October 17, 2016
From the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole
The show starts off with clips of Goldberg from the WWE 2K17 video game to hype up his appearance tonight. Cole also lets us know that Lita will have a special sitdown interview with both Charlotte and Sasha Banks.
Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho head out to the ring. The crowd is hot for Jericho. Owens tells the crowd to shut up and talks about GM Mick Foley having a vendetta against him for making his match inside Hell in the Cell against an undeserving challenger such as Seth Rollins. Jericho agrees and puts over the barbaric and violence that occurs inside of the cell after telling the crowd to be quiet. Owens says he is smart enough to not let his career suffer the same fate as Foley and will not let the cell break him. He then tells the fans years from now they will be talking about the hell he put Rollins through as part of the “Kevin Owens show.” Jericho then said it will be the “Chris & Kevin” show as he should be in that match too as he can beat Rollins no problem after listing all of the legends he has beat during his career. After putting referee Todd Zapata on the list, the crowd cheers as Owens tells them to cheer for the fact he will retire Rollins at Hell in a Cell. Rollins comes out and says Jericho should put his scarf and tattoos on the list then calls him “sparkle crotch” and repeats that several more time as the crowd chants that. Jericho angrily says he is not that as he tells Rollins he will soon be on the list. Rollins feigns being scared then says if anything, Owens should be on the list as he let him get hit with the Pedigree two weeks in a row. Owens immediately interjects himself and says this is why Rollins has no friends because they already said Owens is staying strong. Rollins says that means one person stays weak as Jericho goes off on him. Jericho challenges him to a rematch as Rollins accepts them wonders what Owens will do as Jericho tells Owens to leave as he tells him its best to leave now because he knows what happened the past few weeks. And, he also knows what Owens is doing as and all of the tricks due to being a six-time World Champion as they will still be best friends and that he will have his back.
Solid segment despite some of the awful dialogue. If the crowd wasn’t so hot for Jericho, that “sparkle crotch” stuff would have died but they played along. They are writing the same crappy lines for Rollins as they did with Reigns in the past and I cannot see that holding up in the long run. The Jericho/Owens dynamic was great here though as their split seems imminent.
Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins
Jericho takes control early on as the fans chant “sparkle crotch.” Rollins fights back and beats him in the corner before hitting a dropkick. Jericho regains control after hitting Rollins with a double underhook backbreaker when Rollins ducked his head. Jericho roughs up Rollins outside the ring but gets booted in midair when he heads back inside. Rollins gets two with a sunset flip. Rollins gets another nearfall with a blockbuster then they counter each others finishers until Jericho dropkicks Rollins off of the apron right before the break. The action returns with Jericho missing an attack in the ropes. Jericho is up first and is able to hit a missile dropkick before grabbing a chinlock. Rollins fight out and hits a high knee then gets two with a sling blade. Jericho knocks Rollins down and gets two with a Lionsault. Rollins again fights back and heads up top but Owens comes out. Jericho rolls outside where Rollins flies out with a plancha. He rolls Jericho back in and hits a springboard knee smash but Jericho blocks a Pedigree attempt and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Owens holds the bottom rope back so Rollins cannot reach it then the ref yells at Owens as Rollins finally breaks the hold. Jericho yells at the ref as that allows Rollins to sneak a rollup. He tries for the Pedigree but Jericho breaks that up and hits an enziguiri. Jericho tries for the Codebreaker but Rollins catches him then hits the Pedigree for the win (14:40) **3/4. Owens is seen immediately heading up the apron.
Thoughts: The match was solid but nowhere nearly as good as last week. It did not seem to get past second gear, either. They also continued the problems between Owens and Jericho with Owens defying his best friend by coming out to the ring then leaving immediately after the match ended. Jericho did manage to get the crowd to chant “sparkle crotch” at him as he really tried hard to make that a thing.
Lita sits down with Charlotte and asks how she is preparing for her match at Hell in a Cell. Charlotte said she is a born winner and the reason no other woman has been able to have a Hell in a Cell match because she is best, even better than any other man. Charlotte puts over her durability and how she has won 12 straight PPV matches. Charlotte said she is the very best because she is always 100%. Lita asks if it bothers her that Sasha Banks has the crowd support and they are going to be in front of her hometown at Hell in a Cell. Charlotte says she does not need any of that and mocks Sasha for not being 100% that day because she is the best and that nothing is going to stop her from getting her 3rd Women’s Championship reign. Charlotte did a pretty good job here as they did move away from the match being about the 1st women’s cell match and focused on their feud. She played her role well. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Lita. They really should have used Cole here, who has done these segments numerous times. You do not need to have a woman here just because it fits the “making history” portion of the Hell in a Cell match.
The Golden Truth & Mark Henry head out to the ring as Cole tells us that Henry was recently ripped off and we will learn about that after the break. After the break, we learned that the Shining Stars tried to sell Henry fake Rolex watches and that R-Truth unknowingly shook hands to make a deal to buy them if they lost the match.
Golden Truth & Mark Henry vs. The Shining Stars & Titus O’Neill
Goldust starts off by beating on Primo. He works the arm for a bit until Primo escapes and hits a leg sweep. Epico tags and gets two with a tope con hilo as Goldust is now getting worked over for a bit. Goldust comes back with a powerslam and tags R-Truth, who runs wild on Titus. Primo breaks up a pin attempt as the match breaks down then Henry makes a blind tag and catches Titus with the World’s Strongest Slam for the win (3:10) *.
Thoughts: A short, inoffensive match. Titus got pinned for the third week in a row as his career continues to go down the toilet. I guess the Shining Stars and Golden Truth will be in a feud now seeing that the Shining Stars feud with Enzo & Big Cass was dropped.
Backstage, an irritated Jericho approaches Owens upset over him coming down to the ring despite his request. They start arguing until Stephanie interrupts and yells at them to get on the same page, especially since her brother Shane challenged RAW to Survivor Series matches. She leaves and they lower their tones as they talk to each other.
Sheamus w/ Cesaro vs. Big E w/ Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods
Before the match, New Day ragged on Sheamus then made reference to “legally” being champions for 420 days as the Denver crowd cheered. Match starts with Big E taking Sheamus down then gyrating. Sheamus comes back with a release German suplex then hits a knee lift. Big E comes back with a clothesline but runs into a Polish Hammer after that as Cesaro is on Facebook Live through his phone. Sheamus hits a few uppercuts then gets sent to the floor. Sheamus gets on the apron and tries to turn Big E around but gets clotheslined. Big E follows with an apron splash then celebrates with his teammates as Cesaro is in the distance on his phone wearing Big E’s jacket. Sheamus comes back to hit Big E with a somersault senton off of the apron as we head to break. The match returns with Big E catching Sheamus with a belly-to-belly suplex. He hits a few more suplexes but Sheamus gets his knees up on a splash and follows with the Irish Curse for two. Big E slips out of a slam and hits a powerbomb for two. Sheamus then slips out of the Big Ending and hits the White Noise for two. Sheamus boots Big E off of the apron then yells at Cesaro, who is now in the crowd. He takes Cesaro’s phone as Cesaro gets it back then tells him to film the best Brogue Kick ever but Big E charges then rolls him up for the win (10:25) **1/2. After the match, Sheamus slaps the phone out of Cesaro’s hand.
Thoughts: It was a decent power match but they struggled to get the crowd to care. The Sheamus/Cesaro dynamic is just not clicking right now.
Bo Dallas w/ Curtis Axel vs. Neville
This match was made due to Axel going to GM Mick Foley after they lost to Neville & Zayn last week. Bo attacks Neville and stays in control. He screams a lot after stomping Neville but misses a clothesline as Neville fights back. He takes Bo down with an enziguiri then heads up top but Bo rolls outside. Neville then gets down and takes Bo out with a quebrada. Back inside, Neville runs into a back elbow smash but floats over in the corner. Neville gets on the apron to try a springboard move but Bo sweeps his leg and drags him back in for the Roll of the Dice and the win (2:53) *. After the match, Axel comes in to celebrate but Bo attacks him from behind and continues the assault outside of the ring.
Thoughts: I have to say I was surprised by this result. The ending was far too abrupt though. It appears they are going to give Bo a midcard push with this new gimmick in which he is the only person who believes in himself. Poor Neville as he has been wasting away since his return from injury. Why not put him in the Cruiserweight Division instead of fodder for Bo Dallas?
Dana Brooke vs. Bayley
This starts off with Dana running away from Bayley, who eventually gets her and hits a neck snap. Bayley stays in control for a bit as Graves calls her a child. Dana fights back and whips Bayley into the corner then yells at the referee. She uses some choking and gets a nearfall. Dana uses a chinlock then they use a double clothesline spot as both women are down. Bayley is up first and hits a clothesline as Dana rolls outside. Bayley takes her down and hits a baseball slide and heads up top but Dana cuts her off and rolls her up for the win (4:10) 3/4*. It appears Dana was supposed to get her foot on the ropes for leverage but was out of position.
Thoughts: For some reason the WWE wants to push Dana but she just doesn’t have it in the ring. Her offense looks bad too. This feud will continue.
Paul Heyman is now live via satellite at WWE Studios as Cole asks him about Goldberg. Heyman said this has all spiraled out of control and that the challenge was rhetorical and will not show up in Denver of all places to say no and will say yes. However, he wants Goldberg to think about why Lesnar did not challenge him face-to-face as that is because he is not worth the sweat off of Lesnar’s butt. He then tells Goldberg it is a video game and suggests he says “no” as saying “yes” will just piss him off because he thinks he can beat Lesnar again. Heyman then mocks the Goldberg chants and promises Goldberg will be humiliated and humbled if he faces Lesnar again. I liked this interview by Heyman a lot. It also made the crowd even more pumped up to see Goldberg tonight.
Braun Strowman vs. Mile High Trio
Before the match, Saxton interviewed these guys and said that no single man could beat them as they were used to the altitude in Denver. Strowman beats on these three goofs and tosses them at each other. He even busted out his dropkick too. Strowman then hits a powerslam and puts the other two guys on top and covers them for the win (2:12). After the match, Strowman demanded some actual competition or else he will take action into his own hands but Sami Zayn came down. He gets into the ring and stares at Strowman, who pretends to leave then turns around and shoves Zayn to the floor before leaving.
Thoughts: The Strowman jobber squash matches are fun to watch but at some point he needs to evolve past that. Zayn should at least be able to sell his offense well. Speaking of Zayn, winning that feud against Owens has sure done wonders for him. He then went to jobbing to Jericho on PPV and now being used to put over Strowman.
After the break, Zayn is asked why he challenged Strowman. He replied its because someone has to because no one else will then leaves. Nice, little segment as it makes Zayn look valiant for not being afraid of a much larger opponent.
Lana is in the ring to introduce Rusev. He comes out to the ring and yells at the crowd to stop with the “USA” chants before screaming in Bulgarian. He then talks about Roman Reigns and his “700 family members” as he says they are uncivilized then introduces us to his own, strong family. Lana even adds that she loves her strong and beautiful mother in law as Rusev flips out over the crowd booing his mother. He then shows us his dad and how he served in the military. We then see his brother making pizza as he apparently owns his own restaurant. Their dog has even won multiple dog show awards. Reigns then comes out to break this up and says his family is big but the “Roman Empire” is even bigger. Reigns then jokes how he looks like the family dog as he tells them to call everyone in his family because inside Hell in a Cell, its just going to be them and there is just one way out. Rusev yells how Reigns can insult his family but he cannot insult him. Lana then steps in front of Reigns and slaps him as Rusev sneaks right behind to hit a super kick. Rusev then beats on Reigns outside of the ring but Reigns fights back but Rusev takes over and hits him in the Accolade on top of the steps inside of the ring as the crowd boos.
Rusev was just tremendous here. The segment itself ran too long and we have seen similar from the two before but he got this crowd to hate him and cheer for Reigns, which is not an easy feat. I think their match at Hell in a Cell could be a classic but it is time for this feud to end.
We get a clip from the 3/31/03 edition of RAW where Goldberg confronts the Rock and spears him in the ring.
Paul Heyman will be on the 9pm EST edition of SportsCenter.
Emmalina will be appearing soon.
Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Cass beats on Anderson to start. He hits a fallaway slam as Anderson rolls outside. Cass launches Enzo at Gallows but gets caught with a kick coming back into the ring but Cass comes back with a sidewinder slam for the win (1:12).
Thoughts: Yikes, this was complete burial of Anderson. They did not even get a chance to get their heat back either. After the awful comedy bits with the New Day and this it appears Gallows & Anderson are now a lower card team.
In the locker room, Drew Gulak & Tony Nese are making a deal with Brian Kendrick. TJ Perkins heads in as Kendrick tells him it is no longer the CWC and that you have to make alliances. TJ Perkins and Kendrick go back-and-forth then Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann come in to back up TJ to hype their six-man tag match. Way too many video game references here. The dialogue was just brutal but the guys did the best they could with this. Kendrick really tried hard to hold this all together. The Perkins video game character is just not clicking and will not with scripted segments like this.
Lita is now shown interviewing Sasha Banks. She talks about her beginning with Charlotte in NXT and how they are making history inside Hell in a Cell. Lita asks Sasha about Charlotte’s comments of Hell in a Cell being here night as Sasha says she will be in front of her hometown and talks about making history and it was her dream to become the Women’s Champion. Sasha says she is the one who wanted this match and should know what she’s gotten herself into as she then talks about not showing fear and will make history in two weeks. This whole interview was just Sasha talking about “making history” and did a really bad job selling the match as a result. It was far too scripted thus taking away all of the emotions that get people excited to watch a match.
A clip of Goldberg beating Triple H for the World Title at 2003 Unforgiven.
Brian Kendrick & Tony Nese & Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann & TJ Perkins
Gulak slaps Swann across the chest after a break. Swann hits a dropkick after a reversal sequence then Nese and Alexander go at it for a bit. Nese gets worked over by Perkins but is able to block a tornado DDT and hit a suplex. Kendrick tags as Perkins slaps on the knee bar with Kendrick immediately reaching the ropes as he heads out for a breather right before the break. We return with Gulak working the arm of Alexander, who comes back with a handspring into an enziguiri. Kendrick tags and knocks Perkins off of the apron but walks into a backdrop as Swann tags and runs wild on Nese. Gulak breaks up a pin then the match breaks down. Nese cuts off Swann on the top rope then hits a 450 splash. Kendrick tags in and puts on the Captain’s Hook as Perkins tries to break it up but is being held as Swann has to tap out (7:20) **.
Thoughts: Not much of a match but the right result as Kendrick needed momentum heading into his title match. The crowd was just dead for this match except for a tiny bit of reaction to Swann off of the hot tag. Then again, at this spot on the card it would have been tough to get a reaction for much of anything. The Perkins/Kendrick feud continues but the Cruiserweight Division continues to struggle on RAW.
Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley are backstage talking about the Survivor Series. They then pat themselves on the back for making three Hell in a Cell matches as Stephanie actually gives credit to Mick then wants to know what he has up his sleeve for next week’s show. Foley then makes Owens vs. Jericho vs. Rollins for next week as Stephanie does not like it, she loves it, as they act all friendly. I have no idea why they do not have tension anymore.
Next week, Cesaro & Sheamus will take on the New Day in a non-title match.
Cole is in the ring. He shows up the clip of Goldberg on ESPN where he talks about Lesnar then last week on RAW where Heyman issues a challenge to Goldberg on behalf of Lesnar. Cole even refers to him as the greatest champion in WCW history for reasons I cannot fathom. Goldberg is then shown walking through backstage on his way to the ring as various wrestler are seen clapping in the background. He comes out as the crowd chants his name. They continue to chant his name as he is in the ring. We now get a loud “holy shit” chant then Goldberg finally speaks and thanks the crowd for not forgetting about him. Goldberg then says its been twelve years since he has been inside of a WWE ring. He thanks the crowd for their response and says what makes it special is that his wife and son get to see him live for the first time. He talks about getting a phone call back in January from 2K sports and got to promote the video game. He says there have been a lot of things he has missed about this business, such like kicking ass, but he missed being a super hero for kids around the world and doing promotion let him do that. He waits for new cheers to pass then talks about along the way, he created a little bit of drama in the WWE. That made him think and he came to the conclusion that maybe it is better left alone and that he is too into the video game as the crowd chants “no” but Goldberg said Lesnar challenged him to a fight through his “fat, little stooge” Paul Heyman. That got him thinking what to do and he thought maybe he has one more ass-kicking left in him, one bad-ass spear left in him and even one more Jackhammer left and because of that, it means that Lesnar is next and more importantly, he is last. Goldberg leaves and places his son on his shoulders as Cole tells us that he has just been informed that Lesnar will be at RAW next week.
Wow. The crowd was electric for this entire segment and Goldberg cut a damn good promo too. He also seemed legitimately moved by the crowd reaction here and really enjoyed himself. I think this segment exceeded all expectations and was truly a wonderful moment. It goes to show you how when you actually let the performers showcase natural emotion you can get the crowd invested.
Final Thoughts: The end of this show was incredible and the Jericho/Owens segments were good but besides the Charlotte promo nothing else we saw was all that great.
The worst part about tonight’s show was the scripting of several segments as the constant “making history” references for the women’s Hell in a Cell match. You can sell the match on Charlotte and Sasha’s long feud rather than shoehorn that statement at every opportunity. Between this and the video game hype (which makes sense because they are selling that to people at least) the branding was out of control.
The non Hell in a Cell matches have not been built up very well at all and there is just one more RAW before the PPV. Although, I did like how they built up for next week’s show here tonight. Despite the more talented roster, Smackdown is the better show.