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WWE Raw results, live blog (Jan. 25, 2021): Royal Rumble go home show

WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 25, 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 this coming Sunday night at the very same venue.

Advertised for tonight: Drew McIntyre returns from his battle with COVID-19 for a confrontation with Goldberg, who will also be in the building. Alexa Bliss gets a shot at Asuka’s Raw women’s championship after beating her on last week’s show. Matt Riddle runs a Hurt Business Gauntlet to try to earn a U.S. title match. 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.)


I wish I was here, all this white light’s gone black and no one’s here to see. I wish I could scream “Stop this awkward confusion,” and let me be. My system to keep wishing. My system could work, but instead, I’m here to liveblog this pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens into the intro video.

Drew McIntyre makes his entrance and gets on the mic.

He says it feels good to be back on Monday Night Raw and thanks the WWE Universe for all their well wishes and says he got very lucky with COVID symptoms, just a little fatigue and loss of smell, but he’s 100% now and dedicating his match on Sunday to everyone who’s dealing with the virus right now. He’d be out of his mind to take Goldberg lightly, he’s an anomaly that came out of nowhere and rose to the top, 173-0.

Hulk Hogan, the Rock, he ran through ‘em all like nothing and then disappeared for years, but the last thing to go in a heavyweight is their power, and Goldberg came back as the same animal he’s been, and he’s got a new streak— every champion he challenges, he defeats, and on Sunday, Drew is going to end this new streak.

Enter the Miz and John Morrison.

Miz puts the match over as WWE’s version of Kong vs. Godzilla (uh, excuse me, Mike, that honor canonically goes to Andre the Giant vs. Stan Hansen as far as pro wrestling matches go) and raises the specter of injury leading to a Money in the Bank cash-in.

Enter Goldberg.

He gets in the ring and in Drew’s face and simply says “You. Me. Sunday. You’re next.”

Miz and Morrison goad them to start brawling but they turn and pull the heels into the ring! Spear to Miz! Claymore to Morrison!

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, Charlotte Flair is interviewed and talks about how she’s defending the tag titles AND entering the Royal Rumble on Sunday.

She says she’s seen her dad in a lot of dark places, and this Lacey Evans thing might be the darkest, but she’s focused on Shayna Baszler tonight.

Charlotte Flair vs. Shayna Baszler

Bit of mat grappling early, whip reversed into the corner, Flair catches a boot, lands an elbow, lariat hung in the ropes, baseball slide to keep Nia Jax at bat at ringside and Baszler grabs the Kirifuda Clutch briefly! Slung off, big boot connects, figure four leglock applied, she goes to bridge back and Nia drops the leg, forcing referee John Cone to call for the bell!

Charlotte Flair wins by disqualification, although no finish is announced.

The heels start beating her down but Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke make the save to send us to break!

Back from commercial, we have a bell!

Charlotte Flair, Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose vs. Lacey Evans, Nia Jax, & Shayna Baszler

Evans and Rose to start, a bit of mat grappling, eventually we get tags to Flair and Baszler and they get to striking. Shayna hobbles Charlotte with a hamstring kick but the Queen comes back at her with hard chops, staggering her in the corner. Fallaway slam into a kip-up, clear the apron, front chancery applied, tag to Brooke.

Baszler ends up on the floor cradling her arm as referee John Cone counts. Flair takes her back inside but Shayna lags behind and Cone calls it...

Charlotte Flair, Dana Brooke, & Mandy Rose win by countout.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, we’re informed that five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce restarted the match during the break.

Charlotte Flair, Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose vs. Lacey Evans, Nia Jax, & Shayna Baszler

Evans with a nearfall on Brooke, stomping her hand, heels working quick tags and focusing on the arm to grind Dana down. She breaks away, hot tag to Rose, hammering away at Lacey, double leg into corner forearms, off the ropes with the vicious knee and Baszler breaks the pin up! Charlotte spears her, Nia freight trains her in turn and drags Evans over for the tag!

Brooke tags back in, she posts Jax, standing blockbuster... NOPE! Nia destroys her in turn, off the ropes...

Lacey Evans, Nia Jax, & Shayna Baszler win by pinfall with a leg drop from Jax on Dana Brooke.

We get a recap of Mace defeating Xavier Woods last week and we get some replays of WWE Network exclusive Mustafa Ali promos calling New Day out.

Retribution make their entrance to send us to break.

SLAPJACK vs. Xavier Woods

Woods out the gates with a dropkick, chops in the corner, pushing SLAPJACK around the ring. Whip across, back body drop, SLAPJACK gets a brief advantage but Xavier fires right back up and hits the Honor Roll! Mustafa Ali orders T-Bar to run interference, SLAPJACK with a roll-through but Woods is ready...

Xavier Woods wins by pinfall with a sliding knee.

Woods tries to get the hell out of Dodge but T-Bar drops him with a big boot! They drag him in the ring... DOUBLE CHOKEBOMB! Ali sets a chair up in the ring and gets on the mic, telling Xavier that he might talk about wanting to be King of the Ring, but he looks like a peasant right now. But it’s okay, Mustafa’s going to show him mercy and Woods is going to deliver a message to Kofi Kingston.

Ali wants him to tell Kofi that’s heard the sad news that he’s not going to be in the Royal Rumble, but never fear, a replacement has been found, and his name is Mustafa Ali.

Backstage, Matt Riddle runs into R-Truth and they have a chat.

Truth says he heard that the Hurt Business are throwing him a surprise party tonight since everyone forgot his birthday last week. He says they bought him twenty-four gold carrots. Riddle says that makes sense because they’re Capricorns, the sign of the goat, and Truth promises to split the carrots with him if he doesn’t tell anyone.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, commentary hypes Bad Bunny’s Royal Rumble performance up.

The Hurt Business make their entrance, with R-Truth’s carrots nowhere to be seen.

They get in the ring and Montel Vontavious Porter gets on the mic to welcome us to the VIP Lounge.

He’s very excited for the Royal Rumble afterparty but tonight, Bobby Lashley has something important to bring to his attention. First he wants to talk about the gauntlet match they have against Matt Riddle tonight and he warns Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander to focus on the task at hand.

Lashley begins and says sometimes you have to believe in someone else’s belief in you, and look at them, champions. The beauty of it is that they’ve only just begun, and Shelton takes over, saying it’s hard to think that only a year ago— Cedric interrupts to say they’re on a roll and it’s all because of MVP, and Bob takes back over and says they’ve collected some outstanding debts to present Montel a symbol of their appreciation.

Since they’re all drifting gold, they’d like to give MVP some gold of his own. He opens it up and it’s a new chain that says THB, for the Hurt Business. He puts it on and says it’s outstanding and he’s at a loss for words. Alexander starts taking credit for working with the designer and Benjamin cuts him off to argue.

Enter R-Truth, looking for his carrots.

The Hurt Business tell him he’s not on the list and he says he thought they were throwing him a party. Cedric says it’s all about MVP tonight, but Truth points out that THB could stand for “Truth, Happy Birthday!” Bob says he forgot all about Truth’s birthday and he’d like to make it up to him. His gift is in the ring, he just needs to come in and check it out.

Truth hesitates but the 24/7 Championship title scene comes running down after him! Truth fends a challenge from Tucker Knight off and the Hurt Business start throwing dudes around! Matt Riddle turns MVP around and hits the knee! Riddle turns around and runs behind the safety of the barricade to dance and taunt the Hurt Business.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, we’re promised an update from Edge later tonight.

Five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce is walking backstage when R-Truth calls him over.

Truth says he sees Pearce out there handing out opportunities and he wants to prove he’s capable of winning the Money in the Bank ladder match.

AJ Styles rolls up to explain and graciously offer, in his benevolence, an opportunity. Adam books a match between them tonight and moves on.

R-Truth rambles at Big Buddy Omos about a Taurus he had that broke down.

Sheamus makes his entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial, we get our first on-air mention of the news that WWE Network is moving to Peacock in March.

John Morrison vs. Sheamus

Mat grappling to start, Sheamus looking for a top wristlock but Morrison takes his back and turns it into a reverse chinlock. The Celtic Warrior back to a double wristlock, into a front chancery as John tries to wrestle his way out. Side headlock, back to their feet, shot off, shoulder block, drop down, hip toss blocked, duck a lariat, waistlock, O’Connor roll, only two!

Duck the kick, schoolboy for two and Sheamus grabs a side headlock on Morrison! Shifting to a top wristlock, Johnny Raw fights out, a kick, the Celtic Warrior back body drops him! Morrison with an arm wringer into a roundhouse kick, mounted forearms, cartwheel knee strikes! Sheamus with punches in the corner, Irish Curse connects... NO GOOD! Off the top, Morrison cuts him out of mid-air with a dropkick to the knee!

Another knee strike sends the Celtic Warrior to the apron, targeting the knee now, wrenching it over the ropes, dragon screw, forearms into a kneebar in the middle of the ring! Wrenching a toehold in, Sheamus breaks with elbows and kicks, corner lariats into a biel, staggering around on one leg, drawing Morrison up, fireman’s carry but he slips out with elbows and hits a chop block!

Springboard crossbody caught, Sheamus spins him out into a Bossman Slam... NOT ENOUGH! The Celtic Warrior locks the cloverleaf on but Morrison gets the ropes and forces the break! Sheamus stays on him and capitalizes...

Sheamus wins by pinfall with White Noise.

Post-match, the Miz starts complaining on the mic and says if Sheamus wants to get ready for the Royal Rumble he needs to keep fighting, and he challenges him to a handicap match! Sheamus accepts and we go to break.

Sheamus vs. the Miz & John Morrison (Handicap Match)

Match in progress, standing shooting star press gets a nearfall! Action to the floor, Morrison dives on Sheamus, the heels take the Celtic Warrior back inside and start picking him apart. Sheamus fires up, slam for Miz, Finlay Roll puts Morrison into the A-Lister, he ends up diving on them both, we get some tight back and forth but Miz is on the ball...

The Miz & John Morrison win by pinfall with Skull-Crushing Finale.

Backstage, Ric Flair is showing Lacey Evans some wrestling moves.

No, really, he’s showing her waistlock variations or something.

Enter Charlotte Flair.

She asks Lacey to leave and Ric says there’s a place for him in the dressing room and if he wants to pass along some wisdom, he’s gonna do it and he’ll always be him. Flair asks if he means the man that spent all his money on anything but his family? When she was young, this was cute, but she’s the only thing protecting him and he’s going from legend to old man.

They stare awkwardly at each other and she reiterates that she’s not the bad guy. She backs off to leave and Lacey decks her with the Woman’s Right! Ric seems like he’s gonna join her for a second but she stops him and they go off together and send us to break.

AJ Styles vs. R-Truth

Styles right in with a front kick as Truth is tying his shoes. Hard whip, right hands, leg pick and elbow to the knees, Styles says he’s gonna show what he’s doing in the Royal Rumble but it’s Truth that dumps him over the ropes and to the floor! A furious AJ returns to the ring, drop toehold puts Truth hard into the apron, he looks up and sees Omos and runs away.

Back body drop, Styles to the apron, nobody home on the forearm, Truth hits the fall-forward Blue Thunder Driver! Calling for it, “You can’t see me!”, off the ropes, Five Knuckle Shuffle, scissors kick dodged, fireman’s carry, AJ floats over, Calf Killer applied...

AJ Styles wins by submission with the Calf Killer.

We see Asuka backstage warming up and we go to break.

Back from commercial, we get a recap of last week’s promo from a masked and burned Randy Orton, because Raw is three hours long. (Three hours long.)

Alexa’s Playground is set up in the interview ring backstage and Alexa Bliss talks about how much fun last week was. She says, for the record, she just wanted to have some fun with Asuka, but she didn’t want to play nice. Truth be told, though, she didn’t want to play nice either, and now she’s going to win a shiny new toy.

Matt Riddle makes his entrance to send us to break.

Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander, Montel Vontavious Porter, & Shelton Benjamin) vs. Matt Riddle (Handicap Gauntlet Match)

Benjamin first out, sidesteps a knee but Riddle comes in with palm strikes and chest kicks. Forearms in the corner, off the ropes, charging forearms, Shelton with a go-behind, big German suplex but Matt lands on his feet and hits the Pele kick! Off the ropes, duck the Penalty Kick, catch the knee, deadlift powerbomb... NOPE! Hanging Riddle up top, big knee lift, scoop and a slam for two.

Grounded Cobra Twist, Matt fights to his feet, body blows, off the ropes, Benjamin hammers him with a knee for two! Off the ropes, another big knee, Riddle’s gasping like a fish and Shelton covers him for a nearfall before grinding him down with a waistlock. Guillotine choke counter, switch sides, Benjamin deadlifts him, reversed but Riddle clocks him with a knee to counter the suplex!

O’Connor roll, reversed, but referee John Cone is busy telling Cedric Alexander to get off the apron and it’s not enough! MVP yells at him to do nothing, Riddle is on him...

Shelton Benjamin is eliminated by pinfall with a victory roll.

Post-match, the tag champs bicker and Porter is out third.

Riddle immediately takes him down...

MVP is eliminated by submission with a heel hook.

We go to break with Cedric Alexander on deck.

Back from commercial, Alexander is working Riddle over in the corner while Shelton and Montel sulk by the commentary desk. Trading forearms, kneeling armbar, putting the pressure on Matt’s lower back with a knee, Riddle fires up, chops and forearms into the corner, kicks on kicks, referee John Cone warns him and he moves into the charging forearms only to get cut off by a dropkick!

Standing Cobra Twist, Riddle gets the ropes but Cedric stays on him with a few covers and a waistlock. Back elbows to break, fireman’s carry but Alexander reverses to a DDT! MVP tells him if he would have cradled Riddle’s head he would have won and orders him to finish it. Rear chinlock applied, out of it, off the ropes, Riddle reverses a kick, Pele kick, charging forearm, overhead exploder suplex!

Penalty Kick misses, moonsault, nobody home, senton but Alexander gets his knees up! Duck a roundhouse, rolling solebutt connects but Matt hits a German suplex! Twisting brainbuster in return, only two, putting boots to the King of Bros, headed up top, the sweat dripping off him but nobody’s home on the dive! Roll-through, triangle choke from Deep Waters! Deadlift powerbomb to counter it, but Riddle locks the triangle right back on!

Another powerbomb attempt, duck a kick, double pumphandle reversed...

Matt Riddle wins, last eliminating Cedric Alexander by pinfall with a victory roll pin to become #1 contender to the WWE United States Championship.

Post-match, Bobby Lashley attacks Riddle on the stage, blindsiding him and locking the Hurt Lock on!

Commentary informs us that Edge’s injury update is up next, after the break.

Back from commercial, we get a longer breakdown of the deal that will see WWE Network content move to Peacock on March 18.

We get a recap of our opening segment, because of course we do.

Edge sends a promo in where he says 2020 has taught him that you can’t sleep on tomorrow and you gotta fight for it every day. You gotta pick yourself up and keep walking, forward, always forward. Ten years ago, after WrestleMania 27, he went to bed as World Heavyweight Champion, on top of the world, but within a week he had to forfeit his title and his career, his dream.

His mom told him to just go do it when he said he wanted to be a wrestler, but those simple words were the jet fuel that lit the fire in his gut to make him fight for nine years to get his career back. And then at Backlash, Randy Orton tore his triceps and gave him another reminder of how what you hold dear can be torn away from you, but you can’t live in that space.

You gotta fight, and he knows his mom would say “Adam, you gotta just go and do it,” so with that in mind, he’s entering the Royal Rumble. He knows the window closes more and more every day, so he needs to win the Royal Rumble, go to WrestleMania, and take back what he never lost. He’s going to fight with every fiber of his being and every breath left in his body to make his dream come true again.

If you’ve been with him from the Brood days, you know he has to try, and he thinks he can do it.

Asuka is shown walking backstage to send us to break.

Back from commercial, we get some hype for tonight’s episode of Raw Talk.

Alexa Bliss vs. Asuka (c) (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)

Circling, Asuka keeping her distance, Bliss with a waistlock and the champ fights right out and throws her around the ring. Kicks in the corner, taking her down for an armbar, keeping the hold locked on with stomps. Knee lift, clubbing strikes, Alexa whips her into the corner but Asuka explodes out with a dropkick! Off the ropes, hip attack misses and Bliss kicks her to the floor!

Alexa is suddenly on a rocking horse that wasn’t in the ring a minute ago and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Bliss is down and out in the corner. Whip reversed, Asuka gets an elbow up, missile dropkick sidestepped and Alexa hits Insault to Injury! Choke in the corner, staying on her, reverse chinlock in the middle of the ring, the Empress fights out and lays her out and both women are down and out. Slow to rise, hip toss Alarm Clock, hip attack, kick, German suplex.

Roundhouse kick for two, beating her down in the corner, the lights go down and Alexa suddenly appears wearing her old gear and sobbing. She gets to her feet unsure of herself or what’s going on but is able to sidestep the champ into the turnbuckles! Again the lights go wacky and they come up with Bliss in her darker Fiend gear and her hair up in buns.

Hands clasped behind her back she stalks the ring, blocking Asuka strikes, duck the Uraken but she walks right into the hip toss Alarm Clock! Asuka Lock applied, rolling around in the ring, but Bliss breaks out of it! Mandible Claw applied, red-faced Randy Orton appears behind her... RKO!

No bell rings and no finish is announced but presumably Alexa Bliss wins by disqualification.

Randy Orton stands tall.

That’s the show, folks.

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