Raw Recap: January 23, 2017
S2017 episode 1235 Aired on January 23, 2017

Roman Reigns said a few months ago that he wanted one title for each shoulder, and it would appear that this is still the case. After Jeri-KO interrupted Reigns’ opening interview to talk trash in advance of Sunday’s WWE Universal Title Match (Kevin Owens) and bemoan their eventual fate as a shark-cage inhabitant in said match (Chris Jericho), tempers grew hot and Jericho out-and-out threatened The Big Dog.

Reigns, of course, immediately called Jericho’s bluff and evoked his rematch clause for the United States Title Jericho won off of him two weeks prior, putting himself back in the running to be a potential dual-champion. Owens both accepted on behalf of a hesitant Jericho and promised to put Reigns in the shark cage before the night was over. But the damage may well be done by then, and WWE’s resident sexy piñata — sorry, very sexy piñata — may be relieved of his most precious prize.

The mantra of this year’s Royal Rumble Match is “Friend vs. Friend, Foe vs. Foe, Every Man For Himself.” That was put to the test on Raw, where Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn — two guys who, if not friends per se, certainly don’t have beef — went head-to-head over The Architect’s Royal Rumble Match opportunity. It was a stipulation arranged by Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon … and sealed, in part, by her husband.

Zayn turned in a strong performance, though he struggled to close the deal against Rollins down the stretch of the contest. Fortunately for him, the sound of Triple H’s theme song stopped The Architect in his tracks. Rollins, who has been chasing The Game since his former mentor cost him the WWE Universal Title, immediately turned his focus to the stage, and Zayn reacted quickly with a small package. The darndest thing about all this? Triple H never even showed up. And now, Rollins’ Road to WrestleMania just got that much more uncertain. Your move, Rollins.

Goldberg’s return to Raw had the entire WWE Universe shivering with anticipation. But by the end of the night, Goldberg may have been the one with the chills. The former World Heavyweight Champion was first interrupted by the arrival of Brock Lesnar, whom the accompanying Paul Heyman promised would personally eliminate Goldberg from the Royal Rumble Match on Sunday. Goldberg seemed as though he would successfully goad Lesnar to the ring for a fight, but when the two men prepared to throw down, a gong tolled, the lights cut out, and The Undertaker materialized between the two men, bringing them both to a screeching halt. It was a stark reminder that all Roads to WrestleMania must first pass through The Deadman’s yard. All right, Rumblers. Let’s get Rumbling.

In other action … Luke Gallows def. Raw Tag Team Champion Cesaro … TJ Perkins, Jack Gallagher & Mustafa Ali def. Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese & Drew Gulak … Braun Strowman, Rusev, Jinder Mahal & Titus O’Neil def. The New Day, Enzo Amore & Big Cass … Roman Reigns def. U.S. Champion Chris Jericho via Disqualification … Nia Jax def. Ray Lyn … and WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann def. Noam Dar.