Fallout from Survivor Series immediately felt on Raw
MATTHEW ASHER - SLAM! Wrestling
In the wake of one of the worst Survivor Series PPVs in history, it’s time for the WWE to prove that it still is superior to TNA. Last night’s PPV may have not been a huge success, but the seeds for some interesting plotlines were planted. Will Roman Reigns break away from the Shield soon? Will Natalya get another shot at the Divas Championship? Are The Best and The Beard back in the title hunt? And of course, the final question of the night, will there be a unification for Cena and Orton’s titles?
We begin the show in remembrance of Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon, who passed away last week.
No video recap of last night’s Survivor Series PPV. Just an introduction to the WWE Chamption Randy Orton and Michael Cole informs us this is WWE Raw episode 1,070 and that we are live in Long Island, NY.
Orton comes to the ring and tells the fans they owe him an apology because they didn’t think he would defeat Big Show last night. Orton invited the Authority to the ring and Hunter and Stephanie oblige him. Trips congratulates Orton and Stephanie says she knew he could do it. Orton isn’t pleased and tells them that he didn’t need their help last night.
While this argument is going on, the entire crowd is chanting “Daniel Bryan” and “Yes!” Orton says he took everything Big Show threw at him and that he is the greatest superstar in the 50 years of the WWE.
Cue John Cena’s music and it looks like last night’s sign off wouldn’t be a tease for too long.Cena tells the authority he wants them to listen to the crowd because they are sick of the administrative bs that has kept Orton in the title picture. John he does want to find out which of them is the true champion because in the words of Cena “It’s time there should only be one champion.”
John issues the challenge, his World Heavyweight Title against Orton’s WWE Title, winner takes all. Steph says that she and Hunter have been considering that for a while. Orton isn’t happy but Hunter says that in three weeks at the TLC PPV (only three weeks away?), that match will happen. Both champs hold up their respective titles and we go to our first break.
Match 1-Six Man Tag: Rhodes Boys and Rey Mysterio vs. The Shield
As The Shield makes their entrance the announcers inform us that Roman Reigns tied a traditional Survivor Series match record with four eliminations by himself. I can’t find the other Superstar(s) who pulled off that feat so if you know, I’d love to hear the answer.
There was a lot of action so I’m not going to focus on the actual play-by-play. The Shield (Reigns) starts off the match in complete control against Goldust. Mysterio finally gets tagged in and the speed picks up. Seth Rollins is able to avoid a 619 and Cody and Dean Ambrose get the hot tags. The action gets out of control and it looks like Rey is giving the 619 another shot, this time against Reigns. Yet again, he can’t hit it as Reigns spears Rey into next year, then delivers one to Goldust for good measure. Eventually Dean Ambrose is able to pin Cody for the win.
Before we go to commercial break, we’re informed that tonight’s guest host, Michael Strahan, will be on next. But before that, we need the WWE Universe to decide the type of match between Dolph Ziggler and Damien Sandow. This being in New York, each option has an upstate theme: a Strong Island Street Fight, a Long Island Lumberjack Match or a Hamptons Hardcore Match. So for those of you who know the rules of each match, you really only have two matches to choose from.
We return and it’s suddenly no longer Monday Night Raw, but Miz TV. Miz introduces his guest, Michael Strahan. And here comes...Titus O'Neil? Sporting a huge black mark to mock Strahan’s gap teeth. Miz mentions that the gap between “Strahan’s” teeth is wider than the one between the Giants and the playoffs (Oh no you didn’t Miz!)
“Strahan” says he wants to switch subjects and talk about a particular WWE Superstar that has caught his eye in the locker room...TItus O’Neil. We not have the real Michael Strahan make his way to the ring. Strahan says the WWE is all about fun and promises the fans he will deliver.
I think Strahan misspoke next, but he informs the crowd of tonight’s main event: a double-team, tag-team match. Never heard of that one before. Team 1 will be Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio. Team 2 will be the Big Show and John Cena.
Miz insults Michael, but Strahan says he thinks Kelly Ripa could beat Miz. Miz wants to know if Strahan can handle “a simple hip toss”. Miz goes for one but Michael blocks it. O’Neil tries his hand but he can’t lift Michael either. Miz goes again, Michael reverses it and tosses him. Michael then proceeds to do the same to Titus while the two are doing their Million Dollar Dance.
It appears as though the three are going to come to blows, but cooler heads prevail as all three men do the Million Dollar Dance. We are reminded about the WWE App and we head to commercials. That was a very odd Miz TV segment.
Match 2-Tag Team: Ryback and Curtis Axel vs. Mark Henry and Big E Langston
So we have three Super Heavyweights and one third-generation Superstar in this match. Henry picks up the win for his team after hitting Axel with a World’s Strongest Slam. King asks if they’re now looking at the World’s Strongest Tag Team. It’s a good question and I think Henry would be a great mentor for Big E if that does come to fruition.
After the next commercial break we’re treated to a rematch of last night. Which match you ask? Why it’s the Divas one! Really? But before that, we get a quick recap of the opening of the show and the TLC Main Event.
Match 3- 14-Woman Match: Total Divas vs. True Divas
In case you thought what the WWE meant was a 7-diva tag match, you’re wrong. It’s another elimination match. The best part of the match is the bit with Natalyia and Tamika. AJ is able to gain some redemption from last night when she eliminates Natalia but Brie Bella is able to eliminate the Divas champ.
It’s gets down to a 3-1 advantage with the Bellas and Eva Marie against Summer Rae. In a totally awesome mocking of Summer, Nikki Bella pulls off a perfect Reverse Worm move. Summer tries to pull it off but fails miserably. The crowd starts chanting that they want Summer to “Twerk” (I shudder at the thought). Nikki finally hits Summer with a Torture Rack and the match is mercifully over.
Before going to commercials, we’re shown highlights of last week’s Nashville-themed “Broadway Brawl” match between Ziggler and Sandow.
We come back and King is in the ring with Sandow. Damien says he’s above performing in a cirbus match in front of all these “slack-jawed halfwits”. That being said, what type of match will it be? Drumroll please...A Hamptons Hardcore Match, by a pretty thin margin. Hamptons with 37%, Strong Island 32% and Long Island 31%.
Match 4-Hamptons Hardcore Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
I liked JBL’s idea of what a Hamptons Match would be: the two of them driving around in Mercedes’ throwing lattes at each other. Ziggler makes his way to the ring sporting a Tavares Islanders home blue sweater. As Ziggler makes his way to the ring, WWE personnel starts bringing items down to the ring which include a set of golf clubs, tennis racket and balls, a buoy and a boat paddle.
At the beginning of the match, Sandow rips off Ziggler’s sweater. Underneath that Ziggler is wearing a Zack Ryder Broski shirt. During the match Michael Cole brings up the Mean Street Posse. If you have no idea who that is, I truly feel sorry for you. One of the trash cans brought in actually contains real trash. Dolph uses a fire extinguisher, nails Sandow with a DDT on a steel chair. Sandow gets the win when he hits the You’re Welcome on Ziggler onto a trash can after Ziggler already ran into a buoy.
Before going to commercial we’re reminded of a new holiday movie: Christmas Bounty. (shudder) It turns out that Francia Raisa, one of the actresses in the movie is at ringside tonight. We go backstage with Strahan talking to Santino Marella but the two are interrupted by Erick Rowan (wearing his mask). He offers another one to Strahan, who accepts and the two sheep stare at each other for a while. Santino comes back into the picture and then something about putting the sheep mask on a Thanksgiving turkey, cooking it and then nibbling on the mask itself (I am not making any of that up).
We return from commercials with Renee Young in the ring rather than backstage. She calls out CM Punk and Daniel Bryan for an interview. It’s tough to tell which of the two of them got bigger pops for their respective entrances. Renee wants to get their feelings on last night as well as the match tonight.
Punk asks the crowd what they think is the better name for the duo: The GOATs (Greatest Of All Teams) or The Beard and The Best. Good question. I like ‘em both. Both Punk and Bryan say it doesn’t matter who they face or what the Authority throws at them, they are ready.
The lights die and we all know what’s coming after the commercial break…
Match 5- 2 on 3 Handicap Match: The GOATs vs. Wyatt Family
I’ll say this, while I still think both Punk and Bryan deserve to be in the title hunt, if the WWE is serious about upgrading their tag-team division, these two men are doing a great job at making that happen. There’s an extended beat down on Punk. CM is finally able to hit Rowan with a high kick and both men get hot tags. Bryan cleans house, locks up Luke Harper in the Yes! Lock but Rowan breaks it up. The match spills out of control and the ref has no choice but to call the match.
The numbers game catches up with the GOATs and the Wyatt’s appear to kidnap Daniel Bryan and leave Punk in the ring. Punk starts to go after the Wyatt’s but Roman Reigns, out of nowhere, hits Punk with a spear. The other members of the Shield toss Punk back into the ring and the proceed to hit him with a Triple Powerbomb.
When we return from commercials we’re shown a recap of the carnage that just transpired. We then go backstage as Miz prepares for his match. In a move reminiscent of Lex Luger’s “Narcissist” gimmick, he’s watching clips from his new movie. Who will Miz be facing tonight?
Match 6- Singles: The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
Lots of back and forth. Kofi goes for the Trouble in Paradise, Miz counters. Kofi counters the Figure 4 and then hits the S.O.S. but can’t get the pin. Kofi goes for a cross-body, Miz kicks out and is able to turn it into a Crucifix pin for the victory. Impressive because it was a clean victory for the supposed heel Miz. Before the next break, Long Island’s own Mick Foley, Dude Love and Mankind is this week’s spokesman for the WWE Shop deals of the week.
Before we get to our next match, we’re introduced to the Superstars for Sandy auction winner, one Mr. Charlie Tebele. This guy came prepared: He already has t-shirts made out for his wrestling persona: The Kosher Butcher. His finishing move? The Circumcision! King can’t control himself and starts laughing. But thanks to the PG Era they “cut-off” (I had to go there) Tebele.
R. Truth is already in the ring. He introduces the next match. Accompanied by the Funkadactyls…
Match 7- Singles: Xavier Woods vs. Heath Slater
Anytime a member of 3MB is in a match, you know how it’s going to end. The good news is that this was not a squash match. Slater holds his own for a while but Woods prevails. There’s a pimping of the History of the WWE Blu Ray. This time they focus on Saturday Night’s Main Event.
We return from commercials and are backstage with Strahan signing footballs for the Bellas. Apparently all three of them have the same birthday: November 21. He asks them what their favorite NFL team is. They won’t lie to him and say it’s the Eagles. He still signs autographs for them. The Funkadactyls come up next with the same request. He obliges. Next up is Eva Marie although she doesn’t want an autograph. She just wanted him to meet her. Okay. What next for Strahan? Did somebody say Goldust? In his wig no less. That part with Goldust was less awkward than Eva Marie.
Before we go to commercials again there was a poll asking who was The Rock’s greatest WrestleMania rival? Shouldn’t be too much of a shock when Stone Cold wins with 66% of the votes. Cena is second with 27% and Hogan finishes with just 7%. Strahan and Cena are talking backstage and we now go to commercials before the main event.
Main Event- Tag Team: RKO & ADR vs. Big Show & John Cena
Big Show takes out his anger on both opponents to start off the match. When we return from commercials, Cena and ADR are the two legal men. During the match the commentators talk about the limited number of Undisputed WWE Champs. It’s crazy to think, but Brock Lesnar’s reign took place 11 years ago, just about the time that Cena and Orton made their WWE debuts.
Big Show gets cut down by ADR after a quick set of offense. ADR nails Show with a kick to the head and Show seems to have been concussed as he can’t get to his feet. Orton gets the tag and Show is in no shape to continue. ADR hits another kick to the head and Show thinks Orton is his tag partner for a second. The ref calls for a trainer to check on Show. Show wants to continue and Orton instantly nails Show with a DDT.
Orton loads up for a punt but Show spears Orton. Cena get the hot tag. Show is outside the ring still being checked out by the trainers. Cena counters the Cross Armbreaker into an STF and ADR submits. Cena goes to check on Show up ADR attacks Cena. Cena is able to hit the AA on ARD but RKO nails Cena with his WWE title. Orton then goes outside the ring, grabs Cena’s WH title and heads back into the ring. Orton simply holds up both titles over his head as he stands over a laid out Cena as the show goes off the air.
Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist currently living in Atlanta. After watching the NY themed hardcore match, he has a desire to see the Wyatts against the Shield against the Mean Street Posse in a Triple-Threat Match. Who do you think would win that one? Email him your thoughts.