Tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw comes off the heels of the Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View, where the COO Triple H became the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Will Roman Reigns get his revenge on the Authority? Who is the “major star” returning tonight that WWE has been teasing? Also, what will Raw be like with AJ Styles?
Vince and Stephanie McMahon congratulate themselves on pulling “one of the biggest coups in WWE history” by having Triple H winning the Royal Rumble. Then enters Triple H, the man who also beat WCW (Sting) at WrestleMania 31. Triple H goes on about how he took the tile from Roman Reigns because he “doesn’t respect anything,” and until everybody shows some respect, he will keep the title. This sounds a lot like CM Punk when he was holding the WWE Championship for over a year.
Tonight, the Authority will evaluate each superstar, and the top two will be in the main event of Fastlane, the next Pay-Per-View. The winner of that main even will face Triple H at the main event of WrestleMania for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens
The first match of the night features two of the most impressive Superstars on the roster. Dolph Ziggler is a workhorse that can carry a good match with anybody, and Kevin Owens is arguably the best heel in the company. However, Ziggler is probably too injury prone to be trusted in the main event scene, and Kevin Owens has three potential WrestleMania feuds in Sami Zayn, Dean Ambrose, and AJ Styles. Kevin Owens, still reeling from his Last Man Standing match last night, hits the Pop-up Powerbomb for the victory. Winner: Kevin Owens
Bo Rida vs. Flo Rida (Rap Battle)
I can’t believe I had to type that. Flo “disses” the Social Outcasts, and introduces the Dudley Boyz at the end of the rap.
The Dudley Boyz (w/ Flo Rida) vs. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel (w/ Heath Slater & Adam Rose)
Both Michael Cole and Byron Saxton have said “Flo Rider.” He has been on multiple WWE shows, and they still don’t know how to pronounce his name. The Social Outcasts outside the ring try to interfere but Flo Rida evens the odds and the Dudleys hit 3-D for the win. Winners: The Dudley Boyz
Renee Young is backstage with none other than “The Phenomenal One,” AJ Styles. Who is AJ Styles? We’re about to find out, but instead he is interrupted by Chris Jericho, who faces him next, and welcomes him “to the big leagues.”
Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles
In a more positive way than the rap battle (ugh), I can’t believe that this is a real match. This is AJ Styles’s first singles match in the WWE (other than one match in the early 2000s without a contract), and Chris Jericho is one of the greatest Superstars of all time, so this is sure to be a good one. Rumor has it that AJ Styles has signed a multi-year deal with WWE, so we are going to see a lot of the “Phenomenal One.” After a chain wrestling pinning combination, AJ Styles manages to get the win. Winner: AJ Styles
After the match, Styles offers Jericho a handshake, and Jericho accepts, but pulls Styles closer to him, seemingly making a statement.
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
Sasha and Becky has one of the best matches in 2015, so this has the potential to be great, but since this is the main roster, it could also be three minutes long. Since Sasha returned last night at the Royal Rumble, there hasn’t been any mention of Team B.A.D., so Sasha might be on her own now. Becky goes for the Disarmer, but Sasha counters into the Bank Statement. She seems to be close to victory, but Charlotte interferes and breaks up the submission. After laying out Sasha and Becky, Charlotte stands tall at the end of the match. Winner (via disqualification): Sasha Banks
Goldust is talking to R-Truth and tells him that now that the Royal Rumble is over, he is looking for a new partner. R-Truth misunderstood, and thought he meant a romantic partner. Truth says he doesn’t swing that way and walks out, leaving Goldust frustrated.
Bray Wyatt (w/ The Wyatt Family) vs. Kane
Kane had disappeared until the Rumble match last night, and I don’t think anybody noticed. The last match I was interested in that involved Kane was probably his Inferno match against Bray Wyatt a couple of years ago. Michael Cole is still referring to Kane as “Demon Kane”, even though he hasn’t been in the Authority for a couple of months.
The fans have absolutely no interest in this match, chanting “Thank you Savage” to a fan dressed up as the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Bray Wyatt hits Sister Abigail on Kane for the win. Winner: Bray Wyatt
After the match, Braun Strowman does his chokehold submission thing (that somehow still doesn’t have a name), and Luke Harper and Erick Rowan hit Kane with a double chokeslam.
WWE has been teasing a “major star” returning tonight, and it turns out to be The Rock! We follow the Rock through the backstage area, where he chats with the Big Show, wishes Pat Patterson a “happy birthday” and implies that Lana cheated on Rusev with him back when he was on Raw in Brooklyn.
Seeing the Rock enter the arena invoked the biggest pop from the WWE Universe probably since the last time he was on Raw. It shows WWE’s lack of ability to create new stars when the crowd is not this loud for anyone else. There is still a “Thank you Savage” chant going in the crowd. Rock decides to “go off the script” and goes to the group dressed as WWE Superstars, including the “Randy Savage”.
The New Day interrupts, and of course the combination of them and The Rock makes for a great promo. The Rock challenges The New Day to get in the ring, but New Day refuses because the fans in Miami don’t deserve it. Instead, the Rock has a Plan B, and sends out the Usos. The Rock delivers a Rock Bottom to Big E and the People’s Elbow to Xavier Woods, and somehow this is supposed to make us excited for WrestleMania.
Brie Bella & Alicia Fox vs. Paige & Natalya
One of the things that Total Divas is good for is giving the Divas two segments on Monday Night Raw. It is also important to note that Nikki Bella announced that she will be getting neck surgery for her injury, and there is a chance that her wrestling career could be over.
Alicia Fox interrupts Paige’s attempt to put away Brie Bella with the PTO, but Natayla hits Alicia with the discus clothesline to even the odds in the ring. Paige hits the Rampaige for the victory. Winners: Paige & Natalya
Kalisto vs. The Miz
One of the good things about Kalisto facing the Miz tonight is that Kalisto’s United States title reign might last past Smackdown. It makes no sense for Kalisto to be chosen for the #1 contender’s match, considering he should be worrying about the United States title. Kalisto counters the Skull Crushing Finale into the Salida Del Sol for the victory. Winner: Kalisto
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus & Rusev (w/ King Barrett & Alberto Del Rio)
As the main event of the evening, these are the last four Superstars that have the possibility of being in the main event of Fastlane. Also, considering the fact the Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose are scheduled to be on the Highlight Reel on Smackdown, Roman and Dean might be the top two. Despite distractions from the League of Nations, Roman Reigns hits the spear for the win. Winners: Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns
After the match, Dean Ambrose starts taking apart the announce tables, and for some reason the French commentators are ringside. Roman stands on top of the French announce table, and Dean helps him powerbomb Rusev through the regular announce table.
Stephanie McMahon enters, and is about to make the decision for the Fastlane main event. The main event will be a triple threat match: Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar. This will definitely be a good main event, and what an announcement to close Monday Night Raw.
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