Eric Ames takes a look back at one of wrestling’s most historic nights: WWE Backlash 2017!
Kickoff Match: Aiden English vs. ‘The Perfect 10’ Tye Dillinger
Loud “10” chants as the bell rings, Aiden takes a bow and gets booed heavily, Dillinger flashes a “10” in his face and they tie-up, English hooking in a side headlock. The Perfect 10 tries to send him off to the ropes, Aiden grabs a handful of hair to maintain it, counters to a side headlock of his own, The Drama King looks to push him off, but now Dillinger hangs onto the hair. He snapmares Aiden over, cartwheels and flashes another “10” in his face, The Drama King swings wildly with a right hand, Tye ducks it, goes for a waistlock, but gets rocked by a back elbow. English drives him head-first into the top turnbuckle, corners him and goes to the 2nd rope, has some words for the crowd and The Perfect 10 slips out under his legs.
He corners The Drama King and climbs to the 2nd rope, Aiden slips away, tries to escape to the outside, Dillinger gets him by the foot, the ref steps in to separate them and English yanks Tye throat-first into the ropes. He steps back in and plants The Perfect 10 with a swinging neckbreaker, covers for a 2 count, puts him in the corner and fires away with heavy shots, then charges in with a back splash as we go to break….We come back and The Drama King puts the boots to Tye in the corner, snapmares him over and slaps on a chinlock, The Perfect 10 working back to a vertical base. Aiden goes to the spine with knees to bring him back down, Tye battles back to his feet, breaks English’s grip, drops down into a roll-up and gets a count of 2.
Both guys back up quick, The Perfect 10 splits Aiden with an inverted atomic drop, scores with stinging chops, The Drama King shoves him to the ropes to stop the onslaught, ducks down for a back body drop, but eats a kick for his troubles. English tries to come back with a clothesline that’s off the mark, The Perfect 10 rebounds off the ropes with flying forearms, flattens Aiden with a short-arm clothesline, corners him and goes to the 2nd rope, raining down lefts. He exposes the knee for the Tye Breaker, The Drama King wisely rolls to the outside, Dillinger heads out to retrieve him, but English quickly escapes back out to the apron.
Tye slides in and reaches out to get him, Aiden surprises him with a hot shot, heads to the top rope, but gets launched off with a military press. Dillinger ascends the corner for a splash, nobody’s home, The Drama King plants him with The Director’s Cut, hooks the leg, but still can’t put it away. Aiden starts become visibly upset, drags Tye to his feet and has some words for him, scoops Dillinger for a body slam, then goes back up top for That’s A Wrap. The Perfect 10 rolls out of harm’s way, English rolls to his feet, charges in for a clothesline, Dillinger ducks it, follows with the Tye Breaker and gets the win.
Winner: ‘The Perfect 10’ Tye Dillinger
- EA’s Take: Nothing overly special here, essentially the same match they have been having on SmackDown Live, except Aiden got in some more offense. This was really just a way to get Dillinger on the card, in my opinion. I’m more looking forward to seeing when he finally gets put into an actual storyline and who he’s matched up against. I could see him possibly being in the Money In The Bank Ladder Match, but honestly I only see him being a US Champion at-best in the long run.
Open: “We choose to show the world one face, but our true face, we only show ourselves. Is it the face of privilege or a predator? Is it the face of a fighter or a phenomenal one? Is it the face of a show off or an artist? Whatever face we choose to show, prepare for the backlash. It’s time to face who we are, it’s time to face the backlash.” This is WWE Backlash.
Match #1: Dolph Ziggler vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Ziggler stays low and tries to go for a leg, switches to a waistlock, Shinsuke swaps out and they trade back again, Nakamura kicking Dolph to the mat, looks for a kick to the head, The Show Off ducks it and we have a stalemate. Collar & elbow tie-up, Ziggler grabs a handful of hair to back Shinsuke to the corner, doesn’t break clean and slaps him across the face, The King of Strong Style fires back with shots to the breadbasket, then slaps on a wristlock. The Show Off counters to a roll-up for an early 2, goes to a wristlock of his own and switches to an armbar, grinding Nakamura down to the canvas. The Artist finds a standing position, rolls through it and cartwheels over, arm-whips Dolph to the mat and The Show Off quickly gains the ropes for a break.
He gives Ziggler a receipt for the slap to the face and taunts him, Dolph rushes in and takes a knee to the abdomen, Nakamura snapmares him over, scores with a knee drop and The Show Off crawls to the corner. The King of Strong Style delivers Good Vibrations, Ziggler rolls to the floor for a breather, Shinsuke comes out in pursuit, tosses him back into the ring and climbs on the apron. He gets caught stepping inside with a kick, Ziggler plants him with a rope-assisted neckbreaker, clobbers The Artist with a headbutt, then rips away at his eyes before grabbing a rear chinlock. Nakamura works back to his feet, rolls Dolph away and charges in, The Show Off connects with a dropkick, hooks both legs and gets a count of 2. He leaps up for an elbow drop and goes into a lateral press for another 2, has some words for the crowd, drags The King of Strong Style up to talk some trash, then clocks him with a headbutt.
He looks to send Shinsuke to the ropes, The Artist reverses into a knee to the midsection, looks for a roundhouse kick that misses, but brings his other leg around for a spinning wheel kick. Both guys stagger back to their feet, The King of Strong Style unload with a flurry of strikes, rocks Ziggler with kicks to the chest, Dolph stumbles to the corner and Nakamura rushes in with a knee to the ribs. He planks The Show Off across the top, buries another knee into the breadbasket, makes a cover, but only gets a 2 count. He hauls Ziggler up for a reverse exploder, Dolph fights out of it with a back elbow, rolls him up for a quick near fall, The Artist locking on a triangle choke off the kick-out.
The Show Off quickly gains the ropes to force a break, Shinsuke sets him for a vertical suplex, Ziggler slides out of it, spikes him with a satellite DDT, but still can’t finish it off. Both guys drag themselves back to their feet, Dolph rushes in and gets caught by another knee to the gut, Nakamura measures for the Kinshasa, Ziggler ducks under, utilizes a schoolboy and nearly steals it. Both guys back up quick, The Show Off scores with a Famouser and still can’t put it away, pulls himself up in the corner and lines up for Superkick. The King of Strong Style avoids it, tries a big boot that misses, Ziggler jumps up and deliver a Zig Zag, covers and Nakamura barely kicks out at 2. He grabs Shinsuke and hooks him for a powerbomb, The Artist blocks it, fires off quick strikes, drops down an axe kick to the back of the head, then tosses him with a reverse exploder suplex, but Dolph flips to his feet.
He surprises The King of Strong Style with a Superkick to the back of the head, crawls into a cover and Shinsuke gets the shoulder up at 2, Ziggler batters him with elbow to the back of the head, then unleashes a series of kicks. Nakamura blocks on, The Show Off spits in his face, The Artist gets angered, clocks him with heavy strikes, Dolph tries to go low and pick the leg, but Shinsuke bludgeons him with knees to the midsection. Ziggler crawls to the ropes and the official steps in to create separation, The King of Strong Style steps out to the apron, drills him with a sliding knee, then goes to the top rope for a flying knee. The Show Off ducks under it, attempts a Superkick, Nakamura side-steps, throws him with a reverse exploder suplex, then delivers the Kinshasa for the 3 count.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura (Kinshasa)
- EA’s Take: Great way to begin the show tonight and smart to get Nakamura’s match on first, avoiding the chants for him all night long. I don’t think anyone ever expected Ziggler to go over here, but they did a really good job of making it competitive and trying to suspend the disbelief. I was hot when Shinsuke debuted during a segment with The Miz and then The A-Lister got moved to RAW, that was a feud I was really looking forward to. However, it’s hard to argue with Dolph being the first guy up against The King of Strong Style, especially since selling is his strong point and it really drives home to the audience that Nakamura hits hard.
Video: We go to last week’s edition of The Fashion Files, Fandango wondering where Breeze is to help with all the work they’ve got. A “janitor” walks in and reveals himself to be Tyler Breeze, The Lord of the Dance asking how his undercover work is going. Prince Pretty reveals Baron Corbin has three shirts all with wolves on them, Sami Zayn is continuing to take advantage of “nerds” with his merchandise, but The Usos have a shirt saying “Day One Ish”, which nobody knows what it means. Tyler admits The Usos are scary and they don’t stand a chance, Fandango tells him he’s in too deep, reminding him that he’s The King of Cuteville and at Backlash, they’ll be wearing the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.
Match #2 for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
Breeze is sporting his janitor outfit, complete with a mop and bucket from last week’s Fashion Files. Jimmy & Fandango will kickoff the action, they tie-up and The Lord of the Dance snaps in a side headlock, Jimmy sends him off to the corner and follows in, Fandango hops up-and-over, hits the ropes and scores with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Fandango tags out, Breeze continues to mop the canvas, Jimmy charges him and only finds the turnbuckles, trips over the mop, then tries to rush back at Tyler. Prince Pretty rubs the mop in his face and plays to the crowd, Jey tags in behind his back, drops Breeze with a right hand, then snaps the mop in half and goes to the high-rent district. Tyler rolls away across the ring, Jey looks to go the opposite top rope, The Sultan of Selfie rolls across again and they keep the spot going.
Jey finally gets angered and tries to pick him up, Breeze surprises Jey with an enzuigiri for a count of 2, makes a tag and Fandango comes off the top with a double axe to the shoulder. He hooks on a wristlock and Jey rocks him with a fist, knocks Prince pretty off the apron, drives The Lord of the Dance to his corner and Jimmy tags in, connecting with punches and stiff chops. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Fandango goes for a back body drop, Jimmy counters with a sunset flip, can’t bring him over and The Lord of the Dance grinds his hips again, then delivers a leg drop for 2. He grounds Jimmy with an armbar, Tyler comes back onto the apron dressed as an elderly woman with a cane, Jimmy slips away from the armbar and The Lord of the Dance tags out, Jimmy doing the same. Prince Pretty steps in and Jey kicks the cane away, Breeze catches him with a dropkick, Jey gets frustrated, Tyler lifts his dress to scare him, then sends him to the corner with another dropkick.
The King of Cuteville charges in with a bronco buster and celebrates, Jey makes him pay with a running dropkick, lines him up in the corner for a flying forearm, Jimmy re-enters the match, then squashes Breeze with a running hip attack. Jimmy rips the dress off and launches it to the outside, props Prince Pretty up in the corner for a splash, The Sultan of Selfie side-steps it and both guys crawl to tags. Fandango comes in with left hands for Jey, follows with a clothesline, knocks Jimmy off the apron, then sends Jey to the ropes for a back body drop. Jey drops down and clocks him with an uppercut to avoid it, hits the ropes and gets drilled by a spinning wheel kick, The Lord of the Dance hooks the leg, but only gains a near fall. He corners Jey and fires off stinging chops, irish whip across is reversed, Jey runs in for a splash that misses, Fandango follows with a tornado DDT, but still can’t put it away.
Tag to Prince Pretty, Breezango sets for a double back suplex, Jey flips to his feet, decks Fandango with a right hand, but Breeze unloads with fists of his own. Jimmy makes a blind tag, Jey reverses a whip to the ropes, cracks Tyler with a backbreaker and holds him up, Jimmy comes off the top with a forearm, covers, but only gets 2. He drags Tyler back up and props him on the top turnbuckle for a superplex, Breeze slips out under the legs, doesn’t see Jey make a tag, pins Jimmy’s head in between the turnbuckles, turns around and Jey goes for a superkick. Tyler avoids it and Jey hits his brother by mistake, The King of Cuteville plants Jey with the Unprettier, hooks both legs and nearly finishes it off.
Jey rolls to the floor and Jimmy comes to check on him, Fandango gets a tag, Breeze comes off the apron with a somersault senton to the champions, but gets caught in mid-air and then launched into the barricade. The Lord of the Dance hits the ropes, flies over the top with a somersault senton, tosses Jey back into the ring and climbs to the top turnbuckle. Jimmy hops on the apron and creates a distraction, Jey knocks Fandango to the canvas with a superkick, hooks the legs and the champions retain.
Winner and STILL SmackDown Tag Team Champions: The Usos (Jey/Superkick)
- EA’s Take: This match was way better than I anticipated and at first, I wasn’t overly pleased that Breeze was still “undercover”, but all of the comedy spots were masterfully done. As much as I’m a fan of Breezango, I’ve always believed they were just interim challengers for the titles. The New Day is coming right around the corner here and I’d be willing to bet money that SmackDown Live’s Tag Team Division will be built around them, so gaining more heat on The Usos is a necessity for when that clash happens.
Match #3: Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin
Collar & elbow lock-up starts us off, Corbin backs Sami to the corner, breaks clean and they start pushing and shoving, then tie-up again. The Underdog from the Underground grabs a wristlock, Baron backs him to the corner again, tries for a cheap shot that misses and Zayn goes back to the wristlock. The Lone Wolf backs him to the ropes this time, buries a knee to the breadbasket off the break, shoots Sami to the ropes, Zayn uses the bottom rope to spring up-and-over, scores with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and Corbin spills to the outside. The Underdog from the Underground feigns an outside dive, Baron steps back in, drives him head-first into the top turnbuckle multiple times, dumps him over the top, Zayn hangs onto the apron, delivers a shoulder to the abdomen and flips himself back inside.
He hits the ropes and Baron elevates him into the air, The Underdog from the Underground surprises him with a dropkick, The Lone Wolf gets knocked to the floor again, reaches into the ring and drags him out to the floor. Corbin looks to deposit him into the barricade, Zayn hops on top of it, comes off with a moonsault, Baron staggering back into the ring to the corner. Sami slides in and connects with kicks and fists, The Lone Wolf powers him up, drives him spine-first into the turnbuckles, then targets the lower back with stomps and cracks him with a backbreaker. He whips The Underdog from the Underground hard into the turnbuckles, clobbers him with stiff forearms, Sami starts to battle back, hits the ropes and gets caught in a bearhug.
Zayn with elbows to the head to fight out of it, hits the ropes and ducks multiple shots, The Lone Wolf again catching him with a bearhug to punish the lower back. The Underdog from the Underground battles his way out again, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Corbin ducks down for a back body drop, eats a kick instead, then charges Zayn near the ropes. Sami low-bridges the top rope to dump Baron to the floor, ascends the corner to the high-rent district, Corbin slides back inside and Zayn jumps over the top of him, then rolls to his feet. He rushes in and The Lone Wolf plants him with a spinebuster for a count of 2, the crowd starts the “Ole” chants, Corbin hits the ropes for a heavy right hand, then screams at The Underdog from the Underground to stay down. Sami tries to drag himself back up, Baron hits the ropes for another haymaker, Zayn attempts to pull himself up once again, The Lone Wolf goes back to the well one time too many and gets flattened by a clothesline.
The Underdog from the Underground follows with another clothesline, stumbles to the corner, catches Corbin running in with a boot to the jaw, goes to the 2nd rope, springs to the top and connects with a crossbody for a 2 count. Zayn pulls Baron up and gets rocked by a shot to the throat, The Lone Wolf lines him up, charges in, Sami side-steps, Corbin slides out-and-in and turns him inside-out with a clothesline of his own, hooking the leg for a near fall. Baron goes right back to the lower spine with stiff forearm shots, lifts him up for a back suplex, The Underdog from the Underground flips to his feet, hits the ropes and gets caught in a chokeslam backbreaker, Zayn barely kicking out at 2. The Lone Wolf props him on the top turnbuckle for a superplex, Sami blocks it, plants Corbin with a sunset flip powerbomb off the 2nd rope for a near fall, hauls Baron back up, but gets shoved into the corner.
He catches Corbin walking in with a back elbow, goes to the 2nd rope for a tornado DDT, The Lone Wolf blocks it, powers him over his shoulder, The Underdog from the Underground slides out to the corner, catches Baron for the corner exploder suplex, but can’t lift him up. The Lone Wolf batters him with elbows, goes for End Of Days, Zayn reverses it into a crucifix that almost steals the win, both guys back up quick and Corbin hits Deep Six, Sami getting his shoulder up at 2. Baron starts to lose his cool and lays in a barrage of boots, pummels The Underdog from the Underground with forearms, Sami pulls himself to his feet using the ropes and Corbin charges in, but gets tossed to the outside. He lands on his feet and slides right back in, Sami surprises him with a big boot, Corbin stumbles to the corner and Zayn connects with a Helluva Kick to get the pinfall.
Winner: Sami Zayn (Helluva Kick)
- EA’s Take: Well, I’m doing good on my picks so far even though this one I wasn’t too confident about. Something tells me these two aren’t done with each other and I’d be willing to bet both are in the Money In The Bank match, so the rivalry can bleed over into that, which wouldn’t have made much sense if Zayn continued to get battered by The Lone Wolf. I’d say Corbin has to be the favorite to win the briefcase, so my thinking was that he could afford to lose here if he’s going to ultimately get that big win, which I still think is going to happen.
Backstage: An SUV pulls into the arena followed by a limousine, The Singh Brothers hop out of the SUV, take a carpet out of the back and lay it down next to the limo. Jinder Mahal steps out and Dasha Fuentes walks up for comment, The Maharaja stating that Chicago is full of haters, people that hate him for who they think he is and the way he looks. Jinder says he will take all of that hatred and turn it into something good, spiritual and positive, Mahal claiming he’s a peaceful man that is an animal when he’s provoked. The Maharaja states he will turn an entire universe of haters into believers, saying that tonight he makes history before speaking in Punjabi.
Match #4: Carmella, Tamina & Natalya w/James Ellsworth vs. Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair & SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi
Tamina & Becky will get us started, they lock-up and Tamina powers The Lass Kicker away, Lynch ducks another tie-up, jumps on Tamina’s back for a sleeper hold, but gets driven backwards into the corner. She looks for a right hand and Becky ducks under it, tries to roll her up, Tamina blocks it using her strength, clocks her with a headbutt and tags out. Natalya comes in and looks for a suplex, The Lass Kicker counters to a small package for a quick 2 count, The Queen of Harts drags her back up by the hair, but gets caught with forearm shots. Tag to Charlotte, The Queen slaps on a wristlock, Nattie reverses to one of her own, Charlotte cartwheels through, but gets ripped down to the mat by the hair.
She has words with Becky & Naomi on the apron, The Queen surprises her with a schoolboy for 2, unleashes stinging chops, then hits the ropes for a knee drop and struts in front of Carmella & Tamina. She looks to send Natalya into the corner, The Queen of Harts reverses it, Charlotte flips herself to the apron, surprises Nattie with a boot through the ropes, then slams her down to the mat by the hair. Carmella creates a distraction, Natalya takes the opening and flattens The Queen with a clothesline, drags her back into the ring and makes a tag, Tamina coming in to put the boots to her. Carmella enters the match and stomps away, brings in Nattie for more of the same, quick tag back to Tamina for more boots, then tags back out to The Princess of Staten Island.
Carmella snapmares Charlotte over and grabs a chinlock, The Queen finds her footing, scoops her up for a body slam, The Princess of Staten Island slips out of it, then plants her with oscar for a count of 2. She drives The Queen face-first into her boot in the corner, goes to the well one time too many and Charlotte sends her face-first into the top turnbuckle, makes a tag and Naomi springboards in with a crossbody. She batters Carmella with a flurry of kicks, decks her with a roundhouse kick, The Princess of Staten Island crawls to the corner, the champion charges in with a basement dropkick, then sets for the Springboard Split-Legged Moonsault. Tamina distracts The Glow Queen from the apron, Carmella takes the champion out at the knees, stomps away to the breadbasket, then corners her for a bronco buster for a near fall.
Tamina re-enters the match and grounds the champion with a rear chinlock, Naomi fights to a vertical base and hits the ropes, gets floored by a clothesline and Tamina tags out. The Princess of Staten Island buries a kick to the ribs and brings in Natalya, they send The Glow Queen to the corner, Nattie looks to shoot Carmella in for another bronco buster, but nobody’s home. Natalya hauls Naomi up and tries to send her to the ropes, the champion reverses it, gets clobbered by a kick, The Queen of Harts knocks Charlotte off the apron with a cheap shot, then goes to shoot the champion to the corner. Naomi reverses the whip, Tamina tags herself in, grabs The Glow Queen by the foot to prevent a tag, gets kicked away, the champion jumps towards Becky, but Carmella rips her off the apron at the last second. Tamina muscles Naomi up for a Samoan Drop and covers, Charlotte slides in to break the count at 2, Nattie re-enters the match, gets surprised by a kick to the midsection, quickly plants the champion with a modified atomic drop, runs over the top of The Glow Queen and hits the ropes.
Naomi explodes up with a dropkick, reaches her corner and The Lass Kicker comes in with a clothesline to Nattie, knocks Carmella & Tamina off the apron, levels Natalya with another clothesline, then follows with a leg lariat. She buries a spinning back kick to the abdomen, tosses The Queen of Harts with a Bexploder, clobbers her with a Flying Firearm and hooks the leg, but only gets a 2 count. The Lass Kicker ascends the corner to the top, Tamina climbs back on the apron and sweeps the legs, Lynch lands on the canvas on her feet and drops Tamina back to the floor with a dropkick. Natalya catches her with a double leg takedown for the Sharpshooter, Becky sneaks out of it and hooks on the Dis-Arm-Her, Carmella slides into the ring to break it up, but Charlotte steps in and deposits her to the floor.
Tamina hits the ring and drops The Queen with a Superkick, catches Naomi coming in with a headbutt, the referee forces her back to the apron, Nattie grabs Becky from behind and pushes her to the ropes for a roll-up. Lynch reverses into one of her own and gets a near fall, Tamina comes back in again, The Lass Kicker knocks her to the outside with a forearm, turns around and The Queen of Harts with another double leg takedown, then locks on the Sharpshooter for the tap-out.
Winners: Carmella, Tamina & Natalya (Natalya/Sharpshooter)
- EA’s Take: I have to be honest, I couldn’t have cared less about this one. It’s not that it was a bad match by any means, I just found myself not overly invested in the build-up. So my picks are no longer perfect here, I expected the faces to pick-up a win since they’ve been losing to the heels for weeks now. Also, I half-expected Charlotte to turn on her partners at some point since it was reported WWE has been second-guessing making her a babyface. It didn’t happen tonight, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see it happening at all, especially since she keeps reiterating that she wants the title.
Match #5 for the WWE United States Championship: AJ Styles vs. WWE United States Champion Kevin Owens
The bell rings and we go into an aggressive lock-up, the champion quickly slips away and AJ has some words for him, they tie-up again, jockey for position and Styles backs KO to the corner. He breaks clean and Owens tries to go for the right leg, the challenger quickly squirms away, collar & elbow and The Phenomenal One hooks on a side headlock, then gets pushed off to the ropes. He surprises The Prize Fighter with a roll-up for 2, swiftly goes back to a side headlock, the champion goes for the right leg again to break free, but Styles regains the hold. The New Face of America fights out to one of his own, sends Owens off to the ropes, leapfrogs over, KO hangs onto the ropes to avoid a dropkick and rolls to the outside. AJ goes out in pursuit and the champion quickly rolls right back in, The Phenomenal One steps into the squared circle, KO catches him with a kick to the breadbasket, then fires away with rights and chops.
Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, the challenger leaps up for a dropkick, The Prize Fighter hangs onto the ropes again to avoid it, puts the boots to AJ and hits the ropes. Styles explodes up and finally connects with the dropkick, scores with stinging chops, corners irish whip to the corner is reversed, The Phenomenal One hops up-and-over KO, grabs a waistlock, but Owens picks the leg to take him down. The challenger pops up with a headscissors takedown, The New Face of America staggers to the corner, they exchange shots, irish whip across is reversed, AJ catches Owens following in with a back elbow, then hops to the 2nd rope. KO sweeps the leg and drops him face-first on the top turnbuckle, hits the ropes and levels Styles with a clothesline for 2, then bludgeons him with fists. He buries his knee into the spine and slaps on a rear chinlock, The Phenomenal One fights to a standing position, Owens goes to the gut with a kick, spikes him with a DDT and covers for a count of 2.
The Prize Fighter follows up with multiple sentons to squash the challenger, gains another near fall, then goes right back to a rear chinlock to ground him. Styles gains his footing, gets slammed back to the mat by the hair, KO scoops him up for a body slam, AJ slides out of it and rocks him with an enzuigiri. The New Face of America hauls him back up and they exchange blows, the challenger unloads with a Phenomenal Blitz, hits the ropes for a basement forearm that gets 2, then tosses him to the corner for a flying clothesline. He muscles KO up for the Ushigaroshi, The Prize Fighter slips out for a clothesline that misses the mark, AJ plants him with a back suplex facebuster, sits on top and the champion barely kicks out at 2. The Phenomenal One hooks him for a Styles Clash, Owens squirms away, rushes back in and gets cracked by the Ushigaroshi, AJ covering for a near fall.
The challenger sets for a Styles Clash again, The New Face of America powers out with a back body drop, charges him near the ropes and eats a back elbow, Styles springs off the 2nd rope for a moonsault, the champion side-steps it and connects with a superkick. He cracks The Phenomenal One with a pumphandle neckbreaker that almost finishes it off, sends him to the ropes for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, AJ hangs on, catches KO running in with a boot to the jaw and they begin to trade shots. The challenger ducks a clothesline, rushes in and gets elevated over the top, lands on his feet on the apron, but gets dropped to the floor after a hot shot from the champion. The Prize Fighter looks outside and heads upstairs, The Phenomenal One spots him, climbs to the apron and delivers a right hand, pulls him to the apron for a Styles Clash, but KO flips down to the floor and lands on his feet.
He whips Styles’ leg into the ring post, deposits him into the steel steps, rolls AJ into the ring in the corner, then measures for the Cannonball. He wraps the challenger’s leg in the ropes, delivers another Cannonball to the bad knee, hooks on a single-leg crab, drags him to the middle of the ring and switches to an ankle lock. The Phenomenal One claws his way to the bottom rope to force the break, crawls out to the apron, The Prize Fighter climbs to the 2nd rope, pulls AJ up with him and lifts him onto his shoulders. Styles slips over and plants KO with a sunset flip powerbomb, drags himself back to the apron and to his feet, lining up for the Phenomenal Forearm, but his leg gives out. The New Face of America quickly spikes him with a double underhook DDT, still can’t finish it off, uses the ropes to pull himself back to his feet, then puts the bad-mouth on AJ and slaps him across the face over-and-over.
The challenger explodes up with a Pele Kick, staggers to a standing position, hammers KO in the corner with right hands, then props him on the top turnbuckle for a superplex. The Prize Fighter surprises him with a fisherman’s buster off the 2nd rope, Styles just barely kicks out at 2, Owens positions him near the corner, then climbs to the top turnbuckle. The Phenomenal One wisely rolls to the apron and KO drops down after him, sets for a suplex, the challenger hooks the ropes to block it, then plants the champion on the apron with a snap suplex. Both guys fall to the floor, AJ rolls in-and-out to break the count, tries to pick The Prize Fighter back up, but gets launched over the barricade into the timekeeper’s area.
Owens stumbles back to his feet, the challenger leaps on top of the barricade, connects with a Phenomenal Forearm, tosses the champion onto the announce table, then climbs up for a Styles Clash. The New Face of America squirms away and sweeps the bad leg, AJ’s knee gets caught in an opening on the table, Owens slides back inside and the ref’s count reaches 10.
Winner and STILL WWE United States Champion: Kevin Owens (Count-Out)
- After The Bell: The official heads outside to check on Styles, Owens rolls out, clocks him with a superkick to the back of the head, then hugs his title as he takes his leave.
- EA’s Take: The finish of this match will probably leave a lot of people salty, but I’m totally fine with it. This was as good of a match as we all expected and I don’t mean to be negative, but I think there’s still more these two can show us should they square-off again. As for the finish, I’m good with it because it allows AJ to stay pretty protected while keeping the title on Owens. I still firmly believe Styles is on the road to facing the WWE Champion at SummerSlam…or at least on the road to facing Randy Orton, so having him take the US Title is not necessary. Plus, WWE is keeping KO’s issues with Chris Jericho alive as we saw on SmackDown Live last week and I think that means more when it happens if Y2J is coming back for the US Championship. Also, much like the Corbin/Zayn match, I see this bleeding over into Money In The Bank and I’d be shocked if one or either of these guys in not involved in the Ladder Match for the briefcase.
Match #6: Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan
The bell rings and Rowan powers Harper into the corner, fires away with right hands and boots, then sends him to the ropes for a back elbow. He batters Luke with more fists and chops in the corner, hooks on a side headlock, Harper pushes him off to the corner, battles back with chops of his own and goes to shoot him to the opposite corner. Rowan reverses it and Harper hops to the apron, clobbers Rowan with a forearm shot, starts to go the top rope, but gets pushed to the floor, falling head-first off the steel steps. Rowan builds a head of steam and delivers a baseball slide, tosses Harper into the barricade, goes to town with heavy punches, then throws him into the ring.
He walks over Harper and hits the ropes for a splash, uses a lateral press for a 2 count, rips away at Luke’s face, then squeezes away with a vice. Harper starts to find his footing and gets shoved to the corner, Rowan with more big chops to the chest, tees off with stiff right hands, Harper battling back with shots of his own. He looks to whip Rowan to the corner and it’s reversed, Rowan rushes in with a splash, rolls Luke out and scores with a dropkick, but only gets a count of 2. He grinds Harper back down with a rear chinlock, Luke finds his footing, gets scooped up for multiple body slams, then cracks him with a pumphandle backbreaker. He drags Harper up for a short-arm clothesline, hooks the leg for another 2 count, ascends the corner to the high-rent district, but misses a splash. Harper pulls himself back to his feet, Rowan tries to crawl to his mask on the stairs, Luke holds him down using his foot, then kicks him to the outside.
Rowan staggers towards the barricade and Harper rolls out after him, charges in with a clothesline, rams him head-first off multiple announce tables, slides into the ring and hits the ropes for a suicide dive. He sends Rowan back into the squared circle and climbs to the apron, slingshots in with a somersault senton, hits the ropes for a big boot and gains a near fall. Luke lines up for a Discus Clothesline, Rowan avoids it for a right hand, hits the ropes, Harper surprises him with a sidewalk slam, but still can’t put it away. He drags Rowan up for a powerbomb, Rowan slips out to the corner, catches Harper walking in with a back elbow, follows with a spinning heel kick, plants him with a powerbomb, but Luke just kicks out at 2. Rowan gets frustrated and pummels him with big rights, hooks Luke for another powerbomb, Harper’s playing possum, uses a double leg takedown and bridges into a cover, but only gets 2.
Both guys back up to their feet and they exchange punches and chops, Rowan goes to the midsection, tries the powerbomb again, but it’s countered into a hurricanrana. Rowan looks to his mask, turns around into a superkick, turns back to the mask, Harper connects with another superkick, Rowan tries to come back with a clothesline, Luke ducks it, levels him with the Discus Clothesline and that’s all she wrote.
Winner: Luke Harper (Discus Clothesline)
- EA’s Take: Just as I suspected, this was merely time-filler and was used in between the two top title matches as a way to help the crowd come down a bit. Kudos to both big guys for working so hard, it’s just a shame that the crowd wasn’t that into it and was more concerned with stupid “CM Punk” chants (Don’t even get me started on how I feel about that). Harper gets his win back from SmackDown Live last week which is about the only meaningful thing to come of this, but I use that term loosely. The way Harper has been used has been really disappointing, he was so hot before WrestleMania and WWE did absolutely nothing to capitalize on it.
Match #7 for the WWE Championship: Jinder Mahal w/The Singh Brothers vs. WWE Champion Randy Orton
Orton ambushes Jinder during the introductions, shoots him hard into the corner and then unleashes a flurry of fists and kicks. He tosses Mahal to the outside, chases off The Singh Brothers, launches The Maharaja over the announce table, then batters him with fists. The Apex Predator throws the challenger back in, the official restores order and finally calls for the bell, this match now officially underway. The Viper rushes in at the bell and continues unloading with right hands, goes for an early RKO, Mahal escapes it and rolls to the outside. The champion comes out after him, levels Jinder with a clothesline, throws him into the squared circle and The Maharaja rolls right back out. Orton steps out in pursuit, the challenger drives him shoulder-first into the ring apron, sends him inside and tries to slow things down with a top wristlock.
The champion works back to a standing position, Mahal takes him out at the knee with a kick, hits the ropes for a basement dropkick, covers for a 1 count, then goes right back to the top wristlock. The Apex Predator finds his footing again, Jinder goes to the breadbasket with multiple knees, shoots him to the ropes for a back body drop, Randy grabbing a handful of hair and slams him to the canvas to avoid it. The Viper tries to get the feeling back in his left arm, stomps away at every limb of the challenger, grinds his knee across The Maharaja’s face, then rocks him with numerous uppercuts. Jinder counters an uppercut for a backslide, Orton blocks it, Mahal switches to an armbreaker, then hits the ropes for a knee drop and covers for a 2 count. He grounds The Viper with an armbar, the champion fights to a vertical base, Mahal goes to the abdomen with another knee, tries to send Orton to the ropes, but it’s reversed.
Jinder hangs onto the ropes to avoid a clothesline, charges out and gets launched over the top to the floor, The Apex Predator steps outside, then plants him on the announce table with a back suplex. Randy rolls the challenger into the ring, gets caught coming in with stomps, The Maharaja springs off the bottom rope with multiple knee drops, chokes the champion, then drives a knee into the spine and goes back to an armbar. The Viper works his way back up, forces Mahal to the corner, doesn’t break clean and scores with a headbutt, then goes to whip him across. The challenger reverses and follows in for a shoulder to the breadbasket, Orton side-steps it, Jinder goes shoulder-first into the ring post and the champion starts to gather himself. He drives Mahal face-first into the top turnbuckle, climbs the corner and drags him up for a superplex, The Maharaja fights it off, knocks him back to the mat, but the champion sweeps the legs to crotch him on the top turnbuckle.
The Viper climbs back up and this time hits the superplex, crawls into a cover for a near fall, both guys stumble back to their feet, exchange blows, Orton starting to build momentum with multiple clotheslines. He ducks one from the challenger, plants him with a powerslam, Jinder staggers to the corner, catches the champion walking in with a back elbow, swings wildly for a right hand, but The Apex Predator avoids it, then tosses him with a t-bone suplex for a near fall. He drags The Maharaja back up and gets surprised by a shot to the throat, Jinder plants him with an arm-hook neckbreaker, covers and still can’t put it away. He goes to send the champion to the ropes, The Viper counters into a modified backbreaker, Mahal rolls out to the apron, Randy hooks him for the IEDDT and spikes him into the mat. Orton calls for the RKO, Jinder wisely rolls to the floor, the champion rolls out in pursuit, The Singh Brothers checking on the challenger.
They have words with Orton, The Viper takes them both out with fists, deposits them into the barricade, The Maharaja is back to his feet and he shoves Randy shoulder-first into the ring post multiple times. The challenger sends Orton back in, slides in and gets surprised by an RKO, tries to crawl to a cover, but The Singh Brothers reach in and drags Jinder outside. The Apex Predator goes back out, launches Sunil over the announce table, plants them both individually on it with back suplexes, then drags Sunil up onto the apron. Samir climbs up to help out, he spikes them both with an IEDDT, Jinder slides in from behind, plants Orton with the Khallas and we have a new champion.
Winner and NEW WWE Champion: Jinder Mahal (Khallas)
- EA’s Take: Wow, what a shocker! I really, really wanted Jinder to win the title, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would happen. I’m a big proponent of doing new and fresh things and quite frankly, nobody has been hotter on either brand since the Superstar Shakeup than The Maharaja has been. Also, Orton really seemed to be resting on his laurels lately and it felt like he was going through the motions, so why not change things up? I don’t see this being a long run and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it come to an end at Money In The Bank, but even if that’s the case I am all for this no matter what anyone thinks.
EA’s Finisher: Much, much better than Payback was so no surprise since SmackDown Live just continually is better than RAW, at least in my eyes. The main event was not the greatest match I’ve ever seen, but the shock value it was made it so vital. Styles/Owens did not disappoint and I still think it was the match of the night, although I think they can give us more if they meet up again. From top-to-bottom, the card was pretty entertaining, even Rowan/Harper despite the fact that the crowd wasn’t that into it. Sleeper of the night? The Tag Title Match, man was that ever entertaining and hopefully Breezango doesn’t fade into the background too much. Look for almost all of these rivalries to bleed over into Money In The Bank on June 18th.
Top Three To Watch
1 – AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens
2 – The Usos vs. Breezango
3 – Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler
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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