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– The announcers hype tonight’s matches – Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus and Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro with the WWE Intercontinental Title on the line, plus Braun Strowman vs. Kane with the winner facing WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble.
– We go right to the ring and Samoa Joe has a mic.
Joe talks about The Shield and how he’s not impressed with Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns or Dean Ambrose, mentioning how he’s got the upperhand on all three of them since coming to RAW. Joe says he will deal with Ambrose later tonight but he’s here right now to finish what he started with Reigns. Joe warns Reigns not to bring out his two lap dogs, he only wants Reigns. Joe waits and we see Rollins & Ambrose backstage watching. Rollins tells Ambrose to go get Reigns. Joe continues talking trash in the ring.
Joe rants for a minute or two until we see Reigns appear backstage. He tells Rollins and Ambrose that he’s got this, then starts marching to the ring. Reigns’ music hits and out he comes. The brawl starts as RAW Tag Team Champions The Bar try to ambush Reigns. Rollins and Ambrose run down the ramp but The Bar meets them for a fight. Joe looks to put Reigns to sleep in the ring but Reigns fights back. Rollins and Sheamus bring the fight to the ring next. Cesaro, Sheamus and Joe beat down Reigns and Rollins while Ambrose is still down on the outside. The Bar spike Rollins to the mat with a big double team move. Ambrose hits the ring but they beat him down. Joe with a Uranage. Joe and The Bar stand tall over the pile of bodies as some fans boo. Joe’s music hits as they leave while The Shield tries to recover. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers go over what just happened to The Shield.
We go to the ring and out comes Bayley and Mickie James with Sasha Banks. We see footage of Sasha’s history-making match with RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss in Abu Dhabi last week. Absolution is out next as Sonya Deville accompanies Mandy Rose and Paige to the ring.
Paige takes the mic and brags on squashing a boss for her return match last week. She says the Absolution Train is about to run through two more former champions. Rose comments on how they will continue purging the women’s division. Sonya takes the mic and mocks Mickie and Bayley, telling them to put their hair up and square up. Sonya says Absolution is a symphony of carnage and the music is about to start. Paige says this is Absolution’s future and the ring is her house. Absolution heads to the ring as Banks, Bayley and James look on.
Bayley starts off with Mandy and they go at it. Paige tags in and kicks Bayley before going to work on her. Bayley takes her to the corner and tags in Mickie. They try for a double team but Mandy makes the save. They take Mandy out. Paige yells at ringside as she and Mandy go for a breather. Bayley comes off the apron and it looks as if Paige puts Mandy in the way. Mickie comes flying next as Absolution is in trouble going into the commercial.
Back from the break and Bayley goes to work on Mandy for a 2 count. Mandy turns it around with a big knee to the face for another pin attempt. Paige tags in and unloads on Bayley with knees from the apron. Paige with more offense and a pin attempt. Paige drops Bayley with a headbutt and then nails Mickie with a cheap shot. Absolution keeps control before Paige drops Bayley with a running knee for another 2 count. Mickie tries to rally the crowd for Bayley now. Bayley finally turns it around and drops Paige on her face. Bayley crawls for a tag but Paige pulls her back. Mandy and Mickie finally tag in at the same time.
Mickie unloads on Mandy and drops her with kicks and a flying forearm. Mandy blocks Mickie going into the corner but Mickie catches her and drops her on her face again. Mickie kips up. Sonya gets on the apron but Mickie knocks her off. Mickie goes to the top and hits the Thesz Press but Paige breaks the 2 count. Bayley runs in and backs Paige into the corner, then unloads to beat her down. The referee backs Bayley out of the ring. Mickie goes for her DDT on Mandy but Paige kicks Mickie while the referee has his back turned. Mandy takes advantage and covers for the win.
Winners: Mandy Rose and Paige
– After the match, Paige and Mandy exit the ring and join Sonya to celebrate. Sasha and Bayley check on Mickie in the ring as Paige’s music plays.
– The announcers plug Sunday’s WWE Clash of Champions pay-per-view in Boston, a SmackDown-exclusive event.
– Still to come, Kane vs. Strowman to determine Brock Lesnar’s Royal Rumble opponent.
– The graphics flash and Bray Wyatt appears on the big screen. Wyatt says he’s here and blows out the lantern. Matt Hardy appears next, interrupting the video, and says he’s woken. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Bray Wyatt appears, commenting on how it’s always been good vs. evil. Matt Hardy appears next and comments on The Great War. Wyatt appears next and says Matt is woken but he has been waiting on him, like the ying to his yang. Matt appears next and this continue for a minute or two. Matt comments on Sister Abigail and Wyatt warns him that only one of them can survive. Matt says he shall “delete!” and Wyatt laughs at him. Matt laughs back. Wyatt laughs some more. Matt laughs back. Wyatt keeps laughing. Matt laughs back and that’s it. Cole says Matt is clearly out of his mind and Graves says he’s just woken.
– We see WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore giving a pep talk to The Zo Train on last week’s RAW, then turning around to see Nia Jax flirting with him. We go backstage now to Enzo talking to his title. Drew Gulak appears in a suit. Gulak says WWE has revoked Rich Swann’s opportunity. He did not mention Swann’s arrest and suspension from the weekend but that is why his shot has been nixed. There will be a Second Chance match tonight and the winner goes on to face Gulak next week. The winner of that match will then face Enzo for the title. Enzo rants and accidentally mentions Nia’s name. Gulak believes Enzo just said her name because he wants Gulak to be ready for any kind of opponent, even someone like Jax. Enzo plays along and Gulak leaves all smiles.
Finn Balor vs. Curtis Axel
We go to the ring and out comes Finn Balor to a pop. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Curtis Axel with Bo Dallas. We get ready for the bell but The Miztourage attacks Balor and beats him down with the double team.
The referee checks on Balor but he says he’s alright and we get the bell. Axel immediately charges into the corner and goes right to work on Balor. Axel with a 2 count. Axel manhandles Balor a bit and slams him to the mat to keep him grounded.
Balor makes a comeback after Axel misses in the corner. Balor with a big chop and a Slingblade. Balor charges and dropkicks Axel into the corner. Dallas has second thoughts and doesn’t interfere. Balor goes to the top and hits a big Coup de Grace for the pin.
Winner: Finn Balor
– After the match, Balor stands tall as his music hits. Balor leaves and talks some trash as Dallas checks on Axel in the ring with the neck brace.
– Still to come, The Architect vs. The Celtic Warrior with the other competitors banned from ringside. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers plug the 15th annual WWE Tribute to The Troops, airing on Thursday night.
– Kane appears on the big screen and sends a warning to Braun Strowman for tonight’s match. Kane comments on advancing to compete with Brock Lesnar for the first time and says he will become the new WWE Universal Champion at the Royal Rumble.
Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus
We go to the ring and out first comes Seth Rollins. RAW Tag Team Champion Sheamus is out next. Both Superstars are out alone as the others are banned from ringside for tonight’s matches with The Shield, Samoa Joe and The Bar.
They both talk some trash before the bell. Rollins unloads into the corner as the bell hits. Sheamus fights out and catches Rollins in a tilt-a-whirl but Rollins lands on his feet. Rollins sends Sheamus out to the floor and then nails a suicide dive as fans pop. Rollins launches a stunned Sheamus into the barrier next. Rollins with a face first shot into the apron as the referee counts. Rollins rolls Sheamus back into the ring but Sheamus floors him with an axe handle.
Sheamus drops Rollins with a clothesline now. Sheamus keeps control and drops Rollins over his knee for a backbreaker but Rollins kicks out at 2. Sheamus slams Rollins’ head into the turnbuckle and keeps control. Sheamus unloads with kicks in the corner now, focusing on the knee. Sheamus stands tall and poses to boos. Sheamus misses a kick in the corner and Rollins kicks him in the back of the head. Rollins favors the leg Sheamus was working on but he’s able to make a comeback. Rollins with a Slingblade. Rollins with a Blockbuster. Rollins knocks Sheamus over the top rope and stands tall to a pop.
Rollins launches himself over the top but Sheamus moves and Rollins quickly recovers. Sheamus meets Rollins with a knee and ends up knocking him from the apron to the floor. Rollins lands hard and we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Sheamus keeps control, getting the Stretch Muffler submission. Sheamus eventually gets the Cloverleaf applied. Rollins tries to get to the ropes but Sheamus cuts him off. Rollins rolls Sheamus up for a 2 count. Sheamus goes for Rollins but it’s countered. Rollins drops Sheamus with a DDT for a close 2 count.
Rollins with more offense and another 2 count. Rollins superkicks Sheamus in the jaw for another pin attempt. Sheamus ends up driving Rollins leg-first into the corner. Rollins climbs up to the top but Sheamus sends him to the mat. Rollins runs back up and nails a big superplex. Rollins keeps it hooked and hits a Falcon Arrow. Rollins crawls over for a cover but Sheamus kicks out just in time. Sheamus blocks the spinout knee but Rollins counters again. Sheamus hits the rolling senton. Sheamus ends up missing a Brogue Kick and Rollins hits a superkick and a big knee for the pin.
Winner: Seth Rollins
– After the match, Rollins recovers as his music hits. We go to replays. Rollins stands tall and celebrates as we see Dean Ambrose backstage. Renee Youngasks him about tonight’s match with Samoa Joe and asks if his strategy has changed after what happened earlier. Ambrose rants and says he’s heated, ready to get his hands on Joe. He thanks Renee for the pep talk and walks off.
– Still to come, Ambrose vs. Joe and Cesaro vs. Reigns. Also, Nese vs. Daivari vs. Alexander vs. Ali in a Second Chance match. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Drew Gulak is out for commentary. Cedric Alexander is out first followed by Tony Nese. Mustafa Ali is out next and Ariya Daivari is out last. The winner of this will face Gulak on next week’s RAW to crown a new #1 contender. The bell rings and they all go to work on each other.
Lots of back and forth after the start. Daivari ends up getting a close 2 count on Cedric after taking the others out on the floor. Daivari tosses Cedric to the apron but Cedric fights back in and drops him for a close 2 count as Nese breaks the pin. Nese launches Cedric face first into the turnbuckles and he lands hard. Ali comes in to fight Nese but Nese gets the upperhand. Nese fights Cedric off again. Daivari takes out Nese but Cedric drops him. Ali gets back in the mix and hits Cedric with a big DDT. We go to commercial with everyone down.
Back from the break and we see how Ali countered a super powerbomb from Cedric during the commercial. Daivari has control of Ali in the middle of the ring now. Ali fights back but Daivari nails a spinebuster for a 2 count. Daivari keeps Ali grounded on the mat now and talks some trash.
Ali fights back but Daivari shuts him down. Daivari runs into a kick from the apron. Ali runs in and plants Daivari face first into the mat for a 2 count. Nese comes back in and decks Ali. They go at it and Nese gets dropped. Ali fights Daivari off but Nese hits a big right hand on Ali, bringing him down from the top. Nese goes for a super backdrop but Ali pushes him to the mat. Ali climbs up for the inverted 450 and nails it on Nese. Cedric breaks the pin up.
Cedric and Ali trade shots in the middle of the ring now. Ali nails a big elbow. Cedric counters with a big Spanish Fly and a Lumbar Check but Daivari tries to steal the pin after tossing Cedric to the floor. Cedric saves the match and pulls Daivari to the floor. The go at it. Nese leaps out and nails Daivari and Cedric at the same time. Nese ends up exposing his knee and nailing a big running shot to Cedric in the corner. Ali breaks up Nese’s pin. Daivari and Nese double team Ali in the ring after taking Cedric out. Ali backdrops Nese over the top. Cedric drops Ali. Daivari rolls Cedric up for a close 2 count. Cedric ducks Daivari and drops him with a kick. Cedric kicks Nese off the apron. Cedric with a Lumbar Check to Daivari for the pin.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
– After the match, Cedric celebrates as his music starts up. Cedric vs. Gulak will take place next week to determine the next challenger for WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore. We go to replays. Charly Caruso enters the ring for post-match comments. Cedric says this was his second chance and he plans on taking full advantage of it. Cedric says net is Drew Gulak, who we see looking on from the announce table. Cedric says he will then face Enzo Amore and go on to become our new Cruiserweight Champion. Gulak isn’t worried.
– Still to come, Roman Reigns defends. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Gulak is with Enzo backstage. Gulak says we now know it’s him vs. Cedric next week and he will go on from there to become the new champion. Enzo asks him what he’s thinking. Gulak calls it just some friendly trash talking. Enzo says they’re not friendly, Gulak just works for him on The Zo Train and is lucky to be a passenger on it. Enzo says Gulak wins one match and now they’re equals? No way. Enzo goes on and calls Gulak’s Power Point presentations “SAWFT” but Gulak interrupts him and suggests “Informative!” instead. Enzo tells Gulak to get outta here as he approaches Nia Jax and asks how she’s doing. She’s doing really good and is glad to see Enzo. Nia says hi to Gulak and says she likes his presentations. Enzo agrees and says he was just talking about how they’re informative. Nia tells Enzo that they should talk, some time when he’s not busy. Nia walks away and Enzo is all smiles.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns
We go to the ring and out first comes RAW Tag Team Champion Cesaro. WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns is out next. We get formal ring introductions from JoJo.
The bell rings and they both go at it. Reigns sends Cesaro out first and he follows. Cesaro goes back in and stomps away on Reigns as he re-enters. Cesaro with big uppercuts. Reigns runs the ropes and nails a big clothesline, followed by another big shot. Reigns goes on and drops Cesaro again. Reigns with big blows in the corner again as fans count along. Cesaro grabs the arm and slams it over the top rope. Cesaro comes back in but Reigns drops him with a right. Reigns sends Cesaro back over the top rope. Reigns favors his right arm while Cesaro is down on the floor. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cesaro has Reigns grounded now. We see how Cesaro kicked Reigns out of the air during the commercial as Reigns was going for a Drive By, then sent him arm-first into the barrier. Cesaro focuses on the arm while keeping Reigns grounded in the ring now. Cesaro goes on and covers for a 2 count. Cesaro with another submission on the arm now. They trade holds and pin attempts now. Cesaro goes back to unloading on the arm as Reigns yells in pain.
Cesaro with an armbar now as the referee checks on Reigns. Reigns look for the rope but Cesaro drags him back to the middle of the ring and keeps working on the arm. Reigns finally fights up and out, driving Cesaro to the mat with a backdrop. Reigns with headbutts and a right hand to drop Cesaro onto the bottom rope. Reigns leaves the ring and runs around for a Drive By. Reigns returns to the ring and keeps control but he’s slow moving. Reigns calls for the Superman Punch but Cesaro nails him in mid-air. Cesaro drops Reigns into another armbar, switching that into a Crossface. Reigns ends up dropping Cesaro with a Samoan Drop for a close 2 count.
Reigns is slow to get up in the corner. Cesaro charges with a big uppercut into the corner and ends up sending Reigns shoulder-first into the steel ring post. Reigns falls out to the floor. Cesaro charges on the floor but Reigns gets his boot up. Reigns drops Cesaro with a right hand to the jaw. Reigns brings it back into the ring and crawls over for a close 2 count. Reigns gets up first and waits for Cesaro. Cesaro blocks the spear with a kick. Cesaro goes on and covers for a very close 2 count after slamming Reigns as the crowd pops. Cesaro transitions into another Crossface submission. Reigns powers up with Cesaro on his back. Cesaro counters with a sunset flip and goes for the Cesaro Swing. Reigns counters that but rolls Cesaro up, turning that into a sitdown powerbomb for a 2 count.
Fans chant “this is awesome” as both Superstars are down now. They trade shots from their knees as they try to get up. The referee gets in between them and Cesaro takes advantage of the distraction with a roll-up for a close 2 count. Cesaro argues with the referee and waits for Reigns to get up. Cesaro with many uppercuts in the corner. The referee warns him. Cesaro with more uppercuts. Cesaro goes for the Gotch Neutralizer in the middle of the ring but Reigns backdrops him. Reigns nails a spear for the win.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– After the match, Reigns stands tall with the title as we go to replays. Reigns raises the title as his music hits.
– We go backstage to Braun Strowman. He has words for Kane and says he will be the one to take the title from Lesnar at the Royal Rumble.
– Still to come, Kane vs. Strowman. Also, Alicia Fox will get another shot at Asuka. We go to commercial.
Asuka vs. Alicia Fox
Back from the break and Asuka waits for Alicia Fox but Absolution’s Paige, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville come out instead. Paige takes the mic and mocks Asuka as they walk to the ring. Paige warns Asuka and says either she can get out of the way or they will move her out of the way. They surround her from the apron and taunt her.
Asuka charges and kicks Rose off the apron first. Deville comes in from behind and grab her. Asuka fights back and in comes Paige. They go at it. Asuka drops Paige into an armbar. Rose and Deville attack her and the numbers game catches up. Paige joins in and drops Asuka with a knee. Sasha Banks’ music hits and out she comes with Bayley, Dana Brooke, Nia Jax, RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, Mickie James and Fox. The women’s division goes at it with Absolution. Paige and Nia tangle with Paige avoiding a Samoan Drop. They surround and take turns on Rose next. Paige and Sonya pull Rose to safety as Absolution retreats. Nia’s music hits as the women’s division stands tall in the ring.
– Kurt Angle is backstage when Jason Jordan walks into his office. Jordan says he’s sorry about last week and should not have came in to Angle’s office making demands but he was just running off adrenaline following his match and his intensity got the best of him. Jordan says he will keep his cool this week but seriously, how is Angle not booking him against Samoa Joe? Jordan says Joe has been running wild on RAW and it’s no wonder why RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon got on Angle’s case last week. Angle goes on about being Jordan’s father but also the General Manager of RAW. Angle says Jordan isn’t the only Superstar who has issues with Joe. Jordan says but he’s the only one that can beat Joe. Jordan says he’s held his own against Kane, John Cena and others. Angle says he held his own but barely and didn’t win. Angle goes on and says Jordan will get his match with Joe when it’s time. Jordan says “OK, Dad…” but calls him Kurt instead. Angle looks a bit bothered.
Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe
We go back to the ring and out comes Dean Ambrose.
The bell rings and they prepare for battle but out comes Jason Jordan. Ambrose takes advantage of a distracted Joe and goes to work on him.
Joe drops Ambrose and turns it around as Jordan watches the match. Ambrose takes Joe’s knee out and mounts him in the corner. Joe ends up going to the floor for a breather but Ambrose follows and keeps the attack going. They bring it back into the ring and Joe drops Ambrose in the corner. Ambrose ends up on the floor on his back. Joe recovers in the middle of the ring as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Joe is in control. Jordan continues to watch fro the ramp, sitting in his steel chair. Joe fights back and goes for the running senton but Ambrose moves out of the way. They get up and trade shots in the middle of the ring. Ambrose unloads but Joe jabs him a few times. Joe rocks Ambrose but he’s still standing. Ambrose smacks Joe. Joe fires back with a forearm. Ambrose blocks a Uranage and they continue with the back & forth. Ambrose with a few clotheslines and a running clothesline in the corner. Joe blocks a bulldog but Ambrose finally drops him. Both are now down as we see Jordan watching.
Joe catches Ambrose with a big throw. Joe taunts Jordan. Jordan stands up and talks some trash as he walks towards the ring. Ambrose comes from behind while Joe is distracted. Ambrose with a knee to the back and a roll-up for a close 2 count. Joe goes for a powerbomb on Ambrose but Ambrose brings them both over the top rope, tumbling to the floor. Jordan rolls Ambrose back into the ring. Joe comes from behind and drops Jordan on the floor with a Coquina Clutch. Ambrose dives out and nails them both.
Ambrose brings Joe back into the ring and goes to the top. Jordan gets on the apron and distracts Joe, allowing Ambrose to nail the big elbow from the top. Ambrose covers Joe but the referee is still distracted by Jordan. Ambrose doesn’t get the pin and it’s Jordan’s fault. Ambrose isn’t happy. Ambrose goes to the floor and gets in Jordan’s face. Jordan grabs Ambrose for a suplex but Joe comes flying through the ropes and takes them both down. Joe hits a senton to Jordan on the floor and rolls Ambrose back in. Joe with the Coquina Clutch on Ambrose in the middle of the ring. Ambrose blacks out.
Winner: Samoa Joe
– After the match, Joe stands tall as his music plays. Joe leaves while Jordan and Ambrose are still down.
– Dana Brooke is backstage with Apollo Crews and Titus O’Neil. They’re all excited about Dana joining Titus Worldwide as Statistician/Head of Research and Development. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson walk up and mock them, calling anyone who works at Titus Worldwide a… NERD! Braun Strowman comes marching through and everyone scatters. We go to commercial.
#1 Contenders Match: Kane vs. Braun Strowman
Back from the break and we see crew members reinforcing the ring for tonight’s main event. The announcers lead us to a video package on the Kane vs. Braun feud. Graves shows us a tale of the tape. We go to the ring and out first comes Braun Strowman. The winner of this match will face WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Braun hits the ring and we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cole plugs the rest of WWE Week on the USA Network. WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar is confirmed for next Monday’s RAW in Providence along with Paul Heyman. Braun waits in the ring now as Kane’s music hits and out he comes for the main event.
The bell rings and Braun charges Kane back into the corner. Braun with shoulders to take Kane down in the corner. raun keeps control and drops Kane back down with a headbutt in the corner. Braun runs and charges for a big corner splash. Braun charges and nails a dropkick next. Braun with a pin attempt. We get a replay of the dropkick.
They go to the floor and Braun sends Kane shoulder-first into the steel ring steps. Braun rolls Kane back into the ring but Kane kicks him as he tried to re-enter. Braun stares Kane down, causing him to back away. Braun attacks and fights Kane back into the corner. Braun runs and charges but Kane side steps. Kane goes for a chokeslam and nails it for a 2 count. Kane mounts Braun and works him over as we get a replay of the chokeslam.
Kane keeps control and waits for Braun to get back up. Kane goes for another chokeslam and hits it in the middle of the ring. Kane with another close 2 count as Braun kicks out.
Kane grabs Braun by the throat again but Braun counters and delivers a chokeslam of his own. Kane kicks out at 2. We get a replay as Kane rolls out to the floor. Braun is on his back in the ring. Braun gets up as Kane tries to get a breather on the floor. Braun follows but Kane decks him. Kane kicks Braun on the other side of the barrier into the crowd. Kane with a big right hand. Braun tackles Kane through the barrier and they both go down at ringside. The referee counts and the match ends in a double count out.
Double Count Out
– After the bell, fans boo as we get a replay of the barrier spot. Braun gets to his feet first. Braun works over Kane at ringside as Kane tries to get to his feet. Braun takes apart the steel ring steps but Kane has half of the other set of steps. They face off with the steps in hand. They both charge and collide the steps together. Kane goes down to his knees. Braun goes under the ring and tries to drive a cart into Kane’s throat but Kane fights him off. Braun drops Kane with a right hand. Braun rolls Kane back into the ring as fans chant for tables. Braun gets a pop as he brings a table into the ring. Kane grabs a steel chair and hits Braun first. Kane goes for another chair shot but Braun hits him with a right hand. Kane drops Braun with the chair and hits him over the back several times. Kane with shots to the throat as well. Kane goes down exhausted. They both get up and collide in the middle of the ring. Both are back down, flat on their backs. Kane sits right up and looks over at Braun. Braun sits up next and they stare at each other. Kane scoots back into the corner as he can’t believe Braun is back up. Braun charges but Kane grabs him for a chokeslam through the table. Braun resists. Braun scoops Kane and puts him through the table with a big running powerslam. Braun stands tall as his music hits. Graves wonders what his means for Lesnar and the Royal Rumble. Braun stands tall as RAW goes off the air.