WWE Night of Champions had an ending that left many fans unhappy. As the show came to a close, I certainly found myself firmly in that camp. However, after taking a step back and trying to view the Brock Lesnar and John Cena program from a larger perspective, I believe I may be changing my tune a bit (albeit with a caveat, but I’ll get to that later).
Firstly, if you read my Lesnar/Cena preview, you will see that in my predictions, I believed that the WWE recognizes that an extended Lesnar title reign is, to ape the Authority, best for business. Further, I mentioned that the WWE showed no fear in letting Brock Lesnar destroy their golden boy, John Cena, and they had no issue with that again tonight.
Sure, Cena got in a bit more offense and teased an out-of-nowhere LOLCENAWINS moment more than once. However, I had little doubt that Lesnar would continue fighting out of submissions and kicking out of finishers for as long as he needed to. Much like SummerSlam, Lesnar completely dominated the match and even the WWE at their worst isn’t dumb enough to halt the build of Brock as an unstoppable monster.
Had Cena not prevented Seth Rollins’ cash in, it would’ve failed. Once Rollins retreated, Brock popped up and F5’d Cena before he could blink. By the way, that was after Lensar had eaten four Attitude Adjustments, another four attempts at the STF submission, and a Curb Stomp from Seth Rollins. Even the announce team, in a rare moment of Diet Dew fueled clarity, made sure to drive home that what we just saw from Brock was inhuman.
In the end, Brock still looks like the unstoppable force and Cena could only tease at best that he could put up a fight. But what of Rollins and his failed cash in? Why bother throwing that into the mix when it didn’t look like it belonged at all.
For that answer, we need to go back to earlier in the night when Rollins forced referee Charles Robinson to count out an injured Roman Reigns and raise his hand in victory. After that farce of a match, Rollins decided to throw out an open challenge to the entire locker room.
We now interrupt this editorial take for a moment of kayfabe…
And Dean Ambrose sits at Tootsie’s in Nashville. He didn’t know why he followed the WWE cameras there earlier in the day, but something inside his unhinged mind told him to stay.
So stay he did, with one hand holding his phone running the WWE Network, streaming the Night of Champions event going on just down the street, and a bottle of beer in the other. Sure, he got strange looks from the patrons and even the band on the stage as he sat there with his headphones, but he didn’t care.
Especially when Seth Rollins popped up on his tiny screen.
It took all his power to not fling his beverage across the crowded historical lounge. It took even more for his head to process anything that jerk was saying, but somehow he made out Seth’s challenge.
Seth wants a fight? Dean would deliver.
In an instant he wasn’t even in control of his body. Before he knew it, he had thrown all the money left in his wallet on the bar to pay for his beer and he was in the middle of the street frantically trying to wave down a cab. Sure, he could run, but time was of the essence and he had no idea just how delayed his stream was.
As he climbed into a cab, his mind raced to how he would pay for this fare, but before he had already arrived backstage. His body was under that same unconscious control as it was when he hailed the cab and he didn’t even hear the cabbie screaming about his unpaid fare.
Dean walked through the curtains and saw his nemesis. “Hello Seth,” he said to no one in particular, “everyone’s favorite crazy son of a bitch is back!”
…and now back to your regular editorial.
Dean’s reappearance obviously wasn’t in Rollins’ plans for the evening much less the Authority as a whole. Despite the fact that Rollins openly challenged any and everyone, it was quite strange, and seemingly illogical that the Authority would send out security to rescue Seth. But rescue him they did, and they went a step further, they restrained and removed Ambrose, presumably, from the arena.
At the time it all looked like another heel move by the Authority, but what if it was something more. What if the Authority recognizes that they made a mistake by letting Brock Lesnar loose on Cena? Have they unleashed a beast that can no longer be tamed for their needs?
After all, if you remember when HHH allowed Brock to get the title shot, his “Plan A” was to have Randy Orton reclaim the belt from Cena. Seth Rollins was “Plan B” should Orton fail. Paul Heyman convinced HHH that Brock Lesnar, “Plan C”, was really his only option.
Seth Rollins is still very much the Authority’s “Plan B” to reclaim the belt and it almost appears, upon further review of the evening that they were setting up for that gambit. Should Cena manage to weaken Lesnar, Seth would pounce on the opportunity (after all, he said he was an opportunist earlier in the evening before Dean appeared) and bring the belt back to an entity that the Authority can control.
That can’t happen if Dean Ambrose is back on the loose. He made it his personal mission to ruin every single attempted cash in that Seth dares to make. The Authority knows this, so once Dean appeared on the scene again, they had to remove him from the picture or Seth would have zero chance of a successful cash in should the opportunity present itself.
And Seth saw that chance after Cena hit Brock with his fourth AA. Knowing that Cena was sufficiently dismantled by Lesnar, he attacked Cena directly, causing the DQ, but allowing Lesnar to retain the belt. Knowing that Brock is not a normal human, he Curb Stomped him for good measure before trying to cash in.
When you look at the finish from that perspective, you now see a wide array of potential angles that can develop. Does Heyman, on behalf of Brock, call out the Authority for meddling in the Beast’s match? Does John Cena take personal offense to Rollins interference and try to take matters into his own hands? Or has the return of Dean Ambrose meant that they Authority all of a sudden saw Night of Champions as Seth’s one and only chance to cash in and forced Seth to go all-in regardless of how dangerous it was?
These are all fantastic launching points for the main program moving forward. However, there is one caveat: the fear of WWE retreating back into known territory and giving John Cena yet another title shot at Hell in a Cell despite the fact that Lesnar quite frankly beat the hell out of him again.
It is that fear that gives this finish such a sour taste in people’s mouths instead of excitement for potential of where we go from here. Too often, we as fans have put faith in the WWE, tried desperately to see the fun and new exciting directions they could go only to see the WWE fall back on the safe path known as the John Cena title shot.
Should the WWE revert back to that path, all the wonderful and masterfully storytelling they did at Night of Champions will have been for nothing.