With WWE Night of Champions in the history books, PWP Nation’s Eron Ramadanov talks about what we learned from this pay-per-view.
WWE Night of Champions is in the books, which means it’s time to figure out what we learned from the pay-per-view. I don’t think there’s any secret that after SummerSlam, WWE tends to have some “downer” months, as far as drawing and putting together feuds, matches and storylines to keep “hardcore” fans invested and involved. Well, WWE Night of Champions, in my opinion, delivered what it needed to.
PWPNation.com will have so much post-WWE Night of Champions coverage, that I’m going to take a backseat and allow fellow colleagues to give you their thoughts on the card itself. My job, as far as this column is concerned, is to give you things we learned as a result of this pay-per-view.
So, let’s get into “what we learned”…
We learned that Seth Rollins has unbelievable endurance
Say what you want about Seth Rollins‘ WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign, you can not deny that his in-ring work has continued to get better and he proved on Sunday night that he can go for as long as they need him too. Rollins took some punishment in both matches, but powered on and dominated a good portion of this pay-per-view, whether it was backstage or in the ring. Seth Rollins’ endurance is a tribute to his insane workout schedule, as he’s a huge advocate and participator in the world of crossfit. CrossFit workouts incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises. Rollins has talked about it publicly as something that has changed his life and has allowed him to stay so healthy.
Rollins’ match with John Cena was a lot like the match they had at WWE SummerSlam. These two have a certain chemistry that works extremely well together and are able to play off each other very well. Rollins’ second contest with Sting was a very different style. It had a slower, more methodical pace, where the protagonist was in control of the match, as Rollins was competing in match number two at that point. No matter the outcome of either match, we learned that Seth Rollins is in incredible shape and can be relied upon to carry two matches in one night.
We learned that The New Day are turning into babyfaces whether WWE wants it or not
The evolution of The New Day is one of the most interesting things I’ve ever seen. Starting out as “over-the-top” babyfaces, that fans, young and old, rebelled against. Then turning into a heel faction that was overly positive, which in result fans started to cheer for because of their ridiculous antics; now, they are being cheered on a consistent basis, and actually received a larger reaction at WWE Night of Champions than fan-favorites and 9-time WWE Tag Team Champions in the Dudley Boyz.
It has some people baffled. But not me. I know exactly why fans are accepting The New Day.
They’re being themselves. Yes, The New Day are hilarious and enormously entertaining, but the ultimate reason as to why fans of all ages are starting to cheer for these supposed heels is because they’re being themselves. WWE is allowing these three guys to go out there and do what they want to do, how they want to do it. We’re seeing three highly talented guys, working together and producing something that fans are having fun with. For me, The New Day is one of the highlights on WWE television. I look forward to them on RAW, Smackdown and pay-per-views. They cheer me up and make me laugh, which in the end, is what it’s all about.
But WWE does have a problem on their hands, because they want this group to be “bad guys”… when that’s just not going to happen.
We learned that fans are “over” Chris Jericho
Let me prelude this statement with this: I really enjoy Chris Jericho. I think he’s one of the greatest of all time and a headlining candidate for the WWE Hall of Fame one day. But fans don’t care about Chris Jericho anymore, as sad as that may be. Sure, when Jericho’s music hits and his fireworks explode, fans pop for him because they respect the hell out of Chris Jericho and the career he’s had. But as the match came to an end, it was clear that the fans just didn’t have a care in the world for Y2J.
But there’s a way to change that and we saw it at the very end of this match/segment; a Chris Jericho heel run. Y2J has run his course as a babyface in WWE. It’s over. But I, along with many others, would be very interested in Chris Jericho returning for a final heel run, channeling his 2008 persona against Shawn Michaels or his 2010 character against Edge. That’s my favorite Chris Jericho. Sure, the fan-favorite Jericho is cool too, but Chris is at his best as a bad guy. Simple as that.
Now, we saw at the very end of the match after the Wyatt Family walked off victorious, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose stood in the ring, wondering what happened, where out of nowhere, Y2J walked through Ambrose and Reigns (making contact), showing that he just doesn’t care about what happened or that he was frustrated with the loss. I don’t know why Jericho did that, but it’s clearly going to lead to something, but I have no idea what. If it’s a Y2J heel turn… sign me up!
We learned that WWE cares about Kevin Owens
The heading for this section might sound weird, but for a while, I wasn’t sure if WWE (mainly Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn) cared about how Kevin Owens was booked. I have been a critic of the way the Owens/Cena thing was booked. I was upset about the WAY Owens lost to Cena, more than Owens losing to Cena. Either way, that’s old news. At WWE Night of Champions, it was proven that WWE wants Owens to be successful and they showed that by giving his the Intercontinental Championship.
Personally, I’m a huge mark for Kevin Owens. Along with The New Day, he’s one of the very few things I’m truly invested in, as far as WWE’s product is concerned. So his win over Ryback was a pretty big deal to me and many other Owens fans. The match between the two was solid, and I’ve expressed several times that I believe Ryback is a really good performer and has gotten better over time. Another sign of WWE being invested in Kevin Owens is the fact that he oddly came out second, after the champion. Owens came out to a thunderous pop, which made it clear to me that he would be walking away the new IC champion and rightfully so.
We learned that Sting can still go
For me, this was no surprise. I remember leading into WrestleMania 31, many critics started to say that because Sting was so old, he wouldn’t be able to go and used what they saw in TNA Wrestling as something to based that opinion on. I went on record as saying that Sting is such a professional, that we would never step into a WWE ring, unless he believed he was ready and able to put on a good match for the people watching. Same goes for WWE Night of Champions. Sting came out looking better than he did at WrestleMania 31.
But sadly, Sting took a really bad bump, where Rollins delivered a “buckle bomb”, which we’ve now found out could end the career of Sting. Replays showed Sting’s neck and head whipping violently into the top turnbuckle. He staggered out of the corner, his right leg wobbling before he fell to the mat. After the event, veteran wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer that “Sting’s injury was legitimate and we’re trying to get more information on it. The early reports we have is that the injury was significant.” WWE.com confirmed there was an injury, but offered no details.
Even though Sting ended up sustaining an injury, I don’t see why Rollins would deliver that move. In my opinion, that move is dangerous, even for someone who is an active, day-to-day member of the main roster, let alone someone who is 56 years old and has been wrestling for over 20 years. Personally, I felt that move was a bit reckless and knew as soon as it was delivered that something was wrong. Rumors have been circulating that this could end Sting’s career. If it does, that will be a sad way to go.
Final Thoughts on WWE Night of Champions
Overall, I felt like the show was a success. It did what it needed to do as far as changing a lot of the landscape up with several new champions in Kevin Owens, Charlotte and John Cena. The show implemented several new pieces to the main event picture with the return of Kane (which I thought was a success). As I said at the top of the article, this is a “downer-show” in one of the “downer” months of the year, where the popularity of WWE is usually at a low. For the time period, this show was solid, with a lot of great wrestling and good storyline progression.
Thanks for reading, everyone!