WWE Night of Champions: Cena, Henry, Punk's Problem & When Hell Froze over

William GulloCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2011

A real life bet that took place between a couple of friends of mine:

Over/Under on words Gullo uses in his next article = 2,478.

A friend of mine is quoted as saying:

"Dude, you have to adapt to the ADD generation; no one reads anything over 200 words anymore...That's why we have MTV, wireless everything, Twitter, Facebook, if you're a stalker then you have MySpace. Things need to update, and be quick! It's all about the easy read and instant gratification... Who do You think you are? Bill Simmons?

Word of advice to my friends: Never let your bets be known to the person who has control of the outcome. I had my girlfriend place an over bet for me... time to clean up and make that money.

And now for your epic Night of Champions Recap.... put the pot of coffee on


If you're a champion, you have to have it in your heart.

                                          -Chris Evert


More on this quote later... but for now a quick story that perfectly sums up WWE's Night of Champions.

My Friend (Starring blankly at the television screen, looks like he's just seen a ghost): Um, Dude? Did you just see what I saw?... I'm pretty sure I just saw Randy Orton loose cleanly. 

Me (locking the doors and closing the windows): Yea, I saw that too... I have an uncomfortable feeling right now. Something about the world doesn't feel right... I'm scared.

Then out of nowhere the floor collapsed around massive explosions of fire and lava blowing the roof off of my apartment; the sky once calm opened up producing wind, rain, hail and snow. The pit of fire began to steam. A scream could be heard from below the depths of hell; the shadows of a pitch fork and horns were struggling against the rising smoke and steam. The devil was trying to escape... And then in one single motion the fire and lava gave way to the hail and snow... and froze over. True story.

Roughly 30 minutes Later

John Cena once again became WWE Champion after making Alberto Del Rio look like a (expletive deleted).

My Friend (Who just found out he won our highly competitive fantasy baseball league championship): You know what me and John Cena have in common?

Me: You're both extremely well liked on the internet?

My Friend: We're both Champions! This truly is the Night of Champions! (He then proceeds to run around in his John Cena shirt, waving his hand in front of his face, and tacking up a fake WWE championship belt high above the staircase all while humming Queen's "We are the champions".... He's 25 by the way)

As he spoke those words the glacier in the apartment unfroze. The lava and fire once again reached a boiling point and retreated back to the depths of hell. The chasm and missing roof that had once taken over the living room had magically dissipated and been repaired. I could hear in the distance these words that will forever haunt me... said by the devil himself:"Thank You John Cena! You have saved me and my kingdom; All is now right with the world" 

And to think, for one moment I actually thought we would witness Randy Orton, John Cena, and Kelly Kelly all loosing cleanly in the same night.

So what exactly did we learn from Night of Champions?

Night of Champions was a night to remember....

Night of Champions was a night to forget....

Night of Champions was entertaining....

Night of Champions was pretty much filler...

John Cena has once again unleashed evil into the world and the WWE Universe. Another reign of terror has begun...Or has it?

Punk's Revolution is on pause because...well... who the hell knows who's really pulling the strings for the WWE these days...

And in two weeks we get the privilege of forking over another 50 big ones to watch what is sure to be Night of Champions: The Remix.

Oh, and Mark Henry briefly froze Hell over by cleanly pinning Randy Orton... My mind is blown!

First things first...


Chapter 1: Grading the Matches 


Air Boom Vs. The Awesome Truth:

Shotty officiating that should really result in the referee being suspended. It's a job, and he failed miserably at it. In the real world he would have to face the music on his incompetence.

The fact that the Miz was the one who was most irate over the officiating while Truth just starred on in shock with a face that pretty much said "I told you so man!" was the funniest thing all night... so bonus points. 

I think we all need to remember that professional wrestling is all about story telling, and this was a perfect way to start the night off with fore-shadowing and humor.

I personally felt it made the champions look bad, and did nothing for their credibility. Here's hoping Air Boom does the right thing and offers them a re-match tonight. Kofi strikes me as a stand-up guy so he'll have no problem offering the re-match... It's Bourne and his shady smile I don't trust.

Grade: B

Cody Rhodes Vs. Ted Dibiase

I probably enjoyed this match a little more then everyone else did partly because my steak had finished cooking. So I got to enjoy that while watching this match which only enhanced the taste left in my mouth after it was over.

Overall the match was decent, but didn't have the charm or pops needed to be memorable. A throw away match for a throw away feud.

Grade: C-

Ziggler Vs. Riley Vs. Swagger Vs. Morrison

I thought this match was great. I'm not a professional wrestler so I don't usually judge matches by their in ring quality, but more by how entertained I am. I'm always entertained when Ziggler wins in cheap fashion...

Questions I need answers to:

Did anyone see Morrison give himself a concussion mid way through the match? Am I the only one remotely in love with the escalating Vickie/Ziggler split? How come Morrison gets so much love? Why isn't Ziggler in the World Title picture anymore? Was he really a male cheerleader at one point? Am I the only one that thinks Riley should crawl back to the Miz? Why is Jack Swagger a (insert whatever you'd like)?

Grade: B

Kelly Kelly Vs. Beth Phoenix

As much fun as it has been to make fun of the divas division as of late they have put on two great matches (Disclaimer: for Diva matches) in the last two pay-per-views. Both, of course, won by Kelly Kelly in surprising fashion.

Amen to Buffalo though! Hilarious crowd!

Top 2 Chants of the night happened during the course of this match:

2. "Kelly Sucks"

1. " Let's Go Buffalo!" (It's cute cause it rhymes)

Side note: As my friend pointed out during this match. "You know Kelly Kelly is going to win this match; That's why I'm rooting for Beth Phoenix... cause when's the last time Buffalo won anything?"

Grade: B- 

Randy Orton Vs. Mark Henry

A match that will forever live in infamy. It was the day I finally saw one of the "Super" powers loose cleanly... one down and one to go.

This match told a wonderful story and gave Mark Henry all the credibility he needed to hopefully have a long, successful run as champion...or until two weeks from now when Orton wins it back.

Grade: A

John Cena Vs. Alberto Del Rio

So this was the match that was originally scheduled to main event Summerslam? This match was about as exciting as Cena Vs. R-truth a couple months back and only slightly more entertaining then Cole Vs. Lawler at Wrestlemania...

With that being said (god help my soul)... the right man won. 

Del Rio has been a joke the past couple of months, and was doing nothing to the credibility of the WWE Championship. John Cena deserves to be champion more then Del Rio. Plain and Simple.

Del Rio = Transitional Champion at its finest. WWE couldn't possibly let Punk loose the title to Cena in fear of mass riots breaking out across the country.

More about this outcome later...

Grade: C+ (which officially made the Divas championship more entertaining)

HHH Vs. CM Punk

Now this is what I'm talking about! The return to smash-mouth, in your face, "hardcore" matches. Minus, of course, blood and chair shots to the face, but it was still entertaining as hell. These two men put on a show. Punk's elbow drop will live in highlight reel lore... your kids will probably see that highlight just as many times as you do.

Was the ending over booked? Perhaps, but we're in the opening act of an epic story arch that sees multiple people, plots, and agendas for control of the WWE... It should be booked more like a story then as a match. 

Sure we're left with more questions, but isn't that what's suppose to be happening?

Let's quickly recap what in the blue hell is going on now...

1. You got Johnny L. now texting people in broad daylight with Nash clearly on his side. He also wants nothing to do with HHH being in control.

2. CM Punk is leading a revolution of change against the establishment, HHH, who may not even have as much control as he thinks he does. Punk may be fighting the wrong battle when this is all said and done.

3. The Miz and R-Truth entering stage left with their conspiracy angle now in the main event spotlight.  They clearly have no allegiance to anyone but themselves.

4. Stephanie McMahon and Vince are probably on the cusp of becoming involved again. If the Board of Directors booted Vince for his inability to maintain order then technically HHH is doing a worse job. 

5. The Raw GM podium is still alive and kicking which means that plot angle will involve itself eventually.

We have a long way to go with this angle. I would venture a guess that this plays out til and beyond Wrestlemania...

My advice: Enjoy the rejuvenating ride and take Advil when needed. 

Grade: A


Chapter 2: The Champ is Here and so is the Status Quo


There's a lot (both positive and negative) things to be said about John Cena once again becoming the WWE champion. I for one look at it as a positive for the moment.

John Cena is the WWE and no matter who they push that person will never capitulate and epitomize the WWE, it's fans, and the universe as well as Cena does. Would I like to see others pushed to the top of the mountain? Of course, but it won't matter until the right person comes along... clearly Del Rio was not that person.

The Miz was the right person at the right time, but lets not forget that John Cena was in the middle of his Nexus feud and had to climb back to the top once he had finished that angle. Now that there's no other angle for Cena to be involved in; there's only one viable solution for the WWE.... make him champion...again. It's the right thing to do... at the moment.

Sure it may be boring, predictable, and status quo... but if you really think about it. It makes sense.

With the amount of times the title has changed hands within the last few months (at one point we even had two simultaneous champions) it's in the WWE's best interest to place it around a man who can defend it with honor, integrity, and respect for the gold he carries around with him. Del Rio seemingly made the title a joke for the month he had it, and we were all waiting for him to drop it anyway... why not sooner then later?

Also, this will probably be John Cena's last big time run as champion... look at it as a life time achievement award. We're about a couple of months away from the official beginning of the CM Punk era as champ and who better for Punk to cleanly beat then Cena? Cena can graciously bow out of the title picture, while Punk becomes the man for taking down the "Super" man...

It was the night of champions after all. Who defines the spirit of a champion more then John Cena? 


1. a person who has defeated all opponents in a competition or series of competitions, so as to hold    first place: the heavyweight boxing champion.

2. anything that takes first place in competition: the champion of a cattle show.

3. a person who fights for or defends any person or cause: a champion of the oppressed.

4. a fighter or warrior.

I've been on record, multiple times, of calling for John Cena's head... but that was before Punk and his waged war on the WWE. The WWE is a better place not because Cena wasn't champion, but because we finally had depth in story telling, matches, and emotions. For as much of the blame Cena received he should have received equal or more praise. 

Cena's matches with Punk were inspired, incredible, and emotional; much respect has been earned in the last three months. Overall he has done more work, media appearances, and charity for not only the company, but for the country then any "wrestler" in recent memory. I am proud to call John Cena my champion. 

I will still roll my eyes every time Cena has a "Super" finish, but I've finally realized the good in Cena and his work. He is the champion because he deserves it. He is the champion because people, outside of the internet world, can relate to. He is champion because he can be hated one moment and loved the next... The WWE knows this, and will placate to their audience until the audience doesn't care....

Don't want Cena to be champ? That's simple... Don't write, comment, or even acknowledge the existence of Cena as champ. Once you stop caring and conversing about it... The WWE will also.

Side note: You honestly think that they (the ones who script the events) don't chuckle to themselves when they know what kind of backlash will ensue when Cena wins anything? The IWC is a ridiculously small fraction of the population that watches professional wrestling. They'll acknowledge us every once and awhile, but they don't generally allow us to steer the ship...

Simply put... John Cena is the correct champion until the time comes to pass the torch to CM Punk who is currently building his main event status... John Cena's heart will always bleed for the WWE, it's universe, it's fans, and the WWE championship. He knows what it means and what it takes to be a champion.

If you're a champion, you have to have it in your heart.

                                          -Chris Evert