The January 30, 2017 Edition of RAW is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's RAW brand, which took place on January 30, 2017 at Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas. This was the Raw after the Royal Rumble.
A rough (but overall positive) Royal Rumble for Jeri-KO gave way to a pretty formidable hangover on Raw. It was revealed that a banged-up Kevin Owens would have to defend his WWE Universal Title against Braun Strowman (thanks to an offhand promise he made last month) and Chris Jericho would go toe-to-toe with Sami Zayn in a non-title match.
It remains to be seen how that first match will pan out, but Jericho vs. Zayn, at least, didn’t have the kind of ending the #61MinuteMan hoped. Jericho managed to evade several of Zayn’s signature moves by literally running around the ring, but The Underdog from the Underground burst the sexy piñata’s bubble — and maybe his nose — with the Helluva Kick. And perhaps, this win could just put him in line for The Gift of a U.S. Title Match … maaaannnnn.
After a stunning debut on Raw last week, Cruiserweight sensation Mustafa Ali hit his first roadblock, coming up short against Tony Nese thanks to what is becoming The Premier Athlete’s signature style — all-out pummeling. After tripping Ali off the top rope before he could execute the Inverted 450 Splash, Nese disposed of Ali with a running knee to the head and Cruiserweight division commentator Austin Aries — a storied competitor in his own right — seized upon the opportunity to interview Nese. Unsurprisingly, however, The Greatest Man That Ever Lived was a bit too snarky in his interview for The Premier Athlete’s liking. Nese dismissed Aries, but if the smirk “A-Double” gave Nese on the way out is any indication, there may be more mockery still to come.
So the Royal Rumble was uneventful for Seth Rollins, but hoo boy, NXT TakeOver: San Antonio was full of surprises. After The Architect crashed the yellow brand’s signature show and demanded that WWE COO, NXT impresario and personal tormentor Triple H present himself for long-brewing payback, The Game responded by having Rollins tossed out of the building and banned from the Rumble. Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon promised to settle the dispute face-to-face with Rollins on Raw, but The Architect’s continued defiance and insults rattled her hard enough to drop the ultimate bombshell: The King of Kings would, indeed, take Rollins up on his challenge and meet him in the ring later in the night.
With 16 straight title victories under her belt, Charlotte Flair is now the undisputed Queen of Pay-Per-View. But as Sasha Banks can probably attest, her crown is slightly dimmed when it comes to Raw. The Flair heiress suffered a big blemish at the hands of her most recent challenger, Bayley, who rode a timely distraction at the end of a Six-Person Tag Team Match to hand Charlotte a demoralizing, though certainly not title-stripping, victory.
The match paired Bayley with Cesaro & Sheamus and Charlotte with those Superstars’ recent foils (and new Raw Tag Team Champions) Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. It was Charlotte, playing the role of good sister, who first threw a wrench into the match by chopping Sheamus in the back as he administered 10 Beats of the Bodhrán to Gallows. But after Sheamus took Anderson over the ropes and The Suntan Biker Man tagged Charlotte in, Bayley automatically became the legal woman for her team. Cesaro swooped down on his foes from above, and The Huggable One escaped the Figure-Eight Leglock to execute the Bayley-to-Belly. Hugs! Hugs for everyone!
Prepare your knees for groveling; Neville is now officially the King of the Cruiserweights after dethroning Rich Swann at the Royal Rumble. to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion. But even though he may be vanquished, the former titleholder isn’t exactly in a hurry to kiss his usurper’s ring. Not only did Swann interrupt his former mentor’s “coronation,” he reminded the King he has a rematch coming … and sent Neville packing from his own party after the champion tried to force him to bow.
Well, looks like Kevin Owens owes Roman Reigns a Coke: In a dazzling display of irony given their ferocious rivalry, The Big Dog inadvertently saved The Prizefighter’s WWE Universal Title reign by crashing his WWE Universal Title defense against Braun Strowman on Raw. Owens had, to his credit, been taking The Mosnter Among Men to the absolute limit, busting out a Frog Splash and, bafflingly, a standing variation on the Harlem Hangover, but the big man rallied with the Running Powerslam and that was when Reigns made his presence known.
The ensuing Superman Punch to Strowman was, of course, itself retribution for The Gift of Destruction’s attack during his WWE Universal Title challenge at Royal Rumble, but he wasn’t content with simply causing a DQ. After the bell, Reigns pursued the beaten titan outside the ring, finally taking him down with a Spear before administering another one to Owens inside the ring. Strowman rose almost instantly though, stomping his way after Roman once The Big Dog had left the building.
Brock Lesnar is mad as hell and he’s not gonna take it anymore. After suffering his second straight trouncing at the hands of Goldberg — the former World Heavyweight Champion tossed The Beast from the Royal Rumble Match almost immediately after entering it — The Conqueror handed out a once-and-for-all challenge through his mouthpiece Paul Heyman: A match at WrestleMania to settle the score and, most importantly, reverse the argument that Goldberg is the "Yeah, but ..." asterisk on the monstrous legacy of Lesnar's dominance.
Everybody knows that Sasha Banks never throws in the towel, perhaps to her detriment. But the referee assigned to her rematch with Nia Jax had no such scruples, calling off the bout after Jax administered an inhuman amount of punishment on The Boss’ injured knee. When Nia continued to torque the leg even after the bell, Bayley came to the ring and helped the ref call her off, sparing Banks further punishment at Jax’s hands … but could it be at the cost of Sasha’s already-wounded pride?
Ever since the sensitivity training session from hell, Enzo Amore & Big Cass have found themselves entangled with “Handsome” Rusev (his words) and Jinder “The Most Muscular” Mahal (ours — just look at the guy). And on Raw, The Realest Guys in the Room finally served a slice of humble pie to the cuppa’ haters in the form of a Tornado Tag Team Match, where all four competitors were legal at once.
That stipulation seemed to turn the tide in favor of Rusev & Mahal, as both Superstars focused their efforts heavily on Enzo to leave Big Cass stranded in a 1-on-2 deficit. Right as Cass seemed beyond hope, however, a loopy Enzo tripped up Mahal and bounced Rusev’s head off the ropes, sending him stumbling into a Big Boot from Cass. One Bada Boom Shakalaka later and it was done.
Seth Rollins went all the way to NXT to get Triple H’s attention. So Triple H brought NXT with him to answer. But before The King of Kings’ long-brewing confrontation with his former protégé Seth Rollins reached its shocking conclusion, the 14-time World Champion provided long-awaited answers as to why he betrayed Rollins. Triple H said he felt The Architect was a “failure” without his support — and declared Rollins’ insolence had finally convinced him to shed his job as a corporate “creator” and instead summon the “destroyer” as Rollins requested.
Of course, nobody ever considered that the “destroyer” in question wasn’t Triple H. Rollins’ would-be payback took a painful turn for The Architect just a few moments in when Samoa Joe, the first-ever two-time NXT Champion, ambushed Rollins from behind and put him to sleep with the Coquina Clutch while The Game simply left the arena. In hindsight, Rollins should have seen this coming, and indeed, known better than anyone: Even, and especially, when you think you have Triple H where you want him, there’s always a Plan B.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sami Zayn defeated Chris Jericho (11:00)
- Tony Nese defeated Mustafa Ali (3:00)
- Sheamus, Cesaro & Bayley defeated Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson & Charlotte Flair (8:00)
- Braun Strowman defeated Kevin Owens (c) (w/ Chris Jericho) by DQ in a WWE Universal Championship Match (5:00)
- Nia Jax defeated Sasha Banks by Referee Decision (2:05)
- Big Cass & Enzo Amore defeated Jinder Mahal & Rusev (w/ Lana) (9:00)
Other on-screen talent