Ryback defeated Zack Ryder with the Shellshock
Prime Time Players defeated Tons of Funk after Darren Young blindsided Brodus Clay with his hair-pick
Kofi Kingston defeated Damien Sandow with the Trouble in Paradise
Randy Orton defeated Antonio Cesaro with the RKO
The Miz defeated Heath Slater with the Figure Four
John Cena, Kane and Daniel Bryan defeated The Shield in a Six-Man Tag Team Elimination Match with John Cena being the sole survivor
Jack Swagger defeated Big E Langston via count-out
AJ defeated Natalya with an octopus hold
The show kicked off with a dance-off between Chris Jericho and Fandango. Yes, really. Thankfully, the dancing was cut short after Fandango’s dancing partner Summer Rae feigned an ankle injury. This allowed Fandango the opportunity to sneak attack Jericho, eventually laying him out with a piece of the wooden floor that had been set up in the ring for the dance-off. The segment still took up nearly 30 minutes though. Not a good start to the show.
Ryback vs. Zack Ryder
Complete squash with Ryback, picking up the win less than a minute in with the Shellshock. ¼*
A video package for the HHH-Brock Lesnar feud aired.
Tons of Funk vs. Prime Time Players
Short match that saw the PTP sneak out an upset when Darren Young used the hair-pick as a weapon with the ref’s back turned and Titus O Neil picked up the pin-fall. ½*
Teddy Long was out next to address Dolph Ziggler’s (legitimate) concussion and what it means for this Sunday. With Dolph unable to compete, it will now be Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger in an I Quit Match at Extreme Rules. The winner will be the new number one contender to Dolph’s World Heavyweight Championship. The announcement went over about as well as you’d expect. Teddy also announced that later in the evening, Big E Langston would take on either Alberto Del Rio or Jack Swagger, with the WWE Universe able to choose who they wanted to see in the match via the WWE App (that thing was shilled about 50 times throughout the night). The crowd was less than enthused.
Team Hell No vs. Rollins and Reigns of The Shield for the Tag Team titles and Kofi Kingston vs. Dean Ambrose for the United States title were announced for Extreme Rules.
Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow
Another short match in a series of them tonight. Sandow got in some offense before Kofi countered a suplex and hit Trouble in Paradise for the win. *
Mark Henry came out to the ring to hype his Strap Match against Sheamus this Sunday at Extreme Rules. Henry used Josh Matthews to demonstrate the rules of the match, wearing him down with the strap and then dragging him around the ring touching all four corners. Josh scarpered and Henry called out Sheamus. Sheamus entered the ring, but not before retrieving his own strap from underneath it. The two of them proceeded to whip the shit out of each other with the straps, with Sheamus eventually getting the better of things and Henry retreated.
Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro
Yet another short match. Cesaro’s uppercut got two early on. Orton came back with a throw, clothesline and the snap slam. Orton’s draping DDT was countered into a roll-up by Cesaro for two but the RKO gave Orton the win. *
Heath Slater vs. The Miz
Slater controlled the early going with outside interference from Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre. Miz fought back, throwing Slater onto both Mahal and McIntyre. Back in the ring, a dropkick to the knees and the Figure Four was enough to finish Slater off. *½
Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz was announced for the Extreme Rules pre-show.
Six-Man Tag Team Elimination Match: John Cena, Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield
Really good, long match. Kane was the first to be eliminated (via disqualification) after letting his frustrations get the better of him and ignoring the referee’s pleas not to attack The Shield with part of the announce table. Daniel Bryan was eliminated next, running into Ambrose’s faceplant after putting Reigns down with a suicide plancha and hurting Rollins with a top-rope dropkick. This left Cena three against one and… he still won. Rollins was pinned after an AA and Reigns was disqualified when he shoved the ref down so he could hit Cena with a Spear. The ending saw Cena lock Ambrose in the STF and the rest of The Shield pounced on Cena before Ambrose could tap, drawing the DQ.
Despite Cena technically beating The Shield single-handedly, handing them their first loss as a unit (on free TV!), it really wasn’t that band. The internet will no doubt groan at the result but The Shield’s DQ loss was quickly brushed under the carpet by the announce team and the emphasis was placed on the post-match triple powerbomb delivered to Cena by The Shield. ***½
After The Shield had left the ring, Ryback came down and nailed Cena’s “injured” ankle with a steel chair.
Big E Langston vs. Jack Swagger
Yes, Swagger won the fan vote. That can’t have been what they were expecting or hoping for. Back and forth match that eventually saw Swagger sidestep a Langston charge on the outside with Langston flying over the barricade into the crowd as a result. Swagger beat the count back in to the ring; Langston did not. Swagger picked up the win by count-out. **
After the match, Alberto Del Rio came out and brawled with Swagger, locking him in the cross arm breaker. Langston got involved but was quickly kicked to the floor. Del Rio stood tall.
Natalya vs. AJ
Quick match with Natalya dominating before AJ locked in an octopus hold, forcing Natalya to tap out. During the match, the Bellas and Kaitlyn were out for commentary and Kaitlyn received another gift from her secret admirer. ½*
Chris Jericho cut a promo from backstage promising to get revenge on Fandango at Extreme Rules.
A steel cage lowered from the ceiling and surrounded the ring for the final segment. HHH made his way to the ring. He said he felt at home in a wrestling ring, especially one surrounded by a steel cage. He called out Brock Lesnar for a fight. Lesnar and Paul Heyman came out and Heyman delivered a typically great promo, hyping the steel cage match between HHH and Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules, but informed HHH that his client would not be fighting anyone before Sunday. HHH responded by questioning whether Brock was a beast or a bitch and that was enough to goad Lesnar into the cage. Lesnar hit HHH with a series of shoulder blocks in the corner but HHH rallied and sent Brock face first into the cage. Brock then retreated.
At this point, any of the mystique that surrounded Brock Lesnar when he returned last April (and that mystique was considerable) has been washed away by questionable booking and HHH’s ego getting the better of him.
Nothing much to recommend this week outside of the Six-Man Tag. The result might come as a frustration to many but it was a well worked, entertaining match. Certainly the most entertaining thing on the show this week. The Jericho-Fandango dance-off fell flat; Teddy Long’s announcement regarding the World Heavyweight Championship and Dolph Ziggler’s concussion was disappointing but unavoidable; and the hard-sell for Lesnar vs. HHH was predictable and (outside of Heyman’s promo) uninteresting.
That’s it for this week!