WWE Raw is coming at us LIVE from Dayton, OH this evening starting at 8pm Eastern.  It's going to be a big show, with the return of Batista after a lengthy absence from WWE.

We will have LIVE coverage of the show, as well as LIVE Tweeting @RingRap, starting at 8pm EST. If you are attending the event, we would love to get your thoughts of the show. Please contact me on Twitter, or via email at [email protected]  Thanks!

- This week's episode is brought to you by chicken soup, meatloaf, and sweet potato fries.  Don't ask.  I'm hangry.

- We get our usual video package honoring the great Martin Luther King Jr.  

- Triple H is already in the ring, as is Stephanie.  Trips says Sunday starts the Road to Wrestlemania, but really, that started about two weeks ago.  He doesn't waste any time and welcomes back one of those 30 men.  He starts to introduce Batista.  Randy Orton cuts him off.

- It's gonna be an Evolution Reunion!

- Orton is pissed, but Steph cuts him off. WWE Network plug!  Royal Rumble!  She lays into him for losing his match against Kofi Kingston, and the after match attack on John Cena Sr.

- I wouldn't call him "helpless."  

- "What do you think, this is Friendly's? That shit don't fly at Denny's!"  That is an in-joke that only three people will get, and none of them are reading.

- Steph threatens Orton.  Orton is pissed that Triple H brings back Brock Lesnar, Batista, etc. "There wouldn't be a network without Randy Orton."

- Triple H tells him to take the bass out of his voice.  Cute.  Triple H reminds him why he "made" him the face of WWE - they believe in him.  They believe he is the complete package, despite his faults.  They still have that faith, but they think he's lost the faith in himself.  He says there's no shame in losing to Kofi Kingston, but instead of making it right, he went and punched a helpless old man.  He says Cena, Lesnar, and Batista are waiting to get that title, but Orton needs to rise up and be a man.

- He makes another match against Kofi Kingston for tonight.  He also put a camera in the back to show when Cena gets in, so he can "make it right."  And, he'll do it all alone.

- Ok, now Batista's music can play.

- Batista comes out to the ring looking like a freaking rock star.  Same music, same entrance, machine gun fireworks, the whole deal.  The place is giving him one heck of a pop.  He looks good too.  Still jacked, but he looks healthy.  

- As seen on Twitter: "Damn, Pitbull looks jacked!"

- There's a pretty healthy Batista chant.  He kneels down and kisses the mat.  He gives Steph and Hunter hugs.  Some crazy chick yells how much she loves him.  Randy Orton just looks on.

- Orton offers a handshake.  Batista just says "Hello Randy."  He understands Orton has a few questions about his return.  He makes it clear - he's back for the title.  He doesn't care if its him or Cena or someone else.  "I'm back."  He says he's going to win the Royal Rumble and headline Wrestlemania.  "So deal with it."

- Good promo, straight to the point.  Batista carries himself with confidence, as he should, and it shows.  The crowd pop was strong but I think a lot of fans weren't really sure who Batista was.  I'm pleased to see him, but I was a fan of his work before he stepped away.

- Back after commercial, Big E Langston, Cody Rhodes, and Goldust are facing off against The Shield.  

- Looks like The New Age Outlaws are gonna face the Rhodes Boys for the Tag Titles in the Royal Rumble kickoff match.  Joy.

- Ambrose and Big E start it off.  Big E gets the early advantage.  Rollins made the choice to wear long sleeves again.  Why?

- Watching Rollins take a back body drop is like watching art being created.

- Rollins eats a hanging suplex thanks to Cody Rhodes.  Good ten count or so there.

- Every time I look at Goldust, I think of Thane Krios, from Mass Effect.  Google it.  

- Cody misses a Disaster Kick and Rollins ducks out of the ring, but Cody jumps out after him.  It's a standoff as we go to a predictable break!

- Back from break, and it's still Cody and Seth.  Seth tags in Roman Reigns.  Reigns eats a Disaster Kick.  Reigns tags in Ambrose.  Cody hot-tags Langston.  Langston is on fire. 

- All hell breaks loose and bodies are flying everywhere.  Reigns breaks up a pin attempt.  Cody goes for a disaster kick, but Reigns hits the Superman Punch mid-mode. Sweet spot! 

- I have no idea who's legal anymore, but Rollins finishes off Langston with a stomp to the head. Good ending to a solid match.  I love seeing The Shield keep strong, even with the teases of a split.

- We get a recap of Daniel Bryan's split from Bray Wyatt from last week.  Good stuff if you missed it.  Unfortunately, the audio effects drown out the MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF YES CHANTS.  They do try to touch base on it, but it was chilling.  Anyhoo, Bryan is up next to speak out.

- Back from break, the crowd gives Bryan a bigger reaction than Batista. Not surprising.

- DANIEL BRYAN CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

- He opens saying some people say he shouldn't be the face of the company.  He says he had a plan - had to take Bray Wyatt down physically AND mentally.  He did some things he wasn't proud of.  He stood side by side with three men he despised.  He had to wait for his moment - and he did.  It was last week in the cage.  "Daniel Bryan doesn't follow anybody."  He says last week he became the buzzard and chewed on their carcasses.  He will expose Bray Wyatt.  He wants Wyatt one on one at the Royal Rumble.  So... does this mean Bryan isn't in the Rumble match?

- Bray Wyatt cuts a promo from the Titantron.  "A man not willing to die for something is not willing to live."  He says he didn't expose Wyatt, he only exposed himself.  He calls him a traitor and says the fans only look up to him because they chose to kneel.  He tells Bryan to go home, hug his mother, and tell her he loves her and is sorry.  Everything that happens to him from now on is his fault.

- Bryan gave a good promo, but Wyatt gave a GREAT promo.  Maybe his best one to date.  Yes, he was on the Tron, and yes it was produced.  But, you can't produce a delivery quite like that.

- Back from break, and HELLLOOOOO SUMMER RAE.

- Fandango vs. Xavier Woods.  R-Truth on commentary.  This should be interesting.

- Short match.  Fandango hits the leg drop for the win.

- R-Truth rolls into the ring.  Meanwhile, Emma has her #EMMAtaining sign somewhere in the audience.  Otherwise pointless.

- Brad Maddox and Kane are talking backstage.  Brad takes credit for Batista's return.  Stephanie cuts in and kicks Maddox out.  "Kane, what were you thinking?"  She's questioning his attack on CM Punk.  She tells him he cannot put his hands on a WWE Superstar as long as he's a part of management.  He apologizes to Steph, but she wants him to apologize to CM Punk.  He tries to convince her otherwise.  Nope.

- After the break, Kane walks to the ring.  They replay the events of Smackdown.  Back in the ring, Kane asks Punk to come out.  "It's apology time."  Funny.

- Punk holds the mic like a weapon.  Kane says he overstepped his bounds, though "technically I did save you from being attacked by five other superstars."  Kane's delivery is pretty fantastic.

- Punk taps his microphone and claims he didn't hear Kane.  Kane repeats himself - "I apologize."  CM Punk gets himself some payback and attacks Kane.  

- Brad Maddox comes out and tells Kane to stop.  He says since he can't control himself, he'll give Punk a fight, but not against Kane - against one of the New Age Outlaws.  Kind of weird seeing them as heels again.  They do Rock Paper Scissors to see who is gonna face Punk.  Billy Gunn wins.

- I think the commentary will be the key here.  Road Dogg at the table.  They're trying to get attention and gold around their waists.  The action spills outside the ring.  Road Dogg distracts Punk as we go to break.

- Back from break, Michael Cole asks if the New Age Outlaws title show has anything to do with being friends w/ Triple H.  JBL goes on a tirade.  The match is continuing.  CM Punk tosses Billy Gunn outside the ring, then attacks Road Dogg.  Back in the ring, Punk has the advantage.  He sets Gunn up for an elbow, but Road Dogg yanks him out of the ring.  Punk goes after Dogg, Billy Gunn tries to take advantage, but doesn't quite pull it off.  Punk picks up the win with a Go to Sleep.

- Brad Maddox congratulates him, but Kane takes the mic and congratulates him as well.  He tells Punk that he will be the #1 entrant in the Royal Rumble match.  I don't see how this is a bad thing.  

- Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman walk into the arena and we go to break.

- We get our yearly "By The Numbers" Royal Rumble promo.  I love these things.  Just saying. 

- Jerry Lawler acknowledges the passing of Mae Young.  They introduce a video package on Mae.  Great stuff, really.  I'm floored they called her a professional wrestler.  Sadly they focus mostly on her goofy WWE antics.  The part of her Hall of Fame speech where she says she wants to be on that stage when she's 100, honestly brought a tear to my eye.

- So naturally we end that moving moment with Rey Mysterio's BOO-YA-KA BOO-YA-KA entrance.  WWE needs work on their transitions. 

- Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio, part 1 million and five.  It's a match, you know.  Rey does an impressive moonsault to the outside.  I get nervous when he does moves like that.  Bad knees, etc.

- Del Rio snaps half-way through the match.  Gets agressive.  Del Rio is at his best when he's ruthless.  

- Well, it's a match, and it goes to break.  When we come back, it's still happening. Ruthless Alberto is Ruthless.  Rey gets the slip on Del Rio and Del Rio hits the ring post with his shoulder.  Rey hits him from the top rope.  He starts getting some momentum.  

- Jerry Lawler is so bored with the match he makes worse jokes than usual.

- Rey goes for the 619, Del Rio catches him and launches him into the corner.  Side kick to the head. Rey barely kicks out.  Del Rio almost has him, but Rey gets another shot at the 619 and connects.  Del Rio barely grabs the rope.  He locks in a Cross-arm breaker, and Rey taps out.  It's over.  

- Batista makes his presence known as Del Rio celebrates.  It's on!  Del Rio talks trash.  Batista stares him down.  Del Rio takes a swing, but Batista hits the spine buster.  Thumbs up!  Thumbs down!  He hits Del Rio with a Batista Bomb, and the place explodes.  

- After break, The Big Show cuts a terrible promo mocking Paul Heyman's voice, and he calls out Paul Heyman.  Heyman comes out to Walrus chants.  Brock Lesnar's music hits and he walks to the ring, then turns around and leaves. Exciting.  Big Show yells at him and Brock comes back out.  They have a staredown in the ring.  Lesnar attacks Show, but Show tosses him.  Lesnar hits Show with a number of shoulders in the corner.  Big Show picks up Lesnar and tosses him out.  Lesnar goes flying.  He tears up the announcer's table, then grabs a chair and beats the tar out of the chair.  He tries to slide in, but Lesnar gets the 'eff out.  He starts throwing monitors.  Funny.

- It's easy to forget how good Lesnar can be at selling, because he hardly ever has to sell.

- They managed to take a seemingly stupid segment and gave it some juice.  I'm a little more pleased now.

- After the break, AJ and Tamina come out to the ring.  They show the footage from the WWE App that aired earlier.  If they show the footage on Raw anyhow, what's the point in downloading the app?

- The Funkadactyls come out.  I guess they're facing Tamina and AJ.  

- I'm not going to lie.  I'm hardly paying attention right now.  Tamina does the hard work, then tags in AJ.  AJ skips around, and Naomi gets the sneaky rollup for the win.

- We take a break, and come back to another "By The Numbers" promo for the Royal Rumble.  Love 'em.

- Another video for Martin Luther King Jr.  Normally I'd blast WWE for replaying stuff like this, but he's pretty important.

- The Uso Brothers hit the ring,  We go to break.  We come back to Erick Rowan and Luke Harper tagging against The Usos.  A hard hitting affair, to be sure.  I swear every time I see Luke Harper on TV, he looks less and less bathed.

- Kind of a slow match.  Harper sends Jimmy Uso outside, and we take a break. Back, and it's Erick Rowan in the ring.  He tags back in to Harper, so I don't get to see him work.  Harper rolls Uso around the ring, then locks in a headlock.  Creative.  As Harper tears apart Uso, Bray Wyatt gets a mic and asks the audience if they like what they see.  This is what Daniel Bryan will get come The Rumble.  He says "Hell awaits him."

- Jimmy Uso gets a hope spot and makes a hot tag to Jey Uso.  Jey comes in flying like crazy.  Running butt bump in the corner, superkick!  Both Usos are in the ring now and they're turning it up.  Harper takes out Jey with an elbow, hits a sit-out slam for a near fall.  Out of nowhere, Daniel Bryan attacks Bray Wyatt!  The fans go crazy.  Erick Rowan tries to make the save, but Bryan kicks his head in.  Jey Uso takes advantage and gets the roll-up victory for the win!  The fans chant Yes!

- Kind of a slow match until the hot tag, but Daniel Bryan's appearance really woke the audience up.  The Uso's really do know how to take it to the next level, however.

- It looks like our panel for the Royal Rumble is Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

- Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton is up now. Looks like it's the last match of the night.  John Cena is still nowhere to be found, which means he's already in the audience or something.  

- They waste little time.  Kofi is surprisingly aggressive, but Orton lures him outside and slams him into the table head-first.  Back in the ring, Kofi gets to his feet and shows some more fire.  This is a very different match from last week.Kofi hits the SOS and gets a near fall, but Orton kicks out.  

- John Cena finally shows up.  3 hours late.  He runs to the ring and attacks Orton, causing a DQ.  Cena and Orton brawl into the audience and up the stairs.  Orton nearly gets hit with an AA, but elbows out and heads up the stairs further.  Cena chases him.  It's been a while since we've had a good old fashioned brawl.

- They fight through one of the sky-boxes.  Cena walks out and chases after Orton who jumps into a car and takes off.  Hilarious!  We don't even know who's car it is, but he's gone.

- Cena just stands there, dumbfounded.  Michael Cole and JBL argue whether or not Randy Orton had a ride or he car-jacked the thing.  What the hell.  Cena walks back in and heads back to the ring.  Raw is in the books.

Not a bad show, but I've seen better go-home shows. Honestly, WWE has had plenty of time to build this card, and they finalized all these matches tonight.  I know the pay-per-view is essentially a 1-match show, since it's all about The Rumble, but at least give your undercard some thought.

Bill will have plenty more to say about this in the Raw Afterthoughts tomorrow, and we will talk about the show when Ring Rap Audio makes it's triumphant return to the air-waves!  You can follow us on Twitter for updates - @RingRapAudio, or @RingRap!  Thanks for following!