Night of Champions is over, and…not much has actually changed. Eve is the new Divas champion in the midst of the Divas seeming to get a a bit more prominence, but most importantly, Kane and Daniel Bryan are the Tag Team Champions, and they are taking WWE by storm. Surely they will get a lot of exposure tonight, but what of the World Heavyweight Championship? Is Del Rio going to be primed for another shot at the gold, or will we thankfully get a new contender for Sheamus’ coveted prize? Orton is no doubt in line to reclaim his belt, but will it be before he leaves to film 12 Rounds? Many questions need to be answered, and its up to the Big Blue to end the doubt.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

EDGE HAS RETURNED…for the night: Edge decided to make an appearance tonight(not in Canada where they were last week), mostly because he was shocked that Bryan and Kane would not only put aside their differences through Anger Management, but also become Tag Team Champions. Before he gets too deep into the matter, Bryan comes out and takes over the mic, playing a psychological game with Edge by playing on his emotions and telling Edge to “Go back to retirement.” The best part is Edge sells this a bit like what Bryan’s saying is true right before coming back and getting under Bryan’s skin with one statement. Kane feels left out from the party, and feels the need to proclaim, “I AM THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!”

Immediately, Kane and Bryan begin their typical hilarity, and the interaction with Edge makes this an even more golden opportunity. When Kane’s words cryptically lead Edge to think he’s talking about fighting him for all the crap Edge has done to him over the years. Of course, once he pulls off the jacket, Kane’s actually prompting a hug, which Edge, in a confused state, accepts. Bryan begins to snap over seemingly nothing, but it leads to Edge and Kane asking him to join in to soothe his nerves. Just when things are getting peaceful, Damien Sandow must tear down this “travesty,” ripping into the three stars in the ring and the fans for buying into all of this.

It seems forever since a crowd reaction has been this strong for every person involved, and the heat Sandow gets for taking advantage of this is immense. Now, Sandow will be facing one member of “Team Friendship,” and that man is Kane.

Kane v Damien Sandow(C): Sandow continues getting plenty of TV Time and opportunities against the top veterans in the company. All the while, Kane has improved from his slump of mediocrity and has become an enjoyable wrestler again. You would think all this would lead to an entertaining match with Bryan sitting at ringside, and while the story between Bryan and Kane is still dynamic, this match was much shorter than expected and sort of curbed the effect this match could have had on people’s memory. Instead, it felt like a match thrown in to kill little time while getting a story across…a plague in WWE Television.

While the match was short, the plot develops as Bryan cost Kane his match and stole Kane’s belt, so Kane chases through the halls(again) looking for Daniel Bryan. He eventually finds him hiding in a trash bin behind Dr. Shelby, and their therapist convinces them to calm down, give Kane’s belt back, and have Bryan wrestle in a match so the night is unbalanced. Of course, Kane will probably cost Bryan his match as revenge.

Del Rio Never Gives Up: Naturally, Alberto Del Rio comes to Booker T with complaints about his decision to reinstate the Brogue Kick before his title match. Booker couldn’t care less, and tells Del Rio that if he wants another shot, he’ll have to earn it…which he COULD do if he wins a tag team match against Sheamus and Randy Orton. Ziggler’s on his team, so I’d like them to win…but not if it means another one-on-one match between Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio.

Layla v Natalya(N/A): Considering this had two of my favorite divas, I would hope for something watchable. Unfortunately, my keyboard was glitching on me, and in the minute I spent hassling with it, the match was over like it never happened. The finish looked powerful, but I can guarantee this match was hardly worth watching when it was under 2 minutes.

Alberto Del Rio & Dolph Ziggler v Sheamus & Randy Orton(C+): Ziggler’s motions and expressions bring a match to life, and when combined with everyone else’s ring prowess, it saves this match. Honestly, it felt pretty by the books, especially considering I believe we have seen this tag match a few times before(that might just be me, though). To his credit, Del Rio shows quite some personality as well, and the trade of signatures between Sheamus and Ziggler was impeccable. Were it not for the personalities involved and the high energy of the last 2 minutes, I might have looked over this match…but thankfully that did not quite happen.

Daniel Bryan v Cody Rhodes(N/A): It’s been far too long since Rhodes and Bryan have squared off, and if they get the time, they will deliver a splendid performance. Against my wishes but along with my expectations, Kane interferes and the match is just a little tease to further the angle between the new “friends.”

The drama continues as Bryan and Kane bicker backstage, being watched by their respective opponents from earlier who find this whole scene to be a joke, suggesting they would be better champions than Kane and Bryan. The Champs take exception to this, and challenge them to a tag team match, explaining the brevity of the singles matches preceding it. It all makes sense, and makes everything before it worth it. Besides, when is the last time the Tag Team Champions have been the focus a WWE show?

Brodus Clay v Heath Slater(): Brodus and Slater have an interesting exchange of dance moves and shoves, which quickly breaks down into physical moves…until Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal storm the ring to join Heath Slater in an organized assault on the Funkasaurus?!? This caught me by absolute surprise. I never expected McIntyre to be involved with something important in WWE again, and I DEFINITELY did not expect a super trio of low-carders banding together to take down the beast that is Brodus. Is this the start of a new stable to get over the under-used guys in the locker room? Please, let it be true.

Santino Marella v Antonio Cesaro(C): Tonight is all about the segments as yet again, the match here is too short to get completely into, but the events surrounding it were far more compelling. Long story short, Aksana tripping over the rope and falling in the ring costs Cesaro the win, infuriating him and driving him to tell Aksana(in five different languages) that they are done with! Well…that relationship did not last very long.

Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes v Daniel Bryan & Kane(C+): This is the pay-off for the short singles maches from before, but even so, the match barely exceeds the combined time of each match. Normally, I would complain about this, but for once, I am too distracted by the sheer brilliance of the segments they kickstart to truly knock it. How do you not enjoy Bryan and Kane finally bonding over annihilating the whole Tag Division with chairs? It does nothing but put a smile on my face, and if it does not do the same for you, then you just might be too hard to impress.

—-

The matches mostly felt like an after-thought, but with the drama-filled, plot-developing, crowd-entertaining show of segments we received, should you really be that mad about it? I don’t believe so.

-Julius Johnson(@aPsychoSoldier)
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