24. Team Raw (Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman) vs. Team SmackDown LIVE (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Shane McMahon, Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton) — 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Men’s Elimination Match (Survivor Series)
If there was a WWE equivalent to a big-budget summer popcorn flick this year, it was undoubtedly the Survivor Series main event. The heavily hyped battle between Raw and SmackDown LIVE was so packed with marquee stars, high stakes and even comic relief (thanks to Team Blue mascot James Ellsworth) that you wouldn’t have been surprised to find out it was directed by Joss Whedon. The nearly hourlong (!) affair — which saw Roman Reigns almost hospitalize Shane McMahon with the ugliest Spear of 2016, The Shield Triple-Powerbomb AJ Styles through an announce table and Randy Orton & Bray Wyatt walk out as survivors — left us slack-jawed, breathless, and asking one question: When’s the sequel?
17. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins — WWE Championship Match (Money in the Bank)
WE SAID: Nearly seven months after Seth Rollins went down with a devastating knee injury, The Architect battled his one-time Shield brother-in-arms, Roman Reigns, for WWE’s greatest title at WWE Money in the Bank. Both Superstars fought tooth-and-nail, but Rollins finally countered The Big Dog’s Spear by hitting a miraculous mid-air Pedigree for the win. Before Rollins could celebrate, however, the third Shield member, “Mr. Money in the Bank” Dean Ambrose, emerged and cashed-in his contract to take the title just like that. — MIKE BURDICK
THEY SAID: “For me, that was six-and-a-half months off, first pay-per-view match back and trying to get a championship against Roman Reigns. A lot of nerves going in, a lot of uncertainty. But it was like riding a bike. Roman and I know each other so well. Very competitive back-and-forth match. A lot of heart from both sides, and to be able to come out on top was pretty awesome for me, [because] I wanted that badly. I wanted to prove I was still the same guy I was before surgery and rehab. At the end of the day, even though Ambrose walked out of Money in the Bank with the championship, I still proved I was The Man.” — Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins will battle Finn Balor at SummerSlam on Sunday for the newly created WWE Universal Championship. Rollins visited the ESPN campus and sat down for an interview on the match, that fan rushing the stage at Raw, and more.
Ben Houser: SummerSlam, what are we going to see from Seth Rollins?
Seth Rollins: Mostly what you can expect — a big match, Seth Rollins, WWE Universal Championship, first time against Finn Balor. Aside from him being a tremendous opponent, I just think you’re going to see me go out there and deliver in big match situations, so I’m looking forward to the energy and the crowd and the match itself.
Houser: It wasn’t that long ago that you came up; what is it like that you built the brand for yourself as Seth Rollins and you’re about to take on a younger talent in his first big match?
Rollins: It’s super-exciting for me, actually, to be on the other side of the coin. You know even last year, you go back to SummerSlam and look at my match with John Cena, and I feel like we’re in a complete role reversal. I feel like I’m in the John Cena position this year and Finn Balor is in my position, so it’s crazy, you know, how much can change in a year. I’m looking forward to that challenge because it’s a new challenge for me; it’s not something I’m used to. And now in the locker room, I’m almost a veteran at this point, which is just wild with all the new guys coming up and stuff like that. For me it’s a tremendous honor. It’s cool to be looked at that way, as a leader and as someone who’s going to help take this generation to the next level.
Houser: What are Finn Balor’s talents that you see?
Rollins: In the ring, Finn Balor is one of the most polished performers that we have. He’s got a uniqueness about him the way he moves; obviously, the Demon King side of his persona is very interesting and differentiates him from a lot of the other talent that we have right now on the roster. I just think there’s just something about him; he’s just one of those guys where you can’t put your finger on it. He’s got that, that “it” factor, that I can’t miss a Finn Balor match. Continue Reading