McGinn’s Raw Recap – 12/1/14

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Bray Wyatt seems right at home in a TLC match against Dean Ambrose in two weeks. (Courtesy WWE.com)

Monday Night Raw
December 1, 2014
Tulsa, OK

May I have your attention please? I have just received an email from the anonymous PTB Managing Editor…

Only kidding. Everyone knows Brad is anything but anonymous and he has tasked me once again to bring you the only Raw Recap you will ever need. At least that’s what I keep telling myself to help me sleep at night. I know some of you out there believe this to be true and to you I say thank you and have a Merry Christmas! To those of you out there that think I’m nothing more than a “2-Star” hack, well you obviously have no friends and probably hate Santa Claus, so you can just do us all a favor and take a long walk off a short pier! Now that we’ve separated the naughty from the nice, let’s share in some soon-to-be yuletide glee and head on down to ringside!

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

Ding dong The Authority is dead! Thank you Sting! Thank you Dolph Ziggler! Thank you Daniel Bryan! On shoot, that whole comeback of the Anonymous Raw General Manager was true? Thanks a bunch Sting! Go to Hell Dolph Ziggler! I never liked you Daniel Bryan! We begin with a highlight reel of last week’s transfer of power including the various punishments divvied out to the remaining members of Team Authority. I stand by what I said last week, Bryan’s appearance was very refreshing and if he isn’t healthy enough to wrestle, they need to use him in some on-air capacity. The guy is still over the moon with the fans!

As we do a wide shot of BOK Center, an aggravating beep emanates around the arena signaling an email from the Anonymous Raw General Manager. Fans boo as if A-Rod just walked up the the plate at Fenway Park anticipating something stupid is about to be read by Michael Cole, who if he turns heel again much like he was in 2011, I’m about to get stick my head in the oven! Are we supposed to forget that Hornswaggle admitted years ago that he was the man behind the keyboard?

The email reads that this company needs a strong leader now that The Authority is gone. The “ARGM” refuses to leave WWE in the hands of washed up superstars (like Daniel Bryan?) so he has a few announcements to make. Before Cole can utter another syllable, who should arrive but your hero and mine, John Cena! I agree with JBL when he said that he has never been happier to see John Cena. If it stops this awful angle from starting, how can anyone disagree? Cena loves nothing about the new GM and compares him to Brock Lesnar in that they both only show up once a year. Ooooo burn!

Cena celebrates his team’s triumph at Survivor Series and shows some love to his teammates. He is about to go on when the GM deedles a few more messages to Cole and the people of Tulsa. While Cena goes to shut the computer down ,all of a sudden, Seth Rollins, flanked by J&J Security, head down to the ring. The sell out and leader of the Cenation trade verbal jabs with one another with Rollins landing by telling the former champ that he didn’t win anything at the PPV. Seth points out that he pinned Cena in the main event and he would have been the sole survivor had it not been for Sting. Cena is quick to fire back with the fact that Dolph was down 3-to-1 to The Authority and they couldn’t put away the man known to many as the Show Off. Rollins then asks the Universe if the WWE is truly better off without Hunter and Steph in power. Rollins insults the board of directors for naming Bryan and the ARGM in charge of Raw the next few weeks and then names several other candidates for the position including JBL, Batista (who he rips a new one in the center of the ring) and even Eric Bischoff. Rollins proclaims that The Authority is what is best for business which is also what’s best for the fans. Only Cena has the power to bring them back of course thanks to Vinny Mac!

Cena tells him that The Authority is never coming back. He tells Seth that he is now just a normal dude who wears way too much latex and no longer the chosen one. Cena instructs him to ask him nicely to bring back The Authority and while Rollins used the word “please,” John wants Seth to beg for it. The computer beeps again and Cole tells the world that Cena and Rollins will face off in a Tables Match at the TLC pay-per-view. If Cena loses, he will no longer be the #1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Clearly upset with the Mac Book’s decision, John gets jumped from behind by Rollins and the security force. They beat on him along with Kane until Ryback makes the save. The Big Guy gets worn out by some steel chair shots until Erick Rowan heads down the aisle. He boots Concessions Kane in the coconut until he gets wrecked by a Big Show sneak attack. After that, Dolph ran out to fight off Show until Luke Harper crushed The Show Off with a ladder. While all that was happening, Cena nearly dropped Rollins through a table, but Harper and Show kept their boy up right and the giant flattened Cena with a knockout punch. Adding insult to injury, Rollins, along with Noble and Mercury, delivered a triple powerbomb, Shield style, to Cena through the table and Team Cena was left decimated for the second time in three weeks. Yikes! Too much action in just the first 15 minutes. This keyboard is on fire!

During the break, the ARGM announced that later tonight, Rowan and Show will go one-on-one plus Cena will team with Ziggler and Ryback to take on Rollins, Harper and Kane in a six-man tag match.

TAG TEAM TURMOIL MATCH (WINNERS WILL RECEIVE TAG TITLE MATCH AT TLC)

Gold & Stardust vs. The New Day (Kofi & Big E)

Odd booking decision to start us off as we get the former champs against the new team on the block. Seems puzzling that they would job out the new hot face team in the first match. Unless of course these guys are the happy-go-lucky babyface version of the now defunct 3MB. In no time flat, Kofi and E drop Stardust with a move they call the “Midnight Hour” and the Dust boys have been trounced in the first round.

The New Day vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (w/ Natalya)

A nice and unique pairing in match #2 as we get the modern day Power & Glory with Kidd teaming with the Swiss Superman. They might as well give Cesaro something to do and Kidd’s gimmick of being a self-centered chauvinist is starting to gain some momentum. Kofi was about to put Kidd away with a big splash but the Rhodes Brotherhood caused a distraction on the outside by attacking Xavier Woods. Kingston fell for the usual trick that always landed him in the midcard by falling for a simple roll-up and just like that, the new unit does the J.O.B.

Cesaro & Kidd vs. The Usos

Anyone see that Usos documentary yet on the WWE Network? I hear it’s awesome though the man who told me that (Jason Greenhouse) is also an unapologetic NY Jets fan. Ehh… nobody’s perfect! They gave these guys more time (including a commercial break) and they put on quite an entertaining see-saw battle. We get some high-flying on the inside and outside of the ring by the Usos including a superfly splash onto Kidd for an easy 3-count.

The Usos vs. Adam Rose & The Bunny

Oh what the hell!? What a letdown considering how cool this match started. I almost feel bad for Adam Rose in this one. He has decent charisma but his tethered to a lousy gimmick. I mean he is playing second fiddle to a guy in a rabbit costume! If the elitist clowns who watch wrestling saw this gimmick at a Chikara show, they would stick their noses up in the air and call this hokey. But what, because it’s on WWE, we’re supposed to think it innovative and creative? No, it’s stupid. The Bunny at least shows a little backbone though before his partner eats a superkick. Bunny then gets knocked out of the ring and Rose takes another splash allowing the standard bearers of the division to once again be crowned #1 contenders. WINNERS: THE USOS

In the back, Naomi celebrates her husband’s win in tag team turmoil. Miz and Mizdow approach her and Miz complements her on her twerking ability in a music video I never took the time to watch. He also wants to introduce her to a Hollywood producer that he knows and presents her a business card. Hmmmmmmm!

A limo approaches and lo and behold, Vince McMahon is making yet another Raw appearance. Ratings must be low. Oh and the Slammy Awards are next week and the host this year is Seth Green. Good pick. At least it’s not Larry “The Cable Guy.”

Tom Phillips speaks with Erick Rowan who shakes his head at the question about regretting his decision to attack the Big Show. Apparently Rowan has a genius-level I.Q. and an established wine-maker. He successfully completes a Rubix Cube and tells Phillips that he is targeting Show because he’s a bully. The giant does not take too kindly to that remark or the fans and says all he cares about now is hurting people.

ERICK ROWAN VS. THE BIG SHOW

Kinda think this is an example of the company giving a match away too soon. Sure it seems cool now, but when they announce this as a match for TLC in two weeks, we will all be saying, “yeah pretty good match, but I feel like I’ve seen it too many times already.” Show uses his power and size advantage early to ground the man JBL is now calling Big Red. Rowan, who is no stranger to consuming his share of Big Dude TV Dinners displayed some strength of his own when he clotheslined Show over the top ropes. His good feelings though would evaporate quickly as Show shoved him into the corner and then clobbered him in the back with steel steps. Good camera work by the crew as we get a shot of when show placed the steps down and it took an unfortunate roll onto the back of Rowan’s skull. A lousy finish to a match I will guarantee we see a few more times before TLC. WINNER: ROWAN BY DQ

Vince is stopped in the hallway by Renee and he immediately hypes up his appearance on The Steve Austin Show podcast, live on the WWE Network. He sidesteps a question about The Authority but promises that it will be fun chatting with Stone Cold tonight.

AJ will have a mystery partner when she takes on the Bella Twins on this program. The choice will be made by all of us who are bored enough to vote on the WWE app. The aforementioned Naomi is joined by Natalya and Alicia Fox as possible partners for the former Divas Champ. We all know who Miz voted for!

FANDANGO (W/ ROSA) VS. JACK SWAGGER (W/ ZEB COLTER)

Rosa is hott, Rosa is hott, Rosa is hott! But seriously, Rosa is such a smoke show! What, there was a match? Actually, no there wasn’t. Someone attacked Zeb in the locker room area and Jack never made it to the ring. Not that I would have paid attention anyways. WINNER: FANDANGO BY FORFEIT 

Rusev and Lana triumphantly approach the ring after the Bulgarian/Russan Brute successfully defended his U.S. Title on Smackdown in a 20-man battle royal. Lana proclaims that Rusev is the greatest champion this pathetic country has ever seen. Rusev delivers a message that all who he has crushed and all that refuse to listen will be broken like Zeb Colter. Lana demands that the audience in Tulsa all rise and recite a true national anthem and then goes on to mock our Pledge of Allegiance. This brings out Jack Swagger and they are fighting like it’s several months ago all over again. Jack gets the better of the angry Russian throughout the entire scrum until a plethora of officials come out to break it up.

DAMIEN MIZDOW (W/ THE MIZ) VS. FERNANDO (W/ EL TORITO)

This match came about when the baby bull interrupted an interview with the tag team champs during the Raw Pre-Show. During the bout, the guys asked Miz about Naomi and how he desires to introduce her to some of his Hollywood friends. Miz calls himself a giver and desires to give people opportunities to shine including his stunt double tonight. I am intrigued if Mrs. Uso joins the entourage faction I have dreamed about for months. One man a little less than intrigued if not downright irate by the whole situation is Jimmy Uso who comes down to the broadcast area and smacks Miz right in the kisser, telling him to stay away from his wife. Good lord that looked stiff and Miz looked like he was about to piss himself in terror. Anyway, Sandow hooks in a Figure-Four and Fernando goes a’tapping! WINNER: DAMIEN MIZDOW

R-TRUTH VS. BRAY WYATT

R-Truth still is employed? I mean I love the guy and his short-lived stay in the main events back in 2011, but this is just a sad squash for the former K-Kwik. WINNER: BRAY WYATT

After dispatching of Truth, Bray starts throwing chairs into the ring and starts screaming for Dean Ambrose to show up. He then grabs a ladder and starts lining the mat with weapons of mass destruction. Bray then tells a story about a man name Jacob who dreams about a special ladder. A ladder that the angels proclaimed leads to him Heaven. Bray then goes into full-blown preacher mode and talks about his own dreams that include tables, ladders and chairs. Dean has head enough and these guys start potato-ing that leftover stuffing out of each other. Ambrose puts his nemesis on the announce table and proceeds to set up a ladder on the outside. He climbs to the top, but Bray stumbles his way to safety. That is until Ambrose leaps from the announce table and hammers Bray with a forearm. It was an awesome visual seeing Bray rocking in his wooden chair and surrounded by all those weapons. Even cooler was when Ambrose destroyed that old wooden chair as Bray screeched in agony. That TLC match in a couple weeks is going to be an absolute treat!

THE BELLA TWINS VS. AJ LEE & ???

With just under 50%, your winner is Naomi who looks to be on the rise all of a sudden. Miz probably would be celebrating if he wasn’t icing down his stupid face! When I used to write a Superstars Recap, I observed that Naomi had an abundance of talent and deserved a bigger spotlight than some of the wannabe reality stars in the division. I speculated that she would be Divas Champ sooner rather than later and the no talent Barbie dolls would fade away. Kelly Kelly, I’m looking in your direction! Now it’s only fitting that she dethrone the Bellas in 2015 and make me look like a genius! In any event, AJ is still the star of the show as she throttled Nikki with a Shining Wizard followed by a Black Widow forcing our champ to tap out. WINNERS: AJ LEE & NAOMI

Oh Mick Foley… I mean Santa Claus!

Hey look! A Paul Heyman sighting! He is quick to correct Cena for his earlier line about Lesnar only appearing once a year. He compares the Beast to Christmas in that the holiday would lose its specialness if we celebrated it 365 days per year. He then speculates who the next #1 contender will be if Cena can’t get by Rollins at TLC in two weeks. He names Rollins, Undertaker and Sting by name before going with the entire locker room as the next challenger for Brock. He then goes on to say that there is an authority figure still around in the company and that is the man who holds the gold. My initial thoughts are that Cena loses and then someone like Orton comes back to challenge Brock. Cena can go in just about any direction including a longer program with Rollins or perhaps the long-standing rumor that he’ll finally end Rusev’s reign of terror. I do think the next challenger for Brock is just a place filler though until Roman Reigns is healthy enough to receive the torch.

JOHN CENA, DOLPH ZIGGLER & RYBACK VS. SETH ROLLINS, LUKE HARPER & KANE

Cena was a man possessed in the early goings and he inexplicably pulled Rollins in the ring despite Harper being the legal man. He instantly placed his TLC foe into the STF before the IC champ broke it up. Ryback was itching to get to Kane since they have traded beatdowns over the last seven days. They will tangle in a chairs match in Cleveland in two weeks as you may already know. Harper is so good. I truly believe he can work with anyone on the roster. He had a good battle with Ryback before the break with The Big Guy holding him up in a suplex Davey Boy Smith style. He can be a monster though when he tosses Dolph around like a rag doll. What a great find for Hunter and the talent relations staff.

Speaking of Dolph, he was our face-in-peril trying to overcome choke slams and gator rolls while trying to tag in one of his meat head teammates. Not many take an ass-kicking the way Ziggy does. He even wears those turnbuckle spots in a way that would make Bret Hart proud. After a few more moments of heat on the Show Off, Dolph tags in Cena who goes all Berzerker on his foes. He AA’s Harper and then teams up with Ryback to deliver a devastating suplex on Kane. Just as Cena was truly getting his mojo, he got belted by the security force on the outside as he head into yet another commercial break. Jim Ross is spitting in his Sonic peach tea as we get another word from our sponsors.

Cena now finds himself in grave danger though I could be a little dramatic. Of course he sold a superkick by Harper like he was dead so I might not be that far off. Unlike with Ziggler, this heat segment seems to drag but Cena eventually finds hims bearings and tags in Ziggler. The faces mount a comeback before all parties get involve. Tons of high spots and near-falls come one after the other until Ziggler counters a powerbomb with a sunset flip to pick up a surprising pin on the larger Harper. WINNERS: CENA, ZIGGLER & RYBACK

Everyone starts brawling after the bell and it is 3-on-3 until Big Show shifts the advantage back to the heels. But the, Rowan carries some stairs down the aisle and clubs everyone in his path with the steel. Team Cena then combine their efforts to gain retribution on the traitorous Big Show. Ziggler scores with a superkick, Ryback followed with a meat hook clothesline. Cena then showed tremendous strength by lifting show up and slamming him down with an AA and then Rowan finished it off with a stairs shot to Show’s Benedict Arnold face. Fantastic finish if you enjoy villains getting their comeuppance.

If you listened the Survivor Series Rewind special I was a part of for the 1989 edition, you hear me gush over how much I enjoyed seeing guys banding together for the sake of the team. You always got the feeling that the boys on the same Survivor Series team each had each other’s back whether it was at the PPV or at some house show in Hoboken. I get that same sense with these 10 guys. Sure The Authority is over but their charges are still working together. Cena wants to get his hands on Rollins more than anything, but that won’t stop Ryback, Ziggler and Rowan from protecting their captain when he is outnumbered by the evil doers. There is something old school about this current main event storyline and it really makes for enjoyable segments like the beginning and end of tonight’s show. It truly stretches out the card because you have the feeling that each match involving this crew actually means something. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for? A midcard that makes sense?

It’s difficult to ramp it all up again in less than two weeks for another PPV after an intense Survivor Series and it will be hard not to think of TLC as a sequel that came out a touch too early. But unlike it’s predecessor, TLC doesn’t appear to be shaping up to be a one match show. There even is some intrigue with the tag division with Naomi’s involvement in the title match along with the Rhodes/New Day feud that just started brewing. Time will tell if they end the year on a high note, but it appears the company is moving in the right direction.

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.