The WWE’s big men dominated the Network’s first live show from Madison Square Garden. Schizophrenic Kane continued to stalk WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins and The Big Show suffered a big loss when he took on Brock “The Beast” Lesnar.
In a feud well that is well past its sell-by date, John Cena successfully defended his United States Heavyweight Championship by defeating Seth Rollins in a bloodless steel cage match. I don’t know about you but even though the WWE has done away with the clumsy, ridiculous eyesore that was the WrestleMania 2 steel cage, I don’t give a crap about the WWE’s senselessly restrictive PG mandate. Unless the combatants are suicidal high-fliers or there has been constant outside interference throughout the featured feud, I want blood and lots of it in my cage matches, otherwise, what’s the point, really?
Besides being completely sanitized, the Cena and Rollins bout also included many of the same spots we’ve seen so many times before in the last six months or so. The same can be said for a number of matches on the Live from MSG card. Pinning your company on extended, epic feuds instead of hot shot vendettas is definitely the way to go. It provides for a far more satisfying product but you certainly need progressive, evolving angles and matches in order to keep things fresh and the WWE seems to be losing that battle on a number of fronts.
Giving credit where credit is due though, Cena and Rollins succeeded in throwing in a few surprises, with the cage as their prop and backdrop. In the closing moments, Rollins tried to embarrass Cena with a Five Knuckle Shuffle but Cena put a stop to that by kicking him in the face and delivering his own slam, Shuffle. As Cena attempted an Attitude Adjustment, Rollins slithered out and began climbing the cage. Cena grabbed a foot but was kicked off. From the top rope, Rollins flew right into an STF by Cena.
In a death grip by Cena, Rollins crawled for the door and used the bottom rope to awkwardly choke Cena forcing him to finally release the hold. Hand over hand, Rollins pulled himself out of the cage using the steel stairs, touching the floor with one hand but not both feet as the rules require. Cena dragged Rollins back into the ring and attempted to crawl out too. As they traded failed escapes, Rollins slammed the cage door on Cena’s head for a two count.
Cena turned a Pedigree into a slingshot. Rollins landed in a corner and began scaling the cage once again. Cena leapt onto the cage wall, pulled Rollins back in and rammed his head into the cage. Now, it was Cena’s turn to scramble up the cage. Rollins cut Cena off and dumped him onto the canvass with a superplex from the second rope and then in one fluid motion, hit another slam to Cena for a two count.
Delivering a Ric Flair punch to Cena’s “lower abdomen”, Rollins had one leg over the top of the cage when Kane’s music hit. As The Big Red Machine stood stock-still outside, Rollins straddled the top of the cage not knowing whether to drop down and face Kane or punish Cena some more. Plunging off the top of the cage, Rollins went for some sort of leg drop. Cena, however, rolled out of the way. Rollins landed awkwardly on his shoulder. One Attitude Adjustment later, Rollins was pinned.
As Cena booked with his belt, Kane entered the ring and slammed the cage door shut. After a chokeslam and a Tombstone Piledriver, he held up the WWE World Heavyweight Title before draping it over a motionless Rollins.
Unlike Kane, The Big Show didn’t leave MSG with a smile on his face. After manhandling Brock Lesnar early on and executing three successive chokeslams, Big Show, like so many others, found himself crash-landing right in the middle of Suplex City. Shaking off the chokeslams, Lesnar German suplexed Big Show three times before attempting an F5. Unable to hold onto Big Show, Lesnar dropped him to the mat. A fourth German suplex and a successful F5 put Show down for the three count.
With Lesnar leaving the ring and disappearing into the back, it seemed the pain had ended for a wobbly Big Show. As Big Show stumbled around the ring, a smiling and sadistic Lesnar returned to spike Show with a fifth German suplex and another F5, just because he could.
The next WWE Network show is Hell in a Cell on October 25th, headlined by The Undertaker versus Brock Lesnar in a Hell in a Cell match.
Live from MSG 2015 Results
Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton Versus Sheamus, Rusev
- Just a thought but shouldn’t the chant by now be…You STILL look stupid? While it is a tag match, it is the same old, same old from this belaboured foursome. Sheamus gets pinned after a super kick from Ziggler and an RKO by Orton.
- As Sheamus counts stars, a disappointed Rusev starts laying into him. “You stupid non-American, you ruined everything. I could have beat them myself. You are so useless. Pack your suitcase and leave,” Rusev yells in Sheamus’ face as he struggles to get back to his feet. Rusev turns his back on Sheamus to give a Lana monologue. Big mistake. Sheamus Brogue Kicks Rusev in the face and tells him to kiss his butt.
- Winners: …Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler at 7 minutes and 19 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10
- Renee Young interviews a limping Corporate Kane on crutches who gracelessly sells his dual personality by switching between a dark, ominous voice and a happy-go-lucky tone. It hurts the brain to watch this. The bottom line…if Demon Kane terrorizes Rollins again, Corporate Kane will come running…make that…hobbling…to his rescue.
Stardust Vs Neville
- Not to be outdone, Stardust has his own cape now. A bumbling JBL mentions something about The Lucha Dragons and twerking or something. Can’t the WWE hire commentators who are at least somewhat up on current pop culture? Stardust slaps Neville in the face with a glove saying he is not a hero. Stardust steals Neville’s cape, puts it on and heads to the top rope. He gets punched in the gut and Red Arrowed for his troubles.
- Winner: Neville at 7 minutes and 27 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10
- Renee Young attempts to chat with Paul Heyman but Heyman does all the talking, thankfully. Lesnar is going to be all offence tonight. Big Show is going to meet the mayor of Suplex City.
The Bellas, Alicia Fox Versus Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch
- A very sloppy, very messy match. Fed up with Paige tagging herself in, Becky and Charlotte drop to the floor when she desperately tries to hot tag either of them in. Becky, Charlotte stand back and smile as Paige is Rack Attacked and pinned by Nikki.
- Left alone in the ring, Paige sulks. “I cannot believe my teammates would do that to me,” she whines. “I thought they were my best friends. I would never do anything like that to my teammates. Charlotte, Becky, I will never forgive you.” Paige grumbles better than she wrestles, it seems.
- Winners: The Bellas, Alicia Fox at 8 minutes and 23 seconds.
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
Chris Jericho (challenger) Vs Kevin Owens (champion) – WWE Intercontinental Title Match
- It is Y2J so you know what that means? The WWE needs to sell someone so… Losing is Jericho. Sigh. At least he has the new Iron Maiden album to comfort him and yeah, Book of Souls is one of their best yet. Up the Irons!
- In keeping with his litany of sports references this evening, JBL steals Jericho’s thunder by detailing his father’s NHL hockey career, right before Y2J gets on the house mike and does the same thing. It is Jericho’s 25th anniversary since he started wrestling. Jericho remembers watching his dad play hockey in MSG and recalls his first match against Lance Storm at Moose Hall in Canada. Jericho is glad some of his best friends are in attendance tonight. Lance Storm, Don Callis and others are shown sitting in the front row. Jericho thinks a great anniversary present would be to win the WWE Intercontinental Title for the 10th time tonight.
- A great match ensues although not “awesome” as the misguided crowd suggests. Get a grip, people. Not every above average match is worthy of being called awesome. You want truly awesome? Shawn Michaels versus Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 12 was awesome. Ricky Steamboat versus Ric Flair at Clash of The Champions VI was awesome. Ricky Steamboat versus Randy Savage at Wrestlemania 3 was awesome. Chris Jericho versus Kevin Owens at Live from MSG 2015 was not awesome. Crack open a wrestling history book, people.
- Jericho locks on the Walls, however, Owens executes an Atomic Eye Rake once again, rolling up Jericho for the telegraphed pinfall. Owens wishes Jericho a happy anniversary as he leaves.
- Winner: …and still WWE Intercontinental Champion…Kevin Owens at 8 minutes and 10 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10.
- We are shown the Big Show doing nothing but snarling at the camera backstage. He could be on the toilet for all we know.
The Dudley Boyz (challengers) Vs The New Day (champions) – WWE World Tag Team Title Match
- What the heck? Almost an exact replay of their match from Night of Champions complete with interference saving the titles and Woods getting a 3D at the end after the Dudleys bounce back from a beatdown. Tragic.
- Winners: …and still WWE World Tag Team Champions…The New Day at 6 minutes and 33 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
Brock Lesnar Versus The Big Show
- Winner: Brock Lesnar at 4 minutes and 8 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
John Cena (champion) Versus Seth Rollins (challenger) – WWE United States Championship Match
- Winner: …and still WWE United States Champion…John Cena at 22 minutes and 43 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8.5 / 10.
- Total Event Time: Approximately, 2 and a half hours.
- Overall Event Rating: 7 / 10