Hey! @TheMagnumDA here. It’s time for the last Raw Report of 2016, LIVE from Chicago. (cue CM Punk chants)
Stephanie McMahon comes out to open the show. Hey, I was right! CM Punk chants. She delivers a pretty good burn, though… “If you guys keep going for another 2 minutes and 15 seconds, you’ll last longer than he did!”
Chorus of boos. Awesome.
She has given Mick Foley the night off. Seth Rollins interrupts and asks if she gave Triple H his manhood back. Anatomically speaking, I’m not sure how that works. Rollins then says that Triple H used to be one of the baddest dudes out there. Wow, Triple H really does operate like Dusty…he makes sure that his opponents put him over huge as their program evolves. Rollins makes a challenge to Braun Strowman for tonight.
Roman Reigns comes out to massive jeers, which turn into huge boos the moment he speaks. Wow. So apparently, both guys want Strowman tonight…and this turns into a discussion about jumping him backstage. Steph puts her fist out (like The Shield used to do) which gets a humorous glare from Rollins and Reigns.
She teases a Shield reunion…but then books Rollins vs. Strowman and Reigns vs. an opponent of her choice for the US Championship. Finally, she announces a WWE Tag Team Championship rematch that starts right meow!
Match #1: WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Sheamus and Cesaro (c) vs. The New Day
Sheamus and Cesaro dominate Xavier Woods early in the match. Sheamus knocks Kofi off the apron, but Cesaro nails Sheamus when they attempted a knee-drop version of the Demolition Decapitation. The story here is that “they shrugged off that mistake and moved on.” Why would you purposely book tag partners to nail each other and do nothing about it?
Kofi comes in and he’s a HOUSE OF FIRE. He nails Cesaro on the outside and hits the SOS on Sheamus for a one, two, no! Crowd was into that nearfall. Kofi hits the rolling apron kick, and so does Xavier! Xavier hits the flying elbow, but Cesaro breaks up the count. Cesaro tags in and hits the Giant Swing on Xavier.
Big E attempts to interrupt, but Cesaro dumps Kofi onto Big E! Xavier hits the rolling elbow, but Sheamus gets the blind tag and DROPS Xavier with the Brogue Kick to end it. Sheamus and Cesaro retain. **3/4
Not gonna lie, that’s a pretty epic John Cena return video. He returns tomorrow night on Smackdown Live!
Video package for Lesnar/Goldberg entering the Royal Rumble. So it’s a given that neither of these two men will win, right? I only throw that out there because they seem destined for Wrestlemania 33. This is followed by an announcement that Goldberg will return to Raw next Monday.
Braun is scaring every human being backstage until he runs into Jericho and Owens. Kevin tells Braun that he could be the #1 contender if he beats Rollins. Strowman says “Be careful what you wish for.” Then both men imply that Braun is soft. Braun gets pissed. Braun declares that “RUMORS ARE CRAP, AND SO ARE YOU.” Ooooo, boogie boogie.
Golden Truth are backstage when Bayley shows up. Hugs for R-Truth and a DUSTY BEAR for Goldie, complete with headband and polka dots. Crowd cheers huge for that! Dusty chant breaks out! Anderson and Gallows show up, and Anderson rips the head off the bear. What a dick. The crowd was genuinely saddened by this. Why do I feel like Cody Rhodes won’t be happy with this segment?
Match #2: Nia Jax vs. Scarlet
Scarlet was apparently inspired by Sasha Banks. Nia kicks Scarlet right in the gut. Clubs in the corner, followed by a throw across the ring. Nia hits three splashes in the corner, and then she turns a powerslam into the Samoan Drop for 3. Total squash. 1/2*
After the match, Jax tells Scarlet to “choose a better role model.” Then she hits a legit brutal leg-drop (her leg literally hits this poor girl right in the mouth).
Bayley’s on her way out for an interview. After the commercial, Charlotte and Stephanie McMahon are shaking hands and smiling. Jericho and Owens show up and ask Stephanie to reconsider the shark cage. Instead, Kevin Owens gets a US Championship match. Jericho does not seem pleased with any of this.
Bayley comes out for her promo. I don’t understand how she could be so happy, considering what happened to Goldust. She considers herself the new #1 contender. Is she really this awkward, or is she on drugs?
Charlotte interrupts and shows the video from last week’s controversial finish. If you missed it, Charlotte pulled her shoulder up before Bayley got the three-count in a non-title win. Apparently, thanks to Charlotte’s lawyers, last week’s victory was stricken from the record. If those lawyers have any connection to Ric Flair, then I know for a fact those are powerful lawyers. Ask his 14 ex-wives.
Charlotte gives Bayley a chance to redeem herself, but not before appointing Dana Brooke as the special referee for their rematch.
Match #3: Charlotte vs. Bayley (non-title, Special Referee: Dana Brooke)
Dana immediately harasses Bayley and Charlotte lays her out. Charlotte hits chops in the corners, but Bayley reverses with kicks to the gut. Dana gets in Bayley’s face once again, and Bayley says “f*ck it” and hits her finish on Dana.
An actual official comes into the ring, and…counts the two?! I guess Bayley isn’t DQ’ed, which is just lame. Bayley keeps the advantage and hits a cross-body for two. Bayley hits the elbow in the corner, but Charlotte hits a back-breaker out of nowhere, followed by a toss into the corner. Bayley hits the suplex for two, but Dana pulls the ref out and the chase is on.
When they get back in the ring, Charlotte rolls up Bayley and Dana counts three immediately. Bonus points for having the feet on the ropes. I still don’t get why Bayley wouldn’t be DQ’ed after the first suplex. *1/2 More of an angle than a match.
Braun is MULTI-TASKING backstage, destroying people and talking to Stephanie McMahon. Strowman wants both Rollins and Zayn, so Stephanie gives him a Last Man Standing match next week against Zayn…and a pep talk for tonight’s main event.
Recap of Neville’s awesome promo last Monday.
Match #4: Neville vs. TJ Perkins
Neville now does the slow saunter out to the ring. I love it…this guy’s a natural heel. TJ Perkins could actually be a great heel, too…the “Video Game Dork” thing just doesn’t work, so he should consider it. “Let’s go Neville!” chants early in the match.
TJ with a running knee gets an early two-count, and catches Neville with a headscissors and a corkscrew plancha. Perkins with a cross-body gets two. Perkins has taken this entire match so far. TJ misses with a dropkick from the tree of woe, and Neville hits a SWEET Ghetto Blaster in the corner. Neville takes control with elbows and a sleeperhold. TJ fights out, but Neville crushes him with an elbow. Great sequence leads to Perkins hitting the wrecking ball dropkick in the corner.
Back inside, Perkins hits a gutbuster for two. Neville gets out of a slam and just LEVELS Perkins. “Let’s go TJ” and “TJ sucks!” chants. Detonation Kick by TJ gets two! Neville counters the kneebar and GRABS THE TIGHTS for three. I love it. Vile. **1/4 Neville cuts an angry, insecure promo after the match. Then the crowd gives him the “What?” treatment.
Recap of “Sensitivity Training” last week. Enzo and Cass are on their way to the ring. Oh no…Enzo is in a wheelchair. I have visions of Zack Ryder (circa 2012) dancing in my head. When they make their entrance, Enzo does a spin in the chair, which is hilarious. The leopard skin on the chair is a nice touch, too.
Enzo makes a mess and spills Haterade everywhere. Cass cleans up and hits the ring, calling out Rusev. This brings out both Rusev and Jinder Mahal, who has new music. This means he’s about to get a push, you know. Mahal slaps the piss out of Enzo, and Enzo leaps out of his wheelchair to attack Mahal. Mahal gets propped into the wheelchair. This leads to a Rocket Launcher on a prone Mahal outside the ring. Question: Why would Cass toss Enzo if he’s hurt? I don’t get it.
Match #5: Shining Stars vs. Darren Young and Bo Dallas
So wait, is Bo a face now? Darren blasts Epico with a right hand, but Epico hits him with a drop kick…and again we get BRAUN STROWMAN, and he’s in full Snitsky mode. No stars for the match.
He comes out with a Christmas Tree and lays out Primo with the Christmas Tree. I’m already laughing out loud, and the guy hasn’t even got started yet. Strowman drops Bo with a sick haymaker. Then he drills Epico with a clothesline after Epico hits him with a chair. I don’t think he’s done yet. Braun throws Darren Young into Bob Backlund outside the ring. Finally, he throws the steps at everyone and they fall like bowling pins.
Holy crap, the fans chant “Stroowwwwwwmannnnn” like they would for Goldberg. They MIGHT have something there, ya think?
Match #6: Braun Strowman vs. Seth Rollins
I guess they’re going to have the match now! Braun mows down Seth into the corner, and beals him across the mat. Seth hits some quick strikes, and dumps Braun over the top rope. Strowman immediately comes back in and shoulder tackles Seth, launching him about 5 feet in the air. He drops Seth with a huge forearm, and then stomps him. Seth counters with speed, moving out of Braun’s way and dropping two knees from the top rope. On the third try, Braun catches him and drives him into the corner. Seth catches Braun with a quick kick, and even hits a Block Buster on Braun! Strowman counters the Pedigree attempt and throws him to the outside. While outside, Braun mauls him with a lariat.
Speaking of interruptions…Sami Zayn’s music plays! He attacks Braun from behind and throws him into the post, as the ref calls for the bell and the DQ. I guess Strowman wins by DQ. ** while it was going…good ‘big guy vs. smaller guy’ dynamic.
Sami and Braun play cat and mouse to the backstage area, as Chris Jericho shows up and DROPS Rollins with the Codebreaker. Actually, make that two. Does this make Chris Jericho the “Angelo Pappas” of Monday Night Raw? UTAH…GIMME TWO.
Kevin Owens is backstage celebrating Rollins’ destruction. Jericho joins him backstage and calls Charley “Chuck”, because…well, why the f*ck not?
Match #7: Anderson and Gallows vs. The Golden Truth
Apparently, Truth’s opponents are going to be “Stuck like Chuck.” What does that even mean? I want to say this…if you’re Goldust, and you can’t stay upset over what Anderson did, you’re not selling the emotion of that moment. Instead of seething, Goldust puts Truth on his knee while Truth raps. Get serious, guys.
Goldust attacks Anderson early on, tagging in Truth as they double-team in the corner. Truth with a hiptoss and a legdrop to Anderson. Gallows tags in, but gets leveled by Truth. Anderson catches Truth and Gallows smokes him with a boot. Anderson gets a sleeperhold on Truth, as the crowd gets behind him. Truth breaks out, but immediately gets kicked in the mouth for two.
Gallows tags in and clubs Truth. They trade blows and Truth hits a heel kick, leading to a HOT TAG. Goldie comes in and lays out both guys. Powerslam to Anderson, and he rolls outside but Goldust follows him and throws him into the corner. Inside, Gallows distracts Goldust and Anderson catches him for a rollup and the three count! *1/4
Graves with a great sarcastic Dusty reference at the end, telling the viewers that Anderson and Gallows are going to the “pay winduh.”
The Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann is on his way out to the ring!
Match #8: Rich Swann vs. Ariya Daiviri (non-title)
Ariya attacks early in the corner, but Swann recovers and catches him with an incredible counter. Daiviri misses a frogsplash, and Swann drops him with clotheslines and a double stomp to the back! Awesome! Back leg round kick finishes this in less than 2 minutes. Well, that was worth taping the ropes purple again. Not. *
After the match, Rich Swann calls Neville a “Royal Sourpuss”. The crowd turns in this promo immediately. Neville then ambushes Swann to the delight (apathy?) of the crowd. Neville hits Swann with the Red Arrow. They will square off tomorrow night on 205 Live.
Ariya is backstage being interviewed, when JACK GALLAGHER shows up to a massive pop. Gallagher is called a scoundrel TWICE, so Jack challenges him to a duel. Then, for good measure, Jack bitchslaps him with a black glove. The crowd erupts in laughter. Apparently, this duel will take place tomorrow night on 205 Live.
Recap of Goldberg’s return to WWE. This run has already smoked everything he did in 2003-2004.
Main Event: WWE US Championship Match
Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns (c)
Byron claims that with Jericho in the shark cage, Owens will become an “endangered species” at the Rumble. I don’t even know how to respond to that. I liked it better when Byron never made analogies. They’re just plain dumb.
Owens backs out of a wristlock. That’s pretty remarkable…how did he even pull that off? It just feels like KO is trolling everyone at all times. It reminds me of Owen Hart. KO with a headlock, but Reigns throws him into the ropes. Roman hits a shoulder tackle, and Owens retreats again. He is a classic staller…reminds me of Rick Rude. Not by body frame, just by stalling.
Roman and KO trade blows and Owens kicks him in the chest. Reigns returns serve with a clothesline. Jericho’s entrance music hits! They fake out the commercial break as Owens gets two near-falls. After the break, Owens stomps on Reigns’ fingers. Reigns serves up some clotheslines, and then gets kicked while trying the clotheslines in the corner. Cannonball by Owens gets two.
KO puts Reigns in a sleeperhold as the “CM Punk” chants start. Ooo…they die just as quickly as they arrive. Well, Mr. Brooks has his money so I’m sure he’s happy. Actually, I don’t think he’s ever happy. Reigns breaks out of the sleeper with…you guessed it, more right hands. Owens throws Reigns to the outside, and throws him into the guard rail. Reigns comes back with a drive-by and a throw into the guard wall. Roman gets the clotheslines in the corner and a Samoan Drop for two.
Owens hits a neckbreaker on the ropes and a Back Stabber for two. Reigns hits a power bomb, but that only gets two as well! Pretty good back and forth. Owens counters the Superman Punch with a rollup for another two! Finally, Roman hits the punch hits for one, two, no! Reigns goes for the Spear, but Jericho distracts and KO hits a Codebreaker on Reigns for two! Rollins comes out and hits the Pedigree on Jericho. KO walks right into a spear for the one, two, three! Reigns retains the US Championship. **3/4
Rollins and Reigns shake hands as KO is laid out in the ring. Rollins does the DX crotch chop and hits the Pedigree on Kevin Owens. Reigns nails Jericho with the Spear on the outside. The former Shield members celebrate to close the show.
We’ll see you in 2017! Happy New Year!