RAW Recap: December 19th 2016

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By Josh Coulson

Roadblock: End of the Line has been and gone. Not as eventful as some would have hoped. Plus not the ‘end of the line’ for some rivalries as we were led to believe it would be. RAW the following night featured much of the same as we’ve seen before. Owens and Jericho are still friends. The same teams are battling for the tag titles despite Sunday night seeing new champions crowned. Monday night did see some new twists and journeys begin however and this is everything that went down on this week’s RAW.

So the Owens and Jericho ‘break-up’ was in fact all a ruse. The Universal champion and his best buddy opened up RAW this past Monday, bragging about how their master plan went off without a hitch the night before. Well, that is until Reigns and Rollins sent the pair through tables for their troubles. Nevertheless, KO is still champ. That may all change at the Royal Rumble, however. RAW GM Mick Foley interrupted the pairs’ gloating in order to make an announcement. Owens will defend his title against Reigns once again come Rumble night. This time, however Y2J will not be interfering. Why? Because he’ll be suspended above the ring in a shark cage.

The opening match of the night came in the form of a Roadblock rematch. Rusev versus Big Cass. The night before, The Bulgarian Brute stole a win over Cass via count-out. On RAW he managed another W, this time through disqualification. An enraged Cass would not let up on a defenseless Rusev in the corner, even after the ref had rung the bell. Odd behavior from Cass and that’s 2-0 to Rusev. Not exactly memorable wins but I’m sure the Eastern European won’t mind that.

The Charlotte-Sasha rivalry is over. Officially. At least for now. And Banks wanted to mark its ending by congratulating her bitter enemy in the ring on Monday night. Baby Flair did not oblige. Instead Nia Jax took the opportunity to take advantage of a still very injured former women’s champ. Jax threw Sasha around the ring with ease and declared through her actions that her sights are firmly set on The Boss now that Banks is done with Charlotte.

Nia Jax’s former rival Alicia Fox is currently at the center of a cruiserweight love triangle. Well, at least that’s what Noam Dar would like it to be. Fox has been the victim of the Scot’s advances in recent weeks, something Alicia’s boyfriend Cedric Alexander is quite rightly not too pleased about. Cedric defeated Dar on RAW but it didn’t seem to deter Noam from Fox at all. Alexander’s win levels the score between these two but Noam declared post match that The Foxy One is the prize he’s fighting for.

The New Day’s record breaking RAW feels like a distant memory now, despite it only being a week ago. We have new tag team champions in Sheamus and Cesaro, and new tag team belts to boot. New Day put aside their differences on Monday however in order to take on Gallows & Anderson and The Shining Stars in an eight man tag team match. Despite Sheamus’s ego continuing to grow, he and Cesaro are still proving to be a pretty handy tag team. Some inadvertent team work resulted in Epico eating a Brogue Kick only to then be swung by Cesaro and made to tap to the sharp shooter. Rivals on Sunday night teaming up and winning just 24 hours later. Although you’d be forgiven for thinking Sheamus did it all alone following his celebrations after the match.

My personal highlight of Sunday night’s pay per view may have been the return of Neville. And to the cruiserweight division no less! Well on Monday The Man that Gravity Forgot took the opportunity to explain his actions after beating down Rich Swann and TJ Perkins upon his return. Turns out the Brit is harboring a lot of resentment towards the WWE Universe. Swann did not take too kindly to Neville’s complaint (or the beating the night before) and confronted his former friend and mentor. Big mistake. Brian Kendrick then joined the party, aligned with Neville and began to give the CW champ a second hammering in as many nights. Just as former champ Perkins arrived to seemingly level things up Neville kicked it up a notch and left TJ laying also. The 205 Live gang has been well and truly put on notice.

Earlier in the night Braun Strowman went on a rampage in search of Sami Zayn. Turns out Mick Foley sent Zayn home. Not good. Strowman warned Mick that he wanted Sami ‘or else’. Well since Sami was long gone Braun kept to his word and we were shown what he meant by or else. Sin Cara and Titus O Neil were set to face off only for Strowman to interject and lay waste to both men. In particular Sin Cara who was unceremoniously launched off the stage through some of RAW’s Christmas decor.

With her title back around her waist and Sasha officially dealt with, Charlotte needs a new challenger. Well it looks like she has one in the form of Bayley. The former NXT women’s champ confronted The Queen and reminded her and the rest of us that she’s currently 2-0 against Flair. Well following Monday night make that 3-0! Bayley earned a non-title win over Charlotte on RAW but there was a catch. Turns out Charlotte’s shoulder was up after two but the ref simply didn’t see it. I can’t imagine The Iron Woman is pleased about that and rest assured, if and when Charlotte gets her way Bayley will have to prove herself again before getting that title shot.

RAW being three hours long means it needs threads. This week one of those threads was Enzo Amore’s sensitivity training. Company mandated after the Certified G wandered naked through the halls last month. Amore was joined by Jinder Mahal, Bo Dallas, Darren Young and Bob Backlund, none of whom’s presence in the meeting is entirely clear (I’d really love to know why Bob’s in there). Anyway despite repeatedly winding up Jinder Enzo made it to the bitter end. The training didn’t prove very successful however as Amore attempted to put the moves on his sensitivity trainer once the others had left the room. Right before they could trade Instagram handles however they were interrupted by Rusev and a returning Mahal. The two then put a beatdown on Enzo and the exclamation mark on the attack, a vicious slap across the face from Lana.

What the night’s main even was going to be was pretty obvious, even from as far back as the night before. Reigns and Rollins versus Jericho and Owens. How the match unfolded however, not so much. I fully prepared myself for another night of our Universal champion to be made to look a fool and a coward with him and Y2J losing to two thirds of The Shield. Not quite the case. In fact the match, and the night, ended with Strowman continuing to demonstrate exactly what he meant by ‘or else’. The former Wyatt re-emerged during the main event and dragged Roman from the ring apron before slamming him to the floor, ending the match via DQ. He then turned his attention to Rollins delivering much the same punishment before beating down Reigns some more. KO and Chris may have suffered the same fate had they not had their wits about them and made for the hills. A strong statement indeed from Braun Strowman and what happens next between these five (plus Sami Zayn too I assume) is anyone’s guess

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