WWE Raw is live tonight from FedExForum in Memphis. Here's a quick preview video preview to get you ready for the show:
Tonight's show marks the return of The Miz, who has been on leave from Raw while filming The Marine 6: Close Quarters which also stars Becky Lynch and Shawn Michaels. Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns, fresh off his win over Samoa Joe, will continue his role as a fighting champion. "Woken" Matt Hardy is advertised for in-ring action so count on more shenanigans with Bray Wyatt. Raw Women's Champ Alexa Bliss will look to bounce back from her loss to Asuka, and WWE is advertising Finn Balor and the Good Brothers Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson back in action together again.
The show opens with a recap of last week’s Intercontinental Championship match between Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe.
Live in the arena, Reigns makes his entrance. He says after all the talk and all the hype you’d think Samoa Joe would be ready for him, but he wasn’t. When it was time to put up or shut up, Joe was silent, and that’s why he’s still Intercontinental Champion. And it’s not that he’s better than Joe, it’s that he was fighting with a purpose, fighting for his brother Dean Ambrose.
With Dean on his mind, Roman offers a message to the locker room; if you mess with one of the Shield, you mess with all of them. But that’s last week and this is this week, and it’s time--
Enter Jason Jordan. He says when he watched their match last week he had goosebumps and for the first time in his life he thought he was part of something meaningful. It’s just like Reigns says, somebody messes with one of them, they miss with all of them, and on behalf of his partner, Seth Rollins, he wants to say that Roman proved that this is his yard, baby!
And on behalf of himself and Seth he wants to thank Reigns, and he offers his fist up for the bump, but that just brings Rollins out. Seth says he appreciates what he’s trying to do but he still has a lot to learn. Last week he had to be taught about teamwork, that went pretty well, but this week, man, they really have to work on his timing.
He knows Jason means well, but he’s stepping on Roman’s moment. Jordan says this is everyone’s moment, and just as Roman took care of Joe, he and Rollins took care of the Bar, and now they’re all champions and they run this show! Reigns tells him to cut the “we” stuff out, he has a team with Seth but he’s the Big Dog. Jason launches into a version of Dean’s “we can take on five guys” bit before acknowledging that they may not be the Shield, but they’re the most dominant three-man group in WWE.
That brings the Club out, Finn Balor and all. Finn questions the idea that the ersatz Shield are the most dominant group in WWE. He’s been teaming with Gallows and Anderson for ten years BEFORE Jordan even found out Kurt Angle was his dad! Karl says they’ve been teaming together for a good long time and there’s even a special on WWE Network about it.
Gallows says when Finn came to WWE, they knew it was time to stand alone and they did, winning the tag titles while Balor made history by being the first-ever WWE Universal Champion. They Too Sweet and Machine Gun continues, saying eventually they knew the three of them would come together and take this place over. That day was last Monday, so just like Jason they’re excited, and 2018 is the year of Balor Club.
Jordan mocks them and says he’s happy to be part of the Champions Club, which leads to much facepalming and sighing from the Shield lads. Karl asks if that’s the new version of the Shield and Finn points out that the Architect is here, the Big Dog is here, but no Lunatic Fringe, instead he sees... what’s the think they call Jordan? NERD!
That sets Jason off but Seth and Roman hold him back and Kurt Angle comes out, mic in hand. He says they already have a great show planned tonight but he thinks he just found his main event. He polls the crowd on the idea of a six-man tag and he makes it!
Commentary hypes up the response of Brock Lesnar and the return of the Miz for later tonight.
We see Bayley and Sasha Banks run into Mickie James walking backstage and we go to break.
Sasha Banks & Bayley with Mickie James vs. Absolution (Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose) with Paige
Back from the break and Bayley is out with Sasha Banks and Mickie James. We see a replay of Stephanie McMahon's women's Royal Rumble announcement. Absolution is out next as Paige, Rose and Deville hit the ring.
Mandy starts off with Bayley and gets the upperhand while talking some trash. Mandy keeps control and takes Bayley to the corner for more offense. Mandy scoop slams Bayley and covers for a 2 count. Mandy keeps Bayley grounded now. Bayley finally fights back and hits a suplex. Bayley looks to make a comeback but Paige and Deville pull Rose to safety. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Mandy goes at it with Sasha. Paige and Mickie cheer their teams on from ringside. Mandy talks more trash and works Sasha over but Sasha fires back and nails her for a pop. Sasha knocks Deville off the apron but turns around to a big knee from Mandy for a 2 count.
Deville tags in and keeps control of Sasha, unloading on her with body shots. Rose tags back in and works Sasha over near the corner as Bayley waits for the tag. Mandy stops Sasha from tagging and knocks Bayley off the apron. Deville gets a cheap shot in while the referee is distracted by Bayley. Sasha rolls Mandy up but Deville breaks it. Deville gets knocked off the apron by Bayley. Rose keeps control of Sasha in the ring. Sasha with a Banks Statement in the middle of the ring. Rose taps for the finish.
Winners: Sasha Banks and Bayley with Mickie James
Back from commercial we get some hype for the 25th anniversary episode coming soon.
This feeds into a recap of the formation of Cedric Alexander’s unlikely-but-excellent team with Goldust last week.
Cut to Cedric in the locker room when Goldust pops up behind him dressed like Mickey from Rocky. He tells him he wants him to eat lightning and crap thunder before deciding that sounds uncomfortable and informing him he’s doing a bit from Rocky. Alexander says he appreciates it but he doesn’t need it for a moment he’s been dreaming about since he was a kid.
He’s this close to making his dream a reality, and Goldy says there’s one thing that could stop him, and it’s not the Zo Train, it’s not Enzo Amore, it’s Cedric. He’s in control, not them. Alexander thanks him for the advice and Goldust has a coughing fit trying to tell him he believes in him.
This leads to the video establishing Alicia Fox as Goldust’s Mixed Match Challenge partner and then commentary hype up some of the other teams.
"Woken" Matt Hardy’s laughter plays out across the arena and piano music hits! Matt will be in action after the break.
"Woken" Matt Hardy vs. Curt Hawkins
We go to the ring and out comes Matt Hardy for his official "Woken" in-ring debut. He has a new theme song. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a video from earlier with Matt announcing himself for the Royal Rumble. They lock up and go at it. Matt gets in some biting while the referee isn't looking. Matt with more offense and a running shot into the corner. Hawkins ends up going to the top but missing a crossbody.
Matt slams Hawkins' head into the turnbuckles over and over as The Woken Warriors do the "delete!" chant. Matt keeps control and ends up hitting the Twist of Fate after more offense. Matt covers for the win.
Winner: "Woken" Matt Hardy
After the match, the graphic hits and Bray Wyattappears in the ring. Matt meets him in the middle of the ring and they stare each other down. They start laughing at each other now and that's how the segment ends.
Back from the break and Elias is in the ring with a spotlight and his guitar. JoJo Offermanintroduces him. Elias sings and taunts the Memphis crowd, mentioning Elvis. Elias starts another song which ends up being a grand entrance for The Miz.
The Miz's music hits and out he comes for his return to WWE TV. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel are with him for a special edition of MizTV.
Fans chant "welcome back" as Miz takes the mic and asks if everyone missed him. They pop. Miz welcomes us to MizTV and says he's been away filming The Marine 6 and visiting troops overseas for the holidays. Miz says he has not been forgotten thanks to two people, who just happen to be his guests for tonight... Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, The Miztourage. Miz praises Axel and Dallas for turning their careers around in 2017. Axel says 2017 was the best year of his life as everyday felt like Mizmas. Dallas says it was like winning The Mizzies every single day. Dallas gets a "thank you Miz" chant going. Some fans join in. Dallas presents Miz with a framed photo of Miz. Dallas says it will be hard to fall asleep without that tonight. Axel wants to show Dallas up. He gives Miz his own jacket, calling it a brand new sports coat. Dallas needs to one-up that. He has a watch for Miz, off his own wrist. Axel gives Miz his shoes next. Miz shuts them up and tells them to sit down.
Miz says 2017 was a big year for him but he has a lot more planned. He brags on his WWE Intercontinental Title reign and says he elevated Dallas, Axel, RAW and SmackDown. Miz says everything he touched turned to gold and he was even named Rolling Stone's Wrestler of the Year. But he's not going to forget about this... we see a replay from 2 months ago where he was laid out by The Shield and put through an announce table. Miz rants and says he's allowed Reigns to borrow his Intercontinental Title because he wanted the title to be defended while he was away filming a movie but clearly the title doesn't make the man. Miz says in 2018 he will celebrate the birth of his daughter and he will become the longest-reigning, single-greatest IC Champion of all time. Miz say she hopes Reigns enjoyed his time in the spotlight that Miz allowed him to have but it is all coming to an end. Miz declares that he is back, he is coming for his title and Reigns can believe that. Miz drops the mic and his music hits. He leaves the ring with The Miztourage right behind him.
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are backstage telling stories about Japan but Finn Balorsays reminiscing is great but it's time to talk strategy. Balor goes on and tells them to keep eyes open and feet moving. Balor also mentions 2018 being the year of The Balor Club. They do the "too sweet" gesture together to end the segment.
WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Cedric Alexander vs. Enzo Amore
Back from the break and WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore is out for a promo. He talks about being sick on New Year's Day and in the hospital, unable to compete. He thanks Nia Jax for bringing him some chicken noodle soup. He goes on about Cedric Alexander and says teaming with Goldust is the closest Cedric will get to gold in 2018. Cedric is also out as we get the bell.
Cedric takes control early on and nails a big kick. We see Nia backstage watching and she looks concerned. Enzo ends up turning it around and sending Cedric to the floor, landing hard. We go to control with Enzo standing tall.
Back from the break and we see how Enzo turned it around during the break by using the referee. Enzo unloads with more offense as we see Nia backstage watching again. Enzo keeps Cedric down and beats on him. Enzo with a basement dropkick for a 2 count.
Enzo avoids some strikes and keeps Cedric down. Cedric ends up backing Enzo into the corner but Cedric runs into a knee. Cedric manages to nail a dropkick to knock Enzo out mid-move. Cedric with more offense and a big handspring into a kick to the face. Cedric still can't get the win. Enzo fights out of a move with elbows but Cedric nails another kick to the head. Cedric springboards in with a flying clothesline but Enzo goes to the floor to avoid the pin.
Cedric runs the ropes and nails a big dive on the floor. Enzo clutches his ankle and sells an injury. A trainer is out to check on Enzo as the referee counts. Cedric makes it back in at the 9 count. Enzo is up holding on to the apron but he just gets counted out.
Winner: Cedric Alexander by Count Out (Enzo Retains the Belt)
After the match, Cedric is announced as the winner but Enzo retains. We see Nia backstage watching as trainers try to check on Enzo at ringside. Cedric stands tall as his music hits and we go to replays. Enzo struggles to get to his feet as Cedric celebrates
Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Enzo is being checked on backstage. The trainer says he will undergo x-rays and a possible MRI. Nia Jax appears and Enzo thanks her. He tries to play tough guy but he's in pain.
Kurt Angle is backstage on the phone with someone, a surprise entrant for the women's Rumble match. Angle says they haven't been in the ring in years but he thought someone of her caliber would be great for the Rumble. The Bar walks in and Angle says he will call the mystery woman back. Cesaro and Sheamus want their RAW Tag Team Title rematch. Angle books it for the Royal Rumble. They also want some competition tonight and Angle sends them to the ring. The Miz walks in and confirms that he and Maryse will have their own "unscripted" reality TV show on the USA Network soon and will be executive producers. Miz goes on and says Angle can prove he knows how to run his show by giving Miz another Intercontinental Title shot against Roman Reigns at the RAW 25th Anniversary show. Angle makes the match.
The announcers hype Mixed Match Challenge and we see how Asuka and The Miz were revealed earlier today. Asuka is backstage warming up but she's interrupted by RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss, who warns her over comments made about Nia Jax.
The Bar vs. Titus Worldwide
We go to the ring and out comes The Bar. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Titus O'Neill and Apollo Crews with Dana Brooke. Sheamus starts off with Titus and they go at it. Titus ends up flooring Sheamus with a big shoulder. Crews tags in for some double teaming. Sheamus takes Crews to the corner and in comes Cesaro for some double teaming. Cesaro unloads on Crews and keeps him grounded. Crews gets up and nails a dropkick. Crews with a standing moonsault for a 2 count.
Crews ends up landing bad outside and selling an injury. Cesaro keeps Crews down on the mat again. Crews tries to get up and out but Sheamus tags in for more double teaming. Sheamus drops a big knee on Crews and covers for a 2 count. Dana cheers Crews on as Sheamus keeps him grounded in the middle of the ring. Sheamus misses in the corner and hits the ring post.
Titus tags in and unloads on Cesaro, running him over in the middle of the ring. Titus shows off and wastes some time. Titus drops Cesaro and covers for a 2 count. The match falls apart and Titus ends up rolling Sheamus up for the pin.
Winners: Titus Worldwide
After the match, The Bar can't believe what happened. Titus Worldwide celebrates the big win as we go to replays.
Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we see what happened between Kane and Brock Lesnar last week.
We go to the ring and out comes WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman.
Heyman does the usual introduction and starts ranting about how Lesnar is defending against multiple challengers at the Royal Rumble. Heyman talks about what happened last week and says Lesnar took what Kane had and laughed in his face, the same way he will do at the Rumble with Kane and Braun Strowman. Heyman says the real question will be if Lesnar will pin Kane, if he will pin Strowman or if he will stack them both for the pin. Heyman goes on about how dominant Lesnar is. Lesnar's music hits and Heyman drops the mic. They march up the ramp and Lesnar turns around to bounce around with the title. Kane attacks from behind.
Kane beats on Lesnar and has him on the side of the stage now. Lesnar fights back as the brawl goes into the backstage area. Strowman joins the fight now, tossing Lesnar onto a table. Braun picks up a road case and drives it into Kane, putting him down. Kane and Lesnar are laid out. Braun grabs a grappling hook as people yell at him to stop. Braun throws the hook on top of a large scaffold as everyone yells at him. Braun pulls the huge structure over, causing it to fall on top of Lesnar and Kane. Heyman screams out. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and we see how Lesnar was stretchered out during the commercial break. Kane was able to get to his feet and stumble away. Lesnar begged Heyman to get him out of the ambulance but they rode off to a local hospital.
Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno
We go to the ring and out comes Samoa Joe. Rhyno is out next with Heath Slater. The storyline is that Rhyno asked for this match to show Slater how to toughen up. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and they go at it. Joe with offense early on. Joe spikes Rhyno down for a pin attempt. Joe with the STO and inverted atomic drop and senton for a pin attempt. Joe keeps control as Slater look on and Joe taunts him. Rhyno looks to make a comeback but Joe drops him into the Coquina Clutch for the win.
Winner: Samoa Joe By Submission
After the match, Joe stares at Slater as his music hits. We go to replays. Joe stands tall as Charly Caruso enters the ring and asks about last week's loss to Roman Reigns. Joe says that was not a loss. He says Reigns' little win was simply a Pyrrhic victory. Joe goes on and says he's beaten years off Reigns' career each time he steps into the ring with him. Joe says everything is coming tumbling down on Reigns and when it does, Joe will be there to finish the job but until then, Joe will pursue more worthy things. Joe announces himself for the Royal Rumble match. Charly asks about some of the other Rumble participants and John Cena's name sets him off. Joe promises to eliminate Cena first.
Alexa Bliss is backstage with Nia Jax, asking how Enzo Amore is doing. Nia says he's doing fine but it's not like Bliss cares. Bliss talks about how she cares about Nia and says she's worried Enzo is holding Nia back. Nia says if anything he motivates her and she wants to be a champion like him. She announces herself for the Royal Rumble match. Bliss tries to get Nia's anger focused on Asuka. Bliss brings up a possible Nia vs. Bliss WrestleMania 34 dream match if Nia can take out Asuka first before the Rumble, then win the match. Bliss won't tell Nia what Asuka said about her but she finally gives in and whispers it to her. Nia asks if Bliss speaks Japanese because Asuka doesn't speak English. Jax walks off and we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Asuka to the ring for a match. The Empress of Tomorrow is posing for her entrance when Nia Jax attacks from behind and lays her out, slamming her from the top to the mat. Nia keeps up the attack before standing tall as Asuka rolls around in pain. The referee checks on Asuka as Nia marches up the ramp. We go to replays. Nia stops and looks at Asuka before heading to the back. Asuka recovers and she doesn't look happy.
IC Champ Roman Reigns, Raw Tag Champs Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins vs. Balor Club (Finn Balor, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
Back from the break and out comes Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Finn Balor is out next. RAW Tag Team Champion Seth Rollins is out first for his team, followed by partner Jason Jordan. WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns is out next.
Balor starts off with Rollins and they lock up. Rollins and Balor trade holds. Rollins with a kick to the gut. They trade counters again and Balor hits a low dropkick for a 2 count. Anderson tags in and drops Rollins with a backbreaker for a 2 count. Anderson works on Rollins' arm now. Gallows tags in for some double teaming but Rollins avoids it. Reigns tags himself in and hits a Samoan Drop on Gallows. Balor come sin and unloads on both Shield members but they drop him with double shoulders.
Rollins tosses Balor to the floor with his partners. Reigns with a Drive By on Gallows and Anderson at the same time. Rollins runs the ropes and leaps out onto Balor to take him down. Rollins and Reigns stand tall in the ring as Jordan joins them to celebrate, acting like he just did something. Reigns and Rollins look at Jordan like he's crazy as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Balor has Rollins' by the arm in the ring. Rollins counters and sends Balor face first into the turnbuckles. Reigns tags in and unloads on Balor with clotheslines. Reigns with big shots in the corner now as fans count along. Reigns flattens Balor with a big kick to the face. Reigns calls for the Superman Punch but has to knock Anderson and then Gallows off the apron as they try to interfere. Balor takes advantage and hits a Slingblade on Reigns.
Anderson tags in and mounts Reigns with right hands on the mat. Anderson with a 2 count. Gallows comes in and works Reigns over, knocking him down in the corner. Gallows drops Reigns again and covers for a 2 count. Gallows keeps Reigns grounded now as some fans try to rally. Reigns fights up and out with big right hands but Gallows yanks him back to the mat by his hair. The referee warns Gallows. Anderson comes back in and keeps Reigns down. Anderson drops a knee for a 2 count.
Anderson keeps Reigns down as Jordan looks to tag in. Reigns catches Anderson in a big tilt-a-whirl slam. Reigns and Anderson both crawl to make tags. Gallows comes in and stops Reigns from tagging with a boot to the spine. Gallows with a snap suplex for a 2 count. Gallows with elbows to the chest before keeping Reigns grounded again. Reigns makes a comeback and hits Gallows with a Superman Punch. Anderson and Rollins tag in at the same time. Rollins hits a springboard and unloads. Rollins knocks Balor and Gallows off the apron. Rollins with a Blockbuster on Anderson. Rollins nails a big suicide dive on Balor and Gallows Rollins comes back in with a Slingblade and more offense on Anderson. Rollins with a suplex and a Falcon Arrow on Anderson for a close 2 count.
Rollins keeps control now. Anderson reaches for a tag but no one is there. Anderson avoids a knee. Gallows grabs Rollins from behind but Rollins fights them both off. Jordan comes in and clotheslines Gallows to the floor. Rollins turns around to a Spinebuster and a close 2 count from Anderson. Jordan goes back to wait for his first tag of the match. Anderson grabs Rollins' leg and in comes Gallows to stop Rollins. Gallows also knocks Jordan off the apron. Rollins with an Enziguri on Gallows. Reigns is back on the apron now. Balor comes in but Rollins blocks his Slingblade. Rollins slams Balor to the mat.
Reigns waits for the tag as Rollins recovers. Jordan comes back on the apron and enters the ring. The referee doesn't see Reigns tag in as he's distracted by Jordan. The chaos leads to Rollins eating a Magic Killer from Gallows and Anderson. Reigns drops them both. Jordan comes in and Reigns argues with him. Anderson pulls Reigns to the floor. Reigns fights Gallows and Anderson off again. Reigns sends Gallows into the ring post and hits a Superman Punch on Anderson. Reigns spears Gallows on the floor. Jordan helps Rollins to his feet but Balor charges with a dropkick, hitting Rollins as Jordan moves. Balor knocks Jordan back down to the floor and goes to the top. Balor hits Coup de Grace on Rollins for the pin.
Winners: The Balor Club
Post match, Balor, Anderson and Gallows hit the ramp to celebrate as Balor's music hits. We go to replays. Reigns and Jordan have a few words while Rollins is down on the mat. The Balor Club is all smiles on the stage. Jordan goes to check on Rollins. The Miz, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel hit the ring area and attack Jordana and Rollins first. They triple team Reigns now. Miz nails a Skull Crushing Finale on Reigns in the middle of the ring. Miz goes to leave but fans chant "one more time" at him. Miz drops Reigns with another Skull Crushing Finale as Dallas and Axel celebrate. RAW goes off the air with Miz standing tall over Reigns.