Tuesday, December 20, 2016

WWE Raw 12/19/16 Review

December 19th, 2016 | Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio

We’re 24 hours removed from Roadblock.

Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens started the show off in the ring. Owens called it the “Chris and Kevin Show” before they showed still images of their plan from last night. Jericho said that he had to make everyone believe that the friendship was truly over. He then gave Owens the “Hug of Jericho. Bring it in maaaaan.” Jericho said Santa Claus stole his gimmick by giving gifts and making lists, so he put him on the list and called him a stupid idiot. Mick Foley interrupted and showed footage of Seth and Roman beating up Chris and Kevin after the match. Jericho dissed Foley’s jacket, so he removed it and revealed an even worse shirt. He booked Chris and Kevin against Roman and Seth tonight before going for a cheap pop by saying they were in Pittsburgh even though they’re in Columbus. Mick pointed to a shark cage above the ring. At the Royal Rumble, Reigns gets a rematch for the Universal Title and Jericho will be in the cage. If Jericho doesn’t do it, he can’t compete in the WWE again. Owens and Jericho dissed Ohio because the cage was built there and Ohio sucks in their mind. Angry Jericho wanted to make sure it was sturdy and got himself locked in the cage. Foley claimed to forget the key and signaled for the cage to go up. The segment ended with Foley saying he would look for the key but Jericho was stuck up there. This was fun until Mick showed up. Then it just got bad.

Jericho was down by end of the commercial and aced like he couldn’t breathe due to how high in the air he was. He has to be given oxygen.

Rusev w/ Lana def. Colin Cassady w/ Enzo Amore via disqualification in 1:01
Rusev and Lana interrupted Cass and Enzo’s intro stuff before they got to S-A-W-F-T. They brawled once the match started but Cass went nuts and wouldn’t stop when Rusev was in the corner, resulting in the DQ. Rusev escaped through the crowd. Not a bad way to continue a feud.

Sasha Banks came out with her knee in a brace and crutch. She got a standing ovation from the commentary team. Sasha gave a somber promo about tapping out twice despite giving her blood, sweat and tears. She said the better woman won and doesn’t feel like a boss anymore. She called Charlotte out so she could congratulate her. Instead of Charlotte, Nia Jax arrived. She called Sasha a weak, wounded little girl. Nia kicked the crutch out before yelling that she was the boss. She tossed Sasha across the ring. Just make Sasha heel again. She’s better at it than Charlotte and isn’t a strong sympathetic babyface.

The new Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro were shown in Mick Foley’s office. Foley put himself over for making the team before revealing the new Raw Tag Team Titles. They’re like the Smackdown ones. They took the copper belts and made them red and silver. A referee showed up and said that Mick was needed for an emergency. Cut to Braun murdering random people backstage and throwing shit around. Mick tried to stop him by giving him the night off but Braun said Sami only survived 10 minutes because he allowed it. Mick said he gave Sami the night off and a pissed Braun left to cause more havoc.

Cedric Alexander w/ Alicia Fox def. Noam Dar in 5:09
Austin Aries joined commentary. There was some quick action early and we got a commercial. When they returned, we barely saw anything. Cedric did a cool handspring kick and springboard clothesline before winning with the Lumbar Check. Considering they had an actual story to work with, this should have been given more time to make the crowd care. *

Noam Dar congratulated Cedric Alexander after the match but reminded Cedric that he won two weeks ago. You could say they’re even but they aren’t. Dar said they aren’t even because he still wants Alicia.

The New Day came out in a relatively sad mood. Their historic reign hit a road block last night. They said they won’t mourn forever though because in order for Ric Flair to become a sixteen-time champion, he had to lose fifteen times. Big E quipped “That’ll be Charlotte next month.” Loved it. Sheamus and Cesaro came out and each went Team Hell No by saying they were the Tag Team Champions by themselves. The fans booed “Sheamus” but cheered for “Cesaro”. New Day were just upset that Cesaro and Sheamus got new titles while they had to carry those copper belts. Kofi knew someone would beat them and they were glad it was Cesaro. Sheamus thanked them so they shamed him because they were only speaking to Cesaro. Sheamus and Cesaro bickered a bit before Sheamus said they would surpass New Day’s record. Xavier Woods said they sustained themselves on the power of positivity, had tons of shirts released and there was music in the air. This was cut off by the arrival of Gallows and Anderson. They called everyone geeks and nerds. Gallows said they beat up the “Nerd Day” enough to set up the title change. The Shining Stars also showed up and they say everyone should just go on vacation to their resort. Cesaro ripped up the brochure and everyone brawled.

Cesaro, Sheamus and The New Day w/ Xavier Woods def. Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows and the Shining Stars in 10:43
Mick Foley made this match during the break. Epico was first to hit a cool move, busting out an inverted suplex into a rib breaker. They worked through another commercial break with Kofi taking the heat. He nearly made the tag but his teammates all dealt with the other heels. Kofi took the Boot of Doom but kicked out. Big E got the hot tag and ran wild for a bit. Sheamus came in hot as well and did a new double team move with Cesaro but the pin was broken Up. We got a buffet of guys hitting kicks or strikes until Cesaro nailed Anderson with a popup uppercut. He got Epico in the swing before finishing with the Sharpshooter. From what we could see, this was rather fun. The back half was filled with action. **½

They recap the lame Jericho/Owens/Foley segment from earlier.

Backstage, Cass and Enzo were talking. Cass said that Rusev deserved what he got earlier. Enzo apologize for getting him into this but Cass shrugged it off. Someone showed up with a letter for Enzo. He hoped it was from Ed McMahon but when he found out Ed is dead, he hoped it was from Vince. It turned out to be a notice to attend sensitivity training for exposing himself at work a few weeks back.

Neville came out scowling. He got a microphone and talked about destroying Rich Swann and TJ Perkins only to get cheered. He said they only cheered him because they thought he was small and pitied him but he doesn’t want that. They can take their cheers and stick it. Neville said that he plans on obliterating the division. Rich Swann interrupted and wanted to know what happened to Neville. Neville said that he taught him everything he knows but got no gratitude or respect for it. He called himself the king of the cruiserweights. Swann said while he has the title, he’s the best. Brian Kendrick interrupted and wanted to know where the respect was. Kendrick wanted Neville in the division from the start because he’s also a pioneer. They ended up jumping Swann until TJ Perkins showed up only to run right into a kick. Neville did all the work while Kendrick mostly watched. Neville left and Kendrick picked the bones and hit TJ with sliced bread.

Sensitivity training time. Jinder Mahal, Bob Backlund, Darren Young and Bo Dallas were in class too. Enzo made insensitive jokes, including saying Jinder Mahal was spelled S-A-W-F-T before a commercial.

Titus O’Neil vs. Sin Cara ended in a no contest in 0:43
They had an interaction on the pre-show to lead to this. Within ten seconds, BRAUUUUNNN! Strowman came out and beat up both guys. Braun then carried Cara up the stage and dropped him hard when Mick Foley came out. Braun shouted “I TOLD YOU OR ELSE” before throwing Cara off the stage and onto Christmas gifts. This better lead to Braun vs. Cara at WrestleMania dammit.

Backstage, Owens tried to calm Jericho down since he was still feeling the effects of earlier. He said he was afraid of heights and spiders, like his name is R-Truth. Owens talked him up and they said Reigns and Rollins were gonna get it but Jericho then got nervous about the cage again.

Charlotte was out for her monthly “I won the title again, I’m the queen, woo” promo. It was the same promo as always. She’s a guaranteed winner and made Clemson beating Ohio State jokes. Bayley interrupted because this is the only way they can set up Charlotte feuds. Bayley wants the Charlotte/Bayley rivalry to begin now that the Charlotte/Sasha one is mercifully over. Bayley also called Sasha/Charlotte the greatest rivalry in women’s history. Charlotte said that of the four horsewomen, she was always one and Bayley was fourth which is why she didn’t get called up in 2015 with them. Bayley said that isn’t a new insult and wanted to improve to 3-0 against Charlotte right now. Charlotte accepted.

Non-Title Match: Bayley def. Charlotte in 14:37
Charlotte strutted and played the cocky heel a bit. She threw Bayley’s head band into the crowd with a smile. Once Bayley took control, she mocked Charlotte and did her “around the world on your back” spot. During the break, Charlotte took over again. She hit the moonsault but only got two. She continued to talk smack and it cost her when Bayley pulled her into an ugly backslide to win. Nowhere near their best work together. Charlotte’s heat was dull, Bayley’s rallies lacked and the finish was lame. Charlotte’s shoulder was apparently up too. This also does nothing since beating Charlotte on Raw means nothing when she obliterates people on PPVs. You can tell this is setting up for Bayley to take her first loss to Charlotte soon. Also, why book underdog Bayley to beat the champion often? **

The sensitivity training team did role reversal. Young and Backlund did bad impersonations of each other. Enzo’s Jinder impression was “Hi, my name is Jinder and everyone swipes left on Tinder.” He said he was in a band and didn’t play instruments and is still a schmuck after getting fired and re-hired. Jinder said that Enzo had little man syndrome. Enzo wanted to slap him but didn’t because the trainer said it would be insensitive. After a break, everyone go their certificates. Enzo said he didn’t need one because he’s already certified. He hit on the trainer and even said he’d slide in her DMs. Rusev walked in and Enzo said he wasn’t going to end up WORLDSTAR because of him. He went to leave but Jinder was back to stop him. He and Rusev jumped Enzo. They gotta show us how Cass is so superior and better off alone.

We got another Emmalina vignette.

Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins def. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens via disqualification in 17:05
I won’t lie, Reigns and Rollins teaming up like nothing ever happened between them in the past is irritating. It’s one thing for guys that had a rivalry to do it but Seth broke up the Shield and the minute he turns face, all is forgiven. Anyway, this began as your standard tag match. Owens and Jericho tried to walk away a few minutes in but got brought back by Seth and Roman. After a break, the heels were in control with Seth taking the heat. Roman got the tag and though he was hot, actually took some heat as well. Seth got the hot tag and did his thing. Jericho still got the Walls locked in but Rollins reached the ropes. Reigns hit a Superman punch and it was time for a hot tag to Roman. A random Braun Strowman appeared and pulled Roman off the apron, attacking him and resulting in the DQ. Typical main event for Raw, nothing special. **¾

Braun also took time to powerslam Seth Rollins inside. Owens and Jericho slid Reigns inside to feed him to Braun. Braun said “or else” meant everyone would fall.

Overall: 5/10. I’d say this was a middle of the pack episode of Raw. It didn’t feel like a chore to get through and though none of the matches were memorable, they advanced angles rather well. It was nice to see Neville get promo time and the continued push of Nia and Braun as monsters was welcome. Coming off a PPV and with over a month until another, this did a good job setting things up for the future.