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.