WWE Monday Night RAW: New Year, New Antics

Happy New Years everyone, hope all had a safe holiday. Online websites hyped up tonight’s RAW, so let’s hope WWE does not disappoint. We are weeks away from the Royal Rumble, so let the hype begin!

Chris Jericho kicks off RAW by confronting Mick Foley and being upset about being used as a “Sexy Piñata” at the Royal Rumble, and Kevin Owens is right there along with him to antagonize Foley. This is hysterical. Their antics are comedy gold. Crowd loves it. In a bizarre reward, Foley let’s Owens have his own talk segment, called “The Kevin Owens Show” and his first guest will be… GOLDBERG!

To add, Foley decided to debut his new clean-cut look, shedding the homeless hairdo. As Jericho and Owens continue to prod, Stephanie McMahon comes out to support Foley, and bicker to the point of driving Owens loony. Stephanie then books a United States Championship match with Roman Reigns defending against Chris Jericho, in a match where if Reigns gets disqualified, he loses the title. Everyone starts arguing again, and Steph now loses it, stating SmackDown beat RAW in the ratings. Foley botches a line, and we get Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins as the opening match, loser is banned from ringside for the U.S. Title match.

Well, that opening segment got a bit frantic. Owens and Jericho stole the segment, Stephanie was to the point, and Foley… well, something seemed off. Is he OK?

Seth Rollins defeats Kevin Owens by DQ

Good match. Really good. Odd finish, Owens getting himself DQ’ed by clobbering Rollins with the ring bell. Odd choice for a finish, but it makes sense. Owens is now banned, but Rollins is at ringside. Jericho can antagonize Rollins into a fight, which gets Reigns DQ’ed and loses the belt. Hmmm….

Karl Anderson defeats Cesaro by pinfall

Decent back-and-forth, no clear dominator. Sheamus on commentary, Gallows at ringside. Inevitably, Gallows interferes, Sheamus runs down to help, but we get an interesting move. Gallows on the ring apron while Cesaro is on the ropes, Sheamus pulls Gallows down, pulling the ropes. Cesaro goes down, Anderson hits a flying neckbreaker for the win.

I get Gallows and Anderson can now believably challenge and possibly win the tag team championships, but after a long build for Cesaro and Sheamus, it wouldn’t make sense for them to lose so quickly. Transitional champions?

Long promo reel from Braun Strowman who faces Sami Zayn tonight in a Last Man Standing Match.

Promo flashback to Goldberg defeating Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series.

Braun Strowman defeated Sami Zayn in a Last Man Standing Match

A lot of believable moments for Zayn to stand a chance. Some great spots, and a massive table crash to boot. In the end, Strowman continued to roll on and roll over Zayn. They couldn’t have Zayn win, Strowman looks like a monster, and he has to stay that way. Maybe next year after the gimmick isn’t so fresh anymore, Zayn can come back with a win, but for now, monsters have to look strong.

Backstage, Jack Gallagher is teaching the New Day to duel with umbrellas.

In the ring, The New Day have some fun, announcing their participation in the Royal Rumble. They are interrupted by Titus O’Neal who lobbies for his inclusion into the stable. This, fails. However, this is also the best segment Titus has been in, as 2016 was a horrible year for him, at least now he gets a bit more air time and a decent match which doesn’t end in a squash. Seriously, early 2016 saw a slight push, but then a suspension, then further burial, despite his charity work and national recognition as a “Father of the Year” but WWE still chose to turn him heel and suppress him on television. I still believe the guy is talented, just needs the right push. Despite this, Xavier Woods defeats Titus O’Neal via sunset flip pinfall.

Backstage: Noam Dar teases an apology to Cedric Alexander and Alicia Fox. All this does is piss off Fox. Noticing a pattern here.

Drew Gulak defeats Cedric Alexander

At ringside are Tony Nese and Alicia Fox for their charges, respectively. This one goes short, with feigned interference by Nese, prompting Fox to pull him off the apron and cause a scene. This scene distracts Cedric, allowing Gulak to roll him up for the pinfall victory.

Okay, we get the gimmick. Fox is a loose cannon, the slightest provocation sets her off. Cedric keeps losing because he easily gets distracted. Why is this happening?

Promos run throughout the night for Total Divas, otherwise known as the Let’s Bash Paige Over and Over Again Show.

It’s the top of the third hour, it is 10pm, do you know where your kids are? Are they watching? You can tell because they would be booing the television as Roman Reigns comes lumbering to the ring, defending the United States Championship against Chris Jericho.

Roman Reigns retains the U.S. Title against Chris Jericho

Pretty good match, Jericho used some Eddie Guerrero trickery to try and lie, cheat, and steal the championship, but didn’t work. Jericho wound up cracking his head on a turnbuckle he exposed earlier in the match, eats a spear, and Roman Reigns retains.

I hate how Reigns just snaps up after every win. He just can’t sell a long match, can he?

Recap from 205Live, where Neville defeated Rich Swann with a top-rope Superplex. Okay, when was the last time a match ended after a Superplex? Really, for a time, this move was as common as a DDT. In any case, the real-life Megaman of the cruiserweights, T.J. Perkins defeats Brian Kendrick via submission. A good match, and Perkins appeared to win this match much faster and with ease over their previous encounters with the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on the line. Backstage, Neville scowls. Rrrrrrr.

Fantastic promo for the upcoming WWE UK Tournament to crown the first WWE United Kingdom Champion.  Taking place in a two-night tournament on January 14th and 15th.

Suddenly, I find myself excited again.

Big Cass faces Rusev and Jinder Mahal in a handicap match, as Enzo is confined to a motorized wheelchair. Corey Graves has a great line comparing Enzo and Cass to Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. After a short brawl, Rusev catches Cass with a jumping thrust kick, and this one ends in a pinfall.

I can’t believe Jinder Mahal is getting a push from this.

Bayley defeats Nia Jax to become the number one contender to the Women’s Championship

Jax dominated, until Sasha Banks shows up, distracting Jax, who is perched on the top turnbuckle. Bayley takes the opportunity to lob Jax off via Bayley-to-Belly Suplex. Damn, what a move! A bit silly, and pointed out by Corey Graves as Charlotte was on commentary, it could have been Jax she faces at the Royal Rumble. That match, I would want to see.

The final segment of the show features The Kevin Owens Show, with buddy Chris Jericho, and their guest: Bill Goldberg

This is funny from the start. A stagehand is wearing the Kevin Owens Show sign on his face, they have a lawn chair for guests… Love it. After Jericho announces his entry into the Rumble, the Universal Champion is flustered, but not for long as Goldberg comes out and in short order we have a staredown with Goldberg and Owens. Soon, Paul Heyman interrupts and teases Brock Lesnar, but that is all, just a tease. Soon, Roman Reigns comes out to stare down with Goldberg. Before anything happens, BRAUN STROWMAN, enters the ring, announcing his entry into the Royal Rumble.

Then, something VERY tragic happens. Goldberg and Reigns spear Strowman. No, this is not what we wanted to see. We wanted to see Goldberg rips Reign’s head off. Not have a sappy short team up with a double-spear, on a guy who is supposed to be a monster, not fodder