Spoilers follow for the November 24th episode of Raw.
Survivor Series might have been a lackluster in-ring PPV, but it’s going to be remembered by some fans forever because of one main thing: Sting finally made his debut on WWE television, and in doing so ensured that The Authority was disbanded. That’s a pretty big deal, and since post-PPV Raws are usually good anyway, we could be in for quite the show tonight.
The Authority opens the show for what’s supposed to be the last time. Stephanie is on the mic first, and tells us that The Authority would have won had Sting not interfered. Well, it’s true, but The Authority would’ve lost if Triple H didn’t interfere anyway, so there you go. She eventually begins to tear up, which lets Triple H get on the mic. He tells us to be careful what we wished for. Nobody can handle the power The Authority had. Well, somehow I doubt that. He thinks WWE will go under in 2-3 weeks. Triple H strings a lot of words together with unmatched intensity. It’s great to see.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits and he does his “Yes!” chants all the way to the ring, and then in the ring. Triple H and Stephanie leave. Bryan follows them and continues to do the “Yes!” chants all the way to the end of the segment. Or, at least, it takes us to the commercial break. Bryan gets back into the ring during the commercial break with a mic, and starts talking. Apparently he’s been put in charge of running Raw tonight. He brings out Team Authority. He’s putting them all in matches, but he claims they’re going to be fair. Seth Rollins be teamed with two other Superstars to face John Cena and Dolph Ziggler in a handicap match. Bryan’s going to let the WWE Universe pick Rollins’ tag team partners. He gives us three choices. One of them is Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. So you know what’s going to happen. Noble and Mercury in their first match in years. I’m legitimately excited.
Bryan then turns his attention to Kane. Bryan makes Kane’s new job the director of food and beverage. He’s not “corporate Kane”; he’s “concessions Kane.” He gets to sell popcorn tonight. Poor Kane.
Rusev and Lana are next. Bryan thinks Rusev should be more patriotic, as the United States champion. Rusev is given two choices: (1) a company-wide battle royal for his championship or (2) he must come down to the ring and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Luke Harper is put in a match against Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship.
Mark Henry is last, and he’s put in a match against Ryback. That match is next.
Mark Henry vs. Ryback
The two men brawl a bit before the match even gets a chance to start, because Daniel Bryan took forever delivering that promo and therefore we need a commercial break, during which Henry can sell getting beaten up by Ryback.
Henry sells concussion-like symptoms, Ryback squashes him and gets a pinfall with the Meat Hook Clothesline.
Match Rating: *
Triple H and Stephanie are seen backstage. They run into Vince McMahon, and apologize for letting him down. Vince is disappointed but he doesn’t want to hear the word “sorry.” All three leave the building in a limo, because The Authority will be really hurting for money after getting “removed from power.”
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper
This is a match that starts out slower than one might expect, but it does contain a couple of good moments and it’s not like you can tell who’s going to win beforehand. That’s always a bonus. The match lets Ambrose show off more than Harper, which is too bad, but we’ll survive. The match gets better as it goes on, which the good matches do.
Harper tries to leave with his championship at one point, but Ambrose stops him by diving outside. The finish comes when Harper shoved Ambrose into the referee, and the referee called for a disqualification. The announcers tell us it’s Harper who was disqualified, but it doesn’t matter because Harper retains the championship. What a dumb finish.
Match Rating: ***
Ambrose gets a chair after the match and hits a Dirty Deeds onto a steel chair. Then Ambrose gets a ladder and a table, because he’s the one who’s going to promote the next PPV. But Bray Wyatt ambushes Ambrose before he can do anything else, hitting a Sister Abigail outside the ring. Then he throws Ambrose across the announcer’s table and buries him under a pile of chairs, mimicking what Ambrose did last night.
Larry the Cable Guy and Santino Marella are out next. They’re promoting Jingle All The Way 2, which is out soon. Larry is out without a shirt and with a Rey Mysterio mask. He eventually takes the mask off, and tries to make jokes. Goldust and Stardust then come out to the stage. They’re in action next.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Goldust and Stardust vs. The Miz and Damien Sandow
Once again, the early story becomes everyone wanting Sandow to get tagged in, and events preventing that from happening. Sandow’s antics at ringside are hilarious and overshadow the rest of the match.
Sandow eventually gets in the match, as Miz looks like he might have been legitimately hurt. He’s looked at by a doctor as the match goes on, anyway. Sandow becomes an underdog, which only benefits him more. Sandow gets beaten up for most of this portion of the match. But, it turns out that Miz was faking it, and after a blind tag, he hits his finisher on Stardust to retain the titles.
Match Rating: **1/2
A backstage segment with Concessions Kane happens. His manager talks down to him. It’s supposed to be funny. It’s sad.
Rusev and Lana are in the ring next. Rusev has to decide whether he’ll do a battle royal or say the Pledge of Allegiance. Lana asks what kind of country forces its will upon its people, leading to a hilarious moment lacking in all sense of self-awareness. Rusev grabs the mic and say she and Lana are going. Daniel Bryan shows up on the big screen and says he can send down a referee right now and start the battle royal. Bryan sends down Sgt. Slaughter to supervise the Pledge of Allegiance. Slaughter tells Rusev to repeat after him. Lana tries to whisper her way through it. Wasn’t it supposed to be Rusev doing this? When we get to the “to the United States of America” part, the mic is dropped. Rusev backs Slaughter into a corner. But Jack Swagger comes out and attacks Rusev, but he doesn’t even land a blow until Rusev goes for a running move. So, do we get a battle royal now? Apparently not. Because WWE logic isn’t good.
Kane is shown handing out popcorn, but Santino and Larry the Cable Guy come to his stand. Kane covers Santino with mustard, and gives Larry the hot dog. “Funny.”
Justin Gabriel vs. Fandango (with Rosa Mendes)
This match happened on the pre-show yesterday. I didn’t see it, but I heard it was mediocre. This match, too, was mediocre. It was a squash outside of a couple of high-flying moves from Gabriel that Fandango no-sold. Fandango hits a flying leg drop for the win.
Match Rating: *1/2
Big Show is out after the commercial break. He turned heel last night, in case you missed it, which was approximately his 7,000th heel turn over his career. Big Show asks the crowd if we’re “cool” with him. Big Show’s not a bad guy, he says; he’s just a human being who made a mistake. He still hates The Authority. He made a snap decision and panicked. We’re supposed to forget about last night. The fans aren’t having it. So he gets mean, and keeps the heel turn. Big Show asks anyone who has something to say to come down and say it to him. So Erick Rowan comes down. Big Show mocks him. Rowan tells Big Show that he doesn’t like bullies, and then he attacks Big Show, leading to Big Show escaping. This is the kind of feud Rowan needs. Getting a rub from Big Show can only help him.
Seth Rollins is seen backstage talking to Noble and Mercury. They’re pumped, he clearly isn’t. Dolph Ziggler interrupts. Ziggler believes in J & J Security. Ziggler asked his Twitter followers to vote for them. Rollins is not happy.
Brie Bella (with Nikki Bella) vs. AJ Lee
AJ comes out with a microphone, cutting a great sarcastic promo. We still have no explanation as to why the Bellas are now happy-go-lucky in one another’s company.
Brie and AJ wrestle the match we wish AJ and Nikki had last night. Well, it’s not quite as good as what Nikki and AJ probably could’ve done together, but it’s solid in its own right. Nikki distracts AJ and Brie does a fancy roll up for the win. For a Divas’ match, this was good.
Match Rating: ***
AJ is furious after the match, cutting a scathing anti-Bella promo. We continue to have no idea why Brie and Nikki are getting along. It’d make sense if the feud against AJ is what unites them, but no indication has been made.
Tyson Kidd and Natalya vs. Adam Rose and The Bunny
Santino Marella and Larry the Cable Guy are on commentary.
Why is Natalya in this match? It doesn’t make any sense. The Bunny and Kidd start the match, but then Natalya asks to be tagged in. Natalya pities the bunny, but Kidd tags himself back in. Shenanigans happen, Rose is rolled up and it’s somehow The Bunny’s fault.
Match Rating: *1/2
Nothing comes of that. Ryback is interviewed backstage instead. Ryback makes a food joke, which concludes just a terrible segment.
This leads to the post-commercial segment in which Ryback visits Kane’s concession stand. Kane throws a hot dog wiener at him. They have a food fight. I can’t believe this is a real thing.
Renee Young then interviews John Cena and Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler is quiet, Cena is loud, and neither says anything important.
Dolph Ziggler and John Cena vs. Seth Rollins, Jamie Noble, and Joey Mercury
Daniel Bryan comes out after Ziggler and Cena make their entrances. He introduces Seth Rollins first, and then we get to see the results of the poll. It’s Mercury and Noble, as we all expected. The only question is whether or not Noble and Mercury will get to wrestle well, like they can, or if WWE will force them to look inept.
It starts as the former, but after the commercial break settles into the later. Noble does way more work in this match than one might expect him to, and actually looks like he could still tango on a weekly basis. Mercury is used less and looks less comfortable. The match isn’t good, but it wasn’t an atrocity. Cena and Ziggler hit their finishers on Noble and Mercury and win with a double pin. I think Cena and Mercury were legal.
Match Rating: **
Daniel Bryan forces Seth Rollins back into the ring and a superkick and Attitude Adjustment later, “Yes!” chants run rampant. Bryan is still over. But, just as the show was looking to end, an email is sent to the Raw General Manager podium, because we have an anonymous Raw general manager again. Oh, no. Michael Cole reads it. Next Monday, order and discipline will return to Raw. Okay.
The Good: Ambrose/Harper. Brie/AJ. AJ’s mic work. Jamie Noble.
The Bad: Henry/Ryback. Gabriel/Fandango. Kidd & Natalya/Rose & Bunny. Anonymous GM. Larry the Cable Guy.
Match of the Night: Brie Bella vs. AJ Lee.