Triple H Reasserts What Matters in WWE at "Survivor Series"

It was a depressing moment when Triple H announced himself to be the final member of Raw’s Survivor Series team. The COO of the WWE doesn’t return to television to play a peripheral role, so you knew he would be crucial to the conclusion of the Survivor Series match against Team Smackdown Live and likely episodes of Raw to follow.

Will "Raw" Have A New Day?

Last week, The New Day re-invaded Raw during the Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins tag team title defense against Cesaro and Sheamus. They caused the entire Raw locker room to charge to ringside and allow New Day, standing in the audience, to walk away very slowly. As far as #UnderSeige goes, the moment was closer to #UnderLoitering, but it distracted Seth Rollins, who ate a Brogue Kick from Sheamus and was pinned to lose the belts.

The WWE Changes its Mind on A.J. Styles

Last week on Smackdown Live, Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers beat down A.J. Styles. Afterwards, Shane McMahon announced not that Styles would face not Mahal for his WWE Smackdown Championship but Rusev for a spot on the Survivor Series team this week. Days later, the WWE changed its mind and announced that Styles would face Mahal this Tuesday for his championship belt. If Styles wins, he would represent Smackdown Live and face Brock Lesnar at the Survivor Series pay-per-view.

The WWE is Looking for Survivors

Last week, Raw made news first when A.J. Styles teamed with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in a rare Raw/Smackdown Live team-up. The match against The Miz, Cesaro and Sheamus brought the old Marvel Team-Up comic book because in it, Spider-Man collaborated with another superhero every issue and it always seemed like an event, even though it happened monthly.

Sami Zayn Lightens Up, Balor and Styles Point to Survivor Series

Tonight’s Raw will pick up the pieces from last night’s “TLC—Tables, Ladders and Chairs” pay per view. The night was unusual with a soft card that was largely upgraded as the Raw roster dealt with a freakish run of illnesses that kept Miztourage member Bo Dallas on the sidelines and benched Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns, both of which would have figured prominently in the night.

Spooky and Wrestling Don't Mix

It seems like the WWE news this week should start with “Hell in a Cell,” where Shane McMahon took a 20-foot dive on to an announce table in his loss to Kevin Owens (thanks to a save from Sami Zayn), but the Eater of Buzz Bray Wyatt demands attention. Finn Balor is one of the WWE’s top stars, but his charisma and in-ring dynamics have evaporated in his feud with Wyatt. I wondered if Seth Rollins might be overrated during his program with Wyatt, but Rollins is fun again now that he’s with Dean Ambrose and feuding with Cesaro and Sheamus. Wyatt appears to be the weak link.

The Beat Downs Go On Forever

A basic rule in the WWE playbook is that if you want to build heat on a character or in a feud, go for a beat down. Time and again, heels have taken the last 10 minutes of Raw to waffle someone with a folding chair again and again, usually in a two- or three-on-one situation, just to amplify the cruel unfairness. A week ago, The Miz and the Miztourage pounded on Roman Reigns well after he’d stopped moving, going so far as starting to leave the ring and come back down the ramp to beat on Reigns’ prone body some more.

Did Jinder Mahal, WWE Go "Too Far"?

The WWE’s efforts to build Jinder Mahal look remarkably like flying a plane into the side of a mountain. I keep waiting for the company to treat its champion like a champion, but the top story on Smackdown Live is Kevin Owens versus Shane McMahon, where no titles are on the line. Mahal currently holds the most prestigious belt on the show, but he remains mired in angles that are unconvincing if not demeaning. Tuesday, he cut a promo on Shinsuke Nakamura that was too complicated as well as racially problematic.

The WWE Keeps It "Real"

Pro wrestling has always asked you to believe what you think you see, and the WWE has raised that to an art form. When it launched Total Divas on E!, the reality show quickly meshed with WWE in-ring “reality” as storylines crossed for a mindfucking reality-squared effect. That cat-and-mouse game with reality has become WWE writers’ favorite tool recently, used most effectively in the John Cena/Roman Reigns program. Three weeks ago, the two seemed to be shooting, telling the truth on each other.

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