I really wish I was able to write my preview for Night of Champions, because going into this PPV I had high expectations. Punk/Cena, Sheamus/ADR, Orton/Ziggler and a fairly solid undercard gave me a feeling that this show was going to be good. Thankfully I was right, as Night of Champions proved to be a very entertaining show.
New champions were crowd, talented mid-carders were given a spotlight and entertaining wrestling was seen from top to bottom.
After putting up with what WWE has given us over the past couple of months, it was great to see them put on a show like this. A much needed show that came at a much needed time.
The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Sin Cara vs. Rey Mysterio
While the card was moslty top heavy on singles matches, having a Fatl-4-Way match in the mix made things a little fresher and helped balance the show out.
Despite some botches throughout the match, this was a fun opener to the PPV. It wasn't perfect, as the luchadors that were meant to bring excitement into the match failed to do so and the action was a bit too all over the place. But, the match had its moments nonetheless and the ending to the match, which saw The Miz instinctively give Cody the Skull Crushing Finale despite being blinded, was very original. 3/5
WWE Tag Team Championship
R-Truth & Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan & Kane (or is it Kane & Daniel Bryan?)
Give Kane and Daniel Bryan any type of ball and they'll run it with. That's the way they work, and there terrific performances together could once again be seen on Sunday night.
Granted, the wrestling in the match was very forgettable, but seeing Kane and Bryan “hug it out” was hilarious, and the ending to the match came off extremely well also.
Daniel Bryan and Kane (I'm trying to switch it around here) simply have brilliant together, and made a lackluster match into something pretty entertaining. Quite simply, the action was lacking, but the entertainment wasn't. 2.5/5
United States Championship
Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder
First off, great to see Antonio Cesaro defend his title on a PPV (even if the PPV stated that it had to). Secondly, it was a good showing from him.
He controlled the match very well, and put in some nice maneuvers to get a reaction out of the crowd. Unfortunately though, the match was on the short side, and so there was only so much action on hand. Given more time, this could have been a very solid bout. 2.5/5
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
Out of the 3 big matches in this PPV, this was actually the match I was least looking forward to. I knew going into the match that they both work well together, but for me I felt it was overdone.
But, I was wrong, as Orton and Ziggler put on their finest match toegther to date. The match had good pacing, fluid action and really entertaining moments in the match. Both men showed excellent intensity, and pulled out all the stops in what was a very good watch throughout. Ziggler didn't even look weak in defeat, as his controlling for most of the match, as well as his mean streak, made him look like a star. 4/5
Layla vs. Eve
Talk about a replacement making a big difference. When Eve replaced the injured Kaityln, in what was an interesting development in this whole storyline, the potential for this match rose considerably.
Layla and Eve made the most of their little time and put on a really solid bout. It could have done without Layla saying “is she OK?” as Eve laid on the ground, although I didn't mind the hand shake at all (minus Layla smiling a bit too much). Despite that, this match was absolutely fine. Eve controlled the match well by working on the ribs of Layla, and the (former) Divas champion sold it well throughout. A good effort from both women. 3/5
World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Despite having a really poor feud storyline-wise, their matches together really haven't been that bad. And even though Booker T brought back the Brogue Kick, thus wasting the entire “the Brogue Kick is banned” storyline, both men put on a solid bout.
The match took a while to get into, but once it did things became entertaining. Alberto worked on the arm of Sheamus very well, and his Cross Armbreaker continues to be dangerous looking, while Sheamus put in yet another gutsy effort as World Heavyweight champion
The closing moments were especially good, as both men exchanged in submission moves, and reversals, until finally the Brogue Kick connected and won “The Great White” the match.
It's a shame that this feud is more than likely yet to end, but that doesn't take anything away from this match. 3.5/5
CM Punk vs. John Cena
Yet again, CM Punk and John Cena put on another great match together. Right from the bell the match had a big match feel to it, and both men helped keep it that way by putting on a highly entertaining match.
The first half of the match was great, as CM Punk dominantly controlled the match. The match then picked up even more as Cena fought back, before both men exchanged signature moves (as well as a Rock Bottom) in a brilliant last 10 minutes of the bout.
Cena's inconsistent selling near the end of the match hurt things significantly, and it probably featured too many near falls , but the ending did come off very well at least. CM Punk retains the title, but through very lucky circumstances. Punk gets heat by winning so cheaply and the feud continues also. If I gave ratings quarter ratings I'd probably give this match 4 and a ¼ stars, but I don't. Still though, this was yet another excellent match between two people who work extremely well together. 4/5
Overall, this was a great PPV, and arguably the best of 2012 behind WrestleMania and Extreme Rules. It had a hot Boston crowd, a solid undercard and two 4 star matches. Here's to hoping that WWE keep this up.
- JBL was excellent on commentary. His enthusiasm, heelish comments and overall wrestling knowledge made him a joy to listen to. If I were WWE, I'd be wanting him as a permanent announcer for Raw and PPVs.
- “What's he doing on Twitter? Why? He has a championship”. I'm guessing JBL wasn't around for all those Twitter meetings.
- What footage did Booker T look at exactly concerning the Brogue Kick that was in any different from any of the others he's seen?
- “I have something to say, I'm going to Disneyland!”
- Big credit to WWE for their involvement with Susan G. Komen's breast cancer awareness. Everything from Cena's ring attire to the ring ropes came off really classy.