WWE Monday Night RAW
January 23, 2017
Commentary: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves
Results by: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com
The show opens with a video package highlighting RAW two weeks ago featuring WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho defeating Roman Reigns allowing Jericho to become the new WWE United States Champion.
Roman Reigns kicks off RAW in Cleveland
We go live to Cleveland. Roman Reigns is out first to kick off the show. Reigns enters the ring and has a mic in hand. The shark cage Chris Jericho will be placed in at the Royal Rumble this Sunday is in the middle of the ring. “In six days the Royal Rumble rolls through the Alamodome.” Reigns talks about over 40,000 people going nuts and in the middle of that storm will be Jericho locked inside a shark cage. He predicts he will be the one holding the WWE Universal Championship over his head this Sunday.
WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens interrupts and has something to say. WWE United States Champion walks out with Owens as well. Owens asks Reigns if he is delusional and if something happened to him that has him confused. He brings up last week and how Reigns has been powerbombing stars through the announce table for years. Owens says not many people can say they have powerbombed Reigns through that announce table. He says only one person has accomplished this and adds, “I…am…the…one.” Reigns says Owens is the one…who will get whooped in front of his best friend.
Jericho says Reigns is making a lot of predictions. He has a prediction for Reigns. “You’re a stupid idiot.” Owens points out to Jericho that is more of a fact. Jericho agrees. He says Reigns probably thinks it’s going to be funny that he’ll be hanging above the ring in a shark cage. Jericho says what is really funny is when he gave him a Codebreaker and beat him for the United States Championship two weeks ago on RAW. He refers to himself as being a “very sexy pinata” this Sunday and feels like teaching Reigns a lesson. Reigns is asking if that means he gets a rematch for the title. He proposes they have a rematch for the United States Championship tonight. Owens is laughing and tells Reigns he has it. Jericho isn’t happy. Owens says you are good and that he will beat Reigns. He predicts Reigns will be the one locked inside the shark cage by the end of the night. Reigns thinks he’s going to win the title tonight in Cleveland and beat Owens for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. He says he is something Owens will never be: “the guy.”
Adam’s Thoughts: Pretty good opener. Not as good as last week. I could actually get behind a “Corporate” Roman Reigns constantly referring to himself as “the guy” in promos like this. It’s pretty clear his presentation is flat so why not embrace the hate?
Cesaro w/ Sheamus vs. Luke Gallows w/ Karl Anderson
Sheamus and Cesaro will defend the WWE RAW Tag Team Championships against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson on the Royal Rumble Kickoff show this Sunday night. Two referees will be assigned to the match as a result of what went down last week on RAW.
Cesaro catches Gallows with a corkscrew springboard uppercut early. Cesaro showed his power lifting Gallows off the mat and powering him back down. Gallows with a high back body drop on Cesaro. Anderson with a distracting allowing Gallows to hit a big boot.
Back live, Cesaro connects with a big vertical suplex on Gallows. Cesaro with big uppercuts to Gallows in the corner. Cesaro somehow pulls off a tornado DDT from the corner. Gallows pushes Sheamus at ringside. Sheamus stops himself from hitting Gallows to avoid a DQ. Cesaro catches Gallows with a boot on the ring apron. Sheamus with a clothesline to Gallows on the outside with the referee distracted. Cesaro gets a Sharpshooter applied on Gallows back inside the ring. On the outside, Anderson takes out Sheamus with a big kick. Gallows is tapping with the referee distracted by Anderson. Gallows breaks free and levels Cesaro with a superkick and a facebuster off his shoulder. Gallows gets the pinfall.
Winner: Luke Gallows
Backstage, Mick Foley is talking to Stephanie McMahon on a speakerphone. She is surprised Foley granted Roman Reigns a rematch for the United States Championship. Sami Zayn interrupts and wants a word with Foley apologizing to Stephanie. Zayn wants to know when he will be formally announced for the Royal Rumble match. Foley is about to grant it when Stephanie interrupts and tells Sami he has to defeat Seth Rollins tonight to earn his spot. Stephanie wants to be taken off speakerphone. Foley says he will deliver the message to Seth even though he doesn’t want to do it.
Adam’s Thoughts: Decent match between Gallows and Cesaro tonight. Good way to hype the tag team championship rematch this Sunday at the Royal Rumble.
Earlier today, Corey Graves spoke with Bayley about her championship match with Charlotte this Sunday at the Royal Rumble. She says “wow” is the one word that can describe this whole experience so far in WWE. Bayley talks about traveling the Bay Area wrestling and she now gets to perform in huge arenas around the world. Corey brings up Charlotte criticizing her as nothing more than a fan last week. Bayley says she isn’t ashamed to be a fan. She says the WWE Universe makes her feel like she can do anything. Bayley talks about having two victories over Charlotte and plans to walk away with the title on Sunday.
Backstage, Mick Foley talks with Seth Rollins and talks about getting off the phone with Stephanie McMahon. Foley said she wanted to inform him that he has a match next against Sami Zayn. He brings up this will be Sami’s qualifying match for the Royal Rumble, but adds that if Sami wins he doesn’t just get a spot in the Rumble, he takes Seth’s spot. Foley adds he doesn’t like it. Rollins isn’t blaming him and says he will win this match tonight and go on to win the Rumble so he can throw it in Triple H’s face.
Adam’s Thoughts: Probably one of the most underwhelming promos by Bayley to date. Not a good time for her presentation to be that weak heading into the Rumble this Sunday.
If Sami Zayn wins, he takes Seth Rollins’ spot in the Royal Rumble Match
Sami Zayn vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins works on the left arm of Zayn early. Rollins slows Zayn down with a side headlock, shoulder tackle and roll up for a two count. Now Zayn starts to work on the left arm of Rollins. Rollins with a big elbow to Zayn. Zayn with a tackle and right hands to Rollins. Rollins mounts Zayn and gets in rights of his own. Zayn with a big clothesline. Rollins cuts off a suicide dive catching Zayn with a shot inside the ring. Rollins tosses Zayn out of the ring and then connects with a suicide dive of his own.
Back live, Rollins is back working on the left arm of Zayn. Zayn connects with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a close two count on Rollins. Zayn with knees to Rollins from the corner. Zayn connects with a high cross body from the top, but Rollins rolls through for a two count. Zayn catches Rollins with a Michinoku Driver for another close two count. Zayn goes back up top. Rollins jumps up, gets knocked away, Zayn misses a shot and Rollins connects with a Blockbuster off the top turnbuckle for another two count. Rollins with a big superkick and Zayn barely kicks out. Rollins with a Falcon Arrow suplex on Zayn for another two count. Rollins and Zayn exchange elbows. Rollins with a big jumping knee and then connects with a quick clothesline takedown. Zayn counters a Pedigree attempt, springboards off the ropes and connects with a tornado DDT. Rollins avoids a shot in the corner. Zayn counters another Pedigree attempt sending Rollins over the top rope to the outside. Zayn is going up top. Rollins rolls back in and catches Zayn with a big kick to the head. Rollins has Zayn hooked for a Pedigree up on the top turnbuckle. Zayn fights out and connects with top rope sunset flip powerbomb on Rollins. Rollins kicks out! Zayn can’t believe it. Rollins with a kick to the head. Zayn with an exploder suplex to Rollins in the corner. Rollins rolls to the ring apron. Rollins cuts off Zayn with a kick on the ring apron. Rollins with a Pedigree on Zayn over the ring apron! Rollins falls out on impact. Rollins rolls Zayn back inside the ring. Triple H’s music hits. Rollins is staring at the stage. He’s looking around the arena. Rollins leans down to grab Zayn. Zayn rolls up Rollins and gets the pinfall!
Winner: Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn has earned a spot in the 30 Man Royal Rumble match this Sunday taking Seth Rollins’ spot. After the match, Zayn rolls out and celebrates. Seth Rollins is not happy. Rollins leaves the ring and heads up the ramp very angry.
Adam’s Thoughts: Very good match between Rollins and Zayn tonight. Started a bit slow, but really picked up as it progressed. Loved the Triple H distraction and the continued story of Triple H costing Rollins things like the Universal Championship and a spot in the Rumble. Really good segment from WWE tonight.
Backstage, an angry Seth Rollins is looking for Triple H. Mick Foley walks up and says he knew nothing about this. Rollins says a year of his life was taken away.
Cruiserweight Division Six Man Tag Match
Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese and Drew Gulak vs. Mustafa Ali, TJ Perkins and Jack Gallagher
We start with Gallagher and Daivari. Daivari immediately tags in Gulak. Gallagher with a big arm drag takedown on Gulak. Gallagher with another arm drag takedown. Perkins gets the tag and hits a springboard cross body. Perkins has Gulak tied up in a submission. Tag to Nese who takes a neckbreaker from Perkins. Perkins with a superkick to Daivari. Nese chokes Perkins up on the top turnbuckle after tripping him up. Nese drops Perkins over his knee. Nese with a leg scissors on Perkins. Nese trips up Perkins by the knees and misses a springboard moonsault from the second rope. Ali with a takedown on Gulak who gets the tag. Ali kicks Gulak in the face and connects with a jumping neckbreaker. Nese and Daivari break up the pinfall. Brawling breaks out between Gallagher and Perkins with Nese and Daivari. Ali hits his reverse 450 splash on Gulak in the corner for the win.
Winners: Mustafa Alia, TJ Perkins and Jack Gallagher
Austin Aries has joined Cole and Graves on commentary.
The New Day is up next.
Adam’s Thoughts: I just don’t get the selling point of some of these Cruiserweight guys. The hard sell video package for Mustafa Ali this week was all the flips he can do. More of a background would be helpful. Ali looks like any generic indie wrestler you’ve ever seen. The reverse 450 splash was impressive, but again – it’s a move. Why should I be interested?
The New Day live in Cleveland
The New Day heads to the ring to a big reaction in Cleveland. They talk about being rudely interrupted the last few weeks on RAW. Woods talks about how New Day is going to win the Royal Rumble and become your W…W…E…Universal…interrupt time.
Out comes Enzo Amore and Big Cass. Cass says he is officially entering the Royal Rumble match this Sunday. Interruption time again.
Rusev, Lana and Jinder Mahal are out next. Rusev calls Big E and Big Cass “big goofs.” He wonders why they have to put “big” before the name. A loud “USA” chant breaks out. Rusev says this isn’t about USA and instead about stupid names. He announces he is also officially entering the Royal Rumble match.
Here comes Titus O’Neil. Xavier Woods lets out a loud, “Oh my god.” Titus doesn’t want to come out here to cause any trouble. He points out how he isn’t in the Royal Rumble match. Big E cuts him off with a, “Hold up sucka!” He says Titus promised to never annoy them again. Big E says nobody cares. This sets up a four man tag team match tonight. Woods wants to know who will join Titus, Rusev and Mahal. Out comes Braun Strowman.
Kofi Kingston, Big E, Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Braun Strowman, Rusev, Jinder Mahal and Titus O’Neil
We return live as Rusev tosses Kofi to the corner and tags in Mahal who throws a quick elbow. Titus gets the tag and plants Kofi with a scoop slam. Rusev is getting looked at by staff at ringside. Titus lifts and drops Kofi down face first. Titus gets tossed out and Strowman throws him back in. Mahal gets the tag as Big Cass does. Cass with clothesline shots on Mahal and body shots in the corner. Cass with a splash in the corner and big boot combo on Mahal. Tag to Enzo who goes up top and connects with a splash. Titus breaks up the pinfall. Big E with a belly-to-belly on Titus. Rusev is back in and catches Big E with a knee. Cass then takes out Rusev. Kofi jumps over the top rope taking out Titus and Rusev at ringside. Enzo rolls up Mahal for a two count. Enzo with a kick to the head of Mahal. Strowman slaps the head of Mahal tagging himself in. Enzo fires himself up and Strowman with a huge shoulder tackle on Enzo. Strowman has Enzo up on his shoulder, walks around the ring, Enzo fights off, kicks Strowman, Strowman blocks a DDT attempt and then launches Enzo down hard on the mat with a running powerslam to get the pinfall.
Winners: Braun Strowman, Rusev, Jinder Mahal and Titus O’Neil
After the match, Big Show walks out as Braun Strowman is celebrating. Michael Cole reveals that Big Show officially entered himself in the Royal Rumble match this Sunday. Big Show enters the ring and stares down Strowman. Strowman smiles. Big Show smiles. Strowman then bails out of the ring and heads up the ramp.
Adam’s Thoughts: Very entertaining promo work involving New Day, Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Rusev and Titus O’Neil tonight. Some great reactions by New Day when Titus interrupted. Fun stare down between Big Show and Braun Strowman as well.
WWE United States Championship
Chris Jericho (c) w/ Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
We get ring introductions for the challenger Roman Reigns and champion Chris Jericho.
The bell rings and Reigns with a shot early on Jericho. Reigns sends Jericho to the outside and sends him right into the ring barricade. Reigns catches Jericho with a drive by dropkick against the ring apron as Owens looks on at ringside.
Back live, we hear that Kevin Owens has joined commentary with Cole, Saxton and Graves. Jericho and Reigns are now back inside the ring. Jericho has Reigns grounded with a headlock. Jericho catches Reigns with a quick dropkick. Jericho with slaps to Reigns. Reigns with slaps back to Jericho. Jericho goes up top and Reigns cuts him off with an uppercut. Jericho jumps off the top turnbuckle and Reigns catches him with a shot on the way down. Jericho with right hands after countering an attempted takedown by Reigns. Reigns with a samoan drop on Jericho. Jericho catches Reigns with a quick dropkick for a two count. Reigns has Jericho up on his shoulders from the corner and comes down in a sitdown powerbomb for another two count. Owens leaves commentary. Jericho avoids a spear, but eats a Superman coming off the ropes. Owens hits the ring and attacks Reigns to cause the DQ as the referee calls for the bell.
Winner via DQ: Roman Reigns
Winner and still WWE United States Champion: Chris Jericho
After the match, Owens continues beating down Reigns with stomps. Owens is calling for the shark cage to be lowered. Chris Jericho is back up. Owens puts Reigns inside the cage. Reigns pulls both Owens and Jericho face first into the cage. Reigns tosses Owens inside and Reigns locks it up with a chain. The cage is locked with Owens inside. Reigns is smiling. The shark cage starts raising up. Jericho is hanging on. Reigns with a Superman on Jericho. Reigns then connects with a spear as Owens is forced to watch from above.
Adam’s Thoughts: Pretty average match between Reigns and Jericho tonight. They never really seemed to quite get going and had a few awkward moments. Kevin Owens was pretty entertaining on commentary going after Byron Saxton. Nice way to setup the Universal Championship match between Owens and Reigns, albeit quite corny.
Back live, we see the shark cage being lowered and Chris Jericho helping Kevin Owens out. Charly Caruso walks up and informs them that the WWE Universal Championship match this Sunday at the Royal Rumble will now be under No DQ rules along with Jericho being placed inside the shark cage above the ring. Owens is not happy about this.
Earlier today, Corey Graves spoke with WWE RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte about the Royal Rumble this Sunday. Charlotte says “the Flair’s dominate the Royal Rumble” and brings up the 1992 Royal Rumble that her father won. She talks about how she could be dominating in athletics, but instead chose to come to WWE. Charlotte says she will continue to dominate the women’s division in WWE and Bayley will continue being a fan.
Nia Jax is heading to the arena next.
Nia Jax vs. Ray Lyn
The match starts with Jax working over Lynn in the corner. Jax with a sitdown splash over Lynn near the corner. Jax pulls her out and gets the cover.
Winner: Nia Jax
After the match, Charly Caruso congratulates Jax on her victory. Jax takes the mic away and wants to dedicate her victory to the career that used to be known as Sasha Banks. “What a difference a month makes.” Jax thinks ESPN should do a 30 for 30 on the demise of Banks. Sasha Banks walks out on a crutch. Banks gets in the ring and starts cracking the crutch over the body of Jax. Jax is still up, charges and Banks pulls down the middle rope. Jax is back up and Banks connects with double knees to the face of Jax using her knee brace.
Footage of a Triple H music distraction earlier tonight is shown costing Seth Rollins his spot in the 30 Man Royal Rumble match losing to Sami Zayn.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann is in action next.
Adam’s Thoughts: No problem with a Nia Jax squash tonight. Her promo after the match left a lot to be desired. It sounded like someone memorizing lines and completely railroading through the crowd reaction.
Cruiserweight Division Match (Non-Title)
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann vs. Noam Dar w/ Alicia Fox
Swann with an arm drag toss early on Dar. Swann catches Dar with a quick dropkick. Dar hides behind Fox at ringside when he almost jumps out. Swann catches Dar with a huge kick to the face from the ring apron. Dar catches Swann with a dropkick as he was getting back inside the ring as we head to a commercial break.
Back live, Swann catches Dar wtih a series of clotheslines. Dar with a double stomp over the back of Dar. Swann with a top rope huricarana with a release sending Dar off the top to the mat below. Swann with a big spin kick that catches Dar for the pinfall.
Winner: Rich Swann
After the match, Swann grabs a mic and asks where Neville is at. Neville’s pyro goes off and he heads to the ring. Neville teases getting in and then goes to leave. Swann with a suicide dive taking out Neville. Swann tosses Neville back in and Neville quickly rolls out.
Backstage, we see Goldberg’s locker room. He returns next.
Neville vs. Cedric Alexander takes place tomorrow night on WWE 205 Live.
Backstage, Alexander is asked about his match with Neville tomorrow night. He wants to focus on becoming the WWE Cruiserweight Champion and put all the nonsense with Alicia Fox and Noam Dar behind him. Fox walks up and says he’ll never be anything without her. Dar says he will always be a winner with Foxy in his corner. He wants to know if they are good. Alexander says as far as Fox is concerned, they are good, but points out Dar attacked him last week. Alexander pushes him over. Fox is not pleased.
Added to the Royal Rumble Kickoff show: Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax.
Goldberg returns to RAW before the Royal Rumble
The music hits. We see a shot of Goldberg backstage heading to the ring. He headbutts the door. Goldberg is bleeding a bit because of that. The pyro goes off. Tepid reaction for Goldberg in Cleveland tonight during his entrance. Goldberg grabs a mic. Cleveland wakes up with a loud “GOLDBERG” chant.
Goldberg starts talking about the Royal Rumble and loses his train of thought. He restarts the promo and talks about the road to WrestleMania going through the Rumble. Goldberg points to the back and says the 29 guys who will be in the ring this Sunday inside the Alamodome…you…are…Paul Heyman interrupts.
Heyman walks out on stage with a mic in hand. He says no matter what number is drawn this Sunday, you can see Goldberg vs. maybe Randy Orton, Braun Strowman and whatever surprise entrant they might have ready in the back. Heyman also points out Goldberg could come face-to-face with Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar walks out on stage to a big reaction. Heyman says this Sunday night in the Royal Rumble match he will be “beaten, victimized, emasculated, embarrassed, eviscerated, humiliated…conquered.” He adds Goldberg won’t be eliminated by just anyone on the roster. Goldberg interrupts and says he knows Lesnar’s name. Goldberg dares Lesnar to come down to the ring right now. Lesnar starts walking down the ramp. Lesnar circles the ring. Lesnar gets inside the ring. The lights go out. The gong hits.
The lights return. The Undertaker is standing in the middle of the ring with both Lesnar and Goldberg! The crowd goes crazy in Cleveland as the show comes to a close.
Adam’s Overall Thoughts: Poor Goldberg literally forgot his lines on live television. Doesn’t get any worse than that. I noted on Twitter that tonight was the night of very underwhelming promos. You can add Goldberg to the list, but you’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt being out of the game for so long. Very cool ending with a surprise appearance by The Undertaker. Cleveland wasn’t expecting it and the reaction was outstanding. Despite the cool ending, this was a very average effort by WWE tonight. The Rumble tends to be a very entertaining show so it pretty much sells it self at this point so I highly doubt a weak go-home show will do anything to hinder interest.
Thanks for joining us tonight!
Follow me on Twitter: @adamwrestleview
Quick Match Results:
* Luke Gallows def. Cesaro
* Sami Zayn def. Seth Rollins to take his spot in the Royal Rumble
* Mustafa Alia, TJ Perkins and Jack Gallagher def. Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese and Drew Gulak in a six man tag team match
* Braun Strowman, Rusev, Jinder Mahal and Titus O’Neil def. Kofi Kingston, Big E, Enzo Amore and Big Cass in an eight man tag team match
* Roman Reigns def. Chris Jericho via DQ
* Nia Jax def. Ray Lyn
* Rich Swann def. Noam Dar