MCNEILL'S TAKE Night of Gold: McNEILL Previews Night Of Champions 2015 (w/Wrestling History Lesson)
Sep 20, 2015 - 3:43:27 PM
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By Pat McNeill, PWTorch Columnist
Wake the pets and call the neighbors, it's time for our exclusive WWE Network not-on-pay-per-view projections!
DISCLAIMER: Projections are based on what the columnist would do if he were booking this event, instead of Paul "NXT" Levesque, Runjin Singh, Ed Koskey and WWE President Bats--- Crazy Vincent Kennedy Gagne. Projections are not predictions, because this is the column where everything's made up and the points don't matter. This preview has been sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall's porch since noon today. Closed captioning is brought to you by Ryder Truck Rentals. Ryder, the best trucks money can rent. Pat McNeill's wardrobe provided by Rubin Brothers International Fashions. Remember, this is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, please, no wagering. This lineup is based on the best available information as of this writing. These predictions are based on what the columnist would do if he had creative control over WWE, right after he removes all the Stephanie McMahon references from the Connor's Cure video.
Our hot news this month? The US ratings for WWE Raw are cratering, and the Smackdown ratings are nothing to write home about either. Raw has hit 2.4 for two weeks in a row, which is the lowest level for the WWE flagship show in eighteen years. And, since we're just starting American football season, it is unlikely the ratings will rise on their own. Three years of three hour Raw episodes have taken their toll on WWE's popularity, and our sanity.
Before we preview Sunday night's show, let's get to this month's edition of the Wrestling History Lesson, because that's why many of you clicked here in the first place. Twenty years ago, on September 23, 1995, we saw a big tag team match on WWF Superstars from Erie, Pennsylvania (pretaped). It was Bam Bam Bigelow & Henry Godwinn battling Tatanka & Kama. Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler had the call.
What was happening in World Wrestling Entertainment fifteen years ago? I'm glad you asked! On September 24, 2000 the World Wrestling Federation presented its "Unforgiven 2000" pay-per-view from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On that night, the WWF Tag Team Titles were at stake inside the steel cage. It was Edge & Christian defending the titles against Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy. Jim Ross, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler had the call.
Did you catch the main event of WWE Smackdown? Watch it now (sort of). It's the abridged version of Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose against Sheamus & Seth Rollins. Rich Brennan, Booker T & Jerry Lawler have the call.
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John B. Layfield will be announcing the show, while Rich Brennan and Byron Saxton handle important backstage duties. On with the program!
Adrian Neville & Lucha Dragons vs. Stardust & The Ascension: This is your pre-show bout, a lower card storyline that has continued for the past few weeks. Projection? We get a decent length match on the preshow, and Neville busts out the Red Arrow to pin Conor. I have a hunch we're only going to get the Red Arrow on special occasions from now on.
Dolph Ziggler (w/o Lana) vs. Rusev (w/ Summer Rae): Sadly, Lana's broken wrist has taken some of the fun out of this feud. Oh, who am I kidding? It's taken all of the fun out of this feud. Without the catfight element, it's just Ziggler against Rusev, a matchup we've seen on more than one occasion. Projection? Summer kisses Ziggler on the apron. Rusev powerslams and pins Ziggler off the distraction.
Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte Flair (WWE Divas Title): Nikki Bella is now the longest reigning WWE Divas champion in history. For Nikki's next trick, she can try to beat the 448 days Trish Stratus held the WWE Women's Title. Or the 502 days that "Rockin'" Robin Smith held the WWF Women's Title. Or the 3,651 day run that the late Lillian "Fabulous Moolah" Ellison held the NWA Women's Title. Keep us posted, Nikki. Projection? Referee Charles "Little Naitch" Robinson clears everyone from ringside in the opening minutes, and Charlotte wins with the Figure Eight. Charlotte can celebrate with her father on Raw. We'll have more time to kill on that show.
The New Day vs. The Dudley Boys (WWE World Tag Team Titles):So, Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley are going to march right in to Houston and regain the tag team titles they last held in 2004? As Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friends. Projection? The Dudleys have it won, until Dr. Xavier Woods whacks Bubba Ray with the trombone and gets New Day disqualified. Come on, son. You know WWE is going to make us wait for this one.
Ryback vs. Kevin Owens (WWE Intercontinental Title): Ryback has gone toe-to-toe with Seth Rollins on television and at the house shows over the past few weeks, creating some of the least anticipated champion versus champion bouts in WWE history. After a hot start to his roster on the main roster, Kevin Owens needs something to do. Holding the Intercontinental Title, on its own, isn't going to cut it. Projection? Ref bump, and Big Show shuffles in to knock out Ryback with one punch. Owens is your new Intercontinental champion. I think having Kevin Owens and Big Show as friends as tag partners will keep Owens as a heel, and give the big guy something to sing his teeth into. Your mileage may vary.
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose & Mystery Partner vs. Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper & Brawny Strawman: The addition of untested rookie Braun Strowman to the Wyatt Family has helped all concerned. It gives Bray Wyatt someone else to lead, and it gives Reigns and Ambrose an obstacle to surmount. How long can we drag out this Roman Reigns & friends versus Wyatt Family feud? I'm hoping for another month. Projection? We see the return of Erick Rowan as Reigns & Ambrose's mystery partner. It's not enough, as Strowman chokes out Rowan and Bray pins Erick The Red with the Sister Abigail. Back to the drawing board for the former Shield mates.
Seth Rollins vs. John Cena (WWE United States Title): This and the World Title match are sort of a package deal. I can't see Rollins winning both matches on this show, and I can't see the champ losing both matches. You know what else I can't see happening? Anything involving Sheamus. Mr. You Look Stupid has only had the briefcase for three months. That's too soon to have him cash in, plus he isn't over enough. Let's let it play out. Projection? Cena wins a long match with the Attitude Adjustment to regain the WWE United States title.
Seth Rollins vs. Sting (WWE Heavyweight Title): Yeah, this ain't happening. Projection? Rollins is in trouble for the second time on this show. Sting is trying to apply the scorpion deathlock when he is interrupted by flame shooting from the turnbuckles. It's Kane, who's tan, rested and ready. Kane is able to help Rollins pin Sting and keep the championship, and we set up a Sting vs. Kane feud. Frankly, I don't think WWE is prepared to let Sting beat anyone we care about, so Kane's your man.
Aftermath: Next month is Hell in a Cell. I'm not crazy about Rollins and Cena going into the Cell to fight over their respective titles. Hopefully, they each get someone new to feud with I do, however, like the idea of Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose & Randy Orton taking on The Wyatt Family in Hell in A Cell. Make it so.
*** Pat McNeill has been a PWTorch Columnist since 2001. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina. He'd take the Green Bay Packers over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. You know, if gambling were legal.
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