– Tonight’s WWE RAW opens live on the USA Network as Jimmy Smith welcomes us to the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee. He’s joined at ringside by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
– We go right to the ring and RAW Tag Team Champion Riddle is out with a mic. The ring is surrounded by Superstars, everyone from Veer Mahaan to The Street Profits, Seth Rollins, Queen Zelina Vega and many others. Riddle says we’re here to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of his partner, RAW Tag Team Champion Randy Orton. Riddle sends us to a video package with highlights from Orton’s career.
The video, narrated by The Viper himself, also looks at Orton teaming with Riddle as RK-Bro. We come back to fans chanting for Orton and applauding. Riddle brings Orton out, describing him as his best friend, and calls on fans to stand and clap. The music hits and out comes Orton to a big pop. Orton plays to the crowd as the music continues. The music stops and a “Randy!” chant starts. Orton says this is all pretty cool, and he appreciates this. Orton says it’s even cooler than he was born in Knoxville.
Orton says his journey has seen a lot of ups & downs, twists & turns, but he hopes everyone isn’t getting sick of him because he’s not going anywhere any time soon. Orton says 20 years flew by in a flash. He’s had a lot of relationships, a lot of good matches. He named people like John Cena and WWE Hall of Famers Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Mick Foley, among others. He gave big thanks to Foley. Orton says the one big difference these days is how he’s having more fun than he has in his entire career, and it’s all thanks to Riddle. Orton asks for a hug and now a “RK-Bro!” chant starts up.
Orton says he and the fans have also had their ups & downs, but they always came back to support him and there would be no Orton without the fans. Orton says he loves the fans as well. Fans chant “Randy!” again. Riddle says he has a surprise for Orton, a second generation Superstar who has a lot of respect for Orton. Riddle goes on and introduces Cody Rhodes, who also comes out to a pop, wearing a suit. Rhodes enters the ring and they hug in the middle as fans pop. Riddle loves to see it.
Rollins immediately interrupts from his chair at ringside, calling the hug cute. Rollins warns Orton to not trust Rhodes because he’s here to steal Orton’s spotlight, not show love, just like he tried to steal Rollins’ spotlight at WrestleMania 38. Rollins is in the ring now. Rollins says not everything is about Cody. Rollins laughs and says tonight specifically is about Randy Orton, and Seth dressed up in his finest to celebrate what a career Orton has had, but a career that is in the past. Rollins says Orton is not the present or future of WWE, and neither is Rhodes. Fans boo. Rollins says the next generation of Superstars won’t be inspired by The Viper, a bro or a Nightmare, they will be inspired by a Visionary, Seth Freakin’ Rollins.
Ezekiel enters the ring and apologizes for interrupting, but then congratulates Orton and introduces himself as Ezekiel, the younger brother to Elias. Ezekiel recalls watching RAW with his brother, and how Orton dominated. Kevin Owens comes through the crowd, yelling about how Ezekiel is a liar, and a disgusting piece of trash. Owens says Ezekiel passed the lie detector test last week, but he will figure out how because he’s the only sane person left around here. Owens is losing his mind. The music interrupts and out come SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos – Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso.
The Usos recall watching Orton when they were 15 years old. They enter the ring and ask each other if they have favorite Orton moments. Their favorite moment will be when they beat RK-Bro and unify the titles. The Usos go on talking some trash and raise their titles in the air to loud boos from the crowd. Adam Pearce comes out and says before we tarnish the celebration he wants to make something clear – Orton will be in action tonight, in the form of the biggest match he can make on RAW. Pearce announces Owens, Rollins and The Usos vs. Rhodes, Ezekiel and RK-Bro. Fans pop at the announcement. The two teams argue in the middle of the ring now. Owens drops Ezekiel with a punch out of nowhere. Orton drops Owens with the RKO. The babyfaces stand tall in the ring now as Orton’s music hits and the others look on.
– We see Kane and Bianca Belair talking backstage. Back to commercial.
No DQ, No Count Outs Match for the RAW Women’s Title: Sonya Deville vs. Bianca Belair
Back from the break and Sonya Deville is getting ready in the ring. Out next comes RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair for her homecoming title defense. We see what happened to lead to this match. The bell rings and we get formal ring introductions from Mike Rome.
The bell rings and here we go. They lock up and Deville goes for a headlock. Belair drops Deville with a shoulder, sending her to the floor to regroup. Deville pulls Belair to the floor now and they end up tangling at ringside until Belair counters and launches Deville over the announce table, to the floor. Belair returns to the ring and the referee counts. Deville is counted out.
The referee has a count out announced, but Deville snatches the mic from Rome and blames what happened on water being on the ground. She announces that the match is being re-started with no count outs.
The bell rings and the match resumes. Belair attacks Deville at ringside but Deville rams her back into the edge of the apron. Deville launches Belair into the barrier but Belair fights back. Deville tries to use Belair’s hair but it back-fires and Belair launches her over into the timekeeper’s area. Belair approaches and Deville hits her in the ribs, then over the back with a steel chair to boos.
The referee has this announced as a DQ finish but Deville snatches the mic and says Belair cheated first, so she evened the playing field. Deville says we are re-starting the match with no disqualifications, and no count outs. Deville keeps Belair down on the floor as Carmella and Queen Zelina Vega come marching down the ramp to help her with the champ. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Deville is working on Belair while the other two hold her. Belair fights them off and slams Deville with a Spinebuster. Belair mounts Deville and unloads with lefts and rights as fans cheer her on. Deville and Vega double team Belair now. Belair sends Vega to the floor, then sends Carmella out of the ring. Belair fights Deville off now. Deville blocks a Glam Slam, sending her face-first into the turnbuckles. Deville positions the chair and drops Belair face-first into it with a DDT.
Belair kicks out just in time. Vega wedges the chair into the turnbuckles now. Deville tries to send Belair face-first into it but it’s blocked and Deville eats the chair. Belair fights off Vega and Carmella, then drops Deville with the KOD in the middle of the ring to retain.
Winner: Bianca Belair