Tuesday, 21 September 2010

WWE Night of Champions on Sky Sports - TV Review

It’s the only night of the year where every title is on the line as WWE presented their annual Night of Champions, shown live in the early hours of this past Monday morning on Sky Sports here in Britain.

The show began with Dolph Ziggler, accompanied by Vickie Guerrero and her rookie Caitlin, defending the Intercontinental title against Kofi Kingston, with Kingston able to win the gold if Ziggler got disqualified or counted out.

With their Summerslam encounter having been spoiled by the Nexus, this was the chance for these two to shine.

And shine they did, putting on a very entertaining opener, with Guerrero sending her rookie away early when she showed some sympathy for Ziggler.

From there we got some great back and forth action, with Ziggler taking the pin after taking Kingston out with the zig zag, or whatever the hell it’s called.

One final thing - can we stop Matt Striker’s obsession with Vickie Guerrero?

The only non-title match followed, as C.M. Punk faced the Big Show. Well I guess there had to be one non-title affair now that ECW is dead and buried.

Punk did a great job before the match even began. After his hometown fans cheered him into the ring the Straight Edge Superstar alienated them with just a few words, proving he’s one of the best promo guys in the business right now.

The good work continued as soon as the bell rang as he took the big guy down with some big shots, dominating the match until Show took him down with a spear as he came off the top rope, getting the job done with the big knockout punch.

Then it was back to title action as Daniel Bryan challenged the Miz for the U.S. title.

As Michael Cole spouted his usual anti-internet bile from ringside Bryan and the Miz put on one of the best matches I’ve seen in a WWE ring quite a while.

It was a great back and forth affair, perhaps the Miz’s best performance as Bryan had to contend with the attempted interference from Miz’s protégé Alex Riley.

But in the end the former ROH World Champion secured the win as the Miz tapped out to Bryan’s Labelle lock, and I for one am pleased that his talents are finally being recognised on the big stage.

The ladies were up next as Melina and Michelle McCool sought to unify the Women’s and Divas titles in a lumberjill match.

I had a feeling beforehand that this was going to be nothing more than filler material, but it turned out not to be as these two put on a very enjoyable encounter.

The Divas at ringside did their part as they heavily favoured Melina before the obligatory mass brawl, with Michelle’s buddy Layla trying to help out before McCool secured the win after connecting with a big boot to unify the titles.

The first main event saw the Undertaker challenging Kane for the World title in a no holds barred match.

This was pretty much the same stuff we’ve seen from these two off-and-on for the past fourteen years. No technical wrestling here, this was nothing more than a big brawl as the Brothers of Destruction fought all over the place, with Kane dominating most of the action.

The Dead Man had a few fleeing moments of offence, but in the end it just wasn’t enough as Kane countered the Undertaker’s tombstone attempt with a tombstone of his own.

Don’t get me wrong, this was an enjoyable match, it’s just that we’ve seen it all before.

Tag-team turmoil followed as the Hart Dynasty defended their Unified titles against the Usos, Santino Marella and Vladimir Koslov, Evan Bourne and Mark Henry, and Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes.

Now this felt like filler material. The Usos eliminated the Harts and Marella/Koslov early, before being eliminated themselves are Bourne’s shooting star press.

It was then that it felt more like a regular match as Henry and Bourne faced McIntyre and Rhodes. Bourne becoming the punching bag of the team until Henry got the hot tag. The strongman only lasted only a few moments until he tagged Bourne back in, who soon fell to the cross Rhodes finisher.

The second main event saw Sheamus defending the WWE title against John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, Wade Barrett and Randy Orton in a six pack challenge elimination match. (Pauses for deep breath.)

The surprise in this match came early on as Jericho was the first man gone, eliminated after Cena took him down with a bulldog and Orton took him out with an RKO, and with Y2J promising to retire if he lost the crowd were kind of hushed as he left the arena.

When the action re-started Edge and Sheamus went on to form an unholy alliance before Edge fell to Cena’s attitude adjuster.

Cena was the next to go, distracted when the rest of the Nexus ran down to ringside, giving Barrett the chance to pin him after his wasteland slam.

Nexus remained at ringside as Barrett squared up to Orton, but as Cena attacked a couple of them with a chair they were soon sent running for cover, with Barrett not far behind them after Orton took him down with an RKO.

This left Orton and Sheamus, and it wasn’t long before Orton took the Irishman down with another RKO to claim yet another WWE title.

In conclusion - another very enjoyable show from WWE here. This year’s Night of Champions featured matches that ranged from good to great, and although the Raw main event delivered in spades for me the match of the night was the encounter between Daniel Bryan and the Miz.

It seems that now they’ve had some success with C.M. Punk the creative team finally know how to handle former Ring of Honor talent, and long may it continue.

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