Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 10/17/16: Goldberg Returns
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– With two weeks to go before yet another Pay-Per-View in Hell In A Cell, we started things off with arguably WWE’s most over duo – WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho. Their in-ring promo was excellent heel work, as Owens accused that Raw General Manager Mick Foley had a vendetta against him for his placement in the HIAC structure. Jericho drove the point home that HIAC wasn’t a reward and put over the dangers. Thank god. Jericho also mentioned how many legends he beat and that he should’ve beat Seth Rollins last week to get in on the HIAC Universal Title match, but “bad officiating” cost him. They also played up the legitimacy of Owens/Jericho’s friendship once more with Rollins’ help, which the live crowd took to. Rollins was more cutesy than usual (almost Roman Reigns-like) but because his target was Jericho, “Sparkle Crotch” went over well. We also had Rollins point out his two pedigrees on Jericho while Owens watched, to which the Champ’s retort was that Rollins only saw the worst in people and that was why he didn’t have any friends. Rollins suggested a rematch with Jericho, as we saw Jericho tell Owens he didn’t want him at ringside this time because he “knew his tricks.” They’ve teased the right amount of tension between Jericho/Owens, while Rollins slowly gets over as a babyface in the process.
– The Rollins-Jericho match was another great encounter, as their chemistry tightens up the more they work one another. Jericho targeted Rollins’ back early on with a backbreaker, while Rollins tried unsuccessfully twice to hit the Pedigree. As we figured, “Sparkle Crotch” chants broke out during the match too. The fun stuff came once Owens came down, presumably to help Jericho, which we predicted would cost him in the end. There was a nice tease where Owens held the rope back from Rollins when he was caught in the Walls Of Jericho, but it led to the finish where Rollins (after a few more attempts) finally hit the Pedigree as Owens watched from the stage for the third straight week to get the win. We wanted to see how Jericho would react to this, since he didn’t want Owens out at ringside and his “best friend” ignored his request.
– To push the huge WWE Raw Women’s Championship match between Champions Sasha Banks and Charlotte at HIAC in the structure, we had Lita do two “exclusive sit-down interviews” with Champion and challenger. The first up was Charlotte, who was bold and confident throughout. She also put over that she was a legend status because she was born in the business and also mentioned her 12-o PPV record. Good stuff.
– Now to the bad stuff… the Six-Man Tag between The Golden Truth/Mark Henry and The Shining Stars/Titus O’Neil. Apparently it was based off a pre-show segment where the match was a “bet” where the faces had to buy the heels real watches, while it was discussed by commentary that SS tried to rip off fake watches. We’re talking way too much about this to care. Anyways, the match was forgettable besides R-Truth’s pleasant footwork and O’Neil’s taunting of Henry, but only that could take you so far. In the end, it was Truth who shoved O’Neil into the World’s Strongest Slam. Yup, “The Titus Brand” has really took off.
– The backstage segment with Jericho, Owens and Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon was excellent follow-up to the Rollins-Jericho match. Jericho wasn’t pleased with Owens and nearly called him a “stupid idiot,” while Owens tried to blame Rollins/Foley for their disagreements. Once Steph showed up to get them on the same page in lieu of a Survivor Series challenge from Team SmackDown Live, it was clear she wanted them to be able to take put Rollins. She merely did damage control. Despite that, once she walked off, Owens and Jericho still argued, though in a lower tone.
– The Big E-Sheamus match advanced the Tag Title program as we slowly approach the Cesaro/Sheamus Title shot against WWE Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day at HIAC. They had ND cut a promo where they celebrated Day 420 of their reign (in Colorado of all states) as they laid in some weed jokes that fell under the radar. We also saw Cesaro play around on Facebook Live this time as a way to get back at Sheamus for doing the same to him last week. The match saw high-impact moves and hijinks before we saw a finish that put the Cesaro/Sheamus disagreement in full focus. Sheamus was rolled up by Big E when he was distracted by Cesaro in the crowd and then on the ramp. With the challengers not on the same page and the Champs with momentum, we expect Cesaro/Sheamus to get it together for next week’s show when they’d take on ND in a Non-Title affair.
– The Bo Dallas-Neville match put the focus on the Dallas/Axel relationship, as Axel was shown in a pre-show segment where he got Dallas a match to prove he also “Bo-Lieved.” Dallas was more aggressive as Axel cheered on from ringside in a forgettable match. Neville hit a pretty springboard moonsault, but it was downhill from there as he lost to Dallas in the end. The only part worth to salvage was Dallas’ post-match attack on Axel. Guess that solidifies Dallas as a “solo artist” and maybe it sparks a feud nobody wants to see. Why should we like Axel anyway?
– After Dana Brooke laid Bayley out in her hometown homecoming last week (and deflated the wacky, inflatable flailing tube men in the process), we were curious to see if this would lead to a Bayley-Brooke HIAC bout. Instead, they rushed it to Raw, where despite the crowd’s adulation for Bayley, we didn’t have anything tangible. Brooke showed off some nice power, but we’ll guess the finish was botched since the commentary team was genuinely shocked that Brooke cleanly pinned Bayley. Looked like she was supposed to use the ropes there, so now they have to acknowledge that Brooke cleanly beat Bayley. That does nothing for the story, but it does give Brooke a two-week advantage now.
– Goldberg was set to return to WWE after 12 years to answer a challenge laid down by Paul Heyman on behalf of his client, Brock Lesnar. We had a good lead-in to that with a Heyman promo conducted via satellite, as he seemed to heel it up more than usual. He called the “Goldberg” chants stupid and suggested Goldberg simply say no, otherwise that would piss off Lesnar even more. We suppose it makes sense for Lesnar to be the heel in this feud and Heyman is at his best when fishing for boos, so we have hope here.
– After Braun Strowman threatened Foley to give him real competition last week, this time, he was to face three men called the “Mile High Trio” because Colorado. Haha. Anyways, this went over well as Strowman destroyed the three men in rapid succession. A highlight was when Strowman tossed one over the top rope and onto the other two on the floor. After Strowman got the pin, we saw him threaten to go to the back and find the competition himself. It was at that point when Sami Zayn came out to a nice pop. One one hand, we were hopeless since in the end, he’d get squashed so early in Strowman’s Raw run, but Zayn plays the underdog perfectly (it is his character essentially) so the journey there should be fun. Not much physicality besides Strowman’s shove of Zayn, which pushed him out of the ring before he backed away.
– Zayn’s backstage promo was a nice reaction, as he simply said he picked a fight with Strowman because nobody else would.
– The in-ring segment with Lana, Rusev and WWE United States Champion Roman Reigns was a poor attempt to push their HIAC match, despite the theme of “family” in the center. We were introduced to Rusev’s family, with still shots of all their athletic backgrounds. At the same time, Rusev laid a stereotype that Reigns’ family sat around in groups of 700 around a campfire and hit themselves with coconuts. It was also ironic how Reigns called his family “The Roman Empire” while he was booed, but it was what it was. We liked how Rusev finally got his moment to shine as he laid Reigns out with the steel steps and put on the Accolade briefly. Since Reigns has dominated the feud since he won the Title, Rusev needs to feel like a threat to stand any chance.
– “Emmalina” will premiere soon and be made over. Whatever that means, we still don’t know, but for god’s sake, don’t change her character.
– After Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows laid out Enzo Amore/Big Cass last week in their quest to “end the fun and games,” we had high hopes for what the Cass-Anderson match would bring. Those were quickly squandered when Anderson was defeated in less than three minutes, after Enzo helped take Gallows out of the equation. On one hand, it didn’t advance the feud, but we guess we can live with an “evened score.”
– The backstage segment with Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Brian Kendrick, WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins, Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander was fine hype for the Six-Man Tag to come just ahead, while it primarily focused on the Kendrick-Perkins feud with Perkins’ next defense to come against Kendrick at HIAC. This was about Kendrick looking to care of Perkins in the ring, while Perkins wanted the old Kendrick. Kendrick’s portion where he put over how he was on his “last life” and was the most dangerous player was more cutesy with the video game lingo than we would’ve liked, but it had a good end when we saw Alexander and Swann emerge as Perkins’ allies. Some of the lines did seem kind of forced though.
– Lita’s Exclusive Sit-Down Interview with Banks was good for what it was, though Charlotte’s shined a bit better. Banks spoke more about her evolution and how far her and Charlotte came and how it was a big honor to make history with her while at the same time, put over that she was 100 percent now. We liked how she mentioned that she watched old HIAC matches to study up on, but we wish it was more about the Title than the match itself. They’ve played hot potato with it, so the belt should seem important to both ladies.
– The Six-Man Tag between Kendrick/Gulak/Nese and Swann/Alexander/Perkins gave us nice action, which was a given. We loved that Kendrick wasn’t afraid to take Perkins on and got in his face. Alexander shined in his spots, while we got some good drama late when Nese hit his 450 splash on Swann, to which Kendrick tagged himself in to get him to tap out to the Captain’s Hook, while Perkins was unable to stop him since Nese held him down. It helped Kendrick build some momentum for HIAC and again put over his submission finisher as something to look out for.
– The backstage segment with Steph and Foley saw Steph “play nice” as she asked Foley what he had planned for next week and that’s when he suggested a Jericho/Rollins/Owens Triple-Threat main event. That should be fun, especially with Owens/Jericho as they are. Some of the lines were kooky, but we assumed this was Steph’s way to try to manipulate Foley into doing her dirty work with his job Title to cover. We also learned that Raw accepted SD Live’s offer for a SS challenge. At least we think. They didn’t talk about that too much.
– Goldberg’s in-ring promo to close the show was well-hyped through the night as they showed his career highlights. After all, it takes a lot to make a guy from the 90’s to still feel relevant these days, but it worked with Goldberg. He had his classic entrance with the backstage shot, spewing pyro and the big “Goldberg” chants. Gosh, it was like Monday Nitro all over again. He looked well-built, as he had on a leather Affliction jacket. He looked something like a badass military general. He had a big pop and the chants lasted for minutes. He seemed genuinely moved and that helped when it came to his promo material. He acknowledged that he was featured on WWE 2K17 and it made him miss being a role model for the kids, as he called Heyman a “fat little stooge” and that Lesnar didn’t have the balls to challenge him face-to-face. We had our answer once he claimed Lesnar was “next and last.” We assume that means it’s Goldberg’s last career match. That would be a nice way to go out.
- Seth Rollins def. Chris Jericho via pinfall
- Six-Man Tag – The Golden Truth/Mark Henry def. Titus O’Neil/The Shining Stars via pinfall
- Big E (w/Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods) def. Sheamus (w/Cesaro) via pinfall
- Bo Dallas (w/Curtis Axel) def. Neville via pinfall
- Dana Brooke def. Bayley via pinfall
- 3-On-1 Handicap Match – Braun Strowman def. The Mile High Trio via pinfall
- Big Cass (w/Enzo Amore) def. Karl Anderson (w/Luke Gallows) via pinfall
- Six-Man Tag – Brian Kendrick/Tony Nese/Drew Gulak def. TJ Perkins/Rich Swann/Cedric Alexander via submission
Posted on December 10, 2016, in WWE and tagged Bayley, Big Cass, Big E, Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman, Brian Kendrick, Byron Saxton, Cedric Alexander, Cesaro, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Corey Graves, Curtis Axel, Dana Brooke, Drew Gulak, Emmalina, Enzo Amore, Goldberg, Hell In A Cell, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Kofi Kingston, Lana, Lita, Luke Gallows, Mark Henry, Michael Cole, Mick Foley, Neville, Paul Heyman, Rich Swann, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Stephanie McMahon, Survivor Series, The Golden Truth, The Mile High Trio, The Shining Stars, Titus O'Neil, TJ Perkins, Tony Nese, Xavier Woods. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.