So Team Authority is now Seth Rollins, Corporate Kane, Mark Henry and possibly Ryback. I forgot to mention that John Cena has chosen Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger for some reason. Swagger took on Rollins in the opener and this was a solid choice to open. However, the fans didn't care at all for it and did my least favorite thing, which is chant for the commentators. Don't do that. Especially when the match going on isn't bad. Seth wins with the Curb Stomp and, after the match, delivers a second one. They're building the Curb Stomp like it's the 2014 Punt and that's great. This basically takes Swagger out of the running for Survivor Series. Effective stuff to continue to build Seth, but it made Swagger look weak and Cena looks dumb for picking someone who never really had a chance.
A pre-taped promo for Dean Ambrose airs where he says he will not apologize for being a sinner and that he will take Bray Wyatt down. I really feel like the WWE has limited Dean's TV time lately. I'm not saying they don't care about him because they clearly do, but he has been a lesser part of the show lately. Bray vs. Dean is announced for Survivor Series. Going backstage, they play up the Authority/Ryback tension as Kane tries to intimidate him and tell him to follow the Authority's lead. Bad move Kane. Alicia Fox is in the ring when we return for a match with Paige who gets a HUGE pop. Bigger than Ryback's earlier even. Paige wore some Union Jack boots and decided that she was a face in her home country. It worked for what it was. The more Paige I see, the better.
Stephanie McMahon comes up to Lana and Rusev about Rusev joining Team Authority. Stephanie pulled a Triple H and talked down to Lana, calling her a "Russian Twit." I hated that as there was literally no need for it. They then showed up for Rusev's US Title Celebration, which wasn't great. Sheamus comes out for his rematch and how embarrassing would it have been if Sheamus regained the belt here? Of course he didn't but it was due to Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble distracting Sheamus. Rusev has done more than fine winning matches on his own, so I don't know why he needed this. Oh well, I guess he's on Team Authority. I just hope that after Survivor Series, he's back to being on his own.
Seth Rollins, one of the few members of the roster who has a memory that goes further back than last month, goes up to Ryback and acknowledges their past issues from his time in the Shield. He welcomes him to the team as the Captain. They played more tension up as it's rather clear where this is headed. Tag team action followed as Los Matadores took on my new favorite tag team, The Miz and Damien Mizdow. Miz and Mizdow win a relatively short bout but Los Matadores beat the Champions recently. I sense this is leading towards a multi-team Tag Title match at Survivor Series. So, the best thing about this is that Hornswoggle played a stunt double to counteract El Torito. I laughed so damn hard.
John Cena, ever the good guy, offers Dolph Ziggler a chance to jump ship to the Authority to save his career but he declines. Triple H bans Cena from ringside for Dolph's match with Mark Henry. Before the match starts, we get a Luke Harper creepy eyes promo. Dolph seemed legit weirded out. I wonder where this is going. The match itself wasn't very good, but the crowd was HOT for Dolph. He wins via DQ and Big Show makes the save before announcing that he's joining Team Cena. The angle made sense, but Big Show doesn't excite me. Ever. He should find a partner and help the tag division. A good partner.
So I guess the Xavier Woods/Kofi Kingston/Big E stable is still happening, just not as "Speed Force" because we get a New Day vignette for Kofi. It's similar to the James Brown-esque one that Woods has had over the past week or so. I like this asit gives Kofi something different to do, which he DESPERATELY NEEDS. Team Cena is backstage when Sheamus comes up to them and joins the team. Why didn't Cena ask Sheamus beforehand? I'd take him over Swagger if I was in Cena's shoes. Before Raw, Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee for the Divas Title was announced for Survivor Series. AJ took on Brie here in a battle of Daniel Bryan hookups. The match was decent, with Nikki yelling at Brie throughout. Brie taps out to the Black Widow, allowing Nikki to hit the aptly named Rack Attack on AJ after the match. This was perfectly fine.
Mark Henry continues the trend of Authority team members unwisely irritating Ryback as he goes up to him and mentions that he beat him at WrestleMania. He says he's joking but Ryback wasn't laughing. #CatsandFacts time because Tyson Kidd, my favorite thing about all of last week, comes out for a match with Adam Rose. Despite his attack on the Bunny last week on Smackdown, he comes out as normal Adam Rose. Erick Rowan, WWE's new comedy figure, appears randomly during the match. He walked around saying "she's not here." I wonder if he's looking for Renee Young. Kidd wins but commentary only cares about the tension between Rose and the Bunny. Ugh. They also announce Grumpy Cat will be at Raw next week and I swear, Kidd NEEDS a segment with him. Team Authority complains that Ryback isn't a team player but Triple H says he doesn't have to be.
Bray Wyatt cuts a promo back at Dean Ambrose and it's basic Bray stuff. Same thing he told Daniel Bryan, which was join him or fight him. YOURE EITHER NEXUS OR YOURE AGAINST US! In the main event, Team Cena was barred from ringside but Ryback had Team Authority and the Stooges. This got 15 minutes for some reason as it wasn't very good and neither were their main event matches back in 2013. The crowd wasn't into it and it lacked energy. Kane, sticking to his new gimmick of just interfering in every match possible, jumps in to attack Cena and cause the DQ. Ryback doesn't like this and attacks Rollins. The numbers game takes it toll and out come Sheamus and Show. They don't get it done, but Ryback gets back in and cleans house. Where was Ziggler you ask? Backstage, he was getting tossed into Triple H and Stephanie's office by Luke Harper, who says that he is a Team Player. Interesting.
That was better than a lot of recent Raws, but nothing special. There weren't really any standout matches but the WWE has done a very effective job of building Survivor Series as being important and of building Ryback. The thought of a Luke Harper/Dolph Ziggler program is pretty great as well. 6.5/10.