TONIGHT: Dean Ambrose & The Usos vs. Sheamus, Rusev, & Barrett plus John Cena returns to face Alberto Del Rio!
Mr. McMahon is out first, as advertised. He calls out Roman Reigns about the fact that he turned his back on Stephanie last week. McMahon says he owns Reigns as well as the WWE Championship. Reigns ends up shoving Vince down. He sells a neck injury and tries to get Reigns arrested. They do a weird arrest angle, not with Reigns, but with Vince. I have no clue what this accomplished so I have nothing further to say. Reigns poses as Vince is carried out in handcuffs.
1) Kevin Owens vs. Neville
Last week, Neville won Breakout Star of the Year and as you know, Big Kev took issue with that since he was in the category as well. That leads us here and it's over in like a minute as Owens goes for the pop up powerbomb only for Neville to reverse into a pinning combination for a quick three count. This spawns a brutal assault on the Man That Gravity Forgot and it's absolutely amazing. Owens is getting booked so perfect right now. We got to commercial and come back to Neville being helped out, BUT KEVIN OWENS RUNS BACK DOWN AND TURNS NEVILLE INSIDE OUT WITH A CLOTHESLINE! HOLY SHIT! BIG KEV AIN'T DONE! He throws Neville into the stairs and threatens to powerbomb him on the ring apron. Before he can, Dean Ambrose's music hits. Owens throws Neville down and runs to meet Ambrose in the middle of the ramp! Oh my gOd! EPIC BRAWL! After a some scuffling, Owens runs out through the crowd. I said it before and I'll say it again, these two are boosting the prestige/importance of the IC Title and really proving themselves with this feud.
Becky Lynch is interviewed backstage and it's great. It's not some promo worth going out of your way to see, but it's definitely her best one since being on the main roster.
2) Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
Sasha & Becky have chemistry and this got time so it was a good watch. The crowd for some reason decided to chant "boring" at one point, but I beg to differ. You chant for Sasha, you get her, and then you do that. THIS IS WHY WE CANT HAVE NICE THINGS. They did some nice spots such as Becky hitting a crossbody off the top rope onto all the members of Team BAD, Sasha hitting her signature knee drop on the back of Becky on the top rope, and Sasha accidentally diving onto her stablemates. There was also some good technical wrestling and submissions as well. After about 10-12 minutes, things are really picking up and Sasha gets a victory in the heat of the moment with a roll up using the tights.
Match rating - **3/4
3) Kofi Kingston (w/ Big E & Xavier Woods) vs. Kalisto (w/ Sin Cara)
Quick match in every sense of the word. The exchanges were fast paced and the match only went about four minutes. It was the most enjoyable four minutes of the night, though. Kalisto whips Kofi over with a hurricanrana after kicking Xavier Woods off the apron and gets the victory.
Match rating - **3/4
4) Big E (w/ Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. Sin Cara (w/ Kalisto)
This match gets set up after Sin Cara dove onto Big E & Xavier during the last match and New Day called him out. It was quite solid while it lasted, but it was sort of disjointed. Sin Cara seemed to get a stinger which made for an awkward pause in the action. They worked through it well, though, I must say. The finish was pretty cool as Sin Cara hit a rolling senton/body slam thing off the second rope on Big E. New Day caused a distraction, however, and Big E is able to pick up the victory.
Match rating - **1/2
Miz, R-Truth, & Zack Ryder in the same ring, is this 2011?!?! Miz is having a Year in Review edition of Miz TV and turns into shambles almost immediately. Tons of random people start coming out. The names mentioned above plus Ryback, Goldust, & Heath Slater. Big Show rounds out the pack and knocks everyone out before making a Royal Rumble announcement while also confronting the "Please retire" chants.
5) Ryback vs. The Big Show
This spawns from Show's attack during the Miz TV segment. They do stuff for a few minutes then Big Show cowards away from the big guy. Whatevs. I still love Ryback, though. After all, he burped into the mic on his way to the ring in the last segment.
Match rating - *
6) Dean Ambrose & The Usos vs. Sheamus, Rusev, & Wade Barrett
I have to say, this has to be the most weird Brooklyn crowd I've seen. They once again decided to chant "boring" during a match when it was far from it. Even further from it than in the Sasha/Becky match. I'll say this wasn't the blowaway 6 man you'd expect, although it was still good. Nice exchange at the end where Jey Uso ducks a Brogue Kick and nails Sheamus with a superkick in return. He gets in position on the top rope only to eat a pair of knees and ultimately a Brogue Kick. League of Nations wins.
Match rating - **3/4
Kevin Owens makes another appearance after the match and proceeds to nearly kill Dean Ambrose. It's another assault and this time, Dean gets powerbombed through the announce table. Owens looks at the top of his class and Ambrose sells it beautifully. Phenomenal stuff, Owens is the MVP of tonight. That is unless, John Cena pulls out a killer match to end the year which is very possible.
7) Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. John Cena - United States Championship Match
Originally, this was a non title match however in a verbal exchange prior to the match, John convinced Del Rio to put the title on the line with one of his famous speeches. The crowd is fired up because of this so yeah, it has to deliver. And well, it kind of did. There were a few nice counters such as the AA into the cross arm bar and Cena countering out of it with a deadlift powerbomb. The audience was into mostly everything. Despite all that, it was obvious about half-way through that this was going down a stereotypical route. They did some false finishes before the overbooking began. League of Nations gets involved. Cena fights them off and gives me hope for a clean finish. Then it's AA OUT OF NOWHERE and Sheamus & Rusev break up the pin which calls for the DQ. Dammit.
Match rating - **3/4
John Cena gets formally introduced to the League of Nations stable after the match in the form of a beat down. Next thing you know, Roman Reigns is running down to make the save as he spers the hell out of Rusev in the entrance way. This leads to Vince coming back out and telling Reigns that he will defend the WWE Title against Sheamus next week. The catch is that there's a guest ref and it's Mr McMahon himself.
Overall thoughts: Decent Raw tonight although it didn't live up to the potential it has when you look at the matches and segments on paper. Kevin Owens was the best part of the night and really the only thing that is must see from the show. They did a good job of making me look forward to future meetings between Cena/Del Rio and Reigns/Sheamus though so this wasn't a bad way to end the year by any means. And so ends the Monday Night Raw reviews of 2016. See you guys next year!
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