Monday Night Raw aired live from the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And while most Americans were thinking of ways to shed off the extra Thanksgiving weight, WWE was once again battling a ratings decline.
Its response? 6-MAN TAG MATCHES!!! It’s like the early “Divas Revolution” angle all over again.
But that’s not even the worst part. WWE sank to a new low point of desperation in its plea for fans to “PLEASE LIKE ROMAN REIGNS” by making every one of his more popular friends or relatives have their upcoming title shot on the line should he not win his match. So if you like Dean Ambrose or the Usos, you better cheer for ROMAN REIGNS!!! Because reasons.
So without further ado, here’s a look at the post-Raw superstar rankings for Nov. 30.
5. New Day: It almost seemed like WWE was trying a similar tactic to “please cheer for Reigns” when it had New Day honor WWE World Heavyweight Champion Shemaus in the show’s opening segment. But instead of “please like Sheamus” it would be “please care about Sheamus,” which he’s seemingly done well in doing for himself as of late… but more on that in a bit. New Day managed to be part of both the opening and closing segments of Raw, which once again speaks volumes of its value to the program. Even in a forced multi-man tag match, sports entertainment’s best trio managed to provide something worth watching.
4. Bad News Barrett: WHAT? Bad News Barrett has made this week’s list? This might be the first time I’ve ever mentioned him. But his recent alignment with Sheamus has given his character new life — you know, not jobbing every match — and the newly formed “League of Nations” should continue that trend.
3. Rusev: So Rusev not only joined a new faction but also got Lana back in the kayfabe WWE Universe. Because they thought it was a good idea to share their engagement with the leeches at TMZ, Lana and Rusev reunited on Miz TV and completely erased months of turmoil because — once again — REASONS. They also made out. So good night for Rusev all around, but bad night for fans watching a half-baked storyline take shape once again.
2. Roman Reigns: Monday Night Reigns kicked off with a Sheamus promo where he thanked our hero for providing him with the opportunity to strike from behind and finished — ironically enough — when he was blindsided by a Superman Punch. Then, Reigns took the title, much to the chagrin of The Authority, who booked a “Roman must win in 5:15 or everyone he loves will lose their title shots” match against Sheamus later that night.
Reigns — shockingly — looked like he was going to overcome the odds before Sheamus opted to get disqualified and therefore lost the match but retained the title. Later, Team Roman — Usos, Ambrose and our hero — lost to the
United Nations League of Nations. So basically, Reigns is being projected as the guy who keeps fighting through every ridiculous stipulation and sticks with his morals. Sound familiar?
1. Sheamus: Sheamus has gone from an afterthought to the villainous centerpiece of Raw. And it’s not just better booking, the same internet smarks who berated Sheamus are suddenly singing his praises. But I can’t even argue, he’s been surprisingly entertaining as of late and manages to draw the right heel heat — not just “ugh Sheamus, time to check Monday Night Football” heat. The “Sheamus 5:15” — a playoff of how long Reigns held the title at Survivor Series — gimmick should add to his popularity and help him continue to find success as a cowardly, yet monstrous heel champion.