September 18, 2015
Arkansas’ Verizon Arena was the last stop before WWE invades Houston on Sunday for Night of Champions. Since the WWE World Heavyweight Champion tapped out to one of his opponents on Sunday night this past Monday on Raw, due to a weird-looking Scorpion Death Lock by Sting, one would assume the last television show before the event would make the champion look good.
That wasn’t the case. Not only did the champion come out of Thursday night not looking good, he wound up losing another match, this time in a tag team encounter. At least he wasn’t pinned, said the glass is half-full people. If one good thing can be assumed coming out of this, now that Rollins has looked particularly weak in the week leading up to his dual title defenses, it’s that Rollins should at least retain one championship on Sunday, and I’m banking on it being the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Here are the main stories coming out of SmackDown:
With the WWE World Heavyweight and United States Champion heading into Night of Champions on a losing streak, it probably looks like to the casual fan that Rollins will lose both titles to John Cena and Sting, respectively. While I think the possibility of Cena regaining the United States Championship is greater than Sting’s chances of winning his first ever WWE World Heavyweight Championship, I don’t believe Rollins will be walking out of the Toyota Center without any gold.
Of course, there’s always the possibility of Sheamus cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase, which he reminded Rollins of on the beginning of SmackDown, but I don’t think Sheamus is near ready enough to have a run with the gold. I’m not sure he ever will be. The crowd has completely turned on him, and it’s not because he’s a great heel. He’s just boring. I’d like to see him cash in the briefcase and lose, so we don’t have to worry about the possibility of him being champion in the future.
Sasha Banks and Naomi got a victory over Paige and Becky Lynch in the opening match, and I think the seeds are being planted for an eventual heel turn for Paige. It would work perfectly if [when] Charlotte wins the Divas Championship at Night of Champions and Paige turns on her because she feels like it should be her title. Paige’s body language the last few weeks have changed, so a heel turn may be coming. And it would probably make the Divas division even more interesting.
The fact that Nikki Bella’s “Bellabration” for becoming the longest-reigning Divas Champion in WWE history was held on SmackDown makes me feel better, because I’m taking that as a sign that she’ll definitely lose the title on Sunday. It’s not only because it would be kind of great due to the timing, but if WWE was going to continue to push Nikki as the face of the Divas division, this angle most definitely would have occurred on Monday Night Raw. So, for as annoying as those backstage segments may have been to watch, I enjoyed them because I honestly believe that was the last time we’ll see Nikki with the title for a long while. And, I have to admit, the celebration “blowing up in her face” was rather comical to me.
The WWE Tag Team Champions, New Day, continue to be the best part of WWE television. Their promo on SmackDown targeted at the Dudley Boyz and their abuse of wooden tables was fantastic. The champions have a petition to #SaveTheTables and want the Dudleys to sign it.
One of these things is not like the other... pic.twitter.com/UfEOPLwoYB— Nick Piccone (@nickpiccone) September 18, 2015
“Broken wood is no good!” Not sure that’s PG. Not sure “#Booty” is, either. Just remember – only you can prevent table poaching.
Kofi Kingston walked away with a win over D’Von Dudley afterward. Good things are happening for The New Day, and I expect they’ll continue on Sunday night.
It’s kind of weird for the babyface to attack the heel during a match, but that’s what happened on SmackDown when Ryback ran down to the ring and attacked Kevin Owens during his match with Dolph Ziggler. While it was a good match, the ending seemed convoluted by having Ryback attack Owens during a match. This feud isn’t a blood feud like the Rollins-Ambrose feud from last year was. Having Ryback as a babyface attack the heel like that is just not needed at this point.
More soap opera shenanigans between Dolph Ziggler and Summer Rae happened backstage on SmackDown. Ziggler’s now playing the character whose intentions aren’t well-known yet, and with Lana out four months with a wrist injury, I’m hoping this is the catalyst for Ziggler to reinvent his character. Is it time for a heel turn despite how much the fans like him? Maybe. Ziggler isn’t untouchable like Cena in regards to turning heel. He’s a damn good heel, too. I would like to see this angle end with Ziggler and Summer Rae together, as heels, and Rusev turning face and reuniting with Lana down the road. At least that would be better than what we’re getting currently.
• Sasha Banks and Naomi d. Paige and Becky Lynch by pinfall after Naomi pinned Paige with a small package after Banks distracted her from the apron.
• Kofi Kingston w/ The New Day d. D’Von Dudley w/ Bubba Ray Dudley by pinfall via a school boy after D’Von went after Xavier Woods on the outside and Kingston rolled him up.
• Big Show d. Cesaro by pinfall via the Knockout Punch.
• Kevin Owens d. Dolph Ziggler by disqualification after Ryback attacked Owens during the match.
• Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose d. Seth Rollins and Sheamus by pinfall after Reigns hit Sheamus with a Superman Punch and then Ambrose hit him with Dirty Deeds for the win. A Wyatt Family promo ended the show.
Follow Nick on Twitter: @nickpiccone