Doudrop lands a splash on Bianca Belair and Liv Morgan

Becky Lynch’s opponent for Royal Rumble will be decided tonight when Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, and Doudrop fight for the opportunity. RK-Bro put their RAW tag titles on the line against Alpha Academy. And Alexa Bliss begins her journey back to RAW, whatever that may entail.

I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.

Match Results

Alpha Academy def. RK-Bro

The Dirty Dawgs & Apollo Crews def Street Profits & Damian Priest

Seth Rollins def. Big E

Omos def. Nick Sanders

AJ Styles def. Austin Theory (DQ)

Doudrop def. Bianca Belair and Liv Morgan

Bobby Lashley, with MVP, faces up to Brock Lesnar, with Paul Heyman

The Show

Brock Lesnar and his advocate Paul Heyman opened the show.

Before they got things underway the cameras cut backstage to Bobby Lashley watching a monitor with MVP. Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin approached, under the impression The Hurt Business was back together, but Lashley told them they were done and dismissed them.

Back in the ring, Lesnar was talking for himself after Heyman’s compulsory introduction, but Lashley and MVP barely let him say more than hello.

Lashley spoke to Lesnar “One super-athlete to another super-athlete” and told him it was an honour to share a ring with him. He went on to accuse him of ducking him for 20 years, to which Lesnar said he had no idea who he was until Day 1. It’s not his fault that Lashley didn’t climb the ladder and get to face him sooner.

Lesnar told a knock-knock joke with Heyman helping him out:

“Knock Knock.”

“Who’s there?”


“Bobby Who?”


Then finished the segment by telling Lashley it’s impossible to beat Brock Lesnar when you’re a Brock Lesnar wannabe.

Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin attacked Lashley after Lesnar and Heyman had left. Lashley dismantled them both and left them laid in untidy heaps at ringside after bouncing them off the ring post.

Bobby Lashley deals with Cedric Alexander

Randy Orton tried to make Riddle focus ahead of RK-Bro (C) vs Alpha Academy – RAW Tag Team Championships Match –  He ended up writing TAG IN RANDY on Riddle’s hands to remind him during the match. Riddle and Gable took the first stint. They mesh so well as opponents and Riddle took him down so hard on the outside, he had time to pose with Orton heading into a break.

By the time we came back, Riddle was in trouble and Orton was pacing and glowering. Alpha Academy had planned to keep Orton out of the match, and it almost worked for them. In a spurt of activity, Riddle knocked Gable off the apron and delivered a Floating Bro to Otis, and took him down long enough to tag out.

Orton didn’t have everything his own way. Chad Gable bounced his throat off the ropes, but Orton was back up to take Gable’s feet out from under him on the turnbuckle and superplex him down.

When Otis tried to interfere, Riddle ran around to help and got flattened. Orton missed a tag between Gable and Otis and had no idea Otis was legal until he was mid-way through the slam that won Alpha Academy the titles.

Otis slams Randy Orton to win the titles

Bianca Belair has won a Royal Rumble and won the title at WrestleMania. This year, she’s planning on walking into WrestleMania as champion. After she wins the triple-threat, “Big Time Becks is getting beaten by the EST of WWE”.

Damian Priest will enter the Royal Rumble match. He’s looking to add a title to the other shoulder to balance out the US Championship.

He was teaming up with Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins for Street Profits & Damian Priest vs The Dirty Dawgs & Apollo Crews, with Commander Azeez. They wanted to know if they were teaming with the party guy or the scary version and, whether he’d be joining in their celebrations. The verdict seems to be, they get the party guy, but Ziggler, Roode, and Apollo might not.

Priest was having a great time when he got in. He took all three of their opponents out, with a little additional help to manage the payback, and was posing with Ford and Dawkins as we cut to the break.

It settled into a decent match after the break. Montez Ford took a lot of punishment but got some payback when he took Crews and Azeez with a dive. Priest had already been taken out by a kick in the head from Crews while he was having a staredown with Azeez, so there was no one to save Dawkins after he took a ZigZag.

Damian Priest gets kicked in the head by Apollo while staring out Commander Azeez

Seth Rollins talks way too much. He’s excited about facing Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble and he’s convinced he’ll beat him to become Universal Champion. He’s as confident as only Seth Freakin’ Rollins can be.

Big E joined him in the ring and told him he was excited for him. When Rollins asked why, Big E said Rollins is his favourite of all the world title combatants at Royal Rumble. He’s officially entering the Rumble match and his ultimate fantasy is beating Seth Rollins for the title at WrestleMania.

Rollins told him he didn’t have a chance, but he could dream. Big E suggested they test that theory, but Rollins didn’t seem keen. He said he wasn’t ready and maybe next week. Big E said how about right now. Rollins relented. Considering Rollins was in his ring gear under his jacket, that wasn’t a shock, but who’s complaining about Big E vs Seth Rollins.

Great match. This could easily have been the main event match on any show of the year. They tore each other down and wore each other out, which you’ve got to when you’ve done this so many times. Rollins got the decider this time round, in the form of a Stomp.

Seth Rollins frogsplash onto Big E

Nineteen women have so far declared themselves for the Royal Rumble: Rhea Ripley, Nikki A.S.H., the Bella Twins, Shotzi, Natalya, Michelle McCool, Dana Brooke, Carmella, Queen Zelina, Mickie James, Tamina, Kelly Kelly, Aliyah, Summer Rae, Naomi, Shayna Baszler, Lita, Charlotte Flair.

Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley had an in-ring interview with Sarah Schreiber. Nikki announced that they were challenging Queen Zelina and Carmella to a rematch. Ripley said that’s not what they discussed. Schreiber pointed out they weren’t on the same page and asked if their partnership had run its course. Nikki said of course not, but Ripley’s face told a different story.

Nikki wouldn’t let Ripley take it out the back to talk, she insisted on doing it there and then. Rhea confessed she thinks it’s time for them to part. Nikki got angry and accused her of thinking she’s better than her when maybe she was the one who was doing Ripley a favour. Maybe Ripley’s not the best in the ring out of the two of them.

Ripley offered her a handshake and to part friends. Nikki asked her to tell her she still believed in her. She did, and said she’d always believe in her, she just wants her to be able to believe in herself.

They hugged tearfully and promised to stay friends, then Nikki attacked her. As she left, smiling at the boos, she said almost superheroes don’t need friends.

Sarah Schreiber precipitates the breakup of Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H.

Doudrop is going to show Bianca Belair and Liv Morgan that their biggest mistake was overlooking her. Then she’s coming for Big Time Becks at Royal Rumble. 

Reggie’s sixth sense for when the 24/7 title is in danger was triggered while he was trying to eat a cheesesteak with Dana Brooke. They escaped and Tamina ended up wearing the sandwich, but Reggie literally ran into Omos, and Dana Brooke had to yell at him to put him down. Reggie is getting a match against Omos next week whether he likes it or not.

Omos was on his way to the ring for Omos vs ‘Local Competitor’ was pointless. Why have a man who could barrel through 90% of your roster throw an unnamed guy around for a minute then pin him with a foot on his chest?

Omos with local competitor above his head.

Edge had Beth Phoenix as his guest on Cutting Edge. Their mixed-tag against The Miz & Maryse at Royal Rumble is official now, so the first thing he did was to talk up how incredible his wife is and show a video package of the damage she can do and how much she means to the women’s division. He’s so proud of his wife, it’s sweet. She was so happy, it very nearly got inappropriate for a moment before she got to the business of the day. She’s sick of The Miz and Maryse and at Royal Rumble, they’re going to shut their mouths for them.

The Miz accused Edge of slander and reminded him he had him beaten before Beth caused a distraction… despite the fact Maryse had interfered several times by then. He also had a video of his wife, but there was a lot more posing in it and very little wrestling. Apparently, the power of their love makes them unbeatable, but time will tell.

Edge said some respectful things to Maryse but noted that Beth smashes things and he’d be scared if he had to step in the ring with her. Phoenix said it’s funny how quiet Maryse had become since she showed up when she’d had no problem getting involved in Edge’s matches before. The time for apologies is over and at Royal Rumble, she’s going to wreck her.

The Miz launched into a spiel, encouraging Maryse to tell Beth how bad she was going to beat her, but Maryse walked away while he was talking. Beth sent him off with a final warning. If Maryse doesn’t show and Edge doesn’t get there first, she’ll take great pleasure in knocking his teeth out.

Edge and Beth Phoenix

Austin Theory was looking to impress Mr. McMahon by beating AJ Styles. Mr. McMahon reminded him how good Styles is earlier in the day and told him not to screw it up. So there was a lot of pressure on him heading into Austin Theory vs AJ Styles. Good match, spoiled by the ending. Styles has an NXT 2.0 match against Grayson Waller tomorrow night, so Waller appeared at ringside and pulled Styles off the apron as he was setting up for a Phenomenal Forearm. Theory lost the match but happily left after a selfie. Styles got back up to fight Waller, and Waller ran away.

Backstage, Waller told Kevin Patrick he’d given Styles a preview of tomorrow night. It might have been more convincing if he hadn’t been looking over his shoulder the whole time.

Austin Theory knocks AJ Styles off the apron

Liv Morgan knows what it’s like to come so close to victory she can almost taste it. She’ll never stop giving everything she’s got, so it’s new year’s same attitude. After she wins the triple-threat, she won’t come close to the title at Royal Rumble, she’s winning it.

I think it’s safe to say Alexa Bliss’ first therapy session didn’t go quite as planned…

Becky Lynch joined commentary for Liv Morgan vs Bianca Belair vs Doudrop – Number One Contender’s Match – which was our main event of the evening. Before she joined the desk, she said some nice things about each of her potential competitors but said they’re just fighting for the opportunity to lose to her at Roya Rumble.

There was half an hour of the show left when Becky Lynch came out. By the time the bell rang, there were fifteen minutes. Commentary talked about Doudrop as the unknown element for Lynch, which still irrationally annoys me as she spent a couple of years in NXT UK. It does mean they discussed her for ages and said lots of complimentary things. A crossbody to Belair and Morgan, and flipping Morgan off her back over the top rope after a missed cannonball, were particularly worthy of note.

Doudrop rolled out of the ring to recover from a spear from Belair. Morgan had a credible go at submitting Belair, but Bianca Belair eventually powered out. Doudrop caught up with Belair and Morgan on the top turnbuckle. Belair got her head bounced off the turnbuckle and Liv Morgan was powerbombed. Bianca Belair landed a 450 halfway across the ring onto Doudrop’s back to break the pin.

All fired up, Belair powerbombed Doudrop then dumped Morgan on her with a double chicken-wing and moonsaulted onto both of them. The K.O.D. on Liv Morgan would have won it for sure if Becky Lynch hadn’t broken it up by attacking Belair. In the ensuing chase and fight, Lynch threw Belair over the announce desk.

Doudrop dragged Morgan over to the corner and dropped down on her from the second rope for the win.

It will be Becky Lynch vs Doudrop for the RAW Women’s Championship at Royal Rumble.

Lynch extended her hand to Doudrop after the match, then slapped her instead. She tried to Manhandle Slam her, but Doudrop threw her out of the ring.

Bianca Belair breaks up Doudrop's pin on Liv Morgan with a 450 splash

I’m very happy with the result of the triple-threat, and I think Doudrop vs Lynch will surprise a lot of people and vindicate some others. Royal Rumble is shaping up to be a decent PPV, and there are still a couple of weeks of build left.

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