– The post-Royal Rumble edition of WWE RAW opens up with a video package on last Saturday’s big event. We’re now live from the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma as Kevin Patrick welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Corey Graves.
– We go right to the ring as Mike Rome introduces Cody Rhodes, winner of the Men’s Royal Rumble. The music hits and out comes Rhodes to a big pop and pyro. Rhodes, wearing a suit, marches to the ring and poses in the corner as more pyro goes off.
Fans chant “Cody!” as the music stops. Before he can speak, a “you deserve it!” chant starts up as Cody looks at the WrestleMania 39 sign. Rhodes stops and opens his arms to the crowd again. He asks the fans what they want to talk about now. It goes without saying there’s someone new watching the show each week. He says he’s not the same person who started this journey over 15 years ago. He’s thought a lot about 19 year old him, first day on the job, pulling up to OVW and how a sign that said “Tomorrow’s Superstars Today” was on the door. He vividly thought to himself he will be WWE Champion inside two years. He was ambitious and delusional as he thought he’d become the next John Cena. Some fans boo.
Cody says if he could write a letter to 19 year old him… would he tell him it’s not going to go down like that, would he tell him he’d get smacked live on TV so hard his knees buckled, or that he’d be Dashing and give out grooming tips, that he’d win the WWE Intercontinental Title, that he’d paint his face and be less than, and so on, including that he’d marry the ring announcer. That he’d do what everyone told him not to do in 2015 – take an excursion to focus on the industry’s health but lose focus of his own health, or that he’d punch the Royal Rumble ticket on January 28, 2023 to make it to the biggest damn stage at WrestleMania 39. Fans cheer and chant “Cody!” again. Cody says truth be told, he wouldn’t tell 19 year old him a single thing because every piece of the road had been unequivocally 100% worth it.
Cody mentions fans singing his Kingdom theme song and says it will go everywhere with him. He brings up how the song starts off with his own words, “Wrestling has more than 1 royal family,” and says actually WWE has more than 1, but for that to be true, he has to stand across from another, from an entire Bloodline, from The Head of The Table, a man who has held the title for more than 800 days… he has to stand across from Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. A “Roman sucks!” chant starts up now. Cody has a great deal of respect for Reigns but he says this with the same sincerity – WrestleMania is in 62 days and that may just be 62 days to Reigns but it’s 62 days for the rest of Cody’s life. Cody goes on and tells Reigns to pull up a chair because on that night, someone else will be eating and after WrestleMania, Reigns can be the biggest Superstar in the world, the Tribal Chief and the Head of The Table, but he will not be the Undisputed WWE Universals Champion. The music starts back up as Cody salutes the crowd. The music interrupts and out comes The Judgement Day – Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio.
Balor takes the mic and says he’s confused – is Cody returning to do something original or is he going to knock off all Balor’s old stuff like before? Dominik says Cody ruined The Judgment Day’s plans at The Rumble. He says Rhea Ripley did what she was supposed to do and later tonight we will have the privilege of hearing her pick her WrestleMania opponent. Dominik says he was supposed to win the men’s match. Balor asks what happened to Rey Mysterio that made him unable to get to the ring. Dominik says Cody put his hands on him, and ruined his Rumble moment. Dominik says if that happened in prison, Cody would’ve got got. Priest says Dominik should be the only generational Superstar to headline WrestleMania, not some suck-up who gets what he wants. Priest praises Ripley for her performance and says she earned her spot, unlike Cody, who was handed #30. Dominik says Cody owes him now, and he owes an apology for what he did.
Rhodes asks if Dominik is trying to scare him straight. Rhodes gives props to The Mysterio Family, and Rey specifically. Dominik doesn’t have respect for his dad, anyone’s dad here, or for Cody’s dad. Fans chant “kick his ass!” now. Cody says he’s got 62 days until WrestleMania and he could play it safe or be himself and kick Dominik’s ass. Cody doesn’t care who it is, he’s ready to fight with The Judgment Day tonight. Cody drops the mic as his music starts back up. The Judgment Day yells at him from the stage.
– Patrick and Graves hype tonight’s show, including three qualifying matches for the WWE United States Title Elimination Chamber match – Seth Rollins vs. Chad Gable, Baron Corbin vs. Johnny Gargano, and Bronson Reed vs. Dolph Ziggler.
– The Judgment Day is still barking at Cody Rhodes from the stage when the music of WWE Hall of Famer Edge hits to a big pop. Edge rushes out and attacks Finn Balor. Dominik Mysterio and Damian Priest join in as Edge fights back. Officials rush out to try and restore order on the entrance-way. Cody Rhodes exits the ring and helps Edge as we go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see stills from the Royal Rumble.
– We see footage of WWE United States Champion Austin Theory arriving earlier today. He will be on The VIP Lounge with MVP later tonight.
– Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Balor is confirmed for tonight’s main event.
WWE United States Title Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Seth Rollins vs. Chad Gable
We go back to the ring for the first qualifier for the WWE United States Title Elimination Chamber as Seth Rollins makes his way out. Alpha Academy is out next – Chad Gable with Otis.
The bell rings and they lock up. Rollins works on the arm but Gable turns it around and takes him down into the ankle lock. Rollins gets the ropes to break the hold as Gable backs off. Otis taunts Rollins.
Fans sing Rollins’ theme and this brings him back into it. Gable counters and rolls him into a bridging German suplex. Rollins kicks out at 2. Rollins goes to the floor to regroup. Gable leaps off the apron with a cannonball. Gable brings Rollins back in and drops him. Gable goes to the top for the diving headbutt but Rollins kicks out just in time. We go to a picture-in-picture commercial with Gable in control.
Back from the break and Gable is working on the knee. Rollins fights back and knocks Gable into the corner. They end up in the opposite corner but Gable nails an aggressive Dragon Screw leg whip. Gable goes to the top for a moonsault but Rollins dodges it and rolls him for a 2 count.
Rollins hits the Buckle Bomb but his hurt knee goes out. Rollins gets back up and unloads with offense. Rollins blocks the Chaos Theory and nails a superkick, then the Falcon Arrow. Gable kicks out just in time and both are down now as Otis looks on from ringside. Gable blocks the Stomp but Rollins can’t hit the Pedigree either. They tangle and trade holds and pin attempts now. Gable slams Rollins with a Cliffhanger DDT for another close 2 count. Gable is frustrated now. Fans rally for Rollins and Gable tells them to shoosh. Rollins blocks a German suplex with elbows.
Gable catches an enziguri in mid-air and applies the ankle lock. Rollins reaches for the ropes but Gable pulls him back. More back and forth now. Gable goes for another ankle lock but this leads to Rollins hitting The Pedigree for the pin to win and advance to Elimination Chamber.
Winner: Seth Rollins
– After the match, Rollins stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. Rollins and WWE United States Champion Austin Theory will be joined by four other Superstars to be determined inside the Elimination Chamber.
– Still to come, Candice LeRae looks for revenge from IYO SKY. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see some media headlines on the Royal Rumble.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion IYO SKY vs. Candice LeRae
We go back to the ring and out comes Damage CTRL – WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion IYO SKY with her partner Dakota Kai and Bayley. Candice LeRae is out next with Mia Yim. We see how LeRae saved Yim from a Damage CTRL beatdown two weeks ago.
The bell rings and they go at it. Back and forth to start. LeRae takes control and nails a senton for a 2 count. SKY turns it around and slams LeRae face-first into the mat. SKY keeps control and grounds LeRae with a knee to the back.
LeRae breaks free from the corner and kicks SKY away twice, then sends her to the floor. LeRae kicks SKY down through the ropes. LeRae tries to bring SKY back in but she can’t. SKY runs the ring and nails a big suicide dive, then yells out. LeRae knocks SKY back to the floor and hits a crossbody from the apron to the floor. Yim cheers on LeRae while Bayley and Kai cheer SKY on. We go to a picture-in-picture commercial.
Back from the break and LeRae nails a missile dropkick to SKY for a 2 count. LeRae takes SKY to the top but she knocks her off, then nails a double underhook backbreaker. SKY shows off to boos, then hits running double knees in the corner.
SKY goes for her Over The Moonsault but it’s blocked. LeRae drives SKY to the mat with a bottom rope German suplex for a close 2 count. More back and forth now. LeRae is stuck on SKY’s shoulders but she fights off with the Poisonrana for a big pop. SKY kicks out at 2. They go back up but SKY shoves LeRae to the mat, then goes for the moonsault but LeRae gets her knees up.
LeRae rolls SKY up but Damage CTRL distracts the referee. Yim comes over and SKY kicks out. LeRae with double knees. Bayley distracts LeRae, allowing SKY to roll her up for the pin to win.
Winner: IYO SKY
– After the match, Yim joins LeRae in the ring as Damage CTRL’s music hits and they celebrate at ringside. SKY taunts them with the title.
– We see Rhea Ripley walking backstage. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a video package on the Women’s Royal Rumble, won by Rhea Ripley.
– We go back to the ring and out comes Rhea Ripley by herself.
Ripley says it’s been a while since she came out alone, without The Judgement Day, but really she just wanted all the attention on herself. Ripley says on Saturday night she disrupted the status quo, she did the unthinkable and went the distance, she outlasted 29 other women to win the Royal Rumble and now she gets to go to WrestleMania 39.
Ripley recalls how three years ago she was just getting her career started, she was WWE NXT Women’s Champion, and she came to RAW to challenge the Women’s Royal Rumble – current SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. Ripley says Flair put her in her place. She says the funny thing about Flair is she’s always in the title picture, she’s always at the top of her game and Ripley hates to give her credit but Flair seems to get better every year. Ripley says the natural flow in WWE is that Flair is at the top, but Ripley is the one who disrupts, she doesn’t like the natural flow, and doesn’t like things being overplayed.
Ripley advises Flair to enjoy everyone rising and bowing down to The Queen because they’re about to rise to Rhea Ripley. Fans pop. She says at WrestleMania 39 she will put Flair in her place. Ripley says she chooses Charlotte Flair. Ripley drops the mic as fans pop. The music starts up and she looks up at the WrestleMania sign.
– Cathy Kelley is backstage with Seth Rollins now. He gives a shout-out to Tulsa and brags about tonight’s Elimination Chamber qualifier win over Chad Gable. Rollins says he will go to the Chamber and win the WWE United States Title back, then he’s going to WrestleMania 39. Kelley asks about Logan Paul eliminating Rollins in the Royal Rumble. Rollins is suddenly serious, no longer laughing. He walks away without answering the question. We go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see more stills from the Royal Rumble.
WWE United States Title Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Baron Corbin vs. Johnny Gargano
We go back to the ring and out comes Baron Corbin with WWE Hall of Famer JBL for the second Elimination Chamber qualifier of the night. We see how JBL and Corbin had some bad luck in the Legends Poker Tournament at the RAW 30th Anniversary show last week. Johnny Gargano is out next and Dexter Lumis is with him.
Corbin unloads in the corner to start. Gargano fights back and drops him with a kick. Corbin comes right back with a big boot to run Gargano over. Corbin beats Gargano down in the corner, then whips him hard into the opposite corner.
Corbin with a big backbreaker as JBL looks on. Gargano kicks out at 2. Lumis stares straight ahead as a “Johnny Wrestling!” chant starts up. Corbin rocks Gargano but gets taken down, then Gargano rolls and kicks him. Corbin charges but gets sent to the floor. Gargano with a dropkick through the ropes. Gargano goes to the apron but Corbin runs back in.
Gargano goes to launch himself back in from the apron but Corbin meets him in mid-air with a big right hand to knock him back to the floor. Corbin follows and keeps control, slamming Gargano on top of the barrier, right in front of Lumis. We go to a picture-in-picture commercial.
Back from the break and Corbin is in control but Gargano manages to hit his slingshot Spear for a close 2 count. Corbin grabs Gargano by the throat to launch him in the corner. They go back and forth until Corbin runs into a superkick. Gargano drops Corbin with another big kick for a 2 count as JBL nervously paces at ringside.
Corbin fights back from his knees. They run the ropes and Gargano runs into a back elbow, but he keeps fighting. Gargano drops Corbin with an enziguri. Gargano charges but Corbin catches him with Deep Six for a close 2 count. Corbin is frustrated now. Corbin mounts Gargano with right hands. Corbin rips his shirt off and goes to work but gets rocked, then sent hard into the ring post. Gargano runs the ring and nails a suicide dive to send Corbin into the announce table. JBL is angry as he takes off his cowboy hat and rips the top off the announce table. Lumis stares JBL down now, while holding an axe in his hand.
JBL is terrified as Lumis stabs the axe into his cowboy hat. JBL falls back into the barrier. Gargano and Corbin go at it with Gargano hitting an enziguri. He goes for the slingshot Spear but Corbin dodges it. Corbin goes for End of Days but Gargano counters and cradles him for the pin to win and advance.
Winner: Johnny Gargano
– After the match, Gargano joins Lumis at ringside as the music hits. The announcers confirm that Gargano will join Seth Rollins, WWE United States Champion Austin Theory, and three other Superstars in the Elimination Chamber. Gargano and Lumis look on as JBL and Corbin regroup.
– Still to come, Austin Theory appears on The VIP Lounge. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and WWE touts the viewership/gate for the Royal Rumble.
– We go back to the ring and MVP is out for the return of The VIP Lounge.
MVP gives himself a grand introduction and says The VIP Lounge is still for people better than you. MVP says tonight’s guest is a man brave enough to defend his title inside the Elimination Chamber. The music hits and out comes WWE United States Champion Austin Theory. We see how Brock Lesnar helped Theory retain over Bobby Lashley at the RAW 30th Anniversary special last week. Theory sits on MVP’s couch and puts his feet up on the table. He then takes the mic and stands up as fans boo.
MVP tells the crowd to just hear Theory out. Theory thanks MVP for inviting him while he’s dealing with all this disrespect. Theory says he watched The VIP Lounge when he was a kid, and that was a long time ago, so he’s here to help MVP out and make the show relevant again, and make MVP relevant again. Theory suggests they re-name the show after him. Fans boo. MVP says hot trends come and go, but classics never die. MVP goes on and brings up Elimination Chamaber, asking Theory where his head is at. A “you suck!” chant interrupts but Theory fires back at the crowd.
Theory brings up how MVP said Lashley would beat him last week. Theory asks MVP if he thinks Lashley can beat him. MVP says he knows Lashley can beat Theory. Theory brings up how tough the Chamber is and how Lesnar delivered the F5 off the pod last year. Theory says he’s still here, he’s what the new generation needs and no amount of aggression can stop him. MVP likes that. MVP brings up how he was in the Chamber and WWE Hall of Famer The Undertaker threw him off the pod, so he knows Theory is very afraid right now, but is doing a damn good job of not showing it. MVP says you never know who will be in the Chamber. Theory asks if that’s a threat. MVP says no, just a warning, and he’s putting Theory up on game. Theory asks if MVP is trying to compare Lashley to Taker? MVP says Lashley is more dangerous than Taker to Theory.
Theory is glad because he’s already beaten Lashley twice. Theory says he will defend the title in the Chamber but Lashley won’t be in there, so let’s talk something besides the past. MVP says he and Lashley are no longer business partners so he can’t discuss Lashley’s plans, but with Elimination Chamber, Theory should worry about his health. Theory takes issue with this and says MVP should be worried about his health, and Lashley’s health because everyone knows Lashley is MVP’s meal ticket, and he’s about to get chewed up by Lesnar. The music interrupts and out comes Lashley to a pop. Lashley knocks over the red rope, then enters the ring. MVP gets in the way, and says Lashley wasn’t supposed to be here. Theory tells Lashley to listen to his daddy, you’re not supposed to be here.
Lashley attacks and sends Theory into the corner. Lashley tosses a small table out of the ring but Theory charges. Lashley drops him. Lashley knocks a few couches out of the way, then readies for a Spear as fans chant his name. Lashley charges but Theory pulls MVP in the way, and MVP gets hit with the Spear as Theory retreats to the floor. Lashley looks on at Theory while MVP sells the Spear. Theory yells back at the ring and says he’s done with Lashley, Lashley is his past, and Lashley is just trying to ruin his night because he’s jealous.
– Byron Saxton is backstage with The Judgment Day. He asks Finn Balor about WWE Hall of Famer Edge. Balor says he thought Edge would’ve had enough by now but clearly not. Balor says he’s not hard to find, so Saxton can tell Edge he can find him on Mondays. As far as Cody Rhodes goes, Balor points to The Judgment Day and says this stuff is his. The #30 Royal Rumble spot should’ve been his. Balor says Cody has been stealing from him for years, so tonight he’s getting taxed because Balor is coming to collect. Saxton leaves and Balor fist bumps his stablemates.
– Still to come, Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Balor in the main event.
– Back from a break and The Miz is in the ring with a mic. An angry Miz says he’s got something to get off his shoulder tonight.
Miz starts ranting about how he wasn’t given the proper spotlight for his stature at RAW 30, then he had to deal with Kevin Owens, then he was given a terrible number in the Royal Rumble, then everyone teamed up on him because they realized he was a threat, then he was eliminated first.
Miz says he went to the airport and received chants of “first man out!” and this causes a chant to break out in the arena. Miz tells them to shut up or he will treat them like children. Miz says instead of giving him an Elimination Chamber qualifier tonight, he was given nothing. Miz demands to be treated with respect and until he is given matches that deserve his star power… out comes Adam Pearce to interrupt. He knows Miz is always upset but luckily a guy has been beating his door down asking for these same opportunities. Pearce welcomes Rick Boogs back and introduces him as the newest member of the RAW roster.
Rick Boogs vs. The Miz
The music hits and out comes Rick Boogs, with no sign of his guitar, but he is playing the air guitar. The Miz looks on from the ring. Miz can’t believe Adam Pearce wants him to wrestle Boogs because he’s wearing a $10,000 suit his wife bought him. Pearce says Miz is always telling people how awesome he is, and he can’t think of a better way to prove it. Pearce sends a referee down to the ring and the bell hits.
Miz pleads with the referee but backs up into Boogs. Boogs launches him face-first into the turnbuckles. Boogs approaches in the corner but Miz pleads and points to his suit. Boogs screams out and gets riled up. Miz rocks him with a left.
Boogs stares Miz down and Miz goes back to ranting about the suit. Boogs rag-dolls Miz a few times and tosses him. Boogs then presses Miz high in the air, dropping him into a powerslam in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winner: Rick Boogs
– After the match, Boogs stands tall and celebrates, going to the corner to pose for the fans. Boogs is not like he was on SmackDown.
– We see Otis walking backstage, grunting and mumbling. Maximum Male Models are seen off to the side, watching Otis walk by. Mace says Otis is disgusting, Mansoor says he’s grotesque, but Maxxine Dupri says, “It’s perfect!” We go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see what happened with The Bloodline, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at the Royal Rumble.
– We go back to the ring and out comes Bayley of Damage CTRL. We see how Damage CTRL took out Becky Lynch in the Steel Cage match at RAW 30 last week. Fans boo as Bayley takes the mic.
Bayley says she wasn’t going to leave the arena without talking about last week’s Steel Cage match. She goes on about how they had so much momentum going into the Royal Rumble, they had elimination after elimination. Her personal favorite was when she single-handedly eliminated your favorite, Lynch. Bayley says finally she is done with Lynch, the story is done, Becky’s obsession with Damage CTRL has ended because Bayley beat her. The music interrupts and out comes Lynch to a pop.
Lynch takes the mic and tells Bayley to shut up, calling her a stupid fool. Lynch says they’re not done until The Man says so. Lynch says she’s already won the Royal Rumble, and she didn’t need to win The Rumble this year, she just needed to make sure Damage CTRL didn’t win it. Bayley says this sounds like an excuse. Lynch says an excuse is robbing people of that Steel Cage match, an excuse is attacking Lynch before the bell because Bayley was scared, doing whatever she has to do to avoid the one-on-one match because Bayley doesn’t want to admit Lynch is better. Bayley laughs. Bayley says she’s smarter than Lynch. Bayley says she came to RAW to celebrate but Lynch only came out to be on her high horse. Lynch says this is her birthday. Bayley says Lynch doesn’t tell her what to do or when to be there, she’s not some idiot so she doesn’t suck up to Lynch.
Fans boo. Bayley removes her glasses and says she knows Lynch and she doesn’t like her, she thinks Rebecca is over-rated, not good enough for all of this, not good enough to bee champion, not good enough to be in the ring with Bayley one-on-one, not even good enough for your husband, Seth Rollins. Bayley laughs and says Rollins only married Lynch because he knocked her up. Lynch says all this time she thought thy were only fighting over wrestling but whatever this animosity and bitterness is, is started 10 years ago in NXT, so how about we end this next week where it began, in Orlando, and you give me that Steel Cage match.
Bayley asks if Becky is stupid, and says no. Lynch thought she’d say that, so she will be right back. Bayley continues ranting. Lynch comes dragging WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Dakota Kai out, with a chair wrapped around her injured ankle. Lynch asks Bayley what’s it going to be. Bayley is at ringside now, concerned. Lynch goes to smash Kai’s ankle with a steel chair but Bayley gives her the match. Lynch lets Kai go and says Bayley can bring her friends with her next week, but she probably needs to go check on WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion IYO SKY in the back. Lynch drops the mic and heads backstage as her music starts up. Bayley rushes up the ramp to check on Kai.
– Still to come, Bronson Reed vs. Dolph Ziggler in another Elimination Chamber qualifier. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get more Royal Rumble stills.
– Cathy Kelley is backstage with Adam Pearce, who has two announcements. He confirms Becky Lynch vs. Bayley in a Steel Cage for next week. He also announces that we will figure out the WrestleMania 39 opponent for RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair will be determined in a Women’s Elimination Chamber Match. The first 4 competitors have qualified as they were the final four competitors in the Women’s Royal Rumble – Raquel Rodriguez, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross, Asuka. One of the final two competitors will be determined next week in a Fatal 4 Way with Mia Yim, Candice LeRae, Piper Niven, and the returning Carmella. Chelsea Green taps on Pearce’s shoulder and asks if he’s the manager. She wants to talk about the unacceptable accommodations she’s been given. She’s not just any returning Superstar, she’s Chelsea Green. She asks where her private locker room is, and where is the fresh spring water with Swiss chocolates. Green wants this resolved immediately. Pearce tells her to let’s go get you some Swiss chocolate.
WWE United States Title Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Bronson Reed
We go back to the ring for the next Elimination Chamber qualifier as Dolph Ziggler comes out. We see video from earlier today with Byron Saxton interviewing Ziggler backstage, asking where his head is at before this match. Mustafa Ali interrupts and takes over the mic to show Saxton how to do his job. Ali turns the sarcasm up a few notches and mentions how Ziggler was handed another opportunity. Ali asks Ziggler how he keeps doing it. Ziggler says he didn’t make the match but he will steal the show. Ali says he can’t wait. Ali walks off. We go back to the ring and out comes Bronson Reed.
The bell rings and Ziggler uses his speed to evade Reed. Reed sends him to the corner but misses a splash. Ziggler with a dropkick and a corner splash. Ziggler goes for the Sleeper but gets tossed off Reed’s back. Reed with a standing splash to level Ziggler.
Reed works Ziggler around the ring now. Reed with a scoop slam and a rolling splash for a 2 count. Reed grounds Ziggler now. Ziggler fights up to his feet and tries to get out but Reed puts him back on the mat, grounding him there. Ziggler with a jawbreaker to get free. Reed runs into two kicks, then misses a corner splash as Ziggler moves. Ziggler with a big tornado DDT off the counter for a 2 count. Reed comes right back with strikes.
Ziggler blocks a suplex and nails a Zig Zag for another close 2 count. Ziggler keeps fighting but Reed catches him in mid-air with a powerbomb. Reed goes to the top and hits the Tsunami Splash for the pin to win and advance.
Winner: Bronson Reed
– After the match, Reed stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. Reed joins Seth Rollins, Johnny Gargano and WWE United States Champion Austin Theory in the Elimination Chamber. Two more spots remain. Reed stands tall and growls to end the segment.
– Still to come, RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair is here. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Cathy Kelley is with the returning Carmella backstage. Carmella needs Cathy to have more excitement and enthusiasm for her return. She says she is the moon-walking, trash-talking, Princess of Staten Island and she is back, and about to be back on top where she belongs because she will win the Fatal 4 Way next week, then earn her Elimination Chamber spot and win the RAW Women’s Title because Mella Is Money. She says there’s not a single woman in the locker room who… Asuka walks up to interrupt. Carmella asks if she came to welcome her back. Carmella mocks the “not ready for Asuka!” line and says Asuka isn’t ready for her. She says Asuka can paint her face all she wants but it doesn’t change the fact that Carmella isn’t scared. Asuka smiles and we see the mist in her mouth. Carmella says that’s gross, then she walks off. Asuka is still smiling as the mist starts seeping out of her mouth.
– We see how Rick Boogs returned earlier to defeat The Miz. Boogs and Elias are backstage with The Street Profits now. Byron Saxton asks Boogs how it feels to be back. He says it’s like climbing a mountain in a loin cloth, he just wants to scream to the top of his lungs. Boogs screams out. He says being back in front of the WWE Universe is electric, it feels like he’s riding lightning. Boogs says he had a long road to recovery but now it’s official – Rick Boogs is back. Boogs screams again and unfortunately he’s nothing like he was on SmackDown. Montez Ford loves how crazy Boogs is now, calling him a maniac and the one to keep your eyes on. Boogs screams some more. Elias says anyone can shred but it takes true talent to be an artist, and he thinks Boogs has all the potential to be a great artist. Ford tells Elias to not be a hater. Ford tells Boogs to go put some clothes on so thy can hit the town and bring it down. Boogs gets hyped up, then says he’s “Booging Out!” and Ford says that’s the new phrase. Saxton announces Elimination Chamber qualifiers for the final two spots on next week’s show – Angelo Dawkins vs. Damian Priest, and Elias vs. Ford. Ford says he and Elias go way back but he will win next week to advance. Elias says just like Elvis and Johnny Cash, he is an American Icon so next week things will turn around for him at the expense of Ford because Elias says he must become the next WWE United States Champion. Ford, Dawkins and Elias argue over who will become champion.
– Still to come, Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Balor. Kevin sends us to another preview for “Knock at the Cabin” with WWE Legend Batista, in theaters this Friday.
– Back from the break and the announcers hype next week’s RAW.
Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Balor
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event as Cody Rhodes makes his way out first. Rhodes poses on the stage as the pyro goes off. He then marches to the ring while Mike Rome does the introductions. Rhodes stops to greet two younger fans at ringside, then hits the ring to pose in the corner while more pyro explodes. Out next comes The Judgment Day – Finn Balor with Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio and Damian Priest.
The bell rings and they lock up, going to the corner and then to the next corner. They break and have words in the middle of the ring. Rhodes kicks Balor, then drops down with the right hand. Rhodes with a long vertical suplex, holding Balor in the air as fans cheer.
Rhodes finally slams Balor with the suplex. Balor goes to the floor to regroup with The Judgment Day as Rhodes plays to the crowd in the ring. We go to a picture-in-picture commercial break and Balor takes his time returning to the ring, then they lock up and Balor applies a headlock to ground Rhodes.
Back from the break and Rhodes can’t hit an Alabama Slam. They tangle and Balor gets the upperhand, now focusing on the injured pec. Ripley laughs as Rhodes clutches his arm and scrambles to the corner. Balor attacks in the corner and chops away, then bends the wrist around the top rope. Balor with another chop in the corner. Balor with a running punt kick for a 2 count as Ripley yells at the referee.
Balor drops Rhodes and stomps away at the ropes now. Balor plays to the crowd on the apron as the boos get louder. Balor kicks Rhodes’ shoulder a few times. Rhodes with a Dragon Screw leg whip out of nowhere, hanging Balor up on the middle rope. Rhodes with a Disaster Kick to send Balor to the floor. Rhodes runs and nails a suicide dive to send Balor onto the top of the announce table.
Rhodes stays on Balor but fights off Priest as he charges, then launches Dominik over the announce table. Rhodes returns to the ring as Balor attacks. Rhodes drops Balor for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring. Ripley runs over to check on Dominik. Balor and Rhodes trad offense now as a “this is wrestling!” chant tries to gt going. Balor blocks the Cody Cutter and drops Rhodes with the inverted DDT for a close 2 count. We go to another picture-in-picture commercial with Balor turning it back around and applying an abdominal stretch.
Back from the break and Balor has Rhodes up top, but Rhodes hit a long superplex. They both crash to the mat as The Judgment Day looks on worried now. Fans chant “this is awesome!” as they get back to their feet. Rhodes and Balor trade big strikes in the middle of the ring as fans go along with them.
Balor gets caught in a Cody Cutter for a close 2 count. Rhodes goes for the CrossRhodes but it’s blocked. Cody kicks Balor away but Balor nails a Slingblade. Cody gets right back up and Balor charges but Cody superkicks him for a close 2 count. They tangle and Balor blocks the Figure Four, kicking Rhodes out of the ring at the feet of The Judgment Day.
Priest suddenly rushes into the crowd to meet WWE Hall of Famer Edge, who is running down the stairs in the crowd. Edge takes out Priest, then meets Dominik at the barrier and takes him out. Edge with a big ringside Spear to Dominik. Ripley attacks Edge but WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix runs down and takes her out with a Spear. Rhodes gets back on his feet but Balor trips him and nails a double stomp to the mid-section. Balor with the missile dropkick into the corner.
Balor goes on and returns to the top for a Coup de Grace. However, Edge distracts him from the apron. The referee orders Edge off the apron. Balor straightens back up and goes for the Coup de Grace but Rhodes dodges it. Rhodes takes advantage and hits a pair of CrossRhodes to Balor. Rhodes then hits the third straight CrossRhodes for the pin to win his RAW return match.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
– After the match, Rhodes stands tall as the music hits. Edge and Phoenix look on at The Judgment Day’s suffering as we go to replays. Rhodes continues his celebration and plays to the crowd as the post-Royal Rumble edition of RAW goes off the air.