November 30, 2015
From the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA
Your hosts are Byron Saxton, JBL, and Michael Cole
The show starts with the New Day in the ring celebrating. There is confetti falling from the ceiling as they goof around before introducing Sheamus as the WWE World Champion. Sheamus comes out wearing a suit as he celebrates with the New Day. Sheamus then thanks everyone but stops when the crowd starts up a “you look stupid” chant. Sheamus then tells the crowd they are the ones who look stupid as the New Day keep talking in the background. The New Day keep putting over Sheamus and then they all laugh about Roman Reigns being the champion for just five minutes and fifteen seconds. Sheamus then says he might not even be the champ if Reigns had accepted HHH’s offer. They keep harping over the fact that Reigns was the champ for just over five minutes as Sheamus says to forget about “Austin 3:16” because “Sheamus 5:15” says I just kicked your ass. Sheamus’ music hits as he holds up the belt by himself in the ring but while he is posing on the top rope, Reigns flew in and hit him with a Superman Punch. Reigns then picks the belt up off of the ground and walks away with a smirk on his face. Reigns then smiles as he holds up the belt while standing on the ramp to taunt Sheamus, who is looking up from the mat. This went on for far too long and the crowd wasn’t into it at all, which is the worst thing possible for the leadoff segment. Sheamus as the champ is not working. The crowds are not buying the guy as being worthy of the title.
Back from break, Reigns is with Dean Ambrose and the Usos until the Authority interrupts. The others back off while Reigns remains. Steph then asks Reigns to give them back the belt and he does but not before telling HHH that “Magic Mohawk” will get his ass kicked at TLC in two weeks. HHH lets him know that Sheamus wants to face him tonight for the belt while Stephanie adds that he has to win in 5:15 to become the champion.
Tyler Breeze w/ Summer Rae vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler takes Breeze down and grounds him on the mat. Breeze then works a front facelock on the mat as the announcers wonder whether or not Reigns can beat Sheamus in 5:15 tonight. Ziggler misses a corner charge as his shoulders rams into the post then we go to break. The action returns with Breeze working another front facelock on the mat. Ziggler breaks that up with a jawbreaker then hits a pair of clotheslines. Ziggler then follows a corner splash with a swinging neckbreaker before getting a nearfall with an elbow drop. Breeze ducks a super kick, almost taking a knee to the face in the process, and rolls up Ziggler for two. Breeze fires away in the corner until the ref backs him away. Breeze then misses a swing but manages to rollup up Ziggler and put his feet on the ropes for leverage but that only gets two. Breeze tries another rollup as Ziggler grabs his shoulder, which he rammed against the post but Breeze has not targeted himself. Breeze dropkicks Ziggler in the knees but Ziggler reverses an Unprettier with a backslide. They trade a bunch of rollups after that until Ziggler hit a super kick for the win (10:30) *1/2.
Thoughts: Didnt care for this match. The spot with Ziggler hitting his shoulder against the post before the break then not having Breeze work that part of the body as Ziggler would sell it periodically made little sense to me. Most of this was restholds and rollups. And the booking was uninspired as Ziggler gets his win back from Survivor Series. No one is benefiting from this feud.
Backstage, we see Rusev and Lana acting all happy as Cole reminds us how TMZ broke the news of their engagement then says they will be guests on Miz TV.
Miz TV with guest Rusev. Miz puts over Rusev for being back to 100% and how angry he must be to have been out of the WWE Title Tournament. Rusev tells Miz its his turn to talk as he speaks about being at home but the crowd chants “We Want Lana.” Rusev tells the crowd to shut up and that Lana is his before telling us the WWE Universe does not care about him and never even sent him gifts. However, one person stood next to him and even nursed him back to health and that was Lana. She comes out as we see the photo of their engagement from the TMZ website. Lana is smiling and cuddling with Rusev as Miz asks them about their engagement. Lana says this is the happiest day of her life as Miz wonders about all of the insults they traded and asked Rusev how he made Summer into “Lana 2.0” before he stopped himself. Lana said that they fight hard but love even harder and this all made their relationship stronger. Lana said she never went all the way with Ziggler as the crowd starts a “yes you did” chant in a funny moment. Rusev then says for now on, he will not just break the spirit of his opponent but also “break them apart” and will be filled with love towards Lana outside of the ring. They make out after that until Ryback interrupts. He says that we have all seen enough of this garbage, drawing applause from the crowd, and that the “Zig Man” did go all of the way before telling Rusev that he is hungry. Cole lets us know we have a “scheduled” match between Rusev and Ryback tonight as we head to break. The WWE decided to put Rusev and Lana back together with some contrived story about their fighting making their love stronger while we are supposed to pretend the months of TV time the love triangle took up never happened. It was awful and stuff like this is just insulting to the fans that are loyal to the product.
Rusev w/ Lana vs. Ryback
Rusev beats on Ryback as a “USA” chant starts up. Ryback hits Rusev with a Thesz Press then works him over in the corner. Ryback then hits a missile dropkick as Rusev rolls outside. Ryback follows and they fight for a bit until Ryback sends Rusev into the steps, which in turn sent Lana to the ground. Rusev checks on Lana as Ryback rolled inside and gets counted out (1:58) 1/4*.
Thoughts: The finish looked idiotic. However, Rusev blaming Ryback for hurting Lana does make sense as far as starting a feud between the two.
HHH is backstage playing on his phone when Ambrose comes in, asking what he wanted. HHH congratulates him for winning a triple threat match on Smackdown to become the #1 contender for the Intercontinental Title, held by Kevin Owens. Ambrose wanted to know if that was it while HHH said if Reigns did not win in 5:15 tonight, not only would he lose his title match at TLC but Ambrose would as well, because they are friends. The Authority is now trying to pit the entire roster against Reigns, including his friends.
We get a video package of the Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor feud in NXT.
The Dudley Boyz are in the ring. There are four tables covered in a black cloth propped up against the ropes. Bubba talks about the Wyatt Family beating them down last week on RAW and this past Smackdown. Bubba then says that they have never been beaten down like that before and doing that makes a name for yourself, which is why everyone knows the Wyatt Family name today. Bubba then says they did not get the job done and as a result, put a target on their own backs. They take the covers off as the Wyatt Family names are written on the tables. D-Von tells the Wyatt Family they broke the commandments as Bubba wants to settle this tonight. The Wyatt Family come out as Cole is puzzled as to why the Dudleys would want to fight with a 4-2 disadvantage. Bray accepts their challenge but the Dudleys tell them they have their family as Tommy Dreamer comes out holding a trashcan filled with weapons. An “ECW” chant breaks out as Harper, Rowan, and Strowman surround the ring then get whacked with kendo sticks as they try to enter. A “this is awesome” chant breaks out while the Wyatt Family regroups outside as we head to break. Bubba is good on the mic and the segment was okay but trying to put over the Wyatt’s as a dominating faction by going through a nostalgia act, after looking pathetic following the feud with Kane and Undertaker, isn’t going to cut it going forward. Its like trying to get John Cena over ten years ago by looking like a clown in a feud against the Rock before pushing him as a major threat in a feud with someone on the level of Jim Duggan.
Dudley Boyz & Tommy Dreamer vs. Wyatt Family w/ Bray Wyatt
The Wyatt Family works over D-Von in their corner. D-Von comes back with a kick as the faces are in control. Dreamer fights off Rowan but walks into a side slam by Harper. The Wyatt Family now works over Dreamer in their corner. The crowd gets behind Dreamer, who rolls away from a splash by Rowan. Dreamer tags Bubba to no reaction as he beats on Harper. The match breaks donw after that as the ref calls the bell for the DQ (3:28) 1/2*. Bray gives his family directions from the apron but Bubba charges and pushes him off as Bray crashes through a table. The Dudleys and Dreamer head up the ramp as the Wyatt Family checks on their leader.
Thoughts: Not much of a match but more designed to set up a match in the future, likely at TLC in a hardcore match of sorts. That has the potential to be entertaining.
Zeb Colter gives us a promo, addressing the “haters” who are more concerned with what is trending on social media. He then tells us we all have hate in our hearts and the only man who can beat that hate out of us is Alberto Del Rio, who slides into the ring. Del Rio tells Goldust he is out of date and filled with hate and gets slapped after that. Colter’s promo was just an abbreviated version of what he said last week. No mentions of MexAmerica here, however.
Goldust vs. Alberto Del Rio w/ Zeb Colter
After getting slapped, Del Rio immediately takes control. He hits a DDT then works a chinlock. Goldust breaks free and hits a clothesline then a few of his signature spots until Del Rio works his arm. Goldust comes back with a spinebuster then tries a bulldog in the corner but Del Rio ends up putting him in the tree-of-woe then climbs up top and hits the double stomp for the win (1:58) 3/4*. After the match, Del Rio applies a cross armbreaker until Jack Swagger runs out for the save. A mild “USA” chant for Swagger breaks out then the crowd follows along with the “we the people chant.”
Thoughts: Del Rio’s character upon his return to the WWE has been awful and its not getting any heel heat whatsoever. At least the people chant along with Swagger and might show some interest but we have seen them feud before, in reversed roles, and it was not all that exciting.
Backstage, Becky Lynch approaches Charlotte. She asks her about them having a singles match tonight, to show everyone what they can do and more importantly, to have fun. Charlotte tells Becky not to let Paige get inside of her head as Becky mentions Paige approaching her earlier today. Charlotte finally agrees but only under one condition: that her dad gets to be at ringside. Becky lets out a “wooooo” then Ric Flair comes out and they all do that. Charlotte initially acted embarrassed when her dad did that at first but smiled and copied her dad.
Lucha Dragons vs. The Usos
The New Day are out on commentary. They all talk over each other and while I love the New Day act, it is just grating here. The action goes back-and-forth and its really not that good then the New Day run out and attack both teams after a dive spot for the DQ (2:54) 1/2*. After that, the New Day head up the ramp as Xavier lets us know since neither team won, there is still no #1 Contender.
Thoughts: A bad segment to push the storyline that the New Day come up with ways to prevent them from defending their titles. And the next segment confirmed this was all an even bigger waste of time.
After the break, Stephanie tells both the Lucha Dragons and the Usos that they are in the tag team title match at TLC. Just like that, the New Day has to defend the belts. And they made more appearances on the show and never once mentioned being upset over this. However, if Roman Reigns fails to defeat Sheamus, the Usos will lose their shot as Reigns’ decisions also effect his family members.
Cole shows us the Twitter exchange between Sasha Banks and Brie Bella. Sasha was making fun of Brie’s sister Nikki being hurt. I have no idea who is supposed to be the heel or face here but based on this and the last several weeks of programming, there is no reason to cheer either one of them.
Brie Bella w/ Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks w/ Team BAD
We get an insert promo from Team BAD, who claim to dominate the Divas Division in unity. The announcers talk about the “we want Sasha” chants as Brie works the arm. Sasha fights back then takes Brie’s headband and puts in on to mock her “Brie Mode” chant. Sasha gets caught up in celebrating her partners taking out Alicia and that allows Brie to attack her. Brie then checks on Alicia as Sasha hits her from behind. That whole exchange was moronic. Sasha drags Brie by the hair before slamming her off of the mat. Sasha works a chinlock for a while then breaks that and hits a clothesline for a nearfall before going back to the hold. Brie is placed on top but fights off Sasha. She hits a missile dropkick then lands the “Yes” kicks before taking Sasha down with a basement dropkick. Tamina jumps up onto the apron and Brie goes after her but that allows Sasha to hit a lung blower then get the win with the Banks Statement (4:58) *.
Thoughts: The match was laid out terribly with some spots that made zero sense. And once again, these two were feuding less than two months ago where the Bellas were clearly the heels. Now, its all muddled and the fans showed zero interest.
Roman Reigns is backstage with Ambrose and the Usos as he gets ready for his match.
WWE World Title Match: Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
The rules here are that Reigns has to beat Sheamus in 5:15 or less to win the title. If he fails, he loses his rematch at TLC and his friends lose their title shot opportunities as well. Sheamus is now wearing a “Sheamus 5:15” shirt, a direct knockoff of the Stone Cold Steve Austin shirts. Match starts with Reigns hitting a few quick pinfalls. They head outside where Sheamus sends Reigns into the barricade. Back inside, Sheamus beats on Reigns in the corner then works a chinlock. Reigns escapes and hits a clothesline. Big boot gets two. Sheamus heads outside as Reigns follows him out and takes him down. They go back in and Reigns lands a nearfall and sets up for the Superman Punch but Sheamu heads outside. Sheamus attacks Reigns and sends him over the announcers table as there is now 1:30 left. Reigns gets up and sends Sheamus into the post then rolls him back inside. Reigns sets up for the Superman Punch again but Rusev comes out and yanks Reigns down for the DQ (4:38) *. After the match, Sheamus is with Rusev, Del Rio, and Wade Barrett. Sheamus then introduces us to his friends as he proclaims them all as the “League of Nations.” As they inch closer to the ring, Ambrose and the Usos run out to side with Reigns. Sheamus and Reigns jaw at each other with Reigns decking him as he tried to enter then the League of Nations backs off.
Thoughts: I don’t mind Sheamus having a stable. However, this group is fine for a midcard act but no one in the group is at the level needed to be considered a WWE World Champion.
Charlotte and Ric Flair are smiling and walking through the halls as her match with Becky Lynch is next.
The New Day are telling us about all of the deals we can get for “Cyber Monday” on WWE Shopzone. There has been an awful lot of New Day on this show. While I like the act, most of what they did tonight just felt tired.
Several members of the Pittsburgh Steelers are at ringside.
Charlotte w/ Ric Flair vs. Becky Lynch
Paige is out on commentary. She refers to Flair as a “bad rash that never goes away” while saying Charlotte will not be the champion for long. The girls start off the match with a pinky swear then trade off working the arm. Paige quips about their being no friends around the WWE as we see Team BAD watching backstage and messing around. The girls end in a stalemate as Paige talks about being sick of the Flair family. Becky works a bodyscissors then turns that into a crucifix for a nearfall. Charlotte is now in control as she puts on a figure four necklock. Charlotte hits some chops but Becky comes back with uppercuts. Becky hits a pair of armdrags as Paige calls her too nice and a bit of a pushover. Charlotte tries a floatover then sells like she hurt her ankle. Flair jumps up on the apron as Charlotte kips up and rolls Becky up for the win (4:37) *1/2. Paige then gloats about being right over everything that just happened while Becky is shocked over what just happened.
Thoughts: This was mind-boggling. Paige and Charlotte are in the midst of a feud, with Paige insulting Charlotte’s family and her deceased brother. Here, the feud is barely mentioned other than Paige being sick of Flair. Then, Charlotte fakes an injury to pin her own friend, which would make you a heel or signal a heel turn is coming under any normal circumstances. Paige is on commentary putting over the fact there are no such things as friends in the WWE as Charlotte backstabs her own friend Becky. This might make sense after Charlotte lost her feud and title to Paige but that never happened as the whole segment came off terrible and once again, insulting to fans who follow the storylines on a weekly basis.
Cole breaks the news that Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose & The Usos vs. Sheamus & Rusev & Alberto Del Rio & King Barrett will take place tonight.
After the break, Becky catches up with Charlotte in the hallway. Becky accuses Charlotte of cheating as Charlotte tells Becky she let her guard down. Becky says that is not how you do things as Charlotte reminds her that this is not NXT and you have to step up, noting how Paige stepped up too. Charlotte says it was “tough love” and wants to Know if they are still girls and goes for the pinky swear as Becky reluctantly accepts. Charlotte was condescending here. Charlotte leaves then Paige enters and lets Becky know at least her friendship wasn’t effected. I have no idea what they are trying to accomplish here. And now, I have zero faith it will be entertaining. Poor Becky, she deserves much better.
Adam Rose is back in a pre-recorded comedy segment titled “The Rose Bloom.” Its almost like a version of “The Soup” on E! as he talked about the relationship stuff from months ago between Rusev/Lana/Ziggler/Summer. It was quite lame.
Stardust is backstage yelling about Christmas then asks for the Ascension to rise but we get Titus O’Neill wearing a stocking cap. He puts a set of antlers on Stardust, who goes off about Christmas some more, until Titus throws a box at him. Stardust leaves as Titus does the Gator bark to end the segment. As far as filler on a three-hour long show, it was okay.
Before the Main Event, the New Day comes out to give us this important announcement: They have been added to the League of Nations for tonight’s main event.
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose & The Usos vs. The League of Nations & The New Day
Match starts with Kofi getting beaten on by everyone. He manages to tag Xavier, who beats on one of the Usos briefly until he also gets his ass kicked by everyone then we go to break. We return with Del Rio fighting back against Jey. Xavier tags but Jimmy is in too and he takes control. Jimmy sells hurting his knee coming off of the top and the heels exploit that as they take control of the match for the next few minutes. The crowd is just dead for all of this by the way. Jimmy avoids an attack and tags Jey, who runs wild on Kofi. Big E clotheslines Jey as the Jimmy is on the ground clutching his knee as we head to another break. The action returns with Jey getting stomped in the corner as we see that Jimmy got helped to the back as its now 7-3, with the heels having the advantage. Xavier plays the trombone for a bit then Jey makes a comeback. He tags Reigns, to minimal crowd reaction, as he beats on Xavier. Sheamus taunts Reigns from the apron and shortly after that Del Rio roughs up Reigns on the floor. Back inside, the heels neutralize Reigns in the corner as Jey is on the floor in pain. The crowd starts a mild “we want Ambrose” chant then Reigns ducks an attack by Del Rio that sent him through the ropes. Reigns makes the tag as Ambrose takes everyone off of the apron before hitting Sheamus with a bulldog. Ambrose heads up top then leaps outside to take out a few guys. He pulls the ropes down on Sheamus and follows out with a tope. Back inside, Jey is back but gets kicked by Del Rio. Reigns takes Del Rio down then goes outside to clothesline Big E but clutches his knee when he lands and back in the ring, Sheamus catches Ambrose with the Brogue Kick for the win (25:10) *1/2. After the match, the League of Nations and New Day stand over Reigns and Ambrose.
Thoughts: This match died with the live crowd. And to be fair, it was not very good and went on forever. The point of all this was, once again, is that the Authority are trying to pit everyone against Reigns. But to get Reigns over as a face you are going to need good heels and the League of Nations is not going to accomplish that goal. I have no idea why Swagger, who is feuding with Del Rio, or Neville, who is feuding with Barrett, or the Lucha Dragons, feuding with New Day, did not bother to come out and help the faces.
Final Thoughts: This show was terrible. Bad wrestling and angles filled all three hours. Even hot acts like the New Day were not good tonight. There was just too much New Day on this show. I like them but they are a midcard comedy act and do not need all this time. The League of Nations stable seems like a plan thrown together at the last minute and did not seem to excite anyone in attendance. I do not see anyway how they can be part of the World Title match at WrestleMania.
One thing is clear: the WWE is just putting out an awful product. The creative department needs an overhaul. The storylines and characters are not compelling and they do not have the star-power to compensate for that. It almost seems like they hit the reset button a few times on certain feuds but in doing so made things even worse than before. Not clearly defining the heel and babyface results in people not caring. Why they go away from this is beyond me. If you dont want defined faces and heels, then do not expect crowds to get invested into your product. And right now, the crowds are not invested in your product. And the years of booking everyone to trade wins and losses and not separate from the pack is hurting them.
I hope they can build momentum heading into the Rumble and WrestleMania. Right now, it is looking bleak.