Sunday, September 21, 2014

Night of Champions Predictions

Thanks to my new job, this will be the first Pay-Per-View on the WWE Network that I am unable to watch live. I'll have to start it at 9:15 when I get off but that's fine, I'm still here to dish out my predictions. The card looks underwhelming to say the least, although the news of Roman Reigns' hernia injury opens up the intrigue. Now, we have another top face down, which brings the count in 2014 up to four, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns.

This is one of the two matches that I'm looking forward to least. Rusev's feud with Mark Henry has been a lot less entertaining than his feud with Jack Swagger, mainly because we get less Lana vs. Zeb Colter. Having these two close the go home show on Raw was terrible because not many people care for this. Anyway, Rusev is going to stay undefeated until someone important can stop him and Mark Henry isn't that guy.

Winner: Rusev

I know people got their panties in a bunch when The Usos retained the WWE Tag Team Titles against Erick Rowan and Luke Harper at Money in the Bank and Battleground, but I was fine with it. I love the Usos and they've been the best tag team in 2014, while Cody Rhodes and Goldust were arguably the best team in 2013. Nobody could top them for a few months but then they got pushed aside. I wish it was still the regular Brotherhood but I enjoy the Dust Brothers and this could steal the show. Usos retain, sending the Dust Brothers further off the deep end.

Winners: The Usos

One of the matches with the worst builds on the card tonight. Cesaro has done nothing of note since WrestleMania XXX and that will more than likely continue tonight. However, this is a match that I think could be affected by the Roman Reigns injury. With Reigns out, the WWE is in dire need of top faces and Sheamus has filled that role and filled it well. Two days ago, this would've been an easy choice of Sheamus, but I can see Cesaro stealing one and Sheamus moving back up in the card.

Winner: Cesaro

The Intercontinental Championship getting shine is always fun, even though I don't see either of these guys moving up in the card following this feud. The stuff with the stunt doubles has been original and different, which I appreciate and I'm sure this will at least be a solid match. These two Ohioans are really good friends in real life, so their chemistry is pretty good. With the title changing hands on the last two Pay-Per-Views, I don't see that happening again here.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

I can see this going one of two ways. There's the good way, in which Brie Bella ruins Nikki's chance to become Divas Champion and Paige gets to keep the title. Or the bad way, where Nikki wins the belt to that her program with Brie can have the Divas Title. I don't think their stuff needs the Title since they have Total Divas and a built in sibling rivalry, plus I don't think they should cut the legs off of another Paige title run. I'm going with my heart here.

Winner: Paige

Here is the match with the least build and the one that I care the least about besides Henry/Rusev. This has, literally no point. Randy Orton attacked Chris Jericho because, and these are his words, "What can I say? It's the Season Premiere." I don't even want to write more about this. I expect a good match because it's these two, but with little to no heat.

Winner: Randy Orton

As stated earlier, Roman Reigns is going to miss six or more weeks following his hernia surgery. After seeing him beat Seth Rollins on free television, I expected Seth to win here thanks to shenanigans from Kane. However, with Reigns out, I sense Seth comes out and calls for a forfeit victory before Dean Ambrose returns to a massive pop. I doubt they'll actually have a match as I can see that being saved for Hell in a Cell, but it should be fun.

Winner: N/A

Man, the WWE better not screw this up. Having Brock Lesnar obliterate John Cena at SummerSlam was the correct move and having Cena win back the belt here would be terrible booking. Brock needs to remain the dominant Champion that he is. Cena can put up a better fight this time around, but he doesn't need that 16th title here.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

WWE Network Reviews: Night of Champions 2010

Night of Champions 2010
September 19th, 2010 – Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois – Attendance: 13,851

So, after airing in June in 2008 and in July in 2009, Night of Champions moves to September in 2010. That's where it has stayed since then and this just so happens to take place in Chicago, a hotbed for wrestling. This show was the first after Nexus got destroyed by John Cena at SummerSlam. Both Cena and the Nexus leader, Wade Barrett would compete in a Six Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship on this card. I also remember this card featuring Kane vs. The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship and it features Daniel Bryan's first title match as he faces the Miz for the United States Title. Should be at least decent fun.

As is the case for the past two years of this show, the Champions are showcased in the intro video. There are seven titles on the line and eight matches tonight. The commentary team is Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Matt Striker. I'm so happy Striker is there to save this team.

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dolph Ziggler (c) w/ Vickie Guerrero and Kaitlyn vs. Kofi Kingston

Dolph and Kaitlyn was something that just completely worked. I loved their NXT Season 3 stuff. Also, if Dolph is disqualified or counted out, Kofi Kingston becomes the Champion. An athletic sequence to start as Striker talks about Vickie looking hot in her Lane Bryant outfit. Kofi knocks Dolph outside and Kaitlyn checks on him, so Vickie sends her to the back. Well, there goes my eye candy. Kofi misses a splash in the corner and crashes there. Michael Cole wants Vickie to do a book on tape so he can listen to her voice more. Kofi runs into a big boot from Dolph for two. Dolph wears down Kofi with a sleeper hold and when Kofi rallies, he eats a Fameasser for two. Dolph goes to another sleeper of sorts and hits a very high jumping elbow for a near fall. Kofi goes up and hits a cross body that Dolph jumped into to make it look better. SELLING. A series of reversals ends with a Lou Thez Press, RIGHT HANDS RIGHT HANDS THE RATTLESNAKE STRIKES. Boom Drop from Kofi and he signals for Trouble in Paradise. Dolph ducks and gets the Sleeper Hold, but Kofi counters into the SOS! He covers but Dolph gets his foot on the bottom rope. When he rolls outside, Kofi meets him with a lame looking splash. Inside, the Sleeper Hold is on again and Kofi fades but rallies. He breaks it and puts one of his own on! Dolph breaks it and Vickie goes to slap Kofi but Dolph shouts at her not to do it. Kofi tries to hit Trouble in Paradise while his back is turned but Dolph ducks and connects with the Zig Zag.

Winner and Still WWE Intercontinental Champion: Dolph Ziggler in 12:42
Good opener. Dolph continued to try and use his sleeper hold but Kofi had an answer for nearly everything. These two always had good chemistry. ***

ESPN's Todd Grisham interviews Edge about the Six Pack Challenge and his worries, but he's very confident. Basic stuff.

Big Show vs. CM Punk
CM Punk gets a positive reaction but nothing compared to what he'd get at every Chicago show following Money in the Bank 2011. I'm pretty sure this is around when Punk started getting frustrated with the company. He was the best heel in the company but was in a useless match here. He cuts a promo on how much he loves Chicago but hates the people. Punk starts with kicks to the legs wisely, but Show headbutts him and stops that. Show chops Punk so hard that he falls over the top. Punk hits a knee to the face and then does an impressive front flip to the outside. I've never seen that to the outside. He rolls inside and is hoping for the countout win but Show is in at nine. Punk continues to be in the driver's seat until he jumps off the top and is met with a huge Spear. Show knocks out Punk and it's over. 

Winner: Big Show in 4:43
Not much here. Punk impressed with a few things but this wasn't very important or memorable. **

Josh Matthews now interviews Chris Jericho about the Six Pack Challenge. Similar to Edge's promo, he's confident and brings up beating The Rock and Stone Cold in the same night, winning a Scramble Match and winning an Elimination Chamber. 

WWE United States Championship
The Miz (c) w/ Alex Riley vs. Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan is rocking some super generic music. In the first wrestling sequence, Miz overpowers Bryan but his hip toss is blocked and Bryan attempts to lock on the LeBelle Lock but Miz escapes. Bryan hits a huge dropkick and goes back to working on the arm. Michael Cole is incredibly annoying with “Miz Boner” going for the whole match. Miz actually uses some submissions early on that target Bryan's arm to hopefully negate the LeBelle Lock. Bryan counters a hammerlock in a very cool way with a backflip, but he still gets a shoulderbreaker from Miz. Striker is on point tonight as he says Miz channeled Arn Anderson and that he should be in the Hall of Fame. Miz continues to focus on the arm with a sick looking move on the ropes. Bryan uses Miz's momentum to send him outside and follows with a suicide dive that wakes the crowd up. Inside, Bryan hits a dropkick for two while Alex Riley looks like a worried douche. They trade punches until Bryan is like, “I'll just kick you a bunch.” His last kick is one right to the head but Miz kicks out. Bryan sets Miz up on top but gets pushed onto the rope where he is crotched. Miz follows from the second rope with a big clothesline, which is a spot that Bryan used to do with Nigel McGuinness albeit much more violently then. Miz goes right back to the left arm and pulls back on it hard. Bryan counters the Skull Crushing Finale into a pin but Miz kicks out. Bryan goes for the LeBelle Lock but Riley gets on the apron. Miz accidentally knocks him off and Bryan gets a two count with a rollup. Miz uses a small package to get two of his own. He snaps and fires away with lefts on the challenger and gets pulls away by the referee. He goes in again but Bryan catches him in the LeBelle Lock and Miz taps out!

Winner and New WWE United States Champion: Daniel Bryan in 12:29
Along with his Falls Count Anywhere match against John Morrison, this is my favorite Miz match ever. Daniel sold the shoulder work extremely well and everything about this match was enjoyable. Really good stuff and historic as it's Bryan's first title victory. ***3/4

Josh Matthews is conducting another interview with a Six Pack Challenge competitor, this time John Cena. Cena talks about all of the percentages in a very Rock like promo. Not as funny, but along the same lines. It wasn't bad.

WWE Divas and Women's Championship Unification Lumberjill Match
Melina (c) vs. Michelle McCool (c)

When Matt Striker sees the Lumberjills, he remarks “Jillian Hall is still here?”. They do a callback to their match last year as Michelle McCool goes to dropkick Melina during her split entrance again but Melina dodges. Melina goes for a move in the corner but McCool knocks her outside. The Divas don't do anything to her though as it's clear that they're only really pissed at McCool. Michelle hits the Moonlight Drive for two, showing how weak John Morrison's finisher was. Faithbreaker is countered into a facebuster as Melina must have watched some Billy Kidman before this. Michelle comes back with a belly to belly suplex though. Melina gets a rollup but the referee is distracted by Natalya, so McCool kicks out. She runs out to beef with Natalya and gets attacked by every Diva. Rosa Mendes, in her awfulness, decides to try and hit Jillian and it's a laughably bad botch. Melina dodges a McCool bit boot with a Matrix type move, but McCool slams her to the mat. Both girls fall outside and the Lumberjills just stand around watching them until it's just McCool and things break out again. Layla and Melina go at it in the ring and Layla is tossed out. McCool sneaks in and hits a big boot to end it.

Winner and New Divas and Women's Champion: Michelle McCool in 6:34
Not as good as their match the previous year, but still a solid women's contest. It's crazy how most of the girls around the ring and in the match are no longer with the company. **

Layla and Michelle McCool each leave with a championship. Todd Grisham finds Wade Barrett and asks for thoughts on the Six Pack Challenge.

World Heavyweight Championship No Holds Barred
Kane (c) vs. The Undertaker

The promo package for this goes all the way back to the beginning of their history in 1997, which is cool. I really want to know who decided to change Kane's theme from “Slow Chemical” because they should be fired. Undertaker is pissed about this too as he attacks Kane during his entrance. They fight up there for a few minutes and gradually make their way to ringside where Kane tosses his brother into the steel steps. Nothing of real note happens as it's pretty basic and boring. When they finally get in the ring, Kane hits a flying clothesline. They go back outside and Kane throws Taker on the announce table and hits him with the top piece. Taker sends him into the steps to get a bit of an opening. Guillotine leg drop from the Phenom and he's starting to get in his offense. He clotheslines Kane into the time keeper's area and leaps over onto him in a cool spot. The fight now spills into the crowd for a while. They make it back to the ring and Kane is back in the driver's seat. He channels the Undertaker with jabs in the corner. Undertaker rallies with his clothesline, snake eyes, big boot and leg drop but only gets a near fall. Undertaker goes for the Tombstone but Kane counters with his own and covers to earn a clean victory over his brother.

Winner and New World Heavyweight Champion: Kane in 18:29
Well that was boring. They brawled for most of the match but it wasn't anything worth watching. Seeing The Undertaker get beat cleanly was surprising though. *3/4

Randy Orton is interviewed about the Six Pack Challenge. It's nothing special.

WWE Tag Team Championship Turmoil Match
The Hart Dynasty (c) w/ Natalya vs. Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre vs. Evan Bourne and Mark Henry vs. Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Usos w/ Tamina

The first two teams are the Hart Dynasty and The Usos, and it's crazy to see how far the Usos have come. Striker mentions that he likes to play “Six Degrees of the Hart Dungeon” and I totally want to play this in my free time now. Some solid action to start and Smith hits a sweet belly to belly. When the Usos retreat outside, Kidd nails a gorgeous top rope Asai moonsault onto them. Tamina tries to intervene so Natalya stops her, but an Uso kicks Kidd in the head, allowing the other to pin him and we're guaranteed new Tag Team Champions. It was a weak elimination. Santino and Kozlov are out next to a huge pop. They are in control as Santino tries the Cobra. Tamina gets on the apron to do the Cobra too, which allows The Usos to his a Samoan Drop and eliminate them quickly. Mark Henry and Evan Bourne are next in. Bourne hits some kicks, knees and a hurricanrana to get the crowd excited. Henry eventually hits the World's Strongest Slam and Bourne follows with AirBourne as the Usos are gone. The final team to enter are Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre, who would go on to be called The Dashing Ones. McIntyre starts with his mean streak as he works over Bourne. He and Cody do this for a bit because Bourne makes sense as the face in peril on his team. McIntyre hits an interesting backbreaker before applying a chin lock. Bourne counters a suplex and hits a big knee as he makes the hot tag to the Kool-Aid man. He wails away on both of his opponents for a bit. Bourne gets tagged and climbs onto Mark's shoulders. McIntyre cuts that off and Cody is able to beat Bourne.

Winners and New WWE Tag Team Champions: Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre in 11:29
Rapid fire match here. Quick eliminations allowed for nothing to be a down point. When it got to the end, it was your basic tag team match which was fine. **1/2

We get a vignette for big deal, fairly quick himself, Alberto Del Rio. He shows off how rich he is and calls the fans mentally constipated, which is a new one. The video package for the main event is shown and then Sheamus is interviewed. Again, it's nothing special.

WWE Championship Six Pack Challenge
Sheamus (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Edge vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett

We get in ring introductions for each guy and Michael Cole mentions that the guys in the ring have a combined 32 World Title reigns. Once the bell hits, everyone brawls and some of it spills outside. Cena and Jericho get into a fist fight and if I'm Jericho, I avoided the one guy that I've never beaten in the WWE. And just as I type that, Jericho gets a bulldog and then eats an RKO to be eliminated at 1:25. Everyone stops working and just looks in disbelief at Jericho getting knocked off. He would leave after this show until the start of 2012. When the shock is over and Jericho's gone, Wade Barrett finds himself surrounded by the other four guys. They all owe him for the Nexus attacks to they beat him up. Orton and Cena end up together and they try to act like the crowd is excited, but they're not. It's happened way too often to be special. It gets interrupted so the WWE's poster children throw everyone out again and it's just them. They go for their finishers instantly but continue to counter each other for a bit. Sheamus starts to beat on Cena in the ring while everyone else is down. He sets up for the Celtic Cross but Cena fights out. Sheamus pretty much owned Cena in their early feud. Edge and Sheamus hit Cena with a double second rope suplex. On the outside, the unit of Edgemus toss Barrett into the barricade and continue to work well together. Edge eventually sees a chance and goes to Spear Sheamus but misses. He eventually hits the Spear and then hits one on Orton before eating an AA from Cena, which eliminates him at 15:00.

Wade Barrett targets John Cena and gives a precursor to his bare knuckle character by punching Cena a few times. He goes for Wasteland but of course, it's reversed to the AA, which gets reversed into a DDT. Cena comes back and hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Wade avoids the AA. Sheamus gets in and is put in the STF but manages to reach the ropes. The Nexus runs down but John Cena fights them off until he gets caught with Wasteland. Wade pins him and the crowd pops hard at 18:58. Nexus rolls Randy Orton into the ring and then get on the apron but Cena attacks with a chair. The members who get in are all met with RKOs and Orton hits Wade with a backbreaker. He follows with an RKO and eliminates Wade at 20:32.Well, the fall of Wade Barrett continues. Sheamus connects with the Brogue Kick but Orton gets his shoulder up. High Cross is reversed into an RKO and Orton wins his seventh World Title.

Winner and New WWE Champion: Randy Orton 21:28
As with most Six Pack Challenges, this was fun. The early Jericho elimination was a shock and the time until the next elimination featured a cool team up of Sheamus and Edge. Everything after that was fast paced, but I feel that Wade could've won here to save the Nexus angle. ***3/4

Overall: 6/10. Average. Of the Night of Champions series, this was the worst so far. It was still not a bad show though. The opener was good and the only other matches that are worth checking out are the main event and the United States Title match. The World Title match was boring and the other matches are just passable.