No more room for excuses. Stephanie McMahon’s coffee (along with Stephanie herself) was compromised last week, and rather than blame Roman Reigns, who was thought to have done the tampering, one of WWE’s principal owners instead set her sights on the woman she left in charge after The Authority was forced to abandon Raw mid-show: Vickie Guerrero. The SmackDown General Manager wasn’t outright fired for disobeying orders and allowing Roman Reigns into last week's fateful Battle Royal, though. Instead, Stephanie gave her the choice of resigning or remaining as SmackDown GM, provided she could defeat Stephanie herself in a match on Raw. To the surprise of everyone, Vickie – tired of being run down by the McMahon heiress and ready to lie, cheat and steal to save her job – chose the latter. Viva la raza!
It ain’t looking good for The Usos going into Money in the Bank: Not only have the Tag Team Champions been shellacked at every turn by their No. 1 contenders, The Wyatts, but Jimmy Uso fell to the depraved Luke Harper in singles action just six days before the brothers put their gold up for grabs. Harper strolled to the ring to the tune of a hurdy-gurdy reel of “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands” and immediately dismantled his opponent, taking advantage of a distraction when Jey Uso pounced on Erick Rowan outside the ring to deck Jimmy with a discus clothesline for the win.
Unfortunately for the Wyatts, Jey wasn’t done with the Family by a long shot, challenging Rowan to an impromptu match that was immediately accepted and followed up with a soaring splash over the ropes.
Erick Rowan wanted to get nuts, and Jey Uso got nuts: Moments after Luke Harper flattened Jimmy Uso, a rowdy Jey made good on his impulsive challenge to the sheep-faced behemoth by notching an impressive win over Bray Wyatt’s resident brute. Rowan held the early advantage, tossing the nimbler Uso across the ring like a bag of flour and bouncing him off the ropes. But Jey got a few kicks in (literally) with a leaping boot to Rowan’s head and, while Jimmy neutralized Harper, followed up with a top-rope splash for the win … though a post-match pounding to the champions by both Wyatts, and yet another apocalyptic sermon from Bray Wyatt himself, proved the victory to be hollow at best.
Might there be a difference of opinion between the residents of Planet Funk? Even though Naomi managed to defeat Divas Champion Paige and Cameron did not (twice), Cameron seemed to think she should be next in line for an opportunity at The Diva of Tomorrow’s championship. Paige, however, seemed to think otherwise, especially given Naomi’s impressive victory over the ever-erratic Alicia Fox on Raw. Miss Fox had the “Total Divas” star in check for the majority of the bout, but took a bit too long to preen to the crowd and the funk hit back with a vengeance – specifically a reverse DDT that left Foxy starry-eyed and splayed on the mat. Paige seemed to acknowledge Naomi’s talent after the match, though Cameron remained unimpressed by the mutual admiration society.
The streak lives: Bo Dallas is now 9-and-Bo after recording his latest uninterrupted victory, this time over the most imposing Superstar he’s faced yet: Titus O’Neil. The Big Deal, coming off a disappointing twofer against Adam Rose on SmackDown, didn’t have much patience for the inspirational former NXT Champion’s enthusiasm, which led Bo straight into a pair of wicked backbreakers from the big man. Unfortunately, Titus’ own eagerness got the better of him, as Bo immediately reversed his offense into the running Bo-dog for his ninth consecutive win. Titus wasn’t feeling Dallas’ post-match celebration all that much (he slapped the mic out of Bo’s hands), but all things considered, it’s hard to begrudge Bo that grin of his. Life’s been good to him.
Lest anyone think Rob Van Dam just sits at home washing his tights these days, the former WWE Champion not only found himself named – alongside Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Bad News Barrett – to the traditional Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match by WWE COO Triple H, but he also took The Game’s personal pick in the match, Seth Rollins, to the limit in singles action on Raw. RVD challenged Rollins personally after some choice words from The Aerialist on The Whole Dam Show’s supposedly dimming glory, and showed he had plenty left in the tank.
In fact, for all intents and purposes, RVD (who’ll also face NXT Champion Adrian Neville this Thursday on WWE NXT) ran circles around Rollins, whose youth and energy enabled him to keep pace despite eating a Rolling Thunder and springboard tornado DDT. It was a dodge of the Five-Star Frog Splash that left Van Dam spent and vulnerable to the Curb Stomp, but a timely pounce by Dean Ambrose gave The Aerialist the DQ win but cost him physically, to the tune of a mugging after the bell had sounded. To top it off, Ambrose all but declared himself for the Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match as well, vowing to “screw up the entire pay-per-view” if his demands were not met. Long story short, and thanks to some strategy from Rollins
Last Friday, Dolph Ziggler got some good news when he pinned the Intercontinental Champion. Monday, he got some bad news when that same Superstar, Bad News Barrett, put his title up for grabs to see if The Showoff could repeat his feat in a rematch, and came out smiling when all was said and done. Dolph wasn’t lacking in enthusiasm or heart, but despite planting Barrett with an early Zig Zag, the wear and tear of the Englishman’s own offense left Dolph unable to capitalize and the former World Heavyweight Champion wasn’t able to find his way back home.
The closest Dolph got – a top-rope facebuster that nearly rendered Barrett’s face two-dimensional – led to a near-repeat of the sunset flip that pinned Barrett on Smackdown, only the Brit reversed Dolph into a Wasteland to stay alive. The two traded near-falls for a few more moments, and it was Barrett who got the last word in when he decked Dolph with the Bull Hammer as The Showoff sprang through the air for a corner splash. One, two, three, still the bloody champ, though don’t say he didn’t work for it.
Vickie Guerrero is gone, but let it never be said that the SmackDown GM didn’t get the last laugh in when all was said and done. Evidently attempting to maximize Vickie’s humiliation on the way out, Stephanie added the stipulation that the loser of their match would be determined by who got tossed into a puddle full of suspect muck by the entrance ramp.
Despite having Alicia Fox, Layla and Rosa Mendes sicced on her as henchwomen, Vickie still nearly saved her skin by tossing the three interlopers into the sludge. Sadly (and ironically), she chose an honest route and took her eye off the proverbial ball, while Stephanie chenneled some "lie, cheat, steal" of her own, shoving Vickie into retirement from behind. Stephanie paused to engage in some some post-match mockery, but a woman with nothing to lose is a dangerous thing, and Vickie left with her head held high after shoving Stephanie herself into the pool. Farewell, Cougar in Charge.
Being in our nation’s capital proved to be just what the doctor ordered for the self-professed Real American Jack Swagger, whose quest for a Money in the Bank Contract got off to a solid start thanks to a win over one of his fellow contestants in the destiny-altering Ladder Match, Kofi Kingston. The Dreadlocked Dynamo has had a rough go of it lately courtesy of Rusev, but you wouldn’t have guessed it from the way he attacked Swagger with reckless abandon. The former World Heavyweight Champion proved that patience was as valuable an asset as patriotism, though, toughing it through Kofi’s offense to trap him in the Patriot Lock for a submission victory.
So now we know what has spurred Damien Sandow’s recent revolving door of personas: Mocking the WWE Universe’s supposed belief that he’s not entertaining enough has led The Enlightened One to troll them despite himself. While his chosen identity for the night – Abraham Lincoln – certainly captured the attention of the Universe, it didn’t save him from a thrashing at the hands of Big E. Though, the former Intercontinental Champion seemed to have more animosity for Rusev and his earlier tour of degradation through Washington, D.C. The Super Athlete was more than happy to respond with a sneak attack on E, cranking in a backbreaking Accolade for good measure.
Four on three? No problem. For the second time in two weeks, John Cena, Sheamus & Roman Reigns overcame the odds to defeat their Money in the Bank foes, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro & Alberto Del Rio in a rematch ofSmackDown’s furious main event. Looking to avoid a repeat loss, Orton, Del Rio, Cesaro and Wyatt each teed off on Cena and Reigns in the early goings, forcing the 14-time World Champion and former WWE Tag Team Champion to summon Sheamus in order to stave off defeat.
True to form, the U.S. Champion had better luck, rampaging his way through Cesaro with Ten (well, thirteen) Beats of the Bodhrán before Orton interfered and set off a brawl that ended with a Brogue Kick to Cesaro’s chin and a subsequent 1-2-3. The post-match emergence of Kane threw everyone into a frenzy, though, as The Devil’s Favorite Demon laid waste to everyone moments before Triple H reappeared and declared Kane the eighth participant in the Championship Ladder Match. Now these seven Superstars will dance with the demon in the pale moonlight … though if Roman Reigns’ Spear to Kane is any indication, at least one of them is ready for the challenge.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Luke Harper (w/ Erick Rowan) defeated Jimmy Uso (w/ Jey Uso) (1:36)
- Jey Uso (w/ Jimmy Uso) defeated Erick Rowan (w/ Luke Harper) (1:54)
- Naomi (w/ Cameron) defeated Alicia Fox (5:00)
- Bo Dallas defeated Titus O'Neil (1:07)
- Seth Rollins defeated Rob Van Dam by DQ (9:56)
- Bad News Barrett (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (11:29)
- Stephanie McMahon defeated Vickie Guerrero in a Mud Pool Match
- Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) defeated Kofi Kingston (3:57)
- Big E defeated Damien Sandow (0:54)
- John Cena, Roman Reigns & Sheamus defeated Alberto Del Rio, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro & Randy Orton in a Four On Three Handicap Match (15:28)
Other on-screen talent