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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