The Jan. 30, 2017 episode of RAW emanated from the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas. This is the fall out show for the 2017 Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV), which took place in San Antonio. For full results from the show, check out Reverend Kain’s live blog.
The Creator and the Destroyer
The Commissioner of RAW, Stephanie McMahon had promised to deal with Seth Rollins for crashing NXT Takeover: San Antonio this past Saturday to confront her husband, Triple H. Seth Rollins actually decided to one up Stephanie by coming out to the ring and called her out instead, saying "even billion dollar princesses don’t get what they want."
Stephanie came to the ring. Seth insulted her almost immediately. Stephanie said she would not stoop to his level by doing the same. She also said that Triple H was not there. Stephanie explained to him that HHH is only afraid of destroying what he once thought was his "greatest creation" in Rollins. Stephanie began to throw Seth’s many recent failures in his face. She said Rollins should be begging for forgiveness instead of making challenges to her husband.
Rollins refused to apologize, calling Triple H a fraud and a coward. Seth said that he is the greatest threat to the Game’s legacy and then implied that Stephanie was attracted to him. Stephanie said that Rollins disgusts her and is no match for her husband. She warned that Rollins would be Architect of his own demise going after Triple H. Rollins countered the threat with saying that he has nothing left to lose. He threatened going to WWE Headquarters or even the home of Triple H and Stephanie, bringing their children into it and all. After Seth’s warning, Stephanie said that she lied. Triple H will be there and he is coming for Rollins.
The King of Kings music played to start the main event segment. Triple H was dressed up in his COO/NXT Papa H suit. Not his Ass Kicker H gear. He said he plucked Rollins from obscurity. He called Rollins the leader of the Shield, which is not the truth but okay. Pretty much, Triple H said Rollins got everything he wanted standing by Triple H’s side and Rollins could not hold up his bargain. He got hurt. He was weak.
Triple H said that Rollins was a massive failure without Triple H and Rollins blamed him for it. Triple H gave Rollins everything on a silver platter and he spit in his face. Then HHH rambled on about how he’s trying so hard not to be his old terrible self so he wears a suit and works in an office, blah, blah, blah, Creator and Destroyer, GET TO THE POINT ALREADY!!!
Triple H said he was done trying to be nice then took off his suit jacket and loosened his tie. Then he called out Rollins, who came out to confront his "creator". Seth stalked to the ring and got attacked by Samoa Joe out of nowhere. Triple H stood over Rollins before instructing Joe to finish him off. RAW went off the air with Rollins dead, in the center of the ring, another former NXT Champion standing over him. Welcome to the red brand, Joe!
Be Careful What You Ask For
The WWE Universal Champion and the United States Champion, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho, started the show. KO spoke about the fact that no one gave him a chance to beat Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble. But if he had a list of people he had proven wrong, it would be longer than the List of Jericho.
Owens admitted that he had help beating Reigns and gave all the credit to his buddy, Chris Jericho. The two shared a sweet hug in the ring. Then KO went on to talk about Y2J becoming the "Greatest Royal Rumble competitor of all time." Jericho has a cumulative time of nearly five hours in Rumble matches over the years. Jericho dubbed himself the "Sixty-One Minute Man" for lasting an hour and one minute in the match.
As Jericho rambled about a shark cage, Braun Strowman appeared to confront the besties. You see, Strowman was the real reason KO is still Universal Champion. Strowman explained that he helped KO win for two reasons. One; he does not like Reigns. Two; KO promised him a title shot. When KO refuted this claim, Strowman produced evidence in the form of a video clip with KO saying as much. CONTINUITY!!
General Manager Mick Foley then appeared and, while he did not approve of Strowman interfering in Owens/Reigns, he understood his motivation and made a Universal Championship title match later that night between Owens and Strowman.
Later in the show, KO went to whine to the Boss Lady about Foley making the match. He kissed ass and graveled and basically got a "I’ll see what I can do" from Stephanie. She seemed more annoyed that Owens was asking for help than interested in helping. Stephanie did confront Foley about making the match but Foley did not back down, asking her about the Game’s music playing to distract Rollins last week. He actually got Stephanie to back down and let the match go as planned. Foley may seem dumb at times, he admitted, but he is definitely not dumb.
Jericho had the task of telling KO that the match is still on. KO whined more how unfair Foley is treating him and basically said he was scared of Braun and needed Jericho there. Jericho brought up that he has been through a lot and KO was not there when Zayn beat him. KO went on to browbeat Y2J into "having his back" against Strowman. Jericho agreed to help but he did not look happy about it.
Jericho joined commentary for the Universal Championship match. Strowman, proving he is way smarter than the average monster, took out Jericho before the match by chokeslamming Jericho through the announce table. KO was visibly afraid after this. Hell, I was afraid and I’m in the comfort of my own home!
KO tried to outsmart the Big Man and it failed miserably. Strowman wasted no time laying into the Champ with a vicious attack. It was honestly like a grown man beating up his son. KO took the advantage by dodging Strowman outside the ring, which sent Braun into the ring post. KO got a flurry of offense once Strowman returned to the ring. But Braun killed that with a huge powerslam.
Roman Reigns interrupted the match to confront Strowman. His Superman Punch to the Big Man caused a disqualification. Reigns continued to attack Strowman, leaving him laying with a Spear. Afterwards, he hit a Spear on the champion as well. Roman, I love you but you ruined the Man Event, buddy. You are definitely going to pay for that one.
Got Ya Number!
Brock Lesnar and his advocate, Paul Heyman, made an appearance on the show. Heyman began to talk about how every legend has one person who has his number. When anyone talks about a great someone will go, "Yeah, but, they couldn’t beat . . ." He recalled Hogan having Andre’s number and even how Brock had the Undertaker’s number. Brock also had John Cena and Kurt Angle’s numbers. Because it isn’t enough that Brock has one Superstar’s numbers. He must have several. Heyman then talks about how his kids are dissing his client because Bill Goldberg beat him in less than two minutes.
Heyman made the argument that Goldberg’s man-handling of the Beast tarnishes Lesnar’s legacy, therefore Goldberg must be eradicated in order to rectify the situation. So Heyman formally challenged the WCW legend to a "final match" at WrestleMania 33. Lesnar’s very legacy will be on the line in this match and Heyman promises even though the odds say that Goldberg will win . . . Yeah, but . . .
(He never finished. I’m assuming the "yeah, but" means Brock is going to win this time.)
Other segments and matches:
- Chris Jericho versus Sami Zayn: These two faced off in a non-title match immediately after the opening segment. Jericho seemed to be in Grumpy Old Man mode a bit more than he had been with Zayn in the past and, as a result, this was a pretty good match. Zayn hit a very pretty Blue Thunder Bomb on Jericho at one point. He also sold nearly tapping out to the walls of Jericho wonderfully before reaching the bottom rope.
Zayn was victorious after connecting with a Helluva Kick, which undoubtedly put him in the conversation for a United States Championship title shot.
- The Champs versus "The Chumps": Ahead of their six-person tag match against the RAW tag team champions and the Women’s champion, Bayley attempted to get the bickering brothers, Cesaro and Sheamus, on the same page. The Champs, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Charlotte Flair, appeared to mock the trio with grade school insults and brag at their victories, which served to unite the team more than Bayley could.
For the face team entrance, Cesaro won Bayley’s streamers on his wrists! It was the cutest thing ever. Loved that Sheamus was not feeling it at all. I will be open and admit to not being the biggest fans of Anderson and Gallows but this was a pretty fun match. Bayley got the win with a Bayley to Belly. She pinned the Champ. Here we go again.
- Tony Nese versus Mustafa Ali: Ali is a very impressive wrestler. The offense he displayed in this match was unique. The crowd was pretty much dead for this match except for when Ali was on offense. Still, Nese got a quick win with a running knee strike.
After the match, Austin Aries attempted to conduct an interview with Nese, basically saying this dude is boring and there is nothing to him beyond his look. Nese responded by saying he did not have to answer to his critics. Aries responded by saying that Tony Nese gives us nothing. And I could not agree more. When WWE makes your gimmick that you’re a total bore . . . Well, stop putting him over more interesting guys then!
- All Hail the King . . . Or Not: The new WWE Cruiserweight Champion, Neville, came out to address his lowly subjects, declaring 205 Live his show. He berated the crowd, saying they never gave him a chance or believed in him but he’s not the undisputed King of the Cruiserweights. Rich Swann interrupted and reminded Neville that he has a rematch coming, which he would take at a later time. He was sick of hearing Neville berate fans and said all of it was in his head. He put Neville over as one of the best and he proved it at the Rumble. He offered Neville a handshake. Neville said you don’t offer your hand to a king; you bow. Swann had enought of the arrogance and turned to leave the ring. Neville got upset and attacked him. The two began to brawl and Swann got the better of the exchange, sending Neville running for cover.
- Broken Boss: Before Sasha Bank’s rematch against Nia Jax, Bayley tried to talk to friend about waiting until she is healthy before taking such a match. Sasha replied that unlike "some people" (hint: Bayley), she is not satisfied coming up short. As for the match, Sasha was getting absolutely destroyed when the match was stopped. Bayley came out to help her fallen friend and Nia left wearing a smile on her face. Sasha had to be helped to the trainers office.
- Enzo and Big Cass versus Rusev and Jinder Mahal: This is all just stupid and awful and I cannot say anything otherwise. I’m sorry. The best part of this was Rusev wearing a nose guard while Lana introduced him as Handsome Rusev.
So this show had a lot going on, which is good because it is a three hour show.
The show got off to a pretty good start, solely due to Braun Strowman. Honestly, the way the Universal Championship match went down seemed to bring the rest of the show down. It was like letting all the air out of a balloon suddenly. KO and Jericho appear to be working towards a riff between them with their interaction backstage. But we’ve been down this road before. Don’t tease me unless you’re going to please me, WWE.
Sasha Banks is going to get frustrated and take out her anger on the wrong person, isn’t she? Bayley got a pin on Charlotte, which ultimately means she will have another chance to beat Charlotte for the Women’s Championship, while Sasha keeps getting whooped by Nia Jax. This story has major potential, especially if it results in getting to see the actual Boss on RAW at last.
The tag team picture still seems a bit of a mess. Cesaro and Sheamus still don’t get along after all this time. I feel like a break up is pointless here because they started off fighting each other.
Why are Enzo and Big Cass still beefing with Rusev and that other guy? Did they not settle this a while ago? If not, let’s just pretend they did, huh?
Where the bleep was the New Day?
OMG! Lesnar and Goldberg at WrestleMania! Yeah, but . . . . is Goldberg gonna squash Lesnar again? Because if not, hard, hard pass on that.
The Cruiserweights remain the opposite of over and it is anyone’s guess who or what it will take to change that. I hope it happens soon because King Neville and Gentleman Jack are great anchors for the division and I have loved all their work recently.
Being perfectly honest, I hated Seth’s promo on Stephanie. She’s supposed to be the bad guy and she is taking the high road, refusing to resort to name calling and insults, even hitting Rollins with some truths about himself. Rollins came off like a scorned lover who is upset that he got dumped. He just seemed really unnecessarily petty towards her, especially bringing up their children. Really. Too far. Way too far for me. I don’t care that Samoa Joe choked this guy out. I kind of think he earned that one.
Speaking of, Triple H’s promo was as close to a baby face promo you will probably ever hear from a heel. And he got cheered. And he got his name chanted. And the crowd was chanting for Joe while Rollins was laid out in the ring. But, you know, he’s totally going to get Rollins over as a face HUGE.
As for Samoa Joe, I really would have preferred him being his own man on the main roster and debuting in a talking segment because very few people in this company are better than him talking. You take what you can get, I suppose. I look forward to what he brings to the show but this was really an easy, uninspiring way to bring him up.
To me, RAW gets certain things almost right all the time. It is about time they start getting them all the way right. It’s Mania season. Outside of a few segments, this show was dull.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
What were your opinions on the show?