WWE World Tag Team Champions AIR BOOM (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston) def. AWESOME TRUTH (The Miz & R-Truth) via DQ
This was the best match to open the show with. All four men work very well together. Now, most fans will have an issue with the finish of the match. However, having Miz/Truth get DQ’ed sets up for several things: (1) In order to continue the overhaul of the tag team division, this finish had to happen, in order to set up multiple rematches later on, and (2) Miz/Truth’s beef is with HHH. Having the referee DQ them adds to the conspiracy, which I’m sure they will discuss tonight on RAW. The ref works for HHH, the ref DQ’s them, they attack HHH at the end of the night. Seems like they are creating a lot of feuds that will overlap with other feuds. All of this should allow them the time they need to establish at least four new teams in the division. It has been 10 years since the WWE really put an emphasis on the tag division. Right now, they are off to a decent start.
WWE Intercontinental Champion CODY RHODES def. TED DIBIASE
This was a solid match. The problem was that it felt like a bonus match. There was a lot of buildup to this match. For the last several months, we watched the problems between the two escalate, until the fight finally broke out between them. However, instead of announcing that Cody would be defending the title against DiBiase either 2 weeks before, or even on the “go-home” episode of SmackDown the Friday before the PPV, the match was announced on WWE.com. The crowd just didn’t seem to care. Maybe, that’s because the company didn’t seem to care to announce that this match was happening.
WWE United States Champion DOLPH ZIGGLER def. JACK SWAGGER, JOHN MORRISON, and ALEX RILEY in a Fatal Four Way match
While I thought that the match was entertaining, it was the outcome that I thought should have been different. In addition to pushing the tag team division, WWE is also looking to bring “Managers” back into the fold, starting with Vickie Guerrero. The best outcome here would have been Swagger winning the title and joining Vickie’s stable. That would have allowed Ziggler to move into the WWE Title Picture. When the company needs a great TV match against a World Champion, they go to Dolph Ziggler, who has hit homeruns in his television matches against Cena, Edge, and Orton. Having Vickie explain to both of them in the back that everything is OK, and she will lead both of them to championships, would have been a great way to re-establish how important a manager-led stable can be.
Perhaps for future Night of Champions events, since it seems to be a struggle to add people to the PPV, WWE could have two Scramble matches, one for the U.S. Title and the other for the I.C. Title.
MARK HENRY def. RANDY ORTON to become the NEW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION
Honestly, they got this one right. With the way WWE has been presenting Mark Henry over the last several months, having him destroy Randy Orton to win the title was the only way they should have gone. Orton is very limited with who he has to work with right now (as they have exhausted the Orton vs. Christian feud). With Mark Henry as champion, he can face Orton in rematches, Sheamus (they never had a decisive winner in that feud), a returning Big Show (who was injured by Henry), and a returning Kane (who was also injured by Henry). They could even throw in Christian, only because he whines about wanting one more match.
Mark Henry has done everything right over the last year. His promos have been intense. And he is destroying people, like the World’s Strongest Man is supposed to do. I see Mark Henry remaining champion until WrestleMania. People will grow tired of him. Fans will really start to hate him. And that should give WWE the monster “pop” that they are looking for when Daniel Bryan cashes in the briefcase and wins the World Title there.
WWE Divas Champion KELLY KELLY def. BETH PHOENIX
There’s something about having a title match in someone’s hometown. It really makes the crowd get emotionally invested in the match. And that is what happened here as the Buffalo crowd supported Phoenix. However, Wrestling Rule 101 says that nine times out of ten, the hometown favorite will lose. The Hardys lost TLC in Carolina, Cena lost in Boston, Edge lost Toronto, Zack Ryder wasn’t even booked for the 3-hour RAW in Long Island. You see the pattern here? On occasion, the hometown favorite will win, like William Regal in England or Trish Stratus in Toronto. But, for Beth Phoenix, that would not be the case. Give credit to both women for working really hard in this match. Kelly Kelly could be next in line to win the Trish Stratus/Candice Michelle Most Improved Award. This was definitely her best match ever. And a lot of the credit goes to Beth Phoenix. Now, most fans hated the finish which saw Phoenix lose again. However, I think that they will take the unusual step of allowing these women to compete once again at the next PPV. Only this time, inside Hell In A Cell, a first for the Divas. Now that would create a lot of interest for the Divas division, as they await for Kharma’s return in early 2012.
JOHN CENA def. ALBERTO DEL RIO to become the NEW WWE CHAMPION
Why have Cena lose the title to Punk, only to get it back a few weeks later from a wounded Rey Mysterio? Why have Cena lose the title to Punk again, only to regain it a month later from ADR? Hmmmm! There’s that “pattern” again. One would think that the WWE is nervous about leaving the title around the waist of someone other than John Cena. However, Cena’s WrestleMania match with The Rock doesn’t need the WWE Title to make it special. So, giving the title back to Cena here didn’t make a lot of sense, unless…… Alberto Del Rio regains the title when RAW is live from Mexico City next month, or ADR regains the title at Hell In a Cell, and defends it successfully at the Mexico City RAW.
Conspiracy theorists would say that this will be the last title reign for Cena, for a while anyway, because Cena is one reign behind Triple H for most title reigns all-time, and four behind Ric Flair. Now, obviously, we know that this will not be Cena’s last run with the title. But, what about CM Punk? The #1 contender match only stipulated that the winner would get the first shot at ADR at Night of Champions. HHH never said that the loser wouldn’t get a shot at all. Could we be headed to a Cena/Punk Hell In A Cell Match, or a 3-way Hell In A Cell with ADR? We should find out tonight on RAW.
TRIPLE H def. CM PUNK in a No-Disqualification Match
Given all of the outside forces that surrounded this match (Miz, Truth, Nash, Laurinaitis), you knew that some, if not, all of them were going get involved. And that is exactly what happened. Once HHH announced that his COO title was on the line, there was no doubt that Punk was going to lose. But both Punk and HHH delivered last night. And yes, Hunter made Punk look strong by needing Kevin Nash’s Jackknife Powerbomb and multiple Pedigrees to finally knock out Punk. But, the WWE must be careful here. Punk is leading the “change” in WWE. He is clearly the most talked about superstar in the company today. At some point, WWE is going to have to show that Punk can back up his words.
The last person to push for “change” in WWE was Stone Cold Steve Austin. When Austin became Stone Cold, his losses were few and far between. It seems like Punk hasn’t won a match since he signed his new WWE contract. Maybe, the WWE is creating a situation where the losses will be used as fuel to the fire that burns inside of CM Punk. Now, when he is allowed to show that fire, that’s when you’ll see the fans go wild. At least, that is what they hope will happen.
Overall, this was an OK show. While there were two major title changes on the show, nothing really stood out as something memorable here. With Hell In A Cell only two weeks away, maybe the WWE was saving those “moments” for there. Then again, maybe WWE has too many PPVs on their schedule right now.
And by the way, did anyone notice that the main event of Night of Champions, was not for any of the Championships in the company?
What were your thoughts on the show?
And don’t forget, tickets are on sale now for WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, PPV in Baltimore at the First Mariner Arena in December!