WWE “Survivor Series” Live Coverage for 11/23/2014 – Team Cena vs. Team Authority, Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt, Nikki Bella Challenges AJ for the Divas Championship, and More

Tonight, live from St. Louis, MO and FREE on WWE Network, it’s the WWE’s fall classic, Survivor Series.  It’s a battle for power as Team Cena takes on Team Authority, and if they lose, The Authority is no longer in power.  If you read the spoilers about certain appearances, there’s a lot that could happen in this match so watch for shenanigans.  AJ defends her Divas Championship tonight against Nikki Bella, Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt square off, and much more.  Here’s the full card:


Fandango (w/Rosa Mendes) vs. TBA

Main Card:

Goldust and Stardust (c) vs. The Usos vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito) vs. Miz and Mizdow; WWE Tag Team Championship in a Fatal Four Way Match

Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt

AJ (c) vs. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella); WWE Divas Championship

Alicia Fox, Emma, Naomi, and Natalya vs. Paige, Cameron, Layla, and Summer Rae; Divas Survivor Series Elimination Match

Team Authority – Seth Rollins, Kane, Rusev (w/Lana), Mark Henry and Luke Harper vs. Team Cena – John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Ryback, and Erick Rowan; Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match.  If Team Authority loses, they are out of power.  If Team Cena loses, all except John Cena are fired.

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WWE Smackdown Results for 11/21/14 (Spoilers)

WWE Smackdown is being filmed this evening in Knoxville, TN.  Below are the results from the taping.  Refresh for the most current info.

– Michael Cole interviewed Triple H.  Team Cena, minus John Cena, was standing on the ramp during this.  Cena cut a promo from the Titantron.

– Rusev def, Dolph Ziggler.

– Los Matadores def. Miz and Mizdow.

– Dean Ambrose cuts a promo about being jumped a lot as a kid so he walked around with brass knuckles. He was interrupted by Bray Wyatt, from the big screen.

– AJ Lee def. Brie Bella.  AJ came out dressed as a Bella twin.

– Luke Harper def. Cesaro.  Erick Rowan came out and the two teased a fight, but nothing came of it.

– Team Cena cuts a promo about having no fear.  Triple H announces that if The Authority wins, Team Cena is fired.

– Seth Rollins & Kane vs. Ryback & Big Show ends in no contest.  Ryback is hot until Triple H comes out with the rest of Team Authority.  They attack Ryback and the rest of Team Cena.  Triple H hits Ryback with a Pedigree to end the show.



WWE Raw LIVE Reaction and Results for 11/17/14 – Raw is Grumpy Cat

Do not adjust your computer screen, folks.  Tonight: Raw is Grumpy Cat.  Live, starting at 8pm EST, WWE Raw airs from Roanoke, VA, and features the irritable feline as it’s host.  If Grumpy Cat isn’t live, in the ring, at SOME point during the show, I’ll be pissed.

But more importantly, tonight is the go-home Raw for WWE Survivor Series, which airs live on Sunday, November 23rd.  Has John Cena managed to find a complete team?  Will Ryback join Team Cena, or perhaps Team Authority?  

All this, plus more from Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose, antics with The Miz and Mizdow, bitchiness from Nikki Bella, and other happenings!  It all kicks off at 8pm!

Be sure to check out our Twitter, @RingRap, where we will have periodic quips on the show as well!

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WWE Monday Night Raw Live Coverage for 11/10/2014 – Team Cena Grows, UK Fans Chant for the Network, AJ vs. Brie Bella, Ryback Makes a Choice, and More

WWE has made their way across the pond to Liverpool, UK for tonight’s show.  Yes, it’s taped, so there are spoilers (thanks Drew!) out there to check out.  But, we’ll still be here to give you your weekly dose of snark and opinion as the show airs at 8PM EST here in the US on USA Network.  John Cena needs teammates for his Survivor Series team – who joins him?  Will the Authority continue to snuff out his hopefuls?

Join the conversation on Twitter as well @RingRap.

Show Open, taped earlier in the day in Liverpool, England at the Echo Arena

They open with a recap of last week’s show, focusing on Randy Orton essentially turning babyface. They hype Cena facing Ryback as well.  Cole welcomes us in, and you can hear a “Where’s Our Network?”, faintly (spoilers say it got pretty loud).

John Cena’s music hits and he comes out, and Liverpool pretty much hates him.  They sing along with the melody to do “John Cena Sucks.”  That always cracks me up.  He looks a bit rattled as he prepares to cut a promo.  He says he finds the English remix of his song amusing and calls it a hostile environment.  He says he can’t even field a team for his match at Survivor Series.  He reminds us that Vince said Survivor Series will be the most epic ever. The “Where’s our Network” chant gets going again.  Cena plays into it, saying he understands that.  That gets the fans to support him, and he even gets a “YES!” Chant.

Cena talks about how the Authority has stopped people from joining his team for Survivor Series.  He says the Authority has scared people into thinking joining Cena’s team is a death sentence.  He points out Zack Ryder getting injured, saying that injury was  a result of him saying he wanted to get on Cena’s team.  He says he does have two guys who are sick of it and are tired of being told they’re not good enough.  He announces that Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger are his first teammates.  Ziggler gets a nice reaction, Swagger, well not so much.

He says the Authority has scared guys and threatened to take away their careers.  He says there is one guy though that is more of a monster than a man.  He says that he will face him in the main event tonight, and while they don’t see eye to eye he wants to talk.  He asks for Ryback – his opponent tonight – to come to the ring to talk to him.  Ryback obliges.  England chants “feed me more.”  He only gets out “the bug guy’s back, before Triple H’s music hits.”

More “where’s our Network” chants.  England is riding WWE hard about this.  The Authority makes their way out to the ring.   They pause at the stage to bring out Mark Henry along with the rest of the crew.  Triple H gets a mic and tells Cena he is right that everything is on the line.  England really wants the Network – trust me, they’re drowning Hunter out.  Stephanie says the fans know who to ask the right questions to and poses that she should change her music to “God Save the Queen.”

Hunter says Cena is right that everything is on the line at Survivor Series.  He says he is trying to put the fear of God into guys because he is God.  He reiterates that the stakes have been raised and the game has changed.  He asks who has the guts to play the game, knowing it’s career suicide if they join Team Cena.  He says they could also join Team Authority, knowing that while they might win a battle but The Authority always wins.  He mocks Cena’s choices of Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler.  He calls Ziggler the “little tiny guy that won’t make it to Survivor Series” Cena responds, saying Hunter said sort of the same thing about Daniel Bryan but he beat Hunter’s ass at Wrestlemania.

Hunter rants saying Bryan is at home doing nothing.  He books Ziggler vs. Henry for later.

Stephanie does some talking, calling Cena’s speech propaganda.  She says that she would rather give harsh reality rather than false hope and that’s why Team Authority is best for business.  She promises Ryback main event opportunities and says that they are putting together the baddest team ever.  She continues to recruit Ryback.  Hunter offers Ryback more for consideration – more opportunites, fame, and glory..”more of anything you want.”  Ryback thinks about it and smiles.

Cena calls the Authority wankers that should be out of a job.  He says they do it for their protection.  He says he might have one or two guys but he will get his ass kicked as a man, not a sellout Kane, Sellout Shield, or sellout Sexual Chocolate.  Cena tells Ryback he doesn’t care which team he joins, but if he makes one misstep, Authority will dump him to the curb.  He then asks Ryback which side he’s on.  The crowd chants “feed me more.”

Ryback says he’s not afraid of the Authority, but he also doesn’t see Cena signing his paycheck.  He hits Cena with a spinebuster.  Stephanie mocks a “Yes” chant.  Stephanie waves her hand at Cena as Ryback leaves.

This is all setting up for a miracle Cena win.  I have had enough of the Authority, I have had enough of Hunter, I have had enough of Stephanie, I have had enough of all of it.  The segment wasn’t bad, but it’s just so heavy-handed Authority.  Odd that Hunter did not make himself the captain of his own team – putting control in his own hands of his fate.  Ryback seemed like a big deal given the courting from both sides.

They announced Ziggler would face Mark Henry later.  Rollins will have Jack Swagger, next.

They recap Ryback’s statement against Cena.

Match #1 – Seth Rollins vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter).

Neither man gets a good reaction here, though the fans sing Swagger’s song a bit.  Rollins uses a cheapshot to get an advantage, but Swagger knocks Rollins down with shoulder blocks.  Rollins rolls out of the ring to regroup with the Stooges.  Cole gives a Network shill.  Good thing the UK fans can’t hear that.  There’s something being chanted but I can’t hear.  Cole talks about Orton getting stomped and being out to film a…errr..with a concussion.

“We the People” chants get started as Swagger mounts some offense.  Snapmare then a leg drop.  Not much reaction from the live crowd.  Rollins comes back with a drop kick as JBL says “he’s from Oklahoma, I didn’t think he was that dumb.”  Swagger comes back by running Rollins into the buckles and hits a hip toss.  Swagger tries a Swagger Bomb but Rollins rolls out.  Commercial.

JBL chants from the live crowd as King shows highlights from during the break, then Cole and Lawler bicker with JBL and take sides.  Rollins gets back dropped over the ropes, and the Stooges tend to Rollins.  Back in the ring, Swagger gains momentum.  Swagger Bomb gets him a near fall.  Rollins tries a move off the ropes, but counters over into a sunset flip.  Swagger picks the ankle for the Patriot Lock, but Rollins gets the ropes then sends Swagger outside the ring.

Rollins tries a dive, but he misses. Swagger picks the ankle, but here come the Stooges for the distraction.  Rollins leaps off the barrier and pushes Swagger to the ring post.  Back in the ring,  Rollins hits the Curb Stomp to get the win.  Rollins celebrates with the Stooges as the ref and trainer tend to Swagger.  The Stooges back off the doctor and Rollins hits the Curb Stomp again.  Rollins jaws at Colter as the fans tell him he sold out.

This was fine down the stretch but no one really cared.  Not much reaction from the live crowd.  Swagger seems like the sacrificial lamb for Team Cena.

They air a Hire Heroes commercial, narrated by The Miz.  JBL goes face to thank veterans for their service, both in the US and UK where they celebrate Armistice Day.

We get highlights of Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt appearing on the Peep Show on Smackdown.  Wyatt tried to get Ambrose to join him, but unsuccessfully.  Wyatt laughs alot.

Backstage, Ambrose cuts a promo.  He says he has made more enemies than friends in the business and he admits to being a sinner. He says he’s not trying to be a hero.  Every time he gets in the ring, he faces demons a lot worse than Wyatt.  He says he will self destruct gloriously and if Wyatt wants to go with him that’s great.  He says he hopes there is a special place in hell for both of them.

We will see Ambrose vs. Wyatt at Survivor Series.  Free to WWE Network subscribers.  Sorry, UK. They’re rubbing it in your face tonight and they should feel terrible.

Ryback is backstage talking to Kane and Kane says he’s glad to have him on the team.  Liverpool boos that thoroughly.  He emphasizes that Hunter and Stephanie’s jobs and the direction of WWE is on the line.  Kane tells Ryback he has an opportunity to take out Cena tonight, and Ryback tells him he has it.  He tells Ryback that if he wants to be successful in the Authority, he needs to be humble.  Kane says he will be there to make sure he wins, and Ryback is to follow his lead.  Ryback tells him when he wants his advice, he’lll ask for it, and tells Kane to stay out of his way.

Match #3 – Paige vs. Alicia Fox

No televised entrance for Fox, and Paige gets a rousing ovation.  Paige gets chants early, but takes a big boot to the face that knocks her to the floor.  Alicia continues to control the offense with a northern lights suplex for two.  Alicia stretches Paige out as the fans rally behind her.  Fox yells it’s her house and gets another near fall.  Paige reverses a  slam attempt to a cross body to another near fall.

Paige hits a kick to mount a comeback, yells “this is my house” and hits the RamPaige to get the win.  Paige poses on the ropes her her countrymen.

Basic Divas match.  Nice to see Paige get the win in her hometown but it’s meaningless booking otherwise.

Rusev and Lana are heading to the ring.  Stephanie approaches them and reminds her of setting up the match that got Rusev the title and all the other stuff. Lana starts to say something, but Stephanie tells her there are no politics in WWE.  That’s laughable.  Lana tells her they are still considering the offer to join Team Authority.  Stephanie says “consider this, you stupid Russian twit…you scratch my back…I’ll scratch yours.  Understood?”

This shit neuters a heel act that looks to have promise.  Stephanie and Hunter are steamrolling the entire roster right now.  God damnit!  As much as I hate John Cena’s gimmick, I hope the plan is for him to win at Survivor Series.

Xavier Woods is James Brown in the vignette airing right now.  It’s a new day.  Hopefully.  He’s talented.

Backstage, Hunter and Steph watch last week’s announcement of the Survivor Series match stipulation from Vince again.  Hunter throws the remote and says Vince told him that he should like surprises.  Steph says it’s a test and she has been tested her entire life.  Hunter asks if Vince is trying to split them.  He says Cena doesn’t stand a chance and laughs about his team.  Hunter runs down Dolph, and says they’ll fight and win like they always do.  Steph asks “what if” and Hunter says they can’t think like that.  He says as long as they have each other they will be fine and they kiss.

Too.  Much.  Authority.

Rusev and Lana come to the ring.  There’s flags and men in suits, so this must be special.  They show highlights of Rusev winning the US Championship last Monday on the Network.  That was not well received.  Lana cuts a promo, saying Rusev is “your champion.”  She calls it ironic.  She says he wears it as a symbol of how much better Russia is than the United States.  That gets a pop.

She heels on them, saying that if it weren’t for Russia’s Army, the Brits would all be speaking German.  One of the men in suits speaks up and tells Rusev that Vladmir Putin and Mother Russia is proud of him.  He reads a statement from Putin in congratulations.  There’s “Winston Churchill” and “what” chants going on during this.  Rusev demands the fans rise for the Anthem.  They play the Russian national anthem, which gets booed heavily.

Sheamus’ music interrupts.  He charges to the ring and clears out the Russians.  He’s going to get his rematch, next.

John Cena narrates a Veterans Day honor package.  King apologizes for Sheamus interrupting the Russian National Anthem.

Match #3 – Rusev (c, w/Lana) vs. Sheamus; WWE United States Championship

Lillian Garica handles the old school ring introductions.  They tie up in the ropes early.  Rusev starts throwing strikes as they fight along the ropes, then Sheamus returns the favor.  This is a strike exchange early as JBL says Sheamus needs to turn this into a fight, not a wrestling match.  Sheamus hits a big knee lift that sends Rusev to the floor.  Sheamus tries for the Ten Beats and eventually gets a few of them in, but Rusev counters.  Sheamus headbuts him to the floor, where they battle at ringside.  Fallaway slam by Rusev onto the announce position.

Rest hold in the ring.  Fans are going into business for themselves, chanting for CM Punk and Bad News Barrett.  Spoiler report says a steward (usher) was taking signs, which drew boos.  Rusev hits a big spin kick going into the break.

Back live, Sheamus gets countered off the ropes.  He was building momentum during the break, if you have the App (I don’t, but they kindly recapped it).   Bad News Barrett chants again.  Noble and Mercury are out there now, and JBL plays stupid but he knows why they’re there.  Sheamus stuns Rusev and hits a clumsy double action.  Sheamus sets up a charge, but Rusev hits a drop kick.  “You Sold Out” chants?

Sheamus hits a powerslam for a near fall.   Rusev flips Sheamus out of the ring in the face of “boring” chants.  Sheamus hits Ten Beats on the ropes then a battering ram.  He tries for White Noise, but Rusev rolls through.  He tries for the Cloverleaf but Rusev’s too strong.  Roll-up and a toss gets Rusev a near fall.

Rusev clubs away in the corner as JBL says Putin is watching on pins and needles.  I highly doubt that.  Rusev drapes Sheamus on the corner, then picks him up.  Sheamus gets out and hits White Noise for a near fall.  Ole, ole-ole-ole-ole, Oleeee, Oleee.  Liverpool is getting bored.    Sheamus sets up for the Brogue Kick, but Rusev ducks out of the ring.  Sheamus dives out on Rusev, then throws him in the ring.

Rusev rolls back out, and Sheamus roughs up Rusev around the ring.  Rusev gets back in the ring, but Mercury and Noble get involved.  They distract Sheamus enough that he can’t get in the ring before the ten count.  Rusev wins by count out, thanks to the Stooges.  JBL tries to make excuses for the Authority getting involved and says it’s about wins and losses.  Cole tries to talk reason, but forget it.  Sheamus stares up the ramp in disgust.

This wasn’t a bad match, but the finish was garbage.  It protects Rusev and Sheamus both, with no one getting pinned or submitted.  I suppose it also sets up Sheamus joining Team Cena because he wants to get his hands on Rusev as a result.  JBL is horrible, by the way.

Cole sells Ziggler vs. Henry and Cena vs. Ryback for later.

Backstage, Lana and Rusev are walking after the match.  Steph applauds and congratulates Rusev for retaining the belt.  She asks if they have considered further whether or not to join Team Authority.  Lana tells her they will join Team Authority.  She goes to continue “Vladmir Putin would…” but Steph cuts her off.  She says she doesn’t give a damn about what Putin wants, it’s about what the Authority wants.  Together they will crush Team Cena.

Cole hypes up Team Authority – Seth Rollins, Mark Henry, Kane, Ryback, and Rusev.  He feeds it to a recap of the opening segment.

Way to go, WWE.  You have a heel act rising, and Stephanie McMahon bigfoots her way to the front of that moment.

Ryback was backstage lifting weights or something. Seth Rollins told him as captain that Ryback did the right thing by joining. Rollins says it’s all on the line (a recurring theme, it seems) and it will be his honor to captain the team to defeat “John Cena and whatever losers he can scrounge up.”  He said they have had their differences but they need to be on the same page. Rollins tells him he doesn’t have to take orders from Kane, he can take them from Rollins.  Ryback said his game plan is simple, he finds his target and he destroys it.  He corrects Rollins, saying “it’s not big man, it’s big guy.”

More in-team tension, I suppose?  I can’t care much.

Match #4 – The Miz and Mizdow (w/Hornswoggle) vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito)

Los Matadores and Torito come out before the break.  The Miz and Mizdow come out, and they’re accompanied by Hornswoggle.  He’s dressed like Miz too.  Screw this show, seriously.  Fans chant for Mizdow, and all three men play to the crowd.  Immediately the Brits want Mizdow.

Mini-Miz sells outside, as does Mizdow.  Drop toehold and a senton by Matadore for one.  Chops in the corner.  Mizdow runs a distraction and that lets Miz hit a backbreaker.  Miz teases a tag to Mizdow that gets a rise out of the crowd, but he doesn’t tag.  Mizdow keeps selling the moves on the apron.  Miz hits his corner clothesline then goes up top to hit a double axe handle.

Miz clubs Matadore and teases another tag, finally giving it to Mizdow.  Big reaction.  Miz tags himself back in as Mizdow runs the ropes.  Miz misses two moves and that lets Matadore get a hot tag.

Leg scissor and a cross body gets him a two.  Mizdow breaks up the count, and Matadore 2 takes him out.  Miz hits a big boot and poses, as does Mini-Miz on the apron.  Torito takes him out.  In the end, Matadore tries a suplex, but Miz turns it to a cross body.  Mizdow holds his leg and Miz gets the win.  The three “kinda-sorta-twins” celebrate on the stage.

Backstage, Ziggler talks about Team Authority, and complains about their number shortage to Cena.  Cena agrees, and tells Dolph if he wants to jump ship, he would understand. Ziggler tells Cena that there’s no chance of that.  He talks about how the Authority has held him back from making it. For once they are on the same page and he wants to get rid of The Authority.

Triple H came in confidently and asks “why the long faces?”   He says that he understands them watching each other’s backsides, but they’ll have to do it from a distance. He said Ziggler would have to face Henry with Cena banned from ringside, saying that Henry deserves a fair match. Triple H says it’s too bad that Swagger is out of their team. Cena and Dolph just sort of nod.  Hunter says “that’s how it goes, nothing personal, it’s just business.”  Hunter does this odd shuck-and-jive move and sings “Another one bites the dust.”  The crowd sings along – not the desired result, surely.

Ughhhhh.  Too.  Much.  Hunter.

Dolph Ziggler comes out to a great pop. The announcers talk about the Authority some more, and we get an odd cut-in.  It’s the eyes.  “I’m gonna piece myself back together with pieces of you.”  Mark Henry came out as they showed highlights of last week’s match between him and Big Show…

Match #5 – Dolph Ziggler vs. Mark Henry; John Cena banned from involvement

Ziggler uses his speed to avoid Henry early.  Ziggler hits a drop kick then tries a run off the ropes but takes a big clothesline.  Cole hypes Dolph’s record in Survivor Series, being 5-1.  Henry controls the offense, but misses a charge.  Ziggler tries a roll-up but he’s in the ropes.

Ziggler counters a move with what looks like a DDT, but it’s kinda ugly.  King says the Authority’s team looks unbeatable.  Ziggler superkicks Henry to ringside.  Henry throws Ziggler to the barrier.  Henry gets a chair and throws it at Ziggler.  That throws the match out.  Henry dismantles the stairs and clumsily puts them in the ring.  I hear chuckling.  Henry throws Ziggler in and sets up the World’s Strongest Slam on Ziggler.

Big Show’s music hits, and here he comes.  Henry gathers up the steps to try and use them, but Big Show stops him.  Clumsy exchange in the ropes sends Henry to the floor.  Show tosses the steps at him but he doesn’t do it like Cena.  Show grabs a mic and tells Henry to not run.  He then says that he wants to let Henry in on a secret – he joined Team Cena and he’ll see his ass at Survivor Series.

JBL calls it dumb, and Cole says the playing field got a little more level.  Show helps Ziggler to the back.

This was more of an angle than a match.  Logical to get Show on Team Cena as he has the story with his story with Henry.

Backstage, Dolph, Cena and Show talk.  Show says he hates the Authority as much as anyone, and he’s happy to get on board.  Cena says they have three, and they need one more crazy enough to join them.  Sheamus talk off camera, telling Cena he needs only one more.  He joins up, and they shake hands.  They say they need to find one more now.

Match #6 – AJ vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella)

AJ gets her entrance, then the Bellas to no reaction.  They show highlights of Brie being slapped around by Nikki.  This story sucks!  CM Punk chants early on.  AJ uses an elbow to take Brie down.   Brie gets a two count, then controls the offense.  Nikki is barking orders from ringside as JBL and Cole bicker over Team Cena vs. Team Authority and all that stuff.

AJ hits a spinning DDT then charges.  Brie hits a missile drop kick but takes a knee on the charge.  AJ locks in the Black Widow and this is over.  Nikki assaults AJ from behind after the submission and hits her with the Rack Attack.  She holds the belt up while the fans collectively yawn and don’t care.

This was terrible.  Nothing good about it, to be honest, and the fans didn’t care.

They recap a segment from Smackdown featuring Army Sergeant Dan Rose, who told his story of what happened to him overseas.  He has created a device called an ExoSuit, and he walked with the help of the device.  “Thank You Dan” chants.  Admittedly, I teared up.

Ryback is shown backstage again this time with Mark Henry. He welcomes him, then references the WrestleMania match they had where “I whooped your ass.”  Henry laughs and again welcomes Ryback to the team.  Ryback just stares as Henry walks away.

Why does this scream “changed my mind” for Ryback?  I guess there’s two routes they could go – Ryback turns back, or Randy Orton fills the last Team Cena slot.

Grumpy Cat will be on Raw next week.  Yes, really.  I’m serious.  Get the kitty litter.

Match #7 – Tyson Kidd vs. Adam Rose

Tyson Kidd got no entrance.  Rose got his though, and a decent reaction seeing as he’s from England.  JBL rants about the bunny. They show Rose’s issues with the Bunny of late.  They flash back to Smackdown, where the Bunny got involved in Rose’s match with R-Truth.

Rose gets an early shoulder tackle, then a hip toss.  Kidd drops Rose across the ropes and takes control.  The announcers talk about Kidd being famous because of Natalya.  Erick Rowan makes his way to ringside to take a look at the proceedings.    He pulls the mask up and says “She’s not here.” and exits.  That makes about zero sense.

Rose mounts a flurry of offense, hitting a spinebuster.  The bunny crawls up on the top rope, and Rose waves him off and tells him to get down.  Kidd uses the distraction to lock on the Sharpshooter for the submission win.  Afterward, Rose kicks the bunny and ditches him in the ring.  The announcers argue some more.

Eh.  Whatever.  I guess they’re setting up something for Bunny vs. Rose?

They talk about Team Cena vs. Team Authority.  There’s nothing else on the card, really.  That’s sad.  King says the rest of November is free – unless you’re in the UK and you don’t get any.    Cole feeds it to a recap of the Vince segment from last week where he raised the stakes.

Backstage, the Authority talks.  They are all arguing a bit.  Kane says Ryback’s not a team player and he has an attitude issue.  Ryback enters, and asks if he’s being talked about behind his back. Hunter says this is all “first day team jitters” and it’ll be okay.  He tells Ryback that tonight is about him, and he is to just do what he does and destroy, maim, and hurt John Cena.  Stephanie speaks up and says they need to think about what’s on the line and think about their familes.  Come Survivor Series, they need to fight as one team.  The team responds, a bit sheepishly.  They head out for the main event, next.

Chris Jericho will be hosting the Highlight Reel on Smackdown this week.

Pretty half-assed hype for Jericho.

Another Smackdown recap.  It’s Christian, and the Peep Show.  Notably over Cole’s shoulder is some dude with some real cool dance moves.  They recap the Peep Show with Ambrose and Wyatt.  Wyatt cuts a promo, saying that society tells us we’re imperfect in our own way.  He says when someone is as different as Ambrose, people would rather spit on him than send a dollar his way.  He says he sympathizes because he walks the same wire.  He references Ambrose’s father again, calling him a sinner.  He says he knows the only way is his way.  He says Ambrose talks about the horrible things that have happened, and calls himself sin.  He tells Ambrose he has a choice – walk with him and enjoy righteousness, or walk away and burn.  This is the law of society.

Match #8 – John Cena vs. Ryback (w/Mark Henry, Rusev, Seth Rollins, Kane, Mercury and Noble)

Cena gets his entrance before the break.  After break, they cut to studio, where Paul Heyman and Joey Styles cut an intro for ECW Exposed, after Raw.  Tweet Heyman questions for after Raw.  Probably will be more entertaining than this show.  Ryback makes his entrance.  It’s feeding time.  Seven on one match.  Oh, earlier Hunter said that Cena’s guys were banned from ringside.  We get a recap of Ryback turning yet again.

Cole hypes Cena’s 8-1 record at Survivor Series as Ryback out-powers Cena and sends him flying.  Divided crowd early.  Early stalling, then the UK fans start chanting “Goldberg.”  Cena tries the AA early but Ryback counters out with an elbow.  Cena fires back with shots, then tries for a bulldog but Ryback counters with a powerslam for two.  Hunter and Stephanie watch on as King says they look concerned.

Kane starts barking orders at Ryback as the fight spills to ringside. Cena hits a shoulder block on Ryback on the apron, and that sends him tumbling into Kane.  Kane stares at him.

Back live, Cena goes up top but gets countered. Ryback hits a one-armed slam and plays to the fans.  The two continue to trade offense, with Ryback getting the better of it.

Ryback laughs and smiles at the rest of Team Authority.  Cena rolls back in the ring after a seven count as Kane tells him he needs to be more aggressive.  Ryback covers for two, then works the back.  After working the back Ryback covers for two again.   Cena comes back with a belly to belly suplex to buy space. Ryback hits a Thesz Press and slams Cena’s head against the mat, then splashes him for a near fall.

Ryback plays to the crowd and says it’s time to finish it.  He tries for Shellshocked, but Cena hits  a shoulder block.  Ryback counters the second one though and gets a near fall.  Ryback sets up a powerbomb that Cena counters.  Ryback comes back with another slam for a near fall.  King says Team Authority is a bit concerned.  Ryback tries to start “Feed me more” but gets “You sold out.”

Ryback tries a slam but Cena slips out and starts firing away with hands.  Ryback gets Cena in a corner and hits a big move for a near fall.  Kane shakes his head and Rollins complains at ringside.  Ryback sets up Cena on the ropes but he counters.  Cena picks the leg and locks on the STF mid-ring, but Ryback gets to the ropes to break it.

Ryback tries a springboard shoulder block for a near fall, but Cena trips him for the STF again.  Ryback gets up and tries to set up Shellshocked, but Cena counters out with a side slam.  Kane gets on the apron and Cena blasts him.  Ryback hits a spinebuster.  Kane has had enough and he gets in the ring and stomps on Cena for the DQ.

Kane and Ryback exchange words, with Kane saying he will do what Ryback didn’t do.  They start shoving, with Kane getting the better of it and sending Ryback to ringside.  The Authority start ganging up on Cena.  Sheamus’ music hits and he charges to the ring.  He goes right after Rusev, taking him down and clubbing away, but the numbers are too much.  Big Show’s music hits and he comes to the ring.

He knocks out the Stooges on his way, and goes after Henry.  The numbers are still too much.  Ryback gets back into things, taking out Rollins, Henry, and Rusev.  Kane sets up a chokeslam, but Ryback is too strong.  He hits Kane with Shellshocked and leaves by himself.  He looks back at the ring, where Cena is clapping.

Backstage, Hunter and Stephanie are watching the monitor and not happy.  Dolph Ziggler goes flying across their feet, as if he has been whooped on.  Hunter and Steph look down, then look up at someone.  The camera pans back to show Luke Harper standing there, and he says “I’m a team player.”  That’s how it ends.

I didn’t get the face guys needing their music played.  That was odd.  The match was clunky but the story told pointed to them being even.  The live crowd seemed to like Ryback, so the storytelling of Ryback attacking Cena but butting heads with the Authority seemed to not get as lost on them as it did on me.  Why would you do that to a guy, seriously?  Lame ass WWE booking.

If you like the Authority, and you like one match being set up, this was your show.  They really put all the attention and focus into the main event 5-on-5 match for Survivor Series.  You got Stephanie big-footing her way over an up and coming act in Rusev and Lana, you got Triple H declaring himself God, and all the other fun trappings of a McMahon focused program.  Don’t get me wrong for one minute – I think strong heels are necessary in wrestling.  I just think that those strong heels should be talents stepping inside the 20 x 20 ring and working the match – not authority driven figures who just happen to be part of “real world” corporate management.  No one feels important in the match other than Hunter and Stephanie right now.

I am also really disappointed with the undercard.  We know we will get AJ vs. Nikki Bella, which does nothing for me at all.  Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt is also official, and that program doesn’t feel all that hot at the moment either.  We’re two weeks from Survivor Series at this point, and the build has focused all around one match – and really only three people (Cena, Hunter, and Stephanie) involved with that match.

WWE has to get their creative asses in gear for this pay per view.  Giving it away for free, I still am not all that enamored to watch it.

Maybe I’ll feel differently when I write Raw Afterthoughts tomorrow evening.  Be watching for that and all the conversation that will go on during RingRap Audio when we record on Wednesday night.  Thanks for watching along.


WWE Monday Night Raw Afterthoughts for 11/4/2014 – Seth Rollins Slays Randy Orton, Triple H and Stephanie Form a Team, Vince McMahon Returns With Big News, Rusev and Sheamus Square Off, and More

Welcome to this week’s edition of Raw Afterthoughts, where we run down the hits and misses of last night’s broadcast.  Feel free to weigh in with thoughts and comments of your own by hitting us up on Twitter (@RingRap) or on Facebook (, and we might include your points on RingRap Audio which will drop tomorrow night.

  1. Seth Slays The Viper….

A lot of rumors flying around that Randy Orton is off to film a movie for a couple weeks.  So, what better way to handle that than write him off in a minor injury angle?  And what better way to do it than at the hand of a guy you’re pushing in Seth Rollins?

Rollins again looked very good in his main event effort against Orton.  It was a big plus that he went over clean, and Orton lost nothing by losing on a backslide.  The post match angle was strong too.  There’s money in Rollins being that wormy guy that you just can’t get to, but still strong enough to log a clean win over a babyface.  Well done here.

  1. Speaking of the Viper…

Matt Hester will be the first to tell you he loves Heel Orton, almost as much as he loves Kane.  His turn last summer had promise, but he ended up being the Authority’s lackey and he ended up being just another guy in the storyline.

Orton felt hot last night though.  The live crowd seemed to perk up for his moments and the injury angle, as noted before, was well done.  With the show ending angle, one can only assume he comes back to team with Cena to face the Authority, if for any reason to get his hands on Rollins.

  1.  Mid-Card Title Match Falls Flat:

I admit that I had really high expectations for Rollins vs. Ziggler during the early part of the show.  Two problems with this match – one was the way the DQ finish was handled.  Can it be all that hard to announce a DQ finish?  When WWE (or any promotion for that matter) doesn’t do it, it sends the message that the match, and its result, doesn’t matter.  That does nothing for a title match, especially.

Also, these guys never got out of first gear.  The action was fine down the stretch, but it never really got going.  Maybe this is just my expectations talking, but it ended up being a minor miss.

  1.  The Boss is Back, and He’s Bringing Big News…

Vince McMahon made an appearance last night.  Color me shocked, as I didn’t see this coming.  I like it when they do this in doses, especially when someone of his magnitude has something big to announce.  I’d like to see more of this from authority figures in general.  Perhaps I wouldn’t be so burned out on them.

The stipulation he announced for the Survivor Series tag match was indeed big news, and definitely put some juice on the upcoming match.  That also set the stage for the  story they told throughout the night of setting up the Authority team.

  1. You’re Not Main Event…

Dean Ambrose was scaled back last night.  If you’re a fan, you might want to be at least a bit wary of that.  He was in the main event last month, but given he’s feuding with Wyatt, he won’t be this month.  Looks like he’s in a cooling off period.

The match he and Cesaro had was fine, but it felt saddled by bad parlor tricks from Bray Wyatt.  I hope that’s not his new character vision.  And it continues to depress me how they’re using Cesaro right now.  The positioning of all three men on this night was a miss.

  1.  Strong Upper Hand…

Mark Henry got the better of Big Show last night.  This match was a minor miss for me.  It was plodding and slow big man action, and a lot of it had to do with the way the announcers handled it.  This is allegedly a showdown match between two behemoths – present it as such.

Michael Cole is capable, as he did it for a Show vs. Rusev match a few weeks ago.

  1. We Will Win This for Russia!

The story of Rusev winning the US Championship writes itself, so it makes sense they went to this move in the WWE Network Special Match that took place after Raw.  Obviously, hosting a title match on the Network makes it seem like a bigger deal and draws eyes on the Network, which is a win.

I don’t understand the men working matches beforehand, and why they didn’t do a better job of building the match up between them.  The announcers were consistent but we never really got that compelling Rusev/Sheamus promo exchange.  But the match quality was good and it was newsworthy that Rusev picked the title up.

Now, who to unseat him?  We’ll discuss that on Ring Rap Audio this week.

  1.  Enough With the Bull…Costumes…

Los Matadores has run its course.  They need to dump the masks and the Bull and all that stuff.  Primo and Epico are talented, and were underused as it was, but now they feel like a gimmick trying to cater to young kids who don’t even care.  Worse yet is that the act is a bit tough to stomach for older viewers.

The match was rough between Fernando and Stardust also.  Too many moving parts at the end.  And as much as I am one to talk, Fernando seems to have misplaced his swipe card for Snap Fitness…looking a bit pudgier than normal.

  1.  Just Kidd-ing around

The Tyson Kidd/Sheamus match did nothing for me as it pertains to Sheamus facing Rusev.  That said, seeing Kidd get some time on Raw was very welcome and the match was fine.  I like how he employs Natalya in his matches and the act overall.

The only thing that bothers me is that Kidd won by count-out, and he will be victim to the even-steven midcard booking and get destroyed by Sheamus later this week.


WWE Monday Night Raw Live Coverage for 11/3/2014 – The Road to Survivor Series, Team Authority vs. Team Cena Make Their Choices, More

WWE Raw rolls on in Buffalo, NY tonight.  Last week, we saw the formulation of the main event for Survivor Series featuring Team Authority vs. Team Cena.  It’s said that John Cena might not be on Raw, so how will his team come together after last week’s melee that closed the show?  Also, will Big Show get a measure of revenge on Mark Henry, who turned on him last Monday?  And is Nikki Bella going to assert herself in a chase for the Divas Championship?

Join the conversation on Twitter @RingRap and @Bill_SoonerFan, also!

WWE Raw, Show Open Live from the First Niagra Center in Buffalo, NY

Then, Now, Forever.  A recap of Rollins saying he’s done with Ambrose and he’s targeting John Cena.  That drew out Orton, who isn’t happy.  He hits the RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!  That didn’t please Hunter.  They move to the main event, which ended in a melee for no apparent good reason.  Rollins got away and hid under Stephanie’s skirt.  Not really.

Live in the arena, Cole welcomes us in and Vince McMahon’s music sounds.  Really?  Here he comes, with Hunter and Stephanie!  Vince asks if we missed him and says things have been well in hand with the Authority.  Buffalo doesn’t like that.  Vince hypes the WWE Network for $9.99 and says those who haven’t subscribed can find out what they’re missing because the Network is free for November and that means you can get Survivor Series for free.

He talks about Team Authority vs. Team Cena in a traditional five on five match.  He says as good as this is, he wants to raise the stakes.  He wants the next generation to feel what he feels, and that’s “power that he has earned.”  He talks about beating the government and beating Ted Turner and WCW.  He says we know how his battle with God turned out.  He proposes that if Team Authority loses at Survivor Series, they will no longer be the Authority and they will no longer be in power.  Triple H and Stephanie don’t look amused, but Vince is convinced they can do it.  Exit Authority.

Dean Ambrose’s music hits.  He walks down the ramp and shakes hands with Vince but ducks Hunter and Stephanie.  Ambrose plays to the fans in the ring as we get ready for the first match.  Cole recounts what just happened, and hypes up Big Show vs. Mark Henry for later.

Back live, Vince talks about how great it is to be back.  He says he apologizes for the surprise but Triple H assures him he has it.  Vince fixes Hunter’s tie and Stephanie reiterates that all is under control.  Vince bails into the car and leaves, and Hunter and Steph walk off to figure things out.

This was newsworthy for Vince appearing.  Triple H and Stephanie didn’t sell it well though; they just looked mildly displeased, but not nervous.  You’d think they would want them to squirm over losing power.  They actually looked confident, and Triple H actually nodded in agreement.  Lots of no-sell here.

They recap the end of the Hell in a Cell match between Seth Rollins and Ambrose, with Bray Wyatt getting involved.

By the way, there’s reports circulating on saying that John Cena is not in the building tonight and fans were offered refunds prior to this show starting.

Match #1 – Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro

Cesaro’s sirens go off and he’s on his way to the ring for the first match.  During his entrance, they recap the “trick or street fight” from Smackdown between these two.  Basic brawling action in the early going.  The announcers are more interested in talking about the surprise Vince sprung on the Authority than the match.  Cesaro gets run off the barrier by Ambrose, who is standing in the crowd.  Somewhere along the way Cesaro gets a nasty wound across the nose.  Wyatt sounder hits and the lights go out going into break.

Back live, Cesaro controls the action, hitting a DDT off the ropes.  Wyatt is sitting in his rocking chair at the top of the ramp.  Ambrose tries to get a clothesline off the ropes but Cesaro counters.  He locks in a submission but Ambrose holds on.  Ambrose counters with a jawjacker and follows up with a cross body and a bulldog for two. Wyatt watches on from the stage.

Ambrose takes a big boot but comes back with his pendulum clothesline move out of the ropes.  Ambrose tries for a tornado DDT off the ropes but Cesaro counters to a toss and uppercut for a near fall.  Ambrose sends Cesaro to the floor and follows with a dive through the ropes.  It’s not time for commercial?  Wyatt laughs as Ambrose throws Cesaro back in.

Ambrose sets up for something off the ropes but Cesaro knocks him down.  Cesaro tries a backslide, but Ambrose kicks out.  Dirty Deeds strikes, and this one’s over.  Ambrose and Wyatt look at each other.  Ambrose decides to go at him, but the creepy Wyatt sounder hits.  Wyatt disappears and leaves an empty chair.  The announcers call it gamesmanship.

Why has Cesaro become Ambrose’s “job guy”?  Cesaro is better than this.  Will we see him stunt-doubling for someone soon?  Wyatt’s tricks right now aren’t working for me either.

Backstage, Stephanie tells Hunter that her dad taught her to never let them see you sweat.  She talks about building the strongest team ever assembled, and Hunter digs out the phone to call Orton.  Stephanie rails against that idea.  “the Randy Orton that defied our authority and RKO’d Seth Rollins, the leader of Team Authority last week?”  Hunter says that was before her dad decided they needed to be stronger, and he wants the best team possible so hence he’ll call Orton.  Stephanie rolls her eyes.  Hunter, didn’t you learn to listen to your wife?

So there’s a little squirming, but I rolled my eyes at how Stephanie talked about looking confident but there’s the cameras right in front of them.

Match #2 – Jimmy Uso (w/Jey) vs. The Miz (w/Mizdow)

Usos come out before the break, the Miz and Mizdow come out during the break.  The announcers recap the Usos playing the “twin magic” game twice last week.  What, are these guys related to the Bellas?  JBL thinks they should be role models.  Mizdow mocks Miz’s offense outside the ring.  Jimmy hits Miz with a kick  then hits a clothesline and an armdrag takedown.  The announcers are talking about celebrities who do and don’t need doubles.  Jey steals a Mizdow page and mocks the offense in the ring too.

Miz starts firing back.  He hits a kick then his running clothesline in the corner.  Double axe off the steps…err…ropes by Miz gets him two.  The announcers talk about the Survivor Series and the elimination of the Authority, if it were to happen.  Miz gets dumped to the floor, then Jey hits a dive.  Jimmy and Mizdow mimicked those moves.  Mizdow goes for the ring after Miz did, and Jimmy pulls him out and superkicks him.  Buffalo didn’t like it.  Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale in the ring on Jey to get the win.

Cole hypes Big Show taking on Mark Henry tonight.  They recap Show hitting the World’s Strongest Slam three times last week when they were closing in on the tag team championship.  That’s tonight.

Hey, fella…it’s Sheamus.  He’s got the next match.

Match #3 – Sheamus vs. Tyson Kidd (w/Natalya)

Sheamus has two matches tonight, actually.  Sheamus will be defending his US Championship against Rusev in the aftershow.  Go check that press release out on the site.  As for now, he’s waiting for his next opponent in the ring.  Kidd made his way to the ring during the break, with his Beats headphones and all.  They recap how Rusev got the challenge for tonight’s match with Rusev on the WWE Network that the UK folks can’t get.

Kidd kicks Sheamus a bit but Sheamus catches him and beats him up a bit.  Kidd comes back with a kick but takes the Irish Curse backbreaker.  Rusev and Lana watch on as Sheamus hits him with a flying knee from the ropes.  Kidd uses a drop toe hold to drop Sheamus on the ropes, then he unloads a series of shots in the corner.  The announcers talk about the marriage issues between Kidd and Natalya rather than call the match.  I think Rusev and Lana (shown on backstage cam) are paying more attention.

Kidd wears Sheamus down with a headlock that he transitions to a sleeper.  Sheamus backs to the corner to break it, then hits a big knee lift.  He follows with the Alabama Slammer and locks on the Cloverleaf.  Kidd gets a break in the ropes but Sheamus uses the full five count.  A bit later, Kidd hits Sheamus with a drop kick that sends Sheamus to the floor.  Out on the floor, Sheamus hits the Finlay Roll on Kidd.  Kidd hits a kick, and Sheamus charges.  Kidd pulls Natalya in front of him and ducks back in the ring to beat the count.

Sheamus lost by count out, but he gets in the ring and hits the Brogue Kick in a heelish move.  He gets his title and shrugs to the fans.  He exits.

Title reign mention spells doom, many times.  I am assuming Rusev goes over somehow – and he’s definitely not losing clean.  This match was alright, but it didn’t do anything to get me interested in watching the match later.

We see Dolph Ziggler walking backstage.  He’s in action next.

In Ring Segment

Dolph gets his entrance, then here comes the ENTIRE Authority.  Yes, all of them.  Guessing this will be some sort of gauntlet match, or multiple man handicap match.  So let’s just kill the IC champion, right?  Cole sends it to a recap of what Vince said in the beginning of the show.  Stephanie says we all heard Vince’s announcement and they’re ecstatic for the opportunity.  They’re winners.  She hypes the “strongest Survivor Series team ever” with Seth Rollins and Kane, and their partner Randy Orton.

Hunter addresses Dolph and says they wouldn’t hold any grudge against anyone who would team with John Cena, but he wants Dolph to question a few things.  If he partners with Cena, what happens?  What happens if Team Cena wins?  Hunter plants seed of discord saying that Cena will take the credit for winning “with Dolph on his team.”  He plays it out if Cena loses, saying Cena won’t take the blame for the loss or will he pass it to Dolph.

Hunter says he doesn’t think anything about Dolph is a failure, but there’s something in his way every time he makes his way to the top.  Hunter puts him over then says Cena gets the credit. Hunter tells Dolph he can’t see through the ceiling and can’t break through it.  Stephanie asks Dolph where Cena is and Hunter says Cena cares so much that he’s not in Buffalo for his team.

Hunter says maybe it all works out and Dolph gets all the girls, adulation, and title shots.  But it’s a lot of maybes and uncertainties, but Dolph can tell Cena no.  Hunter tells him he has the talent and ability.  He says he can tell Dolph how to get rid of the uncertainties by joining the Authority and he can write his how ticket.  Hunter tells Dolph that “you ask, we give, anything you want.”  The fans chant, but Stephanie tells him to not listen to them.

Dolph asks “anything I want?”  Hunter says “just ask.”  Dolph says “I want you out of power.  I want you gone, I want your wife gone, I want the Sellout Gone, I want these two goons gone.  I want you out of power.”  Hunter says it’s too bad and they want nothing more than to give the fans what they want.  Hunter says that when the 12-year olds tweet him their displeasure that they brought this on themselves.  He tells Dolph that he will defend the Intercontinental Championship against “the future, Seth Rollins.” next.

A snoozer of a promo segment that went on far too long.  Hunter just didn’t connect, and I swear the live crowd went to sleep.  The match should be good, but I get the feeling the match ending is predictable.

Match #4 – Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins (with a shedload of people for the advantage); WWE Intercontinental Championship

Rollins controls the early part of this match.  He dominates Ziggler while the announcers debate the future of WWE if the Authority were to lose.  JBL calls out Cole for not calling a great match.  For a heel, he makes some good sense.  We go to break.

Ziggler mounts a comeback after the break.  Rollins cuts him off and hits a buckle bomb for two.  Rollins misses a stomp off the ropes which lets Dolph hits a Fameasser that nets him a good near fall.  Jamie Noble sticks his nose in things with some interference.

Seth Rollins cues up and hits the Curb Stomp after a Noble distraction.  He backs away and laughs, but look out.  RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!  Orton hits the ring and clobbers Rollins with the RKO.  The referee waves his arms, but the bell never rings and there’s no announcement of any sort.  Orton escapes up the ramp and Kane asks him what he’s doing.  Kane gets in the ring as do the Stooges.  They tend to Rollins.  I guess the match is over.

I hate it when WWE just walks away from a no-finish like this.  The interference from Orton was good, and the live crowd liked it.  But the official did NOTHING to actually follow the finish through nor was there an announcement from Lillian.  Kinda lame.

Backstage, Steph questions Hunter about what just happened and complains about the team fighting amongst themselves.  Enter Orton. He doesn’t hit anymore RKO’s out of nowhere, but he does ask about hearing his name.  He asks for a match against Seth Rollins and Stephanie balks, asking why they would put the co-captains of Team Authority in a match.  Orton is incredulous and looks like he might RKO her, but instead says that he might be better off fighting for someone else and joining Team Cena.  Orton promises to continue doing what he just did.

Hunter yells “stop” and tells Orton he needs him on Team Authority.  He says he also needs Rollins on the team and asks Orton if he understands what is at stake.  Hunter tells him everything is at stake and he needs the Viper.  If he burns, they all burn.

Hunter says he needs the guy he has battled against and with for 12 years.  He tells Orton he will get his match with Rollins, but get it out of his system.  It’s over, they will go to war together at Survivor Series.  He asks if they have a deal, and Orton shakes his hand.

Hunter was way better here than in the earlier segment, but still, too much talking.  Orton is going to be filming some movie stuff, so perhaps they write him off temporarily tonight with this move.

A surreal “eye promo” that also aired on Main Event was run.  The man says he sees things that aren’t there and he will piece himself together with pieces of you.  Very weird. No idea what that was, but I guess it was something to do with Harper or Rowan?

They run highlights of the story developing between Big Show and Mark Henry.

Match #5 – Ryback vs. Titus O’Neil

Titus cuts a short promo, saying at Survivor Series winning will be spelled TITUS.  I see Flori-duh teaches more than basketweaving.  He pledges to not back away from any challenge presented him as a part of Team Authority.  Ryback’s music cuts him off.

Titus gets an early advantage, hitting a backbreaker.  Ryback mounts a comeback though, getting the better of O’Neil.  The Authority is watching backstage.  He hits the Meathook, then follows with Shellshocked for the win. Feed Me More.

Short match to continue to establish Ryback on his return.  I think he ends up on Team Cena.

Backstage, Renee Young interviews Big Show.  He first says he would be honored to team with Cena to take the Authority out of power.  He cuts a promo on Mark Henry, saying he has been to his house and ridden on his bus.  Show doesn’t cry on command – Tommy Dreamer would be sad.  Show says part of him wants his friend back, but part of him wants to knock Henry out of his life.

This was believable, but I’m not sure what the hell they’re hoping for here – a reuniting or that Show hits the KO punch?

Lillian points out some of the Buffalo Bills players that are in attendance.  They must be on a bye, and bored.  Cole hypes the US Championship match that will take place on the Network after the show.

Match #6 – Big Show vs. Mark Henry

Another recap of Henry turning on Show last week as Show makes his entrance.  As Henry comes out, Cole says this isn’t about size but strength.  Shoving match to start, with Show getting the edge on a whip.  Henry comes back, hitting a splash in the corner.  Show hits a superkick then a big elbow drop.  I guess it’s not a small one when it’s Big Show.

The fight spills outside, and Show hits a shoulder tackle.  Things move back in, and Show locks on his submission hold.  Henry breaks it in the ropes.  Show continues to control the slow, plodding match then decides to try and play cruiserweight going to the top.  Henry throws him off onto the mat.  After some more plodding offense, Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam.  Show kicks out at two to no reaction.

Things spill outside and Henry throws Show into the steps.  Henry grabs the steps and hits Show with them, and the bell rings.  For once they call for a DQ.  Interesting.  Henry continues to rearrange the steps for something else.  Show starts fighting back but takes a headbutt.  He hits the World’s Strongest Slam on the steps.  That’s what he does.  Trainers tend to Show as Henry drapes his “that’s what I do” shirt on him.

Plodding, slow, and flat.  The live crowd didn’t seem to much care about it.

Backstage, Stephanie tells Hunter that they need Henry’s aggression.  Hunter asks if they can keep him focused and sends Kane to see what his interest is.  Stephanie hypes the team, saying they are compiling the strongest team ever with Orton, Rollins, Kane, and (probably) Henry.  They only need one more.  She adds “if Seth Rollins and Randy Orton can coexist.”  Hunter tells her to trust him and these guys just need to get it out of their system.

It’s obvious that they’re going to add Henry to the team, given they want to build “the strongest team” for Survivor Series.  This likely means Show ends up on Team Cena too.

Backstage, Renee Young welcomes in Brie Bella.  Renee barely gets a question out about being into day 8 of the 30 days of servitude when Nikki walks into frame and says Brie can do nothing unless Nikki says so.  Screw this angle, seriously.  I hate it.  Nikki says some words, I didn’t pay attention.

Match #7 – Nikki Bella (w/Brie) vs. Emma

AJ says that she doesn’t need friends as she has the Divas Title.  Emma locks on the Dil-Emma in the ropes, then tries to attack in the corner with the Emmamite Sandwich?  Something like that.  Anyhow, Nikki hits the Rack Attack to get the win.  Nikki demands that Brie raise her hand in victory, then sends Brie to slap AJ. Brie does it, then takes a shot from AJ.  AJ chases Nikki, who bails up the ramp.  The two stare at each other.

I still am not compelled to cheer for AJ, because her character hasn’t changed or been given a chance to let me like her.  I really don’t give a damn about Brie and Nikki and it sucks.  Garbage angle, garbage women in it, and I just can’t care.

Cole hypes Orton vs. Rollins for the main event.

There’s some new day coming.  They tried this with Ted DiBiase Jr., didn’t they?

Zack Ryder is going to have a match.  Before that, they show he tweeted Cena about joining Team Cena.  Woo Woo Woo, You Got Crushed.

Match #8 – Zack Ryder vs. Rusev (w/Lana)

Here comes Lana and Rusev.  They recap how the US Title Match that is going to air on the Network after Raw got set up.  This will be over quickly.  Ryder gets momentary offense in, hitting a drop kick and teasing the Broski Boot, but, bang, thrust kick, Accolade, match over.

Lana has a mic.  Ugh – more typical cold war stuff.  Flag falls.  Buffalo chants USA and she yells at them to shut up.  She says they will fulfill the noble directive of Vladmir Putin to bring him the US Championship.  Putin doesn’t give two shits about pro wrestling.  Rusev tells Sheamus he will beg and suffer and will be annihilated.  Cue the Irishman.

He tells Rusev he is proud to wear the US Championship and it signifies the opportunity available in this fine country.  He tells them if they think they will take the title back to Russia they are delusional.  He tells Rusev he is in for the fight of his life later.  They stare and breathe heavy at each other.

I hope they DON’T move the title, and here’s why.  First, they could make it a much bigger deal in front of a lot more people – and Network is not the place for that. I also think there’s something to be said for having Rusev chase it with a couple of non-finishes where he doesn’t lose outright (pin or submit) to protect him.  Adds value to the title before they move it.

All that said, and the belt will change hands tonight.

Cole hypes the Network some more and that Survivor Series will be seen for free this month.  That has been a recurring theme of the night.

Lana and Rusev are walking backstage.  Stephanie approaches them and says the performance was impressive.  She offers a spot on Team Authority to them.  She points out that they complied giving them a chance at the US Championship after Raw.  She says “I scratch your back you scratch mine.”  Lana replies “what is it you Americans say – I”ll get back to you.”  She smiles and her and Rusev walk away after a handshake.  Stephanie smiles as they walk away.

Match #9 – Goldust and Stardust vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito)

All the freaks are out tonight and there’s no televised entrances here.  We get a recap of what went down on Smackdown, where with a distraction from the Bull, they ended up picking up the victory over the titles.  Dear god, Miz and Mizdow are on commentary where they will be the focus of this match rather than the action in the ring.  They’re talking about A-List movies and method acting.

Goldust ends up outside the ring.  He takes a shot from the Bull.  Yes, the Bull.  Goldust stumbles into Miz, and Mizdow sells like he’s been shot.  Miz and Mizdow argue with Goldust, but in the ring Matadore hits Stardust with the Backstabber to grab the win.  Bull and Bullfighters celebrate.  No one really cared.

We get a recap of the opening segment with Vince McMahon, then the finish of the Intercontinental Championship match where Orton hit the RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!  The theme of the night is either Network or Authority.  That’s the highlight of this video package.

Match #10 – Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins

Triple H, Kane, The Stooges and Stephanie have made their way to ringside to watch this one.  Orton takes charge of this one early on, and they go to break early on.

Back live, Rollins goes on offense.  Mercury and Noble stand near ringside along with Kane.  We’re into the overrun as the fight spills outside.  Orton dumps Rollins onto the announce table, then guts it.  Hunter tries to reason with him, but that doesn’t go far.  The fight moves back into the ring.  Rollins hits a kick and goes up top.  Orton crotches him then meets him on the ropes where Orton hits Rollins with a superplex for two.  He tries for the hanging DDT, but Rollins backdrops him to the floor then hits a suicide dive.  ROH spot #4 if you’re keeping track.

Rollins hits a flying knee then tries for the Curb Stomp but Orton hits the scoop slam out of it.  He hits Rollins with the elevated DDT off the ropes.  Orton coils and he’s hearing voices.  He tries to load the RKO, but Rollins counters into a backslide that gets the win for Rollins.

Rollins celebrates with Kane, Mercury and Noble at his side.  Orton’s disgusted, and Triple H looks on from ringside.  Orton and Hunter exchange words, with Orton saying “what would you do?”  Hunter reasons with him, then Orton walks over to Rollins, Kane and the Stooges.

He shakes hands with Noble, then Mercury.  He’s not ready to do so for Rollins just yet, so he shakes hands with Kane.  Kane motions “we’re all together.”  Orton and Rollins talk, with Rollins saying “we’ve got to protect this, I’m sorry.”  The shake hands after a couple tense moments, but here it comes.  OUTTA NOWHERE!  The RKO from Orton to Rollins.  He tosses the security and Kane from the ring then cues up the Punt.

Triple H dives in and tells the goons to stand down.  He tries to talk to Orton and things look “okay”, but he clubs Triple H.  The goons charge the ring and beat Orton down.  Orton fights his way back, hitting Mercury with the RKO outside the ring.  The numbers are eventually too much though, and the Authority gets the better of Orton.  Rollins hits Orton with the Curb Stomp on the announce table.  Triple H calls them off initially.

Stephanie tells Hunter they need to finish it.  Hunter is conflicted at first but gives the order.  He and Steph walk away, and Seth lays out Orton on the steps.  Someone falls (I think it was Kane) and that draws a laugh from the live crowd.  Rollins hits the Curb Stomp onto the stairs and Orton lays on his back on the floor.  Hunter and Steph leave as Rollins poses over Orton.  Cole says the future is now as the show ends.

This was a strong closing angle.  This sets Orton up to go film his movie, and one can only imagine he comes back and joins Team Cena for Survivor Series.  I like what they’re doing and if they can find a way to keep Orton’s intensity going despite whether or not he’s face/heel, I think I can connect with that character more than I have in this current heel run.  It’s been pretty flat, but I think he can come off red hot as a face if done right.

Overall, this show dragged, really hard  There just wasn’t anything all that compelling that went down and it seemed like all of the focus was around the Authority and the Network.  They did so little to hype Sheamus vs. Rusev on the Network, and the rest just felt like filler.

I will have more to say on this show in tomorrow’s Raw Afterthoughts, and we’ll post up separately the results of Sheamus vs. Rusev, happening now on the WWE Network.  Thanks for following along tonight.


WWE Monday Night Raw Afterthoughts for 10/28/2014 – RKO Out of Nowhere, Seth Rollins Proves He is the Future, John Cena Rebuffs the Authority, Survivor Series Starts to Take Shape, Ryback Returns, and More

Welcome to yet another installment of Raw Afterthoughts, where we break down the hits and misses of last night’s broadcast.  Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts and comments on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ll discuss it all on RingRap Audio tomorrow night!

  1. Seth Belongs….

I thought the main event of Cena vs. Rollins was very good.  Seth Rollins put on a show and proved that he is indeed what he says he is, the future.  The only thing I didn’t get is why it got booked.

The Authority has protected him since his turn on The Shield and the build to Hell in a Cell.  They put him in handicap matches, they made him sit out, whatever it took.  So last night, after a brutal Hell in a Cell match, when he’s wounded, they put him against Cena?

  1. Feed Me…

The Big Guy is back, and it looks like he will be a babyface.  Ryback made an appearance last night, with the Feed Me More chant and all.  San Antonio was receptive to him and his dominant face routine.  I could easily see him sliding into a spot on Team Cena to reestablish him.  This is a guy who contested for the WWE Championship at one point, admittedly a move that derailed him as a character.

  1. We Get it Already…

John Cena isn’t ever going to turn heel.  We know this.

So why in the hell did Stephanie McMahon invest a 15 minute talking segment on trying to get Cena to join the Authority?  This segment was flat, it didn’t work, and we all know the end result was Cena saying no to the offer.  We don’t need a monthly reminder of this.

For what it’s worth, John Cena did cut a strong promo in the early part of this segment.  He had some good enthusiasm and the San Antonio crowd was into him.  That worked against Stephanie as well when she tried to play in to the mixed reactions Cena normally gets.

  1. Is it Time For the Royal Rumble?

The show ended with a big brawl between various members of the roster.  It made zero sense to me.  This is an angle we typically see going into Royal Rumble but we know that’s not the case because Brock Lesnar is nowhere to be found.


Anyhow, the roster running out and brawling made no sense and came from left field.  They have been talked down to so often by the Authority, yet at the mere mention of Team Cena vs. Team Authority they run out to fight?  Get out of here with that crap.

And yes, it continues to be a gigantic miss with me that the WWE Champion is not present on the show, nor is his advocate Paul Heyman.

  1. Oh, Assistant, Please…

It’s going to be a long 30 days with Brie Bella being Nikki Bella’s assistant.  Last night was the second time we’ve seen her serve in this role, and it was just totally forgettable.  WWE thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread though, so be ready for a full dose of it.

  1.  That’s What I DO!

Big Show and Mark Henry contested for the tag titles against Goldust and Stardust.  And they almost won them.  The match itself was good and kept my attention.  The newsworthy part was Henry turning on Show.

I thought they would drag this out some more to give the Dust Brothers a program, but it was fine.  The logic was a bit weak though.  Henry said he did it to get to Show before Show got to him.  With the teased tension over the past several weeks, that’s all they had for an explanation?

  1. Lack of Follow Through…

I really felt like Bray Wyatt returning and attacking Dean Ambrose was big news.  I figured going into Raw it would be a major talking point.  Instead, it was treated like an afterthought.

They got well into the second hour to give us any follow-up on the Hell in a Cell ending, and once they did get there it felt like “more of same” out of Wyatt.  This has the makings of a good story, but the first night of follow-up left a lot to be desired.

  1.  Outta Nowhere!

Randy Orton showed some nice energy last night in his short appearance during the opening segment.  They’re building slowly to his face turn, and I like this approach.  They don’t need to cut to it immediately, in fact, they shouldn’t.

Let them keep playing it out as Orton being with the Authority, and Hunter trying to keep the group together.  As they do, Orton will build a LOT more momentum than he has in any other face turn, and could become one of the most over guys in the company when the moment hits.

  1.  Shillamania is Running Wild!

The last time Hulk Hogan appeared, it felt really uneventful.  I can’t say this was all that much better, but it was decent.  The posing with the cancer survivors was a nice touch, and put a nice visual bow on the yearly Komen campaign.

There were good and bad points about last night’s show, but one thing is for sure, the booking is still really flat and lifeless overall.  How they could not follow up on Bray Wyatt better is beyond me after the effort to produce the separate video packages they did over the past several weeks.  But they gave us the beginnings of a Survivor Series build already and attempted to make it feel important.  The biggest problem is that there is still no championship presence on the show, and the midcard still just feels stale.  WWE needs to fix this.


WWE Hell in a Cell Afterthoughts for 10/27/2014 – Ambrose Gets Ambushed, Cena Gets Brock, Divas Futility, Dolph and Cesaro Impress, and More

Hell in a Cell is behind us now.  If you missed last night’s show, you can catch the live coverage here, but this is the quick rundown of my hits and misses from last night.

The Hits:

  1. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were put in the main event slot, and they delivered a pretty decent performance.  I wasn’t a fan of how this match ended, but the style of the match played in well to Ambrose’s strengths and they told the story of the intense hatred they have for each other.  Starting out on top of the cell was a nice touch and got the fight up there logically rather than to gimmick their way up out of the locked cell.
  2. The tag championship match was really neither a hit nor a miss, but I’m filing it as a minor hit.  The in-ring quality of the match was good as it always is with these two teams.  The problem is we’ve seen this match too often.  Add in the fact that The Usos are counted on to deliver in six-man tags, and it leads to overexposure that isn’t good for any act.  The Usos are working hard and they’re talented, but the fresh big spots they do just seem ordinary now.
  3. I thought Ziggler vs. Cesaro was a good opening match. Ziggler grabbing two straight falls was a bit of a surprise to me, since the booking usually dictates one fall a piece in these scenarios.  But I think that tying fall being absent actually helped the match.  I have never been a fan of having three falls happen in a match as quickly as you can have a one fall match last.  Now let’s just hope both these men get some better booking as fallout from a really good opener on pay per view.
  4. I was pleased with John Cena vs. Randy Orton.  I know many of us didn’t want to actually see it, and I actually was leery that the Dallas fans would turn on them.  But, the two went out and delivered a solid performance that held the live crowd’s interest.  They had some good near fall situations, and the RKO out of the AA was a neat spot.  The finish was predictable, but having Cena stare down Heyman from a distance was a nice touch.

The Misses:

  1. Some people are applauding the Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella match, citing their in-ring improvement.  I see some of that from Brie, but Nikki is still not cutting it for me.  Add to it that this story needs to either die or stay on Total Divas, and it just results in a gigantic miss for me.  Get ready for 30 days of Bella overload on Raw, starting tonight.
  2. Bray Wyatt’s return felt like a pretty big deal.  But, because WWE has themselves booked into a corner, they came up with this hocus-pocus feeling reintroduction of Wyatt.  The smoke machine was cheesy.  I think the subsequent feuds coming out of the match will be good, but Ambrose and Wyatt both need wins and momentum, and that will lead to even-steven booking with little heat.
  3. I continue to be underwhelmed by AJ and Paige.  We’ve talked at length on RingRap Audio about it, but the truth is that these two women have been saddled by bad booking, lack of storyline build.  And really, the two haven’t delivered that memorable in ring match that we’ve all been looking for.  Even with the limited time they’ve been getting, surely they could come up with better.
  4. Rusev and Big Show lacked the quality of their match on Raw.  The announcers called that match with a big match feel, and the in-ring action was more athletic.  This was more of a plodding brawl, and the announcers mailed it in on commentary.  Show could have slid his arms a half inch forward and broke the Accolade, which just looked silly.  Rusev still comes out looking dominant, which is a plus.  But where does Rusev go from here now that he’s beaten Show and Henry both cleanly?
  5. Sheamus vs. The Miz belonged on Raw, not pay per view.  The post-match antics drew a chuckle out of me but that’s about it.  Sheamus is in dire need of a character overhaul at this point.  He’s stuck in the mid-card but he can be much more as a heel.  I do like the building tension between Miz and Mizdow though, and if done right they can have a big moment with Mizdow attacking Miz.

Overall, this wasn’t an awful show, but it really just felt meaningless.  The build up to the event was lacking, and while the in-ring work generally ended up being good there wasn’t much life behind it.  Add in that many of the acts and stories are overexposed retreads, and it ends up being a pretty flat pay per view event.  Not something high on my replay list other than to catch Dolph vs. Cesaro and perhaps Ambrose vs. Rollins.

Drew will be by later with your live Raw Recap starting at 8PM EST!


WWE Raw LIVE Reaction and Results for 10/27/14

WWE Raw comes at us LIVE from San Antonio, TX, starting at 8pm EST, and will feature the fallout from last night’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view.  Already announced for the night: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins, plus an appearance from WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan.

All this, plus Dean Ambrose, who will very likely have a ton to say about Bray Wyatt’s surprise attack last night, follow-up from Dolph Ziggler’s successful Intercontinental Championship defense, and much, much more.

Be sure to follow along here on this page as I hit my “Stream of Consciousness” review this evening, and follow us on Twitter, @RingRap!

For some reason, the Hell in a Cell video package from last night opens up the show.

Oh, now they’re showing highlights.  That’s good.  Ambrose vs. Rollins highlights to start.  Holograms.  Sister Abigail.

Cena won. Shocking, right?

The Authority stands in the ring.  Triple H gives Steph a smooch.  Kane looks on like he wants a kiss too.

Steph is all cheery and happy.  They do a $9.99 plug.  Ugh.

Triple H puts over Seth Rollins hard – calls him the standard bearer of WWE.  Seth did such a fantastic job winning his match last night.

Rollins hobbles to the ring.  He’s flanked by the goons, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury.

Steph puts over the “warm welcome” for Rollins (aka boos).  He thanks the fans.  He says Dean Ambrose is out of his hair once and for all, finally.  Rollins says he’s moving on to John Cena now.  Mixed cheers for Cena here.

Rollins poses, but is interrupted by a pretty angry looking Randy Orton.  He hits the ring and is pissed.  He blames Seth Rollins for his curb stomp affecting him and causing the loss.  He made a promise to himself and says if the Authority didn’t deal with Rollins, he would.  He attacks Rollins.

Triple H and the goons separate the two.  Trips tells him to take the night off.  “Get on your bus, get something to drink, relax.”  Triple H continues, and Orton pushes past him, nailing Rollins with an RKO.

Trips looks pissed.  Rollins kisses the mat.  Orton takes off.

There are few people that sell better than Seth Rollins.  He just gets it.  From the motionless face-plant, to stumbling out of the ring, shaking off the help, then needing it, it’s all in the details, and he’s got ‘em down.

As far as Orton goes, well, this might be the most over he’s been in months.

We come back from break, and we’ve got a Tag Team Championship match.  Goldust & Stardust are already in the ring.  Looks like they’re facing The Big Show, and Mark Henry.

If I had to put money on it, one of the two is turning heel tonight.

Typical tag action from these four.  Henry tosses around Goldust.  Then he tosses around Stardust.

The two big men start arguing as we go to break.

Back from break, and it’s more of the same.  I hate that our tag champs are just a setup for the inevitable split of Henry and Show.

Show and Henry start amping it up and it looks like we might actually see a title change.  Then Mark Henry turns heel.  He throws Cody on top of Show, and our tag champs retain.

Big Show stands up, and the attack continues. I wish I cared about the turn, but it’s falling flat.  The one good thing out of this?  Mark Henry is an excellent heel.

Roman Reigns will be giving an interview later. I bet it’s like three sentences.

After the break, Renee Young catches up with Mark Henry, and he tells the truth.  He did it to Show before Show did it to him.

I guess they’re both heels, based on that logic.

Nice video package for Roman Reigns before his interview.  Michael Cole calls him “The Juggernaut.”  I disagree.

It’s one of those “via satellite” interviews.  He says he wished he could be San Antonio.  He says he knew Ambrose would bring the pain last night.  He puts down Rollins.  He says when he’s medically cleared, he’s coming for Rollins.

Ok ok, I lied.  Reigns said like four sentences, not three.

AJ Lee comes out for a match… next!

AJ Lee vs. Alicia Fox.  Crazy vs. Crazy.  Round one… FIGHT!

Fox has an absolutely gorgeous Northern Lights Suplex.  For real.

AJ hits a nice spinning DDT on Fox, who is otherwise dominating the match.

Fox has AJ’s number, until Paige interferes.  AJ gets the roll-up.  Paige apologizes.  She tries to give her a bracelet.  Fox goes to take it, until Paige kicks her in the face and tosses her out of the ring.  Paige throws Fox into the barricade and slams her head into it repeatedly.

I guess we’re getting Paige vs. Fox for a little while… so who’s AJ going to feud with?  Triple threat?

John Cena comes out to the ring… next!

A BLOO BLOO BLOOO!  It’s John Cena!

Our number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship takes the mic.  I already hate his promo as he panders to the crowd, and the San Antonio Spurs fans.

Cena talks about how Brock Lesnar isn’t there, and when he comes back, he’ll lose.  Everything he does from here on forward will be a statement.  He says the Future always goes through him, but tonight, he goes through The Future.

So, obviously, Stephanie McMahon interrupts. She congratulates him on his victory last night, but says she can’t wait until Survivor Series.

She criticizes Cena for pandering to the audience.  She’s pretty funny here.  He says he’s just listening to the fans.  She asks him if he hears them chant “Cena sucks.”  She tells him the fans don’t care about him.  She asks him to join The Authority, says he’s about to face Brock Lesnar, someone who has beaten him repeatedly.  The Authority could offer him some insurance.  They could help guarantee a victory.

She wants the winner of him vs. Rollins to be the captain of Team Authority at Survivor series.  Says he deserves to be a part of a family.  Cena counters, says he just deserves to come down the ramp and tell everyone how much he loves doing this every week.  He rallies the troops, says the fans are a part of Raw.

It’s bad for business for Cena to remind the fans they’re part of the show, because then they chant for JBL instead of enjoying good matches.

Triple H comes out and tells Steph he told her.  He tells Cena he’s been in WWE for 20 years, and it gets harder each year.  He’s hanging on by a thread.  He says Cena can’t fight the future, whether he wants to believe it or not.  Triple H says he has to prove it to Cena that he can’t stop the future.  At Survivor Series it’ll be Team Authority vs. Team Cena.

Absolutely no evidence that Brock Lesnar will be at Survivor Series.  Unacceptable.

After the break, it’s The Usos vs. Damien Mizdow & The Miz

The fans chant for Mizdow, who is actually mimicking everything Miz does from the apron.  Funny.

Miz teases a tag, and then doesn’t.

Miz gets sent over the top rope, and Mizdow starts selling with him.  The Usos leap over the top rope onto both men as we go to break.

We’re back, and Mizdow still isn’t in the ring.  Ok, Sandow finally in the ring.  He’s not in for long, sadly.

Ok, Mizdow is back in the ring, and he gets his ass kicked.  Jimmy and Miz in the ring now, Miz gets kicked in the gut.  Miz protects his face, desperately.  Mizdow makes the save.  The ref looks away, and The Usos pull off Twin Magic, oddly enough.  The ref doesn’t catch it, and they get the win.

Fun tag match, but not nearly enough Mizdow, in my opinion.

Backstage, John Cena and Dolph Ziggler are having a chat, and a handshake.  It’s implied Ziggler is joining Team Cena.

We return from break, and Kane approaches Dolph Ziggler, and calls him out on his “Act of Aggression” against The Authority.  Kane wants to end him, and they have a match.  That was a pretty clunky way to get to a match.

Hulk Hogan comes out to the ring, clad in pink.  In a very classy move, he stops to sign a kid’s Hulkamania sign.

“Well let me tell you something, brother!”  He’s happy to see John Cena win, and he’s looking forward to seeing him take on Lesnar and defeat him.

Hulk is really here to put over Breast Cancer Awareness, and does he ever.  He even invites some of the ladies in pink to join him in the ring.

It’s hard to be mad at WWE for trying to raise money for a good cause, but I’d still prefer to see more wrestling in my wrestling show.

Bo Dallas hits the ring after our break.  He asks for someone that Bo-Lieves they can beat him to come out to the ring.  Please be Sami Zayn.

Ryback comes out instead, and honestly, I’m ok with it.  This is a good opportunity to revamp Ryback, and he could be the shot in the ass that Raw needs lately.

The audience is very into this.  Ryback handily tosses Dallas around.

Meathook Clothesline, Shell Shock, it’s over.  Ryback wins.

Surprisingly absent: Goldberg Chants.  It’s about time.

I like that Ryback has returned with his old gimmick – the one that was working.  I think WWE is short on top faces right now, and he had a solid push before getting knocked off the rails.  He’s gotten a ton of experience since, and I think this time might be the run that clicks with the audience.  As long as WWE is all in with this, we’ve got a winner here.

Cesaro vs. Ambrose is up next.  Could be good.  Could be a false finish. Ambrose hobbles out to the ring a little bit too.

Ambrose stands on the announcer’s table, mic in hand.  He looks pissed.  He says he went straight to hell and loved every second of it.  He says he dragged Seth Rollins with him, but when he got there he found Bray Wyatt.  He doesn’t care why Bray did it.  He says you don’t mess with an animal whose claws are sharper than yours, and you don’t screw with Dean Ambrose.

He heads into the ring and attacks Cesaro with the microphone.  This spills outside, where Ambrose continues to beat the hell out of Cesaro with the microphone.

Ambrose goes back into the ring and calls out Wyatt.

Wyatt’s music kicks in, and it’s a backstage promo.  Wyatt says he sees his own deranged mentality in Ambrose.  He says this world is not made for guys like them.  He says he will dismantle his mind and feast on the spoils.

Good mic work from both men, but a real disappointment that we didn’t get our advertised match between Cesaro and Ambrose.  Did Cesaro piss in someone’s Cheerios or something?

Nikki Bella heads out to the ring, flanked by her Personal Assistant, Brie.

If there’s one good thing about Brie being Nikki’s bitch for 30 days, it’s that we won’t have to listen to Brie’s horrible theme song.

It’s NIkki vs. Naomi.  Nikki hits an Alabama Slam early on.

That’s about the only good thing from this match.  I stop paying attention until Naomi hits a dropkick.

Brie Bella does some questionable stuff here and helps Nikki get the advantage.  Rack Attack and it’s over.  Nikki wins.

Kane heads out for his match against our Intercontinental Champion, Dolph Ziggler.  Ziggs has been on a roll, lately.

Kane has control of the match early on.  He keeps control.  He bores me.

Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m two and a half hours into a three-plus hour show.

You know what would make me feel better? Another commercial break!

We come back in, and Ziggler is finally getting in some offense.  Kane cuts him off pretty quickly.  It was nice while it lasted.

Ziggler hits 10 punches up top.  Jumping elbow.  Two-count.

Ziggler nails Kane with a nice superkick, and goes for the Zig Zag, but winds up eating a boot to the face.

Rollup counters a choke slam.  Ziggler gets the win!  Kane is not amused.

Seth Rollins comes out with the goons and starts attacking Ziggler, but John Cena’s music hits and Cena makes the save.  He sends Kane tumbling over the top rope as Rollins takes off.  Cena helps ZIggler up.  Good to see Cena finally helping a fellow good guy.

We come back from break, and John Cena is still in the ring, ready for Seth Rollins to come back out.  Rollins limps out, Noble and Mercury by his side.  Rollins has his ribs taped up.

It’s 10:45.  I suspect there will be some foul play, or something to change the context of the match.

Rollins bails out and the action spills outside.  He uses a cheap shot to get the advantage.

Rollins attacks Cena in the corner.  When the ref pulls him away, Mercury smack Cena in the head.

More sneak attacks from The Goons.

Despite the interference, Rollins looks like he belongs in the ring with Cena, and that’s important.

We return from the commercial break.  Cena is tossing around The Goons.  Rollins tosses Cena into the steps.

I wish Cena would take the steps differently.  It always looks like he’s pushing them.  Because he is.

Rollins goes leaping through the ropes onto Cena.

WWE really could have (and should have) kept this match for a pay-per-view.  There are so few matches that haven’t been done anymore.

Rollins heads up top for a superplex.  Cena counters and hits a cross-body for two.  Rollins reversed an AA attempt with a DDT.  Cena sold it like a champ.  Two-count.

I’m feeling like Orton will get involved here, and he’ll join Team Cena.

Rollins heads up top and misses a flying knee.  Two-count.

Rollins sends Cena out of the ring, giving Jamie Noble a chance to lay into Cena with a few kicks.  The ref starts counting.

Cena does that magical spring-to-life thing he does and slides in at nine.  Rollins attacks him immediately.  Cena fires up.  Shoulders.  Five Knuckle Shuffle.  You know, the usual.

Cena launches Rollins onto The Goons, outside the ring.  He rolls Rollins back in, who hits an enzuigiri to the head.  Two-count.

Rollins flips out of an AA attempt, misses a kick to the head.  Nice back and forth sequence here.  Rollins hits a standing Sliced Bread #2 for a very near fall.

Cena goes up top and teases an AA off the top.  Rollins flips through with a nice Buckle Bomb.  Another near fall here.

Rollins goes for the curb stomp, and Cena catches him, going right into the STF.  Rollins waves in for help instead of tapping, and Kane comes in to break it up.  They attack Cena as the ref calls the DQ.

Noble and Mercury attack, and then shortly thereafter, the entire locker room empties out.  Everyone starts fighting for no explicable reason.  Cena starts handing out AAs.  He’s the only one left in the ring, with The Authority looking on from the ramp.

A decent show, but the main event was far and away the highlight.  I’m ok with the false finish, because it protects both men.  However, the entire locker room running out makes absolutely no sense in context, even with Survivor Series around the corner.  I could understand maybe a few people, who were to be on Team Authority or Team Cena, but everyone?  Literally everyone?  No thanks.

We will have PLENTY to talk about on Ring Rap Audio this Wednesday.  Be sure to tune in.  Thank you to everyone who read along and those that followed on Twitter as well!  Goodnight!


WWE “Hell in a Cell” Live Pay Per View Coverage for 10/26/2014 – Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins, AJ Defends the Divas Championship Against Paige, Goldust and Stardust vs. The Usos, Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro for the Intercontinental Championship, and More

WWE takes us on a journey to hell tonight with their “Hell in a Cell” pay per view offering, also on the WWE Network.  The show will be broadcast live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.  The pre-show kicks off at 7PM EST, and the pay per view proper starts at 8PM EST.  Tonight’s card is as follows:

Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Cesaro; WWE Intercontinental Championship under 2-out-of-3 falls rules

AJ (c) vs. Paige (w/Alicia Fox); WWE Divas Championship

Goldust and Stardust (c) vs. The Usos; WWE Tag Team Championship

Sheamus (c) vs. The Miz (w/Damien Mizdow); WWE United States Championship

Big Show vs. Rusev (w/Lana)

Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella; Loser of the match has to be the winner’s assistant for 30 days and if they don’t comply they are to quit WWE

John Cena vs. Randy Orton; Hell in a Cell Match, winner is the new #1 Contender to Brock Lesnar’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins; Hell in a Cell Match

Be sure to follow along with our live coverage, starting with pre-show noteworthy items and the pay per view starting at 8PM EST.  Also be sure to check in with the show conversation on Twitter (@RingRap) throughout the evening as well.

Pre-Show Notes:

Renee Young introduces the panel, who is Booker T, Alex Riley, and Paul HeymanHeyman doesn’t look thrilled to be there.  He says his client is watching with interest tonight.  Some Network shilling of the $9.99 price tag, and Heyman says he’s not here to shill the Network. He notes that either Cena or Orton will be fed to his carnivore, then says he has interest in watching Dean Amrbose and Seth Rollins while Riley is interested in Cena vs. Orton.  He says Cena is charging toward 16 title reigns and there are title implications tonight.

Renee Young feeds it to a video package hyping the Rollins/Ambrose match.  Back with the panel, Riley breaks down the keys to Seth Rollins winning the match inside the Cell.  He then looks at four keys for Ambrose to win.

This is a cool sports-like feel for this match.  They should use this more often.

Heyman explains why he feels Rollins will win, and Riley picks Ambrose to win.  They feed it to Tom Phillips for the social media lounge, and he encourages Twitter activity using #HIAC as a hashtag.  He reads some tweets and says that one can see it all for $9.99.  Yeehaw.  They’ll be back to break down Cena vs. Orton.

Back live, they show the crowd filing in and the cell inside the arena.  They feed it into a video package to hype Cena vs. Orton, using some really out-there comparisons to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, Ali and Frazier, and other such historic legitimate feuds.  Back live Booker says it’s for bragging rights and the shot at Brock Lesnar.  He says with the championships between them they know what it takes to win.  Booker says Orton’s DNA says champion but Cena will never back down from a fight.

Riley says he knows Cena and says he wants to match Flair’s title reigns.  Renee asks Heyman who he would prefer face his champion.  Heyman says this is a match that is not a loser’s nightmare, but a winner’s nightmare.  He says the winner tonight will step out of hell and seven rungs down the ladder.  He says it will be a more dangerous match to step in the ring against the Beast, Brock Lesnar.

Renee swings it to hype for Mizdow TV out of those ominous words.  They show Miz subbing out to Mizdow on Raw last week in the six man tag and sneaking out the roll-up victory.  They ask if Sheamus is rattled by losing to Miz and Mizdow, and Riley says if you put a couple losses against the same opponent together, it gets in your head.  Booker says anything can happen but tonight it’s one on one.  Riley says Miz is smart and a new US Champion might get crowned tonight.

Heyman is so good at this panel segment.  Renee is okay, but Riley and Booker just seem too much “Yuk-yuk” for me and too much goofing around.

Mizdow TV Segment:

Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler say hello to us as Miz and Mizdow make their entrance.  Mizdow makes an introduction that gets interrupted by MizMiz puts himself over.  Mizdow says that this is an honor and the biggest moment of his career and introduces MizMiz feeds him the first question about his strategy to beat Sheamus.  He says he has beaten him a number of times, “including on Raw last week.”  He says it will be a re-run but lucky for all of us it will include Miz.

Mizdow says he beat Sheamus, but says it was the first time a stunt double had won a match on Raw.  He corrects himself and says that since he works for Miz, Miz actually won.  Mizdow tells Miz he’s the best friend he ever had.  Miz says he’s touched and generous enough to give those words back.  “Damien, you’re a damn good stunt double and one I am truly proud to call my friend.”  They hug.

Sheamus appears on the Tron.  He asks for Mizdow to get down on his knees and kiss Miz’s arse goodbye when they’re done hugging it out.  He tells Miz he won’t be the US champion after tonight.  He says he’ll treat it like a movie trailer and give away the best part.  He Brogue Kicks the camera and Miz and Mizdow sell then get upset.

Not horrible, but the Miz/Mizdow thing doesn’t work with me.

They briefly talk about the tag team title match, with Booker and Riley saying that the champions will retain.  Heyman says that the Usos have momentum and the champions are up against the wall, so he predicts a title change.

They swing to talking about the Bella feud.  They run a video package to highlight some of the recent goings on in their story.  Booker breaks out the “shucky ducky quack quack” thing and Heyman asks what the hell this is.  Booker needs to shut up, now.  Heyman is shocked that “shucky ducky quack quack” is actually trending on Twitter.  Renee talks over them and feeds it back to the SummerSlam match between Brie and Stephanie and Brie quitting at Payback.

They move on to talk about Dolph Ziggler defending the Intercontinental Championship against Cesaro.  Booker likes the 2-out-of-3 falls stipulation saying Cesaro has the stamina to go deep into the match.  Riley says this is the most prestigious title in WWE (hahahahahahahahah ok I’ll stop…).  Riley thinks this will be match of the year tonight.  Heyman calls this “sports entertainment at its finest.”  He calls it the best of all possible circumstances.

They move on to talk about Big Show vs. Rusev and feed it into a video package.  Heyman says this is a match both men must win nor can lose because of national pride.  He says Rusev will either crush Show or Show will knock out RusevHeyman is impressed with Rusev but he steps in a ring with a true giant tonight.  Booker says it’s not propaganda if you go out and back it up, and he has so far.  Show has a hill to climb tonight.

Renee sends it back to Cole, Lawler, and JBL for the pre-show match.

Match #1 – Mark Henry vs. Bo Dallas:

Cole hypes that Mark Henry knows what it’s like to be in the ring with Rusev.  Bo Dallas gets a mild reaction as JBL calls him the new World’s Strongest Man.  Dallas cuts a promo, saying he has beaten Henry four times, making him the new World’s Strongest Man.  He says he’s so strong that he is immune to ebola – “the disease your city is spreading across the country.”  He says he is embarrassed that Dallas is his last name so tonight he’s Bo Washington.

Henry goes on the assault as soon as the bell rings.  Henry splashes him in the corner and hits him with the World’s Strongest Slam to grab the quick win.

Dallas complains on the mic that he wasn’t ready and Henry cheated.  He says in the record book of life he’s 5-0 against Henry because he Bo-Lieves.  Henry roughs Dallas up a little more and exits.

A little come-uppance for the hometown Henry I suppose.  Wasn’t much to talk about here.  Dallas got some good cheap heat with his promo though.

Back with the panel, Renee points out that the cell is above the ring.  She talks about the Divas Championship match, and sends it to Byron Saxton with Paige and Alicia Fox.  Paige says AJ ripped her heart out when she dumped her to the curb but Alicia was there to pick up the pieces.  Paige says that tonight she will take back her best friend – the Divas Championship and rip out AJ’s heart.  They play mean girl with Saxton and exit.

Renee feeds it into a video package highlighting the Cell itself.  That closes the pre-show.

Hell in a Cell Pay Per View, Live from the American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

The show opens with a video package highlighting the two Hell in a Cell matches.

Pyro and a crowd pan to start it as Cole welcomes us in.  Someone has a sign that says “for our anniversary, Hell in a Cell.”  They must be die-hard wrestling fans.

Match #1 – Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Cesaro; WWE Intercontinental Championship under 2-out-of-3 Falls Rules

The announcers mug for us as Dolph makes his entrance to a nice reaction.  As Cesaro comes out, they welcome the Spanish announce team.  They won’t have a table by the end of the night.  Cole recounts the history of the IC title and some of the greats that have held the title.

Chain wrestling to start from both men.  Cesaro gets Dolph down onto the mat with a headlock. Ziggler uses a backslide for a near fall.  The two men roll through some near fall sequences.  Ziggler tries for a drop kick but Cesaro counters to set up the swing.  Dolph uses an opportunity to roll up Cesaro in a small package for two.  Cesaro drapes Ziggler across the ropes and hits the Swing.   Cesaro covers, but Dolph rolls it through to get the first fall.

Ziggler up 1-0

Cesaro beats Ziggler down but the official backs him off.  Cesaro hits an upper cut for a near fall.  A bit later, he tries for an elbow off the ropes but Ziggler moves.  Cesaro lands a stiff right to get a near fall.   Cesaro locks on a submission hold that Dolph fights his way out of.  Cesaro favors his arm and the announcers sell an arm injury.  Cesaro gets another near fall though.

A bit later, Dolph ends up on the apron.  Cesaro tries to get his deadlift suplex but his arm isn’t working.  Ziggler locks on a nice sleeper type submission that focuses on the bad arm.   Ziggler doesn’t let go and despite the fact that Cesaro has been touching the ropes the official won’t break it.  Cesaro uses his strength to set up and hit a superplex.  A long time of selling before Cesaro gets into the cover for two.  Dallas likes it.

Cesaro sets up a charge but Ziggler moves and follows with the Fameasser for a near fall.  Ziggler tries for the Zig Zag, but Cesaro counters by tossing him up and hitting an uppercut for a good near fall.  The next exchange sees Ziggler try for the superkick, but Cesaro counters it into a backbreaker for a good near fall.  Cesaro sets up the Neutralizer, but Ziggler counters out and hits the superkick and follows with the ZigZag to grab the second straight fall and the win.  Dolph celebrates with the fans as they recap what happened in the closing sequence.

Winner – Dolph Ziggler to retain the Intercontinental Championship 2-0

Strong match to kick the show off.  I was shocked that Ziggler won 2-0 like this, but the match quality was very good.  I hope this leads to more for both men than their current position.

Back live, the announcers do some shilling for the Network.  Cole feeds it into a recap of the situation from Monday night, where Rollins curb stomped Orton.  He asks if there’s dissention among the Authority.  Backstage, the Authority (less Seth Rollins) are talking.  Orton asks where Rollins is and says he wants to remind him to stay out of his business.  Stephanie tells him to focus that anger on John Cena and going on to face Lesnar.  Orton reminds them that he got curb stomped.  Hunter tells him that Orton was on fire Monday night and Rollins got to Orton before he got to Rollins.

Hunter tells Orton to focus on doing what he does better than anyone, and that is finishing John Cena so he can take back the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to the Authority.  Orton tells them he’ll do it their way, but if they don’t take care of Rollins, he will.

Match #2 – Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella; Loser has to be the assistant to the winner for 30 days and if they don’t comply they have to quit.

They recap the initial split of the sisters at SummerSlam, and talk about Daniel Bryan making an Instagram debut.  Early on, Nikki gets Brie up in an electric chair position.  Brie clubs on her, but Nikki hits the move for a near fall.  A little later, Nikki lands Brie’s face across her knee for a near fall.  There’s some hair pulling going on as the fans chant for JBL.

Brie comes back with a face plant for two.  Brie yells for Dallas to cheer, and they don’t care much.  She sets up for a shining wizard but Nikki bails.  Brie dives out after her and Nikki holds her leg that she hurt last year.  Brie comes back with a missile drop kick for two.   Nikki comes back and hits her finish and it only nets a near fall.  She’s shocked.

Brie locks on the sloppiest looking “Yes!” lock I’ve ever seen and the fans cheer as if it’s Bryan.  Nikki gets to the ropes to break then comes back with a forearm shot.   She hits the Rack Attack for the second time to get the win.

Winner – Nikki Bella, meaning Brie is now the assistant to Nikki for 30 days.

Expected outcome.  Brie looked alright in this match, but overall it was sloppy and not all that good.  This story needed to die months ago, or at least stay on Total Divas.

The panel comes back to us.  Riley plays the fans, and Renee stumbles over introducing Heyman.  They talk about Nikki and Brie, and Booker says it’s the “shucky ducky quack quack” moment of the night.  Riley congratulates Ziggler on retaining his title.  Heyman wants to talk Cena vs. Orton, and says the loser may survive to fight another day but the winner gets fed to Brock Lesnar, if he decides to show up anytime soon.  Renee sends it back to the announce team.

Match #3 – Goldust and Stardust (c) vs. The Usos; WWE Tag Team Championship

Usos do their war dance intro, then the champions come out.  They read some crazy riddle about riding in to town on Friday, staying three days and leaving on Friday.  Lawler speaks up and says the horse’s name is Friday.  Cole gets upset that he can’t get those things.  Stardust has some blue in his gear now.

Usos get the better of Stardust early on until he tags out to Goldust.  They then get the better of Goldust for a time.  In the corner, they attack Jimmy’s leg and the Dust Brothers take control of the match.  Stardust whips Jimmy in, and tries for a bulldog but Jimmy tosses him off to create separation for a moment.  Goldust gets the tag, but takes a backdrop out to the floor.

Tag to Jey who hits a dive on Uso.  He sends Stardust flying and Jimmy hits him with a dive.  Back in the ring, Jey hits a cross body for two.  Goldust takes some more abuse and that nets Jey another near fall.    Goldust collapses in the corner, which sets up the butt splash for a two count.  Uso sets up a superkick but gets countered.  He hits one on Stardust though, and turns into a spinebuster from Goldust for two.

Goldust tries a back elbow off the ropes but misses.  Jey hits a superkick to get a good near fall.  Jimmy and Stardust get back in the match, and the Usos hit stereo superplexes.  All four men down.   Jey hits the splash on Goldust for a near fall that Stardust breaks up.  Jey sets up for a Samoan Drop, but Stardust kicks him in the leg.  That lets Goldust set up the Final Cut for the win to retain the title.

Winner – Goldust and Stardust to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship

These guys worked hard, and it was a good match.  The two teams just suffer from overexposure.  The Usos are starting to feel a bit repetitive in their big spots.  They’re asked to work the long six-mans on Raw, and things like that.  A testament to the thin tag division.

They run a short piece about Nakia Coleman, a two-time breast cancer survivor who uses her music as a means to help others.  She is at ringside with the president of Susan G. Komen Foundation, Judy Salerno.  Salerno cuts a short thank-you statement.  Sure, she thanks you for her big house and fancy car.  Sorry…

The cell is coming down, and the first of two Hell in a Cell matches is about to happen.  This will be Cena vs. Orton.  Yay! Ambrose vs. Rollins closes the show!  They feed it to the video package we saw in the pre-show that hyped this match.

Match #4 – Randy Orton vs. John Cena; Hell in a Cell Match, with the winner becomes the #1 Contender to Brock Lesnar’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Orton comes out first as Cole runs down some stats about the Cell.  Orton enters with some trepidation as King reminds us of the pep talk earlier in the night by Stephanie McMahon to Orton.  Cena gets his standard mixed reaction as he hands off some of his merch to the kids at ringside.  Cena slides in and the official outside locks the door.

A short moment of staring down, then an exchange of strikes starts.  Orton tries to run Cena’s head into the stairs but gets blocked.  Cena tries to run Orton into the cage but gets blocked.   Orton is finally successful in getting Cena’s face in the cage and gets a two count back in the ring.  Orton goes looking for toys already and comes up with a chair.  Cena blocks and hits a fisherman’s suplex.

Orton takes advantage of the chair, using it to beat Cena down.  He jabs Cena in the gut and hits him over the back.  Cena tries to load the AA but Orton counters and hits a DDT for two.  Orton rakes Cena’s face over the cage then throws him back in to get a two count.  Orton keeps up the offense, hitting a clothesline for a two count.  He yells at the fans to shut up as he covers up Cena again for another two count.

Orton continues to control the offense.  He stomps Cena, and Cena rolls to the floor.  Orton follows out and throws Cena into the cage.  They roll back in for an Orton near fall again.  The crowd fires up with the dueling Cena chants.  Cena fires up  with his standard comeback.  He hits the shoulder blocks and side slam, but when Cena tries for the Five Knuckle, Orton comes back with a boot and a scoop slam for two.

Orton tries to set up the elevated DDT but takes too long.  Cena counters with a back body drop that sends Orton to the floor.   Cena scoops Orton up and rams him back-first into the cage twice. Orton counters the third, lands Cena junk-first into the ring post and hits his sidewinder backbreaker from that position.  Delayed cover gets Orton a two count in the ring.  Orton launches Cena into the cell.  JBL refers to referee Tim White having his career ended from a similar move.

Cena mounts a bit of a comeback, throwing Orton into the cage a couple times.  He drags out a table from under the ring to a nice pop.   Cena sets the table up as Orton sells outside.  Orton slides in and the two exchange strikes.  Orton hits a standing drop kick for two, then runs Cena into a chair for another two count.  JBL reminds us of the stakes in this match.

Orton props the table up in the corner as Cena reaches for the chair in the corner.  Orton cuts him off and jabs him with it. Orton tries to whip him in, but Cena slides and starts his trademark shoulder blocks.  Out of the second block, Orton hits the RKO  in a cool spot for a good near fall.  Orton throws Cena into the table and covers for another good near fall.  Orton argues the count.

Orton goes out to retrieve the stairs.  After positioning them, he coils for another RKO.  Cena counters, hitting the side slam and Five Knuckle on the steps.  Cena loads the AA, but Orton escapes and hits a low blow.  Cena kicks out on two after a good near fall.  The vocal males are chanting for Orton.

Cena struggles to his feet and Orton sets the punt up.  Cena rolls away and drops Orton into the STF.   Orton drags himself to the ropes but there’s no breaks here.  He ends up using the rope across Cena’s throat to break the hold.  Orton lays back against the cell, but here come the steps from Cena.  Orton runs out of the way quickly though, then runs Cena into the cage.

Orton poses too long, and Cena quickly scoops him up for the AA and hits it.  Good near fall.   Cena cues the AA again but Orton counters it into the RKO for a good near fall.  Another AA from Cena for another near fall.  Cena is shocked, then he goes to retrieve a table.    Cena sets Orton up for the leg drop off the ropes, but Orton realizes it and trips him on the top rope.

Orton hits him and sets up an RKO spot through the table, but Cena shoves him off.  Orton comes back with a headbutt and tries for a superplex but Cena loads the AA.  Cena hits the AA through the table, weakly covers Orton and wins.  The announcers talk about how Cena was willing to do this to Orton, so what would he be willing to do to go after Brock Lesnar.  Cena celebrates with fans as the announcers put over how Lesnar will now have to go face to face with the guy who runs the place.

Winner – John Cena to become the new #1 Contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar

This was ballsy to let Cena and Orton go 25 minutes or so.  In the past (like at Royal Rumble) fans have turned on them.  Dallas didn’t turn on them, but they weren’t really all that fired up for them.  There were some fun counters here, strong back and forth action, and some good near falls so this match held my interest throughout.  The match was solid, and this will be a tough match for Rollins and Ambrose to top.  By the way, that match belongs in the main event and I am thrilled to see it there.

Backstage, Henry is hyping Show up.  Show says that he’s going to beat the Russian tonight for our country, for Henry, and for everyone.  Then they will get on the bus, go to Silsbee, TX and get some bar-b-q.  Henry tells Show to stay up.

Match #5 – Sheamus (c) vs. The Miz (w/Damien Mizdow)

As Miz makes his entrance, they recap the pre-show segment of Mizdow TV.  Sheamus goes for the homerun ball early with the Brogue Kick tease.  It was all Sheamus in the early going.  Mizdow causes distraction outside the ring.  Miz charges but clotheslines Mizdow instead.  Miz gets control of the match by catching Sheamus with a boot as he tries to get back in the ring.

Sheamus comes back with a shoulder block off the ropes for two.  Miz cathes Sheamus with a kick, but takes the Irish Curse backbreaker instead.  Miz keeps kicking away, then goes on offense by hitting a neckbreaker for two.  Miz gets cocky and slaps Sheamus then hits a DDT for two.  Mizdow mocks everything out on the floor as it’s going on.  Dallas says that “Mizdow’s awesome.”

Mizdow yells “cut!” and causes a distraction.  Miz tries a roll-up that doesn’t work as Sheamus rolls it through.  Mizdow distracts the official and Sheamus has a visual three.  Sheamus goes after Mizdow.  Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale but Sheamus kicks out on two.  He hits his corner clothesline and some punches, then goes up on the ropes.  Sheamus comes back and hits the Brogue Kick to get the win and keep his title.  Afterward, Sheamus gets back in the ring and does some “YMCA” humor with Miz and Mizdow follows along.  Sheamus kicks Miz’s head off again and exits.

Winner – Sheamus to retain the WWE US Championship

The fans had to come down from the Hell in a Cell match, but they got interested down the stretch.  Mizdow was a riot to watch but I can’t help but think there’s something better for him down the road than this.  When Miz did the jump from the rope, he jumped from the stairs.

Backstage, let’s cue the dumb Bella stuff already.  Brie is already in servant mode loading Nikki’s luggage.  Nikki asks for her smoothie and if Brie made her dinner reservations.  Brie says yes.  Nikki dumps the drink on her head and tells Brie to go make another one just like it and bring it to the hotel.

Dear Jesus this is going to be dumb.  Let’s hope 30 days goes fast.

They run a video package to hype up Big Show vs. Rusev, which is next.

Match #6 – Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Big Show

Lana cuts a short promo, saying that Big Show is impressive but Russia has the super athlete, Rusev.  She asks for respect for the playing of the Russian national anthem, but Big Show’s entrance cuts that off.

Show charges to start, but Rusev dodges.  He avoids a kick from Show a it later and wrenched the leg down over his shoulder and focuses his offense on Show’s leg.  The fans chant USA and Show sells the leg pain.  Show  breaks free of the leg hold with a kick.  Rusev hits a fairly impressive suplex and goes back to working the leg as the fans chant USA again.

Rusev sets up the Accolade, but Show counters with a submission hold of his own.  Rusev gets out of the hold.  Show sets up the KO punch, but Rusev ducks.  Show comes back with some offense, hitting a shoulder block and a spear.  Big Show sets up the punch again and here comes Mark Henry to cheer him on.  Show goozles Rusev but he kicks his way out.  Rusev tries another kick but Show goozles him again and hits the chokeslam for two.  Show and Rusev end up outside the ring

Henry gets up on the apron.  Rusev hits him with a superkick to knock him down, then hits Show with one.  He hits a couple more kicks to knock Show down, the locks on the Accolade.  Show struggles, but eventually submits.  Rusev wins and we get the standard post-match celebration from Lana and Rusev.  Henry consoles Show in the ring while Rusev and Lana smile by the entry.

Winner – Rusev

I would have thought they would have Henry get in the mix to go cheap finish and set up a third match.  This wasn’t bad but the Raw match was better.  The announcers’ call was even better on Raw.  I didn’t see Show tap, but it did deflate the live crowd who seemed to be into the match.

Backstage, Dean Ambrose cuts a promo.  He says that this Friday is Halloween, and the most popular costume will be the Seth Rollins.  He says when he’s finished with Rollins he will look like something out of the Walking Dead, and the result of a woman who had sex with a vampire and so forth.  He closed by saying they will both burn in hell tonight.

Match #7 – AJ (c) vs. Paige (w/Alicia Fox); WWE Divas Championship

As Paige makes her way to the ring we get a recap of what happened on Raw this past Monday between the three ladies.

AJ gets the better of things early, catching Paige with a kick.  Paige ends up at ringside and AJ follows.  She jumps Fox and hits her with punches.  Paige catches AJ and throws her into the barricade a couple times. Back in the ring, Paige drives knees to the back and wrenches on AJ’s arms.  AJ mounts a comeback with a kick then hitting a Thesz Press.  AJ continues the comeback and gets a near fall.  Fox slams her hands on the mat but the live crowd never reacts.

AJ locks on a version of the Black Widow, but Paige counters and gets her into a slam position.  She skips around briefly then hits a fallaway slam.  AJ rolls out and Paige goes out after her.  There’s a spot where Paige is on the barricade and AJ sweeps the leg.  Paige lands hard and AJ gets back in the ring.  Alicia helps Paige in, but AJ immediately locks her in the Black Widow to get the submission win.

Afterward, Alicia yells at the fans about the finish, and Paige turns her around and slaps her.  She yells “I hate you!” as she exits.

Winner – AJ to retain the WWE Divas Championship

This was pretty forgettable.  The story is lousy and there is just confusion throughout this whole setup.  AJ has done nothing to connect with fans since she came back.  The booking is poor, and the in-ring work isn’t quite enough to get things over the hump for this.  Just bad.

They run an ad for Rivalries on WWE Network, starting tomorrow after Raw.

The cell is being lowered again for Ambrose vs. Rollins as that is next.  They run a video package to hype up the main event.

Match #8 – Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins; Hell in a Cell Match

Ambrose comes out first, and he has toys with him.  He gets in the ring with his stuff, then goes back outside and looks up.  He scales the cell and the announcers debate what on earth he’s doing.  Ambrose plays to the fans up on top of the cell.  Rollins comes out with security in tow.  He gets in the ring and yells about getting Ambrose down in the cell.   Rollins asks if he wants to start up there, and he goes out to climb himself.  Mercury and Noble try talking him out of it, but he starts to climb.

Rollins backs off, and tells security to go get him and “you work for me.”  So, Mercury and Noble climb the cell.  When they get there, Ambrose applauds, then starts wearing them out with the kendo stick he has.  Rollins gets up there too and it’s now three on one.   Ambrose gets the better of it for a moment, but the numbers are too much for a moment.  Rollins tells the stooges to throw Ambrose off the cage.  Ambrose fights back, taking out Mercury and Noble with suplexes.

Rollins and Ambrose climb down on the announce table side, then start fighting on the side of the cage.  Headbutts and shots by both men.  Ambrose and Rollins simultaneously fall off, going through the announce tables on each side.  Dallas thinks it’s awesome, but officials are calling for help to check on both men.  They bring out stretchers and backboards for both men, and load them up on them to take them to medical care backstage.

Ambrose makes his way off the stretcher and he goes after Rollins.  He dumps Rollins off the stretcher and throws him into the cage.  He throws Rollins in the doorway the slams the door on his head.  He demands the referee lock the door while the stooges tell him not to.  This is now officially underway.

Ambrose goes to the bag of toys but settles on a chair.  He yells “you stabbed me in the back, you son of a bitch!” and slams Rollins with the chair repeatedly.  Ambrose grabs a screwdriver and tries to gouge Rollins with it, but Rollins counters and drapes Ambrose over the ropes.  Ambrose comes back with a dropkick that sends Rollins back first into the cage.

A table gets set up on the cage.  Ambrose scoops Rollins up and tries to throw him into it, but Rollins slips away and tries to escape to the other side of the cage.  Ambrose gives chase, hitting a dive out on to Rollins.  Rollins finally gets a move in where he dumps Ambrose onto the pile of chairs in the ring.  Rollins rolls out and retrieves a table that he props up against the cage.

Rollins teases a suplex through the table but Ambrose counters and knocks Rollins on the table.  He goes to the corner and hits an elbow drop through the table.   The stooges tell Ambrose to back off right now but he’s not interested in listening.  Ambrose goes on the attack again, but Kane appears to blind him with the fire extinguisher.  Rollins takes advantage, driving Ambrose through the table that was propped up on the cell earlier in a powerbomb.

In the ring, Rollins hits the curb stomp, but Ambrose kicks out in a good near fall.  Rollins rolls out and gets the MITB briefcase, then whacks Ambrose with a chair repeatedly.  He sets up to hit the Curb Stomp again off the briefcase, but Ambrose counters.  He tries for Dirty Deeds, but Rollins counters out and hits an enzugiri.  Ambrose bounces off the ropes and turns Rollins inside out with a clothesline, then hits him with the MITB briefcase for a good near fall.

Ambrose goes for cinder blocks.  The lights go out, and someone’s talking in tongues.   When the lights come up, a lantern is in the ring, and Bray Wyatt charges Ambrose when he approaches it.  Wyatt does his crab walk then hits Ambrose with a one-armed slam.  Rollins crawls into the cover and grabs the win, warily watching Wyatt.

Winner – Seth Rollins

Afterward, Rollins gets helped out by the Stooges.  Wyatt stands over Ambrose then hits him with Sister Abigail.  He kneels over Ambrose and poses to end the show.

Let the grumbling begin.  A Hell in a Cell match ending with a dirty finish will not be popular among many folks, especially with how weak it really was.  It was a one-armed slam – not Sister Abigail, or a curb stomp, or anything else that put Ambrose away.  The R2-D2 effects and smoke machine just were not necessary for me as a viewer.

I will say that the feud between Wyatt and Ambrose should be good.  The promo work should be sound and the in ring action can be good as well.  For Rollins, this frees him up to settle his beef with Randy Orton, who likely doesn’t have a dance partner now that Cena has beaten him.  Cena will be looking ahead to Lesnar at some point in the future, whenever the man decides to resurface, I guess.

I don’t feel like we got closure to Rollins vs. Ambrose though, and that bothers me about the finish too.  Maybe there’s a plan to return to it, or maybe Ambrose is satisfied that he got to beat the holy hell out of Rollins for a short time tonight.  Hard to say.  But the main event was a bit of a letdown for me after what seemed like a raucous and hot start.

Overall, the show was well worked and the talents worked hard all night.  The only match that to me was a real clunker was the Bellas, but beyond that it was a sound wrestling show.  It just never overcame the really poor build to the event.

Join us on Wednesday night when we discuss all things Hell in a Cell, Raw, and whatever else is happening in wrestling on Ring Rap Audio.  Drew will be by with all the fallout on Raw with his live report tomorrow night.  Thanks for following along!