Eric Ames takes a look back at the 2017 edition of WWE Extreme Rules!
WWE Extreme Rules 2017 took place on June 2, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland, from the Royal Farms Arena…better known to wrestling fans as the Baltimore Arena!
Kickoff Match: Kalisto vs. Apollo Crews w/Titus O’Neil
Apollo ducks the opening lockup and takes Kalisto down with a waistlock, The King of Flight finds his footing, counters to a wristlock, Crews pushes him off to the ropes and gets caught with a wheelbarrow arm drag. The crowd breaks out with “Lucha” chants, this time Kalisto goes under a tie-up for a waistlock, standing switch from Apollo, brings him down with a side headlock, The King of Flight reverses to a headscissor, Crews kips up to his feet and we have another stalemate. Kalisto picks the arm for another wristlock, Apollo counters out to one of his own, shoots him to the corner and follows in, The King of Flight hops up-and-over, hits the ropes, Crews leapfrogs over and scores with a dropkick for a 2 count.
He goes right back to a waistlock to ground The King of Flight, Kalisto works back to his feet, grabs a side headlock, Crews pushes him off to the ropes and drops down, but the masked man goes over the top of him in a walking handstand, then back handsprings into a headscissors takedown. He hits the ropes and sends Apollo to the outside with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, The King of Flight leaps over the top rope, springboards off the bottom rope with a somersault senton and lands on his feet. He lines Crews up and charges in, gets elevated up onto the 2nd rope, springboards off with a crossbody, but Apollo clobbers him in mid-air with an enzuigiri as we go to a break….We return and Apollo delivers a delayed vertical suplex, kips back up to his feet, plays to the crowd and finally covers for a count of 2.
He looks to wear Kalisto down with a front facelock, The King of Flight battles to a standing position, Crews muscles him up for a body slam, Kalisto slips out of it, utilizes a schoolboy and nearly steals it. Apollo quickly levels him with a clothesline for a near fall, gets some words of wisdom from Titus, then goes right back to the front facelock. The King of Flight fights his way back up and hits the ropes, Crews ducks down for a back body drop, Kalisto counters with a sunset flip and finds a 2 count. Both guys back up quick and Apollo connects with a back elbow for another near fall, gets some more advice from O’Neil, drags Kalisto up and The King of Flight fires away with kicks, then executes a jawbreaker. He hits the ropes and ducks under a clothesline, springboards off the 2nd rope with a corkscrew headbutt, Apollo attempts another clothesline, Kalisto back handsprings under it, then clocks him with a spinning back kick.
He goes to the ropes for a head of steam, plants Crews with a short spikerana that almost finishes it off, calls for the Salida Del Sol, but gets pushed off to the corner. The King of Flight catches Apollo walking in with a back kick, springs off the 2nd rope with a moonsault, gets caught over Crews’ shoulder, looks to tilt-a-whirl into a DDT, but Apollo blocks it and dead-lifts him for a suplex. Kalisto counters to a small package for a count of 2, quickly buries a spinning back kick to the breadbasket, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Apollo launches him into the air, The King of Flight turns it into a DDT, but still can’t put it away. Kalisto slides out to the apron, looks to springboard in for a crossbody, Apollo catches him and delivers a samoan drop, connects with a standing shooting star press, hooks the leg and The King of Flight barely kicks out at 2. Titus climbs onto the apron and Apollo wonders what else he has to do, Kalisto grabs him for Salida Del Sol while walking up O’Neil’s chest, makes the cover and picks up the win.
Winner: Kalisto (Salida Del Sol)
- EA’s Take: If you can forget the fact that this angle has been less than stellar to say the least, this is one of the better Kickoff matches I can remember in some time. Both guys provide impressive offense and the springboard somersault senton by Kalisto to the outside was a sight to behold. Crews is starting to lean more towards being a heel, which is what needed to be done in order to give him some direction because his association with Titus has felt very meaningless with Apollo playing a tweener. People wanted to cheer him, but weren’t sure if they were supposed to and that can kill a Superstar. By the way Sam Roberts, Apollo did a standing shooting star press, not a standing 450 splash.
Open: “Orderly. Predictable. Cautious. None of those terms apply as the RAW Superstars go extreme. Tonight the rules will be re-written. History will be made. This is Extreme Rules.”
Match #1 for the WWE Intercontinental Championship – Title Can Change Hands By Disqualification: The Miz w/Maryse vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose
Collar & elbow tie-up to begin, the champion goes to a waistlock, Miz counters to a wristlock, Ambrose reverses to one of his own, then brings him down with a side headlock. The challenger back to his feet and sends Dean off to the ropes, The Lunatic Fringe scores with a shoulder knockdown, Miz seeks reprieve in the ropes, then steps back in for a test of strength. Dean kicks his hand away and regains a wristlock, The A-Lister with a counter to a hammerlock, the champion reverses to one of his own and they trade-off the hold multiple times, Miz finally pushing Ambrose away and taunts him. He backs off to the corner and the ref steps in to force a break, The Miz slaps The Lunatic Fringe across the face, Ambrose pummels him in the corner, the official again stepping in between them.
The challenger with another slap to the face to anger Dean, the referee has to push the champion out of the corner, Miz calls for a disqualification, rushes in for a clothesline, The Lunatic Fringe ducks it and fires away with stinging chops. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Dean delivers a spinning back elbow, clotheslines The A-Lister to the outside, hits the ropes for a head of steam and takes flight with a suicide dive. He deposits the challenger into the barricade, drives him spine-first into the apron, rolls in-and-out to break the ref’s count, then picks up a steel chair. The official slides out and convinces him to drop it, The Miz takes advantage with a big boot, the ref backs Maryse away, Miz looking to use the chair behind his back.
Ambrose avoids it with a kick and grabs the chair, the official turns to see it, The A-Lister calls for a DQ again, but the champion tosses the chair aside and hits a series of forearms. He throws the challenger into the ring, Miz tries to escape back outside, Ambrose hooks him by the hair, gets chastised by the referee, steps out to the apron and The A-Lister surprises him with a kick. He spikes Dean on the apron with a short DDT, rolls him inside and covers for a 2 count, slaps on a rear chinlock and looks to wear the champion down. Ambrose works to a vertical base, they exchange blows, Dean rebounds off the ropes for a Lunatic Lariat, The A-Lister ducks under it, cracks him with a modified backbreaker, then follows with a neckbreaker for a count of 2.
He chokes The Lunatic Fringe using the 2nd rope, hooks on a cravate, Ambrose fights to break free, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Miz buries a knee to the midsection, hits the ropes for a boot to the jaw and gains another near fall. He batters Dean with left hands, rips away at his nose, posts his knee into the spine and wrenches back on the arms, the champion with kicks to the knee to try and escape. The Miz rips him to the mat by the hair, hammers The Lunatic Fringe with more stiff punches, Ambrose staggers up in the corner, the challenger charging in with multiple dropkicks. He measures the champion for the Awesome Clothesline, scales the corner for a double axe handle, nearly gets caught coming down with Dirty Deeds, reverses for a Skull Crushing Finale, but Dean counters out with an arm drag.
He rushes The A-Lister in the corner and runs into a boot, Miz hops to the 2nd rope, Ambrose rocks him with a forearm, sending the challenger spilling to the floor. The champion climbs to the high-rent district, takes Miz out on the floor with a diving elbow, sends him into the squared circle, hits the ropes and begins to build momentum with running forearm shots. He goes to shoot Miz to the ropes, the challenger reverses, Ambrose connects with a clothesline, delivers a bridging fisherman’s suplex and The A-Lister barely kicks out at 2. The Miz pulls himself to his feet in the corner, Dean runs in with a forearm, looks to follow with a running bulldog, the challenger pushes him off to the mat, hits the ropes for a kick, Ambrose ducks it and uses a schoolboy for a near fall.
Both guys back up quick and Miz attempts a clothesline, Dean counters into a swinging neckbreaker for 2, looks to go back upstairs, jumps over the top of the challenger, lands on his feet and tweaks his knee. The A-Lister spots it, corners him and unloads with kicks to the leg, charges back in, the champion surprises him with a sunset flip, but Miz rolls through and locks in a figure four. The Lunatic Fringe drags himself to the ropes to force the break, Miz pulls him back to the middle of the ring to hook the figure four back on, Ambrose counters it with a small package and finds a 2 count. The challenger stumbles to the corner and Dean rushes in, gets elevated over the top, lands on his feet on the apron, catches Miz with a forearm shot, then hops to the top turnbuckle.
The A-Lister sweeps the legs and crotches him, climbs up to deliver a superplex, Dean blocks it, slides down for a powerbomb, Miz rips off the turnbuckle pad trying to hang on, slides out to his feet and takes a kick to the midsection. Ambrose looks to drive him head-first into the exposed buckle, puts on the brakes, turns around and the challenger delivers a running knee, hooks the leg, but still can’t put it away. The Miz lines Dean up for the Yes Kicks, the champion blocks a blow to the head, picks the leg, then slaps on a figure four of his own. The challenger claws his way to the ropes forcing the break, both guys struggle back to their feet, Miz tries a Skull Crushing Finale, Ambrose counters to a victory roll, but only gets 2. The A-Lister quickly drills him with a left hand, the champion rebounds off the ropes with a Lunatic Lariat, Maryse climbs onto the apron, Dean looks for Dirty Deeds, The Miz slips out, pushes him off towards her, but Ambrose puts on the brakes.
The challenger charges Dean from behind, The Lunatic Fringe side-steps, Miz nearly runs into Maryse, but holds up and catches Ambrose with a back elbow. The A-Lister tells Maryse to slap him and she obliges, the official sees it, realizes what they’re trying to do and tosses Maryse away from ringside. The Miz pleads with the ref for a disqualification, gets surprised from behind by a roll-up, barely kicks out at 2, Maryse marches back down towards ringside to distract the official and Miz throws the champion into him. The referee falls to the floor and has words with Ambrose, goes around ringside to tease calling for the bell, The Miz grabs Ambrose from behind for the Skull Crushing Finale, the ref slides back in and makes the 3 count.
Winner and NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion: The Miz (Skull Crushing Finale)
- EA’s Take: Great opening contest here and by far the best part of this entire Miz/Ambrose feud to date. Excellent use of the stipulation with the multiple teases of a possible disqualification, everybody including the referee playing their role to perfection. I’m pretty pleased that Ambrose’s title reign is over because it has not been exciting and done nothing for the championship, so hopefully Miz can do for it what he did on SmackDown Live last year. I’d imagine Dean will get a rematch here, I’m hoping it will happen rather quickly because I’d like to see both guys move onto something else as this feud has been too long for the lack of excitement it has given me.
Backstage: Charly Caruso welcomes in Bayley, The Huggable One says that Alexa Bliss thinks a lot of things like how her ‘This Is Your Life’ segment was good, but she’s not Mankind or The Rock. She talks about how the champion believes that she can’t get extreme, Bayley speaking of watching footage of Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman and Steve Blackman to brush up on using a kendo stick for tonight, but also saw ‘Wonder Woman’ and it inspired her. Bayley claims she’s here in WWE to inspire people and not hurt them, but she’s willing to do whatever it takes to regain the RAW Women’s Championship.
Match #2: Noam Dar & Alicia Fox vs. Rich Swann & Sasha Banks
Alicia & Sasha will kickoff the action, Foxy avoids the opening lock-up and slams Banks down by the hair, retreats away to her corner and tags out. Swann steps in and ducks under a clothesline from Dar, hits the ropes to deliver one of his own, Noam staggers to the corner, Rich fires away with stinging chops, then drives him head-first into the top turnbuckle. He picks him back up, The Scottish Supernova surprises Swann with an arm whip to the canvas, The Outlandish One pulls himself up in the corner, side-steps Noam rushing in, then charges in and meets a boot to the jaw. Dar hops to the 2nd rope, Rich explodes up with a hurricanrana, climbs to the top rope for the Phoenix Splash, but Noam scurries away to his corner into Alicia’s arms.
She gets the tag and The Boss comes in, they break into a brawl with fists flying, Sasha blocks a kick, clocks Foxy with a knee, then hits the ropes and tilt-a-whirls into the Bank Statement. Dar baits Swann into the ring to distract the official, reaches in and puts Alicia’s foot on the bottom rope, the ref turns and forces the break, The Boss realizes what happened and has some words for Noam. She turns around and Foxy drops her with a big boot for a 2 count, drives her knee into Sasha’s spine, drags her up for a big forearm, then mocks Rich on the apron. She chokes Banks on the middle rope, sends her to the ropes for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, covers for another count of 2, then grinds Sasha down with a rear chinlock. The Boss works back to a standing position, Foxy whips her to the corner and follows in, Sasha gets the boot up to the chin, tries to jump towards his corner, Alicia catches her, backs her into the turnbuckles and looks for a big boot, but nobody’s home.
Both ladies crawl to tags, The Outlandish One unloads with right hands to Dar, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Swann scores with a tilt-a-whirl hurricanrana, buries a spinning back kick to the midsection, hits the ropes for a standing somersault leg drop and gains a near fall. He hooks Noam for a tiger driver, The Scottish Supernova slips out for a roll-up that nearly steals it, both guys up quick try a clothesline and hit, then stagger and begin to trade-off punches. Rich counters an uppercut for a backslide, Noam rolls through it, connects with an uppercut, hits the ropes and runs into the Rich Kick. Alicia & Sasha both charge in and brawl to the outside, Banks drives Foxy back-first into the ring apron, Dar & Swann fight to the floor, The Scottish Supernova ramming Rich into the barricade. Sasha climbs to the top turnbuckle, leaps off to the floor with double knees to Noam, The Outlandish One rolls him into the squared circle, goes upstairs for the Phoenix Splash and that’s all she wrote.
Winners: Rich Swann & Sasha Banks (Swann/Phoenix Splash)
- EA’s Take: I can totally understand why this was put together as it gives Sasha something to do while she’s out of the title picture, but also gives a rub to the Cruiserweight Division at the same time. However, I could totally live without it as the Swann/Dar angle has grown tired at this point, the match was nothing thrilling and it doesn’t seem like this is propelling any of the participants into something of any significance. If they were all high school students, then this entire angle would be called “busy work”.
In The Ring: ‘The Drifter’ Elias Samson introduces himself and wonders who wants to walk with him tonight. He speaks about strolling along the harbor earlier today and watching all the people, claims he wrote a song about Baltimore and asks for all applause to be held until he’s done. The Drifter strums his guitar and sings about Baltimore being bathed in filth, depressing and the people are all to blame for it, claiming what it needs is what he is.
Match #3 is a Kendo Stick On A Pole Match for the RAW Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss
Alexa & Bayley exchange words at the bell, Bliss mocks the challenger, Bayley makes a move towards the kendo stick, but gets ripped down by the hair. The champion starts to climb up, The Huggable One pulls her down, sends Bliss head-first into the top turnbuckle, then scoops her up for a body slam that gets 2. She looks to go up for the kendo stick, Alexa brings her down by the leg, sends Bayley to the outside with a stiff right hand, then starts to head to the pole. The challenger gets to the apron and steps up to meet her with fists, they trade-off shots, Bayley grabs the stick and pulls it down, but drops it as they both spill down to the floor. Both ladies stagger to their feet and eye the kendo stick, Bayley rolls in to cut Alexa off, chases her outside, drives the champion spine-first into the barricade, then plants her with a back suplex on the floor.
The Huggable One slides inside and grabs the kendo stick, Little Miss Bliss realizes it, Bayley chases her around ringside and back into the ring, Alexa tries to beg her off and surprises her with a tackles. The champion takes the stick and unloads on the challenger, Bliss measures for one more final blow, The Huggable One catches her with a Bayley-To-Belly, both struggling back to their feet. Alexa crawls to the kendo stick and props it up in the corner, Bayley grabs her from behind to roll Bliss away from it, the champion shoves The Huggable One shoulder-first into it, cracks her across the back and spikes her with a DDT to retain.
Winner and STILL RAW Women’s Champion: Alexa Bliss (DDT)
- EA’s Take: Well this was uninspiring. Really quick match for a title match, especially on a pay-per-view and a main card only consisting of six matches. This is another angle from the red brand that has left a lot to be desired, especially after that abysmal ‘This Is Your Life’ segment that was cringe-worthy and for lack of a better term, just plain bad. Not the kind of “bad” that’s like watching a car crash either, but the kind that makes your skin crawl. You have to imagine that Sasha Banks will be in line for a title shot at some point here, but the way this ended I’m wondering if Bayley might not be done with Alexa yet. Personally, I could go for something new and fresh.
Match #4 is a Steel Cage Match for the RAW Tag Team Championships: Cesaro & Sheamus vs. RAW Tag Team Champions The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff)
The bell rings and the challengers immediately start climbing the cage, The Hardys drag them back down, they pair-off, Cesaro & Sheamus again trying to climb over the top to no avail. Sheamus shoots Jeff to the ropes for a tilt-a-whirl powerslam, The Charismatic Enigma slips out, sweeps the legs and hits a double leg drop to the lower abdomen. He clotheslines The Celtic Warrior into the side of the cage, Cesaro launches Matt into it on the other side, Jeff turns his attention to The Swiss Superman with fists, turns back to Sheamus and walks into an Irish Curse. The challengers drive the champions head-first into the cage separately, start to scale the ropes to climb out, The Hardys are able to hold them off, the challengers then looking to whip them into each other from opposite corners.
Matt reverses it and sends Cesaro into Jeff, begins climbing as The Great White heads up on the other side, The King of Swing and Jeff drag them back in, Cesaro & Sheamus both getting crotched on the top rope. Matt & Jeff bounce the challengers’ heads off the cage multiple times, deliver in stereo dropkicks, sandwich Sheamus into the cage with Poetry In Motion, then do the same to Cesaro. The champions look head head over the top now, Cesaro & Sheamus stagger to their feet and climb up to meet them, The Celtic Warrior drops back down to the mat, plants Jeff and his partner to the mat with a double powerbomb, Matt following with an elbow drop from the top to Cesaro. The Great White looks to send him into the cage, Matt turns the tables and introduces Sheamus instead, climbs all the way to the top of the cage, but The Swiss Superman reaches up to get him.
He hammers Matt with forearms the spine, drops him on Sheamus’ shoulders for a rolling fireman’s carry, The Great White heads for the door and Cesaro tosses Jeff into the cage. Matt grabs The Celtic Warrior by the foot to keep him in, the challengers put the boots to him, Sheamus rams The Charismatic Enigma into the cage, sends Matt to the ropes with Cesaro and they launch him into the steel. The challengers attempt to do the same to Jeff, The Charismatic Enigma counters with right hands, Cesaro tries to toss him into the cage, Jeff grabs on instead and begins to scale up the wall. The King of Swing is there to stop him, Sheamus batters Matt with a barrage of fists, drops him with a back elbow and Cesaro comes off the top with a double axe to Jeff.
He holds The Charismatic Enigma up as Sheamus lines up for a Brogue Kick, Jeff side-steps it, throws Cesaro into the cage, kicks The Celtic Warrior away and into Matt who’s waiting to deliver a tornado DDT. The Hardys begin to ascend up the cage and reach the top, Cesaro & Sheamus stumble back up, climb up after them, The Swiss Superman hangs onto Jeff by one arm, but gets clocked by right hands and The Charismatic Enigma falls to the floor. Matt plants Cesaro with a Side Effect back in the ring, avoids Sheamus coming off the top, hits him with a Side Effect for his troubles, then starts climbing up the cage and reaches the top, but The Swiss Superman grabs him by the leg. Jeff climbs back up to try and pull his brother over, The King of Swing knocks him back to the floor with a fist, Sheamus helps drag Matt back down and they plant him with a Double High Cross.
The Charismatic Enigma looks to get back inside through the door, Cesaro is there to meet him, Jeff slams the door in his face, but Sheamus delivers a Brogue Kick through the door to knock Jeff to the floor. He starts to step out and Matt pulls him back inside, The Great White picks him up over his shoulders, Matt slips out and drops him with a Twist Of Fate. Cesaro starts climbing up on the other side, Matt tosses him back down with a military press, starts to ascend to the top, but The Swiss Superman quickly climbs up to meet him. He rocks Matt with an uppercut, Sheamus goes up the ropes to meet them, pulls him down on his shoulders and delivers an assisted White Noise off the top with Cesaro. Jeff scales the side of the cage and stands on the top, flies back inside on the challengers with Whisper In The Wind and Matt crawls for the door. The challengers stumble back to their feet and climb up the cage, Matt drags Jeff to the door, gets outside and tries to pull him to the floor, but Cesaro & Sheamus drop to the floor seconds before.
Winners and NEW RAW Tag Team Champions: Cesaro & Sheamus
- EA’s Take: Fairly entertaining contest that saw The Hardys take some of the high risks they are known for, which is what most were expecting heading into this match-up. I’m not certain how long they will be a part of the Tag Team Division for, so it was only a matter of time before they dropped the titles and I’m not surprised it happened here. They beat Cesaro & Sheamus clean at Payback, so there was no real reason for a rematch if there wasn’t going to be a title change. The whole division is in a bit of an odd state with those questions surrounding The Hardys remaining a tandem, The Revival still being out due to Dash Wilder’s injury and now the storyline surrounding who’s attack Enzo & Big Cass. Before, I would have thought that at some point here you’d think Enzo & Cass were in line for a title run, but who knows now?
Match #5 is a Submission Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Austin Aries vs. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville
They lock-up and the champion backs Austin to the ropes, doesn’t break clean and scores with a leg kick, Aries fires back with some of his own and they jostle into the corner. Neville again doesn’t break clean and slaps on an armbar, the challenger rolls through to a wristlock, The King of the Cruiserweights returns the favor, but A-Double reverses back and rolls him into a modified octopus stretch. The champion gains the bottom rope to force a break and steps to the apron for a breather, has some words for the fans and climbs back inside. Neville calls for a test of strength and tries to pick the leg, Austin slaps him across the bag, hops into a guillotine, but gets backed into the corner.
The King of the Cruiserweights buries shoulders to the breadbasket, shoots him across and follows in, Aries hops up-and-over to hit the ropes, cartwheels around a back body drop attempt and scores with an ear clap. The champion elevates him over the top to create space, A-Double lands on his feet on the apron, connects with an elbow, then slingshots in with a somersault senton. He quickly hooks on the Last Chancery, Neville slips away to the outside, Austin slides out in pursuit, the champion tries to send him into the barricade, but Austin reverses and sends Neville in instead. He deposits The King of the Cruiserweights sternum-first into the retaining wall, muscles him on onto his shoulders, drops Neville face-first off the apron, then rolls him back into the squared circle.
The champion wisely rolls right back out, Aries slides in, measures for the Heat Seeking Missile, but Neville takes a walk to prevent it. A-Double puts on the brakes and climbs up top instead, takes flight with an elbow drop, tosses Neville back in, steps in from the apron and The King of the Cruiserweights surprises him with a kick to the knee. The champion goes right to work on the leg with a dragon screw leg whip, stomps away at the challenger’s face, then begins to punish the left knee with a heel hold. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived is able to kick him away to the corner, gets caught walking in by a back elbow, Neville hops to the 2nd rope, Austin cracks him with a left hand and the champion spills to the floor. He drags himself back into the ring and Aries meets him with a series of shots, levels the champion with a clothesline, then delivers multiple shin breakers, following it with an inverted back suplex.
He lines The King of the Cruiserweights up for the Discus Five-Arm, Neville tries to cut him off with a kick, Aries blocks it, scores with a dragon screw leg whip, then looks for a figure four. The champion kicks him off and Austin catches himself on the apron, surprises Neville with a shoulder to the midsection, sets for a neckbreaker over the 2nd rope, but The King of the Cruiserweights powers out, then knocks him to the floor with a dropkick to the knee. A-Double is favoring his shoulder after the landing, The King of the Cruiserweights steps out after him, starts targeting the left arm and rolls him back inside. The champion steps in and goes to work on the shoulder with kicks, taunts the crowd while dishing out punishment, then arm-whips Austin to the canvas. He ascends the corner to the top rope for a missile dropkick, the challenger catches him by the legs, slaps on a figure four and The King of the Cruiserweights drags himself to the ropes to gain the break.
A-Double looks to drag him up, Neville grabs a handful of tights to launch the challenger to the outside, Aries hangs onto the apron, drops him across the middle rope with a neckbreaker, then heads to the high-rent district. He flies off with a missile dropkick that’s off target, the champion quickly locks on the Rings Of Saturn, The Greatest Man That Ever Lived works his way to the ropes forcing the break and Neville argues with the official. He hauls Aries to the middle of the ring to put him back in the Rings Of Saturn, the challenger counters to his own Rings Of Saturn, but the champion grabs for the referee and the official warns about a disqualification. Austin releases the hold and pleads with him not to call for the bell, turns around into a superkick, The King of the Cruiserweights props him on the top turnbuckle, then climbs up and readies for a superplex.
A-Double fights it off and knocks him back to the mat, Neville quickly climbs back up, gets caught in a guillotine, Aries releases it and plants him with a sunset flip powerbomb. He immediately rolls into the Last Chancery, Neville drags himself outside under the bottom rope, Austin maintains the hold and the champion taps, but the ref waives it off because they aren’t in the ring. The challenger rolls The King of the Cruiserweights back onto the apron and slides inside, drags him to his feet, Neville picks the arm and drops it across the top rope, but Austin comes right back with a Discus Five-Arm. The champion stumbles to the floor, Aries hits the ropes for the Heat Seeking Missile, but nobody’s home and Neville throws him into the ring. The King of the Cruiserweights quickly goes upstairs, connects with the Red Arrom to the back, immediately slaps on the Rings Of Saturn and Austin taps out.
Winner and STILL WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Neville (Rings Of Saturn)
- EA’s Take: Excellent match, probably the best one the Cruiserweight Division has had PPV-wise since Neville/Gallagher at the Royal Rumble. I’m shocked that Aries didn’t go over here, I can’t believe you give him three straight title shots and in the end he loses. I really thought that it was an inevitability he would become champion at some point in this rivalry, so I’m wondering if maybe he’s injured or something since he was sporting the tape around his shoulders and that’s not the norm for him. I really have no idea where you go with Neville at this point, I can only think of two men he hasn’t faced yet and that’s Cedric Alexander and Akira Tozawa. If Aries couldn’t win the title and perception-wise he’s a level above both of those guys, I find it hard to digest either of them will dethrone The King of the Cruiserweights.
Match #6 is a WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Extreme Rules Fatal 5-Way: Bray Wyatt vs. Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns
The bell rings and everyone pairs off leaving Roman standing on his own, the ring clears with Reigns observing the action on the floor, Bray drives Finn spine-first into the apron, then slides inside. The Big Dog rocks him with an uppercut, gets caught coming into the corner with a boot to the jaw, The Eater of Worlds hops to the 2nd rope, Roman powers him out for a Samoan Drop, Joe slides in from behind and lifts him for one of his own. Reigns slips out of it, plants him with a Samoan Drop, turns to see Balor, The Demon King fires away with rights, Roman lifts him up for another Samoan Drop, but Finn avoids it and scores with a barrage of forearms. The Big Dog pushes him off to the corner and charges in, Balor hops to the apron to avoid him, tries an enzuigiri, Roman blocks it, then clocks him with an uppercut.
Rollins rolls inside and goes face-to-face with Reigns, Bray & Joe hit the ring to ambush The Big Dog, Seth getting involved to even the numbers. Wyatt sends Roman shoulder-first into the ring post and he falls to the floor, turns his attention to The King Slayer, Balor slides in and evens the sides, The Destroyer tossing Seth to the outside. He builds a head of steam for an outside dive, Rollins slides in and he slides out, The Architect hits the ropes, then takes him out with a suicide dive of his own. Finn delivers a dropkick to Bray back inside, slingshots off the bottom rope with numerous stomps, keeps Rollins & Joe from coming in, then hits the ropes and flies over the top with a somersault senton. He turns around and The Big Dog levels him with an uppercut, launches The Demon King into the barricade, drives him head-first off the apron and Wyatt reaches outside to grab him.
Reigns cracks him with an uppercut, sets for the Drive-By, The Destroyer cuts him off with a back elbow, deposits Roman into the retaining wall, then teams up with The Eater of Worlds to dish out more punishment. They toss Reigns shoulder-first into the steel steps, take the top half of the stairs and flatten Rollins & Balor, then do the same to The Big Dog. They put the boots to The Demon King and toss him into the squared circle, batter him in the corner with heavy shots, Balor tries to battle back to no avail, gets sent to the ropes for a double shoulder block, Bray then scooping him up for a body slam. The King Slayer hits the ring and takes Bray out with a single-leg dropkick, plants Joe face-first into the 2nd turnbuckle with a reverse STO, looks for a suicide dive to Wyatt, but gets cut off by an uppercut. The New Face of Fear sees Roman getting up and drives him into the barricade, spikes Seth head-first on the steps with a DDT, meanwhile Finn starts to mount a comeback on Joe in the ring.
The Destroyer ducks a right hand and goes for the Coquina Clutch, Balor uses his feet to walk up the ropes, flips himself over to escape and connects with a double stomp to the breadbasket. Bray slides in from behind and clobbers him with a chair, uncorks shots on Reigns stepping in, kicks him back to the floor, acts as if he’s going to smash Joe, but instead whacks Finn across the back again. He lays the chair across Balor’s chest, The Destroyer hits the ropes and lands on top with a running senton, lays the chair back on top of The Demon King and Bray delivers a senton of his own. The Eater of Worlds props the chair between the ropes in the corner, sets Balor up against it, Samoa Joe shoots Bray in, but Finn gets his feet up, then side-steps Joe rushing in. The Destroyer goes head-first into the chair, The Demon King avoids Wyatt looking for a flying forearm, Roman surprises him with a Drive-By, then plants Balor with a schoolboy powerbomb.
Joe charges at Reigns for a clothesline that misses, The Big Dog makes him pay with one of his own, batters Wyatt in the corner with a barrage of clotheslines, then side-steps Joe charging in to collide them into each other. He hits the ropes for a big boot, Joe follows in to run a misdirection, Reigns does the same, scores with the big boot, then flattens The New Face of Fear with a clothesline. He readies for a Superman Punch, Samoa Joe drags him out of the ring, Wyatt pairs back up with Joe, plants Roman on the announce table with a uranage, then goes to climb back inside. Rollins is there to meet him with a forearm shot, slingshots over the top with a crossbody to The Destroyer, throws Bray into the squared circle, then springboards in from the apron with a clothesline for 2. Joe steps back in and runs into a boot in the corner, The King Slayer hops to the 2nd rope, delivers a double blockbuster to The Destroyer & Bray, covers Wyatt and finds another count of 2.
Joe rolls to the outside, Seth hits the ropes and takes him out with a suicide dive, The Eater of Worlds comes back in, rushes Rollins and gets tossed to the floor. The Architect goes back to the ropes for another suicide dive, Wyatt shoves Joe in harm’s way, Seth sends him back into the ring, slides in and sets for a clothesline. The New Face of Fear looks to counter with a uranage, The King Slayer slips out of it, hits the ropes and gets floored by a clothesline. Bray hauls him up and hooks him for a suplex, Seth blocks it, powers him up for a falcon arrow that gains a near fall, steps out to the apron and springboards back in, but gets caught and planted with Sister Abigail. Bray makes a cover and Joe breaks it up at 2, yells at The Eater of Worlds and a shoving match ensues, they come to blows and The Destroyer corners Wyatt, then charges in with a back elbow.
He follows with an enzuigiri and covers for a near fall, hits the ropes and gets cut down by a flying forearm, The New Face of Fear calls for Sister Abigail again, but The Destroyer avoids it and slaps on the Coquina Clutch. Balor climbs back in with a chair, unleashes a flurry of shots to them both, lays it across Bray’s chest and delivers a double stomp, then hits Reigns with a sliding dropkick to keep him on the outside. Finn steps out to the apron, drills The Big Dog with a soccer kick, rushes around ringside for a dropkick to Wyatt, delivers another to Samoa Joe, then rams Bray head-first off the announce table multiple times. He clears one table off and lays The Eater of Worlds across it, The Destroyer grabs him from behind with a Coquina Clutch, Roman charges in with a Spear and all three of them crash through the barricade into crowd.
The King Slayer ascends the corner to the top rope, flies outside with a frog splash, crashes on top of Bray through the announce table and now everyone’s down. Reigns & Rollins stagger to their feet and come face-to-face in the ring, The Architect unleashes a flurry of fists and hits the ropes, they begin to trade-off shots, Seth ducks a clothesline, connects with an enzuigiri, then sets for the Buckle Bomb. The Big Dog counters with a back body drop, Rollins flips to his feet, gets rocked by a Superman Punch, Reigns hooks the leg and Seth barely kicks out at 2. Roman gets in position for the Spear, The King Slayer counters with a schoolboy for a 2 count, quickly follows with a superkick for another count of 2, then heads to the high-rent district for a frog splash, but still can’t finish it. He drags The Big Dog towards the corner, climbs back up top for a phoenix splash, Reigns rolls out of harm’s way, Seth lands on his feet, but turns around and gets caught for Sister Abigail.
Reigns charges in and Bray releases Rollins, looks for Sister Abigail to The Big Dog, gets pushed off to the ropes and then split by a Spear. The Architect quickly spins Roman around for the Short-Arm High Knee, The Big Dog avoids it, hits the ropes and runs into a kick, Rollins launches him into the corner with a Buckle Bomb, but Reigns rebounds back out with a Superman Punch. Balor rolls inside, lines him up for a Shotgun Dropkick, The Big Dog cuts him off with another Superman Punch, sets for the Spear, but Finn surprises him with a Sling Blade instead. The Demon King follows with the Shotgun Dropkick, climbs to the high-rent district for the Coup De Grace, makes the cover, Joe slides in and slaps on the Coquina Clutch and Finn fades out.
Winner: Samoa Joe (Coquina Clutch)
- EA’s Take: Great main event and you could tell that the fans were mostly surprised by Joe winning if you heard their reaction to the finish. If you followed the news lately, you would know that WWE was looking for a “one-and-done” opponent for Lesnar and wanted to save Balor & Rollins for more longer term programs with Brock, plus Roman is scheduled to be his WrestleMania opponent. Therefore, Bray & Joe were the most likely to win this match and honestly, Joe is the right choice. I think if WWE chooses, you could have a pretty interesting long-term feud between Lesnar & Wyatt as well, plus eventhough this will be Joe’s only shot at him, you still have five weeks to build to their match. Also, it’s something we’ve never seen before and is really a dream match between two legitimate tough guys. It’s not the sexy pick, but it’s the right one.
EA’s Finisher: A good effort for the most part tonight, there weren’t really any glaring botches to speak of, but certainly a couple of matches were either uninteresting or fell flat. Bayley vs. Alexa was not all it could have been and was very short, while the Mixed Tag Team Match was not something I was ever invested in. Believe it or not, the Kickoff match was pretty good in comparison and gave a much better effort than either. The main event definitely delivered and The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose played up the stipulation of their match to perfection, while the Cruiserweight Division gave its best effort since January. I’d call this a solid show if you average out the good and the bad, but I’m still looking forward to things ramping up as we draw closer to SummerSlam in August.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Extreme Rules Fatal 5-Way
2 – The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose
3 – Neville vs. Austin Aries
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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