WWE Night of Champions 2013 Results: 10 Fun Facts from the Event
WWE's Night of Champions pay-per-view has always been hit or miss every year, and the latest installment definitely fell into the latter category. While the event was far from terrible, it simply didn't deliver the same way that past pay-per-views have in recent months.
One may say the lifeless Detroit crowd was the reason why the event was as so lackluster, but I think the lack of storytelling and good booking are also to blame. The buildup to the event left a lot to be desired, which is why most of the matches on the card failed to excite many members of the WWE Universe.
Of the six championships defended on the show, only one of them changed hands, when Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton to capture the WWE title. However, even that outcome was reversed the next night on Raw after some suspicious activity by the referee in that match.
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 know me well, you're aware I have an obsessive knack for fun facts regarding past WWE events.
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.
Tag Team Turmoil Returns
WWE's tag team division has returned to prominence as of late with many tandems vying for a shot at the WWE Tag Team Championships. This was the case on Sunday night at Night of Champions when five teams clashed in a Tag Team Turmoil match for an opportunity to contend for the titles later in the show.
In the end, it was The Prime Time Players who became the new No. 1 contenders to the tag titles. Among the tandems they had to defeat were The Usos, who were involved in the last Tag Team Turmoil match three years ago at Night of Champions.
It's surprising to think that Tag Team Turmoil matches are far and few between nowadays, and the fact that the concept was held twice at the Night of Champions event within the span of three years. The Usos competed in both bouts but unfortunately didn't walk away with the victory.
It's also worth mentioning that this was the first time that The Prime Time Players have been given a shot at the straps since last year's SummerSlam event. They were originally supposed to receive a rematch for the belts the following month at Night of Champions, but the newly formed Team Hell No took that opportunity away from them.
Intercontinental Championship Successfully Defended for 5th Consecutive Year
Since its start in 2007, the theme of the Night of Champions pay-per-view has always been that every active championship in the WWE must be defended. At 2008's installment, then-Intercontinental champion Chris Jericho was left without an opponent, and many fans speculated that he wouldn't be defending his title at all.
Instead, an impromptu title match was made between Y2J and Kofi Kingston, who was competing in his first contest as an official member of the Raw roster. With some help from Shawn Michaels at ringside, Kingston surprisingly defeated Jericho to capture his first Intercontinental title.
The prestigious prize hasn't changed hands since then, and this year was no different. An Intercontinental title match wasn't originally advertised for the event, but Triple H forced Curtis Axel to put his gold on the line, regardless.
His opponent? Kofi Kingston.
However, unlike five years ago, Kingston was unsuccessful in regaining the gold. Axel reigned supreme over the Ghana native and is still your reigning, defending Intercontinental champion.
Championship Sucessfully Defended in Fatal 4-Way for 3rd Consecutive Year
The Fatal 4-Way is a match designed to put the defending champion against all odds, as there is a 75 percent chance that a new champion will be crowned. Interestingly enough, a Fatal 4-Way has been held at the last three Night of Champions pay-per-views, and at every event, the titleholder emerged victorious.
In 2011, Dolph Ziggler had the arduous task of defending his United States Championship in a Fatal 4-Way against John Morrison, Jack Swagger and Alex Riley. Despite the odds being stacked against him, Ziggler took advantage of an opportunity and pinned Morrison to retain the title.
The following year, The Miz was placed in an impromptu Fatal 4-Way for his Intercontinental Championship that also involved Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and Cody Rhodes. During the match, Miz was blinded (a mask was placed over his head), but that didn't stop him from hitting the Skull Crushing Finale on Rhodes to successfully defend the prestigious prize.
After making explosive comments toward the cast Total Divas, AJ Lee was set to defend her Divas Championship at this year's event against Natalya, Naomi and Brie Bella. Chaos ensued among the four lovely ladies, but it was AJ who was left standing tall with her title intact after forcing Natalya to submit to the Black Widow.
World Heavyweight Championship Successfully Defended for 2nd Consecutive Year
Since 2007, the World Heavyweight Championship has changed hands on only two occasions at Night of Champions. The last occurrence was at 2011's event, where Mark Henry shocked the world by defeating Randy Orton to capture his first world title.
Heading into 2012's event, Sheamus was embroiled in a ruthless rivalry with Alberto Del Rio over the prestigious prize. Del Rio put forth his best effort in his clash with Sheamus, but it was the Celtic Warrior who reigned supreme with his title intact after soundly defeating Del Rio.
Unlike last year, however, Del Rio did indeed leave this year's Night of Champions event as world champion. Sure, he intentionally got himself disqualified, but it doesn't change the fact that he still has gold around his waist.
Alberto Del Rio Suffers First Pay-Per-View Loss Since Last October
Whether you love him or hate him, there is simply no denying the fact that Alberto Del Rio has been extremely successful over the last year. He has been featured in the world title picture more often than not and has won more matches than one would think.
However, Del Rio's momentum came to an abrupt halt this past Sunday at Night of Champions when he lost to Rob Van Dam in a World Heavyweight Championship match via disqualification. Although he managed to retain his title, this marked his first loss on pay-per-view since October of last year.
Prior to Night of Champions, Del Rio had not lost a pay-per-view match since 2012's Hell in a Cell event, where he came up short of defeating Randy Orton. Since then, though, he has beaten the likes of Big Show, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Christian and 3MB on pay-per-view, an impressive feat to say the least.
CM Punk Remains Winless at Event
Despite reigning as WWE champion for 434 consecutive days for all of last year, CM Punk has won only one match on pay-per-view over the course of 2013. This victory came over Chris Jericho at WWE Payback, where Punk made his highly anticipated return to the ring.
Since then, however, Punk hasn't had the best luck when it has come to winning marquee matches. His latest loss came at Sunday's Night of Champions event, where he came up short of defeating Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman in a Handicap Elimination match.
This wouldn't be the first time that Punk has lost at Night of Champions, though, as he has yet to win a match at the annual event. Since 2007, The Voice of the Voiceless has lost to the likes of John Morrison, Jeff Hardy, Big Show and Triple H.
Technically, his WWE Championship match with John Cena at last year's event ended in a draw, but he didn't emerge victorious, so the infamous losing streak for Punk remains intact.
United States Championship Successfully Defended for 3rd Consecutive Year
The United States Championship has a very rich history, dating back to as early as 1975, so it is no wonder that some of best battles over the belt have occurred at Night of Champions.
On Sunday night, Dean Ambrose proved his worth by successfully defending his title against Dolph Ziggler. This would mark the third consecutive Night of Champions event that didn't see the star-spangled prize change hands.
The last time a new U.S. champion was crowned at the event was at 2010's installment, where Daniel Bryan defeated The Miz to capture the gold. Actually, that was the only time the title ever changed hands at the event since its inception in 2007.
Ziggler won a Fatal 4-Way in 2011 to retain his U.S. title, while Antonio Cesaro was successfull in defending his strap against Zack Ryder at last year's event.
Daniel Bryan Remains Undefeated at Event
In a short period of time, Daniel Bryan has become one of the biggest stars in the WWE today. His rise to the top has been beautifully built, and his surge up the WWE roster was highlighted at Night of Champions.
Upon his return to the WWE at 2010's SummerSlam, Bryan entered a feud with his former mentor The Miz. He challenged for Miz's United States Championship at Night of Champions and forced The Awesome One to submit to the LaBelle Lock to score his first taste of WWE gold.
The following summer, he emerged victorious in SmackDown's version of the Money in the Bank Ladder match. While he didn't compete on the main card at Night of Champions that year, he did defeat Heath Slater in the night's dark match.
In 2012, Bryan teamed with his foe-turned-friend Kane to contend for the WWE Tag Team Championships. The two inadvertently captured the gold after Bryan shoved Kane on top of Kingston for the three-count.
Having won the midcard and Tag Team Championships at the event in past years, it was only logical for Bryan to challenge for the WWE Championship at the latest installment. He did just that against Randy Orton, whom he hit with a flying knee to win his second WWE title.
Bryan's winning ways at Night of Champions may not be as storied of a streak as The Undertaker's at WrestleMania, but it is still incredibly impressive, nonetheless.
Controversy Ensues in the WWE Championship Match for 2nd Straight Year
Going into last year's Night of Champions event, John Cena was chasing CM Punk for the WWE Championship. The two have collided on countless occasions over the years, but their encounter at this specific event ended up being their best since 2011's Money in the Bank.
Both competitors gave it their all, trying oh-so desperately to put the other wrestler away for the three-count. Just as it looked like Cena had recaptured the title, the referee deemed the match a draw after it was revealed that the shoulders of both Cena and Punk were touching the mat when the count was made.
The referee of the contest was called into question the next night on Raw, leading to WWE utilizing instant replay for that one instance.
A similar situation occurred at this year's event, where Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton were competing against one another for the WWE title. While Bryan had Orton knocked out with a running knee, the count made by referee Scott Armstrong was blatantly quicker than it should have been.
Due to this, Bryan was stripped of the strap the following night on Raw and Triple H held the belt in abeyance. Later in the show, HHH relieved Armstrong of his duties after he accused him of conspiring with Bryan.
First Pay-Per-View Without John Cena Since December 2011
Since capturing his first WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21, John Cena has been known as the biggest workhorse in the industry today. As the face of the company, Cena has worked countless pay-per-views over the years and has headlined almost all of them.
That being said, it is a rare occasion when Cena is absent from a WWE pay-per-view. After suffering an elbow injury this past summer, Cena announced the night after SummerSlam that he would be out of action for the next four to six months, meaning appearing at Night of Champions was out of the question.
So we experienced a Cena-free pay-per-view last Sunday at Night of Champions, something that hasn't happened in close to two years. The last occurrence was at WWE TLC in 2011, where the Cenation leader was left off the card.
Expect all pay-per-view events for the rest of the year to be rid of Cena as well.
Whether these facts were truly "fun" or not is for you to decide, but I still hope you enjoyed reading my latest piece, nonetheless. If you feel any corrections need to be made, feel free to drop a comment below with the accurate information.
View my archived WWE/TNA Fun Fact articles on past pay-per-views here.
Graham Mirmina, a.k.a. Graham "GSM" Matthews, is a journalism major at Endicott College. Visit his website at Next Era Wrestling and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.