NXT TakeOver: Phoenix!
Live from Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona!
WWE Royal Rumble (1/2)
[Kick-Off] Shinsuke Nakamura bt. Jeff Hardy (c) to become the new United States Champion
Live from Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona!
The first pay-per-view of 2019 opened with a video package, promoting the numbers and statistics related to the Royal Rumble. A look back at last year’s winners, Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura, led into footage of some of the front runners for this year’s Royal Rumble. The focus of the video package was the equality of the “opportunity”. Man or Woman, Smackdown or Raw, Main Event Superstar or upstart rookie… 60 Superstars will enter the lottery of the Royal Rumble, with two of them earning shots at their respective top titles.
Following the opening match, the commentators talked about the two Royal Rumble matches that would take place during the evening. The Raw announce team spoke about the Champions who their brand’s Superstar would be looking to face, Drew McIntyre and Shayna Baszler.
In the back, Asuka was seen entering the doctor’s room, looking for her partner Charlotte Flair.
Cutting to the Office of the General Managers, Kurt Angle and Paige were seen discussing the night’s events.
END OF PART 1
(the show was ridiculously long, sorry. Second half is written, and will be posted soon )
WWE Royal Rumble (2/2)
Live from Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona!
Heading to the back, Charlotte Flair was stood by, as the commentators spoke in a concerned tone about the injury she sustained earlier. Charlotte had however requested the time to address those reports, vowing that she was 100% ready to face The Bella Twins.
After a look at what was yet to come, the commentators took a look back at the month of Braun Strowman. Since losing the WWE Universal Champion, Strowman has been on a rampage. Starting with the hospitalisation of Drake Maverick, Strowman’s path of destruction has seen multiple vehicles destroyed, and led his arrest. There was also a professional punishment handed out by the WWE, as it was confirmed that Braun Strowman would neither receive his rematch, nor would he be allowed to enter the Royal Rumble. Essentially blocked from the Universal Championship until after WrestleMania, Brock Lesnar became the target for Braun Strowman. Having not been seen since the night after SummerSlam, attempts to call out the former UFC Champion had thus far proved unsuccessful. Braun Strowman decided to take his pursuit to the next level, officially calling out Brock Lesnar to respond at the Royal Rumble.
Making his entrance, Braun Strowman clearly had one thing on his mind. As the commentator put over that even Paul Heyman hadn’t spoke to Lesnar recently, the tone suggested that there was little chance of Brock Lesnar appearing at all.
Braun Strowman wasn’t put off by this, and looked to appeal to the professional pride of Brock Lesnar. Strowman said that he knows that Brock Lesnar threw a tantrum and walked out of contract talks with Vince McMahon after what happened at SummerSlam, but that was months ago. Braun called on Brock to come and “prove himself” against the guy who took his title from him, saying that 500 days with the Championship was one thing, but he knows how it feels like an eternity as soon as you don’t have it!
Strowman continually tried to goad Brock Lesnar out, asking him if he is happy with the abiding memory of him being the guy in the background as Braun became the WWE Universal Champion. He added that the last time anybody saw Lesnar, he had just taken Kurt Angle out with an F-5. But what everybody remembers is Braun Strowman putting him through a Table on his way to ending his reign. Strowman was trying to get under the skin of Lesnar, but could see it wasn’t working, and accepted that Brock wasn’t in the building. Strowman then asked for anything, just one sign… even if it’s just on the big screen, or a call to the General Manager. He just wanted to hear something so he could confirm that Brock Lesnar is nothing more than a cowardly, primadona, who knows he couldn’t survive one on one with “The Monster Amongst Men”! Braun once again said “come on Brock… show the WWE Universe who you really are!”
When Braun said that, he did receive a response, but it certainly wasn’t from who he expected. Coming out from the back, in what was more or less a full body cast, Drake Maverick returned.
Maverick hadn’t been seen since Braun Strowman put him in a hospital, and the look on Braun’s face said that he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. Drake said that he isn’t here with news about Brock Lesnar, but he was going to put a stop to “this”. Grimacing as he spoke, Drake said that Braun Strowman’s punishment wasn’t just about the Universal Championship, or keeping him out of the Royal Rumble. The punishment was about teaching a lesson to Braun Strowman, that you can’t use force to get what you want. Braun wondered why, pointing out it was what had got him this far. Maverick said Strowman didn’t understand.
As “Advisor to the General Manager”, Drake tried to get through to Kurt Angle, but it didn’t work. Maverick revealed he was the one who spoke to Stephanie McMahon, and he is the reason Braun Strowman won’t have a Universal Championship rematch. Strowman was furious, and looked ready to attack Maverick again. From the top of the ramp, Maverick told Strowman that he would want to hear him out! Drake added that the punishment clearly had not taught him anything, but if Braun thinks he will be in another high profile match at WrestleMania, he’s got another thing coming. The WWE may have done everything short of firing Braun Strowman, but there was still more to be done. Fired up, Drake Maverick demanded Braun Strowman looked him in the eye, as he delivered his final message:
”Braun Strowman… you tried to kill me! And if you think that you’re just going to walk into WrestleMania, you’ve got another thing coming. You might bring me down again, Mr. Strowman… but believe you me… you’re going down with me!”
Drake Maverick then hobbled away on his crutches, leaving Braun Strowman to take in what he had just said. Strowman was clearly ready for whatever Maverick had planned, as the commentators turned attention towards the WWE Championship match, next.
Following the fallout of the WWE Championship match, and promotion for upcoming WWE events, the focus turned to the Main Event - the Women’s Royal Rumble match. A video package looked back at last year’s event, which featured the first ever all-female Royal Rumble. While Asuka took the victory, with an extremely impressive performance, it was the arrival of Ronda Rousey which stole the show. Exactly one year after her first appearance as a member of the WWE roster, Ronda Rousey will look to win the Royal Rumble… and finally get her hands on Shayna Baszler at WrestleMania.
Raw - Five Point Preview: The Road To WrestleMania begins!Rousey & Rollins are going to WrestleMania
After overcoming 29 other Superstars in their respective Royal Rumble matches, Ronda Rousey and Seth Rollins secured their places in Championship matches at WrestleMania. Seth Rollins managed to come out on top of one of the most star studded Royal Rumble matches of all time, while Ronda Rousey overcame a clear attempt from Stephanie McMahon to stop her from achieving her goals. Both will address their victories on Raw, but Seth Rollins’ night will not be limited to that…
One Night Only: The Return of The Shield
Having “hung up their vests” at Tables, Ladders and Chairs last year, The Shield will come back for one more match, going up against Jason Jordan’s Golden Alpha. Last week on Raw, Golden Alpha attacked Roman Reigns, during his Main Event match with Drew McIntyre. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins came out to save Roman Reigns from the attack, and at the Royal Rumble it was confirmed that the two trios would face off at Raw!
Beat The Clock!
While Seth Rollins’ path to WrestleMania may be clear, the person who he will face for the Universal Championship isn’t yet confirmed. Drew McIntyre may hold the WWE Universal Championship, but after having the night off a Royal Rumble, it was announced he would defend his title at Fastlane!
To find McIntyre’s challenger, and the potential WrestleMania opponent of Seth Rollins, the “Beat The Clock” challenge will return. Tonight on Raw, John Cena will return to singles competition against Robert Roode. Also given the opportunity to become the new number one contender, Rey Mysterio will go one on one with Elias, while Bray Wyatt will return to action, facing Sami Zayn in the third “Beat The Clock” challenge match!
Shayna Baszler will also be informed of her Raw Women’s Championship defence, also scheduled for Fastlane.
Braun Strowman’s unsuccessful call-out of Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble will have done little to ease his terrible mood, as he looks towards the Road To WrestleMania and sees nothing but a dead end. At the Royal Rumble, it was Drake Maverick - still clearly feeling the effects of Braun’s attack last month - who answered his call out. He vowed that Braun Strowman would have no path to WrestleMania, promising to do whatever it took to bring down “The Monster Amongst Men”. While Braun Strowman is unlikely to give up his chase of a match with Brock Lesnar, his attention will surely be on Drake Maverick come Monday Night!
New Women’s Tag Team Champions
Ronda Rousey wasn’t the only female Raw Superstar celebrating success at the Royal Rumble, with The Bellas Twins coming out victorious as the event too. Taking advantage of an injured Charlotte Flair - who had pulled double duty on the night - The Bella Twins were able to become the second-ever WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. With Alexa Bliss looking to call-out the self-proclaimed “Real Goddess” Liv Morgan, the first challengers to The Bella Twins are likely to come from elsewhere on the roster.
This Week on Raw...
The Shield vs. Golden Alpha (Jason Jordan & The Authors of Pain)
Ember Moon vs. Sasha Banks
Which member of The Riott Squad will accept Alexa Bliss’ challenge?
John Cena vs. Robert Roode - Beat The Clock
Elias vs. Rey Mysterio - Beat The Clock
Bray Wyatt vs. Sami Zayn - Beat The Clock
Which Superstar will set the pace in the first week of Beat The Clock?
The Shield vs. Golden Alpha (Jason Jordan & The Authors of Pain)
Ember Moon vs. Sasha Banks
Which member of The Riott Squad will accept Alexa Bliss’ challenge? Ruby
John Cena vs. Robert Roode - Beat The Clock
Elias vs. Rey Mysterio - Beat The Clock
Bray Wyatt vs. Sami Zayn - Beat The Clock
Which Superstar will set the pace in the first week of Beat The Clock? Wyatt
After seeing Ronda and Stephanie as the last two women standing in the Women’s Royal Rumble match, are we seeing the possible beginnings of a Ronda vs. the New Corporation (Stephanie, Shayna, Sasha, and the Riott Squad) feud?
Live from Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona!
Beginning with a look back at the events of the previous evening, stills were shown of the two Royal Rumbles, where Seth Rollins and Ronda Rousey won their respective matches. Footage was then shown of Ronda Rousey at the end of the evening, with a soundbite of Michael Cole declaring:
”The Road to WrestleMania… starts right now!”
Back live, the commentators introduced the show, welcoming the WWE Universe to Monday Night Raw. Not long after, the music of Seth Rollins began to play, and the men’s 2019 Royal Rumble winner opened the episode.
As Rollins made his way to the ring, the commentators put over his victory, pointing out the fact that three of the last four in the Rumble were members of the Raw roster, with all three members of The Shield making it to the very end. In the night’s Main Event, Seth Rollins would be reunited with Ambrose and Reigns, for a “One Night Only” Shield reunion.
Seth Rollins spoke about winning the Royal Rumble first, putting over the fact that he would be going to WrestleMania, and challenging for the Universal Championship. He had no doubt in his mind, no matter who had either Championship, he wanted to win the WWE Universal Championship for the first time. Rollins put over his Shield brothers, who lasted until “the bitter end” of the Royal Rumble, and said that he was proud to don the vest against Golden Alpha in the Main Event… for what could be the very last time! As Rollins continued to promote the Main Event, he was cut off by the music of John Cena, who returned to the WWE at the Royal Rumble.
John Cena said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and he can tell from the energy in the building that the WWE Universe has missed him. Cena said that he’d missed them too, but he was back tonight on the “Road to WrestleMania”. John Cena praised Seth Rollins, not wanting to take away from his moment, but pointed out that Seth Rollins didn’t know who he would be facing at WrestleMania. That is where Fastlane comes into it, because at that event, Drew McIntyre will defend the WWE Universal Championship. Cena said that he’d spoken to Kurt Angle earlier in the day, and he was told that tonight was the beginning of the “Beat The Clock” challenge. John Cena was looking to go into WrestleMania as the record-setting 17-time World Champion, and that’s why he asked for a match tonight. Not only did Kurt Angle put Cena in, he gave him the chance to set the pace, because his match was up first! John Cena said that it may not be the last time he would be stood across from Seth Rollins over the next few months, but for now, Cena needed a clear ring so he could do his business.
Heading away from the ring, Jason Jordan and The Authors of Pain were approached for an interview in the Locker Room, as they prepared for the “biggest match of their careers” in the Main Event!
Following the break, Seth Rollins was shown returning to a Locker Room containing Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. The three were clearly strategizing, as the cameras kept a distance from “The Hounds of Justice”.
Moving on, John Cena entered the office of General Manager Kurt Angle.
Jinder was furious that he wasn’t given a place in the Royal Rumble, particularly considering somebody as undeserving as John Cena received one! John just laughed as Jinder, making things worse. Looking to calm down the former WWE Champion, Kurt Angle said that he’d make it up to Mahal, giving him a place in one of next week’s Beat The Clock challenge matches!
Returning to ringside, the commentators turned attention towards Ronda Rousey’s impressive Royal Rumble victory. As well as The Riott Squad and Sasha Banks conspiring against her, Ronda Rousey had to deal with a plot by Stephanie McMahon, who made winning the Royal Rumble as difficult as it possibly could have been. This included Stephanie entering the Royal Rumble herself at number 30. Expected to challenge for the Raw Women’s Championship, the commentators introduced an interview with Shayna Baszler, recorded in the immediate aftermath of Rousey’s victory.
Speaking from the private box, which she had shared throughout the night with Drew McIntyre, Shayna Baszler told the WWE cameras that Ronda Rousey had just been through a war. However, Baszler added that she’d better be ready for much more, should she choose to challenge for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania. Baszler said it was time for Rousey to put her money where her mouth is, but added that she would understand completely if Ronda chose to take the easy road and challenge Charlotte Flair on Smackdown.
WWE Raw - January 28, 2019 - Live on USA Network!
Having remained in the ring throughout the break, the top of the second hour of Raw saw Braun Strowman in the middle of the ring, holding a microphone.
Braun Strowman talked about how annoyed he was that Brock Lesnar ignored his challenge from last night, and said that Lesnar let everybody down. Strowman said that he was no longer going to sit around and wait for action, telling Lesnar that if he wasn’t going to come to them… Strowman was going to find a way to get to him. Last night, Strowman was answered by someone however, and that man was Drake Maverick. Braun said he thought he’d got rid of that “snivelling puny rat” for good, but obviously he didn’t finish the job. Strowman added that Maverick came out at the Royal Rumble, looking like a reanimated mummy, and was lucky Braun didn’t take him out there and then. As Braun Strowman continued to talk about him, Drake Maverick came out to the top of the ramp again.
With notably less bandages on, Drake came out on a crutch, but otherwise looked to have recovered. Maverick said that he knows exactly why Strowman didn’t take him out last night, and that’s because he looked in Drake’s eyes and saw he was serious. Drake Maverick wanted to make it clear how serious he was, and said that if WWE weren’t going to take the necessary action and fire Braun Strowman, then he’d have to get his hands dirty. Drake said that he has decided what needs to be done, and that included him officially informing Kurt Angle that he would be temporarily relinquishing his role as “Advisor to the General Manager”. Maverick explained why he had done this, to the bemusement of Strowman. Drake stepped down, stating that he needed to focus his attention on his “new project”. He then went on to reveal his new venture:
”Allow me to introduce the ‘Anti-Braun Coalition’! You might bring me down Braun, but if I go down, then this time... I’m bringing you with me!”
Braun Strowman was amused by this, but Drake Maverick warned him that they would have their first meeting next week, and Braun wasn’t going to like what came from it. As Drake Maverick looked to walk away, Alexa Bliss came out from the back, and went face to face with him.
Almost the same size as him, Alexa Bliss looked to intimidate Drake, and appeared to be successful. When she reached the ring, she shared a moment with Braun Strowman, laughing at Maverick. Alexa Bliss then took a microphone, and Braun Strowman left the ring. Bliss went on to call out The Riott Squad, making it clear that after she was eliminated by her last night, she wanted Liv Morgan.
The Riott Squad came out, but had elected Sarah Logan as the Superstar who would go one on one with Alexa Bliss.
Looking ahead to the Main Event, a video package looked at the dominance of The Shield, with select clips from their first run together. Footage was also shown from the subsequent reunions, before the three of them were shown in the ring last week on Raw. The commentators put over the fact that tonight is a “One Night Only” reunion of The Shield, and could be the last time they ever team up…
Going into the Locker Room of The Shield, the WWE Universal Champion approached the group.
Returning from the break, Kurt Angle was shown outside of his office, having requested to speak to Renee Young.
With a huge smile on his face, Kurt talked about tonight marking the beginning of the Road To WrestleMania! He added that while he didn’t know what Smackdown were going to pull out, he’s sure that he has just made the first move in ensuring that Raw was going to be the most talked about brand this week. The reason for that was a contract that had just been agreed, and the man who signed on the dotted line… was on his way to Raw tonight!
Returning from the break, Kevin Owens had been approached in the back. Asked about his absence from ringside for Sami Zayn’s match, Owens played down rumours of issues between the two, saying their friendship was stronger than ever. Unlike a lot of people, Kevin Owens believes in Sami Zayn, and that’s why he respected the request for him to stay away from ringside tonight.
Kevin Owens was then interrupted by an angry Elias, who was frustrated by the fact Bray Wyatt had received a place in the “Beat The Clock” challenge. He said that Wyatt & The Woken Warriors had put him through hell, and shouldn’t even be allowed back in the building!
Returning to ringside, the commentators talked about next week’s Beat The Clock challenge matches, promoting Dean Ambrose vs. Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns and Finn Balor vs. Randy Orton. With John Cena setting the time of 8:32, the pressure was on all six Superstars. Speaking of pressure, talk turned to Ronda Rousey’s Royal Rumble win, and what she had to endure to come out victorious.
Making her way to the ring to address the previous night’s events, Ronda Rousey seemed to be in high spirits.
Ronda Rousey said that she thought she knew what to expect from the Royal Rumble, but she learned something last night. In the Royal Rumble, and the WWE in general, you should always expect the unexpected. Of course, she knew the Raw Superstars were out to get her last night, but she couldn’t have imagined that the Raw Commissioner would go as far as to enter herself in the match. But Ronda understands, Stephanie McMahon truly wanted to test the metal of “The Baddest Woman on The Planet”. She added that once again, Stephanie McMahon found out exactly what Ronda Rousey was made of! As Ronda looked to move on to talk about the future, Shayna Baszler cut her off.
Ronda Rousey remained calm as Shayna entered the ring, something she previously had been unable to do. Knowing that she was heading to WrestleMania had clearly mellowed Rousey, but this didn’t stop the Raw Women’s Champion looking to get under her skin. Repeating what was said earlier, Shayna Baszler claimed to know that every fibre in Ronda’s body is telling her to go to Smackdown and face Charlotte Flair. Baszler told her to go ahead, because that would be the only way she would leave WrestleMania as a Champion.
Ronda Rousey said that even if she was considering going to Smackdown to challenge Charlotte Flair, there wasn’t a chance in hell she was leaving Raw without breaking Shayna’s arm first! This got a reaction from Shayna, who got in Ronda Rousey’s face. The two women seemed close to coming to blows there and then, until General Manager Kurt Angle came to calm things down.
Kurt Angle told the two Superstars that if they want to fight, they’d get their chance to fight at WrestleMania… as long as Shayna is still Champ. Until then, he wants to two of them to do everything in their power to stay out of each other’s way. If Ronda Rousey wanted to compete so badly, he’s sure there would be plenty of Superstars lining up to face her at Fastlane. He choses Fastlane, because that is when Shayna Baszler will next defend her Raw Women’s Championship. Baszler looked smug, knowing she’d beaten everybody Raw had to offer. That look was wiped from her face, when Kurt Angle revealed that Shayna Baszler’s next title defence would take place inside the Elimination Chamber!
Baszler was furious about this, a reaction which brought a smile to the face of Ronda Rousey. Rousey told Baszler “maybe I won’t see you at WrestleMania…” laughing as she left the ring. The second hour of Raw ended with a close up of Shayna Baszler, looking at her Raw Women’s Championship, clearly concerned about keeping hold of it at Fastlane.
WWE Raw - January 28, 2019 - Live on USA Network!
Opening the final hour of Raw, The Bella Twins victory over Asuka & Charlotte at the Royal Rumble was recapped. This led into Brie & Nikki making their way to the ring, holding their new Tag Team Championship titles.
As Kurt Angle watched Ember Moon’s impressive win, he was approached by Finn Balor and Randy Orton. The two men spoke to Kurt Angle about their match against each other next week, and then about their match next against Tozawa & Crews. While they spoke, Nia Jax came in, saying that before Kurt puts Ember in the Elimination Chamber, she needs to make sure the former Raw Women’s Champion was. As Finn & Randy excused themselves, Kurt Angle told Nia that nobody was confirmed for the Elimination Chamber match, but if she wanted to prove herself, Nia would be in action next week!
Returning from the break before the Main Event, the commentators sent over to something that happened “During The Break”. Arriving at the building, a Limousine pulled up at the entrance.
While a man stepped out of the vehicle, only his feet and legs were shown. As a result, there was little way of knowing the identity of the man that Kurt Angle announced as signing a Raw contract earlier in the night.
John Cena bt. Robert Roode in 8:32 [Beat The Clock Challenge]
Elias and Rey Mysterio went to a time limit draw [Beat The Clock Challenge]
Alexa Bliss bt Sarah Logan
Bray Wyatt and Sami Zayn went to a time limit draw [Beat The Clock Challenge]
Ember Moon bt. Sasha Banks
Finn Balor & Randy Orton bt. Akira & Apollo
The Shield bt. Golden Alpha
Love the Bruan Strowman and Drake Maverick interaction with Alexa Bliss intimidating Maverick as a nice bonus (how are you gonna let Alexa Bliss punk you and still think you can take down Bruan Strowman?)
This Week In WWE!
This Week on…
General Manager Paige opened the show, calling out Samoa Joe for what she perceived as excessive use of force against Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble.
These feelings were shared by Johnny Gargano, who took issue with how Samoa Joe treated his so-called “friend” at the Rumble. This resulted in a match between the two in the Main Event, which Samoa Joe won. Before the match, Gargano had spoke of his massive respect for Daniel Bryan, and ended the night in the same hold as him. After the Main Event, Paige returned to the ring, informing Joe that he would defend his title at Fastlane… in the Elimination Chamber!
Calling out Asuka, hoping to clear the air regarding the loss of the Tag Team Championships at Royal Rumble, Charlotte was beaten to the punch by Becky Lynch.
The Usos defeated Andrade “Cien” Almas and his new right-hand man Sin Cara. The two Mexican Superstars had confronted The Usos earlier, demanding a chance to prove themselves against the WWE Men’s Tag Team Champions.
Coming out of left-field, Jeff Hardy was the one to object to this, and said that he had other ideas. All he asked was that The Usos gave him one week… and he’d have everything he needed to prove it!
Also on Smackdown Live:
This Week on…
Episode #6: The Episode with… the L.W.O!
That said, with the amount of people who have had their lives made miserable by Braun Strowman, hopefully I can built at least a little doubt that Braun will come out on top of this rivalry - as unlikely as any other outcome may seem.
Thanks for the feedback, I am back up to date with where I am in-game now (was writing a few weeks behind), so I am hoping the lack of need to catch up is relayed into a better standard of writing. Hopefully, anyway.
Raw - Five Point PreviewBeat The Clock
Last week on Raw, John Cena returned to singles action, setting the “time to beat” in the “Beat The Clock” challenge. This week, six Superstars will be given the chance to better the 8:32 set by Cena, with three huge Beat The Clock matches. The biggest of the three is probably Finn Balor vs. Randy Orton, as the two friends become rivals, in pursuit of a Universal Championship match.
Batista is Back!
Following The Shield’s victory against Golden Alpha last week, “Big Dave” made his return to the WWE, all smiles as he applauded the victorious trio. Little else is known about the comeback, which Kurt Angle had promoted throughout the show last week, as Batista hasn’t been heard from since.
On Raw, Triple H is scheduled to officially welcome Batista back into the “WWE family”, as confirmed on social media earlier this week.
Champions is Action!
While the contenders battle it out to earn the right to face Drew McIntyre, the WWE Universal Champion will also be in action on Raw. While the General Manager has yet to reveal who Drew McIntyre will face, it has been confirmed that he will team with Raw Women’s Champion, Shayna Baszler, and their opponents will be Ember Moon and an as yet unconfirmed Raw Superstar.
Drake Maverick introduces ”The Anti-Braun Coalition”
Having been hospitalised by the out-of-control Braun Strowman two months ago, Drake Maverick returned at Royal Rumble. Last week on Raw, Drake Maverick revealed details of a “Anti-Braun Coalition”, a group of Superstars who have come forward to join him in a stand against Braun Strowman’s behaviour. Those Superstars will be revealed live on Raw, at the first meeting of Drake Maverick’s “A.B.C”.
The Real Goddess?
Despite continually distancing herself from her fellow Raw Superstars, Alexa Bliss is scheduled to team with Mickie James and Natalya this week, whether she likes it or not. They will look to overcome the increasingly confident “Riott Squad”.
Having been forced into action recently, as Liv Morgan began referring to herself as “The Real Goddess”, Alexa Bliss’ resentment for the up and coming Superstar was compounded when she eliminated her from the Royal Rumble. Last week proved that Alexa Bliss couldn’t fight the entire Riott Squad alone, and she will have to learn to “play with others”, in order to stand a chance of victory on Raw.
This Week on Raw
Drew McIntyre & Shayna Baszler vs. ???? ????? & Ember Moon
Which member of the Raw roster will be Ember Moon’s partner?
Alexa Bliss, Mickie James & Natalya vs. The Riott Squad
[Raw debut] Heart & Soul (Mustafa Ali & Cedric Alexander) vs. Titus Worldwide’s Akira & Apollo
Alicia Fox vs. Nia Jax
Who will attend the first meeting of the ‘Anti-Braun Coalition”?
Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns - Beat The Clock
Dean Ambrose vs. Jinder Mahal - Beat The Clock
Finn Balor vs. Randy Orton - Beat The Clock
Who will be Number One Contender after the Beat The Clock challenge is over?
Live from Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, Missouri!
Recapping the events at the end of last week’s Raw, footage was shown of Dave Batista’s return to the WWE. Making his way out, and waving to the WWE Universe, Batista gave little away in regards to his intentions now that he is back in the company. Applauding The Shield, after they defeated Golden Alpha, Batista was all smiles as the WWE Universe reacted to his return.
The commentators discussed that reaction, as well as that of his fellow WWE Superstars. It was put over that Batista would appear once again on Raw, where he would be officially welcomed back into the fold by his mentor, and WWE executive, Triple H.
That would be later in the night, and with Raw well underway, Shayna Baszler wasted no time in making her way to the ring.
With a microphone in her hand, the Raw Women’s Champion stood sternly in the middle of the ring. The commentators spoke about Ronda Rousey’s Royal Rumble victory, and the possibility that she would face Shayna Baszler at WrestleMania. Baszler wasn’t out to talk about Ronda Rousey however, as she put herself over as the most dominant Champion in the WWE today. She included Charlotte Flair in that, she included The Bella Twins in that, and she damn well included every single male Champion in the WWE in that. Unsurprisingly, these comments drew attention, and it was Drew McIntyre who joined her in the ring.
Drew McIntyre said that he was well aware of what Shayna Baszler is capable of, but she might want to reign it in a bit. Drew agreed that Shayna is a bad ass Raw Women’s Champion, but suggested that by pinning Braun Strowman two times, he proved himself as the most dominant Superstar in the WWE. While they were clearly never going to agree, the segment put over the similarities in the personalities of the two Champions. Their discussion brought Kurt Angle to the top of the ramp, as he reminded them they were on the same team tonight!
Kurt Angle said that both the Raw Women’s Champion and the Universal Champion would be in action at Fastlane, but before then they would team up on Raw. That match would be the night’s Main Event, with Ember Moon standing across from Shayna Baszler. Drew McIntyre wanted to know who he would be facing, but Kurt Angle said that Drew would find out later… at the exact same time as everybody else!
Returning from the break, there was little time to recap, as talk of an incident going down in the back moved the show along quickly. When the cameras caught up with what was happening, Finn Balor was shown on the ground, with Golden Alpha laying into him.
Getting back to what they were talking about, the commentators discussed the return of Batista last week, and the reaction to it. While Triple H had yet to comment on it, footage from a press event earlier in the week was shown, where the WWE executive had been asked about Batista returning to Raw.
Triple H originally gave little away, but was asked more questions about the huge return. HHH eventually gave an answer to the gathered press, saying “of course it’s great to have him back”, while smiling and walking away from from any further enquiry.
Returning from the break, Ember Moon was seen in an unknown location, with smoke around her.
Initially focussed on the red eyes of Ember Moon, the camera zoomed out to show her alone in the mysterious location. After a short while, things became more clear, as Ember said “Drew… Shayna… we’re here!” As she said this, Bray Wyatt walked in from the side.
Standing behind “The Shenom”, Bray Wyatt looked down the camera, with a smirk on his face. He then began laughing maniacally, before composing himself. With a completely straight face, Bray stared a hole through the screen, before telling Drew McIntyre and Shayna Baszler… “we’re coming!”
WWE Raw - February 4th 2019 - Live on USA Network!
Returning to the second hour of Raw, discussion of Roman Reigns’ victory made way for talk about Batista’s return to Raw last week. Footage was played from the end of last week’s show, as Batista made his first appearance in 4 and a half years. The commentators promoted his scheduled appearance later in the night, where Triple H will “officially welcome Dave Batista back to the WWE”.
After that, the commentators spoke about Finn Balor, who was attacked by Golden Alpha earlier in the night. With Finn Balor in action against Randy Orton later in the night, it was reported that the former WWE Universal Champion was being assessed in the back.
Heading to the back, Kurt Angle was seen in the trainer’s room. Approaching Finn Balor, the General Manager asked the doctor how he was doing.
Another look back at last week followed that, as footage was shown of the confrontation between Drake Maverick and Braun Strowman. Not only did Drake announce that he was stepping down from his role as “Advisor to the General Manager” in order to form the “Anti-Braun Coalition”, he also told the WWE Universe that the first meeting of the group would take place on the following Raw.
Corey Graves asked Michael Cole if he had received an invitation, because Corey had, and the meeting was scheduled to be up next. Graves’ information proved to be correct, as Drake Maverick made his way down to the ring. For the first time since his return, Maverick walked without the aid of a crutch.
Reiterating his mantra that if Braun Strowman is going to take him down, he’s going to bring Braun Strowman down with him, Drake Maverick officially opened the “first meeting of the Anti-Braun Coalition”. Drake Maverick said that there had been no shortage of interest in joining the group. Drake said that unlike the WWE Universe, most members of the Raw Locker Room aren’t bloodthirsty savages. Drake said that most of them have families to feed, and careers to prolonge. Braun Strowman’s continued employed is in direct conflict with those desires. While almost everybody in the back has shown support for his cause, not everybody has been willing to come forward.
Drake Maverick explained that the list of offences committed by Strowman is too long to be contained within a three-hour broadcast, but he wished to shown a selection of theme via the video screen. Drake Maverick pointed towards the screen at the top of the ramp, but before the footage played, the music of Braun Strowman hit.
Braun Strowman made his way down to the ring, and took a microphone. “The Monster Amongst Men” surprisingly saw the funny side of what Drake Maverick was doing, but said that a whole group dedicated him was a little obsessive. Strowman said that Maverick obviously had too much time alone in that hospital, and he went a little bit out of his mind. Strowman’s smile then suddenly dropped, as he suggested that he should send Maverick back to the hospital for some more thinking time.
Drake Maverick backed up, but claimed that he wasn’t going to be intimidated by Braun Strowman. The former interim General Manager said that this was exactly why “The Anti-Braun Coalition” had been formed. As Braun continued to back Drake into a corner, it became clear that Maverick was in trouble. However, as Braun Strowman looked down on the much smaller man, and grabbed him by the lapels, Baron Corbin and Mojo Rawley ran down to the ring.
Stood behind Strowman, Maverick dropped down to his knees, looking to hit the former Universal Champion with a low blow. Unfortunately for him, Strowman turned around before Drake could hit him, and was completely prone. Strowman dragged Maverick back to his feet, and lifted him above his head with ease. Drake begged for mercy, as Strowman lifted him into a Gorilla Press, but it was too late for that. Launching Drake into his new buddies, Strowman managed to take all three men out. By now it was clear that Braun was done with the games. Grabbing a microphone from the mat, Strowman realised it was time to get serious:
“I am done with Drake Maverick… but I’m not finished with Brock Lesnar!”
“If ‘Beastie Boy’ really isn’t going to show his face… maybe it’s time I paid him a home visit!”
Braun Strowman then dropped the microphone, and headed up the ramp. The commentators put over his domination of “The Anti-Braun Coalition”, and wondered exactly what Braun Strowman meant when he threatened to pay Brock Lesnar a “home visit”. Whatever Strowman had planned for next week, they knew the WWE Universe weren’t going to want to miss it.
With talk about the Raw Women’s Championship match inside the Elimination Chamber at Fastlane, discussion switched to the woman who could face the winner of that match at WrestleMania. The first of two interviews, one with each of the Royal Rumble winners, Ronda Rousey was asked about the decision she has to make, regarding which Championship she would compete for at WrestleMania.
Ronda Rousey explained the difficulty of the decision, pointing out that there were so many people in her ear at the moment. Rousey said that she is trying to block out all of the outside voices, and listen to the her heart. Rousey put over the Smackdown Women’s Champion, calling her one of the best in-ring performers in the WWE, and someone she would be proud to face. She couldn’t however shake the image of breaking Shayna Baszler’s arm, in front of 80,000 people!
Returning to the ring, Elias was set up to perform, and mocked the St. Louis fans in his usual way.
Following the attempt to get some “cheap heat”, Elias turned his attention to other matters. Speaking about Rey Mysterio, Elias claimed that he wanted to make a truce with Rey Mysterio, and put their differences behind them. He called Rey Mysterio a legend, and said that when he was a child, he looked up to Rey… at least until he was about 12, when he would have been too tall to look up at him. Despite that dig, he wanted Mysterio to come to the ring and shake his hand. Rey did eventually come to the ring, but the Intercontinental Champion wasn’t buying Elias’ apparent change of heart.
Elias understood Rey’s suspicions, but said that he had written a song to show his true feelings. The song began in complementary fashion, but devolved into digs about Rey’s mask, height and age. Rey Mysterio didn’t take too kindly to this, especially as Elias showed no sign of stopping any time soon. Interrupting the song, Mysterio got into the face of Elias, who tried to play it off as a joke. Elias apologised to Rey, and suggested that the two of them shake hands and move on. Mysterio obviously rejected the handshake, and Elias went to leave. When Mysterio grabbed him, Elias turned around and shoved Rey with both hands. Sending the Intercontinental Champion backwards, the push caused Mysterio to fall over Elias’ stool and crash to the mat. Picking up his guitar, Elias left the ring and headed up the ramp, his attempt to “clear the air” with Mysterio proving a complete failure.
Coming back from the break, Randy Orton was seen in the office of the General Manager, asking Kurt Angle for an update on Finn Balor. Kurt told him that Finn had claimed to be fine, but he wasn’t so sure. Before they could go further into it, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn entered the office. After failing to “Beat The Clock”, the two men had come to a conclusion. They told Kurt Angle that they felt that they were “better together”, and asked to be put into consideration for the Tag Team division going forward. They then left the office, telling Orton and Angle to carry on…
WWE Raw - February 4th 2019 - Live on USA Network!
Returning from the break, a replay of the interaction between Kurt Angle and Dean Ambrose was shown, with the commentators wondering what the General Manager could have possibly said to Ambrose that required such immediate attention. Michael Cole sent over to the back, where Renee Young was stood by. As she explained that Dean Ambrose was in the General Manager’s office, he left the room.
Dean reiterated that he had nothing to say, before walking off. Clearly concerned about the issue on a personal level, Renee had to compose herself, sending back to the commentators.
Moving on from the mysterious situation surrounding Dean Ambrose, something which was much clearer was the direction of Seth Rollins. The second of two interviews with the Royal Rumble winners, Seth Rollins was asked about his plans going into WrestleMania.
Seth Rollins talked about his impressive Championship haul in the WWE, pointing out that one title was missing from his collection. Rollins said that for the last year, he has called the show “Monday Night Rollins”. Seth added that Raw is his home brand, and there is no doubt in his mind that he will challenge for the WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania. Who is opponent would be, he didn’t care, promising that whoever he went against, he was going to steal the show at WrestleMania!
Returning to another segment in the back, Randy Orton was seen approaching Finn Balor, who was ready for action. Balor’s shoulder and neck had strapping on them, and Orton checked on his friend’s well being before the match. Finn was firm with Randy Orton, telling him that not only was he ready to compete, he was going to Fastlane to face Drew McIntyre! This was followed by a recap of the “Beat The Clock Challenge” so far. On week one, John Cena set the “time to beat”, only for Roman Reigns to better his time by 30 seconds. The final Beat The Clock match, Finn Balor and Randy Orton would have to pick up a victory in under 8 minutes and 2 seconds in order to secure a match against Drew McIntyre.
With the WWE Universal Championship match set for Fastlane, focussed turned to the Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber. The commentators promoted the qualifiers for that match, which would take place next week on Raw.
In the back, Titus O’Neil was seen with Akira & Apollo, talking to Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali in the back. As O’Neil put over the performance of the team known as “Heart & Soul”, No Way Jose walked into the room, with Bobby Lashley.
No Way Jose introduced Lashley to Titus O’Neil, saying that this was the guy to get his career back on track. Lashley looked at O’Neil, and the men who surrounded him, and asked No Way Jose if he was joking. Jose was looking for new recruits to Titus Worldwide, but Lashley made it clear he wasn’t interested…
Moving on from that, Drew McIntyre and Shayna Baszler were interviewed in the back, ahead of their Main Event match against Bray Wyatt and Ember Moon.
Confronting his Fastlane opponent, the new Number One Contender told Drew McIntyre that he needs to keep his mouth shut. He might be the Universal Champion right now, but going into WrestleMania, Randy Orton said Drew would need to make other plans. That’s because one RKO was all it would take for McIntyre to lose that title.
Ahead of the Main Event, the WWE Universe were once again reminded that Batista would be officially welcomed back into the WWE later in the night… by Triple H!
Returning for the final part of Raw, it was time for Dave Batista to be welcomed back to the WWE. Once again recapping his appearance on last week’s show, the commentator’s discussion led into the entrance of WWE executive Triple H.
Triple H spoke about how he was as just as surprised as everybody else to see Dave Batista back in the WWE last week, and he had the same reaction as the WWE Universe when he saw him come out on Raw. Triple H added that he was delighted to welcome such a huge star back into the fold, especially considering the success he has had since leaving the company. HHH called Batista a “Hollywood Superstar”, and praised his decision to come back to the company where he made his name in the first place. After continuing his overwhelmingly positive promo, where he called Batista one of his closest friends, the WWE executive invited Batista to the ring.
When Batista made his entrance, he was all smiles again, delighted to be back in the WWE. He went all around the ringside area, embracing the WWE Universe, before taking a microphone and entering the ring.
Triple H offered Batista a handshake when he entered the ring, but Batista didn’t spot it, as he took in reception from the WWE Universe. HHH was left hanging, but dropped his hand and joined in with the WWE, smiling and applauding the returning Batista. Triple H introduced Batista, excitedly promoting the returning star. Almost over the top in his welcome, Triple H didn’t convince everybody.
Dave Batista thanked Triple H for welcoming him back to the WWE, saying that it’s great to be “home”. Batista said that he loved his time away, but the WWE is where he belongs. Turning to Triple H, he said it was always where he belonged. HHH said that’s why it’s great to have him back, as Batista will always be part of the “WWE family”. The niceties continued, and Batista began to talk about his future plans, his eye on WrestleMania - and maybe even the Universal Championship. Dave Batista threw up some names from the current Raw roster, listing Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman as Superstars he would like to get in the ring with. Triple H interjected here, laughing as he suggested Dave was getting a little bit ahead of himself.
Triple H said that Batista’s enthusiasm was exactly why it’s great for him to be back on Raw, but it was a bit early to talk about a return to the ring. After all, it has been 4 and a half years since he competed in a WWE ring. Dave responded to this, joking with Triple H and asking “is that you offering to give me a warm-up match”. Triple H laughed… Batista didn’t. For a moment, Triple H’s face dropped, but Batista cracked a smile soon after. Triple H then laughed heavily, saying “you almost got me there, Dave”.
With that, Triple H wanted to wrap things up there, asking the WWE Universe to give it up for Batista! Triple H then extended the hand to Batista once again, as Dave played to the audience. Triple H was clearly frustrated by this, but kept his hand out. Triple H’s impatience got the better of him, and he tapped Batista on the shoulder, pointing him to his hand. Batista apologised to the Hunter, and stretched his arm out. However, as Triple H went to shake his hand, Batista turned his open palm into a thumbs down. Triple H couldn’t understand why Batista had done that, but Dave simply shook his head at him. Leaving the ring, Batista headed up the ramp. Raw closed with Triple H furious at the rejection, as the commentators wondered what had caused Batista to turn down the handshake from the man he has be so close with, for so long.
The Riott Squad bt. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James & Natalya
Akira & Apollo bt. Heart & Soul (Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali)
Roman Reigns bt. Kevin Owens [Beat The Clock Challenge]
Nia Jax bt. Alicia Fox
Dean Ambrose and Jinder Mahal went to a time limit draw [Beat The Clock Challenge]
Randy Orton bt. Finn Balor [Beat The Clock Challenge]
Drew McIntyre & Shayna Baszler bt. Bray Wyatt & Ember Moon
This Week in WWE!
This Week on…
Reacting to last week’s announcement that he would defend the WWE Championship in an Elimination Chamber, Samoa Joe demanded to know who he would be facing.
Paige decided to release the information one by one throughout the night, starting with “America’s Greatest Import” Rusev. Rusev went on to defeat Eric Young in the opener, as his wife declared him as the next WWE Champion. AJ Styles was later confirmed for the match, alongside Kofi Kingston, The Miz and Daniel Bryan.
When it came to Miz TV, Daniel Bryan and Samoa Joe successfully and respectfully cleared the air, with the challenger making it clear that he held no hard feelings towards the WWE Champion. Having been told he would be in the Elimination Chamber, Miz lost interest in the lack of drama, and left the two men to it. It was at that point that Bryan informed Samoa Joe that he was the sixth and final entrant in the Elimination Chamber. This changed something within Joe.
As Daniel Bryan turned to leave the ring, Samoa Joe attacked him from behind, laying out the man who he has been close friends with since early last Summer. Taking out a man who he has claimed to have respect for, Samoa Joe proved the corrupting power of the WWE Championship. With WrestleMania around the corner, “The Samoan Submission Machine” is determined to remain at the top of the Smackdown Live pile.
After a Number One Contendership match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, which was won by Kaitlyn, Asuka & Charlotte were interviewed about Fastlane.
Asuka said she was ready for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship rematch at Fastlane, but when it was posed to Charlotte that she would once again have to pull “double duty” at the event, she was non-committal. Later in the evening, rumours circulated that after a meeting with Paige, Charlotte Flair had requested that the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships rematch not take place at Fastlane.
Also on Smackdown Live:
This Week on…
Episode #6: The Episode with… a Sting in the Tail!
Raw - Five Point PreviewBraun Strowman pays Brock Lesnar a visit!
Despite nobody seeing or hearing from Brock Lesnar since the night after SummerSlam, “The Monster Amongst Men” Braun Strowman refuses to give up on his challenge to the man he took the WWE Universal Championship from. Looking to draw a line under Drake Maverick’s attempt to bring him down, Braun Strowman said that he was done waiting for an answer from Brock Lesnar.
Declaring that if Brock wouldn’t come to them, then he’d go to Brock, Strowman reportedly set out on a journey to Maryfield, Saskatchewan, Canada, earlier in the week. WWE cameras followed “The Monster Amongst Men”, who had intentions of confronting Brock Lesnar face to face, on his own grounds.
Elimination Chamber Qualifiers
Raw will feature an unprecedented five women’s matches, as the competitors taking place in the Elimination Chamber at Fastlane are confirmed. Defending Champion, Shayna Baszler, will have a keen eye on all of her potential challengers, as she faces the most difficult title defence of her Raw Women’s Championship reign to date.
Batista Explains His Actions!
Last week on Raw, Dave Batista was officially welcomed back to the WWE, by his long-term mentor Triple H. Looking somewhat uncomfortable in doing so, Triple H’s night didn’t end how he had envisioned it, with Dave Batista rejecting a handshake from the WWE executive. Batista was reached for comment following the show, and confirmed he would explain all to the WWE Universe on Raw!
Champion Meets Challenger...
The final match in the Beat The Clock challenge saw Randy Orton go up against an injured Finn Balor. Needing to beat Roman Reigns’ time of 8 minutes and 2 seconds, Randy Orton was successful in “beating the clock”, (reluctantly) taking advantage of Finn Balor’s condition. Confirming himself as the Number One Contender to the WWE Universal Championship, Randy Orton confronted Drew McIntyre after his match. This week on Raw, Drew McIntyre will call the challenger out, with the two coming face to face before Fastlane.
Seth Rollins Open Challenge
At something of a loose end, as the WWE Universal Champion focusses on his title defence at Fastlane, Seth Rollins decided to find another way to “sharpen his sword”. Opening up a challenge to the entire roster, Rollins will prepare himself for a WrestleMania match where anything could happen, by going through the same experience on Raw. A testament to the attitude of Seth Rollins, the Royal Rumble winner refuses to rest on his laurels.
This Week on Raw...
Seth Rollins vs. Any Member of the Raw roster
Who will accept the Open Challenge issued by Seth Rollins?
Baron Corbin vs. Roman Reigns
Elimination Chamber Qualifiers
Alexa Bliss vs. Ruby Riott
Dana Brooke vs. Nia Jax
Ember Moon vs. Sarah Logan
Liv Morgan vs. Natalya
Mickie James vs. Sasha Banks
Live from Resch Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin!
Coming into Raw, the hot topic of the week was the end of last week’s show, when Batista refused a handshake from Triple H, who was welcoming him back to the WWE. Following a look back at that footage, the commentators gave their input on the issue. The person with the actual insight, had promised to explain his actions, and made his way to the ring to open Raw.
Dave Batista addressed the WWE Universe, once again putting over how great it was to be back. He said that feeling the energy of the fans never gets old, but he can sense that the people want answers. Batista went on to explain his snub of Triple H, saying that while Hunter wanted to play “happy families” last week, it wasn’t him who called him about coming back. As far as Triple H was concerned, Batista was a thing of the past. No matter what Batista said in the media, or to other people in the business, Triple H didn’t make the call. It wasn’t Stephanie McMahon who looked to bring him back into the fold either, it was Kurt Angle. Batista wanted to thank Angle for making it possible, putting over that at 50 years old, he knew that time was running out on Triple H picking up the phone.
Dave said that he didn’t want to be negative, because him being back where he belongs was a time to celebrate, but he couldn’t stand there and pretend everything was okay. He deserves better than that, and the WWE Universe deserve better. Batista said he wasn’t going to let anybody in the back silence him, and he won’t let Triple H hide behind him like he did last time he was in the WWE. Batista walked out then, and he hasn’t forgotten how Triple H treated him. As Batista looked to move on to the positivity he spoke of, he was cut off by Golden Alpha. Annoyed by Jason Jordan and The Authors of Pain cutting him off, Batista did not look pleased to see the trio.
Finn Balor stood beside Batista, telling him that he would eventually get used to Jordan. That’s not to say he’d like him, but he would certainly learn to stop taking him serious. After all, nobody else does.
But Finn Balor was in no mood to tolerate Jordan, after he and his “two goons” attacked him last week. Finn Balor said that he’d spoken to Kurt Angle earlier, and the GM had given him the job to inform Jason Jordan that he’d been action against him tonight. And since Jason Jordan decided to come out and interrupt Batista, then that match was going to take place right now! This lightened the mood of Batista, who said that he had to see this.
Returning from the break, focus turned to last week, as Braun Strowman declared his intention to pay Brock Lesnar a “home visit”. Having not been seen since the night after SummerSlam, it appeared as though “The Beast Incarnate” had dropped off the face of the earth. To test that theory, Strowman set out on a journey to Saskatchewan, Canada, earlier this week, on the hunt for the former WWE Universal Champion.
Moving on, Shayna Baszler was shown in the back, standing by ready to be interviewed. Holding her Raw Women’s Championship, Baszler was asked what she expected from the upcoming Elimination Chamber qualifying matches.
As ever, Shayna Baszler was dismissive of the competition, suggesting that however high they try and stack the deck against her, “The Queen of Spades” would come out on top. Baszler gave special mention to Ember Moon, who had her arm severely hurt by Shayna after their match last week. She suggested that after what happened last week, Ember Moon wouldn’t be winning anything, not tonight… and certainly not at Fastlane!
WWE Raw - February 11th 2019 - Live on USA Network!
Returning to the second hour of Raw, talk turned to the rest of the night, including the show’s Main Event. Going up against The Authors of Pain, Intercontinental Champion, Rey Mysterio, was set to team up with Randy Orton, who became the Number One Contender to the Universal Championship last week. Footage was shown of Orton’s victory over Finn Balor, which saw him win the “Beat The Clock” Challenge. Up next, Drew McIntyre was scheduled to call out the man who will challenge him at Fastlane. Making his way to the ring, the WWE Universal Champion was clearly ready to fulfil that duty.
Drew McIntyre spoke about watching the challengers to his Championship over the last two weeks, comparing them to rats fighting over scraps. He expanded upon this, saying that, for all those Superstars went through to “Beat The Clock”, the fate of the winner had already been sealed. But the challenge of Randy Orton was of particular interest to McIntyre, as he explained that everything that’s true about him today, was once true of Orton. But in 2019, Randy Orton isn’t feared and respected, instead he serves as the biggest symbol of the disease that has spread throughout the locker room. That disease is apathy.
Drew went on, saying that Randy Orton used to be a man who was willing to do whatever it would take to get the job done. But he isn’t any more. For too long, Randy Orton has been allowed to coast through his career without pushing himself. Randy Orton doesn’t give a damn, and that’s why Drew McIntyre was able to do in 9 months, what Randy hasn’t been able to in three years. That was become the WWE Universal Champion. Drew McIntyre managed that because he is still fighting, and he is still desperate to prove every single person who doubted him wrong.
As far as Drew McIntyre was concerned, Randy Orton was no longer the dangerous “Viper”, but he did consider him “the head of the snake”. The WWE Universal Champion therefore saw it as his job to cut the head off, and watch the poison die with it. Beyond Orton, Drew McIntyre would have to do the same again at WrestleMania, but as he continued to talk about the Number One Contender, he was cut off.
Randy Orton began to slowly walk down to the ring, assessing the WWE Universal Champion as he did. The commentators put over his match later in the evening, and it was this that he perhaps should have been paying attention to. Before Randy Orton even managed to enter the ring, he was attacked from behind by The Authors of Pain.
Reacting to the attack from The Authors of Pain, the commentators questioned the status of the Main Event. Their concerns were amplified, as they were informed of an incident which had taken place. Sending over to the back, Kurt Angle was seen, kneeling beside an unconscious Rey Mysterio.
Returning from the break, a strange and dark vignette aired, appearing to emanate from The Hardy Compound. Matt Hardy was being led by the arms by Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, who he called his “Woken Warriors”. When Matt Hardy reached “The Lake of Reincarnation”, he requested that Curtis and Bo dunk him under the water. Having been through the experience themselves, the two men were reluctant, but their leader insisted. Eventually, Matt Hardy was placed in the water, as the bizarre vignette ended.
From his mysterious location, Bray Wyatt cut one of his signature promos, once again directing his attention towards the WWE Universal Champion. Bray Wyatt spoke cryptically to begin with, but decided to make one thing very clear. Next week on Raw, Bray Wyatt wanted Drew McIntyre!
Prior to his match with Baron Corbin, Roman Reigns went into the office of Kurt Angle. Asking where Dean Ambrose was, having not seen him all day, Roman Reigns was told that Ambrose was currently “dealing with something” and had been given the night off. Angle said that if Reigns wanted to know any more, he’d have to call Ambrose. But that was the problem, Roman hadn’t spoken to Dean since last week…
Returning from the break, the commentators once again promoted the fact that Braun Strowman would be paying Brock Lesnar a visit later in the night. Before that however, Drake Maverick came out, joined by “The Anti-Braun Coalition”.
As The A.B.C walked up the ramp, having been outclassed by Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman appeared on the big screen.
Braun Strowman was stood outside some large gates, where he explained that they were in Maryland, Saskatchewan, Canada… and they’d found the “private land” of Brock Lesnar. Strowman said that the only problem was the fact that the gates were locked. Of course, this really wasn’t really a problem for Braun Strowman, who turned away from the camera, and tore the gates off their fitting. Throwing the huge metal gate to the ground, Braun Strowman had found a way into Brock Lesnar’s ranch. As the cameras followed him, they focussed on a number of signs that forbade entry to the grounds, and had warnings towards trespassers.
Braun Strowman then walked up a long path, calling out Brock Lesnar, demanding that he showed his face. He looked behind various things for where Brock has hiding, telling him “come out, come out… wherever you are!” Braun Strowman then reached a shed, which he looked inside, to no avail. Walking past some cows behind a fence, Braun Strowman said that he was getting hungry. Soon after, they reached the front door of the main building.
Strowman banged on the door several times, but got no answer. As Braun Strowman walked around the perimeter of the building, he told Brock not to make him break a door down. Strowman eventually gave up on getting an answer from Lesnar, unsure if Brock was even home. Strowman walked off, clearly annoyed, as the cameras followed him. The angry Braun Strowman was so furious, he punched a tree. As he continued walking, Strowman saw a tractor. Double taking when he saw it, Braun Strowman clearly had something in mind…
Known for his history with vehicles, Braun Strowman took out his frustration in the only way he can, and in a way only he would. Somehow managing to tip the huge tractor over, Braun caused a huge crash as the tractor hit the ground. Pumped up, with veins popping out of his head, Braun Strowman turned to the camera, telling Brock Lesnar that if he keeps ducking him… things are going to get a whole lot worse!
WWE Raw - February 11th 2019 - Live on USA Network!
Returning for the final hour of Raw, the commentators spoke about the incident from moments earlier, as Braun Strowman was seen to tip a Tractor over, on the grounds of the former WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar. While the property damage was not to be condoned, the commentators put over just how serious Braun Strowman was about getting his attention. It was even suggested that it was reaching obsessive levels, and further intervention may be required.
Reacting to what Strowman had just done, Batista approached Kurt Angle in the General Managerb’s Office. The two spoke briefly about the incident, before changing the subject.
After silently exchanging looks, it was clear there was tension between Batista and Randy Orton, but this wasn’t explored further. Instead, Randy Orton vented towards Kurt Angle, furious to be taken out of the Main Event. Despite Orton’s complaints, Kurt Angle insisted that he wouldn’t risk the Number One Contender’s safety, this close to Fastlane.
Returning to ringside, Seth Rollins made his entrance, ahead of a scheduled open challenge.
Taking a microphone, Seth Rollins put over the fact that he’d be facing the WWE Universal Champion at WrestleMania, whether it happened to be Drew McIntyre or Randy Orton. Rollins said that as well as he knows either man, or how much scouting he does, when it comes to the biggest show of the year, nobody has any idea what will happen. That is why Seth Rollins issued an open challenge, as he looks to get ready to “expect the unexpected”. Rollins then waited for the challenge to be answered, and was met by Maria Kanellis at the top of the ramp.
Maria told Seth Rollins that expecting the unexpected is what the WWE Universe will have to do tonight, when her husband beats him 1… 2… 3. She put over the fact that her husband had been waiting for this moment for almost a year, as she introduced Mike Kanellis...
Returning from the break, Bobby Lashley was seen being led into a room by No Way Jose. When Jose got Lashley to the room, having persuaded him to follow him, the rest of Titus Worldwide threw a surprise fiesta for him. Wanting to get Lashley on board with Titus Worldwide, No Way Jose failed to convince Lashley, who threw stuff around, before leaving the room.
Before the Main Event, Rey Mysterio was approached in the medical room by Elias. With his Guitar in hand, Elias began singing a song, mocking the debilitated Intercontinental Champion. This angered Rey, who had to be held back by the staff in the room with him. That was all Elias had dropped by for, and having got the reaction he desire, “The Drifter” left.
Jason Jordan bt. Finn Balor
Nia Jax bt. Dana Brooke [Elimination Chamber Qualifier]
Alexa Bliss bt. Ruby Riott [Elimination Chamber Qualifier]
Ember Moon bt. Sarah Logan [Elimination Chamber Qualifier]
Sasha Banks bt. Mickie James [Elimination Chamber Qualifier]
Roman Reigns bt. Baron Corbin
Seth Rollins bt. Mike Kanellis
Liv Morgan bt. Natalya [Elimination Chamber Qualifier]
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn bt. The Authors of Pain
This Week in WWE!
This Week on…
The main story on Smackdown Live followed Samoa Joe, who addressed the WWE Universe to open the show, regarding his attack of Daniel Bryan the previous week.
Dressed in a suit, Samoa Joe made one thing clear, any challenger to the WWE Championship - friend or foe - is an enemy that needs to be taken out. Joe kept true to his word throughout the evening, looking to take out all five challengers for Fastlane’s upcoming Elimination Chamber match. This had already started, as Kofi Kingston was found out cold in the back soon after.
Following the opener, where AJ Styles defeated Rowan, Samoa Joe looked to continued his rampage, but was stopped in his tracks by Daniel Bryan. Bryan looked to get some revenge on the WWE Champion, but Samoa Joe backed away before he could. Samoa Joe’s night was far from over however, as Big E requested a match with him in the main event. Samoa Joe later attacked Rusev, after his match, but gave The Miz a pass. He told The Miz that he was no threat, and he was happy for him to walk into the Elimination Chamber at 100%.
In the Main Event, Samoa Joe defeated Big E in convincing fashion, before looking to take out the final member of The New Day. As Joe looked to send a message, via Xavier Woods, Daniel Bryan made his second appearance of the night.
Coming down to the ring, and hitting Samoa Joe with a Running Knee, Daniel Bryan stood tall to end the show. With under two weeks until Fastlane, Daniel Bryan made his mark on the dominant WWE Champion.
The other top Champion on Smackdown, Charlotte Flair, also made an impact this week, following a match where she and Asuka defeated Naomi & Kaitlyn.
Looking beyond her Championship defence at Fastlane, Charlotte Flair made a challenge to Ronda Rousey. She called on the Royal Rumble winner to switch allegiances, and challenge for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania! Coming out of the blue, Charlotte Flair’s challenge even surprised her tag team partner Asuka.
Having been teased for the last couple of weeks, the question throughout the night was whether Matt Hardy would turn up on Smackdown Live. Footage from The Hardy’s heyday was shown, before The Usos called out Jeff Hardy. While Jeff wasn’t able to bring Matt Hardy with him on the night, he did replay from the footage from Raw, which saw Matt Hardy dunked into the Lake of Reincarnation. Jeff confirmed that Matt Hardy would be at Fastlane, and The Hardy Boyz would challenge for the WWE Men’s Tag Team Championships one more time.
Also on Smackdown Live:
This Week on…
Episode #7: The Episode with… Two Four Horsemen!