Bayless’ WWE RAW Rundown 11/21/16

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November 21, 2016

From the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole

We are shown clips of Goldberg defeating Brock Lesnar last night at Survivor Series.

The show starts off with Goldberg walking from his dressing room to the ring as the crowd chants his name. Cole puts over how it took Goldberg just one minute and twenty-six seconds to get the win last night. Goldberg waits for the fans to stop chanting then thanks them all for the opportunity to come back and be himself again. He is met with a “you still got it” chant as Goldberg then thanks his wife as he can be a “mean, loony, son of a bitch” at times then thanks his son for the ability and desire to be a super hero again. Goldberg then talks about coming what he set out to do last night but sadly, all good things must come to an end. The fans chant “no” then Goldberg said a funny thing happened after the match last night as he ran into Stephanie McMahon, who looked in his eyes and asked if he had one more title run. Goldberg said that he does have a title run left in him and was told by Stephanie that the road to the title match starts at the Royal Rumble match as Goldberg says in the Royal Rumble match, everyone is next.

Good segment. The crowd loved Goldberg and having him enter the Royal Rumble match to prove that he can continue wrestling makes for an intriguing story. I doubt he will get the belt but I assume whatever happens with him in the Rumble will set up for a match at WrestleMania. 

Backstage, Sheamus shoves Big E to hype up the Tag Team Championship match, which will happen next.

The New Day come out and mention that they are only 23 days from “demolishing” the longest Tag Team Championship reign held by Demolition in a long and drawn out promo that went nowhere. Even the crowd rapidly lost interest in this one.

WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Big E & Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods vs. Sheamus & Cesaro

Cesaro and Big E start off with Cesaro catching Big E in midair for a powerslam. Sheamus tags and gets two with a battering ram as Big E then gets hit with a double suplex as Sheamus & Cesaro are on the same page. Big E tags out as Kofi hits Cesaro with a crossbody then they each land on their feet after attempting leapfrogs but Sheamus makes a blind tag and yanks Kofi outside as we go to break. The action returns as Sheamus comes off of the top but gets dropkicked in midair by Kofi as both men are down. Sheamus gets up and hits Kofi with a forearm smash but ends up accidentally knocking Cesaro off of the apron when Cesaro moved out of the way. Big E tags in and hits a few suplexes. Cesaro runs in and ends up getting backdropped to the floor as Kofi takes him out with an attack off of the stairs. Back inside, Sheamus escapes from the Big Ending and hits the White Noise for two. Cesaro tags in and hits Kofi with a few uppercuts but Kofi comes back with a kick. However, Cesaro catches Kofi in midair for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker in a spot that did not go as smoothly as planned. Kofi comes back with the SOS for two then hits the Boom Drop. He sets up for the Trouble in Paradise but Cesaro catches him and hits the giant swing before putting him in the Sharpshooter. Big E tries to run in for the save but Sheamus takes him down with the Brogue Kick. Xavier jumps up on the apron and plays the trombone as the ref orders him down but it distracted Cesaro long enough for Kofi to put him in a small package for the win (11:48) ***.

Thoughts: Good match. The New Day did everything they could to protect their title reign while Sheamus & Cesaro continue to work more as a team. I think Sheamus & Cesaro finally getting on the same page then winning the titles can get a great reaction but I do not think the New Day will turn this soon, especially with the Holiday Season coming up and the merchandise they have for sale.

Chris Jericho is wheeling his suitcase backstage while holding on to his list. Charly Caruso asks him about his reaction to Team RAW’s lost last night. Jericho is upset as he says it was due to someone using the list and almost ruining it in the process. He then tells us tonight, we will find out who is to blame as he walks off.

Enzo Amore is locked out of the dressing room naked as he bangs on the door for Big Cass to let him back in. He then has to walk around naked as his crotch is pixelated. He walks past the Shining Stars and Titus O’Neill and gets mocked before seeing Lana. He asks her how she’s doing but Rusev comes up and yells at him for being naked in front of his wife. Big Cass comes over and asks if there is a problem and Rusev tells Enzo he will see him in the ring later on tonight. A really contrived way to set up for what seems to be a Rusev/Big Cass feud but Rusev and Enzo did a good job of making this as entertaining as possible in a segment that appeared to have been created to please Vince McMahon.

Stephanie & Mick Foley are celebrating RAW’s success as they went 3 out of 5. Sami Zayn interrupts as Foley says he is a fan of his but he did not claim the Intercontinental Championship and as a result there has to be ramifications. So, he will be facing Braun Strowman tonight. Sami says okay and leaves as Steph goes for a high five as Foley hesitates before giving her one. I figured they would punish Zayn for blowing RAW’s chance at getting the Intercontinental Championship. They also played up how worried Foley was for Zayn in having to face Strowman as well. I liked how Zayn played this as did not show fear in having to wrestle a monster.

Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari

Before the match, Daivari cut a promo as he says Canadians are not different than Americans before speaking in his native tongue while calling out Alexander, who takes Daivari down after blocking a cheap shot. Alexander hits a dropkick but Daivari pulls him in the corner and fires away. He hits Alexander with a knee smash for two then works the neck. Alexander breaks out and hits a satelitte headscissors but Daivari cuts him off as he tried a springboard move. Daivari turns Alexander inside out with a clothesline. Alexander catches Daivari with an elbow smash then runs wild as Cole lets us know that a triple threat match tonight will determine the #1 contender to the Cruiserweight Championship. Alexander then hits Daivari with a springboard clothesline before finishing him off with the Lumbar Check (3:30) **1/4.

Thoughts: A brief match to showcase Alexander, who I feel has the most star potential out of anyone else in the Cruiserweight Division. Daivari is fine as an enhancement talent within the division too as he is at least fundamentally sound but far too generic of a character.

An upset Jericho is backstage as the Highlight Reel is next.

Highlight Reel is next. Jericho slowly walks out as the crowd starts up a Y2J chant. Jericho calls last night’s loss by Team RAW the biggest upset in Survivor Series history. He then tells us he will let the world know why this tragedy happens but before he can do that, his best friend Kevin Owens comes out. They stare each other down from a distance before Owens wants to know who is to blame for last night. He then tells Jericho he knows who is to blame as there is tension between the two as Owens shows us what took place last night on the Jeritron. We see a photo of AJ about to hit Jericho with the Styles Clash but then we see Owens saving him from that move because he is his best friend. Jericho then questions Owens if he is his best friend and that it means a lot to him and to have his secrets all over the ring is terrible but Owens tells him who cares as Jericho says he cares because the list means everything. Owens said he is his best friend because he saved Jericho last night and instead of capitalizing on that he was too worried about his papers and ended up getting eliminated anyway as Owens calls it a waste of not only his sacrifice but their friendship too. Jericho then calls out Owens for never having his back and they argue who is at fault while Jericho says he is finished with Owens then they stare each other down before saying its Roman Reigns’ fault and they hug and talk about how much they care for each other while blaming Reigns for everything that happened. Owens also blames Seth Rollins, who comes out. Rollins says he was promised “future opportunities” and that opportunity is a match for the Universal Title and he wants that tonight. Owens asks if Stephanie granted that opportunity and he will fix that now as Jericho calls Rollins a “stupid idiot.” Rollins then says since they are both joined at the hip he will take them both out and starts attacking them. Rollins gets outnumbered but Reigns comes out to the save as the crowd boos. Rollins & Reigns clean house as Foley comes out to say that both Jericho and Reigns will be barred from ringside as Owens vs. Rollins in a No DQ match for the Universal Title will take place tonight.

Having Jericho & Owens tease a split ended up being pretty funny and the big news is that we get a Universal Championship match tonight. It also looks that a tag match between these four guys will also take place sooner rather than later. 

Replay from earlier tonight where Goldberg announces that he will be in the Royal Rumble match.

Rusev w/ Lana vs. Enzo Amore w/ Big Cass

Rusev backs Enzo into the corner and fires away. He misses a corner splash and gets rolled up for two but comes back with a kick to the face then locks on the Accolade as he stares down Cass and gets the win (1:05). After the match, Cass chases Rusev away.

Thoughts: A squash to keep Rusev strong as it appears he will be feuding with Big Cass now.

Golden Truth vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows

Winner of this match faces New Day for the Tag Team Championship next week. Goldust knocks Anderson down after an Irish whip sequence as the Golden Truth take control early on in the match. Gallows distracts R-Truth as that allows Anderson attack from behind. Gallows tags in and takes Truth down with a big boot as Gallows & Anderson cut off the ring. They get a few nearfalls as it crowd is getting restless. Truth fights back with a heel kick then makes the tag as Goldust runs wild on Anderson. He takes out both guys with a crossbody then hits Anderson with a powerslam for two as Gallows makes the save. The match breaks down then Gallows distracts Goldust on top as Anderson kicks him off then they hit Goldust with the Magic Killer for the win (6:06) *1/4.

Thoughts: Really dull match. Golden Truth are not considered as a serious team in any way while Gallows & Anderson barely have any credibility after how they’ve been booked after the draft. Its tough to by them as a legitimate threat to the belts.

Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman

Strowman attacks Zayn from behind on the ramp during his entrance. He sends Zayn into the barricade before tossing him into the ring. The bell finally rings as Strowman hits Zayn with a pair of avalanches. Strowman rips off Zayn’s shirt but gets caught with a boot as Zayn starts firing away. Strowman catches Zayn with a clothesline then starts to lift him up but the ref stops him as Zayn is almost out cold. Strowman lifts up Zayn and hits another clothesline as the announcers talk about how the referee should call the match. Strowman continues his assault as he is now in the tree-of-woe. Foley comes out and orders the referee to ring the bell as the match is stopped as Zayn can no longer defend himself (4:20) NR.

Thoughts: An effective way to put Strowman over as a monster. Zayn did a brilliant job at selling and since he got ambushed before the bell it protected him a bit in the sense that he did not get pinned or quit as it fits his underdog character well.

Another Emmalina vignette airs.

Charlotte comes out to the ring with Dana Brooke as the announcers talk about Charlotte attacking Bayley last night at Survivor Series. Charlotte orders for a photo of her kicking Bayley in the face to be seen on the Titantron. Charlotte tells all of the “hugging” types that it does not matter how endearing you are as she is the Wayne Gretzky of the WWE before saying she is even better than him, Charlotte goes on to talk about herself some more but its interrupted by Sasha Banks. Charlotte mocks Sasha by asking how she is feeling before Sasha tells her to shut up. Sasha then tells her that Survivor Series is over and that she wants her rematch. Charlotte asks the crowd if they want to see a rematch and says they are on but not tonight. Charlotte says next week RAW is in her hometown of Charlotte, NC and that is a perfect place for a match. Nia Jax then comes out and says she is not here for Charlotte but her for Sasha. Jax says she dominated Team Smackdown last week but Sasha did not and unlike the WWE Universe, she is not fooled by the glitz and the glamour before calling Sasha an “overrated barbie doll.” Sasha takes off her jacket then gets in her face. Dana is egging them on so Sasha takes her down but that allows Jax to attack. Jax holds up Sasha for Charlotte then Bayley runs out as Jax tosses Sasha outside. Bayley runs up on the apron as Jax knees her off as both Bayley & Sasha are on the floor as we head to commercial.

Its nice to see some focus on the Women’s Division and they teased a possible Jax & Charlotte alliance too.  However, the promos were not good here at all and really bad at some points. 

Nia Jax & Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley

This match is joined in progress as Foley made the match during the break. Bayley & Sasha work over Charlotte in the corner for a bit. Charlotte hits Bayley with a back elbow smash then tags out as Jax starts destroying Bayley and ends up tossing her outside. The heels neutralize Bayley as Sasha tries to rally the crowd behind her partner. Charlotte knocks Sasha off of the apron as Jax has Bayley in a cobra clutch. Bayley rolls away from an elbow drop then Charlotte tags in and they work a rough sequence as Bayley takes Charlotte over with a monkey flip before tagging out. Sasha beats on Charlotte until Jax runs in for the save. Bayley comes in as Sasha joins her in hitting a double suplex then shortly after that Sasha puts Charlotte in the Banks Statement for the win (5:41) *1/2.

Thoughts: This was rough at times but I thought the ending was solid and Sasha did a good job after the hot tag. It made sense for the challenger to get the pin heading into the title match as well.

Another clip of Goldberg announcing that he will be in the Royal Rumble match.

Rollins is backstage with Charly Caruso. He tells her that the last two title opportunities he had were ruined by Chris Jericho’s intereference and he is not allowed at ringside tonight. He then talks about being the best of the best as he redesigns, rebuilds, and reclaims Monday Night RAW after capturing the Universal Title. Weak promo, mostly due to the material.

We get a brief video package on the Rock & Sock Connection that segues into an ad for the animated film “Moana,” starring The Rock.

Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender Match: Rich Swann vs. Noam Dar vs. TJ Perkins

Brian Kendrick is on commentary. Dar attacks Swann after the bell as he takes control early in the match. Swann dropkicks Dar outside then chops Perkins in the corner. Perkins comes back with a low dropkick then dabs to minimal reaction as we head to break. We return as Perkins works over the legs of Swann then he catches Dar with a Northern lights suplex for two. Perkins hits Swann with an apron dropkick but Swann takes him off the top with a hurricarana. Dar attacks Swann’s leg but gets drilled by Perkins. Dar blocks the detonation kick and uses an ankle lock but Swann breaks that up with an enziguiri. Perkins puts Swann in a kneebar but Dar breaks that up with a baseball slide. Dar is in control as he has a cut on his forehead but Perkins puts him in the knee bar. Swann hits Perkins with a splash then drills him with a kick for the win (6:28) **3/4.

Thoughts: Good match. All three guys got a chance to shine and Swann’s gimmick will work well against Kendrick’s as we have a new challenger for the Championship in a match scheduled for the “205 Live” debut show on November 29th.

Charly is now backstage with Owens. She asks him about the match as Owens says he is ready for tonight as last night, he had to sit back and watch Rollins fail again. He also talks about proving that he is the best champion as he hit AJ Styles hard in the head and did not get pinned, blaming Rollins not only for failing Team RAW but also failing him. He even calls her “Renee” by accident at the end as Charly barely even reacts. The promo was fine.

Both the Women’s and Tag Team Championship matches for next week are hyped.

Enzo & Big Cass hype up the WWE Shop pre Black Friday sale. Enzo was channeling Don West from his “Shop at Home” days.

No Disqualification Match for the WWE Universal Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Seth Rollins

Owens immediately rolls outisde but Rollins stops him from trying to grab something from underneath the ring. Back inside, Rollins hits a springboard knee smash for two then goes outside and pulls a table from underneath the ring and slides it inside but Owens catches him with a package powerbomb for two as we head to break. Back from break, Owens gets a nearfall as we are shown a clip of Owens hitting Rollins with a DDT onto a chair. Owens whacks Rollins with a chair but still cannot put Rollins away. Owens continues to beat on Rollins but whiffs on a clothesline and gets hit with a sling blade as both men are down. Owens spills outside after Rollins pulls down the ropes then Rollins flies out with a tope. Back inside, Rollins tries to pump up the crowd but it fails then he sets up a chair and hits a facebuster for two as we go to another commercial. The action returns as both guys are slugging it out then end up knocking each other down as the crowd cheers. Rollins gets up and tries a frog splash but Owens moves out of the way. Owens then wedges a chair in the corner in front of Rollins and hits a cannonball for two. Owens sets up two chairs facing each other and tries a powerbomb but Rollins blocks that with a backdrop on top of the chairs as that gets two. Rollins heads outside and grabs another table that he slides into the ring. He sets it up in the corner then rolls through a school boy and delivers a kick for a two count. Owens drops a chair outside but gets caught with a kick. Rollins heads up top then Owens cuts him off. Owens sets up for a superplex but Rollins slips underneath and ends up hitting Owens with a running powerbomb for two as the crowd bought that as a nearfall. Owens slips outside and gets clotheslined over the barricade and into the “WWE Universe” according to Cole. Rollins hops over and they brawl in the crowd. Rollins hammers away then whips Owens into a trash container. Rollins blocks a powerbomb attempt by scaling the wall and is in the crowd as he hits a flying body press while the crowd goes insane. They make their way towards the ring but someone wearing a mask pulls Rollins off of the guardrail. Rollins pulls off the mask and reveals Jericho as the crowd chants Y2J. Jericho tries to come off of the top but Rollins catches him and sets up for the pedigree then Owens blocks that with a super kick and powerbombs Rollins onto the apron as he rolls him back inside and gets the pin (23:06) ****.

Thoughts: Excellent match that really picked up strong after the second commercial break. The fans were going nuts towards the end and the visual of Rollins standing in the crowd before diving off onto Owens was pretty cool. One thing I will say is why even bother with the stipulation of Jericho being banned from ringside if he came out anyway. That stipulation is dumb for a No DQ match anyway but regardless, the match was awesome and a great way to end the show.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I thought this was a solid show. Goldberg announcing he is in the Royal Rumble got over great with the crowd. They were focusing on characters to push and setting up feuds and in general, the show seemed to have a purpose with minimal filler. Not everything was perfect but it was mostly enjoyable with a great main event. With the Roadblock PPV in four weeks, RAW is off to a good start in building towards the show.

Author: Brian Bayless