WWE Raw for January 9, 2017
Watch: USA Network, Hulu
Smoothie King Center – New Orleans, LA
Welcome once again Wrestling With Words readers to another review of Monday Night Raw! Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker are confirmed for the show tonight and the build to the Royal Rumble in the Alamo Dome continues. It’s a blockbuster episode tonight so let’s hop into the review!
The show begins backstage with Stephanie McMahon giving Mick Foley a performance review. Stephanie wants Undertaker on the show tonight, but Foley can’t give a straight answer about whether or not he will be on the show. Seth Rollins enters to announce that he will be entering the Royal Rumble match. Then Braun Strowman enters to demand a match with either Goldberg or Roman Reigns for spearing him last week. Rollins got in Strowman’s face which began a brawl between the two men. Stephanie had both men pulled apart by referees and then demanded to Mick Foley that The Undertaker better be on the show tonight.
Roman Reigns came out to the ring to defend his United States title in a handicap match against Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. However, Strowman made his entrance before the match could start and attacked Roman Reigns. Rollins came out to save Roman with a chair and landed a Van Daminator on Strowman. Then Reigns grabbed a chair and started taking shots at Jericho and Owens. Reigns and Rollins continued to beat down Strowman together. Stephanie McMahon came out and said that the handicap match for the US Title is still going to happen later on tonight, but Seth Rollins will have to face Braun Strowman right now.
Braun Strowman draw Seth Rollins
At the beginning of the match the commentators mentioned that Sami Zayn is not medically cleared to compete tonight due to the Last Man Standing match he had last week with Strowman, but the commentators majorly put Sami’s performance over. Braun Strowman took control of the match right out of the gate as usual. He landed a sick forearm to the back of Rollins’ neck. Rollins started to mount a comeback and took the upper hand with a springboard knee. Rollins went for a Blockbuster off the top rope, but Braun caught him mid-air and brought him to the corner. Rollins pushed Braun off the top rope and then landed a huge frog splash for a 2 count. Strowman rolled out of the ring and Rollins went for another splash on the outside, but Braun got out of the way and Rollins landed on the barricade. The referee counted both men out and the match ended in a draw. Strowman rolled Rollins back into the ring and grabbed a chair, but Rollins did a baseball slide and hit the chair into Braun. Rollins grabbed the chair and challenged Braun to get in the ring with him, but Braun walked off.
This match was alright. I think Braun is getting a lot better and he actually manages to make the size advantage somewhat interesting in a match.
Backstage Bayley and Sasha Banks are talking about Bayley’s title match at the Royal Rumble against Charlotte. Charlotte entered and started to argue with Bayley and Sasha when Nia Jax attacked Sasha from behind. Charlotte then hit Bayley with her title belt laying her out. Charlotte laughed and put her arm around Nia Jax, but Nia Jax pushed Charlotte off of her and left.
Jack Gallagher def. Drew Gulak
This was a pretty short match as per the norm for the cruiserweight division. Jack Gallagher got the win via the corner dropkick a few minutes into the match. After the match Jack Gallagher was interviewed. Gallagher offered his rival Arya Daivari to a parlay on 205 Live to settle their differences without fighting.
Shawn Michaels made his entrance. He talked about the Royal Rumble and the fans chanted for one more match, but he said that he’s not going to give into peer pressure. Then Michaels started to talk about his new movie until Rusev and Lana made their entrance. Rusev told Michaels that he should put Lana in his movie. Shawn and Rusev bickered back and forth until Enzo and Cass made their entrance. Enzo and Cass made some penis jokes about Rusev that didn’t work at all. Cass challenged Rusev to a match, but Rusev gave Cass a match with Jinder Mahal instead.
Big Cass def. Jinder Mahal
After a commercial break this match is already underway. On the outside Rusev tried interfering with the match, but Shawn superkicked Rusev laying him out allowing Big Cass to get the win with the Empire Elbow after botching the East River Crossing.
This whole segment with Shawn was kind of depressing. Seeing Shawn turn down the crowd’s plea to return at the Rumble then to him promoting another WWE Studios movie and finally Enzo & Cass shilling the heck out of Shawn was almost unbearable.
Neville def. Lince Dorado
Another short match here. Lince Dorado got in some high octane offense early on, but ultimately Neville dominated as he has been doing and picked up the win via submission with the Rings of Saturn.
After the match Neville continued his assault on Lince Dorado. Rich Swann came out to make the save landing two big kicks on Neville that sent him running away.
Backstage Sasha Banks and Bayley confronted Stephanie McMahon regarding Charlotte and Nia Jax. Bayley and Sasha wanted to face Nia and Charlotte next week, but Stephanie forced them to face Nia and Charlotte tonight instead.
Sheamus def. Luke Gallows
For this match Karl Anderson was on commentary and Cesaro also joined in. The match itself was lengthy for television and was also very boring. The focus was more on the back and forth between Anderson and Cesaro on commentary. Anderson and Cesaro started fighting on the stage which distracted Sheamus. Gallows landed a flapjack which Sheamus was able to kick out of. Then Cesaro started to take over Anderson on the ramp which distracted Gallows allowing Sheamus to land a Brogue Kick for the win.
Mick Foley comes out to the ring to try to produce The Undertaker for Stephanie McMahon. The lights went out in the arena, but instead of it being The Undertaker it’s Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie began to blame Foley for everything wrong that has happened on Raw and it seemed like she was going to fire Foley until Undertaker’s theme hit for real. While Undertaker made his entrance you could see Mick’s face and it looked like he was crying which made this segment incredibly intense. Undertaker told Stephanie that nobody controls the Undertaker. Undertaker announces that he is entering the Royal Rumble match and that he’s “dug 29 holes for 29 souls”. Undertaker tells Stephanie that if anyone gets in his way that they will rest in peace to end this segment.
Charlotte & Nia Jax def. Sasha Banks & Bayley
This match was alright. Nia Jax won clean here with a body block and a leg to Bayley. This might of been the best finish to go with here in this match heading into the Rumble, but It did make Bayley awfully weak.
Backstage Noam Dar is checking himself out in a mirror when Alicia Fox approaches him from behind. Noam Dar held his cheek out for Alicia Fox to slap him again, but instead she grabbed him and kissed him leaving Noam Dar in shock.
The New Day are in the ring with Titus O’Neil. Titus is trying to get in the New Day again. Xavier told Titus that when he said that his DMs were open he didn’t mean for Titus. Titus replied by saying that “it all goes down in the DMs”. The New Day wants to offer a chance for Titus to redeem himself. They replay footage from an old NXT show in 2010 were Titus tripped while running with a keg of beer. Kofi reveals a keg of booty juice and challenges Titus to run around the ring with in in 12.7 seconds. Titus did just that, but he dropped the keg before crossing the finish line. This made Titus angry so he pushed Kofi which led to a match between the two.
After commercial this match begins. We only saw mostly the ending to the match, but they actually managed to make Titus look strong tonight. At one point he picked up Kofi and threw him out of the ring onto the rest of the New Day. Titus went after Kofi on the outside, but Kofi ran back in the ring where he caught Titus with a Trouble In Paradise for the win.
So the rules for this championship match is that whoever gets the pin on Roman becomes the US Champion. Before the match started Roman went right after Jericho and Owens. Roman tried locking Jericho in the shark cage that’s on display on stage, but Owens saved him. Owens and Jericho then put Roman inside the shark cage and then pushed it over onto the floor. Owens and Jericho dragged Reigns back into the ring to get the match officially started. Reigns speared Jericho, but Owens saved him from taking the pin by pulling him out of the ring. Reigns gave Owens the drive by kick on the outside to take him out. In the ring Jericho went for the springboard dropkick, but Jericho took a Superman Punch mid-air. On the outside of the ring Owens held onto Roman’s leg so he couldn’t move and then Jericho landed a codebreaker on Reigns. Owens followed this up with a powerbomb on the ring apron. Jericho delivered another codebreaker inside the ring to get the victory and to become the new United States Champion.
This was an entertaining match that had a great finish. It simply wouldn’t have made sense for Roman to win this one and i’m glad they didn’t give him the victory here. Jericho and Owens both as champions looks great heading into the Royal Rumble. Also, this is the only singles title Jericho hasn’t been able to win yet, so good for him!
WWE RAW FOR JANUARY 9, 2017
Decent - 6.0/10
This episode of Raw didn't really have anything great wrestling wise, but there were some great segments and moments that made it somewhat of an entertaining watch. Of course, there was the Undertaker delivering some classic Undertaker lines and Jericho winning the Unites States title. Even Titus O'Neil being Titus O'Neil was fun to watch. Other then that though there really wasn't anything else special to see. Overall, not bad!