It was in late November that a group of foreign wrestlers got together to run wild on the WWE. With no creative ideas for Sheamus, Rusev, Alberto del Rio, or King Barrett, WWE decided to cram them all together into one big bad foreign fighting group. They were dubbed the League of Nations after the failed intergovernmental organization that was created in the 1920's as a result of World War I. If that doesn't sound exciting, neither was the wrestling group.
There were no real plans for these guys apart and together they just became a big mass of flesh who's personalities became foreign. That's it. They lost many of the traits that had made the crowd react to them in the past and just played up the fact that they were not Americans wrestling in an American company. The WWE has proved that this old school approach to the foreign bad guy can work, as it did with Rusev upon his debut, but when the League of Nations loses almost every match, how much does the crowd start to lose interest when they appear?
It seems like they have finally run their course, however, because at the upcoming SmackDown this week, the group decided to part ways officially. In a six man tag against Sami Zayn, Cesaro, and Kalisto, Rusev and Alberto del Rio walked out on Sheamus. This unspectacular end for the group comes as no surprise because most of their run was exactly that, unspectacular.
Though the group was mostly lackluster, there were a few moments that really stand out among the mostly forgettable and bland presentation that the group received for most of the time they were together. Sheamus winning the WWE title from Roman Reigns stands out as one of the most memorable and entertaining things to happen to the League of Nations. The actually cashing in of his briefcase to beat Reigns moments after he just won the title was one of the most fun things to happen the those who don't like Roman. He had just won and then it was taken away almost immediately.
The title win is actually one of the things that precipitated the formation of the League. With the bad guy Sheamus the champion, he needed some muscle to protect himself and his title.He then brought togther three really good wrestlers who haven't had much storyline luck in order to elevate them. This was how the League of Nations was formed.
They have pretty cool entrance music. It sounds foreign but in a regal sense. It has a heaviness that should tell someone that the person walking out to that music is to be respected and/or feared because they have real power. Unfortunately, the theme music can be a good as anyone's and it still won't matter if the wrestlers using that theme music are portrayed to not matter in the grand scheme.
THEY BEAT THE NEW DAY. In one of the most confusing parts of an already confusing WrestleMania, the League, who hadn't beaten the New Day in any of the matches leading up to Mania, were able to steal a win from one of the hottest groups in the WWE even after they walked out dressed as Dragon Ball Z characters. It still doesn't make sense but they did it, it counts, and its cannon.
Being made a fool of is no problem in wrestling. Wrestlers can start out as a sort of funny character but the only way they can progress is if there is a sense of seriousness that lies beneath the surface. With the League of Nations, there was that ability to make them a serious threat. They had four guys who, on their own, had been semi-serious contenders at different points in their careers. Unfortunately, they lost week after week, and no one could take them seriously. They were just bodies that the fans knew would cheat and get destroyed. When that is all the fans see, they stop caring about that person or group.
Mishandling Wade Barrett seems to be a huge mistake. The guy who got Bad News Barrett to be cheered by the crowd was not made a focal point for the group.In fact, he barely did anything. He showed up, didn't talk and didn't wrestle. It is a real shame because the guy has charisma and can go in the ring. He was so misused that he left the group almost a month ago and most fans probably didn't realize it.
Each of those men deserved better. Their talents and abilities should have made them legit stars but they were instead put into a group that had little to accomplish. They came together and lost what made them individually specially. After this breakup, they will have to rehab their characters so that the crowd will see them as credible threats once again. Just like the real League of Nations, this one failed because they couldn't get America to buy in, except this time it was the fans, not the government. Onward and upward Alberto, Sheamus, Rusev, and Barrett.