December 5, 2016
From the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole
We are shown a narrated video package showing Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho arguing last week as Jericho walked out on him and was attacked by Seth Rollins while Owens lost against Roman Reigns, who has now earned a shot at the Universal Title at Roadblock.
The live show starts with Seth Rollins coming out to the ring. He asks the crowd what’s up before saying that he wants Triple H. Rollins talks about Triple H betting against him and now putting his stock in Kevin Owens. Rollins then says he will screw Triple H over by beating Owens for the title but he cannot beat him as Chris Jericho is always around so he had to first get rid of Jericho. Owens comes out and talks about Rollins not having any friends and how he stabbed his “brothers” from the Shield in the back as Owens says that friends fight sometimes. Rollins asks Owens if Jericho returned his texts as Owens said that Jericho was recuperating from the cheap attack by Rollins. Owens then gets pissed off by getting called not for not earning his title shot and asks the crowd if Roman Reigns is a fighting champ and they boo. He is also pissed off over having to wrestle Sami Zayn tonight. Owens then talks about the gifts he got his friend, Chris Jericho, and first is a match against Rollins at Roadblock. The second gift is a United States Championship match tonight against Reigns and the last gift is a match for Rollins tonight as Owens welcomes out the returning Big Show as his opponent, with Cole noting that he is 395 lbs.
I did not think this segment was that great overall. I did like how Owens realizes he needs Jericho to keep the Universal Title and thinks his “gifts” will turn around their friendship but the stuff with Rollins all felt like a waste, especially the part where he called out Triple H as that was not followed up on during the show. And why did he wait three months to call him out anyway? Rollins as a top face is really floundering as there is nothing likable about the character, especially since its always brought up that he turned on his partners in the Shield.
Seth Rollins vs. Big Show
Rollins slowly walks over and stares down Show but gets shoved down. Show knocks Rollins down to stop a comeback and chops him in the corner. Rollins takes Show out with a low dropkick but Show blocks a tope as he caught Rollins by the throat then slams him down. Back inside, Rollins blocks a choke slam attempt then targets the knees. He gets two off of a DDT but Show sends him outside on the kickout. Rollins fights off Show from the apron then hits a springboard knee smash. He hits another flying knee smash as Owens is yelling at Show. Rollins sets up for the Pedigree but Owens jumps up on the apron as Show backdrops Rollins. Owens yells at Show to finish ff Rollins but Show grabs him by the throat and slams him back into the ring before leaving as Rollins wins by count out (7:58) *3/4.
Thoughts: I like Big Show’s slimmer look and he moved around better here but the match itself was forgettable with the focus on Show himself rather than Rollins or even the Champion. Owens came off as someone incapable of getting it done on his own.
We get a video package on Jack Gallagher to hype his RAW debut, which is coming up next.
Jack Gallagher vs. Ariya Daivari
Gallagher gets out of an arm wringer using his slick move set as the fans are taking to him. Daivari sends Gallagher down and roughs him up for a bit before applying a chinlock. Gallagher floats over on a slam attempt and hits a pair of dropkicks. Gallagher then sends Daivari down with a headbutt before putting him away with a running dropkick in the corner (3:01) *1/2. After the match, Daivari cheap shots Gallagher by kicking him during a handshake.
Thoughts: The fans got behind Gallagher a bit as these two are going to have a brief program it seems. Daivari is solid but unspectacular while Gallagher has a lot of promise with a unique look and in-ring style.
Titus O’Neill is backstage handing out flyers for the “Tussle in Texas,” which is his match tonight against Mark Henry.
We return from break to see Owens holding his neck as he asks Mick Foley about seeing what happened, saying he should not be competing tonight after getting chokeslammed and it would not happen if Stephanie was here. Foley tells him the match is taking place as Owens runs over to Jericho, who is irritated as Owens talks about the “gifts” he gave Jericho and explains the reason as to why then asks if they are “good.” Jericho says they are not and he walks away.
Enzo & Big Cass are backstage as Lana & Rusev are shown arguing. Enzo is upset as to how Rusev is talking to Lana and intervenes. Rusev tells him to leave as Lana says he just trying to help. Rusev gets mad and says that if she is pathetic then she can have a man like Enzo. Lana takes off her wedding ring and says that means only one man can have her as she throws it at him. Rusev leaves as Enzo hits on Lana, who smiles, while Cass tries to get Enzo to walk away. They come back from break as Lana says they should teach Rusev a lesson and that Enzo should come to her hotel room and gives him the number before leaving as Enzo does a celebratory dance.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
These two brawl to start off the match then Owens rolls outside. Zayn heads out and takes Owens down as he rams him into the barricade a few times. Cole tells us that this match was the result of Zayn asking Foley for a match against Braun Strowman but Owens came in and interrupted. They trade dives to the outside as we head to break and return with Owens working a chinlock in the middle of the ring. Zayn fights out and hits a clothesline then shortly after that hits Owens with a tornado DDT onto the apron. Zayn follows with a diving DDT through the ropes then heads inside for a half nelson suplex for a nearfall. They fight up top where Owens takes him off with a fisherman’s suplex for two. Owens follows with a cannonball but Zayn blocks a second attempt. Zayn hits another tornado DDT then tries a Helluva Kick but Owens stops that with a super kick. Zayn escapes a Pop-Up Powerbomb attempt and hits an exploder in the corner. Blue Thunder Bomb gets two. They head outside where Zayn sends Owens into the barricade but back inside Owens immediately hits Zayn with a powerbomb and that gets the win (11:55) ***.
Thoughts: Good match with an anti-climatic finish, which was a bit ridiculous if you ask me since Owens took a ton of damage then just hit a finisher for the win. The crowd did not seem to care about this match all that much, either. They are still going with the Zayn/Strowman program but Strowman was not on the show tonight.
Jericho is in the locker room when Reigns enters. Reigns taunts Jericho by asking if he still has car paint on his head then tells Jericho to watch how he talks to him as they have a match tonight. Jericho then tells Reigns he has been getting really lucky as things have been handed to him and tonight his luck will run out and he will be the lucky man. Reigns also called out Jericho for being a lackey to Owens as they are slowly playing up a face turn for Jericho.
We get a video package from last week’s Falls Count Anywhere match between Charlotte and Sasha Banks, who won the RAW Women’s Title. This ends as we see Charly Caruso interview Sasha backstage. Sasha talks about hating Charlotte as a person but respects her as a wrestler. She then talks about how Charlotte’s father, Ric Flair, deserves better than how he was treated by Charlotte before challenging her to an Iron Woman match at Roadblock.
Now, we get a video package from this past May when Charlotte told her father that she didn’t need him anymore then after it ends, Cole lets us know that Charlotte will be making a public apology to him tonight.
A Rich Swann video package airs as it talks about how his parents died when he was young and that wrestling was the one thing that put him on the right track. It also showed him beating Brian Kendrick this past Tuesday on “205 Live” for the Cruiserweight Championship as we also saw many shots of fan reactions in the crowd.
Rich Swann vs. TJ Perkins
Cole asked “are you ready to have some fun” right as Swann came out. He also lets us know that Kendrick will envoke his rematch clause for tomorrow night on “205 Live.” These two start off by working the arm then Perkins takes him don with a dropkick and dabs as the crowd boos as they are behind Swann, who returns the favor. Swann then hits a pair of clotheslines then a double stomp to the back. They exchange strikes in the corner until Swann hits a Russian Leg Sweep. Swann gets two off of a rolling splash then stretches Perkins out on the mat. Perkins escapes a surfboard with a mule kick then runs wild. He hits a low dropkick then puts him in the tree-of-woe and hits a dropkick for a nearfall. Perkins attempts the knee bar but Swann counters and gets a rollup for two. Perkins sends Swann into the middle rope then hits a slingshot dropkick and heads up top but gets drilled with a roundhouse kick in midair as Swann retains (5:55) **1/2.
Thoughts: Good match for the time allowed. However, it didnt have much heat but they hinted at Perkins acting more aggressive here which seems to be setting up for a heel turn.
Bayley vs. Alicia Fox
Bayley had little bears in her hands called “Bayley Bears” and apparently gave on to Cedric Alexander, who Fox has a crush on and she got upset. Fox immediately attacks Bayley then acts all crazy. She gets two with a Northern Lights suplex and works a chinlock but Bayley escapes. Bayley sends Fox down with a kick then starts firing away before hitting the Bayley-to-Belly for the win (2:20) 1/2*.
Thoughts: They Bayley bears merchandise item is a really good idea but the premise that set up this match was ridiculous. Anyway, Bayley needed a decisive win on TV and this served its purpose.
Backstage, Cass tries to warn Enzo that Lana is beautiful but also trouble. However, Enzo gets a text then shows the picture Lana sent him to Cass as Enzo heads off to see here. Rusev then comes over and asks Cass where his wife is as Cass says its his problem. Rusev then shoves Cass and calls him a “liar” as Cass calls him a fool for doing that. Rusev leaves before hyping up their match tonight.
Emmalina will finally appear on RAW next week.
Titus O’Neill vs. Mark Henry
This is the “Tussle in Texas” that started after Titus got jealous at Henry’s role in a WWE Studio’s movie. They have a staredown after the bell then Henry catches him with the World’s Strongest Slam for the win (0:26).
Thoughts: Titus’s new role is a completely delusional goof. Luckily, they were smart enough to book this to last seconds as a long match between the two would likely have been a disaster.
Enzo waits for his Uber to show up (despite the fact there is no Uber in Austin and the crowd chanted that during teh segment) then a limo pulls up as Ric Flair steps up. They trade their catchphrases as Enzo tells Flair about his date tonight. Flair then talks him up and they hug as Flair tells him to take care of business as he walks backstage.
Before his match, Jericho is walking backstage when Owens walks up and offers his help but Jericho yells at him to stay away.
WWE United States Championship: Chris Jericho vs. Roman Reigns (c)
The announcers note that Jericho has never held the United States Championship. Jericho distracts Reigns by tossing his scarf in his face then hammers away. Reigns fights back with a clothesline then blocks a bulldog attempt by shoving Jericho into the corner. Reigns hits a back suplex slam for a nearfall then sets up for the Superman Punch as the crowd boos. Jericho hits a dropkick then dumps Reigns as he flies outside with a plancha just before the break. We return with Jericho working a chinlock. He dropkicks Reigns but misses an attack and hits the ropes. Reigns fights back until Jericho tosses him outside. Jericho takes Reigns off of the apron with a springboard dropkick but gets caught in the ropes after missing a slide as Reigns connects with the Drive By. Back inside, Jericho hits Reigns then hits the Lionsault for two. Reigns catches Jericho with a Samoan Drop then hits the Superman Punch but Jericho is able to kick out. Jericho blocks a spear but Reigns blocks the codebreaker and hits a sitout powerbomb as that gets two. Jericho almost rolls up Reigns for the win then Reigns blocks a Walls of Jericho attempt. Jericho finally puts on the Walls of Jericho after another struggle. Reigns escapes then Owens comes out and super kicks him as an unaware Jericho covers for two. Jericho gets up to see Owens and yells at him for coming out and says he does not need him. Jericho demands he leaves then turns around and leapfrogs a spear attempt but Reigns connects on the second try and gets the win (15:30) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Good match as the conflict between Owens and Jericho intensifies. Reigns got booed a lot at the beginning but received more cheers as it went along and easily the most over match on the show.
Big Cass comes out for his match against Rusev. However, Rusev never comes out then Cass realizes this is all a trap orchestrated by Rusev & Lana as he gets a phone from a production assistant and tries to call Enzo, who is at the hotel. We see Enzo at the hotel as Lana answers the door in a red robe. Enzo then says this is not a good idea and goes in when Lana cries. Lana teases Enzo, who is getting anxious and wants to leave, but Lana then rips off his shirt and teases him some more before asking him to take off his pants. Lana demands that he take them off as Enzo says its a bad idea. Enzo takes them off then Lana says something in Bulgarian. Enzo asks what that meant as Lana says he is a fool then calls for Rusev, who comes out and beats the crap out of Enzo while Lana cheers on her husband. This ends with Rusev dumping Enzo out in the hallway in his underwear. It was clear from the beginning that this was a trap. The segment itself was a bit embarrassing to watch but the goal is to start a Rusev/Cass feud and I guess they got that across here.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
The winner of this match faces the New Day, who are at ringside, for the Tag Team Championship next week on RAW. We are shown clips of the New Day using “questionable means” to retain the Championship. Anderson, now sporting long tights, starts off against Cesaro. Sheamus tags and hits a slingshot shoulder block for two but ducks his head then gets booted in the face. Gallows tags and lands a few shots until Sheamus catches him with the Irish Curse. Gallows rolls outside as Xavier plays the horn then Sheamus heads out to roll Gallows back inside while Cesaro warns the New Day about interfering. We head to break then return with Anderson catching Cesaro with a spinebuster. Gallows & Anderson almost put Cesaro away with a backbreaker/elbow drop combo then set up for the Magic Killer but Sheamus runs in the middle as that allows Cesaro to hit Gallows with a tornado DDT. The crowd rallies behind Cesaro as he tags Sheamus, who runs wild on Anderson. Cesaro makes a blind tag and surprises Anderson with a crossbody for two. Cesaro hits an uppercut then boots Gallows in the face but Anderson clotheslines him outside and spills out as well. Both teams brawl outside then the New Day get involved as the match is ruled a DQ (9:46) **1/2. After the match, Kofi tries a tope con hilo but Cesaro & Sheamus catch him and toss Kofi on top of his partners.
Thoughts: At this point, it is safe to assume that the New Day does whatever it takes to break Demolition’s title reign record. The match itself was fine and Sheamus & Cesaro as a cohesive unit looks good in the ring.
Charlotte heads out to the ring as Cole lets us know she will face off against Sasha Banks at Roadblock in two weeks in a 30 minute Iron Woman match for the RAW Women’s Championship. Charlotte then speaks and says last week it dawned on her that she made the biggest mistake of her life by shutting out her father as she calls herself a “cold bitch of a daughter” as we get another clip of Charlotte telling her father to get out of her life from this past May. After that ends, Charlotte says it was hard on her after losing her title Monday night as it meant everything to her while the crowd keeps giving her the “what” treatment but that nothing was harder than watching her dad come out to the ring so he can raise Sasha’s hand. Charlotte said it came off as her dad saying Sasha was the athlete he wishes his own daughter could be like and talks about questioning whether or not she is good enough to be Ric Flair’s daughter. She then invites her dad to the ring and he comes out as his theme music makes her smile. Charlotte apologizes to her dad then smiles before hugging him. However, he is not so pleased. Charlotte then slaps her dad across the face and yells at him about turning his back on his own daughter. Sasha runs out but Charlotte quickly disposes of her as dad watches from the ring and pleads with her to stop. Charlotte responds by sending Sasah into the post with an alley-oop but refuses to stop despite pleas from the officials. Charlotte calls Sasha pathetic then rolls Sasha inside and tells her dad how that is his trophy.
Strong performance here by Charlotte as she attempted to prove to her father that she is the best of the Women’s Division. Sasha did not come off strong at all here but the segment was designed to get Charlotte’s heat back after she tapped out last week.
Final Thoughts: They were more focused tonight and this had less filler than usual. However, it was hit-or-miss at times. The Owens/Jericho stuff was solid but it feels more like a good midcard angle rather than a top of the card feud. Plus, Rollins & Reigns as the two top babyfaces is just not working.
However, they did hype up the Women’s match at Roadblock well and actually did a good job with the Cruiserweight Division tonight. With just one more RAW before Roadblock, they still have to fill out the card and do have some options now.