Now that the aftermath of Summerslam has calmed down(ish), it was time for the first ever WWE Hall of Fame Forum. Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan all kicked off proceedings by discussing the recent feud between John Cena and WWE Champion Brock Lesnar.
The panel were at a disagreement with Hogan stating that he thought Cena could win at Night of Champions, while the other two swung for Lesnar - HBK even calling for Cena to retire. Cena then came out. Defiantly, he said that there was no doubt in his mind that he was going to fight at NoC and he wasn’t just going to beat Lesnar, he was going to beat his ass.
Our first match of the night was between long-time rivals Jack Swagger and Rusev. The Russian was on the defensive to begin with but slowly made his way into the fight, with both wrestlers pointing towards their respective flags throughout. In the end, Rusev was dominant and the ref had to call the match after he continuously kicked and swatted at his opponent’s injured ribs, meaning that Swagger couldn’t continue. In the medical room afterwards Swagger was once again confronted by Bo Dallas, who told him that he ‘let his country down’ and to ‘Bo-lieve’.
Next up we had a Number One Contender’s match between Rob Van Dam and Cesaro, the winner going on to face Sheamus for the United States Championship. Cesaro barely broke a sweat as he hit the Neutraliser to pick up the victory, then after the match he started taunting Sheamus who was ringside providing commentary. Why RVD was in the match we’ll never know, but hopefully this is the start of a brilliant rivalry between the US Champion and his contender.
Our customary Divas match of the night was between Natalya and Paige, with the Divas champion getting the win after countering a Sharpshooter with a Paige Turner. AJ then came down to the ring after the bell went and with Paige distracted, Natalya clotheslined her. AJ then helped her ‘frenemy’ up before hugging her and kissing her hand.
Corporate Kane came down to the ring to start a eulogy for Dean Ambrose before turning it into a ‘celebration of Seth Rollins’ life’. After claiming that he was the leader of The Shield and saying it was ‘highly likely that we wouldn’t see Dean Ambrose again’, Rollins was interrupted by former Shield member Roman Reigns who appeared and started exchanging blows with both Kane and Rollins, driving them both from the ring.
Before their Tag-team Championship match against The Usos, we saw another creepy Goldust and Stardust skit. In the ring they were more impressive and after a high-flying manoeuvre, Jay Uso hurt his leg and was counted out of the match, giving the creepy brothers the victory. Because it was a count-out though, the Usos retained the title and when they refused an immediate rematch, Goldust and Stardust attacked them after the bell.
Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler carried on his feud with the Miz as the two once again faced each other in the ring. Or so it would seem. The Miz claimed that because he was a famous Hollywood star, he could have a stunt double who would fight for him; Damien Mizdow. Ziggler easily got the win after breaking a Figure-four lock then hitting the Zig-Zag for the three-count.
Oh look, the Brie twins storyline is still going on and they’re arguing with each other again. Does anybody care? No? Thought not. If you do, then Nikki lost it and attacked her sister, saying she wished she’d never been born.
Earlier on in the night, Kane issued a handicap match for himself and Seth Rollins against Roman Reigns. That match underway and Reigns was like a man possessed; he looked to have the match won early on after pinning Kane, but Rollins came in and hit him with the Money in the Bank briefcase, causing a disqualification. Again, Rollins looked to Curb-stomp his opponent into a pile of cinder blocks but Reigns escaped the attempted attack, Superman-punching both men and throwing a cinder block at Rollins head, narrowly missing him.
Another tag-team match now, this one featuring Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil against Los Matadores, Diego and Fernando. Slater and O’Neil’s partnership was ropey at best and it showed after Slater was pinned by surprise after being a bit too cocky.
Bo Dallas had a chance to back up his earlier cockiness as he faced crowd-favourite Kofi Kingston. After Kinsgton failed with a high-flying move, Dallas capitalised with the Running Bo-dog and got the win. Once again he started mouthing off about Jack Swagger, but Swagger surprised him in the ring by slamming him to the ground, shutting him up.
The Main Event now and John Cena was back in action against the disturbing Bray Wyatt, with Erick Rowan and Luke Harper at ringside. We saw a viciousness in Cena that we haven’t seen for a long time, hitting Wyatt with knees and suplexes, not too dissimilar to Lesnar. The match soon finished though with Harper and Rowan interfering after seeing their leader take one too many beatings. This in turn meant that Big Show and Mark Henry came rushing down to the ring to get rid of their rivals.
Obviously it was never going to end this way, and the Authority issued a six-man tag-team match between the superstars. Big Show and Henry showed why they have been impressive recently before the Wyatt family got the upper-hand, keeping the World’s Strongest Man, and then Big Show, away from Cena. It was inevitable then that the match would turn when Cena got the tap, causing Harper to tap with the STF then delivering an Attitude Adjustment to each member of the family.
Has Cena proved that he’s ready to reclaim his title from Lesnar?
Rusev DEF Jack Swagger
Cesaro DEF Rob Van Dam
Paige DEF Natalya
Goldust and Stardust DEF the Usos via count-out
Dolph Zigger DEF Damien Sandow
Roman Reigns DEF Kane and Seth Rollins via DQ
Los Matadores DEF Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil
Bo Dallas DEF Kofi Kingston
John Cena, Mark Henry and the Big Show DEF the Wyatt Family