Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles vs. Drew McIntyre [Grudge Match]
Randy Orton comes out to a huge pop as he addresses the WWE Universe before his upcoming match with AJ Styles. He welcomes everyone to Monday Night Raw and invites AJ Styles to the ring so that he can prove why he is a favorite to win this year’s Royal Rumble.
AJ Styles makes his phenomenal entrance to the ring and addresses Orton’s comments. He wonders if Orton called him out here to brag about his prank from last week and asserts that Orton is not the favorite to win the Rumble. Styles then brags that his RKO from last week was phenomenal and better than any RKO Orton implemented in his entire career. Styles even thinks he will use this move to eliminate everyone in the Rumble.
Drew McIntyre comes out to address Orton and Styles and thinks his Claymore is bigger than Styles and Orton’s RKO contest. He inserts himself into a match with Styles and Orton for a triple Threat. That was a nice turn of events. The bell rings and here we go!
McIntyre kicks AJ Styles in the face. Orton thumbs McIntyre in the eye. Since a triple threat match is no disqualification, The O.C. run to the ring to help Styles but Randy Orton delivers an RKO to Karl Anderson and McIntyre delivers a Claymore to Luke Gallows. The show goes to commercial.
Back from commercial, McIntyre is on the top rope with AJ Styles. Styles catches McIntyre in the tree of woe and Orton comes in to stomp McIntyre and deliver a Superplex to Styles from the top rope but McIntyre gets out of the tree of woe and hurls Orton and Styles with a Super Belly to Belly Suplex in the center of the ring.
McIntyre delivers a Glasglow Kiss to both Orton and Styles. He delivers a Future Shock DDT to Styles and counts down for a Claymore Kick to Orton but Orton counters with a dropkick. Styles delivers a Phenomenal Forearm to McIntyre on the outside. Orton delivers a Back Suplex to McIntyre on the barricade wall and slams the Steel Steps into McIntyre’s skull.
Now that Styles and Orton have neutralized McIntyre, they focus on each other. Styles is in the ring, waiting for Orton to enter the ring. Styles catches him for the DDT from the ropes. He pounds on the mat, ready to hit the RKO and steal Orton’s move again. Styles attempts the RKO, but Orton counters. Styles ducks Orton’s charge and delivers a Pele Kick. Styles attempts another RKO but Orton counters to set Styles for the Styles Clash and the 2-count.
Orton listens to the crowd and pounds on the mat for an RKO. Styles counters into a roll-up pinfall but gets the two-count. Orton gets up quickly and delivers an RKO to Styles. McIntyre sprints into the ring and delivers a Claymore to Orton. He pins Styles for the pinfall and the victory.
Result: Drew McIntyre
Grade: 3.5/5.0 Stars
Analysis: Solid match and nice to see Styles and Orton steal each other’s moves. However, for McIntyre’s case, if he thinks that the Claymore is better than the RKO, why did he pin Styles who got RKO’d instead of Orton whom he Claymore’d? That didn’t seem sensible, but it didn’t take away from this match, which was a good way to kick off the show. Camera then shifts to Seth Rollins preaching to AOP how no one can stop them and delivering some Nexus-2010 doctrine of ‘either next us or against us.’