On tonight's Raw, both John Cena and The Authority will be looking for members of their Survivor Series teams. Also expect to see the continuation of the feud between Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose, as well as the one between Orton and Rollins.
Tonight's show begins with a video recap of last week's Raw. Vince McMahon's music hits and Vince, Triple H, and Stephanie make their way to the ring. He says that the Authority has done a good job running the company in his absence. He announces the free month long trial of the WWE Network, and includes Survivor Series. McMahon gloats about his accomplishments. McMahon announces the stipulation that if Team Authority loses, they will no longer be in power.
Ambrose's music hits and he makes his way to the ring. McMahon shakes his hand.
The show returns with Vince McMahon getting in his limo and driving away. Triple H and Stephanie are trying to figure out what he's up to.
Match: Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose
Cesaro and Ambrose exchange holds. Ambrose takes Cesaro to the mat. Cesaro fights back and drives Ambrose to the corner. Ambrose reverses and hits a clothesline for 1. Ambrose applies a headlock. Cesaro rolls him up for 1. Ambrose hits a shoulder block followed by a headlock take down. Cesaro dumps Ambrose outside the ring. Cesaro follows after him but Ambrose fights back and hits an elbow off the barricade. Back in the ring Cesaro is driven to the corner. Cesaro reverses into a power bomb and plants Ambrose. Cesaro mounts Ambrose and begins the ground and pound. Ambrose fights back with a Lou Thesz press and dumps Cesaro over the top. Wyatt's music hits and the lights go out.
The show returns with Bray Wyatt sitting at the top of the ramp. Cesaro gets Ambrose in a headlock. Ambrose tries to fight back but gets caught with a German suplex for a 2 count. Cesaro applies a rear chinlock. Ambrose fights back with a jawbreaker. Ambrose hits a crossbody followed by a bulldog for a 2 count. Ambrose gets Cesaro against the ropes. Cesaro fights back with a boot but Ambrose bounces off the rope and hits a clothesline for 2. Ambrose goes for a tornado DDT but Cesaro catches him and hits a huge European uppercut. Ambrose goes to the apron and tosses Cesaro to the outside. Ambrose hits a suicide dive. Back in the ring Ambrose goes to the top but is knocked off by Cesaro. Cesaro hits a backslide for 2. Ambrose fights back and hits the Dirty Deeds for for the 3 count.
WINNER: Ambrose via Pinfall
Stephanie and Triple H are shown backstage discussing Survivor Series.
MATCH: Jimmy Uso vs. Miz
Jimmy and Miz lock up. Miz applies a side headlock. Miz hits a shoulder block. Uso fights back and a kick to the midsection followed by a clothesline for 2. Uso applies an armbar. Miz tries to reverse but Uso counters with an armdrag, Uso is driven to the corner. Uso ducks a clothesline and hits a Samoan drop. Miz fights back with a boot to the face. Miz hits a big clothesline in the corner. He goes to the top rope and hits a double axehandle for 2. Uso fights back and sends Miz outside the ring. Jimmy Uso dives over the top rope and takes out both Miz and Sandow. Sandow distracts Jimmy as he returns to the ring. Jey super kicks Sandow in the face. Miz takes advantage of the distraction and hits the Skull Crushing Finale for 3.
WINNER: Miz via Pinfall
MATCH: Tyson Kidd vs. Sheamus
Kidd hits several kick to the legs but Sheamus drives him to the corner. Kidd fights back but is caught with a backbreaker from Sheamus. Sheamus hits a knee from the middle rope for a 2 count. Kidd hits a back elbow followed by a drop toehold. He hits a basement dropkick for 2. Sheamus is driven to the corner. Kidd chokes him over the apron with his boot. Kidd applies a rear chinlock. Sheamus fights back and hits an Alabama Slammer. Sheamus applies the Texas cloverleaf but Kidd gets to the ropes. Kidd is sent to the apron. He hits a slingshot dropkick and sends Sheamus to the outside. Kidd tries to kick Sheamus from the apron but Sheamus catches his foot and hits a rolling senton. Kidd recovers. Sheamus charges at him but Kidd uses Natalya as a human shield. Kidd rolls in the ring and Sheamus gets counted out.
WINNER: Tyson Kidd via Count Out
Ziggler comes to the ring. The entire Authority make their way to the ring. Stephanie gets on the mic and announces that Kane, Rollins and Orton will be on Team Authority. Triple H gets on and says that Ziggler is free to join Cena's team if he wants to. Triple H then tries to talk Ziggler out of joining Cena by saying that Cena will hold him down. Triple H then says that Ziggler can have anything he wants if he turns his back on Cena. Ziggler says all he wants is for the Authority to be out of power. Triple H then schedules a match between Rollins and Ziggler for the IC Championship.
MATCH: Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
Rollins applies a hammer lock and transitions into a headlock takedown. Rollins hits a shoulder block for a 1 count. Rollins hits another shoulder block .Ziggler fights back with a hip toss for a 2 count. Rollins rolls out of the ring. He gets back in and hits several blows to Ziggler. Ziggler is driven to the corner. Ziggler fights out with a series of right hands. He hits a kick to the face but Rollins rebounds with a big clothesline for 1. Ziggler fights back and drives Rollins to the corner. Ziggler hits a back body drop for a 1 count. Ziggler goes for a neckbreaker but Rollins reverses into a suplex for 2. Rollins chokes Ziggler on the middle rope. Ziggler ducks a blow and hits a dropkick followed by a splash to the corner. He goes for another splash but Rollins plants him in the corner for 2. Rollins applies a rear chinlock. Ziggler fights out and clotheslines Rollins over the top. ROllins fights back and drives Ziggler into the apron.
The show returns with Rollins in control. Ziggler fights bacl but is caught with a knee. Ziggler and Rollins both go for a crossbody and take each other out. Ziggler ducks a clothesline and hits a neckbreaker. Ziggler drops the elbow for a 2 count. Ziggler goes for a famouser but Rollins rolls him up for 2. Ziggler fights back and catapults ROllins into the corner. Ziggler mounts Rollins and hits 8 right hands before ROllins reverses and powerbombs Ziggler into the corner. Rollins makes to the cover for 2. Rollins goes to the top Ziggler sidesteps him and hits a famouser for a very close 2 count. Ziggler goes for a DDT but Rollins catches him with an enziguri for 2. Rollins goes for the curbstomp but Ziggler ducks it. Rollins' bodyguards distract Ziggler. Rollins hits the Curbstomp. Randy Orton comes in the ring and hits an RKO outta nowhere.
WINNER: Seth Rollins via Disqualification
The show returns with Orton confronting the Authority backstage. Orton demands a match with Rollins. He starts flipping out at Triple H and Stephanie. Triple H tells him to calm down and says that he needs both Orton and Rollins on his team because everything is at stake. Triple H agrees to the match, as long as Orton agrees to bury the hatchet with Rollins.
A mysterious vignette plays.
A replay of Henry and Big Shows confrontation on SmackDown airs.
The show returns with Titus O'Neil on the mic. He is interrupted by Ryback.
MATCH: Titus O'Neil vs. Ryback
They exchange blows but O'Neil hits a backbreaker on Ryback. O'Neil kicks Ryback on the mat. Ryback fights back with a spinebuster. Ryback hits the Meat hook clothesline followed by the Shellshock for the 3 count.
WINNER: Ryback via Pinfall
MATCH: Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Big Show drives Henry to the corner. Henry fights back with a back elbow. He sends Big Show to the corner and hits a splash. Big Show hits a boot followed by an elbow for a 2 count. Show kicks Henry outside the ring and follows him out. Henry fights back and drives Show into the ringpost. Big Show hits a spear and both men go to the floor. Big Show throws Henry back in the ring and drops a series of elbows to the back of Henry. Big Show applies a submission maneuver to the legs of Henry. Henry gets to the rope. Show drapes Henry over the apron and delivers a series of chops. He then stands on Henry. Big Show goes to the top rope but is tossed off by Henry. Henry covers Show for 2. Henry hits the World's Strongest Slam for a 2 count. Henry throws Show outside the ring. He hits Show with the steel steps and the ref calls for the bell.
WINNER: Big Show via Disqualification
After the match, Mark Henry beats up Big Show and delivers a World's Strongest Slam onto the steel steps.
Brie Bella is interviewed backstage. She is interrupted by her "master" Brie. They are all interrupted by Eric Rowan who calls them pretty.
MATCH: Nikki Bella vs. Emma
Emma is sent to the mat with a shoulder block. Emma fights back with a forearm but Nikki hits a spinebuster for 2. Nikki slams Emma for another 2 count. Nikki applies an abdominal stretch. Emma fights back and hots a crossbody. Nikki reverses an Irish whip but Emma sidesteps her and applies the Emma lock. Emma goes for the Emmalite sandwich but Nikki fights back and hits the rack attack for 3.
WINNER: Nikki via Pinfall
After the match, Nikki commands Brie to slap AJ in the face.
MATCH: Rusev vs. Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder hits several right hands. Rusev drives Ryder to the corner. Ryder hits a dropkick. Rusev kicks Ryder in the face and applies the accolade for the submission.
WINNER: Rusev via Submission
Rusev and Lana get on the mic, and talk smack on Sheamus. Sheamus comes out and tells Rusev he is in for the fight of his life.
The show returns with Stephanie asking Rusev and Lana to join Team Authority.
MATCH: Fernando vs. Stardust
Fernando hits a hurricanrana from the top rope. Stardust hits a clothesline and pounds Fernando on the mat. Stardust hits a snapmare and drives his knee into Fernando's back. Stardust dumps Fernando to the outside. Back in the ring Fernando gains the advantage. Goldust distracts Fernando. Stardist plants him. Goldust takes out the other Matadore but is kicked into Miz at the commentary table. Stardust is distracted and Fernando hits a backstabber for the 3 count.
WINNER: Fernando via Pinfall
MATCH: Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton
Orton beats Rollins into the corner. Rollins reverses but comes out of the corner with a big clothesline. The 2 men exchange blows in the middle of the ring. Orton throws Rollins out of the ring. Orton follows and hits a forearm to the back of Seth Rollins head. He then throws Rollins into the barricade.
The show returns with Orton outside the ring. He tries to get back in but Rollins pulls his neck to the rope. Rollins tries a plancha over the top rope but Orton sidesteps him. Back in the ring, Orton makes the cover for 2. Rollins regains control and chokes Orton on the middle rope. Rollins stomps Orton on the mat. Orton is sent to the corner and sidesteps Rollins. Once again, Rollins is sent outside the ring. Orton slams him into the announce table. Orton clears the announce table as Rollins retreats into the the ring. Rollins reverses a whip but gets sent to the corner. Rollins hits a pele kick and goes to the top rope. Orton knocks him off. Orton hits a superplex from the top rope for a 2 count. Orton goes for the middle rope DDT but is sent outside by Rollins. Rollins hits a suicide five. Back in the ring, Rollins hits a knee from the top rope for a 2 count. Rollins goes for a powerbomb. Orton fights out but Rollins counters. ROllins goes for a curbstomp but gets caught with a powerslam from Orton. Orton hits the middle rope DDT and sets up for the RKO. Rollins reverses into a backslide for a 3 count.
WINNER: Seth Rollins via Pinfall
After the match, Orton pretends to reconcile with the Authority but insteads RKOs Seth Rollins. Triple H tries to calm him down but Orton takes him out too. Kane and the security guards stop Orton temporarily but Orton fights back. Orton goes after Rollins. He is subdued by the Authority and eats a curb stomp from Rollins. They then set Orton on the steel steps and Rollins delivers a massive curbstomp from the announce table
Overall, a pretty good episode of Raw. The past few weeks have been focused on wrestling instead of talking which seems to be a step in the right direction. We were treated to a handful of quality matches tonight including Cesaro vs. Ambrose, Ziggler vs. Rollins, Big Show vs. Mark Henry, and Orton vs. Rollins.
My biggest gripe with tonight's episode was the treatment of Randy Orton. In what seems to be a pretty straightforward face turn, Orton was given the Daniel Bryan treatment and was beat down by the Authority when he tried to resist their power. Not only that, he went under to Rollins which is all well and good, but not when you are trying to build someone as an anti-hero babyface. What's worse is that Rollins won clean with a backslide. This not only made Rollins look tougher than Orton, but made him look like a more skilled wrestler as well. Having Orton attack the guy who just beat him fair and square doesn't make Orton look like a badass, it makes him look like a sore loser and incompetent wrestler. There were a lot of possible scenarios for tonight's main event, all of which would have achieved Orton's face turn while making him look like one tough SOB.
I won't get into all of the possible scenarios here, but I think Orton's face turn was poorly handled and another blatant sign that the writers for WWE are out of touch and don't really understand pro wrestling. I will remain optimistic, however, as there are a lot of interesting things happening in WWE leading up to Survivor Series. WWE is giving Survivor Series away for free on the Network, so you can bet your bottom dollar it is going to be a spectacular show if only to attract fans to a Network subscription.
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