After a lackluster Survivor Series card, the WWE brings us another edition of RAW. Can the WWE really be building to a John Cena vs Randy Orton match at Survivor Series? And do they really think that is what’s best for business? Follow along to find out!
Is The WWE On The Verge Of A Revolt From Their Audience?
RAW started with Randy Orton. He said he’s owed an apology from everyone who thought he wouldn’t show up tonight WWE Champion. He welcomed The Authority to the ring with him. Triple H congratulated Randy Orton on his victory. He said when he hand picked Orton to be the future of the WWE ten years ago, he knew he would live up to his potential. Steph said they gave him motivation last week and he used it to be victorious last night. Orton said they both made it all about themselves. He said he didn’t need their help last night. HHH said he needed their protection and Orton said he can protect himself. The crowd broke out into “Daniel Bryan” chants. Orton said he is the greatest star ever in the WWE and no one can take that away from him.
Right on cue, John Cena came out. Steph cut him off and asked him to get to the point. Cena said they cheer for Daniel Bryan because they are sick of the administrative BS. Cena said there are two champions in this ring, and he feels like it is time for there to be only one champion. He challenged Orton to a Champion vs Champion match. Orton started complaining and HHH told him to grow up. HHH said at TLC, it will be Orton vs Cena in a TLC Match with both titles hanging above the ring.
OK WWE, Please Don’t Screw This Up With Roman Reigns
The Shield vs Cody Rhodes, Goldust and Rey Mysterio. The Shield jumped the faces early and then singled out Goldust. Rollins and Ambrose took turns working over Goldust. Goldust caught Ambrose with an upper cut. Ambrose tagged in Rollins who was dumped over the top. Rollins tried to springboard off the top, but Goldust caught him with an inverted atomic drop. Reigns came in and caught Goldust with a clothesline into commercial.
Back from break The Shield continued to have control. Goldust blocked a double suplex attempt with a double DDT. Rollins came in but Goldust was able to make the hot tag to Mysterio. He hit a couple of hurricarrans on Rollins. Rey went for the 619 but he escaped and they double crossbodied into each other. Cody came in, as did Ambrose. Cody caught him with a missile dropkick, followed by the Alabama Slam. Reigns broke up the count. Rey tossed him to the outside. Rey went for the 619 on Rollins but Reigns came back in and hit a Spear. He then hit another on Goldust. Cody dropkicked him from behind and hit a Disaster Kick on him, knocking him to the outside. Cody went for Cross Rhodes on Rollins, but Ambrose came from behind and hit his front face DDT to pick up the win.
Isn’t Miz A Heel Now?
The Miz welcomed Michael Strahan for Miz TV, but out came Titus O’Neil with a fake gap tooth. He did a pretty good impression of Strahan. Miz asked about his gap and why he didn’t get it fixed. O’Neil said it’s part of his personality. Miz said it is as wide a gap as the Giants and the Playoffs. He said there is one wrestler that has promise, Titus O’Neil. Strahan finally came out. Strahan said Miz’s jokes were weak, and that the backup towel boy has better. He said Titus can’t rock the gap game. Strahan announced the main event, Alberto del Rio and Randy Orton vs Big Show and John Cena. Miz asked if Strahan could hack it with him. Strahan said Kelly Ripa is tougher than him. Miz asked Strahan if he could handle a hip toss. Before he did it, Titus told Kelly he’s available tomorrow. Miz tried and couldn’t, same with Titus. Eventually, Strahan hip tossed both of them. And then they raised Strahan’s hand.
Curtis Axel and Ryback vs Big E and Mark Henry. Langston started with backbreaker. Ryback quickly tagged in and he hit a splash and for two. Ryback applied a headlock. Big E fought out with an elbow and belly-to-belly. Mark Henry came in and went to work on Axel. He hit a running powerslam. Ryback came in but Big E took him out with a clothesline. Mark Henry hit the World’s Strongest Slam on Axel for the win.
A 7-on-7 rematch from Survivor Series with the Divas. Brie eliminated Aksana. Nikki eliminated Rosa. Tamina came in and caught Naomi with a nice looking superkick. She then hit a Samoan Drop on Cameron to eliminate her. Natalya came in and hit a suplex and bodyslam on Tamina. She tagged in Jo Jo, who made the pin and eliminated Tamina. Alicia Fox came in and hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, eliminating Jo Jo. Eva Marie blocked a pin attempt and eliminated Alicia Fox. After some poor reversals, Natalya put the Sharpshooter on Kaitlyn and she tapped. A.J. came in and blocked a Sharpshooter attempt then pinned Natlaya. Brie came in and hit a terrible dropkick then the facebuster on AJ, eliminating her. Summer Rae then danced again. She tried escaping put Brie and Eva Marie stopped her. Nikki then pinned Summer Rae.
And The WWE Wonders Why They Have No Mid-Card
The crowd picked a Hamptons Hardcore Match for Sandow and Ziggler. The crew brought out some tennis balls, an oar, golf clubs and tennis rackets. Ziggler tried using a gold club but Sandow caught him with a kick. Sandow took off the Islanders jersey Ziggler was wearing. Ziggler had a Ryder shirt on. Sandow worked over Ziggler on the outside, but Ziggler tossed Sandow into the barricade then clotheslined him over it. Sandow took out Ziggler with a dive over the barricade. But Ziggler recovered and put a garbage can on Sandow then hit a dropkick into commercial.
Sandow had control in the ring back from commercial. Sandow emptied a garbage can full of trash, but Dolph caught him with a dropkick. Dolph tried using an oar but Sandow kicked him and hit a bodyslam. He hit the Elbow of Disdain with the Islanders jersey over him. Dolph rolled outside and under the ring. Sandow pulled him out and Ziggler sprayed him with a fire extinguisher. Dolph landed some punches then a neckbreaker. He hit Sandow with the oar and then a fameasser for two. Sandow went to the outside and hit Ziggler with the garbage can. Back in the ring, Ziggler hit a DDT on a chair for two. Ziggler missed a splash and Sandow hit him with the oar and then his finisher for the win.
Punk and Bryan: Doing What They Want
Rene Young interviewed CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in the ring. Punk asked if they survived? Bryan answered YES. He asked if the odds were stacked against them tonight. Bryan said YES. He asked if Bray was a false prophet, Punk said YES. Punk said him and Bryan always beat the odds. He said that handicap matches was The Authority’s way of handling problems. He said you can throw whoever they want in the ring and they will deal with it. The Wyatts came out before the commercial break.
The match started back from break. Bryan landed some kicks on Rowan but he ended up catching Bryan with an elbow. Harper came in. Bryan ducked a clothesline and hit Harper with one of his own. Punk came in. Harper tossed him into a corner but Punk caught him with a boot. Bryan came in, but Harper caught him with an upper cut. Bray came in and worked over Bryan for a bit. Rowan came in. He went for a boot in the corner but Bryan moved. CM Punk came in and hit Rowan with a spinning heel kick, followed by a high running knee. Punk hit a dive to the outside. In the ring Punk hit a neckbreaker and a Macho Man Elbow for two. He knocked Harper off the apron and was distracted by Bray. Rowan then grabbed Punk and tossed him to the outside into another commercial.
The Wyatts continued to work over Punk. Harper came in and did the alligator roll. Rowan applied a bear hug. Punk escaped and hit a kick to the head. Bryan got the hot tag. He hit a dive onto Bray on the outside followed by a missile dropkick to Harper in the ring. He hit a handful of kicks, followed by a hurricarrana. Rowan broke up the Yes Lock, but Bryan landed a couple dropkicks on both men before Harper took him out. Punk broke up the pin and the Wyatts took him out. The ref eventually called for a DQ. Bryan was beat down by Bray and Rowan and Harper hit a clothesline in the ring. The Wyatts took Bryan to the back. Punk went to help, but Reigns came FROM OUT OF NOWHERE and hit a Spear. They hit the triple powerbomb in the ring and stood over Punk.
Miz vs Kofi Kingston. They both slapped each other to start the match. Kofi hit a hip toss and taunted Miz about it. Miz got control back in the ring. Kofi escaped a headlock and started his comeback. He hit the Boom Drop. Miz blocked Trouble in Paradise. Kofi instead hit the SOS for two. Kofi hit his corner kick followed by a springboard crossbody for two. Miz then countered Kofi into a pin for the three count.
Xaiver Woods vs Heath Slater. Woods hit a Ric Flair slap but Slater caught him with and dropped him on the turnbuckle. Woods escaped a headlock but Slater caught him with a heel kick. Woods moved out of the way of a Slater splash and hit his somersault clothesline followed by his finisher for the fin.
Are We Sure It Isn’t 2007?
Main event time. Big Show backed Alberto del Rio into the corner and slapped him. Del Rio tried fighting back but Big Show hit a shoulder tackle. Del Rio avoided another slap and went for some kicks but Show shoved him down. Orton came in and he was backed into a corner and ate some punches followed by a couple chest slaps. Big Show hit a bodyslam followed by an elbow drop for two.
Back from commercial, John Cena was getting worked over by the heels. Cena went to the top but Del Rio caught him with a kick to the head. Cena got out of an Orton headlock with a backdrop, but he quickly tagged in Del Rio who hit a DDT. Del Rio, however, missed his dive that he never hits. Cena made the tag to Big Show. He hit a couple clotheslines, but missed a splash in the corner and Del Rio hit a dropkick to the knee. Del Rio then hit a kick to the head. Big Show sold the effects of last night’s punt. Orton and Del Rio started focusing their attack on the head of Big Show. The doctor came in to check on Big Show. Orton jumped Big Show, however, and hit a DDT. Orton was going for another punt but speared Orton and tagged in Cena. He went into CENA MODE on Del Rio. Del Rio moved out of the way of a Five Knuckle Shuffle and went for the crossarmbreaker, but Cena countered into the STF. Del Rio tapped.
Del Rio attacked Cena after the match, but Cena hit the AA. Orton came in and hit Cena with the WWE Title. Orton then held both Titles over Cena to close the show.
WHAT I LIKED
Six Man Tag/Roman Reigns: Solid action in the six man tag. And once again, the WWE did a great job of focusing on Roman Reigns. You have to hope that the WWE knows what they are doing with him down the line because there is some strong potential there. Plus, The Shield is building some momentum back with everything they’ve done in recent weeks. They’ve been around for one year, and The Shield is almost as strong as they ever have been. Good action in this one.
Wyatts/Punk and Bryan/Shield: It almost feels like the WWE is saying, “Here Internet, we’re combining all your favorites into one program.” I don’t know what The Shield’s recent involvement in all of this will be. CM Punk brought up The Authority in his promo, so you have to think he will get involved with them soon. Just by watching Punk and Bryan, it looks like they are in a “F*** It, lets just have some fun out here!” mode. And I’m enjoying it.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Orton/Cena Anything: Look, if you want to unify the titles I’m okay with that. I would still like to see a firm brand split, but if they aren’t doing that one Title may be the next best thing. But Orton and Cena match #5204802? And you just know what the outcome will be at TLC right? Inconclusive. Orton will grab the World Title, Cena will grab the WWE Title, and we will go in another circle. And by the time they wrestle at Wrestlemania, any luster left will be off this match. The WWE is at a big crossroads right now, and you can get the sense the fans aren’t happy.
Michael Strahan Segment: It started off okay with Titus O’Neil, but then Strahan doing hip tosses like it’s nothing just kills the allure of pro wrestling. Don’t try this at home, but anybody can do a hip toss if they are big enough!
Ziggler/Sandow: Look, you want to have a one-off gimmick hardcore match? Okay fine. More than one? Now you are just ruining these guys careers. And the WWE wonders why they have no mid-card. These guys are two former Money in the Bank winners and now they are thrown into weird gimmick matches. How they build back any credibility after this is beyond me.
Divas Match: Why do this again? When almost no one wanted to see it last night. And with the same result of the faces coming out on top. That just didn’t make any sense.
As I said numerous times, the WWE is at a very delicate stage. If they think the crowd actually wants to sit through four months of Orton/Cena, then they have another thing coming. The “vocal minority” chanting Daniel Bryan may become larger sooner rather than later. The crowd tonight was just as dead for the main event as they were for the main event of Survivor Series. We have one month before we get into Royal Rumble/Wrestlemania season, but the WWE is at a big risk of discouraging their audience from even getting excited for that. I’m going to give RAW a 3. And things don’t look good for the future.