Welcome to Fightful.com's live coverage & discussion for tonight's episode of WWE Raw.
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We begin this week's show with today's news about the RAW Women's Title match main eventing WrestleMania. That transitioned to Ronda Rousey's entrance and upon arriving in center ring, she had a microphone in hand. Talking over "We Want Becky" chants, Rousey reiterated the women's main event status before signing off with "you're welcome." She then returned the microphone though, promising to tap out Becky and Charlotte at the same time before leaving and coming back to mock the "BS gimmick" of Beat the Clock Challenge. Ready for the upcoming matches, The Riott Squad came out next and Becky Lynch then followed them.
She said that while Ronda was given every advantage, "nobody gave a damn until the man came around." Lynch claims to have made Rousey better and that's why they are the main event of WrestleMania, finally promising to take the title from her foe. That brought out Charlotte Flair, with 'The Queen' pointing to herself as the reason for their main event billing.
Beat the Clock Challenge
Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Logan
Immediately bailing at the first bell, Sarah Logan sprinted around ringside before finally greeting Ronda with a dropkick in center ring. In control, Logan then applied a submission but Rousey countered, next landing a sharp elbow and closing the show via armbar.
Winner in 1:25: Ronda Rousey
Charlotte Flair vs. Ruby Riott
Avoiding her foe's opening big boot, Riott sent Charlotte to the floor, next landing some strikes and avoiding the Figure Four Leglock too. Ruby countered Natural Selection as well, landing a sudden facebuster for 2. Flair fired back, catching her finishing hold but failing to force the submission in time.
Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan
After being distracted by Liv before the first bell, Lynch turned into a big boot from Charlotte. Morgan seized, unleashing strikes in the corner while Flair smugly watched on. She then grabbed a hold too but Becky fought upright, making her trademark comeback but failing to apply Dis-Arm-Her. That didn't matter though, with Lynch catching a quick roll-up for the win with 8 seconds to spare.
Winner of The Beat the Clock Challenge: Becky Lynch
If Balor wins, he gets an Intercontinental Title match at WrestleMania
Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley and Jinder Mahal
Pre-match, Lio Rush doesn't appear to be dressed for competition but first, he took the time to poke some fun at Rob Gronkowski. He went on to announce that unfortunately, he's not medically cleared and as a result, Jinder Mahal will take his place in tonight's handicap match.
In-ring, Balor quickly rallied, scoring some offense but being halted by multiple distractions until Lashley sent him flying to the floor. Back from the break and Finn again fired back, half-landing Slingblade and and then flurrying on Mahal. A double foot stomp took out Lashley too and Balor then floored all involved with his signature dive. Coup De Grace followed and Balor had pinned Mahal, earning his WrestleMania title shot in the process.
Winner: Finn Balor
Post-match, Lashley floored both Singh Brothers and then Speared Mahal too.
Elias is in Times Square next, promising the greatest performance in history and claiming that people are lining up to watch him. His plan to perform was unsurprisingly interrupted though, with an onlooker unsuccessfully attempting some kind of duet.
Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. The Revival
A brawl commenced before this one could even begin, with the NXT duo almost immediately sending their foes to the floor as a result. Things then officially got started, with The Revival quickly taking control by grounding a now isolated Black. A sudden kick halted that nonetheless, allowing Aleister to tag in Ricochet as both flurried in an instant. That culminated in aerial attacks to the floor as the champions were now rocked. Back from the break and The Revival are now on top once more though, cornering Ricochet and using tandem offence to floor him too.
A neckbreaker turned the tide regardless, with Ricochet bringing in Aleister Black as the Dutchman run wild on both of his foes. A salvo of strikes almost closed the show as well, with Dawson then responding via fake-out DDT for 2. However, The Revival then put Black in his own corner and swiftly paid the price, eating a double Black Mass that allowed Ricochet's 630 splash to close the show.
Winners: Ricochet and Aleister Black
Undeterred, The Revival demanded that the ring announcer reiterate their champion status before leaving.
Drew McIntyre was here next, demanding the crowd's respect and using a recap to remind Roman of his challenge. Following that, McIntyre reminded everyone of his dominance over The Shield, listing off recent wins and demanding that Roman think of his family when considering this decision. After all, they've already watched "daddy fight for his life" once before but before Drew could continue much longer, Roman Reigns finally arrived. The rivals went face to face, with Reigns saying that "Roman accepts" his challenge before telling Drew to never mention his family again.
Reigns then unleashed a vengeful fury on McIntyre, throwing him around ringside until a low-blow cut him off. Drew then followed up too, landing Claymore and standing tall over Reigns before proudly departing. Backstage, McIntyre was then confronted by Dean Ambrose, with the latter refuting his "exterminated" claims before challenging Drew to a Last Man Standing match tonight! McIntyre was stunned by Dean even being able to stand but promised that he'd change that tonight.
Sasha Banks vs. Natalya
Bayley and Beth Phoenix are both at ringside here while in-ring, Banks flurried until Natalya took things to the mat, applying Romero Special until Sasha fought free and landed a knee for 2. Some counters followed, with Natalya thinking Sharpshooter before Banks pushed her to the floor. She continued to build momentum as well, hitting a hurricanrana off the apron and landing a knee against the barricade. Following the break though, Natalya was in control, wearing Banks down until she rallied with some signature offense.
Sasha then countered a Natalya comeback too, applying Bank Statement but after an immense struggle, Natalya turned it around and snatched the Sharpshooter. Banks eventually fought free but as she did, Nia Jax and Tamina arrived at ringside. They brought a swift end to the match but Beth made them pay, clotheslining Nia to the mat and then hitting a GlamSlam on Tamina too. Phoenix then stared the champions down as an exclamation point on their statement.
Winner via Disqualification: Sasha Banks
Post-match, a video package celebrating The Hart Foundation's Hall of Fame induction aired. We then saw Natalya's live reaction too, proudly pointing to the sky with tears in her eyes.
An interview with Kurt Angle followed that, as the retiring hall of famer spoke about leaving on his terms as well as his appreciation for Joe coming from SmackDown Live. Baron Corbin then interrupted, questioning Angle's age and claiming that fans only support him out of sympathy. Corbin also promised that at WrestleMania, Kurt will disgrace himself. Angle responded simply, "screw you."
Elsewhere, Bayley and Sasha stopped for an interview with Charly Caruso. Banks said that if everyone wants to come for them, they'll take on all three of their rival teams at WrestleMania.
Time for A Moment of Bliss next, with Alexa crediting herself for the women's main event status before admitting that her reputation is at stake. She then pointed to a video package recapping Braun Strowman's conflict with Colin Jost and to a lesser extent, Michael Che. Bliss then introduced Braun Strowman, welcoming 'The Monster Among Men' before listing off his most outrageous outbursts. Strowman accepted all of these charges, next planning to smash Jost's "pasty face".
Alexa then introduced Jost and Che via satellite, with the former conceding that he'd made a dumb mistake. He then walked that back though, putting on a Yankees hat while Che told Strowman that he'd crossed the line. Jost claims that he can help Braun with many things: chewing food, reading a newspaper etc. Che claimed that they simply want to make things better but Jost recommended therapy, asking for a receipt as well as an autograph from Brock Lesnar. Strowman responded by demanding that Jost enter the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. He refused but Che entered him nonetheless, protecting himself until Jost entered his partner too.
Alexa then confirmed things, adding them to the match as Strowman promised that at WrestleMania, they'd "get these hands"
Back to Elias next, now outside Madison Square Garden but first, taking a shot at Boston before someone threw a quarter in his direction. Initially enraged by this, Elias' stance then seemingly changed.
Baron Corbin vs. Apollo Crews
Flurrying early, Crews almost caught a handful of quick roll-ups and then followed up with a sharp dropkick too. A moonsault off the apron came next but Corbin then launched his foe into the ring-post. Now in control, Baron went to work with a creative slam for 2 but then ran into a pair of crisp kicks. Frogsplash followed but Corbin kicked out in the nick of time. He then fired back too, catching End of Days out of nowhere for the win.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Post-match, Corbin landed End of Days one more time, applauding himself while exiting the ring.
A recap of tonight's opening segment follwed that as well as the announcement that next week, the triple threat's three participants will face The Riott Squad in a 6-woman tag.
Seth Rollins arrived next, cutting to the chase and making it clear that he's cut from a different cloth to Lesnar. Rollins says that he's embracing the weight of carrying that title, hoping to inspire fans just like his heroes did. While this is the biggest match of his life, Rollins said that it's overall importance has only become clear to him recently. Everyone wants Seth to slay the beast and that leaves him with no choice, refusing to allow Lesnar to define the future of this industry. Brock is a bully and at WrestleMania, an army will follow Rollins "to the gates of Suplex City."
That brought out Paul Heyman, thanking Rollins for making it clear that their upcoming bout is now a handicap match. With the entire WWE universe against Brock, Paul still likes the odds, calling Seth "pathetic" for wanting the fans' support. Heyman says that after WrestleMania, Rollins will need their thoughts and prayers as currently, he's without any thought as to how he could possibly beat Lesnar. Before he could leave though, Rollins chased Heyman up the ramp, forcing Paul to beg for mercy right away. Seth laughed the response off, promising to take The Universal Title at WrestleMania. Kurt Angle then passed Heyman on his way to the ring.
Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe
Pre-match, Joe apologized for forgetting his bouquet of flowers and then promised that regardless of what fans want, he's giving Angle a good night's sleep.
Going face to face at the bell, Joe floored his foe with a headbutt and went to work with strikes in the corner. He avoided a German Suplex too, taking Kurt to the mat and landing some kicks. Angle briefly rallied in response but was sent to the floor for his troubles, allowing Joe to land his signature dive as a result. Back from the break and Joe remains in control, grounding Angle and dominating proceedings too. However, a sudden trio of German Suplexes turned the tide with Joe kicking out at 2.
A big boot/senton combination immediately came back in response but Kurt was undeterred, landing Angle Slam for another near-fall. Joe then avoided the Ankle Lock as well, landing his powerslam for 2. Angle fired back, landing a dropkick off the middle rope as a strike exchange commenced. Joe seized the Coquina Clutch though, having his rival in trouble until Kurt scored a counter roll-up for the win.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Triple H is here next, grabbing a microphone in center ring. He thanked the crowd for their response and then congratulated every female to ever grace the WWE ring. Their main event status makes him happy but an envelope in his pocket does not. Triple H argued against the letter's claims, mentioning how Evolution helped Batista's career before mocking his prior WrestleMania requests. The letter's main point though is that Batista will only compete if Triple H puts his career on the line. Refusing to allow him to quit, Triple H agreed as frankly, he doesn't belong here if he can't beat Batista.
Back in New York, Elias is now collecting money for his performance, once again promising a spectacular WrestleMania showing as in the meantime, his money was stolen. Elias isn't bothered though, promising to make far more at 'the grandest stage of them all'.
Last Man Standing
Dean Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre
Jumping his foe at the bell, Ambrose gained an upper hand early but was quickly cut off, with McIntyre landing a salvo of strikes until he was sent to the floor. Drew avoided Dean's elbow drop off the top though, forcing Ambrose to barely beat the count and then launching him into the barricade. Back from the break and McIntyre now has a kendo stick in hand, battering Ambrose until Dean clothesline Drew to the outside. He followed up with a dive too, building momentum until Glasgow Kiss stopped him in his tracks.
McIntyre then used the ring structure as a weapon, next flooring Ambrose with a steel steps shot. A chair was his next plan but Dean evaded, turning things around and landing Dirty Deeds as well. Drew made it up at 8, eating a big boot for his troubles as Ambrose then retrieved a table. McIntyre quickly used it though, slamming Dean through the table and then closing the show, landing Claymore on a barely standing Ambrose.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
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