Bengaluru, January 7: WWE Monday Night Raw looks forward to kick-start 2019 with a packed episode with multiple rating-boosters being added to the show - the very first episode of this year. Legendary Hulk Hogan returns to WWE's flagship show after almost four years. Plus, the franchise player of WWE brand, John Cena has also been added as a marquee attraction at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
Additionally, the hype for Universal title match at Royal Rumble begins tonight as both the champion and challenger also return to the show. Meanwhile, a former WWE Raw women's champion returns with a first-ever talk show. Plus, two title matches are also being advertised to take place on this edition.
With this much on the card, we hope to see a fire-cracker episode which should pull the viewership up to a big extent. Sony Ten 1 Network will broadcast it in India at 6.30 AM IST with a repeat at 12 PM and 4 PM on Tuesday (January 8).
WWE banned Hulk Hogan in 2015 after the racism scandal broke out. Now he is free from the accusations that has lead to his first appearance on Monday Night Raw in four years. A backlash was expected from the home fans with his return, but the officials have somehow managed to lower it.
They have confirmed that the Immortal One is coming back to pay honor to Mean Gene Okerlund who passed away last week. Hulk Hogan had plenty of fond memories with the all-time great announcer cum show-host. So it makes sense why WWE called him in for what would be a very emotional segment. PWInsider.com reported that some more legends like Ric Flair might also be present for the eulogy.
John Cena's appearances in the WWE have become must-see for the last couple of years. He shows up only in some selected dates to deliver either a fresh segment or a match. Last week's Smackdown Live is an example where Becky Lynch shared a hugely appreciated moment with him. We expect a similar kind of segment when the Cenation Leader returns to the yard that he used to run for over a decade.
Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman will be in Raw which airs from Florida. There have been some speculations about Strowman's wellness after the elbow surgery. But WWE.com posted the following which states 'what if neither The Monster Among Men nor The Beast Incarnate wants to wait until their Universal Championship Match to throw down?’ This hints a physical confrontation is in store between the two. It also declares that the Monster among Men is fit enough to challenge the beast at Royal Rumble.
Two championships matches are on the card for this week's Monday Night Raw. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable will defend their tag team titles against The Revival. This will be a rematch from two weeks ago with an added stipulation. It has been made a Lumberjack match where the roster members will surround the ring. Their interference might turn out to be the reason for a title change.
Another title match is advertised by the host venue between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. This contest will take place for the Intercontinental Championship. However, WWE has not confirmed this match on their official website. So it looks like only the fans in attendance could enjoy this bout during the dark segment.
Alexa Bliss returns to Raw with her own talk-show named Moment of Bliss. None other than Ronda Rousey will be her guest on the inaugural show. Generally, Little Miss Bliss likes to provoke people with verbal jabs. Will she dare to do the same with her former bitter rival? We could also find out how her physical condition is these days.
Lastly, a match has been made official on the show between Elias and Baron Corbin. These two entered a new rivalry by featuring in a brawl segment on the New Year's Eve episode. So the McMahons put them in a match to settle their differences. Elias looks favorite to win this unless Bobby Lashley interferes to help Corbin.