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WWE Tribute to the Troops 2014 Results (Spoilers)

WWE filmed their yearly Tribute to the Troops earlier this evening in Columbus, Georgia, for airing… soon?  Below are the spoilers for the yearly event.

– The Usos def. Stardust & Goldust

– Hulk Hogan and John Cena appear together to honor the troops.  The Miz and Damien Mizdow interrupt them.

– Naomi & Emma & Natalya def. The Bella Twins & Paige

– Dean Ambrose def. Bray Wyatt in a No DQ Bootcamp match.

– John Cena & Erick Rowan & Ryback & Dolph Ziggler def. Seth Rollins & Big Show & Luke Harper & Kane in an 8-man tag match.

Source: Prowrestling.net

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CM Punk Makes Second Appearance on “Art of Wrestling” With Colt Cabana – Fan Questions, Reaction to Vince McMahon’s Comments on the Stone Cold Podcast, More WWE Talk

Last week, we got “the interview” from CM Punk on the Art of Wrestling podcast that discussed a wide range of topics relating to his time in WWE and his subsequent departure.  Last night, part two dropped, which is the follow-up to that interview.  The following are highlights, and I recommend listening to the entire cast via Colt Cabana’s site or via iTunes to gain context and formulate your own opinion.

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WWE Smackdown Results for 12/05/14 (Spoilers)

WWE Smackdown is filming this evening in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for airing on Friday, December 5th, 2014.  Below are the spoilers from the show.  Refresh the page for the most up-to-date info.

WWE Smackdown Tapings

– Santino Marella shows up to plug his new movie, Jingle All The Way 2.  He announces that he is the special guest GM for Smackdown tonight.

– Dolph Ziggler vs. Luke Harper (c) for the WWE Intercontinental Championship ends in a DQ when Luke Harper nails Ziggler with a low blow.  They start grabbing ladders and tossing them at each other.  Marella shows up and books them in a Ladder Match at TLC.  Unconfirmed, but I assume the IC Title is on the line.

– We get a video package looking back at The Authority.

– Seth Rollins, Kane, Big Show, Joey Mercury, and Jamie Noble come out.  Rollins cuts a promo on John Cena and talks about putting him through a table. Each member takes the mic and talks about their match at TLC as well.  Santino comes out to book a match – Ryback & Erick Rowan vs. Big Show & Kane, later tonight.

– A New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston def. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro.  After the match, Goldust and Stardust cut a promo on New Day.

– Backstage segment with Naomi and Jimmy Uso.  Naomi received flowers from The Miz apologizing.  Uso gets pissed and throws the vase.

– Recap of Swagger’s Main Event promo on Rusev.  Rusev vs. Dean Ambrose is up next.

– Ambrose cuts a promo about having fun destroying Bray Wyatt’s rocking chair on Raw, and says Bray’s plan isn’t working out so well.  Ambrose says the mind games are over.  Lana and Rusev come out and say Rusev won’t compete due to America’s intimidation.  She recaps Swagger’s attack on Rusev, and Rusev cuts a promo on Jack Swagger. Dean Ambrose says he came to fight and chases them up the ramp.  Wyatt cuts him off and attacks Ambrose with a steel chair.  Ambrose is put in a neck brace before wheeling him off on a stretcher.

– The Miz def. Jey Uso.  Jimmy Uso gets sent to the back by the referee.

– Naomi def. Brie Bella, with AJ Lee on commentary. AJ kept Nikki from interfering.

– Santino Marella talks with The Bunny backstage.

– Seth Rollins and Big Show get ready for their match.

– Ryback & Erick Rowan def. Seth Rollins & Big Show.  Kane tries to interfere but gets thrown out of ringside.  The referee misses a tag between Show and Rollins Ryback hits Shellshocked on Rollins for the win.

Source: LordsOfPain.net

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WWE Monday Night Raw Live Coverage for 12/1/2014 – The Anonymous General Manager Returns, Cyber Monday, More Build to the TLC Pay Per View and More

The build to TLC continues tonight on Raw, with the return of the Anonymous General Manager.  Last week saw Daniel Bryan run the show, doling out a little bit of punishment to various members of the Authority after running Hunter and Stephanie out of power.  Tonight, A New Day joins the tag team fray, competing in a number one contender’s match for the tag team championship.

Show Open, Live From Tulsa, OK at the BOK Center

Then, Now, Forever.  It’s the aftermath of the CM Punk podcast with Colt Cabana, and CyberMonday.

We get a recap of last week, where The Authority got dumped on their heads by Daniel Bryan and the Anonymous General Manager returned at the end of the night.  Bryan ran the show last week and doled out some punishment to the members of Team Authority.  They focus on Seth Rollins facing Cena and Ziggler with J&J Security in the main event.

Live in the arena, we already get the email alert.  It’s Hornswoggle, I swear!   Cole reads the email, saying “I am back and I am not happy.  With the Authority out of power, this company needs strong leadership.”  He says he can’t leave the fortune in the hands of washed up superstars.  He gets no further when John Cena’s music hits.  He comes out to a decent reaction.  JBL says he’s never been so happy to see Cena.

Cena grabs a mic and calls it a paramount night.  He says the Board of Directors has their stuff together with the Anonymous GM running the show.  He says he loves nothing about the GM.  He says Brock and the GM both have the same thing in common – they show up once a year.  Ouch.  He says he’s there and the fans are there and the Authority isn’t and they’re never coming back.  Cena recounts the events of Survivor Series, including Big Show’s turn and the team surviving.  He says they showed what being a WWE superstar is all about.

He says one reason why they did it is….an email alert.  This night’s gonna suck people.  Cena gets out of the ring and approaches to Cole who begs off.  Cena says he won’t let the biggest win in WWE history be handed over to a nameless and faceless computer and closes the laptop.  Seth Rollins’ music hits, and here he comes with the crack J&J Security Team.

Rollins gets in the ring and asks for the fans to give Cena a hand.  He puts Cena over, saying he’s got bad jokes for days and waving his hand in front of his face.  He says he’s good at making half the crowd tell him he sucks every night.  Facts.  The other half tells Rollins he sold out.  Rollins tells Cena he’s great at taking credit that he isn’t due.  He says Cena won nothing at Survivor Series.  He asks Security if he eliminated Cena (which is true) and says he pinned Cena while the referee counted to three.  He says he would have been the sole survivor and kept the Authority in power had it not been for Sting.

Cena recounts that Rollins and Team Authority had a 3-1 advantage and he lost to Dolph Ziggler.  Cena says that he doesn’t take credit for that and says that he will give credit to Ziggler for hanging in there to get the win.

Rollins asks if WWE is better off without the Authority.  Fans chant “yes!”  Rollins asks if JBL will be in charge next week, and Cena goes over to him and puts his hat on his head.  Rollins runs down some possible GM candidates, mentioning Batista, and Eric Bischoff.  Fans boo Batista, with Rollins saying “he’s terrible at wrestling and at acting, so he might be a good GM.”  Rollins says Cena tells the fans its their show, but the thing that is best for the fans is what’s best for business.

Rollins says Cena has the ability to bring back the Authority and he has to.  Cena tells him he’s in no place to demand, and the Authority is gone and not coming back.  Cena gets in the ring and tells Rollins he wears too much latex but he has to earn everything he gets.  “So you won’t order me to do anything.”  Cena says he has the power to bring back the Authority and Rollins asks him to do the right thing.  Cena tells him to ask nicely.  Rollins begrudgingly asks “will you please bring back the Authority?”  Cena tells him he wasn’t nice enough and he should get down on his knees.  Obvious joke is obvious.

Email alert.  Cena tries to shed it but Cole intervenes anyhow.  He says that Rollins will face Cena at TLC in a Tables match, and if Cena loses, he will lose his #1 Contendership to Brock Lesnar.   Cena protests, but Rollins jumps him from behind.  Cena disposes of Rollins outside the ring then takes on the mall cops.  He just about gets rid of them when Kane hits the ring.  He hits Cena with a chokeslam.  Rollins rants about a tables match and brings a table into the ring.

Out comes Ryback to even the score a bit.  He takes out Kane with a spinebuster, then disposes of the mall cops, then drives Rollins to the corner and hits him with a press slam.  Kane attacks him with a chair, and here comes Erick Rowan.  He runs funny.  He attacks Kane with a big boot out on the floor and climbs in the ring, but Big Show comes out and attacks him.  Ziggler runs out next for the save and runs Show into the post.  He drags out a ladder, but Luke Harper runs out and attacks him.  Cena fights back in the ring and loads Rollins in the AA, but Harper saves him.  Show hits the WMD punch, then Rollins and J&J play Shield 2.0 and put Cena through the table.

Lopsided heel stuff from the AGM already – makes you wonder if the next face GM makes Rollins put up his MITB briefcase.  Anyhow, that was a long talking segment, yet again.  Almost 22 minutes.  It really kills the opening of Raw when it overstays its welcome like this.  All in all, it wasn’t the worst segment in the world but it just went on too long.  Rollins did well here.

Back live, they show the various members of Team Cena being helped to the back.  JBL thinks the Anonymous Raw GM started the show off great.  I thought that clown wanted “control and discipline?”  Anyhow, Erick Rowan will take on Big Show and there’s gonna be a six-man tag later with Cena, Ziggler, and Ryback facing Kane, Rollins, and Harper.  So the Anonymous GM is Teddy Long?

First match is a Tag Turmoil Match.  Lillian Garcia runs down the rules for us.  Goldust and Stardust come to the ring first while King and Cole talk about The New Day making their debut on Smackdown on Friday.  They are coming to Raw, next!

Match #1 – Tag Team Turmoil for the #1 Contendership to the Tag Team Championship:

Goldust and Stardust start with The New Day.  Rock, Paper, Scissors determines which two of the three New Day members work.  Xavier is out.  Big E hits a big clothesline.  Kofi teams with Big E to hit a spectacular move to send Goldust and Stardust to the showers.  Kidd and Cesaro are the next team up and they’ll face New Day right after the break!

Goldust and Stardust Eliminated

Back live, Cesaro and Kidd are controlling the action.  Big E gets the hot tag, and he goes off.  He sets up the Big Ending, but instead dumps Cesaro and Kidd to the floor.  He helps Kingston with a springboard move to the outside.  Goldust and Stardust attack Xavier Woods, which draws Kofi’s attention.  Kidd rolls Kingston up with a handful of tights to send them to the showers.

The New Day is Eliminated

Next up is The Usos to work with Cesaro and Kidd.  There’s a near fall by Cesaro going to the break.  After, Kidd avoids a suicide dive by pulling Natalya in front of him.  Jimmy tags and gets a run on Kidd.  In the ropes, Kidd gets Natalya by the hand and pulls her over, which causes enough distraction to allow him to hit a kick.  Usos come back with a top rope splash to send Kidd and Cesaro to the showers.  JBL screwed up and called The Usos #1 Contenders too early.

Tyson Kidd and Cesaro are Eliminated

Adam Rose and the Bunny are next.  I am totally serious here.  Naomi is watching on as Cole reminds us that Jimmy is married to her.  Rose hits a spinebuster then tags in the bunny.  Bunny goes up top and Rose scolds him.  Uso attacks from behind then tries for a superplex.  Bunny blocks it and hits a sunset flip bomb for a near fall.  Rose tags in and the bunny and Rose argue.  Yes, I’m serious.

Uso hits a superkick on Rose, and a splash.  Usos move on to be the #1 Contenders.  The announcers recap it as the Usos celebrate in the ring. Naomi even nods her approval backstage.

They obviously are going to Rose vs. The Bunny, which does not make me all that happy.  I guess if it leads to an unmasking, I’d be good with that.

Miz approaches Naomi, with Mizdow doing his mocking routine.  Miz congratulates her and says he voted for her to team with AJ later tonight via the App.  He compliments her video and calls the twerking impressive.  He says he doesn’t often do this and offers her a producer’s card for someone in Hollywood.  Mizdow does the whole routine along with it.

Interesting.  Will they make Naomi a part of the mix going forward?  Will this be a one-off while The Usos feud with Miz and Mizdow?

Out in the garage, a limo pulls up.  Vince McMahon exits, talking on the phone.  He’s up next?

Backstage, Erick Rowan is with Tom Philips.  He’s solving a Rubik’s Cube.  He says that Rowan has a high IQ and is an accomplished wine maker.  Rowan says that he wants to take on Big Show because he’s a bully.

Big Show’s music hits and he comes to the ring.  He says that he is a bully.  “Why?  Because I can be!”  The fans tell him he sold out but Show tells him they sold out on him.  He says he just cares about hurting people now.  He tells Rowan to come out and see what kind of a big, mean nasty giant he is.

Match #2 – Big Show vs. Erick Rowan

Rowan makes his way to the ring.  He left his Rubik’s backstage though.  He limps to the ring, selling from earlier.  The announcers are shocked about the genius news from earlier.  Lawler calls him “Big Red Rowan”   JBL and Cole jump in on it too.

Rowan sells for Show, then clears him to ringside.  He gives chase, but Show throws him into the steps.  Show slams the steps on Rowan’s back and that throws the match out.  Show exits, looking smug.  Rowan has some blood on his head – probably got bonked by the steps on the bounce.  Get that man a Z-pack!

Smart to not give the real finish of this away on free TV.  Assuming Rowan will eventually go over Show, they don’t want to do that for free.  So, it made sense to go with a DQ finish.  Match was clunky though.

Backstage, Vince is heading toward the ring.  He sees two people in costume, but doesn’t talk to them.  Renee Young stops him and asks about the state of WWE.  He says he’s excited to appear on the Stone Cold Steve Austin podcast after Raw on the Network.  She asks him about bringing back the Authority, and Vince reminds her that John Cena is the only one who can do that.  He sells the Austin podcast a second time and says that he has Austin in his hands and it’ll be fun.

Don’t sell this as fun.  Maybe this is being done to keep the expectations low in light of the CM Punk situation.  You want people to feel both entertained and informed by this interview, and selling it as hard-hitting makes a lot more sense.

We get a recap of the angle last week between the Bellas and AJ.  Still that sensless heel turn for Brie?  Anyhow, you can vote for AJ’s partner on the App.

Shots outside the arena as Cole hypes up the main event and various advertisers.

Match #3 – Fandango (w/Rosa Mendes) vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)

Rosa dances in the ring and Fandango runs out to greet her.  Tulsa doesn’t care, and I don’t either. Fandango’s Van Heusen is a bit tight.  Swagger being an Oklahoma boy gets a bit of a pop.  Swagger doesn’t appear though.  So, cue the music a second time.  Well, backstage, Colter got beaten down and is holding his leg.  Swagger wants to know who did it, and in the ring Fandango smiles.  Did he do it?  Anyhow, Fandango wins by forfeit.  Rosa has to interrupt Lilian’s announcement with a sexy-voice version.

Doesn’t take too long to see Rusev make an appearance.  Lana holds his belt up and smiles and the announcers play dumb.  King asks if he had something to do with the attack on Colter.  Commercial.  After the break, they recap what happened between Swagger, Rusev, and Sgt. Slaughter last week.

In-Ring Segment:

Lana starts to cut a promo but has to tell Tulsa to “chut-up.”  She says that Rusev was ordered to recite the “pathetic Pledge of Allegiance.”  She says not only did he bravely refuse but was then punished by having to defend the title in a battle royale on Smackdown.  They all failed.  She says “when will you learn that Rusev is the greatest US Champion this pathetic excuse of a superpower has seen.”  Rusev says that all his challengers have been crushed, and implicates himself in crushing Zeb Colter too.

Lana demands the fans rise and recite the Russian pledge of Allegiance.  It’s a mock of the US one with some Russian landmarks inserted.  Jack Swagger’s music hits and he charges the ring.   He and Rusev scrap, with Swagger getting the better of it. He roughs Rusev up into the barriers and up the ramp.  Officials run out to break it up, and that lets Rusev and Lana escape.  Swagger yells.

We’re going to talk about shaking up the Rusev character on RingRap Audio this week.  I’m not sure how I feel about going back to Swagger and Rusev at this point.  We’d love to hear your thoughts on Rusev and all things Raw so be sure to chime in.

Cole runs a hype for WWE 2K15.  Miz and Mizdow’s entrance is next.  Mizdow’s going to work a match.

Match #4 – Mizdow (w/Miz) vs. Fernando (w/El Torito)

Miz is going to be on commentary.  Dear God this just got worse.  They show El Torito getting the better of Mizdow, taking one of his stunt championships in an earlier segment.  Fans are chanting for Mizdow as he starts off.  The announcers and Miz are busy talking about how Miz is a celebrity and he’s giving Mizdow a chance to shine.  They talk about the earlier exchange with Naomi as well.  Mizdow hits a nice neckbreaker/backbreaker combo and kips up to a nice reaction.  Mizdow tries for the Skull Crushing Finale but Fernando gets out of it.  Mizdow wraps him up in the Figure Four to get the submission win.

Miz praises Mizdow, but here comes Jimmy Uso who is all business.  He slaps the taste out of Miz’s mouth and tells him to stay away from his wife.  Miz and Mizdow sell at the barrier as JBL asks if Miz is married – and not to his stunt double.  King hypes the main event.

Wyatt cut-in.  He simply says “he’s here” but there’s a commercial first.

They hype the Slammys for next week (Sorry Drew), featuring various wrestlers and Seth Green.

Hey, isn’t the WWE World Heavyweight Champion supposed to appear next week?  Shouldn’t he be the hype?

Match #5 – Bray Wyatt vs. R-Truth

Little Jimmy sighting.  Wyatt gets a nice reaction for his entrance despite being the heel.  And does Wyatt need a squash win here?  He controls Truth early, calling for Dean Ambrose and calling himself a god.   Truth gets a hope spot with a splash and  a spinning shot.  He tries for a scissors kick but Wyatt comes back with a one-armed slam.  He rolls Truth to the apron.  He drills him out there, does the crab walk in the ring then hits Sister Abigail.  No run in for Dean Ambrose like I called on Twitter.  Shucks.

Wyatt starts throwing stuff in the ring after the match.  It looks like Truth escaped.  Fans chant for tables and Wyatt says he wants them too.

There was nothing compelling about the match, at all.  Maybe the post-match angle will mean something when they come back live.

This show has been loaded with commercials and interruptions tonight.  It’s dragging and killing the flow.

Back live, Wyatt is talking about Jacob, who had visions of a great ladder.  The angels adorned it because it led to heaven as it was a ladder to Jacob’s maker.  The maker stood at the top and told him where to lead his people to safety.  “How glorious!”  Wyatt says he dreams of a great ladder as well, but he ascends it to praise no one.  He says he looks down and laughs at the simple minded insects, like Dean Ambrose.  In his dreams he sees tables, ladders and chairs.  He says it didn’t have to be this way.

Here comes Ambrose, with purpose.  Ambrose drags him out and they brawl.   Wyatt gets the better of him momentarily, but Ambrose hits him with a clothesline then bounces him off the announce position.  Ambrose drags out a ladder and climbs.  Officials run out, and Wyatt escapes.  Ambrose keeps up the assault, charging across the announce position and clubbing Wyatt and keeping up the beating until officials separate them.  Wyatt escapes up the ramp.

Ambrose yells that he will take everything from him, then destroys the Wyatt rocking chair.   Ambrose poses under the ladder as Wyatt sells.  Cole says someone has gotten to Wyatt’s brain.

We get a recap of John Cena being shocked to learn he might lose his #1 Contendership at TLC if he loses to Rollins.  They recap the brawl from the show open.  The announcerrs shill the final voting for AJ’s partner for this next tag match.  The Bellas come to the ring and parade around.  I’m still trying to figure out the heel turn of Brie Bella.  Maybe I need to stop.  We’ll find out AJ’s partner after the break.

After the break, we get a recap of last week’s Raw where AJ told the Bellas that talent isn’t sexually transmitted, then some the Bellas response on Smackdown.  Here’s the announcement, after AJ’s entrance…

Match #6 – The Bella Twins vs. AJ and Naomi

Funk is on a roll.  Is Jimmy Uso gonna slap the internet?  AJ doesn’t care.  Doesn’t take long to hear some CM Punk chants.  Tulsa doesn’t care, and I can hear the women audibly calling spots or something.  Maybe they’re just trash talking.  Cole nearly addressed the CM Punk chants.  Naomi sells for the Bellas in the early going.  AJ gets the hot tag and hits a Thesz press and starts throwing hands.

Action breaks down.  AJ hits a tornado DDT off the ropes and gets two but Brie breaks it up.  Naomi gets in the match and attacks Brie but Brie dumps her to ringside.  AJ dumps Brie to ringside and hits Nikki with a shining wizard.  She locks on the Black Widow and gets Nikki to tap.  The announcers sell that this might give AJ a chance to get her title back again.  The Bellas sell and exit.

Tulsa cared more about chanting for Punk and for AJ than they did about the match.  It wasn’t all that special, and just simply continues the AJ/Bellas story.

They recap the beginning of the show again for us.  They bring Paul Heyman in “via satellite.”  Heyman addresses the early comments from Cena.  He says that Cena talked about Lesnar showing up once a year.  He talks about how Christmas is special and unique, and compares Lesnar’s appearance to that.  He says “why not have Wrestlemania every week.”  He says it’s special.

Heyman says that if Cena does get through Rollins, “a battle weary” Cena will face a “well rested, properly trained Brock Lesnar” and will take a beating that will make SummerSlam pale by comparison.  He asks who the new #1 Contender will be if Cena loses.  He poses Undertaker and Sting as possibilities.  He says you could make the entire locker room contenders and Lesnar will eat through them one by one like throwing humans to the lions.  Heyman says he said it years ago to Austin that he who has the gold has the power.  Heyman hypes Lesnar as the “cant miss” reigning champion.

A decent enough segment.  Notable is that in a ProWrestling.net report that Lesnar was pulled from local advertising for next week’s Slammys show.  Heyman didn’t tip the hand here either.  Maybe they’re really trying to go shock value, or plans have changed and we’ll not see Lesnar next week.  Fail.

John Cena makes his entrance for the main event.

Match #6 – John Cena, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback vs. Seth Rollins (w/J&J Security), Kane, and Luke Harper

Ziggler and Ryback come out after the break, then the heels.  No one seemed to care much about the heels, and they’re not too reactive to the early going of the match.  Cena gets the better of the heels early on, taking out Harper and locking Rollins in the STF.  Ziggler tags in for a spell, working with Kane by hitting a drop kick early.  Ryback gets the tag and sells briefly for Kane.

Ryback sells for Harper.  Harper lands a series of strikes in the corner. He sets up a suplex, but Ryback counters and loads one of his own.  He doesn’t get it all the first time, but does the second.  He holds the delayed suplex going into break.  Back live, Ryback hits another vertical suplex on Harper and tags out to Ziggler.  Harper is able to tag out to Kane, who gets the momentary upper hand but Ziggler locks on a sleeper.

Ziggler hits a drop kick to the knee then a splash.  Kane tries to set a chokeslam up  but can’t get it.  Ziggler goes on the ropes for a move but takes a hard right hand for a near fall.  I don’t see the lump on Kane’s back that got made Twitter-Famous this week.  Harper tags in and uses a gator roll as Ziggler sells for the heels.  The announcers debate about being a “never say quit” guy.  Ziggler sells for Rollins, and the fans start rallying him.

Ziggler hits a jawjacker then ducks a Rollins charge to get the hot tag to Cena.  Super Cena Bros time.  Shoulder blocks, side slam, and you can’t see the Five Knuckle.  Harper gets involved and takes an AA.  Kane gets involved and gets a suplex with help from Ryback.  Official is distracted so the mall cops get a cheap shot on Cena.  That lets Rollins get two.  Commercial.

Back live, Cena sells for Kane.  JBL says J&J Security was trained by Seal Team Six.  Get the fuck outta here with that.  Cena hits a drop kick but Harper tags in and hits a neckbreaker for two.  Harper gets another two, then tags in Rollins.  Rollins mocks the “you can’t see me” thing and hits a hand off the ropes.  Cena fires up and lands a shot of his own after Rollinst taunts.  Cena tries to get a tag but takes a clothesline.  Cena continues to sell.

Rollins tries another charge but Cena ducks.  Crash and burn.  Cena and Rollins both sell, looking for tags.  Ziggler and Harper.  Ziggler goes off on the heels, hitting Harper with a neckbreaker then the Fameasser.  Rollins breaks things up so things break down.  Cena dives off the ropes, taking everyone out.  Cena tries the AA but can’t get it.  He takes a boot.

Ryback hits a press slam, then Rollins hits him with a knee off the ropes.  Ziggler hits a DDT but takes a spinning slam from Harper.  Harper tries to load a powerbomb, but Ziggler counters out and rolls Harper up for the win.

Chaos ensues, with Harper and Cena pairing off, Kane and Ryback, and Ziggler and Rollins.  Big Show makes his way out and taking shots at everyone.  He knocks out Cena and he and Kane team up on Ryback.  Here comes Big Red Rowan, steel stairs in hand.  He takes out Harper and Kane on his way, then Ziggler feeds him Rollins. Three down, one to go.  Rowan throws the steps in the ring but Show goozles him and Ryback both.

Ziggler out of nowhere hits a superkick, Ryback follows with a Meathook, and Cena hits the AA on Show.  Cena nods to Rowan to get the steps.  The other three stand Show up and feed him to Rowan to deliver a stair shot to the shoulder.  Yes, it looked obvious – try harder guys.  Show is left laying as Cole says Rowan has arrived.  The faces celebrate and Cole hypes the Stone Cold Podcast happening “NOW” to close the show.

The live crowd didn’t react until the end of the match through the closing sequence. They also seemed to enjoy the post-match angle more so than the match itself.  The match was good, but there wasn’t much reaction for it.

Overall, I will admit that this show was better than last week, but it still wasn’t all that great. I got very worried that we’d have a lot of Anonymous GM antics, but that was kept pretty well to a minimum.  That gimmick was pretty bad and I groaned last week when it was announced, but they kept it to the open and that was it.  Cyber Monday, which got hyped quite a bit, only led to one fan vote throughout the night so it was kept to a minimum too.

We’ll have a lot more to say about this show in Raw Afterthoughts tomorrow and in RingRap Audio on Wednesday.  Be sure to check out Drew’s coverage of the Stone Cold Podcast with Vince McMahon going on as we speak, and be sure to communicate with us about this show and all things pro wrestling for Ring Rap Audio this week either on Twitter (@RingRap), or on Facebook as well (facebook.com/RingRap).  Thanks for following along.

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WWE Monday Night Raw Afterthoughts for 11/26/2014 – WWE Fails to Capitalize on Survivor Series, Daniel Bryan Runs Raw, No Sting Sightings, Team Cena Members Get Revenge, AJ Drops a Bomb, and More

Welcome to this edition of Raw Afterthoughts, where we run down the hits and misses of last night’s show.  Check out the poll on the site and vote, and give us your feedback on the show via Twitter @RingRap or on Facebook (facebook.com/RingRap) so we can add your comments to the discussion on RingRap Audio, which records tomorrow night.

1. The Return of the Bearded One…

“Flight of the Valkyries” hit and I smiled.  I was glad to see Daniel Bryan return last night.  One big problem with his segment was that it really overstayed its welcome.  The other is that Daniel Bryan’s character is generally fun, and it works for the most part.  In the case of handing down punishment to Team Authority, he wasn’t the right choice because he was doing it with a big cheesy smile on his face.  The fans really wanted to see Hunter and Stephanie get theirs, but they weren’t going to be wrestling.  So it ended up being a miss for me.

Of course I’m looking forward to seeing Bryan return to the ring,  but this situation with the whole interim GM role wasn’t effective.  It made me feel like I wanted Bryan to go away.

2. Successful Defense…of Sorts…

Luke Harper and Dean Ambrose created a minor hit last night.  I wish they would have explained why Ambrose got the title shot rather than a return match from Dolph Ziggler or his former tag partner Erick Rowan getting a shot.  The match got off to a slow start, and the fans didn’t react to much, but by late in the match the fans were getting into it.  The finish was bad with the referee bump when Ambrose was begging the official to not throw the match out.  This puts heat on the company, not the heel.

Wyatt’s post match attack was done well, but it didn’t move the needle for me as to the upcoming TLC match.

3. 30 Days are Up…

Well, I guess Brie Bella is done being Nikki’s personal assistant.  In the meantime, she turned heel with no explanation or action.  Maybe they’ll swerve us and she’ll go after Nikki next week, but nothing happened to make me want to see that happen.  The storyline hasn’t worked, and over the past 30 days there hasn’t been anything that has happened that would make me want to see Brie get revenge on Nikki.

Also, it’s worth noting that AJ really dropped the bomb on the Bellas with that “you can’t sexually transmit talent.” comment.  That made me go “oooooo!” when she said that.  A bit of real talk, perhaps?

4. Tag Team Rematch…

Goldust and Stardust were unsuccessful in regaining their gold from The Miz and Mizdow and it was a minor hit.  Miz carrying both tag title belts and Sandow carrying replica belts made me laugh.  And the slow build of tension between Miz and Mizdow over Miz’s egotistical ways is working well.  I still have my doubts of how long Mizdow’s heat will carry him after the split but it’s fun in the moment.

5. Walking Out…

Rusev and Lana were allegedly in a no-win situation:  Either he would defend the US Championship in a battle royale or they have to say the Pledge of Allegiance.  Lana forcing herself to say the words was funny and her expressions sold it well.  The problem is that there were two stipulations, and when Rusev didn’t say the pledge he should have defended the title.  That didn’t happen.  He walked away with no repercussions, when the heels were to get punished.

6. Wrong Focus…

Last night was a great opportunity for WWE to capitalize on a newsworthy Survivor Series, especially for one Dolph Ziggler.  They needed to focus on him after he was the sole survivor and securing the win that got the Authority out of power.  His promo also focused more on Sting.  That’s something that needed follow-up too, but the promo should have put himself over too.  Then to work a comedy match in the main event didn’t do much for him either.

7.  Meathead Games…

I was excited when Ryback came back and think he has something to offer.  Unfortunately, Creative has him working the stuff he was doing as a heel as that dumb meathead who talks in third person.  They need to put him in a place where he is a simple straightforward ass kicker since he’s a face.  He needs to be the coolest guy in the room and not the coolest guy in his mind.  Not a Ryback problem – a WWE Creative problem.

8. Enough Already…

Raw creative brought a Main Event level gimmick over to the flagship show when they had the rematch of the “Interspecies” match between Adam Rose and the Bunny vs. Tyson Kidd and Natalya.  Kidd’s act is fun and I’m glad to see him on the main show, but this whole Bunny business is, well, bad for business.

9. A Range of Emotions:

Big Show came off as post-menopausal.  He went angry, then smiley, then tearful, then back to angry.  I would care if Big Show hasn’t turned a million times.  At least WWE went with a fresh story between Show and Erick Rowan rather than go back to John Cena again.

WWE really had a chance to capitalize on some exciting things from Survivor Series.  Sting debuted.  The Authority lost power.  But rather than come back with a hot follow-up show, they gave us loads of filler and non-sensical booking. 

They followed Sting up with a short video and a few verbal mentions.  I would have held him off until Wrestlemania season, but it was a hot moment that WWE gave us at Survivor Series.  But I don’t understand why, if WWE didn’t have a strong follow-up plan without him present tonight, they even had him debut.

The Authority losing should have signaled a new day in WWE, but instead they’re going back to the random GM gimmick that includes the Anonymous GM which clearly deflated the crowd.  This was a bad show, no two ways about it.  It was a bad time to put a show out that felt pretty soft.

We’ll talk about this, and all things wrestling, tomorrow night in RingRap Audio.  Be sure to chime your thoughts in!

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WWE “Survivor Series” Afterthoughts for 11/24/2014 – Sting Debuts, New Champions Crowned, No More Authority, Dolph Ziggler Survives, and More

Survivor Series is in the rear view mirror.  Today, I give you the hits and misses of last night’s show.  Be sure to check out the polls we have going regarding the event, and give us your feedback as well on Twitter and on Facebook.  We’ll be discussing this show and all things wrestling later this week on RingRap Audio.

1. A Long Awaited Debut…

So, Sting showed up last night.  That was probably the moment of the evening.

His timing was good in that it seemed to make the nonsense moments of the main event become meaningful.  Spoilers were out there, so this probably meant more to people who didn’t see them but this was just an overall big deal in wrestling.

I thought having him get in the middle of the main event was fine, and it seems they’re pointing to Sting v. Triple H down the road at Wrestlemania 31.  I might have sat on this appearance just because they run the risk of over-exposing him prior to that match (if they do it) and he’ll feel like “just another guy” on the roster.  That said, if they limit his TV time, they should be okay even with this debut’s timing.

And NO, Sting should not be the new authority figure.

2. Lots of Hype, No Substance:

They hyped up a “new and improved” Fandango.  What we got was a salsa dancer in Dockers slacks and a long sleeved shirt.  Why don’t they just drop this character and give the talented Johnny Curtis a chance to run with something better than this?

3. One Match Show…

This show was all about one match, and while I didn’t care that much for the story overall WWE did a nice job of making it feel like a big deal.  I thought Dolph being the lone survivor was great as if it had been Cena people would have assumed Cena would overcome the odds and win like he always does. This left some suspense to the finish.

Big Show’s turn (more in a moment) was just bad, but his knocking Henry out early made sense because they had issues going in.  They should not have eliminated Ryback first after all the fuss they made over him getting on Team Cena.

One thing I really took issue with was how Cole pointed out that disqualifications mattered, and could cause eliminations.  I guess that’s how they set up the Rusev count-out, but then Triple H bombed two different referees and the match rolled on.  That was something that made it feel really overbooked.

4. An Unwanted Turn:

Big Show has turned face and heel more frequently than Kim Kardashian pictures have been viewed on the internet.  This one makes probably the least sense too.  Show had issues with the Authority after being harassed and harangued constantly on air.  He said he hated them with every fiber of his being last week on Raw.  Now he’s with them, assumedly to protect his job.

I just can’t say I care about or want to see Big Show right now.

5. Double Gold…

WWE is certainly getting mileage out of Miz and Mizdow, and I think the right call was made to give them the tag straps.  I loved the teases of getting Mizdow into the match only to yank the rug out from under the fans who chanted for it.  Mizdow tagging in and getting the win was a great move, and Miz’s selling of it was spot on.

I doubt they can keep Mizdow hot when the face turn comes, since the act will have to change, but WWE is definitely getting what they can from it.

6. New Champion in Close-to-Record Time:

So they dug into the Wrestlemania 28 booking file and pulled out the script for Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus, then handed it to Nikki Bella and AJ and said “go duplicate this.”  I don’t understand it and quite frankly I’m disappointed by it as it continues the long string of clumsy booking of the Divas.

I figure they did this to get the title on a less-than-capable Nikki Bella who wouldn’t have been actually able to work a match with AJ in full.  There are still a lot of odd holes to fill with regard to the Bella storyline, so there will be more of that as Brie’s “servitude” days come to an end tonight (I believe) on Raw.

I suppose anything’s better than the odd dynamic between Paige and AJ, but this match was a letdown.

7. Just Who IS the Heel Here?

Speaking of odd dynamics – Bray Wyatt got it handed to him last night by Dean Ambrose.  Chairs, ladders, and a table were all involved.  Wyatt won by DQ, but the face Ambrose beat him down with (as JBL likes to say) all the toys.

They played in to advertising the TLC pay per view pretty well with this, but what else can happen with these two guys?  Because it feels like we got the payoff last night, this is a minor miss.  Also notable is that the match was fine up until Wyatt cut his promo.  The promo took the wind out of the sails for me.

8. Make it Reign(s):

Roman Reigns made a “via satellite” appearance (word is he was backstage in St. Louis though) to conduct a short interview.  This was a bit of a miss.  He ended up rendering the main event result a bit inconsequential when he said it didn’t matter who was in power, because they might be out a short time later.  I guess the goal was to not have him fully endorse Team Cena to keep the Cena-haters off of him.

They’ve got a long way to go with Roman Reigns.  He has potential, good athleticism, and is growing in his promos, but the more I listen the more I think they need to hold off on pushing him to be the one to beat Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31.

9. He’s Too Hurt…Oh, Wait…

I didn’t understand why Jack Swagger was too hurt to work on Team Cena in the main event, yet they trotted him out there in the pre-show with no selling of an injury at all.  He also took Cesaro out in half the time it took Ryback.  This was a logic fail for me.

10.  I Want to Care…I Do…But I Can’t…

I think Adam Rose could be a good heel and I think it can salvage his gimmick a little bit.  But let’s get real – his first feud is with a man in a bunny costume!  This is stupid.  I hope Rose unmasks the guy so we can see who it is, and a real story can develop.  And let’s pray that it’s not Darren Young given some of the Bunny’s antics.

What do you think?  Agree? Disagree?  Let us know on Twitter @RingRap or on Facebook (facebook.com/RingRap)!

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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:

Pre-Show:

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.

Source: LordsofPain.net

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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.