TLC just finished and the results set up an opportunity for the WWE to have multiple great storylines heading into WrestleMania, but to do so, they have to nail the Royal Rumble event. This is how I would use the results of TLC in order to book the big feuds heading into WrestleMania 32.
Stephanie starts by slapping Roman. Roman’s face doesn’t change. Stephanie then takes a deep breath and says “that was for my husband, but now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to it.” She says that she could have easily just fired Roman and banned him from all future WWE events, but she says that would be too easy. She wants to make this hurt. So instead, Reigns gets to stick around, but he’s suspended for two months meaning he can’t compete at the Royal Rumble event and is banned from attending all WWE events, Rumble included, until his suspension is lifted. Additionally, Roman is banned from all title matches until after WrestleMania. Reigns’ expression is still unchanged. Stephanie smiles, she’s not done yet. She announces that tonight, The Usos will compete in a six on two elimination handicap match and if they lose, they’re also not allowed to compete at the Royal Rumble event, ruining any chance of them headlining WrestleMania and banning them from a Tag Team Championship Match at the event. She adds that she can’t guarantee their safety after the match, win, lose or draw. Finally, the new Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose will have to defend his title in tonight’s main-event in a 15-man battle royal. If he loses, he is also banned from competing at the Royal Rumble and won’t be given a rematch for his title. Stephanie asks Roman if he has any last words and puts the mic in his cuffed hands. Roman takes a moment, raises the mic and then drops it at Stephanie’s feet before rolling out of the ring and leaving.
Out come The Usos for their six on two handicap match. Losing means they’re out of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Their opponents are The Cosmic Wasteland and The New Day. After being dominated for a while, The Usos get the upper hand, Jimmy splashing and eliminating Viktor. Konnor charges in but gets rolled up and eliminated. Kofi comes in and beats down Jimmy before he can realise what’s happening. He tags in Big E and the two eliminate Jimmy Uso before The New Day and Stardust begin to dominate Jey. Jey soon eliminates Stardust with a super-kick, but The New Day’s three on one advantage is too much and The Usos are defeated. The Ascension get back in the ring and hit The Fall of Man on Jimmy before Stardust hits his Cross Rhodes. Finally, Big E climbs to the top rope and is about to splash him when Ambrose comes flying out, taking out everyone before running into a Trouble in Paradise from Kofi.
Later in the night we see Jimmy Uso sitting alone backstage with his hands on his head. His brother is in the infirmary and they’re now out of the Rumble pay-per-view. Stephanie comes up and tells him that he has no one to blame, but Roman Reigns. Before she walks off, to add insult to injury, Stephanie states that Jimmy’s wife Naomi is now also banned from all Divas Championship matches until after WrestleMania. She reiterates that this is ALL Roman’s fault.
We get a backstage segment with the League of Nations who have their titles in front of them on a desk, including King Barrett’s King of the Ring Crown. They point out that Rusev is the only one missing something and that tonight, Barrett and Del Rio are going to ensure that Rusev leaves with the Intercontinental Championship and they’re all going to ensure that Del Rio leaves with his United States Championship when he defends it against Brock Lesnar at an upcoming WWE Live Event on the 19th of December.
The main-event comes down to Dean Ambrose, Rusev, King Barrett, Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler as the final five. Rusev, Barrett and Del Rio have dominated the match and cap it off by eliminating Ziggler. They beat down Ambrose before Roman Reigns comes flying out and attacks everyone, eliminating Del Rio and Barrett. Ambrose then gets the upper hand eliminating Rusev, retaining his title and remaining eligible for the Royal Rumble. Sheamus blindsides Reigns and Del Rio throws him over the announce table. The entire League of Nations beat down Ambrose in the ring. Kevin Owens, who was NOT a part of the Battle Royal, then comes out and says that Stephanie McMahon just asked him if he wanted his Intercontinental Championship rematch tonight and he agreed. He comes out, hits a powerbomb on Dean and pins him for the title before Reigns slides back in the ring to check on his friend. Stephanie closes the show from the ramp and says, “Everything that happened tonight was your fault Roman, enjoy your holiday and have a merry Christmas.”
WWE Live Event
Alberto Del Rio retains his United States Championship against Brock Lesnar when Rusev, King Barrett and Sheamus interfere and get Lesnar disqualified. The four of them manage to eventually lay Lesnar out.
The League of Nations kicks off the show and Sheamus brags about them surviving Roman Reigns, Jack Swagger, Ryback, Dean Ambrose and now Brock Lesnar – but his words are cut short as Lesnar comes out with Paul Heyman. Heyman states that if Brock Lesnar can’t have the United States Championship, well then he’s just going to have to take the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble. Brock then destroys everyone in the ring, F5ing Del Rio.
Backstage, Sheamus says he has a plan and wants to call Lesnar out again in the main-event.
Meanwhile, Dean Ambrose who will not be granted an Intercontinental Championship rematch has decided to set his sights on the Royal Rumble match itself, but Kevin Owens has told him that he’s going to crush that dream of Dean’s as well.
Ambrose goes one on one with Tyler Breeze and Owens comes out and takes Dean out in the middle of the match and the two beat him down.
So Sheamus and the League of Nations call Brock out and without hesitation, out comes Lesnar. He gets into the ring and the League jump straight out of the ring. The New Day’s music hits followed by the Big Show’s and they come down the ramp together. It’s now eight on one. They all surround the ring and Lesnar is ready to fight them all when John Cena’s music hits and out he comes, sliding passed everyone and into the ring. Lesnar looks at Cena, shocked before the seven men rush in. Cena and Lesnar take everyone out and stand tall to close Raw. Lesnar picks up the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and Cena picks up the United States Championship.
Raw 3 – 5
- Sheamus needs to take some momentum into the Royal Rumble and that means he needs to lay out Lesnar on the final show before the event.
- Cena cuts a promo about how he needed time off to deal with such a shocking loss to Del Rio, something he’s not used to.
- The final show before the Rumble ends with a full roster brawl. The Wyatt Family stand tall until Ziggler, chair in hand lays out Bray and Harper. Ambrose clotheslines Rowan out of the ring and the two get rid of Braun to stand tall, pointing at the WrestleMania sign.
- Roman Reigns does NOT appear, seeing out his ban.
At the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar defeats Sheamus for WWE World Heavyweight Championship convincingly.
John Cena is about to defeat Alberto Del Rio when we hear a gong and the lights go out. Del Rio rolls up Cena and escapes with his title.
The Royal Rumble match comes down to Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler after Sami Zayn eliminates Kevin Owens earlier in the match. Ambrose wins the match and books his ticket for the main-event of WrestleMania.
So in six short weeks, the WWE can set up Brock Lesnar versus Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, John Cena versus The Undertaker, Kevin Owens versus Sami Zayn and begin the feud for Roman Reigns versus Triple H.
You book Ambrose as the underdog guy the crowd can get behind, Roman as a silent badass and give us a bunch of top quality matches at WrestleMania that all have solid foundations to build from after the Royal Rumble.