Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of Monday Night Raw, less than four weeks from WrestleMania!
Tonight’s show will feature the huge showdown between Triple H and Batista. Last week Batista didn’t show-up to Raw and Triple H cut an odd promo that tossed kayfabe aside. We’ll see tonight if Batista goes for the real-life angle as well but this is one is bound to end in fisticuffs.
The Shield wrestled their (probable) final match last night, and beat Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre, and Baron Corbin. Tonight there will be a “farewell address” but it’s unclear how this will go. Will Ambrose attack Reigns to ignite a WrestleMania feud? Or will they simply walk off into the sunset?
Also happening tonight is an Intercontinental Champion match between Finn Balor and Bobby Lashley, and Becky Lynch has been officially added to the WrestleMania main event, so all systems are go on that one. That’s the preview for tonight’s show, remember to follow us on Instagram and download the Ringside News app, and enjoy the show.
Raw opens and The Shield’s music hits, and the crowd pops loud. The Shield makes their way to the ring through the crowd. It is announced that Roman Reigns will be in action tonight, his first singles match since coming back.
They get into the ring and Reigns says he’s come to realise over the past few months that life is short and tomorrow is not guaranteed. If last night was the last night ever, he has no regrets because he was in this ring doing what he loves with people he loves. Last week Reigns asked Rollins and Ambrose for a favor, and they didn’t let him down. However, they’re on the Road to WrestleMania so they need to handle their business. Roman says he hasn’t had a one-on-one match in months, so he’s going to correct that and have one tonight. Ambrose has some business as well. Reigns doesn’t know what it is, but Ambrose probably doesn’t either.
The man who has the real business is Seth Rollins. How many years has Rollins been chasing the dream? A “Slay the Beast” chant picks up, and Reigns says that’s what Rollins will do. Rollins is in the main event of WrestleMania and will take the Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar while the world chants, “Burn it down”, which causes such a chant to kick-up. The Shield then pose with their fists in the ring. Reigns and Ambrose walk off while Rollins stays in the ring.
Rollins says The Shield burned it down last night. but before he can say much more, he’s interrupted by Paul Heyman. Heyman walks onto the stage and introduces himself as the advocate for the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar. Rollins mocks the way Heyman says Lesnar’s name and rhymes off all the people Lesnar has run through. from The Undertaker to John Cena.
Heyman says he appreciates the impression. Rollins says Heyman’s the advocate for the Brock Lesnar that had a real tough time getting through Daniel Bryan, pushed to his limit by AJ Styles, and came so close to being beaten by Finn Balor, so clearly size does not matter. Heyman says that’s the Brock Lesnar he’s going to face. Rollins says Heyman’s client has a bit of a problem with guys that are his size, speed, stature, ability, and style. With all due respect to Bryan, Styles, and Balor, they are all incredible in the ring, but he’s uniquely suited to beat Lesnar at WrestleMania. Rollins says Heyman has three weeks to run his mouth until he beats The Beast and brings the title back to RAW.
The crowd begin chanting “Slay the Beast”, but Heyman says that will not happen. He says Rollins is running down names, but he’s not telling the whole story. Lesnar had no time to prepare for any of those opponents. The crowd loudly boos him. It was initially supposed to be Lesnar taking on Jinder Mahal, but it wasn’t Mahal. It was Styles. It was supposed to be Lesnar taking on AJ Styles, but instead it was Bryan. It was supposed to be Braun Strowman, but it turned out to be Balor. Heyman then says Lesnar has time to prepare for Rollins and shows a video of Lesnar dominating everyone and being Brock Lesnar.
Heyman says ever since Rollins won the Royal Rumble, Lesnar has had his sadistic fantasies in his unrepentant mind focused on Rollins. If Rollins thinks he knows Brock Lesnar, he certainly doesn’t know him at all. All of a sudden Shelton Benjamin runs in from behind and gives Rollins a German Suplex. He then hits two more suplexes and stands over Rollins as we head to the break. Well, that was unexpected.
We return and Benjamin and Rollins are about to have a match. Heyman has joined the commentary team for this one.
Rollins runs at Shelton, who takes him down and taunts him and talks trash. Seth gets back up and they lock up and Benjamin counters a headlock to take Seth down again.
Rollins fights back to his feet with the help of the crowd, backs Benjamin to the corner. Rollins gets onto the ropes and kicks Bejmain away, then hits a blockbuster from the middle rope. Rollins looks for The Stomp but Benjamin avoids it. The Architect then lands on his feed from a German suplex and knocks Benjamin from the ring. Seth goes for a suicide dive but Benjamin hops onto the apron and hits a knee to the face. Benjamin is in control as we head to the break.
We return to see Rollins being held down in a headlock but he starts climbing to his feet. Benjamin tosses Seth from the ring, then goes out after him and throws him into the barricade. Benjamin floors Rollins with a clothesline. Heyman says he paid Benjamin for this.
Benjamin gets Rollins back in the ring and looks for a powerbomb but Rollins flips him over and into a bridge pin. Rollins then catches Shelton with a hurricanrana into the turnbuckles. Paul Heyman took a phone call during commentary and said it was Lesnar, who was unhappy with the video package or Seth’s comments, so he will be here live, next week. Cole sarcastically says everybody is excited for Brock to actually show-up to work.
Meanwhile, Seth catches Benjamin with a slingblade and a springboard clothesline for a two count. Seth looks for a superkick but Benjamin dodges it and lands a release German suplex, followed by another. Benjamin takes his time getting Seth to his feet, but then Rollins kicks him in the gut and lands The Stomp for the win.
Still to come tonight, Roman Reigns Vs. Baron Corbin and Triple H face-to-face with Batista. Up next however, Finn Balor defends his Intercontinental Championship against Bobby Lashley. Balor makes his entrance, shaking Seth’s hand on the way past. Weirdly, Lashley’s face appears on the Titantron when Finn gets to the ring but he doesn’t say or do anything, just stares.
The match gets underway and Lashley immediately scoops Balor up and slams him down. He then tosses Seth into the corner and stomps him. Lashley forces Finn over the middle rope and chokes him. Lashley applies a neck crank to Finn in the middle of the ring.
Balor gets to his feet and stuns Bobby with a dropkick. Lashley again scoops him up and rams him into the turnbuckles. Finn attempts an enziguiri from the apron but Lashley catches him feet and slams him down. Balor then dropkicks Lashley out of the ring, dives through the ropes kick, then hits a soccer kick from the apron.
We come back from the break to see Lashley applying a chinlock to Balor. During the commercial break, Lashley slammed Balor into the barricade. Balor fights out of the chinlock, but Lashley catches him with a reverse STO for a near fall. Bobby lifts him up, but Balor slides free and throws him out of the ring.
Lashley quickly pulls the Champion out of the ring before hitting a back suplex onto the apron for a near fall. Back inside the ring, Lashley applies a chin lock again. And once again Balor fights up but Lashley takes control. Bobby sets up for a powerbomb, but Finn counters into a back body drop and a dropkick. Balor hits some running forearms before finally taking Lashley down. Balor chops the chest before Lashley reverses a whip to the corner.
Balor knocks The Almighty down and hits a double stomp. Balor tries for a Sling Blade, but Lashley counters by sending him into the turnbuckles. Lashley shoulders him before slamming him into the corner. Lashley lifts him up, but Balor counters into a roll-up for a two count. Lashley throws him into the corner, but Balor bounces right back with a Sling Blade. Balor sends him into the corner and goes to the top rope, but the bell starts ringing.
Lio Rush is ringing the bell and holding the Intercontinental Championship! Balor goes outside and stares him down. Lashley comes out but Finn slams him into the ring post, then kicks Lio. With Bobby on the mat, Balor goes for a springboard, but Lashley spears him out of mid-air for the win!
Charly Caruso is backstage with Baron Corbin. They replay the video from last October when Corbin said he hope Roman Reigns’ doesn’t come back to Raw. He admits to it and says he doesn’t care about anybody’s feelings. He says there is no way Roman is 100% after his disease, and in his absence, he’s been carrying the ball. He promises to house train the big dog.
After the break, Ronda Rousey will address her actions at Fastlane last night.
Ronda Rousey power-walks to the ring and we see highlights of last night’s PPV, in which Ronda Rousey interfered and ensured Becky Lynch would be in the main event of WrestleMania with her.
The fans boo Ronda and she tells them to shove it. She says she doesn’t want any of their adulation because she remembers when they chanted “you deserve it” when she was beaten with a Kendo stick. She says the fans are all cowards hiding behind a barricade. She says it’s no wonder they love Becky Lynch because she’s a coward like all of them. As for Charlotte and Becky, there will be no barricade at WrestleMania. She says she is here to desecrate their place of worship. She says she will walk out of WrestleMania with the Women’s Championship, exposing them and this business for the con that it is. She says WWE has permission to make the match a handicap if they want because she could beat both of them without breaking a sweat. Ronda wraps up her promo but then she’s interrupted.
Dana Brooke comes out and says we’ve all heard enough. She says she has nothing to lose and she won’t let Ronda disrespect WWE, the fans, or the women’s locker room. She says she might not be some big-shot fighter but she loves WWE and this business, and she worked her ass off to earn respect and to get here. Each week she fights for a chance but she can’t even earn a minute on TV, let alone a match. She might not be on TV or a household name like Ronda, but all she wants is a chance to prove herself. She reminds Ronda that she always hosts an open challenge after a PPV. Well her name is Dana Brooke and she accepts.
Well, Ronda takes her off her jacket and teeps her. Ronda begins punching Dana on the mat, and they roll from the ring. Rousey flips Dana repeatedly with Judo throws on the floor. She gets her back into the ring and hits her Piper’s Pit. Referees run down to stop her from performing the armbar, and Ronda turns to leave. Before than though she stops and punches one of them, then grabs her belt and jacket and leaves.
We see a replay of Batista attacking Ric Flair, then Triple H’s promo from last week. The two men will come face-to-face later tonight.
Aleister Black makes his entrance for a tag team match, followed by his partner, Ricochet.
The match begins with Black and Gable, and Black tries to start with strikes but the Olympian comes in hot with a few big wrestling slams. Roode tags in and catches Aleister with a big spinebuster for a two count.
Roode stomps on Black before tagging Gable who comes in and continues to just wear the Dutchman down. Gable and Roode start making quick tags and isolating Black.
Ricochet finally gets the hot tag after Black avoids Roode in the corner. He comes in and takes out both of his opponents with a clotheslines, flying forearms, a neckbreaker, and a hurricanrana. Gable makes the blind tag off of Roode and grabs Ricochet for a German suplex while Roode hits a blockbuster at the same time but Ricochet kicks out.
Ricochet and Roode trade near falls before Black tags in and hits a kick to the head of Roode. Ricochet takes out Gable while with a springboard while Black finishes off Roode with Black Mass for the win.
As Ricochet and Black are leaving, they get attacked by The Revival from behind. Dash and Dawson just knock them both down and leave. Gable and Roode then walk up the ramp and survey the scene and that’s that.
Alexa Bliss comes out and sits on the stage for A Moment of Bliss. She says social media has been abuzz today with rumours about who will be hosting WrestleMania this year. She reminds us that Kim Kardashian hosted it, and the fans booed, then The Rock and The New Day. She promises this year’s host will be so much more positive, electric, and famous. They play a short video and it turns out she will be the host!
The fans are happy about that and she acts like she just won an award. She says its such an honour… for the fans to see the brightest star host the biggest show. And that has been our Moment of Bliss.
We see a replay of last week when Braun Strowman attacked one of the guys from SNL. Charly Caruso is backstage with Braun and she asks if he had any right to do that. Braun says he doesn’t know but he enjoyed it. He says they better steer clear of him at WrestleMania. A guy then walks up and says “Braun, your car is ready”, and Braun asks “What car?” We head to commercial not knowing.
We’re back and Braun is standing in front of a beautiful red car with a giant bow on it. The stage hand is still there and he reads a letter, saying the car was sent from the two SNL guys, saying it’s an apology for pissing him off last week. They promise to see him at WrestleMania. Braun then rips the door off the car, rips the seat out, cracks the window with his fist, then rips the hood and bumper off. He hands part of the bumper to the guy and tells him to send it to the SNL fellas and let them know they’re going to get his hands. Why is this the best they could come up with for Strowman?
We’re live in the ring with Elias, who is from Pittsburgh. He says he promise he wouldn’t return to his hometown unless he was a hero, someone his fans could believe in. Well, here is is. He plays a little guitar and asks if they want to walk with him and they’re loving it. He says it’s a miracle he’s such a success because most people born in Pittsburgh are an enormous waste of life. He says they’re all miserable and holding good people back, which is why he told his friend Antonio Brown to get out of town. The fans continued cheering until the Steelers comment. Elias is then interrupted by No Way Jose.
Jose and his conga line come down to the ring but Elias hits him with a big dropkick through the ropes, seemingly sick of being interrupted. Elias beats on more of the conga line before hitting Drift Away to Jose on the ramp.
It’s time to see the next inductees into the 2019 Hall of Fame class: Harlem Heat. The duo join D-X, Torrie Wilson, and The Honky Tonk Man in this year’s class, and that will make Booker a two-time inductee.
Lacey Evans comes out and walks over to the announce table and talks to Cole and Graves for a moment. She then walks back to the stage but out comes Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka. They stare at Evans before walking on down to the ring.
Natalya comes out and says she thought she had some friends, Ronda Rousey being one of them. But she doesn’t know Ronda as well as she thought. However there’s one woman who has her back…
The match gets underway and Natalya kicks Nia but Tamina causes a distraction. Phoenix gets involved and attacks Jax in the ring.
Phoenix clears Nia from the ring, then does the same to Tamina. Her and Nattie are left standing in the ring. After Jax and Tamina go backstage, they get into a brawl with Sasha Banks and Bayley. They’re all pulled apart by referees.
We’re back in the parking lot with a bunch of SUV’s. Batista steps out one of them. He’ll be out, next.
Triple H makes his way to the ring, clad in leather jacket and jeans with fist tape. Batista then comes out and stands on the stage. He motions to the stage and out comes a private security force, who stand between the two of them on the ramp.
Batista takes his sweet time before speaking. Triple H asks if the security is here for his protection. Batista says no, they’re here because he’s not stupid. You see, he learned from the two dirtiest players in the game; Ric Flair, and Triple H. He says he isn’t afraid to admit that the security is for him. Then asks where Triple H’s sledgehammer is. Batista says this will all be on his terms, so give him what he wants.
Triple H says he won’t give him a damn thing. He asks how many times Batista has quit WWE and came crawling back. He asks if he’s supposed to give Dave everything he wants because he’s a Hollywood star now. HHH says if Dave won’t come down to the ring, he will simply get out of the ring, “tear through the guardian’s of the independent circuit” and kick Batista’s ass. Batista says don’t bother, because he’ll be long gone before he can make it to him. He says he left to get away from Triple H, tired of being overshadowed and talked down to. So this will be on his terms. He says he will hurt everyone Triple H loves until he gets what he wants.
Triple H says he’s not getting a damn thing, now come down to this ring and face him like a man. Batista screams at him, literally spitting, for Triple H to give him what he wants. Triple H asks if that’s what he wants, he’s on. Batista then thanks him and says he wanted one last match. One last match to end his career on his terms. And one last match to end Triple H’s career on his terms. He turns to leave but Triple H calls him back and says he will see him at WrestleMania but Dave had better bring everything he has, whatever scraps of manhood he has left. Because it may be on Batista’s terms, but the match will be on his. And that means no holds barred. Batista then drops the mic and leaves.
Still to come, Roman Reigns Vs. Baron Corbin, and Kurt Angle will again address his future next.
Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring in his hometown. He says 20 years ago he left Pittsburgh to compete in the Olympics. And that path led him to the WWE, where he has travelled all over the world and faced all the biggest legends. However, he has always considered Pittsburgh his home. He then announces that he will have his final match at WrestleMania. He thanks WWE and everyone he ever shared a ring with. He thanks the fans and they cheer loud, and he tears up. However it wouldn’t be right if he didn’t have one last match tonight, and out comes Apollo Crews. They will face-off after the break.
The bell rings, and they lock up. Crews applies a side headlock, but Angle whips him off. Crews shoulder blocks him down and hits the ropes but Angle catches him with a hip toss before taking him down for an arm bar.
Crews eventually fights up and forces him to the corner. Angle reverses a whip to the corner, but Crews boots him back. Angle comes back with a belly-to-belly overhead suplex. Crews avoids Angle and hits a dropkick for a two count. Crews connects with a suplex for a two count. Crews cinches in a chin lock.
Angle fights up with the backing of the crown and elbows his way out. Angle and Crews trade punches before Angle catches him with his patented three German Suplexes for a near fall. Crews avoids an Angle Slam and hits Kurt with an arm drag. Crews catches him with a step-up enzuigiri, then hits a standing moonsault for a near fall. Crews goes to the top rope, but Angle avoids a frog splash. Angle catches him with an Angle Slam for the win!
After the break Roman Reigns will face Baron Corbin in the main event.
Roman Reigns makes his way to the ring for his match with Corbin. As he gets into the ring, Drew McIntyre comes from nowhere and attacks Reigns. He beats him down before tossing him into the ring post. Roman starts firing back with hands on the outside but then McIntyre connects with a Claymore Kick. McIntyre then hits another Claymore, this time knocking Roman’s head into the ring post. He grabs Roman and screams that “this is just the beginning”. A doctor comes down as referees stop Drew. The doctor checks on Roman, but it seems he’s having trouble seeing. Rollins comes down to check on Roman but The Big Dog promises he’s fine. Seth helps him to the back anyway and we see a replay of the beatdown.
We’re back and see Seth and now Dean, helping Roman through the backstage area. They take him to the doctor’s office but Dean stays outside. Ambrose sees Triple H and says he wants to fight Drew right now, no holds barred, falls count anywhere. Triple H says “hell yeah”. He says he’ll let McIntyre know.
Dean Ambrose comes down to the ring. Then McIntyre comes out with a mic. Drew asks if Ambrose will take this beating like a man, or if he’ll squeal like Roman?
Ambrose runs up the ramp and they brawl. Drew tries to suplex Ambrose on the stage but Dean reverses it into one of his own. Ambrose jumps off the stage onto Drew and they brawl through the crowd. They fight their way up the steps of the arena. Drew lifts Ambrose and literally throws him sideways into a wall. Dean tries to throw Ambrose over a table to the floor some 15 feet below. Ambrose bites his fingers to break free, then jumps off the table onto him. Ambrose grabs a big black bin and throws it into Drew and popcorn flies all over.
We’re back live and they’re fighting back down the steps in the arena. During the commercial break they fought into the concession area of the arena and Ambrose slammed McIntyre on a table, then ate some popcorn. McIntyre then threw Dean into the merchandise stand.
Back at ringside, McIntyre caught Dean mid-jump at hit a belly-to-belly on the floor. Drew lifts the steel steps and hits Ambrose with them for a near-fall on the floor. Drew hits Ambrose with the steps again for another near-fall. It’s a little weird to see Dean being smashed with steps and then suplexed on the floor while Renee Young talks casually on commentary, no concern for him.
McIntyre forces Dean past the timekeepers area and into the crowd again, where Ambrose cracks him with a low blow. Ambrose then unloads a flurry of wild ground and pound. McIntyre drops Dean across the hockey boards by the tech area. Drew grabs a chair but Dean kicks him and slams him into a production box. He rolls the production box and slams it into another and Drew rolls off into the floor. Ambrose jumps off the box with an elbow drop to McIntyre for a two count.
They work their way towards the announce table and Dean looks for a small package on the stage for a near-fall. McIntyre punches Dean on the ground before dragging him over to the table and clearing it. Ambrose side suplexes Drew onto the table, then climbs on top and punches him. Drew clocks Ambrose with a low blow, then lifts a pencil and jabs it into Dean’s face!
Dean rolls off the table, so Drew lifts him and throws him like a lawn dart into the LED boards. He lifts Dean and does it again for a two count. Ambrose then slaps McIntyre in the face and Drew pulls his head and arm through a stairway railing, then hits a Claymore Kick! That’s all she wrote.
After the match, Drew walks back up onto the stage, onto the announce table and poses. We see replays of the match. Ambrose crawls back up the steps and onto the stage, and Drew notices, so hits another Claymore Kick before posing on the stage.
That’s it for this week’s Raw. Let us know what you thought of the show. SmackDown Live results and more news will be available tomorrow, so come back then. Until then, safe travels!