WWE Raw for 12/26/16
Watch: USA Network, Hulu
Allstate Arena – Chicago, Illinois
Welcome Wrestling With Words readers to a review of the final Monday Night Raw for 2016! I hope everyone had a Happy Holidays, now let’s jump right into this review!
Stephanie McMahon opens the show greeted by CM Punk chants from the Chicago crowd. Stephanie McMahon takes a clever jab at CM Punk by saying that if the crowd keeps up the chants then they may last longer than CM Punk did in his UFC debut. Seth Rollins makes his entrance next interrupting Stephanie McMahon. Seth goes in on Stephanie talking about her husband Triple H. Seth Rollins has been calling out Triple H for weeks, but Triple H hasn’t answered so Seth asks Stephanie if she wants her husband to be remembered as a coward. Stephanie tells Seth Rollins that her husband is more of a champion than Seth will ever be. Seth tells Stephanie that he knows Triple H isn’t here so he wants a match with Braun Strowman because Braun attacked him last week. Editor’s note: Rollins should attack HHH at the next TakeOver. Roman Reigns made his entrance, letting Stephanie and Seth know that he also wants a piece of Braun Strowman tonight. Seth and Roman say they should jump Braun backstage like they did in the days of The Shield. Stephanie tried to stick her fist in like she was a member of The Shield, but Seth and Roman glared at her. Stephanie then goes on to tease Dean Ambrose making an appearance tonight because he is in town, but then announces that Seth will face Braun and Roman will defend his United States Title tonight against an opponent of her choosing.
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: Cesaro & Sheamus (c) def. The New Day
The New Day made their entrance with a giant bag of Booty-Os and a giant ladle. They dumped Booty-Os on people’s heads in the crowd which was pretty hilarious. One kid even gulped the bundle up. The New Day used Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston in this match. This was a great exciting match to kick off the show. There were some great highlights such as Xavier spring boarding all the way across the ring for the elbow and Sheamus landing a nasty Brogue Kick for the finish.
Braun Strowman is backstage stomping around and scaring away the staff of WWE until he runs into Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. Kevin Owens tries to get on Strowman’s good side by saying that Strowman will get a title shot after he beats Reigns at the Royal Rumble. Then Owens and Jericho tell Strowman that Rollins and Reigns were talking trash about him earlier to make Strowman even more angry.
Backstage, Golden Truth were rambling about when Bayley gave Goldust a poke dot doll resembling Dusty Rhodes for Christmas. That was until Karl Anderson snapped the dolls head off with Luke “NERDS” Gallows by his side. This sets up a match tonight. Not sure how to take that.
Nia Jax def. Scarlett
Before the match Scarlett was interviewed saying that Sasha Banks inspired her to wrestle, but of course Nia ran right through her in the match. After Nia pinned her she got the microphone and told Scarlett she needed a better role model, then delivering a leg drop on Scarlett.
Backstage Jericho and Owens confronted Stephanie McMahon about Mick Foley forcing Jericho to be suspended in a shark cage above the ring at the Royal Rumble. To make Owens and Jericho happy Stephanie told them that Roman Reigns will defend his US Title against Owens tonight.
Charlotte def. Bayley
Bayley came out to talk about her victory over Charlotte last week. Charlotte interrupts her to tell her that she can have another shot at beating her, but introduces Dana Booke as the special referee. Dana Brooke was letting Charlotte get away with everything early on until Bayley hit a Bayley-to-Belly on Dana Brooke. A new referee took Dana Brooke’s place, but when Bayley had Charlotte pinned Dana pulled the referee out of the ring. Then Charlotte rolled Bayley up and Dana performed a fast count for Charlotte to pick up the cheap victory.
Backstage Stephanie catches Braun choking a staff member. Stephanie stops Braun and asks him what’s wrong. Braun is mad because the staff member wouldn’t tell him where Zayn was. Stephanie tells Braun that Zayn isn’t here tonight. Braun requests a Last Man Standing match (next week) against Sami Zayn so he can take him out for good. Stephanie agrees. Since she did something for him, Steph wants Braun to take out Seth Rollins tonight like he were Zayn.
Neville def. TJ Perkins
TJ offered Neville a handshake at the start of the match, but Neville declined it. TJ Perkins went for the knee bar, but Neville got out of it and rolled TJ up while holding onto his tights for the heel win.
After the match Neville was interviewed. He said that the way the American crowds treated him have led him to his new attitude and that soon they will have no choice to appreciate him, because he is the King of the Cruiserweights.
Next up Enzo and Cass were out to address the beating Jinder Mahal and Rusev gave Enzo last week. Enzo is in a wheel chair following the attack. Cass called out Rusev to a match and then asked him to come out the ring. Jinder attacked Enzo, but Enzo got out of his wheelchair and tripped him. Big Cass fought off both Rusev and Jinder himself.
The Shining Stars vs. Darren Young & Bo Dallasno contest
Right as this match got underway Braun Strowman came out to continue his rage parade. Strowman grabbed a Christmas tree from the stage and mowed down Bo Dallas with it. Primo flew off the top rope and caught a clothesline from Braun. Strowman took out everyone else and the crowd began to chant “Thank You Strowman”.
Braun Strowman def. Seth Rollins via DQ
Braun dominated Seth early on while Seth sold every big man throw very well. Seth Rollins eventually mounted a comeback and landed a springboard knee to the face that knocked Strowman down. Rollins went for the Pedigree, but Strowman countered it by backdropping Rollins out of the ring. Sami Zayn’s theme hit to a huge pop from the crowd. Sami Zayn rammed Braun into the ring post twice and then Strowman chased Sami through the crowd. After that Jericho made his entrance and hit Rollins with THREE Codebreakers while the referees were trying to hold him back.
The Club vs. Golden Truth
This was a real short match. Nothing of note. Karl Anderson got the pin with a roll up holding the tights on Goldust.
Rich Swann def. Ariya Daivari
In a match that lasted about a minute – Rich Swann picked up the win with a Spin Kick. Rich Swann did an interview after the match on stage were he accepted a title match against Neville tomorrow night on 205 Live. Neville came out from behind and attacked Rich Swann.
Backstage Daivari is also getting interviewed. Daivari says the only reason he lost to Rich Swann tonight is because he thought Jack Gallagher might show up. Then Gallagher interrupted the interview and slapped Daivari with a rubber glove. Tomorrow night on 205 Live they might be…jousting?!
WWE United States Championship: Roman Reigns (c) def. Kevin Owens
Shortly into the match Jericho ran in to distract Roman which led to Owens landing a DDT. This match ended up being very well done and might of been Roman/Owen’s best match so far. Kevin Owens landed a Codebreaker on Roman for a near fall which was great to see Owens use his best friend’s move. Rollins made his entrance and took out Jericho. Owens rolled out of the ring and superkick Rollins and when Owens got back in the ring he took a spear from Reigns for the 3 count. After the match Rollins pedigree’d Owens and Roman speared Jericho which seems to be the standard ending for a Raw show these days.
WWE RAW FOR 12/26/16
Strong Effort - 7.0/10
This post-Christmas Raw came out with a very strong start, but got uninteresting in the middle. However, Neville's heel character, Braun Strowman, the tag title match, the main event, and the enthusiastic crowd made this Raw a somewhat fun watch. Overall, a strong effort!