On Saturday, Brock Lesnar became WWE champion after being inserted into a fatal five-way at the Day 1 pay-per-view. That was a result of Roman Reigns testing positive for COVID-19. Now an unexpected champion, Lesnar was in need of a challenger at the upcoming Royal Rumble event.
That challenger was determined during Raw on Monday night. The men originally scheduled for the Day 1 match -- Big E, Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens -- competed for the right to face Lesnar on Jan. 29. It was Lashley who emerged victorious, setting up a first-ever clash between two of WWE's biggest powerhouses.
CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina.
Bobby Lashley secures shot at Brock Lesnar
The show opened with Paul Heyman welcoming his client, Brock Lesnar, to the ring with new WWE championship in hand. Lesnar said that he knew Roman Reigns was at home watching "the real champion," before thanking Heyman for pulling strings to get him in the WWE championship match at Day 1. Heyman then confirmed that Lesnar would defend the title later in the month at Royal Rumble, facing the winner of the fatal four-way that would be taking place later in the night.
Bobby Lashley def. Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins and Big E to earn a shot at the WWE championship. The match went from the ring to ringside and eventually through the crowd and into the upper concourse. Big E was put through the announce table but later put Owens through a merchandise table. Rollins and Owens worked together for much of the match, having already agreed that they'd help each other so that one could beat Lesnar at Royal Rumble and then they'd face each other in the main event of WrestleMania. Both kept to their word, not breaking pins by the other man. In the end, Lashley managed to hit spears on all three other men before pinning Owens to secure his title shot at the Royal Rumble. When asked for a comment after the match, Lesnar simply said to tell Roman Reigns that he'd see him at SmackDown on Friday.
Raw was, on the whole, a terrible show. That said, it opened and closed strong, with Lesnar and Heyman officially reunited and a chaotic four-way match. Interestingly, we are finally going to see the long-awaited showdown between Lesnar and Lashley. Reigns' COVID diagnosis threw things into a bit of chaos between Day 1, Raw and Royal Rumble, but WWE seems to be making the best of it, even if Big E is ultimately the victim of some panicked booking decisions. Again, a terrible edition of Raw but with strong segments around the WWE championship and that's what we're grading here. Grade: B+
What else happened on WWE Raw?
- Chad Gable & Otis def. RK-Bro via pinfall when Otis hit Riddle with a front slam. Otis and Gable attacked before the match and after Gable vowed that they would be the men who ended RK-Bro's title reign.
- Reggie & Dana Brooke def. Tamina & Akira Tozawa via pinfall when Reggie hit Tozawa with a flipping senton. Brooke would have lost the 24/7 championship had she been pinned.
- Bianca Belair and Liv Morgan interrupted a Becky Lynch promo. Lynch was speaking to how dominant she'd been as champion, including yet another win over Morgan at Day 1 when Morgan interrupted, seemingly wanting another match. Belair was out next and the three women briefly argued before Belair and Morgan threw Lynch from the ring and then brawled with each other.
- Women's Tag Team Championship – Carmella & Queen Zelina (c) def. Nikki A.S.H. & Rhea Ripley via pinfall when Zelina rolled up Nikki to retain the titles.
- The Street Profits def. Apollo Crews & Commander Aziz via pinfall when Montez Ford hit Crews with a frog splash.
- United States Championship – Damian Priest (c) def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall after hitting Reckoning. Priest had no champion's advantage, meaning he could lose the title by disqualification or count out. Priest teased that his temper would lead him to suffer a loss by either method though he checked himself to score the win.
- Edge and Beth Phoenix challenged The Miz and Maryse to a match at Royal Rumble. Despite Maryse's protests, Miz accepted the match.
- Omos def. AJ Styles via pinfall with a chokebomb. Styles had a few hope spots but the match was ultimately dominated by Omos.