Night of Champions 2011 – Henry…Wins?

Night Of Champions 2011
Date: September 18, 2011
Location: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Jerry Lawler

This show is an interesting one as you don’t really need much in terms of backstory for a lot of the matches. Most of them are there because we need title matches. However, the Raw title match is one of the least interesting feuds and title matches I’ve seen in a very long time. I just don’t care about why this match is taking place and there’s not much heat built up between the two guys. The main event is likely Punk vs. HHH with the Game’s job on the line. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about champions. Oh and HHH and Punk who aren’t champions but are going to be in the main event tonight.

I love those banners with the titles hanging from the ceiling by the entrance. They’re cool looking.

Tag Titles: Air Boom vs. Awesome Truth

Works for an opener. There’s some new referee and Kofi vs. Miz starts us off. Miz tries to be all aggressive but that’s not his thing at all. A big forearm puts him down and it’s off to Bourne. The champs are moving fast tonight. Off to Truth and everything breaks down. The champs hit stereo dives off the top to pop the crowd. That’s why you have high flying tag champions.

Back inside and it’s Bourne vs. Truth which didn’t go well for Mailbox Man on Friday. It’s time for Bourne to play face in peril and he does it well, getting double teamed by Miz and then getting taken down almost immediately after Miz breaks up a tag. Miz hammers away a bit but Bourne gets in a kick to the head after breaking a way too early Finale attempt.

Hot tag to Kofi who doesn’t resemble Robert Gibson but he cleans house anyway. Boom Drop is broken up by Truth but he gets sent to the floor quickly. SOS gets two on Miz. I’d like to see that move be brought back more often. Miz grabs a short DDT for two and there’s no referee because of Truth. Bourne makes a fake tag and tries Air Bourne but Miz moves. The idea is the referee is an idiot. DDT gets two on Bourne and there’s a blind tag by the challengers but THIS doesn’t count. Finale hits Bourne but Truth has the referee again. Miz is so ticked off that he shoves the referee and we’re done at 10:00.

Rating: C+. Fun match as they were all moving out there. I like the actual proof of the conspiracy and it might come back later on. Also it’s good to not give them the titles just yet as the champions need a bit more resume building stuff as they haven’t really beaten anyone yet other than the former Nexus team who got beat by Ryder and Lawler a few weeks ago. Fun opener.

Miz and Truth yell about the Conspiracy post match and down goes the referee.

Miz and Truth yell at Striker about the Conspiracy and threats against HHH are made. End of show shenanigans?

Intercontinental Title: Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase

This was set up quickly on Smackdown or maybe after it so it’s not like this means much. DiBiase shoves him to the corner and that gets him nowhere. A pair of kicks, one of the drop variety, gets a pair of two counts. After being slapped, DiBiase tries to channel his inner Austin with a Thesz Press and right hands but that just isn’t him. Back up and Ted is back down with the Beautiful Disaster.

Rhodes takes over with his basic strike stuff, working on the ribs and the face. Camel clutch goes to an abdominal stretch on the mat as I guess he’s working on the ribs, despite having a neckbreaker style finsiher. We get a test of strength of all things which doesn’t go to anyone in particular. Another dropkick by DiBiase misses and it’s back to the abs which doesn’t work as well this time.

A third version of it is back on the mat as Rhodes really likes DiBiase’s abs I guess. After a few more seconds it’s a spinebuster by DiBiase to plant Rhodes. There’s not much to say as the feud here is kind of vague and not really developed at all. The Beautiful Disaster Part 2 The Return/Revenge/other cliched sequel titles is countered by another dropkick (can DiBiase do anything else?) and they go to the corner. Rhodes uses the mask headbutt but is pulled back down and unmasked. He swings it at Cody but is caught in a rollup with tights for the pin at 9:50.

Rating: C. Not bad here but this should have been on Smackdown rather than a PPV. There’s no real reason to see these two fight but they’re trying at the same time I guess. DiBiase has nothing to do here and Rhodes is REALLY needing an opponent as the midcard face pool is pretty weak. Bryan is too big for it and that’s about it. Not good but it means he’ll have the title for awhile.

Here’s Christian to want ONE MORE MATCH and he wants it after Henry vs. Orton tonight. He makes fun of Buffalo for never winning a major sports title (heat as old as time) and then asks the fans to chant one more match. They actually do but here’s Sheamus. Christian is a weasel and here’s some more Irish jibber jabber. Sheamus says if Christian gets one more match, Sheamus wants the first shot. The fans chant one more match and Christian’s head winds up in the front row via a Brogue Kick. Simple but effective as usual.

US Title: Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison vs. Alex Riley vs. Jack Swagger

No tagging here thank goodness. They pair off but it’s down to Riley vs. Swagger quickly. Riley gets a Rock Bottom for two. It’s one of those matches where some people stay in the ring and others chill on the floor. Riley is knocked off the apron and may be injured. It’s Morrison vs. Swagger in the ring at the moment and scratch Morrison from that list. Now we get the potential Team Vickie showdown which Vickie is MAD about.

Swagger sends him to the floor and Riley isn’t hurt I guess as he comes back in and hits a TKO for two. Vickie breaks up the pin and Ziggler yells at her for it. Morrison hits that same kick that Cody uses for two. Fameasser gets two on Morrison. This is hard to keep track of. They’re sticking around with Morrison vs. Ziggler for awhile and Johnny is trying something to Dolph who is sitting on the top. Here’s your WHAT WAS THAT spot from Morrison.

He gets caught in the Tree of Woe with Ziggler sitting on the top. Riley goes up to try something on Dolph but Morrison does a power situp and Germans him off the top. Swagger comes in with a suplex and everyone is in now. Morrison hits the standing C4 for two on Riley. He loads up the Starship but Riley moves.

Swagger grabs the ankle lock on Riley but Ziggler has Morrison in the sleeper. Both holds are broken and Riley hits the inverted DDT on Swagger for a VERY close two. Jack grabs Riley’s ankle again and Riley takes a low blow. Morrison comes in but walks into the gutwrench powerbomb and Ziggler steals the pin to retain the title at 8:30.

Rating: B-. I liked this one as the false finishes were great. It’s pretty clear they’re setting up for the Swagger vs. Ziggler feud over whose double G’s are harder to pronounce. This was fine though and a good way to push Ziggler stronger as a heel who is stealing the title. I liked it and I’m not usually a fan of multi-man matches.

Henry says he has 15 years of hatred built up. I think he means cholesterol built up but whatever. He wants Josh to come out and interview him when he wins the title.

Vickie is happy and says she’s seen her future. Everyone wants to work for her and her talent has been recognized and things are about to happen. She wants to be the new COO if HHH loses.

Hell in a Cell is in two weeks. Give me a break.

Another Henry video which we’ve seen a dozen versions of over the last few weeks.

Smackdown World Title: Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton

After some big match intros we’re ready to go. According to Booker the WCW Title and the WHC have the same lineage. Orton fires away at him and manages to get him down, setting up the Orton Stomp. The knee drop ticks Henry off but he jumps to the left (Time Warp?) and sends Henry to the floor where he’s all ticked off. Back in HENRY GOES GYMNAST with a big boot to the head. That was impressive.

Orton grabs a sleeper which wouldn’t be a bad idea IF EVERYONE DIDN’T USE IT ON BIG MEN. Naturally it doesn’t work here either and Orton is put on the top rope. Henry clocks him upside the head and Henry takes over on the floor. With Orton’s body wrapped around the post, Henry pulls back to injure the back and to draw a Gumby reference. I didn’t expect one of those but Cole played the Gumby card.

Henry stands on Orton’s back with no rope support. FREAKING OW MAN!!! The big splash only gets two and then another two off a not very serious cover. Henry is toying with him here but Orton gets up for a second. He’s not up for two seconds as Henry takes him down and chokes a bit. Orton hammers away with his two kinds of strikes. Henry takes him down but the second splash misses and here comes Randy.

Orton fires off a bunch of punches in the corner and Henry is in trouble. The clotheslines don’t work and Henry isn’t sure what to do. There’s a dropkick and Henry heads to the apron. He puts himself in elevated DDT position but Henry fires back with a headbutt. This has been good so far. There’s the World’s Strongest Slam for two and Henry is ticked off. Henry sets for a Vader Bomb but Orton moves.

He goes after the knee and hits a DDT to take Henry down. It’s RKO time but Henry rolls to the apron. This time the DDT works and I think the tides just shifted. It’s only two though because that’s not his finisher and Henry grabs the rope instead. Henry pulls a Bret Hart and plays possum so he can get a shot to the leg in and Orton is slowed down. Now he’s looking at him like a plate of shrimp puffs. Orton gets up and pulls himself up with Henry’s singlet and tries an RKO. That gets countered and the RKO makes Henry the champion at 13:11. It had to happen someday.

Rating: B. I can’t believe it but I’m ok with this. They built this guy up over the summer and then gave him the title. It’s about time as he was pushed for years on and off and just never got there. This is the right time though and we need some fresh heel blood on Smackdown. Good moment here and something that Henry deserves, which I can’t believe I’m saying but it’s true.

Henry says he’s never going to lose the title.

Del Rio isn’t happy with Johnny Ace about having to team with Ricardo on Monday but Ace says that it was HHH’s move. He wants more respect (Alberto) and Ace says he’ll get it. Team Mexico leaves and here’s Punk. Ace wishes him good luck and Punk turns that around, implying Ace means good luck in your future endeavors.

Divas Title: Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix

The fans are totally behind Beth and the power is too much for Kelly to start us off. The fans say she sucks, and I’m sure she does. Kelly gets in a few shots but the power is still too much for her. There’s not much to say here as it’s almost all dominance. Kelly gets in a bulldog to break things up and is booed out of the building. Eve and Nattie get into it outside and Kelly is beaten down again.

Kelly grabs a small package (isn’t that how she got this job?) for two but the K2 is blocked and Beth takes her head off with a clothesline. Kelly is put on the top rope and gets killed by a superplex. Both chicks are down though as you would expect. That only gets two for Beth and it’s Glam Slam time. In the EXACT same finish from Summerslam, Kelly rolls through for the pin at 6:47. Give me a break.

Rating: C-. The superplex was awesome but the ending being EXACTLY the same thing as Summerslam makes it look pretty freaking stupid. Kelly getting booed out of the building on the pin is funny stuff and it’s definitely a good sign, even though it’s the hometown pop more than anything else. Not a good match but for the Divas it’s not all that bad.

We get a really good video package on the history of the WWE Title and all the champions (ok not all) over the years. Cool stuff.

Raw World Title: Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena

Del Rio isn’t in his car and is in blue tights. Cena has the car, appearing to be a Ferrari, much to Del Rio’s dismay. Alberto wants Ricardo to do his Big Match Intro as he wants the accent right. Cena does his own intro, adding in a bunch of nicknames like the Fighting Fruity Pebble and rubbing in that Del Rio thinks he’s better than everyone. Slow feeling out process to start without much happening for the first few minutes.

Ricardo trips Cena and is tossed out like an illegal Mexican alien. Del Rio gets a kick in to the ribs and works on the back. This is a rather boring match so far but maybe they’re going for the slow build. Del Rio works on the back with various offense and works on the back even more. The first almost eight minutes of this have been pretty basic but they’re going for a slow build…I think.

Cena gets in a shot to break up the momentum and is greeted with a You Can’t Wrestle chant. Double clothesline puts both guys down. Del Rio kicks away and puts Cena on the floor with a right hand. Johnny fires back for a bit but can’t get over Del Rio’s offense. Cena finally takes him down and starts up his ending sequence with the shoulders and You Can’t See Me but the AA doesn’t work that fast of course.

Del Rio counters with a backstabber of all things for two. The cross armbreaker is broken up and Cena gets a dropkick for two. Cena loads up the top rope legdrop but Alberto hits the running enziguri for two. This is getting better. Cena gets a boot up in the corner and tries the STF but can’t hook it. Tilt-a-whirl gets two for Del Rio. He puts Cena on the top rope and pulls him into the Tree of Woe. Alberto tries a spear but Cena sits up to send Del Rio’s shoulder into the post with a SICK crunch.

Now the top rope legdrop hits for two. Alberto gets out of the AA again and the Mexican hits a German on the American for two. Del Rio goes up and hits a senton backsplash for two and there’s the armbreaker but it’s not on full. Cena rolls over and pulls him up into a powerbomb sort of move for two. While we’re watching the replay Cena hits an AA and here’s Ricardo. Cena hooks the STF and I don’t think the knee bends that way. Alberto taps to give Cena title #948 at 18:37.

Rating: B. Well it got better as it went to say the least but Cena just wins the title again? It’s just kind of there and makes Alberto look weak, which he already did during the title reign. I mean, points for staying in the STF for that long but why did they change the title that fast? Oh, because we need a HIAC match for the title next month and Alberto wouldn’t be much in there. Good to see the calendar screwing over the booking again.

Cole’s voice is wearing out.

Now we recap the non-title match which is the main event of a show about titles. So there’s a huge ordeal about the text that someone might have sent and Nash wants Punk but Nash is fired and sent himself the text and it doesn’t make sense but I’m sure we’re supposed to keep watching or whatever. This takes awhile and if you don’t know it, go read my Raw recaps.

HHH vs. CM Punk

Punk has a shirt with a WWE Ice Cream Bar on it. I could really go for one of those. This is no DQ/no holds barred. Punk jumps him on the floor and the brawl starts out there. They go over to the table and the announcers aren’t sure if they’re on or not. Ok into the ring now and the banana trunk wearing Punk fires off some kicks, countered by good old right hands.

Pedigree is countered and HHH sends Punk to the floor. This has been mostly HHH but it’s definitely not domination. Cole is saying about one line a minute as his voice is gone. Back on the floor now with HHH sending the knee (not the side of the leg, the kneecap) into the post. Punk fires back, bouncing off the railing and hitting a knee to the head of HHH up against the post.

HHH is like PUNK YOU and throws him through the barricade out into the crowd. He’s all fired up and yelling about Stephanie. This brutality is working better than I thought it would. They fight deeper into the fans and Punk grabs a trashcan to throw at the Game’s head. They’re up by the stage now and HHH sends him chest first into the set. They go onto the stage but HHH can’t hook the Pedigree.

Punk throws him off the stage and dives down to drill him. This isn’t falls count anywhere I don’t think. Punk rams the head of the COO into the set and is in control. They’re back at the ring now and Punk pulls out a trashcan. He drops that and shifts to a chair instead, popping the Game in the back a few times for two. HHH grabs a spinebuster and sends Punk into the chair that Punk wedged between the top and middle ropes.

HHH clips Punk and then puts the legs around the post. He grabs the chair from earlier and slams it into the knee into the post. He’s cerebral here so taking out the knees takes away the kicks and the GTS. Punk channels the power of Chicago and sends him into the steps. This has been a solid brawl so far. HHH grabs a monitor but Punk kicks him with the good leg. I’ve never gotten how that works. Wouldn’t he want to stand on the good leg?

In the big spot of the match, HHH is put on the table and Punk drops the Macho elbow through the Game and the Dudleyville special, killing both guys. They both crawl back to the ring and we get a cool replay from the crowd so you only see Punk flying and not the impact on HHH. Lawler: “That was Savage.”

Both guys get back in the ring and Miz/Truth come out to beat down both guys. SWEET! We’re actually getting some stuff from earlier in the show playing through to the end! They lay out both guys and put Punk’s arm on HHH but it only gets two. It’s No DQ so this is fine. Awesome Truth calls Conspiracy on the count and takes down that annoying referee Scott Armstrong. Get out of the ring and take your hitched count with you!

Here’s Johnny Ace who waves down someone but Punk is back up. He takes down Truth (sending him to the floor and right onto Armstrong) but walks into a Pedigree…with no referee. Ace tries to get a referee in but the guy is out. A second referee is here checking on Armstrong but HHH walks into the GTS. Now the referee is back in (thanks to Ace) but Truth breaks up the pin. GTS to Truth as this is getting awesome. Scratch that, it’s been awesome (truthfully).

Punk tries his springboard clothesline but jumps into a Pedigree….FOR TWO. I would have bet on that being the finish. And of course here’s Nash through the crowd. Good thing the camera was waiting on him to come in. He takes out both guys but is beating on the Game more than on Punk. He sets for the Jackknife but Punk saves HHH. Now he (Punk) takes the Jackknife but Nash drills HHH on the floor. He loads up the announce table but HHH is up with a sledgehammer to take Nash out. Back in now and ANOTHER Pedigree finally ends this at 24:09.

Rating: B+. This was one of those matches that was so insane but for the most part it made sense. Miz and Truth coming in is a great thing and I don’t think anyone really thought Punk was going to win at the end of the day. I liked it and the kickout of the Pedigree shocked me. The whole thing was a fun brawl on top of that and the ending wasn’t exactly what I was expecting (the buildup to it, not the ending itself) and it was great all around. Very good stuff.

Overall Rating: B+. Pretty entertaining show overall with the big match being great and a nice surprise in Henry winning (what am I saying???) plus good stuff with Alberto vs. Cena, odd booking aside. The Conspiracy is a nice touch and the whole thing worked pretty well I though. I had fun with this show and I wasn’t really looking forward to it otherwise. Good stuff here and a fun PPV.

Air Boom b. Awesome Truth via DQ when Miz shoved the refereeing
Cody Rhodes b. Ted DiBiase – Rollup
Dolph Ziggler b. John Morrison, Alex Riley and Jack Swagger – Pinned Morrison after a powerbomb from Swagger
Mark Henry b. Randy Orton – World’s Strongest Slam
Kelly Kelly b. Beth Phoenix – Victory Roll
John Cena b. Alberto Del Rio – STF
HHH b. CM Punk – Pedigree


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7 Responses

  1. newc868 says:

    I just flat out didn’t like this PPV. The booking was pretty crap (except from Henry/Orton) and the commentary was so, so bad. Example: Cole: “Great teams have held these tag titles like Edge and Mysterio, someone and DX” Why not Edge and Christian? Why not the Hart Dynasty? Why not people who held the titles more than once ?

    Beth losing in the exact same manner just annoyed me so much. Hometown crowd, Kelly is boring as hell with the title at the moment and two months of build up for nothing. I know it’s just the Diva’s division but still set the tone for the entire show.

    Also, Ziggler is the biggest idiot in wrestling. When Vickie broke up the pin attempt by RILEY on SWAGGER, he shouted at her “Did you just cost me my title?” over and over and even the commentary picked it up and repeated it.

  2. Rocko says:

    I don’t really get why Rio lost, I thought he would get a cheap win. I don’t care how long title reigns are or how many reigns someone has (I just care if it’s entertaining), but I still don’t get the logic here. Else than that, this show was really good. Suprised to see Henry win here, as I thought the HIAC would have been a much better place for him to win.

  3. Jay says:

    I too enjoyed NOC tonight with plenty of stuff going down. I was surprised Mark Henry won tonight even though I had a feeling he might’ve. John Cena winning was a surprise but that gives ADR a Rematch to continue the Feud. HHH/Punk was fun and all the run-ins was crazy stuff,can’t wait to see where that goes next. I also liked the 4-Way and Divas Matches alot too. Now got a quick turn around for HIAC in 2 weeks.

  4. Your Eternal Reward says:

    While I figured I wouldn’t enjoy the PPV besides the WWE title match everything else was good. Henry just feels right as champion as his push didn’t involve taking down a few low carders then getting a DQ loss at the PPV, this time he took out two former world champions and bested another one. It just feels right. The main event has got me interested in the Punk/HHH/Johnny Boy/Miz&Truth/Nash fiasco.

  5. Mozz says:

    Go away Crock. No one likes you. On another note, how bout that Divas match Kb? The crowd was hot

  6. The Crock says:

    I really enjoyed this PPV, I agree with your overall rating. I was happy to see Henry win, but I’m curious what they’ll do at Hell in a Cell. Are they really going to put Henry over Orton, clean, two PPVs in a row?

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