This week’s episode opens with Roman Reigns making his way down to the ring. He says he has a bit of bad news: he didn’t win at Payback. But, he has some good news: he had a really good time at Payback. Any time you punch Seth Rollins in the mouth, it’s a good time. The Shield hit a triple powerbomb and blew the roof off the joint, and he got to go toe-to-toe with his boy, Dean Ambrose. The fact is, he can chase Rollins all he wants, but it won’t be a fair fight. By next week, he’ll probably have 50 more little security guards. While Reigns is fine with punching them all, sometimes, you have to think with your head and not your fists. It’s a new game plan now, as he’s entering the Money in the Bank match, and he’s going to win. You can believe that.
Dean Ambrose heads down to the ring. He apologizes for interrupting, but when he heard Payback, his ears started burning. So he looked for a bucket of ice to dunk his head into, but took a wrong turn at catering, and here he is. But before he came out, he heard something about MITB. He thought about the violence, which he loves. Then he remembered that this year, he won’t be reaching for an opportunity to become WWE World Champion, because by then, he’ll already be champion. Reigns says he hopes so, and he respects Ambrose outsmarting Rollins for a title shot, but for once, just once, would Ambrose please think of an exit strategy.
The Prime-Time Players and the New Day are on commentary for the next match.
MATCH 1-FOUR CORNERS TAG TEAM MATCH: LOS MATADORES (DIEGO AND FERNANDO, W/EL TORITO) VS. THE ASCENSION (KONNOR AND VIKTOR) VS. CESARO AND TYSON KIDD (W/NATALYA) VS. THE LUCHA DRAGONS (KALISTO AND SIN CARA)
Kidd and Cara start with a lock-up. Kidd applies an arm wringer. Cara counters and goes for a Gory Special into a pin for 1. He then turns it into a submission, only to have Kidd reverse into a sunset flip for 2. He hits an armdrag into an armbar, only to have Cara tag out to Viktor. Viktor beats Kidd down, only to have Fernando make a blind tag. Kidd trips him and goes for the Sharpshooter, but Torito jumps on the apron for a distraction. Nattie puts a stop to that by grabbing him and lugging him on her shoulders, only to have him spin out and sunset flip her on the floor. In the ring, Fernando kicks Kidd in the back, sending him into the ropes. Diego tags in and cannonballs onto Kidd’s back. Konnor tags himself in, and he hits Kidd with a powerbomb into a DDT. Commercials.
Back from the break, Kidd is fighting out of a rear chinlock, only to have Konnor club him down. Konnor knocks Cesaro off the apron. Moments later, Kidd falls into a tag from Cara, who hits Konnor with a springboard somersault plancha. Cara ducks a clothesline and hits a springaboard cross-body for 2. Konnor boots him and sends him into the corner. Cara boots him away, hits Viktor, then takes Konnor down with a twisting armdrag from the middle rope. He follows up with a handspring elbow, then goes for a lionsault. Konnor blocks it with his knees and tags in Viktor, who stomps Cara down. Konnor back in, and the two hit a double powerbomb. Viktor back in, and he stomps Cara for 2 as Kalisto breaks it up. Viktor hits Kalisto with a falling tigerbomb, then talks trash to Los Matadores, only to have one tag himself in. He covers Kalisto, even though he’s not legal. Viktor pulls the Matador off, and the two of them argue before fists start flying. Their respective partners hit the ring and continue the brawl. Viktor takes a Matador out with a running STO as Konnor and the other Matador spill to the floor. Apparently, during the shoving match between Viktor and the Matador, a tag was made, making Viktor legal again. He sends Cara in for an Irish whip, only to have Cara backflip off a back-body drop attempt and tag in Cesaro. Cesaro nails an overhead belly-to-belly, then hits his series of corner European uppercuts. He calls for the Cesaro Swing, hits a spinebuster, then goes into the Swing in order to set up Montezuma’s Revenge by Kidd, who apparently tagged in at some point. Diego makes a blind tag off Kidd and throws him to the floor, then covers Viktor for 2, only to have Cesaro break it up with a double stomp. Konnor then nails Cesaro and sends him to the floor, only to have Fernando send him out with a hurricanrana. Diego is back up as Viktor tags out to Kalisto, who hits a springboard cross-body. He dropkicks Diego in the knee, then drives his head into the mat off a hurricanrana for 2, only to have Konnor break it up. Konnor grabs Fernando and throws him to the floor as Kidd comes back in the ring. He ducks a Konnor clothesline and hits a somersault plancha on Fernando, who is on the floor on the opposite side. Cesaro comes in and clotheslines Konnor to the floor, only to turn around into Kalisto tossing Cara onto him with a flying dropkick. Cara heads up top and hits a corkscrew plancha, wiping out everyone. Diego sneaks back in and rolls Kalisto up for 2 and goes for a catapult. Kalisto lands on his feet on the middle rope and hits a blind hurricanrana into a roll-up for 3.
WINNERS: THE LUCHA DRAGONS.
I don’t think I’ve seen a blind hurricanrana like that since Jonny Storm’s Rewind.
After some video of what happened between Rusev and Dolph Ziggler on RAW, Renee Young is standing by with Ziggler. She asks for Ziggler’s reaction to what we just saw. He says it’s been a hell of a week. He got busted open at Payback. On RAW, after he was told he’s in the Elimination Chamber match for the IC title, Lana kissed him, only to have Rusev come out and assault him. He’s no stranger to women kissing him, but this is the first time he’ll be locked in a steel structure with the ex-boyfriend. Tonight, he faces another one of his EC opponents, King Barrett. It’s the week that keeps on giving. Lana walks up, and she wishes him good luck before saying she’ll be watching. Ziggler asks Young to leave. He says he knows what Lana was doing on RAW. He knows she was just trying to make Rusev jealous. Rusev needs to respect women. He knows the game she’s playing though, and he’s fine with it. She’s not too bad of a kisser, either.
MATCH 2: KING BARRETT VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER
My feed goes to commercial, and when it comes back, the match has already started, with Ziggler in a rear chinlock. Ziggler fights out and nails Barrett with a right cross before planting a dropkick. He misses a corner splash, then turns around into the Wasteland for 2. Barrett complains about the count as Ziggler rolls to the floor. Barrett heads out and rams Ziggler back-first into the apron. He then launches Ziggler into the barricade by the timekeeper’s area before slamming him face-first into the announce desk. He rolls Ziggler in before taunting Jerry Lawler at ringside. Back in, Ziggler sneaks in a stack-up pin for 2. Barrett comes back with a pair of mule kicks, the last one to the face, for 2. Barrett calls for the Bull Hammer, but Ziggler superkicks him in the arm. He goes for the leaping DDT, only to have Barrett toss him face-first onto the mat. He goes for the Bull Hammer, but Ziggler ducks and drops him with a Zig-Zag for 3.
WINNER: DOLPH ZIGGLER.
Lana comes out and applauds Ziggler from the stage. She’s wearing less makeup, which is actually a huge improvement.
Paige heads down to the ring, and says it’s so good to be back. Last time she saw the fans, she was in her, and I quote, “hometown of England, in London”, in front of her friends and family, in a divas battle royal for a title match, which she won. That was one of the best moments of her career, but her triumph was short-lived. We go to the footage from said match, where Naomi attacked her after it was over and put her on the shelf. Back to the arena, Paige says that’s when Naomi finally became relevant. You’re welcome, pumpkin. She has a weird admiration for Naomi because she took what she wanted. Paige has done that countless times. On the way, Naomi found herself a “boyfriend” in Tamina. She then says Tamina is int he wrong division. Moving on, she’s fully recovered and despite her admiration for Naomi, she took what is Paige’s. This is her division, the Divas title is her title, and the ring is her house.
Naomi and Tamina come down to the ring. Naomi laughs and says she must’ve hit Paige harder than she thought. Paige doesn’t understand where she is in the pecking order. Someone like Naomi, with all of her qualities, deserves to be the top diva, not someone who’s made a career out of screaming, which is all Paige is good at. She doesn’t know what it’s like to struggle and be overlooked by the same people she’s trying to impress. Paige got a title shot on day one. She didn’t earn it, and she damn sure didn’t deserve it. Paige hasn’t been here as long as Naomi has, but this is how things work: you can’t wait for opportunities; you have to take them. Naomi is doing that right now. Paige had an opportunity, and someone better took it from her. Don’t take it personally; Naomi simply removed her from the equation. Paige says taking an opportunity is exactly what she did. In one year, she did more than either Naomi or Tamina in their long, dinosaur careers. There’s more to being a diva than athleticism. You also have to have opportunity, which Naomi lacks. What she doesn’t lack, however, is excuses. Shut up, get over and get over yourself. Naomi starts screaming and says she’s about to run over Paige and everyone else who gets in her way. This is Paige’s house? Naomi and Tamina are about to clean house. They jump on the apron, only to have Paige attack both of them. Eventually, they’re able to double-team her and beat her down, which leads to Nikki Bella “running” down to the ring and chasing them off. She then goes after them outside, only to fall from the ring onto her stupid face. She grabs Naomi by the foot and manages to throw her into the ring, where Paige drops her with a side kick. Nikki tries to climb in, but Tamina pulls her back down. Nikki fights her off as Paige goes for the Ram-Paige on Naomi. Nikki enters the ring and hits Paige with a forearm to the face at the same time, then hits her with the Rack Attack.
Bray Wyatt appears on the screen and says not too long ago, people used to treat these so-called lunatics as if they were evil. Some would go as far as to claim perhaps they were possessed by demons. Nowadays, these claims are looked down upon, as if they were primitive and outrageous. Here’s the thing: they were right. Demons are all around us and exist in us all. Tonight, he will prove to Dean Ambrose he has his inner demons, but they watch the minds of men (I think. That part was hard to hear). Ambrose is asking himself, “why me, why now?” Simple. Ambrose is in his way. Run.
It is announced that Nikki Bella will defend the Divas title against both Paige and Naomi in a triple threat match at EC.
MATCH 3: R-TRUTH VS. STARDUST
Stardust gets the jobber non-entrance treatment. He hits a boot, then clubs Truth across the back. Truth comes back with a hiptoss, then nails an uppercut that sends Stardust to the outside. Stardust hits a hotshot from the apron, then nails a springboard dropkick for 2. It’s announced Truth will be in the IC title match at EC as well. Back to the match, Stardust stomps Truth down against the ropes, then drives his knee into Truth’s back before applying a straightjacket. He snaps Truth down by the neck, then stomps the side of his head. He hits a short-arm clothesline and a punch to the face, then goes back to the straightjacket. Truth gets to his feet and manages to break free with elbows and punches. He goes for the Osaka street cutter, but Stardust escapes and hits the Disaster Kick for 2. He gets another 2-count, then hits Dark Matter for 2. Stardust pulls off one of his gloves and nails Truth with punches in the corner. As he grabs his glove, Truth kicks him in the face, picks up the glove in some kind of weird distraction, then hits Lil’ Jimmy for 3.
Renee Young is standing by with Ryback, who is also in the IC title match. She asks about what is going through his mind going into the Chamber. He says he’s never competed in this match before, and he’d be lying if he said it wasn’t intimidating. At the same time, he’s chomping at the bit to get inside. He’s a starved lion trapped in a cage with five antelope. What does Young think would happen. She says something stupid about vegans. Ryback then delivers a message to the five others: The Big Guy’s hungry, and anything that stands between him and the IC title will get devoured. He’s hungry. The WWE Universe is hungry. And when people are hungry, people say “Feed me more”. Ryback then tells her he has some great vegan recipes and he’s quite the cook. Again, stupid vegan lines.
MATCH 4: THE META POWERS (CURTIS AXEL AND MACHO MANDOW) VS. ADAM ROSE AND HEATH SLATER (W/ROSA MENDES)
Mandow and Slater start with a lock-up, with Mandow backing Slater into the ropes before giving a clean break. He misses a clothesline, and Slater applies a side headlock. The two crisscross until Mandow hits a back elbow. He throws Slater into the buckles, then snaps off some jabs. Rose comes in and gets the same treatment before Mandow hits him with an inside-out hotshot. Back in the ring, Slater hits a Harlem side kick for 2, then kicks Mandow in the back. Rose tags in, and the two hit a double suplex for 2. Rose drops some elbows and a fist for another 2, then tags in Slater. Slater hits a kick to the gut, then chokes Mandow over the middle rope. Rose back in, and he kicks Mandow off the ropes for 2 before applying a rear chinlock. Mandow counters with a back suplex. Rose tags out, as does Mandow. Axel hulks out, does the finger point, hits the three punches and the big boot. Rose comes in, but Mandow backdrops him to the floor. Axel hits an Atomic Legdrop and gets 3.
WINNER: THE META POWERS.
The two have a pose-down after the match.
Renee Young is now standing by with Bo Dallas for some reason. She says Dallas made quite the impact on RAW when he attacked Neville. We go to that footage. Back to Young and Dallas. She asks why he attacked Neville. He says when he was a kid, a bird used to land on his windowsill every morning. God, his voice is obnoxious. The bird was beautiful with bright colors, and could fly higher than the rest. One day, it flew too high, hit a power line and hurt its wing. He watched it try to fly again, but it couldn’t, so he came along, took the bird, fed it, coddled it and nursed it back to health. With his help, the bird overcame adversity and flew away. Just like that bird, Neville has a broken wing. He’s trying to make Neville stronger. With Dallas’ help, he can overcome adversity and fly away. All he has to do is Bolieve.
The two lock-up, and Ambrose applies a side headlock. Wyatt comes back with a shoulder off the ropes, but then runs into a drop toehold. Ambrose pounds Wyatt’s knee, then snaps it backwards before hitting a dragon screw. He sets Wyatt’s leg up on the middle rope in the corner and hits a kick to the knee, but Wyatt shakes it off and drops Ambrose with an uppercut. Ambrose comes back with a kneelift against the ropes and a flying forearms that sends Wyatt to the floor. He follows up with a suicide dive, breaks the count, goes for a dive off the apron, only to have Wyatt sidestep him and send him knee-first into the ring steps. Commercials.
Back from the break, Wyatt has Ambrose in a rear chinlock, with his knee in the back. Ambrose fights to his feet, but then gets kicked in the knee. Wyatt hits a bodyslam, then misses a running senton. Ambrose pelts Wyatt with rights and goes for a cross-body, but Wyatt blocks it with a vertical splash. My feed cuts in and out, making the next minute choppy. When it comes back, Wyatt has Ambrose draped across the middle rope. He then yanks on Ambrose’s neck from the floor and looks for a suspended DDT. Ambrose fights him off and turns it into a tornado DDT on the floor. Ambrose is up first, and he throws Wyatt in before climbing back in himself. They pull themselves up in opposite corners, and Ambrose hits a corner forearm. Wyatt shoves off a bulldog, but Ambrose rebounds with a clothesline. He hits several strikes, and my feed starts acting wonky again. When it comes back, Wyatt is on the floor, and Ambrose goes for a suicide dive. Wyatt catches him and looks for Sister Abigail. Ambrose escapes, so Wyatt tries to roll him back in the ring. Wyatt spins through on the apron and levels Wyatt with a clothesline. Back in the ring now, Ambrose heads up top for the flying elbow. Wyatt catches him and looks for the standing uranage. Ambrose escapes and goes for Dirty Deeds. Wyatt escapes and hits the uranage on the second try for 2. Wyatt hits a right, and my feed sucks yet again. Back on a few second later, Ambrose hits a low dropkick and goes up top. Jamie Noble runs down and jumps on the apron to distract the referee, which allows Joey Mercury to shove Ambrose off. He lands on his feet, but gets caught in Sister Abigail. Ambrose reverses it into a schoolboy for 2, gets hit with an uppercut, then rebounds off the ropes with a clothesline. As both men are down, Seth Rollins marches down to ringside. Before he gets to the ring, Roman Reigns heads down through the crowd. He nails both members of J&J, then chases Rollins back up the ramp. Noble attacks him from behind, and Reigns chases him into the ring, where Ambrose pelts him with fists. Wyatt is back up, and he throws Ambrose into the ropes. Ambrose avoids a charge and ends up hung up on the middle rope. as the ref is getting Noble out of the ring, Reigns nails a Superman Punch on Wyatt, and Ambrose follows up with Dirty Deeds for 3.
WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE.
End of show.