WWE Night of Champions 2009 Flashback: C.M. Punk vs. Jeff Hardy for the World Heavyweight Championship, Randy Orton vs. Triple H vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship, Chris Jericho's mystery partner revealed
The following is Jason Powell's "Live Coverage" review of the July 15, 2009 WWE Night of Champions pay-per-view. Join Jason Powell and Chris Shore for live coverage of the 2013 WWE Night of Champions event on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. CT. Dot Net Members will hear their member exclusive audio review of WWE Night of Champions late tonight. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up now via the Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
Aired live on pay-per-view
Philadelphia, Pa. at Wachovia Center
The show opened with a video that featured shots of past and present champions and challengers... A second video package focussed on some of the top matches on this show...
Fireworks went off on the stage, which featured long tapestries with the various title belts. Cool shot. The type of music you'd normally hear played over classic NFL footage played as Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the show...
1. Chris Jericho and Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase to retain the Unified Tag Titles in 9:35. The challengers came out first. Jericho's entrance music played and he came out by himself. Lilian Garcia started to introduce Jericho's partner, but he took the mic from her. Jericho introduced footage of Edge discussing his injury.
Jericho mocked the Edge footage and then introduced Big Show as his tag team partner. Show came out wearing a new blue and black singlet and holding the tag titles over his head. The live crowd wasn't blown away by this development.
Powell's POV: Big Show's new outfit looks like something he took from John Tenta during his days as "The Shark" in WCW. PPV party goer Pooch just said it looks like a halter top for his stomach. Ouch.
A "Y2J" chant broke out early in the match. At 6:20, Cody moonsaulted onto a standing Jericho for a good near fall. Cole showed more enthusiasm in calling the near fall than he has in years. At 9:00, Show entered the ring and went for a double chokeslam. Rhodes and DiBiase broke free, but Show came right back with a spear on DiBiase. He went for a cover, but Cody broke it up.
A short time later, Jericho came back in and hit the Codebreaker on DiBiase. Show followed up with the Colossal Clutch on DiBiase, who immediately tapped out for the submission loss...
Powell's POV: The live crowd was flat early, presumably because they were letdown by Show as Jericho's mystery partner. However, they got into the match more as it went on. Cody hit some moves he usually doesn't perform as a heel, but the bulk of the fans seemed to be pulling for the JeriShow tag team.
Backstage, Josh Matthews tried to interview C.M. Punk, who instead addressed the fans by asking if they were still supporting Jeff Hardy after everything he had said. Punk took the mic and headed into the arena. He stood on a cargo crate and polled the crowd again. He said he doesn't blame the kids who cheer Hardy. Rather, he blames the parents.
Punk said the kids who cheer Hardy obviously have single parents. He said the parents who let the kids cheer Hardy obviously don't care what happens to their children. Punk said he doesn't blame kids under 17 who cheer Hardy. "The real problem is the parents," Hardy said. "The parents don't sit their kids down and teach them the proper way to live."
Punk said it starts with a Jeff Hardy t-shirt and leads to a cigarette, then a beer, then a shot of Jack Daniels, which he said is a gateway to smoking marijuana. Punk said the next thing you know the kids are digging through mom's purse for her prescription medication. Punk said tonight he wants the fans to say yes - yes to the future of a straight edge, drug free America. "Just say yes to the World Heavyweight Champion," he said. "Thank you."
Powell's POV: Fantastic heat generating promo. Great stuff from Punk.
2. Christian defeated Tommy Dreamer to win the ECW Title in 8:35. Matthews and Matt "Beer Can" Striker on commentary. Christian received a better pop than Dreamer even though the show is in Philly. An small ECW chant broke out less than two minutes into the match. Striker said there were a group of fans who followed Tommy up the road to the ECW Arena for a makeshift BBQ earlier in the day. Cool story if true.
Christian had Dreamer in a sleeper, but Dreamer fell backward to knock him off. If only Nick Bockwinkel had figured out that counter years ago. Christian came back with another sleeper and this time Dreamer tumbled over the top rope and took Christian with him. Dreamer did the obligatory tree of woe spot and got a nice reaction for the ECW chant.
At 8:15, Christian hit the fulcrum kick in the corner. A short time later, he hit the Killswitch on Dreamer and scored the clean 1-2-3. He received a nice reaction from the Philly crowd despite beating the ECW hero. After the match, Dreamer spun Christian around and they ended up hugging...
Powell's POV: They got the heel vs. heel, and babyface vs. babyface matches out of the way early. The live crowd seemed to like Christian and Dreamer. They weren't very passionate when it came to which wrestler they wanted to see win, but they did seem to enjoy the match and like both guys.
A SummerSlam ad aired. No Shawn Michaels in this ad, but Jeff Hardy was included...
Powell's POV: Read into that what you will. I think it's more telling that Hardy was included in the ad than it is that HBK was not.
Backstage, Todd Grisham interviewed Big Show and Chris Jericho. Show said they don't like each other, but they will become the best tag team in history. Jericho flashed a sinister smile and thanked Edge for making it all possible...
Powell's POV: The announcers waited until Primo made his ring entrance to tell us that Primo was replacing Big Show in the U.S. Title match. Apparently, Show doesn't want to win another title. Hey, anything to get out of seeing Show in that horrible singlet twice in one night.
3. Kofi Kingston defeated Jack Swagger, Carlito, Primo, The Miz, and MVP in a six-pack challenge to retain the U.S. Title in 6:40. A few guys went for pins early. Miz hit the Reality Check on Primo and went for a cover, but Kofi broke it up. Swagger hit his finisher on Primo early, but Carlito broke up the pin.
The cameras focussed on Swagger and MVP as they fought at ringside. Swagger screamed, "You're not better than me," as they fought. Carlito moonsaulted off the top rope toward both men, but Swagger bailed, so Carlito only hit MVP. They set up a tower of doom spot with Swagger on the offensive.
"Near fall after near fall," Cole said. No kidding. There were some really fun rapid fire pinfalls a couple minutes later with Primo, Carlito, and Kofi all attempting to pin one another. MVP hit the Ballin' Elbow on Swagger and received a strong reaction. He set up Swagger for the Playmaker, but Miz hit The Stroke, only to have the near fall broke up.
Later, Carlito teased working with his brother Primo, only to hit him with the Backstabber. Kofi, who had been outside the ring, ran in and hit Trouble in Paradise on Carlito and then pinned him to retain the title...
Powell's POV: Nonstop action. It felt like there was cover every 10 seconds. Fun for what it was, but nothing particularly memorable about the match.
Backstage, Matthews interviewed Randy Orton, who expressed sympathy for Ted and Cody losing their match. He vowed to retain the WWE Championship...
4. Michelle McCool pinned Melina to retain the WWE Women's Title in 6:15. Jim Ross and Todd Grisham checked in for the first time on commentary. Melina did the splits as part of her entrance, only to be greeted with a slide kick by McCool. Cool spot. Melina got up quickly and the bell rang to start the match.
They fought in and out of the ring during the first four minutes of the match. Good, physical work from both women. After more back and forth action, Melina hit a Thesz Press off the second rope, but McCool used her legs to put Melina into a pinning situation and got the win...
Powell's POV: A clunky finish, but an otherwise good match. Unfortunately, the live crowd didn't really care. Nevertheless, I'd like to see more from those two.
A shot aired of John Cena standing backstage. Cole said the WWE Title match was coming up next... A video package hyped the Triple Threat match and featured footage of their match at WrestleMania 24...
Powell's POV: Anyone else surprised that the Triple Threat match isn't closing the show? Here's hoping they have something special planned for Punk vs. Hardy.
5. Randy Orton defeated John Cena and Triple H in a Triple Threat match to retain the WWE Championship in 22:50. More boos than usual from Cena. Hunter came out second and jawed at Cena in mid-ring until Orton's music played. Lilian Garcia handled the in-ring introductions. Cole noted that Buddy Rogers won the first WWE Title 46 years ago. He ran through a list of big name champions since then.
Hunter and Cena double teamed Orton early. "Orton is like a ball in a pinball machine right now," Cole said. A short time later, Orton ended up bumping Cena off the ring apron and onto Hunter, who was standing on the floor. Orton worked over Cena in the ring while Hunter recovered on the floor.
For those who were concerned that Randy wouldn't apply the chinlock of doom during a Triple Threat match, he eased all of our minds by putting it on Hunter for 30 seconds while Cena was selling a backbreaker at ringside. The live crowd was silent, of course. At 9:10, Orton tried to DDT both opponents while they were draped over the second rope, but they recovered and backdropped him to the floor.
With Orton at ringside, Hunter and Cena squared off for the first time. They had a big staredown and then Hunter did the "You Can't See Me" hand gesture to Cena, who was offended and threw the first punch. They traded punches with the fans doing the "yeah" for Hunter and "boo" for Cena.
Both men went for their big moves. Eventually, Hunter hit the spinebuster and followed up with The Pedigree at 12:00. Hunter covered Cena, but Orton recovered and broke up the pin. All three wrestlers fought to ringside. Hunter wanted to Pedigree Cena on the table, but Cena countered with the STF on the table until Orton broke it up.
Cena and Orton traded punches and the fans did the "yeah" for Orton and the "boo" for Cena. Expected when it was Hunter and Cena, but funny when it was Orton and Cena. At 15:00, Orton went for the RKO, but Cena threw him off.
At 16:20, Cena caught Hunter in the STF in mid-ring while Orton was selling in the corner. Super Hunter powered up and inched close to the ropes, but Cena released the hold, and dragged Hunter into the middle of the ring and reapplied the hold. Orton recovered and went for the big punt kick, but Cena let go of Hunter and Orton missed in Charlie Brown style.
Later, Cena set up for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and was booed. He started to back his way toward the ropes, but Hunter pulled the top rope down and Cena tumbled to ringside. Hunter locked in the Sharpshooter on Orton. Cena recovered and simultaneously applied the Crossface while Hunter had the Sharpshooter locked in. Orton tapped, but the referee didn't call for the bell because he couldn't pick a winner.
Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase hit the ring and attacked the babyfaces. Cena hoisted up Cody for the Attitude Adjustment, but Orton hit the RKO on Cena and pinned him.
Powell's POV: The announcers spoke about how shocked the fans were to help cover for the fact that the fans didn't care for the odd finish. They must have knew they had a clunker finish and booked this match early in the show as a result. The match was nothing special early. They picked up the pace late, but that finish was a groaner.
Backstage, The Miz tried to kiss Maryse, but she didn't oblige because he's a loser for not capturing the U.S. Title. Miz got pissed and said he can get any woman he wants. Miz called her a tease and said there would come a day when she would come crawling back to him. He said it was too late because she butchered her chance, just as she butchers the English language...
Cole and Lawler hyped Shaquille O'Neal as the guest host of Monday's Raw... Chili from TLC and her kid were shown in the crowd... They replayed the spray can angle from Monday's Raw with Maryse and Mickie...
6. Mickie James defeated Maryse to win the WWE Divas Championship in 8:35. The live crowd didn't give a damn early on. Maryse hit a nice kick that knocked Mickie off the ring apron and then encouraged the referee to count her out. Mickie got back in the ring to beat the count.
Later, Maryse pulled out the aerosol can. Mickie kicked it away. After a few more minutes of forgettable action, Mickie hit a jumping DDT and scored the clean pin to capture the gold...
Powell's POV: Damn, this crowd is quiet. They pepped up for the title change, but they were silent throughout the match.
Backstage, Josh Matthews interviewed Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes about losing the tag title match. Ted said Josh was focussing on the negative. Cody said they were cementing their legacy...
Powell's POV: Strange promo. I'm all for putting over wins and losses, but that just seemed pointless. Maybe it's leading to something.
A video hyped the Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler video aired...
Powell's POV: Did anyone think this match would go on after Orton vs. Cena vs. Hunter?
7. Rey Mysterio pinned Dolph Ziggler (w/Maria) to retain the Intercontinental Title in 14:20. At 2:55, Ziggler picked up Rey in powerbomb position and threw him into a top turnbuckle and then scored a near fall. Dolph remained on offense and avoided Rey's 619 attempt. Dolph stood up and aggressively threw Rey under the ropes to ringside and into the announcers' table.
Ziggler dominated the action for several minutes. Rey leapt off the top rope and into a dropkick from Dolph. Nice move. Rey kicked out of a couple pin attempts. Rey made a strong comeback at the end of the match and hit the 619 and top rope splash before scoring the clean pin...
Powell's POV: Good match with Dolph dominating most of the match only to lose in the end. Dolph didn't get any heat from the fans. He didn't really play to them, but the bigger problem is that his character does little more than introduce himself. Maria just sat there at ringside and then made silly faces after Dolph lost. They have some chemistry, but creative has to do more with them.
An ad aired for the tag team DVD... The announcers hyped C.M. Punk vs. Jeff Hardy... A video hyped Punk vs. Hardy...
8. Jeff Hardy pinned C.M. Punk to win the World Hvt. Championship in 15:00. Punk made his ring entrance first. Ross said he was surprised by that. Jeff came out wearing face paint and was super over. Justin Roberts handled the in-ring introductions. Early in the match, Hardy dove at Punk at ringside, but Punk moved and Hardy hit the guardrail hard. Punk rolled back inside the ring and urged the referee to count Hardy out. Punk celebrated when the referee's count reached nine, but Hardy rolled back in just in time.
Later, Punk hit a running high knee in the corner and then mocked the crowd by smiling and holding his hand over his face. Funny. Hardy came right back with a Whisper in the Wind for a near fall.
At 12:25, Hardy hit the Twist of Fate. He went for the Swanton Bomb, but Punk lifted his knees. Punk went for the cover and Hardy kicked out at the last possible second. Punk hit the GTS a short time later. He smiled as he covered Hardy, only to have Jeff kick out. A frustrated Punk went for a pair of covers, but Jeff kicked out both times.
Punk rolled out to ringside and grabbed the World Hvt. Championship belt. Punk put the belt over his shoulder and started to walk up the ramp, but Jeff recovered and chased after him. Jeff attacked Punk and threw him back inside the ring. Jeff threw repeated punches and hit the Twist of Fate. Hardy went to the top rope and hit the Swanton Bomb and scored the clean pin to become the new World Hvt. Champion.
Powell's POV: Best match of the show and the live crowd is going home happy. Given Hardy's title win, the SummerSlam ad, and the ads for overseas events this fall, my guess is that Hardy has at least signed an extension with WWE, but that's just speculation. Either way, I'm not a big fan of the title change.
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