Last night, WWE presented their sixth annual Night of Champions pay-per-view event that saw every active championship in the WWE up for grabs. In a night filled with amazing action, enjoyable outcomes and pure entertainment, it was yet another strong showing from WWE live on pay-per-view.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of aftermath and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in the coming weeks.
Zack Ryder Won a Pre-Show Battle Royal to Become the No. 1 Contender to the United States Championship
Decent pre-show battle royal that saw Zack Ryder become the No. 1 contender to the United States Championship. I was ecstatic to see Ted DiBiase finally return, but why waste it by having him get eliminated so early?
Tensai was made to look strong here and came off as a complete beast before being ultimately eliminated. His tease with Brodus Clay was also a nice foreshadowing of a potential matchup between the two at some point.
I would've liked to see Tyson Kidd pick up the victory here, but Ryder was the next-best choice, and the crowd seemed to be satisfied with the result as well.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz Defeated Cody Rhodes, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in a Fatal 4-Way
Fun Fatal 4-Way with The Miz defeating Cody Rhodes, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara to successfully retain the Intercontinental Championship. Everyone got their spots in and was made to look good.
The clashing of Cara and Mysterio was cool, and I hope for them to cross paths again at some point in the near future. Sure, Cara botched a few spots here and there, but the overall pace of the contest made up for it.
The ending was unique, with Miz pinning Rhodes despite being masked. The commentators made it seem as if it were a major happening, so I question whether they'll eventually turn either Rhodes or Miz face.
Additionally, Miz picking up the victory in that fashion gives him yet another thing to brag about in coming weeks.
Daniel Bryan and Kane Defeated Kofi Kingston and R-Truth to Win the WWE Tag Team Championships
Entertaining match with Daniel Bryan and Kane defeating Kofi Kingston and R-Truth to win the WWE Tag Team Championships. The contest itself was well-wrestled, but of course the majority of the focus was on the tension between Bryan and Kane, as it should've been.
These guys have been the single most entertaining act in WWE of the entire year, so it's nice to see them rewarded with the tag titles. Since both are former World Champs, maybe they can help bring back legitimacy to the straps.
Truth and Kingston were champs for far too long, so the title change was certainly necessary. The post-match backstage segment including Dr. Shelby and AJ was also hysterical.
United States Champion Antonio Cesaro (w/Aksana) Defeated Zack Ryder
Good match between United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and Zack Ryder. The fans were behind Ryder and gave Cesaro some good heat as well.
The match was everything it needed to be and got Cesaro over effectively. As much as I'd like to see Ryder as United States Champion again, it's too soon in Cesaro's reign for the title to change hands.
I'd like to see the feud between them continue, though, as it could be a nice story to tell over the title with Ryder in chase mode.
Randy Orton Defeated Dolph Ziggler
Solid match between Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler. These two always have amazing chemistry together and almost always provide entertaining bouts, and this specific contest was no exception.
They both managed to get offense in and sell beautifully while doing so. Taking the action to the outside also made it feel more brutal and the rivalry more personal.
Orton's victory wasn't a shock to many viewers, but I hope to see Ziggler bounce back soon since he's Mr. Money in the Bank. Even still, he looked strong in defeat.
Eve Defeated Layla to Win the Divas Championship
Fine match with Eve defeating Layla to win the Divas Championship. I imagine that not many people were looking forward to Kaitlyn taking on Layla anyways, so having Eve replace her was logical and smart booking.
Eve and Layla are two of the better workers in the Divas division, so the match was fine for what it was, but the crowd wasn't all that responsive. Nonetheless, I'm glad to see Eve as the new Divas Champion, since she is one of the few females in the company today that has a character that's worth caring about.
Having the division focus around her in coming months should be fun.
World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus Defeated Alberto Del Rio
Great match between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. Similar to any of their past matches, the action was solid and well-wrestled, but the outcome was inevitable, with Sheamus retaining his title. Taking the ban off the Brogue Kick made absolutely no sense, as there was no point to banning it in the first place if that was going to be the case.
Sheamus won clean, so where do they go from here? Del Rio hasn't won a single match in this feud, so any momentum/credibility he had left is now gone.
Honestly, a blow-off to the feud inside Hell in a Cell next month would've made sense, but not at this point with the Celtic Warrior stronger than ever.
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. John Cena Went to a Draw
Fantastic main-event match between WWE Champion CM Punk and John Cena that nearly matched (or possibly exceeded) their Money in the Bank and SummerSlam classics from last year. Despite a lack of proper buildup in recent weeks, they managed to make this match feel extremely meaningful and significant, especially with all the suspense in the near-falls towards the end.
They were given plenty of time to shine, and rightfully so, as the action throughout was entertaining and filled with exciting drama. Of course, I was originally frustrated seeing Cena win the title in such a anticlimactic manner, but I then realized I was the victim of the most epic troll ever when the referee declared the contest a draw.
Some may disagree with the finish, but I personally loved it. It protected both guys, kept the title on Punk, and keeps the feud alive.
The hometown hero Cena got his brief moment before Punk was inevitably booed out of the building, effectively getting him over as a heel. Paul Heyman's presence was certainly felt at ringside and didn't need to get involved at all.
This match is undoubtedly in the running for the best match of 2012 thus far. Looking forward to seeing where they go from here with this ruthless rivalry.
Overall, an excellent show that exceeded my original expectations and featured a ton of satisfying results. Very few things on this show bothered me, as I was thoroughly entertained throughout a majority of the show.
Needless to say, the action was extremely awesome and has me anticipating the futures of most of the rivalries. The Boston crowd was also very hot over the course of the night and provided an electric atmosphere for the event.
Not only that, the theme of the show made all the titles feel more important and prestigious, with each being defended in great matches. Moreover, I loved the return of JBL to commentary, as he and Michael Cole made a great team at the announcing booth.
The pink ropes were a nice touch and a very classy move by WWE. In closing, I'd have to say this was one of the best pay-per-views of the year thus far, which is hard to say since most events in 2012 have been entertaining, but this one particularly stood out.