Eric’s look back at WWE Extreme Rules in 2015, featuring Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton in a steel cage!
WWE Extreme Rules from 2015 took place on April 26 at the All State Arena in Chicago! This was the follow-up to WrestleMania 31, the event where Seth Rollins cashed in Money In The Bank to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion for the first time. Extreme Rules features multiple gimmick matches, and this year’s included a Steel Cage Match, Last Man Standing Match, Russian Chain Match, and… a Kiss My Arse Match.
Kickoff Match: Bad News Barrett vs. ‘The Man That Gravity Forgot’ Neville
Barrett’s got a mic and talks about how excited everyone probably was to see him Bullhammer Daniel Bryan tonight, but Bryan’s not medically cleared. BNB takes credit for Bryan not being here, saying he’s scared of losing the Intercontinental Championship to him. Barrett calls himself the UK’s ‘Michael Jordan’ and says Neville will take the Bullhammer that was destined for Bryan. Big ‘NXT’ chants when Neville makes his entrance. They start off going into the ropes, Bad News with a shoulder knockdown and a taunt for Neville. They tie-up again, this time Neville getting the better of it with a pinning combination for a 2 count. Barrett gets Neville in the corner and works him over with big shots.
Neville whipped into the other corner, avoiding Barrett with somersaults and then a 2nd rope springboard crossbody. Neville scores a hurricanrana that sends Barrett to the outside, attempts a slingshot crossbody, but Bad News catches him and smashes him on the apron. Barrett with a hard irish whip of Neville into the barricade and we go to a break….Barrett has Neville grounded with a rear chinlock when we come back. Neville tries getting to his feet, but gets caught with a big kick in the corner, giving Barrett a near fall. Bad News planks Neville in the corner across the top, burying a big knee to the gut and then going back to the rear chinlock. Neville again gets to his feet and is able to go into the ropes, but runs into a huge boot by Barrett for a 2 count, then follows with a slingshot backbreaker for another.
The rear chinlock is again the weapon of choice for Barrett, but Neville creates seperation when he gets to his feet this time. Neville picks up the pace with a series of kicks and dropkicks to the legs. Bad News rolls to the outside for a breather and pays for it, as Neville connects this time with a moonsault plancha out to the floor. Back inside, Neville with a delayed bridging german suplex for a count of 2, then he heads to the apron, possibly for the Red Arrow. Barrett’s up, Neville hops back in over him and runs into Winds of Change, gaining another 2 count for Barrett. BNB goes for Wasteland, Neville avoids it and makes his way to the apron, attempting a springboard maneuver and getting caught by Barrett for Wasteland anyways.
Barrett gains another near fall, then sets for the Bullhammer. Neville avoids it and hits an enzuigiri, then climbs to the top for the Red Arrow. Barrett to his feet and he crotches Neville, but misses another Bullhammer attempt. Neville lays Bad News out with a big kick, then climbs back up and hits the Red Arrow for the victory.
Winner: Neville (Red Arrow)
- EA’s Take: As I had predicted, Neville does indeed become the opponent for Barrett tonight over the injured Daniel Bryan. Huge win for Neville here, I thought they may let Barrett get the duke after Neville pinned him in the tag match on Smackdown. If you’ve never watched a PPV from Chicago before, fully expect the crowd to be just as loud all night as they were for this match.
Open: A video package about rules and their place in society. Hype for the US Title Russian Chain Match and the WWE World Heavyweight Title contest, that will be contested tonight in a steel cage.
Match #1 Chicago Street Fight: Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper
Ambrose isn’t wasting any time and he meets Harper in the aisle. Fisticuffs are flying and they get inside, the bell rings. Harper goes right back outside and Ambrose hits a suicide dive, then tosses Harper into the steel steps. Dean’s getting grimey already, pulling out a couple chairs from under the ring, following Harper back in with a kendo stick. Batter up! Ambrose assaults Luke with the kendo stick, laying him out. He sets up a chair and sits down, staring crazily at Harper. Dean attempts a suplex on the chair, but Luke reverses and Ambrose’s body buckles the chair and Harper gets 2. Harper’s swinging for the fences now, unloading on Ambrose with the kendo stick, then propping a chair between the ropes in the corner.
Ambrose goes for a tornado DDT, but Harper counters and then lawn-darts Ambrose face-first into the chair in the corner, gaining another near fall. Luke goes back to the kendo stick, then slams Dean and lays a chair on the mat. Ambrose with a counter and a body slam to Harper, flat on the chair. Ambrose with a boot on a rushing Harper in the corner, then hits the tornado DDT he tried earlier. Dean with a succession of punches and chops, followed by a running dropkick and then a diving top rope elbow drop that gets a count of 2.
Dean tries the pendulum clothesline, Harper with a knee and a failed powerbomb attempt that leads to Ambrose scoring with a clothesline on the outside. Dean chases Luke to the backstage area with a kendo stick, driving him into production boxes along the way. They make their way through the interview area, Harper getting clocked in the head with a pipe. Harper finds a vehicle and hops in the driver seat, taking off as Ambrose jumps in the window.
- EA’s Take: Alright, this is interesting. Kind of like the infamous Hollywood Backlot Brawl Match between Goldust & Roddy Piper at WrestleMania 12. This match will likely continue throughout the evening between segments, then they’ll make their way back to the ring later on and we’ll get our finish.
Backstage: Triple H calls Kane into his office and tells him to track down Harper & Ambrose. Seth Rollins shows up and HHH tells him that he and Kane need to get on the same page. The Authority can’t afford for anything to go wrong tonight and they need to be professional. Rollins says if they’re supposed to be on the same team, then why did Kane throw him right into a Spear on Smackdown? Kane says he was protecting him, but Seth wants Kane to take some responsibility. Kane calls Rollins an ungrateful punk, but HHH intervenes and says that Seth has a small point. Triple H tells Kane he just wants to make sure nothing goes wrong tonight. Kane says he appreciates it and he won’t let either of them down.
Match #2 ‘Kiss Me Arse’ Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. ‘The Celtic Warrior’ Sheamus
Sheamus pie-faces Dolph which angers him, driving Sheamus into the corner with rights and a headbutt. Sheamus brawls back, but Ziggler hits a dropkick and then a clothesline, both men spilling outsice. Dolph meets the steel steps, Sheamus tries to send him into them again, but Ziggler counters and hits a tornado DDT on the floor. Both men slowly make their way back in, Sheamus catching Dolph with a vicious knee to the head. Sheamus starts to dominate with heavy shots out on the apron and a very aggressive rear chinlock back in the ring. Dolph battles up, tries the Fameasser, but Sheamus counters into a sit-out powerbomb to stop Dolph in his tracks. Sheamus is feeling confident, leveling Ziggler with clotheslines and berating him, saying “Little fella’s don’t belong, in MY ring!”.
Sheamus wears Dolph out again with a tight rear chinlock, but Ziggler gets some space with rights and a headbutt. Dolph’s showing some life, hitting the Celtic Warrior with stiff forearms and a splash in the corner. Dolph goes for a neckbreaker, but Sheamus clobbers him, eventually getting Ziggler in the Cloverleaf. Dolph with an innovative counter into a roll-up for a near fall. They both quickly get up and Dolph strikes with a Superkick for another count of 2. Dolph wants the Fameasser again, but Sheamus avoids it and slingshots Ziggler on the tope rope, following with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Sheamus nails a release suplex, then goes for the Brogue Kick. Dolph avoids it and rolls Sheamus up for another 2 count. Sheamus goes for another suplex, Dolph with another roll-up and he gets a 3 count!
Winner: Dolph Ziggler (Roll-Up)
- After The Bell: Sheamus can’t believe he lost and goes to the timekeeper’s area to argue about the 3 count. The ref stops Sheamus he lost and stops him from trying to leave through the crowd. He reluctantly gets in the ring and the crowd chants “Pucker Up”. Dolph tells Sheamus it was his idea, but Sheamus can’t bring himself to do it. Sheamus is really having a conflict of interest, but drops to his knees and then low blow’s Ziggler. Sheamus picks him up and knocks him out with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus gets a mic and asks if Dolph really thought he’s ‘kiss his arse’? He says he promised to make Ziggler kiss his and he forces Dolph’s unconscious face into his backside.
- EA’s Take: Did you really expect Sheamus to kiss Dolph’s ass? I was surprised that Dolph picked up the win, but it was the perfect way for Sheamus to get the last laugh and for both men to look good. That is if you can ‘look good’ after getting your face rubbed in someone’s ass.
Match #3 for the WWE Tag Team Championships: The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) w/Xavier Woods vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Tyson Kidd & Cesaro w/Natalya
Kofi kicks things off with Kidd, a very quick exchange that Kofi ends with a splash and we get a stalemate. They tie-up again, Kingston with an armbar and Kidd uses the rope to counter. Tyson scores a backslide for 2 and Kofi makes the tag to Big E. Tyson tags the Swiss Superman, but Big E gets the first knockdown. Into the ropes the go and Cesaro catches Big E in mid-air for a slam, following with a double stomp for a 2 count. Kidd tags in and gets overpowered and pushed into New Day’s corner. Kingston’s in and he tosses Tyson out to the feet of Woods outside.
New Day tries a double team move, but Kidd stops it and hits Kofi with a somersault plancha through the 2nd rope. Kidd turns around into a massive clothesline from Big E, then head back in the ring. Kingston comes in and Big E whips him into a low dropkick on Kidd in the corner for a 2 count. Tyson fights out of a top wristlock, but Kingston hits a picture perfect dropkick for another near fall. Big E’s in now, trying a big splash on Kidd, but Kidd rolls out of the way out to the apron. Big E charges Tyson, but Kidd pulls the ropes and Big E’s flies to the outside. Kidd crawls to his corner and tags are made by both teams now. Cesaro catches Kofi with a series of uppercuts and a clothesline for a count of 2. Cesaro catapults Kofi into the ropes, but he lands on his feet and goes for a crossbody, Cesaro with the catch into a backbreaker for 2.
Kingston goes to the top turnbuckle, but gets caught with another uppercut and Kidd tags. Cesaro hits Kofi with the Swiss Suplex, Kidd following with a springboard elbow drop that only gets a near fall. Tyson looks for the Sharpshooter, Kingston kicks out, getting Kidd onto the apron while Big E makes a blind tag. Big E is a freight train, spearing Tyson through the 2nd rope onto the floor. Cesaro tries to help Kidd, but Big E back body drops him on the floor. Big E gets Kidd back in the ring, Kofi tags and they hit the Big Ending/DDT combo. Kingston covers, but Cesaro saves the match with a headbutt. Big E comes in with a clothesline for Cesaro and they both are dumped to the outside. Kingston wants Trouble In Paradise, but Tyson catches the leg and locks on the Sharpshooter.
Big E breaks it with an overhead belly to belly for Kidd, but Kingston can’t capitalize. Cesaro tags and they hit the Cesaro Swing/dropkick combo for the cover, but Xavier Woods is on the apron for the distraction. Chaos ensues with Natalya getting involved, Kidd gets caught up in the side action, Kofi with a roll-up from behind and New Day steals the titles.
Winners and NEW WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day (Kingston/Roll-Up)
- EA’s Take: Wow, another bit of a surprise here. I imagine this means Kidd & Cesaro are going full-fledged babyface. New Day does seem to be getting some heel momentum, but I’m not sure if the heat they are getting is the right kind of heat. They say any reaction is better than none however and it’s quite obvious that WWE feels the “New…Day Sucks” chants are loud enough to warrant a title run. This all only makes sense if Kidd & Cesaro are faces though.
Backstage: Renee Young is with The New Day. Renee wonders if their positivity has gotten them to this point. Woods says today is the dawn of the New Day. Kofi tries to start a chant, but Dean Ambrose & Luke Harper come driving back into the arena.
Ambrose vs. Harper continues….
Ambrose dives off the roof of the SUV onto Harper and The New Day. Harper tries to escape out back into the arena, but Ambrose comes from out of nowhere. They make their way back into the ring, but not for long as they spill outside on opposite sides. They both start tossing a pile of chairs into the ring, then enter and Ambrose wins the chair duel. Dean tries Dirty Deeds, but Harper counters into a sit-out powerbomb onto a chair for a near fall. Harper stacks a bunch of chairs onto a prone Ambrose, then climbs the top rope. Ambrose springs to his feet, then slams Harper onto the chair pile. Ambrose follows with Dirty Deeds and covers, getting the 3 count.
Winner: Dean Ambrose (Dirty Deeds)
- EA’s Take: This was a pretty disappointing finish to what was an exciting match to open the night. There wasn’t really any big spot to finish the bout like you would have expected.
Match #4 Russian Chain Match for the WWE United States Championship: Rusev w/Lana vs. WWE United States Champion John Cena
Both men are locked in at the wrist and the tug of war begins. Rusev gives it up and instead opts for a splash to Cena in the corner. Rusev goes to the corner early, but Cena stops it and goes for them himself. Rusev drops Cena, then tosses him outside over the top. Rusev uses the chain the string Cena up, going to work with sambo strikes and headbutts. Rusev drags Cena to the apron and suplexes him back in, only getting 2 corners before taking a chain shot from Cena to the gut. Cena attempts an AA early, but Rusev isn’t nearly worn down enough. They go to the outside again, this time Cena uses the chain to his advantage, yanking Rusev into the ring post.
Cena gets to 2 corners, but Rusev prevents it and then lays Cena out with a spinning heel kick. The big Russian Hero wraps the chain around his hand, driving it into Cena’s stomach, then whipping him with it. Rusev is able to gain 3 corners, but Cena rolls to the outside, stopping the momentum and waving the lights off. Rusev is still completely dominating, using the chain at his disposal. Rusev uncharacteristically goes to the top, Cena pulls him down to the canvas, then flatlines him with a clothesline. Cena slowly gets 2 corners, Rusev is up and catches Cena with a fallaway slam. The crowd chants “We Want Lana” and Lana jumps up on the apron to acknowledge the crowd. Rusev gets angry and sends her to the back to a loud chorus of “boo’s”.
The Champ takes advantage of the distraction with a slam and a 5 Knuckle Shuffle using the chain. Cena tries the AA again, but Rusev counters and connects with an Alabama Slam. It’s time for The Accolade, but Cena counters into the STF. Rusev gets the ropes, but it doesn’t matter. Cena breaks the hold and gets 3 corners, Rusev taking a page out of Cena’s playbook, rolling to the outside to stop Cena’s momentum. Cena gets Rusev back in for the AA and again Rusev gets out and hits a big superkick. The Accolade is locked in this time, but Cena gets to his feet, carrying Rusev on his back and slamming him into 2 corners to break it.
Rusev realizes he’s got 2 lights and gets a 3rd, but Cena pulls Rusev into the Attitude Adjustment and both men are down. They both get up and touch 1 corner each on opposite sides. They both get 3 and it’s a race to the 4th and final corner. Rusev goes for it and gets yanked into another AA, Cena touches the final corner to retain.
Winner and STILL WWE United States Champion: John Cena
- After The Bell: Cena raises the title in the ring and the American flag drops down.
- EA’s Take: This has to be the end of Rusev/Cena, so I’m more interested in where all the parties go from here. I found the match to be decent at-best and overall I found this feud to be a little underwhelming. The cracks between Lana & Rusev are growing wider and wider, this is sure to be a great story moving forward as it’s been reported that Lana will be receiving a big push. Who’s the next challenger to Cena’s US title? There’s many paths that could be explored with him, but it’s hard to see which road has the smoothest ride.
Backstage: Renee Young welcomes Roman Reigns, asking what his strategy for tonight is against Big Show. Reigns talks about how people have tried to keep him down, especially Big Show when he Chokeslammed him on the roof of a taxi. Roman says tonight he’ll get back up and be the last man standing.
Match #5 for the WWE Divas Championship: WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella w/Bri Bella vs. Naomi
Naomi is debuting some new entrance music. Funk is no longer on a roll. Naomi backs Nikki into the ropes and pushes her, but then falls victim to a cross armbreaker. Naomi crawls out to the apron, hangs Nikki across the top rope and hits a suplex for a count of 2. Nikki fights up from a side headlock, but hits the ropes and runs into a jumping back elbow. Naomi with a slam and an elbow for another 2, then goes into a front facelock. Nikki gains a vertical base and a roll-up for a 2 count, but Naomi stops that flurry fast, ramming Nikki head-first into the top turnbuckle for 2.
Naomi goes to finish it with the Rear View, Nikki avoids it, but runs into a kick in the corner for yet another near fall. Stiff forearms by Naomi, Nikki rolls outside and Brie tries to check on her. Naomi kicks Brie down, then sends Nikki back inside. Nikki gets some offense rolling, then plants Naomi with an Alabama Slam for 2. Naomi comes back with a falling reverse DDT for a count of 2, tries to follow with a split-legged moonsault, but Nikki moves. Nikki with a facebuster for 2, then attempts the Rack Attack. Naomi counters with a sit-out atomic drop, but still can’t get a 3 count . The Divas Champ springs off the 2nd rope with a kick, for a near fall and this match continues.
Naomi gets the ropes, but Nikki won’t back down and the ref has to step in between them. Brie lays a shot in behind the ref’s back, Nikki follows with the Rack Attack and keeps her title.
Winner and STILL WWE Divas Champion: Nikki Bella (Rack Attack)
- EA’s Take: Naomi’s shoes were very distracting, changing color every so often throughout the match. Plus, I don’t think this match was as good as it could have been for these 2. I really don’t know where this division is going right now. The retirement of AJ and now Paige doing a movie really has put the Divas division on the road to Screwytown. The best thing they can do right now is try to bring in another talent or two from NXT. Charlotte is certainly ready, but it’s really up to WWE to pull the trigger already. She could be the shot in the arm the entire division needs right now.
Backstage: Rusev is taking Lana to task for jumping on the apron during his match. He’s speaking in Russian and he sends her off. She knocks on a door and we see that it’s the door of The Authority.
Match #6 Last Man Standing Match: Big Show vs. Roman Reigns
Big Show starts out fast with a flurry, Reigns tries to box back, but runs into a big shoulder off the ropes. Reigns staggers Show with rights, but runs into another giant shoulder. “You Sold Out” chants momentarily distract Show, Roman with a clothesline sending the big man outside. Reigns pulls a table out from under the ring, but eats a boot for his troubles. Big Show grabs the table and puts it back under the ring, as if to show that he doesn’t need it. Show goes to ram Roman into the ring post, but Reigns ends up shoving the giant into the post instead. Roman’s determined to use the table and sets it up, Show back to his feet drives the Samoan into the barricade, then breaks the table in half with his bare-hands.
Reigns sneaks out a kendo stick, striking Show to the body, but getting slung into the ring post in the process. They go back inside and Big Show breaks the kendo stick over his knee. Reigns scores a boot in the corner, a couple clotheslines and comes off the 2nd rope right into a big right from Big Show. Reigns rolls out of the ring, hanging Show over the top when he tries to bring Roman back in. Reigns grabs a chair and gets back inside, wearing out the big man down to the canvas and hitting a DDT onto the chair. The count gets to 7 when Show reaches his feet, Roman hops out and procures not one, but two tables. Reigns gets back in and walks right into a WMD. Reigns doesn’t start moving until a 5 count, hardly making it to his feet at 8.
Big Show sets up a table and calls for the Chokeslam. Roman counters and slams Show face-first on the table, then hits a Samoan Drop through the lumber. The count gets to 8, but Big Show rolls outside to his feet at a count of 8. Reigns props a table up in the corner, Show tries to attack from behind and scores a Spear on Reigns. Roman makes it up at 8, getting immediately dropped again with a headbutt. Show to the 2nd rope and he hits a Vader Bomb, squashing his opponent. Reigns struggles, making it up at 8 and Big Show climbs to the top. Roman catches him and crotches Show on the top turnbuckle. Reigns sets 2 tables up, side by side on the floor and climbs to the top to meet Show.
Reigns is pushed off and Show climbs to the top, only to be slammed down to the mat. Both men get up at 8 and Reigns lands 2 Superman Punches. He attempts a 3rd and gets caught by the neck. Big Show lifts Roman up and Chokeslam’s him over the top and outside through the two tables. Roman uses the ring for help, barely making it to his feet at a count of 9. Show can’t believe it and he jumps out to set the steel steps up next to the announce table. Reigns crawls back in the ring next to the table in the corner. Big Show spots him and goes to Spear Roman again, but misses and drives himself through the table. The ref counts 8, both men are up and Roman with a Spear to Show. Another count of 8, Show rolling outside to get to his feet again.
Roman rolls out and builds a head of steam, Spearing Big Show through the barricade into the timekeeper’s area. Show crawls out of the rubble at 9, and grabs Roman for a Chokeslam off the announce table. Reigns gets out of it, runs up the steel steps and Spears Big Show through the Spanish announce table. Big Show beats the count at 9 and Reigns lifts the other announce table and pushes it onto Big Show. Reigns climbs on top of the pile and the ref counts to 10.
Winner: Roman Reigns
- EA’s Take: Now THIS is the kind of action I expected to see tonight. Two of the so-called ‘bruisers’ just stole the show and Reigns even got cheered for his efforts by the end of it, in the midst of a crowd that gave him a mixed reaction earlier. These are the kind of matches that we expect from Extreme Rules and it’s unfortunate it took until this far into the night to get it.
Backstage: Kane is walking through the hallway and is approached by Randy Orton. Orton talks about Kane’s legacy as a monster in the WWE, but says he traded it in for a suit. Orton knows how it is with The Authority, telling Kane he’ll get thrown out like garbage when they’re finished with him. Randy says he knows who Kane is, even if Kane forgot.
In The Arena: Making his way to the ring is Bo Dallas. Bo talks about coming to Chicago, calling them #1…in not showering. He tells them they should be concerned with treating each other better, all they have to do is Bo-Lieve. Ryback interrupts and it looks like it’s feeding time. Bo immediately attacks Ryback, Dallas tries to finish what he was saying, but Ryback hits him with a spinebuster and then the Meat Hook. Dallas falls victim to Shell Shocked and Ryback says “Feed Me More!”.
- EA’s Take: I thought for sure Bray Wyatt was going to come out and go after Ryback there. Would have been a cool moment, especially since Bo Dallas is Bray’s real-life brother.
Backstage: Byron Saxton brings in Rusev, who says John Cena has never beaten him. Lana comes in and says “It is done”, announcing that the final chapter of Rusev/Cena will be in 3 weeks at Payback in an ‘I Quit’ Match. Rusev thinks it’s appropriate because America is a country full of quitters.
- EA’s Take: Please…no…no more.
Match #7 RKO Is Banned/Steel Cage Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins w/J&J Security
Your special ‘gatekeeper’ Kane makes his way out first, opening the cage for the combatants to enter. Rollins looks to make a quick exit, but Orton stops it. Rollins with boots, sends Orton into the corner, but Randy explodes out with a clothesline. Seth again tries for a quick exit, but gets pulled off onto the canvas. Orton with a hard whip into the corner that turns Rollins upside down. Randy catapults Rollins into the corner, but Seth hangs on and starts to climb out. He doesn’t get far as Orton is right there, climbing to the 2nd rope to rain some rights down. Seth grabs Orton and hits the Turnbuckle Powerbomb, getting a count of 2 and then calling for the door.
Seth heads for it, Orton gets to him and Rollins sends him head-first into the cage and covers for 2. JBL notes that Rollins was suffering from severe leg cramps throughout the day and it moving slower than usual. Seth continues to punish Orton, driving him into the cage and hammering away on The Viper. Rollins scales the cage, Orton meeting him with a headbutt and getting caught with a spinning clothesling for another near fall for Rollins. Rollins connects with a big forearm shot in the corner and then taunts Orton. Seth has some words for Kane too, charges at Orton who side-steps, sending Seth into the cage. Orton & Rollins slug it out with Randy getting the better of it, sending Rollins into the cage again. Seth manages to scale the cage once more and again, Orton meets him.
Seth is able to shove Randy off this time, then comes off with a knee to Orton’s head for a 2 count. Rollins climbs up and makes it to the top of the cage, Orton’s in hot pursuit and they trade punches, sitting on top of the cage. They make their way back down to the ring, Rollins comes off the top and is caught into a powerslam that gets 2 for the challenger. Rollins gets a quick roll-up counter for 2, then follows with a sidekick for another count of 2. Seth tries to make his exit and makes it up and over the top of the cage this time. Orton makes it up in time and grabs Rollins by the hair, pulling him back into a superplex off the top of the cage. Orton rolls into the cover, but Rollins kicks at 2. Outside the ring, J&J Security try to get Kane to let them into the cage, but he runs them off. Noble & Mercury climb opposite sides of the cage, but Orton throws Rollins into both of them, knocking them to the floor.
Randy with a nice overhead suplex, goes for the IEDDT and Seth counters. Rollins climbs, Orton crotches him on the top rope. Randy looks to Kane at the door, deciding against it and then connecting with the IEDDT. Orton feigns going for an RKO, but instead nails Rollins with a Pedigree and Rollins is out after 2 again. Orton again looks to Kane, but instead backs up and goes for the Punt Kick. Rollins avoids it and hits Orton with an enzuigiri, then calls for Kane to open the door. Seth crawls towards it and gets close, but Orton is to his feet and hits his patented backbreaker. Randy goes for the open door and Kane closes it on him. Seth tries to hit Orton from behind, but misses and knocks Kane down instead. Both men are fighting halfway out the door, Kane is up and slams the door on both men’s heads.
Kane loses the sportcoat and gets in the ring, J&J Security try to stop him and take a double chokeslam for it. Kane goes for Rollins, but changes his mind and Chokeslam’s Randy Orton instead. Seth goes to crawl out the door, but Kane gets him too and delivers another Chokeslam. He goes to leave, but before he does he rolls Seth on top of Orton. The ref counts and Randy kicks out at 2. Kane turns around and goes to Tombstone Orton, Randy slips out and hits the RKO on Kane. Orton turns around and Rollins hits him with an RKO, then crawls out of the ring to the floor.
Winner and STILL WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Seth Rollins
- EA’s Take: They’ll definitely use Orton RKOing Kane as an excuse for why Rollins was able to use the move, but this leads me to believe there will be a rematch at Payback. Rollins did appear to be moving a little gingerly, so perhaps what JBL said about the severe leg cramps was not kayfabe. You’d think that there would have been a high-risk, athletic spot from Seth in this match, but not if he was having physical issues. Personally, I’d like to see what’s next for Kane/Rollins as opposed to Orton/Rollins.
EA’s Finisher: Extreme Rules is generally one of my favorite PPVs of the year, but I don’t feel this one lived up to the name. Reigns/Big Show easily outshined everyone else on the card, mostly because they had the best high spots of the night. There was no real groundbreaking or high-risk action, other than that match, which is what you come to expect from Extreme Rules. Driving away in the SUV actually hurt the Ambrose/Harper match, losing the momentum they had built when they tried to come back for the finish an hour later. The biggest surprise of the night easily belongs to The New Day, as it appears that Kidd & Cesaro could indeed be turning babyface fully.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Big Show vs. Roman Reigns
2 – Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton
3 – The New Day vs. Kidd & Cesaro
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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