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WWE Raw preview (Jan. 2, 2017): Still standing

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Ringing in the New Year in Tampa!

The Headliner

And what better way to start than with Goldberg!

Settle in for a month’s worth of alternating appearances between Bill and the guy he squashed at Survivor Series as we get ready for their WrestleMania rematch by selling Royal Rumble!

Last we saw Goldberg, he was announcing his entry into the Jan. 29th battle royal in San Antonio. Energized by demolishing Brock Lesnar, the 50 year old WCW legend decided he’d stick around for the Rumble as part of a plan to make himself a two-time WWE champ. But that was he knew Lesnar would join him in the 30 man match.

We can be sure Goldberg will address a likely showdown with Brock at the Alamodome... what else might we see from him? Some physicality, a la his segment with Rusev from last November? An actual match?

The title scene

Last week, Seth Rollins helped neutralize Chris Jericho so United States titleholder Roman Reigns could keep his belt and defeat Universal champ Kevin Owens. A sign of things to come? In San Antonio, Jericho will be above the ring in a shark cage, and the powers-that-be have consistently shown us that KO doesn’t beat anyone not named Sami Zayn (more on him in a minute) without assistance from his best friend.

After successfully lobbying commissioner Stephanie McMahon to have her loss to Bayley from Dec. 19 wiped from the record books, Women’s champion Charlotte Flair stacked the deck in her favor for the rematch by having her sidekick Dana Brooke serve as the referee. Now that Flair has a feet-on-the-ropes win over the Hugster, is Bayley still the #1 contender?

They still don’t get along outside the ring, but Cesaro & Sheamus keep finding ways to win inside the squared circle. Now that New Day lost their rematch, will the tag titleists get a proper feud en route to the Rumble, or just kill time until they’re entered into that match?

Self-proclaimed King of the Cruiserweights Neville has wins over two of the three men who’ve held the Cruiserweight belt, including last Tuesday’s defeat of current champ Rich Swann on 205 Live. Is that enough to get a title shot, or does he have to beat The Brian Kendrick first as well?

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- After two weeks of Braun Strowman wrecking everything in his path, he finally gets another shot at Sami Zayn tonight. Zayn snuck onto the scene to disrupt Strowman’s bout with Rollins last Monday, but tonight he’ll not only have to be face-to-face with the Monster Among Men, but he’ll have to keep him down for a ten count to win their Last Man Standing match.

- Will Mick Foley be there to “save” Sami, as he has been throughout this program? The General Manager was in the middle of off-air drama concerning his damaged hip last week, but seeing as he didn’t have surgery, there’s no reason to think he won’t be back this week.

- Speaking of controversy, Karl Anderson destroyed a small bear wearing Dusty Rhodes’ ring gear, and friends & family of the American Dream got upset. Goldust was one of them, in kayfabe, anyway, but that just resulted in a loss to Anderson & Luke Gallows for Golden Truth. Now, the angle’s detractors are asking... was that it?

- In the absence of Sasha Banks, Nia Jax will just destroy women who look up to Sasha Banks.

- Jinder Mahal has been brought into the Enzo Amore & Big Cass’ feud with Rusev & Lana. Just thought you should know.

- Emmalina?

Four weeks until Royal Rumble!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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