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WrestleMania XI: Best of Rivals

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WrestleMania 11 Lawrence Tyler Bam Bam Bigelow
Credit: WWE/YouTube

I have to admit that I usually skip any wrestling PPV from 1995 because, in my opinion, they were all pretty much terrible in terms of both wrestling and storylines. However, since this recap series has shown me that perceptions can be wrong, I’m willing to give WrestleMania XI a fair chance.

Since I avoid this year like the plague, I really don’t have very many recollections of what was going on in WWF/E. Diesel was Champion, HBK was not, and not happy about that fact, but the rest of it escapes me.

So, how was WrestleMania XI? Will your humble reviewer have to eat her words about the year 1995 when it comes to WWF/E PPVs? Let’s find out!

Opener:
We start with a recap of the first ten WrestleManias and are told about our special guests: Pamela Anderson (Baywatch), Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Home Improvement, Lion King), Jenny McCarthy (Playboy, MTV’s Singled Out), Nicholas Turturro (NYPD Blue), Salt-n- Pepa (one of the greatest women’s music groups ever, IMO), and the football players that will be backing up Lawrence Taylor, one of them being Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichaels.

‘America, The Beautiful’ will be sung by Special Olympian, Kathy Huey. Ms. Huey was a replacement for the band Fishbone, that had been advertised to appear. Ms. Huey sounds magnificent, I actually thought this was an opera singer Vince had booked.

Vince McMahon welcomes us and explains what WrestleMania was for the people who’ve never heard of it. He calls it ‘The Standard for Excellence in Sports Entertainment’. Lawler agrees, calling it ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Sports Entertainment’.

The Allied Powers (Lex Luger and The British Bulldog) vs The Blu Brothers

Bulldog and Luger are out first to a really good pop to a poppy version of ‘Rule, Britannia’. Davey Boy had ditched the cornrow braids, Luger still has the frosted mullet.

The Blu Brothers are out next with Uncle Zebekiah (Dutch Mantel) to little reaction.

This match was a melee right from the start. The fact that the Blu Brothers were identical twins, right down to their lovely, curly hair, was really played up well for the match. Even the commentators weren’t sure who was who. The tide begins to turn when one of the Blus misses an elbow drop, giving Davey Boy a chance to tag in Luger.

Luger hits everything in sight, hitting the legal (we think) Blu Brother with his plated forearm. The other Blu interferes, bringing in Davey Boy. In the ensuing chaos, the Blu Brothers do their version of ‘Twin Magic’ causing the not legal brother to kick out of the pin.

Winner: Allied Powers after Luger blocked a powerbomb attempt by one of the Blu Brothers, tagged in Davey Boy, who went to the top turnbuckle, turned a clothesline into a slightly sloppy Sunset Flip for the three count. Afterwards, Luger and Davey pose for the crowd.

Highlights: One of the Blu Brothers breaking up a pin that wasn’t being counted.

Comments: This was an okay match, Davey Boy and Luger looked good together. Luger still comes across as a little phony but putting him with the well-liked Davey Boy softens that a little.

Jim Ross tries to get an interview with Uncle Zebekiah that is hard to understand or make sense of, so JR gives up and sends it back to Vince.

We go to Pamela Anderson’s dressing room that is filled with WWF superstars and Nicholas Turturro, who is our backstage interviewer, apparently. Nick’s mic isn’t working, but Jenny McCarthy is there and apparently, Nick doesn’t know the difference.

Vince and Lawler discuss the audience and the Bigelow/Taylor match and Lawler gives the best summary of football ever: ‘It’s where eleven men spend a lot of time trying to move a small object a hundred yards’.

Intercontinental Championship Match: Jeff Jarrett (with the Roadie) vs Razor Ramon (with 1-2-3 Kid)

Double J and the Roadie come out first, and the crowd isn’t feeling it. We get a recap of how Jarrett won the IC belt from Razor Ramon back at the Royal Rumble

We go to Razor and Kid backstage; the mics are still not working properly. Razor’s mad and Kid predicts that he’ll get the job done tonight. He also warns the Roadie to stay out of the way or he’ll get taken care of.

Razor and Kid come out to a loud pop. Kid looks like an extra from one of the Karate Kid movies. Razor and Kid charge the ring, and both get a shot at Jarrett, but since the bell hasn’t rung, it cannot be a DQ.

This match starts with Razor going for the quick pins and Jarrett trying to counter power with speed. These two actually work really well together. The differences in styles meshes well.

Winner: Razor Ramon by disqualification, after the Roadie blatantly attacks him. Jarrett retains the title. Kid attacks Roadie and Jarrett before being attacked from behind by Jarrett and put in the Figure Four and beaten up by Roadie. Razor comes to his buddy’s aid and it becomes bedlam. Jarrett and Roadie finally bail out, but this feud is far from finished and Jarrett has a bloody nose.

Highlights: Kid threatening the Roadie, just because of how things will change in about three years.

Comments: This was a really good match. The wonky finish hurt it, in my opinion.

JR tries to get an interview with Jarrett and that Jarrett should be ashamed of himself. Jarrett says that he’s a champion and Razor is nothing and that paybacks are a you-know-what.

Audio difficulties have been fixed and we are back with Nick Turturro. He explains that he tried to find Pamela Anderson, but had no luck, so he went to the Green Room, where the Million Dollar Corporation is talking. He says he’s already met Salt ‘n Pepa and gets up close with Jenny McCarthy. Jenny says she’s having a great time and the Million Dollar Corporate members swarm in, but Jenny would rather stay with Nick, I guess. HBK comes in, much to Jenny’s delight and, when asked about Pamela, tells Nick not to worry about it. This conversation quickly gets out of hand when Sid opens his mouth and cuts a promo on Diesel.

Image result for wrestlemania 11 undertaker vs king kong bundyThe Streak: Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) vs King Kong Bundy (with Ted DiBiase)

Bundy is out first with Ted DiBiase, who is carrying the sacred urn, and we get a recap of why Undertaker is feuding with Bundy, who hasn’t been seen at WrestleMania since WrestleMania III where he fought Hillbilly Jim and some little people: IRS attacked Paul Bearer and ‘repossessed’ the urn. We are reminded that Bundy holds the record for the shortest match in WWF.

The lights go out, the thunder starts, and out comes the urnless Paul Bearer and Undertaker. Vince mentions, for the first time EVER, that Taker is undefeated at WrestleMania. Lawler’s response is to joke about Undertaker not having the urn. Undertaker is in the black and purple he came back with in his return to WWF, after knee surgery, at SummerSlam 1994.

Since this show is happening during the big baseball strike, our referee is a moonlighting baseball umpire, Larry Young.

DiBiase accidentally drops the urn, which Vince quickly explains away as DiBiase being so intimidated by the Undertaker and his power.

If you’re looking for a great technical match, you might want to skip this one. Same if you’re looking for a hidden gem where two contrasting styles surprisingly mesh seamlessly into a great match. This match was rough to watch. It wasn’t Giant Gonzalez rough, but it was close.

Winner: Undertaker by pinfall. Taker is now 4-0, surpassing Hogan’s previous streak of 3-0. Afterwards, Taker and Paul do their ritual salute, but they still don’t have the urn.

Highlights: Undertaker temporarily retrieving the urn. Undertaker tombstoning Bundy. Vince quickly thinking up a cover for DiBiase’s butterfingers.

Comments: I’m really ‘meh’ on this match. Taker and Bundy were not a good match up and the whole thing about repossessing the urn was silly.

Nick Turturro is still looking for Pamela Anderson. Apparently, she and HBK had a disagreement and she’s left. He runs into Steve McMichaels who cuts an odd promo on Kama for calling him a ‘creampuff’ and vows that Kama will get his at the Taylor/Bigelow fight. The rest of the All-Pro team cut promos on the rest of Bigelow’s team. Ugh moment when one of the all-pro calls Tatanka a ‘cigar store Indian’.

Nick continues his search and finds Jonathan Taylor Thomas playing chess with Bob Backlund. When Nick asks if they’ve heard about Pamela Anderson, Backlund starts ranting about the intrusion and how it’s what’s wrong with America. Backlund doesn’t know who Pamela Anderson is, and is checkmated by JTT. He doesn’t like that either, and starts ranting again. JTT doesn’t know what to think of this, and neither do I. When JTT correctly tells Backlund who the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is, the ranting starts all over again. Backlund, thankfully, storms out and Nick promises to keep looking for Pamela Anderson.

Tag Team Championship Match: The Smoking Gunns vs Owen Hart and Yokozuna (with Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette)

After that bizarre interlude, we’re back to wrestling. Owen Hart is coming out for the Tag Team match, to loud boos, but he doesn’t have a partner. Lawler claims to know who it is and that it’s a ‘big’ deal. Owen gets on the mic and says that his partner is the man who did the one thing Owen himself has always wanted to do: Beat his brother, Bret, for the WWF Title. His partner is Yokozuna, who comes out with Mr. Fuji and Cornette to a mixed reaction. As usual, Cornette looks like he got dressed in the dark, with his eyes closed. Owen hugs Yokozuna and we await the Tag Team Champions, the Smoking Gunns.

We go to the Gunns backstage and are asked about the addition of Yokozuna. Billy Gunn (yes, THAT Billy Gunn) says that while they are surprised, they fully intend on walking out of WrestleMania still the Tag Team Champs. When Vince comments on this being an uphill battle, Bart replies that they didn’t expect Yokozuna but that they also weren’t sure who would team with Owen Hart given his mean and nasty reputation, but that they are going to win.

Smoking Gunns are out to a really great pop. Yokozuna waves the Japanese flag to a round of boos and the dismay of the Gunns. After a little discussion, we start off with Owen and Billy.

This was a really good tag match. However, Yokozuna’s increased size really hindered his athleticism, as opposed to his previous WrestleMania matches. That said, the crowd was really into the match and the Owen/Yokozuna team was a surprisingly good match.

We get a wonky moment where Billy Gunn is being given the arm test but I think Billy lost his train of thought for a minute. His arm dropped to the mat for the third time before he remembered that he needed to lift it. Chioda lets the match continue anyway. We also get a moment where it looked like the Gunns were going to win when Owen goes for a missile dropkick and Billy ducks, so Yokozuna get the kick instead.

Winner: Owen Hart and Yokozuna by pinfall. Owen and Yokozuna celebrate in the ring, Owen literally jumping for joy.

Highlights: Bart Gunn knocking down Yokozuna with a hairpull snapmare. Owen teasing a Sharpshooter, but going for the pin instead. Owen’s excitement over winning the tag belts.

Comments: This was a surprisingly good match and a surprisingly great team with Owen/Yokozuna

We go to Todd Pettengill who is interviewing Bam Bam Bigelow. We get a recap of the issues between Bigelow and Taylor. Mostly, Bigelow picking a fight with LT at the Royal Rumble. Bigelow vows to take down LT. Pettengill asks about fan reaction and LT’s lack of skill. Bigelow says he doesn’t care what the fans think and that he’s not going to be beaten by LT. When asked about the All-Pro team, Bigelow says that Million Dollar team has his back, so all he has to worry about is LT. Bigelow says LT doesn’t have a prayer and that LT isn’t going to come in and make a fool out of him.

I Quit Match: Bret Hart vs Bob Backlund Special Guest Referee – Roddy Piper

Finkel, minus his rug from last year, and gives us the rules for the ‘I Quit’ Match: No pinfalls, countouts, or DQs. Match only ends when someone says ‘I Quit’. He also introduces Piper, who comes out to a tremendous pop. Backlund is out next to a thunderous round of boos and is still griping about something. He tries to get the crowd on his side, but the crowd isn’t having it. Bret’s out next to a thunderous pop.

Bret dominates from the start, goes for the Sharpshooter, but Backlund blocks it. This basically is a regular match, the only difference is Piper there with the mic, asking either man if they want to quit.

Given the two people involved and the time period, this match isn’t nearly as hardcore as future ‘I Quit’ matches would be, but it was a really good match.

The match finally ends when Backlund gets Bret in the Crossface Chickenwing, only for Bret to not only get out of the hold, but put Backlund in his own hold. Bret gets Backlund to the floor and Piper asks Backlund if he wants to quit, but Backlund’s reply really sounds like more of a shout of pain than any words. Piper calls for the bell anyway.

Winner: Bret Hart, though there is some controversy over what Backlund said.

Highlights: Vince McMahon getting Bret’s WrestleMania VIII opponent (Piper) mixed up with the British Bulldog. Bret using the Figure Four. Piper’s refereeing. Bret beating Backlund with his own move.

Comments: This was an ‘eh’ for me. Backlund and Bret worked really well together, but as far as ‘I Quit’ matches go, this was kind of a dud, in my opinion.

JR is trying to get an interview with Backlund, but Backlund looks to be in a state of shock and says he’s ‘seen the light’. JR’s not sure what the heck is going on.

Nick says he can’t find Pamela Anderson and that there’s been celebrity changes since Ms. Anderson has vanished into thin air.

Todd Pettengill is with WWF Champion, Diesel. Pettengill mentions HBK’s vow that he’s not leaving without the WWF Title. Diesel says that’s funny because he’s made the same vow. He also says that he doesn’t buy HBK’s promise that Sid won’t be involved because he’s been in Sid’s shoes, and knows how HBK thinks. Diesel tells HBK that he’s going to show everyone why Big Daddy Cool is WWF Champion.

We are introduced to our guest ring officials. Jonathan Taylor Thomas as guest timekeeper, Nick Turturro as guest ring announcer. Nick tries to box with Finkel, but Fink just gets out of the way, but is a good sport about it.

Image result for wrestlemania 11 diesel vs shawn michaels

WWF Championship Match: Diesel (with Pamela Anderson) vs Shawn Michaels (with Jenny McCarthy)

HBK comes out with Sid and Jenny McCarthy to a mixed reaction. Jenny takes her seat and doesn’t join HBK and Sid in the ring. We get another view of HBK’s terrible dancing as he takes off his chaps.

Diesel is out to an enormous pop and he has a surprise for us. It turns out that Pamela Anderson didn’t fly the coop, she was just with Big Daddy Cool.

Things get off to a crazy start when Diesel goes to take a swing at Sid, HBK tries to hit him from behind, but Diesel sends HBK to the outside, and invites Pamela Anderson into the ring.

The match starts with a slugfest with HBK wearing his hand out on Diesel’s head, and after some swing and misses by Diesel on the much quicker HBK, Diesel finally levels him.

This match was pretty back and forth, surprisingly. Also surprising was how good it was. HBK and Diesel really went out there to tear the house down. It didn’t quite do that, but it came pretty close. These were two fan favorites and those matches are always tough because there’s not a single person for the fans to get behind.

Winner: Diesel by pinfall. JR tries to get an interview with HBK, but Sid says that this isn’t over and HBK is not finished with Diesel. Afterwards, Diesel invites the celebrities into the ring for a celebration.

Highlights: HBK, the eternal terrier who believes he’s a Rottweiler. HBK getting mad at a member of the press who got in the way. Jenny McCarthy looking after JTT.

Comments: I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed this match.

Pettengill with HBK and Sid backstage and HBK is PISSED. HBK says that he had Diesel beat and the whole world saw it. He says tonight proves that he is the best. Sid chimes in and points out that in the MLB or NCAA, there’s always more than one official to make the calls (which is true) and that if WWF had had an extra ref, HBK would be WWF champion and that this feud with Diesel isn’t over. HBK says he’s sick of talking, especially since he proved he was the best. He also throws down a challenge to Diesel: That if Diesel is half the man and champion he claims to be, he’ll give HBK another shot at the title.

Notes: According to Kevin Nash (Diesel), HBK was so frustrated that Vince wouldn’t give him a run with the WWF Title despite being, somewhat arguably, the best in-ring performer on the roster, that he deliberately botched the Jackknife Powerbomb to make Nash look bad. Nash doesn’t seem to bear a grudge against HBK for this and the two are still best friends to this day, but it’s an interesting look at HBK’s mindset back then that he’d make his own friend look bad because the friend got the chance HBK wanted for himself.

Lawrence Taylor vs Bam Bam Bigelow

The Million Dollar Corporation comes out to various amounts of booing. The All-Pro team are out next to great pops. Salt-n- Pepa are there, cheering for the footballers. The Million Dollar Corporation circles the ring and the footballers invite them in. Pat Patterson, the special ref is having a hard time keeping order. Reggie White gets a shot in on Kama, who was on the apron talking trash. Another one takes a shot at Tatanka.

Bam Bam Bigelow is out first to a loud round of boos. He goes for Salt-n-Pepa for some reason. LT is out next to a thunderous pop.

This match starts with a staredown and slap.

This was by no means a technical or scientific match. It was okay, but I’m not a fan of this match. See my opinion below.

Winner: LT by pinfall. Afterwards, the footballers come in to celebrate and LT is hoisted up. JR tries to talk to the wrestlers and DiBiase is LIVID and berates Bigelow for losing to a football player. LT’s son comes in to celebrate, but LT is exhausted.

Highlights: Bigelow’s athleticism is always amazing to see. Guys his size didn’t do aerial moves in the 90s. LT finding out that wrestling is a little harder than football.

Comments: I did NOT like this match! The fact that WWF let an outsider not only compete in the company’s biggest PPV but let him go over on one of the superstars in a 1-1 contest is one of the worst decisions they could’ve made. Even with Hogan/Mr. T vs Piper/Orndorff, T never got the pin, Hogan got the pin to protect Orndorff. Same in WrestleMania II, T only beat Piper by DQ, which protected Piper.

In my opinion, LT beating Bam Bam lowered respect for the business because it made it look like anyone with a minimal amount of training could beat a veteran wrestler, and I’d feel that way if they’d replaced LT and Bigelow with Brett Favre and the Undertaker.

That rant aside, this was an okay match. It brought WWF a lot of mainstream attention and brought in casual viewers, but I can’t say I’d watch it again.

Overall Comments:

So, did your humble reviewer have to eat her words about a 1995 wrestling PPV? Overall, yes, I did. WrestleMania XI was a pretty good show. There were some stinkers, but the show didn’t suck.

Celebrities: I’m a little ‘eh’ about the celebrities. Since I was twelve in the spring of 1995, I recognized all of the non-football celebrities, but I can’t say they really enhanced the show that much. The fact that Salt-n-Pepa didn’t perform a song irritates me greatly.

Snoozers: Bret Hart vs Bob Backlund. It was a good match but it was pretty boring as far as ‘I Quit’ matches go.

Stinkers: Undertaker vs King Kong Bundy. That was rough watching. LT vs Bigelow for the simple fact that an outsider should NOT have gotten a win over a WWF superstar at WrestleMania in a 1-1 match.

Match of the Night: HBK vs Diesel for the story of two friends turning into rivals.

Final Thoughts: This WrestleMania is usually panned by fans, and I can see why, even if I don’t think it’s as bad as they think. This was also dubbed the WrestleMania that saved WWF during a downturn in the wrestling business.


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: WWE TLC (2015) featuring Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns

As we approach the 2020 edition of WWE TLC, we look back at one from the past featuring  a very different Sheamus against a very different Roman Reigns!

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WWE TLC 2015 Roman Reigns Sheamus

As we approach the 2020 edition of WWE TLC, we look back at one from the past featuring  a very different Sheamus against a very different Roman Reigns!

As we get closer to closing the book on 2018, we’re approaching WWE’s December pay-per-view TLC, so today we’re looking back at one from the past with TLC 2015! After cashing in Money In The Bank on Roman Reigns after a grueling tournament to crown a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Sheamus must now face Reigns fair and square in a TLC Match! Let’s get into the action…

Kickoff Show Match: Sasha Banks w/Naomi & Tamina vs. Becky Lynch
Collar & elbow tie-up to kick things off, Sasha with a side headlock, Becky counters into one of her own, Banks attempts to roll her away, but Lynch hangs on. The Boss reverses an irish whip to the corner, charges in and scores with a monkey flip into a cover, celebrates a little early and Becky rolls her up for a quick 2. Banks tries to pick the leg, Becky counters and gains a side headlock, Sasha pushing her to the ropes and scoring with a shoulder knockdown for a count of 2. Back to the ropes they go, The Boss tries a leapfrog, Lynch hooks the leg and Banks faceplants into the canvas, The Lass Kicker looking for the Dis-Arm-Her, but Sasha squirms to the ropes to escape.

Lynch tries to slingshot The Boss to the mat, Sasha lands on her feet and connects with a big forearm, rushes in and gets caught in an armbar. She pushes Becky off to the ropes, follows in and Lynch with an armdrag, going right back to the armbar. Banks attempts to roll her away, Becky maintaining the hold, ducks a right hand and rolls Banks up for multiple 1 counts, then slaps the armbar back on. The Boss creates some separation with stiff forearms, sends Lynch to the corner and charges in, The Lass Kicker hopping up and over, controlling Sasha with another armbar. The Boss backs her into the corner using the hair, briefly breaks clean and tries to sneak in a forearm, Becky avoids it and connects with a springboard kick.

Naomi climbs to the apron and gets dropped back down for her troubles, Lynch turns back to The Boss and rushes in, Sasha side-steps and Becky hits the ring post shoulder-first. Banks planks her across the middle rope and drops down the double knees, taking control as we head to a break….The Boss chokes Lynch on the bottom rope when we come back, Tamina with a cheap shot behind the official’s back. The Lass Kicker tries to battle back with forearms, sends Sasha to the ropes for a clothesline, Banks counters into a tilt-a-whirl and cracks her with a backstabber. She rolls through, crosses Becky’s arms across her faces and wrenches back, grinding Lynch down to the canvas.

The Lass Kicker powers to her feet with Banks on her shoulders The Boss turns it into a victory roll for a near fall, Becky with a roll-up off the kick-out and she gets 2. She catches Banks rushing in with another roll-up for 2, drops The Boss face-first on the 2nd turnbuckle, then builds momentum with a flurry of clotheslines and a heel kick. She drops a leg, tries for another and Sasha avoids it, planting her with a cross-arm neckbreaker, covering numerous times and only getting 2 counts. The Boss slaps Lynch in the face, Becky comes back with a heavy shot, pushes Sasha to the ropes and throws her with a LassPlex, Banks grabbing the bottom rope at a count of 2.

Sasha kicks her way back to her feet, Becky takes her down with an armwhip, slaps on a cross armbreaker, The Boss tries to roll her way out and Lynch hangs on for the Dis-Arm-Her. Banks switches the momentum into a roll-up for 2, The Lass Kicker hangs onto the arm on the kick-out, going right back to the Dis-Arm-Her, Tamina getting to the apron to distract the referee, allowing Naomi to sneak in and kick Lynch in the face. The Boss takes the opening and scores with the backstabber, rolls through into the Bank Statement and Lynch is forced to tap.
Winner: Sasha Banks (Bank Statement)

  • EA’s TakeSolid showing on our Kickoff match from both ladies, The Boss getting the big win in her hometown with help from the unity of Team B.A.D. Becky’s in an odd spot right now, seemingly playing the 3rd wheel between her former Team PCB members, Paige & Charlotte. With performances like this it will be very difficult to keep Becky & Sasha near the bottom tier of the Divas division for much longer, especially if the “We Want Sasha” chants continue.

Open: After Seth Rollins cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase at WrestleMania, Roman Reigns’ luck as it pertains to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship has been less than stellar. He finally reached the mountaintop at Survivor Series, winning a tournament to gain the vacant title, only to have Sheamus cash in his Money In The Bank and steal the championship. Tonight, Roman looks for revenge with tables, ladders and chairs.

Match #1 – Triple Threat Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships: WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) w/Xavier Woods vs. Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
Xavier joins commentary for this match, the bell rings and the brawl is on, Jimmy & Sin Cara send Big E to the ropes, Jimmy drops down and Sin Cara scores with a dropkick. Jey, Kalisto & Kofi attempt to bring ladders in, Big E clears the ring, pushes back on Kalisto & Jey, then pulls Kingston’s ladder inside. New Day stand it up and start to climb, The Usos are there to meet them, toss Kofi outside and then pair-off with Big E & Sin Cara. Kingston & Kalisto climb up opposite sides of the apron, springboard into the ring and land on their feet on the ladder.

The Usos playing defense, everyone takes a turn climbing up with no success. Big E & Kofi get thrown outside, climbs to the 2nd rope on the apron and fly with synchronized moonsaults to New Day. The Usos grab the ladder in the ring, knock The Lucha Dragons off the apron with it, then throw it outside, New Day & Luchas catching it in the air. The Usos hit the ropes and take flight with crossbody planchas onto the ladder, taking all 4 of their opponents out. They head back in and set the ladder up under the titles, Kingston slides in, hops through the middle of the ladder for a dropkick, gets his feet caught and The Usos dump him over the top to the floor. Big E rolls in behind them, pushes the ladder into The Usos and sends Jimmy flying outside.

Kofi smashes him with a ladder as Big E stomps a hole into Jey in the corner, Kingston comes in and they sandwich him behind the ladder. Big E whips Kingston in for a basement dropkick, Jimmy rolls inside and gets caught, E tossing him onto the ladder with an overhead belly to belly suplex. The Dragons are back in the ring and clock Kingston with another ladder, attempt to smash Big E, but he powers them back to the corner. Kalisto climbs to the top, hops through the ladder and lands on Big E with a seated senton, Kofi gets to his feet and drills him with a superkick. Sin Cara goes to the 2nd rope with the ladder, Kingston scales up to meet him, gets knocked down and Sin Cara rides the ladder down into a splash on him.

He takes The Usos out on the outside with a baseball slide into a ladder, hits the ropes and jumps onto the ladder on the floor with a somersault senton on Jimmy & Jey. Kalisto spears Big E with a ladder back inside, sets it up over his prone body and starts the climb up, Big E benchpressing him up, but Sin Cara hops on it to bring it back down. E benchpresses it again with both Luchas on it, Sin Cara falls and gets hanged on the top rope, The Usos slide in and Kalisto jumps off with a crossbody. Jimmy & Jey catch him in the air, Jey plants him with a spinning side slam, then they drop Big E with a double superkick. The Usos prop him in the corner and sandwich him with a ladder, Kingston comes in for a save and gets leveled, Jimmy & Jey charging into the corner with a dropkick to the ladder.

Kofi comes to and elevates Jimmy to the outside, Jey pulls a smaller ladder into the ring, slams Kingston on it then heads up top. Kingston crotches him on the top turnbuckle, climbs up and gets sent back down, getting his foot caught in the ropes and hanging in the tree of woe. Jimmy passes a ladder to Jey and he hammers Kingston, holds it in front of Kofi and Jimmy charges in with the hip attack. The Usos are alone in the ring now, stand a ladder up, The Dragons are their to meet them and we get a staredown before everyone takes a shot at climbing. Sin Cara assists Kalisto into a senton on Jimmy, they place a ladder over his body and Sin Cara flips his partner into a 450 splash on top.

Lucha Dragons now holding the ring and starting to ascend the ladder, Kofi’s back in to lay them out with forearms, then planks another ladder between the ropes and the standing ladder. He attempts to drive Kalisto into it, Kalisto slides under, pushes the ladder into Kingston’s ribs, springs off of it with a hurricanrana and Kofi hits the ladder head-first, spilling to the floor. Kalisto heads up after the titles, The Usos hit the ring climbing up opposite sides, Sin Cara pulls Jimmy down to the canvas as Kalisto is sent down as well. Kalisto springs back up, climbs over Jey, hooks him for Salida Del Sol and they both go crashing through the planked ladder. Sin Cara climbs upstairs and follows with a somersault senton.

Kalisto & Jimmy drag themselves up the ladder and reach for the championships, Kalisto gets knocked down and Jimmy’s all alone. Big E hits the ring to make the save, pulling him down and pushing the ladder over, looks to toss Jimmy to the floor, but he turns tables and E is sent outside. Jimmy attempts a suicide dive and runs into a forearm, E grabs a ladder to bring into the ring and Jimmy hits with a baseball slide. He looks to the corner, scales to the top rope and jumps to the floor onto the ladder, squashing Big E with the Uso Splash. Kalisto stirs around in the squared circle and drags himself up the ladder, Woods leaves commentary, grabs the trombone and throws it into Kalisto’s back, Kingston quickly sliding in and flipping him off the ladder to the mat. Kofi climbs up, unhooks the titles and The New Day retains.
Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day

  • EA’s TakeWow, the tag division just spat on the rest of the roster and proclaimed “Follow that!” with this match. Amazing high-spots and some pretty innovative stuff here, Kalisto’s Salida Del Sol being the showstealer. This is going to be very difficult for anyone to measure up to the rest of the night and we’re just getting started. I think it’s a little odd that New Day retained, they’re starting to run out of babyface challengers at this point after running through everyone for the majority of 2015. Unless someone’s getting called up from NXT, they may end up having to turn themselves.

Match #2: Rusev w/Lana vs. Ryback
Rusev jumps Ryback right at the bell, clobbers him in the back and whips him to the ropes, The Big Guy hanging on and catching Rusev coming in with a back elbow. He sends The Bulgarian Brute to the outside after a shoulder tackle, follows him out and drives Rusev into the barricade before rolling him back in. The Big Guy heads up top and scores with a double axe handle, presses Rusev over his head, drops him face-first and follows with a splash for a count of 2. He rams The Bulgarian Brute back into the corner and fires away, climbs to the 2nd rope for right hands, Rusev powers him out and drops him on the ropes with a hot shot.

He takes control and chokes Ryback on the bottom rope, rams him head-first into the top turnbuckle and drives shoulders to the solarplexes, flattening The Big Guy with a short-arm clothesline. Rusev grabs the neck with a nervehold to ground Ryback, The Big Guy fights to a vertical base, gets clubbed in the back and The Bulgarian Brute hooks him for a vertical suplex. Ryback blocks and they trade suplex attempts back and forth, The Big Guy finally plants Rusev and starts to build a head of steam with multiple shoulder blocks. He squashes The Bulgarian Brute in the corner, Rusev reverses a whip across, charges in and runs into a boot, Ryback following up with a 2nd rope dropkick that gets a 2 count.

The Big Guy’s ready to finish it, picks Rusev up and gets driven into the corner, The Bulgarian Brute attempting a splash, but Ryback side-steps and goes to the top rope. He connects with a crossbody that gains a near fall, drops the straps and sets Rusev in his crosshairs for a Meat Hook. The Bulgarian Brute wisely rolls out of the ring and walks off with Lana at his side, Ryback giving chase up the aisle and brings him back by the hair. Rusev breaks the grip with a back elbow, he pushes The Big Guy and he falls back, running into Lana and sending her down. Ryback is distracted, turns around and gets clocked by a superkick, Lana springing to her feet and celebrating after deceiving The Big Guy.

The Bulgarian Brute rolls Ryback in the squared circle and covers for 2, calls for The Accolade, but The Big Guy blocks it, powering to his feet with Rusev on his shoulders for Shellshocked. Rusev slips out of it, scores with a roundhouse to the head, locks in The Accolade to a knocked out Ryback and the official calls for the bell.
Winner: Rusev (The Accolade)

  • EA’s TakeNow don’t get me wrong, it’s not that this was a bad match. It’s just that…who cares? The story was a little absurd heading into it and both of these guys have really fallen off the map in comparison to where they were at the height of their WWE runs thus far. Ryback is still missing something, it’s tough to put my finger on exactly what it is. It’s certainly not his ability, which you can also say about Rusev as well.

Backstage: Dean Ambrose warms up for his match when Roman Reigns comes in. He tells Dean he was just speaking to The Usos and it’s down to them tonight to hold it down for the family. Reigns is excited for tonight, describing how good it will feel to regain the WWE Title and put a hole in Sheamus’ head with a ladder. Win, lose or draw, tonight’s about making a statement. Ambrose says he had a different vision and that’s for both of them to be standing in the ring later as champions.

Match #3 – Chairs Match for the WWE United States Championship: WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
Ringside is littered with set-up chairs, both guys slide out to the floor after a chair at the bell, roll back in and the duel is on. They drop the chairs and Swagger hits a clothesline, the champion rolls to the outside, The Real American in pursuit and Del Rio tries to drive him into the post, only to get rammed into the steel instead. The challenger bounces Alberto’s head off a chair multiple times, back into the ring they go and The Real American looks for the Swagger Bomb, El Patron sticking a chair up and catches him in the throat. The champion scores with a clothesline that gets 1, sends Swagger sternum-first into the turnbuckles, then rams the chair to the ribs and smacks it over his back.

He props the chair flat between the ropes in the corner, the challenger firing away with right hands, Alberto reverses a whip into the chair, The Real American puts on the brakes to avoid it, but Del Rio makes him pay with a backstabber for a count of 2. El Patron hammers the challenger in the back with a chair, sets his sights on a superkick, but Swagger is able to throw the chair in his face to avoid it. He ducks a clothesline, hits the ropes for one of his own, follows with another, then connects with two more in the corners. The Real American wants the Swagger Bomb again, Del Rio gets the feet up, Swagger catches the foot and goes for the Patriot Lock, but the champion is able to kick him away. Swagger rushes right back in and is split with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall, tosses The Real American out to the floor, then throws a pile of chairs onto him.

He sends the challenger back in the squared circle and covers for 2, calls for the Cross Armbreaker, Swagger counters out and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post, follows with a roll-up and nearly gets the 3 count. The Real American pounds Del Rio’s back with a chair, wraps his ankle in it and slaps on the Patriot Lock, the champion crawling to grabs the apron, but there’s no breaks in this match. El Patron works his way out of the ring using the ring skirting, Swagger ducks his head out to grab the champion and takes a chair shot to the breadbasket. Alberto heads upstairs with a chair-in-hand, The Real American catches him coming down with a slam, finally hits the Swagger Bomb and Del Rio kicks at 2.

The challenger slides to the outside and sends a handful of chairs into the ring, pummels Alberto in the back again, then props him on the top turnbuckle and climbs up. The champion pushes him away, picks the arm and hangs over the ropes with the Cross Armbreaker, releasing the hold on his own accord. He heads back inside and unleashes a barrage of chair shots to the back in the corner, stacks the chairs up under Swagger, climbs up top and delivers tree of woe double stomp for the 1-2-3.
Winner and STILL WWE United States Champion: Alberto Del Rio (Tree Of Woe Double Stomp)

  • EA’s TakeBrutal, physical match between two of the better technicians in the company, showing they can also deliver a good brawl. The chairs were really used to perfection and were a real focal point of the match, which is what you’d expect from a chairs match. I get that Swagger & Del Rio have a history, so it only makes sense for The Real American to be one of the first challengers to Alberto’s title. I just don’t like that I’m supposed to take Swagger as a serious contender after months and months of being relegated to Superstars, most of the time on the losing end.


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Chairshot Classics: 2015 WWE Hell In A Cell

With WWE Hell In A Cell 2020 looming, Eric takes a look back at the 2015 edition featuring The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar inside the Cell!

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WWE Hell In A Cell 2015 The Undertaker Brock Lesnar

With WWE Hell In A Cell 2020 looming, Eric takes a look back at the 2015 edition featuring The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar inside the Cell!

Before you get to Sasha vs Bayley, Roman vs Jey and Drew vs Randy, check out the happenings of the 2015 version of WWE Hell In A Cell, emanating from the Staples Center in Los Angeles!

Kickoff Show Match: Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro & Neville vs. Rusev, King Barrett & ‘Mr. Money In The Bank’ Sheamus
Stardust & The Ascension are sitting at ringside again with a “Stardust Section” sign. The Man That Gravity Forgot & The Celtic Warrior to kick things off, collar & elbow, Sheamus powers Neville into the corner and goes to the midsection. He whips him into the ropes, Neville slides through the legs and scores with a flurry of kicks, misses a dropkick, then slips out of a slam attempt for an enzuigiri. Cesaro gets the tag, slams Sheamus, goes to all fours and Neville jumps off his back into a corkscrew splash on Mr. MITB that gets 2 for The Swiss Superman. He quick tags back out to Neville, Sheamus sends him hard into the corner and brings in Barrett.

The King fires away a headbutt, quick tags out to Rusev and The Bulgarian Brute pummels The Man That Gravity Forgot. The Celtic Warrior off the tag with more heavy shots, Neville tries to battle back, but Sheamus catches him for a suplex. The Man That Gravity Forgot counters and lands on his feet, gets the tag to Ziggler and he comes in on fire, dropping Mr. MITB with a jumping clothesline. The Show Off splashes Sheamys in the corner, drops him with a neckbreaker and plants an elbow drop to the chest. Dolph knocks Rusev & Barrett off the apron, goes for a Fameasser, The Celtic Warrior catches him into a powerbomb, but Ziggler with a reversal back into the Fameasser for a near fall. Barrett slides in and distracts the ref, Rusev coming in from behind and decapitates Dolph with a superkick, Mr. MITB slides over into a cover and Ziggler kicks out at 2 as we go to break…

The King controls The Show Off with a rear chinlock when we come back, Dolph tries to gain his footing and gets slammed to the canvas by the hair. Barrett maintains control, posting his knee to Ziggler’s spine and wrenching back on the arms. The Show Off powers to a vertical base, gets sent into the corner, tries to hop over a charging Barrett and takes a kick to the midsection for 2. Sheamus off the tag with stiff right hands, The Bulgarian Brute takes a turn and stomps away at Ziggler in the corner. He eggs The Show Off on to make a tag, but unloads with clubbing blows when Dolph reaches out. Rusev scores with a kick to the back for a count of 2, The Celtic Warrior re-enters the match and plants Ziggler with a release vertical suplex before going to a rear chinlock.

Dolph battles to his feet and spikes Sheamus with a jumping DDT, Rusev gets a tag and barely prevents Ziggler from making it to his corner. He props The Show Off up in the corner, runs to the other side to build a head of steam and goes to splash Dolph, but misses and hits the ring post. Barrett gets a tag as Cesaro enters, he drops Sheamus off the apron with a big boot, then unleashes a series of running uppercuts to the King, going from corner to corner. The Swiss Superman levels Barrett with a running big boot, the King reverses a whip into the ropes and Cesaro flips himself out to the apron, lifting a boot to Barrett’s face. The King Of Swing jumps onto Sheamus from the apron with a somersault senton, runs around ringside and unloads an uppercut to Rusev, then back around to deliver one to Mr. MITB.

Cesaro heads to the top rope, connects with a crossbody back in the ring to Barrett, but only gets a 2 count. The Swiss Superman calls for the Cesaro Swing, Rusev slides in to stop it and takes a back body drop. Neville hits the ring, Cesaro tells him to hit the ropes and sends The Man That Gravity Forgot to the outside onto Sheamus & Rusev. Barrett sets for the Bullhammer behind Cesaro, Dolph slides in and hits a superkick, Cesaro puts him in the swing and Neville tags to finish the King with the Red Arrow.
Winners: Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro & Neville (Neville/Red Arrow)

  • EA’s Take: GREAT opening contest here, the babyfaces get the win, but Cesaro looks like a million bucks coming out of this. I would have preferred to see the heels win with help from either Stardust at ringside or Tyler Breeze, generally I prefer to advance a story when it comes to who wins matches. Certainly one of the better kickoff show matches I can remember seeing though.

Open: “Hell comes in many forms.” Tonight, Seth Rollins looks to hang on to his WWE World Heavyweight Title, while Kane looks to keep his job as Director Of Operations. After a controversial finish at SummerSlam, Brock Lesnar & The Undertaker walk into Hell In A Cell seeking revenge in the final chapter of their rivalry. “It all ends…in hell.”

In The Arena: WWE United States Champion John Cena heads to the squared circle to a chorus of boos. The champ says he had a long winded speech, but it sounds like everyone’s ready to get down to business. The US Open Challenge starts….now. Zeb Colter comes out on a motorized scooter, talking about how some people like Cena and some people don’t. He calls Cena a divider and it’s time for people from all different countries and backgrounds to come together. More importantly, it’s time for John to lose the US Title to this man…

Match #1 for the WWE United States Championship: WWE United States Champion John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio w/Zeb Colter
Collar & elbow tie-up to start, Cena goes to a side headlock, Del Rio pushes him into the ropes and John scores with a shoulder knockdown. They lock-up again, Alberto grabs a side headlock this time, Cena pushes him into the ropes, leapfrogs over and Del Rio with a kick to the leg that forces John to regroup outside. Loud dueling Cena chants as John goes to the striking game, firing away with right hands in the corner, whips Del Rio across, charges in and Alberto side-steps, going into an armdrag and holding an armbar. Alberto goes back to a leg kick, Cena crawls to the 2nd rope, Del Rio attempts a running senton and misses, spilling to the outside. The champ rolls Alberto back inside, charges at him and Del Rio splits him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a count of 2.

El Patron heads upstairs, connects with an overhead chop and gains another 2 count before utilizing a rear chinlock. The champion powers to his feet, Del Rio with a kick to the breadbasket and an attempted suplex, Cena blocks and hits one of his own. John climbs to the top, the challenger quickly scales the corner and scores with an enzuigiri, dropping the champion to the canvas for another near fall. Del Rio climbs to the top once more and again hits an overhead chop for a count of 2, then calls for the Cross Armbreaker.

Cena explodes to his feet, flattening Alberto with a clothesline. They exchange right hands, Cena hits his shoulder tackles, plants Alberto with a spinning back suplex and hits the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. He sets for the AA, Del Rio slips out and cracks Cena with a backstabber, follows with a superkick and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW WWE United States Champion: Alberto Del Rio (Superkick)

  • EA’s Take: What a surprise return, it takes a lot for me to not see something coming and I was stunned, eventhough I knew there had been talks between Del Rio and WWE about coming back. I’m a little shocked at the way that it happened also though, as I feel like the execution was not as it should have been. Cena has had incredible US Title matches during his reign and successfully defended it, but this match didn’t quite live up to any of those. Great coup for WWE either way, hopefully they can keep the title relevant as Cena is slated to step away until the end of December.

Backstage: The Authority is watching with enjoyment at the start of the show, Seth Rollins comes in and agrees with them. However, Rollins has some thoughts about tonight when Kane interrupts. He tries to apologize, but Seth isn’t buying it and they bicker back and forth. Hunter stops them and says this is a private meeting, Kane’s attendane isn’t required. Kane wishes Seth luck, telling him he’s going to need it.

Match #2 is Hell In A Cell: Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
Roman strikes first with a kick to the gut and right hands, drives Wyatt into the top turnbuckle and continues to fire away. Bray takes it right back to Reigns, shoots him into the ropes and The Big Dog explodes with a jumping clothesline, then tosses Wyatt with multiple pumphandle throws. He goes for a Samoan Drop, Bray battles out, but eats a big right hand, crawling to the ropes. Roman to the outside, looks for the Drive-By, Wyatt avoids it, but Reigns comes right back with another right hand, this time hitting the Drive-By. The Big Dog introduces Bray to the cage, sends him into the steps, then rolls him into the ring.

The New Face Of Fear rolls back to the outside, goes to Reigns’ eyes, then pulls out a kendo stick and goes to work, taking control of the match and swinging away at Roman’s back. Wyatt tries to send The Big Dog into the corner, Reigns fights back briefly, but Bray goes to the lower back with the kendo stick again. He clotheslines Roman to the outside using the cane, heads out after him and tosses him into the cage. The Eater Of Worlds finds a chair under the ring, goes to swing at Reigns, changes his mind and instead sits down, whacking Roman with the kendo stick and begging him to fight back. Bray props the chair and cane in the fencing, Reigns with a quick burst of energy, but Wyatt drives him into the cane, splitting it in two.

The Big Dog with another adrenaline rush, hammers Bray with fists and sends him into the chair, then back into the cage. He finds 2 kendo sticks and stalks Wyatt before combining them and unloading to Bray’s chest. Roman seeks out a table and slides it in the ring, then pulls out another and sets it up on the floor. Wyatt throws the other table out of the ring, Reigns notices and connects with another Drive-By, setting the other table up on the opposite side of the ring. Reigns pulls himself to the apron, avoids a charging Bray and hits a series of kicks, goes to suplex Wyatt through the table, but gets put through it himself with a one-arm slam.

The Eater Of Worlds rolls Roman in and covers for a count of 2, squashes him with a running senton for another 2. Wyatt dumps Roman to the outside, rushes at him and squashes him into the side of the cell. He pins Roman’s head up against the ring post, gains some speed and squashes him again. The New Face Of Fear pulls another table out and slides it in the ring, places Reigns in the corner and drives a knee to the head before setting the table up. Bray props The Big Dog on the top turnbuckle, hooks him for a superplex, Reigns blocks, drops down and powerbombs Wyatt through the table for a near fall. Both guys struggle to their feet, Roman unleashes a flurry of clotheslines in the corner, hits the ropes and Bray catches him for Sister Abigail.

Reigns counters into a schoolboy for a count of 2, then comes right back with a Superman Punch, Wyatt kicking out at 2. The New Face Of Fear rolls out to the apron, Roman goes out to meet him, hitting a Spear off the apron to the floor and going through a table. The Big Dog drags Wyatt into the ring, crawls to a cover and still can’t get a 3 count. Roman sets up for a Spear, Bray gets his boot up and plants him with Sister Abigail, but he can’t get the 3 either. The Eater Of Worlds goes to the 2 kendo sticks, delivers a shot to the midsection and hooks them up in the turnbuckles like javelins. Bray goes to drive Reigns into it and he blocks, connecting with kendo stick shots, sends Wyatt into the cane instead, then follows with a Spear to get the win.
Winner: Roman Reigns (Spear)

  • EA’s Take: Excellent brawl here with a couple of nice spots. Reigns finally seemingly gains revenge on Bray which makes me wonder if he’ll turn his attention back to the WWE Title. I can’t find much to complain about with the match, however the “No Color Policy” always seems to put a bit of a damper on these kinds of matches. Cage matches are supposed to be brutal, bloody brawls and these kind of matches make me miss those days.

Match #3 for the WWE Tag Team Championships: WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von)
Prior to the match, Kofi thanks the WWE Universe for all their support towards Xavier Woods. Big E calls today a sad day, almost as sad because the broken trombone is all they have of Woods. They promise to play the drums with D-Von’s head and Bubba’s belly. Kingston & D-Von kick off the action, Big E provides a distraction and Kofi takes quick control. He sends D-Von into the ropes, D-Von with a jumping back elbow, follows with a diving headbutt and covers for a count of 2. Bubba tags in, The Dudleys with a double shoulder knockdown and double elbow drop for 2, Bubba whips Kofi to the corner and he scales to the top, but gets caught and slammed to the canvas.

New Day collects themselves on the outside, Big E tries to give Kofi another distraction to no avail, Bubba shooting him into the corner for a splash. D-Von back in, The Dudleys go for a double team move and botch it terribly. D-Von whips Kofi into the ropes, ducks his head and eats a kick, Big E tagging in and leveling D-Von with a clothesline. New Day with frequent tags in their corner, taking turns stomping away at D-Von, Big E eventually whipping Kofi into a corner dropkick. Kingston chokes D-Von on the 2nd rope, spikes him with a DDT and covers for a 2 count before going to a wristlock. D-Von battles to his feet, Kofi hits him with a jawbreaker, then drags him to the corner and brings Big E in for a splash that gets a count of 2.

Kingston back in, they set D-Von up for a Wazzup Headbutt, but D-Von kicks Kofi away and crawls to a tag. Bubba with clotheslines to Kingston, elevates him with a back body drop, then scores with lefts and rights to Big E. The Dudleys connect with the Wazzup Headbutt, Bubba is about to call for the tables, but Kofi springboards in the ring, taking them out with a dropkick. He slides out and grabs the trombone, tosses it to Bubba and drops to the mat as if Bubba nailed him with it The ref argues with Bubba and goes to call for the bell, but decides against it because he didn’t see it.

Bubba snaps the trombone in half over his knee, D-Von tags and they plant Kingston with a combination back suplex/neckbreaker for a near fall. Bubba tags back in, they call for 3D, Big E slides in and drills Bubba with the trombone behind the ref’s back, then disposes of D-Von. Kingston scores with Trouble In Paradise to Bubba, makes the cover and retains.
Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day (Kofi/Trouble In Paradise)

  • EA’s Take: Maybe it’s just me, but the shine of The Dudley Boyz’s return seems to be wearing off already. I’m not sure what move they were going for during the match, but they botched it horribly and couldn’t cover for it. I still believe that The Dudleys will get their 10th title run, but the time just isn’t right. There are not enough heel teams to justify taking the titles off New Day, not to mention the fact that New Day are arguably the hottest heels in the company.

Match #4 for the WWE Divas Championship – Everyone Banned From Ringside: Nikki Bella vs. WWE Divas Champion Charlotte
They lock-up to start, Charlotte backs Nikki into the ropes, the ref forces a clean break and they tie-up again, this time Charlotte backing Nikki into the corner. Nikki doesn’t break clean, charges out of the corner with a clothesline, Charlotte ducks it and scores with a modified neckbreaker. She puts the challenger in the corner, climbs to the 2nd rope and reigns down right hands, Nikki tries to counter to a powerbomb, but the champion reverses with a hurricanrana. Charlotte with more right hands, hits the ropes and the challenger fires a stiff forearm that sends the champion to the outside.

Nikki gives chase, tosses Charlotte out into the crowd, the champion looks to bring the fight back at her and gets caught, Nikki jumping off the barricade with a kick. She drives Charlotte spine-first into the ring post, tosses her into the barricade, then rolls her in the ring for a count of 2. Nikki sticks the point of the knee into the back and pulls back on the champion’s neck, drags her to her feet and hits a snap suplex for another 2 count. The challenger goes for a slingshot suplex, Charlotte lands on her feet, delivers a plate of patented Flair chops, Nikki ducks one and goes to a backslide for a near fall, then turning it into a modified facebuster, but still can’t get 3.

Nikki uses a single leg crab to punish the champion, breaking it on her own accord. She catapults Charlotte off the ropes down on the knees, covers for 2 and then sends the champion into the corner. Charlotte flips around, explodes out and levels the challenger with a big boot for a near fall. The champion tries a suplex, but her back gives out and Nikki keeps control, continuing to pummel the lower back. The champion ducks a right hand, turns around into a spinebuster and Nikki gets another count of 2 before trash talking Charlotte and slapping her in the face. Charlotte comes back with chops, the ref has to seperate them and Nikki takes advantage, looking for a springboard kick and missing, hurting her knee in the process.

The champion takes the opening planting Nikki and then climbing to the top for a moonsault. Nikki sees it coming climbs up with her for a german suplex and Charlotte lands on her feet, splitting the challenger with a spear. She locks in the Figure Eight, but can’t bridge due to her injured back, Nikki crawling to the ropes to force the break. Charlotte charges Nikki and gets dumped to the floor, the challenger following her outside and scoring with an Albama Slam on the apron. She rolls Charlotte back inside, attempts the Rack Attack and the champ counters, locking in the Figure Eight and Nikki’s forced to tap.
Winner and STILL WWE Divas Champion: Charlotte (Figure Eight)

  • After The Bell: Paige & Becky Lynch hit the ring to celebrate with Charlotte, raising her hand in victory.
  • EA’s Take: Finally a good Divas match for the main roster. Not anything on par with what Sasha Banks & Bayley have been doing down in NXT, but I really enjoyed this one. The Divas Division has been begging for a 1 on 1 match like this and while it won’t change things overnight, WWE keeps making steps in the right direction. Too bad they couldn’t have taken those steps at the beginning of the ‘Divas Revolution’.

Backstage: Sitting in the locker room is Roman Reigns when Dean Ambrose comes in offering congratulations on finishing things with Bray Wyatt. Dean talks about them knowing what’s next, but Reigns wants to talk about that tomorrow. Ambrose agrees because tonight they’ll celebrate.

Match #5 for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship – If Kane Loses, He’s No Longer Director Of Operations: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins vs. Kane
The champion has some harsh words for the challenger at the bell, pushes him and ducks a right hand, delivering a series of his own. He shoots Kane into the ropes, ducks his head and The Devil’s Favorite Demon spikes him with a DDT, following with a low dropkick. He knocks the champion to the floor with a right hand, goes out after him and drives him head-first into the announce table. The challenger clears the spanish announce table, Rollins tries to scurry away into the ring, hits the ropes for a suicide dive and gets caught, then planted on the floor. Kane rolls him back inside, whips Seth into the ropes and hits with a flapjack.

The Director Of Operations heads to the top, The Architect sees it and drops Kane to the apron, then hangs him on the top rope, dropping Kane to the floor. Seth flies to the outside with a somersault plancha, places The Devil’s Favorite Demon on the apron and drives elbows to the throat. Back in the ring, Seth scores with a sling blade that only gets a 1 count, chokes The Big Red Machine on the 2nd rope, then plants him with a neckbreaker that barely gets 2. The champion goes to a rear chinlock, Kane attempts to battle up and Rollins with a kick to the chest. He scales the top turnbuckle, jumps down and meets a big right hand, but side-steps a big boot in the corner.

Seth splashes him and stomps away, runs to the other side to build momentum and scores with a running forearm. The Architect goes to the well again and gets leveled with a clothesline, but again avoids a charging Kane in the corner. Seth climbs up top, Kane catches him with a right hand and then connects with a superplex. The Big Red Machine hits multiple corner clotheslines, attempts a tilt-a-whirl slam, Rollins lands on his feet, hits the ropes and runs into a big boot that gives Kane a 2 count. The Devil’s Favorite Demon goes to the top again, the champion runs up the turnbuckle to meet him, gets pushed off and Kane scores with a top rope clothesline. He grabs Seth for a Chokeslam, Rollins slips out and hits an enzuigiri, tries to follow with the Pedigree, the challenger powers out and plants the champion with a Chokeslam, but only gets 2.

He calls for the Tombstone, The Architect slips out and retreats to the outside, Kane in pursuit to drive the champion spine-first into the apron. Kane drops Rollins back-first on the announce table, clears it off and tosses Seth over it. He drags Rollins up, Seth slides out and powerbombs the challenger on the spanish announce table, but it doesn’t break. Rollins rolls in the ring and the ref starts his count, Kane making it back in at a count of 8. The Architect goes for another Pedigree, gets tossed to the apron, Seth scores with an enzuigiri, then comes off the top with a flying knee.

The champion goes back up and connects with another flying knee, then lands two superkicks to finally drop the challenger. Seth goes up once more and hits a frog splash, but still can’t put The Devil’s Favorite Demon away. The champion can’t believe it and seemingly has a conversation with himself, goes back over to The Big Red Machine and he gets Seth by the throat. Rollins delivers a kick to the breadbasket, drives Kane into the canvas with a Pedigree and picks up the 1-2-3.
Winner and STILL WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Seth Rollins (Pedigree)

  • EA’s Take: I’m not certain that I’d call this match good or not. I wouldn’t say it was bad, but it went exactly the way I figured it would go. There was never any doubt in my mind that Seth wouldn’t retain, so this didn’t do a whole lot for me. I am glad however that they allowed Rollins to win clean. They’ve done a good job of weening Seth off of the tainted wins which will serve his character well (not to mention whoever finally beats him) in the long run.

Match #6 for the WWE Intercontinental Championship: Ryback vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens
The bell rings and The Big Guy goes right at the champion, Owens trying to retreat to the outside, then back in and catching Ryback with boots. KO hits the ropes and runs into a big shoulder, the challenger powers Owens into the corner and drives shoulders to the midsection, lifting him and tossing KO with a back body drop. The Big Guy goes for a military press, the champion slips out, attempts a suplex and Ryback counters into one of his own. He charges KO in the corner, Owens side-steps and Ryback goes shoulder-first into the ring post. The champion looks to take control, Ryback uses his power again and plants Owens with a powerslam, KO rolling to the apron and getting blasted to the floor with a clothesline.

Ryback tosses Owens back inside, puts him in the corner and reigns down rights from the 2nd rope. The champion escapes out, crotches the challenger on the 2nd turnbuckle, following with a running senton for a 2 count. Owens sets his sights on a Cannonball, The Big Guy pops to his feet and catches him in a spinebuster, then puts Owens in his crosshairs for the Meat Hook. KO ducks it, but can’t avoid Ryback’s powerbomb and the challenger gains a near fall before climbing to the top. Owens has it scouted, dropping the challenger to the apron and then connecting with a superkick, spilling Ryback to the floor.

The Big Guy makes it back in the ring at the ref’s count of 9, charges into the ring and gets dropped throat-first across the 2nd rope, KO grabbing him in a schoolboy for a near fall. He sends the challenger into the ropes for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, Ryback counters with a Meat Hook, then lifts him for Shellshocked. KO grabs the ropes to get out of it, goes out to the apron and rakes the eyes, following with the Pop-Up Powerbomb to finish it.
Winner and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: Kevin Owens (Pop-Up Powerbomb)

  • EA’s Take: It’s officially time for both of these guys to move on. I’ll be honest, I completely forgot this match was even on the card and it appears as if most everyone else did too. It shows how much the company really cares about this feud, as they’re given the spot between the WWE Title match and the main event. Generally, this spot on the card is the one that gets time taken away from it or cut completely. This rivalry has done nothing for either of these guys.

Match #7 is Hell In A Cell: Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs. The Undertaker
They meet face to face in the ring, Taker giving Lesnar the throat-cut sign and the bell rings. Lesnar uses his quickness to duck right hands, looks for a german right off the bat, but Taker hangs onto the ropes. The Beast goes to the midsection, drives shoulders into the breadbasket in the corner, The Deadman reverses a whip across and follows in with a clothesline. The Conqueror buries a knee to the ribs, hooks The Phenom for a german suplex again and Taker sends him flying to the outside. Undertaker follows, delivering right hands, Lesnar countering a whip into the cage and he elevates Taker for an F5. The Demon Of Death Valley slips out of it, pushes Brock face-first into the ring post and he’s been busted open.

The Phenom uses the cell to his advantage, driving Lesnar face-first into the cage, then pulls a chair out and heads back inside. The Beast is there to meet him, planting Taker into the mat with a double leg, getting his hands on the chair and smashing it into The Deadman’s back. Brock falls into the corner and the ringside doctor comes in to check on Brock’s cut, cleans him up a little bit and Lesnar takes the chair again, smashing it into Undertaker on the floor. The Conqueror tosses Taker into the cage again, attempts a suplex on the floor and The Phenom blocks, delivering one of his own. The American Badass has been cut now, rolls Lesnar inside, props the chair under his throat and slams down on it, covering Brock for a count of 2.

Undertaker hammers away at Lesnar’s cut, shoots him into the corner, Brock rebounds out and ducks a right hand, snapping off a german suplex. The Beast scores with a couple more, elevates Taker and connects with an F5, but The Deadman kicks out at 2. The ringside doctor comes in the ring again to check on both guys, Lesnar tosses the doctor aside and plants The Phenom with another F5, but still can’t get 3. The Conqueror goes out to grab the steel stairs, tosses them in the squared circle and clobbers The Deadman for a near fall. He takes the steps again, attempts to slam them on Taker’s leg, but he’s able to roll out of the way. The Beast goes for it again, Taker kicks him away and the stairs land on Lesnar’s head, cutting him open again.

The Deadman locks in Hell’s Gate, Brock fires off lefts and rights and pounds Taker into the mat to break the hold. Lesnar notices a rop in the ring mat, tears it open and exposes the boards underneath, allowing The Phenom time to get to his feet, grab Brock and plant him with a Chokeslam on the wood. Taker powers Brock up, spikes him with a Tombstone, covers and The Conqueror kicks out at 2. The Deadman calls for another Tombstone, Brock goes with a low blow, delivers an F5 on the exposed boards and finally ends it.
Winner: Brock Lesnar (F5)

  • After The Bell: Lesnar gets help getting to the back from Heyman, leaving Undertaker in the ring alone. It takes a couple of attempts for him to be able to sit-up, but he finally does to a loud “Thank You Taker” chant. Undertaker makes it to his feet, but the lights go out and The Wyatt Family makes their way to the ring. They surround the ring, step-up to the apron and go on the attack with Bray watching. Strowman, Harper & Rowan hold The Deadman up for Bray and he continues the beatdown, mocking The Phenom in the process. They carry Taker out of the arena as the show comes to an end.
  • EA’s Take: What an absolute war and rightfully so, the end to this rivalry needed to be done justice and this match provided it. I’m left wondering about the “No Color Policy” I spoke about earlier, as both men get busted open here. I completely understand why they do it, but nobody can sit there and tell me with a straight-face that it didn’t add to the drama of this match. This was one of the few times where the match lived up to all of the hype and now we have another classic Lesnar/Taker Hell In A Cell match to go back and watch on the WWE Network.

EA’s Finisher: This PPV is one of those “in-betweeners” for me, there were some decent matches and some nice moments, but it was not the greatest thing WWE has ever produced either. The return of Alberto Del Rio was a great surprise and choice to hold the US Title while Cena’s away, as long as WWE can capitalize on Del Rio’s return. Both HIAC matches delivered to me, especially Taker/Brock as it was an absolute war, the likes of which we don’t see enough of at this point in time. The Divas stepped up to the plate tonight finally as well, but the other 3 title matches were nothing to write home about. Owens/Ryback was completely forgettable, the tag match was basic at best and the WWE Title match went exactly how I pictured it would.

Top Three To Watch
1 – Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker
2 – Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
3 – Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte


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