After four weeks of jury duty, I've finally returned. Let's hit the ground running with WWE's most recent Pay-Per-View, Night of Champions.
Night of Champions was a pay-per-view that built momentum as the event progressed, which in my opinion, is a good thing. When the main event arrived, that's exactly what it felt like—a main event.
There are some minor criticisms, but I'll largely focus on the big hits of the night.
Without a doubt, this was relatively strong booking.
Sin Cara has greatly improved his performance since his return to the ring with hardly any of the botching that made him infamous.
While Rey Mysterio had slowed down, his status has a crowd favorite still stands, even if it's largely with kids.
Cody Rhodes has put on some great matches and has built consistency as a top performer. While I'm not crazy about the Miz's wrestling style, he's been able to find a balance that focuses on his strengths and hides his weaknesses.
The match had a slow start and some missed spots, but built momentum and had an entertaining finish.
Tag Team Championship
Although I was highly disappointed by the manner in which the Prime Time Players were discarded, I just can't hate on the strength of Daniel Bryan and Kane's reluctant partnership. The match was hilarious. I saw the PPV at a New York bar and the crowd was simply laughing like crazy.
I think it's safe to say that most figured Bryan and Kane would come out on top, but even so, it was pure entertainment.
Wow—I didn't expect this match to be as engaging as it was. That's not to say that I don't think Cesaro and Ryder aren't good in the ring. They are both great performers when WWE allows them to showcase their skills.
I wasn't expecting this match to be as close as it was. The finish actually allowed Ryder to stand strong, instead of being squashed in the embarrassing cobra-confused manner of Santino Marella. That devastating flapjack upper cut had the bar crowd chanting "shoryuken!"
Ziggler vs Orton
It's unfortunate that Ziggler is developing a habit of losing at WWE pay-per-views. Still, it was a stellar match.
At first, I was getting a bit frustrated about the slow pace, but it all made sense when I realized the WWE was trying to make this a real back-and-forth contest. And even though Ziggler should have won, you can't complain when Orton delivers such a great RKO.
This match saw some good women's competition. Eve is a great performer. While Layla also has skill, her gimmick always seemed silly to me. No complaints here. Hopefully we'll see Eve defend her title more often than Layla did.
World Heavyweight Championship
Everyone is tired of seeing Sheamus and Del Rio feud. But for all the complaints, these superstars always put on a great match.
I personally feel that Del Rio should have come out on top, because now he really doesn't look like a threat to anyone. Still, the match had some great spots and fans are excited to see who will challenge Sheamus next.
I have to admit that I wasn't personally invested in this match.
Most analysts knew that the match would end one of two ways—John Cena wins in glorious fashion or CM Punk wins through controversy.
Both superstars gave it their all, and I'd argue it was probably the best of the Punk vs. Cena matches.
I don't really care for this feud, but at least the main event felt like a main event and fans got a solid match. We even got to see Punk execute a "Rock Bottom".
My biggest complain isn't that the match ended in controversy but rather that the controversial pin was so poorly executed. There could have been a much better way to leave fans stunned. Still, Punk fans got to leave the bar singing "Cult of Personality".
Night of Champions was a much better PPV than I was expecting—I was entertained. Seeing the event at a New York bar definitely enhances the experience and I'd recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to pay to watch it at home. We'll see where Monday Night Raw takes us.
What was your favorite moment of the night?