Every title is on the line tonight for WWE Night of Champions and you know how we do reviews here at Voices of Wrestling. Before we get to the review, lets introduce our reviewers:

Eh, you know Joe Lanza. He does podcasts and writes some stuff about Japan. Taylor is our Smackdown reviewer and does two weekly columns — Saturday Morning Breakfast Brawls and My WWE Soapbox. Rob McCarron is our WWE Main Event reviewer, co-host of the Shake Them Ropes podcast in addition to his work with f4wonline.com reviewing Monday Night Raw. Warren Taylor is our Ring of Honor reviewer and a frequent columnist.

WWE Tag Team Championships
Gold & Stardust def. The Usos (c)

Joe Lanza: I can’t get excited about this matchup anymore. This is like the Forever Hooligans vs Time Splitters of the WWE. We’ve seen it a million times, and we know it’s going to be the same fairly decent match they always have. Enough already. The two badly placed Stardust rest holds bothered me, and grinded what was your typical hot, fast paced opener to a hault. To their credit, they picked right up after a hot tag, which makes those spots even more confusing. Why bother? Closing stretch was hot, until for some odd reason Stardust took off his glove to smack around Jimmy (or Jey, I can’t tell them apart). What was the point of that? This was a step up from the usual RAW match these teams have. ***1/4

Rob McCarron: Gold & Stardust won the WWE Tag Team Championships in a match that began as every Usos match you’ve ever seen, until mid-way through when the two teams remembered that this was a grudge match, also. I can’t remember which Uso had the knee trouble coming into this one, because they barely mentioned it. The Usos tried to take out Stardust’s knee, he got pissed, and started heeling up and that is when this one became something slightly more than an average tag match. The crowd got into it, I got into it, and now we see where the Usos will go from here. (Hopefully, home.) **3/4

Taylor Mitchell: This match would fit seamlessly in the legendary late 1980’s WWE Tag Team division. You have the heels isolating the babyface in the corner, tagging in and out, cheating behind the referee’s back, as the babyface struggles to make the hot tag. I am totally digging Gold and Stardust’s new Super Villain act and the vicious side Stardust has been showing in his matches. The crowd slowly warms up from the beginning to end of this match as the action hits its crescendo. The Dust Brothers win with a Schoolboy after a failed Superfly Splash which lends itself to a rematch/extended feud, and I don’t mind. These are the two best tag teams in a thin tag division within the ranks of the WWE. I probably will rate this match higher than most, because I love the Dust Brothers, I love the Uso’s, and I love tag team wrestling. ****

Warren Taylor: This one was pretty paint by numbers early on with the Rhodes Brothers working over Jimmy Uso. Things got interesting when Jey Uso got the hot tag and started going after Stardust’s leg. It would have been nice to have seen that be the finish, that is just a personal preference though. None the less both teams broke out of their malaise during the closing stretch with a sequence of nice dives. I did like the finish with Stardust getting the knees up on the splash and getting a roll up, pretty believable and one that needs to be dusted off every now and again. ** 3/4


WWE United States Championship
Sheamus (c) def. Cesaro

Joe Lanza: This had the feel of a pre intermission G1 match where you wish it was later on the card, with two guys that I would love to plop in a G1 block (no more New Japan comps, I promise). They ended up with a tad more time than I expected, and they sure did deliver. This was great, and I want more. ***3/4

Rob McCarron: Sheamus won the battle of big, mean guy brawlers. I didn’t expect this one to go long when the two began hammering each other with punches right away, but it ended up being the match I think everyone was hoping for. It was a tough battle, with punches, kicks, and throws that you don’t see often from these two. It was most definitely a PPV caliber match, and not a better than average Raw match that we get with Sheamus sometimes. The main event still I think has the chance to be better, but it will be tough. This match is worth watching the show for. ****

Taylor Mitchell: I could watch these two beat the snot out of each other 100 times over and it would never get old. I wrote in my most recent Smackdown review for VoW that I want to see Cesaro vs Ziggler in a Best of 7 Series to unify the US and IC titles, but I changed my mind. I want these two in that hypothetical Best of 7 series. They would add new wrinkles to each match and have plenty of call backs to their previous matches, because that is how good of professional wrestlers these two men are. This match is must see. This match is one of the best the WWE has put on this whole year. This match has a good shot at making my top 10 on my match of the year list. Rematch. Encore. Give me more of this, please WWE, and you can TAKE MY FREAKING MONEY. I would pay more than $9.99 a month if you promised me more matches like this one. ****3/4

Warren Taylor: Leave it to Ceasro to break out a great sleeper hold spot.  Like the spot this match surprised me. I’d thought both guys would rush and start clobbering each other. Instead, they gave us some nice mat wrestling to start the match off before Ceasro got cute and slapped the fella’. Then things got nice and stiff. Both men kept beating each other down with strikes and some other rarely used moves. Sheamus’  busted out an Iconoclasym. A freaking Iconclasym!  I loved the ending to the match.Cesaro kept slapping Shemaus time and time again. His slaps fired the US Champ up and he kept asking for more which gave him a much needed adrenaline rush to kick Cesaro’’s head to the moon. Beautiful match that you need to go out of your way to see. ****


WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Miz def. Dolph Ziggler (c)

Joe Lanza: Nothing is cringier than celebrity guests beating up wrestlers. The Miz is better than people give him credit for, and Dolph would have been a top star in a less competitive era with his incredible athleticism, bumping, and babyface fire. I knew this would have shenanigans, but it was still good because Dolph always works hard and brings it. ***

Rob McCarron: The Intercontinental Championship hot potato goes back to Miz, as he wins this while catching Ziggler during a moment of lost focus. This was half a wrestling match, and half a lengthy advertisement for Florida Georgia Line. FGL made sure to get their shit in, Austin Aries style, hyping up their new single on iTunes, their new album, their most recent hit single, their playing Tribute to the Troops (or as they called it, “that honor the troops things.”) The match itself was vastly overshadowed by FGL’s appearance, and despite some cool nearfalls, this just wasn’t that special. **3/4

Taylor Mitchell: For some stupid reason Florida Georgia Line is on commentary for this match. Giving us 5 commentators, but only ½ of a good one (Cole) with 4 ½ crappy ones. Unfortunately this is also a match where the commentators don’t give it any respect and make dumb jokes and take selfies instead of treat it like the championship match that it is. And then Florida Georgia Line does the WWE thing and are celebrities that make wrestlers look like weak sauce when they shove Mizdow down. This match should have been treated with more respect. I hate when the commentary team does this to the guys in the ring who are busting their asses. I would have to go back and watch this match with the mute button to give it a truly fair rating. Nonetheless, it gets two stars. **

Warren Taylor: When are we going to get the Tyler Breeze/Miz tag team? That has comedic gold written all over it. Anyways, I liked their match from Summerslam and was hoping Ziggles and Mike the Miz would deliver again. The rematch reeked of a filler match on Raw. Guest commentators Florida/Georgia Line beat up Damien Sandow. R-Truth then chased him to the back. Ziggler and Miz then traded near falls before the Miz cheated to win. This match had no business being on a pay event, Skip this, you have seen it before. Credit to Ziggler for the way he sold the Figure Four though. *¾


Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns

Rob McCarron: Seth won via Forfeit, as apparently Charles Robinson deemed it worthy to begin the match. New Linear champion? Rollins, after ‘defeating’ Reigns, issues an open challenge and of course, who else would accept but Dean Ambrose! Ambrose, arriving in a cab at the perfect time, brawled all over the place with Rollins but an official match never began. Security and WWE officials tied up Ambrose and ushered him out of the arena, while Rollins survived a harsh beating with his MITB briefcase. N/R

Taylor Mitchell: Rollins wins via forfeit and this issues an open challenge and out of a Taxi coming straight from the movie set of Lockdown is Dean freakin’ Ambrose! Even though Seth clearly issued an open challege The Authority and security breaks up the fight and handcuffs Ambrose with zip ties. This was a great brawl to continue the Ambrose/Rollins feud. Ambrose is gold. N/R


Rusev def. Mark Henry

Joe Lanza: I was worried about this from a style matchup standpoint, because Rusev’s best stuff to this point had all been short, stiff, intense sprints. When put in a position to work a slower pace he struggles, and I didn’t have much confidence in Mark Henry carrying him. I was right about the pace, so this ended up being a great test for Rusev. This was essentially an extended squash, which meant Rusev needed to be creative on offense to carry things, and he was. Henry sold well for his part, but this was a good step in the evolution of Rusev. Kayfabe it was strong, clean win that moves his push forward. **3/4

Rob McCarron: Absolutely phenomenal build up to this, including Lillian singing the Star Spangled Banner beforehand and Henry being brought to tears during it. The match was secondary, as the story was what this was all about. Henry fought for the country, had the crowd behind him, but yet again the Russian heel was just better. Rusev wins an average match, but the crowd bought into it as fully as a crowd can these days. **1/2

Taylor Mitchell: This match was a little too slow for my tastes, but did have some good storytelling points with Rusev being unable to put the Accolade on Henry at first and Henry hitting Rusev with the World’s Strongest Slam out of nowhere. This was probably Henry’s best match of the last couple of years and Rusev continues to impress me. He is a future star. No doubt. ** 1/2

Warren Taylor: The build for this match over the course of the show was solid. Big Show gave Henry an inspirational  and Lillian Garcia sang the national anthem before the match. The stage was set for Henry to devour the hated Russian. Then Rusev broke him. Over the course of the match Rusev targeted Henry’s back. It was nice to see Rusev use a slow and methodical approach. To his credit Mark Henry sold well and made the Russian look very good. Short and solid match that did its job to make Rusev seem like an even more unstoppable. ** 1/2


Randy Orton def. Chris Jericho

Joe Lanza: So this was a match that happened. I mean, technically there was nothing wrong with this. They told a decent little story, the guy leaving the territory lost clean, and the work was fine. But as Kris Zellner mentioned on Twitter, it was just soulless. No juice at all. No life. People are simply tired of the participants here. ***

Rob McCarron: I can’t recall a better Orton singles match since the series with Christian back in 2011. The problem is, the combination of Jericho and Orton just had zero momentum going into it. This match was a nice way to get Orton a good win, and Jericho isn’t hurt by the loss one bit. He’s hurt by being old, slower, and gimmicky at this point. That’s a different story, however. What does Orton do now, though? Is he back in the title picture? Move down to battle Sheamus? Maybe Christian? Whatever it is, I probably won’t care that much.  ***1/4

Taylor Mitchell: This was Orton’s best match of the last couple of years (with the exception of any match he wrestled against Daniel Bryan) and Jericho’s best match of this most recent run, but with that said it was still just pretty good. I have to give credit to Jericho as he is historically good at putting together matches and Orton’s career speaks for itself when it comes to matches against great pro wrestlers and mediocre ones. This match had plenty of near falls that popped the crowd and even incited a mild “This is awesome!” chant. Which is an overdone chant these days, but I didn’t hear it in during any other matches tonight, so its worth mentioning. Orton wins by countering Jericho’s new signature flying cross body into an RKO. ***

Warren Taylor: There  was not a bad match at all and was better than I expected. Orton was methodical very early in the match. Jericho made his comeback and got the crowd into the match. Towards the end of the match both men faked their opponent into a false sense of security and then a hit a their finisher. That was a nice little story in an otherwise good but forgettable match. ***


WWE Divas Championship
AJ Lee def. Paige (c) & Nikki Bella

Joe Lanza: This was a lot like the previous match. Technically it was fine (even if Nikki pretty much stinks), but who could possibly care? No juice at all. I think Paige should have tapped instantaneously like Ultimo Guerrero did against Atlantis. It bugs me when they fight submissions hard in matches like this, although I suppose this was a fairly big match by Divas standards. **

Rob McCarron: Worst match of the night, but how could it not be? AJ won the title, whcih going in was probably the scenario I thought was least likely. Brie and Nikki can go their way, and now AJ vs Paige continues with the belt, and LOVE, on the line. *3/4

Taylor Mitchell: This match starts off with the worst case of WWE-Triple Threat Match syndrome. It was as if more than two Divas weren’t allowed to be in the ring at the same time. It might as well have been one of those awkward 90’s multi-man singles matches that you had to tag into the match and there were only two “legal” men. It does appear as if Nikki Bella has learned a few new moves, which lends itself to thinking she actually gives a damn about wrestling. Maybe a little bit? If Nikki got sent down to work with Sara Del Ray at NXT I think it would do her wonders. She seems on the cusp of showing improvement, but she needs some more help. All in all, this match was better than I thought it would be. Keep in mind I had really low expectations, though. AJ wins and forces Paige to tap out thus continuing the hot potato action of the Diva’s title. **

Warren Taylor: I felt like there was a lot of laying around in this match which was pretty symbolic if you ask me. The crowd was dead for this one and sucked the energy right out it. Nikki Bella trying to pull off being a bad bitch is pretty laughable. Watch the moments before she was taken out of the match to see what I mean. She really added nothing to the match AJ and Paige worked hard as always and I think the match would have been better with just those two going at it. With Mrs. Punk getting the win it looks like that feud is going to continue which I am fine with. **


WWE World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena def. Brock Lesnar (c) by DQ

Joe Lanza: Nice touch with Cena coming out like a house of fire and going for the flash win. From there, it was right back to Brock domination. The hope spots here were not your run of the mill garden variety hope spots. First an AA, which barely got a two count. Then a STF(not U) that Brock quickly fought off and turned into a kimura. Cena fighting out and delivering another AA, and going right into a STF instead of a pin was a great spot. And then the run in. Welp. We all heard Rollins say I’M CASHING IN, and we saw him turn in the case, so from that aspect the angle came off pretty stupid. I mean, Justin Roberts even announced the cash in…but the bell didn’t ring. Whatever. It was all pretty compelling & exciting anyway. Good drama. Maybe the highest rating for a bullshit non finish I’ll ever give. ****1/4

Rob McCarron: John Cena won via DQ, due to Seth Rollins interference. You know, because Seth Rollins is a moron. Instead of waiting until after a Cena-Brock outcome, then attacking the beaten winner, he ran in before the match was done and had to withstand Cena stopping his cash-in efforts. The match had a good story. Cena played the Brock role this time, getting the early advantage and going for a quick pin with an AA. That was good. Then, we got a back and forth contest that was fairly strong. Cena looked to have The Big Purple Machine beat after a fourth AA, but then we got the Seth interference in an illogical spot. Oh well. A PPV ending with a DQ win. Brock is still champion. Cena looks to be going into a program with Rollins, maybe? Or not, because Ambrose is still there. Cena and Brock in the Cell now? QUESTIONS! Usually, you like answers on a PPV. We didn’t get that tonight. ***3/4

Taylor Mitchell: This match starts off with Cena trying to end it as quick as possible hitting Lesnar with an AA in the first minute of the match a la their Summerslam match when Lesnar hit Cena with the F5 early on. Lesnar kicks out at 1 after the AA and begins his domination of Cena. It appears Cena’s strategy is to stay as close to the ropes as possible as he is able to break out of each of Lesnar’s attempts to break Cena’s arm with the Kimura or every pin attempt on Cena. Lesnar beautifully removes his MMA gloves as if to say “This is over. I’m going to finish you once and for all.” Cena then hit the AA for a 2nd time out of nowhere and Lesnar kicks out at 1 ½. Cena then goes to his masterful strategy of slapping the STF on Lesnar and each time Lesnar almost reaches the ropes Cena breaks loose of the STF and pulls him back to the middle of the ring. Cena does this about 5-6 times and Lesnar is on the brink of tapping out. SETH ROLLINS then comes out and knocks Cena out with the MitB briefcase and delivers the curbstomp to Lesnar and CASHES IN HIS BRIEFCASE! Justin Roberts makes the announcement of the cash in, but Cena comes to and beats Rollins down forcing Rollins to run away. The cash in apparently doesn’t count as the bell didn’t ring. Lesnar hits Cena with the F5 and walks out as the loser via DQ. Great storytelling, nice plot twist. And WWE still manages to do the annoying thing and play Lesnar’s music as if he won the match just because he retained the title. If Cena vs. Lesnar happens again at Hell in a Cell I won’t complain. Really good stuff here. ***1/2

Warren Taylor: The commentary team pondered aloud how much offense John Cena would get in the match. A minute into the contest he knocked Brock off his feet with two hard lariats followed by an AA. Brock kicked out at 1. That opening flurry will tell you exactly what you need to know about this match. Every time Cena gained momentum Lesnar came down on him like the fist of god. Just like last month at Summerslam Brock channeled his inner Taz and suplexed Cena around like a rag doll. The champ even threw in a Three Amigos for good mesaure. Unlike last month Cena kept coming back every so often and got in few nice looking licks. Cena finally seized his opening and powered out of a Kimura lock. A few more shots were followed by an AA. Instead of going for the pin Cena locked in the STF. Brock fought three times towards the ropes and Cena pulled him back everytime. Cena hit a fourth AA before Seth Rollins broke up the pin with the briefcase. Rollins tried to cash in but Cena got a measure of revenge and laid him out. Brock was the last one standing though after he nailed Cena with an F-5. The story of his match was tremendous and from a pure story standpoint may end up having the best plot of the year. I think this was a rare instance where DQ finish worked. We may never know if Cena was going to win the match, that is a question folks and is something that is sorely needed in what has been a painfully dry few months for the WWE. I am not sure where they are going with all this and I don’t care. I want to guess and not know, that is the fun of being a fan in my view. **** ½