Match #4: AJ Styles vs. John Cena
Collar & elbow tie-up to begin, Styles goes to a waistlock, The Leader of the Cenation slips out and we have an early stalemate. They lock-up again and AJ grabs a side headlock, Cena tries to push him off the ropes, Styles rolls through and puts the bad-mouth on the 15-time champion. They tie-up again and Cena cinches in a side headlock this time, The Phenomenal One pushes him away to the ropes, drops down, leapfrogs over and scores with a dropkick before going to the 2nd rope to showboat. The Leader of the Cenation smashes him with a big right hand, shoots him hard sternum-first into the turnbuckles, whips AJ hard back across and Styles hits spine-first, then crumbles to the canvas.
Cena clobbers him with heavy fists The Phenomenal One rolls to the outside, Cena pulls him up to the apron, lifts him up for an Attitude Adjustment, Styles slips out of it and plants him on the apron with a snap suplex. He rolls The Leader of the Cenation into the squared circle, irish whip to the ropes is reversed for a high back body drop, Cena quickly into a cover for 1, then grabs a rear chinlock. AJ battles to a vertical base to break the grip, hits the ropes and runs into a dropkick, The Leader of the Cenation hooks the leg for a count of 2 this time, follows with a snap suplex and connects with right hands and a headbutt.
Cena with more big shots, Styles fires back with a flurry of strikes, scores with a basement forearm, lines Cena up for a running forearm in the corner, The Leader of the Cenation side-steps out, hits the ropes for multiple shoulder tackles and plants him with a spin-out back suplex. He connects with the 5 Knuckle Shuffle, sets for the AA, The Phenomenal One lands on his feet, decks him with a Pele Kick, plants him with the Styles Clash, but only gets a near fall. AJ looks stunned, Cena pops up and quickly delivers the Attitude Adjustment, hooks the leg, but now Styles kicks out at 2.
The Leader of the Cenation with a shocked look on his face, props The Phenomenal One on the top turnbuckle, climbs up for a 2nd rope AA, AJ slides out of it, pulls Cena out on his shoulders into a spinning rack bomb, lateral press and he gains a 2 count. The Phenomenal One wants to hit another Styles Clash, The Leader of the Cenation counters with a double leg takedown, catapults AJ into the turnbuckles, deadlifts him into an over the shoulder cutter, but still can’t put it away. He gets ready for the Attitude Adjustment, AJ slips out into a roll-up for 2, Cena kicks him away, charges in, The Phenomenal One lifts him up and cracks him with the Ushigaroshi, covers and gains a near fall.
AJ pummels Cena with stiff forearm shots to the head, steps out to the apron, springboards in for a 450 splash, The Leader of the Cenation rolls out of the way, connects with a sunset flip bomb, but AJ barely kicks out at 2. Cena goes for the AA again, Styles slips out of it, plants him with a sit-out facebuster for 2, rolls to the apron and springs in for a Phenomenal Forearm, The Leader of the Cenation picks the leg mid-air and locks on the STF. The Phenomenal One worms out of it and slaps on a crossface, Cena powers to his feet for the Attitude Adjustment, Styles slides out, grabs the leg and hooks on the Calf Crusher.
The Leader of the Cenation counters out back into the STF, AJ rips apart the fingers to break the grip, goes to a roll-up for a quick near fall, both guys up quick and Styles smacks him with an enzuigiri. He rushes Cena in the corner and runs into a back elbow, Cena comes off the 2nd rope with a tornado DDT for a near fall, then looks up as if he’s wondering what to do next. The 15-time champion steps out to the apron and ascends to the high rent district, leaps off with a leg drop to the back of the head, goes to a lateral press and yet again, only gets a count of 2. He lifts The Phenomenal One up and props him on the top turnbuckle, puts AJ on his shoulders, Styles fights it off with elbows and slides to the apron, springs to the top rope for a hurricanrana, follows with the Phenomenal Forearm and Cena gets the shoulder up before a 3 count.
The Phenomenal One brings Cena up, The Leader of the Cenation again powers him up to his shoulders, Styles cracks him in the knee with a kick, hits the ropes and gets turned inside-out with a clothesline. He grabs AJ on his shoulders and climbs to the 2nd rope, connects with a 2nd rope Attitude Adjustment, hooks the leg off the lateral press and again Styles gets a shoulder up at 2. The Leader of the Cenation can’t believe it and looks around at the crowd, AJ pulls himself to his feet in the corner, stumbles to the middle of the ring, Cena picks him up for another AA, The Phenomenal One lands on his feet again and hits the Styles Clash. He rolls to the apron, springboards in with another Phenomenal Forearm and gets the victory.
Winner: AJ Styles (Phenomenal Forearm)
- EA’s Take: I’m not shocked that AJ won with Cena reportedly taking some time off again coming up soon, possibly after tonight. I am however surprised that they were able to surpass their classic match from Money In The Bank. This was every bit as good and then some. On another note, I think this proves my point about Cena not having great matches, but the contests seeming great because of someone finally putting him in jeopardy. How many times do you need to go for the AA? Try something different, that’s what makes it a great match. All I have to say now is, how much longer can you keep Styles out of the title picture? I don’t think you can, in my opinion.
In The Arena: Jon Stewart makes his way to the ring and speaks about the previous match being magic, stating he’s happy “some idiot” didn’t interfere for no reason and hit one of them with a chair. He says he learned his lesson after hitting John Cena with a chair last year at SummerSlam, learning that if you’re in a situation where you’ll be hit with an AA, tuck your shirt in because nobody wants to see “old man belly”. More importantly, he’s here tonight because he was asked by The New Day after Big E took a shot to the groin. He takes off his sweatshirt and reveals a Booty-Os shirt, puts on a unicorn horn and states he will be joining New Day tonight.
Match #5 for the WWE Tag Team Championships: WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) w/Jon Stewart vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Anderson & Kofi to begin, Anderson with a side headlock takedown off the tie-up, Kingston works to a standing position, pushes Anderson away to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder. He goes back to the ropes, Kofi leapfrogs over twice, scores with a jumping back elbow, fires off right hands in the corner, Anderson switches out, hammers him with fists and whips Kingston across Anderson charges in for a monkey flip, Kofi lands on his feet, catches Anderson running in with a standing double stomp, lateral press and a count of 2. Woods tags in, the champions with double kicks and a double facebuster, Xavier covers for 2 and then locks in a side headlock.
Anderson backs him to the corner and tags out, Gallows steps in and pummels Woods with clubbing shots, shoots him to the ropes, Xavier ducks under a clothesline, scores with a running dropkick, puts Gallows in the corner and New Day goes into the Unicorn Stampede. Xavier hits the ropes and sends Gallows to the outside with a basement dropkick, Kingston hits the ropes and flies over the top rope with a jumpman plancha, rolls him back inside and heads upstairs, Anderson provides a distraction from the apron, giving Gallows the opening to drop Kingston to the mat with a kick to the head.
He puts the boots to Kofi and tags out, Anderson grabs a wristlock, wrenches Kofi’s arm up in the ropes, delivers a running boot to the shoulder and hooks the leg for 2. He slaps on an armbar, tag back to Gallows, he talks trash to Kingston in the corner, Kofi fires off with rights and lefts, Gallows bludgeons him with an uppercut, hits the ropes for a splash, but nobody’s home. Tags on both sides now, Woods with running forearms to Anderson, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Xavier slides between the legs, clocks Anderson with a discus punch, drops him throat-first across the middle rope and delivers a dropkick to the back for a near fall.
He measures Anderson for a shining wizard, Anderson avoids it, irish whip to the corner is reversed, Woods charges in, gets elevated to the apron, lands on his feet and connects with an enzuigiri. He goes to the top rope, walks to the middle and launches off with an elbow drop, nearly finishing the match. Xavier picks Anderson up for a body slam, Anderson slips out, looks for a back suplex, Woods flips out of it and falls to the corner, catches Anderson charging in with a boot and Kofi tags in. Woods cracks Anderson with a backbreaker, holds him there, Kingston comes off the top with a double stomp to the chest, covers and Gallows saves the match at 2.
Woods comes in and hammers Gallows with right hands, gets pushed away to the ropes, Gallows decks him with a big boot to dispose of Xavier, Kingston dumps Gallows to the outside, turns around and Anderson floors him with a running dropkick. Tag to Gallows, they set for the Magic Killer and hit it, Stewart comes into the ring and holds up a Too Sweet sign, Woods rolls back into the ring, but Anderson plants him with a spinebuster. Stewart rolls back inside and cowers to the corner, tries to slowly slip out of the ring, Gallows & Anderson grab him by the legs and look to post him, but here comes Big E to stop it and the bell rings.
Winners: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (Disqualification)
- After The Bell: E tosses Anderson with a belly-to-belly on the floor, deposits Gallows into the barricade, celebrating with Kofi, Xavier & Stewart in the ring.
- EA’s Take: Pretty standard tag match here, I really could have lived without Jon Stewart though. Last year his appearance was impactful, this year it was just dreadful. I really thought this was Gallows & Anderson’s night, it made complete sense with the entire Big E “injury” angle, but now it looks like this will continue on, possibly into Clash Of Champions.
Match #6 for the WWE World Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs. WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose
Ambrose with a quick side headlock takeover at the bell, Ziggler counters out with a headscissors, back up quick and the challenger with a side headlock takedown now, Dean escapes it, up quick again and the champion slaps Dolph across the face. The Show Off returns the favor and uses a schoolboy for a fast 1 count, goes to a couple more roll-ups for 2 counts, The Lunatic Fringe works to the ropes to create separation, the ref steps in between them and Ambrose takes the opening for a kick to the knee. He picks Ziggler up for a body slam, the challenger slips out of it, connects with a dropkick, splashes Dean in the corner, attempts a follow-up neckbreaker, but the champion escapes and ducks to the outside.
Dolph rolls out the other side and splashes him up against the barricade, plants The Lunatic Fringe on the floor with a neckbreaker, tosses him into the squared circle, slides in and Dean attempts an early Dirty Deeds. The challenger ducks out of it, looks for the jumping DDT, Ambrose blocks, holds Ziggler in the air and dumps him over the top to the floor. The Lunatic Fringe slides out and deposits The Show Off face-first off the ring steps, sends him into the ring, puts Dolph in the corner and scores with chops, then props him on the top turnbuckle, bringing him crashing to the mat with a 2nd rope butterfly suplex for a count of 2.
The champion delivers a body slam for another 2 count, goes to a single leg crab to wear the challenger down some more, Ziggler reversing out into a pinning predicament for 2, but can’t capitalize and gets leveled by a clothesline. Ambrose with a snap suplex for 1, scales the corner to the top turnbuckle for the diving elbow drop, The Show Off explodes up to hit him with a dropkick in mid-air, measures for the Superkick, Dean side-steps it, plants him with a sit-out chicken wing suplex, gaining a near fall. The Lunatic Fringe mocks Ziggler and lines him up for a superkick of his own, changes his mind and goes for Dirty Deeds, Dolph avoids it, cracks Dean with a right hand and tosses him outside.
The champion slides back in quickly, the challenger spikes him with a jumping DDT for a count of 2, both guys stagger to their feet and exchange shots, Ambrose getting the better of it, hits the ropes and Ziggler goes to the knee with a kick. He hits the ropes for the Famouser, Ambrose avoids it and grabs a roll-up for 2, charges Dolph in the corner, The Show Off side-steps out, sends him shoulder-first into the ring post, plants him with the Famouser and hooks the leg for a near fall. Dean uses the ropes to pull himself up, Ziggler with right hands to the ribs, the champion pushes him away, both guys rush in for crossbody blocks and collide mid-air, doubling down.
The rise to their feet and The Lunatic Fringe hits a flurry of chops and right hands, hits the ropes for running forearms, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, but Ambrose levels Dolph with a clothesline. He smashes Ziggler in the corner with a running forearm, follows with the running bulldog, goes upstairs for the diving elbow drop, hooks the leg and only gets 2. The Lunatic Fringe mocks the challenger and stalks him in the corner, The Show Off hops onto his back with a sleeper, Ambrose stumbles towards the ropes and both guys spill over the top to the floor. Dean’s up first and picks the challenger up, Ziggler surprises him with a headbutt, connects with the Superkick, rolls the champion inside, lateral press and Ambrose just kicks out at 2.
Dolph lines the champion up for a Superkick, Ambrose blocks it, spins him around for Dirty Deeds, Ziggler escapes out of it, plants him with the Zig Zag, hooks the leg, but it’s still not enough to finish the match. The Show Off stays aggressive and reigns down vicious elbows to the top of the head, grounds Dean with a sleeper, the champion powers to his feet, rolls the challenger away, blocks another Superkick, spins Ziggler around and gets slapped across the face.
The Lunatic Fringe rebounds off the ropes with the Lunatic Lariat, staggers to his feet, climbs up top, Dolph shakes the ropes and Ambrose gets crotched on the top turnbuckle. Ziggler climbs up and hooks him for a superplex, Dean with right hands and headbutts to send the challenger crashing to the mat, The Show Off explodes back up to the top rope to meet, him looks for a facebuster off the top, Ambrose lands on his feet and hits Dirty Deeds for the 3 count.
Winner and STILL WWE World Champion: Dean Ambrose (Dirty Deeds)
- EA’s Take: I’m not sure if it was because of the earlier matches like Styles/Cena being so great, but this felt really flat to me and the crowd was really not that into it. Anytime the fans in attendance are seemingly dead, it just comes across poorly on-screen. No surprises here and Ambrose retains, word is that Ziggler was merely a transitional opponent and that appears to be the case. Who steps up to challenge next? Bray Wyatt? AJ Styles? I’m thinking it has to be AJ at this point, but I wouldn’t argue if it was Bray either.