The Big Takeaway: Ronda Rousey came out to help Natalya, who was chop blocked by Sarah Logan while delivering a sharpshooter to Mickie James. Later in the main event, James attacked Natalya, bringing out Rousey, who eventually put James in an armbar. Everything else was a build to the Greatest Royal Rumble, but nothing all that newsworthy.
The entire Raw roster came out for a 10-bell salute to honor the memory of Bruno Sammartino. They aired a very nice tribute video honoring Sammartino's memory, which included statements from Roman Reigns, John Cena, Paul Heyman, Bill Apter and HHH.
Lesnar and Heyman came out to a lot of heat. Heyman did a sinister laugh over Lesnar still holding the Universal Championship. Heyman gloated over Lesnar ending the Undertaker's undefeated streak, over how Lesnar took Cena to Suplex City and that he delivers spoilers, not predictions. Heyman said Lesnar doesn't gloat, he conquers. However, Heyman said that he will gloat over the fact that Lesnar used non-PG elbows that scarred Reigns. Heyman said Lesnar doesn't dwell on the past, even when the past is two weeks ago at WrestleMania. Lesnar looks forward to the future, especially when the future is the Greatest Royal Rumble event. Heyman said Lesnar wants to be in an UFC event so badly, he'll fly to the Middle East just to be locked inside a cage with Reigns. They zoomed in on four fans at ringside chanting "Roman." Heyman looked at them through the corner of his eye. Heyman said Lesnar signed a big, fat, beautiful contract with WWE that he earned by beating Reigns at WrestleMania. Heyman said the WWE needed the Universal Championship defended at the Greatest Royal Rumble and Lesnar asked that it be a cage match because Reigns is still breathing. Heyman said Reigns is getting in the cage against the greatest cage fighter who ever lived. Heyman said Reigns will be coming back to the United States is pieces of boxes.
Reigns came out and glared at Lesnar as Heyman stepped out of the ring. Reigns had a long staredown with Lesnar, who just smiled at him. Reigns said Heyman was right, he doesn't know how he will get back home, but he's coming home with that title. And you can believe that. Reigns set the microphone down and left.
They aired tweets from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Booker T, Dan Marino, Jerry Lawler and Shane McMahon honoing the memory of Sammartino.
Elias was in the ring, but Bobby Roode immediately interrupted him with his entrance.
Elias defeated Bobby Roode (11:15)
Elias pinned Roode after he snapped Roode's arm against the ropes as Elias was getting back in the ring, followed by a schoolboy cradle. Elias kept escaping the Glorious DDT. After Roode hit a blockbuster, Elias rolled out of the ring.
Matt Hardy did a promo saying he and Wyatt were ready to procure the Raw Tag Team Championships at the Greatest Rumble of Royalty. Tonight, he and Wyatt would journey into the Wasteland. There was a white light as Hardy cut his promo, but when Wyatt popped up, it turned to darkness. Wyatt told Hardy that tonight they would cast shadows on the Ascension.
Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy defeated the Ascension (3:54)
After Hardy hit Viktor with the Side Effect, Konnor ran in and jumped Hardy. Wyatt gave Konnor Sister Abigail. Hardy pinned Viktor following the hoist Twist of Fate.
There were more tributes to Bruno Sammartino from social media from HHH, Rey Mysterio, Bruno Mars and the Pittsburgh Steelers organization.
Next up was the Sami & Kevin Show. The ring included an image of Shane McMahon being carried to the back after what Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens did to him. Zayn claimed this was the hottest new interview show in the WWE. Owens said they are there to fill the void of the Miz. Zayn said there was no one better to win the Greatest Royal Rumble than one of them. Zayn asked why was this called the Greatest Royal Rumble? Was it because seven championships were on the line? Was it because Rusev's wife finally gave him permission to fight the Undertaker in a casket match? Owens said no. Zayn asked if it was because they were going to prove how great they were by winning the Greatest Royal Rumble match? Owens said yep. Zayn they were going to prove why they were handpicked by Stephanie McMahon as the crown jewels of Raw.
Owens said what Zayn said is true but he was rubbing their guests the wrong way. Owens and Zayn started singing "you suck" to introduce their guest, Kurt Angle. Since Owens and Zayn didn't have any chairs for Angle to sit on, Zayn rushed to find him one. He dug up a small lawn chair that left Angle looking up at Owens and Zayn. Owens said he and Angle got off on the wrong foot last week, and he can understand why Angle was mad since Angle's manhunt is still in Vince McMahon's jar. Zayn said Owens was kidding because they were in a toxic environment on SmackDown. Owens said it came down to the point where they were victims of a conspiracy at the hands of Shane McMahon. Owens said it got to the point where he had to crack the skull of Vince McMahon. Zayn said that must mean that Stephanie either really appreciates their talent by hiring them to Raw or she must really dislike Angle.
Angle said he wouldn't blame Stephanie if she was mad at him. If it wasn't for him, Stephanie would still have Ronda Rousey under her thumb and Stephanie would still have full use of her arm. Zayn advised Angle not to brag about that. Owens said Angle really needed his job because he had six kids. Zayn thought it was five kids, but Angle said Zayn forgot about Jason Jordan. Zayn said that was understandable because Angle forgot about Jordan for years. Owens wanted to know Angle was going to maximize the investment that Stephanie has made in them. Angle said at the Greatest Royal Rumble, he was going to participate. So will Daniel Bryan, which sparked "Yes" chants. And so would Chris Jericho, and every other superstar they've endeared over the years. As for tonight, Angle ordered Zayn and Owens to face Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman.
Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel walked up to Seth Rollins. Dallas said last week they got rid of their association of the Miz. Axel proposed they form the New Shield with Rollins, who said that was a hard no.
Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler defeated Apollo Crews and Titus O'Neil (w/Dana Brooke) (2:13)
A total squash that ended with Drew McIntyre pinning Apollo Crews following the Claymore combined with the Zig Zag.
Charly Caruso did an interview with Dolph Ziggler and McIntyre afterward. Ziggler says he finally has someone watching his back and indicated their tag team name would be "The Show." McIntyre did a strong promo saying the rest of the locker room had grown soft collecting paychecks. McIntyre said he was what a superstar looked like, he was what a superstar sounded like and he wasn't the superstar the WWE wanted, he was the superstar the WWE needed.
Chad Gable walked up and thanked Angle for bringing him over to Raw. Gable asked how Jordan was doing. Jinder Mahal showed up and was still mad about Angle making him defend the U.S. Championship against Jeff Hardy last week, and then Angle sent Jeff back to SmackDown. Mahal demanded to be sent back to SmackDown after he beats Hardy at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Gable said that Mahal should learn some respect. Mahal thought Gable was the little boy that Strowman had beside him to win the Raw Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania. Then Mahal thought better of it and said that Mini-Me passed away this week. Gable pushed Mahal. Sunil Singh and Angle stepped between them and ordered the two of them to a match immediately.
Chad Gable defeated Jinder Mahal (w/ Sunil Singh) (8:49)
Mahal tossed around Gable for most of the match and even attacked him before the bell. Mahal went for the Khallas, but Gable did the Bret Hart/Steve Austin finish from the 1996 Survivor Series and kicked off the top rope, pinning Mahal's shoulders to the mat for the upset finish. Michael Cole emphasized that Gable was only 5'8', 202 pounds and played him up as the underdog figure. Gable made a brief comeback working on Mahal's left leg, using a dragon screw before Mahal hit a big running knee lift.
The Riott Squad did an interview with Renee Young. Ruby Riott said what they did last week to Sasha Banks and Bayley wasn't meant to send a message to just them, but the entire Raw Women's roster. Liv Morgan said later tonight in a special 10-women's tag, Alexa Bliss and Mickie James should learn how to be teammates or else they would learn the same way Bayley and Banks learned.
Tweets from Vince McMahon, Ted DiBiase, Josh Reddick, Angle and representatives from Madison Square Garden were shown honoring Bruno Sammartino.
Samoa Joe did a cell phone interview saying he heard Reigns claimed he was going to return to America as the Universal Champion. Joe said he's concerned about not having an opponent for Backlash because Reigns' predictions rarely come true and if history is any indication, Reigns would wind up buried in the sands of the desert.
Dallas and Axel tried to talk Finn Balor into forming a new stable with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows gone to SmackDown: The Baxil Club. They tried to give Balor the "too sweet" sign. Balor told them thanks but no thanks, then lowered their hands down. Dallas looked at Axel and asked "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Axel said "No, I have no idea what you're thinking."
Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman defeated Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens (12:02)
Strowman pinned Zayn after the running powerslam. Lashley got the heat after Owens gave Lashley the low bridge, followed by a running senton on the floor. Strowman brought the house down after he made the hot tag, plowing over Owens on the floor several times, including once with a running dropkick. After taking a beating from Strowman, Zayn tried to walkout, but Lashley ran him down and threw him back in the ring. Lashley gave Zayn the hanging suplex, leading to Strowman's finish.
Baron Corbin was supposed to make his return to Raw to face No Way Jose, but the match never started. After Jose came out with his Conga line, Corbin said Jose brought the Conga line down just to have four or five people try to help Jose. As long as there was a Conga line at ringside, there would be no match. Corbin went to the back. Jose danced back up the ramp with the Conga line when, predictably, Corbin attacked him. Corbin gave him a choke slam into a backbreaker.
There was a public service announcement with Bliss taking a stance against bullying. Bliss claimed she was having dinner once with her former best friend, Nia Jax, when a homeless woman who hadn't eaten in weeks sked them for food. Bliss claimed she was about to give the woman the rest of her burrito bowl when Jax took it from her and gobbled it up herself. Bliss appeared to be on the verge of tears as she discussed how Jax was a bully who deprived the homeless lady of food. Bliss told Ember Moon, Bayley, and Banks that it wasn't too late for them to take a stance against bullying and not team with Jax tonight and said it would be the right first step toward Bliss regaining her Raw Women's Championship at Blacklash. This was absolute gold.
Finn Balor & Seth Rollins defeated Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas (4:56)
Balor pinned Axel after the Coup de Grace after Rollins hit the Stomp on Rollins. Rollins got the hot tag and hit a double tope on Axel and Dallas. Rollins will defend the Intercontinental Championsip against Balor, The Miz and Joe at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
Natalya held court with Jax, Moon, Bayley and Banks. Jax said that she had a public service announcement of her own for Bliss: making her mad is bad for Bliss' health. After Natalya, Jax and Moon left, Banks smiled at Bayley and appeared to want to make up. Bayley just scowled at her and walked off.
Tweets from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Hart, JBL, Edge and A.J. Styles were shown honoring Bruno.
Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan, Alexa Bliss and Mickie James defeated Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Bayley, Sasha Banks and Natalya by DQ (15:09)
Aside from the ring entrance, they never really played up the Bayley/Banks program. The story of the match was Natalya had the sharpshooter on James, but Sarah Logan ran in and gave Natalya a chop block. Natalya sold it like it was legit. Everyone stopped like it was an accident and allowed Natalya to tag Bayley. The theme of the monster babyfaces getting hot tags continued as Jax got the tag. And again, the place erupted for them. Jax gave Riott a press slam and legdrop. Loganmade the save, which started a nine-lady brawl which spilled out onto the floor. It ended with Jax diving off the apron onto all seven other ladies. On the other side of the ring, Natalya got up with the help of several officials. James came up from behind and gave Natalya a baseball slide. James laughed and she put the boots to Natalya.
This brought out Ronda Rousey, who they're building up as Natalya's close friend. Rousey tried to help up Natalya, but James gave Rousey a baseball slide from behind. Rousey got that bad ass look on her face and got in the ring, give James a judo throw and put her in the armbar for the DQ. Place came alive when Rousey came out. Rousey helped Natalya up the ramp.