Finn Bálor and Elias collide as Raw's Seven-Man Gauntlet Match rolls on.02/19/2018 - 22:15
Sioux City Showstopper
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - With less than two weeks to go before the Royal Rumble, and Mr. McMahon making his heralded return next week, the WWE Universe may have expected this week's Raw to provide a breather before things hit the fan. But they were shocked numerous times as Ted DiBiase made a surprise return, Rosa Mendes again attacked Melina and Stephanie McMahon, fed up with the condescending Superstar, fired Chris Jericho. Perhaps the biggest moment, however, was when Shawn Michaels stopped the show with his defeat of World Heavyweight Champion John Cena, on HBK's "WrestleMania night."
Shawn Michaels def. World Heavyweight Champion John Cena with JBL's distraction (WATCH | PHOTOS)
In the night's main event, Shawn Michaels competed in a non-title match against World Heavyweight Champion John Cena, as JBL looked on from HBK's corner. The Longhorn Loudmouth currently holds Michaels in his employ and hoped to watch as The Showstopper softened up The Champ prior to his title defense against JBL at the Royal Rumble. Though HBK was eager to show the WWE Universe that he was still the same Superstar, he wasn't given an opportunity to win the fight cleanly, as JBL both pushed the rope toward Michaels to break up a pin, and caused a distraction for The Champ, allowing his employee to pick up the win with some Sweet Chin Music in a contest that the self-proclaimed "wrestling god" declared HBK's "WrestleMania."
Melina & Kelly Kelly vs. Women's Champion Beth Phoenix & Jillian ended in a no contest after Rosa Mendes' attack on Melina; Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes & Santino Marella announced as Royal Rumble participants (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Prior to her match, Melina was attacked before she could even make it to the ring to join her partner, Kelly Kelly. WWE Champion Beth Phoenix's crazed No. 1 fan, Rosa Mendes, had disguised herself as one of Melina's paparazzi, and assaulted the red-carpet Diva on the entrance ramp. Kelly Kelly went to assist her tag partner as security escorted Mendes (who had been banned by Stephanie McMahon one week prior) out of the arena, but The Glamazon & Jillian took advantage of the situation to attack Phoenix's Royal Rumble opponent Melina as well as Kelly.
Meanwhile, in the locker room area, Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes celebrated the earlier beating they administered to Manu & Sim Snuka. After DiBiase reconciled with Orton, the three revealed that both DiBiase and Rhodes will participate in the Royal Rumble and began to make plans. Elsewhere, Santino Marella left a meeting with Stephanie McMahon, elated that he will also be competing in the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match.
Randy Orton def. Kane; Ted DiBiase, Manu & Sim Snuka attacked Orton & Cody Rhodes, but DiBiase turned on his associates (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Attempting to exact vengeance on Randy Orton for his one-night liaison with Kelly Kelly, Kane took on the Legend Killer one-on-one. Orton managed to just barely squeak out a win over the Big Red Monster, as the referee failed to notice that Kane had raised his shoulder just prior to the three-count. Orton and his associate Cody Rhodes' celebration didn't last long however, as they were interrupted by Manu and Snuka, bitter over being kicked out of Orton's "Legacy." The two then revealed their back-up, the second-generation Superstar they had earlier alluded to, Ted DiBiase. The three dove into the ring for a stand-off with Orton & Rhodes. To Manu & Snuka's dismay, however, DiBiase turned on them, and joined Orton & Rhodes in brutalizing the excommunicated second-generation Superstars.
Manu & Sim Snuka plan to attack Randy Orton
As Cody Rhodes conversed with Mickie James in the locker room area, he was approached by his former associates, Manu & Sim Snuka. Upset about being booted from Randy Orton's new group, Manu & Snuka informed Rhodes of their plan to attack the Legend Killer later in the night. The two also gave Rhodes a chance to join them and the other, mysterious second-generation Superstar they brought with them.
Intercontinental Champion William Regal def. CM Punk by disqualification (PHOTOS)
One week prior, during an Intercontinental Championship Match, William Regal lost to CM Punk due to a disqualification, allowing him to retain the title. After the contest, Stephanie McMahon decreed that the two would have another match the following week, but if Regal again lost by disqualification, the title would be awarded to the Straightedge Superstar. The two faced again in Sioux City, Iowa, but this time it was Punk who was disqualified, rendering William Regal the winner, and still Intercontinental Champion.
Later, as the Intercontinental Champion was celebrating his win with the lovely Layla, he was approached by Stephanie McMahon. The Executive Vice President, stating that neither the audience nor herself were satisfied, again set another match between Punk and Regal, but to ensure that it has a definite finish, she made next week's contest a No Disqualification Match.
Rey Mysterio def. World Tag Team Champion The Miz; Mike Knox attacked Mysterio (PHOTOS)
On Raw, Rey Mysterio competed in a match against The Miz, who along with his fellow World Tag Team Champion, John Morrison, was announced as a participant in the Royal Rumble Match. The Master of the 619 hoped to gain revenge for he and Kofi Kingston's defeat last week at the hands of the Shaman of Sexy & the "Chick Magnet." The Ultimate Underdog got what he was looking for, but after the match was again attacked by the vicious Mike Knox. Utilizing his quickness, Mysterio was able to turn the attack around on the Desert Destroyer.
Stephanie McMahon fired Chris Jericho
(WATCH | PHOTOS)
Stephanie McMahon opened Raw by sharing her apparent excitement for Mr. McMahon's return. Before she could get very far, however, the Executive Vice President was interrupted by Chris Jericho, who not only called Stephanie a liar, but intimated that the Chairman would replace JBL in the World Heavyweight Championship Match with Jericho at the Royal Rumble. After being told by Jericho that she cannot run Raw properly, the Executive Vice President attempted to place the first-ever Undisputed Champion in a match, in which he refused to participate. As a reaction to Jericho's insubordination, Stephanie McMahon barred the arrogant Superstar from competing in the Royal Rumble and promptly fired him, Jericho's second time being let go from WWE.