Brock Lesnar stampeded into the Chesapeake Energy Arena to open up an Oklahoma City RAW. Of course, he was accompanied by his veritable ventriloquist dummy who did all the talking as usual. Paul Heyman kept getting interrupted by cheers from the crowd while trying to sully the name of the handsome and aerodynamic Finn Bálor.
In pinstripes and pink, Heyman went off on a total religious metaphor trip not seen since the likes of Mordecai. It was all about conquering the unconquerable conqueror. Condemning Bálor for the so-called “sin” of believing he can take what Brock’s got. Suddenly, Vince McMahon strutted out and gave an anecdote about David getting high off mushrooms and fighting Goliath. Seriously. That happened.
But there is not one, but two Goliaths in the WWE. So, Braun Strowman decided to get in the middle of all this and address everything in his infamous, demonic Seth Rogen voice. Then—and you’re not going to believe this—Bálor decided he’d walk out too and break the fourth wall by calling out the typical RAW opening segment while simultaneously being involved in it. McMahon finally wrapped everything in a nice bow by biblically booking Bálor and Strowman in a match right then and there.
Finn Bálor def. Braun Stowman via disqualification
How classic is this? Brain versus brawn, or to be more exact, Bálor versus Braun. Perfect practice for the Brock battle on this Sunday at the Royal Rumble. The Irish dynamo got some momentum early, but Lesnar’s baked bean grin meant as a distraction for Strowman, just angered him. Which he took out on Bálor.
The determination and relentless craftiness of Bálor started to finally take over. That was, until Strowman
After that, all hell broke loose. David befuddled both giants while they stared at each other, avoided Strowman then took flight into Lesnar. Unfortunately, just when it looked like Bálor was going to get his hand raised following his Coup de Grâce, Lesnar slid in and captured him in an F5 causing for the bout to end.
Bobby Lashley def. Apollo Crews
Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush (a.k.a Bobby Lashley’s Paul Heyman) walked out together to celebrate earning the WWE Intercontinental Championship… by hitting bodybuilding competition poses. Lashley stood on a pedestal to hit the formations Rush would call out, as if he were the teacher in a figure drawing class. The lighting crew cycled through the optimal light source for muscle definition.
Apollo Crews interrupted the gun show to tell Lashley that the fans (and himself) would like to see those muscles in action through competition, not standing still. Rush called for a pose-off which quickly turned violent once Lashley became frustrated with the bombastic display by Crews.
The match came on fast and furious. Crews wowed throughout the quick scrap with his strength and gymnastics floor routine-level dodges. All flexing fingers pointed to a huge win for Crews here, but he let Rush get into his head. Right in the middle of a gorilla press, Lashley speared the hell out of Crews right when he was about to toss Rush like a lawn dart to get the 1, 2, 3.
Seth Rollins def. Drew McIntyre
Wrestlers sometimes have to do more than oil up, do some push-ups and soak their hair with water before they wrestle. Sometimes, they have to talk to each other for 10 minutes.
Seth Rollins put on an impassioned speech hitting on the late, great Martin Luther King Jr. as well as summing up the hard road he’s had with The Shield. No matter what gets stripped away, he made it clear he still always had one thing: Wrestling.
Drew McIntyre had to interrupt all of this to give Rollins some coaching. He told him that his trademark passion may even be his downfall. Flying around, no regard for his body. McIntyre then advised him that if he just focused his psyche, then transferred his soul into his beefy body instead, then you’d get Drew frickin’ Mcintyre. It was really weird, but we get what he said. Spirit into flesh type stuff, more religious allegories from earlier. Way to stay persistently on the theme, WWE.
The fight played out like the promo the two men just cut. Rollins would get an advantage with his kamikaze style, then McIntyre took it right back by brute force and sharp efficiency. The two long-haired, bearded bruisers went back-and-forth, displaying how evenly-matched they truly are.
Frickin’ Rollins reversed a tilt-a-whirl slam into a falcon arrow. That was just cool. Then, he met McIntyre’s Claymore with a
*Dean Ambrose chainlink fence monologue break*
Lucha House Party def. Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers
A match between Jinder Mahal and his lackeys against Lucha House Party just materialized out of nowhere. Although, these random encounters seem to always follow Ambrose’s fence time. The team of Dorado and Kalisto succeed only after a little suspense despite being against the “Holy Trinity” of the Maharaja. More symbolism. Thanks, Corey Graves. Metalik gets the pinfall, further frustrating a Mahal who is at the end of his patience. He needs serenity now, serenity now.
Baron Corbin def. Elias
It wouldn’t be RAW if Elias didn’t come out, drift in and out of speaking in the third person, and have someone interrupt a written song that sounded improvised. Baron Corbin, armed with his vest and denial that he’s no longer the general manager, tried to stop Elias from playing but got his mic cut off. The situation elevated when Corbin decided to shut the show down himself and narrowly avoided being on the receiving end of a Jeff Jarrett homage.
The actual match got underway after that. Elias took his shirt off like any normal wrestler would do, while Corbin still wrestled in dress pants and a black button-down like a psychopath. Even before this, Elias pondered aloud if we needed to see this match-up again, but we got it anyway. Corbin never got a chance to answer on the mic, so he issued his rebuttal in the ring. Call it a cheap shot or whatever you want, but he ended up getting the win over Elias.
Alexa Bliss sashayed into her segment, confirming the participants in the Royal Rumble who then appeared exponentially onscreen until a brawl broke out. Poor Alexa, she’s tired of everyone interrupting her Moment of Bliss. She tried to end her show on a high note by announcing her own entrance in the Rumble but got interrupted yet again by Lacey Evans who announced the same.
Heavy Machinery def. The Ascension
Oat soda, steaks, and weights. Ham and milk, baby. The RAW in-ring debut of Heavy Machinery went through the arena like a wrecking ball. Tucker Knight and Otis (Bull)
Bobby Roode & Chad Gable def. The Revival to retain the RAW Tag Team Championship
These teams are destined to wrestle together forever, as evident by the rematch that got booked for
For as much as they argued about being fair, The Revival kept cheating with shots behind the ref Curt Hawkins’ back, putting their feet on the ropes during pinfalls, and even grabbing the tights. It was no surprise to see where this one was going. Hawkins reprimands Dawson which caused a pin reversal and
The Revival took out their anger on Hawkins but his old teammate Zack Ryder rushed to his aid and cleaned house.
Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Ronda Rousey & Natalya
Click right here to read about a very, very irate Ronda closing the show in her tag match with Natalya against The Boss and Hug Connection.