This was the show to resolve feuds (or so we hope). Six of the seven matches on this card were matchups we've seen in recent months. In fact, three were seen at Night of Champions a month ago, while the main event was a rematch of SummerSlam and the rubber match in the Brock Lesnar/Undertaker rivalry. Rematch city, b****.
After coming off title defenses over the likes of John Cena and Sting, Seth Rollins had to defend his title against... Kane. Not just any Kane, but Demon Kane!
We also possibly saw John Cena's last match until December, as it's been announced that Cena is taking a couple of months off due to "personal reasons". Would Cena put over the next challenger in the U.S. Title Open Challenge?
As for the rest of the show, there were three rematches from Night of Champions, with Kevin Owens now defending his Intercontinental Championship against Ryback, after beating the big guy last month. The Dudley Boyz got another crack at the Tag Team titles, after a DQ win over The New Day at NOC. Finally, Charlotte faced Nikki Bella after ending her historic reign with the Divas Championship in September.
The show's kickoff featured a decent six-man tag match with Cesaro, Neville and Dolph Ziggler defeating the team of Rusev, King Barrett and Sheamus. Usually a six-man tag means the WWE doesn't have much stock placed in the competitors.
Let's hope that this was a card designed for blowing off all the major feuds and give us some exciting matchups going into Survivor Series next month. Obviously, the highly anticipated one was the final chapter of Lesnar/Taker, as we're both eager to see what both men will move on to come WrestleMania season.
Here's the card for the event (in no particular order):
Ryback (c) vs. Kevin Owens - Intercontinental Championship
The New Day (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz - Tag Team Championship
Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt - Hell in a Cell Match
Charlotte (c) vs. Nikki Bella - Divas Championship
John Cena - U.S. Open Challenge
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Kane- WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar - Hell in a Cell Match
Here's our review of what took place. After this point, there will be SPOILERS, So, be warned!
What?! John Cena kicked off a PPV?
With Cena awaiting his mystery challenger, out comes... Zeb Colter? Yes, Colter says it's time for the title to come off a polarizing figure like Cena and go to someone who will unite the people. Colter brings out... Alberto!!! Del Rio!!!!
Rumors had been running of Del Rio returning to the company and out he came. Del Rio controlled the early part of the match, the WWE trying to build him back up. Del Rio goes for the Cross Armbreaker, but Cena clotheslines him to begin a comeback. Cena goes for the AA, but Del Rio reverses it into a back cracker, followed by a side kick to the face for the three count. With that, Del Rio is our new United States Champion, as Cena rides into the sunset for a couple of months. Really convincing (clean!) win for Del Rio.
Match Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Match Rating: 7/10
A feud dating back to Money in the Bank (presumably) came to end in the demonic structure. It's gone about as far as it can go.
The match was their best of the feud. Wyatt takes control early on, using a kendo stick. Reigns gains the advantage using a chair.
Reigns pulls out a table and sets it up (hey Reigns, that was for the Dudleys!). It backfires, as Wyatt drives him through it. After a near fall, Wyatt brings another table into the ring and goes for a superplex through it. Reigns fights it off, and slams Wyatt through the table for.
A sequence between the two leads to Reigns spearing Wyatt from the apron into another table on the outside. They end up back in the ring and Wyatt hits Sister Abigail for a two count. Wyatt wedges two kendo sticks into the turnbuckles but Reigns drives Wyatt into one and hits the spear for the win. Hell in a Cell is always a good way to end a feud.
Match Winner: Roman Reigns
Match Rating: 7.5/10
The Dudleys get a second crack at New Day's titles after a DQ win at Night of Champions.
It was a bit of a downer not hearing Xavier Woods from the outside, but Kofi and Big E did their part to entertain. D'Von eventually scores the hot tag to Bubba who cleans house and the Dudleys hit Wasssaaapp on Big E.
Kofi surprises the two with a double missile dropick. With the ref distracted, Kofi gets Xavier's broken trombone and tries to pull an Eddie Guerrero by tossing it to Bubba. The ref doesn't fall for it and the Dudleys go for a 3-D. With the ref diverted again, Big E gets the trombone and hits Bubba with it, stunning him and Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise for the win.
Match Winner: The New Day
Match Rating: 7/10
The Divas Revolution continues with Charlotte now defending her Divas Championship. Nikki Bella dominated the early portion of the match. This match had Nikki looking like the veteran with Charlotte as the hot rookie trying to prove her title win wasn't a fluke.
Nikki works on Charlotte's back and leg. Charlotte reverses the move in midair, in what looked like an inverted huricanrana. After a spear, Charlotte locks in the Figure Four, but Nikki reverses the pressure and breaks the hold. Nikki goes for the Rack Attack, but Charlotte reverses into a Figure Eight and Nikki taps out.
Team PCB comes out to celebrate. This match would have been better with a little more time.
Match Winner: Charlotte
Match Rating: 6/10
Corporate Kane has morphed into Demon Kane! Watch out Rollins. For the umpteenth time, Kane is thrust back into the WWE Title picture, while Seth Rollins comes off a title defense against Sting. The element of drama was missing from this match as the crowd wasn't particularly invested in seeing Kane be the one to dethrone Rollins.
The match had a bit of a slower pace than the champ's usual matches, as Kane can't quite work the pace he used to. The crowd wasn't really into this one, seemingly waiting for on their hands for the main event.
A sequence yields a Chokeslam for Kane who gets a near fall. Rollins rolls to the outside. They work their way back in and Rollins hits two flying knees off the top, followed by two kicks to the head. Rollins then hits a frog slash for two. Rollins saunters to Kane, who grabs Rollins by the throat, but Rollins fights it off and hits the Pedigree for the win.
Corporate Kane must now resign as Head of Operations.
Match Winner: Seth Rollins
Match Rating: 5/10
Kevin Owens and Ryback get the unfortunate spot of the bridge match between the title match and main event. A bit weird for the IC title match to go on after the world title match.
Ryback overpowers Owens to start the match. The two exchange their displays of strength throughout the match. Ryback gets Owens tangled in the ropes and starts beating on him, with the ref trying to break it up. Owens rakes Ryback in the eye and quickly rolls back in the ring to hit the Pop-Up Powerbomb for the win.
Clearly a rushed match, being sandwiched in between the two main matches.
Match Winner: Kevin Owens
Match Rating: 4/10
What we were waiting for all show, we get the final chapter of the Brock Lesnar/Undertaker rivalry. This is also their second HIAC match, as they had an epic encounter back at No Mercy 2002 when Lesnar was still a rookie.
A great staredown to start, as Brock laughs at Taker does his throat slash. The two exchange high impact blows, in and out of the ring, with both men eventually getting busted open. We have blood in a HIAC match!
Lesnar hits his first three German suplexes, as well as the first F5, but Taker kicks out. Lesnar shoves off a medic coming to check on him and hits a second F5 for another near fall. Lesnar brings the steel steps into the ring, and hits Taker with them, but The Phenom kicks out again. Lesnar looks on in disbelief. Taker kicks the steps back in Lesnar's face and both men are down.
Taker locks in Hell's Gate, but Lesnar pummels his way out. Lesnar starts tearing the canvas, exposing the boards underneath. Taker chokeslams Lesnar onto the exposed wood. Those rings really don't have much give. Taker follows it up with a Tombstone onto the exposed wood, but Lesnar kicks out. Taker sells it well, looking completely stunned.
Taker slashes his throat, going for another Tombstone, but Lesnar delivers a low blow, and follows it up with the F5 onto the exposed wood for 1...2...3.
Overall a good story told, but it doesn't quite measure up to their clash 13 years ago or even their SummerSlam encounter.
Match Winner: Brock Lesnar
Match Rating: 8.5/10
*** After Brock leaves, Taker slowly sits up and battles to his feet as the crowd salutes and thanks him. As Taker goes to his knee to finish the show, the Wyatt family comes out, with Bray turning his attention to the man who defeated him at WrestleMania.
The family surrounds Taker and starts attacking him. After beating him down, the family hoists Taker and carries him to the back as the show goes off the air.
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