Air Date: 25/1/16
Last night saw Triple H win the Royal Rumble match and hence the WWE Championship, as well as AJ Styles making an incredibly surprising debut. The show starts with Vince and Stephanie McMahon coming out and gloating about screwing over Roman Reigns last night. They gloat some more, and some more after that, and then eventually bring out Triple H who flashes his title on the way down to the ring. Hunter cuts a decent promo about Reigns not respecting Vince and the business, and just generally puts himself over. Stephanie announces that at Fastlane there will be a number one contendership match to find out who will face Triple H at Wrestlemania, with the participants announced by the end of the show. This was your standard 20 minute RAW opening promo with minimal achieved, although in this situation it was kind of needed.
Michael Cole then teases a “major star” will return tonight before we head to the first match.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens
Owens was still selling after last night’s match which I really appreciated. Dolph immediately hits Kevin with a superkick for a nearfall and these two have a pretty fun little back and forth match, with Dolph really seeming desperate to overcome but just falling short. Owens pins Ziggler with the popup powerbomb ** ¾
Roman Reigns is interviewed backstage by JoJo, he doesn’t really seem upset about losing the title last night and is more pissed off.
The Social Outcasts are out in the ring next. Heath spots Flo Rida in the front row and threatens him, while Bo challenges him to get into the ring. Bo and Flo have a rap battle, amazingly Dallas was a lot better than Flo but they were both pretty shit. Flo introduces the Dudley Boyz.
The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)(w/Flo Rida) vs. Social Outcasts (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas w/Adam Rose and Heath Slater)
This was the total nothing match you would expect, the only highlight being Flo Rida throwing Heath into the ring to get hit with the Wazzup headbutt from the Dudleyz. D-Von pins Curtis Axel after a 3D **
Renee Young is backstage with AJ Styles next, he is quickly interrupted by Chris Jericho who puts over their match coming up.
Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles
It’s completely insane to see AJ Styles in WWE. Even though this current run has really exposed Jericho, he was one of the best guys to put AJ with in his first singles match. These two had a solid back and forth match, with Jericho working as a subtle heel talking down to AJ before the match and seemingly getting pissed off at him. There were one or two awkward moments where there were obviously some communication issues between the two but overall this was a good, competitive match and a fun first match for AJ, although pinning Jericho with his finish instead of by reversing a rollup might have been a better idea. I am not going to complain too much about that though since it seems like there will be more between these two. AJ Styles pins Chris Jericho *** ¼
After the match AJ Styles goes to shake Jericho’s hand, who does so reluctantly and the two have a stare down.
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
This could have been a pretty big deal match with a little bit of build, but instead we got a nothing five minute match that the crowd didn’t care at all about that was interrupted by Charlotte. No Contest ** ¼
Charlotte stands tall after beating up both women.
Goldust is looking for R-Truth backstage and tells him that he wants to team with Truth. Truth confuses this with Goldust hitting on him in a pretty bad comedy segment. Interestingly these two have already teamed once on Main Event a few weeks ago.
Bray Wyatt (w/Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman) vs. Kane
There was a group of three drunk assholes dressed as 80s wrestlers that were completely stealing the spotlight here. This was the strong win that Bray needed if he is going to feud with Lesnar, but someone bigger than Kane should’ve been used. Bray Wyatt pins Kane with a Sister Abigail ** ¼
After the match The Wyatt Family lays out Kane.
The Miz walks out of a limbo that was teased to contain the big returning star, only for The Rock to pull up in a huge truck. On the way to the ring Rock talks to Rick Ross, Big Show, and Rusev and Lana. Rock implies that he had sex with Lana after they were on RAW last time. Rock was acting really weird in this entire segment, he was being a lot hammier than usual and seemed a little drunk or something.
Rock finally gets to the ring and starts to cut a promo hyping Wrestlemania, he goes and interacts with the drunk assholes from earlier who have now been moved away from the hard camera side and basically shuts them down. This really showed how good Rock is as a lesser man would’ve ignored them or not been able to effectively shut them up. Rock is interrupted by New Day, and they all banter back and forth as well as you would imagine. Rock challenges New Day to come to the ring, but they go to leave which causes the Usos to come out and help Rock beat up the New Day. This was a pretty damn fun segment and it’s always great to see The Rock.
Paige and Natalya vs. Team Bella (Brie Bella and Alicia Fox)
This was a quick, nothing match more about promoting the return of Total Divas, although I guess it’s nice to have to women’s matches on the show. Paige pins Brie with the Rampaige * ¼
The Miz vs. Kalisto
Kalisto has been having a very good year so far, I might go as far as to say he’s been the best wrestler in the company up until this point. This was another solid match to add to his resume, which hopefully will continue to grow exponentially. Kalisto pins Miz with a Salida Del Sol ***
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. League of Nations (Rusev and Sheamus w/Alberto Del Rio and Wade Barrett)
This match was basically just Dean Ambrose getting the shit beaten out of him for 9 minutes and then Roman Reigns coming in with a hot tag and winning for his team. Fine RAW main event I guess. Roman Reigns pins Sheamus with a Spear ** ½
After the match Reigns and Ambrose put Rusev through the announce table, after which Stephanie McMahon comes out and announces Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar for Fastlane with the number one contendership on the line. That should be a pretty damn great match.
This was an alright follow up to the Royal Rumble. AJ Styles had a pretty good debut match, it was cool to see Rock interact with New Day, and the main event to Fastlane is already set and on paper looks like it could be great.