Our weekly Chairshot Classics WCW PPV series continues with Starrcade ’95!
Open: “As countries from across the globe compete for global dominance, World Championship Wrestling has accepted the challenge from New Japan Pro Wrestling in a best of seven battle for the World Cup of Wrestling. It’s Starrcade 1995.”
Match #1 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: ‘Crippler’ Chris Benoit vs. Jushin Thunder Liger w/Sonny Onoo
Collar & elbow tie-up to start us off, Benoit powers Liger to the canvas, they lock-up again with the same result, The Crippler avoiding a third lock-up with a kick to the midsection. He grabs a side headlock and Jushin sends him off to the ropes, gets run over by a shoulder block, Benoit goes back to the ropes, slides under Liger and surprises him with a double leg takedown. Jushin uses his legs to toss The Crippler away, scores with multiple arm drags, follows with a dropkick and Benoit rolls to the outside to regroup. Liger doesn’t give him a break and connects with a baseball slide, flies off the apron with a somersault senton, then allows the official to count.
The Crippler steps back inside and they go in for a test-of-strength, Benoit muscles Jushin to the mat, Liger bridges back up, but is forced down again. The Crippler hauls him to his feet, gets caught by a headscissors takedown, Jushin delivers the Abisegeri, then goes to shoot him to the ropes. Benoit reverses it, cracks him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a 2 count, sets for a powerbomb, but Liger counters into an arm drag. The Cripper pops right back up and charges, Jushin leapfrogs over him, hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, drills him with a dropkick and Benoit spills to the outside. Liger hits the ropes for a head of steam, feigns an outside dive, The Crippler takes a breather, comes back in and calls for another test-of-strength, but suckers Jushin into a kick to the ribs.
He slams him with a snap suplex, follows up with a back suplex, whips him to the ropes for a big clothesline and slaps on an elevated Boston crab. The Crippler releases the hold and covers for 1, fires off stinging chops, Liger comes back with a series of palm strikes, Benoit decks him with a right hand, plants him with a bridging german suplex and gains a near fall. He quickly tries another cover for 2, looks to drag Liger back up, Jushin surprises him with a double leg takedown, flips him over and locks him in a Romero special. He switches to a modified dragon sleeper, Benoit rips at the mask to break free, Jushin stays on him, grounding The Crippler with a camel clutch.
Benoit powers his way up with Liger on his shoulders, drives him down with an electric chair, hooks him for another back suplex, Jushin switches his weight and falls on top, but only gets a count of 2. The Crippler quickly lifts him for a tombstone piledriver, Liger reverses it, plants him with an inverted belly-to-belly slam, then heads to the high-rent district. Benoit drills him with a right hand, climbs up and hits a superplex, crawls into a lateral press, but still can’t put it away. He scoops Jushin up for a body slam, ascends the corner to the top turnbuckle, takes flight for a Diving Headbutt, but nobody’s home. Liger drags The Crippler to his feet, shoots him into the corner, charges in with another Abisegeri, then connects with a Liger Bomb that nearly finishes it.
He hauls Benoit up and spikes him with a Brainbuster, The Crippler barely gets the shoulder up at 2, Jushin argues with the official about the count, attempts to shoot Benoit to the ropes, but it’s reversed. Liger ducks under a back elbow, gets flattened by a clothesline, The Crippler hooks him for a pair of german suplexes, plants him with a powerbomb, then goes back upstairs and hits the Diving Headbutt. The Taskmaster & Jimmy Hart run down to ringside, Sullivan climbs onto the apron, distracts Benoit, The Crippler turns around, gets surprised by a hurricanrana and Jushin steals the victory.
Winner: Jushin Thunder Liger (Hurricanrana)
- EA’s Take: Say what you will about some of the cheesy gimmicks and behind-the-times angles going on in WCW’s main event scene, but I’ll tell you, they sure figured it out with how to kickoff a pay-per-view using their undercard. It’s been multiple PPVs now that WCW has put on an excellent opener, really setting the tone with their younger, more athletic stars. The people are behind Benoit all the way here despite the fact The Horsemen are heels, backing WCW in this international clash courtesy of their working relationship with NJPW, so for the most part feuds are on hold, however The Taskmaster showing up will lead us to an excellent on-screen rivalry with Benoit that also led to scandalous behavior in real life. Also, isn’t a co-promotional PPV so strange to think about now, at least on this big of a scale? Could you ever imagine WWE doing something like this today with another company? Especially with New Japan being hot again like it was during 1995?
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is joined in the locker room by Eddie Guerrero, Eddie says what just happened to Chris Benoit doesn’t sit well with him, claims The Taskmaster had no business out there and should have stayed away. Guerrero states it’s an honor to be here representing WCW in the World Cup of Wrestling, speaks about Shinjiro Otani being a tremendous athlete, so he had to put the hours in the gym to bring his best tonight. Eddie proclaims he will go out and give it his best like always and hope for a win.
Match #2 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Koji Kanemoto vs. ‘Das Wunderkind’ Alex Wright
They lock-up to a stalemate to start us off, go in for another collar & elbow with the same result, they tie-up once more and this time Wright hooks on a hammerlock. Koji reverses to one of his own and takes Das Wunderkind to the mat, Alex counters out with an arm drag, slaps on a wristlock and Kanemoto slips away after an arm drag of his own. Another lock-up now and the champion gains a side headlock, switches out to a drop toe hold, starts to work over the left knee, Wright finds his footing, then clocks him with an enzuigiri.
Das Wunderkind unloads with European uppercuts, goes back to a wristlock to punish the left arm, Koji reverses to one one of his own, Wright cartwheels through for a hip toss, then grounds him with an armbar. Kanemoto works to a vertical base and gets sent off to the ropes, Alex catches him with an arm drag follows with multiple headscissors takedowns, then scores with a dropkick. The champion staggers to the ropes, Das Wunderkind buries shoulders to the breadbasket, builds a head of steam for a crossbody and both guys spill over the top to the floor. Wright uncorks another uppercut and slides back inside, Koji tries to pull himself up to the apron, gets knocked back down with a baseball slide, Alex hits the ropes, then takes flight with a crossbody plancha.
Kanemoto loses his cool and yells at a fan in the front row, takes a minute to regroup before stepping into the squared circle, they tie-up and Wright snapmares him over for a rear chinlock. He releases the hold and delivers a dropkick to the spine, slaps the rear chinlock back on, the champion finds a standing position, backs him into the corner and scores with stinging chops. He snapmares Wright over and drives down an elbow to the top of the head, brings him up for a series of leg kicks, rocks Alex with a spinning wheel kick, then planks him across the top in the corner. Kanemoto hammers him with shots to the abdomen, drops him to the canvas with a dropkick, powers Das Wunderkind to the apron, wants to suplex him back inside, can’t pick him up and instead sends Alex to the floor with a dropkick.
Koji climbs up top for an outside dive, Wright sees it coming and quickly takes a walk, the champion stays in pursuit, slingshots over the top with a crossbody, then goes to whip him into the barricade. Das Wunderkind turns the tables and sends Kanemoto into the guardrail instead, heads back in and allows the champion to get a breather, Koji hops back to the apron, gets caught by a kick and Alex tries to suplex him back in. Kanemoto slides out of it, sets for a Bridging Tiger Suplex ant hits it, but Wright gets a foot on the ropes at 1. Koji scoops him up for a front slam, scales the corner for a moonsault, doesn’t go for the cover and puts the boots to Das Wunderkind.
He shoots Wright to the corner and follows him in, Alex hops up-and-over, plants him with the Bridging German Suplex, but still can’t find a 3 count. Wright drags him up, staggers him into the corner with a jumping heel kick, drives shoulders to the abdomen, sends him across and charges in with a back elbow. He drops Kanemoto with a front slam and steps out to the apron, slingshots in for a splash, utilizes a lateral press to cover, but the champion finds the ropes to stop the count at 2. Alex looks to upstairs for a missile dropkick, Koji tries to cut him off with a dropkick of his own, both guys are off-target, fall to the mat and double down.
They stumble back to their feet and Das Wunderkind looks to shoot the champion into the corner, Kanemoto reverses, Wright springs to the top rope for a crossbody, but still can’t put it away. He hooks Koji for another Bridging German Suplex, Kanemoto fights out with back elbow, decks Alex with a spinning back kick, delivers a body slam, then springs off the 2nd rope with a corkscrew senton. The champion with a lackadaisical cover that only gets 2, he climbs back to the high-rent district for a crossbody, Das Wunderkind meets him in mid-air with a dropkick, ascends the corner and connects with a missile dropkick, props him on the top turnbuckle.
He climbs up and hits a superplex for a near fall, wants to whip the champion to the corner, Kanemoto reverses it, catches Alex trying to hop up-and-over, then drops him face-first on the top turnbuckle. He sweeps the legs with a double leg takedown, jackknifes over into a cover and picks up the win.
Winner: Koji Kanemoto (Jackknife Cover)
- EA’s Take: Two more young talents here in a match that was a little bit similar to the first one, but not nearly as crisp. Kanemoto has a good amount of charisma for a Japanese star, something which was not the norm for this time, while Das Wunderkind is still a clean-cut babyface who was remarkably only 20-years old, but was already considered to be a veteran. He’s still pretty “white meat” as a character though and it appears WCW is using their younger stars to put New Japan over, likely allowing the bigger names to get them back into the series through the night.
Backstage: Gene Okerlund is in the locker room and plugs the WCW Hotline, welcomes in Sonny Onoo and Sonny claims the World Cup of Wrestling will soon be out of hand for WCW. Onoo says after New Japan’s victory he might try to purchase WCW, Okerlund tells him that’s assuming someone’s willing to sell it, but Sonny states that in America, everything is for sale.
Match #3 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: Masahiro Chono w/Sonny Onoo vs. ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger w/Jimmy Hart
Big pop for Luger as he enters the ring, the bell sounds and they exchange words, The Total Package fires first with right hands, then slaps on a side headlock. Chono pushes him off to the ropes and gets run over by a shoulder block, Lex muscles him up for a military press drop, buries kicks to the ribs, then shoots him to the ropes. Masahiro ducks under a clothesline, scores with multiple flying forearms, goes back to the ropes and connects with a Mafia Kick, sending Luger retreating to the outside. He gets some advice from Jimmy Hart, Chono steps out and stalks him around ringside, they meet back in the squared circle and Masahiro calls for a test-of-strength.
The Total Package baits him into a knee to the breadbasket, drives Chono coast-to-coast into the turnbuckles, puts the boots to him in the corner, then sets for a suplex. Masahiro blocks it and delivers a snap suplex, unloads with knees to Luger in the corner, chokes him, then snapmares Lex out and starts ripping at his face. The Total Package fires up with heavy forearms, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Chono catches him in a sleeper hold, plants Lex with a reverse DDT, then locks on the STF. Luger drags himself to the ropes to force a break, Masahiro argues with the official, batters The Total Package with right hands, Lex tries to battle back, hits the ropes and gets split by an inverted atomic drop.
Chono builds a head of steam and drills Luger with another Mafia Kick, climbs to the top turnbuckle and flies off, but gets surprised by a back elbow to the jaw. Lex finds his footing, powers him up into the Torture Rack and Chono submits.
Winner: ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger (Torture Rack)
- EA’s Take: If you just jump into this match without knowing any of the angles going on in WCW at the time, you might think Luger is a babyface because he was very over with the crowd. Part of that is the fact that he’s the first “top star” they’ve seen in the ring so far, but another part is his association with Sting I think. He’s supposed to be a heel, but the people don’t seem to want to boo him. Like I had said about the last match, it looks like the younger stars will be doing the heavy lifting in the squared circle for the most part, this match being pretty short and to the point. Chono is a legend in Japan that we’ll certainly be seeing more of in the future, had the match-ups been different tonight then I’d argue he should have been one of the NJPW guys to get a win.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is joined by Sting in the locker room, The Stinger says it’s now 2-1 in favor of New Japan, claims Johnny B. Badd is about to even the score and believes WCW is coming on strong. Okerlund reminds Sting that Kensuke Sasaki defeated him not long ago for the United States Title, The Stinger states that was a bad day and the championship isn’t up for grabs tonight, but pride certainly is. He speaks of Sonny Onoo wanting to buy WCW, says it will happen over his dead body, then talks about tonight’s Triangle Match. Sting says he is friends with Lex Luger, reminds us things got a little edgy with ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage last week, but he patched that up. The Stinger states that he has to do what he has to do tonight and expects Luger to do the same thing.
Match #4 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: WCW World Television Champion Johnny B. Badd w/The Diamond Doll vs. Masa Saito w/Sonny Onoo
Sonny grabs a microphone and says he doesn’t think The Diamond Doll should be here, states she should be home cooking and doing dishes, thinking that’s what is wrong with America. The Doll swipes the mic away, informs him this isn’t a Japanese bathhouse and she’s not a geisha girl, then wonders if wrestling is for men, why is Sonny here. Everyone gets set now and we’re underway, they lock-up and Saito backs Badd to the ropes, breaks clean and takes a bow. The champion looks puzzled, ducks under a collar & elbow for a hammerlock, switches to a wristlock and Masa hurls him over with a hip toss.
He catches Johnny coming back in with a modified STO, grounds him with a seated cobra clutch, transitions to a rear chinlock, Badd finds his footing, but gets ripped down by the hair. The champion pops right back up, they go into another tie-up, Saito breaks free and scores with stinging chops, Johnny fires back with some of his own and they continue trading shots. Masa hooks in a side headlock to slow things down, delivers a chop to the throat, drives Badd head-first into the top turnbuckle, then chokes him over the bottom rope. The official finally backs him off, Sonny uses his flagstaff to get in some more choking, Masa follows with the Saito Suplex, goes for a cover and gets only 2.
He whips the champion to the ropes, levels him with a clothesline for another 2, grinds him down with more choking across the 2nd rope, then distracts the ref for Onoo to some more in. Saito hits a side russian leg sweep for a count of 2, hauls Johnny up, the champion starts to battle back, shoots him to the ropes for a kick to the abdomen, then drops him with a knee lift. Badd ascends the corner and comes off with a high double axe handle, climbs upstairs again and hits a sunset flip, but Masa just barely kicks out at 2. Johnny scores with a kick to the chest, ducks under a clothesline, unleashes a series of lefts-and-rights, then hooks Saito for a snap suplex. Masa kicks out fast at 1, Sonny hops to the apron to create a distraction, Badd grabs him by the jacket and Saito clobbers him from behind, dumps the champion over the top and that’s a disqualification.
Winner: Johnny B. Badd (Disqualification)
- After The Bell: The Diamond Doll climbs into the ring and Saito stalks her, Johnny rolls in from behind, batters Masa with fists, then clears him outside with multiple dropkicks. He slingshots onto Saito with the Badd Mood, chases Sonny around ringside and then slides back in to celebrate with The Doll.
- EA’s Take: I think I’d have to go with this one over Luger/Chono now for worst match so far. It looked like there were communication issues between Badd & Saito, so this felt really choppy at some points, had little build to anything and the finish was bad. I always thought the over the top DQ was the dumbest “rule” and if you’re going to book a DQ, had much less meaning than say, outside interference or use of a foreign object. However, for storyline purposes it does tie things up now 2-2. We’re getting seven matches in this World Cup Of Wrestling “no matter what”, so it’s not too hard to figure how this will go down.
Backstage: Gene Okerlund is in the locker room with Lex Luger & Jimmy Hart, The Mouth of the South talks about The Taskmaster having a short fuse and that’s why he got involved with Chris Benoit’s match earlier in the night, warning The Four Horsemen they are in a lot of trouble. The Total Package speaks of WCW being all about the big match, believes the moment has arrived and talks about facing Sting and Ric Flair tonight. He says it’s all for the top prize and that’s ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage’s WCW Title, states that Savage is pathetic as a champion and he’s coming right at him, reminding us that he’s had Macho in the Torture Rack many times. Lex tells Jimmy he needs to go out tonight by himself for just this one time, Hart says he’s here for a good time and not a long time, saying Luger just needs to bring the title home.
Match #5 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: Shinjiro Otani w/Sonny Onoo vs. Eddie Guerrero
The crowd gets into it with some “Eddie” chants as we start out, Otani looking very cautious, continuously backing to the corner as Guerrero approaches. They finally tie-up and Eddie grabs a side headlock, Shinjiro counters with an arm drag into an armbar, Eddie gets to a standing position, but gets pulled back down by the hair. He works back up and looks for an arm drag, Otani blocks it, rips away at Eddie’s face, Guerrero slipping free before regrouping. They tie-up again and Otani backs Eddie to the ropes, doesn’t break clean and grabs for his nose, Guerrero finds some space, Shinjiro picks the leg and gets rocked by an enzuigiri.
Otani takes a break in the corner, they go in for another lock-up, Eddie snapmares him over, grinds the bottom of his boot in Shinjiro’s face, looks to haul him up and gets surprised by a single-leg takedown. Otani locks on a heel hold, tries to transition to a front facelock, Guerrero counters to a rear chinlock and Shinjiro fights to his feet. He shoots Eddie to the ropes for a back body drop, Guerrero backflips over him, turns around and gets launched by a monkey flip. Both guys pop back up quick, Eddie avoids a clothesline, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Otani elevates him into the air, but gets caught by a headscissor takeover. Shinjiro rolls to the floor for some council from Sonny, heads back into the ring and they go in for a test-of-strength, but Eddie explodes into a dropkick.
He scoops Otani up for a body slam, steps to the apron, slingshots in with a somersault senton, then looks for the submission with a Boston crab, then switches to a single-leg crab. Shinjiro pulls himself to the bottom rope to force a break, Eddie hauls him up, plants him with a powerslam, stacks Otani and gains a near fall. He spikes Shinjiro with a brainbuster and tries another cover, Otani gets a foot on the ropes at 2, Eddie drags him back up, shoots him to the corner and follows in with a clothesline. He drives Shinjiro head-first into the top turnbuckle, sends him to the opposite corner, rushes in for a splash, Otani slips to the apron to avoid it, then springboards in with a missile dropkick.
Guerrero gets sent to the outside, Shinjiro springboards off the top with a crossbody, throws him into the squared circle, then steps in and sends him to the ropes for a dropkick. Otani chokes Eddie with the bottom of his boot, uses the bottom rope to get in some more, puts the boots to him and proceeds to tear at Guerrero’s face some more. He hooks in a rear chinlock, Eddie fights to a standing position, plants him with a Saito suplex, then rolls into a cover for 2. Guerrero sets him up for another brainbuster, Otani slides out it, hits a bridging german suplex for a count of 2, then quickly crawls to the apron. He springboards in with a spinning wheel kick, delivers a body slam, heads to the high-rent district, but Eddie’s there to meet him with right hands.
Guerrero climbs up for a super hurricanrana, still can’t finish it off, powers Shinjiro up for a sit-out crucifix powerbomb and again Otani kicks out at 2. Guerrero pulls him to his feet for a waistlock, they exchange standing switches, Shinjiro sweeps the legs, slaps on a modified ankle lock and Eddie reaches for the bottom rope. The official has to force Otani to break the hold, Guerrero pulls himself up using the ropes, Shinjiro rushes in, gets dumped to the floor and Eddie heads out in pursuit, driving him into the barricade. He drops Otani on the floor with a body slam, climbs up to the apron, springboards off the top with a crossbody, then deposits him back inside.
Eddie climbs back to the apron and looks to suplex him to the floor, Shinjiro blocks it, hits a suplex of his own to bring Guerrero into the squared circle, then rolls to the apron. He springboards in, connects with a missile dropkick to the back of the head, says that it’s finished and attempts his patented Bridging Dragon Suplex. Guerrero fights it off and hits the ropes for a hurricanrana, Otani rolls through for a cover, they trade-off pinning predicaments and Shinjiro finally holds him down for a 3 count.
Winner: Shinjiro Otani (Roll-Up Counter)
- EA’s Take: I think I still would pick Liger/Benoit over this one, but man, that was a pretty good match. Lots of high-flying, which I didn’t really expect from Otani, plus some really high impact moves. Especially those powerbombs by Eddie, a move he really seemed to excel at which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s seen him perform. Unfortunately for Guerrero, Savage & Sting are still left to wrestle in this and if New Japan is going to pick up a win out of the three of them, Eddie is the odd man out. He’s still getting a solid push still in WCW and would continue to rise up the ranks over the coming year, gaining popularity despite being “cookie cutter” with no real on-screen persona.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is back in the locker room and welcomes in WCW World Heavyweight Champion ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, informing him that it’s all up to him now with New Japan up 3-2, then the Triangle Match. Savage tells him to forget about the Triangle Match, claiming the pressure is on him with WCW’s back against the wall. He speaks about thinking Sting is cool still, speaks of Luger’s win earlier in the night and says they are in a team situation until later. The champion states he’s wrapped up in the moment, plans on taking advantage of it and tells Tenzan he is coming to get him. Okerlund says he just got off the phone with Hulk Hogan who is suspended, tells Savage that Hulk wants to know what frame of mind he’s in, Macho stating that he’s in the zone and that’s what makes him different.
Match #6 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: Tenzan w/Sonny Onoo vs. WCW World Heavyweight Champion ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage
The fans are getting behind Savage as the bell sounds, collar & elbow tie-up begins things, both guys jockey for position and the champion backs Tenzan to the corner before the official forces a clean break. They lock-up again with the same result, Tenzan catches Macho with strikes this time around out of the corner, batters him into the canvas, then rams him face-first off the top turnbuckle. He grinds the champion’s face into the turnbuckle padding, shoots him to the ropes for a clothesline, hooks the leg for a 2 count, then slaps on a front facelock.
Tenzan rakes Savage’s eyes, puts him in the corner and unleashes a barrage of chops and headbutts, chokes him with the bottom of his boot and then celebrates. Macho surprises him with a kick, drives him head-first off the top turnbuckle, uncorks a series of right hands, Tenzan absorbs it all and returns fire with a headbutt. He rakes the champion’s eyes and looks to wear him down with a nerve hold, clobbers him across the back, Savage rips at Tenzan’s nose to stop the onslaught, then whips him to the ropes. Tenzan reverses it, connects with a spinning wheel kick, puts the boots to him, then rocks him with more headbutts.
Macho rolls out to the floor and Tenzan comes outside in pursuit, rams him off the steel post, drives him into the barricade and deposits him back in the ring. Tenzan climbs inside, continues to batter Savage with kicks and headbutts, sends him to the ropes for a fireman’s carry slam and goes to the top rope. He scores with a Diving Headbutt and hooks the leg, the champion barely kicks out at 2, Tenzan picks him up for a body slam, climbs back up top for a moonsault, but nobody’s home. Macho sends him to the apron with a clothesline from behind, reaches over the ropes to suplex him back inside, drops him stomach-first on the top rope, then heads upstairs. He soars off the top with the Diving Elbow Drop and hits it, makes the cover and WCW ties it up.
Winner: ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (Diving Elbow Drop)
- EA’s Take: If you enjoy a lot of choking and throwing punches, this is definitely for you. This is nearly 1996 and the days of Savage/Steamboat performances from WrestleMania 3 from Macho have been over for a while. At the same time however, he’s still Randy Savage and ‘Over’ like he was a Drake single. I found it dry and boring, but that was all because of Tenzan as he controlled basically the entirety of the match. Plus, like I said after the last match, it was very predictable. All negatives in my book and besides, the more interesting parts of the night for Savage are yet to come.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is still in the locker room and talks about a meltdown taking place in the wrestling world, which you can hear about on the WCW Hotline. He reminds us of the score in the World Cup Of Wrestling, brings in Ric Flair and The Nature Boy speaks about WCW vs. New Japan, but it’s all about the WCW World Title. Flair claims he will style and profile, reminds Sting & Lex Luger they have to beat the man to be the man, stating they will both have wrestled already while he is fresh.
Match #7 – Best Of 7 Series for the World Cup Of Wrestling: WCW United States Champion Kensuke Sasaki w/Sonny Onoo vs. Sting
Sasaki goes on the attack as Sting finishes his entrance to the squared circle, the bell rings to make it official and he unloads with kicks to the midsection, then chokes him over the 2nd rope. Kensuke bludgeons The Stinger across the back, sends him head-first into the top turnbuckle, scoops him up for a body slam and make a lackadaisical cover for 1. He hooks in a rear chinlock, Sting battles his way back up, sends the champion to the corner for a Stinger Splash, then tries to shoot him across. Sasaki reverses, hits the ropes and plants The Stinger with a running bulldog, goes back to the ropes for multiple clotheslines, attempts another and it’s off-target.
Sting explodes up with a dropkick, clotheslines Kensuke over the top to the floor, the champion clears the cobwebs, steps back up to the apron and Sting sets to suplex him back in. Sasaki slides out into a waistlock, gets decked by a back elbow, The Stinger rushes in, gets planted by a powerslam and the champion says it’s over. He spikes Sting with the Northern Lights Bomb, doesn’t go for a cover and plays to the crowd, puts the boots to The Stinger, then slaps on an armbar. The arena fills with “USA” chants, the champion releases the hold and peppers Sting with more kicks, whips him to the ropes for an arm drag takeover, goes into a lateral press and finds a 2 count.
He hooks The Stinger by the legs and puts him in a Scorpion Deathlock, Sting powers out of it, goes for a kick, Kensuke blocks it and makes him pay with a dragon screw leg whip. He grabs the leg to go for another, The Stinger drills him with an enzuigiri, both guys stumble back to their feet, Sasaki props Sting on the top turnbuckle, then puts him over his shoulder. He charges across the ring to drive him into the turnbuckles, Sting slips out of it, pushes Kensuke into the corner, flattens him with a clothesline, goes downstairs with a kick and hits the ropes for a one-handed bulldog. He quickly goes for the legs, turns the champion over into the Scorpion Deathlock, Sasaki crawls to the ropes, but gets dragged back to the center of the ring and submits.
Winner: Sting (Scorpion Deathlock)
- After The Bell: ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, Eddie Guerrero, Alex Wright, Johnny B. Badd & Lex Luger make their way to the ring to congratulate The Stinger, Gene Okerlund steps into the squared circle, Chris Benoit has arrived and the trophy is in the ring. ‘Mean’ Gene calls for a round of applause for Team WCW as the winners of the World Cup Of Wrestling, gets a word from Sting, he says he’s still got more work to do tonight, but for now just wants to say “USA”.
- EA’s Take: For as quick of a match as this was, compared to the earlier contests from Luger & Savage, it was the more entertaining. The pacing was solid and didn’t get too slow, but again, it was very predictable. You’re basically killing two birds with one stone here as Sting gets a win back from Sasaki after losing the US Title to him, getting him away from contending for it and puts the finish on the World Cup Of Wrestling. So maybe it should be three birds with one stone. He’s of course still to come in the Triangle Match, while the champion would lose his title against One Man Gang in I suppose what would be the dark match main event. Why would you even have a dark main event at Starrcade, let alone that one you may ask? Because WCW is all I can tell you.
Video: “Three men, one title. Three of the top superstars in the history of WCW will vie for the chance to face WCW World Champion ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Macho won the title at World War 3 when he was in the last man in the ring…or was he? Regardless, Savage is the champion. The contenders? Lex Luger, who returned to WCW in September and made his intentions clear, claiming he is the uncrowned champion. The other, Sting, who has kept friendship with Luger intact even after Luger’s bizarre actions over the past few months in WCW. However, many have been wondering about Sting. As one of WCW’s most popular athletes, he has been involved in many bizarre incidents as well causing many, like Hulk Hogan to question his allegiance. Finally, there is ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair, a man with a definite advantage as Luger and Sting will wrestle earlier in the night. A coin toss will decide which two men will start the Triangle Match. A man can tag out at any time, however the man who scores the pinfall will go on to meet Savage.”
Match #8 is a WCW World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender’s Triangle Match: ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger vs. ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Sting
Referee Nick Patrick does our coin toss and Luger is the odd man out, Flair drops to a knee and poses to taunt The Stinger, does a strut and belts out a “Woo!”. Sting gives us one of his own, they lock-up and The Stinger backs Flair to the corner, they break clean and Sting shouts out to the people again. The Nature Boy looks for a test-of-strength, suckers Sting in for a kick to the gut, looks to send him to the ropes, The Stinger reverses, delivers a military press slam, then flattens him with a clothesline for 2.
He quickly attempts the Scorpion Deathlock, The Nature Boy is too close to the ropes, slides outside for a breather, then comes in and they tie-up again. Flair hooks on a hammerlock, uses the ropes for extra leverage and gets caught, the official forces him to release it and The Nature Boy hits right hands and chops in the corner. He goes right back to the hammerlock to grind Sting down, brings him up to shoot him into the corner, connects with another big chop and does a strut, but it has no affect. He turns around and The Stinger does a strut of his own, launches him out of the corner, connects with a dropkick, then sends him to the ropes for another military press slam.
The Nature Boy tries to beg off in the corner, Sting climbs to the 2nd rope, rains down heavy hands, bites Flair on the forehead, then hits the ropes for a one-handed bulldog. Flair rolls back outside to seek refuge, catches The Stinger coming out with a boot to the breadbasket, whips him into the guardrail, but Sting rebounds back out with a clothesline. Flair tries to do it again and The Stinger absorbs it, chases The Nature Boy back into the squared circle, then tosses him out of the corner again. He looks to follow with a dropkick again and it’s off the mark, Flair taunts Luger, hits the ropes for a kick to the midsection, decks him with a stiff punch and goes back downstairs with more kicks.
He baits Lex into the ring, the ref is distracted and Flair tosses Sting over the top to the floor, steps out and scores with knife-edge chops against the barricade, then heads back inside. The Nature Boy drags Sting to the center, connects with a knee drop for multiple counts of 2, does another strut and buries kicks into the ribs, then hooks The Stinger for a delayed vertical suplex. He mocks The Total Package by flexing and Sting bounces right back up, unleashes a flurry of right hands, props Flair on the top turnbuckle, The Nature Boy rakes the eyes, shoots him to the ropes, but Sting reverses for a third military press slam.
He positions Flair back on the top turnbuckle, climbs up to deliver a superplex, crawls into a cover, Luger steps in to break it up, but Sting spots it and stops him in his tracks. They exchange words and Lex goes back to the apron, The Nature Boy ambushes Sting from behind, he falls into the corner and The Total Package tags himself in. Flair runs away to the outside and walks up the aisle, Lex gives chase, carries him back to the squared circle and The Nature Boy tries to beg him off. Luger uncorks with fists, Flair goes to the ribs with a kick, buries punches into the midsection and hits the ropes for a shoulder block.
He runs into a brick wall and falls to his backside, hits the ropes for another try and gets the same result, Luger shoots him back in and powers him up for his own military press slam. The Total Package corners Flair and goes to the 2nd rope for a barrage of punches, The Nature Boy collapses face-first to the mat, Lex delivers an elbow drop and gets a 2 count. Flair sticks a thumb to the eye to buy some time, cuts Luger down with a chop block, stomps away at the left leg, drapes his legs over the apron, Sting has words with the ref, The Nature Boy grabs a chair on the floor and cracks Lex across the knee. He steps back in and continues to work over the left knee, struts to taunt The Stinger and hold the official’s attention, The Nature Boy takes the opening for a low blow to Luger, then wraps him in the Figure Four.
Flair uses the ropes for more leverage out of the ref’s sight, The Total Package works over onto his stomach to reverse the pressure, The Nature Boy gains the ropes, crawl out to the apron and tries to set for a suplex to the floor. Lex blocks it, brings Flair inside with a suplex of his own, crawls into a lateral press for 2, The Nature Boy staggers back to his feet first, then makes his way up top. Luger tosses him to the canvas with a military press slam, Flair fires away with fists and chops that have no affect, hits the ropes for a shoulder block, but The Total Package doesn’t budge. The Nature Boy gets angered, challenges Sting & Lex to bring it on, tags himself out and now The Stinger must enter the match.
Sting & Luger exchange words, they shake hands which earns some boos, they tie-up and Lex backs The Stinger to the corner, but breaks clean. Another collar & elbow and this time Sting drives Luger to the corner before a clean break, they go for a test-of-strength, The Total Package instead delivers a kick to the abdomen, rams The Stinger head-first off the top turnbuckle and puts the boots to him in the corner. He drives Sting back off the top turnbuckle, tries again and it’s blocked, The Stinger returns the favor heads to the 2nd rope for a series of punches, Luger powers his way out for an inverted atomic drop, but it doesn’t connect and he gets laid out by a clothesline.
The Stinger follows with another and Lex calls for a timeout, regroups in the corner, they lock-up again and The Total Package clubs Sting to the mat. He drives him spine-first into the turnbuckles, buries shoulders to the breadbasket, whips Sting across and charges in, but eats a boot to the jaw. The Stinger rushes out with a high knee, shoots him to the corner, The Total Package explodes back out with a clothesline, drops him throat-first across the top rope, then stomps away and Sting rolls to the outside. Lex steps to the apron and flies off for a double axe handle, The Stinger buries a right hand into the midsection, deposits him back inside, ascends the corner to the top and connects with a crossbody for a near fall.
He scoops Luger up for a body slam, slingshots off the 2nd rope with a splash, The Total Package gets the knees up, drops multiple forearms and hooks the leg for another2 count. He delivers a series of elbow drops and goes for a cover, Sting’s too close to the ropes and there’s no count, Lex hauls Stinger up for kicks to the ribs, Sting blocks one and drills him with big rights. He grabs the legs for the Scorpion Deathlock, Lex hooks the ropes to avoid it, sneaks in a low blow, splits Sting with an inverted atomic drop, then picks him up for a body slam. The Stinger surprises him with a small package for a near fall, The Total Package quickly sends him to the ropes for a back body drop, Sting counters with a sunset flip and still can’t put it away.
He can’t capitalize and Luger looks for a suplex, The Stinger blocks it, hits a snap suplex, both guys struggle back to a vertical base and Lex sends him to the ropes to try again for the back body drop. Sting prevents it with a kick, plants him with a one-handed bulldog, whips him to the corner for a Stinger Splash, sets for another, but this time nobody’s home. The Total Package muscles him up for the Torture Rack, Sting’s leg takes out the official on the way up, Flair steps in from behind, takes Luger out at the knee, then dumps them both to the floor. The referee comes to, puts the count on them both and neither man can make it back inside, giving The Nature Boy the match.
Winner: ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair (Count-Out)
- After The Bell: Jimmy Hart comes to the ring and has a conversation with The Nature Boy,
- EA’s Take: So I definitely do not remember that count-out rule ever being talked about. You know why? That’s because it wasn’t and for a match that was the real selling point of Starrcade, a pretty lackluster way to finish it off. Of course I understand it’s a way to garner heat for Flair, but it seems more like it was done to protect Sting & Luger. This is a time when babyfaces very, VERY rarely lost clean in big matches, so doing anything otherwise would have really been an out of the box kind of thought, especially for WCW booking. This was certainly the most intriguing match in terms of storyline leading into the night, the focus primarily surrounding Sting & Luger to make Flair’s victory more of a surprise.
Match #9 for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. WCW World Heavyweight Champion ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage
Jimmy Hart is staying ringside for this one, Michael Buffer makes our introductions with both combatants already in the squared circle, the bell sounds and they go into a collar & elbow, the challenger quickly goes to the abdomen with a knee, then looks to shoot Savage to the ropes for a hip toss. The champion blocks it, counters to a backslide for an early 2 count, Flair retreats to the corner and Macho tears off his shirt, then throws it in the challenger’s face. They tie-up again and The Nature Boy backs Savage to the corner, scores with a big chop, the champion fights back with stiff rights and lefts, drops Flair with more heavy hands and ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff comes down to ringside in a neck brace for a closer look.
Savage tears at The Nature Boy’s nose in the corner, climbs to the 2nd rope to rain down with fists, the challenger brings him out for an inverted atomic drop, then tries for the Figure Four. Macho kicks him away and slaps on a front facelock, Flair backs him to the corner, doesn’t break clean, but Savage fires back with more punches. He drives the challenger face-first off the top turnbuckle and shoots him across, The Nature Boy gets turned inside-out, flips over the top and falls to the floor. The champion ascends to the top rope and takes flight with a double axe handle, Flair catches him mid-flight with a shot to the breadbasket and we see WCW’s Head Of Security Doug Dellinger escorting Orndorff to the back.
Back at ringside and The Nature Boy drives the champion off of the guardrail, sends Savage’s bad arm into the ring post, Flair peppers him with stinging chops, then heads back inside. He distracts the official and Jimmy gets in a cheap shot on the champion, Macho crawls back to the squared circle, the challenger drags him in from the apron, then grounds him with a hammerlock to the taped-up arm. The Nature Boy uses the ropes for extra leverage out of the official’s sight, stomps away at Macho’s elbow, then continues punishing the injured limb with a wristlock. He grinds the champion back to the mat, delivers a knee drop to the arm, Savage pulls himself up in the corner, Flair goes right back to a wristlock and Macho scores with right hands to break free.
He hits the ropes and runs the challenger over with a shoulder block, goes back in and The Nature Boy drops down, pops back up and grabs the champion in a sleeper hold. Macho looks to drag Flair throat-first into the top rope, the challenger has to release it to put on the brakes, drags Savage to his feet and hits the ropes for a right hand. The champion blocks it, delivers a stiff punch of his own, falls into a cover for multiple near falls, whips The Nature Boy into the turnbuckles and elevates him with a back body drop off the rebound. Savage starting to build momentum now, connects with multiple clotheslines, uses a lateral press for another 2 count, rocks Flair with more big fists and then heads up top for a double axe handle.
Jimmy Hart hops on the apron and gains the ref’s attention, Macho jumps off and again catches a shot to the midsection. The Mouth of the South tosses Flair his megaphone behind the referee’s back, the challenger tries to waffle Savage, it’s blocked and Macho drills the challenger instead. The Nature Boy has been busted open and the champion makes the cover, the official is still busy with Jimmy Hart, Savage decides to climbs upstairs and scores with the Diving Elbow Drop. He makes another lateral press, The Mouth of the South is still holding the official, Brian Pillman sprints down to the ring and heads to the top turnbuckle.
Macho sees it, launches him off the top as Chris Benoit hits the ring, they collide and the champion chokes Flyin’ Brian in the corner. The ref’s involved now, Arn Anderson slides into the ring, decks Savage with a loaded fist, puts The Nature Boy on top, the official finally turns back to the action and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair (Outside Interference)
- EA’s Take: Big pop for the title change, The Horsemen are supposed to be heels, but they were finding loads of cheers by this time. We’ve seen these two square-off multiple times now in both WWF and WCW, so you almost have no choice expect to give it all kinds of bells and whistles like interference in order to make it different. Personally, Flair is the greatest ever, however he will be the first to tell you that his standing in history is not due to his offense. As I said earlier, Macho’s best days are also certainly behind him, so this was middle of the road for me. Ultimately, this title change wouldn’t mean a whole lot as Savage would win it back heading into SuperBrawl in February. Macho will be bringing back his old flame Miss Elizabeth in January however, basically giving us a rehash of the Flair/Savage feud from the WWF in 1992.
EA’s Finisher: So we get a new World Heavyweight Champion, all the top guys competed twice in the same night, but for what is supposed to be WCW’s equivalent to WrestleMania, you didn’t get a few of their “big boys” on the card. Of course, this is due to the format of the World Cup Of Wrestling (Hogan also likely didn’t want to work two days after Christmas either and was therefore suspended on television. Pure speculation on my part), which I felt was an interesting concept that was used in Japan previously. New Japan didn’t have the following in America then like it does today, but for those who were familiar with their stars, I’d imagine you would be pretty stoked of the concept. As we head into 1996, the tides of the Monday Night Wars will be taking a drastic turn, as will the wrestling business overall, however there’s still a few more months of what we’re getting now storyline-wise before that happens.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Chris Benoit vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
2 – Eddie Guerrero vs. Shinjiro Otani
3 – Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair vs. Sting
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!
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 Take: Solid 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 Take: Wow, 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 Take: Now 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 Take: Brutal, 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.
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!
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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