This week opens with Bray Wyatt appearing on the screen. He says that, last Monday night, Ryback stood toe-to-toe with fate, and won. But Wyatt knows that, beneath the muscle-made facade, is an Achilles heel. He wants to expose. He will make an example of Ryback, and he will prove to the world Ryback is chasing a Garden of Eden that doesn’t exist. Tonight, Ryback will try to scratch an itch, but beneath the surface, his wounds will fester with malice. Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch. And Wyatt will come forth and turn his dreams into nightmares. Here’s some advice, friend: resist the itch and run.
Dean Ambrose makes his way down to the ring. He says he works best alone. He fights alone. He drinks alone. It felt good on Monday to be standing all alone in the ring, because alone is what he’ll be this Sunday at Payback. Once the bell rings, it’s every man for himself. We’ve got Seth Rollins, the little troll with his Lollipop Guild goon squad. We’ve got Randy Orton, who ate a spear from Roman Reigns last time. Moving onto Reigns…so, yeah. He hit Dirty Deeds on his only friend. He didn’t plan on it, and we know what happens when things get out of hand with Ambrose. So, he has one thing he wants to say to Reigns before they do battle on Sunday.
Ambrose starts to accept, but then Kane comes out. He hates to break up this moment, but as DOO, he’s here to let them know they should be less concerned winning the Slammy for “Bromance of the Year” and more concerned with the fatal four-way on Sunday. They should be concerned on even making it to Sunday. Ambrose says Kane should be concerned, because on RAW, Triple H said if Seth Rollins loses on Sunday, Kane is out of a job. So, technically, this could be the last time we ever see “Corporate Kane”. Kane says he’s not concerned, because next Monday, he will still be employed. He’ll deal with Reigns later, but now, he’s here to tell Ambrose he has a match, since that’s what’s best for business. Tonight, Ambrose will face Sheamus, and that match begins now. Ambrose cuts him off and says “right now” is the only time Kane knows when to make a match. So, if Sheamus is done French-braiding his beard, get him out here, and let’s get this fight started.
MATCH 1: DEAN AMBROSE VS. SHEAMUS
They go into a lock-up, and Sheamus backs Ambrose against the ropes. Ambrose escapes and goes into another lock-up. He backs Sheamus into the corner before giving a sort-of clean break. Another lock-up, and now Sheamus grabs Ambrose around the neck. Ambrose reverses into a hammerlock, but Sheamus quickly gets to the ropes for a break. Sheamus nails a boot and hits a hip throw. Ambrose fights back up and sends Sheamus into the ropes, only to have Sheamus nail a shoulderblock. The two crisscross until Ambrose hits a drop toehold. Ambrose turns it into a leglock, then pulls Sheamus back by the mohawk before applying a half-straightjacket. He breaks his own hold with a kick to the back of the head, then grinds his forearm into Sheamus’ face in the corner. Sheamus comes back with some shots, then nails a European uppercut. He hits a bodyslam, then kicks Ambrose in the spine. Ambrose comes back with some punches, but Sheamus nails another European uppercut, sending Ambrose to the corner. Sheamus grinds his forearm into Ambrose’s face now. He misses a clothesline, and Ambrose connects with one of his own. Sheamus hits a boot out of the corner, then throws Ambrose in, only to misses a running shoulder. Ambrose hits a corner forearm, then connects with a running bulldog. He nails a series of shots against the ropes, then charges in. Sheamus sidesteps him and sends him outside, only Ambrose skins the cat and pulls himself to the apron. Sheamus quickly tries to tie him up for the 10 Beats, but Ambrose elbows his way out. As he comes back into the ring, Sheamus nails him with a running knee, sending him to the floor. Outside, Sheamus launches Ambrose into the barricade, then rolls back in to break the count as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Sheamus has Ambrose in a rear chinlock. Ambrose breaks free, but then eats a kick. Sheamus goes for the Irish Clover-Leaf, but Ambrose kicks him off. He snaps off a few jabs and a headbutt, avoids a back-body drop and goes for a kick. Sheamus catches the foot and locks in the Irish Clover-Leaf. Ambrose manages to crawl to the ropes for the break, only to have Sheamus kick him in the chest. Sheamus goes for White Noise, but Ambrose counters into a sunset flip for 2. Ambrose hits a few more shots before running into White Noise, which connects on the second attempt. Sheamus signals for the Brogue Kick, but Ambrose sees it coming and rolls to the floor. Sheamus follows and rolls him back in, only to have Ambrose keep spinning and floor Sheamus with a clothesline at ringside. Ambrose climbs to the apron, kicks Sheamus into the barricade, then goes for a suicide dive. Sheamus meets him through the ropes with a forearm, then attempts the Brogue Kick again. Ambrose once again avoids it and clotheslines Sheamus to the floor. Ambrose hits the suicide dive on the second try, then rolls Sheamus back in. He heads up top, dives over Sheamus, who sees him coming, then runs right into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. Sheamus slugs Ambrose a few times, but Ambrose comes back yet again with some forearm strikes. Sheamus hits a back elbow, only to have Ambrose rebound with a clothesline. Ambrose rolls to the apron and heads up top once more. Sheamus meets him on the buckles and climbs up for what looks like a super powerslam. Ambrose escapes and shoves Sheamus head-first into the ring post, then rolls him up for 3.
WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE.
Outside of a count-out win against Daniel Bryan, has Sheamus won a single televised match since his return?
Kane is watching on a monitor in his office, when Seth Rollins and J&J enter. Rollins has a question, but reminds Kane of what Triple H said on RAW. Now, to the question: Rollins heard a rumor that Kane isn’t sure he wants to help Rollins on Sunday. Rollins asks if that’s true, then reminds Kane how much he gets paid as DOO. Kane says he’s set for life. He saved his money and doesn’t need the paycheck. Rollins is sorry Kane feels that way, but Kane needs to do the right thing. Kane says he’s struggling with that. In fact, he doesn’t know if he’ll know what the right thing is until he’s ringside on Sunday. Now, if they’ll excuse him, he has to get ready for his match with Reigns. Rollins wishes him good luck, and Kane wishes Rollins good luck as well…in his match against Ryback tonight.
Rusev and Lana make their way out, and Lana appears to be carrying a folder in her arm. In the ring, Rusev orders the crowd to shut up, then tells Lana to read what’s in her arm. She says last week on RAW, she betrayed her country by indulging in your perverse western customs. She allowed false ideologies to corrupt her loyalty and dedication to the Russian Federation and their long-standing traditions. She begs for forgiveness of her family, Mother Russia, and most of all, the super athlete and America’s only champion, Rusev. Rusev hands her the Russian flag then tells John Cena that, on RAW, he showed everyone why he will lose on Sunday at Payback. Cena was not prepared. He lacks focus. We cut to the video, where a match between Cena and Neville was ended by Rusev interference. Rusev then locked Cena in the Accolade. Back to the arena, Rusev says he knows what Cena was thinking in that hold. His mind was saying “I quit”, right before he passed out. The only difference between RAW and Payback is that everyone will hear Cena say those words. We then cut to a gif of Cena saying “I quit”. Back to the arena again, Rusev celebrates as the Russian flag drops down behind him.
Renee Young is standing by with Ryback. She asks if he can focus on his match tonight, knowing Bray Wyatt has threatened to come after him. He says tonight is huge. Going out there and defeating Rollins could earn him a title match. He doesn’t take anything for granted. His message is simple: Start full, then empty. Don’t leave anything out in the ring. As far as Wyatt goes, he gets it. He looks like a meathead. But he’s no dummy, and on RAW, the “Eater of Worlds” tasted a Meat Hook. At Payback, he’ll pick up where he left off. Tonight, though, he’s got Rollins. “The Big Guy” is hungry, and that means only one thing: “Feed me more”.
Another batch of Tough Enough submissions, this time including Tessa Blanchard and my friend, Josh “Caleb Crush” Sipple. These two are the only ones that stood out for me (for obvious reasons). The rest were either about as stereotypical as they come, or sob stories. Oh, and Gabriel Iglesias.
Seth Rollins and J&J come out for Rollins’ match, but before that, Rollins says we all saw what happened Monday night. It switches over to RAW, where the other three in the title match each took turns hitting their finishers on Rollins while Kane stood by. Back to the arena, Rollins says he hopes everyone enjoyed that because that is the last time you will ever see anything like that happen to him. It won’t happen at Payback, because it will be every man for himself. Reigns, Ambrose and Orton are just as cut-throat as Rollins, and they will cut each other’s throats, with Rollins there to pick up the pieces. With his security, his superior athleticism and superior mental acumen, and with the DOO Kane in his corner, he will emerge victorious. Now, as for tonight’s roadblock, Ryback…
Ryback’s music cuts him off, and we’re onto our match.
…Except no we’re not. As Ryback heads down to the ring, Bray Wyatt appears out of nowhere and sends Ryback flying headfirst into the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, Ryback is pulling himself into the ring, attempting to get this match started. The referee checks on him, and he gives the okay to start.
MATCH 2: WWE WORLD CHAMPION SETH ROLLINS (W/J&J SECURITY) VS. RYBACK (NON-TITLE)
Rollins immediately goes on the attack in the corner, then nails a series of quick punches to the temple. Rollins goes for a suplex, but Ryback reverses. Rollins breaks it with knees to the top of the head, then hits a complete shot into the middle buckle. He sends Ryback to the floor with a knee to the back, then distracts the referee so J&J can stomp Ryback down. Ryback tries to pull himself back up and just barely makes it back in at 9. Rollins hits a trio of boots, then drops Ryback with a DDT for 2. Rollins chokes Ryback over the middle rope, then pelts him with more rights. Ryback throws a few weak punches, then manages to hit a Thesz press before grabbing Rollins by the ears and slamming his head into the mat. He then collapses, which allows Rollins to hit a neckbreaker for a pair of 2-counts. Rollins locks in a front chancery, but Ryback manages to power himself to his feet and escape the hold by tossing Rollins, once again collapsing in the process. Rollins recovers, but then runs into a back-body drop. Ryback avoids a corner splash, but then runs into a boot. Rollins dives off the middle buckle, and Ryback catches him, then spins him around into a powerslam. Ryback hits a pair of shoulders off the ropes, then catches Rollins with a spinebuster for 2. Ryback pulls himself up and signals for the Meat Hook, only to have Joey Mercury try to interfere. Ryback goes after him, which allows Rollins to roll Ryback up for 2. Ryback turns around and blasts Rollins with a Meat Hook. He goes for Shell Shocked, but Jamie Noble distracts the referee, which allows Rollins to rake the eyes and escapes. Rollins hits a high kick from the apron, then connects with a flying knee from the top. Rollins then connects with a thrust kick. Ryback fights to get back up, and when he does, Rollins hits another thrust kick for 3.
WINNER: SETH ROLLINS.
Renee Young is standing by with Naomi and Tamina. She says we’ve seen a new side of Naomi, then cuts to some clips. Back to the interview, Young asks about the change in demeanor. Naomi says they’re tired of being overlooked. She’s been here for years. She’s the best athlete in the division, and Tamina is a powerhouse. What has the WWE Universe given them in return? A whole lot of nothing. They’re sick of walking around, empty-handed. Opportunities aren’t given to girls like them, so they’re taking the opportunities. Tamina pipes in and says this division is run by them now. Naomi says the other girls don’t stand a chance. Nikki Bella is as fake as they come. She’s just desperate for attention. And don’t get her started on Brie Bella. Brie is nothing. She’s a quitter, just like her pathetic husband. Sometimes, a good girl needs to be bad in order to get things done.
The New Day come out, and Xavier Woods orders the music to be cut off. He says that Tyson Kidd and Cesaro are cheaters. But, out of the kindness within their souls, they will give the former champs a second chance at the titles at Payback in a best-of-3-falls match. Big E says Cesaro and Kidd are bad people. They don’t recycle. They double-dip. And when they go to the theaters, they buy one ticket, and seat two. Kofi Kingston says there is some good news for the fans. They don’t have to be like Cesaro and Kidd. They can choose to be like the New Day. The New Day are the change you need to see in this world. Woods tells everyone to sing with them and tries to get a “New Day rocks” chant, which of course they don’t get.
MATCH 3: WWE TAG TEAM CO-CHAMPION KOFI KINGSTON (W/BIG E AND XAVIER WOODS) VS. TYSON KIDD (W/CESARO AND NATALYA)
Kidd goes for a waistlock, but Kofi breaks it with an elbow. He beats Kidd down, but Kidd comes back with punches. Kofi blocks a shot, hits an inverted suplex and floats over into an armbar in a very nice combination. Kidd fights out and avoids a trip attempt. Kofi slides to the floor, and Kidd kicks him through the ropes before hitting a somersault plancha to the floor. Kidd rolls Kofi back in for a 2-count, then goes for the Sharpshooter. E jumps on the apron for a distraction, but gets wiped out with a Cesaro clothesline. Woods tries the tactic as well, so Natalya grabs him by the foot and holds him for a kick to the head by Kidd. Kofi then rolls Kidd up with a handful of tights, but only gets 2. He misses Trouble in Paradise, and Kidd locks in the Sharpshooter. He drags Kofi to the center of the ring and sits down tight, forcing Kofi to tap.
WINNER: TYSON KIDD.
It is announced that the Elimination Chamber event returns this month on the WWE Network.
We get clips from Daniel Bryan handing over the Intercontinental title on Monday night and being forced out of action once again due to injuries. I really hate to say it, but I legitimately fear Bryan’s in-ring career is over.
Bo Dallas comes out, reminding us he still has a job. He says this past week on RAW may have been the last time we see our beloved Bryan. Life isn’t all about yes or no. Albert Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity, and while Bryan being gone is going to be difficult, this is Dallas’ opportunity to be there for all of the fans. There are five stages of grief, and he can help you through them all. The first is denial. There is no denying Bryan let everyone down. The second is anger. Anger is good. Anger is healthy, especially when you direct it at Bryan for letting you all down. Then there’s bargaining, and you’re all going to get a heck of a bargain on the Bryan t-shirts now that he’s gone. Then there’s depression. Depression is what is going to completely engulf Bryan once he realizes everyone is about to forget about him (as he says this and I look at his face, now sporting a beard, I realize he’s trying desperately to look like his far more successful brother). Last, but certainly not least, is acceptance. Dallas can help you all accept the fact that Bryan is gone and never coming back. All you do is Bolieve! At this point, his voice was cracking worse than the Pimply-Faced College Kid on the The Simpsons.
MATCH 4: BO DALLAS VS. NEVILLE
After the entrances, we go to commercial. When we come back, Neville is being sent into the corner, only to flip his way out of making impact. He flips across the ring and hits a cross-body from the middle for 2. We are informed King Barrett is on commentary, as he’s facing Neville at Payback. Neville has Dallas in a side headlock, but Dallas fights his way out and sends Neville to the outside. Neville lands on the apron, then low-bridges an incoming Dallas. He kicks Dallas from the apron, only to have Dallas trip him up. Dallas rolls him into the ring, covers his head with the ring skirt and pounds away before getting back in and hitting a clothesline for 2. Dallas applies a cravat, which Neville counters with a snapmare. He slides through Dallas’ legs, hits a few kicks, a running boot and a forearm. Neville nails a step-up enziguri, then hits the Red Arrow for 3.
Barrett jumps up on the announce desk and says how dare Neville try to pass himself off as a challenge to the King’s throne. He doesn’t have time for frivolities of a mere peasant like Neville, especially one that comes out week after week in such a ridiculous costume. Neville is in need of some good, old-fashioned corporal punishment, and that’s exactly what he’ll get at Payback, and it will come in the form of a Royal Bull Hammer. Now, subjects, repeat after him: All hail King Barrett!
We see Adam Rose giving Rosa Mendes Eskimo kisses in the back. She looks disgusted, so she asks what’s wrong. Apparently, Rose’s hot dog keeps staring at them. No, that’s not a metaphor for an erection. Rose orders his hot dog to come over. The hot dog says his name is Carl, and he wants to know when the Exotic Express is getting paid. Rose says he doesn’t pay them to talk. This is about more than money; this is a revolution. This is about high art. Carl asks if they’re not getting paid then. Rose grabs him and says he’s just like the Bunny, in that he doesn’t get it. Rose throws him to the ground, then says the party is officially over. Rosa says the party is about to begin, then proceeds to try to lick his brain stem by shoving her tongue as far into his mouth as possible.
No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO! I’m sorry, but I can’t do this. I am so damn sick of seeing these two slog through another snooze-fest. I like Reigns, but Kane is at the point of his career where he’s just dragging everyone down that he works with. Why he is still working when he planned to retire several years ago, I’ll never know.
The two brawl at ringside for a couple minutes. Then the match starts. A kendo stick comes into play. Seth Rollins and J&J are looking on via monitor in the back. The announce desk gets torn up. The steps get torn up. Kane hits a sloppy DDT. Reigns kicks out of a chokeslam through a table. Reigns spears Kane through a table and gets 3 after about 8 minutes.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS.
Renee Young is standing by with Rollins and J&J. She asks how his confidence is after seeing Reigns wins just now. Rollins says he has never taken anything away from Reigns. Kane is nothing to sneeze at, but it will take more to take the WWE World title, and that goes for Dean Ambrose & Randy Orton as well. On Sunday, they will all be losers, just like…Rollins stops when he notices Young backing away. The camera pans out, and Ambrose is eating a snack while standing behind Rollins and J&J. They turn around, and Ambrose offers a cookie. He then throws the plate at the three and assaults Rollins. Rollins fights back, and that’s when Reigns comes in with an equipment box. He rams it into J&J, then chases Rollins off before having a brief stare-down with Ambrose. The camera pans down, and the WWE World title belt is at their feet. The two stare at each other a bit more as Reigns offers a handshake. Ambrose goes to shake it, but instead picks up the belt and sets it on Reigns’ shoulder. He says not to worry; he’ll take it on Sunday.
End of show.