Monday Night Raw – November 17, 2014: 18 Men On A Free PPV. Yo Ho Ho And A Grumpy Cat

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 17, 2014
Location: Berglund Center Coliseum, Roanoke, Virginia
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

We’re back stateside now for the go home show for Survivor Series. The big story tonight is a contract signing for the main event where we’re most likely to find out who the final members of each team are going to be. More importantly than that though, we have the Grumpy Cat here tonight because there’s an untapped audience between Lifetime and WWE. Or something. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s Survivor Series partner shuffle.

Here’s the Authority, including Harper, to open things up. HHH brings up Vince making the rules for the Survivor Series in case we hadn’t heard about it in the last few weeks. HHH doesn’t care for the idea of being the employee of someone like the people in the audience. Instead he’s supposed to be someone like Vince McMahon, running the evil empire.

These people would rather have the inmates like Cena and Ziggler running the asylum. The last place that let the inmates run the asylum was WCW and that will NEVER happen in WWE. HHH looks at the team and says they can’t lose while plugging the Network. Stephanie thinks Team Cena should work on being together. HHH says Team Cena will be decimated before the contract signing at the end of the night.

The wife runs through the team again and says Team Cena is down a member. That brings her to Ryback but the Big Guy cuts them off. Ryback says the Authority wants what’s best for business, Cena wants what’s best for the people but Ryback wants what’s best for him. Stephanie gets that idea and brings up respect. It’s clear that Cena doesn’t respect Ryback so why does he want to join the team?

She throws us a clip from Superstars last year where Cena said Ryback had no brains or testicular fortitude. Then a clip from Raw where Cena mocked his way of speaking. Back live, Stephanie suggests that Cena is jealous of Ryback and absolutely hates him. She asks if he wants to team with someone like Cena, but Ryback says he’s his own team and leaves. HHH says that’s a good idea and makes Ziggler vs. Harper right now.

Intercontinental Title: Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler

After a break this is now a title match. During the Big Match Intros, the Stooges come in to jump Ziggler and a briefcase shot from Rollins knocks him cold. Ziggler is holding his head on the mat but says ring the bell. The bell rings and Luke kicks him in the head for two. A Batista Bomb gets the same but Luke misses a big boot in the corner and falls out to the floor as we take another break.

Back with Ziggler escaping a vertical suplex but getting popped in the jaw for two. There’s the Gator Roll and we hit a chinlock. Ziggler fights up and nails a Fameasser for two but Harper counters the superkick into a sitout Boss Man Slam for another near fall. Luke charges into the superkick for two more but comes back with the discus lariat for the pin and the title at 8:33.

Rating: C. Harper’s hard hitting offense continues to look awesome and it’s a good sign that he’s finally getting a singles push of his own. I can’t imagine him ever becoming a huge star but the Intercontinental Title is a good start. They almost had to take the belt off Ziggler after all the stuff they’ve thrown at him and this is the best option out of all the Authority members. Ziggler is even protected a bit because of the pre-match attack.

Ziggler takes a Curb Stomp post match.

The announcers plug the free PPV.

Kofi Kingston New Day video.

Miz and Mizdow pitch a movie idea to the Grumpy Cat. They even have a grumpy stuntcat. The Cat doesn’t care and Miz storms off, only to come back and apologize. One of these men used to be an intellectual savior to the masses people.

Adam Rose vs. Tyson Kidd

The Bunny does Rose’s fall onto the Rosebuds to make Adam even angrier. JBL seems annoyed by the suggestion that the Bunny is a man in a costume. Kidd hammers away to start but walks into a spinebuster for two. The Bunny hits on Natalya, allowing Tyson to slap on the Sharpshooter for the submission at 2:00.

Post match the Bunny goes after Adam and thrusts his hips behind Rose.  Just go with it.

Video of Wrestlemania tickets going on sale.

Bray Wyatt is here and after a break he’s in the ring to talk about the lies he’s been told about money buying happiness. He’s been told that a man like Dean Ambrose can buy happiness but Dean is going to be alone day after day. Bray hopes that Dean doesn’t mistake his generosity for something malignant. Yeah Bray did something to get Dean’s attention, but now he comes in peace. That momentary suffering was a gift though because Bray knows the pain Dean is going through.

His mother drowned herself in her own misery and his father left him in a lifetime of isolation. Wyatt says he can save him but Dean pops up on screen. He calls Bray’s ramblings nails on a chalkboard, but he’s been trying to see things Bray’s way. Maybe he can learn something from Bray. He’s already learned a magic trick called video recording, because he’s in the arena right now. The lights come on and Ambrose hammers on Bray, sending him running up the ramp. At Survivor Series, Bray needs to worry about saving himself.

We recap the title change and hear that Ziggler has been taken to a hospital.

Larry the Cable Guy is hosting Raw next week because WWE thinks it’s 2006.

Ryback vs. Cesaro

Ryback powers him into the corner to start and chops away but Cesaro takes him down with a quick suplex. Ryback shrugs it off and hits a delayed suplex of his own. The Thesz press and head slams have Ryback in trouble but Cesaro powerbombs him out of the corner to take over. We hit the chinlock for a bit on Ryback before a slam and kick to the head get two. Back up and Ryback gets clotheslined out to the floor as we take a break.

We come back with Ryback fighting out of a chinlock and catching Cesaro with a belly to belly suplex. Cesaro bails to the apron to avoid the Meat Hook but gets thrown right back in. The middle rope splash connects and a powerbomb out of the corner gets two for Ryback. Shell Shock is countered into rolling Germans for two and Cesaro goes up top.

A big elbow drop gets two more but Ryback pops up with a powerslam for two of his own. The Meat Hook is countered with the uppercut and Swiss Death gets an even closer two. The Neutralizer is countered into a Shell Shock attempt which is countered into a rollup for two more. Not that it matters as the Meat Hook sets up the Shell Shock for the pin at 14:16.

Rating: B. While it’s not as good as the announcers made it out to be, this was one heck of a power match with some solid near falls. Ryback is able to have a decent match if he’s given the right circumstances and someone like Cesaro is a good opponent for him. I wouldn’t mind seeing Cesaro win a bit more often but you can’t have Ryback lose this early in his return.

Cena hopes he sees all of his team members at the contract signing tonight. Ryback doesn’t seem to be part of those plans though.

Here are Rusev and Lana with something to say. Lana brings up Putin being disrespected at the G20 Summit but stops to say SHUT UP a lot. This past week, America drooled over the queen of social media Kim Kardashian, even though no American can compare to Lana. She has a topless photo of her own to show us, but of course it’s of Putin on a horse. This brings out……Heath Slater dressed as Uncle Sam. Like the rest of America, Slater wants Lana to shut up. The spirit of America flows through all of us, including this country boy right here.

Rusev vs. Heath Slater

Superkick, Accolade, 36 seconds.

Miz pitches a buddy comedy to Grumpy Cat. Erick Rowan comes up saying here kitty kitty. He wants the cat, meaning the stuffed one Mizdow is holding. Everyone stands around looking confused. JBL: “…..ok?”

Big Show comes out for a match but gets interrupted by Stephanie’s horrible music. She talks about watching the Monday Night War and seeing Big Show billed as Andre the Giant’s son. Big Show has always been in someone’s shadow, even though he just wants to be in the main event. The people can’t fix that but the Authority can. Thankfully they don’t offer him the usual but instead suggest that he could enter the Hall of Fame next year.

Big Show says no but here’s Sheamus to interrupt. He’s glad to be on Team Cena and will love to only see HHH and Stephanie when they buy tickets. Stephanie laughs because there was an issue with Sheamus’ passport and he’s in danger of being deported. Not that it matters though as Sheamus vs. Big Show are fighting right now. The winner will have a chance to win the World Title at some point in the future.

Big Show vs. Sheamus

They shove each other around to start and Big Show nails some chops in the corner. Sheamus gets thrown to the floor and then over the barricade as we take a break. Back with Sheamus fighting out of a chokeslam attempt by hitting the ten forearms to a kneeling Big Show. A kick to the face and knee drop get two on the giant but he blocks a slam and comes back with some of his own. Show puts on a Haas of Pain but Sheamus is right next to the ropes.

The pale one starts his comeback with an ax handle and avoids a legdrop. He loads up the top rope shoulder but gets speared out of the air for a close two. White Noise (that’s always cool to see on Big Show) and a chokeslam get two each. Show loads up the Vader Bomb but gets caught in an electric chair to put both guys down. Cue Rusev and Henry for the no contest (even though Rusev hit Sheamus first so it should be a DQ but rules that have been the same throughout wrestling history don’t count when writers don’t need them to count) at 11:08.

Rating: C-. This was the usual decent power match between these two but you could see the ending coming the entire way. As soon as they said the winner gets a title shot you knew no one was getting their hand raised for this match. That ending gets on my nerves though as Sheamus should have won via DQ because just having Henry and Rusev get in at the same time was too complicated.

Rusev Accoldes Big Show as Sheamus takes the World’s Strongest Slam through the table.

Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella

Brie is dressed like AJ and this is an exhibition match. The real AJ comes out to watch but Nikki needs to warm up first. Some backbreakers have Brie in trouble but she finally gets annoyed and shoves Nikki away. That earns her some slaps to the head before Nikki loads up the Rack Attack. AJ gets on the apron, allowing Brie to grab a rollup pin at 2:06.

Nikki goes after Brie post match but AJ makes the save. Brie starts a YES chant and gets beaten up by the champ. I have no idea why this was an exhibition match.

Big E.’s New Day video.

Cena tries to get Ryback again but he isn’t happy with those insults.  John apologizes for the comments and says if Ryback helps, the Authority is gone.  Ryback says he’s Team Ryback and asks Cena to leave.  Cena calls him selfish and thinks Ryback doesn’t want to take a risk.

We recap Ambrose and Wyatt from earlier.

Goldust/Stardust/Miz/Damien Mizdow vs. Usos/Los Matadores

Setting up this Sunday’s four way tag. Diego stops Miz early on for OLE before putting him across the middle rope for a running crotch attack. The fans want a tag to Mizdow but get Goldust instead, only to have Diego fire off some chops in the corner. Los Matadores hit a double hiptoss to Miz, sending him rolling out to the floor. Mizdow comes in and flips himself over before rolling outside as well. Los Matadores dive onto Goldust/Stardust and Torito dives on the actors as we take a break.

Back with Goldust sending Fernando shoulder first into the post. Stardust comes in for a double stomp as the fans STILL want Mizdow. Instead they get an armbar from Stardust so the fans chant for JBL. Back to Miz for a chinlock before Goldust comes in to work on the arm. Mizdow holds out his arm and Goldust is ready to bring him in but Stardust steals the tag instead. Back to Miz who FINALLY tags in Mizdow, only to tag himself back in a few seconds later.

Fernando kicks Miz out to the floor as Jerry says Drew Carrey is in Dumb and Dumber. Fernando tags in Jimmy but Jey tags himself in as the Usos clean house. The double dive takes down some heels until it’s Jimmy hitting a release Samoan drop on Stardust. The Rikishi attack connects but Jimmy charges into a Goldust powerslam. We start the parade of finishers and Jimmy superkicks Diego by mistake before walking into Dark Matter for the pin at 11:48.

Rating: D+. The match was dull but it’s interesting to see that they’re setting up Mizdow’s face turn when he finally gets tired of never getting the spotlight. The fans are buying into it too and everything works. Unfortunately this match has no heat as we head into the show because the main event has swallowed the whole thing.

The Cat is not pleased.

Sheamus has been taken to the hospital and is out of Survivor Series.

After Raw, you can see a preview of the new Randy Savage DVD on the Network.

Here’s the Authority for the contract signing. HHH says Cena is going to come out here and talk about how important this business is to him but it’s nothing compared to what it means for the Authority. This is the air they breathe and they will not lose on Sunday. Stephanie invites Team Cena to come out here and here’s John by himself.

Cena says they’ll win but Stephanie laughs it off and asks what army is going to help him. She tells him to wake up but Cena says don’t get used to giving any orders because the Authority is losing on Sunday. All night long there have been underhanded tricks to take out Team Cena, except for one man. He sees what’s going on: they come out here every week and put people to sleep but claim to know what’s best for business.

Cena is going to have a team on Sunday, even if he has to pick four people out of the crowd. John goes outside and walks around, asking if there are four people that can join him Sunday. There’s a man dressed as a nun, a guy with a sailor’s hat and two kids. Those four would have more passion than the Authority and that’s why Cena’s team is going to win. Cena offers us a preview for tonight and sits down in a chair.

Kane is going to be the first and then Luke Harper will fail. He’s from the swamp so he’ll be used to swamping in his pants. Rusev is next and HHH will start sweating through his suit while Stephanie is vomiting. When they wake up they’ll be hungry so Cena can feed them Sexual Chocolate. Cena gets in the ring and says the Golden Boy with a thing for latex will fall last and HHH will be left cleaning toilets. Stephanie slaps Cena and it’s time to fight.

Cena gets ready but Ziggler and Big Show limp out to stand next to John. Lawler: “80% of a team is better than no team at all!” HHH counts the people but here’s….ERICK ROWAN to help balance things out? Stephanie doesn’t know what to do but says there’s still one spot open. She gives Team Cena one last chance to reconsider but here’s Cesaro of all people….to stand with the Authority.

Stephanie asks if there are any more surprises so here’s Ryback and it really is on. Well that makes most of tonight pointless but it makes the most sense. Everyone brawls to the floor until it’s HHH and Ryback in the ring. They stare each other down until Cena comes back in to AA HHH through a table. Team Cena poses to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This show was rough and a lot of that is due to how they’re building up Survivor Series. I’m sure they’ll add some stuff the night of the show or maybe on Smackdown, but right now there are four matches announced for Sunday and two of them are taking up 18 names, assuming they don’t get thrown into other matches for some reason.

The problem right now is everything is put in the main event and while it’s a good story, it’s not enough to carry three hours. Tying everything of note up in one match is never a good idea and it’s going to make the rest of the card feel empty. They should have gone with four on four and had at least one other major match for Sunday, but to be fair it is free so it’s going to be hard to care about.

The worst part about it is the main event on Sunday is a well built match. They have a big match and have made it unclear as to who is going to win. However, when that’s what 80% of Raw is about, it’s a very hard show to sit through. Having ten guys in a single match was too much, but maybe they’ll mix things up on Sunday.

This show really didn’t do much for me but it could have been far worse. Thankfully the Grumpy Cat was just there for a few backstage bits, but that begs the question: is it worth bringing him in and paying however much it cost and all the eye rolling from your base to do some quick gags? I could ask the same for next Monday with Larry the Cable Guy (seriously, it’s 2014) but they have enough problems on Sunday already.

Results

Luke Harper b. Dolph Ziggler – Discus lariat

Tyson Kidd b. Adam Rose – Sharpshooter

Ryback b. Cesaro – Shell Shock

Rusev b. Heath Slater – Accolade

Big Show vs. Sheamus went to a no contest when Rusev and Mark Henry interfered

Goldust/Stardust/Miz/Damien Mizdow b. Usos/Los Matadores – Dark Matter to Jimmy

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of 1997 WCW Monday Nitro Reviews at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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34 comments

  1. The jAy-Team says:

    I pity the fool! I pity the fool who doesn’t like RAW!

  2. Aron Mathix says:

    So wait is Cesaro part of the match being on team authority now? If so I can see Orton returning sunday

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I don’t think so. They already have five people on the team so there’s no reason to put him in.

    Aron Mathix Reply:

    Did Ryback seem kind of like a letdown to you? I know it’s logical and he’s getting back to where he was but man I was hoping for “Voices” to hit. Also big show instead of Sheamus? Really?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yeah kind of to both. It really makes a lot of tonight seem worthless but at least the right guy wound up on the team. As for Big Show…..yep. Unless Sheamus is coming back heel I don’t get the logic to this one.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    What if Sheamus is legit injured?

  3. Stormy says:

    I love the Erick Rowan addition to Team Cena. I wasn’t expecting a face Rowan, but pleasantly surprised and wondering where they go with him once he’s done with Rowan (chances are they’ll fight for the IC Title at TLC in a Chairs match).

    The Cesaro gag was good but I wish he was either on Team Cena or replacing Useless Kane in the match, as he’s wasted just being a pun for the Authority.

    WWE finally figured out how to deal with Celeb guests a few years ago, and it’s been fine ever since. Pointless backstage skits, and by using the awesomeness of Damian Mizdow it was good. Now I’m looking forward to Mizdow being with Larry the Cable Guy next week.

  4. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Erick Rowan rounding out Team Cena was a nice little twist. I am thinking Randy Orton pops up on Sunday and costs Team Authority. A decent go-home tonight.

    Cue a certain someone to tell us how bad it was. #jamesgraciehatesWrestling.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    Man, how bad was that?????

    Just kidding! Felt like stealing a certain someone’s thunder.

    I’d put this Raw squarely at a C grade.

  5. SamualDude says:

    I see a lot of potential with Erick Rowan as a Face. They could turn him into a sympathetic character or something.

  6. Willy Milly says:

    The Good: Harper winning the IC title & Rowan’s surprise joining of Team Cena

    The Bad: Literally everything else

    Of course they follow up the best Smackdown I’ve seen all year with easily one of the worst Raws.

  7. klunderbunker says:

    He isn’t. He wouldn’t have had a ten+ minute match if he was.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    Were you replying to me?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Indeed.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    I don’t like the way the comments work on here. Back to the point, I don’t quite get your response, seeing as if he did get legit injured, it was either during the match (when he took that nasty spill over the top rope), or when Henry slammed him through the announcer’s table.

  8. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that? Did we really need to sit through that boring open just to have Stephanie introduce the fucking teams? And we all knew Ryback was gonna be the 5th member, so teasing it all night was a waste of time. And Ryback is already cooling off.

    DoLOLph Ziggler. Perennial loser. Kayfabe wise, why would you even want him on your team? And last week a fanboy told me that Ziggler wasn’t a lost cause….why was I lied to?

    How boring is this Bray Wyatt/Dean Ambrose feud? Remember when Ambrose used to get those big pops? Good job WWE. You turned a legit, possible game changing star into a midcard loser. You totally picked the right Shield member in Roman Lames to back up. Can’t wait for that to bomb.

    And that last segment…holy shit was that awful. Is that their final hook to make you subscribe to the Network? That’s the best they can come up with? WHO WRITES THIS GARBAGE!? Anyone with a brain knew how that was gonna end, so why did it takes us 20 FUCKING minutes to get there? Same predictable crap as always. Only thing different was the lame addition of the official jobber of the Wyatt Family. LET ME ORDER THE NETWORK NOW!!!

    Terrible show tonight! When the highlight of the show is a guy mimicking another guy, you’ve got serious problems. Not to mention there was a guy in a bunny suit humping another guy. Yeah, tell that to someone while you defend this fucking awful company. TNA is on the verge of going out of business and they are light years better than WWE right now. It’s not even close.

    A message to WWE: Anyone that was stupid enough to subscribe to your Network….GIVE THEM THEIR MONEY BACK! #VinceIsSoft #FireStephanie #SaveUsDanielBryan

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    Yeah the Company thats looking for a New TV home and on the verge of going out of business is light years better. #Youareanidiot

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    Well, it looks like they’ve staved off the end now that they’re on Destination America. I really hope Gracie here has that channel, so he’ll watch it and leave us in peace…..

  9. klunderbunker says:

    I’m not wild on them either but I’m not doing Disqus. It just didn’t come off like a real one. The timing is too convenient.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    Well, the update on ME makes it look like it is legit.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    What did they say?

    Someone Reply:

    ARM stinger from the table spot, and I don’t remember the cameras showing him much after said spot.

  10. Civil Defence says:

    I’m pretty sure John Cena has beaten everyone in that main event in handicap matches. Why on Earth would he be afraid to take on a bunch of midcarders with a bunch of midcarders supporting him?

    Come to think of it, why is he even wanting to stop the Authority? They’ve given him like 4 or 5 title shots since being in power and put him on the cover of the new video game. Gosh they really are bad to him…

    klunderbunker Reply:

    In theory they gave him those things to try to turn him corporate and he’d rather earn things. It comes back to the old Vince vs. Austin “we can do this the easy way or the hard way” idea because we haven’t done it in six months and therefore need to rehash it.

    Civil Defence Reply:

    The title shots were mostly just because – the video game cover is the only thing they did to try and turn him corporate. Despite him being the most corporate of everyone on the roster.

    Honestly, putting John Cena in this position has been the most hilariously illogical idea ever

    klunderbunker Reply:

    My favorite part of the game cover: Cena being so shocked at seeing a picture that he posed for.

  11. klunderbunker says:

    I’ll believe it if he’s actually off TV for awhile. Then again that really doesn’t prove anything.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    I think it is legit. Cole announced it via a text from the WWE doctor, and the way he described the injury was quite specific. Contrast that with Orton or Ambrose, who were written off with much more generic maladies.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    Well, Lobster Head tweeted a picture of himself all prepped for surgery. So, it’s legit.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’ll see that and raise you Hogan posting a video from a hospital bed swearing he wouldn’t be at Bound For Glory 2010.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    There’s just no winning with you, is there? 😉

  12. klunderbunker says:

    I saw a report the other day that said it was all storyline. That’s why this doesn’t change much for me.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    All the reports I’ve seen came out right after Raw. Between the very specific ME update, and his tweet, I’d be willing to wager this is not a work.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It still feels too convenient for me. Storyline injuries are hardly anything new.