Survivor Series Theories Abound! Wrasslin’ Wednesday 11/19/14

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Derek: We’re coming to you live (two days later) from Roanoke, Virginia! There were no Roanoke sports teams to pander to. What a bummer.

Will: They could have shouted out the Roanoke Maroons! Tatum McKee was just named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week! Crap, I’m already off topic. Onward!

Derek: We have a lot to get to this week. Survivor Series is this Sunday, and the main event teams have been finalized. Luke Harper “defeated” Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship. There was a cat. Larry the Cable Guy is appearing next week. Oh, and some stuff happened between Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose. Maybe we can talk about that after the cat and Larry the Cable Guy, if there’s time.

Most importantly, the end of Raw gave us something I’ve been longing for: a good ol’ fashioned bro down between Team Cena and Team Authority.

So, yay, Ryback is on Team Cena. Or at least he signed a 10-day contract with Team Cena before his rights revert back to Team Ryback. Cool, if somewhat telegraphed.

Unfortunately, once again, we were forced to deal with the absence of Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Will, you and I had high hopes for Vince’s return. We haven’t seen him since. If Vince isn’t going to appear, does this pretty much guarantee a victory for Team Authority at Survivor Series?

We both had theories for how this would play out, but they involved a more hands-on approach from Mr. McMahon. That seems unlikely to happen. Could he still be a factor? How will this play out? Are you at least a little excited that my long-shot Stone Cold theory is slightly more in play if Vince isn’t going to be involved?

Will: I’m puzzled and saddened by Vince’s absence, but it keeps the spotlight on the main Authority players: Triple H, Stephanie, Seth Rollins and company. I don’t agree with this trajectory myself — I’m firmly in the MOAR VINCE camp — but I understand if WWE doesn’t want to become too Vince-centric. If it increases the Stone Cold theory by even a fraction of a percent, then I’m all in.

While Raw’s third act was thoroughly unsurprising, I have no idea what will happen in the big match at Survivor Series. Maybe Vince will reappear and bring an as-yet unknown enforcer with him. Maybe Randy Orton will show up — out of nowhere, as only he can — to ruin the Authority’s night. Maybe the lights will go out and Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose will clean house together. I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen, which means either A) I must tip my cap to the WWE decision-makers, or B) I’m an idiot. Or maybe both.

Derek: The way I see it, this will end one of four ways.

Scenario 1: Nothing happens. Team Authority wins, they show up on Raw to gloat about it, and we find ourselves in the exact same place we were in a month ago. This all turns out to be an elaborate ruse to make us forget that this is the second straight pay-per-view that the WWE World Heavyweight Champion not only failed to defend his title, but failed to even make an appearance. The bookers quickly move away from this storyline, opting to go in a different direction for TLC and Royal Rumble. If this scenario comes to pass, you will not hear me say good things next Wrasslin’ Wednesday.

Will: Quick interjection: WWE has absolutely succeeded in making me forget that the biggest belt in the business is not at stake. Well done by them. Reminder to the readers: Brock Lesnar is the current heavyweight champ.

Derek: Scenario 2: Team Cena wins and a new authority figure is immediately named. In no particular order, I think this new authority figure would be either Vince, Daniel Bryan, or Bad News Barrett. Awesome but unlikely longshots would include Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, or (sigh) CM Punk. There are probably others I’m forgetting. I suppose Paul Heyman has a good shot. Anyway, this would be my favorite outcome, with my level of excitement dependent upon who they choose.

Will: This is the most exciting proposition for me. A new authority figure takes over, and the former Authority is forced to pull some underhanded stunts to reassert itself. It’s like Congress after an election!

Derek: Scenario 3: Team Cena wins and a new authority figure is not immediately named. This would launch another storyline where it is decided who the leader will be. Team Cena members probably turn on each other in an effort to be at the top. Triple H hovers around, echoing his “inmates running the asylum” promo from Monday. This could be fun, I guess.

Will: I could definitely see this happening. My bet would be on Ryback trying to take the reins, and a Cena-Ryback feud ensuing, with plenty of Ryback saying, “It’s not the Big Man. It’s the Big Guy.”

Derek: Scenario 4: Team Cena wins, but The Authority keeps power because of some heel technicality. Unless I missed it, I don’t believe there were any contracts actually signed at Monday’s excuse to throw someone through a table contract signing. Couldn’t you see Stephanie and Triple H strutting out to the ring on Monday and saying the match wasn’t official and didn’t count? This one could be fun. I’m not sure where it would go. It could have the same ending as the first scenario, which would be stupid. It could lead us to have the same match again next month, but with tables, ladders, and chairs. It could lead to Vince returning. We could do worse than this scenario.

Will: I could absolutely see this happening. There’s nothing heelier and more Authority-ian than winning on some bullshit technicality. That’d be a brilliant heel move.

Derek: Of course, the best part of wrestling is when they do something we’re not expecting and manage to mock stupid jerks like me who feel like they’ve got it all figured out. How cool would it be if Dean Ambrose interfered in the main event and destroyed The Authority, grabbed the mic and gave a “Did you think I forgot about you?!” promo? It would be a nice middle finger to those of us who have been complaining about his usage for the last month.

Speaking of which, while I promised myself I wouldn’t beat this dead horse anymore, a certain event on Raw forced my hand. (Yes, I did spend a few minutes trying to think of a good pun combining “beating a dead horse” and “Dean Ambrose.” I’m open to suggestions.)

I’m referring to the recent twists involving the former members of the Wyatt Family. First, there was Luke Harper winning the Intercontinental Championship from Dolph Ziggler. I have no problem with that. He assaulted Ziggler last week and joined Team Authority. They helped him when the match. Yeah, I’m down with that.

But Erick Rowan. My goodness, Erick Rowan. At the end of Raw, Rowan, without any reason of which we are currently aware, joined Team Cena opposite his former Wyatt Family brother.

It didn’t really make sense, since Rowan has been heeling it up for well over and year, and then suddenly joined a face team against his former tag partner with no reason given. I’m mostly cool with that, I suppose. We’ve already thrown logic out the window with Mark Henry and Rusev teaming up right after their feud. Why not?

Will: I agree that Rowan’s appearance was sudden and weird. I don’t know a meaningful thing about that guy except that he wears a goat mask for…some reason.

However, one of the fine people over at r/SquaredCircle, Reddit’s pro wrestling community, posited a theory explaining Rowan’s involvement that I think holds some water. Take it away, u/Hvitrulfr:

When Bray gave the “set free” vignettes, Harper’s backstory was portrayed in a more sinister way, while Rowan was portrayed as a scared, abused child. Harper joined Bray because he gave him the means to carry out destruction. Rowan joined him because Bray offered him protection.

So, after both being put under Bray’s spell, they carried on as The Wyatt Family, attempting to realize Bray’s vision for his “new world”.

However, after they were “set free”, Harper betrayed everything Bray Wyatt had done by joining up with The Authority. He had become part of the machine that Bray so desperately tried to make them rebel against. Rowan coming out pissed off at his former teammate makes a lot of sense, actually. If Rowan’s backstory is to be taken as kayfabe canon, it would make sense that Rowan still sees Bray as a father figure, as he saved him from his prior abuse. So why wouldn’t he attempt to fight the man who had betrayed him and everything he stood for?

I’m not in love with this idea, but there is at least logic behind it. I could see Rowan and Harper invoking these ideas during a solo feud after Survivor Series. Of course, having both parties involved in the big Cena-Authority match without actually referencing this stuff beforehand smacks of poor storytelling.

Derek: My problem with this stems from something I said last week. Specifically:

“Could they not have just had Harper and Erick Rowan rebel against Wyatt? Or have Harper rebel and have Rowan torn on whose side to join? It would be something new and interesting for Wyatt to do, and it would free up Ambrose to join the match in which he really belongs.”

So, they’ve done something similar to this pitting Harper and Rowan against one another, but still, THEY’RE IN THE MATCH AMBROSE SHOULD BE IN. Couldn’t Harper and Rowan be its own match, with Bray involved somehow?

How about this: Cena, Ziggler, Sheamus, Ryback, Ambrose, and the loser of a Harper – Rowan match vs. Rollins, Kane, Rusev, Mark Henry, Bray Wyatt, and the winner of a Harper – Rowan match? The Harper – Rowan match could be earlier in the evening and the loser could turn face against Bray and the winner. Ambrose keeps his eye on The Authority, gets a shot at Bray Wyatt, and is in the main event. The Wyatt Family split makes more sense. They could justify Wyatt teaming with The Authority by giving him a chance to take down the false idols he hates so much. Is this not better? Would this not be a more interesting and logical use of Ambrose and the Wyatt Family?

Will: Like you, I would prefer that they put bows on existing feuds before starting new ones, but that doesn’t seem to be the modus operandi in Stamford, Connecticut. Also, a propos of nothing, Stephanie used the word “myopic” on Raw. I would bet a substantial portion of my personal belongings that the majority of the fans in attendance didn’t know what that word means.

Derek: Now, let’s move on to the cat. This was the guest star on Raw:


This is Grumpy Cat. I looked her up, and learned some things I hope I will soon forget. Call me old school, but I don’t think a cat should be a guest star unless it’s willing to give or absorb a decent chokeslam.

Thank goodness for Wrasslin’ Wednesday. Without it, if I died tomorrow, it would forever be a mystery why my most recent Google search was “cat chokeslam.”

Will: I don’t understand Grumpy Cat’s Raw appearance at all. I suppose it was a gambit to lure some folks who are very casual wrestling watchers but also hardcore meme fans? I can’t say I’m totally mad at it, if only because that cat chokeslam video is delightful. God bless you for doing the research.

Derek: Next week’s guest star is kind of like a cat, in that I used to like him until I discovered I was allergic: Larry the Cable Guy!


I have two thoughts. First, Will, I’m gonna need you to click here, and report back.

Second, I know Larry the Cable Guy’s real reason for appearing on Raw. His son’s name is Wyatt. I think we all know where this is going.

Will: My god. If you have enough self-respect to have passed on that last link, here’s what you missed:

Larry recently filmed the direct-to-DVD movie “Jingle All the Way 2″ with Santino Marella, so he’s likely appearing on Raw next week to push the release of the movie.

Jesus Christ. What the hell? Did they bother trying to make any sense with this thing? Is Larry the Cable Guy really the worthy successor to Arnold Schwarzenegger? How are direct-to-DVD movie sales doing in the Netflix era? Is a one-off appearance on Raw really going to goose the numbers? I’m getting lightheaded. Before I pass out, here’s your “Jingle All the Way 2” synopsis, per IMDb:

Larry finds himself in an odd situation, once again. When the new mayor comes to town and threatens to take away Larry’s favorite holiday, Christmas. He sets out to bring back the holidays, redneck style.

Given the choice of Christmas with Larry the Cable Guy starring in “Jingle All the Way 2” and no Christmas at all, I’m picking no Christmas at all every single time. I may boycott every holiday for a year out of spite. No presents for anyone. And that movie will almost certainly make more money than I will in my entire lifetime.

I hate everything. Happy goddamn holidays.

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