Date: January 19, 2017
Location: Verizon Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Austin Aries, Byron Saxton
I’m getting to the point where these shows amuse me more than anything else. It’s getting fun to see what kind of a boring match they can throw out there week to week and manage to get even less interesting every time. Maybe we can get some more Darren Young highlights since this might as well be his show. Let’s get to it.
Alicia Fox vs. Dana Brooke
We get a long recap of Fox’s issues with Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander. Brooke immediately starts with the pushups (Byron: “Rocky would be proud.”) so Fox stretches on the top and poses a bit. A kick to the chest sends Brooke outside so Alicia calls her a chicken. Uh, right. Back in and Dana chokes in the corner before sending Fox into the barricade. It’s off to a bodyscissors for a bit before Fox gets in a tilt-a-whirl slam. Fox slingshots in and despite what looks like a missed spot, the ax kick ends Brooke at 3:42.
Rating: C-. I’m actually something of an Alicia Fox fan so I can always go for her winning a match, assuming there’s no screaming involved at the same time. Brooke has fallen off a cliff lately with the Charlotte partnership seemingly over. She really needs ring time though and the rest of it will come soon enough.
Jimmy Snuka tribute video.
Here’s Roman Reigns to some of the loudest booing I’ve ever heard outside of a major city. Reigns can’t complain about getting beaten down when he’s outnumbered in a fight. He knows he lost the US Title but now he’s off to get the Universal Title at the Royal Rumble. Just in case you needed more proof that the US Title meant nothing on Roman. This brings out Paul Heyman who is almost immediately cut off by the GOLDBERG chants. Heyman gives us a spoiler for the Rumble but here are Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho to interrupt.
Jericho loves the idea of the Royal Rumble because no matter who wins, they’ll both wind up at Wrestlemania with both titles. Owens seems to agree but here’s Seth Rollins to cut them off. That means more promises of winning before Braun Strowman comes and stares Reigns down.
Strowman doesn’t say a word before Lesnar himself comes out. Sami Zayn runs in through the crowd and cleans house, including a Helluva Kick to put Braun outside. Brock throws everyone else down and is left alone with Sami, meaning it’s another German suplex for Zayn. Lesnar tells Braun to bring it on but Strowman drops to the floor, leaving Reigns to Superman Punch Brock. That earns him an F5 and Lesnar stands tall.
And from Raw:
Here’s Charlotte to discuss the winning strategy that has kept her undefeated on pay per view. By that she means laughing at the idea of Bayley beating her at the Royal Rumble. We see some pictures of Bayley as a kid meeting people like John Cena, Ivory, Rob Van Dam and Bret Hart from years ago.
Charlotte even has some poetry from what looks like middle school while Charlotte was training and getting scholarship offers. We even get a video of Bayley reading her essay on wanting to be a professional wrestler. Charlotte cuts the video and reads it herself until Bayley runs out to chase her off. Bayley calls this unnecessary so Charlotte says she’s just like the average fan.
If Charlotte wants to bring up all these stories, Bayley has a story for her. She didn’t have a father who could just make a phone call and get her into WWE. What she did have is a father who would spend everything he had to get her a ticket to every show in San Jose because that was all she ever wanted to do. Bayley even has a new poem for Charlotte: Roses are red, violets are blue, at Royal Rumble, I will defeat you.
Darren Young vs. Epico
This show just doesn’t get sarcasm. Young takes him into a chinlock to start and they hit the mat before Darren gets two off a backslide. A rolling forearm puts Epico on the floor but Bob Backlund sends him back inside. Darren loads up the belly to back on the apron but Primo trips him up, sending Young arm first into the apron, causing a legitimate injury and the match is stopped at around 2:45.
Kurt Angle Hall of Fame video.
We look at the end of Monday’s main event and the post match brawl with Reigns being put through a table to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This is a hard one to grade as the first match was watchable but the second was called off due to situations beyond the wrestlers’ control. Hopefully Young isn’t seriously hurt but that was a nasty looking crash. It was your normal Main Event with the clips reflecting Raw, which is losing some steam due to the long build towards the Rumble.
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