The Bar vs. The Shield: Latest Rumors and Preview for WWE Raw Dec. 4

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterDecember 4, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose want to wear gold again, and they will have to go through two hard-nosed hosses to do so in a Tag Team Championship match on Monday's WWE Raw.

The Bar and The Shield have traded haymakers for months. Their rivalry rolls on when the red brand travels to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The two squads will clash once more for the tag team crowns.

The show has been on a slower pace with no pay-per-view on the docket for weeks. Even so, intriguing developments are underway, and that will continue on the newest episode. 

Monday's Raw promises to further the story of Absolution's violent arrival, advance a burgeoning feud over the Intercontinental Championship and showcase the next stage in the evolution of Matt Hardy.

The Raw preview on WWE.com, backstage news and storyline projections help look at what's ahead for Monday's show before it airs on USA Network at 8 p.m. ET.

       

News, Rumors

Hardy's transformation has begun in earnest.

After months of speculation regarding if and when he would incorporate his "broken" persona from Impact Wrestling, Hardy gave fans the clearest sign that he's indeed going to shift toward that alter-ego. He stayed in the ring after his loss to Bray Wyatt and did the familiar "Delete!" salute, a trademark of his old character.

There's no need to worry if there will follow-up to that moment. The company is moving forward with this.

Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated reported: "WWE is creating its own new character for Hardy, who will not be labeled as 'Broken' but will be very similar."

And the former tag team champion is already showcasing his new self. On Figure Four Online, Dave Meltzer noted: "Hardy was doing his new version of Broken, now called Woken (so WWE can own it) at the first Raw house show of the weekend last night in Salt Lake City."

R-Truth, meanwhile, won't be on the Raw stage. He tweeted that he's been out with an injury:

Monday's show will feature KaneJason Powell of ProWrestling.net noted Braun Strowman vs. Kane is among the advertised dark matches, so it appears The Big Red Machine will be in the building.

          

Raw Streaks

Samoa Joe remains on a tear.

WWE has portrayed The Destroyer as a dangerous title contender in recent weeks. Joe last beat Titus O'Neil, taking down the powerhouse in a slugfest.

Joe now has four consecutive wins to his name, and he hasn't lost a singles match since SummerSlam, per CageMatch.net.

Noam Dar, on the other hand, would settle for a victory of any sort at this point.

He fell short in a Fatal 4-Way last week. The defeat pushed The Scottish Supernova's overall losing streak to 13 straight, per CageMatch.net. In addition, Dar is now 0-20 on Raw. At this point, Dar would be the underdog against Curt Hawkins.

         

Preview

Raw will march closer to deciding the next No. 1 contender for the Cruiserweight Championship. The winners of two Fatal 4-Way matches are set to collide to earn that title.

Rich Swann already won his spot in that decisive bout as he outlasted three foes last Monday.

Who will join him? Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, Drew Gulak and Tony Nese will battle in Los Angeles to earn a place opposite Swann. And surely, cruiserweight champ Enzo Amore will be watching on intently.

As for the Intercontinental Championship, it's obvious where WWE is headed with that title picture.

Roman Reigns will have to fend off Joe. The Big Dog fell victim to an ambush from his old rival last week. 

And now the counterpunch is on the way. The Raw preview on WWE.com hinted as much when it asked: "How will Reigns repay The Samoan Submission Specialist?"

Revenge will also be on Sasha Banks' mind, as she's been the target of Paige and her newly formed faction Absolution.

The Boss won't have to wait to get her hands on The Anti-Diva. The two are set to fight on Monday.

We're sure to see new developments in the Strowman vs. Kane story, as well. Kane smashed a steel chair against The Monster Among Men's throat two weeks ago. Strowman responded by throttling his enemy with the same weapon.

It's a safe bet a diplomatic resolution won't be the next step. It appears as if these two men are headed for a Last Man Standing match or a similarly violent stipulation.

And in the night's biggest match, Ambrose and Rollins will look to reclaim the Raw tag titles. 

Will The Shield end Raw as champs again?
Will The Shield end Raw as champs again?Credit: WWE.com

The announcers have talked up how Reigns is champion, and his Shield brethren want to join him in that status again. There's a good chance The Shield only dropped the belts to switch up the Survivor Series card. And now with that event out of the way, The Hounds of Justice can get back to sitting atop the division.

Each time The Bar and The Shield have faced off, excellent things have happened. A title change is no guarantee, but foot-on-the-pedal action is. 

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