Tuesday, 20 September 2011

WWE Night of Champions on Sky Sports - TV Review

It’s time to step into the territory of the mighty WWE once again as we take a look back at their latest pay-per-view offering, with every title on the line at Night of Champions, shown live in the early hours of this past Monday morning on Sky Sports here in Britain.
The broadcast began with the Miz and R-Truth challenging Air Boom, Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston, for the Tag Team titles.

Before the match began Truth introduced his new remixed entrance music, with Miz on backing vocals. Miz was more like Vanilla Ice than Eminem, and I certainly wouldn’t advise him to give up his day job.

This was a great way to open the show. Beginning with a spot that paid tribute to a certain boxing match 24 hours earlier, it proved to be the perfect platform for all four performers.

Bourne and Kingston are really coming together as a team and pulled off some great moves, while Miz and Truth were the perfect foils for them.

The ending was very entertaining, and centred around unseen and unheard tags. Bourne had tagged into the match by clapping his hands together when Kingston was in trouble. The referee, who had his back turned, heard the tag and allowed it.

But moments later when Miz tagged Truth while the referee’s back was turned the referee didn’t allow the tag, and while the official was arguing with Truth Miz took Bourne out with the skull crushing finale for what he thought was the winning pin.

Except that the referee was tied up with Truth. He eventually turned his attention back to the match and Bourne kicked out after a one count.

Moments later it was all over. Angered by what had happened Miz clobbered the ref, and his team was immediately disqualified.

Miz clobbered him again seconds later, and after Truth apologised on behalf of his partner he then clobbered the referee himself. Interesting stuff here.

The first singles match saw Ted Dibiase challenging Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental title.

The two former Legacy running buddies put on a pretty good encounter here. It was an enjoyable back and forth encounter, with Dibiase trying to rip Rhodes’ mask off early on before the son of a son of a plumber took control.

Later on Dibiase was successful when he finally managed to get the mask off, but that tactic led to his downfall. When he tried to clobber Rhodes with the mask the champion rolled him up with a handful of tights for the winning pin.

After an in ring segment between Christian and Sheamus it was on to four way action as John Morrison, Alex Riley and Jack Swagger challenged Dolph Ziggler, accompanied by Vickie Guerrero, for the United States title.

The enjoyment factor certainly continued with this match. We had some interesting three way moments, particularly the one involving Morrison, Riley and Ziggler in the corner, as well as Vickie trying to curry favour with potential client Swagger, with Ziggler playing the jealous boyfriend very well.

There were several near falls, and all four men went chose to taking the win until Swagger took Morrison out with his power bomb before Ziggler pushed him out of the way and pinned Morrison to retain the title. Nice stuff.

The Smackdown main event saw Mark Henry challenging Randy Orton for the World title.

The slow and methodical approach was the order of the day in this one. Henry dominated for the most part with his array of power moves, and I, someone who hasn’t exactly been too complimentary towards him in the past, was quite impressed.

Orton had his moments, but these were few and far between as he just couldn’t put the big man away, and when Orton went for an RKO Henry countered and slammed him down. A world’s strongest slam later and we had a new World Champion. After 15 years Henry had finally made it to the top, although I get the feeling that the powers that be won’t be too happy that he used the W word during his post-match interview.

The ladies were up next, as Beth Phoenix, accompanied by Natalya, challenged Kelly Kelly, accompanied by Eve Torres, for the Divas title.

This match was more than filler material this time around. With her hometown fans cheering her on Phoenix put on an impressive display against the Barbie doll champion, taking her down with an impressive array of power moves, including a top rope superplex.

But when Phoenix went for her power bomb Kelly rolled with the move and rolled up Phoenix for the title retaining pin, beating the Glamazon for the second pay-per-view in a row.

The Raw main event saw John Cena challenging Alberto Del Rio for the WWE title.

The drama started before the match. As Del Rio’s entrance music played he walked to the wing with a face like thunder, asking Ricardo Rodriguez if he had the keys to his cars. Seconds later Cena’s music hit as he drove into the arena in Del Rio’s yellow Ferrari. I’m sure that Clarkson, Hammond and May would approve of this car as well.

Entertaining action was the order of the day in this one. This turned out to be a very good back and forth encounter between two evenly matched men.

Del Rio put in a great performance, possibly the best in his WWE career as he used a variety of moves in his attempt to put Cena away, growing more and more frustrated as the match went on with his inability to put the former champion away.

Eventually Cena countered Del Rio’s cross arm breaker by slamming his way out, following up by taking him down with the attitude adjuster before sealing the deal as Del Rio tapped out to the STF. Impressive stuff.

The big main event saw C.M. Punk taking on Triple H in a no disqualification match, with Triple H having to resign as Chief Operating Officer if he loses.

They certainly saved the best and most dramatic for last with this show. For nearly twenty minutes these two beat the hell out of each other. They brawled around ringside, through the crowd, up and down the aisle, and eventually back in the ring, and when Punk came off the top rope and put Triple H through the Spanish announcer’s table with an elbow drop it looked all over.

But they managed to get back into the ring, and that was when the Miz and R-Truth came down to back up their conspiracy theories by beating up Punk and Triple H. They proceeded to take both men out with their finishers before draping Punk over the Game.

Miz then ordered the referee to count, but when he did Triple H kicked out. This didn’t sit too well with the interlopers, and after initial intimidation the referee slugged Miz, only to get beaten up himself and sent out of the ring.

The two protagonists then proceeded to fight Miz and Truth off, sending them out of the ring. A few moments later Head of Talent Relations or whatever his job title is Johnny Ace appeared. The Dynamic Dude was concerned about the fallen referee, and when a second official came running down the aisle Ace ordered him to check on the fallen referee instead of officiating the match.

It was then that Triple H took Punk down with the pedigree, but with no referee there was no count, but after Punk returned the favour with the GTS suddenly the referee was ushered into the ring to see Truth pulling Punk out of the pin. Mr. Killings was then on the receiving end of the GTS himself.

With the proverbial hell breaking loose the match continued as the Ace grabbed his phone, and it wasn’t long before Kevin Nash made his way through the crowd and into the ring, attacking both men, taking Punk out with a power bomb before the Game grabbed his trusty old sledgehammer to lay Big Sexy out at ringside.

Finally things returned to normal, and Triple H took Punk down with a third pedigree. A three count later and it was all over, the Game had won the match and kept his cushy office job, answering a few questions but asking a ton more in the process, and ending one of the best and most dramatic matches I’ve seen this year.

In conclusion - you’ll have to excuse me for a few seconds while I catch my breath.

Well, this year’s Night of Champions proved to be a tremendous event. Beginning with the opening tag match they moved through the gears nicely before hitting top speed with the outstanding encounter between the COO and his chief tormentor.

It certainly made for great viewing, and although the ending had a lot of twists and turns that didn’t matter, because it was handled perfectly.

So in all Night of Champions gets the big thumbs up from this particular writer as one of the best WWE shows this year, and if you haven’t seen it yet then by all means do so. Find a torrent, search for it on Filestube, or borrow a copy from a friend. You won’t be disappointed.