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Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker under the same roof? That’ll put butts in the seats — or, if it’s anything like last time, clear out the benches for an all-out clash. As it turned out, though, the last face-to-face confrontation between Conqueror and Conquered was low on fisticuffs but high on intensity. After being heralded by none other than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Undertaker stalked to the ring with an ominous message for The Beast, who soon made an appearance to take exception. The Phenom invited Lesnar into the ring to skip ahead to their “Final Chapter” a few days early, but Paul Heyman’s pleas eventually provoked The One in 22-1 to stay put.
POP triumphs again … with a price. Despite The New Day’s second consecutive (dirty) victory over John Cena & The Dudley Boyz, the Tag Team Champions’ secret weapon ended up laid out among the ruins of a table as a result of that victory. Blame the manner in which New Day went about winning in the first place for provoking the ire of those damn Dudleys. Cena capped off a melee between the teams by crossbodying onto Big E on the outside when Xavier Woods rolled D-Von Dudley up with a handful of camo. While Kofi Kingston and Big E made themselves scarce, Cena hit Woods with the Attitude Adjustment, tables were gotten, and Woods went up, up, down, down.
What’s good, Team B.A.D.? Despite boasting one of the most boundary-breaking Divas in WWE history, the fearsome trio of Naomi, Sasha Banks & Tamina has found themselves at an odd crossroads. After a Brie Bella-incited “We Want Sasha” chant doomed Naomi to Nikki Bella last week, Team B.A.D. fell apart down the stretch in a tag match that was shouldered, for the most part, by the former Funkadactyl when Nikki & Alicia successfully barred The Boss from the contest almost completely. Give credit to Naomi for a star-making effort, but no Diva is an island, and Nikki sunk her fellow “Total Diva” with a Rack Attack when all was said and done.
HB-Shizzle, meet Seth Freakin’ Rollins. Shawn Michaels swung by Raw in Dallas, as promised, though he apparently didn’t stick to his planned duties of introducing Seth Rollins to the WWE Universe in The Lone Star State. He did, however, display a bit of matchmaking know-how when he put Rollins into a contest with Ryback.
If HBK was teeing The Architect up for a rout, though, he was sorely disappointed. Rollins was crisp in the impromptu contest, tenderizing The Big Guy’s ribs to take away his core strength and nip Shell Shocked in the bud. Battered as Rollins was, he was able to exploit his foe’s weakness by booting him in the belly and escaping with the Pedigree.
Rivalries love company. How else to explain the six-man scrap that teamed Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro & Neville against the three thorns in their sides of late, Rusev, Sheamus & King Barrett? Despite the somewhat unexpected circumstances that led to the match on Raw, each competitor brought their A-game to a fast-paced contest, especially the fearsome trio of The Bulgarian Brute, The Celtic Warrior and the reigning King of the Ring.
Even Cesaro, called in as the equalizer in the match’s waning moments, found himself stuffed by Mr. Money in the Bank, which led Ziggler and Barrett to tag in for their winded teammates. Interference soon turned the bout into a parade of kicks, the last of which — a Brogue from Sheamus to a rope-hung The Showoff while the ref was otherwise occupied — allowed “The Bloody King” to claim victory for his team. Now, can they do it again Sunday?
With two losses in two Raws, Charlotte’s come down with an unenviable case of the Mondays. The Divas Champion got her feet back under her, though, and did so despite a very concentrated effort by Nikki Bella to get in Charlotte’s head in her match against Brie. The method of deception? Nikki preened on the apron with Charlotte’s title in her hands, and it worked in as much as it gave Brie a brief leg up on the champion. But Charlotte roared back in a big way, dismantling the former Divas Champion before locking in her torturous Figure-Eight Leglock. That earns a WOO!, right? Right. WOO!
Say what you will about Kevin Owens, but the Intercontinental Champion has made it his business to show up the strongest Superstars WWE has to offer. Mark Henry now joins that list — everything is bigger in Texas, including the guys KO beats — and if Owens outdueling The World’s Strongest Man upsets you, give Owens credit for capitalizing on some late-game sloppiness.
Henry, a self-professed “bully for 19 years,” wasn’t exactly impressed with KO’s bravado, but he did get a little ahead of himself and Owens capitalized with a superkick and a Pop-up Powerbomb to the 400-pounder that all but cracked the earth. The celebration was short-lived, though, as Ryback quickly arrived and respond, pounding Owens into the ground with a powerbomb of his own.
Don’t call it a reunion by any means, but Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns’ first re-teaming since the days of The Shield — against The Wyatt Family, no less — undoubtedly left the WWE Universe misty-eyed with memories of wars past. If only the outcome was better. Somewhat predictably, Ambrose and Reigns got along less than swimmingly with the man who “destroyed” them to strike out on his own, and Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman and a returning Erick Rowan (Luke Harper was suspiciously absent, as was recent Wyatt rival Randy Orton) capitalized in a big way.
Once Rollins left his partners high and dry, newcomer Strowman proved himself invaluable in his largest initiation yet for the Wyatts. He ensnared Reigns in his monstrous bear hug, which forced Ambrose to end the bout via a Kendo-stick inducing disqualification to The Black Sheep’s back. The ensuing brawl ended much better for Reigns than the match had, as he uncorked a pair of Spears to Wyatt and Rowan to end the night and go to hell on a high note.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) defeated John Cena & The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) (8:35)
- Team Bella (Alicia Fox and Nikki Bella) (w/ Brie Bella) defeated Team B.A.D. (Sasha Banks and Naomi) (w/ Tamina) (8:40)
- Seth Rollins defeated Ryback (4:05)
- Rusev, Sheamus and King Barrett defeated Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro and Neville (12:59)
- Charlotte (w/ Becky Lynch) defeated Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox) by submission (5:28)
- Kevin Owens defeated Mark Henry (3:45)
- The Wyatt Family (Braun Stowman, Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan) defeated Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins by DQ (14:09)
Other on-screen talent