Watch Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman create mayhem after the main event in this slow-motion footage, captured during the Jan. 16, 2017 edition of Raw.01/19/2017 - 13:30
Do WWE NXT attackers Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns have a ruthless vendetta against Ryback?
For two consecutive nights, three young WWE NXT competitors — Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns — have seemingly protected CM Punk, ensuring the WWE Champion has been able to wriggle away from his rivals and out of harm's way.
They've also pummeled Ryback with not one, but two table-shattering powerbombs.
Punk has yet to address the controversial ending to Survivor Series in which Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns hit the ring and brutalized Ryback right after he Shell Shocked both Punk and John Cena. ( PHOTOS) But after the rowdy trio once again stepped in the destructive path of the near 300-pound beast on Raw, speculation will only intensify about The Straight Edge Superstar's possible connection to these NXT assailants. (PHOTOS: AMBROSE | ROLLINS | REIGNS)
What if Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns aren't out to defend the WWE Champion, however? What if their mission instead is to tear apart the fastest-rising Superstar in WWE piece by piece?
Before Ryback could even get to the ring Monday night to crash Punk's celebration of his one-year anniversary as WWE Champion, he was blindsided by Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns, who wailed on the hulking contender with a series of vicious punches and kicks. Then in a devastating display of déjà vu, the NXT invaders drove him through the same announce table as they did at Survivor Series. ( PHOTOS | VIDEO) As the trio took to the ring to revel in their rampage, Punk didn't even seem to know what to make of it, but nonetheless enjoyed yelling "Best in the World!" in triumph after the dismantling of arguably the biggest threat to his coveted WWE Title.
There is something ever so curious about the way these NXT attackers, dressed uniformly in black from head to toe, have made their presence felt during the closest moments of back-to-back WWE programs. It's easy to point fingers and believe Punk and Paul Heyman are behind it all, but isn't that exactly what many members of the WWE Universe thought about Brad Maddox when the rogue referee decided to attack Ryback at WWE Hell in a Cell and seal a victory for Punk? Just one week later on Raw, we learned straight from Maddox that he acted alone and was trying to make a name for himself in the hopes of becoming a WWE Superstar. ( VIDEO)
Is it a stretch to think Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns want not to protect Punk's WWE Title reign, but to make an emphatic statement and thrust themselves into the spotlight?
As WWE.com extensively detailed following their first attack Sunday night, these young NXT standouts have made it clear they're three of the most talented and dangerous athletes in WWE's developmental system. ( FULL STORY) They've already proven their propensity for risk-taking during their ascent up the ranks in a short period of time. Now, rather than patiently await their promotion to WWE, they've taken it upon themselves to seize the attention of the entire WWE Universe by mercilessly and methodically targeting the hottest young Superstar whose past stomping ground was WWE's developmental system as well.
Throughout history, rebel groups ranging from The New World Order to The Nexus have made a dramatic impact in sports-entertainment with unpredictable attacks. What quicker way for Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns also to leave their mark than to destroy a monster who is seemingly indestructible?
As questions continue to swirl over Punk's increasingly controversial WWE Title reign, three shaggy-haired newcomers appear to be hell-bent on shifting the buzz to themselves.
If there is more of this to come, Ryback might have to stop looking ahead to Punk's WWE Championship, and start looking behind him to see what kind of wild ambush is next.