WWE Raw: Braun Strowman punished, Finn Balor to face Brock Lesnar

By Wade Sheridan

Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Braun Strowman fell into hot water with WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon on Raw which cost The Monster Among Men his Universal Championship match against Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble.

Strowman kicked off the show Monday where he once again promised to defeat Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. The giant was confronted by Baron Corbin who questioned Strowman's ability to take on The Beast.


Strowman, not wanting to argue, decided to chase down Corbin who ran to the backstage area. Strowman learned from Elias that Corbin was hiding inside a nearby limo and promptly attacked the vehicle by throwing out its driver, breaking the passenger window and by ripping off the passenger door.

McMahon then arrived onto the scene, shocked that his limo had been destroyed. McMahon angrily fined Strowman $100,000 for the damage. The boss, after Strowman protested, then declared that he would no longer be facing Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Strowman responded by completely flipping over the limo.

McMahon, needing a new challenger to face Lesnar, heard cases from John Cena, Drew McIntyre and Finn Balor who each asked for a title opportunity. McMahon, following a brawl between the four men, announced that a Fatal 4-Way match would take place to determine the new No. 1 contender.


The main event of the night, Cena, Balor Corbin and McIntyre pushed each other to the limits as they battled for the right to meet Lesnar.

The closing moments featured Cena striking Corbin with the Attitude Adjustment before he was taken out by McIntyre's Claymore Kick. Balor then disposed of McIntyre and drilled Cena with his top-rope Coup de Grace for the three count. Cena congratulated Balor afterwards and raised his hand in victory as a sign of respect.

Balor will now be facing Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble on Jan. 27.

Also on Raw, Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose defended his title against Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley in a Triple Threat match.

Lashley's manager Lio Rush proved to be the difference maker in the bout as he helped send Rollins outside the ring while The Kingslayer was getting to deliver his Curb Stomp to Ambrose. Lashley capitalized on the moment to deliver a Spear to the Lunatic Fringe for the victory, making Lashley the new Intercontinental Champion.


Other moments from Raw included Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey and Sasha Banks defeating Nia Jax and Tamina; The Revival defeating The Lucha House Party; NXT's Nikki Cross making her Raw debut and teaming up with Bayley and Natalya to defeat The Riott Squad; Balor defeating Jinder Mahal to keep his spot in the main event; and Alexa Bliss introducing the new WWE Women's Tag Team Championships.

The Women's Tag Team Championships will be given to a winning team at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on Feb. 17. Three teams from Raw and Smackdown will be competing for the new title at the event inside the Elimination Chamber structure.

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