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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
DECEMBER 19, 2016
COLUMBUS, OHIO AT OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-After the Raw opening came tons of pyro, then Cole’s introduction.
-Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho stood mid-ring. Owens welcomed fans to the “Kevin Ow… The Chris & Kevin Show!” He asked Jericho if he liked that he put his name first. He said there is nothing he will not do to make sure his WWE Universal Title stays with him, even if it means taking a Code Breaker from his best friend. They showed freeze-frames of the main event at Roadblock last night including Jericho helping Owens retain his title via DQ. Owens told the fans they should clap for that. Owens said he had no idea what he was going to do when he showed up in the ring, but it worked well. He said the Code Breaker hurt, but feeling their friendship was over hurt more. He said tonight all is well because the Universal Title is back where it belongs. Jericho said the Code Breaker hurt him more than it hurt Owens. He said he had to “make the referees and the Muttonheads believe, man.” He said now that their friendship is in tact and they’re stronger than ever, he’s going to prove it by giving him the “Hug of Jericho.”
They went into talking about coal in stockings, playing off of Cole’s name. Jericho put Santa on his list. Mick Foley walked out in a black leather jacket and jet black hair and a beard. He said they can’t talk about Santa that way. Jericho said Foley’s outfit is the worst thing he’s ever seen. Foley ripped off his jacket and revealed something worse. “I’ll show you the worst thing you’ve ever seen!” said Foley. “This is the worst thing you’ve ever seen. Drink it in, man.” He was wearing a leather vest and hideous Christmas tree t-shirt on top of an even worse snowflake long-sleeved shirt. Foley said he promised Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins a chance at revenge.
Owens said never mind all that stuff with the power bombs and tables, he promised they’d win and tonight he’d figure something out as he always does. Foley said he does always find ways to win, but that all stops at the Royal Rumble. He pointed at a shark cage hanging above the ring. Jericho asked if he’s sending them scuba diving. Owens figured it out and said Foley can’t possibly be seriously. Foley said he is serious, Jericho will be locked in the shark cage at the Rumble when Reigns gets his rematch. Jericho said Foley cannot make him get in the cage. Foley said he can’t make him go in the cage, but if he doesn’t go in the cage, he will never step foot inside a WWE ring again. Jericho said he’s afraid of heights. Owens claimed it’s not even safe. He said the label says it was made in Ohio.
Jericho stepped into the cage and claimed it the door was flimsy. Foley said he’s prove how sturdy it is. He locked the door. Owens tired to tell Jericho to leave the cage before Foley locked it. He didn’t. Foley then indicated he lost the key to unlock it. Jericho began to panic a bit. Foley rummaged through his fanny pack. Owens freaked out when he pulled out his teeth. Foley finally acknowledged that he lost the key. Foley said the good news is Jericho is safe. The cage began to raise. Jericho panicked as the cage went higher and higher. Foley said he’d look for the key, but in the mean time, he told Jericho, “Have a nice day.”
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m still having trouble getting over what Foley was wearing. It was truly horrific. The segment felt like it was stretched to 21 minutes because they have three hours of TV time to fill when it could have been accomplished in 12. That said, it served a purpose of showing Foley – in a light-hearted but effective way – was responding to what Jericho did at Roadblock the night before and had it’s funny moments.) [c]
-Jericho dry-heaved backstage. Apparently during the break, they found the key. Owens and medics were tending to him.
-Enzo and Big Cass came out. Cass said Rusev took the coward’s way out last night. Rusev interrupted him and made his way to the ring with Lana.
(1) BIG CASS (w/Enzo) vs. RUSEV (w/Lana)
Cass went after Rusev aggressively at the start. It didn’t stop as he beat him down in the corner and ignored the referee, so the referee DQ’d him. Graves said Cass is a sore loser. Cole said he became unhinged. Rusev staggered away through the crowd to the back. Saxton said Rusev wants no part of Big Cass at all.
WINNER: Rusev via DQ in under 1:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: This segment is designed to extend the feud and heat it up, plus continue the build up of Cass as a badass with a temper. It worked on those levels.) [c]
-Sasha Banks walked out in a knee brace and a crutch. They showed all three announcers standing and applauding her for her effort. He said Charlotte and Sasha continue to raise the bar on the Women’s Division. As Sasha’s music kept playing, the announcers recapped the Roadblock match with freeze-frames of key moments in the match. “It was indeed the end of the line” for Sasha and Charlotte.
Sasha looked sad as she began talking about how she literally gave her blood, sweat, and tears. She said he put it all on the line and left it all in the ring. She said tapping out twice didn’t just almost break her leg, it broke her heart. She said for the last couple of months, they’ve gone to war and made history. She talked about big moments in their feud. She said she walked out without her championship last night. She began to cry as she said it hurts to say it, but the better woman did win. She said she doesn’t feel like The Boss anymore. She said she learned how to win and lose with respect, so she asked Charlotte to come out there so she can congratulate her to her face.
After a pretty long pause, there was no Charlotte. Instead, Nia Jax’s music played and she walked out. Jax said she doesn’t care where Charlotte is. She said she’ll never be The Boss to her. “You’re weak, you’re wounded, and above all else you’re just a little girl.” Then she kicked her crutch out from under her. Sasha fell. The crowd didn’t like that. Graves didn’t like it, either. Then she threw her across the ring.
-They showed Cedric Alexander and Alicia Fox backstage heading toward the ring. [c]
-Backstage Foley congratulated Sheamus & Cesaro for winning the WWE Tag Team Titles. He said he can’t help but feel like a proud papa because he put them together. He recounted what he said to them when he teamed them together and how much they doubted him. He then revealed new WWE Tag Team Title belts. They were red, of course. Sheamus wanted them to be in green. Cesaro said red is the color of Raw. They began bickering. A referee ran up and told Foley there’s an emergency and they need him. They cut to Braun throwing people and things around backstage. Foley approached Braun and asked what he’s doing. Braun said Sami lasted ten minutes because he let him, but he wants to finish him off tonight. Foley said Sami isn’t there because he talked him into leaving a couple hours ago. He pleaded with Braun to take the night off. Braun said he wants Sami “or else.”
-Graves, on camera, looked a bit frazzled by Braun being on the loose. Austin Aries joined the announce team. A clip aired of Noam Darr beating Alexander two weeks ago on 205 Live, but then dedicating his win to Fox.
(2) CEDRIC ALEXANDER (w/Alicia Fox) vs. NOAM DARR
Cedric nailed Darr with a stiff looking spinning elbow. Cole plugged 205 Live. Darr bailed out. They cut to a very early break. [c]
Cedric finished Darr with the Lumbar Check a minute after returning live. Short, decisive match.
WINNER: Cedric in 6:00.
-Afterward, Darr congratulated Cedric for beating him. He said one might say they’re even now that they’ve each won a match, but they’re not even because Cedric still has Fox. Darr said she’s the real prize. He called her “Foxy Baby.” He said all he wants for Christmas is her.
-The New Day were shown backstage. The announcers hyped that they’d be up next for the first time since August 17, 2015 without the tag team titles. [c]
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-The New Day danced to the ring as the director cut to crowd shots of fans dancing. Xavier said their historic, legendary reign of The New Day has “hit a Roadblock.” Kofi said they can’t mourn forever. He said Ric Flair couldn’t become a 16 time champion without losing 15 times. “And that’ll be Charlotte in a month,” said Big E. Xavier said as long as they continue to look as good as they do, they will definitely once again become their WWE World Tag Team Champions.
Sheamus and Cesaro walked out. Sheamus said he’s full of positivity because today really is a new day. Sheamus and Cesaro bickered. They said their own name and were booed and cheered predictably. Kofi asked if after just one day being tag team champions, they gave them new title belts. Kofi said, “We had to walk around with those copper looking ones?” Kofi said they’re happy if they were to be out-New Day’d, they’re happy it’s them. Sheamus thanked him. New Day chanted “Shame! Shame! Shame!” at Sheamus. Xavier said their congratulations are reserved for Cesaro. Sheamus said he couldn’t care less about what New Day, Cesaro, or the fans think. The fans chanted “Shame!” at him. Sheamus said it was because of him, they became tag team champions. “So chew on that!” he said. “Drink it in! That’s right.” No, that’s gimmick infringement.
Sheamus said New Day disgraced the tag team championships. Sheamus predicted he’d hold the tag team titles for 20 years, easy. Xavier said for over 483 days there was music, singing, and dancing. “There were over 200 New Day shirts released,” he said. He plugged they’re still available. He listed the other New Day merchandise. When Xavier brought up Old Day, Big E said they didn’t want to talk about that.
They were interrupted by Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. They said when they look in the ring, all they see are a bunch of nerds. The Shining Stars came out and handed out brochures for Puerto Rico, saying it is the holiday season and the season for giving. Cesaro tore them up. A brawl broke out. [c]
(2) SHEAMUS & CESARO & BIG E & KOFI KINGSTON (w/Xavier Woods) vs. KARL ANDERSON & LUKE GALLOWS & THE SHINING STARS
The match was joined in progress. Cole said Foley made the match official during the break. They cut to a break at 3:00. [c]
Big E eventually got the hot-tag around 8:00 and rallied. A few minutes later Primo saved Epico from being pinned by Cesaro. Big E tried to clear the ring, but Anderson knocked him down. Cesaro then went after Epico with the Cesaro Swing and shifted into the sharpshooter for the predictable tapout.
WINNER: Cesaro & Sheamus & New Day in 10:00.
-They went to the announcers on camera. Graves said Sheamus & Cesaro are like brothers who fight, but get the job done. Cole threw to clips of the opening segment. Saxton plugged the main event tag match.
-Backstage Enzo was freaking out. Cass told him to relax because Rusev got what he had coming. A guy brought him a letter. Enzo said it’s probably from Ed McMahon. Cass said Ed McMahon is dead. Enzo said maybe it’s from Vince McMahon. He got excited about a potential raise. Enzo read the letter, which was from Human Resources requiring him to attend mandatory sensitivity training tonight because he exposed himself at the workplace. [c]
-A recap aired of Neville’s heel turn on Rich Swann and T.J. Perkins last night after the Cruiserweight Title defense by Swann. Graves said Neville showed a side himself they’d never seen before. “It’s almost like a man transformed,” said Saxton.
-Neville came to the ring to his music. He said the fans cheered him when he destroyed Perkins and Swann. He paused. “Well, that’s rich,” he said. “It’s been a long time since you cheered for me.” He said they usually only cheered him if they felt he was vulnerable or small. He said he doesn’t want their pity or sympathy. “Take your cheers and stick ’em.” He snarled as he looked at the hard camera and he said this is a warning that if their favorite happens to be on 205 Live, he’s going to obliterate the entire division. Out came Rich Swann.
Swann danced onto the stage and then asked Neville what happened to the man he looked up to. Neville said he taught him everything he knows and since then his career has sky rocketed. He asked where the appreciation is. Swann took off his jacket and walked to the ring. He said Neville can call himself anything he wants, but as long as he holds the purple belt, he’s the best in the Cruiserweight Division “and you can’t handle this.”
As he entered the ring, Brian Kendrick’s music played. Kendrick asked Swann where his respect is. He said what Neville has been through is an outrage. Kendrick said he kept asking where Neville is because you can’t start a Cruiserweight Division without Neville. He said if not for Neville and him, none of this would be possible, because they are pioneers. Neville said Kendrick is right. Neville got in Swann’s face and said it appears he needs to be taught his place. Kendrick and Neville attacked Swann. Neville had Kendrick back down so he could stomp away at Swann. T.J. Perkins ran out for the save. Neville took him down with a vicious kick, then stomped away at Swann some more.
-Backstage they took us to “Sensitivity Training” with Colleen McCarthy. Others in attendance were Bob Backlund, Darren Young, Jindar Mahal, and Bo Dallas. Enzo walked in and said he’s there because he showed all of his coworkers his Italian sausage. He said his partner locked him out of his locker room without his clothes. Colleen asked how long he and his partner have been having marital difficulties. Enzo said defensively that he likes chicks. Colleen said she can see they have a lot to work on. When Colleen asked Jinder how to spell his name, Enzo leaped to his feet and yelled, “S-A-W-F-T!” They cut to a break. [c]
-They showed that the training session was still ongoing. Cole said Enzo was forced to be there. Graves said it reminds him of high school, “the toughest six years of his life.”
(3) TITUS O’NEAL vs. SIN CARA
Braun interrupted the match five seconds in. Are they turning him babyface? Because this was a match nobody wanted to see.
WINNER: No contest.
-Strowman beat up Sin Cara and Titus in the ring and then at ringside. He carried Sin Cara to the stage as referees yelled at him. Foley walked out and pleaded with Strowman to stop. Strowman said he told Foley “or else.” He threw Sin Cara onto a stack of gift wrapped boxes on the floor. Then he threw some Christmas trees. Graves said Ohio State University is the site of a Strowman Massacre. It was quite the overstatement. I think most people recognize that landing on a stack of empty boxes is a positive, not a negative, when being tossed off a raised platform. Referees yelled for a stretcher.
-The announcers hyped that Charlotte would speak next.
-A Smackdown commercial hyped Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose. [c]
-Backstage Owens told Jericho to calm down and focus on their tag match. Jericho said it’s easy for Owens to say because he wasn’t hanging in a cage like a moron. Owens said nobody thinks he’s a moron. He said he was left hanging “like a sexy piñata” with everyone laughing at him. Owens calmed him down by assuring him he’d beat Reigns really quickly.
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-Charlotte walked out to her music, showing off her title belt. Graves said their match was epic and everyone who missed it should watch it on WWE Network on demand. She bragged about beating The Boss out of Sasha Banks. “You could put me in any era and I’d dominate,” she said. She took digs at Trish Stratus and Fabulous Moolah. Is that foreshadowing a WrestleMania match with Charlotte vs. Stratus? She took satisfaction in disappointing fans who watch every PPV to see her lose. “Nobody is on my level!” she yelled. Bayley’s music interrupted. Bayley danced onto the stage. Graves said, “It’s like a 12 year old’s birthday party out here.”
Charlotte wanted to know why she was interrupting her. Bayley said her feud with Sasha will go down as the greatest women’s rivalry in WWE history. She said she’s been watching a long time. Charlotte said Bayley belongs in the crowd watching her. Bayley said she wasn’t finished. She said it’s time for the Charlotte-Bayley rivalry to begin. Charlotte demeaned her worthiness. Bayley challenged her. Charlotte said she’s dressed like a fifth grader, “so let’s go to school.” She called for a referee. Cole said Foley will make this official. [c]
(4) CHARLOTTE vs. BAYLEY
For five minutes they told the story of Bayley outwrestling her. Charlotte bailed out. The fans booed as they cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Charlotte had Bayley in a leg scissors. They showed Charlotte kicking Bayley at ringside during the break to take control. Deep into the match, Charlotte landed a moonsault for a near fall. Bayley leverage pinned a stunned Charlotte for a quick near fall. Charlotte went to work on Bayley, but Bayley then surprised her with a backslide for a three count. Cole said Bayley just proved she belongs. Graves noticed Charlotte’s left shoulder was raised on the third count. Saxton said the referee’s decision is final.
WINNER: Bayley in 12:00.
-Back to the Sensitivity Training. Bo Dallas asked if she could say “Bo-gin” instead of “Begin.” Young and Backlund then role played each other. Backlund began doing squats. Enzo said he gets what’s going on. He offered to be Jinder. “Everybody swipes left when they see me on Tinder because I’m a schmuck.” Jinder said Enzo has little man syndrome and overcompensates with his big mouth. Enzo asked if it would be insensitive if he slapped the taste out of Jinder’s mouth. Colleen said it would be. [c]
-Graves read a Tweet from Emmalina who wrote: “All you cared about were the 4 Horsewomen. Now I finally have your attention and I’m supposed to fall at your feet. Yeah right!”
-The sensitivity training session ended. Colleen handed out diplomas. Everyone said what they learned, then got their certificates. Enzo was last. He said he is extremely excited about being more sensitive in all areas of his life. He said he’ll more sensitive as a lover from now. He said he’s already certified. He suggested they exchange Instagram handles and perhaps, when “an issue of sensitivity comes up later tonight, I can slide you some DMs for some hands on guidance.” She tried to nicely rebuff him. In walked Rusev. He turned to try to leave, but Jinder was standing there by the exit. Enzo said this isn’t the place. Jinder and Rusev attacked Enzo. Colleen screamed and ran away. The beating continued for a while. Lana walked in and sneered at him and slapped him. Rusev then tossed him hard through a table. Enzo was KO’d with his eyes open.
-Seth’s ring entrance took place. Then Roman Reigns. [c]
-A commercial hyped 205 Live’s main event of Kendrick & Neville vs. Swann & Perkins.
(5) KEVIN OWENS & CHRIS JERICHO vs. SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS
As Owens walked to the ring, Cole said Owens owes Jericho a big Christmas gift because he’s the only reason Owens is still the Universal Chapion. Jericho came out last. Owens stomped away at Seth early, then yelled how good he is at kicking. He tagged in Jericho and told him to keep kicking. Eventually Reigns tagged in; boos rang out. Reigns did his usual moves, but Owens battered him down with a forearm and then tagged in Jericho. Reigns fought back and tagged in Seth. Owens pulled Jericho to safety. They began to walk to the back. Seth tackled them on the ramp from behind. Reigns and Seth threw them back into the ring. They cut to a break with the babyface duo in control against Jericho. [c]
Owens kept running his mouth. When he tagged out to Jericho and the ref told him to leave the ring, Owens said, “I’ve got a five count!” Jericho antagonized Reigns with slaps. Graves said that wasn’t a good idea.
Seth hot-tagged in and rallied against both heels at once. When he set up a Pedigree, Jericho blocked it. Seth kicked him and clotheslined him to the floor Then he hit a running dive at both heels at ringside. Back in the ring Jericho lifted his knees when Seth went for a moonsault. Seth was near hot-tagging Reigns a minute later when Braun ran out to ringside and attacked Reigns.
WINNER: No contest.
-Braun entered the ring and gave Seth a running powerslam as Owens and Jericho retreated to ringside. They threw Reigns into the ring so Braun could give him a running powerslam. Cole called it “complete and total decimation.” Graves asked who or what can stop him.
(Keller’s Analysis: Braun is going to get a big match at WrestleMania, given this type of push right now. You don’t beat up the two top babyfaces unless there are big plans for you.)