WWE Night of Champions took place last Sunday from the TD Garden in Boston. With every title on the line, how much will the landscape of the WWE change? Let's take a look at the card.
Before I start my review, I would like to apologise for not being able to publish an article on my predictions. I have been so caught up with work that I never got a chance to publish it. The plus side is that it gives me a chance to focus on just watching reviewing and enjoying the show and not worrying on my predictions.
The YouTube pre-show match was a 16-man battle royal to determine who will face Antionio Cesario for the United States Championship later on in the evening. The participants were Brodus Clay, JTG, Ted DiBiase, The Prime Time Players (#Millions of Dollars), Zack Ryder, Primo, Epico, Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, Heath Slater, Santino Marella, Michael McGillicutty, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. The match starts with everyone throwing Slater out of the ring. Brodus eliminates Epico, Jinder Mahal and Primo, then Tensai chucks Gabriel out of the ring onto those guys followed by him powerbombing Kidd out of the ring, which was cool to see. The Prime Time Players and McIntyre eliminate Brodus and the last five were the Prime Time Players, Santino, Tensai and Zack Ryder. Santino is eliminated by the Prime Time Players; Ryder eliminates O'Neill and Tensai eliminates Young. Ryder goes for the RoughRyder but is stopped by Tensai who tries to powerbomb Ryder out of the ring. However, Ryder holds on to the top rope and flips Tensai out of the ring to get the win. It was an enjoyable match and a good way to get people to buy the PPV
Winner: Zack Ryder
The PPV officially starts with the fatal 4-way match for the Intercontinental Championship between The Miz, Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio and Cody Rhodes. Some of the highlights include an entertaining mini match between Rey and Cara before it was broke up by Miz; Mysterio rolling up Miz which was stopped by Cara rolling up Mysterio; Rhodes trying to take off Cara's mask off but is stopped by Mysterio. Cara tries to mask Rhodes but when Miz tries to powerbomb him, he puts the mask on Miz instead. Rhodes tries to hit the Cross Rhodes on Cara but Miz, blinded by the mask, grabs Rhodes and hits the Skull Crushing Finale to get the win and retain the Intercontinental Championship. I enjoyed the match and I really liked the ending.
Winner: The Miz
We next go backstage where Eve Torres is speaking to the Prime Time Players (#Millions of Dollars) where she is called over for an emergency. Kaitlyn has been attacked and she rolled over on her ankle. Eve demands that she gets medical attention
The next match was for the Tag Team Championship as Kane and Daniel Bryan challenged Kofi Kingston and R-Truth. Kane and Kingston start the match and the Champions start the match being dominant before Kane does a blind tag and clotheslines Truth. This gives Kane and Bryan the chance to run down Truth. Bryan and Kane work together before they start arguing and decide to hug it out. This gives Truth the chance to give Kingston the hot tag. Bryan applies the LeBell Yes No Lock on Kingston but it's broken up by Truth. Kane tags himself in and goes on the top turnbuckle. Kingston tries to hit Kane with a hurracarrana but is unable to do so because of Bryan holding onto Kane's leg. Kane and Bryan start to argue again and Bryan pushes Kane off the turnbuckle. Kane lands on top of Kingston, pinning him and getting the win, making him and Bryan the new Tag Team Champions. Afterwards, Bryan and Kane argue, with them saying "I am the Tag Team Champions!" I enjoyed this match and I enoyed the comic element of it involving Bryan and Kane.
Winners: Kane and Daniel Bryan
The United States Championship was on the line with Antonio Cesario being challenged by the winner of the Battle Royal earlier Zack Ryder. Cesario shows off his impressive strength, lifting Ryder off the floor and hitting a gut wrench suplex and later on lifting Ryder up in the air into an uppercut. Ryder gets to build some momentum after a facebuster. Ryder tries for the Broski Boot but Askana pulls Cesario out of the ring. Ryder chases after him back into the ring. This gives Cesario the opportunity to hit an uppercut followed by the Neutraliser to get the win and retain the United States Championship. This was a solid match by both guys.
Winner: Antonio Cesario
The only non-championship match was between Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton. As always, it's fun to watch Ziggler wrestle. Orton hits a slingshot suplex to help him gain some momentum. Ziggler hits a few impressive moves including doing a headstand while having Orton in a headlock. What I found interesting was JBL, who was on commentary while Jerry Lawler is recovering, was critical of Ziggler showboating. I thought it was good commentary by JBL. Orton takes advantage of Ziggler being on the top turnbuckle and, despite Ziggler hitting a fameasser, he couldn't stop Orton. Orton puts Ziggler in the air and hit the RKO to get the win. This was a really good match but I'm worried for Ziggler. If Ziggler is going to be the next World Heavyweight Champion, they need to start making him stronger.
Winner: Randy Orton
The Divas Championship match was next as Layla was challenged by Eve Torres, who got the opportunity by Booker T after Kaitlyn's attack earlier in the evening. The girls hit lots of counters with Eve really impressing me with her ability. Eve takes advantage of sportsmanship by Layla to get the advantage with Eve applying a leg scissors. Layla reverses a neckbreaker into a DDT, slowing Eve down. However, it was not enough as Eve hits Layla with a swinging neckbreaker to get the win and become the new Divas Champion. This was an entertaining contest, although I would have been nice if we saw the Kaitlyn/Layla match. As for the crowd, they weren't really into it although, after the way the WWE have been treating their Divas division over the years, can you blame them?
Winner: Eve Torres
After a brilliant segment involving Daniel Bryan, Kane, AJ and the anger management Dr Shelby, we get the World Heavyweight Championship with Alberto Del Rio challenging Sheamus. Just before the match started, Smackdown General Manager Booker T, who had the Brogue Kick banned, decides to reinstate the move after an investigation. Sheamus responds with Brogue Kicking David Otunga off the ring apron, who was there supporting Del Rio's announcer Ricardo "Virgil" Rodriguez. Del Rio gets the advantage after sending Sheamus into the Spanish announcer's table and starts to focus on the arm, shoulder and neck. Del Rio applies an armbar but then gets hit by an axehandle after going off the top turnbuckle. The match goes back and forth. Del Rio tries for the Cross Armbreaker but is countered by the White Noise. Del Rio does apply the Cross Armbreaker but Sheamus rolls out of it and tries for the Texas Cloverleaf but Del Rio gets out of it. Del Rio finally applies the Cross Armbreaker with Sheamus in the middle of the ring. Sheamus manages to reverse it into a powerbomb. Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick but Del Rio again applies the Cross Armbreaker. Sheamus gets his foot under the bottom rope, forcing Del Rio to let it go. Sheamus then hits the Brogue Kick to get the win. It was a good match and it was probably the best one that they had in their rivalry. Hopefully, they can end it and Sheamus can fight with someone else.
The main event was for the WWE Championship as CM Punk (with Paul Heyman) is challenged by John Cena. The match goes back and forth to begin with before Punk starts to get the momentum. Punk hurts Cena's left leg with an Indian deathlock. Punk continues to dominate the match although Cena does counter some moves. Cena tries the 5-knuckle shuffle but it's countered by Punk with a boot to the face. Punk goes to the outside and gets hit with a suicide dive by Cena, shocking Heyman who is watching by the announce table. Cena goes for the 5-knuckle shuffle again but it's countered by Punk applying the Anaconda Vice. Unfortunately, as Punk should know, Cena doesn't submit...ever. Cena gets out of it and applies the STF. Punk counters the STF with a Crossface and Cena powers out of it. Punk hits the Macho Man Elbow Drop but he only gets a 2 count. Punk goes for the GTS but it's countered into the STF, which Punk gets out of it by grabbing the bottom rope. Punk hits the GTS but Cena kicks out at 2. Cena hits the AA but Punk kicks out. Punk tries for a moonsault but completely misses. Punk hits the GTS again but Cena kicks out. Punk hits the Rock Bottom but Cena still kicks out. Cena hits the AA but Punk kicks out. Cena then hits Punk with a German suplex from the turnbuckle and pins Punk to win the match and become the new WWE Champion. However, the referee notices that both Punk's and Cena's shoulders were on the mat and decides that instead of restarting the match (like every other scenario), declares the match a draw, which means Punk is still the Champion. When I saw it, Cena's shoulders were down but I thought it was a botch. The match was awesome to watch and it seemed weird to end the match that way.
Winner: Draw therefore, CM Punk is still the WWE Champion
I really enjoyed Night of Champions. All the matches were fun to watch and I thought the Orton/Ziggler match and the main event were the highlights of the event. I'm torn about the ending as I thought it could have ended differently with Punk cheating to win or a double countout. I can see where WWE are going with it, prolonging the feud and protecting both guys. I feel that they don't always have to do that with Cena as he doesn't need protecting in that way. Despite that, I do look forward to see where they go from here.