Last week‘s edition of Monday Night Raw served as the palate cleanser between Survivor Series and TLC. In the aftermath of Survivor Series, the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion emerged in Sheamus with the full backing of The Authority.
This week, Sheamus made some moves as WWE’s top champion and formed a new union that will be a force to be reckoned with in WWE for as long as Sheamus holds the WWE Championship. The Dudley Boyz presented a rare challenge, Charlotte’s character took an interesting turn many didn’t expect, and a romantic reunion took place between Lana and Rusev that brought them new life.
It was a night of returns, reunions and many moments that have set WWE on the warpath to TLC in less than two weeks. Here are the top five moments from this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw live from Pittsburgh:
5) A League of Nations Forms
I love this idea. First of all, another stable is an excellent way to utilize all of those guys. The whole, “We’re together because we are foreigners” gimmick is a little weak, but every man brings something new to the table in the group being called the “League of Nations.” The WWE Champion Sheamus is the leader. His right-hand man is Rusev — King Barrett and Alberto Del Rio serve as the backbone of the group.
What makes the “League of Nations” especially interesting is their ties to The New Day. Last night began with The New Day giving Sheamus a WWE Championship Celebration. The League of Nations and New Day teamed together and stood in dominance to end Raw too. It’s going to be fun to see how these two groups utilize their alliance and how this new group can elevate four guys that are all great talents in their own way.
4) Tommy Dreamer Returns/Dudley Boyz vs. Wyatt Family
I didn’t expect the Dudley Boyz to be the next feud for the Wyatt Family, but they’re veterans of the industry and they’ll do a lot of good in helping to elevate Luke Harper, Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman. Bubba and D-Von calling out the Wyatts was a great idea because it shows their experience and allows the feud to feel natural as Bray Wyatt gets thrown through a table by Bubba Ray. There is no way Wyatt won’t seek revenge that will build the feud into TLC. Good work by WWE creative there.
However, the highlight of the night goes to the return of Tommy Dreamer. That was a pleasant surprise and a welcome sight to see the face of ECW back in the ring. Since Wyatt is bound to get involved, I think one more member will arrive next week to even the teams at four apiece. When Bubba mentioned “their family,” I know I’m not the only one who thought of Spike Dudley. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Spike, Rob Van Dam, or one more extreme performer to enter the fold next week.
3) The Reunion of Lana and Rusev
If there is any truth to the rumors, Lana hasn’t been the most popular person within WWE lately. Lana had reportedly gained a lot of heat backstage because of her behavior on Twitter and is still suffering the backlash of her engagement to Rusev going public before both their injuries forced WWE to hit the reset button and reunite them on television.
Last night, WWE finally embraced the fact that Lana and Rusev must be together on WWE TV. Those characters are tied together so well because their genuine love in real life comes through their characters, even when they’re making out with other people. That’s something to embrace, not attempt to hide.
For Rusev, Lana humbles his character. He’s the Bulgarian Brute, but he’s also the man of Lana’s life. It gives his character multiple levels. She’s the best thing for Rusev. On the other side, Rusev gives Lana’s character purpose and something for her character to say because she was lost without him. They both compliment each other and with Rusev involved with The League of Nations, Lana will have plenty of heels to work with to get her back to where she was earlier this year.
2) Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be seeing a Triple Threat match at TLC, or a Fatal-Four Way for the WWE Divas Championship. There is a rumor going around of a Divas Championship TLC match happening in Boston. That’s an amazing idea to elevate the women’s division, but also allow more women to get involved in the Divas title hunt.
Last week, it seemed like the plan was for Charlotte vs. Paige to continue through at least TLC. However, Charlotte was challenged by her friend, Becky Lynch. They had a solid match, but Charlotte got the win with The Nature Boy providing the distraction on the apron. Is Charlotte becoming the new dirtiest player in the game? Is WWE planning to alter Charlotte character into a heel that could even align with Paige?
It’s going to be interesting to see WWE’s direction with Charlotte.
1) Reigns vs. Sheamus Builds for TLC
The main story since Survivor Series has been the reemergence of Sheamus as champion and how he stole the WWE title from Roman Reigns after five minutes and fifteen seconds. Personally, I’d buy a Sheamus 5:15 t-shirt right now. That’s a very good idea, but this is all for Reigns becoming the hero and always fighting the bad guys.
Reigns got a title match, but he had to beat Sheamus in under 5:15 to get the WWE title and save all his friend’s title chances. Reigns was successful by disqualification, but the alliance of Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and The Usos has led to the creation of The League of Nations and given Sheamus a stable to push at the top of the card.
There’s one more Raw before the TLC PPV in Boston. The card is filling up and other than Kevin Owens being a no-show last night, it was a good show. This week’s Raw didn’t linger, and that’s usually a problem. There’s still a lot for WWE to figure out over the next two weeks before everything can be decided at TLC.
WWE has some interesting stories developing. The only thing to do now is sit back and wait to see what happens.