Raw this week features the debut of Woken Matt Hardy, the in-ring return of Paige, and The Bar defending the Raw Tag Team Championships against Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. There is no Raw-exclusive Pay-Per-View in the near future, so this continues a string of exciting episodes that help keep fans interested in WWE’s flagship program.
General Manager Kurt Angle kicks off Monday Night Raw to announce who will be Roman Reigns’ challenger tonight for the Intercontinental Championship. Jason Jordan interrupts the announcement to ask for an opportunity of his own, but then Reigns interrupts himself to demand a match with Samoa Joe after Joe attacked him last week.
Joe shows up to demand the Intercontinental Championship match, and when Reigns accepts, Jordan attacks Reigns from behind. Furious, Reigns demands a match against Jordan now, as well as a match against Joe later. Of course, Angle obliges.
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jason Jordan – Intercontinental Championship
Back when Jason Jordan was first announced as Kurt Angle’s son, he competed against Roman Reigns in an incredible match that was supposed to help him get crowd support. Instead, the WWE Universe has turned on him and their second clash has much different context.
Jordan almost has Reigns put away, but his ongoing knee injury sets him back from finishing the Big Dog off. Reigns takes advantage to hit the Superman Punch, followed up by an emphatic spear to retain the title. Winner, and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Roman Reigns
Samoa Joe looks to attack Roman Reigns, but Jason Jordan hits him with a back suplex. Reigns has not forgotten what Jordan did to start the night, so he Superman Punches him out of the ring.
Paige (w/Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose) vs. Sasha Banks (w/Mickie James & Bayley)
After debuting a couple weeks ago, Absolution was supposed to face Sasha Banks, Mickie James, and Bayley last week in a six-woman tag team match. Instead, James and Bayley were attacked backstage to prevent the match from ever happening. This is the first time in over a year that Paige has competed on WWE television.
Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose attack Mickie James and Bayley at ringside, distracting Sasha Banks while Paige recuperates. Paige then hits Banks with the Ram-Paige, securing an important victory in her return. Winner: Paige
Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese vs. Drew Gulak – #1 Contender’s Qualifying Match
Last week, Kurt Angle announced two Fatal Four-Way matches that would help decide Enzo Amore’s next challenger for the Cruiserweight Championship. Rich Swann won last week’s match, defeating Noam Dar, Ariya Daivari, and Akira Tozawa. The winner of tonight’s match faces Swann next week in a #1 Contender’s match.
After Cedric Alexander hits Mustafa Ali with a Lumbar Check, Drew Gulak sends Alexander flying out of the ring to steal the pin and pick up the victory for himself. Winner: Drew Gulak
Next week, Kane and Braun Strowman will square off yet again in their storied rivalry.
Asuka vs. Alicia Fox
Last week, Asuka defeated Dana Brooke just as the match began. Tonight, Alicia Fox believes that since she is not Brooke, she can be the one to end the Empress of Tomorrow’s undefeated streak.
However, Fox is not ready for Asuka and is forced to tap out to an armbar. After the match, Absolution surrounds the ring like last week, but there is just a big staredown until Asuka retreats. Fox is left in the ring by herself, so Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose do further damage. Winner (via submission): Asuka
Matt Hardy Awakens
After losing to Bray Wyatt last week, Matt Hardy had a breakdown that led to him chanting “Delete!” while seated in the corner of the ring. This week, he returns as his formerly “broken” persona that he is calling “woken,” complete with the terrible British accent and maniacal laugh. It seems like “Woken” Matt Hardy’s first feud will be with Wyatt, who himself has said to feel rejuvenated after his victory.
Sheamus & Cesaro (c) vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose – Raw Tag Team Championships
During the brand warfare surrounding Survivor Series, The New Day invaded Raw and distracted The Shield, forcing Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose to lose their Raw Tag Team Championships to Sheamus & Cesaro. Tonight, Rollins and Ambrose get their rematch and look to bring two more titles to the Shield.
During the match, Samoa Joe interferes, so Kurt Angle forces a restart with no disqualifications. However, The Bar wins anyway, retaining the titles and opening up a spot for new challengers. Winners, and STILL Raw Tag Team Champion: Sheamus & Cesaro
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- NXT Recap: UK Title #1 Contender’s Match - February 2, 2018
- SmackDown Recap: Heading to Fastlane - February 1, 2018
- 205 Live Recap: New Tournament & General Manager - January 31, 2018
- The Best & Worst of Royal Rumble 2018 - January 30, 2018
- Raw Recap: Two Huge First-Ever Matches - January 30, 2018
- WWE Weekly Preview, 1.29.18-2.4.18 - January 29, 2018
- Royal Rumble Recap: Asuka Wins the Royal Rumble - January 28, 2018