The Big Dog attempts to reclaim Old Glory, six nights before battling Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal Championship at Royal Rumble.01/23/2017 - 23:00
Watch Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman create mayhem after the main event in this slow-motion footage, captured during the Jan. 16, 2017 edition of Raw.01/19/2017 - 13:30
Captain, no, my captain!
SEATTLE -- With WWE Bragging Rights less than two weeks away, the time had come for the Raw roster to determine which Superstars would carry the brand's flag into battle and just who would lead that charge -- The Miz or John Cena.
The Miz def. John Cena in a No Disqualification Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
John Cena's patience must be wearing thin. The WWE's powerhouse faced The Miz to determine which would be the sixth and captaining member of Team Raw. During the contest, season two NXT Rookies Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty interfered, costing Cena another crucial match just as they had done at Hell in a Cell.
After the bout, Raw's anonymous General Manager asserted control and informed the WWE Universe that next week, Harris & McGillicutty must face off against Cena and his tag team partner -- WWE Champion Randy Orton!
Rubbing salt into his loss, Wade Barrett berated his reluctant disciple and informed him that if Harris & McGillicutty win, they will be allowed to join The Nexus. The Englishman even provoked Cena to attack him, safe in the knowledge that were the "Legendary" star to follow through, he would be unceremoniously terminated from WWE.
Natalya confronted "Co-Unified Divas Champions" Lay-Cool (PHOTOS | WATCH)
WWE's Mean Girls are at it again. The self-proclaimed "Co-Unified Divas Champions," Michelle McCool & Layla, trained their infantile insults on Natalya, the No. 1 contender to the Unified Divas Title. After enduring a few pointed verbal jabs, Natalya, the only female to endure the infamous Hart Family Dungeon training grounds, demonstrated that she's unfazed by the taunts. In fact, when Lay-Cool was finished with their gibes, the other Raw Divas came out to confront them and offer Natalya a show of support. Burn!
CM Punk def. Evan Bourne (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Prepare to testify! After trading Edge to SmackDown last week, the red brand learned of the latest acquisition: Leader of the Straight Edge Society, CM Punk. The self-righteous Superstar faced Evan Bourne in a Team Raw qualifying match during which he defeated his opponent. After the match, Punk dismantled the high-flyer with a sobering beatdown. So relentless was his aggression, in fact, that Bourne needed to be attended to by medics.
Sheamus def. U.S. Champion Daniel Bryan in a Non-Title Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Daniel Bryan has proven he's one quick study. After getting destroyed by Sheamus last week, the United States Champion came out swinging in their rematch. From the moment the bell sounded, Bryan went on offense. Unrelenting in his approach, the U.S. Champion ultimately proved unable to surmount the power and determination of The Celtic Warrior, who persevered to capture the fourth slot on Team Raw.
WWE Champion Randy Orton def. Justin Gabriel (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Despite his 450Ã‚Â° Splash, two cohorts in his corner and one huge opportunity, the numbers just didn't add up for Justin Gabriel when the South African Superstar faced WWE Champion Randy Orton. Nexus leader Wade Barrett had hoped Gabriel would damage The Viper in the run-up to their title match at WWE Bragging Rights. However, even with his Nexus cohorts, David Otunga and Heath Slater, attempting to involve themselves in the bout - and eventually getting ejected from ringside - the nimble Nexus member failed to triumph over the dominance of the WWE Champion.
Santino Marella def. Zack Ryder (PHOTOS | WATCH)
When Zack Ryder faced Santino Marella for a place on Team Raw, The Long Island Loudmouth faded faster than a coat of cheap bronzer. With his pal, Vladimir Kozlov, looking on, Santino leveled Ryder and pinned his shoulders to the canvas for the three-count. After the match, The Italian Stallion received a little extra amore from Tamina, who wrapped him in a silky, yet strong, embrace.
John Morrison def. Tyson Kidd (PHOTOS | WATCH)
If you spot David Hart Smith on the side of a milk carton, you'll know why. The pedigreed Superstar failed to show for Raw and his Triple Threat Match against John Morrison and Tyson Kidd. As a result, The Guru of Greatness had only to deal with the scrappy Kidd, who The Shaman of Sexy managed to overcome to qualify for Team Raw. As for Hart Smith, come out, come out wherever you are!
R-Truth def. Ted DiBiase (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Ted DiBiase missed a "golden" opportunity. The "Fortunate Son" battled R-Truth to be the first Superstar to qualify for Team Raw. Although DiBiase appeared to shine during the match, his mettle tarnished when Goldust unexpectedly arrived. The Bizarre One, with both the Million Dollar Title and NXT Rookie Diva Aksana in tow, distracted DiBiase, allowing Truth to capitalize and seize the first spot on Team Raw.
Raw GM arranged matches to determine Team Raw at WWE Bragging Rights; The Miz vs. John Cena to determine captain of Team Raw (PHOTOS | WATCH)
John Cena pleaded for understanding. The "Legendary" star asked for the WWE Universe's forgiveness in regards to his forced allegiance to The Nexus. During Cena's heartfelt address, The Miz barged in to make an announcement of his own. Mr. Money in the Bank informed Cena that he had named himself captain of Team Raw at WWE Bragging Rights and requested that the powerhouse sign onto the squad.
Prior to Cena's response, however, Nexus leader Wade Barrett nixed the idea, informing him that he would be needed in his corner during the WWE Title bout against Randy Orton. That's when Miz's assistant, Alex Riley, opened his big mouth. The season two NXT Rookie blabbed that, yes, Cena should be in Barrett's corner, especially in case Miz decides to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. For his part, "The Cleveland Screamer" appeared none too pleased about losing the element of surprise. Oops!
Before the situation could escalate, Raw's anonymous General Manager interceded. He informed the Superstars that he had arranged a series of matches for later in the evening to determine to makeup of Team Raw at WWE Bragging Rights. He also orchestrated a match between The Miz and Cena to establish the captain of Team Raw.
After the GM's announcement, Miz and Riley ambushed the leader of The Nexus, who summoned Cena to defend him. The reluctant Nexus member cleared away the two, but then "The Awesome One" trained his attack on Cena. The Legendary star overcame the assault and meted out a severe punishment for Riley. As Cena celebrated in the ring, though, his English overlord berated him for not instantly rushing to his defense.