WWE Monday Night RAW Location: Columbus, OH Date: January 18, 2016
Tonight’s WWE RAW opens up with a Martin Luther King tribute video. We get a crowd shot before going to the RAW opening video.
– We’re live from Columbus, Ohio as the pyro hits and Michael Cole welcomes us to the final RAW before Royal Rumble. He’s joined by JBL and Byron Saxton. They hype Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar appearing on The Highlight Reel.
– We go to the ring and out comes WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns through the crowd.
Reigns says it truly will be 1 vs. all on Sunday and it will be the fight of his life but that’s then. He only cares about one man tonight – Brock Lesnar. Reigns says he’s ready to finish what Lesnar started last week, right now. Reigns waits but Chris Jericho‘s music hits instead. Jericho makes his way to the ring to a pop. He welcomes us to RAW Is Jericho. He knows Reigns is waiting on Lesnar but he got someone even better – The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla. Reigns says that’s great and he’s glad Jericho is back but he wants Lesnar. Jericho says Lesnar will be on The Highlight Reel later. Jericho wants to turn it into the biggest Highlight Reel of all time by having the top 3 Rumble contenders in the same ring – himself, Lesnar and Reigns. Reigns says he will be there, believe that. The League of Nations music hits and out comes Rusev, King Barrett, Sheamus and WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio.
Sheamus wonders when the Rumble match became Reigns vs. Lesnar. Fans chant “you look stupid” and he tells them to hush because grown folks are talking. Sheamus says The League is also in the Rumble and fans boo. He says one of them plans on winning the match and taking back what is rightfully theirs – the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Sheamus welcomes Jericho back to WWE and cracks a lame joke on what he’s wearing. Sheamus says it was stupid not to invite any of The League to The Highlight Reel. Jericho doesn’t want Sheamus on his show because he’s trying to keep it entertaining, but could have his mohawk on the show to explain why it makes Sheamus look so stupid. Del Rio takes the mic and brags on winning the biggest Rumble match in history. He says if someone deserves to be on The Highlight Reel, it’s him. Jericho says Del Rio’s name is Spanish for jackass. He’s not having Del Rio on his show because he doesn’t feel like it. Rusev calls Jericho an American reject. He says it’s a Rumble every day in Bulgaria. Rusev goes on and gets the “what?” treatment. He’s confident about one of them winning the Rumble. Jericho says he didn’t understand a word Rusev said. Jericho asks Reigns who won the Rumble match last year – he did. Jericho asks who Reigns eliminated to win the match – Rusev. Jericho says with all due respect to Lana, it looks like Rusev always comes up a little short when it matters. Rusev calls Jericho a stupid little Canadian and has words for Reigns. Reigns tells him to shut up. Reigns says he’s not meeting up with Brock until later tonight and he would love to shut Rusev up right now. Fans pop. Jericho asks the fans what they think and if they want to see Reigns vs. Rusev right now. We’ve got a match.
Rusev vs. WWE world heavyweight champion Roman Reigns in a non-title match
The League heads to the ring with Rusev. Jericho announces he will even the odds inside the ring by being the special referee. Jericho’s music hits as Rusev throws a fit at ringside. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Jericho has his referee shirt on. They lock up as fans chant USA and The League looks on from ringside. We see Mike Chioda gave his referee shirt to Jericho during the commercial. Back and forth to start. Reigns goes for an early Superman punch but Rusev retreats to the floor and takes a breather.
Rusev comes back in and fans chant for Lana. Rusev works Reigns over but gets rocked by a right. Rusev tosses Reigns to the floor. The League approaches him and he’s ready to fight. Rusev nails Reigns from behind and sends him into the apron, then the barrier. Rusev brings it back in for a pin attempt. Rusev with a headlock now. Rusev keeps control and has some words with Jericho. Rusev misses a flying headbutt and Reigns fights back. Reigns scoops Rusev for a Samoan Drop but it’s blocked. Reigns rocks Rusev and hits a neckbreaker for a 2 count. Sheamus distracts Reigns from the apron. Rusev takes advantage and hits a kick for a 2 count. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Rusev is still in control. Reigns fights back with rights and a headbutt. Rusev grabs him for a headlock. Rusev keeps Reigns grounded as fans rally.
Reigns fights up and slams Rusev. They get up and Reigns hits a pair of clotheslines. Reigns with a flying clothesline. Rusev fights back but Reigns drops him with a boot. Reigns with big shots in the corner as fans and Jericho count along. Reigns keeps control but Rusev fights out of the Samoan Drop. Rusev with a big kick to the head and Reigns goes down. Rusev with a close 2 count. JBL calls it a slow count. Rusev argues with Jericho. Reigns ends up powerbombing Rusev out of the corner for a 2 count. Reigns readies for the Superman punch but Del Rio gets on the apron and distracts Jericho. Sheamus pulls Reigns from the ring and throws him into the barrier. Jericho turns around and goes to have words with Sheamus. Jericho ejects Sheamus and tells him to get the hell out. Fans pop.
Barrett gets on the apron and argues with Jericho. Barrett also gets ejected. Jericho does a cartwheel as fans cheer. Del Rio stands on the second rope and yells at Jericho as fans chant “Y2J” at him. Del Rio gets ejected. Jericho dances and does another cartwheel. Reigns nails a Superman punch on Rusev to another big pop. Reigns follows up with the spear and the pin.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– After the match, Jericho raises Reigns’ arm as we go to replays. We come back to Reigns alone in the ring with the title. Still to come, Reigns, Lesnar and Heyman will be on The Highlight Reel with Jericho. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Jericho is all smiles backstage until Stephanie McMahon walks up. She says he did not have the authority to make that match, this is not 1999 and she’s in charge of RAW. Jericho says sometimes he wishes it was 1999 because she was more fun. He starts to insult her and she cuts him off, saying it’s really original like the rest of her material. She complains about him making changes to an advertised Highlight Reel. She says she has to go talk to Heyman and pay Lesnar more money. She admits having Reigns and Lesnar on The Highlight Reel is best for business. She says if Jericho ever messes with her show again, he will never, ever be the same again.
We go to the ring and out comes Brie Bella with Alicia Fox. Natalya makes her way out next as JBL welcomes her back to RAW. Natalya stops on the stage and waits… Paige‘s music hits and out she comes for her return. Paige accompanies Natalya to the ring.
They go at it and Brie turns it around early on. She hits the running knee against the ropes for a 2 count. Brie with elbows to the neck as Paige rallies for Natalya. Brie with kicks now. She misses one as Natalya plays possum. Natalya with the Sharpshooter for the win.
– After the match, Paige comes in to celebrate with Natalya and they hug.
– Still to come, Ryback and The Dudley Boyz vs. The Wyatt Family. Also, we’ll find out who gets the #1 spot in the Royal Rumble. We go to commercial.
The Wyatt Family vs. Ryback and The Dudley Boyz in a 6-man tag team match
Back from the break and out comes Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman. The Dudley Boyz are out next followed by Ryback. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Bubba Ray Dudley unloads on Harper as Braun looks on from the floor. Harper cuts Bubba’s momentum off with a big boot. Rowan tags in and slams Bubba. Rowan misses a splash. D-Von tags in and hits the shoulder tackles. More back and forth. D-Von with a neckbreaker and a 2 count. Rowan grabs D-Von and throws him into the corner. Rowan with a spinning kick for a 2 count. Wyatt tags in and unloads on D-Von now.
Wyatt with a 2 count and a tag to Harper. Harper brings D-Von back in from the floor and tags Rowan in as they keep control of the match. The announcers talk about “Iron” Mike Sharpe passing away. Harper tags back in and we get more keeping D-Von down. Wyatt tags back in and collides with D-Von, they both go down. Wyatt gets up first and stomps. He knocks Bubba off the apron. Wyatt misses a splash on D-Von. Fans chant “feed me more” and he gets the hot tag. Harper comes in and Ryback unloads on him. Ryback with a spinebuster. Ryback decks Wyatt on the apron. Bubba tags in and drops Harper with a big boot. Bubba slams Harper for a 2 count as Rowan breaks it up. Ryback comes in and goes for Shellshocked on Rowan but Wyatt stops it. Ryback tosses Wyatt to the floor. Braun confronts Ryback and Wyatt nails him from behind. The Dudleyz double team Harper for a close 2 count. They ready for the 3D but Rowan floors D-Von. Harper drops Bubba with a kick and discus clothesline for the win.
Winners: The Wyatt Family
– After the match, Wyatt yells about how there will be no salvation at the Royal Rumble.
– Still to come, Reigns and Lesnar on The Highlight Reel. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Big Show makes his way to the ring. The Social Outcasts – Heath Slater, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel and Adam Rose, are out next. They cut promos and Axel reminds us he was never eliminated from the Rumble last year. Slater promises they will trend tonight and says he will take out Big Show. Slater stalls and tries to avoid Show to start the match. Show tosses him into the corner and Slater retreats to the floor.
The Social Outcasts mock and poke fun at Show. Show lifts Slater back into the ring by his head and ends up nailing a knockout punch for the win.
Winner: Big Show
– After the match, Axel comes in but takes a knockout punch. Rose goes to the top but gets punched off to the floor. Bo ducks a clothesline and retreats to the floor. He runs a victory lap but Show meets him on the floor with a knockout punch. Show makes his exit as we go to replays.
– The announcers plug the WWE Network.
– The League of Nations are backstage fuming about Jericho. Stephanie walks up and is surprised they held their cool. She instigates and says Jericho punked them. She hypes each member up and asks why would they let Jericho scare them away. Sheamus says they are not scared of anybody. She tells them to prove it and walks off. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and the Royal Rumble tumbler is on the stage. Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon come out to hype the 30-man main event. Vince says the odds of Roman Reigns winning are like “one of you” winning Powerball. They brag about Vince’s 1999 Rumble performance. Stephanie spins the tumbler and we get a drum roll. Vince reaches in and doesn’t like the first name. He picks another and hands it to Stephanie. It’s Reigns getting the #1 spot. Just to be fair, Vince calls for another spin and another pick. He puts the first back and the second. He hands the next to Stephanie and the #1 spot goes to… Reigns. Vince asks if Stephanie put Reigns’ name back in and she did. He calls for another spin. Vince picks another name and the #1 spot goes to… Reigns. Vince says Reigns won’t be #1 after Sunday and “No Chance” hits again.
– We go back to the ring and out comes Ric Flair with WWE Divas Champion Charlotte. They take a seat at ringside. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Naomi with Tamina Snuka to the new Team BAD theme song. We see Charlotte and Flair looking on from ringside as well. Becky Lynch is out next. She points at the Divas Title and gets laughed at by the Flairs. Tamina and Becky lock up but break. Fans chant for Sasha Banks. Becky unloads with kicks and strikes on Tamina. Tamina blocks her and rams her into the corner. Tamina with a big kick to the face. Tamina stomps in the corner now.
Tamina with a headlock now. Tamina keeps control and covers for another 2 count. Becky tries to fight back but Tamina clubs her from behind. Becky with a roll up for a 2 count. Becky finally fights back to a pop. Becky with big strikes in the corner and a dropkick. Becky with a pair of leg drops for a 2 count. Tamina runs into an elbow. Becky applies the Dis-arm-her from out of the corner for the win.
Winner: Becky Lynch
– After the match, Becky takes the mic and says nothing would mean more to her than winning the Divas Title on Sunday. She asks Charlotte for an answer and fans get hype. Charlotte grabs a mic at ringside and says she’s not going to hand Becky a title shot because fans are chanting. She says Charlotte already earned a title match and lost it. She tells Becky to get in the back of the line. Becky says Flair never backed down from a challenge but the apple must have fallen from the tree. Or maybe Flair has become a coward in his old age like his daughter. Flair asks Becky what did she just say. Flair says Charlotte already beat Becky twice and she will do it again on Sunday. Flair starts “whoooing” all over the place but Charlotte doesn’t look happy.
Sheamus and WWE United States champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto and WWE Intercontinental champion Dean Ambrose
Back from the break and Kevin Owens is out for commentary. WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose is out next followed by his partner Sin Cara. The League of Nations is out next.
Sheamus and Ambrose go at it to start. Kalisto comes in and goes at it with Sheamus. Kalisto dumps Sheamus to the floor and nails Del Rio on the apron. Ambrose knocks Del Rio to the floor and catapults Kalisto onto everyone else. They stand tall in the ring as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Del Rio is in control of Kalisto. Sheamus comes in and keeps up the attack in the corner. Sheamus keeps Kalisto grounded and talks trash now. Kalisto fights free and tags Ambrose as Del Rio tags in. They go at it with Ambrose getting the upperhand. Ambrose with the running bulldog. Ambrose goes to the top but lands on his feet. Ambrose with a swinging neckbreaker. Ambrose clotheslines Del Rio to the floor. Ambrose nails a dive and fights Sheamus off. Del Rio grabs Ambrose and launches him into the barrier. Del Rio brings Ambrose back in for a 1 count. Del Rio with a kick to the head. Sheamus tags in and nails an Irish Curse backbreaker for a 2 count. Sheamus keeps Ambrose grounded now.
Sheamus drops Ambrose with a knee to the gut. Del Rio tags in with a sick kick to the back of the head for a 2 count. Del Rio taunts Kalisto. Sheamus with a cheap shot on Ambrose. Del Rio with a 2 count and another headlock. Ambrose fights up and out but Del Rio nails the Backstabber for a 2 count. Del Rio turns Ambrose upside down in the corner and kicks him. Del Rio goes up for the stomp but wastes time. Ambrose pulls him to the mat and gets free. Del Rio runs into a kick. Ambrose goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick. Sheamus tags in and stops Kalisto from coming in. Ambrose bounces back with the clothesline and nails Sheamus. Kalisto gets the tag and kicks Sheamus in the face. He springboards in, ducks a clothesline and takes Sheamus down with a hurricanrana. Kalisto with a bunch of kicks. Sheamus catches him but Kalisto counters and kicks him in the jaw. Kalisto kicks Del Rio off the apron. Kalisto ducks a Brogue Kick and ends up nailing a tornado DDT with another counter. Kalisto nails Salida del Sol but Del Rio breaks the pin with a kick to the face. Ambrose runs in and throws Del Rio to the floor. He follows and slams Del Rio into the announce table. Owens distracts Ambrose, allowing Del Rio to drop him with a kick. Sheamus and Kalisto go at it in the ring. Sheamus blocks Salida del Sol and hits a Brogue for the win.
Winners: Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio
– After the match, Owens tells the announcers that Ambrose will be lying there just like that on Sunday. The League celebrates and stands tall in the ring as we get replays. Owens looks on from the stage while Ambrose recovers at ringside.
– We get a look back at Jericho and Reigns from earlier. Back to commercial.
– We get a look at Jericho destroying Xavier Woods’ trombone last week. They cut to WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day having a memorial service for Francesca The Trombone in the back. This leads to a Jey Uso vs. Big E match being revealed.
– The announcers lead us to the annual Royal Rumble numbers video.
Big E vs. Jey Uso
We go to the ring and out come The Usos to a pop. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day come out. Woods and Kofi Kingston are still in their funeral attire. Back and forth for the first few minutes of the match until The New Day cheap shots Jey on the floor, in honor of Francesca The Trombone. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Jey is nailing headbutts. Big E drops him with an elbow. Big E distracts the referee while Kofi kicks Jey and Woods taunts him with a title. Big E goes for the big splash on the apron but misses as Jey moves. He hits the floor. Big E comes back but Jey kicks him to the floor. Jey with a big kick into the barrier. They come back in the ring and Jey goes to the top for a big crossbody, then a superkick. Jey with a right hand. Jey ducks a clothesline and hits the Samoan Drop. Jey with another big kick to the face for a close 2 count. Big E dumps Jey to the apron and they trade shots. Big E runs the ropes and charges but Jey moves and Big E lands on the floor. Jey runs the ropes and leaps out onto Big E. Woods and Kofi roll Big E back in. Jimmy Uso runs over and takes both of them out. Jey drops Big E with a superkick and goes to the top. Woods distracts him from the apron and Uso lands on his feet but is favoring his ankle. Big E takes advantage and drops him from behind. Big E with the Big Ending for the win.
Winner: Big E
– After the match, The New Day celebrates and talks trash as we get replays.
– Mark Henry, Titus O’Neil and R-Truth are backstage. They’re ready to go give their opponents a dirt nap. Neville walks in and he’s apparently teaming with them tonight. Back to commercial.
Mark Henry, Neville, R-Truth, and Titus O’Neil vs. The Ascension, Tyler Breeze, and Stardust in an 8-man tag team match
Back from the break and all eight men are out. Titus and Konnor go at it early on. Viktor gets a tag and keeps Titus down. Titus catches Viktor and tosses him across the ring. Titus taunts Konnor and dabs on Stardust. Neville tags in and works Viktor over. Viktor takes him to the corner and Stardust tags in to take control.
Stardust turns around to a big shot from Henry. Henry keeps control of Stardust and tags Truth in. Truth and Stardust go at it until Breeze comes back in for a 2 count. Konnor tags back in for more offense. Konnor with a slam and a big running elbow drop for a 2 count. Konnor with a headlock now. Konnor keeps control and knocks Titus off the apron. He turns around to Truth trying to make a comeback. Neville gets a hot tag and goes at it with Breeze. He knocks Stardust off the apron. Neville unloads on Breeze. Konnor tosses Truth to the floor. Titus takes Konnor out. Titus goes to toss Breeze over his head into Henry’s arms but Breeze flies over Henry and hits the mat. Henry nails a World’s Strongest Slam on Breeze. Neville follows up with Red Arrow for the win.
Winners: Neville, Mark Henry, Titus O’Neil, and R-Truth
– After the match, the babyfaces stand tall as we get Red Arrow replays.
– Still to come, The Highlight Reel with Reigns, Lesnar and Heyman. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Chris Jericho welcomes us to the biggest edition of The Highlight Reel in WWE history. That’s because the top 3 Royal Rumble prospects will be in the same ring tonight – himself the new savior of WWE, Brock Lesnar and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns. Paul Heyman interrupts and comes out with a mic. Heyman goes to introduce himself but Jericho tells him to shut the hell up. Jericho asks where Heyman’s client is. Heyman says you don’t need to be a weatherman to know a F5 is touching down in Columbus tonight. Heyman says his client is here. Heyman says the last time Jericho came face to face with Jericho wasn’t something for Jericho’s highlight reel. Heyman enters the ring now and says Jericho probably has nothing to worry about because his client isn’t focused on Jericho; he’s focused on the other guest.
Jericho brings up Heyman trying to get Lesnar to bypass the Rumble and go right to WrestleMania 32. He asks if that’s because Heyman doesn’t like Lesnar’s chances for the match on Sunday. Heyman laughs and says Lesnar was never defeated for the title, so he should have had a bye this year. He says the Rumble will have one conqueror, one beast, one Brock Lesnar. Heyman goes on and says Lesnar will fight any man in the Rumble, throw them over the top and go on to WrestleMania as the champion. Heyman promises Lesnar will turn the Royal Rumble into Suplex City on Sunday. Jericho asks what happens if it comes down to Lesnar vs. Jericho at the Rumble. Jericho asks what happens if he tosses Lesnar over the top and walks out with the title. The music hits and out comes Brock Lesnar to a big pop as Heyman facepalms.
Lesnar stares Jericho down as he makes his way to ringside. Lesnar circles the ring and stops but Roman Reigns’ music hits and out comes the WWE World Heavyweight Champion through the crowd. Reigns is on a mission it looks. He enters the ring as Lesnar watches from the floor. Lesnar continues circling the ring and staring down both Jericho and reigns. Lesnar jumps on the apron and bounces around. He enters the ring and Reigns immediately spears him. Reigns mounts Lesnar with right hands. Sheamus runs down and beats on Reigns. Alberto Del Rio, King Barrett and Rusev join in as The League beats Reigns down. Rusev goes to Lesnar but gets a German suplex. Del Rio and Sheamus beat on Lesnar now. Lesnar knees Sheamus into the corner and unloads on him. Del Rio comes over but Lesnar hits him with a German. Lesnar scoops Sheamus and hits him with a F5. Lesnar turns around to another spear from Reigns. The lights go out and now The Wyatt Family has surrounded the ring with Lesnar and Reigns inside. Reigns looks around and nails Braun first. Harper takes Reigns down with the clothesline. Bray Wyatt hits Sister Abigail on Reigns. The Wyatt Family stares at Lesnar as he stands up. Wyatt orders Harper to attack and he drops Lesnar with a big boot. Rowan drops Lesnar with a spin kick. Braun with a big clothesline on Lesnar. The Wyatts hold Lesnar up while Wyatt laughs and grabs him for Sister Abigail. Wyatt yells about how the Royal Rumble is his. The Wyatt Family stands tall over Lesnar while Reigns is also down. Fans boo as RAW goes off the air.