Major talking points: The Miz returns, Braun Strowman shows no mercy
The road to WrestleMania is filled with potholes and treacherous turns, but more importantly, we first have to get through Royal Rumble. One of the most eagerly awaited PPVs of the year is just couple of weeks away, and the RAW Superstars are too familiar with what is at stake.
While Lesnar, Strowman and Kane collide in a battle of the behemoths for the Universal title, the rest of the RAW locker room have their eyes on the prize. A spot in the main event of WrestleMania hangs in the balance, and you don’t have to remind the Superstars about that fact again.
This week on RAW, Lesnar returned to confront Kane, after the melee that broke out last week. Plus, Samoa Joe faced Rhyno, while Titus Worldwide tested their mettle against The Bar.
The Balor Club confronts The Shield 2.0
“The Big Dog” Roman Reigns made his way out to kick off the show this week, and talked about beating Samoa Joe once again. Reigns cut a promo about shutting Joe up and avenging Ambrose’s injury, but was interrupted by Jason Jordan.
Jordan thanked Reigns for taking care of Joe, and tried to force himself as a part of The Shield. Jason said that if you mess with one of them, you mess with all the members. Roman tried to distance himself from Jordan, which brought ‘The Architect’ out to the ring.
Rollins tried to bring some semblance of reality into the ring, while Jordan said they were the most dominant three – man group in WWE. Balor, Anderson and Gallows had heard enough, and came out to confront the trio. Balor made fun of Jason, and Gallows called him a nerd, to which Jordan retaliated by slapping Gallows. Reigns tried to intervene, but with Jason pushing him, both men came face to face to end the segment.
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville faced Sasha and Bayley, with Paige and Mickie in their respective corners. After a decent back and forth match, Banks picked up the victory for her team with the Bank Statement.
‘Woken’ Matt Hardy came out to a new theme, and faced Curt Hawkins. Hardy did not take much time to drop Curt with the Side Effect, and finished the match the Twist of Fate. Post match, Bray Wyatt appeared in the ring, as both men came face to face, laughing, while staring each other down.
The Miz returns, vows to win back the Intercontinental title
In 2017, there was arguably no one better consistently in the WWE than The Miz. The A – Lister made his RAW return this week, courtesy of a song by Elias. The Miz talked about elevating the careers of Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, as both men took turns to impress The Miz.
After trying to out – bid each other in an attempt to shower Miz with gifts, the former Intercontinental Champion asked both men to sit down. Miz then talked about 2017, and how he brought importance to the IC title. He then talked about Reigns, and how the ‘Big Dog’ snatched the title away from him.
Miz then vowed to win back the title, and said he was going after Roman Reigns!
Enzo Amore left bloodied and bruised, but Alexander fails to win the Cruiserweight title
This week on RAW, Enzo was scheduled to finally make his return, after being sick for over a week. Cedric Alexander was set to face Enzo with the title on the line, and Goldust gave Cedric a pep talk backstage.
Enzo then talked about being sick for New Year’s Eve, and put his opponent down. However, once the match began, it was a one – way street, as Alexander completely overwhelmed Enzo with his offence. The match turned on his head with Cedric was sent to the outside, but a back handspring kick busted Enzo open!
Cedric then sent Enzo to the outside, and connected with a top rope plancha, as Amore landed awkwardly. Enzo clutched his ankle, as the ringside physician checked on him. Cedric made it back into the ring before the 10 count, but Enzo couldn’t, leading to a count out victory for Alexander.
Post match, Nia checked on Enzo in the training room.
Titus Worldwide shocks The Bar
Backstage, Sheamus and Cesaro demanded a tag team title match, and Kurt Angle obliged. But first, The Bar had to face Apollo Crews and Titus O’Neil.
Sheamus and Cesaro got the upper hand early in the match, and mounted pressure on their opponents. However, as the match broke down, Titus O’Neil rolled Sheamus up as he was distracted to pick up the upset victory! The Bar were left outraged, as Titus Worldwide celebrated outside the ring.
Braun Strowman destroys his opponents for the Royal Rumble
Last week, Brock Lesnar took a page from Kane’s playbook, by sitting out of a chokeslam. This week, Paul Heyman and his client made their way out to the ring, and Heyman made no attempt to hide the fact that Lesnar is one of the most dominant stars in the company today. Heyman spoke about one certainty – Lesnar walking out of Royal Rumble with the title, and said the only cliff note was Lesnar’s victory.
However, when they were going to the back, Kane jumped Lesnar, and both the Superstars battled backstage. Braun Strowman then made his presence felt, as he unleashed a world of hurt on both the Superstars! Strowman hurled Lesnar into the metal cases, and threw one on top of Kane! Strowman then pulled the steel foundations down, burying Lesnar and Kane under the wreckage!
Samoa Joe faced Rhyno, and defeated him with ease. Post match, Joe said he had broken Reigns, and entered himself into the Royal Rumble. He then said that he would eliminate John Cena from the Rumble match.
Nia Jax takes out Asuka
Backstage, Bliss ran into Nia, and asked her how Enzo was doing. Asuka tried to rile up Nia by telling her that Asuka was bad mouthing her, which Jax didn’t buy – initially. She then asked the champion what the Japanese Superstar was saying about her, and asked Alexa if she spoke Japanese.
Asuka was set to face an enhancement talent, but Nia dropped her with an electric chair! Jax then connected with a running senton, laying out Asuka. Nia Jax then made her way to the back as the referee checked on Asuka!
Balor Club reigns supreme; Miztourage takes out Reigns
In the main event, Jordan, Seth and Reigns teamed up to take on Balor, Gallows and Anderson. While the members of Balor Club got the upper hand, towards the finish, Reigns had all the momentum to guide his team home. However, Jordan got overzealous, which led to the downfall of the team. Balor put the finishing touches with a Coup de Grace on Rollins, as Balor Club picked up the victory!
Post match, Reigns lashed out at Jordan, but Miztourage attacked Reigns and the tag team champions! The Miz largely focused on Reigns, as the three men left the Intercontinental Champion in a heap! Miztourage posed over the fallen champions to bring down the curtains on the show.