WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 22, 2018) from both the Manhattan Center in New York and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for a very special show. Not only will it serve as the go home show to the Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) in six days but it is a celebration of 25 years of Raw.
Advertised for tonight: Undertaker returns, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, and other Legends make appearances, The Miz challenges Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental championship, and more!
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
WWE RAW 25 RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JAN. 22
My head explodes, my ears ring, I can’t remember just where I’ve been. The last thing that I recall, I got lost in a deep black hole. Don’t want to find out, just want to cut out-- Blackout! I really had a blackout, and now I’m here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens in the Manhattan Center with Jim Ross and Jerry “the King” Lawler welcoming us at ringside before we jump to Barclay’s and the modern commentary team welcomes us as well.
Live in the arena, Stephanie and Shane McMahon are in the ring to kick the show off. They give us another welcome and Shane says he couldn’t think of a better place to have the anniversary from. On behalf of the McMahon family and the entire company, they thank every superstar that has come through WWE over the last twenty-five years. He also thanks all the employees and production crew and all of us as well.
This tosses to a video package covering the history of Raw. Steph picks the thread back up and says they’re just getting started, and they have one very special person to truly thank for all of this, one person with the determination, vision, and courage to make Raw the success that it is, who made it all possible, the chairman of WWE, Vincent Kennedy McMahon!
He comes down and hugs his children before getting on the mic himself and putting twenty-five years over as amazing. He tries to blow a “Thank you, Vince!” chant off saying he’s not the kind of man who pats himself on the back of smells the roses, but tonight he’s smelling the roses. He metaphorically smells the roses and goes to leave but Steph says they got him a present.
They present him a commemorative plaque thanking him for twenty-five years of Raw. Vince is, uh, not impressed and says it feels a little cheap... but then we are in Brooklyn. Steph objects that the GoFundMe didn’t get a lot of money and they did their best, but again, Mr. McMahon is unmoved. He says plaque is what the crowd has on all their teeth, what’s clogging their arteries, that’s what plaque is.
After all he’s done for us, we give him a plaque? He has one person to thank in this entire world, and it’s not his family, anybody in the production truck, or anybody here, the only person he needs to thank is himself! He didn’t need anybody but him to do this, not one--
STONE COLD IS HERE! HE’S ON THE TURNBUCKLES FLIPPING THE DOUBLE BIRDS! Stephanie had the good sense to get the hell outta Dodge, but Shane and Vince stayed behind, and Mr. McMahon gets back on the mic and says he wants to explain a few things seeing as it’s been a long time since they were in the ring together. He tells Steve he looks great but mother nature hasn’t been too kind to him.
He’s a member of AARP now, he has heart problems, a murmur that won’t go away, he’s go arthritis, his bones are really brittle, he lives in a retirement community now! Times have changed, he’s a senior citizen, but Shane’s in his prime! He looks so good, he flies from one side of the ring to the other! Shane begs off and shakes Austin’s hand, Steve raises it like he just won a match... KICK TO THE GUT AND THE STUNNER!
A member of ring crew hands Vince a pair of beers and he continues, saying he doesn’t blame Steve, he had it coming, and this is for old time’s sake. He hands Austin a beer, they toast and some of it splashes on Vince and he looks like he just smelled a skunk. They tip it back and Vince goes for a hug. Stone Cold returns it, raises his hand, McMahon goes to leave... and freezes in place.
He turns back around... and Stone Cold offers him another toast. DOUBLE BIRDS! KICK TO THE GUT! STUNNER! Steve has himself a beer bash and turns around to see Shane has got to his feet, so they have a toast... AND STONE COLD STUNS HIM ONE MORE TIME FOR GOOD MEASURE!
Commentary hypes up our proceedings, including the return of the Undertaker and a women’s atomicos match to send us to break.
Back from commercial in time for entrances.
Absolution (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville), Alicia Fox, & Nia Jax vs. Asuka, Bayley, Mickie James, & Sasha Banks
Chaos before the bell as Nia Jax attacks Asuka and we’ve got a brawl on our hands! Referee John Cone manages to settle them down and calls for the bell!
Asuka and Sonya starting, the Empress of Tomorrow just lighting her up with strikes and wiping her out with a running hip attack! Chest kicks against the ropes, Deville bails and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Asuka is throwing leg kicks at Mandy, whip reversed, Asuka makes the most of being headed into the corner with a hip attack that clears the way! Hip toss into a knee strike to the face, sliding knee strike, tag to Banks! Double suplex, Rose heads for the hills and tags Jax in. Sasha circles, ducks a lariat, throws a few forearms, kick to the midsection, dropkick to the knee, running knee of the ropes, no good!
Nia with a thrust spinebuster, delayed cover can’t put her away, drawing her up, Mandy tags back in, quick tag to Sonya, working her over, quick tag to Fox, arm wringer into the bridging northern lights suplex, only two and she shifts right to a reverse chinlock. Shaking the Boss around in the hold, breaking for a cover but it’s only good for one and she goes right back to the reverse chinlock.
Banks reaching out, she gets to her feet, tosses Alicia off but gets run over with a boot for a nearfall! Back to the chinlock, Sasha backs her into the corner to try and break it but Fox drops her with a mat slam and we go to break.
Back from commercial and Fox is still in control on Banks, shoving her in the corner but the Boss gets a couple kicks off and perches up top, whereupon Sonya strikes! Chaos reigns outside the ring, Alicia gets caught on a boot in the corner, lungblower...
Asuka, Bayley, Mickie James, & Sasha Banks win by submission with the Bank Statement from Banks on Alicia Fox.
Asuka then turns on her partners and dumps Mickie and Bayley out of the ring to remind us how battle royals work. Sasha gets a bit of a comeback on her but she blocks the lungblower and dumps her also.
Kurt Angle is talking with referee Dan Engler about how he can’t afford another incident when Jonathan Coachman rolls up. He says he’s honored and thrilled, it’s like being back home and he keeps seeing people he didn’t expect, like Harvey Wippleman and the Brooklyn Brawler, who come in. Or Teddy Long, who starts a dance party. Or Brother Love, red as ever and overjoyed to be here!
He and Coach have an awkward moment and the door opens again. The Boogeyman is here, worms and all! He pulls a handful of worms out of his mouth and gives them to Coach.
Commentary informs us that the Undertaker will return after the break.
Back from commercial we go to JR and Lawler in the Manhattan Center and they talk the Undertaker up before tossing to a video package covering his career, or at least the parts of it that were on Raw.
The Undertaker makes his entrance and gets on the mic. He says the carnage began on this sacred ground of evil twenty-five years ago, and for twenty-five years he’s been digging holes and any person who dares, he buries. For twenty-five years he’s pulled men from their pedestals and thrown them in the cold, dark earth. Stone Cold answered to the reaper, so did Mick Foley.
Even his own flesh and blood, Kane, had to answer to the reaper. They all tried, and they all failed. Now, on this sacred ground, he declares for all those who have fallen, it’s time to rest in peace.
Commentary hypes up Miz vs. Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship and we go to break.
Back from commercial we see the APA playing poker with Heath Slater and Rhyno. Bradshaw calls and Slater drops a pair of threes on the table. JBL reveals a full house and takes the pot over Heath’s protest that he has kids before informing him of where a local ATM is. A wad of cash drops on the table and the camera pans over-- it’s the Million Dollar Man! Ted asks what their price is and takes a seat.
We get a parade of authority figures now, John “Johnny Ace” Laurinaitis up first, followed by William Regal, and then Eric Bischoff bringing up the rear. Speaking of general managers, we have a special guest, the general manager of SmackDown... Daniel Bryan! He shakes all three men’s hands... and the Miz proceeds to interrupt his entrance.
He and Bryan face off before the A-Lister takes off with a smug look on his face and the Miztourage in tow as ever.
Roman Reigns (c) vs. the Miz (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Collar and elbow, Reigns shoves Miz into the turnbuckles. Circling, the A-Lister bails and gets a shot in when Roman tries to drag him back in. Headed up top, he dives into a big slicing right! The Big Dog comes around for the Drive-By but Bo Dallas is in the way, so he levels him with a punch and faces off with Curtis Axel. Sidestepping a dropkick from Miz, he pastes him but this time Axel is able to distract him and Miz kicks his head off!
Miz puts Reigns into the steps after that and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Miz has Roman set up in the corner but the champ explodes with his triple lariat combo! From there into the corner lariats, connecting with the big finish and keeping a wary eye on the Miztourage. Roman calls for it, but Miz rolls to the floor and so he shifts gears and hits the Drive-By! Throwing Miz back inside, he hesitates a moment before joining him and ends up side-stepped into the ringpost!
Even with his feet on the ropes in the schoolboy pin, Miz is unable to turn that into a victory and staggers around before setting into the Daniel Bryan chest kicks. Big buzzsaw finale is caught and Reigns powerbombs him... NOPE! Drive-By on the Miztourage! He puts Axel into the apron and Dallas into the ringpost before slinging Curtis over the timekeeper’s barricade.
That gives the A-Lister a moment to get him back in the ring, Skull-Crushing Finale denied, Roman slips out, Superman Punch... NOT ENOUGH! Howling, calling for the spear, but Bo has his foot caught up and the Awesome Clothesline connects! Miztourage jawing with referee Chad Patton... and he throws them out! Big Dog with a schoolboy pin, no good, he spends a minute knocking the Miztourage off the apron and Miz comes from behind, Skull-Crushing Finale... NO GOOD!
Reigns running low, slow to his feet, he fights out of another full nelson with elbow strikes, sending Miz stumbling into the corner where he’s able to slam Roman face-first into an exposed turnbuckle...
Miz wins by pinfall with Skull-Crushing Finale, winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
Commentary puts over the idea that this puts Miz at eight reigns with the title, just one short of Chris Jericho’s record of nine.
They then proceed to hype up a D-Generation X reunion for later tonight and send us to break.
Back from commercial we return to the APA’s poker game, where the Usos, Jeff Hardy, and Montel Vontavious Porter have joined the table. MVP wins the hand and we head into the ring, where Christian is hosting the Peep Show.
Christian says he’s seen enough to see it all, or so he thought, but his guests tonight won the tag titles on their first night as a team, Jason Jordan and Seth “Freakin’” Rollins.
He welcomes them to the show and Jordan almost immediately starts talking over Rollins... except every time he tries to speak the crowd boos him unmerciful. He manages to thank them for their continued support and says that his dad really doesn’t suck and he wants to get his dad a big round of applause, but of course nobody plays into it.
The Bar make their entrance. Sheamus tells Jordan to slow down, he has it all wrong because the superstars and legends have been lining up for their autograph, seeing as how they are the Bar and whatnot. He declares their intent to reclaim their tag titles on Sunday and says the legends thanked them in advance for doing so, because it’s not Jason’s dad who sucks, he sucks.
They lead the crowd in a singalong to inform Jordan he sucks and Kurt Angle’s biological son attacks! Seth backs him up with a suicide dive but a springboard knee meant for Cesaro hits Jason clean in the mouth! The Bar leave, having sowed their bit of discontent.
Backstage, Alexa Bliss is interviewed about the women’s Royal Rumble and if she thinks she’s still going to be champion at WrestleMania. She asks if she’s trying to insult her before saying she’s not just a champion, she’s a goddess-- Wooo!
Charlotte Flair rolls up and says the only reason Alexa is women’s champion is because she’s on SmackDown and she doesn’t think Bliss has the size, the speed, the pedigree to beat the woman in order to be the woman, to paraphrase her father. And why not ask Ric herself? Flair rolls up and says she’s lovely and she might be champion tonight, but Charlotte’s gonna be champion until she decides to hang her robe up, wooo.
And so we “Wooo!” to break.
Back from commercial we rejoin the APA’s poker game, joined by Natalya and Titus Worldwide now when Slater hammers down a straight, but Nattie has a flush and wins the hand. Dana Brooke crunched the numbers, and Heath has lost a LOT of money.
Bray Wyatt vs. Matt Hardy
Off the ropes, Wyatt going for Sister Abigail early but Hardy breaks free and clobbers him in the corner. Duck a lariat, Russian legsweep connects, Matt heads to the second, elbow drop to the back of the neck, “Delete!” hands, Twist of Fate denied, off the ropes and Bray wipes him out with a freight train crossbody block and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Hardy throwing punches and smashing Wyatt’s face into the turnbuckles, corner lariat, bulldog denied and Bray taunts out of the corner. That leads to a momentary stalemate as Matt gurns before catching him with a Side Effect! Twist of Fate blocked, Wyatt gets Hardy caught up in the ropes for a minute...
Bray Wyatt wins by pinfall with Sister Abigail.
We now get a parade of women’s superstars, starting with the Bella Twins, Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Lilian Garcia, Jacqueline, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Terri Runnels, Maria Kanellis, and finishing up with Trish Stratus as we go to break.
Back from commercial, Elias is walking backstage when he runs into Chris Jericho, who you might recall from New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Chris points out the scarves and says he wrote a song for him. He asks to use his guitar and the Drifter turns him down, but Jericho has one of his own and launches into his song, which is about how Elias is a stupid idiot who just made the List. Y2J pauses and actsl ike he’s kidding for a second before putting both Elias and his stupid scarves on the List!
We get a video package of WWE’s ceremony at the Empire State Building earlier today.
In the meantime, Elias has made it to the ring to sing us a song. He puts over twenty-five years of Raw and says they finally got it right when they found him. He says the legends here tonight need to hear his song but lets the crowd get to him and almost walks. He calls Jimmy Fallon out in the front row and begins playing, the song of course is about how worn down and decrepit all the legends are.
John Cena interrupts and the Drifter runs off! Cena informs Elias that he and Brooklyn both have balls and we see footage of security removing a beach ball from the premises. John plays an “Asshole!” chant off as “Apple!” like Big Apple, because they gotta keep it PG. Elias gets back in the ring and tells him to shut up before saying no one wants to hear him.
They came to hear him, in fact, and Cena ruined it. John takes his shirt off and invites him to do something about it, sticking his chin out for the first shot, but Elias tells him that’s not how it works. He doesn’t take orders from Cena or from these Brooklyn scumbags, and he goes to leave, but Cena turns his back on him so he turns around.
John had him scouted, of course, shoulder block, shoulder block, fall-forward Blue Thunder Driver, “You can’t see me!”, Five Knuckle Shuffle, fireman’s carry and Elias drifts out and hits a low blow! He heads to ringside and gets his guitar, smashing it over Cena’s back! He draws John up... DRIFT AWAY!
Commentary shills for the WWE Network and hypes up the Royal Rumble.
We go back to the APA’s poker game where New Day have joined in. Slater has a full house but Dana thinks he’s cheating and when he stands up cards fall out of his lap. Bradshaw yells at them to stop it and Ron Simmons says this is no place for fighting and if they want a fight they should take it to the ring. Beauty and the Man-Beast and Titus Worldwide leave, whereupon Ted DiBiase reveals he had a royal flush and takes the pot.
Simmons stares at him, pulls his cigar out of his mouth, waits a beat... DAMN!
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Mark Henry is walking the halls when he runs into the Godfather. He introduces Mark to Olivia, the lady he’s with, and recounts how he used to be Sexual Chocolate. Mark says they all grew up but Godfather stayed the same. Henry asks how he came to know the woman and Godfather says it’s his wife.
Beauty and the Man-Beast (Heath Slater & Rhyno) vs. Titus Worldwide (Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil)
Rhyno and Titus to start, the Man-Beast throws a few big chops and O’Neil puts him in the corner to return the favor with a pair of huge overhand chops. Tag to Crews, arm wringer, Rhyno reverses and tags Slater in, who comes in with a chop to the back of the neck and a few arm wrenches before laying him out with a lariat. Whip reversed, leapfrog, drop down, big dropkick wipes his fellow WWA4 graduate out!
Delayed vertical suplex, making him really think about it for a good twenty seconds before dropping him and sending us to break.
Back from commercial and the match has broken down, referee Rod Zapata counts...
The match goes to a double disqualification.
Here come the Dudley Boyz! They clear the ring without even doing anything and Bubba Ray goads both teams to come back in and fight them! Slater talks it over and gets thrown in the ring by Titus Worldwide and his own partner! Bubba with a body slam, D-Von heads up top... WAZZUP! Y’all know what comes next... GET THE TABLES!
They set it up... 3D THROUGH THE TABLE! Rhyno and Titus Worldwide get in the ring and raise the Dudley Boyz’ hands for some reason.
Backstage, AJ Styles is interviewed and he says he’s arranged for someone to do the interview with him, if that’s okay. IT’S “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND! AJ busts out a “lemme tell you something, Mean Gene!” before saying that he’ll defend his title against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, or Kami, and he says they believe they’re going to walk out of the Royal Rumble as first-ever co-WWE Champions, but he’s not letting that happen.
He has a small window in this match, and he has to hit them hard, fast, and right, and the last thing they’ll hear is “...and STILL WWE Champion, the Phenomenal AJ Styles!”
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, D-Generation X make their entrance.
Or, strictly speaking, Shawn Michaels and Triple H make their entrance. HBK says people ask him for his most favorite moment of twenty-five years but he can’t remember twenty-five minutes ago. But seriously, he’s been thinking to himself, and one of his favorites is when they had the big huge sausage-- Hunter cuts him off and tells him can’t tell that story.
Shawn tries again, at Christmas they were all wrapped up and... HHH doesn’t like that one either. Michaels plugs the WWE Network and the crowd doesn’t like that, but Triple says this is still the place and it’s the crowd at the Manhattan Center that lit the spark that became the fire that built to what exists today. Twenty years ago he and Shawn started something special, walking to the ring every week with “Ravishing” Rick Rude, the Ninth Wonder of the World, Chyna, and they’d do whatever the hell they felt like doing and say whatever the hell they felt like saying.
DX has always been at the forefront of this, whether it was driving a tank to the door of WCW and starting a war or being here for the 25th anniversary, the Manhattan Center was home, and DX will be at the forefront of the next 25 years, so they’re going to start that right now. Are you ready? They didn’t come alone, you see...
(Oh, you didn’t know?)
The New Age Outlaws come to the ring and Road Dogg leads the singalong like always. He then says when the Game said they came alone, he was damn right, because there’s more! X-Pac comes out next, saying he came here to raise hell and he knows this is a DX reunion but they can’t have a 25th anniversary celebration without the next guy... Scott Hall!
Before the Bad Guy can really join the party, we go to break.
Back from commercial, Scott Hall is in the ring and drops a “Hey yo” before saying everybody knows you can’t have a party without the Bad Guy. He’s been watching the whole show and this Raw 25 thing, he thinks we can all agree, it’s just Too Sweet.
Enter Balor Club! DX throw up the Too Sweets and the Good Brothers give ‘em back! Billy goes to drop the “we got two words for you” line--
The Revival come out to poop the party. And in fact they have a match!
Balor Club (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) vs. the Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson)
Wilder and Anderson to start, Dash immediately isolating Karl and sucking him in, quick tag to Dawson, whip, big back elbow, jawing at Gallows, tag to Wilder and a face to the knee to boot. Big uppercut, side headlock applied but Machine Gun shoots him off chest-first into the turnbuckles and gets a leg lariat on Scott after the tag. Tags made all around, Luke in with punches, big boot and a roundhouse, tag to Andreson...
Balor Club win by pinfall with Magic Killer on Dash Wilder.
DX and the Club celebrate together but Dawson pulls Hall around! He throws his toothpick in his face and X-Pac hits an X-Factor! Road Dogg hits the punch combo, Bill Gunn adds a Fameasser to knock him out of the ring! Wilder tries for the save but gets caught by Sweet Chin Music and a Pedigree before HHH and HBK point Finn at the turnbuckles... COUP DE GRACE!
And now we’re informed that if we’re not down with that, we should suck it.
Kurt Angle leads a procession of current roster wrestlers and legends alike to keep Barclay’s secure for our main event segment with Brock Lesnar, Kane, and Braun Strowman to send us to a rare post-11PM break.
Back from commercial, Kurt Angle tells us about the Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble and introduces the participants, first Braun Strowman, then Kane. They square off and are held apart when Paul Heyman does his usual intro and promises to bring us something relevant and there’s no one more relevant than his client.
Braun lays Kane out with a lariat and heads out to Brock, but Lesnar levels him with a lariat of his own, gets in the ring, F-5 on Kane! Strowman heads in, breaks a waistlock, clobbers him in the side of the head and clotheslines him to the floor! He’s manhandling the beast, throwing him into the barricade and clearing the announce table! Up on his shoulders... RUNNING POWERSLAM THROUGH THE TABLE!
Braun poses on the turnbuckles.
That’s the show, folks.