WWE Night of Champions 2014 Results: Biggest Highlights and Low Points
The results of WWE's Night of Champions 2014 pay-per-view are in, so it's time for us to look back on the evening and break down the highlights and low points that made the event what it was.
After the landscape of WWE was changed in a huge way at SummerSlam with Brock Lesnar's defeat of John Cena, Night of Champions was poised to be a monumental event.
However, the past few weeks of build have been lackluster to say the least.
With Monday Night Raw struggling to keep its audience against its competition, Monday Night Football, WWE dropped the ball in creating interest for this pay-per-view.
Stranger things have happened, but Night of Champions was advertised as consisting mostly of rematches with some new bouts haphazardly thrown into the mix with little to no effort.
Did the event bounce back and deliver more positives than negatives?
Was the show a disappointment to those who purchased or renewed their subscriptions to the WWE Network?
Let's break down the highlights and low points of the night, presented to you in order of appearance.
Low Point: The Peep Show Pre-Show
The pre-show for this event was an edition of the Peep Show with Chris Jericho featuring as the guest star.
Absolutely nothing was accomplished in this segment, which came off more like something that would appear as filler on an episode of Raw, rather than something worthy of being on a pay-per-view.
If the philosophy behind the kickoff before each event is to offer something that only the WWE Network subscribers are privy to, wouldn't it make sense to do something that would entice fans to pay for a subscription?
How was this supposed to accomplish that?
Quite literally, this was a promo in which Orton said he would beat Jericho, who then retorted that he would beat Orton—nothing more.
Did someone make their debut? Did a stipulation get added to the match for later on? Was there any kind of advancement to the storyline of Orton and Jericho's feud?'
None of those things happened, nor did anyone even attack anyone else.
This was a complete dud and a worthless waste of time that accomplished nothing more than what would have happened if WWE had simply run a video package—as if WWE programming needs any more recaps.
Low Point: Florida Georgia Line
If you're a fan of country music, you might have enjoyed this on the grounds of seeing a band that you're interested in.
However, if you're not into Florida Georgia Line, then this was just another reason to dislike the event.
This kind of celebrity treatment is out of place on Raw, let alone a pay-per-view.
The majority of the Intercontinental Championship match was devoted to talking about their upcoming album and promoting their different projects rather than paying attention to what was going on in the ring.
Fans already complain about the prestige of the title in comparison to what it used to be, and ignoring it in favor of celebrities who have no tie to wrestling does the title no favors.
WWE will always attempt to use celebrities to bring attention to the product, but there is a time and a place for everything.
The way this band was added into the mix was not a means to help WWE out, and it took away from a title win.
After the Miz won the title, the rewind was about Florida Georgia Line rather than Miz winning, showing what the priority was here.
Highlight: Dean Ambrose Returns
After Roman Reigns was pulled from the card, it was necessary that Dean Ambrose would return to give Seth Rollins someone to interact with.
Thankfully, that indeed came true, leading to one of the better segments of the night, despite its simplicity.
This was just a brawl rather than a match, even though Rollins had issued an open challenge to anyone in the locker room.
Still, watching these two fight is something that fans have been eating up for months, so it was still just as entertaining as it has been in the past.
Ambrose's return brought some much needed energy back into an event that had started off lukewarm and hadn't yet gained any real heat.
Low Point: Mark Henry vs. Rusev
Tell the truth in the comments below, did you honestly expect Rusev would lose this match?
If you did, was this really a match that makes you think that much more of Rusev—beating someone like Mark Henry, who wasn't going into this with some undefeated streak or anything impressive in quite some time?
If you didn't expect Rusev to lose, then there's even less of a reason to have been entertained by this, as you knew what the outcome was going to be.
The in-ring performance between these two did nothing to make up for that predictable outcome.
WWE has been stuck on cruise control for weeks now, and nothing illustrates that point better than the way Rusev has been booked.
There has been nothing different from Rusev's matches or feuds for far too long, and this was yet another example of why nobody should care to see who Rusev defeats at Hell in a Cell.
Highlight: Paige vs. AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella
Divas matches usually draw the ire of fans as they don't have the best record for performance value.
However, this ended up being one of the better matches of the night, with a legitimate surprise ending on top of it.
Since Nikki Bella was the driving force behind this match, it would have been an easy choice to assume that she would win the title.
The same ease could be attributed to guessing that Paige would retain, as she had just won her title back relatively recently.
After a well-paced match with some nice spots and a healthy back and forth of competition, it was AJ Lee who left with the championship—and not with a roll-up, either.
Critics of Nikki that expected her to drag this match down will have to eat their words a bit, as well as those who doubted the Divas division in general and weren't willing to give them a shot here.
Highlight: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena
Even if all of the other matches on the card didn't deliver and had an unimpressive build to them, this main event delivered in many different ways.
John Cena was meant to look like a worthy contender instead of simply getting destroyed again, which brought a different dynamic to the match and avoided making it a repeat.
To his credit, Lesnar didn't come off as a weakling to make up for that, either, and proved that he's got more in his tank than one match every couple of months.
Fair is fair and fans could criticize the ending for seeming too much like an episode of Raw with the cash-in tease and disqualification, but the match itself leading up to that ending was quite enjoyable.
What parts of the show did you enjoy the most? Which parts made you want to stop watching because of how bad they were?
Tell us what you think in the comments below.
Anthony Mango is the owner-operator of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment as well as the host of its podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.