On Monday night, Edge wrestled a match on WWE Raw for the first time in nearly a decade when he faced Randy Orton in the main event of the show. One night removed from winning the Royal Rumble from the No. 1 spot, Edge was looking to end his long-standing issues with Orton after an injury cut their program short last year. Edge was able to get the victory and carry his Rumble momentum forward, but he did so with a little help in the form of distraction from Alexa Bliss.
Edge also did not officially declare who he would challenge for a world title at WrestleMania, but he did warn WWE champion Drew McIntyre that the champ had a big target on his back. Moments later, McIntyre was blindsided by a kick from his Sheamus, his longtime friend.
WWE is officially on the Road to WrestleMania, and CBS Sports was with you the entire night on Monday bringing you recaps and highlights of all the action. Read on for everything you need to know coming out of the Royal Rumble fallout edition of Raw.
Edge gets help closing the book
Orton cut a backstage promo early in the show, promising that Edge would not be main eventing WrestleMania. That, Orton said, was because Edge had made him out to look like a liar when he returned to the ring after Orton said Edge would never wrestle again. Edge would also cut a promo backstage, saying Orton is a black cloud that hangs over his family's head and calling Orton jealous for not being the type of man he is. Edge vowed to take this opportunity to put Orton behind him, get closure and go on to WrestleMania to regain a world championship he never lost in the ring.
Edge def. Randy Orton via pinfall with a spear. Edge tried to get off to a fast start in the match, going right after Orton and trying to lock in the Anti-Venom submission and also the Edgecution, but neither was able to get him the victory. Orton countered a spear into a powerslam to go on the offensive. Edge came back and hit an Edge-o-Matic to counter an RKO. Orton took back over, but as he was setting up to hit the RKO, Alexa Bliss appeared, sitting on the top rope with blood seeming to run from her mouth. Orton turned into a spear for the win and Bliss was gone.
The match, while fine, suffered from some issues of the promotion being booked into a corner. Orton's issues with Bliss and Bray Wyatt are clearly not done, so that provided an out for Orton losing, and it would have been odd for Bliss to not show her face. That said, Edge is going to WrestleMania to challenge for a title and needing distraction from Bliss to get the win in a match where he had vowed to put the issues with Orton behind him wasn't truly satisfying. WWE also continues to rely way too heavily on distraction finishes, especially on Raw, where it feels as though they make up roughly half of all match endings. Still, Orton and Edge always work together and there's not much to be upset with from the match itself. Grade: B
Sheamus delivers a message
McIntyre opened the show with an in-ring promo. As he praised the action from the Royal Rumble, he was interrupted by Royal Rumble winner Edge. McIntyre gushed over Edge's performance in the Rumble, leading Edge to ask what's wrong with the WWE champion for not showering him with compliments rather than kicking his head off. This brought out Sheamus, who took offense to Edge questioning McIntyre. McIntyre backed Sheamus off and said Edge needed to make a decision or have that decision made for him. Edge said he'd think things through and make his decision, but warned McIntyre that he has a target on his back, looking at Sheamus. After Edge left the ring, McIntyre posed with his belt, but turned around into a Brogue Kick from Sheamus.
McIntyre was interviewed later in the show, reiterating that he'd be honest to face Edge at WrestleMania. He then explained that families fight all the time and he and Sheamus have fought many times, but that this time was different. McIntyre said that if Sheamus was ready to throw years of friendship away over the WWE title, so be it. McIntyre then said, "You want the match? You got it."
If McIntyre doesn't face Edge at WrestleMania, he's in an odd spot with no fresh, new challengers lined up for his title. McIntyre and Sheamus will tear it up together in any match, but that feels like a Backlash program, not a WrestleMania main event. The long-teased Sheamus turn had to come eventually, so why not now? I'll look forward to the next month of these two battling, but the McIntyre WrestleMania opponent issue will be hanging overhead. Grade: B-
What else happened on WWE Raw?
- United States Championship -- Riddle def. Bobby Lashley (c) via disqualification after Lashley refused to break the Hurt Lock. Lashley locked in the Hurt Lock early in the match, but Riddle was tied up in the ropes. When Lashley refused to release the hold, the referee called for a disqualification. After the match was called, Lashley followed Riddle outside and locked in the hold again before finally throwing Riddle to the ground. MVP seemed disturbed by Lashley's actions, leading Lashley to lock in the hold one final time before throwing Riddle over the ringside barricade and storming off. After a commercial break, Riddle was being attended to by WWE officials and couldn't remember who he wrestled.
- Xavier Woods def. Mustafa Ali via pinfall with a modified crucifix. Woods had Kofi Kingston at ringside and Kingston helped neutralize the rest of Retribution to allow Woods to score the victory.
- The Miz and John Morrison hosted Bad Bunny on Miz TV. Miz apologized to Bunny for destroying his DJ booth at the Royal Rumble and then said he had heard Bunny wanted to become a WWE superstar. They offered to help him with his dream if he helped them record an album. The two became angry when Bunny said no, drawing Damien Priest to the ring where he laid out Miz with a forearm.
- Damian Priest def. The Miz via pinfall after hitting The Reckoning. The match came after the Miz TV segment and Bunny caused a distraction, taking the Money in the Bank briefcase and hitting Morrison with a microphone to set up Priest's finish.
- Raw Tag Team Championship -- The Hurt Business (c) def. Lucha House Party via pinfall to retain the titles after Shelton Benjamin hit Gran Metalik with Paydirt. After a very good tag match, Benjamin hit a blind tag on Cedric Alexander to hit the finish, frustrating Alexander, but retaining the titles.
- Lana & Naomi def. Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose and Charlotte Flair & Asuka via pinfall to become No. 1 contenders for the women's tag team championship when Naomi hit Asuka with the Rear View. The match ended when Ric Flair's music hit and he and Lana came to the entrance ramp. Charlotte tagged herself out and took off in pursuit and a confused Asuka was taken out by Naomi.
- Jeff Hardy & Carlito def. Elias & Jaxson Ryker via pinfall after Hardy hit Elias with a Swanton Bomb. Carlito was in his first Raw match in more than a decade after returning at the Royal Rumble. Carlito hit Elias with a backstabber and tagged out to Hardy for the swanton finish.
- Alexa Bliss def. Nikki Cross via pinfall after a modified Sister Abigail. Mid-match, Bliss transformed into a look that reflected her "classic" gear and hair, a change from past weeks where she became the darker version of herself. The Firefly Fun House music then hit and she had transformed back to the "Alexa's Playground" look, hitting Cross with the finish.