December 4, 2014 by Joey Keogh
We open this week with the same ol’ recap of Survivor Series, focusing on Sting and the end of The Authority and whatnot, before we’re reminded of Triple H’s super-good promo from last week. Sadly, he and Steph won’t be appearing tonight (and nor will Sting, so best grab the cotton buds now, lads). The whole thing is scored like a horror movie that’s trying too hard to be daring, it’s strange. Next, we’re shown another little replay, this time of last week’s Main Event, and it’s worth watching just to remind yourself of how excited Noble and Mercury were to be part of it.
The crowd boo the fuck out of the Anon GM, and rightly so, as Cole asks “Can I have your attention?” and the answer is a resounding, earth-shattering “No!”. He’s interrupted by Cena mid-sentence, with the face of the company getting and a massive pop because we’re in Oklahoma, where Cena does not suck. JBL has never been happier to see him, apparently, but quickly changes his mind upon hearing his misuse of the word “paramount”. You know what the GM has in common with Brock Lesnar, Cena muses aloud? They both only show up once a year! Weh weh weh, he’s here all night, folks.
The Authority ain’t coming back, at least not while Cena holds any power over them. Cole’s PC screen clearly shows a wall of highlighted text, in a Word doc, so it stands to reason that he looks a bit worried as Cena approaches and closes the lid ever so slowly, but not totally, because this is how computers work, people. Rollins struts out next, flanked as always by his security team. “Ladies and gentleman, John Cena” he chides, “give him a hand” before moving on to mock his bad jokes (“I have lots”), waving his hand in front of his face (“right before I defeat you”) and for the crowd knowing he sucks (smug, knowing look). The one thing Cena is good at, however, is taking credit for shit he didn’t do.
For example, Ziggler won it for their team at the PPV, after Cena was eliminated by Rollins himself. Mercury claps as his charge charts these revelations, and barely flinches when Cena counters his argument, telling him he does give credit and he intends to do so tonight. Rollins doesn’t really care though, he reckons the real question is whether the WWE is better off without The Authority, for which the crowd answers with a massive “Yes” chant. Who’s gonna take over next, Rollins muses? JBL? Well, one poor kid in the front row really likes that idea, but even when Cena helpfully places his hat over his headphones for him, it still doesn’t quite fit properly. It’s almost like they’re taking it week by week, without any solid plans for the rest of the year!
The power is in your hands, Rollins appeals to Cena, so do the right thing and bring back The Authority. This intro is over twenty minutes long, so it’s already pretty dumb, and Cena is hamming it up even worse than usual, but when he demands that Rollins ask him nicely, Raw runs the risk of hopping straight over the already fuzzy line it’s currently straddling, and straight into pantomime, complete with outrageous audience reactions and all. “Cena The Next Champ” reads the sign of a person who only just started watching wrestling last week (welcome, friend), as a message from the GM somehow manages to make it through in spite of the almost totally closed laptop lid.
Rollins and Cena are going one-on-one at TLC and whoever wins will be the #1 contender for the WHC because that makes total sense and did you know the PPV is only a fortnight away? They sure are shilling it harder than the last one, which we didn’t hear about until it was, like, that Sunday. Rollins attacks Cena upon hearing of their match, but Cena chucks him out of the ring, followed by his security team. Kane shows up next, to chokeslam Cena, as Rollins gets a table ready. Ryback also attacks, followed by Rowan and his shitty music, who follows suit. Everyone is chucked out as Ziggler appears, followed by Show who takes on Rowan because they’re feuding now for some reason even though he had more of a pop with Harper before. Ziggler is thrown into the post as a ladder appears, which he tries to use on Harper, who switches it around and makes him eat it instead. Finally, Cena is carefully positioned by the heels and chucked through the table. They’re all going to face each other in the Main Event later because whatever, this is all so messy.
Tag Team Turmoil: The Usos –v- Goldust & Stardust –v- Adam Rose & The Bunny –v- The New Day –v- Cesaro & Tyson Kidd
Before the match kicks off, Lillian takes a moment to explain the terms to us, because maybe we’re stupid or not paying attention to the over-excited commentators who keep repeating the word “turmoil” like they’ve just learned it for the first time (a definite possibility). Essentially, tag teams are eliminated one by one and the match keeps running on and on until there’s only one left, with the stipulation being those winners get to face the current champs at the PPV, for the belt. Considering there are only about four tag teams on the main roster, this seems like a weird choice of match. The New Day make their Raw debut in all of their racist glory first, clad in weird preacher’s robes, alongside Stardust and Goldust. It’s good to see Kofi back in the ring, with a cool springboard right off the bat kicking things off before he and his bros win the first round easily. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd are the next ones out, having seemingly formed a tag team without anyone noticing or caring. Nattie stands ringside throughout, proving once and for all that she isn’t the best actress (something that is all-too-clear given her appearances on Total Divas). Unfortunately, The New Day don’t seem to have Jesus on their side after all as they’re all knocked out simultaneously, with Stardust and Goldust reappearing following their earlier defeat, to distract them so Kidd can get the win. There’s a brutal backdrop by Cesaro next, before The Usos knock him and Kidd out, leading the final tag team to enter the arena and lose in a matter of minutes. An Uso nearly eliminates Adam Rose immediately, as he’s too busy fighting with his partner to pay any attention to the match. Cole takes a moment to plug Total Divas as Bunny manages to hit a sunset flip into a powerbomb, with Rose noticeably displeased by his scene-stealing. A superkick by an Uso is followed up by a Splash, which wins it for them, shocking absolutely no one.
Winners: The Usos
Backstage, Miz and Mizdow approach Naomi, who was watching the match anxiously, so Miz can congratulate her on her twerking skills, which she showed off in her new music video. She has no lines, but she plays along nonetheless. Elsewhere, Vince is arriving, but we’ll get to him later. First, work experience Tom has to chat to Rowan, just as he’s in the middle of solving a Rubik’s Cube. Tom lists his qualities, much like he’s writing a personal ad for him, and it’s proper weird because of the amount of sexual tension between the two. When pressed on why he attacked Show, Rowan answers simply “He’s a bully”
Erick Rowan –v- Big Show
Speaking of whom, here he is now, interrupting his own entrance theme to confirm that yes, he is a bully, and what are you gonna do about it, punk? (no no no, please don’t start cheering for him again you saps) Show is clearly pained at being turned heel, probably because he won’t be invited to next year’s KCAs if the kids are terrified of him, and it shows in the ring. Rowan’s music sucks, but his slow amble to the ring is genius and works perfectly for his swamp-dwelling character. Show uses a succession of clotheslines to dismantle his opponent at first, before Rowan fires back with some of his own, eventually managing to chuck the giant clean out. Unfortunately, he gets himself thrown into the steps as a result – these two are part of the first ever stairs match at TLC don’t ya know – before Show gets himself disqualified and nobody gives a shit because the real match is in two weeks anyway.
Backstage, Renee sidles up to Vince to ask him whether he’d ever consider hiring his daughter, or his son in law, back but all he’s interested in is plugging Stone Cold’s podcast, which he’s featuring on live following the show. “It’s going to be FUN” he tells her in a totally non-threatening way.
Fandango –v- Jack Swagger
The embarrassing dancing intro is apparently going to be a regular thing, as it happens again tonight, with Rosa seemingly not having studied her tape from last week as she does an even worse job this time around. Lillian calls Fandango‘s opponent “Sway-ger”, negating her position as ring announcer once more. Swagger’s music is played through twice, with the man nowhere to be seen, before it’s revealed that his manager Zeb Colter is lying in a heap backstage after having been beaten up by someone. Fandango actually wins by default, which Rosa announces in broken Spanish much too sexily.
Rusev strolls out next, to reveal that it was he who hurt Colter, muahahahahahahaha. Lana is drowned out by USA chants, especially when she does a weird, and totally inaccurate, pledge of allegiance to mother Russia and her celebrity crush, Putin. As a result, Swagger is fuming when he finally enters the ring, making quick work of the Russian. A lady giggles embarrassingly loudly as Swagger chucks him into the barricade right next to her, before Rusev flees the arena, with Lana tottering after him as fast as she can go in those heels (which isn’t terribly fast, bless her).
Damien Mizdow –v- Fernando
If you’re wondering who Fernando is, like everyone else, he’s a matador apparently. If you’re wondering why Mizdow is taking part in this match instead of the star for whom he does stunt work, it’s because Miz, who is on commentary, is in a giving mood, this being the festive season and whatnot. Before it kicks off, we’re treated to a pre-show promo from earlier, during which Miz chastised Mizdow for speaking up, telling him simply “Don’t improvise”. This is still the best Miz has ever been. EVER. King wants us to buy the stunt belts Mizdow is sporting, as they’re now available on the online store. But we’ll never look as cool as Mizdow, King! Miz taught Mizdow everything he knows, so naturally when he’s dominating from the get-go, his boss takes credit, noting when he wins, after Fernando taps out of the figure-4, that it’s “the move I made famous”. Again, Miz has never been better. However, his good mood is short-lived as the Uso who’s married to Naomi (I wanna say Jimmy..?) turns up in a rage and decks him for talking to his woman earlier. Please don’t let this be a thing. We were doing so well…
Winner: Damien Mizdow
Bray Wyatt –v- R-Truth
So…squash match anyone? To be fair, Truth tries his best in this bout, but this is really just a showcase of Wyatt’s commendable in-ring talents. He wins easily with the Sister Abigail, before grabbing a chair from underneath the ring, thereby selling the PPV even further. The crowd chant “we want tables” and he responds giddily “give it to me! I do too!” before cutting a reliably-great promo about how the ladder is the stairway to heaven – except he doesn’t use that phrase because it would be copyright infringement. Ambrose turns up unexpectedly as he’s mid “tables, ladders, chairs” chant and destroys his beloved rocking chair after unloading on him in the ring, leaving Bray to cry all the way home.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Divas Tag Team Match: The Bella Twins –v- AJ Lee & Naomi
The fans have been voting all night for AJ’s partner, out of three, totally rubbish choices, none of which are Paige. Naomi won because it was rigged and she’s getting a push right now for some unknown reason. Nikki gets a good throw in early on, before shouting “That’s right, champ” and pointing at her tits, er, I mean herself, but it gets decidedly dull when her sister takes over. King notes that nobody is really listening to the commentators until they get something wrong, which must mean we’re listening to them constantly so good for them! AJ finally gets the tag, utilising a neckbreaker, tornado DDT, shining wizard and finally the Black Widow in quick succession to pick up the win.
Winners: AJ Lee & Naomi
Before we get to the Main Event, Saint Mick, er I mean Nick, is here along with his little helper Noelle Foley (no relation), to show us all of the great gifts he’ll be picking up from the online store, including Bad News Barrett socks (ooooh), Divas jewellery (aaaah) and absolutely no Punk merch whatsoever. Noelle does pretty well during this promo, and if you believe the rumours, she’s actually in training to be a wrestler, too, so that could be interesting. Paul Heyman shows up via satellite, in all his glory, to remind us why he should be on Raw every single fucking week. He compares Lesnar to Christmas, and then Wrestlemania, because he only comes once a year and is therefore special and unique. He finishes by delivering another brilliant line, about how his client is “the can’t miss, must-see, reigning, defending, undisputed World Heavyweight Champion” There isn’t enough of a pop for this, and it’s sad.
Main Event: 6-Man Tag: John Cena, Dolph Ziggler & Ryback –v- Seth Rollins, Kane & Luke Harper
Who doesn’t love a six-man tag for a Main Event, eh? EH? This lot are very much going through the motions tonight – understandable, since they all already fought each other earlier – but Rollins, Ziggler and Harper are standouts nonetheless. Ryback yells “stoooopid” after delivering each move and a vertical suplex to Harper looks rough for all the wrong reasons. In the light of the recent allegations against him, his presence in the ring makes me very nervous, especially when he’s taking on Rollins, for example. Ziggler and Harper have better chemistry, bouncing off each other well, before Ziggler actually jumps on top of Kane’s shoulders to put him in a sleeper hold, screaming “come on!” as he does so. He does well opposite Rollins too, echoing their incredible back and forth at Survivor Series. A hot tag to Cena alerts us to the fact the match is winding down, but two Attitude Adjustments to Harper and Rollins look pretty cool, in fairness to him. Ryback helps him out to utilise the AA on Kane, before Rollins mocks his U CAN’T C ME shtick and makes him eat a boot for good measure. Cena fights back with a fast chop to Rollins’ chest, leading to a near fall as Ziggler hits the Fame Asser in quick succession. Cena then Splashes from the top rope to tackle the four of them at once, before trying for the AA on Kane again and eating a boot as a result. Ziggler delivers a DDT to Harper, but he almost wins it by delivering a spinning side slam in revenge. However, Ziggler manages to roll him up for the win, leading everyone to flood the ring and attack again as Show turns up, followed by Rowan, and it all descends into chaos once more. The final shot is of Team Cena holding hands in the ring, before Austin’s grumpy face fills the screen again. A weird ending to a weird Raw.
Winners: Team Cena
With TLC just two weeks away, it’s comforting to know it’s being sold to us in a very real way, as opposed to Survivor Series, which might as well have been six fucking years away judging by how it was presented to us, in passing, every other week.
There’s a sense that everything is winding down now, with the Anon GM, in particular, pointing to the fact the writers probably aren’t arsed coming up with anything too shocking as the year draws to a close, which is sad because this is the perfect time to catch us off guard.
Regardless, TLC is shaping up to be, if not amazing, at least memorable. Cena needs to lose to Rollins, no question about it, and Ambrose should win over Wyatt, but aside from that the rest of the matches could go either way and we’d still be reasonably entertained.
This isn’t the most exciting time for WWE, but it’s not the dullest either, and for that we should be (kind of) grateful.
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