SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE RAW PREVIEW
JANUARY 23, 2017
CLEVELAND, OHIO AT QUICKEN LOANS ARENA
REPORT BY JOEY GALICIA (@RamJam89), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Can you feel it? The wretched pain in your ribs? That’s the effect of a spear and jackhammer combination from the conqueror of the beast Bill Goldberg. Last time we saw him he was teaming up with Roman Reigns to take down the Sausage King of Chicago Braun Strowman proving that no matter his age, Bill is ready to fight. Tonight he returns for the go-home show before Royal Rumble. He’ll probably continue to gloat about his squashing of Brock at Survivor Series, or tell us his intense work-out routine as he prepares to make a dent in the 30-man elimination match. BUT BEWARE. Lesnar is also slated to appear in Cleveland tonight, and as he proved last week, Brock ain’t playing around no more.
“BLOOD ON THE GOLD”
It was only a matter of time before Kevin Owens reminded us that he can be the most violent psychopath in the world. After weeks (even months) of being made a fool of, KO (with the confidence of a serial killer) dispatched of the Big Dawg with a powerbomb through the announce table. Owens is going to need this instinct more than ever, because Roman Reigns don’t lose too easily, and with Y2J set to be a non-factor on Sunday, he’ll need at least three finishers stored up to defeat THE GUY. Roman on the other-hand will probably be looking to avenge his recently lost U.S. belt, or just his pride after being sent through some wood. When this match was initially set I couldn’t picture anyone else leaving Rumble as champ besides Reigns, but can he really expect the “master” of the headlock not to bring the pain? GAME ON.
I like Bayley. Correction… I LERV BAYLEY. There are few wrestlers on the roster who could win over the crowd with just a smile, but she is definitely one of them. WITH THAT SAID. Last week was not a strong showing, and she isn’t FULLY to blame. Charlotte had MILKED her portion of the promo for far too long that by the time Bayley even appeared the segment was closing in on the 15 minute mark. Painting Bayley as a long time fan of the industry works for me, but it shouldn’t be THE REASON THIS FEUD EXISTS. If you rewatch any of The Huggers prominent NXT feuds they almost all tell the same story: Does Bayley have what it takes to be on top? That’s the formula, and it works. No need to try and get cute. As for tonight, if they do anything even remotely involving fists it’ll be an improvement because as of right now, this match is kind of just there instead of being a big deal.
“THERE’S A MONSTER UNDER YOUR BED”
There are some things in life that are just unavoidable. In wrestling, not only are they unavoidable, BUT INEVITABLE. One of those things, is denying the “King of the Cruiserweights” his long overdo crown. Rich Swann has made a great champion. He’s fun, charismatic, and has the fighting spirit of a champion. But all the spirit in the world will not be able to save him from Neville, who destroyed Swann and left him in a puddle of vomit and piss before he was even able to compete in a match. (I’m exaggerating but at the same time AM I?) Neville has discovered that the only way to stop being over-looked, is to leave a path of destruction behind him. The two are set to face-off on Sunday, but I expect some head-butting to go on, if not tonight, then tomorrow on 205.
•Everyone’s favorite Boss was attacked yet again by Nia Jax, this time when she was running the ropes to prove that she was medically cleared to compete. While I’m digging Jax’s frustration with Sasha, COULD NO ONE SEE THIS GIANT WOMAN RUNNING TO THE RING? Come on guys, get your head out of your ass.
•Enzo & Cass defeated Rusev and Jinder in tag-match which means this feud is over right? FINGERS CROSSED because no matter how over the realest guys are, I believe I can speak for the entirety of the WWE Universe when I say that WE are over this.
•Speaking of tag-teams the Club just can’t seem to catch a break. After CLEARLY defeating Cesaro and Sheamus for the tag-team titles Anderson and Gallows would come up short again due to some poor officiating. (Mike Chioda would have never let that happen) The champs and New Day are currently entered into the Royal Rumble, so that means The Club will enter too no?
•SERIOUSLY EMMA DOESN’T ACTUALLY EXIST. WE’VE ALL BEEN INCEPTION’D.
•Alicia Fox is still crazy, Cedric Alexander can’t get on a winning streak, Noam Dar is creepier than ever, and Jack Gallagher is a most extraordinary gentleman. What else will the cruiserweights bring to the table tonight?
•Six days until the Rumble, and we have no earthly idea who is going to win it. TIME TO BRING THE PAIN RAW.