Updated: Jan 18
Before show starts, Raw General Manager Ted DiBiase along with Shane McMahon address the future of WWE.
Following the untimely passing of Mr McMahon at Wrestlemania in his match with Undertaker, RAW had been put on hold by Fox out of respect. Instead they showed a documentary in depth look into Vince McMahon and his legacy, split over three weeks.
This week would signify the reset of RAW; all championships vacated following the re-draft of the three brands
Match #1 - Dash Wilder O def. Rezar, Shane Thorne, Chad Gable, Kyle O'Reilly & Hanson
[Tag Team Ladder Match - The Winner To Go To Backlash To Choose Their Opponent For The WWE RAW Tag Team Championships Match]
Rezar was the first to attempt to grab the contract, but this was easily stopped by O'Reilly. This then led to a clash of the titans as Hanson & Rezar squared off in the middle of the ring before proceeding to bludgeon each other.
O'Reilly was the next to try and grab the contract, and actually got a hold of it, but the ladder was moved at the crucial moment, leaving the Undisputed Era member dangling, before falling onto Thorne's shoulders into an Electric Chair Drop out of the ring.
Chad Gable at this point decided that were too many people in the ring, and proceeded to take every member of the match out with a ladder, before Rezar seemed to put an end to Hanson's chances in the match with a Powerbomb from atop the ladder onto another ladder below.
With competitors tiring, Dash Wilder saw his opportunity, busting open Hanson, O'Reilly and Gable with one ladder before scampering up a second ladder, grabbing the contract to go to Backlash where The Revival would be the team to choose their opponent for the Tag Title match.
Elias arrived in-ring next, guitar in hand, with a reminder to everyone that he remains the main attraction of the new WWE. This interlude was interrupted by Jake Roberts who proclaimed “Your songs or guitar won’t save you from the DDT or Damien!” and an impromptu match began.
Match #2 - Jake 'The Snake' Roberts O def. Elias X
Elias began by offering a cowardly hand of apology, only to suckerpunch Roberts and hit him with his own DDT, which Jake managed to kick out of, but barely. Elias then attempted to capitalise on his momentum by then trying a Low Blow, but Roberts reversed the attempt into a DDT for victory.
Match #3 - Mr. Perfect O def. Lars Sullivan, Rusev, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Bobby Roode, The Velveteen Dream & Andrade
[8-Man Battle Royal With The Winner Choosing The Stipulation In The WWE Intercontinental Championship Match Against The Runner-Up]
The Velveteen Dream's 'dream' of holding the Intercontinental Championship were dashed almost immediately as he was catapulted out of the ring eliminated by Sullivan with a clothesline, while Bobby Roode managed to send Corbin over the rope after dodging a running Big Boot.
A period of relative calm came next as all the competitors became more cagey in their actions, not wanting to be eliminated. This changed when Rusev threw out Andrade and assuming he'd been eliminated, walked away, only for Andrade to grab the rope for the save.
Roode, high off of his early elimination of Baron Corbin, downed everyone with Spine-Busters, but Sullivan grabbed The Glorious One by the throat, shook his head and dumped him over top rope for an elimination.
Ziggler and Andrade exchanged furious blows and attempted to throw each other out. In the madness of the fracas, they both tumble over but Ziggler managed to hook his leg on the rope with Andrade the sole elimination.
Sullivan continued his rampage, this time eliminating crowd favourite, Rusev with a nasty headbutt and clothesline. Seeing an opportunity, Dolph suggested working with Sullivan to eliminate Perfect, however, Sullivan laughed and hit Ziggler with a terrifying one-handed Spine-Buster
Perfect managed to briefly halt Sullivan with a Dropkick, before we get the shortest of standoffs between Perfect and Ziggler, one which is ended with Ziggler hitting Perfect with a Superkick to the chin. By this time Sullivan is up, and launched Ziggler into the corner before he sent him tumbling out with yet another clothesline, leaving Sullivan and the beaten-down Mr. Perfect.
Lars hit the Freak Accident and picked up Mr. Perfect to eliminate him, only for Perfect to Punt Sullivan squarely in the plums and eliminate him instead for the victory, meaning it would be Mr. Perfect who chose the stipulation for the WWE Intercontinental Title Match at Backlash against Sullivan.
Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers were on the ramp next, with the intention being that Jinder would have a match against a surprise opponent, when the lights went out. When they came back on, all three were laid out on ramp surrounded by thick black smoke. As medics and EMTs transported them backstage amongst the smoke, an evil laughter filled the arena.
Jack Gallagher was interviewed backstage next where he explained about how he was sick and tired of being overlooked. He ended by citing Kalisto as the next one he needed to dispose of on his ladder to the top. Kalisto interrupted the interview at this point to offer him a match anytime, anywhere.
Match #4 - Shayna Baszler O def. Billie Kay, Mickie James, Lacey Evans, Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose
[6-Woman Battle Royal]
A furious start to this Battle Royal saw Baszler hit Lacey with an elbow to face and throw her out almost instantly, straight away asserting her dominance over the rest of the competitors.
Rose and Mickie soon found themselves both on the apron, with the former just manging to wrestle the latter onto the floor below, Mickie attempting the Mick Kick only for Rose to drops to sit on the apron, grabbing Mickie's leg, throwing her to the floor.
All this led to two very clear match-ups taking place, with Kay and Deville trying everything to eliminate each other, while Rose did everything in her power to avoid any contact whatsoever with Shayna Baszler.
Baszler, clearly irritated by Rose, turned her attention to Deville and made short work of her, sending her out with an over the rope Samoan drop. Mandy Rose then tried, rather foolishly, to catch Baszler with a quick elimination but Baszler reversed it and sent Rose plummeting with a crunching knee to the face.
This of course left Baszler and Billie Kay, but the exchange was incredibly short-lived, only drawn out due to Baszler's sick and twisted desire to cause as much pain to Kay as possible, toying with her. Once she had tired of this, the nonchalantly clotheslined Kay out of the ring, capping off a dominant performance.
Match #5 - Braun Strowman O def. The Miz, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sting, Adam Cole
[6-Man Battle Royal]
Differently to the previous Battle Royals we had seen tonight, rather than quick eliminations, we saw match-ups flourish quickly, with the tastiest one being between Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman, Joe goes straight for Braun trading blows before Braun eventually knocked Joe to the corner with a Big Boot.
The first elimination happens in somewhat bizarre fashion; Braun has Nakamura on his back, with the latter attempting a rather ill-fated Sleeper Hold. Braun, swinging wildly to escape Nakamura's grip, stumbled across the ring, with Nakamura's legs smashing into Cole, knocking him over the rope, eliminating him, with Nakamura soon following suit.
Samoa Joe the went for Braun again, showing no fear in the face of the sheer size and power of Braun, and this time sent Braun to the mat with with an Enziguri. While Braun recovered from this, Joe faced off with Sting, with Miz stuck in the middle of he two heavyweights staring each other down. Rather wisely, The Miz managed to slide out and under the bottom rope to avoid any confrontation.
Sting lasted little time,. as the returning Braun aimed a Clothesline at Joe, only for the Samoan One to duck, causing Braun to eliminate Sting instead. A third instalment of the Joe vs. Braun saga ensued, with Joe lighting up Braun's chest with chops - to which Braun ripped open his top, screaming “IS THAT ALL YOU GOT!?” Before picking up Joe for the Running Powerslam.
At this point, The Miz had slid back in to ring and hit a Dropkick to the back of Braun attempting to send both over the rope. This, unfortunately for The Miz, only sent Joe over, leaving the A-Lister to face the Monster 1 on 1.
This lasted little to no time as, after fruitless pleas and bargaining from Miz, Braun threw the petrified shell of a man over the top rope with ease for the win.