November 17, 2015 by Joey Keogh
It’s the go home show for Survivor Series but you wouldn’t know it judging by the amount of times the PPV is shilled on tonight’s show – are we sure it’s this Sunday? Is there even a themed match? No? Hello? With Rollins, Cena and Nikki Bella missing, the tumble-weeds are rattling around the arena tonight. To be fair, though, the card is pretty stacked to make up for it, with a super-cool Neville/Kevin Owens match kicking things off. Before that, though, there’s an ill-advised moment of silence for Paris and that super-long Taker entrance with the druids, which quickly devolves into yet another advertisement for Brawn Strongman.
Bray can only choose one other member of his team to fight opposite the old timers on Sunday, but if you think it’s going to be anyone but Piss Stain over there, well, you’re wrong. One, solitary dude boos the entire time Taker is cutting a promo. He gets even louder when Wyatt summons thunder, not lightning, and simultaneously gives all of the druids sheep masks. That guy came here to make his views known, y’all. There’s a bit of a tussle, with Kane and his Da coming out on top, but suffice to say this shit builds about as much anticipation for their match as Taker can muster to raise his arms during his intro.
Luckily, a superb match-up between Owens and Neville follows, during which the commentators overuse the word disdain and Cole manages to mangle infuriated so it comes out “infuriarated”. I know I say this every week, but he’s the absolute worst. Especially when he’s involved with the Divas, but more on that later. An insane snap German Suplex in the corner, a gnarly Red Arrow and a stunning reverse Frankensteiner are just three of the jaw-dropping spots Neville hits in an effort to beat Owens, who steals the victory with a pop-up Powerbomb in what is easily the coolest match of the night.
In direct opposition to the high of the opener, R-Truth gets his ass handed to him by Tyler Breeze next. The most entertaining part of this bout sees Breeze’s lady Summer Rae reapplying lip balm midway through. Seriously though, Breeze goes from a thrilling début opposite Dean Ambrose to getting a jobber entrance and just barely beating R fucking Truth? What the hell is that? Speaking of Ambrose, he beats Ziggler (who’s still dressing like a roadie for Mötley Crüe, in case anyone was wondering) for his guaranteed place in the semi-final in an over-long match after which he cuts a promo that makes it seem as though he’s vying to be Class President, as opposed to the WHC.
A 6-man tag follows, the stars of which are, of course, The New Day who kick things off gloriously by making fun of whichever Uso got injured at Wrestlemania. Ryback, The Usos’ new partner, has been tasked with wearing all of his merch tonight, covering his hands with “Feed Me More” emblazoned fingerless gloves, warming his legs with three varieties of fluorescent “Big Guy” legwarmers and even shilling a nifty man bag with a big ol’ R emblazoned on it. The lucky kids in the front row get most of the spoils, even though they were most likely hoping for some of those sweet Cena sweatbands tonight. This ends in a DQ, but The Usos’ music plays regardless. Take from that what you will.
Backstage, Trips is accosting Cesaro in the locker room, draping himself over a chair backwards to give the impression he isn’t just some crusty old man even though he’s clearly struggling to be awake this late. Cesaro is not moved, and quickly makes his way to the ring where Roman Reigns is waiting after disingenuously fist-bumping about ten people en route before cutting a promo with about as much enthusiasm as The Usos greeted their new partner earlier. They also play his music twice, for some godforsaken reason. Anyway, trust Reigns to make someone as talented as Cesaro look boring as hell. Try as he might, he just cannot convince us that he has a shot at winning.
And, sure enough, the Superman overcomes the odds yet again to emerge victorious with the eye-rollingly dull Spear/Superman Punch combo. To add insult to injury, the Dudleyz annihilate The Ascension in about three seconds immediately after – for no apparent reason. Backstage again, Renee has cornered Alberto Del Rio, Zeb Colter and Triple H for a chat about allies and whether this angle is a bit racist/insensitive given the trajectory of current events. The entire time this is happening, ADR looks like he’s wearing only his US title and it’s very distracting. Not so his quarter final match opposite Kalisto, which is peppered with botches and an ill-advised attempt to remove his opponent’s mask.
Del Rio is better than this and it feels like he’s floundering a bit here. Perhaps he’s mad that he’s come back only to win the US title and nothing else for a very long time. It’s not a bad Main Event exactly, but it isn’t nearly as exciting as the opener which, it has to be said, is one of the strongest in recent memory. The ladies sort of headline tonight’s RAW, however, with a lively contract signing chaired by Cole in the same, ill-fitting suit he’s been wearing since the seventies. Happily, Paige and Charlotte talk over him throughout, relegating his appearance to fleeting at best, embarrassingly out of place at worst.
Both women cut rousing promos about family, honour, friendship and what it means to be the Divas champion before it all devolves into some good old fashioned kicking and punching and rolling about on the announce table. Paige gets her favourite jacket torn up and does not look happy about it. Charlotte is relieved to find her extensions are still attached to her head. There should have been more of a build up for this match. The Divas also should have had their own, separate bout tonight regardless. How is it that, even when the ladies are front and centre the whole night, they still get short shrift in the end?
Rating: B- (give the goddamn Divas a chance already)