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WWE RAW Live results 1/25: Royal Rumble HHH fallout and a teased "Major return"

The Big Takeaway: 

The Rock returned for a 25-minute segment where he dueled with the New Day over the mic. He built up WrestleMania, but there were no plans for him announced for the future. He was still the most entertaining thing on the show, which had its high points. The main event of Fast Lane will be Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar in a triple threat match, with the winner facing HHH in the main event at WrestleMania for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. A.J. Styles made his Raw debut. Shock of shocks, he had the best match on the show, defeating Chris Jericho. It looks like those two are headed for another match, likely at Fast Lane, as well. Easily the best Raw of the year, so far.  

Vince and Stephanie McMahon came out gloating over Roman Reigns losing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to HHH. Vince said that, just like the fans, Reigns couldn't rise above adversity. Instead, when adversity faced him, he whimpered and whined. Stephanie said they pulled off a coo in getting HHH into the Royal Rumble. Did she see the odds leading up to the show. She mentioned A.J. Styles, who got a huge pop and "We love A.J." Chants. Stephanie built up her husband and introduced him. 

HHH came out and said Reigns might be among the most amazing athletes he's ever seen, but he lacks respect because he's arrogant and cocky. He claimed Reigns lacked respect for Vince, who might as well be God because he's the one who created all this. The man who went from 6.7 ratings in September 1999 against football to a 2.3 running unopposed? Alrighty...HHH said anyone who disrespects Vince might as well be distracting his religion because the ring was his church. 

HHH then spoke to those who said his time had come and gone as a wrestler. He admitted he didn't have to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion, but now he wanted to be because people need to show proper respect. That started a light "Roman" chant. 

Stephanie said the main event for Fast Lane would be announced tonight, and the winner of that match would face HHH in the main event of WrestleMania.

Kevin Owens defeated Dolph Ziggler (8:45)  

As usual, a good match between the two. Kevin Owens won with the Pop-Up Power Bomb. Ziggler went to the top rope trying to give Owens a huracanrana, but Owens crotched him. Owens looked like he was going for the F-Cinq, but they couldn't get in position for it. The show-long storyline is wrestlers are trying to impress the Authority in order to get the spot in the Fast Lane main event. 

Flo Rida is in the building. 

JoJo interviewed Reigns backstage. He told her to let the Chairman and the champion know that he was here and he wasn't leaving until he hears the Fast Lane announcement.

Social Outcasts came out. Heath Slater saw Flo Rida at ringside and ordered him to not make him mad. Bo Dallas challenged Rida to come in the ring and face the four Superfriends. He got in the ring. Slater challenged him to a rap battle against Bo Rida. Bo ran down Florida and said he had a Full House "just like Danny Tanner." Had to use Wikipedia to find that Danny Tanner was the role that Bob Saget played on that show. It's scary that Bo Dallas rapping was ten times more entertaining than that show that Adam Rose hosted, but it's unlikely we'll see Bo Rida again. Flo Rida said Social Outcasts had no skills and "Welcome to Dudleyville." Bubba Ray and Devon Dudley came out to their nu metal song from 2000. It's more dated than Petey Pablo. 

The Dudley Boyz defeated Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel (4:27) 

The Dudleys won with the 3-D on Curtis Axel. Devon got the pin. Rida was in the Dudleyz corner. There was a spot when Flo Rida dumped Slater into the ring, and the Dudleys gave him Wazzup. Dallas now has a singlet. He looks like Eric Embry in 1990 Memphis when he let himself go. There's a spot where the four members of Social Outcasts walked around the ring together that's called the "Bo Train" Michael Cole announced later this year, the Dudleys would celebrate their "20th year anniversary" together. Thank you, Phil Simms. 

Styles did an interview with Rene Young. She asked him, for those who don't know, tells us exactly who you are. Chris Jericho walked up, called I'm the hottest free agent in the world. Jericho derisively said "Welcome to the Big Leagues, kid." Why do I have these images of Braden Walker floating through my head? 

They announced that Nikki Bella will miss the next six months because of neck fusion surgery. It was supposedly reported by E! To promote Total Divas.

A.J. Styles defeated Chris Jericho (13:43) 

A very good match where Styles won by reversing a cradle after Jericho escaped the Styles Clash. Jericho appeared to be calling the match and Styles looked like he was trying find his footing in a new ring. Some of his trademark spots, like the flying drop kicked, weren't executed perfectly. In the final eight minutes, it was excellent. Jericho got the Liontamer and Styles had a lengthy struggle before getting to the ropes. Crowd popped big for that. Fans embraced this match from the opening bell, chanting "This is awesome" right from the outset. Styles went for a splash but missed, leading to Jericho going for a lionsault, but Styles got his knees up. Afterwards, Styles extended his hand for a handshake. Jericho shook his hand, then pulled Styles together for a face-to-face confrontation. Looks like this could be a program and that's goodie, goodie gumdrops. 

Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch went to a no contest (3:33) 

Sasha Banks had Becky Lynch in the Bank Statement when Charlotte ran in for the DQ. Charlotte gave Banks Natural Selection and also sent Lynch out of the ring. BK<anks wrestled as the heel even though she got more cheers.  

Goldust found R-Truth backstage. Golddust was doing a combination of his original effeminate gimmick and his Tourette's Syndrome promo, asking R-Truth to be his partner. R-Truth showed him his wedding ring and said he was a married man. After R-Truth bolted, Goldust said he meant tag team partner and claimed they could call the team "Gold and Truth."

Bray Wyatt defeated Kane (7:05)  

Bray Wyatt won with Sistery Abigail after a distraction from Luke Harper.  Crowd was dead, which isn't a good sign since they teased Wyatt vs. Brock Lesnar at some point over the next few months. Wyatt is basically a ring entrance now. There was a fan who was dressed up as Randy Savage at ringside who took attention away from the match. Crowd started chanting for him and Wyatt didn't look happy about it. It looked like the ushers forced to tone it down, which got the ushers more heat than the match. Later, those four men turned up away from the hard camera during the Rock's segment. Braun Strowman gave Kane the head-and-arm choke afterwards. 

A WWE reporter knocked on the door of a limo parked backstage. Crowd chanted for the Rock, but the Miz got out. He started to do an interview, but then a big black truck pulled him. And it was the Rock who got out. 

Rock handed Miz the keys of his truck to park it. On his way to the ring, Rock shook hands with Rick Ross. Then Rock saw the Big Show and they talked about the Royal Rumble in 2000 where they were the last two in. They did a finish that year where they went over the top rope together and the Big Show's feet were supposed to hit first, but it was the Rock who did it by mistake. Rock was awarded the win. Rock admitted the Show should have won that year, and said producers from the Scorpion King were going to give the role in that film to the winner of the Rumble that year. It could have been the Big Show who was in the Fast and Furious sequels, chasing Van Dielsel around. Big Show got this classic sad look on his face and broke a laptop that he was holding for no reason in two. He wasn't mad at Rock at all, but Show had some great timing and facials here. 

Rock stumbled on to Lana, where they talked about the last time Rock confronted Rusev. He claimed that after the show, Lana said she didn't want to be with Rusev anymore. They went inside a hotel room and did special exercises like the Wisconsin Wheelbarrow, and the D.J. Mustache Ride. Rusev came up from behind. Lana informed Rock they were now engaged to be married. Rock told Rusev that Lana was flexible as all hell. 

Rock continued his walk backstage, where he slapped hands with Pat Patterson, to the Gorillia Position. Finally he made his way out to the crowd to the Miami fans, who chanted "This is awesome" before he even started speaking. Rock said he was ready for WretleMania and asked the fans if they were. He pretended not to know Byron Saxton's name. 

Rock saw four guys dressed at ringside and went totally off script. He interviewed the aforementioned Savage impersonator, a Hulk Hogan impersonator, an Undertaker impersonator and someone dressed as Rock.The New Day came out doing this scripted material. Kofi Kingston said the Rock was supposedly the People's Champion, but he didn't have any gold around his waist. They were WWE tag team champions. 

Big E. Said the Rock was like LeBron James, he bolted Miami for greener pastures. Xavier Woods did an impression of Rikishi saying "He did it for the picture." Even Rock couldn't hold back a smile over that one. 

Rock said the New Day found a way to be entertaining with llama penises strapped to their heads. Rock said they looked like three Chocolate Cornholes running their mouths all of the time. He said Big E. Was so nerdy, he looked like what would happen if the Incredible Hulk banged Urkel. 

Rock challenged them to get in the ring. New Day started to leave. Rock said he had a Plan B: family. The Usos came out. Rock gave Big E. The Rock Bottom, Kingston took a double superkick from the Usos and Woods took the People's Elbow. Rock delivered his catchphrase and that was that. All of this shows that ther's only Rock, and there will never be another. 

Paige and Natalyia defeated Brie Bella and Alicia Fox (2:45) 

Paige pinned Brie Bella with the Rampage. They had to rush because the Rock segment took over 25 minutes. 

Kalisto (C) defeated the Miz (10:23) in a nontitle match. 

Kalisto won with the Solida Del Sol after Miz attempted the Skull Crushing Finale. OK match, but the U.S. Title around Kalisto's waist feels like the championship is a secondary belt again. Highlight of the match was when JBL said Rock was " the number one international box office hit" in 2015. Box office hit as opposed to box office attraction. Even Cole couldn't hold back a chuckle after that one. JBL launched his candidacy to win the Worst Announcer award again next January in quality fashion tonight. 

Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns defeated Rusev and Sheamus (15:19) 

Dean Ambrose got the heat after Rusev threw him into the timekeeper's table. Ambrose, who had his left shoulder taped up after his match with Owens last night, took three Irish Curse backbreakers from Sheamus. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Reigns, but Ambrose made the save. Sheamus shot Reigns into the ropes, but Reigns came off with a spear for the pin.  

Afterwards, to get payback on the League of Nations for jumping Reigns during the Royal Rumble, Ambrose helped Reigns get Rusev up to power bomb him through the announcer's table.

Stephanie came out to announce that the main event for Fast Lane would be a triple threat match: Ambrose vs. Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar. 

SUMMARY

It's always so entertaining to see the Rock on Raw because he makes it feel like an event. It's always so depressing the week after the Rock visits Raw because you know the product will never be as good as it was during his prime. And not just because of his personality and his presence, which comes along once in a generation. It's because the fabric of what made the Rock special has changed. He would have never become the personality that endeared himself to millions with scripted interviews on weekly three hour shows. When he first appeared, Raw was an one hour show and still relied on syndication for first-run matches. The Rock was only as good as his creative ability, which might be his most underrated quality. Nowadays, most wrestlers don't get that chance because it's how the system is. Anyway, hate to sound old, but that's what it feels like watching so far ahead of the modern pack. Show was largely entertaining. Styles-Jericho was worth going out of your way to see.