The First Niagara Center, in Buffalo, New York was packed with fans anticipating an exhilarating night of WWE action. Every championship was on the line at WWE Night of Champions. The boisterous crowd witnessed two title changes, and an exciting, nail biting, yet, controversial main event.

The opening match featured Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne defending the WWE Tag Team Championship against the Miz and R-Truth. It was a thrilling, fast paced battle, which ended in controversy. The Miz used a DDT-like move in an attempt to pin Bourne, but Kofi intervened. As the referee was escorting Kofi back to his corner, The Miz tagged in R-Truth, but the ref would not allow him into the ring, as he did not see the tag, which angered Truth. As they argued, The Miz applied his Skull Crushing Finale finishing move on Bourne. The ref turned around and began his count, but Bourne kicked out. The challengers were upset, and rightfully so, because they had the titles won. The Miz then shoved the referee to the mat, causing an immediate disqualification. In a fit of rage, the challengers brutally attacked the referee to the disgust of the fans. In a post match interview, the challengers talked about a “conspiracy”, and implied that Triple H (as the C.O.O) is holding them back.

The match was fantastic. I thought the company made the right move in keeping the belts on Kofi and Evan, since they won it only a few weeks ago. However, Miz and Truth should have, and would have won, had it not been for the referee. That only adds more drama for a potential rematch in the future. The post match interview revealed that the challengers were not done for the evening. True to their word, a major problem was created later in the show.

Mark Henry received one of the biggest opportunities in his fifteen year career. The “World’s Strongest Man” challenged Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship. The champion had to be creative in order to retain the title. But, the problem was, Henry’s overpowering strength proved to be too much. Orton tried to apply the RKO on his large opponent, but to no avail. Henry attacked his adversary’s back, and weakened him. Later, Orton tried to end the match with the RKO, but Mark escaped, and applied “the World’s Strongest Slam” bodyslam for the pinfall. After fifteen years in the WWE, Mark Henry finally achieved his dream of becoming World Heavyweight Champion. There were some fans who were happy with the outcome, primarily because a title changed hands. Most, however, were not. I am sure the audience was in awe, like I was, at how dominant Mark Henry was in his performance. So, with Henry being as big and intimidating as he is, who will stand up and take the title away from him. Personally, I do not think anyone can. Fans will just have to tune in to find out.

The WWE Championship contest featured Alberto Del Rio defending the title against John Cena. The two superstars wrestled a great match, which held the crowd’s interest throughout. The turning point came after Del Rio was rammed into a ringpost. After Cena hit a legdrop off the top rope, Del Rio’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez tried to interfere, but was stopped after the challenger knocked him down from the ring apron. John then applied the STF for the submission victory to claim his tenth WWE Championship. Again, some fans liked the result, some did not. I think Del Rio should have been given a longer reign with the title – he won it only a month ago at Summerslam. Sadly, we are back to Cena as champion. While that is a good idea for the company, it can be tedious for fans seeing the same guy win the belt every couple of months. It can become boring.

At an event called “Night of Champions”, one would expect the main event to be a Championship Match, in this case Cena vs. Del Rio. I am glad that was not the case, as the final match was built up as a very “personal” no disqualification battle between Triple H and C.M. Punk. This was the match that fans were anticipating the most during the night.

They fought literally throughout the arena. There was a great moment when Triple H was placed on one of the announcer’s tables. Punk scaled to the top rope and dropped a flying elbow on his opponent – paying homage to the late, great “Macho Man” Randy Savage. The fans became boisterous because they witnessed something amazing, and they were also concerned as both competitors were motionless after crashing the table. As they were crawling back into the ring, The Miz and R-Truth ran to the ring, and attacked the two rivals. The referee (who was a former wrestler) attempted to put a stop to it. The Miz tried to punch the ref, but it was blocked, and The Miz was the one who was victimized by the ref’s punch. This prompted R-Truth to intervene on behalf of his partner, and attack the official, who was then thrown to the arena floor.

When the action returned inside the ring, Triple H applied the Pedigree on Punk, but there was not a referee to count. Another referee headed to the ring, but John Laurenitis (the Vice President of Talent Relations) stopped him, and had him check on the fallen official. Meanwhile, the cameras caught Laurenitis texting someone, which turned out to be the recently “fired” Kevin Nash, who made his way through the crowd. He entered the ring and attacked the combatants. Nash then went outside the ring, to take apart the other announcer’s table, with intentions of putting Triple H through it. Knowing what was about to occur, he rolled to the outside, found a sledgehammer, and nailed Nash from behind, knocking him out. Hunter rolled back in the ring, once again applied the Pedigree to Punk for the three count to emerge victorious in a bizarre, wild, exciting and memorable battle. As a result, Triple H remained the C.O.O of the WWE.

With everything that transpired in that match, it will be interesting to see the next move the WWE makes with this storyline. I am certain the fans will continue to be invested in this until the end, because it involves a lot of intrigue.

WWE Night of Champions was an enjoyable and action packed show. Some of the matches could have been built better to add more excitement. At the same time, the telecast had a phenomenal main event that had fans on their feet throughout. I know some will say that there were too many extra individuals causing interference. While I agree, we have to look at the extra drama added to the story, and fans would tune in to Raw on a weekly basis to see what happens next. So, I commend the WWE, once again, for putting on a good show, and creating additional suspense in the months to come. So fans, tune in to keep updated on the action.

Azeem Kayum

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