|Date: September 18, 2011
|Venue: First Niagara Center |City: Buffalo, New York
|Attendance: 11,000 |Buys: 161,000
|Brands: Raw & Smackdown
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
It’s A Night You Will Never Forget. The one night a year in which every time will be defended. And yet arguably the biggest match of the night will be non-title. At Summerslam Kevin Nash returned and cost CM Punk the WWE Championship. CM Punk and Nash have been in a war of words ever since with the two men scheduled for a match tonight. However the match changed (rumour has it that Nash failed a fitness test) but Triple H fired Nash after he discovered that Nash sent a text from Triple H’s phone to Nash telling himself to attack the winner of the match at Summerslam. Triple H inserted himself into the match tonight. Punk has insulted Triple H and his wife and accepted the challenge from Triple H but only as long as Triple H would quit as COO if he loses the match. It’ll be a no disqualification match and the stakes are high.
As for the title matches, the WWE Championship is set to be defended as John Cena uses his rematch clause to challenge Alberto Del Rio. CM Punk also wanted a shot at the title but John Cena beat Punk with some uninvited help from Kevin Nash to become number one contender. The World Heavyweight Championship is also set to be defended. Mark Henry won a 20 man battle royal to become number one contender and after Randy Orton beat Christian in a cage match, it was announced that Orton would meet Henry at Night Of Champions. Henry has been on a hell of a roll for months now, taking out the likes of Kane and The Big Show. Has Randy Orton met his match? Cody Rhodes is expected to defend the Intercontinental Championship against the man that he turned on a couple of weeks ago, Ted DiBiase. DiBiase got his revenge on Smackdown last week and the two are expected to meet for the gold tonight.
It was announced that Dolph Ziggler would defend the United States Championship in a fatal four way match against John Morrison, Alex Riley and Jack Swagger. Swagger has asked if Vickie Guerrero would be his manager but Ziggler doesn’t seem keen to share. Morrison and Riley find themselves in the title picture and also get a shot tonight. Beth Phoenix beat Eve Torres to become number one contender to the Divas Championship and gets her shot against Kelly Kelly tonight. It’ll be contested in Beth Phoenix’s hometown so will that give her the advantage? Also tonight the new tag team champions of Air Boom (Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne) who beat David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty for the title must defend their championships against the new team of The Awesome Truth (The Miz & R-Truth) who are obsessed with a conspiracy against them. They get a shot at the belts tonight.
In a dark match prior to the event Daniel Bryan defeated Heath Slater.
A video package kicks us off, highlighting Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio and Triple H to begin with. The main focus is the CM Punk and Triple H match.
Michael Cole then welcomes us to Buffalo, New York. He’s joined by Booker T and Jerry Lawler.
Air Boom (Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne) (c) vs. The Awesome Truth (The Miz & R-Truth) – WWE Tag Team Championship match
This is a first time match between these two new tag teams. Kofi Kingston is 2-1 at Night Of Champions events, Evan Bourne is 0-1, The Miz is 1-2 and R-Truth makes his Night Of Champions debut tonight. Kofi and Bourne are in matching green gear tonight. Kofi starts the match against The Miz. Miz hits a headbutt in the early going but Kofi fires back with a big right hand for a two count. Kingston tags in Bourne who comes in off the top with a double stomp for a two count. Bourne tags Kofi back in and they hit some Hardy Boys like double team for the first near fall of the match. Miz tags in R-Truth but Kofi hits him with a hiptoss and tags in Evan Bourne. Bourne hits a flying head scissors and the champions hit a double dropkick on Miz, sending him with the outside. Bourne and Kingston then dive to the outside, taking out the challengers.
The Miz hits a cheap shot on Bourne allowing the challengers to take the advantage. Truth lays into Bourne with right hands and gets a near fall. Truth tags in Miz who hits a running boot for a near fall. Miz then applies a chinlock which Evan gets out of. Miz tags in Truth and they hit a double shoulder block. Truth tags in Miz who hits some left hands on Bourne. Bourne fires back, taking shots at Miz and Truth and then looks to maker a tag but Miz blocks. Bourne then fires over to his corner and tags in Kingston who fires up on Miz. Kofi hits the boom drop and then motions for trouble in paradise but gets distracted by R-Truth. Kofi then hits the SOS on Miz for a near fall. Truth drops Kofi on the top rope and Miz hits Kingston with a modified DDT for a near fall. The referee gets distracted by R-Truth and Evan Bourne claps his hand, pretending to make a tag! Bourne hits some running knees on Miz and rolls him up for a two count.
Evan Bourne takes out Miz and R-Truth and then heads to the top, looking for the shooting star press but Miz gets out of the way and drops Bourne with a DDT for a near fall. Miz tags in R-Truth but the referee doesn’t see it and demands Truth gets out of the ring. Miz then hits skull-crushing finale on Bourne but the referee is distracted by Truth! The referee turns around but Bourne kicks out! Miz kicks off at the referee and pie-faces him to the ground! The referee calls for the bell! Air Boom retain their Tag Team Championships by disqualification! Miz shoves the referee down after the match and R-Truth calms him down. R-Truth then slaps the referee! A good match to kick things off with.
Matt Striker catches up with Miz and Truth backstage and they say that it’s all a conspiracy from Triple H.
Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Ted DiBiase – Intercontinental Championship match
This is a first time PPV singles match between these two men. Cody is 2-1 at this event, Ted DiBiase is 1-1. Rhodes has challenged for the Tag Team Championships at the last three Night Of Champions events and has walked out champion at two of them. Cody is still wearing his mask. Plenty of chain wrestling in the early going resulting in a kick to the face form DiBiase. A “We Want Ryder” chant breaks out. Rhodes hits a cheap shot but Ted drops him with a clothesline for a one count. DiBiase applies an armbar but Rhodes hits him with forearms and then the old Hardcore Holly kick to the sternum before running into a dropkick. Rhodes slaps DiBiase but Ted takes him down, hitting him with right hands. Lots of counters in this one. Rhodes hits a knee and then the disaster kick. Rhodes gets a near fall and then hits some more knees and a face-first suplex. Cody then applies a camel clutch which he transitions into an abdominal stretch.
Dibiase gets out of the hold and we get an old school test of strength. DiBiase hits a monkey flip but Rhodes hammers his way out of it. Rhodes hits an Irish whip but Dibiase gets out of the way of a splash and hits an arm drag and a backbreaker. DiBiase misses a dropkick and Rhodes applies an abdominal stretch. DiBiase gets out of it with a hiptoss but Rhodes drops him with a dropkick for a two count. Rhodes applies a modified STF which DiBiase gets out of. Rhodes hits his trademark uppercut but DiBiase fires back with a clothesline, side suplex and a running dropkick for a two count. DiBiase hits a sit-out spinebuster for a two count and then looks for dream street but Rhodes gets out of it. Rhodes attempts another disaster kick but DiBiase counters with a dropkick for a two count. Rhodes hits some headbutts and heads to the top but DiBiase throws him off the top and then looks to rip the mask off, which he does!
DiBiase swings the mask at Rhodes but Rhodes ducks it and rolls DiBiase up, holding onto the tights and getting the three! Cody Rhodes wins the match and retains the Intercontinental Championship! Not a great match, pretty back and forth though.
Christian’s music hits and out he walks in his “street clothes”. Christian takes the mic and says that he deserves one more match to become World Heavyweight Champion. Christian demands that he should face the winner of the Randy Orton/Mark Henry match immediately after they finish their match tonight. Christian gets the crowd chanting “one more match”. Christian is then interrupted by Sheamus. I’ve just noticed the terrible set. Sheamus calls Christian a complaining weasel. Sheamus says that he’d give his uncle’s lucky green testicle to wrestling tonight. Sheamus says that he could help Christian to get one more title match but if he wins the title then his first defence should be against Sheamus. Sheamus then gets the crowd chanting “one more match” before hitting Christian with a brogue kick.
Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. John Morrison vs. Alex Riley vs. Jack Swagger – Fatal four way match for the WWE United States Championship
A first time fatal four way match between these men. Dolph Ziggler is 1-1 at Night Of Champions events, John Morrison is 2-0, Jack Swagger is 0-1 and Alex Riley makes his debut at this event tonight. The bell rings and Swagger pairs off with Morrison whilst Ziggler and Riley also go at it. Morrison hits Swagger with right hands and Riley drops Ziggler with a clothesline before throwing him out of the ring. Swagger and Riley then get into it with Swagger hitting some clubbing blows as Vickie Guerrero watches on from the outside. Riley hits a clothesline on Swagger and then dives out at Ziggler who moves out of the way. Morrison rolls Swagger up for a near fall and then hits him with a Pele kick. Ziggler breaks up a pinfall but Morrison dropkicks him out of the ring, moonsaulting onto Swagger at the same time for a near fall. Swagger hiptosses Morrison out of the ring.
Ziggler goes after Swagger who drops him with a couple of clotheslines. Alex Riley then attacks Swagger from behind and hits him with his finisher but Vickie Guerrero puts Swaggers foot on the bottom rope to break the pinfall. Morrison hits a flash kick on Ziggler for a near fall. Ziggler hits a kick to the knee of Morrison and then drops him with a fame-asser for a near fall. Morrison hits an uppercut on Ziggler and then pops him on the top rope. Morrison looks for a superplex but Ziggler fights him off, tying him up in a tree of woe. Alex Riley then jumps up to the top but Morrison hits him with a German suplex off the top. Swagger then throws Ziggler off the top. Morrison sells a knee injury. Morrison hits Swagger with a couple of clotheslines and then a dropkick for Riley. Morrison then hits a tilt-a-whirl DDT on Swagger and a standing Spanish fly on Riley for a two count.
John Morrison sets Alex Riley up for starship pain but Riley gets his knees up. Ziggler then locks a sleeper on Morrison and Swagger applies an ankle lock to Alex Riley! Morrison manages to get out of the ring and Riley gets out of the ankle lock. Riley hits Swagger with a DDT for a near fall. Swagger then locks the ankle lock on Riley but Morrison looks to break it up. Swagger hits Morrison with a gut-wrench powerbomb but Ziggler pushes Swagger out of the way and pins Morrison for the three! Dolph Ziggler wins the match and retains the United States Championship! Really fun match between these four men.
Josh Mathews is backstage with Mark Henry. Henry says Josh Mathews can interview him when he’s World Heavyweight Champion.
Matt Striker is with Vickie Guerrero backstage who says everything is going her way at the moment. She says that if Triple H loses tonight then she will be the perfect choice as COO. She then lands a kiss on Matt Striker.
There’s a video package next for Randy Orton and Mark Henry.
Randy Orton (c) vs. Mark Henry – World Heavyweight Championship match
This is a first time PPV match between these two men. Randy Orton is 2-1 at Night Of Champions events, Mark Henry is 1-1. I’m expecting this match to have a slow pace to it. Henry throws Orton into the corner in the early going. Randy fires back with some right hands and then kicks away at the knees taking the big man before stomping away at the different limbs of the challenger. Henry gets right back up but Orton sidesteps him and Mark falls to the outside. Henry is looking frustrated now as he pulls the announce desk apart. He gets back into the ring and lifts Orton above his head but Orton slips down and looks for an RKO just for Henry to push him away and then drop him with a big boot. No title changes so far tonight. Henry hits some Irish whips and then a splash in the corner. Mark then looks for the world’s strongest slam but Orton counters it and locks on a sleeper.
Henry forces Orton into the corner to break the hold and then smashes Randy out of the ring. Henry smashes Orton into the ring apron a couple of times before rolling him back into the ring. Henry hits a headbutt and then exits the ring and pulls Ortons back around the ringpost. Henry hits a powerslam and then a splash for a near fall. Mark hits shoulder charges in the corner and then clubs the World Heavyweight Champion down to the mat before dropping an elbow for a two count. Henry hits a kick and a clothesline but Orton fires back with kicks and right hands. Henry hits a headbutt and looks for a splash but Orton rolls out of the way. Randy hits some right hands and a coupe of clotheslines but it takes a dropkick to get Mark Henry off his feet. Orton looks for the hangmans DDT but Henry fights him off and knocks him down with a clothesline. Henry then hits the world’s strongest slam but Orton kicks out at 2!
Mark Henry goes up to the middle rope for a Vader bomb but Orton gets his feet up. Randy hits a chop block and a DDT and then motions for a RKO but Henry rolls out of the ring to the apron. Randy attempts the hangmans DDT again and this time he hits it. He rolls Henry over but Mark grabs the rope on the count. Henry drops Orton on the middle rope and then kicks Orton down to the mat. Randy attempts an RKO out of nowhere but Henry puts the brakes on and hits the world’s strongest slam for the three! Mark Henry wins the match and the World Heavyweight Championship tonight! Great psychology and not a bad match. I enjoyed it more than I thought it would.
After the match Josh Mathews looks to get an interview with Mark Henry but Henry tears the mic out of his hand and says that nobody believed he could do it and now everyone is welcomed to his hall of pain.
Alberto Del rio is backstage with Ricardo Rodriguez and John Laurinaitis. Del Rio isn’t happy about having to team with Ricardo last week on Raw. John says that he should concentrate on tonight. He wishes Del Rio luck and then wishes CM Punk luck as he watches on. Punk doesn’t think it’s genuine.
Kelly Kelly (c) vs. Beth Phoenix – WWE Divas Championship
This is the second PPV match between these two girls. Kelly Kelly actually beat Phoenix at Summerslam. Both girls make their Night Of Champions debut tonight. Kelly Kelly is joined by Eve Torres, Beth Phoenix, who is joined by Natalya, gets a big pop in her hometown. Beth has a big smile on her face, almost out of character, due to being in her hometown. Beth knocks down Kelly early but misses with an elbow drop. Kelly flips nicely out of a hiptoss as a “Kelly sucks” chant breaks out. Kelly hits a hurricanrana for a two count. Kelly then applies an inverted tarantula before going up to the top and looking for a cross body but Phoenix catches her, hits a gutbuster and then spanks her! Beth hits a punt to the ribs for a two count and then chokes the Divas Champion on the middle rope. Phoenix then slingshots Kelly onto the bottom rope for a near fall.
Kelly fights back with some right hands and then hits a bulldog to boo’s from the crowd. Natalya drags Beth out of the ring but Eve then takes Natalya down and hits her with right hands. Beth smashes Eve into the mat and then gets back into the ring but Kelly Kelly rolls her up for a near fall. Beth misses with a splash in the corner and Kelly looks for a fame-asser but Beth counters and hits a clothesline. Beth pops Kelly on the top rope and hits a huge superplex. Both girls stay down for a while but Beth eventually crawls over and gets a near fall. Beth looks for a powerbomb but Kelly rolls over the top and hits a sunset flip for the three! Kelly Kelly wins and retains her Divas Championship! A shocking result! Kelly retains again! I thought Beth was definitely winner in her hometown. Decent enough match between these two.
There’s a VT up next about the history of the WWE Championship.
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. John Cena – WWE Championship match
This is a first time PPV match between these two men. John Cena is 1-3 at Night Of Champions PPV’s, he’s been in the WWE Championship match at all five events. Alberto Del Rio makes his debut at this event tonight. Del Rio doesn’t make his entrance in a car, instead he storms down the aisle. He demands to know where his keys are but Ricardo Rodriguez doesn’t know. I think John Cena will know. Indeed he does, Cena makes his entrance in a yellow Ferrari. Justin Roberts attempts to introduce Alberto Del Rio but Del Rio demands that Ricardo Rodriguez does it instead, in Spanish. And so he does. Cena then does his own ring announcement which was pretty funny. Cena starts the match quickly, with a headlock takeover and a shoulder charge. Del Rio gets some shots in but Cena its an Irish whip and a bulldog. Ricardo Rodriguez then gets involved, grabbing the leg of Cena, pulling him to the ground but the referee suspects Ricardo and sends him to the back!
Cena hits an Irish whip on Del Rio but the WWE Champion avoids and splash and hits some kicks to the kidneys, sending Cena to the outside. Alberto forces Cena into the announce desk and then rolls him back into the ring. Del Rio goes up top and hits a double axe handle for a two count. Alberto applies a chinlock but Cena gets out of it and hits a gutwrench suplex for a two count. Cena hits a fishermans suplex for a two count. Del Rio takes the advantage, booting Cena in the head a couple of times for a near fall. Del Rio goes back to the chinlock but Cena gets out of it and drops the WWE Champion with a belly to belly. Both men get to their feet and then knock each other back down with simultaneous clotheslines. They get to their feet again and Cena drops Del Rio on the top rope before running into a clothesline for a two count. Cena sidesteps a guillotine in the ropes and then suplexes Del Rio back into the ring. Cena starts to build momentum with q couple of shoulder charges and a side suplex.
John Cena hits the five knuckle shuffle and then sets up for the attitude adjustment but Del Rio counters with a backbreaker. Del Rio then looks for the cross arm breaker but Cena counters and hits a splash in the corner and a sloppy dropkick for a two count. Cena heads to the top but Del Rio hits a shining wizard for a two count. Del Rio hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall and then ties Cena up in a tree of woe. Cena avoids a shoulder charge and then hits a top rope fame-asser for a near fall. Del Rio hits a bridging German suplex for a two count and then heads to the top and hits a senton splash for a two count. Del Rio then locks on the cross arm breaker but Cena manages to block it, lift Alberto up and power him into the mat. Cena then hits an attitude adjustment while they’re on the replay. Ricardo Rodriguez runs back down to the apron but Cena sees him off and locks the STF on Alberto!
Alberto taps out! John Cena wins the match and the WWE Championship from Del Rio on his first title defence. Cena becomes a 10 time WWE Champion. I’m surprised at that result. A disappointing first WWE title reign for Alberto Del Rio.
There’s a video package for Triple H and CM Punk.
CM Punk vs. Triple H – No Disqualification match
This is a first PPV match between these two men. CM Punk is 0-3 at Night Of Champions events, he’s lost to John Morrison, Jeff Hardy and The Big Show, Triple H is 1-1. CM Punk attacks Triple H as he’s spitting his water out of the apron. Punk then throws Triple H into and over the barricade before tearing apart the announce desk. Triple H then attacks Punk from behind and throws him into the barricade. Triple H throws Punk over the announce desk and lays into him with right hands. Triple H then attempts a pedigree on the announce desk but CM Punk counters, setting up for a go to sleep but Triple H counters and Punk slides back into the ring. There’s a nice visual of Punk in the ring and Triple H on the announce desk, both men staring the other down. Triple H gets in the ring and the two men slug it out. Triple H attempts a pedigree again but CM Punk counters.
Punk hits an Irish whip and looks for his running knee but Triple H ducks and Punk falls to the outside. Triple H smashes Punks knee into the ringpost a couple of times before smashing him into the barricade. CM Punk fires back with some right hands and throws Triple H into the barricade before hitting a running knee on the outside. Triple H throws Punk over the barricade and then hits an axe handle. Triple H lays into Punk amongst the fans and the two men fight up to the entrance stage. Triple H slingshots Punk into the stage and then looks for a pedigree but CM Punk counters, back body dropping Triple H over the LED board. Punk then hits a double axe handle off the board. The two battle back towards the ring and then into it where CM Punk grabs a chair and smashes it across Triple H’s back for a two count. Triple H hits a spinebuster for a two count and then throws CM Punk into a chair set up in the turnbuckles. This is Triple H’s first match since he lost to The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
Triple H hits a chopblock on the outside and then rolls Punk back into the ring before swinging him knee into the ringpost. Helmsley swings a chair into Punks knee but Punk manages to kick Triple H away into the ring steps. Triple H takes apart the Spanish announce desk and picks up a monitor but Punk kicks him in the face. Punk heads to the top and elbow drops Triple H through the Spanish announce desk! The two men roll into the ring and out come The Miz and R-Truth! R-Truth lays into CM Punk and The Miz lays the stomps into Triple H! Miz hits a skull-crushing finale on Triple H and R-Truth hits a flatliner on CM Punk! Michael Cole’s voice went a long time ago so we haven’t heard anything from him in this match. Miz and Truth roll CM Punk on top of Triple H but Triple H kicks out at the count of two! Miz and Truth then turn their attention to the referee Scott Armstrong. Miz looks for a right hand but Armstrong ducks and lays out Miz! Truth then attacks Armstrong form behind and both Truth and Miz lay into the referee, taking him out.
John Laurinaitis heads out from the back but CM Punk disposes of R-Truth and Triple H disposes of The Miz. Triple H then hits a pedigree on CM Punk but there’s no referee! Another referee runs out from the back but Laurinaitis tells him to see to the other referee. Triple H tells the referee to get in the ring which allows CM Punk to get to his feet and hit Triple H with a go to sleep! Punk pins Triple H and Laurinaitis tells the referee to make the count. The referee slides in but R-Truth pulls CM Punk out of the ring! Punk hits R-Truth with a go to sleep as all hell has broken loose. Punk . looks for a springboard clothesline on Triple H but Triple H blocks with as kick and hits a pedigree for a near fall. Laurinaitis looks shady as he turns his back to the ring and pulls his phone out. Kevin Nash then appears through the crowd, gets in the ring, lays out CM Punk and then lays into Triple H!
Kevin Nash looks to Jackknife Triple H but CM Punk saves Triple H, hitting Nash with right hands. Nash hits CM Punk with a jackknife and leaves but not before hitting Triple H with a clothesline. Nash takes apart the announce desk but Triple H lays him out with a sledgehammer! Triple H hits CM Punk with a pedigree and pins him for the three! Triple H beats CM Punk tonight and remains COO! I loved the chaos of this match.
And that was Night Of Champions 2011. Overall it felt like an enjoyable PPV with a plenty of good on it and nothing too terrible. It started well with the tag team match and Air Boom picking up the win. I like this new team of The Awesome Truth and hopefully they will be tag team champions at some point but this still feels very early into Air Booms reign. Both teams are getting a good push though. This was a good match to kick things off with and not the last we would see of The Miz and R-Truth tonight. Cody Rhodes beat Ted DiBiase in a match that was ok but there didn’t seem to be much chemistry as opponents. Cody has been great throughout 2011, I love his gimmick and he seems to be on the up whilst Dibiase feels like he’s on the way down. This match wasn’t great but Rhodes can go on to face more of Smackdowns midcard and I’m sure he’s got better matches ahead of him.
The fatal four way match for the United States Championship was a lot of fun. Riley felt a little out of place to be honest with the other three men in the match very established and all very good in-ring performers. Dolph won, pinning Morrison after a Swagger powerbomb and the relationship between Ziggler and Swagger is an interesting one. If they weren’t both heel then I would have thought they would continue the feud. Morrison is great and I’d like to see him be pushed towards the WWE Championship. Riley needs to improve but he seems to be over and has great entrance music. Mark Henry beat Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship in a match that exceeded my expectations. Henry is definitely at the peak of his career and I look forward to his title reign. This feud will probably continue into Hell In A Cell in a couple of weeks. A huge win for Mark Henry and richly deserved.
Kelly Kelly successfully defended her Divas Championship against Beth Phoenix. This was a decent enough match but the result really surprised me. I thought Phoenix was definitely taking the gold in her hometown. Kelly Kelly wins though and she’s getting a decent title reign. Her in-ring work has definitely improved too. Beth is the best woman on the roster though so I’m hoping it’s a matter of time until she is champion again. John Cena then won the WWE Championship from Alberto Del Rio which also surprised me. It cuts Del Rio’s first WWE Championship reign short which is a shame. This was a good match though and Alberto is definitely a main event level star. This won’t be the last we see of him in the WWE Championship picture but I do wonder why they went for the switch.
Triple H then beat CM Punk, halting his momentum. But the main event was a lot of fun. Punk and Triple H put a good match on between them for twenty minutes before all hell broke loose. I wasn’t expecting Miz and Truth to show up nut they made a big impact. Then you had John Laurinaitis apparently side with CM Punk before seemingly text Kevin Nash to show up, which he did and cosy CM Punk the match. It was a lot of fun, I enjoyed it., Very attitude era WWE. Something you don’t see a lot of these days. Triple H wins amid controversy and keeps his spot as COO. I’m looking forward to the aftermath of this. Overall, a decent show. Check it out.
Overall Rating: 63.2/100 (ranked joint 55th out of 269)
Match Of The Night: CM Punk vs. Triple H
Worst Match Of The Night: Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix
Surprise Of The Night: John Cena becomes WWE Champion again
Worst Booking Of The Night: Kelly Kelly beats Beth Phoenix
Superstar Of The Night: Mark Henry
Night Of Champions 2011 Will Be Remembered For: Mark Henry becoming World Heavyweight Champion for the first ever time