WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Nov. 11, 2013) from the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England, featuring all the latest build to the Survivor Series pay-per-view (PPV) that is now less than two weeks away in Boston, Massachusetts.
Click here for full results and the live blog from the show if you missed it. Let's get right to reactions. Remember, these were written as the show moved along with real time reactions to everything that occurred hour-by-hour.
- The opening segment had to be a rib on the fact that WWE has a power structure that literally no one understands right? It was lame even if it was, but we did get KANE IN A SUIT. He even buttoned his jacket! I got far more enjoyment out of Brad Maddox calling him "Mr. Kane" than I should have. I don't understand why they put Kane in the position of power they did just so he would fail to intimidate the lowly Maddox and get outranked by Vickie Guerrero, who supposedly has no authority on Raw.
- Actually, the entire Vickie Guerrero fired storyline is awful in hindsight considering the fact that she's been running wild on not just one but BOTH shows since then. And if you'll remember, her getting fired by Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Vince McMahon voting on it did a really great rating for its segment. So everyone watched her get shitcanned yet here she is making decisions on shows she's kayfabe not in charge of.
- That opening segment was basically a shittier version of this awesome South Park bit.
- HATE the camera they use for Goldust's entrance. That jittery gimmick destroys my eyes.
- I like the idea that the WWE champion can't beat the tag team champions, especially considering we don't have the strongest of WWE champions right now. But the heel walkout finish always sucks. That being said, following it up with Big Show coming down and laying waste to Orton was righteous. After how much of a big dumb oaf he looked like last week, Show needed to dominate a bit tonight. Good call here and the choke slam bump through the table was visually pleasing.
- Whose decision was it to have JBL be the voice of the crowd on commentary? I mean this to say he does the "OLE" shout for the Los Matadores entrance and the "WHAT'S UP" for the R-Truth entrance. Basically any gimmick that encourages crowd participation, he's the guy on commentary going along with it. Here's the thing: It's awful and he should stop doing it immediately.
- The Union Jacks. I want to just leave that there by itself but I have to make the obvious remark that this was WWE's way of doing Los Matadores vs. 3MB again without it actually being Los Matadores vs. 3MB. I love it.
- I watched Santino Marella gore Heath Slater in the ass last night. That's a thing that happened in my life. Then again, I also watched him put a sock puppet with horns on it over his hand, make a mock snake, and strike Jinder Mahal with it. That's another thing that happened in my life. What kind of fucking life do I have again?
- I did like seeing Kane tell Orton not to step to him backstage about 15 minutes after both Maddox and Guerrero walked all over him and totally usurped his authority as Director of Operations. And Orton backed down! This was great if only because everyone looked bad here and I'm not sure anyone realized it.
- Damien Sandow won a match. It's just too bad it was over Kofi Kingston and it's also just too bad it was in front of a crowd who could not have cared less about him. And this wasn't an unenthusiastic crowd who was sitting on its hands for everything. This was a selective crowd who made clear what they liked, didn't like, and didn't care about. Sorry, Sandow.
- Surprised to see Curtis Axel vs. Dolph Ziggler in the 9 p.m. ET time slot. Axel, of course, was in rare form with his screaming obvious nonsense like "I'M THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION AND I HAVE ARRIVED". The match wasn't bad by any stretch but I struggled to get invested in the eventual outcome. I know I don't care about Axel but perhaps the want for Ziggler to do well is also lost. You can only watch him lose for so long before apathy sets in.
- Kane and Maddox arguing over who should respect who and who should have power should not play out over the entire show. This shit is old already. Maddox is a man's man, apparently, just refusing to back down to Kane, even though the WWE champion did just that earlier. I guess he had just gone through a table and was getting medical treatment.
- Zack Ryder got the salesperson gimmick this week. He's annoying as hell, which makes him a bad salesperson.
- I love that the Divas match quickly went home shortly after the crowd broke out in "ECW" chants. Can we talk about how bad Tamina's Superfly Splash is though? Holy hell is it bad. We're talking CM Punk's flying elbow bad. Brie Bella's dropkick on AJ Lee after the match was actually really good, though.
- If you voted for Triple H, Kane, or Batista over Shawn Michaels as Undertaker's greatest WrestleMania opponent, I would love to hear your rationale. I really would.
- Oh man, The Shield telling Orton to pound sand when he got upset over their lack of assistance when he was getting tossed by Show was the best part about this night so far. I hope WWE does fast track Roman Reigns babyface turn and big push because that dude is just captivating. I'll give Orton a lot of credit here too, he played the wounded dog really well.
- Fandango taking on Tyson Kidd and looping it into Total Divas was the right call if only because the folks in the U.K. are still on the Fandangoing train. You do your thing, England. Plus, Fandango and Kidd could have some damn fun matches.
- Actually thought John Cena vs. Real Americans was a fine match with a sweet finishing sequence. Still believe Antonio Cesaro is a breakout star in waiting if they can find the right angle for a character for him. It's not what he's doing now either. The Alberto Del Rio distraction was annoying because I think I would rather Cena just feud with Swagger and Cesaro without having to worry about ADR. Then again, here was Big E. Langston to make the save because of course he would save Cena.
- "You're breath is so bad, when you talk your teeth duck." Okay, fine, I popped.
- I'm not sure if the powers that be at WWE believe I should think it a big deal that R-Truth beat Ryback but I don't. What I think would be a big deal is if THE BIG GUY was given a microphone and told to cut a promo like he was tweeting. BIG GUY BIG TRAPS EMPTY KEGS BIG CHECKS BIG ARMS SETTING OFF FIRE ALARMS.
- Del Rio vs. Big E. Langston could have and probably should have been a whole lot better than it actually was.
- Paul Heyman's promo was good for what it was but I really am ready to move on from the Punk vs. Heyman feud. I can't imagine what else they'll find for Heyman to do, though, so I suppose that's why we're still getting this. That kendo stick beating was something else.
- CM Punk & Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield is a hell of a Raw main event. Enjoyable despite the smoz finish, this time understandable if they're to set up for the traditional Survivor Series match at the pay-per-view (PPV) of the same name in less than two weeks now. The Wyatt Family distraction was actually done really well. I enjoyed The Shield going at it with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan at first, like the two rogue groups they are. The crowd was nuts for this, as they should have been. I mean, at one point we had the Wyatt clan and The Shield squared off in the ring with the audience nuts for it chanting "this is awesome" in the MAIN EVENT of a Raw show that featured Randy Orton and John Cena working the undercard. I mean, god yes.
- Really, really fun close to the show with The Usos and the Rhodes brothers showing up to even the odds. We're destined for a six-on-six Survivor Series elimination here and I can't wait for it. Actually, if WWE was righteous, that's the match that would close that PPV later this month.
This show dragged ass really hard in spots but had some really fun moments in others.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you feel about it?