The January 15th edition of WWE RAW aired live from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX.
– This week’s broadcast opens up with a video recapping Braun Strowman’s assault on Brock Lesnar and Kane last week.
– Strowman comes out to the ring to kick off the show. Strowman gets on the mic and talks about destroying Kane and Lesnar last week, and sending Lesnar to the hospital. RAW GM Kurt Angle comes out to interrupt and informs Strowman that he was out of line last week with his grappling hook attack. He says Strowman put lives in danger last week, and that is going too far. Kurt informs Strowman that not only will his match at the Royal Rumble no longer be a triple threat match, but Strowman won’t be competing at all at the Royal Rumble. Kurt Angle tells Strowman: You’re fired. Kurt Angle walks off as Strowman looks confused and angry. Kurt Angle goes backstage, and then a few moments later Strowman walks backstage with security surrounding him.
– We go to the broadcast table and Graves thinks Angle made the right decision. They promote Asuka vs. Nia Jax later tonight, and Roman Reigns vs. The Miztourage in a handicap match.
– We see security still escorting Strowman out. Strowman briefly takes issue with them, but he keeps walking. Strowman walks over to the door, but stops. One of the guards tell him he’s got to leave, and Strowman grabs him. Strowman drops the guard, then the other guards swarm him. Strowman fights them off and lays them out one by one. Strowman throws one through a table. Strowman says he’s not finished yet, and he’s not leaving until everyone “gets these hands.”
– Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil vs. The Bar: Dana Brooke is at ringside. Sheamus starts off against Crews and backs him into the corner. Sheamus stomps on him then tags in Cesaro who continues. Sheamus tags back in and they go for the double team, but Crews dropkicks Cesaro down, then backflips away from Sheamus and dropkicks him too. Titus tags in and drops Sheamus with a shoulder tackle. Cesaro tags in and Titus starts laying into him with strikes. Titus hits some chops to the chest in the corner. Cesaro fires back with some chops of his own, but Titus no-sells them. Titus backs Cesaro into the opposite corner, chops him and slams him down. Crews comes in and slams Cesaro again, then hits an elbow drop. Crews runs the ropes and Sheamus hits a cheap shot from the apron. Sheamus tags in and beats down on Crews. Cesaro and Sheamus trade tags and keep Crews grounded. Crews finally fires back with a dropkick to Sheamus, and both men are down. Cesaro and Titus get the tags, and Titus cleans house. Titus hits a series of slaps to the chest in the corner, then throws Cesaro across the ring. Titus hits a splash in the corner, then a powerslam for a two count. Cesaro comes back with a kick, then Sheamus tags in and they double team Titus. Crews takes out Cesaro, then Sheamus throws Crews outside. Sheamus throws Titus into the ropes and Cesaro cheap shots him. Cesaro tags in and goes after Titus, but Titus drops him and tags in Crews. Crews hits a flying cross body off the top for a two count. Crews hits a standing moonsault and pins, but Sheamus breaks it up. Titus runs in and The Bar throws Titus outside. They double team Crews, then Sheamus tags in and they go for the double team White Noise. Before they can do it, Jason Jordan comes out to interrupt. The distraction leads to Crews rolling up Cesaro to steal the three count.
Winners: Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil
– Jordan laughs from the stage as Rollins comes out and asks him what he’s doing. Rollins seems upset that Jordan cost Sheamus and Cesaro the match.
– Braun Strowman is storming through the arena hallways looking for Kurt Angle. Strowman barges into an office and starts tearing apart everything inside. He destroys a plasma TV, among other things, then storms off back into the arena halls.
– Back from commercial, we see some people (including Curt Hawkins) eating at some tables in the back. A guy runs up and warns them that Strowman is coming. Strowman runs in and starts flipping the tables. He chokeslams Hawkins through a table, then goes to walk off. He walks into a guy who is bringing some chocolate cake to the catering area. Strowman takes a piece of the cake and eats it, then walks off.
– Enzo Amore and Tony Nese are out to the ring next, and Enzo cuts his usual entrance promo. They get in the ring and Enzo talks until Cedric Alexander interrupts, and Goldust is with him. Goldust says Enzo is a straight to DVD movie, and Cedric is a box office smash. Goldust says Cedric will be champion, then Cedric calls Enzo s-a-w-f-t. They’ve got a match coming up.
– Braun Strowman is shown backstage throwing stuff around. He knocks over some pipes and some other equipment before storming off into other parts of the arena.
– Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese: Goldust and Enzo are at ringside for this one. Nese controls the opening moments of this one and gets a two count early on. Cedric tries to mount a comeback, but Nese shuts him down with a knee. Cedric fires back with some strikes and a dropkick. Nese takes out Cedric’s knee. Nese puts the boots to Cedric and hits a leg drop. Nese continues the offense until Cedric hits an uppercut and a springboard flying clothesline for a two count. Nese blocks the Lumbar check and elbows Cedric. Nese hits a kick and a knee, then goes for a pumphandle slam but Cedric escapes. Cedric hits the Lumbar Check for the three count.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
– Kurt Angle is backstage talking to an employee about the Braun Strowman situation, saying he’s never been in this kind of position before. A referee runs in and tells Angle that Strowman is headed for the production trucks. Angle yells “oh God they’re worth 12 million dollars,” and runs off.
– Back from commercial, Braun Strowman runs in a production truck in the back of the arena and starts terrorizing the employees. Strowman starts throwing things around, then leaves. The employees start getting back to their desks, then the truck starts shaking. We see outside that Strowman has taken the truck off the trailer and is driving it. Strowman gets out and starts trying to flip it, then Kurt Angle runs in and asks what he hell he’s doing. Strowman gets in Kurt’s face, then flips the truck. Strowman screams in Kurt’s face again, then walks off and throws aside everything in his path. Strowman walks towards the stage and comes out towards the broadcast table. Booker T and Graves run off, but Cole can’t get away, and they leave him behind. Strowman grabs Cole and hauls him across the stage. Strowman looks to slam Cole, but Kurt Angle and some security run in and tell him to stop. Kurt says he just got off the phone with Stephanie, and Strowman can have his job back, but he has to stop and he has to put down Michael Cole. Strowman walks off from Cole, but before he leaves, he picks him up and throws Cole onto a crowd of security guards. Strowman heads backstage, and Kurt Angle looks very concerned.
– Back at the broadcast table, Graves and Booker talk about how horrible what happened to Cole is. Tom Phillips joins them to take over for Cole, and they show replays of Strowman’s chaos. Booker says he doesn’t think Kurt should have fired Strowman earlier on national TV, which set Strowman off. We see more replays of Strowman throwing Cole.
– Nia Jax vs. Asuka: They lock up and Nia tosses Asuka across the ring to start. Nia continues to fend off Asuka’s offense and hits a backbreaker. Nia tosses Asuka across the ring again, then chops her. Asuka fires back with elbows, but Nia drops her with a short arm clothesline. Nia goes to pick up Asuka, but Asuka grabs her and goes for an armbar. Nia picks up Asuka and slams her into the corner. Nia controls the next several moments until Asuka is able to fire back with some kicks. Nia drops Asuka again, but Asuka grabs Nia’s leg and locks in a knee bar. Nia reaches the bottom rope to break the hold. Nia throws Asuka outside and follows her out. She slams Asuka into the ring apron, but Asuka fires back with a leg kick. They both roll back in the ring are are slow to get up. Nia is selling the leg from Asuka’s kick, and has trouble getting to her feet. The ref calls for the bell due to injury.
– Alexa Bliss comes down to check on Nia after the match as she is being helped out of the ring.
– Kurt Angle is in his office picking up the debris from Strowman’s rampage. Jason Jordan walks in and thanks Kurt for helping him, and starts talking about himself. Jordan says if Strowman came anywhere near Angle, he would have got him. Jordan says he was right behind Angle the whole time; Angle says he didn’t notice him there. Jordan ends up proposing a singles match for his partner Seth Rollins tonight so he can “stay sharp.” Jordan pitches a Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins match to Angle, and Angle thinks it’s a good idea. It sounds like Rollins vs. Balor is going to be tonight’s main event. Jordan walks off as Angle continues to clean up his office.
– Tom Phillips introduces a Martin Luther King video package, and Booker T shares some thoughts. The video package features 10-bell salute.
– Nia Jax is backstage icing her knee and Alexa Bliss is talking to her. Enzo comes in and says he’ll take care of her, and tells Bliss to leave.
– The Revival vs. Enhancement talent: The jobbers in this match don’t get any names in the opening moments. Wilder beats on one of the jobbers in the opening moments, then tags in Dawson for a double team suplex. Dawson cheap shots the other jobber off the apron, then Wilder tags in and they hit the Shatter Machine on the jobber in the ring for the three count.
Winners: The Revival
– The Revival does an interview in the ring after the match. Dawson says they just put on a clinic in tag team wrestling, which is something that’s been missing for a long time. He says too many tag teams are going backstage to play video games or check instagram, but all The Revival is worried about is punishing their opponents and winning matches. When asked what legends they’re looking forward to meeting at the RAW 25th anniversary next week. Wilder says they aren’t fans of beer baths or crotch chops, because they made a mockery of this business. They say they aren’t sports entertainers, they’re pro wrestlers, and they aren’t a creation of the WWE board room. Dawson says “they” will not change who they are, and this is their universe now. The fans boo as Dawson says they’re going to set the tone for RAW for the next 25 years.
– Elias is backstage, walking towards the gorilla position.
– Elias comes out to the ring for a song. He trashes Texas and talks about his intentions for the Royal Rumble. At the end of his song, he introduces The Miz and The Miztourage.
– The Miz, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas come out to the ring, and Elias leaves. The Miz gets on the mic and talks about his return. He says the spark that was missing from WWE wasn’t John Cena or Brock Lesnar, it was Miz. The Miz plugs his new USA Network reality show until Roman Reigns comes out to interrupt, and the handicap match is up next.
– Roman Reigns vs. The Miztourage: The Miz distracts Reigns early on to separate him from Dallas and Axel. Dallas and Axel attack Reigns from behind and overpower him. Back in the ring, Dallas and Axel beat down Reigns in the corner and keep him grounded. Reigns knocks Dalls to the outside, then catches Axel with a Samoan Drop. Reigns throws Dallas into Axel, then hits a big boot on Dallas. The momentum causes Dallas to appear to DDT Axel. Miz pulls Dallas outside, and The Miz runs out and hits a Superman punch on Dallas. Reigns chases off The Miz, then gets back in the ring. Axel runs up behind Reigns and rolls him up for a near-fall. Reigns gets up a ducks a clothesline, then fires back with a spear for the three count.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– The Miz retreats up the ramp as Reigns celebrates in the ring.
– Sonya DeVille vs. Sasha Banks: Mickie James, Bayley, and Absolution are at ringside. Sasha starts off strong and looks for the Banks Statement in the opening moments. DeVille fires back with strikes, but Banks shuts her down and hits a running knee strike in the corner. Banks goes up top and comes flying down, but Sonya hits a kick that knocks Sasha out of mid-air. Sonya immediately covers for the win after a very short match.
Winner: Sonya Deville
– After the match, Sonya celebrates with Paige and Mandy. Mickie and Bayley check on Sasha in the ring.
– Tom Phillips talks about MLK again, and shows us video footage of WWE stars at the Civil Rights Museum.
– We go backstage where Rollins confronts Jordan about speaking on his behalf to his dad without his permission. Jordan offers to tell Angle to cancel the match, but Rollins doesn’t want that. Rollins wants the match, but tells Jordan that while they are teammates, Jordan isn’t his spokesperson. Rollins says doesn’t have a problem with what Jordan did, he has a problem with the way he did it. Jordan walks off, and Rollins starts getting ready for his match later.
– Woken Matt Hardy is out to the ring next.
– Matt Hardy vs. Heath Slater: Matt controls this one early on and pummels on Slater. Hardy backs Slater into the corner and laughs at him and backs him up. Slater falls outside and looks like he wants to give up, but Rhyno gets in his face and tells him to toughen up. Slater gets in the ring and hits a kick on Hardy then beats him down. Slater starts working on Hardy’s left shoulder, but Matt bites him. Matt suplexes Slater into the turnbuckle then pummels on him. Matt hits a running clothesline in the corner, then a Side Effect for a two count. Hardy repeatedly slams Slater’s head into the turnbuckles, then hits a neckbreaker. Matt does the “Delete” thing, then hits the Twist of Fate for the win.
Winner: Matt Hardy
– Hardy celebrates his win in the ring and leads the crowd in a Delete chant.
– We go to the broadcast table where they introduce s video package about Bill Goldberg being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.
– We see a replay of Kurt Angle’s confrontations with Braun Strowman earlier in the night, and Strowman’s attack on Michael Cole. The announcers then go over the card for Royal Rumble.
– Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor: Jason Jordan is at ringside in Rollin’s corner, and Gallows & Anderson are at ringside in Balor’s corner. Rollins and Balor trade holds in the opening moments until Rollins drops him with some strikes. Rollins hits some chops to the chest, then stomps on Balor in the corner. Balor comes back and dumps Rollins outsde, then follows up with a kick to the face from the apron. Back in the ring, Balor works over Rollins’ knee. Rollins fights back and hits a Blockbuster off the middle rope on Balor, but appears to further hurt his knee on landing. The fight spills out to ringside again, and Rollins sells the knee. Back in the ring, Rollins continues to beat on Balor with kicks and knees. Rollins goes for a suplex, but Balor escapes. Rollins hits him with an elbow, and then shortly after goes up to the middle rope for another Blockbuster. Before Rollins can jump, Balor runs up and stops him with a kick. Rollins hits some running splashes on BAlor in the corner, but Balor blocks one with a sling blade on Rollins. Rollins gets to his feet and Balor charges forward — and Balor runs right into a superkick from Rollins. Rollins picks up Balor, but Balor fights him off and hits some elbows and kicks. Balor hits a forearm shot and kicks, but Rollins hits some of his own. Rollins goes up top and looks for the Phoenix Splash, but Balor blocks it with his feet. Balor goes up top, but Rollins runs up and grabs him and superplexes Balor off the top. Rollins rolls through and hits the Falcon Arrow for a two count on Balor. Rollins is frustrated, and he goes back up to the top rope. Rollins goesf for the frogsplash, but Finn gets the knees up to block it. Finn rolls up Rollins and hook the leg for what appears to be a three count, but the ref says it was two. The Bar runs in and starts brawling with Anderson and Gallows at ringside. Balor hits a suicide dive on The Bar at ringside, then gets back in the ring. Balor ducks a clothesline from Rollins, but Jordan trips Balor from the floor and the ref misses it. Rollins immediately follows up with the Curb Stomp for the three count.
Winner: Seth Rollins
– After the match, Rollins and Jordan celebrate on the stage. We see a replay that appears the show the referee counting to three earlier in the match when Balor rolled up Rollins. Gallows and Anderson check on Balor in the ring, and Balor is selling like he has a concussion. Balor drops to his knees selling the concussion, then stands up, and RAW goes off the air.