WWE – Night Of Champions 2015 (Cert 15)
1 Disc DVD/ BD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 162 minutes approx.
On a night where every champion defends their title this year’s iteration of Night Of Champions has a double main event which exposes the lack of star power and credible names at the top of the card.
With his win over John Cena at Summerslam, Seth Rollins is now a double champion holding both the US and WWE World Heavyweight titles. As per the remit of this show Rollins therefore is duty bound to do double duty, facing Cena for the US Title and Sting for WWE World Title.
Taking place on September 20th 2015, at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas before 14, 369 fans, your commentators as always are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL, and while no results will be given away but expect some opinion.
WWE IC Title Match – Ryback (c) vs. Kevin Owens
There is something quite old school about how Owens got this IC title match – he simply interrupted a Ryback interview on TV eating an apple and said he was hungry for more. Owens then attacked Ryback during a Lumberjack match and “Voila!” we have a match. Despite being the heel, Owens received a babyface reaction here and carried Ryback to a short but solid opener. The finish is anti-climactic as it wasn’t obvious how it came about but the match was fine for what it was.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
This was originally going to be a mixed tag match until Lana was injured during training writing her off TV, so they amended the angle by having Ziggler openly flirting with Summer Rae. However the angle would come crashing to a halt a few weeks later after Summer proposed to Rusev who accepted, then news broke that in real life Rusev and Lana were engaged! While they are entitled to their personal lives, to break this news DURING an angle where they are supposed to be a feuding ex-couple with new partners was an egregious act of carelessness on the part of two people who should know better.
The match itself was the usual bump-a-thon from Ziggler and power moves from Rusev with a hokey finish that lead to the awkward scenario mentioned above.
WWE Tag Title Match –The New Day (c) vs. Dudley Boyz
After an absence of ten years, the Dudleyz returned to the WWE the night after Summerslam – although Bubba Ray made an appearance at the Royal Rumble. Ironically, as Bully Ray in TNA, he had just been made the new authority figure of Impact Wrestling, which aired on TV just a week or so before the Dudleyz WWE return. This match was built around the New Day taking umbrage at the Dudleyz table wrecking antics and launched a “Save The Table” campaign. Big E and Kofi Kingston worked the match which was short with a lame finish, presumably designed to keep both teams strong.
WWE Divas Title Match – Nikki Bella (c) vs. Charlotte
Finally some forward momentum for the so-called “Divas Revolution”. While the match quality has improved tenfold since the NXT trio were brought up to the main roster, the feuds have been non-existent. The story here was that Nikki Bella was closing in on being the longest reigning Divas Champ ever, so No 1 Contender, Charlotte had her match a week early. She won by screw job (the same finish used on Paige at Money In The Bank) so a rematch was granted with the stipulate that if Nikki gets DQ’d or counted out she loses the title.
Good match, worked at a different pace for the women, more deliberate and focusing on limb work than just spots. One can argue the finish made little sense as a result but it was the right result and a strong showing by both ladies.
The Wyatt Family vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose & Mystery Partner
Another surprise appearance on RAW the night after Summerslam was that of Braun Strowman, the giant Black Sheep of the Wyatt Family, place sitting for the injured Erick Rowan. Making an immediate impact by no-selling everything Reigns and Ambrose through at him. This six man was set up, originally with Randy Orton as the third man but he was “injured” (which later became a legit shoulder injury) leading to the “mystery partner”.
Unusually the DVD cover doesn’t give this away so I won’t either, but it was a nice surprise. Match was fun but the whole feud is growing tiresome since the principals have been at it on TV and PPV every week for seemingly ever in one form or another. Strowman is green as hell but he is big so naturally Vince McMahon will push him.
WWE US Title Match – Seth Rollins (c) vs. John Cena
Not much to say about this. After the controversial finish of their Summerslam match Cena invoked his rematch clause. Rollins is wearing white again. Match was their usual back and forth affair, lots of kicking out of big moves which gets a pop but ultimately dilutes the effectiveness and credibility of those moves, especially as the wining move is weak in comparison.
WWE World Title Match – Seth Rollins (c) vs. Sting
So, Sting returned to the WWE the night after Summerslam when the Authority was to unveil a life-sized statue of Rollins at the WWE Champ’s request. Under the cover instead was Sting who proceeded to lay out Rollins, before sending the statue into a trash compactor a week later. Sting actually worked a short match against Big Show on RAW which was turned into a tag match when Rollins interfered and Sting made him tap.
For someone of his age Sting is in great shape and worked a hard match against Rollins taking some unnecessarily big bumps and hitting big moves. However a turnbuckle Powerbomb went wrong and Sting suffered a neck injury which has since put him out of action. Otherwise this was a strong match for the veteran and a great effort by Rollins for working two tough matches back-to-back.
Regular readers of my WWE reviews will know what I am about to say here – that the work was solid to great, the effort on the part of the wrestlers can’t be faulted, and yet, while the booking was not as overtly questionable and as damaging as it has been recently, there are no real positive signs of a fresh landscape for the future, especially in the main event picture.
Let’s face it – Sting had just ONE match in WWE – which he lost – and is suddenly propelled to No 1 contender status for the top title in the company? Granted Sting is a legend but at 56 years old, he should be a special attraction on a WWE card and not challenging for the World title.
There is no question it was a buzz – not to mention surreal – to see Sting get a WWE main event but in the grand scheme of things, it was demonstrative of the lack of confidence in and/or refusal to utilise the current roster better.
Good show all told but the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Best match – John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
Night Of Champions Kick off Show – Neville & Lucha Dragons vs. Stardust & The Ascension
Home Video Exclusive:
Bittersweet Victory in Dudleyville
Monday Night RAW – August 24 2015 – Seth Rollins Unveils An Iconic Image
Monday Night RAW – August 31 2015 – John Cena Has Gold On His Mind
Smackdown – September 8 2015 – Lumberjack Match – WWE IC Champ Ryback vs. WWE World Champ Seth Rollins
Monday Night RAW – September 14 2015 — Sting vs. Big Show
Rating – ***
Man In Black