Here are the results from tonight’s (Monday January 2, 2017) episode of WWE Monday Night RAW (courtesy of PWInsider):
Raw opened with Michael Cole welcoming everyone to the first Raw of the year, pushing that Bill Goldberg would be appearing on Raw, plus Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn in a Last Man Standing bout.
Inside the ring was Raw GM Mick Foley with a new haircut and most of his facial hair shaved into a nice goatee. He looked good. He promised he would write the name of the city he is in every week so he never screws that up again. He pointed out that Chris Jericho was going to be locked in a shark cage at the Royal Rumble, which brought out WWE Universal champion Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho.
Owens asked Foley if he thought he was funny by hanging his best friend above the ring. The crowd sure thought it was as they popped for the idea. Owens and Jericho asked if Foley thought it was funny, but said what was really funny was Foley’s abuse of power. They said Roman Reigns getting another shot at the Universal title at the Rumble PPV was an abuse of power. So was Seth Rollins Pedigreeing Jericho on a car outside the Arena (which the crowd went nuts for) and not getting punished but instead being rewarded, while Jericho is punished by being put in the “Cage of Jericho.” They protested that it wasn’t right.
Owens said that it’s been obvious Foley has a personal issue with them and it’s a new year and they won’t allow it to happen anymore. Foley agreed that mistakes have been made. He said that he’s been hearing about the Kevin Owens Show but he’s never actually seen one, so tonight, he’s going to allow it to happen tonight with his guest…Goldberg. The crowd started chanting Goldberg’s name. Owens said it’s weird that its his show but Foley is booking the guests. He said they would have some questions for “Old Bill” like where has he been for ten years, but then admitted they don’t care where he’s been. They complained again about Foley’s abuse of power.
This brought out Stephanie McMahon, who said that Foley had not abused his power by making the Universal championship match at the Rumble. She said he has every right to put Jericho in the cage but admitted she wished he had consulted with her over that decision. Foley said he wishes she had consulted with him over the Last Man Standing. She pointed out that he wasn’t here last week and was home from Christmas. Owens yelled that no one cared about any of this, and what about them, they are national treasures!
Stephanie announced Roman Reigns would defend the WWE United States championship against Chris Jericho. If Roman is DQ’d or counted out, Roman would lose the belt, because she wants to be fair. Jericho complained about Seth Rollins and that he should be banned from ringside. Foley, meaning to say Owens, screwed up and said Jericho should be banned from ringside. Jericho and Stephanie both noted that he’s in the match. Stephanie complained that Smackdown beat Raw in the ratings “for the first time ever” and that she was tired of hearing it was the land of opportunity when that is actually Raw. She announced Owens vs. Seth Rollins for tonight where the loser would be banned from ringside during Jericho vs. Roman – so that U.S. title match is going to close Raw.
Stephanie took charge and told Jericho to get ready for his match, told Foley to get it together because they are in a ratings war and told Owens his match is now.
They went to commercial. It was a solid opening segment that actually set up multiple matches and events for later in the show as opposed to being a bloated segment that wasted time. Foley was, sadly, off his game tonight, however.
WWE Universal champion Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
Rollins started hot, sending Owens to the floor and nailing a pescado to the floor. Owens went to the floor and Rollins nailed another. Back in the ring, Rollins worked him over with chops in the corner. He nailed a running knee to the chest for a two count. They went to commercial with Owens back in control and when they returned, Owens continued that, including hitting a back senton splash on Rollins.
Owens tossed Rollins over the top to the floor. Rollins pulled himself back up but was dispatched to the floor again, as Owens attempte to get a countout win. Owens hit the floor and went for a cannonball into the barricade but Rolllins rolled out of the way. They both recovered and rolled back into the ring at the six count. They battled back and forth until Owen drilled Rollins with a kick into the hamstring.
Owens attempted a pop up powerbomb but Rollins nailed an enziguiri. Rollins, favoring his leg, nailed a series of running forearms in the corner. Rollins avoided Owens’ offense and nailed the Slingblade. He scored with a superkick but was backdropped when he went for a Pedigree. Owens was sent to the floor and Rollins nailed a suicide dive to the floor. Rollins tossed Owens into the timekeeper’s area and rained down with right hands.
Owens drilled Rollins with the ring bell, leading to a DQ.
Your winner, Seth Rollins by DQ.
Owens is banned from ringside during the main event tonight. The announcers talked about how Jericho will be all alone.
Rollins tried to grab Owens for a Pedigree but Owens slipped away, demanded his title and left.
Match itself was fine. The finish sets up Jericho being at a disadvantage for later on tonight, so from a storytelling perspective, it made sense.
WWE Raw Tag Team champion Cesaro (with Sheamus) vs. Karl Anderson (with Luke Gallows)
Sheamus was on commentary explaining that he and Cesaro aren’t the same at all outside the ring but both like to kick ass within it. Some nice back and forth action early on with Cesaro nailing a nice uppercut. Anderson came back to kick Cesaro from the ropes to the floor as they went to commercial. Anderson worked over Cesaro and when they returned, Cesaro finally nailed a suplex to regain some momentum.
Cesaro missed his charging uppercut in the corner and was nailed with a running boot for a two count. Anderson locked in a chinlock to wear down Cesaro. Cesaro mounted a comeback with a series of elbows in the corner. He was whipped into the corner and hit a springboard bodypress that was gorgeous. Cesaro went for the big spin but Gallows got involved, which led to Sheamus leaving the announcing position to come to ringside.
Anderson missed a clothesline. Cesaro nailed a springboard into a flying uppercut. Cesaro went for the Sharpshooter but Anderson grabbed the ropes. Cesaro kicked him but was caught with a running knee. Anderson ascended to the top but was nailed with a running dropkick and an uppercut. Cesaro went for a superplex. Gallows went to the apron but was pulled off by Sheamus. As he went down, Gallows grabbed the ropes and Cesaro crotched himself and he went down into the ring.
Anderson nailed a neckbreaker off the ropes and scored the pin.
Your winner, Karl Anderson!
Good, solid match to set up title bouts for The Club.
The announcers discussed the issues between Braun Strowman and Sami Zayn. They aired a video feature on Strowman’s destructive ways and Zayn standing up to him.
They showed several members of the Tampa Bay Bucaneers sitting ringside.
They ran a video feature on Goldberg returning to WWE at Survivor Series and beating Brock Lesnar rapid fire fashion. They pushed he would be appearing on the Kevin Owens Show later tonight.
Zayn was sporting a pretty nasty shiner.
Zayn was trying nail quick punches and avoid Braun early. He went to the floor. Braun fired, only to be nailed with a series of Singapore Cane shots. Braun got the stick and broke it over his knees and nailed a big hiptoss across the ring. Zayn pulled another cane from under the ring and lit him up. Zayn went for an Asai moonsault but was caught (and almost dropped) and then slammed into the guard rail. Zayn was counted down but recovered at the five count.
Zayn sent Strowman into the ringposts several times on the floor. He went for the leaping tornado DDT through the buckled but was punched hard in the head as he came through. Zayn got up at the eight count but was destroyed over and over with clotheslines and strikes. Zayn went to the floor and was out on his feet as they went to commercial.
When they returned from commercial, Strowman was working over Zayn near the stage and backstage area. He sent Zayn through a curtain to the back but was atacked with a pipe. Zayn sent him into some of the equipment cases backstage. Braun came back to tosss Zayn over some of the cases. Zayn grabbed a steel chair and drilled him across the back several times. He teased a shot to the head but was grabbed and tossed onto the entrance stage. Zayn was sent into the digital boards on the stage several times.
Strowman went to nail Zayn with a slam but Sami slipped out, grabbed the chair and beat him with it. He beat Strowman towards the edge of the stage and finally nailed a bodypress, sending them down and crashing through two tables. Zayn made it to his feet but Zayn charged and drilled him across the back with the chair. Strowman finally snapped and sent Zayn flying down the entrance ramp, then nailed a big clothesline and a running over the shoulder powerslam on the floor. Zayn made his feet at nine and was immediately beaten down with knees to the ribs.
The referee began the count again but Strowman stopped it with a series of shots across the face. The idea was he could win but stopped it just to inflict more pain for fun. He nailed another over the shoulder power slam. Zayn was finally counted out.
Your winner, Braun Strowman!
Good brawl with some grit to it with the backstage scenes. It made Braun look like a beast and Sami looked like a champ going down fighting.
Mick Foley came out with EMTs to check on Zayn.
Braun attacked Zayn and knocked him violently off a stretcher, then slammed him once again into the barricade before storming off.
They aired a video feature on the Gentleman’s Duel between Jack Gallagher and Ariya Daivari.
Backstage, Jack Gallagher was teaching The New Day the “art of dueling.” The announcer said that New Day would reveal their New Year’s resolutions after the break.
The New Day came out and got a huge reaction. They announced they were entering the Royal Rumble match and said they were going to discuss their New Year’s resolutions when they were cut off by Titus O’Neil doing a parody of their mic work. Titus pitched himself as the new member of New Day. He put over that he could dance and tried to touch Xavier’s trombone but no one wanted that. He said that he came prepared and danced as he used a whistle. Big E said, “We all know that you blow.” Indeed. This was pretty bad on Titus’ part, although that may be the point.
Titus asked them to imagine his face on a box of Booty-Os. Xavier said that everyone would rather see it on a milk carton. Titus said that was funny coming from the weak link of the team. Xavier told him they could have a match if he wanted to see who was a weak link. Titus caught him with a right hand when Xavier wasn’t ready. He went to the floor and said they could have a match right now and called for a referee. They went to commercial.
Xavier Woods vs. Titus O’Neil
The match was underway with Titus overwhelming Woods until Woods ducked a charge and sent him over the top to the floor. Woods nailed a flip dive to the floor. Woods went for a flying bodypress over the top but was caught, dropped over the knee several times and tossed rudely aside. Titus went for a slam but Woods maneuvered into a sunset flip and scored the pin.
Your winner, Xavier Woods!
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon was texting someone when Bayley showed up. She asked how Dana Brooke can be the guest referee for her rematch against Charlotte. Stephanie told her that Charlotte has some expensive lawyers. Stephanie then turned on her and said that she never wanted Bayley on Raw but Mick Foley did. She put over Charlotte and said Bayley was just ordinary, like all the fans. Bayley looked sad and then fired back, saying that she wasn’t born into the business like Stephanie and Charlotte and it took her a long time to get to WWE and Raw, but she belongs here and that’s good enough for her. She’s Bayley and she belongs here. Stephanie says she almost heard enough to believe her so she’s giving her a match to give her a chance to get the Royal Rumble title shot at Charlotte…against Nia Jax tonight.
Cedric Alexander and Alicia Fox were walking arm in arm backstage when they came across Noam Dar. Dar said that he wanted to start the new year off right and apologize. Cedric told her to apologize to Fox. Dar said, “I’m sorry, sweet cheeks” and stormed off. Cedric went to follow but Fox stopped him and reminded him he has a match tonight. Alexander was not happy.
Drew Gulak (with Tony Nese) vs. Cedric Alexander (with Cedric Alexander)
Austin Aries joined the announcing team. Some good back and forth action. Alexander was distracted when Fox pulled Nese down when he tried to interfere and that allowed Gulak to roll up Alexander and hook the tights to get the win.
Your winner, Drew Gulak!
Short but solid. More storyline for Cedric and Alicia beyond anything else. Gulak’s reaction to winning was great.
WWE United States champion Roman Reigns vs. Chris Jericho – Reigns loses championship if DQ’d or counted out
Jericho got the bigger reaction coming out.
The announcers noted that the U.S. title was the lone belt that Jericho has never held.
They went back and forth early. Jericho nailed a nice looking missile dropkick. Reigns was whipped into the ropes but was caught with a leaping clothesline. Roman was sent over the ropes to the apron and dropkicked off by Jericho. Jericho missed a sliding kick to the floor and was punched in the face. Reigns went for the driveby dropkick but was sent into the ringpost face-first. The referee came close to counting out Reigns (which would have meant a title change) but Reigns barely made it back in. Jericho drilled him with kicks as they went to commercial.
When they returned, Jericho was in control and ripped Roman verbally, slapping at him. This only served to fire up Reigns. Jericho attempted the running bulldog but was instead sent into the corner. Reigns worked him over in the corner and nailed a belly to back suplex for a two count. Jericho cut off Reigns and went for the Lionsault but Roman pulled his knees up. Reigns went for the spear but was kicked in the face. Jericho nailed a rana and held on and turned it into the Walls of Jericho. The crowd reacted like they expected a title change.
Roman finally escaped and went for a small package for a two count. Jericho went to the top but was nailed with a Superman punch as he came down for a close two count. That was a cool sequence there. Jericho went for the Walls again but Roman was able to kick him off. Roman charged but Jericho moved and Roman nailed the corner hard. Jericho pulled a turnbuckle off and the referee went to fix it. Jericho got the U.S. title belt and before you could say Eddie Guerrero, he tossed the belt into Reigns’ hands and acted like he had been hit with the belt to try and DQ the champ.
The official didn’t order the DQ so Jericho caught Roman with the Codebreaker and scored a close two count. Jericho charged Roman but his the exposed corner. Roman speared and pinned Jericho.
Your winner and still champion, Roman Reigns!
Match was good and Jericho was excellent with some of his facials but the same players are in the same positions, leading to it feeling a bit lethargic.
Brian Kendrick vs. TJ Perkins
Aries was back for commentary. Kendrick attacked Perkins immediately and worked him over. The announcers noted that Rich Swann has not been “cleared” due to injuries he suffered at the hands of Neville last week. Perkins nailed some kicks to make a comeback. Kendrick went for Sliced Bread #2 but Perkins slipped out. Perkins locked him in a kneebar and forced Kendrick to tap.
Your winner, TJ Perkins!
They showed an intense, angry Neville watching on a monitor backstage.
They pushed the WWE UK chanpionship tournament.
They showed Big Cass walking in the back with Enzo, who was in a motorized wheelchair. They noted that tonight’s announced tag team match featuring the team would now be a singles bout for Cass.
Yet another Emmalina is coming video.
Big Cass vs. Rusev (with Lana) & Jinder Mahal: Handicap match
Enzo did his usual promo. Cass promised to take them down. It didn’t work out that way. Mahal’s physique has really changed in recent weeks. Cass sent him to the floor but was caught with a leaping kick to the head and pinned by Rusev.
Not much here.
They reviewed what happened with Sami Zayn earlier and said they were waiting for medical updates.
Charlotte Flair joined the announcers.
Bayley vs. Nia Jax: Winner gets Royal Rumble Raw Women’s championship match.
They reviewed Jax’s attack on Sasha Banks.
It was all power from Nia early on. She nailed a shoulderbreaker on Bayley and nailed a running Avalanche in the corner to Bayley’s back. Jax cotninue to dismantle Bayley and locked her in a Cobra Clutch. Bayley slipped out but was grabbed by her ponytail. Jax went to slam her but was sent into the corner. Jax missed another charge and nailed her shoulder into the post. Bayley kicked her off but was yanked off the ropes and drilled with two big elbows and a legdrop. Jax went to the top but Sasha Banks’ music hit and she walked out on stage. Bayley caught the distracted Jax with a Bayley to Belly suplex off the top and scored the pin.
Your winner, going to the Rumble, Bayley!
The Kevin Owens Show
Owens teased he was going to introduce Goldberg and gave him all these accolades, only he was talking about Chris Jericho. That was pretty funny. Jericho goaded the fans into chanting Goldberg, then told the crowd that when you do that, “You just made the List!” Owens mocked the crowd for cheering that.
Owens went to bring out Goldberg but Jericho said he had a big announcement fitting only for the Kevin Owens – that Chris Jericho is in the Royal Rumble. Owens didn’t like that. Jericho said that if he wins, they both get to fight in the main event of Wrestlemania and if Jericho wins, they are still the Universal champion. Owens said that he didn’t want to fight his best friends but admitted they both deserve to be in the main event of Wrestlemania.
Goldberg’s music hit and he did the traditional long walk through the hallway before emerging on the stage. He tossed the chairs over. Goldberg said that if Jericho is in the Rumble match, he’s first. Owens said that it was his show and asked “Bill, please, have a seat.” Goldberg took his jacket off. Jericho asked him if you want to know what happens when you throw the set around. Goldberg said, “Spear and Jackhammer. That’s what happens!”
Owens questioned whether he was supposed to be intimidated because Goldberg tossed some furniture. He tossed some furniture out of the ring and went nose to nose with Goldberg, saying he wasn’t scared. Goldberg told him to take a shot.
Out walked Paul Heyman who said his client Brock Lesnar was not here, but he was here to give a spoiler….at the Rumble, it’s going to be Eat. Sleep. Elimination. Repeat. Goldberg cut him off and said that he was going to take out Heyman’s client at the Rumble and then he has a date with Kevin or Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania.
This brought out Roman Reigns. Honestly, this should end with Goldberg spearing Roman. Roman said Jericho and Owens are delusional at the Rumble and they won’t be winning anything. He said that leads him to Goldberg and they went face to face. Out came Braun Strowman, who took the mic from a sheepish Paul Heyman. He said that if anyone is winning the Rumble match, it’s him.
Braun entered the ring as Goldberg and Roman stared at each other. They double speared Strowman and faced off again. Roman left the ring and allowed Goldberg to pose on the ropes to close out the broadcast.
Really, really liked that last segment.