WWE Championship match
The best part of this entire segment was the giant John Cena face that protruded from the audience, quite randomly while he was attempting to call his own entrance (see photo).
I think everyone with half a brain called Alberto del Rio to walk out of Night of Champions with the WWE title. Maybe that's exactly why they put Cena over in this match. Or maybe it had something to do with work visas or backstage politics? Or maybe after a year of putting people on the shelf, winning the Royal Rumble, “retiring Edge” at WrestleMania, winning Money in the Bank, and walking out of SummerSlam with the WWE title they have just completely given up on one of Raw's most promising talents. That's right, Alberto del Rio was a prominent figure at all three of the WWE's biggest PPV events so far in 2011, and after a few short weeks as the WWE Champion they've pulled the rug out from under him, driving a nail into his credibility that may never be removed. OR, maybe John Cena just sells well enough to maintain a mediocre 3.0 average rating on Raw, and the brass are in a state of panic after their HUGE loss to Monday Night Football last week.
Whatever the backstage reason on why John Cena has defeated Alberto del Rio to become a 12 time World champion, we're beating a very bloody, dead horse trying to figure it all out. You can throw your hands in the air, storm out of the product and claim you're never coming back but this has happened too many times for you anyone to actually believe you. This is Cena's world, and as much as I hate to agree with Nick Paglino on this point, Cena will have the WWE title when he storms into Miama for the biggest WrestleMania main event since 2004. So let's stop talking about how dissapointed we are in WWE creative and Vince's obvious lack of faith in Alberto del Rio, and move forward. John Cena is WWE Champion, the “soul crushing status quo” has been achieved yet again, if nothing else I'm sure we'll get a brilliant CM Punk promo out of the deal.
No Disqualification match
Well, the one thing you can't say about the main event of Night of Champions is that WWE took the lazy, predictable route to the finish! I think we need to clear a few things up, because a lot of people are really confused after WWE threw in the kitchen sink to confuse the hell out of the WWE Universe. Let's take this step by step and see if we can't make things a little less convoluted:
-After being screwed out of their Tag Team title match by an incapable referee earlier in the night, the Miz and R-Truth hit the ring to take out their frustrations on the highest level of management possible, the COO Triple H. They have been quite vocal about their disapproval of their current boss lately, and screwing him out of the job made perfect sense. Unfortunately for them, Triple H kicked out. This led to the “Awesome Truth” taking out yet another referee in their rage.
The whole thing came across a confusing mess live, but if you go back and re-watch it without all the shock and awe of the moment it makes perfect sense. Johnny Ace has been using Kevin Nash to usurp Triple H of his position of COO of the WWE. The Miz and R-Truth are sick of the WWE conspiracy, and went after Triple H. All guns are pointed at the Game, and he still came out on top after what was a pretty good No Disqualification match. I loved the subtlety of Punk smiling like a maniac as Triple H went to town with punch after punch. Originally I had said I wanted to see a clean match turn into a classic main event bout, but I think the way they handled it is both creative and intriguing. Triple H kept his job, but it's clear that the whole of the WWE roster is against him. My entire Twitter feed and the whole of the Voice of Wrestling chat room was filled with negative reactions to Night of Champions immediately after the event, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's because Triple H “buried” CM Punk. Let me assure you, that is not what happened. Like I said in my preview Saturday night, it's not about the win or loss, but rathe rather the story these two can tell in the ring. At Night of Champions, a story was put out there, and we're going to have to wait until Raw to unravel a bit of the mystery. The match could have been a little better and there's always the disappointment of CM Punk losing, but overall I quite enjoyed the whole segment.
Overall Night of Champions was a great event plagued by a few unpopular decisions. The first three matches were great, the World Championship segment was well done and showcased that brilliant Mark Henry promo, and even the divas performed well for their own standards. The loss of the hometown girl Beth Phoenix deflated a lot of people's positive perceptions of the event, and John Cena winning the WWE title yet again didn't help to alleviate the tension. After two segments not well-received by the live audience, it's no surprise that Punk losing a huge match would upset a lot of people, and with the WCW-esk booking that surrounded it I can understand the amount of angry fans. But I encourage to re-watch the event, or at the very least look deeper into the main event past the fact that your hero lost the match. Punk is good, but
After a great tag team match, a solid performance by the WWE Divas, a close victory for Cody Rhodes, and a fun Fatal-4-way I think Night of Champions was a very successful PPV. Unfortunately it had the tools it needed to be the event of the year, and didn't capitalize on a few things that could have put the show over the edge.
Best moment of the night: Mark Henry's post-match promo
OVERALL Night of Champions rating: 4/5 (B+)
Air-BoomAlberto del RioBeth PhoenixCM PunkCody Rhodesevan bourneJohn CenaKelly Kellykofi kingstonr-truthted dibiaseThe MizWWEWWE Night of ChampionsHave a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?