This Sunday it’s Tables, Ladders & Chairs, but this Monday, it’s Leagues, Families, Usos and EC-Dub Originals. Just about everyone who’s got a grudge to settle at WWE TLC joined forces in Raw’s opening moments, convening for a super-sized contest that Teddy Long could only dream of: a 16-Man Elimination Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match that pitted Sheamus’ League of Nations and The Wyatt Family against the Roman Reigns–Dean Ambrose–Usos coalition from last week along with the ECW Originals (now with 100 percent more Rhyno!). What began as a free-for-all in the opening moments quickly splintered into their respective rivalries when Tommy Dreamer eliminated the Wyatts with a DDT to Erick Rowan. Sheamus next dispatched the ECW folks with a Brogue Kick to Bubba Ray Dudley, and despite suffering a Cross Armbreaker, Reigns pinned Sheamus in the deciding moments to win it for his crew. It’s a luxury TLC rules won’t afford him on Sunday, but hey, a win is a win.
He’s got a hell of a head of hair, some peerless amateur wrestling skills and a wicked superkick. And even with all that, Dolph Ziggler was no match for The World’s Most Dangerous Dad, Kevin Owens, in his first contest in two weeks. KO showed no signs of rust in his return — which is good, since he’ll defend his Intercontinental Title against Dean Ambrose on Sunday — as he staved off a relentless, yet over-powered, Ziggler en route to a Pop-up Powerbomb that just delighted a ringside Tyler Breeze. Of course, after that, Ambrose strolled out to the ring and tossed his soda and popcorn in KO’s face. It’s on now.
It was a tale of two teams when several original Diva Revolutionaries got into the ring on Raw. Sasha Banks & Naomi of the strong and steady Team B.A.D. stood in one corner; while Brie and Alicia Fox of the Nikki-less Team Bella, still struggling to find their footing in the wake of their ringleader’s injury, were in the other. Thanks in large part to Tamina playing equalizer, B.A.D. got an early lead and didn’t let up even when miscommunication seemed to doom them. Just when their #untiy was in danger, however, some further subterfuge by Tamina and Sasha waylaid Brie Bella long enough for legal B.A.D.-mate Naomi to hit the Rear View. Even The New Day had to give props.
If a sour end awaits for The New Day's Tag Team Title reign on Sunday, they will go kicking, screaming and bleating trombone notes till their very last breath, as their showing on Raw surely made clear. Despite that, they also might ultimately lose, as their showing made clear as well. While Kofi Kingston & Big E mixed it up with two of their challengers, The Lucha Dragons, in the ring, Xavier Woods took it upon himself to psych out their other opponents, The Usos, at ringside. Unfortunately, his trombone blast to the twins’ faces led to a two-on-one stomping that distracted Kingston, and Sin Cara did the rest with a roll-up. And then The Usos stole Woods’ trombone.
Does Charlotte take a little too much after her old man? It’s certainly a question on everyone’s minds after she kinda-sorta screwed Becky Lynch over — twice — last week, so The Miz put on his Katie Couric hat to get to the bottom of the Divas Champion’s actions on a “Miz TV” featuring both Charlotte and Ric Flair. Charlotte, who’ll face Paige once again with the title on the line at WWE TLC, admirably stonewalled The Awesome One until his prodding finally caused her composure to collapse. Enter Paige, who dared the champion to throw hands and slapped “The Nature Boy” across the face to provoke a fight. She got one, and even though Charlotte got the upper hand, it was clear by the look on the champion and challenger’s faces that Paige was still nestled firmly in her head.
Last week, an injury to Lana gave Rusev an out against Ryback. This week, an injury to Lana gave Rusev another out against Ryback … which is good, since the tenderized Bulgarian Brute was on his heels from jump against The Human Wrecking Ball, who hit hard and caught some serious air in pursuit of an increasingly certain victory. Lana placed herself in The Big Guy’s path as he chased Rusev outside the ring and feigned further injury to stop Ryback cold. In came Rusev to shove Ryback into the ring post, lock in the Accolade as the bell rang and lock lips with Lana as his music played. Behind every great man …
According to Titus O’Neil, Stardust needs a life. Does battling Jack Swagger count? It certainly got Stardust out of his intergalactic hidey-hole, but that’s about where the good news ended for The Prince of Dark Matter. The Real American tapped Stardust out with the Patriot Lock before Alberto Del Riowhacked The Real American in the back with a chair. That’s where the good news ended for Zeb Colter, too. After Swagger chased Del Rio away with a chair of his own and Del Rio tripped over Colter's scooter in retreat, the frustrated U.S. Champion gave The Founding Father the apparent heave-ho in a heated exchange backstage, leaving Colter, for the first time in a long time, a man without a country.
Behold, The New Face of Extreme. Braun Strowman’s offer to destroy Tommy Dreamer was accepted and fulfilled, as The Wyatt Family’s resident colossus feasted upon his foe in a grisly bit of revenge for the Wyatts’ elimination at the hands of the ECW Originals in Raw’s opening melee. The former ECW Champion, for all his hardcore bona fides, was outmuscled from bell to bell, and The New Face of Destructon made good on his prophecy earlier in the night bycountering the DDT and squeezing Dreamer till he dropped.
Sheamus and Roman Reigns both promised to teach each other a lesson by Raw’s end. That amounted to the Celtic champion interrupting Reigns’ impassionate address to the WWE Universe, then getting shaken when The Big Dog showed no fear of the Heavyweight Champion of the World. When Reigns finally did goad Sheamus into the ring, he didn’t get a lesson but a brawl through the WWE Universe and back that ended in a Spear through a table for the challenger. So who taught whom? Sheamus learned Reigns’ title win wasn’t a fluke, but Reigns learned Sheamus won’t back down. Either way, it’s time for WWE TLC. Class dismissed.