Monday Night RAW started with a brawl backstage between Bobby Lashley and Seth Rollins. The brawl made its way onto the stage, along with the many people who were trying to separate it. After a little while, the fight got finally broken up. What was interesting about this segment was how there was no commentary the whole time. The commentary came in once John Cena came to the ring. Cena mentions that at Wrestlemania you either step up or get left out. He says he will step up because he doesn’t want to risk being left out, like last year. He then announces that he is officially entering himself into the Royal Rumble.
Drew McIntyre came out next and said that he is known for taking out legends. Cena didn’t believe him, so McIntyre said he would come in and show him. Before anything went down, Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush came out and said that this show is cancelled until Seth Rollins is handled. Rollins came from the back and the brawl continued. Seth Rollins and Cena joined the right. Balor did a run-in on McIntyre. We went to commercial break after this.
John Cena, Finn Balor & Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley, Dean Ambrose & Drew McIntyre
As you could probably expect, this segment got turned into a 6-man tag match. Sort of cop-out to book 6-mans like this so often. Cena got a hot tag, against Ambrose, and was in there with him for a long time. Balor finally got a hot tag later on against Ambrose. He hit a Coup de Grace, but McIntyre came in with a Claymore Kick to stop Balor’s streak. Both Rollins and McIntyre got tagged in. Rollins did a Moonsault off the apron onto Lashley and Ambrose, and a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Rollins found himself in a bad position, but Cena came in to help, giving McIntyre an Attitude Adjustment. Lashley came in a Speared Cena, but Rollins Superkicked him. Rollins brought McIntyre back in the ring. He tried for a Frogsplash but McIntyre dodged. Ambrose got tagged in and tried for a Dirty Deeds but got hit with a Curbstomp by Rollins for the victory.
While this match went too long, it was some pretty good wrestling for the final few minutes. The crowd really seemed to get behind the babyface team at the end. I thought it was sort of lame how we had a decent match in McIntyre versus Cena that got pushed out of the way since they wanted to shove all these dudes in one segment. After the match, Rollins sees Triple H backstage talking to Sasha Banks and Bayley. This annoyed him because he wanted HHH to be watching. He went to HHH backstage and asked for a IC title match against Ambrose tonight. HHH books the match, in a Falls Count Anywhere match.
Gene Okerlund Tribute
At the start of the show, we had a tribute photo of “Mean” Gene Okerlund but got a proper tribute here. The segment started with a 10 bell salute for Okerlund. After that, Hulk Hogan came out. He introduced a video package that played. Hogan got emotional while speaking after the video played. For the last time, he cut a promo to Gene.
Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder (The Revival) vs. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (Lumberjack Match) (RAW Tag Team Championship Match)
The second match on the show was The Revival versus Roode and Gable for the RAW tag titles. The crowd was dead silent during this match, and it felt really weird. There was a nice spot where Gable did a German Suplex into a pin, which was broken up by Dash Wilder who was coming off the top rope with a Frogsplash. The finish was a roll-up from Dawson being reversed into a pin by Chad Gable with the help of Roode. During the pin, Dawson had his foot on the rope but the ref did not see. The match ended in controversy. Renee Young referred to Ambrose as the “moral compass of RAW.” What does that even mean?
After a commercial break, we saw a video package for Lars Sullivan, Lacey Evans, Heavy Machinery, Nikki Cross & EC3. I don’t understand the idea of showing back to back video packages for five different acts. How is one of them, better yet any more than that, leaving a lasting memory for a fan?
Elias vs. Baron Corbin
Elias said before his match that he will win the Royal Rumble. Before he played a song for the crowd Baron Corbin came out, asking him to stop. After a little more of an exchange of words, these two started their scheduled bout. Elias did a dive off the top rope to the outside as the show went to commercials. Elias went to the top rope and tried for a move but Corbin dodged it. Corbin pushed Elias into the ref, and then gave him a punch when he turned around. He sent Elias into a corner-post and then hit an End of Days for the win.
Braun Stroman & Brock Lesnar Face-To-Face
The next segment was Braun Stroman face-to-face with Brock Lesnar. Stroman came out and saw Lesnar and Paul Heyman on the screen. Heyman says that Lesnar isn’t coming to the ring because if he did, he would hurt Stroman before their face off. Stroman tried to anger Lesnar to get him to the ring, but nothing worked. Eventually, Stroman said something that got Lesnar out there. Lesnar never came down to the ring, and that was really the segment.
Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox w/ The Singh Brothers vs. Apollo Crews & Ember Moon
Before the next match, Jinder Mahal was insulting fans in the crowd. The match was quick, with Crews doing a dive to the outside, and Moon doing an Eclipse to Alicia Fox for the win.
“A Moment of Bliss” with Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss debuted her new talk show “A Moment of Bliss” in the next segment. The talk show took place on the stage, instead of most shows, which take place inside the ring. Alexa’s guest for the first episode was Ronda Rousey. During the segment, Nia Jax and Sasha Banks also came out. Banks challenges Ronda to a match. Nia tells her to get in line for a shot, so Banks comes to the ring and challenged her to a match.
Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
Despite Nia not seeming interested before the break, we came back and a match was made. This match had tons of crazy parts. There was a point where Banks tried for a Hurricanrana on the apron but instead just got thrown flat on the ground. Looked rough. Back in the ring, Sasha tried for a Banks Statement out of nowhere. Did she get hurt? Cause it felt like they just cut right to the end out of nowhere.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose (Intercontinental Championship Match) (Falls Count Anywhere Match)
The main event of the show is Rollins versus Ambrose for the IC belt in a falls count anywhere match. From the start, Rollins was chasing Dean around the arena. The fight quickly went backstage. After a commercial break, the fight was on a staircase in the crowd. During the break, Rollins slammed Ambrose through the commentary table. Around the ring, Ambrose peeled off some of the mat outside the ring. A Dirty Deeds on the floor got reversed into a Back Bodydrop by Rollins. Back in the ring, Rollins did a Superplex into a Bucklebomb, and a Superkick. He then hit a Curbstomp, but when he went for the pin Bobby Lashley appeared to drag Seth out of the ring. He then beat up Seth, delivering a Spear, and then let Ambrose pin for the victory. The crowd seemed absolutely deflated after this.