HOUSTON — Though his quest for a 16th World Championship has been put on hold, John Cena’s waist is no longer undecorated. The Cenation leader dethroned Seth Rollins with an Attitude Adjustment to reclaim the United States Championship at WWE Night of Champions.
Though Rollins had a WWE World Heavyweight Championship battle with Sting still ahead, he did not hold back in bringing the fight right to Cena, stunning the 15-time World Champion with a flipping neckbreaker in the early moments of the match. The confident Architect trash-talked his challenger before catching a big right hand to the jaw. Rollins stopped Cena’s attempted offense in its tracks with a sleeper hold, then attempted to cave Cena’s chest in with a devastating double stomp off the top turnbuckle.
Perhaps seeking to save his energy for his showdown with The Vigilante, Rollins turned his attention to the sold-out crowd in Houston, taunting the WWE Universe. That nearly cost the United States Champion his title, as Cena nearly pinned him with a surprise roll-up.
Rollins looked to be a step ahead of Cena as the bout wore on, cutting Cena off before he could hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle on several occasions. The Cenation leader fought back, preventing Rollins from hitting the Pedigree, while surprising the WWE Universe with several moves outside of his trademark arsenal, including a flipping powerbomb and a hurricanrana.
Cena looked to have Rollins in position for an Attitude Adjustment, but the United States Champion flipped , landed on his feet and staggered Cena with a series of superkicks. The Architect brought the fight to Cena on the floor, connecting with a dive over the ropes, but ate canvas on an attempted frog splash.
The resilient Cena refused to give in, catching Rollins with a tornado DDT off the ropes before rolling to the apron to collect himself. A desperate Rollins trapped Cena as he scaled the ropes, suplexing his challenger to the mat, then holding on and lifting the heavier Cena up for a second consecutive suplex. Rollins may have thought he had the 15-time World Champion on the ropes, but the wily veteran soon trapped the champion in the STF.
The Architect escaped and tussled with Cena on the mat, muscling Cena up for a powerbomb into the corner. Rollins attempted to hit the Pedigree, and then Cena’s own finishing maneuver. However, Cena wriggled free from Rollins’ grasp and hit a reverse suplex. Cena followed up with a leg drop off the top rope and the Attitude Adjustment to win his fifth United States Championship.
After the bell, Rollins tried to escape his awaiting bout with Sting, clutching his WWE World Heavyweight Championship closely. But Cena blocked Rollins’ path and ensured the WWE Universe would get to see the highly anticipated showdown by planting Rollins with another Attitude Adjustment on the floor and depositing him back in the ring.