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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Nov. 17, 2014): Survivor Series go home ... no, really

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WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Nov. 10, 2014) from Roanoke, Virginia featuring the go home show to the Survivor Series pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this coming Sunday night in St. Louis. That includes finalizing the roster for Team Cena and a ridiculous final segment heading into what is supposed to be a deeply meaningful match.

Click here to get full results with the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all the night's events.


Wait ... what?!?

Once again, there's a lot to unpack as far as Survivor Series goes, so let's attempt to figure this out by checking in with the members of Team Cena, seeing as the driving narrative of the program was The Autority attempting to take all of them out.

Dolph Ziggler: He opened the evening working a match against Luke Harper. Thanks to some assistance from Seth Rollins, Jamie Noble, and Joey Mercury, Harper won the Intercontinental title. Ziggler was then Curb Stomped after the match. He received no assistance.

Big Show: Stephanie McMahon once again recruited him to turn on John Cena, appealing to the fact that he's always been in someone else's shadow (even referencing that he used to be billed as Andre the Giant's son in a kayfabe obliterating moment) and offering a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. He declined and was forced into a match with Sheamus, a partner on Team Cena, with the promise that a win would net an opportunity at the WWE world heavyweight title. Naturally, after the two beat on each other, Rusev and Mark Henry ran down and beat them both up, with Show passing out in the Accolade. He received no assistance.

Sheamus: He came out in support of Big Show while Stephanie was attempting to turn him and was promptely threatened with deportation if he didn't switch sides. When he made like Show and told her no, he was forced into the aforementioned match that resulted in a disqualification. Only he ended up getting put through the announce desk by Mark Henry and it was later revealed that injuries incurred from the attack would keep him out of Survivor Series. He received no assistance.

Ryback: He showed up early on to once again remind everyone that he's only out for himself. The Authority used clips from Raw last year featuring Cena calling him a dickless pansy (continuity is always a good thing, folks) but THE BIG GUY didn't seem to care much. He's only out for himself, remember? He would work a strangely timed match with Cesaro for reasons no one bothered to make clear and no one knew how to react to him because of the fact that he's been booked to turn every which way the past couple shows. The match was actually pretty good, all things considered. Later, Cena would attempt to recruit him once more, this time calling him selfish and using reverse psychology to trick the big galoot into aligning with the good guys. It must have worked, too, because THE BIG GUY joined the team at the last second and was positioned as the guy who saved the day.

Erick Rowan: Yes, the same Rowan who went from creeping on Renee Young, then maybe continuing to creep on Young or possibly Natalya, to demanding a Grumpy Cat stunt double stuffed animal from Damien Mizdow, to randomly joining up with Team Cena's squad. This makes zero sense right now, and even attempting to make sense of it would be a waste of time. WWE played up that he would be opposite Luke Harper, who looked particularly perturbed that his former Wyatt Family brother was taking up arms with the opposition. They appear to be working that angle, but is it not troubling at all that literally everyone involved blindly accepted Rowan into the group of good guys without question, especially considering that all he's done of late is act creepy and weird towards women (and that he and Cena were mortal enemies for most of 2014)? Are all your sins forgiven if you just show up at an opportune time and align with good? If I commit a bunch of crimes and then randomly show up at a police shootout to take down the armed assailants would I then be lauded as a hero and celebrated for my fighting for what's right?

John Cena: You'll note that while all of John Cena's team members agreed to get his back last week, he did absolutely nothing to ensure all of them didn't get taken out completely. Despite this, each and every one of them came to his aide at just the time he needed them to, and the one who didn't, Sheamus, was in the hospital and was quickly replaced by someone who, not all that long ago, was fighting to ruin Cena's legacy and destroy everything he stands for. He also kinda, sorta manipulated Ryback into joining him.

This was WWE accidentally writing the Cena character really well for what he actually is but the exact opposite of what they seemingly want us to believe him to be.

Meanwhile, that main event segment was an absolute mess of epic proportions.

Team Authority, nine deep, all stood around while Triple H once again did that thing he's been doing and tried his best to sell the actual match. And, once again, he did a damn good job of it, though it was baffling the way they went about getting there.

He cut a babyface promo.

Here's Triple H, the evil overlord who wants to remain in power so he can continue lording it over the folks we're supposed to have sympathy for, dropping all the hubris and replacing his cocky self-assuredness with a genuine heartfelt plea to his team to find a way to win. He did this in such a way that you almost couldn't help but root for the guy because you could tell how much it matters to him. His performance was TOO good, really, because he made you forget why he wants to win in the first place, which is the exact reason you should be rooting against him.

Then we got the return of JOKIN' JOHN.

Cena, after a night of watching the destruction of his entire team -- and doing nothing to try to stop it, remember -- came out and told jokes. First, he recruited members of the audience to join his team, and that included multiple young children. Because, yeah, let's throw a four-year-old in there and see if he can handle The Accolade. Great plan, John.

Then he literally grabbed a chair and had a gay old time running down all the members of Team Authority, like calling Kane a Drew Carey lookalike, saying Luke Harper has swamp ass, stealing an old Chris Farley bit, then even saying he would be cool with giving Mark Henry some sexual chocolate. (I don't get this line, by the way. Is he threatening to sexually assault him with... You know what, I'll just stop.)

He worked his way through all these big monsters and badass wrestlers and all of them, and, remember, there are a total of nine guys in the ring, just stood there and took it. Outnumbered 9-to-1, Cena ran through an impromptu stand up comedy set, and none of them had it in them to do more than heckle, and they couldn't even get that right.

Eventually, Cena was slapped right in his mouth for popping off at it and wouldn't you know it, STEPHANIE MCMAHON was the one to do it. If it was Team Cena, consisting of all the members currently on his squad, against Team Authority, consisting only of Stephanie, I would absolutely bet the house on Stephanie.

Even then, all these big bad heels, these rule breakers, these purveyors of evil, just stood around and waited for Cena's entire team to round out and join the ring before a brawl broke out. Naturally, Team Cena got the best of it with Triple H, the currently non-wrestling boss, getting put through a table.

They did everything they could to destroy any interest in this match with completely nonsensical writing that requires the viewer to lose all grasp of logic and reasoning to enjoy it.

This was awful.


Everything else

Adam Rose vs. Tyson Kidd: Here's the thing about The Bunny dry humping Adam Rose: They went out of there way, multiple times, to tell you that The Bunny is not actually a bunny but just a guy wearing a bunny suit. Then said guy in said bunny suit dry humps a person and JBL starts popping off on commentary like The Bunny is actually a bunny and he's only doing what comes natural to him. None of this makes any sense, it's dumb as hell, and WWE is already killing whatever good will The Bunny had been building by turning against Rose. You could at least argue that Rose was getting a taste of his own creepy, weird medicine but that's not the narrative WWE has ever pushed. They went with "oh, it's only natural for a bunny to do that" even while driving home that it's not an actual bunny.

Bray Wyatt talks, Dean Ambrose no sells him: I greatly enjoyed the Wyatt-Ambrose interaction on this show because it more or less consisted of Ambrose cutting a pre-taped promo and kayfabing his way around calling Bray out for continuously delivering shitty promos. He's not wrong. Wyatt has a slick tongue, sure, but there's no denying he meanders through his monologues, taking forever to get to the point. Oftentimes, sadly, he doesn't even have a point. He's just saying things. This felt like a SmackDown segment that ended up on Raw. Plus, that short brawl sucked.

Grumpy Cat: Cats typically sleep around 18 hours a day. Grumpy Cat, who was booed upon first showing by the live crowd, actually ended up getting over because it very clearly decided it was not going to spend those other six dealing with WWE and its bullshit.

Rusev vs. Heath Slater: I have no idea what they were trying to do using Slater as some grand defender of America. I'm sad Slater Gator seems to have been abruptly dropped for no good reason. Meanwhile, Lana was outstanding here. She rolled with "hey, everyone, want to see my topless picture?" and suddenly all the hate was gone, replaced by grateful drooling and anticipation. The payoff, that picture of Vladimir Putin shirtless, was glorious. Put it away, pigs, and have some respect for yourselves for god's sake. Also, way to totally prove her right, dumb Americans who did so.

Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella: So they ran this match again, only this time Brie was dressed up like she was AJ Lee and it was called an "exhibition match". Naturally, the real AJ Lee helped the fake AJ Lee win before laying out both Nikki and Brie. This all felt like it was geared towards making Brie as sympathetic as possible, even at the expense of AJ. Not sure how to feel about that.

A New Day: Big E has arrived and while the jury will remain out and the plan for this new stable, he seems more comfortable with this character in one taped bit than he has at any other time since he's been on the main roster. Please let this work out for him.

The Miz & Damien Mizdow & Gold & Stardust vs. Los Matadores & The Usos: The match itself didn't keep my interest but they very clearly established Mizdow as the star within it, and that's a step in the direction. They masterfully built to Miz tagging him in, the crowd ate it up, and Miz broke their hearts by instantly tagging himself back in. That's called foreshadowing, folks, and for once we aren't being beaten over the head with it, which is amazing considering the nature of the characters and the story they're telling. They're also moving at just the right pace to maximize impact as they take each new step. All the praise in the world for this.

A go home show that did next to nothing to drive interest in the show it was going home to.

Grade: D+

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 like it, if you liked it at all?