Survivor Series 2016 is in the history books and it will be remembered for many years thanks to the shocking ending of the main event. Bill Goldberg destroyed Brock Lesnar in 86 seconds with two Spears and a Jackhammer for the huge upset. Everyone expected Goldberg to take the loss in his final match and head back to retired life. The complete shock has us now wondering what Goldberg does next. Raw needs to give us an insight into what the future holds for Goldberg in his WWE career. The future of Lesnar is also noteworthy after being destroyed for the first time.
The other brand matches were equally important to the state of Raw. Sami Zayn lost to The Miz and was unable to bring the Intercontinental Championship to the red brand. An inconclusive result meant the Cruiserweight Championship and the entire division remains on the show as well. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho could possibly have tension following Owens using Jericho’s list to attack A.J. Styles and get eliminated from the big brand rivalry match. Charlotte Flair attacking Bayley following the Raw women’s win is another story expected to continue. Following the big cross-branded show, Raw has a chance to set up their new feuds and we’ll find out what happened with the five biggest takeaways from the show.
WWE did the right thing by having Goldberg open the show in front of a crowd excited to see him. Goldberg thanked his family and claimed he went into last night thinking it would be the final match. Stephanie McMahon approached him backstage to successfully convince him to continue his career by asking if he has one more world championship run left in him.
Goldberg took her challenge and entered his name as the first in the 2017 Royal Rumble match. The potential of a Rumble win means he’ll challenge for a world championship at WrestleMania 33. This has already created strong interest for WrestleMania season. Goldberg is all but guaranteed to have some sort of match at WrestleMania, whether against the WWE Universal Champion or a rematch against Brock Lesnar. The fan support for Goldberg and the buzz following last night’s victory dictates the fan base is very much invested in what happens when he faces off with 29 other wrestlers in the Royal Rumble.
The era of “New Day rocks” may revert back to “New Day sucks” following the end of Kofi Kingston and Big E’s successful title defense against Cesaro and Sheamus. Things looked good for the odd couple when Cesaro had Kingston tapping to the Sharpshooter. Unfortunately for Cesaro, Xavier Woods distracted the referee. That allowed Kingston to pin Cesaro with a small package while Woods prevented Sheamus from breaking it up.
Fans reacted with boos towards New Day for using such dastardly tactics to defeat one of their favorites (and Sheamus). It wasn’t an outward heel turn but it definitely showed signs. Many fans are growing tired of New Day. They’ve been beloved since August of 2015 and that’s a long time. The traditional roles of distinct faces and heels are somewhat outdated today, but New Day cheating to win is adding changes to their characters. Raw’s biggest tag team match down the road is Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. New Day, and the former are absolutely going to be faces.
Rich Swann has been arguably the most popular cruiserweight since the division was introduced to Raw. Fans gravitate towards him in a way the company hoped would happen for TJ Perkins. Swann defeated Perkins and Noam Dar to earn a Cruiserweight Championship title shot against The Brian Kendrick next week on the premiere episode of 205 Live. The match will pit the most popular face of the cruiserweight division against the most effective heel. It’s quite frankly the most compelling match since the division started.
The fact that 205 Live airs on Tuesday right after Smackdown is a bit odd considering the division being exclusive to Raw. Still, the cruiserweights having their own show on the WWE Network will be pivotal to their success. Their original momentum started with the Cruiserweight Classic tournament. With fewer restrictions, they should be able to pull off something special in making their names more relevant for the bigger matches on Raw or Raw branded PPVs.
The women of Raw no longer were forced to team together and it resulted in many battles going down. Charlotte Flair bragged about her dominance until Sasha Banks interrupted her stating she was still owed a rematch. Nia Jax came out and claimed she wanted to teach a lesson to Banks. The two heels ganged up on Banks until the lovable Bayley made the save.
A tag match between the two sides was made with Banks and Bayley getting the win. Banks made Flair tap out with the Bank Statement. This showed Banks is still in the title picture despite Flair and Bayley being the main women in play last night. Jax aligning with Charlotte is great for her. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see a fatal four way match at Roadblock. Bayley vs. Flair appears to be the long term program for WrestleMania 33. The potential of a fatal four way would keep everyone active while still holding off on the big match.
A hilarious Highlight Reel segment set up the main event for the night. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens teased dissension until hugging and deciding the blame for Raw’s Survivor Series loss was placed on the shoulders of Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. This led to Rollins coming out and demanding a title match against Owens. Foley made it a No DQ match for the WWE Universal Championship with Jericho and Reigns banned from ringside.
Owens retained in a superb match fighting all over the arena. Rollins provided a highlight memory when he did a dive from the upper level in the crowd down onto Owens. Sadly, that was the end of his momentum in the match. Chris Jericho sporting a Sin Cara mask and Shinsuke Nakamura hoodie attacked Rollins in the crowd before getting hit with a Pedigree. That allowed Owens to hit him with a Pop-Up Powerbomb on the ring apron to retain the title. This sets up the rumored main events for Roadblock of Owens vs. Reigns and Rollins vs. Jericho.
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