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Believe this: In life and in the ring, nobody defies Evolution and goes uncontested. Despite a death- (and gravity-) defying effort by The Shield to knock off Triple H, Randy Orton & Batista at Extreme Rules, The King of Kings was quick to act, placing Ambrose into an unwinnable situation by decreeing that the reigning champion would have to defend his U.S. Title in a 20-Man Battle Royal. And guess what? Ambrose didn’t win.
Granted, it took some luck of the Irish to wrestle Old Glory from the “Lunatic Fringe’s” taped-up fingers, since the battle eventually came down to Sheamus, Jack Swagger, Ambrose and both members of RybAxel. Ambrose eliminated the latter three singlehandedly before wandering into a Brogue Kick that left him ripe for the eliminating by the lurking Celtic Warrior. Having successfully taken the Hound’s collar from him, The Game re-emerged from his corporate perch to add one final insult to The Shield’s injury — a fourth clash pitting them against The Wyatt Family in the night’s main event.
Clearly, a “king” does not concern himself with rules. Cesaro – already the “King of Swing” and now the newly proclaimed “King of Extreme” after his Triple Threat victory over Rob Van Dam and Jack Swagger – didn’t have much interest in battling Van Dam for a third consecutive time, responding to Mr. Monday Night's tenacity by descending into lawlessness when all was said and done.
A nasty spill over the ropes gave The Swiss Superman some breathing room after a tight back-and-forth, yet Mr. Monday Night countered with an innovative trifecta of roll-up attempts. Cesaro countered The Whole Dam Show’s educated feet with his own refined fists, though his temper got the better of him in the end. After trapping RVD in the Tree of Woe, Cesaro began battering him from outside the ring, exceeding the referee’s five-count and getting himself disqualified in a display that, truth be told, was a lot more reminiscent of Heyman’s other client (the one who did you-know-what) than the WWE Universe might like to admit.
Cody Rhodes’ rough patch extended another week, though for once, he didn’t seem so mad at his brother but at his opponent’s bro for the development. Facing Ryback on Raw, the former Intercontinental Champion was looking for redemption after accidentally eliminating Goldust from the Battle Royal earlier in the evening. At first, he seemed poised to seize just that, manhandling “The Big Guy” across the ring and employing an answer for every one of Ryback’s vaunted power maneuvers.
Despite a brief surge by The Human Wrecking Ball, “The Prince” seemed poised to capture the win until Curtis Axel got involved, instigating a brawl that drove Goldust into the ringpost with Cody perched atop it. The fall dropped Cody seamlessly into Shell Shocked and a 1-2-3 by "The Big Guy," but if The Brotherhood's frustrations continue to build, it’s at least a sign of progress that they’ve shifted their gaze away from each other.
Still smarting from their historic defeat the night before, 3MB decided – as any rock stars worth their salt – to crash Los Matadores’ Cinco de Mayo party on Raw, but just ended up getting a little Revenge of the Fifth for their efforts thanks to the incomparable El Torito.
The beleaguered band has circled the zany toreadors for almost a year now, and after battling for a full lap around the sun, seemed ready to ask – well, demand, really – a truce. Los Matadores weren’t really in the mood to be bossed around, however, and as a fracas broke out between the five foes, El Torito took matters into his own hooves by slamming a sombrero over Hornswoggle’s head and sending him flying with an airplane spin. Feliz Cinco, muchachos.
Call off The Boom Squad, Kofi Kingston has been defused. The former Intercontinental Champion was forced to fly the unfriendly skies by battling recent NXT breakout Rusev one night after The Super Athlete’s 2-on-1 victory over R-Truth & Xavier Woods at Extreme Rules.
While Kofi’s aerial expertise gave him the best showing yet against The Bulgarian Brute (thanks in no small part to a dropkick that turned Rusev’s nose to tomato paste), The Wildcat’s ride on Air Rusev was as brief as it was brutal, culminating in an Accolade that brought an iron curtain down on Kingston’s evening.
It may be Cinco de Mayo, but the “Yes!” Movement still held strong over the“¡Si! Movimiento”when Daniel Bryan – contractually forced to compete despite the lurking threat of the Demon Kane – clashed with Alberto Del Rio one night after a fiery victory at Extreme Rules. With Brie Bella at ringside, Bryan fought with a purpose and looked to put Del Rio away quickly, though the specter of The Devil’s Favorite Demon left him a little less crisp than usual and gave The Essence of Excellence room to capitalize.
Luckily for Bryan, he found his footing right as Del Rio’s offense reached its apex, knocking “Mexico’s Greatest Export” off the turnbuckle with a series of kidney punches and connecting with a flying elbow. Del Rio rallied but destiny was denied when Bryan hurricanrana’d his way into a “Yes!” Lock for the win.
Kane made his presence known then, setting off his signature flames to send Bryan and Brie scurrying to their car – though Kane materialized in the backseat to unleash an attack from which the “Yes!” Man and his bride barely escaped.
Sometimes it’s good to be the bearer of bad news. One night after capturing his fourth Intercontinental Championship, Bad News Barrett continued his run of good fortune by prevailing against the deposed former champion, Big E, who wasted no time evoking his rematch clause. It looked like Barrett’s honeymoon would initially be shorter than a trip to the loo when E all but flattened his opponent in the opening moments.
It was Big E’s own power that worked against him when Barrett dodged a charge into the corner, following up with a Cactus Elbow off the apron that took the wind from E’s sails. The big man repaid the favor by allowing Barrett to run himself into the corner, bringing the match to an even keel. E stayed on the champion so much so that Barrett had to resort to trickery in order to save his title: First, he faked begging for mercy to create separation, then eye-raked his way out of the Big Ending to strike with Bad News for the victory.
We’re sure Adam Rose isn’t the first observer to liken Zeb Colter’s sour demeanor to the taste of a lemon. He is, however, the first to put The Founding Father through the grinder as payback for his acidic insults. As it turns out, Colter’s been more steamed than most over the impending arrival of NXT’s resident party animal, and he didn’t make any bones about the fact when he took to the ring alongside Jack Swagger on Monday. Rose’s Exotic Express barged in to put a stop to Colter’s party fouls and put a stop to them it did: Borne aloft by his gaggle of “Rosebuds,” Rose entered the ring and booted the rowdy Swagger like a bouncer at the club, sending the Real American and his mentor home while the party raged on, and on, and on.
Four go-rounds in, and each ride on the Shield vs. Wyatts carousel remains as much of a thriller as the WWE Universe is ever likely to see. Despite their numerous clashes, WWE’s two rowdiest factions still can’t wait to get their hands on each other; the six men began brawling before the bell even rang on their latest Authority-mandated clash. Once things settled into a groove, it was high-flying Seth Rollins and then now-former U.S. Champion Dean Ambrose who found himself isolated by The Wyatts.
The Hounds wisely unleashed Rollins at a decisive moment to equalize the match, and that he did (standing senton!!) until Harper cut him short and tagged in Bray Wyatt to follow up. The aerialist managed to hang tough and tag in Roman Reigns, but the big Hound’s rampage was thwarted by Evolution, whose interference allowed Bray to execute Sister Abigail for the victory. It was the post-match display that really left The Shield in tatters, as the Hounds suffered RKOs, Pedigrees and, ultimately, a Triple Powerbomb to Roman Reigns – adaptation at its finest.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sheamus defeated Dean Ambrose (c), Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, Dolph Ziggler, Fandango, Goldust, Heath Slater, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, R-Truth, Ryback, Santino Marella, Sin Cara, Titus O'Neil, Xavier Woods & Zack Ryder to win the WWE United States Championship in a 20-Man Battle Royale (15:42)
- The Big Show eliminated Xavier Woods.
- R-Truth was eliminated.
- Zack Ryder was eliminated.
- Big Show eliminated Titus O’Neil.
- The Big Show eliminated Sin Cara.
- Heath Slater eliminated Damien Sandow
- Heath Slater was eliminated.
- The Big Show was eliminated.
- Mark Henry was eliminated.
- Dean Ambrose eliminated Fandango.
- Dean Ambrose eliminated Kofi Kingston.
- Curtis Axel eliminated Goldust.
- Cody Rhodes was eliminated.
- Santino Marella eliminated Dolph Ziggler.
- Curtis Axel eliminated Santino Marella.
- Dean Ambrose eliminated Curtis Axel.
- Ryback was eliminated.
- Dean Ambrose eliminated Jack Swagger.
- Sheamus eliminated Dean Ambrose.
- Rob Van Dam defeated Cesaro (w/ Paul Heyman) by DQ (11:41)
- Ryback (w/ Curtis Axel) defeated Cody Rhodes (w/ Goldust) (5:59)
- Rusev (w/ Lana) defeated Kofi Kingston (2:55)
- Daniel Bryan (w/ Brie Bella) defeated Alberto Del Rio (15:28)
- Bad News Barrett (c) defeated Big E to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (10:45)
- The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) defeated The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) (18:01)
Other on-screen talent