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Sunday, Apr 26 | 8 PMET/5 PMPT


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WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Randy Orton (Cage Match, with the RKO banned)

CHICAGO — In a Steel Cage Match where the RKO was banned, Randy Orton’s signature maneuver proved to play a pivotal role in the bout’s outcome. Although, in classic RKO fashion, it appeared in a way nobody saw coming.

Check out photos from the Extreme Rules main event

How The Viper would approach his WWE World Heavyweight Title opportunity against Seth Rollins without the use of his greatest weapon was one of the many questions the WWE Universe was considering going into Extreme Rules. What would the champion do with his J&J Security cronies unable to get involved? And, most pressing, what role would The Authority’s Director of Operations, Kane, play as the bout’s gatekeeper?

Seth answered the second question when he tried to climb out of the cage the moment the bell rang in an attempt to retain his title in the most painless way possible. It wasn’t going to be that easy, though. Orton pulled the champion back into the ring and immediately turned this bout into a fistfight. Despite the punishment he was receiving, Rollins stayed focused on escape — clearly his Plan A going into this defense — and latched onto the wall like Spiderman and climbed to the top whenever Orton attempted to launch him into the steel.

Watch every Extreme Rules ever on WWE Network

Still, Orton was methodical, abusing Rollins at a deliberate pace. Rollins would attempt to climb out and The Viper would cut him off before brutalizing him with exacting kicks and punches. Rollins soon realized that evasion wasn’t going to work, and found himself trading kicks and punches with the challenger. As the bout progressed, so did the champion’s confidence. He even took a moment to mock The Viper, shouting, “You wanted this!” at his downed opponent.

The bulk of this match proved to be a pure brawl with each competitor throwing their best stuff at the other. The sound of ribs crunching under boots and flesh connecting with bone echoed throughout the All State Arena for the length of the battle.

 

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Randy Orton (Cage Match, with the RKO banned)

Who held the advantage? It shifted by the minute. There were moments when Orton seemed to be a second away from laying Rollins out with an RKO, only to remember that his maneuver was banned. When he hesitated, the champion would steal the momentum. At one point, Rollins made it all the way to the top of the cage, only to be caught by Orton. The two began trading haymakers while precariously perched on the edge of the steel structure — one wrong move could have cost either Superstar his career.

Watch videos of Superstars jumping off the top of the steel cage

The match shifted tempo when J&J Security finally appeared to help their champion — clearly Plan B taking effect — but Orton dashed their attempted interference. Kane made his presence felt soon after, chasing Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury away from ringside, but he never truly stopped them from getting mixed up in the bout.

Despite the numbers game outfavoring him, Orton grabbed his first major advantage after crotching Rollins on the top rope and then planting him with a DDT. Curiously, The Viper hit the mat and seemed to call for his RKO, only to drop Rollins with Triple H’s Pedigree in a fantastic moment of mockery. The maneuver only netted Orton a two count, who then went for a punt, but missed the champion with a kick that surely would have ended the whole shebang.

Orton then shifted his approach and attempted to exit instead of pinning Rollins, but Kane closed the cage door right in his face. Any questions about The Director of Operations’ allegiance seemed to be answered there, but, a moment later, Rollins went to dropkick Orton and accidentally nailed Kane on the other side of the structure. The two opponents fell into an ugly fight for escape at that point before Kane got to his feet and slammed the cage door on both of their heads.

Check out photos of Kane's many looks from throughout his career

Now irate, Kane loosened his tie and entered the ring. The big man began to make his way toward Rollins, only to be stopped by J&J Security, who demanded he target Orton. Kane answered that request by chokeslamming both of them to the canvas.

 

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Randy Orton (Cage Match, with the RKO banned)

A dramatic moment followed. Would Kane chokeslam The Authority’s golden boy and cost him the title? It looked to be going that way, but, at the last moment, he reached down and grabbed Orton by the throat, hoisting the veteran into the air and drilling him back down to the mat. With that, victory looked to be a sure thing for Rollins, who made his way to the cage door. Not so fast. With the champion a foot away from victory, Kane snatched Rollins and preceded to chokeslam him, too.

Watch some of the coolest chokeslams in WWE history

The angry — and clearly conflicted — monster dragged Rollins’ prone body on top of a downed Orton, but The Viper managed to power his way out before the three-count. This fight would continue.

Kane was now focused on taking Orton out, and attempted to Tombstone him. WWE’s Apex Predator slipped out of his grasp, though, and took him out with a sudden RKO. A second later, The Viper spun around and found himself eating an RKO of his own — this one delivered by Seth Rollins. That controversial maneuver was enough to keep Orton down and allow the WWE World Heavyweight Champion to worm his way out of the cage and retain his title.

Check out photos of the history of WWE World Heavyweight Champions

The bell rang as Rollins grasped his championship, displaying a look on his face that could only be described as an acute mixture of shock and relief. He survived, and, although he probably wouldn’t admit it, surprised even himself.

As for the questions about Seth’s ability, Orton’s ingenuity and Kane’s allegiance? They had been answered, mostly, but plenty of new ones now hung in the air. Was Kane done with The Authority? Would Orton call the controversies of the bout into question? Would Rollins do everything in his power to avoid a future confrontation? We’re all waiting on the answers.

Extreme Rules
Extreme Rules
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Extreme Rules
Extreme Rules
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CHICAGO — In a Steel Cage Match where the RKO was banned, Randy Orton’s signature maneuver proved to play a pivotal role in the bout’s outcome. Although, in classic RKO fashion, it appeared in a way nobody saw coming.

Check out photos from the Extreme Rules main event

How The Viper would approach his WWE World Heavyweight Title opportunity against Seth Rollins without the use of his greatest weapon was one of the many questions the WWE Universe was considering going into Extreme Rules. What would the champion do with his J&J Security cronies unable to get involved? And, most pressing, what role would The Authority’s Director of Operations, Kane, play as the bout’s gatekeeper?

Seth answered the second question when he tried to climb out of the cage the moment the bell rang in an attempt to retain his title in the most painless way possible. It wasn’t going to be that easy, though. Orton pulled the champion back into the ring and immediately turned this bout into a fistfight. Despite the punishment he was receiving, Rollins stayed focused on escape — clearly his Plan A going into this defense — and latched onto the wall like Spiderman and climbed to the top whenever Orton attempted to launch him into the steel.

Watch every Extreme Rules ever on WWE Network

Still, Orton was methodical, abusing Rollins at a deliberate pace. Rollins would attempt to climb out and The Viper would cut him off before brutalizing him with exacting kicks and punches. Rollins soon realized that evasion wasn’t going to work, and found himself trading kicks and punches with the challenger. As the bout progressed, so did the champion’s confidence. He even took a moment to mock The Viper, shouting, “You wanted this!” at his downed opponent.

The bulk of this match proved to be a pure brawl with each competitor throwing their best stuff at the other. The sound of ribs crunching under boots and flesh connecting with bone echoed throughout the All State Arena for the length of the battle.

 

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Randy Orton (Cage Match, with the RKO banned)

Who held the advantage? It shifted by the minute. There were moments when Orton seemed to be a second away from laying Rollins out with an RKO, only to remember that his maneuver was banned. When he hesitated, the champion would steal the momentum. At one point, Rollins made it all the way to the top of the cage, only to be caught by Orton. The two began trading haymakers while precariously perched on the edge of the steel structure — one wrong move could have cost either Superstar his career.

Watch videos of Superstars jumping off the top of the steel cage

The match shifted tempo when J&J Security finally appeared to help their champion — clearly Plan B taking effect — but Orton dashed their attempted interference. Kane made his presence felt soon after, chasing Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury away from ringside, but he never truly stopped them from getting mixed up in the bout.

Despite the numbers game outfavoring him, Orton grabbed his first major advantage after crotching Rollins on the top rope and then planting him with a DDT. Curiously, The Viper hit the mat and seemed to call for his RKO, only to drop Rollins with Triple H’s Pedigree in a fantastic moment of mockery. The maneuver only netted Orton a two count, who then went for a punt, but missed the champion with a kick that surely would have ended the whole shebang.

Orton then shifted his approach and attempted to exit instead of pinning Rollins, but Kane closed the cage door right in his face. Any questions about The Director of Operations’ allegiance seemed to be answered there, but, a moment later, Rollins went to dropkick Orton and accidentally nailed Kane on the other side of the structure. The two opponents fell into an ugly fight for escape at that point before Kane got to his feet and slammed the cage door on both of their heads.

Check out photos of Kane's many looks from throughout his career

Now irate, Kane loosened his tie and entered the ring. The big man began to make his way toward Rollins, only to be stopped by J&J Security, who demanded he target Orton. Kane answered that request by chokeslamming both of them to the canvas.

 

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Randy Orton (Cage Match, with the RKO banned)

A dramatic moment followed. Would Kane chokeslam The Authority’s golden boy and cost him the title? It looked to be going that way, but, at the last moment, he reached down and grabbed Orton by the throat, hoisting the veteran into the air and drilling him back down to the mat. With that, victory looked to be a sure thing for Rollins, who made his way to the cage door. Not so fast. With the champion a foot away from victory, Kane snatched Rollins and preceded to chokeslam him, too.

Watch some of the coolest chokeslams in WWE history

The angry — and clearly conflicted — monster dragged Rollins’ prone body on top of a downed Orton, but The Viper managed to power his way out before the three-count. This fight would continue.

Kane was now focused on taking Orton out, and attempted to Tombstone him. WWE’s Apex Predator slipped out of his grasp, though, and took him out with a sudden RKO. A second later, The Viper spun around and found himself eating an RKO of his own — this one delivered by Seth Rollins. That controversial maneuver was enough to keep Orton down and allow the WWE World Heavyweight Champion to worm his way out of the cage and retain his title.

Check out photos of the history of WWE World Heavyweight Champions

The bell rang as Rollins grasped his championship, displaying a look on his face that could only be described as an acute mixture of shock and relief. He survived, and, although he probably wouldn’t admit it, surprised even himself.

As for the questions about Seth’s ability, Orton’s ingenuity and Kane’s allegiance? They had been answered, mostly, but plenty of new ones now hung in the air. Was Kane done with The Authority? Would Orton call the controversies of the bout into question? Would Rollins do everything in his power to avoid a future confrontation? We’re all waiting on the answers.