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WWE Raw results, live blog (Jan. 2, 2017): Goldberg returns

WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 2, 2017) from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida featuring all the latest build to the upcoming dual brand Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for next month in San Antonio.

Advertised for tonight: Goldberg returns, Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn in a Last Man Standing match, and more!

Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)


He'd been a poor man all of his life; just when things were going right, some stranger takes his woman away. He doesn't know if he'll see, oh, another day, but me, I know I'm here to liveblog a pro wrestling show, folks.

Show opens in the arena with commentary putting Goldberg’s return and Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn over for later in the show. In the meantime, Raw General Manager Mick Foley is in the ring.

He said he had a few new year’s resolutions, including his new, more closely trimmed beard and hair, and writing the city Raw is in on his hand for the cheap pop. But another resolution was to make sure that Kevin Owens defends the Universal Championship on his own at the Royal Rumble. So he, in a very cagey move, put Chris Jericho in a literal shark cage for the match, to make sure...

Enter Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho in tow. KO asks Foley if he thinks he’s funny, taking his best friend and stick him in a shark cage a hundred feet above the ground, up there like a sexy pinata. Jericho asks as well and Foley holds two fingers up like “a little bit” and Y2J gets on him for abusing his authority. Owens says his haircut really is funny but for abuse of power, exhibit A is Roman Reigns getting another shot at the title in the first place.

Jericho adds exhibit B, Rollins Pedigreeing him on a car like a barbarian (Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank WCW...) and he suffers no repercussions, but Jericho makes a little strategic move to help his friend and he gets punished? Kev says it’s obvious that Mick has a personal issue with them and they’re not gonna stand for it anymore.

Mick agrees, saying they should wipe the slate clean. He wants to see what the Kevin Owens Show would really be like, and he makes it happen. His initial guest will be Goldberg! KO says that’s great, even if Mick picking the guest on his own show is a bit weird, but they have questions for Bill. He warms up asking Foley a question— what makes him think he can abuse his power like that?

Foley sputters and Stephanie McMahon comes out. She hates to burst Kev’s bubble but Foley isn’t abusing his power. He has every right to make these decisions, but she wishes Mick would have consulted with her about the shark cage. Foley concedes, before saying he wishes she had consulted him about putting Sami Zayn in a Last Man Standing match. Owens freaks out about them not paying attention to him, but Steph has a match that will make him happy— Roman Reigns will defend his United States Championship against Chris Jericho, and if he gets counted out or disqualified, he loses the title.

Jericho likes that but wants Seth Rollins addressed. Owens suggests banning Seth from ringside and everyone bickers until Steph drops a bomb of being sick that SmackDown beat Raw in the ratings last week. She calls Raw the real land of opportunity, and if Owens wants Rollins banned from ringside, he has to beat Seth Rollins tonight in a match where the loser is banned from ringside.

Rollins/Owens is after the break!

Back from commercial and Owens is waiting for Rollins.

Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins (Loser Is Banned From Ringside Match)

Rollins ducks a lariat and fires punches at Owens. Kev bails, Rollins throws a slingshot splash after him and the process repeats on the other side. Trading blows near the barricade as referee John Cone counts, KO breaks and Rollins follows. Owens stomping a proverbial mudhole in the Architect before forcing him in the corner for a big chop. Following across, Seth returns in kind only to get kicked low and legal.

Continuing to slug it out now, Rollins off the ropes with a Penalty Kick for one, wristlock, shoulder armbreaker, KO out with a punch and a disdainful kick to Seth’s prone body. He yells about being the man and preens for the crowd before forcing the Architect into the corner again. Rollins back in it with a diving blockbuster and we go to break.

Back from commercial and, surprise, Owens has a reverse chinlock in, grounding Rollins. He breaks early for a senton that gets a nearfall and more kicks to the grounded Shield man. Right hands when Rollins gets to his feet but Seth fires back some of his own and ends up back body dropped to the outside.

Rollins tries to get back in and KO decks him with a forearm before rolling out after for a cannonball into the barricade but Seth dodges! They get back in the ring and go chop for punch for kick until Owens kicks Seth’s hamstring in. Off the ropes, looking for the pop-up powerbomb but Rollins slips over and hits an enzuigiri for separation. Rollins charging over on one leg for forearms but Kev cuts him off with a corner lariat.

Cannonball countered with the corner reverse STO, sling blade follows it up and Rollins is fired up. Superkick to the gut, Pedigree hooked but Owens counters with a back body drop.KO ends up outside and Seth throws a suicide dive on him! Stinger Splash sends Owens into the timekeeper’s area and Rollins heads back in the ring to break the count. When Rollins comes back, KO is ready for him with the bell...

Seth Rollins wins by disqualification, banning Kevin Owens from ringside.

In the ring they scuffle further, with Rollins hitting a jumping knee and hooking Owens for the Pedigree again, but the Universal Champion slips away and heads up the ramp fuming and hurling abuse at referee John Cone.

Commentary puts over our US title match and sends us back to break.

Back from commercial and Cesaro makes his entrance, accompanied by Sheamus, who will be joining the commentary booth for this match.

Cesaro vs. Karl Anderson

Circling, collar and elbow, Anderson gets a waistlock, Cesaro gets a headlock, Karl shoots him off and eats a shoulder block. Another headlock, shot off again, Machine Gun clobbers him to the mat, monkey flip, Cesaro to his feet, arm drag, Cesaro with a headscissors, European uppercut!

Whip across, reversed, Anderson tries to send Cesaro in the corner but the Swiss man blocks him and lifts the G1 finalist up for a Karelin Lift for one. Off the ropes, corkscrew uppercut, Cesaro charges in, back dropped to the apron, Gallows with the distraction and Anderson nails Cesaro with a Sick Kick to send us to break.

Back from commercial and Cesaro is trying to break free of a reverse chinlock. Looking for a suplex, Anderson tries to block but Cesaro gets him up and over anyway! Throwing uppercuts, Cesaro charges in and eats a boot for two. Anderson off the ropes with a lariat, another two count, and he goes back to the reverse chinlock after.

Cesaro with a whip into the corner, uppercut to the back of Machine Gun’s head, blocks a punch, throws an uppercut and keeps rolling on Karl as referee Darrick Moore counts. Double jump crossbody gets two! Gallows runs interference again and Anderson nails Cesaro with the spinning spinebuster for a nearfall.

This gets Sheamus down to the ring to even the odds, Anderson looking for the fireman’s carry Gun Stun but Cesaro slips away and hits a springboard uppercut for a nearfall of his own. Going for the Neutralizer, Anderson out, looking for the swing but Anderson has the ropes. A messy Sick Kick dazes Cesaro but he has it together enough to clip Karl with a dropkick and an uppercut in the corner.

Looking for the deadlift superplex, Gallows tries to interfere, Sheamus stops him but hits the ropes in the process, crotching Cesaro. Anderson takes flight...

Karl Anderson wins by pinfall with a diving neckbreaker.

Commentary discusses the Zayn/Strowman feud a bit and throws to a video package recapping it. Braun is walking backstage and that sends us to break.

Back from commercial and some sportsballmen get camera time before commentary throws to a video package about Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg.

In the arena, it’s time for our Man Event!

Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn (Last Man Standing Match)

Braun charges in, Sami ducks and jabs, keeping his distance. Ducks a punch, throws a combination of his own before he bails and makes Braun follow him to the timekeeper’s area, where he busts out a kendo stick! Wailing on Braun with the stick, Strowman yanks it away and breaks it over his knee! A biel throws Zayn across the ring and Braun roars.

Sami outside, Braun follows and eats more kendo stick shots! He’s actually got Strowman on the back foot but Braun breaks the second stick. Asai moonsault off the barricade, Braun catches him and powerslams him into the barricade! Referee Rod Zapata counts and Sami gets to his feet at six.

Braun charges in, Zayn dodges and the big man eats the ringpost! A shove sends him in again and a third time takes him to a knee and gets him in position for the corner suicide dive tornado DDT but Braun gets up and clobbers Zayn as he gets through the ropes! Back up at six again and in the ring, Strowman connects wtih a body avalanche and leaves Sami for dead once again.

Up at four, Braun knocks him down with a single right hand and Zapata starts counting again. Up at three, down with a lariat. Up again, this time a shoulder block takes him down. Zayn up against the ropes, whip, he catches Braun with a lariat that staggers him! Off the ropes again but Strowman levels him and Zapata counts.

Zayn rolls outside, breaking the count at seven, and we go to break.

Back from commercial and Strowman throws Zayn off the stage! He yells about learning his lesson and rams his face into the front of the announce desk! A big right and Zayn uses the stage to balance, where Braun caves his chest in with clubbing blows. They fight down the aisle of production equipment to a poorly lit area of the arena and Braun throws him through the curtain.

SAMI CLUBS THE BIG MAN WITH A LEAD PIPE! He follows it up throwing him into road cases but Strowman is right on him with a biel onto some other cases! Braun throws another roadcase right at him! Zayn off the case to knock Strowman back, in with a chair shot to the back and Braun heads through the curtain back toward the ring. Sami keeps throwing shots at the big man’s back but he gets goozled and chucked onto the stage.

Crawling for the chair as Zapata counts, Braun steps on the chair and throws Zayn into the entrance screens! Hoists him up for the running powerslam but Sami gets out and gets the chair! Shot to the gut, the arm, he’s firing up, to the back, Strowman catches the chair but wobbles agains the edge of the stage... RUNNING CROSSBODY KNOCKS BRAUN OFF THE STAGE AND THROUGH SOME TABLES!

Both men break the count, Sami getting up first and stalking Strowman with the chair, another shot to the back but Braun fires up himself and biels Zayn up on the ramp with the chair before running him over with a lariat. Running powerslam in the aisle... ZAYN UP AT NINE! Braun grabs him and throws a wicked series of knees. Zapata gets to four and Braun takes it on himself to hammer Zayn with crossface blows to keep him down.

Sami gets to six and shows signs of life when Braun scoops him up for another running powerslam in the aisle!

Braun Strowman wins when Sami Zayn is unable to answer a standing ten count.

Mick Foley comes down with paramedics, stretcher in tow, to give Sami the medical attention he clearly needs. They get Zayn up and start wheeling him out when Strowman bowls the stretcher over! He throws Sami into the barricade and yells “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust!” before heading up the ramp and leaving them to deal with the carnage in his wake.

Commentary throws to a recap of the Gentleman’s Duel from 205 Live.

We cut to backstage where Gallagher is instructing New Day in the art of the duel. Xavier says they’re not going to give up because it’s their new year’s resolution, and apparently they’re going to talk more about that after the break.

Back from commercial with an ad for Bring It to the Table.

In the arena, Big E does the deal and a kid in a Rick Rude shirt is super excited about it. Kofi chucks a platter of Booty-O’s so far into the crowd that he’s kind of impressed with himself, too.

Xavier Woods kicks the promo off, saying 2016 was a pretty good year for them. Ups and downs, of course, but Kofi points out their capture of the regnal length record and E says they’re starting their year off right by dipping their sticks into the Royal Rumble match! Kofi says they’ve got some resolutions and Titus O’Neil does the... deal?

Titus dances down the ramp and says that in order to reach all of their 2017 goals, they need a new member. In everyone’s head, they’re wondering who? Look no further than the Titus Brand, he says, and asks New Day to hear him out. He has rhythm, which he demonstrates with a little round of New! Day rocks! that winds him..

He has musical talents as well, and he reaches for Francesca II Turbo, but Xavier backs him off, saying nobody touches his girl. Titus whips out his whistle and starts blowing it. Big E graciously asks the crowd to give him a hand before saying they all know that he blows. Titus asks them to imagine his face on a box of Booty-O’s and New Day looks horrified.

Xavier says that everybody in the building and around the world would rather see Titus’s face on the back of a carton of milk, since nobody wants to see his face. Titus says that’s a strong joke coming from the weakest link in the New Day. Woods offers to show Titus how much a weak link he is with a match right now if he’s man enough.

Titus fires off a cheap punch and agrees to the match! He calls for a referee and we go to break.

Back from commercial just in time for the bell to ring

Titus O’Neil vs. Xavier Woods

Xavier charges in, sticking and moving until Titus drops him with a big boot. Punishing him in the corner, big slam in the middle of the ring gets one and he moves to an chickenwing chinlock combo. Woods to his feet, O’Neil slams him back to the mat and taunts before doing a cocky pin for another one count.

Back to the chickenwing chinlock now and Xavier gets up again, throwing body blows. Titus hits a knee in return, Woods off the ropes for a kick and again for a clothesline. Kick, knee, Titus is dazed but gets his wits about him enough to throw Xavier to the apron. Gamengiri and a low bridge send O’Neil outside and Woods throws a tope con giro on him!

Back in the ring for a nearfall, Woods up top, diving crossbody, Titus catches him into a pair of ribbreakers and a disdainful slam. Dragging Xavier up by his hair now, scoop, Woods up and over...

Xavier Woods wins by pinfall with a sunset flip.

New Day celebrate with him, E yelling that Titus is in fact the weakest link.

Cut backstage where Stephanie McMahon is on her phone. Bayley rolls up and asks if she has a minute. Last week she expunged a victory, which she understands, but how could Steph let Dana be guest referee? Steph says that Charlotte’s lawyer dictated terms but she wants Bayley to know that she never wanted her on Raw. Charlotte is a superstar and Bayley is, well, just Bayley.

Bayley fires back that she may not have a famous last name but she belongs in WWE, on Monday Night Raw. She may not be what Steph thinks a champion should look like, she’s just Bayley and that’s good enough for her. Steph says she’ll give her a chance, in a number one contender’s match tonight, in fact... against Nia Jax.

Cedric Alexander and Alicia Fox are walking backstage when they run into Noam Dar. He says he knows they got off on the wrong foot, but it’s a new year and a new him, and he wants to apologize. Cedric says he should apologize to Alicia, and Dar apologizes... calling her sweetcheeks. This sends us to break.

Back from commercial and Cedric makes his entrance for a match.

Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak

Gulak with a wristlock, Cedric flips out of it, picks a leg, handspring headscissors takeover into a dropkick gets him one. Uppercut, Gulak shoves him off the ropes and slams him into them before putting boots to him! Punches in the corner, whip across, back body drop for one, Drew locks a grounded octopus on but Alexander gets the ropes.

Punches and chops for forearms and chops, double palm thrust to the gut, Cedirc flips over Gulak and runs him over before hitting a rolling back elbow and the handspring enzuigiri. Tony Nese on the apron, Alicia Fox yells at him and distracts Cedric just long enough...

Drew Gulak wins by pinfall with a schoolboy pin.

Gulak celebrates up the ramp like he just won the world title.

We cut backstage where Owens and Jericho are having a talk before Y2J’s match, which is after the break.

Back from commercial in time for entrances for the United States Championship match, where the title can change hands on DQ or count-out.

Chris Jericho vs. Roman Reigns (c) (WWE United States Championship)

Jericho forces Reigns in the corner for strikes but gets clobbered in return. Samoan drop gets Roman an early two as hearty dueling chants break out. Whip corner-to-corner, charge in, Y2J with a boot up and a missile dropkick for two of his own. Choking Roman against the middle rope now, off the ropes for a boot but Reigns dodges and Chris gets a leg caught up.

Pair of lariats from the Big Dog, with the usual third, leaping lariat. Charge in, back body drop to the apron begets a triangle dropkick to counter a Superman Punch from the apron! Baseball slide to cut Roman off on re-entry, he ducks, but wily Jericho throws him into the ringpost and referee John Cone counts... Roman in at nine! We go to break at this point.

Back from commercial and Y2J has a reverse chinlock in but Roman fights to his feet and out with right hands. Whip reversed, Jericho lands a knee lift and slaps the back of Roman’s head repeatedly, asking him what he’s gonna do about it. Reigns squares up and hauls off on the veteran but ends up caught with a boot on a charge. Chris looking for the running bulldog but Roman sends him into the corner and does the ten lariats, finishing with Moment of Silence!

Nearfall, Roman calls for the Superman Punch but Y2J ducks, back elbow, Lionsault, knees were up! Reigns shakes the ropes and calls for the spear but Jericho boots him in the face and tries for a Codebreaker. Roman blocks, looking for the powerbomb, Y2J counters with a Frankensteiner, Reigns rolls through but Chris counters with the Walls of Jericho! Small package counter gets a nearfall.

Jericho to the apron, heads up top and dives into a Superman Punch! NO GOOD! Going for the spear again, Chris sidesteps, going for the Walls but Roman flips him out of it. Jericho sidesteps and Reigns eats ringpost. The veteran undoes a turnbuckle pad to distract the referee and gets the US title belt... He throws it to Roman and flops to the mat as Cone turns around, it’s an Eddie Guerrero special!

Referee John Cone doesn’t buy it but it gives Y2J the opportunity to hit a Codebreaker anyway... ROMAN KICKS OUT! Jericho throwing kicks to Roman’s ribs now, Cone backing him out of the corner. He charges in and inadvertently headbutts the exposed turnbuckle, Roman’s lying in wait for him...

Roman Reigns wins by pinfall with a spear, retaining the United States Championship.

Commentary puts over our Raw Women’s Championship #1 contender’s match as well as Goldberg’s appearance on the Kevin Owens Show to send us to break.

Back from commercial and Brian Kendrick makes his entrance.

Brian Kendrick vs. TJ Perkins

Kendrick charges in and hammers on Perkins, but TJP lands on his feet on a back suplex. Off the ropes, springboard crossbody gets TJ one and he throws a strike rush, finishing with a low dropkick as Neville watches in the back. Kendrick whiplashes Perkins into the ring on a whip and hits a Regalplex. Looking for a stepover surfboard but TJP breaks away with a kick.

Heading up top, Brian crotches him, looking for an avalanche Saka Otoshi but TJP blocks and throws punches before a springboard Frankensteiner connects! Charge in, Kendrick with a boot up and a reverse STO into the turnbuckles, TJP reverses Sliced Bread #2 into a Detonation Kick...

TJ Perkins wins by submission with TJP Clutch.

Commentary thorws to a video package for the WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament.

Big Cass and Enzo are rolling backstage, Enzo rather literally in a power scooter, and we go to break.

Back from commercial with yet another Emma vignette.

In the arena, Jinder Mahal and Rusev are waiting in the ring.

Enzo & Big Cass make their entrance, they do the deal. Enzo can’t fight tonight, but Cass can, and he promises to drop both of them himself before calling them sawft as usual.

Big Cass vs. Jinder Mahal & Rusev (Handicap Match)

Jinder starts off, collar and elbow, Cass forces him in the corner and clobbers him with punches while referee Shawn Bennett counts. Across to the next corner for more punches, whip across but Rusev got the blind tag. Cass dispatches Mahal and levels Rusev with a boot but finds himself distracted when Jinder goes over to screw with Enzo.

Back in the ring, he catches Rusev’s foot and shoves him back before knocking Jinder off the apron, but Rusev is ready as he turns around...

Jinder Mahal & Rusev win by pinfall with a thrust kick from Rusev.

They celebrate up the ramp and commentary recaps the Man Event. We’re still waiting for updates on Sami, but Charlotte Flair makes her entrance to join the commentary booth for the #1 contender’s match, after the break.

Back from commercial with some hype for 205 Live tomorrow night, promising Tajiri’s debut and Neville vs. TJ Perkins.

Bayley vs. Nia Jax (WWE Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Match)

Bayley charges in trying to pick a leg but Nia throws her off. Second try, side headlock, also no dice and Jax ends up hitting a shoulderbreaker on her. Body avalanche, a second, she chucks Bayley away like so much garbage to set up a running hip attack. Drags her into the middle of the ring for a cover but she’s out at two and Nia throws headbutts before locking a cobra clutch on.

She’s really wrenching it in, throwing Bayley around in the hold, but Bayley fights free with stomps and elbows. Jax pulls her in for a powerslam but Bayley counters by sending her into the turnbuckles. Nia stalking, charges over, Bayley ducks and sends her into the ringpost! Boot up on another charge, up top but Jax yanks her down and clobbers her with a lariat before throwing a pair of elbow drops and a leg drop to the back of Bayley’s head!

Nia drags her over and climbs to the second when Sasha Banks’ music hits! She walks down the ramp and the distraction buys Bayley enough time to head over...

Bayley wins by pinfall with an avalanche Bayley-to-Belly, becoming #1 contender to the Raw Women’s Championship.

Sasha celebrates with Bayley on the ramp as Nia Jax stares daggers at her.

The Kevin Owens Show is up next after the break.

Back from commercial with an advertisement for next week’s Raw, featuring both Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker.

Owens and Jericho head down to the Kevin Owens Show set, where the part of the logo sign is played by a human being with a sign taped to their head. There is no Kane mask on the sign, unfortunately for fans of the old Kevin Steen Show.

KO talks about main eventing Raw yet again and says his guest needs no introduction, having dominated the Attitude Era and defined greatness...

He’s talking about Jericho, of course. Chris gets on the mic to kvetch about the crowd chanting Goldberg, and you know what happens when you chant for Goldberg? You make the List! Owens calls the crowd stupid for cheering being added to the list and moves to bring out Goldberg but Jericho interrupts with news.

He says Brock and Goldberg are already in the Rumble, and so is he! Owens is confused, wondering what happens if he wins. Jericho says if he wins the Rumble, no matter who wins the match, they’re still Universal Champion together! KO doesn’t like this, saying he doesn’t want to fight his best friend, and Golderg’s music stops them short before they can continue to bicker.

He does the usual walk through backstage as Owens’ sign disappears. He makes it to the ring but does not elect to sit down on the lawn chair provided for him. He says if Jericho’s in the Rumble, that means he’s first! KO tells him he doesn’t need the hostility and bids Goldberg take a seat.

Goldberg throws the chair away and takes his jacket off, which gets Jericho hot and threatening to put him on the list. Goldberg makes a counter offer of a spear and a jackhammer and Jericho backs off. KO asks if he’s supposed to be intimidated now and throws the rest of the furniture out himself.

Bill begs him to take a shot and Owens tells him he doesn’t care who he is, when Paul Heyman interrupts with his schtick. Brock Lesnar isn’t here tonight, but don’t boo, because he’s here tonight to give us all a spoiler— eat, sleep, elimination, repeat. Elimination, repeat. He could go on, but Goldberg cuts him off, telling him he’ll take care of his client at the Rumble, and whether it’s Kevin Owens or Roman Reigns, they have a date at WrestleMania.

Enter Roman Reigns. He calls Owens and Jericho delusional, because they’re not gonna win anything at the Royal Rumble. This brings him to Goldberg, and they stare each other down.


Braun Strowman makes his way to the ring, taking a microphone from Heyman as he cowers against the barricade. If anybody’s winning the Royal Rumble, he says, it’s him. Kevin and Chris have bailed by now, and he stares Reigns and Goldberg down. They nod at each other... DOUBLE SPEAR!

Goldberg poses on the turnbuckles, and that’s the show, folks.

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