Mick Foley Performance Evaluation
The show opens with Stephanie McMahon giving Mick Foley a Performance Evaluation for 2016. Foley plugs it is great to be able to do this right here in New Orleans for a cheap pop. Stephanie is concerned about the rumors about The Undertaker being here tonight bringing up his last appearance was on Smackdown Live. Foley isn’t sure he’ll actually show up.
Seth Rollins walks in and announces he is entering the Royal Rumble match. Braun Strowman storms in and says he wants Roman Reigns or Goldberg. Rollins tells Strowman he can’t just walk in and interrupt him. Strowman wants Reigns or Goldberg or else. Foley informs him Goldberg isn’t even here and that Reigns is booked later tonight. Rollins says he can help Strowman and starts attacking him. They start brawling. WWE officials break it up. Stephanie tells Foley to get things under control. Foley says Undertaker will be here.
WWE United States Champion Roman Reigns is headed to the ring. He will defend his title against WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho next.
Footage from last week is shown of Reigns confronting Goldberg.
We get ring introductions for the champion Roman Reigns and the challengers, the WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho.
Before the match officially begins, Braun Strowman walks out and heads to ringside. Reigns bails and attacks Strowman. Strowman cuts him off and tosses Reigns back in. Owens and Jericho go after Reigns. Reigns is throwing rights as Strowman gets in. Strowman with his chop to the chest of Reigns. Owens and Jericho double team Reigns. Strowman kicks Reigns in the elbow and Jericho and Owens continue the attack.
Here comes Seth Rollins with a steel chair in hand. Rollins tosses a chair at Strowman, Strowman catches it and kicks it into the face of Strowman. Reigns has a chair and cracks it over the back of Strowman. Rollins and Reigns with a double chair shot to the body of Strowman. Strowman falls out of the ring as he gets back to his feet.
Stephanie McMahon’s music hit. She says this match won’t end this way. Stephanie promised a handicap title match and the fans will get it. She is giving Reigns time to recover. Stephanie tells Rollins if he is looking for a fight, he gets one right now against Strowman.
Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman
Rollins with kicks to the legs of Strowman early. Strowman blocks a big kick and throws Rollins down on the mat. Strowman with a big forearm shot to the back of Rollins. Strowman with a splash in the corner on Rollins and then a big clothesline. Strowman cuts off another comeback attempt by Rollins tossing him to the corner and then dropping an elbow. Rollins with a jawbreaker, repeated jumping clotheslines, kick to the face and Strowman cuts off Rollins planting him hard on the mat. Strowman tosses Rollins to the outside.
We return live and Rollins catches Strowman with a kick to the back of the head on the outside. Rollins jumps back in, hits the ropes and hits a suicide dive. Rollins is back in, so is Strowman and Rollins catches him with a knee to the head. Rollins with a superkick, cover and Strowman powers out with a kick out at the one count. Rollins comes off the top and catches Strowman with a flying knee to the head. Strowman stays up, Rollins jumps off the top again and Strowman catches him this time sending him to the corner. Rollins attempts a Blockbuster and Strowman counters pushing Rollins back to the top turnbuckle. Rollins gets Strowman off the corner and connects with a frog splash for a two count. Rollins catches Strowman with another knee to the head from the ring apron. Rollins gets up on the top turnbuckle, jumps and Strowman moves causing Rollins to crash into the ring barricade. The referee begins the count and eventually reaches 10. He calls for the bell.
Winner: No Contest, Double Count Out
After the match, Braun Strowman tosses Seth Rollins inside the ring and grabs a steel chair. Rollins with a baseball slide kicking the chair into Strowman. Rollins grabs the chair and takes a swing at Strowman who moves out of the way on the outside.
WWE plugs the return of Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels tonight. A clip from the new movie “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” featuring HBK is shown.
Saints QB Drew Brees is shown at ringside tonight.
Footage of Sasha Banks distracting Nia Jax last week helping Bayley win is shown.
Backstage, Sasha Banks and Bayley are talking about Bayley becoming the new No. 1 Contender for the WWE RAW Women’s Championship. Bayley talks about beating Charlotte before and thinking she can do it again at the Royal Rumble. Banks sets the tone for a possible title match if Bayley wins and says she has Bayley’s back if Dana Brooke tries to get involved. Charlotte walks up saying Bayley won’t beat her when the title is on the line. Banks talks about beating Charlotte for the title and Charlotte brings up how many times she has won it back. Nia Jax walks up and kicks out the bad leg of Banks. Charlotte attacks Bayley. Charlotte laughs and tries to embrace with Nia Jax. Jax pushes her away.
Footage from WWE 205 Live is shown of a Gentleman’s Duel between Jack Gallagher and Ariya Daivari is shown. Austin Aries is out with Cole and Graves saying he wasn’t impressed with that confrontation. We see footage from 205 Live last week of Daivari interfering in a match and attacking Gallagher including a dropkick in the tree of woe.
Jack Gallagher heads to the ring. He is in action next.
Cruiserweight Division Match
Jack Gallagher vs. Drew Gulak
We start with Gulak getting a takedown on Gallagher. Gallagher is locking up the ankles of Gulak and drops him down face first. Gulak dumps Gallagher out. Gallagher is back in and Gulak gives him a scoop slam against the ropes. Gulak with a nasty sounding clothesline on Gallagher from the second rope. Gallagher is up in the tree of woe with his feet in the air in the corner kicking away at Gulak. Gallagher with repeated uppercuts to Gulak. Gallagher with a big headbutt to Gulak and then connects with a running dropkick in the corner on Gulak. Gallagher gets the cover and pinfall on Gulak.
Winner: Jack Gallagher
After the match, Jack Gallagher is ready to give Ariya Daivari a “thrashing”, but as an “extraordinary gentleman” he would like to invite Mr. Daivari to meet him on 205 Live in parlay. He said this is an opportunity to discuss terms and if Mr. Daivari disagrees, he will have to engage with some “fisticuffs.”
Backstage, TJ Perkins is teaching Shawn Michaels how to dab.
Backstage, Mick Foley is looking for The Undertaker when he bumps into Stephanie McMahon. She says his entire performance review hinges on The Undertaker making an appearance tonight in the middle of the ring. Stephanie gives Foley one hour.
Shawn Michaels returns to Monday Night RAW
The WWE Hall of Famer heads to the ring and grabs a mic. Michaels tells the crowd he needs to take a breath because that is a long walk to the ring. He says he missed the fans and getting to come out here on a regular basis. Michaels talks about things “picking up a little bit” with the Royal Rumble being just down the road. He talks about the Rumble being in his home town of San Antonio and how he won the WWE Championship 20 years ago at the Royal Rumble. Michaels talks about Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins being in the Rumble this year. The crowd starts a “ONE MORE MATCH” chant. Michaels says, “Don’t you try to pressure me!” He said that he’s really here to talk about his new movie called “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone.”
Rusev’s music hits and he walks out with Lana and Jinder Mahal to interrupt. He congratulates Michaels on his new movie, but says if he wants that movie to be successful he needs to put his beautiful and talented wife Lana in it. Michaels says the movie is already done. Rusev, Mahal and Lana enter the ring. Rusev doesn’t care. He suggests they use “stupid CGI” and put Lana in the movie like Star Wars did. Rusev said he’s like the Bulgarian George Clooney and shows off Lana saying she deserves a Golden Globe. HBK says he isn’t comfortable with those Golden Globes. Rusev doesn’t get his stupid joke.
Enzo Amore (in a motorized wheel chair) and Big Cass head out on the stage with mics in hand. Enzo does the usual introduction on the mic as they head to the ring. He says the realest guy in the room right now is here and his name is Shawn Michaels. Enzo asks what we have over here? Michaels says, what the kids call them today, haters! Enzo says Lana is a great actress pretending to wake up in the morning and like what she sees in Rusev. Big Cass says if he was going to put any of them in a movie it would be The 40 Year Old Virgin, Puss in Boots, Beauty and The Beast and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
Rusev tells them to shut up. Big Cass offers to finish this right here and right now. Rusev says Cass has a match…but a match with Jinder Mahal. Cass leads a “SAWFT” chant. Michaels says he plans to stay out here at ringside for this match next and then leads the crowd in a “SUCK IT” chant. That match is up next.
Big Cass w/ Enzo Amore and Shawn Michaels vs. Jinder Mahal w/ Rusev and Lana
We return live as Big Cass is working over Jinder Mahal in the corner. Cass catches Mahal with a big knee to the gut. Cass also catches Mahal with a quick shoulder tackle. Mahal with a running knee to Cass. Mahal with a quick dropkick to the head of Cass for a two count. Cass with a splash and then tosses Mahal across the ring. Cass with a second splash and Rusev with a distraction from ringside. HBK with Sweet Chin Music to Rusev at ringside. Cass has Mahal up, hits a modified side slam and then drops a big elbow to get the pinfall.
Winner: Big Cass
After the match, Big Cass and Enzo Amore celebrate with Shawn Michaels.
Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho all attacking Roman Reigns earlier tonight is shown and Seth Rollins eventually getting involved with a steel chair. Reigns will defend the WWE United States Championship against WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho later tonight in a handicap match.
We get another Emmalina tease.
Cruiserweight Division Match
Neville vs. Lince Dorado
Dorado with a head scissors takedown sending Neville out of the ring. Dorado with a suicide dive catching Neville on the outside. Back inside, Dorado goes up top and catches Neville with a cross body for a two count. Neville with big kicks to Dorado and then works over his left arm. Neville gets Dorado on his shoulder and dumps him hard on his back. Neville blocks a huricanrana attempt by Dorado, lifts him up to his shoulders and drops him down on his face. Neville applies the Rings of Saturn. Dorado taps out.
After the match, Neville attacks Dorado. Neville goes back to the Rings of Saturn submission. Rich Swann’s music hits and he hits the ring. Neville cuts him off with kicks. Swann with big slaps and rights and lefts. Swann with clotheslines and a kick to the head of Neville in the corner. Swann yells at Neville to get up and Neville bails avoiding a spin kick.
WWE teases an appearance by The Undertaker tonight.
A video package runs looking at the return of Edge at the 2010 Royal Rumble.
Backstage, a production guy is moving a tree around Stephanie and she tells him to beat it. Sasha Banks and Bayley walk in and says they want a match with Charlotte and Nia. Stephanie tells Banks to take the bass out of her voice. Bayley says Banks is just fired up and Stephanie tells her to never call her “Steph.” Stephanie books the tag team match, but says that match is taking place tonight even if Banks isn’t quite 100%. She tells them both to “get the hell out of my office.”
Luke Gallows vs. Sheamus
The bell rings and both Gallows and Sheamus lock up. Gallows with a headlock. Sheamus counters into a headlock of his own and connects with a big shoulder tackle. Gallows with body shots to Sheamus and follows with a quick uppercut. Sheamus with a spin kick to Gallows in the corner and then slingshots himself back in connecting with Gallows. Sheamus with a rolling senton to Gallows, hits the ropes and drops a knee. Gallows levels Sheamus with a clothesline on the outside. Gallows catches Sheamus with a kick to the face as Sheamus was getting back up on the top turnbuckle.
We return live as both Gallows and Sheamus are exchanging punches. Gallows catches Sheamus with a knee in the corner. Sheamus with a high knee to Gallows on the ring apron and then connects with his forearm to the chest against the ropes. Sheamus dropkicks Gallows to the back and then tosses him back inside the ring. Sheamus with a diving clothesline from the top rope on Gallows for a two count. Gallows with a swift kick to the back of Sheamus for a two count. Sheamus plants Gallows with a powerslam. Anderson attacks Cesaro on commentary. This distracts Sheamus who was firing up for a Brogue Kick. Gallows plants Sheamus down face first on the mat and Sheamus kicks out. Cesaro almost gets the Cesaro Swing on the stage on Anderson. Gallows looks up at the ramp and gets distracted. Sheamus with a Brogue Kick on Gallows for the win.
After the match, we see footage of Karl Anderson throwing a water bottle at Cesaro at the commentary table and attacking him on the stage. Cesaro runs down to the ring and celebrates the win with Sheamus.
We will find out if The Undertaker is in the house next.
Backstage, Roman Reigns is warming up when he is asked if he is prepared physically for his title defense after being attacked earlier tonight. Reigns says he has an obligation to defend this title regardless of what happened. He talks about always “spearing the guts out” of Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho when he is in the ring with them.
Mick Foley requests The Undertaker appear
RAW General Manager Mick Foley is in the ring. He talks about traveling to the “depths of hell” with The Undertaker during his career. Foley is calling on The Undertaker now for one more encounter right here on Monday Night RAW.
Foley recalls getting to experience the entrance of The Undertaker during his career and Paul Bearer showing him the hair on his arms standing up when he would make his entrance. He requests Undertaker show up tonight in New Orleans.
The lights go out. Stephanie McMahon’s music hits and she walks out saying Foley has forced her to give her performance review publicly since he was unable to produce The Undertaker tonight. “This crowds reaction is a result of your inability to produce The Undertaker. It’s all because of you Mick. How does that make them feel? How does that make me feel?” She admits Foley has had some success putting Sheamus and Cesaro together, the first ever women’s Hell in a Cell match and putting Chris Jericho in a shark cage at the Royal Rumble. Stephanie says Foley finds a way to go forward and then take two steps back bringing up putting the Cruiserweight division on the line, Braun Strowman being out of control, the injuries to Sami Zayn and allowing Smackdown Live to beat RAW in the ratings. She talks about his latest empty promise to try and deliver The Undertaker. Foley goes to apologize when the lights go out and The Undertaker’s gong hits.
Smoke fills the entrance area. Flames shoot up from the stage. The Undertaker’s music hits and he appears walking through the smoke on stage. The Undertaker enters the ring and looks the way of Foley and Stephanie. Stephanie backs up to the corner. Undertaker grabs a mic. A loud “UNDERTAKER” chant starts up in New Orleans. “I’m back,” says Undertaker on the mic. “And I think it important that the world should know I will be entering the Royal Rumble.” A loud “YES” chant starts up. “I answer to no one. I go where I want, when I want. Nobody controls The Undertaker.” Undertaker gets in Stephanie’s face and adds, “No one.” He talks about returning to the city where he suffered his most devastating loss and where the streak came to its demise. “But my journey continues to the Royal Rumble. I’ve dug 29 holes for 29 souls. And I will be bringing the darkside to the Royal Rumble match. And after I win, I will return to the main event at WrestleMania. And if anyone – and I mean anyone – stands in my way, they will…rest…in…peace.”
Undertaker drops the mic and heads up the ramp. He takes one last look back at the ring, raises his arm in the air and heads to the back.
Backstage, Kevin Owens talks about not being impressed with old stars returning on RAW and mentions Goldberg ruining The Kevin Owens Show last week. Chris Jericho refers to himself and Owens as “international treasures” and how it is time for two Canadians to be the face of the United States.
Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Charlotte and Nia Jax
We start with Sasha Banks and Charlotte. Charlotte goes after the bad knee of Banks early. Banks tosses Charlotte into Nia Jax in the corner. Jax tags herself in. Bayley jumps in the ring to break up a potential brawl as we head to a break.
Back live, Banks is working over Charlotte in the corner. Banks misses double knees to Charlotte and Banks comes down on her bad knee. Tag to Bayley who throws elbows at Charlotte. Bayley with a takedown clothesline and right hands. Bayley with a charge in the corner and Charlotte fires back with a big boot. Tag to Nia Jax who drops Bayley over the corner and throws a quick headbutt. Jax tosses Bayley across the ring and tags in Charlotte. Charlotte keeps Bayley grounded in a headlock. Jax tags herself in, Charlotte tosses her at Jax and Jax drops Bayley with a scoop slam. Jax knocks Banks off the ring apron and tags Charlotte back in. Charlotte with a chop to Bayley and Jax held her. Jax tags herself in as Bayley goes for a roll up on Charlotte. Jax levels Bayley with a big charge. Jax hits the ropes and drops a leg over Bayley to get the pinfall.
Winner: Charlotte and Nia Jax
Backstage, Noam Dar is looking at himself in a mirror with Alicia Fox walks up. He is expecting a slap from Alicia. Alicia grabs Dar and kisses him. She says Cedric was right thinking Dar couldn’t handle a real woman.
The New Day is heading to the ring. We see footage from last week of Xavier Woods getting a pinfall victory over Titus O’Neil.
We return live and Titus O’Neil is apologizing for what he did last week. Titus still wants a chance to be part of The New Day. Xavier Woods says when he talked about leaving his DM’s open that it wasn’t an invitation to Titus. Titus wants them to give him a chance. New Day has footage shown from NXT back in 2010 when Titus was doing a beer keg carrying competition and fell flat on his face at ringside.
Back live, New Day is laughing and compares that to a Life Alert commercial. Big E says they have a chance for redemption. Kofi is at ringside and reveals a New Day colored keg. He says this keg is filled with the greatest sports drink of all time: Booty Juice. “Booty Juice…it makes sure your throat is loose.” Titus is asked to pick up the keg and run around the ring with it in 12 seconds on the clock.
He makes it around the ring with 0.6 seconds to spare. Titus dropped the keg before the finish line. Kofi suggests they look at the replay. The replay shows Titus dropped it before the line. Titus pushes Kofi away upset. Kofi suggests a match with Titus right now.
Kofi Kingston vs. Titus O’Neil
Back live, Kofi catches Titus with a kick to the face and kicks to the body. Kofi with a standing dropkick to Titus. Titus counters an S.O.S. attempt and drops Kofi on the mat. Titus with big chops to Kofi in the corner. Kofi returns with chops of his own. Titus slams Kofi down with a big scoop slam. Titus levels Kofi with a big boot. Titus avoids a roll up attempt by Kofi and throws a quick headbutt. Titus sits Kofi up on the top turnbuckle. Titus catches Kofi and Titus drops Kofi repeatedly over his knee. Woods starts distracting Titus and throws Kofi over the top rope into Woods and Big E. Titus chases down Kofi. Back in the ring, Kofi catches Titus with the Trouble in Paradise and he hooks the leg for the win.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
After the match, The New Day celebrates inside the ring over Titus O’Neil.
Cole, Saxton and Graves plug the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament that will take place this Saturday and Sunday live on the WWE Network.
We see Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho heading to the arena for the main event.
Brock Lesnar returns to RAW live next week in Little Rock.
WWE United States Championship Match
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho
Reigns attacks both Owens and Jericho right away as they walked down the ramp. Reigns with a headbutt to Jericho. Reigns grabs Jericho and throws him inside the shark cage that was setup on the stage. Reigns with right hands and he tries to lock the door with a chain when Owens runs up to break it up. Owens and Jericho beat down Reigns on the stage as Cole reminds us the match hasn’t officially started. Owens and Jericho toss Reigns into the shark cage and the cage falls off the stage area. Owens and Jericho grab Reigns and toss him shoulder first into the steel ring steps at ringside. Reigns is tossed inside the ring. The referee checks on him. Reigns tells the referee it is okay to get the match started.
The referee officially begins the match and Owens goes on the attack on Reigns in the corner. Jericho gets the tag and dropkicks Reigns in the back. Jericho drops an elbow over Reigns and then applies a headlock. Reigns tosses Jericho over the top rope. Jericho hangs on, goes up top and Reigns catches Jericho with a right hand on the way down. Reigns with a clothesline to Jericho and then catches him with a jumping clothesline. Owens jumps in and Reigns catches him with a flying clothesline as well. Reigns with a clothesline to Owens in the corner. Reigns eats a boot from Jericho in the corner. Reigns tosses Jericho into Owens and connects with a samoan drop on Jericho. Reigns with repeated clotheslines to Owens in the corner. Owens stops Reigns with a big right. Reigns fires back with a big boot that sends Owens out of the ring. Reigns backs up in the corner as Jericho is getting on his feet. Jericho side steps a Superman, right by Owens from the ring apron and Jericho connects with a Lionsault for a two count. Reigns fights out of a Walls of Jericho, but eats a superkick from Owens. Owens attempts a Pop Up Powerbomb, but Reigns leaps over and catches Jericho with a Superman. Reigns with a Superman on Owens. Jericho avoids a spear with a kick to the face. Reigns counters a Codebreaker attempt. Reigns catches Jericho with a spear. Owens pulls Reigns out during a pinfall attempt. Owens avoids a drive by dropkick and superkicks Reigns in the head. Reigns with a back body drop to Owens on the floor. Reigns with a drive by dropkick catching Owens this time. Jericho goes for a springboard dropkick and Reigns catches him with a Superman. Owens is holding the leg of Reigns as he tries to get in. Jericho with a Codebreaker on Reigns. Owens has Reigns on his shoulders and gives him a powerbomb over the ring apron! Owens and Jericho slide Reigns back in. Jericho is slapping Reigns in the face as Owens throws right hands. Jericho with another Codebreaker on Reigns, Jericho hooks the leg and gets the pinfall.
Winner and new WWE United States Champion: Chris Jericho
After the match, Kevin Owens grabs the WWE United States Championship and puts it over the shoulder of Jericho. The show closes with Jericho and Owens celebrating.
Props: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com