TORONTO – Sometimes, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Just like infamous rivalry between Edge and John Cena which offered up some incredible, unforgettable bouts but wore out its welcome no matter how the WWE repackaged it, Cena versus Seth Rollins has hit that proverbial wall.
Although their main event match for Cena’s United States Championship at Toronto’s Ricoh Coliseum was pay-per-view quality, an exceptional match-up from start to finish, you couldn’t help but feel we have seen it all before and don’t really want to see more any time soon.
Supported by a truly stellar undercard, one of the best in recent years as far as individual match quality and work rate goes, the main event was as hard-hitting as usual between the two superstars but featured far too much posturing by Rollins which often slowed the momentum.
Repeatedly countering each other’s trademark maneuvers, things got vicious when the fight went to the floor. A backdrop by Cena sent Rollins over the top rope. He landed hard on the outside. Rollins got the better of Cena as they traded punches and he threw the U.S. champ maliciously into the ringside stairs for the second time that night.
Back in the ring, a knee from the top rope brought Cena down for a two count. Later, Rollins was crotched on the top rope but managed to reverse things on Cena delivering a running bucklebomb for another two count.
Faithfully following the modern wrestling canon in which a-title-doesn’t-change-hands-when-there-are-no-cameras-present, Cena countered Rollins’ attempt at a Pedigree from the second rope into an Attitude Adjustment spiking him into the mat for the win.
While it may not have been of the same caliber as far as technique goes, the No Holds Barred bout between Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt was actually a far more interesting because of its zany twists and turns.
In a match that saw both mat maniacs beaten mercilessly with a Kendo stick, bashed with steel chairs, it was a foregone conclusion that a couple of tables would also make an appearance.
Propping up the Keno stick in a corner, Bray Wyatt whipped Ambrose into it. Clutching his throat, Ambrose battled back and laid an unrelenting beating on Wyatt with the stick. As Ambrose put Wyatt through a table with a flying elbow smash from the top rope, Luke Harper came to the rescue, hitting Ambrose with a boot to the face as Wyatt rolled out to the safety of the floor.
Perhaps lured out by the hardcore mayhem, The Dudley Boyz hit the ring ending Harper’s interference by planting him with a 3D through the table.
Possibly feeling a little left out, Braun Strowman powerwalked his way to the ring dispensing with D-Von. While Bubba Ray stood his ground, he couldn’t bring down the giant and was felled by a devastating clothesline.
Conceivably still harboring some pent up energy after his Intercontinental Title match with Kevin Owens earlier in the evening, Ryback charged out challenging Braun Strowman. Double-teaming the big man, Ambrose and Ryback managed to drive Strowman from the ring.
Thrown into a chair propped up in another corner, Wyatt fell victim to Dirty Deeds and a three count. As The Wyatt Family licked their wounds on the ramp way, the Dudleys, Ambrose and Ryback stood tall in the ring.
The next WWE house show in Toronto is December 30th, 2015 at the Ricoh Coliseum.
WWE Ricoh Coliseum Results
The New Day (champions) Vs The Prime Time Players (challengers) – WWE World Tag Team Title Match
- Xavier Woods is tagging with Big E as Kofi Kingston cheers from outside the ring. The more things change, the more they stay the same as Kingston interferes in the end giving New Day the win.
- Winners: …and still WWE Tag Team Champions… New Day at 15 minutes and 10 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10
Braun Strowman Vs Damien Sandow
- As everyone’s attention is directed to the entrance way, the house lights turn on revealing Braun Strowman in the ring. Sandow looks worried and he should be. Bounced around like a tennis ball by all sorts of power moves and his blows having no effect, Sandow quickly submits to the Lifting Arm Triangle Choke or whatever Strowman is calling his submission move.
- Winner: Braun Strowman at 3 minutes and 20 seconds.
- Match Rating: 2 / 10
Curtis Axel Vs Los Matadores (Handicap Match)
- Apparently, Hulk Hogan’s recent troubles have rubbed off on Axel because he cannot find a tag team partner. He is also back to plain old Curtis Axel…even though the “Axelmania” chants continue. Axel fends off both Matadores quite well and gets a helping hand or two from El Torito who charges the ring as George Thorogood and the Destroyers’ “Bad to the Bone” plays. El Torito attacks his former buddies. He even gets a legal pin to win the match. Bizarre that. Axel hoists El Torito on his shoulders and celebrates.
- Winners: El Torito and Curtis Axel at 6 minutes and 39 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
Chris Jericho Vs Luke Harper
- In another surprise on a card full of them, Luke Harper actually cuts a promo on Jericho in the ring. We can see why the WWE has kept him silent. If you are expecting booming voice from the Wyatt Family enforcer, you will be sadly mistaken.
- ”Chant all you want. The Wyatt Family is back and my name is…,” is all Harper manages to sputter before Jericho’s entrance music cuts him off. Once in the ring, Jericho snatches the microphone out of Harper’s hand and tells him to “shut the hell up”.
- ”Welcome to Toronto is Jericho,” shouts Y2J saying he is going to give Harper a “Blue Jay beat-down”. While Jericho is removing his jacket, Harper blindsides him.
- Really solid match that ends with Harper being poleaxed with the Code Breaker.
- Winner: Chris Jericho at 7 minutes and 34 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10.
Ryback (challenger) Vs Kevin Owens (champion) – WWE Intercontinental Title Match
- Ryback is booed by the Canadian fans. This encounter is actually far better than their recent match at Night of Champions…except for the ending. As Ryback lifts Owens into Shell Shocked, Owens appears to rake his eyes and this time…he is disqualified? Since when does raking someone’s eyes result in a disqualification in the WWE? Man, the move was almost a finisher for the late, great, Roddy Piper.
- Owens tries to label Ryback with the belt after the match but misses and gets Shell Shocked.
- Winner: Ryback but still WWE Intercontinental Champion at 9 minutes and 52 seconds…Kevin Owens.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10.
Bray Wyatt Vs Dean Ambrose – No Holds Barred Match
- Winner: Dean Ambrose at 17 minutes and 08 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8.5 / 10.
Big Show Vs Cesaro
- The crowd chants to Big Show…”Please, retire.” He answers back on the house mike…”No.”
- While Show focuses on power moves, Cesaro dents his armour with many, many, many European Uppercuts. In a very impressive move, Cesaro does slam Big Show to the mat. Cesaro pushes his luck by going to the top rope and is caught and Chokeslammed by Big Show.
- Winner: Big Show at 10 minutes and 14 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
The Bella Twins Vs Charlotte, Becky Lynch
- Lynch takes a beating until Charlotte is hot-tagged in. Charlotte slaps on the Figure Eight for the win.
- Winner: Charlotte, Becky Lynch at 7 minutes and 06 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
John Cena (champion) Vs Seth Rollins (challenger) – United States Championship Match
- Winner: …and still United States Champion at 21 minutes and 45 seconds…John Cena.
- Match Rating: 9 / 10.
- Total Event Time: Approximately, 3 hours.
Overall Event Rating: 8.5 / 10