WWE RAW Report – 1/23

Jan 23, 2023 - by Marc Middleton

– The Royal Rumble go-home edition of the WWE RAW 30th Anniversary special opens up on the USA Network live from the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the music hits and out comes WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart. Alicia Taylor does the introductions.

The Hulkster speaks from the stage and welcomes the Hulkamaniacs to RAW. He’s having some audio issues with the mic. Hogan hypes up tonight’s RAW and 30 years of the show as a crew member brings a new mic out. Hogan asks what you’re going to do when Hulkamania, 30 years of RAW, and those Philadelphia Eagles run wild on you, brother. The music starts back up as Hogan plays to the crowd from the stage. We cut to a video package to celebrate 30 years of WWE’s flagship TV show. The video is set to “I’m Good (Blue)” by David Guetta and Bebe Rexha.

– We come back to Kevin Patrick welcoming us to a sold out Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia as the pyro goes off. He’s joined at ringside by Corey Graves. We go right to the ring.

– The music hits and out first comes The Bloodline – Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa, Sami Zayn, and Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos, Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. They stop on the entrance-way and raise their titles and fingers in the air as the pyro goes off. The Bloodline now marches to the ring to host Tribal Court for the Trial of Zayn. We see what happened on Friday’s SmackDown with Kevin Owens attacking Reigns during their Royal Rumble contract signing.

The Bloodline hits the ring to more pyro. There is a table and chairs in the middle of the ring. Zayn looks worried. Fans chant “Sami!” now. Reigns takes the mic and calls on Philadelphia to acknowledge him. Reigns sits at the head of the table, The Usos sit on one side, and Sami is on the other, but he’s backed away from the table in his chair. Heyman takes the mic to a big “ECW!” chant. Heyman speaks and tells his Tribal Chief that ECW is dead, and he wishes the same for Zayn. Fans boo. They start chanting “Sami!” again. Heyman speaks some Samoan and calls Sami a Judas, a traitor of the Island of Relevancy, a conspirator with Owens since day one. Heyman says Sami has been leading The Bloodline on. He goes on and knocks the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles a few times. Heyman says this is an open and shut case.

Heyman goes on about all this evidence, and says it will show that Zayn is guilty as charged. The video shows Drew McIntyre attacking The Usos from behind on August 12, 2022, with Sami running away in the background. We also see footage from August 29, with Sami hesitating to throw a chair to Jey Uso, allowing Owens to hit him with a Stunner to pin him. Exhibit C shows Sami celebrating on top of the War Games cage after their big win at Survivor Series. Sami said he was “4-life” and Heyman says that was a signal to Owens because Montreal Boys are 4 Life. WE then see footage from December 23, where Sami was fired up in a promo and accidentally shoulder-bumped Reigns. Heyman says that was an assassination attempt so Sami can become The Head of The Table, it was blatant, assault, and if Sami is guilty of nothing else, he’s guilty of assault on The Tribal Chief. Heyman begs his Tribal Chief and the jury to find this rat bastard guilty as charged. Heyman tosses the mic and fans boo. The prosecution rests its case, Heyman declares.

Sami says he had a whole defense lined up in his head but he didn’t count on how he would actually feel when he came out here, and watching Heyman say all that to his face, after Heyman always hugged him and acted like his friend, it hurts, it hurts so much. The carefully-crafted video also hurts and Sami dismisses the idea that he’s working with Owens and coming for Reigns’ spot. The fact that Heyman would think this about Sami just hurts. Sami says Heyman might not see it, but the people have, they have for 9 months. Sami goes on about how it hurts to have to defend himself here. His defense is that he has no defense. Sami tosses the mic onto the table, then he sits back down. Reigns takes the mic and wants to get this straight – Sami has no defense? Sami has so much ego h won’t even fight for this? He doesn’t even care, this means nothing to Sami? Reigns lets Sami in his family and this is what he gets. Reigns yells out for Solo, who is standing behind him. Sikoa walks and stands behind Sami.

Sikoa is going to deliver a Samoan Spike to Sami but Jey stops him and grabs his arm. Everyone is shocked. Jey tells Reigns no disrespect but he put together his own footage last night. Play the tape. Exhibit A for the defense shows Sami playing music in the production truck to help Uso pin Matt Riddle on June 3. We also see Sami taking a Claymore from McIntyre on August 19, allowing Reigns to drop Drew with a Superman Punch. We also see Sami sacrifice himself for Sikoa, taking a chair shot from McIntyre on September 9. We then see Sami stop Sheamus from breaking up Uso’s pin on Butch on December 9. Exhibit E shows Sami stopping the referee’s count in War Games when Owens tried to pin Reigns, along with other Zayn highlights from War Games.

Sami looks on and fans cheer now. Jey hypes the crowd up and says it’s right there on tape for Reigns and everyone to see – Sami has taken so many bullets for the whole Bloodline, he’s basically bulletproof. Jey says everyone knows he despised Sami but Sami saw the good in him the whole time and never gave up on him, and that’s what family does. Fans pop. Jey says the tape shows loyalty and love to this family. Jey says he loves Sami like a brother, Uce, 100%. Jey tells fans to throw their 1s to the sky if they want Zayn to stay in The Bloodline. Fans pop and raise their 1s. Sami nods his head. Jimmy also raises his 1, along with Jey. Reigns stands up as fans chant “Sami Uso!” now.

Reigns says as our Tribal Chief and The Head of The Table, he finds Zayn not guilty. The crowd erupts. Heyman looks up and Sikoa stares at Sami. Reigns then says… for now. Not guilty for now. Reigns tells Sami to thank Jey for buying him some time but in the mean-time, he tells Sami to finish out tonight and make The Bloodline proud, then Reigns doesn’t want to see Sami again until the Royal Rumble. He doesn’t want to see or hear from Sami, doesn’t want to hear about him being at a show. Reigns tells Sami to go home and then he will see him on Saturday at The Rumble, and that’s where Sami will deliver his final test, and then we will see if Sami really is The Bloodline or not. Reigns drops the mic as the music starts back up. Reigns exits the ring and Sikoa follows, then Heyman. Jey gives his lei to Sami, then they hug. Sami also hugs Jimmy to end the segment.

– We go to ringside as Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick hype tonight’s 30th Anniversary special.

RAW Tag Team Titles Match: The Judgment Day vs. The Usos

We go back to the ring and out comes The Judgment Day – Damian Priest and Dominik Mysterio with Finn Balor and Rhea Ripley. Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos, Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso, look on from the corner, and Sami Zayn is on the apron. The Usos will be defending their RAW Tag Team Titles tonight. We get formal ring introductions from Alicia Taylor now.

Priest attacks Jimmy to start. Priest gets sent to the apron, then kicked to the floor. Jimmy looks to nail a dive but he puts the brakes on as Priest moves. Jimmy follows but has to stop and drop Dominik as he approaches from behind. Priest charges and launches Jimmy over the announce table with a big pounce.

They bring it back in and Dominik tags in. Dominik unloads on Jimmy and stomps away to keep him down. Dominik mounts Jimmy with right hands as Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor yell words of encouragement from ringside. Priest tags back in and levels Jimmy with a big kick for a 2 count. Priest puts a knee to the back to keep Jimmy down. We see Paul Heyman, Solo Sikoa and Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns watching from backstage. Priest with a kidney shot while Jimmy is down on the middle rope. Jimmy levels Priest with a lariat out of nowhere.

Jey tags in and unloads on Dominik as he also tags in. Jey mounts offense and nails a Samoan Drop as Ripley barks from ringside. Jey with the Rikishi Splash in the corner for a 2 count. Jey and Dominik trade shots. Jey drops him with a kick. Priest tags in and rocks Jey. Priest doesn’t see the tag, and now he gets double teamed.

Sami rallies the crowd as Jimmy goes to the top but has to come off and knock Dominik off the apron. Priest rocks Jimmy as he tries to fly in from the apron. Priest drops Jey with a big right hand as well. Priest takes turns on both champions, then hits a Broken Arrow to Jey. Priest runs the ropes for a dive but Jimmy superkicks him. Priest levels Jimmy with a superkick of his own to send him to the floor. Priest runs the ring and leaps out, taking The Usos down at ringside. Priest brings Jimmy back in for a big lariat but Jimmy kicks out just in time. Priest can’t believe it, and the same goes for Zayn. Priest kicks Jey off the apron. Jimmy is on Priest’s shoulders now, and Dominik leaps off the top to slam him to the mat. Dominik covers but Jimmy kicks out just in time as Ripley yells at the referee.

Jimmy counters a move and in comes Jey. They level Dominik with double superkicks, then Priest. A second double superkick to Priest puts him down. Jey covers for 2 as Balor looks worried. Jey is limping now. He goes to the top but Balor crotches him. The referee catches Balor, then ejects him to the back as fans go wild. Balor argues with the referee as other officials come to escort him to the back. Jey leaps off the top with a big splash but Priest holds the pin for 2. Jey superkicks Priest. Jimmy follows up with the top rope Uso splash as Ripley screams out. Priest still kicks out somehow. Jimmy runs the ring and leaps out, taking Priest down at ringside.

Jimmy tries to bring Priest back in but his leg goes out. Jimmy is down at ringside as Jey and Sami check on him. The referee also tends to Jimmy now as two medics join them. Fans chant “Sami!” as Jimmy is helped to the back. Adam Pearce comes out and the referee confirms Jimmy can’t continue. Pearce says protocol dictates The Usos must forfeit the match and the titles. Sami says maybe there’s a solution, just wait. He says one Uso is down but Sami Uso is good to go. Sami begs Pearce to let him defend the titles with Jey. Fans pop. Pearce says he did it for The Judgment Day before, so he will let this happen. The match continues now.

We see Reigns, Sikoa and Heyman watching backstage as Sami and Jey rush the ring to brawl with Priest and Mysterio. Jey sends Dominik out but Priest sends Jey out. Sami sends Priest to the floor and nails a big dive as fans pop. Dominik ends up rolling Sami up and using the ropes for leverage, which almost gets the 3 count. Ripley and fans can’t believe it. Sami with a big Exploder to Dominik into the turnbuckles. Ripley is on the apron now. The referee yells at her to get down, allowing Priest to come from behind with South of Heaven to Zayn. Mysterio runs over and covers Sami but he kicks out. Everyone is shocked.Dominik goes for 619 to Sami but Jey cuts him off with a superkick. Ripley is in the ring now, taunting Jey and telling h to bring it, saving Dominik from a superkick. Dominik dropkicks Jey from behind, then nails 619.

Dominik goes to the top and hits the Frogsplash on Jey but Sami breaks the pin up just in time. Priest grabs Sami but misses in the corner, hits the ring post, and falls to the floor. Dominik sends Sami to the floor from behind. Dominik blocks a Samoan Drop. Jey superkicks Dominik. Sami tags in and they hit the 1D to Mysterio in the middle of the ring. Sami covers for the pin to retain.

Winners: The Usos

– After the match, Sami and The Usos celebrate to a big pop. We see Reigns, Sikoa and Heyman backstage again. Reigns tells Heyman he does not want to see Zayn until the Royal Rumble. Do you understand me? We go back to Zayn and The Usos celebrating.

– We see WWE Hall of Famer JBL backstage with Baron Corbin. They approach WWE Hall of Famer The Godfather now. Godfather and JBL hug. Godfather asks JBL who the stooge is, referring to Corbin. Godfather gets Corbin’s name wrong, calling him Barry. JBL wants to get Corbin into tonight’s poker tournament, but Godfather says he’s not on the list. JBL asks if we can speak to the owner of this fine establishment. They knock on the door of The APA. WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons comes out and they embrace. Simmons also calls Corbin a stooge. JBL ends up giving Simmons and Godfather stacks of money, and they suddenly find Corbin’s name on the list. They enter the room and a poker tournament is going on with several Legends and Superstars playing, including The O.C., Akira Tozawa, Dexter Lumis, Johnny Gargano, Jimmy Hart, Candice LeRae, and others.

– We see stills from several notable RAW moments from the past 30 years.

– We go back to the ring and LA Knight is in the ring. He wants to talk to you. Knight says last Friday on SmackDown Bray Wyatt brought back the Firefly Fun House. He calls Wyatt a grown man incel playing with puppets and says he’s supposed to be scared of that? Knight says Wyatt is living on past glory and that got him thinking… RAW is turning 30 tonight and a bunch of Legends are backstage, also living on past glory, so is Wyatt. Knight was thinking – if any single Legend has enough tingle in his loins, come down and let Knight give them a preview of the Pitch Black match at Royal Rumble. Yeah. Knight says that’s what he thought, no one has what it takes to show up.

The lights go low and the bells toll for WWE Hall of Famer The Undertaker. The music then transitions into his American Badass theme. A Harley Davidson revs up as Taker rides to the ring as Knight looks on. Taker hits the ring and plays to the crowd for a big pop. Knight says that’s enough, cut the music. Fans chant for Taker now.

Knight says he saw Taker’s interview with Joe Rogan and heard Taker talk about how the locker room is soft. Knight says that is true, and Wyatt is at the top of the list. Knight says if Taker thinks he is on the list, someone told him wrong. Knight says think of the headline they could create – LA Knight Sends The Undertaker to The Undertaker. Yeah. Taker is pacing around the ring now. Knight says he’s going to give Taker a pass, let him live to enjoy retirement and his family. Fans boo. Knight wants Taker to watch the Pitch Black match at The Rumble because then he will be The Lord of Darkness. Yeah. Knight goes on talking himself up until the lights go low and the music starts up for Wyatt’s entrance.

Knight is suddenly spooked as Wyatt is walking down the entrance-way with the lantern. Taker watches from the ring. Knight goes back into the ring but turns around to a big chokeslam from Taker. The lights come back up as Knight struggles to get free. Taker, still clutching Knight’s throat, holds him there, then looks to Wyatt, who is now on the apron. Wyatt enters the ring and Taker shoves Knight to him, right into a Sister Abigail. Fans pop. Wyatt stares at Taker now as he gets back to his feet. Fans chant “holy shit!” as the 9pm hour hits. Taker and Wyatt stare each other down. Taker walks past Wyatt, stops and whispers a few words in his ear, which we can’t hear. Wyatt nods as Taker exits the ring. The American Badass theme starts back up as Taker rides his Harley to the back. Taker stops on the stage, raises his fist in the air as the lighting strikes, then rides to the back.

– We go backstage to the poker tournament. WWE Hall of Famers Diamond Dallas Page and Alundra Blayze are at a table with American Alpha and Baron Corbin. Chad Gable folds and Corbin asks why he always does that. Gable calls it a genius move. Otis is all in, as is DDP. Blayze wins with a full house of kings, and she has her retro WWE Women’s Title belt on the table. DDP tells her to hold up, and he wins with a straight flush. Bang!, DDP says as he rakes it all in.

Steel Cage Match: Bayley vs. Becky Lynch

We see the Steel Cage being lowered around the ring. The music hits and out comes Damage CTRL- Bayley with WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Dakota Kai and IYO SKY. Bayley heads to the cage by herself as we go to our first commercial break.

Back from the break and out comes Becky Lynch to a big pop. Lynch is heading to the cage when Kai and SKY come back down and attack from behind. They smash her in the face with the cage door, then beat her in the ribs with a chain. They bring Lynch in the cage now and send her face-first into the steel wall. Kai locks the cage door with a chain as Bayley and SKY double team Lynch.

Adam Pearce runs down with officials but they can’t get the door open as the triple team continues. Pearce sends a referee to get some kind of help. Bayley tells Pearce that Becky wanted this. Pearce is given bolt cutters now. Pearce finally gets in as Kai, Bayley and SKY retreat to the top of the cage. They sit up on the top of the cage as fans boo. Pearce and officials check on Lynch. Damage CTRL laughs atop the cage as their music plays. The bell never rang to officially start the match. We go to the announcers while officials tend to Lynch, who is down and hurt.

– Still to come, Austin Theory defends against Bobby Lashley in the main event. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see more stills of several notable RAW moments from the past 30 years.

– We go back to the ring and out comes WWE Hall of Famers DX – Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, Senior Vice President of Live Events “Road Dogg” Brian James, Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative Shawn Michaels, and Chief Content Officer Triple H. WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle is with them. Angle poses with DX and they do the crotch chops together as the pyro shoots across the ring.

James takes the mic and says the more things change, the more they stay the same. He then does his signature New Age Outlaws intro but points to Angle when saying Billy Gunn’s name. The intro stops. James asks Angle what he’s doing out here. Kurt says he always wanted to be in DX. Angle removes his shirt to reveal a DX shirt and fans pop. Michaels says Kurt has to pass the test to be in DX. He asks… are you ready? Kurt asks if that’s the test. Triple H says never mind, then he asks the crowd… are you ready!? Triple H goes on and finishes the promo for the thousands in attendance and the millions watching around the world… llllet’s… the music interrupts and out comes Imperium – WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER, Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser.

Kaiser says shame on DX for all that filth and nonsense. Fans boo. GUNTHER calls them a bunch of degenerates and says they’re standing out here celebrating themselves, but for what? For making a mockery of this great sport? GUNTHER says they are Imperium and they are here to restore the honor of this precious sport, and they are here to kick DX out of their ring. Fans are giving GUNTHER the “What?!?” treatment here. GUNTHER then says unless anyone of you are going to do something about it. Triple H steps up to GUNTHER and they face off. He then jokes that he’s retired. They look to Michaels as a “HBK!” chant starts up. Michaels says he’s too old, he’s not doing it. Waltman says he has a really bad case of shinsplints. James says he’s not doing it either. Triple H calls Angle “Butterbean” and tells him to stay over there to the side, then the DX members huddle up. Triple H comes back and says Kurt volunteers to fight, but Kurt says no, no I don’t.

Triple H says we’re in a jam but he wishes there was someone who wanted to come out and fight you guys. The music hits and out comes Seth Rollins to a big pop as fans begin singing his theme song. DX stands behind Rollins, and they’re also encouraging everyone to sing along. Waltman points to how there is 1 of Rollins and three of them, so only if there was a tag team to help even the score. The music hits and out comes The Street Profits. DX does some more joking around. Triple H says if only someone could come out here and make sense of this situation. The music hits and out comes WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long to the stage as fans pop. Hold up a minute, playa. Long announces Imperium vs. The Profits and Rollins in a six-man tag team match, playa. Michaels says we’re going to need someone who can keep this chaos under control. Triple H says like a special referee. DX huddles up. Kurt has an idea. Triple H tells him to hang on, this is DX business. Angle removes his DX t-shirt to reveal a referee shirt underneath. Triple H has a great idea – what if Kurt was the special referee? It’s official, ring the bell, Triple H says. Michaels announces the match and says if you’re not down with that, they’ve got two words for ya… the crowd finishes it, “Suck it!” The two sides get ready as the ring begins to clear out and we go back to commercial.

Imperium vs. Seth Rollins and The Street Profits

Back from the break and Seth Rollins is starting off with Giovanni Vinci. WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER and Ludwig Kaiser watch from their side of apron, while Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins talk strategy from their corner.

WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler joins Graves and Patrick for commentary as Vinci and Rollins go at it. Vinci grounds Rollins with a headlock to start. Rollins leaps over Vinci and kicks him in the gut, then again, then drops him with a clothesline.

Rollins twists the arm up and tags in Ford for the quick double team. Vinci rocks Ford with a big chop but Ford comes back with a dropkick in the middle of the ring. Vinci kicks out at 2. Vinci blocks a kick in the corner, then nails a big clothesline. Kaiser tags in to take over on Ford, beating him down with chops and elbows. Kaiser beats Ford down in the corner, then stomps away and yells out to the crowd.

Ford fights back and tag sin Dawkins for the double team. Angle counts 2. Dawkins misses the corkscrew splash as Kaiser removes out of the corner. They tangle and Dawkins levels Kaiser with a huge right hand. Rollins and GUNTHER tag in now. Fans pop as they face off in the middle of the ring. GUNTHER with a big kick to the gut and strikes to start. Rollins blocks a powerslam and slides out but GUNTHER goes for a Sleeper.

Rollins fights back and springboards in from the apron but GUNTHER chops him out of the air. GUNTHER slams Rollins in the middle of the ring and puts a boot to his face. GUNTHER with a shot to Dawkins on the apron. GUNTHER goes back to work on Rollins as we get a picture-in-picture commercial.

Imperium dominates Rollins through the break. At one point GUNTHER leveled Rollins at ringside and then Imperium posed together. We come back to Kaiser grounding Rollins in the middle of the ring. Rollins mounts some offense now, then tags in Ford. Vinci also runs in but Ford unloads on him. Ford with a flurry of big chops against the ropes. Ford leaps and takes Vinci down, then nails a few kicks. Vinci blocks a kick and goes for a slam but Ford counters. Ford with the ankle lock but Kaiser runs in.

Dawkins cuts him off and they both have ankle locks applied now. Angle loves it, he’s all smiles. GUNTHER runs in to break the holds up with chops. Angle yells at GUNTHER and they have words now. GUNTHER pokes Angle in the chest a few times as fans cheer. Angle shoves GUNTHER, then Rollins runs in with a big forearm to knock Gunther to the floor. Dawkins runs in and leaps to the floor to take out Vinci. Ford then runs out the other side of the ring to take Kaiser down on the floor. Rollins goes for a big dive on GUNTHER but The Ring General rushes in and chops him down. GUNTHER with a dropkick, then a powerbomb in the middle of the ring for a close 2 count.

GUNTHER is a bit frustrated now. He grabs Rollins for a German suplex but Rollins lands on his feet. Rollins swings and misses. GUNTHER with a Sleeper but Rollins fights out with a kick to the head, then a kick to the face. Rollins with the Angle Slam to GUNTHER in the middle of the ring. Vinci and Ford tag in now. Vinci levels Ford, then Kaiser goes up for the Imperium Bomb but Rollins leaps up to the top as Ford slams Vinci. Rollins with a superplex to Kaiser, then he holds it to go for a Falcon Arrow but instead he puts Kaiser up on top of Dawkins’ shoulders. Ford goes to the top, crotch chops Kaiser, then nails a big super Blockbuster to knock him off Dawkins’ shoulders.

GUNTHER and Rollins tangle now. Rollins with a Pedigree in the middle of the ring, sending GUNTHER to the floor. Vinci comes in but Dawkins nails the sit-out powerbomb. Ford follows up with the big top rope Frogsplash. Rollins comes in and plays to the crowd as they begin to sing his theme. Rollins with the Stomp to Vinci in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.

Winners: Seth Rollins and The Street Profits

– After the match, Rollins and The Profits celebrate as the music hits. We go to replays. Angle raises the arms of Rollins and The Profits as the post-match celebration continues.

– We go backstage to the poker tournament with WWE Hall of Famers and Superstars. Ted DiBiase slams his cards down after losing a hand to Baron Corbin. There’s a pile of chips and hundred dollar bills in the center of the table. Corbin and JBL take it all in but here comes Irwin R. Schyster, also known as IRS. He tells them – don’t forget to pay your taxes! IRS opens his briefcase and starts taking the money and chips, but he leaves them with one $100 bill. Corbin and JBL are disappointed. DiBiase does his signature laugh while holding the Million Dollar Title belt on his shoulder. Everybody has a price! Ron Simmons walks up and looks at the measly $100 left by IRS. JBL tells him no, don’t do it. Simmons looks around, then to the $100 bill, and ends the segment with a DAMN!

– Still to come, a celebration for Charlotte Flair. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see more stills of several notable RAW moments from the past 30 years.

– Cathy Kelley is backstage with Bobby Lashley. She asks why tonight’s main event with WWE United States Champion Austin Theory is now a No DQ match. Lashley says because No DQ means no excuses, no way out. Theory can’t keep his title by getting disqualified, and Lashley can’t get disqualified for what he’s going to do to Theory. Lashley says he should still be champion if it weren’t for Brock Lesnar, but he beat Brock up and he beat that silly little suspension, so now he has one focus and that’s to tear Theory apart to win back his United States Title. MVP walks up and asks Cathy for a minute alone with Lashley. MVP knows Lashley will win tonight and says they can hit the VIP Lounge after the show so Lashley can meet some new friends. Lashley says he didn’t need help from MVP or Omos to become the #1 contender last week, and he won’t need their help tonight to win the title back. Lashley tells MVP to let him handle his business tonight. Lashley walks off. MVP watches and says alright champ, go handle your business.

– We go back to the ring and out comes WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair to the stage. Flair shouts-out to Philadelphia and hypes up the RAW 30th Anniversary. Flair goes on to “Wooos!” from the crowd. He says diamonds are forever, and so is Monday Night RAW. Woooo! Flair says WWE has given him so much but the greatest gift is the chance to watch his daughter succeed past all his goals. The Nature Boy is so honored as a father, a wrestler, and a man, to be here to introduce a very special guest… the greatest women’s champion in WWE history, Charlotte Flair. Woooo! The music hits and out comes the SmackDown Women’s Champion.

Flair and Flair hug and share a kiss on the cheek as they meet on the stage. Flair heads to the ring by herself, stopping to greet fans on the entrance-way. She stops as the pyro goes off. Flair says RAW is where the Women’s Revolution kicked off, it’s where she began going from a Diva to a 14-time champion, facing names like Ronda Rousey, The Bella Twins, Asuka, Rhea Ripley… she says it’s because of them she’s able to call herself the most decorated athlete of all-time… the most decorated women’s athlete of all-time. Flair knows she stands her as the SmackDown Women’s Champion, but RAW will always be her home. The music interrupts and out comes RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair.

Fans chant “EST!” as Belair hits the ring. She respects all Flair has done for the business, but Belair goes here now and this is her show, her home, and she does all she can to make sure RAW is the greatest show on TV. The music interrupts and out comes Sonya Deville. She’s so sorry to break up this little pow-wow, but this is a historic night and they’re just standing out here talking about themselves. She asks if it was really necessary for Flair to fly daddy out here to give her a grand introduction, on a show she’s not even wanted on. Deville asks Blair if she really thinks people tune into RAW to watch her every week. That’s delusional. Deville asks about the people who work hard to make the show special, who don’t get the spotlight each week. Like Deville. She reminds us she was the RAW General Manager before, then asks where her recognition is in all this. Belair is about to motion for Flair to handle this but Flair says no, and she owes Deville for last Friday’s cheap shot, but this is Belair’s show, so why don’t Belair handle this? Belair says if Deville wants the spotlight, she can enter the ring and be the center of Belair’s attention. Belair tells Deville to come on. Deville looks on from ringside as Belair’s music starts up. Flair and Belair stand together as we go back to commercial.

RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair vs. Sonya Deville

Back from the break and the announcers hype WrestleMania 39. The bell rings as RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair locks up with Sonya Deville in this non-title match.

Belair fights Deville off and over-powers her early on, slamming her. They run the ropes and Belair nails a dropkick, then a kip-up. Belair with a running shoulder thrust in the corner, then she holds it as the referee counts.

Belair whips Deville into the corner, then goes to scoop her but Deville slides out and brings Belair down by her hair. Deville poses to boos. Deville works Belair over in the corner now, stopping to talk trash to the camera to warn SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. Deville misses a sliding knee as Belair moves.

Belair goes on and rolls Deville for 2. Deville runs into a boot and goes down. Belair mocks Deville from the second rope, then keeps control and hits a backbreaker. Belair with the handspring moonsault for a 2 count. Belair sends Deville into the corner but runs into a knee. They tangle and Deville gets tossed to the floor. Belair charges and kicks Deville from the apron to the floor as she tries to re-enter. Belair ends up on the floor but Deville kicks her into the barrier. Belair goes down and Deville stands tall as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Belair nails a vertical suplex. Belair goes for another moonsault but Deville gets the knees up. Deville with a kick for a 2 count. Deville is frustrated now as she covers for another quick pin attempt. They tangle and Belair scoops Deville for the KOD, nailing it in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.

Winner: Bianca Belair

– After the match, Belair stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. Belair takes the mic and says she didn’t forget about Alexa Bliss and the Royal Rumble. Belair says what she just did to Deville was only a preview of what she did to Bliss. She says Bliss can bring Uncle Howdy, the Play House, the Fun House, it doesn’t matter because no one will stop them from saying “and still!” the RAW Women’s Champion, Bianca Belair. The Bray Wyatt logo flashes on the big screen. Bliss is now on the screen, speaking from back in the locker room. Bliss looks into the mirror and says for the last time, she is the only obstacle to Belair and if everyone would just leave her the hell alone, maybe she wouldn’t have to keep reminding Belair of that. Bliss says she doesn’t need Wyatt or Howdy, she doesn’t need anyone to tear Belair’s face open with her bare hands. Bliss turns around and looks at the camera, and says don’t worry, she will spare Belair’s so she can watch Bliss walk out of the Royal Rumble with the title. Bliss turns back around and stares at the mirror as her music starts up in the arena. Belair looks around.

– We get the fourth and final vignette for Cody Rhodes’ return at the Royal Rumble. We see Cody training and talking about his return. A doctor says while Rhodes has the sheer desire and motivation to come back, you have to respect Mother Nature. Cody says you think you’re as close as you’ve ever been to that big moment, to validation, only for it to get broken, and that felt like a legit knife to the heart. Cody is a bit emotional now. He goes on and says at the Royal Rumble, he can’t think of anything that will stop him as long as his heart is pumping – not a torn pec, not both torn pecs, not a torn bicep or quad. Cody says being in the ring is like oxygen and he really needs to breathe again. We see shots of Cody working out some more. Cody says at Royal Rumble, you all need to get off the mountain because he has made it crystal clear what he wants.

– Still to come, Austin Theory defends in the main event. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and they air more stills from notable RAW moments in the past 30 years.

– We go back tot h ring and The Miz is out with a mic, and he’s furious. Miz goes on a rant about how this is one of the biggest nights in WWE history, but where is his MizTV segment? Where is his title match? Where is his celebration for all the amazing moments he’s had over the years? Miz says he was the first-ever WWE Grand Slam Champion, and he goes on about what he deserves. Fans start standing up and yelling at something in the crowd. Miz tells them to stand up, yes, support him. Kevin Owens rushes in, comes from behind and lays Miz out with a Stunner. Fans chant “KO!” now as he takes he mic and stands over Miz. Owens takes the mic and delivers a message to Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. He says earlier Reigns said Sami Zayn is not guilty, but what Reigns is guilty of is holding the WWE Universal Title hostage for over two years now, and on Saturday at The Rumble, Owens gives his word… he gives his word to everyone in this arena, and everyone at home… he gives his word that he will do everything he can to change that, and take the title, then give everyone a champion they can be proud of. Fans pop. Owens guarantees he will just keep fighting until he has nothing left, taking the gold from Reigns or die trying. Owens tosses the mic. His music starts back up as we see The Miz stumbling to his feet. Owens puts Miz back down with a big Stunner as the crowd erupts again. Owens marches to the back now.

– The announcers hype Saturday’s Royal Rumble Premium Live Event.

No DQ Match for the WWE United States Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory

We go back to the ring for tonight’s No DQ main event as WWE United States Champion Austin Theory is out first. Theory hits the ring to pose as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and out comes Bobby Lashley for the main event. Fans cheer Lashley on as Theory watches from the ring, title around his waist. Lashley poses in the corner as the pyro goes off. We get formal ring introductions from Alicia Taylor. The bell rings and they lock up. Lashley takes it to the corner and unloads, beating Theory down and putting boots to him.

Theory fights back but Lashley slams him, then clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor. Lashley follows and launches Theory into the barrier. Lashley scoops Theory and runs him face-first into the ring post. Lashley stands tall and goes back to work on Theory as we go to a picture-in-picture commercial break.

Back from the break and Lashley has been beating Theory around the ringside area. Lashley brings it in and goes for a suplex but Graves says something fell in Lashley’s eye. Theory blocks the suplex and works Lashley over now, covering for 2. Theory mounts Lashley with right hands for another attempt.

Thee replay shows Theory put his fingers in Lashley’s eye during the suplex attempt. Theory brings a steel chair in the ring and smacks Lashley over the back with it. Theory wedges the chair in the corner now. Lashley sends Theory to the apron and charges to knock him to the floor with a big right hands. Lashley goes to the apron but Theory yanks him off by his leg and Lashley hits the edge of the apron hard.

Theory brings a table from under the ring now, sliding it in to a pop. Theory charges but Lashley ducks and applies The Hurt Lock. Theory gets to the corner but Lashley rolls him for 2. Lashley drops Theory face-first, then launches him into the wedged chair in the corner. Theory hits the chair, and the ring post, and falls out to the floor.

Lashley stands the table up in the corner now. Lashley goes out to grab Theory but Theory sprays him in the face with a fire extinguisher. Theory launches Lashley face-first into the steel ring steps as we go to another picture-in-picture commercial.

Back from the break and Lashley hits a big superplex. They get up and trade stiff strikes in the middle of the ring. Lashley with a big slam from his shoulders. Lashley waits for Theory to get up now. Theory with a big kick. Theory goes to put Lashley through a table but Lashley applies The Hurt Lock. Theory gets free with a low blow mule kick. Lashley goes down but manages to slam Theory through the table standing up in the corner.

Now they’re both down. The music hits and out comes Brock Lesnar to a big pop. Lesnar is all smiles as he marches out, then stops on the entrance-way to bounce around as the pyro goes off. Lesnar rushes into the ring, grabs Lashley and slams him with a big F5 in the middle of the ring.

Lesnar picks Theory up from the table debris, then slams him on top of Lashley with a F5. The referee counts for the pin and Theory retains.

Winner: Austin Theory

– After the match, Theory is announced the winner as Lesnar looks on and heads to exit the ring. The RAW 30th Anniversary special abruptly goes off the air as we’re at 11pm and the Barmageddon season finale is airing.

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