Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Night of Champions (Ali's Take)

7 matches, all titles on the line (except the internet championship... shame.), and the main event is the grudge match. Anyway, let's get started.

1. The Awesome Truth v. Air Boom (Tag Team Championship): 4 out of 5. New matching gear for the champions, and a prominent showing by Conspiracy, which caused several bad tag calls from the ref, and eventually led to a DQ win by the champions. Miz and R-Truth set up the next leg of their story beautifully here. But we'll get to that.

2. Cody Rhodes v. Ted DiBiase (Intercontinental Championship): 4 out of 5. Solid performance. The champion showed us why he's the champ, but DiBiase showed some determination and made a case for himself as the contender. He's got to calm it down, however. Too caught up in the moment after ripping Cody's mask off, Ted opened himself up to a quick roll-up and a loss. The announcers tried their best to make it sound like Rhodes cheated to get it. Perhaps they all need new glasses.

3. Jack Swagger v. John Morrison v. Alex Riley v. Dolph Ziggler (US Championship): 3 out of 5. The inclusion of Riley and Morrison to this match is a bit mystifying here, since the storyline revolves entirely around Swagger and Ziggler, with Vickie as a fulcrum to that seesaw. This was the first match I called incorrectly. I expected a no-pin loss for Ziggler (probably by Swagger), but the champion managed to stop fighting with his manager long enough to take out the competition. Morrison and Riley were arguably there only to give the feeling when Dolph Ziggler won, that he undoubtedly deserves to be a champion. Around here, we already knew that.

4. Mark Henry v. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship): 4 out of 5. Got to admit, I expected this to be more or less a squash, or at least as much of a squash as you might expect from a top-card championship at a pay-per-view. This match was the one I was least looking forward to, because I really wasn't sure how these guys were going to carry each other. And how was Randy ever going to hope to beat the World's Strongest Monster? When Orton jumped up on Henry's back to attempt the sleeper hold, however, I was finally sold on the match and found myself actually enjoying it. I was still not surprised when the title changed hands, and Mark Henry was immediately interviewed as the new champion.

5. Beth Phoenix v. Kelly Kelly (Divas Championship): 2 out of 5. This match only got a 2 because it lasted longer than 5 minutes, and Kelly only got one or two of her five moves of doom in. I don't remember because I'm already trying to block it out of my memory. Kelly retained her championship despite the fact that she had no business doing so. Don't forget, kids. Home town advantage doesn't necessarily mean anything in this business.

6. John Cena v. Alberto Del Rio (WWE Championship): 4 out of 5. I always enjoy seeing Del Rio in action, and one of the things I like about his gimmick is that he doesn't necessarily need to cheat. During the match, I commented that if anybody in the WWE can beat Cena clean, it's this guy. I even went a step further and said that if he did, I'd give the match a 5. As you can tell by my rating my dream did not come true. As a matter of fact, I may have jinxed it as I was making that statement as John Cena was putting the messiest STF on Del Rio I've ever seen. Still, up until then, this was well-done, and probably looked even better following the Divas debacle.

7. Cm Punk v. HHH (Grudge Match; No DQ, if HHH loses he resigns as COO): 4 out of 5. This was the closest I've come yet to giving a match a 5. I almost hate NOT giving it a 5. But the match told a glorious story. The two competitors took to each other street-fight style right away, beating the crap out of each other from one side of the arena to the other, and back into the ring again. And that's when the shenanigans started. Remember how Miz & R-Truth set up the next leg of their story beautifully? Well this was it. They took down both competitors, and tried to give Punk the win to oust Trips from power, but when that didn't work, they broke down in anger, and took out the ref. Laurinaitis showed up with his trusty cell phone waving out a new official. Instead of having him jump in the ring and count the victory for Triple H, his concern was instead on the unconscious ref outside the ring. Punk of course got up and went for his own cover, and that's the moment Johnny decided to let the new ref in the ring. When the COO kicked out, however, he immediately went back to his cell phone, and before you knew it, Nash was coming down ringside (this is the reason for the 4, by the way. Nash's inclusion into the storyline made it mucky to begin with, and I was really hoping naively that he was really gone). He got a sledgehammer to the face for his troubles, and when all was said and done, Triple H came out on top.

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