WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose

COLUMBUS, Ohio  He did it, and all by himself. Seth Rollins, who shoved The Authority to the side and shouldered the load of beating Dean Ambrose on his own, fulfilled his promise by scaling a ladder and reclaiming his stolen WWE World Heavyweight Championship from the man who may go down in history as both The Architect’s greatest ally and bitterest foe.

Watch the Money in the Bank replay |  Photos of the chaotic main event

Rollins’ feat was all the more impressive because the match was an uphill climb from the word go. Beginning with his win at last year’s Money in the Bank event, The Architect had rarely won a big match without the interference of Kane, J&J Security or some other agent of The Authority. Facing Ambrose alone — apart from placing all of the glory and the blame on the titleholder’s shoulders — essentially robbed Rollins of his right- and left-hand men. The Lunatic Fringe took full advantage of his old running mate’s handicap in the initial moments of the match, hammering Rollins with a crossbody, chops and — after Rollins made a potential early play for a ladder — a corner splash-bulldog combo that gave him an early advantage.

Watch: The champion insults The Authority |  Rollins battles J&J Security on Raw

That advantage didn’t last long once The Architect incorporated the anything-goes environment into his plans, however. He intercepted Ambrose mid-sprint for an STO into the turnbuckle, then took the fight outside the ring for the first time. There, The Architect used the loose rulebook to get his first sizable lead of the match, powerslamming Ambrose onto the floor and hurling him shoulder-first into the steps. With Ambrose down, Rollins again made a move for a ladder. Again Ambrose rallied, suicide-diving Rollins halfway up the ramp before using that same ladder as a weapon against his onetime brother in black, stopping Rollins’ own response suicide dive short by see-sawing the steel full-on into his face.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose

In the wake of that maneuver the ladder was soon erected, and both champion and challenger scrambled to scale it in a back-and-forth that was short on style but long on brutality. The two took turns hauling each other off the ladder before Ambrose decided to flip the script, slamming Rollins’ face into the ladder and, after another tussle, turning the implement into a landing spot for a double-underhook suplex.

WWE Network:  Ambrose faces Dusty's wrath at Battleground 2013 |  The roster pays tribute to "The American Dream"

After setting the ladder up again, Ambrose finally managed to scale it. Instead of using his position to seal the win, however, he decided to pay tribute to the heavens’ newest Hall of Famer, Dusty Rhodes, dropping a Bionic Elbow on Rollins from atop the rungs that sent The Architect sprawling … and right into the orbit of a steel chair. As Ambrose attempted to win the match in earnest, Rollins brought out the chair and hacked away at the lunatic’s legs, bringing him down to Earth and severely compromising Ambrose’s knee in the process. If Rollins was a man with both arms behind his back, his opponent was now, for all intents and purposes, a one-legged man in a ladder-climbing contest.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose

Sensing the proverbial blood in the water, Rollins ensnared Ambrose’s leg in the ropes and battering-rammed the ladder straight into the injured knee. Even as Ambrose attempted to mount an offensive front, Rollins went back to the knee, matching Dean’s Dusty tribute with an homage to Ric Flair by way of a pair of Figure-Four Leglocks. That Ambrose managed to muscle Rollins into a reversal of the second one was a testament to The Lunatic Fringe’s heart. The one-legged madman somehow kept pace, hobbling over to the ladder with Rollins in mid-climb and sending The Architect for a tumble. Had Ambrose possessed full use of his legs, he may have put the match away then, but a ladder-wielding Rollins was quick to double-down against his former brother. First he used the ladder as a shield against Ambrose’s rebound lariat then again trapped Ambrose’s leg in the crux of the ladder and went to town.

WWE Network:  Ambrose and Rollins go to "Hell" |  Lunatics and ladders at WrestleMania 31

Adrenaline took over at this point as the WWE Universe roared to life behind Ambrose, and The Lunatic Fringe began to unleash a frenzied attack on Rollins with no thought toward his own safety or pain, daring the champion to stop him if he could. Eventually, Rollins did just that, tossing Ambrose into a guardrail when the fight spilled into the assembled multitudes of the WWE Universe. Having presumably broken Ambrose, a battle-weary Rollins made his way to the announce area to grab a ladder. But Ambrose roared back through the crowd, sprinted across the announce tables and mauled Rollins to the ground.

WWE Network: Dean Ambrose sends Seth Rollins flying onto a steel ladder: WWE Money in the Bank 2015

In a devastating maneuver, Dean Ambrose flips Seth Rollins onto a steel ladder: Courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

The two competitors slowly made their way back into the ring, but not before that same ladder was bridged between the apron and the commentary table. It didn’t take long for Rollins to reveal his intentions, as he attempted to powerbomb Ambrose onto the steel. The Lunatic Fringe turned the tide on his opponent, backdropping Rollins onto the ladder and breaking it under the weight of The Architect’s body. When Ambrose’s next attempt to climb the ladder was again hampered by his hobbled leg, the fight again spilled into the commentary area, this time into the Spanish announce table. And while Ambrose very nearly took the traditional trip through the SAP station, he managed to avoid a Pedigree on the table and instead put Rollins headfirst onto the desk with Dirty Deeds.

WWE Top 10:  Insane WrestleMania Ladder Match moments

Ambrose made another pass up the ladder, which Rollins cut off by clobbering the injured knee with a TV monitor to bring Ambrose down to Earth again. Having been beaten within an inch of incapacitation, it was all Ambrose could do to literally bear hug Rollins’ legs each time he tried to climb the ladder. At one point he even managed to toss Rollins to the outside. That decision would cost him.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose

Fed up with Ambrose’s fighting spirit, The Architect threw The Lunatic Fringe face-first into what was left of the mangled ladder before delivering a pair of running powerbombs to the barricade on either end of the squared circle. After producing a ladder and a cluster of chairs beneath the ring, The Architect executed a third powerbomb, this one a running sit-out, atop the mass before burying Ambrose in plunder and heading toward the ladder with clear skies ahead.

WWE Fury: Powerbombs |  Did Kevin Owens defeat Cena again?

Yet Ambrose got up again. For the umpteenth time, The Lunatic Fringe made his way back to the ring and scaled the ladder, neck-and-neck with Rollins, until it came down to a literal Tug O’ War over the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Both Superstars tore the title from its hook at the same time and fell to the mat. Whether Ambrose lost his grip in the fall or released the title due to the pain in his knee as he hit the ground was unclear. It didn’t matter, because Rollins kept his hold on the title literally, figuratively and in any other way that can be measured, not only retaining the WWE World Heavyweight Championship but reclaiming it as well  just in time for a celebration with WWE COO Triple H at ringside when all was said and done.

Watch:  Ambrose's emotional post-match address

“Show them,” The King of Kings had commanded his student before the match, when Rollins’ self-doubt was at its highest. Rough a task as it was, Seth Rollins clearly took those words to heart. Not just to heart, in fact, but into the ring, up the ladder, out the door and all the way to the pay window, if you will.

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WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose

COLUMBUS, Ohio  He did it, and all by himself. Seth Rollins, who shoved The Authority to the side and shouldered the load of beating Dean Ambrose on his own, fulfilled his promise by scaling a ladder and reclaiming his stolen WWE World Heavyweight Championship from the man who may go down in history as both The Architect’s greatest ally and bitterest foe.

Watch the Money in the Bank replay |  Photos of the chaotic main event

Rollins’ feat was all the more impressive because the match was an uphill climb from the word go. Beginning with his win at last year’s Money in the Bank event, The Architect had rarely won a big match without the interference of Kane, J&J Security or some other agent of The Authority. Facing Ambrose alone — apart from placing all of the glory and the blame on the titleholder’s shoulders — essentially robbed Rollins of his right- and left-hand men. The Lunatic Fringe took full advantage of his old running mate’s handicap in the initial moments of the match, hammering Rollins with a crossbody, chops and — after Rollins made a potential early play for a ladder — a corner splash-bulldog combo that gave him an early advantage.

Watch: The champion insults The Authority |  Rollins battles J&J Security on Raw

That advantage didn’t last long once The Architect incorporated the anything-goes environment into his plans, however. He intercepted Ambrose mid-sprint for an STO into the turnbuckle, then took the fight outside the ring for the first time. There, The Architect used the loose rulebook to get his first sizable lead of the match, powerslamming Ambrose onto the floor and hurling him shoulder-first into the steps. With Ambrose down, Rollins again made a move for a ladder. Again Ambrose rallied, suicide-diving Rollins halfway up the ramp before using that same ladder as a weapon against his onetime brother in black, stopping Rollins’ own response suicide dive short by see-sawing the steel full-on into his face.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose

In the wake of that maneuver the ladder was soon erected, and both champion and challenger scrambled to scale it in a back-and-forth that was short on style but long on brutality. The two took turns hauling each other off the ladder before Ambrose decided to flip the script, slamming Rollins’ face into the ladder and, after another tussle, turning the implement into a landing spot for a double-underhook suplex.

WWE Network:  Ambrose faces Dusty's wrath at Battleground 2013 |  The roster pays tribute to "The American Dream"

After setting the ladder up again, Ambrose finally managed to scale it. Instead of using his position to seal the win, however, he decided to pay tribute to the heavens’ newest Hall of Famer, Dusty Rhodes, dropping a Bionic Elbow on Rollins from atop the rungs that sent The Architect sprawling … and right into the orbit of a steel chair. As Ambrose attempted to win the match in earnest, Rollins brought out the chair and hacked away at the lunatic’s legs, bringing him down to Earth and severely compromising Ambrose’s knee in the process. If Rollins was a man with both arms behind his back, his opponent was now, for all intents and purposes, a one-legged man in a ladder-climbing contest.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose

Sensing the proverbial blood in the water, Rollins ensnared Ambrose’s leg in the ropes and battering-rammed the ladder straight into the injured knee. Even as Ambrose attempted to mount an offensive front, Rollins went back to the knee, matching Dean’s Dusty tribute with an homage to Ric Flair by way of a pair of Figure-Four Leglocks. That Ambrose managed to muscle Rollins into a reversal of the second one was a testament to The Lunatic Fringe’s heart. The one-legged madman somehow kept pace, hobbling over to the ladder with Rollins in mid-climb and sending The Architect for a tumble. Had Ambrose possessed full use of his legs, he may have put the match away then, but a ladder-wielding Rollins was quick to double-down against his former brother. First he used the ladder as a shield against Ambrose’s rebound lariat then again trapped Ambrose’s leg in the crux of the ladder and went to town.

WWE Network:  Ambrose and Rollins go to "Hell" |  Lunatics and ladders at WrestleMania 31

Adrenaline took over at this point as the WWE Universe roared to life behind Ambrose, and The Lunatic Fringe began to unleash a frenzied attack on Rollins with no thought toward his own safety or pain, daring the champion to stop him if he could. Eventually, Rollins did just that, tossing Ambrose into a guardrail when the fight spilled into the assembled multitudes of the WWE Universe. Having presumably broken Ambrose, a battle-weary Rollins made his way to the announce area to grab a ladder. But Ambrose roared back through the crowd, sprinted across the announce tables and mauled Rollins to the ground.

WWE Network: Dean Ambrose sends Seth Rollins flying onto a steel ladder: WWE Money in the Bank 2015

In a devastating maneuver, Dean Ambrose flips Seth Rollins onto a steel ladder: Courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

The two competitors slowly made their way back into the ring, but not before that same ladder was bridged between the apron and the commentary table. It didn’t take long for Rollins to reveal his intentions, as he attempted to powerbomb Ambrose onto the steel. The Lunatic Fringe turned the tide on his opponent, backdropping Rollins onto the ladder and breaking it under the weight of The Architect’s body. When Ambrose’s next attempt to climb the ladder was again hampered by his hobbled leg, the fight again spilled into the commentary area, this time into the Spanish announce table. And while Ambrose very nearly took the traditional trip through the SAP station, he managed to avoid a Pedigree on the table and instead put Rollins headfirst onto the desk with Dirty Deeds.

WWE Top 10:  Insane WrestleMania Ladder Match moments

Ambrose made another pass up the ladder, which Rollins cut off by clobbering the injured knee with a TV monitor to bring Ambrose down to Earth again. Having been beaten within an inch of incapacitation, it was all Ambrose could do to literally bear hug Rollins’ legs each time he tried to climb the ladder. At one point he even managed to toss Rollins to the outside. That decision would cost him.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose

Fed up with Ambrose’s fighting spirit, The Architect threw The Lunatic Fringe face-first into what was left of the mangled ladder before delivering a pair of running powerbombs to the barricade on either end of the squared circle. After producing a ladder and a cluster of chairs beneath the ring, The Architect executed a third powerbomb, this one a running sit-out, atop the mass before burying Ambrose in plunder and heading toward the ladder with clear skies ahead.

WWE Fury: Powerbombs |  Did Kevin Owens defeat Cena again?

Yet Ambrose got up again. For the umpteenth time, The Lunatic Fringe made his way back to the ring and scaled the ladder, neck-and-neck with Rollins, until it came down to a literal Tug O’ War over the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Both Superstars tore the title from its hook at the same time and fell to the mat. Whether Ambrose lost his grip in the fall or released the title due to the pain in his knee as he hit the ground was unclear. It didn’t matter, because Rollins kept his hold on the title literally, figuratively and in any other way that can be measured, not only retaining the WWE World Heavyweight Championship but reclaiming it as well  just in time for a celebration with WWE COO Triple H at ringside when all was said and done.

Watch:  Ambrose's emotional post-match address

“Show them,” The King of Kings had commanded his student before the match, when Rollins’ self-doubt was at its highest. Rough a task as it was, Seth Rollins clearly took those words to heart. Not just to heart, in fact, but into the ring, up the ladder, out the door and all the way to the pay window, if you will.