WWE Night of Champions 2015
September 20, 2015
Toyota Center – Houston, Texas
Watch: WWE Network

Sting shines in one of the gutsiest pro wrestling performances you’ll ever seen, John Cena & Seth Rollins make magic again and a familiar face makes his comeback — it’s WWE Night of Champions 2015!

Meet Our Reviewers:

Taylor Mitchell: Taylor is a long-time member of the Voices of Wrestling staff currently working on a series of retro Survivor Series reviews. Follow him on Twitter at @MrTCMitchell

John Sparkz: Our guest reviewer of the month! John is a Mixing & Mastering engineer, resident engineer for hip-hop producer extraordinaire Harry Fraud and his Surf School Recording’s label. John has also been the engineer behind top hip-hop hits from artists such as French Montana, Cam’Ron, Curren$y, Action Bronson, Retchy P, Smoke DZA and many more. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnSparkz

Garrett Kidney: Voices of Wrestling’s venerable TNA & Impact Wrestling reviewer. Nobody has watched more TNA in their life than Garrett, but don’t let that fool you, he knows his shit about wrestling all across the world. He just willingly chooses to watch TNA weekly. I know, I know. Follow him on Twitter at @GarrettKidney

Rich Kraetsch: Co-owner of Voices of Wrestling, co-host of the Voices of Wrestling podcast. Man of many, many jobs at this here website. Follow him on Twitter at @VoicesWrestling

Pre-show: Stardust & The Ascension def. Neville & The Lucha Dragons

Garrett Kidney: The least the Cosmic Wasteland could have done is coordinated colours (The Ascension wore black and red while Stardust wore yellow and black). This was pretty much exactly what you would have wanted from this match. The Ascension were inoffensive, Stardust kept the schtick to a minimum, Neville’s hot tag was great and the Lucha Dragons flipped and flopped all over the place. All that added up to a jolly good time for a pre show match. There was literally nothing else you could have wanted from this match. ***

WWE Intercontinental Title Match
Kevin Owens def. Ryback (c)

Taylor Mitchell: Ryback has the ability to go in the ring, especially if given the right opponent. Kevin Owens has had one of the best resumes for in-ring work in the WWE this year. This match, though? Saw neither of those things. Owens was working over Ryback’s arm which was good….but it slowed the match down and then there was a roll up finish stopping any chance for momentum to be gained. These two could easily have a better match than this. Disappointing. **

John Sparkz: From K.O kind of carding in limbo I think he found a groove finally. The IC title has been becoming more valued (at least in my eyes) My initial thought was Owens would come out winner, though I really hoped Ryback would keep displaying his over the top ruthless strong aggression and power house, but the crowd likes Owens. I would’ve given it 4 stars if it had a better finish ***

Garrett Kidney: I am not a particularly big fan of Ryback (he’s fine but never all that interesting) so it was smart to try and work the match around some kind of story. The idea was sound but the execution left a little to be desired. Ryback didn’t work the match all that differently than he would have without any sort of arm injury while Ryback’s selling wasn’t particularly convincing. The action was pretty good though and Owens is the right guy to help carry the IC title and try and do for it what Daniel Bryan was supposed to before his injury. Hopefully the curse of the IC title doesn’t follow Owens too. **¼



Dolph Ziggler def. Rusev

Taylor Mitchell: The storyline behind these two went from crap to surprisingly entertaining, but doesn’t lend to good matches. There is too much “story” to get in the way. Lana wasn’t able to make it to Houston as she is still recovering from her wrist injury, but don’t worry, Ziggler had her face plastered on her crotch. Summer Rae throws a shoe and hits Rusev like a bad Austin Powers joke. Oh, no! What will happen next? Did she intend to hit Rusev? Will Rusev forgiver her? The real question is why is WWE wasting a world class talent like Rusev on this crap? **

John Sparkz: Ziggler in my eyes is the hardest working in ring wrestler on the roster. Not to mention his skill. Rusev the perfect heel. This though, has been going on too long and I will admit my interest in the feud has went way down. The match was put on well, both never disappoint but I hate Summer Rae, I think she is so annoying so this gets 3. ***

Garrett Kidney: Dolph Ziggler was once a wrestler I would’ve went to bat for but lately I just can’t muster much interest in him (partially due to this particular feud and partially due to him being miscast as a face). The damage done to Rusev since the John Cena feud is clear as day to see. For those reasons, plus the inevitability of the interference, this match just never really grabbed me. The crowd got into the near falls toward the end and they did work hard but it just never clicked for me. Both these guys need to be doing something else but sadly I don’t see this feud going away in the near future. **½


WWE Tag Team Title Match
The New Day (c) def. The Dudley Boyz by DQ

Taylor Mitchell: WWE’s tag team division has been responsible for being the most entertaining thing on their TV a lot throughout 2015. New Day is always great (Xavier Woods getting even better with his new Rufio inspired hair style) and the Dudley Boyz are showing potential of having a Goldust circa 2013-2014 type retirement tour. This match was fun and sets up a future encounter between these teams. One last thing….Can WWE stop playing the loser’s music when a champion loses via DQ? It makes zero sense.  ***

John Sparkz: My overwhelming anticipation to see my childhood favorite wrestle at a PPV again got my hopes up too high. Something told me I’d see The Dudleys walk out with belts. But honestly it was a good match. New Day does such a good job of making you hate them you can’t be mad at that!. Xavier Woods should stay out of the ring at all times, and I think New Day could be something that sticks around. Though I hope they do a 3 man tag at ‘Mania with New Day, Dudleys and The Hardys ****

Garrett Kidney: Firstly the champions entered first which always grinds my gears. Also I stubbed my toe on the leg of a table earlier so I am firmly against saving tables. Over the last ten years The Dudleys have been a their best when they are either in their preferred match type (a plunder brawl (see their match with Rhino vs. Jarrett and AMW from 2005) or  a ladder match (see their matches vs. The Wolves and The Hardys last year)) or when a team challenge them to get out of their comfort zone (see their matches vs. Beer Money and The Motor City Machine Guns). Otherwise they tend to coast with by the numbers matches. Sadly this was the latter rather than either of the former. This felt more like a TV match than anything even remotely close to PPV quality, with a cheap finish to boot. As usual, Woods at ringside was the highlight. **1/4

Rich Kraetsch: Mind if I join in? Just got home from today’s NASCAR race so I thought I’d put the finishing touches on my prejudice “Redneck” weekend by watching some professional wrestling. Let’s get to the match, this was really really good. The Dudleys have no missed a beat and while I wasn’t worried about Bubba Ray, D’Von had me a little weary. It didn’t matter, both were great and The New Day, c’mon, what can I say about the New Day that hasn’t been said. They are easily the most entertaining thing on regular WWE television and it’s not even close. I’m not even sure I can confidently name a number two. I let food get cold in the other room because I didn’t want to miss a SECOND of this match. The DQ finish was rubbed some people the wrong way but it just means we get a rematch and how can you get mad about that?! ***¼


WWE Divas Title Match
Charlotte def. Nikki Bella (c)

Taylor Mitchell: If the era of NXT Women’s matches never existed then this match would be praised for being one of the best WWE Diva’s matches. It was really good when compared to WWE Diva’s matches, but never met that urgency, intensity, and realism of the Four Horsewomen’s matches in NXT. Charlotte has an opportunity to usher in this new era. Let’s hope WWE realizes it needs to happen with singles matches that are well-built. They have the talent, they just need the proper backing. **3/4

John Sparkz: I enjoyed the group chat of reviewers more than this match. After my 2nd cigarette break, it felt like the match was in the same place I left it.  I like how the Divas division went through a sort of “renovation” got a lot more entertaining. But this was too awkward. Way too forced to have Charlotte win this early. And with all do respect who let Flair come out? I’m awaiting Bayley to come up to the Divas division because it seems all great women’s matches happen at NXT (Which is NOT a bad thing) **

Garrett Kidney: This match consisted of what felt like an hour long heat segment, a Spear, a Figure 8 and that was it. That heat segment where Nikki relentlessly worked over Charlotte’s leg? Went absolutely nowhere. What a bizarrely laid out match. Everything was technically fine, they didn’t mess anything up. It was just all as dull as dishwater. Hopefully they transition straight to a Sasha/Charlotte feud from here to try and recapture some of their NXT magic. The Bellas PPV match formula is not conducive with a “Revolution” in any way whatsoever. *1/2

Rich Kraetsch: While this match was going on I told my fellow reviewers I was really enjoying it. Sure, it featured a looooooooong Nikki Bella heat segment as she worked over Charlotte’s knee but I assumed it was leading to something. Well, it led to something. Unfortunately that thing was a largely out of nowhere finish that saw Nikki make once mistake which Charlotte turned into a spear and then her Figure 8 finish. The entire match focused on Nikki destroying Charlotte’s leg then the finish is an out of nowhere finish where Charlotte wins with a knee-based submission hold. Lordy, lord. If this has a momentum-building closing stretch where Charlotte proved herself as an admirable babyface champion who finally unseated Nikki, perfect. Instead, Charlotte wins basically by a fluke, Nikki’s reign was utterly meaningless in the end and god good this promotion sometimes. **½



The Wyatt Family def. Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns

Taylor Mitchell: The reveal of Chris Jericho as the third member was disappointing. (McCarron promised me Daniel Bryan!) This match never reached that gear that the classic Shield trios matches were at. WWE actually has a chance to develop Braun Strowman as a legit monster, but who are we kidding? How long before they make this guy a comedy act? I’ll set the over/under at 8 months. Tweet me @MrTCMitchell with your answer. **1/2

John Sparkz: All the stars aligned for a RVD third member reveal. But YJ2 was a let down. Not as him coming back (if he even is “back”) But just in the situation. The Wyatt family seems to be losing momentum with Strowman, when he debuted I was very excited to see a Wyatt rebirth. I don’t even know what to say about Roman Reigns though. I was more focused on Strowman. Just wished they would of had it more unified with each team. ***

Garrett Kidney: As reveals go Jericho is a slight step ahead of say Erick Rowan or Randy Orton but he’s not the most interesting choise. That said though he essentially showed up to take the fall so I won’t complain too much. The sole aim of this match was clearly to try and establish Strowman as a monster and in this instance that was a success. In the same way The Shield was an ideal vehicle to help Roman Reigns find his feet while protecting him in six man matches, the same applies for Strowman and the Wyatts. The match was pretty solid but I preferred even the pre show six man. Looks like a Jericho turn is on the horizon, a programme with Ambrose would be a pleasant way to pass the cold, harsh winter months.  **3/4

Rich Kraetsch: The big mystery partner was Dani…oh, it was Chris Jericho. It’s been since last September that he’s been on “real” WWE TV (ignoring Beast in the East). He was a nice compliment in this match as he appears to be starting a feud with either Roman Reigns or Dean Ambrose, most likely Reigns. If that’s the case, this is a great idea. Jericho will get the most of out of both dudes as a smarmy veteran heel. Definitely looking forward to what comes next. The match, eh, it was just there. It wasn’t good, wasn’t bad  — sorry, I just don’t have strong thoughts about it. The focus of the match was making Braun Strowman an over monster and that was a tremendous success, he got the victory for his team and I think he looked good doing it. I won’t lie, I kind of like Braun. He’s not very good but I love a big, tall, beefy dumb guy in my wrestling and well, he’s big, tall, beefy and dumb. **1/2


WWE United States Title Match
John Cena def. Seth Rollins

Taylor Mitchell: Cena and Rollins have great chemistry together. This could become a legendary feud that transitions WWE out of the Cena era years down the road. These matches and Rollins working multiple times in a night is going to make him into a mega-popular babyface when he moves onto feuding with Triple H. Cena is having great matches this year, but a lot like the Cena/Owens series the matches between Cena/Rollins can become repetitive. I was impressed with Rollins going all out in the first match and not “pacing himself” before the WWE Title match. This guy is dedicated and refuses to have a bad match. ***3/4

John Sparkz: Always pumped for a Cena vs Rollins match, I think Cena is best as a US Champion, it adds prestige. Rollins was very impressive especially having back to back matches. The match was never slow and everyone was into it. I would have to say this was one of the best matches of the night. ****

Garrett Kidney: I spent the last few minutes of this match begging for there to be a proper finish, because this was much more like it. There hasn’t really been much going for this show so far, just a bunch of solid at best matches, but trust Cena and Rollins (who have superb chemistry together) to tear the house down. Way more than anything else on this show the crowd were engaged, they worked a frenetic pace and this was basically last month’s match except a little better and with an actual finish. Big match John continues to deliver in his tremendous 2015 and this was probably Rollins’ best match since January. Great stuff here. ****1/4

Rich Kraetsch: I loved their SummerSlam match last month and it turns out when you have basically the same match but with a clean finish, I like it better! This was peak Cena/Rollins with both men busting out everything they had to get the win and put together a solid match. Where I thought Rollins excelled at SummerSlam, I thought Cena stood out here. Indie Cena is so good right now and he may be having his best in-ring year ever. In fact, no, I’m saying it, he’s having his best in-ring year ever. In the end, Cena won back the US Title and honestly, it’s the best result. There’s much potential with him as champion than Seth. Enjoyed this a lot, easily the Match of the Night. ****1/4


WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
Seth Rollins (c) def. Sting

Taylor Mitchell: This match was perfectly fine. It will probably go down as Sting’s best match from his WWE run. Seth Rollins bumped around and helped show that Sting still has a little bit left in the tank. I could’ve done without the doctor checking on Sting in the middle of the match. The finish was neat with the crowd popping for the Scorpion Death Lock until Rollins rolled in into a Small Package for the win. “Demon” Kane returns which doesn’t excite me at all, but Rollins exorcising the demon will make for a good chapter on his way to taking on Triple H at WrestleMania. ***1/2

John Sparkz: There is nothing bad to say about Sting. He’s a living legend. I thought it was a little too early to throw him into a title match but hey. IT WAS AWESOME. I would’ve really liked to see him win though. I didn’t quite like the Kane segment but I guess Demon Kane is good right? None the less I’m really liking where Sting is headed in the company I just hope they don’t overbook him now and he gets a good title win as he deserves. **** 1/2

Garrett Kidney: I am unabashedly a Sting fan. I have been for a very long time. Were it not for his matches constantly being needlessly overbooked his TNA run would be much more fondly remembered. And he proved one thing beyond all doubt in this match: Sting is a badass. Sting is a 56 year old man but he brought everything he had to this match. This was up there with his Bound For Glory 2007 match with Kurt Angle, his Turning Point 2008 match vs. AJ Styles and his March 2013 Impact match vs. Austin Aries as one his best post-WCW singles performances. I love that they trusted Sting to deliver a really good match with Rollins, without the need to overbook it with as much interference as possible. Rollins is actually the perfect opponent for Sting at this stage of his career, to create movement around Sting. It makes me really happy that Sting got a chance like this in WWE to show what he can do (even though I honestly did really want Sting to win) and hopefully he can have his match vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania and ride off into the sunset after a highly successful career main eventing big shows in three different companies over four different decades. He deserves as much. He really brought it here. ***3/4

Rich Kraetsch: Unlike Garrett, I’m not a Sting fan. Even growing up with crow Sting as the biggest star in WCW, I never quite “got it.” Tonight, I got it. This was perhaps the gutsiest in-ring performances I’ve ever seen. The 56-year-old Sting showed no signs of decline and, shit, this may be the best he’s looked since the early 90s. Sting threw caution to the wind taking a table spot, hitting a crossbody to the floor and finally eating a powerbomb in the corner. The powerbomb may have done him in as the finish seemed hurried after that point but whatever, Sting gave us literally everything he had tonight. I should mention Seth Rollins too. After having an incredible match with John Cena just minutes prior, Rollins didn’t miss a beat. He may have had a better overall performance in this main event. He didn’t do as much of the heavy lifting as I thought would be required but he was the perfect foe to Sting. ***3/4