John Cena wins, but Brock Lesnar retains title at Night of Champions

September 22, 2014|By Aaron Oster

A general rule in wrestling pay-per-views is that the main event should end with a decision. Whether the finish is clean or ends with interference, main events generally have a decisive winner and a loser.

However, sometimes a storyline calls for a disqualification, as we saw at Night of Champions, and the WWE has to deal with the fallout from it.

On Sunday night, after a hard-fought match against John Cena, Brock Lesnar retained his title after Seth Rollins attacked Cena, drawing a DQ. Rollins, who used his Money in the Bank briefcase to briefly incapacitate Cena, then turned his attention to Lesnar, who had been downed after Cena hit him with an AA for the fourth time in the match. After hitting a Curb Stomp on Lesnar for good measure, Rollins tried to cash in his briefcase but was stopped by Cena before the match could get started.

So at the end of the night, Rollins had to retreat, still holding the contract, Cena won and Lesnar still held the title.

There are few things that are almost guaranteed to raise the ire of wrestling fans. One is a DQ finish in the main event of a pay-per-view. Before the WWE Network, people paying $50 (or more) for their show, did not want to see it end in a no-contest. The last time the WWE went that route, at Battleground in 2013, fans even called their cable providers demanding refunds (and many actually received that refund).

So why did the WWE do that here?

Well, quite frankly there wasn't a huge choice. The next pay-per-view is Hell in a Cell. If Lesnar was to retain, he couldn't just start another feud and have it make sense that they would compete in a Hell in a Cell match. Instead, the only logical choice was to continue the feud with Cena. After the dominating fashion Lesnar won with at SummerSlam, he couldn't beat Cena cleanly again and have enough juice for the feud to continue. So either they had to have a hackneyed ending involving Heyman interference, or they had to go the route they chose, which did provide a moment of excitement at the end when Rollins tried to cash in.

While many fans are unhappy with the DQ finish, in the context of where the WWE is in their calendar, and where they want this feud to go, it made perfect sense.


The Rest of Night of Champions:

** Goldust and Stardust won the tag-team titles from The Usos. Cole said that they ended one of the better reigns in the history of the tag titles. While it was a slight exaggeration, and The Usos may not go down as an all-time great reign, it was certainly one of the longer reigns in recent memory. The Usos kept the tag titles relevant for a six-month reign, and kept the scene fresh despite the fact that the number of teams dwindled during their reign. Their feud with the Wyatts was fantastic, and really did raise the bar for tag feuds in the future. The interesting thing now is where the WWE will go with the Dusts as champions. Realistically, the Usos are the only credible faces in the tag division right now (Los Matadores are still around, but they hardly count as a credible tag team). Most of the tag teams in NXT that could be called up are also heels. I have been talking about The Ascension for the past few months, but having The Ascension be the ones to beat the Dusts doesn't quite seem to fit. So it will be interesting to see exactly where the WWE decides to go with the tag titles.

** Sheamus successfully defended the US title against Cesaro. This was a fun, hard-hitting match between the two. One thing that was notable about the match is how many new moves each wrestler used. It's so rare to see wrestlers use moves they've never used before that to see both wrestlers use some new moves or combinations that it was refreshing to see these two go at it. It was also hard-hitting, which was expected between the two. Towards the end of the match, Sheamus started to, for lack of a better term, Hulk up. He kept asking Cesaro to hit him harder, and then hit Cesaro with a surprise Brogue Kick for the win. They're truly making Sheamus look strong, and I wonder if he's being set on a path towards Lesnar down the road.

** The Miz beat Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental title. The match was very good, but it was all overshadowed by the Florida-Georgia Line doing guest commentary. The five-man booth simply bickered with each another and cracked jokes the entire time, while the match was glossed over. While this might be OK on a Raw show, it's ridiculous to have it for a title match on a pay-per-view. It made a joke of a match that may have been one of the best of the night.

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