Written By: Alexander Settee
Night of Champions 2010, September 19, 2010, Allstate Arena, Chicago, IL
Announcers: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, & Matt Striker
Opening Match, Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero & Kaitlyn) vs. Kofi Kingston
The Setup: The feud continues following the match at Summerslam where they went to a no contest after Nexus ran in, this time with the added stipulation that the Title changes hands if Dolph is disqualified or counted out.
The Action: Dolph is clotheslined to the floor early on and Kaitlyn checks on him, but Vickie quickly shoos her off to the back. The story there is that she wants Dolph as well, but that’s all we get on this for now. Back in, Kofi misses a splash in the corner and Dolph takes over. The crowd is pretty into it as Dolph scores a few nearfalls, including off a Fameasser. I don’t thing Kofi is doing enough hope spots though. He finally makes the full comeback, getting a crossbody for 2 and a dropkick. He hits the Boom Drop, but misses TIP. Dolph goes for the sleeper, but gets countered to the SOS for 2. They go to the floor where Kofi seemingly has him down for the countout, and in this case the Title, but he decided to roll him in instead and only gets a 2 count. Dolph gets the sleeper on now, but Kofi escapes. Vickie sets up a slap, but Dolph calls her off due to the stip. Kofi tries TIP from behind while Dolph argues with her, but Dolph avoids it anyways and then hits the Zig Zag for the 3 count at 12:43.
The Verdict: The finish made Kofi look bad, but at least they got to do a finish this time. The match was fine, but certainly not anything special. **1/2 I like Kofi and all, but it’s time for a new challenger now.
CM Punk vs. The Big Show
The Setup: The inability of the SES to beat Show led in part to the demise of that group, so all that’s left is for Punk to try him one on one.
The Action: Punk gets a big hometown pop, and even though he cuts a promo to try and turn them against him, they still love him. Of course it doesn’t help him much as Show pretty much destroys him. Punk’s offence pretty much consists of kicks and one highspot where he connects with a slingshot senton to the floor. He then ends up getting nailed coming off the top and Show finishes him off with the Big Right Hand at 4:45.
The Verdict: Well, that was a decisive blowoff if there ever was one. I don’t know what the future holds for Punk, but he’ll need some serious rebuilding after this feud if they want to do anything with him. Show gets the win, but he’ll just continue to be there like he’s always been. ½*
United States Championship Match: The Miz (w/Alex Riley) vs. Daniel Bryan
The Setup: This goes back to NXT season 1 where Bryan was The Miz’s protégé and they developed a rocky relationship right off the bat. After the brief period where Bryan was gone from the company, he was brought back as the replacement partner for Team WWE at Summerslam after Miz delayed in accepting the spot. The feud was rekindled as a result and now they face off for the US Title.
The Action: Bryan goes for the LeBell Lock early on, but Miz escapes and goes to work on Bryan’s arm. Miz’s season 2 protégé Alex Riley is at ringside, and he gets involved as well as Miz works him over. Bryan dodges a charge with Miz going to the floor and Bryan then follows with a suicide dive. He gets Miz back in and follows up, getting a few nearfalls in the process, mainly off of a series of kicks. He sets Miz on top, but gets crotched when he goes up with him. Skull Crushing Finale is countered to a rollup for 2. Bryan almost gets the LeBell Lock again, but Riley distracts him and he gets rolled up for 2. He gets revenge by sending Riley to the post, but back in the ring, Miz works him over again. But as Miz pounds on him, he pulls the LeBell Lock out of nowhere and this time he hooks it. Miz struggles for a bit, but eventually has no choice but to tap out and give Daniel Bryan the US Title at 12:30.
The Verdict: This was a very good match, and they went the right direction on the finish as well. Miz doesn’t need to be US Champ anymore as he’s got the briefcase and should be prepped for bigger things shortly. And Bryan needs all the help he can get, so it was important not only that he win the Title, but do it clean in the middle like he did. ***3/4
Title Unification Lumberjill Match: Women’s Champion Michelle McCool vs. Divas Champion Melina
The Setup: Laycool attacked Melina after she won the Divas Title at Summerslam, and then issued the challenge for the unification match. Dissention was then teased as Michelle rigged the drawing that established her as the one who would take the match. Layla sells this by coming out as a lumberjill with her arms crossed and a pouty look on her face.
The Action: So all the other girls are out there as lumberjills, but the story is that they all hate Michelle, so they only attack her and never attack Melina. Natalya specifically tries to get at her, causing the ref to pull her off and miss a rollup by Melina. Finally as Michelle is getting beaten on the floor again, Layla comes in and attacks Melina, but gets wiped out. Michelle then gets put back in and she hits Melina with a big boot and that gets the 3 count to make her the Unified Champion at 6:34. Layla and Michelle then celebrate together so I guess everything was a ruse.
The Verdict: Everything about this was backwards with the heel having the odds stacked against her, and then winning anyways, but I guess stuff like that just kinda happens when someone has all the right connections and wants to win regardless of logic. The match wasn’t any good as usual, but thankfully we now have one less useless Title to worry about. DUD
World Heavyweight Championship, No Holds Barred Match: Kane vs. The Undertaker
The Setup: It was revealed that Kane was the one who had put Undertaker in the vegetative state a few months ago, but when Taker finally came back for revenge, it was also revealed that Kane had somehow stolen Taker’s powers as well. So well Taker is back, he is significantly weaker than he was before.
The Action: They start by brawling in the aisle and up towards the set for a bit. Once they make it back to the ring, Kane takes over with a belt shot and starts beating him down. Taker can’t really get anything going, which fits with the story at least, but makes for a pretty boring match. Finally Taker gets some sustained offence with a flying clothesline, snake eyes, a bit boot and a legdrop for 2. He hits a chokeslam and sets up the Tombstone, but Kane reverses it and hits one of his own for the 3 count at 18:30.
The Verdict: The match dragged a lot with Kane just beating on him and Taker laying there and taking it. Even the shortcuts like crowd brawling and weapons shots didn’t do much to help that. The storyline was actually fine, and it led to the return of Paul Bearer this week on Smackdown to reinvigorate Taker and setup a rematch at Hell in a Cell. *
Tag Team Championship Turmoil Match: The Hart Dynasty (w/Natalya) vs. The Usos (w/Tamina) vs. Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov vs. Evan Bourne & Mark Henry vs. Drew McIntyre & Dashing Cody Rhodes
The Setup: Nothing specific was done to set this up, except maybe the Harts losing a non Title match to McIntyre and Rhodes on Smackdown.
The Action: It starts with the Harts and Usos. Kidd nails a nice springboard moonsault to the floor on both of them. He then gets one in the Sharpshooter while the ref gets distracted by the girls fighting and the other Uso kicks him in the head for the pin at 2:11. Yeah, the Champs are out of it, just like that. Next in are Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov. This doesn’t last long as Santino sets up the Cobra, but eats a Samoan drop for the 3 count at 3:16 (total). Mark Henry and Evan Bourne are in now, and Evan runs wild to a good reaction. Henry then gets an Uso with the World’s Strongest Slam, and tags Even who nails the SSP for the pin at 5:11. The final team is Drew McIntyre and Dashing Cody Rhodes. This segment actually gets more time than all the others combined as they get the heat on Evan. Evan finally breaks free and makes the tag to Henry who kills both guys. He pres slams Rhodes and tags Evan back in for the SSP, but McIntyre crotches him on the ropes. Crossrhodes follows on Evan and that gets the pin to make Drew McIntyre and Dashing Cody Rhodes the new Tag Team Champions at 11:43.
The Verdict: This was fine for what it was, but why bother? They should have just done the Harts against McIntyre and Rhodes because they could have gotten the same result and at least the Harts could have gone down swinging instead of losing in two minutes to a team that doesn’t even end up champions. **
We then get highlights of the Alberto Del Rio vignettes. He’s a great character and this was great stuff.
Main Event, WWE Championship Six Pack Challenge Elimination Match: Sheamus vs. John Cena vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton
The Setup: Barrett wanted his Title shot from winning NXT here, and the Mystery GM agreed, but then decided that all the usual suspects needed to be added as well because God forbid we actually see something different.
The Action: This is effectively no holds barred as well as they note that eliminations can take place by pinfall or submission only. It starts out with a six way brawl. Jericho then takes a bulldog from Cena and an RKO from Orton and gets pinned at 1:29. They were unclear on whether the deal of him quitting if he didn’t win the Title was still in effect, but when he lost they focused on him for quite awhile as he walked to the back and the match just kinda stopped. And then he showed up on Raw the next night anyways. So the match gets going again and everyone corners Wade Barrett with the announcers noting that he’s pissed everyone off the last few months. They also keep teasing Cena and Orton going at it, so I’m guessing that there’s a Wrestlemania match for you assuming they don’t panic and do it at Bragging Rights. We actually go quite awhile until the next elimination which is Edge taking the AA from Cena and being pinned at 15:01. Nexus makes the mandatory run in and distracts Cena, which allows Barrett to hit Wasteland on him for 3 at 18:33. They then beat up Orton, but Cena cleans house with a chair which leads to Orton hitting Barrett with the RKO and pinning him at 20:33. This leaves Orton and Sheamus with Sheamus hitting the Brogue Kick and setting up the High Cross, but Orton escapes and hits the RKO for the 3 count and the Title at 21:28.
The Verdict: The match was very good, but the booking was confusing. If the plan is to have Orton and Sheamus at Hell in a Cell, why not screw Orton here and then have him win it clean there? Now it’s just champ Orton against the guy he already beat clean, in a Cell for no reason. ***1/2
Overall Thoughts: This was, as is becoming the norm for WWE PPV’s, a good show action wise but one that just leaves a bad taste in your mouth because it feels like it wasn’t anything special. Miz/Bryan was my favourite match, just edging out the main event, and we also had decent stuff in the IC match (finish aside) and even the tag gauntlet. But still, there’s certainly nothing putting this over the top as a really good show, so I have to go Thumbs in the Middle for Night of Champions 2010.