WWE RAW PRIMER 1/22: 25th Anniversary star-studded event in two locations including Austin, Undertaker, Cena, plus Reigns vs. Miz

By Joey Galizia, PWTorch Specialist


Steve Austin (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

RAW PREVIEW
JANUARY 22, 2018
BROOKLYN, N.Y. AT BARCLAY’S CENTER
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. AT MANHATTAN CENTER
By Joey Galizia (@RamJam89), PWTorch contributor

ANNOUNCED BY WWE.COM

  • Roman Reigns defends the Intercontinental Championship against The Miz
  • Legends of WWE return for the 25th anniversary including Stone Cold, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho (maybe), John Cena, and many others! Smackdown wrestlers Charlotte, A.J. Styles, New Day, and Shane McMahon will be on sight as well.
  • Brock Lesnar returns to address Braun Strowman nearly killing him.

“HEROES DIE UNCOMFORTABLE DEATHS”

Well, it is finally upon us. Twenty-five years of Monday Nights will be celebrated in the only way a wrestling company knows how to celebrate: Bringing back the aces. Legends such as Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, Chris Jericho (though he is still slated to do some more work in Japan), and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. What can we expect out of the return of these living legends? Well… the Revival has been cutting some VERY cryptic promos about their status as an old school tag-team. Seems prime for them to receive a nice rub in the spotlight, and probably receive a slew of finishers as well.

Also making an appearance will be free agent John Cena, whose last stint, when not filming a movie, was representing team Smackdown in the Survivor Series war against team Raw. (We all remember how that ended.) Big match John may not just be around to sell tickets though. The rumor mill has been heavy for months that he’s preparing another main-event caliber WrestleMania matchup, but against who? While nothing is set in stone yet, there is only one name that comes to mind.

GONG.

The Undertaker will be appearing this evening, although I’m not certain if it’s at Barclay’s or the Manhattan Center. While most of the wrestle-verse assumed that Taker’s bout with Roman Reigns last year was his final, the WWE have done a pretty good job of never officially stating that. If it’s a big match they want, Taker versus Cena would certainly be a marquee matchup, even if it is several years too late. We could also just be watching Taker declare his entry into the Royal Rumble. Like I said… nothing is set in stone yet.

“AS FOR THE CURRENT ROSTER”

-The biggest highlight on WWE.com shifts focus to the stars of today. Roman Reigns will be putting his Intercontinental Championship on the line against The Miz. If you recall, Roman defeated Miz for that very same championship a couple of months ago, and has been delighting (at least this viewer) in his open challenge defenses of it. Roman may have the upper hand after defeating the Miztourage last week, but Miz is very efficient at taking advantage of opportunities. Don’t be surprised to see the A-lister pull off the upset once again, and claim his eighth reign as the Intercontinental Champion.

-The Women’s Division could sure use a boost of life ahead of them making history. With 16 wrestlers already announced (minus title-holders Charlotte and Alexa Bliss) we know we will be seeing a number of NXT women filling out spots, but will the Women’s Rumble also have its fair share of surprises? Possibly, and it could begin as early as tonight considering that a good number of legends will already be around. Trish Stratus perhaps? One can only hope. For certain a wrestler who will not be competing is Paige, whose neck injury will keep her on the sidelines. (Possibly forever, but that hasn’t been officially announced by the company, either.) Fingers crossed for the screamer.

-With all the action already scheduled we forget that the baddest man on the planet will be in attendance as well. I’m talking of course about the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, who was nearly killed by Braun Strowman when the latter pulled a backstage structure down on top of Brock and Kane. The Monster Among Men is adamant about GETTING THESE HANDS around the Universal Title, but will the Big Red Machine play spoiler and ruin those chances? Again, who know, but if I were to make an educated guess, it seems destined for Kane to be the one who goes down to an F-5 on Sunday. As for tonight, I’m assuming Heyman will do his thing, and Brock will do his. (JUMP JUMP JUMP JUMP… JUMP AROUND.)

-Legends of WWE won’t be the only ones who make an appearance for the red-brand tonight. WWE Champion A.J. Styles, SD Women’s Champion Charlotte, Commissioner of SD Shane McMahon, and the former longest reigning tag-team champs of all-time (and now the lobbyist for pancakes) the New Day will be on site as well. Will it be to stir the pot? I thought Survivor Series was THE ONLY TIME THAT WE WOULD SEE THIS?! Stop lying to us WWE.

-Just a week ago we saw the Architect Seth Rollins bring back his very popular Curb-Stomp finisher! (Commentary team referred to it as the Blackout.) That looks good for one half of the tag team champions since his former finisher, a version of the V-trigger rainmaker, was not overly popular, and it would seem out of character for him to return to the Pedigree. All that aside, he used the Blackout to defeat Finn Balor thanks to an assist from his tag partner Jason Jordan. Does this mean that issues between The Club and the “sort of” Shield will continue?

Tonight’s show will be a game-changer not just because of the legends who return, but because we are ONLY SIX DAYS AWAY FROM THE ROYAL RUMBLE AND THIS IS THE GO HOME SHOW SO LET’S BRING IT HOME Y’ALLLLLL!!!!!!


NOW CATCH UP ON LAST WEEK’S RAW: KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT 1/15: Angle addresses Strowman after last week’s big angle with Lesnar and Kane, more Rumble hype, Jax vs. Asuka

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