Since I've chosen to look at SummerSlam as the official kick off to the Road to WrestleMania XXX the first pit stop would have to be Night of Champions. The RAW and Smackdown shows have come on gone on our high way carrying the great developing story of the hero (Bryan) against the dastardly alliance (The Administration) and mainly dominated by Bryan being left on his back by Orton and the Shield. Throw in the miserable Big Show who is under great duress and you have an interesting storyline combined with the very realistic feel of the Heyman & his band vs the vengeful CM Punk and the main event is doing moderately well.
But just as there are positives, there are negatives too and that starts with Del Rio, RVD, Ziggler and the lack of wins for Sandow and continuous direction for the Wyatts. I can talk all day about how badly Ziggler is being "punished" for whatever mis-speaking it is he's done but COME ON. The man was world heavyweight champion back in May and when he turned was hot as hell and looked to be in a great position at Money in the Bank but since his late thrown together match at Summerslam he's lost every match he's been in including to Ambrose and Bray both guys I love but guys who should never pin him clean right now. Last night's match should have ended in a DQ for Ziggler but with the already bad call to end the world title match in a DQ that didn't happen.
Speaking of the world title I know I'm not the only one but enough with Del Rio already, no seriously ENOUGH. He needs too much to have an entertaining match (at least in my eyes) be it an extremely talented face or a hot story and he's usually NEVER involved in a hot story so the guy hasn't been entertaining in a while. I don't get what they're waiting for with a title change off him because RVD needs to win the belt for Sandow to get it because he is WAY more interesting to watch even with his lack of direction as of late. The fact that there is possibly going to be a 4th match between these two since RVD's return is ridiculous because it's only been two and a half months.
On the other hand the tag division and divas division is coming along nicely. The divas has a very good match at NOC with the right diva winning and Naomi (to me) shined showing nice spots and flashes that she is really coming along with help from Nattie. Nattie of course took a bigger spot in my heart with her awesome double stacked sharp shooter but in the end AJ wins. The most interesting part is even though she won our lovely but crazy pipe bombing diva now finds herself alone and alienated in the locker room. This could open up to many different things going forward. AJ could find a familiar ally in Kaitlyn with the can't beat them join them mentality or we could see AJ create her own anti-diva army with Paige or maybe even Kharma at her back.
The tag division is the thing I'm happiest with right now though, as the Usos, Reigns & Rollins, Prime Time Players and The Real Americans have breathed new life into the division this year with great matches on TV and on PPV usually providing great energy to the crowd. Slowly but surely teams are getting over in their on going challenges against the unstoppable team of The Shield. And even though the gimmick will be ridiculous the newly re-packaged Los Matadors team of Primo and Epico will add to the good matches we've seen lately. After NOC even with PTP's loss if the two teams are given a real program with a story behind it PTP could very well be the team to beat the shield and take the titles bringing the team to a new level.
Bryan vs Orton was great plain and simple and the fast count will of course be addressed tonight and we could see HHH either strip Daniel of the belt of be the reason behind the fast count as he tries to break down the over and "rebellious" champion in to the A he wants him to be. I won't focus too much on this because well everyone is so I'll go past it. I want to instead focus on the Punk-Heyman tango we've seen since MitB, and we all said it and Vince agrees this story is backwards but even with that it's been great. The cringe inducing sight of Heyman punishing Punk was fantastic and Punk in the ring with Axel will only be better for the youngster going forward. The most appealing part was who would be the guy to save Heyman because we ALL knew Heyman would be saved somehow. I never saw Ryback coming though but it works so well, because here's another guy without much direction who benefits 9 ways over from being associated with Heyman and of course this program.
Ryback knows exactly what Heyman can do for you i.e (last year's feud with Punk) and he's been floating around since his feud with Cena ended. Even with the recent role as punisher of the administration he wasn't really needed because of The Shield but with Heyman he can be the enforcer/protector his size speaks to. Heyman and Punk have been great on the mic conveying the hatred and vengeance of the spurred prodigal son and the twisted heartbroken father figure who wants to teach his son a lesson. I has hoped Ohno would be the Heyman guy and they could play off of their indy history but ryback suits the feud just fine.
All in all the Night of Champions pit stop was successful albeit some are we incidents in the backseat that need to be cleaned up(Del Rio, Ricardo, RVD and Ziggler) all seems to be pointing in the direction of a smooth and enjoyable ride on our way to New Orleans. Next up is Battleground so let the war begin!