Welcome to WWE Raw and our first show of 2017! We’re brought to you live by TEW 2016, who grade their segments out of 100 rather than with letters.
Last year was absolutely the year of The Gilded; lead by WWE Champion Christian Cage, The Gilded hold the gold, as they say, but at New Year’s Revolution Edge and Uso lost their Universal Tag Team Championships to reDragon Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. Raw General Manager Paul Heyman, who has been marginalised and disrespected by The GIlded, finally has a chance to get a measure of revenge on the stable. He refused Edge and Uso a rematch with reDragon and essentially cut off the Universal Tag Team Titles from their reach. Obviously to stay in The Gilded you must hold a title, so Edge and Uso’s future with the stable could well be in doubt.
Elsewhere on Raw, Shelton Benjamin attacked IC Champion Bad News Barrett to stake his claim on the title, new ECW Champion Matt Hardy has been cleared to compete here tonight and promises to continue the ECW Title Open Challenge first begun by Raven, the unhinged and Awakened Goldust continues to rile Samoa Joe in a masochistic search for punishment and the Whole Fn Show RVD awaits the retribution of The Undertaker. ( 81 )
YEAH shout the women and children, BOO shout the men and smart marks, as the face of WWE Raw John Cena comes out to the ring for the first time in 2017.
Big Match John gets on the mic and welcomes everyone back to MONDAY NIGHT RAW! The year is 2017 and so far no one has died which is terrific. What’s NOT terrific is that John’s WWE Title is around the waist of a gutless clown. A coward. Dare I say it… a creepy little bastard.
John brings up Christian’s Match of the Year in 2016 with Daniel Bryan, and the crowd universally cheer for D Bry. John says Match of the Year is an impressive feat, especially if you only wrestle three times a year and spend the rest of the time hiding behind other champions and your idiot Champion’s Rights, but John Cena is a 15 time World Champion! The only man more GILDED than John Cena is the legendary Ric Flair…
That’s what brings out Christian. Let’s remind ourselves of his dope entrance music, shared by all members of The Gilded.
“Happy New Year John. Nice to see you here, for a change. No TV show happening right now? You don’t have some average Joes and non-entity Janes to drag through the desert to the delight of literally tens of viewers? Well we certainly are privileged that you bothered to show up. Phew… fifteen time world champion. That’s a lot. That’s more than me for sure. You really are comparable to Ric Flair. Multiple time world champions who travelled the world, winning heavyweight titles all over the… oh wait.
You HAVEN’T been all over the world have you? You’ve never wrestled in Japan. In Mexico. In Portugal. German. England. Winnipeg Alberta Canada. You’re a World Champion just like the American only baseball contest is the World Series. You’re a product of the WWE Machine, John. You don’t even really exist. You’re a marketing creation made to sell shirts to children.
What, did you win the OVW Title back in Developmental?
I’m a TNA Champion John. An ECW Champion. An NWA Champion! A World Heavyweight Champion and I am the WWE Champion!”
Christian pats the belt over his shoulder and smirks at Cena, who is fucking livid in the ring but doing that thing where he smiles at the crowd like he’s not angry as fuck.
Cena pulls off his shirt and wings it into the audience. He’s ready for a scrap.
Christian runs toward the ring, but then stops and laughs at John.
“While we are very different people John, we do have one thing in common. I don’t work TV. But don’t worry. You want a fight, I got someone for you.”
Flanked by his manager, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Rusev glares at Cena with his beetle eyes as we go to commercial. ( 87 )
Shave ya … face!
And we’re back with WWE Raw, live on The Score apparently.
Backstage, Christian is eating carrot sticks in The Gilded locker room when Edge and Uso rock up. Uso says they’ve got a meeting with Paul Heyman later, where they’re going to demand their title rematch. They’ll face reDragon and they’ll get the Universal Tag Titles back. Christian says they’d better do, because they know the rules of The Gilded. They hold the gold, they don’t lose it. Christian is giving them the benefit of the doubt because Edge is his oldest friend, but there’s only so much rope. They need to get those belts back because the other members are starting to ask questions. ( 75 )
Journalist and Dean Ambrose fuck piece Renee Young is interviewing WWE Universal Women’s Champion Amazing Kong.
Kong says she’s the dominant female. The only woman strong enough, fast enough, smart enough and cunning enough to be a champion, and she’s going to stay champion. There’s nothing any of the other women on Raw can do. She’s put Paige out of action and she beat everyone’s favourite little buddy Bayley. So who’s next? ( 70 )
In a bout that had decent wrestling but didn’t have much heat, Ashley Flair and Naomi defeated Mickie James and Bayley in 7:04 when Ashley Flair defeated Mickie James by pinfall with The Natural Selection. ( 66 )
In the ring, Shelton Benjamin calls out Bad News Barrett. He wants that Intercontinental Title and he deserves his shot. He bested Big E and he bested Alberto Del Rio. Barrett might be Gilded, but Shelton Benjamin is The Gold Standard. Come out from behind Christian’s skirt and get in the ring!
Barrett comes out, lays the Intercontinental Championship belt on the floor and races to the ring. Shelton leaps over the ropes and they meet in the middle, battering each other up the ramp. All the while Barrett is yelling that Shelton has made a huge mistake! Security comes out, along with Sgt Slaughter, and they separate the two. ( 80 )
Your ECW Champion Matt Hardy is out there, saying he has been medically cleared and to prove that he is the MOST EXTREME Superstar in the WWE, he’s going to beat Raven’s Record. He is going to be the Longest Running ECW Champion and he is going to take on anyone who wants to try and stop him reaching his goal. Bring out the next loser! ( 79 )
The Miz comes out and says that he will take the open challenge that Matt Hardy issued. ( 73 )
In a bout that had decent wrestling but didn’t have much heat, Matt Hardy defeated The Miz in 10:28 by pinfall with a surprise roll up. Matt Hardy makes defence number 2 of his ECW title.
After the match Matt scoops up his belt and puts it back around his waste. He starts to chant E – C – W. E – C – W. Which the crowd do not like one bit. ( 52 )
In his office, a grinning Paul Heyman welcomes The Gilded; Edge and Uso. He invites them to sit down, which they decline. Edge tells Heyman that they are contractually owed a rematch for the Universal Tag Team Titles. He can’t screw them out of their right! Paul just chuckles. Rights? You want to talk rights? You’ve spent the better part of six months flaunting your Champion’s Rights all over my show. But that’s over now. YOU LOST! So while I can’t make Christian or Barrett or Lethal or Kong work Monday Night Raw, you two don’t have any say in the matter.
Paul says he knows it’s been a while since Edge and Uso have had to wrestle a TV match, and he’s put a lot of effort into finding them the exact correct opponents for their first match tonight. He wouldn’t want them working with strangers, so he’s made arrangements and signed up some old friends. ( 75 )
Following commercial, this one about a chicken burger made of suet, we’ve got in ring action with Sami Zayn taking on a returning Xavier Woods.
In a decent match, Sami Zayn defeated Xavier Woods in 7:38 by pinfall. ( 75 )
Jay Lethal, your European Champion, is walking around the arena giving finger guns to people and thinking he’s mint. Carlito bowls up and twats Lethal in the dial. They chuck each other around, over some flight cases and into an Air Filter, before Carlito hoofs Jay into a locker room shower. He switches the shower on and squirts Original Source Apple onto the fallen champion. ( 69 )
In a good match, Alberto Del Rio took on Rob Van Dam. The announcers remind us that Rob’s been having problems with Kane and The Undertaker recently, which is lucky because that’s when Kane explodes out of the entrance and charges to the ring. It looks like he’s going to attack Rob, but the demon climbs over the ropes with ease and kicks Del Rio in the guts. The ref rings the bell and Alberto is declared the winner, but that doesn’t do him any good as Kane hoists him upside down, looks at Rob and then jumps into their air plants Del Rio with a Spinning Tombstone. ( 77 )
With Del Rio down, Kane and RVD stare at each other. The ring posts burst into flames and when the blinding light subsides, both men are gone. ( 82 )
In a decent match, Kofi Kingston faced Samoa Joe. The match was fairly open until Goldust ran into the ring, demanding Samoa Joe hit him instead of Kofi. The ref tries to eject Goldust from the ring, and Joe refuses to have anything to do with him. Goldust yells “Punish Me! DO IT!” but Joe turns away, allowing Kofi to hit him with Trouble in Paradise and pick up the win. ( 60 )
Goldust gets down on his knees in the middle of the ring in front of Joe. He’s goading him, insulting him and daring him to attack. He screams “Do it! Wake Me Up!”
Samoa Joe turns to walk away, but his anger gets the better of him and turns and kicks Goldust’s face white again. As Joe walks on up the ramp shaking his head, Goldus lies in the ring with his eyes shut, laughing his crabs off. ( 71 )
Backstage, Universal Tag Team Champions reDRagon have a heated confrontation with The Briscoes, but are held apart by security before anything can transpire. ( 61 )
OH MY GOD! Welcome to Dudleyville! Joey Styles shouts himself horse in excitement as the most decorated Tag Team in wrestling history, The Dudley Boyz, are back in the WWE!
The crowd go just as nut about it. The Dudleyz are here and everyone is delighted. Apart from their opponents, Edge and Uso.
When they come out, to their dope ass music, the former tag champions are close together. Edge is talking to Uso quickly, probably trying to explain how you go about defeating The Dudleyz.
In a bout that had good wrestling and a decent reaction from the crowd, The Gilded fight for their lives against the Dudley Boyz. D’Von gets the tables and sets it up in the ring. He whips Uso into the ropes, but he ducks the attempt at the 3D. Edge spears Bubba Ray so he can’t interfere, and as the ref removes the table The Gilded hit D’Von with a con-chair-to, allowing Uso to get the pin. ( 77 )
Joey Styles and Booker T Hype the upcoming match between John Cena and Rusev from the comfort of their announcers table. ( 78 )
Cena gets stuck right in, taking his frustration with Christian out on Rusev, but the Bulgarian Brute is not easy to bully. They’re pretty evenly matched, strength for strength, and as they trade blows the crowd starts that bollocks YEAH / BOO thing, only a portion are obviously going YEAH for Rusev and BOO for Cena. John gets the upper hand hits his five moves of doom, but The Snake pulls Rusev out of the way of the Five Knuckle Shuffle, which is a finishing move named after having a wank.
The ref has a go at Snake, but Jake shrugs him off, tapping his forehead to show how clever he is. Cena rolls out of the ring, but Rusev launches on him and wangs him into the ring post. Instead of folding, Cena starts to hulk up! He rocks Rusev with an aggressive headbutt and chucks him back into the ring.
He locks in the STFU, and Rusev manages to get his hand on the ropes but before the ref can see it, Cena kicks outs and knocks the hand away, wrenching back harder on the hold, eventually forcing Rusev to tap out! ( 79 )
No sooner has the bell rung than Big E is there, grabbing Cena and slamming him back down with a rough release German suplex. Jake Roberts helps Rusev up, and the two big lads get into kicking the fuck out of John Cena.
But here comes Daniel Bryan! The crowd pop huge for D-Bry, who races to the ring and cracks Big E in the fucking chops with a high knee. The already weakened Rusev rolls out of the ring, followed by Jake Roberts. The Snake Agency beat a retreat, as top talent Daniel Bryan helps Cena up.
As we go off air, Daniel and Cena stand in the ring to see off The Snake Agency, the crowd chanting YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!! ( 97 )
Overall Grade… 86
Which I think is around a B+
This show increased our popularity in 22 regions. So that’s good.