Bayless’ WWE RAW Rundown 12/12/16

161_raw_12122016jg_2003-338077949b8a1eb9d5c8989c1f797665

December 12, 2016
From the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole

The New Day head out to the ring as Cole alerts us that the New Day will break the record for the longest Tag Team Title reign in WWE tonight as long as they win their triple threat match against Cesaro & Sheamus and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. The New Day talk about the record as Xavier dedicates it to his grandma, with the crowd chanting “grandma” for a little bit. The New Day then talk about how they are considered a triple threat as they each put themselves over before their opponents head out to the ring as we cut backstage where the locker room is being set up for a New Day celebration.

WWE RAW Tag Team Championship Match: New Day (c) vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs. Cesaro & Sheamus

Kofi & Big E are in the ring for the New Day here. Kofi and Cesaro start off going back-and-forth to start. Cesaro hits a deadlift suplex then tags Sheamus as they attack Kofi in the corner. Kofi comes back with a dropkick then tags out as Big E clotheslines Sheamus for two. Kofi is back in and hits Sheamus with a jawbreaker after a struggle but Anderson tags himself in and goes after Kofi. Gallows & Anderson almost put Kofi away after a barrage of kicks right before commercial. We return with Anderson working a chinlock. Gallows & Anderson speed things up with a few double-team moves but are unable to put Kofi away. Gallows knocks Big E off of the apron but Kofi comes back with an attack on Gallows as both men are down. Sheamus then tags himself in and beats on Gallows & Anderson. Big E breaks up a pinfall and eats an Irish Curse but Anderson kicks him down. Sheamus gets hit with the Boot of Doom but Cesaro breaks it up at the last second. Cesaro runs wild on everyone now as the crowd is going nuts. Cesaro hits Anderson with the swing then puts him in a Sharpshooter. Xavier distracts Sheamus after Big E gets tossed as the match breaks down. Sheamus boots down Anderson but Kofi hits him with the Trouble in Paradise and Big E grabs Cesaro’s leg to prevent him from making the save as the New Day retain the titles and break the reign (11:44) ***.

Thoughts: Good match. The first half was a bit of a struggle but things really picked up after the commercial break. The crowd got behind Cesaro & Sheamus here and Gallows & Anderson also had a solid showing as a team.

Tonight, we will get the “Rollins Report” with Kevin Owens as the guest. After that, the announcers let us know that the WWE Network has surpassed over 7,000 hours of original content.

Also tonight, “Behind Closed Doors” with Rusev & Lana as they tell us what else happened last week.

We return from break to the New Day celebration party as even Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon are present. Stephanie gives them a toast as Big E uses a ladle to eat from a giant bowl of Booty O’s. However, Stephanie gets doused with champagne after the celebration and becomes upset as she knocks the bowl of cereal out of Big E’s hands and leaves pissed off as everyone else looks worried.

We get a video package on Sami Zayn’s “obsession” with Braun Strowman. This leads to Cole reading a tweet from Zayn, who says he wants a match with Strowman “or else.”

We return from break as Stephanie McMahon tells a production assistant to find her clothes. Kevin Owens tells her how the New Day does not deserve their title reign and celebration. Stephanie tells him to get to the point as Owens has an idea that he will tell her once she changes into dry clothes.

Braun Strowman vs. Curtis Axel

Strowman tosses Axel around then hits an avalanche in the corner. Strowman screams then puts Axel in the torture rack but Axel fights out. Axel tries to fight off Strowman but gets swatted down in midair before he is finished off with a reverse chokeslam (1:00). After the match, Saxton heads into the ring. Strowman yells at Saxton to shut his mouth and how he first must congratulate him on his victory before asking questions. Saxton asks Strowman about Zayn’s tweet as Strowman says Zayn is another annoyance that will end up just like Axel. Strowman then say that Foley is protecting Zayn and that neither Zayn or anyone else can last two minutes with him.

Thoughts: Another dominating win for Strowman as they build him up as a monster. Strowman also called out Foley for protecting Zayn as their feud continues to play out on TV.

Backstage, Zayn tells Foley he wants a match with Strowman. Foley has his doubts as Zayn tells him he does not need to be saved and how no one needed to save him during his career. Foley yells and warns Zayn about what happened to him as this leads to Foley finally realizing that Zayn is unhappy and offers to call Daniel Bryan to work out a trade to Smackdown. They did a good job teasing a trade here as Zayn is pissed off over not getting his match against Strowman.

Ariya Daivari vs. Lince Dorado

Daivari grounds Dorado to start. Dorado fights back with a hurricarana and some kicks until he runs into a clothesline. Jack Gallagher then comes out with a mic and says he is here to announce his intention of interfering in this match. And while he does not usually condone this behavior, Daivari is a “scoundrel” and is here to give him a thorough trashing as Daivari heads out where they start brawling as the match is ruled a DQ (2:58) 1/2*. They head inside where Gallagher knocks him off of the apron with a dropkick.

Thoughts: The action was completely forgettable but I liked how they had Gallagher interrupt the match to get revenge on the man who sneak attacked him last week. It felt refreshing and Gallagher’s unique act an in-ring style is making him a favorite among the fans in the Cruiserweight Division.

Rollins Report with guest Kevin Owens. But first, Rollins talks again about how he wants Triple H and his path of redemption leads to Triple H but it first goes through Kevin Owens and his “maybe” best friend, Chris Jericho. Rollins says he is out here to find out if at Roadblock will he be against just Jericho or Jericho & Owens as he wants the answers. Owens heads out on the ramp then turns around and goes to retrieve a stool backstage. Owens takes a seat on the ramp as Rollins teases him about needing Jericho to walk him into the ring. Owens does not care about Rollins’ show and the only reason he came was to make an announcement. However, Rollins wants to know about Owens’ friendship with Jericho but Owens avoids the question despite Rollins frequently goading him. Owens threatens Rollins that he will “break his face” if he is interrupted again. Owens then talks about how Stephanie has decided to put the New Day in another Tag Team Championship match tonight and that will be against Chris Jericho & himself. Jericho then heads out on the ramp and asks Owens why would he be his partner. Owens tells Jericho to move on from the past because they have a chance to ruin the New Day’s title reign by becoming the champions tonight. He then tells Jericho that Stephanie made the match so it will happen and as a result, they might as well work together as a team. Rollins interrupts to tell Jericho that Owens is trying to tell him what to do and calls refers to their talk as a meeting between “Bon Jovi and Meatloaf” as the crowd applauds. Jericho yells at Rollins to shut up as Rollins calls him “sparkle crotch.” Jericho threatens to put Rollins on the list, the disabled list, as he heads down to the ring. Owens then walks down and they head in together as they surround Rollins and attack him. Its 2-on-1 against Rollins for a bit until Roman Reigns runs out for the save. Reigns ends up getting outnumbered but Rollins gets up and evens the score. The crowd continues to boo Reigns then Owens drags Jericho outside before Rollins can hit him with the Pedigree.

The segment itself was fine but went on too long for its own good. Rollins work on the mic in this role remains mediocre though but the tease of a Jericho & Owens vs. Rollins & Reigns tag match is intriguing. 

Charly Caruso is with the “Outlandish” Rich Swann. We take a look back at his title defense last week against Brian Kendrick with TJ Perkins on commentary that ended up in a brawl at ringside. Charly asks Swann about his match against the two at Roadblock as Swann calls her “baby girl” and says how it doesn’t matter who he faces but Kendrick interrupts. Kendrick calls out Swann for being lucky last week and tries to put over how Perkins weaseled his way into the title match and that he kicked him in the face. Perkins comes in now as Swann tells him that Kendrick said he was a traitor because all he cares about is the Cruiserweight Title. Perkins says Swann can find out now ruthless he can be on Sunday while Kendrick can find out right now as he heads out to the ring. At least they are trying to create an interesting story for the Cruiserweight Title. I assume this ends with Perkins turning heel then feuding with Swann as Perkins is better suited as a heel to begin with.

TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick

Perkins sidesteps a kick as Kendrick regroups. Kendrick takes Perkins down and works the arm for a bit. Perkins escapes and hits a dropkicks while Graves makes fun of his love of video games. Perkins tries for the Detonation Kick but Kendrick escapes. Perkins clotheslines Kendrick outside then hits a slingshot dropkick as we head to break. We return with Kendrick working a chinlock as he tries to set up for the Captain’s Hook. Perkins catches Kendrick with a spin kick as both men are down. Swann is shown watching the match backstage on a monitor as Perkins makes a comeback. He hits a missile dropkick for two but Kendrick takes him down with a big boot then gets two off of a cradle suplex. Perkins fights back and puts Kendrick in the knee bar but Kendrick makes the ropes. Kendrick then sends Perkins into the post and puts him away with the Sliced Bread #2 (7:59) **1/2.

Thoughts: A clean loss for Perkins here to build frustration that leads to his heel turn. Or at least that is how I saw this segment. The action was fine.

Rollins and Reigns are shown walking backstage where they run into Foley, who tells them they looked good tonight and how they reminded him of a team that came in and won the Tag Team Titles. Both men say they have their own plans but Foley gives them an opportunity as they will be added to the Tag Team Championship match tonight, making it a triple threat match.

We get a video package on the rivalry between Charlotte and Sasha Banks. It focused on how their match at Roadblock will end their war. It was a well-produced piece despite all of the corporate buzzwords thrown in everywhere. I also thought it was smart to keep both women off of TV tonight as they do not need any more time to build up to his match.

Bayley vs. Alicia Fox

This rematch was set up after Alicia ripped up a Bayley Bear because she thought Bayley was hitting on her man, Cedric Alexander. Bayley takes Fox down then works a headlock. She takes Fox down with an elbow after avoiding a kick then messes around with her on the mat. Fox takes Bayley down with a kick for two then stretches her out for a bit. Northern Lights suplex gets two. Fox grabs Bayley by the hair then hits a few forearm smashes but gets caught with a Bayley-to-Belly as Bayley gets the win (2:57) 1/4* .

Thoughts: The match itself was not too good but this is all just something for Bayley to do and keep her on TV. Cole also noted how it was another win for Bayley on RAW as it seems they are setting her up for a title feud in the near future.

We return from break as Lana, dressed in camouflage, welcomes Rusev to the ring. Rusev yells at the crowd to stop their USA chants then talks about destroying all of their American heroes one-by-one since he arrived to the WWE. However, last week was different as he took out American trash in Enzo Amore. In fact, he says the “G” in Certified G stands for “garbage” as the crowd starts up a mild Enzo Amore chant. He then said that he and Lana “did their business” after tossing Enzo out of their room. He then wants to know if we would want to see what he is talking about as he warns us that the footage we are about to see is “edgy” as they are both smiling. Lana tells the children to close their eyes as we are shown the footage we saw from last week as they cut back to the live show as the crowd boos. Lana then makes fun of the crowd for actually thinking they would show them all what they really do behind closed doors and how we are all as gullible as Enzo Amore. Rusev then screams about how he is the only man that can have Lana and he will crush anyone else that tries. Big Cass then comes out on the ramp by himself. Cass tells Rusev how Enzo is at home recovering from the beating of a lifetime. He says that Enzo likes to run his mouth but at least has the balls to back it up but tonight, they are not in a hotel room and his pants are on while most important of all, he is not Enzo as Cass runs into the ring. The two start brawling and take it outside where Rusev ends up retreating while Cass screams at him to return.

Lana & Rusev did a good job heeling the live crowd but the segment itself also went on for too long. Plus, Cass’s promo was not very good and you can say the same about his brawling here as well. The crowd was not into Cass much as he does best when playing off of Enzo. 

Backstage, Owens is telling Jericho that Foley has it out for them but it doesn’t matter as they will become Tag Team Champions of the World, together. Owens also says they will be champions forever. Jericho tells Owens to just concentrate on winning the Tag Team Titles for tonight.

Coming up next, Sami Zayn will be in action.

Emmalina will be premiering soon, not tonight as promised last week.

Sami Zayn vs. Jinder Mahal

Zayn ducks an attack and starts chopping Mahal in the corner. He follows with a dropkick then a clothesline as he throws some mounted punches. Mahal catches Zayn with a knee then a basement dropkick for a two count. Mahal works a chinlock until Zayn escapes and hits a clothesline. Zayn then hits Mahal with an Exploder into the corner before putting Mahal away with a Helluva Kick. After the match, Mick Foley heads out to the ring but we head to break.

Thoughts: Zayn showed a lot of aggression against a guy with zero potential.

We return with Mick Foley telling Zayn that he just got off the phone with Daniel Bryan and he will be traded to Smackdown for a “talent of equal value” as long as he signs the contract. Foley asks Zayn if this is what he wants but Zayn tells him it depends if he will give him a match with Braun Strowman. Foley then tells Zayn its not what he really wants to do and refuses to give him the match. Zayn will sign whatever he has to as Foley asks if he wants to know who the talent of equal value was and says it was Eva Marie. Zayn goes on about how he is worth 1,000 Eva Maries. Foley asks Zayn if this is what he wants but Zayn says it is not as he wants Strowman. Foley again tells Zayn that he does not really want that but Zayn says he does. Foley then tells Zayn to remember this moment then tells Zayn there was never a trade as he will give him ten minutes at Roadblock against Strowman.

Good segment. Zayn showed a lot of emotion and cut a mighty fine promo. I also think Zayn selling for Strowman will be great for both as he can not only make Strowman look great but also get sympathy from the crowd. 

Now, we get some clips of John Cena’s hosting appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”

WWE World Tag Team Championship Match: New Day (c) vs. Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns

Xavier & Big E are representing the New Day in the ring tonight. Xavier starts off with Rollins as they go back-and-forth for a bit. Reigns tags as the crowd boos then Big E tags in and stares down Reigns before they lock up. Big E tosses Reigns on the apron but gets kneed trying a spear. Jericho tags himself into the match as Owens chokes out Big E behind the referee’s back. Owens & Jericho work over Big E for a while until Big E and Owens clothesline each other. Xavier tags in and runs wild on Owens. He gets two with a dropkick then heads up top but Jericho provides a distraction then Owens cuts him off and climbs up where Jericho joins him. Rollins runs over and also heads up top then Big E and Reigns get underneath as they work a Tower of Doom spot as we head to break. That was quite contrived but it woke the crowd up so it worked. We return with Owens working over Xavier. Owens misses a senton then both men tag out as Big E starts suplexing Jericho around the ring. Rollins holds the ropes down on Big E then takes Jericho outside where he takes him out with a tope. Back inside, Rollins hits Jericho with a springboard knee smash. Rollins gets taken outside but not before Reigns tags himself into the match. Jericho attempts the Codebreaker but Reigns catches him and hits a sitout powerbomb for two. Superman Punch gets two. Xavier tags in and kicks Reigns from the apron then jumps across the ring with an elbow drop for two. They trade strikes where Rollins makes a blind tag. They hit Xavier with a double team move but Owens cuts them off. Everyone trades moves as Jericho almost puts Xavier away with a Lionsault as he also tagged himself into the match. Jericho now applies the Walls of Jericho but Woods escapes. Owens comes in and super kicks Woods ten alley-oops Xavier for a Codebreaker. Owens tries to block Rollins from breaking up the pin but Rollins shoves him into Jericho as the match continues. However, Jericho thinks that this was Owens fault and starts shoving him around. Rollins takes advantage and takes out Owens then hit Jericho with the Pedigree. Big E drags Rollins outside while Xavier is able to get his hand across Jericho’s chest for the win (20:46) ***1/2. After the match, New Day celebrate while Owens and Jericho argue. Jericho tells Owens he does not need him anymore and its over. The crowd boos, as Reigns is in the corner setting up for a spear and Jericho leaves while Owens turns around into a spear. Reigns then holds both the United States and the Universal Championship Belts in the air over Owens as the show ends with the crowd still booing Reigns.

Thoughts: Fun match that really picked up at the end. Plus, the New Day break Demolition’s record for the longest title reign. The split between Jericho & Owens furthered here as Owens is now without anyone to help him retain his Universal Title.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I thought the show was fine. The first hour was good, as was the main event, but the show had some slow points in between. Nothing was terrible tonight at least and the show was focused with nothing I would call “filler” or anything.

The top matches on Roadblock were heavily pushed tonight and its nice to see them actually make feuds for the Cruiserweight Division. However, this crowd was not having any of Roman Reigns and booed everything he did. If he is the champ going forward, I fully expect the crowd to treat his opponents as babyfaces by default. And since Owens no longer has Jericho watching his back, will Roadblock finally be the show where Triple H returns to help out the man he helped win the Universal Title just a few months ago?

Anyway, with Roadblock being the “End of the Line,” it will be interesting to see where they are heading into 2017.