Date: April 23, 2015
Location: Dunkin' Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the final show before Extreme Rules and for some reason in 2015, one of the major stories is Kane seemingly about to turn on the Authority and becoming a bigger deal than he is now. Of course it's possible that it's all a swerve and Kane will cost Orton the title match on Sunday, making the last few weeks a big waste of time, much like Kane in general. Let's get to it.
Opening sequence opens, as is its custom.
Here are Rollins and the Stooges to open things up. After a recap of everything that happened on Monday with the RKO's all around, Rollins mocks the RKO OUTTA NOWHERE concept. It's a good thing Orton got all those out of his system because the RKO is banned on Sunday. Speaking of Sunday, Rollins doesn't need anyone's help, including an aging former monster' like Kane.
Strike up the organ of course so Kane can come out and threaten to chokeslam Rollins right now. He can either keep the title on Rollins this Sunday or destroy him right now. Seth laughs it off and says Kane will be fired for crossing the Authority. HHH only gave Kane that job to make him feel better because Kane is just a suit these days. Kane obeying the Authority is what's best for business.
Seth brings up Kane laying down and says that's what he should be doing, but Kane thinks Seth should lay down for him right now. He'll even make it non-title. A referee comes down and we get a bell. Rollins says this isn't right but Kane says he's the Authority tonight. The threat of disembowelment convinces Seth to lay down but as Kane goes to cover him, he says he's just kidding and helps Seth up.
However, Kane isn't done yet as he makes Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose RIGHT NOW. Ambrose comes running out but Luke Harper follows, setting up a big beatdown on Dean. With things going bad, Roman Reigns comes out for the save, chasing off Rollins and Harper with Superman Punches.
Dolph Ziggler/Neville vs. Bad News Barrett/Sheamus
On the way to the ring, Sheamus says it's an insult to have underdogs like the men in the ring compared to real men like them. He even offers to bring Ziggler a stepladder to help Ziggler kiss up to him on Sunday. Neville starts with Sheamus and starts kicking away at the leg, followed by a running hurricanrana to send Sheamus outside. Barrett gets sent out as well and Neville hits a big running flip to take them both down.
Back from a break with Barrett holding Neville in a chinlock before Sheamus drops him with a release suplex. Neville finally fights up and kicks Sheamus in the head, allowing the hot tag to Ziggler. The jumping elbow and running DDT get two each on Barrett but a Sheamus distraction lets Barrett hit a quick Wasteland for two more. Ziggler spins around the shoulders though, setting up a Zig Zag into the Red Arrow for the pin on Barrett at 8:39.
Rating: C. This was a nice way to set things up, but again, well done on having a guy who might be winning the Intercontinental Title in three days look bad. That being said, it's really nice to see Neville get yet another pin over a big name. Even though everyone pins Barrett, it's still the biggest fall of Neville's career.
We get the Tough Enough announcement and see some of the best/worst video submissions so far. Yeah fine. Just let me know when the winner (other than John Morrison) means anything.
Bray Wyatt says someone's strength is an illusion, just like anyone else. He sees right through this person because fear is the same for every man. Bray will expose him as a weakling very soon. How does life work for a butterfly with no wings?
Naomi vs. Natalya
I guess Natalya is a face again. Naomi slugs her down to start and catapults Natayla throat first into the bottom rope for two. A chinlock doesn't last long so Naomi drops an elbow, only to miss a legdrop. Natalya does the stepover into the dropkick, only to walk into the Rear View for the pin at 2:28. As usual, the week to week continuity dominates the Divas.
The next target for the Prime Time Players is the Tag Team Champions. Kidd is whipped and Cesaro is interesting. Why is he interesting? Well.....uh.....you see......he's German! Uh I mean Swiss, but it's the same thing.
Ryback vs. Rusev
Jobber entrance for Rusev but Lana gives a speech about the strength of the Russian chain, which has protected the greatest of Russia for years. Rusev says the chain is his weapon and a burden to Cena, to whom no mercy will be shown. They stare each other down to start before locking up with Rusev shoving him into the corner. Ryback nails a running clothesline for two and the Russian is stunned. A delayed suplex puts Rusev down again but he rolls to the floor before Ryback can stay on him.
Back in and Ryback misses a charge into the post, sending us to a break. We come back with Rusev putting on a quickly broken bearhug. Ryback fires off some right hands and gets two off a belly to belly, only to splash legs. The Meat Hook and jumping superkick are countered but the second Meat Hook connects. Rusev slips out of a Shell Shock though and heads outside, where he hits Ryback in the ribs with the chain for the DQ at 9:57.
Rating: C-. Take two guys and let them beat on each other for a few minutes. It's a strategy that has worked for years and it worked well enough here. This was a pretty good way to make Rusev look like a killer again, even if it's just a way to set him up again to be destroyed by Cena.
Ryback gets the Accolade with the chain around the face.
Jamie Noble isn't worried about Harper because it turns out they're cousins. Harper comes up in his usual trance and Noble tries to get his attention, but Harper is annoyed that they broke his concentration. He was thinking of all the ways he can hurt people you see.
Kofi Kingston vs. Cesaro
Before the match, the New Day blames the lack of positivity in WWE on the lack of clapping. Have no fear because New Day is here! Woods says they're like medicine: they may not taste good going down, but they're the right thing for you. Kofi goes on a rant about how the WWE isn't listening to them but soon enough they will embrace the New Day. They're kind of awesome at this.
The fans aren't pleased and chant their version of the catchphrase. A dropkick puts Cesaro down to start but he uppercuts Kofi into the Swing, only to have everyone else brawl on the floor. Trouble in Paradise hits out of nowhere for the pin at 1:30. That's not as bad as it's not a tag match loss.
Big Show has had enough of Roman Reigns and is ready to expose him for what he is.
Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins/Luke Harper
Kane is at ringside. Ambrose and Harper get things going with Dean taking him down to the mat and ripping at Harper's face. Off to Reigns for a stomping in the corner before Dean gets another tag and hits a basement clothesline. Harper finally gets Ambrose into the corner for a tag to the champ to take over. A headlock into a front facelock keep Dean in trouble before Rollins throws him to the floor for a big boot from Harper.
We take a break and come back with Dean fighting out of a chinlock but having to DDT Harper instead of tagging. Seth comes back in to break up the hot tag attempt with a clothesline before both guys try cross bodies. The double tag brings in the power guys with Roman cleaning house but having to Superman Punch the Stooges off the apron. Harper takes one as well before Dean nails Rollins with the top rope standing elbow.
Luke partially blocks Dean's suicide dive and sends him over the timekeeper's area, only to eat a clothesline from Reigns. Rollins comes back in with the springboard knee for two and it's the discus lariat for two. Dean comes in off the hot tag to clean house. The rebound clothesline puts Rollins down and Dean low bridges Harper to the floor. Dean dives on the pile at ringside, only to have Kane throw Rollins back inside, allowing Reigns to hit the spear on Rollins for the pin at 16:44.
Rating: B. This was a much better main event tag than I was expecting. I'm not wild on the champion getting pinned but that's one of those things you learn to live with in WWE. It's also par for the course for this title reign but that's another story for another time. Anyway, good, long tag match here which was better than I was expecting.
Overall Rating: C+. Pretty fun show tonight with a good main event to carry things. Extreme Rules isn't the most interesting card in the world but a lot of that is due to the show just being a bunch of Wrestlemania rematches. The direction of a lot of things is still questionable but at least we had a fun two hour show to get us to the pay per view.
Dolph Ziggler/Neville b. Bad News Barrett/Sheamus – Red Arrow to Barrett
Naomi b. Natalya – Rear View
Ryback b. Rusev via DQ when Rusev hit him with a chain
Kofi Kingston b. Cesaro – Trouble in Paradise
Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose b. Seth Rollins/Luke Harper – Spear to Rollins
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