The Royal Rumble is this Sunday, so what is going to go down tonight on Raw before the big show? Read on to find out!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for January 18th, 2016
Introduction Segment: Video Promo and Welcoming
A montage of the late-great Martin Luther King, Jr. and his famous “I Have A Dream” speech is shown, to commemorate his day. The fans in the arena are shown clapping, then the regular Raw video plays, and the pyro explodes in the arena to kick off Raw! Michael Cole welcomes us from Columbus, Ohio. He announces that Chris Jericho will Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman on his Highlight Reel segment later!
Segment #2: Arena Promo
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns’ music plays and he walks through the fans. Roman declares he will win the Royal Rumble, holding on to his title, then he demands to see one person right now in the ring: Brock Lesnar! Instead, he is greeted by Chris Jericho, who is excited to see Roman. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion does not feel the same, but Jericho ups the anti; he invites Reigns to join him and Lesnar on the Highlight Reel, as well as another top contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Roman is happy and vows he will be there.
The League of Nations’ music starts up, and the four stand on the stage. Sheamus proclaims that he will get the WWE Title back, then makes fun of Jericho and wants to be on the Highlight Reel too. Chris returns the verbal joust, and declines Sheamus’ request, and does the same when Del Rio and Rusev ask. Roman challenges Rusev to a bout, since they were both the last two in last year’s Royal Rumble.
Match #1: Single – WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns VS. Rusev (with League of Nations members Sheamus, United States Champion Alberto Del Rio, and King Barrett)
They lockup and struggle, then Rusev goes to the outside for a break with his cohorts. Roman hits with a few punches and a headbutt, but Rusev counters and tosses Reigns to the floor. He follows and gains control after the rest of The League gets the WWE Champion’s attention. He wears Roman down with a rear chinlock back in the ring, then hits him hard with a spin-kick a bit later.
Reigns is beginning to battle, but Rusev overpowers him with a headlock. Roman reverses into a big backdrop, then hits a jumping clothesline after being whipped into the ropes. He boots Reigns from the corner and clotheslines him multiple times in the corner. He picks Rusev up for a Samoan Drop, but Rusev wiggles out and puts Reigns to the canvas. He covers, but Jericho counts a little slow, and Roman kicks out.
Rusev argues with Chris over his tactics, then goes back to work on Reigns. He picks Roman up on his shoulders in a Samoan Drop position, then ascends the turnbuckle to the middle rope. Reigns hammers out of it and delivers a sit-down powerbomb for a near-fall! Roman gears up for the Superman Punch, but Del Rio distracts Jericho, and Sheamus chucks Reigns into the corner of the barricade. Chris notices Reigns and Sheamus, then decides to order Sheamus, Barrett, and Del Rio to the back. By now, Roman is back up and Superman-Punches Rusev, then hits the Spear and covers for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
A smiling Jericho is walking through the halls, but meets Principal Owner Stephanie McMahon, who is not pleased. She berates him for booking the first match, as he does not have the qualifications to do that. However, Stephanie does compliment him on having Lesnar.
Match #2: Single – Brie Bella (with Alicia Fox) VS. Natalya
During her entrance, Natalya stands on the stage and brings out Paige, who has also been away for awhile. Natalya waistlock-sit-down-slams Brie, but Bella comes back and hits the running knee against the bottom rope. Natalya kicks out at two, but Brie slams her back to the mat. She kicks away at Nattie’s chest, but Natalya ducks the final one and forces Brie to give to The Sharpshooter!
Winner via Submission: Natalya (with Paige)
Up next, is a Six-Man Tag featuring The Dudleyz and Ryback taking on The Wyatt Family.
Later, we will also find out who drew number one for the Royal Rumble!
Match #3: Six-Man Tag-Team – The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan) (with Wyatt Family member Braun Strowman) VS. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) and Ryback
Bubba and Luke are chopping at each other, then Ray clotheslines Harper down. He gives him a back drop off the ropes, but Luke hits back with a boot-to-the-face. Erick is tagged in, scoop-slamming Bubba. He misses a splash though, and Bubba switches with his “brother.” D-Von is all over Rowan, bringing him down with a neckbreaker. Erick gets an advantage after sending D-Von to The Wyatt’s corner, and then tags in Bray. He hits D-Von and trades with Harper.
Luke controls D-Von as does Rowan. The Family dominates for awhile until Ryback comes in and hits Harper. Bubba is in, and this starts to break down, with Ryback facing off against Strowman on the outside; Bray hits Ryback down. The Dudleyz signal for the 3-D, but Rowan moves D-Von from the ring, and Harper hits a superkick and spinning-clothesline on Bubba for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: The Wyatt Family
Match #4: Single – The Big Show VS. Heath Slater (with Social Outcast partners Adam Rose, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel)
Slater uses the ropes to break and stall first, but is chucked into the corner. He slides to the outside and makes fun of Show with his friends, until Big picks him and soon knocks him out with the K-O Punch for the finish!
Winner via Pinfall: The Big Show
Post-match, the other three try to attack Show, but he knocks them all out too.
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
The League is complaining about Jericho, when Stephanie walks up and puts them over for their accomplishments and possibly winning the Royal Rumble. Sheamus says “we are not scared of anybody.” McMahon tells them to prove it and walks away.
Segment #5: Arena Promo
Chairman Vince McMahon and Stephanie strut to the stage to reveal the #1 spot for the Royal Rumble. The “lucky” winner is …
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns!
Vince admits is seems suspicious, so they go again. The second turn also says Roman Reigns, as does the third. McMahons determine that Roman will be #1 and will not be able to retain his WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Divas Champion Charlotte, and her father Ric Flair, enter the arena. They strut to the commentator’s area to watch Becky Lynch’s bout.
Match #5: Single – Tamina (with Team B.A.D. member Naomi) VS. Becky Lynch
An elbow-collar tie-up begins, then they face-off. They engage in another, and Tamina shoves Becky, but Lynch hits back with a dropkick. Tamina picks up Becky and carries her to the corner, then stomps away. She controls for a bit until Becky catches her with an inside cradle. Lynch is fired back up with numerous forearms and a dropkick. She hits a splash, kick, and forearm in the corner, then a couple leg drops on the mat. She hops onto Tamina’s shoulders and rolls through into the Disarmer, making Tamina slap the canvas!
Winner via Submission: Becky Lynch
Post-match, Lynch wants a response from Charlotte about a potential Divas Championship bout at Royal Rumble. Charlotte insinuates that Becky doesn’t deserve one, but Lynch fires back, inciting Flair to his feet and answering for his daughter. He books the match, to Charlotte’s surprise and dismay.
Up next, IC Champ Dean Ambrose tags with Kalisto to take on U.S. Champ Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus.
Match #6: Tag-Team – Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose and Kalisto VS. The League of Nations (United States Champion Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus) (with League of Nations partner King Barrett)
(Note: Kevin Owens is fabulously on commentary!) Sheamus and Dean begin, punching away on each other and Ambrose hitting him to the mat. He switches with Kalisto, who pulls the top rope down, tumbling Sheamus to the floor. Ambrose follows up by throwing Kalisto over the ropes with a back drop, so he lands on both Del Rio and Sheamus!
The League are now governing, until Kalisto makes the hot-tag to Ambrose. “The Lunatic Fringe” is all over Sheamus and Del Rio, but Alberto hurls Dean into the corner of the barricade. Sheamus and Alberto control, then Del Rio hits a backstabber. He places Ambrose upside down in the corner, but Dean pulls Alberto off, then dives on to him from the top turnbuckle! He clotheslines Sheamus, then slaps hands with Kalisto!
The Lucha Dragon hurls around Sheamus and gives him quick kicks. He rolls out of an Irish Curse attempt, then plants hi with the Salida-Del-Sol for a near-fall, as Alberto broke it up. Ambrose and Alberto fight on the outside, with Owens distracting. Alberto hits an enziguri, and in the ring, Sheamus shoves Kalisto off of another Salida-Del-Sol; he counters a run with a Brogue Kick to take this!
Winners via Pinfall: The League of Nations
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
Tag-Team Champions The New Day are sorry for Francesca, the trombone that Xavier Woods carried until Chris Jericho broke it last week on Raw. They put over Francesca as the “4th member” of New Day, and then give Big E. the match with Jey Uso.
Segment #7: Video Promo
Clips of Royal Rumbles are shown, along with build-up of Roman Reigns’ odds of winning, especially since he has to enter #1.
The Usos make their entrance for Jey to meet Big E., next!
Match #7: Single – Jey Uso (with Jimmy Uso) VS. Tag-Team Champion/New Day member Big E. (with Tag-Team Champions/New Day members Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
Jey hurts his knee landing a splash from inside the ring to the outside; Jimmy dives off the steps onto Kofi, but Xavier hits Jey as he was on the top turnbuckle, allowing E. to plant Uso with the Big Ending!
Winner via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champion/New Day member Big E.
Segment #8: Locker Room Promo
Titus O’Neil, R-Truth, and Mark Henry are chatting about their upcoming match when Neville joins them. They accept him and all walk away.
Match #8: Eight-Man Tag-Team – The Ascension (Konor and Viktor)), Tyler Breeze, and Stardust VS. Titus O’Neil, Ro-Truth, Mark Henry, and Neville
This is a back-and-forth one until Neville meets Breeze. They flip around, and then the bout breaks down. Neville rockets off the top with the twisting-tornado Red Arrow splash for the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: Titus O’Neil, R-Truth, Mark Henry, and Neville
Segment #9: Arena Promo
Chris Jericho is out and talks about the Royal Rumble; he is soon interrupted by Paul Heyman, who puts over his client Brock Lesnar. Jericho isn’t phased, and affirms that he will win the Rumble and be WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Brock Lesnar marches out, but before he goes too far, he is met by WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns, who Spears him! He goes for another, but The League of Nations run out and attack. Reigns manages to fend them off, but The Wyatt Family appears! They surround both Lesnar and Roman, then assault. They take out both Reigns and Lesnar, then pose over them as Bray yells about the Rumble to close the show.
End of Raw.
Instead of my usual Raw review, I will instead give my condolences to “Iron” Mike Sharpe’s family. May God rest his soul and provide love and support to his family at this time.