The December 19, 2016 Edition of RAW is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's RAW brand, which took place on December 19, 2016 at Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. This was the Raw after Roadblock: End of the Line.
They fooled you! They fooled all of you! Whatever your personal thoughts on the elaborate ruse Jeri-KO concocted to both keep the WWE Universal Title on Kevin Owens and have him win the match against Roman Reigns at Roadblock: End of the Line, you have to admire its deviousness: After weeks of seemingly teetering on the verge of implosion, the two best friends played their ace in the hole and came to Raw stronger than ever, with championship hardware still in tow.
Mick Foley, of course, was not so easily impressed. The beleaguered Raw General Manager (sporting a Christmas shirt that even he admitted was horrifying) not only informed Owens that he would once again have to defend his WWE Universal Championship against Reigns at the Royal Rumble, he devised a stipulation that would keep Jericho from meddling in the action as well: He’d suspend him over the ring in a shark cage under threat of firing if Jericho refused. Foley even tricked Jericho into a demonstration of said cage, hanging The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla high above the canvas while Owens screamed for him to be let down.
That’s two thus far in technicality-steeped conclusions in the young rivalry of Big Cass and Rusev, though admittedly their rematch from Roadblock: End of the Line Kickoff wasn’t anywhere near long enough to end in a count-out. Still fuming over The Super Athlete’s cowardly assault of Enzo Amore the previous night, Big Cass jumped Rusev the second the bell rang and began whaling away at him unrelentingly. With Rusev stuck on the wrong end of an unrelenting beating (excesivo "Cass"-tigo for you soccer fans), the ref called for the bell, handing The Bulgarian Brute a DQ win that he wasn’t remotely able to enjoy: Cass continued to pound on the Bulgarian until a last-ditch kick to the knee finally gave The Super Athlete an out to escape.
Once again, Charlotte Flair stunned Sasha Banks at a pay-per-view title defense of the Raw Women’s Championship, brutalizing The Boss’ knee to earn her fourth championship victory in an OT WWE Iron Man Match at Roadblock: End of the Line. With the bout’s no-rematch clause putting Banks out of contention for the time being, Sasha took to the ring on a crutch and attempted to summon Charlotte for a show of sportsmanship and respect. What she got instead was Nia Jax, who clearly saw the maimed Boss as easy pickings and treated her as such, bulldozing her about the ring before taking her leave.
To his credit, Cedric Alexander has mostly left Noam Dar to his own devices throughout The Scottish Supernova’s thirsty pursuit of Alexander’s gal pal, Alicia Fox. But no longer. Alexander and Dar finally squared off on Raw and Cedric quickly showed the smooth-talking Scot who was boss, powering through a punished knee and blasting Dar with the Lumbar Check to avenge his earlier 205 Live loss (evening their record in the process) and the honor of his girlfriend all at once. Of course, the thirst persisted, as Dar insisted after the match that Fox was the true prize in their rivalry, and even cribbed a line from “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Savage.
In case you haven’t heard, we have new Raw Tag Team Champions. The New Day’s record-setting reign was snapped at Roadblock: End of the Line by Cesaro & Sheamus, who received new, red-hued titles as a result. And while the truce between the new and old champs is contentious at best — New Day applauded Cesaro but declared Sheamus to be booty — the rivals had to put that mess aside to join forces against two other prospective contenders for the titles.
That would be Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson as well as The Shining Stars, who displayed both some excellent knowledge of the in-ring science (Epico in particular) and some blunt-force brutality (Gallows in particular) in what was essentially their opening salvo in the new-look Tag Team division. Big E tagged in and seemed ready to rumble his way to the win, but Sheamus wouldn’t be upstaged so easily, tagging himself in, setting Epico up for the Brogue Kick. The Celtic Warrior’s impeding strike ignited a massive brawl, the end of which saw Epico tapping to the formidable Cesaro Swing-Sharpshooter combo.
So, Neville’s back. And boy, is he mad. One night after obliterating every Cruiserweight in his path, including champion Rich Swann, The Man That Gravity Forgot lambasted the WWE Universe for overlooking him and put the whole 205 Live roster on notice, declaring himself “King of the Cruiserweights.” Swann bravely stepped to his former mentor, but the arrival of The Brian Kendrick — who claimed to have been clamoring for Neville to join the Cruiserweight division since Day One — put the champion at a quick disadvantage. TJ Perkins appeared to even the odds, but Neville beat them both up singlehandedly, leaving a helpless Perkins to suffer Sliced Bread No. 2 from a smug Kendrick.
Seems like Superstars are always getting into trouble on Raw Pre-Show. Case in point, an unexpected serving of beef between Sin Cara and Titus O’Neil that led to a match on Raw. Too bad they couldn’t even get through the match once Braun Strowman came a-callin’.
Fuming over his failure to defeated Sami Zayn within 10 minutes the previous night, The Gift of Destruction had commanded Mick Foley to give him Zayn “or else.” When Foley responded by sending Sami away and giving Strowman the night off, The Monster Among Men promised to follow through with “Or else.” In this case, that meant a full-scale annihilation of both O’Neil and Braun's old rival Sin Cara, whom Strowman threw through the Raw set’s Christmas decorations while Mick Foley looked on.
With Sasha Banks in the rearview mirror, it’s time for another Superstar to step up and prove herself worthy to challenge Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women’s Title. And hey, it’s … Bayley!!!
Well, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves there. No contender has been announced. But The Huggable One didn’t just come at The Queen during her victory lap, she provoked Charlotte in a non-title match and won, earning her third consecutive victory over the reigning Raw Women’s Champion when she rallied from a Charlotte moonsault and executed a textbook backslide for the three. However, as the eagle-eyed Corey Graves pointed out, Charlotte’s shoulder made it off the mat outside the referee’s field of vision. Expect Bayley to have to prove herself once again, but don't be surprised if she pulls it off in Round Four.
Sure, Rusev beat Enzo Amore up over that time he accidentally exposed himself to his co-workers, but anyone who’s worked in corporate America knows it was only a formal, HR-centric response was handed down on Muscles Marinara. That arrived on Raw in the form of company-mandated sensitivity training, which landed the Certified G and Bonafide Stud alongside Bo Dallas, Bob Backlund, Darren Young and Jinder Mahal in an extended session that lasted the length of Raw.
While Enzo and Jinder butted heads throughout the entirety of the session, Smacktalker Skywalker stopped himself from going rogue and managed to complete his training, making moves on the sensitivity trainer, Colleen, in the process. The stint in sensitivity training ultimately ended in disaster when Rusev crashed the circle of trust, teaming up with Mahal to stomp the smack-talk out of Enzo right at the conclusion of the session. Lana provided the exclamation point, slapping Enzo across the face before Rusev put him through the snack table.
With Kevin Owens staring down a Roman Reigns title defense and Chris Jericho suffering full-on PTSD from his quick trip up the rafters in a shark tank, Jeri-KO should have been easy pickings for Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns in the main event of Raw. And they probably would have been, if not for one word: BRAAAUUUUNNN!
The Gift of Destruction wasn’t apparently satisfied with just demolishing Sin Cara earlier in the night, crashing the main-event match and laying waste to both Reigns, ending the match with a disqualification in the Shield veterans’ favor just as they were about to seal the deal against Jeri-KO. Once the match was over, Strowman perpetuated further physicality on a battered Rollins and finally punctuated his beating with a Running Powerslam to Reigns. The lesson: When he says “Or else,” you had better believe that.
- Beginning from this episode, Raw Tag Team Championships' belt design featuring silver plates on red leather straps, with the stitching design being the same as the SmackDown Tag Team Championship belts.
- Also, sensitivity training storyline reminds old story from anger management classes between Daniel Bryan & Kane from Team Hell No.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Rusev (w/ Lana) defeated Big Cass (w/ Enzo Amore) by Disqualification (1:00)
- Cedric Alexander (w/ Alicia Fox) defeated Noam Dar (6:00)
- Cesaro & Sheamus & The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) defeated Gallows and Anderson & The Shining Stars (Primo & Epico) by submission (10:00)
- Titus O'Neil vs. Sin Cara ended in a No Contest (0:05)
- Bayley defeated Charlotte Flair (12:00)
- Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins defeated Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens by Disqualification (17:05)
Other on-screen talent