Good evening wrestling world! Tonight’s Monday Night Raw comes live from Orlando, Florida. On tonight’s episode, Hulk Hogan returns to honor and celebrate the life of the late “Mean” Gene Okerlund. We also will see the return of the 16 time world champion, John Cena, and the Universal Champion will face off with a returning Braun Strowman. All of this, plus much more in the moments to come!
The show kicks off and Lashley and Seth Rollins are brawling in the back. Half of the men's locker room are attempting to separate the two men, but the action spills out into the arena. The two men are at the top of the ramp and rollins delivers a forearm that sens Lashley onto the lower section. Rollins is able to deliver a flying crossbody. The men are shortly separated.
John Cena makes his entrance and is met with his usual mixed reactions from the crowd. Cena welcomes the crowd to Monday night Raw and says we are officially on the road to Wrestlemania. Cena says the he won’t miss his spot in this year's event, and he is going to earn it tonight by entering himself into the Royal Rumble. Cena is interrupted by Drew McIntyre. McIntyre says he agrees with the statement that Cena is the greatest of all time. McIntyre says he has a reputation for taking out the greats of the company and says that he is coming for Cena. Cena says he’s heard the same thing over the last couple of years and asks what makes McIntyre different from those that have said the same thing. McIntyre says he will show him. They are interrupted by Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley, who says that something needs to be done about Seth Rollins. Rollins runs from the back and blindsides Lashley. He delivers blows to Lashley, but Dean Ambrose emerges and helps Lashley gain the upper hand. All five men begin to brawl and when it looks like McIntyre, Ambrose, and Lashley have the upper hand, Finn Balor runs to the ring to even the score. With the other five men on the outside of the ring, Balor is able to hit the group with a senton to the outside of the ring. (Commercial)
Six Man Tag Match: John Cena, Seth Rollins, & Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley, Dean Ambrose, & Drew McIntyre
We come back from the commercial, and a six man tag match is on the way. Cena and Lashley are in the ring, but Cena iss soon able to make a tag to Balor. Lashley is able to get the better of Balor and is able to get him to his own corner, where he is able to tag Ambrose. After a back and forth exchange, Ambrose is able to get Finn into the corner once again, and he tags in McIntyre. After some blows, McIntyre is able to land a big suplex on Balor, Balor is able to get out of a pinfall attempt at the two count. McIntyre is able to make the tag to Lashley, who begins to wear down Balor. Balor tries to gain momentum and make a tag to his corner, but that momentum is halted by Lashley, who sends Balor into the corner. Lashley makes a ta to Ambrose. After a back and forth leaves both men down, Baor is able to make the hot tag to Cena. Cena delivers his classic moveset and gets Ambrose down, landing a five knuckle shuffle. Cena plants Ambrose with an Attitude Adjustment, but Ambrose is able to make the tag to McIntyre without Cena knowing. As Cena gets up from from the AA, he is met with a huge headbutt from McIntyre. (Commercial)
Ambrose and Cena are in the ring and Cena is fighting off an onslaught from Ambrose. Both men are down, and Ambrose is able to make a tag to McIntyre who begins to punish Cena. A quick tag to Lashley allows Lashley to wear Cena down. He delivers a big powerslam and goes for the pin, Cena kicks out at two. Lashley begins to pose in the ring, and this allows Cena to deliver another AA that leaves both men down. Lashley is able to tag Ambrose, who then locks in a sleeper hold to a downed John Cena. Cena is able to battle out the hold, but not able to do much as Ambrose delivers a knee to the ribs that sends Cena to the outside of the ring. On the outside, Ambrose is able to send Cena into the steel steps. (Commercial)
Cena has been getting brutalized al throughout the commercial break. He begins to turn the tide, as he attempts to fight out of a standing sleeper hold from Ambrose. A double clothesline leaves both men down, allowing Cena to tag Balor in. Balor delivers multiple sling blades to his opponents, which allows him to set Ambrose up for the Coup de Grace onto Ambrose. When he gets up, he is met with a Claymore Kick by Mcintyre. Both men are able to make a tag, tagging in Rollins and McIntyre. Rollin is able to gain a lot of momentum delivering a falcon arrow to McIntyre. He goes for a curb stomp, but McIntyre meets him at the ropes with a knee. Cena is able to help Rollins from an Alabama slam from Mcintyre and deliver another AA. Cena is met with a spear from Lashley, and Rollins sends Lashley out the ring. Rollins then attempts a frog splash onto McIntyre, but misses. Ambrose attempts to take advantage and deliver a Dirty Deeds, but Rollins is able to reverse and deliver a curb stomp. Rollins, Balor, Cena win
Rollins is angered by HHH as a camera cuts to him in the back and he was not paying attention to the match. Rollins says he wants Ambrose and the Intercontinental title. Triple H grants his wish and says it will be a falls count anywhere match. (Commercial)
We come back from the break, as “Mean” Gene Okerlund is honored with a ten second moment of silence. Shortly after, Hulk Hogan emerges from backstage. He’s met with a huge ovation from the crowd. He lets everyone know the “Mean” Gene loved entertaining everyone and we are shown an amazing video package showing some of the highlights of his amazing hall of fame career. Hulk Hogan delivers an endearing promo to his late friend. (Commercial)
Lumberjack Tag Team Title Match: Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs. The Revival
Roode and Wilder start that match off and have an exchange of quick holds and irish whips. Both men are able to make tags and Roode and Dawson continue the quick back and forth action. Both teams enter the ring and the champions deliver a double back body drop, sending the Revival to the outside of the ring. Once outside, they are caught with an outside dive from Gable. Gable is able to get Wilder into the ring and continue his assault. Wilder is quickly able to get out of his predicament by grabbing a handful of Gable’s hair, which allows him to tag in Dawson and the two are able to down Gable. (Commercial)
Gable and Wilder are in the ring, but Roode is able to make a quick tag, and he brings the action to the Revival. Dawson is able to make a tag, but Roode continues the action, delivering a huge spinebuster. The action continues and Gable sends Dawson to the corner and delivers a huge german suplex. He fails to notice that Wilder makes the tag. After the german suplex, Wilder was able to break up the pin attempt. Dawson tag back in and the two exchange multiple backslide pins. Gable is able to get the better of the exchange and pins Dawson for the victory. Gable and Roode win.
After the match, it is shown on replay that Dawson had his foot underneath the bottom rope, showing the the victory should not have counted. (Commercial)
We come back to Elias in the middle of the ring. He says he’s been reflecting on the success that he had in 2018. He claims it will be nothing compared to what 2019 will be. Elias then enters himself into the Royal Rumble. He says that he has enjoyed the downward spiral of Baron Corbin. Elias begins to play a song he’s written about Corbin, but is interrupted. Corbin says that he should have the respect of everyone after everything he did as Raw General manager. Corbin says that he is also entering the Royal Rumble match. A ref comes to the ring and Corbin enter the ring.
Baron Corbin vs. Elias
The match begins and Corbin is met with a couple of quick cross body chops. Elias then sends Corbin to the outside of the ring, where he is able to deliver a baseball slide, and then a double axe handle to Corbin on the outside of the ring. (Commercial)
Both men are back in the ring, but Corbin is sent back to the outside. He’s able to quickly come back into the ring, and send Elias to the outside. He then sends Elias back first into the barricade and gets Elias back into the ring. Elias attempts to gain momentum, sending Corbin to the outside once more, but Corbin is able to once again get into the ring again and deliver a huge clothesline. Corbin goes to the top rope for a rare occasion, but Elias is able to hit him with a huge knee right to the jaw. The two g back and forth, and Elias begins to gain the upper hand. He’s able to land a big swinging neck breaker, and Corbin kicks out of a pinfall at two. Elias goes to the top and attempts a diving elbow, but misses. Corbin gets Elias up, sneds him into the corner shoulder first, and delivers a huge End of Days, pinning Elias for the three count. Corbin wins
Backstage, Ambrose says he is the moral compass of the WWE and the last line of defense against Rollins. Ambrose says there is no way that Rollins is going to win. He says tonight that he is going to burn Rollins down. (Commercial)
We come back and Braun Strowman is making his way to the ring. Braun grabs a microphone, but changes his mind and rips his shirt off, demanding Lesnar comes to the ring. We are brought to Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar backstage. Heyman says Lesnar will not meet face to face with Strowman for the benefit of Strowman. He says if he came to the ring, Lesnar would not have an opponent at the Royal Rumble. Braun says that he is waiting for Lesnar. He says Lesnar is hiding behind Heyman. Lesnar still refuses to come to the ring. Braun continues to bait Lesnar into coming to the ring. He hits a chord when he says that Lesnar is afraid of Strowman. Lesnar makes his way to the ring. Lesnar circles around the ring, but never actually steps foot into the ring. He makes his way back to the backstage area. Strowman says that he will be the new Universal Champion at the Royal Rumble. (Commercial)
Jinder Mahal, Alicia Fox, and the Singh Brothers are in the ring and Mahal claims that he will put an end to Apollo Crews. He mocks the crowd, but the quartet is interrupted by Ember Moon and Apollo Crews.
Apollo Crews & Ember Moon vs. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox
Crews and Mahal start the match and Mahal beings the match with driving Cres into the corner. Mahal’s momentum is cut short by Crews as he is able to deliver multiple blows to Mahal. Fox is able to make the tag, but is not able to do anything as Moon shortly demolishes Fox and ends the match with an Eclipse. Crews and Moon win. (Commercial)
We come back to Raw and Alexa Bliss makes her way out for a Moment of Bliss. We are shown a recap of the year that Ronda Rousey had in her first year. Ronda makes her way to the set afterwards. Bliss askes Rousey about the year she’s had in the company and what is next to come. Rousey says she wants to be a champion that everyone can be proud of. She says she wants to focus her attention onto Sasha Banks. Nia Jax interrupts and says that the two have unfinished business. Jax says that she is entitled to her rematch. Before Rousey can answer, Banks makes her way out to the set. Banks says that she would love to face Rousey for ttle. She says she would teach her how to lose with dignity and class. Jax says that Banks needs to wait in line, but Banks challenges her to a number one contenders match for the Raw Women’s title. (Commercial)
Number One Contenders Match: Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
Baylee and Tamina have made their way to accompany their friends in their respective corners. The match starts and Jax is able to floor Banks quickly with a knee to the midsection. After some quick action outside, Banks is able to get Jax down in the ring for a pin attempt, but Jax kicks out. Banks attempts a guillotine choke on a standing Jax, but Jax reverses it into a standing suplex. Jax begins to bring the pain, delivering a cross body to banks in the corner. She attempts it a second time, but Banks reverses it and escapes to the outside of the ring apron. Jax delivers a huge forearm that sends Banks to the mat outside. On the outside, Tamina and Baylee begin to trade big blow, until Baylee is thrown into the barricade. Jax gets the upper hand on Banks and sends her into a crate on the ringside. Banks is able to answer the referee’s ten count and gets back into the ring. When back in the ring, Jax is able to deliver a big powerbomb onto Banks, who kicks out at a two count. (Commercial)
Jax has a Banks in a Torture Rack, but Banks is able to fight out of it and back into thee corner. Jax attempts another splash, but Jax misses. Banks attempts a quick pin and Jax kicks out at two. Banks is able to hit a meteora from the top rope, and Jax kicks out again. Banks then attempts to lock in the bank statement, but can not lock it in cleanly. Jax attempt to hit Banks with a big right hand but misses. Banks attempts another guillotine, but Jax counters with a big slam. Banks kicks out at two. After some more offense, Jax goes to the second rope to attempt a samoan drop from the top rope, but Banks slips out. Jax once again gets Banks into a samoan drop position, but drops Banks neck first onto the ropes, Banks kicks out. After some more offense, Jax attempts a leg drop, but misses. After a missed running crossbody on the ring apron that sent Jax into the corner, Banks is able to get Jax back into the ring and lock in a Banks statement, making Jax submit. Sasha Banks wins.
Falls Count Anywhere Intercontinental Title Match: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose makes his entrance to the ring, btu Rollins attacks him at the entrance ramp. Once the match actually begins, Rollins wastes no time of bringing the attack to Ambrose as the action goes into the crowd and towards the equipment area. The two begin make their way to the backstage area. Backstage, Rollins sends Ambrose into multiple objects, including a ladder, steel barricade, and moving crates. Rollins and Ambrose begin to trade blows on top of moving roadcrates, and Ambrose is able to reverse momentum, sending Rollins back first onto the crates. Ambrose then attempts a pin, but Rollins kicks out at two. (Commercial)
We come back and the action has spilled into the crowd. The deliver chops to the chest of each other in the stands. Rollins attempts a pin after a diving crossbody, Ambrose kicks out. The two men battle back into the ringside area, as Rollins sends Ambrose into the barricade. Ambrose is able to get up, grab a chair, and attack Rollins’ midsection. Rollins kicks out of a pinfall after the count of two. With Rollins down, Ambrose pulls up one of the mats ringside, exposing the concrete. Ambrose attempts a dirty deeds, but Rollins reverses with a backdrop onto the concrete. Rollins gets up and gets Ambrose back into the ring. Ambrose goes to the top rope, and Rollins is a able to hit a suple, followed by a buckle bomb and a super kick. Rollins is able to hit a curb stomp and gores for the pin. However, the pinfall is broken up by Lashley, who begins to brutalize Rollins on the inside and outside of the ring. Once on the inside, Lashley almost cuts Rollins In half with a huge spear. Slowly, Dean Ambrose crawls over to a downed Rollins and makes the pin. Dean Ambrose wins
After the match, Lashley directs Rush to bring a table into the ring. Lashley sets the table in the middle of the ring and proceeds to drive Rollins right through the middle with a monstrous spinebuster. The night ends with Lashley standing over a battered Rollins.