Ambrose made his way to the ring to a fairly sizable pop as he prepared to do battle with Del Rio, with the opportunity to name the stipulation for his match against Rollins at SummerSlam at stake.
Del Rio was aggressive early, using kicks to attack his opponent. Ambrose answered with a flurry of right hands and a quick nearfall.
The former WWE and World Heavyweight champion forced Ambrose to chase him around ringside, then he sent him into the guardrail as he attempted to buy time, undoubtedly at the behest of The Authority. He wore the Lunatic Fringe down with a headlock as the Texas fans tried to will the babyface Ambrose back into the match.
Del Rio targeted the injured shoulder of Ambrose in an attempt to set up his vaunted Cross ArmBreaker. Ambrose caught his opponent with a big suplex on the arena floor as he mounted somewhat of a comeback.
Ambrose caught Del Rio coming off the top rope with a shot to the midsection, a series of punches and a cross body block. Del Rio countered a Tornado DDT and leveled Ambrose with the straight kick to the face before sending him to the arena floor as we headed to break.
Back from the break, Ambrose found himself on the receiving end of a beating before avoiding a charging Del Rio and diving through the ropes at his opponent.
A second attempt at the Tornado DDT proved successful, but Del Rio shot his shoulder off the mat just before the three-count.
Ambrose ultimately countered the Cross ArmBreaker with Dirty Deeds for the win.
Dean Ambrose, via pinfall, following Dirty Deeds
Time to beat: 15:42
Highlights and Quotes
"We're jumping the gun here thinking Dean Ambrose is going to set the time. He's gotta beat Alberto Del Rio."—JBL
"For $9.99, you can watch all of my matches on the WWE Network."—JBL
"I think Mexico's greatest export took it personally that Dean Ambrose thought he was going to come out here and beat him."—JBL
"Dean Ambrose just won this match with one arm!"—JBL
Ambrose and Del Rio had an outstanding match here, one that was probably five minutes too long. Early on, it felt every bit like two wrestlers who knew they were going for a while, and as a result, it killed the urgency of the match.
Only after the commercial break in the middle of the contest did it ever feel like Ambrose realized the importance of beating Del Rio.
With that said, the match was outstanding. Ambrose is just a great babyface, and Del Rio's work continues to be far better than it should be for someone who has become as much of an afterthought as he has over the last year.
It is a shame that an extended program between them, one that could help restore some of the luster to Del Rio, is unlikely given their positions on the card.