The Big Takeaway: Goldberg did an interview in the final segment to build up the Royal Rumble match. Brock Lesnar showed up for a staredown, but before they could square off, the Undertaker appeared out of the darkness of the night. The three glared at each other and made no physical contact. Sami Zayn surprisingly defeated Seth Rollins, which cost Rollins his spot in the Royal Rumble. Rollins was about to defeat Zayn when he gave him a pedigree on the apron, but HHH's music played. Rollins waited for HHH to show up, but he never did. Zayn immediately pinned Rollins with a small package to qualify for the Royal Rumble. Zayn, Rusev, the Big Show and Big Cass all entered the Royal Rumble on this go-home show.
Reigns started the show. The cage that Jericho will be locked in at the Royal Rumble was in the ring. Reigns said there will be over 40,000 people at the Alamodome on Sunday, but Jericho would be locked in the cage. So he would face Kevin Owens one-on-one, which means he will hold the Universal Championship over his head. That got booed big ime.
That brought out Owens and Jericho. Owens asked if Roman was OK because he sounded delusional, but he remembered power bombing Reigns through a table last week. Owens said Reigns had been doing that to various superstars for years, but how many people can say they single handidly power bombed Reigns through the table? The answer is one, and Owens was him. Reigns said Owens was the one who was about to get whipped in front of the whole world and his best friend.
Jericho said since Reigns was in the mood to make predictions, he had one for Reigns: he was a stupid idiot. Jericho said Reigns thought it was funny that he was going to be hanging from the rafters of the Alamodome on Sunday, he thought it was funny when he beat Reigns for the U.S. Championship two weeks ago. Jericho threatened to knock Reigns' teeth down his throat like chicklets. Reigns asked did that mean Jericho was giving him a rematch? He challenged Jericho to a rematch for the U.S. title tonight. Owens said Reigns could have his rematch, which Jericho wasn't happy with. Owens said he had a psychic vision that Reigns was the one who was going to be the one locked in the cage tonight. Reigns said he had a feeling he was the one walking away with the Universal championship on Sunday because he was something that Owens would never be, The Guy.
Cesaro and Sheamus will defend the Raw Tag Team Championships against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson on the Royal Rumble Pregame show Sunday in a match with two referees.
Luke Gallows defeated Cesaro (8:41)
Michael Cole mentioned that Gallows was a three-time co-holder of the IWGP tag team championships with Anderson. During a commercial, Anderson clotheslined Cesaro outside the ring. Sheamus chased Anderson to the back. Sheamus returned to ringside, where Gallows shoved him. After Cesaro kicked Gallows to the floor, Sheamus clotheslined Gallows. Cesaro put Gallows in the sharpshooter. Anderson ran back to ringside and nailed Sheamus from behind with a dropkick. Anderson tried to get in the ring while Gallows tapped. Gallows jumped Cesaro from behind and pinned him with a fireman's carry flapjack.
Mick Foley talked with Stephanie McMahon over the phone.Stephanie was absent again this week. She wondered why Mick allowed Reigns' rematch against Jericho, but Foley said it was a good idea. Sami Zayn walked in and wondered when he could announce himself in the Royal Rumble. Foley started to tell him he could announce it anytime he wants, but Stephanie chirped in and said he would have to defeat Seth Rollins tonight in order to get into the Royal Rumble. After Zayn left, Foley picked up the handset on the phone so only he could hear what Stephanie was saying. Stephanie ordered him to tell Rollins something which Foley didn't agree with.
Corey Graves did a sit-down interview with Bayley regarding her match with Charlotte. When asked to describe her match with Charlotte in one word, it was "Wow." She said she always dreamed of winning the women's championship. It still gave her goose bumps to think she started wrestling in some arenas across the Bay Area. She didn't understand why Charlotte was using her longtime WWE fandom against her. When asked what it feels like to be a role model, she said she's just Bayley, and she remembers being a fan reaching out to touch the hand of a star. She said the crowd makes her feel like she can do anything. She said a lot of people don't think she can beat Charlotte because she isn't Charlotte, but she does have two victories over Charlotte.
Rollins was backstage when Foley approached him. Foley informed him about the match against Zayn. When Rollins asked why, Foley said she wanted Zayn to qualify for the Royal Rumble. Foley said if Zayn wins tonight, he won't just get a spot in the Royal Rumble, he will get Rollins' spot. Rollins said he was going to go out and beat Zayn tonight so he can throw it right back in Stephanie and her "coward husband's" face.
Sami Zayn defeated Seth Rollins to qualify for the Royal Rumble (15:59)
First big move out of the commercial was Rollins going for the spingboard knee, but Zayn sidestepped it and used the Blue Thunder Bomb for a good near fall. Zayn hit the Michinoku Driver for a two count. Zayn went to the top rope but Rollins went for a superplex, Zayn blocked it but ran into a blockbuster. Rollins hit a superkick and a Falcon Arrow for more near falls. After an exchange of forearms in mid-ring, Rollins used the Slingblade, then attempted the Pedigree. Zayn escaped and hit a kick that knocked Rollins to the corner, then he went for the Helluva Kick, but Rollins moved. Rollins again went for the Pedigree, but Zayn backdropped him to the floor. Zayn went to the top rope, but Rollins crotched him. Rollins teased the Pedigree off the top rope, but Zayn escaped and hit a Sunset Flip Power Bomb for a near fall. Zayn went for a Dragon Suplex, but Rollins hit an enzuigiri. Zayn came back with an exploder suplex into the corner and went for the Helluva Kick, but Rollins rolled out of the ring. Zayn went on the apron to hit the Helluva Kick, but Rollins kicked him and hit a Pedigree on the apron.
Rollins was set to pin Zayn when HHH's music hit. Rollins was distracted thinking HHH was coming out, but he never did. When Rollins turned around, Zayn pinned him with a small package in an excellent match. Rollins was furious and stormed to the back while Zayn was so beaten up he could hardly celebrate. They made sure to have close-up replays of various fans going crazy when HHH's music hit.
Rollins wanted to know where HHH was, but was greeted by foley who said he knew nothing. Foley said Stephanie may have been in touch with someone in production, but Rollins said whoever is responsible took away something he had been building a year for.
Mustafa Ali, Jack Gallagher and T.J. Perkins defeated Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari and Tony Nese (3:51)
This was a showcase for Mustafa Ali, who got a prematch video package. He pinned Drew Gulak with an inverse 450 in a match that crowd was lukewarm for. Austin Aries was on commentary again.
The New Day came out. Xavier Woods started to talk when Enzo Amore and Big Cass came out. Cass said this Sunday, he's going Stallone in '87 because he's throwing 29 bodies "over the top." Of all movies to choose from. Rusev and Jinder Mahal showed up. Rusev wondered why Cass and Big E. needed to put "big" in front of their name. Crowd chanted "USA." Rusev said he understood they're big, but it's like putting Handsome in front of his name. Rusev announced he was in the Royal Rumble. Then Titus O'Neal walked down and said he wasn't in the Royal Rumble. Big E. said last week, O'Neal promised to never annoy them again. Woods said it was disrespectful and said "Go on and catch me ouside, go ahead." Crowd popped for that. Woods wanted to go outside. O'Neal said he was informed there was going to be an 8-man tag with Enzo, Cass and the New Day against "all four of us." Woods said one of them is Lana. Crowd popped for Lana potentially wrestling. Woods wanted to know who the fourth person was. Braun Strowman's music hit.
Braun Strowman, Titus O'Neal, Rusev and Jinder Mahal defeated Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Kofi Kingston and Big E. (4:32)
Enzo hit Baba Boom Shaka Laka on Mahal, but O'Neal made the save. Everyone except Srowman got involved with Kofi Kingston hittin a tope on everyone. Strowman tagged himself in and stared down Amore, who was backed in a corner. He fired up the crowd and promptly got mauled with a clothesline. Amore made a brief comeback and jumped off the second rope, but Strowman caught him and pinned him with an Oklahoma Stampede.
Afterwards, the Big Show walked out with new pyro looking like he had abs for the first time in his 22 year career. Show and Strowman had a long staredown with each man daring the other to make the first move. Strowman backed up to the ropes and left, saying he did what he wants when he wants.
After Cole, Graves and Byron Saxton did their weekly WWE Network plug, Show walked over and said hello to the announcers. Cole mentioned the Big Show was huge.
Roman Reigns defeated U.S. Champion Chris Jericho by DQ, so Jericho retained the championship (9:39)
Owens was back on commentary for the first time in awhile and railed on Saxton relentlessly. There was one botched spot where Jericho ran at Reigns and I think was supposed to hit a schoolboy cradle, which usually leads to Reigns getting an one-armed power bomb. They got all tangled up and had to ad lib for a minute. Reigns went for the Superman Punch but Jericho hit him with a dropkick. Jericho tried the codebreaker but Reigns caught him for a Liger Bomb. Owens left the commentary table and ran in just as Reigns connected with the Superman punch.
Owens called for the shark cage to be lowered. Owens threw Reigns in the cage. As Owens tried to find the key to lock the cage, Reigns grabbed Owens by the head and slammed him in the cage. As Reigns escaped, he threw Jericho into the cage. Reigns put Owens in the cage and locked the door. Jericho hung on to cage trying to pull Owens down. He was carried a few feet in the air until Reigns gave him a Superman punch. Owens wound up suspended in midair as Reigns laughed. Reigns gave Jericho a spear.
Owens finally got down from the cage and started arguing with Jericho. Charly Caruso came out and told Owens that not only will Owens face Reigns for the Universal Championship with Jericho suspended above the ring in a shark cage, but it will be a no-DQ match. An incensed Owens said the match should be canceled.
Charlotte did her own sit-down interview with Graves. She said one of her earliest childhood memories was watching her father defeat 29 other competitors to win the WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble. She said this Sunday was another chance for her to surpass her father's legacy. Charlotte admitted to growing up privledged, but she was the greatest athlete, male or female, that anyone in this company had ever seen. Charlotte said she's never meant to embarass Bayley, she wanted to show the WWE universe what they were getting behind. Charlotte took offense to Bayley thinking she was in the same league with her. Charlotte interrupted Graves' final question and said when she walked into the building on Sunday, every eye in the building would be on her, she would beat Bayley. And when it is over, she'll look down at Bayley when she's crying and her legacy will live on.
Nia Jax defeated Rae Lynn (:27)
Nia Jax rag dolled into the corner and pinned her after the old Yokozuna Bonzai Drop.
Caruso started to do an interview with Jax, who told her to go away. Jax dedicated her victory to the recently deceased career of Sasha Banks. One month ago, Banks was Raw Women's Champion, but now she's disappeared. She said ESPN should do a 30-for-30 on Banks' career. Banks came out with a crutch, and she used the crutch to hit Jax on the leg. She used the crutch five times before it broke. Jax barely sold it and charged at Banks, who moved and Jax fell to the floor. Banks jumped off the apron and hit Jax with a double knee attack, then walked off.
Banks will face Jax in the Royal Rumble pregame show. Shawn Michaels will also return on the 20th anniversary of his victory to win the WWE (then WWE) Championship over Sycho Sid.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann defeated Noam Dar in a nontitle match (5:52)
Alicia Fox now accompanies Noam Dar. Rich Swann teased doing a flip tope on Dar, but he hid behind Fox. She didn't act victimized like Miss Elizabeth did when Randy Savage did that spot in the 80s, she just told Swann to get back. Swann pinned Dar with the Rich Kick.
Postmatch, Swann challenged Neville to come out, saying he was the King of the Cruiserweights, but to him he was nothing but a jester. Neville charged out, started to get in the ring, then left. Swann wouldn't let him get away that easy and did a tope on Swann and put the fists to him.
Cedric Alexander faces Neville on 205 Live tomorrow. Alexander did an interview with Caruso about that saying he's looking at it as a chance to prove himself. Fox and Dar interrupted. Fox screamed at Alexander, saying he'll never be anything without him. Alexander said she's really being a big help to Dar, who said he stole Alexander's girlfriend. He asked if everything was good between them. Alexander wasn't as concerned about losing Fox as much as he was upset at Dar jumping him last week, so he pushed Dar down. Fox yelled at Alexander about how he almost hurt Dar.
Goldberg came out to close the show. He got a much better reaction this week than he did on January 9. He head butt the locker room door before his entrance so hard, he got hardway blood on his forehead. He kept screwing up his scripted lines and had to start over three times. He said he would stop at nothing to get the Universal Championship. If he had to spear and jackhammer 29 other guys, that's what he's going to do. He started to tell the other 29 guys they were next when Paul Heyman came out. Heyman said being the marketing wizard he was, they should rename the Royal Rumble match to "Royal Rumble: Imagine the Possibilities." He brought up Goldberg potentially facing Randy Orton, Strowman, the Undertaker, or against Brock Lesnar, whose music played to a monster pop.
Lesnar came out live and in living color. Heyman held him back on the ramp. Heyman said the object of Goldberg's demise was before him. This Sunday, Goldberg would be beaten, conquered, victimized and thrown over the top rope by Lesnar. Goldberg wanted to know if Lesnar was going to come to the ring or sit there like a "dumb ass."
Lesnar went to ringside with Heyman in tow. He stalked around the ring for a lap, stepped through the ropes and the two stared at each other. Then the Undertaker's music played. The lights went out and the Undertaker was in the ring staring at both of them. Goldberg and Lesnar looked uncertain as the Undertaker's blue lights dimmed on them and the show ended. The pop for the Undertaker's surprise appearance was one of the biggest pops in recent Raw history.