WWE: Monday Night RAW was LIVE from The Moda Center in Portland, OR on 2/6/17!
Raw starts out with highlights of the brilliant build between Triple H ad Seth Rollins that ultimately led to the debut of Samoa Joe. They highlight the attack and not the injury to Rollins, which was a tragedy, and we certainly wish him well as it relates to a speedy recovery. Mick Foley, the Raw GM, is standing in the ring alongside Stephanie McMahon, the Raw Commissioner. They introduce the hottest free agent in the business, “The Destroyer” Samoa Joe. Joey Headrocker heads to the ring to a great billing thanks to Corey Graves and Michael Cole. Joe is wearing a fine suit, looking ever the corporate assassin. Huge “You Sold Out” chant for Joe. Stephanie re-introduces Joe with great fanfare, certainly a better sell than Foley. She even calls him the “Samoan Submission Machine” just like the old days. A massive “Joe” chant replaces the prior chant. Steph questions why Mick is upset and she says his ego is clouding his judgment and she had to do his job for her. She asks if he’s salty because she signed Joe instead of Foley. Mick says he doesn’t care for the company that Joe is keeping now. Joe takes the mic and talks about Triple H opening the door for him after eighteen years in the business. He says if loyalty to that man meant that he had to injure Seth, then so be it. He puts the whole locker room on notice and he says he’ll beat down all our heroes and tells us the Destroyer has arrived and there’s nothing we can do about it. He signs his Raw contract as the music of Roman Reigns begins to play. “The Big Dog” is obviously out there on behalf of his friend, Seth Rollins. Reigns says Joe is making a lot of threats, why not threaten him? Reigns makes his introduction to Joe, and then he says Joe is in his yard. He says Joe has two choices, shut his mouth or Roman is gonna cave it in. Foley interrupts and says Joe and Steph have loyalty to one man, but Foley has a loyalty to the fans. Foley books Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns for Raw tonight! Wow! What a match! Let’s hope it’s booked smart and protects both men as Roman has business with Braun Strowman and Joe has the wrestling world at his fingertips. Great opening segment here.
We see a graphic highlighting Goldberg’s appearance tonight, where he will answer Brock Lesnar’s Wrestlemania challenge and we see Bayley backstage with Cesaro and Sheamus and we find out she’ll be facing Nia Jax in the opening match after the break.
Nia Jax defeats Bayley via pinfall with a Samoan Drop. Bayley had Nia beat via countout until the women’s champion, Charlotte, ran down for the distraction. Bayley kicked the ropes, bringing the champ into the ring and then he dropkicked her out only to turn around and eat the finisher. Nia pulled out some hard hitting offense the entire match including a Rainmaker clothesline. Granted, we didn’t get the Okada pose, but it was pretty brutal. Bayley has been granted a rematch against Charlotte for the women’s title next week and we’ll have to wonder have this loss will affect her.
We find out that later tonight we’ll have a tag team title match featuring Gallows and Anderson defending against Cesaro and Sheamus as well as a US Title match pitting Chris Jericho against Sami Zayn! This is on top of the Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns contest. The show looks to be stacking up pretty well thus far.
Braun Strowman defeated four enhancement talents via pinfall with a running powerslam. He pinned three of them after one ran off. It was pretty funny and a darn impressive display of strength and intelligence from the monster. Strowman stacked them up and made the cover. Strowman took a mic and questions the competition once again. He tells Mick Foley that he’s coming to find him and he heads backstage leaving the enhancement talent in the ring. He finds Foley and Foley books him and Roman Reigns for Fastlane. Strowman grins and he’s pleased.
We get a great video package for the Raw debut of the newest Cruiserweight talent and star of 205 Live, the one and only, Akira Tozawa. Tozawa is a machine and he kicks as hard as Ibushi and his snap german suplex is a thing of beauty. Tozawa is in action next!
Akira Tozawa defeats Drew Gulak via pinfall with a snap german suplex. This was an impressive debut and the crowd got behind Tozawa. Akira nailed a shining wizard and multiple kicks and hard knifehand chops. After the victory, Brian Kendrick comes to the ring and makes his presence known, perhaps setting up a future match. Austin Aries was on commentary for this one and it was the first Cruiserweight match on Raw in several weeks that was booked smart, given time and allowed the fans a little time to appreciate the athletes. Gulak got in some high octane offense himself and showcased his ability to grapple. The primal screams from Tozawa played well with the crowd.
The Universal Champion, Kevin Owens and The US Champion, Chris Jericho, are out and Jericho’s not happy. He isn’t cool with all the “Tom Brady is the GOAT” chatter and how Tom Terrific stole his nickname. We are rewarded with that “stupid idiot” being put on the List of Jericho. What a moment. Surely, the five time Superbowl winner is gonna enjoy this clip. Chris Jericho is talking about Wrestlemania and he proposes a match against his best friend Kevin Owens at ‘Mania and the crowd is chanting “yes”. KO says Jericho is right and he calls the best friends match the biggest match in Wrestlemania history. KO says he’s not sure he can fight his best friend and we’re interrupted by GOLDBERG! The legendary WCW champion and slayer of “The Beast” Brock Lesnar is headed to the ring! Goldberg says these “ladies” have two choices, step aside and let Goldberg have a chat with the fans and step up and take him on, two on one. Goldberg says that last week on Raw, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar challenged him to one last fight at Wrestlemania 33. He’s never been one to turn down a fight. He accepts the match and we’ve got the two behemoths colliding once again. KO is clapping on the mic as a loud “Goldberg” chant breaks out. KO thinks Goldberg accepting Brock’s challenge is going to be a perfect “undercard” match for KO-mania 2! Classic line. Kevin says Chris vs. KO is the true main event. Bill then goes on to challenge KO at Fastlane for the Universal Title! Jericho intercedes and says that Goldberg can’t come down and interrupt the two men when they are “spitting fire”. He asks if he knows what happens to people who book their own matches? Goldberg steals his pen and the List to boos. Goldberg tells the WWE Universe that he just made the list after writing his own name on it! This is good stuff. Jericho is beside himself and downright frantic. Jericho says Goldberg has a big, fat mouth and he never liked him. Jericho says if he wants a match at Fastlane, he’s got it! But there’s a catch, he accepts on KO’s behalf. Goldberg says it looks like KO and his title “are next”! Well, looks like we’re gonna have a title change at Fastlane for sure, but we’ll have a US Title match. Let’s just hope that whomever comes out of Lesnar and Goldberg quickly loses the belt so it’s not defended every three months like it used to be when Lesnar was the champ.
Gallows and Anderson defeated Cesaro and Sheamus via DQ after interference from Enzo Amore and Big Cass. Enzo and Big Cass were at ringside for the rematch as they made it known that they’d challenge the winner of the match soon. It was a good back and forth match highlighting the offense of each of the participants involved. Sheamus got the tag later in the match and went to work with a nearfall, but the heels fought back. Sheamus eventually catches Anderson with the ten beats of the Bowery and Cesaro comes in and goes to work. Uppercuts are issued for the heels and it leads to Enzo and Cass getting involved as Big Cass hits Gallows with a big boot after Gallows nailed Enzo with got the necessary reaction. The heels get the DQ victory and Cesaro and Sheamus take the L. Up next, we’ll have a status on Seth Rollins. We get a beautiful video on the legendary Jackie Robinson where several WWE talents talk about his legacy in honor of Black History Month.
After the break, we get the highlights of last week once again. Seth Rollins and Triple H end up coming face to face before Joe’s debut. The Seth Rollins injury occurred as Joe slapped on the Coquina Clutch. Seth didn’t fall with him and the knee gave way, leading to the injury. We see several tweets from Seth Rollins talking about the injury, but he says his only constant is his resolve. His ‘Mania future is in question, but we all wish him a speedy recovery.
We go from the negative to the positive as The New Day head to the ring for tag team action. Corey Graves makes a crack about Portland Hipsters and Booty O’s being GMO free. That was good stuff. Kofi has a live mic and he mocks the Shining Stars, who are in the ring, and their resort in Puerto Rico. They say nobody has been there and they talk about it being a scam. The New Day give people things they like, such as Francesca and Unicorn Horns. They gave them Booty O’s cereal because the people were hungry. Big E. asks what else the New Day can give the people, ice cream? A massive “yes” chant. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! The New Day rocks chant follows and we head to the action.
The New Day defeat The Shining Stars via pinfall after The Midnight Hour. Xavier and Big E. were in for The New Day. They gave this some time and Primo and Epico got in a fair amount of offense. Good to see the veterans getting time to work because if they shed the foolish gimmick, they are very sound hands in the ring. The New Day got the win after a blind tag and they hit the finish with Woods securing the pin. We find out that KO and Goldberg is officially booked for Fastlane and it’s for the Universal Title. We also get clips hyping this Sunday’s Smackdown PPV, the Elimination Chamber.
Chris Jericho is being interviewed backstage and he’s asked if him booking KO and Goldberg has affected their friendship and his focus on the match with Sami tonight. He has they had a minor squabble and he tells the interviewer to hit the bricks as KO shows up. Jericho begins to apologize, but KO cuts him short and he says Jericho doesn’t need to apologize, because he’s gonna succeed and defeat Goldberg at Fastlane. He says he’ll succeed just like Jericho will tonight against Sami Zayn. That match is next!
Before the US Title match, as reported earlier, we find our that Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, the legendary Rock N’ Roll Express are to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame! What a reveal, as the chemistry shared between these two high fliers and ring generals was something to behold. Do yourself a favor and go enjoy their early work on the network. Also enjoy, Richard Morton as a villain, that was fun too! Congrats to the new Hall of Famers!
Chris Jericho defeats Sami Zayn via pinfall with a Codebreaker after interference from Kevin Owens. This was a great match. Sami Zayn got in a ton of offense including a Blue Thunder Bomb and he was poised to take the strap for himself, but as the referee was telling Jericho he didn’t win after Sami Zayn reached the ropes, escaping the Walls of Jericho, Kevin Owens nailed a superkick to the face. Jericho was then able to capitalize on it and he nailed a Codebreaker for the three count. We’ll surely see Zayn and Jericho again at Fastlane after that controversial finish. They show the segment with Goldberg, Jericho and KO from earlier once again, following the title match.
We see a doctor helping Sasha Banks out backstage with her physical therapy. Charlotte walks onto the scene and trashes her and mocks her injury and the fact that she’s on the shelf. She tells Sasha that she hopes there’s a TV in the training room next week so Sasha can watch what happens to Bayley.
Austies Aries is standing in the ring and he’s set to interview the Cruiserweight Champion, Neville! Corey Graves tells us to bend the knee and kiss the hand. Neville heads to the ring, title in hand. By the way, Aries has a banana in his jacket pocket instead of a pocket square, it’s awesome. Aries talks about the injury to Rich Swann and how he’s out of action for several weeks. Aries talks about Cedric Alexander, Noam Dar, Jack Gallagher, Tony Nese and TJ Perkins competing on 205 Live in a Fatal Five-way match for a shot at Neville at Fastlane. Aries asks which competitor scares Neville the most. Neville says Aries is delusional if he thinks that any of the competitors scare him. He says they’ll all bend the knee. Cedric Alexander heads to the ring, and he has one of the best theme songs in the fed to be honest. Noam Dar does the same and he says he plans to steal the title from Neville just like he stole Alicia FOOOOOOOX from Cedric! Gallagher is out with his umbrella, William III. He apologizes for his interruption and says a king of the Cruiserweights should be a Gentleman! Nese is out and Aries introduces his abs! Classic. Perkins is out last and he says unlike all the other competitors, he was the first Cruiserweight Champion and spoiler alert, he’s gonna win it again. He says he’s got some unfinished business with Neville, but he only came down to do this and he jams up Tony Nese. A brawl ensues and Jack Gallagher clears the ring before Nese and Cedric take flight. Neville fakes everyone out as if he’s gonna take to the air, but he instead says “fooled ya” as the segment ends and heads to commercial. That’s a good way to build some interest in the division. Hopefully this is something that continues.
Wow, hell has frozen over. Next week, we’ll officially have the makeover of Emmalina on Raw! We continue the events before the break as a six man tag is underway!
Cedric Alexander, Jack Gallagher and TJ Perkins defeat Noam Dar, Tony Nese and Neville via pinfall after Alexander hit a Lumbar Check on Noam Dar. Each of the talents had a chance to showcase some of their athleticism with the alloted time, as they attempted to make waves heading into tomorrow’s fatal five-way. Alexander got the W and looked good. he’s got a ton of fan support behind him.
Next week, Raw is LIVE from Las Vegas and Chris Jericho proposes the “Festival Of Friendship” and Kevin Owens is totally okay with it. It’s booked for next week and up next, we’ve got the RAW debut of Samoa Joe in action against Roman Reigns in the main event!
Samoa Joe defeats Roman Reigns via pinfall with a Uranage. Joe beat the brakes off of Reigns before the match event started. A vicious clothesline and several headbutts set the stage for what was to come. Joe went back to work with chops and a running senton on the floor. Reigns sold the attack well. The referee tended to Reigns as they went to a final commercial. After the return from the break, Joe dominated the match. He kept Roman grounded and mocked him by hitting him with several jabs. Roman couldn’t muster a comeback, as Joe kept on offense. Joe with a suplex and then a submission on the mat applied as Joe drove the knee into the small of the back. Reigns escapes and comes back with a Superman punch before he catches Joe with ten strikes in the corner. He can’t get Joe up for a Samoan Drop and Joe hits a boot and a senton bomb. Joe begins stalking Reigns, nailing him with short jabs in the face as Reigns is trapped in the corner. Reigns back to his feet and he gets the Samoan Drop, kickout at two. Reigns hits Joe with a drive-by kick on the outside after Joe rolled out. Reigns hits a superman punch in the corner as he sets up for the spear. BRAAAAAAAUN! Braun Strowman storms towards the ring. Roman quick to take the big man out of the mix with two superman punches. Joe hits a shining wizard and then he puts Reigns a way with one hell of a Uranage for the three count and the incredible victory in his Raw debut. Strowman takes liberties with Reigns after the match as we get a “Thank You Strowman” chant from the crowd. Poor Reigns. He continues to work so hard, but the corporate push negates it. Reigns tries to fight back on the outside, but Strowman drills Reigns with a clothesline. Braun has the steel ring steps in hand and he blasts Reigns. Strowman scoops up Reigns and he nails a running powerslam through the protective barricade, leaving the “Big Dog” lying to end the show! What a Raw!
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