John Cena applies the STF onto CM Punk. (Courtesy of WWE.com)
Needless to say, this past Sunday's Night of Champions pay-per-view presented by WWE was easily one of the better events WWE has presented this year. The overall excitement and electric atmosphere provided by the Boston crowd that night made this specific show one of the more memorable shows in recent years.
We witnessed awesome action, dramatic story-telling at its finest and few titles change hands as well. It was a night of challengers, defenders and, of course, champions.
While watching the show, I noticed a handful of highlights that could be seen as interesting or intriguing to any ordinary WWE viewer. For those of you who may follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I have an obsessive knack for fun facts regarding various past WWE events.
Here, I'll attempt to entertain and enlighten you with knowledge, as I present my observed monumental, record-breaking, history-making moments from this year's Night of Champions event.
Being the major Ted DiBiase supporter that I am, I was pleasantly surprised to see him return to action during the pre-show battle royal at last Sunday's Night of Champions pay-per-view. However, I was mildly disappointed that he was eliminated so quickly, which is a shame given his tremendous potential.
Nonetheless, I found it interesting that he returned at Night of Champions given his memorable history at the event. If you can recall, it was at Night of Champions four years ago that DiBiase made his in-ring debut and captured the World Tag Team Championships alongside Cody Rhodes.
Although he lost a tag title match the following year, he once again returned to action at last year's show as a full-fledged face, challenging Rhodes for his Intercontinental Championship. Despite coming up short, it was still a cool clash of the former stablemates almost three years after they originally joined forces.
DiBiase's losing ways at Night of Champions continued last Sunday when he came up short in winning the battle royal to determine the No. 1 contender to Antonio Cesaro's United States Championship.
Zack Ryder emerges victorious in the pre-show battle royal.
Being one of pro wrestling's signature stipulations, the battle royal is one of the toughest ways to win a match given the typical amount of people that enter it. Winning one battle royal is considered a pretty big deal, but what about four?
Well, just ask Zack Ryder. Over the course of the last five years, Ryder has managed to win four battle royal matchups, with each of them earning him some sort of ultimate prize. It's quite the feat, especially since no one in recent memory has come close to repeating such success.
Prior to Sunday's Night of Champions pay-per-view, Ryder managed to outlast 15 other competitors in a pre-show battle royal to earn himself a shot at the United States Championship later in the evening. This came almost exactly three years after winning a similar No. 1 contender's battle royal on ECW.
Want a recap of Ryder's battle victories? Watch his latest edition of Z! True Long Island Story, which takes a look back at his most unsuspecting victories in past battle royals.
At least I know who I'm putting my money on the next time a battle royal takes place.
Intercontinental Championship Once Again Successfully Defended
The Miz, still your Intercontinental Champion.
At Sunday's Night of Champions event, The Miz was able to defeat three other valiant competitors in an impromptu Fatal 4-Way to maintain possession of his Intercontinental Championship. This wouldn't be the first time that the prestigious title was successfully defended at the event, though, as it's since been a common sight over the last five years.
Since the event's inception in 2007, the Intercontinental title has changed hands only once, when Kofi Kingston shockingly defeated Chris Jericho to win the strap in 2008. It's also interesting to note that this is the second consecutive year that a midcard title was defended in a Fatal 4-Way at Night of Champions with the defending title-holder emerging victorious.
Former Enemies Kofi Kingston and R-Truth Become Unlikely Allies
R-Truth and Kofi Kingston.
If you thought Kane and Daniel Bryan was the only tandem of foes turned friends, think again. Before they were tag team champions together, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth were bitter rivals on opposite sides of the squared circle.
Heading into last year's Night of Champions event, R-Truth aligned with The Miz to challenge Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne—collectively known as Air Boom—for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Almost exactly a year later, the duo had since put their differences aside and joined forces to capture the straps for themselves.
It remains to be seen where Air Jimmy goes from here now that they're title-less, but one can only hope that it leads to a heel turn for either man.
Well, you know what they say: If you can't beat them, join them.
Daniel Bryan Remains Undefeated at Night of Champions
Daniel Bryan celebrates his WWE Tag Team Championship win.
Similar to how Undertaker has never been defeated at WrestleMania, Daniel Bryan has never suffered a loss at a Night of Champions. That's a pretty impressive feat, especially since no one else on the active roster can lay claim to that achievement.
During his Night of Champions debut in 2010, Bryan soundly defeated his former NXT mentor, The Miz, to win the United States Championship, his first singles title in his WWE career. Although he wasn't featured on the event the following year, the then-Mr. Money in the Bank scored a victory over Heath Slater prior to the show going live.
At this year's event, Bryan hesitantly teamed with Kane to challenge Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Although they had their issues throughout the bout, they were successful in capturing the straps for the first time as a tandem.
Only 16 more victories to go, Daniel, till your streak is worthy of challenging that of Undertaker's. Keep it up, champ.
Non-Title Match Sees Face Emerge Victorious for the 3rd Consecutive Year
Since the start of Night of Champions five years ago, the theme of the event has always been that every active championship in the WWE must be defended. However, the rule was later tweaked in 2010 to allow occasional non-title matches as well.
In 2010, Big Show soundly defeated CM Punk in the Straightedge Savior's own hometown of Chicago. Last year, Triple H scored a No Disqualification victory over CM Punk (in the main event, no less) with some help from Awesome Truth and Kevin Nash.
During this year's installment, Randy Orton emerged victorious against Mr. Money in the Bank Dolph Ziggler following a hard-fought battle. For those keeping score at home, that would make this year's event the third consecutive year that the face has gone over the heel in non-title matches at Night of Champions.
2 Titles Change Hands for the 2nd Consecutive Year
Eve wins her third Divas Championship.
What's a Night of Champions event without one meaningful title change? Well, that would be 2007's inaugural installment, when only the Women's Championship changed owners, but not many people seem to remember that anyways.
Nonetheless, we were treated to a few title changes at this year's event: the Divas and WWE Tag Team Championships, respectively. We witnessed Eve and Team Friendship capture gold, which will only help their respective divisions grow now that the titles have finally seen new life.
This situation is similar to last year, but not the same exact titles. Instead, it was the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships that changed hands last year, both in shocking manners.
It's also worth mentioning that the Divas Championships and WWE Tag Team Championships also changed hands at 2010's event as well.
Alberto Del Rio Loses His 2nd Consecutive World Title Match at the Event
Despite a valiant effort, Alberto Del Rio still comes up short of winning the gold.
When Alberto Del Rio first arrived in WWE two years ago, I had high hopes for his character and saw him quickly becoming the company's next big thing. Well, he did just that by fulfilling his self-proclaimed destiny last August by capturing his first WWE Championship.
Although Del Rio was on the right track at first, but his title reign was almost abruptly derailed at the hands of John Cena at Night of Champions. After all the hype, Del Rio was rewarded with a mere five-week reign as WWE Champion. Complete ridiculousness.
From that point forward, Del Rio was unable to regain that same heat and momentum he once had due to that damaging loss to Cena. Fast forward a year later to this year's event, where Del Rio is embroiled in a feud with Sheamus over the World Heavyweight Championship.
Despite losing to the Celtic Warrior at both Money in the Bank and SummerSlam, Del Rio was granted another shot at the golden prize. Unfortunately, it wasn't third time's the charm for the Mexican aristocrat, as he once again came up short in defeating Sheamus on Sunday.
Seems to me that Night of Champions isn't such a lucky pay-per-view for Del Rio. Either that or 2012 just hasn't been his year.
CM Punk Main Events His First Pay-Per-View of 2012
CM Punk makes his entrance alongside Paul Heyman.
Since the start of 2012, it's become a common theme (or a running gag even) that the WWE Championship match hasn't closed a single pay-per-view this year. CM Punk has been the reigning champ since last November, so it's more disrespectful to him than anyone else.
Speaking of disrespect, Punk aired his grievances a few weeks ago on Raw, shedding light on the situation at hand. Given the fact he'd be defending his WWE title against John Cena one-on-one at Night of Champions amongst the hometown crowd of the Cenation leader, it was all but guaranteed that the Straightedge Savior would be concluding the show for the first time in nearly nine months.
Not only that, but last Sunday marked the first WWE pay-per-view since last year's Vengeance event to have both World Championship matches close the card back-to-back.
CM Punk's Absence of Victories at Night of Champions Continues
CM Punk maintains possession of his WWE Championship.
Contrary to Daniel Bryan's winning ways at Night of Champions in recent years, CM Punk has pulled off quite the opposite. Ironically enough, Punk is one of the few Superstars to have competed at almost every Night of Champions pay-per-view since its inaugural show in 2007 but not score a single victory.
In 2007, Punk came up short of winning his first ECW Championship against his surprise opponent, John Morrison. He wasn't even featured the following year due to being Mr. Money in the Bank at the time, but he ended up losing his World Heavyweight Championship to Jeff Hardy in the main event of 2009's installment.
For the first time in the event's history, Punk competed in the first-ever non-title match at Night of Champions in 2010, but ultimately, he lost to Big Show in front of his hometown crowd. He took part in yet another match without a championship during last year's main event against Triple H, but was unable to defeat the Game following outside interference.
Although the Second City Saint didn't technically lose on Sunday, he didn't win either, as his WWE title defense against John Cena was deemed a draw. Therefore, Punk's Night of Champions curse carries on.
In conclusion, I thank you for reading through my latest piece, and please make sure to double check for any corrections, as I may very well be inaccurate on some of these statistics.
I've also been contemplating composing one of these "fun fact" pieces following every pay-per-view, so please drop your thoughts below as to whether these should continue based upon how much you enjoyed reading it.
Also, be sure to follow my official @WWEFunFacts page on Twitter for more my useless wrestling knowledge.
Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling, and listen to my SAVE US GSM radio show every Wednesday night at 10/9c for more of my thoughts and writings, alongwithWWE/TNA news, reviews, recaps and more.