RAW kicks off, live in Toronto with The Man, Bill Goldberg. Thanking fans for their loyalty, he says all good things must come to an end, until he had a chat with Stephanie McMahon, and now, at the Royal Rumble… Everyone is NEXT.
Let’s take a trip down history lane, where the 2004 Royal Rumble saw Goldberg get eliminated thanks to interference by Brock Lesnar. Is it just me, or are we about to see history repeat?
Tonight is also the night featuring new backstage announcers, who no one gets her name right. Later tonight, Owens keeps calling her Renee until realizing at the end it isn’t her, and doesn’t care.
Tonight’s RAW should have been the Kevin Owens show. The main event was fantastic! Any segment with him involved was awesome. Chris Jericho’s promos are still top notch, and the main event was great. The Tag Team Title match was really good, and the triple threat cruiserweight contest was entertaining. The rest of the night was bitter filler, squashes, and repetitive backstage segments. Enzo and Lana was funny, but the others were pretty lame.
Backstage, The New Day and Cesaro and Sheamus have a midly funny segment, Cesaro and Sheamus really are a great team. Really. They are.
WWE RAW Tag Team Championships: The New Day retain against Cesaro and Sheamus
I was in knots. After last night I really thought this might have been it for The New Day. It seems as though their roll has slowed down, and other teams are beginning to make the play for the titles. Cesaro and Sheamus are becoming more popular with their love/hate relationship, and it was evident here. Despite not liking each other, they sure worked well as a team. So did New Day, with some questionable tactics, which culminated as Cesaro locks Kofi Kingston in the Sharpshooter, but Xavier Woods distracts the ref as Kofi taps! Cesaro is upset, which allows Kofi to roll him up for the win.
I heard booing from the crowd. Could the fun times have come to an end?
Backstage: Chris Jericho is very sad. He’s going to tell the truth tonight about who cost Team RAW.
Backstage: A Naked Enzo Amore is locked out of his locker room, and Lana shows up. How You Doin’ hijinx ensue, and Rusev is angry.
More Backstage, because we need more time away from the ring apparently, Mick Foley punishes Sami Zayn for not winning the Intercontinental Championship by putting him in a match with… Braun Strowman. Foley heel move?
Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Davari
I don’t think Davari has a single win. Ever. Good heel shtick, but this was all about letting Cedric fire up the crowd. Love this man.
In the ring, Chris Jericho prepares to analyze why Team RAW lost at Survivor Series. Before he does, Kevin Owens arrives and the two have a staredown. They argue about the use of The List, and Owens goes on a rant about the “monkeys in the truck” and how he only did what he had to do to save Jericho from the Styles Clash. In the end, they agree Roman Reigns is to blame for the loss. This prompts Seth Rollins to come out and demand a match, and is shortly joined by Reigns. Fighting ensues, until Mick Foley announces Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens in a WWE Universal Championship Match with Jericho and Reigns banned from ringside.
Rusev squashes Enzo after Enzo pokes fun in the opening banter, saying if Lana wanted to see him naked, she should have hacked his phone like everyone else in Russia. Ouch. Cass then calls Rusev SAWFT. Hoo boy. Match lasts all of three minutes as Enzo gets two moves of offense and then Rusev locks him in the Accolade.
Gallows and Anderson defeat Golden Truth in another what the hell was the purpose of this? This match is to become a #1 Contender for the tag team titles. Golden Truth gets squashed. I rushed home from work for this?
Braun Strowman annihilates Sami Zayn until Mick Foley somberly orders the match stopped. Kudos to Zayn for taking the beating. But again, what in the hell was the point of this? Goldberg squashes Brock in less than two minutes, so now every match tonight has to follow this new trend of total slaughter?
In the ring Charlotte and Dana Brook explain their actions last night. “I’m a heel” says Charlotte while raising her arms. “I’m the bad girl here, and I am the evil Queen champion!” Then, with music, Sasha Banks enters the arena. The crowd cheers! Yay! Hooray! Our heroine is here!
Okay, storytime over. Banks wants a match, but it will happen next week in Charlotte, North Carolina. Get it? Nia Jax comes out, Bayley comes out, fight breaks out and leads into a tag team match where somehow the two skinniest women are able to Suplex Jax, and then Banks forces Charlotte to tap out.
Backstage: Seth Rollins is ready to rebuild reuse and recycle. Good for him.
Rich Swann defeats Noam Dar and T.J. Perkins to become #1 Contender to the Cruiserweight Championship. A wonderfully fast paced match with some nice spots. Big roundhouse spin kick to Perkin’s head concluded the match. Dar got cut open at some point.
I’ll say something about Kendrick. I like that he is back in WWE, I loved him years ago, but I am not too keen on this version of Kendrick. It’s obvious why they gave him the championship, he is used to the drama, storyline style of WWE programming, where Perkins had not seem to catch on, and it does seem many of the Cruiserweight are either. I imagine Swann will be our next Cruiserweight champion, as he challenges Kendrick on the first episode of the WWE Network program, 205 Live. This will be better for all cruiserweights.
Before the main event, Enzo and Cass attempt to convince us to buy some WWE merch and swag.
WWE Universal Championship Match: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens in a No DQ match
Owens is cheered and Rollins gets some boos. We get some chairs early on. Owens hits a nice package powerbomb, Rollins dives on Owens to the floor, then later hits a Block Buster off the turnbuckle. Owens comes back, planting Rollins through a table, and then it turns into a chain of kicks, drops, splashes, and the exchange leaves both men down. Owens uses his cannonball a couple of times, notably with the assist of a chair. That has to hurt. Owens attempts a powerbomb, but Rollins backdrops him onto two standing chairs. Ouch.
Major spot, Rollins goes Turnbuckle Powerbomb crazy, lobbing the champ through a table in the corner. Bigtime crash. Only a two count and the crowd loses it. The fight spills into the audience. We are using trash cans, stage equipment, live animals, all sorts of foreign objects. Things take a turn for the insane, as Seth Rollins jumps off a balcony onto Owens. This has gone crazy. No one got hurt. Things go further as a fan dressed in a Sin Cara mask attacks Rollins, but it’s not a fan! It’s Chris Jericho!! Technically, he was in the crowd, not at ringside, until he jumps over and eats a Pedigree from Rollins. The distraction allows K.O. to hit a superkick, followed by a Powerbomb onto the ring apron and the pinfall victory.
This, was an AWESOME main event. The rest of the show rated a C, but this match was a solid A+.