Raw is War
San Antonio, Texas
January 15, 2018
“Then. Now. Forever.” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video kicks off the show that highlights the wild attack by Braun Strowman on Brock Lesnar and Kane. Strowman attacked them from behind while they were brawling backstage and put them through tables. Strowman then pulled down a huge metal structure on top of them. Lesnar was sent to the hospital in an ambulance while Kane staggered off under his own power.
Braun Strowman’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring to a really good reaction. Strowman says he wants to tell everyone a short story with a happy ending. A beast and a machine met a monster at the Royal Rumble and the last one standing was the Monster Among Man, who became the Universal Champion.
Kurt Angle’s music hits, and the WWE Hall of Famer and RAW General Manager makes his way to the ring to a big reception. Angle has a large security force in tow. Strowman is angry Angle interrupted his story. Angle says he has a story as well, but it doesn’t have a happy ending. Strowman could have maimed Lesnar and Kane for a long time, as well as destroyed thousands of dollars of equpiment. Strowman says it could have been worse. Angle says he has created an unsafe working environment and talks about his responsibilities. Strowman says Angle should do his job. Angle says Strowman didn’t do his job because they settle things in the ring on RAW, not backstage. Strowman says he does what he wants when he wants. If he wants to walk into Suplex City and rip the walls off, he’ll do it. If he wants to kick the doors of Hell in, he will. If he wants to be the Universal Champion at Royal Rumble, he will.
Angle says he’s lucky Lesnar and Kane can still compete, but it won’t be a triple threat anymore. Strowman won’t compete at all. Angle then fires Braun Strowman! Angle then walks away while the crowd loudly boos. Strowman looks furious. Strowman leaves the ring and walks past the security.
The commentators talk about what just happened with Braun Strowman’s firing. They then run down the matches for tonight. We’ll see Asuka take on Nia Jax. We’ll also see Roman Reigns take on The Miztourage in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match.
We go backstage to see Braun Strowman angrily walking with security behind him. One of the guards touches his arm, and he angrily turns around. Strowman dares him to make him leave.
We come back from the break to see Strowman still walking. One of the security guards grabs him and tells him to leave. Strowman grabs him and throws him into a metal garage door. Strowman then wipes out the whole force, throwing them over barricades and putting one through a table. Strowman says he’s not finished yet and won’t leave until everyone gets his hands.
Apollo Crews will start the match against Sheamus. They circle the ring and lock up. Sheamus quickly powers him to the corner and tags in Cesaro. They then double stomp Crews down. Sheamus tags back in, and they try for a double hip toss on Crews, but he flips through. Crews dropkicks Cesaro before he slingshots over Sheamus and dropkicks him down. O’Neil tags in and shoulder blocks Sheamus down. O’Neil chops the chest, but Sheamus knees him in the face before tagging Cesaro back in. Cesaro uppercuts and chops him. A “You look stupid” chant picks up. O’Neil throws him to the corner and chops the chest hard a few times. Cesaro quickly turns him and chops him hard. O’Neil grabs him by the throat and powers him to the corner. O’Neil then chops him before hitting a scoop slam. O’Neil taunts Sheamus before tagging Crews back in. Crews slams Cesaro before dropping an elbow for a one count. Crews goes for a delayed vertical suplex, but Cesaro flips through and blind tags in Sheamus. Sheamus knees Crews in the back and hits a diving clothesline off the top rope.
We come back from the break to see Crews boot Cesaro back and elbow Sheamus away. Cesaro stops a tag and slams Crews into the corner. Sheamus tags in and hits Crews with a backbreaker before Cesaro drops an elbow off the top rope. Sheamus picks up a near fall. Sheamus applies a chin lock. Crews fights up and hits a step-up enzuigiri. O’Neil and Cesaro are tagged in. O’Neil hits a pair of shoulder blocks and a clothesline. O’Neil clubs away at the chest in the corner before throwing him across the ring. O’Neil gets pumped up and hits an avalanche followed by a front slam for a near fall. Cesaro quickly kicks him in the face and tags in Sheamus. They both kick O’Neil. Cesaro tries to attack Crews, but he gives him a back body drop over the top rope. Sheamus goes for a Brogue Kick on Crews, but puts the brakes on when he backflips off the apron. This was the finish from last week. Sheamus then attacks O’Neil from behind, and Cesaro uppercuts him. Sheamus rolls O’Neil up for a near fall. Cesaro tags in and goes for a Gotch Neutralizer, but O’Neil gives him a back body drop. Cesaro lands on his feet, but he tweaks his knee. Crews tags in and hits a cross-body block. Cesaro kicks out, so Crews hits a standing moonsault. Sheamus breaks it up and knocks O’Neil out of the ring. Jason Jordan’s music hits, and he walks out to distract them. Crews then rolls up Sheamus for the win. Titus Worldwide has upset The Bar for the second week in a row.
Seth Rollins comes out and yells at Jordan for what he just did. Jordan is trying to defend himself. Sheamus and Cesaro are infuriated.
We go backstage to see Braun Strowman walking furiously backstage looking for Kurt Angle’s office. Strowman kicks the door down to the office, but Angle isn’t there. Strowman absolutely annihilates the office before leaving.
Some low card wrestlers are eating at the buffet when a stagehand runs in yelling that Braun Strowman is coming. Strowman charges in mumbling about being fired and turns over the table. Strowman then grabs Curt Hawkins and chokeslams him through a table! Strowman turns, and there is a random guy holding a chocolate cake. Strowman stares at him before eating a piece and leaving. The guy never moved a muscle.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore comes out with Tony Nese. Enzo is hobbling around with his ankle is taped up. Enzo goes through his usual shtick before saying he’s doing better than Curt Hawkins. Braun Strowman may be a Monster Among Men, but so is he. Enzo says he may be banged up, but he’ll be at the Royal Rumble even if he has to find parts like Frankenstein. If he’s Frankenstein, then Cedric Alexander is Dracula because he sucks. Before Alexander can face him, he’ll have to go through Tony Nese.
Cedric Alexander comes out to no reaction before Goldust joins him. Goldust is angry Enzo compared himself to Boris Karloff. Goldust says Alexander will be beaten at the Royal Rumble. Alexander then says there will be one word to describe Enzo: S-A-W-F-T.
We come back from the break to see Braun Strowman causing mayhem backstage. Strowman then runs a dumpster through some tables before walking off!
We join this match in progress. Nese wipes him out with a back elbow for a one count. Nese kicks him in the back before stomping him. Nese punches him back, but Alexander responds with a club. Alexander backflips over him and hits a handspring head-scissor before dropkicking him. Alexander hits a running shoulder before going to the top rope, but Nese sweeps the feet. Nese kicks him in the ribs and hits a gutbuster for a near fall. Nese punches away at him before showcasing his abs. Nese chops and clubs him before putting him in the tree of woe. Nese knees away at him before doing crunches while kicking him. Nese applies a neck vice before dropping a leg for a near fall. Nese then goes back to the neck vice. Enzo shouts trash before Goldust scares him away. Alexander fights up and punches out. Nese whips him to the corner and charges, but Alexander moves. Alexander uppercuts him and sends him into the corner. Alexander knees him in the face before hitting a springboard slam. Alexander hits a springboard clothesline for a near fall. Goldust tries to get the crowd going. Alexander goes for a Lumbar Check, but Nese applies a side headlock. Nese elbows him in the face tries for a roll-up, but Alexander kicks out. Nese knees him in the face, but Alexander elbows him. Nese goes for a pumphandle, but Alexander counters into a Lumbar Check for the win.
Kurt Angle is backstage in his office surveying the damage. Angle says he’s never been in a situation like this before. Angle says he’ll have to call the cops and have them bring in the SWAT. A referee breathlessly runs in and says Strowman is heading for the television trucks. In some truly bad acting, Angle says, “Oh god — they’re worth $12 million!” They run off.
We come back from the break to see Braun Strowman talking about taking the whole show off the air by destroying the truck. Strowman comes in and asks if he smashes a certain button, will it turn the monitors off. Strowman asks how to shut this show down. Strowman causes havoc and screams at them to get out. They run away in a swarm. Strowman then leaves. The production crew checks if he’s done and then run back to their positions. There is then a collision that knocks them over. Strowman takes the front of the 18 wheeler and gets out to tip it over. Kurt Angle runs up and asks what he’s doing. Strowman tells him to go away. Strowman then lifts up the tractor and tips it over before screaming in Angle’s face! Strowman then charges off.
Security is chasing Strowman backstage, but he warns them to get away from him. Strowman then comes out into the arena and charges up to the stage. Strowman looks around while the crowd buzzes. Strowman then looks at the commentators and charges. They run off, but Strowman catches Michael Cole and drags him around by the seat of his pants! Strowman lifts him, and Angle runs out with security. Angle says he called off the cops. Stephanie McMahon called and rehired him, putting him back in the match at the Royal Rumble as well. Strowman raises his arms in triumph. Strowman then grabs Michael Cole and throws him off the stage into the security guards! Angle looks worn out.
We come back from the break to see Corey Graves and Booker T talking quietly about how Braun Strowman just committed a criminal act. Tom Phillips joins them to replace Michael Cole. They show replays of what just happened to Michael Cole.
Roman Reigns will take on The Miztourage in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match later tonight.
Replays are shown of Nia Jax attacking Asuka while she was making her entrance last week on Monday Night RAW.
The bell rings, and Asuka sidesteps Jax before kicking away at her. Jax then tosses her to the side. Asuka hooks the arm, but Jax swipes her away. Asuka is shoved into the ropes, but she comes right back with an octopus stretch. Jax fights out, but Asuka kicks her. Asuka hits the ropes, but Jax counters her with a backbreaker. Jax then throws her across the ring. Asuka kicks her back and punches away at her. Jax sends her into the ropes and clotheslines her. Jax stands over her, but Asuka surprises her with a triangle choke. Jax powers her up and slams her in the corner.
We come back from the break to see Jax applying a bear hug to Asuka. Asuka fights out and goes for a sunset flip. Jax goes for a sit-out senton, but Asuka moves and kicks her in the face. Asuka hits some backhand strikes and a kick. Jax goes for a Samoan Drop, but Asuka counters into a roll-up for a two count. Asuka kicks away at her, but Jax blocks one and viciously powerbombs her. Jax falls to her knees before falling into a cover for a two count. Jax is completely frustrated. Jax picks her up by the hair, but Asuka counters into a kneebar. Jax screams in pain and eventually grabs the bottom rope to break it up. Jax gets to her feet and throws Asuka out of the ring. Jax goes outside without limping and throws her into the ring apron. Jax climbs the stairs, but Asuka kicks them. Jax falls through and clips her knee on the steps. Jax barely beats the count and can’t put any weight on her knee. Nia Jax is crying. The referee calls the match due to injury.
A trainer runs down to check on Nia Jax. Alexa Bliss then runs down to check on her friend. Referees help her to the back.
Kurt Angle is looking at the damage in his office. Jason Jordan comes up to him and thanks Angle for believing in him. Angle says he’s welcome. Jordan is lingering. Jordan says he’s had his eye on Braun Strowman the whole night. Angle probably didn’t notice, but he’s been behind him the whole time. Angle says he didn’t notice. Jordan says he wants to help his partner. Seth Rollins needs singles competition to keep him sharp after a loss. Jordan has the perfect opponent: Finn Balor. Angle agrees to the match.
The commentators give an update on Michael Cole. Cole is very shaken up. Corey Graves says Stephanie McMahon made a huge mistake in rehiring Braun Strowman.
Video Package: The life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Alexa Bliss is backstage with Nia Jax, who is icing her knee. Bliss says she thought Jax would destroy Asuka. Enzo Amore walks up and checks on Jax. Bliss walks off. Enzo says he’s sorry she got hurt.
Scott Dawson viciously attacks the first local talent and suplexes him before taking his head off with a clothesline. Dash Wilder tags in and hits a flying knee to the head of the local. The second yokel is tagged in, and Wilder clubs away at him before hitting a backbreaker. Dawson tags back in, and they hit a double-team gordbuster. Dawson then slaps the first local in the face. They send the second into the first and hit Shatter Machine for the win.
Charly Caruso comes into the ring, but Dawson asks if she really wants to give The Revival a live microphone. What everyone just witnessed was tag team excellence, which has been missing for quite some time. Too many people are busy running to the back to play video games or check Instagram for likes. All they care about is punishing their opponents and doing holds. She asks what old school superstars they’re looking forward to seeing. New Age Outlaws? Shawn Michaels? Stone Cold Steve Austin? Wilder says they’re the reason this business is a mockery. Dawson says they’re not a WWE creation – they’re as real as it gets. They will not change who they are. Next week on RAW 25, they’ll prove that this is their universe. There’s only one team that will set the tone for RAW for the next 25 years, and they’re in the ring right now.
Elias will be live, next.
Elias is in the ring playing some riffs before asking who wants to walk with Elias. Elias says he hopes Michael Cole is ok. He’s here to two reasons: to teach them a lesson and make their lives better. That lesson is WWE stands for Walk With Elias. Elias talks about being in the Royal Rumble before singing about how he’ll eliminate John Cena for what he did on Christmas Day. The crowd loudly boos when he says the Spurs are destined to fail.
Elias then sings an introduction for The Miz. The Miztourage takes on Roman Reigns in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match, next.
The Miz talks about how awesome it was to hear the reaction to his return last week. The spark that was missing from this show was not John Cena or Brock Lesnar: it was him. Last week, Kurt Angle granted him his Intercontinental Championship rematch. That felt awesome. Laying out Roman Reigns also felt awesome. Now USA Network is producing a show called “Miz and Misses.” At RAW 25, he’ll deliver an unforgettable moment that people will talk about for the next 25 years. That title is his. Miz will reclaim his title in the Barclays Center. That’s gonna feel awesome.
Roman Reigns is distracted immediately by The Miz, but he’s able to thwart the attack of The Miztourage by laying them out. Reigns focuses on Miz at ringside before turning to punch Bo Dallas. Reigns then turns, and Miz falls in fear. Curtis Axel then clotheslines him from behind. The Miztourage sends Reigns into the steel steps before putting him in the ring for a two count. Dallas is tagged in, and he stomps away at Reigns. They trade tags, coming in and out to stomp Reigns. Dallas takes him down for a two count. Dallas then applies a chin lock. Reigns fights up, but Dallas knees him. Reigns counters some suplex attempts before Axel interferes. Dallas then DDTs Reigns for a two count. Reigns fights up from a rest hold and punches away at Dallas. Axel blind tags in and hits Reigns from behind. Axel taunts the crowd before having a whip reversed. Reigns connects with a Samoan Drop. Reigns drives Axel into the corner, but Axel quickly boots him back. Reigns quickly knocks Dallas off the apron and stares at Axel. Reigns hits a pair of clotheslines before having a whip reversed and coming back with a leaping clothesline. Reigns clubs away at him in the corner before elbowing and kicking Dallas. Reigns puts Axel in a front facelock from Dallas. Reigns then big boots Dallas, who in turn inadvertently DDTs Axel. The Miz tries to distract Reigns, but he’s scared away. Reigns knocks Dallas out of the ring and hits Axel with a Superman Punch. Reigns then leaves the ring to hit Dallas with a Superman Punch. Reigns grabs Miz, but he escapes. Axel rolls him up for a near fall. Reigns then hits a Spear for the win.
Seth Rollins will take on Finn Balor in tonight’s main event.
The commentators announce Paige will not be in the Women’s Royal Rumble due to a neck injury.
The bell rings, and Deville quickly takes her down with a waistlock. Banks tries for a surprise Bank Statement, but Deville gets out. Deville shoulders her in the corner, but Banks elbows her back. Deville sends her to the corner and counters a slingshot with some vicious knee strikes for a two count. Deville applies a chin lock, but Banks fights up and slams her in the corner. Banks forearms her and hits a head-scissor takeover. Banks hits a dropkick and connects with double knees in the corner twice. Banks goes to the second rope and jumps into a kick from Deville for the win!
Video Package: WWE Superstars go to the Civil Rights Museum
Seth Rollins is warming up when Jason Jordan comes in. Rollins says Jordan shouldn’t have done what he did to The Bar tonight or speak on his behalf. They’re teammates. Jordan is not his spokesman. Rollins doesn’t have a problem with what he did. He has a problem with how he did it.
“WOKEN” Matt Hardy Makes his entrance. He’ll be in action, next.
We join this match in progress to see Hardy applying a side headlock to Slater. Slater whips him off, but Hardy splashes him and wildly punches away at him. Hardy pulls him into the ring and punches away at him. Hardy attacks him in the corner before laughing in his face. Slater recoils in horror. Slater gets back in the ring after a pep talk from Rhyno. Slater kicks and punches Hardy down. Slater applies an arm bar, but Hardy gets out by biting him. Hardy hits a German Suplex into the turnbuckles before clubbing away at him. Hardy hits a corner clothesline before connecting with a Side Effect for a near fall. Hardy bounces him off the turnbuckles before hitting a neckbreaker. Hardy starts a “DELETE” chant before hitting a Twist of Fate for the win.
Video Package: Goldberg is the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame: Class of 2018
Seth Rollins takes on Finn Balor, next.
The saga of Braun Strowman’s firing and rehiring from earlier tonight is recapped.
Gallows and Anderson make their entrance. Finn Balor makes his entrance next. Balor says in a pre-taped promo that SummerSlam 2016 was the greatest and worst moment of his career. With the Good Brothers by his side, this match will be too sweet.
The bell rings, and they lock up before Rollins quickly goes to a side headlock. Balor tries to whip him off, but Rollins hangs on. Balor whips him off, drops down, and hits a pair of arm drags before hooking an arm bar. Rollins fights up and backs him into the corner. Rollins whips him off and hits a running back elbow. Rollins kicks him in the spine and chops the chest. Rollins punches him down in the corner and stomps. Rollins hits a snapmare and applies a chin lock. Balor fights up and sends him into the ropes, but Rollins goes for a sunset flip. Balor quickly gets out of it and clotheslines him over the top rope before hitting a running kick to the face. We’re going to commercial at 10:56 EST.
We come back from the break to see Rollins punch and chop Balor back. Rollins boots him in the face and hits a blockbuster. Rollins then grabs his knee in pain. Rollins hits him with a running knee that sends him out of the ring. Rollins hobbles into the ropes and connects with a suicide dive. Rollins gets him in the ring and hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Rollins then applies a neck vice. Balor tries to fight up, but Rollins takes him down and drops a knee. Rollins elbows him in the neck and tries for a suplex, but Balor landso n his feet. Rollins elbows him back, but Balor boots him. Balor hits a pair of clotheslines followed by a takedown and a double stomp. Rollins boots him back in the corner, but Balor comes back with a falling elbow for a near fall. Rollins counters a Sling Blade and comes back with one of his own for a near fall. Rollins hits a pair of running forearms in the corner before Balor pops out for a Sling Blade. Balor charges into a superkick, which gives Rollins a near fall.
Both men are down. Balor gets to his feet and elbows and chops Rollins. Rollins tries for the Ripcord, but Balor gets out. Rollins then hits an enzuigiri. Rollins tries for a Phoenix Splash, but Balor moves. Rollins lands on his feet, but his knee is really hurt. Balor hits a running dropkick to the corner and slowly goes to the top rope. Rollins pops up and hits a superplex followed by a falcon arrow for a near fall. Rollins goes to the top rope for a frog splash, but Balor gets the knees up and covers for what looks like a three count, but the referee says he kicked out.
The Bar come down to the ring and inadvertently hit Gallows and Anderson. They brawl at ringside before Balor wipes them out with a summersault senton. Balor kicks Rollins back and goes for a Coup de Grace, but Rollins moves. Cesaro gets on the apron, but Balor punches him off. Balor hits the ropes, but Jordan trips him. Rollins then HITS THE CURB STOMP for the win!
Replays are shown from the match, including the botched pinfall. Finn Balor sits in the ring with Anderson and Gallows by his side. The music stops, and nothing is going on. They zoom in on the big welt that is forming above Balor’s eye from the Curb Stomp. They stand around for a few moments before the show goes off the air.