Raw ruins Goldberg, a Hulk Hogan fan removed from WWE Raw's hard cam shot and more in Oli Davis' WWE Raw, Jan. 2, 2017 review. Watch the video, or read the review below...
Mick Foley opened Raw sporting a trendy new haircut. It made him look at least two Hell in a Cell matches younger.
This was the standard Raw opening with some combination of Foley, Stephanie, Owens and Jericho. After the latter complained about being a sexy pinata - the night's best joke besides Titus O'Neil - Foley made The Kevin Owens Talk Show as the main event, with Goldberg as the guest. Stephanie then got angry about Smackdown beating Raw in the TV ratings last week, and did her best to make that happen again by booking the 87th match between Jericho and Reigns for the US Championship.
Before that, we had Owens vs Rollins, where the winner would be banned from ringside for the aforementioned championship match. KO lost via DQ when he used the ring bell on Rollins, making Owens look weak yet again. If Raw is going to recycle the same matches between their top four guys over and over, why is it impossible for the heels to get a clean win every now and again?
Speaking of recycling matches, Reigns beat Jericho later on, despite Chris' great attempt at an Eddie Guerrero pretend DQ spot - a moment which presumably made Sasha Banks burst into tears of admiration backstage.
Here's the other stuff that happened...
KARL ANDERSON BEAT CESARO
Karl Anderson won a singles match! His first since signing with WWE last year! Who cares if it was because of a Luke Gallows distraction. This is Anderson's year! He's winning the Rumble! He's main eventing Wrestlemania! He's celebrating with his hot Asian wife!
BRAUN STROWMAN BEAT SAMI ZAYN
Braun Strowman definitively beat Sami Zayn in a Last Man Standing match, where he barely left his feet. Zayn was a great underdog as always, and the storytelling is OK, I guess... but I'm not as into this feud as everyone else seems to be. For me, it hasn't recovered from the inconsistent Mick Foley saves a few weeks back.
Note to self: email Vince about Tye Dillinger getting a Last Man Standing match.
Additional note to self: tell Vince who Tye Dillinger is.
NEW DAY RESOLUTIONS
A fan dressed as Hulk Hogan - affectionately known as The Tye Dyed Guy in the Tampa area - had been sat at ringside, right in the hardcam shot, for the whole show up until this point. But he was suddenly removed to the other side of the ring where he wouldn't be on TV. This led the crowd to chant 'Hogan', which shows how interesting the actual New Day segment was. After all three members entered themselves into the Rumble match, Xavier Woods beat Titus O'Neil.
DREW GULAK BEAT CEDRIC ALEXANDER
Drew Gulak beat Cedric Alexander after Tony Nese and Alicia Fox distracted the babyface on the outside. As Austin Aries kept reiterating on commentary, if you know anything about wrestling, don't bring your girlfriend to ringside.
TJ PERKINS BEAT THE BRIAN KENDRICK
The crowd were pretty dead for TJ Perkins tapping to Brian Kendrick. Probably because we've seen this match way too many times in the last few months. When you can hear individual people clapping, that means most of the crowd have lost interest.
RUSEV & JINDER MAHAL BEAT BIG CASS
Big Cass had to take on both Rusev and Jinder Mahal by himself, with Enzo Amore out of action. Even the USA chants couldn't stop Cass from losing the numbers game.
BAYLEY BEAT NIA JAX
Bayley beat Nia Jax to become the number one contender for Charlotte's Women's championship at Royal Rumble after Sasha Banks distracted the heel. A neat way to advance all feuds involved.
THE KEVIN OWENS SHOW
The first ever Kevin Owens Show segment got the main event spot this week. Instead of a Jeritron 48,000, or whatever the most up-to-date model is, they had a guy with a Kevin Owens Show sign on his head. Chris Jericho announced he'll be in the Royal Rumble, which Owens wasn't happy about. What happens if Y2K wins? Owens doesn't want to have to wrestle his best friend at Wrestlemania. They're going to have a great feud with Jericho as the face eventually.
Then out came Goldberg, who immediately threw his chair out the ring. That was badass, and his brief confrontation with Owens was intense.
But then out came Roman Reigns. And then out came Braun Strowman. And with each one, Goldberg somehow felt less and less important. And just like that, Goldberg became just another guy on Raw. This was the deadest a crowd has been for him since his return.
Goldberg and Reigns gave Strowman a joint spear to send him out the ring. Because you've gotta give the Golden Boy a rub.
But really, the opposite happened. Goldberg, the superhero, the man who beat Brock Lesnar in 1 minute 26 seconds, was brought down to a full-time roster star's level.
Here's the usual ratings recap, from top to bottom - In Awe, Cor, AVERAWGE, Poor and Bore.
This week's Raw is Poor.
Titus O'Neil vs Xavier Woods, TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick, Cedric Alexander vs Drew Gulak, Rusev and Jinder Mahal vs Big Cass - that's a lot of filler. And the main event stuff was just another reworking of the stale Owens, Rollins, Jericho and Reigns combinations we've seen quite enough of already.
The Kevin Owens Show main event had promise, but that too just became another unoriginal, copy and paste segment where wrestler after wrestler comes out one after another. And most destructively, it made Goldberg feel like just another guy.
At least we've got Undertaker and Shawn Michaels returning to Raw next week. Because Undertaker doesn't want Wrestlemania to define him. He ignoring the brand split rules to define him.
But what did you all think? Let me know in the comments down below.
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