At SummerSlam in August, Brock Lesnar hit John Cena with 16 German suplexes en route to winning the WWE world heavyweight title.
It looked like that number was going to be much more pleasant to Cena Sunday night -- as in 16 world title reigns.
Cena appeared to have Lesnar beat at Night of Champions Sunday in Nashville, which would have tied "Nature Boy" Ric Flair's record of 16 world titles.
Cena hit Lesnar with four attitude adjustment finishers before locking in the STF and trying to make Lesnar submit. But just then Seth Rollins came out and hit Cena with his Money in the Bank briefcase, forcing a disqualification.
Rollins then hit Lesnar with his curb stomp finisher and handed his briefcase to the referee, signaling that he wanted to cash in his contract for a title match at any time.
But Cena then foiled Rollins' plans, attacking him before Rollins could go for a pin on Lesnar.
The bell never rang, so Rollins still has a Money in the Bank opportunity and Lesnar is still the champion.
Here are some thoughts on the rest of the WWE Night of Champions pay-per-view.
Goldust and Stardust defeat Usos to win WWE tag-team championship
WWE both celebrated the resurgence the Usos have brought to tag-team wrestling this year and hinted at a title change all at the same time. The graphics package of great WWE teams (the Blackjacks, Edge and Christian) is the type of thing you generally see right before the champs lose.
Ironically, the title change -- Stardust pinned Jey Uso clean with a rollup after thwarting his opponent’s big splash attempt by raising his knees and planting them in Uso’s sternum -- might have nothing to do with tag-team wrestling. Stardust (formerly known as Cody Rhodes) was thought of by many as showing a work rate last year that matched Daniel Bryan and could send him into main-event status. (People are still talking about his moonsault off the cage at a Madison Square Garden house show late last year.)
That’s why it was so curious that instead of pushing him further, WWE instead put him in a gold unitard to play Boy Wonder for his brother. But now that WWE has lost Roman Reigns due to emergency hernia surgery to go along with Daniel Bryan’s injury and CM Punk’s walkout, maybe the company is rethinking making Stardust a gimmick instead of a wrestler. Putting a tag belt around his waist may be the first step in raising his status so they can get him back in some trunks and get back to what he was doing so well.
Sheamus retains United States title by beating Cesaro
It was an audition for both Sunday night with the Reigns injury, and the pair left nothing on the table. It was MMA stiff, with Sheamus finally retaining the title with a brogue kick. Ironically, Reigns’ injury may give Sheamus another chance to return to the upper echelon after the Celtic Warrior’s momentum was stalled by a shoulder injury last year.
Cesaro’s in a tough spot. WWE made Cesaro Paul Heyman’s manager for all about seven minutes earlier this year. It means that WWE’s brass wanted to push the guy and almost immediately changed their minds. It’s hard to envision anything putting Cesaro back in the forefront anytime soon.
The Miz beats Dolph Ziggler to win the WWE Intercontinental title
If you really love country music (like this reporter), a title match with country music group Florida Georgia Line providing commentary made you grind your teeth in discomfort. It’s hard to imagine what people who couldn’t care less about country music went through. The country duo pushed down Damien Sandow at one point, Miz won the title by pulling Ziggler’s trunks, but the big winners were NASCAR drivers Joey Logano and Kyle Busch Their woeful guest-hosting stint on Monday Night Raw in 2009 is officially out of the cellar.
Dean Ambrose confronts Seth Rollins
Who felt that the pay-per-view started when Seth Rollins issued an open challenge (with scheduled opponent Reigns unavailable) and Ambrose showed up in a taxicab and started a free-for-all? It was the rare time of the evening when you weren’t asking “What is WWE going to do?” after losing so much talent so quickly.
As much as WWE wants people to pay $9.99 for WWE Network, the company still has to strive for matches worth people paying 50 bucks for. Unfortunately those are few and far between, but Ambrose vs. Rollins at Hell in a Cell next month should be one of them.
Rusev beats Mark Henry
News flash: Vince McMahon can be a bit stubborn from time to time. Why else would WWE still be pushing a storyline doesn’t sell any tickets and caused a massive headache when Rusev’s Russian mouthpiece, Lana, put her stiletto heel in her mouth with her swooning over Vladimir Putin right after the June Malaysian Airlines tragedy?
Nevertheless, Rusev made Henry tap out Sunday night. The WWE Universe beat Henry to the punch, tapping out on this storyline months ago.
Randy Orton beats Chris Jericho
This match highlights how much Ambrose vs. Rollins is the saving grace of the company. As hard as Orton and Jericho bring it, the “been there, done that” feeling permeated this match, which ended with Orton catching an unsuspecting Jericho with an RKO as the latter flew off the top rope.
AJ Lee wins Divas title by beating Paige and Nikki Bella in Triple Threat match
Darn! Just when one is about to make another snarky E! “Total Divas” comment, the trio pulls off one of the more memorable spots in recent Divas history. Paige giving a superplex to AJ while simultaneously powerbombed Paige was pretty sweet. Let’s even give AJ and Paige dispensation for talking so loud on the turnbuckle that WWE microphones picked up them going over the move. AJ became champ again by making Paige tap out to her Black Widow submission.