ByJosh Molina, writer at
Covers mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and the convergence of the two industries.
Josh Molina

The devastation continues.

Bill Goldberg, who walked through Brock Lesnar faster than , announced on Monday Night Raw that he plans to enter the Royal Rumble.

Yes, the 49-year-old has one more dream: Win the championship at Wrestlemania. So, apparently Prince was right; The WWE is partying like it's 1999.

Goldberg opened with his "shocking" announcement. So if you are a fan of big guys doing squash matches, this news is great for you. If you are a fan of pro wrestling at its highest level, well, let's hope Finn Balor returns to Raw really, really soon.

The show was also noteworthy for the incredible main event between Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins, and a memorable naked Enzo segment. Yes, naked Enzo.

So, how was Monday Night Raw, post Brock squash? Good, surprisingly.

The Goldberg Announcement

Goldberg is back and better than ever (queue Eric Bischoff's entrance music). He announced that he was planning to retire after his Lesnar match, but that Stephanie dared him to continue, asking whether he had "one more title run" in him. So, of course, Goldberg is the first participant into the Royal Rumble. The winner usually gets a title shot at Wrestlemania. It's highly likely that this guy could win it all, but more likely is that Lesnar will eliminate Goldberg in the Rumble, setting up for a big Wrestlemania rematch between the two giants. (Expect Lesnar to get his win back). This was a highly emotional segment.

Grade: A

The New Day defeated Sheamus & Cesaro to retain the tag team titles

The WWE is really wrecking The New Day. They need to drop those titles, but clearly the WWE brass wants them to break Demolition's record for longest tag team title reign. Sheamus and Cesaro are hot and need need the straps -- NOW. One of the sad consequences of The New Day's immense push is that they have become comedy characters. A guy like Big E. should be getting booked like Rusev. Kofi Kingston is a great cruiserweight. We haven't even seen what Xavier Woods is capable of. This was a strong match with Sheamus and Cesaro really clicking. Cesaro took Kingston swinging (to wild "10" chants), but Woods distracted the ref allowing Kingston to pin Cesaro. Good match, lame ending.

Grade B-

Enzo Gets Naked

Wow. So Enzo got locked out of the locker room and decided to parade around the back naked. Enzo was humble as he strutted with his private parts digitized, fending off comments by a bunch of guys, including Primo and Epico, the Shining Stars. They tried to sell Enzo some timeshares because they know of places where naked guys hang out. Hilarious. But then he ran into Lana, and, of course uttered softly, "How you doing?" Lana looked pleasantly uncomfortable, but then Rusev showed up, who covered Lana's eyes and they walked away. This was a funny segment and hopefully next week Lana and Enzo can switch roles.

Grade: B+

Cedric Alexander defeated Ariya Daivari

Alexander is exciting to watch in a car crash sort of way. Daivari's gimmick is not helpful in 2016. This was a good match, an opportunity for Alexander to show of his flying moves. He's athletic and fun, especially for kids.

Grade: B-

The Highlight Reel

Not since Kurt Angle and Stone Cold Steve Austin have we seen a pro wrestling comedy duo like Owens and Jericho. These two argue like husband and wife, bro out like frat brothers and then fight alongside each other like backyard brawlers. They blamed Roman Reigns for the Raw loss at Survivor Series and then hugged each other after feigning unhappiness with each other. Rollins came out and then Reigns came out and turned it into a brawl. Reigns was wildly booed and Owens and Jericho were cheered. Mick Foley booked a Rollins vs. Owens match for the WWE Universal Championship for later in the show, with Reigns and Jericho banned from ringside.

Grade: A-

Rusev defeated Enzo Amore

Do not get naked in front of Lana, unless your name is Rusev. Enzo figured that out quickly. Rusev destroyed him with The Accolade, which looks a lot like a camel clutch. Enzo cut another funny promo on Lana, Rusev and Canada, but Big Cass stole the promo when he said "There's only one way to describe you, S-A-W-F-T," when talking about Rusev's anatomy.

Grade: B

Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson defeated The Golden Truth

Gallows and Anderson will get a title shot against The New Day next week on Raw after pinning The Golden Truth. The best part of this match was the "10" chants every time anyone threw a punch (Yes, Tye Dillinger is over). R-Truth wrestles like a performer and not a wrestler, and Goldust's career is just sad. He should take a lesson from Cody and go save his legacy in some other organization. This was a filler match.

Grade: D

Braun Strowman wrecked Sami Zayn

If you have me $10 million, I'd start a wrestling company and make Sami Zayn world champion. This guy is so good and he deserves so much better. He put over Strowman big, which is honorable, but Zayn is really getting misused by the WWE. Zayn sold like he was nearly dead, taking all of Strowman's big moves. Clearly, there's only one way to go with Strowman: Book him against Roman Reigns. The fans would have to cheer at least one of these guys. Strowman doesn't do anything for me, and I would rather see the wrestlers, not the brutes, get the push.

Grade: D-

Sasha Banks & Bayley defeated Charlotte and Nia Jax

This was lame. Charlotte tapped out Banks with The Banks Statement. So essentially, Charlotte is telling us that this tag team match doesn't matter, so she's tapping out since her title isn't on the line. If they want to build toward a Charlotte vs. Banks filler match next week in Charlotte, North Carolina, then there are a million ways to do that which don't involve Charlotte looking weak. The match was okay, but Nia Jax has lost some of her steam in recent weeks. This was a match just to fill time.

Grade: D (Nothing is an F if Charlotte is involved).

Rich Swann defeated T.J. Perkins and Noam Dar in a Cruiserweight Triple Threat

The Brian Kendrick was on commentary here, and please, don't ever let him talk again. This was like listening to a robot talk. Why is Kendrick champion? Swann pinned Perkins to no one's surprise. Swann has strong aerial moves, so that means he will probably be champion for a few weeks before the next guy with better aerial moves comes along (Research TJ Perkins story).

Grade: C-

WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens defeated Seth Rollins in a No DQ match

Between Enzo getting naked and the proliferation of tables, ladders and chairs in this match, I wonder if the WWE is creeping back into Attitude era. When Rollins puts out a 100 percent effort, he gives AJ Styles a run for his money as the best wrestler in the world. This match felt like it would have torn down the house at the Bingo Hall in ECW. At least Owens and Rollins are getting paid several hundred thousand dollars a year instead of several hundred to perform in these kind of matches.

Rollins did an amazing jump from the stands, just above a Raw sign, onto Owens on the concrete floor. This was a move that they will show to hype Rollins for years. Not a lot of guys could pull this move off. Unfortunately, Owens didn't fully catch Rollins, which botched the otherwise stellar Rollins effort.

Although Jericho was banned from ringside, we all know that best friends go to great lengths to help each other out. Jericho showed up in a Luchador mask and attacked Rollins, who turned the tables and pedigreed Jericho on the outside of the ring. Owens attacked Rollins from behind, however, and delivered a wicked powerbomb on the side of the apron, before rolling Rollins into the ring and pinning him. Great match.

Grade: A


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