Tonight, live from Baltimore, MD it’s WWE’s latest pay per view (and WWE Network) offering, Payback. The second of three special events in roughly seven weeks, tonight puts an end to the feud between John Cena and Rusev as they square off in an “I Quit” match. Will Rusev make Cena say he quits, or will Cena somehow manage to make the big Bulgarian-turned-Russian submit? Seth Rollins defends his WWE Championship against three other men – two of which were former teammates in The Shield. Will he walk out champion, and will Kane make sure of it?
The full card is as follows:
- The Meta Powers (Curtis Axel and Damien “Macho Mandow” Sandow) vs. The Ascension
- Main Card:
- The Bella Twins vs. Naomi and Tamina Snuka
- King Barrett vs. Neville
- Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler
- New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods, c) vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (w/Natalya); WWE Tag Team Championship, fought under best 2 out of 3 falls rules
- Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt
- John Cena (c) vs. Rusev (w/Lana); WWE United States Championship under “I Quit” Rules
- Seth Rollins (c, w/J&J Security) vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose; WWE World Heavyweight Championship under Fatal Four Way Rules
The opening shows fans entering the arena, and Renee Young welcomes us to tonight’s show. She introduces each of the panelists, who are Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, and Booker T. Corey won money at yesterday’s Preakness in Baltimore, and Booker T shills his comic book “GI Bro” coming out soon.
They start by hyping the pre-show match between the “Meta Powers” vs. the Ascension. She moves on to talk about the Fatal Four Way WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. She emphasizes that Kane will be fired if Rollins loses the title. The panelists discuss Kane’s role in the match, with Booker T saying that Kane will still have notes showing up in the mail despite not needing a paycheck from the Authority.
Eden Styles interviews Dolph Ziggler about his match with Sheamus. She asks what fans could expect to see from them tonight. He says fans will see the same Dolph they always do, but isn’t sure which Sheamus will show up. He says it’s not about stealing the show tonight, but it’s instead about payback on Sheamus. He says it’s personal and Sheamus has gotten in his head. He says when he sees Sheamus, he will end this, tonight.
Tom Phillips is in the Social Media Lounge, and says that Sheamus will be a guest with him later. He hypes #AskSheamus as a hashtag for fans to ask questions later. He also shills the #Payback hashtag to talk about the show. He sends it back to the panel.
Renee Young feeds it into a hype package for Cena vs. Rusev and their I Quit match. Renee says that Cena has never lost one of these, and asks if it changes. Corey says it doesn’t change tonight and talks about how Cena has momentum through the US Open Challenges. He says that there’s dissension between Rusev and Lana and the only time Rusev has beaten Cena was when Lana was firmly at his side. Byron Saxton recounts a fan experience with Rusev and Lana and says that Rusev is dangerous tonight.
Booker says Cena will go out and represent America tonight. He says that the title has been in obscurity but Cena has brought the title to prominence. “Can John Cena come out here tonight and do it again under the bright lights. He’s John Cena.” Corey says getting Cena to say I Quit will be a resume in and of itself.
Renee notes that we will recount what Daniel Bryan had to say, next. They air a commercial for Elimination Chamber.
Back live, they roll the Daniel Bryan segment from Raw. Once with the panel, Renee hypes that there will be a new Intercontinental Champion crowned at Elimination Chamber. Booker talks about how the fans got a lot of hope from Bryan and it is a loss. He says Bryan will not lay down or quit and can’t wait to see him back.
Renee sends it backstage to Eden, who is with the Bella Twins. She asks Brie how Daniel is doing and how she’s been holding up. Brie says it’s been tough and Bryan has a lot of heart. She says it’s not the first time they’ve been down this road, and Bryan will do all he can to come back “to what he’s passionate about.” She says they are grateful to the fans and that Bryan is her inspiration for tonight.
Nikki says that Naomi has been talking about family, and says that they are “real” family. She says that tonight, Naomi runs out of excuses as to why she isn’t the Divas Champion. Back with the panel, they discuss it. Renee says the family connection between Naomi and Tamina is not the same as it is between the Bellas. Booker says that he has twins that are “on the same level.” Saxton makes some turkey analogy about slicing and spicing that even Corey wonders about.
They run an hype package for Tough Enough, with entry videos shown.
Renee sends it to the ring for the pre-show match. Cole welcomes us and here comes R-Truth singing his way down the ramp. Truth plays to the fans a bit with his “What’s up?” bit
Match #1 – R-Truth vs. Stardust
They tie up as fans chant “Cody.” Truth yells “What’s up!” and gets slapped by Stardust. They exchange slaps and the fans start chanting “Cody” again. Truth mocks him, ducks a clothesline, then lands a hand. Running the ropes, Truth hits an armdrag takedown. Stardust comes back with some strikes then throws Truth off the ropes.
At the ropes, Truth tries to suplex Stardust in. Stardust counters and drapes Truth across the buckle. He tumbles to the floor. Truth crawls back in and Stardust takes over, jamming Truth face first to the buckle. The announcers hype other matches on the show.
Truth counters a suplex. He comes back with a face first suplex of his own but runs into a Disaster Kick for two. A bit later, Truth lands a big boot. More slaps, then Truth hits the Lie Detector and picks up the win. Truth plays to the fans as Stardust sells at ringside.
It was fine for what it was, but it wasn’t must see television.
They hype the return of the Stone Cold Podcast with Paul Heyman. With the panel, they talk about the crowd filing in, then Renee feeds it into a hype video for the match between Ryback and Bray Wyatt.
In the Social Media Lounge, Sheamus joins Tom Phillips. He says that the questions better be good.
Back with the panel, Renee hypes that we will see The Ascension against the Mega-Powers next. They run an ad to hype NXT Takeover:Unstoppable for this week.
Of course, I will have live coverage for you of “Unstoppable.”
Match #2 – The Ascension vs. Curtis Axel and Damien “Macho Mandow” Sandow
The announcers recap the angle that got this set up. JBL says Randy Savage is rolling in his grave. Sandow comes out first with his Macho Man gimmick. Axel comes out with a full-on Hulk Hogan gimmick. Sparing no expense. The live crowd reacts to it though.
Axel rips the shirt off and the match starts off with him hulking up. He hits a big boot and a leg drop for a near fall. The Ascension takes over on offense. Hot tag to Mandow, who runs Conor (I think) into the buckle a couple times. He drapes him over the top, then slams Viktor. Mandow teases the elbow up top.
Conor pulls Axel off the apron, then pushes Mandow off the top. Ascension comes back with the Fall of Man and gets the win.
Winner: The Ascension
I’m sure Vince and Kevin Dunn think this was awesome. But aside from the entrances, the fans didn’t react much to this match. It’s a fun gimmick, but let’s be honest, all of these guys are above this.
The panel hypes Rollins’ title defense against Orton, Reigns, and Ambrose. They focus the video package on the issues between Kane and Rollins. Back with the panel, Renee reminds us that this is no disqualification and the champion does not have to be pinned. Graves says Rollins will retain because he knows the three men better than they know themselves. Booker says it’s every man for himself. Renee sends the pre-show home.
WWE “Payback,” Live from the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD
They roll the opening video. Pyro goes off and Cole welcomes us in for tonight’s event.
Match #1 – Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler:
They focus on the announcers as they hype the first match. They show Sheamus getting beaten at Extreme Rules, but not living up to the Kiss Me Arse stipulation. JBL calls Dolph “Suzie Chapstick” as he comes to the ring. Cole feeds it to the Spanish announcers momentarily.
Sheamus pie-faces Dolph early but Dolph unloads on him as the bell rings. Ziggler hits a drop kick and clotheslines Sheamus to the floor. Cole says Sheamus might have hurt his knee as Ziggler flies out onto him. Sheamus gets draped across the top, then Ziggler comes back with a cross body for two.
Sheamus teases White Noise, but Ziggler slips down and rolls Sheamus over for another two. Ziggler tries to land a superkick, but Sheamus catches him and drops an elbow on his knee. JBL comments that a couple of clubbing blows will stop all that “flippity-floppity” stuff. Sheamus focuses his offense on the right knee, but locks on a headlock to slow Ziggler down. JBL snipes at Cole, saying that kissing ass is why Cole has had a job so long.
Sheamus continues to control the offense. He stops to yell “Are you not entertained?” Ziggler starts to fight back but Sheamus hits a jaw jacker that leaves Ziggler selling his knee. Sheamus charges the corner, but Dolph sidesteps and Sheamus takes the post. The two start exchanging hands mid ring.
Sheamus throws Ziggler off the ropes. Ziggler ducks a clothesline and lands a series of forearms. He hits Sheamus with a drop kick in the corner then fires away with right hands. He tries a neckbreaker, but Sheamus shoves him off. Ziggler comes back with a DDT for a near fall.
Ziggler hits a corner splash then lands more hands and knee strikes. Ziggler pauses, then yanks his tights up and makes Sheamus kiss his ass. Sheamus ducks to ringside and sells, grabbing a drink of water. Back in the ring, Sheamus drapes Ziggler over the rope then tries the Brogue, but Ziggler ducks. Ziggler comes back with the Fameasser for a good near fall.
Ziggler tries the Zig Zag in the corner, but gets shoved off. He mounts the corner and lands corner punches, but Sheamus walks him out and hits a powerbomb for a good near fall. JBL rants about Ziggler making Sheamus kiss his ass. Sheamus hits a running power slam for another good two count.
Sheamus hoists up Ziggler and hits White Noise. Sheamus locks on the Cloverleaf rather than cover. Ziggler struggles into the ropes to get the break. Sheamus uses the whole five count to break though. The announcers wonder how much Ziggler has left as the fans chant that it’s awesome.
Sheamus slaps Ziggler, then picks him up and taunts. Ziggler lands a headbutt then hits a superkick for a good near fall. Sheamus cues up the Brogue Kick again. Ziggler’s bleeding and never makes it to his feet. Sheamus hits the Brogue low, and this one’s over. Sheamus plays to the crowd.
The headbutt was not needed, but this was a quality opener.
Backstage, Kane is on the phone saying that everything is under control and “I”ll see you soon.” Rollins enters, saying that he knows this is a big night for both. He asks to put their animosity behind them. Kane and Rollins recount their problems. Kane says that he might lose his job, but Rollins will lose the title. He tells him that maybe losing the title will make him a man and make him realize the value of the championship.
Kane says he doesn’t need his job though he loves it. He says he might just stand by and watch like he did on Raw. Kane says he hasn’t made a decision about what he plans to do tonight, but “trust me, you’ll be the first to know.”
Rollins says he appreciates his honesty. He says if Kane does anything that is not in Rollins’ best interests, losing his job will be the least of his concerns. J&J steps between Kane and Rollins, and Kane just laughs. Rollins and Security walks off.
The main event is focused more on what Kane is going to do than anything else. Sigh. The title should feel more important than this.
New Day comes out for the next match. Xavier Woods says we can do anything if we just think positive. Kofi says “what better place than Baltimore to show the power of positivity.” Big E asks if their tired of being fat, unattractive, and having no friends. In the ring, they spot Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles.
They ask Jones if he’s sick and disgusted of the fact that the Orioles haven’t won a World Series in 32 years. “All together now, think positive.” Woods tells the fans to clap along with them and show the world they can change. They try to lead the “New Day Rocks’ chant but Baltimore tells them they suck.
Match #2 – New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston w/Xavier Woods, c) vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (w/Natalya); WWE Tag Team Championship under 2 out of 3 falls Rules:
Kidd and Cesaro make their entrance as the announcers hype downloading WWE Immortals. Kidd works with Kofi early. Cesaro gets the tag and catches Big E and slams him. Big E returns the favor and hits Cesaro with a gorilla press slam. Woods gets involved momentarily with a cheap shot. Kidd and Cesaro team up for their swing-drop kick finish to get the first fall
Kidd and Cesaro up 1-0
Woods jumps up on the apron and screams about Freebird rules but the referee says no. Natalya pulls him off the apron, then Kidd hits him with a flip dive. He tries another dive but Big E catches him and hits a belly to belly out on the floor.
Big E spears Cesaro to the floor. Cesaro sells, as does Big E. Kofi goes to the top but Kidd greets his dive with a drop kick. Kidd crawls to the corner but Cesaro isn’t there to tag. They set up Kidd and hit their finisher to knot up the score.
Tied at 1-1
A quick cover on Kidd starts the third fall. Big E tags in and hits a belly to belly and follows with a corner charge but Kidd uses the buckle as a partner with a drop toe hold. Cesaro finally gets to the apron and gets a hot tag. He unloads on Kofi with uppercuts from corner to corner. He tries for the Steiner powerbomb on Big E but can’t quite get it. He hits a BIG uppercut on Kofi for a good near fall.
Cesaro gets Kofi up in a backbreaker then Kidd tags to get a big springboard elbow for a good near fall. Kidd teases the Sharpshooter. Big E gets sent over the announce table outside. Kofi takes a flip into a huge uppercut from Cesaro.
Big E breaks up the fall. He collides with Kidd and sends him out. Cesaro hits Big E with a drop kick. In the chaos, Woods rips his vest off and rolls in to roll up Cesaro and steal the win. New Day celebrates out on the ramp as the announcers recap the finish.
Winner: New Day to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship
This was good. I don’t think it needed the 2-out of 3 falls though since the match went normal one fall match time. Good pacing though given what the men had to work with, and the finish was creative and continues to solidify New Day as heels. No damage to Kidd and Cesaro, and the titles stay on New Day.
Backstage, Tom Phillips interviews Ryback about his match. Ryback says he doesn’t know what to think of his match with Wyatt. “If he thinks I’m some experimental lab rat in his maze, he’s sadly mistaken.” Ryback says that tonight the Eater of Worlds gets eaten. “Feed me more.”
The announcers credit Imagine Dragons for tonight’s theme. Cole sets up a video package for the match.
Match #3 – Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt:
Wyatt makes his entrance, with an arena full of cellphone lights. When the lights come up, Wyatt plays to the fans a bit. Ryback comes out and Lawler says he looks hungry.
The two start off early exchanging strikes. Ryback hits a Thesz Press, then Wyatt slides out to get a breather. Ryback follows and drives him into the barrier. Back in the ring, Ryback drives Wyatt to the corner, but Wyatt comes back off the ropes with his crashing block. Wyatt takes over, clubbing on Ryback at the ropes.
Ryback starts to build momentum with forearm shots and a slam. Ryback charges Wyatt in the corner, but Wyatt sidesteps him and Ryback takes the post. Wyatt hits a DDT on Ryback out on the apron. Wyatt follows with a senton splash off the apron. Both men sell out on the floor. Wyatt gets back in the ring as Ryback continues to sell, just barely breaking the count.
Wyatt goes right on offense, splashing Ryback in the corner. Wyatt goes up the buckle, but Ryback walks him out and hits a powerbomb. Ryback ducks a clothesline and hits a power slam for a two count. Ryback gets up in the corner and calls for the Meathook. Wyatt ducks to the floor and Ryback goes out to greet him. Wyatt hits a clothesline of his own. JBL says “come here little rat, look at the cheese.”
Wyatt hits a throw, then a running knee to the midsection in the corner. Ryback splashes Wyatt. He tries to set up a move, but instead kicks Wyatt. He hits a spinebuster for two. Ryback calls to finish it but Wyatt counters and perches up Ryback on the corner. A “Let’s Go Wyatt”- “Wyatt Sucks” chant starts.
Ryback clubs Wyatt down then hits a big splash off the ropes. Ryback crawls into a poor cover for a good near fall. The two men sell. Wyatt tries to set up Sister Abigail, but Ryback counters. Ryback tries for Shellshocked, but Wyatt gets into the ropes by the corner, yanking off the turnbuckle pad.
Wyatt drives Ryback to the corner with the exposed buckle then hits Sister Abigail for the win. The announcers recap it. Wyatt poses after the match.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
This was fine. It’s hard to get too invested, because I just fear they’ll come back with Ryback getting a win in the near future. Wyatt needs to be built up if they’re going to treat him as the “new face of fear,” so here’s hoping he wins this feud with Ryback.
They roll an ad for Money in the Bank, in theme of a Home Shopping Network ad, for June 14. They also hype the Stone Cold Podcast for June 1. Back live, they roll the hype video for John Cena vs. Rusev. The I Quit match is up next.
Match #4 – John Cena (c) vs. Rusev (w/Lana); WWE United States Championship under I Quit Rules
Rusev gets his entrance first, and the announcers focus on Lana and how she has taken to certain western customs of late. Fans chant for Lana, but she looks distressed. Cena comes out to a standard mixed reaction and his “John Cena Sucks” serenade. As he comes to the ring, JBL talks about his experience with Cena in an I Quit match.
Dueling chants as the bell rings. Rusev grabs the mic from the official and speaks. He yells something in Russian first, then addresses Cena. He says half of the people already hate him. “Do them a favor, swallow your American pride and say you quit now, and spare yourself the pain.” The chant goes to a unanimous “USA” chant.
The official dutifully asks Cena if he quits. Cena thinks about, charges, and fires off on Rusev. Rusev hits a big kick then splashes Cena in the corner a couple times. The fans chant for Lana now. Rusev slides out of the ring, barks at the Spanish announce team for a chair, then sits Lana down at the announce position.
Back in the ring, Cena hits Rusev with a suplex then whips him across the ring. Cena goes for a follow up charge but Rusev sidesteps it. Rusev starts to open up on Cena with stomps. Full throat dueling chants. The official asks Cena if he quits but Cena pushes the mic away. Rusev continues the assault, landing a hard right hand then a drop kick.
Rusev continues the assault, but Cena comes back with a clothesline. They recap the drop kick from Rusev. Rusev comes back with a spinning heel kick, then goes out of the ring to berate Lana for the fans chanting at her. Cole says that Rusev better focus on Cena.
Rusev continues to club away on Cena. Rusev then demands Lana go and get his flag and hand it to him. Rusev takes the time to play to the fans with the Russian flag. Cena starts up his comeback, hitting the shoulder blocks, side slam, and Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena tries to load the AA but gets caught in a fallaway slam. Cena rolls to ringside where the official asks if he wants to quit.
Rusev throws Cena into the steel steps and demands the official ask again. Rusev gets frustrated when Cena says no. Cena rolls in, and Rusev throws the steps in. He sets up the steps in the corner as Cena sells in the opposite corner. Rusev demands that the official ask if Cena wants to quit, then throws Cena into the ring steps propped in the other corner. Rinse and repeat.
Rusev grabs the mic and yells at Cena, but the official takes the mic back. Rusev resets the steps mid ring and sets up a move but Cena backdrops out of it. Cena starts unloading right hands, then tries something off the ropes but Rusev catches Cena and hits a black hole slam onto the steps. The official asks and Cena says no. Rusev is frustrated.
Rusev yells “Rusev, CRUSH!” and sets a stomp up, but Cena moves. Cena hits the AA on the steps. The official asks Rusev if he quits but Rusev can’t answer. Cena gets the steps. He whips them toward Rusev, but Rusev ducks. Outside the ring, Rusev tries to set up a whip but Cena reverses it and Rusev eats the post. Cena yells at him that if he doesn’t, Cena will put him through the wall. Rusev says no, and consequently eats the wall as Cena spears him through the barricade.
The referee asks again, and Rusev refuses. Cena goes looking for something and comes up with an equipment case. He tries to roll it into Rusev, but Rusev is able to kick him over top of the case. Referee asks and Cena refuses. The brawl continues out by the technical area, with the two men exchanging strikes. Cena tries to load the AA, but Rusev counters and tries a weak Alabama Slam.
Cena perches a table up, then grabs a monitor or some other form of equipment and slams it over Rusev’s back. Cena continues the assault, beating Rusev up with various pieces of equipment in the technical area.
Rusev counters and sends Cena through the table that is perched up. He starts eyeing something up with the pyro, but his eyes spot something. He runs over to Cena who is by the stage. He eyes up a big kick but Cena hits the AA into the pyro behind the light board. Sparks fly, Rusev crawls away, and Lana wanders out to see what happened. Rusev still doesn’t quit.
Cena goes over to get a piece of the security railing. Rusev crawls over to the ramp and the official asks him. He says no, so Cena runs him over with the barrier. Cena perches the railing against the ring and demands the official ask him again. Rusev again says no.
Cena loads the AA, but Rusev counters out and hits a suplex that crushes the railing. The official asks if Cena wants to quit and gets “hell no.” in return. Back in the ring, Rusev poses, then hits his big thrust kick. He stomps, then locks on the Accolade. JBL reminds us that Cena is the only man who has broken the Accolade.
Cena gets to his feet, driving Rusev into the buckle twice. Cena fades, and drops back to his feet. The announcers ask if his luck may have run out. Cena fades out and the official doesn’t get an answer. Rusev celebrates, thinking he won, but Cena never answered.
Rusev rips the cover off the turnbuckle, then starts undoing the top rope. He rolls out and grabs water then wakes Cena up with it. He cues up hitting Cena with the buckle, but Cena trips him down and locks on the STF with the ring rope. The official asks Rusev if he wants to quit, but he starts rambling in foreign tongue.
Lana crawls up into the ring and yells that he quits. Cena retains the championship, and the American flag drops. Cena slowly walks away as Lana tends to Rusev in the ring. The announcers debate if it’s legal that Lana did what she did, but know that the referee can’t speak Russian. Cena exits.
Winner – John Cena to retain the WWE United States Championship
It was hard to fathom that Lana would not be involved in the finish somehow. We talked on Ring Rap Audio about various scenarios, and this was one of them. The match itself was pretty good and I was entertained by it. The finish was creative and yet I’m sure it will be with its critics. I’m looking forward to how they treat the championship going forward.
Cole sends it up to the panel, and they talk about the various events of the night. They hit on Cena defeating Rusev, as well as Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt. They recap the pre-show match with The Ascension taking the win over the Meta Powers.
Byron Saxton is with New Day, who is celebrating with milk. He says they don’t spit, curse, or get down. Kofi says they don’t care who they face next. Saxton says he has breaking news, saying that the New Day will defend the titles in the first ever tag team Elimination Chamber match. They say it’s not okay and it’s not happening. Saxton says he guesses it’s a new day.
Match #5 – The Bella Twins vs. Naomi and Tamina
During the entrances, Cole plugs Wednesday’s NXT special on the Network. Early on the official is tied up with Naomi. Tamina blasts Brie with a kick that knocks her to the floor. The Samoans isolate Brie in their corner (I don’t know who the heel or face is here).
Brie tries for the tag, but Naomi catches her and holds her back. Brie slips over Naomi’s shoulder and falls on her head, but makes the tag. Nikki hits clotheslines, then hits an Alabama Slam on Naomi. She hits a drop kick that looks just awful. They then do a clunky spot where Nikki takes a swing at Naomi on the apron, but turns into the Rear View from Naomi for two.
Brie takes out Tamina at ringside. Nikki looks to see what’s going on, but Naomi attacks her. A bit later, Nikki goes top rope. Tamina throws Brie into the barrier, and Nikki turns to look. That lets Naomi grab Nikki by the hair and throw her off the ropes. She covers and that’s it. Tamina and Naomi pose, with Naomi yelling “We run this now.” The Bellas sell as the heels leave.
Live crowd didn’t care, and I can’t blame them. Nothing is a talking point to make the fans care about the Bellas other than Daniel Bryan. No real turn, so no real reason to invest.
Backstage, Rusev is pacing and Lana is watching him, solemnly. Rusev rants in Russian or Bulgarian and gets the “WHAT” treatment. He tells Lana to get out, which draws boos. He throws a chair in disgust.
They recount the Daniel Bryan segment from Raw. Cole sends it to the video package that they aired during the pre-show as well. Cole hypes that a new Intercontinental Champion will be crowned at Elimination Chamber in two weeks
Match #6 – Neville vs. King Barrett
As Barrett comes out they recount him winning King of the Ring by defeating Neville. The commentators mention the Twitter exchange between the two of them as Neville comes to the ring. Neville gets an early two count off the roll up, then hits a cross body and a huracanrana to send Barrett to the floor to regroup.
Neville follows him outside and lands a kick. Barrett springs Neville against the ropes and lands a kick. Neville gets draped across the buckle and Barrett lands more shots and a kick that gets him a two count. King calls Barrett “King Toucan Sam” if his nose gets bigger.
Barrett tries a charge, but eats a boot. Neville sets up a springboard move but eats a boot from Barrett. Barrett continues the offense, setting up a slingshot backbreaker then choking Neville in the rope. Barrett ties Neville up in the ring and lands a series of knee shots, sending Neville to the floor.
Barrett goes out after him and tosses Neville back in. Barrett controls Neville with a headlock as the fans start to wake up a bit. Neville starts to mount some offense, hitting a standing shooting star press for two. Neville teases going top rope but sees Barrett coming for him. They fight at the ropes with Barrett flipping Neville over into the ring.
Barrett teases the Bull Hammer, but Neville ducks. Off the ropes, Barrett hits Winds of Change. A bit later, Neville sets up the Red Arrow, but Barrett ducks out of the ring. Neville changes course and hits a big dive to ringside, but lands a bit funny and holds his knee. Neville jumps in the ring, but Barrett sells to the point of being counted out. Neville wins.
Barrett isn’t done though, and he runs back in to attack Neville. He roughs up Neville, sending him to ringside. He throws Neville into the barrier. Barrett gets his crown and robe and poses. Neville grabs him from behind and hits a German suplex on him. Neville sets up the Red Arrow and hits it to a good reaction.
Winner – Neville
I like the Winds of Change move, and wish Barrett would get some wins off of it in “enhancement” matches on TV so it actually felt like something that could lead to a finish. No one reacts to it now because no one feels like it’s a finish. The count out loss here sort of served a purpose to protect Barrett and still give Neville a win, but Barrett wasn’t saving a title or anything, so it wasn’t really all that hot of a finish.
Cole works in a cheap segue to Tough Enough hype. He feeds it to fan submitted video entries.
Backstage, Seth Rollins is with J&J Security. Kane approaches and says he has one thing to say. “Good luck!” Kane laughs and walks away. Cole hypes that the title will be decided next in a fatal four way. He sends it to the video package to hype it up.
Kane makes his entrance first to come to ringside and watch this match. JBL says the odds are against Rollins unless Kane does the right thing and helps the Authority.
Match #6 – Seth Rollins (c, w/J&J Security) vs. Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose; WWE World Heavyweight Championship under Fatal Four Way Rules, and if Rollins loses Kane loses his job as Director of Operations
Orton makes his entrance first of the challengers, playing to the fans on the ropes. Ambrose is second to a big reaction. He heads to the ring with purpose. Reigns is next, making his way through the fans. The announcers recap Roman Reigns’ year to date. JBL says Reigns’ performance against Lesnar was “one of the greatest things he has ever seen.” Rollins is last and gets a rousing cheer from the adult male demographic. Old school in-ring introductions.
The three challengers all stare at Rollins as the bell rings. Early going, J&J Security drags out Ambrose and Reigns, and Rollins and Orton exchange blows with Rollins dumping Orton to ringside. The battle spills to ringside. Reigns hits a big dive on everyone else.
Rollins and Reigns end up in the ring. Reigns hits a tilt-a-whirl slam on Rollins, but Rollins comes back with a DDT style move into the buckle. Dean Ambrose enters the match with a flying elbow. Orton breaks up the cover. Orton and Ambrose battle as Reigns and Rollins disappear from the match. Reigns and Ambrose take turns punching Rollins a bit later on.
I can’t help but think how different the dynamic would be if they hyped the Shield being against each other in this match.
Reigns sets up a corner move. Kane pulls him from the ring and throws him into the barrier. Lawler says he’s disappointed with Kane for doing that as he didn’t expect it. Cole tells King that Kane is loyal to Triple H. Cole fails to bring up the issues Kane has with Reigns. Back in the ring, Rollins hits a buckle bomb on Ambrose, then hits a superkick. Rollins covers for two.
Ambrose gets the better of Rollins, setting up Dirty Deeds. Kane gets in the ring and hits Ambrose with a chokeslam. Reigns boots Kane in the head, then Orton clotheslines Reigns. Orton hits clotheslines on Rollins and Ambrose, then hits a t-bone suplex for two on Rollins. The fans didn’t buy into the finish.
Orton hits a big superplex on Rollins for two. No reaction as to whether or not this was the finish. Orton roughs up Rollins at ringside, then rips apart the announce table. Reigns runs Orton into the ring post.
A bit later, Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins surround Orton. It’s a Shield reunion, if just for a moment, and the three of them rough up Orton, then hit Orton with the triple powerbomb. The live crowd pops for it. The three of them pose and Rollins wants to make the fist pose they had in the past. Reigns and Rollins aren’t having it, and they start beating on Rollins. They set up the double powerbomb on Rollins.
Kane interferes, and Ambrose and Reigns are up to the task to rough him up. Rollins gets laid out on the Spanish announce table, then Ambrose and Reigns do a double powerbomb on Kane. Baltimore loves it and asks for it one more time because the table didn’t break. So, Reigns and Ambrose give it to them, and the table breaks.
Ambrose and Reigns look at each other, with Reigns asking if the loser should buy some beers. They duke it out in the ring. The two exchange strikes. Reigns catches Ambrose with a powerbomb for two, then Ambrose comes back with a roll-up on a re-entering Orton for two of his own.
Reigns blasts Ambrose with the Superman punch for two. Reigns smiles and sets up in the corner for the spear. Ambrose hits him with a boot though. Ambrose sets up for his pendulum clothesline off the ropes, but Reigns ducks and runs the ropes himself.
Off the ropes, Reigns hits a spear and covers. Rollins crawls in and breaks the cover up. Reigns looks at him in disbelief then chases Rollins out of the ring. J&J jumps Reigns, and he fights them off. Rollins gets in the ring and takes a shot from Ambrose after shedding Reigns’ grip.
In the ring, Reigns hits a Superman Punch on Ambrose but gets taken out. Ambrose hits Rollins with Dirty Deeds and has him beat, but Kane pulls Ambrose out and hits him with the ring steps. Reigns gets involved, but he also gets struck with the steps and gets slammed on the base of them for good measure. Orton attacks Kane from behind.
The fans chant for the RKO and Orton lights it up. RKO’s for Noble and Mercury. Rollins tries a flying knee but Orton turns it into a powerslam. Orton hits the elevated DDT then teases the RKO. Kane tries to get involved but Orton hits the RKO on him. Rollins uses the opportunity to set up the Pedigree on Orton to get the win.
Rollins rolls out of the ring as the announcers recap the various high spots of the match. Triple H enters, walking to Rollins to help him to his feet and raise Rollins’ hand and celebrate with him.
They close the show with a hype package for Elimination Chamber, happening in two weeks.
This was fun. If in any way you bought in to Rollins losing, I think it was foolish. The fans got into the moments where The Shield reunion was teased. WWE needed to do more with that history – more so than focusing on what Kane would do during the match. They got that out of the way fairly early, so that was a plus.
Where to go from here? I don’t really know. I guess they could go with the Shield triple threat for the next go around for the title, but it’s hard to say. Orton vs. Rollins has little mileage left, and I think Reigns vs. Rollins one on one might not be believable with Reigns having lost 4 title matches now. Ambrose? Hard to say. That’s what Raw is for, I suppose.
All in all, a solid effort tonight. The in-ring effort was there throughout the night, even if the backing stories weren’t all that great. I do have worries about where they go with Rusev now that he has lost to Cena three straight times and the whole Lana angle doesn’t grab me that much.
We will bring you the fallout tomorrow night in a modified live Raw report. Between Drew’s work schedule and some commitments I need to keep, we’ll have to make some sort of shift in how we bring you the show. Not sure what that looks like just yet, but we’ll see you in some form, tomorrow night. Thanks for following along.