WWE Night of Champions 2014 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Jonathan Snowden@JESnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterSeptember 22, 2014

WWE Night of Champions 2014 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    It seemed like John Cena had no hope going into his Night of Champions rematch against the great Brock Lesnar. After all, in the first bout Lesnar had rag-dolled him, throwing Cena 16 times with a German suplex to win the WWE World Championship.

    What, really, had changed in the last month? Could Cena, reasonably, be expected to compete with a man who had so recently made such short work of him? 

    The answer, it turned out, was an unqualified "yes." 

    Perhaps it was the camouflage jorts he was wearing that launched Cena beyond our wildest expectations. Maybe it was a willingness to match force with force, at one point even bloodying the beast's nose with a spinning elbow?

    Either way, Cena gave as good as he got. He hit his patented Attitude Adjustment four times and seemed about to put Lesnar away when Seth Rollins blindsided him with his Money in the Bank briefcase, causing Lesnar to be disqualified before he could be beaten the old-fashioned way.

    Rollins was looking to steal Cena's glory but wasn't able to get the job done. He attempted to cash in and beat a dazed Lesnar, but Cena prevented him from entering the ring. The bell never rang, and thus, Lesnar vs. Rollins never really happened at all.

    Cena got a win over Lesnar, but it can't be satisfying—a disqualification leaves many questions unanswered.

    The world title was the point of the evening, especially with the loss of superstar Roman Reigns to emergency hernia surgery, as reported by WWE's official website. But it wasn't the only match of the night. It wasn't even the only great one.

    We broke down each match in real time, providing instant analysis and our patented letter grades, giving each segment a mark from A to F. We grade based on how a match does relative to card placement and crowd expectations. Main events are supposed to be excellent. We judge them accordingly.

    Disagree with a grade? Have some thoughts of your own? Let us know about it in the comments.

Peep Show: Christian Interviews Chris Jericho

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    Credit: WWE.com


    Randy Orton interrupted the two Canadian goofballs. He would, by the way, be fighting Jericho later in the night.

    Highlights and Quotes

    "That is an amazing stage set"—Jerry Lawler. Perhaps a bit sarcastic considering the only set is a tiny sign in one ring corner.

    "You put on a pair of pants when you step into The Peep Show my friend."—Christian. 

    "It's the Canadian version of Brad and Angelina. Only which one is Brad and which one is Angelina?"—Randy Orton.

    "The only television show you will ever, ever appear on again is Total Divas."—Orton cracking the jokes and stealing this segment.




    I hate to be that guy talking about the old days. But man—in the old days they knew how to do these interview segments and make them count. Roddy Piper used to pretty much carry the entire card on his back during Piper's Pit, invigorating even angles he had nothing to do with. 

    Christian, obviously, isn't on that level. He can't and won't be. So, I guess, this was alright.

The Dust Brothers vs. the Usos (World Tag Team Championships)

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    Credit: WWE.com


    Stardust rolled up Jey Uso to win the WWE World Tag Team Championship. It was an exciting and competitive bout that ended after Stardust got his knees up to block a top-rope splash.

    Highlights and Quotes

    "These two weirdos right here, I think this could be their night."—JBL, predicting a Dust Brothers win. Well, there's a 50 percent chance!

    The Usos have apparently been calling Goldust "Olddust" on the old Twitter. Simple but classic. 

    Brutal "DiBiase" style powerslam by Goldust outside the ring. That didn't appear pleasant for the Uso on the wrong end of things.

    I missed a minute or two of a solid match because of network issues. TECHNOLOGY!

    Jey Uso got his revenge on Stardust, working over the former Cody Rhodes' leg on the ring post.

    "Does he want to duel?"—Lawler after Stardust slapped Jey Uso with a glove.

    Amazing sequence of dives as Goldust lands a Rolling Senton followed by Jimmy Uso's dive onto Stardust. Exciting!




    Sometimes when watching a wrestling match I get lost in my thoughts. They are related to the match—kind of.

    For example? Well, have you ever thought about what one of Goldust's bodysuits is like after a match? That thing has to be disgusting. How many do you think he goes through in a given month? Or does he wear the same gross suit daily? I must know.

    Oh, the match? It was really good! 

Sheamus vs. Cesaro (United States Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com


    Sheamus pinned Cesaro with a Brogue Kick after one of the best matches of the year.

    Highlights and Quotes

    The announcers talk up Sheamus' amateur skills, and he almost immediately smacks Cesaro with an amateur slap to the face. Well then.

    "Horrible."—JBL explaining what it felt like to be kicked in the back by Fit Finlay.

    "They're like the SEC. They don't have any defense."—JBL with the college football-themed trash talk. Them's fighting words where I come from.

    "He doesn't look like a Superman but he really is."—Jerry Lawler, finding a nice way to say Cesaro is really strong but doesn't look like he's juicing. 

    Wow, Cesaro with a JBL-stye clothesline. 

    "It's about fighting for the prestigious United States Championship."—Michael Cole. Think he kept a straight face?




    How you feel about this match kind of depends on what you're looking for in a wrestling match. If you want a lot of back-and-forth choreographed highspots, you may not have loved this. 

    But if you're looking for two hosses beating the heck out of each other in a brutal slobberknocker, well, this was a little bit like heaven. The story of the match was Cesaro countering every one of Sheamus' signature moves—until he didn't. 

    Some will be tempted to credit Cesaro, rightfully an Internet darling, for this match's brilliance. But Sheamus carried his half and then some. What a fantastic match.

The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler (Intercontinental Title)

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    Credit: WWE.com


    The Miz pinned Ziggler with a handful of tights. It was a splendidly worked match you may have missed while WWE concentrated on everything but the action in the ring.


    Highlights and Quotes

    "The hottest group in the world today." That's what Michael Cole just called Florida Georgia Line, some dudes famous for a song with Nelly. In 2014.

    Damien Sandow's Miz impression remains fantastic. 

    No guest announcers will ever top the late, great Art Donovan, who once asked Randy Savage "how much does this guy weigh?" 100 times during King of the Ring 1994.

    The announcers are giving this match all the respect Tony Schiavone gave an opening match on Nitro when the NWO arrived in a limo.

    Poor Sandow had to take a bump for Florida Georgia Line. Somewhere David Schultz is wondering why he smacked John Stossel around.  




    The announcers may have ignored this match from beginning to end, but these two guys put on a heck of a show. In the old days WCW used to air fantastic matches during the first hour of Nitro, only to have the announcers completely ignore them in favor of chatting about bigger stars like Hulk Hogan and the NWO.

    This felt a little like that. The wrestlers were in the ring working really hard, but it felt like no one noticed. The heat, instead, was put on Florida Georgia Line, a country act with a short shelf life. I don't mind crossover—it's the lifeblood of WWE's business and has been for decades. But not at the expense of the wrestlers. They deserve more.

Seth Rollins Open Challenge

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    Credit: WWE.com


    Roman Reigns is counted out. He was in the hospital rather than in the ring. Dean Ambrose came out to answer an open challenge from Rollins but was eventually restrained by WWE security.


    Highlights and Quotes

    "One minute you're on top of the world. The next you're Roman Reigns."—Seth Rollins.

    "Emergency surgery is no excuse for not showing up here tonight."—Rollins.

    "I'm disappointed too. I'm disappointed in Roman Reigns."—Rollins.

    Dean Ambrose shows up in a cab to answer an open challenge from Rollins. He didn't pay.

    Ambrose took out the entire WWE security detail. That was awesome.




    It's a shame we didn't get to see Rollins wrestle. He's become one of the best in the industry, and his match with Reigns was the second-biggest bout on the entire show. Talk about your massive disappointments.

    But. But. But.

    Dean Ambrose showed up to answer an open challenge from Rollins. That was pretty exciting. Unfortunately they didn't let the match play out. I get wanting to save Rollins-Ambrose for a bigger event, complete with weeks of promotion.

    But when one of the main events gets cancelled, you owe it to the crowd to replace the match with something exciting. I say let them fight! 

Rusev vs. Mark Henry

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    Credit: WWE.com


    Rusev made Mark Henry submit to a camel clutch.


    Highlights and Quotes

    Mark Henry tears up during the national anthem. That's some solid carny work right there!

    "I don't think Putin would allow him back in the country."—Jerry Lawler. Apparently Mr. Putin is a very unforgiving wrestling fan.

    Rusev runs Henry into the ring steps. That was a physics equation. Force+Mass=Pain. Or something.

    "Yes he let us down. And the whole damn country."—JBL took that one personally.




    This one was for America—but America deserves better.

    The crowd was completely dead here. And for good reason. It's hard enough for two behemoths to have a great match. It's the contrast between a little man and a big man that typically makes things compelling. Two enormous men colliding into each other in slow motion only goes so far.

    But to have a great match when trying to work an injury storyline? Those are the ingredients for a disappointing stew. 

Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho

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    Credit: WWE.com


    Orton pinned Jericho with the RKO. Orton pretended to be hurt and caught Jericho coming off the top rope. 


    Highlights and Quotes

    "He's bred to be a champion."—JBL on Randy Orton.

    The two old guys start out fast. Just what the crowd needed.

    "Randy Orton finds humor in the discomfort of others."—Lawler. 

    "Don't you?"—JBL. That was a good little bit.

    Jericho goes flying over the ropes to the floor. These guys are working hard. 

    The announcers go into an extended back-and-forth extolling the virtues of Diet Mountain Dew. Solid product placement.

    Jericho counters Orton's rope-assisted DDT. More guys should do their basic scouting work.

    Great sequence of moves and countermoves to close the match. This was the WWE formula, sure, but well-executed and interesting.




    Orton and Jericho are two smart veterans. Knowing the crowd was killed deader than Elvis thanks to the awful Henry vs. Rusev match, the two started out at a really fast pace, regaining the trust of the fans. 

    They settled down nicely into a solid professional wrestling match. I've given Jericho a hard time in this space, but he's found his rhythm again and looked really good here. Unfortunately, it's just in time to go on tour again with his rock band Fozzy.

Nikki Bella vs. Paige vs. AJ Lee (Divas Title)

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    Credit: WWE.com


    AJ Lee made Paige tap to the Black Widow. She hooked the leg to secure the hold after Paige tried to reverse the hold.


    Highlights and Quotes

    "You think she's self-centered and obnoxious now?"—Brie explaining why she doesn't want her sister to win the championship.

    "Nikki? She's a lot like karma. She's a b---h."—Brie. This kitten has claws!

    Nikki with a neat headlock spot on AJ Lee. No, that wasn't sarcasm!

    "Why don't you love me?"—Paige screams at AJ Lee after attempting a hug mid-match.

    I don't see how AJ Lee can withstand the strain of regular competition at the weight she's at. You can't see the ribs on actual top-level women athletes. But body-image demands are rough in wrestling.




    They treated this match like it mattered. Instead of being nothing more than filler, they showed a video package and featured an interview with Brie before the bout. That's a step in the right direction.

    I think there's a market for women's wrestling. I really and truly do. The UFC has proved that you can successfully incorporate women into the show seamlessly. The WWE just hasn't been able to find its version of Ronda Rousey, the world-class star to carry the others on her back. 

    It's not going to be any of these women. But they can set the stage for the chosen one whenever WWE finds her.

John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar (WWE World Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com


    John Cena beat Brock Lesnar by disqualification when Seth Rollins ran in. Rollins attempted to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase but did not at the last minute as the bell never rang.


    Highlights and Quotes

    "Three matches this year. Three routs."—Michael Cole on Lesnar's unbelievable 2014.

    Cena is out in his camouflage shorts. This means war, y'all!

    Cena with a clubbing clothesline and AA to start. Wow!

    "Folded him up like an accordion."—JBL on Cena, victim of a release German suplex.

    Lesnar turns a weird shade of purple. Seriously, he should get that checked out.

    "Let's go Cena...Cena Sucks!"—the crowd. Make up your mind, people!

    Rollins cashed in—or did he?

    Rollins curbstomps Lesnar!


    Match: A

    Aftermath: D


    Wow. These two guys wrestled like they had no regard for each other's well being. Just an old-fashioned smashmouth match. Lesnar tossed Cena around again, but this time the longtime face of the WWE was giving it right back to him. 

    A clubbing clothesline there, a brutal spinning elbow here—this match was painful just to watch. Unlike their match at SummerSlam, both men had a chance to shine. I was legitimately curious to see if Cena could put the beast away—and then Seth Rollins hit the ring.

    I'm not sure exactly what happened after that. Rollins delivered a curbstomp to Lesnar and told the referee that he was cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase. But he never got in the ring, so officials didn't ring the bell to start the match. After a brief brawl with Cena, Rollins just kind of faded away. 

    Not even WWE announcers seemed able to explain what went down. I guess they have about 20 hours to figure it all out before Monday Night Raw.


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