Date: July 20, 2014
Location: Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa Bay, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler
This show isn’t much more than a bridge to Summerslam but it’s a very nicely decorated bridge. The main event is Cena defending his title against Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Kane in a fourway. Other than we’re getting the first showdown between Ambrose and Reigns, Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho and an Intercontinental Title battle royal. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Fandango vs. Adam Rose
I would have bet on this being instead of Fandango. The match is sponsored by Mountain Dew Kickstarter. Layla and Summer are with Adam Rose, who is celebrating his birthday tonight. Fandango jumps him to start and grabs a quick belly to back suplex for two. The party dances around the ring but Fandango stops to yell at them, only to get slapped by Summer and Layla. Adam brings him back inside for a spinebuster and the Party Foul for the pin at 1:25.
Pre-Show: Cameron vs. Naomi
Naomi tries to fight at the bell but Cameron hides in the corner. A kick sends Naomi to the floor and Cameron drives her back first into the barricade. Back in and Cameron puts Naomi in a bow and arrow hold with her feet in Naomi’s back. Naomi gets out but misses a dropkick. Cameron doesn’t follow up and gets hammered with right hands. She tries to leave but Naomi rams her into the barricade before ripping at Cameron’s hair. Cameron elbows her in the face and grabs a rollup with a handful of trunks for the pin at 3:13.
Rating: D-. This was awful. Do you know why it was awful? Because Cameron has no business being in a wrestling ring. Naomi is talented but isn’t a miracle worker and couldn’t do anything with Cameron here. I don’t know what WWE was expecting from this match but it couldn’t have been much higher than this.
The opening video talks about war and focuses on the fourway and Rollins vs. Ambrose. Nothing special.
Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Wyatt Family
Usos are defending and this is 2/3 falls. Jey pops Rowan in the jaw to start but Erick just looks annoyed. Off to Harper who chokes Jey on the ropes but gets dropkicked out to the floor. Rowan gets knocked off as well and the challengers have to regroup. Back in and Luke sends Jey throat first into the bottom rope. Rowan cranks on Jey’s neck before it’s back to Luke for a chinlock. Jey finally rolls free and tags in Jimmy who gets kicked in the face for the first fall at 4:47.
Rowan puts Jimmy in the double fist vice as Jey is finally back up on the apron. Jimmy fights up but fails at a slam attempt to keep the challengers in control. Back to Harper who rubs his forearms over Jimmy’s face but Jimmy backflips out of a belly to back suplex. Jey comes in off the hot tag and rolls Harper up for the pin at 8:07 title.
Erick throws Jey with a fall away slam for two and Luke catapults him into the ropes. Jey dives over a charging Rowan to send him into the post, setting up a hot tag to Jimmy. Both Wyatts get taken down by big dives to the floor before Jimmy walks the barricade to take Luke down again. Back inside and a high cross body gets two on Harper. The running Umaga attack in the corner gets two and Jimmy is getting frustrated.
A superkick is blocked and Harper hits a running big boot. Jimmy is sent outside for a suicide dive from Harper. Jey sends Rowan into the barricade and Erick is grabbing at his arm. Harper’s suicide dive is blocked by a superkick and Jey grabs a rollup for two. Back up and Harper plants Jey with a sitout powerbomb for a VERY close two and the fans are into it. Rowan goes up top but misses a splash. Harper goes up but gets crotched, allowing Jimmy to get the tag and hit the Superfly Splash for two on Rowan.
The Usos get crotched on the top and Rowan is up top to superplex both of them down for two on Jimmy. Everything breaks down again and Luke nails Jimmy with a superkick. Jimmy hits one of his own but Harper nails the discus lariat, only to have Jey break up the pin. Double superkicks drop both Wyatts and a double Superfly Splash pins Luke at 18:50.
Rating: A. Well that was worth the $10. This has to set up the Ascension coming up to challenge the Usos because there’s no one left for them to beat. The first fall could be reason to give them another match but it seems a bit too long at this point. I’m surprised by the ending but it was an excellent match with those near falls getting better and better every time.
We recap Ambrose vs. Rollins. Seth claimed that he founded the Shield and broke up the team by turning on Ambrose and Reigns while joining forces with the Authority. Rollins then won Money in the Bank but Ambrose has promised to never let Seth cash in the briefcase. The Authority has helped Rollins beat Ambrose down multiple times now and this is the first chance for a one on one match.
Rollins talks about how he’s not worried about this match and is ready to show Ambrose that he’s the best. Then, with Ambrose out of the picture, Rollins is going to be watching the fourway. Ambrose jumps Rollins and lays him out so HHH throws Ambrose out of the building. Apparently the match isn’t happening tonight, or at least not right now.
Divas Title: Paige vs. AJ Lee
Paige debuted the night after Wrestlemania and took the title from AJ in a huge upset. A few months later, AJ returned and took the title from Paige in an impromptu title defense. Paige has since been saying she and AJ are now frenemies. A loud CM Punk chant starts up and so do the Network plugs. Paige gets two off an early rollup and drives some knees into AJ’s chest for two.
We hit the chinlock on the champion as the fans aren’t sure who they like more. Back up and Paige tries to spear AJ to the floor but they stop at the ropes and it goes into very slow motion. They head back inside for a not great looking sunset bomb for two from Paige. For some reason Paige looks like she’s about to cry and shouts COME ON AJ. Back up and AJ stops a charge in the corner but gets caught in mid air. Paige tries to spin her around but gets caught in the Black Widow. She powers out again though and hits the Paige Turner for two. The PTO is countered into a rollup for two but AJ nails a Shining Wizard for the pin at 7:14.
Rating: C. Not great here but it’s so far and away better than the stuff from Alicia Fox and the Bellas that it’s hard to not be pleased. They’re making Paige look like a flash in the pan at this point but there will be more matches in this feud. It wasn’t bad save for some awkward looking spots and that’s acceptable for girls that don’t get to try this kind of stuff that often.
Randy Orton goes into the depths of the building to make amends with Kane for the RKO on Monday. Kane isn’t pleased but Orton says their enemies are Cena and Reigns. The monster says those two aren’t leaving as champion because the winner is right here.
The panel (Booker T., Christian and Alex Riley) talk about the show so far and pick winners for the World Title match.
We look back at Colter and Lana’s detente from Raw.
Rusev vs. Jack Swagger
Lana does her usual schtick before the match, talking about how American propaganda has led to what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. Colter comes out to talk as well but gets slapped, triggering a brawl between Rusev and Swagger. The bell rings and Swagger goes for the Patriot Lock but Rusev bails outside. Rusev hammers away but gets knocked back to the floor. Another Patriot Lock doesn’t work and Rusev throws Swagger over in a fall away slam.
Off to a nerve hold for a bit before Rusev fires off kicks to the thighs and chest. Swagger stomps on Rusev’s bare feet and hits a Vader Bomb for two. Swagger is sent to the apron and does a very bad job of sticking his head back in so Rusev can kick him in the chest. The superkick is caught in the Patriot Lock but Rusev finally dives forward to the ropes. They head outside with Swagger chop blocking Rusev and putting the hold on again. Rusev crawls up the steps and rolls Swagger face first into the post before beating the count at 10:00.
Rating: C. This was fine and lets the feud continue when the real life tensions have calmed down a little bit. They did a good job of making Swagger look good and the more wins Rusev gets over big names, the better off he’s going to be. It was nothing great but it extends the feud and that’s all it needed to do.
Rusev puts the unconscious Swagger in the Accolade.
Goldust and Stardust talk about the cosmic key. Stardust thinks they should watch the stars tonight.
Here’s Seth Rollins for his match, even though HHH has officially tweeted that Ambrose will not be in the arena again tonight. He says Dean behaven irresponsibly earlier tonight and insists that he is named the winner by forefit. Rollins goes up the aisle but Ambrose attacks him because wrestling security sucks.
Dean sends him onto the Spanish announce table but security pulls him off. Ambrose breaks through again as Rollins shouts at him. HHH comes out as they’re fighting again and tells security to get Ambrose out of here. Security literally picks Ambrose up to carry him out but Rollins dives on Dean. HHH finally gets Rollins calm and holds up his arm.
We recap Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt. Jericho came back again but got beaten down by the Wyatts. Jericho wisely ran away instead of fighting all three of them but tonight it’s one on one.
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
Jericho takes him into the corner to start but gets knocked back by a single right hand. A clothesline puts Jericho down again and a kick to the chest gets one. Jericho fights out of a neck crank and dropkicks Bray to the apron for the springboard dropkick to the floor. The Family helps Bray up so Jericho dives onto all three of them.
The referee ejects the Family and Bray isn’t happy. He lets some of his anger go by knocking Jericho off the apron and onto a cameraman. Back in and Jericho is sent to the ropes but he hangs on and nails a top rope ax handle. Bray pops back up and they botch a belly to back suplex into a gutbuster spot. The second attempt works better and Jericho is in trouble again. Bray’s backsplash hits knees and both guys are down.
Bray puts Jericho on the middle rope and brings him down with a kind of jawbreaker for two. Jericho comes right back with the bulldog but the Lionsault hits knees. Bray spider walks to the corner before slamming Chris down for two. Jericho whips him into the corner and Bray hits his head on the bottom buckle. They head to the apron and Bray tries a DDT but Jericho lands on the middle rope instead of the edge of the ring. The Walls are countered but Jericho hits the Codebreaker for the clean pin at 15:00.
Rating: D+. Ummm…WHAT? Why in the world did this happen? Bray is supposed to be this new young guy and he’s jobbing clean to Chris Jericho? The match was awkward throughout and it felt like they were on different pages. Maybe Jericho isn’t back to his level, but the ending is beyond questionable.
Rollins leaves and says he doesn’t need security. He goes into the parking lot but Ambrose pops out of the trunk of a car and beats Rollins up again. Seth finally gets away in the car.
Intercontinental Title: Battle Royal
Big E., Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro, R-Truth, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, Titus O’Neal, Heath Slater, Diego, Sin Cara, Xavier Woods, Great Khali, Kofi Kingston, Bo Dallas, Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, The Miz
No Rob Van Dam for some reason. Bad News Barrett comes out and says the new champion will be like an old couple retiring here in Florida. Initially it will be great, but it’s delaying the inevitable. Everyone goes after Khali to start but he shoves them off and cleans house before throwing out Woods and Ryder. A Brogue Kick stuns Khali and everyone puts him out. Dallas eliminates Sin Cara and Ryback does the same to Truth.
Axel is tossed as they’re going through this match quickly. Damien Sandow (a beach bum here) gets thrown out by Diego to no reaction but Ryback throws out the Matador a second later. Ryback slams Dallas down and all of a sudden only Ryback and Sheamus are standing. A quick slugout ends with a Brogue Kick for the elimination. Miz can’t throw Sheamus out and gets a Zig Zag for trying. He slides out to the floor under the ropes and everyone goes back to brawling.
Titus throws Sheamus around like he’s nothing but Bo eliminates him for a big celebration. Kofi and Cesaro go at it with Kofi missing Trouble in Paradise and getting backdropped over. He hangs on like he’s trying a sunset bomb but pulls himself back in. Cesaro grabs Kofi’s dreadlocks but gets dropkicked down. Both guys are still in. Del Rio and Ziggler go at it with Alberto putting on the armbreaker over the ropes. Del Rio tries the low superkick on the apron and gets his neck snapped across the top rope for an elimination.
We’re down to Kofi, Dallas, Slater, Cesaro, Big E., Sheamus, Ziggler and Miz. Cesaro suplexes Big E. out and throws Kofi out but Big E. catches him on his shoulders. Cesaro suplexes Kofi off Big E.’s shoulders and back into the ring (why?) before poking him in the eye and suplexing him to the floor. Slater dumps Cesaro in a huge upset but gets thrown to the apron by Sheamus. A Brogue Kick puts him out and a slingshot shoulder knocks Bo silly. The ten forearms to the chest have Dallas in trouble and Ziggler dropkicks him out.
We’re down to Sheamus vs. Ziggler and Miz is somewhere on the floor. They slug it out and no one can hit a big move. Sheamus loads up a powerbomb and they botch a counter with a very awkward landing. Thankfully they seem to be fine and Sheamus catapults Dolph over the top but he hangs on. Dolph pulls Sheamus out but he hangs on as well. Sheamus loads up the slingshot shoulder but gets superkicked out, allowing Miz to come in and throw out Ziggler to win at 14:20.
Rating: D+. Erg. Why go with something interesting when you can go with someone who has held the title multiple times before? I’m glad they didn’t unify the titles but I would have loved to see someone like Dallas get this for the promos alone. At the end of the day though, this is a death knell for Miz’s push, as is the custom in WWE.
We recap the main event. Cena refused to side with the Authority so HHH put him in this match with Orton, Kane and Reigns, who HHH hated a month ago but now is ok with being in a title shot. He explained it in an interview on WWE.com but it still doesn’t hold up.
WWE World Title: John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Kane
Cena is defending and has both belts again here. It’s a brawl to start and Orton is in blue instead of black. Randy sends Orton into the steps but Reigns fights off both Authority members. A double suplex drops Reigns and gives Orton two as Kane seems to play defense against Cena. The champion comes back in and Orton takes him down for two more as Kane guards against Reigns.
Kane breaks up an AA attempt on Orton as the early going continues. Reigns and Kane fight on the floor so Cena can start up his finishing sequence on Orton. The AA is blocked so Cena throws Orton to the floor before turning around to see Reigns. Kane and Orton break it up before anything happens and Kane gets two on Reigns to annoy Randy. They start to shove each other and a YES chant starts up.
Orton says it’s supposed to be Kane watching his back but Kane uppercuts him. Kane loads up a superplex but Cena and Reigns come in to make it a Tower of Doom. Now we get Cena vs. Reigns but Kane sits up to stop it again. They stop Kane to the floor but Orton sneaks in with a backbreaker to Roman. A double Elevated DDT puts down both heroes but Kane breaks up a pin.
Cena and Reigns send Kane to the floor before Cena grabs an STF. Reigns adds a half crab at the same time but Kane makes the save. An AA sends Kane back to the floor and Orton is put in the STF again. Reigns pulls Orton to the ropes and throws him over the announce table, FINALLY giving us the showdown. They slug it out and Reigns tries a clothesline but Cena goes the wrong way so it’s kind of an old Vader body attack. The STF is countered and Reigns hits a Samoan drop. The Superman Punch misses and Cena hits the ProtoBomb.
Reigns pops up and hits the Superman Punch followed by the spear but Kane makes the save (with Cena’s head up and watching Kane come in the entire way). Kane gets hammered down and Reigns hits the jumping kick to all three guys. Orton gets speared through the barricade and the fans think this is awesome. Back in and Reigns spears Kane down but Cena makes the save.
Cena throws Roman to the floor and hits the AA for two as Reigns makes the save. Reigns and Cena slug it out again and an AA gets two with Kane breaking it up. Both heroes get chokeslammed but Reigns kicks out at two. The tombstone is countered and another spear connects until Orton makes the save. The RKO puts Reigns down but Cena comes in with an AA to Orton before pinning Kane to keep the title at 18:15.
Rating: B. Good match but the ending never being in doubt hurt things a bit. Some of the near falls did have me thinking we might get a surprise but at the end of the day this was the best option they had. Cena keeps the title and now we’re heading to his showdown with Lesnar where Brock gets his win back next month.
Overall Rating: C. This was underwhelming due to some of the booking. Miz winning is acceptable but not very exciting. On the other hand, I see absolutely no reason for Bray to lose to Jericho. At this point, Jericho should be there to put people over, not pin guys in featured matches at Wrestlemania three months ago. Other than that there was some good stuff here and it was miles better than last year, but it felt a lot more like a filler show than it should have. Granted it was a filler show so my expectations hit a hard ceiling during the build up. The opener and main event were both good so the show was worth the $10, but the middle pretty much sucked. Summerslam has potential as the big blowoff show though.
Adam Rose b. Fandango – Party Foul
Cameron b. Naomi – Rollup
Usos b. Wyatt Family – Double Superfly Splash to Harper
AJ Lee b. Paige – Shining Wizard
Rusev b. Jack Swagger via countout
Chris Jericho b. Bray Wyatt – Codebreaker
The Miz won a battle royal last eliminating Dolph Ziggler
John Cena b. Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Kane – Cena pinned Kane after a spear from Reigns
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