Charlotte Flair vs. Shayna Baszler ends in no-contest
Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax & Lacey Evans def. Charlotte Flair, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke
Heavy is the crown for The Queen these days, as the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion has found no shortage of obstacles. Charlotte Flair was intent on keeping her focus in the ring with Shayna Baszler despite Lacey Evans’ recent actions with her father, but The Queen of Spades had her own agenda. With Nia Jax at ringside, the tandem ganged up on Flair until Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke and Lacey Evans joined the fray to bring chaos.
Following a break in the action, a Six-Woman Tag Match ensued with Flair finally getting her opportunity against Baszler. The Queen used her signature chops to slow down her opponent’s charge followed by an impressive power display with a fallaway slam. As more mayhem ensued outside the ring, Baszler was unable to beat the official’s count, but Adam Pearce ruled to restart the match. With the match underway once again, The Sassy Southern Belle found herself on the brunt of the aggression. As Flair went hunting for Evans, Jax targeted Brooke in the ring and splattered her with a vicious slam and leg drop for the win.
Xavier Woods def. SLAPJACK
Xavier Woods’ ongoing battle with RETRIBUTION raged on, as The New Day bandleader took on SLAPJACK. In recent clashes with MACE and T-BAR, the numbers game overwhelmed Woods without Kofi Kingston & Big E in his corner. This week, Woods was shot out of a cannon looking to get on the offensive early. Woods defied the odds with a crushing Shining Wizard to SLAPJACK, but the real pain followed as RETRIBUTION descended upon the ring. Mustafa Ali announced his evil intentions for The New Day and declared himself for the Royal Rumble Match.
Sheamus def. John Morrison
The Miz & John Morrison def. Sheamus – 2-on-1 Handicap Match
After declaring for the Royal Rumble Match earlier in the day, old rivals Sheamus and John Morrison met in the ring hoping to gain momentum going into Sunday. The Celtic Warrior tried to match The Prince of Parkour’s high-flying action, but Morrison targeted his opponent’s knee to ground him. Sheamus finished off the victory with a massive White Noise to Morrison, but The Miz wanted his own opportunity to get into the mix.
Miz & Morrison were set on leaving Sheamus humbled and hobbled before the three men entered the Royal Rumble. The Celtic Warrior gritted his way through it and delivered an incredible rolling senton of Miz into Morrison. Sheamus landed a Brogue Kick on Morrison, but The A-Lister was on the spot for a Skull-Crushing Finale to finish their pre-Rumble statement.
AJ Styles def. R-Truth – Non-Title Match
R-Truth came into Raw looking for a birthday present and a trip to Royal Rumble, but The Hurt Business and AJ Styles left with neither. After a disappointing trip to The V.I.P. Lounge, R-Truth tried valiantly to take down The Phenomenal One, but Omos scared the 24/7 Champion every which way. R-Truth channeled his childhood hero John Cena for a Five-Knuckle Shuffle, but Styles regrouped to lock in a Calf Crusher hold to force the tapout.
Riddle def. Shelton Benjamin, MVP and Cedric Alexander – Gauntlet Match to earn U.S. Title Opportunity
Riddle has been trying to bang down the doors of The Hurt Business for weeks, and The Original Bro ran the gauntlet to earn an opportunity at Bobby Lashley and the United States Title. After a hit and run on MVP earlier in the night, The Hurt Business was out for blood against Riddle. The Original Bro would step up to the first challenge against Shelton Benjamin as turmoil reared its ugly head between the Raw Tag Team Champions, and Riddle capitalized on the argument to pull off a wild roll-up to pass his first test.
With the shouting match carrying on between The Hurt Business, Riddle sprung into action with a heel hook on MVP to force the tapout and a quick advance to the final round of the Gauntlet Match. Alexander’s athleticism seemed to be too much to handle for the winded Riddle, but Riddle improbably kicked out of a brainbuster and reached deep for one more improbable roll-up to grit his way to the final win. While Riddle was ready for celebration, the United States Champion was ready to deliver pain with a Hurt Lock for his upcoming challenger.
Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss ends in no-contest – Raw Women’s Title Match
Alexa Bliss’ dark, twisted journey brought her to a Raw Women’s Title Match against Asuka on the red brand. After a chilling visit to Alexa’s Playground last week, Bliss had even more demons waiting for The Empress of Tomorrow in their title showdown. Asuka had her hands full trying to overcome the split personalities of Bliss, as The Goddess reemerged, crying late in the match as consciousness seemed to snap back into the Superstar. As the lights dimmed, a possessed Bliss appeared, and just as the demonic figure was ready to lock in a Mandible Claw on Asuka, Randy Orton arrived out of nowhere. The Viper struck with an RKO and left Bliss’ nightmarish vision of bringing a title to Alexa’s Playground crushed.