With the notable exception of Daniel Bryan's WWE Championship victory over Randy Orton, there weren't a ton of surprises at Night of Champions. Most fans pretty much knew what to expect heading into the event, but that doesn't change the fact that a handful of Superstars came away looking weak.
Being a professional wrestling booker can't be an easy job as that person has to figure out ways to make every Superstar look strong. Sometimes that simply isn't possible, though, and that was clear at Night of Champions for a few unlucky competitors.
Here are three Superstars that will now be forced to rebound after less-than-ideal results at Sunday's Night of Champions pay-per-view.
Most wrestling fans would probably agree that Dolph Ziggler is among the WWE's most-talented performers, yet he has been stuck in an absolutely miserable slump as of late.
That continued at Night of Champions as he lost cleanly to United States champion Dean Ambrose. Ziggler has been a fantastic United States champion in the past, but there is no reason for him to be chasing a midcard title right now, and losing the bout makes him look even worse.
Ziggler and Ambrose should have been able to put on a great match at the very least, but they didn't seem to mesh properly, so the night was a total loss from Ziggler's perspective. Ziggler did defeat Ambrose the following night on Raw, so his losing streak was snapped, and he was part of a locker-room uprising as well; however, his current position on the card is a far cry from what it was just a few months ago.
The main issue plaguing Ziggler is that he is a main event-caliber performer who hasn't been given a fair shot in the main event scene. When Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Alberto Del Rio, it was a great moment, but the creative team failed to properly capitalize on it.
Ziggler has been stuck in midcard purgatory ever since, which simply doesn't make sense considering the fact that the world title is back around the waist of someone like Del Rio, who can't have an interesting feud to save his life.
When Fandango defeated Chris Jericho at WrestleMania and the "Fandangoing" craze truly took off, it seemed as though he was poised to become a huge part of the product. That hasn't been the case lately, though, as Fandango has essentially devolved into enhancement talent. That was evident at Night of Champions as Fandango lost to The Miz yet again in a match that didn't really do much for either man involved.
Fandango isn't exactly main event material, but he could easily be one of WWE's go-to guys in the midcard. Not only does he have an entertaining character, but he has a great valet in the form of Summer Rae, and he is solid in the ring as well.
When Fandango's momentum was at its highest point, he appeared to be on the verge of winning the Intercontinental Championship at Payback. A concussion kept him out of the match, however, and it has all been downhill since then.
The fans still respond positively to Fandango, so perhaps WWE would be best off turning him face and seeing what he can do in that regard. Fandango is an excellent heel as well, but he needs some type of kickstart. Despite all the work that WWE put into hyping and debuting him, Fandango has gone by the wayside. He desperately needs to win a feud, but it seems highly unlikely that he will be given that type of chance at this point.
The expectation heading into Night of Champions was that Randy Orton would defeat Daniel Bryan due to some type of outside interference. Rather than going that route, however, Bryan defeated Orton to win the WWE Championship. It was determined that referee Scott Armstrong had performed a fast count, though, which led to Triple H vacating the title the next night on Raw. Despite that, it is blatantly obvious that Orton lost cleanly to Bryan on Sunday night.
While there is no shame in losing to Bryan as he is the hottest star in wrestling right now, it seemed like Orton was being built as a dominant heel champion. Even if he had beaten Bryan through unfair means at Night of Champions, it would have been far better for his character. Triple H suddenly has uncertainty about whether or not Orton is capable of being the face of the company, and that storyline uncertainty likely permeates into the WWE Universe as well.
The creative team has to have something up its sleeve regarding this Bryan vs. Orton angle, but there was nothing wrong with maintaining the status quo for a while longer. Orton attacking Miz on Raw helped reassert him as a heartless heel to a certain extent, but he still has plenty of work to do in order to get back to where he was prior to Night of Champions.
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