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September 20, 2010

Night of Champions thoughts

Sunday’s Night of Champions pay-per-view featured three title changes and a title unification, but even with all that gold changing hands (or, in the case of the tag team championship, copper changing hands), there wasn’t anything particularly memorable about the show. There were some good matches, but I just don’t know that Night of Champions lived up to the $45 price tag (especially with the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view just two weeks away).

The big news is that Randy Orton won the six-pack elimination challenge to capture the WWE title. Orton is the hottest wrestler in WWE and I’m glad the company decided to just put the belt on him now rather than draw out his chase any longer.

The other noteworthy development is that Chris Jericho was eliminated from the six-pack challenge in less than two minutes in what perhaps was his final WWE match for the time being. The announcers seemed confused as to whether the stipulation that Jericho had to leave WWE if he lost was still in effect, although several wrestling websites reported Sunday night that Jericho was indeed done.

Jericho addressed the reports after the show via Twitter: “Since I've apparently made my last appearance in the WWE, I guess I have nothing to do tomorrow. … The websites have spoken!!! Whatever, I’m goin to Calgary tomorrow so I'll let y’all hash it out.”

In other title changes, Daniel Bryan defeated The Miz for the U.S. title in what I thought was the best match of the night, and Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes captured the WWE tag team title in a tag team turmoil (gauntlet) match. Michelle McCool became the unified women’s champion in a match with Melina that was bad on several levels.

World heavyweight champion Kane and Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler were the only champions to make successful title defenses.

Here is a match-by-match look at the show:

Randy Orton defeated WWE champion Sheamus, Wade Barrett, John Cena, Edge and Chris Jericho in a six-pack elimination challenge to win the title (21:28): It took only 1:29 for the first elimination to occur, as Orton hit the RKO on Jericho and pinned him. Jericho slowly walked to the back with a stunned look on his face. A few minutes later, Orton and Cena cleared the ring and engaged in a stare-down, but Barrett broke it up before the two babyfaces could touch. The same situation with Orton and Cena occurred about a minute and a half later, and this time they actually did go at it briefly. It was made clear that Sheamus may have been the champion, but Orton and Cena were the biggest stars in the match. The second elimination did not occur until the 15-minute mark, as Cena took out Edge with the Attitude Adjustment after a series of finishing move attempts. There was a very good near fall a few minutes later, as Cena trapped Sheamus in the STF in the middle of the ring, but Sheamus managed to get to the rope for a break.

At that point, the rest of The Nexus showed up and attacked Cena, which led to Barrett pinning him with his Wasteland slam at 18:33. The Nexus then targeted Orton, but Cena, who was still at ringside, attacked them with a chair. That allowed Orton to recover and eliminate Barrett with the RKO at 20:32. As expected, it came down to Orton and Sheamus. Sheamus snuck up behind Orton and landed the Brogue Kick, but Orton kicked out, which got a huge pop. Sheamus then went for the High Cross, but Orton slipped out and hit the RKO for the win to become a seven-time world champion. Orton was booked to look strong in this match and is clearly being positioned above Cena at this point. As Orton celebrated after the match, I half-expected The Miz to come out and cash in his Money in the Bank contract, but it didn’t happen. We’re likely getting a rematch between Orton and Sheamus at Hell in a Cell, as well as a match between Cena and Barrett. The seeds continue to be planted for Cena to turn heel and feud with Orton down the line.

World heavyweight champion Kane defeated The Undertaker in a no holds barred match (18:29): The match, which featured a lot of brawling outside the ring and had a methodical pace, told a good story. The Undertaker put up a strong fight, but Kane kept cutting off his comebacks, solidifying his status as the dominant brother now. Undertaker went on the offensive before the bell even sounded, as he charged Kane on the ramp while Kane was making his entrance. Kane, however, survived the initial onslaught and went on to control the majority of the match. The Undertaker hit a choke slam at the 17:40 mark and then set up for a Tombstone Piledriver. Kane, however, reversed it and hit a Tombstone of his own for the clean victory. The Undertaker really sold the beating as he slowly made his way to the back after the match. It’s pretty much a lock that there will be a rematch between the two at Hell in a Cell. Perhaps The Undertaker should summon Paul Bearer from the dead so that he can “urn” back his supernatural powers.

Daniel Bryan defeated U.S. champion The Miz to win the title (12:29): Bryan scored the biggest win of his career, while The Miz put on one of the best in-ring performances of his. These two worked very well together and the atmosphere was intense. There were some great near falls, including one that was set up by Miz delivering a wicked flying clothesline off the top rope onto Bryan, who was straddling the top rope after being crotched. Bryan got the win when he forced Miz to tap to the LeBell Lock. The finish occurring at that point surprised me, as I really thought Miz was going to make it to the ropes to force a break.

Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston (12:42): The stipulation was that Ziggler would lose the title if he was disqualified or counted out. The first five minutes were slow but then the pace really picked up and there were some good near falls, the first of which occurred at the 9:15 mark when Ziggler barely got his foot on the rope after Kingston hit the SOS. Kingston attempted the move again less than two minutes later, but Ziggler caught him in a sleeperhold, which Kingston reversed into a sleeper of his own. Ziggler broke the hold by sending Kingston into the ropes. Vickie Guerrero teased that she was going to slap Kingston, but Ziggler warned her not to get him disqualified. As Ziggler turned around, Kingston went for Trouble in Paradise, but Ziggler ducked just in time and then hit the Zig Zag for the victory. This was probably the biggest win for thus far for Ziggler, who came out on top despite the odds being stacked against him. Although Ziggler and Guerrero were all smiles at the end, there was a hint of tension between them, and also between Guerrero and Kaitlyn, who came to the ring with Ziggler and Guerrero but was sent to the back by Guerrero early in the match.

The Big Show defeated CM Punk (4:43): Since the show was in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, he was cheered when he came out, but he cut a great heel promo to turn the crowd – well, some of it anyway – against him. There was a “CM Punk chant” a couple minutes into the match after Punk hit a head-first dive over the top rope onto Big Show, who was down on the floor. The finish saw Big Show spear Punk in mid-air after Punk spring-boarded from the top rope, and then nail him with the knockout punch. I think Punk’s promo lasted longer than the match.

Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes defeated WWE tag team champions The Hart Dynasty, Evan Bourne and Mark Henry, The Usos and Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov in a tag team turmoil match to win the title (11:42): This gauntlet match began with The Hart Dynasty against The Usos. Shockingly, The Usos beat THD in just over two minutes, thanks to interference from Tamina. Taking the belts off of THD is one thing, but jobbing to The Usos like that? It will be interesting to see where David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd go from here. Marella and Kozlov were out next, but they only lasted about a minute, as Tamina distracted Marella, causing him to lose. The Usos’ run was ended by Bourne and Henry, as Bourne scored the pin on one of the twins after hitting the Shooting Star Press. Those three decisions were all rendered in just over five minutes. McIntyre and Rhodes were the final pair to enter, and Rhodes scored the victory by hitting Cross Rhodes on Bourne after about six and half minutes of action between the two teams. Once THD was eliminated, it was pretty obvious that McIntyre and Rhodes were going over. McIntyre and Rhodes now getting to appear on both Raw and Smackdown sounds good to me.

Michelle McCool defeated WWE Divas champion Melina in a Lumberjill match to unify the women’s titles (6:34): What a poorly booked mess this was. To start with, it was a unification match with one competitor who isn’t even really a champion. Then we had the Lumberjills, who were supposed to toss the competitors back in the ring whenever they were thrown out to the floor, but the girls all just stood there looking clueless for the most part. When the Lumberjills did decide to get involved, they all ganged up on McCool (the heel), thus giving Melina (the babyface) an unfair advantage. But even with the odds stacked against her, McCool prevailed, thanks to a distraction from Layla. I don’t know why Layla would help McCool after McCool duped her out of a spot in this match on Smackdown Friday, but I sure hope McCool and Layla are not going to be co-unified women’s champions. There was an unintentionally funny spot when the Lumberjills were mixing it up outside the ring that saw Rosa Mendes start to throw a punch at Jillian Hall and then change her mind just as she was about to make contact. Hall said something to her and then Mendes walked away. Only Rosa Mendes (well, probably Lacey Von Erich, too) could botch a punch.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 1:41 PM | | Comments (27)



Hey Kev,

My problem with the tag team turmoil match was no Dudebusters or Hawkins/Archer. I mean, they are both THE teams on the Smackdown side of things currently. Agree? I just think they looked stupid putting a team like Henry and Bourne in it, when they clearly had other established teams to throw into the mix.

I was hoping Morrison would be in the 6 pack challenge and win it. Then minutes after The Miz music hits and he cashes in the $ in the bank.

What is up with CM Punk? What did he do to suffer this many defeat at the hand of the Big Show?

Very disappointing ppv.
I was especially annoyed by two matches:
-CM punk losing to Big show doesn't make any sense. I don't understand the burial of punk who is, in my opinion, one of the best in the roster (but I also think Swagger is, so maybe I have bad taste).
-Michelle Mc Cool winning is for me the sign that women's division is in bad shape.
First, she's not the champion (layla is), Melina is, in my opinion, a far better wrestler, the crowd doesn't care about Mc cool, and when I see a girl as talented as Gail Kim doing the lumberjill I just want to turn off my t.v and get drunk.

I rarely complain about PPVs and shows, i just take them for what they are and if i don't find a particular episode or show entertaining then it just is what it is.

However, while the action was okay, the booking was terrible. When the gauntlet match was announced, I figured either THD would retain, Cody Rhodes and McIntyre would lose, or someone else would win. If Rhodes and McIntyre were gonna walk out champions, why not just book a regular tag match for the titles. Maybe DH Smith is working injured? I was excited when it came down to Henry and Bourne, as Bourne has never held any titles, and Henry who's been around since before the Attitude Era, has only held the ECW and European titles. (Which in this day and age of multiple title changes is the equivalent of Zero). Besides "Dashing" Cody Rhodes and McIntyre have zero chemistry, zero in common, and Cody has done nothing but be in tag teams.

The other thing that i was severely troubled by was McCool winning the "Unified Divas Titles" although she still was not officially recognized as Women's Champion. It's interesting to note that is listing McCool's reign under the Divas title, while Layla is still listed as the last Women's Champion. Hopefully this will lead to an angle where Layla will argue that she is still the rightful Women's Champion and McCool is only the Diva's Champion resulting in the inevitable split of LayCool, a face turn for Layla, and logical unification match for the title.

I totally agree with your assessment Kev. The Bryan/Miz match was outstanding; I jumped out of my seat when Miz tapped. I hope one day that those two can pull off a main event for a top title. Not sure about 100% sure about Bryan, but I'm sure Miz will make it.

What has Punk done to deserve this?

What have CM Punk's FANS done to deserve this?

haha i love Rosa Mendes
she is easily the cutest in wresting history.

Overall, this was a decent show but I feel that the WWE didn't do enough to make it feel important and put over the history of the belts until the PPV had actually started. Case in point is the Tag-Team Turmoil match, which wasn't even announced beforehand. It just goes to show how much the WWE cares for tag-team wrestling.

The Miz - Daniel Bryan match was the best on the show. It's great to see a guy like Bryan Danielson who is an amazing talent actually get the success he deserves. And a special mention for CM Punk's awesome promo. Hopefully this marks the end of his feud with Big Show so he can move onto better things.

In contrast, the Divas Unification "match" was abysmal. Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Jillian Hall, The Bellas, Rosa Mendes or Alicia Fox shouldn't be let anywhere near a wrestling ring. And the new Divas champion Michelle McCool is devoid of charisma and character. I guess it just goes to show it's not who you are, it's who you're married to. . .

Boy, you really hate that co-women's champion gimmick, don't you? I'm afraid you predicted this one with your heart rather then your head. Laycool's clearly still got legs (though maybe not Stacy Kiebler's legs), so the dissension between Layla and McCool being a swerve wasn't much of a surprise.

In fact, I don't think that any of the results were surprising. Even Orton's win, which I didn't think would happen in this type of a match, can't be considered a surprise considering the booking going into the match. Danielson winning seemed assured, as it gets him over and frees the Miz up for bigger things. The Kane/'Taker match told the exact story it needed to (and you're one of the few commentators on this match that seems to realize this). And Ziggler's title run is just getting started.

And then there's the tag team disaster. I can only guess that the Usos beat the Harts so that the next match could involve the Santio/Tamia "storyline". If so, that's a piss-poor reason for squashing the only legit tag team in the company. The Harts should have won the first three matches, then lost to Cody & Drew, giving them a legitimate gripe in setting up a follow up angle. The Harts have done everything they could to save the division, and have remained over despite the company doing nothing to help them.

The ppv was ok,I would give 3 stars out of 5. Orton winning was predictable,was anyone waiting for Miz to cash in money in the bank as soon as Orton won like I was? Danielson winning U.S. title was my favorite part of the show. Evan with the bad finish I think Angle vs Hardy was better than any match at Night of Champions. I wonder if Danielson will still be champ the time of The Dragon Gate show,that would be interesting.

All I can say is that if this was Jericho's last match, the man deserves WAY more respect than that. I understand putting someone over on your way out, but to be totally squashed? Terrible. Morrison should have been involved with Jericho's elimination. That seemed like a no brainer.

Daniel Bryan and Miz were awesome (pun intended) and I was surprised that I enjoyed Undertaker and Kane. Fast forwarded the women's match, and I really wish tag team turmoil matches were not on PPV.

Punk... I agree with everyone else. The man is a great performer and is being buried.

I can remember back when PPV were great and ment something, now they are just a costly version of RAW or Smackdown and outside of Wrestlemanina, not worth spending a sunday night for.

orton wins title - im loving this. orton has been one of my favs since his debut and after years of refining his style and gimmick, he's managed to become the most over face in wwe and will probably be the face of the company from now on. btw, ive also realized a LOT of advertising of orton merchandise on if orton's merchandise sales can replace cena's. then, this is also great for cena, now he's freed from the role of the top face and can finally work on tweaking his now-stale gimmick.
edge (and jericho if he isnt leaving) need to move away from the wwe title or theyre risking becoming main event jobbers. its been more and more apparent from the past few weeks.

kane beats taker - perfect story wise but i could care less about this one.

bryan beats miz - awesome. bryan can work his way up the midcard now while miz moves onto bigger feuds to build up for his cash-in and title win.

ziggler beats kofi - i could care less about this. cmon del rio! kick their ass and make the ic title division entertaining again.

tag titles - im happy for mcintyre and rhodes. theyre an entertaining tag team (especially "dashing" cody rhodes) and it'd be great if theyre getting a good run with the belt.

women's title stuff - why do people even care about this one. they get very little screen time anyways and in whatever screentime they do get they offer nothing exciting ever since the pg era began. someone needs to hammer into people's heads that wwe doesnt care about its female wrestlers and quite frankly most of them suck anyways.

big show beats punk - why oh why did this feud even happen. its made punk go from a main eventer to a total jobber, SES pretty much disbanded and are even bigger jobbers than punk (one of them got fired). as for big show... if anything, this feud made him less "hot", since he came in from the main event picture and came out an upper midcarder at best if not a midcarder. so yeah, this feud was detrimental to everyone's career that was involved. you know what? unless big show's opponent is a giant or a veteran main eventer, this is usually the result of pretty much all his feuds. everyone comes out of them a loser. big show should just stick to fighting either the big guys or the veteran main eventers.


A decent pay-per-view, but not worth $45.

Danielson winning was my mark out moment of the night. Like you Eck, I really thought that Miz would make it to the rope when he tapped out instead. I doubt that their feud is going to end anytime soon.

I don't see why anyone legitimately thought that CM Punk was going to win. It's basically a law that if a wrestler is performing in front of their hometown crowd on live tv, they're gonna lose. Plus I can't think of any way of Big Show losing this match and not suffering from it. I just hope that this program between them is over and they can move on.

The Women's Unification match was terrible, there's just no way around it. At the beginning of the match they showed Layla visibly upset at McCool over what she did on Smackdown, but I guess she got over it quick. And the sad part is, the WWE's Women's dividion tends to be more entertaining than the disaster that is the TNA Knockouts division, which at this point is just The Beautiful People and thinking about those ladies wrestle makes me comatose.

Tag Team Turmoil match... whatever. Hart Dynasty losing to a team that was put together just a few days ago (i think?) just shows how much the WWE really cares about the whole division, what little of it there is. They need to stop with the whole "lets throw two guys together and call them a team".

I really can't believe that Jericho was eliminated in under 2 minutes. If this is the last we see of him, well this blows. I'm hoping that he just stays off of tv for a few months and returns as the old lovable Y2J.

Orton winning, yea, didn't see that ending any other way. I was half expecting The Miz to pop out with the Money In The Bank breifcase, but then realized that Orton isn't going to let The Miz ruin his big moment. Maybe after Hell In The Cell instead?

"My problem with the tag team turmoil match was no Dudebusters or Hawkins/Archer. I mean, they are both THE teams on the Smackdown side of things currently. Agree? I just think they looked stupid putting a team like Henry and Bourne in it, when they clearly had other established teams to throw into the mix."

I agree, but I was wondering why Morrison/R-Truth weren't in it either. Didn't they just wrestle Rodes/McIntyre to a no-contest a few weeks ago on Raw in a #1 Contenders match? R-Truth deserves more than just a short US Title reign in WWE. I'm kind of glad they brought back tag team turmoil, I miss the old tag team turmoil matches back in the day, especially when Flair/Batista won it as suprise entrants back at Armageddon 2003

Here is why Chris is Leaving for a bit....FOZZY — the band featuring WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho and STUCK MOJO mastermind Rich "The Duke" Ward — will return to Australia for the first time since 2005 in December.

Comments Jericho: "Our fans in Australia are some of the best FOZZY fans in the world and we heard your demands, so we are coming back and we are looking forward to tearing the house down with each and every one of you crazy bastards this December!"

The dates are as follows:

Dec. 02 - The Hi Fi - Melbourne, AUS
Dec. 03 - The Factory - Sydney, AUS
Dec. 05 - The Hi Fi - Brisbane, AUS

Tickets go on sale on Friday, September 24.

Wasnt this match contested under no disqualification rules?? If so, why did Cena have to break the STF hold when Sheamus got to the ropes??

"When the gauntlet match was announced, I figured either THD would retain, Cody Rhodes and McIntyre would lose, or someone else would win."
That's one great analysis Leno I'm glad you shared

Funny that Alberto Del Rio was there in spirit via a video compilation.

It's remarkable that Daniel Bryan was the first NXT participant to compete for a title and is the first NXT participant to hold a title, seeing as he was also one of the first NXT participants to be eliminated.

He and Miz brought out the best in each other, and I loved how consistently and convincingly Bryan sold his left arm damage... a great contrast to the "superman" nonsense we see from too many faces (even Kofi). I was shocked by the finish. Now that he holds a title, will Bryan get a proper ring entrance?

I know Miz is probably moving on to bigger things, but I hope there'll be at least a rematch... I want to see those two at it again.

I'm too lazy to actually look this up, but I'm willing to bet anything that Santino Marella has had more victories then Punk in the past two months.

- I'll like to say congrats to Orton as I will not have bet on him as he was such a hot favourite. Also, not bet on such an early elimination of Jericho. I'm even surprised to see Cena being taken by Barett ( given that Nexus did not dish any severe beating ). With Sheamus losing, I should perhaps conclude that Triple H return has been further postponed.

- The best match was indeed Miz/Bryan. You pointed out that mid-air clotheline which was awesome.

- Taker/Kane. Here's a match where I was hoping WWE to surprise me. Pfff, It didn't occur but atleast I did not fall asleep.

- Surprisingly, Morisson/R-Truth was not in the Team TURMOIL. It is perhaps better than to job poorly.

- CM Punk's dive and the Big Show's mid-air splash was the only good moments in the match.

- Kofi-Ziggler was good, being the opening match.

- Cena's stats were impressive and quite funny.

- No comments for the poorly WOmen's match

"Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Jillian Hall, The Bellas, Rosa Mendes or Alicia Fox shouldn't be let anywhere near a wrestling ring. And the new Divas champion Michelle McCool is devoid of charisma and character. I guess it just goes to show it's not who you are, it's who you're married to. . .

Posted by: Barry | September 20, 2010 4:29 PM"

I kinda disagree, well with Eve and Jillian not being allowed to be near a ring, withte right opponents in the past (natalya and yes eve mccool) they look great being carried by them, well esp. in Eve's cas, it was an okay ppv, but is that really saying much at this point?

As we know by now, Jericho did appear on Raw last night and lost to Morrison. Correct me if I'm right, but nothing was said about him retiring. The look of discouragement on his face after the match was palpable. Jericho really is the best in the world at what he does.

"Perhaps The Undertaker should summon Paul Bearer from the dead so that he can “urn” back his supernatural powers."

Well Kev, you were spot on about that! How about Kane pulls the mask back out?!?!

I can't wait for the day wrestlers release commentary tracks to their matches the way directors/writers/etc do for movies.

Man, wrestling is in need of some serious reInvention.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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