Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Night of Champions 2015
Date: September 20, 2015
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
This is the definition of a B level pay per view but there are some interesting stories to bolster things up between Summerslam and Survivor Series. The big story tonight is Seth Rollins defending both the United States and WWE World Titles against John Cena and Sting respectfully. Other than that we’ll get to find out who Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose’s partner is against the Wyatt Family. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Stardust/Ascension vs. Lucha Dragons/Neville
Stardust and Neville have been feuding for a few weeks now and the teams were brought in to make the battle even bigger. Konor easily counters Cara’s sunset flip with some choking but Cara comes back with a spinning cross….headbutt to the arm. Off to Stardust vs. Kalisto with Konor getting in a cheap shot to help his partner. With the announcers debating whether the Ascension are Stardust’s henchmen, Kalisto headscissors Stardust down and all six come in for a standoff. The bad guys are sent to the floor with the Dragons hitting stereo suicide dives and Neville adding an Asai moonsault as we take an early break.
Back with Viktor shouldering Kalisto into the corner to take over. Stardust comes in and works on the arm before it’s back to Viktor, who puts Kalisto on top. You don’t put a luchador on the top rope though as he hits a great looking hurricanrana and makes the tag off to Neville. We hit the series of kicks and a middle rope Phoenix splash gets two. Stardust’s Disaster Kick misses and Neville goes up top, only to have Stardust shove Viktor into the corner. Neville staggers into the Queen’s Crossbow for the pin at 9:46.
Rating: C-. Fine enough match here as Neville got to come in and clean house while the feud gets to keep going for another month or so. They’re letting this one fly under the radar a bit and it’s giving everyone involved something to do. Above all else it lets them do something unique instead of wasting time on a nowhere feud.
Opening video: “Tonight is a night of champions.” Dang you mean they canceled Jackpot Bowling with Milton Berle? The main people on the roster tonight talk about how big the show is before going into a video on Rollins’ two challengers.
Intercontinental Title: Ryback vs. Kevin Owens
Ryback is defending and this could go either way. Owens just decided he wanted the title one night and has been messing with Ryback ever since. The champion comes out second which never sits well with me. Ryback starts fast and wants Owens to bring it on. Kevin charges at him but gets gorilla pressed out to the floor. Back up and Owens sends Ryback arm first into the post, which takes away a lot of Ryback’s power game. Owens, the big crowd favorite here, slowly pounds Ryback down before sending the bad arm into the buckle again.
We hit the armbar on the champ for a bit before he fights up with a powerslam. A spinebuster gets two for Ryback and he scores with the Meathook, which Cole identifies as a regular clothesline. Well to be fair it was off the ropes instead of from the corner. The Shell Shock doesn’t work as the arm gives out and Ryback goes arm first into the post again. Owens’ armbar doesn’t work as Ryback powers him up into the Shell Shock again, only to have Kevin rake the eyes and roll him up for the pin and the title at 9:30.
Rating: C+. Set the injury up, pay the injury off in the ending, give a young guy a title. I have no complaints off this one and the match was fun in the process. Owens winning with an old school cheating tactic makes it even better. This was more fun than I was expecting and I’m very pleased with the result.
Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar is announced for Hell in a Cell. Well that’s quite the main event.
We recap Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev. These two had been feuding along with Lana and Summer Rae respectfully, but now that Lana is on the shelf, Ziggler bought Summer some earrings and wasn’t clear on what his intentions were.
Rusev is livid at Summer.
Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph has long tights now. Ziggler scores with a quick dropkick to knock Rusev to the floor but he comes back in for a shot to the ribs and a chinlock. As this is going on, we get a nice discussion of the Divas keeping diaries. Ziggler’s sleeper doesn’t work as Rusev throws him outside for a ram into the apron. An ugly small package gets two for Dolph but Rusev slams him back down, followed by a chinlock.
A WE WANT LANA chant fires Dolph up and he’s able to avoid a charge, sending Rusev into the buckle. Ziggler’s Fameasser attempt doesn’t work and Rusev’s swinging Rock Bottom gets two. Rusev’s knee hits the buckle as well, setting up the Fameasser for two more. A kick to the head has Ziggler in even more trouble but he comes back with the sleeper as this match just keeps going.
Now the superkick gets two for Rusev and he can’t believe it was just a near fall. The Accolade doesn’t work and Ziggler comes up with a mostly missed superkick for two of his own. Summer gets on the apron and is accidentally knocked into the ring, earning her an ejection. She throws in a shoe and hits Rusev by mistake, setting up the Zig Zag for the pin at 13:38.
Rating: D+. WAY too long here and I lost interest about halfway through at best. This feud is all about the drama and not the in ring action because we were supposed to have the mixed tag until Lana’s wrist injury screwed everything up. Rusev getting pinned used to be a huge deal and now it’s happened twice in a week.
Summer looks terrified.
Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Dudley Boyz
New Day is defending and already lost to the Dudleyz in a non-title match. Before the match, New Day declares that our furniture is in danger. After praising their mentor (Jake from State Farm) it’s time for a SAVE…THE TABLES chant until the Dudleyz cut them off. I love the Dudleyz but I could watch New Day for hours. D-Von and Kofi get things going as Woods starts a trombone recital.
The Dudleyz scare the champs out to the floor until it’s time for Bubba vs. Big E., the latter of whom tells the old man to go home. Big E. takes over and goes up top, only to get superplexed down for two. Woods: “BUBBA! DO NOT DO THIS!” The distraction works as Kofi is able to dropkick Bubba in the back to take over. We hit the rotating stomps (complete with more tromboning), followed by a splash on the apron to give E. two.
New Day starts some double teaming with Kofi firing off rights and lefts, meaning Woods plays Gonna Fly Now (theme from Rocky). I haven’t been this entertained in a long time. Kofi springboards into a Bubba Bomb, setting up the hot tag to D-Von. House is quickly cleaned and the reverse 3D drops Big E. The regular 3D looks to finish Kofi but Woods comes in for the DQ at 10:16.
Rating: B. The wrestling may not have been the best in the world but Xavier Woods and that trombone is as pure gold as anything I’ve seen around this company in YEARS. The entire group is one of the funniest ideas in a long time and goes to show you what can happen when you find a hot act. Great stuff here and the rematch should be fun.
Post match Big E. loads up a table, only to have the Dudleyz fight back and 3D Woods through the table. JBL: “It’s the night the music died.”
We recap Nikki Bella’s title reign and breaking the record on Monday.
Divas Title: Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte
Nikki is defending and can lose the title via DQ or countout. Charlotte takes her into the corner to start but a shoulder to the ribs puts Charlotte on the floor. She tweaks her knee on the landing though and Nikki has a target. A kick to the knee staggers Charlotte again and Nikki powerbombs her off the apron for a big thud. Back in and Nikki puts on a leg lock as the announcers thankfully acknowledge that the Women’s Title and the Divas Title are two different titles with two different lineages.
A snap suplex sends the knee into the ropes again and Nikki does some pushups. Nikki slams the knee into the mat a few more times for two each and wraps it around the post. Brie and Alicia try to help on a half crab but Nikki yells at them for almost getting her disqualified. Makes sense. Charlotte comes back with a neckbreaker but the knee gives out again. There’s a spear though and the Figure Eight ends Nikki’s reign at 13:42.
Rating: B-. Uh well um ok then. They were getting somewhere with that knee and then Charlotte just popped up and won the title. I’m glad the title reign is finally over but it was such a strange way to get to the ending. Still though, really good match here and the best WWE Divas match in a very long time.
The family celebration:
Owens denies cheating and is happy to finally have a prize. It’s no secret how great he really is. Nice line there.
The kickoff panel chats for a bit.
Team PCB asks Ric if he knows a place to party in Houston. You know, he just might. Ric looks so genuinely proud here and it’s really cool to see.
We recap the Wyatt Family vs. Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose. These teams have been fighting on and off for over a year and now the Wyatts have the monster Braun Strowman with them. Reigns and Ambrose have a mystery partner to help fight Strowman.
Wyatt Family vs. Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/???
A fan tries to run in and Wyatt asks if that’s their guy. The mystery partner is……CHRIS JERICHO. Well it’s not Rowan or Kane so this is totally acceptable. Ambrose and Harper get things going with the good guy taking over before it’s off to Jericho for the required YOU STILL GOT IT chant. Reigns and Ambrose come in to try their luck on Strowman but he shoulders both of them down.
Jericho tries to dive onto Braun but the glorified cruiserweight is caught and thrown out to the floor for his efforts. Strowman throws Ambrose in for a beating before tagging off to Bray. This works a bit better for Dean as he grabs a neckbreaker, allowing for the tag off to Reigns. Harper comes in with his right hands and sitout powerbomb, only to have Roman fire off his corner clotheslines. Strowman offers a distraction though and Harper scores with a superkick for two.
The Wyatts take turns on Roman with Bray sending him to the floor for a suicide dive. Reigns finally gets in an elbow to the jaw, allowing the tag off to Jericho. Chris dropkicks Braun off the apron in a smart move and slaps the Walls on Bray until Harper makes the save. Dean comes in and both Dirty Deeds and Sister Abigail are countered.
A double clothesline puts both guys down and it’s off to Reigns vs. Strowman with the Superman Punch FINALLY connecting. It takes three of them to stagger Braun but Dean’s top rope elbow puts him down. Jericho tags himself in for a Lionsault for two with Braun launching him off the cover. Everyone else brawls at ringside so it’s that spinning Big Ending from Strowman, followed by the choke to knock Jericho out at 13:36.
Rating: C+. This felt like a way to keep the feud going and there’s nothing wrong with that. I love the idea of two teams feuding because that’s what they do no matter what. Jericho coming in there to lose is fine and it’s a cool idea to build up to Roman finally knocking off the giant. Good stuff here and a fun match.
Nice to see you again:
The Authority gives Rollins a pep talk. Sheamus comes in and says he’s ready too.
We recap Seth Rollins’ road to tonight, starting with winning the World Title at Wrestlemania (in case you haven’t had that beaten into your head enough yet), being the Authority’s attention starved child, and then winning a second title from John Cena at Summerslam. Oh and his statue was destroyed in a very novel move.
US Title: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
Seth is defending of course. We get the big match intros here and Rollins is in the white attire again. The fans are all over Cena to start and things get even worse with Rollins charging into an elbow for two. Rollins comes back with a kick to the ribs and some trash talk as he seems to be trying to conserve energy.
We hit an early sleeper on Cena before Cena is put in the Tree of Woe for a top rope double stomp in an awesome looking spot. Cena’s rollup gets two and he sidesteps a splash (which looked very Stingy) in the corner. He takes too long setting up the Shuffle, allowing Rollins to try a kick to the head, only to have Cena pull him to his feet into a sunset bomb for two. The AA is countered but Cena hurricanranas his way out of the buckle bomb to send Seth into the corner instead.
Seth flips out of the AA again and the low superkick gets two for the champ. They’ve skipped the opening part of the match here and have went straight to the back and forth bombs. Seth misses the frog splash and the Eddie chants pipe up, even though it was more like a Five Star Frog Splash. Cena comes back with the tornado DDT for two and goes up top, only to have Rollins run the ropes into a superplex.
That’s not enough though as he floats over into a regular suplex for two, leaving both guys spent. Another AA is countered into a rollup but Seth muscles Cena up into a buckle bomb for two. Back up and Rollins rolls through a cross body to try an AA on Cena. Thankfully they only tease the finisher stealing as Cena counters into a reverse suplex, followed by the AA for the pin and the title at 15:43.
Rating: A-. As repetitive as these two have become, this was one of their better matches because they just went straight for the big spot trading instead of trying to do anything slow paced. Rollins wanting to end it fast made the most sense and it was a better match as a result. Cena getting the US Title back makes the most sense and we might even get the Open Challenge back as a result. Good stuff.
Rollins tries to bail but Cena gives him another AA on the floor and here’s Sting.
WWE World Heavyweight Title: Sting vs. Seth Rollins
Sting goes right after him to start and quickly sends the champ out to the floor. They’re pretty clearly going for the brawl here as Sting sends him into the barricade. Rollins tries to get away over the barricade but sting pulls him back to the table. Seth gets in his first offense by shoving Sting through the table before grabbing his title. He changes his mind about leaving though and comes back to slam Sting onto the broken table.
Back in and a falcon’s arrow gets two on Sting and Seth is starting to get frustrated. There’s a buckle bomb for two. The Pedigree is countered and Sting breaks up a springboard by shoving Seth into the barricade for the second time. Two Stinger Splashes crush Rollins so he heads outside, only to have Sting dive off the top with a cross body. Back in and the Death Drop gets two out of nowhere with Rollins having to put his foot on the bottom rope.
Another Stinger Splash sets up right hands in the corner but Seth counters into another buckle bomb. Seth tries a clothesline but Sting collapses to the mat. The doctor checks on Sting as he gets back up and it’s going to continue. Sting counters the Pedigree into a weak Deathlock. Thankfully Seth is quickly in the ropes and comes back with an enziguri to the bald spot. The Pedigree is countered into another Scorpion attempt but Seth rolls him up to retain at 15:13.
Rating: B+. This was WAY better than it had any right to be with the ending making enough sense. I really didn’t need to have Sting as the World Champion because, whether WWE wants to admit it or not, he’s one of the biggest stars ever and doesn’t need this title to validate himself. Good match though as Sting pulls another rabbit out of his hat. Though hopefully not by the ears because that’s just cruel.
Sheamus comes out immediately and it’s on! Rollins misses a belt shot and Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick but here’s Kane in the mask to chokeslam Rollins. Sheamus wants Kane to give him one more but Kane chokeslams Sheamus instead. A tombstone to Rollins ends the show. Yes seriously, it ends with Kane standing tall and likely setting up the title match inside the Cell.
Overall Rating: A. Well that worked. This was another show that completely overachieved and had no business being nearly as good as it was. This goes up another notch if they somehow got rid of that stupid briefcase and weren’t setting up Kane inside the Cell for the title, but that match had to happen at some point. Rollins is ready to be the star of tomorrow and it’s going to happen one day soon. Really fun show here with only the Rusev vs. Ziggler match not being good to awesome.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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