Reviewing the Review – Monday Night Raw: November 17, 2014

I know I’m running late with this but you try putting out a book and having a bad sinus infection and see if you can write about a show featuring a grumpy cat. Anyway, this was the go home show for Survivor Series and the big question was how would the teams look going into the only match that matters on Sunday. Let’s get to it.

The show opened, naturally, with the Authority. Trips and Steph went on a rampage about WCW and how this is all they have and all that jazz. They recruited Ryback, showed him clips of Cena insulting him last year, and were told that Ryback is on his own. Somehow, this again took about twenty minutes. That’s one of the most annoying things about WWE anymore: these opening segments that you could cover in half the time. I would ask why that’s so hard, but it’s because HHH talks slower than a turtle and Stephanie goes on forever with the same bad acting over and over.

Immediately after the promo that would not die, Harper beat Ziggler to win the Intercontinental Title. This made the most sense as there’s almost no way that Ziggler can have all those matches against big names and not eventually drop the title. It’s even better that they had Rollins attack Ziggler before the match so it wasn’t even a clean loss. That’s what I’m talking about by protecting someone and they did it well with Ziggler.

Miz and Mizdow spent most of the night talking to the Grumpy Cat. Thankfully they kept this short but it was still stupid.

The Bunny cost Adam Rose another match, so the hopping enthusiast….uh…..shall we say, simulated something by thrusting his hips behind Rose. Again, it was stupid.

Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose said the same things about Dean’s father being in jail and Ambrose growing up alone. Bray can cast out the demons, so Ambrose came down and beat him up. Standard build but I’d like them to actually go somewhere with these interesting ideas.

Larry the Cable Guy is guest hosting next week due to being in the latest WWE movie that almost no one will see.

Ryback beat Cesaro in a good power match. This is the standard idea of “let’s let two guys who are really strong hit each other really hard” and as usual, it worked well.

Lana teased us with a topless photo ala Kim Kardashian which wound up being of Vladimir Putin. Heath Slater came out dressed like Apollo Creed from Rocky and got beaten up faster than I expected him too.

Big Show and Stephanie had another of their stupid arguments until Sheamus came out. Stephanie made a match between them for a shot at the World Title, but the Authority came in for the DQ. Yeah it was a DQ because they hit Sheamus first, and Heaven forbid they just hit both guys at the same time. Of course it was called a no contest because that’s the planned ending, despite whatever actually happened. The match itself was ok with Sheamus showing off his freakish strength but there might as well have been a big countdown clock until the obvious finish. Sheamus was beaten down and apparently injured.

Nikki Bella had Brie dress up as AJ for an exhibition. The real AJ’s distraction let Brie get a rollup pin while looking better than she usually does.

Cena gave Ryback a pep talk to try and get him to join.

The four teams in Sunday’s fourway had a bad eight man tag. This was exactly what it sounds like.

The big closing segment was Cena confronting Team Authority for a contract signing. Cena signed and then talked about how he’s going to take out every single member in a row. This went on WAY too long until Big Show and Ziggler came out to fight with him. Erick Rowan of all people came out to back them up and Cena was fine with it.

I can live with this as while Rowan was in a war with Cena earlier this year, Cena is going to take whoever he can get at this point. It’s a stretch but it worked. Cesaro came out as well but sided with the Authority in a nice bit of trolling. Ryback came out as the real fifth man and Team Cena dominated to end the show.

Overall, again, Raw was all about a single idea. It’s annoying but it’s all they’re focusing on for Sunday. I’m so sick of hearing about this match though and Sunday can’t get here soon enough. Ryback being the focus is interesting, but I have little confidence in WWE to actually pull the trigger on him in any way.

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