Original Air Date: January 7, 2018
Event Date: January 7, 2018
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
This show is in memory of Gene Okerlund (1942-2019)
The show opens with Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley already brawling backstage. Hawkins, Ryder, No Way Jose, and a bunch of officials attempt to break them up with little luck. The fight makes its way out to the stage where Rollins pushes Lashley off the stage to the floor. After a bit more brawling, the two men are separated.
John Cena heads to the ring. Cena welcomes everyone to the road to Wrestlemania. On the road to Wrestlemania, you either step up or you get left out. So right now, Cena is going to step up. There is just one match that gives you a golden ticket to Wrestlemania, and that’s the Royal Rumble. Cena plans to earn his golden ticket by officially entering himself into the 2019 Royal Rumble match.
Drew McIntyre comes out to the stage. McIntyre says he has waited for this moment for years. McIntyre doesn’t care about Cena’s stupid hair, he just cares about Cena’s 16 world championships. McIntyre agrees with people who say that Cena is the greatest of all time. McIntyre recounts his history of destroying the greats. McIntyre says he is the most dangerous man in WWE now, and he has come for Cena. McIntyre slowly walks down to the ring.
Cena says he was happy to start the night, but now he’s sad. He’s sad because he’s heard what McIntyre just said from many, many people before. What makes McIntyre think he’s any different. McIntyre says the others were all talk, but McIntyre plans to show Cena.
Lio Rush interrupts before and fighting can happen. Rush and Lashley come out to the stage, and Rush is upset that Rollins has gone insane. Rush plans to get a lawyer if something isn’t done about Rollins. As Rush talks, Rollins attacks Lashley from behind. Dean Ambrose joins the brawl, and so do Cena and McIntyre. After a few moments, Finn Balor joins the fight as well.
John Cena & Seth Rollins & Finn Balor vs Drew McIntyre & Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush & Dean Ambrose (IC Champ)
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Seth Rollins pins Dean Ambrose after a curb stomp
Time: 14:09 (joined in progress, 2 breaks)
Very good match. The teams were wacky and fun, and the action was fast-paced and highly entertaining. The good guys each took a turn in the ring (Cena, then Balor, then Rollins) while the bad guys tagged in and out a bit more. They way the match was structured, it felt like there were three separate buildups, one for each of the good guys while they were taking their turn. The final buildup with Rollins was pretty great. Rollins was all over the place and taking on everyone. This was definitely a good and fun match to start RAW’s year.
After the match, Triple H can be seen on the tron talking to Sasha Banks and Bayley backstage. Rollins notices, makes a face, and heads to the back.
Seth Rollins knocks the drink out of Triple H’s hand. Rollins says he wants Ambrose and the IC Title tonight. Triple H says okay, and it will be a Falls Count Anywhere match.
Hulk Hogan walks in the back.
Superstars respond to the passing of Gene Okerlund on Twitter.
Mike Rome asks everyone to stand for a ten bell salute in honor of Mean Gene.
After the salute, Hulk Hogan heads to the ring. Hogan introduces a video highlighting some of Mean Gene’s memorable moments.
Back in the ring, Hogan chokes up as he talks about Okerlund. Then he gets into character and tells Mean Gene something. Brother.
Lumberjack Match RAW Tag Title Match
Chad Gable & Bobby Roode (RAW Tag Champs) vs The Revival
(referee: Shawn Bennett; lumberjacks: Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Heath Slater, Rhyno, Lince Dorado, Kalisto, Gran Metalik, Konnor, Viktor)
Result: Chad Gable pins Scott Dawson with a small package (even though Dawson’s foot was on the rope)
Time: 6:49 (1 break)
Good match. Again, Gable seemed to take near-complete control of the match for his team. He was all over the place while Roode kind of took it easy. Roode did play a pivotal part in the finish though, that’s for sure.The Revival looked good as always, though the story here forces them to get screwed by the finish.
The NXT people are still headed to the main roster.
In the ring, Elias says that 2018 was an amazing year for him. Everything he did last year has brought him here to Orlando. If you thought 2018 was great, just wait until you see what Elias does in 2019. First, he intends to win the Royal Rumble.
As much as Elias has enjoyed his own successes, he has also enjoyed all the failures of Baron Corbin. Elias hasn’t forgotten all the times Corbin wronged him, and he’s written a song about it. Corbin interrupts before Elias can play his song.
Corbin says that he should have everyone’s respect and admiration, but no one understands him. That’s why they disrespect him, but Corbin is not going away. Corbin is also entering the Royal Rumble match. Elias requests that Corbin shut his mouth, so Corbin shuts his mouth.
Elias vs Baron Corbin
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Baron Corbin wins via pinfall after End of Days
Pretty good match. Elias was doing a lot of babyface type stuff like dives. It was interesting. I’m nit sure if I am totally on board with a happy, openly fan-friendly Elia, but he’s still fun.
Dean Ambrose seems frustrated. He says he never liked six man tag matches anyway. You think Ambrose enjoys hurting Rollins? Ambrose says he lost everything to bring things into balance (by winning the IC Title). Ambrose won’t let Rollins take the title back. Tonight, Ambrose will end it.
Paul Heyman knocks on Brock Lesnar’s locker room door.
Braun Strowman heads to the ring. Strowman waits for Lesnar, but Lesnar doesn’t come to the ring. Instead, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar appear on the tron.
Heyman gives Strowman an education. WWE has spent money to give the fans a face-to-face with Lesnar and Strowman, but the card is always subject to change. Besides, Lesnar staying in the back is for Strowman’s benefit. If Lesnar headed to the ring tonight, then Lesnar wouldn’t have an opponent at Royal Rumble.
Strowman gets on the mic and says he’s waiting. Lesnar laughs. Everyone waits… and waits…
Strowman makes an “ass” and “crap” joke. Strowman also describes how he doesn’t hear things so well. Strowman then calls Lesnar a coward and says basically the same thing that Heyman said, only that Lesnar wouldn’t make it to the Rumble if they met tonight. Lesnar decides he wants to head to the ring.
Brock Lesnar slowly makes his way to the ring. He circles the ringside area once, then he heads back up the ramp. Strowman yells for Lesnar to turn around. Strowman says he will be the new champ at Royal Rumble. Lesnar just smiles.
Jinder Mahal asks Alicia Fox to lead everyone in a breathing exercise. She starts, but Mahal stops her. Jinder doesn’t think the people of Orlando deserve to find tranquility. Mahal is interrupted when Ember Moon’s music begins.
Alicia Fox & Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers vs Ember Moon & Apollo Crews
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Ember Moon pins Alicia Fox after The Eclipse
This was a bit of a squash. Mahalicia had zero offense.
Alexa Bliss gets makeup applied.
Alexa Bliss comes out to the stage for A Moment of Bliss. Before she starts the show, she demands coffee. She gets her coffee, then she shows a video featuring clips of Ronda Rousey. After the video, Alexa introduces Ronda ROusey who comes out to the stage.
Rousey says she wants to be a champ that everyone can be proud of. There is one woman who has pushed everyone in the women’s division to their limits: Sasha Banks. Alexa Bliss thought Ronda was talking about her. Nia Jax then interrupts.
Jax says she and Rousey have some unfinished business. Jax wants a rematch. Sasha Banks comes out next, and she says she is honored by what Rousey said. Sasha would love to face Rousey for the RAW Women’s Title, but Jax butts in and tells Sasha to get in line. Sasha challenges Nia to a match right now with the winner facing Rousey for the title.
Sasha heads to the ring, but Nia takes a seat.
RAW Women’s Title Number One Contender Match
Sasha Banks w/ Bayley vs Nia Jax w/ Tamina
(referee: Shawn Bennett)
Result: Sasha Banks wins via submission with the Bank Statement
Time: 10:50 (1 break)
This was okay. Parts of it were good, but parts of it got ugly. Sasha went for what looked like a hurricanrana from the apron to the floor, but Nia basically just dropped Sasha to the floor and sort of fell over. I’m not sure what was supposed to happen there, but that was representative of some of the ugliness in the match. There were some very god parts though, and it was good to see Sasha in good form once again.
Dean Ambrose paces.
Seth Rollins puts in his wristbands.
Falls Count Anywhere IC Title Match
Dean Ambrose (IC Champ) vs Seth Rollins
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Dean Ambrose wins via pinfall after Bobby Lashley interferes and beats up Rollins
Time: 11:29 (1 break)
Good match. This had some fun violence and some good anger from both guys. They did a little circuit through the crowd and backstage before finishing the match back in the ring. Rollins started to heavily dominate in the end, but that’s when Bobby Lashley made his presence known.
After the match, Lio Rush puts a table in the ring. Lashely picks up Rollins and drives him down through the table.
Good show. I quite enjoyed the bookend of Rollins and Lashley fighting at the beginning and the end of the show. It made the show fell pretty cohesive.
The only things I didn’t really enjoy were the Corbin stuff and Nia Jax on the mic. She is not good on the mic. Like at all. I think the Strowman/Lesnar segment was a little underwhelming too. There were so many awkward pauses in to the conversation. So many.
But other than those few things, this was an entertaining show. The six man tag was a lot of fun, the tag title match was good though that feud will get better, I liked a lot of what Sasha Banks did, and the main event was good. I don’t even think the finish was terribly frustrating. It actually made things kind of interesting in the IC Title picture.
Match of the Night
Six Man Tag Match
I think I had the most fun with the opening six man tag match. The only other match that really compares is the main event, and that was more about brawling and anger while the tag match was a fast-paced wrestling match.
Official Results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2019-01-07