Roman Reigns speaks for the trio tonight when he says, “If last night was the last time ever, I have no regrets.” He was in the ring doing what he loves with people he loves. He thanks Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for giving him the opportunity to take this one last ride as a unit.
But now tonight, he has his first one-on-one match in five months. And he knows Ambrose is leaving WWE to handle some business, whatever that may be. He also knows Rollins is going to slay “The Beast” at WrestleMania, where the whole WWE Universe is going to chant “BURN IT DOWN.”
And that’s it, that’s all they have to say.
Rollins actually has more business to attend to in the ring right now… but he’s interrupted by Paul Heyman. But Rollins plays along with Heyman, even doing the advocate schtick for him. Rollins mentions how Heyman’s client—Brock Lesnar—has dominated men like Big Show, Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, Goldberg. But Lesnar has a problem when it comes to guys like Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Finn Balor—guys with similar styles to Rollins But “with all due respect” to those competitors, none of those men are Seth Freakin’ Rollins. This really fires up Heyman, to the point he provides excuses for all those examples and how Lesnar didn’t have time to prepare. He even shows a video package of Lesnar’s
Brock Lesnar doesn’t show up on RAW… but his long-time friend Shelton Benjamin does. From behind, German suplexing an unsuspecting Seth Rollins.
Seth Rollins def. Shelton Benjamin
So now, Seth Rollins vs. Shelton Benjamin is an official match. Paul Heyman is on commentary, saying he had nothing to do with Benjamin’s sneak attack. (Later in the match, Heyman admits he paid Benjamin to jump Rollins from behind. That doesn’t mean it was his idea though.)
While Rollins is, in fact, Seth Freakin’ Rollins, you can’t count Shelton Benjamin out. He might have been out of the spotlight for a while, but he’s able to prove he’s still “The Gold Standard” when the opportunity arises. And these days, he has more of a power game for an opponent like Rollins to contend with. In fact, he seems like he wants to take Rollins to Suplex City himself. But Rollins has the speed and the focus, which is what ultimately allows him to hit the stomp on a cocky Benjamin.
As Rollins leaves the ring post-match, he crosses paths with Finn Balor, who’s out next to defend his Intercontinental Championship against (a very intense) Bobby Lashley:
Bobby Lashley def. Finn Balor (c), for the Intercontinental Championship
While Lashley is determined, Balor is easily the fresher competitor in this match. After all, he didn’t compete last night at Fastlane. But Lashley uses that determination and frustration to dominate early on in this match, with Balor barely getting any momentum at all. Until he dropkicks Lashley off the apron, then hits another dropkick through the ropes, and then a PK. But even that doesn’t build a major burst of momentum for Balor.
Finally, Balor gets the momentum necessary to possibly win, but once he’s about to go for the Coup de Graces, the bell starts ringing over and over again. Lio Rush is in the timekeeper’s area, ringing the bell. And then he grabs Balor’s Intercontinental Championship. Balor goes after Rush when he gets on the apron and takes him out, but as Balor springboards back into the ring, he’s rocked by a spear from Lashley. Lashley becomes the new Intercontinental Champion once more. Looks like things are all good between Lashley and Rush now.
Charly Caruso interviews Baron Corbin—Reigns’ opponent tonight—again about his comments on Roman Reigns’ leukemia diagnosis back in October. Only now, she’s able to roll that beautiful bean footage. At the time, Corbin said that if Reigns came back, he hoped it was not for RAW. And now in the present, Corbin doubles down on that, saying there’s no way Reigns is 100% from his disease. Corbin promises to “
Aleister Black & Ricochet def. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable
Finally, it’s Aleister Black & Ricochet vs. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable, ready to settle the score. Black and Gable start the match, with Gable getting the early advantage and tagging Roode in. Black is quick, but Roode has more power, and naturally works as hard as he can to slow Black down. Then Gable’s back in, and he chooses to ground Black before tagging Roode back in.
It’s easy to see the frustration in Roode and Gable when it comes to Black (and the other “NXT upstarts” who have seemingly skipped ahead in the line). Finally, Black’s able to tag in Ricochet. Ricochet and Black, despite being a tag team for a shorter time, clearly have better chemistry than Roode and Gable, and that’s what allows Black to hit Roode with a Black Mass for the win.
As Black and Ricochet leave up the ramp, their attacked from behind by the RAW Tag Team Champions The Revival. Roode and Gable come up the ramp to scare them away, but they don’t necessarily help their fallen opponents.
TIme for “A Moment of Bliss.” Who will be the first person to interrupt this week? Oh, it’s “a very special ‘Moment of Bliss’?” Then it’s definitely getting interrupted, right? This week, Alexa Bliss has a “scoop” about the host of this year’s WrestleMania…
Oh, it’s Alexa Bliss. No interruption though.
Is Braun Strowman going to destroy Colin Jost at WrestleMania? Hopefully. But before that can happen, Braun is interrupted by someone who tells him his car has arrived. A brand new car, courtesy of the cast of Saturday Night Live, as an apology from Michael Che and (especially) Colin Jost for last week. (Why couldn’t Cecily Strong and Heidi Gardner be the special WrestleMania correspondents?) Braun’s response? To destroy the car and promise that at WrestleMania, Che and Jost are going to get these hands. Good.
Wow, Elias even slams his hometown of Pittsburgh. (And they love it, honestly.) “It’s the miserable people that hold the great people back.” He gave that advice to his “good friend” Antonio Brown.
But unlike last night, Elias is actually interrupted tonight—by No Way Jose and the conga line. Elias dropkicks Jose as soon as he comes by, sick and tired of the interruptions. He beats up the conga line (before they can run away) too. Years of frustration over interruption have finally gotten to Elias.
Nia Jax def. Natalya, via Disqualification
Natalya comes out alone after Nia Jax (alongside Tamina) makes her entrance, but she’s not going to wrestle the match alone. “I used to think Ronda Rousey had my back, but I guess I didn’t know Ronda the way that I thought that I did,” Natalya says. So she’s decided to have someone she knows she can trust to watch her back: her best friend, “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix.
However, Natalya can’t trust Beth Phoenix not to get physical, and that’s exactly what happens here. Tamina interferes first, but Phoenix just cuts out the middleman and goes after Jax. Natalya loses the match by disqualification, but the fight doesn’t end between both teams after the bell rings. Natalya and Phoenix get the upper hand and Jax and Tamina go to the back…
…where they end up in a backstage brawl against the Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection, with officials having to separate the two teams.
Guess who’s here? Batista.
As is Triple H, in his asskicker outfit, ready to kick ass.
Batista, on the other hand, comes out dressed to impress. In fact, the “Hollywood megastar” brought his own private security. As he tells Triple H, “I learned from two of the dirtiest players in the game.” That would be Triple H and Ric Flair. So the security’s here for Batista’s
They’re going to do this thing on Batista’s terms, he knows Triple H knows what he wants, so he better give it to him. Triple H refuses to give him “a damn thing,” bringing up all the times Batista quit when things in WWE didn’t go his way. Batista just wants Triple H to give him what he wants, what he really, really wants. Triple H promises to give him the beating he deserves “and nothing more,” but that’s not what Batista wants: He wants the match at WrestleMania. He keeps demanding Triple H give him what he wants, and honestly, it ends up working.
“You want me at WrestleMania?!? You’re on,” Triple H says. Batista replies politely: “Thank you. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.” All he’s ever wanted is one last match to end his career—and Triple H’s career—on his own terms. But Triple H says the match will be on his terms though, and it will be No Holds Barred.
Kurt Angle is out here in front of his hometown crowd to try again to discuss his future. At WrestleMania, he will compete in his farewell match. “THANK YOU KURT,” the Pittsburgh crowd chants. But before that, he’s willing to have one last match in his hometown, a singles match against Apollo Crews.
Kurt Angle def. Apollo Crews
While Apollo Crews has the opportunity to go one-on-one with his idol in his final hometown match, he doesn’t get the chance to beat him. Crews gets in a little offense, but this match is all Angle. An Angle Slam puts Crews away.
Finally, it’s time for Roman Reigns’ first one-on-one match in over five months…. And he’s immediately attacked from behind by Drew McIntyre once he enters the ring. Reigns
Ambrose meets up with his brothers backstage, as Rollins make sure Reigns goes to see the trainer. Ambrose, on the other hand, approaches Triple H and tells him he wants to fight McIntyre in a Falls Count Anywhere right now. From one
Drew McIntyre def. Dean Ambrose, in a Falls Count Anywhere match
McIntyre has the audacity to get on the mic and trash talk Ambrose right before this match begins, and that’s a bad choice because Dean Ambrose is more than ready to go. Now it’s personal. And now McIntyre has to rake the eyes to get any momentum on his side as he and Ambrose fight in the stands. McIntyre literally throws Ambrose into a wall, up in the nosebleeds, and he even tries to throw Ambrose to his doom. So Ambrose bites him. And then he throws a trash can at him.
During the commercial, both men ended up fighting in the concession—Ambrose got himself some popcorn—and merch areas. Upon return from the break, the fight is on its way back to ringside. McIntyre bounces the steel steps off of Ambrose’s head, hoping to end the match that way, but it only leads to a two-count. McIntyre so greatly wants this match to end, but Ambrose keeps kicking out. Now he promises to take out The Shield “one-by-one” and he ends up suffering a low blow from Ambrose. McIntyre is able to get a chair and use it on Ambrose, but Ambrose gets him on a rolling production trunk and runs him into another one. Ambrose tries to cover McIntyre after that, but it’s only a two-count.
Both men make it to the announce area, and this time, McIntyre hits Ambrose with a low blow before stabbing him in the eye with a pencil and then lawn darting Ambrose into the LED board. And then he lawn darts him again. Still, only a two-count. But Ambrose can barely stand and