Spurred by sentiment from the WWE locker room, WWE COO Triple H and Stephanie McMahon convened an open meeting in response to the locker room's overwhelming show of support for the COO's sworn foe, Daniel Bryan, the previous week.
Opposed by Rob Van Dam, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Kofi Kingston, Justin Gabriel, The Usos & The Prime Time Players, the gathering wasn't so much an airing of grievances as a reaffirmation of the COO's power, one that ended with a formidable “solution” for the rabble-rousers: A match of The Prime Time Players vs. The Wyatt Family; a WWE App vote that would pit either Ziggler, RVD or Truth against Randy Orton; a one-on-one tilt between Kofi and World Champion Alberto Del Rio and – for the main event – an 11-on-3 Handicap Elimination Match that would team the whole lot with Daniel Bryan against The Shield.
Kofi Kingston's unquestionable skill may yet make him the face of WWE per Triple H's open challenge, but all the innate skill of The Boom Squad General wasn't enough when faced with the gilded fury of Alberto Del Rio. With a rematch looming against Rob Van Dam at WWE Battleground, The Essence of Excellence needed a big win and had to fight for every inch of it after a leaping somersault-clothesline combo from Kofi left “Mexico’s Greatest Export” laid out at ringside.
Del Rio took control by targeting Kingston's arm, ramming it into the ring post and barricade, yet Kofi bought some time by dropkicking the champion out of the sky when Del Rio went for a top-rope axe handle. The move turned to be little more than a temporary solution, though; despite Kofi's DDT reversal of Del Rio's tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, the champion capitalized on a missed cross body by ramming his foe arm-first into the turnbuckle and locking in the Cross Armbreaker until Kofi tapped out.
In what amounted to a Prime Time pummeling, Erick Rowan & Luke Harper followed up a Main Event match with the tag-team heavyweights a few weeks ago with an encore performance on Raw. In a bout cosigned by Stephanie McMahon herself on the WWE App, the backwoods brutes made relatively quick work of The Players, brutalizing Darren Young while Wyatt cackled at ringside. “Mr. No Days Off” reached Titus O’Neil to give the team a second wind, yet a skull-rattling clothesline from Harper put the match to rest moments before Wyatt himself entered the ring and dispatched D. Young with Sister Abigail, imploring his fallen foes to – as ever – follow the buzzards.
Still reeling and stewing over the hometown thrashing administered by Randy Orton last week, The Miz all but went off the rails in what was supposed to be a low-key night for The Awesome One, who had been confined to “Miz TV” with Big Show by Triple H instead of given a match with Randy Orton.
Interviewing the giant over his forced KO’ing of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes last week, Miz attempted to spur The World's Largest Athlete into rebellion against the McMahons, so much that Stephanie McMahon herself had to intervene. Miz took fairly vocal exception to the queen bee's interruption of his show, so Stephanie responded with a cheap shot of her own: First by running down the talent of WWE's resident "utility player," and then by forcing Big Show to KO Punch his former tag team partner into oblivion for his muckraking.
Apparently, Randy Orton still isn't quite over his WWE Championship loss to Daniel Bryan two weeks ago, as The Viper faced off against Rob Van Dam in a WWE App Vote Match and fell victim to his own aggression when he decided he didn't so much want to beat RVD as simply beat him up.
The signs of Orton's outburst to come began early on, as The Viper ruthlessly dropped the World Title No. 1 contender onto the apron and seemed to immediately lose his cool in front of the WWE Universe. Mr. Monday Night turned the tables with a backdrop and Rolling Thunder, yet fell short of the Five Star Frog Splash when Orton tripped RVD up on the ropes and booted him in the head. The strike sent Van Dam tumbling to the outside, and as the referee reached a double count-out, Orton followed up with an extended attack on the former WWE Champion that culminated in a top-rope, hanging DDT that sent RVD tumbling into unconsciousness.
As it turned out, even the final bell didn't bring relief for RVD, who was ambushed by Alberto Del Rio after Orton left for another round of punishment.
The honeymoon's over for Santino Marella, who caught a rude awakening in his first trip to Chicago since his return thanks to Fandango. The Italian Stallion's attempt to one-up his opponent in an early dance interlude led to a fairly thorough thrashing from the gaudy goon, who manhandled Santino until the former Intercontinental Champion found his groove and produced The Cobra for a potentially match-sealing strike. Thanks to a timely interference by Summer Rae, though, Fandango was able to capitalize with a suplex and top-rope leg drop to send Santino to the showers.
CM Punk has come home to Chicago, Blackhawks jersey and all, and he's got a few things on his mind. In his first appearance since being pinned by Paul Heyman at Night of Champions, a visibly happy-to-be-home Second City Saint addressed his hometown with a twofold apology: First, for failing to bring the Stanley Cup to Raw, and second, for failing to make good on his promise to annihilate the mad scientist eight days earlier.
While Punk vowed to channel his beloved ‘Hawks and bounce back from his slump, Heyman ruined the moment by rolling out on a scooter to goad the “Second Best in the World” into a frenzy. The ECW mastermind's escape plan hit a snag when his wheels broke down, but before Punk could reach his target, he was intercepted by Curtis Axel and Ryback, who brought the hometown hero's night to an ugly ending by putting him through a table at ringside.
AJ Lee was left to eat her words for another week when the “Total Divas” cast replied to her continuing criticism by stomping the “black widow” beneath their collective boots in a match on Raw. In a 10-Diva Tag Team Match that featured practically the entire Divas division, it was a quick and vicious effort on behalf of the reality stars that notched them another win at the Divas Champion's expense. After an opening tussle between Natalya and Alicia Fox, Brie and AJ tagged into the match and the Bella Twin put the bout away quickly, pummeling AJ with a ruthless facebuster that set her down for the 1-2-3.
What's a man to do after he's stripped of the WWE Championship? If you're Daniel Bryan, the answer is shake it off and make another go at it. Vowing to overcome corporate agendas and whatever Randy Orton throws at him at Battleground, Bryan made no bones as to his plans for the bout that will decide the fate of the vacant WWE Title:
“It doesn’t matter which version of Randy Orton shows up – the new, nice Randy Orton or the old, vicious Randy Orton – it doesn’t change the outcome. In two weeks at Battleground, I take back what’s mine.”
Bryan's call-and-response with the WWE Universe was short-lived, though, as The Shield's music cut him off mid-“YES!” and signaled the start of the 11-on-3 Handicap Elimination Match ... that is, until Cody Rhodes and Goldust stormed the barricade in street clothes and laid waste to The Hounds of Justice. The brothers were eventually corralled from the arena, but not before they’d already done a fair bit of damage to the preening trio of champions. Would it be enough to swing history against the Hounds' favor?
The Shield's first year in WWE has been unprecedented in its dominance, but history did not favor The Hounds of Justice in the first-ever 11-on-3 Handicap Elimination Match that pitted them against Daniel Bryan and ten of his locker-room allies. With several of their opponents already banged-up from earlier in the night, it was The Shield who drew first blood when Dean Ambrose eliminated Kingston & RVD, and Roman Reigns followed up by disposing of Titus O’Neil, Justin Gabriel and Zack Ryder.
However, the numbers were (for once) against The Shield and after some quick work from both sides – Reigns suffered his first-ever pin from a Samoan Splash, Young and R-Truth to a flying knee and stomp (respectively) from Seth Rollins and Ambrose to a Zig Zag – Rollins was soon left as the last Hound standing against four foes.
Bryan & Co. channeled The Shield by swarming Rollins, breaking their attack only when Ambrose & Reigns attempted to interfere. Dolph & The Usos dispatched the intruders and Bryan took it all home, doubling up with a “Flying Goat” headbutt and a Busaiku Knee that turned Rollins inside out for the historic 1-2-3.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Kofi Kingston (13:25)
- The Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) (w/ Bray Wyatt) defeated The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O'Neil) (4:30)
- Rob Van Dam (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) vs Randy Orton ended in a Double Count Out (10:40)
- Fandango (w/ Summer Rae) defeated Santino Marella (3:45)
- The Bella Twins (Brie Bella & Nikki Bella), The Funkadactyls (Cameron & Naomi) & Natalya defeated AJ Lee, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Layla & Tamina (1:55)
- R-Truth, Rob Van Dam, The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O'Neil), The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso), Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Justin Gabriel, Kofi Kingston & Zack Ryder defeated The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) in a 11 on 3 Elimination Handicap match (23:15)
- Dean Ambrose eliminated Rob Van Dam
- Dean Ambrose eliminated Kofi Kingston
- Roman Reigns eliminated Titus O'Neil
- Roman Reigns eliminated Justin Gabriel
- Roman Reigns eliminated Zack Ryder
- Jey Uso eliminated Roman Reigns
- Seth Rollins eliminated Darren Young
- Dolph Ziggler eliminated Dean Ambrose
- Seth Rollins eliminated R-Truth
- Daniel Bryan eliminated Seth Rollins
Other on-screen talent