WWE Raw live results: Number one contender's match

The Big Takeaway: Brock Lesnar's opponent at the Royal Rumble is still unknown after a screwjob finish in the main event of Kane vs. Braun Strowman, which ended in a double countout. The two brawled for another five minutes after the match, ending with Strowman giving Kane a running powerslam through the table. The Shield won two of three singles matches against The Bar and Samoa Joe. Easily the match of the night was Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro, who turned in another stellar performance. Cedric Alexander will face Drew Gulak to determine the #1 contender for the cruiserweight championship. 

Joe started the show in the ring and said he wasn't impressed with the Shield. He said he wasn't impressed by Rollins, whose leg he snapped in his first night in WWE. He wasn't impressed by Ambrose, who he called a human cockroach. He wasn't impressed by Reigns, who he has choked out time and time again. He challenged Reigns to come out  and told him to leave Ambrose and Rollins backstage. Rollins watched from backstage. Ambrose walked in and Rollins told him to get Reigns. 

Joe continued to run down the Shield, saying he was the reason why the Shield didn't have the Raw Tag Team Championships. Reigns finally was summoned by his Shield cohorts and told them to leave this to him. Reigns marched out and pelted Joe with punches in the corner. Right away, Cesaro and Sheamus came out to jump Reigns. Joe put the Coquina Clutch on Reigns as Rollins and Ambrose came out. Ambrose went after Joe, but Joe quickly threw him out of the ring. Sheamus and Cesaro gave Rollins the spiked White Noise. Ambrose crawled back into the ring, but Joe spiked him with an uranage and the Shield was left in a heap. 

They aired highlights of Sasha Banks facing Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women's Championship in the Abu Dhabi, making it a big deal of how it was the first women's championship match in the Middle East. 

Mandy Rose & Paige defeated Bayley & Mickey James (8:18) 

Before the match, Paige said she got to squash a boss in her first match on Raw in over a year last week. Mandy Rose said they demand the spotlight and they will continue to squash the division of the feeble and unworthy. Sonya DeVille did her catch phrase of put your hair up and square up. Paige told Mickie James and Bayley that domination is Absolution's future and that ring is her house. 

James gave Rose a flap jack. DeVille jumped on the apron, but James kicked her off. James hit a Thesz press off the top rope, but Paige ran in for a kick. Bayley went after Paige, but the referee pulled her off. As the referee's back was turned, James went for the DDT on Rose, but Paige kicked her in the head and Rose pinned James. 

Bray Wyatt popped up on the screen and said he was here. Matt Hardy then appeared and said he was woken. 

Wyatt showed up again after a commercial and said this is nothing new: this is good vs. evil, the darkness vs. the light and it is his favorite game. Wyatt said Hardy was now woken and he has been waiting. Hardy said his broken wisdom shall illuminate the masses. Wyatt said Hardy's words mean nothing. Hyatt said the soul of Sister Abigail has existed for decades but she was stricken by a darkness. Wyatt asked why would people follow a jester when they could follow a king? Hardy said the woken warriors are preparing for a battle against the Wyatt Swarm and they shall delete. Then Wyatt and Hardy cackled each cackled for over a minute. 

Amore was backstage talking to his cruiserweight championship. Gulak announced that the WWE had revoked Swann's championship opportunity. There will be another Fatal Four-Way tonight and this time the winner faces Gulak for the Cruiserweight Championship Enzo listed a list of contenders and mentioned Nia Jax. Gulak wondered why and said it was a lesson, Enzo wanted him to prepare for any opponent even if it was someone like Jax. Enzo, who clearly blurted out Jax because he's had her on his mind romantically, gave a weird look and said that was exactly what he meant.

Finn Balor defeated Curtis Axel (1:39)  

Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas mocked Finn Balor's entrance. Axel finally took off his neckbrace and Dallas jumped Balor from behind just as the match was about to  startThe bell sounded and Axel did his father's rolling neck snap for a two count. Balor hit a sling balde, the woo dropkick, where Axel started selling his neck, and the Coup de Grace for a three count. 

Kane did an interview from backstage saying Strowman would step into the abyss with him tonight. It's a place where normal men fear to tread, but neither one of them was normal. Kane said he would climb out of the abyss with a smile on his face because he will know he has crushed Strowman's throat and will face Brock Lesnar. Kane said he would become Universal Champion at the Royal Rumble. 

Seth Rollins defeated Sheamus (13:47) 

Ambrose, Rollins, Joe and Cesaro were barred from ringside. Rollins hit a tope right away, but Sheamus hit Rollins with an axehandle as he got back in the ring. Sheamus worked over Rollins left knee and used a stretch muffler. Rolling turned it into a huracanrana, but Sheamus quickly turned it into a cloverlieaf. Rollins reversed it into a small package for a two count, then spun out of an Irish Curse backbreaker attempt to land a DDT for another near fall. Sheamus missed a shoulder charge into the post and Rollins landed a superkick. Sheamus kicked Rollins in the knee, then climbed to the top rope. But Rollins climbed up for the superplex, followed by the falcoln arrow for a two count. Rollins continued to sell his knee throughout his offensive spurts. Rollins went for the Rainmaker knee, called the spinout knee by Graves, but Sheamus blocked it into a gorilla press into the rolling senton. Sheamus went for the Brogue kick, but Rollins ducked, hit a superkick and then the spinout knee for the pin. Good match. 

Renee Young interview Ambrose backstage. Young asked Ambrose if the beating from Sheamus, Cesaro and Joe had interfered with his strategy tonight. Ambrose said he can't get kicked in the face against Joe, he can't let Joe put him in the Coquina Clutch, then said he can't be talking about his strategy over an open microphone. He said he was worked up, emotionally jacked up and thanked Young for the pep talk. So weird after Rollins openly said Young and Ambrose were on their honeymoon two weeks ago and they just never acknowledge it now. 

Cedric Alexander pinned Ariya Daivari to win a Fatal Fourway match that also included Mustafa Ali and Tony Nese and earn a #1 contender match against Drew Gulak (13:01) 

Gulak was on commentary dressed just like a politician. Just like last week, the crowd was cold early but got into it after a series of hot moves. It started with Alexander hitting the Queen's Crowning on Tony Nese. Mustafa Ali ran in to make the save. Then Ali hit a gorgeous spinning DDT on Alexander. During a commercial, Alexander attempted a power bomb off the top rope, but Ali turned it into a huracanrana. Ali hit Daivari with a split-legged facebuster, but Tony Nese ran in to stop the pin. Ali later hit the 054 on Nese, but this time Alexander broke it up. Alexander and Ali began slugging it out in the ring with fisticuffs, then Alexander hit the Queen's Crowning on Ali, followed by the Lumbar Check. They teased the finish from last week when Nese threw Alexander out of the ring, then covered Ali, but Alexander dragged him out of the ring. Nese hit a running knee across Alexander's jaw, but Ali intervened. Alexander hit a handspring kick on Daivari and pinned him with the Lumbar Check.  

Charly Caruso did an in-ring interview with Alexander, who said this was his second chance. Gulak was next and he was going to be the next WWE cruiserweight champion. 

Gulak talked with Enzo last week and said he face Alexander last week. After that, he will be the cruiserweight champion. Enzo didn't know what Gulak was talking about. Enzo said Gulak wasn't his friend, he was his employee. Enzo said there was only one word to describe Gulak's powerpoint presentations and he was going to spell it out for him. Then Enzo stopped talking because Jax walked in onscreen. Gulak said "informative." Jax and Enzo flirted with each other. Nia said hello to Gulak and said she liked his powerpoint presentations. Enzo said he was just telling Gulak the same thing. Jax told Enzo they should talk some more when he's not busy. Enzo looked impressed with himself as Gulak slapped Enzo on the back and said "informative." 

Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns defeated Cesaro to retain the Intercontinental Championship (16:52) 

During a commercial, Reigns went for the Drive-By, but Reigns kicked him in the face. Reigns gave him a Giant Swing into the dasherboards. Reigns escaped an armbar and rolled into the La Magistral cradle for a two count. Cesaro escaped a schoolboy cradle and clamped on a Fujiwara armbar. Reigns tried to grab the ropes, but Cesaro dragged him back in the middle of the ring. No one reacted because they knew who was winning. Reigns escaped, threw Cesaro into the corner and hit a back suplex. Reigns hit the drive-by for a two count. Reigns attempted the Superman punch, but Cesaro kicked the bad arm, clamped on another Fujiwara armbar, then shifted into a crossface, but Reigns hit the Samoan Drop for another two count. Cesaro ran and cut Reigns with an uppercut and threw Reigns' shoulder into the post, but Reigns barely sold it after falling to the floor. Reigns jumped off the ring steps for a Superman punch.

Reigns went for the spear, but Cesaro kicked him, then hoisted him into a uppercut for a good near fall. Crowd was much more involved after that spot. Cesaro again sank in the crossface, but Reigns got to his face. Cesaro rolled into a sunset flip and tried the Neutralizer, but Reigns held onto the arm and caught an one-armed power bomb. They started exchanging punches and Cesaro got a small package for a two count. Cesaro threw uppercut after uppercut in the corner, then attempted the Neutralizer, but Reigns backdropped him over and hit the spear. Great match. Cesaro got a lot of cheers even though Reigns is supposed to be the top guy in the top babyface group. Cesaro is so good it's amazing he gets ignored for so long. 

Strowman did a backstage interview saying he sent Kane gasping for breath two weeks ago. Tonight, Kane was the only thing standing in his way of getting his hands on Lesnar at the Royal Rumble, but not for long. 

Asuka came out to face Alicia Fox for the second straight week, but she didn't came out. Instead, Absolution showed up. Paige wondered where her ex-best friend was. Fox was shown tending to an injured left arm. A referee was calmly talking to her. Paige said Asuka was getting in the way and they've let her walk away the last two weeks. But no one can stop Absolution. Paige said Asuka can either move out of the way or they can make her move out of the way. Asuka just shook her head. Crowd started chanting for Asuka as Absolution surrounded the ring. Asuka kicked Rose, gave DeVille a spin kick, and put Paige in the flying armbar. Rose and DeVille jumped on Asuka and Paige gave her a running knee to the head. Paige started to give Asuka Rampage, but Banks, Fox, Jax, James, Banks, James, Bayley and Bliss ran down to make it about 9-on-3 babyfaces. Asuka got her heat back with a spinning backfist to Rose. The segment ended with Jax's music playing because....size. 

Angle talked to a stage manager saying he wanted the ring reinforced for the Kane-Strauman match. Jason Jordan walked in and apologized for barging into Angle's office. He said his intensity got the best of him. Then Jordan got a little intense and wondered how Jordan couldn't put him in a match with Joe. Angle said he wasn't just Jordan's father, he's the General Manager of Raw. Jordan said he was the only person who could beat Joe. Jordan said he's faced John Cena, Joe and Reigns and has held his own with them. Angle said holding his own isn't the same thing as beating them. Jordan said that was fine, dad. Or should he say, Mr. Angle. Angle tried to talk to Jordan further, but Jordan stormed away. 

Samoa Joe defeated Dean Ambrose via referee stoppage (10:53) 

Even though Rollins, Cesaro, Sheamus and Reigns were barred from ringside, Jordan came out and watched the match from the ramp, just as Joe did for Jordan's match against Reigns last week. Joe hammered Ambrose with a stiff elbow, but Ambrose bounced back with the rebound clothesline. Joe hit the exploder suplex, then mocked Jordan but doing an Angle mannerism. Jordan came down to the ring, which distracted Joe. Ambrose nearly pinned Joe after a knee to the back and a schoolboy cradle. Ambrose gave Joe a huracanrana over the top rope and they both crashed to the floor. Jordan threw Ambrose in the ring, then Joe put Jordan in the Coquina Clutch. Ambrose fired back with a tope onto both men. Jordan got on the apron and tried to go after Joe as Ambrose jumped off the top rope with an elbow on Joe. Ambrose had Joe pinned, but the referee was tied up with Jordan. Ambrose was livid with Jordan and left the ring to confront him. As Jordan and Ambrose argued, Joe did an elbow suicidia on both men and put Ambrose in the Coquina Clutch. Ambrose passed out and the referee stopped the match. Michael Cole emphasized that Jordan cost Ambrose the match. 

Brooke talked with Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews backstage. O'Neil said Brooke was now the head statistician and head of development at Titus Worldwide. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows walked in. Anderson asked Gallows what do they call anyone who works at Titus Worldwide? Gallows said nerds. Strowman roared and stomped through headed to the ring to face Kane and everyone scattered to get out of his way. 

There was a Tale of the Tape for Strowman vs. Kane which included, height, weight, and "Most Monstrous Moment." It included Strowman tipping an ambulance with Reigns inside vs. Kane trapping Strowman in a garbage truck.

Kane and Braun Strowman fought to a double countout (4:31)  

Strowman hit a dropkick and ran Kane into the steps. Kane backed off, but got out of the way of Strowman's charge and hit a chokeslam for a two count. Kane chokeslammed Strowman again, but Strowman kicked out. There was no heat at all for either of Strowman's escapes from Kane's finisher. Kane tried to chokeslam Strowman again, but Strowman grabbed his throat and hit a chokeslam of his own for a near fall. Kane rolled out of the ring. Strowman went after him and they briefly fought in the crowd which ended with Strowman tackling Kane and they fell through the barricade. The referee counted both men out at 4:31. Crowd booed loudly.

Strowman and Kane continued to fight around ringside. They each picked up ring steps, then stared at each other. They basically played dueling stars with Strowman knocking the steps out of Kane's hand. Strowman teased ramming Kane's throat into the steps with a wheel carrier, but Kane escaped. Strowman knocked Kane down with a ring hand, then pulled out a table. Kane rolled out of the ring and hit Strowman on his left leg with a chair. Kane hit Strowman with several chair shots to the back, then the throat. Kane set up the table. Strowman recovered and the two clotheslined each other. They both were laid out until Kane rose up just like the Undertaker. Then Strowman rose up like the Undertaker and turned his head to Kane, who looked stunned and backed off. Strowman rushed in, but Kane grabbed him by the throat and teased a choke slam. But Strowman fought him off, picked up Kane and gave him the running powerslam through a table. As Kane was left laying, Corey Graves continued to ask who will face Lesnar at the Royal Rumble?