9/20 Powell’s WWE Night of Champions 2015 live review: Seth Rollins vs. Sting for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Seth Rollins vs. John Cena for the U.S. Championship

By Jason Powell

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WWE Night of Champions 2015
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Houston, Texas at Toyota Center

A video package focussed on the title matches. Kevin Owens said viewers would see what a wrestler looks like. The Dudleys spoke about coming home… Pyro was shot off on the stage… Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler were on commentary. Cole hyped that the venue was sold out with 14,369 fans in attendance…

Powell’s POV: For those who missed the needlessly long pre-show, Stardust and The Ascension defeated Neville and The Lucha Dragons in the only match on the show.

1. Ryback vs. Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Title. Owens put Ryback’s arm in a hammerlock and then ran it into the ring post. Owens continued to target the arm. Ryback came back and set up for Shellshocked, but Owens raked Ryback’s eyes, slipped off his back, and rolled him up for the pin…

Kevin Owens defeated Ryback to win the Intercontinental Title in 9:35.

Powell’s POV: A strong way to start the show. Ryback did a nice jof ob selling the shoulder most of the time, but picking up Owens from the ground and then slamming him was pretty inconsistent. That said, I love the idea of Owens as the champion and I hope this eventually leads to a feud with Sami Zayn over the belt. If that doesn’t bring prestige back to the title belt then nothing will.

An ad aired for “Brock Lesnar’s Go To Hell Tour.” Heyman narrated the commercial and hyped the MSG show, Lesnar’s appearance on the Stone Cold Podcast on October 19, and hyped Lesnar vs. Undertaker in the Hell in a Cell match…

Powell’s POV: That was a strange way to announce the Hell in a Cell match between those two. I’m all for hitting the target audience via the live specials/pay-per-view, but I thought it would have been given a little more fanfare. That said, I’ve said since SummerSlam that I thought they should have the match before WrestleMania, so that’s pretty cool. It also continues WWE’s streak of delivering strong pay-per-view main events at least on paper. Once again, so much for phoning it in now that they have a built-in audience via the network.

The broadcast team set up footage from Smackdown of Dolph Ziggler and Summer Rae’s backstage exchange… Backstage, Rich Brennan attempted to interview Rusev while Summer stood by. Rusev didn’t need his stupid American propaganda. Summer started to walk with Rusez when Brennan asked if she was wearing the earrings that Ziggler gave her…

2. Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev (w/Summer Rae). Ziggler debuted shiny black pants with slits on the thighs. Rusev dominated the early portion of the match with Ziggler getting only hope spots. Rusev became frustrated when he couldn’t put Ziggler away. Ziggler caught Rusev in a sleeper, but Rusev broke it by backing into the corner. Ziggler came right back with a DDT for a two count.

Rusev came back with a kick and covered Ziggler, who kicked out at the last possible moment. Rusev protested to the referee. Ziggler remained down, but eventually caught Rusev with a superkick for a two count of his own.

Summer stood on the bottom rope and bickered to the ref. Ziggler was shoved into the ropes and Summer tumbled into the ring. The referee ejected her. As she was leaving, she tried to throw a show at the referee, but it hit Rusev instead. Ziggler hit the Zigzag and got the pin…

Dolph Ziggler beat Rusev in 13:40.

Powell’s POV: I enjoyed this match more than I enjoyed the soap opera that led up to it. Ziggler did a nice job of playing the sympathetic babyface, and Rusev has an out for losing. I still hope this somehow leads to Rusev becoming a badass heel again rather than playing the comedic soap opera stooge.

Backstage, a bedazzled Charlotte was shown getting some pre-match encouragement from Ric Flair, Becky Lynch, and Paige… Nikki Bella was shown doing pushups while Brie Bella and Alicia Fox stood by…

3. Big E and Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. The Dudley Boys for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Before the match, Woods carried his trombone to the ring and the New Day members delivered a walking promo about saving the tables. The promo continued once they were in the ring and got some laughs.

The Dudleys got out to a fast start, then Woods played the trombone when Kingston and E took turns working over Bubba in their corner. Woods even busted out the “Rocky” theme song as his men continued to get the better of Bubba. D-Von eventually took the hot tag and roughed up Kingston. The Dudleys hit 3D on Kingston and had him pinned, but Woods ran in and broke up the pin for the DQ…

The Dudleys defeated New Day by DQ in 10:00.

After the match, Kingston and E counted and said, “Woods, get the tables.” Woods obliged by sliding a table inside the ring. Cole called them hypocrites because of the save the tables campaign. The Dudleys fought back and then Woods took 3D through the table…

Powell’s POV: The only heat was for the finish. The fans like the Dudleys and most seemed to get a kick out of New Day’s antics. WWE didn’t even trying to make them heelish until after the match. Renee Young endorsed them on the pre-show. It wasn’t until Cole got pissed about them being hypocrites for trying to use the table that the broadcast team really sounded off on them.

A video package set up the Divas Title match…

4. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella, Alicia Fox) vs. Charlotte (w/Paige, Becky Lynch) for the Divas Championship. Nikki can lose the title on a DQ or count-out. The bell rang and Nikki immediately went to ringside and did pushups. A short time later, Nikki kicked Charlotte’s knee and then suplexed her onto the ropes so that her legs hit.

Nikki continued to target the left knee of Charlotte. The fans rallied behind Charlotte with a “Let’s Go Charlotte” chant while Nikki worked over the knee. Nikki performed another suplex that dropped the legs on the bottom rope again. Nikki performed a half crab on Charlotte while Charlotte cried out.

At 8:30, Nikki performed a Figure Four around the ring post. She released the hold and slammed Charlotte’s bad leg into the post. Back inside the ring, Nikki reapplied the half crab. Charlotte crawled toward the ropes. Nikki’s stablemates tried to pull the ropes back. Nikki barked at them to stop due to the match stipulation. Charlotte rolled up Nikki for a two count.

Charlotte came back with chops while hopping on one leg. She also performed a big boot and clutched her knee afterward. Charlotte went for a backslide, but Nikki kicked her from behind. Nikki performed a suplex into the corner and Charlotte once again held her knee.

Nikki went to middle rope and jumped into a spear. Charlotte applied the Figure Eight and got the submission win. After the match, Charlotte and Ric cried as they celebrated Charlotte’s title win…

Charlotte defeated Nikki Bella to win the WWE Divas Championship in 13:00.

Powell’s POV: Nikki looked dominant aside from the finish. It wasn’t a classic match compared to what we’ve seen at the NXT level, yet we would have been thrilled with this prior to those NXT live specials. Does Charlotte sell the knee injury coming out of this or is it quickly forgotten?

A soda commercial aired… Backstage, JoJo interviewed new Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens and asked how he responds to critics who say there was controversy in his match. Owens said he’s not going to let anyone ruin this moment for him. Owens said he feels complete because he was a prizefighter without a prize…

The pre-show panel checked in from outside the building where they f’ing belong!!! Er, um, Renee Young, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Booker T spoke about the show and recapped the Kickoff Show match… The broadcast team spoke about the mystery partner for Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose…

Backstage, Charlotte celebrated with Ric, Paige, and Becky Lynch. Ric was ready to party and Paige and Becky had some fun imitating his mannerisms. He gave Charlotte a kiss and told her he loves her… A video package set up the six-man tag match…

Ring entrances took place for the six-man, and mystery partner Chris Jericho got a really good ovation from the live crowd. Another idiot fan attempted to enter the ring during the entrances. He got to the ring apron, but did not get inside the ring. Moron…

5. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Braun Strowman. The crowd gave Jericho the usual “you’ve still got it” chant. He took the mic and told them he never f’ing lost it and to come up with original chants. Okay, I made up that last sentence.

Strowman knocked down Harper and Rowan, and eventually pressed Jericho onto both of them at ringside. Later, the Wyatt Family isolated Reigns. Wyatt held him in place while Harper performed a suicide dive, and Wyatt performed a senton on the floor.

At 9:30, Jericho checked in and ended up putting Wyatt in the Walls of Jericho, but Harper entered and broke it up. Ambrose kicked Harper to ringside. Wyatt went for his finisher, but Ambrose rolled him up for two. Wyatt and Ambrose performed a double clothesline spot, then tagged in Reigns and Strowman.

Reigns threw a pair of Superman punches at Strowman that didn’t take him off his feet. Ambrose did with a move off the ropes. Reigns speared Strowman. Jericho tagged himself in and performed a Lionsault onto Strowman, who kicked out aggressively. Jericho went for a Codebreaker, but Strowman caught him and ended up slamming him down. Strowman applied his finishing hold and got the submission win.

The Wyatt Family defeated Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Chris Jericho in 13:05.

After the match, Jericho stood up and gave a hard shoulder to Ambrose while leaving the ring…

Powell’s POV: Good use of Jericho. You are never going to please everyone with a mystery partner and some will say this was a letdown, but tell that to the fans in the building who were really hot for Jericho. They used Jericho to elevate Strowman more. I still question whether Strowman is worthy of this type of build, but perhaps they are setting up for a bigger surprise partner to take him down. They are in Los Angeles next month. Perhaps The Rock then? Or maybe they are just building up Strowman as much as possible to feed him to Reigns. Either way, Jericho pleased the crowd and served a purpose, and it looks like they set up something between him and Ambrose, which could be fun.

Another Brock Lesnar “Go To Hell Tour” commercial aired with Paul Heyman hyping his MSG match, Stone Cold Podcast, and Hell in a Cell match against Undertaker…

Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon told white outfit wearing Seth Rollins that he is the man. Rollins got fired up and said it’s time for him to prove that he’s the best. After Rollins left, Hunter and Stephanie agreed that Rollins is ready. Sheamus walked up with the Money in the Bank briefcase and said, “Yeah, he’s ready and so am I”…

The broadcast team spoke at ringside and set up footage of some of the legendary U.S. and WWE Champions, which they’ve been doing for each title tonight… A video package set up the last two matches…

Powell’s POV: I stand corrected. The idiot fan was able to enter the ring. He was wearing a vest similar to the one that Reigns wears. Thanks to Ernesto Cruz for passing along the video clip.

6. Seth Rollins vs. John Cena for the U.S. Championship. Eden handled the in-ring introductions for the title match. After some back and forth action, the broadcast team noted that Sting is probably backstage hoping the match goes on and on. For that matter, they said Sheamus feels the same way about both matches.

Cena performed a well executed sunset flip powerbomb for a two count at 7:15. A couple minutes later, Cena went for an Attitude Adjustment, but Rollins landed on his feet and caught him with a superkick to the gut and then connected with another superkick to the head of the kneeling Cena.

At 10:50, Cena avoided a splash from the ropes, then performed a tornado DDT for a two count. Rollins ended up catching Cena on the ropes and superplexed him, then immediately stood up and suplexed him and got a two count. Cool spot.

Cena caught Rollins in the STF, but Rollins reached the ropes at 13:30. Cena went for the AA, but Rollins slipped out and countered into a buckle bomb for a two count. At 15:10, Rollins went for an AA, but Cena countered into a reverse suplex. Cena went up top and performed a top rope leg drop onto Rollins, then put him down with an AA for the win…

John Cena defeated Seth Rollins in 15:45 to win the U.S. Championship.

After the match, Cena brought the title belt to ringside and celebrated with a younger fan who was likely a Make A Wish child. Rollins tried to leave with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but Cena stopped him and told him he has one more match. Rollins shoved Cena, who then put Rollins down with an Attitude Adjustment at ringside. Cena rolled Rollins inside the ring and headed to the back…

Powell’s POV: A win that brings back the popular U.S. Open Challenge and makes Rollins look vulnerable heading into the main event. You’d think Sting would be racing to the ring, but he had to let his shitty entrance theme play and then make his usual slow entrance, complete with a howl.

7. Seth Rollins vs. Sting for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Sting worked in his usual gear minus the t-shirt. Sting hit Rollins with a Stinger Splash and went for his submission finisher, but Rollins reached the ropes before he could completely lock it in. Rollins clotheslined Sting on the top rope. Rollins went for a cross body block off the second rope, but Sting rolled through and got a two count.

Sting backdropped Rollins to ringside at 1:00 and then followed him to ringside. Sting worked over Rollins at ringside and then rolled him inside the ring. JBL complained about how unfair the situation was for Rollins and he felt right even though Cole and Lawler acted like Rollins was finally getting his.

Sting and Rollins went back to ringside and ended up on top of Cole’s broadcast table. Rollins shoved Sting and he crashed through the Spanish broadcast table. Rollins teased leaving with the belt, but he returned and slammed Sting onto the broken table before rolling him back inside the ring. Rollins covered Sting for two at 6:00.

Powell’s POV: The Spanish table broke with ease, but one of the monitors may have hit Sting. He didn’t bleed, though, so hopefully it was one of those “near misses.”

Sting got back to his feet and threw punches at Rollins, who came back with a buckle bomb. At 9:05, Sting caught Rollins going for a springboard move and then shoved him off the top rope and into the barricade on the floor.

Rollins returned to the ring and Sting performed a couple of Stinger Splashes before clotheslining Rollins to the floor. Sting climbed to the top rope and performed a cross body block onto Rollins on the floor. The fans chanted “you’ve still got it.” Sting performed a Scorpion Death Drop and went for the cover, but Rollins put his foot on the bottom rope.

Sting performed another splash and then threw punches, but Rollins countered with a buckle bomb. Rollins kicked Sting’s back. Rollins went for a clothesline, but Sting collapsed. The referee and the trainer checked on Sting while Rollins mugged for the crowd.

Sting got back to his feet and the referee restarted the match. Rollins immediately went for a Pedigree, but Sting countered into the Scorpion Death Lock. Rollins reached the ropes to break the hold. A short time later, Sting went for the Scorpion Leg Lock again, but Rollins countered into an inside cradle for the win.

Seth Rollins defeated Sting in 15:20 to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Sheamus ran out with the Money in the Bank briefcase and Brogue Kicked Rollins in the face. Sheamus gave the briefcase to the referee. Kane’s music played and Sheamus took his briefcase and left the ring as Kane made his entrance in his old school mask. Once in the ring, Kane chokeslammed Rollins.

Sheamus entered the ring and told Kane to give him one more. Kane grabbed Sheamus by the throat and chokeslammed him. Cole noted that Sheamus never cashed in officially. Kane made the throat slashing gesture and put Rollins down with a tombstone pilediver. Kane’s music played.

Powell’s POV: The good news? Sting looked great without his t-shirt. In fact, I have no idea why they had him wearing it on television until leading up to this show. The bad news? The match was a mess and I have no idea what happened to Sting when he collapsed. Don’t get me wrong, Sting tried hard, but it’s asking a lot of a 56 year-old Sting to work a 15-minute main event even with someone as good as Rollins. The post-match with Kane and Sheamus didn’t do a lot for me, but the live crowd seemed receptive. The show held my interest because of the various title change scenarios, but I didn’t come out of this anxious to see what’s going to happen next. Thanks for watching along with me. I’ll be back later tonight with a member exclusive audio, and on Monday with a WWE NOC Hit List.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...


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