WWE Night of Champions 2012 Flashback: C.M. Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship, Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship, Kane and Daniel Bryan win the WWE Tag Titles
The following is Jason Powell's live coverage review of the September 16, 2012 WWE Night of Champions pay-per-view. Join Jason Powell and Chris Shore for live coverage of the 2013 WWE Night of Champions event tonight at 6:30 p.m. CT. Dot Net Members will hear their member exclusive audio review of WWE Night of Champions on Sunday night. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up now via the Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
WWE Night of Champions
Aired live on pay-per-view
Boston, Massachusetts at T.D. Garden
The pre-show broadcast team of Scott Stanford and Matt Striker ran through the pay-per-view lineup... A video recapped the Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio feud and the Brogue Kick drama...
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed Booker T and asked him about his ongoing investigation of the Brogue Kick. Booker said he takes safety very seriously and said the only thing Mathews needs to know at this time is that the Brogue Kick is banned...
The announcers noted that it will be a 16-man battle royal for the shot at the U.S. Title. A video showcased U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro...
Ring entrances for the battle royal took place. Brodus Clay was the first entrant. He had both dancers with him, so Cameron is back following her suspension. The other entrants are Primo and Epico, Justin Gabriel, Tensai, Tyson Kidd, Michael McGillicutty, Zack Ryder, Darren Young, Titus O'Neil, Jinder Mahal, JTG, Drew McIntyre, Ted DiBiase, Heath Slater, and Santino Marella.
1. 16-man Battle Royal for a shot at the United States Championship. The wrestlers ganged up on Slater and tossed him out immediately. DiBiase, McGillicutty, and Primo were out next. Brodus eliminated Mahal. Clay also threw Epico onto Primo and Jinder. Tensai tossed Gabriel onto the wrestlers at ringside.
Kidd got the better of Tensai briefly, only to be powerbombed onto the wrestlers on the floor. The Players teamed up to eliminate Brodus Clay. Santino eliminated JTG. Ryder dropkicked McIntyre over the top rope to eliminate him from the match. Santino pulled out The Cobra and struck Tensai with it. He followed up by using it on Young and tried to pin them both. Ugh. The Players teamed up to eliminate Santino. Yes!
The final four were Ryder, Tensai, Young, and O'Neil. Ryder eliminated O'Neil. Tensai tried to dump Ryder and Young over the top, but only Young went over and was eliminated. A short time later, Ryder eliminated Tensai to win the match...
Zack Ryder won a 16-man battle royal in 5:45 to earn a U.S. Title shot.
Powell's POV: Ryder wins the Heroes of Superstars Battle Royal. Considering the alternatives who were actually in the match, this was a logical outcome. Ryder will challenge Cesaro for the U.S. Title. By the way, Sakamoto did come out with Tensai, but he didn't get his ass kicked (or I missed it) as he deservedly does when Tesai loses matches.
An ad aired for the WWE app. It concluded with a reminder for anyone downloading the WWE app to immediately download the Prowrestling.net app. Okay, that last part is a lie, but you really should if you haven't done so already. Really, what the hell are you doing? Go download the free Prowrestling.net App... The announcers ran through the pay-per-view lineup...
Backstage, Josh Mathews said C.M. Punk rejected his interview request. He asked Paul Heyman if he could ask him about Punk. Heyman gave him a grammar correction and said, "You just did"...
A video focussed on the C.M. Punk vs. John Cena match...
WWE Night of Champions Pay-Per-View Coverage
A video package opened the show and focussed on the main event... Pyro went off on the stage... Cole noted that there were 14,866 fans in attendance...
Powell's POV: Dot Net Member Zim is at the show in Boston. He wrote to say that Michael Cole received "85 percent polite applause and a few boos." He added that there were loud "Jerry" chants.
At ringside, Cole said they were beginning the show with fantastic news regarding Jerry Lawler. He noted that CPR was performed on Lawler for 15 minutes and his life was saved. He said Lawler has his sense of humor back. Cole said Lawler will be going home to Memphis this week. Cole said people would never guess who will be joining him on commentary...
JBL's entrance music played. JBL walked onto the stage wearing a suit and put his cowboy hat on. Cole noted that the news was released on social media earlier today regarding JBL joining him on commentary. Once JBL sat down, Cole noted that Lawler tweeted about his return. JBL said he was keeping Lawler's seat warm, but warned him that it may be on fire "because that's how I do things"...
Lilian Garcia introduced The Miz for the Intercontinental Title. Miz cut a promo on his way to the ring complaining about Booker's "brilliant idea" to put him in a four-way match. He said he's the only guy who has to defend his title against three challengers. Miz said he plans to file a formal complaint. The other wrestlers were introduced for the match. Mysterio wore a shirt with a crown on it in tribute to Lawler...
1. The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes in four-way match for the Intercontinental Title. The crowd was slow to warm up to the match. They cheered for Mysterio when he and Sin Cara worked against one another. Miz was able to get a rise out of the crowd when he played to them. The adult males chanted, "Miz is awesome."
JBL admitted that he didn't think Miz was amount to much in WWE. He said he thought he was going to be "a Kardashian brother" and praised him for "working his tail off" and becoming WWE Champion. As the wrestlers were doing their thing outside the ring, JBL said it's all well and good, but you don't win championships outside the ring.
At 9:45, Miz went for the Skull Crushing Finale on Miz and Rhodes. He hit the move on Miz and then dumped Rhodes to ringside. Mysterio hit a top rope splash on Miz and went for a cover, but Cody pulled him to ringside. Cody got a near fall of his own only to have Sin Cara break it up.
Cody got the better of Sin Cara and then went for the mask. JBL said it was a complete waste of time. Sin Cara took off a mask and tried to put it on Rhodes. Miz hit the Reality Check on Sin Cara for a two count. Sin Cara ended up putting the mask over Miz's eyes. Miz, while blinded, hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Rhodes and pinned him...
The Miz defeated Cody Rhodes, Sin Cara, and Rey Mysterio in 12:10 to retain the Intercontinental Title.
Powell's POV: The finish would have been cool if Miz and Rhodes were tag partners or cast as allies, but they've been bickering lately. The match was solid and was entertaining down the stretch.
Backstage, The Prime Time Players complained to Eve about having their tag title shot taken away from them. Eve was summoned by a trainer, who was tending to Kaitlyn's injured leg. She said she'd been attacked by a masked person. Eve acted sincerely concerned as she helped the trainer move her...
Powell's POV: I'll bet the mask person was Sin Cara. He's such a bitter loser! Okay, so Eve attacked Kaitlyn and will probably win the WWE Divas Championship later tonight. It may seem predictable if it plays out that way, but I'll take it. Eve is the only person in the Divas division who has a character at this point.
A video set up the tag title match and focussed on the Kane and Daniel Bryan team...
2. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston vs. Kane and Daniel Bryan for the WWE Tag Titles. By the way, the middle ring rope is pink in support of WWE's role in raising breast cancer awareness. Speaking of colors, Kofi wore Bruins colors while in Boston. Good man.
Kane and Brian had some early issues. Bryan opened his arms for a hug. Kane paused and the live crowd went nuts. Kane gave in and hugged Bryan. They were on the same page for a bit, but things fell apart again late. Bryan forewarmed Kane and shoved him off the top rope. Kane fell onto Kingston and got the pin.
Bryan went to one corner and celebrated. Kane went to another corner and celebrated. They were at odds over which one of them was the tag team champions. They yelled back and forth, "I am the tag team champions." Kane did his pyro bit and after a second delay it went off and then he left the ring.
Daniel Bryan and Kane defeated Kofi Kingston and R-Truth to win the WWE Tag Titles in 8:20.
Powell's POV: Good fun with the new reluctant tag team champions. The hugging routine will get old someday, but we're not there yet. This act is a lot of fun and the live crowds are definitely into it. By the way, Cole is calling everything straight and JBL seems like he's up to speed on the storylines.
Backstage, Eve told Booker T that she told Kaitlyn that he would reschedule her title match. Teddy Long said every title has to be defended on Night of Champions. Eve said she forgot about that. Booker said she should replace Kaitlyn in the match. Eve acted humble as she accepted the match...
Cole and JBL spoke about their role in spreading breast cancer awareness. They said the middle rope will remain pink throughout the month of October...
3. Antonio Cesaro (w/Aksana) vs. Zack Ryder for the U.S. Title. Before the match, Cesaro's word was "unfair." Video footage recapped Ryder's battle royal win. Kudos to the fan who made the "Ambrose, you're wanted on set" sign. Cesaro dominated the early offense and did double foot stomps onto Ryder's abdomen.
Ryder made a brief comeback. Cesaro tossed Ryder into the air and caught him with the uppercut for a two count. Later, Ryder made a comeback and was setting up for a move when Aksana pulled Cesaro outside the ring. Ryder followed to the floor and then followed Cesaro back inside the ring, where Cesaro got the better of him and finished him off with the Neutralizer...
Antonio Cesaro defeated Zack Ryder to retain the U.S. Championship in 6:40.
Powell's POV: I dig the Cesaro and Aksana act. She was lying on the rip apron and using her sex appeal in an attempt to distract Ryder. The pre-show word routine is kind of flat, but the overall act has a lot of potential.
Backstage, David Otunga and Alberto Del Rio lectured Ricardo Rodriguez because he took his neckbrace off. Otunga told him that he always has to wear it in public...
4. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Randy Orton. Cole and JBL had a fun exchange about the chronically injured hand of Bob Orton Jr. Ziggler and Orton worked a tense style and at a fast pace from the start. JBL noted that the match is big for Orton because if Ziggler cashes in Money in the Bank and wins, Orton would be first in line for a title shot if he has a win over him.
Ziggler had a lengthy run of offense and got repeated near falls. The live crowd wasn't buying into the near falls, but they gave him a chance to show frustration over his inability to put Orton away. Orton caught Ziggler on the ropes at 13:15 and superplexed him for a two count of his own.
At 15:00, Ziggler hit the Fameasser and went for a cover, but Orton kicked out at the last moment. Very good near fall. The adult male crowd cheered for Ziggler. Orton held his neck as he got to his feet, which he did at various times during the match. They went to ringside where Orton threw Ziggler aggressively into the barricade. Orton told the camera gut to "watch the f--- out" (censored).
Orton DDT'd Ziggler off the barricade moments later, but was unable to put him away once they headed back inside the ring because Dolph put his foot on the bottom rope. Orton went for the RKO, but Dolph dodged it and rolled up Orton for another two count. Ziggler applied the sleeper. Orton shoved him off. Ziggler ran at Orton, who threw him into the air and caught him with the RKO on the way down...
Randy Orton defeated Dolph Ziggler in 18:25.
Powell's POV: Great intensity from bell to bell. It was easy to get caught up in the match and not be bothered by the fact that it was the only match thus far without a title at stake. Best match of the night thus far and it's not even close. It does make me wonder if Ziggler will cash in later. I'd rather see him wait until next month after the Hell in a Cell match with the idea of Orton winning this match be to set him up as a challenger for Ziggler after the filming of the "12 Rounds" sequel.
The announcers spoke at ringside and set up a preview of Dredd 3D...
5. Layla vs. Eve for the WWE Divas Championship. A few minutes in, Eve shook Layla's hand and then kicked her knee. Eve was aggressive from that point on and rammed Layla into the ring a couple times. There was plenty of side boob action when Eve applied a submission hold and Layla's gear was repositioned. Hey, it's my job to be as observant as possible! Anyway, Eve put her away with a Heartbreaker (a/k/a spinning neckbreaker) for the win...
Eve defeated Layla to win the WWE Divas Championship in 6:40.
Powell's POV: Okay, so it seems odd to me that the only people who haven't figured out that Eve wasn't sincere are Booker T and Layla. And it's even worse that Layla doubted her all along but suddenly dropped all suspicion once they were actually in the ring together. I'm willing to overlook that simply because a Diva actually has a story.
Lilian Garcia spoke about the WWE partnership with Komen.org and introduced a group of women in the crowd as breast cancer survivors... A video aired on breast cancer...
Backstage, Daniel Bryan ran around telling anyone who would listen that he's the tag team champions. Kane did the same and they eventually came together. Dr. Shelby was there and told them he's proud of them. Shelby snapped and told them enough, but A.J. snapped more and yelled over the top of him.
A.J. asked what was wrong with them. The doctor got Bryan to congratulate Kane. He asked Kane if he had anything to say. Kane walked away. Bryan flipped again until he had a gatorade bucket dumped on him. Kane said he's going to Disneyland...
Powell's POV: I my ongoing attempt to provide the most thorough coverage possible, I must note that we had a wet white shirt moment with A.J. Oh, and the doctor had to wring out his sweater.
A video recapped the Brogue Kick lawsuit nonsense... Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus made their entrances. Ricardo did his pre-match intro of Del Rio. We did not see Ricardo boob. Lilian Garcia introduced Sheamus. We did see Sheamus boob. Booker T came out and said he's concluded his investigation. Long story short, the Brogue Kick is legal...
6. Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez, David Otunga) for the World Hvt. Championship. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick and ended up connecting with Otunga and knocking him off the apron. Late in the match, Sheamus hit White Noise and looked to the crowd. He set up for the Brogue Kick and missed the move.
Del Rio followed up with kick to the head in the corner and got a two count. Del Rio protested to the referee. Del Rio went for the Cross Arm Breaker. Sheamus avoided it and went for the Brogue Kick, but Del Rio dodged it again. Del Rio went for the Cross Arm Breaker and appeared to have it, but Sheamus rolled through and went for the Cloverleaf, but he was unable to apply it.
Del Rio trapped Sheamus's arm between the ropes and kicked him. Referee Charles Robinson made him back off. Del Rio took another shot. Robinson scolded him. Sheamus got free and eventually was put in the Cross Arm Breaker in the middle of the ring. Sheamus got to his feet and slammed Del Rio down to the mat to break the hold.
At 13:25, Del Rio applied the Cross Arm Breaker. Sheamus teased tapping and eventually got his feet on the bottom rope to break the hold. Del Rio threw a tantrum to sell his frustration. Del Rio went for his running kick in the corner and missed badly. Sheamus caught Del Rio with the Brogue Kick and got the pin...
Sheamus pinned Alberto Del Rio to retain the World Hvt. Championship in 14:25.
Powell's POV: Slow going early, but entertaining and even dramatic at times during the last five minutes. The live crowd seemed to think Del Rio was going to win when he had the Cross Arm Breaker applied in the middle of the ring. I can't see this going to Hell in a Cell after Sheamus won clean, so I have no idea where they are going on the Smackdown side for that match. I suppose they could do an angle and hope to heat it up again, but it doesn't seem like that's where they are going.
A "Don't Try This At Home" video aired... A National Guard and WWE partnership video was shown... Three members of the U.S. Military were shown in the crowd... A video set up the main event...
Paul Heyman was shown standing in the ring. He told the Boston crowd that while he's from New York, he's just like them in that he gets to sit and watch C.M. Punk's 302nd day as WWE Champion. He concluded by mentioning that Punk said he's a Paul Heyman Guy.
Punk made his entrance and said 3-0-2 before doing his usual "clobberin' time" line. JBL defended Punk for feeling disrespected by pointing out that he's held the title for 302 days, yet guys like John Cena and The Rock got the headlines. John Cena made his entrance to a mixed reaction. Most of the adult males in Boston seem to cheering for Punk. Cena came wearing his new black and pink shirt and pink hat that read, "Rise Above Cancer."
Justin Roberts handled the in-ring introductions. Heyman applauded Punk at ringside. A smiling Punk held the WWE Championship above his head and soaked up the crowd's mixed reaction while Heyman smiled at ringside. Punk went to a corner, stood on the second rope, and kissed the title belt. He gave the belt to the referee. Cena threw his shirt to his father at ringside. "I've got the shirt now," John Cena Sr. said after pulling it away from the woman (Cena's mother?) next to him...
Powell's POV: They have plenty of time to work with. The opening bell sounded at 9:20 p.m. CT.
7. C.M. Punk (w/Paul Heyman) vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship. The dueling chants for the two wrestlers started a minute into the match. Punk's gear featured Yankee pinstripes. Punk got the bulk of the early offense. Cena caught him on the ropes and picked Punk up on his shoulders, but Punk slipped out and dropped Cena with a DDT.
Punk remained on the offensive with a drop toe hold into a chin lock while bridging. When Punk released the hold, Cena clutched at his shin while selling the hold and rolled to ringside. Cena limped as he got back to his feet and then ate a suicide dive. Punk stood up and smiled at John Cena Sr.
Punk blew a kiss toward the crowd (presumably to Cena's family). Cena recovered and caught Punk with a baseball slide kick under the ropes. Cena dumped Punk over the barricade near his family. Back inside the ring, Punk regained control of the offense at 8:45. There was a rough moment with Punk missing with a punch that Cena sold. Even Cole felt the need to note that it was a glancing blow.
Punk went for the GTS. Cena avoided it and followed up with a pair of shoulder blocks. Cena signaled for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He went for the move and Punk caught him with a kick to the face. Heyman was repeatedly shown leaning against the announcers' table while intently watching the match.
Punk went for a cross body block, but Cena rolled through and hoisted him up up for the the Attitude Adjustment. Punk slipped away and went to ringside. Cena shrugged his shoulders and then performed a suicide dive on Punk. He stood up and did the "You Can't See Me" to Heyman, who was selling with a look of shock on his face.
Cena went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle again. Punk put his leg up, grabbed Cena's arm, and applied the Anaconda Vice. Cena slipped out and applied the STF. Punk eventually slipped out and countered with a Crossface at 15:00 as Heyman rocked back and forth while showing concern at ringside.
Punk and Cena traded punches in the middle of the ring and the crowd cheered along accordingly. Cena got more boos. Punk dropkicked Punk and then hit him with a high knee in the corner. Punk went to the top rope and connected with a flying elbow for a two count. Heyman showed frustration at ringside at 17:00.
Punk got to his knees and held out his arms. He stood up and signaled for the GTS. Punk went for the move, but Cena grabbed his leg on the way down and applied the STF. Punk crawled toward the ropes and reached one to break the hold at 18:15. Punk came right back and connected with the GTS for two. Punk, Heyman, and even JBL acted shocked. JBL asked what do you do when you throw your best shot at somebody ad you didn't beat the person.
Punk limped while selling the STF and then threw kicks at Cena. At 20:00, Punk expressed more frustration as the announcers continued to question what else he could throw at him. Punk slapped Cena, who responded with a failed AA attempt. Cena did come back with the Five Knuckle Shuffle and the Attitude Adjustment, but Punk kicked out at 20:50. Punk rolled to ringside where Heyman was giddy about his guy kicking out of Cena's big move.
At 22:00, Cena went to the top rope and missed the leg drop. Punk connected with a kick and then got a good two count. Punk connected with a few striking moves including a spinning back fist. Cole said frustration appeared to be turning into desperation. Punk went for a moonsault and missed.
Cena and Punk got to their feet. Cena went for an AA. Punk avoided it and hit the GTS. Punk went for the cover, but Cena kicked out again at 24:40. JBL said his respect will run deep for Cena regardless of whether he wins or not because of the tenacity he's shown. Punk dropped Cena with a Rock Bottom. He covered him and stuck his tongue out. Cena kicked out again at the last moment.
Punk flashed a look of shock that the move didn't put Cena away. Cena dropped Punk went with the Attitude Adjustment only to have Punk kick out at the last moment. Cena picked up Punk and set him on the ropes. "This is awesome," chanted the crowd. Punk nailed Cena with elbows and knocked him off the ropes. Cena performed a German Suplex off the top rope and got the pin.
Cena celebrated the win. He took the title and went to ringside and let one of the soldiers touch the belt. Cena went back to the ring and stood on the second rope. When he climbed down, the referee was there waiting. The referee took the title belt from Cena.
Justin Roberts announced that since the shoulders of both men were down, C.M. Punk is still the WWE Champion. Cena acted shocked. Punk flashed a huge shit eating grin. Cena protested. When he turned around, Punk was there to blast him with the WWE Championship. Punk and Heyman headed up the aisle and celebrated as Punk's music played to close the show...
C.M. Punk fought John Cena to a double pin in 26:55 to retain the WWE Championship.
Powell's POV: Another gem from Punk and Cena, and very nice work by Cole and JBL to sell how much they were throwing at one another during the match. The finish is logical in that it keeps the belt on Punk and sets up the need for a rematch in Hell in a Cell next month. It beat the hell out of Paul Heyman or Big Show or anyone else interfering and an ultra-cheap finish to keep the belt on Punk. Obviously, the best match of the night.
Overall, this was a quality WWE pay-per-view with an excellent main event. Their Hell in a Cell match should be awesome and one can only hope it's built up in a way that makes it feel more important than this did going in. The undercard was solid, yet only Orton vs. Ziggler reached that next gear, though I did enjoy the closing minutes of Sheamus vs. Del Rio.
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