Night of Champions 2015 Review

Skip to the end for the quick summary.

Kickoff Match – Neville/Lucha Dragons vs Stardust/Ascension(Cosmic Wasteland)

Let me start by saying I was 100% right. There was a triple outside dive heading into a commercial break by Neville and the Luchas. They come out of commercial with Stardust in charge. With that being said, this match was just as predictable as I had expected. Fast-paced in the beginning until the break and then Stardust/The Ascension slow it down. Crowd getting behind Neville, wanting the tag. Kalisto hitting a huge top rope hurricarana and hitting the hot tag to Neville who speeds things back up and gaining momentum into the highlight of the match, Neville’s second rope Phoenix Splash. Sin Cara has a spot outside the ring when Stardust retakes advantage inside the ring. “Cody” chants get into his head causing him to make a mistake. As Neville tries to hit the Red Arrow, Viktor gets involved causing Neville to become victim to Stardust’s Finisher for the 1-2-3. About what I had anticipated here. I’m glad Stardust goes over but surprised Neville is the latter.
Overall predictions: 1-0

In terms of meeting expectations and getting things started I’ll give this match an A. As far as overall match quality my grade for this match, being the first ever match grade I have given, will be a C.

Match Grade: C
65/100

Match 1 – Intercontinental Championship Match – Ryback(c) vs Kevin Owens

More than happy that this match kicked off the show. Although I would like for Kevin Owens to be near the end of a show, being stuck working Ryback is a good reason for him to kick off the PPV. I’ll start by saying that Owens gets a louder response than Ryback. A loud cheerful pop for a heel. These are wrestling fans in Houston.
New haircut, Kev?
This match starts faster than I had expected. Two powerhouses. Ryback simply throwing Kevin Owens outside of the ring. Owens takes over, targeting the left arm. Kevin gets the crowd against him throughout the match. Good heel work. The work to the left arm of Ryback goes on for several minutes and Owens stays in control for a while until they hit a double clothesline. That is the problem with Owens targeting the left arm. Ryback needs his right arm for the meat hook. Should have targeted that arm. Nonetheless, Ryback sells the arm up until he gets in control and then it’s almost like the first few minutes of the match didn’t even happen. Until Ryback goes for his Shell Shock and fails to lift Owens. This is the real turning point for this match. Owens locks in an armbar that Ryback reverses but when Ryback tries for the Shell Shock a second time, with the ref behind the action, Owens rakes the eyes of Ryback and rolls up the champion for the victory. Kevin Owens wins his first major WWE Title. This match went a lot like how I expected once again. Owens had Ryback selling for nearly the entire match. Ryback hit a spinebuster and the meat hook but couldn’t get the Shell Shock and Owens wins.

Match lasted 10 minutes.

Overall Predictions: 2-0

Match Grade: B-

73/100

A crazy announcement after this match.
The Brock Lesnar Go to Hell Tour throughout the month of October!
Lesnar vs Big Show October 3rd.
Lesnar on the Stone Cold Podcast October 19th
Lesnar vs The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell October 25th

These matches will be historic for Lesnar and the business. None more important than Lesnar vs Taker in Hell in a Cell. We will definitely be looking for a development in this story.

Backstage with Rusev and Summer Rae

Rusev’s promo is quick and we learn that Summer Rae might just be wearing her new earrings from a certain Dolph Ziggler.

Match 2 –  Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev w/Summer Rae

This match starts like most Dolph Ziggler matches. With him selling for the bigger Rusev. The early turning point is the “We Want Lana” chants from the audience, giving Ziggler the opportunity to put on a little offensive display. It has some sloppy parts, noting a moment early where Dolph is a little jumpy off of the ring into the barricade before Rusev hits him. Some high power moves leading to close, well-timed pinfall kickouts by both parties. A good kickout can take a match from good to great. Both Rusev and Ziggler continue to go for their big moves throughout the match which is always good. Why wouldn’t you go for your money moves all the time? Dolph hits a famouser and MASSIVE DDT (Great sell from Rusev) before Rusev reverses the superkick and ZigZag into a superkick of his own. This is followed by Dolph’s best kickout. So close that Rusev thinks he has won. After wasting a ton of time, Rusev goes for the accolade, reversed into a superkick and Rusev’s best kickout. The suspension was great throughout the match. You never knew when the match would end.  The match is nearing it’s end when Summer Rae distracts Dolph at ringside. She gets tossed into the ring before getting thrown out by the referee. In her rage, Summer tries to hit the referee with her shoe but she mistakenly hits Rusev. This leads to Dolph hitting the ZigZag and getting the pinfall. Rusev falls to Dolph Ziggler because of interference from Summer Rae.

Match was around 15 minutes.

Overall Predictions: 2-1

I’m not surprised that Dolph goes over here. I was okay with any result that led to more of this storyline and I believe we have that possibility.

Match Grade: B-
75/100

The New Day Promo

“Houston, we have a problem.” Another classic from The New Day. They get the crowd against them while also making them laugh. Good promo. Not their best but still super solid. Anytime they throw a song into the mix, it’s good. The State Farm theme. #SaveTheTables

Match 3 – Tag Team Championship Match – The New Day(Kofi Kingston/Big E w/Xavier Woods)(c) vs The Dudley Boyz

Xavier’s hair is a disaster. Was hoping for “You look stupid” chants. His trombone playing made up for it.

In a 10 minute match here, I found myself feeling like a was going to fall asleep. 10 minute match that had probably 2 minutes of wrestling. A whole lot more theatrics than moves and when moves actually happened, I found myself cringing at times. Bubba’s superplex to Big E scared me half to death.. I did not think Bubba was getting him over. I had watched Bubba’s singles run on TNA some and he seemed fine but I felt like he looked his age here. I didn’t see very much from D-Von here either which is expected. I liked Kofi’s aggressiveness in this match and Big E’s agility was on display but I still feel the highlight from this match was Xavier Woods. His ability to be a nuisance outside of the ring is second to none. He is the only reason I stayed awake during this match. Although I was correct about the outcome of this match, I was not correct about the fashion in which it happened. The New Day retained their tag titles on a false finish when Xavier Woods got them disqualified. I thought my hopes would be well lived when the New Day brought in the table but it was Woods who felt the 3D through it. This may be the end of New Day’s #SaveTheTables campaign but not their Tag Team Title reign. I said that I thought this match would end in DQ in my preview. Even though they did not “win,” I consider them the winners here and am considering myself correct again. Fight me about it….

Overall Predictions: 3-1

Match Grade: D+
55/100

Previewing the Diva’s Title Match

They showed past Diva’s Champions but I just want to go on record saying that none of those were “Diva’s” Champions… They were Women’s Champions.

Match 4 – WWE Diva’s Championship Match – Charlotte w/Paige & Becky Lynch vs Nikki Bella(c) w/Brie Bella & Alicia Fox

How do I even begin here? This has got to be the best Diva’s match on the main roster in quite some time.  It was very old school and that is somewhat unexpected.  You know Charlotte can perform and I have always felt that Nikki is the most underrated of all the Divas, even as the champion. Let’s start with the negatives. I don’t really like that Charlotte won this after she hit maybe 5 moves the whole match. It helps that it’s by submission and not pinfall but I’d like to see Charlotte work Nikki’s legs a little bit more before locking in the Figure 8. Another problem I had with the finish was how quickly Nikki tapped after Charlotte locked it in. This woman is the longest reigning Diva’s Champion ever. She has barely been touched all match and yet, it takes probably 2-3 seconds for her to tap out from this submission.. You’d think she would put up some kind of fight to get to the ropes or turn the submission over. Are we putting this move over THAT much?
The positives come in bunches now. I LOVE how Charlotte sold the shots to her leg. Nikki also did little things that might normally go unnoticed that I thought were very important. Normally when a wrestler gets anxious and angry that their opponent kicks out, they throw a fit and kick the ropes or stomp the mat or punch the mat.. but Nikki did what EVERYBODY should do. She took that aggression out on Charlotte’s left leg. The leg she had been working the entire match. I like how Nikki targeted her leg the entire match and not just at the beginning. I really thought it would take away the figure 8 but I guess that’s how tough we should believe Charlotte is. One positive I have now that was a negative before the match was the ringside appearances from Team Bella and Team PCB. At first, I wanted this to be a singles match with no outside support but once Team Bella got involved, grabbing the rope so Charlotte couldn’t get there, and Nikki got angry with them, I immediately understood the necessity to have them all out there. The special stipulation was that the title switched hands on DQ. Team Bella at ringside brought a different possibility to the ending.
All in all. I would say that this match was the match of the night up to this point and Charlotte is well on her way to becoming a 16 time champ like her daddy. The moment they shared after this match was beautiful.

Divas got 12-13 minutes roughly.

Overall Predictions: 4-1

Match Grade: A+ for a main roster Diva’s match. Compared to all. I’ll give it a B.
78/100

Backstage: JoJo w/ Kevin Owens

First off… Kevin OwenS with an “s”. Come on JoJo. Kevin Owens has a great promo here. The wordplay shows his mic skill. This also tells us that the Ryback/Kevin Owens feud is far from over.

Backstage: Team PCB w/Ric Flair

The celebration continued backstage and we got to see that Charlotte doesn’t really know that classic Ric Flair lines but she was close. We also see just how happy Ric Flair is with Charlotte’s performance and I can only imagine that these girls (and maybe Ric, too) all got into Brie Mode that night.

Match 5 – The Wyatt Family vs Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Mystery Partner(Chris Jericho)

Let’s start with that entrance. The mystery partner gets tackled by security and referees! Oh no! What are we going to do now?! Haha. WWE fans are crazy.. and banned for life probably.
Now at first, When Chris Jericho comes out… I’ll be honest… It was a little disappointing… I mean. We’ve seen Y2J a ton and we’ve seen him against Bray already but I guess that is the point? I don’t know. I felt robbed of a new opportunity.
Now we should get to the moment of the match that everybody will be talking about. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Braun Strowman hits his finisher and then BOOM! The blatant nip slip! Okay.. but for real let’s get to the match.

Chris Jericho as the mystery partner did not even cross my mind but the moment he came out it felt so obvious. It also felt like I knew exactly what the result would be. Bringing a veteran in instead of young blood meant that Braun Strowman was going to get over in this match. WWE truly did exactly what they needed to with this match. It wasn’t going to be the match of the year of even the match of the show. It needed to build Strowman’s character and build up more to this storyline and I believe that’s what it accomplished. Fans aren’t usually happy with a huge guy who doesn’t talk or really wrestle being extremely unstoppable… (See The Great Khali) but that shouldn’t stop the WWE from building that type of character every once in a while. Y2J was the perfect person to bring in, since he still contractually wrestles for the company each month and is an absolute legend who hasn’t lost a step. It makes sense for Strowman to go over him seeing as though it is not expected for Jericho to have any major role on the show anytime soon.
This brings me to the confusing part of the match for me. Jericho gets a lot of heat during and after this match. Tagging himself in when Roman FINALLY gets Strowman down for once and then arguably costing Reigns and Ambrose the match in the end. Then afterwards, shoulder checking Ambrose on his way out. Why build heat on a guy that isn’t a regular guy? It’s the same sort of situation I felt at the Beast in the East special when Jericho went over Neville when he really should’ve helped Neville get over. This is different though because this is an actual WWE program that matters to the future direction of the show and story. With all that being said… I don’t think this feud between Reigns/Ambrose and the Wyatts is over, but if it is, I think a Dean Ambrose/Chris Jericho rivalry could be one for the ages and most likely the feud of the year.
The match itself had a lot of predictably high points. The usual moments occurred from this type of match. I was pleasantly surprised with the work Reigns and Harper did together. I’m used to seeing Harper and Ambrose matched up together but tonight I thought Reigns out shined Ambrose on every account. The big moment from Ambrose and Bray for me was the double clothesline. It’s a move that is starting to become a little overdone (in fact, it happened earlier in the night during the IC Title match), but I felt like they placed it in the perfect spot for this match. All in all, Harper is the clear workhorse of The Wyatt Family in terms of putting in work but I think they are a good-looking team right now and the right team to go over.

Match was about 13 minutes.

Overall Projections: 5-1

Match Grade: C+
70/100

Backstage: Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Seth Rollins, and Sheamus

Quick and to the point. The way I like it. Seth is the man. He can do it. He’s sporting the white and gold like he did at Summerslam. Sheamus comes in and shows that he is ready to cash in.

Match 6 – United States Championship Match – Seth Rollins(c) vs John Cena

 So this is the first of Seth Rollins’ two matches on the Night of Champions card. The rematch from SummerSlam in which Jon Stewart gifted Seth Rollins the United States Championship. This came as a bit of a surprise to me for sure. I thought there was a possibility that Cena could walk out with a win simply because that is what Cena does. He wins when he probably shouldn’t. I should stop being so dimwitted. John Cena wins every match he is in because John Cena is God’s gift to the world in WWE’s eyes. I’m not mad. I just don’t understand why you give Seth the title out of nowhere in the first place. Rollins is by far the weakest looking World Champion ever. He’s never won a singles match at a PPV fair and square since winning the title. Never actually won the title fair and square either. Is it so crazy to think that the WWE World Heavyweight Champion is getting buried? I don’t think so. I mean Seth is too good to be forgotten but nobody is too good to lose credibility as a champion. Maybe eventually Seth will be taken seriously but right now he looks like a load of garbage. This reminds of Shawn Michaels’ 90s reign. When did Shawn ever win a match in a legitimate manner? Not anytime I can think of. Maybe Seth can become what Shawn Michaels became but he is getting zero help from WWE other than getting the screen time.
Enough of that. This match was as solid as expected but very unpredictable. When a right turn was coming up, the two went left. It was a work of art and easily the best of the now four matches the two have had i believe (3 recently, 1 when Rollins was in The Shield.) Without interference from Jon Stewart at SummerSlam, I still think this match trumps that match. Both men nailed it. They both went for their big moves early and I thought they were going to hit them and then it was a beautiful reversal every time. Always caught me off guard. I love to see two guys trying to hit their finishers every chance they get. It made the moment when they finally got them so much more enjoyable and exciting. This is textbook match psychology. I thought Cena started out sloppy with missed “punches” but the two got in sync quick. My favorite moment is definitely the neckbreaker reversal out of Cena’s shoulder tackle comeback. I did not see that coming and it really made me smile. I got this one wrong and I’m okay with that.

Match time was around the 16-17 minute mark.

Overall Predictions: 5-2

Match Grade: A-
86/100

Match 7 – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match – Seth Rollins(c) vs Sting

 This match was really good. I really thought Cena vs Rollins would be the match of the night. I wasn’t sure if Sting could handle his end of this but I’m torn. This match was really good. Considerably faster paced than Rollins’ first match. It did slow down a lot by the end. Maybe Sting was really hurt there at the end, I’m not sure. If not then excellent sell job. It’s not hard for it to be believable when you’re pushing senior citizen… Sting’s body after this match was beaten pretty severely. I think this will be Sting’s final appearance until Wrestlemania month. Both men put it all on the line and for Seth to get a legitimate win against one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all-time is huge for his career even if it was by a roll-up.
The hype on this match was equal to the match itself. I’m still not sure what prompted this rivalry but I’m glad this match could happen. It was very cool. The highlight would most likely be Sting falling through that table.. It was almost slow motion and I can’t believe he continued the way he did with the condition that his body was in. I’m glad Seth still has at least one title after tonight.

This match went around 17-18 minutes.

Overall Predictions: 6-2

Match Grade: A-
86/100

Match 7 1/2 – The One That Almost Was – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match – Sheamus vs Seth Rollins(c)

After his match with Sting, Seth Rollins celebrates inside the ring. We all know Sheamus is about to come out but the shape that Rollins is in, it doesn’t appear like that smart of a move on Sheamus’ part. It turns out that Sheamus never really gets the opportunity to cash in his Money in the Bank Briefcase. After hitting Seth with a nasty Brogue Kick, it looks like it’s all but done for Sheamus. We will have a new WWE World heavyweight Champion and Seth Rollins will go home title-less….

This is where this Pay Per View becomes awesome.

BOOM!

Kane is back.

Kane is masked.

Kane chokeslams Rollins.

Kane chokeslams Sheamus.

Kane calls for the end.

Kane Tombstones Rollins.

It’s the ending and the return that I have wanted to see since Kane left a few months ago. It’s finally happening. We are getting the rivalry that we didn’t want until Kane found his demon side again. For some reason, demon Kane is a huge sell compared to Corporate Kane… Wonder why? Maybe because Demon Kane targets heels and Corporate Kane is one. Maybe someday in the future Demon Kane will target Corporate Kane? I’m getting carried away. I’m excited. You’re excited. We’re all excited.

Thank you, WWE. Thank you, wrestling. Thank you, childhood.

Quick Summary

If this is all you read, then that’s good enough for me.
Neville is stuck on the kickoff show again. Time as a loser as Stardust goes over Neville in what appears to be seemingly meaningless.
We have a new Intercontinental Champion. One that doesn’t need books but certainly needs a prize. Congrats to Kevin Owens and his family that he can finally afford to support.
Brock Lesnar will have matches. Big Show will get booed during one of them. Maybe a ring will collapse? Lesnar vs Steve Austin on a podcast. Oh.. and Lesnar/Undertaker III, Hell in a Cell. #GoToHellTour #LesnarMonth
Rusev and Ziggler are really good wrestlers. They have good chemistry. Summer Rae likes Dolph. Enough to hit Rusev on purpose? We’ll wait and see. Dolph over Rusev.
The New Day are funny guys. The can’t win matches without interference though. Sometimes they lose with interference.. Just not their Tag Titles. 3D through a table. #BreakTheTables Dudley Boyz win via DQ. Rematch pending.
Girls can wrestle.
Y2J beat Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose in a “Who can lose a match” match. That’s right. Y2J was the mystery partner. Let’s all binge watch NXT together.
Girls can wrestle.
Sheamus is going to cash in.
John Cena’s US “Champ is Here” t-shirts are a hot seller.
Sheamus is still going to cash in.
Sting’s “still got it” and he’s going to feel it in the morning.
Wait.. what?! Sheamus is cashing in.
Sheamus and Seth got caught up in a bad moment.
Kane is masked and he’s back.

What to Look for This Month

Is Y2J here to stay?

Where does Sting go from here?

Will Kane bring fire?

How fast can Seth Rollins run?

Is the Wyatt Family/Dean&Roman rivalry over? If so… Who is next for each?

How does Nikki handle this loss and where does the Diva’s division go from here?

Is Ric Flair really a girl?

How fast can Ryback go away so we can start the Kevin Owens vs Cesaro rivalry?

Can we see Adam Rose poop on more parties?

Bayley vs Sasha at TakeOver will be the match of the year for women.

#GiveNaomiAChance

Match Rankings from Night of Champions 2015

John Cena vs Seth Rollins – A-
Sting vs Seth Rollins – A-
Charlotte w/Team PCB vs Nikki w/Team Bella – B
Kevin Owens vs Ryback – B-
Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev w/Summer – B-
Reigns/Ambrose/Jericho vs Wyatt Family – C+
Neville/Lucha Dragons vs Stardust/Ascension – C
New Day vs Dudleyz – D+

Superstar of the PPV
Seth Rollins
Two amazing matches.

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Night of Champions 2015 Preview

Night of Champions is tonight so there is no doubt I will be posting my thoughts and hopes for the Pay-Per-View.  I’ll be going match by match and talking about what I’m looking forward to as well as what I am not looking forward to.  I should be doing this for every PPV.  I would say that I would do this for every Raw and Smackdown but I’m not always caught up on everything before Raw or Smackdown starts. I try to watch NXT and even Total Divas before I watch Smackdown and I won’t be watching Night of Champions live so I might not be done with it in time to write both a review of the PPV and a preview for Raw on Monday but we will see. Stay Tuned.

Now let’s talk about the PPV!

Pre-show Kickoff Match – Neville & The Lucha Dragons vs The Cosmic Wasteland (Ascension & Stardust)

It’s nice to see something new from the kickoff show.  I was getting used to Bad News Barrett or R-Truth being involved in some way, usually against each other.  I will say that I wish that Neville would find his way off of the kickoff shows and into the PPV itself.  This guy is more than a kickoff show/middle-of-the-card wrestler. He could eventually main event major PPVs. Even Wrestlemania. Until then, I like this match a lot as a match to get things started off right. It’s a very WWE way of doing things. Starting everything off with the fastest and most energetic superstars to get the crowd hyped and ready. I’m completely okay with this. The Lucha Dragons are absolutely amazing. Probably the most entertaining tag-team in-ring in the entire locker room. I have no doubt that they will find their way into the title picture soon even with the Dudley’s return and the rise in The New Day’s popularity and it’s really good for Sin Cara.  Sin Cara had been in an occasional NXT match until joining Kalisto and becoming a tag-team. It’s been good for him to be in the mix because he is a very talented wrestler in a very exciting style. Seeing them against the Ascension at Night of Champions is exciting for most NXT fans as well, since it was the Dragons that ended The Ascension’s record reign as NXT Tag Champions.  I am not one of those people, however. I’m not that into The Ascension. I want more aggression from them and they just seem gimmicky, in a business that is steering away from gimmicks. They just haven’t done anything for me. The last piece of this match is Stardust. I’m hoping for an eventual turn back into Cody Rhodes and a long run culminating into a World Title some day for Cody but the Stardust gimmick needs to continue for awhile longer.  Stardust is a great wrestler and a perfect enemy for Neville early in Neville’s WWE career.  I just wish they could have a lengthy singles match at a PPV.

For the match itself, I’m expecting them to get 5-10 minutes. Early high flying moves from Neville and The Lucha Dragons. A commercial break in the middle somewhere after Neville and Luchas hit moves outside the ring.  When it comes out of commercial, I am anticipating the team of Stardust and The Ascension to be in control for a few minutes before hitting a hot tag to somebody and the fast-paced build-up to the end of the match begins. Ultimately, I’d like to see the Kalisto pin a member of The Ascension to win but I have a feeling that Stardust and The Ascension come out on top in this one.

WWE Tag Team Championship Match – The New Day vs The Dudley Boyz

Who isn’t excited about the return of The Dudleyz?!  The New Day, that’s who.  Ever since The Dudleyz return, they have been a thorn in the side of Kofi, Big E, and Xavier Woods.  Let’s start by talking about New Day.  I was a huge Kofi Kingston fan before the New Day.  Also, I thought Big E was really talented when he came onto the scene. I never cared for Xavier Woods. When the vignettes first came out, I thought… OH NO…. What are they doing to Kofi…. Not again… Kofi has a history of horrible vignettes. When the New Day finally showed up, I immediately couldn’t wait until they were gone forever and forgotten.  I figured they’d only be on an episode of worst tag teams in WWE history on the Network.  Even when they won the Tag Titles for the first time. I thought that was the most idiotic move the WWE had made since I started watching again. They did not seem to connect with the crowd in a positive manner at all. They were just awful, plain and simple. After they started the clap and the crowds started getting behind them negatively, they started to embrace being “bad guys.” Turning heel has completely saved the New Day. Since then, Xavier Woods has easily been the most exciting character in the tag team division. Kofi has been better than I can ever remember. Can’t explain the love I have for Big E now. He is such a different person now and you can tell he is enjoying himself. As heels, they have the crowd behind them and me behind them as well.  With all that being said… How could you possibly want them to beat the Dudley Boyz? One of the three greatest tag teams of all-time. (Arguable, yes, but I feel the Dudleyz, Hardyz, and Edge and Christian are the greatest ever. Open for argument)   The Dudley Boyz are the most decorated tag team in the history of the company. 18 World Tag Championship between WWE, WCW, and ECW. They can win their 10th WWE Tag Title on Sunday. (I think it’s 10th, not certain. Correct me.)  The New Day has been arguably the most entertaining segment on Raw this month even with the return of Sting and the storyline between Dolph and Summer Rae heating up.  #SaveTheTables is one of my favorite things that has been on the show all year. It’s a hilarious concept and fits their characters perfectly. I’ve always been a sucker for people walking to the ring with signs too. I was big into Zeb Coulter’s sometimes slightly racist signs and in NXT I was very high on CJ Parker before he was released and recently retired from wrestling. Sign are a good call almost every time. The bubble wrapped table was a great touch and the sensation the fans will get when one of the New Day finally go through a table will be fun.  I do not know how it will go down but I can always try to guess.

I’m hoping these guys get 10-12 minutes. The promo the New Day will cut before the match is going to be a home run like they have been lately. Think about it. The way the Astros have been playing lately, with the crappy Texans, they are going to get booed out of the city. I’m expecting the Dudleyz to interrupt and bring a table with them, hopefully. Now I do not know who will win but I have a wish for how I want this match to go down.  I’d like to see the New Day win but not fairly. Interference from Xavier Woods is fine but the most important thing that I want to see is table be broken. Not by a 3D, though.  I’d like to see the New Day put one of the Dudleyz through a table. Completely change their view on tables. Maybe even lose by disqualification.  As long as the Dudleyz stay in the Title picture for a while. I would not want them to get the treatment that New Age Outlaws got a year or two ago.

Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev w/ Summer Rae

This has been a roller coaster to say the least. This is the kind of storyline I would’ve loved as a kid. Rusev has killed it the last few months since breaking his foot. He is one of my favorite people to listen to. Broken English is hilarious when it’s done right and somehow Rusev has nailed it. I’m not going to lie either, Summer Rae has been a great addition to Rusev’s character.  When given the chance to shine, she has done that. It is a bit of a buzz kill that Lana most likely will not be any where near this PPV with her broken wrist and because of that, this match has lost a lot of potential.  With that being said, Rusev is still very good in the ring. We learned that most recently in a triple threat match with Kevin Owens and Cesaro that, I personally consider one of the better triple threat matches in recent memory. Rusev has been getting more and more time in matches as of late. When he has a match, it goes on and he continues to surprise with his in ring ability. I think this match could steal the show.  I mean, we all know how great Dolph is in the ring.

Quick story about my first time seeing Dolph Ziggler.  It was the first time anybody saw Dolph Ziggler (Not counting, “NICKY!”). Dolph’s debut match. I don’t know who it was against but I do know that the entire time I kept thinking, “They named this guy DOLPH ZIGGLER?” How stupid is that. DOLPH. ZIGGLER. Dolphin Zig Zag. I couldn’t decide if I thought it was creative or just absolutely ridiculous. Watching his match, I decided he was absolutely ridiculous. This was back when I didn’t really get anything with wrestling and eventually stopped watching the show.  My first Raw that I watched since coming back to wrestling was when he cashed in money in the bank on Del Rio.  The crowd went crazy and I just thought to myself how ridiculous I still thought his name was.  I don’t know when his name became normal to me but somewhere between him cashing in the contract and me realizing he is really good at his job, he became normal. I can now say “Dolph Ziggler” without laughing or cringing.

Okay, now back to this match. Dolph’s ability to sell forever could make this match phenomenal.  I personally feel like Dolph’s matches have become very predictable. It’s a DDT followed by a kickout. Famouser and kickout. Superkick, super-kickout. Going for the ZigZag and missing. Eventually hitting it and winning. I think he could go much further winning occasionally with a Famouser (Fame Asser) or even a DDT roll-up. Cesaro won with a great roll-up recently, why not Dolph? Predictability can be a killer.  I also feel like Dolph tries really, really hard to “show-off” as much of his body as he can and as a straight male viewer, I find it disturbing during matches. I distinctly recall him REALLY wanting Sheamus to kiss his arse. Like… He really wanted it to happen.

For this match, I’m hoping for 30 minutes but I’m expecting somewhere between 12-18. I could also see them continuing the suspense until Lana is back and having the match go 5 minutes with some funky ending. For me, however, I’d like to see this go to a submission from Rusev. Maybe Dolph could find a way to bleed to hard way. Have himself a Steve Austin/Bret Hart moment. I know passing out to a submission is all the rage in WWE right now but with Rusev, I find it very believable. Maybe Summer Rae could seduce Dolph into losing somehow but I don’t see any way that Dolph comes out on top in this one. High hopes but okay with less as long as it leads to more down the road.

 Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns/Mystery Partner vs The Wyatt Family

This contest is interesting. I have no idea who the mystery partner is. I love the fact that it could literally be anybody. Dean and Roman might have spoiled it on WWE.com in an interview with JoJo when they said their partner was attitude era superstar Savio Vega. Roman Reigns said if Savio doesn’t show up then their partner will be The Great Khali. I am certain they are completely joking but they did get the crowd chanting for Savio. I think the crowd completely believed them. I will get more into who the mystery partner could be in a little bit. First, I’d like to talk about the destruction path that has ensued from the addition of Braun Strowman. I’ve watch NXT religiously since the release of the WWE Network. I hadn’t seen or heard of this man until his Raw debut. WWE succeeded in hiding the identity of a superstar showing up on their show? That’s new. I’ve stopped reading the dirt sheets and predictions ever since I found out that Samoa Joe was debuting. I felt robbed of the feeling I had when Sting debuted at Survivor Series. Not that big of a deal but still a big deal. I’m getting off track. Who is Braun Strowman? We still don’t really know. Is he a good wrestler? Doubt it. He’s huge, I know that. He can pick up Roman Reigns like a baby. Dean Ambrose, too. He is more over lately than Brock Lesnar. Don’t believe me? Remember how Roman was competitive at Wrestlemania? Yeah, me too. Remember how Roman and Dean together couldn’t bring down Strowman? Well, they couldn’t do it. On consecutive nights. They could beat both Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt at Summerslam but there was no chance against Braun Strowman. So how do you stop him? We’ll get into that. Now let’s discuss the mystery partner.  I personally think it’s exciting. There is a ton of potential here. Bringing somebody from NXT up would be ideal. Samoa Joe seems perfect. Samoan like Roman, seemingly unstoppable like Strowman. He’s also 36 years old. If he wants a significant WWE career he needs to get started sooner rather than later. It seems like the moment for Samoa Joe. He has nothing really going on in NXT other than the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic with Finn Balor that I expect to end for them soon. Bringing him up to the main roster would be best for business. Besides Joe, I could see Finn coming up but I think he has future plans to feud with Hideo Itami on NXT before he gets called up. Baron Corbin is a possibility as well as Rhyno. I personally would be disappointed to see either of them in the mix. Corbin needs work and I can’t take Rhyno serious in a match of this magnitude.  Reigns and Ambrose were just in the World Title picture. Bray Wyatt fought Taker at Mania. This is a huge match. Luke Harper is no slouch either. He consistently brings something new to his matches and is as solid as it gets for a man of his size. He’s surprisingly agile.  He was definitely the more talented of the two Wyatt Family members.  Which reminds me. Could Erick Rowan be the mystery partner? Is he still out after his surgery? Who knows? What about the forgotten Wyatt Family member, Daniel Bryan? Is he ever going to get cleared for matches? If it is Bryan, I can’t imagine a louder pop from the crowd on the whole night.

I expect this match to be quick depending on who the mystery partner is. If it is nobody too impressive, I expect a quick Wyatt victory led by Strowman.  If it is somebody like a Samoa Joe or even a Savio Vega, I would expect maybe 15-20 minutes here. I can’t imagine WWE killing Strowman’s momentum no matter what, though. He’s been pushed so hard that him losing this soon would be extremely disappointing and, honestly, devastating to the career of Braun Strowman. It wouldn’t make much sense for the Wyatts to lose here regardless of the partner unless it’s a DQ, countout, etc… Or Harper gets pinned while Strowman is brawling with somebody else somewhere. This match has a lot of potential. Hopefully, it ends up better than the past Wyatt/Reigns matches have gone. I’ve been pretty disappointed. This needed a reboot and it’s getting much better for sure.

United States Championship Match – Seth Rollins vs John Cena

Seth Rollins is the man! The Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter of the WWE. (Finishers called the SethWalker and Avada Kedavra). He is “The Chosen One.” He is also the United States and World Wrestling Entertainment World Heavyweight Champions. (Why didn’t the fans think that one through? WWE World Heavyweight Title…. Voting on the APP hasn’t happened for a while… wonder why?) Will he be the double champion after Sunday? We’ll have to wait and see. I’m assuming this match will be before Rollins vs Sting, as it should. I also wouldn’t be surprised if this match leads of the show much like Daniel Bryan vs Triple H at Wrestlemania 30. What a great start that would be! Cena has really stepped up his mat game since the infusion of new Indie blood has been set free in WWE. (Rollins, Owens, Cesaro, Zayn) He is getting a lot of credit for all of his “match of the year” candidates. I think he is deserving of this credit but I also understand why the fans are so against him. Yes, he got Owens over in Owens’ first match but then he beat him in the next two. I personally loved that feud and thought Owens’ should’ve been handed the US Title on Raw in an open challenge. The powers that be just don’t have Cena lose clean very often. I understand that and I think that is most of the reason the fans can’t stand him. They feel force fed a marketing phenomenon because that is what is happening. Just understand that he is the right person for that spot and he is a true legend deserving of everything he has gotten. Nobody could handle what he handles and I respect the crap out of him for all he has done for the business. On the other hand, he doesn’t have those matches without equally incredible talent opposite of him. It takes two to tango (and wrestle). Seth Rollins is one of those guys that is equally incredible. If not better. Every match Rollins has is solid gold. His arrogance fits him perfectly because that is who he truly is. He doesn’t just think he is the best. He KNOWS it. He is the perfect heel in this business. The best heel in years. Better than CM Punk. He has the same effect. I actually feel hate and anguish towards him. He is that good. Kevin Owens is around that level also. The heels in this business right now are killing it. If you can make die hard fans hate you but still want to watch you, you’re doing everything right.

This match should have close to 30 minutes into it. There is always that slight chance that Rollins gets himself DQ’d early to keep the title and save energy but I do not see creative going in that direction. This match is planned as the cornerstone of Rollins’ legacy thus far. This will be what we remember from him on this night. Sting is passed his prime and will not be able to put on the kind of match that Cena and Rollins will be able to. Expect big moments from this match. High spots. A faster pace than you might anticipate but slowing down near the end. Lots of selling points. Quirky moments from Cena that we’re used to. I’m hoping for no 5 Knuckle Shuffle or Springboard Stunner. I would love to see a tease of a Curb Stomp (I miss the Curb Stomp). This match is expected to steal the show and one up their previous contest but without Jon Stewart interference this time around. I fully expect Rollins to win this match but it’s close. WWE loves John Cena as champion.

WWE Divas Championship Match – Nikki Bella vs Charlotte

Their match on Raw ended in rather disappointing fashion. At first, I loved the result. Brie costs Nikki the title and the record. How perfect. We’re finally getting the Brie and Nikki rivalry that we deserve. However, the decision was reversed and now we have a raw Charlotte who seems to have lost a lot of confidence and freedom since joining the main roster. She has become Ric Flair’s daughter. Which is not a bad thing.. but when she was on NXT she was dominating. She was Charlotte. Now she seems like she is supposed to be Ric Flair Jr. That’s something she needs to earn on her own. She’s being shoved down our throats more than Roman Reigns was but because everybody has wanted this for so long, nobody seems to be bothered by it. Well I am. I think Nikki Bella is the most underrated women’s wrestle ever. She is miles ahead of Brie and I honestly think she is better at wrestling than Charlotte is. She matches her athleticism, also. (Naomi should be considered the most athletic, it’s all she has left..) Charlotte is becoming Natalya’s replacement. It’s sad to say that but it feels that way. I understand Nattie is keeping TJ company during his injury (wishing a speedy recovery) but Charlotte is milking the “my dad was a wrestle” gimmick for all it’s worth. Don’t get me wrong, I love Charlotte. She should go down as one of the greatest female competitors of all-time. I’m just wondering if now should be the time. I am not fully convinced that the WWE believes in women’s wrestling yet. Triple H clearly is but it is not resonating in the main roster (I cried a little when they announced the 30 minute Iron Women match at Takeover.) I mean, 3 teams of 3 is not the way to go. It’s obvious.

With that being said, I don’t see the Divas getting more than 10 minutes, sadly. This has potential if Brie and Foxy along with Paige and Becky get tossed early. An even match could be just what the division needs to get going. I mean, Sasha and Bayley are in complete control of everything right now but if given 15+ minutes to themselves, Nikki and Charlotte might be able to get some of the attention off of NXT. Hoping Nikki wins but I’m expecting Charlotte to start her run towards 16 Divas Titles. She’s got to lose the title 15 times to tie her dad’s legacy. This match should be better than their encounter earlier this week.

Intercontinental Championship Match – Ryback vs Kevin Owens

THE RYBACK! He is proud to be your Intercontinental Champion. How do I know that? Because IT’S ALL HE EVER SAYS. Other than, “FEED ME MORE!” I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Ryback on the mic this week. Kevin Owens has gotten him angry for real, I think because Ryback showed more emotion on Raw than he ever had before. It finally felt like he was saying things that he believed instead of reading a prewritten promo. It was a very nice change. I’ve always been completely against Ryback. I think his ring work is sloppy and borderline dangerous. It’s very predictable. His promos have been the most agonizing part of Raw and Smackdown. NXT has better promos consistently. Where would Ryback be if he was jacked? He’d be somewhere else for sure. He’s lucky he’s jacked. He’s earned that body and that alone makes him worthy of that title he holds. However, Kevin Owens has been wrestling longer than almost anybody on the main roster. He is the most deserving on the entire roster in my mind. Nobody has fought through more negativity than him. Independant wrestling is no joke. Kevin Steen was also, no joke. His ability at his size and physical shape is matched by nobody. Maybe I’m biased here, but Kevin Owens is easily my favorite wrestler to watch work. When he isn’t walking away from matches, he’s having the match of the year. Every match that he has completed this year has been a match of the year candidate. Three with Cena, who everybody claims, “can’t wrestle.” Owens continuously brings out the best in everybody he is around. Even Cena’s promos were the best they’ve been in years. If he can bring a “match of the year” candidate out of a match with The Ryback, then he deserves not only the Intercontinental Championship but both of Rollins’ titles as well.

Normally, I’d hope and expect a Kevin Owens’ match to go 15-30 minutes but here I can’t imagine Ryback being able to get passed 10 minutes. Max 12. This match could be good but I wouldn’t expect great. I am expecting Kevin Owens takes his first title. Then again, I was expecting him to beat Cena in the rubber match as well… We know how that went. Ryback also has the crowd advantage. The people love him more now than ever. Wouldn’t surprise me if Ryback leaves with the title. If that is the case, it would surprise me if he leaves under his own power. Expecting the usual Ryback match. Selling for 6-8 minutes and then hitting his Goldberg moves to try to end things. Maybe he’ll hit the top rope. I’m also thinking Owens will win because Ryback might be considered the fill-in champion with Daniel Bryan out. Owens can be the new champion.  Either way, I’m sure I’ll be chanting. “FEED. ME. LESS.”

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match – Seth Rollins vs Sting

I cannot believe that I just typed that. Seth Rollins… vs… Sting.. This is my idol when I was a kid facing the man that has become my idol since I’ve regained my love of wrestling. I can’t wait to see what unfolds here. Hoping we actually have a finish. I fear that will not be the case. I can see Kane returning or even Taker. Maybe somebody else. Either way, I’d be surprised if Sting get’s the title. The only title he has left. I’d be even more surprised if they take the title off of Seth Rollins. I’m completely expecting a babyface turn before Seth loses the title. Maybe not but it’d be nice for a heel champion to turn face while he has the title. Maybe it’s happened but I don’t know. Anyway, Sting still has a lot to offer even at his age. Seth can lead this match if need be but I think Sting can handle his part of the bargain. I won’t be surprised if Sting brings out some things people haven’t seen from him. It’s unusual that I’m not more excited for this match. I almost think it’s weird. I feel like Sting is being put into this match out of nowhere. I also think Sting’s reasoning behind it is odd. He wants to prove that Seth is not as good as Triple H? So Sting want to show how much he like Triple H? Kinda weird really but I’m still super pumped for this match.

I’m expecting no less than 20 minutes here and upwards of 40. Anticipating interference and controversy in the end but it will be a great match. Seth is too good to have a dud and Sting is too legendary to produce less. This match should be a polar opposite to Rollins first match of the night. Expect this to be much more psychological and slow. Much like the 40 minute Dean/Rollins Match. Expecting Rollins to win. Maybe with help and a Phoenix Splash? Maybe he uses a sledge hammer. He is a mini Triple H afterall.

RECAP

I’m excited.

Rollins will shine.

Owens could prove he’s more special than we even think.

Where’s Cesaro?

Who is the mystery partner?

Don’t even get me started on Sheamus.

Overall Predictions

Loser/Winner

Neville/Lucha Dragons vs Stardust/Ascension

New Day vs Dudley Boyz

Rusev w/Summer Rae vs Dolph Ziggler w/o Lana

Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Mystery Partner vs Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Braun Strowman

Seth Rollins vs John Cena

Nikki Bella vs Charlotte

Ryback vs Kevin Owens

Seth Rollins vs Sting

Getting Started.

I figure that none of these will ever get read and that is fine, I suppose. However, I would love other wrestling fans to read these posts and begin conversation with me. Not arguments but fun and enjoyable conversations about professional wrestling.

First, I’m going to talk about myself really quick. I am 21 and I’ll be 22 in 2 months. I am currently in college and should be an accountant in 1-3 years.  I live in Indiana as a musician with my parents until I finish school. I’ve been playing music for a while now and people tend to tell me that I’m pretty good but I’m in school so I have a more certain plan for my life.

Secondly, I would like to explain what part wrestling plays in my life. I want you guys to understand how much of a fan I am and I’ll go in-depth in my next post about specific people and my further understanding of the business.

Like most wrestling fans, I started watching as a kid. I would say I started watching in the late 90’s. I was not supposed to watch wrestling at home but I still would. My brother and I, who is 23 (turns 24 in 3 days), would always switch from WCW Monday Nitro to Raw is War but for us, WCW was first.  We had the WCW coloring books and I even found a really old picture of Sting that one of the two of us had drawn when we were kids.  We loved Goldberg like most kids were supposed to and the NWO were cool but bad. Always thought of Hulk Hogan as black and white, not red and gold. I do not remember any matches that stuck out to me growing up or when I stopped watching for the first time but eventually I stopped watching.  I might have stopped watching once WCW was sold to WWE but I do not know for sure.  What I do know is by the time I had stopped watching, I loved The Rock and Steve Austin. Didn’t really get what was intriguing about Mankind or Eddie Guerrero but people cheered for them. Sting was always mine and my brother’s favorite.

Wrestling slowly faded out of my life. Not for long, though. My first memory of watching wrestling live on television that sticks out to me is the return of Shawn Michaels and learning the Triple H was the person that broke his back.  The next was Kane unmasking.  Those moments got me watching wrestling again because for me, storylines were always the most important thing.  I continued watching and became a huge fan of Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy.  Things Jeff did were so crazy, of course I would enjoy watching him.  By the time Kurt Angle was gone Jeff became the only reason I was still watching. Eventually, CM Punk and Jeff Hardy had their rivalry, the cage match on Raw, and Jeff’s career was over just when it was getting somewhere. I hadn’t watched again until recently.

For the longest time, I would watch wrestling occasionally but I still never understood what I was watching.  Learning wrestling wasn’t real along the way. I couldn’t comprehend why so many people watched something that was completely fake. It was a soap opera with live fake punching. My mom would say it is stupid, fake, and ridiculous. Other members of my family would say it’s weird watching nearly naked guys grabbing each other for absolutely no reason.  This all matters eventually, stick with me.

This brings me to when I started watching again.  Growing up with The Rock it was most definitely a big deal when he returned. I heard about it but didn’t really care too much about it the first time. I did not watch Wrestlemania when he hosted and interfered in the Cena/Miz main event or even the first Cena vs Rock.  However, I was just sitting around, being bored on a Sunday in April and I knew that Wrestlemania 29 was going to be on that night but I didn’t really care. As I continued to be bored that day, I decided that I would watch Wrestlemania to see Rocky vs Cena. I streamed the event and watched an amazing match between CM Punk and Undertaker. I guarantee that if CM Punk had won that match, I would have never watched a single match ever again and this would never even be a conversation. (Hated CM Punk because I didn’t understand the wrestling business and I loved Jeff Hardy). Still, I felt something special was happening during this match and I saw the way the crowd reacted and the respect I always had for the Undertaker and Paul Bearer made me cheer on Undertaker more than I would cheer on a sports team.  The Cena and Rock match was also very good.  I had to find out what the big deal was. I needed to know just how “fake” wrestling was. I wanted to understand why people felt so connected with the spectacle and why wrestlers choose to be wrestlers.

Sorry that went on so long, but to quickly end this, I have since learned the in and outs of the business. I understand the psychology of wrestling matches, I love Mick Foley and Eddie Guerrero now. Goldberg no longer intrigues me. I don’t hate CM Punk because he forced Jeff Hardy to leave WWE (I dislike him for many other reasons). I look at heels and faces in the same way and judge superstars and divas on their ability to talk almost as much as I judge them on their ability to wrestle.  If you can’t wrestle very well, I don’t care about what kind of storyline you are in right now. Work on your wrestling. I love the art of wrestling. I watch documentaries and read autobiographies on wrestling. It is no longer a soap opera, fake, or ridiculous. It is still nearly naked guys grabbing each other but I understand the reason. My mom still tells me it is fake but I am no longer afraid to fight her when she makes fun of me.

It is not fake. It is very much real.