Posted January 24th, 2017 by 1Wrestling News Team

A week from Royal Rumble,
Who will take the crown?
Could it be one of the three at the end?
Or maybe someone from Smackdown?

No friends. Only enemies.
Fighting each other to be the last one.
As the numbers of participants grow,
New feuds just begun.

Monday Night Raw takes place in Cleveland, Ohio

Roman Reigns came out and talked about his upcoming match at the 2017 Royal Rumble. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho appeared at the top of the ramp to interrupt him. Owens bragged about powerbombing Reigns through the announce table last Raw. Jericho had a few things to say to Reigns. The idea of a rematch for the US Title was brought up. Reigns warned the Bromantic Duo that he will win both the US and Universal Titles, and he reminded them that he is “The Guy”.

Thoughts: Good opening for the show. It was definitely a hilarious moment when Jericho was threatening Reigns, and Reigns twisted his words around by bringing up a rematch for the United States Title.

Cesaro VS Luke Gallows
Gallows started the match with an elbow and a few punches. The match went back and forth for a bit. Anderson tried to distract Cesaro. Gallows immediately took control with a big boot to the face. Cesaro was able to regain control. At the end, Anderson attacked Sheamus from behind. Cesaro got distracted. Gallows surprised Cesaro with a big boot to the face, hit him face first onto the mat and pinned him for the victory.

Thoughts: A good match. I thought this match was a perfect example of why there should be two officials at the upcoming Tag Team Title Match between these two great teams.

There was a backstage segment involving Mick Foley and Sami Zayn. Stephanie McMahon was on the speaker phone, and she told Zayn that he had to earn his spot in the Royal Rumble match by defeating Seth Rollins.

Gorey Graves conducted an interview with Bayley. Bayley was very excited about her upcoming match against Charlotte and mentioned that wrestling fandom is not a negative thing.

Backstage, Foley brought the news to Seth Rollins that he has a match against Sami Zayn, and that he must defeat Zayn to keep his spot in the Royal Rumble.

Seth Rollins VS Sami Zayn
The two men locked up, and there were a couple of grappling moves in the beginning. The match got a little more aggressive as both men were fighting hard for the spot in the Royal Rumble. Right before the commercial break, Rollins was in control. After the commercial break, Zayn turned things around and hit Rollins with the Blue Thunder Bomb. He pinned Rollins but Rollins kicked out. Rollins hit Zayn with a top blockbuster, followed by a near pinfall. Rollins superkicked Zayn and made the pin but Zayn kicked out. Rollins hit Zayn with the Falcon Piledriver and went for the pin but Zayn kicked out again. The match got even more intense with close pinfalls. Rollins was close to hitting the Pedigree. Zayn was close to hitting the Helluva kick. Rollins set Zayn up for the Pedigree but Zayn flipped Rollins over the ropes. Zayn climbed the ropes, and Rollins stunned Zayn with a kick. Rollins was going for the Pedigree from the top rope but Zayn reversed it and applied the Sunset Flip Powerbomb. There was a close pinfall but Rollins kicked out. Zayn delivered an Exploder Suplex on Rollins. Then, he was setting up the Helluva Kick. Rollins caught him with a Kick and took him down with a Pedigree on the ring apron. Rollins was going for the pin but Triple H’s music played. Rollins was waiting for Triple H to appear but no show. Zayn rolled Rollins into a pin for the victory. Rollins irately marched to the back, looking for The Game.

Thoughts: Awesome match between these two talents. This match really put me on the edge of my seat. There were devastating maneuvers and close pinfalls left and right.

Backstage, Rollins was looking for Triple H. He ran into Foley. Foley mentioned that he had nothing to do with it and that he will get to the bottom of it.

Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese and Drew Gulak VS Mustafa Ali, TJ Perkins and Gentleman Jack Gallagher
Gallagher started the match with Gulak. Nese and Perkins went at it, and Nese was in control. Nese attempted a Springboard moonsault on Perkins but Perkins got out of the way. Both Ali and Gulak were tagged in. At the end, Ali performed the 450 Splash on Gulak for the victory.

Thoughts: This 6-Men Cruiserweight Tag Match was pretty good. Gallagher entertained the fans as usual by doing the upside down on the turnbuckle stunt. Ali really brought his A game in this match.

New Day came out. Before they finished their introduction, Enzo Amore and Big Cass out. Big Cass announced that he will enter the Royal Rumble match. Rusev, Jinder Mahal and Lana came out. Rusev announced that he will enter the Royal Rumble match. Titus O’Neil came out to announce an 8-Men Tag Match, and Braun Strowman came out as the tag team partner of Rusev, Jinder Mahal and Titus O’Neil.
Big Cass, Enzo Amore & New Day VS Braun Strowman, Titus O’Neil, Rusev and Jinder Mahal
The team of Braun Strowman, Titus O’Neil, Rusev and Jinder Mahal were in control. In the middle of the match, Kingston performed an impressive aerial assault on O’Neil, Rusev and Mahal. Enzo was left face to face with Strowman. Despite the size of the big man, Enzo did not back down. At the end, Strowman hit Enzo with a Powerslam for the win. Big Show came out after the match. The two men had a staredown. Strowman slowly exited the ring.

Thoughts: The match was okay. I thought they could have done better – like have Big Cass and Strowman get into a big brawl. The best part of this segment was when Big Show came out to confront Strowman. I would love to see these two go at it. I am sure we will see some of that at Royal Rumble.

United States Title Match: Chris Jericho VS Roman Reigns
Reigns started off very dominant in the match. After commercial break, Jericho was in control and Owens joined the announce team. Jericho was throwing kicks and slaps but that did not keep Reigns down. Reigns fought back with a few right hands. After a Superman Punch on Jericho, Owens rushed to the ring and attacked Reigns. Owens called for the shark cage to be lowered. After the cage was lowered, Reigns was put in the cage. Reigns retaliated, attacked both men and put Owens in the cage. Owens was raised up in the cage as Jericho was holding onto him, trying to save him. Reigns hit Jericho with a Superman Punch and a Spear.

Thoughts: Great outcome when Reigns was able to turn the tables by putting Owens in the cage and having his way with Jericho. The Superman Punch that he delivered to Jericho (who was hanging onto the cage) was very impressive.

After Commercial Break, it was announced that the Universal Title Match will be No DQ. Owens was irate after finding out.

There was an interview with Charlotte. She talked about Ric Flair’s Royal Rumble victory in 1992. Even though she respects Bayley, she is disgusted that Bayley wants to be in her league. She warned what will happen at the Royal Rumble match.

Nia Jax VS Miss Lynn (sp)
Jax pretty much destroyed her opponent in less than a minute with a sumo drop onto the chest for the victory. After the match, Jax talked about the end of Sasha Banks’s career. Sasha Banks came out and attacked Jax with her crutch. She delivered a double knee onto Jax to anger her Royal Rumble opponent even more.

Thoughts: I thought it was good to see Sasha Banks fight back even with a bad knee. This will get Jax all fired up at Royal Rumble. If Jax is going to be fired up at Royal Rumble, I think it will give Sasha Banks a reason to fight harder. With these two facing each other with intensity, we will witness a good Women’s Match at Royal Rumble.

Rich Swann VS Noam Darr (w/ Alicia Fox)
Swann was in control in the beginning. As he was distracted by Fox, Darr nailed him with a kick. The match ended when Swann took Darr out with a Spin Kick to the face and pinned him for the victory. After the match, Swann called out Neville. After Neville came out, Swann attacked him and was triumphant at the end.

Thoughts: Great athleticism by Swann. The man is so talented with his agility. If he brings that and fire to his match against Neville, he has a very good chance at retaining his Cruiserweight Title.

There was a backstage segment involving Cedric Alexander, Noam Darr and Alicia Fox. Darr hoped that there were “no hard feelings” after stealing Fox from Alexander. When it came to Fox, Alexander said there were “no hard feelings” but he pushed Darr anyway for attacking him last week.

Goldberg came out. He was delivering a message to the 29 other participants of the Royal Rumble. Paul Heyman came out and talked about the possibility of who Goldberg will be facing at the Royal Rumble match. Brock Lesnar came out. Goldberg interrupted Heyman and dared Lesnar to enter the ring. Lesnar marched to ringside, circled around the ring and entered the ring. The Undertaker’s music hits and the lights went out. Undertaker appeared after the lights went back on. The show faded to black as Lesnar, Goldberg and Undertaker were staring at each other in the ring.

Thoughts: First off, I want to say that it was a real treat to see Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and The Undertaker in the ring at the same time. I figured that Lesnar was going to make an appearance since Goldberg was advertised to appear on Raw. But did not expect The Undertaker to be there – and in the same ring with Goldberg and Lesnar. I thought it was interesting that the show faded to black before we (the audience at home) could see what happens next. That was definitely the best moment on Raw. The best match was the Seth Rollins versus Sami Zayn match. Another good moment on Raw was when Big Show came out and got into a staredown with one of the most dominating wrestlers in WWE, Braun Strowman. It is great to see more of Big Show on Raw since his amazing weight loss. Overall, this week’s Raw show was awesome. The Rollins/Zayn match, the Big Show/Strowman staredown and the ending segment really stood out.

- Lisa “The Poet” Williams

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