Raw Recap: January 30, 2017
Aired on January 30, 2017

A rough (but overall positive) Royal Rumble for Jeri-KO gave way to a pretty formidable hangover on Raw. It was revealed that a banged-up Kevin Owens would have to defend his WWE Universal Title against Braun Strowman (thanks to an offhand promise he made last month) and Chris Jericho would go toe-to-toe with Sami Zayn in a non-title match.

It remains to be seen how that first match will pan out, but Jericho vs. Zayn, at least, didn’t have the kind of ending the #61MinuteMan hoped. Jericho managed to evade several of Zayn’s signature moves by literally running around the ring, but The Underdog from the Underground burst the sexy piñata’s bubble — and maybe his nose — with the Helluva Kick. And perhaps, this win could just put him in line for The Gift of a U.S. Title Match … maaaannnnn.

Brock Lesnar is mad as hell and he’s not gonna take it anymore. After suffering his second straight trouncing at the hands of Goldberg — the former World Heavyweight Champion tossed The Beast from the Royal Rumble Match almost immediately after entering it — The Conqueror handed out a once-and-for-all challenge through his mouthpiece Paul Heyman: A match at WrestleMania to settle the score and, most importantly, reverse the argument that Goldberg is the "Yeah, but ..." asterisk on the monstrous legacy of Lesnar's dominance.

Seth Rollins went all the way to NXT to get Triple H’s attention. So Triple H brought NXT with him to answer. But before The King of Kings’ long-brewing confrontation with his former protégé Seth Rollins reached its shocking conclusion, the 14-time World Champion provided long-awaited answers as to why he betrayed Rollins. Triple H said he felt The Architect was a “failure” without his support — and declared Rollins’ insolence had finally convinced him to shed his job as a corporate “creator” and instead summon the “destroyer” as Rollins requested.

Of course, nobody ever considered that the “destroyer” in question wasn’t Triple H. Rollins’ would-be payback took a painful turn for The Architect just a few moments in when Samoa Joe, the first-ever two-time NXT Champion, ambushed Rollins from behind and put him to sleep with the Coquina Clutch while The Game simply left the arena. In hindsight, Rollins should have seen this coming, and indeed, known better than anyone: Even, and especially, when you think you have Triple H where you want him, there’s always a Plan B.

In other action … Tony Nese def. Mustafa Ali … Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon confronted Seth Rollins … Bayley, Cesaro & Sheamus def. Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair & Raw Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson … Rich Swann crashed Neville’s WWE Cruiserweight Championship coronation … Braun Strowman def. WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens via Disqualification … Nia Jax def. Sasha Banks via Match Stoppage … and Enzo Amore & Big Cass def. Rusev & Jinder Mahal in a Tornado Tag Team Match.

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