A Night of Champions featured several WWE title matches with two surprises in the headlining championship matches. On the other hand, there was very little surprise to the finish of how the non-title headliner played out in Buffalo.
In the main-event, Triple H defeated CM Punk and retained his C.O.O. title. The finish came when The Miz and R-Truth ran in and started beating down both guys. They eventually placed Punk on top of Triple H. Hunter kicked out and then they both beat up the referee. John Laurinaitis came down to ringside once the ref was down. Eventually Punk and Triple H recovered and The Miz and Truth left the area.
John Laurinaitis was shown sending a text message and Kevin Nash came through the crowd and entered the ring. Nash attacked both Punk and Hunter. Nash went outside of the ring and was caught from behind by Triple H with a sledgehammer. Hunter than went back into the ring, hit The Pedigree, and pinned Punk.
[adinserter block=”2″]The match was good but not what I expected. The crowd was fairly dead during the finish as if they were just waiting for Nash to run in. The finish itself really hurt Punk in my opinion. He looked like an idiot for not preparing for Nash’s interference in the No DQ match when everyone and their mother expected it.
I may have missed it but I thought it was really odd that the announcers never mentioned Laurinaitis texting on his phone. Booker kept talking and the announcers completely ignored it. Even more strange was after the match they started asking questions about Nash and Laurinaitis wondering if there was ever a connection, yet acting as if they never saw the shot of Laurinaitis sending a text message. It was pretty weird if you ask me.
I also think this is will all set up the return of Vince McMahon sooner than later. There were rumors over the weekend that Vince would be returning as a regular character. Vince usually returns when ratings are down or struggling so the timing is right for the return of the genetic jackhammer!
In what I would call a surprise, John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio for his 10th WWE championship win. Cena won the title with the STF in what was a pretty decent match. The finish came when Del Rio had an armbar on Cena, Cena used a power bomb to escape, Ricardo interfered, Cena threw him into the post, applied the STF on Del Rio and won the match and the title.
While Cena winning is never a big surprise, I think the timing here was what threw everyone off. The WWE are about to hit the road for a big Mexico tour and it was assumed that Del Rio would return as the conquering WWE champion. It would have made for great TV as one RAW will be taped on the tour. Between the tour and all of the time they spent building up Del Rio for the title yet it all seems like such a waste after tonight.
I am disappointed as I was really into Del Rio and I thought he had a lot of potential to go down as a memorable champion. I just don’t get the point of all of the build to lose to the title in his first big defense. The only thing I can think of is that the WWE will try and replicate Money in the Bank and set up a situation where Del Rio challenges for the title on the RAW in Mexico. Other than that I have no idea what they were thinking here.
In what I would call the bigger stunner of the night, Mark Henry defeated Randy Orton for the WWE world heavyweight championship. Henry ducked an RKO and pinned Orton clean with the World’s Strongest Slam. This marks Henry’s first WWE major singles title (I won’t count ECW) reign of his fifteen year WWE tenure.
[adinserter block=”1″]Not many people saw this coming. Orton just got out of a lengthy series with Christian for the title. Christian earlier in the show demanded a WWE title match, so it appeared that they were moving back towards another Orton vs. Christian match. The win will likely lead to a few more title matches but it looks like they are going to go full steam ahead with Henry. It has been a long road for the World’s Strongest Man and while he isn’t my favorite wrestler, I think it is nice to see him finally get some due.
Full WWE Night of Champions 2011 results…
Triple H defeated CM Punk in a No Disqualification match
John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio to win the WWE Championship
Mark Henry defeated Randy Orton to win the World Heavyweight Championship
Kelly Kelly defeated Beth Phoenix to retain the WWE Divas Championship
Air Boom (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston) defeated The Miz & R-Truth to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship
Dolph Ziggler defeated Jack Swagger, Alex Riley, & John Morrison in a Fatal four-way match to retain the WWE United States Championship