Including the Vengeance: Night of Champions PPV in 2007, this year's event will be the sixth of its kind in WWE history. While the concept of the show is great, often times it falls short due to a lack of buildup with numerous title matches.
Unfortunately, the 2012 edition of Night of Champions seems to be setting up the same way.
After CM Punk vs. John Cena, there aren't many matches that make you want to shell out over $50 for the PPV. Even though Sheamus vs. Del Rio has plenty of buildup, most fans are tired of that pairing. With Kane & Daniel Bryan getting a Tag Team Title shot, you could argue for that contest being the match most are looking forward to after the WWE Championship bout.
Even though there has been a theme of lack of buildup for Night of Champions, the show has still produced some memorable matches and, overall, good quality wrestling. Let's take a look back and deliver some Power Rankings for the previous NOC events.
Good news: everyone makes the top five!
Or the bottom five, depending on your outlook.
While often times the first of something is the best, such as the initial Hell in a Cell match, this is not one of those occasions. Vengeance: Night of Champions suffered from a weak and poorly-built undercard and a main event that was short and crowded.
The five-pack challenge for the WWE Championship between John Cena, King Booker, Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton, and Mick Foley was the match of the night, but it didn't have much competition from the other eight matches.
Most of the other contests did not live up to expectations, such as Edge vs. Batista, MVP vs. Ric Flair, and even Johnny Nitro vs. CM Punk.
Surprisingly, the match that might have come closest to challenging the main event for best of the night involved Jimmy Wang Yang. That's right, everyone's favorite Asian redneck fought Chavo Guerrero for the Cruiserweight Title but came up a bit short.
Neither did I until I did some research.
With the exception of two (and a half) matches, this card is all but forgotten. The half goes to a solid IC bout between Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston.
It seems like they were always against each other for one of the secondary titles those days.
The first notable event was the crowning of a new United States Championship in Daniel Bryan. Give credit to him and the Miz for actually making us care about the U.S. title. Zack Ryder is arguably the only person to make most people want to see a U.S. title match since then.
Their contest was the highlight of the undercard, and seeing the Miz tap was a sweet feeling for many fans.
The other item of note was the main event, as the common "pack challenge" returns to Night of Champions. This time, however, six people were involved, and it was an elimination style contest. Jericho was just about on his way out, and after working hard to get into the match, he was eliminated in about two minutes.
After that, it was Randy Orton's night, as he finally got to Sheamus and defeated him for the WWE Championship.
In case you were wondering, the WHC match that night was Kane vs. Undertaker. It was the first in a series of three straight victories for Kane, but it was also arguably their worst contest.
The main attraction of the second annual Night of Champions event was the rematch between John Cena and Triple H. They certainly did not disappoint, delivering a contest that was on par, if not better, than their WrestleMania XXII encounter.
This time, it was Triple H who got the win, avenging his loss over two years earlier. The other main match on the card was between Edge and Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship. Ironically, these two went at it for the same title at the same event a year earlier.
This match was of much better quality.
The undercard was, for the most part, forgettable. A couple of highlights were a decent match for the ECW title between Matt Hardy and Chavo Guerrero, as well as the continuation of the HBK-Y2J feud, causing Jericho to lose his Intercontinental Title.
Although Jeff Hardy won the WWE Championship at the end of 2008, his run was more or less forgettable. On this night, however, he finally got the better of CM Punk and celebrated at the end with the World Heavyweight Championship.
Punk had a great promo earlier in the night that garnered him some major heat, which made Hardy's win in the main event that much more emotional.
This was the prelude to their SummerSlam TLC encounter and one of Jeff's last major leaps in the WWE.
The rest of the matches were pretty good as well, highlighted by a WrestleMania XXIV rematch between Orton, Trips, and Cena and an Intercontinental Championship contest between Rey Mysterio and Dolph Ziggler. While the former did not exceed expectations, the latter definitely did.
People started to notice Ziggler after this night.
Some other notable moments were the ECW Title match between Christian and Tommy Dreamer, a Six-Pack Challenge for the U.S. title won by Kofi Kingston, and the reveal of the Big Show as Jericho's new tag team partner after Edge was injured.
Ironically, the one year in which the main event was not for a title is the year that Night of Champions was at its best.
Still, it's hard to knock the solid title matches that took place on this night. This was the culmination of a long journey for Mark Henry, who finally won his first major championship and followed it up with the promo of a lifetime.
Although Cena probably shouldn't have beaten Del Rio only to lose the title two weeks later, the two still put on an above-average WWE championship match.
Other matches on the undercard were highlighted by a quick start to the night with Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston defeating The Miz & R-Truth. Also, a Fatal Four-Way for the U.S. title that was pretty much thrown together ended up being a very nice encounter.
The main event between CM Punk and Triple H featured plenty of brutal action and a huge amount of interference at the end. Even though Punk lost, this match helped cement him as one of the bigger stars in the company.
It took about three pedigrees and a jack-knife powerbomb to finally keep him down for the three count.
Put all of those elements together and you have the best Night of Champions event in history. Now, let's see if the 2012 version can find a way to fight past the lack of buildup and put forth an entertaining show.