All the results and ratings from Sunday’s Night of Champions pay per view event. CONTAINS SPOILERS.
Sunday 21st September saw this year's edition of Night of Champions, an event that is fast becoming one of WWE’s must see pay per views. Several storylines had been building up to this night and were soon about to be resolved, here’s how it played out.
Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos vs Gold & Stardust
Coming into this match The Usos had been champions for 7 months, as well as being fan favourites for their highflying antics and general babyface personas. Their opponents on the other hand have been building up to this match for a long time, gathering fan support along the way with their bizarre promos and high energy performances.
This match was very even throughout and gave us everything we expected, from highflying moves to slick reversals. The Usos weren’t afraid to play dirty for once as they fought on the outside, ramming stardust’s legs into the ring posts. Eventually though it was Stardust who would counter a splash from the top rope, rolling up Jay Uso to win the Titles. It would seem that Gold & Stardust have finally found their Cosmic Key, lets hope it brings them a good run as Tag Team Champions
Match Rating 8/10
United States Championship Match
Sheamus vs Cesaro
When two of WWE’s most physical competitors face off for a championship title you know you are in for a treat and this match was proof of their reputations.
Celtic Warrior Sheamus has held the title since defeating Dean Ambrose back in May and had demolished most of the roster since. His opponent, the Swiss Superman, Cesaro has been another unstoppable force in WWE and the two have been targeting each other for some time.
The two superstars powerful styles made this an absolute brawl, neither wrestler wanting to back down and both dealing out some real damage. Sheamus hitting two Irish Curse Backbreakers in a row was testament to the energy of this match, Sheamus missing the brogue Kick and Cesaro countering with a European Uppercut followed this. The sequence that followed was spellbinding, counter after counter with Cesaro eventually slapping Sheamus in the corner and laying in a number of punches, Sheamus then got a mad look in his eyes as he shouted ‘come on then’. Cesaro obliged but Sheamus countered, eventually hitting the Brogue Kick for the win.
Match Rating 8/10
Intercontinental Championship Match
Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz
Dolph Ziggler has been a fan favorite for a long time now, with many feeling he has been treated badly by the company and deserves to be at a higher point than he his in his career. That said, you only have to look at the list of legends that have held the Intercontinental Championship to know that it is a stepping-stone to greatness.
With this in mind it is a real shame that WWE turned this match into a farce. The first thing that was notably off about this match was the appearance of some group called Florida Georgia Line who no-one outside of the deep south of America has ever heard of. They joined the commentary team for this match and were essentially interviewed all the way through the match, meaning little commentary was done. Ziggler and Miz put on a great show and, as always, showed their technical prowess and passion in the ring that define this championship. Unfortunately it then got ridiculous. Ziggler and Miz had both been accompanied to the ring by their ‘stunt doubles’ Damian Mizdow and R-Ziggler, the former of whom decided to pick a fight with the unknown band at the commentary table. They obliged, pushing ‘Mizdow’ over with R-Ziggler then chasing him out of the arena. The match finished when a re-appearing ‘Mizdow’ distracted Ziggler, who was dominating, allowing Miz a cheap rollup to take the title. This was a terrible way to end the match and frankly Dolph Ziggler and the Intercontinental Championship deserved better.
Match Rating 6/10
Seth Rollins was next out for his match with the absent Roman Reigns who was to miss the event following emergency surgery the night before.
Rollins taunted Reigns before making the referee ring the bell and start a count out. When the count reached 10 the bell rang again, after which Rollins forced the referee to lift his hand in victory. Rollins went on to issue an open invitation to the WWE locker room for anyone to come out and give him a match. The crowd chanted for Dean Ambrose and they weren’t disappointed as he arrived in a taxi and ran to the ring. Unfortunately the bell never rang and so this was not made an official match. Instead Ambrose attacked Rollins beating him out of the ring and eventually into the crowd. Triple H and Stephanie then showed up with security to take Ambrose away, much to the annoyance of the audience, both in the arena and at home. They really should have just made it an official match, it’s what the crowd have been begging for.
Segment Rating 6/10
Mark Henry vs Rusev
This match has been long in the making and, as we have commented on before, the story has lost many fans along the way. Tonight was the night when the USA finally triumphed over the Russian menace Rusev and his very vocal manager Lana.
The match started in full on patriotism with a live rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, leaving most to believe that this would be the most predictable match in WWE history. Interesting Lana was silent with no ‘Anti-American’ speeches, instead Rusev got in the ring and the match started with Mark Henry dominating, knocking Rusev out of the ring time and time again. Eventually Rusev got frustrated and laid into Henry with all the fury and agility we have come to expect from him. Watching Rusev fly around the ring is a spectacular site, someone that big really shouldn’t be so agile. Henry eventually turned it around, hitting the Worlds Strongest Slam on Rusev who quickly rolled out of the way to avoid the pin fall. Getting up quickly, Rusev then hit a high kick and applied his famous Accolade submission move. Shockingly Henry tapped out and Rusev won the match. This was a really brave move for WWE and we believe the right one. Rusev deserves this dominant run and we only hope they can drop the Russia vs USA angle and allow Rusev to push on for some titles.
Match Rating 8/10
Chris Jericho vs Randy Orton
The build up for this match has taken a few years and has been sporadic at best. The reasons for the rivalry are long forgotten and there wasn’t really much anticipation going into the match. This wasn’t helped by a very slow and laboured start to the match, which was made even worse when Y2J appeared to genuinely injure his wrist when he fell awkwardly over the top rope at some speed. The match did improve greatly however with Orton and Y2J both picking up the pace and pulling out some vintage moves including a classic Bulldog from Y2J. There was then a series of counters, culminating in Y2J going for a Splash from the top rope only to be countered by Orton producing a devastating RKO and pinning Y2J.
Match Rating 7/10
Diva’s Championship Match
Paige vs AJ Lee vs Nikki Bella
The build up to this match has included no less than four separate storylines, none of which were remotely connected. Stephanie McMahon granted this match to Nikki Bella for turning on her sister Brie, while AJ Lee was desperate to regain the title after loosing it to Paige.
The match started well with all three wrestlers getting involved and producing some genuinely exciting sequences. There was some real aggression to this match as none of the Diva’s were willing to back down, and all seemed willing to put their bodies on the line. AJ Lee almost won the match early as she managed to get Nikki in the Black Widow, but Paige interrupted, leading to a brilliant move involving a three-person slam from the top rope. Eventually though the match had to end and it did after Paige tapped out to the Black Widow, making AJ Lee the new Diva’s Champion.
Paige looked angry after the match and we hope this leads to a new heel turn for Paige who could play the part perfectly.
Match Rating 7/10
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Brock Lesnar vs John Cena
We all know that when Brock Lesnar is involved in a match it’s going to be brutal, and the build up to this one has been brilliant. From their initial match at Summerslam, where Lesnar won the title from Cena, to Paul Heyman’s constant pushing of Cena to find his inner demon, which we saw a glimpse of on last weeks Raw.
Both Cena and Lesnar started as expected, literally pummelling each other, with Cena coming out on top hitting an early Attitude Adjustment on Lesnar. This only resulted in a one count however, as Lenar beat him back down applying numerous Arm Breakers on Cena as he tried an unexpected submission. Cena managed to get back in a number of times only for Lesnar to power out and throw Cena around with German Suplex after German Suplex. Lesnar was busted open half way through and Cena was sporting a massive bruise on his back from numerous knees from his opponent. Following a great sequence where Cena hit two AAs and two STFs the match was abruptly ended, with Lesnar being disqualified following interference from Seth Rollins. Rollins came out and hit Cena with the Money In The Bank Briefcase and proceeded to get the referee to cash in his prized asset. The bell never rang though, as Rollins hit Lesnar with the Kerb Stomp, Cena attacked him and he ran away. Lesnar then got up and hit Cena with an F-5, then left, as Cena was announced winner by disqualification. Lesnar retains the title.
Match Rating 9/10