Eric Ames takes a look back at the second ever PPV version of the WWE King of the Ring, the 1994 WWF King Of The Ring!
In the spirit of the 2019 WWE King Of The Ring, we’re looking back at another past WWE tournament with the 1994 King Of The Ring! Following Bret Hart’s King Of The Ring win last year, his brother Owen looks to claim the throne for himself and step out on his own. However, the likes of Razor Ramon, Bam Bam Bigelow, Jeff Jarrett and The 1-2-3 Kid all have their sights set on the crown. Let’s jump into the action!
Open: Earlier in the day as the camera crews were setting up around the tournament bracket board, Jeff Jarrett showed up to do some premature advancing of his name. Owen Hart would walk in to correct him, followed by Bam Bam Bigelow and Irwin R. Schyster. Todd Pettengill then voices over highlights showcasing tonight’s card, including the first round tournament matches, our WWF Title match and Roddy Piper vs. Jerry Lawler.
In The Arena: Bill Dunn asks the crowd to please rise, as Ricky Medlocke of the band Blackfoot sings our National Anthem.
Match #1 – King Of The Ring Quarterfinals: Bam Bam Bigelow w/Luna Vachon vs. Razor Ramon
Luna has some words for The Bad Guy and he tosses his toothpick in her face, Bam Bam ambushes him from behind as the bell rings, clobbering him down to the mat. He sends Ramon to the ropes for a shoulder block, whips him back in for another, plants him with a body slam, drops a headbutt and follows with a big leg drop. Bigelow to the top turnbuckle for the Diving Headbutt, Razor rolls out of harm’s way, scores with big right hands, irish whip to the corner is reversed and The Bad Guy hits the turnbuckles hard.
The Beast from the East looks to send him back across, Ramon reverses, follows in and slides under the legs to the outside, trips Bam Bam up and yanks him in an unforgiving position into the ring post. The Bad Guy climbs back in, comes off the 2nd rope with a bulldog for a near fall, starts to target the left leg with elbow drops and grabs a heel hold. Bigelow kicks him away, goes for a kick that gets caught, tries to bring his other foot around for an enzuigiri, Ramon ducks it and then staggers him with a clothesline. He goes to the ropes for another and can’t bring Bam Bam down, tries once more, The Beast from the East side-steps it and uses the momentum to dump Razor over the top to the floor.
Bam Bam goes out and hits a couple of rights before rolling Ramon back in, clubs him in the back, loud “Razor” chants and Bigelow puts the boots to him for a count of 2. He clocks Razor with an enzuigiri for another 2 count, drives headbutts into the lower back, then powers him into a torture rack. The referee checks the arm, Ramon doesn’t let it drop on the third attempt, Bigelow can’t hold him up anymore, flips him over to his feet for a side headlock and The Bad Guy counters with a back suplex. Both guys stagger to their feet, Ramon blocks right hands and returns fire, irish whip to the corner is reversed, Bam Bam charges in and The Bad Guy side-steps out of the way.
He delivers a body slam, lifts him up to prop him on the top turnbuckle, Bigelow with a big back elbow to avoid it, then plants Razor with a body slam of his own. He scales the corner to go for the Bam Bamsault, Ramon pops to his feet, plants him into the canvas, stacks The Beast from the East up and gets a 3 count.
Winner: Razor Ramon (Bam Bamsault Counter)
- EA’s Take: This has nothing to do with the match, but I need to address it right off the bat…why on Earth is Art Donovan on commentary tonight? Just awful. Anyways, good to open the night and tournament with this one as Razor is over and Bam Bam was one of the best heels in the company. Honestly, either of these guys would have been excellent choices to win the whole thing. In case you’re wondering, after retaining his Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania against Shawn Michaels, Ramon would lose it just a few short weeks later to The Heartbreak Kid’s bodyguard, Diesel.
Backstage: Todd Pettengill is standing at the King Of The Ring board with Irwin R. Schyster & Mabel with Oscar, opponents in our next tournament match. IRS informs Mabel he’s not worried about him and then next up will be Razor Ramon, then says he hopes 1-2-3 Kid makes it to the finals before walking off. Mabel thinks Schyster needs to stop thinking about Razor and be concerned with him, then states if he meets Ramon then he will learn who the real Bad Guy is.
Match #2 – King Of The Ring Quarterfinals: Irwin R. Schyster vs. Mabel w/Oscar
IRS tries to attack from behind after the bell, Mabel drives him head-first into the top turnbuckle over and over, levels him with a clothesline, then plants The Tax Man with a body slam. He hooks Schyster for a delayed vertical suplex, grabs a wristlock for clubbing blows to the back, brings him back to the canvas with a modified fireman’s carry takeover, then drops a massive elbow to the chest. Mabel shoots Irwin to the corner and follows him in for a splash, IRS side-steps it, delivers a knee to the back to send the big man to the outside and takes himself a breather in the ring.
Mabel rolls back into the squared circle, Schyster meets him with right hands, sends him off to the ropes and drops him with the Write-Off followed by multiple elbow drops for a count of 2. He attempts to pick Mabel up for a body slam, can’t lift the weight, Mabel counters to a small package for a quick 2 count and IRS swiftly starts putting the boots to him before slapping on a rear chinlock. The big man powers up to a standing position, backs Irwin into the turnbuckles to break the hold, hammers him with big punches, shoots him to the ropes and elevates him with a big back body drop.
Mabel runs him over with a clothesline, shoots Schyster back to the ropes for a high back elbow, then back in again for a sidewalk slam, nearly putting the match away. He drives IRS into the mat with another body slam, climbs to the 2nd rope, Irwin quickly shakes the ropes forcing Mabel to lose his balance, he crashes down to the canvas, Schyster with a cover using the ropes for leverage and he gets the win.
Winner: Irwin R. Schyster (Pinfall)
- EA’s Take: Ho-hum, pretty basic stuff here to get IRS to advance and meet Razor Ramon is the semi-finals. The company was trying out Mabel as a singles competitor for the first time as they still were enamored by Superstars of enormous size, but it wouldn’t last past the summer and he’d slide back into tag team action with Mo.
Video: Earlier in the day, Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette were prepping Yokozuna & Crush for their match-up for the WWF Tag Team Titles tonight. Cornette says Fuji has his boys well prepared to take the championships tonight, Fuji stating he wants The Headshrinkers to be squashed and for his guys to walk out as the new champs.
Match #3 – King Of The Ring Quarterfinals: Tatanka vs. ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart
Owen steps into the ring after his entrance and Tatanka immediately meets him with right hands, the bell sounds and The Native American whips him back and forth into the turnbuckles, elevates him with a back body drop and gains a quick 2 count. He executes a vertical suplex for another count of 2, The Rocket goes to the eyes to stop the onslaught, slows things down with a standing side headlock, The Native American pushes him off to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder block.
Hart goes back to the ropes, Tatanka drops down, leapfrogs over and catches him with a hip toss, shoots him back to the ropes for a Japanese arm drag, then grabs a side headlock of his own. Owen shoves him off to the ropes, Tatanka with a big shoulder knockdown, goes back to the ropes, The Rocket drops down and uses the momentum to toss him over the top to the floor. The Native American back to his feet, sweeps Owen’s legs from the outside and drags him under the bottom rope, connects with a series of overhand chops, Hart returns fire and whips him shoulder-first into the ring post before rolling back inside.
We go backstage where IRS & Razor Ramon are involved in a shoving match, WWF officials having to step in between them as Tatanka pulls himself back into the ring in the arena. Owen drops him on the 2nd rope and chokes away, hits the ropes and drops all his weight onto the back with a seated senton, then rakes Tatanka’s face on the top rope. He plants The Native American with a gutwrench suplex, heads upstairs for a dropkick, hooks the leg and gains a near fall before grabbing a rear chinlock. Tatanka fights up to his feet, hits the ropes and ducks under a clothesline, The Rocket slaps on a sleeper hold and The Native American starts to fade down to the canvas.
The referee checks the arm, Tatanka shows some life on the third attempt, battles his way up, Owen clocks him with fists, drives him head-first into the top turnbuckle over and over, but it has little affect and The Native American goes into his war dance. He pummels The Rocket with knife-edge chops and punches, makes a cover for a count of 2, irish whip to the corner is reversed, Owen follows him in and runs into a boot to the jaw. The Native American spikes him with a DDT for a near fall, plants him with a body slam, heads to the top rope for an overhand chop, but still can’t get a 3 count.
Tatanka sends Hart to the corner and charges in behind, The Rocket looks to hop up and over, gets caught on The Native American’s shoulders, but Tatanka gets frustrated after another 2 count. He argues with the official about the count, catches Owen trying to sneak up from behind, irish whip to the ropes is reversed by The Rocket for a back body drop, Tatanka goes for a sunset flip, Hart drops down on top, hooks the legs and advances.
Winner: ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart (Sunset Flip Counter)
- EA’s Take: Another bit of a “ho-hum” contest, but much better than the previous IRS/Mabel match. Owen is really on fire as a heel following his win over Bret at WrestleMania, a quarterfinals loss here would have made no sense whatsoever, no matter how over Tatanka was at the time.
Backstage: Todd Pettengill is standing by with WWF Intercontinental Champion Diesel & Shawn Michaels, he refers us to some video of Diesel delivering a Jackknife to Bret Hart on The King’s Court a couple of weeks back, The Heartbreak Kid sarcastically stating that The Hitman’s pain upsets him. Diesel says he’s only got two words for Bret, “Jack-Knife”, informing us that it’s happened once before and it will happen again. Shawn tells Pettengill he’s not concerned about The Hitman possibly having a family member in his corner, reminding us it certainly won’t be Owen and claiming Diesel will be the new WWF Champion.
Match #4 – King Of The Ring Quarterfinals: ‘Double J’ Jeff Jarrett vs. 1-2-3 Kid
The Kid looks for some kicks to start, Double J quickly backs away to avoid them, ducks outside under the bottom rope, picks the leg and drives the back of Kid’s knee into the ring apron. He slides into the squared circle and whips Kid hard into the turnbuckles, drives him face-first to the top turnbuckle, whips him back across and follows in, The Kid hopping up and over for a roll-up that gets a count of 2. Jarrett swiftly puts the boots to him, shoots him to the ropes for a back elbow, then back in for a clothesline and Double J is feeling confident.
He sends Kid to the ropes again, doesn’t find the mark with a dropkick, The Kid hops onto Jarrett’s shoulders for a victory roll and Double J just kicks out at 2. Jarrett back on the attack again with stomps, plants Kid with a slingshot suplex, comes off the 2nd rope with a fist drop, sends him to the ropes and misses a wild right hand, The Kid clobbering Double J with a spinning heel kick for a near fall. He plants Jarrett with a body slam and scales the corner to the top, attempts a somersault senton, Double J just rolls out of the way in the nick of time, then chokes him on the 2nd rope.
Seated senton to the back misses the mark, The Kid goes back upstairs, Jarrett catches him with a punch to crotch Kid on the top turnbuckle, climbs up for a superplex, but it’s blocked and Double J crashes down to the canvas. 1-2-3 Kid comes off the top with a crossbody that almost finishes it, unloads of Jarrett in the corner with fists and kicks, shoots him across and charges in, Double J side-stepping out of the way and The Kid’s hurt his knee. Jarrett targets the hurt leg with elbow drops, calls for the Figure Four, Kid counters to a small package and steals the victory.
Winner: 1-2-3 Kid (Small Package)
- After The Bell: Jarrett is stunned, shoves the officials out of the way and spikes The Kid with 3 straight piledrivers, more referees come out to stop the assault, but Double J goes to the 2nd rope multiple times for more fist drops before taking his leave.
- EA’s Take: Fast-paced action as you would expect with The Kid in the ring, he’s still playing the “ultimate underdog” role at this time, so any victories he picks up remain being looked at as upsets. Knowing that the winner would face Owen Hart really gave us an indication that Jarrett likely wasn’t going to win, but Double J was just starting to come into his own as a personality in the WWF.
Backstage: Todd Pettengill welcomes in WWF Champion Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, shows him more video of the champion getting Jackknifed, The Hitman stating it was a long drop, but Diesel is a long way from doing it to him again. He’s not sure if he could kick-out of the move, but Diesel’s mistake is overestimating himself, reminding us he’s The Excellence of Execution and he doesn’t duck any challengers. Hitman claims he will bring the big man down to his size, Todd tries to get more info on the family member Bret has brought tonight as back-up, but doesn’t get anything out of the champion.
Match #5 for the WWF Championship: WWF Intercontinental Champion Diesel w/Shawn Michaels vs. WWF Champion Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart w/Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart
The bell rings, the official gets all the other parties to the outside and we’re underway, collar & elbow tie-up to begin, Diesel using his strength to push Hitman away. They lock back up and Bret with a go-behind to a waistlock, the challenger drives him back into the turnbuckles to break the grip, pummels him with big rights and lefts, then chokes the champion with the bottom of his boot. Big Daddy Cool charges in for a big boot, Bret ducks it, the challenger is caught up on the top rope and The Hitman takes advantage with fists, starts targeting the left knee and delivers a headbutt to the lower abdomen.
Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Diesel attempts a slam, The Excellence of Execution slips out of it, grabs a roll-up and gets an early 2 count. He hits the ropes for a crossbody, the challenger catches him in the air and plants him into the canvas, hits the ropes for an elbow drop, misses the mark and Hitman drives Diesel head-first numerous times into the top turnbuckle. Big Daddy Cool sneaks in a shot to the eye to stop the onslaught, buries elbows to the back of the neck, chokes Hart in the corner, sends him across and follows in for a running knee, but the champion side-steps out of harm’s way. Bret goes to work on the leg with kicks to the back of the knee, uses a single leg takedown to remove Diesel’s vertical base and continues to soften up the knee, slapping on a figure four.
The challenger uses his long arms to reach the bottom rope and force a break, The Hitman keeps on the injured leg, utilizes a spinning toe hold, Diesel finally kicks him away and Bret spills to the outside. Big Daddy Cool reaches over the ropes to grab the champion, Hitman sweeps the leg, pulls him towards the ring post, drives the bad leg into the steel, Diesel is finally able to crawl away and as the referee checks on him, Michaels levels Bret with a clothesline. The Anvil chases Shawn around ringside, The Heartbreak Kid slides in the ring and out the other side, Neidhart’s in pursuit, the referee cuts him off and it enables Michaels to get in another cheap shot on the champion.
The challenger drags Bret up to the apron, Hitman buries a knee to the shoulder, climbs up top and jumps off, Diesel catching him in the air for a bearhug, but it’s botched. He powers Hart back up and rams him back-first into the corner, slaps the bearhug back on, Bret biting the forehead to escape it, delivers a dropkick to the back and dumps the big man over the top to the floor. The Excellence of Execution slingshots over the top for a crossbody, the challenger avoids it and Bret drops to the floor, Big Daddy Cool picks him up, drives him spine-first into the ring post and rolls him back inside. Diesel goes at the lower back now with forearms, shoots the champion hard into the turnbuckles, gets some advice from The Heartbreak Kid, plants The Hitman with a side slam and covers for a count of 2.
He cracks Bret with a backbreaker then planks him over his knee, lets Hart go to drop a big elbow, hooks the leg and gets another 2 count. Diesel chokes the champion on the 2nd rope, Neidhart sneaks around ringside to get his hands on Michaels, the official is distracted, Shawn getting in another cheap shot and then Big Daddy Cool with a seated senton to Bret’s back. He stands on the back of Hitman’s neck, The Heartbreak Kid slaps him in the face behind the ref’s back, Diesel props the champion into the corner for more right hands, Bret blocks and fires back, but takes another shot to the eye. Big Daddy Cool whips him sternum-first into the turnbuckles for a near fall, has some words for the official about the count, The Excellence of Execution surprises him with a schoolboy, nearly stealing the match, but gets flattened by a short-arm clothesline immediately following.
The challenger gains another count of 2, wrenches away at the champion’s neck to wear him down, unloads with more punches, connects with another backbreaker, but again Bret kicks out at 2. The Heartbreak Kid hops to the apron and starts untying one of the turnbuckle pads, The Anvil attempts to get the official to pay attention to it, but only creates a distraction as Diesel lifts The Hitman up into an over-the-shoulder backbreaker. The Excellence of Execution works his way out and slaps on a sleeper hold, Big Daddy Cool drives him backwards into the corner to break it, whips him across and charges in, Bret gets the boots up and hops onto his back for another sleeper, but gets the same result.
The challenger pummels Hitman with a big right hand, the referee gets knocked down in the process, Diesel goes over to expose the turnbuckle as Shawn holds the official’s attention, Big Daddy Cool attempts to ram Bret into the steel, but the champion blocks and returns the favor. The Excellence of Execution starts to unleash a barrage or fists, climbs to the 2nd rope to reign down a flurry more, finally drops the big man, then hits the ropes for a clothesline. Diesel is staggered, The Hitman goes back to the well a couple more times to drop him, hooks the leg for a count of 2, shoots him to the ropes and goes to the breadbasket with a fist, then scores with a side russian leg sweep. He comes off the 2nd rope with an elbow drop for another near fall, Bret goes up top to plant Diesel with a bulldog, sets for the Sharpshooter and Michaels hops to the apron.
Hart releases the hold and decks Shawn with a big punch, goes back to the 2nd rope and clotheslines Big Daddy Cool, lateral press and he still can’t put the match away. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Diesel attempts a clothesline, the champion counters into a backslide, can’t bring the challenger down to the mat, uses the ropes to flip himself over and utilizes a small package that nearly ends it. More heavy shots from the champion, irish whip to the corner is reversed, Big Daddy Cool follows him in, The Hitman looks to hop up and over, gets caught on the challenger’s shoulder and Diesel tries to ram Bret into the corner.
The Excellence of Execution slips out behind and sends the challenger into the turnbuckles, hits the ropes and Diesel clocks him with a big boot, stands over the laid-out champion and calls for the Jackknife, The Hitman playing possum and he quickly picks the legs and rolls into the Sharpshooter. Diesel is too close the ropes and reaches them to create a break, Bret hits the ropes and dropkicks Big Daddy Cool over the top to the outside, Neidhart stalks the challenger, but doesn’t get involved and turns to walk away. Diesel rams The Anvil into the ring post, the referee has his attention on the proceedings outside, The Heartbreak Kid slides into the ring behind Bret and clobbers him with the IC Title.
The challenger steps into the ring, drops an elbow for good measure, makes a cover and The Hitman barely kicks out before a 3 count. Michaels is beside himself on the outside, Diesel thinks it’s time for the Jackknife and plants the champion, Neidhart rocks Shawn on the outside with a haymaker, slides into the ring and levels Big Daddy Cool with a clothesline, causing the referee to call for the bell.
Winner: Diesel (Disqualification)
- After The Bell: The Anvil can’t believe that the official ended the match and storms off to the back, meanwhile The Heartbreak Kid comes into the squared circle, spikes Bret with a piledriver, then holds him up for Diesel to hammer him with big punches until a number of referees come out to break things up.
- EA’s Take: This was sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. Obviously to no fault of Bret’s, Diesel was always pretty limited in what he could do, but at this point he’s still seemingly green as grass. The company was behind Big Daddy Cool however, of course because of his size which is why he gained the IC Title in the first place. It’s a little odd that Michaels doesn’t have a match on the card tonight, but the WWF really was looking to put the quintessential “rocket pack” to Diesel’s back as he’d continue to quickly climb the card through the summer and into the fall. After an over 2 year absence, this was The Anvil’s return to the WWF and he was very logically placed beside Bret, but only briefly as we’d come to find out later in the evening.
Backstage: Joining Todd Pettengill this time around is Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, The King speaking about how big of a mouth Roddy Piper has, rips on Todd’s suit and then takes a shot at Art Donovan’s commentary. Lawler goes back to the matter at-hand though, stating Piper’s been retired and he’s now “the pits” because his show The King’s Court has become the premier WWF talk show in Roddy’s absence. Since Hot Rod wants to donate all his earnings tonight to a children’s hospital, he’ll make sure those sick kids never see a dime.
Match #6 – King Of The Ring Semi-Finals: Razor Ramon vs. Irwin R. Schyster
Irwin puts the bad mouth on The Bad Guy as he heads to the ring, Ramon hops outside and blindsides him with right hands, the bell rings and we’re underway. Razor drives Schyster into the ring post, hammers him with more right hands, tosses him into the ring, irish whip to the ropes is reversed and IRS buries a knee to the abdomen. He rams Ramon head-first into the top turnbuckle, snapmares him over for an elbow drop, hooks the leg and gets an early 1 count. Irwin cracks The Bad Guy with a backbreaker, hits the ropes for a crossbody, Razor ducks under it, Schyster flies over the top rope and spills to the floor.
Ramon reaches over to pull him up to the apron, Irwin sweeps the legs, drags him out under the bottom rope, Razor blocks a fist, fires off some of his own and introduces Schyster to the steel steps. He rolls IRS into the squared circle, pummels him with stiff punches, Irwin goes to the eyes, starts to target the right knee with kicks, shoots The Bad Guy to the ropes and finds the mark with a back elbow before utilizing a rear chinlock. He uses the bottom rope for extra leverage out of the referee’s vision, Ramon battles his way to a standing position, Irwin goes right back to the eyes, attempts to drive Razor head-first into the top turnbuckle, but it’s blocked and Schyster gets a taste of his own medicine.
More heavy rights from The Bad Guy, whips IRS to the ropes for a back elbow, shoots him hard into the corner, grabs him by the tie and flips him down to the canvas. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Schyster connects with the Write-Off, doesn’t go for a cover, sends Ramon back in for a back body drop, The Bad Guy counters with a kick, elevates him for the Razor’s Edge and moves onto the finals.
Winner: Razor Ramon (Razor’s Edge)
- EA’s Take: Pretty standard stuff here and a fairly quick match, lasting only about 5 minutes. IRS had previously “repossessed” Razor’s gold chains, so The Bad Guy not only advances to the finals of the tournament, but gains a measure of revenge, yet still doesn’t get back his stolen property.
Backstage: WWF Champion Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart is searching the backstage area for Jim Neidhart, busting through doors, but unable to find him.
Backstage: Todd Pettengill is standing at the tournament board, informing us he was supposed to get a word with 1-2-3 Kid, but nobody has seen or heard from him since he was viciously attacked earlier in the night.
Match #7 – King Of The Ring Semi-Finals: ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid
The Kid hobbles down to the ring, looks to climb inside and Owen drops him with a baseball slide as the bell rings, hits the ropes and then takes flight with a suicide dive before rolling him into the ring. The Rocket climbs upstairs and connects with a splash for a near fall, irish whip to the corner is reversed, Hart hits the turnbuckles hard sternum-first, Kid climbs up top for a crossbody, nearly putting the match away. He quickly uses a roll-up for another 2 count, gains a wristlock, The Rocket rolls through it, grabs a handful of hair, slams The Kid to the canvas and grabs a wristlock of his own.
Kid kips up to his feet and scores with kicks to the chest, lateral press for a count of 2, lifts Owen back up and shoots him to the ropes, Hart reverses, looks for a kick to the ribs, The Kid blocks it, but doesn’t see the other foot coming around and gets clocked by an enzuigiri for another 2 count. The Rocket whips him to the ropes for a back body drop, The Kid has it scouted and prevents it with a kick, delivers a bridging northern lights suplex, the ref counts to 3, but notices Owen’s foot was on the ropes. Hart rolls outside to regroup, slingshot somersault senton from The Kid takes him out, he tosses The Rocket back inside, sends him to the ropes for a spinning heel kick, Owen catches him in the air, plants him with a bridging german suplex and still can’t find a 3 count.
The Rocket shoots him back to the ropes for an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for 2, sets for a vertical suplex, Kid slips out behind, hops onto his shoulders for a victory roll and a count of 2, Hart going to a roll-up of his own off the kick-out and The Kid just kicks out before a 3 count. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Kid hops up for a hurricanrana, The Rocket plants him with a powerbomb, slaps on a Sharpshooter and gets the submission victory.
Winner: ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart (Sharpshooter)
- EA’s Take: Shorter than our previous semi-final match, but much more entertaining with these two quick high-flyers. The beat down that Jeff Jarrett put on The Kid earlier in the night allows for him to still come off looking fairly strong in the loss, but of course at this time you weren’t going to see a whole lot of heel-heel or face-face match-ups, so Owen needed to go over. Plus The Rocket is still being propelled as one of the top antagonists in the company, so it only makes sense that he gets the win.
Backstage: Earlier in the day, cameras caught up with ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper to talk about his return to the ring tonight, Hot Rod stating he saw everything Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler said about him leading up to tonight. Piper says he enjoyed the imitator of him on The King’s Court, but he thinks Lawler took advantage of the kid and would like to find him and steer him in the right direction. He informs The King that all the talk doesn’t mean anything anymore, tonight it’s time to fight.
Match #8 for the WWF Tag Team Championships: Crush & Yokozuna w/James E. Cornette & Mr. Fuji vs. WWF Tag Team Champions The Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu) w/Captain Lou Albano & Afa
The four competitors all go face-to-face and a melee breaks out, they pair-off in opposite corners, the challengers whip The Headshrinkers into one another, the champions colliding and then hammering each other with forearm shots. Crush & Yoko look for headbutts that have no affect, the champions return fire, knock Yokozuna to the outside with a double headbutt, do the same to Crush and they clear the ring. Order is restored, Samu & The Mighty One take the ring, collar & elbow tie-up sees Yoko power Samu to the ropes, Samu shoves the behemoth, Yokozuna returning the favor and pushing him down to his backside.
Samu pops back up and scores with rights and chops, attempts a body slam, can’t pick up all the weight and Yokozuna hammers him with clubbing shots, sends him to the corner and charges in. Samu spins out with a reverse thrust kick, scores with a dropkick, delivers a clothesline and The Mighty One falls between the ropes to the outside to regroup before stepping back in and tagging out. Fatu tags himself in and goes eye-to-eye with Crush, the big Hawaiian clobbers him with forearms, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Fatu ducks for a back body drop, Crush sees it coming and plants him face-first into the mat, but again it has no affect. Fatu goes to the breadbasket with a kick, spikes him with a piledriver, climbs to the 2nd rope for a diving headbutt, lateral press and he gets a count of 2.
He sends the big Hawaiian to the ropes, irish whip is reversed, Fuji uses the flagstaff for a cheap shot to Fatu’s back, the official doesn’t see it and Crush takes the advantage, turning Fatu inside-out with a clothesline. The big Hawaiian lifts Fatu up and connects with a piledriver of his own for a 1 count, sends him to the ropes for a drop toe hold as Yoko tags in, The Mighty One follows with a massive leg drop to the back of the head, makes a cover and Samu saves the match after a count of 2. The referee works to get him back to the apron, Crush & Yoko swap out without a tag, clubs Fatu with forearms for another 2 count, then locks on a nerve hold to the trap muscle.
Fatu works his way up, Crush lets go of the hold and delivers a body slam, Yokozuna re-enters the match, whips Fatu hard into the corner, rushes in for a back splash, but doesn’t find the mark and hits the turnbuckles instead. Both guys crawl to tags, Samu with a barrage of right hands, shoots Crush to the ropes for a powerslam, Yoko’s still in the ring and tries to help out his partner, eats a number of right hands and gets dropped by a clothesline. All 4 guys in the ring now, the champions whip the challengers into one another and Crush goes down, double superkick to The Mighty One sends him to the outside, Samu climbs the corner to the top rope, Fatu rams Yoko into the ring post on the outside and it causes Samu to get crotched on the top turnbuckle.
The big Hawaiian makes it back to his feet, climbs up to meet Samu for a superplex and connects, follows with a big leg drop, then knocks Fatu off the apron as he climbs back up. Yoko comes in behind the ref’s back and delivers another leg drop to Samu, Lex Luger makes his way down to ringside, exchanges words with Crush, Samu with a roll-up from behind and he almost steals the win. Captain Lou climbs to the apron and has some words for the official, Fatu switches out with Samu behind the ref’s back, clocks Crush with a superkick, lateral press and the champions retain.
Winners and STILL WWF Tag Team Champions: The Headshrinkers (Fatu/Partner Switch-Superkick)
- After The Bell: The big Hawaiian is not pleased and attacks Luger on the outside, deposits him into the steel steps, rolls him into the ring, Fatu decks Crush with one of the title belts and The Headshrinkers team-up with Lex for a 3-1 assault before Yoko can pull his partner out of the ring.
- EA’s Take: This was actually not that bad, but there was just too much going on out at ringside to try and pay attention to everything in the squared circle. If anything, this just shows how decimated and weak the Tag Team Division was at this period, especially with The Steiners on their way out the door. The Headshrinkers turned face just before taking the titles off The Quebecers, Captain Lou being brought back to help out with that transition which never quite worked out as it was supposed to. The Headshrinkers would go on to lose the titles to Shawn Michaels & Diesel just one day before SummerSlam. Luger’s involvement stems from a KOTR qualifying match he previously had against Crush in which the big Hawaiian cost Lex a spot in the tournament. After rumors started that Lex was joining Ted DiBiase’s new Million Dollar Corporation in July, the rivalry was dropped with no conclusion and Crush would take a leave of absence just before SummerSlam in August.
Backstage: Todd Pettengill is joined by Owen Hart at the tournament board, The Rocket stating his brother may have won the crown last year, but tonight The Hitman is a loser. He vows to win it tonight, then sarcastically wishes his dad a happy Father’s Day.
Match #9 – King Of The Ring Finals: Razor Ramon vs. ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart
Collar & elbow tie-up to begin, The Rocket gains a side headlock, Razor sends him off to the ropes, clocks him with a heavy right and Owen complains to the official about the closed fist. They lock-up again, Hart with a wristlock this time, The Bad Guy counters to one of his own, Owen rolls through it, regains a side headlock, Ramon looks for a back suplex to reverse it, The Rocket lands on his feet and slaps him across the face. He hits the ropes and attempts a crossbody, Ramon catches him in the air, plants him with a body slam, follows with an elbow drop and covers for a count of 2. He shoots Hart back to the ropes, The Rocket slides between the legs, slaps The Bad Guy again, scores with punches, whips Razor to the ropes and tries to leapfrog over, Ramon catches his legs and catapults him into the turnbuckles.
Schoolboy for another 2 count, he takes Owen to the mat with a side headlock, The Rocket utilizes a headscissors to escape it, Razor floats over into a cover for 2, Hart bridges to his feet for a backslide, but it’s blocked and The Bad Guy uses one of his own for another near fall before taking Owen back down with a side headlock. Hart works to a standing position and sends Ramon off to the ropes, gets knocked down by a shoulder block, The Bad Guy heads back to the ropes, The Rocket pops back to his feet and connects with a spinning heel kick. He buries a boot to the abdomen, rakes Ramon’s face on the top rope, slaps on an abdominal stretch and uses the top rope for more leverage out of sight of the ref.
The Bad Guy finds a rush of adrenaline and escapes with a hip toss, can’t capitalize and Hart clobbers him with fists, shoots him to the ropes for a hip toss, Ramon blocks it, attempts one of his own, Owen blocks now, flips himself over and gets caught by the neck, then planted into the canvas with a chokeslam for a count of 2. Razor tosses him with a fallaway slam that almost finishes it, hooks Hart for a vertical suplex, The Rocket slips out the backside, scores with a side russian leg sweep, thinks it’s over and goes to the top turnbuckle for a moonsault. Ramon sees it coming and crotches him on the top turnbuckle, climbs up and delivers a back suplex from the 2nd rope, calls for the finish and positions Owen for the Razor’s Edge.
The Rocket counters with a back body drop that sends The Bad Guy over the top to the floor, Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart comes down to ringside to check on Razor as Owen holds the official’s attention, helps him to his feet and drops him with a clothesline, drives Ramon into the ring post, then rolls him into the ring. The Rocket climbs upstairs, connects with an elbow drop, the official drops down and makes the 3 count.
Winner: ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart (Top Rope Elbow Drop)
- After The Bell: Fireworks go off above the ring, Neidhart comes into the squared circle and 2-on-1 assault goes down, Owen & The Anvil hitting Ramon with a Hart Attack before a number of referees come down to break it up and get them out of the ring. Backstage, Raymond Rougeau is with WWF Champion Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart for his thoughts on what just happened, The Hitman saying he can’t believe what just happened and doesn’t want to talk any further. Back in the arena, Todd Pettengill is at the stage for the King Of The Ring coronation ceremony proclaiming Owen as the new King. The Rocket grabs the mic and states that he did what he said was going to do and wants everyone to start giving him the proper respect he deserves. WWF President Jack Tunney is here to do the honors, but Owen doesn’t want Tunney to do it, claiming The Anvil will be the man to present him with his crown and then forcing Todd to get down on his knees. Neidhart hands The Rocket the scepter, dons the cape around Owen’s shoulders and then places the crown on his head as Owen takes a seat on the throne. The Rocket swipes the mic again, proclaiming that from this day forward he will known as ‘The King Of Harts’.
- EA’s Take: Another fairly quick match between arguably two of the greatest performers of all-time to never be a World Champion. The addition of Jim Neidhart to the Owen/Bret feud provided a new wrinkle and layer to the storyline that may not have been needed because Owen was so hated, but certainly did not hurt the situation at all. The only odd thing to come from this was that Razor basically got screwed over and just took it without ever getting any kind of retribution, which really didn’t fit his gimmick, but that’s just knit-picking on my part.
Video: For weeks and weeks, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler continually abused ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper on the microphone, claiming his show ‘The King’s Court’ was now the standard for WWF talk shows, unlike the “relic” known as ‘Piper’s Pit’. Lawler would use a Piper impersonator to get under Hot Rod’s skin leading to Roddy finally accepting The King’s challenge for a match, tonight.
Match #10: Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler vs. ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper w/The Piper Impersonator
Hot Rod throws his kilt in Lawler’s face and starts to unload with right hands as the bell rings, the referee tries to intervene and Piper chases him off, continues hammering The King in the corner with fists, then tosses him across the ring with the kilt wrapped around his neck. Jerry backs up to the corner and tries to beg him off, Roddy offers a handshake, but instead buries a kick to the ribs, clocks The King with a haymaker and Lawler slides out under the bottom rope to take a walk. The Rowdy One goes out after him in pursuit, brings him back ringside in a full nelson, holds him in place and The Impersonator slaps Jerry across the face before Lawler rolls back inside.
Hot Rod rolls in and pummels The King with a series of rights and lefts, unleashes more fists on the mat, chases the official away again and grabs Lawler with a side headlock. Jerry sends him off to the ropes, drops down, Piper puts on the brakes and stomps away, The King backs up t the corner and Roddy calls him to bring it on. They lock-up and Lawler grabs a side headlock, Roddy shoots him off to the ropes, drops down, The King looks to stomp away, Hot Rod blocks it, gets back to his feet and delivers kicks to the back of the leg before spinning him around for an atomic drop that sends Jerry spilling to the outside.
The King sets his sights on The Impersonator, Hot Rod goes out after Lawler, tackles him to the floor, drives him head-first into the barricade and scores with fists and chops, Jerry tries to battle back, gets his hand caught and Roddy rams it into the ring post before rolling back in. Lawler regroups and tries to go after The Impersonator again, Hot Rod gets him from behind, pays for it and eats stiff right hands, The King rolls The Impersonator into the ring and puts the boots to him, Roddy trying to cover the kid up in the process and gets him out of the squared circle. Jerry stomps away at Piper, pummels him with lefts and rights, chokes him on the mat and drops a fist to the forehead for a count of 2.
More punches from The King, shoots Hot Rod to the ropes and slaps on a sleeper hold, Piper starts to fade away and drops to the mat, the official checking the arm, but Roddy finds a rush of adrenaline on the third attempt and makes it to his feet, reaching the ropes to force a break. The King with more heavy right hands, spikes Piper with a Piledriver, wastes time before making a cover and only gets a near fall because of it. Hot Rod uses the ropes to pull himself up, gets dropped by more right hands, Lawler turns his back and has words with the fans, Piper pulls himself back up, tells The King to bring it on and gets clocked by more lefts and rights. Roddy refuses to stay down and pulls up again, absorbs punches this time and they exchange fists.
Hot Rod getting the better of it, pokes Lawler in the eyes and plants him with a running bulldog. He goes back to the well and scores with another bulldog, tries for one more, The King pushes him away, Piper knocking down the referee in the process. Jerry reaches into his trunks and pulls out some kind of foreign object, lays Piper out with it, makes a cover with his feet on the ropes, the official crawling over to make a slow count, but The Impersonator pushes Lawler’s legs off at the last second to breakup the count at 2. Hot Rod quickly gets to his feet, connects with a back suplex, stacks The King up and gets the 1-2-3.
Winner: ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper (Back Suplex)
- EA’s Take: U-G-L-Y, they ain’t got no alibi, this match was ugly, *clap clap*, it’s ugly. Brutal match here that was really hard to watch and probably should not have closed the show. While Hot Rod looked to be in the best shape of his career, neither one of these guys were ever known for their workrate and were much better on the stick than in the ring. I get that this was Piper’s big return match and that’s likely why it went on last, but that’s probably a decision that’s regretted to this day and even Hot Rod himself admitted that it was horrible on his WWE documentary. The Rowdy One would not be seen again until 1995, meanwhile The King would return to commentary and continue his on-again, off-again feud with Bret Hart.
EA’s Finisher: Other than Owen Hart winning the King Of The Ring, this was overall a very forgettable show that likely would be booked differently if the company could turn back time. It was a big deal for Roddy Piper to have a comeback match, but it had no business closing the show in hindsight and the finals of the tournament probably should have gotten that spot. This was a time when the WWF liked to send fans home happy, so I can see why they didn’t want a heel victory to be the lasting image, but honestly, that’s what it should have been. There were no classic matches, no real storyline advancement due to the tournament. We didn’t even get a great showing from Bret Hart, mainly because despite Diesel getting a monster push, he was still greener than goose dung. Not to mention Art Donovan sounding like a complete moron throughout the entire event, really showing he had zero knowledge of the product. I’d suggest maybe skipping to the Owen/Razor match just to see The Rocket’s crowning moment, then leaving this one in the WWE Network archives untouched.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Owen Hart vs. Razor Ramon
2 – Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid
3 – The Headshrinkers vs. Crush & Yokozuna
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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