The Authority's retribution on the members of Team Cena was swift and immediate.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon fired Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan on Monday night's edition of Raw.
The trio of Superstars all arrived to the ring as a part of "John Cena Appreciation Night." Little did they know that Stephanie would drop the hammer and put them on the unemployment line. Confetti fell as The Authority kicked off the new year, leaving John Cena bemused in the ring, per the WWE Universe:
WWE legend Mick Foley wonders what kind of response Cena will have after watching three men fired as a direct result of his actions:
This move was inevitable after Cena allowed Triple H and Stephanie to return to their roles of power. Last week, Seth Rollins used Edge as a hostage, forcing Cena's hand.
When Team Cena beat Team Authority at Survivor Series, it meant that The Authority would be forced to leave the company and abdicate whatever power it had. Upon Triple H's and Stephanie's arrival, you knew that they'd waste little time getting their revenge.
Since the company couldn't possibly fire Cena, it made Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback the most expendable members of the winning team.
A bigger storyline is almost certainly in the works, but it's always tough to tell with WWE's shortsighted booking. Most fans will expect the three back at some point. The only question is when and under what circumstances they'll make their comebacks.