Night of Champions is the one pay-per-view of the year where it’s a guarantee that all of the titles will be defended. Sadly, that means the wrestlers who are not currently involved in championship feuds tend to be overlooked and left off the card, as it’s too difficult to shoehorn in tons of people surrounding a few belts.
Admittedly, since WWE started adding non-title matches to this event, it’s become easier to get on the card. In particular this year, 12 superstars were able to find their way onto the list in just the two six-man tag team matches. That takes care of a good chunk of the roster, but there are still those select few that need to sit this one out.
Looking over the active superstars and ignoring people that have almost no stock in them right now and have been ignored for several of the recent pay-per-views, I still come up with a handful that I’m surprised to see weren’t factored in somewhere (yet).
Keep in mind that plans could always change and we also don’t know who the third man will be who teams up with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, but with that being said, who are those names that are big enough to justify a match, yet aren’t currently booked?
Fans may chant that they want him to retire, but let’s not forget that Big Show is a bona fide legend in his own right. This man’s won just about every accolade possible in WWE during his very long tenure and is essentially a perpetual main eventer who just happens to go down the hierarchy from time to time.
Even on this past episode of Monday Night Raw, he was the one teaming up with Seth Rollins to face John Cena and Sting, but there’s nothing in store for him at Night of Champions. His feud with Ryback over the Intercontinental Championship appears to be complete and although it seemed he might continue on with The Miz, it’s looking like that was dropped as well.
I’m not advocating Big Show get inserted into a title match or anything of the sort, but it’s weird to think that someone of his stature will not be participating at this show.
Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker
Okay, so this isn’t a “surprise”, as we could all see it coming from a mile away. Still, it’s a bit of a bummer that so much was spent focused on these two for the past month, yet both of them are M.I.A. and won’t be seen for quite some time.
The upside to doing this match at SummerSlam was the potential audience that it drew, since they’re two of the biggest stars in the company’s history. The downside was that their absence makes their appearance retroactively seem so little. I certainly wouldn’t have minded seeing either of these two compete at Night of Champions, what about you?
Poor Cesaro. This guy just can’t catch a break, can he? Things start really going well for him and Tyson Kidd, but the tag team has to split over Kidd’s injury. He starts receiving a bit of a midcard title push, but Kevin Owens is the bigger priority and supersedes him, meaning Cesaro comes out of that feud looking like the weaker man. Cesaro fights and defeats Rusev on this week’s Raw, but isn’t rewarded with any kind of a match.
The Cesaro Section won’t be able to cheer on The Swiss Superman at Night of Champions unless WWE throws him into some kind of a random filler match to use as a bathroom break between two much more important segments, but that’s really nothing much to look forward to.
Copy and paste a good portion of what I said about Big Show into this section, tweak a few things, and you basically end up with my thoughts on The Miz. In general, The Miz is someone that I feel is being underutilized for whatever reason. He’s good on the mic, has his character down pat, is someone who has been around long enough to put people over but is also young enough to still have a good future ahead of him, and is genuinely entertaining to watch.
Despite these factors, The Miz hasn’t done much since SummerSlam and may not be in the best position for Hell in a Cell in a few weeks, either. There’s a good chance nothing amazing is set up for him at Survivor Series, too, so Mizfits better strap themselves in for the possibility that the next pay-per-view match he has is the traditional elimination match, if that.
The Prime Time Players
These guys were sure pushed aside quickly when The Dudley Boyz came back, weren’t they? I can’t say it isn’t justified, as The New Day and The Dudley Boyz are just simply both more entertaining than what Titus O’Neil and Darren Young have been bringing to the table, but it’s still interesting that these two were the champions going into SummerSlam and not only are they not still the champions here, they don’t even have a shot as challengers.
The standard rematch clause was bumped to Raw in favor of Bubba Ray and Devon taking their spot at the pay-per-view, with The Prime Time Players being defeated and moving to the back of the line. Some may be upset while others may say “good riddance”—your response aside, we can all agree that it must be disappointing to go from the top of the food chain to being tertiary behind the new champs and the old guys that just came back after years of being away.
Randy Orton and Sheamus
I’m grouping these two together because their stories are very similar. Here’s a situation where I’m so very thankful that we’re not getting another match between Orton and Sheamus, as I’m sick of seeing it. In fact, I’d be okay if Orton sat out of Hell in a Cell, too. I’m a fan of his work, but unless WWE has something decent for him to do, I feel like we’ll just get the bare minimum amount of effort for something meaningless. Give me matches with the other people on the roster that could do something different as opposed to a throwaway feud between Orton and say, Big Show.
With Sheamus, there’s still a chance he cashes in his Money in the Bank contract and wrestles what I would assume would be a quick match against either Seth Rollins or Sting. I don’t think this is what we’ll be seeing, but you can never quite know for sure, can you? Personally, I’m not the biggest Sheamus fan out there, so I’d root either for him to cash in and lose his title shot or to be absent from Night of Champions outside of maybe a tease backstage.