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RAW Recap – “The League of Not-So-Ordinary Gentlemen”

November 30, 2015
Aired Live

City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Venue: Consol Energy Center

Commentary: Michael Cole, JBL, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Lilian Garcia


Ring Area
New Day comes out and it’s a celebration! A gala! A jubilee! It’s not a birthday though, it’s the celebration of new WWE World Heavyweight Champ Sheamus!

Sheamus comes out as confetti blankets the arena and resumes making fun of Roman Reigns which he started last week. He also points out that Sheamus 5:15 just kicked your arse! New Day takes off as Sheamus basks in the fire and sound of fireworks, but Roman Reigns spoils the party with a Superman punch to his face. Reigns takes the title belt and walks away with it.

** So this is how they are going to get people to care about this feud, use the popularity of New Day to introduce it and hope that some of that excitement transfers over to Sheamus and Reigns. I can’t say it’s a bad idea. **

Reigns talks with The Usos an Ambrose, still holding the title belt. Triple H and Stephanie want back what’s theirs. Reigns hands it over with a smile. Triple H informs Reigns that Sheamus wants to defend his title against Reigns tonight, in a match with a 5:15 time limit.

** I noticed that Steph said the belt was theirs, meaning The Authority’s, and not Sheamus’s. I like that. I don’t know it I like that 5:15 title match time limit, though I’m sure something else is going to happen. It, of course, has all the markings of a trap. **


Match 1
Tyler Breeze w/ Summer Rae vs Dolph Ziggler
(referee: Rod Zapata)

Ziggler starts with some mat wrestling and gets a few pinning combinations, but Breeze quickly takes control of the match. Ziggler fights back, but runs into the post shoulder first and falls out to the floor.


Breeze is in control, but Ziggler hits some shoulder blocks and a neckbreaker on Breeze. He drops an elbow and tries a quick cover. Ziggler calls for the super kick, but misses which leads to a nice exchange that ends with Breeze getting a 2 count on Ziggler.

Breeze throws feet and fists towards Ziggler in the corner, then catapults Ziggler into the turnbuckles. 2 count. Ziggler is in trouble, and Breeze focuses on Ziggler’s hurt shoulder for another near fall.

Breeze tries to set up the Unprettier, but Ziggler counters which leads to the two men exchanging a series of pin attempts, culminating in a superkick from Ziggler!

Result: Ziggler wins via pinfall after a superkick
Time: 7:15 (1 break)

**Really good match. Lots of quick action, good counters, and solid exchanges. I’d like to see this feud continue for a while. I think it could help both guys. **


Ring Area
Miz TV with Rusev. Rusev “didn’t get no” get-well cards from the WWE Universe while he was injured. He welcomes the person that stood by him: Lana. Lana does her best to explain away the whole storyline with Ziggler. She says she never “went all the way” with him. The WWE Universe disagrees.

Lana and Rusev kiss for an awkwardly long time until Ryback’s music hits and he steps out onto the ramp. Ryback says he and Pittsburgh believe in smashmouth. He also wants to be fed.


Match 2
Rusev w/ Lana vs Ryback
(referee: Darrick Moore)

The match is already underway back from a commercial break, and Ruzev is in charge, raining strikes onto Ryback. Ryback comes back and hits a second rope dropkick that sends Rusev rolling out to the floor. Ryback follows and drives Rusev into the barricade, then into the steps. The steps hit Lana. Rusev goes to check on her and gets counted out.

Result: Ryback wins via countout
Time: 1:43 (1 break)

** Not much of a match, nothing really happened other than Lana getting hurt. **


Triple H congratulates Dean Ambrose for his IC #1 contender match win. He also tells Ambrose that if Reigns doesn’t win the title tonight, then Ambrose will lose his title shot as well. Because of reasons.

** I’m not really sure where this is going, but it’s yet another way to get people interested in Reigns and Sheamus by using the popularity of other people. **

Ring Area
The Dudley Boyz come to the ring with some tables. They explain that last week wasn’t very good for them. They got beat up by The Wyatt Family a lot. But all that did was put the Wyatt Family member’s names on tables. Literally. The Dudley Boyz wrote their names on the tables they brought to the ring.

The Wyatt Family comes out and Bray accepts the challenge issued by The Dudley Boyz. The Dudley boys then remind the Wyatt’s that they have family of their own… and Tommy Dreamer comes out! The Dudleys and Dreamer manage to keep the Wyatts from entering the ring.

** Tommy Dreamer! Such a cool moment! **


Match 3
The Dudley Boyz & Tommy Dreamer vs Luke Harper & Erik Rowan & Braun Strowman w/ Bray Wyatt
(referee: Jason Ayers)

The match is already underway back from the commercial break, and D-Von is in trouble in the Wyatt corner. Bubba helps his brother get control of Harper, then tags in Dreamer. Dreamer gets in a quick hit, but takes a big Bossman Slam from Harper. Now Dreamer is in trouble.

Bubba and Harper get tagged in and Bubba takes complete control. He covers Harper and everyone piles into the ring. The ref calls for the bell as all six men brawl.

Result: The match ends in a no contest
Time: 3:33 (1 break)

** This wasn’t much of a match either, but it’s really great to see Tommy! He kind of filled his old role in this one though, getting beat up for most of the match. **


Ring Area
After the match, the Wyatt Family overwhelms the Dudleys and Dreamer. Bray calls for a table but gets sent through one himself when Bubba Ray pushes him off the ring apron!

** So, this group will have the tables match at TLC. It’s not official, but yeah, pretty obvious. **

Ring Area
Zeb Colter says everyone in the crowd has hate in their hearts, and that Del Rio can beat it out of them. Del Rio tells Goldust that he is out of date and full of hate.


Match 4
Goldust vs Alberto Del Rio (US Champ) w/ Zeb Colter
(referee: Charles Robinson)

Del Rio is aggressive and takes quick control. He lands a DDT for an early 2 count. Goldust fights back and lands a scoop powerslam for a 2 count. Del Rio start in on Goldust’s arm, but Goldust hits a spinebuster for 2. Del Rio then ties up Goldust in the corner and stomps his chest for the win.

Result: Del Rio wins via pinfall after a top-rope stomp in the corner
Time: 1:59

** Very short. These guys could have put on a good match if given more time. As it is, it just made Goldust look kind of bad, which isn’t very good since he just recently came back. **


Ring Area
Del Rio goes to attack Goldust after the match, but Jack Swagger runs out to the ring and runs Del Rio off.

Charlotte gets a hug from Becky Lynch. Lynch wants a friendly match with Charlotte. Charlotte wonders why, but she agrees. Ric Flair shows up and “woos” with his daughter.


Match 5
WWE Tag Title #1 Contender Match
Lucha Dragons vs The Usos
(referee: John Cone; New Day on guest commentary)

Kalisto uses his speed, but he gets overwhelmed by an Uso double-team. Sin Cara monkey flips Kalisto, then Kalisto tags back in. He hits a flying head-scissors followed by a springboard moonsault by Sin Cara. Then all for men end up on the floor with consecutive dives. New Day then runs into the ring and attacks both teams.

Result: The match ends in a no contest
Time: 2:54

** Another short match. It was okay for what it was, but not something you’d ever really want to go back and watch again. **


Stephanie tells the Lucha Dragons they have a title match at TLC. She tells the Usos they do to (in a triple threat), but only if Roman Reigns wins his match later on tonight. Because of reasons.


Match 6
Brie Bella w/ Alicia Fox vs Sasha Banks w/ Tamina, Naomi
(referee: Darrick Moore)

Sasha looks confident, and Brie looks hesitant. Sasha plays with Brie a bit, taking off her headband and mocking her. Team BAD attacks Alicia Fox on the outside. Brie drives Sasha into the turnbuckle, then Sasha does the same to Brie. Brie is in trouble as Alicia is helped to the back.

Sasha drives her knees into Brie in the corner for a near fall. Sasha control Brie with a straight-jacket. She then clotheslines Brie and covers her for 2. Brie starts to fight back and lays into Sasha with a series of kicks. Naomi and Tamina distract her, allowing Sasha to hit a backstabber and put Brie in the Bank Statement.

Result: Sasha Banks wins via submission with the Bank Statement
Time: 4:58

** Good match. Team BAD was dominant, and that’s good to see. Very good. **


Reigns gets ready for his match and is wished luck by The Usos and Ambrose.


Match 7
WWE World Heavyweight Title Match (5:15 time limit)
Roman Reigns vs Sheamus (WWE WH Champ)
(referee: Mike Chioda)

Sheamus tries to run but winds up in a couple of quick pin attempts. Reigns presses his advantage, but Sheamus exits the ring. Reigns follows and winds up being thrown into the barricade. Back in the ring, Sheamus hits a knee for a quick cover, then puts Reigns in a reverse chinlock in order to waste time.

Reigns gets up and throws some clotheslines and a boot for a 2 count. Sheamus exits the ring again. Reigns brings him back in and gets a 2 from a Samoan drop. He sets up the Superman punch but Sheamus rolls out again. Reigns follows and gets tossed over the announce table.

Reigns drives Sheamus into the ring post. Reigns rolls Sheamus back into the ring. He waits for Sheamus to get up, but Rusev shows up and pulls Reigns out of the ring.

Result: Reigns wins via DQ
Time: 4:37

** So many gimmicks for this feud. The time limit was an obvious attempt at adding a sense of urgency to the match to get the crowd excited. The match was okay for what it was, but what it was was a mad scramble for no good reason. With the way the match ended, there was no reason for the time limit. None. **


Ring Area
After the match, Sheamus gets on the mic and announces the formation of the League of Nations: King Barrett, Alberto Del Rio, Rusev, and Sheamus. Ambrose and The Usos show up to stand with Reigns.

** If this was a month ago I’d say they were setting up a Survivor Series match. But they’re not. Regardless, I like faction warfare, and I’ll take anything I can get to make this feud more interesting, so I’m fine with how this segment wound up. The thing is, Del Rio already has a feud brewing and I don’t want this to take away from that. **


Match 8
Charlotte (Diva’s Champ) w/ Ric Flair vs Becky Lynch
(referee: Rod Zapata; Paige on guest commentary)

They start with a tie-up and trade wrist locks. Lynch hammerlocks Charlotte’s arm and bridges. Charlotte gets back up and looks for a figure four which Lynch fights off. The two women are in a standoff.

On commentary, Paige is tired of the constant references to Flair from Charlotte. Meanwhile, Charlotte “woos” in the ring. Charlotte starts to take control of the match, but Lynch fight back with some European uppercuts. Lynch hits a couple of arm drags and controls Charlotte’s arm. Charlotte jumps out of the corner and looks like she hurt her ankle. As soon as Lynch turns her back, Charlotte kips up and applies a schoolboy.

Result: Charlotte wins with a schoolboy
Time: 4:38

** A pretty good match, but a strange turn of events. It makes sense that if Charlotte insists on emulating her father in the ring that she’ll start to play dirty, but it is pretty contrary to the character she’s built up so far. I really, really wish she would just be her own person, good or bad. So now it kind of blurs the lines of Charlotte and Paige as to who is good, bad, right, wrong, or whatever. We’ll see where this goes. **


Becky accuses Charlotte of cheating, Charlotte says it was “strategy,” not cheating. She did it because she cares about Becky. It was tough love. Bigger picture stuff. Pinkie swear. Paige gloats.

“The Rosebush”
Adam Rose says Rusev wears a bra. He talks about who Tyler Breeze and Dolph Ziggler and who they love.

Stardust talks about Christmas. He calls for The Ascension, but instead, Titus O’Neil shows up and sings. He also throws a present at Stardust and yells at him to get into the Christmas spirit.

Ring Area
The competitors make their way to the ring. New Day then comes out and says they are also part of Sheamus’s League of Nations and join the match.


Match 9
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose & The Usos vs King Barrett & Alberto Del Rio (US Champ) & Rusev & Sheamus (WWE WH Champ) & New Day (Tag Champs)
(referee: Charles Robinson)

Ambrose starts against Kofi and controls him with some brawling and a body slam. Kofi is in trouble as his opponents make some quick tags. Kofi tags in Woods but he doesn’t fare much better. Ambrose starts a Unicorn Stomp of Woods that ends with Reigns. Reigns tosses Woods to the floor. New Day helps him back to their corner as the two teams stare each other down.


Back from the break, Del Rio gets an advantage on Jey Uso. Woods tags in and goes back to getting beat up. Jimmy Uso hurts his leg which leads to Woods tagging in Rusev. Rusev goes right after Jimmy’s leg and his team is now in complete control. Del Rio punishes Jimmy some more then tags in Sheamus. Sheamus throws some forearms, then Kofi tags in.

Kofi takes a fist to the face and Jimmy tags in his brother Jey. Jey looks like he is going to take control of the match, but Big E down him with a clothesline from the apron.


During the break, Jimmy Uso was helped to the back. In the ring, Jey Uso is suffering from a League of Nations Unicorn Stampede. Jey manages to kick Kofi and tags in Reigns. Woods takes the brunt of Reigns’s attack. Reigns hits both Kofi and Woods with a drive-by, but the League of Nations uses their numbers advantage on the outside.

With Reigns in trouble, Sheamus tags in. He pushes Reigns into the corner, Big E tags in and lands a belly-to-belly. He then puts Reigns in an ab stretch. Del Rio tags in and hits a backstabber on Reigns for a 2 count. He then misses Reigns and falls to the floor. Ambrose is tagged in and goes crazy on everyone. He controls Sheamus, but decides to dive to the League on the floor rather than press his advantage.

Ambrose hits an elbow in the ring then goes for a cover that brings almost everyone into the ring in succession. In the confusion Sheamus hits a Brogue kick on Ambrose.

Result: Sheamus pins Ambrose after a Brogue kick
Time: 18:32 (2 breaks)

** A fine match, but it was very overstuffed. The Usos and New Day did most of the work in the first half of the match which is pretty telling. I did like the story of The Usos consecutively getting hurt just because their opponents were too overwhelming. **



Show Impressions
There were a lot of matches on the show, but most of them weren’t much of anything. I would prefer fewer matches that are given more time, but I do like seeing a bunch of people represented on the show, so I know it’s a difficult balancing act, even with a three-plus hour show. I worry that the individual stories of Sheamus’s League of Nation members might get lost in the shuffle with them doing double duty, but we’ll see where that goes. And speaking of the League, Sheamus is not a strong leader. He’s kind of a goofball a lot of the time. I guess that’s why they put so many people in that main event, so the crowd would forget about that and just look at all the people and go, “wow, so many people, this is awesome.” New Day (as a group) makes a better leader than Sheamus, and they overshadowed him pretty much on this entire show, just like they did at Survivor Series. I mean, Sheamus was comic relief in their Survivor Series match. That pretty much goes to show how good of a faction leader he is.

And yeah, they are trying really hard to get people to care about the upcoming WWE title match at TLC. The match itself is totally gimmicky and distractingly violent, plus all of the people and stipulations they’re throwing around leading up to it seem designed to make people forget that they aren’t really very jazzed about the two guys fighting for the title. Why not just go with someone people want to see more? I don’t really understand that, but maybe they’ve got something else planned. Who knows.

I really liked that Tommy Dreamer showed up. I don’t really expect him to stay around long-term, but that makes me really want to watch TLC for the tables match I’m assuming they’re going to announce.

I also like the women’s stuff on this show. I’m still on the fence about Charlotte’s character, but I like the grayness of her faction’s dissolution. I also like the rise of Team BAD. Finally. They’re the only group still functioning together from the “Diva’s Revolution” earlier this year, and I really want to see Sasha Banks enter the title picture. I hope they realize that it’s okay for more than two people at a time to be in a title feud. We can still follow and understand that.


Match of the Night
Tyler Breeze vs Dolph Ziggler
It always looks like these guys want to steal the show, especially Ziggler, and if they let them keep wrestling like this, I think they can steal the show more often than not. There’s not a ton of story baggage there, but that seems to allow them to wrestle without the need for gimmicky endings, which is good. This was a really good RAW match.



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