McGinn’s Raw Recap – 11/10/14

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The hottest free agent in WWE is Ryback? Whose side is the Big Guy on anyway? (Courtesy WWE.com)

Monday Night Raw
November 10, 2014
Liverpool, United Kingdom

Cheerio Nation! We head to the land the WWE Network forgot to bring you a taped delay edition of your favorite three hour addiction. Did I look at the spoilers before scribbling this work of art? You will never know. What I do know is that I’m thankful for wrestling, cutting and strutting in addition to my polka dots so let’s get to recapping. In all seriousness, it’s Survivor Series season and that truly is something to be thankful for! So sit back, stop writing hate mail to Andy Dalton for murdering your fantasy team this week and let’s head down to ringside!

Your announcers tonight are Sir Michael Cole, Sir JBL and Jerry “The King” Lawler.

We open with video highlights of last week featuring Vince McMahon raising the stakes at the Survivor Series by putting The Authority’s power on the line. Next we see Orton’s turn on Rollins and The Authority only to be massacred at the hands of Hunter, Kane and Mr. Money in the Bank. With Orton out of commision, The power couple now turns their attention to John Cena, who still has a team to put together for the main event at Survivor Series. Despite his electric pops of late, it appears Ryback has been tasked with taking down the leader of the Cenation tonight in what The Authority hopes will solidify his position with Team Rollins and company. So we have our featured attraction and perhaps more team building as hour number one commences.

Monumental boos ring loudly throughout the arena as my hero, John Cena – rocking a new yellow shirt by the way – heads down to the ring. We even get the creative “John Cena Sucks” song being sung in unison from the rafters. Announcers speculate that Johnny has to add more teammates tonight, but before he begins, he lets the crowd get their money’s worth. He admits he’s in a hostile environment and it’s increasingly difficult for him to fill out his roster for Survivor Series. He states that The Authority doesn’t want him to form a team and they are using scare tactics to freak out the locker room. He references Zack Ryder sending out a pro-Cena tweet only to be put out of action for six months at the hands of The Authority. Then he mentions Randy Orton being put out of commission. This is followed by John announcing that two men are willing to stand up and fight alongside Cena with the first being former World Heavyweight Champion, The Real American, Jack Swagger. Of course, this is followed by Cena informing us that Jack was conveniently placed in a match tonight with Seth Rollins.

The second man we knew already, and that is IC champion Dolph Ziggler, who heroically emerged victorious over Corporate Kane this past Friday on Smackdown. Fans chant “We want Ziggler” but The Authority will do everything in their power to keep him from us. Then he brings up the name Ryback and how The Authority has held him back in the past. Even though these two haven’t always seen eye to eye, John wants to talk a little business with The Big Guy. Ryback obliges as Cole sells the point that the former muscle in Rybaxel is the most sought after free agent between both sides of this coin. Ryback proclaims that he is back but is quickly interrupted by The Authority’s music.

All the suits appear on the stage and are joined by Mark Henry who all but pledged his allegiance to the bad guys last week. I love how they are incorporating the midcard guys in this main event feud. Awesome spot for Henry and especially Ryback to get some shine. Steph, not dressed like a thrift store couch this week, makes an opening “God Save the Queen” remark before turning the mic over to Hunter who says everything is on the line at Survivor Series. The COO admits to putting the fear of God into the heads of the guys thinking of joining Cena because deep down inside, he is God! He asks who has the guts to play the game against The Authority knowing that it is career suicide? He laughs off the Jack Swagger pickup. He attempts to bury Ziggler (who still gets a monstrous pop) and all but guarantees that he won’t make it the PPV.

John has an outstanding comeback by poking at Hunter saying similar words about Daniel Bryan before he got his ass beat at WrestleMania. Triple H retorts by saying that Bryan is home on his couch doing nothing today. Then he puts Dolph in a match with Henry tonight. Steph begins the hard sell on Ryback by speculating how many main events he will be in once he joins Team Authority. She lays it on thick by saying that he could become the biggest, baddest monster that the WWE has ever seen. Of course then the camera shifts to Kane which got a nice chuckle out of me. I suppose those two will battle it out on PPV down the road.

Hunter continues to stir the pot by telling Ryback that he has to power to feed him more. More opportunities, championships, money, you name it. Funny how this guy was irrelevant fodder on Superstars not even six months ago. Cena calls Steph and Hunter a pair of “wankers” who should be out of a job. He says if he goes down, he will go down as a man and then calls the rest of his opponents sell-outs including Henry who he refers to a “Sell Out Sexual Chocolate.” (Huge pop, love it!)

Cena begins his push on Ryback by saying that if he screws things up for Hunter, he’ll be all but done in the business. However, if he fights with Cena, the fans will decide whether he will stick around and be a player in the company. To this the fans bellow out another robust “Feed Me More” chant as if the previous 18 months never happened. The stale, jackass tepid heel Ryback is long gone and hard to find. Now he’s Pablo Sandoval all of a sudden! Ryback declares that he is not afraid of The Authority, but then turns around and says that John Cena isn’t written at the bottom of his paycheck. To this he spinebuster slams Cena almost through the mat and then storms off.

SETH ROLLINS (W/ MERCURY & NOBLE) VS. JACK SWAGGER (W/ ZEB COLTER)

Despite the fact we are in Beatles country, fans seem firmly behind The Real American. Swagger is an interesting choice for Cena and could probably use the rub since he’s fizzled out since losing to Rusev months ago. The odds seem stacked against him though with Rollins’ stooges at ringside. The announcers are already chalking up Ryback firmly in the corner of The Authority. Swagger gets his second wind following the commercial and even connects with a Swagger Bomb for two. He rolls a sunset flip into the Patriot Lock though Rollins finds the ropes. He then applies the ankle lock on the floor only to be distracted by Mercury and Noble. He gets his head introduced to the steel post for his troubles and then eats a Curb Stomp allowing Seth to pick up the win. WINNER: SETH ROLLINS

A ringside doctor enters the ring to check on Swagger after the match. Noble and Mercury block the doctor from providing any medical attention allowing Rollins to score with a second Curb Stomp. Swagger is all but left for dead in the ring and I don’t particularly like his chances of joining Cena in two weeks.

Clips of the Peep Show featuring Dean Ambrose from Smackdown. Because I’m the only Weekly Recap in town these days, I’ll give you the gist of what went down. Ambrose says that Bray can’t get to him because he has nothing to lose. Out comes Bray who laughs at that presumption and tells Dean that he can heal him much like he did for Luke Harper and Erik Rowan. All he needs to do is take Bray’s hand. Then in an odd little twist, he mentions that Ambrose’s father turned his back on his son and went to prison. When Ambrose went to beat the tar out of Wyatt, he disappeared with Bray saying there is a special place in hell for people like us. Then in a real creepy spot, Bray shows up standing behind Ambrose and screams “RUN” only to vanish again. Pretty awesome stuff. Too bad I don’t write for Smackdown!

So back to present day with Ambrose playing with a pen. He says he has made more enemies than friends and admits to being a sinner and not apologizing for any of his misdeeds. Dean then goes on to say that if The Authority couldn’t put him out of his misery than Bray Wyatt certainly has no chance. If he is going down, he will go down in a blaze of glory and is perfectly fine with taking Wyatt along with him to that special place in hell Wyatt alluded to on Friday. Chilling words that set the stage for our latest Survivor Series announcement as Ambrose battles Wyatt one-on-one in two weeks. Ugh! Why can’t they captain their own Survivor teams? I wish it was 1989 again! All this means is that one of these guys almost has to lose on a pay-per-view again.

In the back, Kane meets up with Ryback and welcomes him to Team Authority. He tells the Big Guy that tonight’s main event is his first opportunity to prove his worth to Hunter and his posse. Ryback tries to brush off the Director of Operations but Kane assures him that he won’t be alone when he goes out to face Cena later. Kane will be at ringside though Ryback seems less than enthused. The Devil’s Favorite Demon wants his new charge to follow his lead, but Ryback wants Kane to stay out of his way. I wouldn’t fit Ryback with an Authority suit just yet boys!

PAIGE VS. ALICIA FOX

Paige receives a tremendous ovation returning to her home country. These two were besties a few weeks ago during the AJ feud, but now they both seem directionless. Very unfortunate in the case of Paige. She’d be the hottest act in the company if Raw was in the United Kingdom every week. Anyway, she hits the Ram-Paige for the quick victory over Fox. WINNER: PAIGE

Back in an nondescript hallway, Steph congratulates Rusev and Lana for capturing the US Title last week on WWE Network. She continues to push for the big Russian to join Team Authority. Lana again is hesitant and tells McMahon she’d think about it. Steph continues her pitch by saying that The Authority granted Rusev the title shot and are responsible for the title changing hands. Lana still isn’t committing to anything. Mrs. Triple H then puts on her angry voice calling Lana a “twit” and repeats the “if you scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours” line from a week ago. Not sure I’m getting this. Rusev won’t fight with Cena because that makes zero sense, but he is kind of on his own little island and doesn’t really need The Authority either. Only time will tell though this guy is so hot right now, it would be a crime for him not to be in the Survivor Series match.

Xavier Woods can dance and sing but couldn’t successfully turn Kofi heel. At least it’s a new day!

Hunter and Steph rewatch the tape of Vince’s announcement last week. They disagree with the chairman’s reasoning behind it but both agree that Cena and his team have no chance. Then they kiss and if you listen closely, you’ll hear Scott Criscuolo screaming “He was mine, before he was yours!”

U.S. CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: RUSEV (C) VS. SHEAMUS

ICYMI: Rusev defeated Sheamus when the Celtic Warrior passed out in the Accolade on a WWE exclusive match following last week’s Raw. Rusev is your new United States Champion so they celebrate his victory here. Some fellow with a Russian accent tells the former Bulgarian brute that Putin is very proud of the new champ and we hear the singing of the Russian National Anthem. Right at this point, I realized how much I miss Nikolai Volkoff. In true WWE fashion, Sheamus interrupts the anthem and storms the ring as we head to break. These guys slug the crap out of one another though the match took a turn for the worst for Sheamus when Rusev executed a fall away slam onto the announce table. I also dig Rusev’s spinning heel kick a great deal and he connects with one just before another word from our sponsors. During that break, it appears that Mercury and Noble have come down to ringside. These guys deliver an awesome beating on one another and we get a series on near-falls. Too bad the fans seemed bored and decided to do idiotic smark chants instead. Sheamus missed with the Brogue Kick and then took the fight to the outside. He bounces Rusev off the barricades but gets distracted by the two stooges and winds up getting counted out. WINNER: RUSEV BY COUNTOUT

Mercury and Noble help escort Rusev to safety as the U.S. Title remains in the hands of the Russians. Back in the hallway, Steph congratulates Rusev on retaining the title. Lana accepts Stephanie’s offer but is cut off when she tries to mention Putin. Steph doesn’t care about Putin because it is all about what The Authority wants. Still uneasy about this because I would think the last person on earth you would want to cross right now is the new U.S. champ. Anyway, for the moment Team Authority now features Rollins, Kane, Rusev, Henry and Ryback. That’s a stacked lineup though I suspect some last minute tinkering.

Rollins now joins the Ryback “Kiss My Ass” club by welcoming him to Team Authority. He reassures him that just like Rusev, he made the right call. He states the WWE as we know it is on the line in two weeks. Rollins acknowledges that they had differences in the past but those days are behind them now that they are on the same side. The golden child goes on to say that he doesn’t have to take orders from Kane tonight but he can feel free to take orders from Rollins. In closing, Ryback is going to see a target and destroy it. Will that target be John Cena?

THE MIZ & DAMIEN MIZDOW VS. LOS MATADORES

*Sigh* When I said Miz should add members and form an entourage, I didn’t mean Hornswaggle! He’s dressed like the Miz or maybe he’s dressed like Mizdow. Who cares! This is just mindless filler though at least Mizdow remains for lack of a better term, awesome. WINNERS: MIZ & MIZDOW

Backstage, Ziggler asks Cena about Swagger and the outlook isn’t too good for the Real American. John gives Ziggy the option of jumping ship but Dolph won’t budge. Cena agrees to join Dolph at ringside for his match with Henry but the love fest is quickly ended by Hunter, who tells them that John is barred from ringside. I love the interaction between Cena and Dolph and I pray they aren’t just building up Ziggy each week only to bury him in the midcard when this is all over.

DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. MARK HENRY

Prior to the match, creepy eyes by Luke Harper. That’s a 10 yard penalty, repeat first down! I guess that’s Ziggler’s next challenger when Survivor Series is over. It’ll be cool to get Harper in the ring again I guess. This match was kind of sloppy. Ziggler grazed Henry with a drop kick that the Worlds Strongest Man tried sell the best he could. Then there was this goofy roll up attempt by Dolph in the corner that just looked like a botch. On the floor, Henry grabbed a chair and tatooed Ziggler with it forcing the disqualification. WINNER: DOLPH ZIGGLER BY DQ.

Henry wailed on Dolph and then brought him back in the ring with the steel stairs. He was about to drop him with a World’s Strongest Slam but Big Show came down to make the save. Show threw the stairs up the aisle in a very dangerous spot and then announced that he joined Team Cena. He will see Henry’s ass at Survivor Series! Gross! But seriously, with all these top names in one match, the undercard of this special event could be pretty thin. Oh well, at least Dolph lives to see another day!

Whoa! Kofi now has the choir behind him and he’s singing about a new day too! I guess they haven’t abandoned Xavier’s little group yet though they seem as far from mimicking the Nation of Domination as you can possibly get. This could be a refreshing character change for Kofi, a guy who is long overdue for a makeover.

Dolph and Show are joined by Cena and the giant let’s everyone within earshot that no one hates The Authority as much as him. He shakes hands with Cena who now says that they need to find two more guys crazy enough to fight the good fight. Then Sheamus appears and says “no fella” we only need one. The Celtic Warrior officially throws his hat into the ring, presumably because The Authority cost him his rematch with Rusev. This leaves one more spot up for grabs. Orton return? Ryback double-cross? We shall see!

AJ LEE VS. BRIE BELLA (W/ NIKKI BELLA)

So Nikki will face AJ for the Divas Title at Survivor Series to fill out the rest of the card. We are still in the middle of the CinderBella storyline also known as the 10th Circle of Hell! Brie submits to Black Widow and at least they kept this short. WINNER: AJ LEE

Post-match, Nikki immediately strikes AJ from behind and lays her out to set up the title match. Blah.

The opposite of blah happened on Smackdown last friday when Army Sgt. Dan Rose walked across the arena stage thanks in large part to technology developed by Esko Bionics and a non-profit organization known as SoldierSocks. It was truly inspiring to see a man, who was paralyzed from chest down, be able to move freely without the use of his wheelchair. It was probably one of the most powerful images in the history of WWE television. Just a reminder to all of us who the real heroes are out there and I’ll give you a hint, they aren’t internet wrestling writers. Be sure to show appreciation to the soldiers in your lives this Veterans’ Day.

Henry now welcomes Ryback with open arms but reminds him of his victory over the Big Guy at WrestleMania back in the day. They laugh it off, though I still suspect foul play.

Grumpy Cat is the special guest on Raw next week? Was the Honey Badger unavailable? Even if he was available, Honey Badger don’t care, Honey Badger doesn’t give a [expletive, deleted]!

TYSON KIDD VS. ADAM ROSE

Really? The Bunny turning Adam Rose heel is a thing? In other new, Erik Rowan comes out and stares down the competitors in the ring. He approaches the announce table, pulls up his sheep mask and says, “She’s not here.” Who is she? Natalya is conspicuous by her absence considering her hubby is in the ring. Well he walks off and the Bunny gets on the top turnbuckle. Rose is distracted and is an easy target for the sharpshooter. WINNER: TYSON KIDD

The Bunny hops around the ring in an attempt to cheer up Rose though it is all for naught since Rose kicks him in the bread basket. Seeing Rose join the dark side could pretty cool. Maybe he’ll go back to being Leo Kruger and team with Cesaro or something to that effect.

The Authority plus their newly formed team gather in their private dressing room. All members except Ryback of course. Kane says that everyone is concerned that Ryback isn’t a team player in addition to having an attitude problem. Hunter wants Ryback to do what he does best. Destroy John Cena! Not only that, Team Cena is barred from ringside. Steph gives another pep talk about the guys being on the same page as we prepare for tonight’s main event.

Bray Wyatt talks. Calls Ambrose’s dad a dirty, rotten sinner and that’s where Dean got it from. He says that Ambrose has never seen real evil. He wants Dean to walk with him or suffer the consequences. Fun fact: this is exactly the same speech Steve Corino gave me just before Episode #1 of The Steve Corino Show (returning soon, check local listings!).

JOHN CENA VS. RYBACK

Even though nobody really trusts the man, Ryback is flanked by the entire Team Authority for this one. Further fueling those apprehensions was when the Big Guy got knocked off the apron and onto Corporate Kane. Ryback has the upperhand though for most of the match. He dominates Cena utilizing his power moves and even reverts back to his heelish ways by egging on the crowd. It’s remarkable how quickly he can go from super over baby face to jackass heel all in one three-hour show. “Feed Me More” was deafening in hour one. Now, he can’t even muster a peep out of this well lubricated crowd. In the end, Cena locks in the STF in the center of the ring though is able to counter by putting John in a position for the Shell Shock. Cena counters with a slam but Kane caused a distraction leading to another spinebuster. Kane then jumped into the ring and attacked Cena which forced the automatic DQ. WINNER: JOHN CENA

Kane loses his cool and takes off his sports coat. Rollins tries to play peace maker but get decked by Ryback instead. Kane delivers the big boot to Ryback and now everyone gets involved. Sheamus runs down first only to be overcome by a chokeslam. Next comes the hobbled Big Show who punches out Mercury and Noble. He then goes after Henry but he too gets wiped out by The Authority. Just when things were looking bleak, Ryback joined the fray and slammed Rollins and Rusev followed by a Shell Shock on Kane. He marches up the ramp way and earns some applause by John Cena as Hunter and Steph watch on the monitors. Before we fade to black, Dolph Ziggler appears to be thrown into the power couple’s dressing room by someone off camera. That someone turned out to by the returning Luke Harper. He tells that that he’s a team player as Hunter and Steph stand there speechless.

Wow! What a show! So many twists and plenty to think about heading into the PPV. Does Harper replace Ryback? Likely. Is Orton eventually taking Ziggler’s spot? Ugh, hopefully not. I still believe more tinkering will be done to this main event. I don’t think the company can help themselves. In any event, not going to try to be negative this week. This show was one of the best I’ve written about and that’s saying something since it was pre-taped. Fear not Nation. Even a broken clock is right twice a day!

 

Author: Dan McGinn

Dan McGinn is a former Minor League Baseball announcer, a five-star General in the #sweatervestarmy and an all around babyface who you should be happy to take home to dinner. He also happens to write about wrestling.