Six nights before WrestleMania 35, Stephanie McMahon kicks off Monday Night RAW in Washington D.C. with “breaking news” about the pay-per-view’s main event. You can read all about that show opening announcement here.
Once Stephanie McMahon makes her announcement—and it’s pretty quick and to the point—it’s Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman time. Heyman even addresses Stephanie’s announcement and promises that “the winner will take all” in Brock Lesnar versus Seth Rollins too. Because the winner will be taking “all Seth Rollins has to offer”—and in this case “the winner” is Brock Lesnar. (RondaRousey.com’s Kyle Fowle has a pretty sound strategy for this match, by the way.) According to Heyman, Lesnar will seize the moment at WrestleMania. Just look at what he did to The Undertaker. Look at what he did to Roman Reigns last year. So you can figure out what he’s going to do to Seth Rollins this Sunday. He’s going to “end Seth Rollins’ career.” And even worse, Rollins is “just an afterthought to Brock Lesnar.”
That insult brings Rollins out to face Lesnar man-to-man, right in the middle of the ring. Rollins grabs a microphone of his own, noting, “This is the biggest match of my career, this Sunday at WrestleMania.” But he says it’s also the biggest of Lesnar’s career, because everything will change after that night. Rollins makes clear that nobody wants Lesnar here. And he’s speaking for himself, the locker room, the WWE Universe. At that, the D.C. crowd chants, “BURN IT DOWN.” And as for beating Lesnar at WrestleMania: “It may be improbable, but it is not impossible.” There’s nothing Lesnar can do to stop Rollins from taking his title.
Unfortunately, Lesnar doesn’t take Rollins seriously and brushes him off on his way out of the ring… so Rollins kicks him with a low blow to take him down. Lesnar is able to recover slightly and hit Rollins with a German suplex, going for an F-5 after that, but Rollins gets out of the F-5 attempt and hits Lesnar with another low blow, a low superkick, and then the Stomp. Rollins raises the Universal Championship high before leaving a fallen Lesnar in the middle of the ring. Point made.
Backstage, Charly Caruso reminds Seth Rollins that if he does that again on Sunday night—you know, all the low blows—he’ll be disqualified and his Universal Championship dreams will be dashed. Rollins’ response?
“Yeah, well he had it coming anyway.”
Beth Phoenix, Natalya, & The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection (Sasha Banks & Bayley) def. The IIconics (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay), Nia Jax, & Tamina
Already in the ring, The IIconics—for first time ever on RAW—and Nia Jax and Tamina. This is also Beth Phoenix’s first match since stepping out of retirement to challenge for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship with Natalya.
Sasha Banks and Peyton Royce start match off against each other, with Sasha getting the early advantage. Sasha and Bayley then double team Peyton (while poor Billie Kay calls for her tag team partner to tag
She does not. Sasha is about to tag Bayley back in to get some of this Billie action, but Natalya actually tags herself in to take on Billie instead. Natalya then tags in Beth, to a huge pop. But while this is a strong team, this makeshift team is also quite dysfunctional. Unlike The IIconics, who wrestle the majority of this match for their particular team. Unfortunately for The IIconics though, they end up getting crushed for that very reason.
Eventually, Beth ends up spearing Tamina through barricade, absolutely wrecking both herself and her opponent—and getting a “YOU STILL GOT IT” for her effort. After that, Peyton tries to take advantage of the chaos and brings Beth back into ring, but then she decides to just slap Beth around. That doesn’t have the desired effect, as it instead just wakes “The Glamazon” back up. One Glam Slam later, and Beth gets the win for her team.
Batista is officially in the building, and his hometown crowd chants “WELCOME BACK” to him before he cues a video package that shows his in-ring encounters with Triple H, a man who’s never beaten him. Then Batista speaks: “Hunter, kiss my ass.”
Mic drop. Awesome.
Elias is still getting ready for WrestleMania, and now he’s outside MetLife Stadium. Yes, it’s raining. Sorry again about the cold, Elias. He says “there will be no interruptions” at WrestleMania, he can already hear the audience sin: “OH WALK WITH ELIAS.” The D.C. crowd even sings it now. They just won’t be doing it during his set. Mmhmm.
Apollo Crews def. Jinder Mahal, in a Lumberjack match
As the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal statue looks on, Apollo Crews and Jinder Mahal face off in a Lumberjack match. (The other Battle Royal participants are the L
By the way, Corey Graves thinks Michael Che is going to win the Battle Royal. He has no love for Colin Jost though.
As Crews celebrates, the statue is brought up to the apron for him to pose with. The B-Team come over to kiss it, and then everyone else on the outside comes in to brawl and throw each other over the top rope, proving they know how to win. Titus O’Neil cleans house. But Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers bide their time to toss him out of the ring, before then Apollo Crews take them all out.
Kurt Angle comes out here to continue his Farewell Tour, as this is his “last night ever” on Monday Night RAW. He thanks the WWE Universe—who thank him back—and then there’s a surprise video package to “celebrate the career of Kurt Angle.” (This is the last RAW before WrestleMania—of course there are a lot of video packages.) And oh god, I’m going to cry now. When we return to the ring, Angle is crying too, and the crowd chants “THANK YOU KURT” one more time.
Of course, Baron Corbin comes out to ruin things yet again. He talks about how Angle can’t keep up with the Superstars of today, who are “just plain better… especially me.” But Corbin is annoyed that his social media is “flooded” with people saying Angle deserves a better final opponent than Corbin. (This leads to “YES HE DOES” and “CENA” chants.) But that’s not going to happen, so they should just get used to it.
Angle suggests they “have an exhibition match,” since it’s his last night on RAW. (What about his scheduled match again Rey Mysterio?) Corbin walks to the ring, but then he thinks better of it. He knows if he goes in there, Angle won’t make it to WrestleMania, so he’ll wait until Sunday. And now, here is Rey Mysterio—who, again is here for a scheduled match, so no idea why Corbin is so scared.
Well, Mysterio actually says that since Corbin doesn’t want to face Angle tonight, “someone” needs to teach him a lesson about respect. So Mysterio challenges to a match instead. Corbin cheapshots Mysterio, so Angle fights back. Corbin is about to get an advantage, but Mysterio jumps back in and gets him down. Corbin then retreats, because as the crowd says, he sucks. And now he’s the reason we’re screwed out a final Angle/Mysterio singles match.
Throughout the night on this week’s Monday Night RAW, Charly Caruso interviews Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey, and eventually, Becky Lynch’s about their upcoming six-woman tag team against The Riott Squad, as well as their Triple Threat match at WrestleMania this Sunday. You can read all about those interviews, the tag team match, and the chaotic aftermath here.
The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) (c) def. Ricochet & Aleister Black via Countout, for the RAW Tag Team Championship
Ricochet and Black get the early advantage—as it seems they have The Revival’s number—but The Revival have spent weeks studying their opponents for weakness. And it looks like it worked, as Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson work together to keep Ricochet grounded. They then keep up the same strategy for Black, as they won’t let either opponent gain the momentum they need. They go after Black’s arm, but finally, Black gets to Ricochet for the tag. Ricochet gets a few nearfalls, then after a miscommunication between The Revival—like last week—it looks like third time might be the charm on Wilder. It’s not.
And at attempt number four, Wilder kicks out, Dawson hits Ricochet with a cheap shot on the outside, and Ricochet gets hit with a Gory Special from Wilder… and it’s only a two! Wilder then wants to tag in Dawson, but Black pulls one of The Revival’s tricks and pulls him from the ring apron. They try to double team Black, but he fights back until Wilder tornado DDTs him on the outside. Ricochet has then recharged by that point, flying over the ringpost to the outside to take out both members of The Revival.
The referee starts the 10-
Alexa Bliss gloats about how great she of a WrestleMania host she is to Tyler Breeze (who’s got a great new haircut, by the way), while EC3… is also there. Braun Strowman then overhears Breeze and EC3 bond over their enjoyment of Weekend Update, and they save themselves by blaming two nobodies in the hall. Strowman then decides these nobodies are “Michael Che” and “Colin Jost,” and he’s facing them in the ring tonight.
Dasha Fuentes is also backstage, with Roman Reigns, asking if he’s 100% ready for competition. Reigns says he is… and then Drew McIntyre attacks him from behind. So, not anymore? “You should’ve said no, Roman,” screams McIntyre. “You should’ve said no! … Six days! I want you to see my face when you close your eyes at night!” McIntyre is pulled away from Reigns by WWE officials, but clearly, the damage is done.
Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, & Charlotte Flair def. The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan)
You can read about this tense six-woman tag team match—and the absolutely insane aftermath of it—here.
Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker) def. Chad Gable & Bobby Roode
We have a tag team match in action… and Lacey Evans interrupts to walk right in the middle of it. Okay. Heavy Machinery take out Chad Gable with the Compactor, and Bobby Roode looks absolutely distraught.
Braun Strowman def. “Michael Che” & “Colin Jost”
Well, this is really more a slaughter than a match.
Charly Caruso interviews Bobby Lashley in the ring to talk about how he now has to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Finn Balor at WrestleMania. Well, she tries to: Lio Rush speaks for him, of course, saying that “what happened last week was a fluke” and that Balor didn’t even pin Lashley (just like last time… when he won the Intercontinental Championship from him). Rush even calls Jinder “dead weight” to defend what happened last week.
Then Charly brings up rumors about “The Demon” showing up at WrestleMania, and now Lashley speaks: He doesn’t care, and he isn’t concerned. Balor then shows up on the TitanTron, says he’s “always been a guy that’s had demons” and that his demon will be Lashley’s nightmare at WrestleMania. He transforms into “The Demon” too, just to really drive it all home.
Baron Corbin def. Rey Mysterio
Say what you will about Baron Corbin, but he usually shines in the ring against smaller competitors. But Rey Mysterio also shines against much bigger competitors, so these two could be a match made in WWE heaven. (The crowd’s reaction begs to differ, but you know.) But Corbin goes after Rey’s right leg, and we all know Mysterio has a
But Corbin still wins. This doesn’t help Mysterio’s momentum heading into his WrestleMania match against Samoa Joe for the United States Championship—though there’s still tomorrow night on SmackDown LIVE—