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Do you have $9.99? If so, The Authority would very much like you to sign up for WWE Network so you can bear witness to the fruits of their labor by watching SummerSlam in two weeks’ time. Specifically, Triple H would like you to see Brock Lesnar – The Game’s handpicked No.1 contender – take on John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Title, and Stephanie McMahon would like you to see her (presumably) humble Brie Bella in her first WWE match in ages.
Randy Orton, thrilled at having proven Roman Reigns mortal the previous week, would just like to see you watch him finish the job in his long-gestating collision with the former WWE Tag Team Champion. Reigns himself, on the other hand, would rather not wait until SummerSlam. The Big Dog interrupted The Authority’s pitch at the opening of Raw to challenge The Apex Predator, but Kane – who never got his one-on-one match with Reigns last week thanks to Orton – pre-empted The Viper’s strike and was named as Reigns’ opponent for the night instead.
No false starts this time: Roman Reigns knocked off The Authority’s resident demon, Kane, in a Last Man Standing rematch of a bout that never got out of the blocks the previous week. With no Randy Orton there to intercept Reigns, The Big Dog came out swinging and was met in kind by the step-wielding, stick-swinging Devil’s Favorite Demon, himself a veteran of numerous Last Man Standing contests.
After a long, bloody battle, Kane nearly sent Reigns to hell itself when he reversed the Superman Punch into a Chokeslam through a table. Yet despite Triple H’s demands that Kane bring his inner demon to the fight, all the hellfire the former World Heavyweight Champion could muster wasn’t enough. Reigns, however, was more than up to the task, dropping Kane with a particularly gruesome Spear to earn the requisite 10-count that handed him the victory.
Damien Sandow showed up in Texas dressed as an Oklahoma Sooner and was forced to face Texas native Mark Henry moments later. Further elaboration on what happened to him as a result isn’t entirely necessary, but for the morbidly curious, The World’s Strongest Man did not take kindly in the slightest to The Enlightened One’s latest impersonation. The ensuing World’s Strongest Slam was certainly a boomer, though certainly not the kind Sandow had in mind. Texas forever.
For once, Dean Ambrose is right on message with what The Authority wants: Looking to add an X-factor to Ambrose’s SummerSlam match with Seth Rollins, the corporate power settled on a Beat the Clock Challenge, where, to the winner goes the choice of stipulation, and Ambrose did not disappoint in his bout against Alberto Del Rio to start the proceedings.
Not only did The Lunatic Fringe defeat Mexico’s Greatest Export in the time-controlled contest, he did so in a timely – though not unbeatable – fashion. He just had to survive a brutal assault on his still-injured shoulder to do so. Del Rio beat on Ambrose’s arm like it owed him money, rendering Ambrose’s shoulder too compromised for him to hit Dirty Deeds on his left side. So The Lunatic Fringe simply flipped the script, reversing the Cross Armbreaker at a particularly dire moment to hit his signature strike with the other arm to pin Del Rio for a time of 15:42.
As Rusev gears up for his Flag Match with Jack Swagger at SummerSlam, The Super Athlete first made an example out of America’s neighbor to the south by dispatching one of its most glorious stars, Sin Cara. The International Icon had previously given The Bulgarian Brute a stronger test than expected, yet the luchador found himself decisively outmatched by the Russian monster in their latest encounter, submitting to the Accolade on the WWE App.
With Sin Cara dispatched, Lana turned her attention to President Obama, serenading POTUS with a Russian rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger arrived to cut her off and delivered a “prognostication” of victory for the summer classic, though Rusev got the last word by battering Swagger with the Russian flag itself.
Assuming it’s not showing off if you back it up, Dolph Ziggler certainly showed off and then some on Raw, defeating the mighty Cesaro en route to his Intercontinental Championship challenge against The Miz at SummerSlam. The Awesome One, who observed at commentary, was probably quite pleased initially to see The Showoff fling himself recklessly into Cesaro’s awesome mix of high-power maneuvers. And his good mood was invariably dampened when Cesaro – looking to show off himself – hoisted Ziggler up for a one-armed stalling suplex and ate a Zig Zag moments later when The Showoff escaped the maneuver. Ziggler even got the last word against Miz, targeting “The Moneymaker” with a superkick that sent Miz running scared. In two weeks, he might just hit his mark.
The Cosmic Key may yet be out of reach, but Goldust & Stardust did at least find the key out of their personal observatory/secret lair, returning to action for the first time in a month to battle the team against whom they made their “debut”: RybAxel. Alas, the bullies learned little since their last encounter with these self-appointed guardians of the galaxy. Though they sufficiently stymied Goldust for the majority of the match, Curtis Axel allowed The Bizarre One to tag in Stardust and execute his “Dark Matter” maneuver on the former Intercontinental Champion for the win.
Chris Jericho went a long way toward evening the odds against Bray Wyatt when he defeated Erick Rowan, thereby barring the big man from the Jericho-Wyatt clash at SummerSlam. And even though Y2J ostensibly furthered his cause by beating Luke Harper and barringhimfrom the summer classic, he may have inadvertently played right into Bray’s hands by doing so.
Jericho, who stands accused of misleading the WWE Universe by Wyatt, fought from underneath against the towering Harper for the majority of the bout. Y2J turned to some of his craftier maneuvers to finally lock Harper in the Walls of Jericho, at which point Bray himself materialized and thumbed the former Undisputed Champion in the throat. The intrusion not only handed Jericho the victory, it set the stage for SummerSlam: The Eater of Worlds now stands alone. And it seems like he might just want it that way.
Fandango just can’t catch a break. Having been humiliated by both of his former paramours, Summer Rae & Layla, the dancer decided to enlist a wholly unexpected lieutenant, Hornswoggle, in his rubber match against Diego of Los Matadores. With the “Slayers” sticking by the bullfighter’s side, Fandango undoubtedly hoped ‘Swoggle would even the odds by distracting El Torito and, perhaps, Diego’s two señoritas as well. Unfortunately, that did not happen. A collision with Hornswoggle opened Fandango up to a match-ending Backstabber, and he even suffered further post-match humiliation when Hornswoggle and El Torito buried their hatchet and helped Diego beat the dancer down.
He’s back! Bo Dallas’ undefeated streak crumbled in spectacular, repetitive fashion when the inspirational one suffered a loss to R-Truth on both Raw and SmackDown, but the former NXT Champion resuscitated his winning ways by defeating the former U.S. Champion, whose own misfortunes didn’t end with this latest loss. Moments after an incredibly aggressive Bo dispatched Truth (equally aggressive, for what it’s worth) with a dirty roll-up, Truth snapped and attempted to beat Dallas to a pulp outside of the ring. He did not succeed in the endeavor; in fact, he suffered a running Bo-dog to the concrete for his efforts. The irony: Truth got got.
Cue the pyro and guitar solos: Heath Slater has beaten Mr. Money in the Bank! The One Man Band – currently in the midst of a second-act resurgence as one half of “Slater Gator” – notched what may be the biggest victory of his career when he defeated Seth Rollins in a Beat the Clock Challenge, thereby giving Dean Ambrose control over the battle between the former Shield-mates at the summer classic.
To be fair, Slater (who The Authority named to replace Rob Van Dam as Rollins’ opponent) owes Ambrose some backstage passes to his next show: It was a distraction by The Lunatic Fringe that opened the door for the former WWE Tag Team Champion to pin Rollins before the 15:42 benchmark expired. Ambrose lurked at ringside for the entire match and went so far as to pick the lock of Rollins’ coveted briefcase and systematically destroy and defile The Aerialist’s championship contract, allowing Slater to pin the enraged high-flier with plenty of time to spare. Advantage: Ambrose.
It is a time-honored tradition that WWE contract signings do not typically end in civil fashion, but give The Authority credit for trying to keep the Stephanie McMahon-Brie Bella sit-down businesslike for as long as possible. That being said, cooler heads did not exactly prevail and after some preliminary fighting words, pen was put to paper and the brawling began in earnest. It wasn’t Brie who caught the beating, though, but Nikki Bella, who Stephanie clobbered in the head with a microphone and planted with a Pedigree while Triple H blocked Brie into the corner with the signing table. Moments later, Brie broke free and suffered the same fate as her sister.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Roman Reigns defeated Kane in a Last Man Standing match (15:17)
- Mark Henry defeated Damien Sandow (0:48)
- Dean Ambrose defeated Alberto Del Rio in a Beat the Clock challenge match (15:42)
- Rusev (w/ Lana) defeated Sin Cara (1:10)
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Cesaro (2:09)
- Stardust and Goldust defeated RybAxel (Curtis Axel & Ryback) (2:48)
- Chris Jericho defeated Luke Harper (w/ Erick Rowan) by DQ (5:15)
- Diego (w/ El Torito, Summer Rae, & Layla) defeated Fandango (w/ Hornswoggle) (0:42)
- Bo Dallas defeated R-Truth (1:00)
- Heath Slater defeated Seth Rollins in a Beat the Clock challenge match (4:49.60)
Other on-screen talent