The League of Nations (professional wrestling)
|The League of Nations|
The League of Nations logo
Alberto Del Rio
|Name(s)||The League of Nations|
|1,055 lb (479 kg)|
|Debut||November 30, 2015|
|Disbanded||April 25 & April 28, 2016|
The concept of the group came from the idea that all members were born outside of the United States and come together to proudly represent their respective nations while also displaying anti-American sentiments. The faction primarily feuded with Roman Reigns and was poorly received by critics.
At Survivor Series on November 22, 2015, Sheamus won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship when he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Roman Reigns to win the title after Reigns had just beaten Dean Ambrose in the finals of a tournament to crown a champion following Seth Rollins vacating the championship belt due to a legitimate injury. This led to a rematch between Sheamus and Reigns for the championship at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs and in the build-up to the match, Reigns repeatedly confronted Sheamus, who defended the title on the November 30 episode of Raw, but the championship match was interrupted by Alberto Del Rio (the then United States Champion), King Barrett and Rusev, and after the match, Sheamus announced that the four wrestlers, all born outside the United States, had formed "The League of Nations"; in the group's debut match that same night, they teamed with then WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) to defeat Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and The Usos in a 7-on-4 handicap match. On the December 3 episode of SmackDown, the entire League of Nations lost to Roman Reigns via count-out in the 4-on-1 handicap main event match. On the December 7 episode of Raw, the League Of Nations were involved in a 16-man fatal four-way elimination tag team match against The Wyatt Family, The ECW Originals (The Dudley Boyz, Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno) and the team of Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and The Usos; the match culminated in Reigns pinning Sheamus.
While maintaining a group rivalry with Reigns and his allies, individual members of The League of Nations also feuded individually with other wrestlers during this period, as Jack Swagger started a feud over Del Rio's United States Championship, while Rusev clashed with Ryback, who had interrupted the return of Rusev's valet Lana on Raw. Both of these rivalries culminated in matches at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 13, where all of the League members successful in their separate singles matches, with Del Rio and Sheamus both retaining their championships (the latter needing help from his cohorts). Sheamus' WWE World Heavyweight Championship run came to an abrupt end the following night on Raw when he lost the championship back to Reigns, ending his reign at 22 days. On the January 4, 2016 episode of Raw, Sheamus failed to regain the title from Reigns with Mr. McMahon as special guest referee. On the January 11, 2016 episode of Raw, Del Rio dropped the United States Championship to Kalisto, only to regain it the following day at the tapings for SmackDown after interference by Barrett. On January 24 at the Royal Rumble event, Del Rio once again lost the championship to Kalisto, as well as rematch, which was contested in a two-out-of-three-falls match, on February 21 at Fastlane, which was unsuccessful.
Also at Fastlane, then WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day began mocking The League of Nations, calling them the "league of booty". They then continued to mock The League of Nations in various segments and skits while simultaneously feuding with other teams. At Roadblock on March 12, Sheamus and Barrett challenged Big E and Kingston for the WWE Tag Team Championship, but were unsuccessful. The following night on Raw, Del Rio and Rusev was defeated by Big E and Woods in another title match, prompting all four members of The League to attack The New Day after the match. The League of Nations then challenged The New Day to a match at WrestleMania 32 on April 3, where they defeated The New Day, but after the match they were confronted and attacked by Mick Foley, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels.
On the 4 April episode of Raw, Barrett and Sheamus faced The New Day in another tag team title match, in a losing effort and after the match, The League of Nations blamed Barrett for being the "weak link" and attacked him, ejecting him from the group, before the rest of the team was attacked by the Wyatt Family. The feud was suspended within a month due to Bray Wyatt suffering an injury, which led to Del Rio commenting that The League of Nations might separate soon as a result. On the April 28 episode of SmackDown, The League of Nations competed in a six-man tag match against Cesaro, Kalisto and Sami Zayn, but Del Rio and Rusev walked out during the match and Sheamus, who did the same, confronted Del Rio and Rusev during a brawl, and disbanded The League of Nations. Del Rio also confirmed in an interview that the group was finished.
As of the factions dissolution both Barrett and Del Rio departed from the company the same year. Rusev would go on to win his second WWE United States Championship whereas Sheamus proceeded to feud and later join forces with Cesaro, going on to win the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship twice.
Critics panned WWE's handling of The League of Nations, as Wrestling Observer writer Steve Khan wrote on the League's purpose for existence in December 2015, stating that "You can rightfully complain about the League of Nations losing to one guy on their second night as a team, but we all know they don't really matter. They exist to get Roman Reigns over". In March 2016, Pro Wrestling Dot Net writer Haydn Gleed criticized how WWE wasted the four men's combined potential and still never explained in storyline why The League of Nations had formed, while noting that they had become "bad guns for hire who never accomplish their task(s)" instead of a "credible threat". Also in that month, Pro Wrestling Torch writer Greg Parks said that for the members of the League, "somehow, most of them are less over (and certainly less interesting) than when the group was created".
In a September 2016 interview, Sheamus said: "The whole League of Nations thing wasn't everyones cup of tea for those of us involved, it didn't do any of us any favours". In an interview shortly after his departure from the company, Barrett himself said that the group were ultimately just foils for Roman Reigns. According to journalist Dave Meltzer, the faction "wasn't a success" and, along with his pairing with Zeb Colter, caused Alberto Del Rio's stock to drop and halted his high-profile feud with John Cena. Upset with his spot in the company, Del Rio requested his release and it was granted in September.
- Finishing moves
- Alberto Del Rio
- King Barrett
- "The Lads"
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The League of Nations.|
- "Sheamus". WWE. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "Alberto Del Rio". WWE. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "Rusev". WWE. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "King Barrett". WWE. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Caldwell, James. "11/30 WWE Raw Results". PWTorch.com. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
- Martin, Adam (April 26, 2016). "League of Nations dissolute". Wrestleview. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- McAvennie, Michael (April 3, 2016). "The League of Nations def. The New Day (Non-Title Match)". WWE. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Caldwell, James (November 23, 2015). "11/22 SURVIVOR SERIES RESULTS – Caldwell’s Complete PPV Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- "WWE SmackDown results (12/3): Roman Reigns vs. The World". f4wonline.com. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- Caldwell, James. "12/7 WWE Raw Results". PWTorch.com. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results – 12/7/15 (Final hype for WWE TLC)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- Clapp, John. "Ryback vs. Rusev". WWE. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
- Clapp, John. "United States Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger (Chairs Match)". WWE. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
- Clapp, John. "WWE World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match)". WWE. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- Mike, Tedesco (December 14, 2015). "WWE RAW Results - 12/14/15 (New WWE Champion)". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results - 1/4/16 (Reigns vs. Sheamus)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
- Trionfo, Richard (January 11, 2016). "WWE RAW REPORT: WHEN ONE IS ALL . . . ALL IS ONE, WHEN BROCK LESNAR COMES OUT . . . YOU RUN, BECKY SHOWS SOME FIRE, US TITLE MATCH, A LOT OF MATCHES ANNOUNCED FOR SMACKDOWN, AND MORE". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
- Trionfo, Richard (January 7, 2016). "WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: NEW NETWORK . . . NEW ANNOUNCER . . . NEW CHAMPIONS?, WILL THIS BE THE YEAR OF INTERRUPTING PROMOS?, JOHN CENA APPEARS, AND THE MOST IMPORTANT MINUTE OF YOUR TAKE IS ON THIS SHOW". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
- Trionfo, Richard (January 14, 2016). "WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: US TITLE MATCH, MORE MATCHES FOR ROYAL RUMBLE, TABLES MATCH, AND MORE". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
- Johnson, Mike (January 24, 2016). "COMPLETE COVERAGE OF THE 2016 WWE ROYAL RUMBLE". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
- Johnson, Mike (February 21, 2016). "COMPLETE WWE FAST LANE PPV COVERAGE". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
- "The New Day Mocks The League Of Nations (Video), WWE Tapout Shoot, New WWE Shop, WWE Stock". WrestlingInc. February 24, 2016.
- "Heel vs. Heel title match added to WWE Roadblock special". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results - 3/14/16 (Undertaker attacks Shane)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
- Caldwell, James. "4/3 WrestleMania 32 PPV Results – CALDWELL'S Complete Live Report on Main PPV". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- Caldwell, James. "4/4 WWE Raw Results – CALDWELL'S Complete Report on post-WM32". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
- "Del Rio says League of Nations will be ending soon, Bray's injury sealed future". PWTorch.com. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- "Alberto Del Rio confirms plans of the League of Nations breaking up". wrestlezone.com. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
- "Gleed’s Blog: The State Of WrestleMania 32". prowrestling.net. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- "3/3 WWE Smackdown – Parks’s Complete, Real-Time Report". PWTorch.com. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- Johnson, Mike (September 9, 2016). "Kevin Owens Era Begins Tonight, WWE Panel At NY Comic Con, WWE in UK and China This Week & More News". PWInsider.com. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
- "Wade Barrett Talks About How He Thinks The League Of Nations Should Have Been Presented, What Does He Think The Purpose Of The LoN Was?". wrestlezone.com. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- Meltzer, Dave (August 30, 2016). "Alberto Del Rio not returning to WWE". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
- Currier, Joseph (September 9, 2016). "WWE comes to terms with Alberto Del Rio on his release". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
- "Sheamus". WWE. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
- Endres, Cody. "FCW report on May 17, 2009". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
- Caldwell, James (9 November 2009). "Caldwell's WWE Raw Report 11/9: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Ricky Hatton hosting from the U.K.". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 11 November 2009.
- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE SmackDown report: Rock, Punk, Shield; what does Booker do when there are six men in the ring about to fight?; Barrett/Sheamus rematch; and more". PWInsider. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Alberto Del Rio's WWE bio". WWE. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- Stephens, David (2010-11-29). "Raw Results – 11/29/10". WrestleView. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: THE SHOW JOINS THE 700 CLUB . . . ARE BOOKER AND TEDDY 'JIM AND TAMMY'?; FIESTA DEL RIO; THE SHIELD HAVE ANOTHER MESSAGE; AND MORE". PWInsider. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE RAW REPORT: IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES AND THE BEST OF TIMES FOR SANTA; AJ SPENDS A SPECIAL CHRISTMAS EVE WITH HER MAN; SANTA'S HELPERS; LUMBERJACK FROSTS; MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET FIGHT; CM PUNK BLAMES RYBACK FOR RUINING CHRISTMAS AND HANUKKAH; AND MORE". PWInsider. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: THE ROCK RETURNS HOME; WHO WAS THE LAST MAN STANDING?; THE EYBROW VERSUS THE MUSTACHE?; MAYBE SHEAMUS WILL TAKE ON THE SPIRIT SQUAD NEXT; AND MORE". PWInsider. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- Wood, Darren (2010-11-25). "Alberto Del Rio". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
- Stephens, David. "WWE RAW Results - 1/27/14 (Royal Rumble fallout)". Wrestleview. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE MAIN EVENT REPORT: MIZ GETS TO WRESTLE AFTER COMPLAINING ON MONDAY; A HOMECOMING FOR BIG E LANGSTON; AND MORE". PWInsider. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- "Rusev". WWE. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
- James, Justin (September 5, 2013). "James's WWE NXT Results 8/21 & 8/28 & 9/4". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- James, Justin (October 10, 2013). "James's WWE Report 10/9". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
'Rusev with a butt splash, then a Camel Clutch (he calls it "the Accolade") for the win.'
- James, Justin (October 25, 2013). "James's WWE NReport 10/23". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
Rusev puts Parker in The Accolade (Camel Clutch) for a quick tap-out victory.
- Trionfo, Richard. "Post WWE Raw match coverage: United States Title match: Rusev versus Sheamus". PWInsider. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- "King Barrett". WWE. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
- "FULL MONDAY NIGHT RAW REPORT By David Tees".
- "PARKS' WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 9/28: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Friday night show, including Randy Orton vs. The Big Show". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- John Clapp (March 12, 2016). "WWE Tag Team Champions Big E & Kofi Kingston def. Sheamus & King Barrett". wwe.com. WWE. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
In recent weeks, "the lads" (Sheamus & Barrett) have been the subject of ridicule thanks to the social media antics of Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods.
- "WWE: Hellfire (Sheamus) - Single". iTunes. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "WWE: A League of Their Own (The League of Nations) - Single". iTunes. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "United States Championship". wwe.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "WWE World Heavyweight Championship". wwe.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "King of the Ring". wwe.com. Retrieved September 14, 2017.