In an incredible Raw main event, Seth Rollins finally received his Intercontinental Championship rematch against Dean Ambrose, but this time, the two former Shield brothers clashed in a barbaric Falls Count Anywhere Match. Could The Kingslayer reclaim the red brand’s workhorse title? Also on Raw, John Cena returned to action on the red brand, Sasha Banks battled Nia Jax for the right to challenge Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship, and Hulk Hogan paid tribute to his longtime friend and fellow WWE Hall of Famer, “Mean” Gene Okerlund.
➡JOHN CENA ANNOUNCES HIS ENTRY IN ROYAL RUMBLE!!!
With a fanfare of trumpets, a spark of static electricity from his lightning fist and Pantene-worthy head of hair whipping in the wind, John Cena returned to Raw to announce his plans for 2019. He’s only got one right now … but it’s a biggie: Unwilling to be relegated to the sidelines again, the 16-time World Champion declared for the Men’s Royal Rumble Match, setting up a path to WrestleMania.
Also John later participated in a 6-Men Tag Team match with Finn, Rollins as partners against Drew, Dean and Lashley which was later won by the Trio of John, Rollins and Finn after Seth hit a Curb Stomp on Dean Ambrose.
➡THE RETURN OF HULK HOGAN
Of the many Superstars who crossed paths with the late “Mean” Gene Okerlund, few (if any) became more synonymous with the WWE Hall of Famer than Hulk Hogan, whose famous opening line — “Well let me TELL YOU something, MEAN GENE” — took on a life of its own. Hogan returned to Raw to offer a tribute to the man he called the best partner he ever had.
Accompanied by a 10-bell salute, Hogan’s tribute was a subdued remembrance almost completely free of Hulkamania, as he removed his customary shades to honor Okerlund’s commitment to entertaining, cued up a highlight reel of “Mean” Gene’s greatest moments and offered a quiet “I love you, ‘Mean’ Gene; I miss you.” As a final tribute, Hogan gathered himself, slipped the shades back on and gave one last interview for the legendary announcer who may no longer be visible at his shoulder, but was clearly sharing the ring with him all the same.
➡RAW TAG CHAMP RETAINS!!
The duo of Dash and Dawson yet again failed to get their hands on RAW Tag Titles though this time they were robbed of the Championships due to an error from the Referee. In the ref’s defense, the end of the title match — contested under Lumberjack rules — was more than a little chaotic, as Scott Dawson and Chad Gable traded intricate rollups and backslides all the way across the ring.
How will the Revival respond to this human error?!..
➡THE BEAST COMES FACE TO FACE WITH THE MONSTER!!!!
Braun Strowman came to Raw expecting a face-to-face with Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. And technically he got one — The Beast and The Monster Among Men did, indeed, lock eyes, albeit with three ropes and 20 feet of distance between them. The Gift of Destruction eventually goaded Lesnar as far as the outside of the ring, but The Anomaly was more curious than anything and didn’t seem all that motivated to cross the ropes and throw hands. It was a smart move by Team Brock to keep Braun’s emotions running high, but will the BEAST be able to CONQUER the Monster when time for the real face-off arrives???
➡IC CHAMPION RETAINS WITH ASSISTANCE AFTER A GREAT MATCH!!
In his efforts to channel the old Seth Rollins, The Kingslayer forgot the very important, hard-earned lesson from a few years back that helped spark his change of heart in the first place: What goes around, comes around.
Yes, for all The Architect’s furious, man-on-fire efforts against Dean Ambrose in an Intercontinental Championship Falls Count Anywhere Match, his best-laid plans were blown up by Bobby Lashley, who was humiliated by Rollins at the top of the show and apparently spent the whole night plotting his payback. The All Mighty reared his head at the exact perfect moment and assaulted Rollins right after when he was about to win. Current Reigning Champion took advantage of this situation and retained his IC title after he pinned a bruised and battered Rollins.