12/12 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: New Day vs. Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for the Raw Tag Titles, the final push for Roadblock

newrawlogo1By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Wells Fargo Center

[Q1] The Raw opening aired… Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary. JoJo was the ring announcer…

New Day made their entrance to open the show. Cole immediately hyped that New Day could tie Demolition at midnight for the longest tag title reign in WWE history if they get through their Triple Threat match. New Day delivered a promo as they headed to the ring. Big E said they will join the immortals. Kofi Kingston said they could break a record that has stood for 25 years. Xavier Woods said they want to propel everyone who has worn a New Day t-shirt or chanted New Day Rocks. They closed out the promo and then the other introductions took place…

1. Big E and Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier woods) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Sheamus and Cesaro in a Triple Threat for the Raw Tag Titles. A shot aired of a party that was being set up for New Day with champagne and BootyO’s cereal. A shot aired of a party that was being set up for New Day with champagne and BootyO’s cereal. Gallows and Anderson isolated Kingston. Gallows got a two count heading into the break. [C]

[Q2] Cesaro went on a roll and worked over various opponents and then got a two count. He performed the Swing on Anderson and then applied the Sharpshooter. Cesaro tagged in Sheamus. Cesaro held up Anderson and then Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick. Kingston returned to the ring to hit Sheamus with Trouble in Paradise and then pinned him. They showed a bunch of people celebrating in the New Day party room…

Big E and Kofi Kingston defeated Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson and Sheamus & Cesaro in 11:55 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.

The broadcast team hyped WWE Network… [C]

Powell’s POV: It’s always nice when Raw breaks from its formula and starts with a match instead of a long talking segment, but I thought they could have made this a hook for the show by saving it for later or even the main event slot. Did they hold it early because they wanted to get the show off to a strong start or so that they could do a bunch of party skits? I guess we’ll find out. It will be interesting to see how long the New Day reign lasts now that they will break the record… assuming they don’t defend the titles again before the end of the show.

Graves teased a Lana and Rusev: Behind Closed Doors” feature for later in the show…

Backstage, New Day arrived at their party and celebrated with Mick Foley, Stephanie McMahon, a bunch of wrestlers, and extras. They all hugged Stephanie, who toasted them and danced along with “New Day Rocks” chanting. However, she wasn’t happy when someone sprayed champagne on her. She knocked over a punchbowl filled with BootyO’s and left the room…

Powell’s POV: This may have been the set up for that additional title defense thing I mentioned earlier, which would also explain why the Triple Threat opened the show.

[Q3] Footage aired of Sami Zayn’s quest to get another match against Braun Strowman. Zayn tweeted that he wants the match with Strowman “or else”… Braun Strowman made his entrance for a match… [C] AJ Styles vs. James Ellsworth for the WWE Championship was advertised for Smackdown Live…

Backstage, Stephanie was drying off when Kevin Owens entered the room and said New Day doesn’t deserve to be champions. He said he had an idea he thinks she would like. Stephanie told him to sit tight while she got cleaned up and then she would listen to his idea…

2. Braun Strowman vs. Curtis Axel. Strowman caught Axel going for a move off the ropes with a forearm, then performed a face-first slam for the win…

Braun Strowman beat Curtis Axel in 1:15.

After the match, Byron Saxton approached Strowman for an interview and asked if he has a response to Sami Zayn. Strowman told him to congratulate him on his victory and then ask questions. Saxton nervously complied. Strowman said Axel looked Zayn from where he was standing and he was just another annoyance. Strwoman said Foley was protecting Zayn as he should…

Backstage, Foley was shown watching the promo on a monitor. Zayn entered the room and demanded the match. Foley said he can’t give it to him. Zayn said Foley has the power to give it and he won’t. Zayn said he doesn’t need to be saved, and nobody tried to save Foley. He asked where Foley would be today if he had been stopped from climbing up the Hell in a Cell structure. Foley said there are times he wishes someone had stopped him. He said Strowman is playing a different game and will end Zayn’s career. Zayn asked if that means Foley doesn’t think he can do it. Foley said he knows Zayn can’t do it. Zayn said his childhood hero doesn’t believe in him. Zayn said that if Foley doesn’t believe in him, then maybe he doesn’t need to be on Raw. Foley said he would call Daniel Bryan and work out a trade. Zayn walked away…

Powell’s POV: If only trading Zayn to Smackdown Live was the plan! I assume we end up getting Zayn vs. Strowman at Roadblock. It will be interesting to see how they get there. I’m still not sure why Foley protects Zayn, yet puts others like Axel in the ring with Strowman, so hopefully that will be explained.

[Q4] 3. Ariya Daivari vs. Lince Dorado. Before the match, they recapped Daivari’s feud with Jack Gallagher. The wrestlers shook hands, but Daivari shoved Dorado’s hand aside. Graves noted that Dorado was once a seventh grade math teacher. Daivari blasted Dorado with a clothesline. Gallagher walked onto the stage with a mic and said he was announcing his intention to interfere in the match. He labeled Daivari a scoundrel, which the crowd chanted. Gallagher and Daivari fought at ringside and the bell rang to end the match. Gallagher got the better of the exchange…

Ariya Daivari fought Lince Dorado to an apparent no-contest in 2:35.

A shot aired of Seth Rollins walking backstage while Saxton hyped the Rollins Report… [C]

Powell’s POV: Gallagher stating that he’s an extraordinary gentlemen and then announcing his intention of interfering in the match was great. He’s the best thing going in the cruiserweight division right now.

Footage aired of Steve Austin singing to Vince McMahon as part of an advertisement for the movie Sing…

Powell’s POV: If it’s not Rogue One then I don’t care right now.

Seth Rollins headed to the ring to host the Rollins Report talkshow. He reaffirmed that he wants Triple H (presumably in a match). He said the best way to get what he wants is to beat Kevin Owens for the title, and in order to take the title from Owens, he needs to take out his friend Chris Jericho. He said he needed to find out whether he would be facing Jericho or Jericho and Owens. Rollins introduced Owens as his guest.

Owens stood on the stage with a mic and then turned around and headed backstage. He returned with a stand, which he placed on the stage and then sat on. Rollins said he had a nice chair for him in the ring. Owens said this was the best he was getting. Owens said he had an announcement to make.

[Q5] Rollins asked about the Owens and Jericho friendship. Owens said the only thing Rollins needs to know is that Jericho will have his back in his match, just as he’ll have Jericho’s back in the match against Rollins. Fans booed. Owens announced that he and Jericho will challenge New Day for the tag title later in the show.

Jericho’s music played and he walked onto the stage and asked Owens if he’s crazy. Owens apologized for what happened last week and tried to sell Jericho on the tag title match. Owens said Steph booked the match and it was happening, so they should work together and try to win the titles.

Rollins tried to stir the pot by saying Owens was bossing Jericho around. Jericho called him a stupid idiot and started to threaten him, but Rollins invited him to come to the ring and or put him on the list. Jericho teased the list and then stopped. Jericho said he was going to put Rollins on the disabled list.

Jericho started walking toward the ring. Owens came with him. Rollins picked up a stood from the talkshow. Owens and Jericho eventually got ahold of Rollins and worked him over. Roman Reigns’s music hit and the fans mostly booed. Reigns tried to save Reigns, but the heels outnumbered him. Rollins recovered and eventually the former Shield members got the better of the heels with fans still booing Reigns. Rollins went for a Pedigree on Jericho, but Owens saved him by pulling him to the floor…

Cole hyped a “special look” at the Iron Man match, then Graves hyped the Lana and Rusev segment… [C]

Powell’s POV: The brawl was awkward because it seemed like the fans wanted to cheer Rollins, yet many had no interest in rooting for Reigns. However, I like the expected announcement of Owens and Jericho challenging New Day. The Owens and Jericho dynamic is interesting, and it’s a meaningful match with the duo trying to prevent New Day from tying the record.

Backstage, Charly Caruso (maybe?) interviewed Rich Swann about defending the title against Brian Kendrick and TJ Perkins at Roadblock. Kendrick showed up and said he would be champion if it wasn’t for Perkins showing up on 205 Live. Swann said it’s every man for himself on Sunday. Kendrick said Perkins weaseled his way into the match and kicked Swann in the teeth last week. Perkins showed up and asked if Kendrick was trying to let him win. Swann told him what Kendrick was implying. Perkins said maybe he’s calculating or ruthless or maybe he’ll do whatever it takes to win the title. He said Swann will find out on Sunday, and Kendrick would find out next…

4. TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick. Perkins handed his horrible glasses to a young female fan at ringside. Kendrick offered a handshake, but Perkins declined. Perkins was in control heading into a break. [C] Perkins continued to get the better of Kendrick and caught him with a missile dropkick for two at 7:15. Kendrick came back and hit Sliced Bread No. 2 for the win…

Brian Kendrick defeated TJ Perkins in 8:35.

[Q7] Backstage, Mick Foley told Rollins and Reigns that they looked good fighting side by side. Reigns said his focus was winning the Universal Championship. Rollins said he wants to beat Triple H. Foley said this was about tonight. He booked them in the main event, making it a Triple Threat for the tag titles…

Powell’s POV: I assumed Rollins and Reigns would get involved with Owens and Jericho to help set up their respective matches at Roadblock, but I didn’t see the Triple Threat coming. By the way, we have only four matches advertised for Roadblock and the show is on Sunday. Will they change that during the show or just announce some random matches later this week? By the way, where’s the hype for Emmalina’s premiere?

Graves hyped New Day vs. Owens and Jericho vs. Rollins and Reigns for the Raw Tag Titles later in the show. Cole set up the video package on the Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte match. Graves stressed that there is no rematch clause in the contract, and claimed “it will truly be the end of the line”… The Charlotte and Sasha video package aired…

Bayley hugged people backstage and Cole said she was going to wrestle after the break… [C]

[Q8] 5. Bayley vs. Alicia Fox. Bayley didn’t bring the stuffed bears to ringside, but one was torn in half in a pre-tape the showed with Fox that set up the match. Cole said Fox and Cedric Alexander “are a thing.” Fox performed a nice northern lights suplex for a two count at 2:15. Fox threw a couple of punches and then went for a third, but Bayley instead hit the Bayley to Belly for the win…

Bayley defeated Alicia Fox in 2:40.

The broadcast team pimped WWE Network again. They made 205 Live and Roadblock the selling points… Rusev and Lana were shown walking backstage as Graves hyped their behind closed doors segment…

Powell’s POV: Okay, we get it, Bayley can beat Alicia Fox. Next.

Lana introduced Rusev. There were loud USA chants once Rusev joined her in the ring. Rusev said that’s enough “of USA” and the fans actually stopped. Rusev said the G in Certified G stands for Garbage. The fans sang Enzo Amore’s name. Rusev said that once they finished with Enzo last week, they closed the door and did their business. Rusev asked if the people want to hear what he’s talking about. Rusev warned the crowd that it was a little bit edgy “and out there.” They replayed part of Rusev attacking Enzo and included no new footage.

[Q9] Lana asked the fans if they really thought they were going to show them what they do behind closed doors. The fans didn’t seem to care. Lana said the fans were as gullible as Enzo. Big Cass made his entrance and said Enzo was at home with ice all over his body. Cass said Enzo runs his mouth, but at least he has the balls to back it up. Cass said Enzo was caught with his pants down. Cass said this isn’t a hotel room and his pants are on. He headed to the ring.

Cass and Rusev fought inside the ring. Rusev took control briefly, but Cass recovered and threw punches at Rusev, who fought him off and then headed backstage with Lana…

Backstage, Owens said it’s him and Jericho against the world just like it’s always going to be. Jericho said they should concentrate on winning the tag titles and start there…

A shot aired of Sami Zayn walking backstage. Cole questioned whether Zayn’s upcoming match will be his last on Raw… [C]

Powell’s POV: They took the same approach here as they did with the Roman Reigns and Rusev feud by having Rusev and Lana bore the crowd with the hope that Big Cass would get the big reaction. It worked with Rusev. It failed here. The live crowd was disappointed that Enzo wasn’t with Cass and they never got fired up for this. It didn’t help that they played the entrance theme while Cass was talking.

A new batch of Emmalina photos aired. The graphic read that she will be premiering soon. Graves said she will show up when she’s ready. Ugh…

6. Sami Zayn vs. Jinder Mahal. Graves went off about Zayn asking for a trade and compared it to leaving the New York Yankees.

[Q10] Zayn won with a Helluva Kick…

Sami Zayn beat Jinder Mahal in 3:25.

Mick Foley headed to the ring heading into the break…

Powell’s POV: Jack Swagger’s last Raw match before going to Smackdown was a loss to Jinder. Was Zayn facing Jinder tonight a case of creative having fun or purely a coincidence?

Foley told Zayn that he will be traded to Smackdown Live for a performer of equal value if that’s what he wants. Foley told Zayn that the and Daniel Bryan agreed to send Zayn to Smackdown in exchange for Eva Marie. Zayn got pissed and said he’s worth a hundred Eva Maries. He said it blows his mind that Foley doesn’t get it. Zayn got worked up and told Foley to give him Strowman.

Foley told Zayn to remember the rage he feels and duplicate it because he’s going to need it when he faces Strowman on Sunday night at Roadblock. Foley said there was never a trade. Foley said he wouldn’t trade Zayn from Raw for anyone. Foley said he believes in Zayn and always had. He said he just needed to know if a guy as nice as Zayn had it in him to tap into the dark part of his soul to survive a monster like Strowman. He said Zayn answered him with a resounding yes. Foley recalled Strowman saying Zayn wouldn’t last two minutes in the ring with him. He said he’s giving Zayn ten minutes to prove everyone wrong…

A shot aired of New Day walking backstage while Saxton hyped their match as coming up next… [C]

Powell’s POV: Apparently, the idea is that Zayn simply has to survive ten minutes with Strowman. It’s a logical choice as they’re not going to have Strowman lose clean, but Zayn lasting even close to ten minutes can be sold like a win. The real risk is keeping Strowman in the ring for ten minutes.

[Q11] A video recapped John Cena’s role as host of Saturday Night Live… The broadcast team hyped Roadblock and officially announced Big Cass vs. Rusev as a Kickoff Show… New Day’s win was recapped and they showed to fans high fiving after they won. They also aired the party scene that led to Steph booking them in another match…

Ring introductions for the main event took place…

7. Xavier Woods and Big E (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat for the Raw Tag Team Championship. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The broadcast team noted that Woods was the fresh man for his team given that Kingston worked the first match.

[Q12] Jericho and Rollins tried to perform a double superplex on Woods and Rollins, but E and Reigns went under them and executed the tower of doom spot heading into the break. [C]

A fan dressed in Ric Flair garb stood up and held up a sign that read, “Charlotte, I am your father.” Nice. Fewer than 72 hours until Rogue One.

Big E worked over Jericho, but Rollins tagged himself in. E wasn’t happy and charged at him, but Rollins held the ropes down and then E tumbled to the floor. Rollins tossed Jericho to the floor and performed a suicide dive. Rollins followed up with a suicide dive onto Big E, then hit Jericho with a springboard knee.

Reigns tagged himself in and ran into a boot, but fought caught Jericho going for a Codebreaker and turned it into a powerbomb for a two count. Reigns performed a Superman Punch on Owens, but Jericho rolled him up for two. Woods tagged himself in and performed a springboard elbow onto Reigns for a two count at 16:10.

[Overrun] There were a series of rapid fire spots that concluded with Jericho performing a Lionsault onto Woods for a two count. Cole reset the show and hyped New Day chasing history. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho at 18:20. Woods rolled it over and then caught Jericho in a small package for two. Owens checked in and hit a superkick, then popped up Woods into a Codebreaker.

Jericho had Woods pinned, but Rollins shoved Owens into Jericho to break up the pin in a cool spot. Jericho and Owens bickered. Owens shoved Jericho’s face and then tried to get Jericho to clam down. Rollins shoved Jericho into Owens. Rollins hit the Pedigree on Jericho. E pulled Rollins from the ring, and then Woods rolled over and covered Jericho for the win. New Day celebrated on the stage.

New Day defeated Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins in 20:20 to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship.

After the match, asked Jericho off-mic what his problem was. He explained that Rollins shoved him into the pin. Jericho bickered back and said “this is done.” Owens pleaded with him to listen. “This is over,” Jericho said. The fans started booing. The camera showed Reigns standing in the corner. Jericho left the ring and then pointed toward the corner. Owens turned and Reigns speared him. Reigns picked up the Universal Championship and his own U.S. Championship and held them up while his music played and some fans booed…

Powell’s POV: A good main event with more drama than usual thanks to the record being at stake. It was a bit alarming early on when the fans sat on their hands during the entrances and really until the tower of doom spot, but they got into the action and the near falls down the stretch. As fun as the main event was, it didn’t do enough to set the stage for Roadblock. It was more about New Day breaking the record and the bickering between Owens and Jericho. Reigns spearing Owens helped, and I suppose the bickering is WWE’s way of saying that viewers don’t have to worry about Jericho interfering in the Roadblock main event. Based on the reactions that Reigns continues to get, this might be one time that the majority of fans would be happy to see Jericho save Owens. I will have more to say in my member exclusive audio review later tonight and in my WWE Raw Hit List on Tuesday. Thanks for watching along with me.



Jason Powell and Jake Barnett co-host the Dot Net Weekly and Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast combo show and discuss Raw Underground and other WWE concepts, The Rock's group buying the XFL, the Marty Jannetty story, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV, and more...


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