The Authority is running late, Kane is running the show (hey there, main event Lumberjack Match against Seth Rollins), and The New Day picked up right where they left off last week, taking out Dean Ambrose & Randy Orton in an impromptu tag match against the bickering fan favorites, organized by the Director of Operations himself to start the show. To say The New Day ran roughshod over the Shield and Evolution veterans would be a bit of an overstatement; Ambrose & Orton’s chemistry left Big E, of all people, on the ropes for a good chunk of the match. But miscommunication quickly reared its head and The New Day gelled where their opponents fell apart when Kofi shoved Orton into Ambrose mid-RKO and sprang with a rollup to the reeling Viper. Tough loss to #POP. Maybe Ambrose and The Dudleys will fare better on SmackDown.
The WWE Universe still wants Sasha Banks, which, ironically enough, might end up being bad news for Team B.A.D. The raucous Chicago crowd’s chants for the freshly-minted WWE Iron Woman plagued the former Funkadactyl throughout her match with Nikki Bella, leading to a Windy City blowback of epic proportions during a furious rally for Naomi. Brie Bella egged the WWE Universe to cheer for The Boss right as Naomi hit her stride. The cacophony threw the B.A.D. figurehead off her rhythm just long enough for Nikki to lay Naomi out with a forearm, hit the Rack Attack and go home with the win.
Between losing his girlfriend and losing a U.S. Title Match, chalk this up to the rare day where you don’t wish you were Dolph Ziggler. Even though The Showoff managed to avoid a backstage ambush this time around, the former World Heavyweight Champion’s woes from last week followed him into John Cena’s U.S. Open Challenge when The Champ came out swinging after a cross-continental flight from Saudi Arabia. A coincidental marriage proposal in the WWE Universe was just the icing on the cake for The Showoff, though give credit to Dolph for battling his way into the advantage with a sleeper hold. The Showoff was clearly bent on DZtruction when he raked Cena in the eyes and blasted him with a superkick, but it was the same ol’ situation in the end when The Champ shook off a headbutt and a Zig Zag and hit a last-gasp Attitude Adjustment to eke out the win. Another solid night for Cena, but the margin of victory is narrowing.
The Ascension’s fitful path to the stars took a detour down to earth when Konnor & Viktor went up against The Dudley Boyz on Raw and found themselves steamrolled by the Attitude Era veterans. An early burst of aggression aside, the team that made their name on running down WWE Legends ended up eating their words when the Dudleys, who kept Konnor out of the match entirely, double-teamed Viktor with the Doomsday Device and 3D in short order. Testify.
While Tyson Kidd recuperates from his injury, it looks like Cesaro has found his way back into the tag team division by uniting with Neville for an all-European slugfest against King Barrett & Sheamus. If the pairing wasn't the #BestTeamEver, it was certainly a good one, revealing a solid chemistry between Cesaro's superhuman strength and the airborne wonder of The Man That Gravity Forgot. If only it had ended better. It was all smiles for Cesaro & Neville when The Swiss Superman took the King and the Celt out with a slew of European uppercuts, ultimately dropping the WWE Universe’s collective jaws by Gorilla Pressing Neville onto both men outside the ring. But with Sheamus on the figurative ropes, Mr. Money in the Bank rallied by shoving Neville into the literal ones. The move provided enough distraction to the official for Barrett to pounce with an illicit Bull Hammer, setting up the pinfall while Cesaro gave chase.
As the make-or-break showdown between Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt approaches, The Big Dog landed a big blow to The Wyatt Family — albeit by technicality — at the expense of the typically unstoppable Braun Strowman. For the most part, Reigns’ hit-hard-hit-often offense yielded about as much dividends as headbutting a brick wall. But once Reigns had Strowman stranded on the outside he settled for what he could get, slamming the big man’s dome against the commentary table, thwarting an interfering Luke Harper and narrowly beating the count of 10.
It’s been an up-and-down day for Rusev, who went from the bliss of engagement to a one-man Valentine’s Day Massacre at the hands of Ryback just hours after Lana confirmed news of their reconciliation and engagement. Sporting a Komen-style pink singlet reading “FEED THE CURE,” The Big Guy shook off a strong opening from Rusev and instead feasted upon The Bulgarian Brute, leaving Summer Rae to pick the bones. With her “Ru-Ru” still reeling, Summer cued up the photos from TMZ, insulted Rusev’s manhood, and slapped him across the face. Crushing.
If this whole “Fight Owens Fight” thing doesn’t work out for him, good to know Kevin Owens has a backup career lined up as a dragonslayer. Hot off the heels of his victory over Sin Cara, the Intercontinental Champion rolled over the other half of The Lucha Dragons, Kalisto, in one-on-one action on Raw. The former NXT Tag Team Champion used his speed to his advantage, initially forcing KO to play catchup. Once Owens got his hands on Kalisto, however, it was, well, a KO: Owens caught Kalisto midair during a hurricanrana attempt and powerbombed him into the mat. Splat. Match over.
Charlotte & Becky Lynch are on their own as BFFs, but the “CB” in “PCB” can’t quite shake their “P” problem just yet. Even though Natalya has become the veteran ally of the Divas Revolutionaries, Paige was lurking at commentary for their tag team contest against Brie Bella & Alicia Fox. And she got involved, too, upending things just as Charlotte began to roll over Brie Bella. That interference led to a scrum between every Diva in orbit of the ring, the upside of which was that Brie, in a solid show of moxie, gave Team Bella its second win of the night with a missile dropkick to the sternum of the Divas Champion.
As we all know, Corporate Kane’s a pretty nice guy. But to paraphrase a famous Chicagoan, never mistake kindness for weakness: The Director of Operations responded to The Authority’s — still marooned mid-travel — command that he remove himself from the main event by replacing himself with … himself. Kind of. Instead of Corporate Kane, Rollins had to contend with The Devil’s Favorite Demon in a Lumberjack Match and, devoid of support, The Architect was high and dry on the road to Hell in a Cell. With a wall of humanity tossing him back into the ring every time he broke free, Rollins was at the mercy of The Big Red Machine until The New Day dragged Kane to the outside, kicking off a Pier Six brawl between Lumberjacks and competitors alike. When the dust cleared it was down to Rollins, Kane, and a Tombstone with the champion’s name all over it.