Night of Champions 2012: Send This Show To Disneyland. It’s Earned The Trip.
Date: September 16, 2012
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
It’s another WWE PPV here and in this case almost everything is for a title. This doesn’t really mean much as almost every show has four or five title shots but it’s an interesting theme I guess. The main event here is Cena vs. Punk III for the title with Punk defending for once, which is the third combination they could go with in their series. Other than that not much really stands out here so let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Battle Royal
Brodus Clay, Epico, Primo, Justin Gabriel, Tensai, Tyson Kidd, Michael McGillicutty, Zach Ryder, Titus O’Neal, Darren Young, Jinder Mahal, JTG, Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater, Ted DiBiase, Santino Marella
The winner gets a US Title shot at Cesaro later in the night. Cameron is back from suspension apparently. Anybody but Santino. Anybody. Slater asks everyone to stand back so he can dance and he’s eliminated by 15 people at once. McGillicutty is thrown out as is DiBiase in about 40 seconds. Brodus dumps Primo and Mahal a few seconds later. The problem in battle royals is that there isn’t much else to say other than who tosses out who until we get to the end. Brodus puts out Epico and Tensai LAUNCHES Gabriel out.
Kidd is sent to the apron and tries a slingshot hurricanrana but gets powerbombed onto the pile of people. The monsters square off and Santino tries a double Cobra to no avail. The Players and McIntyre team up and dump Brodus, who may have hurt his shoulder. The Cobra puts JTG out and Ryder dropkicks McIntyre out. Brodus leaves and his shoulder seems fine so maybe it was just something quick. There’s the Cobra and it drops Tensai and Young, with the latter getting covered.
O’Neal dumps Santino and we’re down to Titus, Young, Tensai and Ryder. Titus suplexes Young onto Tensai before the partners go after Ryder. The Players double team Ryder but get dumped by Tensai. Tensai thought Ryder went out but he slid back in. Tensai charges into the double knee in the corner but he blocks the Rough Ryder into a powerbomb position. He goes to dump Ryder but Ryder counters into a hurricanrana to eliminate Tensai for the win at 5:42.
Rating: C-. It’s a battle royal so there isn’t much to say here. Ryder getting the shot is fine as the fans are going to react to him. He doesn’t have much of a chance against Cesaro but that’s ok as I’m sure more than one other title will change hands tonight. This was about what you would expect, but at least Santino didn’t win which would have been insufferable.
The opening video is all about Cena vs. Punk. They aren’t even hiding that the Smackdown Title means nothing does it?
Cole talks about the Lawler story and says that Jerry is going home this weekend. That’s great to hear. JBL is introduced as the replacement and says that he’s just keeping the seat warm for Lawler.
Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Sin Cara vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes
Before the match, Miz complains about having to be in this and says that he’s going to file a complaint against Booker T for making him do this. Miz is champion coming in if you’re new at this. Rey is sent to the floor to start but Cara sends Cody to the floor as well before armdragging Miz outside too. Cody and Rey come back in as Cara drops to the mat for no apparent reason.
It’s time for the masked guys to fight. I know this has been a match people have wanted to see and I’m not really sure why. Rey takes Cara down for two but Cody makes the save. The unmasked guys go at it for awhile and everything breaks down. Rey goes up but takes too long so Cara goes after him. The Disaster Kick hits Cara but Miz breaks up a superplex so he can hook a Tower of Doom which gets two on Rey. Miz sends Cody to the floor as the fans sound like they’re chanting for Cody.
The short DDT gets two on Rey but Cara comes back with some high flying stuff to send Miz to the floor, followed by a big dive. Rey hits a headscissors on Cody on the floor followed by a seated senton off the apron. Cara gets two on the champ off a slingshot senton but he gets sent into the corner for the corner clothesline from Miz. Rey comes in with a kind of Vader Bomb for two (why has that move become so popular lately?) but Cody jumps him from behind for two of his own.
Cara puts Cody in 619 position but gets sent into the post by Miz. Miz goes after Rey but winds up taking the 619 instead. The top rope splash gets two for Rey on Miz but Cody saves. Cody tries to steal the pin on Miz but Cara saves. Cody goes for Cara’s mask but Rey saves. Rey gets sent to the floor with his sliding bump and Cara hits Cody in the head with an enziguri from the apron.
Cara tries to put another mask on Cody but Miz runs in and hits a backbreaker/neckbreaker combo for two on Cara. Miz tries to powerbomb Cara but Cara puts the mask on him instead. Cody tries Cross Rhodes on Cara but Miz bumps into them (he can’t see because of the mask) and hits the Finale on Cody for the pin to retain at 12:42.
Rating: B-. This was a great choice for an opener as they hit a great streak of near falls and saves in there. The ending was creative but I’m really not sure what it added. Miz pinning Cody doesn’t mean anything significant and he would have hit the Finale on him in that situation if he could see or not. Good opener here which got the crowd fired up.
The Prime Time Players are talking to Eve when someone comes up to tell her there’s an emergency. Eve runs off and finds Kaitlyn down with a bad ankle. She isn’t sure who attacked her but Eve says they’ll figure out something.
We recap the Anger Management story with I believe the same video that aired on Friday. Basically Kane and Bryan both have anger issues and have been sent to anger management, resulting in some wacky outcomes and a tag title shot tonight.
Kofi Kingston/R-Truth vs. Kane/Daniel Bryan
Kane and Kofi start but it’s quickly off to Truth. The big man powers Truth down and it’s off to Bryan for some NO kicks which drive him crazy. Truth armdrags him down and it’s back to Kofi with a top rope forearm for two. A BIG kick to the face puts Bryan down and it’s back to Truth for the spinning legdrop. The champions are the heels here by default, but it’s more like they’re just the less popular team.
Back to Kane who pounds Truth down into the corner and stomps away a bit. Back to Bryan and the fans erupt. The fans are going to turn this guy face by force soon and it’s going to be massive. Bryan fires off some kicks for two and it’s back to Kane for a low dropkick for two. The challengers try to work together but Bryan misses a dropkick in the corner and it’s time for a fight.
They almost brawl but Bryan wants to hug it out, drawing the pop of the night so far. JBL freaking out over stuff is something I’ve missed. Truth FINALLY makes the hot tag after apparently writing the great American novel while the challengers hugged. Kofi hits his usual stuff and it sounds like the fans are booing him.
Kane pulls Bryan to the floor to avoid Trouble in Paradise and they get in another argument. Kofi dropkicks Kane and (almost) hits a flip dive onto Bryan. NO Lock to Kofi doesn’t work as Truth makes the save to more booing. Bryan kicks Kofi in the face but Kane tags himself in and loads up the clothesline. Another argument with Bryan lets Kofi run up for a rana but Bryan holds Kane’s foot. Kane stays on the top but Bryan shoves him off into a splash to Kofi to win the titles at 8:30.
Rating: B-. This was different but the fans ate it up with a spoon. There was absolutely no other option for this match as Kane and Bryan are currently over like free beer in a frat house. The pop for the win is bigger than probably all of the reactions for a tag title match in the last five years combined, so at least people are paying attention now.
Both guys say they’re the champions post match but Kane sends fire from the posts to end the argument.
Kaitlyn can’t go tonight and Eve says no one deserves the title match tonight. Booker says Eve can have it. Teddy isn’t pleased.
Cole and JBL talk about breast cancer and how WWE is partnering with a cancer research foundation which is why the middle rope is pink. Nothing wrong with that at all.
US Title: Zack Ryder vs. Antonio Cesaro
Ryder won the preshow battle royal to get this shot. The word of the night is Unfair, which is what Cesaro thinks this match is. Cesaro takes him down with ease to start but Ryder takes Cesaro down by the wrist to counter. A flapjack and dropkick get two for Ryder but Cesaro shrugs them off and hooks a chinlock. A clothesline gets two for Cesaro as does the gutwrench suplex.
Cesaro gets the same off a regular suplex and the fans cheer for Ryder. They slug it out but Cesaro throws him into the air and hits the European uppercut for two. Cesaro hooks a reverse neckbreaker but pulls Ryder onto his back for a submission hold. Ryder escapes and hits a discus lariat for no cover.
A rollup gets two for Ryder as does a middle rope dropkick. Ryder hits a neckbreaker for two and Cesaro rolls to the apron. He goes up but Ryder brings him down with a hurricanrana. Ryder loads up the Broski Boot but Aksana pulls him to the floor. Back in and a European Uppercut sets up the Neutralizer to retain the title at 6:40.
Rating: C-. This was perfectly fine. It wasn’t a great match at all but for a thrown together PPV title defense this was fine. Cesaro needs a bit more development but he’s fine having random challengers like this one. Ryder is good to throw out there as the people still like him so the fans react to what he does. Nothing great but this was fine.
Otunga, Del Rio and Rodriguez are in the back. Ricardo has his neck brace off and Otunga yells at him, saying it needs to be on at all times even though Ricardo says it’s not hurting anymore. They call Ricardo stupid and he puts the brace back on.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton
Basic grudge match here. The fans like Ziggler and they fight over a lockup to start. Ziggler avoids a right hand and brags about doing so. A clothesline takes Ziggler down and Randy stomps away. Dolph comes back with a dropkick and a neckbreaker for two. Cole is playing the straight man on commentary here tonight and it’s really refreshing. Orton counters a suplex into a slingshot suplex for two.
The backbreaker sets up some clotheslines from Randy but he can’t hook the Elevated DDT. The camera keeps cutting to Vickie and it’s getting distracting. Ziggler tries a hurricanrana but Orton counters into a powerbomb. Orton gets shoved off the top and a missile dropkick gets two for Ziggler. Dang it quit cutting to her. We get it: she’s on the floor and shouting a lot. We can see that very clearly from the regular camera shot.
Ziggler drops a bunch of elbows capped off by the jumping elbow for two. Off to a chinlock with the headstand by Ziggler but this time he bridges forward to crank on the neck even more. Back up and another dropkick gets two for Ziggler. Dolph goes up but gets crotched and superplexed down for two. They slug it out and Ziggler holds his own. He runs into an elbow but takes Orton down with the Fameasser for two.
They head to the floor with Orton taking over. He hits the Elevated DDT off the barricade but Orton throws Ziggler back in instead of taking the countout. That only gets two back inside and Orton loads up the RKO but gets countered into the sleeper. Orton throws him off his back, throws Ziggler into the air and pulls him into the RKO for the pin at 18:15.
Rating: B+. Very good match here with Ziggler more than hanging with Orton. JBL pushed the idea that if Ziggler cashes in, Orton should get a title match. My guess is that they’ll go with that feud after Orton gets back from the movie which isn’t a bad idea. I’m not wild on Ziggler losing AGAIN but at least it was in a competitive match.
We get a sneak preview of Dredd 3D.
Divas Title: Layla vs. Eve Torres
I can’t say I blame them for swapping in Eve. Kaitlyn just can’t do anything in the ring. JBL is talking about the Loch Ness Monster and other conspiracy theories for some reason. Layla grabs a quick rollup for two followed by a headlock. You can see the fans walking to the back during the match. A low dropkick takes Eve down and they shake hands, only for Eve to get a cheap shot to take over. Eve hooks a headscissors choke as the fans chant OLE. Layla makes a comeback but misses her bouncing cross body. The rolling neckbreaker gives us a new champion at 6:35.
Rating: D+. The match was technically fine but my goodness the crowd being silent brings it down. Eve being champion makes sense but it’s not like the title changes anything with her. She’s FAR better in the ring than some of the girls on the roster so I can’t complain much there, but they’ve treated the title like nothing for so long that this doesn’t mean anything at all.
Some cancer survivors are here and at least they’re not booed.
Now we get a video about breast cancer.
Bryan is shouting about being the tag team champions and runs into AJ who is just standing around with her hips cocked to the side in a short skirt. She doesn’t say anything so Bryan keeps walking and runs into Dr. Shelby. Kane shows up and shouts that he’s the tag champions (I’m not messing up with grammar. That’s what they’re saying).
They get in another fight and AJ snaps and tells them to calm down. Shelby makes Bryan congratulate Kane but Kane won’t say anything. Bryan yells that he’s the tag team champions but Kane pops up and pours Gatorade over Bryan. Kane: “I’M GOING TO DISNEYLAND!” Stop the shot. Just cut it now. This isn’t going to be topped. Kane can be heard running off shouting that he’s the tag team champions and AJ loses it with laughter.
The look on JBL’s face somehow makes it even better. “I came back for THIS???”
After that hilarious moment, we bring it way down with a recap of Del Rio vs. Sheamus. In short, they had a match, Sheamus beat Del Rio, they had another match, Sheamus beat Del Rio again, Del Rio complained, now they’re having another match and Sheamus can’t use the Brogue Kick.
Smackdown World Title: Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus
Sheamus is in mostly white attire here which isn’t a great look for him. We get the big match intros which is a nice touch. Before the bell here’s Booker T. He’s concluded his investigation into the Brogue Kick and the move is legal, thereby making the last two weeks TOTALLY POINTLESS. Sheamus fires a quick Brogue Kick but takes out Otunga instead. Referees come out to take Otunga to the back.
JBL defends his own loss to Mysterio in 23 seconds as Sheamus pounds away in the corner. A neckbreaker gets two for Sheamus and we head to the floor where Sheamus hits the shoulder from the apron. Del Rio throws him off the steps into the announce table to take over. Back in the ring and Del Rio cranks on the arm followed by a kick to the ribs. Del Rio uses Seth Rollins’ Blackout for two. Cole is talking about the history of the title and thankfully they say it only goes back ten years.
Sheamus’ shoulder gets sent into the post and a double ax off the top to the arm gets two for Alberto. Del Rio goes up again but Sheamus knocks him off, only to have Alberto grab an armbreaker over the ropes. An attempt at another ax handle is countered by an ax handle from Sheamus. Sheamus fires off more running ax handles and rams Alberto face first into the post.
There are the ten forearms in the corner and Alberto is in trouble. White Noise is countered into a Backstabber for two. The fans want Ziggler. The Cross Armbreaker is countered into White Noise and the fans still want Ziggler. The Brogue Kick misses and there’s the enziguri in the corner for a very close two. Another Brogue Kick misses but Sheamus escapes the Armbreaker but he can’t hook the Cloverleaf.
Sheamus charges at Del Rio but gets low bridged and his arm is trapped in the ropes. Del Rio fires away kicks and Sheamus is in trouble. There’s the Armbreaker but Sheamus rolls on top of Del Rio and powerbombs him down to break the hold. Brogue Kick misses and there’s the Armbreaker AGAIN. Sheamus almost taps but makes the ropes with his feet instead. The corner enziguri misses for Del Rio and the Brogue Kick finishes clean at 14:27.
Rating: B. These matches are fine but there are three problems with the feud. First and foremost, the story is incredibly boring. I mean, they’re REALLY boring. Second, Sheamus is not going to tap out to the Armbreaker. It’s flat out not going to happen, just like 99.99% of all heel submission holds in world title matches. It just does not happen in the WWE. Third, Sheamus has beaten him twice coming into this so what was the point of a third match? This feud needs to be over now, just like it needed to be over a month ago. Still though, pretty good match.
Video on the National Guard which has some members here tonight.
We recap Punk vs. Cena. Punk has been champion for about ten months but he thinks he can’t get respect because of Cena. Tonight he gets to define his reign, whatever that is supposed to mean.
Heyman is in the ring and praises Punk, saying that Punk has described himself as a Paul Heyman Guy.
Raw World Title: John Cena vs. CM Punk
Punk has the old school hoodie on and comes out first. Cena has a new shirt. Punk’s trunks are Yankees colors. My goodness they’re pushing the tar out of this heel turn. After the big match intros we’re ready to go. Punk is getting booed but it’s not 100%. He holds up the title for like a minute before the match starts. It’s a pose off and Cena throws his shirt to the crowd where his dad catches it.
Cena takes him to the mat and Punk’s trunks even have pinstripes on them. Cena gets a quick headlock but it’s released quickly. Cole and JBL keep rattling off stats and histories which is much better than Cole laughing at stuff. A quick release fisherman’s suplex puts Punk down but Punk elbows Cena in the face to escape. Punk takes over with a headlock takeover and the dueling Cena chants begin.
Cena misses a charge in the corner and Punk dropkicks him in the face for two. They’re still in first gear. Punk walks over Cena’s body to get to the corner for some posing. That was awesome and he escapes the AA attempt on top of that. A DDT gets two for Punk and he fires some elbows to Cena’s chest. Off to a chinlock followed by a bridging Indian Deathlock and Heyman has those evil eyes going on.
They head to the floor as Cena tries to get a breather but Punk sends him right back inside. Cena baseball slides him to the floor and throws Punk into the crowd. A suplex on the floor takes Punk down and we head back inside. The AA is countered into a high kick and it’s off to a camel clutch. Back up and Punk fires off some jabs for two. The GTS is escaped and Cena starts his finishing sequence, only to counter the spinning slam into a cross body for two.
Cena avoids the neckbreaker and takes Punk’s head off with a clothesline for two. The Shuffle is blocked and Punk gets two off a neckbreaker. Punk goes up for a cross body but Cena rolls through into an AA attempt but Punk grabs the rope to block. Cena busts out a suicide dive to take Punk out. Not bad at all. Back in and Punk slaps on a very quick Anaconda Vice but Cena gets on top of Punk and puts on the STF. Punk rolls out of that into a Crossface but Cena stands up with it and slams Punk down to escape.
They slug it out with Cena taking over but he walks into a leg lariat. The knee in the corner sets up a clothesline followed by the Macho Elbow for two. Cena counters the GTS into the STF and JBL (I feel like I’m on Sesame Street) freaks out. Punk gets to the rope and the GTS hits clean for two. A kick to the head gets two and Punk slaps him in the face. GTS and AA are escaped but Cena hits the spinning slam and Shuffle followed by the AA for a VERY close two. Heyman looks like he’s 13 and finding a Playboy.
Cena goes up but misses the top rope Fameasser and there’s the high kick for ANOTHER close two. They’re in the main event slugout mode now and it’s great stuff. Punk hits some shots to the face and a spinning backfist. A knee to the head gets two and Punk goes up, only to miss a moonsault. It wouldn’t have hit even if Cena had stayed in the same place. AA is countered and a not so great GTS gets two.
Punk tries a Rock Bottom for two. Cena hits an AA out of nowhere for two. Cena puts him on the middle rope and tries a belly to back superplex but Punk knocks him off. John runs right back up and hits a middle rope German for the pin and the title at 26:54. Both of their shoulders were down and I think you know where this is going.
Yep the referee is saying not so fast (my friend) and it’s a draw.
Rating: A-. While it’s not as good as MITB (that’s an unfair expectation though) and a bit below Summerslam if I remember that match right, this was still top shelf stuff. The ending sets up another match in the Cell where it belongs and I’d certainly like to see another match between these two. I’m not wild on the ending but it makes perfect sense. Great match too.
Punk clocks Cena with the belt.
Overall Rating: A-. This was an excellent show with nothing bad on it at all. The worst match was probably the Divas and that was pretty much fine. Most importantly of all though: they treated the belts like something that mattered tonight and it made a noticeable difference. JBL on commentary was great and Bryan/Kane are still great. You had two really good matches and a bunch of other solid ones. Very good show here and probably their best PPV since Wrestlemania.
The Miz b. Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio and Cody Rhodes – Miz pinned Rhodes after a Skull Crushing Finale
Kane/Daniel Bryan b. Kofi Kingston/R-Truth – Kane pinned Kingston after a top rope splash
Antonio Cesaro b. Zack Ryder – Neutralizer
Randy Orton b. Dolph Ziggler – RKO
Eve Torres b. Layla – Spinning Neckbreaker
Sheamus b. Alberto Del Rio – Brogue Kick
John Cena vs. CM Punk went to a draw
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