Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Raw Talking Points: Vince McMahon Makes A Rare Appearence on Raw

A long Raw was made a little longer with a U.S title match on the Network. Thankfully, it was one of the better shows we have seen in some time. We got to see Vince McMahon on T.V for the first time in pretty much a year. There was no John Cena on this show as well and no real explanation was given, not that I am complaining about that. While Randy Orton goes out with a bang as he is off to film a movie. All of this and of course ton of promotion for the Network that you can’t get in 80% Canada and the network was earlier in the day delayed in the U.K indefinitely.

1. Vince is back: It was yet another surprise for Raw that have been norm of late with The Rock and Mick Foley recently making surprise appearances on Raw. Vince did the expected with promoting that the WWE Network and Survivor Series are free on the network. However, he was also going to drop a bombshell about the main event for Survivor Series. He declared to the surprise of Triple H and Stephanie that the match with the Authority’s Team vs. Team John Cena would have a stipulation. If team Cena wins, it would mean the end of the authority. This would lead to Triple H and Stephanie scrambling the rest of the night to build a strong team because of Vince’s announcement. It gave the show as a whole an underlying theme for the night. This concluded with a match between Rollins and Orton to clear the air between the two.

2. Dean Ambrose Shakes Hands With Vince
: I do not think anything Vince McMahon ever does is by accident, as the authority left Dean Ambrose came out for his opening match and shook hands with Vince McMahon. This is a clear sign that Dean has moved up the food chain to interact with Vince McMahon. He was the only wrestler on the show that did, as Vince would drive off after a backstage segment with Triple H and Stephanie. It may all mean nothing, but it certainly was a moment that people will remember from this show even if it happened early on. It almost meant more than a match he had with Cesaro that was sent to commercial rather abruptly due to a cut suffered by Cesaro in the match. It was the first but not the last bleeding wrestler we would see on the night. Wyatt came out to watch the match and then would disappear but it all paled in comparison to Ambrose getting a golden handshake from Vince McMahon.

3. New Gimmicks for People Debut: We saw three different repacking moments for Luke Harper, Xavier Woods and Eric Rowan. Harper has a vignette with his eyes multiplying and it was very creepy and much in line with his Wyatt persona except he is doing his own talking.  Eric Rowan appeared still in sheep mask and approached an unsuspecting Renee Young. He would lift his mask and feel Renee’s hair and say pretty to which Renee said thank you and would make a fast exit. It was almost George “The Animal” Steele like but more menacing in nature. Xavier Woods last we saw him was looking like a black militant Malcolm X type character. He would be in a vignette playing a very James Brown or in wrestling Earnest Miller like character. The vignette ended saying a new day was coming. After watching it, I would prefer that day never came. It remains unclear if the idea of teaming Woods with Kofi and Big E has been scraped altogether, as they were not involved in this segment at all.

4.Dolph Ziggler given a “Big Spot” on the show
:  Dolph Ziggler has been a victim of bad luck combined with being buried in the WWE’s doghouse for so long it is hard to believe this company is ever getting behind him. Still he is coming off a strong win over Cesaro at the Hell in a Cell, as Cesaro seems to be that guy in the doghouse these days. Last week an interaction with God himself in the form of John Cena. Now the authority recruits Dolph. Triple H himself in a long promo would put over Dolph Ziggler and his talent in the ring. This was part of convincing him not to join Team Cena and to come join Team Authority. Ziggler would be offered whatever he wanted to join them. He said what he wanted was the authority gone and that he is joining up with Cena it would appear. This resulted in an Intercontinental Title match with Seth Rollins that was, as you would expect a great match. Randy Orton would interfere taking out Rollins and leading to the DQ but Ziggler remains the I-C Champ. The last time Dolph felt like this big a deal he was cashing in his Money in the Bank case on Alberto Del Rio. While being a John Cena friend can have its pitfalls, for now, Ziggler is being booked as a big deal for the first time in a long time, which should make fans happy. 

5.Randy Orton Goes Out with a Bang
: Randy Orton was the focus of the night with Triple H and Stephanie at odds on if he should be included on their team given his feelings and actions towards Seth Rollins. After he took out Rollins in the match with Ziggler, he would get a match with Rollins that was the main event of the show. Triple H said this was to get all of this tension between him and Rollins out of his system. Orton would lose the match clean as Rollins got a roll up for the win. Randy would be frustrated but appeared as if he would bury his beef and shook hands with all of the authority but would eventually snap when he got to Rollins. It would lead to him being beaten down to the dismay of Triple H. He would be split open legitimately on the announce table. Triple H would call off the dogs and Stephanie demanded they finish what they started. Triple H did not seem to want to go along with it but would agree. An already bloody Orton would get curb stomped with Rollins jumping off the table and stomping Orton into steel steps.

Orton is off to tape a movie and his status for Survivor Series is up in the air as he was pulled from advertising prior to tonight. It is in his hometown of St Louis so it seems likely he still might show up. He is off to film the movie “The Condemned 2,” which starred Steve Austin in the original.      

Other notes from Raw: it appears that A.J Lee finally has a new feud with Nikki Bella, who became the number one contender on Smackdown. Nikki would order Brie to slap A.J who was on commentary for her match. Brie would be dropped and Nikki would escape. Tyson Kidd showed up on Raw again getting a count out win over Sheamus using his wife Nattie as a shield to get Sheamus counted out. It would be the first of two loses for Sheamus on the night as he lost to Rusev in the network exclusive U.S Title match. Therefore, Rusev is your new United States Champion. Overall, this was a show with lots of good matches. The exception to that rule was Big Show and Mark Henry that was an 8-minute waste of time. Henry did have an impressive rampage after getting DQed giving the World’s Strongest Slam to Big Show on the steel steps. Ryback was booked in another squash match with Titus O’Neil. The Buffalo crowd who was not into much was into him.

All in all this was one of the better Raw episodes in recent memory and did add some interest to Survivor Series. John Cena not being on this show was not even a thought for me. It should be noted the Buffalo crowd were offered refunds right before the show started as it was announced that Cena would not be appearing. The kids might have missed him but I did not in the slightest.

It was a step in the right direction overall from a creative standpoint. Time will tell if they can keep this build to Survivor Series interesting on a card that will be really a one-match show with the main event requiring 10 top superstars. Aside from an Ambrose and Wyatt match that will be separate from the main event can’t think of anything to compelling they could put together for this show.