Universal Champion Seth Rollins: With Lacey Evans handpicked by Baron Corbin as Special Guest Referee, Seth Rollins had quite the hurdle to clear in his unnerving Universal Championship defense.
With all the forces that have conspired against The Beastslayer in recent weeks — Brock Lesnar, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn — to end his run as champion, Rollins could be forgiven if he appeared uneasy in his battle with Corbin. But even with The Lone Wolf’s convenient decision to have Evans officiate their high-stakes matchup, Rollins barely flinched as he reminded his wily rival of his namesake as The Architect.00:56
Built for challenges, no matter the height of the climb or the cost of the war, The Beastslayer took The Lone Wolf’s paranoia-inducing game plan and raised him a beatdown. But before that could happen, Corbin maintained a stronghold throughout much of the match. In fact, The Lone Wolf took advantage early by tanning Rollins’ back with multiple chair strikes before Evans finally called for the opening bell.
From there, Corbin smothered Rollins with a brutal assault of back-punishing attacks, in and outside the ring. Though the resilient Beastslayer powered through with attacks of his own, including a canvas-rattling Blockbuster and springboard knee attack, he quickly learned just how much of an uphill climb he was facing with Evans in Corbin’s corner. After Evans failed to officiate his pin attempts, Rollins roared back by viciously powerbombing The Lone Wolf through the announcer table. Though Rollins figured that would lead Evans to count Corbin out, the Special Guest Referee got to eight before she decided to declare that the title fight was now a No Count-out Match. That wouldn’t be the last curveball.
When Corbin rebounded, he once again went to work by waylaying Rollins with the steel chair, only for Evans to then decree that it was a No Disqualification Match. Despite Rollins fighting back, even sandwiching Corbin onto the steel chair with a Falcon’s Arrow, Evans continued to stack the deck by striking Rollins with a savage low blow.
When it appeared The Architect was in an unwinnable situation, especially with The Lone Wolf planting him with a well-timed End of Days, Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch dashed into the ring, took down Evans and continued to rain down stinging haymakers before nearly driving The Sassy Southern Belle through the barricade with a Bexploder, as the WWE Universe rose to their feet and roared inside the Tacoma Dome.
With Evans out of the picture, referee John Cone arrived as Rollins countered Corbin’s second End of Days attempt with a superkick followed by an emphatic Stomp. As the sweet smell of karma filled the arena, Cone called the three-count, leaving Rollins to live another day as fighting champion and obstacle-slayer.