– The WWE Royal Rumble go-home edition of RAW opens up on the USA Network as Tom Phillips welcomes us to The ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. He’s joined at ringside by Samoa Joe and Byron Saxton.
– We go right to the ring and out comes WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, returning from his positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Drew hits the ring as the pyro goes off.
Drew takes the mic and says it feels so good to be back on RAW. He thanks everyone for their well wishes while he was out with COVID-19. He talks about getting lucky with no symptoms and says he’s back at 100%. His match on Sunday is dedicated to everyone who has the coronavirus. Drew says we’re all going to get through this and beat it. Drew says speaking of things he’s tired of, Sunday’s match will be against WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg. Drew talks about watching Goldberg since he was a teenager, how he built up his impressive streak, ran through The Rock and other Superstars until he just disappeared, for years. Drew says the last thing to go in a heavyweight fighter is their power, and Goldberg returned a tough fighter like he had been. Drew talks about how Goldberg has continued to win and win, but that ends this Sunday as Drew will end the other streak and remain WWE Champion. Drew goes on but the music interrupts and out comes The Miz and John Morrison as fans boo.
Miz and Morrison taunt Drew over the match and speculate that he or Goldberg may end up injured before the end of the match. Then what could happen? Miz says whoever is left standing at the end of the match will be a sitting duck as he and Morrison will hit the ring and beat the holy hell out of the champion. Fans boo them as they enter the ring. Miz says then he will cash in his Money In the Bank briefcase and be announced the new WWE Champion. The music interrupts again and out comes Goldberg as Drew looks on. Miz and Morrison watch from the apron.
Goldberg hits the ring and gets in Drew’s face, telling him he’s next on Sunday. They drop the mics and stare each other down as Miz and Morrison run their mouths from the apron. Drew suddenly yanks Miz in while Goldberg yanks Morrison into the ring for a big pop. Goldberg drops Miz with a Spear and Drew then levels Morrison with a Claymore. Drew and Goldberg go back to facing off in the middle of the ring for a pop. Drew raises the WWE Title in the air as they have words. Goldberg’s music starts up as we go to replays. Goldberg marches up the ramp as Drew watches him, stopping to toss the Money In the Bank briefcase out of the ring.
– Still to come, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Asuka defends her RAW Women’s Title against Alexa Bliss. Also, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Charlotte Flair faces Shayna Baszler. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Charlotte Flair is with Charly Caruso is in the back. Flair talks about performing well under pressure in regards to Shayna Baszler. Flair mentions defending her titles with Asuka this weekend and entering the Women’s Rumble. Flair is also asked about her father, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, and Lacey Evans. She is aware of Evans’ intentions but isn’t worried as tonight she is focused on Baszler.
Charlotte Flair vs. Shayna Baszler
We go back to the ring and out comes WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Charlotte Flair. The pyro goes off as she heads to the ring. Out next comes Shayna Baszler with Nia Jax.
The first-time-ever match starts off as they lock up. Flair ends up dropping Baszler and kicking Jax through the ropes. Baszler attacks but Flair fights off the Kirifuda Clutch. Flair levels Baszler with a running big boot. Flair goes for the Figure Four and tries to bridge into the Figure Eight but Jax hits the ring and breaks it up with a leg drop for the quick disqualification.
Winner by DQ: Charlotte Flair
– After the bell, Flair is double teamed until Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose make the save. Flair joins them but Lacey Evans attacks Flair from behind. The six-woman brawl continues until RAW goes to commercial.
Charlotte Flair, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Lacey Evans, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Back from the break and the six-woman match kicks off. Lacey Evans starts off with Mandy Rose. Evans does the Flair strut to taunt Charlotte. They tangle and go to the mat. Evans grounds Rose while Flair taunts her from the apron.
They get back to their feet and Rose drives a knee to the ribs, then grounds Evans. Brooke tags in and they hit a double suplex on Evans. Brooke covers for a 2 count. Brooke drops Evans again and poses, then covers for a 2 count. Brooke with another takedown and a cartwheel into a kick to the face. Evans kicks out at 2 again. Evans ends up tagging in, as does Flair.
Flair and Baszler go at it, countering each other. Baszler unloads with strikes and Flair goes down holding her knee. Flair mounts a comeback with chops to the chest. Flair with a big fall-away slam and a kip up for a pop. Flair taunts Evans, who drops down off the apron in fear. Flair tags in Brooke. Brooke and Rose come in with the double team to Baszler for a 2 count. Rose takes Baszler to the corner and tags in Brooke, who chops Baszler. Flair tags back in but Baszler tries to fight her off. Baszler sends Flair to the apron but she keeps fighting. Flair drags Baszler from the ring to the floor, hitting part of the steel steps on the way down.
Flair warns Jax and Evans at ringside as they stare her down. Flair is out to bring Baszler back in, but apparently Baszler doesn’t beat the 10 count for the somewhat awkward finish.
Winners by Count Out: Charlotte Flair, Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose
– After the bell, the winners regroup in the ring and stand tall as Evans yells at the referee about how to count.
– Still to come, Riddle competes against The Hurt Business in a Gauntlet Match to earn a United States Title shot, Sheamus vs. John Morrison, plus Alexa Bliss challenges Asuka for the RAW Women’s Title. Back to commercial.
Charlotte Flair, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke vs. Lacey Evans, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Back from the break and the six-woman match is underway once again. We see how Adam Pearce came out to the stage during the commercial as Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler and Lacey Evans complained about the finish. Pearce ordered the referee to restart the match.
Dana Brooke is going at it with Jax now. Brooke tries to mount offense but Jax levels her for a 2 count. Evans comes in and takes over on Brooke, stopping to yell at the referee. Baszler comes in and keeps Brooke down, kicking her for a 2 count. Baszler with a big kick to Brooke’s elbow as Jax tags back in. Jax grounds Brooke, putting pressure on her hurt elbow.
Brooke fights up as the crowd tries to rally for her. Jax catches Brooke for a powerbomb but Brooke counters and tries to roll her up. Jax drops down but Brooke moves and she lands hard. Mandy Rose tags in, ducks Evans and knocks Baszler off the apron. Rose runs wild on Evans and kips up for a pop.
Rose rams Evans into the corner and keeps fighting her. Rose with a big pump knee for a 2 count as Baszler breaks it up. Charlotte Flair runs in and hits a Spear on Baszler. Jax runs in and drops Flair. Jax drags Evans to the corner and tags in. Evans pulls Flair to the floor but Flair chases her away from ringside. Brooke dodges Jax in the corner, then drops her for a close 2 count. Brooke goes to the top but Jax cuts her off. Jax presses Brooke from the top to the mat.
Jax grabs Brooke for a powerbomb but turns it into a chokeslam in the middle of the ring. Jax then follows up for the pin to win.
Winners: Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler and Lacey Evans
– After the match, Jax stands tall over Brooke as her music hits. Baszler joins her and they have their arms raised as we go to replays. Brooke and Rose try to recover at ringside as Jax and Baszler celebrate in the ring.
– We see how Mace defeated Xavier Woods last week. We also see Mustafa Ali’s post-show interview where he sent a “get well soon” taunt to Kofi Kingston. Tom also shows us a Twitter video from earlier today, where Ali continued to yell at Kofi over how Kofi “stole” his WrestleMania 35 moment a few years ago.
Slapjack vs. Xavier Woods
We go back to the ring and out comes RETRIBUTION – Slapjack with Mustafa Ali, T-BAR, Mace and Reckoning. Slapjack hits the ring and poses as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and RETRIBUTION watches from ringside as Slapjack waits in the corner. Out next comes Xavier Woods by himself. Woods marches to the ring and he’s all business tonight. The bell rings and Woods immediately dropkicks Slapjack into the corner. Woods works Slapjack around, chopping him in the corner. Woods with a big back drop for another pop.
Slapjack fights back and rocks Woods while he’s stuck in the ropes. Slapjack launches himself in from the apron with a bulldog for a close 2 count. Slapjack grounds Woods now, then stomps on him. The VIP Lounge is announced for tonight. Slapjack stomps some more as Ali barks orders from ringside. Slapjack goes for a stomp from the second rope but Woods moves. Wood fights Slapjack off with strikes, unloading with chops into the ropes. They tangle and Woods nails a side Russian leg sweep for another pop.
Woods keeps control but eats a big uppercut. Woods boots Slapjack sway and then hits the Honor Roll for a close 2 count. We see Ali ordering T-BAR to go over and taunts Woods. Slapjack rolls a distracted Woods up from behind but Woods counters with a Shining Wizard out of nowhere for the pin to win.
Winner: Xavier Woods
– After the bell, Woods stares down Ali and exits the ring as his music starts. Mace rushes the ring and distracts Woods, who is already on the floor. T-BAR runs over from the side and levels Woods with a big boot to the side of the face. RETRIBUTION brings Woods in the ring now and Ali watches as T-BAR and Mace hit a big double chokeslam. Ali sends Slapjack out to get a steel chair now. T-BAR, Mace and Slapjack hold Woods while Ali yells at him and hold the chair. Ali goes to swing it at Woods but he stops. Ali sets the chair up and takes a seat. Reckoning brings him the mic. Ali says all Woods’ talk about wanting to be King of the Ring, and he sure looks like a peasant right now. Ali says like a real king, he will show mercy upon Woods and for that, Woods will do exactly what he says by delivering a message to Kofi. Ali tells Woods to tell Kofi that he heard the sad unfortunate news about how Kofi will not be in the Royal Rumble Match, but tell Kofi not to fear because a replacement has been found and his name is… Mustafa Ali.
– Riddle is walking backstage when he stops at WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth. Truth heard The Hurt Business is throwing him a surprise party tonight, even though his birthday was last week. Truth heard about some kind of surprise party on The VIP Lounge, where they got him something like 24 carats, or what might be carrots in Truth’s mind. Truth tells Riddle to keep the party a secret and he might split the carats/carrots with him. Truth walks off and Riddle is all smiles as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes The Hurt Business for another edition of The VIP Lounge. MVP is out with WWE United States Champion Bobby Lashley and RAW Tag Team Champions Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin.
MVP talks about how good the Royal Rumble After Party is going to be. He also brings up Riddle and tonight’s Gauntlet Match, saying Riddle may be a brain dead moron but they need to focus on the task at hand. Lashley talks about how good they all look with their gold, and says this is just the beginning. MVP agrees. Shelton starts talking but Cedric interrupts. Cedric says they have been a roll lately and it’s all because of MVP. Lashley says because of that, they collected on some outstanding debts as a token of appreciation to MVP. MVP is presented with a gold chain that says “THB” in diamonds. Lashley says this is so he can be draped in gold like the rest of the group. MVP puts the chain on and says The Hurt Business is in business. Fans boo them. MVP says he’s not often at a loss for words, but he doesn’t have the words.
Cedric takes credit for working with the chain designer, and points out how this is 24 carat gold. Shelton interrupts and is about to call Cedric out on not working with the designer, but the music interrupts and out comes WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth rapping his theme. MVP yells for the music to be cut. Truth mentions this being his own surprise party, and it’s weird for him to be performing at his own party. MVP says he’s not on the list. Truth thinks this is for his birthday, which was last week, but they correct him. Cedric says this is all about MVP. Shelton tells Truth this is not the time. Lashley speaks up and says Truth is right. Lashley forgot it was Truth’s birthday and he wants to make it up to him, but he has to come in the ring to get it. Drew Gulak, Tucker, Humberto Carrillo, and Akira Tozawa come running down as Truth retreats. Tucker rolls Truth up but the pin is broken by Carrillo as The Hurt Business attacks everyone at ringside. MVP is left alone in the ring, allowing Riddle to run in from behind and level him with a big knee. Riddle retreats to the crowd as the other members of The Hurt Business return to the ring to check on MVP. Riddle taunts them as his music hits.
– Still to come, Riddle runs the Gauntlet for a United States Title shot. Also, Asuka defends against Alexa Bliss. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and it’s announced that an injury update on WWE Hall of Famer Edge will be revealed tonight.
– R-Truth is backstage hiding from The Hurt Business when Adam Pearce approaches. Truth wants to prove himself in the Money In the Bank match. AJ Styles and Omos walk up. AJ says Truth is trying to say he wants a spot in the Royal Rumble Match, and AJ wants to help him prove he’s worthy. Pearce tells Truth to wrestle AJ tonight and he will consider it. Pearce walks on and Truth talks his usual nonsense to AJ until AJ and Omos walk off.
– We see a replay of what happened earlier tonight with Goldberg, Drew McIntyre, The Miz and John Morrison. The announcers hype Goldberg vs. McIntyre for the WWE Title on Sunday.
Sheamus vs. John Morrison
We go back to the ring and out first comes Sheamus. He hits the ring and poses in the corner as big pyro goes off. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes John Morrison with The Miz, who is carrying his Money In the Bank briefcase. The bell rings and they lock up. Sheamus takes it to the ropes as the referee breaks the up. They tangle and Sheamus takes Morrison to the mat now. More back and forth on the mat. Sheamus drops Morrison for a quick pin attempt. Sheamus takes Morrison back down by his arm, grounding him. Miz cheers Morrison on but Sheamus applies a head scissors to keep Morrison down. Sheamus avoids a pin attempt and they get back to their feet. Sheamus drops Morrison with a shoulder.
More back and forth now. Morrison rolls Sheamus for a 2 count. Sheamus ducks a big kick and rolls Morrison for 2. Sheamus grounds Morrison once again. Morrison takes it to the corner and backs off as the referee counts. Morrison with a cheap shot and more big strikes in the corner to daze Sheamus. Morrison kicks Sheamus and charges but Sheamus lands a big back-drop for a pop. Sheamus with big strikes and an uppercut to send Morrison back down. Sheamus grounds Morrison by his arm and keeps him there. Morrison fights back and drops Sheamus with a kick to the throat.
Morrison mounts Sheamus with strikes. Sheamus shoves him away but Morrison keeps coming. Morrison with another big knee. Morrison fights Sheamus back into the corner. Sheamus turns it back around in the opposite corner. Sheamus with the Irish Curse backbreaker for a close 2 count. Sheamus goes to the top but Miz distracts him from the apron, allowing Morrison to approach with a right. Sheamus hits him and keeps climbing. Sheamus flies but Morrison kicks him in mid-air. Morrison follows up with a running knee to send Sheamus to the apron. Morrison focuses on the hurt knee now. Morrison sends Sheamus to the floor and follows, kicking him in the hurt knee as the referee counts. Morrison rolls it back in the ring, continuing to attack Sheamus’ hurt knee. Morrison with a Dragon Screw leg whip for just a 1 count as Sheamus kicks out.
Morrison takes Sheamus back down and grounds him by his leg. Morrison mounts Sheamus with more strikes, then goes back to a leg hold as Sheamus yells out. Miz taunts Sheamus from the floor. Sheamus fights out of the hold with right hands. Morrison drops an elbow on the injured knee, and another. Morrison with another leg submission. Sheamus fights out with several boots to the head. Sheamus gets up and keeps fighting while limping around. Sheamus scoops Morrison on his shoulders for White Noise but it’s blocked. Morrison with a chop block. Morrison goes for a springboard kick but Sheamus catches him, then drives him into the mat for a close 2 count.
Sheamus stomps and goes for the Cloverleaf submission. Morrison resists but Sheamus gets it locked in. Morrison gets the bottom rope to break the hold. Sheamus approaches but Morrison drops his neck over the top rope. Morrison comes back in but eats a big knee to the face. Sheamus then follows right up with White Noise for the pin to win.
– After the match, Miz immediately takes the mic and says if Sheamus really wants to prepare for The Rumble, he needs to fight in a Handicap Match right now. Sheamus accepts the challenge as the crowd pops. Back to commercial.
2-on-1 Handicap Match: The Miz and John Morrison vs. Sheamus
Back from the break and the bell rings as Sheamus fights off both The Miz and John Morrison at the same time.
Sheamus dumps Morrison over the top rope to the floor. Miz attacks but runs into an elbow. Sheamus scoops Miz but Morrison runs in and attacks. Miz drops Sheamus with a DDT for a 2 count. Miz and Morrison stomp away while Sheamus is down now as fans boo. Miz with a running boot to the face, Morrison with a running knee. Morrison with the standing Shooting Star Press for a 2 count as they both try to cover Sheamus.
The double teaming continues on Sheamus as the crowd boos. Sheamus fights back from his knees. Morrison clotheslines Sheamus over the top rope to the floor. Miz with a running dropkick through the ropes to knock Sheamus back to the floor. Morrison runs the ropes and leaps over the top, splashing Sheamus on the outside in front of the announcers. Miz and Morrison launch Sheamus into the barrier now, dislodging it. Morrison with a spin kick to the face while Sheamus is down. Miz with a running kick to the face against the barrier.
They bring it back into the ring and Miz goes to the top. Miz waits and delivers a double ax handle as Morrison holds Sheamus. Sheamus stumbles around the ring. Sheamus fights Miz off out of the corner, then rocks Morrison but Morrison drops him and kicks away in the corner. Miz unloads with stomps in the corner now as the fans boo. Miz and Morrison continue taking turns on Sheamus in the corner. Sheamus finally sends Morrison over the top to the floor, then levels Miz with a clothesline for a pop.
Sheamus slowly gets up, as does Miz. Sheamus runs over Miz a few times. Morrison runs in but Sheamus slams him. Sheamus with the rolling senton to Miz, on top of Morrison. Sheamus goes on and hits 10 Beats of The Bodhrán on both opponents, sending Miz and Morrison to the floor. Sheamus goes to the top and nails a flying clothesline to the floor, taking them both down. Sheamus brings Miz back into the ring and waits for him to get up. Sheamus calls for the Brogue Kick but Morrison holds his leg from the outside, allowing Miz to attack from behind in the corner.
Sheamus blocks the Skull Crushing Finale from Miz, then a springboard kick from Morrison. Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick on Morrison to lay him out, but Miz comes from behind and hits the Skull Crushing Finale for the pin to win.
Winners: The Miz and John Morrison
– After the match, Miz and Morrison head to the stage to celebrate as we go to replays. Sheamus recovers in the ring as the heels stand tall together.
– We see Lacey Evans backstage with WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. The Nature Boy is getting up close and personal to show Evans some moves. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Charlotte Flair appears in the doorway and she looks on, not happy. She approaches and quietly orders Evans to get out. Flair isn’t happy with his daughter, mentioning how he will always be himself. Charlotte disagrees and knocks Ric for some of his bad ways as a father, like spending his money one everyone but his family. Flair mentions how she’s the only one here to protect Ric as he’s now going from Legend to old man and she has no problem saying it to his face. They stare at each other and Charlotte says a few words to her dad as she backs away, noting that she is not the bad guy here, and this was cute when she was a kid but no more. Evans appears behind Flair and levels her with a stiff Woman’s Right as she turns around. Ric looks like he’s about to check on Charlotte but Evans pulls him away and they head off as we hear Ric telling Evans how to “Wooo!” in the hallway. Charlotte starts to recover as we go back to commercial.
AJ Styles vs. R-Truth
Back from the break and out comes AJ Styles with Omos. WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth is already in the ring for this non-title match.
The bell rings and AJ goes to work on Truth, dominating him. AJ catches a kick and starts working on Truth’s leg. Truth fights back from the corner and charges but AJ catches him with a backbreaker. AJ grabs Truth and talks some trash, then goes to toss him over the top rope like he says he will do on Sunday, but Truth counters and tosses AJ over the top to the floor. Fans cheer Truth on.
AJ comes right back in and drops Truth on his face at the edge of the apron. Truth slowly looks up and Omos is standing there. Truth rolls to the corner and sends AJ to the corner as he charges. AJ springboards with the Phenomenal Forearm but has to roll through as Truth moves.
Truth slams AJ and uses John Cena’s Five Knuckle Shuffle for a pop. AJ dodges the Scissors Kick but Truth goes for the Attitude Adjustment and misses. AJ counters, rolling Truth into the Calf Crusher for the win.
Winner: AJ Styles
– After the match, AJ stands tall as his music hits. Omos joins AJ in the ring as they celebrate.
– We see Asuka backstage warming up. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a look back at last week’s promo from the masked Randy Orton, who was wearing the mask due to the fireball attack by Alexa Bliss. We go backstage to Bliss now, who is swinging on a swing at her Alexa’s Playground set. Bliss looks at the imaginary person on the swing next to her, apparently The Fiend, and says last week was so much fun. Did we see what Orton’s face looked like after “we” did what “we” did? Bliss watches a replay on a TV set nearby and laughs. She agrees with the invisible person that Orton looks better. For the record on last week, Bliss says she just wanted to have fun with Asuka in her playground, but Asuka didn’t want to play nice. Bliss also watches a replay of that segment and adds that she also did not want to play nice last week. We then see a replay of last week’s Bliss vs. Asuka match and how Bliss transformed into a darker version of herself during the match, finishing Asuka off with Sister Abigail for the non-title win. Bliss asks if we liked her trick. “He” taught her the move, and “he” taught her a lot of things actually. She can’t wait to see him again so she can thank him. Bliss chats with the invisible person some more and says tonight she has the chance to win a shiny new toy, and just like last week, she doesn’t feel like playing nice. Bliss laughs some more and keeps swinging while singing the “Ring around the rosie…” nursery rhyme. Bliss looks into the camera as we see familiar flashes of The Fiend with her face. She mouths “Let me in!” with The Fiend’s voice, to end the segment.
Gauntlet Match for a WWE United States Title Shot: Riddle vs. The Hurt Business
We go back to the ring and out comes Riddle as the pyro hits. Riddle must defeat The Hurt Business’ MVP plus RAW Tag Team Champions Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in order to earn a future title shot from WWE United States Champion Bobby Lashley. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Riddle waits in the ring as Benjamin enters next. Riddle charges but Benjamin dodges the knee. Riddle with strikes into the corner, unloading on Benjamin. Riddle with running forearms into the corner. Riddle charges again but Benjamin grabs him. Riddle fights him off and lands on his feet from a German attempt. Riddle ends up dropping Benjamin with a kick. We see MVP and Cedric watching from ringside. Benjamin catches a knee and drops Riddle on his head but he kicks out.
Benjamin positions Riddle on the top turnbuckle, flat on his back. Benjamin unloads with strikes, sending Riddle out to the floor. Riddle makes it back in at the 5 count but Benjamin works him over. Benjamin slams Riddle for a 2 count. Benjamin grounds Riddle now. Riddle fights up and out but Benjamin drops him with a knee to the gut for a close 2 count. Benjamin mounts Riddle with punches. Benjamin keeps control and goes for a suplex but Riddle blocks it. Benjamin with a knee to the head, then a running knee to the head. Riddle kicks out at 2 and MVP shows some frustration, telling Benjamin to quit playing with Riddle.
Benjamin grounds Riddle once again. Riddle ends up applying a Guillotine submission. Benjamin overpowers but Riddle nails a knee in mid-air. Cedric distracts from the apron but Riddle counters the pin attempt. More back and forth. Shelton rolls Riddle up but Cedric distracts the referee from the apron again, ruining Shelton’s pin. MVP yells at Cedric for the blunder. This leads to Riddle countering and then rolling Benjamin up for the pin to eliminate him.
MVP enters the ring now as Benjamin and Cedric argue. MVP yells at them, then the referee. The bell rings and Riddle comes from behind, taking MVP right into a heel hook. MVP immediately taps out and has been eliminated.
MVP gets up and yells at the referee. Cedric and Shelton are disappointed at ringside. MVP joins them and he’s not happy. Cedric prepares to enter the ring as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cedric is working over Riddle in the corner. Cedric takes Riddle down for a 2 count as MVP and Shelton look on from ringside. Riddle fights Cedric off with strikes but Cedric drops hi with a knee to the gut. Cedric with a big Gutbuster for a close 2 count. Cedric is all smiles as MVP and Shelton look on, still upset over their eliminations. Cedric grounds Riddle now, working him over with a submission.
Riddle makes a comeback now but Cedric nails a huge dropkick to the face for a close 2 count. MVP barks orders as Cedric stalls some. Cedric with an abdominal stretch in the middle of the ring now. Riddle gets to the rope but Cedric takes advantage of the 5 count. Cedric drives a knee into Riddle’s chin now as the referee counts. Cedric grounds Riddle again and holds him from behind. Riddle fights free as fans start to rally for him. Riddle gets Cedric on his shoulders but Cedric counters into a DDT for a close 2 count.
Cedric grounds Riddle again as MVP cheers him on. Riddle counters and kips up. Riddle mounts some offense, including the Exploder suplex. Riddle misses the moonsault as Cedric gets his knees up. Cedric and Riddle trade strikes in the middle of the ring now. Cedric with a big kick to the gut. Riddle with a big German out of nowhere. Cedric comes back with a Brainbuster for another close 2 count. Cedric gets upset and stomps away now. Cedric goes up top but has to roll through.
Riddle comes back and applies a triangle choke. Cedric powers up and turns that hold into a powerbomb. Riddle goes right back into the triangle. Cedric powers up again but can’t hit the powerbomb. They tangle and Riddle rolls Cedric for the pin to win.
Winner and New #1 Contender to the WWE United States Title: Riddle
– After the match, Riddle stands tall and celebrates as The Hurt Business fumes. Riddle backs up the ramp and celebrates but here comes Bobby Lashley from behind. Lashley destroys Riddle with The Hurt Lock and leaves him laying. They did not announce when Riddle will get his title shot from Lashley.
– Still to come, Edge will make his return and give an update on his injury from last year. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see a replay of what happened earlier tonight with Goldberg, Drew McIntyre, The Miz and John Morrison. The announcers hype Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
– We go to a pre-recorded promo from WWE Hall of Famer Edge, who is in a WWE ring somewhere. Edge says 2020 taught us all that you can’t sleep on tomorrow…. you’ve got to fight for every day, like tomorrow is not guaranteed. So sometimes you find yourself in a place where you gotta pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep walking. Edge recalls how his career ended and when he first told his mom he was going to be a pro wrestler. She told him to just go do it. He talks about how the words made him fight for 9 years to get his career back, get his dream back. And then at WWE Backlash last year, Randy Orton gave him another reminder that everything you hold close can be torn away just like that. Edge says he knows what his mom would say, she would tell him to just go do it. So with that in mind, Edge is entering the Royal Rumble. He knows it won’t be like last year, and the stakes are higher, because he knows the window closes for him more and more every day, so he needs to win the Rumble, headline WrestleMania 37 and take back what he never lost, what is his. Edge says if you have a dream, at some point you have to fight to make it a reality and he’s going to fight with every breath in his body at the Rumble, to maybe make this last dream come true. Edge says if you’ve been with him on this ride you know he’s got to try because a world without dreamers and fighter is a much less magical place. Edge goes on and says he thinks he can, and he will see us at the Rumble.
– We see Asuka backstage walking to the ring. Back to commercial.
– Elias, Jaxson Ryker, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Charlotte Flair, and WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth are among those announced for RAW Talk.
RAW Women’s Title Match: Alexa Bliss vs. Asuka
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event as WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Asuka comes out to defend her RAW Women’s Title. Asuka gets pyro and a pop from the crowd. Out next comes Alexa Bliss. We get formal ring introductions from Mike Rome.
The bell rings and here we go. They size each other up and we get some stalling to start. Asuka kicks bliss back and tosses her across the ring. Asuka with another throw across the ring. Asuka unloads with kicks in the corner as the referee warns her. Asuka takes Bliss down by her arm now. Bliss just smiles.
They end up breaking and Asuka goes on to hit a missile dropkick from the corner. Asuka goes for a Hip Attack but Bliss counters and kicks Asuka to the floor. A new childish sort of music starts playing and we see Bliss riding a large rocking horse in the middle of the ring. A confused Asuka looks on from ringside as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Bliss is in control. Asuka misses from the corner. Asuka with a senton and more offense for a 2 count. Bliss laughs as she grabs Asuka’s hair and takes her face-first into the corner. Bliss unloads with kicks as the referee warns her. Bliss with a boot to the face, mocking the referee’s count. Bliss grounds Asuka with a headlock as the fans start to rally now. Asuka gets free but Bliss takes her right back down for another 2 count. Bliss laughs some more while tightening the hold on Asuka. The crowd tries to rally for the champ. Asuka fights up and out with elbows. Bliss runs into a big kick to the face.
Bliss shows some frustration now. She charges but Asuka levels her. Asuka goes on and hits a Hip Attack in the corner. Asuka keeps control and delivers the German, then a sliding kick to the face for a close 2 count for a pop. Bliss is still smiling. Asuka takes her to the corner and kicks away. Asuka approaches the corner but Bliss’ music plays, stopping her in her tracks. Bliss has transformed back into her usual look, with her normal attire and everything. Asuka is stunned.
Bliss is crying as she gets up from the corner. She looks terrified now, and disoriented. Asuka charges and Bliss sends her face-first into the turnbuckle after side-stepping. Bliss looks to be in some sort of trance now. Bliss walks into the corner and faces the turnbuckle as the lights start going down in the ThunderDome. A nursery rhyme tune plays. The lights come up and the darker version of Bliss is back, turned upside down in the corner like Bray Wyatt would. The crowd pops.
Bliss approaches Asuka. Asuka swings but Bliss keeps blocking her strikes with ease. Asuka with a big knee to the face to stagger Bliss, but that’s it. Asuka takes Bliss down for the Asuka Lock but Bliss resists on the mat. Bliss rips Asuka’s grip away, then applies the Mandible Claw out of nowhere. Randy Orton suddenly appears behind Bliss in the middle of the ring as the crowd boos. Bliss slowly turns around and Orton drops her with the RKO. The boos get louder as Orton slowly gets back to his feet. Bliss is laid out in the middle of the ring now. The final RAW before the Royal Rumble goes off the air with Orton standing over Bliss.