Boy, did I call this one completely wrong. First off, Daniel Bryan was taken off the show due to WWE being concerned about injury. Smart move. Keep him off the endangered list. Instead they do a match shuffle, putting Wade Barrett against Adrian Neville on the pre-show, with the former NXT Champion earning an awesome victory over Barrett via Red Arrow splash.
On the official show, Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper kick off with their street fight which saw an ECW style fight between them. This match took a break as they wound up driving off in an SUV. We got two matches in between, and then they returned to the arena to conclude the bout in crazy fashion, a dozen chairs, and Ambrose planting Harper with Dirty Deeds to win.
Those two matches in between were Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus and the The New Day vs. The Brass Ring Club. Ziggler and Sheamus put on a decent match, mostly with Sheamus beating the hell out of Ziggler who then mounts a short offensive. Shockingly, Ziggler picked up the win via rollup, however Sheamus opted to deliver a low blow rather than kissing his rear. Ziggler took a brutal beating throughout the match, and I worry this is all WWE uses him for.
In another unexpected turn, although in hindsight maybe I should have seen this coming, The New Day pulled off the victory and captured the WWE Tag Team Championships in a great match. The gimmick might suck, but Kofi and Langston know how to work the crowd and use the ring. Cesaro of course owned the match with his incredible strength-based moves. Kidd had some great high flying hits, however it was the quick thinking and underhanded strategy from The New Day to take the belts. I guess it really is a new day after all.
Next up, in a very boring four corners match, John Cena retained the United States Championship. Lana was cheered to the point where Rusev booted her from ringside. In a backstage segment following the Divas Championship, Rusev yells at Lana in Russian, to which we find her walking into the office for The Authority. I was disappointed, I had expected something more entertaining from Cena and Rusev with this sort of stipulation, but alas, it was not to be.
Speaking of said Divas match, by the time I came out of the bathroom, Nikki Bella retained over Naomi.
Things only get worse as the Big Show vs. Roman Reigns match was actually a Tables Match in disguise. One nice spot with Reigns eating a chokeslam through two tables and a spear through the barricade. However, this match was so slow and uneventful, even the live crowd rooted for JBL. Shame, because the end of the match was pretty epic, even earning a “Holy Shit” chant from the Chicago crowd, where Big Show was standing on the announce table and Reigns ran off the ring stairs to spear him through the Spanish Announce Table. Show got up, until Reigns lifted and hurled the regular announce table on top of him. Shame, because the finish was great, but it took FOREVER to get there.
After a promo for Tough Enough, we get Bo Dallas on the mic to bash Chicago. Good lord he is so high pitched and whiny. Ryback comes out to beat him up. Bo Dallas has the Wyatt beard going. Yawn. It’s 10:20 at this point, and after intros, Orton/Rollins will have about 15 minutes.
Backstage: Rusev vs. Cena at Payback in an I Quit match. Yawn.
WWE Championship Match: Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
Randy Orton climbs the cage. Seth Rollins climbs the cage. Kane is angry.
Not a bad match so far. Some big cage spots, and Orton superplexing Rollins off the top! Orton then bounces Rollins all over the cage, followed by a T-Bone Suplex. Wow. Way to go Orton. Lots of back-and-forth, and we are nearing the 11 o’clock hour. Orton nails a top rope DDT, however instead of going for the RKO, the Viper strikes with a Pedigree! Rollins is out cold, but kicks out at two. Orton attempts to leave through the door, but Kane prevents him from leaving. Kane gets clocked inadvertently by Rollins, so we know where this is going. Rollins and Orton both try clawing for the door, Kane slams it on both their heads. J&J attempt to interject themselves, but both eat Chokeslams for their troubles. For a moment it seems Kane will turn, but chokeslams Orton. As Rollins attempts to flee, Kane does indeed turn and chokeslams Rollins, then places him on top of Orton! Ref counts, but only for two as Orton kicks out, hitting an RKO on Kane, and then Rollins hits Orton with an RKO and escapes the cage to retain the title!
Adrian Neville over Wade Barrett
Dean Ambrose defeated Luke Harper
The New Day win the WWE Tag Team Championships
John Cena retains the U.S. Title
Nikki retains the Divas Title
Dolph Ziggler pins Sheamus
Ryback beats up Bo Dallas.
Roman Reigns defeated Big Show
Overall, not a good showing tonight. Most matches came off as slow and sloppy. The Ambrose/Harper, tag team title, and main event matches were the highlights. The Cena/Rusev match killed the event, following it up with Show vs. Reigns just put us all to sleep.
The end was interesting, leading into what will have to be a rushed hype for WWE Payback.