Night of Champions, night of cosmic crazy!
Pre-show began with a failed interview segment between Chris Jericho and Christian. Randy Orton interrupts, and calls them a “real-life Terrance and Philip.” Wow. A South Park reference. Orton must be using cue-cards. In any case, this only adds more belief we will not see Jericho much after tonight.
The actual show began with an outstanding Tag Team Title match between The Dusts and The Usos. The whole match you could see the crowd on their feet. No matter what, The Dusts are huge over with the crowd. Chants of “Cosmic Key” rang out more than once. It’s funny, no matter how hard the announce team tried to paint The Dusts as the heels, even the live crowd cheered for them. You had every element you could want in a match, mat action, high flying action, great fast-paced counters such as when Cody countered a Samoan Drop into a spinning neckbreaker. At one point, Goldust flattened one Uso with a rolling apron dive while the other Uso splashed on Stardust with a top-rope clearing splash. Incredible match with a surprise finish. Jey Uso soars with the big splash, but Star gets the knees up, rolls over and pins Jey Uso to win the titles.
Winners and New Tag Team Champions: Gold and Star Dust
Interesting post-match bit, heavy camera focus on the dejected losers of the match. Jimmy and Jey sulk around before leaving.
Backstage: Dolph Ziggler and his stunt-double, R-Ziggler talk to Byron Saxton. Ziggler promises victory as long as he has the best and most identical stunt-double in his corner. Huhwhat?
Rolling right along, Sheamus defends the United States Championship against Cesaro. Another solid match. Starting off as a brawl, turned into an absolute slaughterhouse of a match. These guys could compare to two titans fighting over the world. To steal some lines from Jim Ross, this one was a good ol’ fashioned slobberknocker. Big clotheslines, slams, shouldertackles, then you saw super-uppercuts, big boots, stiff lariats. Cesaro countered out of a number of the Celtic Warrior’s signature moves. Sheamus with his own top-rope counter with a flipping slam shocked the crowd, and near-instantly, Cesaro dodges a Brough Kick and cracks the champ with a super-uppercut. Latter part of the match saw a ton of reversals into some big time powerslams from both. Cesaro countered the Brough Kick into a pin, wich was kicked out, but then instantly tossed Sheamus with a double underhook Suplex! Cesaro almost hit a Burning Hammer on Sheamus, but turned it into another slam. Cesaro hit two Brough-like-kicks of his own, but Sheamus just blasted Cesaro into next week with the real Brogue Kick for the win. WOW.
Winner and still United States Champion: Sheamus
Gotta give it up for Cesaro. The guy pulled out moves I have never seen before. I really hope this does not adversely affect his career. He can have a match with anyone and make it a show stealer.
Backstage: Big Show presents Mark Henry with some special ring gear for his battle with Alexander Rusev tonight.
Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz w/Damien Mizdow vs. Dolph Ziggler w/R-Ziggler
So, Florida/Georgia Line join the commentary team to promote their appearance at this year’s Tribute to the Troops, completely distracting JBL, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler from calling the match, not that they would have done that anyway. Ziggler started off teasing to hit Miz in the face, but Miz blocked and avoided all attempts. Miz gains control for a short time until Ziggler scores a lariat. Ziggler takes over the match hitting a Stinger Splash in the corner. Pace changes when Sandow trips up Ziggler on the outside, and then Sandow takes out R-Ziggler too. Match takes a tragic turn when the musicians leave the announce table and knock down Sandow. So, we’ve completely forgotten about the title match in the ring. Goddamn you WWE. Dolph gets caught in the Figure Four Leglock, manages to reach the ropes, however now sells a leg injury. Miz eats a Famouser, but thanks to Sandow interfering yet again, Miz rolls up Ziggler to win the title.
Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
Wow, I did not think they would take the title off Ziggler so quickly, but then again, I didn’t think they would have Miz drop the title so soon after winning it in the first place.
In the ring Seth Rollins wins by forfeit as Roman Reigns is unable to compete tonight. Mr. Money in the Bank issues an open challenge to anyone who has the guts to face him. Guess no one in the locker room was paying attention. While chants for JBL echoed, a taxi cab suddenly pulls up, and out comes Dean Ambrose to a huge ovation from the crowd. We don’t get a match, we get a crazy fight all over the arena. Unfortunately, The Authority send out security led by Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. Nice spot where Ambrose dives onto everyone for a nice domino effect. Sadly, before Ambrose can clobber Rollins with a chair, he gets sacked by the defense and is downed.
Let’s make Hacksaw Jim Duggan Jealous: Mark Henry vs. Alexander Rusev
Seems like every time someone faces Alexander Rusev, it has to be all patriotic. Henry could have simply made this about who is stronger, but instead we are back to USA vs. Russia again. The gimmick works, but I do not want the novelty to run out. What’s next, Lex Luger showing up in a helicopter? Anyway, Henry started off strong until Rusev plowed him into the ring stairs. Since then we got more than needed rest holds and shoulderblocks. This match just killed the event momentum. Crowd was dead. Michael Cole said the match settled back into a familiar pattern for Rusev. Uh, you do not want to say that when the crowd starts the “boring” chant. In any event, Henry did hit the World’s Strongest Slam, but Rusev fought back and forced him to tap out to the Accolade. I was very surprised they had Rusev beat Henry clean. They dragged out the feud with Jack Swagger via count-outs, I thought for sure WWE would have pulled something to continue the feud to the next major event, Hell in the Cell, but boy was I wrong. There is no nice way of saying it, but Mark Henry got squashed.
Winner: Alexander Rusev
This is a Tough One to Watch: Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton
Well, they disposed of the title bouts pretty quickly tonight, so I have to come up with something. Maybe I never noticed it, but tonight Jericho got some sort of countdown clock with his entrance. Groovy. Ditch the Lite-Brite jacket already. You aren’t Moses and his Technicolor Trenchcoat. They actually justify this match by showing how this not-at-all-a-feud began with Randy Orton attacking Y2J backstage following his match with Bray Wyatt, and of course they make sure to roll the whole segment where Orton says “it’s the season premiere!” Really? Hell. At least they acknowledge Jericho as the first Undisputed Champion tonight. Sigh. This match was very hard to watch. They did a top-rope superplex spot within the first five minutes, the rest were all rest holds, punches and kicks from Orton with the occasional Jericho rally. Orton was locked in the Walls for a long time until Orton managed to counter and then hit his usual second rope Hangman’s DDT spot. Orton gets ready for the RKO while Jericho gets up real slow, only to shock Orton with a Codebreaker, but no pinfall. For some odd reason, Jericho goes to the top rope, something he hasn’t really done since his Cruiserweight days and sits there but nearly two goddamn minutes as Orton does the SAME THING Jericho did, playing dizzy, and splattered Jericho on the way down for the pinfall victory. Geezuz, could it have been any more obvious?
Winner: Fozzy, for getting Jericho back on tour.
Seriously, this match was meant to put over Randy Orton, but it was slow, sloppy, and damn predictable. Jericho gets to go back on tour, and we get more Orton gloating. Wonderful.
We get the obligatory creepy Paige promo for the upcoming Divas Title match. I gotta say, she cuts a good dark promo. I enjoyed it. Production crew should get a raise.
Divas Championship Triple Threat Match: Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee vs. Paige
Sad to say, but this match was better than Orton/Jericho. Nikki Bella can’t wrestle her way out of a paper bag. The most interesting this about this match were the chants for CM Punk. It’s never gets old, does it? It was entertaining to watch AJ and Paige take turns dumping Nikki from the ring in order to put on a match. Lots of screaming. Hair pulling. This is a classic folks. One impressive spot, they pull off a Tower of Doom as Nikki Bella powerboms Paige who hooked AJ for a superplex. Give credit there. After throwing Nikki to the floor, AJ locks Paige in the Black Widow and although Paige tried to fight, she ultimately tapped out, giving AJ Lee her third reign as Divas Champion.
Winner and New Divas Champion: AJ Lee
Gotta say, definitely better than Jericho/Orton.
WWE World Championship Match: John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
Thank you Michael Cole for reminding us should Cena win, he ties Ric Flair for record number of title reigns. Crowd boos Cena, and goes apenut crazy for Lesnar. Bigger pop when the ring announcer introduces Paul Heyman. Bell rings and Lesnar charges. Suddenly, Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment and is in complete and utter shock when Lesnar kicks out. Not sure if that was a joke, but seriously? The match just started. Lesnar with a flurry and the crowd loses their minds when Lesnar hits the first German Suplex. However this time we get more submission attempts from Lesnar. We get Eddie’s Three Amigo suplexes as a bonus. Lesnar channels Stan Hansen with a neck-fracturing lariat. As I said before, lots of submission attempts from Lesnar, and of course Michael Cole has to point that out over and over. Certainly gave me the notion this one may end in a tap out or pass out. All Cena does is punch and kick. It is as if he is channeling Orton. Cena with another flurry until Brock launches Cena with Suplex number seven. Cena by some miracle goes for the STF, but Brock turns into a Kimura Lock. Cena counters again and locks in the STF, but SETH ROLLINS interferes and clobbers Cena with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Rollins hits the Curb Stomp on Brock and then attempts to cash it in, but Cena recovers and attacks Rollins, preventing it. So, officially, Rollins never cashed in, Cena wins by DQ, and Brock keeps his title.
Winner by DQ: John Cena, Brock Lesnar still WWE Champion
That was a terrible way to end the event. Yes, the shock of Seth Rollins cashing in was present, but in the end it was a lame way to give Cena a win while keeping the title on Brock. Very lame move. Overall, the event could have been better. The show started off strong, and gradually declined with some sporadic infusions of excitement, such as the Ambrose/Rollins brawl and I will say the finish to the Divas Title match was pretty well executed. However, I maintain the show could have been better, the best matches were the first two, and from there is just went downhill.
I do like the fact the titles are being traded within feuds, I generally prefer when a third man is involved in the mid-card titles but I’ll take what I can get from WWE right now. I just miss the days of triple threats and four-ways for the mid-card titles where you really cannot predict who will walk away with it. In any case, we can agree Night of Champions certainly changed the landscape. As usual, the repercussions will be seen tomorrow night on WWE Monday Night RAW.
The Dusts defeated The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championships
Sheamus retained the United States Championship against Cesaro
The Miz defeated Dolph Ziggler to win the Intercontinental Championship
Rusev defeated Mark Henry
Randy Orton defeated Chris Jericho
AJ Lee defeated Paige and Nikki Bella to win the Divas Championship
John Cena defeated Brock Lesnar by DQ when Seth Rollins attempted to cash in the Money in the Bank contract