Jimmy Uso vs Stardust
The opening match was short – a bit less than 5 min, so there wasn’t much that the two superstars could do. Jimmy Uso got a decisive win over Stardust.
After the match, Goldust tried to attack the Usos who were celebrating together in the ring but also got taken put by the tag-team champs.
There wasn’t much to be seen in this match, it just served as a reminder that the tag team championship will be on the line on Sunday.
The Miz & Cesaro w/ Damien Mizdow vs Dolph Ziggler & Sheamus w./ R- Ziggler
That two-storylines-at-once match was actually quite good.
Cesaro and Ziggler kicked things off. The Swiss Superman didn’t even need Ziggler’s unmatched selling skills to show off his strength. He is just that powerful.
Ziggler got punished by both Miz and Cesaro for quite a while. He had a few dramatic close attempts for a tag which led to the audience chanting “We Want Sheamus”. It’s nice when the fans give a positive response to superstars who are consistently reliable like Sheamus.
The commentators, on the other hand, were mostly busy discussing Miz’s sunglasses and arguing about Miz’s dog’s name.
Damien Sand..Mizdow was entertaining as usual. While Sheamus was beating the 10 beats of the bodhran on Miz’s chest, Miz’s stunt double took his role a step further by clenching his chest and grimacing, as if he was the one getting hurt. Mizdow’s attention to detail and the ease with which he merges into new gimmicks impresses me. I sure hope he’ll get some sort of recognition soon.
Sheamus tried to pin Miz but Cesaro broke the count by flying from the ropes, onto Sheamus, feet first. It was definitely an unusual save.
After that Mizdow distracted Sheamus but paid for it by the hands of R-Ziggler. Miz still tried to take advantage but failed. Ziggler’s new found doppelganger proceeded to distract Miz, who then got kicked in the face by Dolph. All that happened behind the referee’s back. Sheamus then finally pinned Miz.
After the match Cesaro tried to slide into the ring but froze there midway, staring at Sheamus who also dropped to the flood and pushed the title in between them, taunting the Swiss superstar. I love the way Sheamus and Cesaro play with in-ring psychology and little gestures to further their feud. There isn’t much of a story between them but they make it believable that they really want to fight each other. This is definitely raising the status of the US title. Their match at Night of Champions might not be the center of attention but it won’t disappoint.
Heath Slater vs Adam Rose
Slater was dominating for the first good half of the match. The guy’s actually fine in the ring and quite funny in his promos. He deserves better than surviving 3MB, only to face a feud against a bunny.
After a while Rose switched to a more aggressive mood, reminiscent of Leo Kruger. If someone in the WWE Creative decided to play with Adam Rose’s mood swings and pushed them into a complete character switch that could occur at any time during a match, this gimmick could drastically improve.
Adam Rose’s offense was probably going to lead to a win when Titus pulled his leg from outside the ring. Slater took advantage and went for the pin. However, the bunny interrupted him by hopping into the ring, across the ring, passing by the referee and then jumped from the top rope onto Titus O’Neil. Following this, Adam Rose won by the Party Foul.
I want to join JBL in asking – Why is the referee allowing any of that to happen?! What – if a dude in a bunny suit comes in the ring mi-match to help one of the competitors it’s not DQ because he’s wearing a bunny suit? Really? Really?!
Rusev and Lana Promo
Lana and Rusev were backstage with Renee Young. They ddin’t speak English at all but thankfully, I speak quite a few languages, so I’ll take the liberty of giving you a loose translation.
Lana(in Russian): I advise Mark Henry to watch our performance tonight and how we destroy your Roman Reigns.
Rusev (in Bulgarian): America stinks. What happened was that he (Mark Henry) got lucky but on Sunday, he won’t.
Lana (in Russian): At Night of Champions, Rusev CRUSH!
I wonder what effect do promos, done entirely in a foreign language, have on an average American viewer, who doesn’t understand them at all? I think promos like that just get lost in space and aren’t really of much use to anyone.
Los Matadores & The Big Show vs The Wyatt family
Yes, this actually happened. Los Matadores teamed up with the Big Show to face the Wyatt family and the only reason I can see for doing that is that someone, somewhere backstage remembered that those 6 superstars in particular have no feud and no match on Night of Champions, so he just shoved them in a meaningless match to fill in the time.
The main bulk of the match had nothing exciting to offer. So much so, that I cought myself contemplating on how much Los Matadores in green remind me of Michael Bay’s ninja turtles. No, seriously, look at their faces!
Anyway, by the end the Wyatt family saved the match from being a complete waste of time. Bray Wyatt took down Diego in the ring, almost breaking him in half. Harper nearly kicked the head off of Fernando’s shoulders outside the ring. Big Show drove Harper into the barricade but Harper smashed the giant’s head into the ring post. Diego, who was the legal man, took out Harper in return and then climbed back on the top rope to jump onto Bray Wyatt. However, the leader of the Wyatt family dodged and followed with Sister Abigail for the win.
The Wyatts are talented and are capable of producing engaging storylines. I really don’t understand what happened so that they now find themselves in the bottom of the food chain.
Roman Reigns Promo
Roman Reigns was backstage with Renee Young. He said that he doesn’t discriminate, he doesn’t care who he faces because he’s “One against All” anyway. Reigns promised to bring the fight to Rusev tonight and to Rollins on Sunday. Then he told the WWE fans to “Believe that” and charged his fist. It was a short but effective promo. It felt a bit better than his usual mic work. Not that it was exceptional, just Roman felt as if he was at ease. I didn’t get the “trying too hard to be badass” vibe that he’s been giving lately.
Paige vs Nikki Bella w./AJ on commentary
The match itself wasn’t particularly memorable. Nikki mounted some offence in the beginning but Paige dropped her out of the ring and turned the match around. Not long after that, the Divas Champion did the Paige Turner and got the pin.
The action happened after the match. AJ took the Divas Title to bring it to Paige but once in the ring, she didn’t want to let go of it. While the two frenemies were arguing, Nikki snatched the title off their hands and hit them both with it, leaving them on the floor and in pain. It was a nice way to establish Nikki as a legitimate threat to both divas.
Bo Dallas vs Jack Swagger
In the begging of the match, Bo slapped Swagger in the face just to get him mad and then started running around the ring, trying to escape the Real American. Bo is just hilarious. He’s like a little annoying kid, who looks so ridiculous in the context of the WWE, that it’s actually strangely endearing. This is why the “WE BOLIEVE” chants were loud on Smackdown.
However, Swagger eventually caught up with Bo and smashed him into the announce table, which caused some “WE THE PEOPLE” chants. I like it when the audience appreciates both superstars, regardless of their heel/face status.
Bo employed his tricky ways once again and attacked Swaager while the Real American was still trying to get back in the ring. Not much later, Swagger went for the Patriot Lock but Dallas ran away, grabbing the ouside of the ring for dear life. Then Bo outsmarted his opponent again and used the BoDog to win.
I was starting to miss Bo’s inspirational promos but after the match he delivered again. He was saying something random about a dinner waitress telling him that Zeb Colter stole some sugar from her but he was damn serious at that. Then the Inspirational One decided to preach to the fallen Swagger that he just needed to BOLIEVE when Swagger’s boot in his mouth cut Dallas’s enthusiasm short. Bo ran away with a priceless scared facial expression on.
Mark Henry Promo
It was a short patriotic promo. Mark Henry said that he had lost to Russians in 1992 and in 1996 but on Sunday he was going to win for his country. The World strongest man seemed to really believe what he was saying.
Roman Reigns vs Rusev
That match was a positive surprise. The two superstars both rely mostly on pure strength in their in-ring work, which made their face off unexpectedly entertaining.
In the begging, Reigns and Rusev got into a clench in the middle of the ring but neither man could prevail, so the action spilled on the outside for a bit. When they returned in the ring, Rusev was dominating Reigns. The Bulgarian Brute…or is he the Big Russian now… was kicking Reigns all over the place. Literally. It was a very physical fight with a lot of kicking involved, due to Rusev’s Muay Thai background. At one point, Roman seemed to be fading in a vicious bear hug. It looked painful.
Then Reigns went for the superman punch, Rusev dodged, Reigns hit his head on the turnbuckle but managed to instinctively flatten Rusev with a clothesline. From that moment on, Reigns took control over the match. He was setting up for the superman punch again when Seth Rollins appeared with his briefcase. Rusev used the distraction to kick Roman in the face and went for the Accolade, encouraged by Seth’s screams “Come on Rusev!”. However, Roman countered. Rollins jumped from the top rope, briefcase in hand, trying to hit Reigns but missed him and knocked Rusev down. The ref gave the win to Rusev via DQ.
Regins wasn’t done yet. He pushed Rollins out of the ring and afterwards gave a superman punch to Rusev. Then, the two former Shiled members, started brawling outside the ring, over the announce table and into the crowd. It raised the hype for Sunday for sure. The storytelling in their feud was lazy but we can count on Rollins and Reigns to put on an exciting match at Night of Champions.
While Reigns and Rollins fought each other off away from the cameras, Lana came into the ring and raised Rusev’s hand for the victory. After all, he won the match.
Then Mark Henry came out, laughing at the Russian duo. It turned out – he had exchanged the Russian flag that usually falls from the ceiling above Rusev with the US flag. Needless to say, Lana and Rsuev weren’t impressed.
The situation escalated into a physical altercation in the ring. Both men looked strong and eager to fight. They both gave out primal screams but in their collision, Henry came on top. I have never seen Mark Henry that happy in a feud. The man’s gleaming. However, I doubt this will be the case at Night of Champions.
That’s all until Sunday! Feel free to share all your thoughts in the comment section or on our FB page!