This week on Raw (1/23/2017), it’s an action-packed pre-Rumble edition of Raw and we have a ton to say about Reigns, Rollins, Bayley, and more!
Roman Reigns opened up Raw to a chorus of boos. I honestly think that Roman is starting to get booed now more than ever before. I almost feel like everyone know another title run is coming soon for The Big Dog. reigns cut a short promo about how he’ll be leaving the Royal Rumble with the Universal Championship. It’s tough to get behind someone who has such a vanilla character. He doesn’t really have anything that makes him stand out. He’s become a fantastic in-ring worker and he certainly has his moments on the microphone, but he doesn’t seem like he has that it factor that makes a Superstar.
I really don’t think Reigns’ lack of fan support is his own fault. He’s been given the John Cena treatment where he is all over Raw every week and the fans start to get tired of that. They don’t want to see the same thing week after week and that’s what it becomes. Reigns is a definitely an above-average star, but he needs a change of scenery. I honestly think that a move to SmackDown would benefit him greatly.
Reigns did get a rematch out of Chris Jericho for the US Championship on Raw after twisting his words around. Of course, the rematch ended in a disqualification win for Reigns after Owens attacked Reigns. I’m glad that Reigns didn’t win back the title, he’s never needed it and definitely won’t when he eventually wins the Universal Championship.
After the match, Reigns locked Owens in the shark cage and speared Jericho. Charly Caruso then came out to inform Owens and Jericho that the title match on Sunday will now be a No DQ match along with Jericho in the shark cage. I think it’s a foregone conclusion that Reigns will win the title at the Rumble barring a huge swerve. For once though, I actually think the obvious answer won’t happen. It’s way too shifted in Roman’s favour right now. Something has to give. I guess we’ll see Sunday!
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Luke Gallows took on Cesaro in singles action on Raw and picked up a big win after Anderson distracted the ref while Cesaro had the Sharpshooter locked in. It was nice to see Gallows and Anderson get some type of momentum heading into the Royal Rumble where they will get another shot at the Raw Tag Team Championship. If these two guys lose another match for the titles, they might as well be shipped off somewhere else because they’ll have lost every bit of fierceness that they had.
It’s a tough thing to have a formidable team be beaten so many times and not see one ounce of success in their 7-8 months in the company. I really hope the Royal Rumble is the turning point to show everyone how great this team is and what made them so famous in New Japan. Two referees will be assigned to the title match so this one is sure to be full of insanity.
Bayley cut a very good promo talking about how being a fan of WWE hasn’t hurt her, it’s helped her get to where she’s at today (talking about her Raw Women’s Championship Match). She went on to say she still gets butterflies before she comes out, but that when she’s out there that all goes away. She talked about people not thinking she can do it, but that she has two victories over Charlotte and she’ll beat her again Sunday.
I think Bayley, more than anyone else, speaks from the heart. Her promos have never felt forced for a single second since she’s been given those opportunities. She’s such a natural on the microphone and she tells people how she realistically feels . I don’t think she’ll be winning the championship on Sunday, but I do think her time is coming. The confidence she is showing really resonates with the fans and I’m starting to liken her to a female version of Daniel Bryan. That’s pretty high-praise, but I feel it’s deserved. I think she’s going to show everyone why that is over the next few months.
Seth Rollins/Sami Zayn
What a natural way to get a Sami vs. Seth match?! Stephanie McMahon made a match between Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn on Raw for a spot in the Royal Rumble Match. This wasn’t just any spot though, the spot up for grabs was Rollins’ spot in the Rumble. As expected, this match was a fantastic match with tons of near falls and crazy spots. It was on a bit early in the show, though. This could have easily been a main event match, but it was on in the first hour.
The big moment of this match came when Seth Rollins Pedigreed Zayn on the edge of the ring. Seth went to pin Zayn when Triple H’s music hit. Rollins then wasted time looking around for him and ended up being defeated with an inside cradle. Zayn will be in the Rumble while Seth loses his spot.
Even if it was just his music, at least we finally had some form of an idea that Triple H will be coming back soon. Keep in mind that we’ve only seen him one time since last Wrestlemania so it was pretty exciting. I’m sure that Rollins vs. Triple H will be announced at some point in the next few weeks.
Charlotte had her own sit-down interview with Corey Graves discussing her title match on Sunday. Charlotte was very confident saying that she didn’t mean to embarrass Bayley, she just wanted the fans to know who they were getting behind. She also said she’d punish Bayley for ever thinking she could compete with her. This is the Charlotte I love to see. When The Queen is threatened, she gets that chip on her shoulder that makes her even more dominant than usual. I’m excited for Sunday.
Nia Jax/Sasha Banks
Nia Jax came out and defeated a jobber before talking about how she had broken The Boss. Sasha’s music then hit and out came Banks with a crutch in hand. She used that crutch to attack Nia. Nia then ran at her, but Sasha pulled the rope down throwing Jax from the ring before giving her the double-knee off the apron. I’m guessing these two will have a match on the Rumble kick-off.
Mustafa Ali made an appearance on Raw. I believe it’s the first time we’ve seen him on Raw. The guy uses and Inverted 450 Splash for a finisher, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before as something that used regularly. it was quite a sight. Ali’s going to be an exciting addition to the Cruiserweight Division.
The New Day and Enzo and Cass faced off against Rusev, Titus O’Neil, Jinder Mahal, and Braun Strowman in a battle of who really cares? This was just a match to get these guys on TV going into the Rumble. Strowman gets the pinfall for his team over Enzo. Big Show then came out to confront Strowman who walked away. Apparently Show is in the Rumble. Might as well make it a 40-man Royal Rumble and we can throw Lex Luger in there too…
Emmalina…man, just forget about it…does she even exist anymore?
Lesnar, Undertaker, and Goldberg were all on Raw and didn’t really do a whole lot of anything except have a staredown. It was a good segment, it just seems like we’ve been talking about this stuff so long that it’s just time to see the Rumble itself.
Wow. This episode of Raw was jam-packed with content! It was one of the best episodes of Raw in a long time, as it should have been. If you weren’t excited for the Royal Rumble already, you should be now. It should be one of the best Rumbles in the last 10 decade!