By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Seth Rollins Interrupted John Cena
I'm confident that these two could have a very good verbal exchange, but the material they were given here was terrible. Rollins made the most of it, and Cena's jokes weren't as atrocious as they were a few weeks ago, but their respective promos didn't do much for me. The announcement of a Tables match between the two at the TLC pay-per-view came off as very anticlimactic. The subsequent brawl was a complete brawl even though I understand it was done to hype several matches in one segment.
The Usos Won a Tag Team Turmoil No. 1 Contender's Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Multi-team matches are always fun, but more than gotten my fill of them for the foreseeable future. I think the biggest problem is the lack of actual teams in the division. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro were a makeshift team and Adam Rose and The Bunny hardly count. I'm glad to see The New Day moving into a feud with Gold and Stardust right off the bat, though. The match itself had its moments but was ultimately forgettable and just took up a chunk of time.
Erick Rowan def. Big Show by Disqualification
The match itself was fine while it lasted, but you had to know it would have a non-finish since the feud just started and they'll face off again at the pay-per-view. We also didn't get a good enough feel of how well these two can work together, but each of them held their own and it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. Rowan's been protected nicely in recent weeks and it's encouraging to see WWE actually doing something with him post-Wyatt Family.
Fandango def. Jack Swagger by Forfeit
It's been one week and I'm still as sour on the "new and improved" Fandango as I was when he returned at Survivor Series last Sunday. I know it takes time for anything to get over, but the crowd didn't exactly give him the best heat when he came out for the match. The Zeb Colter injury angle was a fine way of giving him the win without actually having him beat Swagger, but it spared me from seeing him in action, so there's that.
Jack Swagger Attacked United States Champion Rusev
This entire segment felt like a flashback to a few months ago. I'm not among the many that is disappointed that they're recycling an old feud if only because they had great chemistry the first time around and their feud should have been over the title to begin with. I, too, would like to see Rusev work with more fresh faces, but it's obviously a filler feud for Rusev until WrestleMania season.
WWE Tag Team Champion Damien Mizdow def. Fernando
Technically, Mizdow is a heel as of now, but people love the guy so much that it's hard to boo them. Thus, Fernando was stuck in an odd position that I'm surprised WWE put him in. All the focus was on The Miz on commentary and him talking about Naomi. Not only is it great they're finally acknowledging that Jimmy Uso are husband and wife in real life, but I love that a tag team feud has a story behind it for once.
Bray Wyatt def. R-Truth
Truth is one of those guys on the roster that I couldn't care less about. He appears to be in great shape for a guy his age, but WWE has done nothing with him since his heel run in 2011, so why should I care? Of course, this was designed to be a glorified squash match for Wyatt, but the crowd sat on their hands the entire time. They could have shaved off a minute or two and it would have been equally effective. The post-match promo from Wyatt was more of the same from him and the brawl between him and Ambrose was well done.
AJ Lee and Naomi def. The Bella Twins
It was a standard match for the Divas and the in-ring work was solid. That's about all I can say about it other than it wasn't terrible, which I guess is a plus these days. I can't believe the fan voting for who AJ's partner would be was the only thing that tied into the "Cyber Monday" theme of this show. Anyone could have served as AJ's partner and it wouldn't have been any different. It's hard to believe it was four years ago AJ and Naomi were on NXT Season 3 together.
Michael Cole Interviewed Paul Heyman
I was hoping for this to serve as the announcement that Brock Lesnar would be on next week's show, but I've since learned he's been pulled from the event for undisclosed reasons. That's a real shame since he hasn't been on the show for close to three months. I don't want to go into a whole rant on this here, but it's ridiculous how they've booked this guy since he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It's been a bust even though he can't drop the strap due to breaking The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak. What a mess.
John Cena, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback def. Seth Rollins, Intercontinental Champion Luke Harper and Kane
It was nice to see the match get as much time as it did and they definitely made the most of it. It wasn't an all-time classic or anything like that, but it was a fairly enjoyable six-man tag with a fun final few minutes. It was also great it ended via pinfall and not via disqualification for once, and Ziggler pinning Harper made sense since they're setting up a title rematch between the two at TLC. The post-match stuff was essentially the opening segment revisited but this time with everyone getting their revenge on Big Show. Rowan received a nice rub from it, but it didn't do much else for this viewer.
The show on the whole was decent, but the Tulsa crowd was deplorable. It didn't ruin the Raw experience for me, but it definitely hindered it. That aside, there was a lot of solid build for the TLC pay-per-view in two weeks and it's shaping up to be a strong show. It's just a shame that the recent Raws haven't reflected that by not being anything special, especially after the hot ending to Survivor Series. Personally, I always enjoy the Slammy Awards, so hopefully that will serve as an exciting lead-in to TLC.
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