This is the final stop for RAW before the annual Royal Rumble pay per view next week. Advertised for tonight are both Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg. It has also been advertised that we would be knowing of the other superstars qualifying for the Royal Rumble match, along with finding out whether Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn and Roman Reigns would be able to gain revenge on Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. We are live from the Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
We open the show with the number one contender for the WWE Universal Championship, Roman Reigns making his way to the ring.
He cuts a promo with a shark cage in the ring and is quickly interrupted by both Chris Jericho, his ‘list’ and Kevin Owens. Jericho addresses Reigns as a stupid idiot. Reigns demands for a rematch for the United States Championship tonight and Owens accepts the challenge on behalf of Jericho. Reigns says that he will win the United States title tonight and go on to win the Universal championship at the Royal Rumble.
Luke Gallows vs Cesaro: There is plenty of back and forth action in the initial moments of the match. Gallows drops Cesaro with a big boot; Cesaro comes back with a reversal of the vertical suplex and connects with a series of upper cuts. HE follows it up with the tornado DDT to get a two count.
Cesaro locks Gallows in the sharp shooter, but Anderson from ringside provides the distraction on the referee. Gallows comes in behind on Cesaro with a big boot and connects with a face buster for the win. Gallows is hurt under his eye. Hope it’s not anything serious!
Mick Foley is backstage with Stephanie McMahon on speaker phone. Sami Zayn walks in and asks about his spot in the Royal Rumble match. Stephanie says that Zayn will have to beat Rollins tonight to earn his spot at the Rumble. If Rollins loses, he loses his spot in the Rumble match.
Mick Foley approaches Seth Rollins and informs him of the booking made by Stephanie and the stipulation.
Sami Zayn vs Seth Rollins: Seth Rollins is in control of the match initially and gains momentum with a suicide dive to the outside. Once back in the ring, Zayn retaliates with a blue thunder bomb for a two count. He follows it up with the Michinoku driver for another two count. Rollins is able to duck from a splash from the top rope and comes back with a blockbuster off the middle rope; only to get a two count. Rollins connects with a Falcon Arrow and only gets a two count. He connects with knees to the face and goes for a pedigree, but Zayn gets out and turns it into a tornado DDT. Both the superstars go to the top rope and Zayn connects with the sunset flip power bomb for a two count. Rollins goes to the apron and Zayn follows him to the top. Rollins connects with the pedigree on the corner of the apron and rolls Zayn back into the ring.
Even before Rollins can go for the pin, Triple H’s music plays! As Rollins waits for Triple H to come down to the ring, Zayn takes advantage of the distraction and rolls up Rollins from behind for the win! Seth Rollins is out of the Royal Rumble match and Sami Zayn is in the Royal Rumble match!
Seth Rollins is furious backstage and yells at Mick Foley for Triple H’s music playing, but Mick feigns ignorance and Seth says he knows Stephanie was behind it and walks away angrily.
Jack Gallagher, TJ Perkins and Mustafa Ali vs Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese and Dre Gulak: Gulak goes to work almost immediately on Perkins and tags in Nese, who connects with kicks and locks in the leg scissors. Ali tags in and connects with a series of running hurricannas, following it up with a flurry of kicks. He connects with a running neck breaker and goes for the pin, but there is a brawl that breaks out between the six men. Once the dust has settled, Ali connects with a reverse 450 splash for the win for his team.
Titus O’Neil, Braun Strowman, Jinder Mahal and Rusev vs Kofi Kingston, Big E, Enzo and Cass: There is some competitive action in the initial moments of the match. Cass is able to drop Jinder with a big boot and connects with the Bada Boom with Enzo and goes for the pin. Titus breaks up the pin but Big E comes in and drops Titus with a belly to belly suplex. Rusev drops Big E, but Cass sends Rusev to the outside. Kofi connects with a suicide dive on the heel team at ring side while Enzo who is in the ring with Mahal, connects with a big boot. Strowman tags himself in and launches a couple of strikes and connects with a running power slam for the win.
Big Show comes out to the ring and gets into the ring and stares down Braun Strowman. Strowman backs down and heads to the back. Speaking of the Big Show, it was announced at the beginning of the show that he would be officially entering the Royal Rumble match this year.
United States Championship match: Roman Reigns vs Chris Jericho: Reigns starts off with a huge punch, sending Jericho to the outside and the ring side barrier. He sends Jericho face first into the apron and hits an irish whip into the ringside barrier. Reigns connects with a drive by. Jericho locks Reigns in the ropes and connects with a splash to the back as Owens makes his way out to join the commentary booth.
Jericho connects with a reverse chin lock. Reigns tries retaliating with punches but Jericho connects with a drop kick to get a near fall. After a series of back and forth slaps and punches, Reigns throws Jericho over the top rope, but Jericho goes to the top. Reigns connects with an upper cut. Reigns connects with clotheslines, but runs into a boot by Jericho in the corner. Jericho goes for a roll up but Reigns gets to the ropes. Reigns connects with the Samoan drop in retaliation to Jericho’s kicks. Reigns only gets a near fall. Jericho sets up for the code breaker, but Reigns blocks.
Reigns sets up Jericho for a power bomb and hits it successfully after some resistance from Jericho. Reigns goes for the cover, but Jericho kicks out. Owens gets up from the announce table, while Reigns is setting up for a spear. Jericho counters the spear with a leap frog. Reigns connects with the super man punch however, and Owens enters the ring and attacks Reigns. The referee calls for the bell, and the winner by disqualification, Roman Reigns.
Owens continues the attack after the match along with Jericho and they call for the shark cage to be lowered. Reigns is set inside the cage and just as Owens goes to lock the cage, Reigns sends Owens into the cage. He throws Jericho into the cage as well. Reigns locks Owens in the cage and the cage is lifted above the ring. Jericho tries in vain to climb the cage, but Reigns connects with a superman punch on Jericho and follows it up with a devastating spear.
Owens and Jericho are being interviewed as we return from commercials. Owens is informed that as per Mick Foley’s orders, his match against Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble will be a no disqualification match. They yell at it not being fair and head to the back.
We have a sit down interview of Corey Graves with Charlotte. She says she is privileged to be a part of the Royal Rumble and that the Rumble is a tradition for the Flairs due to Ric Flair winning the Royal Rumble in 1992. She claims that she was not trying to humiliate Bayley last week, she was only trying to show the WWE Universe who they were getting behind. She calls Bayley as the heart and soul of NXT, and that no one was more proud of Bayley when she made her debut at NXT than herself.
When Bayley set her sights on Charlotte’s championship, everything changed. She finishes off by saying that this Sunday she will hand over her title to the referee with the confidence that she will get back her title at the end of the match.
Nia Jax vs Rae Lynn: Nia powers Lynn in the corner and connects with a vicious head butt. She blasts Lynn and picks up the win in no time.
Nia takes the mic post-match and says she dedicates her victory to the deceased career of Sasha Banks. Just about a month ago, Sasha Banks was the Women’s champion, but now she is nowhere to be seen and that ESPN should go for a 30 for 30 documentary on her. Sasha comes out with a crutch and a knee brace. She hits Nia’s foot with the crutch. Nia charges towards Sasha but Sasha drops down, sending Nia to the outside through the middle rope. Sasha connects with the double knees on Nia.
Noam Dar vs Rich Swann: Swann connects with an arm breaker and a hip toss and flips over Dar and connects with a drop kick. Swann sets up for a dive on to the floor, but Dar puts Fox in front of him. Swann comes back with a back heel kick from the apron onto Dar. Dar is in control of the match now, but Swann is able to get back to his feet, delivering a spinning kick to Dar, laying him out cold for the three count and the win.
Post-match, Swann calls out Neville, and says Neville claims to be a king, but Swann thinks he is just a jester and that they don’t have to wait till Sunday. Neville is out, thinks twice but Swann connects with a suicide dive and Neville tries escaping from Swann.
Backstage, Cedric Alexander talks about his match tonight against Neville tomorrow on 205. He claims to have put the whole Naom Dar and Alicia Fox episode behind him so that he can focus on what he came here to do and that is to become the Cruiserweight champion. Naom Dar and Alicia Fox walk in and Alicia says Alexander will never be champion without her. Naom asks if he and Alexander are good and Alexander says as far as Alicia goes, they are good and shoves Dar to the floor. Alicia yells asking what Alexander’s problem is as we head to the commercial.
Corey Graves has a sit down interview with Bayley and asks her what is the one word she has to describe her feelings heading into her match against Charlotte and she says WOW! As she has come a long way from small arenas to the big leagues. She is asked why Charlotte keeps talking about her personal issues and Bayley says that is a question he needs to ask Charlotte.
When asked what makes her the motivational person, she says she is just being me and that she loves hugging people and that the people would give her the hope that she can achieve anything as she has been on the other side of the barricade. When asked whether she can beat Charlotte, she says many think she will not, and she may not have the lineage or the blood advantage as Charlotte, but she has two victories over Charlotte and that she is confident.
Goldberg is out and says that the WWE Universal Championship runs through the Royal Rumble and that 29 other men are going for the same thing. He has an opportunity either at Kevin Owens or Roman Reigns and he will stop at nothing to gain the WWE Universal Championship. And if that means he has to spear and jack hammer 29 other guys, that’s what he is going to do this Sunday.
Even before he can complete his sentence, he is interrupted by Paul Heyman who says he was compelled to address Goldberg’s observation and calls him a marketing genius, just like himself. Heyman talks about various scenarios at the Rumble, and Lesnar comes out. Heyman tells Goldberg to behold the instrument of demise, because this Sunday, Goldberg will be victimized and conquered and only then thrown over the ropes and eliminated, not by anybody on the roster, but Brock Lesnar. Goldberg asks if Lesnar’s going to come down to the ring or is going to stand there like a dumbass. Lesnar marches down and paces around the ring. He jumps up onto the apron and steps through the ropes. They step forward to go face to face, but the lights go out and the bells toll. The lights come back on and The Undertaker is standing in the ring and the arena lights transition to the blue color as we go off-air.
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