I have to say that Night of Champions was probably the best non-big four PPV of the year so far. Actually I would also say I had more fun watching this PPV this year than even WrestleMania and SummerSlam. So far I rate this as the second or third best PPV of 2010 (behind Royal Rumble and maybe Money in the Bank).
Only two of the eight matches last night has results I felt were unsatisfactory (I'll get to them later) while the rest of the card was played out reasonably well. Then of course there was the tag team match...
Without further wait let's review the first match of the evening...
So the night begins with the match everyone is getting tired of, Ziggler vs. Kingston for the I.C. Championship. Hopefully Ziggler retaining through this type of match, where he could lose the belt through DQ or countout, means this feud is now over.
They did put on a good show, I had no doubt that they would, but we've seen it all before now. Everything was playing out as it did before. For example Kofi would fake going out of the ring, it would allow him to capitalise and become the offender in the match again etc.
The only different thing added here was the friction between Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero. If you've not been watching NXT recently I'll quickly fill you in. Ziggler and Guerrero's rookie, Kaitlyn, have been getting a little friendly with each other. Now when Ziggler took a hard bump out of the ring Kaitlyn was the first there to make sure he was alright. Seeing this Guerrero sent her backstage.
Later on when the ref was distracted with Ziggler it looked as if Guerrero was going to slap Kingston as he laid on the ropes. Why she took so long to actually do it is anyone's guess. Upon Ziggler seeing this he quickly stopped her and told her off.
After that Ziggler finally won the match by ducking a Trouble in Paradise from behind and then nailed the Zig Zag for a three count. Guerrero looked most displeased but quickly was smiling again.
As I already said the match was good but overdone. Hopefully this is the end and they can start developing whatever they are planning next for both men. In Ziggler's case it look like a possible face turn if he ends up leaving Vickie Guerrero.
What has CM Punk done to deserve this? In this match he proved why he is one of the best in WWE today. He can work a decent match with anyone and is gold on the microphone. Yet in this feud with Big Show, on both Smackdown and PPV, he has come off as a loser.
It was blatantly going to be a short match when someone starts to talk before the beginning of a match. Punk reaffirmed his love of Chicago and his hate for the people that live there. It was a typical "I'm Straight-Edge so I'm better than you" promo but Punk makes them worthwhile.
Anyway Big Show came out and despite having a few attacks at the beginning it was mostly Punk's show. After getting Big Show down he spent most of the time keeping there. Yet despite being beat on for most of the match Big Show won with two moves.
Punk went for a flying maneuver and was speared. As soon as the two got back up Big Show punched Punk for the win.
This was one of my unsatisfactory results of the night. Punk needed this win and not having it has confined him to mid-card hell for the rest of the year. Even if at the next PPV he defeated Big Show he would still have a long way for a recovery from this mess.
All the same though the match was played out fine until the end.
I said that this match was the most anticpated of night during my predictions and I believe it lived up to those expectations. It was not the greatest match of all time and probably not the best of the night but in the end I think it represents something of an increase in prestige for the United States Championship.
Did you know that it hasn't changed hands on a PPV since The Great American Bash in 2008.
Okay enough sounding like WWE lead-in card. This match was all about when Bryan would lock in the LeBell Lock. At various points Miz left himself unknowingly open to the move and when Bryan attempted it the build up was leading to a will he/won't he moment.
The one aspect I was disappointed by was the way WWE has really limited Bryan's moveset. By their standards it's almost like he is only allowed one big submission and that it. Previous matches have shown him to have a high variety of submissions all of which in their own right could win a match. Also it almost like someone said "He does kicks, good kicks, he shall have kicks as his main form of attack!".
I like The Miz I have no shame in admitting that but I feel maybe Bryan has been restricted because they so desperately wanted to portray Miz as the more experienced of the two. WWE as we all know refused to acknowledge their competition so obviously they would not refrence Bryan's Ring of Honour past. They do mention how he has been around for a while but because he hasn't been in WWE as long as The Miz he is the rookie of the two.
I'm sorry Vince but if anything The Miz hasn't had the real wrestling experience because he never had to make his way through the indies. He is 100% WWE, never being outside the company during his career as a wrestler. Upon losing Tough Enough he was given a developmental contact. Whilst I will admit that he has worked hard and deserves his spot don't play Bryan down because he found a different way into your company.
The match actually took me by surprise. I thought Miz was going to escape that LeBell Lock in the end and either get himself DQed or counted out. But he tapped and we now have a new US Champion. Hopefully one that will defend the belt on a regular basis.
Talking of not making someone look good is Michelle McCool winning the Diva's Championship off Melina.
OK first off, McCool is not Women's Champion and gets to compete in the unification match where as Layla sits it out. Stupid!
Michelle McCool was actually acknowledged as Co-Women's Champion whilst her name card actually called her the Women's Champion. Stupid! Stupid!
Layla still decided to help out McCool and celebrated at the end with her even though she took away possibly the biggest match of her career. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
The belts are not truly unified because Michelle McCool is now Diva's Champion and Layla is Women's Champion... Oh God they can appear on both shows now can't they?! It just keeps getting worse!
The match itself was horrible. McCool barely let Melina get a single move in and when something went right for her McCool would quickly rectify.
The whole point of having the Lumberjills is so that when people get thrown out or try to leave they get thrown back in. All of them looked lost out there not knowing if they should do anything. It was worse when it came to brawling because you could see that no one knew who they were meant to attack.
You know I finally thought of a good point for Undertaker retiring. McCool would lose a hell of a lot of backstage pull.
A terrible match for a championship that is on life support.
So according to Michael Cole, Kane's plan has been thirteen years in the making. So the prior attempts at murdering the Undertaker and their relatively successful 2001 tag team partnership was all in anticipation to once again try and kill him... OK whatever that makes no sense but I stopped caring once Kane was obviously the attacker.
Kane needed to win this one. What is arguably the biggest push he will ever receive in his career would have stopped dead otherwise. Thankfully unlike the match with CM Punk, this one was booked the way it should have been.
The match played out pretty much like I expected. Kane would be the unstoppable monster while Undertaker made out that he was the weaker party in the match. There was nothing notable during match worth commenting on. There was a bit of fighting up the ramp and in the crowd but overall it was pretty standard.
I was not bored or frustrated throughout the contest though, so in the end that meant I was mostly entertained by the match.
Firstly let me say this. Can WWE please decide what a Tag Team Turmoil match is. Sometimes its like a Fatal-Fourway, other times its an elimination tag team match and sometimes its a gauntlet. The latter is what this one proved to be.
Also considering the Hart Dynasty were the tag team champions leading into the event surely they should not have been the first ones eliminated. It's not like they were in it for very long either. They were defeated within minutes by The Usos. You know a team The Hart Dynasty have defeated decisively many times before.
Santino Marella and Valdimir Koslov are out next and are almost gone as quickly as the came. Santino fights for a little while, goes for that ridiculous Cobra move and is Samoan dropped for the pinfall. What was the point of even having them there?
The team of Evan Bourne and Mark Henry are next. Considering the only team remaining was Rhodes and McIntyre it was obvious who was going to win here. Bourne did most of the work which ended with Evan hitting a shooting star press.
Finally McIntyre and Rhodes emerge and after a few minutes of back and forth action Evan is hit with the Cross Rhodes for a three count.
If you want an explanation as to why the WWE Tag Team division is so poor just look at this match. A random thrown together team walked away with the belts over much superior teams. The match was a spur of the moment thing and was made purely to act as filler.
Randy Orton has to be very careful on how he acts out this reign as WWE Champion. Last night he showed very Cena-esque qualities that could make him a love/hate figure in the ICW.
The shock of the match had to be the speed at which Chris Jericho was eliminated. After having a small attack on Cena, Jericho eats an RKO and is pinned. The whole match stops dead for a moment while they milk Jericho's reaction to the situation.
It was almost as if WWE were expecting the fans to sing Goodbye to the man but instead Y2J chants were heard. After he disappeared backstage the match continued. Since this was not a great end to Jericho's career I would say he is not really gone. Give it a few months after Fozzy have toured and he will be back.
Edge was the next one eliminated and throughout his part he was pretty subdued. I mentioned in my prediction that WWE just do not know what to do with Edge so it seems highly likely that he will be back on Smackdown in the next few weeks. He doesn't scream championship material at the moment so it will hopefully give him back the momentum he lost from getting drafted to Raw.
My pick of the match, John Cena, was the third elimination. After looking as if he was going to eliminate Barrett the rest of Nexus poured out of the locker room and attacked. Giving Barrett the opportunity to hit the Wasteland and pin him. I have to say this, why wasn't Barrett disqualified? In an elimination match you can be disqualified and Nexus was blatantly helping Barrett so he should have been out of there.
The illogical choice is probably explained by letting Cena have his moment of revenge where he attacks the Nexus with a chair allowing Orton to nail Barrett with an RKO later on in the match. Barrett's status is not any better since he barely made a move during his involvement usually settling for being laid out on the outside.
As soon as Orton is back to his feet Sheamus hits the Bicycle Kick only for Orton to no sell it and kick out at two. There was not a delay in the pin either, Orton just kicked out of Sheamus' finisher. Orton is then set up for the High Cross but fights out and hits another RKO. Orton is the new champion.
Apart from some inexplicable moments the match was pretty good with Jericho's early elimination being quite a shock. It will be quite interesting to see what develops out of this match in the future.
So the next PPV is Hell in a Cell that will be taking place two weeks removed from Night of Champions. So Vince, when the buy rates are down from the next PPV maybe we can start talking reduction.
Most likely it will be rematches of the PPV just gone.
Until then this is Squared Circle signing off.