Seth Rollins is backstage, looking smug, but that dies basically the second he walks into Kane. Seth has more or less no time for Kane’s shit, but still gets put in the opening match of the night. Bad for him, great for us.
Kane then runs into New Day members Big E and Kingston, who are righteously pissed about Woods’ injury. And when I say ‘righteously’…I mean, just watch the tape, seriously. Kane is in full fucking swing with this cheerful shtick tonight, which is almost worth having him be in one of the two main events this PPV. Also, both New Day members are also wearing ‘XW’ black bands on their arms: I don’t know who’s in charge of these three, but they should be in charge of everything, ever. Kane puts Kingston and Langston in a match against Reigns and Ambrose, plays the world’s smallest trombone at them, and leaves.
Things that are better than Kane vs. Rollins
Here’s Seth Rollins, ready to kick off this go-home show. I rather liked the Shield tease, personally, especially as it was a perfect indicator of just how into it the WWE Universe would be with practically no foreshadowing involved: if they ever do do it for real, it will be one of the most awesome things ever.
Seth, as it turns out, is facing…Cesaro! Holy shit, WWE: on free TV? Which dark, satanic entity has been invoked to accomplish such blasphemy? I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine for this one.
Rollins and Cesaro tie up, with Cesaro taking Seth to the ground, then lifting him right back up for a gutwrench suplex. Crossface is almost applied immediately, and Rollins quickly rolls to the outside before it can be locked in. We are shown that Stardust and the Ascension are in the crowd, and I’m glad they didn’t make a big thing about that, but I’d also rather they’d made even less of a thing about it and had just not shown it at all.
Seth grabs his belt and figures he’s got better things to do than put on an awesome match. Then, apparently, he has a change of heart, runs back into the ring aaaaaaaand takes a bunch of uppercuts and a running dropkick. That’s what being gutsy gets ya. Cesaro goes for the Swing, but Seth bails yet again, walking off down the ramp a second time; this time Cesaro catches up with him, but Seth flings him into both the barricade and the steel steps before we take a break.
Seth comes off the ropes with a springboard knee as we come back to the action. Seth stomps away at Cesaro in the corner, then hits a running forearm to the face, stalking the Swiss Superman as he regains his feet.
Seth tries for another forearm, but Cesaro uses his own momentum to hoist Rollins up on the turnbuckle and dropkick him over the ropes and out of the ring! Seth heads to the outside, but is followed by Cesaro, who uppercuts him over the barricade! Cesaro throws Seth back into the ring, climbs high and hits a flying crossbody from the top rope!
Seth hits a shoulder to the gut, tries for a sunset flip, grabs the ropes to avoid being Swung, and manages to land on his feet as Cesaro jerks him upwards, lashing a kick into the Swissman’s chrome dome. Superkick puts Cesaro on his back, getting two.
Now it’s Rollins’ turn to climb to the top; he tries a flying knee, misses, and gets caught with the Very European Uppercut! Immediate transition into a crossface! Rollins is in the centre of the ring…but just gets his feet under the bottom rope to break the hold.
Cesaro takes Seth out onto the apron, trying to suplex him back into the ring, but Seth slides out of it, dumping Cesaro into the turnbuckle, hitting the Pedigree on a dazed Swiss Superman for the win.
Good match, though I reckon I’d have made it go for a little longer and have trimmed some of the probable fat later to occur tonight. Still, good match. 3 Stars.
Renee Young is backstage with the Miz, for her sins. Apparently he wants to deliver a scoop, whatever kind of sick sexual shit that is. Oh God, Summer Rae has an announcement that will apparently be ‘unlike anything ever seen on SmackDown’. Wow, by that logic it might just be a relevant and entertaining continuation of plot.
Paige heads out to the ring, here to address the rumours that she’s an asshole. Also, did you know that Susan B. Komen apparently sues other companies for using the colour pink and the word ‘cure’ using the donations which people kind of assume are donated for, you know, researching the cure to cancer? Priorities, you lawsuit-happy fuckwits: people fucking die of cancer.
Anyway, Paige feels sad because people think she’d put the boots to Natalya. You know, like the pair of them are fucking wrestlers or whatever. But hey, Paige doesn’t give two shits about what we think: all that matters to her are the opinions of Becky and Charlotte. Rude. Becky and Charlotte actually do come out, because when your opinion is apparently the be-all and end-all for someone, I guess you shouldn’t act all coy about it.
Paige thanks the gals for coming out, but Becky is not willing to let every little dickish thing that Paige said go. Holy shit, well done Becky: someone is finally calling Paige out on everything. So does Charlotte: were people…were people doing what I suggested? Stop it, WWE: I keep feeling like you’re reading these things and you’re obviously not. Charlotte genuinely tears into Paige, getting damn emotional. Well, the woman can deliver on the mic.
Nikki and the Bella Twins shows up, and I just can’t decide which of the three Diva trios is more like the Golden Girls. And yes, that is absolutely an important thing to know. Blah blah blah, Nikki can’t talk on a mic worth a damn, and Charlotte offers to kick her ass, but Paige dives in to save the PPV match. Nice work, Paige.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world she wasn’t PAIGE
Paige and Nikki circle each other, before they tie up and Nikki throws Paige across the ring. Bodyslam to Paige, then she gets her face rocked off Nikki’s knee. Nikki stops to taunt Charlotte, but gets an armdrag and then a bodyslam. Paige headbutts Nikki, then hits a tonne of knees to the chest as the Bella is draped over the ropes.
Nikki almost catches Paige with an Alabama Slam, but Paige manages to counter, hitting a hell of a knee-lift to the face. Paige walks into a back elbow, and Nikki takes full advantages, hitting an armbar takedown from the second rope as we go to a break.
When we come back, Nikki is putting a hurting on Paige’s arm, wrenching it over the ropes and slamming it into the steel post. Control of the arm allows Nikki to dominate Paige for a spell, with every attack targeting the joint. A sleeper is locked in, using Paige’s own injured arm to apply it, for added effect. Paige uses this to her advantage, throwing Nikki off her and hitting a superkick to buy herself some time. God, was a superkick just used to buy someone some time? When Shawn finally keels over (and he looks to be on the way out), he’ll have a hell of a lot of spinning to do.
Paige is staggered as Nikki pulls her throat-first onto the ropes, then takes a spinebuster from the more-powerful Diva. Rack Attack follows, but Paige almost catches Nikki with a roll-up, then physically catches her for a fallaway slam! Paige attempts a suplex, with Nikki almost getting a roll-up this time. Alabama Slam plants Paige, even though Booker refers to it as a ‘sidewalk slam’, the fucking amateur.
Nikki stalks Paige, waiting on her, but Paige manages to duck a forearm. She goes to kick Nikkin in the stomach, but the Bella catches the hit, this time connecting with the forearm, and the Rack Attack ends it.
Wow, the second clean win for a heel tonight: I’m a fan of the new direction. Match itself was definitely one of Nikki’s better ones. 2.5 Stars.
Oh dear sweet Christ and all of his legions of angels: it’s the Miz, dressed like a cross between a Jedi, a gimp and an asshole. We have a look at all of the crap we’ve had to sit through over the past couple of months, and then Miz brings out to Dolph Ziggler. Who is wearing an Alice band, as you do. Miz asks how Dolph feels about his career being dragged through this absolute mound of BS. Ziggler is trying to avoid responsibility for anything that’s happened, which is more or less exactly what I’d do in the face of all of this, and Miz brings out Summer Rae, because let’s prolong the shit out of this angle. Seriously, can we please recognise Rusev and Lana for their public announcement of their engagement, which was clearly less about love than it was about ending this rank madness?
Summer says that she and Dolph have done things to each other that they regret (I assume she’s referring to something involving jumper cables and a car battery), but they have amazing, crotch-exploding sex. Dolph tries to dump Summer, but she beats him to the dump. Wait… Summer has a new man, and it’s…Tyler Breeze? Well, fuck me, something decent came out of this after all. Although his outfit makes it look like he caught and skinned the Heffalump.
Tyler (who has the most beautiful accent in the world, by the way), introduces himself with his many absurd titles, and says that when he heard that Summer was being mistreated by Dolph, then he had no choice but to be called up to the main roster. He makes some kind of metrosexual threat, takes a selfie, and jumps Dolph mid-promo. Dolph fights back, but takes a selfie-stick to the throat. Okay, seems like a decent way to break an iPhone, but whatever. Breeze is backed off by the referees, and I hope you watch NXT, otherwise you’d be under the impression that his entire repertoire was punches and spinning heel kicks. And, you know, pure sex appeal.
But whose National Anthem do they sing?
Looks like the WWE is trying to convince everyone that Bulgaria, England and Ireland are just the best of friends with this Rusev, Barrett and Sheamus trio thing. At best, England and Ireland don’t know that Bulgaria exists and are too busy scrapping with each other in any case. Sheamus and Barrett are facing Sin Cara and Kalisto, with Sin Cara taking Wade down with a springboard headbutt. A springboard moonsault takes Barrett down, then a rolling senton/monkey flip/450 fucking ridiculous double team by the Lucha Dragons makes sure he stays there.
Kalisto tags back out, and Sin Cara gets caught on the top rope, and then shoved down to the floor by Barrett. Sheamus tags in, demolishing the luchador on the outside. Running shoulder and then a high knee to Sin Cara, then a big bodyslam gets two. Barrett comes in for some revenge, draping the masked man over the top and laying into him with forearms and a big kick to the gut.
Suddenly, Sin Cara rolls out of a pumphandle slam, braining Barrett with a kick and tagging in Kalisto! Kalisto takes Sheamus down with a hurricanrana, then kicks him left, right and centre before laying an exclamation point on it with a spike-arana. Barrett tries to interfere and gets low-bridged by Sin Cara. When Sin Cara tries to dive on Barrett, Rusev charges in and shoves Barrett out of the way, only for Kalisto to somersault out onto Rusev!
Kalisto gets on the apron, avoids a Brogue Kick, kicks Barrett when the Englishman tries to grab at his legs, and then eats a Brogue from Sheamus to end the match.
Fun match, with some incredible offence from the Lucha Dragons and some genuinely great teamwork from the UnAmericans. Good stuff. 3 Stars.
I feel inspired
Bo Dallas is in the ring for some good old motivating. He accepts John Cena’s Open Challenge, for all of his Bomericans. He then proceeds to murder the National Anthem, until Ryback arrives to play Hulk Hogan. And, because we have to be specific about that now, that doesn’t mean in a sex-tape way.
Ryback runs over Bo with a shoulder, then hits a bodyslam. Bo does manage to hit some offence, but Ryback shoves his way out of a neckbreaker and takes Bo back down. Dallas hangs Ryback up on the ropes, scoring with a clothesline and transitioning into a sleeper. I think if you lose a match to Bo Dallas, the only thing left to do is fall on your sword.
Ryback has no time nor swords for suicide, however, so jawbreakers his way out of it, hits a Meathook and Shellshocked, proving that killing yourself doesn’t have to be the answer: you can beat up Bo Dallas too.
Quick, emphatic, point made. No complaints here. 2 Stars.
Renee pounces on Owens with a surprise interview, asking if he’s a little nervous at the prospect of Ryback ripping out his spine and sodomising Owens’ floppy corpse with it. Owens says that, no matter what, he’s the champion. Renee then calls him arrogant, because she’s consistently the best thing about SmackDown. Owens promises that he’s going to be walking out of Hell in a Cell as champion.
The only thing I’ve seen more of than this Hell in a Cell Lesnar/Undertaker promo are the Susan G. Komen ‘we managed to pick the one cancer research company more cancerous than actual cancer to ally ourselves with’ adverts, which is leading to some damn weird mixed messages to me. Although Undertaker would probably suffer less damage by drinking a vat full of cancer than he would being in a Hell in a Cell match against Brock Lesnar.
Motherfucking Doomsday Device
Ambrose kicks things off against Kofi, applying a headlock, knocking the New Day member down and then catching him in an inverted atomic drop. He hits some clotheslines, staying on top of Kofi and tagging in Roman Reigns. Kingston bails, tagging in Big E. Langston wants to dance, but Reigns wants to rip off Langston’s face and throw it at Bray Wyatt. Big E does knock Reigns down, but almost gets caught with a Samoan drop as he comes off the ropes.
Reigns tries to hit a clothesline in the corner, gets elevated over the top rope and still manages to hang Langston up on the ropes. Reigns is distracted by Kofi and then blasted into the barricade by Big E as we go to a break.
Back with the action, Reigns fights his way out of an abdominal stretch and headbutts his way clear of Big E. Langston tries to charge him in the corner, but Roman ducks and Big E blasts the turnbuckle with his shoulder. Ambrose is tagged in, hitting jabs and chops on Big E before low-bridging him out of the ring and diving out onto him.
With the referee distracted, Kofi trips Ambrose up on the apron, tagging in and nailing Dean in the face with a kick. The New Day are now in full control, laying into Ambrose in the corner before sending Kofi into him with a running dropkick. Another kick lays Dean low, and he tries to fight his way clear of Kofi with a sudden burst, but Kingston slams him down on the mat. Kofi then does the Boom Drop, but with hopscotch leading up to it, because this team does what the fuck they want. Reigns look of pissy disbelief is a wonder to behold.
Kofi almost hits Trouble in Paradise; Kofi charges at him again, missing but managing to get up to the top rope and almost hitting Ambrose with a crossbody, but Ambrose ducks away and tags in Reigns!
Roman comes in hard and fast, mauling Kingston with clotheslines and slamming an uppercut into Langston’s face. Bodyslam nails Kofi, who rolls out of the ring, and hits both men with consecutive Drive-By Dropkicks. Back in the ring, Reigns catches Kofi, but Kingston slips out of the hold, grabbing Roman’s arms behind his back so Langston can finish the job. Roman kicks Langston away, then slams a fist into Kofi. Dean hits a reeling Langston with a missile dropkick, and New Day apparently just want to walk away from it all…and the Dudley Boyz show up to back them up towards the ring!
Superman Punch on the outside to Big E! Kofi tries to grab Reigns but gets taken out by a flying Ambrose! Kofi’s thrown out of the ring, then Langston eats a clothesline from Dean before getting set up for the DOOMSDAY DEVICE!! Kofi leaps off the top rope, right into a Superman Punch! Spear ends the match!
Really good match that turned great in the last few moments: fantastic finish and great lead into the PPV. 3.5 Stars for the Doomsday Fucking Device.
The Wyatts hijack the monitors, because they’ve done fuck-all else this show. Aw, Bray got his rocking chair back. And, admittedly, the ‘see you in hell’ line was creepy enough. I’ll allow it.