Relive The Beast Incarnate's savage return in this slow-motion video, captured during the Jan. 16, 2017 edition of Raw.01/18/2017 - 17:00
John Cena may have sustained a broken ankle at the hands of a vicious Kurt Angle only six days before Unforgiven.
Cena overcame another stacked deck on RAW, dropping Tyson Tomko with an FU to end a two-on-one Handicap Match. But after the bell, Kurt Angle attacked the WWE Champion and drove his knee straight into Cena's groin. Angle then pulled Cena to the corner, where he perhaps shattered The Champ's ankle by forcing it hard into the ring post. The Olympic gold medalist then worsened the blow with another knee to the injured ankle. As Cena lay in terrible pain, General Manager Eric Bischoff hovered over his face, screaming at him. "I'll take your belt. I'll take your career. I'll take your dreams," Bischoff angrily yelled.
Can Cena overcome the greatest odds yet this Sunday when he defends the WWE Championship against the master of the ankle lock on seemingly one leg? We'll find out in the blockbuster match at the pay-per-view.
It was a cruel twist of fate for Matt Hardy on RAW. Monday night's opening match began as Edge vs. Big Show, but when Snitsky caused a disqualification and Matt Hardy evened the odds, Bischoff issued an impromptu tag-team match.
Big Show had things well in hand until the action spilled to the outside, where Edge unloaded on the world's largest athlete with his "Money in the Bank" briefcase. Big Show fell hard, leaving legal man Hardy to fend for himself. Still, Matt caught Snitsky with a Side Effect, then followed with a guillotine leg drop. Before he could finish Snitsky, he was distracted by former-girlfriend Lita. Unable to concentrate, Hardy chased Lita into the ring, where he was primed to hit her with the Twist of Fate. Lita's current lover Edge managed to break it up just in time, but he almost got caught with Matt's finisher himself. But just before Hardy could execute the maneuver, Lita blasted him with a low-blow. With Hardy doubled over in pain, the door opened for Edge to hit the spear and earn the three-count.
After the bell, Edge and Lita added the ultimate insult to injury. Lita lifted Hardy's body and hit him with his own Twist of Fate. What will fate have in store for Edge and Hardy inside a Steel Cage at Unforgiven? And in a battle of big men, Snitsky locks horns with Big Show at the huge event this Sunday.
Chris Masters believes he belongs in the ring with the big dogs despite being only 22, so he was confident he'd handle the challenge of facing the 16-time world champion. It was the bigger, stronger, younger man squaring off against "The Dirtiest Player in the Game," Ric Flair.
Masters used his superior strength to control the match. He lifted Flair for a military press slam twice in a row, and he later followed up with a power slam that did further damage to Flair's lower back. Masters called for the Master Lock for the second time, but Flair had the counter — kicking his way out of a half-nelson before Masters could lock the full hold.
Flair was forced to the outside, where he used the full time allotted to regroup. But Masters quickly regained control with a hangman's neck breaker. Masters returned to punishing Flair's spine by delivering a jarring sidewalk slam to the floor. Masters then zeroed in on the lower back again with a series of bear hugs. An increasingly desperate and zapped Flair bit Masters on bridge of the nose to force him to break the hold.
Momentum then shifted as Flair hit a chop block, cutting out Masters' leg. Flair continued to work on that limb, then cinched in his patented Figure-Four Leg Lock. But before we could learn if Masters would tap, Carlito stormed the ring, clocking Flair with the Intercontinental Championship. Shawn Michaels came to Flair's aid but was caught by Masters and repeatedly rammed into the ring post. Then, for the second time in two weeks, HBK found himself trapped and incapacitated by the Master Lock.
Will HBK suffer the same outcome this Sunday, or will the impressive youngster finally be put in his place? Plus, Flair will get an opportunity to answer back against Carlito at Unforgiven, where The Nature Boy could add yet another championship to his epic resume.
Shelton Benjamin got a chance at payback against Kerwin White, who interfered in Benjamin's match last week and cost him the contest against Rob Conway. While Shelton technically got the win, it was Kerwin smiling and waving in the ring after an intentional disqualification from blasting Shelton with a golf club.
RAW's trio of vixens, Torrie, Candice and Victoria, invited Diva Search winner Ashley into the ring again this week. They claimed that Ashley had passed their hazing initiation and were ready to finally welcome her. But Ashley wouldn't make the same mistake again, instead keeping her distance and announcing a special surprise of her own: Trish Stratus! Together, Ashley and Trish cleared the ring as the crowd roared from the unexpected return of the Women's Champion. As a result, it'll be Trish and Ashley vs. Torrie and Victoria at Unforgiven.
One week after upsetting the World Tag Team Champions in a non-title match, newcomers Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch again impressed on RAW when they took on Eugene and Tajiri. Displaying fluid teamwork and a definite mean streak, the duo from Texas systematically broke down the energetic Eugene. Tajiri eventually managed a much-needed tag, but he found himself on the wrong end of a Murdoch sit-down powerbomb, which was immediately followed by a Cade top-rope elbow drop for the win.