Turnbuckle Radio host Trevor Robb breaks down the action from WWE’s Night of Champions PPV live from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI.
I’ll have to admit, I only caught the very ending of this match on the WWE app, but was pleased with the result. The Player’s wins the match after Darren Young scores the 1-2-3 on Real American Jack Swagger. It’s nice to see the Players are finally getting the push they deserve, unfortunately it’s curious to note that their push oddly coincided with Darren Young coming out to a TMZ reporter, and not because of their impressive in-ring ability. Either way, happy to see them finally get a shot.
NOTE: WWE C.O.O. Triple H comes out to the ring to hype the evening’s main event between Bryan and Orton, announcing that the match will have NO interference from anyone. However, a slimy, bearded Paul Heyman interrupts HHH and continues his tirade about how CM Punk is going to beat the hell out of him later in the evening — he pleads HHH to cancel the match. Hunter assures Heyman “there’s no reason to be scared”, and ignores his demands.
Furthermore, HHH questions Heyman’s confidence in his latest protege Curtis Axel, who grabs the mic and actually calls out HHH on his win over him on RAW in May. But in the end, it’s HHH who gets the last laugh as he forces Curtis Axel to defend his IC belt against “the first person he walks past”. Very cool. Look at the WWE being all spontaneous and what not. And guess who comes out to challenge Axel …
Intercontinental Championship: Curtis Axel vs Kofi Kingston – WINNER: Curtis Axel
To be honest, I would have preferred someone else come out and challenge Axel — perhaps a returning Santino Marrella– at least he would have exacted some sort of a response from the crowd. But in fairness to Kofi, he does put on a decent match, save for one botched DDT attempt.
Kofi ends up landing the S.O.S. and gets a very close near fall on Axel — Heyman looked as if he may faint or pass out, or vomit. But Axel is too strong for Kofi, who ends up landing a punishing face-crusher to get the 1-2-3. Heyman looks as if he may kiss Axel, too good.
Divas Championship: AJ Lee vs. Natalya vs. Brie Bella vs. Naomi (Fatal 4-Way Match) – WINNER: AJ Lee
Brie Bella comes out dressed as ‘Rainbow Brie’, which is all well and good, but let’s shift the focus on those who can actually wrestle. Naomi continues to impress with her athleticism. Her aerial ability really separates her from the rest, however, the majority of the spots looked awkward.
Natalya the takes over the match with her strength and a pretty cool DOUBLE sharpshooter on Brie and Naomi. But AJ is able to lock in a submission of her own, the Black Widow, which is by far one of the best submission moves going, and she gets Natalya to tap out.
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam – WINNER: Rob Van Dam via disqualification
Let me start off by saying, the build-up to this match and the inclusion of Ricardo Rodrigues angle has been simply terrible. RVD does not need anyone in his corner and having Ricardo with him has awkward and lame. RVD and ADR have the ability to put on a great match without this dramatic BS attached to it. But I digress…
Let’s face it, RVD is a pro. He’s easily one of the top 3 wrestlers to watch in terms of entertainment value. Not to say that ADR is a slouch, far from it, but from rolling thunder to the split leg moonsault, Van Dam truly is the real fucking deal. But let’s face it, we all kind of figured Ricardo would crawl back to ADR eventually. RVD would attempt the 5-Star Frog Splash but ADR got his knees up and locks in the cross armbreaker. RVD squirms his way to the ropes but ADR refuses to break the hold and gets disqualified. LAME.
After the match, ADR proceeds to beat the hell out of RVD but Ricardo comes to his aid. Van Dam would then set up ADR on the bottom of the turnbuckle with a chair in hand, and then leap from across the ring with a dropkick to the face. Classic.
Fandango vs the Miz:
Didn’t know this was on the card, and to be honest it would have been better without it. Riddle me this: how does this match make it onto the PPV but we get no Wyatt Family or Kane storyline, AT ALL. Just terrible. Oh and Miz won. I’ll be sure to file that one under ‘who gives a shit?’.
CM Punk vs. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman (No-Disqualification Handicap Elimination Match) – WINNER: Paul Heyman
An extremely somber Paul Heyman escorts Curits Axel to the ring, before a jacked up CM Punk comes out to the ring — screaming out “Time to Die!” opposed to his trademark “It’s Clobberin’ Time!’.
Axel and CM Punk both start off the match with kendo sticks in hand. It doesn’t take Punk long to suicide dive between the ropes and onto Heyman. Punk drags Heyman into the ring and threatens him with a kendo stick before Axel delivers a low-blow to Punk to regain control.
Axel will later pull out a table and lean it against the corner turnbuckle. A chair is also placed in between the buckles in the corner and Punk is able to throw Axel into the chair and out of the ring. Despite that spot, the crowd seems less than enthused. But they regain their excitement after Axel thwarts a suicide dive from Punk by introducing a steel chair to his face. Heyman, possibly sensing the crowds lack of energy, begins shouting at them “Who’s the best in the world now?”.
However they immediately roar to life once Punk connects the Go to Sleep and locks in the Anaconda Vice, forcing Axel to tap. Now it’s Heyman’s turn. Heyman takes off and runs though the crowd and back to the ring before Punk catches up with him. Despite Heyman’s pleas, Punk begins punishing him with the kendo stick as the Punk gestures for the Go to Sleep. Bu
But Punk, instead, reaches into his boots and pulls out handcuffs, and promptly cuffs Heyman and beats him with the stick.
Heyman shrieks with every hit. “Ouch! Are you Crazy!? It hurts!”. So funny.
And then the bullshit happens. Just as fans begin to chant for the table to get involved, Ryback comes out of no where and spears Punk through the table. He then picks up Heyman and places him on top of Punk to get the 1-2-3. So I guess Ryback is the latest Paul Heyman Guy, and to be honest, it’s a great move for Ryback. Now we don’t have to hear him talk anymore — if there’s anyone who needs a mouth piece it’s Ryback.
Ultimately a goofy ending, but had to be expected.
United States Championship: Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler – WINNER: Dean Ambrose
Both competitors come to the ring to a complete lack of fan fare for either star — I must say this crowd at Detroit is doing everything in their power to seem bored and unimpressed. Fan involvement is so key to wrestling and these guys deserve a failing grade.
Both these guys are great technical wrestlers and that was exemplified when Ambrose gave Ziggler a Tiger Suplex from the top ropes. Great stuff, although the fans in Detroit would disagree! Ziggler would follow it up with an X-Factor from the top ropes! That looked painful. Dolph would eventually land the fame-asser and go for the cover but the clever Dean Ambrose was able to grab the ropes before a 3-count could be had.
Ambrose would land his face-smasher finisher move, which is a lot like Axel’s (hmmm), and get the 1-2-3. At this point, all three incumbent champions retain their gold. Kind of underwhelming.
Tag Team Championship: The Prime Time Players vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) – WINNER: The Shield
I will start off by saying the Prime Time Players, and in particular Titus O’ Neal, have come a long way. O’ Neal has been guilty before of sloppy work and awkward throws that lacked technical control. But somewhere along the line he’s really turned the corner and it showed last night. From breaking out the whistle and stomping a mudhole and his vicious shoulder block on Rollins, to his unbelievably powerful sit-down spine buster, Titus O’ Neal is a beast!
That being said, it was O’ Neal who gets pinned in the end, as a distracted referee lose sight of Reigns who spears an expecting O’ Neal. Rollins would make the cover and get the 1-2-3. Defending champions are now 4-4 on the night.
WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan – WINNER: Daniel Bryan
FINALLY! Up to this point, the PPV has been a bit flat. Clearly this is what the good people of Detroit wanted as they finally conjured the energy to rise from the seats upon hearing the ‘Flight of the Valkyries’ and chant YES YES YES!
For the first eight minutes of the match, the pace was very fast and technical. Lots of great wrestling maneuvers combined with Bryan’s up tempo mix of flying clotheslines, drop kicks and suicide dives. Neither wrestler really gains the upper hand until Bryan locks in the Yes lock for an extended period of time, before Orton grabs the bottom rope. Orton is clearly favouring his arm at this point.
Bryan follows it up with an impressive flying headbutt, traveling three quarters of the ring to get to Orton. Very cool. Orton would gain the upper hand eventually with a great suplex — he would go on to stalk Bryan leading up to the RKO but Bryan would counter and land a quick kick to the head of Orton. Bryan would follow it up with his patented running knee to the face and pin Orton for the 1-2-3 …..a very quick 1-2-3 count from the referee. Bryan begins celebrating, and the entire time I’m expecting HHH to come out and protest but NOPE. Bryan instead is left alone to revel in the glory of becoming the NEW WWE Champion. Weird.
FINAL SAY: I’ll start off by saying that the WWE could have done a better job in booking this PPV in the weeks leading up to the date. The choice to further the Miz vs. Fandango Summerslam angle as opposed to the Wyatt/Kane angle is just plain moronic. The Miz has to be one of the worst heels turned baby face ever. Tonight, if anything, could have served as a good night to have Miz turn back heel, as Fandango is already over with a portion of the fans. But nope, we’re stuck with this lame version of a cerebral and cunning villain that once wrestled in the main event at Wrestlemania. A shame really.
The Del Rio/RVD angle was weak, and while both matches involving members of the Shield did a great job in their matches but I had a hard time believing there was any sort of rivalry going on there. On the other side, the Punk vs Heyman rivalry was great, although Heyman could be charged with a little over-zealousness with the his constant ‘I loved you’ ramblings, but it was a great climax. Plus I like the Ryback/Heyman alliance.
Maybe I’m wrong about the quick count in the main event but I have a feeling it will be contested tomorrow on RAW by Orton and HHH. And with that, I look forward to RAW tomorrow night — should be interesting.
Thanks for checking in,