Get ready for a trend as the members of Team Cena at Survivor Series were punished throughout the night. We start with Dolph Ziggler, the hero of that fateful night, having to defend his Intercontinental Championship against the man who never really lost it, Bad News Barrett. I'm totally okay with this, since Barrett did, indeed, never lose the title. Dolph wins with a crucifix pin rather quickly leading to Barrett attacking him. I figured, "Oh, short match is okay if it leads to a feud and a PPV match." Also, I guess Barrett isn't a face even after last week. After he destroys Dolph, Kane comes out to say this is Two out of Three Falls. You all see where this is going don't you? Wade quickly wins the second fall and then we go to commercial. Returning, the third fall is competitive, but Barrett wins after a distraction from Kane. So, Barrett is a five time Intercontinental Champion and I really hope this means Dolph is going to become a potential WWE Title challenger.
Renee Young and her new haircut, which still looks great, interviews Roman Reigns. Guess what? This promo was cheesy and terrible. He literally went out and called himself Superman before saying he's going to punch Big Show or something. We move to a Bray Wyatt promo where he talks about tonight's Ambulance match. It's the usual Bray stuff. In the ring, we continue with promos as the Ascension come out and say that they're better than Demolition and the Legion of Doom. Okay, so you want to find the absolute number one way NOT to get a tag team over? After the new team cuts a promo, have commentary absolutely bury them. I get that they aren't a legendary team, but Booker and JBL just bashed them completely. "They can't carry their jocks", or "do that to the Usos." Basically, when Ryback squashed no names all the time, it worked because commentary played up their dominance and didn't downplay what they did. The Ascension won against two jobbers, but this was all kinds of bad because of commentary.
Lana and Rusv cut a promo about Russian Christmas, which is soon. They also mention Vladimir Putin. Roman Reigns is set to face Big Show, which leads commentary to play this up like it's The Rock vs. Fucking Hulk Hogan. It's not that big a deal and it's going to be shitty. The match happens, Big Show basically beats up Roman throughout, he makes a valiant comeback and it ends in a goddamn DQ. Even if I'm not huge on the Roman push, it's easy to do. Big Show is useless, so have Roman beat him. Cleanly. These non-finishes are stupid and this is getting dragged out way more than it should. Roman spears him to take him out, ending this awful segment. Roman got a lukewarm reception from the crowd. Time to move into Divas action. Our Divas Champion, Nikki Bella is in the ring with her friend/enemy/former twin/sister Brie Bella. Natalya comes out for their match, with no Tyson Kidd, which is insanely disappointing. Instead, we get Paige! I accept this is a suitable replacement. Want to know why she's at ringside? There is no reason. I mean, on Total Divas last night, Paige played a trick on Natalya with some "pot" brownies, but at the end of the episode they were on bad terms. Cole tries to explain it by saying they made up, but still. Paige takes out Brie outside, allowing Natalya to win. She superkicks Nikki and checks on Natalya. In the end, Paige got a better reaction than any of the other girls and most guys tonight. Someone give this women the belt or something. She should have never lost it at Night of Champions. Much like the Bray Wyatt promo earlier, Dean Ambrose cuts one backstage about the Ambulance Match.
In a classy move, the WWE announcers mention ESPN's Stuart Scott's passing and send their condolences. In a frustrating move, we move to Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan with NO BUILD AGAIN. It was the same story on Smackdown when Bray Wyatt beat Erick Rowan, but at least they played into that when Bray tricked Rowan due to their past. Here, we get J&J Security as dual special referees. Erick Rowan gets zero reaction from the crowd, probably because he loses every single week. It was the same story here. At least it furthered the Team Cena has a bad night angle, but they should have used a different heel to accomplish this and keep the former Wyatt members separate. Anyway, it is announced that the Usos and Naomi face Miz, Mizdow and Alicia Fox tonight. A scene from earlier tonight is shown where Alicia brags about being on Total Divas now after Naomi was booted from the show. Alicia then attacks her. No real rhyme or reason. Alicia is like the Big Show of the Divas with the number of heel/face turns she makes. Girls comes to stop it and check on Naomi, and Emma looks might fine here.
A video package airs recapping the Bray Wyatt/Dean Ambrose feud. You know the one. Where two talented characters faced off, for no real reason, and had a hugely disappointing rivalry. The one where instead of having anything logical happen, they were just booked in specialty match after specialty match. The matches have been pretty good but this one was underwhelming. The Miracle on 34th Street Fight was much better. As with most Ambulance Matches, this was alright, and featured a lot of brawling. We get Dean hitting an elbow through a table for what has to be the 371st time in the feud. Seriously, it happened a ton of times. Bray wins, because Dean isn't allowed to win any big matches. I get that they want to keep Bray strong for a potential feud with the Undertaker, but Dean is pretty much in limbo right now. I'm not saying that he's done or he's moving to the mid-card, but he seems to just be there, like the WWE has no clue what to do with him. It's a sad state of affairs, because is still more over than Roman Reigns.
It is announced that on Smackdown, Seth Rollins will be a guest on MizTV. Our six person tag begins and I think it would have been hilarious, if for one night, Alicia Fox dressed like Miz and Mizdow. Michael Cole completely drops the ball with the earlier segment. Naomi said it was okay that she's off Total Divas because she can focus on her career. Cole now states that Naomi meant her music career. Why not her wrestling career? Put over the show as if it's wrestling at least sometimes please. Also, why wasn't Cameron the partner? She has an unfinished history with Naomi since their angle was just dropped. The heels win because of classic 50/50 WWE booking. Next, the announced Ryback/Seth Rollins match is changed to a handicap match. The Authority make it Seth and Kane vs. Ryback. This furthers the punishment on Team Cena, as Ryback clearly loses, though it took far too long.
A match is announced for tomorrow's Main Event, pitting Nikki Bella against Paige in a non-title match. I'll be watching. Adam Rose is out, still with the Exotic Express, for a match against Big E. In under two minutes, we get another disqualification finish. Two Rosebuds come in, in full body suits, to attack Big E. They hit a powerbomb/blockbuster combo and reveal themselves to be Tyson Kidd and Cesaro! I'm okay with the attack, since Kidd and Cesaro vs. New Day will be fun, but them celebrating with Adam Rose was random as fuck. Time for the John Cena Appreciation Night Ceremony. After thanking Cena and stuff, they called out Erick Rowan, Ryback and Dolph Ziggler, of Team Cena. Stephanie threatened to suspend them to turn them against Cena. It doesn't work, so she FIREEEES them. The crowd gives zero fucks because, who actually stays fired on WWE TV. The Authority didn't. John Cena has been fired like four times and is always back within a week or so. The show closes with confetti falling as Cena looks sad and the Authority dance.
It's hard to believe that this episode of Raw was produced by the same people who ran last week's. This sucked. Bad News Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler was decent, but overbooked and the Ambulance Match disappointed. Everything was pretty lackluster and dumb. The best thing about tonight was moving Seth Rollins into the Royal Rumble WWE World Heavyweight Title match. 3/10.