By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Authority Confronted John Cena and Ryback
It's always hilarious to hear England boo Cena as passionately as they do (the "John Cena sucks!" chants to the tune of his entrance theme get me every time). Cena cut a good promo, though it never felt like he was ever gone. The Authority and Ryback also played their respective roles well and it made Ryback look important given how both parties want him on their team. It built intrigue going into the main event, more than there would have been had this not taken place.
Seth Rollins def. Jack Swagger
Rollins and Swagger always work well together and this was no different. That said, I didn't they deserved the mocking chants they received from the live crowd. They worked a nice, competitive match, though the ending result was never in doubt. I'd have no problem with Swagger on Team Cena, but I wouldn't be surprised if Rollins taking him out afterward indicates that won't be the case.
Paige def. Alicia Fox
First off, it was great to see WWE actually leave in the awesome hometown reaction for Paige instead of editing it out. Then again, they wouldn't have any reason to edit it out and they probably saw it coming considering they booked her against a fellow heel (I think?). The match was fine for what it was, but it was nice to see Paige get her win back over Fox after losing to her the last time they were in England. No, Paige isn't turning babyface, but this was a fun homecoming for him.
United States Champion Rusev def. Sheamus by Count-out
I enjoyed this match much more than their initial encounter last week. Most of that had to do with the fact this didn't take place after a three hour episode of Raw. It was a solid match from start to finish even though fans had no reason to believe Sheamus was getting the belt back here. You had to know The Authority was going over after what Stephanie McMahon said to Lana earlier, but at least it logically set up Rusev as a member of Team Authority.
The Miz and Damien Mizdow def. Los Matadores
The match was about as fine as you'd expect it to be given who was involved, but the crowd going crazy for Mizdow on the apron was a riot. I'm sure it'll play into the slow burning babyface turn for Sandow at some point since Michael Cole made mention of it on commentary. Los Matadores went from beating the tag champs to losing to these two, so I'm almost positive this is setting up a multi-team match for Survivor Series. On a side note, although he didn't do much at ringside, I'm really hoping Hornswoggle won't be a regular part of the Miz and Mizdow act. It'd be officially jumping the shark he becomes permanent.
Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler def. Mark Henry by Disqualification (Non-title)
I was actually looking forward to this match since we haven't seen it much at all in recent years, so I was slightly disappointed the match didn't go longer than it did. Then again, it's a fresh match they can always go back to down the road for a title feud. Big Show making the save for Ziggler afterward made sense given his current rivalry with Henry and he was a predicable addition to Team Cena. However, where was Cena to save Ziggler? Getting a hot dog? Jeez, what a babyface he is.
Divas Champion AJ Lee def. Brie Bella (Non-title)
I couldn't have cared less about the match to be honest. Granted, it wasn't terrible, but it's hard to feel sympathetic toward Brie and AJ has no character depth at the moment. Nikki attacking AJ put good heat on her going into their Divas title match at Survivor Series. Oddly enough, she's been the saving grace of the Divas division as of late as she's improved leaps and bounds both in the ring and on the mic.
Tyson Kidd def. Adam Rose
Did anyone else find it odd that Kidd went from beating the (then) United States Champion Sheamus last week on Raw to facing Rose this week? The match was a complete afterthought with everything at ringside going on. Erick Rowan is... strange, and it looks like he'll beginning a new storyline with Renee Young. Hey Erick, I hear Dean Ambrose is a protective boyfriend! Anyway, Rose furthered his slow burning heel turn nicely by attacking The Bunny. It's about time he got character development.
John Cena def. Ryback by Disqualification
Cena and Ryback have never had the best of chemistry and this was an example of that. It was given good time, sure, but it wasn't anything more than a decent bout. Ryback couldn't have lost via pinfall or submission here, so the disqualification finish was logical. I figured they'd turn Ryback again by the end of the show and it played out perfectly. He was the star of the show and the live crowd was hot for him attacking The Authority. It appears he'll be joining Team Cena while Luke Harper will be joining Team Authority.
Similar to the last two weeks, this show was all about building up the Survivor Series main event. There was a lot of solid storytelling with Ryback as far as what team he'd join, and Harper's return at the end of the show was a cool moment. They've done a great job of making the main event of the pay-per-view mean something, but what about everything else? There's the Divas title match, Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose (which has received very little TV time), and the rumored tag title match. They have to have more than four matches at the event, right? Hopefully they can make that clear with next week's go-home show instead of focusing on bringing in "celebrities" like Grumpy Cat. I can't believe I just typed that.
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