It’s (Finally) Time to Play the Game – A Raw Recap for 1/23/2017

Tonight’s Raw came to us from Cleaveland, Ohio.

Let’s just skip to the end.  It’s your typical hype for a big PPV but with no clowns exchanged.  Goldberg, on his way to the ring, head butted the door causing him to bleed a decent amount for the entire promo.  He might be the only person in the history of wrestling to get self-inflicted CTE.

Brock showed up to sell Cavs-colored suplex city shirts.  And the Undertaker showed up too.  People seem to be flipping out over this.  Michele and I weren’t.  “It’s one old guy and two guys who can’t or won’t wrestle.” Michele said.

It’s (Finally) Time to Play the (Mind) Game!

The only thing really worth watching is the Sami Zayn and Seth Rollins match for the Seth’s Royal Rumble spot. Sami was asking Mick what he needed to do to declare himself for the Rumble.  Stephanie, on the phone, overhears and agrees to setup a match against Seth for a Royal Rumble spot.  But it’s not for any spot, it’s for Seth’s spot.  Whoever wins is in the Royal Rumble.

I think it’s very possible that this match ends up on some Best Of lists at the end of the year.  It really was incredible.  Seth teased a top rope Pedigree, which would be reminisicent of CM Punk’s Pepsi Plunge, and actually hit an apron Pedigree.  Sami got some great Cruiserweight style moves in as well.  But right when Seth had it won, music hit.  “It’s time to play the gaaaaaammmmmeeee!” rang out in the arena.  Seth looked to the ramp and elsewhere around the arena.  But Triple H didn’t show.  It was enough for Sami to capitalize.  He rolls up Seth for a quick 3-count and will be in the Rumble.

It’s worth watching the highlights for this one.  And do yourself a favor and watch the whole match:

So maybe I’m wrong but that leaves Seth without a match at this year’s Rumble?  It seems Triple H has to show up in some fashion but maybe this leaves two spots free for others.

Everything Else

  • Kevin Owens, emboldened by his announce table powerbomb to Reigns last week, grants Roman a US Championship rematch.  Why am I putting this match down here?  Because it seems like Roman has been fighting Jericho or Owens for a year.  I’m kind of tired of it.  Owens banter on commentary is worth not fast-forwarding through the match.  Predicatably, this ends in DQ as Owens interferes.  He then tries to lock the Big Dawg in the cage but ends up in the cage himself.  Jericho tries to keep the cage for rising too high but takes a wicked-looking Superman Punch and falls several feet to the mat.
  • Two big multi man tag matches.  One for the Cruiserweights and one with Titus O’Neal.
  • Braun Strowman was part of the winning effort for team Titus against New Day and Enzo and Cass.  Don’t question how he got the monster to join his team. Or even why Rusev would agree to be part of the team as well. He may have explained all that but I have an itchy fast forward finger everytime Titus speaks.  I did relate with Big E. he was distraught because Titus claimed he would leave them alone last week if Big E defeated him.
  • After he match, Big Show came out to stare down Strowman. It’s crazy how much bigger Show is compared to Braun.
  • If ratings for 205 Live suck, you’re not going to get people to tune in with a 6 man tag. Mustafa Ali finishes off Drew Gulak with his reverse 450 splash for the 3-count for team good guys.
  • Rich Swann also picked up a win against Noam Dar heading into his title defense against Neville this Sunday.  He called out his rival.  As Neville left, Swann dove outside the ring and tackled Neville to the ground, trading blows.
  • Nia Jax squashed some jobber and gloated about ending Sasha’s career.  Sasha came out and hit Nia with her crutch. There’s now a kickoff match on Sunday between the two.
  • Gallows and Anderson will also be challenging Sheamus and Cesaro for the tag titles in a kickoff match.  It’s a bummer but It makes sense. The card is already massive.