WWE Night of the Champions 2011 – Pay-Per-View Review
By Phil Allely
WWE’s Night of the Champions is a pretty good addition to the organisations long line of PPV events. This one being a bit more special as it guarantees a title defence for every champion and of course in offering that we the fans hope that a new champion or two may be crowned by the end of the night.
Tag Team champions Evan Bourne and Kofi Kngston (known as Air Boom) battled the combo of The Miz and R-Truth in the opener. A reasonable way to kick things off the DQ finish and the post-match referee beat down by Miz/Truth showed them to be real bad losers and also set up their re-appearance later on the card.
Next up the Intercontinental championship was on the line with champ Cody Rhodes defending against Ted DiBiase. The former tag team (as part of Legacy) worked well together and pulled off a thoroughly enjoyable match. Rhodes retaining his gold with the help of a handful of DiBiase’s tights.
The four-way scrap for the United States title was an early highlight in the PPV, John Morrison, Alex Riley, Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler trying to out-do each other with high spots. Ziggler did his usual sneaky heel routine and pulled of the win to keep his belt, this time he allowed Swagger to get Morrison into a prone state and then steal the pin after disposing of Swagger.
The World Heavyweight Title match between Randy Orton and Mark Henry on paper had a good few faults. However as it played out in the ring this odd pairing worked so well that you believed it was a match where anything could happen and both men deserved their place in it. Henry has been in the WWe for so long now we often forget that he has often been a title hopeful and yet never held the world strap in either brand. Orton on the other hand has been winning gold and having top line matches for many years now and will be a huge star no matter if he has the prized item in his possession or not. This was a good bout and even with Orton carrying the larger Henry through most of the set-pieces Henry did cover his back and make his size work for him in his encounters with the more agile Orton. Henrys power and under rated World’s Strongest Slam move proved to be his ace up the sleeve though and he pulled off his first world title with them, leaving Orton flattened in the middle of the ring.
The Divas Title defence by Kelly Kelly against the mighty Beth Phoenix worked reasonably well on most levels. Phoenix covering Kelly’s failing in the ring and even with a few mistimed moves and an ill-judged press move it kind of did its job. Kelly once more pulled off the surprise win to hold on to the belt for another while at least.
Alberto Del Rio had only recently saw his dreams of WWE Title holding come true, so logic dictated that the odds of him losing it so soon after such hype were slim indeed. His opponent John Cena is such a huge star that with or without the title his fans love him and his nay sayers will as awlasy mock him and put him down. Surprisingly though this wasn’t Del Rio’s night, he put up a fair fight against one man gang Cena, but he did end up tapping to the STF. Ricardo Rodriguez’ interference and Del Rio’s heel tactics were no match for the WWE’s poster boy and merchandise machine here.
Last up was the eagerly anticipated No DQ match between CM Punk and WWE’s C.O.O. Triple H (who is now juggling a career both behind the scenes and in the ring, due to low true star numbers in the roster). This all out battle was the perfect finale to events and if it had have been let run its natural course there would not have been a fan who ended up feeling short changed by the result. The brutal actions of both men fed the fans nicely and built up things into a frenzy. As we saw near falls and the combatants attempt their finishing moves we were met with appearances The Miz, R-Truth and John Laurinaitis. This is where things lost the plot and got very confusing, Miz and Truth seemingly were there to ensure Punk won the match, but then they attacked him and things got very muddled for all concerned. It got worse when Kevin Nash (who many had thought was once again away from the WWE) hobbled down to ringside and got himself into the mix, nailing both Punk and Triple H in the process. The perplexing end came when Nash fell to a Triple H sledgehammer shot and Trips then snatched an opportunist pin on a prone Punk (who was recovering from a Nash Powerbomb).
Night of the Champions worked very well in parts and along the way we saw two new World Champions crowned, however the ending of the Triple H/Punk match and the puzzling interference from Nash, Miz, Truth et al all left many dazed and confused as to what had just happened. Perhaps upon a second viewing this will be easier to interpret and may even make more sense.