WWE Monday Night RAW
January 30, 2017
Commentary: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves
Results by: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com
We go live to Laredo where Michael Cole welcomes us to the show.
WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens and WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho are out first to kick off the show tonight live in Laredo.
Pictures from the Royal Rumble last night is shown of Braun Strowman interfering in the WWE Universal Championship match to help Owens retain over Reigns.
Back live, Kevin Owens introduces himself as “your” WWE Universal Champion. He also introduces Chris Jericho as “your” WWE United States Champion. Owens said no one gave him a shot of walking out of the Alamodome as champion and he’s made a career out of proving people wrong. He talks about proving Mick Foley wrong as well and how Foley has been “stacking the deck” against them any chance he gets. “I am the man. I am the guy. I…am…the one.” Owens is man enough to admit he got some help last night and thanks Chris Jericho. He said Jericho’s support kept him going being inside that shark cage. Owens hugs Jericho. He wants to talk about Jericho’s history making performance in the Royal Rumble match. Owens refers to Jericho as the “greatest Royal Rumble competitor of all time.” Jericho thanks him and will brag: “four hours, 56 minutes and 12 seconds.” He said that is almost five hours of time being spent in a Rumble match and that is a new record. Jericho says he lasted over an hour last night and refers to himself as the “61 minute man.” He encourages a #61MinuteMan Twitter trending topic with the fans. Jericho blames suffering a bad case of vertigo hanging from the shark cage as to why he didn’t win the Rumble.
Braun Strowman is out to interrupt. Owens says he was just about to thank Strowman. Strowman doesn’t want his thanks. He says he interfered last night because he hates Roman Reigns and wants his shot at the title. Owens isn’t sure what he is talking about and didn’t ask for Strowman’s help last night. Strowman has the footage to prove Owens promised him a title shot. We see footage from a month ago where Owens said Strowman was next in line when he retains his title at the Royal Rumble. Back live, Strowman says he isn’t going to wait any longer and wants a shot at the WWE Universal Championship tonight.
Mick Foley walks out to interrupt. Foley doesn’t like what Strowman did last night, but after seeing that footage he understands why. He said it does appear Owens owes him a title shot. Owens says Foley can’t expect him to go through a match like he did last night and then be forced to defend his championship. “I went through hell and back last night. You can’t do this to me tonight. Not tonight,” adds Owens. Foley officially books Owens defending the WWE Universal Championship against Strowman tonight. Strowman smiles. Owens is not pleased and he quickly exits the wrong walking off with his title.
Jericho is in action next against Sami Zayn.
Adam’s Thoughts: Nice follow up to Strowman interfering last night at the Royal Rumble. Decent way to open the show tonight. Will be interesting to see how Strowman and Owens work together in the ring.
WWE U.S. Champion Chris Jericho vs. Sami Zayn
Jericho works over the left arm of Zayn early. Zayn with some big arm drags. Jericho with chops to Zayn in the corner. Zayn fires back with chops of his own. Jericho bails. Zayn catches Jericho with a dropkick through the ropes. Jericho catches Zayn with a springboard dropkick. Zayn avoids a baseball slide from Jericho and connects with a clothesline on the floor. Zayn catches Jericho with a moonsault off the barricade.
We return live as Jericho has Zayn in a headlock. Zayn fights to his feet throwing rights, but then eats a kick to the head from Jericho. Jericho with a big slap to Zayn as Zayn is sitting up on the top turnbuckle. Jericho pulls off a big snap huricanrana on Zayn off the top rope! Zayn with a roll up for a two count. Zayn catches Jericho with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Zayn chases Jericho on the outside. Back inside, Jericho trips up Zayn and goes for the Walls of Jericho. Zayn counters, slaps Jericho on the chest and springboards off the corner planting Jericho with a tornado DDT. Jericho with a roll up to avoid a Helluva Kick into the Walls of Jericho. Zayn makes it to the bottom rope to break it up. Zayn with an exploder suplex to Jericho in the corner. Zayn connects with the Helluva Kick to get the pinfall.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Footage of Seth Rollins interrupting NXT TakeOver is up next.
Adam’s Thoughts: Decent match between Jericho and Zayn tonight. It’s always impressive to see Jericho continue to pull off high spots at his age (46). Nice to see Sami get the nod here. I still see tremendous upside with him as a babyface in this company.
Backstage, Sheamus and Cesaro are arguing when Bayley gets between them. She says tonight is not the time for fighting and brings up teaming with them in a mixed tag team match against Charlotte, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Bayley forces a group hug. Charlotte, Gallows and Anderson walk up. Anderson says it looks like they stumbled upon a Royal Rumble support group. Gallows calls them nerds. Charlotte said they are failures.
Footage of Seth Rollins interrupting NXT TakeOver on Saturday is shown.
Stephanie McMahon will go face-to-face with Seth Rollins later tonight.
Backstage, Stephanie is on the phone and Kevin Owens walks in to interrupt. He asks if she saw what Foley did earlier tonight and booking him to defend his title against Braun Strowman. Owens tells her he’s hurt after his match last night. Stephanie assures Owens she will try to talk with Foley about getting the match canceled after she deals with Rollins.
Cruiserweight Division Match
Tony Nese vs. Mustafa Ali
Nese reluctantly shakes hands with Ali. Ali with an arm drag and works over the left arm of Nese early. Ali with a quick head scissors takedown. Nese comes in with a big knee and tackle on Ali. Nese launches Ali to the corner with a big irish whip. Ali flips over Nese in the corner and gets a roll up for a two count. Nese with a big clothesline on Ali. Ali catches Nese with a big kick to the face from the ring apron. Ali connects with a jumping neckbreaker and gets another two count on Nese. Ali catches Nese with a spin kick to the face. Nese tries to stop Ali from going up top. Ali kicks Nese away. Nese then charges at the corner and Ali takes a nasty bump off the top rope. Nese with a running knee and gets the pinfall.
Winner: Tony Nese
After the match, Austin Aries wants to know what Tony Nese thinks about his critics who say he’s a great athlete with a great body, but has no charisma. Nese says the “premiere athlete” doesn’t have to answer questions from his critics.
Seth Rollins goes face-to-face with Stephanie McMahon next.
Adam’s Thoughts: Nice to see WWE make an attempt to get us to learn more about these Cruiserweights with a post-match interview with Tony Nese. Austin Aries on commentary is just about the only highlight of these segments every week. Just a bunch of dudes flipping around with zero background or why we should even care. The post-match interview was a step in the right direction though. More of that please.
Stephanie and Seth Rollins go face-to-face
Seth Rollins is out first and heads to the ring. He’s ready to talk to Stephanie right now.
Stephanie McMahon walks out next. Stephanie says she is hear to disappoint Seth on “multiple levels.” Rollins says she does that all the time with her husband. Stephanie informs Rollins insults don’t work on her and that her husband isn’t here tonight. Rollins says if Triple H isn’t here, then he doesn’t care about her and wants to know when she plans to let her “coward of a husband” off his leash. Stephanie says Triple H is afraid…he’s afraid of what he might do to Rollins. “I asked him to stay away,” adds Stephanie.
Rollins calls Stephanie delusional if she expects everyone to believe that. Stephanie looks back at the career of Rollins in WWE starting with The Shield, becoming a “traitor” and not tasting gold in this company since Money in the Bank and how he missed the Royal Rumble match. Rollins informs Stephanie he is ready to apology at her request. He’s sorry he had to expose Triple H as being a coward and how he was forced to go to NXT TakeOver. “He had security do his dirty work,” adds Rollins. He calls Triple H a “scared dude.”
He refers to himself as the greatest threat to his legacy. Rollins says judging by the way Stephanie looks at him, she knows it as well. Stephanie says she looks at Rollins with nothing but disgust. Rollins says he has nothing left to lose. He threatens to invade WWE Headquarters to go after Triple H and even threatens going to her home. Rollins says this doesn’t end until he slays the king. Stephanie says she lied and that Triple H is “coming for you.” Stephanie drops the mic and heads to the back as Rollins smiles.
Adam’s Thoughts: Very good promo segment. Really liked the touch of Seth Rollins making things uncomfortable with Stephanie comparing himself to Triple H. Stephanie is always at her best in segments like this. Nice way to build up a Triple H confrontation.
Six Person Mixed Tag Team Match
WWE RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte and WWE RAW Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Bayley, Sheamus and Cesaro
We start with Cesaro and Karl Anderson. Anderson with a few shots on Cesaro and tags in Luke Gallows. Cesaro with repeated uppercuts to Gallows. Charlotte distracts Cesaro when he gets up on the second rope and allows Gallows to hit a big boot.
Back live, Cesaro is fighting off Anderson (who has the tag) and Gallows in the corner. Anderson fires back with a quick spinebuster resulting in a two count. Sheamus gets the hot tag and goes after Gallows who also gets the tag. Sheamus with a diving splash to Gallows in the corner and connects with a top rope clothesline. Sheamus with forearm shots to the chest of Gallows. Charlotte jumps in and slaps Sheamus. Bayley jumps in to chase off Charlotte. Gallows with rights to Sheamus. Sheamus with a White Noise and jumping splash combo by Cesaro off the corner after he tagged himself in. Sheamus sends Anderson out. Gallows avoids a Cesaro Swing. Tag to Charlotte and in comes Bayley. Bayley tackles Charlotte jumping off the back of Cesaro. Cesaro jumps off the top rope taking out Gallows and Anderson. Bayley to Belly on Charlotte and she gets the pinfall on the champion!
Backstage, Stephanie argues with Mick Foley about booking a title match between Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman tonight. Foley understands he answers to Stephanie, but he asks her to respect his duties as General Manager. He brings up Triple H’s music playing last week to mess with Seth Rollins. Stephanie says WWE production had an error. Foley asks Stephanie to not treat him stupid. Stephanie says Triple H will be here tonight.
Adam’s Thoughts: Surprisingly really good mixed six person tag team match tonight. Pretty surprising to see Bayley pin Charlotte so quickly. After a pretty underwhelming performance by Bayley last night at the Rumble, I’m hoping we get another title showdown.
Neville celebrates his championship win
New WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville heads to the ring and grabs a mic. Neville says last night everyone witness the crowning of the King of the Cruiserweights. He says this title is his crown and declares that 205 Live belongs to the king. Neville says he did more than just win a championship last night. He proved all the “peasants wrong.” Neville talks about the fans never caring about him and now he stands tall as champion.
Former champion Rich Swann walks out with a mic in hand. He says he would love to throw fists at Neville, but reminds Neville he has a rematch coming to him. Neville asks why he is out here. Swann says the fans don’t need to get him and his problems with the WWE Universe is only going on in his head. He calls Neville one of the very best and proved that last night. Swann extends his hand and Neville backs off putting his title down.
“When are you gonna get it Rich? You do not simply offer your hand to your king,” says Neville. Neville wants Swann to bend a knee and bow to him. Neville attacks Swann. Swann jumps and tackles Neville. Swann catches Neville with a big kick to the head. Swann dives out through the ropes and catches Neville. Neville is running up the ramp. Swann is yelling and staring down Neville as he points to the title that is still in the ring.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Rusev and Jinder Mahal in a Tag Team Tornado match will take place later tonight. Also later tonight, Kevin Owens defends his WWE Universal Championship against Braun Strowman per the order by Mick Foley.
Adam’s Thoughts: While I’m definitely in favor of a more established talent like Neville getting a run with the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, oh boy are these Cruiserweight segments still a hard sell on Monday night. The crowd literally didn’t care at all. 205 Live is still an uphill climb.
WrestleMania is 62 days away.
Pictures of Nia Jax defeating Sasha Banks last night during the Royal Rumble Kickoff show is featured. Backstage, we see Sasha getting her knee taped up. Bayley walks in and she asks what Sasha is doing. Sasha says she is getting ready for her match with Nia. Bayley thinks Sasha should take it easy with her bad knee and that she has nothing left to prove. Sasha says unlike some people, she isn’t okay coming up short.
Cole, Saxton and Graves look at Randy Orton winning the 30 Man Royal Rumble match last night. Pictures of Goldberg eliminating Brock Lesnar quickly is shown.
Backstage, Kevin Owens is getting ready for his match. Chris Jericho walks up and Owens asks him what Foley said. Jericho confirms the match is still on tonight. Owens is not happy and asks for Jericho’s help tonight. Jericho talks about being the 61 minute man and how Owens wasn’t out there earlier tonight when Sami Zayn “cheated” to win. Owens asks for Jericho to have his back tonight. Jericho says he has his back.
As Kevin Owens walked out with Chris Jericho, Jericho stopped and walked over to the announce table to join Cole, Saxton and Graves. Owens wasn’t happy with this and wants Jericho at ringside. Jericho assures him everything will be fine.
When Braun Strowman walked out, he looked over at Jericho on commentary and throws a big boot at his chest. Strowman then chokeslams Jericho through the announce table crashing it to pieces. Strowman points to Owens and heads down the ramp.
Strowman enters the ring and Owens is in shock. We get ring introductions for the challenger Braun Strowman and the champion Kevin Owens.
The bell rings and Owens bails right away. Back inside, Owens catches Strowman with a quick dropkick. Strowman eventually levels Owens with a quick charge. Strowman with an irish whip sending Owens bouncing off the corner. Strowman splashes Owens in the corner. Strowman splashes Owens again in the corner and Owens rolls out of the ring. Strowman with another running tackle that catches Owens sending him into the ring barricade. Back inside, Strowman connects with a big chop to the chest of Owens. Owens again rolls out. Strowman charges again, Owens moves and Strowman hits the ring post. Owens with a diving cannonball to Strowman against the ring barricade. The referee starts the count as Owens rolls back inside. Strowman is back in to break the count and Owens connects with a flipping leg drop and running senton combo over Strowman. Owens goes up to the top turnbuckle and connects with a big frog splash. Strowman kicks out after two. Owens catches Strowman with a superkick, goes up top, Strowman is back up and powerslams Owens off the top turnbuckle! Roman Reigns’ music hits and he starts walking down the ramp. Reigns gets up on the ring apron staring down Strowman. Reigns gets inside and catches Strowman with a Superman. Strowman stays on his feet as the referee calls for the bell.
Winner via DQ: Braun Strowman
Winner and still WWE Universal Champion: Kevin Owens
After the match, Roman Reigns clotheslines Braun Strowman over the top rope. Reigns jumps off the steel steps and catches Strowman with another Superman. Strowman again stays on his feet leaning against the ring barricade. Reigns jumps off another part of the steel steps and catches Strowman with a spear. Back inside, Reigns spears Owens.
Footage of Stephanie promising Triple H later tonight is shown.
We see a car pulling up. Brock Lesnar gets out with Paul Heyman.
Adam’s Thoughts: Really good segment by WWE. Absolutely loved Chris Jericho being hesitant backstage about backing up Kevin Owens against Braun Strowman. The Strowman attack on Jericho before the match officially started was great and highlighted even more by Owens’ great reaction inside the ring. I wrote earlier that I was curious to see how Strowman and Owens would work together and I was very impressed. The Roman Reigns interference made perfect sense after what went down last night at the Royal Rumble. If only the crowd would have been more receptive. They were very quiet in Laredo for the Reigns attack with a heavy dose of booing.
Brock Lesnar walks out on stage with Paul Heyman heading to the ring.
Heyman has a mic in hand as a loud “SUPLEX CITY” chant starts up. A loud “GOLDBERG” chant starts up to interrupt Heyman’s promo. Heyman thanks them for the irrelevant opinion. He says we are at a point where that one legend goes up against someone that seems to have their number. Heyman cites examples with Andre the Giant facing Hulk Hogan, Ronda Rousey facing Holly Holm and The Undertaker going up against Brock Lesnar.
He then cites how his kids bring up Goldberg even to him when trying to tout the accomplishments of his client Brock Lesnar. Heyman brings up Goldberg spearing Lesnar and eliminating Lesnar from the Royal Rumble “with ease.” He says we are now at the point where if he even utters Lesnar’s name, people will immediately cite Goldberg. Heyman says he truly despises the term “yeah, but” when it comes to accomplishments.
He says the “yeah, but” must be eliminated and taken away. Heyman says this is the moment where you hit the record button. He announces that his client Brock Lesnar has challenged Bill Goldberg for one final time at WrestleMania. Lesnar points to the WrestleMania sign hanging in the arena. Heyman drops the mic making the challenge official.
Later tonight: Triple H will confront Seth Rollins.
Adam’s Thoughts: Very good promo by Paul Heyman tonight. It was borderline uncomfortable to see him have to almost demean “his client” in the promo when referencing the roll Goldberg has been on. We all got the challenge we expected for WrestleMania.
Banks with repeated dropkicks to Jax. Jax catches Sasha and then tosses her to the corner. Jax misses a charge to the corner hitting the post falling out. Banks with a kick to Jax, goes for a baseball slide, Jax gets Banks in a full nelson and then throws her bad knee against the steel post two times. Jax tosses Banks back inside the ring. Jax wraps up the legs of Banks and drops her body over Banks. Jax is pulling back on the neck of Banks when the bell started ringing. Looks like they had some confusion. It appears the referee called it.
After the match, Bayley hits the ring and yells at Jax to stop. Jax breaks the submission and Bayley starts checking on Banks. Jax backs off and leaves the ring.
Adam’s Thoughts: Nice way for Sasha’s character to show her toughness by refusing to sit out with the knee injury angle. Lots of confusion with the referee and the bell being called. Even commentary didn’t see to know what was going on until Michael Cole just declared the referee had called for the bell. Sure?
Backstage, we see a WWE trainer and Bayley helping Sasha Banks to the back.
Enzo and Cass insulted Rusev and Mahal before the match.
When the bell rings, Rusev goes after Cass and Mahal goes after Enzo. No tags in this one. All four men are brawling at ringside. Cass tosses Rusev face first off the ring barricade. Mahal then goes after Cass with help from Rusev. Enzo jumps on the back of Mahal.
Back live, Enzo attempts a suicide dive through the ropes. Rusev and Mahal catch him and drop Enzo over the ring barricade. Rusev and Mahal launch Cass into the ring barricade. They do this a second time to Cass and then toss Enzo back inside the ring. Rusev plants Enzo with a scoop slam and Mahal drops a knee over the head of Enzo. Cass with a right to Mahal on the outside and rights to Rusev inside the ring. Cass with more rights. Cass with a shoulder tackle on Rusev and a forearm shot to Mahal. Cass splashes Rusev, misses a splash on Mahal and then sends Mahal over the top rope. Cass plants Rusev with a scoop slam and connects with his jumping elbow. Mahal breaks up the pinfall attempt. Rusev has Cass in a full nelson. Enzo trips up and pulls Mahal out of the ring. Enzo sends Mahal face first into the steel steps. Enzo drops Rusev over the top rope from the ring apron. Cass catches Rusev with a big boot. Enzo comes off the top rope with help from Cass and connects with a splash over Rusev. Enzo gets the pinfall on Rusev for the win.
We see a shot of Triple H arriving at the arena.
Adam’s Thoughts: Nice blow off to this feud for well over a month. Some very physical stuff during the match involving both tag teams. Interested to see where things go from here with Enzo and Cass as a tag team now that we are mixing things up with new champions in Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson after Sunday night.
Goldberg will be on RAW next Monday in Portland to answer the WrestleMania challenge issued by Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman earlier tonight.
Triple H’s music hit and he heads to the ring to a big reaction.
Triple H grabs a mic and talks about plucking Seth Rollins from NXT, setting him up with The Shield and giving him an opportunity with The Authority. “Standing by my side, Seth Rollins would become the face of WWE. Standing by my side, Seth freakin’ Rollins would become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Standing by my side…Seth Rollins would get everything he ever wanted out of this business and more.” Triple H said all Rollins had to do is hold up his end of the bargain. He said as soon as the pressure mounted, he collapsed and his leg gave way. Triple H talks about Rollins crying having to give up his title.
Triple H says Rollins spit in his face and he just thought he could come back like nothing changed. He refers to Rollins as a “massive failure” when he came back seven months later. Triple H thinks he is owed an apology and gave Rollins the world only for him to spit in his face. He says he doesn’t come out here because his wife asks him to. Triple H says he would rather stay in the back because it is “best for business.” He adds he is trying really hard to not be “that guy” who ends careers and instead puts on a “stupid tie” trying to put that part of his career behind him. “I try to be creator.”
Triple H says a guy like Seth Rollins decides to show up in NXT where “I’m trying to create. Where I’m trying to create the next Seth freakin’ Rollins.” He says he is doing trying. Triple H removes his coat and tie. He tells Rollins he doesn’t have to worry about coming to his house because he’s standing right here and right now. “You already know who your creator is.” Triple H tells Rollins to get his ass to the ring so he can meet his destroyer. Triple H throws down the mic and awaits Rollins.
Seth Rollins walks out on stage. Rollins heads to the ring. Samoa Joe shows up and attacks Rollins! Joe repeatedly tosses Rollins into the ring barricade. A loud “HOLY SHIT” chant breaks out. Joe picks up Rollins and tosses him inside the ring as Triple H heads up the ramp. Rollins tries to fight back and Joe catches Rollins with a kick to the head in the corner and follows it up with three senton splashes. Joe applies the rear naked choke on Rollins. Rollins is passing out from the choke. Joe breaks the choke and stands over Rollins.
Adam’s Overall Thoughts: After months and months of waiting for this confrontation, I must say it was definitely worth the wait and an awesome way to introduce Samoa Joe to the main roster. I’m sure many people were hoping for Joe to show up as a surprise entrant in the Rumble last night, but wow was this a way more effective way to introduce his character to the main roster following his time in NXT. WWE knocked it out of the park tonight with this ending after a very lackluster first hour.
Thanks for joining us tonight!
Follow me on Twitter: @adamwrestleview
Quick Match Results:
* Sami Zayn def. WWE U.S. Champion Chris Jericho in a non-title match
* Tony Nese def. Mustafa Ali
* Bayley, Sheamus and Cesaro def. Charlotte, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
* Braun Strowman def. Kevin Owens via DQ, Owens retains the WWE Universal Title
* Nia Jax def. Sasha Banks when the referee called for the bell
* Enzo Amore and Big Cass def. Rusev and Jinder Mahal in a Texas Tornado Tag