It’s Part 2 time! This is the project where I take the men’s division on Monday nights, and detail what I would do with them, and how I would go about it. Simple right? You can check Part 1 for a refresher of the base rules I set myself, as well as what I’d done so far, but for simplicity here’s the “need to know” notes for as far as Survivor Series:
- The Raw vs SmackDown series at Survivor Series returned, with the final spot in the Royal Rumble match up for grabs – Raw won 2-1, winning the women’s and men’s matches and losing the tag team elimination match
- Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman were the sole survivors for Raw in the decisive men’s match
- The Miz is still Intercontinental Champion, and Sheamus & Cesaro are Raw Tag Team Champions – but Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose are due a rematch
- Brock Lesnar just retained the Universal Championship against Finn Balor
- Samoa Joe has been making jibes to Kurt Angle over Jason Jordan’s losing streak, which he snapped at Survivor Series by beating Elias
- John Cena has been on hiatus, and will return to the SmackDown brand in December, not figuring into these plans as yet
I think that’s all, so let’s pick things up again the night after Survivor Series!
November 20th, Raw
Results: Bray Wyatt defeats Apollo Crews, Elias defeats Kalisto, Sheamus & Cesaro defeat Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships (Cesaro pins Ambrose)
Promos: – Opening Raw, Braun Strowman marches down to the ring to deman that he gets the number 30 slot in the Royal Rumble since he was the reason Raw won the decisive elimination match last night. Roman Reigns comes down to the ring to remind Strowman that it was actually him that scored the decisive pinfall at Survivor Series, so he should get the number 30 spot, and when he does he will go on to win his second Royal Rumble match. The two bicker back and forth for a little while, repeating their cases, until Kurt Angle comes out. Angle thanks them both for leading Team Raw to victory. Angle says that in surviving last night, they both earned the right to get the number 30 spot in the Royal Rumble. So there’s only one way to decide who will get the spot, and Angle schedules a match between the two for the December 4th Raw
– MizTV returns with special guest: Jason Jordan. Miz asks Jordan how it feels to finally have a singles win under his belt after all this time. Miz notes that Jordan hadn’t won a singles match in three and a half months before last night, saying he was relying on others helping him even when he did manage to fluke a tag win. Miz boasts about beating Jordan last week on Raw. Miz says he thinks Samoa Joe is right, and Jordan is really a born loser who is ruining any legacy Kurt Angle had left. Jason Jordan says The Miz can only win when he has backup, whereas he fights with honour. Jordan acknowledges that he hasn’t been on the best of runs, but he’s always pushing himself against the best competition out there, and even when he comes up short against someone like John Cena, Roman Reigns or Braun Strowman, he is always learning and improving. Jordan says that’s why people respect him, but people still don’t take Miz seriously as the Intercontinental Champion. Jordan says The Miz can’t beat him in a fair fight, and challenges him to a match next week. Miz fires up, saying that Jordan talks like Miz hasn’t earned everything he’s gotten in his career. Miz says people thought he was nothing, people treated him like a joke, but through hard work he turned his career around and main-evented Wrestlemania, just like he turned the Intercontinental Title around and made it relevant again. Miz says he is the best Intercontinental Champion in recent memory, while Jason Jordan wouldn’t even be on Raw if it wasn’t for his daddy. Miz says he’s going to prove Jordan doesn’t belong on Raw, and hit Jordan with his microphone before leaving.
November 27th, Raw
Results: Finn Balor defeats Goldust by pinfall, Elias defeats Darren Young by pinfall, The Miz defeats Jason Jordan by pinfall, Roman Reigns defeats Curt Hawkins by pinfall
Promos: – Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are in their locker room. Seth asks why Dean has been avoiding him all week. Dean says last Monday night wasn’t the first time he’s let Seth down, and wonders if they’re better off not being a tag team anymore. Seth tells Dean it was like being reborn teaming with him again, and they had a good run, but if Dean didn’t want to do it anymore then he’s not going to force him into it. They shake hands, and Seth leaves.
– Renee Young is with Kurt Angle backstage. Angle says they can’t afford a repeat of Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman’s actions earlier (see below) in their match next week, so Angle makes it a lumberjack match.
Storyline: – Samoa Joe is on commentary during The Miz vs Jason Jordan, and spends the whole time saying Jordan couldn’t lace his boots and definitely doesn’t deserve to be on the same show as Samoa Joe
– After Roman Reigns defeats Curt Hawkins, Braun Strowman comes out and brawls with Reigns all around ringside, through the crowd and to the backstage area. The cameras lose track of the fight with neither man having gained the upper hand
December 4th, Raw
Results: Dean Ambrose defeats Karl Anderson by pinfall, Elias & Bray Wyatt defeat Seth Rollins & Finn Balor (Elias pins Seth), Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman ends in a no contest
Promos: – Seth Rollins opens the show by making his way to the ring, and declaring that he’s had the time of his life these last three months getting back on the same page as Dean Ambrose, but as the world say last week, they’re not going to be teaming together anymore. Seth says if he’s not going to be going after tag team gold with his brother, he only has one target in mind: he want to be the Universal Champion. He says holding that title, and beating Brock Lesnar in the process, would prove he is the best sports entertainer in the world. He is interrupted by Finn Balor, who says he wants another shot at Brock Lesnar, reminding Seth it was Balor who beat him to become the first ever Universal Champion. Seth tells him to stop living in the past, and that his loss to Lesnar at Survivor Series puts him at the back of the line.
Elias enters the mix, singing about the need for some fresh blood in the title picture, and that he would love to walk with the Universal Championship in tow. Bray Wyatt appears in the ring, talking about being a god and saying that Championship would allow him to rule the Universe. Dean Ambrose then comes down to the ring, and squares up to each man in turn but misses out Seth. Ambrose says he knows he hasn’t won a lot recently, but he’s got a new focus now, and a newfound hunger to get it. He says he wants to be the one to beat Brock Lesnar and become Universal Champion, and out of everyone in the ring he’s the only one unstable enough to get the job done. Kurt Angle comes out to the ramp and says he needs time to think about how to decide Brock Lesnar’s next challenger, and he’ll make his decision next week. In the meantime, he makes Rollins & Balor vs Wyatt & Elias, an Dean Ambrose vs Karl Anderson for later tonight.
– The Miz walks into Kurt Angle’s office to complain about how Angle treats the most must-see Intercontinental Champion of all time. Miz claims Angle clearly doesn’t respect him, otherwise he would be in the main event every week. They are joined by Samoa Joe, who tells Angle that last week The Miz of all peopel exposed Jason Jordan for the failure that he is. Kurt says he’s had enough of Joe taunting him every week, and he doesn’t have the time tonight for The Miz to be this annoying. So he says he’ll find a partner for Jason Jordan to take on both The Miz and Samoa Joe next week.
Storyline: The lumberjack match between Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman ends in a no contest when Reigns and Strowman end up attacking the lumberjacks, taking them all out. Reigns and Strowman brawl up to the stage, and eventually both tumble off as Raw goes off the air.
December 11th, Raw
Results: Jason Jordan & Matt Hardy defeat Samoa Joe & The Miz (Matt pins Miz), Bray Wyatt defeats Heath Slater by pinfall, Seth Rollins defeats Karl Anderson by pinfall, Dean Ambrose defeats Luke Gallows by pinfall
Promos: – Kurt Angle opens the show, saying he has two big announcements to make. First of all, he says he has considered the cases of each of the men who wanted a Universal Title shot last week. Angle says he can’t make a case for any one of them to get the shot over the others. So, tonight and next week, each of them will be in qualifying matches whose winners will advance to a five-way elimination match at New Year’s Revolution, where the winner will earn a title match against Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Secondly, Angle notes that they didn’t get any further to deciding who would get the number 30 spot in the Royal Rumble last week – Roman Reigns or Braun Strowman? Angle says they need to sort this out, they need a resolution. Angle says Reigns and Strowman have shown all year that they will go to any length to beat the hell out of each other, but Angle can’t risk another no contest. So, he can only think of one way to end this once and for all. Angle says at New Year’s Revolution, with the number 30 spot in the Royal Rumble on the line, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman will meet in a 3-Stages-of-Hell match.
– A video package airs detailing the rivalry between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman, from the Royal Rumble 2017, through their many brawls, ambulance tipping and the ambulance match, SummerSlam and their joint Survivor Series win, to their match last week that ended in both men going off the stage.
Storyline: During Dean Ambrose vs Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson is at ringside, and Seth Rollins is on commentary. Rollins basically spends the match putting over Ambrose, avoiding the question of what would happen if they have to face each other in the elimination match.
A beat-the-clock challenge is announced on social media for the December 18th Raw between Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns, with the winner deciding the stipulations in their 3-Stages-of-Hell match at New Year’s Revolution.
December 18th, Raw
Results: Elias defeats Matt Hardy by pinfall, Finn Balor defeats The Miz by pinfall, Roman Reigns defeats Cesaro by pinfall, Braun Strowman defeats Sheamus by pinfall
Promos: – Samoa Joe finds Kurt Angle backstage, and furiously says that Jason Jordan didn’t beat him last week, Matt Hardy beat The Miz. Joe says Jordan could never beat him one-on-one, and demands the chance to prove it next week. Angle tells him he’s got it, and that he hopes Jordan makes Joe eat his words.
– After Elias vs Matt Hardy, The Miz taunts Matt backstage about his loss, repeating that the loss means he won’t get the chance to become number one contender at New Year’s Revolution. Miz tells Matt to sit back and watch Miz succeed where Matt didn’t later tonight
– After The Miz vs Finn Balor, Matt Hardy finds Kurt Angle backstage. Matt says that since Miz didn’t qualify for the five-way elimination match at New Year’s Revolution, he’ll be needing an opponent to defend the Intercontinental Title against. Matt points out that last week Matt did pin Miz in the tag team match. Angle says he likes the way Matt thinks, and makes Matt Hardy vs The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship at New Year’s Revolution.
– Dean Ambrose is backstage, and Seth Rollins walks up to him. Rollins notes that they’re going to be opponents at NYR. Ambrose just nods. Rollins says that whatever happens, they’re still brothers. Ambrose says they both want to be the best, and he’s speaking for himself when he says he’s willing to go right through Seth if he has to, and he guesses Seth would do the same. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson wander up to them, saying they might call themselves brothers, but they’re nothing compared to the good brothers. Anderson says they went running from the tag division because they lost to Sheamus & Cesaro, and were scared The Club would be the next to beat them. Ambrose asks if that’s a challenge, because he never backs down from a fight. Gallows says they’re just two nerds who don’t have the chops as a team anymore, and the good brothers will prove it next week.
Storyline: In the beat-the-clock challenge, Reigns defeats Cesaro in around 12 minutes, then sticks around to do commentary as Strowman defeats Sheamus in around 10 minutes to win the challenge.
December 25th, Raw
Results: Samoa Joe defeats Jason Jordan by submission, Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins defeat Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (Rollins pins Gallows), Matt Hardy defeats Curtis Axel by pinfall
Promos: – Elias sings about becoming Universal Champion, parodying We Are The Champions by Queen
– Finn Balor gets asked by Renee Young about potentially stepping back into the ring with Brock Lesnar after Survivor Series. Balor says he was told he didn’t know what he was getting himself into, but now there’s no doubt he does. Balor says feeling what a trip to Suplex City is like makes him better prepared to slay the Beast, and the next time he gets the chance the Demon King will reclaim his throne
– Kurt Angle brings out Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns for the stipulation announcement for New Year’s Revolution. Angle says he has ruled that they cannot attack each other before then, otherwise they would forfeit the match. And Angle says that would be more costly than missing out on the number 30 spot in the Royal Rumble match. That’s because one superstar from Raw, and one superstar from SmackDown will start the Rumble – and while the winner of the 3-Stages-of-Hell match will be the last man in, the loser will be the first. Angle then turns the floor over to Strowman for the announcement of each stipulation. Strowman says the first fall will be a Steel Cage match. Strowman says the second fall will be Falls Count Anywhere. Reigns nods and says bring it on. Strowman smiles and says part of him really hopes that they will get to the third fall. He says that if they do, there will be no coming back. Because the third fall is going to be: Buried Alive! Strowman laughs as Angle and Reigns look shocked as Raw goes off the air.
Storyline: Rollins & Ambrose vs Gallows & Anderson is a long, competitive match that could go either way. Afterwards, Bray Wyatt appears and lays out both Rollins and Ambrose.
It is announced that all five men in the New Year’s Revolution Elimination Match will be in singles action on January 1st, with Seth Rollins vs The Miz, Finn Balor vs Elias, and Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt
January 1st, Raw
Results: Seth Rollins defeats The Miz by pinfall, Matt Hardy defeats Bo Dallas by pinfall, Finn Balor defeats Elias by pinfall, Roman Reigns & Braun Strowman defeat Sheamus & Cesaro (Strowman pins Sheamus), Bray Wyatt defeats Dean Ambrose by pinfall
Promos: – Kurt Angle blasts Jason Jordan in his office for proving Samoa Joe right by losing to him last week. Angle gives him one more chance to beat Joe at New Year’s Revolution, and tells Jordan to get out of his sight. Sheamus & Cesaro come bustling in as Jordan leaves, saying it sounds like trouble in the Angle household. Sheamus checks if Kurt knows the holiday season is a time for family to be together? Angle asks what they want, and Cesaro complains about the beat the clock challenge two weeks ago, saying as Raw’s Tag Team Champions they deserve a better spot than to be used as pawns in someone else’s game. Angle supposes they want a tag team match, against opponents worthy of a main event spot. The Bar nod. Angle tells them they’ve got it later tonight, as they’ll face the team of Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman.
Storyline: – After Matt Hardy vs Bo Dallas, The Miz and Curtis Axel hit the ring to attack Matt, and the trio stands over Hardy to end the segment
– Seth Rollins is on commentary for the Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt match, talking about the current state of his friendship with Ambrose and his ambition to be Universal Champion. Bray attacks Ambrose post-match so Seth runs in to make the save, but Elias and Finn Balor soon join the fray and the five men brawl. As Raw goes off the air, Seth and Dean are the only two left in the ring, staring across at each other.
January 7th, New Year’s Revolution
Results: Samoa Joe defeats Jason Jordan by submission, The Miz defeats Matt Hardy by pinfall to retain the Intercontinental Championship, Roman Reigns defeats Braun Strowman in a 3-Stages-of-Hell Match, 5-way Elimination Match ends in a no contest
Storyline: – After Samoa Joe defeats Jason Jordan, Joe keeps the Coquina Clutch locked in until Jordan passes out. Then Joe rolls to the outside and grabs a chair. Joe comes back into the ring and repeatedly smacks Jordan with it, until eventually Kurt Angle comes out and Joe leaves. Angle grabs a mic and says Joe has crossed the line. Angle says he is going to deal with Joe himself, and challenges Joe to a match at the Royal Rumble.
– In the 3-Stages-of-Hell match, Roman Reigns wins the first fall when Strowman throws him through the wall of the cage, meaning Reigns escaped. Strowman wins the second fall by pinfall after a running powerslam through the screen on the stage. Reigns then wins the third fall after wrapping a steel chain round his hand and hitting a superman punch on Strowman, making him fall into the pit.
– The Miz attacks Finn Balor in the Elimination Match, causing his elimination. The final two are Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, but Brock Lesnar comes out and attacks both men, laying them out, leading to the no contest. Lesnar stands tall as the event goes off the air.
January 8th, Raw
Results: Roman Reigns defeats Elias by pinfall, Seth Rollins defeats Bray Wyatt by pinfall
Promos: – Paul Heyman opens Raw to address Brock Lesnar’s actions last night. He says Lesnar did what he did because none of the men in that elimination match were on Brock’s level. He says none of those men deserve the honour of stepping inside a ring with Brock Lesnar – so before a winner could be declared, the Beast Incarnate took Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose out. Kurt Angle interrupts, saying he though that New Year’s Revolution was going to be a night of resolutions. He said they resolved the issue of the number 30 spot in the Royal Rumble match, but they didn’t resolve who Brock Lesnar’s opponent in three weeks would be. Angle tells Heyman there was no reason for Lesnar to interfere in the match. Angle says if Lesnar was that confident no man in the match posed a threat, he should have just sat back, waited, and beaten whoever the winner was at the Royal Rumble. Because instead, Lesnar has set up a triple threat match for himself, as he will defend the Universal Championship against both Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Heyman complains off mic, but before either man can say anything else Stephanie McMahon’s music hits as she returns to Raw for the first time since Wrestlemania 33.
Heyman leaves, as Stephanie marches down to the ring and squares right up to Angle. She asks him what the hell he thinks he’s doing putting himself in a match with Samoa Joe. Stephanie says her father didn’t bring Kurt back to compete, her father brought him back to be the general manager. Stephanie says that with the issues in Kurt’s past, they thought they were keeping him safe as GM, and pleads with Kurt not to put himself in a position he will regret. Angle says Samoa Joe was trying to injure his son, and he wasn’t going to stand by and let it happen. He says Joe has been making comments for months, and Kurt has had enough. He says Joe has had this coming, and he will see Joe at the Rumble no matter what Stephanie says to try and talk him out of it. Stephanie tells Kurt one more time not to do something he’ll regret, and she warns Angle not to force her into doing something she doesn’t want to do, and leaves.
– MizTV with special guest: The Miz. Miz says that last night was a great night for The Miz as he defended his Intercontinental Championship, and stole all the headlines. Miz says that what the world was talking about coming out of New Year’s Revolution was The Miz attacking Finn Balor. He says all day in the street people have been stopping him and asking “why”. Miz plays a clip of Balor beating him on December 18th, saying Balor is the reason The Miz isn’t facing Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. He says Balor took the opportunity of seeing the most must see Intercontinental Champion of all time, going toe-to-toe with the Universal Champion, away from everyone. Miz says he would have conquered the conqueror and held the Intercontinental Championship and Universal Championship at the same time. But Finn Balor took that opportunity away from him. So Miz took the chance of glory away from Finn Balor. At this point, Balor runs down to the ring, but The Miztourage step between Balor and Miz, allowing Miz to escape. Balor hits the Slingblade on Dallas, and the 1916 on Axel as Miz retreats up the ramp.
– After his victory over Elias, Roman Reigns grabs the mic and says he slayed the monster among men once and for all, and he is going to win the Royal Rumble match and go on to Wrestlemania.
Storyline: Dean Ambrose is on commentary for Seth Rollins vs Bray Wyatt
January 15th, Raw
Results: Dean Ambrose defeats Elias by pinfall, Roman Reigns defeats Curt Hawkins by pinfall, Samoa Joe defeats Matt Hardy by submission, Finn Balor defeats Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel by pinfall (Balor pins Dallas)
Promos: – Stephanie McMahon walks up to Finn Balor backstage, saying she knows the Miztourage have gotten involved in The Miz’s matches in the past, so she’s going to give Balor an opportunity to shut them up – and makes a 2-on-1 handicap for later tonight.
– Jason Jordan walks up to Kurt Angle and tries to talk him out of the match at the Royal Rumble against Samoa Joe. Jordan says he knows first hand how dangerous Joe can be, and it’s not worth the risk for Kurt. Jordan says he’s not just risking his health by stepping into the ring with Samoa Joe, but he’s running the risk of making an enemy out of Stephanie McMahon, and when you battle against the McMahons you never win. Jordan tells Angle his job could end up being on the line. Angle says he knows what he’s getting himself into, he knows what Samoa Joe is capable of, and he goes way back with the McMahons. Angle says Joe has made this personal, and he knows what he’s doing. Angle tells Jordan there’s no need to worry about him. Angle says he goes up against Joe in two weeks time at the Royal Rumble, but next week on Raw he has booked Jason Jordan to team up with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to face Samoa Joe, Elias and Bray Wyatt.
– The Miz tells Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel backstage that he believes in them, and this is their moment to shine. Miz says they can get the job done, meanwhile he’s going to leave them to it and go home to care for his pregnant wife.
– After Dean Ambrose’s victory, Seth Rollins joins him in the ring. Before they can do anything though, Paul Heyman comes out on to the stage. Heyman says that at the Royal Rumble, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins will both try to usurp the Beast. Heyman notes that both men have previously felt the destruction that Brock Lesnar is capable of, and that nothing will change come the Royal Rumble. Heyman says Ambrose and Rollins, as part of The Shield, came the closest anyone has to the dominance of the conqueror, but now they are divided. Or are they? Heyman says they’ve apparently gone their separate ways, but they might try to work together to defeat the Beast. Heyman wonders what would happen if they did exactly that, and succeeded. Let’s say that Rollins and Ambrose together take Lesnar out of the equation – what happens then? Heyman questions who’s better out of Rollins and Ambrose. Heyman says they’re going to have to face off against each other at some point, but can they trust each other to wait until Brock is out of the way?
Heyman tells Rollins that Ambrose is the one who ended their team, so how can Rollins know that Ambrose isn’t sick of him? How can Rollins be sure that Ambrose doesn’t just want to take his fist and punch Rollins in the mouth? Heyman then turns to Ambrose, and reminds him that Rollins has stabbed him in the back before. How can Ambrose be sure that Rollins won’t do the same again? Heyman says he can’t know what’s going on in either man’s head, just as they can’t know what’s going through the other’s mind. But Heyman does know that Brock Lesnar will walk out of the Royal Rumble still the reigning, defending, conquering, undisputed Universal Champion. Heyman leaves as Ambrose and Rollins suspiciously stare at each other.
– Kurt Angle catches up to Stephanie McMahon, saying he just heard about the match she put Finn Balor in, and it’s unfair to set him up like that. Angle says Balor is going to be outnumbered from the start. Stephanie tells Angle that The Miz has left the building, and Angle retorts that she knows as well as he does that doesn’t mean anything, because he can always come back. Angle says that’s not how his Raw works. Stephanie cuts him off, saying Raw isn’t Angle’s show, it’s her show. Angle says if she’s not going to call off the match – to which Stephanie says she won’t – he’s going to add a stipulation – by winning tonight, Balor will earn an Intercontinental Championship match at the Royal Rumble. Angle also says that regardless of the result tonight, The Miz can pick one of his Miztourage to team up with next week, as he’ll take on the team of Finn Balor and Matt Hardy.
Storyline: – Seth Rollins is on commentary during Dean Ambrose vs Elias
– Post-match, Samoa Joe made to keep attacking Matt Hardy, but Jason Jordan ran out to make the save. Joe meets him head on though, and gets the upper hand. Joe eventually grabs a chair, wraps it around Jordan’s head, and rams him into the ringpost
– During the Finn Balor handicap match, the commentators portray The Miz’s decision to leave as an act of fear, saying Miz is running scared of Balor
Social media posts during the week reveal Jason Jordan has been injured as a result of Samoa Joe’s actions, and will be out of action for about a month. They say the status of the 6-man-tag match Kurt Angle booked for next week is unknown.
January 22nd, Raw
Results: Finn Balor & Matt Hardy defeat The Miz & Curtis Axel (Balor pins Axel), Samoa Joe & Elias & Bray Wyatt defeat The Shield (Joe pins Ambrose)
Promos: – Raw opens with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in Kurt Angle’s office. Angle tells them their tag match is still on for later tonight, with Angle promising he will find them a partner. Ambrose and Rollins leave, but Stephanie McMahon walks in. She tells Angle that he better find someone to be Ambrose and Rollins’ partner, because if he doesn’t then he has personally put the Universal Title match at the Royal Rumble at risk.
– Stephanie McMahon meets Finn Balor as he returns backstage after his match, and congratulates him on his win, and wishes his luck for his Intercontinental Championship match on Sunday. Stephanie leaves, and Balor stares after her in surprise.
– Renee Young is with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to talk about their match later tonight. Seth says their fate is kind of in Kurt Angle’s hands, because the last thing they need ahead of facing Brock Lesnar on Sunday is a handicap match. Seth says they’re going to need to work together tonight just to get to Sunday. Dean chips in to say that on Sunday though, all bets are off, and he reassures Seth that he will walk out as Universal Champion.
– We see short clips throughout the night of entrants in the Royal Rumble match all saying they are going to the main event of Wrestlemania.
– Samoa Joe says it doesn’t matter who Kurt Angle finds to be the 6th man tonight, he’ll just take them out just like he did to Jason Jordan last week, and just like he’s going to do to Kurt Angle on Sunday. Joe says Angle thinks he knows what he’s gotten himself into, but Joe is a different animal than Kurt is expecting. Joe says on Sunday, he is going to end the legendary Kurt Angle’s career once and for all.
Storyline: – The referee gets knocked out during the 6-man tag match, which leads to Braun Strowman coming down for his first appearance since New Years Revolution. Strowman attacks Roman Reigns, and takes Reigns to the back. The numbers game then gets the better of Ambrose and Rollins, who put up a fight but eventually succumb, with Joe making Ambrose tap.
Ambrose and Rollins are left on their own in the ring after the match, when they are greeted by Brock Lesnar. He strides down to the ring, and gets the better of each man when they try to attack him individually. But Ambrose and Rollins eventually work together and come out on top, sending Lesnar out of the ring. Lesnar retreats at the behest of Paul Heyman, who looks worried as Raw goes off the air.
NOTE: I realise that there are a lot of short promo segments and only two matches for the go-home Raw before the Royal Rumble, but there is a reason for that. I would have WWE debut a women’s Royal Rumble in 2018, so I think you would have to go a little over the top in promoting that as the main focus of this Raw. I didn’t want to copy SmackDown in having an over the top rope challenge for the men, and really Raw has been building up to the Rumble since Survivor Series with the Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman program. The main event mainly serves to lead in to the WWE Championship match, and the Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe match has also been building for months, so I think all bases would be covered for the PPV, at the very least for the four major matches involving Raw.
January 28th, Royal Rumble
Results: The Miz defeats Finn Balor by pinfall to retain the Intercontinental Championship, Kurt Angle defeats Samoa Joe by submission, Brock Lesnar defeats Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to retain the Universal Championship (Lesnar pins Ambrose), Roman Reigns wins the Royal Rumble
Storyline: – The Miztourage get involved in The Miz vs Finn Balor, distracting Balor so Miz can hit the Skull Crushing Finale
– In the Royal Rumble match, Braun Strowman enters at number 1, and AJ Styles enters at number 2. Matt Hardy eliminates Bray Wyatt. Finn Balor eliminates The Miz. Braun Strowman eliminates 10 people. The final three in the Rumble are Strowman, Styles and Reigns. Strowman goes first at the hands of Reigns, who then eliminates Styles to win the 2018 Royal Rumble.
And there again, I’m going to leave it there. I think there’s been some important development in this third of the story, and I think timing wise it makes sense to split the story up into two PPVs per part, with one “Big 4” PPV in each part too.
I could quite easily not have had Reigns win the Rumble match, but I think it’s inevitable, and with everything since Wrestlemania 33 having been geared towards Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar headlining next year’s Wrestlemania I kept that in. I’m not expecting Reigns’ Rumble winning moment to get a good reaction, but he’s never going to get cheered in front of that crowd. So I figured putting him in at 30 gives the crowd less time to boo him, and having him eliminate two favourites in Strowman and Styles, who have pretty much gone all the way gives the fans all the more reason to embrace the hate. If it’s going to happen regardless, why not play into it? It means I have one Wrestlemania match confirmed already.
As for the rest, I feel like a 3-Stages-of-Hell match between Reigns and Strowman could genuinely be awesome, though I accept Buried Alive is unlikely to be seen any time soon, if at all. I liked the association of Lesnar going up against all three members of The Shield between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. It seems a lock that Kurt Angle will wrestle again at some point, and in Samoa Joe he would have an experienced opponent he is familiar with from his time in TNA. Jason Jordan seems the obvious route to lure Kurt back between the ropes, much as nobody buys their storyline. At least this way some good is coming from it. This isn’t the last we see of Angle in the ring in my arc, with big things coming for him, Balor, Strowman and more.
But I’m not going to give everything away, and the third and final part is the road to Wrestlemania! If you think you know what’s coming in Part 3, I’d love to hear your guesses. For now though, I hope you’re enjoying the journey so far, Part 3 is coming soon!