What you need to know
With a return to the States came the return of The Authority. HHH and Stephanie McMahon spent Monday night punishing the General Managers of the two WWE brands, and being non-committal to Randy Orton as face of their company. The Viper, Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero all ended up needing medical attention after their matches...and, EXCUSE ME, I think Vickie is dehydrated.
Who could possibly be the face of the company if not Orton? If WWE started a themselves a rumor that it might be Big Show? Would that entice you to buy this
piece of crap pay-per-view (PPV) main evented by The World's Largest Athlete vs. Randall K?
Show defeated Ryback (who may have heat on him backstage...again) in a surprisingly good big man match from Raw. Ryback's fellow former Heyman Guy, Curtis Axel, had a much worse night, dropping his Intercontinental title to Big E Langston in a less than good match for any size man. But it was a nice moment for AJ Lee's former bestie. Or maybe he's still her BFF - that remains as unaddressed as whether or not the Divas champ is a face or a heel.
Lee will join United States champ Dean Ambrose and tag titleholders Goldust & Cody Rhodes in not having to defend their straps on Sunday in Boston. AJ is headed for a multi-woman elimination contest where she'll probably job to some reality television "personalities". Ambrose will join Shield-mates Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins and The Real Americans in facing the Rhodes boys, The Usos and the just returned Rey Mysterio in a traditional Survivor Series tilt.
A champ who will be defending his strap is John Cena. His surgically repaired arm has been targeted, and earlier this week he used it to draw the challenger for his World Heavyweight Championship (WHC) Alberto Del Rio into his crosshairs.
Oh, and Miz is a heel again.
What to look out for
The last show before Survivor Series went down in the headquarters of the Dirty South. And it went down on Tuesday, so if you want spoilers...here you go. Previews are spoiler-free, ya heard?
Ryback has informed WWE.com that he will issue a challenge of some sort tonight. Hopefully it involves "Big Traps". The boss is always in a good mood when The Big Guy is going on about how his exercise regiment and physique assist him with not losing in submission fashion.
All sorts of previews for the PPV are lined up for tonight. Luke Harper has already faced Daniel Bryan and CM Punk in advance of he and partner Erick Rowan's showdown with The Best and The Beard on Sunday. Tonight, he'll tangle with Bryan again.
It's a good thing Cody and Goldy don't have a title match set-up for Boston, because some of their opponents may have those belts by the time they get to TD Gardens. In Atlanta, they'll face Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger with the bronze eagles on the line.
Agents will continue to try to hide the returned-to-soon luchador when Mysterio joins Jimmy and Jey Uso for a little six-man action against the Hounds of Justice. And the men feuding over the IC strap will tag up with some guys who used to, sort of, be in the WHC scene for a match when Axel partners with Damien Sandow to take on Big E and Dolph Ziggler.
Wait a minute...didn't those two just finish a program against one another? If only we knew what the status of AJ and E's friendship was...
What they should do
Is there a doctor in the house? A doctor...Shelby?
WWE television was full of continuity holes this past week as former blood rivals high-fived and partnered up left and right. Kaitlyn will be teaming with the woman who stole her belt and humiliated her with a catfishing scheme. CM Punk and Rey Mysterio were so happy to see each other they must have forgotten the time Punk emotionally assaulted Rey-Rey's daughter in front of the world. And at the last "Big Four" PPV, Langston and Ziggler were in a match against each other.
We could probably look away if just one of these things happened - especially if it was the Punk and Mysterio thing because, let's face it, that was a different lifetime ago, especially for former leader of the Straight Edge Society. And, sure, the other two are happening around the mid-card and women's ranks, so Creative correctly assumes that half of the fans aren't paying attention.
But this is the company that bothered to dress a grown man up in a hand costume for a laugh and a call back to a sketch that was more than ten years old. In a time when WWE is cranking out hours and hours of programming each week between TV, internet and mobile, isn't it worth bringing the man in charge of the Shelby Academy of Anger Management for a five minute skit?
This isn't just me and my nerd OCD, either. Big E Langston could be phenomenal in a bit like that, and it could go a long way to establishing him as the babyface they want and need him to be. Any involvement with Divas promotes two shows that will air on Sunday night.
A popular vignette that debuted on the app could generate buzz for that product, before being used as web and television content. They produce some good stuff on those alternate streams now, but wouldn't a call back to one of the most popular series of sketches in company history be worth a shot?
What we're afraid they will do
It's more what we're afraid they won't do. There seems to be very little excitement for this show among the hardcore faithful or the larger mainstream fanbase. Even if this weren't supposedly one of your tentpole events, this would be the time to throw some crap at the wall and see if you can at least use the show to start something that will get your customers excited as we head into the holidays and then your biggest season of the year.
In the words of the late, great Dennis Farina, "do some &#(%ing thing".
What &#(%ing thing can WWE do tonight to get you excited about Survivor Series?
Let us know in the comments below, and come on back to enjoy the show tonight with your fellow Cagesiders in the Open Thread. And stick around all weekend, for the best PPV coverage on the web!