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The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 12/07/15

Posted By: John Canton on Dec 08, 2015

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 12/07/15

Live from Charleston, South Carolina this is the Raw Deal for episode #1176. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the sweet banner above.

There was a recap of the events from last week's Raw. I actually appreciate the recap because I forgot that show even though I wrote about it and did a podcast about it. It also put over the newly formed League Of Nations group.

The League of Nations foursome of WWE Champion Sheamus, US Champion Alberto Del Rio, King Barrett and Rusev were already in the ring as their new generic theme song played. There's already a reminder of Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns in a TLC Match for the WWE Title at Sunday's TLC event.

Sheamus said he was happy. A mild "you look stupid" chant started up as he reminded the fans he's the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He pointed to his "Sheamus 5:15" shirt to say that's how long it took to beat Roman Reigns. He said that has to be a world record. Um...no. Sheamus said it's the international era because they are the League of Nations. He said they were four premier athletes from four of the greatest countries in the world and then he pointed at all the guys. Fans chanted "USA" so Sheamus said they tried to find somebody from America, but they couldn't find anybody good enough. He said there aren't four men on the planet that can match them...because "we're the best of the best of the best of the best" and here's the Wyatt Family.

Analysis: He tried hard, but this didn't come off well. Sheamus is one of the least credible WWE Champions there's ever been and barely gets a crowd reaction. Remember when Barrett was one of the best talkers doing the "bad news" gimmick? Now he never gets to talk.

Bray Wyatt was in the ring with his Wyatt Family buddies standing behind him. Fans chanted "yes" for this. Wyatt said he didn't think they were properly introduced, his name is Bray Wyatt and "these are my brothers." He said he didn't care about their nation because it's his world and he's just allowing them to breathe in it. Wyatt said they didn't come out there to talk - they came out there for the chaos. Dudley Boyz music hit.

The Dudley Boyz were on the stage with Tommy Dreamer at their side. A mild "ECW" chant started up. Bubba Ray said "extreme" to pop the crowd. Wyatt told them that they were outmanned. He told them to not get in Bray's way. D-Von said that when you're extreme, you don't die, you multiply. There's the music and here comes Rhyno. He's been in NXT for most of the last year, so it's no surprise that they would call on him for this segment.

The music of Roman Reigns started up. He had Dean Ambrose and The Usos with him. They walked down to the ring through the crowd and there's a commercial.

Analysis: What an odd time for a commercial. If you're watching this live, you probably want them all to start brawling, yet they just went to a commercial break as if they are in some peaceful situation. It still followed the standard Raw formula with a promo segment to start. At least it looks like it will lead to a match.

(Commercial)

Back from break, a four team four way tag match started. Why wouldn't they announce this for the TV audience? Have Triple H on the stage, announce the match. Even better, give Teddy Long a call and have him make the match. It's better than having the announcers mention it.

Fatal Four Way Elimination Match: The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman) vs. Team ECW (The Dudley Boyz, Tommy Dreamer & Rhyno) vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose & The Usos vs. The League Of Nations (Sheamus, Rusev, King Barrett & Alberto Del Rio)

Who came up with this match concept? Last week as 7 on 4 match. Now we get four teams in a four way elimination match. I guess they're trying to go for "new" concepts. I'm not going play by play, but I'll hit on key points. Ambrose hit a diving attack to take out Del Rio on the floor. Double back suplex by Del Rio and Rusev on D-Von with JBL saying the League of Nations is dominant. How dominant? They all lose fairly often. Rhyno tagged in, cleaned house on everybody and then Strowman took him down with a clothesline. Dreamer's wearing polka dot pants in tribute to Dusty Rhodes since he got the "Dreamer" name from the American Dream. Rusev with a fallaway slam to Jimmy Uso. Rusev up top, Jimmy blocked it, tagged in Jey, they went for a double suplex, but Strowman powerbomed them all down and they went into Dreamer, who did a poor job of making it look like a natural spot. Rowan missed a spin kick on Dreamer, then Dreamer hit a DDT and pinned Rowan.

Wyatt Family eliminated due to Rowan getting pinned by Dreamer

Analysis: You want to tell us the Wyatt Family is dominant, yet Rowan got pinned by a move that 95% of wrestlers kick out of? Okay then. I understand wanting to make Dreamer look like a threat, but it doesn't make the Wyatt Family look good at all.

(Commercial)

Del Rio knocked down Dreamer and then worked over Jey. After a Dreamer neckbreaker to Sheamus, Bubba tagged in with a huge one armed slam. Barrett broke up the pin and all 12 guys started brawling in the ring. Reigns had a confrontation with Rhyno, but the heels broke up the staredown. Dudleys hit 3D on Rusev. They went for the Whassup Drop on Sheamus, but Del Rio knocked D-Von off the ropes, then Del Rio kicked Bubba and Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick to eliminate Bubba.

Team ECW eliminated due to Bubba Ray getting pinned by Sheamus

Ambrose was in there against Rusev as Cole mentioned it was Ambrose's birthday - he's 30 although they didn't say the age. Ambrose with a forearm as well as a bulldog on Rusev. Ambrose hit a flying elbow attack off the top as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

The heels were working over Jey in their corner. JBL pointed out it was no disqualification for a second time as I sit here wondering why guys are standing on the apron if they can't get disqualified? There were quick tags by the heels. Jey avoided a Barrett kick and it's a hot tag to Reigns while Del Rio tagged in. Reigns with clotheslines, then a rollup and a slam. Looks like Reigns has added that rollup into a slam spot into his arsenal. Superman Punch for Barrett on the apron and then a SP for Del Rio on the apron. Reigns with Drive By kick to Sheamus and Ambrose with a suicide dive to take out Rusev. Del Rio tossed Reigns into the barricade and then moved in position to catch an Uso hitting a dive over the top. Superkick by Reigns on Del Rio for two. Del Rio with the Cross Armbreaker on Reigns, but Jey hit a top rope splash on Del Rio. Sheamus tagged in. He mocked Reigns' corner pose, ran in and Reigns nailed Sheamus with a Spear. Reigns covered for the win. It went 22 minutes.

League of Nations eliminated by Roman Reigns and friends

Winners by pinfall: Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and The Usos

Analysis: *** It was a good match even though it was very confusing early on with 16 guys in one match on four separate teams. By the end they were able to create some good nearfalls and the finish was well done. It was confusing just because you had the announcers talking about how there's no disqualification. Like I said above, if that's the case why are people standing on the apron waiting for a tag? As for the result of Reigns pinning Sheamus, that's just done to give him the momentum. In a case like this, the champ getting pinned by the challenger will usually mean that the champ is going to be the victor at TLC. That's what I was thinking anyway. Aside from Dreamer pinning Rowan, most of the eliminations were well done in this match.

There was another reminder that Sheamus vs. Reigns in a TLC Match at TLC. Then the faces celebrated their win.

Backstage, Charlotte was standing by with her dad Ric Flair as it was announced that they will be on Miz TV later.

(Commercial)

A replay of the 16 man match with Reigns pinning Sheamus was shown.

Sheamus was shown backstage with the WWE Title on his shoulder as Renee Young asked him if that outcome would be similar to what we see on Sunday. Sheamus said "a great man once said there is no chance in hell" and said that is the closest Reigns will come to winning the WWE Championship. Sheamus said he's going to smash in Reigns' face at TLC. He said he may just do it in less than 5:15. Sheamus said he'll teach Reigns a lesson later.

Analysis: It was fine, but the WWE Champion looks less intimidating when we just saw the guy get pinned clean.

Stardust was doing a promo backstage. He was talking about how we clamored for the darkness and he said he'd eviscerate Jack Swagger. Titus O'Neil showed up in a suit again. He told Stardust he needs to "get you some" and told him to get a good book. O'Neil said he'll see him out there, pointed to the side and then walked away.

Analysis: I don't even know where this is going. The Stardust gimmick is never going to get him anywhere. Either team him up with Goldust again as a face team or dump the Stardust gimmick so that he can use the Cody Rhodes name again.

Dolph Ziggler entered for a match against Kevin Owens. Tyler Breeze with Summer Rae walked down to ringside to watch the match in their VIP section.

(Commercial)

There was a clip advertising the Slammy Awards on Monday December 21. It's presented by Coca-Cola. Looks like a new sponsor for WWE. Pretty big company that wouldn't touch them except for the PG rating.

Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler

This is not for Owens' IC Title. Ambrose was shown watching the monitor backstage with popcorn and a beverage in his hand. Slow start with Owens taking Ziggler to Chinlock City early on. There really wasn't anything of significance that happened in the first few minutes. Owens hit him a Vader-like forearm shot with JBL putting over Vader. Good job by him - Vader should be in the WWE HOF by the way. Ziggler hit a dropkick to get some momentum and Owens ducked to the floor to avoid a superkick. Owens caught Ziggler outside the ring and did a fallaway slam to send Ziggler into the barricade. Owens pounded him with fists and trash talked him while he did it. When fans tried to clap to rally behind Ziggler, Owens mocked them for it. Owens with a slam, but he missed the follow up with a senton. Ziggler missed a corner charge and Owens followed it up by tossing him shoulder first into the ring post. Ziggler landed on the floor and I thought it was commercial time, but not yet. Ziggler rolled into the ring and Owens hit the senton. Ziggler rolled to the floor again, so there's that commercial.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Owens with a chinlock again. Owens missed a corner charge, Ziggler nailed a clothesline, splash and neckbreaker. There's the elbow drop for two. When Ziggler went for a DDT, Owens dumped him over the top. Owens went out after him, yelled at Cole and Ziggler nailed a huge DDT on the floor. Back in the ring, Ziggler got a two count. This crowd is pretty dead because they didn't even pop for that nearfall. Owens nailed a release German Suplex, but then he missed his cannonball charge in the corner. Ziggler hit the Fameasser for two, which earned a good reaction for the nearfall. Owens hit a superkick followed by Ziggler hitting a superkick right after. Ziggler got a two count for that. Ziggler threw a punch. That stunned Ziggler more than Owens since he was selling a shoulder injury, so Owens shoved him into the ropes and hit a Popup Powerbomb for the pinfall win after 19 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a very good match, but not great. I'm a huge fan of these guys and it's awesome that they got about 20 minutes. It just wasn't the classic match that I expected it to be. I'm not sure if it was a chemistry issue or what. It's still a three star match out of five, so it's not like it's a big complaint. The crowd wasn't into the match as much as I would have liked either. Ziggler was selling the shoulder or much of it. I would have done a spot or two where he tried for the Zig Zag, but couldn't hit it completely due to the injury. Obviously these guys know what they are doing. I just think it could have added more to the match. Owens getting the win is great since we see so many champions lose non-title matches, so at least he was able to come out victorious.

Post match, Ambrose walked out with popcorn and his beverage in hand. They went face to face and if you couldn't predict what was coming next you haven't watched enough wrestling. Ambrose tossed the popcorn in Owens' face and then he tossed the drink at him. Then Ambrose left.

Analysis: This feud could have used a strong promo segment. I wrote on Twitter earlier on Monday that WWE should have let Ambrose do a promo for his birthday since he barely gets to speak on Raw. Nope. These are two of the best talkers in WWE. Neither one got to talk. For shame.

The Wyatt Family were backstage with Bray Wyatt doing a promo standing in front of his three buddies. Braun Strowman said he's going to squeeze the life out of Tommy Dreamer. Wyatt said Strowman will show Dreamer what it means to be extreme.

Analysis: I guess Strowman vs. Dreamer is supposed to excite people? Okay then.

The Team BAD trio of Naomi, Sasha Banks and Tamina entered for a match.

(Commercial)

Neville was in the locker room. The Miz showed up to say that he was serious about what he said to Neville on Smackdown. He said he could take Neville from "elf on the shelf" to the next Daniel Bryan. They had Donny Deutsch show up. He's on a show after Raw. Miz mocked Donny for plugging Christy Brinkley by mentioning she was old and in the 1980s she was big. Then Donny told Neville to come on his show. Miz gave Neville his card.

Analysis: Just a cheap plug for a USA Network show that I won't watch. I hope this turns into something good for Neville, but it's not like Miz has had successful storylines in the last few years.

Sasha Banks & Naomi (w/Tamina) vs. Brie Bella & Alicia Fox

I'm not sure if Brie and Fox are faces or what. It's the WWE divas division. I don't think the company cares enough to have defined characters. Fox hit a backbreaker on Naomi, then Fox/Brie hit a sliding dropkick. Cole called them "The Bellas" when they did that. Tamina tripped up Fox while the ref wasn't look, so Banks/Naomi worked over Fox. Naomi hit a dropkick in the corner on Fox. Banks hit a clothesline on Fox. Banks knocked Brie off the apron. Fox broke free as Brie got the hot tag and went after Naomi. Brie hit clotheslines, then a bulldog, then the Daniel Bryan kicks and a dropkick. Running knee by Brie gets two as Banks breaks it up. Banks tripped up Brie while Tamina distracted the ref and Naomi hit the Rear View aka the DREADED FLYING ASS leading to the pinfall. It went about six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Sasha Banks & Naomi

Analysis: ** It was a pretty basic match with the heels cheating to win due to the numbers game. Since Nikki Bella is out of action, there wasn't anybody around to help Brie/Alicia and it cost them the match. The good thing is that Banks was on the winning side for the second week in a row. What's hurting the divas division now is they don't have that many faces although I think Banks will turn face early next year.

Here comes The New Day while Team BAD was still in the ring. The New Day trio of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were wearing unicorn headbands, now available on WWEShop. Yes, I just plugged them because they are cool.

The New Day guys gave unicorn headbands to the three Team BAD girls. Then they showed some unity in the ring. They danced together. Banks was twerking in the ring. That's not a bad visual at all.

Analysis: If there was any sort of storyline continuity, Jimmy Uso would be furious that his wife (Naomi) was dancing with his rivals. Don't expect anything about it. Not in today's WWE with poor writing.

(Commercial)

Speaking of The Usos, they are on commentary. But first, let's hear from the New Day.

Don't You Dare Be Sour Because The New Day Are Talking

Big E said they aren't selfish while Woods said they gave a huge donation to the League of Nations. Big E suggested "Booty West" as the name for Kim and Kanye's new baby. They transitioned to talking about the Tag Team Titles with Big E saying it was outrageous that they had to defend the titles against Lucha Dragons and The Usos. They said they don't need ladders because they don't look like painters, firefighters or guys trying to get a cat down from a tree. Then they did something where Big E played a tree, Kingston was a cat and Woods asked the cat if he needed assistance. Woods said they don't need a ladder because they are grown men. Then they celebrated their acting performance. Some fans cheered. They said they would keep the titles because...New Day Rocks.

Analysis: I know this stuff is silly, but it's fun and a breath of fresh air compared to other stuff on this show. These guys make me smile.

There was a plug for John Cena on the Tonight Show Tuesday night. He's not on Raw, but he's on that show.

The New Day's Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara)

This is not for the titles. Sin Cara hit a dive outside the ring, Big E caught him and gave him a belly to belly suplex on the floor. Woods played the trombone to taught Sin Cara. Commercial break one minute into the match.

(Commercial)

Sin Cara was in the ring. Kalisto got the hot tag, he hit a cross body off the ropes and then Kingston dumped him to the floor after Woods distracted Kalisto. Big E drove Kalisto back first into the barricade. Kingston with a corner dropkick followed by some trombone celebrating by the champs. Sin Cara received the hot tag, hit a crossbody block and then a moonsault on Big E. Kingston made the blind tag, so he hit an unsuspecting Cara with a kick. Woods blew the trombone in the face of The Usos, so The Usos attacked him. Kingston was distracted by that, so Sin Cara did a pinfall using his legs to roll up Kingston for the win after seven minutes. At least it wasn't the traditional ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the finish.

Winners by pinfall: Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara)

Analysis: *1/2 A good match that was shorter than I would have liked. It felt rushed. The finish really didn't come as a result of the Lucha Dragons doing that much since it came after a distraction. As for the result, it's typical WWE booking with the champs losing a non-title match. Earlier I mentioned the surprise of Owens actually winning non-title. I expect the New Day to retain the titles at TLC.

The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton talked about the opening match with Reigns pinning Sheamus. Hey look, another champion got beat on this show.

Roman Reigns was interviewed by Renee Young. Reigns said that there's nothing Sheamus could teach him about being a man. He said he's going to teach Sheamus what it's like to have your skin blistered by chairshot after chairshot. As for tonight, we'll see who goes to school and who doesn't.

Analysis: That just sets up the main event segment with Reigns and Sheamus.

A replay was shown of Charlotte's fake ankle injury last week leading to the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! win over Becky Lynch. Charlotte and Ric Flair are on Miz TV up next.

(Commercial)

PLUG TIME: We launched the brand new, weekly TJRWrestling Podcast recently. My good friend Rey is co-hosting with me. Go check out and bookmark our Podbean page where we will upload new episodes every Wednesday morning. For iTunes you can click here or do a search for “TJRWrestling” (all one word) or “John Canton” and it should come up. All of our new episodes as well as previous episodes go up on our Podbean page so make sure you check that out on a regular basis.

Miz TV with Charlotte & Ric Flair

The Miz mentioned he was going to bring out Paige, but that isn't happening. Then he brought out the Divas Champion Charlotte and her father Ric Flair. This Sunday at TLC it's Charlotte vs. Paige for the Divas Title. No stipulation for their third Divas Title match in three weeks.

Charlotte did a special introduction for her dad, the 16 time World Heavyweight Champion and the only two time WWE Hall of Famer as well as the greatest competitor to step in the ring. Charlotte said Miz had ten minutes on Rolex time as she showed her watch with her dad. Ric said he was proud of her and sees her gaining more confidence while adding that he'll be in Charlotte's corner at TLC.

Miz mentioned Charlotte's new attitude. Charlotte said she'll do whatever it takes to be the best. She said if she was a man then Miz would praise her for her ambition and said "I feel sorry for your wife." I miss Maryse. Miz told her that changing the subject won't distract him. Miz said that Charlotte has changed after all of those things Paige has said about her. Charlotte said if she had anything to say she'll say it on Sunday. She went to leave, but Miz reminded her that Paige said awful things to her in the past.

Ric spoke up to tell Miz this isn't the time to give Charlotte the third degree to bump the ratings. Bump the ratings? WWE wishes. Not happening. Miz tried to provoke Charlotte some more.

Charlotte said that the only thing lower on the totem pole than Miz is that gothic, two faced, piece of trash Paige. Charlotte said that on Sunday she'll destroy Paige for everything she has said about her.

Paige showed up with microphone in hand. The announcers overacted as if this is great. Paige told Charlotte she's there for Charlotte to talk to her face. Ric told Charlotte to leave and to wait until Sunday. Paige slapped Ric. He told Charlotte to get Paige. Charlotte went after Paige, got a hold of her a bit and Paige slipped out of the ring. Paige's music played to end it as the women had a staredown.

Analysis: That wasn't good. It wasn't one of those segments that will get people to care about this rivalry. This feud is so confusing. They originally designed it to get over Charlotte as the top face diva, but the crowd wasn't that receptive to her in that role, so they turned her heel in the last week. The thing is, she's not fully a heel yet. I would expect the turn to be furthered on Sunday when she cheats to beat Paige. It almost feels like Paige is a face again because the crowd actually popped when she showed up. Slapping Ric was a heel move, but Ric and Charlotte avoiding a fight was also heelish, so it's hard to understand. It's nice to see the women in the spot to have a long talking segment at the top of hour three, but the execution of the segment was poor.

The announcers plugged WWE Network. I love the old content on there that was added recently like NWA-WCW, AWA, SMW and more although I wish I had more time to watch it. Of course they don't mention that. They just plugged Sunday's PPV with JBL showing the flash cards plugging the price.

Another replay of Reigns pinning Sheamus earlier on Raw.

(Commercial)

Prior to this match, Lana said in a pre-tape that she forgives Ryback for what happened in their match last week.

Ryback vs. Rusev (w/Lana)

Rusev bailed to the floor at the start of the match. Lana has altered her look a bit with her hair down not a business suit, but still looks great of course. Ryback sent Rusev out of the ring, so Ryback hit a sloppy rope assisted dive over the top to take out Rusev. It didn't look pretty, but it worked. Rusev gave Ryback a back body drop over the top and then draped Ryback's left arm against the top rope. Time for a commercial with Ryback on the apron.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Rusev continued to work on the left arm. Rusev gave Ryback a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Ryback started his comeback with some shoulder tackles. Ryback hit a dropkick off the middle ropes for two. That didn't look that great. Rusev ran around the ring. Ryback ran after him. Lana pretended like her leg was hurt. Ryback stopped. Rusev attacked from behind and shoved him into the ring post. Rusev gave Ryback his Accolade submission hold outside the ring. Lana was laughing while showing that she was faking it. The match went about 10 minutes.

Match Result: Double countout

Post match, Rusev got a kiss from Lana. He gives hope to hairy European men everywhere. He's a hero, really. After some replays were shown, they kissed some more.

Analysis: * A boring match that felt long at ten minutes. It was very slow and the crowd didn't seem to care. I can't blame them for that. I'm not sure what the point of the feud or match is other than having Rusev win the deciding match at some point. It's not like Rusev is booked nearly as well as he was last year.

Another reminder about Sheamus vs. Reigns at TLC.

(Commercial)

Back from break, a match was already underway with Jack Swagger taking on Stardust. That's weird that they would start it during a break.

Jack Swagger vs. Stardust

Swagger went for the Patriot Lock while Titus O'Neil was on commentary. The US Champion Alberto Del Rio walked out with Zeb Colter in his motorized cart. Stardust took advantage of that by taking down Swagger. O'Neil said that he wants Stardust to go back to who he was. He mentioned Stardust is a son of a Hall of Famer and while he didn't say the name Cody Rhodes, that's what he is going for. Swagger took down Stardust with clotheslines and then an overhead slam for two. Stardust went for a kick off the ropes, but Swagger caught him and applied the Patriot Lock. Stardust tapped out to give Swagger the win after three minutes.

Winner by submission: Jack Swagger

Analysis: * A short match to put over Swagger since he's in a PPV match against Del Rio while Stardust is not. It was another match where the crowd didn't care about either guy. This is what happens when most of the midcarders are made to look like losers.

Post match, Del Rio nailed Swagger in the back with a chair. Then Stardust went to attack and O'Neil warned Del Rio about it for some reason, so Del Rio hit Stardust with two chair shots in the back to send him out of the ring. Swagger picked up a chair. They each swung the chair. Del Rio slipped over Colter's scooter intentionally (making it look like an accident) and stormed away. Swagger yelled at Colter about how they used to be "We The People." Colter just left.

Analysis: They used the chairs because they are going to have a Chairs Match at TLC. That's really it. I don't think the crowd cares at all. I know I don't.

Adam Rose did a segment called "The Rosebush" again. Rose mocked Neville followed by some mockery of Tommy Dreamer's tan. He said it was like Becky Lynch's hair dye.

Analysis: Another minute of my life that I will never get back. I think that was worse than what he did last week.

Backstage, Del Rio yelled at Colter. He blamed him for what happened and told Colter he should have got out of his way. Del Rio told Colter to get away from him and said he doesn't need Colter. Colter said that without him, Del Rio wouldn't be US Champion. Del Rio threatened Colter with a chair.

Analysis: There's the breakup. The MexAmerica angle lasted about a month and was a huge flop. I assume Colter supports Swagger on Sunday. Not like it matters.

(Commercial)

This week on Smackdown there's an IC Title contract signing for Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose. At least they will get to talk on that show.

It was announced that there would be a 8 Man Tag Team Elimination Tables Match at TLC with the Wyatt Family against Team ECW. That's a guaranteed win for the Wyatt Family.

Tommy Dreamer (w/Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley & Rhyno) vs. Braun Strowman (w/Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan & Luke Harper)

Strowman shoved Dreamer down and hit a shoulder tackle. Strowman whipped Dreamer hard into the corner followed by a body slam. At least they aren't replaying body slams as deadly moves like a few months ago. Dreamer tried a comeback by kicking the leg of Strowman. He tried for a DDT, but Strowman blocked it, applied his head/arm choke and Dreamer quit. The match went about three minutes.

Winner by submission: Braun Strowman

Analysis: * It was just a squash win to put over Strowman. With all due respect to Tommy Dreamer, he's in his 40s and shouldn't be working twice on Raw when there are so many talented performers that aren't even in a match.

Post match, Wyatt laughed with his family while Dreamer's buddies checked on him.

Sheamus was shown walking backstage.

There was a preview of Donny Deutsch's show on USA Network. I don't care.

(Commercial)

Roman Reigns And Sheamus Talk It Out

Reigns entered the ringside area for a promo. There were chairs, adders and tables all around the ringside as well as inside the ring to promote the TLC match on Sunday.

Reigns noted the first match for The Shield was a TLC match and they earned their spot. It was a great match. Reigns talked about how over the last three years he climbed the ladder while noting he lost some friends while gaining some enemies. He climbed the ladder while saying that at Survivor Series he won the WWE Title, but that only lasted 5:15 because of Sheamus. He told Sheamus that at TLC he's taking back what is his. He told Sheamus to come out.

Sheamus was on the ramp talking about how Reigns was so out of touch. He told him that TLC will end just like Survivor Series did with Sheamus standing tall as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion while Reigns will wonder why it all went wrong. Reigns told him to come to the ring.

Reigns said he thought the Irish love to fight. Sheamus slowly walked down to the ring. Sheamus said he will fight him, but not tonight. Reigns said he thought Irishman had potatoes, but it looks like Sheamus is just smuggling some tater tots. Sheamus teased going into the ring, but he stopped. Some fans chanted "tater tots" although it didn't really pick up. Sounds like a Vince McMahon line except replacing grapefruits with potatoes.

They kept on arguing. Reigns tossed a chair out of the ring while calling him "tater tot" again. Then Reigns tossed the table out of the ring while I wondered when this was going to be over. Another "tater tot" chant. Sheamus mocked him for being a WWE Champion for 5:15 so Sheamus told him to put the ladder outside the ring and maybe Sheamus will go in there. Reigns teased throwing it at him and then he did it, but Sheamus moved. More "tater tot" chants so at least it picked up a little. Reigns talked some more trash.

Sheamus went into the ring and Reigns tossed him out of there. Reigns tossed Sheamus into the barricade at ringside. Then Sheamus tossed Reigns into the barricade twice as well as the ladder once. They brawled into the crowd with Reigns hitting him with garbage pails. They went back towards the entrance ramp where Reigns shoved Sheamus into a vertical table. Sheamus got the advantage back by hitting Reigns in the back with a steel chair twice. Reigns threw a chair at him followed by a chair shot to the back.

Back at ringside, Sheamus tossed Reigns into the barricade. Sheamus went to Powerbomb Reigns through the announce table, but Reigns fought out of it and hit a Superman Punch. Reigns went for a Spear, Sheamus avoided it and Reigns went flying over the announce table. Sheamus celebrated at ringside. Reigns popped back up and gave Sheamus a Spear through a table that was propped up against the side of the ring. The crowd chanted "Roman" as his music played.

Raw ended with referees checking in on Sheamus while Reigns stood by. The announcers did a final hype of TLC and that's it.

Analysis: That was a 17 minute segment to end the show. Why so long? Shave off 10 minutes, have Reigns talk a lot less and just brawl. The dialogue is awful. I also think it's a big mistake to put Reigns in such a long promo when it's not his strength. How hard is it for WWE creative to realize that having this guy talk for such a long time is a detriment to him? He should be a brutal ass kicker. Not a promo expert. It's boring. They don't have to go the comedy route like they used to do with The Rock or John Cena. He should be an ass kicking machine.

The ending of the show gave Reigns the advantage. He's not going to win the WWE Title on Sunday, so that follows the formula of looking strong on TV (like Reigns did) and winning on PPV. Reigns beat Sheamus, plus he won their brawling segment as well. That made Reigns look as strong as ever.

What I don't get is why WWE spends all that time talking about how The League of Nations is this unified group working together, yet nobody was there to help Sheamus. It's a bit odd ONE WEEK after the group formed. It's been one week and the group already isn't looking out for each other like a team. I get that this was done as a hard sell for the PPV, but there's no storyline continuity when Sheamus' allies are nowhere to be found.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Kevin Owens

2. Dolph Ziggler

3. The New Day

 

The Scoreboard

4 out of 10

Last week: 4.5

Last 5 Weeks: 4.5, 4, 6.5, 7, 7

2015 Average: 5.76

2015 High: 9 (May 4)

2015 Low: 3.5 (September 28)

 

Final Thoughts

I’m giving it a 4 out of 10.

- The first hour was pretty good with two matches hitting the three star level. Everything else was below average or poor. If I wasn't writing about it I probably would have fast forwarded through most of it. There just aren't any compelling feuds right now.

- The brawl in the main event segment was fine. However, the promos weren't good. Tater tots? Ugh.

- What is WWE doing with their divas? It's like their new goal is to have no likable divas. All of them were heels on this show. It's brutal writing.

- Last week there was a 7 on 4 match. This week there were four teams of four in an elimination match with fatal fourway rules and no disqualification, yet nobody used a weapon. It's as if the goal of the WWE creative team right now is to come up with "new" match concepts as their way of making things fresh even though all it's doing is making things confusing. Regular singles and tags work. Just book them right.

- The three episodes of Raw that followed Survivor Series have been among the worst of the year. I don't know how people that work for WWE can consider this good or compelling television. It's too damn long and nothing exciting happens. The quality of this show should be so much better.

- I didn't miss Triple H or Stephanie McMahon at all. Authority figures aren't necessary. I just want a better show.

That’s all for this week.

We will have a WWE TLC Preview posted on the weekend, either Friday or Saturday. I don't think I'll see TLC live, so the full review will be done on Monday morning.

PLUG TIME: We launched the brand new, weekly TJRWrestling Podcast recently. My good friend Rey is co-hosting with me. Go check out and bookmark our Podbean page where we will upload new episodes every Wednesday morning. For iTunes you can click here or do a search for “TJRWrestling” (all one word) or “John Canton” and it should come up. All of our new episodes as well as previous episodes go up on our Podbean page so make sure you check that out on a regular basis.

Thanks for reading. Go St. Louis Rams. Go Toronto Raptors.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

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