WWE RAW is live tonight from the SAP Center in San Jose. Here is a quick video preview of the show:
One of the headline matches announced so far is a second-chance, fatal-4-way match between Finn Balor, "Woken" Matt Hardy, Bray Wyatt and Apollo Crews. The winner will advance to the Elimination Chamber match that will determine who will face WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. So far, John Cena, Braun Strowman, Elias, Intercontinental Champ The Miz and Roman Reigns have qualified. Sasha Banks and Bayley square off in another announced match amid rumors swirling that The Hugger will turn heel soon. WWE has announced Cena will kickoff the show.
We open the show with John Cena issuing the Intercontinental Champ The Miz a challenge. Cena wants a match with The Miz, and the loser has to start first in the Elimination Chamber match. Miz starts off by asking Cena if he thinks Miz is stupid. Then, The Miztourage ambushes Cena, who is laid flat on his back by Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Miz then accepts the challenge and calls for a referee. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle comes out, boots Dallas and Axel from ringside and says the match will be on.
Intercontinental Champ The Miz vs. John Cena
Miz goes for the quick pin after urging the ref to ring the bell. Cena kicks out at 2 1/2.Miz mounts Cena and unloads for another 2 count and Miz harangues the ref as we go to commercial.
After a commercial, Miz failed in his first attempt at the Skull Crushing FInale, but clamped on the Figure Four Leglock. Cena lefted Miz's pressure leg and clamped on the STF. Miz got the rope break. Miz attempted a cross body block, but Cena caught Miz and tried the AA, but Miz escaped for a Pimp Juice DDT for a near fall. Miz got a clothesline in the ropes, then made a charge at Cena, who caught him and delivered the AA, but Miz kicked out. Cena went to the top rope, but Miz grabbed the top rope to crotch Cena and put the Figure Four back on. Cena lifted Miz's arm into a Triangle Armbar and then clamped on a crossface, leading to another Miz rope break. Cena missed a corner charge and Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale for a long two count. Miz put Cena on the top rope for the Skull Crushing Finale off the top rope, but Cena turned it into the AA off the top rope for the pin. Afterwards, Cena hugged a fan in a wheelchair, along with his family
Winner: John Cena - Miz now has to enter Elimination Chamber first
We get a backstage promo from "Woken" Matt Hardy, who says he has a second chance to fulfill his destiny tonight. Matt goes on and says he will turn the Elimination Chamber into the Deletion Chamber. Matt does the "delete!" chant as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are backstage. A Nerd-O-Meter is on the screen and it keeps rising as they talk about The Revival. The meter explodes.
The Revival vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
We go to the ring and out comes Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. The Revival run down and attack them a ringside. Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson hit the ring and wait for Gallows and Anderson, who are up on the ramp now. They hit the ring but The Revival retreats to ringside.
The bell rings and Gallows unloads with Dawson. Gallows also knocks Dash off the apron before going back to work on Dawson. Gallows unloads in the corner and hits a big boot. Dash runs in and gets back-dropped. Anderson ends up taking Dash to the floor and brawling. Dawson turns it around on Gallows in the ring as we go back to commercial
Back from commercial, Dawson is going to work on Big Hoot’s knee, clawing and tearing. Tag to Wilder, he presses the assault, kneeling toehold, wrenching it in but the big man is able to get to his feet. Scott tags in, gets caught with a big ol’ superkickski, tags made! Anderson in hot, off the ropes, leg lariat, sidestep the charge, bicycle kick in the corner!
To the second rope, diving neckbreaker, Machine Gun is fired up! Duck a lariat from an interfering Dawson, Gallows pulls him out of the ring but gets flapjacked into the steel steps! Karl distracted going after Scott, Dash nearly rolls him up, spinning spinebuster lands home... not enough! Lying in wait, charging in, blind tag from Dawson, Karl attacking both guys, whip reversed, Dawson is there...and The Revival hits Shatter Machine for the pin
Winner: The Revival
The cameras cut to Angle after the match. He is walking backstage and we are informed there is breaking news before we go to commercial break.
Back from commercial, Kurt Angle is in the ring.
He says he’s here with mixed emotions. In two weeks at the Elimination Chamber, Ronda Rousey will sign her WWE contract. But Monday after Raw went off the air, he and his biological son Jason Jordan went to a local medical facility where they found out Jason would need neck surgery and he’ll be missing WrestleMania. Every week he comes out here calm, cool, and collected with a smile on his face but he can’t do it anymore.
Tonight he’s talking to us as a father, and if any of you feel joy at a superstar getting injured and missing WrestleMania, we should be ashamed of ourselves, and all he wants is for us to wish Jordan well.
Enter Seth Rollins. He says he’s sorry about Jason, honestly. He was pretty hard on him last week, but he’s a good kid in a tough spot and he should know, he’s been there. A few years ago he was WWE Champion, and he won the title just a few miles up the street from here. Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, beat Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, and shocked the world.
He was unstoppable, on top of the world, and it all came crumbling down. He tore up his knee, had to forfeit the title and miss WrestleMania. But missing WrestleMania made him realize the WrestleMania moments aren’t guaranteed. And that’s why he’s out here, WrestleMania’s around the corner and he doesn’t even have a match at Elimination Chamber. Kurt says he told him last week that’d be his last tag title shot, but maybe he was wrong.
Seth tells him thanks, but no thanks, when Angle came to Raw as GM he said he wanted Rollins to be a big piece of Raw but right now, he doesn’t want to be a part of Raw. He wants to BE Monday Night Raw, he wants to turn the place into Monday Night Rollins, to be the man one more time. He wants Brock Lesnar, he wants the Universal Championship, and he wants it at WrestleMania.
The only way he can do that is if he wins the Elimination Chamber match. Angle says he appreciates the enthusiasm but he can’t just cancel tonight’s qualifier to give him a shot. Rollins says he doesn’t want anything cancelled, he wants the four-way to be turned into a five-way with him in! Kurt says that wouldn’t be fair to the other four guys, and Seth says that’s not what he’s trying to do but his fate is in Angle’s hands.
He comes out here every single week and puts his body on the line, and Jason Jordan missing WrestleMania sucks, but that doesn’t mean he has to miss out. Kurt says honestly it’s not up to either of them, it’s up to the fans, and he polls the crowd as to whether or not Seth should be allowed into the match. Shock, the crowd wants Rollins in, and Angle makes it official.
Bray Wyatt appears in the dark room, talking about how Rollins doesn’t deserve a second chance and neither do Finn Balor, Apollo Crews, nor Matt Hardy. Hardy attacks him from behind and he has the nerve to call Wyatt vile? Matt is in need of help, and Bray knows how to fix him. They’re all just lost fish in the sea, blind to the fact that they’re being stalked by a shark and he is starving.
He’ll feast on their remains, win the Elimination Chamber match for the second year in a row and slay the beast, and then, once again, he’ll have the whole world in his hands.
Sasha Banks makes her entrance, her match against Bayley will begin after the break.
Back from commercial, commentary reminds us that our Elimination Chamber qualifier is now a five-way match.
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
Bayley with the snap schoolboy, no good, trying a backslide, again not enough to end it so quickly. Arm wringer, step over, La Casita, still only a nearfall. Kick to the midsection from Banks, whip to the corner, elbow up from the Hugger, deep arm drag, running dropkick, Sasha forces her into the corner and unloads with forearms! Bayley with a side headlock applied, shot off, shoulder block, drop down, leapfrog, Bayley with a schoolboy, Banks with a rana pin, no good!
Whip off, hip toss, off the ropes, running Meteora, another two count for the Boss. Whip across, into a forearm, Sasha dumps her to the floor and casually opens the ropes to invite her back in. Dropkick when the Hugger tries to get in there! Rolling her back in, Bayley gets shoulder thrusts in the corner, Banks slips to the apron and hangs her arm over the top rope to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Sasha has a Japanese stranglehold locked in on the mat. Bayley to her feet, stomps and elbows break her free but Banks hits a double knee armbreaker and goes for a cover for two. Boots up in the corner, the Boss sets up the double knees over referee Shawn Bennett’s objections but Bayley slips out! Sasha turns it around, sets up the corner Meteora but the Hugger erupts out of the corner and wipes her out with a lariat!
Bayley trying to hang in there, crawling, desperate, reaching... Banks puts a foot on the ropes to block the break, but Bayley still forces a break! She rolls Sasha off and into the turnbuckles but both women are down and out and having trouble recovering. Banks heads up to the second, Bayley cuts her off with a strike and climbs to meet her. Jockeying for position over a superplex, the Boss knocks her clean to the mat but Bayley runs back over and hits a Bayley-to-Belly superplex
The Hugger celebrates on the turnbuckles while the Boss stares on. They face off in the center of the ring... AND NIA JAX ATTACKS BOTH OF THEM! Samoan drop on Bayley! One for Sasha too!
Nia is interviewed on the stage. She says this has everything to do with her, because over the past two weeks, Bayley and Sasha took Asuka to her limit, and she destroyed both of them in seconds. At Elimination Chamber, there’s only one woman in WWE that can break Asuka’s streak, and you’re looking at her.
We go backstage with Rollins when Roman Reigns rolls up, asking him about the qualifier. Seth says he couldn’t let Roman have all the fun, and Reigns says he’ll eliminate him just like he did at the Rumble, and they turn to see the Bar standing by with the tag titles. Sheamus says he wouldn’t worry about the Elimination Chamber, because with his track record, it’ll be another failed opportunity.
Cesaro asks if he thinks Dean Ambrose and Jason Jordan are in physical therapy together bonding over what a lousy partner Seth is. Roman laughs along before asking Cesaro what happened to his mouth, before remembering that he ran into the Shield. He goes to say something to Sheamus and... my cable skips ahead to the commercial, not sure what happened there, guess I was far enough behind it felt it needed to catch me up. Oh well, I’m sure the Big Dog had a good line for Sheamus. To break
Titus Worldwideare interviewed backstage. Titus O’Neil takes the mic and gives Renee Young a vacation, turning to interview Apollo Crews. He’s not worried about being deleted, he’s here to create history. He’s not scared of Bray because he can’t digest him, he’s gonna extinguish Seth Rollins’ fire, and the only club he’s part of is Titus Worldwide, VIP wherever they go.
Dana Brooke says, according to her numbers, Crews can’t lose! Titus Worldwide pre-emptively celebrate their victory.
Alexa Bliss is walking backstage when she runs into Mickie James. Mickie asks what was up last week with Bliss saving her and why they’re teaming against Absolution tonight. Alexa says she’s sick of newbies running wild, but more importantly she wants to clear the air between them. Bliss stumbles through an apology and Mickie recalls in great detail the insults Alexa heaped on her.
Bliss claims she was jealous and is very impressed with her ability to balance being a mother and a WWE Superstar. James is unimpressed. She shifts tactics and says that if Absolution work together in the Chamber, they’re screwed. Mickie ends up saying she appreciates what she did last week, but come Elimination Chamber she’s going for the title, and Alexa is buttering the wrong biscuit.
Absolution (Paige included) make their entrance, but the actual match will have to wait until after the break
RAW Women's Champ Alexa Bliss & Mickie James vs Absolution with Paige
James and Rose to start, collar and elbow, Mickie grabs a side headlock, into the takeover, reversed to a headscissors but Mickie gets out with a kip-up. Off the ropes, cartwheel into a dropkick, cover’s only good for one, whip reversed, short-arm back elbow, tag to Deville. Waistlock takedown, Mickie with an elbow, kick combo, off the ropes with a knee strike, tag to Bliss.
Double whip into a double back elbow, double knee drop into the moonsault double knees, only good for two. Sonya throwing body blows, Alexa with a knee and the goozle, bending her back, NODOWA OTOSHI! Tag back to James, holding her in place for a kick off the ropes that gets two and Deville comes back with shoulder thrusts in the corner. Charging into a boot, Mickie with a headscissors takeover, following it with the Lou Thesz Press into mounted punches!
Knocking Mandy off the apron, Deville takes the opening and gets a nearfall. Tag to Rose, body blows, arm wringer into an abdominal stretch, James escapes with a snapmare and ducks the running knee! Hangman’s neckbreaker connects and both women are down and out. Sonya pulls Alexa off the apron, Rose takes advantage, kick to the midsection...Rose hits Angel's Wings on James for the win
Winners: Absolution with Paige
Elias came out for the debut of a new song. Elias ran down the San Jose crowd saying it was an hour away from a real city like San Francisco, then changed his mind and said every city in California was a toxic dump. Elias said he was the same man who defeated Cena and Braun Strowman at the same place at the same time, which makes him the odds-on favorite to win the Elimination Chamber. He would prove WWE stand with Walk With Elias, and he wrote a song called the "Elimination Chamber Blues," which he was about to perform. He started to sing but the crowd was booing pretty loud. Elias threatened not to sing, which didn't hurt the crowd's feelings. Elias sang since his vocal cords were already warmed up. He said six men enter but only one man leaves.
As he was singing, the crowd roared because Strowman was out on the ramp. JoJo announced "Ladies and Gentleman, Braun Strowman." Then Strowman appeared on the ramp with his own spotlight. He pulled out a stand up bass and strummed it. The bass strings broke after just a few notes. Strowman actually has a pretty good voice. Strowman said since he broke the strings, he can't play this damn thing so there was only one thing he could do with it. He carried it to the ring and threatened to hit Elias with it. Elias begged off while holding up his own guitar as a weapon. Elias offered to put his guitar down if Strowman put his guitar down. Each man put their respective guitars down, but Elias jumped Strowman before he could get in the ring. Elias went for his guitar, but Strowman grabbed him by the throat and gave him the sledgehammer to the chest. Corey Graves dropped a reference to the old Pantera song "Primal Concrete Sledge." Strowman gave Elias the running powerslam. As Elias crawled from the ring, Strowman picked up the stand up bass again and stood over Elias, then smashed the bass over Elias. A group of referees rushed out to check on Elias.
We get a handcam promo from Finn Balor running down what his opponents in the qualifier want to do tonight, but he doesn’t care what they want, he cares about making the most of his second chance and winning the Elimination Chamber match. This will bring him one step closer to what HE wants, what he never lost, the Universal Championship.
The Bar make their entrance, and we go to break
Back from commercial, Roman Reigns makes his entrance.
Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
Collar and elbow, Roman forces Sheamus in the corner and referee John Cone forces the break. Back to the lockup, the Celtic Warrior grabs a wristlock, rolls it over and wrenches it in, Reigns reverses to a hammerlock and Sheamus finds solace in the ropes. Big Dog ducks a lariat but Sheamus is able to force him in the corner with right hands and headbutts.
Roman regains control in the next corner, whip reversed but he explodes out of the corner with a lariat that sends Sheamus to the floor where Cesaro gives him a pep talk. Back inside, Roman clobbers Sheamus right out the other side of the ring! Sheamus in control as Roman heads out but Reigns fights back and puts him into the barricade hard before slamming his face into the apron.
Roman jawing at Cesaro and the Celtic Warrior is able to catch him with a Finlay Roll on the floor that sends us to break.
Back from commercial and Sheamus is in control with a top wristlock in the middle of the ring. He wrenches it in and adds knees to the ribs and kidneys as the Big Dog struggles. Breaking free, he hits the pair of lariats, comes off the ropes with the leaping lariat but soon after runs into a boot and gets put shoulder-first into the post. Irish Curse connects, only a nearfall!
Pick the legs, stomps to the midsection, he folds ‘em up for the cloverleaf and is able to step over and lock it on all the way! Roman fights out, off the ropes, Samoan drop, slow to capitalize and it’s only good for two! Calling for the Superman Punch but Sheamus reverses to White Noise... NOPE! Sheamus fired up in the corner and beating his chest... REIGNS COUNTERS THE BROGUE KICK WITH THE SUPERMAN PUNCH! ONLY A NEARFALL!
Howling for the spear, Sheamus counters with a knee but the Big Dog catches his charge and turns it into the sitout powerbomb and another nearfall! Cesaro on the apron running interference, Sheamus with a schoolboy... NOT ENOUGH! He catches Roman with a wicked knee strike... NO GOOD! The Celtic Warrior screaming mad, he shoves Reigns to the floor.
Cesaro charges in, gets back body dropped over the barricade and Superman Punched! Sheamus out to hit the Big Dog in the ribs and Roman throws him at the post in return! Drive-By... COUNTERED WITH A LARIAT! Sheamus up top, diving lariat... COUNTERED INTO THE SPEAR! IT’S OVER
Winner: Roman Reigns
Back from commercial commentary reminds us that Ronda Rousey will sign her contract at the Elimination Chamber.
We get a bunch of entrances for our main event, but the actual match will have to wait until after the break.
Elimination Chamber Qualifier - "Woken" Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt vs Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor vs Apollo Crews
Back from the break and the match is underway. Crews sends Wyatt to the floor and hits a big moonsault from the apron as Titus applauds him at ringside. Crews enters the ring and takes out Balor, then Rollins. Crews kips up and yells out. Balor ends up kicking Crews off the apron. Balor goes at it with Rollins now. Wyatt comes in but Balor drops him for a 2 count that Matt breaks up.
Matt tries to bring Balor own from the top but Rollins cuts him off. Rollins and Balor go at it now. Balor with a Slingblade. Rollins kicks Balor in the face but Wyatt takes Rollins out. Rollins blocks Sister Abigail and rolls Wyatt up for a 2 count. Rollins drops Wyatt and covers for a 2 count as Balor leaps to breaks it up. Rollins sends Balor out to the floor. Balor kicks Hardy to the floor also. Rollins goes to the top but Crews crotches him and climbs up. Hardy and Balor beat on Crews to stop the superplex. Balor and Hardy try for a double team move but Wyatt splashes them all in the corner. Wyatt drops Matt with a big clothesline. Wyatt ends up hitting a throat breaker from the top to Rollins. Wyatt with a Uranage and a rolling senton to Crews for a 2 count. Wyatt laughs as the others are down. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Matt ends up taking control. Matt takes out Wyatt and Balor with a Side Effect. Matt comes off the ropes on Wyatt. Wyatt blocks a Twist of Fate. Rollins drops Matt and chops Wyatt. Rollins fights Wyatt into the corner. Rollins takes control and looks up at the sign after dropping Crews. Rollins with a suicide dive to Balor and then Hardy on the other side. Rollins runs back in and nails another dive, hitting Wyatt and sending him into the barrier. Fans pop.
Rollins returns to the ring and goes after Crews. Rollins hits a suplex and rolls through for the Falcon Arrow for a 2 count. They go at it and Rollins sends Crews to the floor with a knee. Rollins nails an enziguri on Wyatt but Wyatt nails a huge clothesline for a 2 count. Balor enters and hits Slingblade on Wyatt. Wyatt gets dropkicked into the corner as Balor gets riled up. Balor goes to the top but Rollins runs up and catches him. Balor fights back. Rollins goes for a Phoenix Splash but Wyatt blocks it. Rollins avoids Sister Abigail as Hardy comes in. More chaos until Rollins hits a big stomp on Balor for a 2 count as Crews breaks the count.
Fans chant "this is awesome" now. Crews and Rollins trade shots in the middle of the ring now. Crews goes for a big military press but it's blocked. Crews blocks a kick and slams Rollins. Crews with a standing moonsault for a close 2 count. Titus hops on the apron and argues with the referee. We get a replay of the moonsault. Crews and Rollins go at it again. Crews with a big enziguri and a standing Shooting Star Press for another close 2 count. Crews drags Rollins over and goes to the top. Matt stops Crews. Matt climbs up to slam Crews with a super Side effect but Crews fights back. Wyatt pulls Matt down to the floor and drops him with Sister Abigail.
Wyatt rolls into the ring and climbs up with Crews. Balor and Rollins run over for a 4-man powerbomb. Balor and Rollins cover Wyatt at the same time for the pin. They both start celebrating as the referee looks confused. RAW goes off the air with Rollins, Balor and the referee arguing in the middle of the ring. No winner was declared.