WWE Raw for January 30, 2017
Watch: USA Network, Hulu
Laredo Energy Arena – Laredo, Texas
Welcome once against readers to a review of Monday Night Raw! Tonight is the first Raw after a very unpredictable Royal Rumble. Finally there should be a batch of fresh feuds on Raw and the WrestleMania 33 card will be taking shape. Lets get right into this thing!
The show opens with Kevin Owens making his entrance, but he’s limping and bandaged up after his match with Roman Reigns last night. Owens cut a great promo about how he proved everyone wrong last night at the Royal Rumble when he beat Roman Reigns. Braun Strowman came out and demanded a Universal Title shot from Owens, something Owens had promised Braun a month ago. Owens pretended like it never happened, but Braun had the footage to prove it. Mick Foley made his entrance and made the title match official for tonight, even though Kevin Owens had just defended his title last night in a no disqualifications match. The logic behind this didn’t really make any sense to me. Kevin Owens was visibly injured and for basically no reason he has to defend his title. Owens even tried to plead that he could instead wait til he’s healthy to have his match with Braun, but Mick just ignored it. If it was a babyface having to defend their title then it would make sense, but here it was just completely backwards.
Sami Zayn def. Chris Jericho
This match wasn’t all that special until towards the end when things got interesting. Sami landed a Tornado DDT and tried going for the helluva kick, but Jericho miraculously countered it into a schoolboy into the Walls of Jericho. It actually seemed like Sami was going to tap out until he made it to the ropes. Sami got out of the hold and landed the exploder suplex to set up the Helluva kick for a victory over the United States champion. Editor’s note: I expect this to be the Fastlane match for the US Title.
Backstage Sheamus and Cesaro were arguing about how they fought during the Royal Rumble match until Bayley stepped between the two to cool them off, as they’re in a mixed 6 person tag tonight against Charlotte and The Club. Charlotte and The Club walk in to call the three a bunch of nerds.
Kevin Owens confronted Stephanie McMahon about Mick Foley making him defend his title tonight. Stephanie told Kevin that after she calls out Rollins she will confront Mick Foley herself.
This was a short cruiserweight match as usual. Mustafa went for the inverted 450, but Nese stopped him and Mustafa landed right on his neck on the top rope, then Tony Nese got the win with a running knee.
After the match Austin Aries did an interview with Tony Nese were he just asked him ridiculous questions. Tony Nese declined to answer any.
Seth Rollins made his entrance so he can call out Stephanie McMahon before she can call out him. Stephanie made her entrance after Rollins was going on insulting Stephanie McMahon in many different ways. Stephanie said that Triple H is not here tonight. Rollins asks Stephanie when she’s gonna let her husband off of his leash. Stephanie says she asked Triple H not to come tonight because she was afraid of what he might do. Then Stephanie told Rollins he should be begging for Triple H’s forgiveness after he was injured and missed out on WrestleMania 32. Rollins replied by sarcastically apologizing for exposing Triple H as a coward. Rollins said he went to NXT on Saturday night to confront Triple H where it all started, but he was offended when Triple H used security to do his dirty work. Rollins says he has nothing left to loose and said if he doesn’t get Triple H tonight then he will just show up at WWE Headquarters or at Triple H and Stephanie’s house. Stephanie came back by saying that she life and Triple H is actually on the way to the building right now to confront Seth Rollins later on tonight.
Cesaro came out wearing Bayley’s streamers on his wrists and Sheamus didn’t want any part of it. The match itself was pretty tame until it escalated with all 6 competitors entering the ring and started fighting. Cesaro tried going for a splash on the outside of the ring, but he lost his balanced and had to try it again and ended up with a nasty landing on the floor. Bayley pinned Charlotte with the Belly to Bayley for the win.
Neville came out for his coronation as the King of the Cruiserweights after he won the title from Rich Swann at the Royal Rumble. Rich Swann interrupted Neville’s promo to call him out, but then offered him a handshake in the ring. Neville told Rich he should be bowing to the king so Swann turned his back on Neville. Neville attacked Swann, but Swann got the best of Neville and hit the Rich Kick then a suicide dive to the outside of the ring. This was a good segment overall, but of course the crowd was completely dead for it.
Backstage a member of the medical staff was taping up Sasha Banks’ injured knee to get ready for her rematch with Nia Jax tonight. Bayley entered and tried to talk Sasha out of getting her revenge on Nia Jax until her knee is fully healed. Sasha ignored Bayley and remained dead set on taking on Nia Jax tonight anyway, in sassy boss fashion.
Also backstage Jericho was trying to psych Kevin Owens up for his match against Braun Strowman. Jericho tried to tell Kevin Owens that no matter what happens that they’ll still both be the United States Champions, but that didn’t seem good enough for Owens. Kevin Owens asked Jericho if he had his back tonight and Jericho sheepishly said yes.
Braun Strowman def. (DQ) Kevin Owens
Chris Jericho joined the commentary team for this match, but during Braun Strowman’s entrance he attacked Jericho and chokeslammed him through the announcer’s table. The match got underway and Strowman started out strong as usual. On the outside of the ring Strowman sprinted at Owens, but Owens got out of the way just in time and Strowman went face first into the ring post. Owens hit the running cannonball on Strowman into the barricade and then in the ring he landed a leg-drop, a senton, and a frog splash for a two count. Kevin Owens went back to the top rope, but Strowman got ahold of him and hit the running powerslam. Roman’s theme hit and he came out to attack Strowman, having the match end in disqualification. Reigns speared Strowman on the outside and then gave Owens a spear.
Outside a van pulled up assuming to be Triple H, but instead it was Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Lesnar and Heyman came out to the ring. Heyman started to talk about how every legend in history has one opponent that has their number. Heyman delivered an amazing promo about all the legends in history who eventually fall to someone. Heyman topped it off by challenging Goldberg to one last match at WrestleMania 33.
Early into the match Nia Jax put Sasha in a kneebar, there was a ringbell botch, and when Sasha didn’t tap out the referee called for the match to be stopped. Nia Jax kept the hold locked in on the injured knee however, until Bayley came out to stop Nia. Nia just looked at Bayley and laughed before leaving the ring.
This match seemed to be booked as the end for this feud. Rusev and Jinder dominated most the match until Enzo caught Rusev off guard from the apron and stunned him on the ropes allowing Big Cass to land a big boot. This set-up the bada boom shaka-laka for the win.
Triple H made his entrance to close out the show. Triple H cut a promo on Rollins about he gave Seth Rollins the world, but Rollins spit in his face when he collapsed under the pressure of it when Rollins got injured and was out for 7 months. Triple H said that when Seth Rollins returned to action after injury he was a complete failure and Triple H was forced to cast him out. Triple H no longer wants to be the guy that comes back to hurt people, but Seth Rollins if making him. Seth Rollins’ music hit and Triple H looked like he was ready for a fight. Seth Rollins came charging down the ramp, but out of nowhere SAMOA JOE blindsides Seth Rollins and starts pounding on him. Triple H backs away, and leaves up the ramp as Samoa Joe assaults Seth Rollins. Joe dragged Seth Rollins into the ring and started landing senton after senton on Rollins. Joe put Rollins in the Cocquina Clutch and choked Rollins out to end the show.
WWE RAW (JANUARY 30, 2017)
Good - 7.5/10
I enjoyed this Raw a lot. Even though the wrestling wasn't all that it could of been, it is a Raw after a pay-per-view. Things are finally starting to be fresh again and I really like the direction the storylines are heading. Of course, there was Samoa Joe's debut. I absolutely didn't see this coming at all, especially since I was under the belief he'd be on SmackDown. It was a memorable moment that got a huge reaction from me that capped off an overall entertaining show.