The SmarK Rant for WWE Night of Champions 2015 – 09.20.15
Live from Houston, TX
Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler
Intercontinental title: Ryback v. Kevin Owens
Uh oh, it’s BIZARROWORLD in Houston, with a heel reaction to Ryback and a massive babyface pop for Owens. Ryback overpowers him to start and gives him a half-assed press slam to the floor, but Owens runs the arm into the post. So apparently they’re feuding over a self-help book, which I guess is slightly better than feuding over shampoo. Owens works the arm and a single-arm DDT gets two. Russian legsweep gets two. Ryback: “I can’t feel my elbow!” Owens: “Shut up!” You tell ‘em, Kev. Back to working the arm, but Ryback makes the comeback with shoulderblocks for two. Why would you use your injured arm on a comeback? Owens MOCKS Ryback’s attempts to powerbomb him, but Ryback hits him with a spinebuster instead. Owens blocks a spear with a kick to the chest for two. Ryback keeps coming with the lariat, but Owens escapes the Shellshock and a rollup gets two. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Fujiwara armbar, but Ryback powers out of it, so Owens rakes the eyes and pins him at 9:33 to win the title. The announcers put the eye-rake over like it’s the most heinous heel move, although it’s kind of a weak way to win the title. But that’s Kevin Owens for ya. Decent match thanks to Owens. **1/2
Next month, Brock Lesnar v. Undertaker in another Hell in a Cell match. Well so much for them main-eventing Wrestlemania.
Rusev v. Dolph Ziggler
What the hell happened to Rusev’s accent? He sounds Mexican now. Dolph meanwhile is now sporting black leather tights, which makes him look like even more of a goof. Dolph tries a sleeper and gets tossed away by Rusev, and we proceed right to Dolph selling his ass off as usual. Rusev slowly pounds away and we go to the chinlock, as the replay shows a devasting BODYSLAM. Better bust out the slow-motion camera for that one! Rusev catapults him into the turnbuckles, but Rusev misses a blind charge and knocks himself out in a twist of cruel irony. Dolph comes back with a neckbreaker, but Rusev gets the uranage for two. Rusev blocks the Zig Zag, but the fameasser gets two. Dolph goes up and Rusev superkicks him on the way down for two. Ziggler tries another sleeper, then switches to a DDT for two. Camera angle clearly showed that Rusev’s head was nowhere near the mat on that one. That’s the kind of amateur-hour stuff you never used to see. Rusev with a superkick for two, but Dolph gets his own for two. Summer gets involved and bumps into the ring, but the ref tosses her, and she accidentally tosses her shoe at Rusev, and the Zig Zag finishes at 13:50. Honestly, who throws a shoe? These are some lame finishes tonight. This felt like an extended TV match, but it was pretty good once it got past all the chinlocks. ***
WWE tag team titles: The New Day v. The Dudley Boyz
The New Day confirms that their “Save the Tables” petition is sweeping the internet, and even President Obama has signed it. DON’T BOO THE PRESIDENT! Kofi gets fancy with Devon to start while Xavier encourages him via trombone, but Devon tosses him and the champs have a conference on the floor. They have a plan, and his name is Big E. Bubba refuses to go home, despite being an old man according to Big E who should in fact go home, and Big E works a headlock in time with the New Day chant. These guys are just so fantastic. The Dudz take over on E and Bubba gets a superplex, despite Xavier specifically telling him not to do that. Bubba beats on Xavier a bit, but that allows the New Day to take over on Bubba, and they stomp him in the corner while Xavier plays trombone on the beat. If anyone touches that trombone before Wrestlemania they’re idiots. Because someday someone will smash it and it’ll be great, but hopefully not for a long time. Big E splashes Bubba on the apron and Xavier encourages Kofi with the Rocky theme, but he goes up and lands in a Bubba bomb. Hot tag Devon and he runs wild on Kofi, and the 3D gets two as Xavier saves for the DQ at 10:00. Seriously, another crap finish? New Day is so entertaining that they can make anything watchable by sheer force of willpower. **1/4 Xavier gets put through the table, showing that the Save The Tables movement might be in trouble.
Divas title: Nikki Bella v. Charlotte
Charlotte hurts her knee on a bump early and Nikki goes to work on it with a variety of stuff as Charlotte sells and sells and sells, including a figure-four around the ringpost. The other girls brawl at ringside and Charlotte finally gets a comeback 10:00 in, and a big boot gets two. Nikki kicks the leg out from under her leg and gets two, but Charlotte comes back with a weak looking spear and gets the figure-eight to win the title at 12:34. So she spent the whole match selling her knee and then wins with a figure-four after no buildup? It was definitely better than the usual bathroom break Divas matches, though. **1/2
The Wyatt Family v. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose & Chris Jericho
Funny bit as some geek tries to run into the ring in a Shield costume before security hauls him out, and Bray quips “Is that your guy?” But no, it’s Jericho, who’s probably here to do the job as usual. Might as well bring in Mick Foley at this point. Y2Shield works Harper over to start and Jericho gets a flying bodypress on him for two, and an enzuigiri for two. JBL reminisces about Jericho working as a junior heavyweight for “Riki Tenryu” in Japan years ago. Yeah, those were the days. Braun Stroman comes in and fights everyone off while the babyfaces bump for him like he’s Dustin Rhodes in 1991 or something. Ambrose makes a comeback on Bray and Roman comes in and throws Harper around, and a powerbomb gets two. Sadly, the Reigns Train is derailed by Stroman, as a cheapshot turns the tide. Bray with a uranage for two and Harper hits him with a dive outside. Reigns fights them off and makes the hot tag to Jericho, who puts Wyatt in the Walls, but Harper breaks it up. Dean and Bray clothesline each other, but Roman comes in with the superman punches on Stroman and a spear to put him down, but a Lionsault only gets two. Stroman then no-sells him and puts him in the whatever that bearhug thing is to finish at 13:00. Oh boy, another shitty finish. Stroman is just awful and that finish went over like a wet fart. This one never really took off, either. **1/2
US title: Seth Rollins v. John Cena
Cena slugs away to start, but walks into a Buff Blockbuster that gets two. Cena fights back, but Rollins catches him with a sleeper, then puts him down with a double stomp in the Tree of Woe for two. The crowd does the wave here for some reason, but Seth stops to mock Cena and that backfires on him. Cena does his routine and Rollins hits a Sling blade clothesline for two, but Cena reverses out of the Pedigree. Code Red gets two. Rollins goes up and tries a powerbomb, but Cena reverses into a rana into the corner in a nice spot. They slug it out and Rollins escapes the FU and superkicks him for two. Cena bails and Rollins hits him with a senton to the floor, but misses a frog splash in the ring to allow Cena to come back. Cena goes up and Rollins brings him down with a superplex that floats into another suplex for two. That’s a hell of a spot. Cena takes him down with the STF, but Rollins powers out and powerbombs him into the corner for two. Rollins rolls through a bodypress and powers him into his own FU, but Cena counters into an inverted DDT and the guillotine legdrop, into the FU to finish at 16:00 and regain the US title. Finally something to hit a great match level tonight. ****1/4
WWE title: Seth Rollins v. Sting
Sting immediately beats on poor Seth with a Stinger splash and Scorpion deathlock, but Seth makes the ropes. Rollins escapes a Deathdrop, so Sting dumps him to the floor, but Rollins stomps away in the corner. So Sting dumps him again and whips him around the ring while Rollins does everything in his power to make Sting look good. They fight on the announce table and Rollins shoves Sting through the Spanish table for a bump that a 55 year old man should not be taking, and back in that gets two. Sling blade gets two. Falcon Arrow suplex gets two. He powerbombs Sting into the corner for two, but goes for the Pedigree and ends up taking an acrobatic bump into the railing off it. Sting makes the comeback with a pair of Stinger splashes, and an improbable dive from the top rope to the floor. You can’t fault Sting’s effort here, that’s for sure. Back in, Scorpion Deathdrop gets two. Another Stinger splash, but Rollins powerbombs him into the opposite corner and Sting collapses. So the match stops while the doctor checks him over, but Sting reverses a Pedigree into the Deathlock when the match starts again. Rollins makes the ropes and gets the enzuigiri, and the Pedigree is again reversed, but Rollins counters into a small package to retain at 14:57. Amazing effort from Sting here, as he was in great shape and did about as good as you could ask. ***1/2 And then Sheamus runs in to cash in, but Kane returns, once again wearing the mask, and chases him off. Oh boy, Kane v. Rollins as our next program.
Overall I’d call it a thumbs up, as everything was at least mildly enjoyable at worst, and in the case of the Rollins main events, great at best. No stinkers tonight, just some dumb finishes that brought down the midcard matches a bit. Well worth checking it out on the Network, I’d say.
Tags: Kevin Owens, Night of Champions 2015, ryback, Seth Rollins v. John Cena, Seth Rollins v. Sting, SmarK Rants, The New Day