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Unread 09-30-2018, 05:12 PM
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Default NXT TakeOver: Phoenix!

Live from Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona!
  • Opening the show, Matt Riddle defeated Adam Cole of the Undisputed Era, kicking off what would be a trying night for the group.
  • The War Raiders picked up a win in three-way Tag Team action. Winning the NXT Tag Team Championships in the process, Rowe pinned Tucker Knight to take the titles from Heavy Machinery. Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish were also involved in the match.
  • Throughout the night, a number of notable people were spotted in the crowd. First Finn Balor and Becky Lynch were shown, with Kevin Nash & Scott Hall appearing later. The most interesting attendee however, was Jay Lethal, who made his first appearance as NXT's newest signing.
  • In what was dubbed a "last chance" NXT Women's Championship match for Nikki Cross, the former Sanity member fell short of unseating Kairi Sane.
  • Rounding out a disastrous night for the Undisputed Era, Roderick Strong was defeated in North American Championship action against Ricochet. Coming into the show with three huge matches, the team who have run roughshod over the brand, came crashing down to earth, losing all three of the matches they were involved in!
  • In the Main Event, Tommaso Ciampa faced the challenge of The Velveteen Dream, who stood up to the dominant Champion and gained the favour of the WWE Universe. He also came to the aid of his associate Keith Lee, who had been taken out by Ciampa in the build up to NXT TakeOver: Phoenix!
  • Despite Dream's best attempts, he was unable to leave the show as NXT Champion. Keeping his title once again, Ciampa took a microphone after the bell, unprecedented in TakeOver history. Tommaso Ciampa ran down the NXT Universe, and the NXT roster, saying that the only reason he isn't in the Royal Rumble (and ultimately heading to the Main Event of WrestleMania) is because nobody can get the NXT Championship off him. Ciampa claimed NXT was "beneath" him, and said that he is the "Greatest Sports Entertainer in the Universe", but is being held back by the brand. This didn't sit well with NXT newcomer Jay Lethal, who had remained in the front row after being shown earlier.
    Jay got up from his seat, and shouted towards Ciampa for him to shut his mouth. As two security guards looked to calm Lethal down, Ciampa sat on the rope, inviting him into the ring. He didn't expect Lethal to accept the invitation, as the new NXT signing shrugged off the security and jumped the guardrail.

    Lethal got in the face of Ciampa, who sarcastically told him that "it was great he could finally make it here..." Jay Lethal flipped out, pushing the smug Ciampa down to the mat. Ciampa left the ring, with Lethal picking up his microphone. Lethal then closed out NXT TakeOver: Arizona, challenging Tommaso Ciampa to put his money where his mouth is! Making a huge impact on his first night, Jay Lethal put his name in the mix as the next challenger to the NXT Champion - especially after Ciampa's claim that he had beaten every other potential challenger on the NXT roster!
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Unread 10-01-2018, 05:06 PM
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Default 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.

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match

With a chip on her shoulder about Charlotte pulling “double duty” at the show, Becky Lynch had demanded that she be the first to face Flair, ensuring there could be no excuses from the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Continuing the “2018 Rivalry of the Year”, after Charlotte Flair defeated Becky Lynch in a Steel Cage at Starrcade, this match would likely present Becky’s last opportunity to go into WrestleMania as the Champion. Going after Charlotte from the opening bell, Becky was the more aggressive of the competitors, showing the intense determination that had become integral to her character recently. Her aggression managed to floor Charlotte Flair early doors, putting the Champion on the back foot. As always, Charlotte Flair showed huge resolve, refusing to be put down by her former best friend.

Coming back into the match, Charlotte Flair gave just as good as she got, and the two woman raised the intensity of the match. This saw the two women pull everything out of their box of tricks, including an attempted Moonsault from Charlotte Flair. Getting her knees up, Becky Lynch had been playing possum, and quickly transitioned into an Dis-Arm-Her. Pulling back a little too much, Lynch almost fell to the same fate as at Starrcade, as she was rolled up by Charlotte Flair. This time she kicked out, and looked to lock the move in again. This time, Charlotte Flair managed to push Becky away, and when “The Irish Lass Kicker” came back, she was hit with a Spear from Charlotte Flair. After hitting the move, Charlotte Flair showed some clear discomfort in her arm, which had stemmed from Becky’s submission hold. Nonetheless, Flair was able to go for the Figure Four Leg Lock, and after a struggle was successful in doing so. Turning the Figure Four into a Figure Eight, Charlotte had Becky Lynch right where she wanted her. The challenger clawed at the knee of Flair, but couldn’t escape the hold. Left with no choice, Becky Lynch was forced to swallow her pride, tapping out in the middle of the ring.

Charlotte Flair (c) bt. Becky Lynch

Handed the Smackdown Women’s Championship after the bell, Charlotte Flair was favouring the arm that had been locked in the Dis-Arm-Her for a fairly long time. While she eventually celebrated with the Championship in the air, it was clear that Charlotte wasn’t 100%. Of course, Charlotte Flair’s night was far from done, as she would join Asuka in defending the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship later in the night against The Bellas Twins.

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.
Sending over to a “private box” in the arena, Drew McIntyre and Shayna Baszler were seen enjoying the view, with their Championship titles clearly on display. The commentators put over that the Raw Women’s and Universal Champions were given the night off, but would both defend their Championships between now and WrestleMania!

WWE Men’s Tag Team Championships

When the Raw Tag Team Championships were put on hiatus, after an injury forced The Authors of Pain to relinquish them, the Smackdown titles were rechristened as the WWE Men’s Tag Team Championships. Since Akam & Rezar returned, they have focussed largely on earning their shot at The Usos. Last month, when The Usos jumped the guardrail to accept the challenge of The Authors of Pain, the match was confirmed. Coming into the match confidently, Akam & Rezar clearly expected to leave the event as two-time Tag Team Champions.

This confidence saw them underestimate The Usos, who are now six-time Champions in their own right. While the match didn’t go on too long, both teams were able to cause damage to their opponents, with the intensity of the match high from the opening bell. Despite being Champions, Jimmy & Jey did seem to be slight underdogs for the match, going against the team who never lost their Tag Team titles. As a result, this match was seen as a chance for The Usos to legitimise their reign, and they did so in impressive fashion. Using their agility and experience to isolate Akam and Rezar, the slightly smaller Akam was left in the ring after Jey Uso dived to the outside and took out Rezar. The Usos were then able to focus on Akam, using their smash-mouth style to take him out with a series of Superkicks. Jimmy and Jey then went to the top rope, hitting stereo Diving Splashes before Jimmy pinned him for the victory. A rare “clean” defeat for The Authors of Pain, the performance of The Usos was put over as hugely impressive.

The Usos (c) bt. The Authors of Pain

In the back, Asuka was seen entering the doctor’s room, looking for her partner Charlotte Flair.
When she found Charlotte, Asuka asked if she was okay, after Flair hurt her arm against Becky Lynch in the opener. Flair didn’t like being questioned by Asuka, but told her that she was fine. Charlotte added that she knew what she was getting herself in for when she agreed to defend both titles, and nothing would stop her giving 100% in their Women’s Tag Team Championships match later.
Cutting to the Office of the General Managers, Kurt Angle and Paige were seen discussing the night’s events.
With both showing a competitive edge as to who would win the Royal Rumble, Paige appeared to get the last word in, suggesting that her Champions were more hardworking than the Raw Champions, both of whom have been given the evening off. Kurt Angle laughed off the remark, suggesting that when it comes to WrestleMania, they’ll see who’s hard work has paid off!
Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Returning to the ring, it was time for the first of two Royal Rumble matches to take place. Following a video package which put over the history of the Royal Rumble, it was time for the first entrant…

Entrant #1: Finn Balor

Having lasted longer than anybody in last year’s Royal Rumble match, Finn Balor would have to go even better this year, if he hoped to challenge for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania. Coming off an up and down year in 2018, the first man who Balor would have to outlast made his entrance…

Entrant #2: John Cena

Kicking off the 2019 Royal Rumble, the returning John Cena was ready to kick on, after appearing back to his best towards the end of 2018. The two men sized each other up, and before they knew it, the third entrant was ready to join the match.

Entrant #3: Johnny Gargano

(Joining Finn Balor and John Cena)

The perfect match type for Johnny Gargano, the Superstar who is still haunted by the betrayal of his best friend Tommaso Ciampa knows all about every man for himself. As evidenced by heated exchanges with Aleister Black during the month, Johnny Gargano was clearly still dealing with “trust issues”. This was shown when John Cena offered the young Superstar a handshake, which was rejected by the suspicious Gargano. Somebody who wouldn’t be giving Gargano any sort of welcome, the next man had been considered one of the favourites to win the match.

Entrant #4: Dean Ambrose

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena and Johnny Gargano)

Dean was the first man to ‘clear the ring’ during the match, taking down all three men. Spoke highly of before the match, Ambrose - like the other entrants before him - would have a huge task ahead of him if he wished to win the Royal Rumble. Speaking of huge…

Entrant #5: Killian Dain

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Johnny Gargano and Dean Ambrose)

Sanity member Killian Dain was the next to appear in the Royal Rumble, and the commentators put over that anything was possible with a Superstar the size of Killian Dain. Having proved himself as Eric Young’s most reliable soldier, Dain had to go it alone, and looked for a standout performance to match his Survivor Series debut. The big man started well, engaging in a brawl with Dean Ambrose upon his arrival in the Royal Rumble.

Entrant #6: Chad Gable

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Johnny Gargano, Dean Ambrose and Killian Dain)

Having struggled on Raw recently, Chad Gable commented prior to the match that the Royal Rumble would be the perfect time to change his fortunes. When he entered the ring, Killian Dain appeared to be the biggest threat, and Chad Gable wisely looked to Johnny Gargano to help him eliminate the huge competitor. Johnny Gargano immediately suspected that Gable was only using him until he could eliminate him, and pushed Gable away. This annoyed Gable, and as both men took their eye off the ball, Killian Dain was able to thrown Johnny Gargano out of the ring.

Elimination #1: Johnny Gargano has been eliminated!

Chad Gable was the next target for Dain, but he managed to stay in the match.

Entrant #7: Cesaro

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Killian Dain and Chad Gable)

Smackdown Live’s Cesaro was in next, and as always he made his impact known. Half of the hard-hitting “The Bar”, Cesaro connected with a series of Uppercuts once he entered the ring. His momentum was eventually stopped by John Cena, who looked to lift him into an AA. Cesaro however managed to escape Cena’s grasp, and came back with an Uppercut which sent the former 16-time World Champion down. With the countdown once again on the board, the WWE Universe were ready for another Superstar to arrive.

Entrant #8: AJ Styles

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Killian Dain, Chad Gable and Cesaro)

Another heavy favourite, AJ Styles drew a not so favourable number, joining several other frontrunners in having an early entrance. Just like Finn Balor and Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles is no stranger to long matches, and proved his ability to win “big matches” last year, holding the WWE Championship for 9 of the 12 months.

Entrant #9: Bobby Lashley

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Killian Dain, Chad Gable, Cesaro and AJ Styles)

A self-proclaimed certainty to win the match, Bobby Lashley targeted AJ Styles when he entered the ring. Perhaps looking to take out the freshest and most dangerous participant, Lashley quickly found himself in trouble with AJ Styles. Rethinking his strategy, Lashley ended up focussing on long-term rival Finn Balor, looking to eliminate the first entrant of the match.

Entrant #10: Eric Young

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Killian Dain, Chad Gable, Cesaro, AJ Styles and Bobby Lashley)

Coming at the perfect time for his Sanity partner Killian Dain, Eric Young looked to refocus the strategy of “The Beast of Belfast”. This would give Eric Young and Killian Dain a bit of an edge, at least until the next entrant arrived. The only alliance in the match at that point, Young and Dain were able to eliminate Chad Gable, who valiantly attempted to stay in the match.

Elimination #2: Chad Gable has been eliminated!

Entrant #11: Sheamus

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Killian Dain, Cesaro, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley and Eric Young)

Despite his partner being in the match also, Sheamus has made no attempt to hide his desire to once again become the WWE Champion. This showed as he entered the ring, desperate to score a quick elimination. This didn’t come to fruition for the “Celtic Warrior”, and he eventually realised that teaming with Cesaro would be his best chance of advancing deep into the Royal Rumble. With two tag team now in the match, a face-off between The Bar and Sanity resulted in the four men brawling in the ring. This dominated the field, until Balor, Cena, Ambrose and Styles took them down.

Entrant #12: Karl Anderson

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Killian Dain, Cesaro, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Eric Young and Sheamus)

Karl Anderson was in next, and he looked to form an alliance with AJ Styles and Finn Balor. While the three did work together a little, the chaos of the match ensured that they quickly went their separate ways. Anderson eventually even got into it with Finn Balor, but Finn got the better of him. Anderson managed to remain in the match however, hanging on by a thread. When he returned to the ring, he was met by AJ Styles. Across the ring, Sanity had singled out John Cena, looking to eliminate the biggest name in the match.

Cena managed to turn the tables, and following an Attitude Adjustment to Killian Dain, Finn Balor hit a Coup de Grace to the big man. Dain was quickly back up on his feet, but was dazed enough that John Cena was able to eliminate him.

Elimination #3: Killian Dain has been eliminated!

Eric Young had now lost his human shield, and this left him ripe for the picking. Backing away from Finn Balor and John Cena, Eric Young walked directly into Dean Ambrose. Turning around, EY could do nothing as Ambrose hit him with a Dirty Deeds. Eric was then scooped up from the mat, and joined his Sanity teammate on the outside.

Elimination #4: Eric Young has been eliminated!

As Eric Young and Killian Dain headed up the ramp, it was time for the “unlucky” 13th Superstar.

Entrant #13: Seth Rollins

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Sheamus and Karl Anderson)

With the ring filling up with big names, Seth Rollins had history with many of the Superstars in the match, but AJ Styles seemed to pique his interest. Standing in the middle of the ring, the two men went face to face, before The Bar jumped AJ Styles from behind. Rollins was then challenged by Karl Anderson, who he dealt with easily. While Anderson impressively avoided elimination, it wasn’t long before Rollins hit him with a Superkick that sent him out of the ring.

Elimination #5: Karl Anderson has been eliminated!

Now back where they needed to be, The Bar regrouped and looked to dominate the match. As physical as ever, they were successful in picking off many of the competitors. They needed to be on form too, as the tallest competitor in the match made his way out next.

Entrant #14: Big Cass

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Sheamus and Seth Rollins)

Big Cass went after The Bar, and took both men down. This turned the two of them against him, and they took him down quickly. The Bar then surveyed the area, laying into the competitors in the ring, looking to keep them down. As the two men then stood tall, they awaited the next man. However, showing his desperation to win the Rumble, Sheamus looked to throw Cesaro out of the match. Cesaro managed to stay in the ring, and the look on Sheamus’ face made it clear he knew he’d been caught out. Sheamus tried to calm Cesaro down, but the next entrant did little to calm things between the two.

Entrant #15: Kassius Ohno

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Sheamus, Big Cass and Seth Rollins)

Entering the ring, Kassius Ohno looked to Cesaro, a man who he has plenty of history with pre-WWE. Ohno then looked to Sheamus, who pushed him. KO pushed back, and tried to get Cesaro to join him and get revenge on Sheamus. Big Cass looked to break up the three men, but was clocked with a Forearm by Kassius Ohno. Cesaro then squared up to Sheamus, before turning round and hitting Ohno with a Uppercut. The Bar were then back on the same page, as Cesaro looked to eliminate Kassius Ohno. Not watching his back however, Cesaro was pushed over the top by Sheamus, a move which also sent Kassius Ohno out of the ring.

Eliminations #6 & 7: Cesaro and Kassius Ohno have been eliminated!

Entrant #16: Baron Corbin

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Sheamus, Big Cass and Seth Rollins)

The field was slightly thinned out, and this allowed Baron Corbin to pick his punches. Focussing on some of the crowd favourites, Corbin looked to take a big scalp straight away. AJ Styles was his target, but the former WWE Champion managed to fight him off. Elsewhere, Big Cass found himself in trouble, and an attempt to Chokeslam to Finn Balor, that the Irishman escaped from, saw Cass turn straight into a Spear from Lashley. Lashley then threw Big Cass out of the ring, before turning his attention back to Balor.

Elimination #8: Big Cass has been eliminated

Entrant #17: Sami Zayn

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Sheamus, Seth Rollins and Baron Corbin)

Joining the match before Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn’s major goal was to stay in the match long enough for his partner to join him. This was due to the agreement from Owens & Zayn that they would solely focus on one of them winning the match, securing a WrestleMania headline match for the duo. As a result, Zayn tentatively approached his arrival in the match, as the star-studded array of talent in the ring continued to try and eliminate their rivals.

Entrant #18: Robert Roode

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Sheamus, Seth Rollins, Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn)

Hitting a Spinebuster to mark his entrance in the match, Robert Roode took down John Cena as soon as he made his way to the ring. He then engaged in a stare down with AJ Styles, but was caught off guard by Bobby Lashley. Lashley looked for the quick elimination, but couldn’t get the job done ahead of the next entry.

Entrant #19: Kofi Kingston

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Sheamus, Seth Rollins, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn and Robert Roode)

The only member of The New Day in the Royal Rumble, Kofi Kingston came to the ring alone, and would have to look out only for himself if he wished to achieve his Royal Rumble dream. As he seeked to forge his path in the Royal Rumble, it was a case of one in, one out, as Dean Ambrose eliminated Baron Corbin, a man who he has had issues with for the past few weeks.

Elimination #9: Baron Corbin has been eliminated!

It wasn’t long after that when Kofi Kingston quickly claimed his first elimination, taking Sheamus out with a Trouble In Paradise, when The Celtic Warrior was teetering on the apron.

Elimination #10: Sheamus has been eliminated!

Entrant #20: Kevin Owens

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, Robert Roode and Kofi Kingston)

Coming at the perfect time for Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens ran around the ring before entering, saving his best friend from elimination. When he entered the ring, Owens checked on Zayn, almost costing himself elimination. However, Zayn had his back, and the two men stayed in the ring. Their focus on Kofi Kingston was almost successful, but on the other side of the ring John Cena went one better, sending Robert Roode over the top rope with an AA.

Elimination #11: Robert Roode has been eliminated!

With Kofi Kingston struggling on the apron, a Superkick from Kevin Owens sent him flying backwards. While he flew some distance, Kofi Kingston landed on Robert Roode’ robe, which he had thrown down at ringside before entering. An impossible distance away from the ring, Kofi Kingston remained on the “robe island” as the clock counted down.

Entrant #21: Randy Orton

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, Kofi Kingston and Kevin Owens)

Randy Orton came into the match, and took out pretty much everybody in sight. From Owens and Zayn to the two men who started the match, Orton took everybody down. An RKO to Bobby Lashley dazed him enough for Orton to eliminate him just moments after entering the match.

Elimination #12: Bobby Lashley has been eliminated!

As Orton looked for his next victim, Kofi Kingston’s situation on the outside got a little bit stranger. Robert Roode had now come round from his elimination, but refused to leave until he got his robe back. Offering a compromise, Kofi said he would get off the robe, if Roode took him back to the ring. Roode agreed, picking Kingston up and placing him on the apron. Putting his robe back on, as Kingston stood up on the outside, Robert Roode began to walk up the ramp. Having second thoughts, Roode turned back to the ring, and pulled Kofi Kingston off the apron, eliminating him for good this time.

Elimination #13: Kofi Kingston has been eliminated!

Entrant #22: Rusev

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and Randy Orton)

Having made his debut in a Royal Rumble match, Rusev was no stranger to the concept. Coming in with a huge wave of momentum, Rusev took down several competitors. He then looked to throw Sami Zayn over the top rope, but Zayn managed to grab the ropes. Kevin Owens then came at Rusev, but was driven into Sami Zayn on the apron. Going into Zayn, Owens accidentally eliminated his best friend.

Elimination #14: Sami Zayn has been eliminated!

Sami Zayn was not happy, and with Owens in shock, he was nearly eliminated. Owens managed to stay alive, hugging the bottom rope as Zayn was forced to head back to the locker room.

Entrant #23: Aleister Black

(Joining Finn Balor, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton and Rusev)

Having arrived on Smackdown in 2018, Black has impressed early in his WWE career. The Royal Rumble offered him a chance to really kick on. Picking up his first elimination of the match, Finn Balor sent Kevin Owens out of the ring.

Elimination #15: Kevin Owens has been eliminated

Exhausted having been in the match from the start, Finn Balor was caught off guard with a Black Mass from Aleister Black as he turned back around. Sent back into the ropes, Balor was eliminated from the match as Rusev provided the finishing touches. This left John Cena as the longest running active competitor in the match.

Elimination #16: Finn Balor has been eliminated!

As well as John Cena, Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles were still in contention, and showing no signs of slowing down, despite entering in the single digit places. Providing an interlude to the Royal Rumble, the next entrant was in no rush.

Entrant #24: Elias

(Joining John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Rusev and Aleister Black)

Elias came to the ring with his Guitar, as he had last year, and showed no interest in entering the ring. Elias began singing about the competitors in the ring, and drew the attention of Aleister Black who encouraged him to enter the ring. When Elias refused, Finn Balor came up behind him, throwing Elias into the ring as he exited up the ramp.

Elias was then face to face with Aleister Black, who was ready to take him down. Black’s focus almost cost him, as Orton attempted to throw him out of the match. Orton’s attempt failed, but he quickly turned around and hit Elias with an RKO, knocking him down to the mat.

Over on the other side of the ring, Seth Rollins and John Cena looked to pick up a huge elimination, targeting each other as they had for several minutes. By now, both men were in precarious position, as Rollins pulled Cena over the top rope, joining him on the apron.

Entrant #25: Rey Mysterio

(Joining John Cena, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Rusev, Aleister Black and Elias)

Rey Mysterio ran down to the ring, another former winner entering the match. Mysterio took down a number of the competitors in the ring, including a Headscissors which sent Randy Orton into the ropes. Orton held on, but as Rey Mysterio turned to Cena and Rollins, it was clear one of them was about to go.

Rey Mysterio looked to take out Seth Rollins, but “The King Slayer” managed to fight him off. Distracted by Rey, Rollins found himself on the shoulders of John Cena, but managed to escape his grasp. Now behind Cena, Rollins was able to run Cena into the turnbuckle, sending him to the ground below on the rebound.

Elimination #17: John Cena has been eliminated!

Rollins then returned to the ring, refocusing on AJ Styles who had been down for a while. With Black and Ambrose brawling on the other side of the ring, and Orton looking to eliminate Rusev, Rey Mysterio waiting on the next entrant.

Entrant #26: Andrade “Cien” Almas

(Joining Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Rusev, Aleister Black, Elias and Rey Mysterio)

Led to the ring by Zelina Vega, Almas made it clear that his focus was on Rey. Having lost to him at Smackdown 1000, where Rey Mysterio made his WWE return, “Cien” was ready to settle the score. With the middle of the ring fairly clear, the two men went back and forth, looking to entice the WWE Universe as to what was possible if the two men went one on one again in a WWE ring.

Rey Mysterio got the better of the exchange, and set Andrade up for the 6-1-9, only to be thrown out of the ring by Elias, who had previously been laying low.

Elimination #18: Rey Mysterio has been eliminated!

Coming towards the end of the match, Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles now stood as the “Iron Men” of the match. The two of them had to struggle to stay in the match, as 27 drew close.

Entrant #27: The Miz

(Joining Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Rusev, Aleister Black, Elias and Andrade “Cien” Almas)

A master of taking advantage of situations, The Miz went straight for the tired AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose, but backed off when the two of them showed they had a lot left in the tank. The Miz instead decided to pick his spot with more intelligence, and managed to eliminate Randy Orton as he worked on Elias.

Elimination #19: Randy Orton has been eliminated!

With huge names falling out of the match, Elias and The Miz appeared to form something of a bond, looking to add to their eliminations. Before the time was up, they’d managed to take Aleister Black out of the match.

Elimination #20: Aleister Black has been eliminated!

When they turned their attention to Rusev however, they were less successful, and “America’s Greatest Import” took them both down. Before he could look at taking them out however, the next entrant grabbed the attention of Rusev.

Entrant #28: Roman Reigns

(Joining Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Rusev, Elias, Andrade “Cien” Almas and The Miz)

One of the favourites to win the Royal Rumble, at such a favourable entry number, Roman Reigns confidently made his way to the ring. With other stars having competed well over 40 minutes at this point, Roman Reigns was put over as a huge favourite. When he entered the ring, Rusev was waiting for him. The two went face to face, and began brawling. As Reigns appeared to get the better of Rusev, he was hit from out of nowhere by the Phenomenal Forearm of AJ Styles. Knowing Reigns well, Styles went after “The Big Dog”, laying into him on the ground. Ambrose and Rollins were too busy to help their friend, but Rusev was able to pick up another elimination, sending Elias out of the match.

Elimination #21: Elias has been eliminated!

Seven Superstars remained, with just two more entrances left. Making a grand entrance at a prestigious spot, the next entry came out of left field.

Entrant #29: The Velveteen Dream

(Joining Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Rusev, Andrade “Cien” Almas, The Miz and Roman Reigns)

Making his Royal Rumble debut, there was not one ounce of nerves visible as The Velveteen Dream made his way to the ring. Looking around at the Superstars in the ring, Dream appeared to be doing “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” to decide who he would go after first. Taking that choice away from him, The Miz confronted Dream, who pushed him away, by putting his hand in the face of The Miz. This angered The Miz greatly, and he came after Dream. Dream managed to avoid The Miz’s attack, and dropped him with an athletic Dropkick. The Dream then posed in the ring, with Dean Ambrose looking to take advantage of this. Ambrose was unable to eliminate Dream, and turned into a Discuss Back Elbow from Andrade Almas.

Andrade was a little too proud of this moment, and was taken out by Rusev quickly after.

Elimination #22: Andrade “Cien” Almas has been eliminated!

Soon after, it was time for the final entry to the Royal Rumble, and the WWE Universe waited in anticipation for the person who had drawn number 30…

Entrant #30: Jason Jordan

(Joining Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Rusev, The Miz, Roman Reigns and The Velveteen Dream)

With a troll-ish smile on his face, Jason Jordan was joined by Akam & Rezar on his way to the ring.
The two men were still feeling the effects of their match with The Usos earlier, and their night went from bad to worse. As Jason Jordan waited to enter the ring, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins had other ideas. Each diving through the second rope, Ambrose and Rollins took The Authors of Pain out with stereo dives. They were then able to throw Jason Jordan into the ring, straight into the path of Roman Reigns.

The rest of the competitors stood or sat watching, as the three Shield brothers set up Jason Jordan for a Triple Powerbomb. As they did this, it was put over that The Shield would face Golden Alpha the next evening, making their return to six man action following the events of Raw. Jason Jordan was gone as soon as he’d arrived, with Roman Reigns throwing the arrogant former Intercontinental Champion out of the ring.

Elimination #23: Jason Jordan has been eliminated!

Not lasting much longer than Jordan, The Miz was the next out, as Rusev once again fired himself up. Miz had looked to get one back over on The Dream, but was pulled off course by Rusev. Sending The Miz out of the match, Rusev eliminated yet another competitor.

Elimination #24: The Miz has been eliminated!

Looking at the six Superstar left in the ring, Roman Reigns and The Velveteen Dream were the freshest of the competitors remaining in the match. They took center stage as the other four competitors look to take a breather, and Roman Reigns was able to eliminate the NXT rookie, with a Superman Punch.

Elimination #25: The Velveteen Dream has been eliminated!

Five remained, and it was surprisingly Rusev who looked most fired up for the victory. With his eyes set on the WWE Champion at WrestleMania, Rusev took Roman Reigns down from behind, and looked extremely close to eliminating the biggest threat left in the match. As Roman Reigns hung on, the ring was unexpectedly swarmed. Appearing from out of nowhere, Eric Young and the rest of Sanity had returned to the ring.

Robbing Rusev of what could have been a career-defining moment, the team who have had issues with Rusev for the past few weeks entered the ring. With their focus exclusively on Rusev, the trio took “The Bulgarian Brute” down, and eliminated him from the match. The attack didn’t stop there, and it took referees and security to remove Sanity from ringside. Having succeeded in their mission, Sanity were all to happy to head back to the locker room.

Elimination #26: Rusev has been eliminated!

And then there was four. As the chaos settled from Sanity’s involvement, four men stood - one in each corner - staring at three Superstars that were in their way. Before long, one man would stand victorious, securing a Championship opportunity at WrestleMania…
The Final Four

Entrant #4, Dean Ambrose was comfortably the “Iron Man” of the Royal Rumble. Outlasting everybody, Dean Ambrose is known for his durability.

The big match player, AJ Styles entered at #8, but is no stranger to high pressure competition. Surrounded by the three members of the dominant Shield stable, Styles would have to pull something amazing out to secure his place at WrestleMania.

Dubbed the 65 minute man, following his impressive performance in a Gauntlet match this time last year, Seth Rollins had been in the ring since #13. He too was tired, but has proved himself one of the most athletically fit Superstars in all of the WWE.

Easily the freshest competitor in left in the match, Roman Reigns was looking to secure his 5th straight WrestleMania Main Event. Entering at #28, Roman Reigns was the only Superstar not running on empty as the final four faced off.

Realising he would have to be proactive in his effort, AJ Styles went straight after Roman Reigns, kicking off the final four stage of the match. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins dragged Styles away from Reigns, looking to send him out of the match. Reigns launched AJ Styles out, but “The Phenomenal One” held on. Roman didn’t realise this, and went for the signature fist bump with Rollins and Ambrose, as he believed they were the final three.

Dean Ambrose could have pointed out that Styles was still in the match, but realising he was prone, Ambrose took advantage of Reigns turning his back on him, attempting the elimination. Alert to this, Roman Reigns managed to reverse the momentum, and threw the exhausted “iron man” out of the ring. Roman Reigns was forced to do this, and turned his attention to AJ Styles straight after.

Elimination #27: Dean Ambrose has been eliminated!

The WWE Universe didn’t like seeing Roman Reigns eliminate one of his Shield partners, but perked up as he turned straight into a Phenomenal Forearm from AJ Styles. Styles was fired up, finding a second wind, only to be taken out by Seth Rollins. Rollins put AJ Styles down, and attempted a Curb Stomp. AJ Styles got out of the way, but the exchange that followed ended with Seth looking to hit the move again. Styles managed to roll out of the way, and was now under the bottom rope. Returning to his feet, AJ Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm to Rollins, but was met with a Superman Punch from Reigns out of nowhere - mid flight! Styles was taken out by the move, and this allowed Roman Reigns to eliminate him from the match.

Elimination #28: AJ Styles has been eliminated!

Dominant since his arrival, Roman Reigns looked fresh, particularly when compared to the exhausted and fatigued Seth Rollins. Roman allowed Seth Rollins to return to his feet, looking around Chase Field at the WWE Universe. Reigns had eliminated the two other final four competitors, and looked in much better shape than Seth Rollins did. Fist-bumping in the middle of the ring, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins knew what they had to do.

Two former WWE Champions, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns went back and forth, with the former clearly doing whatever he could to hang on. Roman Reigns could hold nothing back, and took control of the situation. Seth Rollins build comeback, but a Superman Punch from Roman Reigns put an end to that. This was the case each time that Rollins came at Roman Reigns, ending with a Spear which took the last gasps of air out of Rollins’ lungs.

Roman Reigns scooped Seth Rollins off the mat, and threw him over the top rope. Somehow, Seth Rollins held on, one hand saving him from elimination from the Royal Rumble. Reigns cocked his hand once more, ready for the Superman Punch that would end the match. Seth Rollins ducked the Punch, and grabbed Reigns. Dragging him to the outside with him, Seth had Reigns in the one position where they were both equal. Hitting Reigns with a Kick to the gut, Rollins returned to the ring, looking to bounce off the ropes and drive the decisive knee into Reigns. Reigns blocked the knee, also returning to the ring. Reigns set up for another Spear, but Rollins moved out of the way, sending “The Big Dog” into the turnbuckle. Rollins rolled Reigns through, hitting him with a Curb Stomp. Reigns was out on the mat, and the exhausted Rollins struggled to bring him back to his feet. Dragging him towards the ropes, Rollins brought Reigns back to his feet, only to be hit with an Uppercut. Rollins staggered backwards, his back now up against the ropes.

His opponent prone, Roman Reigns ran at Seth Rollins, looking to Clothesline him to the outside. At the last second, Seth Rollins dropped to the mat, perhaps intentionally, maybe due to total exhaustion. Pulling the rope down as he did, Seth Rollins sent Roman Reigns over the top rope, crashing to the outside. On his knees in the ring, Rollins looked over his shoulder to see Roman Reigns hit the floor - both feet touching the ground!

Seth Rollins wins the Royal Rumble!
He will challenge either the WWE Universal Champion or the WWE Champion at WrestleMania

Lasting over 45 minutes, Seth Rollins’ victory surprised the commentators, who had felt the fresh Roman Reigns had the match in the bag. They put over the fact that nobody should ever count Seth Rollins out, citing him as the most resilient Superstar in the WWE. As Seth Rollins celebrated, Roman Reigns nodded at his close friend, before the cameras picked out Drew McIntyre in the private box.
McIntyre’s expression gave little away, before the focus turned back to the man in the ring. Seth Rollins had his arm raised by the referee, before standing on the turnbuckle to celebrate his incredible victory.

(the show was ridiculously long, sorry. Second half is written, and will be posted soon )

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Default WWE Royal Rumble (2/2)

Part 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.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships Match

Up against two popular Smackdown Superstars, Arizona’s own Bella Twins looked to score a huge win, with the obvious weakness being Charlotte’s injury from earlier in the night. As to be expected by anybody competing to two matches in one night, Charlotte was encouraged to sit back early on, with Asuka taking on much of the early goings of the match. This didn’t work well against the well-oiled Bella Twins, who used quick tags to try and slow down the hard-hitting Asuka. Eventually, Asuka brought Charlotte into the match, and the dual Champion proved herself to be capable, even if she didn’t appear to be at her very best. The powerful Nikki Bella eventually took advantage of Charlotte’s fatigue, with Brie Bella helping keep Flair away from her opponents. While The Bella Twins weren’t breaking any rules, it was clear that they were willing to do anything to win.

Having successfully isolated Charlotte Flair, while focussing almost entirely on the injured arm, the second generation Superstar suffered for a while, before she was able to reach her partner. Fighting off Brie Bella, Flair managed to bring Asuka in. This turned the match around, as the former NXT Women’s Champion dominated Brie Bella. Nikki didn’t fare much better, but her persistence eventually put the momentum back with The Bellas. Asuka began to struggle with Brie and Nikki, and looked to the corner to Charlotte. While Flair made it clear she was willing, Asuka made the judgement call that she was in too much pain. This proved to be a mistake, as Asuka turned into a Forearm from Nikki Bella. Lifting Asuka up, Nikki Bella was quickly able to hit the Rack Attack 2.0, picking up a huge shock victory by pinning Asuka.

The Bella Twins bt. Asuka & Charlotte (c); NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions!

Following the match, The Bella Twins celebrated becoming the second ever Tag Team Champions, while the commentators put over the upset victory. They made it clear that Charlotte’s double duty was a key factor in the match going the way it did, as Asuka remained in the ring after the match. Charlotte joined Asuka in the ring, as The Bellas headed up the ramp, with the Japanese Superstar clearly taking the rare loss much worse. This was probably made all the more jarring by the fact that the woman comforting her had the Smackdown Women’s Championships over her shoulder.

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.

WWE Championship Match

Daniel Bryan’s first Championship opportunity since his return to the ring, a video package before the match put over the journey of the former Smackdown General Manager, who returned to the ring 9 months ago. His opponent was the dominant Samoa Joe, a friend of Daniel Bryan, and a man who respects the work he has put in. However, Samoa Joe is also a Champion who will do anything to keep his Championship. This showed going into the match, and Joe held nothing back with his usual ultra-physical style. Daniel Bryan is of course no stranger to this, and for large portions of the match he equalled the intensity of Samoa Joe. Both men had chances the win the contest, but in the end it came down to the competitors ability to take punishment.

Samoa Joe was aware of Bryan’s weaknesses, and was not going to let his friendship stop him from exploiting them. This came to a head after Joe escaped a “YES” Lock, and managed to duck a follow up kick from Bryan. Pushing his opponent into the turnbuckle, Samoa Joe caused further damage to the neck of Daniel Bryan, and it was clear the challenger was struggling. Joe looked to put Bryan out of his misery, but quitting has never been an option for him. This left the referee in a difficult position, as it became clear that Bryan stood little chance of escaping from the Coquina Clutch.

As Daniel Bryan faded, the pained look on his face began to be less animated, as he clearly came close to slipping out of consciousness. Joe was aware of this, and called on the referee to take action. Checking on Bryan, and receiving a less than satisfactory response, the referee had no choice but to call for the bell.

Samoa Joe (c) bt. Daniel Bryan (via referee stoppage)

As soon as the bell rang, Samoa Joe released the hold, leaving Bryan to slump to the mat. Samoa Joe was handed the WWE Championship quickly, as the referee turned his attention to Daniel Bryan. The challenger was no conscious, but clearly had been in no state to continue competing. Samoa Joe gave Bryan a look as he went by, but otherwise was focussed solely on his victory. While Joe could have been accused of showing little mercy to his opponent, the nature of his victory was 100% fair, and Bryan could have no complaints. Byron Saxton questioned Samoa Joe’s attitude, but was quickly shut down by Corey Graves.

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.
Women’s Royal Rumble Match

Main Eventing the Royal Rumble for the second year running, the Women’s Rumble match opened with the usual introductions from the ring announcer. Going into the match, the story of Ronda Rousey had been heavily promoted, but the commentators made it clear that 29 other women were looking for their chance to secure a title shot at WrestleMania.

Entrant #1: Peyton Royce

Coming to the ring with her IIconics partner, Peyton Royce left Billie Kay at the top of the ramp. Royce then walked to the ring with a smile on her face, talking to the WWE Universe. She said that she may have drawn the first spot in the Royal Rumble, but she’s still happy. That’s because she knows what’s coming next, promising that this Royal Rumble would be… iconic!

Entrant #2: Alexa Bliss

One of the most prolific Superstars in the match, Alexa Bliss was handed a tough draw. Lately she has been dealing with torn emotions, but stood shoulder to shoulder with Ronda Rousey as recently as Monday on Raw. Bliss made it clear that her standing with Ronda, against The Riott Squad, changed nothing between them. She has also vowed that she would watch nobody#s back at the Royal Rumble, despite a coalition being formed between The Riott Squad, Sasha Banks, Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke. Testing the theory that the Royal Rumble is every woman for herself, the third entrant had a clear allegiance.

Entrant #3: Billie Kay

(Joining Peyton Royce and Alexa Bliss)

Billie Kay’s entrance came at the right time for Peyton Royce, who had found herself struggling to stay in the ring. Kay went straight for Alexa, and allowed control to return to The IIconics. As they set out about eliminating Bliss from the match, The IIconics couldn’t have expect the woman who would appear next.

Entrant #4: Victoria

(Joining Peyton Royce, Alexa Bliss and Billie Kay)

Making her WWE return, Victoria was a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble, and in effect saved Alexa from elimination. The two women then got the better of The IIconics, with the smile on Bliss’ face making it clear she was in the ring with a competitor she had great respect for. The two of them came close to eliminating the IIconics, but the Australian duo found their way to hold on.

Entrant #5: Dana Brooke

(Joining Peyton Royce, Alexa Bliss, Billie Kay and Victoria)

Having agreed to work with Sasha Banks and The Riott Squad, Dana Brooke looked a little lost as she entered the ring, with none of her cohorts around to help her. She looked to pick off Victoria, expecting the out-of-practise Superstar to be ripe for the picking. Dana Brooke was wrong, and moments after she had entered the match, she became the first woman to be eliminated, exiting at the hands of Victoria.

Elimination #1: Dana Brooke has been eliminated!

Entrant #6: Zelina Vega

(Joining Peyton Royce, Alexa Bliss, Billie Kay and Victoria)

Making her in-ring WWE debut, Zelina Vega looked to launch her career above even her associate Andrade “Cien” Almas’, as she attempted to win the Royal Rumble. Compared to Rey Mysterio, due to her small stature, Vega impressed in her first moments as an in-ring performer in the WWE, taking down Victoria with a Dropkick, and taking Bliss down with a Flying Crossbody. The IIconics looked to pick her off, but Zelina grabbed hold of the ropes, clinging on for dear life.

Entrant #7: Natalya

(Joining Peyton Royce, Alexa Bliss, Billie Kay, Victoria and Zelina Vega)

As the ring began to fill up, the experienced Natalya entered the ring, immediately facing off against Victoria. The IIconics took advantage of this, and were able to take the two of them down. Zelina Vega continued to struggle, as she faced the other shortest member of the women’s roster, Alexa Bliss. As this went on, The IIconics were able to eliminate Victoria, catching her off-guard.

Elimination #2: Victoria has been eliminated!

After taking Natalya down, Kay & Royce turned to Victoria as she exited, making fun of the veteran Superstar.

Entrant #8: Kairi Sane

(Joining Peyton Royce, Alexa Bliss, Billie Kay, Zelina Vega and Natalya)

Making her way to the ring, Kairi Sane was stopped by Victoria, who encouraged her to go get The IIconics. The long-term NXT Women’s Champion was more than happy to do this, and went after her fellow NXT alumni. Sane was put over as a future star of the Raw or Smackdown rosters, and showed it very quickly. Before long, she eliminated Zelina Vega from the match, sending her to the back.

Elimination #3: Zelina Vega has been eliminated!

Entrant #9: Sonya Deville

(Joining Peyton Royce, Alexa Bliss, Billie Kay, Natalya and Kairi Sane)

Out next was Sonya Deville, who since turning to singles competition has struggled to gain much momentum on Smackdown Live. Coming into the match, she went right after Alexa Bliss, getting physical with arguably the biggest star in the match thus far. Taking down the second entrant in the match was a good idea however, and Deville had an impressive start to the Rumble.

Entrant #10: Sasha Banks

(Joining Peyton Royce, Alexa Bliss, Billie Kay, Natalya, Kairi Sane and Sonya Deville)

Another potential favourite, Sasha Banks entered the match before any member of The Riott Squad, and this meant she had to look to form other alliances. This worked temporarily with The IIconics, but the resistance from Alexa, Natalya and Sane ensured that they were unable to dominate. Deville looked to side with Banks also, but the alliance became split with the next entrant.

Entrant #11: Carmella

(Joining Peyton Royce, Alexa Bliss, Billie Kay, Natalya, Kairi Sane, Sonya Deville and Sasha Banks)

Having won a battle royal in tainted fashion, Carmella was stripped of her earned right to enter in Smackdown’s last position in the Royal Rumble by Paige.

Long-term associate of The IIconics, Carmella and the two Australians worked together, ignoring the previous alliance with Sasha Banks. This annoyed Banks, and as she argued with Carmella, The IIconics were caught cold. Alexa Bliss grabbed Billie Kay, while Kairi Sane took hold of Peyton Royce. Throwing them over the top rope at the same time, Carmella’s plan for dominance had just been destroyed.

Eliminations #4 & #5: Billie Kay and Peyton Royce have been eliminated!

Entrant #12: Nia Jax

(Joining Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Kairi Sane, Sonya Deville, Sasha Banks and Carmella)

One of the Royal Rumble favourites, it didn’t take long for Nia Jax to make her presence know, taking everybody in the ring down with headbutts and strikes. Coming face to face with Alexa Bliss, the long-term rivals and former friends squared off. Nia was able to take Alexa down, but was quickly set upon by the other women in the match. While Jax managed to hold on, it was clear she was the number one target in the ring.

Entrant #13: Alicia Fox

(Joining Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Kairi Sane, Sonya Deville, Sasha Banks, Carmella and Nia Jax)

Coming in next, Alicia went straight over to Sasha Banks, and the two women looked to work together, focussing on Alexa Bliss initially. They then went after Kairi Sane, but the NXT Women’s Champion managed to stay in the match. Over on the other side of the ring, Nia Jax scored her first elimination, lifting Sonya Deville above her head and dumping her to the outside.

Elimination #6: Sonya Deville has been eliminated!

Entrant #14: Maria Kanellis

(Joining Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Kairi Sane, Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax and Alicia Fox)

Making a return to a WWE, Maria Kanellis entered for her first WWE match since 2010. She was straight into the action, having most recently been seen managing her husband Mike Kanellis on “WCW Universe” on the WWE Network. The commentators put over comments that Maria had recently made about various members of the roster, and it appeared these issues spilled into an argument with Natalya when she entered the ring.

Entrant #15: Kaitlyn

(Joining Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Kairi Sane, Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax, Alicia Fox and Maria Kanellis)

While Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox hadn’t had much luck going after Nia Jax, Kaitlyn wasn’t put off from trying to take out the biggest competitor in the match. Not used to being the less powerful Superstar, Kaitlyn took the fight to Nia Jax, but came out unsuccessful. Elsewhere, Alexa Bliss was targeted by Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox, but managed to get Alicia over the top rope. Fox was on the apron, and while Bliss continued to struggle with Banks, Natalya was over to hit the forearm that eliminated Alicia from the match.

Elimination #7: Alicia Fox has been eliminated!

Entrant #16: Mandy Rose

(Joining Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Kairi Sane, Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax, Maria Kanellis and Kaitlyn)

Having scored a win over Becky Lynch towards the end of the year, Mandy Rose’s stature within the Smackdown Women’s roster had grown recently. She made little impact as she entered the Royal Rumble match, and went under the radar. Possibly for the best, with so many impressive Superstars in the ring. Giving a good showing for the NXT Women, Kairi Sane was eliminated, having been snatched out of midair while trying to take down Nia Jax.

Elimination #8: Kairi Sane has been eliminated!

Entrant #17: Ember Moon

(Joining Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax, Maria Kanellis, Kaitlyn and Mandy Rose)

Having returned to Raw a couple of weeks ago, Ember Moon pushed herself straight into contention talk, as she took down the Raw Women’s Champion with an Eclipse. The first time anybody had took down Shayna Baszler, and kept her down, since her Raw debut, Ember Moon proved herself capable of upsetting the Champion. It was Maria Kanellis who she was upsetting in this case however, as she was quickly eliminated after Moon’s arrival.

Elimination #9: Maria Kanellis has been eliminated!

Entrant #18: Lana

(Joining Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax, Kaitlyn, Mandy Rose and Ember Moon)

Lana looked to go one better than her husband had earlier, with Rusev having one of the star performances of the evening before being taken out by Sanity. Lana came into the match looking for a quick elimination, but this didn’t materialise.

Entrant #19: Nikki Cross

(Joining Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax, Kaitlyn, Mandy Rose, Ember Moon and Lana)

Having a much quicker impact, the wildcard of NXT’s Nikki Cross shook the Royal Rumble up dramatically. First going face to face with Lana, perhaps given her history with Sanity back in NXT, Cross took Lana down, before moving on to other competitors in the match. Cross’ early momentum managed to pay dividends, as she picked up a huge elimination, throwing the veteran Nayalta over the top rope following a back and forth between the two.

Elimination #10: Natalya has been eliminated!

Nikki Cross then strangely appeared to help Alexa Bliss, fighting off Sasha Banks and Carmella, who had Bliss on the edge of elimination. Alongside Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks had been in the ring for quite a while. Having competed twice as long as anyone else so far, the bizarre alliance with Nikki Cross came at the perfect time for “The Goddess”.

Entrant #20: Bayley

(Joining Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax, Kaitlyn, Mandy Rose, Ember Moon, Lana and Nikki Cross)

Entering the match at 20, Bayley had just one thing on her mind once she entered the ring. Going straight after Sasha Banks, Bayley was almost eliminated immediately. Her focus on Banks continued to cloud her, and she didn’t seem interested in the Royal Rumble itself. As this went on, Nia Jax managed to eliminate another two Superstars, getting rid of Mandy Rose and Lana fairly easily.

Elimination #11 & #12: Mandy Rose and Lana have been eliminated!

Entrant #21: Liv Morgan

(Joining Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax, Kaitlyn, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross and Bayley)

Liv Morgan was equally as single minded as Bayley, but took a more intelligent approach. Before she even entered the match, Liv Morgan went round to the side of the ring where Carmella and Sasha Banks were trying to eliminate Alexa Bliss. Grabbing Bliss, as she fought the two women off, Morgan allowed Sasha Banks to throw Alexa Bliss out of the match.

Elimination #13: Alexa Bliss has been eliminated!

While Banks’ alliance with Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox failed quickly, her association with The Riott Squad paid off just as fast. Having eliminated the woman who would almost certainly hold the record for being in the match the longest, Banks and Morgan (and Carmella, who they’d picked up along the way), focussed on other competitors in the match. Ember Moon was next in their line of sight, but the Raw Superstar managed to stay in the match.

Entrant #22: Mickie James

(Joining Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax, Kaitlyn, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Bayley and Liv Morgan)

Another veteran, Mickie James smartly looked to help Bayley from elimination, knowing that Sasha Banks and co. would be all the more dangerous with less competitors in the ring. This stopped Bayley being eliminated, but Kaitlyn on the other side was taken out after a clothesline from the impressive Nia Jax.

Elimination #14: Kaitlyn has been eliminated!

Entrant #23: Maryse

(Joining Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Bayley, Liv Morgan and Mickie James)

Another former Divas Champion returning to the ring, Maryse was the 23rd entrant in the match. Her entrance had little fanfare, and the next couple of minutes of the match were fairly quiet. The next entrant changed this dramatically.

Entrant #24: Ronda Rousey

(Joining Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Bayley, Liv Morgan, Mickie James and Maryse)

When Ronda Rousey made her entrance, everybody turned their attention towards the ramp. When she entered the ring, Ronda Rousey showed why she is “The Baddest Woman on The Planet”. Taking down everybody in her path, Rousey wasted no time looking to eliminate Superstars. Her first victim was Maryse, who she threw out of the ring with little resistance.

Elimination #15: Maryse has been eliminated!

Rousey then looked at the trio of Carmella, Liv Morgan and Sasha Banks, telling them to bring it on. Liv Morgan ran at Ronda, but was thrown out of the ring. Soon after Carmella was out at the hands of Ember Moon, who took her out as the former Smackdown Women’s Champion and Banks looked to go after her.

Elimination #16 & #17: Liv Morgan and Carmella have been eliminated!

The group of Superstars who had planned on getting rid of Ronda Rousey had diminished, and Sasha Banks decided to lay low for a while, with Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott yet to enter. Bayley would then go after Rousey, but was taken down easily. Rounding off an elimination heavy two minutes, Sasha Banks took advantage of this, eliminating Bayley.

Elimination #18: Bayley has been eliminated!

With the field thinned out, Ronda Rousey stood tall in the ring. Seemingly ready for whoever was coming, Ronda Rousey could not have expected the next entrant in the match.

Entrant #25: Kharma

(Joining Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Mickie James and Ronda Rousey)

Put over as a cast member of GLOW, the commentators mentioned Kharma’s history in the WWE, one of the most dominant Women’s wrestlers in the history of the business. She went face to face with Ronda Rousey, and looked to intimidate the former UFC Champion. Looking down on Ronda, Kharma looked ready to test herself, having been retired for several years. Before Kharma could get into it with Ronda Rousey, she was grabbed by Nia Jax, the only woman who could match up to her physical stature. As the two women went back and forth in the middle of the ring, Mickie James was eliminated by Nikki Cross.

Elimination #19: Mickie James has been eliminated!

Nikki Cross continued to impress, going after Ember Moon. Showing a more aggressive style, Cross was the one to eventually come between Nia Jax and Kharma, jumping on Jax’s back and locking in a Sleeper Hold.

Entrant #26: Sarah Logan

(Joining Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Ronda Rousey and Kharma)

Her only ally in the ring, Sarah Logan looked to save Sasha Banks from elimination, and was able to, taking down Ember Moon. Sasha Banks was clearly struggling, having been in the match for so long, but had a new lease on life, thanks to Logan’s arrival. This didn’t last too long however, and Logan looked to recruit Nikki Cross. Unfortunately, an attempt to control Nikki Cross was never likely to work.

Entrant #27: Naomi

(Joining Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Ronda Rousey, Kharma and Sarah Logan)

As Naomi came down to the ring, Kharma and Nia Jax continued their heated exchanges, with the two of them jostling to throw each other out. Noting that the two women were teetering, Ronda Rousey went over and eliminated both women from the match, one after the other.

Eliminations #20 & #21: Kharma & Nia Jax have been eliminated!

The two women couldn’t believe it, and continued to argue outside the ring. Ronda Rousey had a lot taken out of her when throwing out the two competitors, and fell back in the ring. The commentators put over the huge eliminations, saying that the two biggest threats in the match had just been taken out. Sarah Logan looked to take advantage of the huge physical feat Ronda had just exerted, but was taken down by Ember Moon.

Nikki Cross thought she had eliminated Naomi almost as soon as the Smackdown Live Superstar had arrived, but she was caught by the arguing Nia Jax and Kharma, who saw her incoming at the last moment. The two women had no idea what to do with her, as referees continued to try and convince them to leave. Nia and Kharma simply discarded of Naomi, with the former Women’s Champion ending up back on the apron. Having escaped elimination, the returning Naomi dropped Nikki Cross with a Rear View!

Entrant #28: Ruby Riott

(Joining Sasha Banks, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Ronda Rousey, Sarah Logan and Naomi)

Expected in one of the remaining spots, Ruby Riott came out next, joining her Squad teammate Sarah Logan, and the woman she had made a pre-match pact with, Sasha Banks. The three came together strongly in this part of the match, and took down Ember Moon. While they couldn’t eliminate her or Naomi, they were out of the way. This allowed Riott, Logan and Banks to focus on Ronda Rousey. Rousey fought them off well, but eventually the 3-on-1 got the better of her. Rousey looked a certainty to be eliminated, until Ember Moon came off the top rope, taking The Squad and Banks (and Rousey) down to the mat. Realising the threat of Banks, Logan and Riott, Ember didn’t want to face them alone.

Nikki Cross continued her interest in Naomi on the other side of the ring, as the 29th entrant made her way to the ring.

Entrant #29: Tamina

(Joining Sasha Banks, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Ronda Rousey, Sarah Logan, Naomi and Ruby Riott)

Perhaps an underwhelming entrant, so close to the end, Tamina was another of the Superstars who went straight for Ronda Rousey when entering the ring. A clear pattern since after Ronda’s entrance, each competitor (Naomi aside) had gone straight for Rousey. This time it didn’t work out well for Tamina, as she scooped Ronda off the mat. Within moments, the second generation star was out of the match, the quickest elimination of the Royal Rumble so far. Tamina also became another statistic on Ronda’s impressive list of eliminations.

Elimination #22: Tamina has been eliminated!

With Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Sasha Banks controlling the few other women in the match, something strange happened as the numbers rolled down for the 30th entrant. Making a clear “line in the sand”, the three women didn’t approach Ronda Rousey. Instead they formed a line, as the countdown reached zero.

Ronda Rousey had been confused, but when the 30th entrant was revealed, it seemed all too obvious to “The Baddest Woman on The Planet”.

Entrant #30: Stephanie McMahon

(Joining Sasha Banks, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Ronda Rousey, Sarah Logan, Naomi and Ruby Riott)

The surprise final entrant, Stephanie McMahon came down to the ring with a smirk on her face. When she entered the ring, she was guarded by Banks, Logan and Ruby Riott. Ronda Rousey was now in a four-on-one situation, and the other Superstars in the match were all down on the mat. Stephanie McMahon looked to send her women forward, but Naomi stood up and joined Ronda Rousey. Ember Moon was the next to return to her feet, and stood side by side with Rousey and Naomi. It was now 4-on-3, and the numbers were still in the favour of Stephanie McMahon.

The 8th woman still in the match was Nikki Cross, the NXT alumni who found herself between the two groups. However, on the order of Stephanie McMahon, Cross joined her side, meaning that Rousey, Moon and Naomi now had to deal with 5 Superstars across from them.

Stephanie McMahon’s plan was in full effect, and as she sent Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott forward, Naomi and Ember Moon responded. The two women brawled, with Sasha Banks and Nikki Cross being sent in by Stephanie McMahon. Sasha Banks went towards Ronda Rousey, and was taken down, while Cross stood doing nothing. Furious, the boss got in Nikki Cross’ face, telling her to get Ronda “right now!”

Instead of following orders, the unhinged Nikki Cross just laughed in the face of Stephanie McMahon. The commentators were shocked by the NXT Superstars disobedience, as Cross walked towards the middle of the ring, taking a spectator's role as Stephanie McMahon was left to face Ronda Rousey alone. With no interest in revisiting her previous interactions with Rousey, Stephanie McMahon rolled out of the ring, putting her hands up. Sasha Banks then came at Ronda Rousey from behind, taking her down. This allowed Sasha Banks to assist Sarah Logan with Naomi, before the two of them joined Ruby Riott in eliminating Ember Moon.

Elimination #23: Ember Moon has been eliminated!

Naomi was the next focus on attention, but Ronda Rousey came back in time to help her fend off the trio. It was then Nikki Cross who secured the next elimination, launching Sarah Logan out of the ring. Cross perhaps came in too strong, and was helped over the top rope immediately after by Ruby Riott. This left four competitors in the ring.

Eliminations #24 & #25: Sarah Logan and Nikki Cross have been eliminated!

It was now two-on-two, one made up of the pre-match favourites from Smackdown and Raw, the other made up of two woman who could barely be any different. The four women faced off, and by far the most fatigued, Sasha Banks simply looked to avoid contact from anybody. Now outlasting Alexa Bliss as the “Iron Woman” of the match, Banks was in trouble as Rousey caught her in the corner. Banks had little defence, and fell to the mat following a flurry from Ronda. On the other side of the ring, The Riott Squad had one more trick left up their sleeve, as Sarah Logan (who had been eliminated) helped Ruby Riott to eliminate Naomi.

Elimination #26: Naomi has been eliminated!

Still watching on the outside, Stephanie McMahon was delighted to see Sasha Banks and Ruby Riott left in the match. Ronda Rousey turned her attention to Ruby Riott, but was taken down from behind again by Sasha Banks. The two women then laid into Ronda Rousey, lifting her off the mat and looking to eliminate the overwhelming favourite. The commentators put over that Rousey really didn’t look like the favourite at that moment. However, Rousey had fight left in her, and she fought off the two McMahon stooges, sending Riott on to the apron. Sasha Banks then came at Rousey again, but the former MMA star dodged, sending Sasha Banks into Ruby Riott. Riott fell to the floor, leaving Ronda Rousey with just Sasha Banks to deal with.

Elimination #27: Ruby Riott has been eliminated!

The clash with Ruby Riott disorientated Sasha Banks, and Ronda Rousey soon had her where she wanted her. Banks tried to fight back, but having been in the ring for over 40 minutes, she was not going to overcome Ronda Rousey. Throwing her out of the match, Ronda Rousey has cleared the ring.

Elimination #28: Sasha Banks has been eliminated!

Note that this was only elimination #28, and as soon as Ronda Rousey stepped back from the ropes, she was grabbed from behind by Stephanie McMahon, who returned to the ring - having never been eliminated. This plan surprised nobody, but almost resulted in a shocking conclusion to the Royal Rumble match.

Just one step before being thrown over the top rope, Ronda Rousey was able to reverse the momentum, sending Stephanie McMahon flying out of the ring, and to the outside. Saving the WWE Universe from the nightmare scenario of Stephanie McMahon joining her father as a Royal Rumble winner, Ronda Rousey eliminated the Commissioner of Raw.

Elimination #29: Stephanie McMahon has been eliminated!

Ronda Rousey wins the Royal Rumble!
She will challenge either the Raw Women’s Champion or the Smackdown Women’s Champion at WrestleMania

Following her victory, the commentators put over that just one year after signing for the WWE, and debuting during the Royal Rumble event, Ronda Rousey had secured her place in a marquee singles match at WrestleMania! That event would be one year after her WWE in-ring debut, and would - judging by her pointing towards the private box where Shayna Baszler was sat - see her go one on one with the Raw Women’s Champion. While nothing was confirmed, Ronda Rousey’s chase of the “Queen of Spades” was put over.

Shayna Baszler wasn’t shown in the private box, but Ronda Rousey sent her message loud and clear. Having been through a lot during the match, Ronda Rousey’s emotion showed, as the second Royal Rumble event in a row ended with Ronda Rousey making huge headlines. Michael Cole signed off on a historic Royal Rumble event, promoting the victories of Seth Rollins and Ronda Rousey on the night, note the moments as the start… of the Road to WrestleMania!
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Unread 10-02-2018, 07:38 PM
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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.

Stood-Up Strowman!
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?
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Unread 10-03-2018, 05:23 AM
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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

Good Rumble!
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Unread 10-03-2018, 08:02 PM
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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?
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Unread 10-04-2018, 05:35 PM
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Default Raw #1339

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.

Beat The Clock Challenge

Looking to set a competitive time, both Superstars looked to quickly gain their hold on the first “Beat The Clock” challenge match. This resulted in the two men going for big moves quickly, and leaving themselves open to receive them. Robert Roode hit an impressive Spinebuster to gain a two count, but soon John Cena was back in the game. Going through his successful array of signature moves, John Cena was able to pick up a victory with an Attitude Adjustment, setting a very impressive time.

John Cena bt. Robert Roode - Time To Beat: 8:32

Impressed with himself, John Cena made it clear that it was time up to the rest of the Raw roster to “follow that”, after a dominant return to the ring.

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!
Jason Jordan as always took the lead, putting over The Authors of Pain, and suggesting that their defeat to The Usos, and his elimination from the Rumble, were both flukes. Jason Jordan said that Seth Rollins was going to WrestleMania, but the WWE Universe knows it should be him. Nonetheless, Jordan claimed not to be bitter, and vowed to proved that Golden Alpha truly are the greatest trio in WWE history!
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.
The two began catching up, John Cena asking if Kurt saw his return to the ring. Kurt Angle did, and was impressed with the time John Cena set. As the two continued to talk, Jinder Mahal stormed in.
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.
Beat The Clock Challenge

Before the match, Elias took time to make the WWE Universe aware that he eliminated Rey Mysterio from the Royal Rumble. He also added that he was going to beat him in under 5 minutes, and go on to become the WWE Universal Champion. Rey Mysterio had other ideas, saying that losing the Royal Rumble was disappointing, but adding that he was more than happy to find another route to WrestleMania. This match wouldn’t be it however, as the two men proved far too evenly matched to beat the time set by John Cena. Rey Mysterio came closest, setting up for a 6-1-9 with about a minute to go. Elias managed to block the move however, ensuring that John Cena remained the man to beat.

Elias and Rey Mysterio fail to Beat The Clock!

When the bell rang, both men were across from each other, in something of an awkward standoff. The tension was obviously still there, but with the match officially over, there was no reason to continue fighting. Demanding a microphone from ringside, Elias told Rey Mysterio to get out of the ring, saying that the Intercontinental Champion can’t beat him, no matter how many times he tries.

Rey Mysterio now had his Championship, and indicated that he was more than willing to defend it against Elias. Elias told Mysterio to forget it, and began to leave the ring. This wasn’t his intention however, as Elias turned back around and jumped the Intercontinental Champion. While he laid into Rey Mysterio, Elias realised he had made a mistake. This realisation came when the music of Braun Strowman began playing.
The former Universal Champion, who has had no reason to be in anything but a terrible mood recently, made his way to the ring, making the save for his friend Rey Mysterio. Braun got his hands on Elias, who had tried to escape, and hit him with a Running Powerslam. Strowman then launched Elias out of the ring, standing tall as the first hour of Raw ended.

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.

Having wanted to get her hands on the woman calling herself “The Real Goddess”, Alexa Bliss had to settle for Liv’s partner Sarah Logan. With the two other Riott Squad members at ringside, Bliss was always going to have a tough time, and Ruby & Liv almost helped Logan to victory. Bliss somehow managed to overcome the odds however, and rolled up Sarah Logan for the win.

Alexa Bliss bt. Sarah Logan

Straight after the bell, Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott entered the ring, jumping the victorious Alexa Bliss.
Alexa tried to fight back, but soon Sarah Logan was back up, and the situation was 3-on-1. The scenario looked particularly dire for Alexa, who had continually distanced herself from the rest of the women’s roster. Despite this, Mickie James and Natalya were still concerned by the power of The Riott Squad, and ran down to the ring.
Saving Alexa Bliss from serious harm, the two veteran Superstars were able to send The Riott Squad out of the ring, and back up the ramp. Mickie James and Natalya stared down the trio, as a conflicted Alexa Bliss looked up at them from the mat. Part of Alexa was clearly relieved to have been saved from further harm, while the other part wanted to stay true to her previous statements of only looking after number one.

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.
Singling out Seth Rollins, as all three of them stepped to him, McIntyre annoyed Ambrose and Reigns bytelling them that neither of them have any business with the Champ. Rollins did however, and Drew came to him with a warning. McIntyre told Rollins that he was going to go out and watch a Beat The Clock match next, and he suggested that Seth made sure he enjoys tonight too. He explained that after tonight, playing dress up with his old buddies ends, and the real serious business of their WrestleMania match begins. McIntyre then went to leave, but was grabbed by Dean Ambrose. Ambrose looked the Champion in the eyes, and said “if you make it that far…”
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!
Beat The Clock Challenge

Two more Superstars who otherwise wouldn’t be in the Universal Championship picture, the Beat The Clock challenge gave these two a chance to earn a shot at Drew McIntyre at Fastlane. The Universal Champion joined commentary for the match, and was fairly dismissive of the two men in the ring. He did speak about the prospect of facing current pacesetter John Cena, saying that he would be happy to put the “old dog” down for good. This match was Bray’s first singles match since “Walk With The Woken”, where he and Elias fought in The Hardy Compound. Sami Zayn looked to take advantage of this, and with no Kevin Owens at ringside, he’d have to do it alone.

Both men came close to victory during the match, but when the time came, neither man had been able to “Beat The Clock”.

Bray Wyatt & Sami Zayn fail to Beat The Clock!

When the bell rang, Bray Wyatt was in control, and rolled Sami Zayn out of the ring after the time limit was up. Leaving the commentary position at the top of the ramp, Drew McIntyre stopped to look down to the ring.
Looking at Bray Wyatt, Drew McIntyre shook his head, dismissing him (and Zayn for that matter) as worthy contenders. As McIntyre looked to walk away, Bray Wyatt took a microphone. Telling Drew to stop, Wyatt got the attention of the Universal Champion. Wyatt told McIntyre that he was welcome to look down on him from his throne a top the kingdom, but Drew had better remember where he came from. Bray said that McIntyre has allowed the Championship to hold him up, and that means that when it gets taken away… his whole world will come crashing down!

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.
The Bella Twins cut a promo, putting over Asuka & Charlotte, and the fight they put in at the Royal Rumble. However, they said that no team - no matter how talented the individuals are - can match the chemistry of “Twin Magic”. The two women continued to promote themselves, and the achievement of winning the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. As they did this, they were cut off by Sasha Banks. Sasha was in action next, and didn’t want to hear from The Bella Twins. She said that Raw was a better place without them, and if she has her way, it will soon be that way again. The Bella Twins were annoyed by this, but were more than happy to let Sasha’s opponent Ember Moon put the cocky Banks back in her place.

Fired up by her interaction with The Bella Twins, “The Iron Woman of The Royal Rumble” came into the match on the front foot, and looked ready to roll over Ember Moon. Of course, this wasn’t going to be the case with such a talented Superstar, and Moon came back into the match. Beyond that, the match was fairly even, with one clear difference between the two. Going back and forth, the decisive distinction between the two was Moon’s “Eclipse”. Knocking Banks off the second turnbuckle, as she attempted a Superplex, Moon was ready to hit the move when Sasha returned to her feet. Successfully connecting, there was no doubt that the match was over there and then.

Ember Moon bt. Sasha Banks

Taking a microphone following the bell, Ember Moon made it clear that she wanted in on the Elimination Chamber at Fastlane!

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!

Put over as a fun, not particularly competitive match, this laid back contest felt somewhat out of place during a night where so much was on the line. Despite their positions on the card, there was a clear respect between the two sides, and Akira & Apollo probably managed more offence than one would expect. While Finn Balor and Randy Orton would go on to win, when Randy pinned Apollo, it was obvious that all four competitors had enjoyed themselves during the match.

Finn Balor & Randy Orton bt. Akira & Apollo

Impressed with their opponents after the much, Finn and Orton shook hands with Akira & Apollo, letting them know what they had put in a great effort against them. Balor and Orton’s attention then turned to each other, and the much more serious matter of next week’s “Beat The Clock” challenge match.

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.

Knowing that their opponents would be coming to the ring in their Shield gear, Golden Alpha uniformed their look, with a Golden Alpha logo added to the front of The Authors of Pain’s vests. Jason Jordan debuted a new gold and black attire, with the trio presenting a united front. From the opening bell, the two teams looked to “steal the show”, and were clearly leaving nothing in the ring. Going all out from the very beginning, the match was all about the dominance of The Shield as a trio. Put over as potential “last time ever” for The Shield teaming, the commentators spent much of the match waxing lyrical about the impact that all three members of the group have had, both as a team and in singles competition.

With the referee allowing some leniency, the match broke down on a number of occasions, with chaotic scenes spilling all around the ringside area. Golden Alpha gave a good account of themselves, but even having been at each other sides for almost six months, they couldn’t match the chemistry of Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins. As a result, there was little doubt about who would come out of the match victorious, and after Akam & Rezar were victims of a Curb Stomp and a Dirty Deeds, from Rollins and Ambrose respectively, it was clear the end was in sight. Distracted by the action on the outside, Roman Reigns was rolled up by Jason Jordan, for a two count. This would be the last moment of positivity for Golden Alpha in the match.

Roman Reigns came back at Jason Jordan, hitting him with a Superman Punch and a Spear. Reigns then tagged Ambrose into the match, and he subsequently made Rollins the legal man. What followed was The Shield’s signature Triple Powerbomb, and Seth Rollins covering Jason Jordan for the victory!

The Shield bt. Golden Alpha

Standing together, after a comfortable victory, the successful Shield had defended “their yard”. Posing with their hands together for potentially the final time, Seth Rollins joined Dean Ambrose in removing the vest following the match. Having hung them up after TLC in October, The Shield returned for “One Night Only”, and reminded the WWE Universe why they are considered the greatest three man group in WWE history.

The night wasn’t done there however, as the commentators said they were hearing from Kurt Angle that Raw’s newest signing was on his way to the ring! This was unbeknownst to The Shield, who were now posing with the WWE Universe on the outside. They were soon made aware however, as a familiar theme song began to play.

After a short while, the man behind the theme stepped out, making his first appearance on Raw since June 2014…

Dressed in smart attire, Batista’s return shocked the commentators, who put over the achievements of the former WWE Champion, and bona-fide Hollywood star! Staying at the top of the ramp, Dave Batista was all smiles, as he waved to the WWE Universe. He put across the image of somebody delighted to be back, and pointed towards The Shield as the WWE Universe reacted to his return. Applauding Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins, Batista gave The Shield his seal of approval with a thumbs up. Doing little else, the first Raw on the “Road To WrestleMania” ended with a smiling Dave Batista looking down on The Shield in the ring. Michael Cole signed off on the show, excitedly exclaiming “we are well and truly, on the Road… to WrestleMania!”

Quick Results

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
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Unread 10-04-2018, 06:29 PM
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Mike Louis Mike Louis is offline
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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?)
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Unread 10-05-2018, 09:54 AM
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Default 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.
Samoa Joe came out to defend himself, but ended up on the wrong side of Paige. Joe said that if Bryan couldn’t take what he had, he wouldn’t have accepted the match, and he wouldn’t have fought to come back. The WWE Champion suggested that Daniel Bryan was too strong to stay retired, a comment which was prompted by him feeling backed in the corner. Given her history, Paige clearly took the remark as a personal dig.
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.
Lynch looked to create a rift between Asuka & Charlotte, calling Flair “selfish”. Continuing to stir the pot, Becky’s attempts fell on deaf ears. Instead of focussing on the past, and any potential drama, Asuka simply wanted to take their rematch… and beat The Bella Twins!
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.
Following the match, The Usos cut a promo, putting themselves over as the greatest Tag Team in the history of the WWE. They didn’t care if it sounded arrogant, because as far as they were concerned, it was true.
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:
  • Smackdown Live’s star performer at the Royal Rumble, AJ Styles picked up an impressive victory over Sheamus.
  • Tamina & Sonya Deville continued their partnership, destroying two local talent in a very short match.
  • Putting his Royal Rumble anger to one side, Rusev took time to mock Sanity, poking fun at the hairy Killian Dain, the “mirror-universe Daniel Bryan” Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe, who he suggested dropped his first name...

This Week on…

Episode #6: The Episode with… the L.W.O!
  • The episode opened with a match between two Luchadores, which went just a few minutes before Garza Jr. came to the ring. Despite having a match to prepare for in the Main Event, Garza spoke to the two men in the ring. Whatever Garza said to them had an impact, as the three men left the ring together.
  • Footage courtesy of the WWE Network highlighted the Mexican heritage and Lucha Libre legacy of WCW. A huge part of the company, clips were shown featuring Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr., Eddie Guerrero and Juventud Guerrera.
  • The Revival defeated James Storm & Blackjack Blake. After the match, Storm was clearly unimpressed with Blake’s antics.
  • A hidden camera caught a discussion backstage between DDP, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash. Page questioned the choice for the new nWo members. Hall & Nash said it was simple, explaining that Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese look good in the merch, and selling t-shirts is what this is all about. DDP asked them about Zack Ryder’s inclusion, and the two said that they were still trying to work that one out themselves…
  • Oney Lorcan squashed a local talent. After the match, a vignette appeared. It promoted the message that “KhaZm is KominG!”
  • Defending his Championship in the Main Event, Akira Tozawa went one on one with Garza Jr. During the match, with Tozawa in control, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik (who had walked out on their match in the opener) made their way to the ring. Distracting the referee, and enabling Garza Jr. to hit Tozawa with the title, Metalik & Dorado ensured there was a new Cruiserweight Champion on WCW Universe. At the end of the match, Dorado and Metalik joined the new Cruiserweight Champion (Garza Jr.) in the ring, and pulled off their shirts to reveal the initials “L.W.O”!

Other Notes:
  • As well as Jay Lethal joining NXT, Jeff Cobb is set to report to the brand, officially signing with the company over the weekend.
  • Amber Nova was also at the TakeOver event in Phoenix, and has signed with the company. NXT UK also secured a deal with Ayesha Rey, in a move to bolster the women’s division.
  • Dave Batista’s return to the WWE is said to be initially focussed on a match at WrestleMania. There is however interest from both sides to work together going forward, if working relations remain in tact.
  • There are some question marks about the WrestleMania card, with uncertainty remaining from within the WWE hierarchy. The main point of contention appears to be who Ronda Rousey will face at the show. While the storyline built with Shayna Baszler appeared likely to find it’s resolution at WrestleMania, there has been long-term interest in booking Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey for the show. Some within the company believe in striking while the iron is hot, while others have pitched Ronda vs. Charlotte as a major storyline going into next year’s WrestleMania. This has been suggested with Smackdown Live’s move to Fox in mind, where the rivalry could be a driving force of the shows early months on the network.

Originally Posted by Kijar View Post
Good Rumble!
Thank you, appreciate the feedback, as I wasn't sure about it myself.

Originally Posted by Mike Louis View Post
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?
That wasn't the intention as far as future plans go, but you have definitely sowed a seed. Unsure if it will go anywhere, but that image of Shayna flanking Stephanie has stuck with me. Gives a genuine threat to Ronda too.

Originally Posted by Mike Louis View Post
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?)
Basically from the first night Drake Maverick debuted on Raw as the Interim GM, I have wanted to do something between the two. Something as simple as the height difference is the reason for this rivalry, as I think it would be a cool visual. The Alexa part played into that, given her history with Braun.

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.
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Unread 10-07-2018, 06:19 AM
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Raw - Five Point Preview
Beat 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?
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Unread 10-09-2018, 07:53 PM
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Default Raw #1340

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!

Ahead of the first match of the night, The Riott Squad cut a promo on their way to the ring, putting over the dominance of their unit. They also ran down their opponents, saying that Natalya can’t trust Mickie, Mickie can’t trust Alexa… and Alexa doesn’t trust anybody!

This probably hit closer to home than their opponents would have liked, and definitely had an effect on the outcome of the match. Alexa Bliss simply can’t play well with others, and this ultimately cost her. Refusing to tag in Mickie James or Natalya, at a time when that seemed like her smartest option, Bliss got into an argument with her teammates. Added to The Riott Squad’s continued bending of the rules, Bliss found herself defeated in what may have been the biggest win of Liv Morgan’s career. Rolling up the woman whose moniker she has looked to steal, Liv Morgan scored a huge upset victory for herself and The Riott Squad.

The Riott Squad bt. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James & Natalya

After the match, Alexa Bliss walked away from her teammates, clearly wanting to be alone after a humiliating loss. Liv Morgan took a microphone from ringside, and declared herself “The REAL Goddess of Monday Nights”. Her words obviously hadn’t been discussed with the rest of The Riott Squad earlier, as Ruby and Logan looked confused when Morgan said she had an announcement. Saying that she felt it was the “right time to do this”, and feeling she had the “unspoken support” of her best friends, Liv Morgan declared:

“From this moment forward, The Riott Squad will be forever known as... ‘The Liv Squad’!

Excitedly applauding herself, Morgan was clearly very excited by this, while Ruby Riott wasn’t so sure. Sarah Logan was confused by Liv Morgan going into business for herself, and turned to the equally out of the loop Riott for answers. Liv then left the ring, with Ruby & Sarah following after her. As they headed up the ramp, Logan & Riott were in deep discussion, trying to work out what was going on within their group.

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.

Taking the disappointment of last week out on a random member of the roster, Finn Balor was the unlucky Superstar who they came across. The attack was fairly brutal, and left Finn unresponsive on the ground. As Jordan led The Authors of Pain away from the scene, members of the backstage crew came to Balor’s aid.
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.

Making their Raw debut as a team, Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali shook hands with their opponents before the match, and enjoyed a competitive back and forth match with Titus Worldwide’s Akira & Apollo. For the second week in a row, Titus O’Neil was not at ringside with his clients, but they fared much better this time. Coming out on top, in a match that really could have gone either way, Apollo scored the decisive fall, hitting a Spin-Out Powerbomb to Mustafa Ali.

Akira & Apollo bt. Heart & Soul

Following the match, the winning team showed great respect to Alexander & Ali, shaking their hands and praising their performance. While they had got off to a losing start, the commentators put over the fight and determination in both Raw newcomers.

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!”

Beat The Clock Challenge

Looking back at last week’s “Beat The Clock” challenge matches, both competitors knew that John Cena’s 8:32 was the time to beat. Just like last week, the two competitors came straight out of the gate, with no time to overthink any strategy. This meant that the action picked up from the moment the bell rang, and saw both competitors get some serious offence in early. After Sami Zayn requested Kevin Owens didn’t join him at ringside for his match last week, the reverse was true tonight. Sami Zayn had elected to stay away from ringside, leaving Owens to take on Roman alone.

While Kevin Owens didn’t disgrace himself, he was eventually defeated by Roman Reigns, who picked up the victory with around 30 seconds of the time remaining. Hitting a Superman Punch and a Spear, Roman Reigns beat the time John Cena set last week, with half a minute on the clock.

Roman Reigns bt. Kevin Owens - NEW Time To Beat: 8:02

Roman Reigns stood tall in the ring, knowing that just two matches stood in the way of him becoming the Number One Contender. As the first hour of Raw closed, Roman Reigns made it clear that his focus was firmly on the WWE Universal Championship!

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.
As the doctor began talking, a clearly frustrated Balor cut him off. Finn Balor told Kurt Angle that he only needed one piece of information, and that was the fact that he would be fit to compete against Randy Orton later in the night.
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.
Two constant victims of Braun Strowman’s “out of control” behaviour, Baron & Mojo were the first two members of Drake Maverick’s group, and they attacked Strowman from behind. The numbers gave them the advantage initially, as they clubbed “The Monster Amongst Men” in the back. Eventually, Braun Strowman managed to fight back, and cleared the ring of Baron Corbin and Mojo Rawley. Strowman looked down on the two of them from the ring, but Drake was still in there with him.

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.

Returning from the break, a recap of Strowman’s declaration was followed by this match. Last week, Nia Jax requested a match to prove herself ready for the Elimination Chamber, and this was it. Lasting just a few minutes, the contest was one sided, and ended with Jax hitting Fox with a Samoan Drop for the victory.

Nia Jax bt. Alicia Fox

Following the lead of Ember Moon last week, Nia Jax took a microphone after the bell. The former record-breaking Raw Women’s Champion told the WWE Universe that she was ready for the Elimination Chamber!

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…
Beat The Clock Challenge

Before the match, Jinder Mahal ran down Kurt Angle, calling it a “disgrace” that he was not in the Royal Rumble. He still intended to head into WrestleMania as the Universal Champion, and that started with taking down the “dirty, unruly” Dean Ambrose. Jinder Mahal wasn’t able to do this in the match, and struggled to compete fairly early on. Rolling out of the ring Mahal stalled the match, frustrating Ambrose. While this was poor strategy for Mahal’s chances of winning, it probably allowed him to avoid an embarrassingly quick defeat. Mahal eventually came back into it, taking the low road in order to find a shortcut. This failed to slow Ambrose down, and with around a minute to go, he hit Jinder with a Dirty Deeds on the outside. Dean rolled Jinder into the ring, but as he tried to join him, The Singh Brothers grabbed his legs.
Ambrose managed to kick them off, but valuable seconds had been wasted. Samir & Sunil then climbed on the apron, distracting the referee. This was designed to allow Mahal to hit a low blow to Ambrose, but Dean was on to it. Hitting Jinder with a second Dirty Deeds, Ambrose grabbed the referee, and covered Mahal. Unfortunately, the delay caused by the involvement of The Singh Brothers meant that the time ran out before the referee could begin counting.

Dean Ambrose and Jinder Mahal fail to Beat The Clock!

As the bell rang, Dean Ambrose flipped out. He was initially frustrated with the referee, but soon realised who had really cost him his first shot at the Universal Championship since returning. Going after The Singh Brothers on the outside, Ambrose took both of them down, before turning his attention towards Jinder Mahal. Mahal had other ideas, running away up the ramp and abandoning his associates.

This left The Singh Brothers at the mercy of Dean Ambrose, and he clearly had something sadistic in mind. Pushing and dragging Samir and Sunil up the ramp, Ambrose turned his attention to the Announcer’s Table, ready to put the two of them through it. However, moments before he set that up, Kurt Angle came to the top of the ramp.
Speaking to Dean, Kurt Angle whispered into the irate Superstars ear. Dean was initially surprised by whatever Kurt had said, but after further explanation, he left The Singhs behind, and joined Kurt Angle in heading to the back. While it wasn’t clear what they were talking about, Kurt had obviously told Dean something of urgency and importance.

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.
Renee Young asked Dean for an explanation as to what had just happened, but he was giving nothing away. She then asked what Kurt Angle said, but Dean Ambrose said he had nothing to say. This frustrated Renee, who took the microphone away from her mouth, dropping her journalistic role, and saying “seriously, Dean… what’s going on?”

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.
Beat The Clock Challenge

Keeping up the intensity set by the previous Beat The Clock matches, only this match stood in the way of Roman Reigns being named the Number One Contender to the WWE Universal Champion. While both men went all out, as has become the custom in these matches, there was a clear elephant in the room. The injured shoulder of Finn Balor was clearly hindering his performance, as the commentators put over that this wasn’t the first time his shoulder had caused issues related to his Universal Championship ambition.

Finn Balor fought valiantly, but was slowed by injury, something Randy Orton is an expert at exploiting. Balor’s best moments of the match saw him come close to bringing Orton down, but eventually a missed Coup de Grace spelled the end. Back up quickly, Orton hit Balor with an RKO, which sent the former Universal Champion down hard on his shoulder. Orton covered Balor, and with around 30 seconds left, picked up the victory.

Randy Orton bt. Finn Balor - Randy Orton Beats The Clock!

Winning the final match of the “Beat The Clock” challenge, Randy Orton became the Number One Contender to the WWE Universal Championship, in his hometown! Picking up the win in 7 minutes and 42 seconds, Randy Orton would go on to face Drew McIntyre for the title at Fastlane. That didn’t stop Randy Orton from checking on Finn Balor however, but when his opponent rolled out of the ring, the new Number One Contender celebrated his victory!

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.
The two dominant Champions put down their opponents, while putting over the fact that they beat Braun Strowman and Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series. They questioned if anybody truly believed that Ember & Bray stood a chance. Shayna Baszler went a step further, turning the interview on the interviewer, asking if she believed Ember could beat her. Before she was able to answer, Randy Orton interrupted the interview.
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!

Something of a strange match, the team of Bray Wyatt and Ember Moon joined forces for the first time, against the two top Champions on Raw. Having teamed together before, Drew McIntyre and Shayna Baszler had proved their ability to work as a cohesive united, but were facing two individuals who have something to prove. Bray Wyatt and Ember Moon took the fight to their respective rivals, and gave a good showing for two Superstars who have been out of the title picture. Ember Moon came particularly close to an upset, when she hit an Eclipse to Shayna Baszler, taking the Champion down for the second time in the past month. The impact of the move sent Shayna across the ring, but saw the Raw Women’s Champion roll out of the ring and through Ember’s finger tips.

When Ember followed Shayna to the outside, she was thrown shoulder first into the Steel Steps, and brought back into the ring. Baszler then brought Drew McIntyre in, as the two women took time to recover on the outside. Bray Wyatt looked to take the fight to Drew McIntyre, and he too came close to something of an upset. Eventually the match broke down somewhat, and Ember Moon was launched into the ringpost by Shayna Baszler. This left Bray Wyatt to fight alone, and while he continued to put pressure on the Universal Champion, an eye gouge from Shayna Baszler, as Bray rebounded off the ropes, killed his momentum. This allowed Drew McIntyre to hit the one-eyed Bray Wyatt with a Claymore Kick, and pick up the victory for his team.

Drew McIntyre & Shayna Baszler bt. Bray Wyatt & Ember Moon

Handed their Championships, Drew McIntyre and Shayna Baszler stood tall in the ring, over the defeated Bray Wyatt. Ember Moon was on the outside, but as Shayna went to leave the ring, Ember confronted her. Baszler stepped up to Moon, but Drew McIntyre came between the two. When Moon told McIntyre to back off, Baszler was able to blindside her, taking her down to the mat.

With the assist from Drew McIntyre, Shayna had Ember right where she wanted her, and bent her arm back, looking to break it. Having twisted the arm into an unnatural position, Baszler stamped on the Elbow of Ember Moon, causing her serious pain. The two Champions then left the ring together, as the referee checked on Ember Moon, who rolled around in severe pain.

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.
Quick Result
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
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Default 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.
Having demanded answers from Paige, the General Manager turned the tables on Samoa Joe, demanding he gave answers to Daniel Bryan. The Miz soon hijacked the idea, turning it into the “most must see episode of Miz TV” ever!

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:
  • The team of Sonya Deville and Tamina picked up yet another dominant victory.
  • Having given Jeff Hardy a week to gather his evidence that The Usos weren’t the greatest tag team in WWE history, the former Intercontinental Champion had nothing when pressed by the WWE Men’s Tag Team Champions. Jeff Hardy asked for another week, but was laughed out of the ring by Jimmy & Jey. However, as Jeff Hardy headed up the ramp, a very familiar laugh was heard, followed by the word “wonderful…”. The Usos knew exactly what this meant...
  • Shinsuke Nakamura successfully defended the United States Championship against Big E of The New Day.

This Week on…

Episode #7: The Episode with… a Sting in the Tail!
  • Universe opened with a promo from Zack Ryder, in an nWo t-shirt. Ryder slated the fans, and ran down the WCW roster. Behind Zack Ryder, with Buddy Murphy & Tony Nese, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall stood laughing at Ryder, as trash was thrown in the ring by plants. As the segment ended, Tony Schiavone spotted somebody lurking in the rafters...
  • Footage courtesy of the WWE Network showed some of the highlights of “Surfer Sting” in WCW. Throughout the night, the rest of Sting’s career was recapped.
  • Veteran journeymen Tex Ferguson and Chad 2 Badd defeated Epico & Primo. Nash & Hall were later seen bonding with the victorious duo, as they made fun of “that kid” Zack Ryder.
  • Curt Hawkins’ undefeated streak was extended to 252 straight defeats, as James Storm picked up another win.
  • TJ P looked to shoot on WCW once again, but was cut off by the LWO, led by Garza Jr., the new Cruiserweight Champion. Joined by Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik, he said that luchadores would no longer be held down by WCW management!
  • With the help of Buddy Murphy & Tony Nese, Zack Ryder defeated The Brian Kendrick in the main event. After the match, Murphy & Nese were handed spray paint cans by Nash & Hall, and were ready to paint the letters N-W-O on the back of Kendrick. However, the lights went down, and when they returned, Sting was in the ring. Baseball bat in hand, Sting cleared the ring of the three members of the nWo, and said “boy did that take me back” as he closed the episode.

Other Notes:
  • There has been serious talk with the WWE over the past week, regarding a potential “Heavyweight Classic”. The 16-man tournament would be set for next month, and it is believed WWE have reached out to a number of unsigned talents, including Brody King, WALTER and Punishment Martinez.

Last edited by 20LEgend : 11-16-2018 at 07:54 AM.
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Raw - Five Point Preview
Braun 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
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Default Raw #1341

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.
Jason Jordan said that his father has made a lot of poor decisions in his life, but bringing Batista back may just be his worst one yet. Batista smirked, looking down at Jason Jordan, almost daring him to carry on. Jordan said that if he wanted to talk to a failed actor, who everybody wished would have stayed away from the WWE, he’d call his father. JJ turned to Akam & Rezar, finding his own remark hilarious. Again, Batista did not. Jordan suggested that Batista got out of the ring, and this caused him to step up to the former Intercontinental Champion. The Authors of Pain looked to back up their Golden Alpha teammate, and it appeared they were ready to give Batista their own welcome back message. Before they did however, the music of Finn Balor hit.
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.

Finn Balor was well up for the match as it got going, but it soon became clear that he wasn’t at 100%. Injured by Golden Alpha last week, the damage to his shoulder was made worse by his decision to compete against Randy Orton. The commentators put this over, as he struggled with Jason Jordan. It was also announced during the match that Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio were scheduled to face The Authors of Pain in the show’s Main Event.

Despite not having the best record recently, Jason Jordan was able to pick up a victory over Finn Balor, with the presence of The Authors of Pain helping him along the way. Launching Finn Balor into the turnbuckle, after a missed Coup de Grace, Jason Jordan was able to hit a Jordan (Olympic) Slam for the win.

Jason Jordan bt. Finn Balor

After the match, Finn Balor sat in the ring, looking dejected by the defeat. Just at the moment he needed to be building momentum, the commentators put over the fact that Finn has hit something of a rough patch. Remaining in the ring long after the match finished, Corey Graves suggested this was the lowest he had seen Finn in a long time, probably going as far back to when he had to relinquish the WWE Universal Championship.

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!

Nia Jax was the strong favourite for this match, and as it went on there was very little to suggest that an upset was on the cards. The contest wasn’t a particularly long one, and showing greater strength than her opponent, Jax was able to pick up the victory following a Samoan Drop.

Nia Jax bt. Dana Brooke

As Nia Jax stood tall in the ring, after her dominant victory was recapped, the music of The Riott Squad began to play. Coming down to the ring for Ruby Riott’s match, all three members of the group approached Nia Jax in the ring.
While Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan were focussed on Nia, Liv Morgan sought out the ring announcer, and asked her to reintroduce Ruby Riott. She did, announcing her for a second time, saying “representing The Liv Squad… Ruby Riott”. As this was said, Riott clearly wasn’t comfortable with it, and even Sarah Logan looked confused.

None the less they looked to mock Nia Jax, telling her that with all three of them qualifying for the Elimination Chamber tonight, she’d probably be best not showing up at Fastlane. With a potential advantage going into the match, The Riott… or rather, The Liv Squad, were brought back down to earth by the General Manager.
Before Alexa Bliss made way to the ring, Kurt Angle announced that The Riott Squad were barred from ringside for Ruby’s match up next… and for the rest of the matches throughout the night!

Back on an even playing field, this match was greatly improved by the lack of the presence of Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. Avoiding those distractions, the two competitors in the match were able to go all out, looking to earn their chance at the Raw Women’s Championship at Fastlane. Two of the best Superstars in the division, Alexa and Ruby both came close to victory on multiple occasions, but couldn’t find the combination that would put their opponent away. Riott looked to focus on submission holds, as the more powerful competitor, but failed to keep Alexa Bliss down. Showing how important the match was to her, Bliss didn’t go for the pinfall after she hit the DDT. Instead, she climbed to the top rope, sealing the deal with a “Twisted Bliss”. Hitting the move she rarely uses, Alexa Bliss picked up the win, and earned her place in the Elimination Chamber.

Alexa Bliss bt. Ruby Riott

Celebrating her victory in the ring, Alexa Bliss had confirmed herself a place in the Raw Women’s Championship match at Fastlane, and would join Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax in the Elimination Chamber. No stranger to winning inside the Chamber, Bliss took great confidence from her victory over Ruby Riott!

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.
Laying into the Number One Contender, Akam & Rezar were both brutal and quick in the assault. Leaving no time for anybody to come out and make the save, The Authors of Pain threw Randy Orton at maximum velocity into the Steel Steps. They then hit him with a “Last Chapter”, which saw the back of Orton’s head connect with the steel ramp. Orton was left laying out cold, as The Authors of Pain looked up at Drew McIntyre. While McIntyre seemingly hadn’t call for the attack, he certainly wasn’t going to do anything to stop it either.
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.
Kurt Angle spoke to those around him, none of whom had witnessed the attack. The General Manager clearly suspected that Golden Alpha were in some way involved, but had no way of proving it. Either way, Kurt Angle informed one of the nearby crew members that the scheduling of the show would have to change, as he wasn’t going to allow Randy Orton or Rey Mysterio to compete. He said that it would be too dangerous, and he’d have to find an alternative. Initially stumped, an unlikely saviour offered a solution to the GM’s problem.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn approached Kurt Angle, wondering if he had thought about what they said to him last week, about teaming as a full-time member of the Tag Team division. Owens said that Kurt didn’t need to think about it, because they had the perfect solution to his very urgent problem. Zayn suggested that The Authors of Pain needed to be stopped, and pleaded with Kurt Angle to allow them to be the ones to put them back in their place. Kurt Angle had little option, and agreed that Owens & Zayn could be the replacement. Shocked by them coming forward, Angle said “don’t make me regret this”, as the two Canadian Superstars walked away.
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.

Footage was shown of the brutal injury sustained by Ember Moon last week, putting over the former NXT Women’s Champion as the underdog going into the match, despite her superior record. With the arm strapped up, the area became a huge target for Sarah Logan, who did well in breaking Ember down. The match was all about the fight and resolve of Ember Moon however, as she somewhat overcame the injury. Favouring her arm throughout the match, Moon looked close to losing her opportunity on a number of occasions. She refused to give up, and eventually came back into the contest. Despite only one good arm, Ember managed to make it to the top rope, hitting the Eclipse to Sarah Logan, and picking up the win.

Ember Moon bt. Sarah Logan

The victory clearly meant a lot to Ember Moon, as she became fairly emotional following the win. Holding her arm close to her body, she was clearly in a severe amount of pain, despite her delight at heading into the Elimination Chamber at Fastlane.

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!

One of the most evenly matched qualifying matches for the Elimination Chamber, both of the Superstars in the match probably deserved a place. This resulted in the most competitive qualifier, and probably the one of the highest quality. The two women went back and forth, in a match that would be decided by the smallest margins. Rolling Sasha Banks up, Mickie James’ momentum was reversed, and had her shorts pulled by “The Boss”. This added leverage allowed Banks to steal one, coming away with the victory.

Sasha Banks bt. Mickie James

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”.
Drake Maverick made it clear that they were far from done with Braun Strowman, and was particularly bold, knowing that Strowman wasn’t in the building. Maverick said that Braun will be here next week, or the week after, and they would be waiting. Tonight however, Baron Corbin was dealing with another “menace”, Roman Reigns!

Used to running in a three man group, Roman Reigns knew all the tricks that The A.B.C had up their sleeves, and was more than prepared for Rawley’s involvement. Hitting Mojo with a Superman Punch, Roman Reigns ensured his focus was solely on Baron Corbin, but was caught off guard as a result. Baron’s best spell came off the back of this, but eventually Roman came back into it. Hitting his signature combination of a Superman Punch and a Spear, Roman Reigns picked up a fairly routine victory over “The Lone Wolf”.

Roman Reigns bt. Baron Corbin

Roman Reigns stood tall in the ring, but didn’t look particularly impressed with the competition. The commentators put over Reigns’ lack of clear plan for WrestleMania, and wondered where his future lies, ahead of the biggest show of the year.

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.
Batista said that he’d been back for three weeks now, and he was getting itchy feet. Batista said he wasn’t back in the WWE to talk, he was back to compete. Kurt Angle agreed, but pointed out that it wasn’t as simple as that. If Kurt had his own way, Batista would be in action next week. Unfortunately, Kurt has ran into some issues above him, and couldn’t promise Dave anything yet. Batista was annoyed by this, but understood exactly what, or rather who, was responsible for the delay. As Batista went to leave, Randy Orton entered the office.
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...

While the commentators put over the credentials of Mike Kanellis, they admitted that he had struggled to make the step up to the WWE. Appearing largely on the “B shows” of the company’s programming, this match provided a huge opportunity for Kanellis. With his wife’s support at ringside, Mike gave a decent performance, managing some offence on Seth Rollins. There was however, a clear gulf in quality between the two, and this resulted in Seth Rollins scoring a fairly conclusive victory.

Seth Rollins bt. Mike Kanellis

As Seth Rollins stood tall in the ring, celebrating his win, Universal Champion, Drew McIntyre, appeared on the big screen.
Drew McIntyre played down the victory of Seth Rollins, telling him that if he’d been more impressed, he may have come out to deliver his message face to face. McIntyre didn’t think Rollins deserved that, so he was staying right where he was. McIntyre said that at WrestleMania, Seth Rollins would have to be at a much higher level than he was against Mike Kanellis, and if he didn’t believe him, he should look at what happened to Randy Orton tonight. That was at the hands of The Authors of Pain, but McIntyre said things were going to look a whole lot worse when it comes to Fastlane - and the WWE Universal Championship match.

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 match, recaps were shown of the previous Elimination Chamber qualifiers, where Alexa Bliss, Ember Moon, Nia Jax and Sasha Banks earned their place in Fastlane’s Raw Women’s Championship match. Despite her confidence, Liv Morgan came into this match as underdog, against the talented and experienced Natalya. “The Queen of Harts” backed up this pre-match billing throughout the match, dominating while remaining unable to put Liv Morgan away.The end of the match came out of the blue, and was the result of an incident earlier in the match. Having been grabbed by Natalya, Liv had tried to hold onto the turnbuckle, but removed the cover seemingly unintentionally. Later in the match, she was able to push Natalya face first into the exposed turnbuckle, before rolling her up for a surprising win.

Liv Morgan bt. Natalya

After the bell, the commentators put over a huge upset, as Liv Morgan picked up the biggest singles victory of her career. Demanding a microphone from ringside, Morgan said that she was going to represent “The Liv Squad” at Fastlane, like only a “Real Goddess” can. That meant that she would walk out of the Elimination Chamber… as the new Raw Women’s Champion.

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.

Bizarrely coming to Kurt Angle’s aid in his hour of need, much of the discussion around the Main Event was regarding the intentions of Owens & Zayn, who have showed nothing but a lack of respect to authority over the past 18 months. Coming into the contest, against one of the WWE’s most dominant tag teams, Owens & Zayn struggled early on, with the latter becoming isolated in the corner of the ring by the two huge members of The Authors of Pain. When Sami Zayn eventually came back into it, he brought in his partner, who looked to build the offence. In the strange position of rallying against their opponents, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn looked to get the WWE Universe behind them. This confused the commentators, who felt they had slipped into a mirror-universe. With Owens spearheading the comeback, the former Universal Champion was distracted by Jason Jordan at ringside.
Jason Jordan then climbed on to the apron, looking to increase his influence on the match. Running down to the ring, having been beaten by him earlier, Finn Balor stopped Jordan from assisting The Authors of Pain any further.
Balor’s involvement caused Akam to drop off the apron, going after the Irish Superstar. As Finn Balor ducked out of the way, Sami Zayn was ready with a Helluva Kick, clocking the jaw of Akam. As Akam stumbled backwards, Sami Zayn was able to hit a Tornado DDT, through the ropes, and take his opponent down. This distraction had caused Rezar to take his eye off the ball, and as he turned back towards Kevin Owens, he was hit with a Superkick.

Sensing his opportunity, Kevin Owens went to the top rope, hitting a Frog Splash to the former Raw Tag Team Champion. Taking advantage of the chaos to cover Rezar, Owens picked up the 1… 2… 3!

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn bt. The Authors of Pain

Joining Kevin in the ring, Sami Zayn celebrated with his partner, reveling in the unusual position of being “the good guys”. The commentators put over the utterly bizarre situation unfolding, as Owens & Zayn were heralded for saving the Main Event of Raw, and overcoming the dominant force known as The Authors of Pain.

As Owens & Zayn stood tall in the ring, they made sure to give a nod to Finn Balor, who had helped them when Jason Jordan tried to get involved. Looking down from the top of the ramp, Finn Balor nodded back towards Owens & Zayn, having clearly gained some respect for the duo. Raw ended with Owens & Zayn stood tall in the ring, having potentially turned over a new leaf in their career as a duo. The commentators weren’t quite sure what they’d witnessed, but were delighted to see Golden Alpha put back in their place.

Quick Results
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
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Default 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:
  • Rusev picked up an impressive victory over Andrade “Cien” Almas, building momentum towards the WWE Championship match at Fastlane.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura issued an open challenge for next week’s Smackdown, where he would defend his United States Championship.

This Week on…

Episode #8: The Episode with… Two Four Horsemen!
  • Charlotte Flair opened the show, presenting a “Special Edition” of Flair for the Gold. The talk show segment featured The Glorious Revival, who were cut off by NXT’s Undisputed Era. It was put over that Undisputed Era had terrorised NXT, and were appearing on WCW to show their dominance. Put over as a cross-promotional show, the episode was built around the “NXT vs. WCW” main event.
  • After claiming he was the one with “real flair”, TJ P was defeated by James Storm. After the match, James Storm was joined by Blackjack Blake, who annoyed him with his over the top celebration. Reaching his breaking point, Storm confronted Blake, pushing him to the mat.
  • Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado approached Kalisto, offering him a place in Latino World Order. Kalisto refused the offer.
  • A vignette aired, promoting the fact that “KhaZm is KominG!”
  • Undisputed Era defeated The Glorious Revival (Roode, The Revival & Mike Kanellis) in a long, competitive match. Following the victory, Undisputed Era mocked their opponents, standing over the group (and possibly the show) that they clearly considered themselves to be above.

Other Notes:
  • WWE confirmed the Heavyweight Classic, scheduled to take place in March. Recording at Full Sail, the tournament will feature 16 of the “world’s best” Heavyweight competitors.
  • Reports have suggested that WWE are looking forward the Japanese market, particularly with an interest in Pro-Wrestling NOAH. With the company reportedly struggling with attendances and finance, rumours suggest the WWE are looking for a deal which would benefit both parties. What this would entail exactly, is as yet unknown.
  • Doug Williams signed with WWE UK this week, having recently retired from in-ring competition. Doug will serve as a trainer at the WWE Performance Center, which recently opened.

Last edited by 20LEgend : 11-16-2018 at 07:54 AM.
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