Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw – 8 Jan. ’17

The re-branded Pyramid in Memphis TN. Courtesy of Reuters/John Branston

The WWE starts us off with the usual video package, this time involving Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe. Reigns is the first out on stage. He addresses Joe. If you weren’t sure with the win last week, that feud is over by the sounds of that promo. Jason Jordan‘s music hits. Jordan continues to imply that he’s part of The Shield. He even puts out the fist and Reigns looks at him quizzically. Seth Rollins comes out and has to teach him a lesson again. Jordan is killing me with his “We” talk. Awesome, The Balor Club comes out. When they came to the WWE, they were doing their own thing. Now is it’s their time to come together and take over the WWE. Jordan throws cold water by calling their team The Champions Club. They get into a scuffle after Jordan gets called a “Nerd.” Kurt Angle comes out and makes this a match later tonight.

Bayley & Sasha Banks with Mickie James are taking on Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville with Paige. Rose with a running high knee for a near fall on Banks is the first big move of the match. Sonya gets to continue the beat down. Bayley comes in and takes out Deville. Banks reverses an Irish Whip into a Back Cracker. That turned into a Bank Statement for a tap out win. Rose& Deville looked good in defeat as the announcers noted. Weird seeing them lose though, you’d think they’d get a win on their own to prove they can hang.

Cedric Alexander seems to have a new friend in Goldust. He does his best Mickey Rooney impersonation. Alexander has been dreaming of this moment. Goldust pumps him up more. They then show Goldie meeting Alicia Fox for the Mix Match program on FB Live.

Woken Matt Hardy has some awesome new music. Curt Hawkins is his opponent. Twist of Fate for the victory in short order. Bray Wyatt shows up in the ring. Hardy starts laughing in his face. Wyatt starts laughing too. They stare down but don’t do anything.

“Who Wants To Walk with Elias?” He has a special song for Memphis. Elias uses it to introduce The Miz. He gets a “Welcome Back” chant. He give Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel the floor because they kept his name alive while he was gone doing a lot for the WWE. Axel calls every day “Mizmas.” Dallas was winning “Mizies” every day. The Miz has to point out that he’s Rolling Stone’s Wrestler of the Year. He’s still upset about the Shield attack. The Miz let Reigns “borrow” The Intercontinental Championship.

Finn Balor, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows are talking strategy about the match tonight. They just hype themselves really. They “Too Sweet.”

Enzo Amore comes out alone. He talks about Alexander being lucky that he was sick last week. Enzo says the closest Alexander will come to a Championship is by teaming with Goldust. Cedric Alexander comes out. Enzo tries the inside/outside trick but gets booted in the face for his running. The ref admonishes Alexander and Enzo takes advantage. Booker is still questioning Alexander’s credibility. I continue to be mystified by his mind set. Alexander drop kicks Enzo coming off the middle ropes to turn the tide. Alexander flip dives onto Enzo. Alexander gets back in the ring. Enzo doesn’t which earns Alexander the win.

Enzo doesn’t want the doctors now that he retained the Title. Nia Jax checks on him. Nothing happens.

Kurt Angle is talking to someone famous about being in the Women’s Royal Rumble. Cesaro & Sheamus get a chance at their Tag Team Titles at the Royal Rumble. The Miz drops by too.  He hypes a new show that him & Maryse will be on, on the USA Network. Miz wants his rematch on the 25th Anniversary of Raw. They also showed Asuka meeting up with The Miz earlier in the day.

Alexa Bliss threatens Asuka by way of Nia Jax.

The Bar are in the ring for their opponents, Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews who are with Dana Brooke. Jax is being recruited by Titus Worldwide because she’s teaming with Crews in the Mix Match Challenge. I also don’t get the O’Neil hate from Booker T. Cesaro tries to take out Crews, but gets dumped himself. O’Neil rolls up Sheamus for the win.

Brock Lesnar comes out with Paul Heyman. He explains the basics of “Old School.” Heyman doesn’t like the WWE putting Lesnar in bad predicaments. Lesnar is only thinking of which one he will pin, not if he loses. No one can put Lesnar down. Kane attacks Lesnar from behind on the ramp. They fight back stage. Braun Strowman joins the fracas. He tosses Lesnar like a lawn dart. Kane gets smoked with an equipment box. Strowman then pulls does the stage rigging onto them. Awesome.

Samoa Joe gets to dismantle Rhyno this week. Heath Slater plays cheer leader on the outside. Kokina Clutch for the win. Wins like that help keep his mystique after losses. Samoa Joe doesn’t want me to be so cocky about my earlier column comments. But he does pivot to talking about the Royal Rumble, which makes me feel better about my prediction. Joe even wants to eliminate John Cena first so, next feud.

Alexa Bliss butters up Nia Jax. Jax is entering the Women’s Royal Rumble. Bliss turns her. Bliss builds up the comments then whispers them to her. Jax goes away in a huff noting that Asuka doesn’t speak English, which is false. Asuka comes out for a match. Jax gives her an Electric Chair as she posed in the ring. Jax hits a Senton then leaves.

Finn Balor starts against Seth Rollins. Balor gets his ass kicked by Roman Reigns. Gallows attacks to create an opening for Balor to get out. Reigns is getting the beat down which seems odd. Reigns Superman Punches Gallows to create an opening. Rollins gets to clean house. Falcon Arrow gets a two count. Spinebuster by Anderson gets a two count. Gallows & Balor fail to stop Rollins from making a tag. Jordan distracts the ref which allows The Balor Club to take advantage. Reigns takes out Gallows & Anderson on the outside. Balor drop kicks Rollins into the corner. Jordan dodged the drop kick with his back turned. Coup De Grace for the win. Balor Club tactics will win the crowd over quickly. The Miztourage attacks The Shield. Skull Crushing Finale on Reigns. They stop leaving to give Reigns a Triple Power Bomb. Heck of come back for the Miz. – Kevin DiFrango

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