Written By: Alexander Settee
Night of Champions 2009, July 26, 2009, Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA
Announcers: The teams of: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler, Todd Grisham & Jim Ross, and Josh Matthews & Matt Striker
And now we come to Night of Champions, where all the gold is on the line. That’s good for some of the lesser belts like the Divas and Tag Team which don’t make it to PPV all that often, but if they really want all these Titles to mean something they’ve got to do a lot more then that. Let’s get right to it.
Opening Match, Unified Tag Team Championship: Chris Jericho & The Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase
First we get a replay of the Edge surgery video, so as of now they intend to bring him back as a face. Jericho runs him down, and then introduces his replacement partner, The Big Show. Really? The Big Show was the best that they could come up with? Oh wait I forgot, he’s big, so I can totally see their logic. You could just hear the crowd deflate the moment he was announced. Well, let’s at least see if they can salvage a match here if nothing else. Show starts with Rhodes and of course dominates, tossing Rhodes around like he’s nothing. Rhodes does manage to pull him down on the ropes and make the tag, but Dibiase runs right into a shoulderblock. Tag to Jericho, who hits a quick elbow and tags back out. Show works Dibiase over for a bit then tags and they mess up a spot where Show is supposed to press Jericho onto Dibiase, but he kinda connects anyways and gets 2. Dibiase escapes and tags, but Rhodes’ whip is reversed and Show elbows him from the apron in to a Jericho rollup for 2. Jericho goes off the ropes, but Dibiase low bridges him and he hits the floor. This actually leads to a period where Jericho, one of the most over heels they have, plays face in peril to Randy Orton’s lackeys. The crowd plays along, and even gets a “Y2J” chant going for old times sake. Rhodes gets a moonsault out of nowhere for 2, but Jericho comes back with an ensiguiri. Dibiase gets the tag and cuts Jericho off, but gets cradled for 2. Dibiase gets him with a powerslam for 2 and a kick to the head for another 2, but misses a splash in the corner. Jericho goes for the Walls, which Dibiase counters and hooks the Million Dollar Dream, which Jericho escapes and then successfully gets him in the Walls. Rhodes draws Show in, which distracts the ref and allows Rhodes to DDT Jericho for the break. Dibiase covers for 2 and then hits a dropkick, after which Jericho makes the tag out of nowhere. Show spears Dibiase for 2 with Rhodes saving. Legacy then regroups and takes Show down, but Jericho has recovered and hits the Codebreaker on Dibiase. Show then hooks the Colossal Clutch and gets the submission at 9:33. This was ok, but was definitely hurt by the “everyone’s a heel” dynamic. It makes me even sadder about Edge’s injury then I already was. **
Josh Matthews is with World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk, who quickly hijacks the interview. After asking all the Jeff Hardy fans to stand up, he calls out the parents, saying that allowing their kids to be a fan of Hardy is just going to send them down the wrong road. This was pretty good, but he ended up getting cheered for a lot of what he said, which I don’t think was the intention.
ECW Championship Match: Tommy Dreamer vs. Christian
Dreamer got his feel good moment, but now it’s time to put the belt back where it belongs. Christian was never pinned in losing the Title, but just to drive his number one contendership home he also beat Vladimir Kozlov in a number one contenders match on ECW. They start out trading slaps, and then Dreamer shoulderblocks him down for 1. Christian gets a spin kick for his own 1. Whip reversed and Dreamer misses a charge but gets a neckbreaker for another 1. Christian hits a back elbow form the 2nd rope. Dreamer is to the apron where he tries a suplex, but Christian blocks and pulls Dreamer down. He hits a baseball slide, but his springboard dive misses. Dreamer gets a sommersault from the apron, and back in the ring, that gets 2. Powerslam also gets 2 before he goes to the 2nd rope, but Christian drags him down. Killswitch is avoided, but he does hook a sleeper. Dreamer falls back to break, but Christian gets it again, so this time Dreamer takes them to the floor to escape. Back in, Christian goes up, but Dreamer nails him coming down. He gets a flapjack for 2 then hooks Christian in the Tree of Woe and hits a dropkick. Sitout spinebuster gets 2, and the Christian comes back with an inverted DDT for his own 2. He hits a 2nd rope dropkick and then goes all the way up, but gets caught coming down. Dreamer hooks a Texas Cloverleaf as Striker tells us he’s been training with Dean Malenko. Christian breaks, but gets catapulted to the post. They go to a pinfall reversal sequence for a few near falls and then trade finisher attempts, but it’s Christian who hits the Killswitch. That gets 3 and the ECW Title at 8:32. Post match sees them hug each other out of respect. **1/2
Jericho and Big Show cut a promo to re-establish themselves as heels and to let us know that they’re not friends, and this alliance is all business. Jericho promises that they will be a more dominant team then The Hart Foundation, The British Bulldogs, and The Road Warriors. I’ll put money down that says they won’t even be teaming anymore three months from now (if that).
United States Championship Match: Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger vs. MVP vs. Carlito Colon vs. The Miz vs. Primo Colon
Big Show was originally scheduled to be in this match, but now that he has other priorities, he is out and Primo Colon is in. On another note, why is Primo announced as being from San Juan, Puerto Rico, while brother Carlito is just from “The Caribbean”? Anyways, the first to win a fall here walks out as the US Champion. It starts out as a big brawl with Kofi breaking up a few early pinfall attempts. Primo wants at Carlito, but can’t quite get to him. He does succeed in fighting off Miz and Swagger, getting 2 with a bodypress on Miz. He then falls victim to Swagger’s gutwrench powerbomb, but Carlito saves at 2. We get into the period where two or three guys go in the ring while the rest lie around selling until it’s time to switch. Carlito hits a dive on MVP to put them down. Kofi dropkicks Swagger in the ring and hits the Funky Legdrop for 2 as Miz saves. Miz then takes out both guys and goes up, but gets knocked down by Primo. He then gets the worst end of the Tower of Doom spot involving a triple superplex/powerbomb combination. Carlito tries a couple of covers, but only gets 2. Primo and Carlito finally go at it, and there was zero heat for it. This leads to a pinfall sequence where guys take turns with rollups and sunset flips but no one gets the 3 count. Carlito is working on convincing Primo to work with him, but they both get clotheslined by Swagger. MVP then gets a facebuster on Swagger and goes Ballin’. He tries the Playmaker, but Miz takes him down. Meanwhile, Carlito has seemingly succeeded in getting Primo to work with him, but then immediately turns on him again with a Backstabber. Before he can capitalize though, Kofi comes back and hits Carlito with Trouble in Paradise and that gets the 3 count at 8:37, so Kofi retains. The action was pretty good, but it really doesn’t do anything for any of the guys involved. ***
Randy Orton gets promo time now. He says that the Tag Title match earlier on was unfair, but that more importantly, he’s going to win his match later on because the egos of HHH and John Cena will eventually collide and he’ll be there to take advantage. He also says that one day people may start to respect him, but until then he will just continue to be the WWE Champion.
Women’s Championship Match: Michelle McCool vs. Melina
McCool baseball slides Melina as she does the splits during her entrance, which is a cool spot and it’s kind of surprising that no one has done it before. This just pisses Melina off though and she attacks. McCool tries to flee, but can’t get away. Melina gets a dropkick and some high kicks, but then misses another and goes to the floor. McCool knees her against the barrier and that gets 2 back in the ring. After holding a half crab for a bit, McCool misses a big boot on the floor. They end up on top of the barrier, and McCool DDT’s Melina from there in another pretty cool spot. She leaves Melina to get back in on her own, which she almost does. McCool tries the baseball slide again, but Melina moves and gets a clothesline from the apron. Back in, Melina drops her on the ropes and hits a rope straddle. Spin kick gets 2, but then McCool comes back with a belly to belly suplex for her own 2. Melina leaps at McCool from the 2nd rope and gets 2, but the McCool rolls over and hooks her for 3 at 6:13. As has been the theme so far, this was pretty decent, but not spectacular. *1/2
WWE Championship Match: Randy Orton vs. Triple H vs. John Cena
Cena has outright promised that this will be one of the greatest matches of all time, which can do nothing but set us up for disappointment. As noted in the buildup, this is a rematch from Wrestlemania XXIV and on the biggest stage of them all they managed to get all the way to **1/2, so I’m not holding my breath on Cena’s prediction. Orton slides out right away, hoping to draw Cena and HHH into a fight, but their eyes are firmly locked on him. They stalk Orton, who eventually gets nailed by HHH and then runs right into a Cena clothesline. It’s a double team on Orton for the next while. They go to the floor where HHH sends him to the barrier. Cena tosses him in the ring and goes to follow, but Orton is able to knock Cena back into HHH to put them both down. Orton works Cena over for a bit and stops to stomp HHH, but that lets Cena come back with a couple of shoulderblocks and the Protobomb. Five Knuckle Shuffle hits and sets up the Attitude Adjustment, but HHH breaks it and tosses Cena. Orton gets a clothesline on HHH for 2 and then a dropkick for another 2. Powerslam follows, but the RKO is countered to a DDT. As they get up, Cena makes his way to the top and hits the top rope legdrop on both in a much too contrived spot. Cena then gets caught in a neckbreaker by Orton. HHH sets up the Pedigree, but Orton backdrops him to the floor. Now Cena and HHH have the big confrontation and go to the slugfest with HHH as the big crowd favourite. Cena gets a couple of shoulderblocks, but runs into a high knee. Facebuster hits, but Cena is right back with a kick and the Throwback. They trade finisher attempts until HHH finally connects with a spinebuster. Pedigree hits, but Orton pulls HHH off at 2 and whips him to the stairs. He preps the announce table, but neither guy can hit a move on it. Finally Cena disposes of Orton and locks the STF on HHH on the table. HHH could have tapped to put it over since it doesn’t count out there anyways, but what can you do? Orton then breaks the hold. He and Cena go in the ring with the slugfest spot and the crowd is pro-Orton, although not to the degree they were for HHH. RKO is blocked and Cena sets him on top. HHH puts Cena down, but Cena then catapults him into the buckle which crotches Orton. Cena gets the STF on HHH for quite some time, but HHH won’t give. Orton sets up the punt, but Cena breaks the hold to avoid it. Cena rolls him up for 2, but then Orton gets him with a clothesline. He does the Garvin Stomp on both guys, followed by kneedrops. Another one misses and Cena clips Orton’s leg. He hits the Protobomb again and goes for another Five Knuckle Shuffle, but HHH pulls the ropes down to send Cena to the floor. He hooks a Sharpshooter (?!?) on Orton, who doesn’t give up, but then Cena comes in and applies a crossface which has Orton tapping. The ref goes to call for the bell, but then stops himself as there’s no way to tell who won. Well, at least they’re following their own rules for that situation as established at KOTR 2001. Dibiase and Rhodes run in to beat up both HHH and Cena. Rhodes stops to check on Orton and Cena grabs him for the Attitude Adjustment, but with Rhodes on Cena’s shoulders, Orton hits an RKO on Cena and pins him to retain at 22:22. I’m fine with the result, but the booking screams rematch. Although after Raw it will apparently be just Orton vs. Cena at Summerslam, it which case it makes perfect sense for Cena to be the one to take the fall here. Right. And as for Cena’s prediction, well, it wasn’t quite one of the greatest matches of all time, but they did manage to out do themselves from WMXXIV. ***1/4
Up next is a segment with Miz once again trying to score with Maryse. She teases him for a bit, but ends up calling him a loser for not winning the US Title. Miz then blows her off saying that he can get any woman he wants, and she won’t always be a champion, and when that day comes, she’ll come begging for him, but then it’ll be too late. This was actually a good segment, but it appears to be the end of it for now as Maryse is going for knee surgery.
Divas Championship Match: Maryse vs. Mickie James
Mickie takes her down, but Maryse elbows out and runs. Mickie backs off, but Maryse taunts her, prompting an attack. Rollup gets 1 and then she works Maryse over. They go back and forth for a bit and it’s pretty clear early on here that they have zero chemistry together. Maryse gets her hairspray, but Mickie kicks it away before it can be used. She then goes to use it herself, but the ref manages to get it away. To make things worse, there is like no crowd heat for this at all. Mickie misses something off the top and Maryse covers for 2. Mickie comes back with two clotheslines and a neckbreaker for 2. She is also visibly frustrated with Maryse’s working ability by this point. After a bit more back and forth, Mickie finishes this mess with an implant DDT to win the Title at 9:38, which is longer then all but the WWE Title match so far, and that’s not a good thing. DUD
Intercontinental Championship Match: Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Dolph Ziggler
This is apparently the big chance for Ziggler to show he can hang on a higher level. I wish him all the luck in the world, and at least they finally got him a better opponent then Great Khali. Mysterio gives his mask to the kid whose Dad is wearing a Ring of Honor shirt. I just felt that had to be pointed out for some reason. After a lockup and break, Ziggler gets him with a dropkick for 1. Rey rolls him up for 1, and then Ziggler gets a couple of shoulderblocks for more 1 counts. Rey gets a head scissors and a corner whip, but gets caught on a charge and dropped on the buckle for 2. Ziggler gets 2 from his own corner whip. Rey elbows out of a chinlock and uses another headscissors to send Ziggler to the post. Springboard vertical press gets 2 and then Rey comes off the ropes, but gets powerslammed for 2. Rey counters a suplex and sends Ziggler to the floor. Dive to the outside hits and then back in he goes up again, but gets taken down. Ziggler sets up a double underhook, but Rey counters with a headscissors to setup the 619. Ziggler avoids it though and tosses Rey. Back in, he covers for 2. This match is not generating much heat either. Ziggler gets a full nelson, from which Rey escapes, but he then runs into a powerslam for 2. Ziggler drops an elbow for another 2. Back to the full nelson, but Rey is out again. Ziggler cradles for 2, and then Rey gets his own, also for 2. Kick by Rey gets another 2, and then Ziggler gets a neckbreaker for 2. Rey drop toeholds him to the buckle and goes up, but gets dropkicked coming down. Ziggler covers twice but can’t get the pin. They end up on the top rope and Ziggler takes him down from there with a gutbuster for yet another nearfall. The fans are actually starting to get into it by this point. Rey escapes a slam and hits an ensiguiri to set up the 619 again, and this time it hits. Springboard splash follows and gets the 3 count to retain at 14:22. I don’t think that this raised Ziggler’s stock all that much, but it was certainly no worse then anything else on the show. ***
Main Event, World Heavyweight Championship Match: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy
Of course this is a rematch from The Bash where Punk may or may not have gotten himself intentionally disqualified to hold on to the Title. Should this match then not have a stip like no disqualifications or Title changes hands on a disqualification? Apparently not, as it’s just a regular match. Punk taunts Jeff right off the bat and then hooks a side headlock. He then comes off and hits a shoulderblock. They trade finisher tries already leading to Jeff getting a clothesline. Corner whip leads to a sunset flip by Punk for 2. Jeff comes off the ropes, but Punk duck and Jeff goes to the floor. Suicide dive misses, so Jeff gets him in and covers, but only gets 2. Neckbreaker sets Jeff up to go to the top, but Punk rolls to the floor, so Jeff simply turns and leaps, but Punk moves and Jeff crashes into the barrier. Punk wants the countout win at this point, but Jeff makes it back at 9. Cover gets 2, and then he gets another one after some kicks. Kneedrop gets a third 2 count. He hooks a bow and arrow, which Jeff breaks, but he still gets kicked. Punk goes for a superplex, but Jeff drops him. They trade shots, with Jeff taking advantage and hitting an inverted atomic drop, followed by a seated dropkick for 2. He goes up, but Punk crotches him and connects with a running knee. Jeff counters a bulldog and hits Whisper in the Wind for 2. He drops Punk face first and goes up, but misses the Swanton. Punk connects on a double underhook backbreaker and hooks a modified sleeper. Jeff gets out of that and hits the Twist of Fate out of nowhere. He goes up, but the Swanton hits knees and Punk covers for 2. GTS connects, but only gets 2 to the shock of Punk. He tries covering a couple more times, but Jeff keeps kicking out. So that means that Punk has had enough and he takes a walk, but Jeff isn’t going to stand for that. He gets him back in the ring where another Twist of Fate hits and then the Swanton connects. He covers and gets the 3 count for his third World Championship at 14:58. It got a good pop, but unfortunately we’ve seen it before. Also, what does this mean in terms of his contract status? I guess he’s around for a bit longer at least. Good match too, and while I’d rather have seen Punk retain, I think he’ll be getting it back soon enough. ***1/2
All in all, I think that this was a pretty good show. It’s lacking a blowaway match, but with the exception of Maryse/Mickie, everything was pretty solid, and I definitely enjoyed it. Thumbs Up for Night of Champions 2009.
And on another note, Summerslam is the next PPV coming up, so over the next few weeks I’ll put up a few more reviews of classic ones. Are there any in particular that anyone would like to see done? I’ve already covered 88, 90, 91, 95, 98, 99, 03, and 08, so that leaves:
1989 (Hogan & Beefcake vs. Savage & Zeus), 1992 (Savage vs. Warrior, Bret vs. Bulldog), 1993 (Yokozuna vs. Lex Luger), 1994 (Bret vs. Owen, Undertaker vs. Undertaker), 1996 (Shawn vs. Vader), 1997 (Undertaker vs. Bret), 2000 (The Rock vs. Angle vs. HHH), 2001 (Austin vs. Angle, The Rock vs. Booker T), 2002 (The Rock vs. Lesnar, Shawn vs. HHH), 2004 (JBL vs. Undertaker, Benoit vs. Orton), 2005 (Hogan vs. Shawn), 2006 (DX vs. Vince/Shane, Edge vs. Cena), and 2007 (Batista vs. Khali, Cena vs. Orton)