Date: November 21, 2014
Location: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the final show before Survivor Series and we're all the way up to five matches for Sunday. With the addition of the always treasured Divas elimination match, the card....is pretty much exactly the same as it was on Monday. There's a major change to Sunday's main event announced though so things aren't all finalized. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of the Authority forming their team and decimating Team Cena. This turns into a music video like you would see on a pay per view.
Cole brings out HHH to open the show. We recap Sunday's main event in case the video you saw two minutes ago didn't get the message across. HHH basically tells Cole to shut up but Cole goes into a list of various sports teams winning that would be similar to Team Cena winning on Sunday. The boss sucks up to the fans before saying their opinions are worthless.
Cole asks if this is all about the Authority's egos but HHH goes into a rant about his legacy and how he became a huge star in the Attitude Era and lists his name alongside Hart, Austin and Rock. Now some people could argue that some of them were bigger stars than him or that that they were more popular, but he's the only one still around. He's still here because he's always been smarter than all of them, just like Vince.
HHH talks about how brilliant Vince was and how he's been the constant in WWE all these years. There are only two people that can follow Vince's footsteps: the Authority. Without them, this place has two years max. Without them, the WWE has no future. HHH brings up Cole's sitdown interview from earlier in the week with John Cena but he'd like Team Cena to come out and see it for themselves.
The clip is Cole asking Cena if he's responsible for what happens to his teammates at Survivor Series. Cena says he's asking his teammates to put their livelihood on the line. If they lose, the Authority will be all over them and that's something they have to risk. He doesn't actually answer the question though. Back in the arena, HHH says that when Team Cena loses on Sunday, they're all fired. Well other than Cena of course because he's good for business. Team Cena is all stunned as Rusev and Lana come out for the first match.
Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler
Non-title. Rusev quickly knocks Ziggler out to the floor but Dolph comes back in and hammers away. That's fine with Rusev who throws Dolph into the corner and stomps Ziggler down, only to eat a dropkick. Another dropkick puts Rusev on the floor but he whips Ziggler hard into the steps as we take a break. Back with Dolph fighting out of a chinlock and avoiding a charge in the corner.
Rusev's powerbomb is countered into a sunset flip for two before a superkick gets the same for Ziggler. JBL talks about how he'd turn on Cena to keep his job as Rusev throws Dolph out of the corner to take over again. Ziggler escapes the Accolade and nails a quick Zig Zag for a delayed two. Back up and Rusev avoids the Fameasser before the jumping superkick ends Dolph at 10:18.
Rating: C+. This was about what I expected. At least Ziggler has lost the title so the belt isn't hurt by another loss and Rusev gets to rack up another big win. That superkick as a finisher is going to work better for him as he rises up the card as some guys just aren't going to lose to a submission hold no matter what.
Rusev Accolades him for good measure.
Kane is on the phone when an unseen someone comes in for a talk.
Kofi Kingston's New Day video.
After a break, Cesaro is in the back with Kane. Cesaro may not be an official member of Team Authority but his loyalty will be rewarded after Sunday. Kane needs one more thing from Cesaro though: slaughter Erick Rowan.
Miz/Damien Mizdow vs. Los Matadores
The Dusts and Usos are on commentary to give us a seven man booth. Miz works on Diego's arm to start but gets chopped to the ropes. We get a criss cross until Fernando knocks Mizdow off the apron, only to eat a forearm from Miz. The Reality Check is countered but Mizdow tags himself in and hits it with ease. That's too much for Miz who tags himself in and has the Finale countered. The masked men send them outside and Miz is thrown onto the Usos. Of course Mizdow launches himself onto the Dusts, leaving Diego to hit a high cross body on Miz for the pin at 2:40.
Here's Dean Ambrose to talk about his survival kit for Bray Wyatt. Dean talks about having a screw loose and how he isn't going to change for anyone. When he was a kid, his mom gave him a $20 bill to go buy her cigarettes and lottery tickets. He ran into some older guys who beat him up and robbed him.
Dean went home and told his mom what happened, so she gave him a pair of brass knuckles. They were his survival kit back then but now his survival kit is every single part of his body. On Sunday, Dean is going to use every part of his body to send Bray running back to the woods. Now he's the hunter and Wyatt is the prey. On Sunday, he's going to be put down.
Wyatt pops up on screen from inside a prison cell. He asks Dean if this is how he remembers his father, locked inside a cage like an animal. Maybe Bray reminds Dean of his father right now. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, so this is Dean's future: being trapped inside a prison of his own design, begging for freedom that he'll never receive. It doesn't have to be like this though. Dean is trapped inside a cell full of filth and it's never going to end.
AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella
Non-title and AJ is dressed as Nikki, complete with strategic stuffing. Brie takes her down to start but AJ uses her enlarged hips to take over. Back up and Brie sends her face first into the buckle a few times before AJ does the same to her. Some right hands have Brie in trouble and it turns into catfight mode until Brie counters into a half crab.
AJ grabs the ropes and slaps on a guillotine choke. That goes nowhere so Brie dropkicks her down and hits a running knee against the ropes. A missile dropkick gets two on AJ but Nikki gets on the apron. AJ rams them together for the pin on Brie at 3:23. You could see that one coming a mile away.
Rating: D. This would be the second match in a row where the story was about someone dressing up as someone else in the match. Aside from that though, what happened to the whole personal servant thing between the Bellas? They seem to be fine here and Brie has a reason to fight AJ after AJ beat her up on Monday, so Nikki really didn't need to be there. I'm actually not clear on who I'm supposed to cheer or boo in this feud and I have a bad feeling we're just getting a Bellas reunion out of it, three months after they first split. It would make for quite the Total Divas season finale though right?
Video on Sheamus' injury.
Erick Rowan vs. Cesaro
Cesaro slaps the mask off his face but Rowan easily knocks him outside. Back in and Cesaro scores with a running dropkick, only to get caught in a bearhug. Cesaro snaps Rowan's throat over the top rope and grabs a sleeper. That goes nowhere so he heads to the top, only to be slammed down. A pumphandle backbreaker and torture rack make Cesaro tap at 2:40. This was just a step above a squash.
Harper comes out to stare down Rowan post match but leaves before any contact.
Big E.'s New Day promo.
Team Cena, minus the captain and with Rowan playing with a Rubik's Cube, talks about how everything is on the line on Sunday. HHH's tactics didn't have the intended effect because it just fires them up more. Ryback says actions have consequences and his job being on the line just makes him hungrier. Tonight, he and Big Show are feeding on Kane and Rollins. Ziggler talks about the Authority costing him the Intercontinental Title, which he shared with the entire WWE Universe. He has nothing left to lose so he has nothing to fear. They can put the Authority out of power and he isn't backing down now. Rowan: “Freedom.”
Seth Rollins/Kane vs. Ryback/Big Show
Ziggler and Rowan are banned from ringside. Ryback drives Rollins into the corner to start and Seth bails to the floor. Back in and Rollins hammers away but Ryback takes him down with a Thesz press. Off to Big Show for the loud chop in the corner before Ryback no sells Seth's chops. He shoves Rollins into the corner and calls him stupid before planing Seth with a powerslam.
Kane gets knocked off the apron and Seth gets backdropped.....next to him as Kane completely missed catching him. That one might be worthy of an ice pack. Cue HHH and the rest of Team Authority as we take a break. Back with Show slamming Kane for two but ducking his head and taking a running DDT. Off to Rollins for some running kicks to the face for two. Kane gets the same off an elbow drop and we hit the chinlock. Show powers out of it and makes the hot tag so Ryback can clean house, only to have Team Authority come in for the DQ at 10:25.
Rating: C. This was your standard main event tag and it was fairly obvious that we were getting a run-in finish. It's a good sign that the fans were into Ryback but there wasn't much interest outside of him. Granted the fact that two of the others were Big Show and Kane probably had something to do with it.
The Authority beats down Ryback and Show until Ziggler comes out for a failed save. Rowan comes out as well to take down Rusev and Henry before going inside for the showdown with Harper. That goes nowhere though as Kane chokeslams Rowan, only to have Ryback and Ziggler get back in it. Henry and Rusev are back up as well though and the Authority's advantage takes over. Big Show does his war cry to alert the Authority that he's coming. The Stooges get chokeslammed but HHH comes in with a chair to take down the giant. All of Team Cena takes chair shots and Ryback takes a Pedigree to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This was a pretty standard go home show when the entire pay per view is about one match. They aren't even trying to hide the fact that they don't care about anything else on the card and it's been old for weeks. I'm so sick of hearing about the match that even if it's good, which it likely could be, I'm so burned out on that I'm not going to care as much as I should. Thankfully some of the other matches on Sunday (as in the four others) got some hype save for the Divas elimination match, but that might not have been announced when this show was taped.
Rusev b. Dolph Ziggler – Superkick
Los Matadores b. Miz/Damien Mizdow – High cross body to Miz
AJ Lee b. Brie Bella – Rollup
Erick Rowan b. Cesaro – Torture rack
Big Show/Ryback b. Seth Rollins/Kane via DQ when Team Authority interfered
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