By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Sheamus Interrupted WWE World Heavyweight Champion and United States Champion Seth Rollins
As great of a talker as Rollins has become in the last year, he can repeat the same promo only so many times. He did a fine job of promoting his two title defenses at Night of Champions, but everything else felt like a repeat from Raw and past promos. Thankfully, he didn't go as long as he usually does and Sheamus also played his part well. The teasing of tension between the two set up the main event tag team match nicely as well as what might happen at the pay-per-view. For the record, whenever WWE does this, the person tends to cash in more often than not, so keep that in mind come Sunday.
Naomi and Sasha Banks def. Paige and Becky Lynch
I've made it very clear before about how much I despise the faction wars in the Divas division right now, but this match made sense given the recent feud between Banks and Paige. In fact, I enjoyed this match more than a majority of the Divas matches we've seen so far solely because of that reason. In addition to being well-wrestled, they told a solid story and the commentators acknowledged Paige's recent losing streak when she lost. I have no doubt they're building to a heel turn with her and I'd love to see it come as soon as Night of Champions during the Divas Championship match.
WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston def. D-Von Dudley
Per usual, The New Day's pre-match promo was entertaining as all hell, but it was weird to have it go longer than the actual match. Kingston and D-Von could have had a pretty decent match if their time wasn't cut short, so that was somewhat underwhelming (or as Big E would say, BOOTY!). I don't know if it did anything to add to my excitement for the upcoming WWE Tag Team Championship match, but I'm still very much looking forward to the contest, regardless.
Big Show def. Cesaro
Why didn't WWE bother to follow up on the Cesaro-Show drama from last week on this week's Raw, yet they had them go one-on-one on SmackDown? The match mostly consisted of Big Show being on offense, but I was glad it wasn't a complete squash and Cesaro was impressive at points. Even still, Big Show winning clean was a waste. I don't care if this is leading to a feud between them. WWE is squandering Cesaro's surge in popularity by either having him lose constantly or win inconsequential matches.
Kevin Owens def. Dolph Ziggler by Disqualification
While these two have produced exceptional matchups before, this wasn't the time or place for it. It was an enjoyable encounter, but on the go-home edition before the pay-per-view, it was more important to build Owens up as a threat going into his Intercontinental Championship match. Thus, they succeeded in doing so by having Owens take pleasure in punishing Ziggler only for Ryback to make the save and Owens escape getting hit with the Shell Shocked.
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion and United States Champion Seth Rollins and Sheamus
It was a good main event match for what it was, but I honestly expected more given who was involved. The two teams aren't even feuding right now, so there wasn't any incentive for fans to care about who won outside of the history between the former Shield members. The central story was Sheamus walking out on Rollins which will lead to questions regarding whether he cashes in on Sunday. As for the post-match promo, it was an effective final sell from Bray Wyatt for the six-man tag team match at the event.
There were points during this show where I enjoyed it more than Raw, but it didn't do much for me as a go-home show (and this is coming from someone who is already excited for Night of Champions). The main event was an afterthought for the most part and none of the other matches particularly stood out, but at least most of the episode was focused on promoting the pay-per-view, so it wasn't a total lost cause.
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