– Tonight’s WWE RAW opens with a look back at how Braun Strowman brought down the structure on top of Kane and WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar on last week’s show.
– We’re live from San Antonio as Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T.
– We go right to the ring and out comes Braun Strowman to a pop.
Braun wants to tell us all a short story with a happy ending – a machine and a beast met a monster at the Royal Rumble and the last one standing was The Monster Among Men, who became the new WWE Universal Champion. The music hits and out comes RAW General Manager Kurt Angle, who has security with him this week.
Angle says he has a story too but it doesn’t have a happy ending. He says Braun put lives in danger last week and that is unacceptable. Fans give Angle the “what!?” treatment. Angle says Braun also cost them thousands of dollars in equipment damage. Angle says Braun creates an unsafe working environment and he’s responsible for every Superstar plus the backstage employees. Braun tells Angle to do his job because he did his. Angle says Braun didn’t do his job because they settle differences in the ring, not in the backstage area with some grappling hook. Braun says he does what he wants, when he wants and how he wants. If he wants to walk into Suplex City and rip the walls down or if he wants to kick the door to Hell down, that’s what he will do, and if he wants to be Universal Champion at the Royal Rumble, he will.
Angle says Braun is just lucky Kane and Brock are able to compete at the Rumble but it will no longer be a Triple Threat as Braun won’t be competing at all. Angle fires Strowman. Strowman stares at Angle as he walks away and fans chant “you suck” at him. Braun marches up the ramp with Angle’s security following him.
– We go to the announcers and Graves says that was the right decision by Angle. They hype Asuka vs. Nia Jax and Roman Reigns vs. The Miztourage in a Handicap Match for tonight.
– Braun is shown marching backstage, mumbling about getting fired. He stops and stares down the security guards, talking trash as they try to get him to leave the arena. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and the guards are still following Braun in the back. He snaps and destroys them all, continuing the attacks as they try to crawl away. Braun ends the assault by tossing one guy through a table. Braun says he’s not finished and he’s not leaving until everyone gets these hands.
The Bar vs. Titus Worldwide
We go to the ring and out comes Sheamus and Cesaro. Titus Worldwide is out next – Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews with Dana Brooke.
Sheamus starts off with Crews and takes him to the corner. Cesaro tags in for a bunch of double team stomps in the corner. Cesaro tags Sheamus back in as The Bar double teams Crews. He counters and dropkicks Cesaro. Crews goes at it with Sheamus now and dropkicks him as well. Titus tags in for a quick double team. Titus drops Sheamus again with a shoulder tackle. Titus keeps control as Cesaro returns to the ring. Titus beats Cesaro around and talks some trash to Sheamus.
Cesaro comes back with chops to Titus in the corner. Titus eventually fights back and scoops Cesaro for a slam. Crews tags back in and slams Cesaro. Crews drops an elbow for a 2 count. Cesaro counters and tags in Sheamus but Crews doesn’t see it. Sheamus decks Crews in the back and goes to the top for a big shot off the ropes. We go to commercial with The Bar in control.
Back from the break and Crews tries to fight off both opponents but Sheamus gets the upperhand. Titus finally gets the hot tag as Cesaro also comes in. Titus unloads and tosses Cesaro across the ring. Titus gets hyped up and calls for a pop. Titus with a running splash in the corner and a big slam for a 2 count as Dana cheers him on.
Cesaro kicks Titus and tags in Sheamus for the double team. Crews gets on the apron and sends Cesaro to the floor. Sheamus and Titus go at it now as Cesaro gets dropped on the floor. Sheamus ends up rolling Titus up for a quick 2 count. Cesaro tags in for the Neutralizer but Crews ends up hitting a big crossbody from the top. Crews with a standing moonsault on Cesaro for a close 2 count as the pin is broken up. The Bar keeps control and Sheamus tags back in. They go for the double team White Noise but the music hits and out comes RAW Tag Team Champion Jason Jordan to the stage. Crews takes advantage of the distraction and rolls Sheamus up for the win.
Winners: Titus Worldwide
– After the match, Jordan looks on from the ramp as partner Seth Rollins comes out to talk to him. Titus Worldwide celebrates as an angry Cesaro and Sheamus look on from the ring.
– We see Braun Strowman knock down Kurt Angle’s office door in the back. Angle isn’t there but Braun destroys the room. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and a man in catering tries to warn everyone before Braun Strowman enters the room and destroys everything.
Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese
We go to the ring and out comes WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore with Tony Nese. Enzo asks “how ya doin’?” and takes a shot at Curt Hawkins’ losing streak before talking about how he will leave the Royal Rumble with the WWE Cruiserweight Title. Enzo says if Cedric Alexander is going to get to him at the Rumble, he has to go through Tony first. The music hits and out comes Alexander. Goldust’s music hits next and out he comes. Goldust knocks Enzo and says if he were a film, he’d be straight-to-DVD while Cedric is a box office smash, a blockbuster, and when he defeats Enzo at Royal Rumble there will be only one word to describe him… champion. Goldust also has one word for Enzo. Cedric helps him out and does the “SAWFT” line. Cedric’s music hits as Goldust walks with him to the ring. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and we see Braun Strowman destroying more stuff backstage. Cedric and Tony go at it in the ring. Nese takes control and covers for a 2 count as Enzo and Goldust look on from ringside. Cedric fights back but Tony knees him. Nese counters an overhead kick but Cedric keeps the attack going. Cedric with a dropkick and offense in the corner. Cedric springboards up but Nese takes his leg out. Nese kicks Cedric while he’s laying over the top. Nese keeps control and drops Cedric over his knees for a 2 count.
Nese keeps control and turns Cedric upside down in the corner for more offense. Nese with another pin attempt. Nese keeps Cedric grounded as Enzo talks trash. Nese drops a leg and covers for another 2 count. Nese keeps Cedric grounded again while Enzo talks some more trash. Goldust walks over and scares Enzo, then mocks him. Cedric fights back in the ring and rocks Nese. Nese gets dropped by an uppercut after more back & forth. Cedric makes a comeback and drops Nese on his face now. Cedric kips up and gets sent to the apron but springboards in with a flying clothesline for a 2 count.
Nese blocks the Lumbar Check and takes Cedric down into a headlock. Nese fights off a counter and elbows Cedric. More back & forth now. Nese with a big kick and a big knee. They trade holds and Cedric counters a pumphandle slam, nailing the Lumbar Check for the pin.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
– After the match, Goldust returns to the ring to celebrate with Cedric. Goldust stares Enzo down.
– Kurt Angle is backstage talking to a referee about Braun Strowman’s destruction. Another referee runs in and says Braun is headed to the production trucks. Angle yells that they’re worth $12 million as they run off to stop Braun. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Braun Strowman enters the production truck in the back, threatening to shut the show down. He bullies the workers around and throws papers. Braun yells at everyone to get out of the truck and they scramble. They think he’s gone and they return to their stations but Braun isn’t finished. Braun disengages the tractor from the production trailer. Braun steps out of the truck and tries to turn it over. Kurt Angle walks up and yells at Braun. He walks away. Angle’s phone is ringing. Braun comes back and Angle yells at him as he tips the truck over. Braun yells in Angle’s face and kicks some more things around as he walks off. We see Braun walking through the back as two security guards try to stop him. Braun tells them to get away from him but they keep following him.
Braun enters the arena now as fans pop. Braun stops on the stage and looks over at the announcers. They try to scramble but Braun grabs Michael Cole and drags him over to the side of the stage. Braun looks to toss Cole off the stage but Angle appears with security. Angle says he has called off the police and Stephanie McMahon called to re-hire Braun. He is still in the title match at the Royal Rumble, Angle just wants Braun to let Cole go. Braun drops Cole and yells out. Braun turns back to Cole and tosses him off the stage on top of the group of security. Angle looks on as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Graves is on commentary with Booker T. Tom Phillips is out to replace Cole. Phillips gives us a recap of what has happened with Braun.
Asuka vs. Nia Jax
We go to the ring and out first comes Nia Jax. Asuka is out next.
The bell rings and they face off for a second. Asuka goes to work but Nia overpowers her. Asuka goes for the arm early on but Nia fights her off. Asuka tries to mount some offense again but Nia shoves her off. Asuka jumps and wraps herself around Nia with a submission on the elbow.
The hold is broken but Asuka kicks Nia. Asuka charges and Nia catches her in a backbreaker. Nia tosses Asuka across the ring now. Asuka fights back out of the corner but Nia knocks her out of mid-air with a big blow.
Asuka ends up pulling Nia into an armbar out of nowhere. Nia struggles but starts fading as she goes down. Nia powers up and launches Asuka into the turnbuckles. Nia recovers while Asuka is down. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Asuka screams in pain as Nia has her trapped in the middle of the ring. Asuka slides out and tries to roll Nia up but Nia goes to sit on her. Jax misses and Asuka nails a sliding kick. More back & forth action. Nia counters and drops Asuka for a 2 count. Asuka makes a comeback with kicks now. Nia catches Asuka while on one knee and powerbombs her. Nia is slow to make the pin and Asuka kicks out at 2. Nia shows some frustration as we get a replay of the powerbomb.
Asuka ends up dropping Nia into a kneebar. Nia screams and crawls for the bottom rope, making it to break the submission. Nia sends Asuka out to the floor through the ropes. Nia catches a kick and drives Asuka back into the apron as the referee counts. Asuka takes out Nia’s leg while it’s in between the steel ring steps and the apron. Nia goes down and Asuka returns to the ring. Nia makes it back in at the 9 count. The referee checks on Nia but she’s selling the leg injury. Nia tries to get up but her leg goes out. She stands up again but falls again. The referee calls for the bell and JoJo makes the announcement.
Winner By Referee Stoppage: Asuka
– After the match, Asuka’s music hits as Nia clutches her knee. Another referee and a trainer runs down to check on Nia as Asuka looks on, still trying to get to her feet. RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss also runs down to check on her friend. We go to replays. Nia is helped to the back.
– Jason Jordan is backstage in Kurt Angle’s wrecked office. Angle walks in. Jordan thanks him for everything he’s done since bringing him to RAW and Angle says he’s welcome. Jordan says he’s kept his eye on Braun Strowman and has been behind Angle the whole time, and would have stopped Braun if he came for Angle. Jordan says he and Seth Rollins are prepared to defend at the Royal Rumble but Seth’s recent loss has been eating him alive. Angle asks who they want to face tonight but Jordan suggests Rollins wants a singles match. Jordan suggests Rollins vs. Finn Balor. Angle makes the match and Jordan rushes off to inform his partner. Graves mentions Balor vs. Rollins will be the main event.
– Tom says Cole is very shaken up backstage after being manhandled by Strowman. Graves says Stephanie made a big mistake by re-hiring Braun earlier tonight. Tom sends us to a video package on Martin Luther King Jr. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Alexa Bliss is in the trainer’s room with Nia Jax, annoying her a bit. Enzo Amore walks in and asks how Nia is doing. She asks how his ankle is. Bliss tells Enzo she has this, hoping he will leave the room. Enzo says he also has this. Nia ends up siding with Enzo, telling Bliss he does have this. Bliss walks out.
The Revival vs. Aaron Solow and Ricky Starks
We go to the ring and both teams are waiting in the ring. The enhancement talents do not get their names announced.
Scott Dawson starts off with his opponent and takes control. Dawson unloads and tags in Dash Wilder. Dash stays in and takes out the other opponent with a backbreaker. Dawson tags in for a quick double team. The Revival keeps control and goes on to hit the Shatter Machine for the easy win.
Winners: The Revival
– After the match, Dash and Dawson kick one of their opponents out of the ring and stand tall. We go to replays. Charly Caruso interviews them in the ring. Dawson taunts Charly and says we just witnessed a clinic in tag team wrestling, something we’ve been missing for a long time as too many guys are worried about video games and Instagram, but not Dash and himself as they are students of the game. They’re only worried about punishing their opponents, mastering holds and winning matches. Charly asks what Legends they are looking forward to seeing on RAW 25 next week… The New Age Outlaws or maybe WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels or WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin? Dash says they’re looking forward to old school and there’s nothing old school about crotch chops or beer baths, that’s why the business has become a mockery. They say they’re not sports entertainers, they’re professional wrestlers. They’re not creations of a WWE board room. No one will change who they are and if they try, The Revival won’t let them. Dawson says Legends from around the world will be here next week but this is The Revival’s universe, and only one team will set the tone around here – we’re looking at them. The Revival stands tall as their music hits.
– We see Elias heading to the ring to premiere a new song. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Elias is in the ring with his guitar and a spotlight.
Elias plays a little and asks who wants to walk with him. First thing’s first, Elias hopes Michael Cole is okay. Elias is here tonight for two reasons – to teach everyone a lesson on what WWE stands for and to remind everyone that the Royal Rumble is on the horizon. Elias names guys like Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor and Randy Orton being in the Rumble but says he’s only concerned with one Superstar. He wrote a song about it and it sounds like this. Elias starts singing about how he will eliminate John Cena in the Rumble. Elias also takes a shot at the San Antonio Spurs for some cheap heat. Elias thanks the crowd but the heat continues. Elias says he was paid a significant amount of money for this next part so he needs everyone to listen up. Elias starts singing about The Miz and The Miztourage to introduce them. The Miz’s music interrupts and out he comes with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel.
– Back from the break and The Miz is in the ring with a mic. Miz says he got “welcome back” chants last week after being gone for 6 weeks because he was the spark that was missing from RAW, not John Cena or Brock Lesnar. Miz goes on and says Kurt Angle knows this is true because he granted him the Intercontinental Title rematch, which was awesome. Miz says it also felt awesome to beat Reigns down with The Miztourage. Miz goes on and says unforgettable TV moments is what he does, which is why the USA Network came to he and Maryse for the “Miz & Mrs.” unscripted reality show that debuts this year. Miz says he will do something next week that will have everyone talking about him for the next 25 years. He warns Reigns that the title is his, he made it prestigious. Miz declares that he will walk into the Barclays Center next week and reclaim his title, which will also feel awesome. The music interrupts and out comes WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns.
2-on-1 Handicap Match: Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas vs. Roman Reigns
The Miz and The Miztourage look on from the middle of the ring as Roman Reigns makes his way in. The bell rings as Miz talks trash from ringside.
Miz tries for an early distraction as soon as the bell hits but the referee sees him. Reigns drops Axel and Dallas to start and then turns his attention to Miz. Reigns stalks Miz at ringside. Dallas approaches but Reigns drops him. Reigns turns his attention back to Miz, who is begging on the floor now. Axel takes Reigns down from behind. Dallas joins in and they take out Reigns into the steel ring steps as Miz talks trash. The referee counts. Axel brings it back into the ring for two straight 3 counts.
Axel takes Reigns to the corner and works him over as they focus on Reigns’ shoulder. Dallas and Axel with quick tags. Dallas keeps control and drops Dallas for a 2 count. Dallas keeps Reigns grounded in the middle of the ring now.
Dallas keeps control with big knees to Reigns now. Dallas lifts Reigns for a suplex and they tangle as Reigns tries to counter. Dallas ends up hitting a suplex on Reigns for a pin attempt. Dallas tries to drag Reigns to the corner but Reigns resists as fans do dueling chants. Axel reaches for a tag but Reigns pulls Dallas. They trade big shots in the middle of the ring and Reigns unloads into the corneru. Axel tags in and they double team Reigns again, beating him down against the ropes. The referee backs Axel off as Dallas rolls to the floor in front of Miz’s feet. Reigns catches Axel with a Samoan Drop.
Axel runs for a tag but Reigns stops him and rams him back into the corner. Reigns ends up knocking Dallas off the apron to stop a tag from happening. Reigns stares Axel down and backs him towards the corner now. Reigns snaps and unloads on Axel as fans pop. Reigns with big shots in the corner as fans count along. Dallas gets on the apron but reigns nails an elbow. Reigns knocks Dallas from the apron into the ring now. Reigns runs Axel into Dallas and then delivers a kick that causes Axel to spike Dallas with a DDT. Reigns stands tall as most fans cheer him. Reigns goes for the finish but Miz gets on the apron and distracts him. Dallas charges but Reigns sends him to the floor. Reigns with a Superman Punch on Axel.
Reigns leaves the ring and nails a Superman Punch off the steel steps onto Dallas. Reigns stares at Miz and rolls him into the ring. Miz goes right to the floor and Reigns grabs his coat trying to stop him. Axel takes advantage and rolls Reigns up from behind for a 2 count. Reigns gets up, runs the ropes and nails the Spear on Axel for the pin.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– After the match, Reigns stands tall in the ring with the title as his music plays. The Miz, Dallas and Axel retreat up the ramp. We go to replays and come back to Reigns & Miz taunting each other.
– The announcers confirm the WWE Universal Title Triple Threat for the Royal Rumble and Balor vs. Rollins for tonight’s main event. We go back to commercial.
Sasha Banks vs. Sonya Deville
We go to the ring and out comes Sasha Banks with Mickie James and Bayley. Absolution is out next – Paige, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. Tom confirms that Paige will be unable to participate in the 30-woman Royal Rumble match due to a neck injury.
Sonya and Banks go at it to start. Sasha goes for an early Banks Statement. Sonya brings it back in and takes control with big blows to Banks. Paige yells at Deville as she goes for a pin attempt. Deville keeps Banks grounded with a body scissors now.
Sasha ends up getting free and making a comeback, nailing a dropkick. Banks takes Deville down out of the corner and goes to the second rope. Sasha leaps at Deville but gets knocked out of mid-air with a big kick. Deville covers for the win.
Winner: Sonya Deville
– After the match, Absolution celebrates at ringside as Mickie and Bayley check on Sasha. We go to replays.
– Tom talks about MLK and leads us to video of RAW Superstars visiting the Civil Rights Museum last week in Memphis.
– We see Seth Rollins backstage warming up. Jason Jordan walks in and says he’s looking good, ans asks if he’s ready. Rollins says he’s always ready but they need to talk. Rollins talks about Jordan doing things on his own, like coming out during The Bar’s match and getting Angle to make this match with Finn Balor. Jordan offers to go get his dad to cancel the match. Rollins says no as he does have some unfinished business with Balor but Jordan isn’t his spokesperson. Rollins doesn’t have a problem with what Jordan did, just with the way he did it. Jordan says alright and walks off.
Matt Hardy vs. Heath Slater
We go to the ring and out comes “Woken” Matt Hardy with his new entrance. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Hardy is in control of Heath Slater as Rhyno watches from ringside. Hardy is working a bit more aggressive than he usually does. Hardy drags Slater back into the middle of the ring as Slater holds onto the ring apron. Hardy with more offense until Rhyno and Slater start arguing as Rhyno continues to try and toughen Slater up.
It looks like Slater might be trying to walk away as Rhyno talks words of encouragement to him. Matt watches from the ring. Slater enters the ring and beats Matt down as Rhyno cheers him on. Slater yells out and goes right back to work on Matt, focusing on his arm. Matt starts biting Slater. The referee looks confused but he doesn’t see the biting.
Matt ends up dropping Slater into the corner and unloading on him. The referee backs Matt away. Matt yells “delete!” and clotheslines Slater in the corner. Matt nails a Side Effect and covers for a close 2 count. Matt yells out about how Slater must be deleted, then unloads on Slater in the corner. Matt with a neckbreaker. Matt gets a “delete!” chant going from The Woken Warriors now. Matt calls for the end and nails a Twist of Fate for the pin.
Winner: Matt Hardy
– After the match, Hardy celebrates as his music hits.
– Tom leads us to a video package on the first name confirmed for the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame class, Bill Goldberg.
– Still to come, Balor vs. Rollins. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers go over the Royal Rumble card.
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins
Back from the break and out first comes Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Finn Balor is out next as we get a sidebar promo from Balor. The Balor Club stands tall in the ring as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and the bell rings for this rematch of the first-ever WWE Universal Title match, which Balor won while suffering an injury. They lock up and trade holds. Balor with an arm drag and another to take Rollins down as Gallows and Anderson applaud. Rollins fights up and backs Balor into the ropes. Rollins turns it around as his partner Jason Jordan looks on from ringside.
Rollins takes Balor down in the corner and stomps away. Rollins has words with Gallows and Anderson as they “too sweet” him. Rollins takes Balor back down and keeps him grounded. They trade pin attempts as Balor fights back. Balor ends up kicking Rollins in the mouth from the apron, taking him down on the floor. Jordan checks on Rollins and we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Balor has control of Rollins. Rollins with a boot in the corner and a Blockbuster. Rollins sells a knee injury and can’t get the pin. Rollins sends Balor back out over the top rope. Rollins runs the ropes for a suicide dive and rams Balor back into the barrier. They bring it back into the ring and Rollins hits a neckbreaker for a 2 count.
Rollins keeps Balor grounded now in the middle of the ring. Rollins keeps control and works on Balor’s neck as the referee checks on him. Balor gets up and fights back but Balor takes him back down with an elbow to the back of the neck. Balor counters a move but Rollins rocks him with an elbow. Balor mounts offense for a comeback now. Balor with a double stomp to the gut. Rollins gets up limping in the corner as Balor looks on. Balor with more offense into the corner. Balor runs into a boot. Rollins goes to the top but Balor kicks him. Balor drops Rollins with an elbow across the throat and covers for another 2 count.
Balor goes for a Slingblade but Rollins counters. Rollins nails a Slingblade of his own and covers for a close 2 count. The both get up in opposite corners. Rollins charges and nails Balor. Rollins charges again. He goes for another but Balor meets him in the middle of the ring with a Slingblade. Rollins floors Balor with a huge superkick for a close 2 count.
More back and forth offense between the two now. They trade enziguri kicks. Rollins goes down in the corner and gets up hobbling. Rollins goes to the top for a Phoenix Splash but has to land on his feet. Balor fires back with a dropkick in the corner. Balor goes back to the top but Rollins leaps up to the top with him. Rollins nails a superplex and rolls through for the Falcon Arrow. Balor still kicks out at 2. We get a replay of Rollins kicking Balor in the head, then hitting the superplex and Falcon Arrow. Rollins goes back to the top while Balor is down in the middle of the ring. Rollins goes for the Frogsplash but Balor gets his knees up. Balor with a very close 2 count. Everyone is shocked.
The music interrupts as The Bar comes down the ramp. Cesaro and Sheamus corner Jordan while Gallows and Anderson are on the other side. Jordan moves as a brawl breaks out between The Bar, Gallows and Anderson. Balor runs the ropes and leaps out, taking them all down. Rollins and Balor go at it in the ring now. Balor goes for Coup de Grace but has to roll through. Cesaro gets on the apron but Balor drops him. Jordan trips Balor while the referee has his back turned. Rollins takes advantage and nails a Curb Stomp on Balor for the pin.
Winner: Seth Rollins
– After the match, Jordan hits the ring to celebrate with a surprised Rollins. They leave the ring and hit the ramp as we go to replays. Graves shows us how the referee may have botched his call. We get another replay as the RAW Tag Team Champions stand tall on the stage. Gallows and Anderson check on Balor in the ring. Balor is helped up as Rollins’ music stops. Fans pop for The Balor Club as Balor tries to regain his composure. A dazed Balor takes a few minutes and acts shaken up as RAW goes off the air.