Monday Night Raw
Date: January 2, 2017
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves

Welcome to the new year and welcome to the official Road to Wrestlemania. It’s a stacked show this week with three matches announced, including a Last Man Standing match between Braun Strowman and Sami Zayn. On top of that we have the return of Goldberg, which will be followed by the return of Brock Lesnar next week. Let’s get to it.

Here’s Mick Foley, who has lost a lot of hair to go with his weight loss, to open the show. After showing us that he wrote the name of the town on the back of his hand to avoid any further issues, here are Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho to talk about the shark cage. Owens has to say Jericho is being hung up like a sexy pinata before ripping into Foley for giving Roman Reigns another title shot.

Jericho laments Foley putting him in the Cage of Jericho “and locking me in man.” For some reason, this makes Foley want to see the Kevin Owens Show tonight, featuring Goldberg as the first guest. Jericho accuses Foley of abusing his power so here’s Stephanie McMahon to cut them off.

Tonight, Reigns is defending the US Title against Jericho and if Roman is counted out or disqualified, the title changes hands. Stephanie brings up the ratings loss last week so tonight it’s Owens vs. Rollins with the loser being banned from ringside for the US Title match.

Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins

Non-title. Owens bails to the floor to start and takes back to back suicide dives but the champ starts stomping away back inside. Seth gets two off a Blockbuster and we take a break. Back with Owens getting two off the backsplash and saying that’s it.

Rollins gets backdropped to the floor for a big crash but the Cannonball only hits the barricade. Back in and Rollins scores with an enziguri but has to get some blood back into his leg. The Sling Blade drops Owens again and Owens is sent outside where he hits Rollins with the bell for the DQ at 11:49.

Result: Seth Rollins b. Kevin Owens via DQ when Owens used the bell (11:49)

Karl Anderson vs. Cesaro

Sheamus is on commentary. They trade some big power shots to start with Cesaro getting the upper hand as you might expect. We take an early break and come back with Cesaro suplexing him down, giving us a discussion of how strong Cesaro is. Anderson kicks him in the chest so Cesaro uppercuts him in the chin over and over.

Cesaro climbs the corner for a twisting crossbody but a spinebuster gets two. Sheamus goes to the ring to deal with Gallows, prompting Graves to wonder why Sheamus wasn’t down there from the start. The running knee staggers Cesaro but he catches Anderson on the top. Sheamus goes after Gallows though and that knocks Cesaro off, setting up a top rope neckbreaker to give Anderson the pin at 10:50.

Result: Karl Anderson b. Cesaro – Top rope neckbreaker (10:50)

Recap of Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman.

Video on Goldberg vs. Lesnar plus Goldberg entering the Royal Rumble.

Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman

Last man standing, meaning Sami is about to die. Sami gets in a jab and tries some kendo stick shots but Braun just breaks it over his leg. Another stick gets about the same treatment and the moonsault off the barricade is pulled out of the air. A few rams into the post have Strowman staggered until he punches Sami to block the diving DDT. Some clotheslines drop Sami, whose offense is shrugged off over and over again.

Back with Sami being sent off the ramp as the match goes out of the arena, meaning the fans can’t see. As you might expect, this earns some widespread booing. Sami finally sends Braun into the equipment cases so Strowman throws him on top of them. Strowman throws a case at him and thankfully it doesn’t cause a bad case of death.

Sami cracks him in the back with a chair as they stagger back into the arena. That just earns Zayn a toss onto the stage, followed by a whip into the screen. Zayn chairs him again and Braun is staggered, followed by a crossbody to put Strowman through some tables for a six count but Strowman is reeling.

Sami swings again but Braun grabs the chair and drags him up onto the ramp in another power display. The powerslam on the floor gives Braun a seven so Strowman just unloads on him with knees to the head and right hands. Another powerslam on the floor ends Sami at 15:48.

Result: Braun Strowman b. Sami Zayn when Zayn couldn’t answer the ten count (15:48)

Sami does a stretcher job but Strowman turns it over.

Video on the Gentleman’s Duel from 205 Live.

Jack Gallagher gives New Day dueling lessons with umbrellas. The hip swivel doesn’t please Gallagher and he walks off.

Here’s New Day for their New Year’s Resolution. 2016 was a good year for them due to setting the Tag Team Title record so now they’re entering the Royal Rumble. Before they can announce their resolutions though, here’s Titus O’Neil doing the New Day entrance and throwing in some dancing. He thinks New Day needs a fourth member and even dances to his own whistle. Titus thinks he would look great on the cereal box but Woods thinks it should be on a milk carton. A match is set up and Titus punches Woods in the jaw.

Xavier Woods vs. Titus O’Neil

Woods kicks away at the legs to start but gets slammed right back down. We hit a chinlock for a bit as the announcers discuss Titus’ dancing abilities. Woods gets in some more kicks and low bridges O’Neil to the floor. The back to back backbreakers drop Woods but he grabs a sunset flip for the pin at 3:52.

Result: Xaiver Woods b. Titus O’Neil – Sunset flip (3:52)

Bayley comes in to talk to Stephanie about last week’s match against Charlotte. Stephanie never wanted Bayley on this show because she’s just a kid compared to a woman like Charlotte. Bayley says she doesn’t have the famous last name but she belongs here because she’s just who she is. That earns her a #1 contenders match against Nia Jax.

Cedric Alexander and Alicia Fox run into Noam Dar, who apologizes but hits on Alicia even more.

Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak

Gulak takes him down to start as the announcers talk about how tough Drew is for his lack of kneepads. Cedric gets in a quick dropkick to take over but Tony Nese goes after Alicia, setting up a rollup with trunks to give Gulak the pin at 2:25.

Result: Drew Gulak b. Cedric Alexander – Rollup with a handful of trunks (2:25)

US Title: Roman Reigns vs. Chris Jericho

Owens is banned from ringside, Reigns is defending and loses the title if he gets counted out or disqualified. The champ runs Jericho over to start as the fans are split on Reigns. A middle rope dropkick gets two for Jericho so Reigns comes back with his string of clotheslines. Reigns tries the apron dropkick but crashes into the post instead, giving Jericho a near countout as we take a break.

Back with Reigns fighting out of a chinlock and hitting his modified belly to back suplex for two. The Superman Punch is blocked but the Lionsault hits knees. The other finishers are broken up until Jericho grabs the Walls. That lasts as long as you would expect the Walls to last until Jericho goes up top again, only to dive into the Superman Punch for a near fall.

Another spear is broken up and Jericho takes off a turnbuckle pad. That sets up the old Eddie Guerrero grab the belt and pretend to get hit with it spot. The referee doesn’t buy it so instead the Codebreaker gets two. Jericho goes into the exposed buckle and the spear retains the title at 13:06.

Result: Roman Reigns b. Chris Jericho – Spear (13:05)

TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick

Neville is watching in the back. Perkins gets two off an early dropkick but Kendrick snaps the throat across the top rope to take over. Back up and a hurricanrana off the top drops Kendrick. The Detonation Kick into the kneebar makes Kendrick tap at 2:39.

Result: TJ Perkins b. Brian Kendrick – Kneebar (2:39)

Video on the UK Title tournament.

Rusev/Jinder Mahal vs. Big Cass

This was supposed to be a tag match but Enzo is still injured. Cass fights them off without much effort to start before Jinder goes after Enzo. The distraction sets up a superkick from Rusev for the pin at 1:32.

Result: Rusev/Jinder Mahal b. Big Cass – Superkick (1:32)

Bayley vs. Nia Jax


Charlotte is on commentary and the winner gets the title shot at the Royal Rumble. Bayley’s headlock starts things off and she’s easily tossed around the ring with almost no effort. A cobra clutch has Bayley rag dolled around the ring until Bayley sends her shoulder first into the post. Another charge takes Bayley down though….and here’s Sasha for the distraction, setting up the super Bayley to Belly to pin Jax at 3:21.

Result: Bayley b. Nia Jax – Super Bayley to Belly (3:21)

Undertaker and Shawn Michaels are here next week.

It’s time for the Kevin Owens Show with a lawn chair, a table and a man standing in place with a sign over his face. Owens introduces Jericho as his first guest and he’s not happy. See, the fans were chanting for Goldberg just a few minutes ago and that means TAMPA JUST MADE THE LIST.

Jericho has breaking news: he’s the third (sixth) entrant in the Royal Rumble! Owens isn’t pleased but Jericho says no matter what happens, they’re still the champ. Kevin still doesn’t want to do it but he gets cut off by Goldberg’s full entrance. Goldberg throws the chair out of the ring and Jericho isn’t impressed. Jericho: “You know what happens when you destroy the set?” Goldberg: “YEAH! Spear, Jackhammer.”

Owens throws out the rest of the set and the brawl is teased until Paul Heyman breaks it up. He says the Rumble will be elimination, repeat, elimination, repeat but Roman Reigns interrupts as well. That brings Reigns to Lesnar but now it’s Braun coming out to take the mic from a cowering Heyman. Owens and Jericho bail to the floor and Strowman is in the Rumble too. A double spear drops Strowman and posing ends the show.

Seth Rollins b. Kevin Owens via DQ when Owens used the ring bell
Karl Anderson b. Cesaro – Top rope neckbreaker
Braun Strowman b. Sami Zayn when Zayn couldn’t answer the ten count
Xavier Woods b. Titus O’Neil – Sunset flip
Drew Gulak b. Cedric Alexander – Rollup with a handful of trunks
TJ Perkins b. Brian Kendrick – Kneebar
Rusev/Jinder Mahal b. Big Cass – Superkick
Bayley b. Nia Jax – Super Bayley to belly

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