It’s the one night of the year that WWE goes extreme, but was it really extreme or just extremely dull?
WrestleMania left fans with so much hope after it was one of the best in over a decade, but it seems WWE were unable to continue that momentum into last weekend’s pay-per-view.
Daniel Bryan was substituted early last night when it was made apparently that the current Intercontinental Champion was not going to be medically cleared in time for a match with Bad News Barrett. Instead upstart Neville took his place and what followed was a match of the night performance from the Englishmen with Neville getting his pay-per-view campaign off to a successful start after a stunning Red Arrow.
This looked like it was a sign of things to come as the main show kicked off with Luke Harper and Dean Ambrose in a Chicago Street Fight. The back and forth match saw the participants head backstage and drive into the streets of Chicago, without a known winner and no count out, the match was deemed to be continuing.
While Harper and Ambrose continued to collide out on the streets the action inside the Allstate Arena began to heat up as Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus part took in a ‘Kiss Me Arse’ match, a match that had no reason to be on the PPV but shockingly it was given the green card. In a quick affair, Dolph got a roll up win so Sheamus to kiss his arse, but the Celtic Warrior refused, low blowed Dolph and following a Brogue Kick, he lifted the showoffs head to his posterior and forced him to kiss his arse.
The shock of the night was undeniably the result of the tag-team match. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro defended their championships against The New Day, the upbeat stable seemed to play in the numbers advantage and a distraction from Xavier Woods lead to a chain of events that saw Kofi Kingston roll up Cesaro with a handful of tights to win their first piece of gold as a tag team.
As The New Day talked about their win backstage a car pulled up and Luke Harper was thrown out, closely followed by Dean Ambrose, who dived from the roof of the vehicle to take out the entire team. The action continued out in the arena as they took the fight back to the ring and after a back and forth involving a number of steel chairs, Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds to register his first singles win on pay-per-view since Night of Champions 2013.
John Cena and Rusev went one-on-one for the third consecutive pay-per-view but this time it was in a Russian Chain Match. The match wasn’t as bad as was forecast, but it was still lacking. Cena has picked up his game somewhat since he became US Champion and the fight in the 15 time World Champion was apparent, but it seemed like a match Rusev wasn’t comfortable in and it seemed to lose something towards the end. Rusev and Cena both touched three corners in succession before Cena hit the AA and a forth to retain his title.
I would hazard a guess and say that what followed was the best Divas Match of 2015 so far. Naomi seems to be embracing this heel gimmick and Nikki Bella was actually getting a face reaction from the WWE Universe. Both divas looked athletic and the match flowed really well. Nikki predictably retained her championship, but hopefully this isn’t the last time we see these two square off.
The one downfall of the night was Roman Reigns in a Last Man Standing match against The Big Show, in what is hopefully the last match these two will have against each other. It was entertaining, but it was also the worst match of the night by far. There were tables and weapons and spears through barricades and even a spear through the announce table which is a unique form of offence if nothing else, but this match killed the crowd, right before the main event which wouldn’t have been what WWE planned. Either way, Roman again predictably got the win after he pinned Big Show under the announce table, so where does this leave the world’s largest athlete?
Weirdly, Bo Dallas then came out to mock the crowd and be beaten down by Ryback. No idea why this happened, hopefully it leads to something with Bo’s real life brother Bray, since that seems to be the way WWE are heading.
Finally we get to the main event.
New WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins defended against his former Authority ally Randy Orton in a steel cage where the RKO was banned. It had all the makings of a epic encounter, J&J came out to interfere, Kane looked to have turned on Seth before he chokeslammed both Orton and Rollins, then Orton hit an RKO on Kane, (Is this allowed?) before Rollins returned the favor with an RKO to Orton to crawl out of the cage and retain his title.
So much could have been done with this ending and the event as a whole, but as a free pay-per-view it managed to do what it was required to and that’s build up more matches ahead of Payback in just THREE weeks time.