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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Jan. 9, 2017): Dig a hole

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WWE hit New Orleans for Monday Night Raw this week and it was all about the big return of both Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. It was bad. Let’s just get right to dealing with it.

Click here to read the live blog with complete results.


What's old...

WWE built most of this show around the storyline that Undertaker was only ever RUMORED for this show and not promoted ahead of time on the company website or anything. Then they added in a performance evaluation for General Manager Mick Foley that all, for some dumb reason, hinged on whether or not he could actually deliver on Undertaker showing up.

So he went out to the ring and summoned The Deadman, only to be denied at first so they could set up Stephanie McMahon firing him, itself a set up just so The Phenom could arrive right before she actually canned him. The idea, then, is Foley delivered.

Then Undertaker said he goes where he wants and does what he wants while answering to no one. Foley, then, deserves no credit but is keeping his job, rendering the entire performance evaluation a waste of time while also making Stephanie look incompetent.

Also: Why is Undertaker waiting until that exact moment to show up?

This was all so Undertaker could enter the Royal Rumble and Braun Strowman could be shown watching intently. Undertaker vs. Strowman sounds like a lovely tea party to yours truly but I can't pretend like it would be accepted by the masses. That the red brand got this announcement over the blue makes you wonder if that possible match with John Cena isn't out the window, which would be especially sad considering that's absolutely the direction they should be going with this WrestleMania, which, considering how he looked on this show, should be Undertaker's last.

Either way, this was bad.


...is still old

Here's what kind of baffles me: Shawn Michaels has been steadfast in his refusal to come out of retirement for one more match. He's respecting the stipulation he made with Undertaker and what else is there to accomplish and all this and that. That's fine! But he returns periodically to do literally everything else.

This is not a good thing.

There was a time Michaels was one of the best all around performers in all of professional wrestling. That time? Around 1996-97. His career has been built on his ability to have great matches with literally everyone.

Not showing up to sell a movie no one is going to watch.

He was never the best promo, and the old dad joke style just doesn't work for him. When you put Enzo Amore & Big Cass out there with him trying to tell their own jokes while adding him to it, it's downright painful.

Rusev was the lone bright spot in this segment, doing everything he could to save it despite the material he was given to work with. The Bulgarian George Clooney deserves so much better than this. Instead of being booked as an actually valuable member of the roster, he's out here getting clowned by an old man selling a movie. This was really bad.


All the best to all the rest

- Braun Strowman remains fed up with the rules of pro wrestling matches in WWE, and it's perfect. He is absolutely a monster in the sense that he doesn't ever pay any attention to what the rules actually are -- it's entirely possible he doesn't understand there are rules at all -- and gets delightfully pissed off when said rules are enforced. His one and only goal is destruction and he pays no mind to anything that may get in the way of that until he is forced to confront it. I love this man with all my cold, black heart.

- TJ Perkins should be fired for teaching Shawn Michaels how to dab.

- Jack Gallagher probably doesn't have much time to work this gentleman gimmick -- you can imagine how long it will amuse the powers that be -- but here's to hoping he gets to run with it for as long as possible. It's making the cruiserweight division fun, alongside Neville, King of the Cruiserweights, who I could watch run through the entire division a number of times before it got old.

- How did Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows get shuffled back into the tag team title scene despite how often they were made to look silly by The New Day not so long ago? Either way, we're beyond done with Sheamus and Cesaro, right?

- The women's division on Raw sure feels like it's about to hit its stride, what with two clear cut feuds that intersect in just the right way that they can work long term stories off it for all of 2017 -- especially if they ever get around to bringing Emmalina around. Nia Jax is a destroyer, Sasha Banks vs. Bayley is coming around (and maybe Sasha vs. Stephanie at some point, what with how they were looking at each other), and Charlotte can fit in everywhere. This is good! It didn't give us much to write home about on this show in particular but they've done wonders laying the groundwork for good stories later.

- New Day have been reduced to making fun of clips from six years ago and beating up Titus O'Neil week after week. It's a sad day, yes it is.

- It wasn't all that entertaining getting there -- mainly because it took far too many matches to get to this point -- but Chris Jericho winning the US title from Roman Reigns with help from Kevin Owens makes all the sense in the world. It's just too bad they didn't get here sooner, or, better, they didn't book so many matches featuring some version of these three before doing this. It would have had so much more impact. Still, bravo for pulling the trigger on it.

A good thing or two couldn't save this one.

Grade: F

Your turn.