After getting sucker-punched by Triple H at the end of RAW last week, RAW kicks off with RAW General Manager Kurt Angle. Kurt says that, as the RAW General Manager, he’s had to swallow his pride on more than one occasion. The GM then says that he’s not going to stand out there and pretend that everything is “okay” before Kurt calls Triple H out, demanding that the WWE COO come out there and face him like a man. However, instead of Triple H, Kurt gets Triple H’s wife and RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie tells Kurt that Triple H hasn’t arrived yet before the Commissioner brings up Kurt’s kids as well as pointing out that Kurt is in his second marriage, commenting that his “alimony payment must be pretty steep”. Stephanie then praises Kurt’s accolades as an Olympic gold medalist, a four-time former WWE Champion, and a WWE Hall of Famer before asking if those accomplishments are “paying the bills”. Stephanie continues, saying that Ronda Rousey put Triple H through a table at WWE Elimination Chamber and that was Kurt’s “fault” before Stephanie proposes that they put the whole situation behind them.
The confrontation is then interrupted by the arrival of “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, who is all smiles as she greets the fans before entering the ring. Rousey says that she’s starting to realize that the people who brought her to WWE are not the people she thought they were before saying that she’s used to dealing with “bully bosses” in her career. Stephanie says that Ronda signed a WWE contract and they are giving Rousey her debut match at WrestleMania. Ronda responds by saying that she is grateful for Stephanie & Triple H bringing her to WWE and giving her a match at WrestleMania before confirming with the Commissioner that she gets to choose her opponent at WrestleMania. Stephanie clarifies that Rousey can choose anyone as her opponent as long as they’re not a current champion and as long as they’re an active member of the WWE roster. As Ronda is about to make her announcement, Stephanie tries to hype up the moment but the Commissioner’s demeanor changes once Rousey gets in Stephanie’s face and says she’s picking Stephanie as her WrestleMania opponent! Stephanie then breathes a sigh of relief when her husband and WWE COO Triple H hastily makes his way down to the ring, saying that Kurt Angle needs to stop trying to be a “tough guy” and worry about doing his job.
Kurt then cuts “The Game” off, saying that he thought that Triple H wasn’t here tonight. Triple H tells the GM not to worry about where he’s at before Kurt says that Stephanie is an “executive” and she has a contract that states that. The GM then points out that Stephanie has a second contract as a WWE Superstar before saying that he makes the matches so that means that Stephanie will be facing Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania! However, Kurt was not through there as the WWE Hall of Famer says that Triple H also has a second contract as a WWE Superstar, saying that, after Survivor Series, he told Triple H that, if “The Game” ever attacked him again, he was coming for him. Kurt then makes the blockbuster announcement that, if it’s okay with Rousey, then it’s not going to be Ronda going one-on-one with Stephanie at WrestleMania, it’s going to be Stephanie teaming with Triple H to take on Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle at WrestleMania! After getting over her initial shock, Stephanie gets in Kurt’s face, raring back to slap the GM but Ronda is quick to grab the arm of the Commissioner, getting right in Stephanie’s face.
However, Triple H is quick to try and break it up before “The Game” tries to cheap-shot Kurt Angle again, but, this time, the GM is ready as the two legends trade shots before Kurt gets the better of the COO before taking Kurt down and trying for the Ankle Lock. However, Triple H is able to escape the attempted submission, sending Kurt into the middle turnbuckle. Ronda Rousey then closes in on Triple H but this is when Stephanie would get back into the ring, clobbering Rousey from behind. The Commissioner then takes a moment to taunt the former UFC Bantamweight Champion but once Ronda stares a hole through Stephanie, Stephanie is quick to flee the ring into the crowd. Triple H then tries for the Pedigree on Kurt Angle, but Kurt is able to power out before locking in the Ankle Lock on “The Game”, eventually releasing the hold as Stephanie pulls her husband to safety. However, Rousey was not through with Stephanie as Ronda drags Stephanie back into the ring by her hair, pulling the Commissioner to her feet before picking Stephanie up on her shoulders and delivering a vicious Samoan Drop to Stephanie! Kurt and Ronda then leave the ring as referees tend to Triple H & Stephanie.
The opening match of the night would be a rematch from WWE Elimination Chamber as the undefeated “Empress of Tomorrow” Asuka would go one-on-one with “The Irresistible Force” Nia Jax. During the match, Asuka would move out of the way of the big leg drop before locking in the armbar on Nia Jax with Nia repeatedly trying to power out but Asuka would not relinquish her viselike grip on the arm of Nia and, after several minutes in the submission, “The Irresistible Force” would have no choice but to tap out as Asuka picks up a hard-fought win, vanquishing Nia Jax. After the match, Asuka would leave the ring as Nia Jax gets to her feet, clutching her arm as she leaves the ring and heads to the back, visibly disappointed in coming up short against Asuka once again.
The RAW Tag Team Champions were in action on RAW as Cesaro & Sheamus would face The Revival in a non-title match with the stipulation that, if The Revival win, then they will challenge Cesaro & Sheamus for the RAW Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania. In the end, it was Cesaro hitting Scott Dawson with the Neutralizer, pinning Dawson to pick up the win for Cesaro & Sheamus as “The Bar” squash The Revival’s hopes of competing for the titles at WrestleMania.
Before he is part of the Six Pack Challenge for the WWE Title this Sunday at Fastlane, sixteen-time former World Champion John Cena would make an appearance on RAW. Cena says that he has found his Road to WrestleMania before saying that he does not take the privilege of being a free agent for granted. Cena explains that he asked for this time on RAW instead of SmackDown LIVE because he knows that his five opponents at Fastlane would not let him go uninterrupted on SmackDown LIVE. Cena then vows that he will break Ric Flair’s twenty-year record for most World Title reigns at Fastlane this Sunday by winning his seventeenth World Title. Cena then says that he will do this because this is his “only” Road to WrestleMania, saying that he has been accused of being handed opportunities and holding people back. Cena responds to this by saying that he earned his spot in the WWE Title match before saying that the critics will say that he “robbed” AJ Styles of AJ’s WrestleMania moment after he wins the title at Fastlane. Cena then suggests that AJ Styles use his contractually obligated rematch for the WWE Title to make the WWE Title match at WrestleMania a Triple Threat Match between AJ, Cena, and 2018 Royal Rumble Match Winner Shinsuke Nakamura.
Peculiarly enough, this brings Goldust out to the ring as “The Bizarre One” has always had dreams of “soaking in the spotlight of WrestleMania” and that dream starts with Goldust “stopping” John Cena from going to WrestleMania. Goldust then says that the dreams of “pretty little rainbows” have turned “gray and very, very evil” before saying that “ends today”. Goldust continues, saying that John Cena wants to walk into WrestleMania as the WWE Champion but he is “taking control” as John Cena’s “new director”. Goldust then says that, tonight, Cena’s dreams will certainly be “shattered” before Goldust pops Cena in the head with his microphone, dropping Cena!
This would lead to an impromptu match as, for the first time ever, sixteen-time former World Champion John Cena would go one-on-one with “The Bizarre One” Goldust. In the end, it was John Cena hitting the Attitude Adjustment, pinning Goldust to pick up the win.
The latest inductee into the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame was officially announced during RAW as the overall-wearing Southern role model known as Hillbilly Jim will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 6 in New Orleans, along with Goldberg, The Dudley Boyz, Ivory, Jeff Jarrett, and Warrior Award recipient Jarrius Robertson.
Before her match against Mandy Rose, Bayley would be interviewed in the ring about her fractured friendship with Sasha Banks but, before Bayley could explain the situation with her and Sasha, she is interrupted by Absolution. Paige commends Bayley on growing a “backbone” before calling Bayley a “stupid little kid”. Paige then says that life in WWE would be a lot easier with “backup” and, if you have “no one”, then you have “nothing”.
Bayley would then go one-on-one with Absolution’s Mandy Rose, with Paige & Sonya Deville in her corner, on RAW. In the end, it was Bayley rolling up Mandy Rose for the win. After the match, Sonya Deville would enter the ring as Mandy & Sonya would beat Bayley down before Sasha Banks makes the save, fighting off Mandy & Sonya. “The Boss” then helps Bayley to her feet before trying to hug Bayley but Bayley shoves Sasha away before Bayley leaves the ring.
Backstage, RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss confronts Nia Jax, telling Nia not to be “ashamed” of what just happened, saying that Nia has been an “outcast” her entire life because she was so much bigger than the other kids. Alexa then says that, even though she feels like a “quitter”, Nia cannot let that be her downfall because, if she does, everyone will lose all “respect” for Nia Jax. This strikes a chord with Nia Jax as “The Irresistible Force” is left in tears by what Alexa Bliss had to say.
The unusual feud between Elias and Braun Strowman would then take another unusual turn on RAW as Elias would go one-on-one with “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman in the first ever Symphony of Destruction Match as a baby grand piano, double bass, guitars, and drums would adorn the stage for the match with both competitors able to use any instrument or weapon any way they want to use it with the match only ending by pinfall or submission, which can occur anywhere in the arena under falls count anywhere rules. After showing his versatility with many of the instruments on the stage, Elias would call for the lights to be turned out so he could perform again. However, this would prove to be a ruse as, when the lights do go out, Elias would use the opportunity to escape through the crowd!
Elias would hastily make his way through the backstage area and into the parking lot, where he hops into a car and tries to drive away but the car would not budge and Elias would look behind him to realize that the reason he wasn’t moving was because Braun Strowman was literally holding up the rear end of the car, using his freakish strength to keep the back wheels off of the ground as Braun screams that he’s “not finished” with Elias! Elias then flees the vehicle and runs back into the arena but Braun is hot on Elias’ trail with both men emerging on the stage as the match officially gets underway. Braun knocks Elias down the ramp before bringing Elias into the ring, looking for the running powerslam but Elias fights out, chop-blocking Strowman before smashing a guitar over Braun’s back. Elias is able to get Braun off of his feet before hitting an elbow drop off of the top rope but Strowman kicks out with ease. The action then returns to the outside of the ring as Braun brings Elias up to the stage, exposing the announce table but, much like last week, Elias uses a rake to the eyes to avoid going through the table.
This would do little to slow “The Monster Among Men” down as Braun would toss Elias across the stage before grabbing the huge double bass and smashing it over the back of Elias! Strowman then slides Elias under the baby grand piano before doing his best to play the piano before deciding to pick the piano up and slam it down on top of Elias! Braun then tips the piano over with ease before pinning Elias to pick up the win in impressive and unorthodox fashion. Braun then stomps to the back as a referee and medical personnel tend to Elias, loading Elias onto a stretcher.
After Bray Wyatt attacked both Heath Slater & Rhyno last week, “The Eater of Worlds” would go one-on-one with Rhyno, with Heath Slater in his corner. Bray would make quick work of Rhyno, putting “The Man Beast” away with Sister Abigail. After the match, Heath Slater would start to enter the ring, but the unhinged stare of Bray Wyatt would make Heath think twice as Slater backs off. Bray Wyatt then tells “Woken” Matt Hardy to show his face, saying that “The Great War” is far from over. Matt would not disappoint as “The Woken One” would appear on the Tron, agreeing that “The Great War” is far from “ova”. Matt then says that, if Bray wishes to clash one more time, there is only “one battlefield” that is “worthy of such cosmic combat” and that is the infamous Hardy Compound! Matt then shows off the Hardy Compound, including Vanguard One and the dilapidated boat as Matt tells Bray to prepare himself for the “ultimate deletion” as Bray looks on from in the ring, bizarrely elated at the prospect of doing battle on the Hardy Compound.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz and The Miztourage then make an in-ring appearance to present the third annual Mizzies. The Miz first presents the award for “The Superstar Who is the Best at Patting Themselves on the Back” to both Seth Rollins and Finn Balor before saying that they won’t be accepting their awards because they weren’t invited. The Miz then presents the second Mizzy for “Worst Decision by a RAW General Manager” to Kurt Angle with The Miz saying that Kurt is too busy “sucking up” to Ronda Rousey to accept the award.
Before the Intercontinental Champion can award himself the “Lifetime Achievement” Mizzy, the award show is interrupted by Seth Rollins, who comes out to the stage, saying The Miz was “dragging”. Finn Balor then interrupts, joining Seth on the stage as Finn says that he’s out there to “do one better” than follow Seth Rollins. The Miz then chimes in, saying that neither of them deserve to face The Miz at WrestleMania before saying that nobody makes “losing look better” than Seth Rollins except maybe Finn Balor. The Miz continues, saying that, to be “over” in WWE, you need more than just a “hand sign that isn’t even yours”. The Miz then challenges Seth and Finn to face him and The Miztourage in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match right now, which Balor and Rollins are quick to accept.
The match would then be made official as Seth Rollins would team with Finn Balor to face Intercontinental Champion The Miz and The Miztourage in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match. During the match, Seth Rollins would go for a dive to the outside and this would be when Finn Balor decides to tag himself in, leading to a brief argument between Seth and Finn. However, just as Finn is about to go for the Coup de Grace on The Miz, Rollins returns the favor by tagging himself into the match, hitting The Miz with the Curb Stomp, pinning the Intercontinental Champion to pick up the win for himself and Finn Balor. After the match, Kurt Angle would come out to the stage to announce that, at WrestleMania, The Miz will defend the Intercontinental Title against both Seth Rollins and Finn Balor in a Triple Threat Match!
Following the brazen comments made by Roman Reigns last week about his WrestleMania opponent, Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, Brock Lesnar’s advocate Paul Heyman would make an appearance on RAW to address the comments made by Roman Reigns. Making his way to the ring with the Universal Title in hand, Heyman lays the title belt in the middle of the ring, saying that Brock Lesnar will successfully defend the Universal Title against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. The advocate then says that, if Brock allows him to do so, then he will come out there before SummerSlam and lay the Universal Title down in the ring once again, but it will be joined by the UFC Heavyweight Title! Heyman says that Roman Reigns is one of only two men to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania before asking if anybody brought up the fact that Roman’s win over The Undertaker didn’t mean anything because The Undertaker only wrestled one time that year. Heyman continues, saying that nobody said that because, if someone made that statement, that statement would be “bullsh*t”!
Heyman then says that The Undertaker is The Undertaker 365 days a year and Brock Lesnar is Brock Lesnar 365 days a year before saying that Roman Reigns isn’t going to beat Brock Lesnar and Roman isn’t taking the Universal Title from Brock Lesnar. The advocate then says that, if Reigns has a problem with what he is saying, then Roman can take it up with Brock Lesnar himself when “The Beast” is there in person next week. Heyman then says that, after WrestleMania, Reigns will have to find a different title to challenge for because the Universal Title belongs to Brock Lesnar.
The advocate then starts to leave the ring but changes his mind, saying that Roman called Brock a “bitch” last week before holding up the Universal Title as Heyman says that the title is Brock Lesnar’s “bitch” because the title “belongs” to Brock Lesnar. Heyman then says that Roman Reigns is “eyeballing Brock Lesnar’s bitch” and Roman can’t have “her” before Heyman says that Reigns says that, when you’re Universal Champion, the title is your “bloodline”. The advocate that says that the Universal Title is not a “belt” or a “strap”, it’s a “statement that you are number one” and it allows you to look at your children and say that you are “the number one on the face of this planet and everywhere else in the universe”.
Heyman continues, saying that it’s not how bad you want the title, it’s how bad the title wants you before saying that, if Roman Reigns wants to be the Universal Champion, then on the Saturday night before WrestleMania, if he receives a phone call that something bad has happened to his father and he needs to come home immediately, he can’t do it because he has to defend the title the next night at WrestleMania. Heyman then says, if you want to be Universal Champion, you know that the title “needs” you more and the title is “everything that you are” before saying that Brock Lesnar will be here on RAW next week, concluding by saying that you don’t want to “shoot on the mic with Paul Heyman and you don’t want to shoot in the ring with Brock Lesnar”.
This brings Roman Reigns down to the ring to confront Paul Heyman as “The Big Dog” gets in the face of the advocate before Heyman cautiously picks up the Universal Title. Reigns tells Heyman that he thought that Brock would show up and be a “man” about it but he sends Heyman instead, saying that Lesnar really is a “bitch”. Roman says that he and the fans are only asking that their champion “shows up to work” and they want Brock to actually “want” to be there. Reigns then tells the advocate that Heyman better make sure that Brock doesn’t come dressed for a “promo segment” next week and that he comes dressed for a “fight”. Roman then stares Paul Heyman down as the fearful advocate quickly exits the ring with the Universal Title as Roman Reigns stands tall in the ring with the WrestleMania sign looming in the background.
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