WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 11, 2021) from the ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for later this month at the very same venue.
Advertised for tonight: They originally advertised a Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton non-title match but that was changed when the company announced the WWE champion has COVID-19. Now, he’s being advertised as “making his first comments since testing positive.” It’s unclear where this leaves Randy Orton, Goldberg, or the Royal Rumble. Plus, 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 RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JAN. 11
How can we know what we are if we don’t know what we’re not? How can we know what we’re not if we know that we’re everything and nothing? Oh God, I’m here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for these folks.
The show opens with a recap of last week’s show focused on the various legends’ appearances and Randy Orton business.
Triple H makes his entrance.
He gets in the ring and on the mic and soaks in the adoration of the ThunderDome crowd before welcoming us to the show. He starts saying it’s a very difficult time—
Enter Randy Orton.
He gets on the mic and says he was supposed to have a very big match tonight, and HHH tells him he’s not having the match tonight. Orton says he’s aware but since Hunter is here he figures he’s here to make an official ruling, so what’s it gonna be? HHH says if he wants the WWE Championship he should go win the Royal Rumble. Randy says the only reason he could possibly be here is to make a call, so what is it?
Mr. H’s asks if he’s really gonna sit here and flex his muscles, but it’s been really impressive watching Orton over the last year. He’s seen the old Randy step back into the dance, in awe. A lot of folks think the Viper crossed lines and went too far, but not HHH. He watched him light the match and think about it, knowing that everything he wanted was on the other side of the flame.
Since he’s all dressed up and here in Tampa, he figured he might as well address the things Randy’s done that he doesn’t understand. Punting legends, threatening them and humiliating them in front of the world... there’s no benefit for Orton in that, and that made Hunter look at him differently, took the pride away, and cemented that Randy Orton is nothing but a no good prick.
Orton says he can think what he wants, but he’s in his prime and a legend in his own time, just like HHH once was. Matter of fact, what do you say— is the Cerebral Assassin still in there? The Game? The King of Kings? Maybe it’s time to take the legend of Triple H out once and for good. He doesn’t even want a match, but a good old-fashioned fight.
They go face-to-face and HHH says he’s smart enough to know that when someone wants someone to do something, you don’t do it unless there’s something in it for you, and there’s no benefit to fighting Orton, so that’s a no. Randy asks if it isn’t just that Stephanie McMahon isn’t here tonight and HHH can’t get his balls out of her purse.
That gets Hunter to deck him, and Randy retreats, licking his wounds and saying that must mean he accepts.
Commentary isn’t so sure, and instead we get a recap of last week’s women’s tag team debacle with Ric Flair tripping his daughter Charlotte and costing her the match.
Charlotte is interviewed backstage.
She says Lacey Evans wasn’t the first woman to hit on her dad in front of her, but her dad is her dad and family comes first. She says Ric understands it was the heat of the moment, and further, she’s about to have a match, why are you asking about her dad? She’s gonna show Lacey how to act like a woman.
Evans is interviewed backstage and says Charlotte needs to calm down and realize that she didn’t flirt with anyone that didn’t want to be flirted with, and she ends up blowing a kiss to Ric after singing his praises and dedicating the match to him.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Drew McIntyre calls in to explain his absence.
He says he tested positive for COVID-19 but fortunately he’s asymptomatic, and he cuts a PSA reminding everyone to wear a mask and socially distance themselves.
Charlotte Flair vs. Lacey Evans
Flair putting Evans in the corner right away, collar and elbow, into a pin and Lacey keeps her distance. Wrenching a side headlock in, shot off, shoulder block, Charlotte catches a boot and lands a back elbow! Chops follow, cutting Evans down, whip to the corner, knee lift, snapmare into a cover for two. Figure four headscissors, smashing Lacey’s face into the mat before just wrenching it in!
Boots up in the corner, Charlotte with an elbow before dropping a knee on Evans’ knee! Leg pick, spinning toehold, but Lacey crawls and gets the ropes to force the break!
Enter Ric Flair. He struts down the aisle and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Evans hits the Senton de la Muerte and sends Flair staggering to the floor. Whip reversed, into the barricade, back inside, Lacey strutting and taking Charlotte to the canvas before grabbing a Cobra Clutch. Back and forth, Flair gets a big upkick and staggers her! Sidestep the boot, hair pull mat slam, Evans takes her into the corner and wrenches her arm over the middle rope for some stomps!
Charlotte with kicks, lariats, kneeling neckbreaker sets up the exploder suplex! Kip-up, back body drop to the apron, slugging Lacey with a forearm and blasting her off the apron with a big boot! Back inside, Natural Selection hits but Evans is too close to the ropes and Ric puts her foot on the ropes for the break! Woman’s Right blocked, back body drop to the apron, Flair tells her dad to take his ass home but he trips her up on a suplex and holds her foot...
Lacey Evans wins by pinfall, reversing a suplex to a crossbody with the Nature Boy’s help.
Post-match, Lacey and Ric celebrate together and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Lacey Evans and Ric Flair are interviewed while they’re leaving the arena.
Lacey says she’s gonna get changed in the hotel room, which is gross. It’s gross. Gross.
Anyway, enough of that heterosexual nonsense, moving on...
Keith Lee is interviewed backstage.
Sheamus rolls up on him and admits there’s nothing he’d rather do than kick him while he’s down, but he put up a hell of a fight last week and earned Drew McIntyre’s respect, and that means he’s earned his respect, too. They go to shake hands but Miz and Morrison roll up to crow about Miz getting Money in the Bank back. The babyfaces debate which one is Dumb and which one is Dumber briefly.
The heels say they’re righting all the wrongs of 2020, and that includes Sheamus and Lee. The babyfaces accept the challenge.
Jeff Hardy is in the ring waiting to wrestle Elias.
Elias and Jaxson Ryker enter and the Drifter reveals that he’s hurt, so Jeff has to wrestle Jaxson instead, who is stoked to prove himself to Elias.
Jaxson Ryker vs. Jeff Hardy
Ryker beating on Hardy in the corner, boots and punches, Elias runs interference...
Jaxson Ryker wins by pinfall with a schoolboy pin.
Post-match, Jeff calls Elias out and accuses him of just not wanting people to see that Ryker is better than him. Elias tells him not to get involved and charges the ring as we go to break.
Elias vs. Jeff Hardy
Back from commercial, the match is in progress and Elias is in control. He drops a knee across Hardy’s face, Jeff blocks punches and throws his own back, backing the Drifter into the ropes. Whip across, lariat, Manhattan Drop, double leg drop, basement dropkick, elbow drop... NOPE! Twist of Fate blocked, Death Valley Driver... HARDY KICKS OUT! Setting Jeff up in the corner, shoulder thrusts and right hands.
Up top, jockeying for position, sidestep the charge... WHISPER IN THE WIND! Block the leg-feed solebutt, Hardy lands a jawbreaker but eats a knee when he runs the ropes! Final Cut... NO GOOD! Backslide attempt, only two, kick to the gut, Twist of Fate! Headed up top...
Jeff Hardy wins by pinfall with the Swanton Bomb.
Post-match, Ryker checks on his man. Elias berates him for not intervening but he reminds him that he asked not to.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get a recap of our opening segment, because Raw is three hours long. (Three hours long.)
Keith Lee & Sheamus vs. the Miz & John Morrison
Sheamus and Morrison to start, the Celtic Warrior with a drop toehold into a front chancery, quick cover, shifting to a wristlock. Hammerlock, John reverses, fireman’s carry takeover into a front chancery but Sheamus takes him down and stomps his gut. Tag to Lee, body slam, Sheamus drops a knee and Lee covers him for one. Miz to the floor, Keith press slams Morrison over the ropes and to the floor onto his own partner!
Celtic Warrior tags in, diving lariat, back inside, fireman’s carry, Lee tags in, Finlay Roll, Keith throws Miz over and lets him tag Morrison back in. Johnny Raw goes after the legs with kicks, Lee shoves him aside and pounces him into the turnbuckles and the top rope explodes off its turnbuckle! Sheamus and Keith yuck it up when we go to break.
Back from commercial, ring crew is working to fix the rope while Lee works Miz over. Rope fixed, tag to Sheamus, double whip into the bad turnbuckle and it holds! The A-Lister kicks the Celtic Warrior off and hits his snap basement DDT for two! Quick tags, the heels take control and run a heat segment at length. Sheamus catches Miz with the Irish Curse and the path is clear!
Tags made and Lee cleans house on Morrison! Overhead exploders for him and for Miz, Swinging powerslam, Miz breaks it up and Keith hammers him with Grizzly Magnum before throwing him to the floor! Pele Kick from Johnny Raw, springboard crossbody but Lee swats him out of mid-air! Bask in his glory, tag from Sheamus...
Keith Lee & Sheamus win by pinfall with a Brogue Kick from Sheamus on John Morrison.
Post-match, Sheamus and Lee are all smiles and hugs.
Triple H is interviewed backstage.
He says he came here tonight in a business capacity, as a WWE official, but in this world today, things change at a drop of a hat, and since Randy Orton can’t get it into his head what legends should mean to somebody like him, he accepts the challenge!
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Sheamus and Lee are shoving each other and bickering and we get a bell?!
Keith Lee vs. Sheamus
Clubbing at each other, action to the ropes, Beats of the Bodhran, Lee catches ‘em but Sheamus paintbrushes him with a slap! Headbutt in return, pulling him back in, tying him in the ropes for overhand chops, Celtic Warrior floats over a slam, Lee heads to the floor and Sheamus hits a dropkick through the ropes! Catching him on the dive, Lee throws him into the barricade and into the timekeeper’s area!
Sheamus beats the count, takes Keith’s knee out on the charge and posts his arm a few times! Top wristlock applied, Lee forces him up top and clubs away at him. Knocked down, diving lariat, snap knee, Lee kicks out! Back to the top wristlock, shifting to a cross armbar, hammering Keith with kicks but he pivots and deadlifts... POWERBOMB! Hoisting him up a second time...
Keith Lee wins by pinfall with the Spirit Bomb.
Post-match, Lee offers a fist bump. Sheamus swats his fist away and they hug to send us to break.
Back from commercial, we get some hype for the Royal Rumble.
A recap of last week’s main event follows.
Drew McIntyre sends another promo in to make a direct response to Bill Goldberg. He says last week was a literal dream and he was going to thank the assorted legends on stage before Goldberg knocked on the door. He didn’t see that coming, and Bill got him all wrong, he’s a firm believer in giving respect to get respect, and Goldberg doesn’t know anything about being WWE Champion.
He didn’t want to accept Goldberg’s challenge, but if he wants a lesson in respect, he’ll give him one at the Royal Rumble.
Matt Riddle is backstage hyped about his match against Bobby Lashley tonight. It turns out he’s chatting with Lucha House Party, and they don’t quite get his pizza analogy, but they want to see him punch the Hurt Business in the proverbial face. LHP tell him to watch his back, and Riddle doesn’t understand how that’s possible, because he is a dum dum.
Xavier Woods makes his entrance and we go to break.
Back from commercial, T-Bar gets an inset promo where he talks about beating Xavier Woods like he’s Skeletor.
T-Bar vs. Xavier Woods
Circling, collar and elbow, T-Bar with a side headlock, shot off, shoulder block. Shove off, kick to the midsection, T-Bar destroys him with a lariat to the delight of the rest of Retribution! Rear chinlock applied, swinging Xavier around, he breaks free with a jawbreaker! A second jawbreaker, thudding chops, boot up in the corner and Woods is starting to put it together!
Punches and chops into the ropes, whip reversed, slide low, kick to the gut, front kick caught, goozle applied, shove Xavier into the corner but he sidesteps! Back body drop to the apron, enzuigiri connects, up top, missile dropkick sends the big man sprawling! Kip-up, off the ropes, slingshot dropkick, back inside, Retribution running interference and T-Bar snaps Woods’ arm over the ropes!
Wrenching the shoulder, Argentine Backbreaker rack...
T-Bar wins by pinfall with Feast Your Eyes.
Backstage, Randy Orton is interviewed.
He says he and Triple H go way back, and he’s going to direct his hate at him tonight.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get another recap of the opening segment, because I am trapped at my post and subject to the whims of a mad god.
Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Matt Riddle (WWE United States Championship)
Lashley attacks Riddle before the bell and beats him down, but Matt wants to go!
We get a bell, Riddle’s mouth is busted open and Lashley sends him to the floor with ease! Corkscrew Asai Moonsault catches Bob, back inside, he catches a kick and slams Matt in the middle of the ring! Hurt Lock applied, Riddle kicking desperately to get away but to no avail...
Bobby Lashley wins by submission with the Hurt Lock to retain the WWE United States Championship.
Post-match, Riddle gets on the mic and calls Montel Vontavious Porter out. He says he couldn’t beat Bobby Lashley tonight, but he sure as hell can beat him. MVP takes his blazer off and approaches the ring, seeming happy to give Riddle what he’s asking for as we go to break.
Matt Riddle vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
Match is joined in progress, back and forth, overhead exploder blocked, ripcord knee connects and Riddle goes up top but has to take a moment to kick Lashley away from running interference. Back inside, Lashley attacks...
Matt Riddle wins by disqualification.
Post-match, the Hurt Business continue to beat Riddle down and leave him lying.
We get a recap of five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce becoming #1 contender to the WWE Universal Championship.
AJ Styles is backstage talking to Pearce about how it’s possible they could wrestle at WrestleMania if Roman Reigns slips on 8-10 banana peels and he somehow wins.
Drew Gulak rolls up to declare his entry into the Royal Rumble, but Adam says there’s only so many spots and you can’t just declare. Drew rightly says AJ just declared, to which Styles says he’s a two-time WWE Champion and who did Gulak beat? Drew has a flash drive for Pearce to look at, but Adam says he can earn his way in by beating AJ Styles, tonight.
Gulak stare’s AJ’s Big Buddy Omos down and we go to break.
AJ Styles vs. Drew Gulak
Double dropkicks out the gates but Styles is able to recover first! Backbreaker connects, short-arm forearm as Drew hammers back, suplex into a pin for one. Bridging fallaway slam, another nearfall, underhooks... TIGER DRIVER GETS A DEEP TWO! A bit of turnbuckle action, backslide attempt gets a Pele Kick! Styles Rush connects, sliding forearm follows!
Boot up on the charge, AJ dumps Gulak over the top and to the floor! Big Buddy Omos steps in, Styles brings Drew back inside...
AJ Styles wins by pinfall with the Phenomenal Forearm.
Commentary promises us a Goldberg retrospective and we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get that Goldberg video package.
Backstage, Triple H is wrapping his fists when Keith Lee rolls up.
He jokes, asking Lee if he’s done breaking rings for the day, and Lee says he thinks it’s time to be there for HHH the way he’s been there for him, and he’d be happy to make it a hat trick and step in opposite Randy Orton tonight. Hunter is appreciative but he says he made this mess and he’s going to clean it up.
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler make their entrance to send us to break.
Back from commercial, we get some hype for tonight’s edition of Raw Talk.
Brooke & Rose get an inset promo declairing for the Royal Rumble.
Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose vs. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler
Feeling out, cycling through the matchups and Jax runs Brooke over before locking her down with a Cobra Clutch. Jawbreaker escape, Baszler blocks the tag, but Dana puts her in the corner and Rose tags in! Fired up, strikes in the corner, a vicious knee and only Nia pulling her out of the ring saves the day for the heels! Jax legal, Samoan Drop, Brooke makes the save!
Swinging backbreaker from Baszler, the match breaking down, Nia with a corner body avalanche on both women! Shayna tags...
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler win by submission with a Kirifuda Clutch from Baszler on Mandy Rose.
And so we go to break.
Randy Orton vs. Triple H (Unsanctioned Fight)
No referee is present, Triple H immediately hammers Orton such that he leaves the ring! Back inside, punching away in the corner, putting boots to the Game but Hunter turns it around and hammers him with more punches! Whip across, front kick, action to the floor. Whip reversed, Randy goes hard into the steps, HHH throws him into the barricade after, smashing his face into the steel but Orton thumbs his eye!
Randy’s cheek busted open, Hunter back suplexes him into the announce table! Throwing him back in the ring, HHH goes under the ring and gets his signature sledgehammer! Headed in the ring, the lights start going down Fiendwise and the head of the sledgehammer catches fire! The lights come back up red and HHH is gone, but Alexa Bliss has appeared in the corner of the ring.
Randy Orton looks around confused and she holds up the glove that reads pain... AND A FIREBALL SHOOTS IN ORTON’S FACE! HE STUMBLES AROUND BLINDED!
That’s the show, folks.