TV Review: WWE Monday Night RAW

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Vince McMahon kicks off Monday Night RAW! He joins Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in the ring, the latter wearing what my wife dubbed as a “boobalicious dress.” No, not The Game. In a short segment, Vince talks about being successful, and takes notice how The Authority seems to be underappreciated. With that in mind, Mr. McMahon announces the stipulation for the main event Survivor Series match, should Team Authority lose to Team Cena, the Authority will no longer be in power.

No John Cena tonight, and if it wasn’t mentioned by the announce team or Triple H during his segment with Dolph Ziggler, I don’t think anyone would have noticed.

Interesting. Triple H and Steph show some concern as Vince leaves backstage via private limo.

In the ring, we get a WRESTLING match between Dean Ambrose and Cesaro. Round one took place on SmackDown in a Halloween themed match where they wrestled each other, but of course WWE Creative needed them to also beat each other over the head with pumpkins. Har Har Har. Tonight we saw Ambrose get flung with an awesome German Suplex, Cesaro eating the arena floor and get busted open, and both men put on a freakin’ clinic. Bray Wyatt showed up with rocking chair to taunt Ambrose. Match ends after Ambrose kicks out of a backslide, planting Cesaro with the “new” Dirty Deeds-T for the pinafall. This new version is the Mick Foley Double Underhook DDT. Neat, huh?

Backstage: HHH calls Orton on his cell to recruit him for Team Authority. Stephanie objects. Wah.

In the ring, Miz takes on Jimmy Uso while the crowd pays tribute to Damien Sandow throughout the entire match. Jey Uso gets in the act by mimicking his brother. Crowd doesn’t care at all about the match as Sandow’s solo performance steals the segment. Miz picks up the win after all four have a short brawl, hitting the Skull Crushing Finale on Jimmy.

Interesting note, during the melee, Jey Uso superkicked Sandow and the crowd BOOED. They booed LOUD. Sandow is getting recruited for Team Authority. Calling it now.

Michael Cole steals a line from the late and great Gorilla Monsoon, saying tonight “The irresistible force meets the immovable object” in reference to Big Show facing Mark Henry tonight. Cole pays homage to Monsoon, but it still makes me angry.

Flashback to SmackDown where Alexander Rusev says since he has beaten all the American heroes of WWE, he will challenge for the United States Championship. As Sheamus mauls Tyson Kidd on RAW, we are informed after RAW goes off the air, Sheamus will defend the United States Title against Rusev live on the WWE Network. If that is not shocking enough, Tyson Kidd wins the match, but by count out as he uses Natalya as a shield, preventing Sheamus from getting back into the ring. Kidd celebrates, but winds up eating a Brough Kick for it.

Dolph Ziggler comes out, I think for a match. Except the entire Authority comes out, offering Ziggler the chance to opt out of being on Cena’s team, and joining Seth Rollins, Kane, and Randy Orton for Team Authority. Triple H cuts a great promo, putting over Ziggler as main event material who always gets held back, and blames John Cena. Triple H and Steph’s used car salesman routine fails, and Ziggler does not cave in. As a reward, Ziggler is forced to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Seth Rollins, right now.

We get an awesome match between them, and at one point after Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury interfere, Rollins scores with the Curb Stomp, but before he could win the title, we get an OUTTA NOWHERE moment as Randy Orton dives in a flattens Rollins with an RKO.

Backstage: Orton is fuming and doing the crazy bit as Stephanie and Triple H try to calm him down. Orton wants Rollins one-on-one. After some intense historical promo-cutting by Triple H, the Viper agrees to remain on Team Authority, and Triple H grants the request for tonight’s main event, Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton.

Ryback squashes Titus O’Neal. While I am glad to see the Big Guy back in action, it saddens me to see Titus get squashed. It also saddens me we still have yet to hear from Wade Barrett.

Big Show and Mark Henry put on a watchable match, but ends by DQ when Henry snaps and bashes Show in the head with the ring stairs. We then learn Mark Henry is on Team Authority.

Backstage: Renee Young chats with the Bellas. Uneventful. Suddenly Erick Rowan appears and calls Renee “pretty.” It’s creepy, except there is some sort of goofy charm going on here. So, Luke Harper gets a creepy promo with a zillion eyeballs and Rowan gets beaten with the comedy stick.

Nikki Bella defeats Emma while AJ Lee is on commentary. We know this because CM Punk chants ring out through the whole match.

For the twelfth time, Rusev defeats Zack Ryder.

And now for the Twitter themed portion of the column…

Weird choir/performance promo featuring Xavier Woods. Called “A New Day” and I don’t get it.

On Twitter, Nikki posts that her “Rack with destroy Black Widows.” Yeah, because she totally didn’t mean to use her “rack” that way.

Backstage: Stephanie McMahon offers a spot on their team to Rusev, however Lana says to Steph “we’ll get back to you.”

Stardust takes on Fernando, while Miz and Sandow are on commentary. Short match which goes into chaos thanks to El Torito, allowing Fernando to hit the backstabber for the win. Announced for SmackDown, The Dusts defend the Tag Team Championships against The Usos in the Steel Cage match. I see a multi-team title match in the near future, featuring The Dusts, The Usos, The Matadores, and Miz & Sandow.

Up next is the main event as Randy Orton gets his wish to face off with Seth Rollins with the entire Authority watching.  They tear into each other in an impressively fluid match. Rollins takes the majority of bumps, no shock there. Lots of big risk spots, showing off how intense this feud has become. Good job of doing so. Orton crushed Rollins with a top rope superplex and some big powerslams. In the end, Orton went for an RKO, but Rollins ducked, rolled, and countered with a backslide for the pinfall victory, shocking everyone. With the Authority in the ring, Orton slowly and reluctantly shakes hands with everyone, but of course blasts Rollins with the RKO. He goes for the punt, but Triple H stops him. The Game tries to talk sense into Orton, but internet fame overwhelms the Viper and he punches Triple H in the face. The Authority attempts to jump Orton, fails and Orton continues to attack Rollins. Noble and Mercury stop Orton and Rollins seizes the opportunity to Curb Stomp Orton’s head on the announce table. Orton is a bloody mess as Triple H is ordered by Stephanie to “finish him.” He reluctantly gives the order, and Orton is Curb Stomped into the ring stairs.

Face turn, and destroyed.

Tonight was a solid show. We got a lot of wrestling and some very intriguing promos. I can get used to not seeing Brock Lesnar and the WWE World Championship on television. No John Cena, and no one cared. Makes room for the mid-card guys who deserve main event attention. Dean Ambrose and Cesaro, winners of the “This is Wrestling” chant, and Dolph Ziggler against Seth Rollins who earned the awarding chant of “This is Awesome” were two matches which could headline a pay-per-view. Big praise to Seth Rollins and Sheamus for pulling double-duty tonight. Rollins the MVP with two 100% workhorse matches.

Hard sell of the WWE Network, giving away the month of November for free, which includes WWE Survivor Series, plus a United States Championship match after RAW is over.

Stay tuned, coverage of the United States Championship match is up next! – (Click Here) 

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