John Cena opens this weeks show (at the University of Nebraska) and panders to the crowd, since his new merchandise shares its colors with the Cornhuskers. In 3 weeks, at NoC, he will face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World title. No more talk of whether or not he’s changed or if it’s best for business; at NoC, he will face Lesnar for the title. The match is made, so enough.
Stop talking about whether it’s right or wrong, whether Cena is ready, etc. He’s been here for 12 years and had thousands of matches. After Summerslam, though, everyone is looking at him like he’s at the end of his road, like he’s a fragile old man. He is John Cena. He’s a WWE superstar, and he fights. He does that because he wants to be champion, because that is the symbol of excellence. The day he doesn’t want to be champion is the day he leaves and never comes back. He lost one match to the destructive force in WWE history. Since Lesnar returned in 2012, he has destroyed everyone in his path. NoC will be difficult, but on that night, Cena gets his redemption. He doesn’t care what everyone thinks; line them up, he’ll knock them down, and you can still get the WWE Network for $9.99. What’s the point of all this? He’s going to NoC not to beat Lesnar; he’s going to beat Lesnar’s ass.
Corporate Kane comes out, accompanied by Seth Rollins. Anyone else find it odd that Kane works two separate gimmicks that are actually exactly the same aside from wardrobe? Kane is surprised. Rollins tells Cena he’s having a mid-career crisis. Kane says Cena is overcompensating. Cena calls Kane the poster child for Men’s Wearhouse, and calls Rollins a child. Kane says he is a competitor, but also has authority in this company, and he could set up a match that would test Cena’s limits right now. If he were Cena, he’d watch his tone.
Chris Jericho’s music hits, and he joins the party. Right behind him is the World’s Strongest Tag Team. They start marching towards Kane and Co., but Triple H interrupts. He says that, no matter how much you love your job, there are still things that are a burden. So, he’s out here to do his busy work. He wouldn’t want the almighty Cena to think he can’t make decisions. Trips then does an impression of Teddy Long before announcing a 10-man tag team match for later tonight. How about that, playa? Holla.
MATCH 1: CESARO VS. INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION DOLPH ZIGGLER (NON-TITLE)
Sheamus is on commentary for this match. Cesaro hits a waistlock takedown, spins around and smacks Ziggler across the back of the head before applying a rear chinlock. Ziggler tries to counter, but no luck. Cesaro hits a shoulderblock off the ropes, then blocks a hiptoss. Ziggler ducks a clothesline, hits a neckbreaker and drops the Show-Off Elbow for 2. Cesaro sends Ziggler to the corner, Ziggler blocks the charge, then comes off the middle. Cesaro catches him and hits a backbreaker. Cesaro stomps Ziggler down, then taunts Sheamus. Cesaro nails a straight right, then chokes Ziggler on the middle rope from the floor before nailing a European uppercut. He points at Sheamus, then slides back into the ring for 2. Cesaro applies a cravat, but Ziggler fights out and hits a sunset flip for 2. Cesaro escapes and nails a series of forearms before hitting a jumping elbow for 2. He rakes Ziggler’s face, then goes back to the cravat. Ziggle fights out and goes for another sunset. Ziggler powers him up, then hits a gorilla press into a gutbuster for 2. Haven’t seen that move in a few years. Commercials.
Back from the break, Cesaro has the cravat once more. Ziggle eventually counters with a jawbreaker, then pops up with a dropkick. He goes for a splash in the corner, but Cesaro catches him in mid-air with another European uppercut for 2. Cesaro powers him up with a double-underhook, looking for a tiger bomb. Ziggler counters into a sit-out facebuster for 2. Ziggler avoids a tilt-a-whirl by continuing to spin into a scissored sleeper. Cesaro breaks it by backing into the corner. He then blocks a superkick, misses a clothesline and gets hit with a nice leaping DDT out of an attempt at the Very European Uppercut for 2. Dammit if this isn’t a fun match. Ziggler misses the rocker dropper and gets blasted with a clothesline. Ziggle comes back with a quick schoolboy out of nowhere for 3.
WINNER: DOLPH ZIGGLER.
Cesaro nails Ziggler from behind post-match, then peppers him with rights. Sheamus enters the ring to stop the attack, throws the US title at Cesaro, who catches it before having it Brogue Kicked into his face.
Excellent opening match. Would love to see more Ziggler/Cesaro in the future.
We see Star Dust in his darkened area, talking to himself about what’s been going on between his team and the Usos. Apparently, this is all driving him mad. Goldust pops up and says we all go mad sometimes. The Usos will get what they deserve, and at NoC, the Dusts will get what they deserve. Stardust says they’ll align the stars themselves.
MATCH 2: WWE TAG TEAM CO-CHAMPION JIMMY USO (W/JEY USO) VS. HEATH SLATER (W/TITUS O’NEIL)
Jey Uso is on a crutch at ringside. Slater backs Jimmy to the corner with a lock-up, then misses a right. Jimmy nails him with a chop, then another on the opposite side of the ring. Slater reverses a whip, Jimmy puts on the breaks, ducks a clothesline, then misses a splash. Slater then hits a neckbreaker off the ropes for 2. Slater stomps Jimmy down, then kicks him in the chest. Jimmy goes down off a right hand, and now Slater has him in a rear chinlock. Jimmy fights out and hits a slap to the face. Slater trips Jimmy, sending him face-first into the middle buckle. Slater celebrates, but then gets hit with a mule kick and a corkscrew moonsault for 2. Titus gets up on the apron, but Jey distracts him by banging his crutch on the apron. Jimmy knocks Titus to the floor with a superkick, but then turns around into a Harlem Side Kick by Slater for 2. Slater goes for the Smash Hit, but Jimmy escapes. Slater comes off the middle rope and gets hit with a superkick on the way down. Jimmy hits the Samoan Splash and gets 3.
WINNER: JIMMY USO.
We get a promo from Stephanie McMahon-Levesque from earlier today. She announces that, at NoC (followed by a WWE Network plug), Paige will defend the WWE Divas Championship against both AJ Lee and Nikki Bella in a Triple Threat Match.
Byron Saxton is standing by with the aforementioned Nikki, who is wearing a ridiculous headband. Saxton asks about the announcement Nipple H just made. Nikki thanks her for the opportunity, and now she understands what it’s like to have a real sister. The turmoil in her life is coming to an end, and she no longer has Brie as a shadow. Saxton points out that Brie apologized. Nikki says she won’t return the favor. She’s been put through so much hardship in her life. As far as Brie’s match with Paige tonight, all Nikki has to say is good luck.
Rusev and Lana make their way out, and are planning to respond to Mark Henry’s challenge for NoC. Long story short (after Lana tells the crowd to “Shut tup!”), she calls Mark Henry past his “prime time”. The Russian flag drops, and Lana continues on for a moment until Henry walks out onto the stage. Henry tells Lana she talks too much. She and Rusev have shown their true colors. He made a challenge to Rusev, but that’s not the question. The question is, will Rusev accept, or will he hide behind the loudmouth woman that looks like an escort? Lana says they will prove the US’ inferiority when they beat its former Olympian at NoC. Henry says that night, he’ll give Rusev a good, old-fashioned, red, white and blue ass-whipping.
Nikki Bella is on commentary for this match. Thankfully, AJ Lee is also on commentary to pick up the slack.
MATCH 3: BRIE BELLA VS. WWE DIVAS CHAMPION PAIGE (NON-TITLE)
Paige mocks Brie for being a crybaby. Brie hits a few forearms, then chokes Paige across the top rope. Paige comes back with a kick, but then gets put in a waistlock before Brie hits a takedown. I should point out Brie is now wearing actual gear for the first time ever. The two lock up, and Brie backs Paige into the ropes. She gives a clean break, then goes back to the lock-up, tossing Paige across the ring. Paige screams at Brie and slides under the bottom rope, trying to sucker Brie to the outside. It eventually works when Paige armdrags Brie to the floor. Paige continues to scream (Daffney, she is not in that department) as Brie crawls back into the ring. Paige meets her with forearms to the back, then hits the three worst headbutts I’ve ever seen. I would’ve expected better from her. She pulls Brie through the ropes, goes to the apron and hits a series of kneelifts. Back in the ring, Brie ducks a clothesline and hits one of her own. She hits a dropsh*t, then connects with a knee against the ropes. Brie hits another knee to the face, and another. Brie heads to the middle rope as AJ takes off her headset and goes around the desk to Nikki. In the ring, Brie hits a missile dropkick as Nikki shoves AJ at ringside. AJ knocks Nikki on her ass and begins pounding on her. Brie pulls her off, looks conflicted, and then heads back to the ring. Paige immediately hits her with the Ram-Paige and gets 3.
We see the Wyatt Family appear on the screen. Luke Harper says he is the serpent, and unfortunately for you, little rat, you cannot outrun your fate. Bray Wyatt appears and says it’s all but too late for you, Chris. The reapers are calling you out by name. Tonight, all the wicked will be punished. On Monday, it’s all for you. You gotta pay for your sins, Chris. Wyatt then laughs before Erick Rowan says, “Run.”
MATCH 4: ZACK RYDER VS. BO DALLAS
Ryder nails a quick dropkick, but Dallas comes back with knees and a back suplex. He hits a knee to the face, but then gets hit with a facebuster off the ropes. Ryder tries to block an attack in the corner, but Dallas whips him down onto his back. Dallas hits the Running Bo-Dog and gets 3.
WINNER: BO DALLAS.
Guess they didn’t like him using the Future Shock as a finisher. After the match, Dallas addresses his fellow Americans, saying that, since they all live in Nebraska, something terrible has obviously happened in their lives. But if Jack Swagger can turn things around in America, they too can all turns their lives around. All they have to do is one thing. Please rise and place your right hands over your hearts and, in a loud, clear voice, please repeat after him…
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter interrupt, and Swagger charges to the ring. Dallas cuts him off early, but Swagger isn’t having any of it. He starts unloading on Dallas before hitting him with an elevated belly-to-belly. Swagger sends Dallas to the corner, hits a few rights and goes for the Patriot Lock. Dallas escapes, but then gets sent to the floor, courtesy of a big boot. Zeb tells Dallas if he’s going to say something, he could at least do it right, then goes into his catchphrase.
MATCH 5: SETH ROLLINS, CORPORATE KANE AND THE WYATT FAMILY (LUKE HARPER, ERICK ROWAN & BRAY WYATT) VS. THE WORLD’S STRONGEST TAG TEAM (THE BIG SHOW & MARK HENRY), ROMAN REIGNS, CHRIS JERICHO AND JOHN CENA
Show and Rollins start for their teams. Rollins goes after Show’s legs, but Show just tosses him to the corner for a big chop. Rollins tries to fight back, but to no avail. Rollins receives another chop, and now Henry tags in. Show sends him in for an avalanche, and Henry then takes Rollins down with a headbutt. Henry hits the JYD headbutt, then tags in Show after throwing Rollins to the corner. Show hits a running hip attack, then presses Rollins over his head. Rollins escapes, ducks a clothesline and tags in Wyatt. Show hits a standing armdrag, and Wyatt is laughing. Wyatt tries some weak punches, then gets thrown to the corner. Rowan tags himself in and hits a series of forearms. Show comes out with a sunset flip off the ropes for 2, then nails a flying shoulderblock. Rowan gets sent to the corner, and Show rips the top of his coveralls for a chop. Henry tags in, and he gets sent in for another avalanche. Henry chokes Rowan in the corner, then hits a series of shoulder thrusts. Jericho tags in and comes off the top with an elbow to the back of the head. He hits a seated dropkick as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Show and Kane are now legal. Kane hits a series of strikes, but then gets hit with a hip attack in the corner. He comes back with a dropkick to the knee, and now Wyatt has tagged in. Wyatt stomps Show down, hits an elbow and tags in Harper. Harper hits a kick before driving his elbow into the back of Show’s head before applying a rear chinlock. Show gets back to a vertical base and fights his way out, but then gets hit with a Harper dropkick for 2. Harper tags in Rollins, and they stomp Show down. Rollins begins working on Show’s left knee, then turns around to taunt Cena. Kane in, and he hits a running boot to Show. Kane stomps Show down as Wyatt tags in. Wyatt continues the stomping, and now the two trade punches. Wyatt shakes the punches off and hits a quick DDT for 2. Harper tags in and applies the Gator Roll, into a side headlock. Show gets back to his feet and breaks the hold with a back suplex. Reigns tags in for the first time and nails a pair of clotheslines before knocking Kane off the apron. He blasts Harper with a jumping clothesline, followed by an avalanche, an uppercut and a Samoan drop. He then knocks Rollins off the apron, heads outside and sends him into the barricade. Harper attacks Reigns and sends him into the barricade as well. Harper rams Reigns back-first into it as we go to commercials.
Back from the break again, Rowan is legal for his team and is in control of Reigns, driving his fists into Reigns’ temples. Reigns gets to his feet and goes for a spear, but Rowan sidesteps him and sends him to the floor. Rollins tags in, drops to the floor and stomps Reigns down. He sends Reigns head-first into the ring post, then chucks him into the barricade once more. Back in the ring, Rollins paintbrushes Reigns’ head before applying a side headlock. Reigns fights out, misses a clothesline and gets nailed with a spin kick to the head for 2. Harper tags in and goes for a suplex. Reigns blocks attempts not once, not twice, but thrice, then hits one of his own. Harper is up first, and he nails a big boot for 2. Kane in, and he tries in vain to hoist Reigns up for a superplex. He gets him up on the second time, but Reigns knocks him off the ropes. Reigns then comes off the top with a flying clothesline. Jericho tags in and hits a series of chops, ducks a clothesline and hits a flying forearm. Kane sends him to the outside, but he lands on his feet on the apron. Off the top, Jericho hits a double axe handle and follows up with a running facebuster. The lionsault connects for the first time in seemingly years, but Kane is back up. He goes for the chokeslam, but Jericho escapes and hits a step-up enziguri. He goes for the Walls, but Wyatt interrupts. Jericho sends him to the floor, then turns around into a big boot by Kane. Harper tags back in and hits a quick series of elbow drops. Commercials.
WINNERS: NO CONTEST.
Post-match sees all 10 men having an all-out brawl. Jericho takes Wyatt out with a Codebreaker. Henry hits Rowan with a World’s Strongest Slam, while Show hits Harper with a chokeslam at the same time. Reigns ducks a clothesline from Kane and nails him with a spear. Cena caps things off with an Attitude Adjustment on Rollins.
End of show.
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