This Sunday, the WWE will present Night of Champions. While the card looks solid, the buildup from SummerSlam until now has been less than lackluster. Much of this has to do with how the company has treated John Cena coming off his devastating loss to Brock Lesnar.
Of course, Cena wasn’t the only one to suffer a serious smack down around SummerSlam. Dean Ambrose was also critically injured at the hands of Seth Rollins, and the RAW after ‘Slam saw him denying much needed medical treatment and disappearing after getting his head kicked through a pile of cinder blocks. This was the last we saw of him.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’s funny – Ambrose’s stock has never been higher. Fans can’t wait to see him get his hands on Seth Rollins. It’s like he almost forgot about him, that he doesn’t feel Ambrose is a threat anymore, and that’s what is going to make it all the more delicious to see the look on Seth’s face when he gets his just desserts in the form of a dirty deeds from Dean.
Think about it. Remember when CM Punk left (both times)? Remember the pop he got when he returned (the first time)? People tuned in every week to see if this was the week he was coming back. Every wrestling fan was talking about it. Even some of the more mainstream outlets picked up on it. It’s a big deal when a company’s top star isn’t there. They also say leave them wanting more, and the pop Ambrose gets upon his return should signal to Vince that he’s made a mistake by booking Cena to look so strong this whole time.
I almost thought we were going to get that story with Cena as well, because to the WWE’s credit, he didn’t show up that first night after his brutal suplexing from Lesnar. I thought I was going to build up sympathy for the guy over the weeks between SummerSlam and Night of Champions. I thought that the odds we actually going to be against him. After all, Lesnar beat the Undertaker six months ago, and we still haven’t heard from him.
However, the very next week, Cena shows up, fresh as a daisy, without even a scratch and proceeds to give Bray Wyatt a Lesnar-like (or “Lensar-light”) lashing. Some time after that, he cuts a promo talking about how much tougher he is than the Undertaker. That’s right, Cena is selling his injuries by taking shots at one of the most revered performers in WWE history! You don’t get my sympathy at all, John Cena. At least tape something up.
That’s the problem with Cena, he always “overcomes the odds”. It’s to the point now that for Cena to be the legitimate underdog, he’ll have to be in the ring facing the entire Jury of the Damned. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see Cena square off against Dave Schultz. No, not that one: this one. If that hockey fight was in the Tokyo Dome, Dave Meltzer would give it fight stars.
Well, if there is any silver lining to all of this, it puts some doubt into who is going to win at Night of Champions. By all accounts, Brock should win, but then why are they booking Cena to look so strong?
Around the World
This weekend is not only Night of Champions, but also Chikara’s King of Trios weekend (Friday-Sunday, 19-21 Sept.) and New Japan’s Destruction card (night one is on Sunday, 21 Sept. and night 2 will be on Tuesday, 23 Sept.).
The King of Trios cards are pretty good this year. They don’t have the eye popping fly-ins from Japan or Mexico that they have become known for, but the 3-on-3 tag tournament will be based around Chikara’s latest invasion storyline and still feature some of the best ring work in the indies.
Plus, they did bring in some well known talent, like an LAX trio, Rockstar Spud, Tigre Uno, Sanada, Yoshi Tatsu & the Spirit Squad.
Destruction isn’t the biggest NJPW super card, but there are some interesting matchups there as well. I can’t wait to see KUSHIDA & Alex Shelly defend their belts against El Desperado and the King of Pants Style himself, Taichi. YOSHI-HASHI seems to be getting a push, so his match for the NEVER title against Yujiro Takahashi should be interesting. Plus, we get a Tanahashi vs Shibata match. That will be worth the price of admission by itself
Match of the Month
Here is a trios match from Chikara that embodies everything King of Trios weekend is about: surprise talent in matches, great wrestling and most of all, fun!