The December 12, 2016 Edition of RAW is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's RAW brand, which took place on December 12, 2016 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was the final RAW before Roadblock: End of the Line.
With just a few hours to go before tying Demolition’s all-time Tag Team Title record, The New Day pulled out every last trick in the book to extend their reign as Raw Tag Team Champions, not outlasting Cesaro & Sheamus and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson so much as outwitting them to secure the victory.
New Day approached the match at a distinct strength disadvantage, one that was only intensified when Kofi Kingston found himself isolated from Big E. Cesaro seemed to have things well in hand when he took out every single competitor in the match in one rampaging swoop, culminating in a Cesaro Swing and Sharpshooter to Karl Anderson. But New Day stole the win in one swoop of their own: After Big E broke up the Sharpshooter, Kofi tagged himself in on Anderson. After Cesaro fed Anderson into a Brogue Kick, Kofi pounced with Trouble in Paradise on Sheamus and defeated him while Big E held Cesaro’s ankles to prevent any interference. Somewhere, Xavier Woods’ grandmother is smiling.
Curtis Axel might be on the brink of a revitalization with his “Skol Axel Skol” war cry. Unfortunately, however, sheer enthusiasm wasn’t enough to power the former Intercontinental Champion past Braun Strowman on Raw. The Gift of Destruction made quick work of the game Axel, at which point he quickly turned his attention toward would-be rival Sami Zayn in his post-match interview. In response to Zayn’s repeated demands for a one-on-one bout against him, Strowman declared that Raw General Manager Mick Foley was aware that Zayn “wouldn’t last two minutes” against him, and was thus protecting Zayn accordingly.
Even so, Strowman may have underestimated the lengths Foley would go to: Zayn got in Foley’s face immediately after Strowman’s missive and demanded the match once again, only to be refused. And when Zayn insinuated that he’d rather not be on Raw at all if Foley wouldn’t give him the opportunity, The Hardcore Legend agreed to call SmackDown LIVE GM Daniel Bryan and work out a trade.
After being embarrassed by Jack Gallagher on both the debut of 205 Live and the subsequent Raw, Ariya Daivari took revenge on The Extraordinary Gentleman by brutalizing his knee last Monday, leading to an easy-pickings win on 205 Live. Well, Gallagher has achieved some payback of his own, interfering in Daivari’s match against Lince Dorado — being a gentleman, he made a full entrance and announced his intentions first — handing Daivari a DQ win but at the cost of a thorough “thrashing” in the form of a dropkick through the ropes. Jolly good, that.
This Sunday, “The Outlandish” Rich Swann will defend his WWE Cruiserweight Title against the two prior champions, The Brian Kendrick (who Swann beat for the title) and TJ Perkins (who beat Swann in the Cruiserweight Classic en route to winning the title — what a tangled web these Cruisers weave). And it looks like it’ll be Kendrick with the most momentum of the challengers going into Roadblock: End of the Line, as he picked up a win over Perkins on Raw.
He did so with his trademark ability to make the right move at the right time, withstanding a barrage from Mega TJP that left him briefly entangled in the Kneebar. Kendrick managed to escape the dreaded hold and quickly unleashed a decisive Sliced Bread No. 2 on Perkins, sending himself to Roadblock: End of the Line on the strength of a win.
The Great Bayley-Alicia Beef continued on Raw, though this time it wasn’t about whether Bayley was trying to make a move on Cedric Alexander than Alicia Fox — the Cruiserweight’s apparent paramour — proving her loss to The Huggable One last week was a big ol’ fluke. Well, looks like Bayley’s two for two in "fluke" wins over Miss Fox, though to be fair, Alicia might have better grounds to claim that this time as she had the bout well in hand before she decided to get all theatrical in slapping Bayley across the face. When Alicia took too long to wind up, Bayley ensnared her and administered a decisive Bayley-to-Belly for the win.
Everyone saw what Rusev did to Enzo Amore inside the hotel room of horrors last week on Raw, but The Bulgarian Brute came to Raw with a unique promise: To take the WWE Universe back inside the room after he and Lana had disposed of Muscles Marinara and reveal how they celebrated “behind closed doors.” Turns out all he and Lana wanted to do was replay the footage of Enzo getting destroyed, but the power couple hadn’t counted on the other half of The Realest Guys in the Room finally making his move.
Big Cass thundered down to the ring in defense of his best friend and had Rusev on the proverbial ropes with a series of clubbing blows to the body. The Super Athlete got one or two good strikes in of his own and was finally able to escape, but it’s safe to say the point had been made.
Sami Zayn is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. After more or less demanding Mick Foley trade him to SmackDown LIVE if he wasn’t going to sanction a match with Braun Strowman, Zayn held off a strong performance from Jinder Mahal in what appeared to be his final Raw match before allowing The Hardcore Legend one last chance to give him what he wanted. Foley revealed instead that he’d gone for Option B and worked out a trade with Daniel Bryan for someone of “equal value” — Eva Marie.
At this point, Zayn blew something of a gasket for being traded for a Superstar who has yet to compete since being drafted. The Underdog From the Underground got so furious he put hands on The Hardcore Legend ... and unwittingly played right into Foley’s hands as well. You see, there was never a trade, and that display of fire was just what Foley was hoping to summon. Having been that Zayn had the fire to survive The Gift of Destruction, Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy made Zayn vs. Strowman official for Roadblock: End of the Line, with one key stipulation: Zayn must survive for ten minutes.
With just a few hours to go before tying Demolition’s all-time Tag Team Title record, The New Day pulled out every last trick in the book to extend their reign as Raw Tag Team Champions …
No, this isn’t a cut-and-paste glitch: A combo of New Day’s excessive backstage celebration after their opening victory (Stephanie McMahon ended up doused in champagne), some last-minute machinations by Kevin Owens and a four-way brawl on “The Rollins Report” meant that ya boys had to defend their titles in yet another Triple Threat Match, this time against aspiring Tag Team Champions Jeri-KO and former Tag Team Champions Rollins & Reigns.
Got all that? Good. The long and short of it is that New Day are still champions by the skin of Francesca II Turbo’s brass skin, all thanks to Rollins. Jeri-KO was a count away from the titles after landing a Pop-up Codebreaker on Woods, until Rollins shoved Owens into Jericho to break up the pinfall, and then Jericho into Owens when the two started to bicker over the contact. Rollins administered a Pedigree to Jericho and then, much like their first win of the night, Big E grabbed his ankle while Woods limply draped his arm over Jericho for the pin.
But wait, there was more: While Owens pleaded with Jericho to believe that he didn’t cost them the match on purpose, Reigns made his way to the ring and stared Owens down in preparation for a massive Spear. Jericho, seeing what was coming down the pike, took his leave and more or less left Owens to the mercy of The Big Dog, who ended the show posing with his U.S. Title and Owens’ WWE Universal Title. End of the line indeed.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (w/ Xavier Woods) (c) defeated Cesaro & Sheamus and Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows in a Tag Team Triple Threat Match to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (11:48)
- Braun Strowman defeated Curtis Axel (1:00)
- Ariya Daivari defeated Lince Dorado by Disqualification (2:40)
- The Brian Kendrick defeated T.J. Perkins (8:35)
- Bayley defeated Alicia Fox (2:40)
- Sami Zayn defeated Jinder Mahal (3:25)
- The New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E) (w/ Kofi Kingston) (c) defeated Jeri-KO (Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens) and Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns in a Tag Team Triple Threat Match to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (20:20)
Other on-screen talent