Seth Rollins starts things off basically giving an overview of all that has went on in the past few weeks as a way of previewing Night of Champions. The US/WWE Champion vows to finish off Sting AND John Cena at the PPV. The crow "caw caw"'s and Sting pops up on the screen. He is seen with Rollins' statue and dares him to come get it. Oh boy. This is so generic. Sting disappears from the screen and Rollins is furious. Before he can say anything, Sheamus comes out with the Money in the Bank briefcase and warns him that he could end up having a total of three matches at NOC. Rollins once again looks completely out of his element which I believe is setting up for him to overcome just about all of it in some form or fashion.
1) Paige vs. Sasha Banks
I was excited for this yet I wasn't. Sasha is amazing, but Paige has been underwhelming for a while now. Their last meeting on Raw wasn't as good as expected so I had nothing to really look forward to here. Despite all this, I can say they had a solid match here that was better than their first meeting. There were a few awkward moments and they didn't pick up a lot of steam until the final sequence however once they got going it was decent. THEN the finish happened and it was meh in every sense of the term. What looked like a double pin is awarded to Sasha. One other minor thing that irked me was that Sasha's music played as soon as the bell rang BEFORE a winner was announced after a controversial pin. I'm no huge advocate for "keeping it kayfabe" so to speak, but c'mon.
Match rating - **1/2
2) Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. The Ascension
Fine little three minute sprint. Both Ambrose & Reigns get their signatures in then they do a LOD tribute, I'm guessing, as they nail The Ascension with the Doomsday Device. It didn't quite get the reaction I expected and the commentators didn't say too much either. It was still a cool moment, though. Reigns gets the win for his team with a spear that Ambrose got muffed with as well.
Match rating - **1/4
Renee Young is backstage with Ryback. He's got a Champion vs Champion Match coming up next with Seth Rollins. This interview is interrupted right near the end by Kevin Owens who is eating AN APPLE! BIG KEV! Owens says the line of the century with "You look a little hungry, just make sure not to bite off more than you can chew" and then takes a huge bite out of the apple before walking off. I'm so ready for this feud. They had an INTENSE exchange in a multi-man a few weeks ago that made me beg for this to happen. I guess someone inside WWE saw the potential as well because it looks like that's what we're getting. This segment was better than anything that preceeded it.
3) Seth Rollins vs. Ryback - Champion vs Champion Match
Just like with everything else tonight, it started off like it was in slow motion or something. The crowd & commentary team seemed so mildly interested despite the two top champions working hard. Rollins & Ryback would soon get everyone into it, though. This was a good match with a number of nice exchanges, counters, & callbacks. Ryback showed his desperation to win in this huge match by going for a frogsplash off the top rope. Rollins showed his willingness to win via any means necesarry by trying to keep Ryback outside the ring for a ten count by repeatedly nailing him with dives. This approach is going well when Rollins goes for another dive and Ryback RUNS IN FOR A SPINEBUSTER! Crowd's pretty fired up off that move. Sting comes on the screen soon after this and it's whatever. Rollins turns around, Ryback rolls him up, 1..2..3 -- RYBACK HAS PINNED THE WWE CHAMPION?!!?
Match rating - ***
The best segment ever takes place backstage at this point as Seth Rollins is yelling for Sting when he runs into his partners for later in the night, the WWE Tag Team Champions, The New Day. They start singing and dancing. Rollins starts yelling and up walks EDGE AND CHRISTIAN. Edge challenges Rollins to try and end his career now like he threatened to do at the end of last year. Rollins teases then walks off saying he has a lot on his plate. New Day and E&C get into a musicianship battle. New Day with the trumpet and Christian with the KAZOO. Big E grabs the Kazoo and sticks it in his mouth then throws it to the ground. Just when you think things can't get better, here comes THE DUDLEY BOYS to back up Edge & Christian. Bully/Bubba is yelling and it's awesome. The Dudleys debut their new song "Get the tables" with E&C doing back up vocals.
And with a great segment comes the inevitable horrible one. They've been hyping this drama love story up all night between Summer/Rusev/Dolph/Lana. It made me cringe each time and it got worse with Summer crying & explaining herself to "the victim of this entire thing", Rusev. Rusev accepts her apology and says Summer is the real victim. Rusev says Lana isn't here because she's heartbroken not because she has a broken wrist. Dolph comes out and delivers Lana message to Rusev - a superkick.
4) Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
This happened and that was about it. Went way too long for it's own good. The only memorable spot was Sheamus hitting an Irish Curse backbreaker on the outside. Orton wins with a nice RKO out of nowhere for a good pop. Whoo.
Match rating - **1/4
The Wyatt Family attacks Orton after the match with Braun Strowman choking him out. I like this as it writes Orton off as a potential partner for Ambrose & Reigns plus it sets up a feud for him whenever he returns from what looks like will be some time off.
5) The Dudley Boys vs. Los Matadores
The show isn't doing well at this point, but The Dudleys wake it up slightly. Fairly quick squash with the Dudleys winning after a 3D. Post match, the Matadores turn on El Torito for some reason and Bubba & Devon make them pay with a powerbomb through a table.
Match rating - **1/4
6) Cesaro vs. The Miz
WHOO, CESARO! I thought we weren't gonna see him tonight so I was pleasantly surprised. He had his supposedly non existant charisma on display here with the HEY's and taking JBL's cowboy hat. So much so that Cole said, "Who says he doesn't have charisma?" This match was actually going good because Cesaro is awesome and Miz can easily have a solid match if put with the right person THEN Big Show decides to run in. And literally, run. I was annoyed, but I couldn't not laugh at this. Show would sprint for a few seconds then stop in the most awkward chase ever. He finally floors Miz and then KO punches Cesaro on the way out. What the fuck, man?
Match rating - **1/2
Team Bella came out. They're interrupted by Team PCB. Things are said and then a brawl breaks out. Simply a hype segment for the title match at Night of Champions.
7) John Cena & The Prime Time Players vs. Seth Rollins & New Day
I enjoyed this too much. PTP getting their first true main event slot, Rollins/Cena, and the MVP's of the show tonight, New Day. Cena gets worked for over and a lengthy amount of time here. It never gets old though because New Day is so charismatic in how they do things plus Rollins fits right in. Woods is outside yelling & playing the trumpet the whole time to top things off. This was just fantastic. It all builds to the hot tag for TITUS! He cleans house and OH MY GOD, he got the crowd hype as hell. It nearly had me out of my seat. He was getting everyone pumped and doing the URRA URRA URAA. It was beautiful. Crazy final minute or two then Cena gets the pin on Kofi with an FU.
Match rating - ***1/4