Chris Jericho might have been banned from ringside during Raw’s No Disqualification WWE Universal Championship Match main event, but he still managed to ambush Seth Rollins and help Kevin Owens retain Team Red’s greatest prize. Also on Raw, Goldberg made a jaw-dropping announcement that could put the WCW icon in line for a World Title Match at WrestleMania.
The good news first, at least if you’re Goldberg: The former World Heavyweight Champion made good on that promise to beat up Brock Lesnar, dispatching The Conqueror in less than 90 seconds at Survivor Series. The bad news second, at least if you’re not Goldberg: It turns out he’s pretty flexible on that that whole “you’re last” thing. Goldberg intended to make good on his word and bid WWE farewell, but as soon as he walked through the curtain at Survivor Series, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon dangled the possibility of one more title run before the iconic Superstar. The quickest path to that goal? A spot in the 2017 Royal Rumble Match. That turned out to be an offer too good to refuse. In other words, he’s in, and 29 other Superstars just became “next.” Here we go …
Cesaro & Sheamus came together in timely enough fashion to be Sole Survivors on Sunday, but they’re a ways from becoming Raw Tag Team Champions yet. Despite earning a title match against The New Day, The King of Swing and Celtic Warrior fell short against the champions, who are now determined to beat Demolition’s World Tag Team Championship record by hook or by crook.
It didn’t help that Sheamus accidentally laid Cesaro out at one point. Though The King of Swing certainly roared back with an astounding midair tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to Kofi Kingston, a Cesaro Swing beyond count (though the crowd seemed to think it was 10, for some reason) and, finally, a Sharpshooter. Sheamus even took out Big E at ringside with a Brogue Kick, but Xavier Woods both distracted the ref with Francesca II Turbo right when Kingston tapped. He then physically held Sheamus back from breaking up Kingston’s small package to Cesaro once the action resumed.
No disqualification? No Chris Jericho? No problem. WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens started the night by making up with Jericho over the destruction of The List of Jericho at Survivor Series by blaming Roman Reigns. And even though he ended it facing a lawless main event with his best friend banned from ringside, Owens turned Seth Rollins back one more time to keep the WWE Universal Title in his clutches. But hoo boy, Rollins made it tough. And Jericho didn’t entirely abide by that ringside ban, but we’ll get to that.
Not having Reigns at ringside — he was banned too — turned out to be no hindrance for The Architect. Itching for a one-on-one match with KO, Rollins certainly dug deep in his attempts to deny The Prizefighter. Exploiting all the leeway a No Disqualification stipulation allowed, both Superstars were put through tables (Rollins), dropped onto chairs (Owens), flattened against barricades (Rollins again) and powerbombed through more tables (Owens again) before the fight spilled out into the crowd.
Rollins dug as deep as possible in his pursuit of victory, even scaling an entranceway for a dive onto The Prizefighter before beating him back to the ring. That’s when Jericho made his move on the edge of the audience, attacking Rollins while disguised in a Sin Cara mask and Shinsuke Nakamura hoodie, taking care all the while not to cross into the ringside area. Rollins quickly unmasked Jericho, hauled him over the barricade (into the ringside area, for what it’s worth) and dispatched him with a Pedigree on the arena floor. Owens capitalized, obliterating The Architect with the apron powerbomb and securing his ill-gotten pin.
In other action... Cedric Alexander def. Ariya Daivari... Rusev def. Enzo Amore... Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson def. The Golden Truth to become No. 1 contenders to the Raw Tag Team Championship... Braun Strowman def. Sami Zayn via Match stoppage... Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair & Nia Jax... and Rich Swann def. TJ Perkins and Noam Dar to become No. 1 contender to the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.