10/5/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
John Cena def. Big E to Remain US Champion
Cena did all of his talking for the night during a Breast Cancer Awareness Segment, emceed by him and Roman Reigns. That led to a brief introduction for his US Open Challenge before Dolph Ziggler’s music hit. Instead of Ziggler, New Day came out on the ramp and showed Ziggler’s limp body. They cleverly introduced Big E as Cena’s challenger for the US Title.
Big E dominated a long stretch of the match with power moves and hurled Cena into the ring steps. He caught Cena’s cross-body, but Cena freed himself and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods tried to distract Cena and the referee ejected them. Big E tried to grab Xavier’s trombone and use it as a weapon while they left, but Cena avoided it and hit the AA to win.
As soon as the match ended, New Day triple-teamed Cena. Ziggler tried to make the save, but accidentally superkicked Cena and let New Day maintain their numbers advantage. The Dudleys were the next team to try to even the odds, only for New Day to dispatch them, as well. Kofi’s Trouble in Paradise and Big E’s Big Ending left New Day standing tall.
I liked everything about this ending. New Day has been so impressive in every aspect of their game for the last few months that they have the potential to work their way up the card. To do so, they must be legitimate threats, and serious, heelish tactics like these make them much more legitimate. Ziggler, meanwhile, might have shown hints of a heel turn that could get him out of his current rut. Cena is without a dance partner for Hell in a Cell, and this match created a couple of interesting possibilities for him, as well.
Dudley Boys def. Seth Rollins and Kane by DQ
While Kane and Rollins went through another week of bickering, Stephanie McMahon made a pair of matches for Hell in a Cell. She placed New Day in another Tag Title defense against the Dudley Boys and she gave Demon Kane his title shot against Seth Rollins with Corporate Kane’s job on the line. She also made
Rollins was not happy about Kane as his partner- Kane’s ankle repeatedly gave out and Rollins was preoccupied with keeping him at ringside where he could not become Demon Kane. As a result, the Dudleys largely stayed in control of the match with better teamwork and unity. Rollins tried to cuff Kane to the ropes to keep him from leaving, but the cuff snapped and the trainer took Kane backstage to look at his ankle.
Kane grinned menacingly at Rollins as he neared the top of the ramp. That distraction allowed the Dudleys to regain control. They hit the Wassup Headbutt and went for a table. Rollins dropkicked the table into the Dudleys to cause the match to end by DQ, and Rollins tried to escape before Kane could return. Before he could make it out, Kane came down the ramp and went for Rollins. The Dudleys hit him with a 3D instead as retribution for his attack on Smackdown.
Rollins couldn’t help himself. He set up a table near the downed Kane and started to talk trash to him. Kane awoke suddenly and grabbed Rollins by the throat. He slammed him through the table and left standing tall once again. As I wrote last week, this feud won’t go down as one of the great defenses of the Rollins regime, but it’s an enjoyable interlude while a big rivalry like Lesnar-Undertaker dominates the top of the card.
Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose def. The Wyatt Family
As we approach the Reigns-Wyatt Hell in a Cell match in a few weeks, this feud has started to crystalize around the two men at its center. From the start of the match, Reigns was more focused on going after Wyatt than on winning. That allowed Braun Strowman to dominate- he caught an Ambrose suicide dive and slammed him on the floor to put his team in control. Finally, Strowman dove into a ring post and Ambrose got to Orton for a hot tag.
Once Orton entered, the whole team went after Strowman to bring him to the ground. After a Superman Punch and a splash to the floor by Ambrose, he went down to a knee, but still did not succumb. Reigns hit a big delayed powerbomb on Luke Harper, but Wyatt’s interference led to a Harper superkick. Orton made the save from a pin and delivered an RKO to Harper amid a frenzy. Reigns finished Harper with a spear while he glared at Wyatt outside the ring.
It was a fun match that built well to the end. It was reminiscent of Ambrose and Reigns in The Shield in how well they used hope spots and rallies to get the crowd ready for a big finish. On the other hand, these six men have spent so much time together that the results of these matches do not seem to matter. We now know that Reigns and Wyatt will finish the rivalry at Hell in a Cell, so everything that happens until then is secondary.
Brock Lesnar Punctuates MSG Victory
Paul Heyman and Lesnar opened the show in the ring to the delight of the Boston fans. Heyman reset the Lesnar-Undertaker feud and effectively conveyed the finality of their upcoming Hell in a Cell match. He explained that the stakes of the rivalry include the historical status as the winner of a feud that has lasted almost two years.
As Heyman wrapped up, Big Show interrupted and joined them in the ring. He offered Lesnar congratulations for his win on Saturday, but Lesnar ignored him. Big Show started to antagonize Lesnar until Lesnar got back in the ring. He hit a belly-to-belly suplex and an F5 to repeat the impressive show of strength from the MSG show.
Team Bad def. Team Bella
These two teams confronted each other in the parking lot and then the Bellas interrupted Sasha Banks during her homecoming speech. Sasha looked good at the start of the match with a knee drop in the corner on Brie. Team Bella ganged up on Naomi and kept her in their corner for several minutes while they wore her down. When she finally tagged Sasha, every wrestler jumped in for a flurry of big spots. It ended with Sasha’s Banks Statement on Alicia Fox to earn the submission victory. Sasha said to Nikki before the match that if she won the Divas Title at Hell in a Cell, she would only be keeping it warm for her. While Sasha hasn’t been featured on the main roster as much as Charlotte since her call-up, nights like this definitely make it feel like Sasha is destined for that spot.
Natalya def. Paige
The little bit of airtime spent developing tension between Paige’s angst and Natalya’s perspective has gone a long way. Paige came out of the gates strong with a big boot on the floor. She wore Natalya down with a body scissors and an abdominal stretch. Natalya put together a rally and got a near fall off of a basement dropkick. After Paige reached the ropes to escape the Sharpshooter, Natalya applied it again and mad her tap for a big win. The simple story has made Natalya more interesting than she has been in years. This match was also solid to help reintegrate her into the division.
Kevin Owens def. Sin Cara
A video package before the Owens match better captured Ryback’s intensity than most of his recent in-ring interviews. Owens mocked Sin Cara and Kalisto through the match. A short rally was all Sin Cara could muster before Owens finished him with a Pop-Up Powerbomb. He tried to attack Kalisto, but Ryback made the save and Owens escaped through the crowd. I like matches like this one where someone wrestles someone lower on the card outside of his ongoing program. They keep rivalries fresh and remind fans why the dominant wrestlers are higher on the card.
Sheamus def. Neville
Sheamus insulted Neville and the Boston fans on his way to the ring, but Neville hit him with a spinning heel kick to get off to a hot start in the match. Bad News Barrett got up from the commentary table and distracted Neville, which led to an almost instantaneous Brogue Kick and pin. It looks like we’re headed for another round of Neville-Barrett, two wrestlers who have lost so often that their considerable talent is not enough to get them to the next level.
Rusev and Summer Rae Get Pre-Engaged
Summer Rae showed Rusev a ridiculous video package about their time together and Rusev said that he cares about her, even though, “at first I didn’t like you at all.” Summer got down on a knee and proposed to Rusev. He responded that he would marry her, but only once he wins another title. The video package was quite funny. I might think very differently about this angle if it had been played for laughs from the start. I suppose that doesn’t do justice to Rusev as a wrestler, but his rivalry with Dolph Ziggler hasn’t, either.