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The familiar “da ding” of the Anonymous Raw General Manager certainly didn’t inspire confidence in a fair shake for the WWE Universe when Daniel Bryan’s tenure running Raw came to an end last week, and the sinister laptop wasted no time in stirring up trouble when he (she? Hornswoggle?) took over the reins of the red brand. In fact, the Anonymous GM took advantage of a verbal spat between John Cena and Seth Rollins to make a Tables Match between the two at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs with Cena’s No. 1 contendership at stake.
That led to a brawl between Cena, Rollins, Kane, Big Show, Erick Rowan, Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, Luke Harper and J&J Security that culminated in a Triple Powerbomb of the Cenation leader through a table. When the dust had settled, the GM had corralled the chaos into a pair of contests for later in the evening: Rowan vs. Big Show, and a Six-Man battle of Cena, Ziggler & Ryback vs. Kane, Rollins & Harper. Bring back The Nexus and it’s just like old times.
Uso Craziness might be making a comeback yet. The former champions won the right to battle The Miz & Damien Mizdow by surviving a rare Tag Team Turmoil tournament to become No. 1 contenders to the twin titles, though the brief bracket was fraught with drama. A now Cosmic Key–less Gold & Stardust were upended by The New Day’s Big E & Kofi Kingston only moments into the contest, only to return and rob them of a win over the new tandem of Cesaro & Tyson Kidd.
The Usos were next to enter the ring, and took advantage of their late entry to turn the tables against the two technicians, despite Kidd’s timely use of Natalya as a human shield. The final entrants, Adam Rose & The Bunny, squabbled so much that all The Usos had to do was stay in it long enough to pin one of them and claim the win. The biggest development, however, came after the match when The Miz offered to put Naomi in touch with a producer after seeing her music video. Awesome?
The revelation that Erick Rowan possesses genius-level IQ doesn’t seem in line with his desire to fight Big Show, but the former heavy-hitter of The Wyatt Family definitely proved he’s smarter — and meaner — than one would assume when he finally got his “bully” one-on-one in the ring after a week of skirmishes. Even though Show’s early dominance in the match seemed to foretell an abrupt ending to Rowan’s emergence, Rowan held his own with a series of clubbing forearms that spilled the giant over the top rope. The former World Champion put an end to the upstart by slamming him over the head with the steel steps, though one doesn’t get to be a classically trained guitarist by quitting after a little adversity. Smart money says this isn’t over yet.
The new and improved Fandango’s spotless record continued another week, though he hardly has himself or Rosa Mendes to thank for it. Rather, the revamped fiend merely reaped the benefits of a backstage sneak attack on Zeb Colter, which caused Jack Swagger to forfeit his scheduled contest against Fandango. Unsurprisingly, Rusev claimed responsibility and came to the ring to crow with Lana over his sneak attack with a modified Pledge of Allegiance. Instead of a hand over his heart, though, The Super Athlete got a fist to the face from the former World Heavyweight Champion Swagger, who took vengeance on Rusev by administering such a beating it took a squad of WWE officials to pry Swagger loose.
His titles may be stunt ones, but Damien Mizdow has a very real victory to his name as a Tag Team Champion over one of the men he defeated to win the precious titles in the first place: Fernando of Los Matadores. Impressively, he did so with the “move Miz made famous,” reversing Fernando’s sunset flip into a Figure-Four Leglock. More impressively, he did so despite Jimmy Uso threatening severe bodily harm to The Miz himself, having misconstrued Miz’s offer of talent representation to his wife, Naomi, earlier in the night. Moments after Mizdow’s victory, Uso strolled right up to The Awesome One at commentary and clobbered him square across the Moneymaker, leaving Miz in a mix of shock and pain and Mizdow in an imitation thereof.
Bray Wyatt’s a big one for sending messages. Two weeks before he battles Dean Ambrose in the scattered debris of a Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match, The Eater of Worlds sent a big dispatch to his maniacal foe, first by feasting upon R-Truth and then with a sermon about a sinister variation on Jacob’s Ladder. “The Man of 1,000 Truths’” taunts clearly struck a nerve in The Lunatic Fringe’s fraying brain, as the former U.S. Champion stormed the ring and sent Wyatt scurrying. Ambrose then dismantled Wyatt’s signature talisman, the rocking chair, before his eyes, an act that caused Wyatt more pain than any table, ladder or chair ever could.
Looks like AJ Lee has at least one ally in the locker room, despite The Bella Twins’ insistence to the contrary. The WWE Universe took to the WWE App to select a partner for the former Divas Champion in her match against the “Total Divas” stars, and their selection — Naomi — proved to be clutch and then some for The Black Widow. Not only that, but Naomi’s timely neutralization of Brie Bella also left Divas Champion Nikki vulnerable to a Black Widow from AJ that forced a submission victory. Might a title rematch be on the horizon?
Smash ’em with a chair, put ’em through a table, slam ’em through a ladder, and the stalwart remnants of Team Cena still get the job done. For all the effort Kane, Seth Rollins and Luke Harper put into brutalizing Cena, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback in Raw’s opening, the Survivor Series victors managed to eke out a narrow Six-Man victory in Raw’s main event, besting the Team Authority stragglers in a grueling, lengthy battle.
Once again, the hero of the bout was Ziggler, who escaped a wild brawl to pin Harper with a sunset flip. But the night’s big savior was Erick Rowan, who came out of the blue to even the odds when Big Show joined the former Authority cronies in beating down the fan favorites. Steel steps ablazin’, Rowan clobbered Harper, Show and Rollins into unconsciousness before Cena, Ryback and Ziggler incapacitated Big Show and allowed “Big Red” to get his retribution. As the night’s post-Raw podcast host would say, “Oh, hell yeah!”
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) defeated Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (w/ Natalya), Stardust & Goldust, The Bunny & Adam Rose & A New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) in a Tag Team Turmoil #1 Contender’s Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship (19:10)
- Erick Rowan defeated Big Show by disqualification (4:20)
- Fandango (w/ Rosa Mendes) defeated Jack Swagger via Forfeit
- Damien Mizdow (w/ The Miz) defeated Fernando (w/ El Torito) by submission (2:25)
- Bray Wyatt defeated R-Truth (4:20)
- AJ Lee & Naomi defeated The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie Bella) by submission (3:30)
- Ryback, Dolph Ziggler & John Cena defeated Seth Rollins, Kane & Luke Harper (25:15)
Other on-screen talent