This week’s episode of Monday Night Raw kicked off with Braun Strowman destroying Vince McMahon’s limo and then getting fined $100,000 and being pulled from his Universal Championship match as a result of his actions. The reality is that he was pulled from the match because he has yet to be cleared after recent elbow surgery.
Later in the show, McMahon went out to the ring to announce who would be replacing Strowman in the Universal Championship match but he was quickly interrupted by 16-time former World Champion John Cena.
Cena said that McMahon begged someone to step up after he was abandoned by names like Lesnar, Steve Austin, and The Rock. Cena also said that McMahon always gave him chances and “I missed birthdays, weddings and funerals for this.”
Cena promised to defeat Lesnar and become the 17-time World Champion because he has “Ruthless Aggression.” However, there were other Superstars that wanted the opportunity and one of those names was Drew McIntyre. He ripped on Cena’s “Ruthless Aggression” comment and then said that Cena’s time is up. Baron Corbin also made his case and then Finn Balor also stated his case and talked about how he’s always being overlooked.
McMahon wasn’t so sure about Balor because he doesn’t know for sure if he can beat Lesnar. Balor fired back and said that McMahon never believed in him so he decided to show him by attacking Corbin and that is when a fight broke out but it was McIntyre who stood tall after hitting the Claymore on Balor and Cena. So, a match was made… McIntyre vs. Cena vs. Corbin vs. Balor would take place later in the night in a Fatal 4-Way match to determine Lesnar’s opponent for the Royal Rumble.
Balor won the match after hitting the Coup de Grace and pinning John Cena. After the match, Cena grabbed the mic and said the he believes in Balor even though McMahon did not.
We were told that this was not a last minute decision because WWE management had known for a while that Strowman would not be cleared. In recent weeks, the directive was given to the writers that they were to make sure that Balor needed to be given a push because there were big plans for him. Apparently, the match at the Rumble is the big plan.
WWE is also hoping that this change will help sagging ticket sales for the Royal Rumble. As we reported earlier today, there is a 2-for-1 special being offered to fans because tickets haven’t been selling as well as they had hoped.
Here is the updated card for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view:
WWE Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar (Champion) vs. Finn Balor
Daniel Bryan (Champion) vs. AJ Styles
2019 Men’s Royal Rumble Match
R-Truth, Drew McIntyre, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Jeff Hardy, Dean Ambrose, Bobby Lashley, Samoa Joe, John Cena, Elias, Baron Corbin, Jinder Mahal, Apollo Crews, Andrade “Cien” Almas, Mustafa Ali, Rey Mysterio
2019 Women’s Royal Rumble Match
Announced so far: Carmella, Ember Moon, Natalya, Bayley, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Sasha Banks, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Alicia Fox, Zelina Vega, Naomi
WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Ronda Rousey (Champion) vs. Sasha Banks
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Asuka (Champion) vs. Becky Lynch
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Bar (Champion) vs. Shane McMahon & The Miz
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Buddy Murphy (Champion) vs. Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami