Although the original concept of “Night of Champions” has been somewhat diluted (although not in a bad way with the title picture) there were some intriguing matches on the card for 2014’s version and it was a show that seemed to have promise. Did it deliver and offer value for your $9.99? (Other more expensive price plans were available). Well the DVD release of the show affords us the opportunity to find out.
The big match going in was the John Cena/Brock Lesnar main event. It was intriguing on many levels, not least that it was hard to imagine the WWE jobbing Cena twice in a row at PPV’s yet also it was difficult to believe that Lesnar would drop the belt so soon after winning it. Of course the WWE took the middle road and offered up a non-finish that somewhat negated the hard work and effort that both men had put into the match. As Taylor Swift will say, the haters are going to hate regardless but I thought both men gave their best here and it’s not as if they can be held responsible for the lack of a clean finish. One assumes that the non-finish was a set up to a Hell In A Cell match that, in the end, never materialised. We can argue until the cows come home about the fact that a strong job here to Lesnar wouldn’t have hurt Cena one bit but this is the WWE. For better or for worse, you just have to expect certain things. Dodgy finish, but a good effort nonetheless.
The other “main event” (at least in many people’s eyes) didn’t happen. With Roman Reigns recovering in hospital somewhere from a genuine “real life” problem, his match with Seth Rollins couldn’t go ahead as planned. Instead of offering an adequate replacement, WWE sent out Dean Ambrose to accept Rollins’ open challenge. Of course Ambrose would have been an adequate replacement but they didn’t have a match. It was an exciting mini-brawl/angle but all the same it was disappointing that this was all the WWE gave us.
The undercard had to go some then to make up for the top-line “disappointments” and on the whole it delivered some good entertainment. Whilst I would argue that the Randy Orton/Chris Jericho match was a bit of a waste of time in that it didn’t do anything for either man it was a good back and forth effort that made the most of the in-ring skills of both men.
The Three-Way Diva’s match between AJ, Paige and Nikki Bella was a good bout considering the presence of Nikki. It was believable, well structured and was treated as if it mattered by the commentators. The Intercontinental Title match between The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, though, was ignored by the commentators (who waffled on about almost anything but the match itself for the most part) and seemed to exist to highlight musical act Florida Georgia Line at ringside rather than the two men wrestling the match. No, I’ve never heard of them either. (I kid, but at one point Michael Cole calls them the hottest band in the world, or some such nonsense. To quote The Miz, “really!?”)
Much better was the United States Title bout between Sheamus and Cesaro. They went at it with a fury and walloped the hell out of each other in one of the stiffest WWE bouts in a while. It may not have been to everyone’s tastes but I thought it was entertaining and deserved the honours as match of the night. The match pitting Goldust and Stardust against the Uso’s wasn’t far behind and made for a fantastic opener, at a time when fans weren’t sick to death of seeing them fight on a weekly basis. The battle of the big men between Rusev and Mark Henry was less successful. As someone who has never seen the point of Mark Henry (his tally in my eyes is one good promo in an 18 year career) I wasn’t looking forward to this bout but he seemed even plodding than usual and the layout of the bout did little to enhance Rusev (which should have been the point of the match).
Although the night had it’s disappointments, the show was entertaining and drifted into “thumbs up” territory. Two great matches, two good ones and a solid undercard all-round meant that whilst this show perhaps lacked the “glamour” moments that differentiate the epic PPV’s from the standard ones it was definitely a good “B” show that most fans should enjoy.
For extras the DVD adds the kickoff, with a Peep Show segment involving Chris Jericho and a couple of perfunctory backstage interviews with AJ Lee and Gold & Stardust.
Thank you to our partners, WWEDVD.co.uk and Fetch.fm for providing our review copy of WWE Night of Champions 2014. WWE Night of Champions 2014 is available DVD & Blu-Ray from Monday, November 24th 2014. You can pre-order your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk now by clicking here.