The January 21, 2018 edition of WWE RAW took place at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK.
– This week’s broadcast opens up with a Martin Luther King Jr. tribute video.
– Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman come out to the ring, and Heyman gets on the mic. Heyman introduces his client and then talks about Finn Balor pinning John Cena last week. Heyman says Balor’s win was no fluke, he stepped up and seized the moment. Heyman says that Lesnar was training and preparing for Braun Strowman, but now he has a new opponent – Balor. Heyman says the only reason Balor believes in himself is that he knows Brock hasn’t prepared for him. Heyman says he has a spoiler alert – ever miracles fear Brock Lesnar, and Brock will prove on Sunday that Balor doesn’t belong in the ring with him. Brock holds up his Universal Title belt, and then Vince McMahon’s music hits. Vince steps in the ring and talks about Heyman coming out here and trashing Balor. Vince says this match is interesting if you believe in the story of David and Goliath. Vince says Davis is Finn Balor. Vince refers to Oklahoma as “hillbilly land” and the crowd boos, an Heyman tells Vince he’s speaking too fast for these fans. Vince says if these people believe that Finn can beat Brock, they obviously believe in fairy tales. Braun Strowman comes out to interrupt, and Vince asks him what the hell he’s doing out there. Braun gets on the mic and complains about Baron Corbin costing him his shot against Lesnar. Braun says last Monday was the luckiest night of his life. Braun says he would rip apart Brock like one of Mr. McMahon’s limos, and Vince tells Braun to take it easy. Finn Balor comes out to interrupt.
– Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman come out to the ring, and Heyman gets on the mic. Heyman introduces his client and then talks about Finn Balor pinning John Cena last week. Heyman says Balor’s win was no fluke, he stepped up and seized the moment. Heyman says that Lesnar was training and preparing for Braun Strowman, but now he has a new opponent – Balor. Heyman says the only reason Balor believes in himself is that he knows Brock hasn’t prepared for him. Heyman says he has a spoiler alert – ever miracles fear Brock Lesnar, and Brock will prove on Sunday that Balor doesn’t belong in the ring with him. Brock holds up his Universal Title belt, and then Vince McMahon’s music hits. Vince steps in the ring and talks about Heyman coming out here and trashing Balor. Vince says this match is interesting if you believe in the story of David and Goliath. Vince says Davis is Finn Balor. Vince refers to Oklahoma as “hillbilly land” and the crowd boos, an Heyman tells Vince he’s speaking too fast for these fans. Vince says if these people believe that Finn can beat Brock, they obviously believe in fairy tales. Braun Strowman comes out to interrupt, and Vince asks him what the hell he’s doing out there. Braun gets on the mic and complains about Baron Corbin costing him his shot against Lesnar. Braun says last Monday was the luckiest night of his life. Braun says he would rip apart Brock like one of Mr. McMahon’s limos, and Vince tells Braun to take it easy. Finn Balor comes out to interrupt. Balor hops up on the apron and gets on the mic. Balor says it looks like the same old Monday Night RAW, and he is the one who beat three other people last week, including the greatest of all time John Cena. Balor says he earned his opportunity to face Brock. Finn says that the Balor Club believes in him, and at Royal Rumble, he will beat Brock to reclaim his Universal Title. Braun interrupts, saying he knows he could beat Lesnar, but he doesn’t know if Finn can. He tells Finn he better be able to beat Brock, and Finn tells Strowman to mind his own business. Brock and Heyman start leaving the ring and heading up the ramp. Finn tells Vince he’s got the story of David and Goliath mixed up, because Goliath lost and no one was laughing then. Brock starts walking back towards the ring, and Vince says he has an idea. Vince asks Lesnar and Heyman to take a seat and ringside because Finn and Braun are about to have a singles match. Vince says “let’s get ‘er done,” and we have a match.
– Finn Balor vs. Braun Strowman: Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are at ringside for this one. Braun starts off strong, but Balor stuns him with a kick to the head. Balor continues with strikes until Braun catches him and clubs him down to the mat. The fight spills out to ringside, where Braun tackles Finn into the barricade. Back in the ring, Braun hits a splash on Finn in the corner for a two count. They go back out to ringside, where Braun misses a shot and Balor fires back with the Sling Blade. Back in the ring, Finn hits a series of strikes, and then he goes for a sleeper. Braun goes down to his knees, and Balor kicks him down to the mat. Balor goes up top, but Strowman gets up and grabs Balor by the throat. Braun throws Balor off the top rope down on to Lesnar on the ringside floor. Lesnar catches Balor and hits a belly to belly overhead suplex on Balor on the floor. The ref goes out to check on Balor, but there’s no bell for the DQ. Brock gets on the apron, but Balor pulls Lesnar off and dropkicks him into the ring post. Balor gets back in the ring and ducks a shot from Braun, then Balor hits a suicide dive on Brock at ringside. Back in the ring again, Balor throws some punches at Braun and hits the Sling Blade. Finn kicks Lesnar off the apron, then goes outside and dropkicks Brock into the barricade. Braun pulls Balor back on to the apron and tosses him in the ring. Braun misses a spear in the corner, and Balor hits the dropkick. Balor goes up top and hits the Coup De Grace, but then Brock Lesnar runs in the ring and hits the F-5 on Balor.
Winner via DQ: Finn Balor
– Balor and Braun are both down as Brock stands tall with his Universal Title belt.
– Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley come out to officially celebrate Lashley’s Intercontinental Title match. They get in the ring, and Lio talks about how great Lashley is. There’s a small podium in the ring, and Lashley steps up on it and Lio places the IC Title belt around his waist. Lashley starts posing, and then Apollo Crews comes out to interrupt. Crews gets in the ring and congratulates Lashley on his Title win. Crews says no one paid their hard earned money to see him pose, they want to see him compete. Crews wants a shot at Lashley, but Lio protests and says he’s not in Lashley’s league. Lio says Crews would have to beat Lashley in a pose-off first, but Crews says he doesn’t know how to pose. Lio says Crews doesn’t know how to be a champion either. Lashley starts posing, then Crews poses and mocks Lashley. Crews and Lashley trade poses and Lio yells at Crews. Lashley then cheap-shots Crews, but Crews dumps him out to ringside. Crews picks up Rush and throws him down on to Lashley at ringside.
– Bobby Lashley vs. Apollo Crews: Lashley starts off strong in this one with a slam on Crews for a two count. Crews comes back with a dropkick, and then he dodges a couple of shots from Bobby. Apollo hits a reverse suplex, and then a gorilla press slam. Crews continues the offense on Lashley, then he gets distracted by Lio Rush. This distraction leads to Lashley hitting a spear on Crews for the three count.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
– As Lashley is posing in the ring, Seth Rollins’ music hits. Rollins is scheduled for a match with Drew McIntyre tonight. Rollins and Lashley have a stare-down on the ramp as they pass each other.
– Seth Rollins climbs in the ring and gets on the mic. Rollins talks about Martin Luther King Day and talks about the changes in his life recently. Rollins says no matter what, he’s going to win the Royal Rumble match this Sunday. Rollins talks about the fire in his heart and says that’s why instead of driving a truck or working at a factory, he’s in the ring. Drew McIntyre comes out to interrupt. Drew gets on the mic and says Seth is lying to himself and the people because there’s a 0% chance he’s winning the Royal Rumble match because Drew is winning it.
– Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins: Seth starts off strong and dumps McIntyre to the outside early on, and he follows up with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Rollins continues the offense, and Drew misses a shot and falls back out to ringside. Seth goes to the very top turnbuckle and leaps down to ringside, but he misses Drew and crashes into the barricade by himself. Back in the ring, Drew whips Seth into the corner and follows up with strikes. Drew hits a slam for a two count. They spill out to ringside again and Drew hits the reverse Alabama Slam on Rollins on the floor. Back in the ring, Drew misses some shits and Rollins fires back with the Sling Blade. Rollins hits a Blockbuster off the middle rope for a two count. Drew fights back and looks for a powerbomb, but Rollins reverses into a hurricanrana. Rollins hits a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Rollins looks for a curb stomp but Drew fights away. Seth hits a knee strike and then takes Drew to the top turnbuckle. Drew ends up tossing Rollins down to the mat. Drew looks for a big boot, but Rollins catches him first with a superkick for a two count. Drew hits back with a headbutt, and both men are down. Drew hits a version of the White Noise off the middle rope for a two count. Drew goes to pick up Rollins, but Rollins catches him in a small package pin for the three count out of nowhere.
Winner: Seth Rollins
– The Revival is shown backstage complaining to Vince McMahon about the finish of their match last week. Vince asks what they’re proposing, and The Revival asks for one more opportunity, and they want a special guest ref to call it right down the middle. Vince seems to agree with them, and then Curt Hawkins walks over to ask for a match. Vince says he lost too many matches and offers him a spot putting up the ring, or being the guest ref for The Revival’s match. The Revival starts sucking up to Hawkins, who appears to now be the referee for their match tonight.
– We see a pre-taped promo from Dean Ambrose in the back talking about Seth Rollins. Ambrose quotes MLK about injustice, and he says the fact that he’s not still Intercontinental Champion is an injustice. Ambrose says he’s coming after both Lashley and Rollins, and he’s gunning for both of them in the Royal Rumble on Sunday.
– Lucha House Party vs. Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers: Jinder starts off strong against Lince Dorado with a slam, then Sunil Singh and Calisto tag in. The Lucha House Party double teams Sunil, then Kalisto hits a flying arm drag. Sunil mounts a comeback, but Kalisto shuts him down with a kick to the head. Gran Metalik tags in and boots Sunil down, then he clears off the aprons. Metalik hits a handspring splash on Sunil for the three count.
Winners: Lucha House Party
– We see a promo video for EC3’s WWE debut.
– We see Dana Brooke backstage talking to EC3 about diet and nutrition. Elias walks by with his guitar, and it looks like Elias is heading to the gorilla position.
– Elias is sitting in the ring with his guitar. Elias is about to start his song when Baron Corbin comes out to interrupt. Corbin starts trashing Elias until Elias yells to a production assistant to cut off Corbin’s mic, and they do cut it off. Corbin gets frustrated on the stage as Elias sings about him in the ring. Elias tells Corbin to shut his mouth, and no one cares about him. Elias asks Corbin why he’s still wearing the vest since he got fired. Corbin charges the ring, but Elias drops him, and it looks like we have a match.
– Elias vs. Baron Corbin: Elias takes control of this one early on, as he hits a version of The Undertaker’s “Old School,” then he knocks Corbin out to ringside. Corbin and Elias brawl on the ring apron now, and Corbin throws Elias into the ring post. Corbin throws Elias into the ring post again, before taking him back in the ring and pummeling on him. Elias tries to fight back, but Corbin shuts him down with a lariat for a two count. Corbin misses a shot and Elias hits a knee to the face and a swinging neck breaker for a two count. Elias follows up with strikes until Corbin hits a shot to the throat that stuns Elias. Corbin follows up with the End of Days on Elias for the three count.
Winner: Baron Corbin
– Still to come: Alexa Bliss hosts A Moment of Bliss.
– Chairs and tables are set up on the stage, and Alexa Bliss comes out to host her show. Alexa names all of the women in the women’s Rumble match this Sunday. Alexa then introduces her guest, Nia Jax. Nia comes out and sits down next to Alexa. Alexa asks Nia which Champion she will choose to face if she wins the Rumble, but before she can answer, Ember Moon comes out to interrupt. Ember takes Nia’s mic and says she’s taking this moment to make her claim that she is winning the Royal Rumble. Alicia Fox and Mickie James come out and each says they’re going to win, and then the Riott Squad and Nikki Cross out and interrupts. Alexa stands on her chair and says this is her show. Alexa says they’re being catty and not supporting each other, and ruining Alexa’s show. Nia then shoves Ember into the other women, and a brawl breaks out on the stage. We see the brawl spill back behind the curtain, and they fight among the referees and agents. Alexa is the last one on the stage, and she reveals that she will be competing in this year’s Royal Rumble match. Lacey Evans comes out and gets on the mic. She calls the women of RAW nasty and classless little girls. Lacey says the winner of Sunday’s Rumble won’t be a runt like Alexa, it will be her.
– Heavy Machinery is shown backstage getting ready for their match.
– We see a pre-taped promo from Titus O’Neil about believing in himself for Sunday’s Royal Rumble. A production assistant seems to walk into Titus, and Titus flips out at him, and the assistant walks off.
– The Ascension vs. Heavy Machinery: Its all Heavy Machinery in the opening moments of this one, and Tucker hit a springboard cross body on Viktor. Otis tags in and hits an elbow drop on Konnor, and then he hits The Worm on Viktor. Heavy Machinery hits the Trash Compactor on Viktor for the three count.
Winners: Heavy Machinery
– The Revival vs. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable: Curt Hawkins is the special guest referee in this one. Roode and Gable start off strong in this one, and they dump the Revival out to ringside in the opening moments. Back in the ring, Dash and Wilder mount a comeback and work over Gable. Roode finally gets the tag and he hits a back body drop on Wilder, and then a version of the Rock Bottom on Dawson. Roode dumps Dawson outside and hits a spinebuster on Wilder. Roode and Wilder trade pin attempts and Dawson hits a cheap shot on Roode from the floor. Dawson tags in, and so does Gable. Gable looks for a flying crossbody, but Dawson catches him and rolls through. Dawson pins and grabs the tights, but Hawkins sees it and doesn’t count. Hawkins and Dawson argue, which leads to Gable rolling up Dawson for the three count.
Winners: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable
– The Revival is not happy in the ring as we go to replays. The Revival argues with Hawkins and then attacks them. Zack Ryder runs out for the save and he fights off The Revival. Ryder helps Hawkins to his feet in the ring as The Revival heads up the ramp.
– Ronda Rousey does an interview in the back where she says she does not owe Sasha Banks a damn thing, and she goes on a rant about Sasha. Ronda says she’s the HBIC and then she heads down the ramp.
– Ronda Rousey & Natalya vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley: Before the match, Sasha gets on the mic and cuts a promo on Ronda. Ronda lunges at Sasha, but Natalya holds her back and Bayley holds back Sasha. The ref separates them, and the opening bell sounds. Sasha and Natalya start off, and Sasha immediately hits a cheap shot on Ronda on the apron. Natalya and Sasha go at it until Bayley tags in and suplexes Natalya. Sasha gets involved, and Ronda comes in too, and Ronda and Natalya clear the ring. Back in the ring, Ronda slams Bayley down, and then Natalya tags in. Natalya hits a vertical suplex on Bayley, then Sasha tags in. Sasha and Bayley are able to double team Natalya for a two count. Bayley tags in and hits a Frankensteiner on Natalya, then Sasha tags back in and hits a flying knee drop on Natalya for another two count. Natalya comes back with an electric chair drop on Sasha, then Ronda tags in. Sasha connects with a knee to the face and then she locks in the Banks Statement, but Natalya breaks it up. Sasha dumps Natalya outside, then boots Ronda down. Bayley tags in but Ronda hits a hip toss on her immediately. Sasha appears to be avoiding Ronda, and Ronda tees off on Bayley with strikes. Ronda misses a shot, and Bayley slams her in the corner and then tags in Sasha. Ronda looks for an armbar on Sasha, but Sasha reaches the ropes to break the hold. Sasha fights back with a kick, and then Natalya tags in. Natalya hits a suplex on Sasha, follows up by a stomp and a dropkick. Natalya applies the Sharpshooter on Sasha, but Bayley breaks it up. Bayley knocks Ronda off the apron, then Natalya clotheslines Becky down. Sasha hits the backstabber on Natalya, then she locks in the Banks Statement and Natalya taps out.
Winners: Sasha Banks & Bayley
– After the match, Sasha and Ronda come face to face in the ring. Bayley and the referee pull them apart as RAW goes off the air.
What did you think of the last Raw before the Royal Rumble?
This recap was written by Eric Lynch and was taken from SEScoops.com