Even Seth Rollins isn’t allowed to beat John Cena two straight times. That was among the things we learned at Sunday’s WWE Night of Champions, which ended predictably with Cena topping Rollins for the U.S. title, and Rollins then pinning Sting to defend the WWE title.
Sheamus then, as expected, came down to the ring with his Money in the Bank briefcase, the obvious threat being that he would cash in against a worn-out Rollins. Except that Kane made a dramatic return, chokeslamming Rollins, chokeslamming Sheamus, then delivering a tombstone piledriver to Rollins, as if any of that made any sense from a storyline perspective.
Or from a perspective that would make fans want to tune in for more. Seriously, putting the mask and fake long hair back on Corporate Kane does little to add intrigue to a character that could have used a much, much longer vacation.
The return of the Cartoon Kane can only portend a Kane-Rollins match at Hell in the Cell, and God help us sit through that one.
At least we know we get the final Undertaker-Brock Lesnar match at Hell in a Cell. And that we might have something brewing between Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho, the mystery partner in the six-man match with the Wyatt Family, who tagged himself as Reigns was about to close out the match, then ended up submitting to Braun Strowman.
The Dudleys-New Day feud continues with the DQ finish to the tag title match, and the 3-D through a table delivered to Xavier Woods, so that’s something to look forward to.
Charlotte won the Divas title from Nikki Bella, and word is that current ally Paige could end up turning on her to set up what would be a promising feud between the two best women’s wrestlers in the world today.
So we have that. And we have a main-roster belt on Kevin Owens, who won the Intercontinental strap from Ryback. Smart move by WWE to further the Owens push, though it’s not clear right off what is next in store for KO.
For what it’s worth, we could do with less Rusev-Dolph Ziggler, but we’re probably, unfortunately, due more, to resolve the silliness between Ziggler and Summer Rae, as creative waits for Lana to heal from her wrist injury so that she can be reunited with Rusev.
Here’s to creative reviving the Rusev-loves-Russia angle that had the power couple with more heat than any heel duo WWE has put together in years.
And while there’s nothing for him in the interim, kudos to Sting for finishing out the match tonight at Night of Champions after appearing to suffer some sort of upper-body injury. Whatever it was, it looked painful, and it took a lot for Sting and Rollins to work out on the fly a quick ending to the match that made sense given that it was the main event, and they did so in a most logical way.
Which brings us back to, first, Cena. Giving the devil his due, it’s good to have the U.S. belt back around his waist, if only because the U.S. title challenge was a highlight on Raw this summer, and we can only hope that creative will revive the challenge now that Cena is again the U.S. champ.
Then there’s Rollins and Kane. Ugh. There has been buildup, months of it, so you know creative thinks we’re just bursting in anticipation of the payoff, though we’re not.
Either way, the payoff is to come.
The ratings, in the dumper the past few weeks, have not quite reached a nadir, though that is in the offing.
– Column by Chris Graham