As we head into yet another special event on the WWE Network, I’ll try to answer one simple question: What are these guys and girls fighting over? As always, we welcome your feedback. Send an email to [email protected].
Seth Rollins vs. Sting
What’s At Stake: WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Sting’s legacy in WWE.
Thanks to a couple wins Monday on Raw, Sting’s record in WWE is now 2-1. Not overwhelmingly impressive, but at least we no longer have to hear about him getting a title shot without ever winning a match in WWE. While this is a championship match, the weeks leading up to it have been focused on that statue of Seth Rollins, which Sting callously and gleefully destroyed for no reason a couple weeks ago.
Perhaps this is meant to distract us from the bigger story line, which is the pressure that’s on Sting. This could be his one and only shot at winning the “one title that’s eluded him” over his long, storied career. He’s presumably in a pay-per-view main event against the best professional wrestler on the planet. Can Sting deliver at the age of 56? Will there be a last-minute stipulation added to mask any perceived deficiencies? Perhaps most importantly, if Sting loses, will WWE fans still view him as one of the iconic, legendary figures of professional wrestling’s past quarter-century? The last time Sting competed for a major championship isn’t as long ago as you may think (He faced Magnus for the TNA Heavyweight Championship on his last night with that company back in January 2014). Still, questions surround him heading into Night of Champions.
Seth Rollins vs. John Cena
What’s At Stake: WWE United States Championship. Revival of John Cena’s U.S. Title Open Challenge.
It’s double duty for Seth Rollins at Night of Champions. This rematch from SummerSlam will be a tall order for him. Rollins needed help from Jon Stewart to win the U.S. Title, but I doubt the former host of “The Daily Show” will show up this time, mainly because his stated motivation for interfering at SummerSlam was to protect Ric Flair’s record as the 16-time world champion. Behind the scenes, Raw ratings are in a slump, and a crucial television ratings period is on the horizon. WWE management may think it’s time to bring back John Cena’s U.S. Title Open Challenge.
Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte
What’s At Stake: WWE Divas Championship. Sanity of every WWE fan with access to social media. The Diva Revolution.
The Bella Twins used “twin magic” last Monday night on Raw, and it barely worked. Charlotte won by disqualification, but Nikki escaped with her title and became the longest reigning Divas Champion in WWE history.
It was a really good match, but the end result set off a firestorm on social media, as fans clashed over Nikki’s worthiness as champion. Things have cooled down a little since then. In fact, I really enjoyed the #BellaBration on SmackDown, which turned into a disaster for Team Bella.
Of course, All this drama will be forgotten after Charlotte finally gets her crowning moment and ushers in the true beginning of the Diva Revolution at Night of Champions. She is winning, right? Right?
The New Day vs. The Dudley Boyz
What’s At Stake: WWE Tag Team Championship. The New Day’s #SaveTheTables movement.
The Dudley Boyz made their return to a thunderous ovation on Raw the night after SummerSlam, and they’ve had the tag team champions in their crosshairs ever since. I was becoming a little concerned that Xavier Woods’ trombone had upstaged the awesome “last table” The New Day was hauling around, but that changed on Wednesday, when The New Day launched a Save The Tables petition.
The movement is as strong as ever, but I couldn’t help but wonder if breaking the “last table” will become a consolation prize for the Dudley Boyz…until I saw this. The Dudleys may have a secret weapon in their corner to even the odds at Night of Champions. Would you believe…Tommy Dreamer?
Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and a mystery partner vs. The Wyatt Family
What’s At Stake: The Wyatt Family’s newfound momentum.
Who will step forward to team with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns? That’s the big question, but I’m wondering if even they know the answer.
All kidding aside, you have to hope WWE has something big planned here. Some are dreaming of a bombshell return for Daniel Bryan, or the main roster debut of Baron Corbin or Samoa Joe, but the rumors about Kane sound a lot more plausible. As for the Wyatt Family, the addition of newcomer Braun Strowman has brought fresh credibility and momentum to the group. You’d hate to see it thrown away here, but the happy bromance between Ambrose and Reigns is one of the most reliable things WWE has right now, and Shield Lite has a knack for avoiding decisive losses.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
What’s At Stake: Personal pride.
Girls. Can’t live with ’em, can’t- Well, you can make up your own joke. I’ve been a fan of Rusev’s “broken up, but not over her” routine regarding Lana, but it looks like that’s over now that she’s out with a wrist injury. That brings us to Summer Rae, who may or may not have eyes for Dolph Ziggler. There’s a lot of different directions this can go, and it may be the toughest match on this card to predict.
Ryback vs. Kevin Owens
What’s At Stake: WWE Intercontinental Championship. Kevin Owens’ “upper mid-card” status.
When you start out by handing John Cena one of the few clean, pay-per-view losses of his entire career, there’s nowhere to go but down. So, Kevin Owens finds himself with a chance to win the much-maligned Intercontinental Championship. Ryback is finally past a long, underwhelming feud involving The Miz and Big Show. Fans of Owens live in constant fear that WWE management could cut bait on him at any moment, but this match could turn out to be a big vote of confidence. Or, it could…well, let’s try not to think about that.
Neville & The Lucha Dragons vs. The Cosmic Wasteland
What’s At Stake: The Ascension’s latest shot at relevance.
WWE is billing this match as the forces of good taking on the forces of evil. How can the stakes get any higher than that? I’m really hoping this new pairing with Stardust works out for The Ascension. It feels like the perfect fit. Now, they need to start winning some matches.
Yep. It’s getting weird. Remember, evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.