WWE Raw returned last night (Nov. 21, 2016) with all the fallout from Sunday’s Survivor Series pay-per-view (PPV).
You can find all the results from last night’s show here.
Goldberg opened the show and the crowd was still super hot for him. (It’s the same crowd as last night so it would make sense.) Honestly, that’s the success of what’s going on now: This crowd losing their damn mind trying to shout Goldberg on the top of their lungs makes the mystique of it.
It didn’t take long for them to get to where reports had them headed: Goldberg in the Royal Rumble.
Basically, Bill told us that after he straight up squashed Brock Lesnar last night, he was ready to call it a day. But then Stephanie McMahon asked him "Do you have one last title run in you?" And to that, Goldberg’s answer was a resounding yes.
Of course it was. Goldberg just dominated the man who dominated everyone else. Why wouldn’t he think he’s ready for a title match? He did what no one else could. And the next big chance for a title match would be the Royal Rumble. You don’t squash frickin’ Brock Lesnar to get a title shot with Kevin Owens at the second Roadblock of the year. You do it to get the shot at WrestleMania.
The was short and simple. He delivered his message and got out of there before the small spattering of "You screwed Bret" could take any hold.
One of the biggest happenings from last night’s show, maybe the biggest in all the lands, was when Jericho’s List was strewn across the ring after Kevin Owens used the List to attack AJ Styles. This was when Styles was about to hit Y2J with a Styles Clash.
Last night, Jericho hosted a Highlight Reel to "perform an autopsy" on Team Raw’s loss at the PPV. But before he could point any blame, champion Kevin Owens came out to join him, and for a change, Jericho did not seem happy to see him. This led to a pretty heated moment between the best friends. KO said he was using the List to protect Jericho while Chris said Owens would never do that to the List because a real best friend would know how much it meant to him.
It looked like this was the inevitable break up and of course it was always going to be about The List. There was emotion. There was disappointment. But when they both went to name who was at fault for Sunday...
The both said Roman Reigns. It was all a ruse! Still best friends!
The Highlight Reel was all one big setup to make us all think the break up was happening tonight before they swerved us. But because both of these guys are so damned entertaining, it was worth it. The best part of it all is the fact that no one batted an eye when it was teased that the next title feud was going to be based around a clipboard and some paper.
This break up will come, and it will probably still be based around The List, but it won’t be today. Drink in this beautiful friendship while you still can.
This lead to the set up to the main event, which was a no DQ match between Owens and Rollins. Mick Foley made the match after the Highlight Reel when Rollins came out and demanded the title match they owe him for being on Team Raw. (Roman Reigns made a quick appearance in this segment too but overall was absent from the show.)
The story that management had to coerce Rollins to fight for them and that’s why he’s getting a title shot works in the sense that it’s no longer just a random title match. The explanation itself, however, is a bit flimsy because:
1) They could just order him to do it because they’re his boss and
2) The story of "How did they get Rollins?" was never a major talking point. It may have been subtly mentioned though but it felt a bit out of no where tonight.
But it’s still better than "Here’s your title match" and it's another plot thread leading out of Survivor Series.
To make matters better for the Architect, both Roman Reigns and Chris Jericho would be banned from ringside.
This match was badass, with two great workers beating the hell out of each other inside and outside the ring. And if a hardcore match with Seth Rollins goes through the crowd, you’re bound to get this insanity:
Even though he was banned from ringside, super best friend Chris Jericho still affected the outcome of the match. As Owens and Rollins finally made their way back through the crowd to the ring area, Chris, who was deliciously wearing a Sin Cara mask, attacked Rollins.
Where the CONTROVERSY lies was when Jericho jumped the barrier to attack Rollins, entering the ringside he was specifically banned from. Seth caught him and hit a Pedigree, but this was enough time to allow Kevin Owens to powerbomb Rollins on the ring apron, possibly costing him more weeks of his career.
This was two great workers having a fun main event with the added bonus of Chris Jericho wearing a Sin Cara mask. Good times all around.
One last hoorah
Sasha Banks demanded her rematch against Charlotte for the title tonight. Charlotte agreed but said it wouldn’t be tonight but next week in her hometown of Charlotte, NC. As the crowd booed the decision, the Queen told them "Sure, the best way to get the champ to change their mind is to boo them." She still has some work to do with some crowds, but every week she gets better working them as a heel.
Nia Jax came out to take issues with Banks, claiming Sasha did no work in their Survivor Series match. This lead to a double team of Jax and the champ on Sasha until Bayley made the save. This resulted in the obvious tag team match, which ended when Banks submitted Charlotte.
This has the feeling of them trying to get the title rematch out of the way so they can get to the next plan: Bayley vs. Charlotte and Sasha vs. Nia Jax. But Charlotte and Sasha have delivered in their title matches so next week should be fun either way.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
As punishment for losing last night and failing to bring the Intercontinental title to Raw, the Raw management team put Sami Zayn in a match with Braun Strowman. Well, it was Stephanie’s idea. Foley was extremely reluctant while Steph basked in the punishment. (She never liked that Zayn to begin with.)
It’s an odd punishment because that’s a match that Sami was actively asking for weeks ago. But it did end up serving as a severe punishment.
Braun was still livid from that twerp James Ellsworth costing him the match Sunday and he took it out on Sami before the bell even rang. Sami wasn’t in the ring before the mack truck known as Braun Strowman ran over Zayn and didn’t let up after the bell rang.
The match ended when Mick Foley came out and timidly ordered the ref to stop the match. Zayn had had enough and could no longer defend himself. Mick clearly didn’t enjoy that brand of punishment that his colleague revels in.
Looks like this could lead to some tension between Mick and Steph (who was probably loving watching that annoying Sami get his), but for tonight, everyone played their parts well. Braun looked like a monster and Sami had the excuse that he was attacked prior to the match and he didn’t even lose it.
New... Day Cheats
New Day had to resort to blatant cheating to retain their tag team titles tonight against Cesaro and Sheamus. As Demolition’s record gets closer and closer, the New Day are getting more and more desperate. And it looks like they’re turning heel in the process.
Their antics that people were fine with recently aren’t flying as much with live crowds. Plus their shtick is going to get more and more tiresome for more people as time rolls on so sending them back to the dark side may be the best move for the end of their epic reign.
What didn’t make sense in the tag division was when Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows beat Golden Truth (OK that part makes perfect sense but they should have done it much quicker) to become #1 contender for the titles next week. Yes, next week.
With New Day already skimming that heel side, the Club isn’t the best pairing for them when they’re trying to still sell Anderson and Gallows as a badass team. Plus, this is more likely just another loss for the Club and there aren’t many more (if any at all) that they can take before people just stop taking Anderson and Gallows seriously. That is if they haven’t already.
This could lead to the New Day cheating for the next 4 weeks to break the record, but using the Club in that position isn’t going to do either team any favors.
For some reason, Enzo Amore was locked out of the locker room naked. Why he was out of the locker room naked in the first place is beyond me. I mean, at least have a towel on you.
So he walked around with his little G just swingin’ free. Then he came across Lana, who took a peek. Rusev saw, got pissed, demanded a match, and defeated Zo.
Yes, they booked a match because a dude was inexplicably walking around naked and a jealous husband wouldn’t have it. Honestly, I thought Zo walking around the back rattling off his normal chatter buckass naked was pretty funny and Rusev got the win with little trouble. I’m not going to complain about any of that.
Geno may claim no one who likes the cruiserweights can actually name them all, but that’s BS. In fact, tonight, Noah Dor, Ricky Goose, and TJ Parker had a good match when Ricky won with the Rick kick to become #1 contender.
This was a fun offering tonight. One major thing that helped the show was the fact that they were able to use events from the PPV Sunday to lead to their consequences here on Raw.
Goldberg earned a title opportunity for beating the unbeatable. Cesaro and Sheamus earned a title shot as a reward for being the sole survivors in the tag elimination match. Sami Zayn got punished for a loss and has to deal with a Braun Strowman still furious that he was punked by that puny Ellsworth the same night. Seth Rollins gets his reward for just being on the team.
The show benefits when everything feels like it’s connected and not just WWE variety hour, which Raw often is.
Sound off below, Cagesiders.