Originally written on Wrestling Truth  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Ryback given a second chance at WWE title as McMahon changes Survivor Series card: The old adage that anything can happen in the WWE, rung true from Birmingham, England last night, as Vince’s creative shakeup completely altered the Survivor Series card. The Hook: 3 hours will always be too much for some fans to handle. Wrestling isn’t American football, and there’s a reason why television dramas only run for one hour. Regardless this week’s Raw was one of the better in its extended time-slot, kicking things off with an air of unpredictability. Right away The Miz through a spanner in the works of the upcoming PPV, quitting team Punk in favor of his own ego. Who will replace him? A good hook to start the show off. As well as this new development, tonight’s broadcast will aim to answer two questions, why Maddox why? And what is AJ Lee doing in a state of undress on CCTV? Not the most PG of storylines, and hopefully a sign that the company is willing to push the envelope just a little to claw back the ratings. R-Truth, Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara def. U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro & The Prime Time Players: A further showcase of the growing tag division kicked off Raw with a solid 6-man match. Although Sin Cara is still clunky in the WWE ring, Cesaro helped produce some interesting spots early on. This guy is gold and no doubt his extensive work on the Indys accommodates him better to Sin Cara than some of the cookie cutter WWE developmental graduates. Titus O’Neil also stood out in the match, hitting an impressive series of powerful backbreakers on Mysterio. He’s athletic and he’s big, meaning his future is bright. In a bit of a head scratcher the US Champion did the job to R-Truth, no doubt to set up a future match, but perhaps not the right way to go if you want the champ to look strong. Vickie Guerrero has footage of AJ in a state of undress: Internet fans have been quick to jump all over this storyline, calling it a Claire Lynch/TNA rip-off. Nothing can be as bad as that so lets give it a chance to develop. If it ultimately propels Dolph Ziggler in to a feud with John Cena, then it serves a valuable purpose. Vickie the ever accomplished heel was perfect for the UK crowd, who ate up her every word. Her screeching school-teacher voice trying to expose the kid’s favorite Cena is an entertaining element whether your a fan of Cena or not. The UK crowd certainly weren’t, but Cena a master on the mic soon won them over with puns about his own limited ring arsenal and insults to Vicke. Nobody wants to cheer Vickie do they? It also helped that it appeared like Cena had bedded AJ, causing a sense of “good on ya lad” throughout the arena. The crowd’s reaction multiplied the impact of the footage, which saw AJ entering a hotel room in only her dressing gown, and Cena opening his hotel door in a bathrobe to hang up the do no disturb sign. I hope there’s a swerve somewhere down the line, it would be somewhat of a let down if it was as simple as Cena having a straight-up relationship with AJ. I mentioned it in the Smackdown review, but I have a feeling AJ might be in cahoots with Vickie, in order to deliberately bring down John Cena in a honey-trap. Barrett joins team Punk: One of the hooks from the beginning of the show was quickly answered backstage as Paul Heyman successfully recruited England’s own Wade Barrett to team Punk. There’s a catch however, Heyman now “owes” Barrett. A solid face turn and a title shot against Punk further down the line? I’d like to see it! Cody Rhodes def. WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan, and Kane def. Damien Sandow: In an exciting but very quick match Cody Rhodes stole the victory from Daniel Bryan who had been distracted by the outside antics of Damien Sandow. Nonetheless the crowd were behind Bryan’s every move, reminiscent of ECW’s The Shah, back in the day. To his dismay Sandow was dropped in it by Rhodes, who said Sandow would also beat Kane. Bryan and Rhodes were ejected from ringside allowing the Monster to get the victory clean. Brad Maddox wants a wrestling contract: So what was the big explanation for Brad Maddox’s screwing of Ryback at Hell In A Cell? He did it off his own back to make an impact and obtain a wrestler’s contract. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense from a logic standpoint, ruining a main event should probably cost him his job not gain him a bigger salary. Still, full of heart the rookie declared that he actually wants to face Ryback! The ever eccentric Mr. McMahon character filled in some of the plot holes by giving him the opportunity. Believing Maddox is being insincere McMahon gave him exactly what he wanted. If he beats Ryback next week he’ll get a million dollar contract. #Punk Helps Him Win While Maddox had some good initial facial reactions (he’s quite a good looking fella), perhaps it was nervousness or he was just overdoing it, but the head rubbing and nose scratching was a little much. Still he got the promo done unscathed and it will be interesting to see what the FCW graduate can do in the ring. The company must think quite highly of him to involve him in the main event storyline and give him the rub from McMahon. Then again it may also have just been a last minute booking decision. Take the ball and run Maddox! Vince changes the Survivor Series card: Whether it was a last minute decision as part of the real-life backstage creative shake-up, or a carefully planned decision for the same reason, Vince McMahon completely changed the Survivor Series card last night and forced Vickie to announce that Team Punk is no longer Team Punk, and instead he will defend the title in a Triple Threat match involving John Cena and Ryback. It seems the planned Cena vs Ziggler feud has been pushed back a few weeks. This is of course no surprise, Cena is considered the company’s money man, so any chance they have at allowing him to headline a PPV, they’re going to do it. This will also further cement Ryback as a top contender. I personally sense another shady finish to the match. If the company were ready for Ryback to get the title he’d have won it last month. And Cena always has to be booked strong so he’s not going to be losing clean to anybody. Sheamus def. The Miz: The Miz who was the savior of last week’s SmackDown continued to make Sheamus look strong, by giving him a solid match tonight and doing the job. I can’t help but feel that Big Show (who came down for commentary) is on the receiving end of a few too many jokes and slights. If he’s the champion the announcers need to put him over strongly, instead it seemed like they weren’t taking him seriously and he was bitter because of it. Unlike SmackDown he didn’t particularity exude dominance. Perhaps that’s just part of the character, but there are better options in my view. Ziggler now leading Team Punk: It was revealed backstage that Dolph Ziggler will now lead Punk’s former Survivor Series team. It’s certainly the right choice. Vickie also announced the main event of tonight’s show. Punk and Ziggler are to take on Cena and Ryback. It didn’t go down too well with the heels. Layla & Kaitlyn def. Divas Champion Eve & Aksana: Eveeeee looks goooood to me….actually so does Aksana…and Layla, and Kaitlyn! #Feed Me Layla fan sign. This was actually a very good match. All of these ladies can work in the ring. The problem right now with the women’s division is that we’ve been trained that it’s a toilet break or just a bit of eye candy. Fan’s aren’t in to it because it isn’t booked to matter and we’ve not been given a reason to care about any of them. Also, as is common in Diva booking, the champion was pinned…so why do we care about the belt or its holder? You only have to give it a few minutes of attention. Why not allow them to have pre-match interviews to give it some edge? We’re in England, there are lots of smoking hot Lithuanian girls over here right now, causing a bit of social tension. So why not have Aksana play that up. Cut backstage. Aksana walks past Layla wiggling her ass, Layla asks “Aksana who do you think you are posing like that.” Aksana replied: “Your just jealous that all the British men like us European women. We can get it done in the ring and out of it!.” Boooom a nice bit of heat for the match, not rocket science. Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston def. Alberto Del Rio: I’m a little bemused as to why Ricardo Rodriguez is not bandaged or a little red on the skin, after all as the replays showed, Randy Orton poured scolding hot coffee all over him and then dumped some steaming Chili on his head. Orton’s music distracted Del Rio during the match allowing Kofi to get the victory. The Viper then hit the RKO and stood over the Mexican aristocrat. Unfortunately there was no real follow-up from his vicious attack on SmackDown. A logical scenario would be for somebody like Vickie to inform Orton that the Board of Directors were not happy with his actions, promoting him in to defiance by snapping and hitting Del Rio with a chair or something of that nature. Santino Marella & Zack Ryder def. Primo & Epico: I was looking at Rosa. Wade Barrett def. Brodus Clay: Home-country hero Wade Barrett got the easy win over The Funkasaurus. Clay’s character is definitely wearing thin and in need of some evolution. That doesn’t mean an abrupt gimmick change, but lets see him backstage with his dancers. Maybe he doesn’t treat them very well? Maybe he’s a bit of a heavy-handed pimp when he thinks the cameras aren’t rolling? Show us some depth before he disappears in to the gimmick trash heap. Heath Slater def. Jey Uso: What’s worse than a bunch of jobbers nobody cares about? A bunch of jobbers thrown in to a faction because nobody cares about them. That about explains the 3 Man Band, who don’t appear to play any instruments and who have absolutely nothing in common with each other. At least Al Snow’s job squad was funny. Maybe former 3 Count roadie Tank Abbot can return to manage another hit wrestling pop group? John Cena & Ryback def. WWE Champion CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler: Well executed match to finish off a fairly good show by today’s standards. Ryback was kept out of the ring to build up the hot-tag. In a little bit of a shock Big Hungry then got the clean win over CM Punk. The disappointing thing is that this usually means the pinner isn’t winning at the PPV. The show closed with Ryback and Punk starring each other down. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that you want Ryback to meat-hook John Cena! ________________________________________________________________________________ NEWS: - Prior to the show going live Tyson Kidd defeated Michael McGillicutty in a dark match. - The following matches were taped for one of the upcoming B shows: Jimmy Uso vs. Jinder Mahal. Justin Gabriel vs. Tensai. - After the show went off the air Dolph Ziggler’s team hit the ring, but Cena and Ryback fought them off. They then hit Cody with their finishers, and Wade Barrett emerged to hit him with the Souvenir for a UK pop. He grabbed the mic and said he will forever wear the Union Jack! This was obviously done off TV, since he’s supposed to be a member of Cody’s team. Cena then hit Ziggler with the Attitude Adjustment. - The campy “Fandangoo” Promo from Raw is the new gimmick for Johnny Curtis. And yes it’s as bad as you all thought. He will indeed be playing a tango dancer. *Faceplam*. - UK native Drew McItnyre revealed on Twitter why he was not at last night’s show because his mother is unfortunately sick: For those who know me, they are aware I’m not the most emotional person in the world but this is something that as private as it is I want to share with the world because I am so lucky and proud. My mother is currently very ill and if you have the time please send a prayer her way, she has battled through ataxia since her early 20s being told she would never have children to raising my brother and I to the men we are today. She has overcame so many obstacles thrown her way over her life not selling the pain for one moment putting everyone else first including battling through chemo and radiotherapy. Sitting with her now I can still see fight in her eyes, she is Angela Galloway, my mother and my hero. I wrote this to her when she got sick, again please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. My Hero Me hero isn’t a singer, nor on tv. My hero dosent play sports or rally to make the world a better place. My hero is a warrior, as strong as Atlas and as brave as a soldier in the trenches. My hero has looked at adversity their entire life and overcame with no doubt in their mind, NEVER taking heed of others opinions, powering through when others would have simply given up. My hero inspires me when I think I can’t handle what life throws at me. My hero is my mum and no matter where I travel or who I meet there isn’t a person on earth like her It’s not clear how much time he’ll be taking off.
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