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CALDWELL'S PAYBACK PPV REPORT 5/17: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of four-way WWE Title match, I Quit War, more

May 17, 2015 - 9:55:58 PM


WWE Payback PPV Report
May 17, 2015
Baltimore, Md.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

Live PPV - Hour 1

The PPV opened with a video package asking the question of when Seth Rollins's sins will catch up with him as WWE World champion when he faces Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose tonight.

In the arena, Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler introduced the show at the commentary position.

In-ring: Sheamus was introduced first for the opening match of the PPV. After a review of Sheamus not following through on kissing Dolph Ziggler's arse at the last PPV, Ziggler was introduced as Sheamus's opponent.


Before the bell sounded, Sheamus pretended to play nice, but he thumbed Ziggler in the eye. Ziggler snapped on Sheamus as the bell sounded, landing a dropkick, then a clothesline that sent Sheamus crashing down to the floor. Sheamus got up selling a knee injury, then Ziggler nailed a running smash off the ring apron.

But, back in the ring, Sheamus fought back before attacking Ziggler's knee. This prompted Ziggler to roll to the outside selling the knee. Ziggler returned to the ring and promptly took a beating. Sheamus then grabbed an aggressive reverse chinlock trying to take the life out of Ziggler. The crowd to help Ziggler by taunting Sheamus with a "You look stupid" chant. Sheamus, angered, punished Ziggler with kicks and stomps, then posed for the crowd to draw boos.

Ziggler fought back at 5:00 by attacking Sheamus's knee, then he sidestepped Sheamus, causing him to run shoulder-first into the ringpost. Ziggler followed with an aggressive attack before tackling Sheamus to the mat and landing right hand strikes. Ziggler followed with a corner dropkick, then a leaping DDT for a two count.

Sheamus recovered in the corner, then Ziggler had a thought. He lifted his trunks to expose his right butt cheek, then made Sheamus smooch the arse, popping the crowd. Sheamus ran out of the ring to retrieve a bottle of water, selling the spot to the delight of the crowd. Sheamus ran back into the ring and nearly ran right into a loss when Ziggler dropped him with Zig-Zag, but it was only good for a two count. Sheamus recovered, then nearly pinned Ziggler with a sit-out powerbomb.

Reset at 9:30 following an even exchange of close nearfalls. Sheamus got another close nearfall on a running powerslam, then hit White Noise. Sheamus transitioned right into the Texas Cloverleaf center-ring. Ziggler fought the hold, then crawled on his belly and finally reached the bottom rope for a break. Sheamus used the whole five count to inflict more punishment before releasing the hold.

Reset at 11:00. Sheamus taunted Ziggler, telling him to fight back. Ziggler suddenly headbutted Sheamus, then snapped off a superkick, but Sheamus kicked out. Ziggler came up bleeding heavily from the forehead. Heavily. As Ziggler dripped blood, Sheamus lined him up for the Brogue Kick and connected for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Sheamus at 12:20. They had to give Ziggler something - getting Sheamus to kiss the arse - before taking the loss. Ziggler also got the sympathetic vote from the crowd after leaving the ring covered in blood, but WWE has reinforced Sheamus as more dominant than Ziggler two PPV matches in a row. Overall, though, another good match in their recent series. (***)

Backstage: Kane and WWE World champion Seth Rollins argued for the umpteenth time. Kane tried to talk sense into Rollins, saying if Rollins does indeed lose the title match, he gets fired, but Seth is no longer WWE champion. So, would you rather not be champion or see him get fired? Kane said he has not made his decision on whether to help Seth, but he will find out soon enough. Seth calmed down and said he appreciates his honesty, so now he will be completely honest with him. He said if Kane does anything that is not in Seth's best interest, then losing his job will be the least of his concerns. Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury stepped up to Kane to try to reinforce Seth's point, but Kane just laughed them all off.

Video Package: NXT is coming. And taking over.

In-ring: WWE tag champs New Day were introduced to the ring for their Tag Title defense. Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, and Kofi Kingston told Baltimore to think positive, like if they have no job, no friends, or are over-weight. Big E. then found Baltimore Orioles star Adam Jones on the front row. Jones, holding a replica WWE Title belt, stood up to loud "Let's Go O's" chants mixed with the Ravens's cheer. Big E. waited it out, then told Jones to think positive since the Orioles haven't won the World Series in 32 years. Xavier then told Baltimore to show the world that they can be positive with this chant. "New ... Day Rocks," which of course the crowd turned into "New ... Day Sucks." Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, and Natalya were then introduced for the Tag Title match.

2 -- WWE tag champions NEW DAY (KOFI KINGSTON & BIG E. w/Xavier Woods) vs. TYSON KIDD & CESARO (w/Natalya) -- 2/3 Falls match for the WWE Tag Titles

Cesaro started things off with a power display at the expense of Big E., who responded with a lift-up slam on Cesaro to match him. Xavier landed a cheap-shot from the outside, then New Day tried to attack Cesaro in their corner, but Cesaro fought them off and double-stomped Kofi, then Big E. Cesaro followed with a delayed vertical suplex to Kofi. While still holding Kofi in the air, Cesaro tagged in Kidd, who came off the top to complete the suplex for a two count.

Next, Cesaro and Kidd delivered the Big Swing into a basement dropkick on Kofi. Kidd covered Kofi for the pin to get the first fall three minutes in.

*** CESARO & KIDD 1-0 at 2:48 ***

In-between falls, Xavier hopped on the ring apron demanding to enter the match via Freebird Rules. But, Natalya came over to yank down Xavier, leading to Kidd taking out Xavier. Kidd then tried to splash Big E., but Big E. caught him and smashed Kidd on the floor with a big overhead suplex. Cesaro tried to revive Kidd before he returned to the ring, where New Day isolated Kidd and pounded on him. Cesaro was KO'ed during the beat down. Kidd tried to fight on his own, but jumped right onto Big E.'s shoulders, setting up Kofi to kind of hit their combination finisher for a pin.

*** NEW DAY 1-1 at 8:13 ***

The next fall began with Kofi working on Kidd as Cesaro continued to sell on the outside. Cesaro finally returned to the ring apron to take a hot tag from Kidd. Cesaro lit up Kofi with running uppercuts across the ring, which the crowd played along with. Big E. tried to run at Cesaro, but he intercepted him and tried a butterfly suplex, but couldn't quite execute. So, Cesaro dropped Big, then tagged in Kidd, who nearly got the pin.

Chaos followed in and out of the ring, then Big E. went flying over the announce table, nearly taking out Cole. Back in the ring, Kidd & Cesaro had Kofi lined up for victory, including Cesaro nailing a big European uppercut, but Big E. dove back into the ring to break up a pin just in time.

The ref tried to get Big E. out of the ring, which allowed Xavier to sneak into the ring, roll up Cesaro with a small package, and score a three count when the ref turned around. The attempted deal was the ref thought Kofi was in the process of pinning Cesaro since Xavier's body was tucked inside Cesaro to hide his identity and they all wear the same ring gear. On commentary, Cole was indignant about the ref blowing the call as New Day celebrated with the title belts on the outside. Meanwhile, Cesaro, Kidd, and Natalya tried to figure out what happened back in the ring.

WINNERS: New Day 2-1 at 12:40 to retain the WWE Tag Titles. The crowd was hot for this match, which turned into getting heat on New Day to make them more than a one-note act playing off the "New ... Day Sucks" chant. Really strong tag match despite the unrealistic first fall. (***1/4)

Video Package: WWE treated Bray Wyatt vs. Ryback like a big deal by giving the match a full video intro.

In-ring: Bray Wyatt slowly made his ring entrance as the arena was filled by cell phone lights. Bray soaked up crowd applause once the lights came up, then Ryback's theme music interrupted Bray's self-consumption. Ryback marched down to the ring, then the opening bell sounded.


The crowd was mixed early on. Interesting lack of support for Ryback - more about people liking the heel, Bray, or not viewing Ryback as a big deal? Ryback put together successive offense for a one count, but ate the ringpost when Bray side-stepped him. Bray then cleared Ryback to the floor and followed with a flying butt splash right to Ryback's stomach. Ryback sold like he lost air and could not breathe. Bray rolled back into the ring looking for a count-out win, but Ryback dragged himself back into the ring just a split-second before the ten count.

Bray capitalized on the match continuing by putting the boots to Ryback, targeting the mid-section. Bray posed over Ryback, which left him vulnerable to a sit-out powerbomb, but Ryback could not secure a pinfall. Ryback tried to respond with a powerslam, but Bray kicked out of a pin. Bray rolled to the outside for a breather, but it was a trap to lure in Ryback to take a big right hand to the jaw.

Back in the ring, Bray worked over Ryback, who suddenly exploded out of the corner with a clothesline, then hit a spinebuster for a two count. More mid-section pain for Ryback, who stood up and vowed to finish Bray. Ryback wanted a suplex, but Bray ran Ryback into the corner. Bray tried to answer with a superplex, but Ryback blocked with headbutts. Ryback then climbed to the top turnbuckle and came off the top with a big splash, popping the announcers. Ryback covered after a rare top-rope move, but Bray kicked out.

Both men sold on the mat at 10:00 as the ref administered a ten count. They came to their feet, and Bray quickly tried Sister Abigail, but Ryback blocked. Ryback wanted Shell-Shock, but Bray grabbed the top rope, then yanked off the top turnbuckle pad in the process of blocking the move. As the ref collected the pad, Bray ran Ryback gut-first into the exposed steel, then dropped Ryback with Sister Abigail, popping the vocal crowd. Bray covered for the win, then posed and laughed maniacally.

WINNER: Bray at 10:54. Interestingly, this crowd was not behind Ryback. One crowd, the effect of Bray Wyatt's "cool factor" as a heel, or a sign of Ryback not getting over as a babyface? Another good match, overall. WWE is definitely continuing the recent PPV trend of making each match - even undercard matches - feel like its own "event" with a clear back-story and reason to invest in the match. Well, in this case, invest in Bray, not so much Ryback. (**3/4)

MITB PPV hype: The marketing department went for a QVC-style home shopping marketing pitch for the MITB briefcase.

Video Package: John Cena vs. Rusev in an I Quit match, their "final battle" in the title series.

In-ring: Rusev was introduced first waving the Russian flag. Lana followed close behind Rusev as the announcers discussed Lana being accuses of giving into perverse Western customs and betraying her country. Lana watched approvingly as Rusev did his pre-match warm-up routine. Rusev then shooed her out of the ring as the crowd chanted Lana's name, taunting Rusev like Stardust hearing "Cody, Cody" chants.

Rusev paced the ring during the Cena Pause, then John Cena's music played to loud cheers to bring out the U.S. champion. The vocal PPV audience picked up the sing-song "John Cena Suuuucks" chant, then Cena charged the ring and posed for the crowd. Ref Chioda, holding a mic for the vocalization of quitting, called for the bell.

4 -- U.S. champion JOHN CENA vs. RUSEV (w/Lana) -- I Quit match for the United States Title

Loud dueling chant of "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks" from the crowd. Rusev then yanked the mic from Chioda and yelled at the crowd in his native language. Rusev then spoke in English that half of these people already hate Cena and he should do them all a favor by swallowing his pride and saying I Quit now. "I will spare you the pain," he said. Cena did the Price is Right deal looking toward the audience for his bid. Chioda asked Cena if he wants to quit, then Cena continued to look toward the studio audience. Cena's answer was charging across the ring to kick Rusev in the gut, but Rusev shoved Cena down and over-powered him.

Rusev saw Lana trying to get involved when the crowd picked up a "We Want Lana" chant, so he ran out of the ring, retrieved a chair, and forced Lana to sit down in the chair. The distraction allowed Cena to recover in the ring. The match resumed with a very loud dueling chant that Rusev interrupted by telling the ref to check on Cena. Cena did not answer, pushing the mic away to continue taking a beating. Rusev continued to pound on Cena as the crowd picked up a "We Want Lana" chant. The chant kept going as Cena landed a desperation clothesline to put both men on the mat.

Rusev regained control when they got back to their feet, then Rusev demanded a presentation of Russian colors mid-match. Lana obliged by retrieving the flag and handing it to Rusev, who proudly waved the flag over a fallen Cena. "USA" chant in response, then Rusev handed over the flag and walked right into a shoulder tackle from Cena. Sit-out slam. Cena wanted the Five Knuckle Shuffle, and he connected. Cena tried the AA, but Rusev pushed him off and delivered a big fallaway slam. Lana smiled from her ringside seat.

Cena rolled to the floor to recover, but waved off Chioda asking if he wanted to quit. So, Rusev punished him over and over. "No," Cena said in response to The Question. So, Rusev picked up ring steps and brought them into the ring. Rusev gave Cena a chance to quit, Cena said no, and Rusev whipped Cena back-first into the steps. Cena again refused to quit, so Rusev angrily picked up Cena and smashed him into the ring steps again. Rusev then placed the ring steps in the middle of the ring, flashing back to Cena vs. Brock Lesnar from Extreme Rules. Rusev wanted a power move into the ring steps, but Cena countered with a back drop.

Reset at 11:00 with both men recovering on the mat. Cena landed blows, but Rusev intercepted him coming off the ropes and delivered a big swinging slam right into the ring steps. Cena refused to quit, though. The crowd chanted for Lana, but Cena quickly got their attention by avoiding a stomp into the ring steps, then sending Rusev back-first into the ring steps with an AA. Chioda asked Rusev if he wanted to quit, but all he could do was cough into the mic.

The match continued with Rusev rolling out of the ring as Cena picked up the ring steps. Cena hoisted them in the air, then chucked the steps down toward Rusev, who avoided just in time. Cena gave chase on the outside, where he posted Rusev. Rusev refused to quit, though. Cena then called his next shot of putting Rusev through the gimmicked barricade. Rusev refused to quit, then he turned around and took a charging spear through the barricade, sending Rusev crashing to the ground.

Rusev wanted the match to continue, so Cena started walking around the floor area looking for some equipment cases. Cena tried to wheel a case into Ryback, but he intercepted with a kick to the face. Cena quietly refused to quit, though. So, Rusev beat up Cena in the floor area. Rusev then lightly dropped Cena across a media table, sending a laptop sliding to the floor. Cena recovered from the light attack by kicking around Rusev before re-arranging TV production equipment. Cena cracked a monitor across Rusev's back, but Rusev refused to quit.

Cena then used the laptop across the back, but it wasn't one of those big old 1990s laptops that would have inflicted massive damage, so the match continued. Suddenly, Rusev had Cena in the air to drive him through a media table. Cena was bleeding from the side of his head, but refused to quit. Rusev ranted and raved, then started looking for a weapon that could perhaps kill Cena. Rusev started messing with pyro, then decided he wanted to set Cena on fire. Rusev waited for Cena to get up, then tried to kick Cena into the pyro, but Cena blocked and delivered an AA into the pyro area. The actual landing area was obstructed as WWE set off pyro for dramatic effect. Rusev rolled out of the landing area selling the effects as Lana ran up the entrance ramp selling concern for Rusev's well-being. Rusev eventually came-to, was asked if he wanted to quit, and he dramatically said no.

Cena, unsure what to do now to break the machine, picked up a loose guardrail and approached Rusev. Cena gave Rusev a chance to quit before taking the steel, but Rusev refused. So, Cena charged down the entrance ramp and popped Rusev in the face with the barricade, sending Rusev tumbling down the floor. Rusev refused to quit, then intercepted Cena to back drop him right into the barricade. Cena refused to quit, though, emphatically turning down the request.

The match eventually returned to the ring as Lana slowly walked around the ringside area. Rusev stalked Cena and delivered a big superkick. He said it's over, then slapped on The Accolade. Big pop from the crowd as they sensed Cena in big trouble. Rusev sat down on Cena, but Cena showed fighting spirit powering to his feet and lifting Rusev in the air to drive him into the corner. But, Rusev maintained the hold. A second try, but Rusev maintained the hold. Rusev eventually sat down on Cena's back as the announcers called that his last gasp, giving away the result.

At 25:00, Cena was asked if he wants to quit. Rusev told him to say it, but Cena was out cold. Rusev released the hold, thinking he won the match, but the ref told Rusev that it's not over. Rusev argued, saying Cena is lifeless and cannot say I Quit if he's out cold. Lawler said both guys are right. Rusev then angrily pulled off the top turnbuckle. He then started unscrewing the top turnbuckle. Rusev pulled down the top rope, then rolled out of the ring and retrieved a water bottle.

Back in the ring, Rusev doused Cena with water to try to revive him, then he stalked Cena with the top turnbuckle in his hands. Rusev called for Cena to get up, then he tried a buckle shot, but Cena ducked and put Rusev in the STF with the ropes. Rusev refused to quit as Lana sold concern ringside. Rusev talked in his language to try to block the pain. Lana freaked out ringside, then grabbed the mic and frantically said that he quits. The referee decided on the spot that Lana had the equivalent of Power of Attorney to render a decision for Rusev, so Chioda called for the bell, popping the crowd.

Afterward, Cena received his U.S. Title belt and sold being exhausted from the match while the U.S. flag dramatically dropped down from the ceiling. He left the ring and held up the title belt before giving the nod back to the ring before leaving to the back. Back to the announcers, who debated whether Rusev quit in his native language or if Lana made that up interpreting Rusev's native words. Back in the ring, Rusev slowly recovered while staring down Lana, who continued to sell concern.

WINNER: Cena at 27:58 to retain the U.S. Title. Epic, epic, epic battle that just kept building and building with two characters presented as super-athletes battling each other without giving in. That was a PPV-worthy war to blow off the feud. Well, presumably, since Cena was the one who stressed this as the final battle, but Rusev had a big "out" that he knocked out Cena and Lana gave up for him. Rusev is an absolute monster in the ring and could have an epic match with Brock Lesnar with the right creative back-story. (****1/2)

Studio Panel: For the comedown segment, Renee Young and the pre-show panel talked about the PPV thus far.

Backstage: New Day celebrated their Tag Title victory, noting they never complain and always stay positive. Byron Saxton then interviewed them before relaying some news about Elimination Chamber. Xavier Woods cut him off, saying they have the Internet and know that the vacant IC Title will be determined in the Chamber match. Xavier did not read the entire report, as Saxton relayed news that the Tag Titles will be defended in the first-ever Tag Title Elimination Chamber match. Big E. did a spit-take on his celebratory drink, then New Day complained about this. Big E. noted they're too big to all fit in one pod. Saxton said that's how he understands the match. He closed: "I guess it's a new day." Xavier, Kofi, and Big E. stared at him, then slowly walked off the interview set.

In-ring: The Bellas were introduced for the Divas tag match of the night. Naomi and Tamina Snuka then came out as the opposition.


Nikki started things off as the announcers talked about Brie's state of mind with her husband, Daniel Bryan, talking about his career in jeopardy six nights ago on Raw. Brie tagged in, then got superkicked right off the ring apron by Tamina. Brie sold an injury, using the template from house shows over the weekend where she was "injured" mid-match. The heels then worked over Brie as Nikki tried to get a tag.

Brie eventually made it to her corner, bringing in Nikki who fought two-on-one. The numbers game caught up to Nikki, who took Rear View, but she kicked out of a pinfall. Nikki wanted a top-rope move, but Tamina posted Brie ringside, then Naomi slammed Nikki off the top for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Naomi & Tamina at 6:13. And the heel remains on the chase for the heel champion. Basic tag match getting over Brie not being a helpful partner with Daniel Bryan on her mind.

Locker Room: Rusev ranted and raved as Lana sat quietly in a chair. He told Lana to get out. She remained sitting. He told her to get out again, then Lana slowly got up and left the room. Rusev grabbed the chair she was sitting in and chucked it against the wall, then resumed ripping his hair out. Lawler wanted to know where Lana will go now.

Announcers: Cole fed to a video package on Daniel Bryan relinquishing the IC Title last Monday on Raw and teasing his career in question. Cole then hyped Elimination Chamber in two weeks to determine the new IC champion.

In-ring: King Barrett was introduced next for the semi-main event. Barrett, dressed in his King of the Ring gear, sneered at the crowd as he walked to the ring. Cole recapped Barrett beating Neville in the KOTR finals last month, which evened their recent series at 1-1. However, the announcers did not note that Neville won the first match on last month's PPV pre-show. Neville was then introduced as Barrett's opponent.

6 -- KING BARRETT vs. NEVILLE -- Unofficially Match #3 in 1-1 series

Neville ran circles around Barrett early on, sending Barrett to the outside to regroup, as JBL said. Or, retreat, as Cole put it. Barrett suckered in Neville for a big kick to the face, then he ran Neville back-first into the ring apron. Barrett continued to wear down Neville back in the ring. Neville suddenly exploded on Barrett with a series of kicks and strikes before landing a standing Shooting Star Press for a nearfall.

Neville teased the Red Arrow, but Barrett got up and cut him off before Neville could reach the ropes. Barrett smashed Neville in the face, then caught him with Winds of Change for a two count. Neville suddenly responded with an enzuigiri, then he climbed to the top turnbuckle looking for the Red Arrow, but Barrett rolled out of the ring to avoid. So, Neville adjusted and landed a big twisting splash onto Barrett. But, Neville sold a knee injury on the landing. Neville limped back into the ring at eight, Barrett started to return to the ring at nine, but then decided to hang out ringside, receiving a ten count.

Post-match, the crowd booed as Barrett sneered and started to walk away from ringside. Neville's music played, and he got his hand raised, but Barrett jumped back into the ring and attacked Neville. Barrett smashed Neville around ringside, then took his King of the Ring gear and posed in the ring. Suddenly, Neville returned to the ring. He ducked a scepter shot, then German Suplexed Barrett, breaking the scepter. Neville then positioned Barrett in the corner, climbed to the top turnbuckle, and snapped off the highlight reel Red Arrow, wowing the crowd. Neville got up selling the knee injury, then his music played again.

WINNER: Neville via count-out at 7:22. Interesting booking - Neville got a count-out win, the king acted un-kingly post-match, and Neville actually delivered comeuppance after the match. A very circuitous route to the Red Arrow avoiding Barrett taking a pinfall loss. (**1/4)

Video Package: More "Tough Enough" audition tapes.

Backstage: Seth Rollins was shown walking down the hallway with J&J Security. Kane stopped them and wished Seth good luck, then laughed maniacally. A video package on the WWE Title feud followed.

In-ring: Corporate Kane was introduced to the ringside area first for the main event. The first competitor introduced was Randy Orton, who took a look at Kane at ringside before and after posing in the ring. Dean Ambrose's music then played to one of the biggest reactions of the night. Big spotlight for Ambrose, who came dressed for the occasion with an upgraded leather jacket. The Shield's music produced shrieks from the female contingent as Roman Reigns emerged in the crowd and made his way down to ringside.

Reigns paced around the ring, then Seth Rollins was introduced as the third individual member of The Shield in the title match. Strong reaction for Rollins. As Seth walked down to the ring, Cole plugged the MITB PPV in June to determine who will be the next Seth Rollins to win the MITB briefcase. Charles Robinson has the referee assignment and Eden Stiles handled formal ring introductions before the opening bell 30 minutes before the top of the hour.

7 -- WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS (w/Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury) vs. RANDY ORTON vs. ROMAN REIGNS vs. DEAN AMBROSE -- four-way WWE World Title match -- Kane at ringside

After the bell sounded, all four men held their ground in their respective corners. Suddenly, J&J yanked down Reigns and Ambrose, leaving Orton in the ring with Seth, who tried to attack Orton. Orton ended up on the outside, then Ambrose landed a suicide dive. Reigns followed with a big dive over the top rope to take out everyone on the outside, including J&J. But not Kane, who remained off to the side. Back in the ring, Reigns worked on Rollins while Orton and Dean recovered on the outside.

Ambrose and Reigns then re-formed their alliance working over Rollins. Ambrose stopped to have a chat with Reigns, who cocked his fist for the Superman Punch on Rollins, but Kane suddenly pulled down Reigns and yanked him out of the ring. Ambrose attacked Kane on the outside, but Kane reversed momentum and smashed Ambrose into the ring apron. Kane then joined J&J taking out Orton on the outside. On commentary, Lawler talked dejectedly about Kane's decision taking the wind out of his sails.

Back in the ring, Rollins worked on Ambrose, but he could not put him away. Rollins landed a big dropkick, but Ambrose rebounded off the ropes into the rebound lariat on Rollins. Ambrose had Dirty Deeds lined up, but Kane hit the ring and took out Ambrose with a chokeslam. Lawler said Kane should just make the three count himself. Orton eventually took out Kane, then charged the ring to knock down Rollins, then clothesline Ambrose to the outside. Orton landed a t-bone suplex on Rollins, but the champ kicked out in-time.

Orton decided to take the action to the floor, where he cleared the English announce table looking to punish Seth. But, Ambrose got involved. Then Reigns, who posted Orton. Suddenly, Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins had a moment. Seth told them to put Orton through a table. And The Shield came together for a moment in time. "No, no, no!" Cole said. Reigns lifted up Orton, then Rollins and Ambrose combined for a triple powerbomb through the table.

The crowd buzzed with a mix of noise for the reunion and thinking Ambrose and Reigns turned heel. Cole called it a one-time-only reunion. Seth then smiled and stuck his fist out looking for an old Shield group meeting. But, Ambrose and Reigns turned their smile into a frown. Seth did the big gulp and took a beating. Ambrose and Reigns cleared the Spanish announce table looking to put Rollins through a second table, but Kane put a stop to that. No matter, as Reigns cut off Kane, then combined with Ambrose to powerbomb Kane onto Rollins on the Spanish announce table. But, the table did not break. The crowd popped, then chanted "one more time." Ambrose and Reigns soaked it up, then decided to try again. So, Dean hoisted up Kane and Reigns powerbombed him into Rollins and through the Spanish table. Big pop.

Ambrose and Reigns shared a moment ringside, then said there's only one thing left to do. So, Ambrose ran into the ring ready to square off with Reigns, who was in second. The crowd was deeply invested, buying the idea of a new champion coming up. They had a standing exchange with loud Yays for Ambrose and boos for Reigns. JBL said they are looking at a new WWE champion, which meant they were not. Ambrose landed his offense, but Reigns knocked him down for a two count. Ambrose returned the favor, but Reigns responded with the Superman Punch for a close two count. Reigns wanted a spear, but Ambrose blocked with a Dirty Deeds attempt, only to have Reigns counter with a big spear. Reigns covered, but Rollins scampered back into the ring to break up a pin attempt.

At 18:00, Rollins and Ambrose battled ringside, then everyone returned to the ring, where Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Seth, but Kane recovered and yanked Ambrose out of the ring before a three count could be rendered. Kane then took out the participants, including a chokeslam to Reigns on the ring steps. But, Orton snuck up behind Kane to post him.

Orton tried to get back in the ring, but Rollins grabbed him on the way in. Orton reversed, then nailed RKOs on Noble and Mercury when they tried to run into the ring. Orton then nailed Seth with a mid-air powerslam into a second-rope DDT. Orton called for the RKO on Seth as the crowd fired up. Orton had a big smile on his face teasing the RKO in front of a hot crowd, but Kane entered the ring, so Orton dropped Kane with an RKO. Seth then grabbed Orton and dropped him with Triple H's Pedigree. Kind of a Pedigree. Seth covered Orton for the pin and the win. No kick-out on a B-Level Pedigree, protecting Hunter's finish in an era of wrestlers kicking out of finishers.

WINNER: Seth at 20:52 to retain the WWE World Title. The crowd was red-hot for this match. Some very good moments during the match, including The Shield reunion, triple powerbomb call-back, Spanish announce table spot, and Dean vs. Reigns exchange. And they got Kane's decision out of the way early to allow the competitors to be the focus. Well, mostly. They tried to get heat on Seth for winning the match with help from Kane, Joey, and Jamie yet again, but it's become so cliched that the audience seems to just groan, grit their teeth, and find bright spots. The repeated interference has to be conquered by a babyface at some point, which seems to be building toward Reigns eventually overcoming the stacked deck to cash in all that build-up. (***3/4)

Post-match, Seth recovered on the outside, then Triple H walked down from the back and held up Rollins's hand in victory. Hunter and Seth walked to the top of the stage as Orton, Reigns, and Rollins recovered ringside. Cole said Rollins is still WWE World champion. "Best for business," Lawler dejectedly and sarcastically said to close the broadcast five minutes past the top of the hour.


On the PPV post-show, Renee Young broke down the PPV, then sent it backstage.

Backstage: Byron Saxton interviewed John Cena. Cena said he has the ultimate respect for Rusev after their battles, but he prevailed in their war. Cena said he understands that he might not always win the U.S. Title Open Challenge, but no one will ever make him say I Quit. Cena said the Open Challenge is on-tap for Raw on Monday night.

Back to Renee, who wrapped things up with Booker and Corey Graves.

===== LIVECAST ALERT ======

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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)


Wade Keller, editor

James Caldwell, assistant editor

Bruce Mitchell (since 1990)
Pat McNeill (since 2001)
Greg Parks (since 2007)
Sean Radican (since 2003)

We also have a great team of
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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