Mick Foley has decided to get his yearly shave and haircut out of the way early. Owens and Jericho come out to yell at and argue with him. Owens and Jericho were moderately entertaining. The end result of this was Foley turning “the Kevin Owens Show” into an actual talk show. His guest tonight will be Goldberg. Props to Owens for immediately pointing out that if it’s his talk show, why is Foley picking the guests?
They kept bringing it back around to the accusation that Foley is abusing his power, and after about the third time, Steph came out to verbally save Mick and talk down to the heels, telling them in no uncertain terms that Foley is not abusing his power and is perfectly justified and within his rights to do everything he has done… though she does wish Mick would have consulted her first. From here Steph and Foley went into their tired old routine of pretending to get along while it is patently obvious to everyone that Steph is secretly still a heel and Foley is slight suspicious of her. This has been going on for months now and has not moved forward at all.
Finally Owens got sick and tired of it all and shouted that no one cares who did or didn’t consult who about what, and I popped bigger than I have for just about anything in a long WWE talking segment since Daniel Bryan’s road to WrestleMania XXX.
Steph books Roman vs. Jericho for the US Title, and if Roman gets counted out or DQed then he will lose the title. Owens suggests that Rollins be banned from ringside. Foley suggests that Jericho be banned from ringside. Jericho, of course, is one of the participants in the match. I can’t imagine that this was a legitimate mistake. It seems a lot more likely that Foley’s screw-up two weeks ago led to him being given the old R-Truth “constantly mixed up about things” gimmick. Foley then claimed that Owens and Jericho were “making a mockery of the Universal Championship.” Yeah… I think the person who made a mockery out of that particular championship was the person who designed it.
Steph then started talking about how Raw lost to Smackdown in the ratings last week, which no fan could care about, and Steph shouldn’t be so damn angry about because, despite what she told Foley, there is no “ratings war” between Raw and Smackdown because there are no consequences for either show based on those ratings! (Also, did anyone else enjoy the irony of Steph being upset at Raw getting a lower rating than SD last week, even though the standard WWE response in this case would usually be to blame it on the holiday or the football game? So is kayfabe Steph less politically savvy that shoot Steph, or is kayfabe Steph the one who isn’t hiding her head in the sand and actually wants to fix the problem? Or is it both?).
Steph does more yelling (as Cole put it to us she was “laying down the law”) and also booked Rollins vs. Owens for right after this commercial.
LOSER IS BANNED FROM RINGSIDE IN THE US TITLE MATCH: Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins- 6.75/10
Anyone remember what happened the last time someone was banned from ringside in a title match on Raw? That’s right: the person interfered anyway and suffered no consequences.
Byron Saxton told us that everything Rollins is doing here- i.e. opposing Jericho and Owens- is designed to help him get to Triple H. I don’t understand how beating Owens will help him get a match against Hunter.
They had a very great match. I probably would have given this a 7/10, but I’m just so sick and tired of DQ and other f*ck finishes on Raw. Not a good way to start off the year, IMO.
CESARO vs. KARL ANDERSON (w/Luke Gallows)- 6.75/10
Sheamus was on commentary. He was completely complementary towards Cesaro and when Gallows tried to interfere Sheamus came down to stop him and I was all ready to get so excited that this angle has finally moved on and they can be on the same page, but then they had Sheamus’ attempt to prevent more interference inadvertently cost Cesaro the match. As this match went on, all I could think about was how much I wished it was taking place in New Japan or ROH.
BRAUN STROWMAN VIDEO PACKAGE- it’s 3:15 am. I was just happy to see something I could fast-forward through.
LESNAR-GOLDBERG VIDEO PACKAGE- more skippability. Hooray!
LAST MAN STANDING MATCH: Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman- 7.25/10
WHAT? This isn’t the main event?
I was really enjoying this match and the interesting story they were telling with Sami using weapons as equalizers and Braun trying to get Sami away from them, but the finish was just so anti-climactic. Braun had to win here because he can’t lose his first feud, but the stretcher-job was totally unnecessary and really hurt Sami more than necessary. The terrible set-up for this feud ensured that Sami would look bad coming out of it, but having him do a stretcher-job after it validated Mick’s concerns that Sami was out of Braun’s league way more than necessary.
After the match, Braun knocked Sami off the stretcher and beat him up some more. Meanwhile, Mick Foley didn’t try to stop him. He didn’t even just stand there and watch. He watched while BACKING AWAY like he was scared.
JACK GALLAGHER & NEW DAY BACKSTAGE- New year, same insufferable New Day. At least Gallagher immediately recognized how annoying they were and left rather quickly.
NEW DAY PROMO- They’re in the going to be in the Royal Rumble. Thankfully Titus O’Neil interrupted them before we had to hear anymore.
Ah dammit, HE’S JUST MAKING IT WORSE!
Titus said that his face could be on a box of Booty-O’s. Xavier told him that everyone wishes his face was on the back of a milk carton. That was f*cking stiff. Titus called Xavier the “weak link” in the New Day, so Xaiver challenged him to a match. Titus said yes and sucker-punched Xavier.
TITUS O’NEIL vs. XAVIER WOODS (w/the New Day)- 3/10
They got permission from Mick Foley during the commercial break. Hooray for logic. The match was short. Xavier won with a sunset flip.
BAYLEY & STEPH BACKSTAGE- bad
Bayley calls out Steph for letting Dana be the guest referee last week. Steph says that the lawyers made her do it. Then she said that she didn’t want Bayley on Raw at all but Foley made her. Then they basically repeated all of the promos from the Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority feud. Then, despite having just said that she doesn’t think Bayley even deserves to be in the WWE, Steph books her against Nia Jax in a #1 contendership match.
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, NOAM DAR, & ALICIA FOX BACKSTAGE- Dar is a jerk to Alicia. Water continues to be tread.
CEDRIC ALEXANDER (w/Alicia Fox) vs. DREW GULAK (w/Tony Nese)- 2.25/10
The match was short. Stuff happened until Nese tried to get up on the apron. Fox pulled him down, which distracted Cedric, allowing Gulak to roll him up, using the tights for extra levergage.
WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH IN WHICH THE TITLE CAN CHANGE HANDS ON A DQ OR A COUNT-OUT AND KEVIN OWENS IS BARRED FROM RINGSIDE: Roman Reigns(c) vs. Chris Jericho- 8/10
Okay Vince. You can have your eighteen hours or so where Roman Reigns is in the current leader for Match of the Year. Just… you know… WrestleKingdom is this week, so don’t get your hopes up.
BRIAN KENDRICK vs. TJ PERKINS- 4.75/10 (but GREAT for the time it got)
I’m already sick and tired of seeing this two in the ring at the same time.
EMMAINA ACKNOWLEDGES THAT SHE’S MONTHS LATE- hey, at least it’s something of a development in this.
HANDICAP MATCH: Jinder Mahal & Alexander Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Colin Cassady (w/Enzo Amore)- 0.5/10
Corey Graves compared Enzo & Cass “as a unit” to Krang from TMNT. This is a profound comparison.
Short and boring, but WWE shockingly let the heels get a logical win.
#1 CONTENDERSHIP MATCH: Bayley vs. Nia Jax- DUD!
Nia beat the sh*t out of Bayley for the entire match until Sasha Banks showed up to distract Nia, letting Bayley hit a super Belly-to-Bayley for the win. This made Bayley look like crap and totally undeserving of her title shot.
UNDERTAKER & HBK WILL BE ON RAW NEXT WEEK- isn’t Taker a Smackdown guy?
THE KEVIN OWENS SHOW WITH SPECIAL GUEST GOLDBERG-
Jericho is out here with Owens. They have a guy standing there to be the “TV screen” (read as: “take Goldberg’s moves). Jericho will be in the Royal Rumble and they teased Jericho winning and facing off against Owens for the belt at WrestleMania. This was all getting slightly interesting when Goldberg had to stick his nose in and interrupt.
Goldberg is eager to fight Jericho in the Rumble. I guess Brock Lesnar isn’t the only one who wants to even for a loss many years ago. Goldberg was kind of annoying. Owens was F*CKING AWESOME. They got face-to-face and things were getting really exciting when Paul Heyman had to stick his nose (as well as Brock Lesnar’s spiritual nose) in as well and interrupt things.
(Also, I cannot believe I just typed the phrase “Brock Lesnar’s spiritual nose.” That might be the very top of list of phrases I never thought I would type.)
Heyman cut a short promo, but then Roman Reigns came out, making this even more boring. Well… maybe Roman will be one to take Goldberg’s stuff?
Wait… now here comes Strowman. Yeah… it’s almost 5:30 am. If this isn’t going anywhere then I’m done with this show. Someone tell me what I missed. A poorly-booked start to the year despite some very good action early on.
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