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Depending on whom you ask, Roman Reigns cost Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho a Survivor Series victory. But while that hot take is up for debate, it’s pretty clear that Reigns may well end up costing Owens the WWE Universal Championship if the cards fall in his favor. The Big Dog opened Raw by crashing Owens’ spot on “The Highlight Reel” — originally meant as a Thanksgiving celebration wherein Jeri-KO gave thanks for each other — and inferring that The Prizefighter can’t get through a title defense without Jericho at his side. A rattled Owens was sufficiently goaded into: 1) shutting down Jericho’s attempts to put Reigns on The List of Jericho, 2) flat-out stating he doesn’t need Jericho in his corner, and 3) agreeing to a bout with Reigns where, if “The Guy” wins, he becomes No. 1 contender to KO’s title at Roadblock: End of the Line.
Having made mincemeat of Sami Zayn last week on Raw, Braun Strowman continued his rampage through the roster by running through R-Truth in a singles match, and then dispatching Goldust when he ran to his partner’s aid. This, in of itself, was not unexpected, nor was Zayn’s attempted (and quickly thwarted) ambush of The Gift of Destruction. What was surprising was what happened when Raw General Manager Mick Foley came to check on The Underdog from the Underground.
It turns out Zayn was still a little miffed over The Hardcore Legend saving him from himself against Strowman two weeks in a row, as he accused Foley of taking orders from Stephanie McMahon now. Foley countered that he only placed Zayn into action with Strowman to stop Stephanie from firing him over missing out on the Intercontinental Championship, but Zayn wasn’t convinced. The Underdog from the Underground stormed out of the ring after claiming Foley was now “in his way” while the GM begged him to “let it go.” It seems, like any underdog worth his bones, Zayn has now got himself two foes.
Cedric Alexander came into Charlotte a hometown hero, but he left as the unfortunate victim of a Tony Nese–Drew Gulak double-team. The beloved Cruiserweight had been holding his own against The Premier Athlete, countering Nese’s ground-and-pound game with a kick or two to the face. But when Gulak climbed on the apron and distracted Alexander, Nese sprang into action with a Pumphandle Slam for the win. As 205 Live approaches, Nese got a big boost, while Alexander was left to wonder what went wrong.
Well, it’s fair to say Chris Jericho’s night went from bad to worse in a hurry. Not only did The Ayatollah of Rock ’n’ Rolla walk out of Raw in a huff and seemingly denounce Kevin Owens after KO dismissed him in the opening of the show, he ran smack into a vengeful Seth Rollins as he attempted to leave the Spectrum Center parking lot. Taking advantage of a brief distraction when Jericho’s limo driver knocked The List of Jericho from his hand, The Architect sprang on his foe. Despite not being medically cleared to compete, Rollins pummeled Jericho mercilessly, culminating in a brutal Pedigree atop the roof of a rental car.
Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks: The championship rematch that’s too big for one match. Squaring off once again for the crown jewel of the Team Red Women’s division, hometown champion Charlotte and Sasha held nothing back in their latest championship match … so much so that the entire match was derailed because of it. After only a few minutes, the action spilled outside the ring, where the two women continued to brawl well past the count of 10. That closed the door on their title match, but Mick Foley was quick to rectify the situation, emerging to declare the two Superstars would battle once again later in the night under No Count-out, No Disqualification, Falls Count Anywhere rules.
Long story short last week: Enzo Amore got pranked; ended up naked; Lana saw him; Rusev crush. Long story short this week: Enzo talked about Lana seeing him naked; Rusev crush. The good news, at least, is that Muscles Marinara won his match against The Bulgarian Brute, though it was by disqualification when the former U.S. Champion gave Enzo a Charlie Brown–caliber football kick to the Certified Gs and made himself scarce before Big Cass could get involved. How’s Enzo doin’? Not great.
Last week, Rich Swann defeated TJ Perkins and Noam Dar to become No. 1 contender to the WWE Cruiserweight Championship by pinning Perkins. This week, one night before he challenges for the title on 205 Live’s debut, Swann earned his second consecutive victory, this time against the Superstar he didn’t pin to earn the spot. “The Scottish Supernova” gave Swann a hell of a fight, but the No. 1 contender snatched the win again off the strength of a big kick to the face. And then he mean-mugged reigning champion The Brian Kendrick from the ring in his post-match interview, promising victory at 205 Live by informing Kendrick that he “can’t handle this.” Only one day left until we find out.
According to Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens cannot win without Chris Jericho by his side. As you may recall, Owens disagreed with this statement. Well, Jericho got taken out by Seth Rollins, and a solo Owens lost to Reigns. Draw whatever conclusions you want from that, but one is inescapable: Reigns is now the No. 1 contender to KO’s WWE Universal Championship.
Owens, it must be said, had plenty of chances to put The Big Dog away. But Reigns had an answer for each time, and once he muscled his way out of Chinlock City, Owens got desperate. The Big Dog gained momentum as Owens (who later blamed the loss on concern for Chris Jericho’s well-being) progressively lost his, following up a pair of massive Superman Punches with a Spear to punch his ticket to Roadblock: End of the Line.
For those of you wondering how long Brock Lesnar was going to sit idle after being embarrassed by Goldberg at Survivor Series, the answer was, “eight days.” Eight days after being Jackhammered into an 0-2 hole against the former World Heavyweight Champion, The Beast Incarnate’s next move has been declared. In an emotional interview with Michael Cole, a disheveled Paul Heyman admitted to taking Goldberg lightly in the lead-up to Survivor Series. He also promised the “humiliation” and “embarrassment” of his fearsome client would be avenged when Lesnar — who now has “something to prove” — enters the 2017 Royal Rumble Match. A match which, you’ll remember, has only one other confirmed competitor thus far: Goldberg.
If The New Day does get to Demolition’s record, they should send some Booty-O’s to Lady Luck, because ya boys’ reign as Raw Tag Team Champions survived another brutal onslaught from Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson thanks to a little bit of good fortune ... and the same smart, underhanded strategy that got them past Cesaro & Sheamus last week.
Gallows & Anderson’s game plan — take out Big E and gang up on Xavier Woods — was going flawlessly right up until Anderson and Woods got into a slugfest, trading elbows and uppercuts and finally transitioning to a series of rollups. After Anderson attempted to grab Woods’ tights on the mat, Woods reversed his roll-up at the last second and grabbed a handful of tights himself to score the pin. So the good brothers swing and miss. But given that Cesaro & Sheamus finally got on the same page during a bar brawl earlier in the night, it’s fair to say New Day has no shortage of potential challengers as the finish line approaches.
Some would say that having two title matches in one night is not fair to Charlotte Flair. But in an anything-goes environment, “The Queen” lost her title fair and square to Sasha Banks, who stormed Charlotte’s hometown and took her crown jewel with such authority that everyone — and we mean everyone — had to stop and give tribute.
Despite Charlotte’s aggressive plan of attack, Sasha proved to be distressingly persistent when she survived both a big boot off the apron and Natural Selection onto the arena floor and teed off on the champ with a Kendo stick. Charlotte continued to risk life and limb with a moonsault off the announce table, but by the time the champion had emptied her arsenal, she was sapped of all her energy. When the fight spilled onto the arena steps, Banks used Charlotte’s hometown itself to her advantage, threading Charlotte’s torso through the railing of the Spectrum Centre and locking in the Bank Statement for an instant tapout. The win was so impressive that none other than Ric Flair — who Charlotte disowned earlier in the year — strutted to the ring and raised Banks’ hand in triumph.
You know what they say: To be the woman …
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Braun Strowman defeated R-Truth (w/ Goldust) (0:30)
- Tony Nese (w/ Drew Gulak) defeated Cedric Alexander (3:00)
- Charlotte Flair (c) (w/ Dana Brooke) vs. Sasha Banks ended in a double count out for the WWE Raw Women's Championship (4:00)
- Enzo Amore (w/ Big Cass) defeated Rusev (w/ Lana) via Disqualification (0:30)
- Rich Swann defeated Noam Dar (3:00)
- Roman Reigns defeated Kevin Owens to be the #1 Contender for the WWE Universal Championship (17:00)
- The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) (c) (w/ Kofi Kingston) defeated Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (9:00)
- Sasha Banks defeated Charlotte Flair (c) by submission in a Fall Count Anywhere Match to win the WWE Raw Women's Championship (16:30)
Other on-screen talent