After the WWE completed its 2008 Draft, the Night of Champions pay per view seemed to instantly turn into one of the easiest to predict.
I mean, think about it. Going into Night of Champions, everyone knew Chris Jericho would face HBK, either Edge or Triple H would lose their championships, and Finlay and Hornswoggle would walk away with tag team gold.
So what did the WWE do? They decided to throw as many curveballs as they could think of at the fans.
Let's begin with the opening match, and first "guaranteed outcome" of the night. Finlay and Hornswoggle met "Team Dirt Sheet" for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Overall, this match was a decent one. The comedic genius, that is Hornswoggle, gave us a little more in-ring action than we're used to seeing. The little fella was quite entertaining I must say, and as the match drew to a close, the "inevitable" seemed, well, inevitable. Finlay laid out Morrison with the Celtic Cross, and little "Horny" went to the top rope for the Tadpole Splash. Miz quickly took out Finlay, and Morrison threw Hornswoggle from the top rope, to the mat, and scored the pinfall.
So that brings the "guarantee" count to, oh, it remains at zero.
Moving on to match number two, we have Mattitude v1.0 Chavo Guerrero and his friend (whose name I refuse to use because of the complete anger it brings knowing it's a spoof on a hockey legend). This match was, actually, a decent match. The only bummer is, is that Chavo wrestled the EXACT same match against Kane the night before, at a house show in Abilene. This time it was just a smaller opponent he faced. Thankfully, we didn't see Chavo win this. Chavo as a champion is about as annoying as anything involving Vicki Guerrero or Jillian Hall.
The third match was another "guarantee" sparked by the 2008 Draft. When Mark Henry was drafted to ECW and instantly thrown into this match, it was easy to know he was lined up to win. The three big men, Kane, Big Show, and the aforementioned Mark Henry had their little tift, and ultimately saw Henry sneaking away with his first major championship.
Hooray, the count is now at ONE!
Guess what, "guarantee" number three is up next. It involves the World Tag Team Champions, Cody Rhodes and Sparky Plugg, against Ted DiBiase's son and a mystery partner. Originally, the mystery partner was going to be DH Smith, to help initiate a new "second generation" stable with the younger superstars. When DH was drafted to SmackDown, obviously the only logical partner would be, Cody Rhodes. After DiBiase did a lovely display of his mediocre mic work, it turns into himself versus Rhodes first. DiBiase says he wants Holly, who is quickly tagged in. Promptly after that, Rhodes nails Holly with an absolutely beautiful DDT. He's announced as DiBiase's partner, DiBiase gets in the ring, hits Holly with his Million Dollar Dream/Russian Leg Sweep finisher, and they win. Aside from these two being pretty abysmal on the mic, they could be a good tag team for the WWE.
And on a sidenote, I saw DiBiase wrestle in a full match the night before, and his in-ring abilities are actually really good. So we are all in for a treat as he just gets better from here.
Back to the counter, we're now at two of three "guarantees" being right.
Yes, the next match is "guarantee" number 4! Chris Jericho versus HBK right? Nope! Jericho's opponent turns out to be a superstar I am VERY high on, Kofi Kingston. Kingston and Jericho both work very technically against one another throughout this match. They did an excellent job of playing off of one another. With Lance Cade on the outside, you almost always assume he'll interfere somehow. Nope... He didn't do anything. Well, I take that back. As the match comes to its conclusion, HBK makes his cameo, delivers a superkick to Cade, and then gets speared off of the apron by Jericho. As Jericho turns back around, what does he see? A flying Ghana-born "Jamaican" delivering the BOOM BOOM BOOM to his kisser. Kofi quickly covers, and we have a NEW Intercontinental Champion.
Post-match we had Jericho punch HBK, and Shawn oversold it again. Shawn is my all-time favorite, but the was he's selling the eye injury just seems a bit overdone.
Well, the counter is batting .500 again, two of four.
The next match, I doubt anyone saw, was the traditional "go-to-the-restroom-you're-not-missing-anything" match, otherwise known as the WWE Women's Championship match. I actually watched it since, for once, we had two ladies who know how to perform. Katie Lea and Mickie James pulled off a very well done match, and Mickie won to retain her championship. The finish was also identical to Abilene's house show.
Get ready folks, the final guarantee of the night is upon us. WHO will walk away with one of the top belts, and bring it to Raw. Batista or Cena? To sum it up, NEITHER! Yes, Vince pulled the swerve of the night with that one. He takes the two top championships, and sends them to SmackDown, and leaves them! Like I said on Draft Day, this is potentially going to kill Raw. Even a month's worth of this is not good for Raw as a whole. Having the likes of Cena, Batista, Orton, JBL, etc. fighting over the Intercontinental Championship is sad. So this is something that, hopefully, will be remedied in the VERY near future.
Overall, the "guarantees" went 2-5 (or 6 if you want to count both main event matches), and Raw is still without any "top tier" championship belt. If I had to grade this pay per view, it gets a solid B. It would have been a B+ had Raw not been shafted.
We can now eagerly await Raw, see exactly how Vince was killed, maimed, paralyzed, generally confused on what makes a good storyline, whatever. Then we can see exactly how the WWE Championship will be brought back to Raw. And yes, it will be back on Raw before Summer Slam, and yes John Cena is getting it. It's a spolier.