Monday Night Raw 1/23/17 – Good, Bad, Ugly Recap

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Written by: Derek

The last Raw before the Royal Rumble so the expectation is that the WWE would deliver an action-packed show that would whet the appetite of fans for the Rumble PPV. Maybe a couple more entrants are named, possibly a new match or two…just about anything exciting. And if your idea of excitng is two 50 year olds in a stare down with a man who could probably cripple them both without breaking a sweat then this was the Raw for you!

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THE GOOD
Making Some Tasty Lemonade Out Of Rotten Lemons
The Sami Zayn vs Seth Rollins match was really good. The two guy worked their butts off and had some great back and forth moments. Of course the whole thing was arbitrary as hell and another example of Stephanie McMahon flexing her muscles as the mean boss but that didn’t matter as much once Zayn and Rollins got in the ring. The HHH distraction could have actually included an appearance by HHH (honestly its been so long since HHH was on Raw that I completely forgot about the Rollins feud with the Helmsley/McMahon couple) but it resulted in a shock win for Zayn that no one expected. And now Zayn has won Rollins’ Royal Rumble slot even though you’d have to be nuts to think Seth Rollins won’t be in the Royal Rumble match itself.
Thank You Braun Strowman

From coming out and interrupting the awful crap that was New Day/Enzo & Big Cass/Rusev & Jobber Mahal/Titus all talk segment to tagging into the 6-man tag match by slapping Jobber Mahal on the top of his head as hard as hell to putting the beats on Enzo (who is the absolute worst thing ever) to having a cool showdown with a newly returned and lean Big Show…Strowman is the best big man in the biz right now.

I’ll Never Let You Go

I am pretty tired of the retread matches between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho but the shenanigans after the latest Jericho/Reigns match where Reigns locked Kevin Owens in a shark cage that was then being elevated to the rafters with Chris Jericho hanging on for dear life trying to save his best friend was hilarious. Once Reigns beats Owens for the Universal belt (and you know its gonna happen) I am really hoping to see Owens and Jericho get a nice run as a full-time tag team because those two are great together and they would really make the tag belts mean something again.

Nia Jax Doesn’t Wrestle, She Beats Bitches Up

Watching Nia Jax demolish some tiny little Becky in record time was fun. Seeing her talk mad trash about how she murdered Sasha banks’ career was great. Watching her take a million shots with a crutch by Sasha Banks wasn’t all that fun but the way she ate them joints like it wasn’t no big thing and mad dog stare Sasha Banks like a true boss made up for it.
Don’t appreciate whoever made the dumb decision to have her grudge match against Banks take place on the Royal Rumble pre-show though. Nia Jax aint no pre-show ho!

THE BAD
Big Poppa Pump Should Be Ya Hookup, Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns comes out to a chorus of boos from the Cleveland crowd that would make you think he was the most villainous villain in WWE history and then has a back-and-forth with WWE Universal champ Kevin Owens (accompanied by the always enjoyable Chris Jericho) that was the definition of underwhelming and then it hit me…Reigns needed to steal some of Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner’s mic techniques. I am mostly thinking about when Steiner was feuding with Samoa Joe in TNA and Steiner would etherize Joe on the regular by talking about how fat Joe was.

Now that is some classic ish right there! Imagine if Reigns went in on Owens like that. I bet he would get the crowd on his side and cut into those overwhelming boos he usually gets. Because, lets face it, Kevin Owens looks more like a pizza delivery driver than bad ass. He looks the only thing he would be champion of is hot dog eating contest. Basically Reigns should be lighting Owens up with non-stop fat jokes. It for damn sure would have made that lame opening segment a lot more entertaining. Stop me if you have seen this before but they scheduled yet another Raw main event that featured Reigns vs Jericho…how exciting.

Yo Title Aint Worth Nothin’

So the World Tag Team titles are being defended on the Royal Rumble pre-show. Really? I get that Cesaro is not a favorite of Vince McMahon’s and Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows have been pretty disappointing since they were signed but its the freakin’ World Tag Team titles! How do you not give a tag title defense a slot on the main show? Its like ever since The New Day lost the belts that creative has given less than a damn about the tag titles. It doesn’t help that Cesaro & Sheamus are kinda blah as a team and their feud with Anderson & Gallows is total bathroom break time whenever they are on TV.

She’s Just Bayley Though

Watching Bayley be interviewed by mediocre commentator but successful hipster Corey Graves was a tragic waste of a segment. Even in a pre-recorded interview Bayley can barely string together a compelling promo. This “aw shucks” thing they have her doing is a disaster whenever they ask her to speak. They’d be better off just making her the female version of Eugene so that no one would care that she sounds like a brain addled goober whenever she opens her mouth.
Chuck Flair wasn’t much better in her sit down interview with Graves but compared to Bayley its like Chuck was her daddy Ric Flair.

Cruiserweights Still Get No Love

This week’s 205 Live Cruiserweight segment was a 6-Man tag team match. I guess WWE figured triple the Cruiserweights would triple the amount that the fans would care. Sadly that was a miscalculation. The crowd still doesn’t give a damn about the Cruiserweights and I can’t blame them. If you are going to do a lighter weight class then those guys can’t just be having the same type pf matches as everyone else on the roster. The Cruiserweights need to be having fast paced, high flying matches that make fans say “Holy crap!” multiple times. Instead we get slowed matches with a few flippy spots but nothing that makes fans sit up and take notice.

And seeing Cruiserweight champ Rich Swann win a dull match against Noam Dar (who is the dictionary definition of a “Vanilla Midget”) offered no relief for what ails this division.
Something needs to be done because this whole Cruiserweight experiment is dying a slow and painful death. Maybe once Neville is champ it will give this division a shot in the arm but I am not too confident because I don’t think anyone involved in booking the Cruiserweights has a clue on how to make things work.

Oldberg! Oldberg! Oldberg!

Why is Goldberg’s dressing room so far away from everything? Poor Bill looked completely gassed by the time he made it to the entrance ramp. Once he got to the ring he was so winded he could barely talk. And then he had a senior moment where he forgot the name of the top belt on Raw.Maybe he gave himself a mild concussion when he banged his head into his dressing room door. Who knows?
The Dead Man…Literally

Goldberg was a mess but at least he didn’t look as bad as Undertaker. He looks like a wrestling ring is the last place he should be and that was just from seeing him standing in one spot. I can’t even imagine him putting on a decent match. I mean dude looks old as hell. I am talking Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan old. Flabby and sick is a kindness when describing ‘Taker now.

THE UGLY
Nepotism Is A Bitch And So Is Stephanie McMahon

So Steph was not actually in Cleveland for Raw last night but she still made her presence known by calling in to demoralize Mick Foley and emasculate/insult/bully the wrestlers remotely. Why exactly did we need to have Stephanie’s presence on the show at all? She has been screwing over people and making them look like clowns while making herself look dominant for way too long with no payoff in sight.
She made Sasha Banks and Bayley look like clowns and we will never see either lady get one over on Stephanie.
On a weekly basis she tends to bury any male talent unfortunate enough to share a segment with her with no one ever even getting the last word against her let alone coming out the winner in a segment.
So even on a night when she isn’t able to be present at the show she has to be included by phone? She is a totally unnecessary character on the show and hasn’t been watchable in years. I’m thinking maybe its time she settles into a behind the scenes role like her dad and spare the public from having to see her on TV every week.

Author: FTESWL

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