Just got in from attending the show at the Garden.
Going into the main event I was leaning towards thumbs in the middle but Punk and Cena had their workboots on and put on a good show and they sent the crowd home happy. Battle Royal was better than it should have been and got Drew over for the US Title shot. The four way was ok and I can now say I have seen Mistico live. (And Dos Caras Jr too but that is later). Glad Miz kept the belt. Tag title match was decent short and progressed the Daniel and Kane odd couple angle. US title was nothing special nothing terrible. Orton and Zgigler was very good there were a lot of Dolph supporters around me. The ladies title switching challengers then changing the belt to Eve really made no sense and their match died. Seamus and Del Rio were good but not a show stealer. Punk and Cena had what I would say a ****1/4 star match with Heyman's expressions being priceless. Best part was Punk using the Rock Bottom for the "sure win" and Cena kicking out...They are back in Boston in April and were selling tickets right after the show at the box office
Best Match: CM Punk vs. John Cena
Worst Match: Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder (by default)
Just finished up watching Night of Champions, and cannot really think of any legitimate complaint without nit-picking. Since Raw went to 3 hours, there had been a clear decline in overall quality in accommodating this new constraint. The problems were almost nonexistent tonight, which leads one to think that 3 hours is only viable with wrestling-heavy content versus Raw's typical format. Not necessarily relevant to the show tonight, just an observation of ideally allotted times.
-4-way Intercontinental title match- Fun match, but I expected it. Most of Sin Cara's faults were easily covered in this match. What struck me was how Miz has slowly grown into a competent overall wrestler. Last year, it was hard for me to take him seriously; I felt like I was watching someone play wrestler versus actually being one. This year, I find myself on the other side of the coin.
-Tag title match- Basic match that served its purpose. Daniel Bryan is another guy who has improved as an overall performer, beyond what I thought was possible, considering from whence he came prior to WWE. Even the goofy WWE comedy is great with Bryan doing it because he actually understands delivery and timing, and is able to work through things that would be otherwise stupid on the part of creative.
-US title- Again, very rudimentary, nothing wrong with it. I love Cesaro speaking 5 languages on TV even though his word choice really doesn't fit the translations well. He's someone who should be the champion since they clearly see some type of potential to him beyond his value as a cult hero a la Santino and Ryder.
-Divas title- These two worked well together. Shame the crowd didn't care and will continue to relegate them to afterthoughts.
-Dolph-Orton- Fun match, Dolph continues to prove why he needs to be pushed beyond jobbing to main eventers. At this point, regardless of how many good matches he has, as well as his overwhelming crowd reaction, I don't think I could take him seriously as a world champion without considerable rehabilitation.
-Sheamus-Del Rio- Another good match. The storyline Brogue Kick ban was a colossal let-down. No build up, no allusions to Booker's investigations, nothing beyond one skit on Raw. Another observation: WWE needs to stop doing the Rampage slam in their matches! It doesn't work if the lift isn't some spectacular feat of strength, which has not happened in the 5 years I remember them doing the spot.
-Punk-Cena- Fantastic match, good story, better athletically than their match last year in Chicago, in my opinion. I found myself suspending my disbelief more often than I normally would, which means wrestling still works.
JBL on commentary was the best part for me tonight. He brought a refreshing breath of legitimacy missing for the past 5 years and he also brought the best out of Michael Cole as a play by play.
Mitch Brown (dynamite)
Best Match: Cena vs. Punk
Worst Match: Layla vs. Eve
Overall Thoughts: Average show, with two matches really standing out and pushing my thumb from in the middle to up. Ziggler vs. Orton was phenomenal, and the latter half of the main even was also very good, though the finish fell really, really flat. Everything else was average to decent. I thought that JBL did a fine job on commentary (aside from a couple of "Striker" moments) and definitely wouldn't mind him making more regular appearances in the booth. Lawler information was handled well, and it's great to hear the positive progress he is making.
Pre-show Battle Royal: Fine stuff here. The Santino stuff was cute, and I thought that the final exchanges between Ryder and Tensai were really fluid and well done, considering his size. These matches never cease to amaze me when the nobodies trot out. Lot's of "Wow, he's still employed?" moments. Unbelievable how Tensai went from monster push to jobbing to Ryder on the pre-show in less than a year. Yikes.
The Miz vs. Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio: I thought this was really sloppy early on, but it picked up toward the end. I assumed that the pre-match promo that Miz cut ensured a title change here, but I was glad to see that he retained. I was excited to see a bit of one on one action between Cara and Mysterio, but it wasn't nearly as good as I thought it would be, and instilled a doubt that if they ever do a feud between the two sometime down the road that it won't be very good. I don't know, I feel like this type of match is one where Cara could have shined, especially considering who he was working with, but he just didn't come through for me. A lot of the spots just felt "off". Finish was clever.
Kofi and Truth vs. Kane and Bryan: Nothing much to say about the in ring action. It was fine. I was not a fan of the story. I just didn't get why helping each other would create tension and anger between the two. I mean I kind of get where they were going, the whole "I want to do this on my own, I don't need you" thing, but they needed to play that up in the booth. The whole thing made little sense though. Not surprised to see the title change here.
Cesaro vs. Ryder: Theme of the night thus far; it was fine. What else can you say? Cesaro looked good, Aksana looked exceptionally good (albeit in a different way), and Ryder was decent.
Orton vs. Ziggler: Awesome, awesome match. One of my favorites of the year thus far. Ziggler is just so damn good, and I'm itching for him to cash in that briefcase more than ever now. It was amazing how he turned the crowd from 60% Orton/40% himself at the beginning to what seemed to me like 70% him/30% Orton by the end. The guy is the real deal. Orton was fantastic as well. Draping DDT spot was great, as was the finishing RKO. Great stuff here. I thought for sure that them going on before the WHC match--coupled with Ziggler losing--ensured a cash in tonight, but I was wrong, which raises the question in my mind of why Randy was booked to go over. I guess it's stupid to ask.
Layla vs. Eve: It was fine. Still the weakest match on the show.
Sheamus vs. Del Rio: I am so sick of this feud. I just don't care anymore. They both need to move on. I was floored that they spent the last week trying to get the submission over and then just dropped the stipulation before ringing the bell. Stupid. Again, the match was fine, but it didn't feel any different from what feels like the 100 previous ones these guys have had.
Punk vs. Cena: Whole thing really reminded me of an ROH main event, which I personally loved. Started out slow, but turned into a match of the year contender by the end. The near falls were awesome, and you can get away with doing that type of match a couple times a year. Absolutely loved the Rock Bottom spot. Genius, and really should have been the finish if they are building towards Rock vs. Punk at the Rumble. That finish though. Ugh. I figured going in that it would be dusty, presumably Punk retaining after a run-in, and they could play up the cliched "nobody gets in or out" angle leading up to Hell in a Cell next month, and I actually would have much preferred that over what we got tonight. A draw just feels so cheap. I don't know. I was relieved that they didn't put the belt on Cena, as it seems pretty clear the direction they are heading is Rock vs. Punk at Rumble and Cena vs. Rock II for the title at Mania. Punk holding until the Rumble seems to add strength to both programs, with Rock finally bringing an end to Punk's lengthy reign showing that "he's still got it", and Cena going after the belt after having not held it for over a year. It'll be interesting to see what they do next month and leading into January to say the least.
Thumbs up show
Best match - Cena v Punk close second Alberto and Sheamus
Very much enjoyed the show. I feel like this puts Alberto Del Rio in a weird spot, he has
failed repeatedly. Not sure if this feud will continue, but think Alberto needs a new opponent.
Punk told a great story throughout the match. He plays such a good smarmy heel. I laughed
so hard when i saw the boyish haha smile on his face when the referee gave him the belt, it was
Night of Champions
Im from Manchester, UK so it normally takes a lot to make me stay up till 4am! Most of the time I fall asleep during the divas match, but this show actually felt like it was bigger than the average B show. I don't know if it was coming off the back of the Lawler thing, a raucous Boston sell out crowd, JBL commentary or maybe it was just a good wrestling show!
COMMENTARY : JBL was fantastic tonight, playing the heel commentator which comes so naturally to him. Cole was pointedly more straight than we have seen him in years. This stood out the most in the Ziggler/Orton bout when Cole took the usual Lawler viewpoint that Vickie Guerrero's screeching at ringside is annoying. Cole is much more effective in this way, and he seemed to call the action a lot more, and spoke more technically - and at one point used the term "wrestling". JBL's skill at the announce table meant he was able to sell the heel but just as importantly he was selling the baby faces by acknowledging their strengths where necessary but making smart sometimes funny jibes at them. The work done by the two elevated the show.
THE MATCHES :
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE : Miz vs Sin Cara vs Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes
Pretty solid opener for the US Titles, and some good spots from the luchas. Miz and Cody worked hard too and I enjoyed this match. ***
TAG TEAM TITLE - Kofi & Truth vs Kane & Daniel Bryan
Strong match I believe. Yes the focus was comedy led but it just works with these two. Good to see them win the tag tiles, makes perfect sense and I'm looking forward to seeing more of this pairing. Keeping Bryan out of the title picture is wise at this point because it pads out the star power through the shows. ***
US TITLE - Antonio Cesaro - Zack Ryder
Cesaro picks up the win in match that was "fine". It was filler, every PPV needs it and as far as filler goes was absolutely fine. Fantastic looking uppercut from Cesaro whilst Ryder was still in the air which looked like the "hadouken" from Street Fighter - worth watching for that alone. Again its worth noting here that the commentary, along with that sweet uppercut elevated this from a ** match to a **3/4
RANDY ORTON vs DOLPH ZIGGLER
Great bout - both guys worked super hard. The crowd was about 60% Orton, 40% Ziggler but by the end it felt like 70% Ziggler 30% Orton despite Orton winning. Great spot with the draping DDT on the outside barricade, on to the mat. The match was certainly given time, and people talk about how they cant afford to have Ziggler keep losing, but to be fair Orton has been jobbed out numerous time over the last year and he's more valuable right now. So if they were going to beat Ziggler THIS was the way to do it. ***3/4
SHEAMUS vs DEL RIO
Despite my British kin Sheamus, I had no interest in seeing this match whatsoever. I dont believe either character, Im not interested in either character. They're both great workers and can have great matches but I find their characters one dimensional which is probably more to do with the limitations of what the Creative Team ARENT doing for them.
I used this match to go drive to a 24 hour McDonalds at 2.50am - hey its hungry work watching wrestling this late! -
PUNK - CENA
27 Minutes and Punk retains through a controversial draw. This match was quite good, it fet like a big match and they wrestled it like big match, but somewhere around the 15 minute mark something must have gone wrong somewhere, because I could hear almost every spot being called out. Punk tried a back flip off the top rope and missed, but I dont know if he was supposed to hit it. It looked like a fuck up - the crowd reacted to it like it was a fuck up. What compounded the issue then is that Punk and Cena clearly talking to each other planning the next move. Maybe this is more to do the with the producers or camera guys but it happened often before and after that. A little disappointing that Heyman didnt play more of a role. Quite happy with the result though ****
OVERALL Good show, I never got bored at all anyway. Leaves more questions than answers especially with such a controversial ending so I'd say I'm looking forward to RAW more than usual
Sean Martins, Manchester, UK
Best match punk vs cena
Worst match divas
Sending this quick report from the red line in Boston on my way to the commuter rail train. Was there live, crowd was quiet for a lot of the show. Kind of odd they do this big rise against cancer campaign built around a guy they have fail that same night. Anyways here are quick thoughts on matches.
Fatal four way was okay. Crowd was up and down
Tag match was average crowd popped for the hug
Went to the bathroom during the US title match, a lot of people did. Was told it sucked by people around me
Orton and Ziggler was good but kind of dragged
Divas match was boring and live it was hard to tell what was up with the backstage stuff
World title match was there. Crowd was excited at end.
Noticed lots of people using their iPads during the match.
Main event was fun. Though not sure why you have guys kick out of their finishers multiple times on a B show. Outta save it for a bigger show. But Very good match they have good chemistry and cena deserves as much credit as punk does.
So slight thumbs up for the show live. Main event saved an average show. I apologize for spelling errors.
Enjoyed the latest observer. Good read,
Thumbs up show
Best Match: Cena vs Punk
Worst Match: Eve vs Layla
Good show overall, but I'm a little surprised they didn't switch one of the world titles. For the first time this year, I feel like nothing really happened of importance on a WWE PPV. The finish of the main event may be what's making me feel that way, combined with Alberto failing to win he World Title for the third time in a row and Dolph not using the briefcase. With the exception of Kane and Bryan winning the Tag Titles, we're right back where we started at the beginning of the show, and if the matches hadn't been so good, I'd be a bit offended, but it was worth the viewing.
This was a great show with a lot of great matches on the card. Thumbs up for sure. The IC title match was a solid opener with some nice spots, and I'm interested in seeing where they go with Cara/Miz if that's the story. Not sure if all four competitors need to stay in this type of feud.
Best match of the show was CM Punk vs. Cena. While the dusty finish cooled this match off a bit, I still found it to be red hot. Both Punk and Cena were on their game, and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time watching it.
Beat Match Punk va Cena
Worst Match: Eve vs Layla. If this show wasn't sold out, it was damn close. Other than some scattered single seats, the place was packed. Crowd was hot almost the whole night. Ryder got a huge pop for the battle royal, but it didn't carry over to the pay per view, where he was mostly met with apathy. The US Title match and the Womens title were the two natches the crowd cared about least. The Divas match in particular, you could hear a pin drop. The crowd liked both Ziggler and Orton who had the second best match on the show. Lots of Yes chants for Bryan too, and a big pop for that title change. Sheamus was over big, but the crowd wanted to see Ziggler. During the main event it was probably a 90/10 split for Cena and Punk, Punk was clearly the heel in Boston although coming out in Yankees colors could have been part of it. Huge pop for the finish even though I hates it. Overall very good show.