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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Feb. 13, 2017): Kevin Owens is Back!

KO returned to his prizefighting NXT roots on a surprisingly awesome episode of RAW.

This week’s episode of Monday Night RAW emanated from Las Vegas, Nevada. The WWE is building towards Fastlane as well was WrestleMania 33. For full results, check out the magnificent Reverend Kain’s live blog.

The List of Kevin Owens

Throughout the night, footage of the relationship of WWE Universal Champion, Kevin Owens, and WWE United States Champion, Chris Jericho was shown in preparation for the couples’ Festival of Friendship. Meanwhile, WWE COO Triple H arrived to the arena via limousine with his new heavy, Samoa Joe. While KO and Jericho were preparing for their celebration of love, KO was asked to have a word with the COO.

The Festival of Friendship started with Jericho on the Titantron as the Master of Ceremonies. There were fireworks, showgirls, and Vegas inspired theme music. Jericho was dressed ridiculously in a white hat that was way too small and a matching white jacket. He introduced KO, who did not seem as enthusiastic about the celebration from the start. The ring was set up in a jazzy red Vegas theme. Jericho had gifts and tributes galore.

This segment did more to show how very different KO and Jericho really are at their core. Jericho had a bunch of expensive, ridiculous gifts and KO did not seem impress any of them, even the "main event" gift of Gillberg. KO was upset because he had expected a plan to jump Goldberg. Jericho began pouring his heart out of Kevin Owens. He was very sincere. Jericho said KO was his brother and told him that he loved him and just wanted to do something fun to celebrate their bond.

KO told Jericho that he loved him and then gave him a gift as well. The Universal Champ gave his best friend a brand new list. But it was not what Jericho expected:

KO beat Jericho so badly that he had to go to the hospital. I have not been crazy about this story line at times but I cannot believe how much I actually got invested in the Jeri-KO friendship. Chris telling Kevin that he had the most fun of his entire career working with him was genuine. I thought I would be happy once KO finally "got rid of Jericho" but I have been completely worked. Because KO went too far. This was too much. KO turned a nice, beautiful celebration into a nightmare. I got sad watching it on replay. This is like the Shield all over again and, mind you, I wanted these two to break up!

And I suspect I know exactly why KO did it. There will time for theories later. One thing was certain from that segment. The Kevin Owens who debuted in NXT had been missing for a while on the main roster. He traded brutality for comedy routines. This was the Kevin Owens who beat John Cena in his first main roster match. This is the KO who needs to face Goldberg.

You Deserve It!

Before challenging Charlotte for the RAW Women’s Championship in the main event, Bayley gave a passionate speech backstage about how she was in the same position as some of the legendary women before her. This was her second shot and she promised to leave Las Vegas as champion. Later, Bayley was shown with Cesaro and Sheamus, working on her strikes for the title match. Right before the match, Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks had a confrontation backstage, with Sasha challenging Charlotte to fight again and Charlotte laughing her off and calling her a loser.

The ladies got in-ring introductions to kick off the match. Charlotte was her over-confident self in the early going, taunting Bayley often. The starting sequence was mostly holds and chain wrestling. The action picked up after the commercial break with Bayley mounting some offense before Charlotte sent Bayley’s head into the bottom turnbuckle.

Charlotte was a vicious bully from that point. She punished Bayley with submissions while telling her that she would never win. At several points, Bayley’s comebacks were cut off with stiff and punishing offense, most which targeted the neck. Charlotte did a vicious moonsault from the barricade onto Bayley but could not get the pin. Bayley got a burst of energy after this and started to get the advantage on the frustrated Champion.

Bayley got a close near fall with a Macho Man elbow. The ladies ended up on the top turnbuckle and Bayley got another near fall with a hurricanrana. Dana Brooke came to the ring but her attempts to cheat were thwarted momentarily and Bayley got Charlotte in a Figure Four. Dana Brooke scratched Bayley’s eyes, making her break the hold. Charlotte then hooked Bayley into the Figure Eight.

Sasha Banks ran out with her crutch, taking out Dana Brooke. She then hit Charlotte with the crutch, which neither the referee nor Bayley saw. One Belly-to-Bayley later, Bayley won the WWE RAW Women’s Championship!

After the match, Bayley celebrated with Sasha and the fans as the show went off the air. Congratulations to Bayley winning her first championship on the main roster.

I really enjoyed the match. Charlotte as a vicious bully works but that moonsault spot made me cringe. Yikes!

Put Some Respeck on His Name

Samoa Joe had a live sit down interview with Michael Cole, much like Cole does for YouTube with other WWE Superstars. Joe was fantastic here. He is a cold-blooded assassin who is only loyal to Triple H and will use any tactic he can to get results. God, I have needed a guy like Samoa Joe in the RAW main event scene for the longest time. Joe even got tired of Cole talking about Triple H! A plus interview! Put the Universal Title on him now!

In Joe’s interview, he made a point to say he did not need to be propped up and helped by the Game, as others have in the past . Joe put down several current WWE Superstars, including Sami Zayn.

Later that night, Zayn took on Rusev in a match that saw the Handsome Bulgarian still rocking DAT MASK. The former NXT Champ picked up the victory after Rusev dominated most of the match. After the match, Zayn gave a brilliant speech, going off on Samoa Joe for name checking him during Joe’s sit down interview. So Samoa Joe ambushed Zayn, choking him out at the top of the entrance ramp.

Seriously, as someone who did not mind the idea of Goldberg beating Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship last week, I also fully support Joe killing everyone on the RAW roster and beating either Goldberg or Brock Lesnar for the Big Red belt. He is the champion RAW needs and deserves.


RAW’s commissioner, Stephanie McMahon, opened the show this week, addressing the WWE Universe. She informed fans that WWE general manager, Mick Foley, had the week off and she would be running the show. Roman Reigns interrupted Stephanie, coming down to the ring. The Big Dog did not want to wait until Fastlane and requested a match against Braun Strowman that night.

In their exchange in the ring, Stephanie declared that the fans did not care about Roman’s well-being for wanting the match to happen a week after Strowman wrecked Reigns in the aftermath of the main event. The two had a back and forth, with Stephanie threatening to take away his Fastlane and WrestleMania match if he were to interfere in Strowman’s match against Mark Henry.

The RAW Tag Team Champions, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, came out and sucked up to Stephanie. They asked for a two-on-one handicapped match with Reigns and Stephanie granted their request, in honor of new Hall of Fame inductee, Teddy "Tag Team match, Playa-Playa, Holla, Holla, Holla!" Long.

Reigns won the match by disqualification when Gallows and Anderson ignored the referee’s count for the illegal man to leave the ring. The champs went for a post match beat down but Reigns fought them off and grabbed a steel chair, making Gallows and Anderson retreat.

So . . . if Stephanie is cool with Reigns getting beat up, why not just have him face Braun? I have seen this man beat up four people at once. Surely, he can handle two matches in one night. A worthy villain is one whose madness serves a purpose and the person has a definitive and logical reason for the things they do. This segment was fun if you’re a Reigns fan (which I am) but, really, it was stupid. I do appreciate Roman’s attitude. He stood up to Stephanie without insulting her! Imagine that!

Later, the Man Event of Strowman versus Henry started with both men fighting to gain the advantage with their strength. This was beef on beef action in its purest form. Strowman is younger, quicker, and bigger, so he took over after a while. But he could not just mow over Henry and had to work on wearing the World’s Strongest Man down.

Henry mounted a comeback but could not hold Strowman up for the World’s Strongest Slam and Strowman fell on top of him. After a power slam, Strowman picked up the victory. Reigns came down to the ring post match to confront the Big Man. Strowman knocked Reigns from the apron then taunted him to come at him again. Reigns brought the fight to Strowman, connecting with two Superman punches before Strowman caught him mid-Spear and hit him with a power slam. For the second week in a row, Strowman has gotten the upper-hand decisively in their confrontations.

Additional Segments and Matches:

  • Bo Dallas versus Kofi Kingston: This was so much fun! Honestly. Bo was great. New Day was great. Fans were chanting for ice cream. Kingston got the win in a really fun segment. New Day rocks!
  • Cruiserweight promo: The WWE Cruiserweight champion and his challenger at Fastlane had a quick, yet wonderful exchange backstage. Neville was sneering and taking himself way too seriously as Jack Gallagher portrayed a cool and collected gentlemen.
  • Jack Gallagher versus Noam Dar: Alicia Fox was ringside for a pretty good, standard WWE TV match. Dar controlled the front half of the match but Gallagher picked up the victory. Neville arrived post match to taunt his challenger with his Cruiserweight championship.
  • Emmalina debuts: And declares that she will go back to Emma then leaves. I stopped caring about this a while ago.
  • Tag Team drama: Cesaro and Sheamus confronted Enzo and Big Cass about the latter causing the former to lose their rematch for the Tag Team championship last week. Maybe it was just me but the Realest Guys seemed like bad guys here. Later, Cesaro easily beat Enzo in a single’s match.
  • Akira Tozawa versus Ariya Daivari: This match was basically just a backdrop for the larger story of Brian Kendrick, who was on commentary, and his attempts to take Tozawa under his wing. Of course, Tozawa picked up the victory. Not sure about this story but we shall see where it heads.

Final Opinions:

This was a very good show. RAW still has its issues but as far as the main stories told, I feel like they are nailing mostly everything. Triple H coming back has brought the show back to a central focus and stories are tying together in obvious and subtle ways. Also, the Festival of Friendship segment was everything that I never knew I needed from this Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens story.

Bayley is the new WWE RAW Women’s Champion. I have no complaints, even with the wrinkle that Sasha helped Bayley. Given the story with these three women, it adds a level of intrigue to the story moving forward. Charlotte has a reason to complain about Bayley’s victory while it was clear that the Hugster had no idea what Sasha did for her. Loved it.

Samoa Joe was made for Monday Night RAW. Monday Night RAW was made for Samoa Joe. Sami Zayn showed great fire in his promo and I look forward to those two in the ring against each other soon, given what I have seen of them from NXT.

Yeah, this showed rocked. My only real issue was the opening segment and match and, even then, I still thought it was mostly fun. Two weeks ago, I said that RAW should do better. And they absolutely have. Much is said about how RAW only pulls out all the stops for their part timers. Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, and the Undertaker were not on this show.

The best part was three hours did not feel as long this Monday as it usually does.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Gillberg on RAW: 11/10

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