McGinn’s Raw Recap – 11/3/14

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The Chairman was full of surprises which included adding a new stipulation to the Survivor Series main event (Courtesy WWE.com)

Monday Night Raw
November 3, 2014
Buffalo, NY

Good day to you and yours PTB Nation! If you are anything like me, you are probably hating yourself for the number of peanut butter cups you consumed in the last four days. Well cheer up Tubby! I’m here to bring you another Raw Recap so huge, even your rotund derriere could fit through it. Tricks? They’re for kids, but tonight’s episode will be filled with delicious peanut-filled treats. At least that’s what I’m hoping for anyway. I mean if this program blows like one of those orange marshmallow peanuts or the little dots on the paper candy, I might just quit. My early predictions are Bray Wyatt will be frightening, Lana will be stupid hot, John Cena will say something that will tick off the internet and I’ll conveniently black out during the Divas segment. So with that said, let’s start the show!

We get a recap of last week with Orton flipping out on Rollins and delivering one of the most satisfying RKOs in quite some time. Then we also receive some clips of the pandemonium to conclude last week’s show including some quality Jamie Noble highlights.

Now in the arena, the man himself, Mr. McMahon excitedly struts down the aisle accompanied by The Authority. Vince has dropped a ton of muscle over the years and almost looks like a walking flesh-colored skeleton in a thousand dollar suit. He gets a tremendous ovation though the crowd sours when he introduces Hunter and Steph. The chairman reiterates the announcement he made on SmackDown last week by telling the Universe that the WWE Network in November will be free for all new subscribers, including the Survivor Series PPV. He begins to brag about beating the United States Government and Ted Turner and then raises the stakes by announcing that if Team Cena wins at Survivor Series, then The Authority would not be in charge anymore. Triple H and Steph don’t appear thrilled by this news and exit the ring with very little fanfare until Dean Ambrose’s music blasts the speakers. Mr. McMahon shakes the hand of the Lunatic Fringe before heading off. That brings us to match #1 of the night!

But before we get to that, Vince, Hunter and Steph are in the back and the Chairman acknowledges that he caught the other two by surprise by his announcement. They share some awkward banter before Mr. McMahon enters his limo and drives off. Hunter and Steph say they are going to figure out what just happened.

DEAN AMBROSE VS. CESARO

So you get your long-awaited rematch of the Trick or Street Fight from Friday night! I can feel your excitement through my laptop! How do you top beating your opponent senseless with a jack-o-lantern on his head? Only Ambrose can answer that for us. Cesaro got busted open during the match and WWE quickly went to break with the help of a freaky Bray Wyatt segue. After the break, Wyatt appeared in his rocking chair at the top of the ramp, and Cole reported that doctors fixed up Cesaro’s coconut before any of the kids could see that evil, nasty blood. These guys know how to work and I’d be curious to see if they ever are allowed to have a main event caliber match down the road that doesn’t involve bobbing for apples. Bray rocked and laughed as Ambrose delivered Dirty Deeds to dispatch suddenly frigid Swiss Super Man. WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE

After the fight, Ambrose went after Wyatt though we saw that creepy transition shot again and just like that, Bray was gone!

Steph and Hunter continue to try and figure it all out when Triple H has the genius idea of calling Orton to offer him a spot on Team Authority. This came on the heels of Steph saying that they need to build the strongest team possible so that The Authority stays in power. Needless to say, the lady of house exhibits apprehension since Randy is about as welcome in The Authority as Ebola right now, but Hunter makes the call just the same.

JIMMY USO (W/ JEY USO) VS. THE MIZ (W/ DAMIEN MIZDOW)

So if I have this straight, the teflon Usos who are always hot and putting on tremendous matches, are now the new Bellas. They have beaten the A-Lister the last few weeks with the help of the old switcheroo aka Twin Magic. Meanwhile, Mizdow continues his theatrics and Jey even is caught impersonating the brilliant stunt double. Mizdow still is getting his non-sarcastic face pops much to the shagrin of The Miz, though with the help of a distraction from Mizdow on the outside, Miz catches Jimmy with a Skull Crushing Finale to pick up a rare television triumph. WINNER: THE MIZ

U.S. CHAMP SHEAMUS VS. TYSON KIDD (W/ NATALYA)

In another effort to get closer to one million subscribers, WWE decides to treat their Network loyalists by presenting a U.S. Title match between Sheamus and Rusev immediately following Raw, only on WWE Network. Sorry England, you’re just going to have to take my word for it. Poor Brits. First we get our independence, and now we can flaunt our over-the-top wrestling network in your faces. Time to go cry in your tea and crumpets, suckas! But hey, Sherlock is still pretty cool and I love the IT Crowd! Only playing guys, you know I love you!

Anyway, Kidd is getting a nice little undercard push of late, sadly because of his involvement with Total Divas. Here he gives Sheamus a nice little man/big man battle and uses his wife as a human shield to score a surprising countout win. The Irishman take exception to such dastardly tactics and kicked the Hart Dungeon graduate back to the Main Event Recap. WINNER: TYSON KIDD BY COUNTOUT

DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. THE AUTHORITY? 

So as I said last week, Dolph is entered into this storyline only to be a punching bag for Hunter and his cronies. It’s sad and SmackDown all but confirmed that fear on Friday. How does a guy like Ziggler lose clean as a sheet to Corporate Kane at this stage in the game is borderline insulting but what can you do? Here he is placed in a match with an unnamed opponent and lo and behold, out comes the entire evil clan minus Orton, of course. Still love seeing Mercury and Noble in this group. So random!

Steph calls The Authority “winners” and says that they will form the strongest Survivor Series team ever beginning with Rollins as captain. He will of course be joined by Kane and then it’s revealed that Orton will also be alongside the villains in this piece. Hunter dispels the notion that they are trying to punish those who decide to side with John Cena. He questions what Dolph will benefit from joining up with the leader of the Cenation. He speaks to the fact that Ziggler won’t even get credit should Team Cena win since all the attention will be given to the former champ. He also tells the IC champ that Dolph will be the one who will take the heat for a Team Cena defeat. Hunter begins to pump Ziggy’s tires by calling him one of the hardest working performers in this company, but then asks if he ever gets the credit he deserves. The answer, naturally, is no and it’s someone like Cena who is often touted as the hardest working man in the WWE.

The COO taunts Dolph by saying that he can’t see the glass ceiling in front of him and he certainly can’t break through it. Steph then goes on to say that Cena doesn’t even have the decency to be there for Ziggler in the arena. Hunter tells Dolph to call up Cena, tell him no to his offer for a spot on his Survivor Series team and then give him empty promises about giving him the proverbial push. Ziggy seems torn about the prospect of receiving everything he ever wanted from The Authority and takes a minute to collect his thoughts. Once composed he tells the suits to stick it and how he hopes they will soon be out of power for good! Pretty ballsy for a guy who is outnumbered 6-to-1.

Triple H, even though he promised earlier to not hand out any repercussions for anyone standing up against him, decides to further punish our hero by signing an impromptu Intercontinental Championship match between Ziggler and Rollins. This won’t end well!

IC TITLE MATCH: DOLPH ZIGGLER (C) VS. SETH ROLLINS

Rollins doesn’t need the strap, but with no Lesnar to carry the gold on TV, the next best thing would be to give a belt to the golden child and the standard bearer of The Authority. I don’t agree with it since he already has the briefcase, but when was the last time Dolph beat someone not named The Miz in a big spot on Raw? The shame of this is that these two guys have pretty good chemistry yet their rivalry has been so brutally one-sided.

Seesaw battle from the opening bell with these two beating the Crunch Bars out of each other. Dolph gets a near-fall on a Famouser and the crowd was hanging on every single high spot. Ziggy looked dead after taking an enziguri to the back of the head. Fans began to rally though that didn’t stop Rollins from scoring with a pair of spin kicks to floor our champion. Dolph would recover though he couldn’t stop the interference by the cruiserweights on the outside. With a little help Rollins connected with a Curb Stomp and had the match won. Until the Viper appeared out of nowhere and floored Mr. Money in the Bank for the second week in a row with an RKO. Thunderous pop for Orton and everyone is now up in arms because he attacked his own teammate. Seeing the sellout get RKO’ed though is about as satisfying as seeing both Mannings lose in the same weekend! This night is just full of treats! Kane is pissed, all the suits are confused and Ziggler lives to see another day. WINNER: NO CONTEST

Crazy, fast-talking Randy interrupts Hunter and Steph and demands a match with Rollins tonight. Steph doesn’t approve saying that they don’t want to see their co-captains beating the crap out of each other. Orton isn’t buying the co-captains thing and teases a full blown face turn by saying he should fight for Team Cena. Hunter says he needs Orton and Rollins on the same page come Survivor Series and thus grants Orton his match with the golden child. He wants it all out Randall’s system before the PPV so that Team Authority can once again be united. Hunter needs his boys to get along because they are going to war against John Cena and they have to win.

We then get some crap your pants montage involving various sets of eyes that I wasn’t following but I’m sure it will all be explained in due time.

Highlights of MizTV from Smackdown when Mark Henry threw Big Show through the barricade at ringside. I’d be more in awe of this if it didn’t happen back in 2011, the last time they gave Henry a monster push. I’ll give you two guesses who he dismantled on his way to the World Heavyweight Championship. Yup, the Big Show. Naturally, they are facing off tonight.

TITUS O’NEIL VS. RYBACK

Titus gets a mic so you know he’s about to get jobbed. I bet he wishes he didn’t break up the Prime Time Players at this point in his career. Anyway, Ryback entered the rejuvenation machine and is as popular as ever. He feasts on gator meat in an uneventful power match. I did enjoy O’Neil’s trash-talking, but that’s about it. Hunter and the gang were shown scouting this match in the back, but otherwise, not much else to say. WINNER: RYBACK

Big Show says he would be honored to be on Team Cena if it meant ending the reign of The Authority. Then he snaps due to the betrayal of Mark Henry last week and despite it all, he still has a part of him that wants his friend back. However, there also exists a part of him that wants to knock Henry out.

Buffalo Bills are in the house. No names given. Just Buffalo Bills.

BIG SHOW VS. MARK HENRY

Does anyone really believe Show was trying to outshine Mark Henry? They are both old, stale and at this point in their lives, better as a unit than as individuals. These guys do lay into each other and you just get the feeling they will have a good laugh over this, perhaps with a few cold beverages, after it’s over. Henry shrieks in pain on every chop and stomp while Show even does a slam off the top turnbuckle spot that sounded like a sonic boom in the center of the ring. The Authority is scouting this bout too and it’s obvious we’ll be seeing that gimmick over the next few weeks. Henry scored with a World’s Strongest Slam but only gets two before the action spills to the outside. Henry grabs some steal steps and peppers Show’s skull forcing the automatic DQ. Ugh can we just rewind the tape from 2011 already. I bet Show will be pushed off the stage in the coming weeks because honestly, where else can this possibly go? Blah, blah, Hall of Pain, That’s what I do…Yawwwwwwwwn! WINNER: BIG SHOW BY DQ 

Kane is sent to talk to Henry about joining Team Authority. Steph likes their chances so long as Rollins and Orton can coexist. With Rollins, Orton, Kane and Henry, only one more spot needs to be filled.

Ugh, this show is long. I guess today is Day 8 of 30 for Brie as Nikki’s personal assistant. In case you missed it, Nikki is now the #1 contender for the Divas Title. She stops Brie from talking to Renee. That’s the least of Ms. Young’s concerns though as Erik Rowan, donning the sheep’s mask, gently grabs a lock of her hair and tells her she’s pretty. Rowan is almost looking like he is being molded into a gentle giant role, though that could be a red herring. Not sure Bray would set him free only to become a goof. Anyway, while I was forming that paragraph, Nikki beat poor Emma in a match not worthy of me using the bold letters and a separate paragraph. Afterwards, Nikki instructs Brie to smack AJ at the announce table.

Xavier Woods is getting a character change again. He is now singing in front of a choir and is preaching about a new day coming. He almost reminds me of Randy Watson from Coming to America. That boy is good! Anyway, I hope it does better than him trying to turn Big E and Kofi heel that we’re all supposed to have forgotten about now. At least he isn’t jobbing to Rusev anymore each and every week.

Speaking of which…

ZACK RYDER VS. RUSEV (W/ LANA)

Just a quick tune up before that Network exclusive U.S. Title match coming up later. Hunter and Kane watch from the back as Rusev makes short work of the Woo Woo Woo kid. WINNER: RUSEV

Rusev tells Sheamus that he will annihilate him tonight and take the US Title back to Putin. The Celtic Warrior promises his challenger the fight of his life. Have you not ordered the Network yet? What are you waiting for? It’s not like you live in one of those underprivileged countries like England! Get on it Slap Nuts!

Stephanie approaches Lana and Rusev and offers the big Russian a spot on Team Authority. They aren’t ready to commit though so Steph implies that they owe The Authority since they were granted the US Championship match tonight.

STARDUST VS. FERNANDO

Huh? Another throwaway match to fill time. Miz and Mizdow are on commentary. It feels like they were in a match eight hours ago! There was some bull-related calamity that caused all the heels to start sniping at each other. Fernando executes a back stabber and Stardust does the J.O.B. WINNER: FERNANDO

RANDY ORTON VS. SETH ROLLINS

Jerry just said “I don’t think this has been a good night for The Authority.” This pretty much guarantees an unhappy ending. So glad I stayed up this late! Orton goes to work right away and stares down Triple H after dispatching Rollins to the floor. Randy punishes Rollins by throwing him against barricades and putting over his unhinged character. He is almost out “lunaticing” Dean Ambrose. Funny how Rollins’ failed cash in at Night of Champions spawned feuds against Cena, Ambrose and Orton. He isn’t even champion and yet three of your biggest names are fixing to whip your ass. Not too shabby!

Rollins took a stiff back body drop onto the announce table as Orton continues to lose his mind over the course of this match. He tears apart the broadcast area, but doesn’t get a chance to use it immediately. He does, however, nail a superplex for a close call though Rollins would regain control with a swift knee to the skull. The Authority watched anxiously hoping this match would end with both men in one piece. Just when Orton was about to uncork a second RKO of the evening, Rollins pulls a backslide out of the Kerry Von Erich playbook and picked up the shocking, if not anticlimactic W over the Viper. Are you serious bro? Who the hell wins on a flippin’ backslide? WINNER: SETH ROLLINS

Randy is beside himself and who can blame him? That is the dutch oven of defeats. That stench will linger for weeks. In a the vein of the end of a playoff hockey series, Orton shakes hands with all his Authority brethren until he gets to Rollins where he shows some hesitation. Rollins explains that they need to protect the Authority brand and then apologizes to Orton. Everything looks hunky dory until Orton shows his true colors and plants Rollins with his third RKO in two weeks! The Apex Predator cleans house only to be restrained by Hunter in the center of the ring. Cooler heads are about to prevail until Orton bumps his mentor and then flattens him with a lariat. It then turns into a 5-on-1 mugging with Orton getting a few extra licks in on the suits. While Orton was getting restrained on the announce table, Rollins Curb Stomps Randy on the table and he “gets color” the hard way. Triple H and Steph give the order to “finish this” and Seth leaps from the table and stomps Orton onto the steel stairs. Rollins mocks the Orton pose as Cole declares “the future is now.”

Not a bad show but one that certainly dragged. Without Cena or Lesnar we had way too much filler and Authority overkill. Steph was dressed like an old sofa and between the Orton stuff and the long Ziggler segment, this show was dominated by the same six people for three hours. Though with that said, those segments are probably the only ones worth watching in all honesty I expect next week, Cena will have some pretty tough choices to make though we can probably venture to guess he’ll include the likes of Big Show, Sheamus and Orton on his short list potential teammates.

We could sit here and speculate until the cows come home, but for now I’ll step aside to attend to more pressing matters. What might you ask could be more important? Well for starters, I have plenty of shows to catch up on on the WWE Network; something our friends across the pond only wish they could say. Cheerio!

I kid, I kid!

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.