WWE gets something right? Good moves with booking on Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler

wweWWE hasn’t been getting much right lately. For all the hype the company is trying to give to its free month of WWE Network, for example, you’re not giving away the product for free if people were buying it, and that’s been the problem as WWE struggles to get past the 700,000-subscriber mark that it seems to have been stuck on since the spring.

Brock Lesnar is barely even a part-time champ. CM Punk is a full-time hockey fan. Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns are your past and future WrestleMania main-eventers on the shelf after surgeries.

For all that has been going wrong in Connecticut of late, we have Monday night, and the latest edition of Raw.

The tired Authority angle continues to play out with a promised (threatened?) Survivor Series match between The Authority and Team Cena (please, spare us!). But then we get some intrigue this week, with WWE CEO Vince McMahon making a rare on-air appearance to announce that the stakes for the match will be that a win by Team Cena will banish The Authority from its management role in WWE.

And then on top of that, we get, first, an effort by The Authority to lure Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler into the fold. Ziggler refused, and was forced to defend against Seth Rollins, and was successful with help from our second star turn of the night, Randy Orton.

Orton then demanded a one-on-one match with Rollins, and Triple H granted the request as a way for the Authority stablemates to clear the air.

It was a nice touch the way Rollins won the match, with a backslide counter to an attempted Orton RKO, and then all hell broke loose when Orton started RKO’ing everybody else in the vicinity, and sucker-punched Triple H when the leader of The Authority tried to bring calm to the tense scene.

When Triple H washed his hands of Orton, the face turn was complete.

For Ziggler, the match with Rollins was another nice step by WWE to elevate the I-C champ, who last month had a good moment on Raw with a defense against Orton. Too much over the past couple of years, WWE has treated the I-C title as sort of king of the mid-carders, with the title holder being the sort of B league champ, otherwise not ready for prime time.

Pairing Ziggler, who was elevated to a brief world-title run in 2013 before being sidelined by ongoing issues with concussions, with Orton and then Rollins this week is a sign that creative is looking to push Ziggs again as a top star.

So we get a new push for Ziggler, we get a surprise face turn for Orton, and we didn’t see hide or hair of Cena. I call that a good Monday night.

– Column by Chris Graham

 

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