This week on Raw (11/28/2016), the WWE Universe was treated to a Tag Team Championship match and a Women’s Championship match!
Cedric Alexander/Tony Nese
Cedric Alexander had a quick match with Tony Nese who had Drew Gulak at his side again. Cedric got a nice reaction from his hometown of Charlotte North Carolina. The one thing I feel like Cedric doesn’t excel at is the fact that he doesn’t exude a whole lot of personality. He’s great in the ring, but he doesn’t really connect with the audience a well as some of the other Cruiserweights have. Don’t get me wrong, he’s very popular, but we still haven’t really gotten to know Cedric enough to invest in his character. That might be why Alicia Fox was watching the monitor during his match. I could see her managing Cedric to greater heights. Since she’s been doing very little lately, the pairing makes a lot of sense.
Tony Nese and Drew Gulak have been the absolute opposite of Cedric as far as charisma. Nese has gotten under the crowd’s skin week in and week out. Gulak distracted Cedric long enough for Nese to hit the Pumphandle Powerbomb for the 3-count on Raw. They could be a fantastic Cruiserweight tag team and if all goes well with 205 Live, I wouldn’t mind seeing some Cruiserweight tag team titles like they had in the later years of WCW.
Enzo & Big Cass/Rusev & Lana
It’s weird that this whole feud started with Lana seeing Enzo naked. It seems more like a storyline straight from the Attitude Era. The thing I’m not too happy about is that it hasn’t really progressed a whole lot in week 2 of this feud. Rusev gave Enzo a low blow and that was the end of things for this week. Sure, Enzo talked trash about “stuffing Lana’s turkey”, but that was the most notable thing that happened. I just don’t understand how this feud does anything for those involved. Rusev should be in the Universal Championship picture and Enzo and Cass should be in the tag title picture. It just doesn’t make much sense.
Rich Swann beat Noam Dar on Monday night with a back heel kick, but the story was the confidence he was showing after the match with an impromptu promo. Rich talked about The Brian Kendrick doubting himself because Swann has already beaten him twice. He also said the third time will be much sweeter because he’ll be coming home with the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. It’s great to see Rich getting his due. He’s been one of the most entertaining Cruiserweight and has been all over WWE TV in the past month or so. I’ve enjoyed his work and I think he’d make a great champion.
In a fun segment, Sheamus and Cesaro were shown drinking in a bar. Some guys starting coming up and making fun of each of them. This of course started a good ol’ fashioned bar room brawl. It’s been a while since we’ve seen something like this. Both men took out the whole bar and then finally realized that they could be friends over a drink. I don’t know if this means this team will be a long term team or if it was just a nice way to end the story arc, but it was a cool segment to throw in the middle of Raw.
The New Day/Gallows & Anderson
The New Day started off talking about how close they were to beating Demolition’s tag team title reign record. Starting off a promo saying this before a title match all but ensures that the champions are going over. That’s exactly what happened. Once again, Gallows and Anderson had the upper-hand for most of the match and even tried to pull the tights to get the cheap win, Xavier Woods reversed the pin and grabbed ahold of Anderson’s tights to get another victory. Keep in mind that The New Day has won 3 championship matches against Gallows and Anderson and not one of them was a clean victory. That’s an interesting fact.
I still feel like Gallows and Anderson will eventually take these titles off The New Day, I just think it will be after they beat the record. There’s more to all of these dirty wins than we know of yet. I really think that we could see a heel turn for The New Day, but they sell so much merchandise that I’m not sure WWE would do something like that. There’s no doubt they’ve been one of the best acts WWE has had over the past year, bu things have to change at some point. People get bored easily and it’s hard for a team to stay relevant for a long time without some resentment. Hats off to The New Day because they’ve done it, but I feel like this is the beginning of the end.
Sami Zayn/Braun Strowman
Sami Zayn came out to make the save for R-Truth and Goldust who were getting beaten down by Strowman. Sami staggered the big man for a second before being put in the tree of woe just like last week. Mick Foley came out and once again stopped Braun from destroying Zayn. Mick then started to talk about how he was doing this to save Sami and that Zayn will never beat Strowman. This lit a fire under Sami who asked Mick how many times people told him he couldn’t do it. He called Mick a hypocrite.
This was one of the better promos I’ve seen from Sami. He’s taken the real frustration that he’s probably felt over the past few months and channeled it into a passionate speech about opportunity. I feel that Sami will probably be the one to finally defeat Braun and that may come at Roadblock or the Royal Rumble. It’s nice to see Zayn finally getting something meaningful to do after so many weeks of random matches and no storylines.
Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens/Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns
The night started out alright for Jericho and Owens who made fun of American Thanksgiving. It wasn’t until Roman Reigns came out that things changed. Reigns somehow got Owens to agree to a match later on in the night and Owens even told Jericho to shut up as he was going through his list routine. Jericho took great offense to this backstage and said he was no longer friends with Owens. He was then attacked by Seth Rollins who wasn’t supposed to be in the building.
Later on in the night, Owens lost to Reigns which means he will go on to face Owens for the Universal Championship at Roadblock. Owens did an interview afterwards where he said that he was worried about Jericho and that’s why he lost. He also said they’re still best friends. I’m not sure what to say about this one, they’ve teased dissension before only to bounce right back next week. I’m just not sure this isn’t all a ruse. One way or another, when Jericho does finally turn on Owens, he may just become the biggest face of all-time. He’s already getting great pops with his list. I wouldn’t mind seeing Jericho win the title and drop it at Wrestlemania. He deserves it for all he’s done in WWE over the past couple years.
We’ve been spoiled with this great women’s feud ever since the brand split. It’s been one of the best parts of Raw week in and week out. Charlotte has been such a great champion using a win at all costs attitude and I’ve really admired what she’s been able to accomplish in a little over a year. You may not like her character, but you have to respect the woman behind it.
These two had a match early on in the evening that ended in a count-out. Mick Foley came out and said he wouldn’t have such an important match end that way and it would restart later in the night under no disqualification, falls count anywhere rules. That’s a sure-fire way to win over a crowd.
Both women had an incredible match and it really looked like Charlotte was going to take the win a few times in the match, but Sasha pulled it out with the Banks Statement using the railing in the crowd. Sasha became the three-time Raw Women’s Champion. It was a great way to end the 4-5 month feud these girls have been having and a perfect main event for Raw. At the end of the match, Ric Flair came out to give Sasha his approval as Charlotte kept mouthing the words, “I’ve failed” over and over on the steps in the crowd.
It’s unlikely we’ll see another feud like this in the near-future. These two ladies traded the championship back and forth and really proved to people that the Women’s Revolution has arrived. Check this match out if you haven’t!
This was a good episode of Raw, probably one of the better ones in the last month. Raw has really been getting better quality-wise lately and I’ve been getting progressively more interested in the flagship brand. I’m looking forward to Roadblock in a few weeks time.