The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 11/10/14

Live (on tape) from Liverpool, England this is the Raw Deal for episode #1120. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

The opening video package focused on The Authority’s attack on Randy Orton that took him out of action.

John Cena made his entrance. The fans sang “John Cena sucks” during his song. The announce team of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield said Randy Orton was out indefinitely.

Cena said he appreciated the remix of the song that the English fans do. He went over the storyline with The Authority and that Team Authority is gone if they lose to Team Cena at Survivor Series. He mentioned Zack Ryder tweeted about the team, then he was put in a match and now he’s out for six months. That’s true because he is having shoulder surgery. Cena also mentioned that Randy Orton was out of commission (to film a movie – they didn’t say that part). He put over Jack Swagger as a willing partner, then said Swagger would face Seth Rollins later and Dolph Ziggler’s on the team too. Cena called out Ryback so they could talk business.

There was a big pop for Ryback as “the big guy” marched down to the ring. Ryback said “The Big Guy is back” and then the music of Triple H hit because they know Ryback isn’t a great talker. Or maybe they are just jerks. You decide.

Triple H appeared on the stage along with Stephanie McMahon, Seth Rollins, Kane, Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble. They were joined by Mark Henry, who has joined Team Authority. The group marched into the ring.

There was a “Where’s Our Network?” chant from the crowd while Stephanie McMahon and Triple H did the same repetitive promos they always do. Triple H asked Rollins if he had Swagger, so Rollins nodded to say he got it. Hunter said Ziggler isn’t going to make it to Survivor Series. Cena said that Hunter said the same thing about Daniel Bryan before Bryan beat him at WrestleMania. The crowd cheered loudly for that one. Hunter added that Bryan was on the shelf just like Ziggler is going to be. Henry’s facing Ziggler later.

Stephanie shifted the focus to Ryback by saying that if he joined Team Authority he would be in more main events. Hunter basically said the same thing. Cena did a fired up promo saying he wasn’t going to be a sellout like those other guys. He called Hunter a “wanker” in there to suck up to the fans. He said he didn’t want a “sellout Sexual Chocolate” for Mark Henry and then the fans chanted “sexual chocolate” for that. Cena told Ryback to do what he wanted, but he should listen to the fans because they’ll tell him what they want. Fans were chanting “feed me more” loudly. It’s like how it was two years ago.

Ryback said he’s not afraid of The Authority and he also doesn’t see Cena’s name on the bottom of his paycheck. Ryback gave Cena a Spinebuster. Stephanie started “yes” chants while Ryback left.

Analysis: My favorite part of that was the “sexual chocolate” chant. It set up the idea that Ryback is going to go to The Authority’s side, but if you really think that then you haven’t watched enough wrestling in your life. It did a good job of making Ryback look like a star, which was the point. He’s been booked well since he returned. The problem with the angle is that The Authority team loses their power if they fail to win at Survivor Series, but what does Cena’s team lose if they fail to win? Nothing has been announced. It would be nice if there was something on the line for them too.

(Commercial)

They mention The Beatles a lot on commentary, which isn’t a shock because it’s in Liverpool.

Seth Rollins (w/Joey Mercury & Jamie Noble) vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)

Slow pace early on with Swagger in control and a mild “we the people” chant from the crowd. Rollins hit a nice dropkick to control the action. There was a lot of stalling in this match by Rollins. Swagger went for a Swagger Bomb, but Rollins moved and he went to the floor to escape further attack. The fans chanted “we the people” in support of Swagger while the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Rollins was in control of the action as the crowd were chanting “JBL” at that point. Then there was a “Jerry” chant and even a small “Cole” chant while Rollins grabbed a headlock. Swagger gave a back body drop over the top to send Rollins to the floor. Back in the ring, Swagger hit a clothesline, then a big boot and he connected on the Swagger Bomb. Swagger applied the Patriot Lock, which led to Rollins getting to the ropes. Outside the ring, Swagger applied the Patriot Lock again. After J&J distracted Swagger, Rollins shoved Swagger into the steel ring post. Back in the ring, Rollins hit the Curb Stomp for the win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins

Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid TV match to put Rollins over, which isn’t a surprise since he’s a main event performer. Nobody really thought Swagger had a chance in the match, nor should they because he loses more than he wins these days. The turning point was the distraction by the security guys. Did fans really buy Swagger as some great performer on Cena’s team? Not really. He’s not going to be on the team.

Post match, the WWE doctor was checking on Swagger. J&J backed him away, which led to Rollins hitting another Curb Stomp to knock out Swagger. The doctor checked on Swagger some more.

Analysis: They’re putting over the Curb Stomp as a very dangerous move, which is why he did the second one. Enjoy your vacation, Swagger. He has a hot wife, so I’m sure he will.

Later in the show it’s Rusev defending the US Title against Sheamus.

(Commercial)

There was a recap of Dean Ambrose on Christian’s Peep Show talk show last week on Smackdown. Bray Wyatt showed up to say that he could fix Ambrose while mentioning that Ambrose’s dad turned his back on him. “Does he still send postcards from prison?” Wyatt disappeared when Ambrose went after him.

Ambrose did a backstage segment saying he’s done despicable things, but he’s not apologizing because he never claimed to be a hero. Ambrose said Wyatt wasn’t going to put him out. He talked about hoping that there was a special place in hell for the both of them.

Analysis: That was a pre-tape. He wasn’t on the show since half the WWE crew was doing a house show during Raw.

It’s official for Survivor Series: Ambrose vs. Wyatt. That should be a good match.

Ryback was in his locker room when Kane showed up. Kane told Ryback he’ll be at ringside during the match. Ryback told him that he had it. Kane told Ryback that if he follows his lead he’ll win. For a guy that loses a lot, Kane is pretty confident. Ryback said if he wanted help he’d ask for it and as for his match with Cena, Kane should stay out of his way.

Analysis: Just a basic promo to sell the idea that Ryback was his own man even though it appeared earlier that he was on Team Authority.

There was a big ovation for Paige for her entrance, which wasn’t a surprise since she is from England. She had the Union Jack flag on her shoes.

Paige vs. Alicia Fox

Their brief friendship is over. Cole said “Alicia’s waited a long time for this.” They were buddies for like a month and then it ended. That’s not very long. Alicia hit a boot to the face to knock Paige outside the ring. Back in the ring, Fox hit a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Backbreaker by Fox for two. JBL wondered if Paige was in NXT, Cole said yeah. JBL was the GM of NXT when she was there. Way to remember that, JBL. Paige came back with a kick to the face and said “this is my house.” Rampaige DDT by Paige for the win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Paige

Analysis: * Just a win to put over Paige in England. She’s still a heel, but not on this night.

Rusev and Lana were walking backstage. Stephanie McMahon showed up to see if they would have Rusev on Team Authority. Lana said for political reasons they had to think about it…then Stephanie said there are no politics in WWE, which is one of those inside smartass remarks they like to do. When Lana said they’d consider it, Stephanie called her a “stuck up Russian twit” and said “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine.” Stephanie left as Rusev & Lana walked to the ring.

Analysis: Since Stephanie gave Rusev the US Title match, she wants Rusev on Team Authority. It makes sense from a storyline point of view.

(Commercial)

There was “A New Day” promo video for Xavier Woods again. Same one from last week.

Hunter and Stephanie watched the segment from last week where daddy Vince announced the stipulation. Hunter told Steph that Vince said he liked surprises. Stephanie said Vince told her that she has to fight for what they believe in. Hunter said it didn’t matter because Cena doesn’t stand a chance and that they’ll win like they always do. Stephanie said “what if” and Hunter told her not to think about it. He told her as long as they’re together, everything is going to be just fine. He gave her a quick kiss as the scene ended.

Analysis: Are we supposed to believe that a husband and wife can only have this discussion one week later and that they wouldn’t say this to each other during the week without a camera on them? I guess I’m nitpicking too much. They’re worried. It was a necessary segment to show that they were feeling that way although Hunter is more confident than Stephanie is.

Rusev and Lana entered the arena. There was a clip of Rusev winning the US Title against Sheamus last Monday on WWE Network after Raw.

Lana did a promo while two dudes in suits stood at their side. She said that Rusev’s win was an example of Russia’s superiority over the United States. She added that without Russia’s assistance to the military, right now England would be speaking German. One of the security guys is a UK wrestler called Lionheart that I’m familiar with. The other guy said that the Kremlin was overjoyed with them and President Putin was proud, so they put Putin’s face on the screen. He read a fake letter from Putin that congratulated Rusev. When that was over, Rusev told the fans to respect and rise for the Russian national anthem.

The theme song of Sheamus started up before the Russian song could finish. The show went to break with the match taking place after the break. They had a red carpet in the ring, so they had to get rid of that.

Analysis: It was a good idea to get some heat. Sheamus got a nice babyface ovation for interrupting it.

(Commercial)

Back from break, they did the in-ring intros for the US Title match. Lawler said they apologized for Sheamus interrupting the Russian national anthem.

United States Title: Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Sheamus

Rusev was aggressive early on, but Sheamus hit a knee to the head to stun him. They went outside the ring where Rusev hit a fallaway slam on Sheamus that sent Sheamus crashing on the announce table. It was a big bump. The table didn’t break, but Sheamus sold it like a big deal. Back in the ring, Rusev applied a long headlock to really slow it down. After Sheamus hit a couple of elbows to break free, Rusev hit and impressive spin kick to knock him down. The show went to break there.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Rusev was still in control. Noble & Mercury were out at ringside. Sheamus made a comeback with a double axe smash followed by another. Running knee by Sheamus, but Rusev came back with a dropkick. Sheamus came back with a powerslam for two. Sheamus hit the ten forearm shots to the chest and then the shoulder tackle. Rusev fought out of White Noise, so Sheamus went for the Cloverleaf although he was unable to apply it. There was a brief “you f**ked up” chant for that. Rusev came back with an overhead suplex for two. I think fans were chanting “ECW” because they were bored. Sheamus came back with White Noise for two. Fans were chanting “ole ole ole” as both guys were down. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick, but Rusev ducked. Sheamus hit a dive off the top to take him out. Sheamus tossed Rusev into the barricade two time. Rusev went into the ring, then Noble jumped on the back of Sheamus and Mercury also went after Sheamus. The ref was looking at Rusev, so he never saw it because he’s a dumbass ref. That delay slowed down Sheamus, so Rusev got the win by countout after 16 minutes.

Winner by countout: Rusev

Post match, Sheamus was upset about the loss. Rusev left up the ramp along with J&J Security and Lana.

Analysis: ** It was an average match with a weak finish. Their 10 minute match on WWE Network last week was better. I think they made a mistake giving it 16 minutes because Rusev’s really not at the point where he should go for that long. Since it’s a three hour show with only half the roster they need to fill time, but you could tell they lost the crowd a bit. The last five minutes were pretty good with some big moves by both guys. Obviously the story is that The Authority wants Rusev on their side, so they sent J&J out there to help him win. That finish also sets up another Rusev match against Sheamus down the road.

Still to come it’s Ziggler vs. Henry, plus Cena vs. Ryback.

(Commercial)

Backstage, Stephanie walked up to Rusev and Lana again. She applauded the win. Stephanie asked Lana if Rusev would join Team Authority. Lana said “yes we will join you.” When she referenced Putin, Stephanie says she doesn’t give a damn what Putin says – it’s about what The Authority wants. Stephanie said that together they will “crush” Team Cena.

Analysis: Good segment for the sake of storyline continuity. Putting Rusev in the match makes sense since he’s a top heel.

The announcer mentioned that Team Authority has Rollins, Kane, Rusev, Henry and Ryback at this point. There was a replay of Ryback hitting Cena with a Spinebuster from earlier.

In the locker room, Seth Rollins welcomed Ryback to the team. He told Ryback he made the right call being on their team. Rollins said they had to focus as a team. He told Ryback he didn’t have to take orders from Kane, he can take them from him. Ryback said his gameplan is simple, he finds a target and destroys it. Ryback told Rollins “it’s not big man, it’s the big guy.” Rollins said okay.

Analysis: There have been plenty of backstage segments this week. It’s all about adding to the ongoing storyline. It may seem excessive, but I don’t mind them when they make sense.

Los Matadores entered for a match.

(Commercial)

The Miz and Damien Mizdow were joined by Hornswoggle also dressed as The Miz. Major groan for that. Don’t ruin this gimmick by including Hornswoggle. JBL wondered where they found Mini Miz. That’s almost worse than his joke when he says Mizdow looks like Miz.

The Miz & Damien Mizdow (w/Hornswoggle) vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito)

The fans were chanting “we want Mizdow” a Miz was in the ring getting attacked by Diego and Fernando. Of course Mizdow was doing impressions on the apron. Miz hit a backbreaker/neckbreaker combo. Miz didn’t tag in Mizdow even though the fans wanted it. Hornswoggle (or Mini Miz) was doing impressions outside the ring. Double axe by Miz for two. Mizdow received the tag to a huge response. After a snapmare, Miz tagged in quickly to upset the fans. Hot tag by Los Matadores to no reaction. Mizdow made the save. Dropkick by Fernando took out Mizdow. Miz hit a clothesline to send Fernando out of the ring while a boot knocked down the legal man Diego. Torito hit Hornswoggle on the apron. Miz did a rollup for two. Miz countered a suplex by landing on top and Mizdow held the foot of Diego to keep him down. The match went five minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Miz and Damien Mizdow

Analysis: *1/2 Comedy match. Nothing special. The Mizdow act is popular, but he was barely in the match because Miz wouldn’t let him in there. That’s going to lead to the big babyface turn for Mizdow. As for the short term, Miz & Mizdow are probably getting a tag title shot at Survivor Series, but it’s possible that it’s a four team match with The Usos and Los Matadores also challenging Goldust & Stardust. We’ll find out soon.

Dolph Ziggler was in the locker room when Cena walked up to him. Cena said Swagger wasn’t doing good. Ziggler ranted about how they only had the two of them. Cena said if Ziggler wanted to leave the team then no hard feelings. Ziggler said they’re on the same page and that The Authority has to go. Ziggler added that for once, he’s got his back. Cena said he’ll be at ringside for him. Triple H walked in to say that Cena will be banned from ringside for the Henry/Ziggler match. Hunter said it’s a shame about what happened to Swagger. Hunter sang “another one bites the dust” on his way out of the room.

Analysis: Poor John Cena with the sad face. He’s the least sympathetic babyface I think I’ve ever seen. Anyway, as I said earlier it was just a backstage segment to further the ongoing storyline of this show.

(Commercial)

As Dolph Ziggler made his entrance, the creepy eyeballs appeared on the screen saying that sometimes he sees things that just aren’t there. The voice said he’s going to piece himself back together with “pieces of you.” It’s happened during Ziggler entrances for a few weeks. That’s called foreshadowing, kids.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Mark Henry

This is not for Ziggler’s IC Title. The crowd was very supportive of Ziggler, who hit a dropkick early. Henry nailed him with a clothesline. Henry missed a corner charge. Ziggler went for a jumping DDT, but jumped too far and improvised with a rollup that didn’t work. Ziggler hit some weak looking facebuster. It looks like they were going for that DDT spot and just couldn’t do it. A Ziggler kick sent Henry outside the ring. Henry tossed Ziggler into the barricade. Henry charged in, Ziggler moved and Henry went over the barricade. Henry tossed a steel chair into Ziggler’s face for the DQ loss. It went three minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Dolph Ziggler

Henry tossed Ziggler into the steel steps. Henry brought the steps into the ring. He was going to slam Ziggler onto them, but Big Show made his entrance. Henry tried to attack Show with the steps. Show ripped them from him and Henry left the ring.

Analysis: 1/2* Short match that was more of an angle than a match. They definitely had some chemistry issues. It’s tough for Ziggler to hit his athletic spots with a huge guy like Henry.

Show said that he joined Team Cena and he’ll see Mark Henry at Survivor Series. The fans cheered. Show helped Ziggler after the match.

Analysis: It makes sense for Show to be on the team. I’d rather see Show and Henry in the elimination tag instead of in another singles match. They bring credibility due to the success they’ve each had in their careers.

(Commercial)

There was another “A New Day” promo except this time it was with Kofi Kingston. He said they’re going to shine brighter than any diamond you’ve ever seen. He led the choir in chanting “New Day” and then they started clapping.

Analysis: He’s a part of the group with Xavier Woods. Big E will be a part of it too. No idea if they’ll be faces or heels. I’m just glad that trio is going to be together after it was teased in the summer.

Backstage by a stairwell, Cena went up to Ziggler and Show. Cena shook his hand saying he can’t believe it. He can’t believe that a babyface would join his team? Shocking! Sheamus showed up to say he’ll be on the team too. He shook all of their hands too. They need more.

Analysis: It’s a predictable team. All four guys have been WWE/World Champions before so they all have credibility.

The Divas Champion AJ Lee entered for a match against Brie Bella, who had evil Nikki with her. There was a backstage segment from earlier with Brie holding a cup of tea as they said she acted like a butler.

Analysis: They’ve barely done segments with Nikki and Brie during this “personal assistant” angle. I’m not complaining about the lack of segments.

AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella)

This is not for AJ’s Divas Title. There was a “CM Punk” chant at the start of it, so that chant travels well. Brie was aggressive early on with a running knee attack while Nikki was overacting outside the ring. AJ hit a DDT. Brie hit a dropkick off the middle ropes while I could hear Nikki yelling since the crowd didn’t seem to care about this. AJ applied the Black Widow submission for the win after three minutes.

Winner by submission: AJ Lee

Analysis: 1/2* A short match like most divas matches are. Does anybody ever chant for AJ or just her absent husband? That’s pretty telling.

Post match, Nikki ran into the ring and attacked AJ from behind. She called Brie a loser. Nikki hit the Rack Attack to knock down AJ. Nikki held up the Divas Title over the fallen champion.

Analysis: It’s AJ vs. Nikki for the Divas Title at Survivor Series, so it was just a standard angle to build that up.

They showed the segment from Smackdown when army sergeant Dan Rose was there. He lost his legs when he was in Afghanistan when a bomb went off. He used something called the Ekso Suit to walk again. It was incredible to see that. The fans from Smackdown last week gave him a standing ovation as he used crutches to walk on the stage. Dan said it’s amazing that he’s able to walk again. The fans gave him a standing ovation again while chanting “thank you Dan” for him.

Analysis: Great segment. Happy Veteran’s Day to those in America and Remembrance Day for others like those of us in Canada. Thank you all for your service. I get to write about ridiculous things like grown men pretending to fight in their underpants because of the freedom we have.

Ryback was still in his locker room. Mark Henry welcomed him to the team. He said Ryback didn’t look so big. Henry wondered if Ryback remembered Henry whooping him at WrestleMania. He left while Ryback looked mad.

Analysis: That WrestleMania match was at WM29. Ryback lost clean to Henry. Then Ryback turned heel to get two WWE Title matches against John Cena because in WWE, wins and losses don’t matter like they should.

(Commercial)

Next week on Raw, Grumpy Cat guest stars on Raw. I did a long rant about this on Twitter and Facebook. It’s so stupid. It’s sad that one day some wrestler is going to get fired one day for “not getting over” yet this company devotes time to a freakin’ internet meme called Grumpy Cat.

Adam Rose entered with his Exotic Express. After Rose lost a match to R-Truth on Smackdown, Rose shoved The Bunny down. The Bunny is still there this week.

Tyson Kidd vs. Adam Rose

The fans were singing Rose’s song. Rose hit a hip toss, but Kidd came back with a hard kick to the face. Erick Rowan walked down to the ring with a sheep mask while Kidd applied a chinlock. Rowan creepily walked around the ringside area. He took off the mask, said “she’s not here” on camera and then he left through the crowd. Rose made a comeback on Kidd with a back elbow followed by a spinebuster. The Bunny went to the top rope. Rose told him to get down. Kidd tripped up Rose and applied the Sharpshooter. Rose tapped out to lose the match after three minutes.

Winner by submission: Tyson Kidd

Analysis: * I’m glad Kidd won of course. The more TV time for him the better. For such a short match they had a lot of outside the ring stuff with The Bunny plus Rowan showing up. At least the match ended with a move instead of a rollup, so I’m cool with that.

After the match, Rose kicked The Bunny in the stomach. He left the ring while The Bunny was in pain. Rose left with the rest of the group except The Bunny.

Analysis: I really don’t care about this angle, but I’m fine with Rose going heel to end this gimmick that has died. Maybe he can go make a Survivor Series team with Fandango, Brodus Clay, Tensai and other gimmicks that failed in the last few years.

The announcers plugged WWE Network as well as Survivor Series.

There was a replay of Vince McMahon last week saying that if The Authority loses at Survivor Series then The Authority will no longer be in power. Again. We know. We get the point.

The Authority team was in the locker room. It was Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Rollins, Henry, Rusev and Kane standing together. Kane said Ryback had an attitude problem, which led to Ryback walking into the room. Ryback wasn’t thrilled about them talking about him. Hunter told Ryback they’re just a little nervous, but that Ryback just has to focus on beating up Cena. Stephanie said that come Survivor Series, they need to be on the same page. She said they need to fight as one. Everybody left except for Hunter and Stephanie.

Analysis: They did a great job of building up Ryback as a threat just with a segment like this.

This Friday on Smackdown it’s Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel with The Authority as his guests.

(Commercial)

There was another recap of Wyatt/Ambrose segment from Smackdown because this show is too long.

Bray Wyatt did a promo backstage. He said when somebody is different like Dean Ambrose, people want to spit on them instead of accept them. Wyatt said that Dean’s dad was a sinner. Wyatt told Ambrose there’s no going back for him. Wyatt told Ambrose he’s never seen real evil and that he (Wyatt) is real sin. He gave Ambrose a choice: walk with him or walk away and burn for it. The fans were yelling “woo” during it because they probably couldn’t hear it or were bored by it.

Analysis: It was another pre-tape segment since Wyatt wasn’t there. The “Dean’s daddy is a sinner” reminds me of when they went that route with CM Punk against Chris Jericho. Somebody in WWE likes doing “daddy issue” storylines.

There was another reminder that it’s Ambrose vs. Wyatt at Survivor Series.

John Cena made his entrance, so the crowd did the “John Cena sucks” song again for him.

(Commercial)

The announcers plugged ECW Exposed that was on WWE Network after Raw. Paul Heyman and Joey Styles were at WWE studios hosting that special. If you don’t know, Joey helps run WWE.com these days. I didn’t see the special yet, but it’s on WWE Network.

Ryback entered. After he marched down to the ring, he was joined by Kane, Seth Rollins, Mark Henry, Rusev and J&J Security as well.

John Cena vs. Ryback

Prior to the match, Cole mentioned Cena is 8-1 at Survivor Series. Shocking that Cena wins matches lol. There were “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants as JBL said Team Authority is the greatest team in the history of Survivor Series. I think they say that every year. Ryback hit a powerslam for two. Hunter and Stephanie were shown watching the match in their office. Ryback dumped Cena outside the ring in front of the heels on the floor. Ryback was on the apron, so Cena ran the ropes and knocked him down with a shoulder tackle that sent Ryback into Kane on the floor. The show went to break with Ryback on the floor for the vintage floor to commercial break.

(Commercial)

Ryback hit a spinning slam for a two count. Another powerslam by Ryback earned him a two count. Suplex by Ryback. The pace of this match is so slow. Cena hit a belly to belly suplex. Ryback came back with a Thesz Press and he hit a splash for two that nobody really believed in. Cena fought out of the Shellshock with a shoulder tackle, but Ryback hit a powerslam for two. Ryback hit a gorilla press into a powerslam, which is impressive. The fans were reacting to something in the crowd. I was told it was a beach ball. Kane told Ryback to get on him now. Ryback picked up Cena out of the corner and hit a powerbomb for two. Cena tripped up Ryback and applied the STF submission, but Ryback was able to get to the ropes. Ryback hit a sloppy cross body block over the top for two, which Cena turned into a STF again. Cena hit his spinning suplex. Kane was on the apron, so Cena gave him a shoulder tackle to knock him down. Ryback hit a spinebuster on Cena. Kane slid into the ring to attack Cena. The ref rang the bell for the DQ finish after 15 minutes.

Winner by disqualification: John Cena

Analysis: ** A Raw main event ending in a DQ? That’s the usual. They’re not going to have one of these guys lose. Ryback is okay in small doses, but putting him in a 15 minute match isn’t good for him. It’s what hurt him in the past. He’s just an average in-ring performer. Plus, fans want to cheer the guy when he makes a big comeback on offense. Instead, he was on offense for much of it and it was pretty boring.

Post match, Ryback got in Kane’s face. Rollins told Ryback to calm down. Ryback punched Rollins in the face. Kane hit Ryback in the face with a big boot. All the heels went in the ring to attack Cena. Sheamus ran down to try to make the save, but he was met by a Rollins kick and Chokeslam by Kane. Big Show made his entrance to help Cena. He KO’d Noble & Mercury with Rollins. Show went for an attack on Henry, but Rollins hit him with a knee to the face and Rusev hit a superkick. Henry hit World’s Strongest Slam on Show.

Analysis: I love how Sheamus and Show come out individually instead of together. Little things like that bug me. I know I’m being over critical a bit, but it needs to be said. Why are babyfaces booked to be the biggest idiots in wrestling? No wonder so many heels get cheered.

Ryback popped back into the ring with a Spinebuster on Rollins. Clotheslines for Henry and Rusev. Ryback fought out of a Kane Chokeslam attempt and hit Shellshock on Kane. Ryback left while JBL and Cole said that it’s obvious Ryback won’t be teaming with The Authority. Cena applauded Ryback’s actions.

Analysis: The whole show and particularly this segment was all about building Ryback back up as a big star. Remember that he was a boring tag wrestler for much of this year. Missing a couple of months of action was a blessing in disguise for him. Ryback’s hot again and his presence in this angle is needed.

Back in The Authority’s office, Dolph Ziggler was getting attacked in the room. He was out on the floor. Luke Harper walked in. He said “I’m a team player.” Hunter and Stephanie just stared at him while Ziggler was out on the floor. The announcers didn’t say anything.

Analysis: That segment wasn’t shown to the fans in the arena. It was WWE’s way of re-introducing Harper, who was the guy with the crazy eyes that we’ve seen for weeks.

That likely means that Harper will join Team Authority, so that team will be Rollins, Kane, Henry, Rusev and Harper. Team Cena will be Cena, Show, Sheamus, Ziggler and Ryback will likely join them since he’s clearly booked as a face. Hopefully they don’t write out Ziggler by saying he’s hurt, but if they did then they could bring back Randy Orton as the fifth member of the team although he’s also filming The Condemned 2 movie right now. It’s not like they’re going to advertise an appearance from him anyway.

They have done a good job of building up both teams using logical storylines. It’s taken a while, but with one week of Raw left they have figured it all out.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Ryback – They’re doing a good job of re-establishing him, but he doesn’t need to be in long main events that are boring.

2. John Cena – He had some good lines in his promo, so I’ll give him a spot.

3. Seth Rollins – He’s usually in the match of the night. He was this week too although it wasn’t that special.

 

The Scoreboard

5.5 out of 10

Last week: 7

2014 Average: 5.97

2014 High: 9 (April 7 & June 30)

2014 Low: 3 (September 1)

Last 5 Weeks: 7, 5, 6.5, 6, 5.5

 

Final Thoughts

It gets a 5.5 out of 10.

This week’s Raw was more about the main event of Survivor Series and building that storyline. The in-ring action was below average. Two long matches were pretty boring.

They did what they could to build up Wyatt and Ambrose since they weren’t there.

I liked the reveal of Luke Harper. Seeing him on his own will be cool. He’s a talented performer. Putting him in a feud with Ziggler is a good move.

At this point, only three matches have been announced for Survivor Series. WWE wants non-subscribers to get WWE Network for free in November, yet they’ve only announced three matches for the show. I know they probably think that midcard matches don’t interest people, but if they are built up well then they do.

The fans in Liverpool were great. That’s no surprise. It sounded like WWE didn’t edit too many of their chants although there was likely some of that. I was told there were a few comments about no WWE Network in England and those were not shown on camera. I’m sure some fans that were there will email me about it, which is cool.

Next week Grumpy Cat is on Raw. If you don’t know what it is, you’re lucky. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to get people excited about this show. What is WWE doing? I wish I knew.

—–

That’s all for this week.

Check out my feature column archive that’s exclusive to WhatCulture. Some of my most recent articles are about great stories about Steve Austin, a look at ten times when fans tried getting into the ring and some ideas about who WWE could build around for a new Cruiserweight division. New content goes up daily, so be sure to check it out.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling.com on Facebook

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