WWE Raw results: Samoa Joe attacks Seth Rollins in debut, Lesnar calls out Goldberg
A major main-roster debut and possible headline WrestleMania 33 booking all went down on Raw
The Raw following the Royal Rumble has been a news-maker in recent years, and Monday night's show was no different with the shocking main-roster debut of Samoa Joe just minutes before the close of the program.
Earlier in the night, Seth Rollins and Stephanie McMahon had a confrontation in the ring that ended with Rollins threatening both Triple H and their family in an attempt to finally force Triple H into a fight. McMahon said Triple H was on his way to the arena, and the Cerebral Assassin took to the ring in the show's last segment to call out Rollins. After a long diatribe in which Triple H referred to himself as Rollins' creator and also promised to be his destroyer, Rollins' music hit and he made his way to the ring.
But before Rollins could get there, Samoa Joe ran in from out of camera view and attacked Rollins at the bottom of the ramp. Joe threw Rollins into the ringside steps and twice into the barricade before as Triple H stood over his antagonist with disdain. Joe then tossed Rollins into the ring where he hit three sentons and locked Rollins in the Coquina Clutch rear-naked choke.
Many WWE fans hoped and expected Joe to debut at the Royal Rumble, but it's now obvious that the company saved him for the Raw after the pay-per-view for a good reason. However, the decision to have Joe get involved in the Rollins-Triple H feud and thus seemingly be a member of the Raw roster does potentially ruin some fan theories that Joe and John Cena would square off at WrestleMania 33.
That said, it's obvious that Rollins-Triple H is a match WWE is looking to build prior to the company's biggest show of the year. With 62 days until WrestleMania, Rollins can have a short feud with Joe and then challenge Triple H in the big show.
Earlier in the night, Brock Lesnar and advocate Paul Heyman hit the ring to state firmly that Lesnar was challenging Goldberg for one final match at WrestleMania 33. Not only did Goldberg beat Lesnar in 86 seconds at Survivor Series, he also eliminated Lesnar quickly at the Royal Rumble on Sunday. Heyman played up the fact that Goldberg has been the only man to get the better of Lesnar in WWE and said they could not let that stand.
Later in the show, WWE announced that Goldberg will appear on Raw next week. One would assume that he will accept the challenge for what should be a headline first match announced for WrestleMania in April.
Sami Zayn def. Chris Jericho via pinfall: Zayn hit Jericho with the Helluva Kick to earn the clean victory in a non-title match. Looks like there may be a United States Championship feud coming up.
Tony Nese def. Mustafa Ali via pinfall: Nese won rather easily. After the match, Austin Aries attempted to get Nese to show some personality but was rebuffed.
Bayley, Cesaro & Sheamus def. Charlotte Flair (via pinfall), Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson: Before the match, Bayley calmed down a feuding Cesaro and Sheamus backstage. With the four men having taken each other out of the match, Bayley escaped the Figure Eight and hit the Bayley-to-Belly for the win.
Neville, the new Cruiserweight Champion as of Sunday night, hit the ring to crow about his victory and now being the king of the cruiserweights. Rich Swann, who is due a rematch, came out to shut him up with no ideas of fighting, but the two got into it with Swann coming out on top.
Universal Championship -- Braun Strowman def. Kevin Owens (c) via disqualification: Earlier in the night, Owens and Jericho were celebrating in the ring when Strowman came out and said Owens promised a title match. Raw general manager Mick Foley agreed and made the match for later in the night, despite the protests of McMahon. On his way to the ring, Strowman took out Jericho -- who was sitting on stage at the announce table -- with a massive kick and began dominating Owens inside the squared circle. Owens got in some offense, but it looked like Strowman was on his way to winning until Roman Reigns' music hit and he got retribution on Strowman for the interference at Royal Rumble. A couple Superman Punches and a spear knocked Strowman down, and a subsequent spear on Owens left Reigns as the only man standing.
Tornado Tag Team Match -- Enzo Amore & Big Cass def. Rusev & Jinder Mahal via pinfall: With all four wrestlers in the ring at the same time per rules of the match, Enzo and Cass got a much-needed win over a team in Rusev and Mahal that is going nowhere. Hopefully this is the end of a silly feud and the start of something better for two of the most over guys in the company.
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