9/10/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters
Seth Rollins def. Ryback by pinfall in a lumberjack match
Rollins repeatedly tried escaping the ring, but the lumberjacks tossed him back in. Rollins hit a jawbreaker and drove Ryback shoulder-first into the ring post. Rollins followed up with a Sling Blade and a neckbreaker, but Ryback fought back with a fallaway slam.
Ryback hit a sitout slam to earn a near-fall, as all of the babyface lumberjacks — except for Zack Ryder, who stayed behind with the heels for some reason — walked an agitated Big Show backstage, in an absolutely ludicrous spot that served only to allow the heels to gang up on Ryback. Ryback hit John Cena mode and threw four guys off him at once, then re-entered the ring and hit a spinebuster on Rollins.
Ryback launched Rollins onto a pile of lumberjacks, which was enough to make all of the lumberjacks decide it was time to fight each other. The heel lumberjacks all entered the ring and beat down on Ryback, with Stardust hitting The Queen’s Crossbow. The face lumberjacks got in the ring and a bunch of fighting happened.
Eventually the ring cleared, and Ryback reversed a Pedigree into a Meathook clothesline. Ryback set up for Shell Shocked, but Kevin Owens took Ryback’s legs out from under him, allowing Rollins to hit a Pedigree and pin Ryback.
Scott’s Thoughts: I liked Owens interfering, as it intensifies the heat between him and the IC Champ. The rest of this match was basically everything I hate about lumberjack matches. It was an overbooked mess, with lots of “you’re a face, I’m a heel, we should brawl now” spots.
Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Jimmy Uso wrestled New Day to a No Contest
In a show-opening promo, Wyatt said that his family’s rivalry with Reigns and Ambrose is a modern-day take on the Hatfields and McCoys, in that they will battle each other forever. Wyatt said that he would send Jimmy the same message he sent Randy Orton on Monday, warning that he will pay a hefty price if he teams with Reigns and Ambrose.
Reigns and Ambrose opened the match with a double suplex on Woods. Ambrose followed up with an elbow drop, but Big E tagged in and leveled him with a clothesline. Jimmy turned the tide for his team, hitting a Samoan drop and a stinkface on Kofi, followed by an enziguiri to Woods.
Jimmy hit a dive over the top rope, taking out both Kofi and Woods. Back in the ring, Big E took advantage of a distracted referee to hip-toss Jimmy over the top rope and onto the floor. Woods retrieved his trombone and played it in tandem with his teammates’ moves, as Kofi hit a corner dropkick on Jimmy.
Jimmy finally fought back with a superkick on Woods, reaching Reigns for the hot tag. Reigns hit a tilt-a-whirl slam on Woods, followed by ten clotheslines in the corner and a Drive-By. Reigns hit Big E with a Samoan drop, but Woods took advantage of Big E’s distraction and hit a tornado DDT, forcing Ambrose to make the save.
Once the ring cleared again, Woods tried for the Honor Roll, but Reigns countered with a Superman punch. Reigns tagged in Jimmy, who climbed to the top rope. The lights went out, and when they came back on, the Wyatt Family was standing on the entrance stage.
Strowman held Jimmy in a bear hug, and the lights went out again. A single spotlight illuminated an unconscious Jimmy, as Reigns and Ambrose looked on, with the Wyatts nowhere in sight.
Scott’s Thoughts: The storyline of the Wyatts destroying anyone who dares to team with Reigns and Ambrose has breathed a ton of new life into this program. Jimmy teaming up with Reigns and Ambrose made sense, as he has an extensive kayfabe history with the Wyatts, and also great in-ring chemistry with them. I continue to grow more and more intrigued to see who the third man will end up being.
Paige and Sasha Banks wrestled to a No Contest
Before the match, both teams got in each other’s faces, so the referee banned Naomi, Tamina, Charlotte and Becky from ringside. Sasha and Paige exchanged backslides and sunset flips early on, until Paige knocked Sasha from the ring with a knee strike. Paige followed up with a moonsault off the apron, but Sasha gained the advantage with a double-knee to the gut for a near-fall.
Paige hit a running knee strike and a superkick to earn another two-count, following up with an excellent spear. The action spilled outside and Paige drove Sasha into the barricade. Sasha tossed Paige into the barricade as well, but Paige answered with a spear into the barricade.
Paige and Sasha went after each other so violently that two referees had to pull them apart and end the match. Teams PCB and BAD both hit the ring and chaos broke out. Even after things seemed to have calmed down, Paige went after Sasha again on the entrance ramp.
Scott’s Thoughts: I loved the finish here, as the violence escalated so quickly that it was logical for the officials to stop the match. It’s refreshing to see this level of physicality in a women’s match, and it’s a great step for WWE to have two major women’s feuds (Charlotte/Nikki and Paige/Sasha) at the same time.
Is it possible that we could see two Divas matches at Night of Champions? That would be the first WWE PPV with two women’s singles matches since last year’s Summerslam (AJ Lee vs. Paige, Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella).
Cesaro def. The Miz by submission
Cesaro grounded Miz and hit a double footstomp, followed by a dropkick. Cesaro hit a stiff clothesline, but Miz answered with a front suplex onto the top rope. Miz worked over Cesaro’s injured midsection with a variety of strikes and submission holds, but Cesaro picked him up and hit a deadlift vertical suplex.
Miz answered with a basement dropkick to the knee, which Cesaro countered into a schoolboy for two. Cesaro appeared to set up a figure-four, but transitioned to a sharpshooter, forcing Miz to tap out.
Scott’s Thoughts: Cesaro and Miz have great chemistry together, and this was an entertaining match that finally saw Cesaro win with the sharpshooter. Cesaro is a unique commodity on the WWE roster for the simple fact that he now has many different viable finishers, which lend extra drama to the false finishes in his matches.
The Ascension (w/ Stardust) def. The Lucha Dragons by pinfall
Kalisto hit a flying crossbody on Viktor, followed by a handspring kick on Konnor. Stardust leapt up on the apron to make a distraction, and Viktor hit an STO on Kalisto. The Ascension hit Fall of Man to squash the Dragons. After the match, The Ascension and Stardust beat down on the Dragons, until Neville made the save.
Scott’s Thoughts: Wow, that was easy. Looks like I’m going to have to make some adjustments to these teams’ spots on the depth chart after that squash.