The December 5, 2016 Edition of RAW is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's RAW brand, which took place on December 5, 2016 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. This was the Raw after TLC.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the surprise opponent WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens finagled for Seth Rollins following The Architect’s obliteration of KO’s (estranged?) bestie, Chris Jericho. As part of a three-pronged “gift” to Jericho, The Prizefighter (with assistance from Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon) summoned Big Show from seclusion to beat on Rollins, but Owens’ strategy of attempting to bark orders at the giant from the corner proved to be a mistake: The World’s Largest Athlete chokeslammed Owens and took the count-out willingly, allowing Rollins free reign to dispose of The Prizefighter with a Pedigree.
The good news for Owens (yes, somehow there’s good news) is that he has two more machinations that may yet bear fruit: As part of that olive branch to Jericho, he’s both arranged for a Jericho-Owens at Roadblock: End of the Line and, more immediately, a U.S. Title match later in the night between The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla and Owens’ current No. 1 contender, Roman Reigns.
Did you miss 205 Live? Did you miss Jack Gallagher?! Then hoo boy, you are in for a treat. The “Extraordinary Gentleman” of the Cruiserweight division made his Raw debut in a rematch against the man he defeated last Tuesday, Ariya Daivari, and the result was very much the same — to a point: Gallagher (pronounced Galla-HER) used his unorthodox offense to confound Daivari and won with a running dropkick into the corner, but after attempting to shake Daivari’s hand in sportsmanship, Gallagher was instead subjected to a ghastly assault on his knee by his opponent. Surely the fallout on tomorrow's 205 Live will be ... extraordinary.
As it turns out, a chokeslam from Big Show does nothing to quell Kevin Owens’ enthusiasm when it comes to punching Sami Zayn. The WWE Universal Champion battled his eternal rival in a match ordained by Raw General Manager Mick Foley and came away with the win, dealing a particularly brutal blow to Zayn’s own hopes in the process.
It was implied by Michael Cole that Zayn, who has been lobbying for a match with Braun Strowman to no avail, might have swayed Foley to sanction that bout if he defeated KO on Raw. The Underdog from the Underground seemed to have the champion put away even after a trio of tornado DDTs, four suplexes and a Blue Thunder Bomb. But Owens’ last-gasp attempt at a Pop-up Powerbomb hit home, and he literally collapsed in a heap on Zayn’s chest to claim the win.
Last week, on the debut of 205 Live, Rich Swann beat The Brian Kendrick north, south, east and west to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. This week he did the same to the inaugural bearer of the purple title: TJ Perkins, who’s made no bones about his desire for another opportunity at the championship. He’s certainly pulled out all the stops to prove he's ready for one: Perkins dabbed all over Swann in an attempt to get into his head and unleashed the full scope of his aggression to boot. It was an impressive effort, but “The Outlandish” champion picked his spot wisely, kicking TJP straight out of the air in the middle of a springboard attempt. Next up? 205 Live and a rematch with Kendrick.
Bayley likes everyone. We know this. But The Huggable One may have crossed an unwritten line on Raw Pre-Show when she gave a Bayley Bear to Cedric Alexander and attracted the ire of the Cruiserweight’s admirer, Alicia Fox, leading to a bout on Raw. The former Divas Champion absolutely smothered Bayley in the opening moments of the match, and Bayley had to get aggressive herself in response: She pounced on Alicia to stop her momentum, leading Foxy to hit her with a big boot. When Alicia rushed in for the follow-up, Bayley pounced with the Bayley-to-Belly. Huggers gonna hug, Bayley’s gonna win.
When Mark Henry shoved Titus O’Neil on his backside last week, you knew The Titus Brand wouldn’t allow the ultimate match to commence without the kind of pomp and circumstance befitting its sharp-dressed figurehead. The Big Deal went all-out in promoting “The Tussle in Texas,” handing out flyers and arranging an old-school tale of the tape for both himself and the former World Heavyweight Champion. And then he got pinned the second the bell rang off a World’s Strongest Slam from the Texas native. Rumble, young man, rumble.
A United States Title Match is a hell of a gift (of Jericho), but Chris Jericho still made it clear to Kevin Owens that he wanted to go it alone against Roman Reigns. Long story short: Owens went ahead and got involved anyway, Jericho’s got no gold and Jeri-KO is looking shakier than ever.
To Owens’ credit, he disregarded his friend’s demand because things were looking particularly do-or-die for The Ayatollah of Rock ’n’ Rolla — who was challenging for one of the few titles he has yet to win in WWE. Owens blasted Reigns with a superkick right after he escaped the Walls of Jericho. Although the subsequent Codebreaker The Big Dog stumbled into wasn’t enough to pin him, and the ensuing argument between Jericho and Owens (complete with a slap to the chest) lasted long enough that Reigns recovered to set up a Spear. To Jericho’s credit, he leapfrogged straight over Reigns’ charge, but Reigns simply adjusted course, connected with attempt No. 2, and retained his title.
For weeks now, Rusev has been opting to avoid a confrontation with Big Cass in favor of continually abusing Enzo Amore over the whole naked-in-the-hallway-in-front-of-Lana thing. This week, however, was The Bulgarian Brute’s masterstroke: After feigning a marriage-ending fight with Rusev backstage, The Ravishing Russian lured Muscles Marinara to a hotel room — in Ric Flair’s limo, no less — under the pretense of a romantic rendezvous while Rusev seemingly prepared to take his frustrations out on Cass in the ring. Enzo arrived at the love den just as the big men were scheduled to battle, and The Super Athlete sprang his trap, destroying the beloved Superstar while Cass was helpless to intervene. Clearly, when it comes to a diabolical level of intelligence and cunning, you can’t teach that.
The New Day is just a week and change away from demolishing Demolition’s record and becoming the longest reigning Tag Team Champions of any kind in WWE history. But, they’ll have one more title defense before that happens, and going into Raw they assumed it would be against either Cesaro & Sheamus or Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. Turns out, it’ll be against both.
The two tandems of bruisers brawled it out for the right to become New Day’s No. 1 contenders, and the newly-minted teamwork of Cesaro & Sheamus seemed poised to win the day against the good brothers, especially when the Irishman stacked both Gallows & Anderson up with a pair of rolling sentons. Once the action spilled to ringside where New Day was sitting, however, an all-out brawl broke out between the two teams that cut the bout off and slotted New Day for a Triple Threat title defense by default next week. Cesaro & Sheamus got the last word in when they caught Kofi Kingston out of the sky and powerbombed him into the rest of The New Day, but they’ll have to do it next week to deny them history.
If there was anything more shocking than Sasha Banks’ win over Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women’s Title last week, it was Ric Flair crossing the family picket line to offer his endorsement to the new champion at the end of the show. With Sasha dedicating her win to Flair and the title rematch scheduled as an Iron Man Match (!!) at Roadblock: End of the Line, “The Queen” brought her estranged father Ric Flair out in order to publicly apologize following the endorsement of Banks that Charlotte claimed broke her heart.
At least, that was the pretense: After luring Flair in with a hug, Charlotte slapped The Nature Boy across the face and accused him of turning against his family. The Boss made her entrance in the nick of time, but Charlotte made quick work of her as well, throwing her face-first into the ringpost before mockingly presenting her limp body before Flair. Give her this: She’s got the “wheelin’-dealin’” part down pat.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows in a WWE RAW Tag Team Title #1 Contendership Match ended in a No Contest
Other on-screen talent