By James Cox,

The Big Takeaway:

Curtis Axel returned to beat Adam Rose in an open challenge. R-Truth and Fandango showed some chemistry as a tag team but lost in a formulaic tag match against The Ascension. 

Curtis Axel beat Adam Rose (3:02)

Rose came out for a promo. He’s trying his best with this gimmick but you only have to look at his twitter to know that he wants to be Leo Kruger again. He put on some spectacles, told the crowd that he was there to be a “party pooper” and issued an open challenge. Curtis Axel came out to a fairly meager reaction.

This was a short match but didn’t quite feel three minutes short. They lock up and run the ropes until Rose runs into a neatly-timed drop kick. He feigns that he’s hurt, lures Axel in and then throws him into a turnbuckle and follows it up with a clothesline and multiple elbow drops. Rose puts on a sleeper and Axel Powers out, getting some heat with clotheslines and a running knee to the jaw. He goes for a cover but Rose kicks out at two.

Axel goes for a Perfect Plex attempt – he is now trying to get the crowd to chant “plex” before he uses it. Rose counters with a swinging neckbreaker and goes up top to land a flying double axe handle to Axel’s back. He kicks out of the cover and Rose complains profusely to the ref. When he turns around he takes a hangman’s facebuster from Axel for the win.

The Ascension beat R-Truth & Fandango (8:01)

The Ascension’s act feels so stale and this match was largely identical to all their Superstars matches from the last few weeks. On the other hand, Truth and Fandango looked like they had fun together here; I could see them going with them as a team.

Truth and Viktor start things off and Viktor runs into an elbow and gets thrust into Truth and Fandango’s corner where he tags Fandango in and whips Viktor into a beautifully-timed drop kick. Viktor recovers and Fandango gets beaten up for a while. Konnor then tags in, but gets taken down with a quick hurricanrana from Fandango and then he and Truth double team Konnor with a double hip toss and stereo leg drops. The Ascension roll outside to regroup and we head to a break.

Fandango is in with Konnor as we return applying wrist locks. He tags Truth in who fights his way out of their corner but runs into Viktor’s knee. Viktor goes for a cover but can only get a two count and so stomps a mud hole in Truth. The Ascension then start to make frequent tags and Truth gets beaten down for a while. Viktor slaps on a rear chin lock.

Truth tries a sunset flip, but Viktor makes a tag on way through so Konnor comes in to break it up. Konnor goes back to the chin lock and the crowd is completely dead at this point. Konnor and Truth trade slaps and when Truth is able to get a heel kick in, both men go down. Truth crawls to tag in Fandango who gets the heat on Viktor with jabs, clotheslines, a spinning heel kick, and a sitout suplex.

The pin is broken up by Konnor, who is sent outside but Truth. Konnor pulls Truth out too and rams him into apron. Fandango is then distracted and The Ascension hit the Fall of Man for the win.

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