WWE

Raw Tag Team Champions Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins def. Cesaro & Sheamus

LOS ANGELES — Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins didn’t just set the bar. They cleared “The Bar.”

The reigning Raw Tag Team Champions extended their once-unfathomable union a little longer by fending off Cesaro & Sheamus, who had been claiming for weeks that the former Shield-mates would only work together up to a certain point. Some shenanigans on Monday proved the champs weren’t beyond losing a match, and they certainly weren’t without their hiccups at WWE No Mercy either, but they didn’t compete like a team whose chemistry had an expiration date.

If anything did put the champions at a disadvantage, it was the rabid opening spurt from Ambrose, who literally came out swinging and was repaid in kind by Cesaro, who Cesaro Swung him straight into the steel steps. The ensuing shoulder injury nearly doomed The Lunatic Fringe before the match began; The Swiss Cyborg brutalized him to such a degree that it seemed as though referee John Cone was about to throw hands against the challenger himself.

To Cone’s relief, Cesaro quickly tagged out, but the appearance of Sheamus provided no such respite for The Lunatic Fringe. The challengers quickly alternated between Cesaro’s joint manipulation and Sheamus’ blunt-force clubberin’, but Ambrose found daylight by sling-shotting Cesaro into the turnbuckle with such pinpoint accuracy that the collision drove both of The King of Swing’s front teeth into his gums.

The Celtic Warrior made sure the change of fortune was short-lived, delivering three consecutive Irish Curses to Rollins while Cesaro recuperated outside the ring. The challengers teed off on Rollins in increasingly ruthless fashion — Cone had to calm them down once again — until Ambrose tagged in against Sheamus and proceeded to withstand one of the most hellacious beatings ever laid on a Superstar, including a particularly gruesome sequence in which Cesaro powerbombed Rollins onto The Lunatic Fringe from off the top rope.

With The Kingslayer reduced to a writhing mess on the apron, Cesaro tagged in Sheamus and held Rollins in the ropes to witness what would be the final Brogue Kick — and then Ambrose collapsed before Sheamus could make landfall. Of course, Ambrose turned out to be playing possum, and while his small-package attempt on Sheamus didn’t quite get the job done, Rollins managed to throw off an attempted interference by Cesaro long enough to feed him into another Brogue Kick meant for The Lunatic Fringe. One combo of Rollins’ ripcord knee and Ambrose’s Dirty Deeds later, Sheamus suffered the pinfall.

Give credit where it is due: Cesaro & Sheamus can and should hold their heads high in defeat. But the night belongs to Ambrose & Rollins. Not only did they prove their reconciliation is for real, they showed their status as champions isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s the elusive run that has both legs and teeth — so to speak.