Finn Bálor and Elias collide as Raw's Seven-Man Gauntlet Match rolls on.02/19/2018 - 22:15
Anarchy in the NC
RALEIGH, N.C. -- At the top of Monday Night's Raw, Shane and Stephanie McMahon addressed the WWE Universe and the unpredictability and confusion that Raw has been embroiled in the past two weeks. Though they promised to take action if things don't change, that didn't prevent another hectic Monday Night Raw, as Kane continued his erratic behavior and the show crashed to a close with JBL appearing to crash a car into John Cena, who was propped up against another automobile. (WATCH)
Earlier in the night, John Cena & Cryme Tyme had challenged JBL and two partners of his choosing to a Six-Man Tag Team Match. The self-made millionaire went for the best, recruiting the "simply priceless" World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase, after they interrupted Kelly Kelly's pending match and intentionally humiliated "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.
Even though he handpicked his partners, JBL ended up disqualifying his team in the course of the match. Cena pursued his Great American Bash opponent into the parking lot, where the self-proclaimed "wrestling god" was waiting to club the Chain Gang Commander with a tire iron. After knocking Cena unconscious, Layfield propped him up and attempted to smash a car into the prone Superstar. Luckily, John Cena managed to escape at the last minute and was only grazed, meaning that Cena vs. JBL will still take place on Sunday night. (WATCH)
The Animal to the Rescue
The McMahons' warning also went unheeded by Kane, who continued to puzzle the WWE Universe, coming down to the ring with a mysterious bag and apologizing to Jerry "The King" Lawler and Michael Cole. Later in the night, the Big Red Monster asked World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk to face him one-on-one. But when the two met in a non-title match, Kane was counted out, and subsequently lost control, attacking the Straightedge Champion with a steel chair. Before much damage could be done to Punk, Batista rushed to the ring and attacked Kane to make sure that his Great American Bash opponent was in good shape to face him on Sunday. Batista then sent a clear message to his rival by refusing to shake Punk's hand. The Straightedge Superstar took exception to The Animal's competitive side and shoved his challenger, prompting Batista to plant him with a spinebuster. (WATCH)
Great American Clash
Two other Great American Bash opponents also had brutal interactions outside sanctioned matches on Monday: Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. Before Raw could even properly begin, the rivalry between the two devolved into outright physical conflict which was quickly joined by Lance Cade, aiding Jericho in his attack on Michaels. Later in the evening, after Y2J defeated Paul London in singles competition, the Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla had some choice words to share about HBK. The Showstopper came out to the ring in person however, and faced Jericho down one last time before their match on Sunday night, warning him that "the worst is truly yet to come." (WATCH)
In a non-title match, WWE Women's Champion Mickie James defeated Katie Lea Burchill, but soon afterward was subjected to the combined forces of Katie Lea and her brother Paul. As Paul grabbed onto Mickie, Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston rushed to the ring. The week before, Kofi had been subjected to Paul's post-match brutality, and this week, the Jamaican Superstar suggested an Intercontinental Title Match to settle their rivalry. Though he's still relatively new to Monday nights, Kofi persevered and pinned Burchill in this impromptu match.
Battle of the Sexes
Mickie and Katie Lea weren't the only Divas to compete on Raw, as Beth Phoenix answered the open challenge of Santino Marella. The Glamazon is known for her strength and physicality, and brought every ounce of it to her contest with the Italian Superstar, pinning him in this rare intergender match. (WATCH)
For the Love of a Woman
Though Layla didn't compete, she was the cause of another of the night's unplanned altercations. Jamie Noble, who has been struggling to impress Raw Divas in recent weeks, set his charms to work on the 2006 Diva Search winner, promising to cut the next person he saw down to size. Unfortunately for Noble, the next person to come around the corner was Snitsky. Despite the obvious size difference, Noble stood up to the monstrous Snitsky, insulting him and leading him down to the ring. Unfortunately, Noble's confidence and heart wasn't enough to compete against his giant, nasty opponent, and Snitsky decimated Noble.