Monday Night Raw – December 26, 2016: I Love It When They Troll Us

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 26, 2016
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves

It’s the city that keeps giving even after the holidays. We’re closing out the Monday Night Raw year in Chicago and unfortunately that doesn’t mean the Slammy Awards. With just under five weeks to go until the Royal Rumble, the big story is Braun Strowman invading the main event. That could result in some very interesting reactions from the Chicago crowd. Let’s get to it.

The opening video looks at Strowman’s destruction last week.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Stephanie McMahon to open things up. She wishes us all happy holidays and says Mick Foley is off tonight due to his extreme work schedule as of late (possibly due to hip surgery). The fans cut her off with a CM Punk chant and she actually acknowledges it by saying if the fans could last two minutes and fifteen seconds, they would last a minute longer than Punk.

Cue Seth Rollins to say he wants HHH tonight but Stephanie says she isn’t her husband’s keeper. Rollins begs HHH to come down but says he’ll settle for Strowman. This brings out Roman Reigns to say he wants Strowman too. Since both guys are wanting to fight Strowman, Reigns thinks they should go back there and drag him out here for a Shield style beating.

Stephanie is really fired up by the idea and even suggests that Dean Ambrose could be here. She’s just kidding though because the Chicago fans are that easily manipulated. Instead, tonight we’ll have Seth vs. Strowman and Reigns vs. an opponent of Stephanie’s choosing.

Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Cesaro/Sheamus

New Day is challenging with Big E. on the floor. Cesaro gets beaten down in a hurry with double middle rope elbows and a legdrop for two each. Woods is thrown out to the floor and comes up grabbing his knee as we take a break. Back with Woods diving through the ropes into a tornado DDT to plant Cesaro on the floor.

The hot tag brings Kofi in for the flip dive and a slightly botched counter into the SOS for two on Sheamus. Everything breaks down and Woods’ top rope elbow gets two on Sheamus with Cesaro making the save. The Swing goes on but Big E. gets on the apron for a distraction. That earns Kofi a gorilla press down onto the big man and a blind tag sets up the Brogue Kick to retain the titles at 10:11.

Rating: C+. This was the required rematch so Cesaro and Sheamus can move on to someone else. New Day is in the Edge and Christian position of having long since outgrown the tag division so it’s time to move on to a new endeavor. Unfortunately I’m not sure what that’s going to be but a strong Kofi singles run could be interesting.

Video on Brock Lesnar. Goldberg is back next week.

Strowman runs into Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens, who seem to have been looking for him. Owens thinks that Strowman is up next for the title after Reigns is dispatched so Strowman should focus on the Seth and Roman. Apparently Rollins and Reigns have been talking smack about Strowman and said his punches are like being hit with a pillow. Strowman doesn’t buy the rumors and seems to want to demolish the two of them.

Golden Truth is in the back talking about Scrooge when Bayley comes up to give Goldust a Bayley Bear dressed like Dusty Rhodes. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows come in and RIP THE BEAR’S HEAD OFF.

Nia Jax vs. Scarlet

Scarlet is a jobber wearing a Sasha shirt so the destruction is over in 53 seconds off a Samoan drop.

Nia tells Scarlet to choose a better role model and drops the big leg.

Charlotte shakes Stephanie’s hand when Owens and Jericho come in to lodge an official complaint. Jericho doesn’t being spiders or being in shark cages. Is Foley going to put the spiders in the cage? It might give Jericho acne-arachna-phobia! They want to be face Reigns for the US Title tonight as punishment for Foley. Stephanie says she hates bosses who use their authority to advance some personal agenda (HAHA STEPHANIE IS SO IRONIC AND FUNNY!) so she gives Owens the title shot. Jericho doesn’t seem pleased but goes along with it.

Here’s Bayley for a chat. She’s so happy to be in Chicago because she’s the new #1 contender. This brings out Charlotte to show us the clip from last week where her shoulder was up at two. Since there was a problem, Stephanie has agreed to expunge the match from the record books. However, since Charlotte is feeling charitable, she’ll let Bayley have another chance to win right now. Oh and there’s going to be a guest referee: Dana Brooke.

Charlotte vs. Bayley

Dana won’t let Bayley go into the corner so Charlotte starts in with the chops. Bayley takes over and gets dragged off so Dana gets suplexed. Another referee runs in as Charlotte takes over in the corner with more chops. Bayley shrugs it off and grabs the Bayley to Belly but Dana pulls the referee out. Back in and Charlotte grabs a rollup with feet on the ropes, allowing Dana to count the pin at 3:39.

Rating: D. Just an angle here instead of a match and that’s fine. I’m not sure how we get to Bayley’s title match without Foley around, though of course there’s a chance that Stephanie will be all nice and happy and give Bayley the match anyway. Bayley is going to get over huge when she wins the title, if she isn’t there already.

Stephanie yells at Braun, who wants Sami Zayn in a last man standing match next week. The boss agrees, as long as Seth gets the same beating Sami will get.

We look back at Neville’s speech from last week, which is one of my favorite moments in a long time. He’s nailing the heel character at the moment and I’m hoping he annihilates Swann to take the title.

TJ Perkins vs. Neville

Austin Aries replaces Saxton on commentary. Neville won’t shake hands (as he shouldn’t) so Perkins knees Neville in the chest for two early on. A spinning kick sends Neville outside and a high crossbody gets two back inside. An AUSTIN ARIES chant starts up as Neville kicks TJ in the head to send him to the floor. Back in and we hit the chinlock for a bit before a double chickenwing into double knees to the chest gives TJ two. The Detonation Kick looks to set up the kneebar but Neville reverses into a rollup and grabs the tights for the pin at 4:58.

Rating: C-. Well that didn’t work quite as well as it had before. Neville really shouldn’t be giving up that much offense and it’s really annoying to see them possibly screwing up a great character this fast. I loved watching Neville in that tag match last week because he was eight steps ahead of everyone else but here he was just slightly better, which isn’t how to make the character work that well.

Neville yells about people making fun of his accent and face not being appropriate for Monday Night Raw. It’s American ignorance and arrogance that prevents them from appreciating him. Tomorrow night, Neville wants Rich Swann.

We look back at Enzo Amore getting destroyed by Jinder Mahal and Rusev at sensitivity training.

Here are Enzo and Cass with the former in a wheelchair (and of course it’s leopard skin). Enzo says the sensitivity class isn’t for him because he’s already gotten a degree in being a certified G (which means you can teach that). We get a long rant from Enzo about how his cup runeth over and he’s spilled his Haterade. Since he’s done that, the big man is hitting cleanup. Cass calls out Rusev but gets someone a bonus with Jinder Mahal. Enzo pops out of the chair and pulls Mahal off the apron, leaving Cass to clear the ring. The injured Enzo is thrown into Mahal and Cass stands very tall.

Shining Stars vs. Bo Dallas/Darren Young

This is over an incident on Facebook Live earlier today. And never mind as it’s Strowman time….and he’s got a Christmas tree. The beatdown is on and it’s officially a no contest at 1:04 (though it should be a DQ as he hit Dallas first).

Strowman destroys everyone, including Bob Backlund (though just by proxy).

Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman

Strowman throws him into the corner to start but Seth gets in a suicide dive on the floor. Back in and the enziguri and springboard knee to the head stagger the monster. A second knee has him even more wobbled but he pulls Seth out of the air on the third attempt. Seth actually drops him with a Blockbuster but the Pedigree is countered with a backdrop over the top. Braun runs him over again….and here’s Sami through the crowd to jump Strowman for the DQ at 3:34.

Rating: C. I would have had Strowman go over clean here but I can live with what they did. Rollins shouldn’t be squashed but he sold quite a bit for the monster, which is the best thing they could have done without having him get destroyed. Strowman didn’t lose though and that helps so much.

Post match Braun chases Sami to the back, leaving Rollins to take the Codebreaker from an invading Jericho.

Owens praises his best friend for getting rid of Rollins, leaving it one on one tonight.

Emmalina says the wait will be worth it but she’s still premiering soon.

Golden Truth vs. Anderson and Gallows

Goldust takes Anderson down in the corner to start but Gallows comes in to start the beating. Truth fights up and brings Goldust back in as everything breaks down. We actually get some fire from Goldust, who throws Anderson into the barricade. They head inside though and it’s Karl getting in a rollup for the pin at 3:34.

Rating: D-. Goldust can’t even get revenge for someone ripping his dad’s head off a teddy bear? I mean, they could have NOT BOOKED IT THAT WAY but how else would we get the third rollup finish of the night without it? Anderson and Gallows going after the belts is a good idea, albeit one we’ve seen for months now.

Rich Swann vs. Ariya Daivari

Non-title. Daivari takes him down to start but misses the early frog splash attempt. That means a double stomp to the back and the spinning kick to Daivari’s head for the pin at 1:22.

Post match Swann agrees to face Neville, who jumps the champ from behind.

Daivari calls Jack Gallagher a scoundrel so of course Gallagher is next to him. Jack challenges Daivari to a duel, SLAPS HIM WITH A GLOVE, and corrects Daviari’s American history by saying this makes Gallagher more like Aaron Burr.

Video on Lesnar vs. Goldberg from Survivor Series. I still don’t know why I would want to see them fight a third time.

US Title: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns

Reigns is defending. Owens hides in the corner to start and gets knocked to the floor with a right hand. Back in and Owens starts to slowly hammer away but Reigns clotheslines him down. Cue Jericho for a distraction so Owens can score with a DDT. The backsplash gets two and we take an early break.

Back with Owens getting two off the Cannonball and we hit the chinlock. Owens: “ASK HIM!” Reigns fights up and gets in the apron kick, only to get caught with a Backstabber for two. It’s too early for the Pop Up Powerbomb though so Reigns grabs the sitout powerbomb for two.

The Superman Punch misses but the second attempt connects for two on Owens. Jericho offers a distraction though and Owens gets in a Codebreaker for two. This brings out Rollins to Pedigree Jericho on the floor but Owens superkicks Seth down. Back in and the spear ends Owens at 16:21.

Rating: C-. I’m actually starting to get a kick out of WWE trolling the fans so hard. They just had the World Champion get pinned as close to clean as a World Champion is going to get pinned by Reigns again and they did it in Chicago no less. As much as I can’t stand the booking, there’s something amazing about how much WWE is willing to screw the fans over for their own ambitions.

Post match Owens gets Pedigreed and Jericho gets speared to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This wasn’t a horrible show but you could tell they weren’t putting in much of an effort on the tail end of a holiday weekend. The ending was rather annoying but it’s balanced out by Strowman being this unstoppable monster. I’m not sure where he’s going next but he’s already an entertaining part of the show. That being said, there’s really nothing that has me interested at the moment, though maybe that’s due to the end of the year and the rather awful main event scene.

Results

Cesaro/Sheamus b. New Day – Brogue Kick to Kingston

Nia Jax b. Scarlet – Samoan drop

Charlotte b. Bayley – Rollup with feet on the ropes

Neville b. TJ Perkins – Rollup with a handful of tights

Shining Stars vs. Bo Dallas/Darren Young went to a no contest when Braun Strowman interfered

Braun Strowman b. Seth Rollins via DQ when Sami Zayn interfered

Anderson and Gallows b. Golden Truth – Rollup to Goldust

Rich Swann b. Ariya Daivari – Kick to the head

Roman Reigns b. Kevin Owens – Spear

 

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14 comments

  1. Your Eternal Reward says:

    Why am i meant to care about the main event anymore? We know Jericho cannot beat Rollins. We know KO cannot beat Roman. Together Roman and Rollins are starting to become friends again because remember The Shield please cheer Roman!

    How do they keep this going for another what 3-4 weeks? Sure Strowman will probably get involved, hopefully taking the US title… actually do that.

  2. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that probably? LOL this company is really going with Reigns again. So glad I don’t watch this crap anymore. Best decision I ever made.

    And I didn’t even realize they had 2 women’s titles. They should just rename them to the Kitchen title and the Housekeeping title. Cause that’s what these talent less females should be and should be doing respectively.

    #FireStephanie #NoOneCanSaveUs #LOLUniversalTitle #LOLCruiserweights #SoGladIDontWatchAnymore #OhManHowBadWasThatProbably

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    You’re mother must be so proud of you. I bet you say that to every woman you come in contact with. That’s if any woman has ever talked to you.

    Am i the only one who smiled at Stephanie shutting down the CM Punk chant at the beginning?

    I really have enjoyed the re-packaging of Braun Strowman. Better Show than last week I thought overall.

    TheOne Reply:

    Brainwashed mark!

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    Boy that added to the conversation. How long did it take to come up with that response?

  3. SonEdo64 says:

    The mid-card champion has beaten the world champion clean, twice now. TWICE!

    klunderbunker Reply:

    And somehow no titles have changed hands.

  4. Sebastian Howard says:

    I couldn’t care less about Straumann BUT I do hope that this leads to a Sami Zayn push in the long run as I could buy him in the main event scene a lot easier than Strauman, who’s basically a more agile Great Khali.

    Corrector Reply:

    Strowman.

  5. comadre says:

    The booking of Owens as the champ is now officialy the biggest joke of the year. Can anyone remember when he debuted as a Killer? Now he is a whiny coward who can’t win a match on his own and a champ that loses more matches than he wins.

  6. CrazySole says:

    Raw’s just incredibly boring these days.

    They’re just basically finding different ways of how they can feature Reigns, Rollins, Owens and Jericho is the main event.

  7. Dmxfury says:

    Bore and chore are the two words that sum up the show lately (and ‘PPVs’ for that matter)

  8. M.R. says:

    You used the holiday excuse last week. Maybe Raw just sucks.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’m not that far away from agreeing with you, especially with Smackdown being on such fire lately.