Good evening wrestling world! Tonight’s Raw comes to us live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On tonight’s episode, we will find out just how last week’s returns of Batista and Roman Reigns will impact the road to WrestleMania. Plus, after Ronda Rousey relinquished her championship, who will step up and become the new Raw women’s Champion? All this, and more, in the coming moments!
We kickoff the show with the returning “Big Dog” Roman Reigns. In the ring, he says he will be taking his yard back tonight. He says that unfortunately, there is one an standing in his way, and that is Seth Rollins. He invites Rollins to the ring to discuss the situation. Seth accepts and makes his way to the ring.
In the ring, the two men embrace and Rollins grabs a mic. Rollins says that last week seeing Reigns return was one of the best moments of his career. He says he’s going to take that motivation and slay the beast at WrestleMania.
Rollins acknowledges that Reigns had to vacate his title without losing it. He admits that Reigns has just as much of a shot to the title as does he. Reigns says that he knows that Seth has what it takes to defeat Lesnar at WrestleMania, and he wishes him luck. Reigns asks Rollins a favor, and that is to reunite the Shield one last time. Rollins declines telling Reigns that there is no way after what Ambrose pulled on him. Reigns says that he has learned not to take anything for granted, and he wants one more moment with his brothers. Rollis ponders for a while before telling Reigns that he is right. He tells Reigns that if he wants the Shield one last time, he’s in. Reigns invites Ambrose to the ring, and he makes his way out.
Ambrose stands at the top of the entrance ramp, and before he can say anything, Elias blindsides Ambrose with a guitar to the back. The two run to help Ambrose, but Elias is able to escape to the back. Ambrose struggles to get up, but eventually is able t get up on his own and make his way to the locker room by himself.
Backstage, McIntyre, Corbin, and Lashley are interviewed by Charly Caruso. McIntyre says that he broke apart the Shield months ago and tonight should by about him and the other two men. They say that Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, and Kurt Angle need to be worried about what they are going to do to them tonight. (Commercial)
Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, & Kurt Angle vs. Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, & Baron Corbin
Strowman starts off the match with Corbin as Strowman is able to quickly send Corbin out of the ring and send him to the mat as he hits him with a running shoulder tackle. Corbin gets back into the ring and tags in McIntyre. Strowman sends McIntyre into the corner and hits a splash. He continues his attack and tags in Balor. McIntyre is quickly able to turn the tides and tags in Lashley. Lashley attempts a powerbomb, but Balor escapes and sends him to the outside of the ring. Corbin attempts to interfere, but he is also sent to the outside of the ring. Balor is able to hit the two with a splash and get back into the ring. McIntyre then attempts to interfere, but he is also sent to the outside of the ring. Balor attempts another splash, but Lio Rush grabs the legs of Balor as he bounces off of the ropes. The distraction allows Lashley to hit Balor with a clothesline as we go to commercial. (Commercial)
We come back as Balor is getting dominated by Corbin. Balor attempts a tag, but Corbin is able to catch him and deliver a Deep Six. Corbin attempts a pinfall, but Baor kicks out at two. Corbin is able to lock in a chinlock in the middle of the ring, but Balor is able to fight out. He escapes to the ring apron, but because of a distraction from Lashley, Balor eats a right hand from Corbin. McIntyre tags into the match and goes on the attack. McIntyre shows off the strength delivering a huge suplex onto Balor. McIntyre and Balor then trade blows, and Balor gets the better of the exchange and he is able to tag in Angle. Angle comes in hot, delivering multiple german suplexes to McIntyre. He is able to lock in an Ankle Lock, but is forced to break it when Lashley interferes. However, Lashley is hit with a release german suplex. After the suplex, McIntyre is able to deliver a devastating Glasgow Kiss to Angle as we go to break. (Commercial)
The match continues as Angle attempts to fight out of a hold from Corbin. He’s able to fight out and almost lock in a Ankle Lock. Corbin escapes, but is sent to the outside, which allows Angle to tag Strowman. He comes in hot, destroying everyone in his path. He delivers a powerslam to Corbin and tags in Balor. Balor delivers a Coup de Grace and goes for the pin. However, Rush interferes and breaks the pin. Balor goes for Rush on the outside, but is met by Lashley, who sends Balor back first into the ring post. Out of nowhere, Strowman goes for a running shoulder tackle, but Lashley side steps and Strowman takes out Rush. Lashley is able to get Balor back into the ring and deliver a huge spear, gaining the victory. Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin, & Drew McIntyre win
After the match, the three victors continue their assault on their opponents. They send Balor into the barricade multiple times, and deliver the steel steps to the head of Angle. They bring Balor back onto the ring and McIntyre delivers a huge Claymore. They bring the steel steps into the ring and deliver a powerbomb to Balor onto the steps.
Backstage, Caruso interviews Heavy Machinery. She tells them that not everyone backstage is happy to have them on the Raw roster. She shows them a clip of the Ascension insulting them. Otis says that his feelings are hurt and Tucker says that they want them in a match. (Commercial)
Natalya vs Ruby Riott
The match starts and Riott sends Natalya to the ground and delivers multiple strikes to the head. Riott gets up and delivers a couple of kicks to the back of the former Women’s Champion. Riott dominates Natalya as she sends her to the corner, landing more kicks. She sends Natalya to the ground and outs her in a chinlock. Natalya is able to fight out, delivering a fisherman suplex. Riott stands and is hit with a discus clothesline. Natalya is able to lock in a Sharpshooter, but Riott is able to reverse into a pinfall attempt. Natalya is able to counter that pin attempt into a pin attempt of her own and picks up the pinfall victory. Natalya wins
After the match, Lacey Evans once again makes her way to the ring. She walks down the ramp, and returns back to the backstage area, perhaps just making her presence known.
The announce team recap the attack on Ric Flair by Batista on last week’s Raw.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon welcomes Colin Jost and Michael Che and informs us that they will be the special correspondents of this year’s WrestleMania.
Back in the arena, Triple H makes his way to the ring to address the actions of Batista. (Commercial)
In the ring, HHH says last week, he had the opportunity to celebrate one of the greatest superstars of all time and one of the best people he’s ever known in Ric Flair, who he referred to as Richard Fliehr. He talks about how they had been there for each other through the best and worst of times. He says he wanted to bring Fliehr out one last time as “The Nature Boy” to entertain the WWE Universe on his 70th birthday.
He says he he will go wherever to fight Dave Bautista. He says that when they finally stand face to face, he won’t be looking at the character “The Game”, but he’s looking at the man. He tells Batista that he has his attention.
Backstage, Stephanie tells Carouso that Ronda Rousey laying the Women’s Championship on the mat was disrespectful. McMahon says that she is going to do what is best for business and drop all charges against Becky Lynch. She announces that as Fastlane, Becky Lynch will be taking on Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women’s Championship. (Commercial)
Backstage, Dean Ambrose comes face to face with Roman Reigns. Reigns tells him that they an talk about anything. Ambrose avoids the conversation, saying that he needs to get ready for his match.
Gauntlet Match: Heavy Machinery vs. The Ascension, The B Team, & Curt Hawkins/ Zack Ryder
Otis and Axle start of the match. Otis sends him to the mat with a shoulder tackle. He brings him into the corner and tags in Tucker. Tucker has the advantage for a moment, but Axle is able to get the upper hand when he sends him into the corner. This momentum is shortly lived when Tucker quickly stops the attack of the B Team onto him and tags in his partners.They are able to quickly eliminate the B Team from the match.
Konnor quickly comes into the match and the Ascension begin their attack on Knight. Viktor delivers multiple attacks in the corner and tags in Konnor. He continues the attack on Knight as he delivers multiple chops to the chest and back of Tucker. Konnor goes for a running shoulder to Knight in the corner, but Knight avoids it and is able to tag in Otis. Viktor also enters the match, but Otis is able to send him to the mat. Otis hits him with huge splash from the turnbuckle, elimination the Ascension.
Hawkins and Ryder immediately go onto the attack onto Otis, however after a quick back and forth, Otis is able to deliver a huge powerslam onto Hawkins. He follows if with his version of the Worm, The Caterpillar, and pin Hawkins for the win. Heavy Machinery win (Commercial)
Backstage, Charly Caruso introduces Charlotte Flair. She asks what she things about the match at Fastlane. She says that even at her best, “The Man” doesn't compare to “The Queen.” She says that she is going to put Lynch on the shelf for good. She says that the WWE Universe is going to bask in her glory when she becomes Raw Women’s Champion.
Rollins finds Ambrose backstage. He says that they are brothers and brothers fight. He says that they have one chance to do things the right way. He asks to get the Shield back together one last time. However, Ambrose declines and says that he appreciates the help he received last week, but he has to handle his business this week alone. (Commercial)
Elias vs. Dean Ambrose
Before the match begins, Elias performs in the ring, mocking the Philadelphia crowd. Ambrose interrupts and makes his way to the ring.
The bell rings and the two trade blows in the middle of the ring. Ambrose is able to get Elias into the corner and deliver a couple if kicks to the midsection. Ambrose is able to send Elias to the outside of the ring with a clothesline. On the outside, Ambrose sends Elias back first into the barricade. He tosses Elias back into the ring and sends him out of the ring on the other side as we go to commercial (Commercial)
We come back as Elias has taken control of the match. He is able to land his version of Old School onto Ambrose. He begins to attack the shoulder of Ambrose and send him to the outside of the ring. Elias is able to land a baseball slide onto Ambrose. Elias attempts to go the outside to attack Dean, but Dean slips back into the ring and delivers a suicide dive. The action spills back into the ring as Ambrose goes on the attack. The Attack is shortly lived when he is sent to the mat by Elias. Elias delivers a couple of stomps to the chest of Ambrose and goes for the pin. Ambrose is quickly able to kick out. He picks Ambrose up and attempts a Drift Away, but Ambrose goes for a rollup pin, which Elias is able to kick out of. The two men stand up and Ambrose is able to hit a neckbreaker. Ambrose goes up to the top turnbuckle and goes to deliver a double axe handle, but he is met with a knee right to the jaw. Elias is able to stand Ambrose up and deliver a Drift Away, pinning Ambrose for the victory. Elias wins
After the match, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins begin to make their way to the ring as we go to commercial. (Commercial)
As we come back, Rollins and Reigns continue their way to the ring. They enter and asks Ambrose what his decision is. Ambrose seems very reluctant to reform his old group. He promptly exits the ring and leaves the arena through the crowd. As he leaves, Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, and Drew McIntyre make their entrance. Corbin tells the three that they are pathetic. McIntyre says that the three are nothing but broken hounds who are fighting for the scraps at his group’s table. He says that they were going to offer them a match at Fastlane, but they do not deserve a match. He says that instead, he’s going to end them right now. The three enter the ring, just as the Shield used to. The three gain the advantage on Rollins and Reigns, but Ambrose makes his way from the crowd to eve the field. The three are quickly able to get rid of their foes. Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose are left standing in the ring, where the three are able to reconcile and bring the band back together. (Commercial)
Tamina vs. Sasha Banks
The bell rings and Tamina right away hits Bans with a forearm and begins to attack Banks in the corner. Tamina continues her attack, ash she able to throw Banks from corner to corner. She goes for a splash, but Banks is able to avoid. Banks looks to gain the advantage, but it’s quickly stopped as she is brought to the ground. Tamina attempts a standing splash, but misses. The two go back and forth, until Tamina attempts to deliver a superkick, but misses. She once again sends Banks into the corner and attempts a shoulder tackle but misses. Banks locks in the Banks Statement, but Jax pulls Tamina to the outside of the ring. The action momentarily spills to the outside of the ring when Banks delivers a meteora onto Jax on the outside. She gets back to the ring apron, but a distraction from Jax allows Tamina to deliver a huge superkick onto Banks. She’s able to get Banks into the ring and gain the pinfall victory. Tamina wins (Commercial)
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet
Black and Wilder start that match off. Wilder rush Black as soon as the bell rings and The Revival are able to get the upper hand. Dawson is able to make the tag and go on the attack to Black. Black is able to swing the momentum after he is able to land a springboard moonsault onto Dawson. With both men down, we see the former tag team champion, Bobby Roode and Chad Gable make their way to the ring. (Commercial)
The match continues as Dawson continues to have control of the match. Dawson attempts to back Black into the corner, but Black is able to down Dawson with a huge knee strike. Wilder tags in, but Black is able to take both men down with a leg sweep and tag in Ricochet. Ricochet makes the tag and comes in hot. He’s shows off his aerial arsenal, downing The Revival with high flying attacks.He’s able to sends Wilder to the outside of the ring. There, Roode and Gable interfere and begin to assault Wilder, thus causing the match to end in DQ. The Revival win
After the match, the two duos of Black and Ricochet and Roode ad Gable come face to face, which results in the two teams coming to blows. Ricochet and Black get the better of the exchange, sending the former champs to the outside if the ring. (Commercial)
Stephanie McMahon makes her way to the ring as we return. In the ring, Stephanie says that anything can happen on the road to WrestleMania, including the vacating of the Raw Women’s Championship by Ronda Rousey. McMahon then brings out the two women that will be in the Raw Women’s Championship match at Fastlane, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.
Lynch appears to still be injured, as she is still favoring the injured leg and walking out on crutches. McMahon tells Lynch that she needs to sign a hold-harmless agreement before she enter the match on Sunday. Lynch finally signs the form and the match is official. We then see that Ronda Rousey is making her way into the arena. (Commercial)
Ronda Rousey makes her way to the ring and she seems to be on a mission. She enters the ring and asks McMahon what she’s doing. Rousey says that she did not vacate the championship. She says that she gave McMahon a week to let her face Lynch. McMahon gives her her title back and says that the two will still fight at Fastlane. However, if Lynch loses, she is done. If Lynch wins, she will be added to the Raw Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania. Rousey says that she is done pretending for the WWE Universe. She mentions how the WWE Universe booed her out of her hometown. She goes on to attack both Flair and Lynch. She focuses her attack on Lynch in the ring, delivering multiple stiff blows and also delivering an armbar three different times.
Backstage, Stephanie says that Rousey really is the animal that she thought she was. She says that Ronda showed her true colors to everyone. She says that even though she doesn't like Lynch, she feels bad for her after what Rousey just did. McMahon says that Rousey is going to get what is coming to her. We end the night with Rousey showing her dominance in the ring with her Raw Women’s Championship.