!
McIntyre aims from the corner as Oklahoma is divided. But McIntyre gives the countdown, CLAYMORE! Cover, McIntyre wins!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
McIntyre has almost too much fun destroying his opponents. But he’s not done with Jose, he throws him out onto what’s left of the conga line! Then he gets the mic to address Oklahoma City. “Who dares me to do one more Claymore?” No no, who double dares him to do another Claymore?! Oklahoma City does! McIntyre drags Jose back into the ring and takes aim from the corner again. The countdown begins again, CLAYMORE!! And a kip-up! “Didn’t even drop the microphone, thank you very much.” And don’t expect an apology, because McIntyre’s always hated conga lines. Though Mr. Cheeseburger seems like an nice guy.
But does anyone want to know a “not so fun fact” about McIntyre? He has never had one opportunity to fight for the world title. Fans are upset by that. So since everyone is too scared to fight McIntyre, he seems he has to put himself in maybe… the ROYAL RUMBLE! So who has declared? AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and apparently Brock Lesnar. McIntyre doesn’t care if you’re from Raw, SmackDown, NXT or walked in off the street, “lads, when it’s all said and done there can only be three… two… ONE!” Mic drop. Will McIntyre have a Claymore in store for all 28 men and The Beast?
Aleister Black VS Shelton Benjamin!
The Embodiment of the End meets the Gold Standard in the City of Thunder. Who wins this first-time-ever match as we travel down the Road to the Royal Rumble?
The bell rings and Aleister circles with Benjamin. Aleister blocks a kick and avoids the dragon whip to also deny Pay Dirt! The two stand off and fans cheer. Benjamin and Aleister tie up and Benjamin waistlocks. Aleister resists the lift to victory roll, TWO! Aleister comes in but Benjamin shoves him away, only for Aleister to roll off Benjamin’s back and sit down. Benjamin keeps his cool as he slides to headlock, but Aleister slips out to a facelock. Benjamin trips and goes to cover but gets caught to a hammerlock! Aleister grabs at arms but Benjamin resists, so Aleister just cranks the arm. Benjamin powers his way up and around to dead lift Aleister! Electric Chair Drop! Benjamin is free and shakes out his arm as he looms over Aleister.
Aleister kicks from the mat and Benjamin staggers. Aleister boots but Benjamin forearms! And again! Benjamin has Aleister on the ropes but he whips. Aleister springboards but Benjamin gets under. Aleister bobs ‘n’ weaves but Benjamin grabs hair. Aleister back elbows HARD, but Benjamin ROUNDHOUSES! Aleister wobbles but KNEE TRIGGERS! Benjamin falls to a knee, but Aleister lifts him up with his foot. BLACK MASS! Cover, Aleister wins!
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall
But Buddy Murphy attacks?! The Aussie Juggernaut is furious after his defeat to Aleister before the New Year! He whips Aleister HARD into the post! Then into the apron, and the barriers! Murphy drags Aleister up to DECK him, then whip him into the timekeeper’s area! Murphy won’t let up, he rains down hands! Fans boo but Murphy scowls as he KNEE TRIGGERS Aleister down! Fans want “One More Time!” but Murphy gets a chair first. Aleister crawls but Murphy looms over him with that chair. Murphy uses his foot to lift Aleister’s head onto the edge of the chair and shouts, “I can beat you, Aleister!” FULL METAL AUSSIE-GOYE!! Murphy grins as he sits with crossed legs and watches Aleister. Will Murphy be the one to make Aleister #FadeToBlack?
Six Man Tag: Seth Rollins & The Authors of Pain VS Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe & ???
Akam and Rezar enter first as harbingers of the “Monday Night Messiah” before The Architect makes his entrance. This “united force” looks to #BurnItDown and #ImposeHisWill on all of Raw, and Rollins grabs a mic to first address the crowd. “I have been chosen to lead Monday Night Raw to the Promised Land!” He was chosen by the WWE Universe. “You did this. I gave you Monday Night Rollins, and that was not good enough for you.” But the truth is, the fans don’t know what’s good for them. But Rollins does and always has! He knows what is BEST for them and all of us is to “eliminate people who impede progress.” Tonight, those are Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe and whoever it is that took up arms with them. So Rollins dares them to meet their fate!
Kevin Owens enters first, followed by Samoa Joe. But who is their mystery third man? “Welllll~…” It’s THE BIG SHOW!! The World’s Largest Athlete returns to Raw and the Architects of Pain can’t believe it! Big Show’s come to set things right, will he be just the thing Kevin and Joe need to stop Rollins and the AOP?
The teams sort out and Big Show starts against Akam. Akam goes right at Show but Show reverses the whip and runs him over! Then Show hits Rezar! And throws in Rollins! Show has Rollins in the corner to CHOP! It’s been a long time since someone’s felt one of those! Rollins bails out to regroup with the AOP as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns once more and Joe has Rollins in a corner to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! Rollins’ chest is red like raw steak! Joe whips Rollins corner to corner and back elbows, to the PELE! Rollins is down in the corner, Joe tags Kevin and Kevin says “SUCK IT” before hitting the CANNONBALL! Kevin covers, TWO! Kevin mocks Akam and Rezar before giving Rollins another CHOP! Kevin whips and redirects Rollins but Rollins goes up and over to run the ropes. Rollins dodges Kevin’s clothesline but can’t avoid the tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Kevin keeps on Rollins by putting him in a drop zone. Kevin climbs but Akam distracts the ref so that Rezar can attack! Rezar knocks Kevin right down to the ground and Big Show protests!
Rollins tags to Rezar and Rezar storms right over to Kevin to throw him into barriers! And then the apron! Fans chant for Big Show as Rezar pushes Kevin in. Rezar hammers away on Kevin’s head! Rezar talks trash to Kevin before cranking on the neck. Kevin endures and fans rally up. Kevin fights up and back but Rezar knees low. Tag to Akam and the AOP combine for the sidewalk slam STOMP! Cover, TWO! Akam keeps on Kevin with more stomps and more hammering hands. Akam looms over Kevin and brings him up, but Kevin CHOPS! And haymakers! But Akam tackles Kevin down for more hammering fists. Tag to Rollins, and Rollins waits for Kevin to stand. Kevin does, but Rollins springboards to hit the flying knee! Cover, TWO!
Rollins stares right at Big Show as he drags Kevin around to ram elbows in. Rollins wraps on a chinlock to grind Kevin down but fans keep rallying. Kevin fights up but Rollins clubs him back. Tag to Akam and Akam mugs Kevin. Akam whips Kevin into a corner but Kevin boots back! Kevin reaches but Akam keeps him from Joe. Kevin elbows the waistlock off and enziguris! Akam staggers but Rezar tags in to sucker punch Joe! Big Show swipes at Rezar, Kevin SUPERKICKS and SHOTEIS Rezar! Kevin gives a shout out to Jushin Thunder Liger, on this, the day Liger officially retired! Kevin and Rezar are down but fans are thunderous! Hot tags to Rollins and BIG SHOW! Rollins freaks out as Big Show runs him over! And runs Rezar over! And Rollins again!
Big Show whips Rollins to a corner and back bumps him! Then keeps moving to shoulder block Rollins upside-down! Fans fire up but Rollins bails out. The AOP target Joe on the outside and throw him into steel steps! Big Show glares at them but Rollins returns with a FLYING- No! Show catches him with one hand! The AOP rush Big Show but he shoves Rollins away to catch them in one hand each! Big Show holds them back but that’s a lot of power. Rollins returns with a chair and USES IT! SMACK on Big Show’s back!
Winner: Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe & The Big Show, by disqualification
The AOP beat down the Giant as fans boo and jeer. But Joe returns to fight AOP off. They spill outside but Rollins aims at Show from the corner. Kevin anchors Rollins’ foot, and then Big Show hits the BIG punch! Rollins is out, but the AOP drag him to safety. Akam and Rezar have to drag Rollins in their retreat, and Big Show stands tall with The Prizefighter and Samoan Submission Machine!
BREAKING NEWS for next week’s Raw!
Things are already big with Rusev VS Lashley and Orton VS Styles, but it’s only getting bigger! Aleister VS Murphy will have another rematch after what happened tonight, and it’s already been decided by WWE management that we will have a special rematch of the Six Man Tag we just witness! BUT it won’t be just a normal match, it will be the first ever “Fist Fight” match in WWE history! But what does that even mean!? And what will it mean for Raw when the dust settles and one side is left standing?
What a wild Raw to start the new year! What’s really wild is, I honestly can’t say there was anything bad this time! Lesnar entering the Royal Rumble as the number one entrant is pretty crazy. I suppose that while Lesnar has been a part-time wrestler for quite some time, he’s at least putting in a lot of work Rumble night. At least, that’s how it might look. The way they are probably going to book this, and probably should book this, is that a lot of the early entrants are midcarders or jobbers that everyone knows won’t win so that Lesnar gets some easy eliminations. Bigger names should come in later, perhaps from spots 7 and up just so it isn’t “Lesnar waits, eliminates, repeat.” This really does give a lot of great potential showdowns we wouldn’t normally get. But Lesnar better not win. There needs to be someone, or even a group of superstars, that eliminates Lesnar so that we’ll get a contender for a top title. Personally hoping it’s McIntyre so he can turn Face. He had a lot of fun squashing Jose and the conga line, and fans had fun watching him do it.
Even though we all knew Rowan was going to win his match, and we all knew we wouldn’t get to see Rowan’s pet tonight, I love that we got some development in that tonight. Mojo did a great job selling the horror, and now that only increases the intrigue. I am having a hell of a time imagining what could possibly be in the cage. Styles was also obviously going to beat Akira Tozawa tonight, but it was great that he did it using Randy Orton’s moves. A bit disappointed their blow-off is supposedly next week to get it before the Royal Rumble, but hopefully that match will be as great as they’ve built this rivalry up. Aleister VS Benjamin was good, I could tell they were going for a “real fight” feel with the strikes and how quick it was, and then WOW Murphy’s attack on Aleister. Aleister VS Murphy Round 3 will be incredible!
I’m only a little disappointed they got the two big title matches out of the way so early, but I suppose it has to do with ratings and viewing habits with so many other things on TV these days. The United States Championship story was incredible tonight. Mysterio’s passion, the match itself with Vega taking that bump, Almas taking Mysterio’s mask and the subsequent attack to take it back, that’s good stuff. There seemed to be a bit of a hiccup with the timing on getting refs out to check on Vega and Almas wanting the finisher, and I’m pretty sure I heard John Cone tell Mysterio to go outside to stretch things. But in the end, this is a great story they’re telling with these two and I can’t wait for the next part. The Raw Tag title Triple Threat was really good, and I’m just a little disappointed there wasn’t a title change. But I suppose even the New Year Raw wasn’t the right time in WWE’s eyes for one. Maybe the Royal Rumble PPV in another epic Triple Threat?
Sarah Logan and Charlotte Flair had a great brawl, which I did not expect. Technically Sarah doesn’t lose despite Charlotte standing tall, but Sarah got her shots in so that’s about as good as if she were to have fought and lost a match. It does make me think the rest of the Women’s Division is finally being built up so there are more opponents for the Four Horsewomen. Becky and Asuka had a pretty good segment, too. Not sure if we needed all that recap but the package itself was well done. And Asuka going on and on for Becky to simply respond with one punch was a great exchange. Their match is going to be great, too. I just hope Kairi Sane makes her recovery, and that WWE gives her fat checks given how Stardom is courting her to return.
Good to know that Liv will be on Rusev’s side for next week, if only to spite Lana. And the Lana-Lashely-Rusev segment was actually not cringey this time! The eloping made sense, it was actually good that they didn’t make a big deal of Liv claiming she and Lana were together behind the scenes, and Lana actually hit the right level of annoying where it wasn’t nails on a chalkboard. Rusev had a great promo and just Lashley’s “Shut up!” was amazing. This is already showing signs of his relationship with Lana breaking down, and next week’s match could break them up already. This might be the best case of WWE salvaging their own mess in a long time.
The main story of the night, Rollins & AOP against Kevin, Joe and a mystery man, was handled fairly well. It was an interesting tease for Joe and Kevin to go to a door and peek in. Maybe they were trying to make it seem like Aleister was joining them, but that would’ve been a shame since he’d ditch his story with Murphy. Unless Murphy was going to join Rollins, but that doesn’t fit Murphy. I don’t think I would’ve guessed Big Show in a long time, but it was great to see him back in the ring. The Six Man Tag was pretty great, and I suppose it works for the best for things to end in a Disqualification. I just worry what this “Fist Fight” stipulation is. I don’t know if this is the time to think up new match types. I’m sure a No DQ Six Man would’ve been good enough. Also why announced so soon? Maybe give us time to breathe at the end of the show and tell us about this on social media or even the night of Raw next week. I guess as long as it’s really good, we can’t complain.
My Score: 8.6/10