Last week, the WWE inexplicably decided to turn Ryback heel and face within the span of the evening, shortly after bringing him back to a surprisingly loud face reaction. Luke Harper stepped into Ryback’s spot on Team Authority, though, so their Survivor Series team is set at the beginning of the show as Seth Rollins, Kane, Mark Henry, Rusev, and Harper. All of the heels. It would have been more interesting, perhaps, if Team Authority was the actual Authority: Rollins, Kane, Triple H, and the security duo of Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble. But that would make The Authority decided underdogs, and only John Cena is allowed to overcome the odds. So Raw begins with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and their assembled superteam addressing the fans, covering the evolution of WWE authority figures. Triple H points out, quite accurately, that it’s odd that Vince McMahon gets support from the fans when he once ruled the WWE with an iron fist, doing his damnedest to suppress what the fans wanted so he could run the company in his image. Now, he says, that’s what he and Stephanie McMahon are doing; the evil emperor has beget the evil empire. Triple H says that, without them, WWE would quickly become WCW. I mean, Vince McMahon could come back and run the place, appoint a new General Manager, or we could do away with the long dead, buried, exhumed, and beaten corpse of the evil authority figure for good, but it makes plenty of sense that the world ends for Triple H if he’s not there running it. It’s what he’s been gunning for his entire life, he got it, and he’s never letting go. Like all of Triple H’s raw-opening promos, there’s a lot of good logic and subtle heel work—Stephanie McMahon even quotes Walt Whitman in relation to Seth Rollins—but it’s slow and noticeably long. The best part is that Luke Harper has dropped his horrible faux-swamp accent and is his own dirty, sweaty man. Oh, and Ryback isn’t on a team. My dude the BIG GUY comes out on cue with a BIG GUY WEIGHTLIFTING BELT and has something to say.
Ryback’s weird charisma is still more evident in his facial tics and mannerisms than on the microphone, but they’re finally giving him a chance to speak. It’s smart, as if they’re learning from the mistakes WCW made in not evolving Goldberg’s character at all during his 173-0 winning streak. Kane continues his good work as a sycophantic corporate stooge in his halfhearted apology to Ryback while Stephanie McMahon cues up footage from last year (WOAH, LAST YEAR IS A THING THAT HAPPENED) where Cena says Ryback doesn’t have a dick. Very, very smart. If I were Ryback and had to sit through half-hearted Cena comedy, I’d probably decline to join his shitty team, too. Ryback continues to assert that the only team he plays for is his own, and you can hear individual people in the audience groan in displeasure because yeah, it’s stupid to rebuild Ryback as a monster face and then have him waffle on whether or not the dude who lives to fight is going to actually fight. Triple H praises him for being a coward and promises to destroy Team Cena. He does so by announcing Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler for the goddamn Intercontinental Championship.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match – Dolph Ziggler (champion) vs. Luke Harper: They’ve been building to this via videos of Harper’s eyes going crazy, and by having Harper deliver a knocked out Ziggler to the feet of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at the end of last week’s episode. Seth Rollins is on commentary and Ziggler is none too pleased to hear that his title is on the line. Harper has an absolutely incredible look to him if you can get beyond his jeans and wifebeater outfit (which is what he wore on the indies, too). There’s something incredibly menacing about a gigantic man who enters a fight with a look of serenity on his face. Ziggler gets taken out by Noble and Mercury before the bell rings, and Rollins hits him in the face with the Money in the Bank briefcase. It’s about decimation, you understand? Ziggler struggles around while the referee checks on him. Dolph gets to his feet and demands the referee start the match. Oh yes, babyface fire. The bell rings and Harper hits Ziggler with a big boot (which misses by a mile, but whatever), but Ziggler kicks out at two. Harper picks Ziggler up and drills him with a sit-out powerbomb, but Ziggler kicks out of that, too. Rollins can’t believe it on commentary, nor should he. Harper goes for another boot to Ziggler, who is in the corner, but Ziggler moves out of the way and Harper goes flying over the top rope and to the floor. Back from commercial, Harper has the advantage despite that setback, hurling Ziggler to the ground by his hair. Harper picks Ziggler up for a suplex, then sets him down and punches him in the jaw. It’s all Harper as he maintains his advantage on the ground, headlocking Ziggler and gator-rolling him around the ring. Ziggler’s quickness allows him a flurry, which culminates in a fameasser (no idea what this “famouser” business is) for a two count. Harper catches a superkick and turns it into a black hole slam for another two count. Ziggler is kicking out of a billion things that look like finishes. Harper goes for his discus lariat and Ziggler hits a superkick for another two! Harper goes for another powerbomb, but Ziggler punches his way out of it. Harper throws Ziggler off, nails him with the discus clothesline, and gets the win! Winner: Luke Harper via pinfall (New Champion). Grade: B
Under different circumstances, that would have been a huge match, but we’re building to a pay-per-view and it’s otherwise just nice to finally have some new blood holding the Intercontinental Championship. Luke Harper is the first member of the Wyatt Family to win a championship, which is just odd to think about given how great those three were together. Harper shakes Rollins’ hand, settling whatever Wyatt/Shield beef may have existed between the two, and Rollins curbstomps Ziggler. Everybody poses over Ziggler’s corpse with their titles and briefcases and whatnot, and nobody blames Ziggler for being stupid enough to take the championship match despite his obvious injuries. The announce team gets hype about “Grumpy the Cat,” because nobody knows how to transition in and out of serious segments to comic relief.
The Kofi Kingston New Day promo plays. Lord knows why. But hey, Kofi Kingston gets to speak! Backstage, The Miz and Damien Mizdow make a pitch to Grumpy Cat, who responds as one expects a cat to respond to a human being: with silence. I’m not sure why this is a popular thing and hope that it’s appearance on Raw means that our long national nightmare is over. Damien Sandow continues to steal the show as Miz’s stunt double. And then the Exotic Express comes out because we need to kill this crowd dead.
Adam Rose vs. Tyson Kidd: The Bunny steals Adam Rose‘s entrance, and this makes Rose angry. This is a rematch from last week, when The Bunny cost Adam Rose everything by going to a frog splash for unknown reasons, which distracted Rose long enough for Kidd to get him in the Sharpshooter. Cole continues to stick up for an adult male in a terrible Halloween suit, calling him a “pretty good athlete in his own right,” which we’ve seen zero evidence for. JBL rightfully mocks this proclaimation. Rose wrestles angrily, kicking the stuffing out of Kidd, but he admonishes The Bunny for breathing and Kidd takes over. Oh, Natalya is there ringside because marriage is his gimmick, but Kidd isn’t the focus here. Rose hits a spinebuster and gets a two. The Bunny starts flirting with Natalya. This distracts Rose (because he is an idiot) who ends up in the Sharpshooter again (because he is an idiot). Rose calls for The Bunny’s help (because he is an idiot), but The Bunny is hitting on Natalya so hard he misses it, so Rose taps out. Winner: Tyson Kidd via submission. Grade: D+
They don’t go anywhere with Kidd and Natalya’s estranged marriage because I guess a man in a bunny costume isn’t exactly a threat to cuckold a pro wrestler. Rose tries to attack The Bunny, but the dude gives Rose the slip and starts humping him from behind. He then hops away, displaying some of his natural athleticism, and pantomimes humping on the stage. And then we get a video of people buying tickets for WrestleMania. The show so far tonight is a good reminder that WrestleMania tickets almost always seem like a crapshoot in November. Daniel Bryan does his YES! chant, which hopefully means his shoulder is good. Please let it be good. Please.
Bray Wyatt comes to the ring, his way lit by thousands of cell phones. Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt is the match I’m most interested in at Survivor Series, so it’s good that they’re going to be in the ring before then—last week’s pre-taped promos were not satisfying at all. Wyatt preaches to the crowd about love, loss, and danger. Poor Dean Ambrose. Minus Harper and Erick Rowan, Wyatt is still a commanding presence on the microphone. He explains his logic in his usual circular way (always on a vague mission of mercy, that Bray Wyatt) and offers Ambrose a chance at salvation so long as he chooses to follow him. Dean Ambrose replies from the back. He’s sick of hearing Bray talk. Instead of charging the ring and fighting, he keeps responding to all the things he’s tired of hearing about. Oh wait, it’s a video recording, and Ambrose is actually in the arena. Bray looks around for Ambrose, who flies into the ring and starts flailing away at him. This year has proven that there is nobody better at making a brawl look wild and out of control as Dean Ambrose, who manages to split his lip. The brawl is brief because they want you to sign up for the Network and watch the match that way. The announcers say that Ziggler was carried out from that match earlier, which might have been a good thing to show on screen. What do I know?
Ryback vs. Cesaro: Poor Cesaro makes his entrance during the commercial break. His task tonight is to lead Ryback to an acceptable showcase match, and I’m pumped because it’s my favorite wrestler vs. my ironic favorite wrestler, even though I know what the outcome is going to be. Cesaro and Ryback go through a chain wrestling routine before Ryback presses the advantage, body slamming Cesaro and hitting him with a splash for two. Cesaro responds with a European uppercut and a suplex, but Ryback gets up first. Nobody at the announce desk notices this because John Cena is Hulk Hogan and Raw is WCW Monday Nitro in 1995. Ryback throws Cesaro to the mat by his head and suplexes him on the rebound. This gets a one count. Cole is kinda worried about the succession plan should The Authority lose, and Cesaro wakes him up by hitting Ryback with an exploder suplex. John Cena is backstage, watching this match on television for some reason. Cesaro continues to work Ryback over, but Ryback gets a Thesz press and plays basketball with Cesaro’s head. This is decent, as good as a Ryback match gets, but the crowd is dead even when Cesaro surprises Ryback with a powerbomb out of the corner. Cesaro double stomps Ryback, gets a two count, and transitions into a headlock. Cesaro deadlifts Ryback into a body slam and takes time to admire himself, which gives Ryback some hope, but this match is all about seeing if Ryback is capable of working from underneath a heel, so Cesaro gets more offense, more than he’s gotten in the past month. Ryback gets clotheslined over the top rope, and when we come back after the break he’s coming back from a headlock. Jerry Lawler calls Cesaro his first name (Antonio), and my heart flutters. Cena continues to watch this match, so the conversation flows back to him and his quest to complete his team. Cesaro goes for a double axe handle, but Ryback shrugs off the weak blow and hurls Cesaro across the ring with a belly-to-belly suplex. It’s all Ryback from there. He shoves Cesaro down, gives him a spinebuster, and is momentarily frustrated in his attempt to hit the Meathook Clothesline. Ryback hits a splash from the second turnbuckle and powerbombs Cesaro shortly thereafter, all awkward muscle, and gets a two. Cesaro slips out of the Shellshock and hits a beautiful German suplex! He keeps the hold locked, but Ryback elbows out of it and Cesaro staggers to the corner. Cesaro dodges Ryback, who charges into the turnbuckle and stumbles back into a second German suplex. Cesaro keeps the waistlock on and hits a third, then brings Ryback up again for a fourth! He bridges into a pinning attempt, but Ryback kicks out at two. Cesaro goes to the top rope and dives off with a perfect Shawn Michaels elbow drop and gets another two. Zero fucks given by the live audience, even for the ridiculous comeback move from Ryback seconds after the elbow drop:
That nets Ryback a two count and an opportunity to hit the Meathook Clothesline. Cesaro counters with an uppercut, then his pop-up uppercut, but his upset bid is stymied when Ryback kicks out. Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer, but the time he takes cracking his neck in preparation for the deadlift is all the time Ryback needs to get him up into Shellshock, but Cesaro slips out of that and gets a two count with a roll-up! Ryback ducks a clothesline, hits one of his own, and catches Cesaro with the Shellshock for the three. Winner: Ryback via pinfall. Grade: B
I thought everything here was solid. Cesaro is one of the three best wrestlers in the world and is capable of putting on a clinic with anybody. That’s what the last three or so minutes of this match were: An incredible display of power move after power move, with a little bit of sweet science thrown in because Cesaro is just too good for words. At the end of the day, Ryback shows he can hang after a year in the wilderness, and Cesaro gets a good showing on Raw. Like everybody else, I’d love it if Cesaro were at the top of the card, but I’m not worried about him at all. They know they have a future fixture in the main event in Cesaro and they can pull the trigger on him at any time. Ryback is being given a second chance with the roster depleted, and his push is more of a now-or-never kind of deal. Backstage, Renee Young asks John Cena about what he was watching on television. Cena, decked out in Hulk Hogan colors, talks about how everybody’s future is on the line. That’s dubious. Cena’s looking forward to the contract signing. Renee wants to know if Ryback is on Cena’s team, but Cena knows he’s on Team Ryback. He seems pretty sad about this, but he told the man a year ago that he had no dick. You reap what you sow, brother.
Rusev vs. Heath Slater: This is a non-title match because Heath Slater is involved. Rusev, who is being booked as the biggest babyface in the history of wrestling but is heel because he’s not from around here, gets actual thumbs downs from the fans sitting ringside, like this is a show being taped in front of a live studio audience at Walt Disney Studios. There is no limit to the awesomeness that is Rusev. Rusev flexes a bunch and kisses his title, because an asshole bad guy shows how much he loves the championship he won fair and square. Before Heath Slater can make it out to the ring, Lana talks about the disrespect shown to Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit. I suspect a lot of people in the crowd knew what she was talking about. Lana talks trash about Kim Kardashian breaking the internet, calling her our “Socialite Queen” before saying that no American woman compares to her “ravishing figure,” which is really out of character, but whatever. She says she has her own topless photo to show the crowd that will have “all of you American men drooling.” The crowd goes along with her when she asks if they want to see it, and are rewarded thusly:
The sad, straight men in the crowd shake their heads in disappointment while Lana calls them pathetic, because she is the best. This brings out Heath Slater, who is dressed like Apollo Creed in Rocky IV. He cuts a pro-America promo on his way to the ring while JBL gets the gag, calling Slater “The Prince of Monte Fisto,” which I want on my gravestone. Slater takes off his jacket, revealing a sparkly vest! Slater calls Rusev a son of a bitch, and Rusev superkicks him right in his stupid face. He stomps Slater in the back, locks on the Accolade, and that’s it. Winner: Rusev via submission. Grade: B-
Rusev celebrates in front of the Russian flag while Slater crawls around on the mat in his rad vest. I realize I’m giving a really high grade to a really short match, but as a segment that was terrific, as every Rusev/Lana segment is. Grumpy Cat is still hanging out with The Miz and Damien Mizdow backstage. Miz is desperate to do a film with Grumpy Cat. Erick Rowan shows up wanting to play with Grumpy Cat, sporting a Reichsadler on the pocket of his shirt. Rowan steals the stuffed Grumpy Cat Damien Mizdow was holding and wanders off. Nobody knows what the hell to do about this.
The Big Show vs. Sheamus: The Big Show comes out for a match against an unnamed opponent, but is met by Stephanie McMahon. Steph has been watching WWE’s fictive documentary series Monday Night War and chastises Big Show for being billed as Andre the Giant’s son, because it’s never too late to make fun of that garbage. Stephanie McMahon points out that The Big Show, despite his size and skill, has always been in someone else’s shadow. She wants Big Show to join The Authority, but should have thought about that before spending the summer making him cry. Her offer is to induct Big Show into the Hall of Fame as an active competitor. He knows the Hall of Fame is a gimmick, brother, but he turns her down. This brings out Sheamus, who calls Stephanie “Mrs. Haitch,” which rules. He’s proud to be part of Team Cena and he can’t be bought either. She wasn’t offering, fella. Stephanie tells Sheamus that he’s not an American citizen and that she might, y’know, just lose his visa and get him deported before Survivor Series. She then books a match between Show and Sheamus, saying that the winner of the match has a chance to win a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The two do some friendly grappling in silence. That breaks down quickly though, as Big Show and Sheamus both have quick tempers, and the two get to clubberin’ each other around the ring. Big Show back body drops Sheamus over the top rope and hurls him over the crowd barricade. After the break, Big Show signals for the Chokeslam, but Sheamus fights out of it and clubs Big Show’s chest a few times, getting a two count after a knee drop. JBL is hyped on one of these men wrestling for the title, but it’s more important to Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole that they put that aside and fight for John Cena. Big Show maintains his advantage, eventually locking Sheamus in a very cool-looking inverted figure four leglock.
All of this is pretty good, but slower and less important than the marquee matches they’ve had in the past, and the crowd just is not helping. Sheamus makes his comeback on Big Show, but is cut off by a big boot. Sheamus rolls out of the way of an elbow drop and goes to the top rope. He leaps off, but Big Show spears him out of the skies. Big Show goes for another Chokeslam but Sheamus gives it the slip and hits him with White Noise for a two count. Big Show catches the Brogue Kick an hits his Chokeslam finally, getting a two for the effort. Show climbs to the middle turnbuckle, but Sheamus catches him and lifts Show onto his shoulders, dropping him back to the canvas. With both men down, Rusev and Mark Henry hit the ring. Rusev kicks Sheamus on the jaw and starts kicking away at Big Show, and it appears that neither man will be getting a shot at Brock Lesnar’s title. Stephanie McMahon is a cruel mistress. Winner: No Contest due to outside interference. Grade: B-
Outside the ring, Mark Henry puts Sheamus through the announce desk with the World’s Strongest Slam. Rusev watches, then puts Big Show into the Accolade. It was a set-up all along, dammit. The crowd comes alive to chant for John Cena (which, wow!), but John Cena stays in the back, watching Rusev put Big Show to sleep. What a friend.
Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella: Brie Bella skips out to the ring to AJ Lee‘s music, wearing her clothes, and this has Jerry Lawler very confused because the apparently he can only tell women apart by the clothes they wear. Nikki Bella comes out, and we have an “exhibition match.” AJ Lee comes out non-plussed by Nikki’s mind games and reports to the wrecked commentary table. The fans in the audience chant “CM PUNK” because they’re mutant scumbags. Nikki does some jumping jacks in the ring and gives her sister an arm drag. AJ compliments Brie’s choice of clothes, but doesn’t sound nearly as impassioned about what she’s doing as she did last year. Honestly, that’s understandable. She does a better job talking about the Bella feud than the WWE has with a slew of announcers, writers, and video packages though, so there’s that. Nikki hits Brie with a series of backbreakers and taunts AJ. She tortures her sister, pulling her around the ring by the hair, but AJ distracts Nikki, allowing Brie to roll her up for the surprise victory. Winner: Brie Bella via pinfall. Grade: C-
Their match at Hell in a Cell was much better, but it was telling a different story. After the match, Nikki abuses Brie for disobeying her orders. This let’s AJ slip in and attack Nikki with a running knee. Brie sees that and takes it as an opportunity to do Daniel Bryan’s YES! chant, which is only really interesting here because Daniel Bryan started doing that…when AJ Lee was his valet. Perhaps remembering that, AJ kicks Brie in the gut and DDTs her. She doesn’t care about either Bella, just her title. Very convoluted storytelling.
Big E. Langston appears in these A New Day Is Coming vignettes, doing a decent Jessie Jackson impersonation. But that’s kind of problematic because a crew of white writers are writing black pastor talk for their black wrestlers, with no defined purpose. Just debut the stable, already. Pull the trigger on everything. Stop being slow. Backstage, John Cena decides to ask Ryback to join his team again. He calls Ryback “big man,” so Ryback informs him that his proper nickname is “THE BIG GUY.” Ryback remembers that Cena said he had no dick. Cena says that he saw the footage, as if it was shot in secret and not on last year’s episodes of Raw, but thinks he deserves some credit for at least insulting Ryback to his face. Cena wants Ryback to control his own destiny. Ryback wants Cena to leave his locker room. Cena points out that it’s strange that the dude who wants to eat more is going to shy away from the big kid table. Good stuff.
The Usos & Los Matadores vs. Goldust, Stardust, The Miz, and Damien Mizdow: The WWE has a Breaking News SMS System, and they used it to announce a Fatal Four Way match for the WWE Tag Team Championship. So, as a preview, the four teams involved will be in an eight-man tag, Usos and Matadores against the Dust Brothers, Miz and Mizdow. Even without much of a direction (and minus The Shield and The Wyatts), the WWE’s tag team division is better now than it’s been in some tome. Miz and Mizdow are a great addition to it. Complimenting things The Miz is doing still feels very strange. Mizdow continues aping The Miz on the apron, missing phantom clotheslines and bumping to the floor when The Miz is sent crashing to the canvas. The crowd wants to see Mizdow tagged in, but Miz tags Goldust in. Los Matadores clear the ring of Goldust and Stardust and The Miz, which causes Mizdow to come into the ring, bump for nothing, and slide out of the ring. It’s such a good act that the announcers are laughing legitimately, and not at themselves. Miz goes for his terrible figure four but one of the Matadores (someday I’ll learn to tell them apart, but this is what happens when you put two sibling Puerto Ricians under masks and give them a Mexican stereotype gimmick) rolls him up for a two count, sparing us. Goldust gets in and takes over. It can’t be said enough how great Goldust is in 2014, almost a full 20 years after debuting the character. He works smarter and harder than at almost any point in his career. Mizdow finally gets the tag and hits the ring, getting one of the best reactions of the night, but Miz tags himself back in, getting booed for doing it. Mizdow again remains cool about all of this. Miz’s terrible figure four is thwarted again, but Miz tags in Stardust. The Usos finally get into the ring and go through their routine, which feels too much like a routine because “FLYING USOS” and “USO CRAZY” are rote calls for the announcers. A finisherfest follows, Stardust hits his, and that’s all she wrote. Winners: Goldust, Stardust, The Miz, and Damien Mizdow via pinfall. Grade: B-
They go backstage to Grumpy Cat. Michael Cole continues calling Grumpy Cat a “he” despite his being corrected a billion times. They say she is watching the show, but she’s sleeping the dreamless sleep of any non-fan forced to watch Raw. The circumstances of poor Team Cena are spelled out. Everybody except John Cena is injured due to the evil machinations of The Authority. Next week, Larry the Cable Guy will be the guest host of Raw. Kill me now.
In the main event slot tonight, that time-tested wrestling cliche: The contract signing. For the third or fourth time tonight, we see Team Cena taken out one by one while The Authority make their way to the ring. Ziggler: Curbstomped. Sheamus: World’s Strongest Slammed. Big Show: Accoladed. Triple H gloats about his fortune, saying that The Authority will stand tall because he loves the WWE more than life itself. A touching story. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon give Team Cena a chance to back down and refuse to Rise Above Hate. Team Cena (for some reason not called The Cenation) comes out. It’s just John Cena. Despite the odds, Cena marches down to the ring, looking ready to take on the world. Cena says that his team will win regardless of the setbacks and that The Authority is done. Regardless of what Stephanie McMahon thinks, it’s over, Jack. Because they forgot to take out John Cena. It’s a really good promo, Cena coming with the kind of fire that’s often absent from even his big match promos. He goes around the ring picking fans to join his team. There’s a dude dressed as a nun, a guy decked out as Captain Cactus Jack, and two tiny children. Even with that team, he says, he’s got a shot. His team’s got passion. The Authority is full of suck-ups and sell-outs. Cena starts calling his shots: Kane will go down first because he looks like an old dad stuck in a go-nowhere middle management job. Then Luke Harper, then Rusev and Mark Henry, and, finally, Seth Rollins. And poor Triple H is going to have to sit there and watch it. Stephanie McMahon has enough of that and slaps the taste out of Cena’s mouth. He wants to take the whole team on by himself, but Dolph Ziggler’s music hits because he’s impervious to weeks of beatdowns. Big Show comes down, woken up from his nap, and now it’s three-on-five. That’s 80% of the team, according to Lawler, because fractions are hard. Luke Harper’s music hits, which confuses the new Intercontinental Champion…and Erick Rowan comes down to the ring! His shirt no longer has a Nazi eagle on it, presumably because his conversation with the stuffed Grumpy Cat has caused him to see the error of his ways. It’s a legitimate surprise, one that doesn’t make much sense, but I’m cool with it. Steph gives everybody a chance to reconsider…and CESARO’S MUSIC HITS FOR REASONS I DON’T COMPREHEND BUT THAT I CAN TOTALLY GET BEHIND. OH WAIT, HE SWERVES CENA AND JOINS UP WITH THE AUTHORITY. YES. YEAH CESARO. YOU GO, YOU GLORIOUS ASSHOLE. And then Ryback’s music hits and The Authority gets sad. THE BIG GUY hits the ring and it’s pandemonium to close the show. Triple H stops Cena from hitting the Attitude Adjustment, but he ends up in the ring with Ryback, alone. That allows Cena to recover and put Triple H through a table. Team Cena stands tall while JBL references Don Quixote and everything looks interesting and new and full of potential. It’s a miracle, too, as the show went on in silence for the bulk of its three hours and the main event of a pay-per-view being used to sell the WWE Network to a largely skeptical audience may have been decided by pulling names out of a hat, but I have no idea who is winning any of the matches this Sunday, and that’s the way things are supposed to be.