Hey! How’s everyone doing. My name is Kyle, but you can call me MagnumDA. I’ll be writing Raw reports starting tonight, and hopefully for the foreseeable future! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…we have a Raw to report! Send me feedback or questions any time at @TheMagnumDA on Twitter.
We open with a recap video of last week’s Raw, where Jericho and Owens’ friendship seemed to disintegrate. This is followed up by the Rollins/Jericho beatdown video, with Rollins hitting the pedigree on Jericho from the top of the Limo. Recap of the main event, where Reigns becomes the #1 Contender for the WWE Universal Championship. As United States Champion, wouldn’t he already be #1 Contender? Or is that idea thrown out the window too?
Seth Rollins makes his entrance to a great reception. He’s going to be fantastic as a babyface moving forward. His move set compliments being a good guy…he greets Austin, TX to a big cheer. Cheap Pop! Rollins makes it clear…he wants to go face-to-face with Triple H. He talks about “Choices”, and that both Rollins and Triple H made choices throughout their star-crossed paths. Rollins says that Kevin Owens was chosen to be the top guy. Rollins says that Owens is “…not quite ready for prime time.” He’d make a great SNL Cast Member, then. Does this make him the new Chris Farley?
Owens comes out and interrupts Rollins. Then tells him it’s rude to be interrupted. Awesome. He says Rollins has no friends. He then goes on to talk about stabbing his “brothers” (in The Shield) in the back. Rollins suggests that Jericho and Owens are not texting, and Kevin makes up a story about getting Y2J three (!!!) Christmas gifts. How magnanimous. Owens’ blood pressure seems to be going through the roof. He screams, “FIGHT, OWENS! FIGHT! THAT’S ME.” Rollins challenges Owens to a Championship Match RIGHT NOW. Owens says he’s not defending the title against someone he beat two weeks ago. Then, without any build whatsoever…we get the next (really, truly finally we mean it this time!) chapter in the Zayn vs. Owens feud. KO then announces Jericho vs. Reigns for the US Championship tonight, and then magically books Rollins vs…Big Show?! WHOA. Show looks fantastic! Definitely looks like he lost about 50-75 pounds.
Match #1: Seth Rollins vs. Big Show
Show throws Rollins down from the start, and follows up with some power moves. He chops Rollins in the corner while Owens continues to talk trash. Show continues to throw Rollins around, to the delight of Kevin Owens. So I guess Show’s heel here? Rollins counters with a drop kick to the knees and is caught trying to hit a suicide dive in mid-air! Show tosses Rollins into the guard rail by the neck. Owens screams “Choke Slam or Knock Out! Your choice, up to you!” True friends give you multiple options. Show lifts Rollins up by palming his head in his hand (freakish), but this countered by a springboard knee, and a top rope knee. Rollins tries the pedigree, but Show counters…and just as I thought, Show is going to turn from heel to face, marking the 500th heel/face turn in his career. A remarkable feat calls for a remarkable response from the crowd. Show then walks out and gives Rollins the win by countout, because…well, why the hell not? *1/2 This is followed by a pedigree to Kevin Owens. I give Show about 2 weeks before he turns heel again.
We get a flashback to last week’s debut of 205 Live, and the announcement of Rich Swann defending the Cruiserweight title tonight. Last Tuesday was a great debut, which I wrote about RIGHT HERE on Wrestling-Online.com (cheap pop!!!). Seriously, read it. This is followed by a Jack Gallagher promo video. It’s quite strange that Gallagher gets more airtime than Swann during this segment, but what do I know.
Speaking of SNL, John Cena is hosting SNL this Saturday! That should be fun.
Match #2: Jack Gallagher vs. Ariya Daivari
Wait. They didn’t even announce before commercial that Gallagher would be wrestling. Details, people! …and AGAIN, Daivari refuses the handshake. That prick. Armbar reversals to start, and I can tell this crowd is getting into Gallagher. Daiviri and Gallagher basically repeat their entire sequence from last Tuesday, where Gallagher uses a handstand to get out of a headlock. The big difference this week is that these guys turn it on with some intense power moves. I actually like this match a little better, because the impact moves keep the crowd in the match. Set of dropkicks for Gallagher, followed by the headbutt to the chest and running dropkick in the corner to finish. **1/2 Byron calls him Gallaghan. Stupid idiot. Daivari gets intense after the match, attacking Jack during a handshake attempt. Ariya then destroys Gallagher’s knee. So I guess this feud must continue. Couple of rehashes from Tuesday, but it was the good stuff.
Titus O’Neil gives out flyers for his upcoming match tonight…and is apparently hosting some afterparties when Raw goes off the air. Well, shit. Where’s my invitation?
Kevin Owens is backstage yelling at Mick Foley. This dude’s blood pressure, man. Apparently, Stephanie is not here but Owens got the power to book the opening match. Jericho approaches and Owens asks Chris if he saw the opening segment, where he talked about the three (!!!) Christmas gifts he got him. He shares the other good news regarding some upcoming matches, and asks if they’re still buds. Jericho says, “No.”
Enzo and Cass are philosophizing backstage when Rusev and Lana start yelling at each other. Enzo wants to save the day, but Cass holds him back. He eventually speaks up and Rusev puts him in his place by exclaiming, “IT’S NONE OF OUR BUSINESS!” Rusev then calls the boys pathetic. Lana teases leaving Rusev, and Enzo swoops in to save the day. Enzo calls himself a great listener and asks Lana, “How are you doing?” Crowd laughs. So far, so good.
Match #3: Sami Zayn vs. WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens (non-title)
This is CHAPTER CVII…no, seriously. It feels like it’s been over 100 chapters. It’s still good every time.
After a commercial break…apparently we’re back with Enzo and Lana? Speaking of 107 chapters, Lana is once again using a wrestler to make Rusev jealous. Shouldn’t the good guys know better by now?
Okay, onto the match. They go outside and Zayn rams Owens into every corner on the outside and breaks the 10-count. Owens gets the advantage and rolls the cannonball on him to the outside. Before I can finish typing that last sentence, Zayn got up and hit a cannonball of his own! SLOW DOWN, BOYS. Maybe it’s my typing. After the commercial, Owens has Zayn in a sleeperhold. Then we get a replay of Owens getting his shit wrecked earlier in the night. I like that touch…gives viewers the idea of the shape that Owens is in going into this match. Which makes me further question CANNONBALL FEVER CVII. They kick each other and the fans cheer for Sami. I think these guys have a different psychology than others…they use the ropes and the apron for much of their offense. It’s innovative, but it’s scary because those corners are the nastiest parts of the ring. Zayn hits the rolling DDT through the corner post, followed by a half-and-half suplex for two. I’m surprised that Byron knows to call it a half-and-half. I figured he wouldn’t know the difference between the wrestling move and the coffee condiment. Incredible spinning fisherman’s buster by Owens gets a two-count. A series of cannonballs in the corner by Owens. Zayn tries to counter with the Exploder Suplex, but Zayn counters by running up the ropes with another spinning DDT. Another half-and-half, an Exploder, and a spinning back bomb gets two. What a trifecta! They go back outside, and when they come back in KO hits the Pop-Up Power Bomb to defeat Zayn. Fuck, that came out of nowhere. That match had another 20 minutes to go! **1/2
Jericho visits Reigns in his locker room, and calls him a “stupid idiot”. Y2J thinks Roman is riding a lucky streak, but it will come to an end tonight. Reigns tells Jericho “Good luck. Get dressed.” Considering that Roman served a 30-day suspension a few months after winning the main event of WrestleMania, I don’t know if Roman is THAT lucky.
Rock is on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Dude’s the man.
Recap of the Divas Championship match last week. I loved the match, but these girls scare me sometimes. I think someone could get seriously hurt. Go back and look at SummerSlam…they take many unnecessary chances. Hopefully everyone stays safe. Charlotte is pinned between the two bars in the aisle way, and has to tap out to the Bank Statement. This leads to an interview with Sasha Banks. Sasha says she left everything in Charlotte last week. Hopefully, that doesn’t include her wallet. Sasha brags about celebrating with Ric Flair in Charlotte’s face. Sasha challenges Charlotte to an Ironwoman match at Roadblock: End of the Line. What do you think? 30 minutes? They couldn’t possibly go 60, could they? Maybe they could.
Then, in another nice touch, they follow this segment with Charlotte announcing that she will publicly apologize to her father.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
Rich Swann (c) vs. TJ Perkins
Swann’s theme music is more addicting than morphine, heroin, and cocaine combined. I definitely couldn’t handle that. If you can, find me on Twitter. I want to party with you. They recap the main event from last week’s 205 Live debut. Very good match. I didn’t review it when I wrote it, but it’s definitely ***1/2. I have this feeling that Vince doesn’t get the 8-bit video game theme music. I only imagine that he scoffs at it and says, “Video games are for losers, pal!” Anyways onto the match. They exchange some offensive moves and nearfalls, and Swann is again crisp with the flip and dropkick. The fans love his moves. Swann and TJ are exchanging moves at a furious pace. Swann hits the double stomp on the back for two. Swann hits a snap suplex, as Cole calls Perkins “Kendrick”. They exchange haymakers and Swann hits a suplex and a SWANK rolling thunder for two. Even RVD doesn’t get that high anymore. Well, he does, but…nevermind. Swann puts Perkins in a standing surfboard, and Perkins counters with some offense. Kid, the punches are unconvincing. Lay off the video games and hang out with Jerry Lawler. Perkins then barely hits Swann with a dropkick in the tree of woe for two. After a few counters, TJ hits a springboard dropkick for another two. Swann hits the crescent kick for the three count! Crowd was dead. **
Bayley is approaching the ring for her match-up.
Match #5: Bayley vs. Alicia Fox
Alicia tackles Bayley to start and hits a dropkick when Bayley gets up. Alicia throws Bayley into the corner with a beal for two. She gets Bayley in a sleeperhold, and Bayley powers out. Bayley reverses a flying press for two. Bayley fires up and hits a running Macho Man clothesline. This is followed by the Belly-to-Bayley for the three count. This took place. * What’s all this talk about Bayley’s innocence? Is she a virgin? What’s going on here? Don’t even get me started on “Bayley Bears.”
We’re back with Enzo and Cass. Enzo is singing R. Kelly. Cass reminds Enzo that Lana is trouble. Enzo says, “I’m not stupid.” Yeah, sure. Enzo gets a text from Lana, and starts singing again. He don’t see nothing wrong…with a little bump and grind. Rusev approaches and is looking for “Enzio”. Cass tells him to beat it, and Rusev shoves him. Voila, a match!
THE TUSSLE IN TEXAS IS NEXT. Wait, WHAT is?!
Match #6: Titus O’Neil vs. Mark Henry
Wait, THIS is the Tussle in Texas? What exactly are they going to tussle? Each other?! -***** for that. For some reason, they want to use the political theme with this “tale of the tape”. World’s Strongest Slam ends this in under a minute. What in the hell?! You know what, keep the negative stars. Mark Henry takes selfies with the crowd afterwards and hugs a disabled veteran. I love moments like that.
Enzo is out back waiting for his Uber. Wait, in Austin, TX? Suddenly, RIC FLAIR shows up. They trade “Whoo’s!” and “How You Doin’s?!” Flair puts him over huge and gives him his limo. Hell yeah. Go get it, son.
WWE United States Championship Match
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Chris Jericho
The US Championship is the only title that has eluded Jericho in his illustrious career. Could tonight be the night? Owens tells Jericho he’s there for him, and Jericho rebuffs him once more. “Stay away from me!” Hmm…
Reigns opens with knees to the face. Jericho counters and tries to hit the bulldog early, but gets crotched in the corner. Reigns is attacking Jericho while he’s stuck as Cole screams THE BIG DOG IS HUNTIN’. Ease up, Cole. You’re part of the problem. Reigns hits a slam for two. Jericho counters again with a dropkick and takes out Reigns with a crossbody on the outside! Wow! At this stage of his career, that’s fearless. After the commercial, we return as Jericho is punching Reigns in the head. Reigns powers out of the sleeperhold, but Jericho hits another crisp dropkick. Jericho gets tangled in the ropes after a failed I-don’t-know-what attempt. Reigns is hitting clotheslines as Cole calls him the big dog once more. Reigns goes for a spear, and Jericho throws him outside. Vintage Jericho as he hits the springboard dropkick outside. Jericho misses a dropkick to the outside and Reigns hits the drive-by. Reigns misses another Superman Punch, and a Lionsault gets a 2.9! Very close. Crowd’s into it. Y2J chant breaks out by all of the 32-year-old males in the audience. Hey, I’m in that demographic. If I was there, I’d cheer for him too. Reigns hits the Samoan Drop and a Superman Punch for two!! Jericho counters into a Codebreaker attempt, which is THEN countered into a power bomb for two. I dug that sequence. Reigns misses another spear and almost gets pinned! Jericho tries three times to hit the Walls of Jericho, and finally gets him on the third attempt. Reigns is climbing to the ropes, and gets there! Owens hits a superkick from the outside, which leads to a Codebreaker! ONE! TWO! NO!!! The crowd is in a frenzy. Jericho tells Owens to shut up and stay out of here. “I DON’T NEED YOU! GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE! GO!” Aww…breaking up is so hard to do. Jericho turns around and Reigns tries a spear, which is leapfrogged by Jericho! Unfortunately, he didn’t miss the second attempt. Spear gets the three-count. *** I feel like playing Stevie Wonder’s “All In Love is Fair” and crying in my shower.
Match #8: Big Cass vs. Rusev
Cass makes his way to the ring as Corey Graves calls him a “homewrecker”. Rusev…doesn’t show up. Cass comes to the realization that Rusev went after Cass. He calls Enzo, who conveniently has a camera crew with him. Lana opens her hotel room to Enzo, but Enzo tells her this isn’t a good idea. They hug in his hotel room. Then, they both say they’re uncomfortable. Lana drops…I forget what she dropped, but she bent over. Then she started eating fruit. I’m trying to keep it together here, guys. Enzo then decides to leave…but not before Lana rips his shirt off. Enzo goes to bail, but not before he’s told to take off his pants. So much for PG. In a hilarious line, he says, “Okay, I’m taking off my pants, but after that I really have to go!” Lana then calls him a fool in Russian, as Rusev enters the room. In a sick scene, Rusev destroys him while Lana gives directions. He breaks glass over the defenseless Enzo. His lifeless body is thrown out of the hotel room as Lana leaves a “Do Not Disturb” sign on her door. Poor guy. He was warned, though. Cass should’ve sent a text.
Match #9: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
You’d have to figure after that Wrestlecrap scene last Monday (Am I right, RD?), Sheamus and Cesaro are primed to make the push for the tag titles. Sheamus hits the backbreaker for two. New Day play the trombone and start trouble, which leads to Cesaro and Sheamus attacking Luke and Karl on the outside. Cesaro hits the European Uppercut as we go to commercial. When we return, Anderson has a sleeperhold on Cesaro. Gallows and Anderson hit a backbreaker/elbow combo for two. They try to hit the magic killer, which is broken up. Cesaro hot tags to Sheamus, who is a house of fire! He hits the clubbing forearms on Anderson, and hits stereo rolling . Sheamus goes for the Cloverleaf, but Anderson kicks out. While he’s thrown to the corner, Cesaro comes in and takes out both Anderson and Gallows. He tries the Giant Swing, but that’s broken up and suddenly everyone (including the New Day) start to brawl for the DQ. I’m sorry, this didn’t keep my attention at all. I tried my best. * Kofi tries a dive on the Europeans, but it’s countered into a Power Bomb into the rest of the New Day. I smell a triple-threat tag title match coming.
Main Event Promo
Ric & Charlotte Flair – What Could Go Wrong?
They show another recap video from the main event last week, and then Cole confirms Sasha vs. Charlotte in a 30-minute Ironwoman match at Roadblock. Charlotte’s face looks extra orange tonight, brother. Oh, no…she’s getting the “What?” treatment already. We get the 30th video recap of Charlotte berating Ric Flair back in May. You know, if you’re ashamed that you acted that way, wouldn’t you avoid showing this video? Just thinking out loud. Ooh, and we get the extended version where Charlotte sounds like an incredible tone-deaf brat. These fans reacted extremely well to this segment back then. After the video, she’s talking through tears…to more “What” treatment. To make things better, she acknowledges it. Rookie mistake. We’re really closing with all of this? Charlotte seems to gravitate towards all of these awkward and very real promos, much like Survivor Series last year. She talks about being a failure of a daughter, and that she hasn’t seen him in six months. She asks him to come out, which he obliges to a great reaction. Charlotte puts on the goofiest, most sinister smile. So fake. Great delivery. She immediately apologizes to him and they hug to a chorus of boo’s. Charlotte then slaps him and calls him a son of a bitch! “WHO IS SHE TO DEDICATE HER VICTORY TO MY FATHER?!” Sasha interrupts but gets caught in the ropes and kicked to the outside. Charlotte beats down Sasha and throws her in the barricade. Flair is brought to tears, which is nothing new. Sasha goes face-first into the corner post and is knocked out. Eh, at least it wasn’t a referee’s knee this time. Sasha’s body is dragged into the ring, as Charlotte says to Ric, “There’s your trophy!” She insults Sasha and the crowd as we close the show. I had a feeling something would go wrong.
Some good continuity, and a lot of effort. Roadblock should be solid and entertaining.