WWE Night of Champions Review: What were they thinking?

wweCluster at the end of Night of Champions: That’s all you can conjure here with reference to the screwjob ending to the Brock Lesnar-John Cena main event.

WWE had really put itself in an awkward position when it had Lesnar dominate Cena so thoroughly to win at the world title at SummerSlam, then put the two back in the main-event slot for Night of Champions without even a decent reason for Cena to get a return match, except that, well, Cena.

Cena got more offense in the rematch, but not much more. He did hit four AAs on Lesnar, with little effect, getting a one-count on the first a minute into the matchup, and had Lesnar locked in his STF late.

Before we could get a final resolution, Seth Rollins interfered to break up the count after Cena’s fourth AA, threw the former champ out of the ring, and seemed to initiate the process for cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase to get his immediate title shot at a weakened Lesnar.

Cena prevented that from happening, perhaps setting up his post-Lesnar feud. Or do we get a three-way feud with Lesnar, Cena and Rollins, since Lesnar ended the night without an obvious next dance partner?

This is one way you can tell that WWE doesn’t care in the slightest about the people who still fork over $54.95 for what it has called for years its “pay-per-view” events. The ending to this one is more for episodic television like Raw or Smackdown than it is for the monthly extravaganza.

 

What to do now that Roman Reigns is out? WWE reported during the broadcast that Roman Reigns is expected to be out for “several months” after undergoing emergency hernia surgery over the weekend. I’ve seen the time estimate for a return from that kind of surgery at closer to 12 weeks, so it could be that WWE is overselling it to make it seem like an earlier return from Reigns is a bit aggressive on his part.

But what if Reigns is out several months? Even 12 week pushes a Reigns return to around the first of the year, or just before the Royal Rumble. If Reigns is to win the Rumble to set up his main-event challenge to Lesnar for the WWE title, as we’ve been led to expect dating back to the spring, is that enough time to build him back up for the fans to buy into the Reigns character again?

And what if by “several months” a Reigns return isn’t to come until after the Rumble? I’m sure WWE doesn’t want to go there in its thinking right now. So much has been invested in a Reigns-Lesnar match for WrestleMania 31 that creative will just have to stay the course for the time being, and somehow build up both halves of its WM31 main event with the stars largely in absentia.

 

And then they just dropped the Bella Twins angle completely: The ending to the Divas three-way title match made no sense whatsoever. The big deal for weeks has been that Nikki Bella was finally getting her shot, and finally getting out from under the shadow of Brie Bella, who made a cameo backstage appearance on Night of the Champions to, among other things, call her sister “a bitch.” (Clever writing there.)

So naturally, the Nikki-Brie storyline was going to figure heavily into the outcome in the match with Nikki, AJ Lee and Divas champion Paige.

Um, no. As it turned out, AJ once again forced Paige to submit to her Black Widow, and Nikki was nowhere to be found at the finish, or after the match, as AJ celebrated, and Paige mourned her defeat. She just … disappeared. No Nikki, no Brie, not even a mention of all that had transpired.

Who writes this crap, who produces it, and do they have a continuity editor?

 

Nice win for Rusev: We continue to build toward the inevitable Rusev-John Cena match, maybe at Royal Rumble, with Rusev getting the submission on Mark Henry. Henry did a solid job as the oversized enhancement talent.

WWE has been getting plenty of heat for playing up Rusev and Lana as the head cheerleaders in the Putin fanclub, to which I say, Good. Heat, pop, that’s what wrestling is supposed to be all about.

 

Florida-Georgia Line? I love the group, the music, but whatever pop WWE gets out of having them get physical in the Miz-Dolph Ziggler Intercontinental Title match will last … nope, the bubble has already burst.

 

Technical issues, again: This seems to be the case for me every month. This time around, I’m on vacation, and wanted to watch the big show on my PC with its 25-inch monitor, as opposed to having to watch on my iPad. For a solid 51 minutes, I was locked out, the reason why not known to me, the only thing that was known coming from the error messages telling me to sign up for WWE Network, and upon clicking on the link, getting a screen with a link to “Watch,” since I was logged in, and my account is current.

I wait on hold for customer service for more than 25 minutes, finally get somebody to answer, a non-native English speaker, who took all of my info (email, phone number, address, etc.), then transferred me to a supervisor, also a non-native English speaker, who had me give her all of the same info.

Eventually the show just came on by itself on the PC.

For all the endless hype WWE is giving to $9.99, for good reason, since the product isn’t selling, you’d think the company would put more resources into keeping the customers that it already has. Glitches happen; the sin isn’t the glitch, it’s the response. The response on the night of Night of Champions was so piss-poor that WWE doesn’t deserve my business, or yours.

– Column by Chris Graham

 

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