WWE Night Of Champions
From Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee
September 21, 2014 (Twitter @johnreport)
I did not watch the show live. I also didn't see the Kickoff Show, so I'm going right to the main three hour broadcast on WWE Network.
The opening video showed some clips of how they make WWE championships. There were also clips of some of the best champions ever talking about their titles like Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and Ric Flair. Then it focused on the current events with Cena's match against Lesnar in focus. The voiceover guy mentioned that every title will be on the line.
In past years the set for Night of Champions used to feature displays of all the titles by the entrance. Not this time. Budget cuts. It was really just the video screen by the entrance.
There were images shown of some past tag team champions over the years including the Hart Foundation, Legion of Doom and it ended on Edge & Christian. Sorry to Kenzo Suzuki and Renee Dupree, but they were not represented.
The Usos made their entrance for the opener. The announce team of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield welcomed us to the show. The Spanish announce team was also there. All the announcers had Diet Mountain Dew bottles on their tables because that's the sponsor of the show.
Tag Team Titles: The Usos vs. Goldust/Stardust
The Usos had different gear this time around as they were wearing black leather pants with white and purple as well as purple tape on their boots. The Usos were on fire early on in the match. Goldust attacked Jey from behind the ref's back, so they began to isolate Jey from his brother. Jimmy got the tag for his team and nailed Goldust with an uppercut and then a back body drop for two. Jimmy tried an attack on the floor, but he hit Stardust instead of Goldy and Goldust capitalized with a powerslam on the floor. Jimmy was isolated by the Dust brothers in their corner. Lawler made a comment about things you say on social media can come back to haunt, to which JBL replied that Michael knows about that well. Cole once said a derogatory comment towards Josh Mathews and got in trouble for it. Good job by JBL there. When Jimmy went for a Samoan Drop, Stardust hit a neckbreaker for two. Stardust missed a corner charge. Jimmy kicked Goldust and made the hot tag to Jey.
Jey was on fire working over Stardust with kicks, punches and a clip to the knee because the Dust Brothers worked over Jey's knee several weeks ago. Jimmy took out Goldust with an awesome dive over the top. Jay slammed Stardust's left knee into the steel post and hit a cross body off the top rope for two. Samoan Drop by Jey. Running butt splash by Jey on Stardust and then a Superkick by Jey on Goldust. Stardust hit a reverse DDT for two. Stardust took off his glove, then tied Jey in the ropes and slapped him with his glove. Nearfall by Jey with a rollup. Goldust took out Jimmy with a dive off the apron and then Jey hit a dive over the top to take out Stardust. That was a very exciting sequence. Jey went up top, but Stardust got his knees up when Jey went for a splash. He rolled up Jey, grabbed the tights and got the win after 13 minutes of action.
Winners and new Tag Team Champions: Goldust & Stardust
The announcers didn't even mention that Stardust grabbed the tights. Even when they showed the replay they didn't say anything. That's odd. The Dust Brothers celebrated with the titles while the Usos looked distraught as they left and their nearly seven month reign as tag champs has come to an end.
Analysis: **3/4 That was a hot opening match. They had an old school kind of tag match with Jimmy as the brother that was worked on and Jey did a great job when he received the hot tag. That finish worked because it was a smart counter by Stardust. Fans want to see creative finishes. It doesn't always have to be a finishing move. The way this one ended worked because it was a rollup after a great counter move. The tag title change made sense and it's something I predicted while I'm sure others did too. The heel turn was done because they wanted to pick the right heel team to carry the gold. It could have been Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, but instead it's the bizarre team of Goldust & Stardust with the gold.
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler was interviewed by Byron Saxton along with his stunt double R-Truth (aka R-Ziggler) and they had Diet Mountain Dew in their hands because that's the PPV sponsor. Ziggler said he made the IC Title look damn good. Truth ended it by saying "Shizow Izoff" aka show off.
There were pictures of former United States Champions including Harley Race, Eddie Guerrero and Booker T.
As Cesaro made his way to the ring, the announce team plugged the WWE Network. That's what I'm watching the show on, but thanks for plugging it again.
United States Title: Sheamus vs. Cesaro
There was a brief display of technical wrestling early on, but Cesaro slapped Sheamus leading to Sheamus starting to brawl with him. Running high knee by Sheamus in the corner followed by a rolling senton for two. Cesaro was able to take control of the action with a devastating uppercut shot that sent Sheamus outside the ring to the floor while Sheamus was on the top rope. Cesaro applied a Sleeper, which Sheamus fought out of with punches, but Cesaro hit a back suplex to drop Sheamus. Cesaro remained in control with a stiff clothesline and some hard uppercut shots. Sheamus hit two Irish Curse backbreakers in a row for two. Cesaro fought out of the ten forearm shots to the chest, hit a forearm of his own and a boot to the face. Sheamus slammed Cesaro down by grabbing his arms and getting a two count out of it. After Cesaro ducked a Brogue Kick, he tossed Sheamus up in the air and hit an uppercut shot for two. Sheamus came back with a high knee followed by a powerslam for two. Cesaro ducked a Brogue Kick and got a rollup for two. Cesaro hit a Gutwrench Powerbomb for two. When Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, Cesaro countered by putting Sheamus on his shoulders and slamming him down. That was an awesome sequence. The crowd popped big for it.
Cesaro slapped Sheamus repeatedly, which led to Sheamus firing up and telling Cesaro to bring more, so Cesaro hit a running boot to the face. The ref was telling Cesaro to get back. Sheamus got out of the corner and hit a Brogue Kick for the win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sheamus
Post match, Cesaro was selling it like he was knocked out and he was dazed in the ring. Sheamus celebrated with the title.
Analysis: ***3/4 Great match. It was a physical brawl that the crowd really got into especially in the last few minutes. Awesome to see these two go at it like that. It felt like a match where there would be a title change because Sheamus really hasn't done a lot as US Champ and it could have benefited Cesaro to win it. Then again, the US Title has been something of a curse for the champions because it hasn't been booked well. A competitive match like this one does a lot to give the US Title credibility, so that's a good thing. They did an excellent job of promoting the match as a fight and that's exactly what it was. These two have built up great chemistry in the last several months thanks to all the matches they've had. Hopefully they have more matches.
There was a commercial for WWE2K15 featuring Sting as the pre-order bonus that has been out for about a month. Apparently today a new trailer is out. I'm not a gamer, but good for those that are.
In the locker room, Big Show showed up to ask Mark Henry if he's ready. Henry said the whole country is behind him. Show told him he had 318 million Americans in his corner. Show told him he knows he's ready. Show gave Henry a singlet that had an American logo on it. Show told him to tear his head off. Henry said he would because "that's what I do."
Analysis: That was a good pep talk by Show to put over the importance of the match.
The band Florida Georgia Line entered. They're a country music band comprised of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley. It's in Nashville, home of country music, so that's why they're there. I'm not into country music at all, but I have heard of them and I remember them as part of a WWE show before. They joined the commentary team for the next match. They announced that they would be a part of WWE's Tribute to the Troops special in December.
Prior to the IC Title match, they showed tweets between Ziggler and Miz talking trash. Their stunt doubles were with them.
There were images shown of past Intercontinental Champions like Pat Patterson, Pedro Morales, Honky Tonk Man, Mr. Perfect and Razor Ramon.
Intercontinental Title: Dolph Ziggler (w/R-Ziggler) vs. The Miz (w/Damien Mizdow)
The announcers were busy sucking up to the guests as Ziggler hit a series of elbow drops. Miz stunned Ziggler by draping him across the top rope and hit a running boot to the face. Damien was shouting various things at ringside by commenting that Miz was an A-lister among other things. The announcing for this match was brutal as they talked about the credentials of Florida Georgia Line. Back to the match, Miz was working over Ziggler with kicks to keep him down. Ziggler hit a clothesline out of the corner. Ziggler fired up with a corner splash and a neckbreaker. A Ziggler clothesline sent both guys over the top to the floor. JBL told the guests that usually people go through the Spanish announce table. Sandow tripped up Ziggler outside the ring and then he kicked R-Ziggler in the ribs. Sandow talked trash to the FGL guys, so they got in his face. At least they're tall guys so they don't look small. They shoved Sandow down, then Truth punched him and chased him to the back. Back in the ring, Ziggler hit a superkick for two. The crowd thought that was it. So did I. After a brief exchange, Miz came back with a Figure Four Leglock. Ziggler hit a Fameasser for two as the crowd thought that was it. Sandow came back, he jumped on the apron, Ziggler kicked him in the face and that allowed Miz to hit a rollup using the tights for the victory after nine minutes.
Winner and new Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
The Miz celebrated the win while the announcers sucked up to Florida Georgia Line again and showed the replay of the finish.
Analysis: ** That was disappointing. What was the point of putting the IC Title on Ziggler for five weeks? It makes him look like a terrible champion since he lost when he had to put the gold on the line. This wasn't as good as some of their other matches. Part of it was because the commentary was not focused on the action. All they seemed to care about were the guests. It was also the second match on this show that featured a heel winning after using a rollup with the assistance of the tights.
There was a clip from Saturday with Scott Stanford on WWE Network talking about how Roman Reigns is out of action after having an emergency hernia surgery. A clip was shown of Reigns in the hospital talking about how he had a sharp pain and he called 911 to get it checked out. The WWE's Dr. Chris Amann said surgery went exactly as planned and he's recovering nicely. On the broadcast they said Reigns is out for "several months." The actual reports have said it would be about 2-3 months.
Analysis: The Reigns injury broke online by WWE.com on Saturday afternoon. It was a major shock and obviously is a blow to WWE because Reigns has been booked strongly this year. He's probably going to be out until at least Survivor Series in November. We don't know much more than that at this point.
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
Seth Rollins entered with the Money in the Bank briefcase. He was supposed to face Roman Reigns at Night of Champions. He mentioned Reigns was rushed to a hospital in Nashville. Rollins claimed that emergency surgery isn't an excuse to not be there. Actually it sounds like a pretty good excuse. Rollins gave Reigns ten seconds to come out there to face him. He asked referee Charles Robinson to ring the bell, so he did. Robinson did a count to ten.
Winner by forfeit: Seth Rollins
The music of Rollins played. He said it wasn't official until his hand was raised. Some fans were chanting "we want Ambrose" although it didn't pick up in the whole arena. Rollins said he has to do something to make the fans happy. Luckily he's an opportunist, so he issued an open challenge for somebody to challenge him right now.
A yellow cab drove up to the arena. Dean Ambrose walked out of it and the place went crazy as Ambrose marched to the ring. He's been out filming a movie for five months, but the storyline absence is that Rollins took him out by driving his head through some cinderblocks. JBL had a funny line about how Ambrose didn't pay his cab fare.
Ambrose went into the ring and gave Rollins a clothesline over the top to the floor. He threw Rollins over the barricade as they brawled into the crowd. Ambrose gave Rollins a back body drop on the floor. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon showed up to tell them to break it up. There were also some WWE agents there including Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble. Ambrose hit a dive onto the security guys to take them out as he continued the fight with Rollins. The crowd loved this. Ambrose hit a clothesline that sent them over the barricade and they went back into the ring. Ambrose grabbed a chair. He was taken down by Mercury & Noble while other security guys held him down. Hunter handed them ties to lock his hands together like the ties you might use on a garbage bag. Are they called Zip ties? I think so. The fans were chanting "let them fight" as Ambrose was literally carried out by security. Rollins was angry as he left the ringside area along with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.
Analysis: That was a very wild and entertaining brawl. I'm glad Ambrose is back because WWE really needs him. He was on fire when he left for the movie, but they couldn't just back out of the movie commitments. The way Ambrose was written out was good. The timing is great for him to be back with Reigns suffering an injury because they need somebody in that spot as a babyface on the rise. I'm looking forward to this feud picking back up. I'm a huge fan of both guys.
The PPV panel was hosted by Renee Young with panelists Booker T, Big Show and Alex Riley. They talked about some of the things that have happened so far. Show said he told Mark Henry what he needed to know. Booker said it's all about America. That was it for the panel.
Mark Henry was rocking a new singlet that had red, white and blue on it as well as "Hall of Pain" written on it. Ring announcer Lillian Garcia sang the American national anthem. She always does a great job with that. Henry looked focused while he tried to fight back tears. The fans chanted "USA" for him.
Analysis: That is some good emotion shown by Henry. The fans loved it too.
Rusev made his entrance with Lana and he had the Russian flag with them. Did I mention that Lana looks ravishing? She does. Like usual.
Mark Henry vs. Rusev w/Lana
Henry was aggressive early, so Rusev tried to get some separation and he drove Henry back first into the steel steps once they went outside the ring. Back in the ring, Rusev hit two running back splashes in the corner. Rusev applied a chinlock to slow the already slow pace down. Henry hit a couple of clotheslines, then a splash in the corner and he was selling the back injury because when he tried to hit a body slam he was unable to lift him. Rusev came back with a spin kick. Rusev went for the Accolade although Lana didn't tell him to "Crush" so that meant Henry could fight out of it. Rusev kicked him in the ribs. Henry hit the World's Strongest Slam, but he fell down after hitting it. He couldn't cover because Rusev escaped to the floor. That's a good way to hit a big move without having somebody kick out. Henry was leaning over the bottom rope, so Rusev destroyed him with a standing side kick. Back in the ring, Rusev hit a superkick. Rusev stomped on the back and applied the Accolade, which led to Henry tapping out after 9 minutes. Lana didn't even tell him to crush. If she did, we couldn't hear it.
Winner by submission: Rusev
Post match, Rusev celebrated the win with the Russian flag was displayed above the ring. JBL did one of his over the top rants about Henry letting America down. Cole wondered who stops Rusev.
Analysis: *1/2 The match was boring although the crowd was supportive of Henry as they chanted "USA" a few times. It was the predictable finish and the right finish. The key to the match was Rusev driving Henry back first into the steps. Henry's not the guy to give Rusev his first loss via pinfall or submission. He's just a guy for Rusev to beat and that's what happened. Henry was so ready for this fight that he wasn't able to wrestle for longer than nine minutes? Way to let down America, Mark. Maybe Bo Dallas will show up to tell him he let down 318 million people and that he needs to bolieve. It's probably going to lead to Cena facing off with Rusev down the road. Big Show could be his next rival although he started a feud with Bray Wyatt recently, so we'll see about that.
The announcers plugged Hell in a Cell in five weeks on October 26 with at least one Hell In A Cell match.
There was a clip that aired of Brock Lesnar's WWE.com exclusive interview from last week when he said that John Cena is going to get another ass beating.
Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton
It's only a minor thing, but I like that Orton has added wrist tape to his look. Jericho was aggressive early on as he gave Orton a clothesline over the top. It sounded like Orton swore as he hit the announce table with his foot. Back in the ring, Orton regained control with a corner clothesline. Jericho hit a boot, then slowly went to the top and Orton tripped him up. That set up the superplex by Orton. When Jericho tried to make a comeback by doing a corner charge, he hit the ring post after Orton moved. Outside the ring, Orton dropped Jericho back first onto the barricade at ringside. They went back into the ring, then Orton threw Jericho out and he even handed JBL his hat. Orton slammed Jericho onto the announce table although it was not hard enough to break it and that led to a two count for Orton. Jericho made a brief comeback, but Orton regained control with a "vintage" Orton powerslam for two. Orton missed a knee drop leading to a Jericho dropkick and then Jericho hit a forearm chop to the head. Jericho hit a bulldog, but Orton moved out of the way of the Lionsault and hit his backbreaker variation. Jericho shoved out of the RKO and he connected with the Lionsault for two.
Jericho went for a springboard attack, but Orton cut him off. Jericho fought out of the DDT by going for the Walls of Jericho. Orton sent Jericho shoulder first into the steel post. Great counter wrestling by both guys. Orton set up for a punt, but Jericho moved and got a rollup for two. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho to a good pop although Orton was able to get out of it by kicking Jericho outside the ring. Orton hit a DDT off the ropes. Orton was setting up for the RKO, but Jericho hit the Codebreaker for two. That drew a loud reaction because the fans thought that was it. Jericho went to the top rope and urged Orton to get back up. It went on for way too long. It was about 30 seconds. Then he jumped off the top rope, Orton was ready for it and he dropped Jericho with a RKO in the middle of the ring. JBL said Orton suckered him in. Orton did a pose after he hit it followed by the cover for the win after 15 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton
Analysis: **** That was a classic match between two experienced wrestlers that really didn't have much of a story going into it, but they were able to put on an exciting match. Orton's victory was the most predictable result on the show. What was cool about this match was they did a lot of counter wrestling that made it look like either man could win the match because they were one step ahead of the other guy. That's something Jericho has become known for in big matches. Orton did an awesome job of staying with him. It also helps when they have such well known big moves as veterans that the fans have known for over a decade. The RKO "out of the air" finish has been done a lot, but still looks cool. That's one of the better Orton matches from this year that didn't involve Daniel Bryan. That's not to say Orton has bad matches. It's just that he seems to have better matches with the guys that are smaller than him. As for Jericho, he's expected to take his break from WWE until we don't know when he will come back. Some of the matches with Wyatt were pretty good, but I liked this one more.
The announcers reset the show as they talked about how we've seen new tag champions and a new IC Champion. Will we see a new Divas Champion? Here's a video package to set it up.
Brie Bella was interviewed by Byron Saxton backstage. She wears her "Brie Mode" shirt for interviews too. She said her sister Nikki should not become the divas champion. She said that Nikki is a lot like karma, they're both a bitch. She smiled.
Analysis: I smiled when the interview was over. Brie's fine in the ring. Not a fan of the acting skills. I am a fan of Kharma. Bring her back.
Images were shown of some of the past Women's & Divas Champions ever with shots of Fabulous Moolah, Wendi Richter, Lita and Trish Stratus. Thanks for not showing Hervina.
Divas Title: Paige vs. AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella
Paige needs to stop skipping to the ring. It looks stupid by this point. AJ dumped Paige outside of the ring and AJ hit a headscissors followed by a rollup for two. The crowd chanted "CM Punk" for AJ. I guess that counts as crowd support. AJ got sent out of the ring by Nikki, so Nikki worked on Paige with an armbar. When Paige broke free of that, AJ pulled Paige out of the ring, then she sent Nikki into the barricade. Back in the ring, AJ slammed Paige into the mat and then hit a spinning kick for two. Nikki shoved AJ off the top rope as Paige rolled out to the floor. Paige went into the ring and kicked Nikki off the apron to send her out. Paige hugged AJ, then AJ shoved her off and Paige kicked her in the stomach. Paige yelled "why don't you love me?" at her before delivering some headbutts. Nikki sent Paige out of the ring and sent Paige's face into her knee for a two count. Nikki hit a body slam that Cole called a "vicious attack" even though it was really just a body slam. AJ jumped off the middle rope, Nikki caught her and AJ applied the Black Widow. Paige kicked AJ and then she kicked Nikki, which led to Paige getting two counts on both women. You could hear them talking as the camera got close. Paige asked AJ if she was ready. Nikki walked over to them and gave Paige a Powerbomb while Paige suplexed AJ in a spot that has come to be known as the Tower of Doom. AJ rolled out of the ring, so Nikki hit the Rack Attack on Paige for two as AJ made the save. AJ slammed Nikki off the apron onto the floor. Back in the ring, AJ locked in the Black Widow submission on Paige. That led to Paige tapping out by hitting AJ on the ass, which will probably be a popular GIF on the internet. That means that AJ Lee is the new Divas Champion after 9 minutes.
Winner by pinfall and new Divas Champion: AJ Lee
Analysis: ** Watching triple threat matches where it's two people in the ring and the third person outside the ring all the time gets pretty boring. It seemed like that's all they were doing. Two girls were in the ring, the third one would come in, knock one out and the other two would go at it. When they finally got to the finishing portion of the match it made sense with AJ taking out Nikki with a slam onto the floor and then the tapout win. I'm definitely surprised that they would put the title back on AJ after she lost it five weeks ago at SummerSlam because Paige's credibility is hurt by losing. Plus, I don't want to see them wrestle again. It's been enough. It's not like they're bad, but there are other women that can be put in the title picture too. Nikki did a really good job in the match. She'll be Divas Champ soon, I assume.
Post match, Paige was angry about losing. Don't worry. She'll probably get it back next PPV since that's how WWE likes to book these things.
Prior to the main event, Cole read off these facts about the Lesnar/Cena SummerSlam match: The match was 16:05, Cena was on offense for 1:16, Cena was off his feet for 11:32, Lesnar hit 69 strikes to Cena, 7 knees to the ribs by Lesnar and 16 suplexes by Lesnar to Cena. There were also 2 F5's by Lesnar. Good stats. I like that addition.
The Night of Champions panel talked about the main event. I hit fast forward. A video package aired promoting the main event.
John Cena made his entrance first. He's wearing cargo shorts. He should pull up his pants so we can't see his boxers label. Seriously dude, come on. Big reaction for Lesnar's music. He has such a star aura about him. Of course Paul Heyman was with him. Cole mentioned Lesnar's three matches this year were destructions of Big Show at Royal Rumble, then he destroyed Undertaker at WrestleMania 30 and at SummerSlam he destroyed John Cena. JBL said that he would argue that Lesnar has had the greatest year in WWE history. The greatest that had three matches, at least. They had the big match intros by announcer Justin Roberts.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. John Cena
Lesnar was aggressive early on. Cena blocked a suplex attempt and he hit two clotheslines. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment, but Lesnar kicked out at one. Hot start to this one. Lesnar locked in the Kimura Lock on Cena's left arm, but Cena grabbed the rope. There were loud dueling "Let's Go Cena/Cena Sucks" chants from the crowd as Lesnar slammed him with a forearm smash. Lesnar hit a German Suplex followed by a hard knee strike to the ribs. Following a comeback attempt by Cena, Lesnar hit another release German Suplex that caused Cena to land on the back of his head. Lesnar hit three rolling vertical suplexes like Eddie Guerrero. Cena tried another comeback, but Lesnar stopped that with a clothesline. Lesnar hit an overhead belly to belly suplex for two followed by some shoulderblocks in the corner. Cena hit a back elbow to break free, then a series of punches, but when he tried the AA, Lesnar slipped out of that and hit another German Suplex. Lesnar was bleeding from the nose likely from one of Cena's hard elbows. Lesnar took off his gloves, so he was bare knuckle. Lesnar hit more shoulderblocks. He walked away, then Cena hit him with another Attitude Adjustment and Lesnar kicked out at two for the nearfall.
Cena applied the STF. Lesnar broke out of it, then rolled into a Kimura Lock on the left arm of Cena. Cena fought out of it by driving Lesnar into the turnbuckle. He hit Lesnar with a third Attitude Adjustment. He didn't cover. Cena applied the STF again. Lesnar crawled over to the bottom rope. Cena pulled him back to the center of the ring to apply the STF again. Cena hit STF for the fourth time. He went for a cover, but Seth Rollins ran into the ring and hit Cena in the back with his Money in the Bank briefcase. That led to the DQ finish after 15 minutes.
Winner by disqualification: John Cena (Brock Lesnar remains WWE Champion)
Analysis: ***3/4 It was a very good match that was physical like we expected it to be. It was a more competitive match than SummerSlam, which is what we expected. It was similar to their match at Extreme Rules 2012 in terms of how competitive it was although that one had weapons in it. Cena did an awesome job working as the babyface underdog, which a role we're not used to seeing with him. The fans rallied behind him as he hit the AA four times and applied the STF a few times too. Lesnar looked dominant like usual although when he had to sell he made it look believable too. He's an all around talent. Don't let the dominating heel act fool you. He knows what he's doing out there. Without a clean finish it hurt the ending a bit, but it was all part of the story. Give them credit for having an entertaining match. It wasn't a match of the year contender. It was still a very good main event, though.
When Cena got back to his feet, Rollins nailed him in the head with the MITB briefcase. Rollins contemplated what he might do. Lesnar was on all fours as Rollins bounced off the ropes and hit a Curb Stomp on him. Lesnar sold it well. The crowd popped big for it. Rollins went to the referee to say he was cashing in the briefcase and announcer Justin Roberts announced it to make it official. Before Rollins could get back into the ring, Cena went after Rollins. Cena kicked Rollins and that led to Rollins leaving the ring. Cena was calling Rollins a "fool" for costing him the match. When Cena turned back around, Lesnar hit the F5 on Cena.
It was announced at this point that Cena won the match by disqualification, but Lesnar is still the WWE Champion. JBL was saying Lesnar wasn't human because he was still standing tall. Cole pointed out that Rollins cost Cena the win. The final point that needs to be made is that the bell never rang for the Money in the Bank cash in, so Rollins will be able to use the briefcase in the future.
The show ended with Lesnar and Heyman looking on by the entrance while the referee held up Cena's hand as the winner of the match.
Analysis: It was WWE's way of doing a screwy finish without giving anything away. By doing that, they've set up a third Lesnar/Cena match at Hell in a Cell that will be contested inside the Hell in a Cell structure. It's not official yet, but it will be. While the finish probably upset a lot of people that were watching it, that's just part of WWE trying to tell a storyline. They want to build to the next match. Cena's case for the rematch is that he never lost this match. He actually won it. As a result, they can have the HIAC match without anybody causing a DQ because the idea of the cell is to prevent interference. From a storyline perspective, it makes a lot of sense. If you like clean endings to PPVs you're upset by it. Me? I'm not that upset. I thought Lesnar would retain, but this kind of finish doesn't surprise me and it keeps the title on Lesnar, so that's good.
Five Stars of the Show
1. Randy Orton
2. Chris Jericho
3. Brock Lesnar
4. John Cena
5. (tie) Sheamus
5. (tie) Cesaro
There were three matches that stood out from the rest. All six of those guys are the stars of the night.
It gets a 7 out of 10 for being a consistently good wrestling show all night long. Some of the decisions might have been questionable, but if you watch for the wrestling then it has to be considered a success.
As mentioned, three matches stood out: Sheamus vs. Cesaro, Orton vs. Jericho and Lesnar vs. Cena. I gave two of them ***3/4 out of 5 and Orton/Jericho four stars. That means all of them were great, but none of them went to that next level where I'd consider them matches of the year. Still, when you can have three matches get around 15 minutes each and they're that good then it's enough to help carry the show. The tag title match was also the right choice for the opener.
The angle with Rollins/Ambrose was well done. Predictable? Sure. That doesn't make it bad. Plus, it was only predictable for those of us online that know Ambrose's movie schedule. For the fans in the arena they marked out huge for it because it was a surprise.
Since the show was named the Night of Champions it seemed like WWE made it a goal to do several title changes just to live up to the name. The tag title change was pretty obvious. Having the IC & Divas Title champs lose their titles five weeks after winning them was a curious decision. I didn't like seeing Ziggler lose the IC Title. I thought he'd have a long run with it. The Divas Title changes hands far too often.
As a final note, WWE sure loves to end September PPVs in "controversial" fashion. It's four years in a row now where something happens to upset people. Here's a rundown:
- Last year was a fast count as Bryan beat Orton leading to Bryan getting stripped of the title the next day.
- The 2012 main event match with Punk and Cena had a double pin leading to a draw in the main event.
- In 2011 the show ended with heavy interference by Nash to cost Punk against HHH. Brutal booking to end that one.
Maybe next year we'll go into the September PPV expecting a screwy finish because that seems to be a trend that WWE wants to keep going.
Ranking the 2014 WWE Pay-Per-Views
Here's the order with the rankings on the 1-10 scale.
WrestleMania 30 - 8.5
SummerSlam - 8
Money in the Bank - 7
Night of Champions - 7
Extreme Rules - 7
Elimination Chamber - 6.5
Payback - 6.5
Battleground - 6
Royal Rumble - 5.5
This Tuesday at 10pmET it's TJR Radio episode #51 with our guest, former WWE referee Jimmy Koderas. My co-hosts are The Ace and Justin Seagull. We'll do the show for about 90 minutes or so with Jimmy joining us for about an hour as we discuss the current happenings in WWE while also tossing some questions Jimmy's way about his time in WWE as well as any questions that our listeners may have. Our show last month with Bret Hart broke records for us, so we're looking to continue that momentum. If you can't listen live that TJR Radio link will work after it's over.
Check out my feature column archive that's exclusive to WhatCulture. Some recent posts include 10 things WWE you to forget about Mark Henry, some crazy videos involving CM Punk with wrestling fans and urban legends about Randy Orton. I've topped 25 million views this year already and look to keep that going thanks to your support.
That's all for me. Have a great week.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org
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