Monday Night Raw just finished broadcasting its first show of 2017 live from Tampa, Florida. Here’s everything that happened on this week’s episode in reverse chronological order:
10:57 – Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho enter. They’re hosting The Kevin Owens Show, a talk show in the ring with a set consisting of just a desk and a guy wearing a giant “The Kevin Owens Show” sign covering his entire head. After a few minutes of messing around with the crowd, Chris Jericho announces that he will participate in the Royal Rumble match. Kevin Owens freaks out, asking what Jericho will do if he wins. Jericho says that if this happens and they face one another at WrestleMania, it won’t matter who wins since they’re best friends.
Goldberg enters. He says that if Jericho will be participating in the Royal Rumble match, that means “Jericho: you’re first.” Goldberg seems ready to fight right now. Kevin Owens mocks Goldberg and says he isn’t intimidated.
An argument between Goldberg and Kevin Owens is interrupted by Paul Heyman. Heyman says that he’s here to provide a spoiler for the Royal Rumble match: it will be elimination, repeat, elimination, repeat, and so on, with Brock Lesnar being the winner. Goldberg interrupts Heyman and says that he’ll beat Brock Lesnar once again at Royal Rumble, and he turns to Kevin Owens to say the two of them have a date for WrestleMania.
Roman Reigns enters. Reigns says that Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens must be delusional because they won’t be winning anything at the Royal Rumble. Reigns then targets Goldberg, and the two of them stare one another down.
Before a single word can be exchanged, Braun Strowman enters. Strowman says that if anyone is winning the Royal Rumble match, it’s him. Strowman is about to attack, but Roman Reigns and Goldberg unite to take down Braun Strowman with a double spear.
10:44 – Bayley defeats Nia Jax, meaning she will face Charlotte for the Women’s Championship at Royal Rumble. At the end of the match, Nia Jax is about to jump off the top rope when Sasha Banks enters. Nia Jax becomes distracted, and this gives Bayley the opportunity to score the victory.
10:35 – Jinder Mahal and Rusev defeat Big Cass in a two-on-one handicap match. Rusev is the one to pin Big Cass.
10:33 – The show returns from commercial with Rusev and Jinder Mahal already in the ring. Enzo Amore and Big Cass enter, and Amore is being rolled out in a wheelchair. Big Cass says that Amore can’t compete tonight and so he will have to fight both of them himself.
10:21 – TJ Perkins defeats Brian Kendrick by submission.
9:58 – Roman Reigns defeats Chris Jericho, retaining his United States Championship. At one point in the match, while the referee is not looking, Chris Jericho throws the championship belt to Roman Reigns and then collapses. Jericho had hoped this would lead the referee to disqualify Reigns, and in this match, a disqualification would lead to Jericho winning. But unfortunately for Chris Jericho, the referee does not fall for this trick, and Jericho ends up getting speared by Reigns.
9:52 – Drew Gulak defeats Cedric Alexander.
9:46 – Backstage, Noam Dar apologizes to Cedric Alexander. Alexander says he should really be apologizing to Alicia Fox. Dar apologizes to Alicia Fox but calls her “sweet cheeks” in the process, which causes Alexander to lose it; he needs to be restrained by Alicia Fox.
9:44 – Backstage, Bayley confronts Stephanie McMahon, upset that her victory against Charlotte was stricken from the record book. McMahon says that she never wanted Bayley on Monday Night Raw and that she has never seen anything special about her. Bayley says that she is who she is and that she belongs on Monday Night Raw. McMahon says that she’ll give Bayley a chance by placing her in a number one contender match tonight, with the winner facing Charlotte for the Women’s Championship. Her opponent will be Nia Jax.
9:39 – Xavier Woods defeats Titus O’Neil.
9:28 – The New Day enters. They say that 2016 was a mixed year for them, but now it’s 2017, and so they have some New Year’s resolutions.
Suddenly, Titus O’Neil enters with his own variation on the “Don’t you dare be sour!” New Day intro. He says that what The New Day needs for 2017 is a new member. He proceeds to make the argument that he is the perfect addition to the New Day. Xavier Woods is not too into the idea, and O’Neil shoots back by saying that Woods is the weakest link in the group. Woods says that if O’Neil thinks so, the two of them should have a match right now. O’Neil agrees, but only after punching Woods in the face.
8:59 – Braun Strowman defeats Sami Zayn in a last man standing match. Strowman has the upper hand until the match spills backstage, with Sami Zayn repeatedly hitting Strowman with a steel chair and throwing him into a table. But Strowman quickly begins dominating again; a few times in a row, the referee is about to reach the ten count, but Strowman interrupts him in order to beat up Zayn even more. Eventualy, he allows the ten count to end, and Zayn is taken backstage on a stretcher.
8:36 – Karl Anderson defeats Cesaro. While Sheamus is trying to protect Cesaro from Luke Gallows by pulling Gallows down from the top rope, Sheamus inadvertently hurts Cesaro, and this leads to Anderson’s victory.
8:16 – Seth Rollins defeats Kevin Owens by disqualification. This means that he will be banned from ringside during Chris Jericho’s United States Championship match against Roman Reigns later tonight.
8:00 – The show opens with Mick Foley in the ring. He’s sporting a new haircut, saying that this is his bold look for 2017. He says he started writing the name of the city he’s in on his hand so he never accidentally says the name of the wrong city again. Foley says that another one of his New Year’s resolutions is to ensure that Chris Jericho does not intervene during Kevin Owens’ match against Roman Reigns at Survivor Series, hence making Jericho lock himself inside a shark cage.
Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho enter. Owens asks if Foley thinks suspending Chris Jericho in a shark cage is funny. Jericho says that what’s really funny is Mick Foley’s abuse of his power. What’s also funny is Mick Foley giving Roman Reigns another match for the Universal Championship when he already lost at Roadblock, Owens says. Also, he adds, Seth Rollins has faced no repercussions for assaulting Chris Jericho a few weeks back.
Foley says that tonight, Kevin Owens will actually get to host his own show like he always talks about, and his first guest will be Bill Goldberg. Owens accepts the offer but still wants to know why Foley is continuing to abuse his power
Stephanie McMahon enters. She says that Foley is not abusing his power. She also announces that tonight, Roman Reigns will defend the United States Championship against Chris Jericho, and to ensure that there is a decisive winner, if Roman Reigns is disqualified or counted out, he will lose the title. Owens and Jericho are happy, but they want more: they also want Seth Rollins to be banned from ringside. Stephanie decides that Kevin Owens will fight Seth Rollins next, and the loser will be banned from ringside in the main event.
What follows is the original preview of January 2nd’s episode written earlier today:
Tonight on Monday Night Raw, we have our first piece of WWE programming of 2017. Four weeks ahead of Royal Rumble, Goldberg will return to discuss his plans for that pay-per-view., particularly his plans for Brock Lesnar. Goldberg has said that even though his initial plan was to return to the WWE for one last match, he has now decided that he will stick around for a bit longer because he has one last title run left in him. The path to the title is through the Royal Rumble, and so he plans to win that match, take down Kevin Owens, and become the WWE Universal Champion. Of course, Goldberg will surely have something to say to Brock Lesnar, who he humiliated at Survivor Series back in November and who will also be participating in the Royal Rumble match.
Meanwhile, Sami Zayn has been insistent that he is capable of taking on Braun Strowman, while Mick Foley is convinced that doing so will either literally kill Zayn or lead to the end of his career. On tonight’s show, Zayn and Strowman will go head to head in a 10-minute Last Man Standing match. This means that in order for Zayn to defeat Strowman, he has to keep him down for a 10 count. Is Zayn capable of that? Can he prove himself and get Mick Foley off his back once and for all?
Plus, it looks like Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have officially joined forces, as the two former Shield members united last week to attack Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. On that show, Roman Reigns was able to retain his United States Championship in a match against Kevin Owens when Owens became distracted by a fight with Seth Rollins at ringside. What will Kevin Owens have to say about his failure to take home the United States Championship? Might it lead to another fight with his best friend Chris Jericho?
Also, the feud between Bayley and Charlotte will continue, with Charlotte having defeated Bayley last week thanks in part to the help of Dana Brooke, who served as special guest referee. But Bayley has proven to be a formidable opponent, beating Charlotte three times already (although the third time was officially stricken from the record book). And in the cruiserweight division, Neville has been making progress in his efforts to become champion, as he beat Rich Swann in a non-title match on 205 Live last week.