For some reason I can't edit my original post, so I'd like to give my letter grade for the ppv. I'd give it a C-. I enjoyed most of the card but the poor booking decisions/finishes to matches were too much for me to genuinely enjoy the pay-per-view.
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Full disclosure, I posted this elsewhere but got no conversation so I'll post my thoughts on Night of Champions here:
Overall, I was supremely disappointed in the pay-per-view.
Usos vs. Gold and Stardust: I though the opening tag title match was decent but ended poorly. I'm happy with the result though.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro: I enjoyed this match bell to bell. I expected Sheamus to drag it down but he didn't. With that said, the result supremely disappointed me. I find Sheamus to be one of the most boring superstars in WWE and I REALLY wanted Cesaro to get the win. I expect Sheamus will feud with Rusev now?
Ziggler vs. Miz: This match was really entertaining except for the lame country singers. Similarly to the US Title match, I was let down by the result. I have never been overly fond of playing hot potato with a title (more on this with the Divas match).
Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose: This was a cool segment but it felt a bit out of character for Rollins to issue an open challenge. Glad to see Ambrose back though. That will likely boost the quality of Raw now.
Rusev vs. Mark Henry: This match was so boring I nearly fell asleep. I like Rusev but this Russian angle is doing nothing for me and Mark Henry is just too damn slow and boring. Nothing about this match got me excited.
Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho: Really solid match. The build-up was essentially non-existent but these two delivered a compelling match so I can't complain too much.
Divas Title Match: The match itself was entertaining but, as I stated before, I don't like titles swapping so frequently. It almost diminishes a title win if they just drop it at the next ppv with no successful defenses on that reign. Oh well.
John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar: The match itself didn't matter at all to me. Ultimately the only thing that concerned me was the finish. The end of this match completely took the air out of me. I don't want to see these two in another match and ultimately that is what the ending means. There is also an intriguing angle that might eventually play out between Brock and the Authority but for now the Cena/Lesnar feud continues and that disappoints the hell out of me. I also feel they knocked Lesnar down a peg or two. He would have (most likely) lost to Cena if Rollins hadn't interfered and he would have (most likely) lost to Rollins if Cena hadn't interfered. Seems odd considering the build-up as the biggest monster in WWE history to book the finish to a ppv as Lesnar very nearly losing his title two different times.
The biggest positive I have to say about NOC is the unpredictability of it all. There were a couple finishes that I completely didn't expect and it is always nice when your expectations are subverted. The only problem being the unexpected finishes were mostly just poor booking decisions and not legitimately intriguing. Especially now that I have seen RAW and they decided to swap the IC belt back to Ziggler after one night. I don't get the point other than pointlessly elevating the number of title reigns for each wrestler.
That art is stellar! I haven't hopped into the Valiant universe at all yet but I plan on ordering some trades on the series that interest me once I have the time and money to do so. I've heard basically nothing but good things about the consistent quality of Valiant these days.
@entropy_aegis: I'm glad you are defending this show. I really loved the pilot and it seems like everyone was ready to jump all over it before even watching the episode. I went in skeptical but came out a believer in the show. Can't wait for next week.
I went into this episode very skeptical but I actually loved it. I'd have given it a strong 4 or even a 5. The only problem I had with it was the pacing. It definitely felt like they put two episodes worth of material into one. I think they just wanted to establish all of it as early as possible to hook the audience. It seems like Fox has a lot riding on this show succeeding. IMO, the performances were all fantastic and the visual aesthetic of the show was spot on. Can't wait for next week's episode already.
The stuff with Nora's mom and Eph's son was the only aspect of the episode I really didn't enjoy. I've said it elsewhere but I'll say it again. I kind of expected more out of this show. It started out great for me with the first episode. Since then no episode has been better than 4 stars and a majority would be 3 stars for me. As a massive fan of Del Toro, I was expecting a bit more, even with his direct involvement not being very high. Back to this episode specifically, I agree with the review. I loved the scenes of them crawling through the tight tunnel. Seeing the vamp slither through it was actually quite creepy. Totally agree on The Master looking stupid. I almost expected him to just be a massive worm face with limbs and such. What we got instead is a letdown.
The first Purge movie was awful. All of those characters are brain dead morons. The only enjoyment I got out of it was making fun of it. I haven't seen the second and don't intend to. Still, a comic series could actually work well with the concept. I could see someone like Robert Kirkman making a great comic series out of it.
This show gives me such mixed feelings. I still watch it every week and enjoy it well enough but I had much higher expectations. Guillermo Del Toro is my absolute favorite director of all time but this show doesn't feel as much like a Del Toro work as I was hoping it would. I know he is just a producer and hasn't had a ton of hands-on involvement since casting the show and writing/directing the first episode but I still wanted to be sucked into a visually stunning and engaging Del Toro show. My expectations may have been a bit unrealistic but I really hope these last few episodes pick up and next season hooks me much more.
Wait, I have more to add.
My favorite rivalry ever is Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels that culminated in my favorite match ever at Wrestlemania XIX. That is a match I can re-watch any day of the week.
I'd also like to point out that the talent pool is actually pretty deep. They have a ton of guys that can wrestle. The problem is that the WWE refuses to properly utilize the talent that they do have. Dolph Ziggler, Big E, Wade Barrett, Cesaro, Kofi Kingston, Ryback, and Rusev are all guys I believe could and should be in the main event.