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Unread 09-28-2018, 11:10 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Manchester, England
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Default Raw #1338

Live from Charleston Civic Center, Charleston, West Virginia!

Raw opened with a look back at the finish to last week, and the action packed post-Main Event action. When The Authors of Pain were DQ’d, they looked to take Rey Mysterio out for good. However, Braun Strowman returned to the ring, saving his tag team partner. Strowman would then hit Rezar with a Powerslam in the ring, before taking Akam up the ramp, putting him through the announcer’s table with another huge Powerslam. The package also showed Roman Reigns’ challenge to Drew McIntyre, which led into the first talking point for the commentators.

Discussing the Main Event that was scheduled to take place between Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns, the commentators put over a packed go-home show, with The Bella Twins also returning to the ring on the night. With plenty of other action scheduled for the evening, Ronda Rousey wasted no time in making her way to the ring.
Talking about Sunday’s Royal Rumble, Ronda Rousey put over her chances, saying that one year since she debuted at the same event, she intended to become the second ever female Royal Rumble winner!

Ronda Ronda’s added that should Shayna Baszler still be Champion by WrestleMania, she would like nothing more than to finally get her hands on “The Queen of Spades”, and take the Raw Women’s Championship. Of course, Ronda wasn’t the only Superstar with these ambitions, and Sasha Banks soon cut her off.
Sasha Banks said that just because the WWE have put Ronda Rousey front and center on every piece of Royal Rumble promotion, and just because she has been handed everything on a plate since she got to the WWE, doesn’t mean she is going to win. She added that all the training in the world can’t prepare her for the Royal Rumble match. Ronda is going to need eyes in the back of her head, because as soon as her number is drawn, she will be public enemy #1. As Sasha said this, the music of The Riott Squad hit.
Despite not having her back last week, The Riott Squad agreed with Sasha Banks, and asked Ronda Rousey if she was ready for what would be waiting for her at the Royal Rumble. Ronda Rousey said she was, but when the three women joined Sasha Banks in surrounding her, it was clear she was in trouble. While Rousey was more than willing to take on all four alone, Mickie James and Natalya came down and offered support to Rousey.
Despite her actions two weeks ago, Alexa Bliss was nowhere to be seen, and as a brawl looked close to breaking out, Kurt Angle came to the top of the ramp.
The Raw General Manager called for the Superstars to stop before things got out of hand, reminding them that they’d all get a chance to fight each other at Royal Rumble. Tonight however, Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan had The Bella Twins to focus on. While they prepared for that, Kurt Angle suggested that Liv Morgan and Sasha Banks get on the same page, as they would be facing Mickie James and Natalya… in the opening match!

Despite being only slightly more experienced as a team, Natalya and Mickie James were the much more tenured duo when it came to years in the WWE. While they had worked together in some description, it was clear that the egos of Liv Morgan and Sasha Banks had clashed, even in the short time they had been somewhat associated. These facts prove to be decisive come the end of the match, as Liv allowed Sasha Banks to do much of the heavy lifting.

Clearly not overly concerned with victory on the night, Liv Morgan rarely encouraged Banks to tag her in, and when Sasha Banks was hit with a “Mick Kick”, there was no attempt by Morgan to break up the fall.

Mickie James & Natalya bt. Liv Morgan & Sasha Banks

After the match, Liv Morgan jumped off the apron, and walked straight to the back. This left Sasha Banks alone in the ring, as Mickie James and Natalya celebrated their victory.

Watching the end of the match, Kurt Angle had called Alexa Bliss into his office. Speaking to her about her match with Ember Moon tonight, Kurt questioned her refusal to join either side of the current ongoing battle between the female roster members. Alexa Bliss said that she has always been about number one, after all this Sunday is every woman for herself. As Alexa went to leave the room, Braun Strowman entered it. Crossing paths, there was a brief ‘moment’ between the two.
The moment quickly passed, as Braun Strowman was there on business. Strowman had one question for Kurt Angle, asking him if Paul Heyman was there. Kurt Angle said that Paul wasn’t at the building yet, but he had received word that he was on his way…
Returning from the break, Drew McIntyre was seen beginning to prepare for his Main Event match with Roman Reigns. As he opened his bag, the Universal Champion was approached by Golden Alpha.
Having had issues with Roman Reigns, who is one of the favourites to win the Royal Rumble, Jason Jordan suggested that Golden Alpha have the Champion’s back for the Main Event. After all, The Authors of Pain will be Tag Team Champions by Sunday, and Jason Jordan will be heading to WrestleMania as Intercontinental Champion and Royal Rumble winner! Drew McIntyre wasn’t interested in any help, but Jordan looked to reassure him, saying “don’t worry… when I win the Royal Rumble, I’m going for the WWE Championship!”

Drew McIntyre still wasn’t interested, making it clear he wanted to be alone. Jordan eventually got the hints, leading Golden Alpha out of the Locker Room.

Following a look back at the issues that Jinder Mahal has had with the newly restructured Titus Worldwide, it was time for six man action. Despite Mahal leading his men, The Singh Brothers weren’t up for it, and as they continued to struggle, Jinder Mahal lost his patience with them. As the legal man, he turned his back on the action, shouting at Sunil Singh (who had his hand out for a tag). Jinder Mahal refused, but when Akira Tozawa dropped him from behind, he fell into Singh’s hand. With the referee deeming it an official tag, Sunil was forced to come in the ring. After Singh protested that the tag shouldn’t count (having realised he had to face Tozawa), he turned straight into his opponent, who hit him with a Shining Wizard for the win.

No Way Jose, Akira & Apollo bt. Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers

Following the match, Jinder Mahal returned to the ring, berating Sunil Singh. Samir Singh entered the ring, sticking up for his brother, and trying to calm Mahal down. Mahal was having none of it, and pushed Samir Singh with both hands. Samir joined his brother on the mat, as the angry Jinder Mahal headed up the ramp.

Looking back at the issues between Baron Corbin and Dean Ambrose last week, after Corbin gloated about a post-match attack on Seth Rollins, it was put over that the two men were forced apart last week, following a brawl in the back. When he made his entrance, it was noted that Baron Corbin had finally bit the bullet, fully shaving his hair months after Strowman first cut off his ponytail. Unfortunately, the change had no effect on his fortunes in this match, and he would have felt hard done by with the finish. During his best spell of the match, Baron Corbin attempted a Deep Six, only for Ambrose to escape his grasp. Corbin was then momentarily disoriented, and this allowed Dean Ambrose to catch him in a small package, and pick up the win.

Dean Ambrose bt. Baron Corbin

Furious to have fallen to a defeat from out of nowhere, Baron Corbin attempted to attack Dean Ambrose after the match. Again he was unsuccessful, as Dean Ambrose was able to telegraph the attack, and drop Baron Corbin with a Dirty Deeds!

WWE Raw - January 21st 2019 - Live on USA Network!

Coming back to the second hour of Raw, the commentators talked about the Main Event. They then sent over to the back, where Roman Reigns was stood, ready to be interviewed.
Roman Reigns put over the challenge, saying that he wanted to test himself against the very best Raw had to offer before the Royal Rumble. He also wanted to give Drew McIntyre a preview of what might happen, should they go one on one in the Main Event of WrestleMania!
Returning to ringside, footage was shown of Roman Reigns’ challenge to Drew McIntyre last week, setting up the night’s Main Event.

Before the match, Seth Rollins cut a promo, talking about the biggest Smackdown Live threats for the Royal Rumble. Putting over AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston and Rusev, Seth Rollins suggested that some of the biggest challenges to his victory would come from the blue brand. Bobby Lashley cut “The Kingslayer” off, telling that to forget about Smackdown and the Royal Rumble, it was time to face what was in front of him.

This was good advice, and once the bell rang, Rollins was 100% focussed on Bobby Lashley. Needing to be at the top of their games, both Superstars went all-out in the match, and gave just as good as they got in an ultra-competitive match. An intensity which was maintained throughout the contest, the back and forth nature resulted in one of Lashley’s best matches since he returned to the WWE. Lashley would have loved to have topped this off with a victory, but it wasn’t to be. Following a fast-paced sequence at the end of the match, the contest was ended by Rollins hitting a Curb Stomp to his opponent.

Seth Rollins bt. Bobby Lashley

After Seth Rollins’ celebration, the commentators put him over as one of the favourites to win the 2019 Royal Rumble. Also at the Royal Rumble, The Bella Twins would be in action, challenging for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships against Asuka & Charlotte Flair. Interviewed before their return to the ring, The Bella Twins put over the Women’s Tag Team Champions, but said that it was time for them to show the WWE Universe what a true tag team looks like.

Joining her Riott Squad partners, Liv Morgan led a promo before the match, running down The Bella Twins, and promising a preview of what “The Squad” would achieve at Sunday’s Royal Rumble. When it came to the match itself, The Riott Squad didn’t manage to put The Bella Twins down, as Brie & Nikki built momentum towards their Royal Rumble title shot. Even with Liv Morgan’s attempted involvement, The Bellas picked up the win, after Nikki hit Sarah Logan with a Rack Attack 2.0. After the match, The Bella Twins stood tall, ready for Asuka & Charlotte at Royal Rumble.

The Bella Twins bt. The Riott Squad

Up next, a “selfie-style” promo was cut by Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, who spoke about the Royal Rumble.
Owens & Zayn put over their bond, which they claimed was stronger than ever. Both men admitted that they hadn’t been at their best recently, but were ready to come back into prominence. They have learned that looking out for themselves was getting nowhere, and promised that together, they would make it to WrestleMania!
Heading back to the ring, Braun Strowman made his entrance. Having made his intentions clear earlier in the night, it was relayed that Strowman had been informed that Paul Heyman was in the building.
As a result, Braun Strowman reiterated his words from recent weeks, saying that if he isn’t getting a shot at the Universal title, and they won’t put him in the Royal Rumble, then he wants Brock Lesnar! Braun’s attempts to get the attention of the man last seen on the night after SummerSlam had so far failed, leading to him calling out Paul Heyman. Knowing Brock Lesnar’s “advocate” was in the building, Strowman demanded that Paul Heyman made his way to the ring. Clearly hesitant about doing so, Paul Heyman eventually walked down towards the ring.
Pulling out a piece of paper, Paul Heyman threw it into the ring, refusing to go any further before Strowman took a look at it. As Braun read the paper, Paul Heyman informed him that it was a legal document, which had be signed by Kurt Angle, on behalf of World Wrestling Entertainment. Heyman said that the piece of paper stated that if Braun Strowman laid a finger on Paul Heyman, he would be permanently terminated from his WWE employment. Strowman told Heyman that he had nothing to prove to him, so he wasn’t going to hurt him… tonight. Despite this, Heyman was still reluctant to join him in the ring.

When he did stand across from Braun Strowman, Paul Heyman wanted to make it quick. He asked Braun Strowman why he’d called him here. Strowman explained that since Heyman was the closest person in the WWE to Brock Lesnar, he wanted to send Paul a message to pass on to his buddy. Braun Strowman said that when he won the WWE Universal Championship, ending Brock Lesnar’s reign at 504 days, it was the greatest moment of his career. However, two things have grated on him since that date. One was the fact that he never got the chance to pin Brock Lesnar for the title… and two was Brock Lesnar never coming back for the Championship! Braun Strowman wanted to prove that he could kick Brock Lesnar’s ass one on one, and he still wants that now. Braun therefore had a simple message for Heyman, and that was to tell Brock Lesnar that he was officially challenging him to match… or a fight!

Paul Heyman was very agreeable, saying that Brock Lesnar did leave the WWE after SummerSlam, and didn’t come back for the title. Heyman said that Braun Strowman was the reason for that, seeing that the Money In The Bank made his match with Roman Reigns a Triple Threat. Brock didn’t like the unpredictability of it all, his aim was always about proving he could beat anybody one on one. Strowman said that’s exactly what he wanted, but Heyman still couldn’t promise him anything. Strowman demanded Heyman call Lesnar and let him know about the challenge, but Paul said it wasn’t that simple.

Paul Heyman then went on to explain that since the night after WrestleMania, he hasn’t had contact with Brock Lesnar. Either he cut his phone line, or he changed his number, because Paul Heyman hasn’t been able to reach him. Heyman could tell Braun was angry, and said he was sure that “The Monster Amongst Men” would love to take out some of his anger there and then. Unfortunately for Braun, hurting Paul would lose him his job, and Heyman knew this as he headed to the back. Stood in the ring, as the second hour of Raw ended, Braun Strowman had yet another thing to be angry about. The commentators suggested that Strowman’s pursuit was likely far from over, wondering what lengths he would go to in order to get what he wanted.
WWE Raw - January 21st 2019 - Live on USA Network!

Returning for the final hour of Raw before the Royal Rumble, the commentators recapped Braun Strowman’s unsuccessful attempt to contact Brock Lesnar through Paul Heyman. Focus then switched to Ember Moon’s return to Raw last week, where she came to the aid of a young local talent, as she was bullied by Shayna Baszler. Finally getting one over on the dominant Raw Women’s Champion, Ember Moon managed to hit Baszler with an Eclipse for the first time. This also marked the first time that Shayna Baszler had been left laying in her Raw career.
Heading to the back before Ember’s scheduled match, Sasha Banks was seen approaching Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox. Having been cast out by The Riott Squad, despite an agreement that was in place, Sasha Banks had decided to look for her own backup, ready for the Royal Rumble.

Two popular members of the Raw roster, Alexa Bliss and Ember Moon’s journeys and approaches could not be more different. Just 6 days before Royal Rumble, both women looked to prove themselves, and looked pretty even as the match progressed. Which of the two were better on the night, couldn’t be called, and before they got the chance to prove otherwise, The Riott Squad got involved.
Pulling Alexa Bliss out of the ring, The Riott Squad caused a DQ, robbing the match of a conclusion. That was of little concern to them, of course.

Alexa Bliss bt. Ember Moon (DQ)

Throwing Alexa into the Steel Steps, The Riott Squad climbed onto the apron, surrounding Ember Moon in the ring. Moon was ready, but would stand no chance in a 3-on-1 situation. As if things weren’t bad enough already for Ember, Sasha Banks soon led her new associates to the ring.
Ember Moon soon found herself surrounded by six Superstars. Any way you looked at it, Moon was doomed. When the six woman all entered the ring together, there was nothing Ember Moon could do. Mickie James and Natalya ran down to the ring, but this just kicked the six women into action.
Mickie James, Natalya and Ember were outnumbered two to one, and stood no chance of mounting any kind of offence during the assault. One woman who had not yet been involved, Ronda Rousey, made her way to the ring, her music distracting the six assailants.
In something of a surreal moment, Ronda Rousey turned to Alexa Bliss (who had been recovering on the ground) and lifted her to her feet. With a stern look on her face, Ronda nodded at her long-time rival. Alexa Bliss nodded back at Ronda Rousey, caught up in the moment. The two women then slid into the ring together, taking the fight to The Riott Squad, Sasha, Dana and Alicia. The brawl eventually evened out, as Ember Moon, Mickie James and Natalya helped clear the ring of the six attackers. Those three then took a step to the side, as Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss shared an awkward moment, the rivals wondering where this leaves this previously turbulent dynamic.

Coming away from that segment, Shayna Baszler was seen watching Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey on a monitor in the back. Turning away, Baszler was approached by an interviewer.
Shayna Baszler laughed at the women in the ring, looking down on the drama. Shayna Baszler said that Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey are free to play out their little buddy movie, but after the Royal Rumble, she can let them know how the story ends. Shayna said that she sees every woman on the roster dancing on the puppet strings, desperate for a shot at what she already has. Baszler said that desperation would be their downfall, and she would leave WrestleMania still the Raw Women’s Champion!
Returning from the break, Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey were seen stood in the middle of the Locker Room.
Barely able to look at each other, Ronda broke the awkward silence, saying she didn’t know what came over her out in the ring. Bliss said that she wasn’t sure what had just happened either. Ronda Rousey smiled, saying that they made a pretty good team out there, and Alexa Bliss agreed. Rousey added that Sunday’s Royal Rumble was still every woman for herself, and Alexa Bliss agreed with that too. Leaving the Locker Room, Alexa Bliss turned to Ronda Rousey, saying “this changes nothing…” Smiling, Ronda Rousey agreed.
Offering a second chance to Robert Roode, Elias invited The Glorious Revival to the ring. Having made Roode promise not to sing again, “The Glorious One” instead enjoyed the music with Dash & Dawson. Roode also laughed vigorously, as Elias made fun of Charleston, West Virginia. Eventually, some Superstars decided enough was enough, bringing the end to Elias’ extended performance. Finn Balor, Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton came to the ring together, taking out Robert Roode and The Revival. Escaping the three men who stood tall in the ring, Elias backed up the ramp, only for Bray Wyatt to appear on the screen. Freaking out Elias, Wyatt told him “We. Are Woken... We. Are Coming!”
Having been unsuccessful in trying to use Paul Heyman to get closer to Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman spoke to the General Manager. The former WWE Universal Champion told Kurt Angle that he wanted something making official, and for it to be promoted as part of Royal Rumble. Braun Strowman wouldn’t be in action at the show, but he’d be there… and he was making an official challenge for Brock Lesnar to show his face at the Royal Rumble.
Two “selfie-style” promos followed that segment, with The Usos and Asuka & Charlotte stating their confidence ahead of the Royal Rumble. The Usos said that being the Tag Team Champions was like breathing air to them, while the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions said that nobody could stop the dream team’s dream run - not even The Bella Twins.

The final Raw match before the Royal Rumble, the much anticipated Main Event was just as physical as one would expect. Holding nothing back ahead of the Royal Rumble, Roman Reigns gave Drew McIntyre everything he had, and seemed to have the Champion exactly where he wanted him. Such was the level of performance from Reigns, the commentators suggested that if he won the Rumble, and went on to WrestleMania, Roman Reigns may well just be considered the favourite against Drew McIntyre. Reigns had started well, but Drew McIntyre was still in the match, growing into it as the contest went on. The high levels of physicality in the match defined the contest, a style which few in the WWE today can implement effectively.

The longest match of the night, Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns were able to take the best their opponent had to offer, kicking out of a number of signature moves. Despite Drew McIntyre’s incredible recent run of victories, it appeared that Roman Reigns had the match won, as he set up for a Spear. Like the previous match, whether this would have been the end was ruined, as Golden Alpha came down to the ring.
Roman Reigns took his eye off the ball, and Jason Jordan smirked at “The Big Dog”. While not one of the Royal Rumble favourites, Jason Jordan had been frustrated by the “entitlement” of Roman Reigns. He asked him how he would do at the Rumble after “this”, as he set The Authors of Pain on him. Roman Reigns managed to fight off AOP, but when Jason Jordan hit him with a Chop Block, the referee called for another DQ.

Roman Reigns bt. Drew McIntyre (DQ)

When Drew McIntyre realised what was going on, while slouched in the corner, the WWE Universal Champion rolled out of the ring and left Jason Jordan to whatever he had planned. Jordan wanted Drew to get involved with the post-match beatdown, but he wasn’t interested.

That didn’t stop Jason Jordan however, as he directed traffic for The Authors of Pain. In full control of Roman Reigns, Golden Alpha brought a Table into play. Not needing Jason Jordan’s assistance, The Authors of Pain set Roman Reigns up for a Double Powerbomb. However, before they could take “The Big Dog” out (and jeopardize his place in the Royal Rumble), the music of The Shield hit!
Running down to the ring, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins broke up the attack, saving their friend from serious harm. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins managed to deal with all three members of Golden Alpha, with a Kingslayer Knee Strike sending Jordan to the outside. With the ring now clear, Dean Ambrose helped Roman Reigns to his feet.

Going into the Royal Rumble, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns stood together in the ring. Looking across to each other, the three men were possibly the favourites to win the match amongst the Raw Superstars. Dean Ambrose was the first to make note of the situation, looking to the Royal Rumble sign, before pointing at the two men. It was clear that despite the bond of the men who had made up The Shield for many years, their individual competitiveness trumped their brotherhood. At most, only one of them could win Sunday’s Royal Rumble match, and it was clear that friendship aside, each of “The Hounds of Justice” were desperate for it to be their name that was confirmed for a Championship match at WrestleMania!

Quick Results
Mickie James & Natalya bt. Liv Morgan & Sasha Banks
No Way Jose, Akira & Apollo bt. Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers
Dean Ambrose bt. Baron Corbin

Seth Rollins bt. Bobby Lashley
The Bellas Twins bt. Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan

Alexa Bliss bt. Ember Moon (DQ)
Roman Reigns bt. Drew McIntyre (DQ)
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