By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Ryback Interrupted The Authority
I hate to sound like a broken record, but man, I really hope Sunday marks the end of The Authority so we don't have to sit through this drawn out promo segments anymore at the start of Raw. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were good on the mic per usual, but it would have been better if we heard from each member of Team Authority to switch it up a bit. Ryback's promo was interesting in that he's only out for himself, but he's still over with the audience. I like that he's his own entity and isn't associating himself with anyone as of now.
Luke Harper def. Dolph Ziggler to Win the Intercontinental Championship
I couldn't remember a time where these two went one-on-one before now, so the match felt fresh and they worked well together. Ziggler getting attacked by members of The Authority beforehand gave him an out for losing, though I do have to question why they didn't wait until TLC to give the gold to Harper. Regardless, it's great to see Harper receiving a strong singles push right out of the gate, but how sad is it that he won a singles title before Bray Wyatt?
Tyson Kidd def. Adam Rose
This was essentially the same exact match we saw last week on Raw. It was kept short and sweet for the most part and it didn't overstay its welcome. It was more of the same from Rose and The Bunny and I'm anxiously awaiting for them to get to the next chapter in this story, but the important thing is that Kidd continues to stack up wins. Now if only get can get some mic time on the flagship show...
Bray Wyatt Addressed Dean Ambrose
Unfortunately, this feud has been pretty much exclusive to SmackDown since it started last month, but I was glad they were finally given some time to shine on Raw. Wyatt's promo was anything exceptional, but it told the basis of the story between him and Ambrose. Ambrose's promo was also well cut and their brawl was a nice little preview of what we can expect on Sunday when they collide in singles action.
Ryback def. Cesaro
I was pleasantly surprised by how much time this match ended up getting. It wasn't all that exciting early on, but the final few minutes were fun and the pinfalls were suspenseful. It was much more effective for Ryback and it made Cesaro look strong in defeat. While I wish WWE would do more with Cesaro, at least he's not looking like a complete enhancement talent.
United States Champion Rusev def. Heath Slater (Non-title)
Well, this was random. They obviously wanted to boost Rusev's momentum one final time before Survivor Series, but the stuff with Slater came out of the blue. No, I don't think Slater is turning face since we've seen this before and it led nowhere. It was a quick squash that felt like filler more than anything else.
Sheamus vs. Big Show Went to a No Contest
It was a typical heel move from Stephanie McMahon to have two members from Team Cena go up against each other, but that didn't mean the crowd would care about it. It didn't help matters that both guys are so stale right now that their match felt meaningless, even with the stipulation that the winner would get a WWE World Heavyweight Championship opportunity. The interference from The Authority was predictable, but the attacks on Sheamus and Show were vicious and well done.
Brie Bella def. Nikki Bella in an Exhibition Match
The match was fine for what it was, but as I've said before, it beats the hell out of these two being given mics. The feud between Nikki and AJ Lee has been standard stuff so far and in a way I'm glad it hasn't been anything more. AJ attacking Brie was intriguing yet not totally surprising since she's positioned herself as a lone wolf in the past. Could we see Brie cost AJ the Divas title on Sunday?
WWE Tag Team Champions Gold & Stardust and The Miz & Damien Mizdow def. The Usos and Los Matadores
It was only a matter of time before the multi-team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship was added to the Survivor Series card. Mizdow was, of course, the star of this match despite never being tagged in, and everything else was decent. The heels going over was a smart move since they needed the win more and the duo of Miz and Mizdow were positioned as the favorites to win the twin titles.
Team Cena Brawled with Team Authority
You had to know all of Team Cena's members would be back by the end of this segment, with the exception of Sheamus. I'm surprised he's off the team and Erick Rowan is his replacement of all people. Could we see him show up on Sunday and ultimately join The Authority? Ryback joining Team Cena in the end was logical and made for a strong close to the show. I'm highly anticipating the main event of Survivor Series and WWE has done a great job of building excitement for it.
Once again, the whole show focused on building toward Team Cena vs. Team Authority at Survivor Series, though there was some hype for the undercard matches at the event. The opening and closing segments of this episode were excellent and everything else in between was solid. Granted, Survivor Series is only a one-match show, but at least I'm actually looking forward to it.
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