Finn Bálor, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson clash with The Miz, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel in thrilling six-man tag team action.03/20/2018 - 00:00
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Oftentimes, the days leading up to a WWE pay-per-view event see Superstars conserving their energy and trying to stay out of any serious action. On Raw, however, Batista threw this conventional wisdom out the window, as he competed against WWE Champion Randy Orton and his Legacy minions, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase, who were laid to waste earlier in the night by The Animal, all just days before "The Viper" and Batista collide at Judgment Day.
WWE Champion Randy Orton def. Batista by disqualification (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Earlier in the night, WWE Champion Randy Orton believed he would be facing Batista in the main event with a distinct advantage: Having Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase at his side as part of a 3-on-1 Handicap Match. However, as a result of Batista's attacks on Orton's Legacy cohorts throughout the evening, "The Viper" went to the ring alone to face The Animal. Prior to the match, Orton attempted to convince Batista not to take part in the match, claiming that there was no good reason for them to collide before their contest at Judgment Day. The Animal remained unswayed, however, as he attacked The Legend Killer with a level of ferocity shocking even for this intense Superstar, attacking "The Viper" with a steel chair, resulting in another disqualification loss in the same night.
But the ringing bell wasn't enough to stop Batista, who continued his assault, threatening Orton with the steel ring steps, mirroring The Legacy's assault on Shane McMahon. As The Legend Killer was about to be nailed with the steps, his injured cohorts, Rhodes & DiBiase, made their way into the brawl. The Animal took out his frustrations by leveling both of his opponent's associates as "The Viper" slithered away.
William Regal's appearance on United States Champion MVP's "VIP Lounge" was interrupted by both Matt Hardy and Kofi Kingston; MVP & Kofi Kingston def. Matt Hardy & William Regal
(PHOTOS | WATCH)
After William Regal cost United States Champion MVP his match against Cody Rhodes on the previous Raw, The Ballin' Superstar invited The British Brawler to be a guest on his "VIP Lounge" segment. Claiming that he had worked long and hard for his standing on Raw, Regal explained that he attacked MVP for the insolence he displayed in trying to leapfrog him in Raw's hierarchy. After he insulted both The Franchise Player and the United States of America, Regal and MVP were interrupted by Matt Hardy.
The embittered Superstar claimed that he also had been wronged in being forced to compete with a broken hand, and stated that he should be first in line to compete for MVP's U.S. Title. The three Superstars were then joined by another ring warrior, Kofi Kingston, who charged Hardy and assaulted him for clubbing him in the head with his cast the week before. The Superstars' skirmish turned into an official tag bout pitting U.S. Champion MVP with The Jamaican Superstar to battle Hardy & Regal. Courtesy of this impromptu match, The Ballin' Superstar was able to exact retribution on William Regal, hitting him with The Playmaker to rack up a victory for himself and Kingston.
Santina Marella def. Beth Phoenix in a Miss WrestleMania Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Defending her Miss WrestleMania title, Santina Marella took on the sexy, smart and powerful Beth Phoenix. Santina once again proved why she holds that coveted title, as she surprised The Glamazon with a lightning-quick roll-up. Following the match, Miss WrestleMania took part in her customary celebration dance.
Miss WrestleMania Santina Marella confronted by the Guerreros
Like being called into the principal's office, Raw General Manager Vickie Guerrero summoned Miss WrestleMania Santina Marella to her office for when Santino Marella called her "swine-like" in a conversation with her nephew, Chavo. Refusing to believe that "Santina" and Santino are different people, Chavo went to pull off Santina's hair, but was rewarded with a slap. Settling on another way to prove Santina's identity, Vickie called in the sexy, smart and powerful duo of Beth Phoenix & Rosa Mendes. At the Raw GM's direction, Rosa leaned in to peck Santina on the cheek, a gesture Miss WrestleMania returned with a full-on kiss on the lips. When questioned about her actions, Santina admitted that she's a lesbian before calling Vickie a pig and giving Rosa a playful slap on the rear.
The Miz attacked John Cena after their "Exhibition Match" ended in a no-contest (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Before the "Exhibition Match" between John Cena and The Miz, Lilian Garcia announced that the participants would compete until officially stopped by General Manager Vickie Guerrero, who wanted to determine if the formere World Heavyweight Champion was fit to compete against Big Show at Judgment Day. With The World's Largest Athlete, watching from ringside, The Miz predicted that he would rack up another win over the injured Cena.
Unfortunately for the self-proclaimed "Chick Magnet," however, the former World Heavyweight Champion's injuries weren't enough to keep him from taking control of the match. Just after hitting the Five Knuckle Shuffle on his opponent, Cena was stopped by the Raw GM who had decided that he was fully capable of competing on Sunday.
As Cena stood shocked, The Miz capitalized on the situation to level his opponent and dubiously claim the contest as a victory for himself. As the self-proclaimed "future World Champion" celebrated up the ramp, Big Show stood staring at the suffering Cena.
The Brian Kendrick def. WWE Unified Tag Team Champion Carlito (PHOTOS)
Though he was defeated by WWE Unified Tag Team Champion Carlito on the previous week's Raw, The Brian Kendrick showed that he shouldn't be counted out yet as he rallied on this week's Raw to score a pinfall victory over The Southpaw from San Juan. Following the match, Kendrick took the microphone to address the WWE Universe. The arrogant Superstar claimed that his win over Carlito was just step one, and that once he finds "THE" tag team partner, he plans on becoming one-half of the WWE Unified Tag Team Champions himself.
One Superstar who might be an ideal candidate for Kendrick is Mr. Kennedy, who will be making his return to Raw in the near future. (WATCH)
Mickie James & Kelly Kelly def. Divas Champion Maryse & Jillian (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Four of WWE's sexy, smart and powerful Divas collided in tag team action as Mickie James & Kelly Kelly took on Divas Champion Maryse & Jillian. Maryse was hoping for some manner of retribution after her loss to Mickie on the last Raw, but she was denied as her fan-favorite opponent planted her on the mat with a well-timed DDT.
Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase def. Batista by disqualification (PHOTOS)
The odds were against Batista in Raw's first match of the night, as he took on both Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. Using quick tags and the vicious stomps learned under the tutelage of WWE Champion Randy Orton, The Legacy attempted to control the match early on. But when things started to turn in The Animal's favor, Rhodes went to the outside to retrieve a steel chair. Though the referee didn't see the second-generation Superstar bring the chair in the ring, he did see Batista pick it up and swing it, prompting the official to disqualify The Animal. Batista's rage may well have worked to his disadvantage, as the loss ensured that he will be outnumbered once again in the night's main event as he faces the Legacy members, along with their leader, Orton.
Batista refused to join WWE Champion Randy Orton's Legacy; The Animal to face Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase to determine Raw's main event (PHOTOS)
Opening Raw was Randy Orton, who revealed that Raw General Manager Vickie Guerrero had made a rule preventing him and and Batista from touching one another leading up to their Judgment Day match for Orton's WWE Title. The WWE Champion went on to call The Animal out to the ring and make him a startling offer: An opportunity to join The Legacy. Batista not only declined the offer, but promised to destroy "The Viper" come Sunday.
Incensed at being called "predictable," Vickie Guerrero came out to the stage, where the GM rescinded her no contact rule, and made a new opening match for Raw: Batista vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase. In accordance with Guerrero's stipulations, if The Legacy won, Batista would face Orton, Rhodes & DiBiase in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match, while if The Animal scored a victory, then he would face The Legend Killer one-on-one.