Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of Monday Night Raw! The first Raw of 2019 no less!
And tonight’s show is set to be a pretty big one, indicated by two giant names returning to the red brand for the first time in a while. The first, and by far more welcome return, is that of John Cena! There doesn’t seem to be any real reason for Cena’s return, but hopefully he’s sticking around until WrestleMania at least! The other return scheduled for tonight is a much more controversial one, and that’s Hulk Hogan. Apparently the Huckster is back to celebrate the life of “Mean” Gene Okerlund, which just seems like a gross way to reintroduce Hogan without much backlash, thus exploiting Okerlund’s death. Whatever, I for one would love to never have seen Hogan again but here we are. Let us know how you feel about it!
The Beast Incarnate, the WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar also returns on tonight’s show, to really kick-start the next stage in his feud with Braun Strowman. The two giants are set to face-off at Royal Rumble for the belt, so tonight serves as the start of that rivalry, again.
Also, The Revival are challenging for the WWE Tag Team Titles in a Lumberjack Match; Seth Rollins is his old self again; Elias takes-on Baron Corbin; and we’re being treated to a Moment of Bliss. So that’s all the news for tonight’s Raw! Let us know what you’re excited to see by commenting, following us on Instagram, and or downloading the Ringside News app! Enjoy the show!
WWE Raw opens with a graphic in memory of “Mean” Gene Okerlund, who sadly passed away a few days ago.
The feed cuts backstage, where Seth Rollins and Boby Lashley are brawling like crazy! They’re fighting like madmen and several officials/Superstars are attempting to separate them. The brawls spills through Gorilla position to the stage, where they continue to trade shots. Rollins knocks Lashley off the stage, then dives onto him. They continue fighting until Lashley tosses Seth onto the stage and they’re finally separated. Both men are taken backstage.
Right after that, the sixteen-time WWE Champion, John Cena’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring! Cena is fired up and says he thinks the crowd is too. He says this is the Road to WrestleMania and that means there is one match that everyone can be part of, one matcht that leads to the main event of WrestleMania. He says it’s easy to miss out on WrestleMania, he knows that feeling, but this year he is entering the Royal Rumble and aims to win!
Cena is then interrupted by the Scottish psychopath, Drew McIntyre. Drew says he has been waiting for this moment for years. He says he doesn’t care who Cena has been sharing a bed with, he doesn’t care about his stupid hair, and he doesn’t care about what he does outside of WWE. What he does care about is Cena’s legacy, his 16x World Championships. You see, he’s been maiing a name for destroying legacies, just ask The Shield, Dolph Ziggler, or Kurt Angle. But wait, you can’t do that, because they’re all gone. He says he has come for Cena.
Cena responds to Drew, saying he’s heard this spiel before. Every week for years he’s had people come out here and tell him that they’re going to blow past him but none of them ever do it. McIntyre says, the difference between them and him, is that he isn’t all talk. McIntyre starts to take off his jacket when they’re interrupted by Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley. Rush says they have a problem; Seth Rollins has been running around like a mad man, using chairs, and attacking the Almighty Bobby Lashley. Rush says they’ll get a lawyer if something isn’t done about Rollins. Rush says the show is officially cancelled.
All of a sudden, Rollins attacks Lashley from behind. They brawl until Dean Ambrose runs out. Cena runs over to make the save, so McIntyre attacks him. Finn Balor’s music hits, and he runs down. Balor takes McIntyre out with a Sling Blade and clotheslines him out of the ring. Balor then wipes everyone out with a summersault senton. We head to the break with the makings of a tag match in the ring!
We join the match in progress, with Cena and Lashley fighting it out – two old-schoolers these days. Cena leapfrogs Lashley and clotheslines him before tagging in Finn Balor.
Balor comes off the top rope with a double axe handle to the arm of Bobby. Lashley quickly takes him down and hits a scoop slam. Dean Ambrose tags in, but Balor quickly takes him down with a pair of arm drags. Ambrose has a whip reversed, but he tries for a sunset flip. Balor rolls through and dropkicks him in the face. Ambrose quickly powers him to the corner, and McIntyre tags in.
McIntyre punches Balor and floors him, before applying a front facelock. Balor starts to fightout but McIntyre hits a vertical suplex for a two count. McIntyre talks trash and Balor starts to fights back again. McIntyre quickly floors him and stomps on him before taunting Cena.
Lashley tags in and punches Balor in the ribs. Lashley applies a chin lock, but Balor fights up. Lashley quickly elbows him in the neck to take him down. Lashley sends Balor to the corner, but Balor boots him back and fights off the heel side. Lashley quickly stops the tag and powers him to the corner for some shoulder thrusts. Ambrose tags in and wildly stomps away at Balor. Balor boots Ambrose back and hits an overhead kick.
Cena tags in and hits a pair of flying shoulder tackles and a back suplex powerbomb. Cena does the 5 Knuckle Shuffle and goes for an Attitude Adjustment on Ambrose. McIntyre blind tags in. Cena hits the AA on Ambrose and turns into a Glasgow Kiss from McIntyre. McIntyre picks up a two count, as we head to the break.
We come back from the break to see Cena elbow Lashley and hit Ambrose with a dropkick. McIntyre tags in, and he punches Cena to the mat. Cena fights bac, trading shots with Drew, and hits the ropes, but McIntyre counters with a spinebuster and a jackknife pin for a two count.
Lashley tags in and takes Cena down for a near fall. Lashley starts posing before blindsiding Rollins. Cena then drops Lashley with a quick AA. Both men are down but Ambrose manages to tag in, and he applies a sleeper hold to Cena. Big match John tries to fight out but Ambrose takes him down and cinches it in. Of course, Cena soon fights up, but Ambrose knees him in the midsection to take him down. Ambrose drops an elbow, and Cena rolls out of the ring to recover. Ambrose follows him outside and throws him into the ring steps! Cena is down and out on the outside as we head to another break!
We come back from the break to see Ambrose hit a snapmare on Cena and pick up a two count. Ambrose applies another sleeper hold, but Cena fights up. Cena stands, with Ambrose on his back, and Cena is walking to his corner. Ambrose realises what’s happening, and rakes the eyes, then knocks Rollins off the apron. Ambrose and Cena then take one another out with a double clothesline.
Cena gets to his corner and Balor tags in, who takes Ambrose down before knocking McIntyre off the apron. Balor takes Ambrose down and hits Lashley with a Sling Blade. Balor counters Dirty Deed with a leg sweep and a double stomp. Balor dropkicks Ambrose into the corner and hits the Coup de Grace. Balor then turns into a Claymore Kick from McIntyre! Both men are out cold!
Rollins and McIntyre are tagged in. Rollins hits a springboard clothesline and knocks Lashley off the apron. Rollins hits a step-up enzuigiri on McIntyre. McIntyre quickly drops him on the apron, so Rollins hits Lashley and Ambrose with an Asai Moonsault. Rollins goes for a springboard, but McIntyre moves. Rollins avoids a kick from McIntyre and hits a falcon arrow for a near fall.
Rollins starts stomping the mat. Rollins kicks McIntyre in the midsection and hits the ropes, but McIntyre soon takes him out. McIntyre goes for an inverted Alabama Slam, but Cena comes in and hits him with an AA. Lashley then spears Cena out of nowhere. Rollins superkicks Lashley and goes outside to put McIntyre back in the ring. Rollins superkicks McIntyre and goes for a frog splash, but McIntyre moves. Ambrose tags in and goes for Dirty Deeds, but Rollins counters out and hits the Stomp for the win!
Triple H is shown on the titantron talking to Bayley and Sasha Banks. Rollins gets mad that he wasn’t watching the match and runs backstage. Rollins finds him and slaps the coffee cup out of his hand. Rollins says he wants Dean Ambrose tonight. Triple H agrees to the match, but says it’s Falls Count Anywhere! Triple H then welcomes Rollins back and walks off.
We see Hulk Hogan walking backstage, wearing a Gene Okerlund t shirt, he’ll be out next.
Tributes to “Mean” Gene Okerlund from Twitter are shown.
They have a 10 bell salute for “Mean” Gene Okerlund. You could hear a pin drop throughout it.
Hulk Hogan’s music hits, and the WWE Hall of Famer and legend makes his way to the ring to a huge ovation. Hogan does his trademark poses in the ring before throwing the boas aside. A loud “Hogan” chant picks up. Hogan says, “Well let me tell you something, brother…” Hogan lifts up his sunglasses and says he came out wide open in character because that’s exactly the way “Mean” Gene would have wanted it. “Mean” Gene loved entertaining and loved entertaining everyone here in the WWE Universe. We’re going to take a look at some of his greatest moments.
After the video, the crowd is chanting, “Mean Gene.” Hogan says Okerlund was one of a kind. Hogan can speak for the WWE Universe, the superstars, and anyone that’s ever watched him: “Mean Gene, I love you brother.” Being in the ring without “Mean” Gene is odd, but he’s not far away. Hogan says, “I love you, Mean Gene. I miss you.” A “Thank you, Mean Gene” chant picks up. Hogan goes into a trademark promo talking to “Mean” Gene about having the angels singing Tutti Frutti. Okerlund is probably putting a tag match together with “Macho Man” Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior versus “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Mr. Perfect with André The Giant as the guest referee. And he’s also probably breaking up a fight between Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Hogan says he hears the weights clanging and banging, but warns Gene he doesn’t need to get so swole. He’s only got Mae Young and Moolah to choose from – that got a good laugh. Finally, Hogan has one question to ask all the maniacs in heaven: “What’cha gonna do when Mean Gene-O-Mania runs wild on you, brother?” Hogan drops the mic and poses in the ring. Thankfully, we end the segment on a shot of Mene Gene’s graphic on the tron.
We’re back and it’s time for tag team Championship action! The lumberjacks are surrounding the ring and out come The Revival!
Bobby Roode will start the match against Dash Wilder. They lock up, Roode shoots Dash into the ropes, and Wilder shoulder blocks him down for a one count. They trade holds before Roode applies a side headlock. Wilder whips him off, but Roode catches him with a Glorious DDT attempt. Wilder gets out and leaves the ring, but Slater and Rhyno put him back in the ring. Scott Dawson tags in, but Roode takes him down.
Chad Gable tags in, but Dawson connects with an elbow to take him down. Gable gets out of a suplex and rolls him up for a two count. Gable quickly leaps to the second rope and dives off with a cross-body block for a two count. Wilder tags in while Gable hits Dawson with a move. Roode and Gable knock The Revival out of the ring. The lumberjacks get The Revival back in the ring, so Roode and Gable knock them out of the ring again. Roode then gives Gable a back body drop out of the ring onto The Revival.
Roode and Gable get them in the ring, but The Revival soon gets the advantage. Dawson gives Gable a nice front suplex onto the top rope, sending him out of the ring. Dawson gets him in the ring for a two count and we head to the commercials.
We come back from the break to see Gable take Wilder down with an arm drag. Roode tags in and hits a pair of clotheslines on Wilder. Dawson then blind tags in while Roode hits Wilder with a back body drop. Roode hits Dawson with a belly-to-belly overhead suplex and slams Wilder. Roode wildly takes The Ascension out. Roode hits Dawson with a spinebuster for a near fall.
Roode and Gable go for the neckbreaker/moonsault combo, but Dawson gets out. Gable hits a moonsault and lifts Dawson. They hit a German Suplex/Blockbuster combo, but Wilder (just barely) breaks it up. Gable hits a rolling German Suplex on Dawson, but Wilder tags in. Wilder comes off the top rope and splashes Gable for a near fall.
Dash is tossed over the ropes, so Dawson jumps over Gable with a sunset flip pin attempt. Gable and him trade odd pin attempts that don’t really click. They’re standing back to back, arms linked, when Dash comes running back in but he gets flipped over the ropes by both of them. Roode pulls him from the apron and he crashes to the floor. Meanwhile Dawson rolls-up Gable but Roode reaches through the ropes and pushes them to reverse the pin. Gable scores the three count but Dawson’s foot was beneath the bottom rope!
Gable and Roode celebrate their win as they walk up the ramp with the belts. Meanwhile The Revival are not happy and attempt to explain to the referee what happened.
Still to come, Seth Rollins Vs. Dean Ambrose in a Falls Count Anywhere Match, but up next it’s Baron Corbin Vs. Elias.
We’re back and the pop Superstar, Elias, is in the ring and he plays a riff and talks about his 2018. Elias started weeping uncontrollably thinking about the level of stardom he reached. Elias dropped a debut album and sold out Madison Square Garden. Elias has sold out places all around the world. It has all brought him here tonight to Orlando. There is a universal truth that follows him around everywhere. WWE stands for Walk With Elias. Elias says that fires him up. If you thought 2018 was great, it’s nothing compared to what he’s got lined up for 2019. On January 27, he’ll walk into Chase Field, enter and win the Royal Rumble.
Elias says he has enjoyed his own successes, but has also enjoyed the failures of Baron Corbin, which earns a pop from the crowd. It wasn’t long ago that this guy was on top of the world. Now look at him: his life is a joke. He says he hasn’t forgotten all the times Corbin has wronged him. In fact, he wrote a song about it but, of course, he’s cut off.
Baron Corbin comes out to the stage to cut him off. The crowd loudly boos him. Corbin says they can’t handle another mind numbing performance. The people have no idea what it’s like to have a job as respected and high stress as being the General Manager of Monday Night RAW. After everything he did, he should have everyone’s respect and admiration. They don’t understand, so they disrespect him. Corbin is sure they’d like him to go away, but he won’t. Corbin is entering the Royal Rumble and will win. Elias tells Corbin to do everyone a favour and shut his mouth, and now it’s time
Elias applies a waistlock, but Corbin powers him to the corner. Elias chops him back and hits a mule kick. Elias then clotheslines him out of the ring and hits a baseball slide. Elias goes to the top rope and dives off to the floor onto Corbin!
We come back from the break to see Corbin knock Elias out of the ring and pose. Corbin drives Elias into the barricade and puts him in the ring. Elias fights out of the corner and whips him, but Corbin does his out and in clothesline for a near fall. Corbin tells the referee that he sucks. Corbin beats Elias down while the crowd chants, “You got fired.” He doesn’t look pleased. Corbin takes to the top rope, and jumps off but Elias knees him in the face.
Elias hits a running forearm to Baron. Corbin then reverses a whip to the corner, but Elias bounces right back out with a clothesline. Elias wildly punches him down before trying for an electric chair. Corbin gets out, but Elias hits a neckbreaker. Elias goes to the top rope, but Corbin moves. Corbin sends Elias into the referee, but he puts the brakes on. Corbin tosses Elias shoulder-first into the ring post and hits End of Days for the win.
We see Dean Ambrose angrily pacing backstage. Ambrose asks what the world is coming to. Ambrose never liked 6-man tags. Ambrose is the only man he trusts. He’s the moral compass and the last line of defense against Seth Rollins. Ambrose says he isn’t having fun or enjoying himself. It hurts him to hurt Seth. Ambrose did what he had to do to bring back balance to the WWE. Ambrose won’t let Rollins get the Intercontinental Championship back. It ends tonight. Ambrose will burn Rollins down.
Paul Heyman knocks on Brock Lesnar’s door. They’ll be out, next.
The Monster Among Men’s music hits, and Braun Strowman makes his way to the ring. Strowman grabs a microphone, but then gives it back and tears his shirt off – to which the fans cheer. Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar appear on the titantron. Heyman introduces himself and Brock Lesnar. Heyman says he knows Strowman was brought up in his household as a monster, but he’ll give him an education. Heyman knows how much money they’ve spent to hype up Lesnar in the ring with his Royal Rumble victim. Heyman says they need to understand “Card Subject To Change.” That change is for Strowman’s benefit. He says if Lesnar came down to the ring to get those hands, he wouldn’t have a victim at the Royal Rumble. Strowman would be destroyed. No need to thank him or Lesnar, and the Champion just smiles at that one.
Strowman says, “Hey, Beastie Boy. I’m waiting. I’m standing in the ring waiting for you.” Lesnar and Heyman look unimpressed. Strowman challenges Lesnar to get in the ring. Heyman asks if that’s the best he’s got. Strowman asks if Heyman’s ass gets jealous of his mouth with all the crap that comes out of it. All he’s heard is Lesnar doesn’t want to go face-to-face with the Monster Among Men. Strowman says Lesnar is hiding like a coward. If Lesnar came down right now, he’s not making it to the Royal Rumble. Everyone knows what happens when you Get These Hands. Lesnar says he’s going to see what he’s got to say. Heyman starts to panic.
Lesnar makes his way to down to the ring and circles the squared circle, while staring down Braun. Rather than get in though, he turns and walks back up the ramp. Brock laughs as he joins Heyman on the stage and takes his belt again. Strowman shouts at him and says he will be Champion after the Royal Rumble. Well, that was…disappointing.
Still to come, the debut of Alexa Bliss’ new talk show, as well as Seth Rollins Vs. Dean Ambrose in a Falls Count Anywhere match.
We’re back with Jinder Mahal, The Singh Brothers, and Alicia Fox in the ring. Alicia and the boys talk trash to the crowd, saying nothing of note. Thankfully, they’re interrupted pretty quickly by Ember Moon, and her tag team partner, Apollo Crews.
We kick things off with the men. They lock-up and Mahal backs Apollo to the corner and delivers a few shoulder thrusts. Crews shows off his agility with performs a nice flip before taking Mahal down with a few different pinning combinations.
Both women tag in and Moon comes in hot. She connects with dropkicks and multiple moves before hitting the Eclipse for the pin and the quick win.
You can just tell these are the kinds of segments where viewers change the channel.
Alexa Bliss will be out with her new talk show next.
Alexa Bliss comes out onto the stage for the debut episode of A Moment Of Bliss. Bliss says Orlando doesn’t have much going for the city, but they’ll always have her debut episode. Bliss then says her first guest has had quite the year.
Ronda Rousey makes her entrance and doesn’t shake Bliss’ hand. It’s always jarring to see Rousey with her enemies, smiling ear to ear. Bliss asks what’s next for the Champion. Rousey says she wants to be a champion everyone could be proud of. She wants to face Sasha Banks. Nia Jax comes out and says she has unfinished business with Rousey. Sasha Banks then joints the party and says she’d be happy to face Rousey for the title and teach her to lose with dignity. Jax steps in front and tells Banks to get in line. Banks says, “Bitch, what line?” Banks challenges her to a match with the winner facing Rousey at Royal Rumble.
We return to see the match already in progress. Banks kicks Jax in the head at ringside. Jax starts to get back into the ring but Sasha dropkicks her and she falls inside a two count. Banks applies a guillotine choke, but Jax counters out with a suplex. Jax talks trash and knees her in the face to knock her out of the ring.
Bayley attacks Tamina at ringside as Snuka looked to mess with Sasha. Tamina quickly sends her into the barricade. Banks attacks her from behind. Jax grabs Banks and presses her up, then walks around the ring with her above her head! Jax then slams her onto a box at ringside.
Jax gets back in the ring and looks for a count-out. Banks barely beats the count. Jax hits her with a sit-out powerbomb for a two count. Both ladies are down as we head to the break.
We come back from the break to see Jax applying a torture rack on The Boss. Banks fights out and kicks away at Jax before hitting a jawbreaker. Banks hits a bulldog and jumps on her for a two count. Banks hits a running knee for a two count. Banks whiffs on a meteora for another two count. Banks goes for a Bank Statement, but Jax powers out. Jax goes to punch her, but Banks moves. Sasha hits the ropes but Jax counters Banks with a Samoan Drop. Jax goes for the pin, but Banks gets a foot on the bottom rope.
Jax gets Banks on her shoulders and goes to the second rope. Banks slides off, but Jax kicks her away. Banks charges, but Jax gets her on the shoulders and drops her on the ropes. Jax gets her in the ring and picks up a near fall. Jax head-butts her down and goes for a leg drop, but Banks moves. Tamina goes for a cheap shot on Banks, but Bayley dropkicks her. Banks sends Jax into the ring post.
Nia rolls onto the apron and Sasha meets her out there. They brawl for a minute before Banks attempts a hurricanrana and it goes awry. Regardless, Banks gets her back in the ring and applies the Bank Statement for the submission victory!
The Boss is now the number one contender and will face Ronda Rousey at the Royal Rumble.
Up next is our main event, Seth Rollins Vs. Dean Ambrose!
Seth Rollins is coming out first but he’s attacked on the ramp by his opponent! They battle down ringside and Rollins tosses Ambrose into the barricade. Seth then throws him into the ring and the match officially starts.
Ambrose quickly rolls out of the ring, so Rollins chases him down, tackles him, and unloads punches. Rollins puts him back in the ring again, but then throws him out again and follows-up with a suicide dive. Rollins rolls him up for a two count. Rollins clotheslines him into the crowd. Rollins sends him into an equipment case. Ambrose fights him back and runs. They run backstage.
Rollins sends him into a ladder, but misses a ladder shot. Rollins sends him into some scaffolding backstage. Ambrose avoids Rollins and gets on top of some production boxes. Rollins punches Dean and goes for a powerbomb, but Ambrose reverses it. Ambrose slams Rollins onto the box and covers for a two count. Ambrose has the momentum as we take a break.
We come back from the break to see them brawling in the middle of the crowd! Ambrose has Rollins down on the steps and is trying to dislocate his jaw with his bare hands.
During the commercial, Rollins scoop slammed Ambrose through the commentary table. Rollins and Ambrose fight down the concrete steps of the arena amongst the fans. Rollins jumps off the barricade with a cross-body block on the concrete for a near fall. Ambrose begs Rollins to back off, but rather than do that, Rollins sends Ambrose into the metal barricade!
They fight back to the ringside area and Ambrose is chucked over the rail. Rollins throws him into the barricade, but Ambrose soon pushes him back. Ambrose hits him with a chair in the midsection before smashing it off his back for a near fall. Ambrose lifts up the protective mats around the ring, and exposes the concrete floor. Ambrose punches away at Rollins, then kisses him on the head and says it’s just like old times. Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds on the floor, but Rollins counters with a back body drop on the concrete!
Rollins gets him back in the ring, but Ambrose pokes him in the eyes. Ambrose goes to the top rope, but Rollins catches him with a superplex followed by a Buckle Bomb – as opposed to the traditional Falcon’s Arrow. Rollins then connects with a superkick and hits the Stomp! Rollins goes for the pin but…
Bobby Lashley pulls Rollins out of the ring and sends him into the barricade! Lashley hits a belly-to-belly overhead suplex on the floor and gets him in the ring. Lashley hits an over-the-shoulder slam before spearing him. Lashley stands over Rollins and talks trash. Ambrose slowly crawls over and covers Rollins for the win.
Ambrose grabs his title from the referee after the match and rolls from the ring holding it tight.
Lashley isn’t done yet though, as Lio Rush appears and brings a table into the ring. They set the table up in the middle of the ring. Lashley lifts Rollins up and gives him a one-handed spinebuster through the table!
We see replays of Lashley’s interference in the match, then the Almighty himself poses in the ring to close out the show. That’s it for this week’s Raw! Let us know what you thought in the comments and be sure to come back tomorrow for all your wrestling news!