Ready to Rumble.
Six nights before the Royal Rumble, the 1078th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from Wright State University’s Nutter Center in Dayton, OH. Two reigns as WWE Champion, four reigns as World Heavyweight Champion, the winner of the 2005 Royal Rumble. These are just a few of the accolades held by “The Animal” Batista and, for the first time in nearly four years, “The Animal” will be unleashed as one of the most dominant Superstars of all-time, Batista, returns to the WWE six nights before he is one of the 30 men in the Royal Rumble Match!
- 6-Man Tag: The Shield def. Big E. Langston, Goldust, & Cody Rhodes by Seth Rollins pinning Big E. Langston following the Curb Stomp.
- Fandango def. Xavier Woods by pin following the leg drop off of the top rope.
- CM Punk def. Billy Gunn (with Road Dogg) by pin following the GTS.
- Alberto Del Rio def. Rey Mysterio by submission to the cross armbreaker.
- The Funkadactyls def. AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka by Naomi rolling up AJ Lee.
- The Usos (with Daniel Bryan) def. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan (with Bray Wyatt) by Jey Uso rolling up Luke Harper.
- Non-Title: Randy Orton def. Kofi Kingston by DQ after John Cena interferes.
RAW kicks off with The Authority, Triple H & Stephanie McMahon, as Stephanie welcomes everyone to RAW before Triple H says that this Sunday marks the beginning of the Road to WrestleMania. The COO then says that one man will emerge from the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match this Sunday night with a guaranteed shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and a main event spot at WrestleMania. Triple H is then ready to introduce a former rival in Batista, but the COO is interrupted by the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. The angry champion asks The Authority who in the hell do they think they are and Stephanie asks the same question to Randy Orton before saying that, with the WWE Network being announced last week, more people are watching the WWE than ever before. Stephanie continues, saying that all of those people saw what Orton did last week after losing to Kofi Kingston when the WWE World Heavyweight Champion viciously attacked John Cena’s father at ringside, sending John Cena, Sr. to the hospital. Stephanie says that Orton “viciously brutalized” Cena’s father and his actions were “deplorable” and they are “unbecoming” of the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Stephanie then lays the law down on Orton, saying that, if Orton continues to behave like he did last week, Orton won’t have to worry about defending the championship, he won’t even have to worry about being part of the WWE roster!
Randy Orton then places the blame on The Authority, saying that they are the reason for his “pent up aggression” because they put him in a “ridiculous rematch” against John Cena at the Royal Rumble. Orton says that Triple H “rewarded” him by bringing back Brock Lesnar and bringing back Batista, saying that there is no telling what Batista’s goals are. The champion then claims that there would not be a WWE Network without Randy Orton, asking how he is supposed to react to the “blatant disrespect”. Orton then says that, if he could go back in time, he would not change a thing. Triple H then confronts Orton, saying that, through all of Orton’s “faults”, they believe that he has what it takes to succeed as the face of the company. The COO continues, saying that Orton has lost “faith” in himself, which is why Orton lost to Kofi Kingston last week. Triple H then says that he would expect Randy Orton to rise up and “make that right”, but instead, Orton punches a “defenseless old man” in the face to try and hide his “shortcomings”. Triple H continues, saying that John Cena is standing in Orton’s way, not to mention Brock Lesnar and Batista, but Orton needs to “be a man” and “fix what is broken”. Triple H then tells Orton that he needs to fix a lot of things and he needs to do it tonight. The COO then informs Orton that he will be in a rematch with Kofi Kingston tonight and that there is a camera set up in the parking lot so that Orton will know when John Cena arrives in the arena. Triple H tells Orton that he will make things right with Kofi and he will make things right with Cena and he will do both of those things on his own.
Things then take an intense and exciting turn as the dominant and powerful former six-time World Champion, “The Animal” Batista, makes his highly anticipated return to the WWE as, for the first time in almost four years, Batista steps into a WWE ring on RAW! After soaking in the ovation from the crowd, Batista hugs Triple H & Stephanie before Triple H hands the microphone to Batista and The Authority exits the ring, leaving Batista and Randy Orton alone in the ring. Orton extends his hand, but Batista refuses the handshake, telling Orton that the reason that he is back to win the Royal Rumble Match, win the WWE World Heavyweight Title, and main event WrestleMania! Batista then tells Randy Orton to “deal with it” before exiting the ring, leaving Orton to soak in what just took place.
Before all six men take part in the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match, the opening match of the night saw Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston teaming with WWE Tag Team Champions Goldust & Cody Rhodes to face all three members of The Shield, United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns, in a 6-Man Tag match. In the end, it was Seth Rollins hitting the Curb Stomp on Big E. Langston, pinning the Intercontinental Champion to pick up the win for The Shield.
For the first time since abruptly and physically leaving The Wyatt Family on last week’s RAW, Daniel Bryan would appear on RAW to discuss his time in The Wyatt Family. Bryan reveals that, when he joined The Wyatt Family, he had a plan to break Bray Wyatt physically and mentally. Bryan says that his plan required him to keep his friends and family in the dark, not to mention having to stand side-by-side with three men who he absolutely despises. Bryan continues, saying that he just had to wait for the moment to get Bray Wyatt alone in the ring and last week’s Steel Cage Match provided him with that opportunity. Bryan then says that he is the “buzzard” and he preyed on the “carcass” of Bray Wyatt. Bryan then says that he “exposed” Bray Wyatt and he discovered before he came to the ring that Luke Harper & Erick Rowan will be a part of the Royal Rumble Match, which will leave Bray Wyatt all alone to go one-on-one with him! Bray Wyatt then appears on the Tron, saying that, where he comes from, being a “traitor” is a “sin” and Bryan only “exposed” himself. Bray continues, saying that the fans are “sheep” and they only look up to Daniel Bryan because they “chose to kneel”, telling Daniel Bryan to go home and tell his mother that he is sorry because everything that happens from now on is Daniel Bryan’s fault.
With R-Truth a guest on commentary, Xavier Woods would go one-on-one with Fandango, with Summer Rae in his corner, on RAW. In the end, it was Fandango hitting a leg drop off of the top rope on Xavier Woods, picking up the win.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon confronts Director of Operations Kane, asking Kane what he was thinking last week when he chokeslammed CM Punk. Stephanie then says that they both knew that it was a “risk” having Kane join The Authority, saying that Kane needs to “lead by example” and Kane cannot put his hands on a Superstar no matter what. Kane apologizes, but Stephanie says that Kane needs to apologize to CM Punk and Kane reluctantly listens to his boss.
Per the orders of Stephanie McMahon, Director of Operations Kane would reluctantly make his way to the ring to apologize to the man that he chokeslammed on SmackDown, CM Punk. Kane first asks CM Punk to come to the ring and “The Best in the World” complies, making his way to the ring. Kane says that, as the Director of Operations, he overstepped his bounds and, even though he saved CM Punk from being attacked by five other men, he apologizes for his chokeslam. Punk claims that he could not hear Kane, forcing the Director of Operations to apologize a second time, further humbling Kane. Punk responds by saying that he is “sorry” too before he pops Kane in the head with his microphone, pummeling Kane with right hands before sending Kane out of the ring! Kane then takes off his jacket, ready to go to war with Punk, but RAW General Manager Brad Maddox comes out to diffuse the situation, giving Punk a match against one of The New Age Outlaws.
Apparently, the loser of Rock, Paper, Scissors with Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, with Road Dogg a guest on commentary, was elected to go one-on-one with “The Best in the World” CM Punk. During the match, Punk would gain the advantage over Billy Gunn, knocking Billy to the outside, but Punk would take this moment to slide out of the ring and attack Road Dogg at ringside, diving over the announce table and pummeling Road Dogg with right hands! Later on in the match, CM Punk would go for the elbow drop on Billy Gunn, but Road Dogg would pull Gunn out of the ring and Punk would respond by diving to the outside and taking Road Dogg out. Punk would then follow this up with the GTS, pinning Billy Gunn for the win. After the match, Kane would come out, saying that, this Sunday, Punk will have to go through 29 other Superstars to win the Royal Rumble Match. Kane continues, saying that each Superstar’s entry number is chosen at random, except for CM Punk’s! The Director of Operations then sticks it to Punk by announcing that Punk will be the very first entrant into the Royal Rumble Match, meaning that Punk will have to outlast 29 other Superstars to win the Royal Rumble!
With both men scoring a victory in their previous two matches last week, RAW would feature the rubber match as Rey Mysterio would go one-on-one with Alberto Del Rio. Throughout the match, Alberto Del Rio would aim to annihilate Rey Mysterio, nearly getting himself disqualified in the process, but Rey Mysterio would make a brief comeback. However, once Del Rio was able to lock on the cross armbreaker, Rey had no choice but to tap out as Del Rio picks up the win. After the match, Del Rio would find himself face-to-face with the man that he has been talking trash about since learning about his return, “The Animal” Batista! Del Rio tries to cheap shot Batista, but the veteran would have none of it as Batista rattles the ring with a spinebuster to Del Rio before drilling “The Mexican Aristocrat” with the Batista Bomb!
Six nights before he faces Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show appears on RAW, saying that Brock Lesnar is probably one of the most dangerous Superstars in the WWE right now, but he still doesn’t like Brock Lesnar. Big Show then wastes no time in calling “The Beast” to the ring, more than ready to fight Brock Lesnar. However, what Big Show gets is Paul Heyman, but Heyman does not speak a word, Heyman simply nods and smiles as Brock Lesnar comes out and slowly makes his way towards the ring, but Brock simply smiles before walking to the back with Heyman. Big Show would not take “no” for an answer, however, as Big Show orders Lesnar to come back out there. The mind games then continues between the two monsters as Lesnar again marches to ringside with Heyman. Lesnar then climbs into the ring and gets right in Big Show’s face. Brock then backs up before charging at Big Show, trying to take the giant down with an amateur wrestling takedown, but “The World’s Largest Athlete” tosses Brock into the corner, but Lesnar rams his shoulder into the mid-section of Big Show before Show hurls Lesnar over the top rope to the outside! This sends Brock into a frenzy as “The Beast” rips the announce table apart, grabbing a steel chair and smashing it into the table. Heyman then tries to distract Big Show while Brock slides into the ring with the chair, but Big Show sees the attack coming and takes the chair away from Lesnar, again forcing Brock to retreat! Big Show then smashes the chair on the ring mat before daring Brock to try again. However, a seething Lesnar decides not to push Big Show any further, heading to the back with Heyman.
In Divas action, the longest reigning Divas Champion of all-time, AJ Lee, would team with her bodyguard, Tamina Snuka, to face The Funkadactyls, Cameron & Naomi, in tag team action. In the end, it was Naomi surprising AJ Lee with a roll-up, pinning the Divas Champion to pick up the win for The Funkadactyls.
In tag team action, The Usos would face The Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper & Erick Rowan, with Bray Wyatt in their corner, on RAW. In the middle of the match, Bray Wyatt stands up, telling everyone that Daniel Bryan will be entering a “meat grinder” at the Royal Rumble and, this Sunday, “hell” awaits Bryan. Later on in the match, Bray Wyatt would again get out of his seat and, this time, he was blasted by Daniel Bryan, who pummels Bray on the outside of the ring. The attack gets the attention of Luke Harper and Jey Uso takes advantage, rolling Harper up for the win.
With Randy Orton still waiting on the arrival of John Cena, it was time for the main event of the evening as WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton would face Kofi Kingston in a rematch from last week’s RAW. During the match, Randy Orton would set his sights on the Tron as the cameras catch John Cena’s arrival to the arena as Cena makes a beeline to the ring! Orton tries to escape, but Kofi Kingston blocks his path at ringside and Cena gets his hands on the WWE World Heavyweight Champion as the #1 Contender sends Orton into the steel ring posts before tossing the champion over the ringside barricade. Cena then continues to take it to Orton through the crowd and Cena even attempts the Attitude Adjustment in the crowd, but Orton slips away. Orton tries his best to get away from Cena, but Cena catches up to the champion and the pursuit continues through a skybox in the arena where Orton throws a fan in front of Cena to slow Cena down. Cena temporarily loses sight of Orton and, when Cena finally spots Orton, the champion is getting into a vehicle, which drives away just in time to elude Cena. Frustrated, but not defeated, Cena greets the fans on his way back into the arena.
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