Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw – 26 Dec. ’16

Aqua Tower in Chicago IL. Saved from piqueshow.com. Credit to Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing

The WWE starts us off with clips of the only good thing I saw live, Braun Strowman flipping out. Stephanie McMahon is the first person to grace the ring. Stephanie with a perfect slam to the “CM Punk” chants “If you keep that upf ro 2:15, your chant will have lasted one second longer than Punk did” in reference to his UFC bout. Seth Rollins comes out and ingenuously asks how the family was. He continues to run down HHH in more certain terms. Rollins then requests a match against Strowman. As Stephanie questions the challenge, Roman Reigns comes out. He wants a match against Strowman too. Stephanie then teases a Shield reunion. I have to agree with her, people bought that one too easy. They’ve kept the brands separate aside from a few moments. Stephanie then gives Reigns a match against a person of Steph’s chooisng and Rollins a match with Strowman.

New Day comes out for their rematch with Cesaro & Sheamus. New Day ensures that they’ll lose by going with the combination of Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods. Surprisingly, Woods gets the first near fall with a spring board elbow drop. Cesaro makes the save and even tags in. He catches Kofi going for a Trouble in Paradise and goes for the Swing. Kofi leaps out of it but is caught by Cesaro again. He tosses Kofi onto Big E. Woods rolls up Cesaro who kicks out. A Roaring Elbow by Woods sends Cesaro reeling. Sheamus tags in, unknown to Woods and Brogue Kicks him for the win.

Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho try to butter up Braun Strowman. It doesn’t seem to work but they also get Strowman to leave without incident. Fun stuff as usual.

Bayley gives Goldust a Bayley Bear with a Dusty Rhodes outfit on. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows come in and mock him & R Truth. Anderson then rips the head of the Bear off. I smell a match.

Nia Jax beats Scarlett. Shocking. Less shocking, a Gone With The Wind reference.

Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho plead their case to take on Roman Reigns. Stephanie ends up giving the match to Owens, which seems to cause dissension just judging from the amount of times Owens said “We” during the promo.

Bayley comes out and talks about her third win over. Charlotte comes out and shows video of her shoulder being up before the three count. She got the loss expunged from the record books with help from legal counsel. Bayley gets a rematch tonight. Part of the settlement is that Dana Brooke is the referee of the match. Bayley takes Brooke out of the match early with a Bayley To Belly. A regular referee comes out. Bayley to Belly on Charlotte in fairly short order. Brooke pulls the referee out of the ring. Bayley chases Brooke around the ring. Charlotte rolls up Bayley, puts her legs on the ropes and gets a quick count for the win. More building up of the feud.

Neville is mad at the crowd for cheering for him. They weren’t your problem when you were called up and they aren’t helping you by continuing to cheer for you even as you insult them. TJ Perkins is his opponent. Austin Aries is in the announce booth again. The live fans this week are split for cheering too. Perkins can’t finish off Neville with a Chicken Wing into a Gut Buster. Perkins catches Neville with a Detonation Kick. Perkins goes for a knee bar but Neville puts a knee in his face and grabs the tights for the win. The new interview woman acts like he legitimately has a shot at the Crusier Weight Title after a very tainted victory. Michael Cole even pointed out that this was Neville’s first official match in the Cruiser Weight Division.

Enzo Amore comes up with more clever word play for Rusev & Jinder Mahal while in a wheel chair. When Big Cass grabs the match, he says he wants Rusev to prove he’s a man and to step up to the plate. Rusev comes out and then Mahal does. Rusev & Mahal surround Big Cass only to have Enzo get up from his wheel chair and takes out Mahal. Enzo & Cass get some measure of revenge on Rusev & Mahal.

Braun Strowman thankfully interrupts a match involving Bo Dallas & Darren Young taking on the Shining Stars.

Braun Strowman dominates Seth Rollins in the early going. The crowd is very much into Strowman. Rollins gets tossed outside. Strowman follows. Sami Zayn‘s  music hits. He attacks Strowman causing a DQ. Strowman chases him to the rear. Jericho ends up coming out and give Rollins a Code Breaker twice.

Kevin Owens is happy that Jericho took out Rollins so that “they” have a clear path to the US Championship. They don’t know the announcers name either. Join the club.

Golden Truth gets to lose to Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows. Poor Corey Graves is still selling Anderson & Gallows as future Tag Team Champions. They would have been the ones to break the New Day streak if that was the case. They can’t even get a finisher on Golden Truth and Graves thinks they’ll be champions.

Rich Swann takes on Ariya Daivari have a match. Austin Aries is back in the booth. How does Swann’s Spinning Super Kick not have a name? That’s what finished off Daivari quickly. Swann is ready for a fight against Neville, who atatcks from behind.

Daivari gets challenged to a duel by Jack Gallagher, who even slaps him with a glove. Gallagher is a real breath of fresh air. Whoever thought that character up is brilliant.

Roman Reigns takes on Kevin Owens in the main event. Jerichi interrupts the match long enough for Owens to get the upper hand. Seth Rollins comes out later to distract Owens & Jericho. Owens turns into a Spear by Reigns for the loss. – Kevin DiFrango

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