WWE Monday Night Raw Reaction (1/23)

Roman Reigns kicked off this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. The shark cage that Chris Jericho will be locked in at the Royal Rumble was in the middle of the ring. Reigns said that he will win the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble and the entire crowd booed. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho interrupted and walked to the top of the entrance ramp.

Owens bragged about Powerbombing Reigns through the announce table last week on Raw. Jericho then called Reigns a stupid idiot and the crowd erupted. Jericho boasted about defeating Roman Reigns for the United States Championship. Jericho threatened Reigns and Roman asked if Jericho just gave him a rematch. Jericho shook his head and added Reigns to the list. Owens accepted the rematch on Jericho’s behalf and Jericho was very upset about it. Reigns stated that he is going to win the US title tonight and win the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. Roman then said that he is something that Kevin Owens will never be in the WWE, “the guy”.

Reaction: The promo was decent but I cannot believe there is another Chris Jericho versus Roman Reigns match on Raw.

Cesaro vs Luke Gallows

Both Sheamus and Karl Anderson were ringside for this match. Cesaro was controlling the match but Anderson got up on the ring apron to distract him. This distraction allowed Gallows to connect with a kick to Cesaro’s face as Raw went to a commercial break. When Raw returned, Cesaro had recaptured control of the match and connected with a Tornado DDT. Cesaro distracted the referee and Sheamus Clotheslined Gallows outside the ring. Anderson took out Sheamus while Cesaro had Gallows in the Sharpshooter. Gallows tapped out but the referee was distracted by Anderson on the apron. Gallows then slammed Cesaro face first into the mat for the pinfall victory. Gallows and Anderson are getting their Raw Tag Team Championship match at the Royal Rumble during the Kickoff Show.

Winner: Luke Gallows

Mick Foley was on the phone with Stephanie McMahon and Sami Zayn interrupted. Zayn asked Foley how he would go about entering the Royal Rumble match. Foley was about to say that Zayn wouldn’t have to ask but Stephanie interrupted. Stephanie stated that Zayn would have to earn his way into the match by defeating Seth Rollins later tonight.

A video of Cory Grave’s interviewing Bayley was shown.

Mick Foley informed Seth Rollins that his match against Sami Zayn is up next. Foley also stated that if Rollins does not win the match, he is out of the Royal Rumble match.

Seth Rollins vs Sami Zayn

The match started out back and forth. Rollins hit Zayn with a Suicide Dive outside the ring and Raw went to a commercial break. When Raw returned, Zayn climbed to the top turnbuckle but Rollins caught him and knocked him down. Rollins connected with a Blockbuster for a two count. Rollins hit a Superkick and followed it up with a Falcon Arrow. Zayn battled back and went for the Helluva Kick but Rollins got out of the way. Rollins went for the Pedigree but Zayn blocked it and launched Rollins out of the ring. Zayn hit a Sunset Flip Powerbomb on Rollins off the top rope but Seth kicked out at two.

Zayn couldn’t believe Rollins kicked out. Zayn hit the Exploder Suplex onto Rollins in the corner. Zayn went for a Helluva Kick on Rollins while he was on the apron but Rollins blocked it. Rollins then hit a Pedigree onto Zayn on the apron and rolled Sami back into the ring. Triple H’s music hit and Rollins became distracted. Triple H didn’t come down to the ring and Zayn rolled up Rollins for the victory. Seth Rollins is no longer eligible to be in the Royal Rumble match and Sami Zayn has earned a spot.

Winner: Sami Zayn

Reaction: I’m guessing that this will be addressed further on the show. I can’t imagine Seth Rollins not being on the Royal Rumble. I’m glad Sami Zayn got in the match but I wouldn’t be surpised if he was the first entrant in the Royal Rumble match this Sunday.

Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese & Drew Gulak vs Mustafa Ali, TJ Perkins & Jack Gallagher

This was a quick match. Mustafa Ali hit the inverted 450 Splash on Drew Gulak for the victory.

Winners: Mustafa Ali, TJ Perkins & Jack Gallagher

Braun Strowman, Rusev, Jinder Mahal & Titus O’Neil vs New Day, Enzo & Cass

The match started out back and forth. Braun Strowman wound up winning the match for his team by hitting the Running Powerslam on Enzo Amore. After the match, the Big Show came down to the ring and had a stare down with Braun Strowman. Big Show stood tall as Strowman retreated.

Winners: Braun Strowman, Rusev, Jinder Mahal & Titus O’Neil

Reaction: I thought that a Big Show and Strowman feud was going to happen months ago. I don’t know if this is the beginning of a feud or just a way to hype up the fact that there will be multiple giants in the Royal Rumble match. The Cleveland crowd broke out in a “yes!” chant when Strowman and Big Show were in the ring, which I found surprising. Does a match between the Big Show and Braun Strowman interest you at all?

United States Championship Match: Chris Jericho (c) vs Roman Reigns

Reigns dominated the first couple minutes of the match and Raw went to another commercial break. When Raw returned, Jericho was in control of the match and Kevin Owens joined the announce table. Reigns battled back and laid out Jericho with a Clothesline. During the match, Owens relentlessly mocked Byron Saxton. Reigns went for the Superman Punch but Jericho connected with a Dropkick. Reigns responded by planting Jericho with a Powerbomb.

Owens left the announce table and rushed the ring. Reigns hit the Superman Punch but Owens attacked Reigns and the referee called for the bell. Jericho and Owens beatdown Reigns as the shark cage was lowered to the ring. Reigns batted out of the cage and locked Kevin Owens in the cage. Jericho held onto the cage as it was raised above the ring. Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Jericho and he fell to the mat. Owens was locked in the cage above the ring and Reigns hit Jericho with a Spear.

Winner via DQ: Roman Reigns

Reaction: Everything that happened in the match and after it was completely predictable. Owens mocking Saxton during the match was much more entertaining that what happened in the ring. Owens may have looked strong for the first time in a long time last week when he Powerbombed Reigns through the table. This week he went right back to looking like a buffoon and it is hard to imagine Owens leaving Royal Rumble as the Universal Champion. It was also announced that the match between Reigns and Owens at the Royal Rumble will be a no DQ match.

A video of Cory Graves interviewing Charlotte was shown.

Nia Jax vs Ray Lyn

Nia dominated and won the match easily. Nia was interviewed after the match but it was cut short due to Sasha Banks coming down to the ring. Sasha limped to the ring with a crutch and Nia laughed at her. Nia approached the ropes to taunt Sasha and that wound up being a big mistake. Sasha beat the hell out of Nia with the crutch and then hit the Double Knees outside the ring.

Winner: Nia Jax

Rich Swann vs Noam Dar

Alicia Fox accompanied Noam Dar to the ring. Swann controlled the early part of the match. Dar went to the outside of the ring and Swann went to jump onto him but Alicia got in the way. Back in the ring, Dar gained control of the match and Raw went to a commercial break. When Raw returned, Swann kicked Dar in the face and won the match. Swann grabbed a microphone and called out Neville. Swann stood in the ring and Neville came down to the ring. Neville got onto the ring apron but didn’t enter the ring. Neville tried to walk away but Swann hit a Suicide Dive onto him. Neville then retreated and Swann raised the Cruiserweight Championship in the ring. Swann will defend his title against Neville at the Royal Rumble.

Winner: Rich Swann

Goldberg came down to the ring and the crowd greeted him with “Goldberg” chants. Goldberg hit his head on a door or something because he was bleeding from the top of his head. Goldberg stumbled through his promo until Paul Heyman mercifully interrupted and introduced Brock Lesnar. Heyman said that Lesnar was going to eliminate Goldberg as Brock jumped around next to him. Goldberg called Brock Lesnar a dumb ass and told him to come to the ring. Lesnar walked to the ring and circled it. Lesnar got into the ring and had a stare down with Goldberg. The Undertaker’s music hit and The Undertaker appeared in the ring. Raw went off the air with Lesnar, Goldberg and The Undertaker staring at each other.

Reaction: Tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw was pretty boring for the most part. However, the way the show went off the air was great. The Royal Rumble match is absolutely packed this year. Seth Rollins didn’t get any answers tonight and his role at the Royal Rumble remains unknown. Rollins could interfere in the match and who knows, maybe Triple H will be one of the entrants in the Royal Rumble match. Overall, this week’s Monday Night Raw wasn’t good but the final segment saved it from being terrible.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw? Did it get you more excited for the Royal Rumble? Share your thoughts in the comments below.