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The PG Era Rant: Raw, 11.03.14

The PG Era Rant for Raw, November 3, 2014.

Your pre-show promises the following:

  • Mark Henry vs. Big Show.
  • The United States Title is on the line... after the show. Sheamus defends against Rusev.
  • Dean Ambrose will face Cesaro.

Live from Buffalo, New York.

You know the hosts.

We open with a highlight package of last week. It's nice to know that even in video packages, Heath Slater jobs.


And the first one out is... VINCE MCMAHON! Oh, and HHH and Stephanie. “Have you missed me?” He says the Authority has kept things well in hand. Vince re-iterates that November is Free WWE Network Month. And yes, Free gets a hashtag. And that includes Survivor Series. But we want to raise the stakes. He wants HHH and Stephanie to have power that they've earned. (He brings up winning the steroid trials, crushing WCW, etc.) The stip: if Cena wins, the Authority is stripped of its power. Crowd is way behind this. JBL asks the unanswered question: “And who takes over?”

But before the segment can end, here's Dean Ambrose. He shakes hands with Vince on his way to the ring.

People could take lessons from this. Vince got to the point – maybe not as fast as he could have, but faster than most did.

But before our match, Vince says he likes surprises. He knows he can count on HHH and Stephanie. HHH: “With you, nothing surprises me.” HHH and Stephanie try too hard to insist they're under control... because Stephanie is in panic mode.

Dean Ambrose v. Cesaro. We look at last week's non-match. Some chain wrestling to start, leading to Ambrose working the arm. Cesaro fights out and corners Ambrose, but Ambrose reverses and boxes away. Short lariat gets one. Headlock takedown gets worked. Criss-cross leads to a cradle by Ambrose for one, and back to the headlock. Cesaro dumps Ambrose out of the ring, but Ambrose suckers Cesaro out and drops him on the barricade repeatedly. Double axhandle from the barricade follows. Back in, Ambrose works a cut on the side of Cesaro's head, but Cesaro powerbombs out of the turnbuckle. Cesaro screams about the cut before pounding away on Ambrose. Ambrose fires out of the corner onto Cesaro, then clotheslines him out of the ring. And Bray Wyatt's interruption... leads us to a break.

Hot take: if the Hologram didn't happen, we wouldn't be as mad about Wyatt's return.

Ambrose/Cesaro (and maybe Wyatt), part two: Cesaro gets a draping neckbreaker for two as Bray Wyatt is watching on the stage. To the chinlock, but Cesaro avoids the rope-tangle clothesline and gets a German suplex for two. Cesaro with mounted punches and a straitjacket camel clutch, allowing them to work out the next few spots. Ambrose bites and gets a jawbreaker to break. Cesaro charge eats boot, and Ambrose begins the comeback. Running forearm and bulldog combo gets two. Cesaro with a knee to the gut, but Ambrose fires back with boxing punches. Cesaro boots Ambrose, who responds with the rope-tangle clothesline for two. Ambrose with a tornado DDT, but Cesaro counters into Swiss Death for two. Ambrose sends Cesaro to the floor and follows with a tope suicida (apparently dedicated to Wyatt). Back in, Cesaro catches Ambrose on the top rope and gets a backslide for two. Dirty Deeds out of nowhere ends it at 12:26. Abrupt finish to a good match. **3/4 Wyatt disappears as abruptly as he showed up.

Backstage, Stephanie and HHH talk about needing to act confident and building a strong team. HHH agrees, and calls Orton, much to Stephanie's chagrin. HHH makes it clear it's about the strongest team possible, so they need Orton.

Notice that Wyatt did the distraction, but the match not only continued, but his target won and nothing else followed. There is nothing wrong with a rival doing scouting. This is how you do it.

Jimmy Uso v. The Miz. Apparently the Usos have inherited the Twin Magic trick from the Bellas. Miz with a headlock to start, with the crowd cheering for Sandow. Jimmy with a gut kick and low clothesline for two. Armdrag and Jimmy works the arm. (Jey's now doing the same thing Sandow does.) Miz gains control in the corner, pounding away, but Jimmy slides by the corner and gets a Samoan drop. Rikishi hip check is escaped, allowing Miz to drape Jimmy on the top rope. Doesn't last, as Jimmy with a hiptoss. Miz with a superkick and he stomps away. Through-the-ropes clothesline follows and Miz goes up, getting a double axhandle for two. Jimmy works out of a headlock and low bridges Miz, then dives onto him (with Sandow taking as much of it). Jimmy rolls Miz in, and Sandow follows. Jey eliminates Sandow with a superkick, but the delay was enough for Miz to recover with a Skull Crushing Finale for the win at 4:40. Well, that's one way to cheat to win. *1/4

Mark Henry turned on Big Show. That match is later tonight.

Oh my. Sheamus is in the next match. From a kayfabe perspective, why would he do that?

Sheamus v. Tyson Kidd. This is apparently hype for tonight's Network match. Tyson with some calf kicks to start, but Sheamus just pummels him in the corner. An uppercut and tilt-a-whirl Irish Curse follow. Kneedrops come next, the last off the second rope, for one. Tyson bocks some charges and trips Sheamus, adding a dropkick for one. Kidd pounds away in the corner, going until four on multiple occasions. Choking along the bottom rope follows, then a chinlock. Sheamus carries Tyson into the corner, cueing the comeback. Kidd with a crucifix try, but Sheamus with the Alabama Slam and Cloverleaf. Kidd kicks away in the ropes, but gets caught on the apron only to drape Sheamus on the ropes and dropkick him out of the ring. Running kick from the apron is caught into the Finlay Roll. Tyson puts Natalya between himself and Sheamus, allowing him to race in and beat the count at 5:14. Sheamus Brogue Kicks him after the match anyway. What was the point of this? 1/2*

If you want to hype the match, Sheamus should win cleanly. If you want to push Kidd as a cowardly heel, don't have the Brogue Kick afterwards. This result does no one any favors. I appreciate the match, but I would like the match to help someone.

Before Dolph Ziggler's opponent comes out, the Authority does. Stephanie says she's ecstatic about the opportunity because they WIN. Unlike most people, like the crowd, who pin their hopes on false idols, they just win. That's why they'll have the strongest team ever – Rollins and Kane are officially on the team. As is Randy Orton. HHH says he knows the rumors about how they might pre-emptively attack Cena's partners. But no, people are free to team up with anyone, Dolph... but if you side with Cena, then what? If Team Cena wins, Cena gets all the credit. And if Team Cena loses, Cena sure as hell won't get the blame. Not that Dolph is a failure – he just can't get over the hump. Dolph works harder than anyone else, and he doesn't even get credit for that – Cena does. Dolph Can't See through the glass ceiling. Plus, is Cena even HERE tonight? Where is he? But hey, maybe this gamble works out. You can get everything by doing this... MAYBE. But that's a big maybe. Or, he can say no to Cena. If Dolph wants to end the maybes, the Authority knows how. Deny Cena, and he can have everything he wants. It's the Last Temptation of Ziggler!

Dolph thinks it over (Stephanie: “Don't listen to [the crowd]; think about yourself.”). After a long break, he double-checks that ANYTHING is the answer. All he has to do is ask. So what Dolph wants... is for the Authority to go away and never have power again!

HHH says it's too bad, because they wanted to give the fans what the fans wanted, but Dolph said no. So now, just remember that it's Dolph's fault. Sometimes people end up empty-handed. And that could start NOW.

And as always, by “now” we mean “after the break”. That was a good segment. HHH did his Cerebral Assassination thing, Dolph played the fiery babyface, and now we have this.

Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler v. Seth Rollins. Noble and Mercury remain at ringside. HASHTAG! Rollins works a headlock to start. Tackle gets one, and we go to the headlock again. Dolph with a leapfrog and hiptoss for one, and Rollins bails. Back in, Rollins attacks out of a test of strength and takes over in the corner. Dolph fights out of the corner and gets a kick, but he runs into a clothesline for one. Dolph sends Rollins into the corner and gets a back body drop for one. Rollins reverses a Rude Awakening into a suplex for one. Rollins chokes Dolph in the corner and mocks the crowd. Dolph with a dropkick to start the comeback. Stinger Splash try is caught with a Complete Shot into the second corner for two. Rollins switches back to a chinlock. Dolph breaks with a jawbreaker and Cactus clothesline. Noble and Mercury surround Dolph, allowing Rollins to send Dolph into the apron. Rollins slams Dolph onto the apron as we go to break.

JBL is at his worst right now, doing the anti-chemistry thing with Cole and Lawler. We know he can make a match better, but it seems like he would rather get over whatever Vince is telling him to say.

Intercontinental Championship, part two. Dolph fights out of the chinlock and both men collide on simultaneous bodypresses. Dolph with clotheslines for the comeback. Stinger Splash / Rude Awakening combo, then a giant elbow for two. Famouser misses, Rollins with a cradle for two. Dolph launches Rollins into the top turnbuckle and goes for ten punches, but Rollins counters to the buckle bomb for two. Rollins goes up but gets caught. He knocks Dolph back down, but a top-rope Curbstomp misses and the Rocker Dropper gets two. Rollins pushes off the Sky High DDT and gets the enzuigiri for two. Spinning back kicks by Rollins floor Dolph. Curbstomp misses, Zig Zag goes nowhere, Noble drops Dolph on the top rope and Rollins sends Dolph into the post. Curbstomp, but Randy Orton with an RKO Outta Nowhere and he glares at Noble and Mercury. The bell doesn't ring, but let's call it a DQ at 15:10. He leaves to the back as Kane comes out to bark at him. The Authority tries to regroup in the ring. ***

I just realized – the ref never called for the DQ. This match may still be going.

Okay, the match actually is over, and we get a Moments Ago. Fine.

Stephanie has an I Told You So for HHH, but Orton arrives to say he wants a favor – he wants Seth Rollins tonight. Stephanie has an honest question: why would the co-captains face off? Orton calls bull on that statement and threatens to switch teams. He says last week he finally put Rollins' ego down, handling the situation in the way the Authority wouldn't.

HHH finally has heard enough and yells at Orton to be quiet. He admits Orton holds the cards, but HHH needs him on the team. But HHH also needs Rollins. Does Orton get the stakes? If HHH burns, Orton will burn too. No forgive and forget. HHH needs the Viper, the man who has stood up to HHH for 12 years. The match will happen, sure; but get it out of your system so that you they can go back to ruling the WWE. This will be war against Team Cena, and they cannot afford to lose. Orton hesitantly accepts the deal.

A bizarre promo about looking into someone's eyes and being incomplete interrupts commentary. It looked and sounded a little like Luke Harper.

Credit where credit is due: HHH is bringing it on the mic tonight. He's been showing the passion that made many people fans of him in the Attitude Era.

Titus O'Neil gets mic time before his match, saying he'll win at Survivor Series. He won't back down from... uh oh.

Titus O'Neil v. Ryback. So did they ever explain why he's a face now? Crowd buys into it, so why not. O'Neil controls with shoulder thrusts in the corner, but Ryback fights out. Blind charge eats boot, and O'Neil with a Ventura backbreaker. Big boot by O'Neil and he stomps away. O'Neil taunts Ryback before CLUBBERIN, THEY BE CLUBBERIN TONY. O'Neil walks into a spinebuster as the Authority watches the match. Meathook and Shell Shock end it at 2:26. Should've been a squash. 1/2*

Renee Young is with Big Show. Show offers his services to John Cena (which makes the utmost sense). He was good friends with Mark Henry, and now this? Because that's what he do? Big Show is so mad he can't talk straight. Years of WWE experience (Show claims over 40, but the math says 33) will meet, and betrayal or no, Show wants his friend back. Even so... he will knock Mark out of his life.

Ryback on Team Cena? I could think of worse ideas. Especially if he mauls Kane and eliminates him.

The Buffalo Bills are at ringside.

Sheamus and Rusev on the Network!

Big Show v. Mark Henry. Show charges Henry into the corner and gets a Hammer Throw. He pounds away in the corner, but a charge eats elbow. Henry with right hands and a Hammer Throw of his own, then an avalanche. Thrust kick by Big Show, then an elbowdrop gets two. Show kicks away on Henry, sending him out of the ring, but Henry catches Show into the post on the outside. Show fires back with a tackle on the floor, and he breaks the count. Back in, three elbows to the back set up the Haas of Pain. Henry makes the ropes. Show with a pancake chop on the apron (or two), and he stands on Henry. Crowd is distracted, but the Authority's watching. Show goes up (!) but gets slammed off (!!) for two. Henry kicks away on Show, then gets the World's Strongest Slam for two. On the outside, Henry sends Show into the steps, then takes the steps apart and uses them for the DQ at 6:28. Way too slow compared to even Ryback earlier. 3/4* Henry with the World's Strongest Slam to the steps for good measure. Cole even brings up the Hall of Pain.

Backstage, Stephanie wants Henry on the team. HHH tells Kane to make an offer. Stephanie is still worried about Orton and Rollins combusting, but HHH assures her they just need to get it out of their system.

For the record, the crowd was dead for that match. The guys need someone to make them step it up a gear.

AJ Lee is on commentary for our next match.

Renee Young tries to interview Brie Bella, but Nikki cuts it off. And then Erick Rowan creeps on Renee. “Pretty.” “Thank you?”

Nikki Bella v. Emma. Crowd turns on the match right away. Like, before first contact they're chanting CM Punk. Nikki runs over Emma, then gets a spinebuster for two. Hammerlock slam follows for two. Surfboard next. Emma elbows out and gets a clothesline, then a bodypress. Tarantula follows, but Nikki intercepts the corner splash with a dropkick. Rack Attack ends it at 2:24. 1/4* Brie is asked to raise Nikki's hand, then tells her to sap AJ on Nikki's behalf. AJ floors Brie and chases Nikki off. Crowd chants for CM Punk.

One of my minions just compared the CM Punk chants towards AJ Lee to a slut-shaming. Here's how he put it:

“Each week, they basically derail AJ's job for the guy she married. Best case- because "CM PUNK!" is code for "F-YOU!" Worst case, because AJ married CM Punk and not THEM.”

I want to end this right now. How much of an exaggeration is this?

Xavier Woods is now acting like James Brown. Film at 11.

Zack Ryder v. Rusev. Earlier tonight, Ryder told Cena to consider him for Team Cena. Ryder fights out of the corner and gets nowhere. Judo hiptoss into a cobra clutch. Crowd chants for Lana. Ryder gets his knees up, then adds a missile dropkick, but the Broski Boot runs into a superkick. Rusev Crush ends it at 1:18.

Post-match, Lana wants us to shut up. The title match is a directive of Fearless Leader. Because Putin wants the US Title personally. Rusev promises annihilation. Sheamus has a rebuttal, though. He says the US Title represents American opportunity, and those “two lapdogs” won't take it from him. He promises Rusev the fight of his life.

A thing about the Rock, since he's getting a Monday Night Wars episode: if you had told the WrestleMania 13 crowd that Rocky Maivia was going to be the #1 draw of the WWF at any time in the future, they'd have assumed the WWF was on its deathbed.

Rusev and Lana are backstage when Stephanie makes an offer to them. She reminds them of their title match and wants reciprocity. Lana says they will discuss it with Putin first.

Fernando v. Stardust. I think Fernando is Epico. Miz/Sandow are at ringside. Stardust does something but the camera's on Miz. Fernando gets the knees up and does a rana, but Stardust with a clothesline. Stardust stomps away and gets a snapmare and surfboard. Fernando avoids a suplex but gets dumped. Stardust hisses at Sandow and knocks away JBL's hat, but that allows Fernando a comeback. The seconds get involved, El Torito kicks Goldust into Miz and Sandow, everyone gets mad, and the Backstabber wins it at 2:25. This show's REALLY gone downhill in the last 30 or so minutes. DUD

Show/Henry served a purpose, and if you go from there to the main event, you have a thumbs-up show. But there's so much filler!

Your SmackDown main event is the Usos against the Dusts in a steel cage for the Tag Team Championships.

TV Main Event: Randy Orton v. Seth Rollins. The Authority is at ringside. HASHTAG! Orton fires away on Rollins, getting a clothesline and glaring at HHH. Slugfest follows, with Orton winning and tossing Rollins from the ring. Orton with a Northern lariat on the outside, and then he throws Rollins left and right as we go to break.

This is unfair to say, but: the show's better off for not having Cena on it. Not because Cena isn't talented or anything, but Cena tends to mean there's a long talk session as opposed to more time spent in the ring. If Cena's only appearances are to throw down, it's better. But on the mic, he tends to take too long to say his point.

Orton/Rollins, part two. Orton is now on the outside arguing as the crowd sounds like it's 100% behind Orton. Rollins drops him on the top rope and tries for a plancha, but Orton sidesteps it. Back in, it gets two. Orton gets a corner clothesline, but the second one runs into an elbow. Complete Shot by Rollins into the turnbuckle, and he chokes away on Orton. Rollins with kicks to the chest and a running stomp. Bret Hart gut-stomp follows, then a kneedrop for one. Rollins boxes away in the corner, but a Stinger Splash misses and Orton sends Rollins to the floor. Orton sends Rollins into the announcer's table with a back suplex, then rips the table clear. HHH tells him to stop, but Orton won't listen. Back in, Rollins gets an apron high kick with help from the ropes, then goes up top. Orton crotches him, then punches him right in the jaw before getting a superplex. It gets two. Orton sets up the Draping DDT, but Rollins dumps Orton (as per usual the first time he tries). Rollins with a tope suicida to Orton. Back in, the springboard knee gets two. Rollins lands on his feet from a backdrop and gets the enzuigiri. Curbstomp is caught with a powerslam for two. Draping DDT on the second try works (as he smiles at HHH). Crowd is behind Orton as he signals for the RKO, but Rollins with a backslide for the pin at 13:13. **3/4 A humbled Orton tells HHH that even Hunter would be conflicted right now, but he shakes... Noble's hand. Then Mercury's. Then Kane's. Crowd wants an RKO to Rollins, who tries to play peacemaker. He even apologizes. They shake hands...

and Orton apologizes before RKOing Rollins! He clears the ring of the suits and has Rollins alone in the ring. He wants to Punt, but HHH cuts him off and yells at him to stop. He tries to get everyone to step aside, then talks to Orton man-to-man. Crowd wants SOMETHING to happen. Orton cools off... just kidding, he clotheslines HHH! He holds his own, but the suits beat him down. Orton escapes a triple-team and clears the ring, then runs for Rollins and pummels him on the table before an RKO to Mercury. Back to Rollins, but Noble and Kane try to pull them apart...

...by which I mean hold him in position for a Curbstomp. Orton is out on his feet, and HHH tries desperately to stop the attack. Stephanie yells that Orton deserved it. Orton's cut as HHH calls the other suits off and converses with Stephanie. On her orders (“Finish this”), HHH reluctantly tells them to finish Orton off. HHH walks away in disgust as Rollins delivers a Curbstomp to Orton with the steps as help. (But not before Kane trips over Orton – there's one for Botchamania.) Rollins mocks Orton's pose before the Curbstomp even. And that's how the live show ends.

LIVE SHOW MATCH TIME: 65:44 over ten matches
BEST MATCH:  Dolph/Rollins
WORST MATCH: Fernando/Stardust
TV SHOW MVP: Seth Rollins

LIVE SHOW RATING: 6. This had an awful slowdown in the third hour, but there was a ton of wrestling, no long meandering mic segments, and it ended on a hot segment that gets Orton out of the way of Rollins' heel rise. Rollins is now the #2 heel in the WWE, no questions asked. A good way to end the show.

However...

Network-Exclusive Match for the United States Title: Sheamus v. Rusev. Second match for both men. Lockups go nowhere. They tussle by the ropes next. Sheamus gets the arm and works it over, but Rusev backs Sheamus into the corner and takes over. Sheamus gets the advantage after separation, but Rusev sends Sheamus into the corner and adds hip attacks. Sheamus recovers with an Irish Hammer as the crowd gives Sheamus the Cena treatment. Ten of Clubs is set up, but Rusev blocks #4 only for Sheamus to headbutt him down. Rusev fights away again with a middle kick, but Sheamus sends Rusev to the floor. Sheamus dives into a Rusev powerslam. Rusev stomps away on the outside before throwing him into the barricade. Back in, Rusev gets an amateur ride into a cobra clutch. Sheamus with headbutts to break, but he runs into a spinning heel kick. Rusev with kicks to the kidneys and he chokes Sheamus against the ropes while yelling about becoming champion. Guillotine headlock out of the corner by Rusev. He switches to a standing crossface, but Sheamus elbows out only to get kicked. Rusev runs into the Oklahoma Slam, though, for a Double KO. Slugfest when both men get up. And Rusev with Irish Hammers to floor Rusev. Running kneelift dazes Rusev, and a second one follows. Sheamus gets launched to the apron, but he catches Rusev into the Ten of Clubs and Battering Ram for two. Sheamus goes up but gets slammed off, and an avalanche and fallaway slam follow for two. Rusev Crush is on, but Sheamus gets his arms free. Rusev tries to apply it again, but Sheamus headbutts his way out and gets the White Noise for two. After both men take a long time to recover, Sheamus wants the Brogue Kick. It misses as Sheamus is caught on the top rope, and Rusev gets two superkicks. Rusev Crush is on for real, and that gets the KO and the title at 12:04. **1/4

FINAL FINAL SCORE: 7.5. A title change is worth a bonus point, and it wasn't even a bad match. Put this all on the main show and we're talking about the WWE being on a hot streak entering Survivor Series.

Matt Perri will disagree with me on Main Event. Danielle is stuck doing Total Divas. Tommy Hall goes through Imapct, NXT, and SmackDown. I'll check in with Superstars because wrestling. Enjoy the week.

Begin debate now!

Comments

  1. Cena and Orton are going to join forces and it will be like Hulk and Randy shaking hands the first time.... if nobody wanted to see Hulk and Randy join forces, that is.

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  2. Putting Rusev over everyone hasn't made him look strong, it's just made Swagger / Henry / Show and now Sheamus look like complete losers. It's hard to believe, but I think Vince may have found a way to drive up subscription lapses in a month he's giving it away for free.

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  3. Tom! How's it been? Long long time since I've seen you around!

    I'd be willing to bet that Rusev loses the belt at TLC in a tables and/or ladders match in order to get it on someone else. Swagger never lost to Rusev by tapout and gave Rusev the biggest run for his money. IF they wanted to bring him back, this is how you do it.

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  4. Dear lord. How many times does Rusev have to squash Ryder this year? Good to see him win the US title, but it never gets defended anyway.

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  5. Hopefully they do an angle with RUSEV and his Russian Title. If it's status quo with the jobber belt, I don't care.

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  6. You bumped Raw from a 6.0 to a 7.5 because of a ** 1/4 bonus match!?!? You're a fucking idiot.

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  7. Because of a title change in a match that didn't waste my time. It's my ratings system. You don't like it, tell me what the show should've been.

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  8. >Hot take: if the Hologram didn't happen, we wouldn't be as mad about Wyatt's return.


    We? No, it still would've sucked. It negates the Hell in a Cell gimmick and robbed Ambrose of finally getting his revenge.

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  9. Don't take the bait...

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  10. No, it's made Rusev look strong.

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  11. But if the hologram hadn't happened it would have been a clean finish.

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  12. Seriously. All they need is heat and people caring and stuff and it's the same exact thing.

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  13. Agreed, I don't care what Wyatt did at all. Don't screw over the one match I wanted to see at a PPV.

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  14. It's been good. I've been lurking around the periphery.


    I really, really hope you are right, because I've reached the point with Rusev I did with Triple H back in the early 2000's - the heel push that is so beyond anything they deserve that I can't bear to watch anything else on the show. I recognize that they are trying to recreate what they did with Umaga, but, by giving a heel a submission finisher, they make all their (formerly viable) faces into complete wimps.

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  15. Rusev is easily one of the best things in the company.

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  16. To be fair -- Sheamus was KO'd. Lilian screwed up the announcement, and this gives them an opening for a rematch. Then again, what do I know? I drive the Swagger Wagon, so I'm biased. :)

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  17. I wasted my time reading your circumlocutory review. You're so terrible at life, you can not do simple math. 6 + 1 does not = 7.5. Slay yourself.

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  18. Nikki Bella playing Elizabeth?


    That would definitely hurt, not help.

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  19. You don't typically have your top-tier faces tapping out, unless you plan to make them all heels. WWE has way too few top faces, and they're jobbing out the few viable ones to Rusev, who is, to my eyes, fat, slow, and barefoot.

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  20. Maybe they'll start taking the title more seriously.


    (Yeah I actually typed that with a straight face).

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  21. You strike me as a guy who also complains about 50/50 booking. What kind of crack are you taking?

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  22. You're right, Bones. I should've ignored him.

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  23. The ending of that match rendered the whole feud as a giant waste of time.

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  24. NO ONE needed to be protected in that match. Ambrose pins Rollins, then Bray can attack.

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  25. Well your eyes are blurry. Rusev's been on a roll and it's great to see WWE get behind someone.


    Rusev with the US Title is just too perfect.

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  26. I have to say I agree. The fans in the arena want to see Rusev lose, and whomever takes the title from him is going to get the pop of a lifetime.

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  27. Basically. I don't know what AndyPG is talking about.

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  28. Swagger is great, I'd love to see more of him. And you're right, he got the best matches out of this lot.

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  29. He had really good matches with Big E. I've heard great things about the Sheamus match. The Big Show match in Georgia ruled

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  30. I was a writer myself for five years...not worth it arguing with people who don't bring up legitimate points.

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  31. I don't know about Rusev lasting after this, and when he eventually loses Lana, but he's the one guy getting pushed well in the fed.

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  32. I like it. I want him to do a Russian Lex Express.

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  33. I don't have to get up in the morning. Thank God for holidays I don't care about.

    Anyway, I liked all the Authority stuff. Stephanie wears the pants. I think that's funny.

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  34. Rusev - winning streak - fine.
    Rusev - beating the people he's beaten - fine.
    All the company's top faces not named Cena tapping out - short-sighted move that weakens the entire roster. Not fine.

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  35. You get Election Day off? Lucky.

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  36. I do too. The perks of gov't work.

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  37. No it doesn't, If anything makes it Rusev look even stronger and puts over his finisher as lethal.

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  38. Don't even talk to him. He's an idiot.

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  39. As Leelee stated.

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  40. I work for a fed contractor and I don't get the day off...

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  41. Yeah, I dont understand his complaint at all.

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  42. Amazing word choice there.

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  43. A common wrestling complaint. Push new stars...just not that one!

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  44. ahhhhh. Wrong branch bruh

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  45. I get to pitch a wrestling angle next week! Go me!

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  46. Your avatar scared me, bro.

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  47. Protip: Fat guy who talks about yoga and his fictional girlfriend won't get over as a face.

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  48. Dude, now I remember why I don't come out here. Enjoy reading your reviews, though. Peace.

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  49. Next week: Vince scraps the elimination tag match, and orders Lesnar/Rusev TLC In A Cell.

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  50. Why the hate? ELE

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  51. Okay. I get that you like it. I don't.

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  52. This review is 4,000 words too long. Does anyone read this drivel?

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  53. Why are you trying so hard to hate, bro? ELE

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  54. It was a good match, but it wasn't on RAW.

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  55. I'm not trying to hate anything. I googled raw review and it brought me to this terrible excuse of one.

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  56. You've written nearly 4000 words in these comments by now.

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  57. If you feel this way, you can try We Hate Your Gimmick, where our own Matt Perri will have his review up tomorrow.

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  58. Funny. Googling Raw review didn't get me this site at all

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  59. You realize that TNA won't exist much longer?

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  60. They should give Rusev a Russian championship belt, have the announcers complain "that's not a WWE sanctioned title!"

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  61. Trolls be trollin....

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  62. What? I'm helping out a fellow writer and giving you another review you can read.

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  63. Link to his Raw review?

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  64. He's on the West Coast, so he's still watching it. It'll be on wehateyourgimmick.blogspot.com I believe.

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  65. I wouldn't trust these announcers to sell that.....if we had JR or Gorilla Monsoon, it would be awesome.

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  66. No, but I did find this useful ranking of raw dog foods.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/raw/

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  67. That Andy huh? Whatta good guy.

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  68. So does Scotter still review Raws? I haven't read his stuff since live journal.

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  69. So Rusev-Sheamus was a good match? Rusev with the US title is logical booking--- wonder if Cena actually goes after that belt when they feud.


    Rest of Raw sounds like a bunch of Authority segments and the now usual parade of WWE who gives a shit mid carders and Big Shows. Pass.


    Also, Orton's officially the badass lone face looking to take down The Authority? HAHAHA, too bad Ambrose. Did Dino use any goofy props tonight?

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  70. Missed just about all of Raw except the last match and last segment. I've always liked Orton as a psychotic face, so when he comes back from the movie, there should be some awesome random RKO moments. I almost feel like a broken record because (while acknowledging the fact that this might be a directive from Vince) I HATE total silence when heels are beating down faces. All you heard tonight was silence (with King saying at the last moment half heartedly "Don't do it")....while JR would've been going batshit crazy on commentary. They just miss little things like that which can make the story that much better.

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  71. Oh sorry, I checked and that's not actually true. Sorry to have mislead you.

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  72. He's right, you're wrong. End of the conversation.

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  73. Scotter? really?

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  74. I thought WCW did this better with the timekeeper going insane ringing the bell. I was expecting Cena to make the save but glad that he didn't

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  75. Look at his tweet.

    Owen the Ineffective @ThePopularTaste · Sep 21

    #WWENOC "Rusev" is actually Russian for "Fat Talentless Pig". I can see why the Authority loves him.



    It says it all.

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  76. Cole should've been screaming at Rollins to stop, but it's possible he was intimidated by the Authority surrounding him. At the very least, JBL could've egged Rollins on.

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  77. That's a good point, they NEVER do that anymore.....yeah it might get annoying after a few minutes hearing the timekeeper constantly ringing the bell, but just a nice little touch saying "this is crazy, stop doing this".

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  78. I have to think this goes back to Vince. He's never wanted to think of himself as producing wrestling, but as producing TV. And you never hear background noise during the most dramatic part of a TV show.

    We will probably get it back with HHH.

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  79. Yeah that's plausible, but the Authority hasn't shown they would take the step of beating up announcers at this point.

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  80. Speaking of that.....the camera zooms, cuts and whatever else were especially annoying tonight for some reason.

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  81. You're saying Kevin Dunn does a horrible job? Welcome to the club.

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  82. Not exactly. They run three hours live every week and they hardly ever fuck up. The camera stuff is annoying but that's just a small part of the production.

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  83. Dean basically won cleanly without any trouble.

    Orton's not alone -- Ziggler and Cena will also be trying to take them down. It's more an all-encompassing story.

    I imagine Rusev will lose the belt without losing (ladder/table match, triple threat, that sort of thing) prior to Cena.

    And the match with Sheamus was a fun Hoss Fight. Certainly worth looking for if it gets archived.

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  84. I was mad that Bray interfered while the hologram just intensified the stupidity. So, because Bray hit some sort of Rock Bottom (that knocked Ambrose out, even though it's not his finisher) leading Ambrose to get pinned by Seth and then hit a Sister Abigail, Ambrose turns his focus away from his blood feud against his former brother who betrayed him (and Seth doesn't get a decisive win about which he could at least gloat)?

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  85. "This is how you do it?"

    I don't need to see a stupid Wyatt video when Bray gets off his rocking chair and walks 5 feet to gorilla position. Bray's interference was bad at Hell in the Cell on its own; the hologram was just stupid and made Ambrose look like an idiot to be distracted. Nothing about Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose is a Montell Jordan song.

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  86. Every site disagrees with you

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  87. It would also help if I had any clue why he's Ambrose's rival. The usual Wyatt psycho babble on SD did little to explain why.

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  88. His psycho babble about how he relates to Ambrose's insanity on last week's Raw didn't answer that for you?

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  89. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©November 3, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    He just confused him with the Muppet.

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  90. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©November 3, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Those poor dogs.

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  91. Every site said that Fusient was buying WCW.

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  92. As long as Rusev has being undefeated as part of his gimmick, it'll hopefully prevent them from pulling the old "champion loses in non title matches" card for awhile, at least with the US title.



    Plus I'm quietly entertained by Rusev for now. The whole Putin thing is wearing thin but he puts on decent-to-good matches fairly consistently and the matches are at least different from normal WWE fare.

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  93. That was a really good show

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  94. Imagine the taker throwing mankind off the cell and jr saying NOTHING

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  95. They had a title change on the network exclusively. They made Survivor Series INTERESTING. 2 steps in the right direction.

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  96. I work every Monday, and solely rely on your recaps. I applaud you.

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  97. Www.onlineonslaught.com

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  98. The show sounded pretty good from the recap, I may Hulu+ it this week. First time in a long time, and anytime they put actual stakes behind a SVS match and make building the teams interesting -- as opposed to just throwing together ten popular guys randomly because the marquee says Survivor Series -- I'm behind.

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  99. Star of the show? Blood! Two instances, both times increased the intensity of the situation. Doesn't need to be overdone, but it works and I was happy to see it. Wrestling, not ballet.

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  100. "So did they ever explain why he's a face now?"

    An injury pretty wipes the slate clean, but Ryback did an interview that I think was App-exclusive that was pretty damn good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vdk1S3ySgLk

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  101. A couple thoughts about this show:


    1. Blood is back(!?): I know hardway blood has definitely shown up in the PG era, but this is one of only a handful of times they've acknowledged it (as well as patching it up). I honestly think if they went back to the way blood worked in the Hogan era—sparse, only in extreme occasions—it can be a useful tool. I also think that making sure everyone is clean and not spewing buckets from head wounds is a good idea as well.


    2. Stone Cold Randy Orton: Tonight made Orton the hottest face in the company. The crowd likes getting behind Orton, and tonight was the type of thing that made Austin famous, ie getting beat up just to fly in the face of authority. This was no John Cena superhero moment where he rises above, Orton get shitstomped and the crowd was behind him the whole time. I hope we get a slow burn to Mania for Orton/HHH, but Rumble would be fine too if they need it.


    3. Rusev crush: Yeah, it technically happened after the show, but I'm glad to see Rusev get the U.S. belt. I'm personally not sold on him, but the fans want to see him lose so that's good enough for me. The evil foreigner angle is surprisingly working, although I would like to see Lana get involved as a manager more (apron distractions, etc.) Like a lot of people have said, doing some gimmick with the belt would be ideal, and whoever gets to finally beat him should get a nice boost from it whenever that happens (hopefully it won't be Cena).

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  102. I was thinking watching it how it reminded me of Goldberg beating Jerry Flynn about 17 times during his undefeated streak. Haha

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  103. Change the way you write these up. It's hard to read.

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  104. I floated the idea a few months ago for WWE to put Xavier Woods in a "Black church" stable -- Big E as the revered (using his MLK voice from the Rusev feud), Woods as the choir director (flashy high-flyer), Titus as the deacon (silent muscle), Cameron as the big-hat-wearing one-woman fashion show -- but I didn't think it would actually happen.

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  105. I like your recaps, Andy - don't let the lynch mobs get you down.

    Point of note on Ryback - go on YouTube and search for his Raw backstage fallout promo from last week. They really should have repeated it, even a section of it, on Raw, as it was a good, solid promo and actually made logical sense. In a nutshell "I came in, I was rising fast, I dropped the ball, I was working injured and turned into an asshole. I'm fit now and I don't want to be an asshole anymore."

    Nice and simple, from the heart (kayfabe wise, at least) and did more to put the guy over than any squash match could have.

    I thought it was a decent show, but some of the supposed "big impact" moments felt very tame. The "World's Strongest Slam" onto the steps felt like the "World's Gentlest Tender Laying Down" and the Curb Stomp at the end felt a bit weak too (although I understand why).

    Overall, felt a bit more like there was some actual direction. Storylines were *gasp* being advanced, and most of the advancements made some sense. Whodathunkit?

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  106. (We know he can make a match better, but it seems like he would rather get over whatever Vince is telling him to say.)

    Is this that hard to figure out?

    If your boss tells you to do something, you do it. It's not up for negotiation. What's JBL meant to do, say 'no' live on air and shoot? His mic'd be cut off, he'd be fired, blacklisted, and lose out on six figures a year. And for what...

    The approval of people who wouldn't dare ignore what their bosses said in real life?



    Think McFly.

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  107. I agree with u on orton but I was on the orton wagon when he turned face in 2010 as well but they fucked it up and made him another team player stereotypical good guy. Im sure he will be the same this time

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  108. It really could go that way again. I'm hoping that given his time off due to filming a movie they take the time to think about the best way to make use of him going forward

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  109. Can there be a way to get the title on Rollins and have Rollins vs. Orton headline WM because they are FEELING IT.

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  110. I have to give credit where it is due: this was the best RAW in a long, long time. Lots of wrestling, only one very short Bellas/Divas bullshit segment, and RUSEV CRUSH finally wins a belt. Hard to complain about that.

    So what is our SS main looking like? Rollins/Kane/Henry/???/??? v. Cena/Ziggler/Show/???/???

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  111. This gives new life to my hope that someone will win both the US and IC belts and combine them. Rusev is believable as the guy to start piling up secondary titles.

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  112. Headline, no. But I'd put money on the two meeting at Mania.

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  113. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©November 4, 2014 at 5:37 AM

    Yeah, that Ryback promo should have been on Raw itself, would have been nice fuel for the fans.

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  114. There is something kinda badass about a guy carrying around multiple titles.

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  115. Agreed. Rusev is the guy to unify the titles and destroy everyone in his inevitable run towards Cena. You get the added bonus of the U.S. title going away forever (I hope).

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  116. "and robbed Ambrose of finally getting his revenge".



    Um... That was the point. Now Ambrose is enraged at Wyatt for taking away his moment, and he wants revenge.



    And come on, about 80% of Hell in a Cell matches had interference, including some of the best ones.

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  117. Yep. They should feed us more.. information.

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  118. Props to Orton for taking that last curbstomp like it was 1998. NO HANDS BAY-BAY

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  119. It always made Ultimo Dragon look extra tough.

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  120. They don't have the patience to wait that long unless forced to (Rock/Cena).


    I would guess Orton/Rollins at the Rumble.

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  121. So Orton is what Ambrose should have been?


    Cheers, WWE.

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  122. Why is Orton the face? Rollins beat him clean, they all shook hands with him, and he attacked Rollins for no reason. HHH tried to calm him down, but he still went crazy, and what happened to him was his own damn fault.
    Good segment and match though. their blow off should be fun!
    I actually reckon Orton will wrestle Wyatt at Wrestlemania if they do Rock/hhh, or HHH if Rock isn't coming back.
    They should def have the Ambrose/Rollins match at Wrestlemania. Rollins loses, but cashes in on Reigns at the RAW after Wrestlemania to set up the next feuds.

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  123. "Put this all on the main show and we're talking about the WWE being on a hot streak entering Survivor Series."


    Isn't this a tad hyperbolic?


    Just because something didn't feel like a complete abortion for once in the last 6 weeks, doesn't mean they're on a "hot streak." But maybe that's just me.

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  124. so did orton bring color into the end?? bc that is what was exactly missing from rollins n ambrose cinder block thingy..

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  125. AverageJoeEverymanNovember 4, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    funnily if you googled raw dog something entirely different would pop up

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  126. But I like the spewing buckets of blood....

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  127. MikeyMike, WitnessNovember 4, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    RAW has been great. I usually think it's average bought they've been brining it the last two weeks.

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  128. “Each week, they basically derail AJ's job for the guy she married. Best case- because "CM PUNK!" is code for "F-YOU!" Worst case, because AJ married CM Punk and not THEM.”


    I want to end this right now. How much of an exaggeration is this?


    No, I think the best case scenario would be that AJ reminds the crowd of CM Punk because she's married to him, so it's their way of saying, "Hey Mrs. Punk, talk him into coming back!" This would be my way of thinking. Does it hurt AJ? Yep. Is it meant to? That's debatable.


    Either way, she's been terrible for a year now, so anything they chant BESIDES "this is awesome" is perfectly acceptable.

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  129. Do you really expect a good write-up from someone who once wrote fanfic stuff on that EWR website, where Molly Holly got raped by William Regal and was the starting point to getting her pushed on-screen and becoming Andy's girlfriend?

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  130. We we don't want to push Ambrose too hard before he's "earned his spot". They got to break him down and rebuild him their way...none of this getting over on your own shit.

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  131. It was fanfic on the old ewbattleground place, can't remember the details fully as it has been a long time since I was on there and only just stumbled across this place. But yeah, it had angels, Regal raping Molly, some sort of WM sex party wrote for 'a treat' for the readers and Andy and Molly being a couple. Funny how the past runs into itself online.

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  132. you'll miss the silence when the WWE finally decides to play dramatic background music during those segments.

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  133. so stupid that this wasn't on the regular show.

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  134. Yes, it was all quite weird that is why it stuck with me. And it is a true story.

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  135. because Rollins is an arrogant douche (or let's say: the more arrogant douche).

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  136. How do you know it's this particular Andy?

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  137. Yeah, that's a hell of a gauntlet to throw down.

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  138. http://www.ewbattleground.com/topic/68462-ewb-invades-the-wwe-part-iii/#entry1621680 was it I think.

    http://www.ewbattleground.com/user/832-the-third-dukes/ for the profile.

    If I am wrong I am wrong, but I am 98% sure. He even used to do his fanfic at some stage as Scott Keith.

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  139. Including the very first one.

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  140. I didn't see the show but from the recap it sounds like Orton is getting the push they should have given to Ambrose...*sigh*

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  141. This sounds like a case for Detective Marv!!

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  142. There is pretty much zero that WWE has done to imply that this is true.

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  143. Remember when Benoit/Raven was the hottest (possibly only) non-NWO feud in WCW and it was the kind of angle that could have made Benoit, but then DDP involved himself and it turned into DDP/Raven and Benoit was cooled down. That's not exactly how I see this, but kind of.

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  144. Co-signed on digging Andy's recaps.

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  145. Good thing he never got over on his own in the first place.

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  146. Rollins looking a little "bigger" these days, or is it just me?

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  147. Constantly delaying payoffs isn't good booking. Fans wanted to see Ambrose finally get his revenge and once again he lost to Rollins. Now if they eventually have Ambrose beat him, that's fine, but right now, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.


    Also, on your 80 percent and I'm counting stuff that led to the finish


    HBK v. Taker: Yes, 1 for 1
    Taker v. Mankind: No, 1 for 2
    Undertaker v. Bossman: No, 1 for 3
    Triple H v. Cactus Jack: No, 1 for 4
    6-Pac Challenge: The McMahons did remove the cell, but it didn't play a role in the finish, 1 for 5
    HHH v. Jericho: No, 1 for 6
    Lesnar v. Taker: Heyman tried to get involved and gigged, but had no role in finish, 1 for 7
    HHH v. Nash, No 1 for 8
    HHH v. HBK, No 1 for 9
    Batista v. HHH, No 1 for 10
    Undertaker v. Orton, Cowboy Bob did get involved, so I'll give you this one, 2 for 11
    DX v. McMahons and Show, No 2 for 12
    Batista v. Taker, Yes 3 for 13
    Undertaker v. Edge, No 3 for 14
    Undertaker v. Punk, No 3 for 15
    Orton v. Cena, No 3 for 16
    DX v. Legacy, there were shenanigans here but no interference, 3 for 17
    Orton v. Sheamus, No 3 for 18
    Kane v. Taker, Yes 4 for 19
    Henry v. Orton, No 4 for 20
    Del Rio v. Punk v. Cena, Awesome Truth got involved after the match 4 for 21
    Taker v. HHH, no interference, HBK did Superkick Taker but no involvement in finish 4 for 22
    Punk v. Ryback, I'll give you this one since Maddox was involved in finish 5 for 23
    Punk v. Ryback and Heyman, no 5 for 24
    Orton v. D-Bry, Yes, 6 for 25
    Orton v. Cena, No 6 for 26


    And finally, Ambrose v. Rollins, yes, 7 for 27.


    So if by "good amount", you mean 26 perent of all cell matches, than sure!

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  148. Don't worry Randy will lose interest and become the same lazy dullard he always has been seconds after getting the top spot. He has all the tools but always ends up disapointing, it's like TNA booking in wrestler form.

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  149. After reading some of your EWR fan fic u did as "Scott Keith", this is now starting to take on a whole "Single White Female" vibe and i am legit terrified for Scott's soul.

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  150. The writing style and tone are identical. This really, really explains alot. I fear that wrestling is literally this dude's entire life and world.

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