WWE Raw preview, Jan. 7, 2019: John Cena returns to the red brand to kick off the first Raw of 2019
The legendary John Cena will be opening the first Monday Night Raw of the new year tonight at 8/7 C on USA Network. Also on the red brand, Hulk Hogan returns to celebrate the life of fellow WWE Hall of Famer "Mean" Gene Okerlund, "A Moment of Bliss" debuts and much more!
Hulk Hogan returns to Raw to celebrate the life of longtime friend “Mean” Gene Okerlund
“Let me tell you something, ‘Mean’ Gene …”
So began many of Hulk Hogan’s most memorable proclamations, making interviewer and backstage personality “Mean” Gene Okerlund a cornerstone of Hulkamania in the 1980s. Now, in the wake of Okerlund’s recent passing, Hogan returns to WWE programming this Monday night on Raw to honor his longtime friend.
In a Twitter post Tuesday night, Hogan called “Mean” Gene “the best partner I ever had” while describing their incredible off-the-cuff chemistry during their backstage interviews. That synchronicity even led to an unusual tag team partnership when Hogan and Okerlund battled George “The Animal” Steele and Mr. Fujiin 1984. Their training sessions before that match, which can be seen below, were perhaps even more entertaining than the bout itself.
Hogan and Okerlund’s friendship spanned the decades, from WWE to WCW and back to WWE. On Monday night, Hogan honors his brother.
Don’t miss this milestone moment on Monday Night Raw, beginning at 8/7 C on USA Network
The Beast and The Monster under the same roof
Raw will feel like a building-smashing monster movie this week with both Braun Strowman and Universal Champion Brock Lesnar expected to appear, just three weeks before their anticipated title clash at the WWE Royal Rumble event.
But what if neither The Monster Among Men nor The Beast Incarnate wants to wait until their Universal Championship Match to throw down?
Elias takes on Baron Corbin
They ended 2018 by brawling all over the arena on New Year’s Eve. And this coming Monday on Raw, Elias and Baron Corbin take their long-brewing rivalry into the ring for the first Raw of 2019.
While he was “Acting General Manager,” The Lone Wolf often took exception to The Living Truth’s musical performances, and Elias — who famously endeared himself to many of his critics by smashing a guitar across the back of the would-be GM back in October — has made it abundantly clear what he thinks of Corbin. As Raw enters a new year, these Superstars have a score to settle, and with the McMahon family keeping a close watch on all the Team Red action, they’ll both have a lot to prove.
Will Elias give Corbin yet another reason to complain that he’s being treated unfairly, or will The Lone Wolf finally find redemption after being forced to give up his authority over the red brand
The Revival vie for Raw Tag Team Titles in a Lumberjack Match
On Christmas Eve, Chad Gable pinned Scott Dawson, allowing himself and Bobby Roode to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship. The problem there, however, is that Dash Wilder was the legal man at that point in the match!
The Revival had reason to gripe after the controversial conclusion to that bout and, in the interes...t of fairness, the McMahon family has granted Dawson & Wilder another opportunity to dethrone the “Glorious” titleholders, live on the first Raw of 2019. And, to keep the action from spilling outside the ring, the bout will be a Tag Team Lumberjack Match!
With several Superstars surrounding the ring — and getting their hands on anyone who dares to venture beyond the ropes — there will be even more eyes on the action to ensure that the rightful team emerges victorious.
Can The Revival finally live up to their self-appointed moniker and become the “Top Guys” of the red brand’s tandem division?
“A Moment of Bliss” debuts
Alexa Bliss will debut the first-ever WWE talk show segment hosted by a woman, “A Moment of Bliss,” on 2019’s first edition of Raw, and she’s locked down Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey as her inaugural guest.
Given the contentious history between The Goddess and The Baddest Woman on the Planet (look no further than their title bout at last year’s SummerSlam), Bliss won’t hold back when it comes to grilling The Rowdy One. However, should Bliss overstep her bounds, Rousey won’t hold back either.
After Triple H questioned Seth Rollins’ drive this past Monday night, Rollins showed the WWE COO that he’s every bit as ruthless as he’s always been by brutalizing Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush with a succession of steel chair strikes that harkened back to his Authority days. The Architect is still focused on taking back his Intercontinental Championship from Dean Ambrose, and given his display of aggression, Triple H just might be reconsidering whether Rollins deserves that opportunity.
Is Rollins reverting back to his nefarious ways in his quest to reclaim Raw’s workhorse title?
Don’t miss Monday Night Raw live at 8/7 C on USA Network!