This week opens with Seth Rollins, flanked by Joey Mercury and Kane. Jamie Noble is out with a broken rib for now. Jimmy Uso is filling in for Byron Saxton on commentary this week, as Saxton is apparently working on Tough Enough at the moment. Couldn’t tell you for sure, because I’m not watching that crap. Rollins says the Authority is back. They’ve got the band back together. They took a trip to Suplex City on Monday night, and burned it to the ground. It might have been uncomfortable for some fans, but change is a necessity. You need it to grow and evolve. He is a perfect example. A little over a year ago, he was a member of the Shield. He made the change that was necessary. It wasn’t popular at the time, but look at him now. He’s the undisputed WWE World Champion. He’s a proud member of the Authority, and he’s surrounded by true family, true brothers, like Joey Mercury. Mercury has had his back since day one and is a genius. He helped mastermind the beat-down of the Beast on RAW, and he’s glad to have Mercury on his side. It’s bittersweet for everyone, though. He points out Noble is missing. He was taken to a medical facility after RAW, suffering three broken ribs at the hands of Brock Lesnar. We go to the footage, where Lesnar rams Noble back-first into the aisle barricade. Back to the arena, Rollins says he and Mercury spent the previous night with Noble. Noble is a champion and will make a full recovery. Now, Rollins will say tonight what they said to Noble, and that is that tonight is dedicated to the career of Noble. Noble wouldn’t want them to be sad about what happened; he’d want them to celebrate, and no one has more to celebrate than Kane. Yeah, those two World titles and a handful of tag title runs in 20 years with the company is something special, let me tell you. Rollins says Kane took Lesnar down on RAW. Before that, he chokeslammed Dean Ambrose straight to hell, and he showed everybody that no matter what, Kane is forever the “Devil’s Favorite Demon”. Kane says whether your name is Roman Reigns, Ambrose or Lesnar, if you cross the Authority, there will be consequences. Speaking of which, there is a giant absence in the family tonight. Their extended family member the Big Show (apparently, that’s still a thing) is not here tonight after the unprovoked actions of the IC Champion. We go to RAW again, where Ryback assaulted Show in a backstage brawl. Back to the arena, Kane asks Ryback to please join them in the ring.
Ryback comes down, and Kane asks him to explain his actions from RAW. Ryback said Show didn’t want to hear what Ryback had to say, but wanted to see what he could do, and “The Big Guy” showed him. Rollins says he endangered countless, innocent employees. He’s the IC Champion; that’s not how a champion is supposed to act. If he wants to know how a champion should act, maybe he should take lessons from Rollins. Ryback says he’s what a champion looks like, then rips off his shirt. There’s a difference between a champion and a sellout. A champion stands and fights; a sellout runs and hides. A champion stands by people every day; a sellout like Rollins plays nice when Lesnar is in town. He wishes Ambrose had his grip and could have held on for one more second at MITB, because then we would have a real champion instead of a pathetic, cowardly, over-protected, gutless child like Rollins. Rollins stares daggers through Ryback, and Kane tells Ryback he’ll have the opportunity to show the WWE Universe how he thinks a real champion behaves when he faces…wait for it…it’s a shocker…I promise…Kane.
The Authority leave, but halfway up the ramp, Rollins calls for the music to be cut off. He is sick of the lack of respect. He is the WWE World Champion. Kane will take care of Ryback tonight. Ryback mentioned Ambrose like Rollins still has something to prove. He didn’t barely beat Ambrose at MITB; he annihilated him. But since Ambrose is still walking around, Rollins wouldn’t mind finishing the job, so tonight, he’ll take on Ambrose one-on-one, and he’ll show the world the Authority is not only back, but always wins.
Sheamus boots Ziggler, then hits a European uppercut before beating Ziggler down in the corner. Ziggler avoids a bodyslam and locks in a scissored sleeper. Sheamus tosses him off, then rolls to the floor to avoid a superkick. Up on the apron, Ziggler dropkicks Sheamus, and that’s when Rusev comes out. He tells Lana to stop as he hobbles to the ring. She heads up the ramp to meet him. He tells her to stop this and come back to him over and over. He offers to kiss her the right way, and she turns her back on him. He screams at her in Bulgarian, and she marches back to ringside. He says he’s done, and this is it. He curses at her some more, and back in the ring, Sheamus tries for a surprise Brogue Kick, but Ziggler avoids it and rolls Sheamus up for 2. He goes for a leaping DDT, but Sheamus drops him gut-first across the top rope. Sheamus knocks him to the floor with a running kneelift as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Sheamus has Ziggler in a rear chinlock. Jimmy Uso is insufferable on commentary. Ziggler fights out before running into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Sheamus goes to the top, but Ziggler brings him back down with a super facebuster, hurting himself in the process. He still gets up first and hits a few rights. He blocks a back-body drop and goes for a superkick. Sheamus blocks and goes for a back suplex. Ziggler lands on his feet, boots Sheamus and goes for the rocker dropper. Sheamus catches him and looks for a powerbomb, which Ziggler reverses into a sunset flip for 2. Sheamus gets up and hits a kneelift, but then runs into a superkick for 2. Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag, but Sheamus holds onto the ropes. Ziggler runs into a tilt-a-whirl, but counters it into a scissored sleeper. Sheamus tries to break it by ramming Ziggler back-first into the buckles, but Ziggler holds on. Sheamus then sends him face-first into the buckles before a couple back rams finally breaks it. He grabs Ziggler on his shoulders, but Ziggler fights him off from the middle buckle. Sheamus crotches him on the top rope, then nails a Brogue Kick for 3.
We see Rusev limping in the back, muttering to himself. He screams at someone backstage before continuing limping to a chainlink fence. He shakes the fence before Summer Rae tries to calm him down. She says Lana’s not worth it and walks away. I guess Rae would know about being worthless better than just about anyone, right?
MATCH 2: ALICIA FOX (W/THE BELLA TWINS) VS. NAOMI (W/TAMINA)
Fox hits a hip throw, then goes into a side headlock. Naomi sends her into the ropes and gets hit with a shoulder. She kips up, but then gets hit with an awful kick that sends her to the apron. She gets up and kicks Fox in the face, then comes back in with a quick hurricanrana. She hits a bulldog into the second buckle, then stomps Fox in the back before slapping her int he back of the head. Naomi hits a bodyslam and a jumping legdrop for 2. Naomi applies a rear chinlock, and I just noticed she’s wearing light-up sneakers, because she’s apparently 10 and this is 1991. Fox fights her way out of the chinlock and reverses a corner whip into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Fox then tackles her through the ropes and to the floor, right in front of the Bellas. Naomi recovers and rams Fox back-first into the apron, then kicks her in the back a couple times before rolling her back in the ring, which Fox botches. Naomi gets in the face of the Bellas before Tamina superkicks Brie. Nikki tackles Tamina, but then gets thrown into a superkick by Naomi. Naomi crawls back in and Fox cuts her off before hitting some stupid-looking version of Melina’s old Extreme Makeover for 3.
WINNER: ALICIA FOX.
I love how all of the divas on the roster right now except for Paige and Natalya are heels. Makes a whole lot of sense.
Jesus. Jimmy Uso is using the term “Oos” for everything tonight, and it’s making my ears bleed.
Jo-Jo is standing by with the New Day. They are clapping. She points out they lost their titles at MITB. Xavier Woods says they don’t focus on losses or negatives. Kofi Kingston and Big E ramble on about positivity and overcoming things. Thankfully, they’re cut off by the Prime-Time Players. They start a “New Day sucks” chant as Jo-Jo leaves. PTP point out that there’s a dilemma, because there’s only two of them and three of the New Day. One of the New Day will have to sit on the sidelines and be a weak link at Battleground, but he’s sure they’ll figure it out through the power of positivity. They leave, and New Day start bickering and throwing a tantrum. Bo Dallas walks up, and he’s not happy about seeing the most positive entity in WWE so angry. They inspire so many, including him, which is why he asked the Authority if he could ask to join New Day against PTP and their partners. Thank goodness, because with him, the New Day will be sweltering hot and sunny, with a 100% chance of victory. New Day then get him to do a clap with him, because the WWE hates me.
As Ryback comes out for his match with Kane, Big Show attacks him and throws him into the lower screen on the stage. Show knees him in the face, then rips the IC title off and throws it to the side. He continues the attack on the ramp, then throws him down it. The attack continues at ringside as Kane looks on from the ring. Show’s kicks look like a bunny could shake them off with ease. Show throws Ryback chest-first into the barricade, then tosses him into the ring. Kane orders the referee to ring the bell, and the referee begrudgingly does so.
MATCH 3: KANE (W/THE BIG SHOW) VS. INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION RYBACK (NON-TITLE)
Kane rolls Ryback over for the easy pin, but only gets 2. He stomps Ryback down in the corner, then grinds his knee into Ryback’s back over the middle rope. Kane hits an uppercut before Ryback manages to ram him into the buckles. Kane reverses positions and knees Ryback in the gut. Kane hits a couple kicks and an uppercut. He hits some pathetic shoulder thrusts in the corner, but tries it once too many times as Ryback moves and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Ryback is up first, and he drops Kane with a spinebuster. He pulls himself up int he corner and calls for the Meat Hook, which connects. He signals for Shell Shocked, but Show causes a distraction on the apron. This allows Kane to go for the chokeslam, but Ryback escapes, kicks Kane and goes for Shell Shocked. Show comes in and plants Ryback with a side kick, leading to the DQ.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: RYBACK.
Ryback tries to fight back, tackling Show. Kane and Show quickly overwhelm him and stomp him down. Show then puts him down with a chokeslam. Ryback still tries to pull himself to his feet, so Show plants him with another chokeslam. Jerry Lawler at this point mentions the Miz, the third member in the IC title three-way at Battleground. Miz is so crucial to this match and the company, this was the first time he was mentioned all night.
MATCH 4: BO DALLAS AND THE NEW DAY (BIG E, KOFI KINGSTON AND XAVIER WOODS) VS. WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE PRIME-TIME PLAYERS (TITUS O’NEIL & DARREN YOUNG) AND THE LUCHA DRAGONS (KALISTO & SIN CARA)
Titus and Kofi start, with Kofi applying a headlock, turning it into a hammerlock and hammering Titus across the back. Titus throws him to the corner and hits two very loud chops, then picks Kofi up and slings him across the ring. Young tags in, and the PTP hit a double shoulder. Young hits a sit-down splash for 2, then gets backed into the heel corner. Dallas tags in and hits some forearms before Young cuts him down with a clothesline. He hits a big forearm, then follows up with an inverted atomic drop, a couple punches, a European uppercut and a suplex for 2. He hits a hip throw and cinches in a side headlock before getting back to his feet. Dallas fights out, but then eats a couple knees. Young goes for the Gut Check, but Dallas escapes to the floor. He and the New Day have a clap session as their opponents just look on. Commercials.
Back from the break, Kofi is beating Cara down in the corner. He mocks the Dragons, then goes for a corner whip. Cara reverses, Kofi climbs the buckles, and dives off into a dropkick for 2. Cara runs into a back elbow as Woods tags in. Cara gets backdropped to the floor, where he punches Woods a couple times. He tries to climb back in, but Kofi hits him with a baseball slide, followed by a superkick by Woods. Far too many wrestlers in WWE use the superkick. Just saying. Woods mocks the Dragons, then rolls Cara back in before taunting Jimmy Uso at the announce desk. Back in the ring, he stomps down Cara, then tags in E. E does some more stomps, then tags in Kofi. Kofi stomps Cara. Dallas tags in and does some stomps. Woods tags in and does some more. So does E. Kofi tags in and E whips him in for a dropkick on Cara. Dallas in, and he picks Cara up, then immediately tags out to E. Whatever. E applies an abdominal stretch, but Cara fights out. E clubs him down and tags in Kofi. They set Cara up for a superbomb, which Cara counters with a hurricanrana. Cara crawls for a tag as Woods tags in. Kalisto makes the tag and hits a springboard cross-body. He follows up with a springboard corkscrew cross-body, hits a Kalisto Kick, then snaps off a low hurricanrana into a driver for 2 as Dallas breaks it up. Young comes in and hits Dallas with the Gut Check. E runs through Young, then turns around into a spinebuster from Titus. Kofi sends him to the floor with Trouble in Paradise, but then gets dropkicked to the floor by Cara. Woods rolls Kalisto up for 2, misses a clothesline, then gets hit with a Tidal Crush. Cara climbs to the top and wipes out everyone on the floor. In the ring, Kalisto hits a springboard 450 splash for 3.
WINNERS: THE LUCHA DRAGONS AND THE PRIME-TIME PLAYERS.
Roman Reigns is in the locker room and is approached by Dean Ambrose. Bray Wyatt is really ticking him off. He messed with Ambrose, and now he’s messing with Reigns, hiding in the shadows, delivering spooky messages and trying to get in people’s heads. He wants to search the building until they find him and deliver a nasty message to Wyatt. Reigns cuts him off and says he’ll worry about Wyatt. He’ll bust Wyatt’s ass at Battleground, and Ambrose needs to worry about the Authority. He’s got Ambrose’s back tonight. Ambrose leaves, and Reigns finds something in the pocket of his vest. It’s a picture of himself with the words “Anyone But You” written on it, with Reigns’ eyes scratched out.
After some commercials, we see Reigns marching around in the back, looking for Wyatt. Kane stops him and Reigns says to either tell him where Wyatt is, or get the hell out of his way. Kane says ever since Wyatt got into Reigns’ thick skull, he’s become a liability. Reigns crossed the line, and it won’t be tolerated. He’s ejecting Reigns from the building. Some security guys come out. Kane says Reigns can’t fly off the handle, and he needs to maintain a safe working environment. The security wrestlers surround him, but he shoves them off. He says if he finds Wyatt, it’s going down. He shoves Kane, then marches out of the building.
They lock up and trade arm wringers before Rollins hits a hip throw. Ambrose is back up, and he receives a shoulder off the ropes. They crisscross until Ambrose hits a pair of armdrags and goes into an armbar. He turns it into a hammerlock, then armbars the other arm while putting pressure on Rollins’ shoulder. Rollins comes back with a boot and some punches on the ropes. Ambrose then clotheslines Rollins to the floor, sending him into the barricade in the process. Commercials.
Back from the break, Rollins hits a dragon screw across the middle rope on Ambrose’s left leg. He attacks Ambrose’s leg some more, then nails a corner forearm shot before applying a deathlock. Ambrose crawls to the bottom rope and manages to break the hold. Ambrose comes back with some punches before Rollins trips him and applies a half-crab before just slamming the knee into the mat. He assaults Ambrose in the corner, nails another running forearm, then tosses Ambrose to the middle of the ring. He heads up top, but Ambrose hobbles to the corner and meets him with a punches before hitting a butterfly superplex from the middle rope. Ambrose slaps himself in the knee, snaps off some jabs and chops, then hits a pair of forearms. He hits a corner forearm, misses a bulldog, avoids a splash and rolls Rollins up for 2. He ducks a roundhouse and hits a back suplex into a facebuster for another 2. Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds, but Rollins backs him into the corner. He sets Ambrose on the top rope and goes for a superplex. Ambrose fights him off and goes for a tornado DDT. Rollins tosses him off, and he lands on his bad knee before Rollins hits a superkick for 2. Rollins heads up top once more and goes for a cross-body. Ambrose rolls through for 2, then hits a swinging neckbreaker. Ambrose heads up now, and Kane jumps on the apron. Ambrose kicks him away, dives over Rollins, ducks a clothesline and hits Kane with a suicide dive. Rollins tries a dive, but Ambrose forearms him through the ropes. Back in the ring, Ambrose hits the flying elbow and goes for the pin, but Mercury distracts the referee. Ambrose breaks the pin and goes after Mercury, who drops to the floor. Rollins rolls Ambrose up for 2 and goes for Dirty Deeds. Mercury is back up as Rollins escapes, only to have Rollins thrown into him, knocking him off the apron. Ambrose rolls Rollins up for 2, then hits an elbow out of the corner, followed by a tornado DDT for 2. Ambrose hits a few more strikes against the ropes, but then walks into a back kick. He goes for the rebound clothesline, but Rollins ducks and sets up the corner powerbomb. Ambrose manages to hurricanrana him over the top and to the floor, then heads to the top rope, wiping everyone out with a flying elbow. He rolls Rollins back in, but Rollins surprises him with a spin kick. Ambrose comes back with a rebound clothesline, then goes after Mercury, who is trying to crawl into the ring. Ambrose assists him and goes for Dirty Deeds. Rollins turns him around and drops him with the Pedigree for 3.
WINNER: SETH ROLLINS.
END OF SHOW.