Raw got off to an exciting start as "No Chance in Hell" hits to a huge pop. Vince McMahon, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon show up to greet the Buffalo crowd. I love seeing Mr. McMahon but as I expected, this wasn't going to be an earth shattering appearance. It was partly based on hyping the free month of the WWE Network, with the hashtag #FreeFreeFree being promoted. This was anticlimactic even though he announced that Team Authority vs. Team Cena would have a stipulation added. If Team Authority loses, they must be no more. Stephanie looked nervous, Triple H seemed okay with it. This was alright but ended abruptly and Stephanie's awful dress was distracting in a bad way.
Dean Ambrose's theme hit and I was hoping for something exciting between Ambrose and The Authority/Mr. McMahon. Instead, Vince shook Ambrose's hand and it leads to Ambrose vs. Cesaro. We also got a backstage segment where Vince said he had faith in Triple H and Stephanie but they reacted very nervously. Because both guys can flat out go, Cesaro and Ambrose put on a hell of a match, but it suffered from the same problem that a lot of matches on TV do. We've seen it before. A lot. Even this past Friday. Bray appears on stage in his rocking chair but does nothing of note. Ambrose goes after him after the match but his signature hits and suddenly he's gone. So the live crowd just watched him get up and walk away? This feud has underwhelmed so far. It's another Bray feud that makes no sense.
More from The Authority as they discuss how they need to have the strongest Survivor Series team possible. That'll be tough with the current roster. Trips want to call Randy Orton but Stephanie doesn't think it's a good move. Back to the ring, Jimmy Uso of Total Divas fame goes one on one with The Miz. The Miz has gone from Intercontinental Champion, to United States Title contender to a tag team, so I fully expect a Tag Team Title shot soon. I actually love the idea of Miz and Mizdow in the tag team division and Miz wins here while Mizdow continues to be awesome.
So, it was announced that after Raw tonight, exclusively on the WWE Network, Sheamus defends the United States Championship against Rusev. However, with the limited roster, Sheamus competes on Raw as well. He takes on Tyson Kidd, which instantly gets me enthralled in this because Kidd is fantastic. But, everything was wrong with this. Sheamus should've squashed someone to look strong like Rusev, heading into the Title match. Instead, Kidd went toe to toe with him and won via countout. I didn't see the point in this. Kidd could've done this against someone else. Sheamus kicks Kidd post match, so nobody will remember the countout anyway. Bad booking of two talented guys who should have gone against other people.
One thing that the WWE has had serious issues with it over the past few years is the booking of the mid-card champions. Dolph Ziggler comes out and gets Authority treatment as Triple H, Stephanie, Corporate Kane, Seth Rollins and the Stooges came to address him. They tempt him to join Team Authority because they want the best possible team. That makes Dolph seem like a big deal for sure. They claim that if Team Cena wins, Cena will take all of the credit and Dolph will get none. It's a good point and Dolph was great at selling how he contemplated this. He stands up to them and is made to defend the IC Title against Seth Rollins. They had a great sixteen or so minute match that stole the show for me and it ends via disqualification when Randy Orton appears with an RKOOUTTANOWHERE! Great job done here with Dolph and the IC Title. I hope it continues.
Randy Orton and Triple H have an intense segment where Orton demands a match with Seth Rollins. He threatens to join Team Cena so Triple H gives him the match and tells him to get it out of his system. He cuts a good promo about needing the "Viper" that he faced for years in the past. Good stuff. We get that strange "eyes" promo and it seems like it's Luke Harper which is interesting. Titus O'Neil is in the ring and it's time for DA BIG GUY. I'm still not the biggest Ryback fan but he does well in this role. He beats Titus and the Authority is shown scouting him. Another small thing that helps pump up a guy like Ryback. Renee Young, in her infinite perfection, interviews Big Show who will face Mark Henry later. He also says he'd join Team Cena if offered the chance.
The Authority scouts this match as well but they could have just put on the WWE Network and watched one of the 3,550 Mark Henry/Big Show matches from the past few years. Show beats the hell out of Henry and tries to make him submit to his new submission move. Henry ends up hitting the World's Strongest Slam but it's not strong enough to end it, and Henry nails him with the steel steps for the DQ. Meh. I've seen it before. Kane is sent to talk to Mark Henry about joining Team Authority. I could see Henry and Show joining this match for sure.
Divas time as Nikki Bella goes one on one with Emma. The match was there as it wasn't anything special but the commentary was what we needed to pay attention to as AJ Lee was on it. Nikki wins and orders Brie to slap AJ. AJ retaliates by laying out Brie and chases Nikki up the ramp. I guess Nikki/AJ is up next. It's strange to see the Divas on so late in the show. I guess with Total Divas on hiatus, no need for a bunch of Divas match. Also, before the match, Renee interviewed the Bellas and Erick Rowan interrupted to touch Renee's hair and call her pretty. Rowan got game.
We see a strange vignette of Xavier Woods. I guess the Speed Force team with Big E and Kofi Kingston has been scrapped because now we see him playing James Brown or something. I wanted to see Speed Force dammit, they could help the tag division. Rusev is out to pull double duty like Sheamus and this was done right. He completely squashes Zack Ryder and Sheamus should've done something similar earlier. Stephanie approaches them about joining Team Authority and Lana says they need to consider it to find out which side Putin is on. At least they're making Team Authority vs. Team Cena seem like a big deal. Fernando of Los Matadores then beat Stardust. No idea at all why. I guess Los Matadores get the next shot? Whatever.
I guess Fernando's win really means nothing because on Smackdown, The Usos gets a Tag Team Title shot inside of a Steel Cage. Should be good. Main event time as Seth Rollins faces Rand Orton. The crowd seemed tired by this point but the guys put on a good match. Seth wins with a backslide so it keeps Orton strong. After the match, there's tension but Orton shakes hands with the Authority. Seth apologizes but eats an RKOFROMOUTTANOWHERE! Orton goes for the Punt but Triple H stops him, leading Orton to punch him. This leads to the Authority beating him to the point where there was actually blood. ATTITUDE ERA IS BACK GUYS! Seriously, good way to turn Orton and continue to build Seth. Kane trips in the end, stealing the show.
After the show, on the WWE Network, Rusev beat Sheamus to win the United States Title. I'm all for this as it makes sense to have Rusev as US Champion since it will gain him more heat. Sheamus hasn't been doing anything with the belt anyway. The show itself tonight earns a good score. It had some blood, no John Cena, solid matches, good angle advancement and built towards Survivor Series well. That's all I want from my three hours. 7.5/10.