The show got underway with Kofi Kingston taking on Cesaro who was ac companied by his manager Paul Heyman. The two athletes fed off each other well but it was the “Swiss Superman” who got the upper hand by countering a leap by Kingston with an impactful mid-air uppercut for the win. Cesaro was not finished there as he picked Kingston up to hit the Neutraliser, an attempt to send a strong statement to US Champion Sheamus ahead of their matchup at Payback on Sunday night.
The Hounds Are Unleashed
The Shield made their way to the ring next to talk about their upcoming six-man tag match with Evolution. Highlights of Triple H’s sledgehammer-heavy attack on raw were shown before Ambrose proclaimed that Evolution should know who they are dealing with. Ambrose continued to state that the hounds will be off the leash and the night will get ugly before Rollins said that the match could very easily become 3 on 1 and Triple H could be left by himself. Rollins said that the hounds would circle Triple H and take their time and Evolution would in turn become extinct. Reigns summed up the promo by saying that there will be kendo sticks, chairs, broken barricades and broken announce tables so Evolution will be forced to believe in The Shield.
The in-ring action got back underway with Paige taking on Tamina in a non-title match before she defends her Divas Championship against the newly reformed Alicia Fox on Sunday. The two locked up in a reminiscent of their match earlier this month at Extreme Rules but the stand-off was soon ended with Alicia Fox entering the area and taking pictures with the fans, which allowed Tamina to take advantage and hit a lariat. Fox then started to play with Paige’s title, which caused another distraction for Tamina to hit a thunderous superkick. Paige was still able to regain momentum and hit the Paige Turner on her opponent before locking in the PTO lock for the tap out. Fox has really shown some character as of late and the two are set up for an interesting match at Payback.
Don’t Stop “Bolieving”
Bo Dallas made his way to the ring for his second Smackdown match since returning to the roster last week in the UK. Dallas told the fans that he is two wins to zero losses and told them to “Bolieve” before locking up with Xavier Woods. The match didn’t go on for too long as Dallas kicked out of Woods’ Honour Roll pin signature before hitting his own running corner bulldog finisher, which he calls the “Bodog”. Dallas got the win and gave Woods a patronising hand shake and hug along with performing a lap of honour around the ring before screaming with Joy as he made his way up the ramp.
El Torito took on Jinder Mahal to continue the prolonged rivalry between 3MB and Los Matadores heading into Payback. Torito got another win over the antagonists with a flying moonsault, which caused 3MB the rest of 3MB to run in and chase Torito before Los Matadores ran in to even the score. Torito taunted Hornswoggle with a pair of hair clippers to send a message to him ahead of their Hair vs Mask match at the Payback pre-show.
Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett faced United States Champion Sheamus in a champion vs champion non-title match as both parties prepare for their showdowns this weekend. Sheamus connected with the Irish Curse backbreaker but Barrett was able to kick out so “The Great White” went for the signature clubs to the chest on the ropes. Barrett was finally able to regain some momentum to hit the Winds of Change but Sheamus ultimately proved too much for the Englishman as he hit the Brogue Kick for the three count. Sheamus has all the momentum ahead of his match against Cesaro but Barrett will be vouching to bounce back following this loss to retain his title against Rob Van Dam.
Big E took on Titus O’Neill in a rematch of their bout a month earlier that saw Titus attack the former Intercontinental Champion following the match. Lana entered the ring and disrespected the American crowd and told them to stop chanting USA and said that they should respect the Russian flag. Rusev then made his way out to watch his upcoming opponent. Big E managed to get the better of O’Neill here by landing a massive splash before lining up for the Big Ending as Rusev stared on.
Adam Rose finally faced Jack Swagger following their run of tiffs on Raw since the newcomer’s debut. Rose danced with his party express before offering his lollipop to the “Real American” who smacked it out of his hand. Zeb Coulter accompanied Swagger who will be disappointed as his client was unable to defeat Rose who won with an Alligator Clutch pin.
Bray Has The Whole World In His Hands
The main event saw Bray Wyatt take on Jimmy Uso in a last man standing match ahead of Wyatt’s showdown with John Cena on Sunday. The match went back and forth with many close calls, which culminated with Jimmy hitting the running hip splash on Wyatt on the barricade. Wyatt was able to recover from Uso’s signature move so Jimmy went for another one on the steel steps but just missed. Wyatt took advantage of the mishap and hit the Sister Abigail on the floor for the referee to count to ten.
The Wyatts have all the momentum going into Payback and have been getting the best of Cena and the Usos week after week following Extreme Rules. Cena is due some justice here but Bray is not going to be taken lightly during their last man standing match and has gained experience in this match type now, which was what Cena had against him previously.