Monday Night Raw – November 30, 2015: League Of Trombone Playing Nations

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 30, 2015
Location: CONSOL Energy Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

We’re closing in on TLC and things aren’t in the best place at the moment. Roman Reigns is challenging Sheamus but also has to deal with Rusev and King Barrett who attacked him last week. That’s really all we have right now but a lot of the pay per view card will likely be set up tonight as the show is in less than two weeks. Let’s get to it.

We open with confetti falling and here comes New Day to stand on a red carpet in the ring. Big E. knows we’re wondering whose birthday it is and even though it’s actually Naomi’s birthday, this is about a NEW DAY. Instead of a birthday, tonight is a gala, a jubilee if you will. Big E. starts to sweat so Woods gives him a Terrible Towel (the symbol of the Pittsburgh Steelers) to clean up. Today marks a new champion: the shamrock shaking ginger giant Sheamus.

Here’s the new champ, in a suit with his hair slicked back this week. Sheamus thanks the New Day for introducing him and then thanks the Authority for giving him this chance. Finally though, Sheamus wants to thank Roman Reigns. If Reigns had only accepted HHH’s handshake, he might have this around his waist. Sheamus does a bit of dancing (Kofi: “The hips don’t lie baby!”) and New Day is amazed at the title changing hands after only 5:15. It’s time for more posing with fireworks but here’s Reigns to Superman Punch Sheamus and walk off with the title. They’re already better than they were last week as this was fun.

Reigns is with Ambrose and the Usos in the back when the Authority comes in. They make him give the title back and Reigns says he’s coming for the title at TLC. That’s not soon enough for Sheamus though because he wants to defend the title tonight. The catch: there’s a 5:15 time limit.

The announcers explain everything we just heard thirty seconds ago. WE’RE NOT THIS DUMB WWE!

Dolph Ziggler vs. Tyler Breeze

Probably time for Breeze to job again so Ziggler can get his win back. Breeze takes over to start and sends Ziggler into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs. We hit a front facelock as the announcers talk about the title match instead of anything in front of them. Ziggler fights up but goes shoulder first into the post as we take a break. Back with Ziggler fighting out of a front facelock and ducking an enziguri.

Breeze counters a hurricanrana into a powerbomb but Dolph slips out, only to nail another enziguri for two. Dolph’s superkick is countered into a catapult, followed by a modified backstabber. For some reason this makes Ziggler hold his shoulder again but he’s still able to counter the Unprettier into a pinfall reversal sequence for some near falls. Back up and Ziggler nails a quick superkick for the pin at 10:33.

Rating: C. Yep you knew it was coming. How did you know it was coming? You knew because this is what WWE does. Breeze got one over on Ziggler so that means it’s time for Ziggler to get one over on Breeze because Breeze might get too popular (despite losing almost all of his other matches) and that must be stopped, meaning we have two guys who are hitting .500 and wonder why neither is over. Such is life around here because this company is stupid.

It’s time for MizTV with guests Rusev and the returning Lana. Rusev is here first and says this isn’t about the USA. The fans want Lana but Rusev says she’s his wife and his alone. Rusev rants about loving her and brings out Lana, who looks exactly like she did about a year ago. Miz asks why this happened after everything they’ve been through but Lana says the past was forgiven when Rusev proposed. Seeing what else was out there just made their love stronger.

Lana NEVER went all the way with Dolph, drawing a YES YOU DID chant from the fans. Rusev didn’t go all the way with Summer either. All he did was break her heart, just like he’s going to break his opponents apart. Rusev and Lana kiss but here’s Ryback for Rusev’s next feud.

Ryback has no business here and no connection to anyone in the ring but Cole and company act like this is totally expected because their script says it’s supposed to happen. Apparently they had a scheduled match, but Cole only threw that in as an aside. Tell us this when Ryback’s music hit so we’re not trying to figure out what’s going on. Anyway Ryback says we fight here so the match is on.

Ryback vs. Rusev

This is joined in progress with Rusev in control. Ryback fights back and hits a missile dropkick of all things. They fight to the floor with Lana getting knocked down, meaning Rusev stays outside for the countout at 1:45.

Rusev blames Ryback for Lana being hurt.

Ambrose has been called into HHH’s office so HHH can tell him that if Reigns doesn’t win in 5:15 tonight, Ambrose loses his Intercontinental Title shot as well. Reign has to learn that his actions affect his friends as well and what better way to show him?

Here are the Dudley Boyz with some tables leaned up against the ropes and covered in black sheets. The Wyatt Family has beaten them up for the last week, including chokeslamming Bubba through a table last week. So many teams have tried to put the Dudley Boyz down and the Wyatts have come very close but they’re still standing and breathing. They pull the sheets off and each one has a Wyatt’s name. D-Von reminds us of the three commandments: thou shall not steal, thou shall not kill and thou shall not mess with the Dudley Boyz.

They’re ready to fight at anytime so here are the Wyatts so Bray can accept the challenge. He advises them to never invite the devil into your backyard because he might stay. Bubba says it looks like the Wyatts have the advantage but the Dudley Boyz have their own family. Cue Tommy Dreamer of all people and the Wyatts bail.

Wyatt Family vs. Tommy Dreamer/Dudley Boyz

Bray is the odd man out here and it’s joined in progress again. D-Von is in early trouble but punches his way out and tags in Dreamer, who walks right into a swinging Boss Man Slam from Harper. Rowan puts on the head vice but misses a splash, allowing for the cold tag to Bubba (D-Von was too busy clapping to put his hand out). Everything breaks down and the referee throws it out at 3:33.

Rating: D+. Of course it was Dreamer. It’s always Tommy Dreamer. When all else fails, there is no one else on the planet that you can bring in for a hardcore match with ECW people involved than Tommy freaking Dreamer. If this is a one off thing or even a two off thing at the pay per view (which it likely is) then fine but this could have been a good introduction for someone new. Instead it’s an old name for the Wyatts to beat up while giving the fans a very cheap pop.

It’s time for a table but Bray gets knocked off the apron and through one instead, allowing the good guys to escape and preserve the ECW legacy for one more night.

We recap the opening segment.

Goldust vs. Alberto Del Rio

Non-title AGAIN. Before the match, Colter says the fans are too concerned with rats on Mars and Anne Hathaway being pregnant. Goldust punches Del Rio in the face before he can say anything and we start fast. A powerslam and spinebuster get two each on Del Rio but Goldust misses a charge in the corner, setting up the top rope double stomp for the pin at 2:00.

Post match Del Rio puts Goldust in the cross armbreaker until Jack Swagger makes the save.

Becky Lynch thinks she and Charlotte could have a great match, non-title of course. They WOO at each other and Ric is here too.

Usos vs. Lucha Dragons

Winners get the title shot, presumably at TLC. New Day is on commentary here as well. Kalisto takes Jimmy down for two to start before Jey comes in for a double elbow. Big E. starts with his reporter voice as the Dragons hit their monkey flip into a 450 for two. Cara speeds things up again as everything breaks down. Kalisto gets backdropped onto Jey but Jimmy takes him down with a big dive. Cue Cara for his own dive but the New Day runs in for the no contest at 2:55.

New Day says that means no title match and it’s time to dance.

Post break, Stephanie makes it a three way match at TLC, but if the Usos want in, Reigns has to win as well.

Brie Bella vs. Sasha Banks

Another Twitter induced match. Team Bad has a new thing where they put their fists together and shout UNITY in falsetto voices. Brie takes over to start but Sasha drops her in a hurry. Alicia gets sent into a superkick and Brie gets sent into the buckle for two as this is already a step off. A clothesline gets two on Brie and we hit a cross arm choke. Brie fights up for her middle rope dropkick and the YES Kicks. Not that it matters as the Bank Statement is enough to make Brie tap at 4:57.

Rating: D. I really wasn’t feeling this one as Sasha seemed like she had to slow things down for the sake of letting Brie keep up with her. That’s the problem with the division right now: half the matches get time but half the matches have to be slowed down and cut short because not everyone is on the same level. This didn’t work for me though and they need to let Sasha get away from Tamina and Naomi already.

Ambrose and the Usos fire Reigns up. It’s going to end in a brawl and we’re going to get an eight man tag for the real main event aren’t we?

WWE World Title: Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns

Sheamus (now in a Sheamus 5:15 shirt) is defending and this match has a 5:15 time limit with Ambrose and the Usos’ title shots on the line. The champ tries to bail to start so Reigns rolls him up for some early near falls. Sheamus takes it to the floor and sends Reigns into the barricade as the clock is ticking. Back in with less than four minutes to go and we’re under 4:00.

Reigns fight up and hits a boot to the face as we’re under three minutes. Sheamus can’t escape up the ramp and a Samoan drop gets two. They head outside again with two minutes left and Reigns is thrown over the announcers’ table. Sheamus gets posted but the time is ticking away. Roman finally gets him back in with a minute to go. The Superman Punch is loaded up but Rusev pulls him to the floor at 4:40.

Rating: D+. Yeah this was obvious. You knew they weren’t going to change the title on Raw (because that might make people watch) so let’s just do this and then set up the obvious eight man tag later on in the show. Sheamus vs. Reigns is fine and they’re doing what they can with it but Sheamus losing again at the pay per view is going to make it even worse.

Barrett, Del Rio and Rusev huddle around Sheamus, who calls the four of them the League of Nations. Cue the Usos and Ambrose to even things up and Sheamus gets punched off the apron.

Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

Non-title with Paige on commentary and Ric Flair in Charlotte’s corner. Becky grabs the wrist to start and takes Charlotte down with a headlock takeover. Charlotte pops up and it’s a standoff as Ric struts on the floor. They hit the mat for more headlocking until Charlotte chops her in the stomach. The neckbreaker sets up more chops but Becky kicks her in the chest. Paige gets annoyed at all the questions and threatens to put Byron in a submission on the table right now. Charlotte twists an ankle coming out of the corner but it’s all goldbricking, allowing Charlotte to grab a rollup for the pin at 4:40.

Rating: C-. So they might be turning Charlotte heel? That’s their big solution? Becky continues to lose, but they’re at least offering some shades of gray here to make things a bit more interesting. Hopefully Ric is just a one off appearance here because he doesn’t need to be around Charlotte, who is good enough on her own. Just don’t have her talk live again.

Becky is stunned and more than a big annoyed.

The eight man tag is announced for the main event.

Post break Becky wants to know what that was but Charlotte calls it strategy. This isn’t NXT anymore and everyone needs to step it up. They’re still friends though. Charlotte leaves and Paige comes up to gloat a bit, leaving Becky conflicted.

Adam Rose has a gossip segment called The Rosebush. Rose thinks Rusev wears the bra in his relationship with Lana and suggests that Ziggler loves both Summer Rae and Breeze.

Titus O’Neil sings Christmas carols to Stardust and tells him to get in the Christmas spirit before shoving him down. We’ll go with a holiday ok then here.

Usos/Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns vs. League of Nations

The good guys don’t get an entrance. We’re not quite ready to go yet because here’s the New Day to announce they’re now part of the League of Nations to make this a 7-4 handicap match. Kofi and Dean get things going and it’s Ambrose in early control with left hands in the corner. It’s off to Jimmy vs. Woods and the Usos and Reigns start a quick Unicorn Stampede to turn the tables. The big staredown takes us to a break.

Back with Del Rio kicking Jey into the corner and tagging out to Woods. A clothesline gets two and it’s off to Rusev for some stomping on the leg. The beating continues with Sheamus for the ten forearms to the chest. Reigns finally tries to make the save but Jey has to save himself with an uppercut to knock Kofi out of the air. The hot tag brings in Jimmy to clean house but Big E. clotheslines him from the apron. Jey is holding his knee on the floor as we take another break.

Back again with Jey having been taken to the back because of his knee. Jimmy is still taking a beating but he finally gets away to make the tag to Reigns as house is cleaned. Everything breaks down though and Reigns hits the apron kick to Kofi and Xavier, only to have Del Rio send him into the barricade. That means it’s time for Reigns to get beaten down, including a knee drop from Sheamus for two.

Big E. puts Reigns in an abdominal stretch for some rhythmic slapping to the ribs. Reigns gets run over again and it’s off to Del Rio for a chinlock to keep this slow. We see Jey on the floor, because when Cole meant he was taken out he meant he was down. Close enough I guess.

Reigns finally gets up and makes the hot tag to Ambrose to take everyone out. Dean dives off the top to take out New Day and Barrett before a suicide dive does the same to Sheamus. The Superman Punch drops Del Rio and Reigns adds a clothesline to Barrett but seemed to be holding his knee. Back in and a Brogue Kick puts Ambrose away at 25:10.

Rating: B-. This was a good brawl to end the show and make the League of Nations seem like a threat for a change. I’m not sure why New Day needed to be in there but anytime those three are on my TV I’m happier than I was otherwise. Sheamus getting the pin is a good idea, but you would think an Uso would have been a better option. Good, long match though and a much better option than just Rusev vs. Reigns from last week.

Post match Reigns comes in for the save (thankfully his leg seems fine) but gets beaten down to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. The major difference here is simple: there was a point to almost everything. Last week felt like they were just throwing out random stuff to fill in time and that’s not how Raw is supposed to go. This week felt like they were building up to something instead of just wasting time until the next big show came. There are still a lot of problems with the show but it helps to have a point to stuff. Reigns vs. Sheamus is looking better, but you can see the screwjob from here.

The rest of the show was hit or miss at best, but there was enough good on here to make it work. The key thing here is it was better than last week, which really isn’t a hard bar to get past. They’ve done a good job of setting up TLC as you can see most of the card from here and the League of Nations is a good idea but the show is still hitting its head on a low ceiling because these stories don’t have a lot of room to go anywhere.

Results

Dolph Ziggler b. Tyler Breeze – Superkick

Ryback b. Rusev via countout

Dudley Boyz/Tommy Dreamer vs. Wyatt Family went to a double DQ when all six brawled

Alberto Del Rio b. Goldust – Top rope double stomp

Usos vs. Lucha Dragons went to a no contest when New Day interfered

Sasha Banks b. Brie Bella – Bank Statement

Roman Reigns b. Sheamus via DQ when Rusev interfered

Charlotte b. Becky Lynch – Rollup

League of Nations/New Day b. Usos/Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose – Brogue Kick to Ambrose

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of the History of Wrestlemania at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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13 comments

  1. beckett929 says:

    I didn’t get that New Day are part of the League of Nations, as much as they were just teaming with them tonight. Maybe I’m missing something.

    All in all, I thought this was great. This should have happened last week. It went a long way to legitimize the heels. It wasn’t Triple H standing tall or gloating, it was the champions and their cronies. They got there by cheating and taking advantage of numbers – THAT’S WHAT HEELS DO.

    The only thing out of place, and you can tell by the booking of Del Rio into it, is how does Swagger/Ambrose/Del Rio/Owens all work out. Owens wouldn’t fit in that stable, but he’s got something on-going with someone in that mix, and it just seems like it was sort of a last minute decision.

    But still, rolling Del Rio (and hopefully Zeb, but dropping the MexAmerica schitck) into the dominant heel stable is a big step up from where he has been.

    Not a great show, but some great parts – especially Sasha mocking the Bella entrance – and this is the right direction for improving the show.

  2. #MrScissorsKick says:

    I still prefer SmackDown

  3. Dragon says:

    I heard Bubba Ray say “we need one more guy”…..an RVD return maybe? or could be Spike…either way this feud is peaking my interest. I agree with most of your review KB. This is the only thing I disagree with…..I am happy with the inclusion of Tommy Dreamer. A new guy isn’t always the answer. Sometimes it’s nice to have a throwback out there. A little treat for us old school fans during a rather boring, cookie cutter, period for Raw.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I get that, save for one thing: I can’t stand Tommy Dreamer.

    Dragon Reply:

    lol fair enough KB, fair enough

    Gunther_224 Reply:

    At least it wasn’t Sandman.

  4. Jay H (the real one) says:

    I really have no issue with Tommy Dreamer coming in for another one shot deal and maybe they add RVD at TLC for an 8 man against The Wyatts. I like the League Of Nations and it gets ADR out of the MexAmerica stuff.

    Much better Show this week than last.

  5. james gracie says:

    See was that hard WWE? You put new people in the main event. You booked them strong and it made everyone look good. Tonight was the first time that Reigns actually looked like a legit main eventer. Only thing I fear is that this is all filler til Cena and Lesnar come back. Well guess what? Don’t come back! You can easily book Sheamus strong and Reigns now has lots of people to go through before he gets to Sheamus. Add some intrigue and you can build this thing til Mania where Reigns finally gets his big win.

    Seriously, I don’t want Cena or Lesnar back. I don’t want Triple H and Stephanie to be apart of this heel group either. This was the freshest the WWE’s main event scene has felt in a long time. Probably since Daniel Bryan’s cock tease of a run as the top face in September 2013 but we all know how that ended up going.

    And who held this show together throughout the night? The New Day. What a shock. I liked it. #DidTheNewDayJustSaveUs?

  6. IC says:

    So HHH said if Reigns didn’t beat Sheamus, then Ambrose and the Usos lose their title matches at TLC, but during the RAW main event, Cole said the title matches were still on for TLC.
    Did I miss something here?
    This is even worse than last week when HHH told Reigns that he doesn’t get his title rematch now, only if and when HHH says he does.
    Cue 2 minutes later and HHH tells him his rematch is in 3 weeks at TLC.

    Dragon Reply:

    I believe Reigns won by DQ

  7. Brian says:

    Given the plethora of injuries, I can’t help but notice the absence of Kevin Owens on this show. Three hours and they can’t find time to add him in? Weak.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Same with Neville.

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    Owens was sent home because he was sick. Neville competed on the Superstars Taping.