For the second week in a row, Monday Night RAW opens with Roman Reigns. Last week in Atlanta was the comeback, but this week in Philadelphia? “We take our yard back,” Roman says. But only one man’s standing in his way to do so, his brother Seth Rollins. So Reigns calls Rollins out so they can talk about this in the center of the ring.
Rollins says he’s going to take the inspiration and motivation he got from Reigns’ announcement last week and use it to slay “The Beast.” But he also knows Reigns deserves a shot at Brock Lesnar just as much as he does, especially since he had to vacate his Universal Championship back in October.
Except, Reigns says Rollins is wrong. He notes that “one man kept this place in line” when he was out, and that man was Rollins. So all he wanted to say tonight is: “Good luck, my brother.” And ask for a favor, to which Rollins agrees to “anything.” Roman’s request?
“I want to get the band back together. One last time.”
To that, Rollins says he’ll do “anything but that.” The WWE Universe boos, but then they chant “SHIELD,” and Reigns polls them just to make sure they definitely want the reunion of The Shield. Reigns just
So for Reigns, Rollins will do this. But will Dean Ambrose? It takes a moment, but Ambrose comes out (with no more siren in his music, thankfully). However, Ambrose stays at the top of the ramp and doesn’t go straight to the ring like his brothers… and ends up getting hit with a guitar shot by Elias from behind. Rollins and Reigns run over to check on Ambrose, but as soon as he gets up, he pushes Rollins away and hobbles to the back.
Charly Caruso asks Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin, and Bobby Lashley (with Lio Rush) about the attempted reunion of The Shield, but McIntyre says he broke The Shield months ago and what we just saw was a pathetic attempt to grasp at the past. This trio, however, is ready for their six-man tag team match against—stop me if you’ve heard this one before—Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, and Kurt Angle. According to Corbin, they are the “power” of WWE, which, okay.
Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin, & def. Finn Balor, Kurt Angle, & Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman has promised all three of his opponents that they’re going to get these hands, and it seems like he keeps doing that on a weekly basis. But for some reason, they keep coming back for more. Like Corbin, who decides to start the match off with Strowman and ends up getting wrecked for it. He soon gets McIntyre to tag himself in though.
Rivals Lashley and Balor have some one-on-one time in this match, but the momentum shifts in Lashley’s favor once Lio Rush blatantly interferes and trips Balor up (and the referee does absolutely nothing). Balor is destroyed by Lashley and company for a long time after this, but eventually, he’s able to tag in a fired up Kurt Angle. But that fire doesn’t last long, and again, Corbin and company get the upper hand… until Angle tags Strowman in. Soon enough, he sets Balor up to Coup de Grace Corbin and
With that, Lashley gets Balor with a spear for the win. And as usual, they beat down Balor and Angle after the match.
Charly Caruso is backstage with Heavy Machinery, and she reveals footage of a few down on their luck tag teams (The Ascension, Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins, and The B-Team) talking about the NXT call-ups taking their spots. They then bring up Heavy Machinery, mocking Otis, in particular. Tucker says he’s going to talk to the McMahons to give matches against these teams, so they can prove themselves.
Natalya def. Ruby Riott
Ruby Riott, of course, has both members of her Squad (Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan) on the outside of the ring during this singles match. But she doesn’t even need them, as she dominates the entire match… until Natalya cuts the match even shorter with an inside cradle for the win.
Natalya immediately leaves the ring after that, and Lacey Evans makes a quick in and out (yet again) as she heads up the ramp.
Backstage, Michael Che and Colin Jost show up to guest host (?) RAW—they’re quite late—and Stephanie McMahon reveals that they’ll also be special correspondents at WrestleMania.
Batista supposedly isn’t in Philadelphia—because he hates it—but Triple H is, and he comes out to talk about Ric Flair (and the man behind him, Richard Fliehr) and the highs and lows they’ve had together. Then he brings up Batista wanting his attention for the past two years, and finally, he’s got it. “You ain’t looking at the character, you’re looking at the man. .. You want my attention? Dave—you’ve got it!” He wants Batista to meet him face-to-face.
Backstage, Roman Reigns tries to talk to Dean Ambrose, letting him know he can talk to him about anything. But yeah, it doesn’t look like the band’s getting back together yet.
Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker) def. The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel), The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor), & Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins, in a Tag Team Gauntlet match
As mentioned earlier, Heavy Machinery take on The B-Team, The Ascension, and Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins in a gauntlet match… and they defeat all three of them, proving you don’t make fun of Otis and you don’t make Heavy Machinery mad.
Torrie Wilson is the latest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Now Seth Rollins tries to talk to Dean Ambrose, telling him that brothers fight. He also calls Ambrose his “wrestling soulmate,” whether they’re wrestling together or against each other. But Ambrose says “no can do” on getting The Shield back together “one last time.” He says his preoccupied, and when it comes to his match against Elias tonight, he’s got to do it on his own.
Meanwhile, Elias is, of course, more concerned with singing about how much Philly sucks. He has the audacity to insult everyone’s favorite weirdo—Gritty—too.
Elias def. Dean Ambrose
Well, any frustration that Dean Ambrose has, he seems to be content taking it all out on Elias. But Elias is able to get some work in on Ambrose’s back, and it’s only a matter of time before it gives out and gives Elias an opening to hit Drift Away.
After the match, Reigns and Rollins come out, still not giving up on their vision to reunite. But again, Ambrose rejects their offer, choosing to leave the arena through the audience. And then Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, and Drew McIntyre decide to ruin everything even more by showing up on the show again. They say they’re going to put an end to this charade and attack Rollins and Reigns in a three-on-two attack.
But a conflicted Ambrose decides to come to his brothers’ aid, leading to The Shield standing tall. But are they The Shield? Rollins and Reigns put their fists out for Ambrose, who again is conflicted—but this time, he puts his fist in too, he’s all in with his brothers.
Tamina def. Sasha Banks
This is a pretty back and forth match, but Sasha Banks eventually gets Tamina into a Banks Statement… and Nia Jax pulls Tamina out of the ring, before tossing Bayley and then eating a Meteora from Banks. Back in the ring, Tamina distracts the ref while Jax yanks on Banks’ leg on her way back into the ring. Banks enters the ring to a superkick from Tamina.
Right before their RAW Tag Team Championship match against The Revival, Charly Caruso interviews Ricochet and Aleister Black about this opportunity. Especially the fact that plenty of Superstars think it’s unfair they got this opportunity too soon, after only two weeks on the show. Well, they did pin the RAW Tag Team Champions, which plenty of RAW tag teams can’t say.
Ricochet & Aleister Black def. The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) (c), via Disqualification in a RAW Tag Team Championship match
The Revival do a lot to keep Aleister Black from tagging in Ricochet, but he’s eventually able to do so, and Ricochet is able to take on both Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder almost single-handedly. Corey Graves says it best when he calls Ricochet’s work right now “a blur of offense.”
But then once The Revival end up outside, Gable and Roode attack them, forcing a disqualification and costing Ricochet and Black the titles. Roode and Gable say Ricochet and Black don’t deserve to be here and that the former champs haven’t even gotten a rematch yet—they really seem to have missed the memo that automatic rematches aren’t a thing anymore—before deciding to exchange blows. Ricochet and Black end up standing tall in this brawl.
You can read more about Becky Lynch’s reinstatement, her match against Charlotte Flair at Fastlane—which will determine whether or not Becky will part of the WrestleMania main event—and Ronda Rousey’s proclamation to the WWE Universe here.