While Bobby Lashley and Seth Rollins are both set to challenge for world titles at the Royal Rumble on Jan. 29, the two men were occupied with one another during Monday night's Raw, facing off in the show's main event.
The result was somewhat unsatisfying, with the match coming to an end after interference by The Hurt Business as the duo attacked Lashley. Rollins didn't escape unscathed, suffering an attack at the hands of The Usos as the show went off the air. Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, Lashley and Rollins' respective opponents at the Rumble, did not appear on the show.
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Bobby Lashley and Seth Rollins clash
Kevin Owens hosted Seth Rollins on "The KO Show" in the first hour, with Owens propping up Rollins' courage for going to SmackDown to get in Roman Reigns' face. Rollins said that Reigns is scared ahead of their Royal Rumble showdown for Reigns' universal championship. Rollins also said that he would bring the universal title from SmackDown to Raw. Owens announced his entry into the Royal Rumble and said that after he won, he would face Rollins in the biggest WrestleMania main event ever before being interrupted by Damian Priest for their match.
Bobby Lashley def. Seth Rollins via disqualification after interference by The Hurt Business. Rollins had worked over Lashley's knee in a competitive match before Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin attacked Lashley at ringside, drawing the disqualification. The attack was eventually cut off when Lashley took out both men, at which point The Usos jumped in the ring and hit Rollins with a double superkick, leaving both Royal Rumble world title challengers upset as the show went off the air.
It was strange to see this pairing set up for a match. They're big names, but as both challenge for titles at the Rumble, it seemed a largely no-win situation to have them face off as they should be building up steam as the title matches draw near. The disqualification keeps either from really taking a loss but neither leaves the show looking stronger than they came in. The best stuff for both came outside of the match, with a great video package for Lashley vs. Brock Lesnar and decent mic work from Rollins during his segment with Owens. Grade: C+
What else happened on WWE Raw?
- Doudrop & Becky Lynch def. Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan via pinfall when Doudrop hit a splash on Morgan. The match opened the show after all four women argued in the ring. Belair and Morgan also officially entered the Royal Rumble. After the match, Doudrop hit Lynch with a Bonzai Drop.
- Kevin Owens def. Damian Priest via pinfall with a stunner. Owens had faked a knee injury, allowing him to blindside the United States champion and score the win.
- Chad Gable hosted an Alpha Academy "graduation ceremony" for Otis after the team won the Raw tag team titles the previous week. The pair were interrupted by Riddle, who pitched a rematch. Gable said they'd agree if RK-Bro faced them in an academic challenge. Randy Orton snuck into the ring to hit Gable with an RKO before accepting the challenge.
- Austin Theory def. Finn Balor via pinfall after hitting the ATL. Before the match, Vince McMahon threatened to break every bone in Theory's body if he failed to win. Theory also attacked Balor after the match.
- Nikki A.S.H. attacked Rhea Ripley before their planned match. When Ripley was distracted by Queen Zelina and Carmella, Nikki took advantage to deliver a beating, resulting in the match never beginning.
- Omos def. Reggie via pinfall with a chokebomb. Omos was not bothered by pre-match run-ins by the 24/7 competitors and only needed to hit a single move to score the win.
- Beth Phoenix refused Maryse's request to cancel their Royal Rumble mixed tag match. After Phoenix offered to give a preview of the match, Edge fought off Miz but that allowed Maryse to blindside Phoenix with her purse, which contained a brick.
- The Street Profits & The Mysterios def. Dirty Dawgz, Commander Azeez & Apollo Crews when Montez Ford hit Crews with a frog splash.