WWE Night of Champions 2013 Results: 5 Best Booking Decisions from Latest PPV
The WWE Night of Champions 2013 pay-per-view played out like a television show with several improvised booking decisions.
And while it may seem unacceptable for a pay-per-view to be compared to a free television show, there were a handful of strong impromptu and advertised booking decisions.
WWE's Night of Champions pay-per-view didn't live up to its brand name on face value, as only four of WWE's six major championships were advertised to be defended.
Once the pay-per-view had wrapped, all championships had rightfully been defended.
Criteria for good booking decisions include sound logic and whether a match or concept was fitting to Night of Champions.
5. WWE Championship Polls
Were the WWE Championship polls perfect? Heck no. But they were a good way of emphasizing the championship theme that dominated the night.
The polls also doubled as a focus group survey with options such as Sting and Hogan available, possibly to gauge fan interest in these aging legends.
Each championship received the spotlight, with poll after questionable poll of noteworthy superstars being associated with largely diluted championships. Just seeing Sting's name next to the United States Championship title made that belt big league if not for that Twitter-baiting moment.
4. Curtis Axel vs. Kofi Kingston in Intercontinental Championship Match
Intercontinental champion Curtis Axel could have easily been considered the forgotten man with the addition of Ryback to the Paul Heyman stable.
This may have been averted with the emphasis on Axel leading up to Ryback's surprise mugging of CM Punk.
Axel's successful title defense against Kofi Kingston made him look strong heading into a match against CM Punk. This match was also fitting for the Night of Champions theme, although it clearly wasn't good enough to be defended against Punk.
Axel received so much exposure Sunday night—rubbing shoulders with the likes of Triple H in addition to his role in the Punk-Heyman saga—he could have easily been confused as a main eventer to the untrained eye.
3. Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose for United States Championship
The continued booking of The Shield as wrestlers is pivotal to the strength of The Corporation. This stable has come too far and is too talented to serve as Triple H's menacing goons. The Shield went 2-0 this Sunday, including a Dean Ambrose victory over Dolph Ziggler in an impromptu match.
Ambrose has seldom defended the United States Championship over the past several weeks, and while this may have been another nail in Dolph Ziggler's coffin, it helped the struggling brand that is the United States Championship.
Ziggler-Ambrose killed multiple birds with one stone. The power-struggle between WWE babyfaces and the McMahon family was underscored, and a title was defended on a pay-per-view designed to celebrate them.
2. Prime Time Players vs. The Shield
The Prime Time Players were the odds-on favorite to win the Tag Team Turmoil match, which is exactly what happened during the WWE pre-show.
The Prime Time Players have the most momentum of any tag team in the division, even surpassing The Shield.
The crowd was hot for a title change as the duo neared victory. And while it didn't happen this time, the babyface chase of corporate thugs in The Shield will get them over should they eventually reach their goal.
The Prime Time Players will be integral in getting the Tag Team Championships over if WWE sticks with them as perennial contenders turned eventual champions.
1. Ryback Joins Paul Heyman
Ryback was going nowhere fast as an ill-advised heel, but under the tutelage of Paul Heyman, he matters immediately.
If Paul Heyman's (mostly) magic touch doesn't make Ryback a major league heel, nothing will. Not a WWE Championship. Not a WrestleMania win over Goldberg. Not a Ryback appreciation night.
One of the many positives of the Ryback-Heyman alliance is Ryback presumably having less of a speaking role, which isn't his strong suit. He'll serve as the perfect henchman to carry out Paul Heyman's bidding. The professional scum bag will be untouchable as he hides behind this monster's near-300-pound frame, with Heyman's cunning smile more broad than Ryback's shoulders.