WWE: Monday Night RAW was LIVE from Ohio State University in Columbus, OH on 12/19/16!
The reunited “best friends” start off the show in the ring as the Universal Champion, Kevin Owens, and the Ayatollah of Rock’N’Rolla, Chris Jericho stand stronger than ever after pulling the wool over the eyes of the US Champ, Roman Reigns, last night at Roadblock. KO speaks about taking a Codebreaker last night to retain the title and they show the highlights of the debacle. KO says as much as that Codebreaker hurt, the thought of Jericho’s friendship not being something tangible, that hurt a lot worse. Jericho wanted the mutton-heads to believe in the facade. Jericho says he wants to prove that the friendship is in tact with the “hug of Jericho”, bring it in maaaaaan! Goodnight folks! That’s the show! It’s not, but it’s all downhill from here. The two best friends proceed to trash that “stupid idiot” Santa Clause. Jericho says you know what happens when Father Christmas aka Kris Kringle steals Jericho’s ideas about “lists”, yes, he does! He puts Jolly Old St. Nicholas on the list! Speaking of Christmas fans, Mick Foley, the RAW GM, comes out and defends Santa. Foley says Jericho has been quite naughty and then he proceeds to show what happened after the main event where Reigns and Rollins ran roughshod all over the heels. Foley, by the way, has on a leather jacket that looks like something out of a nightmare. He then removes the jacket and has on the most horrifically ugly Christmas sweater-esque monstrosity of a fashion failure I can ever hope to describe. Foley then botches the city they are in. He calls Columbus “Pittsburgh”. I’m sure people appreciate Steelers Nation as it is, but oh boy, way to R-Truth that segment, Foley. Foley says that Santa has brought a present all the way from the North pole and we have a direct ripoff of the Authors of Pain match with Paul Ellering suspended in a Shark Cage above the ring. Chris Jericho will be suspended in a shark cage as Kevin Owens will defend the Universal Title against Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble. Never mind the fact that Roman is the US Champion and should probably defend that title. Long story short, tomfoolery ensues and Jericho gets locked in the shark cage and Foley has forgotten the key. Jericho is hoisted up in the cage, but he does have the “List Of Jericho” with him. Foley says he’s going to work on getting Jericho out of the cage before the night is over. They head to commercial.
Back from commercial and thank goodness, Jericho has been rescued. He is receiving oxygen. KO is at his side and we find out that Jericho and KO will face Reigns and Seth Rollins in the main event tonight. Jericho is still breathing deep as we head back to ringside and the music of Enzo Amore and Big Cass is playing and they head out onto the entryway ramp to a huge reaction. They call Rusev “SAWFT” and he interrupts them and heads to the ring for the Roadblock rematch scheduled for tonight. The bell sounds and it’s underway.
Rusev defeats Big Cass by DQ. This was a “rousing” 45 second match. Cass rained down a multitude of clubbing blows on the Bulgarian Brute and he ended up getting DQ’d after refusing to back away. That was pretty much it as they headed to another commercial.
The now former women’s champion, “The Boss” Sasha Banks, comes out to a great ovation from the crowd. She is on a crutch because of the damage done to the knee by Charlotte in their hellatious matchup yesterday evening. She gets into the ring, and takes a mic. Sasha says the better woman won last night and she calls out Charlotte to congratulate her on winning the title last night. Sasha says she doesn’t feel like “The Boss” anymore. Charlotte doesn’t answer the call, the impressive Nia Jax, answers the call to a mild reaction. She makes her way up the ring steps and into the ring to confront Banks. Nia says she doesn’t know where Charlotte is, but she doesn’t care. She calls the people in attendance “sheep” and calls Sasha weak and wounded. Nia says Sasha will never be the “boss” of her and she kicks the crutch out from underneath her. Nia destroys a wounded Sasha Banks as Sasha further sells the knee injury. Nia gets a TON of heat as she teases an assault with the crutch, but she just leaves the ringside area having made a statement. Cedric Alexander is shown backstage with Alicia Fox, now his lady, and he is headed to the ring for Cruiserweight action against Noam Dar. That happens after another break.
Before the Cruiserweight match, we see the newly crowned world tag team champions, Sheamus and Cesaro, backstage with the titles. Mick Foley, with that horrendous jacket back on, comes up and congratulates the new champs saying that he created that magic by putting them together. He has an early Christmas present for them and it’s the red version of the tag titles. Sheamus wanted them in green, but Cesaro says red is the color of Raw and they proceed to argue. Foley is quickly called away to an emergency and it’s Braun Strowman destroying a bunch of people backstage. Strowman demands that Foley give him Sami Zayn tonight “or else.” Foley says he can’t do that and Strowman cuts him off and says it’s gonna be “or else” then. Cedric heads to the ring and Dar is waiting in the ring, but the RAW fans shall be entertained as “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” Austin Aries, still out with injury in NXT, is on commentary for this one. Cedric is looking for revenge as Dar dedicated a recent win to Ced’s girlfriend, Alicia Fox. The action is underway!
Cedric Alexander defeats Noam Dar via pinfall with the Lumbar Check. That was seriously the best sell job on the Lumbar Check yet. Dar made that look extremely painful. Alexander got the crowd excited with his aerial assault and for the time allocated, they had a watchable match. Aries did a good job on commentary as expected. After the match, a battered Dar is laying on the ground, mic in hand. He tells Alexander congrats for the victory, and now with one win a piece, they should be even. Dar says he wants Alicia and all he wants for Christmas is her. He won’t stop until he has her. They pan backstage and show all three members of the New Day for the first time in a very long time, without the titles. They’re headed to the ring next!
The former champs head out to the ring and they talk about overcoming the odds and how you can’t become a sixteen time champion unless you lose the title first. Xavier Woods makes the comment of the year by cracking on how often the women’s title changes by saying that Charlotte will hold that distinction very shortly. The crowd eats that up as he states the obvious. Criminal booking of both the women’s and Cruiserweight belts in recent months. Excited to see Rich Swann wearing the strap, and Charlotte and Sasha are absolutely uncanny, but you can’t knock him for telling it like it is. Sheamus and Cesaro head out onto the entryway ramp and talk about becoming the champs. They are wearing the new straps and they crack on each other for a moment before Sheamus says it’s day of the new champion “Sheamus”, Cesaro counters with his own name. This is very reminiscent of the Daniel Bryan/Kane “Team Hell No” story line from a few years back. Kofi is frustrated at the fact that after only one day that Sheamus and Cesaro got new belts. Kofi says they were bound to lose and they were glad that it was him. Sheamus says thanks, but they mention the fact that they are glad that Cesaro won the titles. They talk about Cesaro being strong like a carpenter ant, and Cesaro says you have to be strong to deal with Sheamus’s ego. Sheamus doesn’t care what anybody thinks as the crowd chants “shame”. He puts himself over for securing the pinfall in the tag team title match. Sheamus says that they can hang onto the titles for twenty years. Xavier mocks him and then promotes the New Day Christmas gear. Something tells me that the new champs are losing the straps in short order, probably to Gallows and Anderson, but we’ll see. The New Day starts the “New Day Rocks” chant and funnily enough, they are interrupted by Gallows and Anderson who call everyone “nerds” and not good brothers. Gallows says Cesaro and Sheamus wouldn’t be champs unless they didn’t capitalize on the G and A beatdowns in recent weeks. The Shining Stars come out next and promote a holiday in Puerto Rico. Cesaro rips up the brochures and a brawl ensues. They head to a break as I assume we’ll come back with eight man tag team action.
Cesaro/Sheamus and The New Day defeat Gallows/Anderson and The Shining Stars via submission after Cesaro made Epico tap to the Sharpshooter. This was a fantastic match. Kofi and Gallows were the stars of this one and the crowd was really into it. Gallows and Anderson were made to look dominant and that’s how they should be booked before thy go for the straps themselves. The Stars were fodder for the new champs and Kofi spent a great deal of time as the face in peril. The action was hot and heavy and we saw a little bit of everything. Very impressive stuff. The big swing ultimately lead to the submission victory. After the contest, we see the footage from earlier of Jericho being locked and suspended in the shark cage. They hype the tag team main event once again. We then see a backstage segment with Enzo apologizing to Cass for costing him recent wins. Enzo gets served with an HR complaint of some sort from where he “exposed” himself a few weeks back. He has to go to a sensitivity training class tonight.
The newly heeled up Neville heads to the ring and he talks about how he decimated the Cruiserweight Champion, “The Outlandish” Rich Swann, as well as TJ Perkins, last night at Roadblock. He says that the people cheered for him after the assault and that’s rich. He says the fans can “stick” their cheers and their sympathetic support. He issues a warning to any of the Cruiserweights, he says he is going to obliterate the division. That was pretty good mic work from Neville. The champ comes out and asks what happened to the man he used to look up too. Neville tells Swann to shut up. Neville says he took Swann under his wing in Japan, he says ever since then, Swann has skyrocketed. Where is the gratitude? Swann takes off his jacket and he heads down to the ring. Swann says Neville can call himself anything he wants, but as long as Swann holds the title, Neville can’t handle this! They are about to mix it up, before THE Brian Kendrick comes down and throws his support behind Neville. Kendrick says he and Neville are a lot alike. He says he and Neville are pioneers. He says the two men respect each other. Neville says at least Kendrick earned his opportunities in the fed and that Swann needs to be taught his place. The heels circle the champ and they quickly start to assault the champ as TJ Perkins music hits and the former champ hits the ring to help his friend, but Neville lays waste to Perkins very quickly. This segment was really, really good and did a lot to further the Cruiserweight stories, incorporating everyone in the mix. Kendrick waits for Neville to leave and he nails a Sliced Bread #2 for good measurement.
A woman named Colleen has a group of people in a room for “Sensitivity Training”. Bob Backlund, Darren Young, Bo Dallas and Jinder Mahal are present. Enzo is made to speak first. He cracks a series of jokes and then calls Jinder Mahal “SAWFT”. They head to a commercial break. The sensitivity training continues as they head to the ring for action.
Titus O’Neil and Sin Cara is quickly ruled a no contest as Braun Strowman hits the ring and decimates both men. He makes an example of both Sin Cara and Titus, even going so far as to nail a brilliant running powerslam on Titus. Sin Cara gets destroyed shortly thereafter as Strowman is still looking for Sami Zayn and this destruction of the preliminary talent is the “or else” he mentioned earlier. Strowman drops Sin Cara atop the stage as Mick Foley comes out onto the entryway ramp to stop the madness. Sin Cara is hoisted up and lawn darted through a Christmas tree and a bunch of packages at ringside as the Ohio State crowd goes absolutely bananas for that spot. Strowman destroys the tree, feasting like former Ohio State great Ezekiel Elliott feasting on defenses in recent weeks for the Dallas Cowboys. A herd of officials check on Sin Cara and call for stretchers. Up next, we’ll have the “Iron Woman” herself, the four time women’s champion, Charlotte.
Before we see the women’s champion, the two best friends are backstage talking about how later on tonight, Rollins and Reigns are going to get “it”. Jericho refers to himself as a sexy pinata and complains that the cage is really high.
They head back to ringside as Queen Charlotte makes her way down to the ring, the title around her waist once again. Charlotte says last night she beat the “Boss” out of Sasha Banks. Charlotte calls herself the Queen of pay per view and says she would dominate in any era. She talks about being better than the Fabulous Moolah, Trist Stratus and a plethora of others. She says she is a guaranteed winner. She says she is a winner just like Ohio…oh wait, she says Clemson is gonna beat them in the College Football playoffs! Savage! The queen is interrupted by Bayley, who makes her way down to the ring to a massive reaction. The champ tells herself to breathe before castigating Bayley for interrupting her. The crowd goes nuts for Bayley. Bayley says she is there to congratulate her on the success of the Charlotte/Sasha rivalry. She then says now that one rivalry is over, it’s time for the Bayley/Charlotte rivalry to begin. A huge “yes” chant breaks out. Bayley says it was all about the scoreboard last night, and so far, the board reads Bayley 2, Charlotte 0. Charlotte says last night she held up four fingers, for each title and for each of the four horsewomen. She says she has always been number one, and Bayley is number four. She says that she didn’t get called up with her, Becky and Sasha because she wasn’t good enough. Bayley says she’ll prove it to Charlotte right now! Quen Charlotte says Bayley is dressed like a fifth grader, so let’s go to school. Man, she’s my favorite. I dig Charlotte. Charlotte calls for a ref and after the break, we’ll have a match!
Bayley defeats Charlotte via pinfall with a backslide. That was a pay per view quality match between two of the best. The champ loses her third non-title match to the rising star in a very enjoyable match. Kudos to Charlotte for the performance she put on here after a grueling iron woman match at Roadblock last night. Bayley hit all her signature spots and the end came after Charlotte hit a moonsault off the top rope and then after a few other nearfalls, Bayley gets the win. After the match, we see that the ref blew a call as Charlotte’s shoulder was up before the three count. Either way, the victory stands and they pan back to the sensitivity training. I’m not going to say much about this, it was what it was. I appreciate the screen time for the “curtain jerkers” if you will, but this wasn’t anything memorable after a sensational women’s title match. Enzo is literally the only redeeming thing in this whole segment.
Another Emmalina teaser after the break and they actually show her tweet which appeared to be mocking her “Brodus Clay” imminent debut. Big Johnny has to be behind this. They show the finale of the Sensitivity Training and Enzo says he doesn’t need a certificate to get “certified”. The end result of this is Enzo hitting on the trainer and then getting brutally assaulted by the most random tandem yet, Rusev and Jinder Mahal? Hey, if this leads to more screen time for the immensely talented Mahal, I’m all for it. Lana shows up and gives Rusev her blessing to decimate Enzo and he gets put through a snack table. Jinder and Rusev stand tall as they pan back to ringside to hear a loud “Corey Graves” chant. Awesome. Main event time. Seth Rollins heads to the ring first.
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins defeat Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens via DQ after interference from Braun Strowman. A great match had taken place prior to the surprising ending. Seth Rollins really looked strong in this one, firing off two blockbusters as well as a well placed flying knee strike before falling victim to the Walls Of Jericho. After a rope break, Roman nailed Jericho with a hard right and then Strowman ran down and peeled him off the apron before decimating him and Seth with clubbing blows. Rollins ate a running powerslam and then the heels and reunited best friends fed Reigns to Strowman. Another running powerslam and just maybe, we’ll see a new United States Champion with the beastly Strowman. I actually liked this choice of ending furthering the “or else” statement. That’s all she wrote for this week though!