Repeated opening segment aside I thought it was a decent episode, although there was nowhere near enough hype for Night of Champions considering the show aired two days before the pay-per-view. That’s something that WWE used to do very well but have lapsed on over the last couple of years. Perhaps evaluating their selling strategy could result in a few more buys.
The highlight of the show was the tussle between World champion Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. Billed as a WrestleMania rematch, because ‘The Celtic Warrior’ beat Bryan at that show with the now banned Brogue Kick (flimsy reasoning or what?), it was a believable, compelling bout that showed Sheamus at his finest and made a pleasant change from his seemingly endless series with Alberto Del Rio. ‘Beuatiful’ Bryan was, as usual, superb.
Kane and Kofi Kingston had a far better match than I thought they would. A face versus face match with one man booked as a monster is a difficult thing to pull off and they did it very well here. Kingston deserves particular praise for his performance after the match as well: his expression when hugged by ‘The Big Red Machine’ was amusing.
I was interested to see Brodus Clay and Tyson Kidd interact with Antonio Cesaro. Either man would make a good rival for the United States champion and might actually stand a chance of generating a little interest in Cesaro’s currently meaningless trinket.
Kidd is capable of working lengthy, athletic matches with ‘The Swiss Superman’. It could be his ticket to a purposeful spot in the mid-card. ‘The Funkasaurus’ is not as athletically gifted as the man from Calgary (although he is very agile for a man of his size) but he would be a good choice to work short comedy matches with the champ. Cesaro has a talent for funny bouts and takes big bumps for a larger man. I think he could turn out to be a good opponent for Brodus.
I assume that either Kidd or Clay will challenge Cesaro at Night of Champions. A new feud involving any of the three would be a positive thing.
The final thing I feel I should mention is the first time ever clash between Tensai and Randy Orton. A frivolous backstage promo before the match revealed that ‘The Viper’ had requested Tensai as his opponent. When asked why Orton gave a simple “Why not?”
Such an attitude is going to do the former A-Train no favours. Not that that matters. WWE have already ruined any chances they had of making the best use of Tensai by halting his push and making too many alterations to his gimmick. Had Tensai been treated as a big deal and been used as a pay-per-view regular then his first televised clash with ‘The Apex Predator’ could have been used to attract viewers or entice PPV buys.
I’ve written this before (here) and WWE will make the same mistake in the future. Because they can.
Tweet 1: A boring recap is followed by the hilariously dramatic meeting between Otunga and Sheamus that (allegedly) took place at Titan Towers.Tweet 2: Interesting to note that when they cut to the black and white camera no cameramen were visible. #vintageWWE
David Otunga, Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez try to have the Brogue Kick banned… again
Tweet 3: In the ring Ricardo Rodriguez is crying and speaking in English while David Otunga sells a neck brace.Tweet 4: Most boring. Opening segment. Ever.
Tweet 5: Christian has lost a year of his career to the Brogue Kick. I thought it was that broken ankle he suffered and writer indifference...
Tweet 6: No... No... No...
Tweet 7: They're using every trick in the book to try and make Sheamus a rebellious anti-hero. It's not convincing.
Tweet 8: The only man to get a reaction in that segment was Daniel Bryan, the one not involved in the World title scene right now. Brilliant.
Tweet 9: Get the belt off Sheamus and put it on Dolph Ziggler.
Sin Cara v The Miz
Tweet 10: Here's Sin Cara, the man nobody cares about.Tweet 11: I was expecting Miz v Sin Cara at Night of Champions. I'm pleased it's being left off the PPV. I don't expect this to be good.
Tweet 12: A four way including Rhodes and Mysterio should be far more enjoyable.
Tweet 13: For a guy pushed as a high flyer Sin Cara really enjoys a good rest hold.
Tweet 14: If the writing team was better I'd assume that Sin Cara pinning Miz clean was going to lead to something.
Teddy Long, The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara backstage
Tweet 15: Why isn't Teddy Long the GM? He's being booked like one.Tweet 16: Now that I've seen Miz is inexplicably being booked like an underdog babyface I have a feeling he could retain on Sunday.
Kane v Kofi Kingston
Tweet 17: Kane and Bryan could do so much as a tag team. Could they rebuild the doubles division? Don't get your hopes up.Tweet 18: Kane versus Kofi Kingston is a style clash waiting to happen.
Tweet 19: Truth isn't accompanying Kofi. Little Jimmy's out there though.
Tweet 20: That was a surprisingly good match. Both men played their roles very well.
Tweet 21: Dr Shelby is on the stage! That's a promising sign for him becoming Kane's on-screen manager.
Shelby needs to become a TV regular
Matt Striker interview Randy Orton
Tweet 22: Note the glee in Striker's eyes as he introduces Orton.Tweet 23: Orton treats Striker with disdain. Good.
Tweet 24: Orton didn't really give a reason for wanting to face Tensai.
Tweet 25: He could've just said "Because he's a glorified jobber so it's a guaranteed win."
Tensai v Randy Orton
Tweet 26: Nobody acknowledges Sakamoto anymore. He doesn't even get a graphic.Tweet 27: Tensai v Orton is a first time meeting. Had WWE booked Tensai since he returned then this could have drawn some pay-per-view buys.
Tweet 28: Tensai is a heel straight out of the 80s.
Tweet 29: "Tensai's going to put Orton away here!" - Michael Cole seconds before Orton went over clean
Tweet 30: When Randy Orton is an old man he will look fascinating.
This match could have meant something
Antonio Cesaro’s heat-seeking segment
Tweet 31: Antonio Cesaro… Heeeey!!Tweet 32: Cesaro's facial expressions: priceless.
Tweet 33: Remember that Tyson Kidd mini-push a few months ago? No, me neither...
Tweet 34: Tyson Kidd is not a good substitute for Cameron and Naomi.
Tweet 35: I assume from that that it will be either Clay or Kidd wrestling Cesaro on Sunday. Both would be good choices.
Brief and pointless Wade Barrett appearance
Tweet 36: Tuning in to see Wade Barrett's ring coat? Then you're going to be disappointed...
Kaitlyn v Beth Phoenix
Tweet 37: If this Divas match didn't involve Kaitlyn I'd consider skipping it.Tweet 38: Cole's talking about Backstage Fallout. It's a pointless YouTube show. Anything worthwhile that happens on there should be booked for RAW.
Tweet 39: "Ask her, ref!" - 'Y2J' Beth Phoenix
Tweet 40: Kaitlyn pins Phoenix clean. That either says something about her chances at beating Layla or Beth's standing in WWE. I'm not sure which.
Booker T, Eve and Teddy Long backstage
Tweet 41: Booker T gets on better with Eve than he does with Teddy Long. What a compelling slice of storyline.
Daniel Bryan v Sheamus
Tweet 42: FELLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!Tweet 43: No... No... No... No... *shakes head* ... No...
Tweet 44: This referee looks like a young Benedict Cumberbatch.
Tweet 45: Cole just described Dean Malenko as "great." I don't disagree but it does beg the question of why he's not in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Tweet 46: Look at Sheamus, hurling himself off the top rope like a sack of wet cement.
Tweet 47: #nokicks
Tweet 48: "Sheamus's face almost turning crimson here" - Josh Mathews, who may just have been looking at his hair
Tweet 49: They didn't even tease the Brogue Kick. What a confusing storyline.