11/21 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar and Survivor Series fallout, New Day vs. Cesaro and Sheamus for the Raw Tag Titles

newrawlogo1By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Toronto, Ontario at Air Canada Centre

[Q1] Raw opened with still shots and audio clips of Goldberg beating Brock Lesnar in the Survivor Series main event… Michael Cole welcomed viewers to Raw. He was joined on commentary by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton…

Goldberg’s music played and the crowd chanted his name loudly. Goldberg was shown walking through the backstage area dressed in jeans, a t-shirt, and a black jacket. Goldberg entered the ring with a mic and listened as the fans chanted his name. Goldberg held up his arms for the appreciative crowd.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you,” Goldberg started. “You guys have given me the ability to come in here and be Goldberg again. You gave me the ability to come back and grab a piece of that limelight that I yearned for.” The fans chanted “You’ve still got it.” Goldberg pointed at the fans.

Goldberg thanked his wife, who was at ringside. He said he can be one “mean, moody, son of a bitch” at times. She said his wife had to put up with that during his six or seven weeks of training. Goldberg thanked his son and then asked the crowd to give him a hand. Goldberg said his son, who was wearing a Certified G hat, gave him the desire to be that superhero again.

Goldberg said he did what he said he was going to do. “I came, I fought, and I conquered the beast,” he said. Goldberg said there’s a simple reality in life that all good things must come to an end. The fans booed and chanted no. Goldberg said a funny thing happened as he was walking backstage after his match. He said he ran into Stephanie McMahon, who said Goldberg was right about what he said about having an ass kicking left him.

Goldberg said Stephanie looked him in the eye and asked if he had one more title run left in him. The fans popped and chanted yes. “So you bet your ass that I got one more title run left in me,” Goldberg said. The fans chanted Goldberg again. Goldberg recalled Stephanie telling him that the road to the title match is through the Royal Rumble. Goldberg said that everyone in the Royal Rumble match is next.

Cole said he believes that means they have their first entrant in the Royal Rumble match. Goldberg left the ring and slapped the hands of fans along the aisle. Cole stressed that the winner of the Royal Rumble match “will challenge the champion at WrestleMania”…

Backstage, Sheamus shoved Big E, and then Cesaro got between them. Cole said the tag title match was up next… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good segment with the Goldberg love fest continuing where it left off at Survivor Series. Goldberg flubbed the line at the end of the promo, but he was likable and believable. Putting him in the actual Rumble match is interesting. It presumably protects him from having to do a long match, and presumably saves the rematch with Lesnar for WrestleMania. The lingo that Cole used didn’t give any tips as to whether the Rumble winner has to face the champion of his brand. They let the winner choose which champion he wanted to face when the brand split was in play in the past, so it will be interesting to see if that’s the case again. I don’t believe Goldberg will be challenging for the championship, but I hope Kevin Owens at least gets some camera time with him.

[Q2] Still shots aired from various Survivor Series matches… JoJo announced that the opening match was for the tag titles. New Day made their entrance and delivered some mic work from the stage. Xavier Woods said they led their team to victory. He conceded they were eliminated early, but great captains get their teams to the promised land.

Woods said they have held their titles longer than any team in WWE history. He said there were different titles back in the day that were held by Demolition. He noted that Demolition held their titles for 478 days. In the ring, Kofi Kingston said the Demolition record will be demolished in 23 days. The line got some boos. Sheamus and Cesaro made their entrances…

1. Big E and Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro for the Raw Tag Team Championship. Cole hyped Royal Rumble tickets prior to the match. He also said New Day has held the tag title for 456 days. Sheamus and Cesaro had the early advantage going into the break. [C]

Sheamus leapt into a Kingston dropkick coming out of the break. Later, there was a cool spot with Cesaro catching Kingston leaping off the rope and then performing a backbreaker.

[Q3] In the end, Kingston tapped to Cesaro’s Sharpshooter. However, the referee was distracted by Woods playing the trombone. Cesaro released the hold and was rolled up and pinned while Woods prevented Sheamus from breaking it up…

New Day beat Sheamus and Cesaro in 11:50 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: Was that a New Day heel turn? They were booed by the crowd and even Saxton didn’t defend them when Graves tore into the way they won. I have no idea where they are going with the trio, but one wouldn’t think they would turn them prior to breaking the record.

Backstage, Chris Jericho was asked about Team Raw losing at Survivor Series. Jericho said they fell apart when his List was used as a weapon and the pages containing his deepest thoughts were spread out all over. He said he would explain who is to blame on the Highlight Reel…

Saxton hyped Charlotte explaining her attack on Bayley… [C]

Backstage, Enzo was naked in the hallway banging on the locker room door and asking Cass if it’s funny to leave him naked in the hallway. The camera pulled back and censored Lil’ Zo. Enzo started walking through the backstage area. Titus O’Neil told him to put some damn clothes on. Enzo happened upon Lana, and asked her “how you doin’?” Rusev showed up and wasn’t pleased. Big Cass showed up. Rusev covered Lana’s eyes and said he would crush Enzo in the ring…

Powell’s POV: Naked Mideon called and wants his bad gimmick back.

Graves acted outraged by Enzo and labeled him a disgusting human being. Byron said the same thing happened to him in college. They narrated still shots from the Intercontinental Title match at Survivor Series…

Backstage, Mick Foley and Stephanie were happy about Team Raw, and Goldberg being in the Rumble. Foley gave her credit for Goldberg. Foley asked if she was serious about firing the wrestlers. Stephanie said she was just trying to motivate them. Sami Zayn showed up.

[Q4] Foley said he was touched by Zayn using his career as inspiration. Foley said he’s a fan of Zayn, but he didn’t bring the IC Title back to Raw. Foley said there has to be ramifications for failure. Foley booked Zayn in a match against Braun Strowman. “Okay, then,” Zayn said…

Cedric Alexander made his entrance for a match against Ariya Daivari… [C] A teaser for 205 Live aired…

2. Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari. Before the match, Daivari cut a promo saying he heard that Canada was better than the United States, but the Canadians are no different than Americans. Alexander offered a handshake, but Daivari went for a punch. Alexander countered into an armbar, but the ref broke it up because the match was not officially started.

Alexander went for a springboard move, but Daivari tripped him and covered him for two. Daivari clotheslined Alexander for a two count. Alexander came back with a handspring kick that woke up the crowd a bit. Alexander hit the Lumbar Check and scored the clean pin…

Cedric Alexander defeated Ariya Daivari in 3:15.

Chris Jericho was shown scowling backstage while Graves hyped the Highlight Reel for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: It was nice to hear Daivari get a chance to speak in an attempt to generate some heat. WWE continues to put all the babyfaces over everyone other than Kendrick. Here’s hoping the company does a better job of developing stronger heels once 205 Live starts next week. By the way, there was no followup to Alexander flirting with Alicia Fox in a backstage segment that was shown on the pre-show.

[Q5] More Survivor Series still shots were shown…

Chris Jericho made his entrance and received a favorable reaction from the Canadian crowd. Jericho brought The List to the ring with him. There was a loud Y2J chant. Jericho welcomed viewers to the Highlight Reel and labeled it the autopsy into the biggest upset in Survivor Series history.

Kevin Owens headed to the ring with the WWE Universal Championship. Owens questioned who is to blame. Jericho said he was about to tell everyone. Owens said he knows the answer. Owens used the Jeri-Tron to show shots from the match of AJ Styles setting up Jericho for the Styles Clash, and the next one showed Owens hitting Styles with The List “because I’m your best friend.”

Jericho asked if Owens is really his best friend. He said Owens should know how much The List means to him. Jericho said The List means everything to him. Owens said he sacrificed himself for Jericho at Survivor Series. Owens said he was disqualified when he saved Jericho. Owens said Jericho was so worried about The List that he walked into an RKO and was eliminated too.

Owens said Jericho wasted the sacrifice he made for him and their friendship. Jericho said that if that’s how Owens felt, they may not have had much of a friendship to begin with. Jericho said Owens is never there when he needs his help. Jericho said he was finished with the conversation and finished with Owens, who spun Jericho around while saying he would tell him whose fault it was.

“Roman Reigns” they said simultaneously before hugging. There was a loud “Roman sucks” chant. Owens said it’s Roman’s fault, and it’s just as much Seth Rollins’ fault. Rollins made his entrance. Rollins said he was promised certain opportunities for agreeing to team with them. Rollins said the future is now and the opportunity he wants is a shot at the Universal Title and he wants it tonight.

The fans chanted yes. “The guy who used to do that is not relevant anymore so you can stop,” Owens responded. Rollins said he’s going to take the title from Owens, and he would run through both of them to do it. Rollins hit Jericho. The heels quickly got the better of Rollins. Roman Reigns’ music played and the fans booed. Reigns and Rollins worked over the heels and cleared them from the ring.

[Q6] Mick Foley’s music played and he walked onto the stage. Foley confirmed that Rollins was promised a future opportunity. Foley booked Owens vs. Rollins in a No DQ match for the title with Jericho and Reigns banned from ringside for later in the show. The fans cheered…

The broadcast team set up a recap of Goldberg’s segment from earlier in the show. The broadcast team spoke more and Graves said Goldberg has to be the favorite. Saxton hyped the Charlotte segment. Graves hyped Noam Dar vs. TJ Perkins vs. Rich Swann in a Triple Threat with the winner challenging Brian Kendrick for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on 205 Live next week. Enzo and Cass were shown backstage, and Cole said Enzo vs. Rusev was up next… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m pretty sure the fans cheered the announcement of the title match and not because Reigns being banned from ringside. Anyway, the No DQ element leaves me assuming someone will interfere. Is it finally time for Triple H to return?

Lana referred to the Canadian crowd as “America” and was booed. Graves said he was surprised she was booed given that Canadians spend so much time trying to be Americans. Enzo Amore and Big Cass made their entrance. Cass said if they saw Rusev without his clothes, there would be only one word to describe him…

3. Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Enzo Amore (w/Big Cass). Rusev destroyed Enzo and turned him toward Cass before putting him in the Accolade to get the submission win…

Rusev beat Enzo Amore in 0:55.

Cole hyped the main event, then Saxton hyped Golden Truth vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson with the winners getting a tag title shot next week… [C]

Powell’s POV: Rusev needs more wins like this coming off the latest failed attempt to beat Roman Reigns, but it looks like they are setting up Rusev vs. Big Cass. Meanwhile, what in the world have Golden Truth done to earn a spot in a number one contenders match?

[Q7] [C] 4. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. R-Truth and Goldust for a shot at the Raw Tag Team Championship. Gallows and Anderson isolated Truth in their corner early on. Goldust checked in and worked over Anderson with good support from the crowd. Anderson caught Goldust on the ropes with a kick, then he and Gallows hit the Magic Killer for the win…

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson beat R-Truth and Goldust in 6:05 to earn a shot at the Raw Tag Team Championship.

Cole set up a video package on the WrestleMania 33 on sale party… Braun Strowman was shown walking backstage while the broadcast team hyped his match with Zayn for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: As much as I’d like to see WWE do more with Anderson and Gallows, I can’t muster up any sense of excitement over them getting another tag title shot.

[Q8] More Survivor Series still shots were shown, then Survivor Series 2017 in Houston was hyped…

Sami Zayn made his entrance. Once he got to ringside, Braun Strowman attacked him from behind…

5. Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn. Strowman performed a running clothesline in the corner. Sami landed a few punches, but Strowman cut him off again. Strowman tried to pick up Zayn, but the referee pulled him off to check on Zayn. Strowman picked him up and clotheslined him again. Rinse and repeat. Strowman threw three knees to the head of Zayn and clubbed him from behind several times. Strowman picked up the limp Zayn and sat in him the ropes to tie him up in the tree of woe. Mick Foley came out and called for the bell…

Braun Strowman beat Sami Zayn via Foley stoppage in 4:00.

Saxton hyped the Charlotte segment (again)… [C]

Powell’s POV: A dominant win for Strowman, while Zayn was protected because Strowman jumped him from behind. The only person who looks bad is the referee since the broadcast team members all agreed it should have been stopped several times, yet it took Foley coming out to make the ref stop it. Strange. That said, no one will remember who the referee was and it’s not like the broadcast team taking issue with him.

Emmalina is premiering soon, dirty old men are coming now…

[Q9] Charlotte and Dana Brooke headed to the ring. Charlotte directed the crowd to look at the still shot of the big boot that she gave Bayley at Survivor Series. Charlotte said she is even better than Wayne Gretzky, which drew boos all these years later.

Sasha Banks made her entrance to interrupt Charlotte, who mockingly asked how her back and neck are. Sasha said she is owed a rematch from Hell in a Cell and said she wanted it on the spot. Charlotte teased the match and said “you’re on” but then added “not tonight.” The fans booed. Charlotte said that doesn’t make a champion change her mind.

Charlotte said Raw will be in her birth city next week. “That’s in the United States for all you dumb Canadians,” she added. Charlotte said she beat Banks in her hometown and now she will do it in her own hometown.

Nia Jax headed to the ring with a mic in hand. Jax said she wasn’t there for Charlotte, she was there for Sasha. Jax said she dominated the Smackdown team at Survivor Series. Jax said the fans are fooled by the glitz and glamour of Sasha, but she’s not. He called her an overrated, purple-headed Barbie doll.

Sasha said she’d show her how overrated she is once she gets her title back. Charlotte tried to stir the pot. Jax said Sasha will learn she’s not the boss when she’s standing next to her. Dana got worked up. Sasha punched her, then Nia attacked Sasha. Jax held Sasha while Charlotte chopped her and the crowd woooed. Bayley ran out. Nia tossed Sasha to ringside, then caught Bayley with a knee on the apron… [C]

An ad for TLC aired…

6. Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke) and Nia Jax. Cole said Foley made the match during the commercial break.

[Q10] The babyfaces performed a double suplex on Jax. Moments later, Banks applied the Bank Statement on Charlotte and got the submission win…

Bayley and Sasha Banks beat Charlotte and Nia Jax in 4:40.

Powell’s POV: A logical finish heading into Sasha’s rematch. I’ll be surprised if that match doesn’t end due to Jax’s interference, as it seems like they are moving Sasha out of the title picture and into a feud with Jax.

Another Goldberg segment recap aired… Backstage, Charley Caruso interviewed Seth Rollins, who spoke about regaining his championship and Jericho being banned from ringside…

Brian Kendrick came out to join the broadcast team for the cruiserweight match… A Smackdown ad hyped The Usos, The Ascension, American Alpha, The Hype Bros, Tyler Breeze and Fandango, and The Vaudevillains in a tag turmoil match for a shot at the tag titles…

A shot aired of the Hockey Hall of Fame. They are still not acknowledging my B2 Bantam goaltending exploits… A teaser for Rock’s animated movie was shown…

7. Rich Swann vs. TJ Perkins vs. Noam Dar in a Triple Threat for a shot at the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. All three wrestlers received televised entrances. Graves told Kendrick he will have a new wing added to his house named in his honor. Perkins had Swann down going into the break.

[Q11] [C] Dar caught Perkins in the ankle lock, but Swann broke it up with a kick. Perkins put Dar in the knee bar, but Swann broke that up too. Swann caught Perkins with a kick and then pinned him…

Rich Swann beat TJ Perkins and Noam Dar in a Triple Threat in 7:45 to earn a cruiserweight title shot.

Powell’s POV: Three babyfaces competing for a shot at the title. No story was told. They all had beefs with Kendrick and none with one another. Who were the fans supposed to cheer? They didn’t know so they sat there and reacted to a few of the flashier spots.

Backstage, Kevin Owens said Rollins may have been given a title shot as a reward for joining Team Raw, but there will also be a punishment for failing him and the team… [C]

The broadcast team hyped Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship, and New Day vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for the Raw Tag Titles for next week’s Raw… Enzo and Big Cass pimped some WWE merch backstage…

[Q12] Ring entrances for the WWE Universal Championship match too place. Owens was out first. Cole noted that Owens is from Canada and would have a home field advantage. Rollins made his entrance. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title matches…

8. Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins in a No DQ match for the WWE Universal Championship. Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns were banned from ringside. Cole said 16,186 fans were in attendance. Cole geeked out over an early Rollins cover that led to a one count. Rollins pulled a table out from under the ring for a big pop and set it on the edge of the ring. Rollins returned to the ring and Owens slammed him for a two count, then shoved the table back to the floor. [C]

Owens was in control until Rollins caught him with a sling blade clothesline. Rollins drove Owens face first into a chair and covered him for a two count heading into another break around 8:00.

[Overrun] Owens put a chair in front of Rollins in the corner and then performed a cannonball that led to a two count. Owens set up a couple of chairs in the ring and went for a powerbomb, but Rollins backdropped him onto the chairs and then got a near fall around 15:00. The fans chanted “this is awesome.”

Rollins pulled a table out from underneath the ring and ended up setting it up in the corner of the ring. Rollins caught Owens with a superkick for another two count. Moments later, Rollins powerbombed Owens through the table in the corner and got a good near fall.

Rollins and Owens went to ringside where Rollins clotheslined Owens into the crowd. Cole said they battled up by their spot on the stage during one of the commercial breaks. Rollins got the better of Owens in the crowd, though it was tough to see at times.

Owens went for a powerbomb near a concourse entryway. However, Rollins ended up pulling himself up the wall and then dove onto Owens. Cool moment. They headed back to ringside with Rollins in control. Rollins stood on the barricade, but a masked man tripped him from behind.

Rollins pulled off the mask to reveal it was Chris Jericho. Cole said Jericho was banned from ringside. Graves said he wasn’t at ringside, he was in the crowd. Jericho entered the ringside area and ended up taking a Pedigree. Owens caught Rollins with a kick and then powerbombed him on the edge of the apron before rolling him back inside the ring and getting the pin…

Kevin Owens defeated Seth Rollins in a No DQ match in 23:05 to retain the WWE Universal Championship.

After the match, the broadcast team all agreed that something had to be done about Jericho. “Once again, Chris Jericho has ruined a fantastic WWE Universal Championship match and an opportunity for Seth Rollins,” Graves said.

Powell’s POV: A hot main event that breathed some life into the Owens vs. Rollins feud. The Jericho interference was a groaner, but the broadcast team laid it on so thick that you have to assume that they are setting up something. There was no sign of the advertised Owens vs. Reigns match for WWE Roadblock, but there’s still time if they want to move in that direction. Overall, the final match made the show along with the solid Goldberg segment at the beginning. I’ll have more to say in my audio review and in Tuesday’s WWE Raw Hit List.

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