Last big show of the year for WWE; would they close it and some of their storylines out well or with a thud?
RAW Tag Team Title Match: New Day (c) vs Cesaro & Sheamus
So the record reign is over and we have new RAW Tag Team Champs, Cesaro & Sheamus. The match was very good but a little short at 10 minutes and change. These guys could have gone another five minutes without it getting boring. But the real news is that the titles have changed hands, and what comes next. Is a breakup on the horizon, or does New Day stay together, pursue singles titles, and/or feud with other groups? Any one of those is possible. The best thing is that the tag division is in play once again after a year of stagnation.
Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman
This was a forgone conclusion match; we all knew that Sami would last the 10 minutes. It was good enough for what it was. Hopefully Sami will get something to do that involves a title in 2017.
Seth Rollins vs Chris Jericho
Very good match; I liked it better than Chris’ other pay per view singles matches this year. He and Rollins clicked better than he did with either Dean Ambrose, Zayn, or even AJ Styles earlier this year. It looks like this mini feud is done and Rollins is off to chase Triple H.
Women’s Title Iron Man Match: Sasha Banks (c) vs Charlotte
Very good effort here. There were some really cool spots throughout. They didn’t get to the falls too early and they had just the right amount before the time ran out. The real question was how it would end – a draw, sudden death overtime, or with someone taking the lead with seconds left.
The answer was overtime, and Charlotte used it to attack Sasha’s leg in a fashion reminiscent of her father to get the submission for the title in what is supposed to be their final encounter. Hopefully the quick title changes will end for a while now that this feud has ended.
It looks like Bayley is up next in some fashion for Charlotte while Sasha will be working with Nia Jax. For all the hand wringing over the multiple title changes, some warranted and some not, this feud was one of the best of 2016 and provided some great in ring work, and it’s real progress that these ladies got to main event one show and get 30-plus minutes on this one.
Cruiserweight Title Match: Rich Swann (c) vs TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick
Suprisingly short match here, only six minutes. Was decent for what it was but the real highlight and purpose was the return and heel turn of Neville, who came out and killed Swann and Perkins after the match.
Heel Neville is more interesting than any other incarnation we’ve seen him in since NXT, and got over quicker than than any other cruiserweights so far. We’ll see where it goes.
WWE Universal Title Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs Roman Reigns
Owens and Jericho were teasing a falling out all night, with a backstage vignette and a botched attempt by Owens at helping Jericho beat Rollins, so you knew something was going to play out here. Very good back and forth match and some really cool spots throughout, as you should expect from both guys. They did get a little too crazy with the near falls; Roman kicked out of too much stuff. Then came the finish.
Jericho comes down as expected and in a different kind of twist helps Owens by hitting him with the Codebreaker. Yeah you read that right. By hitting Owens he gets Reigns disqualified for interference thus allowing Owens to retain the title. The teased breakup was a ruse after all. And then Rollins joins the party and the two former Shield teammates proceed to put both Owens and Jericho through tables to close out the show.
Overall, a good show in my book. It didn’t feel as overbooked as other RAW shows and didn’t have as much of that stigma of RAW being the show everyone complains about. Good way to close out 2016.