Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Raw Report 11-17-14

In the most unsurprising start possible, The Authority walk to the ring to open the show. They are with their entire Survivor Series team as well as Joey Mercury, Jamie Noble and Lana. Triple H puts over the main event at Survivor Series and his team before talk moved to Ryback. He came out and said, again, that he is Team Ryback only. Stephanie wisely played up some of the history between John Cena and Ryback but he was still Team Ryback only. I do like how the Authority keeps bringing up the fact that John Cena is a terrible friend/partner. Triple H announces that the show will open with Dolph Ziggler taking on Luke Harper. The opening segment did its part of hyping Survivor Series and putting Ryback over, but it feels like more of the same.

Before the bell, Luke Harper and the Stooges attacked Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler was resilient and wanted to compete anyway, so The Authority put the Intercontinental Title on the line. Uh-oh. We got a solid match that went just over eight minutes and Harper won the belt. Now, I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, Harper was far and away my favorite member of the Wyatt Family, so a singles push for him is grand but I didn't think he should have won the belt in his first shot. Dolph has been doing great, putting on a classic on Smackdown and being built up during this Survivor Series storyline. He should have retained and put on a great performance at Survivor Series before eventually dropping the belt to Harper. This was way too fast in my mind for Harper.

Seth Rollins hit the Curb Stomp on Dolph Ziggler after the match and now he is also questionable for Survivor Series. Raw's guest this week was Grumpy Cat. The Miz and Damien Mizdow did a skit with him and Grumpy Cat was the second most entertaining part, behind Mizdow of course. Tyson Kidd, arguably the best part of weekly WWE television lately, took on Adam Rose. The story was focused on Rose and the Bunny again as their tension continued, while Tyson won his third straight Raw match. The focus needed to be more on Tyson and less on the stupid Rose/Bunny feud.

Bray Wyatt comes out and cuts a promo on Dean Ambrose. Once again, this feud disappoints when it is built on Raw. The Smackdown stuff has been pretty good but here, we get the same old same old from Bray. He talks about Dean embracing him and Dean interrupts on the titantron. He makes it clear that it's pre-recorded. He does make a good point about Bray rambling. Since it's pre-recorded, he attacks and they brawl before Bray runs off. Another meh segment from them and this potential "war of words" has been subpar.

We are informed that Larry the Cable Guy will be hosting Raw next week. Ugh. Moving on, Ryback goes one on one with Cesaro. After basically squashing Cesaro on Smackdown recently, this was WAY more competitive. Cesaro continues to be one of the best in-ring performers in the WWE, but he is still severely lacking in other categories. They surprisingly got about 14 minutes and Ryback won, of course. The crowd was dead, though this might have been Ryback's best match of his career. Next, Rusev and Lana came out. Lana talked about Kim Kardashian's nude photos, discussed how hot she is and teased topless photos. Instead she showed a topless photo of Vladimir Putin and was then interrupted by Heath Slater, dressed like Uncle Sam. He ran down Rusev, but lost quickly. Not sure why they went with the topless tease, but here is actual topless Lana. Enjoy.

The Big Show came out for a match but instead, was joined by Stephanie McMahon. He probably had flashbacks to when Stephanie made him cry a bunch last year and even slapped him a ton. She tries to sway him in the direction of Team Authority by telling him that he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015 if he forgoes being on Team Cena. He considers it until Sheamus comes out. Stephanie threatens to deport Sheamus which is a strange choice storyline wise. Anyway, she puts them in a match with the winner getting a WWE Title shot. Brock Lesnar watched at home like "I don't know what Steph is smoking but I'm not working all these dates." After about eleven minutes, it goes to a no contest because Mark Henry and Rusev attack. This worked well but the big question is, WHERE IS JOHN CENA? How can you want guys to be on your team when you don't have their back at all?

Nikki Bella comes out for an exhibition match, which is just her taking on Brie but Brie is dressed as AJ. I love me some AJ and Brie has her moments, but Brie dressed as AJ had me all "Shucky Ducky Quack Quack." The real AJ was on commentary and distracted Nikki, allowing Brie to get a rollup victory. Brie continued to mooch off of Daniel Bryan's popularity with her dreadful Yes chant but AJ took her out as well. Before the next break, we get Big E's "New Day" promo. I am excited for this stable.

For Smackdown, the "Dean Ambrose Survival Kit is promoted". I'm not sure what that is. A Fatal Four Way Tag Team Title match is announced for Survivor Series with the Dust Brothers defending against Los Matadores, The Usos and Miz and Mizdow. So tonight, we get a preview of that and Survivor Series in an eight man tag. It was a fun little match, Mizdow got the biggest pop and, after a barrage of finishers, Stardust got the win for his team. 

Time for the final segment, which is the contract signing for Team Authority vs. Team Cena. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon talked about how the WWE is everything to them and that they won't lose. Cena comes out alone and Trips is all like "I can't see your team", which made me chuckle. Cena said that he will find a team even if he has to pick fans. I think that Marine that Rusev took out weeks ago may want a shot. He used way too much comedy in this as once again Cena not taking things seriously hurts a feud. Stephanie feels the same way as she slaps him and Dolph Ziggler's theme hits. Big Show joins and then...Erick Rowan. Luke Harper's facial expression is priceless but I don't get this. Rowan has been comedy for the past few weeks and makes no sense. They only have four and Cesaro comes out but sides with the Authority. That was pointless. Ryback comes out and joins Team Cena leading to a brawl. He goes face to face with Triple H, but it's Cena who puts him through the table. It should have been Ryback. Solid segment that could have been better.

All in all, not a bad episode but not great. The Ryback/Cesaro match was good as was Ziggler/Harper even if the booking decision was strange. Choosing Rowan over Sheamus for Survivor Series baffles me as Sheamus is a guy who has proven that he can go in the main event and is legit. In the end, this gets 6/10.