Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 11/21/16: Diss And Make Up
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.
Diss And Make Up
– The opening video nicely recapped the forgettable five-and-a-half-hour spectacle that was Survivor Series. Primarily, Goldberg’s manhandling of Brock Lesnar in his 12-year awaited in-ring return was at the forefront. It was stillshot city of a monumental upset.
– The opening in-ring segment with Goldberg was a great short-term follow-up of his 1:26 defeat of Lesnar. Luckily, the fans were hot the whole time and he kept the promo to the extent where he thanked the fans, his wife and son for his motivations. The biggest development was his announcement that he’d be the 2017 Royal Rumble’s first entrant, based off a backstage proposal from Commissioner Stephanie McMahon. We expected Paul Heyman to interrupt, but he never did. The tease of one more Title run worked the fans into a “Yes!” frenzy and he played off them nicely. There was an audible “You screwed Bret!” chant (which tied back to his infamous way he ended the career of “The Hitman”) before his Rumble announcement, but like we said, it was overshadowed by the end.
– The WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match between Champions Big E/Kofi Kingston and Cesaro/Sheamus had storyline support as Cesaro/Sheamus’ “reward” for being Team Raw’s sole survivors in one of the matches the previous night, while The New Day were eliminated early. ND’s pre-match promo saw them take credit for Team Raw’s win (they acknowledged their early elimination) before they shifted the focus to their 455-day Title reign and how in 23 days, they’d tie the 478-day reign of Demolition and “demolish” it. There was also a “Beans, Greens, Potatoes, Tomatoes” reference, unsurprisingly. The match itself was strong, as we saw Cesaro impress early on as he caught Big E in mid-air and countered with a powerslam. There was another cool moment where Cesaro and Kingston each countered each other’s monkey flip toss attempts as they landed on their feet. Sheamus inadvertently knocked Cesaro off the apron for another tease of dissension. Cesaro hit the big swing to “10” chants before he locked in the Sharpshooter. The finish was most interesting of all, as we saw Sheamus hit Big E on the outside with a Brogue Kick. Kingston tapped in the ring, but the Referee was distracted by Xavier Woods on the apron. Kingston used the opportunity to roll Cesaro for the three-count while Sheamus was held down by Woods from a match save. It was a throwback to their heel days as they broke the rules to hold onto their gold. It created sympathy for the Cesaro/Sheamus duo, maybe by design. It also does create the need for a rematch if they investigate the finish. Will they have ND act like heels again? Surely, their merchandise has to be best sellers, but their face run has started to grow stale again. When all else fails…
– The backstage promo from Chris Jericho served as a preview for his “Highlight Reel” segment where he’d reveal the real reason why Team Raw lost. He mentioned his List being used as a weapon, as his deepest darkest feelings were strewn onto the canvas without regard. He promised to tell the world who was to blame. Our minds immediately went to WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens, since he clearly used it.
– The backstage segment with Enzo Amore, The Shining Stars, Titus O’Neil, Lana, Rusev and Big Cass was one of the strangest things we’ve ever seen, but because it’s Enzo, it actually worked. We’re still baffled on why they create these scenarios where Rusev defends his wife in believable fashion and is supposed to be the bad guy. Basically, Enzo was locked out of his locker room by Cass without any clothes on. The rest of the segment involved interactions with lower card talent before he came across Lana, who looked surprised and interested. Rusev coming up to him made sense. After all, he walked in on his wife with a naked man. Who else wouldn’t step in? Anyways, we got a face-off as Rusev promised to crush Enzo, as Cass backed up Enzo.
– The backstage segment with Steph, General Manager Mick Foley and Sami Zayn was a mixed bag. We saw Team Raw’s authority figures embellish their winning ways, but then transitioned to one of the night’s losers in Zayn. The catch was that because Zayn didn’t bring the WWE Intercontinental Championship to Raw (though he was screwed in typical Canadian fashion), he’d be “punished” to a match with Strowman. This seemed like something that Steph enforced upon Foley, who didn’t want to to through with it, but we recalled that Steph didn’t like Zayn. Strowman and Zayn had some history, as he was the first one to stand up to the giant, but that was a while back.
– The Cedric Alexander-Ariya Daivari match was slight relief from pointless Six-Man Tags and they gave Daivari the mic to briefly gain some country-related heat, but this was paint-by-numbers stuff at this point. With 205 Live to debut the next week, this was only a platform for “what we’d see on there.” We guess they also utilized Alexander and Daivari to their fullest roles. Alexander was put over for his athleticism, while Daivari was emphasized for his smarts and cheap ways. Anyways, not much of an in-ring story as Alexander “weathered the storm” to defeat Daivari with the Lumbar Check.
– “The Highlight Reel” segment with Jericho, Owens, Foley, Seth Rollins and WWE United States Champion Roman Reigns was great all-around, well, besides for the fact that Reigns cannot get over no matter who he teams with. The segment’s genius came with the tension established between Owens/Jericho, as Owens was careless to Jericho’s list and defended his actions as “saving” him from a Styles Clash. Jericho argued that Owens was never there when he truly needed him. They teased a breakup before they simultaneously agreed it was Reigns’ fault they lost and they hugged and made up. Biggest pop of the night there, would you believe it. This led to Rollins’ portion, as he reminded Owens that his “reward” for teaming up at Survivor Series came in the way of future Title opportunities and he wanted to cash in tonight. The heel duo tried to put a stop to that, but Rollins stood firmly and attacked Jericho, which summoned Jeri-KO to beat him down, which meant that Reigns would save him. The crowd didn’t take well to that, but it set up Foley’s announcement that Rollins would get his shot against Owens in a No Disqualification match where Reigns/Jericho would be banned from ringside. Not sure how you can ban people in a No DQ match, but that main event bleeds promise.
– The Enzo-Rusev match began as we saw Lana mistakenly call Toronto “America” for heat, probably not the kind she meant for. Enzo laid in on Lana’s race (known for hacking phones) and Cass called Rusev’s junk “SAWFT.” Yup. Luckily, the match was a glorified squash, as Rusev made quick work of Enzo and made him tap out to the Accolade in seconds. The way that Cass glared at Rusev after the bell made us think that they’d go with Rusev-Cass as the next program, which might be a better suited matchup.
– The WWE Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s match between The Golden Truth and Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson felt immensely predictable with ND as Champs. The winners would get their Title shot next week. They might as well have awarded the match to Gallows/Anderson. We’re not sure what to report on for this, but we’ll mention that Commentator Byron Saxton compared one of the teams to a “salad without the right dressing.” God, he sucks. Thankfully, Commentator Corey Graves called him out on that. What should’ve been a quick squash sort of like we saw in the last match lasted longer than it should’ve. GT put in too much offense and by the time the Magic Killer won the bout, nobody cared much. We will say this – Gallows/Anderson get their shot at the right time, since they’re probably the biggest threat to ND.
– The Zayn-Strowman match went exactly how we’d fear – a walloping by the disgruntled monster. There was an out for Zayn since he was jumped from behind before he even got to the ring. He threw him around the ring and slammed into Zayn in the corner. There was a light comeback by Zayn with some forearms and kicks, but he was quickly knocked back into reality. The Referee stopped things several times to check on Zayn, which annoyed Strowman. Zayn was in his classic “Sell like I’ve got a concussion” mode and it didn’t take long before Foley came out to call the match by Referee stoppage. That didn’t do much to build Zayn up, but Strowman remains a big threat.
– Another Emmalina hype video aired, for when she’ll eventually return in 2019.
– The in-ring segment with WWE Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte, Dana Brooke, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax and Bayley was a good follow-up from Survivor Series as far as the women. The angle headed in was Charlotte’s chance to explain why she attacked Bayley after their match was over. She drew big heat upon her own comparison to Wayne Gretzky. That brought in Banks, who reminded us of her rematch clause that she wanted to cash in tonight. Charlotte teased it, only to move it to next week, when the show would take place from her namesake hometown. Big boos as she also called Canada “dumb.” Jax then came down and addressed her beef with Banks, as she found her unworthy of the Title picture. Eventually, Banks punched Brooke and the heels teamed up to beat on Banks, until Bayley came down to try to make the save. Jax knocked her off the apron and we were led to commercial. Wonder what is next?
– The Banks/Bayley-Charlotte/Jax match was average at best, but made sense as a follow-up to what we saw and a light preview of the Banks-Charlotte match next week. Highlights included a double-team suplex on Jax by Banks/Bayley. The finish was key, as we saw Banks make Charlotte tap out to the Bank Statement. It was questioned if she could do the same next week. Given the way they play hot potato with the belt, we imagine so. At least they’ve begun to use Jax again.
– The backstage promo from Rollins hyped the main event as he was pleased that Jericho was banned from ringside since he was directly involved in his last two losses in Title shots. He put himself over as “The Best Of The Best” and looked to succeed in his plan to “Reclaim Raw.”
– The WWE Cruiserweight Championship Triple-Threat #1 Contender’s match between Rich Swann, TJ Perkins and Noam Dar with Champion Brian Kendrick on commentary was fine for what it was. This was to set up who Kendrick would defend against next Tuesday on the first 205 Live. Kendrick did a good job on commentary as he defended his two pinfall losses to Swann as one being a “warm-up match” and the other in a tag match that he blamed on Dar. Good in-ring action, as Dar and Swann exchanged aerials. Perkins also hit a nice Northern Lights suplex with a bridge on Dar while he had Swann in a leg lock. There was no finish per se, but it was Swann who emerged victorious with a stiff kick to Perkins’ head. There was something there between the three, but not enough time. Swann also feels like the right contender at this moment, because Perkins already ran his course and Dar still has to develop as a character some more.
– The backstage promo from Owens was good last-minute main event hype, as he called Rollins out for all his failures and that he failed Team Raw and also him at the same time. The key line was when he mentioned that Rollins’ reward of a Title shot would also be his punishment. Funny moment where he mistakenly called the interviewer Renee.
– The WWE Universal Championship main event No Disqualification match where Jericho/Reigns were banned from ringside was even better than expected. This might’ve been their best match yet. Early on, Rollins brought in a table and Owens slid it out. The Champ also mocked the crowd’s constant “10” chants. Tye Dillinger was never mentioned once on the air. Of course, the cool stuff happens during the commercial, as we saw highlights where Owens put Rollins through a table and performed a barricade cannonball. Owens also did a cannonball where Rollins had a chair against his face/chest. Rollins countered back with a back body drop on Owens through two standing chairs. It was also nice to see they had the purple ring apron and the broken table stashed under the ring. The match got even better when they took it into the crowd. Would they have Jericho interfere here with the loophole that he was only banned from ringside? Rollins hit an awesome cross body from the top of the stands onto Owens below. The crowd ate that up, as we’re sure to see that in the montage open eventually. Rollins brought Owens back towards the first row, where he was knocked down by a fan in a mask. It was revealed to be Jericho when Rollins took the mask off in a tangled struggle. Jericho ate a pedigree on the floor, but that allowed Owens to hit the apron powerbomb to end the match. Owens retained and with the help of his friend again. We wonder how they’ll follow that up, since Jericho was clearly banned from ringside. That’ll be cool to see.
- WWE Raw Tag Team Championship – Big E/Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) (Champions) def. Cesaro/Sheamus via pinfall to retain
- Cedric Alexander def. Ariya Daivari via pinfall
- Rusev (w/Lana) def. Enzo Amore (w/Big Cass) via submission
- WWE Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Match – Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson def. The Golden Truth via pinfall
- Braun Strowman def. Sami Zayn via referee stoppage
- Sasha Banks/Bayley def. Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke)/Nia Jax via submission
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender’s Triple-Threat Match – Rich Swann def. TJ Perkins and Noam Dar via pinfall
- Chris Jericho/Roman Reigns Are Banned From Ringside – WWE Universal Championship – No Disqualification – Kevin Owens (Champion) def. Seth Rollins via pinfall to retain
Posted on January 30, 2017, in WWE and tagged Ariya Daivari, Bayley, Big Cass, Big E, Braun Strowman, Brian Kendrick, Byron Saxton, Cedric Alexander, Cesaro, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Corey Graves, Dana Brooke, Emmalina, Enzo Amore, Goldberg, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Kofi Kingston, Lana, Luke Gallows, Michael Cole, Mick Foley, Nia Jax, Noam Dar, Rich Swann, Roadblock: End Of The Line, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Stephanie McMahon, Survivor Series, The Golden Truth, The Shining Stars, Titus O'Neil, TJ Perkins, Xavier Woods. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.