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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Nov. 24, 2014): Daniel Bryan returns; show sucks anyway

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WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Nov. 24, 2014) from Indianapolis, Indiana featuring the fallout show from the Survivor Series pay-per-view (PPV) that went down this past Sunday night in St. Louis. And for all the glory that was Sting finally making his debut and putting Triple H down with a Scorpion Death Drop we've waited a lifetime for, the pendulum had to swing back in the other direction.

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


Real life happened.

About halfway through this show, it was announced that no charges would be filed against Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, back in August in Ferguson, Missouri.

After the reveal, protests started to become riots. Violence. Political unrest. Real life happened.

This isn't the space to get into this particular issue, of course, and I only bring it up here because there is absolutely no way I could watch Monday Night Raw without all of that coloring my perception of what I was seeing.

While my Twitter feed was full of outrage and despair, and in some cases terror, WWE had Sgt. Slaughter on TV telling Rusev and Lana to pledge allegiance to the United States of America. There was no attempted connection between the two events, and WWE was almost certainly only guilty of bad timing, but there was simply no way to enjoy Raw at a time like that.

It was hard coming back from that for the rest of the show, even trying to use it as an escape. So, at the very least, you should know that the following opinions are colored by the fact that I couldn't quite get the wind back in my sails.

Please be safe out there, everyone.


So RAW it hurt

The Authority's farewell: With the benefit of hindsight, this was an even better segment because Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were right. "We" wanted them gone, and once they left everything went to hell. Stephanie was outstanding, as usual, and Triple H was just as good explaining why this is really bad for all of us. If we only knew how right he would be. Come back, Authority. Please come back.

Daniel Bryan returns: It was great to have Bryan be the guy to kick The Authority to the curb. The "YES" chant in Triple H's face won't ever get old, mostly because it's earned and deserved. That's rare. It's how Bryan works best. How he doesn't work best is what they did with him during this show. Daniel Bryan is a supremely talented wrestler, an underdog you want to cheer for. Daniel Bryan is not a great promo and he doesn't have nearly enough charisma to carry a segment that requires him to talk for 15 minutes, even when it's simply ready made material in the form of a booking a show. This night made it clear: Bryan would never work as a General Manager.

Ryback vs. Mark Henry: Bryan granted Ryback this match because THE BIG GUY wanted revenge from WrestleMania 29. Was this an attempt at continuity for the sake of saying they remembered a match that happened a long time ago? No one cared, and they managed to care even less when Ryback went over with the meathook clothesline. Don't want to botch that Shell Shock again, eh BIG GUY?

Vince McMahon yells at Stephanie and Triple H: Is it clear what Vince McMahon's motivations are? Why did he do all of this? What was the point? Does it even matter? Does any of it matter?

Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper: A slow but solid match that entertained for what it was. I have no Earthly idea why Bryan decided Ambrose deserved an Intercontinental championship match as opposed to, say, Dolph Ziggler, but whatever. Sadly, the finish was a lame disqualification that led to a standard Bray Wyatt post-match beatdown. Other than the finish, all of this was fine.

Larry the Cable Guy part one: They brought Larry out shirtless with his shorts pulled up too high in a wrestling mask, had him tell a couple painfully unfunny jokes, and led him off with Gold & Stardust hissing at them. Monumentally lame, and an embarrassing moment as a wrestling fan. Don't worry, it got worse later.

The Miz & Damien Mizdow vs. Gold & Stardust: The standard rematch from the PPV, they got off on the wrong foot when Lillian Garcia introduced Miz's stunt double as "Damien Sandow". They told a great story here, with Miz faking an injury so Mizdow could do all the work before rushing back in to take the pin for himself. Great stuff.

Concessions Kane: Earlier in the night, Bryan stripped Kane of his "corporate" title and put him in charge of concessions. They did multiple skits throughout the evening with this, each dumber than the last. It started with an overzealous manager yelling at Kane to his despair, went to a stupid comedy bit with Kane dousing Santino Marella in mustard so Larry the Cable Guy could wipe a hot dog on it and eat it, and ended with a food fight with Ryback and THE BIG GUY joking about nuts. This had potential when it was first announced but the execution of the idea was awful.

Rusev is the hero we need but not the one we deserve: Bryan's big booking plan for Rusev was to give him a choice. He could either pledge allegiance to an American flag or he could wrestle a battle royal against the ENTIRE roster for his US title. How this is fair or makes any sense is beyond me, especially considering Rusev's character and his recent motivations. Instead of battling the entire roster, they choose to pledge allegiance. Naturally, they have a hard time of it for all the obvious reasons. But because no one in WWE can accept this man who fights valiantly for his country, Sgt. Slaughter was sent out to attempt to bully them into it. Once Slaughter bullied Lana a little too much, Rusev took up for his lady friend and put an end to this nonsense. That led to Jack Swagger charging out like some kind of hero despite the fact that all Rusev had done was get intimidated by his employers, follow the orders of his bosses, lose a match for it, attempt to do what his new boss asked even though it went against everything he believes in, fail to do it in a timely enough fashion for his new boss, get bullied again, and take up for his lady friend when she was getting bullied a bit too much. Why the hell am I supposed to boo this man? They can't possibly be this unaware of their own writing, can they? Also, Jack freaking Swagger? We're going back to that again?

Fandango vs. Justin Gabriel: We saw this at Survivor Series. It sucked then, it sucked here, and Fandango's new and improved character is just Fandango without the catchy music that made him at least somewhat memorable. Now he's stuck with the worst dancer he's ever had and no clear direction for a character that will die a slow death every time it shows up in any arena anywhere.

Big Show explains himself: Show's explanation was that he called an audible during the match because he got scared for his future but it was all a big mistake and he really does hate The Authority. Don't be a dick and please understand that he has a family to provide for and he was only trying to do what's right for them. This was actually a good promo but we've seen this so many times before with this exact same guy that it doesn't have any juice left, no more tread on these tires. When he called out the locker room to challenge him, ERICK ROWAN answered the call to say "I hate bullies" and give Show his comeuppance. Again, I can't just ignore two weeks ago and act like Rowan is suddenly a hero when WWE hasn't bothered to give any explanation for his sudden decision to stop stalking hot blond women to start standing up to big bad bullies. Also, Show wasn't being a bully. A dick, maybe. A coward, sure. A selfish backstabber, absolutely. But not a bully. You could hear a pin drop when Rowan's music hit. BIG SHOW vs ERICK ROWAN, folks. Can't wait for that big money match.

Brie Bella vs. AJ Lee: So apparently Brie did turn heel and she's now totally cool with Nikki and totally opposed to AJ Lee. Why? Who the hell knows. Certainly not anyone working for WWE right now. AJ got some time to call Brie a lesbian and tell the Bellas they aren't talented because it's not "sexually trasmitted". So I guess there's that for those who enjoy such things.

The Bunny & Adam Rose vs. Tyson Kidd & Natalya: Before this match started, The Bunny went and danced with Larry the Cable Guy at ringside. Fuck this.

The New Day debuts next week: Nope. It's not a new day. It is not a new day at all.

John Cena & Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins & Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury: Hey, here's a great idea for Ziggler after his awesome performance at Survivor Series last night! Stick him with Cena! The match was fine, mostly because Noble was significantly better than anyone else around him, but all of this fell flat after such a terrible show before it.


This was an abomination. They couldn't possibly have done worse. Sting debuted last night and WWE followed with a show that may as well have been TNA Impact.

Grade: F

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?