WWE Night of Champions: Ranking the 10 Best Matches in the PPV's History
Night of Champions is next on the WWE pay-per-view docket and will be held inside the TD Garden in Boston.
John Cena challenging CM Punk for the WWE Title is the only match that has been made official to this point, but every title should be defended at the event, at least that's been the theme in year's past.
Here, we will take a look at some of the top matches in the history of the event, which dates back to 2007, when the event was technically still known as Vengeance.
10. Johnny Nitro vs CM Punk- 2007
Heading into this event, the ECW Title had been vacated and a mini-tournament was held to crown a new champion.
Johnny Nitro, as he was known at the time, had just been drafted to ECW via the supplemental draft just about a week before and he jumped at the opportunity to win the title when he was asked to fill in as a replacement to face CM Punk.
Many expected Punk to finish what he started in the tournament and defeat Nitro here, but Nitro would hit a swinging neckbreaker from the middle ring rope to pull off a very surprising win.
This win launched a big push for Nitro, who became known as John Morrison not long after.
9. Jeff Hardy vs CM Punk- 2009
CM Punk and Jeff Hardy had a very memorable feud over the summer of 2009, and this match was well worked.
About a month earlier at Extreme Rules, Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to take the World Title from Hardy.
During this match, Punk tried to leave the ring during this match with the title, but Hardy made sure the match wouldn't end that way, forcing him back to the ring and hitting the Swanton Bomb for the win, one of the few times Hardy came out on top between these two men.
8. Edge vs. Batista- 2008
It seemed that this would be the night Batista finally overcame Edge to become World Heavyweight Champion, but it wasn't to be.
Edge needed help from a whole host of people including Vickie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero as guest referee.
As Batista tried to fend them all off, he turned right into a shot with the belt from Edge who then covered him as Chavo issued the three count to retain the title.
7. Dolph Ziggler vs Rey Mysterio- 2009
It was this time in 2009 that Dolph Ziggler began to rise the ranks of the WWE ladder and it seemed he was poised to become Intercontinental Champion. However, Rey Mysterio had other ideas.
These two had an excellent match that played out very well with the fan favorite Mysterio having to make a dramatic comeback to win it, using the 619 to stun the challenger and then finishing him off with a springboard splash.
6. Triple H vs CM Punk- 2011
At last year's Night of Champions, the WWE used this match to sell the event. Never before had Triple H squared off against CM Punk, and it was great to see two of the top superstars in the last decade square off.
In the week's leading up to the match, Punk disrespected Triple H verbally on several occasions, saying things like Triple H buries talent and making light of the fact that Triple H is married to Stephanie McMahon.
In Punk's "quest for change," he even got Triple H to put up his position as the COO of the WWE if he lost the match. What would the WWE be like if Triple H wasn't in that position? Well, we never got to find out, not even in an angle, as Triple H would go on to win this match.
The match itself was very good, with action spilling all over the arena. Late in the match, Kevin Nash got involved and attacked both men and that was the only thing that took away from this match. Triple H would hit the Pedigree moments later to put Punk away.
This match was originally scheduled to be between Punk and Nash in the first place, but Nash was forced out due to a medical issue. That fact pushes the match down the list.
5. John Cena vs. Triple H- 2008
Triple H and John Cena had many battles in 2008—some with Randy Orton sandwiched in between—for the WWE title.
This particular match was very good. Cena not only defeated Triple H and made him tap out in a previous one-on-one encounter at WrestleMania 22, he also last eliminated "The Game" at the Royal Rumble earlier in 2008.
On this night in Dallas, the two men went at it for nearly 30 minutes, but Triple H would fight out of the STF and slap on a submission move of his own, the Crossface. Cena showed an impressive feat of strength by standing up with the hold still on, looking to put Triple H away. But Triple H would hit the Pedigree after fighting his way free and getting the pinfall.
4. Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler- 2010
Have these two ever had a bad match?
In the weeks leading up to Night of Champions, these two men would face off several times but Ziggler would escape with the title due to disqualifications or count outs. To fix this problem, then-Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long made a stipulation where if Ziggler were to be disqualified or counted out, then the Intercontinental title would go over to Kingston.
This match featured several near falls and false finishes but in the end, Ziggler prevented Vickie Guerrero slapping Kofi and potentially getting him disqualified. Kofi tried to catch him from behind with the Trouble in Paradise, but Ziggler avoided it and immediately hit the Zigzag to get the win and retain his belt.
3. Randy Orton vs Triple H vs John Cena- 2009
Aside from the fact that the WWE has done this match too many times, the matches are generally good.
Randy Orton was at his best around this time frame and he went into this match as the WWE Champion.
The match went on for a little over 22 minutes and saw all three men get in plenty of offense. Toward the end of the encounter, Triple H caught Orton in a sharpshooter only for Cena to pile on, locking on the STF at the same time. Orton tapped out but the referee didn't know what to do.
That's when Orton's Legacy cohorts, Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase, hit the ring, attacking both Cena and Triple H. But Cena got the upper hand on Rhodes and managed to lift him up on his shoulders. Orton came in with the 'RKO' and there was no way for Cena to defend it, leading to another win for the "Viper".
2. Kane vs Undertaker- 2010
Remember that storyline a couple years ago where The Undertaker was attacked and put into a "vegetative" state? It actually seemed to have some promise, until Kane was revealed as the one behind it.
As much of a disappointment as that was, their match at Night of Champions in 2010 was anything but.
Undertaker and Kane have had some hard hitting battles over the years since the introduction of the Kane character, but this match had a No Holds Barred stipulation attached.
The match was contested all over the Allstate Arena and both men hit the other with everything in their arsenal. Just when it seemed like The Undertaker had things in control following a chokeslam, he gave his familiar throat-slash gesture. He then scooped his brother up for the Tombstone Piledriver but Kane countered right into a Tombstone of his own.
There's no way he'd get the three count, right? But he did. Kane won the match and retained the World title.
How many times has anyone ever beat The Undertaker with his own finishing move, especially after he's given the signal that it's over?
1. 6 Pack Challenge- 2010
After winning the first season of WWE NXT, Wade Barrett was awarded with a guaranteed title shot against any champion at any event of his choosing. He circled the date of September 19, 2010 as the night to do so, challenging Sheamus to a match for the WWE title. But the anonymous Raw General Manager added Randy Orton, Edge, John Cena and Chris Jericho to the match. They also made things even more interesting by making it an elimination match.
This was a great night for Randy Orton as he eliminated three men in this match.
It looked like Wade Barrett had a great chance to become champion with the help of his Nexus group, especially after he eliminated Cena. But Orton eliminated him moments later.
The match came down to Orton and the man who was defending the gold, Sheamus. The "Celtic Warrior" punished Orton with the Brogue Kick and then loaded him up for the High Cross powerbomb. But Orton escaped his clutches and came back with the RKO out of nowhere to win; at the time, it was his seventh WWE title.
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