Who looks stupid now? After weathering months of vitriol from the WWE Universe — and an embarrassing Survivor Series loss — Sheamus pulled a Randy Orton and swooped in to snatch the WWE World Heavyweight Title from a weary Roman Reigns moments after he’d won it. The title win cemented an alliance with Triple H that the champion made formal in Raw’s opening moments.
Reigns, of course, was having none of it, and charged in demanding a rematch with the corporate Celt. Instead, he got a kick to the face from a lurking Rusev, who certainly knows how to make a return. Only when The Big Dog was down did Triple H lay the law down with him: Reigns would face Rusev forthwith, and his rematch would be on Dec. 13 under the stipulation of Tables, Ladders & Chairs. Oh, my.
So how do you rebound from a humiliating loss that was supposed to be the culmination of an unholy war? You take it out on The Dudley Boyz, evidently. One night after falling to The Brothers of Destruction, Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper re-teamed against that other pair of Attitude Era siblings and left them in ashes, putting the Family back on the winning track.
The match came down to Harper and a red-hot Bubba Ray, who Wyatt took care of by siccing Erick Rowan on him from ringside. The interference took Bubba’s attention off The New Face of Desolation, and a discus clothesline sealed the deal. It did not seal the night, however, as the entire Wyatt Family then feasted on The Dudleys, culminating in a Sister Abigail to D-Von.
Good news: Becky Lynch is back! That’s where the good news ends, however, as Maiden Ireland caught a lass kicking on her first night back at the hands of Sasha Banks, who made the most of her Team B.A.D. buddies’ presence when Becky locked in the Dis-arm-her. It had been a grueling effort by both women up to that point, and Team B.A.D., expecting Becky to pull off the win, provided the interference. While Tamina caught the ref’s eye, Naomi dragged Sasha’s leg under the ropes and baited Becky into a face-to-face, which led to a rollup from behind by Sasha. Boss.
Happy anniversary, New Day! Or, shall we say, unhappy, since the Tag Team Champions’ celebratory “Country Jamboree” and Tag Title Open Challenge was crashed by not one, but two teams looking for a piece of The Power of Positivity. The Usos and The Lucha Dragons, both members of the Survivor Series team that toppled the champions the previous night, interrupted Kofi Kingston, Big E & Xavier Woods’ hootenanny in search of a title match. But when the champions called off the open challenge out of frustration, their would-be opponents decided to just beat them down for kicks.
Add “giant slaying” to the list of Neville’s growing accomplishments in WWE. The Man That Gravity Forgot took on his biggest challenge yet — literally — and ended up the victor, toppling Mark Henry in a David vs. Goliath contest that drew the very keen attention of The Miz backstage. The former NXT Champion certainly gave his Survivor Series opponent a hell of a show to watch. Henry seemed hesitant to unleash his full strength on The Man That Gravity Forgot, so he held back out of respect and ended up suffering a Red Arrow for his reluctance. Neville defied gravity and the odds to beat The World’s Strongest Man. That’s what he does.
Stardust’s fascination with Cesaro may be shelved alongside with King of Swing himself, but The Prince of Dark Matter has plenty on his plate while The Swiss Superman recuperates. Not only is Goldust back to meddle with his brother, but Titus O’Neil also found his way into Stardust’s sanctuary to stir up trouble before Goldust & The Prime Time Players united against Stardust’s Cosmic Wasteland for a six-man battle.
What ensued was appropriately bizarre and, if you’re O’Neil, every bit as money as he says he is. After things broke down into a wild scramble, Goldust sent Stardust tumbling over the ropes, Darren Young back-dropped Viktor onto the apron and The Big Deal caught an airborne Konnor with Clash of the Titus. And yes, Goldust did the dance. It was glorious.
MexAmerica has closed its borders. Operating under the belief that citizens both north and south of the border are unworthy to enter their utopia, U.S. Champion Alberto Del Rio and Zeb Colter shuttered their homegrown nation in a “State of MexAmerica Address." But Jack Swagger’s arrival ultimately cut the address short. A few weeks after his skeptical confrontation with Colter, The Real American seemed ready to make things physical with The Essence of Excellence when he labeled the MexAmerican contingent an enemy of the state. Del Rio stopped short of throwing hands with his former rival, though.For now, anyway.
Paige couldn’t use insults to thwart Charlotte’s Divas Championship reign? Fair enough. Doesn’t always work. So The Diva of Tomorrow exploited a technicality to get a rematch the next night: After revealing footage that showed Charlotte’s arm was under the ropes during last night’s deciding Figure-Eight, The Diva of Tomorrow got another crack at the Divas Champion. It didn’t get her the title, either, but it did pan out pretty well for her all the same.
From locking Charlotte in her own Figure-Four Leglock to bouncing her leg against the ropes, Paige did enough to take firm control of the match until Charlotte mustered the strength for a spear through the ropes. That kept both Divas out for the 10-count, but once the match ended, the brawl began. And it ended in short order, in fact, after Paige hurled Charlotte into the steel steps and PTO’d her atop the commentary table.
Rock ’n’ roll, meet Ryback: Despite Heath Slater’s best attempts to inundate country capital Nashville with a little bit of rock, The Big Guy resurfaced to play a tune of his own on The One Man Band. What began as a rock show turned into a sad, sad song when Slater El Kabonged The Human Wrecking Ball to minimal effect and ate a Shell Shocked moments later. #HitSlatersMusic? More like, “Hit Slater, music.”
A disappointing Survivor Series led to a vindicating Raw for Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler, who lost a WWE World Heavyweight Title Match and an electric showdown with Tyler Breeze, respectively, at the fall classic. Teaming up against Breeze & Kevin Owens, The Showoff and The Lunatic Fringe didn’t let up for a single second against the NXT veterans. Ambrose threw caution (and himself) to the wind with a suicide dive that put Breeze on his back, and Ziggler superkicked a bum-rushing KO to allow The Lunatic Fringe to do some Dirty Deeds for the win. Dare we say, it was gorgeous.
Roman Reigns is quickly discovering what Dean Ambrose knew long ago: When you go against The Authority’s chosen champion, the fight is never just one-on-one. Not only did The Big Dog have to contend with Sheamus’ ally Rusev in Raw’s Authority-mandated main event, but he also ran afoul of The Celtic champion’s other mate when the contest veered into chaos.
Sheamus’ repeated interference in the match got him tossed out by the official, leaving The Super Athlete to fend with a resurgent Reigns. Enter Sheamus' running mate King Barrett, who Bull Hammered Reigns into Tuesday to cause a disqualification, then produced a chair to punctuate the attack. Reigns bounced back from that, too, dispatching Barrett and Rusev with the chair before turning it on a returning Sheamus as well. What did you expect? One versus all is how he likes it.