The final RAW of 2016 kicks off with the return of RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon as Stephanie makes her way to the ring. Stephanie says that Mick Foley has had a very busy Christmas, so she has given the RAW General Manager a well-deserved night off. The RAW Commissioner is then interrupted by the arrival of Seth Rollins, who makes his way to the ring, wishing Stephanie a “Merry Christmas”. Seth then asks Stephanie if she got her husband Triple H everything he wanted for Christmas, asking if Stephanie gave Triple H his “manhood back”! Rollins then says that Triple H “used to be one of the baddest dudes” in WWE and, this time last year, Triple H was primed to enter the Royal Rumble Match where he would ultimately win his fourteenth World Title. Seth continues, saying that Stephanie has got Triple H in his suit and tie sitting at home by the fireplace with the kids, saying that Triple H will be remembered as the “biggest coward of all-time”, asking if Stephanie wants to “ruin a legacy” like that.
Stephanie responds by saying that she is not her husband’s “keeper” and Triple H will be “more of a champion” than Seth Rollins will ever be. Seth says that he knows that Triple H is not there and that Stephanie doesn’t want him there, but he is still looking for a fight. Rollins then changes his focus to the man who attacked him last week, Braun Strowman, saying he wants a match against Braun tonight. This brings out another Superstar who was attacked by Braun Strowman last week as United States Champion Roman Reigns joins Stephanie and Seth in the ring. Roman says that Strowman made a “big mistake” last week so Braun deserves the “big fight”. Rollins argues that he asked to face Strowman first so Reigns will have to get to the “back of the line” with Roman saying that Seth should “step aside”. Seth then suggests that they go to the back together and teach Braun Strowman a lesson the way they “used to teach people a lesson”! Reigns likes the idea, adding that they go back there, beat him down, and drag him out there and put him through the announce table just like they did to countless others during their days as The Shield!
This gets Stephanie hyped up as the RAW Commissioner puts her fist out, which perplexes Reigns and Rollins. Stephanie then says that SmackDown LIVE will also be in the Allstate Arena tomorrow night, suggesting that SmackDown LIVE Superstar and fellow Shield alumni Dean Ambrose “might be in the area”. Stephanie then asks if, for one night only, should they reunite The Shield, getting the Chicago crowd excited before saying that it’s not going to happen tonight. Stephanie then announces that, tonight, Seth Rollins will get his match against Braun Strowman and, in addition, Roman Reigns will defend the United States Title against an opponent of Stephanie’s choosing!
After their historic reign as RAW Tag Team Champions came to an end at the hands of Cesaro & Sheamus at Roadblock: End of the Line, the rematch would take place on RAW as the opening match of the night would see The New Day’s Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston, with Big E in their corner, challenge Cesaro & Sheamus for the RAW Tag Team Titles. Despite a valiant effort from the former champions, Sheamus would catch Xavier Woods with the Brogue Kick, pinning Woods as Cesaro & Sheamus successfully retain the RAW Tag Team Titles.
After attacking an injured Sasha Banks last week, Nia Jax was in action on RAW, going one-on-one with local competitor and Sasha Banks fan Scarlet. In the end, it was a dominant victory for Nia Jax, hitting the Samoan Drop and pinning Scarlet for the win. After the match, Nia Jax would tell Scarlet to “choose a better role model” before squashing the local competitor with a big leg drop.
Following her third straight victory over RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair last week, Bayley would make an appearance on RAW. Bayley says that, since she has defeated the champion three times, that makes her the new #1 Contender for the RAW Women’s Title. Bayley is then interrupted by RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, who comes out to the stage. The champion says that she knows how Bayley likes to “pretend” to be a WWE Superstar before saying that Bayley did not beat her last week. Charlotte then shows the conclusion to the non-title match between Bayley and Charlotte last week where Bayley pins Charlotte with a backslide, but what the referee didn’t see was that Charlotte has gotten her shoulder up before the three-count. Charlotte then says that, if her father gave her any advice over the years, it’s to always have a “good lawyer”. The champion continues, saying that her and her lawyer came to a “settlement” with Stephanie McMahon and Bayley’s win last week has been “expunged” from the record books!
Now getting into the ring, Charlotte Flair calls Bayley “average” before saying that she was born with a “silver spoon” and that she knows how the “system works” and she made it work for her. The champion then says that she will give Bayley a “second chance” at her childhood dream, giving Bayley a chance to beat her in a match right now! Charlotte then adds that, in the settlement, she was guaranteed a referee that would call it “right down the middle” and, with that, Charlotte brings out her protégé, Dana Brooke, who will serve as the special referee for the match!
With her win over Charlotte Flair expunged from the record books, Bayley would have an uphill battle on RAW as Bayley would face RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair in a non-title match with Charlotte’s protégé Dana Brooke serving as the special referee. Early on in the match, Dana Brooke would put her hands on Bayley and Bayley would respond by hitting the special referee with the Bayley-to-Belly, taking Dana Brooke out and forcing a regular referee to come out to officiate the match. Later on in the match, Bayley would hit Charlotte with the Bayley-to-Belly, but Dana Brooke would pull the referee out of the ring! Bayley then chases Dana around ringside before Bayley gets back into the ring. Charlotte Flair then surprises Bayley with a roll-up, putting her feet on the middle rope for the illegal advantage as Dana makes the quick three-count as Charlotte picks up the win thanks to her protégé.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon has to stop Braun Strowman from assaulting an employee as Braun says that he wants Sami Zayn. The RAW Commissioner says that she can’t find Sami Zayn, but gives Braun a match against Sami on next week’s RAW. However, Strowman says that he wants to make sure that Sami can no longer “stand” when he is done with him, requesting a Last Man Standing match against Sami Zayn next week! Stephanie grants Braun’s request before saying that he wants Braun to visualize Sami Zayn when he faces Seth Rollins tonight.
The self-proclaimed “King of the Cruiserweights” was in action on RAW as Neville would go one-on-one with T.J. Perkins in Cruiserweight action. In the end, it was Neville blocking T.J. Perkins’ attempt at the knee bar, grabbing the tights of T.J. Perkins for the illegal advantage to secure the three-count and pick up the win.
After getting assaulted by Rusev and Jinder Mahal following sensitivity training last week, Enzo Amore would arrive in a wheelchair as Enzo & Big Cass would make an appearance on RAW. With Enzo Amore at ringside, Big Cass would get into the ring, calling out Rusev for a fight as, while Rusev & Lana would come out to the stage, they would be joined by Jinder Mahal. Rusev and Jinder would then make their way to ringside as Jinder would slap Enzo Amore before both Rusev and Mahal get on the ring apron. This is when Enzo would get out of this chair and pull Jinder off of the apron, leaving the fight to Rusev and Big Cass in the ring. Big Cass gets the better of “The Bulgarian Brute”, sending Rusev to the outside as, on the outside, Enzo knocks Jinder backwards into his wheelchair before Big Cass launches Enzo off of the steel steps with the Bada Boom Shakalaka to Jinder Mahal, taking Jinder out! Big Cass then enters the ring, knocking Rusev off of the ring apron with a big boot. This leaves Enzo & Big Cass standing tall in the ring, having gotten a bit of revenge against Rusev and Jinder Mahal.
In tag team action, Darren Young & Bo Dallas, with Bob Backlund in their corner, would face The Shining Stars on RAW. However, the match is quickly halted with the arrival of Braun Strowman! Braun would march down to ringside with a Christmas tree in hand, clobbering Bo Dallas with the tree before catching Primo with a right hand. Strowman then enters the ring, leveling Darren Young with a clothesline. Epico then tries to use a steel chair to take Braun out to no avail as Strowman takes Epico out before exiting the ring, grabbing Darren Young and tossing Young right into Bob Backlund. Braun then picks up the steel steps, hurling them at Bo Dallas and The Shining Stars, taking out all three men! With the evidence of his destruction littered around the ringside area, Braun Strowman stands dominant in the ring, ready for his match against Seth Rollins.
Having witnessed the devastation caused by Braun Strowman moments earlier, Seth Rollins would look to be the one to stop the dominant strongman as Rollins would go one-on-one with “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman. Throughout the match, Seth Rollins would try to use his speed to offset the power of Braun Strowman, but Braun would repeatedly overpower Seth. Rollins would try for the Pedigree, but Braun Strowman would send Seth up and over the top rope, leveling Rollins with a clothesline before rolling Seth back into the ring. This is when the music of Sami Zayn would sound in the arena, drawing the attention of Braun Strowman towards the stage.
This would allow Sami Zayn to catch “The Monster Among Men” off-guard, attacking the big man from behind. Sami then sends Braun into the ring post three times in a row before an angry Strowman chases after Sami Zayn with Sami escaping to the back with Strowman not far behind. Meanwhile, in the ring, Seth Rollins was struggling to get to his feet and this is when Chris Jericho would take advantage, hitting Seth with the Codebreaker! Referees then come out to break it up, doing their best to tend to Seth Rollins with Jericho escaping capture to hit Seth with a second Codebreaker! Jericho then willingly leaves the ring as the referees tend to Rollins in the ring.
Following a confrontation between Gallows & Anderson and The Golden Truth where Karl Anderson disrespected the Rhodes name by ripping the head off of a custom Bayley Bear made to look like the late, great Dusty Rhodes, Goldust would be looking for revenge on RAW as The Golden Truth would face Gallows & Anderson in tag team action. In the end, it was Karl Anderson rolling up Goldust to pick up the win for Gallows & Anderson.
In Cruiserweight action, Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann would go one-on-one with Ariya Daivari in a non-title match. In the end, it was Rich Swann catching Ariya Daivari with the Swann Kick, pinning Daivari for the win. After the match, Rich Swann would be ambushed by Neville on the stage as the self-proclaimed “King of the Cruiserweights” brings the Cruiserweight Champion down to ringside, tossing Swann into the LED board on the ring apron. Neville then brings Swann into the ring before hitting the Red Arrow to the back of Rich Swann.
Then it was time for the main event as, with his title defense against Roman Reigns with Chris Jericho in a shark cage at the Royal Rumble next month, WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens would get the chance to be a double champion as Owens challenges Roman Reigns for the United States Championship. Early on in the match, Kevin Owens’ best friend Chris Jericho would make his way to ringside for the match. Later on in the match, Roman Reigns would score with the Superman Punch to Kevin Owens before sizing Owens up for the Spear. This is when Jericho would get on the ring apron, distracting Roman long enough for Owens to capitalize with Jericho’s own Codebreaker, but Reigns would kick out.
After being hit with two Codebreakers by Jericho earlier in the night, Seth Rollins would come out to ringside with revenge on his mind as Seth attacks Jericho before planting Jericho with the Pedigree on the floor! Owens then catches Seth with a super kick on the outside before heading back into the ring, walking right into the Spear from Roman Reigns as Roman pins Owens to successfully retain the United States Title. After the match, Seth Rollins would hit Kevin Owens with the Pedigree in the ring before Roman Reigns charges around the ring, blasting Chris Jericho with the Spear! Reigns & Rollins then stand tall in the ring, having taken it to Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho again.
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