September 21, 2015
From the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, TX
Your hosts are Byron Saxton, JBL, and Michael Cole
The show starts with the Wyatt Family heading out to the ring. Wyatt grabs the mic and tells Roman Reigns he tried to warn him with his words but apparently had not spoken loud enough, tried to warn with their actions but did not hit hard enough as he talks about bringing the “Golden Idol” to his knees. Wyatt then says he is not a liar but gets cut off by Reigns’ music as he heads through the crowd. Reigns gets a good crowd reaction as he stares down Wyatt. Reigns has the mic and says its always been about the both of them and since it started here this is where it should end. He wants Wyatt one-on-one then when Wyatt says he has given enough chances, Reigns points out that Wyatt is scared and that he doesnt even need a referee or even to have a match as he just wants a fight. Luke Harper and Braun Strowman leave as the two slug it out. Reigns takes the advantage early on as he tosses him around. The crowd is into Reigns tonight. Wyatt stops a charge with a big boot but Reigns hits him with the Superman Punch. Harper and Strowman run in to rough up Reigns then Ambrose comes in and cleans house for a little bit. He tries a pair of topes on Strowman but they have minimal effect. Strowman shakes Ambrose off of his back but Ambrose fights back. The Wyatt Family take the advantage until Randy Orton runs out and cleans house to a good reaction. Strowman roughs him up but they gang up on him and after a pair of dropkicks, Reigns knocks Strowman through the ropes with a Superman Punch as the Wyatt’s retreat. A solid way to open the show. I give credit to the WWE for salvaging the awful Wyatt/Reigns storyline by adding in other guys. This feud was on its way to hurting both guys. Now, it is decent and they have a chance to get over a monster heel in Strowman.
We are shown still photos from both of Seth Rollins’ title defenses from last night, including Kane running in to chokeslam both Rollins and Sheamus, who attempted to cash-in his Money in the Bank Title shot.
Rollins is shown backstage pacing in front of the Authority’s door. He finally walks in and thinks he is going to speak with HHH and Stephanie but sees Corporate Kane. Rollins is shocked as Corporate Kane has no idea what he was talking about regarding his return last night as Kane tells us he was at home and now recuperated from his broken ankle. Kane, smiling and overly corny here, then tells Seth that he has a rematch tonight against John Cena for the U.S. Title and wishes him luck as a confused Rollins leaves. Kane’s intentional overacting was amusing but as far as a storyline, this seems a little too contrived. Even for wrestling.
Cosmic Wasteland vs. Neville & Lucha Dragons
For those unaware, Cosmic Wasteland is the name for the Stardust & Ascension pairing. This is the rematch from last night’s Kickoff Show at Night of Champions. Konnor beats on Sin Cara to start. Sin Cara comes back with a kick then slips trying a springboard move and crashes to the mat. Stardust screams at fans chanting “Cody” at him as the Ascension continue to beat on Sin Cara. Stardust tags and taunts his opponents but Cara makes the tag to Neville, who runs wild. Neville sets up for the Red Arrow but Viktor runs over for the distraction. Neville avoids Viktor on the apron but gets caught with a springboard kick and crashes to the floor as we head to break. We return with Neville getting worked over in the corner. He dodges a charge from Stardust and tries to make a tag but fails but gets it on the second attempt. Kalisto runs wild all sorts of high-flying moves. Sin Cara takes out Konnor with a tope then Neville and Stardust botch a spot when Cody did not spill out to the floor after getting hit with a crossbody. Kalisto is left with Viktor and hits the Salida Del Sol for the win (10:30) **.
Thoughts: A fairly boring match. And after losing the previous night, the face team wins to set up a 3rd match down the road. This is not a feud to get all that excited about.
Rollins runs into HHH and Stephanie as they enter the arena. Rollins tells them he cannot believe that they reinstated Kane last night but they have no idea what he is talking about and tell him to focus on the U.S. Title tonight. Seth walks away as HHH and Steph look worried as they stare at each other. I have no idea why HHH and Steph are looking concerned here, or why they do after almost every backstage Authority segment for that matter.
Ryback vs. Bo Dallas
Kevin Owens comes out before the match as he proudly displays the Intercontinental Title over his shoulder. He sits down at the announcers table while Dallas congratulates him for winning then tells Ryback he lost the title because he Bo-Lieved he is better than Kevin Owens but he will never be as good. Match starts with Ryback ramming Dallas into the corner as he beats him down while the announcers talk to Owens. Ryback slams Dallas then looks back at Owens before going back on the attack. Dallas fights back but gets shoved down then hit with a suplex for a nearfall. Dallas comes back and puts on a chinlock but Ryback breaks free from that and hits a spinebuster. Ryback sets up for the Meathook before hitting the Shellshock for the win (4:05). After the match, Owens attacked Ryback but got hit with a clothesline. Ryback tries for the Shellshock but Owens escapes and flees with his title belt.
Thoughts: This was fine and to set up the new story of the feud as Owens is constantly taunting Ryback with the IC Title belt.
Ric Flair is in the ring as he talks about how special it was to see his daughter, Charlotte, win her first Title, even calling it the proudest moment in his entire life. He then welcomes her out as she is flanked by the rest of Team PCB, including a less than thrilled Paige. Charlotte and her dad “Wooooooo” into the microphone then she talks about how they always cry together in the ring as Flair has the waterworks going. They get all mushy as Charlotte puts over Becky for being her sister then talks to Paige and talks about how they started in NXT together and that she was the first NXT Womens Champ and always wanted to be like her. Paige then grabs the mic and sarcastically talks about how nice this all is but said that she made this all possible and says this is just patronizing then reminds Charlotte how she won the Divas title on her first day and that title reigns end and that Nikki will win the belt back and the division will go back to what it was and the revolution will end. Paige then tells Becky she will never be the champion as she is the “least relevant” of them all then calls out Team BAD for having “no substance” and questions if Nattie even works here anymore. She then hints that the Bellas are where they are for who they are sleeping with before walking off. Team Bella comes out, to a surprisingly big pop, as Nikki tells Charlotte it will not be easy and questions if she can handle the pressure. Not once did she pretend to be mad about losing the title. Well, she did say just a few weeks ago than wins and losses do not matter so she is at least consistent with that aspect of her character. Just an awful segment that highlighted how the Divas Revolution storyline is a giant mess. If they think by Paige cutting worked shoot promos to highlight why this is not getting over is going to work out in the long run, then they are wrong. Plus, building her for a turn isnt going to work with promos like this: its what makes fans cheer you. This Divas Revolution stuff has been presented terribly so for the fans who wanted it to succeed, you become an even bigger face in their eyes. And why is Paige mad that Charlotte won if her goal of her team was to stand up to the Bellas? They beat them for the belt. Also, if you want to make the Bellas the centerpiece of the division, fine, but at least give the others some semblance of a personality.
Charlotte vs. Brie Bella
The match started during the commercial break with Brie in control. Brie tries to mock Charlotte but doesnt have the charisma to pull off anything comedic as Charlotte kips up and retreats. Brie gets two with a missile dropkick but Charotte fights back and they proceed to work a horrendous spot in which Charlotte tries to drag Brie back into the ring as she ducked out on the apron as that leads to Charlotte going outside and getting shoved into the steps then sells her leg. Back inside, Brie works the leg and tries a figure four but Charlotte turns that into a cradle for two. Brie goes back to the leg then yells out “Brie Mode” to a fairly decent amount of cheers. The crowd rallies behind Charlotte as she escapes from a single leg crab. Charlotte gets two with a backslide then hits a few chops. Charlotte hits a neckbreaker then a spear before getting the win with a figure eight (6:26) *1/2.
Thoughts: Basic match with a few rough patches. Brie is just a lifeless performer out there. She adds nothing to the product, really.
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
Sheamus gets into Henry’s face and shoves him but Henry comes back with a clothesline after grabbing his arm. Sheamus ducks outside for a quick breathe then returns to hammer away but once again gets overpowered. Henry pulls Sheamus up onto the apron but gets caught with forearm smashes. Henry tries a slam but Sheamus escapes and misses the Brogue Kick by a mile but Henry sells it anyway. Sheamus then goes to the corner and hits the move again for the win (2:27) 1/4*. After the match, Sheamus holds up the MiTB Briefcase and says as far as he is concerned, he is the WWE World Champion and it will only be a matter of time until he gets the belt.
Tonight: Just a quick segment for Sheamus to remind everyone that he can cash in for a title shot whenever he wants. Henry got the jobber treatment here.
Backstage, Corporate Kane is with HHH and Stephanie. HHH asks Kane about returning last night but Kane has no idea what he is talking about. Stephanie tells Kane if he wants to play mind games with Seth, that’s fine, but to not insult their intelligence. Stephanie then asks Kane to “give it up” so he slaps her hand in a funny moment. Kane then tells Stephanie that last time he saw the mask is when he gave it to her and if its lost, then they will have a big problem, with Kane’s voice getting deeper and angrier as he moves closer to her. Kane then goes back to being goofy and tells the Authority that if he sees the mask he will return it to them.
Paige is pacing out back and sees Natalya, joking that she does still work here. She expects Natalya to be mad at her but gets questioned about being the only diva ever frustrated, expressing her own, while calling her out for ruining Charlotte’s moment, a person that looks up to her. Natalya then tells Paige that the only person standing in her way is herself before getting ready for her match against Naomi.
The New Day come out to the ring. Woods is selling his injuries from last night as he limps down to the ring. Big E talks about “building a wall” around Dudleyville to protect our “laws, values, and furniture.” Kofi tells us together we can make the WWE great again as they start a “save the tables” chant. Funny and topical segment as they spoofed Donald Trump’s campaign in a creative manner. Well done.
New Day & Rusev w/ Xavier Woods & Summer Rae vs. Dudley Boyz & Dolph Ziggler
Cole tells us that on the October 3rd MSG special on the WWE Network, we will see Dudley’s vs. New Day for the Tag Titles Match starts with Dolph and Kofi going back and forth until they end in a stalemate. Xavier tries to wake up the crowd but its not really working. Dolph lands on his feet after Kofi attempted a monkey flip before hitting one of his own. D’Von tags and slams Kofi before firing away. D’Von takes Kofi off of the top with a neckbreaker then the heels get cleared from the ring as we head to break. We return with Ziggler getting attacked by Rusev. Ziggler is getting destroyed in the corner as Woods plays the trombone, even performing Rusev’s theme. That was great. Big E puts Ziggler in an abdominal stretch as Summer is assisting Woods with the trombone. The heels continue to get heat on Ziggler as they all take turns beating on him. Rusev is screaming at Ziggler than Lana his is before getting hit with a DDT as both men are down. Hot tag to Bubba as he runs wild on Kofi. Big E breaks up a pin after an uranage but the Dudley Boyz stay in control then tag Ziggler as he its the Wassup Drop onto Rusev. Ziggler takes Woods off of the apron with a super kick but turns around and eats a super kick by Rusev, who covers and gets the win (14:13) **1/4.
Thoughts: The match itself wasnt much but Xavier entertained yet again and the shot on the ramp with the heels celebrating their victory was pretty funny. These feuds will still continue.
We get highlights of Corporate Kane’s return tonight.
Naomi w/ Team BAD vs. Natalya
Naomi shoves Natalya to start then they work a sequence that ends in a stalemate. Naomi kicks Natalya down before applying a chinlock as we see Paige watch the match on the monitor backstage. Natalya gets rammed into the turnbuckle but fights back and gets two off of a rollup. Naomi comes back with a clothesline that gets two. Leg drop gets two. Naomi chokes out Natalya against the ropes then kicks her in the ribs. Natalya shoves Naomi as she attempted a bulldog then hits a slingshot atomic drop of sorts before hitting a discus clothesline and a basement dropkick. Tamina jumps up onto the apron and Natalya kicks her off but Sasha provides another distraction as Naomi hits the Rear View for the win (3:47) *1/2.
Thoughts: The match was fine for what it was. Natalya losing in her return to TV certainly didnt make it seem like they have much planned for her but time will tell.
HHH and Stephanie are backstage as Rollins enters asking about a plan. Stephanie tells him that she thinks Kane got all of this out of his system and will be able to return to his corporate duties. Seth gets upset and reminds them this is Kane, not just some regular guy, until HHH yells at him to stop worrying about Kane and focus on John Cena. Seth leaves as Stephanie looks almost shocked at HHH for yelling at him.
Big Show vs. Cesaro
This match is the result of Show attacking Cesaro during his match against the Miz two weeks ago from RAW. Show overpowers Cesaro to start. He rams him into the corner repeatedly while taking breaks to yell at the crowd. Show stomps away then misses an elbow drop as both men are down. Cesaro fights back with uppercuts in the corner then sends him outside with a dropkick. Cesaro follows him out and hits an uppercut but gets caught trying a crossbody from the table as Show rams him into the post. Inside, Cesaro keeps trying to suplex Show into the ring and eventually does as he sells his back after the move. Show then gets up first as Cesaro is in pain and hits the knockout punch for the win (6:17) *1/2. After the match, Show grabs the mic to tell us how he is the greatest giant in this business. He then switches focus to Lesnar, his opponent at MSG, talking about how he has beat him in the past and that he is going to stop his “Road to Hell” tour.
Thoughts: This was a glorified squash as they put Show over strong for his match against Lesnar at MSG. Poor Cesaro. He was getting over again but now is back to an afterthought. He is about two years away from having Wade Barrett’s spot on the card at this rate.
Ryback & Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens & Rusev on Smackdown this week.
A replay of the Wyatt Family and Reigns/Ambrose/Orton brawl that led off the show. This leads to a Wyatt Family promo, primarily focusing on Orton. Not much to this at all, really. It ended with Bray saying they will all fall down and so will Orton.
WWE U.S. Title Match: John Cena (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Good reaction for Cena, who gets attacked before the bell. The ref backs Rollins away before ringing the bell after Cena said he was ready. Rollins tries a few nearfalls early but cannot put Cena away. He grows increasingly frustrated then misses a move as Cena tries for the A.A. but Rollins escapes and hits a DDT as we go to break. We return with Rollins still in control. He grabs a chinlock then stays in control for a but until Cena made his comeback. Rollins tries to escape but Cena drags him back inside and hits a crossbody from the top for two. Rollins comes back with a thrust kick then puts Cena in the STF. Cena picks Rollins up but Rollins grabbed a hold of the rope then hits a flying knee smash for a nearfall. He tries a pedigree that Cena blocks then Cena hits an electric chair drop for two. They get up and trade punches before countering each other’s finishers. Cena hits Rollins with a powerbomb into the turnbuckle then drags Cena into the corner before slowly climbing the top rope. He is up but lands on his feet after a Phoenix Splash attempt then Cena locks on the STF. Rollins reaches the ropes then catches Cena with a kick before getting two with a frog splash but Cena rolls through and hits the A.A. for the win (15:33) ***1/2. After the match, Corporate Kane is on the screen to tell Rollins he has to be the best possible champion he can be as there are people lining up to face him, even people he isnt expecting. Kane’s tone then switched from happy to evil as he started to laugh then the lights went off, as did Kane’s pyro, as Kane came through the ring and tossed Seth around before dragging him through the hole. The camera showed the smoke coming up from the hole as the show went off the air.
Thoughts: Good match but the announcers repeatedly trying to tell us that it was a treat seeing a match for the 3rd time in a month got to be a bit too much. The end with Kane attacking was predictable but now they have to explain what happened as he got dragged down underneath the ring.
Final Thoughts: Not much of a show tonight. They pushed the MSG show a little bit but nothing at all regarding Taker vs. Lesnar at Hell in a Cell. In fact, there wasnt much at all about Hell in a Cell. With Cena beating Rollins again it makes you think he should be in line for a shot at the WWE World Title. The Kane stuff was slightly amusing but I do not have much faith that it will lead to a decent storyline. Regardless, as long as it is used for a Fall feud it should be fine. At least its makes sense that he wants revenge. A little too much “sports entertainment” for my taste. The Divas segments were not good and appeared to suck the life out of the crowd as the division continues to struggle. Everything else ranged from inoffensive to uninspired.