Hello and thanks for showing up to rant, rave and reflect on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw Live. Here is your host, hailing from a dark corner in the North East of England, it’s Danny Damage.
No recap from last night’s Clash of Champions Live, we’re just straight into it.
Roman Reigns is immediately introduced and walks down the ramp, his adoring fans serenade him with their congratulations and appreciation. Roman shows off his shiny new belt.
We’re informed there will be two title matches on the card tonight, the first one is kicking things off.
Rusev’s already in the ring. He’s obviously not important enough to get an entrance when we can get straight to listening to the crowd cheer for Reigns.
[c] Roman Reigns vs. Rusev (w/Lana)
Lana pouts as Rusev tries to make Roman feel better about the fans being mean to him.
He still needs some sympathy.
They finish on a double count-out as they have a little wander through the crowd and chuck each other into barricades for a bit. Reigns ends up getting the better of the scuffle, until Rusev finds a steel chair and wallops Reigns with it.
He waits for Reigns to get up to drop him again.
Buuuuuuut it’s Spear O’Clock again and Reigns IS REALLY STRONG once again.
Reigns grabs the chair and decides not to resort to that kind of behaviour, despite the fans demanding it.
He changes his mind once Rusev starts to stir and give him one good shot for the road.
Up Next: Foley time.
Mick Foley is in the ring and we’re shown stills from Cesaro’s suicide attempt last night, as well as the beating Sheamus took too.
He introduces both men down to join him.
They squabble for a while until Foley cuts them off. Foley says both Sheamus and Cesaro are correct and that they both deserve a title opportunity. However, he upsets them both when he specifies it’s the Tag Team Titles that they’ll be co-operatively competing for.
The lads don’t seem happy and they storm off to make way for their potential future opponents.
Gallows & Anderson vs. [c] The New Day (w/Xavier Woods)
The New Day win clean. The match ends with Kofi hitting Trouble in Paradise on Anderson to retain.
Kofi got busted open big time.
Dr. Woods to the rescue.
It seems that Cesaro’s close call last night taught nobody anything. Big E hit his Diving Spear to the outside.
A still gallery from Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins at Clash of Champions Live and a quick clip of Triple H picking up his Mrs afterwards.
Seth Rollins has “injured his ribs” from the Super Fireman’s Gut-Buster that Owens hit him with last night and is not medically cleared to compete tonight.
These are what Seth’s ribs look like.
Later: Highlight Reel
Cesaro and Sheamus continue their debate in the locker room.
Foley shows up and delivers a nice speech to them, putting them over, saying that he believes in them both and that he couldn’t afford to lose either one of them from the roster if he were to sanction another match between them and possibly end a career a two.
Bayley vs. Jobber Lass No-Legs
Bayley is fed a piece of local talent as an apology.
I assume that this is because she’s been turned into the Yamcha of the division and tasted defeat to a Big Boot, twice.
Tom Philips is in the ring and gets Bayley’s chipper “I’ll get there eventually” promo. Wonderful.
Stephanie and Mick are backstage and Foley’s pissing paranoia all over Steph’s new shoes.
Steph puts Foley in his place and steps on his balls on live TV.
Mick cowers back into his shell and assures Steph he’ll do a better job.
Steph pulls her “this is why I’m queen of the red brand” face.
Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann vs. Drew Gulak & Lince Dorado
Darren Younger and Blackdango get the win after a great, fast-paced match.
Sheasaro vs. Jobbers
Comical tags and a pissing contest between the lads until Cesaro was about to end things with a Neutraliser. Before he had the chance though, Sheamus ran in and hit the illegal jobber with a Brogue Kick.
Cesaro lets go of his man to question Sheamus’s action.
The legal jobber then gets decked with a Brogue Kick too.
Cesaro reluctantly picks up the scraps while reconsidering career paths in his head.
T.J. Perkins promo ahead of his Raw Live debut.
An interview follows alongside more #Tomspiracy fun as Brian Kendrick joins in and says the title was resurrected for him and he will get his hands on it.
Dear Forbes, no……..just no.
If you were talking “success” from a Kayfabe standpoint, of course I’d listen to your case. This isn’t your argument however and you’re talking about overall actual talent as a pro-wrestler.
All I can suggest is that you should kindly just fuck off!
Charlotte and Dana gloating.
Same old shit.
Sasha comes out and says she’s tougher.
Same old shit.
I’ve never heard either of them referred to as “Queen Charles” or “Sasha Wanks” (Gutted, I’m guessing this is another example of America not understanding the language they’ve butchered!) respectively, so that was something new, I suppose.
I’ll admit that Charlotte’s microphone work was on the up this week; a first time for everything!
A wild Seth Rollins appears backstage!
He bumps into Foley and explains that he has no choice other than to go out during The Highlight Reel and confront Kevin Owens.
Foley tries to talk him out of it, but has no joy. Seth says he sees Mick’s mouth moving, but all he hears are Stephanie’s words and he storms off.
TJ Perkins vs. Tony Nese
Nice little match. Perkins won with his Knee-bar submission.
The fans weren’t enjoying themselves at all. CM Punk and Randy Savage were amongst the chants I could make out.
The daft twats.
Next Week: Sasha vs. Charlotte
Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson posted a Twitter video in response to Jericho’s comments about the pair last week. They challenge Jericho to some form of face off next week on Raw Live in Los Angeles.
Jericho says that if they bother to show up next week, that they’ll be straight on The List of Jericho, and they won’t like it.
Owens strolls out and he tears the home town a new one and goes on to gloat a tad.
Owens lists the people that Seth injured and says that Seth was possibly the most dangerous man in WWE until he himself was injured by Owens, now shifting that title to Owens.
Rollins comes out but is restrained by security and talked back by Foley.
Owens and Jericho poke the bear and the crowd.
Enzo and Cass show up with a pair of really fucking stupid custom microphones. They should have made them with handles like punching weights or over-sized brass knuckles that they can’t yell into instead of keeping them on sticks.
Big Cass & Enzo vs. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens
Ignoring the set-up for it with all the lame jokes from E&C2k16, the match was pretty good.
Enzo selling for fifteen minutes of physical and verbal abuse from Jericho and Owens was indeed fun to watch. Owens mimicking Enzo’s dance/shuffle on the apron was a delight too!
Owens on Enzo: “How did he kick out? I crushed him. I’m the Universal Champion. He’s shouldn’t even be out of NXT yet!”
Owens flattened Enzo with a furious Powerbomb, pop-up variation not required.
The Champ and his Al Gore go home smiling.
It started off a little wobbly, but we got there in the end.
I didn’t like the lack of respect offered for Rusev as the challenger for the US Title AND the former champion from only the previous night. I know they wanted to make the show to jump straight into the action, but an additional minute or two for Rusev’s music and Lana on the ramp wouldn’t have been difficult to squeeze in there. But fuck him, he’s foreign and all that, I’m guessing was the decision from the top.
Although they vocalised their disapproval for Roman Reigns upon first sight, the crowd were well into the match by the end. As per most Roman Reigns matches, the same people that were booing him at the start end up clapping and/or joining in the odd “this is awesome!” chant.
Ending on Jericho and Owens swimming in glory was a good move too. I feel Owens came off as a bit weak against Rollins at Clash of Champions Live and needed to come off looking as strong as possible here. Enzo and Cass are well over and are portrayed as a potential threat to the tag champs once they get the right opportunity, so I think it was a good direction to go.
- Big Cass & Enzo. Looks like they’ve replaced Enzo’s Fosberry Flop Suicide Dive with Cass Gorilla Press Launching him to the outside instead. Big thumbs up from me.
And if a surprise like me having something nice to say about Enzo and Cass wasn’t enough for you, the end MUST be nigh as that’s followed by this!
- Charlotte. Credit where credit is due. Her promo this week was the first time that I’ve not been underwhelmed at the sight and sound of what appears to be a ten year old child stumbling through their lines from their school’s Christmas play. A child in which has been put centre stage because when her dad was a kid, he was real good at that shit and folk assumed they’d end up with the same results if they repeated the process with the next generation. Anyway, she actually reeled everything off in a very smooth manner and seemed pretty convincing in what she was saying. I don’t know if she’s actually gotten around to taking some form a lesson or class, or if she’s just finally “got it” in her own head, but whatever caused her above average performance (on the microphone at least, let’s not get ahead of ourselves :P) on Monday, keep at it!
- Cruiserweights. Having two matches was nice. I was half expecting one match per week and that’s all you’re getting. Since that’s the case, I think it’s safe for everyone else to dial down the suicide dives, especially if/when they start having their handful of Cruiserweights mixing with the other talent in the ring.
- Mick Foley. Three shocking compliments in one week!?!?! WTF is happening? Well, it’s only a case of “would you prefer a kick in the balls, or a punch in the balls?” for what I have to say about him. Seeing as they aren’t taking Raw Live’s authority figures away from the spotlight any time soon, I appreciate something a little different. As I mentioned in an earlier rant, I think they’re turning Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy at some point soon and more cracks in his happy world of a year round Christmas were even more evident this week.
- Big E. Yes, I know he changed the way he hit it slightly. I saw that he launched himself at more of an angle for his Suicide Spear to the outside and helped him roll onto his shoulder more than pencil diving on his head, but no. Just stop it. That’s a bad Big E!
- Divas. I’ve been using that word again for a while now. If Charlotte is portraying THE diva of the division, the rest of the lasses shouldn’t be going around behaving in the same manner and bickering back and forth with her like Sasha was. Sasha’s contribution would have been so much more potent if she’d just acted and not spoken during that section and proven there’s at least one woman on the roster that isn’t all flash and no knickers. Why can’t the WWE have two females interacting with each other without it turning in Total Bellas/Divas after just twenty fucking seconds?
- Sami Zayn. Well, a lack of him really is my qualm here. He lost last night and he wasn’t on Raw Live at all. I wonder if this is leading to him regretting jumping up from NXT.
- Bayley. Speaking of regretting the “promotion” to the main roster, Bayley was made to look a bit like a wet lettuce too on Raw Live. The jobber she defeated actually had an offensive start against her and then she just smiled and gave us Cena’s “Never Give Up” speech. Oh fuck! Imagine if they paired up Cena and Bayley. I don’t think the average human brain could comprehend or process all of those colours in the shape of copious amounts of merchandise. It would be like a living, breathing, walking, acid trip of a merch stall.
- Stephanie McMahon. Just like two grotty, blackened, hard-boiled eggs protruding then dangling out from within a fleshy, Pringle’s can, Stephanie’s girl balls just had to get some screen time after a brief absence. Also, she’s the highest ranking officer on Raw Live, Foley is only there for when Steph is too busy to be there. She said herself that she was sat on her arse during Clash of Champions, so she should have been the one oversee the show, not Foley. Hopefully her acting like The Authority is on its way back into power is simple misdirection and Foley will be the one to turn heel.
Until Next Time
I’m not sure how I feel about Sheamus and Cesaro yet. I’d like to be optimistic and assume it’ll pay off after amusing me mildly while they’re still getting on the same page, but I’m afraid it’s just going to be a flash in the pan affair for a few mild chuckles and then back to purgatory for them both; seeing as they’ve got all this other talent devoted to one brand’s title and the fans are still waiting for title runs from their other favourite teams still.
They’re both awesome workers that are willing to work around others, suffer when taking stiff shots and big risks and they’ll try new things in an effort to prevent creative stagnation. They could both run with a singles title and convincing defend it, Sheamus has obviously already proven this even if you ignore his most recent run where he and The League of Nations were just fodder for Roman Reigns.
Cesaro on the other hand, he hasn’t held one of the main titles. I think that he deserves to and that he would make a great champion either as a face or a heel. I don’t think Tag Team gold is the way to go with him either, especially with all the talent the WWE have been letting slip through their fingers as of late.
I’m hoping that it will all lead to both guys getting what they want from their jobs and that we’ll all be entertained in the process.