I will start off by saying this…Kevin Owens is the IC Champion, John Cena is the United States Champion again, Sting is most likely out of the picture, Kane is back in the mask and Seth Rollins is still the WWE Heavyweight Champion so not everything about tonight was a tragic case of mediocrity.
Before we jump into this edition of Hits & Botches I’d like to say please WWE do not put Sting in another match like this. At 56-years-old I’m not sure it’s worth it to see him gasping for air and calling a timeout during the main event. The guy has already done so much in the business he doesn’t really need to put over guys who are already over.
Pre-Show…does anyone really watch this? We got a fun New Day Fan Q&A segment and the announcement that Seth Rollin’s matches would be back to back but outside of that there isn’t much substance on the pre-show.
The Cosmic Wasteland defeated Neville & The Lucha Dragons: Hit
While the actual pre-show leaves much to be desired the pre-show match did its job. Neville & Stardust have been having an entertaining feud over the past few months and with the addition of The Ascension & Lucha Dragons I’m going to go out on a limb and say we can expect this to last until Survivor Series with a traditional Survivor Series match ending things. We might even see Stephen Amell come back into the picture.
With the pre-show behind us it’s time to dive into Night of Champions.
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Ryback vs Kevin Owens: Hit
Before the announcement that Rollin’s matches were going to be back to back I was under the impression that the United States Championship match would be kicking off the show…lucky for us we got this instead of Rusev and Ziggler to set the tone.
Ryback and Owens went at each other like they actually dislike one another. While this wasn’t Owens best match since joining WWE is certainly held the most meaning. I’ve always been hot and cold on Ryback, sometimes he can be entertaining to watch, but more times than not I find myself questioning why he even got the title run. Sure his run was marred by the Staph Infection, but his feud with Big Show & Miz certainly didn’t help matters.
I’m hoping that we see a similar resurrection for the IC Championship that we saw with the United States belt. Owens gives us a solid roster of feuds to look forward to including Cesaro, Neville, Chris Jericho (spoiler if he sticks around), Ziggler, and maybe even the returning Sami Zayn.
As for Ryback, he’ll mostly likely get a rematch sometime between now and Hell in the Cell, but after that I’m sure he will be sent to purgatory aka Main Event duty.
Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev w/ Summer Rae: Botch
There were two good things about this match…one it seems like this feud is almost over and Summer Rae was looking on point in that pant suit. Honestly she has really emerged as the MVP of this feud, that isn’t saying much, but hopefully this gives her a boost and they find something a little more permanent for her.
As for the match, without Lana at ringside the match really lacked meaning. This whole things has been built around her and to not have her involved hurt it. Also Rusev and Ziggler really lack chemistry and with every match they have it gets more and more exposed. This feud hasn’t helped anyone outside of Summer Rae and hopefully when it’s all said and done both men can move on to something a little more promising.
WWE Tag Team Championship: The Dudley Boys vs The New Day: Hit
The New Day are the most interesting and entertaining tag team not from the Attitude Era on the roster today. Everything these three men do is brilliant and what makes it even better is they took the shitty gimmick and made it into something no one saw coming. It’s not over complication it’s just simple and stupid and it makes for great television.
When you add that to the Dudley’s grizzled veterans who want to prove they still got it you get tag team gold…no pun intended.
I was fine with the heels cheating to retain their titles and continue this feud into the next month, the beauty in this feud is going to be the Dudley’s chase. I’m going to assume at Hell in the Cell we get a tables match.
Also it would be great if Spike Dudley eventually joined the Dudley’s as a means to take care of Xavier Woods on the outside. I know there have been some issues in the past but if he is good to go it would be awesome to see that reunion happen.
WWE Diva’s Championship: Nikki Bella w/Brie Bella &Alicia Fox vs Charlotte w/Paige & Becky Lynch: Botch
HOLY SHIT! All of this talk about Divas Revolution and giving the divas the chance to prove that they are just as good as the men and we get this? This was the first real championship match since the whole “revolution” kicked off and the story being told to us is that Nikki Bella is going to work over Charlotte’s leg/knee so bad that Charlotte can use it to beat her?
What? Charlotte literally got worked over the entire match only to beat Nikki with a submission that used her hurt leg/knee to force pressure on Nikki…and she tapped in under of minute of being in said submission. I know we are told to suspend our disbelief but come on.
This match and the awkward Ric Flair segment that followed did nothing to boost the “divas revolution”. It’s getting harder to defend this whole mess every week. I’m not saying drop the concept and move on but please put a little more effort into what is being sold to us.
I’m going to play fantasy booker for a second here and suggest that now that Charlotte has won the title we drop the whole Divas Championship moniker, trash the Jeff Hardy title, and go back to calling it the Women’s Championship and give it an actual championship title look, just like the UFC did for Ronda Rousey since you seems to be obsessed with mentioning her throughout all of this.
Also a little pet peeve that I have when introducing Charlotte, don’t say From the Queen’s City and then add part of Team PCB….just say Charlotte that’s the whole gimmick. She is from the Queen’s City Charlotte. It’s not that hard to get.
The Wyatt Family vs Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose & Chris Jericho: Hit
The match was enjoyable, but after all the build up to the surprise partner Chris Jericho was a bit of a letdown. I’m a Jericho fan, the guy is entertaining in the ring and one of the best to ever do it….but he always seems to be coming back. As a fan I’m now immune to Chris Jericho returns, I say oh cool Jericho is back for a 4-6 month run neat, but nothing about it gets me truly excited.
Heading into the match I had a list of three names I’d be excited for (The Rock, Daniel Bryan & Samoa Joe) and three names I’d be like whatever (Eric Rowan, Kane & Randy Orton). I would be lying if it never crossed my mind that it could be Jericho, but I felt like it would be too bland for them to do it…I was wrong.
Low key this match might have been one of the better matches of the night, but the letdown of Jericho returning as the surprise partner and his mini-heel turn really overshadowed it.
United States Championship: Seth Rollins vs John Cena: Hit
I’ll ask you this one question when was the last time that John Cena and Seth Rollins had a bad match against one another? I personally can’t think of a time so what was going to make this any different, the answer nothing. These two might have the best chemistry in ring out of any other pairing in the WWE right now. Owens and Cena is also up there, but still these two always seem to tear the house down when they wrestle and tonight was no different.
I expected Cena to win the title back tonight, run with it for another 3-6 months and then around WrestleMania we are going to see him tie Ric Flair’s record and maybe even break it at Mania. Till then he can continue to help put over the younger guys with the help of the United States title.
Also for everyone saying Cena looked heelish at the end…Explain how celebrating with a sick child and then making the heel live up to his word is heelish?
WWE Championship Match: Sting vs Seth Rollins: Can we forget this happened? No…okay botch.
This was painful to watch, not at first…no at first it started off fine. For a second I even thought they might put the belt on Sting, but after a while it clicked this guy is 56-years-old and is in the ring with Cross Fit Jesus.
The match slowly turned into a hope he doesn’t have heart failure in the ring instead of an entertaining Main Event. Hell even Taker doesn’t scare me as much as Sting did tonight.
Afterwards the mess that was Sheamus trying to cash in and the return of Masked Kane was worthy of a comparison to a bad reality television show. You know it isn’t good but you are oddly entertained by it. I’m happy to see Kane back to the old gimmick, but really hope it doesn’t take away from a pretty solid first championship run from Rollins.