WWE Night Of Champions 2015
Houston, Texas 9/20/15
1.) Six-Man Tag - The Cosmic Wasteland (Stardust & The Ascension) vs. Neville & The Lucha Dragons: **¾
After losing a tag team match to Neville & Stephen Amell at SummerSlam, Stardust started to feud more with “The Man That Gravity Forgot” and recruited The Ascension as his “henchmen”. Neville, in turn, received some backup in the form of The Lucha Dragons, setting up this Six-Man Tag. I thought this was a relatively solid match. It was perfectly fine for a pre-show match. In the end, The Cosmic Wasteland actually got the win here, which was a surprise to me.
1.) WWE Intercontinental Title - Ryback vs. Kevin Owens: **3/4
The first title match of the night sees Ryback defending his WWE Intercontinental Title against former NXT Champion Kevin Owens. This was….decent, but I was expecting a little more from this one. Now I’m not saying that I thought this could have been spectacular (this is Ryback were talking the bout), but I thought this could have been at the least, good. It just fell below my expectations. I’m sure the fact that Kevin Owens won the title with a rollup after raking the eyes of Ryback contributed to this match being just decent.
Between the first and second match, we got an advertisement for Brock Lesnar’s “Go To Hell Tour”. Now I normally don’t talked about backstage segments or promos on my WWE PPV reviews, but this particular video package has some pretty big announcements. First, Brock Lesnar would be wrestling The Big Show on a WWE Network Live Special from Madison Square Garden on October 3rd. Then, he would be appearing on The Stone Cold Podcast with Steve Austin following RAW on October 19th. Finally, it was announced that Brock Lesnar would be facing The Undertaker in a Hell In A Cell Match at the Hell In A Cell PPV on October 25th. That was a pretty big announcements, as their were rumors at the time that the “rubber match” between Brock Lesnar & The Undertaker would take place at WrestleMania 32. Obviously, this was a case of “plans changed”
2.) Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev (with Summer Rae): **3/4
Speaking of rumors, I believe the original plan here was to do a mixed tag with Dolph Ziggler & Lana vs. Rusev & Summer Rae. Apparently, Lana got injured during training, so plans change, and we got basically a rematch from SummerSlam instead. Fortunately, this match actually had a finish, but it did include some shenanigans, as attempted interference by Summer Rae backfired, which allowed Ziggler to get the win. Another relatively solid match. It’s amazing to see how far Rusev had fallen at the start of 2015. Don’t get me wrong, he was still fantastic, even in this storyline, but he could have been so much more.
After the match, a frustrated Rusev leaves without Summer Rae, and Ziggler kissed her hand.
3.) WWE Tag Team Titles - The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston with Xavier Woods) vs. The Dudley Boyz: **3/4
The night after SummerSlam, in Brooklyn, The Dudley Boyz made their surprise return to WWE, making their intentions clear by going after The New Day. Speaking of which, Xavier has a new hairdo, and The New Day cut another great heel promo before the match that involved a lot of comedy. It was around this time that they started the “Save The Tables” campaign in response to the The Dudley Boyz. As far as the match goes, much like the two (technically three) matches that came before it, this was relatively solid, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say this was good. It could have been good, if the match hadn’t ended in a DQ when Xavier Woods interfered.
After the fact, The New Day decide that they’re going to put The Dudley Boyz through tables, but their plan backfired, and it was Xavier Woods that would end up going through a table, courtesy of a 3D from The Dudley Boyz.
4.) WWE Diva’s Title - Nikki Bella (with Brie Bella & Alicia Fox) vs. Charlotte (with Becky Lynch & Paige): ***
On the RAW before Night Of Champions, Charlotte challenged Nikki Bella for the Diva’s Title in an attempt to prevent Nikki from becoming the longest reigning Diva’s Champion in history. Nikki retained in controversial fashion, but Stephanie McMahon put together this match in response. Finally, we have a match on this show that was able to crack the *** barrier. This was a pretty solid Diva’s Title Match. They did seem to tell a nice story with Nikki going after one of Charlotte’s legs for an extended period of time, but it really ended up not meaning much in the end, as Charlotte made a comeback, and eventually got Nikki to submit to the Figure Eight, winning the Diva’s Title, and ending Nikki Bella’s reign at 301 Days.
After the match, Becky Lynch, Paige, and Ric Flair celebrated with Charlotte in the ring.
5.) Six-Man Tag - Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, & Chris Jericho vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, & Braun Strowman): ***1/2
With Erick Rowan still on the shelf with an injury, Bray Wyatt introduced a new member of The Wyatt Family following SummerSlam. That person would end of being his “Black Sheep”: Braun Strowman. He’s a huge dude who, according to cagematch.net, only had SEVEN matches under his belt before he got called up to the main roster (as we would discover in the coming months, Vince McMahon is IN LOVE with this dude). A Six-Man Tag was then set up for Night Of Champions, and a “mystery partner” was advertised to join the side of Ambrose & Reigns. That “mystery partner” turned out to be Chris Jericho, who has a history with The Wyatt Family (he feuded with them in the summer of 2014). Interestingly enough, before the reveal of Chris Jericho, a fan jumped in the ring, I guess in an attempt to be the “mystery partner” but he was taken away by security. The match itself was very similar, in terms of quality, to the Ambrose/Reigns vs. Wyatt/Harper tag team match at SummerSlam. It was a very solid Six-Man Tag, and that says a lot considering the limited experience of Braun Strowman. Towards the end, Jericho forcing himself in via a blind tag, but this would end up causing his team’s downfall as Jericho eventually passed out in Strowman’s weird looking submission hold.
After the match, Ambrose & Reigns appeared to be disappointed in their tag team partner for taking things into his own hands and letting the team down. Jericho just leaves, intentionally bumping into Ambrose on his way out.
6.) WWE United States Title - Seth Rollins vs. John Cena: ****¼
So after WWE seemingly copied what ROH did back in June at Best In The World 2015, they decided to do it again. This was an even more glaring example, as they were copying what ROH was on their All-Star Extravaganza VII PPV, which took place just two days earlier in the same state (ROH was in San Antonio, while this show was in Houston). The only difference is that ROH had Lethal two title defenses separated, as he defended the ROH World TV Title against Bobby Fish in the opening match, and then defended the ROH World Title against Kyle O’Reilly in the Main Event. WWE, on the other hand, is having Rollins defend both of his titles back-to-back.
First up, is the WWE United States Title Match, where Seth Rollins is defending against John Cena, which is a rematch from SummerSlam. Interference from Jon Stewart cost Cena his United States Title that night. I thought these two, once again, delivered another fantastic match!! In comparing the two, I’d say their SummerSlam was on track to being the better match before the interference from Jon Stewart. This match was still pretty awesome. Both guys worked really hard, and we saw some great action from start to finish. What’s also pretty cool is that we actually got a clean finish, as Cena won back the WWE United States Title which, at the end of the day, was the right result.
After the match, Cena takes the mic, and reminded him that he now has to defend his WWE World Title against Sting. He then gives Rollins an Attitude Adjustment on the floor, and rolls him back into the ring. Sting then makes his way out, and our Main Event gets underway!!
7.) WWE World Heavyweight Title - Seth Rollins vs. Sting: ***¾
Sting returned the night after SummerSlam, and made his intentions clear that he wanted to take the WWE World Title off of Seth Rollins. While this wasn’t as awesome as the Cena vs. Rollins U.S. Title match that preceded it, this was still a really good Main Event. Of course, Rollins was great as he always is, but this match will probably be remembered more for the gutsy performance of Sting. I think he proved a lot of people, having one of his best matches in several years. He took a number of bumps that he didn’t necessarily need to take. There were moments here where Sting looked like he was in a bad way (particularly after a Buckle Bomb from Rollins), but he fought through it, though ultimately, Rollins would end up retaining his WWE World Title.
As it would later turn out, the injuries that Sting suffered during this match (mainly a neck injury from, I believe, the Buckle Bomb) would ultimately lead to his decision to retire during the WWE Hall of Fame induction speech in April 2016. This meant that this match would end up being the last in Sting’s legendary career.
After the match, a weakened Seth Rollins was attacked by Sheamus, who was the holder of the Money In The Bank Briefcase. It looked like Sheamus was going to cash in, but then Kane (Demon Kane to be precise) came out and attacked Rollins, hitting him with a chokeslam. Sheamus tried to order Kane to do more damage to Rollins, but Kane gave him a chokeslam as well. Kane then gave Rollins a Tombstone Piledriver and stood tall over the WWE World Champion to close the show.
This was a relatively solid PPV from WWE. Oddly enough, a show that I would compare to a ROH Live Event, specifically Reloaded Tour ‘15: Lockport, which took place about a week after this show. Both shows started out with several matches right at the **¾ mark, but things got a little better when it came to the top matches. In this case, most of the undercard was fine, but unspectacular. The highlights were probably Charlotte winning the Diva’s Title and Chris Jericho returning. The two best matches of the night were the two Main Events. Cena/Rollins was very much the best match on the show, while Rollins/Sting ended up being really good as well. It also has a bit of historical significance as Sting’s last match (though we didn’t know it at the time). The ending of the show with Kane standing tall probably caused a lot of eyerolls (deservedly so), but it has to be said that the performances that Seth Rollins put in on this show were incredible (as far as wrestling two tough titles matches back-to-back is concerned). Again, this wasn’t an amazing show, but it was solid, and had it’s moments.