What you need to know
Fans of show-opening promos are thrilled by the return of The Authority. In twenty minutes, we established that Seth Rollins thinks Dean Ambrose is beneath him, that Triple H could have fired him and that WWE desperately wants to get "Justin Bieber" over as a chant. The net result was that Ambrose would have to sign a contract by night's end in order to get his title match against Rollins for Elimination Chamber, and that our usual Authority-tinged main event tag match would start Raw instead of end it.
In the latest mini-Shield reunion - and sign that Ambrose probably isn't leaving with the belt on Sunday - The Lunatic Fringe pinned the the Architect. When Dean's real life paramour Renee Young appeared to discuss the victory with him, J & J Security followed. Seth's boys didn't have the contract, so they caught a beating. A beating that also victimized an innocent camera man...
Since we all know that New York police won't stand for harming production people, Ambrose was arrested for something that must be different from how Rusev slapped Dolph Ziggler in an Accolade, or Kevin Owens Pop-Up Powerbombed Cena, or Roman attacked The Authority, or...any number of things up to and including Dean's theft of a paddy wagon and impersonation of an officer. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
After squashing R-Truth, Rusev made a convincing plea to get back Lana, appealing to her desire to CRUSH Americans. He almost won her over, but then the once again Bulgarian had to demand she admit she was wrong, and we all know how ladies feel about that, amiritefellas? The Ravishing Russian actually delivered a fairly empowered speech kicking the Brute to the curb, and then punctuated it with a kiss to her new boy toy, Dolph Ziggler.
Two other men who will fight to be crowned the new Intercontinental champ in an Elimination Chamber match on Sunday faced off in singles action, and Ryback defeated King Barrett...because royalty means never having to win another match again. The final pair booked for that bout on Sunday re-newed their rivalry. When a Brogue Kick earned Sheamus another win over Dolph, Rusev stormed the ring to lock on that submission hold I was telling you about earlier. If he's still thinking of being a manager, Ziggy should look up Ric Flair, cause he needs some kiss-stealing pointers.
Because a staredown with an actor who plays Green Arrow wasn't enough, Stardust also ate a Red Arrow in a loss to Neville. The Jumpin' Geordie's long-time nemesis from NXT extended a BO-lieving hand after, but then laid his EC opponent down with a drop kick as soon as the high flier got back to his feet.
The cast of Entourage's appearance was about what you expected, and that meant that Cena's open challenge for the U.S. title was less than we've come to expect, since the Dude/Bros brought out Long Island's own Zack Ryder tp come get some. John made relatively quick work of him, then celebrated with the whole gang. That was when the man who the champ said will replace "Cena Sucks" with his own chant appeared to deliver the aformentioned Powerbomb.
Everyone's favorite thing - Bellas on commentary - spiced up a match between Paige & Tamina Snuka. The Rock's cousin won that with a low blow and a Samoan Drop, and her other cousin Naomi got a spot in a Triple Threat for Nikki's Divas title. Xavier Woods was still not happy that The New Day would have to defend their tag titles in a Chamber match, but Kane didn't want to hear their whining and put them in a 10-on-3 against the five teams they'll face on Sunday. The trio of positivity actually won because their rivals all wanted to stomp them at the same time, but Cesaro & Tyson Kidd got the satisfaction of hitting the Giant Swing/drop kick combo on X.
Some alternate footage of that horrible camera man bump from earlier showed that it was Rollins who pushed the victim into the fray, and not Dean. Stephanie McMahon and her hubby still think it's a sign of Ambrose's instability, and are glad it means he won't get a title shot. Before they could celebrate the champ's Sunday off, Reigns showed up to kill time (but not break the law) by attacking everyone, allowing The Lunatic Fringe to do the wagon-jacking and his cop impression in order to ink the deal for EC.
What to look out for
The card for Sunday seems set, so expect more of the same circling of opponents. Ryback vs. Rusev is our pre-announced showdown from the IC title deciding Chamber match...and also where the former U.S. champ was legit injured according to reports, so keep your eyes on that match for possible changes to Elimination Chamber.
Other than that, I'm curious if they're seriously trying to get Biebs over as a nickname for the WWE champ? Will Rollins or Barrett ever win again? Will Reigns really not have match on Sunday night?
(Note: I know some folks have come looking for a more definitive match listing - that will be posted behind spoiler text in the comments. If WWE.com releases more information on anything that's officially going to take place on tonight's show, that'll be updated here)
What does WWE need to do to get you to tune in Sunday night? Or is more wrestling on a service you're either already paying for or getting for free this month all they needed to say?
If you're tuning in for tonight's final push - or even if you just want to read what happens and discuss it - do all that right here on the best pro wrestling community on the internet!