The very first WWE Network PPV to Watch selection from Daily DDT will focus on the Night of Champions event from 2012.
Michael Cole opens the show talking about the heart attack that Jerry “The King” Lawler suffered six days earlier on Monday Night Raw. He announced that Jerry would be going home that week. Justin Roberts then announced Jerry’s replacement, JBL. The thought of Jerry’s replacement made the crowd boo, but JBL got a very big pop when his music hit.
The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Sin Cara (Fatal 4-Way Match for the Intercontinental Championship)
The Miz came up complaining that he was the only champion defending his title against more than one opponent. He then announced he was filing an official complaint. Miz picks up the win by pinning Rhodes after a Skull Crushing Finale. Really good Fatal 4-Way, Miz and Rhodes played off each other well. They did a good job of teasing Sin Cara vs. Mysterio, then those two delivered when given the chance. It’s easy to forget how excellent this match is, but that’s because it’s ruined by the ending when Miz is essentially blindfolded when he hits his finisher on Rhodes and pins him.
Ahhh, yes. The beginning of this angle. Eve, the Assistant to the General Manager of SmackDown is talking to the Prime Time Players when somebody pulls her away for an emergency. She goes and finds an injured Kaitlyn clutching at her ankle. For those who don’t remember, this came about when Kaitlyn won a battle royal to become the #1 contender for the Divas Championship by last eliminating Eve. The problem is that Eve was supposed to win and be #1 contender. This was their way of taking Kaitlyn out of the match. Of course, the irony is that Kaitlyn would get her first Divas Championship reign by beating Eve a few months later.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Daniel Bryan and Kane for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Bryan knocks Kane off the top rope and he lands on Kingston and gets the pinfall victory. This match was really good, but most of the focus goes on the developing storyline between Bryan and Kane. This was only their second match togehter, and their win was the beginning of the “I am the tag team champions!” line, and that was one of the best parts of 2012.
Booker T, Teddy Long and Eve backstage
Eve tells Booker that Kaitlyn can’t compete tonight. Booker decides to give Eve the title shot because she is next in line. Teddy looks on suspiciously.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder for the United States Championship
Prior to the match, Aksana helps Cesaro describe the match in five different languages. This week’s word is “unfair”. Cesaro hits the Neutralizer on Ryder to retain the title. Another good match. Ryder entered the match by winning a pre-show battle royal. Aksana was really good valet, it’s a shame this gimmick was so bad for Cesaro.
Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga and Ricardo Rodriquez backstage
Otunga and Del Rio are talking about their strategy for banning Sheamus’ Brogue Kick. Ricardo walks in without his neck brace on and Otunga and Del Rio make him put it back on and call him stupid.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton
Orton hits the RKO for the win. This was a great match. JBL went on a rant about the progression of women in society and Michael Cole being sexist. It was really the beginning of the goldmine that is JBL commentary.
Layla vs. Eve Torres for the Divas Championship
Eve wins the title with a swinging neck breaker. Pretty good Divas match. I miss Eve, she was very talented. She looked good in this match, despite Layla’s cartoonish facial expressions.
Daniel Bryan, Kane, AJ Lee and Dr. Shelby backstage
Bryan and Kane are both yelling “I am the tag team champions!” while walking around backstage. Dr. Shelby tries to get them to calm down as they yell in each other’s face, but AJ comes in screaming and gets them to shut up. AJ and Dr. Shelby convince Bryan to apologize to Kane, but Kane leaves when it’s his turn. He returns a few seconds later and pours Gatorade all over the other three and says he’s going to Disney Land. Dr. Shelby is my favorite non-wrestling character ever, he was amazing every time he was on-screen.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus wins with the newly reinstated Brogue Kick and retains the title. A few weeks before Night of Champions, Del Rio and his lawyer David Otunga convinced SmackDown GM Booker T to suspend the Brogue Kick until he could further investigate it. After both men made their entrance, and the match was ready to start, Booker announced that the Brogue Kick was legal. Sheamus promptly started the match by going for a Brogue Kick on Del Rio, but hitting Otunga who was standing on the ring apron. This was a good match that focused too much on the Brogue Kick. This was the third straight PPV, and fourth out of five that these two faced each other for the title, with Sheamus coming out on top each time. So wrinkles like the Brogue Kick storyline were needed to try and keep it fresh, but they should have just found Sheamus a new opponent.
Paul Heyman promo/CM Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship
Heyman says that he is from New York, but he can stand with Boston in paying homage to the great champion that Punk is. Punk had become such a fan-favorite that when he turned heel at Raw 1000 in July of 2012, he needed Heyman to get heel heat. Punk’s a great heel, but he couldn’t overcome it and Heyman pushed him over the top. Punk even tried Yankee pinstripe gear in Boston, and that didn’t work.
Cena pinned Punk by roll-up, but both his shoulders were down as well, so the match ends in a draw and Punk is still the WWE Champion. This is a great match, one of my all-time favorite matches. People love to knock Cena, but he is a very good in-ring performer, and when these two got in the ring together it was pure magic. If Punk ever does come back, I hope it’s to main event WrestleMania with Cena.
Most of the matches on this show don’t stand out as memorable, but they are all very good. There’s not a bad match on this show, and the main event is a classic.