THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS!
WWE’s Night of Champions pay-per-view took place yesterday and I have to admit that I was a lot more impressed than I thought I’d be. I definitely enjoyed this ppv more than I did SummerSlam and I didn’t feel disgusted with the product like I usually do whenever I tune in. For a wrestling fan that hasn’t tuned into wrestling on a regular basis for a while, yesterday’s festivities made me want to tune more regularly to the product (and find things to tweak as wrestling fans do).
General thoughts on NoC:
Usually for me NoC lacks the ppv feel that it should have, given that every title is defended on that ppv it should feel like a bigger ppv. The matches contested at that ppv that aren’t for titles should still have something on the line.
Kevin Owens vs. Ryback (Intercontinental Championship)
Winner: Kevin Owens
I haven’t watched WWE’s free programming in a while and I haven’t done the greatest job of keeping up with recent events (as I basically said) so I didn’t even know that the match was happening until about Wednesday last week (Just thought I’d say). From the start of the match it was good that Ryback looked beastly beating up on Kevin Owens; he’s definitely come a long way from bullying people that he could clearly beat up backstage and being called ‘cryback.’ When I watched Ryback last year, I spent a lot of time thinking that the only thing beastly about him was his size so I can’t believe I’m writing this but WWE did a GOOD job of changing my opinion on him. The match was well worked and looked well paced especially when the momentum shifted in Owens favour after he hit Ryback’s shoulder on the post. Kevin Owens is a funny man, I can’t make out what Ryback said about his elbow but it seemed as if he was legitimately trying to tell Owens something and Ryback got told to ‘shut up’ in response. Speaking of elbows I have to give Owens props for constantly working Ryback’s elbow (shockingly, working body parts didn’t happen often in this ppv). The match was good, in fact it was my match of the night but the finish was weak. Maybe because Kevin Owens is a heel I can let it slide but now that he’s the champion it will be interesting to see what he does with the championship because Ryback’s reign was underwhelming.
Watch or skip: Watch
Other thoughts: Ryback didn’t botch a single move! This is HUGE for him and he should be given a medal or something for that.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
This match was all about the love story of Lana, Rusev, Ziggler and Summer Rae. Too bad that story sucks, and so did the match. Dolph Ziggler’s jumping DDT was the best thing about the match and there really wasn’t anything of note outside of that. I’m not sure what Ziggler was going for with the roll up on Rusev but I’m very sure that it was botched, Rusev dropping Ziggler onto the turnbuckle was botched as well and that only served to make a bad match worse. The fact that the match was placed after Kevin Owens and Ryback didn’t help Ziggler or Rusev and the weird thing is that both people involved in the match are good workers that could have an interesting match with just about anyone, except each other. Throughout the match this was my thought when I saw a lot of the interactions.
Watch or skip: Skip
Other thoughts: This feud is a badly written drama. If Rusev and Lana are going to get back together then I hope they do it quickly so that we can all forget that this happened. I have to ask, when the hell did Rusev start being from Bulgaria again!? Another question is how did Rusev think he’d won when there was no bell? I didn’t think WWE’s commentary was allowed to reference the word heel with regards to what it means in professional wrestling but it’s nice to see that WWE hasn’t completely forgot that what it does is “wrestling.”
The New Day vs. The Dudley Boyz (Tag Team Championship)
Winner: The Dudley Boyz by disqualification
If there was any match that needed to come after Ziggler and Rusev’s match then it was this! This match was all about the entertainment and it did just that. I didn’t like The New Day when they debuted but I’m a believer now. Too many moments in the match made me laugh but the best ones were definitely when Kofi Kingston slapped D-Von Dudley’s head and when Xavier Woods played his trombone in time with Kingston’s and Big E’s stamps on Bubba Ray. JBL playing up Kofi Kingston leaving the ring is also worth a shout and speaking of Xavier Woods, he was clearly the star of the show. He might not wrestle but he’s definitely doing the most to attract interest to The New Day. The match was generally fun to watch and I reckon that both parties did everything they needed to do in order to leave fans satisfied with the result.
Watch or skip: Watch
Other thoughts: It’s safe to say that Bubba Ray Dudley won’t be doing the spot where Big E splashes him on the outside of the ring ever again. WWE would have done the fans a disservice by not having somebody go through a table so once again I can say that they did a good job, I feel that there’s a problem here as I rarely congratulate WWE once on a product let alone twice. Kofi Kingston boxing Bubba Ray whilst Xavier Woods played the Rocky theme was too great and I’m looking forward to what they do next.
Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte (Divas Championship)
The divas revolution if that’s what it is, is truly dead. The saving grace is that Charlotte is now the WWE Divas Champion however, the match itself was paced slowly, really fucking slowly (that’s what you get when Nikki Bella controls the match). I watched the match thinking ‘what are these women doing?’ To be fair, Nikki Bella looked strong throughout the match as a champion should and she constantly worked Charlotte’s leg .The match didn’t help to give WWE’s female wrestlers any credit as (I think) Charlotte botched a landing really early from Nikki’s shoulder barge. Nikki executed a spectacularly terrible spinebuster on Charlotte and hopefully we’ll never be treated to that again. If there was any indication that there would be a few botches in this match then it’s the fact that when Eden Stiles started explaining the rules of the match Charlotte’s entrance music began playing and she had to awkwardly talk over it. Other than what I’ve noted, I’d say that this was a standard WWE match.
Watch or Skip: Skip
Other thoughts: I don’t understand why Charlotte speared Nikki Bella when she jumped down from the turnbuckle given that it looked awful and Charlotte could have maybe caught Nikki and slammed her. It didn’t make much sense to me to see Nikki constantly working Charlotte’s leg only for Charlotte to win with the figure-eight, shouldn’t it have strained Charlotte even a little bit? It was very touching to see Rick Flair celebrating with his daughter but the segment with him and team PCB was pure cringe. I’m not happy that Nikki Bella is the longest reigning Divas Champion but I assume that there’s no other suitable diva in the eyes of the WWE.
Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho vs. The Wyatt Family
Winner: The Wyatt Family
The match was OK. It started off very well with a lot of energy and then settled down but there wasn’t much to point out. I like the way that Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho paid attention to Braun Strowman as if he was the X factor that could have really influenced the outcome of the match. There was a particular spot in the match where Bray Wyatt picked up Ambrose to slam him but Ambrose awkwardly landed on his two feet and I’m not sure if that was intentional or a botch. The match seemed pretty standard from that point on and I’m not sure that I’m interested in this feud to be honest. Jericho took the fall but his attitude after was confusing and that could be interesting as he explains himself but I’m not expecting something great.
Watch or Skip: Doesn’t hurt to watch but you could be forgiven for skipping
Other thoughts: First things first, why the hell are WWE’s security team so terrible at their job? Once again, a fan managed to get close to the wrestlers with the culprit looking as if he was trying to square up to Reigns. I like Jericho but there could have been any partner and it was a bit disappointing that it was him, it also means that WWE has no plans to repeat a shield esque run with Reigns and Ambrose. Really it should have been obvious that Jericho was going to be the mystery partner as his return to WWE is annual. What’s going on with Erick Rowan? Has he completely disappeared from the scene or will he be back as part of The Wyatt Family? That being said, I’d take Braun Strowman in my team over Rowan any day. Lastly, when Strowman entered the ring to face Roman Reigns why did JBL mention Seth Rollins as if he was in the match?
Seth Rollins vs. John Cena (United States Championship)
Winner: John Cena
This match had a lot of momentum and it kept switching between Seth Rollins and John Cena. This match made the United States Championship matter! I’ve not seen a match in recent memory where both wrestlers are pulling out the stops for the US Championship, the FUCKING US Championship! (Don’t try and say SummerSlam because the World Heavyweight Championship was also on the line) The match was exciting and entertaining plus I didn’t hate the result which is completely unbelievable given that I hate whenever John Cena wins. Cena surprised me when he reversed Rollins’ turnbuckle powerbomb into a hurricanrana but I doubt that I’ll see him do that outside ppvs.
Watch or Skip: Watch
Other thoughts: Rollins’ double foot stomp on Cena represented what a lot of wrestling fans want to do to him. The real question is what was the point of giving Seth Rollins the US Championship if he was going to lose it back to John Cena a month later? Are WWE trying to tell Rick Flair something?
Seth Rollins vs. Sting (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
Winner: Seth Rollins
The match was OK but I preferred the US Championship match in all honesty. The most notable thing is that Sting collapsed mid-match and now that’s two old people that have collapsed in two consecutive ppvs. WWE obviously need to stop having old people main eventing their matches. That being said, this match still wasn’t amongst the worst on the ppv so credit to Rollins and Sting.
Watch or Skip: Watch
Other thoughts: THANK GOD that the Spanish announce table was broken! ppvs aren’t ppvs if that doesn’t happen. I have to give WWE props for having Rollins win clean because I know that his title reign hasn’t been the best and that will give it some more legitimacy. I don’t know what happened with Kane but I assume he’s no longer part of the authority, but with that being said I don’t know what to think of Kane in the mix for the World Championship. I assume that Undertaker vs. Sting isn’t happening unless WWE is happy to have them collapse all over the ring and fans cringing throughout.