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CALDWELL'S EXTREME RULES PPV REPORT 4/26: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live PPV - Rollins vs. Orton steel cage, Cena vs. Rusev, Last Man Standing, more

Apr 26, 2015 - 9:59:07 PM


WWE Extreme Rules PPV Report
April 26, 2015
Chicago, Ill.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

Live PPV - Hour 1

Michael Cole was joined by JBL and Jerry Lawler on commentary tonight as they showed a steel cage hanging above the arena for the WWE Title main event.

In-ring: Eden Stiles was standing by to introduce a Chicago Street Fight to kick things off. Dean Ambrose was introduced first to a big reaction. Dean, kinda filling the C.M. Punk slot, played to the crowd before the announcers reviewed the feud between Ambrose and Luke Harper leading to this fight. Luke Harper was out next taking his sweet time walking down to the ring. Dean got tired of waiting, so he attacked him on the floor before Harper completed his entrance.

1 -- DEAN AMBROSE vs. LUKE HARPER -- Chicago Street Fight

The fight eventually moved into the ring to get an official opening bell. They quickly moved back to the floor, where Ambrose grabbed weapons from under the ring. Ambrose brought a kendo stick into the ring, blocked Harper's chair, and smashed Harper with the stick. Repeatedly. Ambrose played Joey Votto swinging for the fences on Harper. Ambrose then wanted a suplex onto Harper's chair, but Harper reversed and suplexed Ambrose into the chair.

Harper placed a chair in the corner turnbuckle, then sent Ambrose face-first into the chair. Harper followed with kendo stick shots, but Ambrose reversed a suplex and bodyslammed Harper onto the chair. Ambrose followed with a Tornado DDT out of the corner, putting both men on the mat. Ambrose wanted his rebound lariat, but Harper saw it coming and dropped Dean to the mat.

The fight moved to the floor, where Dean spun around the ring apron to deliver his rebound lariat on the outside. Dean then drove Harper up the entrance ramp to the stage and through the curtain to the backstage area. Dean smashed Harper into traveling cases and trunks, then drove him into the interview set. Suddenly, Harper stumbled inside a vehicle parked at the back of the building. Harper tried to drive away, but Dean hopped inside to beat him up. Suddenly, Harper sped away with Ambrose hanging out of the passenger side.

WWE cut to Cole and Co. reacting to what's going on. Cole wondered if they have a helicopter to follow the action, noting there are no count-outs for this match. JBL joked it could go on for three months like Curtis Axel at the Royal Rumble.

WINNER: ??? at 8:01 when they cut to the announcers. And apparently the match will continue later in the show? On Raw? The clock is still running...

WWE cut backstage to Triple H telling Kane to go find Ambrose and Harper since who knows what those crazy guys are capable of on the streets of Chicago. Seth Rollins then walked in for a tense face-to-face with Kane. Hunter told them to stop acting childish and get on the same page for the WWE World Title tonight. Kane and Seth argued, then Hunter tried to calm them down. This same conversation heard for weeks carried on, drawing "boring" chants live in the arena. WWE tried to mute the arena mic as Kane vowed to do what's best for business.

In-ring: Dolph Ziggler was introduced first for the Kiss Me Arse match against Sheamus. Cole threw to the Spanish announcers for a few words, then Sheamus was introduced as Ziggler's opponent. Sheamus glared toward Ziggler and they came face-to-face before the bell sounded.

2 -- DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. SHEAMUS -- Kiss Me Arse match

Cole explained that it's a standard match, with a post-match situation. They quickly moved to the floor, where Ziggler snapped off a DDT on the ringside padding. Ziggler also felt the effects of the move, slowing him down as he returned to the ring. Sheamus caught him with a big knee to the face, almost like the Brogue Kick. "You look stupid" chant from the crowd, so Sheamus angrily smashed Ziggler in the face again. Sheamus followed with big forearm blows to the chest before vowing to make Ziggler kiss his arse.

Sheamus continued the assault, including a sit-down powerbomb for a close two count. Sheamus laughed to himself and continued beating up Ziggler, delivering a knock-down clothesline before talking big trash. Sheamus said little fellas do not belong in his ring as JBL predicted a loss for Ziggler. Which meant he was not losing. Sheamus tried to rip off Ziggler's head with a reverse chinlock, but Ziggler responded with big forearm blows. Sheamus refused to go down, then he smashed Ziggler with a clothesline.

Sheamus followed with a Texas Cloverleaf in the middle of the ring. Ziggler gasped for air as he tried to get the bottom rope while one of the announcers made kissing noises. That sounded weird. Ziggler escaped, then rolled up Sheamus for a close two count. Sheamus quickly cut him off, though, and kept Ziggler on the mat. Sheamus teased the Brogue Kick, but Ziggler avoided and rolled up Sheamus, trapped Sheamus's shoulders for three, and the ref made the count.

WINNER: Ziggler at 9:16. The match was laid out to prove Sheamus, the heel's, point that he is a dominant big-man, as Ziggler had minimal offense and only won with a roll-up. Overall, good action and a very good pace at the end. (**3/4)

Post-match, Sheamus sold shock as he processed what just happened. Sheamus decided to leave the ring and complain to the timekeeper. Sheamus tried to leave through the crowd, but the ref cut him off. Sheamus then returned to the ring as Ziggler waited and the crowd chanted, "Pucker up." Ziggler started to lower his trunks, drawing shrieks from the female contingent. Sheamus finally accepted his fate and approached Ziggler's rear-end, but he could not do it. This turned into D-Bryan and Kane milking the "Hug it Out" business. Ziggler eventually gave himself a wedgie to give Sheamus easier access to his cheeks. Sheamus paced the ring, then tried to beg for mercy. Another "pucker up" chant from the crowd.

Sheamus approached Ziggler one more time, but low-blowed Ziggler from behind. Sheamus smirked, then dropped Ziggler with a Brogue Kick. In The Authority's world, where things like Naomi jumping Paige leads to her receiving a Divas Title match, Sheamus will probably be rewarded for avoiding the post-match stipulation. The announcers sold disdain, but Sheamus took the mic and said he's never kissing Ziggler's arse, especially not in this town. Sheamus said he vowed to make Ziggler kiss his arse, and he does not want to disappoint. So, Sheamus wedgied himself and rubbed Ziggler's face on his right cheek. Sheamus slapped himself like Rikishi, then shouted, "Kiss me arse!" as he left the ring.

Dean vs. Harper is now at 32:00 on the running clock.

In-ring: Next out was the New Day faction to challenge for the Tag Titles in a match switched to the main PPV from the pre-show. Kofi Kingston, Big E., and Xavier Woods clapped on their way down to the ring. WWE cut to various fan reactions capturing a wide range of reactions for the group. Cesaro's siren then wailed to a loud reaction. Out came the WWE tag champions with Natalya. Formal ring introductions, then the opening bell sounded.

3 -- WWE tag champions CESARO & TYSON KIDD (w/Natalya) vs. NEW DAY (BIG E. & KOFI KINGSTON w/Xavier Woods) -- WWE Tag Title match

This was two heel teams against each other, but Cesaro got the crowd's endorsement and New Day were clear heels for the Chicago crowd. Kidd started things off against Kofi, then Kidd teased a tag to Cesaro, drawing a crowd reaction. Cesaro tagged in and over-powered super-heavyweight Big E., drawing another reaction. Kidd tagged back in and lost control of the match. Big E. and Kofi double-teamed Kidd in their corner, drawing "New Day ... Sucks" chants.

Cesaro got the hot tag and cleaned house. Punishment to Kofi, who escaped a pin attempt. Cesaro then wanted the Big Swing, but he turned it into a catapult. Kofi tried to counter with a flying move, but Cesaro caught him in mid-air and slammed him to the mat with a backbreaker. Cesaro and Kidd lost control, then New Day nailed their top-rope combination finisher on Kidd, but Cesaro landed a desperation headbutted to break the pin.

Kidd came back with a Sharpshooter on Kofi, but Big E. grabbed Kidd and chucked him across the ring. Kidd managed to tag in Cesaro for a double-team Big Swing and dropkick to Kofi, but Woods hopped on the ring apron to distract the referee. So, Natalya slapped Xavier, then Kidd kicked Xavier in the head. But, Kofi managed to roll up Cesaro from behind and hook the tights for a three count. Cole sold indignation, accusing them of stealing the titles.

WINNERS: New Day at 9:47 to capture the WWE Tag Titles. This was the only match to switch betting favorites late Sunday, moving from Kidd & Cesaro as the favorites to New Day, with WWE deciding late in the game to book a title change. Overall, another solid PPV match with good energy and sequences that ended by getting heat on the heels, New Day. (**3/4)

Studio: In-between matches, the pre-show crew reacted to the first hour of the PPV. Back to Cole, who talked about IC champion Daniel Bryan being unable to compete tonight, so his opponent, Bad News Barrett,

Backstage: Renee Young brought in New Day to discuss winning the Tag Titles (boos in the audience). Xavier said today is the dawn of their new day. Big E. and Kofi changed their chant to "New Day ... New Champs."

Live PPV - Hour 2

Suddenly, the Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose getaway vehicle returned to the parking garage area, where New Day was being interviewed. Ambrose jumped off the roof of the vehicle with a knee smash to Harper. They spilled back into the arena setting, where Ambrose lit up Harper with right hands. The match entered the ring and original referee Rudy Charles resurfaced to oversee the proceedings.

1b -- DEAN AMBROSE vs. LUKE HARPER -- Chicago Street Fight

On the floor, Ambrose went under the ring to retrieve chairs. And more chairs. Lots of chairs. Harper cautiously returned to the ring, where Ambrose smashed a chair out of his hands. But, Harper came back with a big powerbomb. Ambrose kicked out of a pin, though. Harper then dumped all of the chairs on top of Ambrose, like piling sand on top of a person on the beach. Harper wanted a top-rope move, but Ambrose popped out from under the chairs and tossed Harper down onto the chairs. Ambrose followed with Dirty Deeds into the chairs for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Ambrose at 56:10 of running clock. Well, that was something else. Unique way to get across their feud.

Next PPV: Payback is three weeks away. The focus was on Roman Reigns.

Video Package: U.S. Title feud between John Cena and Rusev.

In-ring: Rusev was introduced first for the Russian Chain match. Rusev, with a big chain around his neck, waved his Russian flag as Lana stood proudly behind him. Rusev did his pre-match posing in the ring as Lana smiled and presented her uncrowned champion. No promo, though. After a pause, John Cena's music played, drawing the "John Cena Suuuucks" singing. Out came the U.S. champion wearing an all-black shirt and shorts combo with a blue ballcap and blue armbands.

Once everyone was in the ring, Eden Stiles handled formal ring intros. Rusev tried to intimidate Cena with his chain, then flung one end of the chain across the ring for Cena to be connected to him. Once Cena was strapped in and Rusev's connection was verified, the bell sounded.

4 -- U.S. champion JOHN CENA vs. RUSEV (w/Lana) -- United States Title match -- Russian Chain match a/k/a Strap match touch all four corners in succession

Tug-of-War to begin the match, then Rusev yanked Cena into the corner. Rusev touched a corner, drawing a light above the ringpost. Cena cut him off, then tried to light the lamp, but Rusev kicked him in the face. More back-and-forth battling before Rusev took control bashing Cena with a fist-full of chain. Cena rolled out of the ring, so Rusev also rolled out, but he relaxed for a second, allowing Cena to pull Rusev into the ringpost. And again. Rusev sold being KO'ed, so Cena lit the lamp, touched a second corner, and Rusev blocked a third corner. Rusev suddenly exploded on Cena with a roundhouse heel kick to the face to put the champ on the mat.

Reset at 5:00 with Rusev grabbing another fist-full of chain to work over Cena. Rusev touched three corners, but Cena rolled out of the ring to shorten the chain and prevent Rusev from touching the fourth corner. Cena gained some leverage with the chain, then pulled in Rusev to kick him in the gut. But, Rusev shook him off and pounded on Cena's back with the chain. Rusev made a mistake going for a top-rope move, as Cena yanked him down to the mat. Rusev went flying down to the mat, landing on the chain in the process. Cena capitalized by touching one corner, then a second corner, but Rusev yanked him away from the third corner.

The crowd was getting restless by the repetitive nature of the match. So, they chanted for Lana, who stood up on the ring apron and waved to the crowd, popping the crowd. Lana smiled, then Rusev reprimanded Lana and sent her to the back. Lana lowered her head and took the walk of shame to the backstage area. The distraction allowed Cena to recover, but Rusev blocked an AA with the Alabama Slam. Rusev then pounded on Cena's back and tried The Accolade, but Cena slipped out and applied the STF using the chain.

Cena released the hold, then grabbed three of the four corners, but Rusev did like Cena and left the ring to reduce the length of the chain. Cena was unable to get the fourth corner and the match reset. Rusev went for The Accolade again, and this time he applied it. Cena powered to his feet to block, but Cena inadvertently gave Rusev two corners by trying to ram him into the turnbuckles to break the hold. Rusev got a third corner unbeknownst to Cena, but he cut off Rusev just before touching the fourth corner.

At 13:00, both men touched three separate corners, then had a mid-ring stalemate that turned into tug-of-war. Cena nearly swung Rusev into the fourth corner, but pulled him back just in-time to deliver an AA. Cena then reached out and touched the fourth corner to get the win.

WINNER: Cena at 13:35 to retain the U.S. Title. The story for Rusev losing back-to-back title matches to Cena remains Lana's involvement "hurting Rusev," trying to protect Rusev and not slip down the ladder into mid-card heel purgatory. Whether or not Rusev remains relevant likely depends on who his next feud is against, and/or how WWE follows through on Rusev/Lana. (But, as was shown later on, the feud must continue for another PPV.) Overall, the match format was hit or miss "WWE Drama" that got the crowd at the end, but was too cliched early on. (**1/2)

Backstage: Renee Young brought in Roman Reigns for an interview. Reigns dragged out his words for dramatic effect describing the attacks by Big Show over the past few weeks, but here he is still standing. And no matter what happens tonight, he will be the last man standing. Believe that. When Reigns starts dragging out his words trying to be dramatic or interesting, it sounds too much like one of those amateur Tough Enough audition tapes - unnatural and forced.

In-ring: The Bella Twins were introduced for the next match. Out came Nikki Bella holding up the Divas Title flanked by Brie Bella. Next out was Naomi with new music and crazy sunglasses. They might not actually qualify as sunglasses.

5 -- Divas champion NIKKI BELLA (w/Brie Bella) vs. NAOMI -- Divas Title match

Naomi was the default heel for this match despite the Bellas doing nothing to be viewed in a favorable light as babyfaces. If Nikki were an honorable champion, she would not have agreed to defend the title against Naomi since Paige was the rightful challenger, which WWE documented before the opening bell. Naomi dominated early on, then went for an early Rear View, but Nikki had it scouted and held onto the ropes to avoid.

Nikki went on the attack, but Naomi fought back. They traded nearfalls, then Nikki got caught up with the ropes after a rope spot, which led to Brie kicking Naomi in the head from the outside. Nikki capitalized with the Rack Attack for the pin and the win. Afterward, Naomi was shown complaining about the outcome.

WINNER: Nikki at 7:18 to retain the Divas Title. This story was all kinds of messed up going in and coming out of the match. Apparently Naomi will be reinforced as a heel because she'll viewed as a complainer for pointing out Brie's cheating ways leading to the finish.

Backstage: Rusev was shown yelling at Lana in his language. Lana hung her head in shame, then slowly walked down the hallway to knock a door. She entered the door and the camera pulled back to show it was The Authority's office.

Video Package: Roman Reigns vs. Big Show feud leading to their Last Man Standing match tonight. With Reigns trying to prove that he will not be an epic failure.

In-ring: Big Show was introduced first for the semi-main event. After a pause, The Shield's music played to bring out Roman Reigns through the crowd. Reigns found some hands to slap on the way to the ring as opposed to slapping empty air. Reigns walked past a "Last Man Awake" sign before hitting the ringside area and posing in the ring. Cue the opening bell.

Live PPV - Hour 3

6 -- ROMAN REIGNS vs. BIG SHOW -- Last Man Standing match

Show knocked down Reigns early on, drawing a brief two-count from the referee. "You sold out" chants toward Big Show, making this more about booing the heel, Show, than any anti-Reigns sentiment in the building. Reigns went under the ring to grab a table. After the table got a pop, Show kicked Reigns and slid the table back under the ring. Show waved off any table action, but Reigns kicked Show in the head. So, Reigns went back under the ring to grab the table. Show cut off Reigns again, then decided to smash the table. His first attempt did not break the table, but his second use of double fists broke the table in-half, more exposing how flimsy WWE tables are than reinforcing Show as a giant with giant powers.

Reigns tried to introduce a kendo stick into the match, but Show grabbed it and broke the stick in half over his leg, like a slugger breaking a baseball bat after striking out. Show then punched Reigns trying to come off the top rope, drawing a count from the referee. Reigns answered the count at seven by rolling out of the ring and landing on his feet. Reigns grabbed a chair, which he brought into the ring to bash Show over and over across the back. Reigns followed with a DDT face-first into the chair. Show answered the ten count, though, so the match continued.

Reigns went under the ring again to retrieve another table. The table got another pop, as did a second table that Reigns slid into the ring. But, when Reigns re-entered the ring, Show dropped him with a KO Punch. Show counted along with the ref, who reached six, then seven, eight, nine, and Reigns kind of stumbled to the corner just before ten. Very much a judgment call not rendering a ten count. The announcers noted Show did not agree with the decision, then Show tried a chokeslam through a table, but Reigns blocked and sent Show through the table with a Samoan Drop. Both men reached their feet before 10 and the match continued.

Reset at 9:00, then Show speared Reigns out of the corner. Reigns made it to his feet at eight, so Show went back on the attack. Show delivered a big corner splash, but Reigns answered the count again. So, Show tried to climb to the top rope, but he took so long that it allowed Reigns to recover and crotch Show, who cried out in pain like a lion with a thorn stuck in his paw. As Show hung out on the top turnbuckle, Reigns re-arranged some furniture on the outside. After placing two tables side-by-side on the floor, Reigns returned to the ring looking to superplex Show, but Show flung him down to the mat.

Reigns regrouped and slammed Show off the top turnbuckle down to the mat. Reigns then landed two Superman Punches, but Show refused to go down. Reigns wanted a decisive Punch, but Show grabbed him around the throat and chokeslammed him clear over the top rope through the two tables down below. The crowd popped, JBL said it's over, which meant it was not, and the ref started his count on the floor. Reigns stirred at eight, got up at nine, and kind of reached his feet just before 10.

On the floor, Reigns collapsed against the guardrail as Show complained about Reigns avoiding the count. Show then grabbed ring steps and started to build next to the PPV announce table, clearing out Cole, JBL, and Lawler. The Spanish crew also cleared out, sensing the inevitable. Show picked up a notepad and yelled at the announcers for writing down something apparently unflattering. "JBL" chant from the crowd as Show returned to the ring to stalk Reigns. Show mocked Reigns's big corner pose, then charged Reigns, but Reigns moved and Show ate the table head-first. "What an idiot!" Lawler exclaimed.

At 16:00, both men recovered to their feet, so the match continued. Reigns delivered a big spear, putting both men down on the mat. Both men rolled out of the ring, then Reigns stalked Show to deliver a big spear through the customary gimmicked barricade next to the timekeeper. The ref checked on both men, then started a ten count on both men. Show came to his feet, so Reigns stalked him next to the announce table position. They battled on top of the English announce table, then Reigns jumped off the table, ran off the ring steps, and speared Show off the table through the Spanish announce table.

But, Show did not stay down for the whole count, so Reigns dumped the English announce table on top of Reigns. The ref started a ten count with Show trapped underneath the announce table, Reigns stood on top of the table, counted along, and Reigns was declared the winner. Cole excitedly declared that Roman Reigns has arrived tonight, then reviewed Reigns delivering on his promises. Post-match, the production crew hurriedly came to ringside to try to lift the announce table off Big Show, who then recovered on the floor as Reigns celebrated.

WINNER: Reigns at 19:46. This was just like a John Cena Last Man Standing match, sans duct tape. Very similar to Cena vs. Umage from the 2007 Royal Rumble. WWE is obviously trying to rebuild Reigns after taking him down a notch at WrestleMania, with the benefit of a favorable crowd playing nice tonight since they had no interest in backing the heel, Big Show. (***)

Backstage: Randy Orton approached Kane for a last-minute conversation before the main event. Orton reminded Kane that he traded in his mask for a suit. He also told Kane that once The Authority is done using him for their purposes of securing the WWE Title, they will throw out Kane like garbage. Orton said he knows who Kane is, even if Orton has forgotten. Was that set up for blow-back when Kane "goes back to That Kane" to use against Orton?

Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL stood behind their broken-down announce position to reset the show before introducing a video package on Tough Enough audition tapes.

Suddenly, Bo Dallas's music interrupted. Bo walked to the ring to talk about Chicago being the Second City, but being #1 in his book. (Pop) #1 at smelling badly. #1 at booing an inspiration like himself. Bo implored the crowd to treat each other nicely, then turned evil by telling them to shut their mouths and listen. Back to Fake Mr. Nice Guy. Bo told them to raise their hands in the air and just Bo-lieve ---- suddenly, Ryback's music interrupted.

Ryback marched down to the ring looking for a pre-main event snack. Ryback quickly picked Bo apart, then dropped him with Shell-Shock. Quick, easy effective.

WWE Network plug: Cole and Co. ran down the Network line-up this coming week, including a teaser for a King of the Ring special on Tuesday.

Backstage: Byron Saxton brought in Rusev, who shouted that John Cena did not beat him and he has never beaten him. Rusev said Cena is a liar and coward. Lana then walked in and said it is done. She said the final chapter in Cena vs. Rusev at Payback will be an I Quit match. Rusev said that's perfect for America quitting. And the feud must continue.

Back in the arena, WWE showed the cage being lowered for the main event. Cole fed to a video package on Seth Rollins capturing the WWE Title at WrestleMania via MITB cash-in, then entering a feud with Orton.

In-ring: After Eden Stiles ran through the stipulation-heavy WWE Title match, Kane was introduced first as the keeper of the cage. Kane, dressed in a suit, walked down to ringside to stand next to the cage door. Randy Orton was out next as the title challenger. Orton slid into the cage, then posed for a while as WWE stretched out the intros.

Seth Rollins was out next to make his first WWE Title defense. No sign of Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. Once everyone was inside the cage, Eden Stiles handled formal ring introductions. The bell sounded 25 minutes before the top of the hour.

7 -- WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS vs. RANDY ORTON -- WWE Title match -- steel cage match -- RKO is banned -- Kane is the gatekeeper -- only way to win by pinfall, submission, or escaping the cage -- anything else?

Once the bell sounded, Seth tried to run up one of the cage walls to escape, but Orton pulled him down. Seth tried again a few moments later, but Orton pulled him down again. Orton finally got a full grasp on Seth to land right hand blows, but Rollins countered Ten Punches with a running Bucklebomb across the ring for a two count. Rollins called for the door, so Kane opened the cage, but Orton grabbed him from behind and pulled him back inside the cage. Seth took control, though, then taunted Orton by noting this is what he wanted - a cage match. Seth then turned toward Kane, cockily shouting through the cage that this is all his doing.

Orton made a comeback after Seth spent so much time jawing, then landed clotheslines before teasing a powerslam, but Seth avoided and tried to run away. Orton caught up to him on the cage wall, but Seth knocked him down, then landed a knee smash to the side of the head for a two count. Both men climbed the cage again, meeting at the top of the wall. Neither man could swing over the wall to the other side, so they climbed back down the cage inside the ring.

The match continued at 10:00 with Rollins knocking down Orton, then climbing the wall and swinging over the top of the cage wall, but Orton grabbed Seth by his hair. Cole said Seth just needs to fall down and he wins. Suddenly, J&J Security hit ringside trying to help Seth, attempting to compromise the cage format, but Orton shook them off and superplexed Seth back inside the cage. Orton covered, but Seth kicked out.

J&J then approached Kane at ringside, telling Kane that it's time to do it. Kane shooed them away, so they decided to try to climb from the outside to get inside the cage. But, Orton smashed Seth into the cage walls, knocking Noble and Mercury down to the ground. The distraction allowed Seth to knock down Orton, then try to climb again. Cole noted it seems like Orton has been playing defense all night.

Orton eventually got his hands on Seth to deliver a powerslam, then he called for the RKO, but he cannot use his finisher. Lawler said he just needs to leave the cage to win. Orton stalked Seth for the RKO anyways, but instead set up for The Pedigree, which he connected with, popping the crowd. Orton covered, but Seth kicked out just before three. "Yes! Yes! Yes!" chants from the crowd, remembering Daniel Bryan.

Orton then stalked Seth near the cage door as Kane watched expressionless like a Secret Service person. Orton then backed up looking for The Punt, but Seth moved at the last second to avoid getting his head kicked in. Seth called for the door, so Kane opened the door and Seth crawled toward the opening, but Orton pulled Seth back inside the cage for a fallaway backbreaker. Orton then tried to leave the cage, but Kane closed the door in Orton's face. Kane kept the door shut, but he warned Orton to get back just before Seth went for a dropkick. Orton moved and the dropkick sent Kane flying off the ring steps to the floor. Seth and Orton battled to escape the cage, but Kane smashed the cage door into both Orton and Seth.

Kane freaked out, removed his suit jacket, and entered the cage as J&J followed behind. Kane stalked Rollins, but J&J told Kane to stand down. So, he grabbed them around the throat and delivered a double chokeslam. He then turned toward Orton and delivered a chokeslam. Seth thought he had an easy escape to win, but Kane grabbed him and chokeslammed him. Seth and Orton were out cold on the mat, then Kane looked down at them. He decided to drape Seth's arm over Orton, but Orton escaped the pin just a split-second before three.

At 20:30, Kane freaked out and stalked Orton to deliver a Tombstone, but Orton delivered an RKO to Kane. Suddenly, Seth grabbed Orton and gave him his own RKO finisher. Seth then crawled on his belly to crawl through the door and fall to the floor to escape the cage and win the match. Post-match, the announcers argued about whether the RKO was banned from the entire match or just for Orton. In any event, Seth took his title belt and left the cage to close the PPV one minute before the top of the hour.

WINNER: Rollins at 21:02 to retain the WWE Title. When was the last time a cage match was NOT compromised? The poor old cage match needs to be put out to pasture at this rate, but it will continue to be used when WWE wants to "get creative." Cole said it best that Orton played defense most of the match, which did not make for a very interesting cage match early on. But, the Pedigree replacing the RKO was a good spot to engage the crowd for the final one-third of the match. Overall, this was about focusing on Kane's conflict, giving Seth a cheap win to reinforce him as an undeserving heel champion, keep focusing on The Authority as the central characters in storylines at the expense of everyone else, finding a way to have Orton deliver an RKO for some measure of satisfaction, and, of course, compromise the cage. (**3/4)

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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TV Reporters
and Specialists and Artists.


PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.

Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.

The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...

-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars.


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