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WWE Night of Champions 2014: Good enough to keep network subscribers from jumping ship?


Day of reckoning!

Remember all those folks who signed up for the WWE Network back in late February and early March? Their subscriptions are just about up. My, how time flies when you're having fun -- streaming the shit out of the WWE tape library. So has everyone had their fill?

Or not yet?

That's the big question heading into Night of Champions, which takes place a week from Sunday (Sept. 21, 2014) inside the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Probably because it depends on why fans were willing to subscribe in the first place.

Personally, I signed up just to get all the live pay-per-view (PPV) events for $10 $9.99 per month.

I have yet to stream any of the weekly programming or original content (outside of two episodes of Legends House, which I quickly regretted). Not because I don't want to, but rather because I don't have the time. Plus, I'm not "hardcore" enough to start scheduling viewings of archaic footage from (insert favorite era here).

I'm here for the PPVs, so they better be good.

I think most of the "Universe" is, as well, which makes Night of Champions an important show. If it ends in disaster (like this travesty), especially so close to the first renewal date, it could force a mass exodus. The last thing WWE wants is to fade to black on Sunday night and have fans wondering, "Why did I even bother?"

$9.99 doesn't sound like a lot, but these are tough times, friends.

That said, let's take a look at the complete WWE Night of Champions match card and line up:

1. Brock Lesnar (c) vs. John Cena: Singles match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
2. Sheamus (c) vs. Cesaro: Singles match for the WWE United States Championship
3. Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. The Miz: Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
4. Paige (c) vs. AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella: Triple threat match for the WWE Divas Championship
5. Mark Henry vs. Rusev: Singles match
6. The Usos (c) vs. Gold and Stardust: Tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
7. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton: Singles match
8. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins: Singles match

On paper, that's a great line up.

Unfortunately, the main event is a rematch featuring a performer who only makes one televised appearance in between PPV events (at least until this kicks in), and nobody cares about the United States Championship. That's probably why there isn't a lot of buzz surrounding this card.

And losing Dean Ambrose at the peak of his popularity definitely hurts.

I'm just not sure this is a card that screams RENEWAL! But the flip side to that, from a WWE perspective, is that the above line up represents the best of the brand and quite frankly, it's all there is to work with. Could it do better at a time when it really needs to close the deal?

That question remains unanswered ... for now.

Putting the pieces on the board is only the first half of the equation, not it's time to (Motorhead riff) PLAY DA GAME! No doubt the talent is getting a locker room speech this weekend about going out there and being money, so that they in turn, can make money.

THIS BUSINESS, for better or for worse, now depends on it.

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