Night of Champions may not be the biggest pay-per-view on the WWE calendar, but performing well at any pay-per-view can be huge for a wrestler's career.
The fan reaction toward Night of Champions has been mixed thus far, but there is no question that several Superstars are on the ascent following the show.
It's entirely possible that those Superstars will look back at Night of Champions one day and count it as the turning point in their respective careers. That won't be evident for several months or even years, but they are certainly on the right track and in a position to succeed.
Here is a complete breakdown of the Superstars who benefited most from the way they were booked at Night of Champions.
There is little doubt that Ryback came away from Night of Champions in much better shape than he was in before it.
Prior to the pay-per-view, Ryback was employing a bully gimmick that saw him assault random people backstage. While it did allow Ryback to showcase his personality to a certain extent, it didn't seem to be leading to anything. Ryback now has a clear purpose, though, as he saved Paul Heyman by driving CM Punk through a table.
Which Superstar benefited most from Night of Champions?
Ryback and Heyman seem like an odd couple, but Ryback has to be ecstatic about being paired with one of the greatest managers of all time.
Ryback has always been at his best as a silent monster who destroys his opponents. He really got himself in trouble on the mic, as he was never a believable character. Ryback won't have to worry much about cutting promos moving forward because Heyman can be his mouthpiece, just as he always has been for Brock Lesnar.
Also, Ryback is automatically part of the second-biggest storyline in the company now as he figures to face Punk at Battleground. It remains to be seen how well Ryback will operate as a Heyman guy and how well another feud with Punk will go over, but Ryback took a huge leap in relevance on Sunday night as he will play an integral role in the product for the foreseeable future.
Although Daniel Bryan's WWE Championship win was essentially erased on Raw, as Triple H stripped him of the title due to Scott Armstrong's fast count, he definitely looked strong at Night of Champions.
Bryan has now had two WWE Championship reigns cut short, but he is still the hottest thing going in WWE. The actions of Triple H on Raw made him an even bigger sympathetic face, and he has proven that he can handle himself in the ring.
Even if Bryan continues to get screwed over by Triple H, Orton et al, he has now firmly established himself as the biggest star in the company during John Cena's absence.
Bryan has cleanly defeated two of the biggest stars in the history of the WWE at the past two pay-per-views, as he took out both Cena and Orton. Few wrestlers have ever gotten such a big vote of confidence, so it's clear that the company believes in Bryan.
That fact has to give him a ton of confidence moving forward, as he is going to be given every opportunity to succeed. Bryan pretty much seemed like a sure thing to thrive even before Night of Champions, but a win over Orton cemented it.
Bryan is here to stay as one of the biggest stars in wrestling, and that has to be a surreal feeling for fans who have followed him over the course of his long and winding career.
Prime Time Players
The Prime Time Players may have fallen short in their bid to capture the Tag Team Championships from Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, but they seemed to establish themselves as legitimate contenders in the tag team division.
Their night started out well, as they took part in the pre-show Tag Team Turmoil match to determine the No. 1 contenders. Darren Young and Titus O'Neil eliminated The Real Americans en route to a huge victory that ensured them a spot on the main card.
After looking like future Tag Team Champions for quite a while, the Prime Time Players were discarded and used mainly as enhancement talent. That has changed in recent weeks, though, thanks to a much-needed face turn.
The Prime Time Players were solid heels, but they have a lot of personality, so the fans have responded positively to them. The crowd erupted when they won the Tag Team Turmoil match, and they received plenty of cheers when they made their way to the ring prior to their match against The Shield.
Young and O'Neil lost the match, but they looked very strong throughout and seemed like they belonged. It simply wasn't the right time to take the Tag Team Championships off of Rollins and Reigns, but the Prime Time Players could be the beneficiaries when that time ultimately comes. It will be very interesting to see how the creative team decides to utilize them in the coming months.
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