THERE was no mistaking that WWE is on the road to WrestleMania last night, with an exciting edition of Raw that saw surprise twists and returns.
Here are five big things we learnt from the red brand.
Batista is back… and he badly wants Triple’s H attention
For days now WWE has been trumpeting Ric Flair’s 70th birthday celebrations – and it laid on a party with classic Flair opponents including Sting, Shawn Michaels, and Ricky Steamboat.
Triple H and Stephanie revealed a custom made WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt (actually a WCW World Championship if we’re getting pedantic) but Flair never came out to receive it.
Instead, the cameras went backstage to reveal Batista in Flair’s dressing room.
“The Animal” dragged Flair’s limp body out onto the floor and said: “Hey Hunter, do I have your attention now?”
Last year Batista teased a match with Triple H during an appearance at SmackDown 1,000.
Now it looks like the match is going to happen – but it’s surprising to see that Batista is playing the heel in this storyline.
Expect the old Evolution stablemates to clash at WrestleMania.
Becky Lynch has been arrested – but Ronda Rousey wants her reinstated
Ronda teamed with Natalya to take on Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan in tag team action.
(It looks like it’s now Ronda’s turn for endless, pointless matches against the Riott Squad.)
But the suspended Becky Lynch hobbled to ringside through the crowd and laid out Natalya with a crutch.
A scuffle broke out between Becky and Ronda but WWE officials and police charged out to separate them. As Triple H warned last week, “The Man” was arrested.
Ronda grabbed the microphone afterward to call out Vince McMahon and demand Becky be reinstated so they can battle at WrestleMania.
Stephanie came out in Vince’s place and told Ronda: “The answer is a hard no.”
Ronda then laid down the Raw Women’s Championship belt in protest saying that WWE had reduced it to a “gaudy accessory” and stormed off.
Roman Reigns is in remission
Roman Reigns came out to a big ovation from the fans and opened up about his leukaemia.
He said that last October he was scared to tell the fans – but the overwhelming support gave him strength and purpose.
Now he promises to now use WWE to raise awareness and support others with the cancer.
Roman then gave fans the good news – he’s in remission and “the Big Dog is back”.
It was heartwarming to hear the fans’ positive response to Roman.
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The Shield is (almost) back together
Later in the night, Dean Ambrose battled Drew McIntyre in a no disqualification match, which ended when Elias – who Ambrose had interrupted earlier on – smashed “The Lunatic Fringe” with a guitar.
McIntyre’s buddies Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley then charged out a four-on-one beat-down – but Ambrose’s old Shield brothers Seth Rollins and Roman made the save.
Roman nailed McIntyre and Lashley with a pair of Superman Punches and followed up with a spear to McIntyre.
Reigns and Rollins then left the ring while Ambrose got to his feet and looked back at them.
Does this mean Roman is ready to return to action already? And would a full Shield reunion be enough to tempt Ambrose to stay in WWE?
It was a bad night for Bobby Lashley
Not only did Lashley cop a Superman Punch from Roman Reigns but there was further dissention with him and Lio Rush.
Rush was instructed to get an IC title shot for Bobby Lashley while Finn Balor appeared on A Moment of Bliss – but Alexa Bliss goaded Rush into taking the title shot for himself.
But Balor beat Rush with the Coup de Grace – and Rush felt Lashley’s wrath backstage, with Lashley wondering if he can trust Lio anymore.
Things got worse when Lashley was scheduled to take on Braun Strowman.
Lashley attempted to jump Stroman before the bell but “The Monster” took control and charged through both Lashley and Lio Rush.