Courtesy of WWE.com
by Jeff Hamlin, WrestlingObserver.com
The Big Takeaway: John Cena defeated Seth Rollins to retain the U.S. Championship in an intriguing main event. Cena legitimately busted up his nose from a Rollins' knee lift midway through the match, and the blood was flowing freely. But Cena finished the match, which once again was the best thing on the show. There was no Undertaker, no Brock Lesnar and there sure as hell was no mention of Hulk Hogan.
HHH, Stephanie McMahon and Seth Rollins are out for this week's 20-minute opening segment. HHH announced SummerSlam would be a 4-hour event. He also said for tonight that the Big Show would face Dean Ambrose, while Stephanie said Paige will face Sasha Banks. HHH said Kevin Owens will tangle with Randy Orton. Stephanie said Alicia Fox and Nikki Bella will take on Becky Lynch and Charlotte.
Rollins brought up walking out of Battleground as the WWE Champion even after facing Lesnar in the main event. He told the fans to stand up and admit he may go down the greatest WWE Champion of all time. John Cena came out and called Rollins a joke. So Cena asked Stephanie and HHH to arrange a title match against Rollins tonight.
Rollins started to tell Cena off when Stephanie interrupted him and asked the fans if they wanted to see Rollins vs. Cana for the title. Place interrupted while Stephanie egged them on with "Yes" chants, but she heeled on them and said Cena has to earn his chance. Instead, HHH booked Rollins vs. Cena for the U.S. Championship tonight. For those keeping score, Stephanie was a heel this week after 2 straight weeks as a babyface.
The next edition of the Stone Cone Podcast will be next week with special guest Paige. Somehow, I don't think she was the original guest in mind for that program.
The Big Show defeated Dean Ambrose by countout (11:19)
Final 5 minutes of the match was Ambrose teasing getting counted out but getting back in the ring at the count of 9, despite taking 2 choke slams. Ambrose made a comeback and tried to hit Show with a tope, but Show hit the Knockout punch. This time, Ambrose got up again but couldn't get back in the ring. The Miz was on commentary to continue whatever is going on with Show and Ryback.
Postmatch, Show tried to spear Ambrose through the barricade, but Ambrose moved and Show crashed and was left down.
Neville defeated Fandango (1:50)
Neville won with the Red Arrow. They continue to create these cool comic book graphics for Neville, depicting him as a superhero and the leader of the "Altitude Era."
Postmatch, Stardust appeared on the TitanTron and did his usual weird promo running down Neville.
Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch talked backstage when the BAD crew came in to talk junk. Charlotte's main gimmick is saying "Whoo!" Sasha Banks and Lynch were about to square off when Naomi stepped in and broke them up. Paige is the most pushed of her trio.
Sasha Banks defeated Paige via submission (13:53)
Banks won clean with the Bank Statement for the second straight week. Paige hit a tope before the commercial. During the break, Tamina & Naomi nearly got into a brawl with Fox and Charlotte, leading to referee ordering everyone at ringside to the back. There was a video package of Banks before the match that felt generic.
Renee Young interviewed Rollins. Apparently, the Ultimate Warrior rule of 1990 isn't in effect. Even though Warrior had to vacate the Intercontinental Title after beating Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania, Rollins will win the U.S. Championship if he beats Cena tonight. Rollins said he will prove time has passed Cena by tonight.
They announced Arnold Schwarzenegger as a playable character in the new WWE2016 video game. Schwarzenegger was shown in a duplicate opening scene from Terminator 2, only with Ambrose playing the bully biker who tried to put out a cigar on Schwarzenegger's chest, only to have it melt to ashes on his traps. I can't wait for Adam Sandler's character from Pixels to be incorporated into WWE2017.
Rusev and Summer Rae were out for a promo. Rusev said he was smitten for Rae, who soothed his soul. He said he would show how to properly treat a woman. Rusev pulled out a dog, who tried frantically to run away before Summer secured him. Rusev said with his skinny legs, they should call him "Dog Ziggler." Then Rusev gave Summer a fish and suggested they call it Lana since she was a cold fish.
Lana came out and said everyone can see right through Rusev. Rae said after years of Rusev having to rest next to this (holding up the fish), he was now resting next to this (Rae pointed to herself). Lana threw a leg kick at about half the speed of Meisha Tate, placed Rae in an armbar and rubbed her face into the fish. Rusev just watched as Lana walked away. No way in hell that would have happened ten years ago. Rae was great selling this.
Lucha Dragons defeated Los Matadores (8:06)
Very good execution. Crowd barely cared. Kalisto pinned Diego after a victory roll when the New Day came down with a sign boasting that Kofi Kingston was the Real Mega Dad of the Year to make fun of Titus O'Neal, who was with Darren Young on commentary. Why Los Matadores lost after interference from the New Day after they won last week BECAUSE of interference from the New Day is a question you can try to answer.
O'Neal joked that he and JBL had made up after they bickered two weeks ago. It's pretty clear O'Neal is meant to be the one to shine vocally during his commentator's appearances, like he's supposed to be the Charles Barkley of WWE. It's hard to do in a five man booth.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman will appear on Raw next week.
Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper came down with Harper supposedly set to recommit himself to the Wyatt Family. Bray did his usual rambling interview where he talked about the importance of family, then said everything that the fan's families had taught them was a lie because it was a cruel world. Bray said, when he was a child, he had a pet that wished to be free. So one day, Bray let the pet off its chain and set him on its way. But the pet returned one day with a scar from his eye to his mouth because he didn't understand life's bite was harder than his bite.
Harper got the mic and said the fans created him, but it was Wyatt who cleansed him free. Wyatt said Harper would go to hell for him, and already has. He wondered if Roman Reigns could rely on Ambrose to do the same thing for him.
Becky Lynch & Charlotte defeated Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox (6:02)
Again, very little heat. Lynch made Alicia Fox tap out to the Disarm-Her. JBL got in a reference to Velvet McIntyre in a comparison to Lynch. That reminds me, if anyone could tell me what happened with McIntyre's WrestleMania 2 finish with the Fabulous Moolah, I'd appreciate it because I've always been curious.
Randy Orton defeated Kevin Owens by DQ (11:27)
They had a pretty good match that built to an Orton comeback. It wound up on the floor where Sheamus, who was on commentary (third guest commentator tonight), clotheslined Orton from behind for the DQ. Sheamus and Owens put the boots to Orton until Cesaro ran down for the save. After Cesaro sent Sheamus out of the ring, Owens gave Cesaro a Pop-Up Power Bomb. There was a staredown before the match, and boy did Orton tower over Owens.
Cena did a promo saying he would prove he was a better champion than Rollins tonight and defeat the Authority's chosen one.
John Cena (C) defeated Seth Rollins via submission to retain the U.S. Championship (17:01)
About 12:00 in, Rollins caught Cena with a knee to the face like it was Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin. Cena's nose was busted up, and the doctor had to enter the ring a few minutes later to check on him. They picked up with a good near fall where Rollins escaped an AA and hit a superkick for a near fall. That had to feel like hell. Moments later, Rollins kicked out of a Cena's AA, which led to another doctor's checkup. Cena's nose was crooked at this point. Rollins hit a superplex, then followed with a Rolling Vertical Suplex, but Cena kicked out. Rollins attempted a Phoenix Splash but missed, and Cena clamped on the STF, leading to a tapout. Your weekly Cena Match of the Week and the fans, who gave Cena a mixed reaction, gave him a standing ovation realizing he worked the last five minutes with a possible broken nose.
SUMMARY: Once again, Cena had the best match on the show. It's now at the point where Cena should be in the argument for the Flair/Thesz Award because he's doing it against a wide array of opponents. Otherwise, this was an ordinary show.