Commentator: Michael Cole & Josh Matthews
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: The Miz… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth… NXT Championship: Seth Rollins… Diva’s Champion: Layla
Alberto Del Rio, along with David Otunga and Ricardo Rodriguez both in neck braces, opens the show. Alberto thanks Booker T for banning the Brogue Kick. He gives the mic to Ricardo who thanks everyone for all of the support; he begins to cry in Spanish about his mom. Ricardo is awesome. Otunga takes the mic and pats him on the side. Otunga discusses AJ Lee’s irresponsibility for allowing Sheamus to fight him. He calls her imbalanced for making the match and now his C4 and C5 may be ruptured. He says he will recover. Del Rio shows clips of him nailing Christian with the Kick from Night of Champions last year. He has, via satellite, Christian. Christian is not too happy about being involved. He has his arm in a sling from shoulder surgery; Christian is still a babyface because he rips Del Rio. Christian is not doing this for himself or Del Rio; he’s doing it for the boys in the back who are too scared to say anything. He says that he was a two time champion; on his way to being a three time one… until he got hit with the Brogue Kick. He says the nerve damage forced surgery and due to that, he lost a year of his career; he apprehensively admits the Brogue should still remain banned. He is about to continue but Otunga cuts off his satellite feed. Del Rio grabs the mic and continues on about the banning; he says that at Night of Champions he will win the title but Daniel Bryan interrupts? He says “no” a lot getting the fans to say “yes”. He thanks the trio for bringing this Brogue situation to light. He also says that he is a victim of the Kick as well. He says the reason he (may have) a goat face is because Sheamus kicked him. Booker has granted him a rematch of the infamous eighteen seconds WrestleMania match. Bryan flips out and screams that he wants to beat Sheamus tonight but the man himself interrupts. He says Bryan did not lose because of the Brogue Kick, but because of himself; Sheamus adds that people are doomed to repeat history (and he’ll win tonight and the PPV). Otunga gets in his face so Sheamus hangs him off the top ropes and removes his neck brace in all in one smooth motion. He leaves everyone in the ring to tend to Otunga. 6/10 This was better than the usual run-of-the-mill Del Rio promo, probably because it involved Christian, Otunga, Ricardo, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. I enjoyed it… probably because of Daniel Bryan.
Sin Cara vs. The Miz: Ugh, the Cara lighting returns. Miz kicks away and the commentators discuss Cody Rhodes. He hits a snap suplex for two; Cara comes back with a lassoing hurracanrana forcing Miz to the floor. Cara tries a highflyer move but Miz nails him with a left hand. Back from commercial, Miz gets a nearfall. Miz locks in a chinlock; I’m watching this on YouTube and getting a lot of ads for WWE in Egypt. Cara tries a comeback but Miz keeps him at bay with a running kneelift. He mounts the Luchadore with punches and continues to pound away. He sets him up and this the Vintage Clothesline and hits a top rope double axe. Miz turns to the chinlock to “ground” Sin Cara; he tries another kneelift but Cara surprises him with a schoolboy for two. Miz fires right back with the Vintage Neckbreaker, for two. He tries the Clothesline again but Sin Cara moves (obviously, since 95% of all big moves tried a second time, after hitting the first time, miss). They go through a nice sequence and Cara goes for the handspring elbow but Miz wisely sidesteps, Cara lands on his feet however, so Miz smoothly transitions into a running boot… but Cara ducks that and hits a nice springboard hurracanrana. Miz backdrops him onto the apron but all that spells is a pendulum kick. Cara looks for a springboard move but (all of a sudden) he is in the corner INSIDE the ring and Miz charges him there. I think there may have been some kind of botch edited out. Miz tries the Scull-Crushing Finale; Cara tries to counter into La Mística but Miz blocks it so Cara turns it into a Majestral cradle for the surprising three. 6/10 Pretty good match here; Miz kept Cara in line pretty much the entire match. I cannot downgrade for the apparent “botch” since it looks to have been edited out and technically really do not know if it were there in the first place. I guess it will be Miz versus Sin Cara at Night of Champions unless they inject Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio in there too; I think that is a bad idea since there will be many more PPVs where they can stretch this four way rivalry longer. Rey and Rhodes can have their IC title matches later down the line, plus one-on-one matches for titles seem more prestigious.
Here is your winner… Sin Cara @ about 8:15 (broadcast) via Majestral cradle pinfall.
Matt Striker asks The Miz about not knowing who his opponent at the PPV. Cody Rhodes shows up and Miz questions him about back jumping him. Rey Mysterio appears and adds his two cents to the convo citing he pinned Miz in a tag match. Sin Cara makes his presence known and points to the IC title. They all argue over who should get the title shot; Teddy Long comes over and makes the aforementioned Fatal Fourway match. Miz looks pissed. I guess no one listens to me.
Elsewhere, we get highlights of the formation of Team Friendship including clips from all of the anger management segments with Dr. Shelby (he should be their manager). We also get highlights of the Jerry Lawler heart attack match where Kane and Bryan became the number one contenders. Back to tonight, Kane is sitting with Dr. Shelby squeezing a stress ball. Bryan shows up and asks Kane about that chokeslam from Raw. Kane says he did what he needed to do to win; they both admit that they want to become tag champions and begin to argue. Shelby notes they both have balls… stress balls, that is. They both squeeze the balls to wash away stress. Kane notes his ball is BIGGER than Bryan’s. He leaves and Bryan’s “is it?” to Shelby is priceless. THESE are the Booker T/Goldust–esque segments I knew we would be treated to with these two.
Kofi Kingston vs. Kane: No T-Truth with Kofi tonight; Kane’s partner, Daniel Bryan, is in the locker room prepping for his match with Sheamus. Kingston starts off with kicks but Kane shrugs him off; he tosses Kofi into the ropes but Kingston uses that Superman dive move into the top rope to rebound himself quickly and is able to hit a dropkick. Kane merely stumbles back, so Kofi charges and Kane LEVELS him with an uppercut. The Monster pounds away on Kingston and hits a running legdrop for two. He hits a corner clothesline and Kofi oversells it; Kane nails another one and tries the side slam but Kinston swiftly wriggles his way into a DDT. Kofi signals foe the Trouble in Paradise; Kane counters with a goozle but Kofi slips free and hits a pendulum kick. Kingston leaps off the top… right into a chokeslam and gets pinned. Post-match, Dr. Shelby appears on the stage and watches Kane as he slides back into the ring. Kane grabs Kofi by the throat as Shelby stares at him; Kane thinks about it and eventually HUGS Kingston in lieu of chokeslamming him. 3.5/10 Short, energetic and total squash; this sells the strength that the Kane and Bryan team. That post-match hug stuff was great.
Here is your winner… Kane @ about 4:25 via chokeslam and hug pinfall.
Matt Striker is with Randy Orton; he questions Randy’s logic in requesting match with Tensai tonight. Orton throws out a few answers like, “why not” and “tune up”; regardless, Orton is looking forward to the PPV and discusses: what if Alberto Del Rio defeats Sheamus (due to Brogue Kick banning) and Dolph Ziggler follows that with a MitB cash in and wins the title, then Randy would (somehow) get a title shot that night. Don’t quite grasp that logic unless Orton got a copy of the card with the match order on it… or he just does not like Ziggler and wants to rip him a new one.
Randy Orton vs. Tensai (w/Sakamoto): The WWE is using Tensai a lot more often again, perhaps they are trying to repush him; the commentators hint his latest setbacks may be to adjustments from wrestling in Japan to sports entertaining in the WWE. This is a first time encounter. Tensai starts off hot and pounds away in the corner. Orton tries to explode out of the opposite corner with a clothesline but Tensai blocks it. Orton hits him with an elbow to the face and punches his way back. Orton tries a dropkick but he’s swatted away; Tensai misses an elbow drop. Orton tries the floating knee but Tensai CATCHES it. Well that was different. Orton punches his hands away and drops a trio of hard knees instead. Good sequence there. Tensai erects himself and uppercuts Orton off his feet; Tensai pounds away in the corner and lands a series of forearms. Orton punches back so Tensai casually mauls him back into the corner and head-butts the crap out of him. Randy counters and peppers Tensai in the corner with a pair of clotheslines. He hits the ropes but Tensai levels him with a shoulderblock. They fight in the apron and Tensai takes a pair of Euro uppercuts to the back of the head; Orton follows with a dropkick and Tensai falls to the floor. Back from commercial, Tensai (somehow manages to have the advantage again) hits a Locomotive splash in the corner and follows that with a Vader Bomb, for two. During the break apparently posted Randy’s back. Tensai continues to IMPOSE HIS WILL pounding him down on the mat; he snaps on the dreaded Trapezius hold. Orton fights back and hits some Euro uppercuts and nails the snap-powerslam. Tensai retreats to the ropes so Orton, struggles with, but nails the Viper DDT. The Orton Stomp follows. Sakamoto provides a distraction but gets punched and Orton coils. Tensai blocks the RKO and plants Randy with the Baldo Bomb! Tensai misses his running senton and drives Tensai with the RKO and gets the pinfall. Post-match, Vickie Guerrero appears and tells Orton that Dolph Ziggler has taken the night off (at her advisement) and he will beat Randy at Night of Champions. She also says that he will never be a champion again. Orton smells the trap and counters Dolph as he is sliding into the ring. Ziggler retreats up to the stage. 6/10 You know, this was not half bad. I was FULLY expecting that match to suck royally. These two seem to have some chemistry which is weird because I don’t think they’ve ever faced each other unless A-Train was still chugging along when babyface Randy made his debut. The ending made Tensai look like a total jobber though.
Here is your winner… Randy Orton @ about 9:40 (broadcast) via RKO pinfall.
Antonio Cesaro is in the ring. He is appalled that a BATTLE ROYAL will determine who he will face at Night of Champions. He says OUTRAGED in five languages. He begins to rant in Swiss when Tyson Kidd interrupts! AWESOME. He gets a rousing ovation from the Canadians. Tyson says that Cesaro speaks in five languages so Kidd will put this in Canadian. After Night of Champions, Cesaro will be a former champion, EH. Antonio hits him with a European uppercut and tosses him out of the ring. Brodus Clay storms the ring. Cesaro backpedals. Clay won’t let him leave so Kidd nails him with a pendulum kick and Brodus hits him with the rhino head-butt and the Splat. Kidd and Clay get down and funky. 4/10 Good to see the US Champion get some mic time; Kidd and Clay are all midcard singles contenders so it’s also good to see the WWE attempting to put prestige back on the secondary titles.
Now we have Wade Barrett, and his beard, making his way out onto the stage. He clarifies what he meant since we are all either to scared or too stupid to understand. Next week one lucky person will get to “sample the product” and after that “business will be booming”. 5.5/10 Short, sweet and to the point; interested to see where the WWE will go with this.
Kaitlyn vs. Beth Phoenix: Oh, boy this should be pretty bad. Beth works a side headlock and muscles her down. She powers her down into a backslide but Kaitlyn falls over herself so not even a one count. Phoenix pushes her out of the corner and then backdrops her onto the apron; Kaitlyn slides back in under her legs and gets a cradle for two. She tries a jackknife cradle but Beth rolls through applies a Canadian Backbreaker. Layla watches on a flatscreen in the back as Kaitlyn hits a shoulderblock. She tries a waistlock but Beth runs her into the ropes and ducks as Kaitlyn clotheslines herself on the top rope. Beth whiplashes her and then applies a chinlock Phoenix charges and gets booted; she recovers and tries to plant her with the Glam Slam and Kaitlyn counters into an inverted DDT to PIN the Glamazon. 1/10 Wow, Beth gets to job to Kaitlyn; I remember when Beth was invincible. Crummy match too.
A Picture of Jerry Lawler is show with a #GetWellJerry hashtag. After that the entire promo from the close of Raw is shown with Bret Hart, CM Punk and John Cena. In Booker T’s office, Eve Torres supports her boss’ decision to ban the Brogue Kick. Teddy Long shows up and also supports Booker. Book asks him for a fist-bump but Teddy offers a handshake. Booker and Eve leave as Long is left to ponder us youngsters.
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan: WrestleMania rematch time. Brogue Kick is still banned under penalty of title strip. Bryan tries to keep his cool as he usually does. They start and do some wrestling and Sheamus uses his power to level him with a shoulderblock. Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga and Ricardo Rodriguez watch in the back. Fans harass Bryan with the “yes” chants and he does some breathing exercises to keep his cool. They hit the ropes and Bryan gets caught in a Finlay Roll for two. Bryan gets a boot in but Sheamus clotheslines him to the floor. The commentators discuss Sheamus’ new toy, the Texas Cloverleaf, Michael Cole notes its history, including mentioning Dean Malenko. With Bryan on the floor, Sheamus tries to catch him from the apron but Bryan trips him up. Daniel hits a running dropkick on the floor and tosses him back into the ring. He screams “no” and hits a running dropkick in the corner. Bryan hits an arm stunner and kicks away on it. Sheamus fights back but Bryan tenaciously maintains control of the arm with a keylock. Bryan keeps up on him with a running kneelift. Bryan tries another running dropkick in the corner but Sheamus avoids and skins-the-cat onto the top rope; he sails off with the Battering Ram. Sheamus shakes out his arm and hits some Irish Hammers, a shoulderblock in the corner and a running kneelift. He tries a powerslam but Bryan slips free and… runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, for two. He looks for the Cloverleaf but Bryan kicks free and winds up on the apron; he tries a shoulderblock but Sheamus knees him in the face. He pounds on him with O’Clubbering; he tries the running shoulderblock to the back (to propel Bryan into the ring barricade) but Daniel slides back into the ring and schoolboys him for two. Bryan drop-toeholds him into the bottom turnbuckle and kicks the ropes into his arm; a buzzsaw kick takes Sheamus’ head off… but merely gets two. Bryan begins to lose his composure as the fans rile him with “yes” chants. He hits a bunch of No Kicks but Sheamus catches one of them; Daniel tries to come off the second rope but leaps into an Irish Curse… countered seamlessly into the guillotine choke. Sheamus lasts a while in the hold and backdrops himself free but the resolute Bryan hold on and stacks him up in a sunset for another close nearfall. Bryan tries the No Lock but Sheamus catches him with the Irish Curse. Sheamus applies the Texas Cloverleaf; Bryan lasts a while in the hold and almost makes the ropes before tapping out. Post-match, Del Rio and company do not look happy. 7/10 Good match; these two have great chemistry together. Every match they have had has been excellent EXCEPT for the most famous one, the eighteen second WrestleMania one.
Here is your winner… Shamus @ about 10:15 via Texas Cloverleaf submission.
OVERALL 5.5/10 Not a bad show leading into Night of Champions. There were some decent matches and entertaining moments. I enjoyed it but it was nothing spectacular or mind blowing. The main event was good enough to push this just above average.