When Ryback re-debuted a few weeks ago, some fans wondered if (and hoped that) this would be the WWE's chance to recapture the magic from his original run. After an episode of Monday Night Raw that almost entirely revolved around Ryback, I'd say those fans are closer to their answer.

At the beginning of Raw, John Cena came out, which immediately drew out The Authority. They announced that Mark Henry had joined their team, brought Ryback out and offered him a chance to join Team Authority. Cena made his case to Ryback as well to join his team.


After saying he wasn't afraid of The Authority like the others, Ryback also admitted that they signed his paycheck, so he attacked Cena, seemingly joining Team Authority. For the rest of the show, the various members of the Authority (including the fifth member, Rusev) came in and spoke with Ryback, firing him up for his match later in the night against Cena, and also taking small shots at him (such as Mark Henry reminding him of when Henry beat him at Wrestlemania).

While Ryback seemed to shrug off each little shot, it certainly foreshadowed what was to come later.

During his match with Cena, Ryback took advantage for most of the match. It wasn't a squash by any stretch, but Ryback certainly held the advantage for a good chunk. Finally, towards the end, Cena was knocked into Kane. When Ryback was ready to go for the big clothesline, Kane came in and attacked Cena, drawing the DQ.

Ryback shoved Kane, upset at taking the loss, and Rollins got between them. Then, the rest of the Authority started beating up John Cena. This brought out Big Show and Sheamus, who both had joined Team Cena earlier in the night. Both of them were brought down by the combined strength of Team Authority. However, Ryback returned to the ring, and took out all four members of the team, culminating in a Shell Shock on Kane, as the United Kingdom crowd cheered.

He then walked out of the ring without acknowledging Cena at all, who stood staring.

With how disastrous his heel run was, it's amazing that Ryback is in this situation right now. It was just two years ago that a face Ryback was incredibly over with the crowd, to the point that he was hotshotted into a title feud with CM Punk, which contributed to derailing his face push, and sent him on the path to the failed heel turn. So to see Ryback in this situation, an over face with the crowd behind him, it's as if the past two years had been erased.

The question now is how the WWE will capitalize on the situation.

The ending of Raw left it ambiguous as to whether Ryback would join Team Cena. If I'm the WWE, I keep him out of the match. I leave Ryback as a wrecking ball, taking out anyone and everyone in his way, exactly as he was portrayed when he debuted as this character. While seeing these two teams battle to get him on the team surely thrust him into the spotlight, when all is said and done, it doesn't make sense for him to be listening to some captain. He should be a dangerous third party in all this, especially if Team Authority is going to win at Survivor Series.

If you want him to get his revenge on the Authority, give him a match with Mercury and Noble at Survivor Series (which also would be great simply to see those two in the ring again). And from there, you can go in a lot of different directions with him. So we'll have to wait and see.

The Rest of RAW:

** While the in-ring action ended with Ryback leaving the ring, that wasn't the very end of the show. As Triple H and Stephanie looked on, shocked at losing their fifth member, the lifeless body of Dolph Ziggler was dumped in front of them. The camera panned over to show Luke Harper, who said he was a team player. As that "eyes" promo had played during Ziggler's entrance not just during Raw, but also during SmackDown last week, it seems to be confirmed that he is behind that promo, and it also appears that he will be the fifth member of Team Authority. It's an interesting choice on how to bring him back. The Harper/Ziggler dynamic, and matches, will be great, but to bring him back as part of Team Authority seems like an odd choice at this point. But I'm sure we'll find out more later. As it stands, Team Authority is Rollins/Kane/Henry/Rusev/Harper.

** Speaking of Rusev, he had to defend his U.S. title in a rematch against Sheamus. This match was a strong match, echoing their match from last week. The two ended up brawling on the outside, where Sheamus took advantage. When they turned back towards the ring, as Rusev rolled into the ring and drew the refs attention, Mercury and Noble ran out to attack Sheamus just long enough for him to miss the ten count, and lose the match. Before the match, Stephanie had again asked Rusev to be part of Team Authority and told Lana that if they scratched her back, she'd scratch theirs. After the match, they agreed to be part of the team.

** Seth Rollins faced Jack Swagger in the first match of the night. At the time, Swagger was supposed to be part of Team Cena, which was weird since nothing had led to that, it was simply announced at the beginning of the show. After a pretty solid match, Mercury and Noble provided the distraction to allow Rollins to get a Curb Stomp for the win. As a doctor checked on Swagger, Rollins gave him another Curb Stomp, which I suppose is putting him out for a few weeks and opening his spot on Team Cena.

** That leads us to later in the night, when Dolph Ziggler was facing Mark Henry. This match didn't last too long, as they moved to the outside, where Henry grabbed a chair and laid out Ziggler with it, drawing the DQ. He continued his attack, throwing Ziggler into the steps and going for a World Strongest Slam, which brought out Big Show. Show cleared Henry out, and helped Ziggler up, announcing that he would be part of Team Cena. Right after that segment, Sheamus joined the three backstage, leaving just one more member to be announced.


** Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose weren't at the show, as some of the crew were doing another show at the same time as Raw, but they had pretaped vignettes that aired. They will face each other at Survivor Series.

** The Miz and Mizdow beat Los Matadores. Hornswaggle came out as Mini-Miz to counter El Torito.

** After Xavier Woods had the New Day promo air last week, a new one played this week, this time with Kofi Kingston. So it seems like the WWE is going to be keeping that stable together, and presumably we'll see one with Big E (hopefully with his preacher voice that he's used a few times) next week.

** AJ Lee beat Brie Bella. After the match, Nikki, who was on commentary, attacked AJ. AJ and Nikki will face each other at Survivor Series.

** Tyson Kidd beat Adam Rose. This is notable for two reasons. First, Tyson picked up a win for the second straight week on RAW, after seemingly not winning in years on the show. Also, during the match, the bunny got up on the turnbuckle, and seemed like he was about to splash Tyson. Rose stopped him, which gave Tyson the chance to get up and put the Sharpshooter on Rose for the win. After that, Rose attacked The Bunny, seemingly turning heel, though he did leave with the rest of the Rosebuds. His character always seemed to make more sense as a heel, so we'll see if a character tweak can get him back on track.


** Paige beat Alicia Fox. Paige got some of the biggest pops of the night, being from the U.K.

** The crowd was really interesting. There were many chants that echoed the Raw after WrestleMania, including the "John Cena Sucks" singing. They also were disgruntled over the WWE Network situation, and chanted "Where's Our Network" several times throughout the night. When they weren't into a match, they let the wrestler's know quickly, and you could tell it threw some of the wrestler's off.

Questions? Comments? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster