Raw is War
April 2, 2018
“Then. Now. Forever.” The WWE video leads us into the show.
We go live into the arena to see Jonathan Coachman in the ring. In the ring with him are two tables and a red carpet. Coachman is at a podium. Coachman says we’re starting off with a face-off between two teams that will face at WrestleMania. Out first is WWE RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon. McMahon comes out to loud boos from the crowd. She’s joined by her husband, the WWE COO Triple H. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon walk to ringside and point at the WrestleMania sign before getting into the ring. Kurt Angle is introduced next, and he leads the crowd in chants of “You suck” to the tune of his song. Angle stays on the stage while “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is introduced. They walk to the ring together.
All four competitors sit in their seats. There is a “Ronda Rousey” chant. Coachman says the WWE Universe has submitted questions via social media, but Triple H cuts him off. Triple H has a question for Kurt Angle. It’s a shame that everyone is chanting “Ronda Rousey” (it takes a few moments, but they start chanting) because they really want to like them, but that deafening roar will become a deafening silence after Sunday because of Kurt Angle. Intensity, integrity, and intelligence. He’s a six-time WWE Champion and an Olympic Gold Medalist, won with a broken freakin’ neck. Since the day he’s met with Angle, he never got the “intelligence” thing. This is Ronda Rousey, biggest signing in WWE history, and he ruins it by setting her up for embarrassment and a loss on the biggest stage possible at WrestleMania. This is a whopper even for Angle. Why? Angle starts to speak, but Rousey cuts him off. She asks them why they signed her with ulterior motives. McMahon apologizes for Rousey and says they’ll rebuild her after they defeat her on Sunday. Rousey says she understands the format and wants an answer. McMahon says they signed her because she’s a huge star. This crowd is testament to that. They want to see her in a WWE ring. In spite of her appalling attitude, they brought her here because she’s best for business. Her husband asked Kurt Angle a question. Angle derailed Rousey’s career and cost her millions of dollars. Angle works for her. She asks the questions. Who the hell does Rousey think she is? Angle says, “She’s Ronda freakin’ Rousey. She’s an Olympic medallist, a UFC Champion, and this Sunday at WrestleMania she’s going to make you tap out!”
Coachman tries to restore order, but Triple H cuts him off again. What makes Angle so confident? All those accolades mean nothing in this ring. Rousey has been dreaming of coming to WWE her whole life. For Stephanie, WWE is her whole life. To him, it’s his whole life. For them, it’s their whole life from beginning to end. Triple H is so confident because in this ring, they know the rules. Rousey doesn’t know what’s going to happen. There’s a massive learning curve here. They make the rules, which is why they know them so well. It’s inevitable. She’s going to lose.
Coachman asks Triple H and Stephanie how important it is for them to win. McMahon says it’s not if, but when. They have to show the locker room that when there is an uprising, their bosses will bite the head off the snake. They’ll take action and shut them down. Everyone in the locker room will learn to respect authority. Coachman’s next question is for Angle and Rousey. How does Angle feel teaming with Rousey on Sunday? Whether it’s a ring, a cage, or an octagon, Ronda “Rowdy” is the baddest woman on the planet. She’ll prove it by making Stephanie tap out. Coachman asks the final question: do they have any final thoughts before WrestleMania? McMahon says Rousey chose this path. It’s all on her. Rousey will lose at WrestleMania. In the record books, her first match in WWE will be a loss to her. The world knows how Rousey handles losses. The crowd lets out a big “OOOHH.” Rousey asks if Stephanie is right or left handed. She’s a righty. Rousey just wants to know so McMahon can still sign her checks after she rips her arm off.
Coachman says that’s a good place to stop. It’s time for the pre-match photo op. This isn’t going to be like boxing or UFC where it gets out of hand. They’ll do it the classy way. Coachman has some photographers come into the ring. Coachman wishes them luck on Sunday. The two teams come face to face while the photographers snap some photos. McMahon goes for a handshake, but Rousey just stares at her. McMahon then starts pointing at her, and Rousey gets in her face. Angle steps in between them, and Triple H hits him in the back of the head with his microphone. Rousey grabs Triple H by the throat, but McMahon grabs her and gives her a back suplex through the table! McMahon talks some trash while pointing at the WrestleMania sign. They then leave the ring.
They play a WrestleMania advertisement for Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon taking on Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
Tonight, we’ll see Brock Lesnar ahead of the WrestleMania match. We’ll also see if Undertaker will respond to John Cena. Coming up next, Bayley is in action.
We come back from the break to see Bayley looking at the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal Trophy.
They circle the ring before Deville kicks her in the leg. Deville kicks her again and talks some trash. Bayley avoids a kick and kicks Deville back. Deville sends her to the corner, but Bayley slingshots over her and applies a headlock. Deville whips her off. They do some slow motion moves before Bayley takes her down with a cross-body. They nearly botch a headlock takeover. Deville gets out and shoulders her in the corner. Bayley drops her face-first on the top turnbuckle and elbows her. They botch a springboard move. Deville eventually takes her over with a big kick.
We come back from the break to see Bayley trapped in a body scissor. Bayley fights out and hits the ropes, but Deville counters with a spinebuster for a two count. Deville knees her in the chest a few times before hitting the ropes and hitting a sliding knee for a near fall. Deville kicks her in the corner, but Bayley gets away. Bayley forearms her back and hits a pair of clotheslines before putting her in the corner and stomping her down. The referee backs her up. Bayley goes to the top rope and connects with a cross-body block. Bayley hits a running knee for a near fall. Absolution pulls Deville out of the ring. Bayley leaves the ring, but Deville knees her. Bayley manages to get her in the ring and snap her off the second rope for a two count. Mandy Rose gets on the apron, and Bayley knocks her off. Deville kicks her and rolls her up for a two count. Bayley then rolls her up for the win.
Mandy Rose quickly attacks her from behind. Deville soon joins in for the double-team. Sasha Banks runs down to help Bayley. She throws Mandy over the top rope. Bayley then throws Deville over the top rope. Banks smiles at Bayley and tells her to raise her hand up. Banks says she just saved her so she should raise her hand. Bayley says she didn’t need her. Banks grabs her by the face, but Bayley attacks. They brawl before Absolution gets in the ring and attacks both. Deville kicks Bayley in the head. Mandy Rose then hits Banks with the Bed of Roses. Absolution then walks off.
Seth Rollins will face Finn Balor later tonight. We’ll look at Asuka’s undefeated streak next.
Video Package: Asuka’s undefeated streak
The commentators then show the news coverage of the birth of Miz and Maryse’s daughter, Monroe Sky Mizanin.
WWE Intercontinental Champion (and new father) The Miz makes his way to the stage and joins the commentary team.
They stare at each other before circling the ring. They lock up, and Balor applies a hammerlock. Rollins hooks a side headlock and wrenches the arm, but Balor twists out. Rollins takes him down, but Balor kips up and takes him down by the arm. Rollins gets out and hits a side headlock takeover, but Balor gets out. They stare at each other and wait for the crowd to cheer, but it’s light at best. Balor goes for the leg before wrenching the arm. The Miz is talking about how having a daughter is the greatest moment of his life. Miz will show Monroe Sky that her daddy is a role model. Balor whips Rollins, but Rollins comes back with a shoulder block. Rollins hits a headlock takeover. Balor fights up and whips him off before hitting a pair of arm drags and applying an arm bar. Rollins fights up, but Balor whips him off. Rollins shoulder blocks him, but Balor comes back with more arm drags. They’re at a stalemate as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Balor roll through a sunset flip and dropkick him. Rollins angrily turns to Balor and shoves him. Balor shoves him back. Rollins looks at the WrestleMania sign, and they start brawling. Rollins knees him in the midsection and throws him out of the ring. Rollins chops him outside the ring and bounces him off the apron. Rollins shoves him into the barricade and puts him in the ring. Balor kicks him and throws him out of the ring. Rollins tries to get back in, but Balor dropkicks him to the floor. Balor then hits a running kick to the face from the apron. Balor gets him in the ring for a one count. Balor hits a snapmare and kicks him in the back for a one count. Balor chops him in the corner twice. Balor whips him to the corner, but Rollins counters with a reverse STO into the corner. Rollins then hits a blockbuster. Rollins knees him in the back and applies a chin lock.
While Rollins has him in the headlock, they show a video package for Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles. Back to live action, Rollins takes Balor down, goes outside the ring, and hits a running boot to the face for a two count. Rollins looks frustrated. They trade chops before Balor counters a suplex. Rollins elbows him back and charges, but Balor boots him and hits a pair of running forearms. Rollins reverses a whip, but Balor comes back with a diving forearm. Balor chops the chest and sends him to the corner. Rollins boots him in the face and goes to the second rope, but Balor rips him off to the mat. Rollins comes back with a roll-up for a two count. Balor quickly hits him with a falling elbow drop for a near fall. Rollins counters a Sling Blade and comes back with a Sling Blade of his own. Balor quickly rolls out of the ring. Rollins gets amped up and hits the ropes for a suicide dive.
Coming back from the break, we see Balor connect with a Sling Blade. Balor charges, but Rollins superkicks him for a near fall. The crowd is chanting, “This is awesome.” Rollins hits a running forearm and goes for a second, but Balor moves and hits a kick to the face. Balor goes to the top rope, but Rollins crotches him. This is a nearly twenty minute match. Rollins goes for a superplex, but Balor forearms him to the mat. Balor goes for a move, but Rollins scales the ropes for a superplex! Rollins rolls through and goes for a falcon’s arrow, but Balor counters with a roll-up for a near fall! Rollins hits a quick Rip Cord Knee for a near fall. Rollins goes to the top rope and looks at the WrestleMania sign before going for a Frog Splash, but Balor gets the knees up and covers for a near fall!
The crowd is really into this match. Balor pulls himself up to his feet, but Rollins rolls out of the ring. Balor goes for a running kick, but Rollins grabs the leg and goes for a powerbomb into the barricade, the same move that ripped up Balor’s shoulder at SummerSlam 2016. Balor gets out and hits a Sling Blade on the floor before dropkicking him into the barricade. Balor gets him in the ring and goes to the top rope for the Coup de Grace, but Rollins moves. Rollins goes for the Curb Stomp, but Balor moves. They trade roll-ups, but Rollins stuns him with a Curb Stomp for the win!
Seth Rollins poses on the turnbuckle while The Miz holds up his Intercontinental Championship to taunt him.
Replays are shown of Stephanie McMahon putting Ronda Rousey through the table to kick off Monday Night RAW.
The commentators talk about the WrestleMania preshow. Both Battle Royals are on the preshow along with the Cruiserweight Championship Match.
John Cena wants an answer from The Undertaker later tonight. Coming up next, we’ll take a look at the WWE Universal Championship Match.
Video Package: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship
Paul Heyman is shown talking on his cell phone to someone about the “Brock-tagon.” Kurt Angle asks to speak with him. Angle says the most important part of WrestleMania is to make sure the main event stays intact. Heyman asks how this night is different from any other night? They’ll do it Angle’s way. They’ll save it for in the ring at WrestleMania. Angle asks him not to say anything that will incite Roman Reigns to injure Brock Lesnar. Heyman laughs and cannot believe he’s worried about Brock Lesnar’s wellbeing. Heyman continues to laugh. Angle says the whole world wants to see this match more than ever. Angle tells him to not add more fuel to the fire. Heyman says they’ll take it under consideration and continues laughing.
The Bar make their way to the ring.
The Bar says it doesn’t matter who Braun Strowman chooses as his tag team partner. No matter how big or strong he is, he’ll eventually have to tag in his partner. Sheamus says they need to be on the same page and have multiple plans. Cesaro says Strowman will never have that. They’ll never be a real team or get the RAW Tag Team Championships. They don’t just set the bar… they are THE BAR!
Braun Strowman’s music hits, and he makes his way to the stage. Strowman says he doesn’t play well with others, but management made it clear that he needs a partner if he’s going to challenge for the Tag Titles, so he got one. He was just talking to him in the back, and he doesn’t appreciate what these two clowns were just saying. Cesaro says if his partner has a problem, he can tell them to their faces. Strowman says he will, under one stipulation. He wants a match with one of them. Sheamus says he’d love to disagree with the people, but they can’t pass up this opportunity. His partner has got it. Strowman says, “Good. I’ll go get him.” Strowman says his partner is a lot like him… just a little different. Strowman then walks off.
Strowman’s music then hits again and he comes out in a “disguise.” His brother is Braun. He’s Brains, and he’ll knock them out of their heads. The Bar attacks Strowman, but he overtakes them. The Bar soon overwhelms him, but he breaks out and throws Cesaro across the ring. Sheamus then runs away.
Goldust will be in the André The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. When he wins, HBO will have to make a documentary about him.
“WOKEN” Matt Hardy interrupts Goldust’s message. He seeks the same prize Goldust does. Hardy has been training with other giants, including Goliath, to prepare to win this match. Tonight, he’ll meet Goldust, who is scheduled for “DELETION!”
We join this match in progress. Goldust uppercuts Hardy and hisses at him. Hardy screams “WONDERFUL” and claps. Goldust looks confused. Hardy ducks a clothesline and punches him before sending him to the corner. Goldust boots him back and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Goldust punches him and stomps him in the head. Hardy punches back and hits the ropes, but Goldust takes him down with a spinebuster. Hardy soon comes back with some right hands and bounces him off the turnbuckles. Hardy says Goldust will be “DELETED!” Goldust gets out of a bulldog, but Hardy comes back with a Side Effect for a two count. Goldust shoves him off attempting a Twist of Fate and hits a scoop powerslam for a two count. Goldust goes to the second rope, but Hardy avoids an elbow drop. Goldust counters a Twist of Fate with a roll-up for a near fall. Hardy finally hits a Twist of Fate for the win.
Hardy goes to ringside and grabs the André The Giant Trophy and shouts, “PROCURE! PROCURE!”
We’ll have an interview with Nia Jax later tonight.
They do one of those handheld video promos with Alexa Bliss and Mickie James where they have the words on the screen. At WrestleMania, Nia Jax will be blubbering in her blubber.
John Cena will look for an answer from The Undertaker next.
John Cena makes his way to the ring to his traditional mixed reception. Cena says he hates saying this, but he was wrong. They’re out of time and there’s still no answer. Cena was wrong because there’s no more time left. Silence means “no.” No Undertaker. Some people may be upset about that news, but he’s not. He did everything he can do to make Undertaker do something. Cena is going to WrestleMania fired up. So many people have asked him what his match is. Cena says he’s going to WrestleMania as a fan. Just today, Michael Cole told him it was stupid to sit out. He can enter the Battle Royal or be Braun’s partner. Cena will tell them why it won’t happen. Cena lost so many opportunities heading into WrestleMania, including the Royal Rumble and the match at Fastlane. If he just entered one of those matches, he’d be taking a spot from a full time WWE Superstar that had busted their ass to earn it. Cena called out Undertaker as a last ditch effort, but also because they wouldn’t be taking anyone’s spot or holding anyone back. It’d just be two WWE legends duking it out. One year ago tonight, his life changed. Cena gives a shoutout to Nikki Bella. There’s a lot of stuff going on outside WWE that changes his life every single day. For years, he fed off all the energy. This WrestleMania might be the perfect time for a change.
An “Undertaker” chant fires up. Cena says he hopes Undertaker hears them, but he probably doesn’t. Cena says he’s going to WrestleMania as a fan and is damn proud of it. Cena is proud to be able to sit and watch gifted performers like Seth Rollins and Finn Balor put together the most amazing WrestleMania card of all time. Cena doesn’t need to be a part of it. After three years, Daniel Bryan is back to where he belongs… in the middle of a WWE ring at WrestleMania. AJ Styles will also get the WWE Championship WrestleMania moment he deserves. Cena is even proud to know that WrestleMania falls on the exact same day as Rusev Day. A “Rusev Day” chant fires up. Cena says he’s genuinely proud of all the women’s matches at WrestleMania because that division continually proves that success is not based on gender. Cena is going to WrestleMania as a fan and damn proud.
Cena just wants to apologize about The Undertaker. Cena tried to stir things up to summon the Undertaker. Audiences in Dallas, Detroit, Cleveland, and right here in Atlanta. Cena then wonders if they even really tried to summon The Undertaker tonight. Cena says it’ll never work because he doesn’t think Atlanta can be loud enough. The crowd is insulted, but they start getting loud. Cena says they have to give him all they got. Can they make some noise to summon The Undertaker? They start getting even louder. Cena says if they want the lightening, they need to be the thunder. Make it known all the way to Death Valley. The crowd continues to roar. A loud “Undertaker” chant then fires up. Nothing happens.
Cena shrugs his shoulders and says this is four weeks straight of an entire audience pouring their hearts out for The Undertaker. Undertaker doesn’t have the common courtesy to do a damn thing. Undertaker can ignore him all he wants, but the second he ignores the people.. he’s a Dead Man walking. Cena says it’s obvious he left his hat in the ring, but he left his balls at home. A “Cena” chant fires up. Cena’s music then hits, and he leaves the ring.
Replays are shown of Stephanie McMahon putting Ronda Rousey through a table earlier tonight.
The commentators then run down the ring.
Kurt Angle walks up to Roman Reigns and says Paul Heyman promised to not say anything to incite him. Reigns asks if Brock Lesnar is even here, and Angle says he definitely is. Reigns tells him to take his peace treaty and bring it to the pawn shop he sold his Olympic Gold Medals at.
Elias is in the ring. Elias greets the crowd, plays a riff, and asks who wants to walk with him. WWE stands for Walk With Elias. The last stop on the Road to WrestleMania is in this hellhole? They should be in a city that actually matters. Elias starts to make some music, but he’s cut off by Heath Slater and Rhyno.
They lock up, and Elias powers him to the corner. Elias shoulders him before chopping the chest. Elias then sends him into the ropes for a clothesline. Elias puts him in the corner, but Slater soon comes back with a knee and a side kick. Elias quickly knees him and hits Drift Away for the win.
We’ll have an interview with Nia Jax, next.
Braun Strowman is walking backstage when Curt Hawkins stops him. Hawkins says Strowman should pick him as his partner. Strowman asks for his win-loss record. Hawkins says it’s not great, but this could be his big break. Strowman him and throws him headfirst through a wall! Strowman says, “There’s your big break!”
The commentators talk about the WrestleMania card.
Renee Young interviews Nia Jax. Jax says the attacks by Alexa Bliss on her size brought he back to childhood, but she’s happy with herself now. Jax gets emotional talking about Bliss and the things she said about her. Jax says at WrestleMania, she will squash her like a bug.
Alexa Bliss and Mickie James make their way to the ring. They’ll be in action, next.
Alexa Bliss will take on Dana Brooke to start the match. Bliss laughs at her. They lock up, and Brooke wrenches the arm. Bliss fights out, but she has a whip to the corner reversed. Brooke hits a handspring back elbow, but Bliss soon overtakes her. Mickie James is tagged in, and she kicks Brooke in the midsection. Brooke punches James back and shoulders her in the corner. James avoids a handspring back elbow and kicks her in the face. James then taunts Asuka. Brooke comes back and goes for a standing moonsault, but James gets the knees up.
We come back from the break to see Brooke trapped in a chin lock. Brooke fights out, but James takes her back down. Asuka hasn’t been in this match yet. Brooke fights up again, but James turns her inside out with a knee to the midsection. Bliss tags in, and she attacks Brooke in the corner before kicking her in the ribs. Bliss stands on her before covering for a two count. Brooke comes back with a suplex.
Asuka and James are tagged in. Asuka hits a flying hip attack before punching away at her. Asuka knees her in the face and kicks away at her. Asuka then knocks Bliss off the apron. James gets out of the ring, but Asuka hits a sliding kick from the apron. Asuka puts her in the ring and eats a superkick for a two count. Asuka avoids a diving Thesz Press and applies the Asuka Lock for the win.
Alexa Bliss quickly attacks her from behind. They then hit Dana Brooke with a double-team DDT. Bliss then grabs Asuka, but Nia Jax’ music hits. She runs down to the ring and grabs Bliss, but James attacks. Jax throws her off and hits an avalanche. Jax then hits James with a Samoan Drop before staring at Bliss, who is already up the ramp. Bliss looks terrified.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are walking backstage when Kurt Angle stops them and asks where they’re going. Heyman says he’ll talk positively about his client’s opponent, Roman Reigns.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman make their way to the ring. RAW Superstars come out to form a wall on the ramp in case Roman Reigns comes out. Lesnar and Heyman don’t look thrilled. Heyman starts doing his opening lines, but he stops. Just because Kurt Angle got his manhood ripped off this evening and proved to be an ineffective mentor to “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, this is overcompensatory behavior. The Universal Title is owned by Brock Lesnar! Heyman hear by swears and affirms to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help him God. Before the last WrestleMania in New Orleans, he said his client would end The Undertaker’s streak, and they did. Heyman told them it wasn’t a prediction, but a spoiler. No one laughed when it happened, but they laughed at each and every single one of those that didn’t believe it. Six days from now, WrestleMania will take place in New Orleans. The only two beings on the face of the planet that own a WrestleMania victory over The Undertaker will collide for the WWE Universal Championship. Everyone thinks its fait accompli that Reigns will dethrone Lesnar, but at WrestleMania he will F5 Reigns and beat him in the center of the ring. Lesnar will pin him 1-2-3. It’s not a prediction… it’s a spoiler. If some act of God happens and Reigns slips on a banana peel and wins, this is the last time you’ll ever see Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman on Monday Night RAW.
Heyman will save his goodbyes for his own social media, but since Lesnar will be saying hello from UFC, he wants to dispel some things about his client. This whole aura he’s built for Brock Lesnar since 2002 that Lesnar thinks no one can shine his shoes in the locker room and that Lesnar hates the crowd, this image is 100% true. It’s understated. Lesnar feels there isn’t one member of the locker room taht can hold his jock let alone take his title. No one watching can afford to pay what they think Lesnar is worth to compete in the ring. This Sunday night, Roman Reigns’ only choice is to accept defeat. It’s easy to make choices when you have no options. Reigns’ options are like his ass — they’re both owned by Brock Lesnar. Reigns isn’t having a victory party. He’ll have to go home to his wife, kid, father, and uncles and admit that he got defeated and conquered by Brock Lesnar. Roman Reigns isn’t the big dog nor is this his yard. Reigns will only be another notch on Brock Lesnar’s title belt. Roman Reigns is just Brock Lesnar’s bitch.
They go to leave, but Roman Reigns’ music hits. Reigns tries to go to the ring, but the human wall stops him. Lesnar laughs in the ring and holds up the title. Reigns has a microphone. Reigns asks if these full-time talents are going to protect this part-time bastard. Reigns tells them to think about it. They look around before separating to let Reigns through.
Reigns walks down to the ring. Lesnar tells Reigns to think about it before getting in the ring. A “Let’s go Roman” chant fires up. Lesnar yells, “Think about it, boy!” Reigns climbs the stairs and stands on the apron before staring at Lesnar. Reigns then gets in the ring. Lesnar drops the title, and they circle the ring. Reigns looks at the title before quickly looking at Lesnar. Lesnar then leaves the ring and grabs his Universal Championship. Lesnar then laughs at Reigns while the crowd loudly boos. Lesnar then grabs a steel chair and puts the title down. Lesnar gets in the ring with the chair, but Reigns doesn’t back down. Paul Heyman shouts, “Victimize him!” Reigns hits Lesnar with a trio of Superman Punches! Lesnar gets up holding the steel chair, and Lesnar floors him with a fourth Superman Punch! Lesnar staggers up still holding the steel chair, and Reigns takes him down with a fifth Superman Punch. Reigns picks up the Universal Championship and stands over the fallen Brock Lesnar. Reigns holds it up to mostly cheers. Reigns looks at the WrestleMania sign before turning to see Lesnar on his feet. Lesnar hits him with an F5 and rolls out of the ring with the Universal Championship!