Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of Monday Night Raw, two weeks before WWE Fastlane.
Tonight’s show will be headlined by the shocking new feud between Batista and Triple H. The Animal returned to Raw last week in a surprise no-one saw coming, and set the wrestling world alight. Tonight Triple H will respond to Batista’s attack on Ric Flair, and begin their road to WrestleMania.
WWE.com is teasing a Shield reunion following Roman Reigns’ return to Raw last week, and then later that night he and Seth Rollins saved Dean Ambrose from a beatdown. It seems WWE wants to fast track a Shield reunion before WrestleMania and before Ambrose leaves the company. Few will complain about getting to see The Shield one last time, and we’ll see the seeds continue to grow tonight.
Also on tonight’s show, Charlotte Flair is back to talk the WrestleMania main event, given that Ronda seemingly vacated her title and Becky is still AWOL. It will be interesting to see how this develops from here.
That’s the preview for tonight’s Raw! Let us know what you’re excited to see by downloading the Ringside News app and following us on Instagram! Enjoy the show.
WWE Raw kicks off with the former Universal Champion, Roman Reigns, making his way to the ring.
Before Reigns gets into the ring we see a replay of him announcing his return last week, as well as him and Rollins helping Dean Ambrose. Live in the arena, Reigns gets loud cheers from the Philly crowd, and one guy booing. Roman says last week was the comeback, tonight in Philly he takes his yard back. He says he has had a long time to think about what he wants, and there’s one man standing in the way of what he wants. And that one man is his brother, Seth Rollins. So, let’s get Seth out here to address that.
Rollins makes his way to the ring and hugs Reigns when he gets there. Rollins says he is happy for Reigns and is inspired by his return to win the Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar, but he realizes what it was like for Reigns to have to relinquish the title in the first place. Reigns says Rollins is wrong about what he wants. He says Seth is amazing and he’s been so impressed by him since he left. He doesn’t want to take the Universal Championship, at least not yet. What he wants from Rollins is to get The Shield back together!
Rollins says that, after what Dean did, when he did, no way. Roman says that he’s learned that life is short, and the most important thing is your friendships and relationships. So get the band back together for one last show, and let bygones be bygones. Rollins mulls it over and says it’s hard to forgive and forget… but he knows Roman is right. He says if it means that much to Roman, he’s in. The fans cheer and Roman says it’s time to get Ambrose out here.
After a minute his music hits and Ambrose makes his way onto the stage. The Lunatic Fringe is about to speak when he is attacked from behind by Elias! The Drifter smashed a guitar across Dean’s back, then high-tailed it to the back as Rollins and Reigns ran up the ramp. Dean slowly gets back to his feet, selling the shot like a beast, shrugs off help from Reigns and Rollins, then walks to the back.
Charly Caruso is backstage with Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin. She starts to ask them about The Shield reuniting, but McIntyre cuts her off and says he broke The Shield months ago. Corbin says they aren’t bothered about that, because they have a match tonight against Finn Balor, Kurt Angle, and Braun Strowman. They say they will prove why they are the dominant faction in WWE and walk off.
Finn Balor walks out, because that tag match is up next!
Weirdly, we return from commercial with Angle with Balor at ringside, and all three heels in the ring, then out comes Braun Strowman. Disjointed for no reason.
The bell rings and Corbin throws his vest at Strowman to distract him, but Braun just mows him down. Braun then clotheslines him out of the ring, then does so again and runs him over with a shoulder tackle on the floor.
The Lone Wolf tags McIntyre to take over but Braun retains control and clocks Drew with a huge right hand. Balor tags in but Drew takes him down quickly. Lashley tags in and looks for a powerbomb but Balor counters and sends him out of the ring. He also takes out Corbin so he can hit a dive over the top rope onto both Corbin and Lashley. Just as he’s celebrating, Rush trips Balor as we head to a break.
We’re back and Corbin whips Balor into the corner before hitting a huge Deep Six for a near-fall. Corbin toys with Balor as he digs elbows into his trap. Balor looks fire up but Corbin tosses him over the ropes and onto the apron. Finn tries to leap back in but Corbin drops him with a right hand.
McIntyre is tagged in and tees off on Balor with chops. Drew lands a big suplex for a two-count, before applying a submission. Balor fights out and attacks Lashley and Corbin in the corner, before ducking Drew and tagging Kurt Angle!
The Olympian runs in and hits Drew with two German suplexes, then reverses Drew to hit a third. Angle looks for the Angle Slam but McIntyre reversed it, but then Angle rolled out of a powerbomb to lock in the Angle Lock. Lashley storms the ring to stop Angle but he gets knocked back. Drew then finally stops Angle dead in his tracks with a Glasgow Kiss and we head to the break.
Angle is in a chinlock as we return but then shrugs Baron off and knocks him out of the ring. Strowman is tagged in and he storms the ring, knocking Lashley and Drew off the apron, before splashing Corbin in the corner. Strowman hits Corbin with a running powerslam and tags Balor, who hits the Coup de Grace but Lio Rush pulls his foot off.
Balor is mad and chases Rush around ringside. Lashley catches Balor and slams him into the ring post. Strowman then runs around ringside at full speed but Lashley dodges him and he hits Lio rush and knocks him through the barricade and into next week! Wow!
Lashley runs back into the ring and hits Balor with the Spear for the win.
After the match, the three heels hold their hands high. Next they punch Finn Balor and toss Angle into the barricade at ringside. Corbin lifts the steel steps and Drew and Bobby run Angle head-first into them! Next they bring the bottom half of the steps into the ring. Drew hits Balor with a Claymore Kick, then they lift him up and Bobby hits a spinebuster on the steps!
Still to come, Stephanie McMahon will address the future of the Raw Women’s Championship. Also, Ricochet and Aleister Black are getting a title shot against The Revival!
Charly Caruso is backstage with Heavy Machinery. She says they seem to be in great moods but it doesn’t seem like everyone is happy to be here on Raw. She sends us to a video of The B-Team, The Ascension, and Hawkins & Ryder saying they’re tired of getting overlooked for NXT talent, then they insult how Otis looks. We cut back to the interview and Otis said that hurt his feelings. Tucker says they’re going to take on each of those teams, one-by-one and beat them all.
Natalya makes her way to the ring, and apparently she has unfinished business with Ruby Riott.
Ruby kicks off the match in high gear as she takes Natalya down and keeps her down with kicks. She then applies a submission for a minute until Natalya fights out and hits a discus clothesline. Natalya then applies the Sharpshooter and Ruby crawls towards the ropes but Nattie drags her back to the centre. Ruby turns around and pokes Natalya in the eye, then rolls her up…but Natalya reverses the roll-up and scores the pinfall.
The sassy southern belle Lacey Evans comes out as Natalya is leaving, and does her usual walk down the ramp and then back out.
We see a replay of last week’s Raw, when Batista beat Ric Flair to get Triple H’s attention. Stephanie is backstage and she welcomes two guys from SNL to the show. They banter back and forth for no real reason for a minute, then leave. Triple H walks out to the arena and we head to the break.
We’re back from the commercial break and Triple H is in the ring to address Batista’s actions last week.
We see a video of Batista from earlier today, in which he says he’s not at Raw tonight because he hates Philly. Maybe he’ll come to Pittsburgh next week. But they will be playing by his rules until the game is over.
Triple H says “as if I didn’t have reason to be mad enough”. He says a week ago he had the honour of bringing out the greatest of all-time to celebrate his birthday. Triple H then addressed Flair by his real name and talks about how much he means to him. He says he’s been with Flair for the best times, and the worst times, like burying his son. And last year Flair was on his deathbed, and everytime the phone rang he panicked because he thought that might be it. HHH gets choked up. He says he was here last week to walk Flair to the ring and let him be the Nature Boy one last time, as he deserved. But it didn’t happen, because of Batista. He says if Batista wanted his attention…well we all know he did because he’s been whining about it on Twitter for two years. He says when Batista didn’t get the respect he thought he’d earned last time around, he quit. Now he’s trying to get attention by attacking a 70 year old man who is just happy to be alive.
Triple H says now he’s back and playing the heel 101 game, by criticising the town he’s in. Triple H says it doesn’t matter where they are, he’ll go to his house, he can come to his, he’ll go to a movie set, just name the place and have some balls. He says he hopes Batista knows that for all their years together, when they step in the ring together, it won’t be The Game he’s in the ring with. It won’t be something they’re selling, this isn’t a marquee match at a show. He’ll be looking into the eyes of the man, not the character. He asks Batista to look him in the eyes and ask him what he wants. If he wants his attention, he’s got it. Triple H tosses the microphone and leaves.
We see a replay of last week when Becky Lynch attacked Natalya and Ronda with crutches, then got arrested. Charly Caruso is backstage with Stephanie and asks for a statement on what’s going on. Stephanie says Charlotte is too presumptuous, because tonight will not be a coronation. As for Ronda, what she did last week was blasphemy. And that’s why WWE is doing what’s best for business… and lifting Becky’s suspension effectively immediately. So Becky will come to Raw tonight to sign an agreement that she won’t hold WWE responsible if she gets injured… when she faces Charlotte at Fastlane for the vacant Raw Women’s Championship! Wow!
Dean Ambrose is backstage, angry and preparing to face Elias. Roman walks up and says he thought they were past hanging out in boiler rooms. He tells Ambrose that he always has a seat in the locker room at any time. Ambrose says he has to stay focused and walks off.
Heavy Machinery will now have a gauntlet match with all the tag teams that insulted them earlier.
The bell rings and Otis floors Curtis Axel. He splashes him in the corner before tagging Tucker Knight, who tosses Axel to the corner. Axel stomps away at Knight before tagging Dallas. The B-Team look to do a double team move but Knight ducks and tosses Dallas into Axel. Otis comes back and hits a body slam for the win.
The B-Team Eliminated
The Ascension Enter
The Ascension storm the ring right away and beat down Knight. They toss him to the corner and make use of quick tags to keep him away from Otis. Konor beats on Tucker in the corner before whipping him to the opposite corner. Konor lines up a corner splash but nobody’s home.
Both men make tags and Otis knocks him down with a corner splash on Viktor. Otis scales the ropes and hits a splash to Viktor and that’s that.
The Ascension Eliminated
Hawkins & Ryder Enter
Hawkins and Ryder come in hot and hit Otis with an STO/Russian leg sweep combo. Knight comes in and clotheslines Ryder over the ropes to the outside. Otis then hits Hawkins with a pop-up powerslam, followed by the worm for the win.
Heavy Machinery celebrate their three wins after the fact, and there goes the division.
We see the two SNL guys backstage again and they interact with a few different low-card Superstars.
Torrie Wilson will be inducted in the Hall of Fame, and we see her announcement video. She joins D-X and the Honkey-Tonk Man in the 2019 class.
Charly Caruso interviews Charlotte backstage and asks how she feels about facing Becky at Fastlane. She says it will be an ass-kicking contest and she will take the title and move on to the WrestleMania main event.
Dean Ambrose is sitting backstage when Seth Rollins walks up to him. Rollins says they haven’t always gotten along, but brothers fight. Even through everything, he likes to think there’s been some mutual respect. Whether they’re on the same team or against each other, Ambrose is his wrestling soulmate. Ambrose asks if he wants to get The Shield back together one last time, it’s a “no can do.” Ambrose is preoccupied and has to handle his business on his own. Ambrose sits down, and Rollins walks off. Elias is in the ring, and he’ll face Ambrose after the break.
We come back and Elias sings a little ditty about how much he dislikes Philly, but then he’s interrupted by Dean Ambrose.
The bell rings and Ambrose ducks a clothesline and punches away at Elias. Elias knees and chops him, but Ambrose ducks a clothesline. Ambrose quickly takes him down and punches away at him. Ambrose stomps him down before the referee backs him up. Elias boots him in the face, but Ambrose takes him down before clotheslining him over the top rope.
Ambrose goes outside and kicks Elias before tossing him off the barricade. Ambrose gets him back into the ring before the 10 count. Ambrose then immediately clotheslines him back out of the ring.
We come back from the break to see Elias climbing the ropes and walking on them like The Undertaker. Elias runs and clubs Ambrose with a forearm in the face. Elias knocks Ambrose to the apron and dropkicks him to the floor. Ambrose quickly takes him down exiting the ring and hits Elias with a suicide dive.
Ambrose gets Elias back in the ring and hits a pair of clotheslines. Ambrose clotheslines him in the corner and goes for a bulldog, but Elias shoves him off. Elias clubs him down and catches his breath. Elias drops a knee for a two count. Elias punches Ambrose down and goes for Drift Away, but Ambrose counters into a roll-up for a two count. Ambrose then catches him with a neckbreaker.
Ambrose goes outside and tries to climb the ropes, but his back is too hurt. Ambrose eventually makes it to the top rope then jumps but Elias catches him flush with a knee in mid-air. Elias then hits Drift Away for the win.
We see replays after the fact, then Elias leaves. Rollins and Reigns walk out onto the stage and look at Dean as we head to the break.
We come back from commercial and Rollins and Reigns are in the ring with Ambrose. They talk to him but he shakes his head. Ambrose pushes them aside and leaves the ring. Ambrose climbs over the barricade and walks up the steps. McIntyre, Corbin, and Lashley come down to the ring and say they want a match at Fastlane. They then climb onto the apron and surround Reigns and Rollins. They storm the ring and a brawl ensues. Ambrose comes running back down and helps his brothers clear the ring. Rollins and Reigns put their fists out and wait. Ambrose walks around shaking his head for a while before putting his fist forward and posing with them. The Shield is back!
We get a replay of Stephanie McMahon’s backstage interview with Charly Caruso from earlier tonight.
Still to come, Aleister Black and Ricochet Vs. The Revival for the Tag Team Titles.
Banks tries to take the fight to Tamina but gets steamrolled. Tamina dominates her for a few moments, but Banks makes a comeback. Tamina takes her down and goes for a big splash, but Banks moves. Sasha knees her in the face for a two count. Banks jumps on the back for a sleeper, but Tamina backs her into the turnbuckles to break it.
Banks avoids a superkick and rolls her up for a two count. Tamina takes her down, but Banks comes back with the Bank Statement. Jax pulls Tamina out of the ring. Bayley tries to attack, but Jax throws her off. Banks then hits a meteora on Jax. Tamina gets Banks in the ring and superkicks her for the win.
Michael Che and Colin Jost (the SNL hosts) are walking backstage. Che has to go to the bathroom and leaves Jost alone. Jost says he’s not afraid of any of these guys. Jost then walks into Braun Strowman, who is staring him down. Jost asks if any of this stuff is real, so Strowman grabs him by the neck and lifts him up against the wall.
We come back from the break and, ridiculously, Strowman is still choking the guy against the wall. Officials and Che come back and stop him.
The Revival, the Champions!, are in the ring when we return. We cut backstage to Ricochet and Aleister Black. Black says people fear what they do not understand. Ricochet says they will achieve their dreams and fly even higher.
The bell rings and Dash tries to rush Black in the corner but he ducks him and lands a kick. Dawson comes in and they hit a double team back suplex on Black. The Reivial then keep Black floored with quick tags. Dawson tags back in and whips Black to the ropes but he ducks a clothesline and hits a springboard moonsault.
We come back from the break to see Dawson applying a hold to Black. Black fights up, but Dawson transitions to an arm bar. Black arm drags him and knees him in the face. Black then viciously knees him down. Wilder quickly tags in. Black quickly sweeps The Revival’s feet.
Ricochet tags in, and he takes The Revival down. Ricochet kicks Dawson and backslides Wilder for a two count. Ricochet hits Dawson with a neckbreaker before catching Wilder with a roll up for another two count. Ricochet knocks Dawson off the apron, then knees Wilder in the face. Black boots Dawson, then Ricochet hits Dawson with a hurricanrana. Ricochet hits a springboard uppercut and knocks Wilder out of the ring. Roode and Gable then attack The Revival.
Roode and Gable come into the ring and square-off against Black and Ricochet. The two teams yell at each other before brawling. Black and Ricochet knock them from the ring, then feign dives to the outside before posing in the centre of the ring.
Up next, Becky and Charlotte must sign a contract for their match at Fastlane.
Stephanie McMahon makes her way to the ring, with the Raw Women’s Championship in hand.
She says a lot can happen on the Road to WrestleMania, like a Shield reunion, or Ronda Rousey vacating the Women’s Championship. She then invites Charlotte and Becky to the ring.
With both women in the ring, Stephanie says we need a Champion. So, at Fastlane they will face-off to decide who takes the vacant title. However, before that happens, they need to sign this document. Becky takes the clipboard and Charlotte woo’s at her. Becky says she beat Charlotte at the Royal Rumble with one good leg, so she’ll do it again tonight. Stephanie slows her down and says she can’t do that until they sign the agreement.
Just then the camera cuts backstage and we see none other than Ronda Rousey walking into the arena via the car park. She’s storming to the ring and we head to the break.
We’re back live and here comes Rousey, making a b-line for the ring. Ronda asks Stephanie what she’s doing. McMahon says she had no choice. Ronda says she didn’t vacate the title, she just gave her a week to bring Becky back and make the match, not exclude her.
Stephanie says she had business to conduct. So, at Fastlane, Becky will still face Charlotte at Fastlane. If she loses to Charlotte, she’s done. However, if Becky wins, she gets added to the match at WrestleMania. It will become a Triple Threat. Stephanie asks the fans if that’s what they wanted to see and they cheer.
Ronda says we all know Stephanie is all about lining her pockets. She says she is tired of playing nice to preserve the frail bodies of the women in WWE. She says she got booed in her hometown and all the fans wanted to see was Becky. Well screw that, screw the fans, screw the woo, and no-more nice girl. She drops the mic and kicks Charlotte from the ring. Then she backs Becky into the corner and lays a beat-down. Ronda flips Becky onto the mat and applies an armbar. She cranks it for a while before letting go and staring at Charlotte. Ronda then beats some more on Lynch and applies the armbar again before holding the title up and staring at Charlotte.
That’s it for tonight’s show. Let us know what you thought and come back here tomorrow for all your wrestling news and results. Until then, safe travels!