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WWE Night of Champions 2011
by Samoa Rowe
-From Buffalo, NY. Our hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T.
WWE Tag Team Championship:
Air Boom! © (Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne) vs. The Awesome Truth (The Miz and R-Truth)
Truth and Miz rapping on their way to the ring is so pathetic it’s not hard to see why their main event run flopped so badly. Air Boom get a hot start, with Kofi bridging Miz for flying knees from Evan. Truth tags, but Kofi tosses Evan onto him for a DDT. Air Boom connect with stereo top rope dives to the floor. Right on cue, the Awesome Truth turn it around and isolate Bourne for the heat segment. Bourne impressively counters and rolls through the Skull Crushing Finale to make the hot tag to Kofi. Miz eats the Boom Drop and SOS but kicks out. Truth hangs Kofi on the ropes, setting up a Miz DDT that Kofi barely kicks out of. Bourne makes a phantom tag and dives in with flying knees to the chest of Miz. I love it when baby faces cheat. Bourne misses Air Bourne and takes the Miz DDT, but Kofi breaks the cover. Skull Crushing Finale on Bourne, but the referee is arguing with Truth. Miz loses his temper and shoves the official down, earning a DQ at 9:48. This was better than expected, as it rose above the usual formula, though the finish hurts, **¼.
Winners via DQ and still WWE Tag Team Champions: Air Boom!
-Miz hasn’t learned his lesson and shoves the referee down again. R-Truth seems to be talking some sense into Miz, but then turns around and slaps the ref too. Miz rants and raves about a conspiracy as they fade to black.
Cody Rhodes © vs. Ted Dibiase
LEGACY IMPLODES… two years after anyone cares. Dibiase is a heatless baby face wonder, while Cody is at the tail-end of his masked super villain character era. Dibiase scores a clothesline and focuses on the arm. Cody catches him with a Hardcore Holly-esque kick to the groin. That, and a slap to the face, only angers Dibiase, but Rhodes takes control with the Disaster Kick. In 2011, the fans hadn’t yet learned about the joy of chanting for the announcers during boring matches, so instead we get a “We want bags” chant. Cody dominates FOREVER, and the tediousness is made worse when I realized that Daniel Bryan worked the dark match earlier. Dibiase makes a comeback but the fans don’t get behind him. Dibiase rips off Cody’s mask and the crowd is finally showing interest, so naturally Cody pulls the tights in a roll-up for the win at 9:42. I’m not saying they didn’t work hard, but this was the worst kind of boring, heatless, WWE-style mid-card fest I’ve sat through too many times, *.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Cody Rhodes
-Christian comes to the ring to talk. He feels that all of his accomplishments over his 17 year career makes him entitled to “one more match” for the World Heavyweight Championship. Christian reminds the Buffalo fans that their team has never won the Superbowl but still gets them to chant with him. He’s interrupted by recently turned baby face, Sheamus, who the fans aren’t sick of yet. Sheamus says he’d give his Uncle’s lucky green testicle to be champion again. Sheamus offers to help Christian regain the title if he can have the first shot. Sheamus gets the fans to chant “one more match” again to lure Christian into a false sense of security for a Brogue Kick. This kicked off one of those feuds where they wrestled each other on every show and Sheamus won pretty much every time.
United States Championship:
Dolph Ziggler © (with Vickie Guerrero) vs. Jack Swagger vs. Alex Riley vs. John Morrison
Riley goes after Ziggler while Swagger dukes it out with Morrison. Riley finds himself alone against Swagger and takes the fight to him. Riley misses Ziggler on a dive and hits the ring steps. Morrison drop-kicks Ziggler while splashing Swagger for a 2 count. Swagger hip tosses Morrison to the floor and has to face teammate, Ziggler. Riley ambushes Jack with a TKO, but Vickie breaks the cover. Dolph implodes with Vickie, making him vulnerable to a Morrison kick. Riley leaps over Morrison in a tree of woe to attack Dolph, but Morrison sits up for a power bomb! Swagger tosses Ziggler off the top and everyone is down. Morrison build some steam attacking anyone who comes near , but Riley counters Starship Pain. Swagger puts Riley in the ankle lock while Ziggler puts Morrison in the sleeper. Riley shoves Swagger into Ziggler and nails a DDT for a painfully close near fall. Swagger counters Morrison with a power bomb, but Dolph steals the pinfall at 8:16. I’d describe this as enjoyable filler, **.
Winner and still United States Champion: Dolph Ziggler
-Josh Mathews interviews Mark Henry backstage. Mathews speculates that Henry can’t win the big one, prompting Henry to rip the mic from his hands. Henry says his 15 years of experience has prepared him for this night and dares Mathews to come to the ring later to award him the title.
-Vickie Guerrero can barely contain her glee backstage. She tells Matt Striker that she would make a great COO if Triple H loses to CM Punk later on. She plants a kiss on Striker and frolics off.
World Heavyweight Championship:
Randy Orton © vs. Mark Henry
They lock up and Henry tosses Orton like a rag doll. Orton rebounds with quick shots, kicking Henry off his feet. Orton sidesteps to send Henry crashing to ringside. Henry blocks the RKO and nails a big boot. Orton escapes the World’s Strongest Slam and applies a sleeper. Henry backs Orton into the turnbuckles and knocks him to the floor. Henry takes control, wrapping Orton around the ring post. Orton takes a beating but manages to dodge a big splash to signal a comeback. Henry rebounds with a clothesline, setting up the World’s Strongest Slam for only 2! Orton counters the Vader Bomb and nails a DDT. Orton hits the DDT off the ropes but Henry gains the rope break. Henry fights back from the mat, hurting Orton’s leg in the process. Henry easily blocks the RKO and nails the World’s Strongest Slam for the win at 13:03. Average match, great finish and moment, **½.
Winner and new World Heavyweight Champion: Mark Henry
-Josh Mathews interviews Henry in the ring. Henry pulls the mic and accuses Mathews of not believing in him. Henry orders the fans not to cheer for him because they all doubted him too. Henry welcomes the fans to the Hall of Pain and vows to be the most dominant champion ever. Henry would go on to have a fun 3 month reign before once again getting sidelined with injuries.
-WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez bother John Laurinaitis about recent injustices on Raw. Del Rio demands that the WWE start respecting him and storms off. Laurinaitis spots CM Punk and wishes him good luck against Triple H. Punk wonders if that is anything like “Best of luck in your future endeavors.” OOOOH, OOOH, I READ MESSAGE BOARDS AND KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!!!
Kelly Kelly © (with Eve Torres) vs. Beth Phoenix (with Natalya)
I’m becoming more and more self-conscious of the fact that I have an irrational hatred of Kelly Kelly. When I can articulate why exactly, I’ll let you know. I’m pleased to note that Beth is the hometown hero and gets a nice pop from the crowd. It takes far too long for Beth to put Kelly away, and the crowd seems to agree, as they throw “Kelly sucks” chants at the poor dear. Beth impresses with a superplex. This drags on and on until Kelly counters the Glam Slam for the win at 6:23. Would it have killed them to just let Beth go over? Routinely bad divas filler, aside from the fans supporting Beth, *.
Winner and still Divas Champion: Kelly Kelly
-Anti-bully PSA. I’m glad they can take a break from calling Vickie Guerrero fat to promote such a great cause.
Alberto Del Rio © (with Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. John Cena
For some reason, John Cena got shoe-horned back into the title picture, despite CM Punk being owed a rematch after getting ambushed by Money in the Bank cash-in. Del Rio cuts Justin Roberts off during ring introductions so Rodriguez can do it the “right way” in Spanish. Cena berates Del Rio for being a snob and lamely does his own ring introduction as well. Cena dominates the early going until Ricardo trips him from ringside. The referee tosses Ricardo, but Del Rio finds his opening with a kick to the kidney. Cena takes some abuse but connects with a suplex for a 2 count. Cena builds some momentum with a Fisherman suplex, but Del Rio cuts him off with knees to the arm. Cena breaks a headlock with a suplex. Del Rio takes control and Cena is back on defense, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, THIS IS BORING. Del Rio takes his patented hard back bump to the floor, allowing the routine Cena superman comeback. Del Rio blocks the AA and nails the Backstabber for 2. Cena rebounds with a hideous drop-kick, but Del Rio catches him with an enziguri on the ropes. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Del Rio. Cena gets stuck in a tree of woe but sits up in time for Del Rio to thrust himself into the ring post. Flying leg drop by Cena, seeing as Del Rio was considerate enough to stand hunched over in exactly the right spot. German suplex by Del Rio isn’t enough so he hits a flying back senton. Del Rio finally applies the cross arm breaker, giving Cena to show off his strength with a dead lift slam counter. Cena hits the AA, dispatches the interfering Ricardo, and applies the STF for the submission win at 17:27. Another night, another Cena title win. I begrudgingly have to admit that this turned into a good match before it was over, but coming out of the Summer of Punk, this was not the right direction on any level, **¾.
Winner and new WWE Champion: John Cena
Triple H vs. CM Punk
If Punk wins, Triple H has to step down as COO. Punk attacks Triple H before he’s finished posing on the apron, sparking a ringside brawl. HHH quickly attempts a Pedigree on the announce table, but Punk escapes. The match restarts in the ring with a slugfest. Triple H drives Punk’s leg repeatedly in the ring post to establish it as the obligatory injured body part. Punk lands a running knee to the face, but The Game throws him into the crowd. Triple H is all like “Hey, remember when we did this all the time in the Attitude Era and you all loved it?!?” as they fight through the stands. Triple H catapults Punk into the set, but Punk backdrops him over it. As if this couldn’t get more hardcore, Punk throws some duffle bags! Back to the ring, Punk unloads with a chair. Triple H nails a spinebuster and sends Punk crashing through a chair in the turnbuckles. HHH swings a chair at Punk’s allegedly injured leg. Punk puts HHH through the announce table with a flying elbow off the top rope! Miz and R-Truth randomly run in and attack both participants. They place Punk on Triple H for a cover that gets a slow 2 count. The referee blocks a Miz punch and slugs him! That was embarrassing. The Awesome Truth beat up the referee to salvage their credibility. John Laurinaitis strolls out just in time for Triple H and CM Punk to wake up and clear the ring. HHH turns around for a Pedigree on Punk, but the replacement referee is stopped by Laurinaitis. Punk catches HHH with Go To Sleep, and NOW Laurinaitis lets the referee into the ring, but Truth pulls him out. Punk puts Truth down with GTS. Punk flies into position for another Pedigree but he kicks out! Kevin Nash
strolls into the arena and attacks both Punk and HHH. Punk saves HHH from a Jackknife and ends up taking it himself. HHH catches Nash with a sledgehammer shot to the skull. A third Pedigree ends Punk at 24:03. This was the type of match I would expect from a 10 year old playing with action figures, **
Winner: Triple H
Final Thoughts: This was a flat show with a bunch of uninteresting storylines that were happening in spite of better options available (let me mention again that Daniel Bryan worked the dark match). Mark Henry winning the World title was a nice moment, but everything else was forgettable filler. Avoid this one at all costs. Thumbs down.
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