Hits & Misses HITS & MISSES - 11/3 WWE Raw: The Authority - Randy Orton Saga, Ziggler vs. Rollins, Ambrose vs. Cesaro, Rushed Storylines
Nov 5, 2014 - 2:19:54 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist
Randy Orton Saga: I was not a fan of how Vince McMahon made the stipulation for the Survivor Series main event (more later). However, after that point I did like the storyline that played out for the rest of the show with them vowing to create the strongest team ever and having to get Randy Orton and Seth Rollins to work together. I like how Triple H wanted to get Orton on board while Stephanie McMahon wasn't sold on the idea. It was a nice touch that during their in ring segment with Dolph Ziggler that Stephanie had to be reminded by Triple H to list Orton as part of the team. Later, the scene in the back with Orton, Triple H and Stephanie was well done. Orton has been very good in playing his character lately, especially the way he has been fuming and selling the idea that he can't control his anger towards Rollins. I loved how he got mad when Stephanie called him a co-captain of Team Authority. I even liked how he threw in the line about possibly wrestling on Team Cena instead.
My only problem is that (probably due to Cena not being at the show?) WWE crammed too much of this storyline into this one show. I enjoyed all that they did, but the main event of Orton vs. Rollins (which Triple H made so that they could get their fighting out of their system to move on and be good teammates) should have been made for next week. It was a good match and what they did afterwards with Orton teasing shaking Rollins' hand, only to hit him with another RKO instead was very well done. The build up to the physicality between Orton and Triple H was good. The characters were consistent with Stephanie yelling at Triple H to finish Orton off, only to have Triple H continue to sell being conflicted hoping to still have The Viper on his team, before reluctantly giving the order to Rollins and Kane to finish it. But, why did it have to happen this week? Build up to it for next week and do it exactly the same and you have more of an impact.
The Authority - Ziggler: I mentioned this segment above and it was well done. Triple H, Stephanie and Ziggler all played their parts well. The scripting was well done in how The Authority tried to convince Ziggler to say no to being on Team Cena. They played off of each other well in painting a picture for Ziggler of the different possibilities coming out of Survivor Series and how even if his team wins, he will still lose in the end. Ziggler was also good in selling an inner conflict, but then turning on them to say that what he really wants is to have them out of power. This was a good set up to the Intercontinental Championship and worked well in the storyline advancement.
Ziggler vs. Rollins: I enjoyed that IC Title match between Ziggler and Seth Rollins. It isn't surprising that these two would have a good match together. They are both very talented workers and they worked well together. I liked how the match played out with Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury getting involved to make it look like Rollins would defeat Ziggler to become the new IC Champion. The surprise RKO from Orton to end the match worked well. Normally, I don't want to see a lot of these types of ending, but given the storyline between Orton and Rollins, it made perfect sense. Ziggler was only going to lose after the cheating, so he didn't lose much by almost getting pinned here. The only real problem I had with this is that there was no bell at that point. Obviously Rollins won via disqualification, but the referee should have called for a bell as soon as Orton hit the RKO and then have Lilian Garcia announce a winner. It isn't that hard.
Vince's Announcement: I understand that WWE probably needed to add something to the Team Cena vs. Team Authority main event for Survivor Series. Having some type of stipulation where there is something on the line for the winner or the loser makes sense. However, this idea that The Authority will lose their power if their team loses seemed to come out of nowhere. There wasn't much of an explanation given as to why Vince McMahon would make that stipulation. The real reason is that WWE is pushing the Network by offering November free to new subscribers and to entice them to sign up, they are going to tease the fact that The Authority might be out of power. This reeked of desperation. To me this felt like desperate Network hype at the expense of logical storytelling. And it didn't make sense to me that there was nothing on the line for Cena's team if they lose other than this general feeling that they will be punished by The Authority after the fact.
Ambrose vs. Cesaro: Do we need to see these two wrestle three shows in a row (by "shows" I mean shows that actually matter, namely Raw and Smackdown - though Smackdown barely matters)? After watching them wrestle on Raw and then having a Trick or Street Fight on Smackdown, I didn't care to see them wrestle again. It was odd that the announcers seemed to just ignore the fact that Cesaro was busted open during the first half of the match. So far, I am not buying whatever WWE is selling in terms of a feud between Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt. After ending the last PPV with the start of the feud, they have barely followed up on it in any meaningful way. A feud that started during a PPV main event was forwarded here (just eight days later) during an opening match that was totally forgotten about by the time the show ended.
Sheamus Loses To Kidd: I don't understand having Sheamus and Rusev both wrestle on Raw before facing each other for the United States Championship on the Network exclusive post-Raw show. So, I didn't like having Sheamus wrestling Tyson Kidd in a non-title match. I certainly didn't like seeing Sheamus lose. I get that it was s count out loss after Kidd's heel move of using his wife Natalya as a shield and distraction. But, I am so sick of having champions losing these non-title matches. And it particularly made no sense to me to give Sheamus a loss when you are trying to build him up as the one who can actually defeat Rusev for the first time later in the night.
Rushing Things: I already talked about how WWE rushed things with The Authority and Randy Orton storyline. That was just one example of a rushed storyline on this week's show. Another example was having Mark Henry vs. The Big Show facing one week after Henry turned on Show on last week's Raw. They followed up on it on Smackdown, and then had them facing right away on the next Raw. WWE should have spent a few weeks building to their first match. That way, they can get the fans to care more about the match (so that they aren't sitting quietly during it) and build anticipation for it. WWE also rushed into Sheamus vs. Rusev. I already talked about how desperate WWE seems in trying to get Network subscribers in November. Having Sheamus vs. Rusev for the US Title on a Network exclusive post-Raw special felt the same way. And it felt rushed considering that Rusev and Lana first announced their intentions to challenge for the US Title on last week's Smackdown. I didn't like having a match after Raw considering how long Raw was (at about 3 hours 17 minutes I believe). After all of that, I have to stay tuned for even longer to see another match? Ideally, they would not have had this match after Raw and they would not have had it on this week's Raw as it was too soon and again, WWE did nothing to build up to it or make the fans want to see that match. That being said, if WWE was set on having this match, I would have rather had it as the main event, which would have given them an alternative main event in order to save Orton vs. Rollins for next week.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com's WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at his NEW email address - firstname.lastname@example.org.
For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell's views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET's "Hitlist" section here.
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