Reigns comes out and yammers about the Rumble. He gets booed bringing up winning the Universal Title before a back and forth argument leads to Roman bragging about being The Guy. Cesaro and Sheamus are out – their intro lighting is pretty awesome. Recap of The Club almost winning the titles last week. Cesaro faces Gallows here and the teams will clash at the two hour pre-show, with two referees assigned to the match. Cesaro deadlift gutwrenches Luke for 2.
During the break, Anderson is sent packing, leading to Byron saying “Mr. Anderson, IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO EXIT THE PREMISES!” Cesaro hits a sloppy run-up tornado DDT for 2. Gallows and Sheamus also get into it on the floor before a distraction lets Sheamus attack and then Anderson comes back to distract before Gallows wins off a flapjack. This was just chaos meant to get across why you need two refs, but it was too reliant on commentary to tell that story. Backstage, Stephanie cuts Mick’s balls off via speaker phone. She hangs up the second Sami arrives. Joy! Sami asks how he can go about entering the Rumble before Stephanie comes back on to tell Mick that he’s doing his job badly and Sami needs to beat Seth to get into the Rumble.
Corey interviews Bayley, who talks about going from being in small arenas to now working big arenas. They yammer on about WWE Fandom and how it’s always a lifelong thing in bizarre ways that sound terrible before talking about how great the Performance Center is. Best part of the Bayley/Corey bit with the names featured in the Rumble graphic – including Bayley, Rhyno, R-Truth, and Goldberg. Mick exposits to Seth about Steph making Sami vs. Seth tonight. Says that he teamed with him last week. I have ZERO recollection of Sami and Seth being partners. Good to know this is all being done to get across the Anything Goes Nature of the Royal Rumble Match.
Seth comes out to face Sami. This giant red tinting for the Rumble graphics makes it really hard to tell some of the guys in the Rumble apart. Back and forth headlock stuff leads to a Seth suicide dive for an ad break. Post-break chinlock by Seth. Then. Now. Forever. Blue thunder bomb gets 2. Sami eats a superkick for 2. Seth avoids a helluva kick before Sami avoids the pedigree and sends him to the floor. Sami goes up top, but Seth hits a kick before teasing a super Pedigree that is countered into a sunset flip powerbomb for 2. Corner exploder by Sami leads to them fighting on the apron and Seth hitting an apron Pedigree. Well, that’s a new one. Why not debut that at WM? HHH’s music hits and Seth, like a moron, is distracted by music and lights before Sami cradles him for the win. Well, that helped no one. Seth is a moron and Sami needed the ghost of HHH to win a match. So no one but HHH even had a chance to get over with this.
HBK Rumble ’95 video package airs. Neville vs. Cedric is hyped up for 205 Live. LOL @ the cruisers even getting purple-tinted Rumble graphics. Because THAT will solve the problems of the division. Mick tells Seth he’ll get answers for what happened tonight. Daivari, Nese, and Gulak get a graphic for the six-man tag – thank God, they none of them stand out yet. Ali gets a video package to theoretically help the division get someone who stands out. Ali teams up with TJP and “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher. Shocked his name isn’t “The Jolly Gentleman” just to make it even more wacky.
Perkins wraps Gulak up in a knot before getting 2. Nese locks on a bodyscissors…as you logically should do here in a CRUISERWEIGHT DIVISION SIX MAN TAG. Ali gets a running rana and a spinkick. Jack headbutts Daivari to the floor and Ali wins with a rewind 450. That rewind 450 being done so close to the ropes just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. New Day rides an Up Up Down Down float backstage.
New Day comes out before Enzo and Cass saunter out. Cass says he’s going Stallone in ’87 cuz he’ll be throwing bodies OVER THE TOP. So he doesn’t have to earn his spot – alongside Big Show, so WWE as a company is now a bunch of size queens. They banter back and forth before Titus comes out and New Day buries him. Xavier mans up to Titus, who then announces an 8-man tag match. Xavier points out that Lana can’t be the fourth person – but she fine. BRAUN is their partner. Oh if he makes Enzo his victim, this could be great.
Braun really shouldn’t be “random guy on the apron” in a Raw filler 8-man tag. He SHOULD just be killing every single one of these guys immediately. “Jinder is ONE OF THE MOST IMPROVED MEMBERS OF THE RAW ROSTER!” Amazing how he “gets better” by gaining 20 pounds of muscle quickly. Kofi tries to run under Titus, but gets hoisted into a dominator. Cass hits a series of punches and a Biel in the corner before booting Jinder. Enzo hits the rocket launcher, but Titus gets involved. Cass almost killed three people, himself included with the boot over the top. Enzo hits a kick AND BRAUN COMES IN! ENZO FIRES UP! And gets shoulderblocked! Powerslam is set up, but Enzo fires back with a kick and goes for the flying DDT – but Braun gets the powerslam after lifting him up and wins it. This was a lot of fun.
That was the most fun match on Raw so far thanks to Braun. Show comes out. TIME FOR BRAUN-SHOW! Now there’s a team! Or maybe not, as Show has a new red, white, and blue singlet. This is so great. THEY’RE JUST STARING AT EACH OTHER and it’s awesome. Braun leaves and says he’ll get him – that will be a great Rumble spot. AND OF COURSE they bury people who don’t have the Network. The Jericho/Owens/Roman stuff is recapped. Jericho vs. Roman is up – which is a shame since it’s only 9:47 and nothing else has been announced.
Jericho is out, followed by Roman. They do a few things and go to break. “BYRON, I’M GOING TO JOIN YOU AT THE COMMENTARY TABLE! AREN’T YOU EXCITED, SHUT UP!” Owens rules. “You weren’t good enough to be a professional wrestler – that’s why you’re sitting behind a commentary table”! Owens has about a thousand great lines in a minute before Roman eats slaps and hits some uppercuts in response. Ligerbomb gets 2 for Roman, but Owens jumps him. Owens calls for the cage to be lowered – which you can do now apparently. Roman is put in the cage, but Owens bonks them into the cage. Owens is locked in the cage and sends the cage up – which you can ALSO now apparently just do whenever you want it. Roman is a great video game main eventer – but it doesn’t translate anywhere near as well to TV.
After the break, Jericho yells at the camera guy for not helping. Charly has no concern and says that the Universal Title match will now be No DQ. Charlotte and Corey chat about The Flairs Dominating the Rumble. The story of this Charlotte interview is strange and distorted. She’s arrogant, but has earned everything she has – and she will top her father’s legacy. Charlotte says she’s the queen of WWE – which is a great line if we’re getting Ronda vs. Charlotte for the Women’s Title ever.
Nia walks backstage. After a break, she stares at the camera and comes down – confident that she is unlike most girls. She destroys her opponent with a modified banzai drop and wins. Nia buries Sasha, who comes out and distractingly tight yoga pants and leaves. Her knee is fine, so she’s faking – that’s probably a bad thing for her husband.
Emmalina is coming soon. If you had Rich Swann on your Cruiserweight Death Slot bingo card, congratulations! Alicia comes out with Noam Dar. I look forward to the day where they actually tint the entire screen purple to add more emphasis on the cruiserweight division and give the guys some color. OUTLANDISH apron superkick by Swann. Fox distracts him, leading to a dropkick getting 2. After a break, Swann hits the spinkick to win. Swann calls out the King of the Cruiserweights, who comes down and just leaves – so Swann dives on him. Loving this stuff – Neville is raising the low tide of this division bit by bit. Cedric vs. Neville is hyped up for 205 Live, before Charly interviews him and Alicia yells at him. She screeches some more and Dar says Alicia’s name weirdly. Sasha vs. Nia is now on the pre-show. GOLDBERG TIME!
Goldberg comes out looking ripped. LOL @ the fan tearing his shirt off for Goldberg. Goldberg’s busted up and it’s because he headbutted the locker before he came out. He forgets his lines a few times – so he either can’t remember the wacky scripting or maybe those headbutts aren’t a good idea. Heyman comes out and talks about the mini dream matches we could see in the Rumble match. They face off mid-ring and Brock looks gigantic next to him. Undertaker’s bell tolls and he appears! GOLDBERG AND TAKER IN THE SAME RING! Everyone stares and that’s it – well, that last segment was bizarre at times, but definitely made you want to see Taker vs. Brock and/or Taker vs. Goldberg on top of Goldberg vs. Brock in the Rumble.
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Tags: goldberg, monday night raw