The latest episode of WWE Raw took place in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Monday, January 21.
Here’s a recap of what happened on the show…
Opening segment: Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar kick off Raw
Summary: Paul Heyman lauded Finn Balor’s achievements before ominously warning that Brock Lesnar will sacrifice the Irishman for the sin that the WWE Universe has committed for believing that he has got what it takes to conquer “The Beast” at the Royal Rumble. Vince McMahon interrupted and compared Lesnar vs. Balor to David vs. Goliath before insulting the Oklahoma fans. Braun Strowman was next to appear, warning that he will rip Lesnar apart “like Vince’s limousine” if he is still champion after Sunday. Balor appeared and passionately explained how he will do something Strowman has never done: beat Lesnar. Vince then set up Balor vs. Strowman.
Verdict: Overall, this was a strong opening segment. Heyman was very good on the mic, as ever, and the only real negative was Strowman, who seems less assured on the mic by the week.
Match 1: Finn Balor vs. Braun Strowman
Summary: Braun Strowman dominated the early stages, notably when he shoulder-charged Finn Balor against the barricade. With Brock Lesnar watching on from ringside, Balor turned things around with a sling blade, followed by two sleeper holds. Strowman threw Balor off the top turnbuckle and into the arms of Lesnar, who suplexed the Irishman at ringside. The referee allowed the match to go on and Balor fought back multiple times, against both Lesnar and Strowman. When he hit a Coup de Grace on Strowman, Lesnar interfered again, this time causing a DQ, by hitting an F5 on Balor.
Verdict: This was booked very well. Balor goes into the Rumble as the ultimate underdog who is more popular than ever, while Lesnar now has a legitimate reason to want to get his hands on the challenger on Sunday. Nothing to complain about here.