WWE Madison Square Garden House Show – October 3, 2015: The Hallowed Halls

WWE Madison Square Garden House Show
Date: October 3, 2015
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Commentators: Rich Brennan, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

This is another WWE Network exclusive from the world’s most famous arena. It’s a pretty stacked card with the main event of Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show in a match that could totally be different than any time they’ve fought before. Other than that we have the traditional steel cage match with US Champion John Cena defending against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins again. Let’s get to it.

The opening video talks about Cena vs. Rollins and Brock vs. Big Show.

There’s a mini Titantron set up like there was in Japan. The middle rope is pink again for breast cancer awareness.

Rusev/Sheamus vs. Randy Orton/Dolph Ziggler

This was originally billed as two singles matches and it’s a really smart move to not go with the same stale pairings we’ve seen multiple times each. I know this is nothing revolutionary but at least it’s something new. Orton gets quite the positive reaction from the fans. Sheamus and Orton get things going and the fans are all over Sheamus’ looks. Orton fights out of the corner and it’s off to Rusev who is greeted by a big USA chant. Dolph comes in with a dropkick for two but a Sheamus distraction lets the swinging Rock Bottom plant Ziggler for two.

It’s off to Sheamus for a chinlock as the announcers debate Lana and Summer. See, I can live with the constant storyline stuff while we’re sitting in a rest hold. It’s better than discussing how to fight out of something like that because you can only take that discussion so far. Rusev comes in for a nerve hold and the villains take turns keeping Ziggler in trouble. Dolph finally gets in a slam on Rusev (really? A slam?) and the diving tag brings in Orton to clean house. A Ziggler superkick knocks Rusev off the apron and the Brogue Kick misses, setting up an RKO to put Sheamus away at 8:40.

Rating: C+. Total formula tag match here and there’s nothing wrong with that. They kept this from getting too long (ala the Beast in the East main event) and the fans stayed in it as a result. The RKO is a great way to end a match like this as it’s always going to wake the fans up and it’s not like the MSG fans need a lot of help.

Post match Rusev screams at Sheamus for costing them the match. Sheamus is more useless than Lana and all these people so he needs to pack his bag and leave. Sheamus gets up and Brogue Kicks Rusev and walks off. That didn’t feel like a face turn.

We recap Kane and Seth Rollins from Monday with Kane’s split personalities.

Corporate Kane is here to help run the show and will run down to help if Demon Kane comes after Rollins. Well limp down but you get the idea.

Stardust vs. Neville

No seconds here. Stardust shoulders him down to start but Neville sweeps the leg and does a little dance. The running hurricanrana (that’s such a cool looking move) sends Stardust down again but he comes back with the Disaster Kick to put Neville down. Stardust looks at Neville’s cape before putting on a chinlock. That goes as far as a chinlock is going to go so Stardust tries to crotch him against the post but the superhero pulls him face first into the post instead.

The Asai moonsault drops Stardust again but he comes back in with a Side Effect for two. With nothing else working, Stardust puts on Neville’s cape and goes up top, only to dive into a right hand to the ribs. Neville kicks him in the face and the Red Arrow is good for the pin at 7:25.

Rating: C. We’ve seen this a few times before and I’m not sure where else the feud can go unless they bring in a fourth apiece and set up a Survivor Series match. The superhero vs. supervillain stuff has kind of fallen off and there’s not much left other than some decent matches. Good enough here and the faces continuing to win is a smart idea.

Paul Heyman (with a phone in his hand for old times’ sake) compares Big Show to the Boston Celtics and promises to make MSG the city hall of Suplex City.

Team Bella vs. Team PCB

P C and B all come out separately. Becky starts with Alicia and that means it’s time for JBL to start talking about boxing. Paige’s request for a tag is ignored so she tags herself in to send Fox into the corner. As expected, the fans want Sasha. It’s back to Becky who gets taken into the corner, allowing Brie and Alicia to double suplex her for two. Nikki comes in and goes after Charlotte for a distraction but it backfires as Becky slides over for a tag.

It’s Charlotte cleaning house with a spear to Nikki but Paige tags herself in as the Figure Eight goes on. The argument lets Alicia take over and a northern lights suplex gets two. Back to Nikki for a chinlock until Paige fights up and dives for a tag, only to have her partners drop to the floor. The Rack Attack ends Paige at 8:24.

Rating: C-. This was more storyline stuff than a match but that’s what you have to expect at a house show. Paige is now officially full on heel as there’s no reason for her to do some of the things she’s done here other than being evil and Charlotte/Becky’s actions (mostly) made sense. It’s good that they’re moving on from the standard team battles though as they had been old for a long time.

Paige says she can’t believe her friends would do this to her and she’s not sure if she can forgive them. It seems that they’re already dropping the Pipe Bomb promo from Raw for the sake of a delusional stuck up character instead. Well that’s good as the interesting character might have made the Bellas look bad. I mean, they do it enough to themselves and Paige pointing out all their flaws might ruin some horrible children’s dreams.

Clip from Smackdown (I’m as shocked as you are) of Reigns challenging Wyatt for a match inside the Cell.

Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens

Jericho is challenging and he welcomes us to the 25th anniversary of his first match in wrestling. Twenty five years ago he wrestled Lance Storm (in the front row) to a ten minute Broadway in a small town in Alberta in front of fifty people. Jericho thanks us all for being along for the ride and promises a big party tonight. Kevin starts fast but gets dropkicked out to the floor and sent into the announcers’ table.

Back inside and Kevin wishes Jericho a happy anniversary before punching in the face. A chinlock slows things down as JBL says Jericho was an unproven talent in WWE until he beat Rock and Austin in the same night. Dude go watch some Network and learn the history better. Jericho comes back with a missile dropkick and enziguri for two. The Pop Up Powerbomb and Codebreaker are countered and Owens’ package piledriver slam gets two. The Lionsault hits knees and there’s the Cannonball to a nice reaction.

Owens’ Swanton hits knees as well and the Walls go on. Kevin fights over to the ropes and sends Jericho shoulder first into the post for two. Now the Codebreaker works but Owens grabs the rope for the break. This has been a really good back and forth match so far and Jericho has been in control for the majority. Kevin comes back with a superkick but the Pop Up Powerbomb is countered into another Walls attempt. Just like at Night of Champions though, Owens pokes the eyes and grabs a small package for the pin at 8:34.

Rating: B-. It’s a really good idea to keep the matches moving here as the fans aren’t going to stand for a long match with a bunch of filler. This was a fun match though between two guys that know how to work an entertaining style. Jericho is perfect for roles like this as he never needs to win another match and he’ll be fine all around. Owens gets a big win and can brag about beating another legend so everyone looks good.

We recap New Day vs. the Dudley Boyz which is about the new generation vs. the legends.

Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Dudley Boyz

New Day is defending and of course they have something to say. This time it’s about the Dudleyz’s never ending retirement tour with all of their references to the 90s and glasses with no lenses. On top of that, they put a good man like Xavier Woods through a perfectly good table! JBL incorrectly says the first tag team tables match was in this building at Summerslam (Royal Rumble 2000).

D-Von runs over Big E. to start but Bubba charges into an elbow in the corner. Now it’s Kofi getting beaten up as Woods tries to get the fans behind the champs. The power of positive double teaming takes over for New Day and it’s time for some tromboning. E. puts on a chinlock and Woods thinks the stock is rising on tricep meat. Ray avoids the Warrior splash and makes the tag off to D-Von as everything breaks down. The 3D has Kofi beaten but Woods comes in for the DQ at 6:40.

Rating: D+. This really isn’t surprising and it’s probably the right call. New Day could be a special team and it’s not like the Dudleyz need another title reign. I’d be fine if they won them eventually but I’m not going to miss anything if it never happens again. Besides, any reason to hear more from New Day is always a positive.

Post match New Day sets up a table but Bubba breaks up the Midnight Hour, leaving Woods (busy playing Taps) to take a 3D through the table.

Recap of Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar, which is built around the idea that Big Show beat him in this arena thirteen years ago. Really that’s about it and we’re supposed to believe that Show is a threat here.

Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

Brock goes right after him to start and gets sent out to the floor. Lesnar just smiles and the fans chant for Suplex City. Back in and Show pummels him in the corner but misses a charge and takes some shoulders to the ribs. The first German is blocked and there’s the chokeslam. Brock pops up so it’s a second chokeslam, only to have him get up again. There’s a third chokeslam for two and it’s time for the suplexes. Brock can’t hold him up for the F5 and it’s kind of an AA instead. It’s time for more smiling though and Lesnar hits the fourth German. Now the F5 finishes Show at 4:05.

Rating: C-. JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER FREAKING TIME THEY HAVE THIS STUPID MATCH AND WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO BIG SHOW TALK ABOUT HOW HE’S A FREAKING GIANT AND NO ONE CAN BEAT HIM!!! I’m so glad we sat through Show squashing a bunch of people so he could lose in four minutes just like he does every time he fights Brock. You could have set this match up with a single promo but instead, Cesaro had to be squashed twice. Well done WWE.

Show isn’t done and he calls Brock back in. That’s fine with Lesnar as it’s a belly to bell and a second F5 for good measure. The fans give Big Show the Goodbye Song and Eden says let’s hear it for him.

The cage is lowered.

US Title: Seth Rollins vs. John Cena

Cena is defending and Rollins is World Champion. For the sake of clarity, I’ll only refer to Cena as champion. Pin/submission/escape to win here. Seth fights out of a headlock to start and sends Cena face first into the cage a few times for two. Rollins’ escape attempts don’t work and Cena bulldogs him off the top for two. Seth comes right back with the top rope knee to the face and the Sling Blade gets two.

We get the classic raking the face against the steel spot but Cena grabs the electric chair for two. It’s back to the top with Rollins getting knocked off first, only to catch the top rope Fameasser in a powerbomb for two. They take turns sending each other into the steel and it’s time for the flying tackles. Rollins kicks him in the head to break up the Shuffle but decides to try a Shuffle of his own.

Now it’s the real comeback but Rollins grabs the cage to escape the AA. The springboard knee is caught in the STF but Rollins crawls to the door. They fight over the escape attempt until Rollins slams the door on Cena’s head for a close two. Cena counters the Pedigree with a catapult but has to stop Rollins from escaping over the top. John gets most of the way over but Seth superplexes him down and rolls into the falcon’s arrow for another close two. They fight to the top again and this time it’s a tornado DDT from Cena for a near fall.

Cena goes for the door but Rollins climbs over the top and slams the cage onto his head again. John gets up AGAIN and pulls Rollins back in for an AA but Seth lands on his feet and hits the low superkick for two to end a great sequence. The STF is countered into a Crossface (the whore of the submission move set) but Cena powers up into another AA attempt.

Rollins rolls out again and hits Cena low (totally legal) but here’s Kane. For some reason this keeps Seth from being able to climb down until Kane is right underneath him, leaving Rollins to miss a splash off the top of the cage. The AA finally connects to retain Cena’s title at 22:43.

Rating: A-. Really good match here and it would have been even better had Kane not come out. This felt like the big showdown that you often get in cage matches and it was cool to see the fans respecting Cena for his great effort. I could have gone without seeing Rollins getting pinned again but at least it was as close to being not clean as you can get in a cage match.

Cena leaves and Kane gives Rollins a chokeslam and tombstone to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. Totally fun two and a half hour show here with Brock squashing Big Show and a really good main event. The key thing to remember here is that this was a house show and not a pay per view. It’s really just a bonus for the Network subscribers and that lowers the level of expectations quite a bit. Nothing was really bad here and they kept things short and sweet. Fun show here though and a really good way to spend about two and a half hours. Check out that cage match if you get the chance.

Results

Dolph Ziggler/Randy Orton b. Rusev/Sheamus – RKO to Sheamus

Neville b. Stardust – Red Arrow

Team Bella b. Team PCB – Rack Attack to Paige

Kevin Owens b. Chris Jericho – Small package

Dudley Boyz b. New Day via DQ when Xavier Woods interfered

Brock Lesnar b. Big Show – F5

John Cena b. Seth Rollins – Attitude Adjustment

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete 1997 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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12 comments

  1. John says:

    While I don’t think Cesaro should have been fed to Show I don’t think their matches were squashes either.

    At least not like this one.

  2. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was that probably? What a pointless mess of a show. Nothing mattered and nothing changes.

    And they’re still doing the Diva’s team challenge? LOL!!!! And so is Paige the face now? What the fuck is going on? Do they know how to write shows or storylines. Paige turned on them so why the fuck is she still teaming with them? And don’t give me the common enemy bullshit. Cause that is just lazy booking. #LOLDivasRevolution

    Another waste of the New Day. It’s clear the Dudleys aren’t working. Send them back to TNA where they are actually relevant.

    And what a waste of Brock Lesnar. That 3 year contract can’t end soon enough.

    And does WWE wonder why Seth Rollins has flopped as champion? He’s booked like a chump and loses all the damn time. Only time he wins is if a TV talk show host helps him.

    Awful show tonight probably and WWE is absolute shit. Who writes this garbage? Total meaningless show and way to condition fans that these shows are meaningless the next time you hype a big WWE Network exclusive show. #VinceIsSoftAndOutOfTouch #FireStephanie #SaveUsNewDay #LOLDivasRevolution #OhManHowBadWasThatProbably

    Not Jay-mes Gracie Reply:

    I was the troll king here for a long time. It is time I took my crown back.

    #RunGracieRun

  3. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Hit the nail on the head KB, It was a House Show and not a PPV. I had a good time with the Show, I will have disagree with Big Show’s Matches leading up here as they weren’t squashes. I would say Cesaro got in enough offense in them.

  4. #MrScissorsKick says:

    What are the chances Spike Dudley returns to give a true 3 on 3 match pitting the New Day against the Dudleyz?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’d say about the same as Rusev winning the world tapdancing showdown.

  5. M.R. says:

    Isn’t a cage match the perfect opportunity to have Rollins lose without having to be pinned again? Why not have Cena just win by escape?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Because WWE is stupid at times.

    M.R. Reply:

    It’s the little things like that I find so dumbfounding. Or why not have the match for Rollins’ title and let him pin Cena? I don’t get why we have to keep making this guy look like the top dog when he’s pushing 40 and there’s 4-5 guys stuck in that upper-mid card grey area.

    greg Reply:

    I’d save the clean big match pin for a face. Works better that way.

    Ted Reply:

    They’re stupid a lot of times.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    There’s a lot of truth to that.