The John Report: WWE Night of Champions 2015 Review

WWE Night of Champions
Houston, Texas
September 20, 2015

The opening video package featured championship challengers and champions talking about their title matches. I thought it was excellent, but that’s no surprise since WWE always does a great job with these video packages.

I guess I should mention that I didn’t see the Kickoff Show. I know Stardust and The Ascension won, so good for them since they a new trio that needs a win like that.

There’s no elaborate set for the event, which has become the norm for WWE PPVs. I miss when they would at least put effort into building a set. I assume they just think the fans don’t care about that stuff.

First match is for the Intercontinental Title as IC Champ enters first. The usual pay-per-view announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Jerry Lawler welcome us to the show. The challenger Kevin Owens received a good reaction. The Spanish announce team is there too. Good luck to their table surviving the night.

Intercontinental Championship: Ryback vs. Kevin Owens

Owens attacked the left arm of Ryback early on by slamming Ryback’s left arm into the ring post. Ryback applied an armbar and said “ask him” while making me miss Chris Jericho. Ryback said “referee, my elbow” at one point while Owens told him to shut up. Another armbar by Owens as the fans chanted “Feed Me More” for Ryback. They did a double clothesline spot. A powerslam by Ryback earned him a two count. Big spinebuster by Ryback for two. That looks better than his finisher. Owens nailed a superkick for two as some fans chanted “Fight Owens Fight” for him. Huge clothesline by Ryback. He went for Shellshock, but he was selling pain on his left shoulder. Owens slipped out, tossed Ryback shoulder first into the steel post and then got a rollup for two. Ryback applied an armbreaker using his knees and a more aggressive armbar. Ryback powered out and slammed Owens down. Ryback went for Shellshock, Owens raked the eyes (the ref was behind them, so he couldn’t see) and then Owens got the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win. It went ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall and New Intercontinental Champion: Kevin Owens

Post match, Owens had a big celebration with the IC Title. Ryback was grabbing his eye after the match to sell the cheating by Owens.

Analysis: ** It was a solid match with Owens working over the arm all match long, which played into the finish with Ryback being unable to lift him up to hit Shellshock. They didn’t have a lot of great nearfalls, but there were a few decent moments. That’s the end of Ryback’s IC Title reign, which was pretty forgettable. It wasn’t Ezekiel Jackson-like bad, but it wasn’t something people are going to remember for a long time. It was the right time for the title change and Owens is the right guy to win it. Can Daniel Bryan come back now to feud with Owens? Please and thank you.

There was a commercial for “Brock Lesnar’s go to hell tour” narrated by Paul Heyman plugging Lesnar’s appearances in October. He mentioned Lesnar facing Big Show at New York City house show on October 3 on WWE Network. He said that Lesnar will be on the Stone Cold podcast on October 19. They also announced Lesnar vs. Undertaker at Hell in a Cell in a HIAC match on October 25. Huge announcement there.

Analysis: I’m glad that we are getting Lesnar/Undertaker in October rather than waiting all the way to Wrestlemania for it. Hell in a Cell is the right time and place for it. It’s also something to look forward to in October, which is usually a slow month.

Some videos aired showing the build up to Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev.

Rusev with Summer Rae was interviewed by Rich Brennan. Rusev didn’t want to talk and left without saying much. Brennan asked her if she was wearing earrings that Ziggler bought her. She didn’t say anything. She just left.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev w/Summer Rae

Ziggler’s black leather pants had a cartoon drawing of Lana right around his crotch area. That’s a nice Rick Rude-like tribute, I guess. No Lana at ringside since she’s dealing with the broken wrist. Ziggler was aggressive early on, but Rusev took over with a spinning heel kick to knock down Ziggler and take control. With Ziggler on the apron, Rusev ran the ropes and shoved him into the barricade at ringside. The camera was really close on that one and you can tell Rusev barely touched him. They don’t want visuals like that. Rusev nailed a couple of body slams while Summer was happy at ringside. More power offense by Rusev kept Ziggler grounded for a few minutes. They replayed one of the bodyslams as if this is 1985 and bodyslams are considered a big move. Rusev did a slingshot into the corner that Ziggler sold HBK-style with a big bump. Fans were chanting “We Want Lana” as Ziggler nailed a bodyslam of his own. After Rusev missed a corner charge, both guys were down. Ziggler did his big comeback with clotheslines, a corner splash and an elbow drop. Rusev nailed a very impressive spinning sidewalk slam for two.

Zigger comeback time with each man going for moves, stuff get countered and then Ziggler nailed a Fameasser for two. That spot almost never wins for him, yet it always generates a good nearfall. Huge kick by Rusev earned a two count. It’s the point of the match where they are trading nearfalls. Ziggler dodged a kick and applied a sleeper. Rusev fought out of it, then Ziggler went for a DDT and it was obvious that Rusev’s head didn’t come close to hitting the mat. Usually it looks better than that. Ziggler got a two count. The announcers sold it like it connected. When Ziggler went for Zig Zag, Rusev shoved him off and Rusev nailed a superkick for two. After the two count, Rusev celebrated like he won. After Rusev took over a minute to capitalize, Ziggler nailed a superkick that barely connected (JBL even said that) and that was good for a two count. Summer was standing on the bottom rope, Ziggler was sent into the ropes and she bumped into the ring. Rusev nailed Ziggler with a clothesline while the ref told Summer to go to the back. She threw one of her shoes out of the ring. Then she went to throw the other shoe in the ring, the ref ducked and the shoe hit Rusev. Ziggler capitalized with Zig Zag for the win after 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler

Post match, as the announcers were talking about things, Cole said what Summer did gave a new meaning to “heel” in WWE. Way to bust out the insider term. Rusev left without Summer and Dolph kissed her hand as if to show that he played her. Summer looked all sad.

Analysis: *** That was a really good power wrestler vs. speed wrestler type of match. That’s what they’re both good at it. They really picked up the pace in the last five minutes with all of the believable nearfalls and the crowd got into it a lot. Ziggler’s offense is great. Rusev’s power moves are outstanding. I’m a huge fan of both guys. I know I mentioned a few times that moves didn’t look great. It’s not that big of a deal. That just happens sometimes when they’re not showing the right camera or the spot is off a bit. As for the booking, that was the right finish since the whole thing started months ago because Rusev injured Ziggler. This is the babyface payback for Ziggler. It’s also a way to end the storyline with Rusev blaming Summer for costing him the match.

Divas Champion Nikki Bella was shown working out prior to her match with Brie Bella and Alicia Fox looking on. Charlotte was backstage in another area with Becky Lynch and Paige with her. Charlotte’s dad Ric Flair was also there. Big reaction for Flair on camera.

There was a graphic that showed some of the best tag teams in WWE history: The Blackjacks, Tony Atlas/Rocky Johnson, The Hart Foundation, Legion of Doom and Edge & Christian. No sign of former tag champs Kenzo Suzuki & Renee Dupree? Shocking! Now that’s sarcasm.

It’s a New Day, yes it is. Xavier Woods has some red streaks in his hair that make him look like Rufio from the film Hook from the early 1990s. Admittedly, I couldn’t remember the name of the character, but I remember the film. Xavier had the trombone with him. He complained about tables being destroyed by The Dudley Boyz. Big E and Kofi Kingston talked about how they are doing a petition to #savethetables. Some of the names that signed are The Authority, Bill Nye The Science Guy, Jake from State Farm and then they said “Like a good neighbor, New Day is there” because that’s the State Farm catchphrase. Big E even said they had the support of President Barack Obama, which barely drew a reaction. Poor Barry. Kofi encouraged some clapping to save the tables. They did their clap routine to the tune of “save the tables” and the crowd wasn’t interested in joining in.

Analysis: As always, The New Day were very entertaining in mixing in some ridiculousness with some comedy.

WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Day’s Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & Devon)

The announcers commented on the hair of Woods and Cole mentioned it is like Rufio from Hook. Kingston slapped Devon on the back of the head while Cole mentioned that in February it will be 20 years since the Dudleys have been together. Well, it’s not like they were together the entire time, but most of it they were. Woods yelled for a timeout. The ref said there were no timeouts even though they spent time doing nothing. Big E confronted Bubba in the ring yelling “go home old man” and was taken down by Bubba. Bubba nailed a superplex on Big E while on the middle rope. That was impressive and earned a two count. Woods was on the apron, so Kingston (now legal) nailed a dropkick. This led to New Day working over Bubba in their corner. Running corner dropkick by Kingston on Bubba, who was isolated from his partner. They did a big spot with Big E nailing a splash while Bubba was on the apron. Woods was playing the Rocky theme as Kingston tagged in to keep Bubba grounded. Fans were chanting “Rufio” for Xavier’s hair. Bubba nailed the Full Nelson Bomb on Kofi. Devon got the hot tag and he was on fire against Kingston. Running corner splash by Devon followed by a leaping clothesline. Bubba tagged in. They did a back suplex into a neckbreaker on Big E trying to interfere. They hit the 3D on Kingston, so Woods went into the ring, kicked Bubba in the back and there’s the disqualification finish after ten minutes.

Winners by disqualification: The Dudley Boyz (The New Day are still champions)

Analysis: ** It was a predictable match and finish, but that’s not a bad thing. Both teams worked hard, they set up the spots well, there were some fun moments and that finish was the right thing to do. The feud just started with New Day winning back the Tag Team Titles last month, so there’s no need to rush a title change. Build it up some more. They can do a match with a stipulation down the road.

Post match, New Day celebrated that they are still the champions with Woods playing the trombone some more. Big E yelled: “Woods, get the tables!” Woods brought in a table from under the ring. Bubba tossed Big E from the ring while Devon tossed Kingston. The Dudleys hit the 3D on Woods through the table. The Dudleys celebrated.

Analysis: That was a good way to get the revenge after the loss. The fans wanted a table and they got it post match.

There was a commercial for the new WWE Network show called Breaking Ground about NXT superstars that begins on October 26. That should be great.

A graphic showed some of the best women champions in WWE history: Fabulous Moolah, Wendi Richter, Lita and Trish Stratus.

There was a video package about Nikki Bella having the record for the longest Divas Title in WWE history. It showed what happened last Monday on Raw when Charlotte won by disqualification after Stephanie McMahon noted that Brie did the “twin magic” switch with Nikki. That leads to this match.

The women entered for their match. Charlotte has “WOOO” conveniently placed on her top on her pink gear. She’s also got sparkles on the left side of her face because I guess that’s her thing. Nikki’s reign is at a record of 301 days.

Divas Championship: Nikki Bella (w/Brie & Alicia Fox) vs. Charlotte (w/Paige & Becky Lynch)

The rules in this match are that Nikki can lose via pinfall, submission, countout or disqualification. There was some stalling by Nikki early on. There was a spot where Charlotte tweaked her knee, so Nikki capitalized with a suplex that sent Charlotte’s knee into the bottom rope. Nikki slammed Charlotte onto the floor by yanking her down by the knee. Double knee attack by Nikki onto the knee. Nikki bridged back with a submission hold on the knee while Team BAD’s Naomi, Sasha Banks and Tamina looked on backstage. When Charlotte tried a comeback with a forearm, Nikki hit a dropkick to the knee. Brie kept on yelling “come on Nikki” like she usually does. Nikki kept on working on the knee. Nikki applied a half crab on the left leg to continue working on it. Nikki slammed the knee against the ring post repeatedly. Nikki applied the ring post figure four that Bret Hart made famous. Ric Flair used the figure four as a finish, but Hart doing it against the post was awesome. Team Bella yanked the rope back during a submission, so Nikki yelled at them because if she’s disqualified then she loses the title. Team PCB took down Team Bella outside the ring.

Nikki applied a sleeper, Charlotte countered by dropping back, hit a bunch of chops and then a boot to the face with her good right leg. Nikki drove Charlotte’s face into her knee for two. Nikki was frustrated that it wasn’t enough to win. Nikki hit another suplex that sent Charlotte’s leg into the bottom rope again. Clothesline in the corner by Nikki. Nikki took her down and got a nearfall. Nikki went to the middle rope, jumped off and Charlotte took her down with a Spear. It looked okay, but not great. Charlotte applied the Figure Eight submission hold as she bridged back. Nikki tapped out, which means Charlotte wins the match and is the new Divas Champion. It went 13 minutes.

Winner by submission and New Divas Champion: Charlotte

Analysis: **3/4 It was a good match with some smart psychology with Nikki working over the leg for nearly the entire match. I just thought the ending could have been better because it only took a couple of moves to beat Nikki. They should have done a spot where Charlotte wasn’t able to apply the Figure Eight to sell the pain of her leg. When a wrestler is selling moves, they should sell on defense and even on offense too. It also hurt Nikki to tap out so quickly. Have Charlotte apply it once, Nikki gets to the ropes, then Charlotte does it again and that’s how it should have ended. Those aren’t major gripes, though. They worked hard and I thought it was a well built match. I just think they could have built up some nearfalls more to make it a more exciting finish.

Post match, Charlotte held the Divas Title with Becky Lynch and Paige by her sad. Her dad Ric Flair showed up to hug her. The announcers put it over on the replay with Nikki making only one mistake with that move where Charlotte nailed a Spear. Ric was very emotional as he hugged his daughter. She even did a Flair strut with her dad although she was limping during it too.

Analysis: I’m glad they made a big deal out of the celebration. Charlotte was pointing to the sky, which is a salute to her late brother Reid, who died a few years ago when he was in early 20s. The announcers don’t mention it, but she has dedicated her career to Reid so when you see the tears in her and Ric’s eyes, it really is an emotional moment for them.

There was a commercial for Mountain Dew.

The new Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens was interviewed by Jojo. He said that ever since he got to WWE, his life has been filled with huge moments like winning the NXT Title, beating John Cena and now this. Owens said that he’s a prize fighter with a prize. He said it’s no “secret” just how great he is. He said “secret” because that’s the book Ryback read that helped his career.

Analysis: I’m excited for Owens as the new IC Champion.

The Kickoff Panel of Renee Young, Byron Saxton, Booker T and Corey Graves discussed things from the show.

A clip aired from the Kickoff Show showing Stardust and The Ascension getting the pin on Neville, who teamed with Lucha Dragons.

Charlotte was shown with the Divas Title backstage with Ric Flair, Paige and Becky Lynch. Flair said they’re going to celebrate. Charlotte did a Flair promo and he finished it while saying he knows Houston better than anybody. Ric told Charlotte he loved her.

Analysis: I like big celebrations for title wins. Nothing wrong with a segment like that.

A long video package aired to set up the Wyatt Family match against Reigns, Ambrose and a partner.

The Wyatt Family trio entered first. Dean Ambrose entered alone and then Roman Reigns did his entrance through the crowd. As Ambrose and Reigns were in the ring, a fan got into the ring to stand beside them. Again with this? WWE needs to toughen their security. This is happening way too often. Wyatt was laughing: “Is that your guy?” Good impromptu trash talk from him. The announcers didn’t mention the fan.

Who’s the mystery partner? Chris Jericho! He received a huge ovation as he walked out in his light up jacket. Jericho has been working live events for months, so he’s still in great shape in his mid-40s. He’s also a big fan of surprise returns. That wasn’t my pick, but if you need a veteran wrestler to put over younger guys that’s who you call. Plus, he has a history of feuding with Wyatt last year.

The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper & Braun Strowman) vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose & Chris Jericho

Ambrose started, then Reigns and Jericho got in a punch off the top on Harper. Jericho hit a top rope cross body block followed by an enziguiri kick. Harper tagged in Strowman while Reigns was also in there. Ambrose quickly tagged in so they could double team Strowman, but Strowman took them down with a double shoulderblock. Jericho attacked, but he was caught by Strowman, who tossed Jericho onto Reigns and Ambrose outside the ring. Back in the ring, Ambrose hit a neckbreaker on Wyatt and then they tagged out with Reigns hitting a Samoan Drop on Harper followed by an overhead suplex. Reigns hit a sitout Powerbomb on Harper for two. Reigns hit nine corner clotheslines and then an uppercut punch that Harper sold by going over the top to the floor. Wyatt distracted the ref, Strowman grabbed Reigns and Harper nailed a superkick. The heels isolated Reigns in their corner. Strowman’s offense was very basic as he hit a bodyslam. They replayed a bodyslam? Really? Second time tonight. Harper nailed a suicide dive on Reigns outside the ring. Wyatt nailed a running back splash on Reigns outside the ring. Ambrose ran outside the ring and applied a sleeper to Strowman, but that led to Ambrose getting dumped into the crowd. Reigns was able to break free.

Jericho received the hot tag, hit a dropkick on Strowman who was on the apron and then a bulldog on Wyatt. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho on Wyatt, but Harper broke it up. Ambrose nailed a dropkick on Harper, then Ambrose got a rollup on Wyatt (I guess they are legal) and they did a double clothesline spot with Bray/Dean. Strowman tagged in while Reigns also tagged in. Reigns hit a Superman Punch that stunned Strowman and he hit it a second time. Ambrose hit a flying elbow attack to knock Strowman down for the first time. Reigns hit a Spear on Strowman. After he hit it Reigns was selling pain. Jericho tagged him in the back and Reigns wasn’t thrilled with it. Jericho hit a Lionsault, covered for two and Strowman shoved him off in a huge way. Wyatt tossed Reigns into barricade at ringside. Strowman caught Jericho when he was going for a Codebreaker, then put Jericho on his shoulders and dropped him face first onto the mat. That move needs a name. Strowman applied his head/arm submission as Jericho passed out from the pain. The match went 14 minutes.

Winners by submission: The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper & Braun Strowman)

Analysis: **3/4 It was a pretty intense match with a hot crowd that was excited to see Jericho there. The big story of the match was that the faces had the momentum when Jericho tagged in and that’s the mistake because Reigns was in full control. It can keep the Reigns feud with Wyatt going because it wasn’t Reigns that was pinned in this match. I admit my foolishness in thinking The Wyatt Family might lose this match. My initial thought was that WWE made such a big deal out of the mystery partner and normally the mystery performer gets the win. However, it’s so early in Braun Strowman’s career that it would have been the wrong move to have him get pinned.

Post match, they made a big deal out of Reigns and Ambrose looking disappointed with Jericho in the ring. Fans were chanting “Y2J” for Jericho. Jericho just walked away while intentionally bumping into Ambrose on his way out.

Analysis: It’s a good way to sell the disappointment of losing. I hope Jericho sticks around after this. It was good to see him again. I’m not sure if he’s going heel or if any of them are going heel. I think Jericho could turn heel. Apparently he’s sticking around through WrestleMania season now.

There was another replay of the “Eat. Sleep. Go to Hell. Repeat” advertisement for Brock Lesnar in October.

Seth Rollins was backstage getting ready. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon showed up to encourage him. Rollins said he’s going to prove why he’s the best. Rollins left. Hunter and Stephanie both said he’s ready. Sheamus walked up behind them with the Money in the Bank briefcase. He said he’s ready too, which is a tease of a Money in the Bank cash-in coming up.

The graphic showing former US Champions included Harley Race, Sting, Ricky Steamboat, Eddie Guerrero and Booker T. They also showed some of the greatest WWE Champions ever including Bruno Sammartino, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and The Rock.

There was a video package to set up the two matches Rollins will have on this show with the two matches going back to back.

John Cena entered first for the US Title match followed by the champion Seth Rollins. Cole mentioned Rollins won the US Title thanks to Jon Stewart because it’s always about making Cena look strong. They got the big in-ring intros for the match. The other title matches on the show did not get those. Rollins is wearing the white tights again.

United States Championship: Seth Rollins vs. John Cena

The familiar “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chant started up. Rollins nailed a blockbuster neckbreaker early on. With Cena upside down against the turnbuckle, Rollins nailed a double foot stomp to knock him down. The crowd was doing the wave with Rollins watching them and Cena got a rollup for two. When Cena got some offense in, he went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Rollins kicked him in the face and hit a neckbreaker variation for two. Cena hit a spinning suplex. Rollins kicked free, then Cena jumped on his back and hit the sunset flip into a powerbomb for two. That’s the move where Cena almost got hurt at a house show against Kevin Owens a few weeks ago. They battled on the top rope, Rollins powered out, went for the Buckle Bomb (powerbomb into turnbuckle) and Cena turned it into a hurricanrana that sent Rollins into the middle turnbuckle. That was an impressive counter by Cena. After another exchange of holds, Cena went for AA, Rollins landed on his feet, nailed two superkicks and got a two count. Rollins knocked Cena outside the ring and Rollins nailed a somersault dive over the top to take him out. He makes it look so easy. Back in the ring, Rollins went for a Frog Splash, missed due to Cena moving and the fans chanted “Eddie” even though it missed. Cena nailed a Tornado DDT for a two count. Cena up top, Rollins cut him off, nailed a Superplex and then rolled through with another suplex into a slam for two. That was an outstanding sequence.

Cena went for the STF, Rollins got to the ropes and when Cena turned it into the Attitude Adjustment, Rollins slipped out of it. Rollins connected with the Buckle Bomb for two. Cena with a cross body, Rollins rolls through and he goes for the AA, but Cena countered into a reverse suplex. Cena to the top and he connects with the leg drop to the back of the neck. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment and that’s enough for the win after 16 minutes.

Winner by pinfall and New US Champion: John Cena

Post match, the announcers noted that Cena is a five time US Champion. Cena celebrated with the US Title while JBL did his usual spiel about Cena being the best big match performer in WWE history. Cena hugged a fan at ringside.

Analysis: ****1/4 It was a great match just like they always have. The year has been loaded with epic matches, so I wouldn’t call it a match of the year contender. It was still great, though. I’m not sure how many of their matches I’ve reviewed, but this was at the same level if not better than their other matches. The outcome didn’t surprise me at all because Rollins already has the WWE Title, so why keep the US Title on him long term? Plus, apparently WWE ordered a new batch of Cena US Title shirts, which is another reason why the title change was obvious. I’m so impressed with Rollins every time he gets the chance to have a long match like this. Cena’s had a very good year too, but Rollins makes everything look so easy. I’m looking forward to the return of the Cena US Open Challenge because it was a highlight on Raw for much of the year.

Rollins tried to walk away with the WWE Title. Cena told Rollins he had one more match with Sting, so Cena gave Rollins the Attitude Adjustment on the floor. Cena rolled Rollins into the ring with Rollins lying on his back. Cena left while Rollins was selling pain.

Sting entered for the WWE Title match. He was wearing a red robe. He took that off and had his black/white outfit on. No t-shirt in this match like he had on Raw. He looks to be in great shape especially for a 56 year old. He looks ten years younger.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Sting

Rollins was selling pain from the attack from Cena, so Sting capitalized with a Stinger Splash. He went for the Scorpion Deathlock, but Rollins fought off. Sting gave Rollins a back body drop over the top to the floor. Sting tossed Rollins shoulder first into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Sting nailed Rollins with a clothesline that sent him over the top to the floor. Sting sent Rollins into the barricade two times. Back in the ring, Sting whipped Rollins into the ropes two times in a row, which Rollins sold by doing the upside down flip. They went outside the ring where both men were standing on the English announce table. Rollins shoved Sting onto the Spanish announce table, so Sting end up going back first through the table, which broke. He hit the part of the table without the monitors, so it looked about as safe as possible although it could have been painful too. If you thought the Spanish Announce Table was going to survive this show, you were wrong.

Rollins teased leaving with the WWE Title, but then he saw Sting in pain, so he went back to ringside to give Sting a bodyslam on the broken table. Neckbreaker by Rollins, then a forearm shot and a suplex into a slam for two. Rollins did some trash talk, Sting punched him, then Rollins picked him up and gave him a Buckle Bomb. Rollins covered for two. Sting was opening and closing his fingers. Rollins wanted a Pedigree, Sting powered out and then Sting shoved Rollins off the top rope so he went into the barricade. Back in the ring, Sting nailed clotheslines followed by the Stinger Splash two times in a row. Clothesline by Sting sent Rollins over the top to the floor. Sting went up top and nailed a cross body block to take out Rollins on the floor. That was pretty impressive. Fans chanted “you still got it” for him. Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop, but Rollins got his foot on the bottom rope. Another Stinger Splash from Sting. He went for the punches n the corner, but Rollins powered out with another Buckle Bomb. When Rollins whipped Sting into the ropes, Sting ducked a clothesline and then collapsed. Ref John Cone called the ringside doctor to get into the ring. They helped Sting get back to his feet. After about two minutes, Sting was ready to go again. Rollins went for Pedigree, Sting countered into the Scorpion Death Lock and Rollins got to the bottom rope to break the hold. Rollins nailed an enziguiri, Rollins wanted Pedigree, Sting tried to turn it into the Scorpion Death Lock again and Rollins turned it into a pinfall with Rollins sitting on top to win. The match went 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very good match that was entertaining the whole way although the Sting injury was a bit scary. Sting’s injury was apparently legitimate and to his neck, but as of Monday we don’t know the severity of it. The Buckle Bomb spot by Rollins looks cool although there’s a chance that it could hurt somebody just because of the force of being driven into the turnbuckle. Plus, with Sting in his 50’s he’s more susceptible to injuries. Hopefully he’s okay. Anyway, as a match it was a lot of fun. I loved the story of Rollins possibly being tired after having the other match before this one, so it added to the intrigue of this match. I didn’t think Sting would win. I’m glad he didn’t. His age is a major reason why. Rollins winning clean is better than most of his wins, so I’m cool with the rollup ending. It also may have been improvised if Sting was legitimately hurt.

Post match, Rollins celebrated with the WWE Title in the ring. Sting was in the background going to the back with WWE officials.

Sheamus’ music attacked and he had the Money in the Bank briefcase with him. Sheamus nailed Rollins with a Brogue Kick. He handed the briefcase to ref Chad Patton, but before the bell could ring, Kane’s music started up.

Kane was dressed in his red and black gear along with the mask as well as the fake hair. Kane walked up to Rollins in the ring, grabbed him by the throat and hit a Chokeslam on him. The crowd cheered. Sheamus told Kane to give him one more. Kane had no interest in taking orders, so he gave Sheamus a Chokeslam too. Kane nailed Rollins with a Tombstone. The idea is that Kane got revenge for what Rollins did to him. The show ended with Kane staring at Rollins.

Analysis: There’s the surprise return from Kane, who was back for revenge after having so many problems with Rollins. He was written out a few months ago after a Brock Lesnar attack on the ankle that Rollins added to when Kane was down. In reality, Kane was off filming a movie. He also needed a character change, so bringing him back with the mask instead of with the suit is a good idea.

I totally understand going to the Rollins/Kane feud because they have built it up for so long, but I can’t say I’m excited to see Kane as a top contender or the WWE Title. At least it likely ensures Rollins holding the WWE Title longer because I doubt he’s going to drop it to Kane. Plus, with Undertaker/Lesnar taking place at Hell in a Cell, they don’t have to have a WWE Title match that is as strong. I know that sounds wrong, but that’s how WWE looks at things.


Five Stars of the Show

1. Seth Rollins – Amazing performance by the best wrestler in WWE.

2. John Cena

3. Sting

4. Kevin Owens

5. Charlotte


Final Thoughts

It gets a 7 out of 10 from me.

This is a tough show to rate or rank compared to others this year because there was nothing that was that bad on it, yet if you missed it, there really weren’t that many “must see” things. Should people be excited about a Kane return when the guy has been on TV (as Kane) for nearly 20 years? It’s not that exiting to me. He’s almost 50.

In terms of matches, it was strong from top to bottom. I thought Cena/Rollins was the in-ring highlight although I think they’ve had better matches too.

As for the predictions, I went 6-2. Thought New Day would retain by cheating, but it was a disqualification win for the Dudleys. I also got the Wyatt Family match wrong because as mentioned earlier I was dumb to think Strowman would be on the losing side.

Title changes at Night of Champions should happen. Three titles changed hands with Owens winning the IC Title, Charlotte winning the Divas Title and Cena winning back the US Title.

The show featured several good matches and there wasn’t anything that bad. That’s why it’s getting 7/10 from me.


2015 PPV Rankings (Scores out of 10)

WrestleMania – 8

Elimination Chamber 7.5

SummerSlam – 7

Battleground – 7

Night of Champions – 7

Payback – 7

Money in the Bank – 6.5

Extreme Rules – 6

Fastlane – 5

Royal Rumble 4

As you can see by my scores, there have been a few 7’s this year. That’s because I feel like those shows are all about the same in terms of good matches, yet only WrestleMania really felt special.


Check out the Raw Deal posted on Tuesday. Have a great week.

John Canton –

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