Monday, September 22, 2014

Night of Wrestling and Questionable Booking for WWE

Night of Champions seems to have had some really mixed results in terms of reaction to it. While in ring, the show seemed to come off reasonably well, the booking of the show caused people some headaches. Those that just wanted to see some good in-ring action were able to ignore the lack of logic to the booking and enjoy the show. Those who could not ignore those mistakes were unable to see past it and enjoy some good wrestling overall. 

A great example of this divide was in the match between Sheamus versus Cesaro. Everyone expected this to be a hard-hitting stiff affair. The end result with Cesaro losing left a bad taste in fans mouths that have been unhappy with how he has been booked since Wrestlemania.

If you looked at last night’s show in a vacuum not looking back or forward it is hard to debate, it was not a decent show at the very least. When you get into the long-term nature of these events is where issues arise. Like this feud with the Miz and Dolph Ziggler that has gone on to long with ridiculous side characters in Sandow and R-Truth. The commentary on the match was an infomercial for some hick country brand Florida Georgia Line that didn’t have the common business sense to know the name of the event they signed to appear at in December. This made the Intercontinental Championship match seemingly less important.  The constant flip-flopping of the title also doesn’t help matters. This could be just getting the belt back on The Miz prior to losing to a returning Wade Barrett who was the champion prior to him being injured. This ultimately would be acceptable in the grand scheme of things.

This was one of three titles that changed hands as the Uso’s losing to the Dust Brothers. Which realistically seemed to be coming with the Uso’s having long title run. Does this change my interest level in the tag-team division at all? It does not have me more interested in the division in the slightest.

The Diva’s title swaps hands again as A.J gets the title back winning the three-way title match. The match was decent even Nikki Bella pulled her weight in the match. The booking about having Nikki in the match made zero sense as Brie was at Night of Champions, but only cut an interview and had zero involvement in the match. Again, another case of a decent match with flawed booking that does not make sense.

One match that for my money failed on both levels was Chris Jericho and Randy Orton. The build to this match including a useless segment on the pre-show on the “Peep Show” that was pointless. While many will say this was a good match between to vets, I am sorry but that finish to this match was so poor it wiped away anything that happened prior to it. We had Jericho waiting forever on the top rope only to get “RKOed” when he jumped off for the finishing spot to the match. The catch RKO when we first saw it was an amazing move. It was anything but in this case as you could see it coming a mile away

Roman Reigns was rushed to hospital over the weekend legitimately and the WWE did the expected but welcomed segment as a result. Rollins took a win by forfeit over Reign who could be out anywhere from 6-12 weeks based on his recovery. Rollins issues an open challenge and out of a cab in the back that he did not pay for comes Dean Ambrose returning to the WWE after a month.  In storyline curb stomped through cement blocks, while in reality he was off filming a WWE films movie in which he plays a cop. Ambrose takes justice into his own hands and attacks Rollins all over the arena and security along with Triple H and Stephanie come out. Eventually security drags off Ambrose. One of the suits along with security was Jamie Noble who had quite the scuffle with Ambrose. There is irony in the one segment that was not pre-planned and came off as one of the best things on the show.

It is now time to move onto our main event with Brock Lesnar and John Cena in their re-match from Summerslam. We saw the predictable more aggressive Cena going after Brock but still not able to finish him whoever thought it was a good idea to have John Cena using the “STF” is headshaking. Cena has always made that hold look terrible and Brock breaking out of it only emphasized that.Steve Austin has also been a long time critic of Cena doing this hold badly. Rollins come up, breaks-up yet another “STF” attempt, and causes a DQ win by attacking Cena. He “Curb Stomped” the downed Lesnar and went to cash in his Money in the Bank contract only to be cut off by Cena negating his cash in as the bell never rang to start the match. Sadly, this is looking like we are heading to yet another Cena vs. Lesnar match. It seems clear the WWE has little confidence in booking Brock with anyone else. I have very little interest in seeing this match for a third time.

Perhaps Raw can sell me on this being interesting and this would have to put some strain between the relationship with Paul Heyman and Brock with the Authority and Seth Rollins.

In the end for me, this show taught me an example of why you need good booking to go along with good wrestling to make a show enjoyable. This was booked at times as an episode of Raw and at other times like it was a pay-per-view. It just did not get me excited for what is to come and the title changes that happened all seemed very flat and uneventful in nature for me.

Night of Champions is rapidly becoming the show you skip and just wait for Hell in the Cell to get the blow offs to main event feuds. This was all similar to how the Bryan and Orton feud was dragged out last year to get it to Hell in the Cell and a blow-off cell match; this also might speak to the need of having so many gimmick themed pay-per-views. While ones like the Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank seem to work things like Hell in a Cell and Elimination Chamber clearly do not. The need for a long feud to end in these structures is likely part of the reason they don’t and making it predictable that feuds will peak at this event. Elimination Chamber is a dangerous match that always seems to be a holdover to Wrestlemania with little drama attached to it.

In the end a show that really seemed to have some mixed reaction from the WWE’s core audience while a Lesnar vs. Cena re-match, I would venture to guess did little to expand the WWE audience with casual fans. WWE had really gotten some attention with the initial Lesnar win only to fail badly in the follow-up to it.

Just like they have failed to sell a network to the mass population outside of it's hardcore audience.