What you need to know
There's only one thing a three-man heel faction hates more than another three-man heel faction, and that's Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. With Luke Harper and Erick Rowan headed for a tag team showdown with DB and Punk at Survivor Series, The Wyatt Family has to be especially heated with The Beard and The Best. Not only did the pair join up with The Usos and the Rhodes brothers to chase them and The Shield from the Raw main event, but they also got the jump on them to close Smackdown.
The Straight-Edged Superstar seemed to wrap up his issues with former mentor Paul Heyman last week, with the help of a kendo stick. And no help from Intercontinental champion Curtis Axel. Heyman already blamed Ryback for his earlier loss to Punk, so Axel and The Big Guy teamed up on Friday night...to pretty much lose again.
WWE champ Randy Orton was none too pleased that the Hounds of Justice didn't come to his aid when Big Show, the #1 contender for his title, choke-slammed him though the announce table to kickoff last week's show. But Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins made it clear to The Viper that they may be mercenaries, but he isn't the one holding the purse strings.
John Cena may have dispatched The Real Americans in a handicap match, but Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger have still looked strong in recent weeks and have to be in the mix for a shot at Cody Rhodes and Goldust's tag team titles. The tag ranks look stronger than ever, with Zeb Colter's men joining established contenders Jimmy and Jey Uso and former champs Rollins and Reigns on the scene.
AJ Lee is still Diva's champ, and Natalya seems to have rotated back into the #1 contender sponsored by Total Divas spot. And Brie Bella's fiancé isn't the only member of that partnership to see their stock fall in the eyes of the powers-that-be.
What to look out for
Raw goes country! Live from Music City, USA - Nashville, TN! If that does set off your schlock-meter, how about the news that American Music Award-nominated country act Florida Georgia Line will be on the show? Everyone who misses the days of "guest hosts" must be so excited.
The Authority is back from vacation, and somehow I don't think they're gonna be thrilled with what went on in their absence. Will that be taken out on the management triumvirate from last week, the babyfaces who stood tall to end the show or all of the above?
Heath Slater's 3MB blended in nicely as the Union Jacks last week in the United Kingdom. What can we expect from the fellas when they hit the home of country music tonight?
Beyond that...this is a go home show for what used to be known as a Big 4 pay-per-view (PPV). There are only three matches booked for Sunday, and the company's website is using their weekly preview feature to talk about The Authority three different ways and announce another poll that will presumably lead to our getting to watch some footage to hawk their latest video game.
Doesn't seem like any of this is exactly best for business.
What they should do
Weren't there some whispers of the WWE brass being high on Damien Sandow coming off of failed cash in against Cena a couple of weeks back? Then he reeled off a couple of wins before...
I guess he didn't make the European trip. And there maybe a myriad of reasons for that and a steady move back up the card may resume tonight for all know. But regardless of the veracity of rumors concerning this guy's push or that guy's heat, it would behoove Creative to show a little more consistency in their presentation of workers as competitors.
So, let's get Our Intellectual Savior doing something meaningful before we all forget he's anything other the guy who stole a briefcase, then lost a lot, then became the first man to be pinned in the match to which said briefcase entitled him.
As we mentioned above, there's plenty of room on Sunday's show. And since none of the three official matches are of the multi-man variety that this event was named for, there are plenty of performers available with whom The Lord of Literacy could work.
Want a straight-up, one-on-one affair? Dolph Ziggler is free. The issues between the babyface Show-Off and the heel elitist pretty much write themselves - Sandow says that he's above someone like Ziggler and that he has much loftier aims than "stealing the show" for the unwashed masses. You've got yourself a decent beef that you can build a feud to keep both men busy with for the next couple of months, and a partner who will make Damien's offense look great, on the off chance that whoever was high on him as a main eventer last week still has Vince's ear after WrestleMania season.
Or, want to quickly book a big elimination match? The Real Americans lose to Los Matadores shortly after Fandango has been upset by Zack Ryder. Renee Young catches up with Zeb and company backstage, who begins a rant about those illegals (and their little bull, too) when the ballroom dancer interrupts to say that he has a more pressing concern - that glorified suburban hick who ruined his performance. Sandow strolls up and, being the intelligent man that he is, proposes a solution to their common problem. Sure, it's a match of mid-carders (at best), but it's a good mix of strong workers and interesting characters. And it placates the fans of traditional Survivor Series matches.
What we're afraid they will do
In all honesty, though, while looking for terrible clips with a country-western theme, I did find this gem which reminded me that I really can't ever get enough Santino and that I miss heel Sheamus:
So let's hope that tonight is a little more Toby Keith and a little less Jewel.
Will WWE let us know what exactly we're supposed to be paying for this weekend, and why?
Talk it out below, or in any of your favorite Cageside Seats threads. Then come on back to watch the show with all your pals in tonight's Live Blog!