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Chairshot Classics: WWE King Of The Ring ’93

Eric Ames takes a stroll down memory lane for the 1993 King of The Ring! What precedent did the old WWF set for the now WWE in the first broadcast KOTR?

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Eric Ames takes a stroll down memory lane in review of the 1993 King of The Ring! What precedent did the old WWF set for the now WWE in the first broadcast KOTR?

Today I am looking back at another rare occurrence when Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were all apart of the same card before they “took over” with King Of The Ring 1993! ‘The Bad Guy’ takes part in the King Of The Ring tournament, meanwhile ‘Big Daddy Cool’ accompanies Shawn Michaels as he defends the Intercontinental Title, on top of Yokozuna challenging ‘The Hulkster’ for the WWF Championship!

Open: Vince McMahon voices over a video package highlighting tonight’s King Of The Ring Tournament, running down our Quarterfinal match-ups before we head to the arena.

Match #1 – King Of The Ring Quarterfinals: Razor Ramon vs. Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart
The people chant “1-2-3” at Razor, they lock-up, Ramon using his power and pushes Bret away. Another collar & elbow, The Bad Guy powers The Hitman away again, a third lock-up now and Hart applies a side headlock. Razor pushes him away to the ropes, they collide shoulders, Bret back to the ropes, ducks a couple of shots and scores with right hands before taking Ramon over with an arm drag. Hitman grounds him with an armbar, Ramon back to his feet, shoots Hart to the ropes for a hip toss, it’s blocked, Bret attempts one of his own, but that is also blocked and The Bad Guy floors him with a clothesline.

Follow-up elbow drop doesn’t find the mark, The Excellence Of Execution with another arm drag, targeting the left arm again with a standing armbar. Ramon throws him to the corner and charges in, Bret side-steps it, hits another arm drag and is persistent in applying the armbar. The Bad Guy attempts to body slam his way out, The Hitman maintains his grip, drives fists into the shoulder joint, Razor coming back with a thumb to the eye. He whips Hart to the ropes and scores with a back elbow for a quick 2 count, looks to hook on a rear chinlock, Hitman quickly counters out and utilizes a hammerlock, Ramon finding his way to a corner to force a break, but sneaks in a back elbow. Irish whip to the opposite corner is reversed, Hart charges in and is met by a knee to the jaw, Razor grabs him and drives Bret shoulder-first into the ring post.

The Bad Guy takes control and hammers The Hitman on the outside, throws him back inside to more loud “1-2-3” chants, starts to pummel Hart with heavy rights and boots, tosses him with a fallaway slam and hooks the leg for a count of 2. He lifts Bret onto his shoulders and plants him with a running powerslam for another near fall, drops a succession of elbows, then hits a side slam. He goes to the ropes for another elbow drop and misses, Bret avoids a couple more attempts, fires up with stiff right hands, splits Razor with an inverted atomic drop and levels him with a clothesline for a 2 count. He whips Ramon to the ropes, goes downstairs with a right hand, scores with a side russian leg sweep for another 2, The Excellence Of Execution cracking him with a backbreaker, but still can’t get a 3 count.

The Hitman off the 2nd rope now with an elbow drop that nearly gets 3, The Bad Guy swings with a wild right, Hart ducks under, rolls him up and Razor barely kicks out again at 2. Bret sets him for a running bulldog, Ramon pushes him away sternum-first into the turnbuckles, staggers to his feet and calls for The Razor’s Edge. He gets Hart up in the air, Hitman slips out of it for a backslide, The Bad Guy blocks it, but Bret uses his feet to scale the ropes and flips himself over, grabbing a small package for a near fall. The Excellence Of Execution can’t believe it and argues with the referee, Razor takes the opening to clobber him from behind, props Hart on the top turnbuckle for a super back suplex, Hitman counters and falls on top of Ramon and gets the pinfall.
Winner: Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart (Super Back Suplex Counter)

EA’s TakeTremendous opening contest and one of the better WWF pay-per-view matches since WrestleMania VIII, if not the best one. After losing the WWF Title 3 months earlier at WrestleMania, Bret was moved away from the championship picture for a few months and although Razor had been getting cheered at Mania, the people were clearly behind The Hitman tonight. Ramon was just getting into the start of his angle that would turn him face, recently losing in a major upset to 1-2-3 Kid on RAW, hence the “1-2-3” chants aimed at him.

Video: This past weekend on WWF Superstars, Harvey Wippleman masterminded a plan to punish The Undertaker, using Giant Gonzalez as a distraction and allowing Mr. Hughes to lay him out with Paul Bearer’s urn and take possession of it.

Match #2 – King Of The Ring Quarterfinals: Mr. Hughes w/Harvey Wippleman vs. Mr. Perfect
They lock-up to begin and Hughes uses his raw power to shove Perfect down, they tie-up again with the same results, Hughes hits the ropes, The Perfect One drops down and scores with a hip toss. Irish whip back to the ropes is reversed, Perfect leaps over a back body drop attempt, comes back through with a dropkick, but it doesn’t take Mr. Hughes off his feet. Hughes powers Mr. Perfect to the ropes off the collar & elbow, doesn’t break clean and clocks Perfect over the top to the floor, The Perfect One staggering back into the squared circle.

Mr. Hughes with heavy shots, wrenches away at the neck, Mr. Perfect battles to his feet, hits the ropes, ducks a clothesline, but gets flattened by a big boot on the other side. Hughes shoots him back to the ropes and connects with a clothesline, snapmares Perfect back over and focuses his attention on wrenching at the neck again. The Perfect One uses Hughes’ tie to works his way up, tries to hit the ropes, Mr. Hughes with a handful of hair to prevent it and he buries a knee to the abdomen. Irish whip to the corner turns Perfect inside-out, maintains control with more heavy blows as Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart offers up his comments about the outcome of this match. Mr. Hughes sends Perfect hard into the turnbuckles again, whips him to the ropes and we have a badly botched spot before Hughes rakes at the eyes, then chokes him on the middle rope.

Hughes hits the ropes to gain a head of steam and land on The Perfect One’s back, he misses and gets crotched on the 2nd rope, Perfect taking the opening to send him to the ropes for a hip toss. He shoots him back in for a back body drop, snapmares Hughes over and hits the patented neck snap, Mr. Perfect then working him over in the corner with rights and lefts to the breadbasket. The officials steps in to force a break, Wippleman hands Mr. Hughes the urn and he clobbers Perfect right in front of the referee.
Winner: Mr. Perfect (Disqualification)

EA’s TakeShort and a little bit rough, Perfect doing what he could to make this at least decent, Mr. Perfect moves on to meet Bret Hart in a semi-finals dream match. Also known as Big Cat, Mr. Hughes is most known for competing with sunglasses on. Hearrived in the WWF to join in with Harvey Wippleman in his rivalry with The Undertaker. He generally played more of a ringside enforcer and his in-ring career never really took off because he was sloppy at best. This stint with the WWF was very brief as this was his only PPV match. Interestingly enough, he was released not long after this match, ironically suffering an eye injury after his sunglasses shattered during a match against Tatanka.

Video: Gene Okerlund caught up with Yokozuna & Mr. Fuji earlier in the day in the locker room, Fuji reminding us that Yoko defeated Bret Hart for the WWF Title in a hard-fought match at WrestleMania. Hulk Hogan then cheated to steal the championship away, Yokozuna warning The Hulkster that tonight he and America will go down.

Match #3 – King Of The Ring Quarterfinals: Bam Bam Bigelow vs. ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan
Duggan starts the “U-S-A!” chants, they lock-up, Bam Bam with a side headlock, Hacksaw pushes him away to the ropes, they collide shoulders and neither man budges. Bigelow goes back to the ropes to try again to no avail, hits the ropes for a clothesline on the third try, Duggan ducks it, scores with multiple clotheslines of his own to stagger the big man before finally dropping him. Bam Bam rolls to the floor to regroup, steps back inside and goes to the eyes, attempts right hands and Hacksaw fires back, forcing him to the corner.

Irish whip across is reversed, Hacksaw grabs the ribs, manages to avoid Bigelow running in and crumbles to the mat holding his midsection. He looks to deliver a body slam, can’t get The Beast From The East up, Bam Bam with big headbutts and he starts targeting the injured abdomen. He sends Duggan to the ropes and hooks on a bearhug, Hacksaw clubs his way out of it, but Bigelow goes right back to the breadbasket to stop any momentum. He bounces off the ropes to drop a headbutt, Duggan rolls out of harm’s way, gets Bam Bam up for a body slam, but can’t hold the weight, Bigelow falling on top for a count of 2 before going back to the bearhug.

Hacksaw resorts to biting Bam Bam to break the grip, he reverses a whip to the ropes, finally hits the body slam and goes into the 3 Point Stance, The Beast From The East side-stepping out of the way. Duggan goes crashing into the top turnbuckle and hits the mat, Bigelow heads to the top rope, connects with a Diving Headbutt and advances.
Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow (Top Rope Diving Headbutt)

EA’s TakeNot much excitement here, nothing really sloppy, but a pretty short one. Bam Bam is still being built as one of the top heels in the company, maintaining a status that was at the top of the mid-card with the ability to also work main events. Hacksaw had returned from a brief hiatus after an attack at the hands of Yokozuna, but the WWF’s youth movement put him in a position to help establish the new stars. This would be his final WWF PPV match until a nostalgia run in 2006, leaving the company just before SummerSlam in August.

Backstage: Terry Taylor is in the locker room with The Smoking Gunns & The Steiner Brothers, Billy Gunn talking about the pressure being on tonight in their 8-man tag, but there’s nobody he’d rather have on his team than his brother Bart and The Steiners. Scotty speaks about the Frankensteiner’s affect on his opponents and how it will lead to Money Inc. and The Headshrinkers’ demise.

Match #4 – King Of The Ring Quarterfinals: ‘The Narcissist’ Lex Luger vs. Tatanka
The referee tries to force Luger to put a protective pad over his steel-plated forearm, Lex refuses, but the official threatens to disqualify him from the tournament, forcing The Narcissist to agree. As Tatanka makes his entrance he is ambushed by Lex, the bell rings and Luger tosses The Native American over the top rope to the floor, then poses in front of his mirror still in the ring. Tatanka slides back in, pushes the mirror over on top of The Narcissist, picks him up and fires away with knife-edge chops, taking Luger over the top now. He pursues him outside, a few more chops, rolls Lex back in, Narcissist begs off to the corner and sneaks in a kick to the midsection.

Irish whip across is reversed, Tatanka elevates him with a back body drop off the rebound, flattens Luger with a clothesline and hooks the leg for an early near fall. The Native American begins to work on the left arm with a wristlock, switches to an armbar to ground him, Lex finds his way back up, attempts a body slam to break the hold, but Tatanka maintains his grip. He drops a leg across the shoulder joint and re-grabs the hold, Bam Bam Bigelow offering his comments on who he’d like to meet in the semi-finals, Luger finally escapes the armbar and scores with right hands. He shoots Tatanka to the ropes for a back elbow, The Native American ducks under it, connects with a crossbody for a count of 2, then continues to target the shoulder joint with an armbar.

He switches to a hammerlock as The Narcissist gains a standing position, they trade out hammerlocks and Lex finds the ropes to force a break, but surprises Tatanka with a back elbow. He looks to take control for the first time with a series of boots in the corner, sends The Native American to the ropes for a knee to the breadbasket, drops a forearm and covers for a 2 count. The Narcissist powers Tatanka to the corner and hits a flurry of rights, cracks him with a backbreaker, measures him for an elbow drop and gets another 2. Another big elbow drop from Luger gains 2 and he argues with the ref about the count, The Native American takes the opening to use a schoolboy for a quick 2 of his own, Lex instantly delivering a boot to the head to try and thwart any momentum, Tatanka exchanges with fists from a kneeling position, gets to his feet and takes another knee to the ribs.

Narcissist snapmares him over and hooks on a chinlock, Tatanka battles to his feet, Luger uses the hair to slam him back to the canvas and regain the hold. The Native American again fights to a vertical base, hits the ropes, but Lex explodes into a clothesline, following with another dropping forearm and a lateral press for 2. The Narcissist picks him up for a body slam, Tatanka counters into a small package for a quick count of 2, Luger tries to maintain control, sends him to the ropes for a back body drop, The Native American has it scouted and hits a sunset flip for a near fall. He can’t capitalize on it and Lex clobbers him with a double axe, deliver stiff kicks to the abdomen, Narcissist taunting the crowd and he drives The Native American head-first into the top turnbuckle.

It doesn’t work and Tatanka starts marching around the ring, hits the ropes, ducks under a clothesline and connects with an overhand chop to the head. He shoots Luger back in for a knife-edge chop that gets a near fall, whips him in again for a powerslam, hooks the leg and still can only get 2. He drops Luger with a body slam, goes to the top rope for another overhand chop, The Narcissist barely kicks out at 2, Tatanka goes back upstairs for a crossbody, but it doesn’t find the mark. Lex pulls himself up using the ropes, puts the boots to The Native American, sends him to the ropes and levels him with a clothesline, but can’t put the match away.

He shoots Tatanka back in and plants him with his own powerslam for a near fall, another whip into the ropes produces a back body drop from Narcissist, following with a vertical suplex. Lex makes another cover and now starts to get visibly frustrated after the kick-out, cracks The Native American with a backbreaker, gets another 2 count and the bell rings as time expires.
Winner: Draw

After The Bell: The Narcissist calls for a mic, claiming he had Tatanka close to being knocked out of the tournament, asking for 5 more minutes. The crowd agrees, the official tries to reason with him, Luger loses the protective pad over his elbow and sneak attacks Tatanka from behind, knocking him out cold.

EA’s TakeI’ve always felt like this is one of the cheap ways to give someone advance in a tournament and the WWF seems to use this method at least once every time they hold one. Tatanka’s still undefeated at this point and they needed a way to get him out of the tourney while protecting that, thus the time-limit draw. Lex was also being protected only 6 months into his WWF run, but more importantly it was done because a big character change was in order for him within the next month, receiving a massive push from the company as it’s top babyface. Bam Bam now advances directly to the Finals by virtue of a bye.

Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is alongside Mr. Perfect & Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart who will do battle in the semi-finals. The Hitman talks about having respect for Perfect by stating he wanted to face him in the semi-finals, Okerlund trying to plant some seeds of dissension and it works, The Perfect One wondering if Bret thinks he’s an easier opponent. He tells Hart the he remembers SummerSlam ’91 and he owes him one, both men vowing that they’ll end up as the King.

Match #5 – King Of The Ring Semi-Finals: Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
Lock-up in the center of the ring to a stalemate to start, The Perfect One avoids another and gains a waistlock, Bret gaining the ropes to force the break and they tie-up again, this time Hitman grabbing a side headlock. Mr. Perfect sends him away to the ropes, Hart with a shoulder knockdown, goes back to the ropes, blocks Perfect’s hip toss attempt and throws him with one of his own before bringing him to the mat with a side headlock. The Perfect One counters out with a headscissors, The Hitman slips out, regains the side headlock, Perfect working to his feet and backs him to the corner to gain a break.

He doesn’t break clean and scores with a chop, irish whip across is reversed, Hart delivers a body slam, but Mr. Perfect kicks his way back up, slams Bret and now The Hitman kicks his way to his feet, then brings The Perfect One back down with the side headlock. Perfect finds his footing once again, pushes Hart away to the ropes, Bret goes into a crucifix for a quick count of 2, then yet again grounds The Perfect One with another side headlock. Mr. Perfect gains a vertical base, shoves Bret to the ropes, Hitman with a crossbody for 1, gets sent to the outside from the kick-out, quickly hops back to the apron and buries a shoulder into Perfect’s midsection, then sunset flips back in for 2.

The Excellence Of Execution sticking with the game plan and grounds The Perfect One with the side headlock, Perfect works to a standing position, backs Bret to the ropes, doesn’t break clean and scores with a knee to the abdomen. Mr. Perfect starts to take over now with kicks to the breadbasket, connects with a standing dropkick that sends The Hitman under the bottom rope to the floor, he opens the ropes to allows Hart to come back in, but kicks him as he steps inside. The Perfect One deposits Bret head-first into the top turnbuckle, fires away with chops in the corner, big knee lift to the chest and he covers for a near fall, then kicks Hitman back outside. This time Perfect pursues, drives him face-first into the ring apron, rolls back into the squared circle, Hart pulls himself to the apron, but gets flung back down to the floor, hitting the barricade upon landing.

The Hitman grabs at his knee and writhes in pain on the floor, The Perfect One reaches out and brings him back in by the hair, another big knee lift gets him a 2 count, he drops Bret with a big right hand, scales the corner and scores with a missile dropkick, but can only get a near fall as Hart gains the ropes. Mr. Perfect sends him hard sternum-first into the turnbuckles for another count of 2, climbs back up top, Hart crotches him on the top turnbuckle, goes up to meet him and plants him with a superplex, nearly getting a 3 count. The Excellence Of Execution starts to target the left leg with kicks, he slaps on a figure four in the center of the ring, The Perfect One squirming in pain and reaching for the ropes to gain a break.

Bret continues to target the left knee, drives an elbow drop into the join and hooks on a heel hold, Mr. Perfect goes to the eyes to escape it, struggles to his feet and introduces Hart to the top turnbuckle. He grabs a handful of hair and tosses The Hitman across the ring, whips him to the ropes and deeply locks in a sleeper hold, riding Bret down to the canvas. The Excellence Of Execution finds his way to the ropes to force the official to step in, The Perfect One with a stiff chop and he reapplies the hold, using the bottom rope to gain an unfair advantage. The Hitman works back up, rams Mr. Perfect face-first into the top turbuckle to break out, clocks him with a big uppercut, then returns the favor and throws Perfect across the ring by the hair.

The Perfect One tries to slide out of the ring backwards, isn’t sure where he is and gets crotched on the ring post, Bret drags him back into the middle of the ring, splits him with an inverted atomic drop, then scores with a side russian leg sweep for a 2 count. Hart drops a leg across the chest, cracks Perfect with a backbreaker, comes off the 2nd rope with an elbow drop, but again The Perfect One kicks out at 2. The Hitman wants to finish with the Sharpshooter, Mr. Perfect grabs at Bret’s taped-up fingers to avoid it, puts the boots to Hart, attempts a Perfect-Plex, but Bret blocks it, goes for a suplex of his own and both guys tumble over the top rope to the floor. The official starts the count, Perfect rolls in, Bret barely beats it at a count of 9, The Perfect One surprises him with a small package for a near fall, Hitman reversing the leverage on the kick-out and he steals the victory.
Winner: Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart (Small Package)

After The Bell: Perfect is very frustrated on the outside, climbs back into the ring, gets in Bret’s face and offers him a handshake, Hitman accepting it.

EA’s TakeAnother great match from Bret tonight, not as entertaining as the opening contest in my opinion, but The Hitman is showing some versatility, adapting to his opponents. This may have been better-suited as the finals of the tournament to really play-up the rematch aspect and Perfect looking for revenge from Summerslam ’91, but they’re still establishing Bam Bam at the same time. Mr. Perfect would refocus his attention on WWF gold after coming up short in the KOTR, seeking to regain the Intercontinental Title at SummerSlam.

Video: Gene Okerlund caught up with WWF Champion Hulk Hogan & Jimmy Hart earlier in the day. The Hulkster talks about having Yokozuna in the center of the ring tonight with no sneak attacks, vowing to remain the champion. Jimmy speaks about managing Hogan and having red, white and blue running through his veins, Hulk maintaining that Hulkamania is synonymous with American, something that Yokozuna can never destroy.

Match #6 for the WWF Championship: Yokozuna w/Mr. Fuji vs. WWF Champion Hulk Hogan w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart
Yokozuna throws the ceremonial salt and we’re underway, collar & elbow tie-up to begin, Hulkster tries to use the power and push him away, but barely moves the challenger before getting some advice from Jimmy Hart. They circle back around and tie-up again, Yoko shoves Hogan to the ground this time, back up and a third lock-up, Yokozuna striking first with chops and headbutts. He starts to take control early here with shots to the throat and clubbing forearms to the back, plants Hulk down with a body slam, then rips at his face in the corner. The challenger completely dominating the champion in the corner, shoots him hard across into the turnbuckles, sends him back across and charges in, but The Hulkster side-steps it, then rocks him with big right hands.

He backs Yoko to the corner, climbs to the 2nd rope for a barrage of more punches, bites him in the forehead, whips Yokozuna across and follows him in with a clothesline. Hogan hooks the challenger for a body slam, can’t pick up the weight, Yoko with more clubbing blows to the back, shoots him to the ropes for a clothesline, the champion ducks it and fires away with more fists. He tries another body slam, still can’t get Yokozuna off the ground and pays for it, taking big shots to the back once again, scores with more overhand chops and shoots Hulk back to the ropes for a clothesline that misses the mark, followed by a back elbow that the champion ducks.

The Hulkster comes back through and staggers the big man with a clothesline of his own, goes back to the well, can’t get the challenger off his feet, tries a third time and Yoko levels him with his own clothesline. He hits the ropes for a splash, Hogan is able to roll out of the way, both guys struggle to their feet, Hulk’s up first, hits the ropes for a shoulder block and gets knocked down himself. Yokozuna pushes him hard back-first into the turnbuckles, puts him in a bearhug off the rebound and starts to squeeze the energy out of the champion. The Hulkster starts to fade out, the referee checks the arm, Hogan keeps it up on the third try and hammers Yokozuna with big right hands to break the grip.

Hulk hits the ropes and runs into a high back elbow, Yoko plants him with a belly-to-belly suplex, goes into a lateral press and the champion kicks out at 2. Hogan’s starting to Hulk Up, Yokozuna’s strikes having zero affect, the champion fires back with rights, sends him to the ropes for the big boot, but the challenger doesn’t go down. The Hulkster with more fists and another big boot, Yokozuna maintains a vertical base, Hulk does it a third time, Yoko finally going down. The champion hits the ropes and drops the big leg, covers and the challenger stuns everyone by kicking out at 2.

Fuji climbs to the apron and pays for it with a Hogan right hand, The Hulkster wants to slam Yokozuna, one of the ringside photographers climbs up to the apron to snap a photo, drawing Hulk’s attention while the official is busy with Mr. Fuji. A fireball shoots out of the camera and strikes the champion in the face, Yokozuna drops his massive leg across the chest and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW WWF Champion: Yokozuna (Leg Drop)

After The Bell: Hogan is writhing in pain and grabbing at his eyes, Yokozuna picks him up, delivers a clothesline, positions him for the Banzai Drop and squashes him. Jimmy Hart & WWF officials pull The Hulkster out of the ring and carry him to the back, the new champion celebrating in the squared circle.

EA’s TakeA really slow, laboring pace to this one as you would expect from these two. Hogan’s hair-brain ideas really have worn thin by this time, Yokozuna dominated the entire match and should not have needed some wacky outside interference to help him win. To be honest, I don’t think there ever was much of an explanation to the photographer deal and couldn’t find any specifics on it, but it does sound like a Hogan idea to “protect his character” while losing. This would serve as Hulk’s final WWF PPV match, working a few house shows for the company through the summer before officially leaving to focus on his acting career. The reality was that the youth movement was forcing him out, Vince McMahon firmly standing by his opinions about pushing new Superstars. A new American hero would emerge from an unlikely place heading into July, Hogan’s departure giving Yokozuna a big feather under his cap of being able to claim he “ended Hulkamania”.

Backstage: Terry Taylor catches up with Mr. Perfect, The Perfect One saying he certainly doesn’t feel good about losing, but he takes nothing away from Bret Hart. He issues a warning that we have not seen the last of him however, as being Perfect doesn’t fade. ‘Mean’ Gene is in the interview area with WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels & Diesel. Michaels says lightning struck once with Hulk Hogan tonight, but we can all agree that The Hulkster is not the athlete he is. Shawn finally gives us the name of his “insurance policy”, Diesel, claiming he’s a Mack truck that mows down anything in either of their paths.

Match #7: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) & The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart) vs. WWF Tag Team Champions Money Inc. (‘Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) & The Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu) w/Afa
DiBiase & Scott will get us started, The MDM with a quick arm drag out of the lock-up, does it once again and starts to build his confidence. A third lock-up sees Scott pick the leg and grab a waistlock, switches to a hammerlock, MDM counters to one of his own and switches to a side headlock. Scotty pushes him away to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder, DiBiase back to the ropes, Scott leapfrogs over and scores with a dropkick. He clotheslines MDM over the top rope to the floor, Rick drops off the apron to deliver a right hand and roll him back inside, The MDM has some words for Rick, turns around and Scott clotheslines back out again.

Rick with another right before throwing him back into the ring, DiBiase slides right back out to get a quick breather, steps in and tags out to Fatu. Collar & elbow tie-up sees Scott gain a wristlock, tags out, Bart comes in and maintains the hold, Fatu grabs him by the hair and sends him to the ropes. Bart ducks under a clothesline, hip toss attempt is blocked, he drops down to sweep the legs, Fatu hops over, turns around is gets nailed by a dropkick. Bart scores with a drop toe hold and utilizes an armbar, Fatu finds his footing, sends him away to the ropes for a back body drop, Bart putting on the brakes and plants him face-first into the canvas. Fatu pops right back up to his feet and clocks Bart with a superkick, tag to Samu and The Headshrinkers whip Bart to the ropes for a double back elbow.

Samu drops a headbutt before tagging out, IRS with heavy fists, shoots Bart to the ropes and scores with a back elbow of his own, then brings DiBiase back into the match. The champions with a double team effort, MDM whips Bart to the ropes for another high back elbow, hits a vertical suplex and makes a tag, Samu re-entering with chops to the chest. Another quick tag is made, The Headshrinkers send Bart to the ropes for a double back body drop, Samu gets in another cheap shot before heading to the apron, Fatu with a cover for a count of 2. He bites away at Bart’s forehead, cracks him with a backbreaker for another 2 count, Schyster with a right hand from the top off the tag, drops a leg for another 2.

He sends Bart to the ropes for a back body drop, Bart counters with a sunset flip for a near fall, can’t capitalize on it, IRS whipping him back in, both guys connect with a clothesline and double down. Tags on both sides see DiBiase & Billy take the ring, Billy with a series of punches, whips The MDM hard into the corner and elevates him with a back body drop off the rebound. He keeps the momentum rolling with multiple clotheslines, hits the ropes, DiBiase ducks down, lifts him up coming back through and drops him on the top rope with a hot shot. He picks Billy up and slaps on the Million Dollar Dream, Billy starts fading away, MDM lets the hold go and he collapses. DiBiase picks Billy back up for a body slam, Billy surprises him with a small package and sneaks away with a win.
Winners: The Steiner Brothers & The Smoking Gunns (Billy/Small Package)

After The Bell: A melee breaks out right after the pinfall, The Gunns & The Steiners clearing the ring and standing tall.

EA’s TakeI found this more exciting than some of the rest of the card thus far, but I think that’s only because of the amount of time they were given forcing a lot of action to be stuffed into a little time frame. Also, it was very odd that Rick never tagged into the match, that was probably the easiest PPV paycheck he ever earned, only throwing 2 punches out on the floor prior to the post-match brawl.

Backstage: This time around Gene Okerlund is in the locker room with WWF Champion Yokozuna, Mr. Fuji & WWF President Jack Tunney. The President congratulates Yoko on the victory as the photographers continue to snap away with their cameras. Fuji rubs in the fact that his prediction came true, claiming that Hulkamania is now finally finished. He states that Japan is having a big celebration and they will do the same here in the USA.

Match #8 for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: Crush vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels w/Diesel
Crush gains a side headlock off the intial tie-up, Michaels pushes him away to the ropes, the challenger with a big shoulder knockdown and Shawn is sent flying to the outside. The champion collects him and steps back in, Crush goes back to the side headlock, Shawn sends him off the the ropes again, leapfrogs over, ducks under a clothesline and sneaks in a quick jab. Another collar & elbow tie-up sees Michaels grab a standing armbar, the challenger shoves him off to the ropes, the champion unsuccessfully tries a shoulder block, goes back to the ropes, Crush leapfrogs over, avoids a superkick and connects with a dropkick.

He hits another that sends Shawn through the ropes to the floor, the champion takes some more time to regroup before heading back in. Michaels slips out of a lock-up and picks the leg, Crush quickly kicks his way back, returns the favor, scores with an arm drag, then lifts Shawn up into a military press slam. Michaels tries to squirm outside under the ropes, Crush drags him back in, whips him to the ropes, cracks him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and calls for the Cranium Crush. Diesel reaches in and drags Shawn to the outside, the champion takes a little time to recover, Crush is done waiting and goes out after him, but Michaels stands behind Diesel. He sneaks into the ring and climbs to the apron behind Crush, clobbers him from behind with a double axe off the apron, rolls back inside to keep the referee’s attention, Diesel taking advantage and drives the challenger into the ring post.

The official suspects something and has words for Diesel, Shawn takes the opening to hop out, repeatedly bashes the back of Crush’s head off the post, then slides back in as if nothing happened. The champion climbs back outside, struggles to pick the challenger up and get him into the squared circle, drags him to the middle of the ring and covers for a count of 2. Michaels is angered and puts the boots to Crush, climbs to the high rent district, drops a double axe handle to the back of the head, hits the ropes for a head kick and gets a near fall. The champion keeps the advantage with a front facelock on the mat, the big Hawaiian starts to power his way to a standing position, lifting Michaels up and tossing him away.

Shawn tries to go back to the front facelock and gets powered off again, grabs it a third time, Crush picks him up, drops him throat-first across the top rope and he spills to the floor. Michaels pulls himself back to the apron, heads to the top as the challenger gets to his feet, the champion comes flying off and Crush simply swats him out of the air. He whips the champion to the ropes and elevates him with a back body drop, shoots him to the corner, hits a backbreaker off the rebound and gets a 2 count. The challenger sends Shawn back to the ropes and clocks him with a big boot, drops a leg cross the chest and gains another near fall.

Crush picks him back up, Michaels with a go-behind, pushes the challenger to the ropes for a roll-up, Crush hangs and rolls the champion away, then sends him over the top rope with a clothesline. Doink The Clown makes his way down to ringside and there’s a 2nd Doink The Clown walking behind him, Crush is distracted, Shawn slides in behind him, connects with a superkick to the back of the head, the challenger falls face-first into the top turnbuckle, lateral press from the champion and he retains.
Winner and STILL WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels (Superkick)

After The Bell: Both Doinks run away to the back, Crush rolls out of the ring and chases after them.

EA’s TakePretty good match here, one might assume that Michaels had to carry it, but that’s not really the case. Crush might be considered a big man, but he was one of the first ones to not rely on solely on his size like the laboring bodybuilder types of years past, his tilt-a-whirl backbreaker was always pretty impressive at a time when the moves in the ring were generally pretty simple. Doink had continued to pester the big Hawaiian, but Crush would be forced to go on the shelf for a couple of months during a July 4th Body Slam Challenge on the USS Intrepid, injuring his back attempting to body slam Yokozuna. Shawn’s character was continuing to evolve and he had moved away from having a female by his side, bringing in the former Vinnie Vegas from WCW, making him his bodyguard and giving him the name of Diesel. After trading the IC Title with Marty Jannetty, Crush would only briefly step into the challenger’s role before said-injury, Michaels moving onto a more ‘Perfect’ opponent.

Backstage: This time around with ‘Mean’ Gene is a well-rested Bam Bam Bigelow prior to the King of the Ring Finals, The Beast From The East stating he’s fresh as a daisy, vowing to take the opportunity to be the first King.

Match #9 – King Of The Ring Finals: Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart
Bret is favoring his leg that was hurt in his last match, the bell rings, Bam Bam charges, Hitman side-steps and Bigelow propels himself into the turnbuckles. Hart with right hands, The Beast from the East fires back with shots of his own, winning the striking game early. He shoots Bret to the ropes, Hitman ducks a clothesline, Bam Bam presses him over his head coming back through, but Hart falls on top of him for a quick 2 count. The Excellence of Execution starts to work over the left arm, hammering away at the shoulder joint and locking in an armbar, Bigelow rakes the eyes to break the grip, shoots The Hitman to the ropes and knocks him down with a big shoulder.

He presses Hart over his head again, drops him all the way down to the floor, follows him outside to roll Bret back in, then drops headbutts to the small of the back. The Beast from the East is total control here, whips Hart hard into the turnbuckles, drops another headbutt to the spine and covers for a count of 2. Slow, methodical pace from Bigelow, focuses his punishment on the kidney area, plants The Hitman with a back suplex and gains another 2 count. Bret pulls himself to his feet in the corner, tries to get some momentum going, Bam Bam shoots him hard into the corner again, delivers a standing headbutt, then drops another, but still only gets 2. He sends Hitman back to the ropes and slaps on a bearhug, The Excellence of Execution, rips at the eyes to get out of it, but instantly gets dropped with another back suplex.

Hart continues to kick out at 2, Bigelow throws him through the ropes outside, climbs out himself, attempts to send Bret into the barricade, but it’s reversed and Bam Bam hits it instead. The Hitman starts to mount some offense with punches, drives Bam Bam face-first into the barricade, climbs to the apron and drops back down with a forearm across the back. Bret rolls inside and breaks the count, steps back out to the apron, jumps off and Bigelow catches him in the air, then drives him spine-first into the ring post. The Beast from the East takes him into the aisle and body slams him on the floor, rolls back into the ring, the official has some words for Bigelow and Luna Vachon makes her way out, clobbering Bret across the back with a chair before running away.

Bam Bam heads outside to throw The Hitman back in, slams him into the mat, heads to the top rope and connects with a Diving Headbutt for a count of 3. Another referee comes down to the ring and informs the original official of the interference, informing Howard Finkel that the match must continue. Bigelow is not impressed and takes it out on Hart by driving headbutts into the lower back, sends him hard into the corner and Bret can barely stand before getting dropped by another headbutt. The Beast from the East whips Hart back to the ropes to lock on the bearhug, lets him out and switches to an over-the-shoulder backbreaker.

The referee checks the arm, Bret holds it up on the third attempt, flips himself out and hits Bigelow with a back suplex, both guys doubling down. Bam Bam makes it up first, tries a running senton, Hart rolls out of the way, but can’t build off of it. Bigelow sends him hard into the turnbuckles yet again, goes back to the over-the-shoulder backbreaker, The Hitman rips at the eyes to slip out of it and slaps on a sleeper hold while on Bam Bam’s back. The Beast from the East starts to get wobbly, grabs Hart by the hair and flips him down to the canvas, tries to gather himself and Bret hits a dropkick to the back then dumps him over the top rope.

The Hitman flies to the outside with a slingshot crossbody, tosses Bam Bam back inside, climbs to the 2nd rope and flattens him with a clothesline for a near fall. He plants Bigelow with a side russian leg sweep, goes back to the 2nd rope, drives him back into the mat with a bulldog and attempts to hook on the Sharpshooter. The Beast from the East kicks him away, locks another bearhug on, Hitman rips at the eyes, goes for another back suplex, but this time Bam Bam switches his weight and falls on top for a count of 2. Bigelow shoots Hart into the corner and follows him in, Hitman gets the boot up under the chin, climbs to the 2nd rope, sits on Bam Bam’s shoulder and uses a victory roll to win the tournament.
Winner: Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart (Victory Roll)

After The Bell: Macho Man leaves commentary to go congratulate Hart, The Hitman walks back towards the entrance to meet ‘Mean’ Gene for our coronation. Okerlund puts the robe and crown on Bret, proclaiming him the King Of The Ring. Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler comes out and wants to confront The Hitman, claiming that there’s only one King in the WWF and it’s him. He informs Bret that he’ll allow him to be a prince, but he has to get down and kiss his royal feet. Hart thinks Lawler has a lot of nerve to come out and say such things since he didn’t have the guts to get into the tournament. The Hitman thinks that Lawler is ‘The Burger King’, prompting Lawler to assault Hart from behind. He puts a number on Bret with the scepter, bashes him with the throne and chokes The Hitman out. He gets the microphone and says he tried to give Hart a chance, but now he will force him to kiss his feet, kicking The Excellence of Execution directly in the face.

EA’s TakeOnly an ‘alright’ main event in my book, Bigelow showed his athleticism, but the majority of the match was really slow while Bam Bam was in control before picking back up towards the finish. This entire tournament was really built around making Bret look as strong as possible and his win here is remembered more by fans than his first WWF Title. The Hitman was very popular, but the KOTR seemed to really launch him to the forefront following Hulk Hogan’s departure. So much so that the company’s ‘Hogan replacement’ would be forced to take a back seat down the road.

EA’s FinisherA much better show than WrestleMania IX and although this was not actually the first KOTR tournament, the vast majority of fans aren’t any the wiser since this was the first KOTR PPV. The real star of the night was of course The Hitman, finally earning that stamp of approval that says “Main Eventer”. He was able to show just how versatile he can be against three different opponents with three different styles. While some matches were better than others, it just proved that Bret was going to be “The Man” for the WWF in the coming years. The stars of the 80’s are all seemingly gone now, with Hogan on his way out the door, DiBiase ready to hang up the boots and Savage at commentary. A couple would remain a little longer to ease the transition, but it’s really all up to the young guys like Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Lex Luger, Bam Bam Bigelow and more. They’ve got the talent, the only issue is that the WWF continues to saddle guys with the same cartoon-like gimmicks from the 80’s and isn’t quite changing with the times yet.

Top Three To Watch
1 – Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon
2 – Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
3 – The Steiners & Smoking Gunns vs. Money Inc. & The Headshrinkers


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

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

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WWE TLC 2015 Roman Reigns Sheamus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Chairshot Classics: 2015 WWE Hell In A Cell

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

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WWE Hell In A Cell 2015 The Undertaker Brock Lesnar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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