Jimi Callear looks back at the last SummerSlam that took place in Toronto, 15 years ago as Randy Orton captures his first world championship!
SummerSlam 2004 gives us a new era of Superstars at the top. We see Randy Orton take on The World Heavyweight Champion, Chris Benoit. The Undertaker attempts to dethrone the WWE Champion, John “Bradshaw” Layfield. Edge, Batista, Chris Jericho and so much more in this edition of Chairshot Classics.
The days of Steve Austin and The Rock on top seem to be behind us at this point in WWE history. Goldberg is gone. Even last years top guy, Brock Lesnar is pursuing an NFL career. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a jam packed house though, with 17,640 in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is actually up a little from last year but that is due to arena size. The PPV buy is right at the same number as last year, 415K. The main sponsor for this show is the same as last year, Stacker 2, but this time they are pushing their Yellow Jacket Stingers product. This is crazy that these speed-like diet pills were a featured sponsor a lot around this era. It’s time to “let the games begin” and see what this show has to offer.
Quick Results for WWE SummerSlam 2004
- Rob Van Dam beat Renee Dupree (Sunday Night Heat)
- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray, Devon, and Spike) beat Paul London, Billy Kidman, and Rey Mysterio
- Kane beat Matt Hardy
- John Cena beat United States Champion Booker T
- Intercontinental Champion Edge beat Batista and Chris Jericho
- Kurt Angle beat Eddie Guerrero
- Triple H beat Eugene
- WWE Champion JBL beat The Undertaker by disqualification
- Randy Orton beat Chris Benoit to win the World Heavyweight Championship
The PPV opens with a package that shows us various Superstars competing in Olympic-like games. This is because the Summer Olympics were going on at this time in Athens, Greece. The video leads right into the next one and we see Randy Orton saying that he plans to become the youngest champion in WWE history when he beats Chris Benoit. More on this match later. The package even previews The Women’s Dodgeball Tournament. This is part of the WWE reality TV based Diva Search. The video highlights the main matches on the card before we enter the arena for the dual branded (RAW/SmackDown) Summerlam 2004. The RAW announce team of Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcomes us to the sold-out arena and introduces us to the SmackDown crew of Tazz and Michael Cole. Tazz and Cole are at ringside and that leaves the RAW guys on the entrance ramp for the second year in a row. I would definitely be willing to bet that JR hated this, as it would be harder to call matches from a distance. And just like that the first match is about to begin.
The men from Dudleyville enter first. The Dudley Boyz, Bubba Ray and D-Von are joined by their cousin and Cruiserweight Champion, Spike. Before the next team enters we see a clip of The Dudley family putting Rey Mysterio through a table. The reason that I mention this is that is wasn’t done in the normal “3D” method, but rather a Coup De Grace from Spike. The WWE Tag Team Champions, Paul London and Billy Kidman enter next and are joined by Mysterio. For those that aren’t familiar with Kidman I suggest you check out some of his Cruiserweight stuff from the WCW heydays. He was a member of Raven’s Flock and was one of my favorite members of that legendary Cruiserweight division of WCW past. London would go on to to be a WWE Cruiserweight Champion and find some success in the Indies afterward. Most notably a run in Pro Wrestling Guerilla with El Generico as PWG Tag Champs. El Generico is current WWE Superstar Sami Zayne.
The men of the mic for the first match are Tazz and Cole. We get D-Von and Kidman in the ring first, and after Kidman reverses D-Von’s whip to the corner, with a head scissors takedown, he is in control. The move gets the first pop and after an armdrag, Kidman is quick to try a cover. He only gets a two count, so he tags in London. The Tag Champs hit a double back elbow and London is soon attempting another pin, after an assisted standing moonsault from Kidman. London shows he’s got the cruiser moves here, hitting some big dropkicks and a cool dropsault off the top turnbuckle. Bubba slows him with the interference, and this allows D-Von to flatten London with a clothesline. D-Von is quick with the cover now and it takes a Mysterio interference to stop the count. Spike is tagged in and enters off the top rope by delivering a dropsault, or Coup De Grace, into the chest of London. After Spike works London for a bit, its Bubba’s turn to tag in. As soon as he enters he hits London with quite a suplex. When D-Von re-enters he applies the headlock and the crowd is cheering for the hot tag. London escapes with some elbows to the midsection, but when he comes off the ropes he is met with a brutal powerslam from D-Von. D-Von goes for the cover and it is Kidman that enters to break it up this time. Bubba enters again, and this is when London starts to rally. D-Von is sent off the apron when London ducks under Bubba’s clothesline and he instead connects with his partner. London hits an enziguri and the crowd is back in the fight with him. Mysterio starts the clap to power, but Spike tags in and grabs London’s foot. He manages to kick free and tag in Mysterio. This sends the crowd into a frenzy as this is what the build of the matches story is centered around.
Rey makes quick work of the smallest Dudley and is quick to go for a pin after he “Drops a Dime”. This is Rey’s version of a springboard leg drop if you were curious. Spike kicks out and Rey soon puts him on the top turnbuckle. He brings Spike right back to the mat with a jumping hurricanrana that the crowd reacts nicely too. Bubba tries to come to the rescue but his attempt is rewarded with a springboard seated senton. D-Von is in next and tries to slam Mysterio, but it is reversed with a DDT and the crowd is on their toes. Kidman tags in and enters from the top. He hits the standing, but dazed, Spike Dudley with a back elbow. This was a cool spot and the elbow looks like it planted firmly on Spike’s jaw. Bubba and D-Von re-enter the ring but are laid out by Kidman as fast as they entered. He hits Spike with the BK-Bomb, a powerbomb variant, but D-Von is there to break up the cover. At this point all men are in the ring, but the Tag Team Champs knock Bubba And D-Von out with dropkicks. London goes airborne when he leaps off Kidman’s back over the top ropes to hit Bubba with a suicide hilo. The 619 is delivered to Spike, and Kidman follows Mysterio’s finish with his own, the Shooting Star Press. It seems as though the match is over when Kidman goes for the cover but D-Von pulls him from the ring on the count of two. Mysterio jumps to the outside to assist Kidman but D-Von moves and Rey hits the security wall. D-Von then lays London out with a clothesline before he returns to the ring with Kidman. A “3D” is next for Kidman and this leads to Spike making the cover and getting the three. The match was an entertaining opener and the build-up to Mysterio/Spike was well done. I enjoyed the match and I think most wrestling fans would. Check this one out. Match Time: 8:06
We return to the RAW announce team as they introduce us to the next match and the stipulations that go along with it. It will Feature Matt Hardy with Lita versus the monster that is Kane. This is a “Till Death Do Us Part” match were Lita has to marry the winner. It doesn’t get much crazier than this folks. The pre-match package shows Lita telling Matt that she had his and the unborn babies DNA tested ad that it is Kane’s baby and not his. The baby was made when she was kidnapped and held against her will by Kane. There is no direct reference to the word rape here, but what in the actual fuck was the WWE thinking here? Spoiler Alert: The baby would later be miscarried when Snitsky strikes Kane with a chair, on the September 13th RAW, causing him to fall onto the pregnant Lita. I am not making this up, look into it if you think otherwise. The WWE was doing some weird shit in this era and children obviously weren’t their target audience as they have been in more recent years.
Lita enters first and instead of her normal 1999 Hot Topic ring gear she is dressed in more motherly clothing. A nice touch, I thought. Next into the arena is Matt Hardy Version 1.0 and the fans give him a warm welcome. Matt was suffering through what he thought was a injured MCL. After this match he would finally see the doctor and learn that not only was his MCL destroyed his ACL was as well. The bald, maskless version of Kane enters last and he is cackling the whole time as he makes his way to the ring. I always thought this was the creepiest version of Kane, and he is one ugly dude. As Kane enters through the ropes Hardy wastes no time getting the early attack. Hardy beats Kane like its a street fight, using mostly punches and kicks. Kane is soon laying over the second rope ad Hardy lands a leg drop onto the back of Kane. A cover is made but Kane is quick to kick-out. Hardy wastes no time and hits a tornado DDT that allows him to go for another cover. He again kicks out and I noticed a pattern here that the fans are just booing every kick-out that happens. I noticed it in the first match as well, and now I am curious as to if it will continue. Kane lands an uppercut out of nowhere that he soon follows with a clothesline that leaves Lita looking on in disbelief. Kane goes for the cover but Matt isn’t done yet. After he pounds Hardy into the corner and chokes him with a boot, Kane takes a moment to stare at Lita in a way that made even me feel uncomfortable with some of the looks he gave her. Kane soon finds himself on the outside after Hardy pulls the top rope down and avoids Kane’s charge. Matt is quick to spring to the outside and hit the crossbody. He follows this with the Twist of Fate and returns to the ring to tell the ref to start the count. At the count of six he sits-up like The Undertaker of old and returns to the ring at the count of nine.
Lita then slides the ring bell into the ring and proceeds to distract the official. After Matt hesitates for a moment, he picks the bell up and plants it into the brow of Kane. Hardy makes the cover but Kane gets his foot on the ropes before the count of two. Eventually Kane reverses the Twist of Fate into the big boot and this gets him some heat from the fans. Kane tries to go up top, but Hardy is there to join him on the second rope. Hardy then tries to DDT Kane off of it, but Kane overpowers him. Kane then delivers a jumping chokeslam off the second rope, and goes for the cover. Lita looks on stunned as the ref counts the three. The surgery that Matt Hardy would require on his knee after this leads to some pivotal points in his life. While he was taking a year to rehab the injury, his real life girlfriend Lita would begin her affair with Edge. That is a whole other subject that can be found all over the inter-webs that I don’t have the time to go into here. The match overall was entertaining and they accomplished what they needed in the ring story wise. The chokeslam finish may just be one of Kane’s top ten uses of the move. Match Time:6:08
Randy Orton is in the back and being interviewed by Todd Grisham. Orton is doing a good job at putting himself over when John Cena enters to cut him off. Orton is cut off right after saying “Tonight will be the night..” Cena finishes the statement with “..that The Franchise opens up shop on Booker T’s ass.” Cena does an even better job of putting himself over and when he asks the fans if they like Orton the respond with an overwhelming “BOO”. This is where Cena really started to shine with his imitation white rapper gimmick. Cena then ask the crowd if Orton is going to beat Benoit for the WWE Championship and this “BOO” is even louder. Orton insults the Canadian fans and ends the clip. Well done stuff here.
The United Stated Champion, Booker T, enters first to some pop and lots of fiery pyro. This is the first of five in the series with John Cena for the US Title. When the challenger, John Cena, enters wearing the Toronto Blue Jays jersey the crowd is going nuts and this is the best pop of the night thus far. The two start the match fast and are going punch for punch. Booker drills a knee to Cena’s midsection but Cena comes off the ropes and levels Booker with the clothesline. Cena goes for the cover but Book kicks out at one. Both men then return to their feet for a stare off and to reset the match. They go back and forth for a bit until Cena comes out ahead with a swinging neckbreaker or as he calls it, The Throwback. Cena goes for the cover but only is rewarded a two count. A side headlock is applied by Cena, but Booker reverses it by atomic dropping Cena onto the top rope. An Axe handle from Booker then knocks Cena to the outside. He returns Cena to the ring and does a “You Can’t See Me” of his own, before he drives his knee into the chest of Cena. Booker has the “Dr. of Thugenomics” right where he wants him, but instead of the cover he delivers some right hands into Cena’s head. The jumping leg lariat is next and Cole messes up the call here, but Tazz is quick to correct him. Booker then applies the camel clutch and the crowd is soon clapping for the Cena rally.
Cena eventually shows his strength here and stands up with Booker T on his back. He rams the back of Booker into the turnbuckle and frees the hold. It doesn’t slow down Booker, and he whips Cena to the corner. When Cena comes out of it Booker meets him with a nice and hard spinebuster. Instead of going for a pin he picks Cena up again to this time deliver a sidewalk slam. Booker then continues to wrench on the neck of John Cena. Cena makes it to his feet and rolls Booker up with a small package. The count is close but it is only a two. After he nails a clothesline, Booker attempts the Ax Kick but Cena rolls from harms way. They both lay on the mat until the ref counts six and then they start to rise again. Cena is first to attack with a series of rights and eventually lays Booker out with a clothesline. Cena tries to come off the ropes again but is pancaked by Booker this time. Booker rises to his feet with the Spin-a-Rooni and the crowd is popping. But Cena is just as quick to his feet and lifts Booker for the Attitude Adjustment. He slams Booker to the mat and goes for the cover. The ref counts the three and Cena is up one match in the best of five series for the United States Championship. The match wasn’t bad, but if I had to choose one to skip out of the first three, it would have to be this one. Match Time: 6:25
We see the new Commissioner of SmackDown, Teddy Long, in the back and he is congratulating himself for the booking of the best of five series. Raw Commissioner, Eric Bischoff, is soon in the room and congratulates him on his newly acquired position. Eric then reminds him that he is the fourth Commissioner to give the SmackDown brand a try since he took his job. They throw shade at each other and Teddy finishes by telling him that if his nephew Eugene loses he will sign him to SmackDown.
The first contender in the next match enters and it is the animal from Evolution, Batista. The crowd shows him some heat as he hits the turnbuckles to pose. Their emotions turn around quickly when Y2J’s theme comes on and Chris Jericho enters for this Triple Threat affair for the Intercontinental Championship. Canadian native Chris Jericho’s standing ovation is overshadowed when the Champion and Toronto’s own, Edge enters. This is a huge pop that will be hard to beat for the rest of the guys in the back. Edge doesn’t even get to remove his red trench coat before Batista attacks him. Edge was still posing on the ropes when the attack happened, so it caused him to tumble to the outside. Jericho sees this as his opportunity to strike and attacks the back of Batista. The plan works and he gets the early advantage on Batista, most notably some big chops to the chest of the Animal. When Jericho tries to whip Batista from corner to corner, he is easily overpowered and slammed into the corner. When he bounces off the turnbuckle Batista is there to destroy him with a back elbow. The shoulder blocks that he delivers to Jericho next are pretty brutal, especially the one that lays Jericho out when he comes off the rope. Jericho tries to rally behind some elbows to the midsection but when he come off the ropes for the crossbody, Batista catches him and drives him to the mat. Batista is about to ruin Jericho with a powerbomb but we see Edge enter the match for the first time and chop the knee out from under Batista. This saves Jericho, who rolls from the ring, and allows Edge to stomp away at the big man. Edge continues the beating of Batista but when he tries to come off the top turnbuckle Batista meets him with a boot to the midsection. Batista hits Edge with the snake-eyes next and the crowd I really giving him some heat at this point.
Batista is sizing Edge up as he rises to his feet, dazed. It’s Jericho who saves Edge, this time by grabbing the foot of Batista. He kicks Jericho off but the distraction allows Edge to hit the dropkick. Edge follows it by clotheslining the big man over the top rope. Edge joins them on the floor but Batista is quick to try and charge him. But Edge is even quicker and drop toe holds Batista into the ring stairs. Jericho sees this as an opportunity to strike and dropkicks the sitting Batista into the stairs again. The two Canadians return to the ring and this is what the fans have been waiting for. They go back and forth, but Edge comes out ahead with the knee to the midsection that sends Jericho flipping. Edge tries for the Downward Spiral but Y2J reverses it into the set-up for the Walls of Jericho. Before he locks it in, Edge rolls him up for the pin attempt. Jericho kicks out and both men are fast to their feet. After Jericho kicks out of Edges crossbody into a pin, Jericho is quick to pull Edge’s legs and go for another Walls of Jericho. This time he locks it in, and he is really sitting on the back of Edge. Edge, after some time, finally starts to make his way towards the ropes, but Jericho drags him back to the center of the ring. He is really wrenching the back of Edge, and just as you think he is going to tap out, Batista enters and breaks the hold. Batista throws Jericho, shoulder first, into the ring pole and this sends him crashing to the outside. Batista goes for the big clothesline but Edge ducks under it and hits the big man with the lifting DDT. He goes for the cover but Batista kicks out at two.
Edge is watching Batista rise to his feet in anticipation of the Spear. Just as he strikes, Jericho re-enters the picture and levels Edge with a clothesline. Batista rewards Jericho for his help with a brutal spinebuster, that JR compares to Arn Anderson. Batista makes the cover but Edge is able to just barely break it up. Batista charges at Edge but he pulls the rope down and the big man goes clumsily to the outside. Jericho slides in the ring and hooks the tights of Edge for the roll-up. Edge kicks out at two and the match continues. Jericho lays Edge out with a running bulldog and when Batista is back on the apron, Jericho springboards off the ropes to knock him back off with an enziguri. The distraction allows Edge to ambush Jericho with a Spear and goes for the cover. The ref counts the three and Edge is the second person to successfully defend the IC Title at SummerSlam, the first being Shawn Michaels in his iconic 1995 Ladder Match against Razor Ramon. This was the first appearance at SummerSlam for Batista and the match made for a good debut. If you were unsure of the winner going in, I think it would have been hard to predict the winner throughout the match. Each individual did a good job of keeping you on your toes. A match that is worth the watch. Match Time:8:26
Tazz and Michael Cole are quick to announce the next match that features Kurt Angle squaring off against Eddie Guerrero. This feud has been going on since Eddie beat Kurt at WrestleMania XX to retain the WWE Championship. We get a package that shows this and it also shows how Kurt cost Eddie the title when he interfered in his cage match versus JBL. Kurt ran out, dressed as a Luchador, and stopped Eddie from stopping JBL from exiting. This feud had a well done build-up and lets hope the match is the same. The challenger Kurt Angle enters first and the Canadian fans can’t even give up a “You Suck” chant. Kurt is joined by Luther Reigns. Luther was a wrester who hung around the WWE for sometime but never amounted to much. Eddie enters next and for the second year in a row he is driving a Low Rider out in a SummerSlam. This obviously draws a nice pop from the fans.
The collar and elbow is how the match begins and they then transition into various wrestling holds. They go back and forth for some time with no one really gaining an edge. They separate and return to their corners as if to restart the match. Eddie and Kurt again tie-up and this time Eddie gains the advantage with a side headlock. Kurt reverses out of it and into a wrist lock. The match is very technical early on, and I would expect no different from these two Hall of Famers. The escape is made when Guerrero lifts Kurt and slams him with the fireman’s carry. Now it is Kurt who is tied up with an armbar. After Eddie transitions to a hammerlock, Angle escapes and hits a German suplex. When he holds on and attempts the second one, Eddie escapes and applies the ankle lock onto him. It is locked in the center of the ring but after some time Angle rolls over and gouges the eyes of Guerrero. Kurt Angle delivers a sly Angle Slam, that no one sees coming, and instead of going for the cover, Kurt pulls the straps of his singlet down. It is now Kurt’s turn to apply the Ankle Lock and it takes some real work for Guerrero to escape this one. This is when we see Angle untie the boot of Guerrero. After some struggle he finally finds the ropes but it still takes the official to break the hold. While the ref pulls Angle away, Luther uses this window to deliver a boot to the head of Eddie Guerrero. Kurt locks the hold right back in but can’t fully get it because Eddie is holding onto his leg for dear life. Once again Eddie finds the ropes and once again it takes the official to break the hold. Kurt continues to work the ankle even wrapping it around the ring post.
Eddie tries to gain some momentum at every opportunity but whenever he lands a few punches, Angle takes him right back to the mat and works the ankle. Angle applies a headlock but Eddie slowly manages to rise to his feet. He escapes the hold by nailing Angle with a jawbreaker and is quick to scoop up Angle and hit him with his own finisher, the Angle Slam. This leaves both men on the mat as the ref starts his count. The official counts to six before they rise to their feet and this is where you can see that Eddie’s boot is completely unlaced. Latino Heat delivers a series of right hands and before he delivers the last one, which takes Angle off his feet, he does a nice little shimmy. Eddie nails the Three Amigos next, which is a triple inverted suplex, and then struggles to climb to the top turnbuckle. Kurt runs to meet him up there and throws him over his head with an under hooked toss. Cool spot here. Kurt tries for the cover, but the Latino Heat isn’t quite snuffed yet. Kurt pops to his feet and tries the Angle Slam. Eddie counters it and transitions it into a tornado DDT. Eddie Guerrero goes up top again and comes off with his patented frogsplash. Kurt manages to roll from harms way and both men again slowly rise to their feet. Kurt strikes first and delivers the Angle Slam. He goes for the cover, but again Guerrero still isn’t finished. Kurt now has a crazed look in his eyes as he applies the Ankle Lock again. He rips the boot from Eddie’s ankle and applies it to the exposed foot. Guerrero somehow manages to escape by pulling the ref into Angle. This leaves all three individuals prone on the mat. Eddie takes advantage of the downed ref and smashes his boot into Angle’s face. When Luther Reigns jumps onto the apron, Guerrero doesn’t hesitate and knock him back off it with the boot. Eddie lays back on the mat and when the ref regains awareness he hops right back to his feet. Great spot here by Guerrero. Eddie Guerrero goes up top once again and this time he nails the perfectly executed frogsplash. He goes for the cover but Angle isn’t done yet. Eddie begins to argue with the ref over the close call and this is when Angle strikes. Angle grabs the unbooted ankle of Eddie, applies the lock and after some struggle, he taps out. There isn’t much more to say about this match then go watch it on the Network. It’s worth it. Match Time:13:38
The package for the next match shows how Triple H and Eugene formed their bond. Triple H makes the feeble minded Eugene a honorary member of Evolution because Triple H is his favorite wrestler. This is all part of Hunter’s master plan to have him interfere at Vengeance and cost Chris Benoit the Title. This doesn’t go as planed and Eugene accidentally hits Triple H with a chairshot and costs him the match. Triple H and the other Evolution members fake an apology on RAW before they destroy Eugene. They hit him with all the finishes and even draw some color from Eugene. Triple H then goes on to beat up his mentor, William Regal, with the patented sledgehammer. Once again we get some color, this time from Regal. These events lead to Eric Bischoff granting Triple H with this match.
The Game, Triple H, enters first and he is spitting water everywhere, per usual. The Evolution leader spits some more water from the apron and hits the turnbuckle before Eugene’s theme begins. As he makes his way to the ring the crowd is giving him a pretty warm welcome. As soon as the bell sounds the two go to work by exchanging punches. Triple H gets first advantage after a knee to the midsection and continues to stomp away on Eugene. It isn’t long before Eugene reverses an Irish whip and catches Hunter with a back elbow. A back body drop is next from Eugene and the crowd gives him a standing ovation for this. They soon find themselves on the outside and Triple H grips Lillian Garcia, who is sitting in the timekeeper’s area, and uses her as a shield. Triple H eventually shoves her to the floor, and when Eugene tries to help her, Triple H ambushes him. Triple H returns Eugene to the ring and proceeds to stomp a mudhole into him. Not long after that, Triple H re-exits the ring and begins to dismantle the Spanish announce table. After he finishes, Hunter grabs Eugene on the apron as if he is going to powerplex him over the ropes and through the table. Eugene overpowers him and Triple H is suplexed into the ring instead. After Eugene pounds Triple H with the ten count in the corner, Triple H is asking as if his knee has given out. When Eugene gives him some space to try and recover we see that it was all a work and Hunter ambushes Eugene. The ref is about to stop the fight, due to Hunter’s “injury”, when he strikes Eugene and throws him from the ring.
Triple H doesn’t waste any time returning Eugene to the ring. Once back inside, Triple H hits him with a pair of backbreakers. This is when we hear, what I interpreted as, “Eugene Sucks” chants from the fans and Eugene attempts to rally. Eugene hits a headbutt and follows it by leveling Triple H with a shoulder block. The crowd is really booing Eugene at this point and this is when the term “Bizarro World” is coined. Lawler is shocked by this crowds reactions and rightfully so. A crowd should respond any way that they choose, but they still don’t usually go against the grain. This is more common nowadays and the fans aren’t afraid to boo the leading BabyFace. Right Roman? Eugene stomps a mudhole but when he walks away Triple H rise to his knees and pleads for mercy. Eugene looks confused because Triple H is offering him a handshake. But when Eugene takes Hunter’s hand instead of shaking it he pulls Hunter in for the Rock Bottom. He slams Triple H to the mat and now the crowd wants to cheer him. The faces Eugene makes when he is setting up the People’s Elbow next are hilarious. When Eugene returns off the ropes Triple H hops to his feet and slams him with a spinebuster. Triple H then chokes Eugene until the ref forces the break. Hunter reapplies it three times in a row but he breaks every time the ref counts three. I am always a fan of spots like this because I think it really helps to tell the Heels story in the ring. Triple H takes Eugene outside next and whips him into the ring stairs. Lawler has a great line here, saying “Eugene wasn’t even his moms favorite. And he was an only child.” Classic King here and the banter throughout the whole show between him and JR is great.
Triple H returns Eugene to the ring and is really working him with punches. Eugene tries to slow the Cerebral Assassin but this is quickly stopped and Eugene finds himself in a sleeper hold. Eugene rallies free and the crowd really doesn’t like this. When he comes off the ropes Triple H is there in waiting to drive a boot into Eugene’s midsection. When Hunter grabs Eugene for The Pedigree the crowd explodes and they are really behind the Heel here. Eugene counters it though with a back body drop, and the fans are right back to booing. Triple H bounces Eugene’s head off of each turnbuckle, but Eugene seems to “Hulk-Up” more and more after each one. After the last one he is fully charged and starts to hit Triple H with some right hands. The last one he throws, which JR calls “A Kerry Von Erich discuss lariat”, takes Hunter off his feet. Triple H tries to kick Eugene in the midsection to slow him, but Eugene catches his foot. When Eugene flips him the bird and hits the Stone Cold Stunner, the crowd erupts and now wants to cheer him. After this is when we see The Nature Boy, Ric Flair enter the arena. He is strutting down the aisle and this distracts Eugene. Hunter tries to attack him from behind, but Eugene is quick to counter the punch. He catches Hunter with the big boot and the fans know what is coming next as Eugene starts to do some Hulk Hogan poses. Eugene drops the leg and the fans erupt as he goes for the cover. The Hulk Hogan spot was a cool homage to WrestleMania 3, that took place in Toronto which is where Hogan famously dropped the leg on Andre the Giant.
Triple H kicks it out and Ric Flair is now up on the apron. Eugene is quick to knock Ric off the apron and climb to the top turnbuckle. Eugene comes off the top with an ax handle but Triple H meets him with a boot to the gut. Triple H grabs Eugene up for a Pedigree, but Eugene is able to pull H’s legs out. He then catapults Hunter into the turnbuckle. Eugene hits Triple H with his own Pedigree and goes for the cover. It appears as Eugene is going to get the three count, but Ric Flair puts Triple H’s foot onto the ropes. This forces the ref to stop the count, but Eugene is celebrating as if he has won. Flair grabs the foot of Eugene which leads to the ref banning Ric from ringside. Flair heads to the back but is pretty pissed about it. But before he exits, Regal appears behind him and has the brass knuckles. As soon as Flair spins around he gets leveled by the knucks. Eugene is watching this and cheering Regal on. Regal is telling Eugene to turn around though because Triple H has risen to his feet and is standing behind him. When Eugene turns around he is met with The Pedigree and Regal cant make it in the ring quick enough to stop the count. The ref counts three and the fans are unsure if like this or not. The match was good, but the finish sucked. Eugene was an alright gimmick, as he was a life long wrestling fan and used his favorite wrestler’s finishes. The crowd here is really strange and the term “Bizarro World” is first used in the wrestling business here. This is different than the “Bizarro World” of today though, because today the fans seem to boo whoever they feel is getting the forced push by the WWE Machine. Back at this time they were cheering for one of the biggest cogs in said Machine, Triple H. Match Time:14:06
Jonathon Coachman welcomes us in to the segment that was rated number two by the fans as the best “match” of SummerSlam 2004 on WWE.com, Diva Dodgeball. When I did my research for this SummerSlam I came across a few rumors that this thing wasn’t scripted and quickly turned into a shoot game. We are introduced to Team Dream first. These are the women competing in the Diva search. Team Diva is next out and they are made up of current Diva’s on the roster. Trish Stratus is the captain and she is joined by Molly Holly, Jazz, Stacy Kiebler, Gail Kim, Nidia and finally, Victoria. Team Dream mops the floor with The Divas and win with five members of their team left. After the game Trish and Victoria get into a tussle and I’ve read that this to was a shoot and wasn’t part of the plan.
Tazz and Cole introduce us to the next match between The Undertaker and John “Bradshaw” Layfield, and we get a Tale of the Tape before it. The Undertaker’s card has a graphic that says “12-0 at WrestleMania” and I’m curious if this is when they first started to mention The Streak. The lights go black when we enter the arena again and the stage is full of fire and smoke. The bells are tollin’ as The Undertaker of old makes his way to the ring. This was a happy sight for me to see The Deadman version return opposed to the Big Evil version I have gotten in the last few SummerSlams. The WWE Champion, John “Bradshaw” Layfield is introduced but he doesn’t walk out. He is driven out, by his assistant Orlando Jordan, in his white limo that is fully decked out with the bullhorns on the hood.
The opening collar and elbow doesn’t last long because Taker shoves JBL right out of the ring. Taker joins him on the outside and bounces JBL off the steel steps before returning him to the ring. Once inside, The Undertaker goes for his Old School move, the tightrope lariat, but JBL counters with some punches and pounds away on him in the corner. They go back and forth a bit until Bradshaw hits a big sidewalk slam and goes for a cover. Taker is quick to kick-out though, and JBL goes to the top rope. As soon as Taker rises to his feet JBL leaps from the top and takes him back down with a shoulder block. JBL drives an elbow into the chest of the Deadman and goes for another cover, but Taker is again quick to kick-out. The tides shift when JBL goes for a clothesline but Taker ducks it and uses the missed momentum to apply an armbar. The Undertaker continues to work the left arm of JBL and eventually leads him to the corner to try for the Old School again. This time it is a success and the crowd really enjoyed it. Taker goes for a cover after a Russian leg sweep variant, and just when it looks over, Bradshaw grabs the rope. The Deadman wastes no time and is quick to apply a triangle choke, using the left arm for leverage. Just when its starting to look as JBL will tap, Jordan grabs his foot and puts it in the rope. JBL catches Taker with a big boot but he no-sells it and levels JBL with a big boot off his own. Jordan is on the apron and trying to assist JBL but Taker doesn’t want to leave him out of the big boot party and knocks him off the apron with one. When he does this he gets his foot caught on the tope rope and JBL chops his knee out. Bradshaw then slides from the ring and wraps that knee around the ring post. The ref becomes distracted by Orlando Jordan and JBL uses this window of opportunity to deliver a chairshot to the knee of the Deadman. JBL wraps the knee around the pole again, but when he goes for another one, Taker kicks him in the face and escapes. Taker bounces JBL off the ring stairs and he is doing a good job selling the injured knee. When Undertaker goes to strike again, Bradshaw chops the injured leg and brings the Deadman down. Bradshaw returns to the ring and is arguing with the referee. While this is happening Taker is struggling to get to his feet, so Jordan assists him and throws him into the ring.
JBL works the knee and when he locks it up the crowd is electric, and it appears as if they are doing the wave. Taker eventually rolls out of the lock and transitions it into a one legged Boston crab. JBL is fast to find the ropes and break the hold. Undertaker hits JBL with a rolling legbar and that is something I don’t know if I remember Taker doing very often, if ever. The hold is released quickly though, and both men return to their feet to start anew. The Deadman strikes first and his punches send Bradshaw through the ropes and crashing to the floor. The crowd is chanting “Undertaker” now as he suspends the head of JBL off the apron and drives his elbow into it. The Undertaker is on the apron with him now and drops the leg onto the suspended head of JBL. The crowd tune changes here and they are now chanting “Spanish table”. I must say I really enjoyed this chant and it is one that is rarely heard. JBL starts to return to the ring and Taker tries to hurry it along by lifting him by the hair. This backfires and Taker gets hung up on the top rope with a hot shot. JBL takes to the top rope next, but The Undertaker meets him there with his famous uppercuts. Taker then joins him up top and brings JBL slamming to the mat with a superplex. The Undertaker rolls onto JBL for the cover, but he narrowly gets the shoulder up. The crowd returns to booing the false finishes here and its strange because these are what normally draw some of the best pop from the fans. Bizarro indeed. The fist of Undertaker is raised, and he is setting up for the Last Ride. JBL saves himself, though, by chopping the injured knee of Taker and stopping the powerbomb. He works the knee some more before he hammerlocks it. Taker struggles for a minute, but when he reaches up and grabs JBL by the throat the crowd erupts. They both rise to their feet and Taker is still holding the throat of Bradshaw. He is about to lift JBL for the chokeslam but yet again a well timed kick to the knee saves him. JBL comes off the ropes, but Taker meets him with a brutal spinebuster. The Deadman tries for the cover but JBL isn’t done yet, and neither are the fans with their booing of the kick-out.
The men slowly return to their feet and stand toe-to-toe and exchange right hands. The Undertaker wins this battle and hits his flying lariat off the ropes. Taker puts JBL into the corner and is really selling the injured knee as he hits JBL with a sequence of splashes. Taker gives Bradshaw the snake-eyes, and the crowd erupts when The Undertaker hits JBL with his own Clothesline From Hell. But once again, Bradshaw gets a shoulder up to stop the cover attempt. A chokeslam is next, but once again, JBL gets a shoulder up. Taker picks JBL up for the Tombstone Piledriver but has to put him down because Jordan is on the apron. He levels Jordan with an uppercut but when he spins around, Bradshaw destroys him with the Clothesline From Hell. Bradshaw makes the lazy cover and this allows the Deadman to kick-out. The Undertaker whips JBL into the corner but the referee gets in the way and is sandwiched between the turnbuckle and the whipped JBL. Both men then connect the double big boot that lays them both out. When they return to their feet Jordan tosses JBL the Golden Strap and he plants it upside The Undertaker’s head. The ref is still knocked out from the corner bump so when JBL goes for the cover, there is no one to count it. Jordan slides into the ring and uses the referee’s hand to make the count. The fans count along but the Deadman still kicks out. Jordan then attacks The Undertaker but he is quickly countered and thrown from the ring. When Taker turns around he is hit with yet another Clothesline From Hell. JBL then takes him into the corner and begins the ten count. But after only two punches The Undertaker picks him up and delivers the Last Ride. This takes all the Deadman has, and he falls to the mat too. Taker slowly rolls over for the cover, and after a second the ref is stirring and starts the count. But once again JBL gets the shoulder up. And once again the fans boo. Jordan comes into the ring again and this time has the Strap. Taker flattens him with the big boot and the Title is now in the hands of the Deadman. He strikes JBL in the head with it but the ref sees this and rings the bell. And John “Bradshaw” Layfield retains the WWE Championship. The crowd really boos this, but starts to cheer when Taker throws JBL out of the ring. When Taker picks JBL up you can see the blood starting to flow from JBL’s face. Taker then leads him up the ramp and slams him onto his own limousine. After he removed the horns, of course. JBL is left on the hood of the car as The Undertaker starts to leave the arena. There is a cool shot here of Bradshaw laying on the hood with the blood flowing from his face and down the white hood of the car. As The Undertaker is about to leave the arena, he turns around and heads back to the limo. Taker then takes JBL onto the roof of the car and chokeslams him through it. This is a spot that was almost blown by a fan. At some point in the match a fan supposedly jumped the security rail and tried to climb onto the limo. Luckily security caught him first and made the save. If not the fan most certainly would have fell through the roof and ruined the spot. The crowd rewards Taker with some “Holy Shit” chants as he looks over the crowd. This was a great match and was probably my favorite one up until this point. I didn’t even mind the DQ finish. The Undertaker wanted JBL to win the fight clean because he thought it would give JBL’s cowardly character some credibility. Bradshaw was against this, as he thought it would hurt his character more if he went over clean. I think the two real life friends came up with a good finish and I would recommend this match to anyone. The following year The Undertaker would be the Best Man in Bradshaw’s wedding so it makes sense that Taker would try and help put him over. Match Time:17:37
After The Undertaker smears JBL’s blood across his chest and rolls the eyes back he exits the arena. This is when the medical staff enters and put the neck brace onto JBL. This dude has some serious blood flowing at this point and the EMTs do the stretcher job. Jordan stops them to make sure that JBL has the WWE Title before they stretcher him out.
We get Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler back and they introduce us to the last match of the night and the second half of the Co-Main Event. Lawler comments again that “He loves it here in Bizarro Land”. The challenger, Randy Orton, enters through a spark shower, and like most of this event, the crowd doesn’t have much of a response. Orton earned this match by winning a number one contender Battle Royale two weeks prior on RAW. The World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit’s theme cuts Orton’s celebration short, and The Wolverine enters his hometown arena. Once both are in the ring they enter into a vicious stare-off that lasts until the bell rings and they tie-up. Its the usual collar and elbow, but Benoit is quick to push Orton into the corner. He holds Orton there until the ref separates them and we are back to square one. Orton applies the hammerlock next but Benoit is quick to escape and hit Orton with a drop toe hold. Benoit applies a reverse chinlock and starts to work Orton’s neck. Orton eventually stands it up and drives Benoit into the corner. This leads to the ref separating them again and restarting the match. A test of strength is next and just when it looks like Orton is going to overpower Benoit with the Greco-Roman knucklelock, he starts to push back. Benoit takes Orton down with a wristlock and some more hold wrestling continues.
Orton finally escapes the hold and flattens Benoit with a shoulder block. The momentum is swiftly back in Benoit’s favor after he takes Orton back down with an arm drag. And once again Orton is in a wristlock. Orton eventually rises to his feet and escapes with an elbow to the side of Benoit’s head. Orton then whip him into the ropes and gets airborne for a dropkick. Benoit holds the ropes though and Randy lands squarely on his back. Benoit tries for the Sharpshooter but Orton rolls him over. Orton then puts the Sharpshooter onto Benoit. He looks to be in trouble but he overpowers Orton and it is now Orton who is in the Sharpshooter. Just when Orton is about to get the ropes Benoit breaks the hold and tries to apply the Crippler Crossface. Orton and Benoit roll together, to the outside, and Orton soon slams Benoit into the ring pole. Orton slams Benoit into the pole one more time before he returns him to the ring. Randy is quick to go for the cover and use the ropes for leverage. Before the ref even starts the count he notices the cheating efforts of Orton. Orton then starts to really wrench on the elbow of Benoit with an armbar hybrid. They eventually return to their feet but Orton maintains the advantage by suplexing Benoit onto the top rope. This leaves Benoit on the apron Orton soon joins him out there but after Benoit delivers a few kicks to his midsection, he finds himself getting DDTed onto the apron. Benoit returns him to the ring and is fast on the cover attempt. When Orton kicks out at two the crowd is still booing it. Orton rolls from the ring to recover but Benoit runs and baseball slides Orton. This sends him crashing into the apron and Benoit is soon leaping through the ropes for the suicide dive. Benoit is cruising and when Orton moves he drives his head right into the security wall. Vicious bump here and I rewound it a few times, I must confess. Orton rolls the dazed Benoit back into the ring and goes for the cover but Benoit narrowly gets the shoulder up.
Orton applies a chinlock next with one hand while he clubs Benoit’s chest with the other. Orton puts Benoit in a side camel clutch next and even pulls Benoit’s hair for leverage. Benoit eventually stand it up and tries to escape with some elbows to Orton’s midsection. Orton lets him go but nails him with a European Uppercut. Orton then picks Benoit up onto his shoulder for a backbreaker but when he brings Benoit down he transitions into a cutter. Cool spot here. The crowd erupts for this but when Benoit kicks out of the cover attempt their right back to booing. Orton works the side headlock next but Benoit slowly rises to his feet and escapes with elbows. They both hit the ropes and go airborne and collide mid-air with the double crossbody. These leaves both men prone for a moment as the official starts his count. They make it to their feet around the six count ad begin to trade punches. Orton hits the ropes but Chris levels him with a series of shoulder blocks. Benoit then throws Orton sky-high for a back body drop. The northern lights suplex is next but Orton manages to barely kick-out. Benoit then puts Orton onto the top turnbuckle and joins him up there. This soon backfires and Orton shoves Benoit to the mat. When Benoit rises to his feet dazed Orton leaps from the top rope to nail the crossbody. He hooks the tights and rolls Benoit up but the cheating avails him nothing and Benoit kicks out. Orton goes for the RKO but Benoit shoves him away and into the ropes. When Orton comes back off the ropes Benoit flattens him with a clothesline. After a German suplex, Benoit is quick to apply the Sharpshooter. Just when Orton looks like he is out of it he come back to life and gets the bottom rope. Benoit holds the waist of Orton tight and deliver six German suplexs in a row and he doesn’t let go until the last one. Impressive stuff by Benoit here. Benoit does the “throat slit” and goes to the top turnbuckle. The crowd is going nuts when he comes off it for the diving headbutt but Orton meets his forehead with his feet. When you watch Benoit’s matches back under a microscope you see this guy take some serious head bumps. I know it is a touchy subject but the stuff this guy subjected his body to is just plain nuts.
The ref again starts count and Orton eventually rolls over to make the cover. When Benoit kicks out at two he is quick to lock Orton into the Crippler Crossface. Orton eventually rolls out of it and when they rise to their feet Orton is quick to strike with the RKO. Orton hooks the leg and the fans count along as the ref counts the three. And Randy Orton is the new World Heavyweight Champion and the youngest to ever do so at the age of 24. This victory would unseat Brock Lesnar, who was the former bearer of that record. A look of complete shock comes over Randy Orton’s face as he is handed the Title and begins to celebrate. Some say that the reason the record was taken from Lesnar is because they had soured on him for leaving the company. This is funny seeing as were we are today. The match was fantastic and the story was great. It is a shame that the career of Benoit is tainted with such tragedy because in the ring he was amazing. Match Time:20:10
Well that concludes another edition of The Chairshot Classic and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I really enjoyed this whole card and the three must see matches for me are Taker/JBL, Benoit/Orton and the probably the opening Six man tag match. As I always like to do at the end of these, lets see what Dave Meltzer had to say of it. These star ratings were gathered from www.profightdb.com. Dave was really impressed with the Orton/Benoit bout and gave it four and a half stars. If you use the Tokyo scale and convert that it is a solid six I’m sure. The only other match to break a three was the Guerrero/Angle match. To steal a line from Bruce Prichard here, on Dave’s analysis of this PPV, “Fuck Dave Meltzer.”
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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!
As we approach the 2020 edition of WWE TLC, we look back at one from the past featuring a very different Sheamus against a very different Roman Reigns!
As we get closer to closing the book on 2018, we’re approaching WWE’s December pay-per-view TLC, so today we’re looking back at one from the past with TLC 2015! After cashing in Money In The Bank on Roman Reigns after a grueling tournament to crown a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Sheamus must now face Reigns fair and square in a TLC Match! Let’s get into the action…
Kickoff Show Match: Sasha Banks w/Naomi & Tamina vs. Becky Lynch
Collar & elbow tie-up to kick things off, Sasha with a side headlock, Becky counters into one of her own, Banks attempts to roll her away, but Lynch hangs on. The Boss reverses an irish whip to the corner, charges in and scores with a monkey flip into a cover, celebrates a little early and Becky rolls her up for a quick 2. Banks tries to pick the leg, Becky counters and gains a side headlock, Sasha pushing her to the ropes and scoring with a shoulder knockdown for a count of 2. Back to the ropes they go, The Boss tries a leapfrog, Lynch hooks the leg and Banks faceplants into the canvas, The Lass Kicker looking for the Dis-Arm-Her, but Sasha squirms to the ropes to escape.
Lynch tries to slingshot The Boss to the mat, Sasha lands on her feet and connects with a big forearm, rushes in and gets caught in an armbar. She pushes Becky off to the ropes, follows in and Lynch with an armdrag, going right back to the armbar. Banks attempts to roll her away, Becky maintaining the hold, ducks a right hand and rolls Banks up for multiple 1 counts, then slaps the armbar back on. The Boss creates some separation with stiff forearms, sends Lynch to the corner and charges in, The Lass Kicker hopping up and over, controlling Sasha with another armbar. The Boss backs her into the corner using the hair, briefly breaks clean and tries to sneak in a forearm, Becky avoids it and connects with a springboard kick.
Naomi climbs to the apron and gets dropped back down for her troubles, Lynch turns back to The Boss and rushes in, Sasha side-steps and Becky hits the ring post shoulder-first. Banks planks her across the middle rope and drops down the double knees, taking control as we head to a break….The Boss chokes Lynch on the bottom rope when we come back, Tamina with a cheap shot behind the official’s back. The Lass Kicker tries to battle back with forearms, sends Sasha to the ropes for a clothesline, Banks counters into a tilt-a-whirl and cracks her with a backstabber. She rolls through, crosses Becky’s arms across her faces and wrenches back, grinding Lynch down to the canvas.
The Lass Kicker powers to her feet with Banks on her shoulders The Boss turns it into a victory roll for a near fall, Becky with a roll-up off the kick-out and she gets 2. She catches Banks rushing in with another roll-up for 2, drops The Boss face-first on the 2nd turnbuckle, then builds momentum with a flurry of clotheslines and a heel kick. She drops a leg, tries for another and Sasha avoids it, planting her with a cross-arm neckbreaker, covering numerous times and only getting 2 counts. The Boss slaps Lynch in the face, Becky comes back with a heavy shot, pushes Sasha to the ropes and throws her with a LassPlex, Banks grabbing the bottom rope at a count of 2.
Sasha kicks her way back to her feet, Becky takes her down with an armwhip, slaps on a cross armbreaker, The Boss tries to roll her way out and Lynch hangs on for the Dis-Arm-Her. Banks switches the momentum into a roll-up for 2, The Lass Kicker hangs onto the arm on the kick-out, going right back to the Dis-Arm-Her, Tamina getting to the apron to distract the referee, allowing Naomi to sneak in and kick Lynch in the face. The Boss takes the opening and scores with the backstabber, rolls through into the Bank Statement and Lynch is forced to tap.
Winner: Sasha Banks (Bank Statement)
- EA’s Take: Solid showing on our Kickoff match from both ladies, The Boss getting the big win in her hometown with help from the unity of Team B.A.D. Becky’s in an odd spot right now, seemingly playing the 3rd wheel between her former Team PCB members, Paige & Charlotte. With performances like this it will be very difficult to keep Becky & Sasha near the bottom tier of the Divas division for much longer, especially if the “We Want Sasha” chants continue.
Open: After Seth Rollins cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase at WrestleMania, Roman Reigns’ luck as it pertains to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship has been less than stellar. He finally reached the mountaintop at Survivor Series, winning a tournament to gain the vacant title, only to have Sheamus cash in his Money In The Bank and steal the championship. Tonight, Roman looks for revenge with tables, ladders and chairs.
Match #1 – Triple Threat Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships: WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) w/Xavier Woods vs. Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
Xavier joins commentary for this match, the bell rings and the brawl is on, Jimmy & Sin Cara send Big E to the ropes, Jimmy drops down and Sin Cara scores with a dropkick. Jey, Kalisto & Kofi attempt to bring ladders in, Big E clears the ring, pushes back on Kalisto & Jey, then pulls Kingston’s ladder inside. New Day stand it up and start to climb, The Usos are there to meet them, toss Kofi outside and then pair-off with Big E & Sin Cara. Kingston & Kalisto climb up opposite sides of the apron, springboard into the ring and land on their feet on the ladder.
The Usos playing defense, everyone takes a turn climbing up with no success. Big E & Kofi get thrown outside, climbs to the 2nd rope on the apron and fly with synchronized moonsaults to New Day. The Usos grab the ladder in the ring, knock The Lucha Dragons off the apron with it, then throw it outside, New Day & Luchas catching it in the air. The Usos hit the ropes and take flight with crossbody planchas onto the ladder, taking all 4 of their opponents out. They head back in and set the ladder up under the titles, Kingston slides in, hops through the middle of the ladder for a dropkick, gets his feet caught and The Usos dump him over the top to the floor. Big E rolls in behind them, pushes the ladder into The Usos and sends Jimmy flying outside.
Kofi smashes him with a ladder as Big E stomps a hole into Jey in the corner, Kingston comes in and they sandwich him behind the ladder. Big E whips Kingston in for a basement dropkick, Jimmy rolls inside and gets caught, E tossing him onto the ladder with an overhead belly to belly suplex. The Dragons are back in the ring and clock Kingston with another ladder, attempt to smash Big E, but he powers them back to the corner. Kalisto climbs to the top, hops through the ladder and lands on Big E with a seated senton, Kofi gets to his feet and drills him with a superkick. Sin Cara goes to the 2nd rope with the ladder, Kingston scales up to meet him, gets knocked down and Sin Cara rides the ladder down into a splash on him.
He takes The Usos out on the outside with a baseball slide into a ladder, hits the ropes and jumps onto the ladder on the floor with a somersault senton on Jimmy & Jey. Kalisto spears Big E with a ladder back inside, sets it up over his prone body and starts the climb up, Big E benchpressing him up, but Sin Cara hops on it to bring it back down. E benchpresses it again with both Luchas on it, Sin Cara falls and gets hanged on the top rope, The Usos slide in and Kalisto jumps off with a crossbody. Jimmy & Jey catch him in the air, Jey plants him with a spinning side slam, then they drop Big E with a double superkick. The Usos prop him in the corner and sandwich him with a ladder, Kingston comes in for a save and gets leveled, Jimmy & Jey charging into the corner with a dropkick to the ladder.
Kofi comes to and elevates Jimmy to the outside, Jey pulls a smaller ladder into the ring, slams Kingston on it then heads up top. Kingston crotches him on the top turnbuckle, climbs up and gets sent back down, getting his foot caught in the ropes and hanging in the tree of woe. Jimmy passes a ladder to Jey and he hammers Kingston, holds it in front of Kofi and Jimmy charges in with the hip attack. The Usos are alone in the ring now, stand a ladder up, The Dragons are their to meet them and we get a staredown before everyone takes a shot at climbing. Sin Cara assists Kalisto into a senton on Jimmy, they place a ladder over his body and Sin Cara flips his partner into a 450 splash on top.
Lucha Dragons now holding the ring and starting to ascend the ladder, Kofi’s back in to lay them out with forearms, then planks another ladder between the ropes and the standing ladder. He attempts to drive Kalisto into it, Kalisto slides under, pushes the ladder into Kingston’s ribs, springs off of it with a hurricanrana and Kofi hits the ladder head-first, spilling to the floor. Kalisto heads up after the titles, The Usos hit the ring climbing up opposite sides, Sin Cara pulls Jimmy down to the canvas as Kalisto is sent down as well. Kalisto springs back up, climbs over Jey, hooks him for Salida Del Sol and they both go crashing through the planked ladder. Sin Cara climbs upstairs and follows with a somersault senton.
Kalisto & Jimmy drag themselves up the ladder and reach for the championships, Kalisto gets knocked down and Jimmy’s all alone. Big E hits the ring to make the save, pulling him down and pushing the ladder over, looks to toss Jimmy to the floor, but he turns tables and E is sent outside. Jimmy attempts a suicide dive and runs into a forearm, E grabs a ladder to bring into the ring and Jimmy hits with a baseball slide. He looks to the corner, scales to the top rope and jumps to the floor onto the ladder, squashing Big E with the Uso Splash. Kalisto stirs around in the squared circle and drags himself up the ladder, Woods leaves commentary, grabs the trombone and throws it into Kalisto’s back, Kingston quickly sliding in and flipping him off the ladder to the mat. Kofi climbs up, unhooks the titles and The New Day retains.
Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day
- EA’s Take: Wow, the tag division just spat on the rest of the roster and proclaimed “Follow that!” with this match. Amazing high-spots and some pretty innovative stuff here, Kalisto’s Salida Del Sol being the showstealer. This is going to be very difficult for anyone to measure up to the rest of the night and we’re just getting started. I think it’s a little odd that New Day retained, they’re starting to run out of babyface challengers at this point after running through everyone for the majority of 2015. Unless someone’s getting called up from NXT, they may end up having to turn themselves.
Match #2: Rusev w/Lana vs. Ryback
Rusev jumps Ryback right at the bell, clobbers him in the back and whips him to the ropes, The Big Guy hanging on and catching Rusev coming in with a back elbow. He sends The Bulgarian Brute to the outside after a shoulder tackle, follows him out and drives Rusev into the barricade before rolling him back in. The Big Guy heads up top and scores with a double axe handle, presses Rusev over his head, drops him face-first and follows with a splash for a count of 2. He rams The Bulgarian Brute back into the corner and fires away, climbs to the 2nd rope for right hands, Rusev powers him out and drops him on the ropes with a hot shot.
He takes control and chokes Ryback on the bottom rope, rams him head-first into the top turnbuckle and drives shoulders to the solarplexes, flattening The Big Guy with a short-arm clothesline. Rusev grabs the neck with a nervehold to ground Ryback, The Big Guy fights to a vertical base, gets clubbed in the back and The Bulgarian Brute hooks him for a vertical suplex. Ryback blocks and they trade suplex attempts back and forth, The Big Guy finally plants Rusev and starts to build a head of steam with multiple shoulder blocks. He squashes The Bulgarian Brute in the corner, Rusev reverses a whip across, charges in and runs into a boot, Ryback following up with a 2nd rope dropkick that gets a 2 count.
The Big Guy’s ready to finish it, picks Rusev up and gets driven into the corner, The Bulgarian Brute attempting a splash, but Ryback side-steps and goes to the top rope. He connects with a crossbody that gains a near fall, drops the straps and sets Rusev in his crosshairs for a Meat Hook. The Bulgarian Brute wisely rolls out of the ring and walks off with Lana at his side, Ryback giving chase up the aisle and brings him back by the hair. Rusev breaks the grip with a back elbow, he pushes The Big Guy and he falls back, running into Lana and sending her down. Ryback is distracted, turns around and gets clocked by a superkick, Lana springing to her feet and celebrating after deceiving The Big Guy.
The Bulgarian Brute rolls Ryback in the squared circle and covers for 2, calls for The Accolade, but The Big Guy blocks it, powering to his feet with Rusev on his shoulders for Shellshocked. Rusev slips out of it, scores with a roundhouse to the head, locks in The Accolade to a knocked out Ryback and the official calls for the bell.
Winner: Rusev (The Accolade)
- EA’s Take: Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that this was a bad match. It’s just that…who cares? The story was a little absurd heading into it and both of these guys have really fallen off the map in comparison to where they were at the height of their WWE runs thus far. Ryback is still missing something, it’s tough to put my finger on exactly what it is. It’s certainly not his ability, which you can also say about Rusev as well.
Backstage: Dean Ambrose warms up for his match when Roman Reigns comes in. He tells Dean he was just speaking to The Usos and it’s down to them tonight to hold it down for the family. Reigns is excited for tonight, describing how good it will feel to regain the WWE Title and put a hole in Sheamus’ head with a ladder. Win, lose or draw, tonight’s about making a statement. Ambrose says he had a different vision and that’s for both of them to be standing in the ring later as champions.
Match #3 – Chairs Match for the WWE United States Championship: WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
Ringside is littered with set-up chairs, both guys slide out to the floor after a chair at the bell, roll back in and the duel is on. They drop the chairs and Swagger hits a clothesline, the champion rolls to the outside, The Real American in pursuit and Del Rio tries to drive him into the post, only to get rammed into the steel instead. The challenger bounces Alberto’s head off a chair multiple times, back into the ring they go and The Real American looks for the Swagger Bomb, El Patron sticking a chair up and catches him in the throat. The champion scores with a clothesline that gets 1, sends Swagger sternum-first into the turnbuckles, then rams the chair to the ribs and smacks it over his back.
He props the chair flat between the ropes in the corner, the challenger firing away with right hands, Alberto reverses a whip into the chair, The Real American puts on the brakes to avoid it, but Del Rio makes him pay with a backstabber for a count of 2. El Patron hammers the challenger in the back with a chair, sets his sights on a superkick, but Swagger is able to throw the chair in his face to avoid it. He ducks a clothesline, hits the ropes for one of his own, follows with another, then connects with two more in the corners. The Real American wants the Swagger Bomb again, Del Rio gets the feet up, Swagger catches the foot and goes for the Patriot Lock, but the champion is able to kick him away. Swagger rushes right back in and is split with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall, tosses The Real American out to the floor, then throws a pile of chairs onto him.
He sends the challenger back in the squared circle and covers for 2, calls for the Cross Armbreaker, Swagger counters out and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post, follows with a roll-up and nearly gets the 3 count. The Real American pounds Del Rio’s back with a chair, wraps his ankle in it and slaps on the Patriot Lock, the champion crawling to grabs the apron, but there’s no breaks in this match. El Patron works his way out of the ring using the ring skirting, Swagger ducks his head out to grab the champion and takes a chair shot to the breadbasket. Alberto heads upstairs with a chair-in-hand, The Real American catches him coming down with a slam, finally hits the Swagger Bomb and Del Rio kicks at 2.
The challenger slides to the outside and sends a handful of chairs into the ring, pummels Alberto in the back again, then props him on the top turnbuckle and climbs up. The champion pushes him away, picks the arm and hangs over the ropes with the Cross Armbreaker, releasing the hold on his own accord. He heads back inside and unleashes a barrage of chair shots to the back in the corner, stacks the chairs up under Swagger, climbs up top and delivers tree of woe double stomp for the 1-2-3.
Winner and STILL WWE United States Champion: Alberto Del Rio (Tree Of Woe Double Stomp)
- EA’s Take: Brutal, physical match between two of the better technicians in the company, showing they can also deliver a good brawl. The chairs were really used to perfection and were a real focal point of the match, which is what you’d expect from a chairs match. I get that Swagger & Del Rio have a history, so it only makes sense for The Real American to be one of the first challengers to Alberto’s title. I just don’t like that I’m supposed to take Swagger as a serious contender after months and months of being relegated to Superstars, most of the time on the losing end.
Chairshot Classics: 2015 WWE Hell In A Cell
With WWE Hell In A Cell 2020 looming, Eric takes a look back at the 2015 edition featuring The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar inside the Cell!
With WWE Hell In A Cell 2020 looming, Eric takes a look back at the 2015 edition featuring The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar inside the Cell!
Before you get to Sasha vs Bayley, Roman vs Jey and Drew vs Randy, check out the happenings of the 2015 version of WWE Hell In A Cell, emanating from the Staples Center in Los Angeles!
Kickoff Show Match: Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro & Neville vs. Rusev, King Barrett & ‘Mr. Money In The Bank’ Sheamus
Stardust & The Ascension are sitting at ringside again with a “Stardust Section” sign. The Man That Gravity Forgot & The Celtic Warrior to kick things off, collar & elbow, Sheamus powers Neville into the corner and goes to the midsection. He whips him into the ropes, Neville slides through the legs and scores with a flurry of kicks, misses a dropkick, then slips out of a slam attempt for an enzuigiri. Cesaro gets the tag, slams Sheamus, goes to all fours and Neville jumps off his back into a corkscrew splash on Mr. MITB that gets 2 for The Swiss Superman. He quick tags back out to Neville, Sheamus sends him hard into the corner and brings in Barrett.
The King fires away a headbutt, quick tags out to Rusev and The Bulgarian Brute pummels The Man That Gravity Forgot. The Celtic Warrior off the tag with more heavy shots, Neville tries to battle back, but Sheamus catches him for a suplex. The Man That Gravity Forgot counters and lands on his feet, gets the tag to Ziggler and he comes in on fire, dropping Mr. MITB with a jumping clothesline. The Show Off splashes Sheamys in the corner, drops him with a neckbreaker and plants an elbow drop to the chest. Dolph knocks Rusev & Barrett off the apron, goes for a Fameasser, The Celtic Warrior catches him into a powerbomb, but Ziggler with a reversal back into the Fameasser for a near fall. Barrett slides in and distracts the ref, Rusev coming in from behind and decapitates Dolph with a superkick, Mr. MITB slides over into a cover and Ziggler kicks out at 2 as we go to break…
The King controls The Show Off with a rear chinlock when we come back, Dolph tries to gain his footing and gets slammed to the canvas by the hair. Barrett maintains control, posting his knee to Ziggler’s spine and wrenching back on the arms. The Show Off powers to a vertical base, gets sent into the corner, tries to hop over a charging Barrett and takes a kick to the midsection for 2. Sheamus off the tag with stiff right hands, The Bulgarian Brute takes a turn and stomps away at Ziggler in the corner. He eggs The Show Off on to make a tag, but unloads with clubbing blows when Dolph reaches out. Rusev scores with a kick to the back for a count of 2, The Celtic Warrior re-enters the match and plants Ziggler with a release vertical suplex before going to a rear chinlock.
Dolph battles to his feet and spikes Sheamus with a jumping DDT, Rusev gets a tag and barely prevents Ziggler from making it to his corner. He props The Show Off up in the corner, runs to the other side to build a head of steam and goes to splash Dolph, but misses and hits the ring post. Barrett gets a tag as Cesaro enters, he drops Sheamus off the apron with a big boot, then unleashes a series of running uppercuts to the King, going from corner to corner. The Swiss Superman levels Barrett with a running big boot, the King reverses a whip into the ropes and Cesaro flips himself out to the apron, lifting a boot to Barrett’s face. The King Of Swing jumps onto Sheamus from the apron with a somersault senton, runs around ringside and unloads an uppercut to Rusev, then back around to deliver one to Mr. MITB.
Cesaro heads to the top rope, connects with a crossbody back in the ring to Barrett, but only gets a 2 count. The Swiss Superman calls for the Cesaro Swing, Rusev slides in to stop it and takes a back body drop. Neville hits the ring, Cesaro tells him to hit the ropes and sends The Man That Gravity Forgot to the outside onto Sheamus & Rusev. Barrett sets for the Bullhammer behind Cesaro, Dolph slides in and hits a superkick, Cesaro puts him in the swing and Neville tags to finish the King with the Red Arrow.
Winners: Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro & Neville (Neville/Red Arrow)
- EA’s Take: GREAT opening contest here, the babyfaces get the win, but Cesaro looks like a million bucks coming out of this. I would have preferred to see the heels win with help from either Stardust at ringside or Tyler Breeze, generally I prefer to advance a story when it comes to who wins matches. Certainly one of the better kickoff show matches I can remember seeing though.
Open: “Hell comes in many forms.” Tonight, Seth Rollins looks to hang on to his WWE World Heavyweight Title, while Kane looks to keep his job as Director Of Operations. After a controversial finish at SummerSlam, Brock Lesnar & The Undertaker walk into Hell In A Cell seeking revenge in the final chapter of their rivalry. “It all ends…in hell.”
In The Arena: WWE United States Champion John Cena heads to the squared circle to a chorus of boos. The champ says he had a long winded speech, but it sounds like everyone’s ready to get down to business. The US Open Challenge starts….now. Zeb Colter comes out on a motorized scooter, talking about how some people like Cena and some people don’t. He calls Cena a divider and it’s time for people from all different countries and backgrounds to come together. More importantly, it’s time for John to lose the US Title to this man…
Match #1 for the WWE United States Championship: WWE United States Champion John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio w/Zeb Colter
Collar & elbow tie-up to start, Cena goes to a side headlock, Del Rio pushes him into the ropes and John scores with a shoulder knockdown. They lock-up again, Alberto grabs a side headlock this time, Cena pushes him into the ropes, leapfrogs over and Del Rio with a kick to the leg that forces John to regroup outside. Loud dueling Cena chants as John goes to the striking game, firing away with right hands in the corner, whips Del Rio across, charges in and Alberto side-steps, going into an armdrag and holding an armbar. Alberto goes back to a leg kick, Cena crawls to the 2nd rope, Del Rio attempts a running senton and misses, spilling to the outside. The champ rolls Alberto back inside, charges at him and Del Rio splits him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a count of 2.
El Patron heads upstairs, connects with an overhead chop and gains another 2 count before utilizing a rear chinlock. The champion powers to his feet, Del Rio with a kick to the breadbasket and an attempted suplex, Cena blocks and hits one of his own. John climbs to the top, the challenger quickly scales the corner and scores with an enzuigiri, dropping the champion to the canvas for another near fall. Del Rio climbs to the top once more and again hits an overhead chop for a count of 2, then calls for the Cross Armbreaker.
Cena explodes to his feet, flattening Alberto with a clothesline. They exchange right hands, Cena hits his shoulder tackles, plants Alberto with a spinning back suplex and hits the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. He sets for the AA, Del Rio slips out and cracks Cena with a backstabber, follows with a superkick and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW WWE United States Champion: Alberto Del Rio (Superkick)
- EA’s Take: What a surprise return, it takes a lot for me to not see something coming and I was stunned, eventhough I knew there had been talks between Del Rio and WWE about coming back. I’m a little shocked at the way that it happened also though, as I feel like the execution was not as it should have been. Cena has had incredible US Title matches during his reign and successfully defended it, but this match didn’t quite live up to any of those. Great coup for WWE either way, hopefully they can keep the title relevant as Cena is slated to step away until the end of December.
Backstage: The Authority is watching with enjoyment at the start of the show, Seth Rollins comes in and agrees with them. However, Rollins has some thoughts about tonight when Kane interrupts. He tries to apologize, but Seth isn’t buying it and they bicker back and forth. Hunter stops them and says this is a private meeting, Kane’s attendane isn’t required. Kane wishes Seth luck, telling him he’s going to need it.
Match #2 is Hell In A Cell: Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
Roman strikes first with a kick to the gut and right hands, drives Wyatt into the top turnbuckle and continues to fire away. Bray takes it right back to Reigns, shoots him into the ropes and The Big Dog explodes with a jumping clothesline, then tosses Wyatt with multiple pumphandle throws. He goes for a Samoan Drop, Bray battles out, but eats a big right hand, crawling to the ropes. Roman to the outside, looks for the Drive-By, Wyatt avoids it, but Reigns comes right back with another right hand, this time hitting the Drive-By. The Big Dog introduces Bray to the cage, sends him into the steps, then rolls him into the ring.
The New Face Of Fear rolls back to the outside, goes to Reigns’ eyes, then pulls out a kendo stick and goes to work, taking control of the match and swinging away at Roman’s back. Wyatt tries to send The Big Dog into the corner, Reigns fights back briefly, but Bray goes to the lower back with the kendo stick again. He clotheslines Roman to the outside using the cane, heads out after him and tosses him into the cage. The Eater Of Worlds finds a chair under the ring, goes to swing at Reigns, changes his mind and instead sits down, whacking Roman with the kendo stick and begging him to fight back. Bray props the chair and cane in the fencing, Reigns with a quick burst of energy, but Wyatt drives him into the cane, splitting it in two.
The Big Dog with another adrenaline rush, hammers Bray with fists and sends him into the chair, then back into the cage. He finds 2 kendo sticks and stalks Wyatt before combining them and unloading to Bray’s chest. Roman seeks out a table and slides it in the ring, then pulls out another and sets it up on the floor. Wyatt throws the other table out of the ring, Reigns notices and connects with another Drive-By, setting the other table up on the opposite side of the ring. Reigns pulls himself to the apron, avoids a charging Bray and hits a series of kicks, goes to suplex Wyatt through the table, but gets put through it himself with a one-arm slam.
The Eater Of Worlds rolls Roman in and covers for a count of 2, squashes him with a running senton for another 2. Wyatt dumps Roman to the outside, rushes at him and squashes him into the side of the cell. He pins Roman’s head up against the ring post, gains some speed and squashes him again. The New Face Of Fear pulls another table out and slides it in the ring, places Reigns in the corner and drives a knee to the head before setting the table up. Bray props The Big Dog on the top turnbuckle, hooks him for a superplex, Reigns blocks, drops down and powerbombs Wyatt through the table for a near fall. Both guys struggle to their feet, Roman unleashes a flurry of clotheslines in the corner, hits the ropes and Bray catches him for Sister Abigail.
Reigns counters into a schoolboy for a count of 2, then comes right back with a Superman Punch, Wyatt kicking out at 2. The New Face Of Fear rolls out to the apron, Roman goes out to meet him, hitting a Spear off the apron to the floor and going through a table. The Big Dog drags Wyatt into the ring, crawls to a cover and still can’t get a 3 count. Roman sets up for a Spear, Bray gets his boot up and plants him with Sister Abigail, but he can’t get the 3 either. The Eater Of Worlds goes to the 2 kendo sticks, delivers a shot to the midsection and hooks them up in the turnbuckles like javelins. Bray goes to drive Reigns into it and he blocks, connecting with kendo stick shots, sends Wyatt into the cane instead, then follows with a Spear to get the win.
Winner: Roman Reigns (Spear)
- EA’s Take: Excellent brawl here with a couple of nice spots. Reigns finally seemingly gains revenge on Bray which makes me wonder if he’ll turn his attention back to the WWE Title. I can’t find much to complain about with the match, however the “No Color Policy” always seems to put a bit of a damper on these kinds of matches. Cage matches are supposed to be brutal, bloody brawls and these kind of matches make me miss those days.
Match #3 for the WWE Tag Team Championships: WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von)
Prior to the match, Kofi thanks the WWE Universe for all their support towards Xavier Woods. Big E calls today a sad day, almost as sad because the broken trombone is all they have of Woods. They promise to play the drums with D-Von’s head and Bubba’s belly. Kingston & D-Von kick off the action, Big E provides a distraction and Kofi takes quick control. He sends D-Von into the ropes, D-Von with a jumping back elbow, follows with a diving headbutt and covers for a count of 2. Bubba tags in, The Dudleys with a double shoulder knockdown and double elbow drop for 2, Bubba whips Kofi to the corner and he scales to the top, but gets caught and slammed to the canvas.
New Day collects themselves on the outside, Big E tries to give Kofi another distraction to no avail, Bubba shooting him into the corner for a splash. D-Von back in, The Dudleys go for a double team move and botch it terribly. D-Von whips Kofi into the ropes, ducks his head and eats a kick, Big E tagging in and leveling D-Von with a clothesline. New Day with frequent tags in their corner, taking turns stomping away at D-Von, Big E eventually whipping Kofi into a corner dropkick. Kingston chokes D-Von on the 2nd rope, spikes him with a DDT and covers for a 2 count before going to a wristlock. D-Von battles to his feet, Kofi hits him with a jawbreaker, then drags him to the corner and brings Big E in for a splash that gets a count of 2.
Kingston back in, they set D-Von up for a Wazzup Headbutt, but D-Von kicks Kofi away and crawls to a tag. Bubba with clotheslines to Kingston, elevates him with a back body drop, then scores with lefts and rights to Big E. The Dudleys connect with the Wazzup Headbutt, Bubba is about to call for the tables, but Kofi springboards in the ring, taking them out with a dropkick. He slides out and grabs the trombone, tosses it to Bubba and drops to the mat as if Bubba nailed him with it The ref argues with Bubba and goes to call for the bell, but decides against it because he didn’t see it.
Bubba snaps the trombone in half over his knee, D-Von tags and they plant Kingston with a combination back suplex/neckbreaker for a near fall. Bubba tags back in, they call for 3D, Big E slides in and drills Bubba with the trombone behind the ref’s back, then disposes of D-Von. Kingston scores with Trouble In Paradise to Bubba, makes the cover and retains.
Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day (Kofi/Trouble In Paradise)
- EA’s Take: Maybe it’s just me, but the shine of The Dudley Boyz’s return seems to be wearing off already. I’m not sure what move they were going for during the match, but they botched it horribly and couldn’t cover for it. I still believe that The Dudleys will get their 10th title run, but the time just isn’t right. There are not enough heel teams to justify taking the titles off New Day, not to mention the fact that New Day are arguably the hottest heels in the company.
Match #4 for the WWE Divas Championship – Everyone Banned From Ringside: Nikki Bella vs. WWE Divas Champion Charlotte
They lock-up to start, Charlotte backs Nikki into the ropes, the ref forces a clean break and they tie-up again, this time Charlotte backing Nikki into the corner. Nikki doesn’t break clean, charges out of the corner with a clothesline, Charlotte ducks it and scores with a modified neckbreaker. She puts the challenger in the corner, climbs to the 2nd rope and reigns down right hands, Nikki tries to counter to a powerbomb, but the champion reverses with a hurricanrana. Charlotte with more right hands, hits the ropes and the challenger fires a stiff forearm that sends the champion to the outside.
Nikki gives chase, tosses Charlotte out into the crowd, the champion looks to bring the fight back at her and gets caught, Nikki jumping off the barricade with a kick. She drives Charlotte spine-first into the ring post, tosses her into the barricade, then rolls her in the ring for a count of 2. Nikki sticks the point of the knee into the back and pulls back on the champion’s neck, drags her to her feet and hits a snap suplex for another 2 count. The challenger goes for a slingshot suplex, Charlotte lands on her feet, delivers a plate of patented Flair chops, Nikki ducks one and goes to a backslide for a near fall, then turning it into a modified facebuster, but still can’t get 3.
Nikki uses a single leg crab to punish the champion, breaking it on her own accord. She catapults Charlotte off the ropes down on the knees, covers for 2 and then sends the champion into the corner. Charlotte flips around, explodes out and levels the challenger with a big boot for a near fall. The champion tries a suplex, but her back gives out and Nikki keeps control, continuing to pummel the lower back. The champion ducks a right hand, turns around into a spinebuster and Nikki gets another count of 2 before trash talking Charlotte and slapping her in the face. Charlotte comes back with chops, the ref has to seperate them and Nikki takes advantage, looking for a springboard kick and missing, hurting her knee in the process.
The champion takes the opening planting Nikki and then climbing to the top for a moonsault. Nikki sees it coming climbs up with her for a german suplex and Charlotte lands on her feet, splitting the challenger with a spear. She locks in the Figure Eight, but can’t bridge due to her injured back, Nikki crawling to the ropes to force the break. Charlotte charges Nikki and gets dumped to the floor, the challenger following her outside and scoring with an Albama Slam on the apron. She rolls Charlotte back inside, attempts the Rack Attack and the champ counters, locking in the Figure Eight and Nikki’s forced to tap.
Winner and STILL WWE Divas Champion: Charlotte (Figure Eight)
- After The Bell: Paige & Becky Lynch hit the ring to celebrate with Charlotte, raising her hand in victory.
- EA’s Take: Finally a good Divas match for the main roster. Not anything on par with what Sasha Banks & Bayley have been doing down in NXT, but I really enjoyed this one. The Divas Division has been begging for a 1 on 1 match like this and while it won’t change things overnight, WWE keeps making steps in the right direction. Too bad they couldn’t have taken those steps at the beginning of the ‘Divas Revolution’.
Backstage: Sitting in the locker room is Roman Reigns when Dean Ambrose comes in offering congratulations on finishing things with Bray Wyatt. Dean talks about them knowing what’s next, but Reigns wants to talk about that tomorrow. Ambrose agrees because tonight they’ll celebrate.
Match #5 for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship – If Kane Loses, He’s No Longer Director Of Operations: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins vs. Kane
The champion has some harsh words for the challenger at the bell, pushes him and ducks a right hand, delivering a series of his own. He shoots Kane into the ropes, ducks his head and The Devil’s Favorite Demon spikes him with a DDT, following with a low dropkick. He knocks the champion to the floor with a right hand, goes out after him and drives him head-first into the announce table. The challenger clears the spanish announce table, Rollins tries to scurry away into the ring, hits the ropes for a suicide dive and gets caught, then planted on the floor. Kane rolls him back inside, whips Seth into the ropes and hits with a flapjack.
The Director Of Operations heads to the top, The Architect sees it and drops Kane to the apron, then hangs him on the top rope, dropping Kane to the floor. Seth flies to the outside with a somersault plancha, places The Devil’s Favorite Demon on the apron and drives elbows to the throat. Back in the ring, Seth scores with a sling blade that only gets a 1 count, chokes The Big Red Machine on the 2nd rope, then plants him with a neckbreaker that barely gets 2. The champion goes to a rear chinlock, Kane attempts to battle up and Rollins with a kick to the chest. He scales the top turnbuckle, jumps down and meets a big right hand, but side-steps a big boot in the corner.
Seth splashes him and stomps away, runs to the other side to build momentum and scores with a running forearm. The Architect goes to the well again and gets leveled with a clothesline, but again avoids a charging Kane in the corner. Seth climbs up top, Kane catches him with a right hand and then connects with a superplex. The Big Red Machine hits multiple corner clotheslines, attempts a tilt-a-whirl slam, Rollins lands on his feet, hits the ropes and runs into a big boot that gives Kane a 2 count. The Devil’s Favorite Demon goes to the top again, the champion runs up the turnbuckle to meet him, gets pushed off and Kane scores with a top rope clothesline. He grabs Seth for a Chokeslam, Rollins slips out and hits an enzuigiri, tries to follow with the Pedigree, the challenger powers out and plants the champion with a Chokeslam, but only gets 2.
He calls for the Tombstone, The Architect slips out and retreats to the outside, Kane in pursuit to drive the champion spine-first into the apron. Kane drops Rollins back-first on the announce table, clears it off and tosses Seth over it. He drags Rollins up, Seth slides out and powerbombs the challenger on the spanish announce table, but it doesn’t break. Rollins rolls in the ring and the ref starts his count, Kane making it back in at a count of 8. The Architect goes for another Pedigree, gets tossed to the apron, Seth scores with an enzuigiri, then comes off the top with a flying knee.
The champion goes back up and connects with another flying knee, then lands two superkicks to finally drop the challenger. Seth goes up once more and hits a frog splash, but still can’t put The Devil’s Favorite Demon away. The champion can’t believe it and seemingly has a conversation with himself, goes back over to The Big Red Machine and he gets Seth by the throat. Rollins delivers a kick to the breadbasket, drives Kane into the canvas with a Pedigree and picks up the 1-2-3.
Winner and STILL WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Seth Rollins (Pedigree)
- EA’s Take: I’m not certain that I’d call this match good or not. I wouldn’t say it was bad, but it went exactly the way I figured it would go. There was never any doubt in my mind that Seth wouldn’t retain, so this didn’t do a whole lot for me. I am glad however that they allowed Rollins to win clean. They’ve done a good job of weening Seth off of the tainted wins which will serve his character well (not to mention whoever finally beats him) in the long run.
Match #6 for the WWE Intercontinental Championship: Ryback vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens
The bell rings and The Big Guy goes right at the champion, Owens trying to retreat to the outside, then back in and catching Ryback with boots. KO hits the ropes and runs into a big shoulder, the challenger powers Owens into the corner and drives shoulders to the midsection, lifting him and tossing KO with a back body drop. The Big Guy goes for a military press, the champion slips out, attempts a suplex and Ryback counters into one of his own. He charges KO in the corner, Owens side-steps and Ryback goes shoulder-first into the ring post. The champion looks to take control, Ryback uses his power again and plants Owens with a powerslam, KO rolling to the apron and getting blasted to the floor with a clothesline.
Ryback tosses Owens back inside, puts him in the corner and reigns down rights from the 2nd rope. The champion escapes out, crotches the challenger on the 2nd turnbuckle, following with a running senton for a 2 count. Owens sets his sights on a Cannonball, The Big Guy pops to his feet and catches him in a spinebuster, then puts Owens in his crosshairs for the Meat Hook. KO ducks it, but can’t avoid Ryback’s powerbomb and the challenger gains a near fall before climbing to the top. Owens has it scouted, dropping the challenger to the apron and then connecting with a superkick, spilling Ryback to the floor.
The Big Guy makes it back in the ring at the ref’s count of 9, charges into the ring and gets dropped throat-first across the 2nd rope, KO grabbing him in a schoolboy for a near fall. He sends the challenger into the ropes for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, Ryback counters with a Meat Hook, then lifts him for Shellshocked. KO grabs the ropes to get out of it, goes out to the apron and rakes the eyes, following with the Pop-Up Powerbomb to finish it.
Winner and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: Kevin Owens (Pop-Up Powerbomb)
- EA’s Take: It’s officially time for both of these guys to move on. I’ll be honest, I completely forgot this match was even on the card and it appears as if most everyone else did too. It shows how much the company really cares about this feud, as they’re given the spot between the WWE Title match and the main event. Generally, this spot on the card is the one that gets time taken away from it or cut completely. This rivalry has done nothing for either of these guys.
Match #7 is Hell In A Cell: Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs. The Undertaker
They meet face to face in the ring, Taker giving Lesnar the throat-cut sign and the bell rings. Lesnar uses his quickness to duck right hands, looks for a german right off the bat, but Taker hangs onto the ropes. The Beast goes to the midsection, drives shoulders into the breadbasket in the corner, The Deadman reverses a whip across and follows in with a clothesline. The Conqueror buries a knee to the ribs, hooks The Phenom for a german suplex again and Taker sends him flying to the outside. Undertaker follows, delivering right hands, Lesnar countering a whip into the cage and he elevates Taker for an F5. The Demon Of Death Valley slips out of it, pushes Brock face-first into the ring post and he’s been busted open.
The Phenom uses the cell to his advantage, driving Lesnar face-first into the cage, then pulls a chair out and heads back inside. The Beast is there to meet him, planting Taker into the mat with a double leg, getting his hands on the chair and smashing it into The Deadman’s back. Brock falls into the corner and the ringside doctor comes in to check on Brock’s cut, cleans him up a little bit and Lesnar takes the chair again, smashing it into Undertaker on the floor. The Conqueror tosses Taker into the cage again, attempts a suplex on the floor and The Phenom blocks, delivering one of his own. The American Badass has been cut now, rolls Lesnar inside, props the chair under his throat and slams down on it, covering Brock for a count of 2.
Undertaker hammers away at Lesnar’s cut, shoots him into the corner, Brock rebounds out and ducks a right hand, snapping off a german suplex. The Beast scores with a couple more, elevates Taker and connects with an F5, but The Deadman kicks out at 2. The ringside doctor comes in the ring again to check on both guys, Lesnar tosses the doctor aside and plants The Phenom with another F5, but still can’t get 3. The Conqueror goes out to grab the steel stairs, tosses them in the squared circle and clobbers The Deadman for a near fall. He takes the steps again, attempts to slam them on Taker’s leg, but he’s able to roll out of the way. The Beast goes for it again, Taker kicks him away and the stairs land on Lesnar’s head, cutting him open again.
The Deadman locks in Hell’s Gate, Brock fires off lefts and rights and pounds Taker into the mat to break the hold. Lesnar notices a rop in the ring mat, tears it open and exposes the boards underneath, allowing The Phenom time to get to his feet, grab Brock and plant him with a Chokeslam on the wood. Taker powers Brock up, spikes him with a Tombstone, covers and The Conqueror kicks out at 2. The Deadman calls for another Tombstone, Brock goes with a low blow, delivers an F5 on the exposed boards and finally ends it.
Winner: Brock Lesnar (F5)
- After The Bell: Lesnar gets help getting to the back from Heyman, leaving Undertaker in the ring alone. It takes a couple of attempts for him to be able to sit-up, but he finally does to a loud “Thank You Taker” chant. Undertaker makes it to his feet, but the lights go out and The Wyatt Family makes their way to the ring. They surround the ring, step-up to the apron and go on the attack with Bray watching. Strowman, Harper & Rowan hold The Deadman up for Bray and he continues the beatdown, mocking The Phenom in the process. They carry Taker out of the arena as the show comes to an end.
- EA’s Take: What an absolute war and rightfully so, the end to this rivalry needed to be done justice and this match provided it. I’m left wondering about the “No Color Policy” I spoke about earlier, as both men get busted open here. I completely understand why they do it, but nobody can sit there and tell me with a straight-face that it didn’t add to the drama of this match. This was one of the few times where the match lived up to all of the hype and now we have another classic Lesnar/Taker Hell In A Cell match to go back and watch on the WWE Network.
EA’s Finisher: This PPV is one of those “in-betweeners” for me, there were some decent matches and some nice moments, but it was not the greatest thing WWE has ever produced either. The return of Alberto Del Rio was a great surprise and choice to hold the US Title while Cena’s away, as long as WWE can capitalize on Del Rio’s return. Both HIAC matches delivered to me, especially Taker/Brock as it was an absolute war, the likes of which we don’t see enough of at this point in time. The Divas stepped up to the plate tonight finally as well, but the other 3 title matches were nothing to write home about. Owens/Ryback was completely forgettable, the tag match was basic at best and the WWE Title match went exactly how I pictured it would.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker
2 – Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
3 – Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte
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