Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 1/30/17: Meet The Destroyer

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.






(Aired 1/30/17)

Meet The Destroyer 

– The WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens/WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho/Braun Strowman/Raw General Manager Mick Foley in-ring segment was plenty to take in, but all made sense. We got the happy (yet sore) heel duo as they bragged about their accomplishments, only to get confronted by Strowman himself for a Title shot that Owens promised a month ago. Better yet – Strowman came armed with footage of that occurrence and that left Foley in no other position than to make it happen. It also helped that they had Owens bandaged up from the 65 bumps he took the night before. Also loved how before Strowman came out, Owens did everything but acknowledge that Strowman had anything to do with his victory. Also, #SixtyOneMinuteMan. On another note, what on earth was that green suit Foley wore? Austin Powers, eat your heart out.

– The Jericho-Sami Zayn match sounded nice on paper for no real reason. Zayn could receive a Title shot if he won, while Jericho had the chance to establish himself as a more serious Champion if needed. We’d go with the Zayn victory route since it gives him something to do even as far as Fastlane. Entertaining stuff as we got Zayn’s signature barricade moonsault after Jericho had hit him with his top rope apron dropkick. Jericho actually pulled off the frankensteiner, which got a good reaction. Zayn hit a prettier blue thunder bomb than usual, but gosh, that never wins matches. The final minutes was a classic chess battle as Jericho avoided Zayn’s aerials and lured him into his submissions, but the fiery Zayn overcame all that and connected with the Helluva Kick to win.

– The Cesaro/Sheamus/Bayley/WWE Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte/WWE Raw Tag Team Champions Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows backstage segment was straight-forward hype for a later Six-Person Mixed Tag between Champions and challengers. Bayley played peacemaker to SheaSaro while the Champions walked in and rubbed their gold in their faces. Or something like that. That was the most awkward group hug ever.

– The Owens/Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon backstage segment was about what we expected – Owens crying to her about what Foley set up, while Steph mentioned she’d try to get the match canceled since Foley didn’t consult with her.

– The “Premier Athlete” Tony Nese-Mustafa Ali match with Austin Aries on commentary was a first-time singles pairing. With attention paid to Nese’s attack on TJ Perkins on last week’s 205 Live, perhaps this would be the chance to push things forward with Nese. Simultaneously, Ali scored a pin on Drew Gulak on last week’s Raw. Based off the booking, we’d give this to Nese to try to build a feud with Perkins, because the Cruiserweight Division needs other stories and Ali’s still in that phase to impress. Ali flew around to his advantage, while Nese was aggressive in spots. They teased Ali going for his Inverted 450 Splash finisher, but it never happened, because Nese knocked him off the top rope and set him up for the running corner knee. We had hoped Perkins would run in for revenge, but that didn’t happen. Maybe on 205? Anyways, Aries’ interview with Nese accomplished little than probably having Aries insult Nese for lack of charisma without actually doing it himself. Not sure what that was all about.

– The Seth Rollins/Steph in-ring segment was hyped from the night before as the followup to Rollins’ attempted call-out to Triple H at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio where he was escorted away by security. One would assume that Steph would emasculate him and such. Rollins did classic things like refer to Steph as “Billion Dollar Princess” and “Buttercup” before she came out. He further ensued that Trips wasn’t “good in bed” and was “held on a leash.” So original. Eventually, it was revealed that Trips was on his way for Rollins. The only thing that made us uncomfortable is when the lead babyface in the storyline threatens to invade the heel’s home particularly when his little girl answers the door. Like, why even go there? We know why they did this though and that was to build to the later Rollins-Trips confrontation and that was five months in the making practically.

– The Six-Person Mixed Tag between Cesaro/Sheamus/Bayley and Charlotte/Gallows/Anderson was hyped prior and we predicted that they’d put the challengers over to give them momentum for presumed rematch scenarios. The sight of Cesaro rocking tassels was hilarious. Charlotte was a highlight as she set up a distraction for her team, while Sheamus showed some rare cases of athleticism. Awkward moment to the finish as Cesaro fell off the ropes in his springboard leap to take the others out on the outside and he had to go back and do it again, but it was forgotten by the time Bayley connected with the Belly-To-Bayley to pin the Champ yet again.

– The Steph/Foley backstage segment combined Steph’s anger with Foley’s decision and Foley’s argument that Steph had something to do with her husband’s music playing last week and not coming out. It was one of the few times that Foley successfully stood up for himself and it came off well here.

– The WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville/Rich Swann in-ring segment went about as well as it could go, it just seemed that nobody cared for it. The story was solid, as Swann simply wanted to show respect for Neville with a handshake, but that wasn’t good enough, because King. Even when Swann felt disrespected and went to leave the ring, he still saw an attack from the Champ coming and had it well-scouted. Swann kicked Neville out of the ring and struck with a suicide dive after. We like that they’ve given Swann some depth as a character. This angry side has been perfect to meet with Neville.

– The Sasha Banks/Bayley backstage segment hyped Banks’ soon-to-come match with Nia Jax. Basically, Bayley tried to talk her injured friend out of going through with it, to which Banks claimed “unlike some people,” she wasn’t afraid of coming up short. That was so intentional and we love the tease of a heel turn.

– The Owens/Jericho backstage segment followed up what we saw after Steph-Foley, as Jericho found out for his best friend that the match was still on. This was about Owens trying to get Jericho’s help because he needed it, even as Jericho tried to convince him that he had gone through a lot of trouble himself. The light bickering was probably a foreshadowing. It was also telling how unconvinced Jericho looked when Owens told him he needed him.

– The WWE Universal Championship match between Champion Owens and Strowman with Jericho on commentary was a nice treat for the Raw audience, even with the notion that there was no chance that Strowman would win the Title on TV. Way too early for that, as we expected Roman Reigns to somehow get involved since Strowman cost him the Universal Title last night. The need for revenge and all it entails. Liked the little factor where Jericho argued to sit on commentary instead of accompanying Owens to the ring and how that backfired when Strowman went right for him. In fact, he chokeslammed Jericho through the same table. That was freaking awesome. They had Strowman plow through Owens early on, as the Champ tried everything possible to avoid him. Owens eventually gave in and put up a fight with numerous cannonballs. Eventually, Strowman hit the running powerslam, but Reigns came out before he could pin him. Shocker. A Superman Punch to Strowman ended it by disqualification. Reigns furthered his attack with another SP and a spear outside, also with one for the Universal Champion too. Why did Owens get one? Also, why no mentions of Reigns’ elimination of The Undertaker from the Rumble? That was one of the biggest things.

– The Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman in-ring segment was one of Heyman’s better promos in recent time with a theme of “yeah, but” that related to whenever any notable athlete has that one opponent who has their number and thus, tarnishes their legacy. They viewed Goldberg as that threat and played off the many chants for him accordingly. This set up a challenge by Lesnar for Goldberg to take place at WrestleMania 33. The promo was passionate and simply put, amazing.

– The Banks-Jax match was hyped beforehand with what we assumed to be a replay of the Rumble pre-show with Jax likely defeating her once again. Then again, they could always have Banks pull off an improbable upset. You never know. It was almost comparable to the Zayn-Strowman storyline in that Banks would be the persistent underdog going against the beast. This was essentially a squash as she smashed Banks’ leg into the post and applied an inverted Boston crab. The Referee eventually stopped the match before Banks could formally submit, as it was apparent that that wouldn’t happen. Jax continued the hold and was almost confronted by Bayley, who came out to check on her friend. We’ll see where it goes next week.

– The Tornado Tag Match between Rusev/Jinder Mahal and Enzo Amore/Big Cass was the predictable payoff to a long feud with plenty of eye rolls. We assumed the faces would go over here as per the tradition. Rusev also began to channel Cody Rhodes with his face mask and “Handsome” moniker. Thank Lana for that one. The Enzo/Cass pre-bout “road maps and windshields” monologue was more on the “miss” side with dated references, but it was what it was. Commentator Corey Graves is still priceless in his rips of Team SAWFT. The stipulation provided justification for the match to take place outside the ring for the majority where the heels had the advantage. Eventually, Enzo got the chance to pin Rusev with the Boom Shackalacka as it should be. Let’s all move on to new things, shall we?

– The Triple H/Rollins/Samoa Joe in-ring segment accomplished plenty – it gave us that big angle to talk about, introduced Joe in the only way possible and gave us another moment where Triple H talks a big game, but ultimately leaves his dirty work to someone else. The only thing we weren’t crazy about was Trips’ heel logic checking out, since Rollins was just a scorned fellow now that he wasn’t being handed everything. Nevertheless, it was the perfect heel move to call out Rollins and have Joe ambush him on the way to the ring. Couldn’t had gone any better. What we also love is that it gives Rollins another mountain to climb on the way to Trips. There was also room to speculate whether Joe was now the “handpicked chosen one.” It made us want to turn in next week, so it was a success.






Quick Results

  • Sami Zayn def. Chris Jericho via pinfall 
  • “The Premier Athlete” Tony Nese def. Mustafa Ali via pinfall 
  • Six-Person Mixed Tag – Bayley/Cesaro/Sheamus def. Charlotte/Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson via pinfall 
  • WWE Universal Championship – Braun Strowman def. Kevin Owens (Champion) via DQ; Owens retains 
  • Nia Jax def. Sasha Banks via referee stoppage 
  • Tornado Tag – Enzo Amore/Big Cass def. Risev (w/Lana)/Jinder Mahal via pinfall 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on July 18, 2017, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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