Night of Champions was awesome live! Attending any televised event in person always gives you a much more involved feeling, and NOC was easily the most exciting show I’ve ever been in attendance for.
The pre show saw Zack Ryder win a battle Royal to become the number one contender for the US Title. The crowd practically blew the roof off during Ryder’s entrance. Also in the battle royal were Brodus Clay, Santino, the PTP, Justin Gabriel, Drew McIntyre, Michael McGillicutty, JTG, Tyson Kidd, Tensai, Primo, Epico, Jinder Mahal, and Heath Slater. Slater being eliminated first was hilarious! Good way to to get the crowd hot.
The show opened with JBL coming out to fill in for Jerry Lawler. Great to see JBL back in the booth. The Fatal Four Way IC Title match was entertaining, but Sin Cara messed up a ton of pinfall breakups. I was glad the Miz came out on top. This was the perfect “opening” match to really get the audience excited.
New tag team champions! The match itself wasn’t much, and Kofi grazed Dbry’s head with a major botched frontflip to the outside. Kane and Dbry were hilarious afterwards with the celebration, and Kane had our whole section cracking up with the Gatorade and Disneyland comment backstage! Daniel Bryan got the loudest ovation of the night during his entrance; the guy’s popularity is something WWE needs to continue capitalizing on.
Antonio Cesaro defeated Zack Ryder to retain the title. This was a good match, and the crowd was loud the whole way through until we knew Cesaro was going to win. Ryder needs the strap back and the push needs to start up again. Cesaro is a really good wrestler, but they need to dump this gimmick and let him showcase more of wrestling ability.
Randy Orton defeated Dolph Ziggler in an incredible match. The crowd wasn’t super hot for this one all the way through but they definitely enjoyed it. These two continue to be magic in the ring together. Dolph is on his way to being one of the top guys in the company. He’s worked damn hard and earned it with the performances that he’s given in his career.
Eve replaced Kaitlyn(due to her ankle being clipped by a mystery assailant backstage) and defeated Layla to become the divas champion. Everybody got up and went to the bathroom or bought food during this match. It was seven minutes of boredom and no one cared. It was a decent match with Eve dominating throughout, but no one got excited for it.
Booker T announced the brogue kick was reinstated just before the bell rang. Sheamus defeated Del Rio after using it. I almost thought Ziggler would cash in here on a vulnerable Sheamus with that beat up arm, but he didn’t. I’m so over this Del Rio/Sheamus feud. It’s time for something new for both of them, but I’d bet my left arm WWE will probably shove them down our throats AGAIN at HIAC.
Can you say main event magic? Without the awful finish for Cena/Punk, the match would’ve been five stars. It wasn’t the quickest paced match, but the ending sequence and the near falls timed together perfectly for a dramatic series. I was legitimately on the edge of my seat and didn’t realize all the shoulders were down for the pin until after when I saw the ref talking to the announcer. It was a bit of a dead giveaway that the title was about to be taken from Cena. The crowd actually cheered more for Cena and booed Punk. I guess Punk wearing Yankee pinstripes and Cena supporting breast cancer is what put it over the top. Damn you WWE for trying so hard to control who is cheered and who is booed. I hate backstage politics. The draw finish really sucks for a ppv, but I know it was done so the rivalry can go on.
From my perspective of being there live, the show came off as incredible. I just watched it back on pay per view, and it was just as good the second time around. I honestly feel like this was one of the best pay per views in 2012. The Raw analysis will be up tomorrow! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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