This Sunday, WWE will present its annual Night of Champions event where every single championship will be placed on the line as the company sets forth into its fall season.
However, heading into the weekend, will all championship reigns remain in tact? Tonight on Raw two titles were placed on the line in the go-home show prior to this Sunday's event.
Here's how all the action went down on the "season premiere" of Monday Night Raw:
The Authority comes out first tonight to discuss the “success” of WWE over the past year. Triple H puts over Seth Rollins before promoting the Night of Champions event. Stephanie McMahon goes on to promote the Divas Championship match set for later in the night between Nikki Bella and Charlotte. Triple H then announces that Sting will compete live for the first time ever on Monday Night Raw.
The New Day vs. Prime Time Players (WWE Tag Team Championship)
This match was entertaining but the actual wrestling was overshadowed by dancing and trumpet music. (Sports entertainment over professional wrestling) The New Day retains the Tag Team Championship.
Match Winners: The New Day
Match Rating: 5/10
Post-Match: The Dudley Boyz come out and stand at the top of the ramp to remind The New Day who they will face this Sunday.
Backstage: Seth Rollins approaches The Authority in full-out brown-nose mode. Rollins inquires about John Cena and Sheamus. The Authority inform Rollins that Cena will go one-on-one with Sheamus later on in the night.
Still Backstage: Renee Young interviews Charlotte and Ric Flair. Charlotte discusses her championship match as well as her father’s legacy as “Nature Boy” throws some of his signature style into the interview.
Paige vs. Sasha Banks
Hard fought match between these two former champions. Paige would eventually tap out to The Banks Statement.
Match Winner: Sasha Banks
Match Rating: 6.5/10
Post-Match: Team B.A.D. attack Paige and Becky Lynch.
-Miz TV with The Wyatt Family-
The Miz inquires: “who is Braun Strowman?” Bray Wyatt interjects and discusses how he wants people to “suffer” and “pay for their sins.” Suddenly, the music hits and here comes Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Ambrose tosses The Miz out of the ring and the stare down commences. Reigns gets in Bray’s face; telling him that he is “not the man” before informing Bray that he and Ambrose have found a partner for Night of Champions. The segment concludes with the Wyatt lights out gimmick.
John Cena vs. Sheamus
This bout was far from spectacular but had its moments of brute aggression. John Cena wins with the Attitude Adjustment.
Match Winner: John Cena
Match Rating: 4/10
Ryback comes out to the ring to address Kevin Owens. Naturally, Owens makes his way out to bash Ryback and his path to the top. Owens vs. Ryback is set for this Sunday.
Stardust vs. Neville
No match came of this as The Ascension and The Lucha Dragons came out and a six man brawl ensued.
Match Winner: N/A
Match Rating: N/A
Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte (Divas Championship)
This highly-anticipated match would prove to be a methodical contest. Charlotte scores the pinfall on Brie when “Twin Magic” is attempted.
Match Winner: Charlotte via DQ
Match Rating: 6/10
Post-Match: Stephanie McMahon declares that Charlotte is in fact the winner … by disqualification.
Rusev vs. Cesaro
Dolph Ziggler makes his way to ringside; distracting Rusev and costing him the match. Cesaro was only tossed into this match to appease his fans. (This angle has been played)
Match Winner: Cesaro
Match Rating: 2/10
Backstage: Triple H and Stephanie greet Big Show and psyche him up for his upcoming match against Sting.
Sting vs. Big Show
Sting gains the upper hand early on until Seth Rollins runs down to the ring and interferes in the bout.
Match Winner: Sting via DQ
Match Rating: 1/10
John Cena and Sting vs. Seth Rollins and Big Show
Watching Sting compete on Monday Night Raw was a trip but nothing special really took place during this match. Seth Rollins taps out to the Scorpion Death Lock.
Match Winners: John Cena and Sting
The sentiment behind Sting winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is nice but how much of an impact would it really have on the current state of the product? The modern fan doesn’t know Sting. Meanwhile, Seth Rollins identifies with this generation. “The Icon” is really just a long lost wrestler from the ‘80s who reinvented himself in the ‘90s and refused to show up in WWE until the mid-life wrestling crisis kicked in and WWE started to look like that shiny red Cadillac.
It is hard not to root for The Dudley Boyz heading into Sunday; especially if you’re fondest wrestling memories come from the Attitude Era. While pushing the younger talent is a must, Bubba Ray and D-Von are due for at least one more run as WWE Tag Team Champions.
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins for the United States Championship will prove to be a good contest this Sunday. Why? Seth Rollins is involved. While Cena is good in the ring, it really comes down to his opponent making the match. Will Cena regain the U.S. Title? Perhaps. Either way, he will be placed back into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture.
Kevin Owens should become the next Intercontinental Champion. The title will provide Owens with some much needed momentum.
Well, as expected Nikki Bella has become the longest reigning Divas Champion in WWE history by surpassing AJ Lee’s previous mark. (Take that Mrs. CM Punk) Hopefully, this Sunday, Charlotte will officially capture the Divas Championship.
Final Note of the Night: How does a show that runs year-long have a “season premiere?” We must have missed the season finale somewhere along the way.
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