WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 18, 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: Randy Orton will respond to Alexa Bliss shooting a fireball at his face on last week’s show. Bliss, meanwhile, has a non-title match scheduled against Raw Women’s Champion Asuka. There will also, presumably, be more on the status of Drew McIntyre and additional entrants in the Royal Rumble matches. 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. 18
When the credits finally roll for this, the worst story ever told, don’t bother sifting through the names for yours or anyone you know. Unless they were by chance a shepherd king, a virgin birth, a resurrection, a messianic prince or some such childish thing. You can storm the edit suite or move to block its theatrical release, but me? I’m just here to liveblog this pro wrestling show, folks.
The show opens up with the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. video package.
Commentary welcomes us to the show and we cut to a Randy Orton promo.
He’s wearing a lucha mask for some reason and he cuts a promo about how the voices are louder than ever. He talks about getting hit with a fireball last week and says he’s wearing the mask to protect himselfand to shield us all from the horror he endured. He says despite the agony he considers himself lucky— he only came away with first degree burns, but he doesn’t blame Alexa Bliss.
He blames the Fiend, who he sent straight to hell. He says he knows everyone in the locker room enjoyed seeing him get burnt to a crisp, but that’s not gonna stop him from winning the Royal Rumble.
Commentary hypes up the rest of tonight’s show and recaps all the Flair family drama from last week.
We toss to footage of Lacey Evans and Ric Flair entering the building and being interviewed.
Evans says this isn’t TMZ and we need to have some respect for a legend, who she won’t let speak. Last week he was just living up to being the Dirtiest Player in the Game, and she’s just learning from him.
Charlotte Flair makes her entrance but Peyton Royce blindsides her!
They brawl in the aisle and get pulled apart as we go to break.
Charlotte Flair vs. Peyton Royce
Royce in control early, hammering Flair in the corner. Double leg in the middle of the ring, Charlotte raining punches down and they roll brawling to the floor. Chops from the Queen, back inside, Peyton rolls out the other side, Flair gives chase and they end up at the base of the entry ramp for more chops. Royce ducks one, Charlotte chops steel and gets put face-first into the ringpost!
Back in the ring, cover for one, reverse chinlock applied. Flair out with an arm drag, lariat connects, but Peyton stays on top of her. Kick combos, smashing her face into the turnbuckles, choke in the corner. Block a kick, hanging neckbreaker in the corner, cover for two and Ric Flair makes his entrance. Lacey Evans follows behind wearing one of Ric’s robes and strutting.
Charlotte turns around, Royce hits her with a reverse roundhouse and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Flair with an O’Connor roll for two. Royce back in it, scorpion kick from the apron, up top, nobody’s home. Charge in, STO backbreaker into the reverse STO into the turnbuckles gets Charlotte two! Big boot blasts Peyon off the apron and she barely beats referee Shawn Bennett’s count! Flair with stomps, working the leg, knee drop across the back of the knee but Royce cuts her off with a knee!
Hobbled on one leg, duck a lariat, big back elbow, reverse roundhouse, leaping knee strike... NOPE! Suplex, float over, Flair with the chop block, stepover knee drops to the knee, spinning toehold into the figure four leglock, bridging back...
Charlotte Flair wins by submission with the Figure Eight.
Post-match, Flair refuses to break the hold, bridging even higher!
The Hurt Business are walking backstage when they run into Matt Riddle.
They make fun of his fashion sense and his high roading, but Riddle simply puts their looks in return. He also gives them a bunch of nicknames, and they don’t appreciate it. Lashley asks the other guys to let him handle it, and he tells Matt that he actually likes the flip-flops, but they’re bad for your feet. Riddle is confused and Bob stomps his feet.
Matt tells him he’ll put that foot up his ass later and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Riddle is nursing his foot with Lucha House Party.
LHP are worried about him not being good for their trios match against the Hurt Business tonight, but he says he’s fine because his cousin ran over his foot when he was younger and he’s just gonna tape it up.
We get a WWE Network exclusive Mustafa Ali promo where he talks about coming to break Kofi Kingston’s spirit by breaking Xavier Woods’ body over and over. He hopes Kofi’s broken jaw is so bad that he’s out through WrestleMania, because then he’ll get to feel what Ali felt when he watched Kingston take his spot back in 2019.
We get entrances for our match, Woods punches Ali in the face in response to some trash talk, and we go to break.
Mace vs. Xavier Woods
Mace has him backed into a corner but Woods slips out and gets his shot in. Opposite corner, same result, chops, Xavier up top for punches, a boot, but he gets shoved down. Chokebomb lift transitioned into a chokeslam... NOPE! Shoved in the corner hard, knee to the back, only two. Mace wrenches Woods’ fingers and applies a standing neck crank!
Adding a fishhook to the mix, Xavier fights out and recovers but Mace drops him with a punch. Off the ropes, Woods gets a dropkick to the knee, overhead elbows, the Retribution man staggered but able to counter Honor Roll with a goozle! Xavier hits a Trouble in Paradise to knock Mace to the floor, baseball slide takes Mustafa Ali out, dropkick knocks Mace to the floor and Retribution takes a breather.
Ali tells him to do it now, Woods hits a superkick, off the ropes... Mace drops him with a leg lariat! Fireman’s carry...
Mace wins by pinfall with a fireman’s carry swung out into a reverse Emerald Flowsion.
Post-match, Ali leans into the camera and tells Kofi Kingston to get well soon.
Asuka is interviewed backstage.
She says she doesn’t know what to expect from wrestling Alexa Bliss tonight, and we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get the WrestleMania Report video that got released over the weekend updating us on the whereabouts of the next couple WrestleManias.
Alexa Bliss makes her entrance and welcomes us to Alexa’s Playground.
She wants to address the Viper in the room, and tells Randy Orton she was just coming out to talk last week, but then things got a little... heated. She tells Randy that she knows some good sunscreen if he needs it, and moves on to introducing her guest and opponent for tonight, Asuka.
Asuka enters and takes a seat on the swingset but Bliss tells her that’s not her spot and then asks someone who is not Asuka if they’re okay. The conversation continues in such a direction, Asuka excitedly but worriedly trying to go along with it until Alexa goes “no” and asks one of her invisible pals if they’re okay. Asuka tries to get a dance party going but Bliss screams at her and cuts the music.
It all leads up to Alexa telling Asuka not to say the name and the Empress leaving the ring cautiously as Bliss rocks on her horsey.
Miz and John Morrison are interviewed backstage.
They say that they’re gonna explain to Goldberg just how controversy creates cash.
Shayna Baszler cuts a promo about how she’s gonna beat Mandy Rose tonight and go on to win the Royal Rumble, which leads to her and Nia Jax bickering and the show going to break.
Back from commercial, we get a video package from WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett (that’s a sentence right there), predicting that Goldberg is gonna beat Drew McIntyre at the Royal Rumble and win the WWE Championship.
Mandy Rose vs. Shayna Baszler
Circling, collar and elbow, Rose looking for a leg pick, shifting gears to a waistlock, a folding press, not even a one count! Baszler kicks her legs out from under her, getting a one count, into a standing neck crank, hammering away. Cutthroat choke applied, stomping the bicep, but Shayna gets caught jawing with Dana Brooke and nearly gets put away!
Rose with lariats, a flapjack, wristlock forearms, Baszler reverses...
Shayna Baszler wins by submission with the Kirifuda Clutch.
Post-match, Baszler and Jax end up on different pages and Rose and Brooke are able to get away.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler are bickering backstage when an interview rolls up.
They point out that they’ve never gotten along, and surely the current tag team champions aren’t getting along either, so now is the perfect time for their rematch.
Charlotte Flair is interviewed backstage.
She says she’s always been accused of living off her family name but that’s literally what Lacey Evans is doing right now. But she’s learned every dirty trick Ric ever used and maybe she needs to rethink her policy against using them. Lacey can wear her dad’s robe, but she’ll never get to wear her crown.
Backstage, five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce is talking to Ricochet.
He tells him that a win tonight could mean a lot as far as him getting a spot in the Royal Rumble.
AJ Styles rolls up with his Big Buddy Omos in tow and mocks Pearce for tucking tail and running from the Universal Championship. Ricochet accuses him of having selective amnesia and forgetting about how he got embarrased at TLC. Ricochet promises that he’s gonna make everybody see why he deserves to be in the Royal Rumble and makes his entrance.
Styles is still backstage and he tells Pearce that he doesn’t like him and that means Omos doesn’t like him either, and that sends us to break.
AJ Styles vs. Ricochet
Circling, collar and elbow, Styles backs him into the corner and breaks at referee John Cone’s behest. Back to the lockup, AJ with a side headlock, block the shoot off, block the pin, just hanging onto the headlock for dear life. Shot off at last, block the front kick, overhead arm drag from the One and Only! Styles reverses a whip into a backslide, roll through, jackknife pin, only two!
AJ looking for the Styles Clash, Ricochet pops out, schoolboy pin... NOPE! Off the roeps, tilt-a-whirl tijeras, a Frankensteiner follows it, roll through, another headscissors and Styles is off-balance! Dropkick right on the button, AJ falls to the floor and Ricky hits a baseball slide headscissors takeover to the floor! Back inside, Omos stalking, Ricochet passes Styles to the floor, plancha... OMOS CATCHES HIM!
Cone demands that Omos put him down and he complies, dropping Ricochet like a sack of potatoes as we go to break.
Back from commercial, Styles with a running backbreaker as he’s well in control. Ricochet off the ropes, satellite DDT for some separation! Striking away, knee lift, discus lariat, cover... AJ kicks out! Bridging German suplex, another nearfall, back elbow into a quebrada but Styles cuts him out of mid-air! Sheerdrop brainbuster... RICOCHET KICKS OUT!
Ushigoroshi follows it up, still just a two count! To the apron, calling for it... RICOCHET COUNTERS THE PHENOMENAL FOREARM WITH RECOIL! STYLES KICKS OUT! Headed up top, AJ cuts him off and both men are down and out! Ricky hangs him up over the ropes, lying in wait, springboard countered, slingshot gourdbuster into the Styles Clash...
AJ Styles wins by pinfall with the Styles Clash.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get a recap of Alexa’s Playground, because Raw is three hours long. (Three hours long.)
Miz and Morrison are in the ring.
They welcome us to the Dirt Sheet and introduce their guest tonight, Bill Goldberg.
Or, uh... Gillberg.
They interview him briefly and he does his mock-Goldberg shtick.
Drew McIntyre’s music hits and it’s an out of shape man in a William Wallace wig and a kilt. He faces off with Gillberg and tells him he’s gonna kick his ass back to 1998 and go home and eat some haggis. Morrison corrects his accent and he asks if he wants to cut, which gets Miz and Morrison bickering because John hired somebody from New Jersey and now it’s getting awkward.
Gillberg plays peacemaker... kinda... and gets told to shut up and get back on his mark. The heels decide to take it home and say they’re both going to lose because Miz is going to cash his Money in the Bank briefcase in and win the WWE Championship.
The Hurt Business make their entrance to send us to break.
Hurt Business (Bobby Lashley, Cedric Alexander, & Shelton Benjamin) vs. Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) & Matt Riddle
Alexander and Metalik to start, Cedric backing him into the corner with strikes. Boot up on the charge, Gran lands on his feet off a back suplex but runs right into a dropkick! Alexander gets in Benjamin’s face and tells him that’s how you do it, but Shelton tells him to stop talking and just do. Backbreaker follows, Benjamin with a lackadaisical thumbs up and Dorado tags in.
Frankensteiner, hard right hands, arm wringer, Cedric swats him down with a forearm and hits an overhead elbow. Tag offered but Lashley tells him to go handle it and he walks into chops and a quebrada from Lince for a deep two! Benjamin finally acquiesces to a tag, Dorado goes for a schoolboy for two and Shelton fires up with a lariat. Hammer whip, tag to Lashley and we’ve got the beginnings of a heat segment here.
Quick tags, Cedric and Shelton bickering, Lince with the Golden Rewind and Montel Vontavious Porter berates Alexander for playing stupid games and winning stupid prizes. Cedric manages to keep Dorado from tagging and tags out himself, only for Shelton to shove him to the floor and us to go to break.
Back from commercial, the heels are still in control and Alexander is working Dorado over with an armlock. Lashley tags in, scoop and a slam, berating his partners to get it together before tagging Benjamin in. A biel sends Lince across the ring, Cedric back in, punches in the corner, Dorado gets a diving crossbody and the hope for a tag!
The path is clear, crawling, reaching, tag made and it’s Riddle on Benjamin! Pele kick, kip-up, charging forearms, overhead exploder suplex is blocked. Shelton goes for a powerbomb, Matt floats out, roundhouse kick connects, penalty kick misses, roll-through, big knee strike... NOPE! Moonsault, nobody home, tag to Metalik! Bulldog blocked, Cedric tags back in, twisting brainbuster connects and he goes and gets in Shelton’s face.
Bob tags in, clear the apron, spear...
Hurt Business win by submission with the Hurt Lock from Bobby Lashley on Gran Metalik.
Post-match, Riddle gets in and nails Bob with a kick before making a break for it!
Cedric and Shelton continue bickering.
We get a recap of last week’s Jeff Hardy / Elias / Jaxson Ryker shenanigans.
Elias and Jaxson Ryker discuss the events of last week and Ryker begs off, claiming it was a case of mixed signals. Elias says it’s not that complicated and he didn’t walk with Elias last week, so tonight his mission against Jeff Hardy is to finish what he started, embody the universal truth, and beat Hardy until he accepts that truth.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial we get some hype for tonight’s edition of Raw Talk.
Drew McIntyre phones a promo in again.
He says he remains asymptomatic and he’s stronger than ever, but he was watching tonight’s Dirt Sheet, and WWE is like a circus. You’ve got clowns like Miz and Morrison, and lions like himself, and sometimes the lions eat the clowns. Championships are never given around here, but his is one spear or one Jackhammer away from leaving him.
He says Goldberg best bring his best self at the Royal Rumble, and promises that he’ll be back on Raw next week.
Jaxson Ryker vs. Jeff Hardy
Hardy sidesteps Ryker, shoulder thrusts in the corner, Jaxson turns him around and punches away. Next corner, clubbing away, Jeff with a tijeras out of the corner, right hand, Manhattan Drop to the double leg drop to the basement dropkick to the falling elbow drop, no dice! Leg feed mule kick, Stinger Splash, whip across, Ryker sidesteps and drops him with an axehandle for two of his own!
Mounted punches ensue, back suplex, reverse chinlock applied to try and grind Hardy down. Jawbreaker counter, Twist of Fate connects, Elias interferes, the bell rings...
Jeff Hardy wins by disqualification, presumably, although no finish is announced.
Post-match, Ryker kvetches, saying he thought he wasn’t going to help him, Elias says he thought he wouldn’t kick out of the Swanton, and then Hardy attacks! Twist of Fate, Ryker catches him with a slam, and that’s all she wrote.
Backstage, Alexa Bliss is skipping along cheerfully to send us to break.
Alexa Bliss vs. Asuka
Feeling out early, reversals over a wristlock, Bliss with a side headlock, shot off, shoulder block, Asuka with a bit of dancing. Off the ropes, drop down actually trips her up, Oklahoma roll for two! Alarm Clock knee from Asuka, sliding knee... NOPE! Trying to get the Asuka Lock but Alexa gets the ropes and forces a break. Bliss to the floor to recover, sidestep the baseball slide, back in the ring and the lights go down Fiendwise as we go to break.
Back from commercial, the lights are black up but Alexa is wearing a different outfit and standing in the middle of the ring with her hands behind her back. She and Asuka circle, Bliss ducks an Uraken, a reverse roundhouse, she blocks punches but gets caught by a kick to the gut. Asuka off the ropes, a shoulder block sends her crashing to the floor!
Back inside, Asuka stops short when Alexa bends over backwards in the turnbuckles! Bliss smears her lipstick on her palm and forms her hand into the mandible claw! Asuka tries to block her and shoves her off, catching a kick, waistlock, back elbow breaks and Alexa drops her with the forearm! Stalking, emotionless while the Empress gets herself back together, Asuka rises with a roundhouse kick, Uraken, roundhouse kick combination!
Bliss traps her with the Sister Abigail clutch and smears her lipstick again...
Alexa Bliss wins by pinfall with Sister Abigail.
The lights flash and Alexa’s back to her usual cheery self and brighter outfit.
She says “Let me in” in the Fiend’s voice.
That’s the show, folks.