This past weekend saw all major WWE championships get defended as WWE Night of Champions was held in Houston! How did the champions fare? View the results after this gap!
Stardust and The Ascension def. Neville and Lucha Dragons
This is the pre-show match for this PPV. Stardust and Neville continue their rivalry in what it seems to be the longest on-going feud in recent WWE memory. This was a particularly short match centering mainly on how Stardust would be using his newfound “lackeys” Konnor and Viktor to do his bidding. Suffice to say we will be seeing more of this, and hopefully would help breathe a breath of fresh air in the WWE midcard scene.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Kevin Owens def. Ryback (c)
This is the opening match of the main PPV coverage. If you are still not convinced on the potential drawing power of Kevin Owens, one can just simply refer to the pop he received this night, which I personally taught was the biggest pop of the night outside of John Cena. This is not a typical Ryback match though, as Mr. Wrestling Kevin Owens made use of his wrestling experience to work on some ring psychology. Yes, there’s ring psychology involved in a Ryback match. The match centered on Owens trying his best to neutralize Ryback’s power offense by working on one of his shoulders, something we rarely see nowadays. Even the finish was a bit old-school: an eye rake when the ref was not able to see it followed by a roll-up by Owens. This was not the explosive opening match that we would like to have to start PPVs but it was a refreshing one to see.
Dolph Ziggler def Rusev (w/ Summer Rae)
This could’ve been a pretty serviceable match, but the camera angles they used throughout this match really made it feel that there’s something off between these two. We all know how Dolph Ziggler oversells quite a bit, but some of the camera shots made it really look that DZ was overacting. A lot of the offense that was thrown by the two clearly whiffed (DZ’s superkicks come to mind) but those could’ve worked if a different camera angle was used. The finish felt a bit weak as well, but I guess it’s due to the fact that it has been used before. This match left a lot to be desired as you know that they can do better.
WWE Tag Team Championship match
Dudley Boyz def. The New Day (c) via disqualification
OK, so The New Day is as over as Owens is. This is a very, very entertaining match where your usual funny antics of The New Day meshed with the no-nonsense attitude of the Dudleyz. I really thought the crowd was into this match like it was in the Attitude Era. The only thing that I did not like personally was the choice of D-Von being the hot tag instead of Bubba. Nevertheless, the DQ finish pretty much cements the fact that the Dudleyz will be here for the next few months. And praise be to Xavier Woods for one of the best table bumps ever!
WWE Divas Championship
Charlotte def. Nikki Bella (c)
Seems like they are heavily putting emphasis on the Flair family angle. They also snubbed AJ Lee in the montage of champions despite having the longest reign among the Divas of recent years. Despite all that, this match failed to really capture my attention. We’ve seen the improvements in Nikki Bella’s game however there’s really something different between the main roster Divas matches and the NXT ones. Nikki tapping out was a good call, and adds legitimacy to Charlotte’s already impressive pedigree.
The Wyatt Family def. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and their mystery partner Chris Jericho
Too bad Corey Graves and I were wrong in choosing Samoa Joe to be the mystery partner. And WWE, please do not do the countdown when Jericho is meant as a surprise as this is not 1999. Despite the two new additions in the mix in Braun Strowman and Jericho, this match still had that chaotic feel whenever the Wyatts and the Shield boys come together. Braun still feels a bit green though, and Jericho felt like he’s 50 whenever he is in the ring with Strowman. The finish in the match is quite interesting, where Jericho tagged himself in to try to get the pin on Braun and failing miserably. The tease between a potential future program between Jericho and either Ambrose and Reigns (or both) is a very lucrative investment by both WWE and Jericho.
WWE United States Championship match
John Cena def. Seth Rollins (c)
“John Cena sucks” seems like the new Kurt Angle sucks chant. This is pretty much the Match of the Night, though it didn’t really top their Summer Slam match. But the main story here was Rollins trying to finish these two consecutive title matches and keeping both belts. Cena brought Rollins to the limit and was successfully able to get his win back (though it was expected). The resulting tantrum (and consequential AA) was fun to watch though, and actually made me question if Sheamus is gonna cash in before the other match, or if the Vigilante would take advantage. Speaking of which…
WWE World Heavyweight Championship match
Seth Rollins (c) def. Sting
When this match was first announced, I’ll admit, I expected a trainwreck. The trainwreck didn’t really happen until Sting injured himself. As a viewer I am still not sure if the injury happened in that Spanish Announce table spot, or somewhere prior, but man did it all went downhill after that table spot. I admire Sting’s decision to stay and finish the match but it felt as uncomfortable to watch as the 21-1 Taker-Brock match.
Immediately afterwards, Sheamus runs in and hit Crossfit Jesus with a Brogue Kick, but before he was able to completely cash in…
… the demon Kane returns to seek vengeance on Crossfit Jesus! Sheamus gets a chokeslam too for good measure.
Overall, the show was pretty average. It did manage to pave the way for more interesting match-ups for the WWE champ. Let’s hope the WWE can sustain this.