One week after the mauling perpetrated by Brock Lesnar on 3MB, Paul Heyman came calling in London on the beast’s behalf, reiterating his challenge for a rubber match between Triple H and Lesnar in a steel cage at Extreme Rules. But it fell to Heyman to be the bearer of bad news as he read an email from The King of Kings deferring his response until next week thanks to a litany of injuries that apparently prevented the 13-time World Champion’s travel across the Atlantic.
But they don’t call Triple H “The Cerebral Assassin” for nothing, and the email was revealed as subterfuge when The Game himself stormed into the arena. With the mad scientist at his mercy yet again, The Game sealed his acceptance of Heyman’s challenge with a Pedigree that brought the sold-out O2 Arena to its feet. It’s official, now: War is declared, and in five weeks’ time, the battle come down.
Antonio Cesaro wasn’t coming off his best week when he yodeled his way into London, and things didn’t improve for the recently grounded Swiss Superman when he fell victim to the surging R-Truth in the O2 Arena. With a strong win-loss record against Truth under his belt, Cesaro seemed perfectly happy to toy with the “Suntan Superman” before the rowdy European crowd, but it seemed Truth had learned a trick or two during his long-running rivalry for Cesaro’s now-lost United States Championship. As Cesaro was busy mugging for his fellow Europeans, Truth unleashed the Lie Detector on the deposed champion for the upset win.
History is undecided on what exactly wiped out the dinosaurs, but The Funkasaurus met a similar fate as his forbearers when Damien Sandow hit Brodus Clay like a meteor from the sky, knocking the big man for a surprise in the O2 Arena.
Having dispatched Sandow and his mustachioed mate Cody Rhodes alongside Tensai two weeks ago in tag team action, Clay leaned heavily on power maneuvers to muscle Sandow around earlier in the contest. But Sandow proved himself a man of action as well as letters, mounting a steady defense against the big man and finally capitalizing on a distraction from Rhodes to pin The Funky One with a roll-up.
Say this for Dolph Ziggler: He does not back down with the deck stacked against him. Not only was he slated to face Chris Jericho (his Kryptonite), but a loss would also add Y2J to the Triple Threat World Title Match at Extreme Rules. Not ideal circumstances for the freshly crowned champion, but The Showoff proved his mettle by coming through in the clutch, dispatching The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla to keep the status quo alive … although he did need a little bit of assistance to do it.
The longtime rivals had been locked in a dead heat for the majority of the match until a bit of preening cost Ziggler the momentum dearly. Jericho quickly capitalized with the Walls of Jericho, but the overtures of Fandango’s theme music caused Y2J to break the hold in anticipation of his rival’s entrance. Fandango failed to materialize, however, and The Showoff struck the preoccupied Jericho with a kick to the knee and a Zig Zag to score the win.
And now it’s all evened up against Tons of Funk and Team Rhodes Scholars. Following Damien Sandow’s quick-witted victory over Brodus Clay, Tensai retaliated with a sweet, sweet defeat of Cody Rhodes to bring the score to a level 1-1 between the tag team stalwarts.
A second-generation Superstar, Rhodes took the fight right to “Sweet T,” though, employing a stick-and-move game plan that had the big man sucking wind and reeling from a Disaster Kick before long. The international veteran rallied until Damien Sandow moved to even the odds, but the tactic proved less effective than it had earlier in the night: Big Brodus quickly disposed of Sandow and Tensai finished the job, thwarting a second Disaster Kick and squashing the sinister scholar into the mat with a senton.
Things could have gone better for Zack Ryder in London; the “Internet Champion” debuted a new dressed-down look for the WWE Universe, but it didn’t give him enough of a boost to withstand the fury of Big E Langston in the O2 Arena. Coming out strong in only his second singles contest, Dolph Ziggler’s gargantuan buddy made quick work of the former U.S. Champion and left the London crowd in stunned silence as a result. Big E derailed The Ultimate Broski’s offense and decimated him with the Big Ending in mere minutes to bring Team Ziggler to a 2-0 record on the evening.
Not even the power of The Undertaker in his Raw homecoming was enough to defeat The Shield in the end, as the “Hounds of Justice” kept their undefeated streak alive. Their victims this time were no less a triumvirate of Kane, Daniel Bryan and The Deadman, felled with an unexpected pin over one of the trio’s most talented members and handing The Phenom with his first defeat in nearly three years.
The Shield made their first move earlier in the night, ambushing the WWE Tag Team Champions in the locker room area and initially leaving The Demon of Death Valley to his own devices until Kane and Bryan stormed out to even the odds. Both trios attempted to use the numbers game to their advantage, with The Deadman and Hell No first isolating Roman Reigns, and then The Shield turning the tables by doing the same to Bryan in hopes of pummeling him into defeat.
The six-man melee raged on for nearly a half hour until Bryan tagged in The Phenom, who unleashed hell upon the NXT graduates with unholy abandon and some assistance from Kane to boot. The Devil’s Favorite Demon seemed to seal the bout with a Chokeslam to Dean Ambrose, but the Shield’s resident madman dodged Bryan’s follow-up of a flying headbutt, rolling up the submission expert and seizing victory in the process.
The London contingent of the WWE Universe was set to Fandango the night away when the dancing Superstar made his long-awaited entrance, but their mood was considerably deflated given whom the young prodigy defeated: local product William Regal. The WWE Legend had little patience for Fandango’s flippancy, socking the fleet-footed fighter right in the mouth to bring tensions to a head and leaving Fandango reeling. But Regal soaked in his homeland adulation a moment too long, allowing Fandango to strike and claim a victory over the veteran.
If only his night had ended at that point. The victorious Fandango boogied his way up the ramp and Chris Jericho was lying in wait, tossing his rival off the stage and even reliving his days on “Dancing With the Stars” by tangoing with Fandango’s dance partner. Advantage, Y2J.
She may be small, but AJ Lee’s got as devious a mind as any veteran villain in WWE, withstanding a troupe of her fellow Divas to earn victory in a hotly contested Battle Royal and becoming No. 1 contender to Kaitlyn’s Divas Title in the process. Pretty impressive considering Tamina Snuka knocked AJ out cold with a superkick at the bout’s beginning, leaving her lifeless in the ring until Layla had outlasted Aksana, Tamina and Naomi to bring the battle down to a two-woman show.
Always one to take the biggest risks, WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley rolled the dice yet again on Monday when — chair in hand as insurance — he attempted to reason with a Superstar who has proved increasingly unreasonable of late: Ryback. Foley has had words of wisdom for the young Superstar before, but the big man responded with bile, jettisoning Foley’s weapon and daring the Hall of Famer to make a move. Foley seemed ready to oblige until John Cena came to the aid of The Hardcore Legend.
Even the WWE Champion couldn’t dissuade Ryback from a potential fight, but the arrival of The Shield temporarily turned the two foes into allies. With the help of Foley’s discarded chair, Cena and Ryback forced the “Hounds of Justice” into retreat. But The Champ wasn’t about to let Ryback walk without some measure of comeuppance, launching him skyward for an Attitude Adjustment that left Ryback fuming on the mat, with the clock between their epic collision ticking slowly to zero.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- R-Truth defeated Antonio Cesaro (2:17)
- Damien Sandow (w/ Cody Rhodes) defeated Brodus Clay (w/ Tensai, Naomi & Cameron) (3:24)
- Dolph Ziggler (w/ AJ & Big E. Langston) defeated Chris Jericho (16:54)
- Tensai (w/ Brodus Clay, Naomi & Cameron) defeated Cody Rhodes (w/ Damien Sandow) (4:34)
- Big E Langston defeated Zack Ryder (1:45)
- The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) defeated Kane, Daniel Bryan and The Undertaker (19:07)
- Fandango (w/ Summer Rae) defeated William Regal
- AJ Lee defeated Aksana, Layla, Naomi & Tamina Snuka in a WWE Divas Title #1 Contendership Battle Royal (3:20)
Other on-screen talent
Triple H accepts Brock's challenge
R-Truth v Antonio Cesaro
Damien Sandow v Brodus Clay
Dolph Ziggler v Chris Jericho
Tensai v Cody Rhodes
Big E Langston v Zack Ryder
The Shield v Kane, Daniel Bryan & The Undertaker
Fandango v William Regal
Divas Title #1 Contendership Battle Royal
Ryback confronted Mick Foley
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