WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 4, 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: A group of Legends returns for a special night, though it’s unclear what exactly they’ll be doing. Said list includes the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and more. Plus, Drew McIntyre defends the WWE championship against Keith Lee while we get to see what’s next with Randy Orton and Alexa Bliss.
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. 4
Staring through the message in his eyes lies a solitary son from the mountain called Freecloud, where the eagle dare not fly. And the patience in his sigh gives no indication for the townsmen to decide, but me, I’m just here to liveblog this pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with a shot of a phone with a Hulkamania case.
Noted racist Hulk Hogan does a voiceover selling us on what he calls the hPhone, which can do everything a normal smartphone can do, but also... talk to him, I guess? Sure.
The Miz and John Morrison are in the ring for a special Legends Night edition of MizTV.
They hype up Legends Night and talk about how the Money in the Bank contract has been returned to Miz before introducing their guests, the New Day.
They chat up their new talk show, New Day Talks, which will feature fresh tea, beef, and working smell-o-vision. It’s not totally clear whether it’s meant to be coterminous with tonight’s edition of MizTV. Indeed it is because Kofi Kingston whips out a pile of interview cards. He asks New Year’s resolutions, and Morrison wants to become a certified hibachi chef, invest in Etherium, and a third thing I didn’t quite catch.
Who of the legends would he like to go to dinner with? Tatanka. Miz is getting hot at John for playing along and tries to cut the interview off, but New Day move on to Cooking Like Bootyworth, with celebrity chef Xavier Woods. That gets Miz really hot and he says he’s sick of them making a joke out of him and his show and he was hoping they’d take him seriously this year—
TEDDY LONG IS IN THE BUILDING! HOLD ON A MINUTE, PLAYAS!
He has the perfect solution— Miz and Morrison will face... the Undertaker!
Five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce comes down and whispers in his ear, leading Teddy to flip to his other script and book a tag team match to send us to break.
New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. the Miz & John Morrison
Morrison and Woods to start, a bit of grappling, quick tags and New Day take control and press the attack on Johnny Raw. Miz comes in, almost catches Kingston in the Skull-Crushing Finale, blocks Trouble in Paradise, but Kofi hits a springboard crossbody for two! Back and forth, Woods dodges a standing shooting star press from Morrison and tags Kingston in.
Dropkick for a two count, monkey flip, Kofi lands on his feet and twerks at him! Jumping thrust kick, monkey flip of his own and Morrison eats mat! Woods counters the Miz, and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Kingston hammering Morrison with strikes, cutting Miz off as he tries to run interference, strike rush from John gets a tag! The A-Lister off the ropes with a sliding boot, mounted punches, double gutbuster off a tag to Morrison for two. Reverse chinlock applied, the heat segment running in earnest now as the heels remain in control.
Kofi hits SOS for some breathing room! The path is clear, reaching, crawling... tags made! Woods in hot with lariats, off the ropes, sliding under, rolling elbow connects! Senton through the ropes, Miz ducks but Kofi clobbers him! Xavier going for a DDT, Morrison reverses, feet on the ropes and Kingston breaks it up! Big leg trip, off the ropes...
New Day win by pinfall with a sliding knee from Xavier Woods on John Morrison.
We get a recap of last week’s attempted homicide, er, Randy Orton / Alexa Bliss segment.
Randy is interviewed about what he was thinking about last week.
The voices wanted him to drop the match and watch Alexa burn, but he couldn’t do it and he thinks he knows why. It’s because like everyone else has said, when you face the Fiend, something in you changes, and he thinks that’s the source of his restraint, compassion, and mercy, and for that he hates himself. And can you imagine if he can direct that newfound hatred for himself towards someone else?
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get a New Year’s Eve recap of the circumstances under which R-Truth lost the 24/7 Championship to Angel Garza.
Angel Garza is backstage hanging out with Alicia Fox because of course he is. She rebuffs him when he doesn’t know about Fleetwood Mac skateboard guy, and he moves on, coming across Sgt. Slaughter, Tatanka, and Mickie James. He gives her his rose, and Sarge takes it and smells it before calling him a maggot and scaring him off.
AJ Styles vs. Elias
Styles with a side headlock, Elias blocks, takeover out of the corner. Back suplex from the Drifter but AJ hangs on to the headlock and stays on him! Laying strikes in, off the ropes, front kick, Elias with the Hot Shot and a military press drop into the turnbuckles before blasting him off the apron with a forearm that sends us to break!
Back from commercial, Elias is hammering Styles in the turnbuckles. Jockeying for position, AJ trips him into the turnbuckles and follows by trading strikes in the middle of the ring. Styles Rush, the Drifter ducks the lariat and hits a sitout chokeslam... NO GOOD! Styles with an enzuigiri out of the corner, lining him up on the apron... PHENOMENAL FOREARM COUNTERED WITH A KNEE OUT OF NOWHERE!
Only a nearfall, electric chair powerbomb reversed into a Frankensteiner! Styles snaps off a sheerdrop brainbuster, draws him up...
AJ Styles wins by pinfall with the Styles Clash.
Post-match, Jaxson Ryker tries to hit the ol’ El Kabong on Styles but Big Buddy Omos big boots it out of his hands and shatters the guitar in the process!
We get footage of Charlotte Flair declaring herself for the Royal Rumble match.
Flair makes her entrance alongside her dad, the Nature Boy, Ric Flair, and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Matt Riddle is trying to sell Big Show, the largest (and thus best) wrestler in the world, on being the Big Bro.
Riddle leaves and Randy Orton rolls up.
He says it must be an interesting feeling knowing that he can never compete in that ring again, and Show takes issue with this idea. Orton says his career is over because he punted him in the head the last time he wrestled, and Big says he can compete right now. Randy grabs him by the collarbone but Show says he sees what he’s doing and he’s not going to do anything foolish.
He’s proud to be here on Legends Night, and Orton says he doesn’t have the guts to reintroduce himself to the Legend Killer, so he’ll be on his way.
Royce and Evans get an inset promo where they talk about winning their match and showing the legends what a future legend looks like.
Asuka & Charlotte Flair vs. Lacey Evans & Peyton Royce
Flair makes short work of Royce to start, nearly gets Evans in the figure four leglock but she bails to the floor. Back in, Peyton with the tag, and now the heels work the numbers game to beat Charlotte down! Working her over for a beat but she fights back, STO backbreaker and a tag! Asuka in with a missile dropkick, hip attack to Lacey, bowling Royce over and hitting her with a hip attack in the corner!
Lariat / bulldog combo takes ‘em both out and gets a two count! Whip to the corner, a forearm knocks Asuka to the floor and Evans is wiggling her butt in Ric’s face. Charlotte slaps her, they brawl on the floor and we go to break.
Back from commercial, the heels are stomping away at Asuka in the corner! The heat segment rolls on, tags made at last, Flair cleans house and works Evans’ leg over in the corner! Back and forth, the match breaks down, hip attack countered with a neckbreaker in the ropes! Lacey tries seducing Ric again for... some reason, Charlotte cuts her off, Ric trips his own daughter up...
Lacey Evans & Peyton Royce win by pinfall with a crucifix pin from Royce on Charlotte Flair.
Post-match, Evans kisses the Nature Boy before leaving him to solemnly wait for his daughter to leave the ring. She gets in his face and tells him to stay out of her business again.
Backstage, we see Drew McIntyre taping his wrists up when his pal Sheamus rolls up.
Drew says he’s ready for his match, and Sheamus asks him to give Keith Lee one extra kick in the head for him. Drew says he’ll do whatever it takes to retain this title.
Noted racist Hulk Hogan and the Mouth of the South Jimmy Hart roll up on them.
Hogan wishes Drew luck and says he’s carried the WWE Championship with pride. McIntyre gently mocks his pal by suggesting that if he’s like Hogan, he must be like Jimmy Hart. Sheamus prickles a little but walks off in good humor as Drew and Hulk do the “whatcha gonna do?” routine.
And so we go to break.
Bobby Lashley vs. Matt Riddle
Riddle blasts Lashley before the bell as he’s handing the United States Championship to the timekeeper!
We get a bell and Matt continues the attack, lighting him up with strikes before looking for the Kimura lock! Bob counters with a slam, puts him in the corner, front kicks, right hands, Riddle manages to dump him to the floor but the Penalty Kick is countered and Lashley rams him into the ringpost to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Lashley is still in control, choking Riddle with a reverse chinlock. Matt escapes, roundhouse connects and gets a lariat in return! Rear chinlock becomes a neck crank, Riddle fights to his feet, body blows but he gets jammed into the turnbuckles and hammered with punches and elbows! Riddle catches a lariat and turns it into a Pele Kick!
Exploder suplex blocked, Lashley gets the Yokosuka Cutter but Matt lands on his feet! Penalty Kick, senton, only one! Riddle hits a knee... NO GOOD! Matt perches up top, Bob cuts him off, Canadian backbreaker rack... DOMINATOR! Lying in wait, the Hurt Lock is on but Riddle springboards to escape! Lashley hangs on but he feels a tap that referee Shaun Bennett doesn’t see, MVP argues with him...
Matt Riddle wins by pinfall with a schoolboy pin.
Backstage, Mark Henry (on a scooter for some kind of knee injury) gives Ricochet a pep talk and the One and Only walks away with renewed confidence.
Randy Orton rolls up, saying he’s been meaning to catch up with him to mention that he’s going to be in the Royal Rumble. He asks Mark if he’s gonna be in the match before noticing the scooter and pointing out that he’s probably never going to compete again. He asks how fast the scooter can go and Henry says hopefully fast enough to get away from his ass.
Orton puts a hand on his shoulder and stops him from leaving, saying he wants to reminisce about all the receipts he owes him from the Hall of Pain days. He was thinking maybe he’d give him a pass, but only if he pedals his ass on out of here.
Henry leaves and we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get a replay of what we just saw, because the world is cold, bundle up.
Montel Vontavious Porter and Bobby Lashley are interviewed backstage.
Porter says it’s simple, no controversy— Riddle quit and Lashley was robbed. Bob pledges to punish his punk ass when he gets hands on him.
Mandy Rose has a match against Shayna Baszler but Baszler attacks her during her entrance and beats her down in the entryway! Dana Brooke comes to her partner’s aid and offers to take her place!
Dana Brooke vs. Shayna Baszler
Baszler with big palm strikes out the gates but Brooke manages to dump her to the floor! Kirifuda Clutch applied, Dana rolls her over...
Dana Brooke wins by pinfall, countering the Kirifuda Clutch into a bridging pin.
Post-match, Shayna keeps the hold on but Rose saves her pal and they drop the Queen of Spades with a double flapjack!
Backstage, Ric Flair is hanging out with Irwin R. Shyster and Molly Holly, chatting amiably when Randy Orton rolls up.
He says he was thinking maybe Ric could walk him down the aisle tonight, for old time’s sake, as long as he doesn’t screw up like he did with Charlotte earlier tonight. Flair says he’ll never walk Randy down the aisle again, and Orton brings up punting him last year. Randy says he sees a man that looks like and talks like Ric Flair, but is not the man that taught him damn near everything he knows.
He’s nothing now, just a pathetic old man.
And on that happy note, we go to break.
Backstage, Keith Lee is getting ready for his match when Matt Riddle rolls up to wish him luck.
Lee thanks him for the pep talk and keeps training.
Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton
Collar and elbow, Orton getting him in the corner and breaking dirty with a thumb to the eye! Dumping him to the floor, smashing him into the announce table, Hardy just unable to get any offense in as Randy back suplexes him into the announce table! Kneeling armbar, Jeff with desperation strikes, a lariat, a falling elbow, to the corner for the beatdown! Front kick, stomp the arm!
Hardy manages to cut him off on the floor and turn the tide as we go to break!
Back from commercial and Orton is yanking at poor Jeff Hardy’s gauge holes in his earlobes, Christ. What an asshole, you know? It’s just rude, frankly. SIDEBAR: The last hour might be a bit lower quality that usual because I took my progesterone early tonight— it makes me sleepy so it seemed like a reasonable strategic decision so I could get to bed for a nap so I could cover night two of Wrestle Kingdom but I probably should have waited an hour. Whoops!
Anyway, Orton looking for the hanging DDT, blocked, Manhattan Drop > double leg drop > basement dropkick > fallign splash, not enough! WHISPER IN THE WIND! Leg-feed solebutt, dropkick through the ropes, Up top, nobody home, Randy with a kick to the gut and the hanging DDT works this time! Schoolboy for two, Twist of Fate reversed...
Randy Orton wins by pinfall with the RKO.
Lucha House Party run into Melina, who chants with them a little bit.
The Hurt Business make their entrance to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Lucha House Party get an inset promo where they talk about winning this match and showing the legends what’s what.
Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin) vs. Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado.
Hurt Business in control early, going to town on Metalik. Lince tags in and goes back and forth with Cedric, getting beat down by the Hurt Business man. Isolating Dorado, quick tags, here comes the heat segment! I know for a fact that tag team wrestling can be great but so much of it falls flat. Anyway, holy crap Dorado got a flash pin!
Lucha House Party win by pinfall with a crucifix pin from Lince Dorado on Shelton Benjamin.
Post-match, MVP berates them for losing.
Backstage, Angel Garza rolls up on Tori and offers her a rose, but she’s busy talking to Nikki Cross and says she invited a bunch of celebrities to Raw and he should go give the rose to one of them in a roman just down the hall. He buys it and heads to a door marked lounge, going inside into the darkness.
The lights come on red and the Boogeyman is there! Garza runs screaming, R-Truth blindsides him...
R-Truth wins by pinfall to regain the WWE 24/7 Championship.
Truth runs off with the women and Ron Simmons rolls up to drop a “DAMN.”
Drew McIntyre makes his entrance to send us to break.
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Keith Lee (WWE Championship)
Collar and elbow, struggling all around the ring, McIntyre gets a cravate and wrenches it in. Lee slings him off, shoulder blocks, off the ropes, drop down, they get into a shoving match and Drew lights him up with chops! More chops in the corner, Keith fires back and knocks McIntyre to the floor! He blasts McIntyre over the barricade and to the floor and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Lee is in control and working McIntyre over in the corner. Pressing the attack, slamming him repeatedly, but he can’t keep the champion down! Drew floats out of one and shoves him into the turnbuckles before hitting a big overhead belly-to-belly suplex! Duck the Claymore but McIntyre gets a sunset flip for two! Short chokeslam from the Limitless One... NOPE!
To the apron... DREW POWERBOMBS LEE INTO THE ANNOUNCE TABLE TO SEND US TO BREAK!
Back from commercial, McIntyre with a nearfall off a dive! Lee off the ropes, Drew catches the lariat and goes for a backslide but Keith fights him every inch of the way and turns him around. McIntyre lands on his feet... FUTURE SHOCK FOR TWO! Headed up top, jockeying for position... KEITH LEE SPANISH FLY OFF THE TOP! COVER... MCINTYRE KICKS OUT!
Spirit Bomb denied, Drew with a spinebuster into a jackknife pin but it’s not doing it! Lying in wait, Claymore caught, Drew slips out of the Spirit Bomb, off the ropes...
Drew McIntyre wins by pinfall with the Claymore to retain the WWE Championship.
Postmatch, Drew offers a fist bump and Keith accepts.
McIntyre gets on the mic but you can’t hear him over Goldberg’s music.
GOLDBERG IS HERE!
He gets on the mic and says he was in the back and he was thinking that there couldn’t be a better man to be WWE Champion than McIntyre. Size, speed, athleticism, he has them all, but the one thing he don’t got? Is respect. He heard what he said, but that’s not what he’s thinking, because when he addresses the legends he looks at them as a bunch of washed-up, tired old men and women.
He accuses Drew of thinking that not one of them poses a threat to him whatsoever, but that’s where he’s wrong, and that’s where Goldberg comes in. It’s about respect, so don’t think he’s coming out here and demanding anything, he’s coming to challenge him for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble! McIntyre says he’s all about respect and he’ll put it bluntly— Goldberg 20 years ago? That’s not him now, and fighting him now would be like fighting his own dad.
GOLDBERG SHOVES HIM DOWN!
THAT’S THE SHOW, FOLKS!