WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Raw Causes Riots, leads to Raging Ambivalence over Night of Champions

WWE Night of Champions is coming up on Sunday, September 21. The event features Brock Lesnar defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against former titleholder John Cena. Roman Reigns will face former Shield teammate Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho will square off against Randy Orton.

Crickets. Yeah, I know.

It’s a tough one this time, there is no doubt about it. Maybe it’s because there was such an incredible amount of hype surrounding SummerSlam, or maybe it’s because SummerSlam delivered on many levels. Truth be told, maybe NOC is just in a bad spot; try following up the event billed as the hottest one of the summer.

Or, maybe it’s because WWE just doesn’t care about it. Raise your hands if you agree with that. Okay, put your hands down.

Okay so, it’s not that easy. Leave it up to pro wrestling fans to go and oversimplify everything right? But be honest; doesn’t it just feel as though WWE has checked out on this one? The reason for that feeling right now is due to a lot of factors, not the least of which is that the card is pretty well predictable.

In fact, it’s downright ordinary.

Cena versus Lesnar is the top billed match, as it should be. This is supposedly John’s chance at redemption, to right the ship after losing to Brock in very surprising fashion at SummerSlam. Lesnar is arguably the most dominant champion the company has seen in a very long time. Paul Heyman is doing his part to bring it all together like always.

All of this adds up to being a very intense, top notch main event bout. Fans may not be in love with it, but that’s typical, right?

The problem though is Cena’s not getting the belt back at Night of Champions. Right? He can’t, isn’t that the consensus among the WWE faithful? It’s not about hating the guy; okay, maybe it is for a lot of fans, but it’s really more about the weak plausibility of a Cena win.

Basically, Brock beat him up and took his lunch money at SummerSlam. And since then, nothing’s really changed. John was not selling an injury at SummerSlam; he was not at a disadvantage due to a storyline or anything of the sort.

John Cena was essentially hit by a Mack truck doing 80 in a 55 and this time he did not kick out a two.

Now, he’s back for more but does anyone care? There’s very little drama in this one. The work done on the September 15 edition of Monday Night Raw did not help at all, as Cena somewhat awkwardly menaced and bullied Heyman in the ring. It was an odd moment that did not fit the angle or Cena at all.

Rollins versus Reigns had the potential to be a very good match. There is a lot of history between these two and they have not really had all that much contact since Seth betrayed The Shield back in June. But the problem is that this match happened on the aforementioned episode of Raw. So instead of giving them the spotlight on WWE Network, the company instead decided to give it way for free on TV.

Then there’s Jericho versus Orton and on paper, this one has the potential to not be just a good match but a great match. Each guy is a future Hall of Famer and had Jericho stayed full time through the years, his world title count would likely have exceeded that of the 12 that Randy has on his resume.

The problem is this match is being overshadowed by Jericho’s rumored departure, which all but guarantees a Randy Orton win at NOC. Add that to the fact that Jericho worked Kane on Raw to an audience full of silent fans that could care less and suddenly it seems as though no one cares if Chris leaves or not.

Wait, I’m starting to notice a trend here.

The fact is that the September 15 edition of Monday Night Raw should have made fans want to see Night of Champions. That’s what the go-home show is supposed to do and this one fell extremely short of the mark. Instead of chomping at the bit to see NOC on Sunday, a great number of WWE fans are now rioting on their keyboards and will probably do so until that opening bell rings on September 21.

You know, like I’m doing right now.

The effort to get NOC over just does not appear to have been made. They didn’t sell it to me and they didn’t really sell it to anyone else. The truth is we will all watch because it’s what we do but really is anyone looking forward to it?

Let’s be honest, is anyone even looking forward to Raw anymore? In a company that is rife with stale storylines and impractical angles, does there seem to be any focus on pushing the creative envelope anymore? Judging from this episode of Raw, the answer to that is a resounding no.

Or maybe we’re all being too harsh on the WWE product. This company is capable of doing great things and it could be on the verge of doing it again as we speak. Every time Vince McMahon is backed into a corner, he comes out swinging; what if he’s ready for the next round? Night of Champions could be the surprise hit of the year and we could all be eating our words on September 22.

Crickets again, huh? Man, you people are impossible to please.

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Tom Clark

Tom Clark can regularly be found on Camel Clutch Blog. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online at https://tomclarksmainevent.libsyn.com/

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