In his second of two matches Sunday night, Seth Rollins defeated Sting to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions.
WWE shared a picture of the champion:
After the win, Sheamus sprinted to the stage and attempted to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase as he hit Rollins with a Brogue Kick, per WWE:
Just seconds later, a masked Kane made his WWE return to chase Sheamus off before he could cash in. Kane proceeded to chokeslam a fatigued Rollins into the mat, per WWE Universe:
The show concluded with Kane standing tall:
Robert Littal of Black Sports Online gave Rollins props for his big night:
After beating John Cena at SummerSlam to retain the world title and win the WWE United States Championship, the former architect of The Shield got more than he bargained for as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon booked him in two separate bouts for Night of Champions.
Not only was he forced to defend the U.S. title in a rematch with Cena, but Rollins was also put in a world title match against Sting after The Vigilante stole Rollins' statue and sneak-attacked him on Raw.
Sting has had previous issues with The Authority, losing to Triple H at WrestleMania 31, but since the Raw after the Showcase of the Immortals, The Icon hadn't been seen on WWE programming in months. He decided to return to gain redemption against The Authority and attempt to become WWE world heavyweight champion for the first time in his illustrious career.
As a six-time WCW world heavyweight champion and two-time NWA world heavyweight champion, Sting entered Night of Champions needing only one accolade to put a bow on his Hall of Fame career.
Despite Sting's motivation to cement his legacy, Rollins was determined to prevent the 56-year-old Superstar from taking his title, according to WWE Universe on Twitter:
Sting has been a master of mind games, and there is no doubt that he got inside Rollins' head during the buildup toward Night of Champions.
That was on full display when he held Rollins' statue hostage before allowing it to be crushed in the back of a garbage truck, as seen in this GIF, courtesy of WWE's official Twitter account:
Not only did Sting have an advantage from a mental perspective, but he also benefited from the fact that Rollins had to focus on two separate matches.
Although Rollins is one of the world's best in-ring workers and perhaps the best-conditioned athlete in the business, the odds were stacked against him entering his clash with Sting.
Even so, Rollins was able to come out on top in what may be viewed as one of the most significant wins of his career down the line.
Rollins enjoyed several successful title defenses and locked horns with many of the top stars in the business leading up to Night of Champions, including Cena, Brock Lesnar and many others. As one of Sting's first opponents in WWE, though, Rollins' name will be forever etched in the history books.
Few knew what to expect out of a match between Rollins and a man who is nearly 30 years his senior, but both competitors put on a good show at Night of Champions.
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