What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Night of Champions 2011. So, how did this show rank up? Well, let's find out and start the review.
Match #1: Air Boom vs Awesome Truth for the WWE Tag Team Championships
We open up the show with R-Truth and Miz rapping. They rap at how the WWE Universe sucks. The line I found odd was when the King said "Are you kidding me, a song called you suck?". Ummm......anyone remember Kurt Angle and his entrance? Anyway, this wasn't a bad opening contest. Air Boom both have the same color scheme tonight. Kinda weird seeing Evan Bourne wearing glow in the dark pajamas, but what are you going to do about it? Both teams worked pretty well together, which is a good thing because things might not be over between these two teams after tonight. There was a spot where Bourne made a clapping sound to indicate a tag towards the ref and he allowed it. Miz and Truth complain about how Bourne didn't get a tag, but it goes nowhere. To add to all of this, Truth makes a tag towards the Miz, but the ref didn't see it and waives it off. During the argument, Miz hit Skull Crushing Finale and he pretty much has the victory, but the ref and Truth are still arguing. Eventually, the ref makes the count, but Bourne kicks out. Miz gets really angry at the ref and pushes him, thus calling for the bell. In other words, Air Boom wins the match via disqualification. After the match, Miz attacks the ref and Truth tries to calm him down. He eventually creates some distance between the ref and Miz, so be greets the ref by......giving him a bitch slap. Well, you can definitely say that referee just got GOT!!! Now, I bet some people are already pissed off in how the PPV started since we open up with a DQ. Keep in mind that while you want to see good wrestling matches in pro wrestling, you also want to see good storytelling. The story here is Miz and Truth played by the rules tonight, but were denied because in the eyes of Truth and Miz, there is a conspiracy against them. This adds a lot of fuel and fire into their storyline and I want to see how this plays out. I like Truth and Miz working together. They are total opposites, but I like those old couple tag teams in professional wrestling. In a backstage interview, Truth and Miz talk more about conspiracy. It was at this point that something hit me. This was something I didn't think about when writing the NoC Rundown, but just occurred to me as I watched this. Since Truth and Miz performed in the first match of the night and got screwed over, will they be playing a role in the CM Punk/Triple H match since Awesome Truth isn't fond of either of these people? Some people are waiting to call bulls*** on my end if they watched the show, but I was seriously thinking this when I saw this segment. Make of this whatever you will.
Winner via DQ and still Tag Team Champs: Air Boom
Match #2: Cody Rhodes vs Ted DiBiase for the IC Championship
A match that had very little build up going into it. That's a shame because these two have an interesting story, but with WWE taking a break with DiBiase and only putting him back against Rhodes on last week's Smackdown, just feels like it was thrown in at the last minute. This was a pretty physical match between the two. This was also DiBiase's best match out of his career so far. He looked pretty good tonight. If only he would grow a personality, maybe I wouldn't refer to him as DiBlandness. I remember the King trying to talk about how Rhodes is thick minded during the match, but his argument felt really phoned in, as if he didn't know enough about Cody going into this match. Rumors have popped up for years that King doesn't watch Smackdown, and it really shows up at times when King calls some of these SD performers since he doesn't know what to say half the time. You know who I'm pissed off at? The Buffalo Bills. If they had lost in the game earlier today, I would've been able to make a joke in how the audience would have every reason to wear Rhodes' paper bags. Damn you, Ryan Fitzpatrick!!! Not a bad match, but it was somewhat of a drag compared to the opening contest. The match ends with DiBiase takes the mask off of Cody. He's about to use it as a weapon, but misses and Rhodes goes for a rollup while holding the tights and wins the match. The ending pretty much makes this rivalry continue. I would like to see some more development with this storyline with the next PPV coming up....in two weeks. Two weeks? Are you serious? I will get to this matter a little later in the review.
Winner via pinfall and still IC Champ: Cody Rhodes
We are back in the ring where Christian talks about wanting one more match for the WHC. He tries to start a "one more match" chant until Sheamus interrupts. Sheamus says this is NoC, no the night of weasels. He talks about....lucky green testicles? Wait, what? Lucky green testicles? This sounds like one of Hulk Hogan's random lines. Well, at least it makes more sense than double-fisted kangaroo. Seriously, what's a double-fisted kangaroo? Anyway, Sheamus says if he helps Christian get another match, he should get the first world title match against Christian if he wins....
Damn, the heels in professional wrestling can sure be stupid at times. As you would have guessed, he takes the bait and Sheamus is trying to get the audience to do the "one more match" chant. Eventually, Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick on Christian to end the scene. Really, just more build up for their rivalry. Have to assume this will be happening at the Hell in a Cell PPV. Either way, it will kick your arse.
Match #3: Dolph Ziggler vs Jack Swagger vs Alex Riley vs John Morrison; Fatal 4Way for the US Championship
I expected these guys to deliver a good contest, and that's what they did. I definitely wouldn't call it Match of the Night, but it was a fun match to watch. In the early going of the match, Riley did a crossbody onto the steel steps, but I have to think he was aiming for the person on the outside....
Well, at least it looks like Riley is okay after that hit. It appeared the match was over when Riley hit the Fireman's Carry Cutter on Swagger, but Vickie Guerrero put his foot on the rope to save the match. Dolph sees this and questions if Vickie was trying to screw him over. Again, heels in professional wrestling really can be kinda stupid and have a one-track mind. A lot of good stuff to watch in this match. The finish comes when Swagger hits the Gutwrench on Morrison, but Dolph pushes Swagger to the side and steals the match. Vickie seems to be happy about Dolph's victory while Swagger is pissed off. Some people might say this whole threesome storyline went at a stand still tonight, but I think it was a great way to continue the build up. They make Dolph look like a smart heel since he basically stole this match, while it shows the toughness in Swagger. So, was Vickie happy because Dolph won or because Swagger did all the work? Not to mention both guys are seeking her managerial services. It does make things very interesting to say the least. I think we will see something very soon break down between the three of them, but not sure what that could be? Will they both be working together? Is Vickie using Swagger to make Dolph look better or is Vickie plotting the downfall of Dolph? These are all interesting questions. By the way, noticed Morrison took the pinfall in this match. Yeah, do you really need further proof his role with the company has changed since the injury? Riley looked pretty good tonight and it's this type of performance that makes me think Riley might be ready for a singles championship in the near future. Remember, my prediction was for Riley to be US Champ once Survivor Series is over and done with and he's still on track for that to happen.
Winner via pinfall and still US Champ: Dolph Ziggler
Match #4: Randy Orton vs Mark Henry for the WHC
Man, the interviews and commentators are really pushing hard that Henry hasn't won the big one in 15 years of work in the WWE. Are they giving it away? I thought this was going to be a match that dragged, but this honestly might be my favorite match of the night. I wouldn't call it Match of the Night since the Fatal 4Way and the Punk/Trips might be considered the best, but I really liked the work done by both guys. I really think this is the best I've seen out of Henry in his entire career. Henry was dominating the early going of the match, but Orton would often fight back. Orton made this a close contest and you almost think he was able to pull if off, but it appeared he didn't have that extra muscle to get the job done. I really liked how Orton sold this match since he looked good, but he started to show signs of fatigue and being banged up. See, that's the works of a good worker. Not the biggest Orton fan, but the guy tells a good story in the ring. The finish comes when Orton is so beaten up that he's standing on one leg. He attempts an RKO, but Henry counters and hits World's Strongest Slam for the second time and wins this match cleanly. I have to admit, I was a little surprised with this decision. I kinda figured with they way WWE has built Henry's character that he could get the world title, but I never would've imagined him getting the clean victory. Now, I've been guilty of saying I wasn't much of a Henry fan. I just thought of him as a glorified big guy who would never reach the top and he would get that label for the rest of his career, but his recent work as shown me Henry had a lot more to offer. I know a lot of people are very pissed off with Henry winning, but I think he deserved this victory. This finish shows that Henry HAS finally arrived and if Orton couldn't stop him, who will? It will be an interesting story going forward since you know Orton wants to take another crack at Henry and you know Henry wants to prove he's for real. After the match, Henry cut a promo in saying how he doesn't want any bandwagon supporters and proved a lot of the critics wrong tonight. Honestly, he has a point with that statement. Some people might call this kayfabe, but I have to think these were some genuine words by Henry because people have been saying that about Henry for years. The other question after tonight is how long of a title reign will Henry have? It would be overly stupid to have him lose the title at the next PPV. I think they can roll with Henry being champ for a few shows. I think he should drop the title at Survivor Series or TLC to really show his dominance in the WWE. All I have to say is congratulations to Henry, you earned it.
Winner via pinfall and NEW WHC: Mark Henry
There was a backstage scene where Alberto Del Rio was talking with John Lauriniatis. He talks about the unfair treatment towards him since he's the champ, but Johnny Ace tells him good luck. Once Del Rio leaves, Johnny Ace says good luck to another person, which turns out to be CM Punk. Punk talks about how he doesn't buy Johnny Ace's words while. When Punk leaves, Johnny Ace immediately starts texting on his phone....
By the way, I loved the CM Punk Ice Cream Bar T-shirt. Where can I get one?
Match #5: Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix for the Divas Championship
Beth comes out to a very loud ovation with the hometown crowd while they clearly dislike Kelly. This was a carbon copy of their match at Summerslam, but with a minor difference.....the Super Plex. I have to give both ladies credit for that attempt. After the Super Plex, Beth goes for Glam Slam, but Kelly gets ANOTHER rollup and wins the match. Can any person alive figure out how to kick out of Kelly's rollup? What the hell was this? The build up going into this match was for Beth to win the title, but you end the match the same way you did at Summerslam? This kinda shows you're not sure what to do with the Divas Division since you're recycling the same matches from PPV to PPV. I really didn't like this match. The booking did upset me, but I think I'm more upset with the cliche finish. I still don't buy Kelly as a strong champion after tonight. She still looks weak and standing on more golden horseshoes than Sheamus' arse. I don't even think they should do a rematch unless there's a change, meaning Beth or Natalya have to win the next match or else this storyline is a waste of time. Is the purpose of this storyline showing how the real female wrestlers are completely inferior to the model based barbie dolls? The IWC would have a field day if that was the truth. Anyway, I really hope that isn't the case, but I think some people have to think that after tonight. This was a passable divas match, but I wasn't too fond of the booking here.
Winner via pinfall and still Divas Champ: Kelly Kelly
Match #6: Alberto Del Rio vs John Cena for the WWE Championship
Oh boy, I bet there's a lot of pissed off people after this match. Del Rio arrived without a car and yelled at Ricardo Rodriguez since he couldn't find the keys. It turns out Cena stole the keys and committed car theft. Again, wrestling logic since any normal person would go to jail for this. After the in-ring introductions, we are set to being. Did King just say "take that, you gringos" during Rodriguez's introduction? Was King trying to take a shot at Del Rio, cuz it just shows someone who doesn't know anything about the Spanish language. Anyway, after that failed attempt of comedy by the King, the match begins. Very early in the match, Rodriguez interfered and the ref sent him to the back. This made it a one on one contest for the rest of the match. This was a pretty good match. Del Rio and Cena put forth a pretty entertaining match. We even saw some new moves by Del Rio in this match. Again, Del Rio is a good wrestler, but it's his cliche heel stuff that makes him seem boring. The finish comes when Cena hits AA, but Rodriguez shows up again to interfere, but it fails. Cena locks in the STF and Del Rio eventually taps out. So, we have a new WWE Champion....again. The champ being Cena.....again. And the booking is weird....again. Now, I imagine there's a lot of people very pissed off with this decision, and I honestly can't blame you. I respect Cena, but he shouldn't have gotten the championship back already. Does Cena have some weird disease where if he goes too long without a championship, he dies? This might tell me a few things after tonight. Has the WWE given up on Del Rio? I would hate to think of all the time and money they invested in Del Rio that they cut his championship reign in one month, but maybe they took the title off of him so he can win the championship WITHOUT the use of MITB. If that's the case, that would get Cena to change his opinion of Del Rio since he sees him as a person who got a fluke title win. Still, I have to think that maybe the WWE has no faith in Del Rio and realized he wasn't ready for this championship. A lot of it was rushed and Del Rio falls into the territory of an average heel at the end of the day. Even with that said, I still didn't like this decision. Cena doesn't need the title, especially when it happens right after CM Punk's rise to the top and then leaving the championship picture...for now at least. Was that the plan? To quickly develop Punk and make sure Cena had the title in the least amount of days possible? I just get tired of seeing Cena win the title all the time. I understand he's the face of the company and will be there for a really long time, but I'm getting a little tired with all of Cena's title reigns and I think most people are burned out as well....at least the fans that aren't under eight years old. I will be optimistic since I don't see Del Rio completely walking out of the title picture and he will most likely get another shot. Just one of these things where it tells a story and people have to wait for the climax of a story, which is what a lot of wrestling fans forget to realize most of the time. Even thought I wasn't fond of the booking, I can't take away from the fact this was an entertaining match to watch. Still, can't take away the fact Cena winning doesn't seem to make much sense. I have to think bunching a PPV two weeks after another one might have played a large factor with Cena's victory. Either way, Cena is the champ and the IWC is writing up "We hate Cena" article #786290. By the time this review is posted, that number will reach OVER 9.......million. Ha, did you think I would use that meme?
Winner via submission and NEW WWE Champion: John Cena
Match #7: CM Punk vs Triple H; No DQ Match, if Trips loses, he is no longer the COO
Before Trips can ejaculate the water from his mouth, Punk attacks and we immediately begin the match. This was a very physical match. In fact, it wasn't a wrestling match, this was a brawl/fight. These guys are fighting in the stands, throwing weapons at each other, Irish Whip through barricades, all that jazz. What really hurt this match was the audience. What happened? They seemed to have a lot of energy for the Del Rio/Cena match, but now they are completely dead. Are they exhausted from the Bills football game and the PPV, or was Buffalo so bitter about Cena winning that they didn't care what happened for the rest of the show? I have said what makes a good match is audience participation, and the audience just didn't seem to care about either Punk or Trips. That's a damn shame, because they put forth the most physical and brutal match of the night. The spots during the match looked devastating and it seemed like both guys were going the extra mile tonight. Just a shame the audience can put anyone to sleep while watching this match. I really liked the spot where Punk hit the Flying Elbow on the Spanish announce table. Very brutal spot. It was also during this match were Michael Cole lost his voice completely and it was King and Booker T calling the rest of the action. Something about the pairing of King and Booker didn't seem to mesh well together, but I bet the anti-Cole fans were loving every moment of this. I just wasn't a fan of how they called this match, and it did miss whatever Cole would have brought to it, or dare I say, Jim Ross? Anyway, the match was going fine, you had to think with the DQ stipulation that shenanigans would come into play. Ok, now prepare to see a classic example of overbooking in professional wrestling. Truth and Miz show up in the middle of the match and attack both guys (I had a feeling it would happen). Miz hits SCF on Trips while Truth hits Facebuster on Punk. They put Punk's arm over Trips and force the ref to count. The count happens, but Trips kicks out. Miz and Truth get angry at the ref and attack him. With the ref out, Johnny Ace arrives to check on the ref. Punk and Trips are back on their feet and take out both Truth and Miz with their moves. Trips eventually hits the Pedigree on Punk, but no ref there to make the count....
No, not that count. Anyway, Johnny Ace motions for another ref to show up, but wants that ref to deal with the beaten up ref as opposed to sub. Trips questions all of this, which allows Punk to get back up and he hits the GTS. It appears Punk is going to win, but Truth arrives to break up the count (what?). At this point, the other ref goes down and Johnny Ace pulls out his cell phone. A few minutes later, Kevin Nash arrives through the crowd and attacks both guys. Nash is about to hit the Jack knife on Trips, but Punk makes the save. It didn't last long since Nash hits the Jack knife on Punk. Nash goes to the outside to deal with Trips, but Trips uses a sledgehammer to take out Nash. Trips gets back in the ring and hits a 3rd Pedigree on Punk, which finally ends the match. The show ends with Trips signaling the DX chop on Punk....
Holy crap, I thought for a minute I was watching TNA wrestling. A lot of overbooking going on here tonight, but let's back it up a moment and talk about some of these interferences. Well, it makes perfect sense for Miz and Truth to attack both guys. They attack Trips because they think he's the one holding them back and they attack Punk because he's getting all the attention. Now, it appeared they wanted Punk to win the match, but what doesn't make any sense is why would Truth break up Punk's pinfall attempt? If he wanted Punk to win, why break it up? It just doesn't add up. Then again, the excuse can be Truth is so bats*** insane that he doesn't know what he's doing at the moment, but that's stretching it. Johnny Ace showing up wasn't much of a surprise, but it isn't quite clear after tonight who he was trying to screw over. We have to assume (at least in terms of filming and possible kayfabe) that Johnny Ace texted Nash to attack someone, but did he want Nash to attack both guys? If that's the case, why? That part seems a little baffling since it would make sense to target one person, but maybe Johnny Ace did want Nash to attack one person. Maybe Nash had a different agenda tonight? Is it possible that Johnny Ace is secretly taking orders from Vince McMahon and just wants punishment on both guys? That actually makes sense considering Vince can't stand Punk because of his change and can't be too fond of Trips for basically stealing his job. Was this match overbooked? Yes, but at least the people involved had their own motives for wanting to attack certain people, so that makes a little bit of sense. Still, overbooking can really hurt the value of a match and I can see people be very pissed off after this. Now, I can already see the complaints regardless of the overbooking events since many felt Punk should have won the match and he just "jobbed out" to Trips. Again, why is it the IWC assumes a "job" is when someone loses? That's not a job. A job is losing a match in less than two minutes. Punk went through hell in a 20+ minute match. How did he job out? I have never liked how that term is loosely thrown out there. Seriously, go on the websites and you'll see this term more often than say Super Cena. What I get out of tonight's match is we have more questions now than ever before. You have to think Punk can't be too happy with all of these people getting involved and possibly tampering with his victory. In fact, I'm sure Trips' character might feel the same way after tonight. He had a very physical match with Punk, and maybe after tonight, he grew to respect Punk and realize this guy can hang with the big dogs. If you watched the ending of the match, Trips gave this look towards Punk that said "Damn....this guy can go". With that said, Punk fell short tonight and you have to think this matter isn't closed. This could be one of those things where Punk and Trips work together since maybe Trips was innocent in all of this and was just a guy being set up from the very beginning. A lot of people have to remember that while this overbooking stuff and Punk losing isn't the popular move, wrestling is about telling a story. There's more to wrestling than seeing a quality wrestling match. You want to see compelling storylines and strong character development to get you interested in not only the match, but the story being told by the party members. A lot of the time, wrestling fans forget this fact and focus mainly on the booking factor, while there are many variables that make a show interesting or complete garbage. I will admit the match tells an interesting story that should see more daylight in the next few weeks, but the fan inside me is a little disappointed in Punk losing and the overbooked s***. In other words, I have very mixed feelings after watching this match since I don't like overbooking in wrestling. This might have felt very TNA/Vince Russo-ish, but at least it had better choreography.
Winner via pinfall: Triple H
I think there's one phrase that comes into anyone's mind when they watched this PPV; mixed bag. This really was a mixed bag sort of evening. A lot of people will be very upset with some of the booking decisions and people do have the right to be upset about that. Then again, booking isn't everything on a wrestling show and the thing I look for is in-ring quality and the entertainment factor. I think when you look at it like that, NoC did deliver in that department. There was some pretty good matches to watch this evening. In fact, only the Divas match is a match I would consider to be lackluster, but everything else was at least passable to very watchable. Even when you take out the crazy overbooked main event, it was still a good match. I would definitely say the WWE has taken several steps backwards in PPV quality when you compare this to MITB or Summerslam, but those PPVs were on a different playing field and it would be somewhat unfair to grade every PPV in regards to those two. Despite this, NoC was an ok evening. If I had to grade this PPV on a scale of 1-10 and 5 being average (I don't do decimal points on this show. I'm different from the wrestling websites), I have to give NoC a 6 out of 10, meaning this was a slightly above average PPV. I can see a lot of people disagreeing with that ranking. I might be a little generous with that ranking, but I look at this score and I gave WrestleMania 27 the same score, but I enjoyed this PPV a lot more than I did WM. This was a decent PPV, but it wasn't anything special since in many ways, it felt like a glorified TV taping outside of the Punk/Trips match. I wouldn't say this PPV is worth the re-buy on PPV, but I think this might be a show worth checking out on DVD or a possible addition to your DVD collection. Again, there was some good matches tonight, but I can understand people being very upset with the booking. I think last year's NoC was a lot more put together than this year, but it was not a bad evening. We do have a lot of questions after tonight's PPV. Will Del Rio be getting back in the main event or has he been taken off for good? What will happen between the triangle relationship between Dolph, Vickie, and Swagger? How will Henry's reign as world champion go? What will Punk and Trips have to say after tonight's match and what will Miz and Truth do after this? There's a lot of interesting storylines after tonight, and those are the things I'm more interested in as opposed to booking. Yeah, Cena winning is very disappointing from my perspective and I really wanted to see Punk and Beth win, but you can't always get what you want. A fair evening for the most part, but I have to think this PPV was booked the way it was tonight because Hell in a Cell is in two weeks. Damn, WWE. Do you think you could've given HIAC and extra week to build up? Only two weeks? I think this might have been the main reason for a lot of the booking decisions tonight, and I have to think this is poor planning on the WWE's part. For the most part, I dislike it when there is three weeks or less to build up a card because it often feels rushed and it doesn't give you enough time to get invested in the card. Not to mention the last two HIAC PPVs haven't been very exciting and really fall short of the HIAC match. The same thing happened with last year's HIAC card and it was tough to get into another PPV when we barely had enough time to get over the last one. Again, I feel some of the booking decisions made tonight was because of HIAC. Well, only time will tell. A very mixed feeling from a lot of people after tonight and it's understandable, but we will see what they do as the WWE goes forth. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, tell me what you thought of my review and tonight's show. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.
WrestlingNerd's Official Score of WWE Night of Champions: 6 out of 10
WrestlingNerd's Favorite Match of the Night: Randy Orton vs Mark Henry for WHC