Refresh this page throughout the evening for LIVE ongoing results and analysis from WWE Night of Champions (2013). Coverage starts at 8 pm ET!
Tonight, WWE returns to Pay Per View with its annual “Night of Champions” Pay-Per-View. The show is headlined by an exciting match, with Randy Orton defending his WWE Championship against an underdog Daniel Bryan. Fans also have CM Punk vs Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel in a handicap match, with the stipulation that if Punk beats Axel, he gets his hands on Punk. Be sure to watch along with us tonight!
Technical difficulties aside, we are LIVE with the Pay-Per-View!!!!!
Show Opening with Triple H
Triple H came out to start the show. He said that, in order to prove he’s not biased, tonight’s WWE Championship match between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan would be NO interference. That means no interference from The Shield, no interference from the Big Show nothing. So, he asked the crowd, “Are… you…. ready?!”
Paul Heyman came out and told Triple H that he takes issues with what’s “best for business.” Triple H asked him if he’s alright. He asked him when was the last time he slept, or showered. Paul Heyman admitted he’s a wreck. Then, he sucked up to Triple H, praising his “leadership,” but said that he thinks Triple H has made one error in judgement – putting himself, a non-athlete, in a handicapped elimination match against a fighter branded as “the best in the world.” He begged for Triple H to cancel the match against CM Punk.
Triple H admitted he made some good points. He asked if this had anything to do with the fact that the match was turned into a No Disqualification handicapped match? He said that Heyman has no reason to worry. Triple H just told Heyman to let Curtis Axel handle everything… and then asked if Heyman believes in Curtis Axel. Heyman looked worried. Triple H told him that the match stays.
Axel took the microphone and asked Triple H why he thought this was funny. He said it must have something to do with the fact that Axel himself beat Triple H back in May. Triple H admitted that he made a mistake. This is “Night of Champions”! And he forgot to book an Intercontinental Championship match… so, Triple H said he’s going to walk back in the locker room, and give a title match to the first person he comes across. He told Curtis Axel not to go anywhere because that match is next.
Triple H left the ring. Paul Heyman took the mic and said that this match is being protested by his client, Curtis Axel. Suddenly, Kofi Kingston’s music hit…
Kofi Kingston vs. Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship
Both men engaged in a tieup to start the match. Axel grabbed Kingston into a side-headlock, but Kingston regained the advantage. They jockeyed for position. Michael Cole said that this match could give Axel momentum heading into the handicap match against CM Punk later on tonight. Axel bounced off the ropes, Kofi jumped over him, and Curtis Axel slid to the outside of the ring for a quick breather.
Back in the ring, Curtis Axel pushed Kingston into the corner, but Kingston rolled out and regained the advantage. He kicked Axel off his feet. Axel rolled outside the ring AGAIN for another breather. Kingston brought him back in the right. He caught Axel square on the jaw with a kick, went for a pin attempt, but only got a two-count.
Axel regained control with a quick drop-kick. He clothes-lined Kingston over the top rope as Heyman loked on. Axel Irish-whipped Kingston into the steel chairs, but Kingston jumped to the top rope, and hit Axel with a backwards leap. He put Axel in the ring and tried to capitalize with a pin. Axel kicked out after two.
Axel laid Kingston up in a tree of woe, and hit him with a modified spear. He punched Kingston in the face. He grabbed Kingston by the hair, and elbowed him in the head. He hit Kingston with a backdrop, but Kingston was still able to kick of of the pin attempt. Afterwards, Axel went back to work on Kingston’s head.
Axel continued his assault on Kingston, kicking him in the face while he laid on the mat. Kingston tried to fight back, but Axel blocked the attempt. Kingston regained the advantage. Both Axel and Kingston wound up on the mat as the ref started his 10-count. Kingston made it back to his feet. He hit a flying cross-body from the top rope, straight into a pin attemp. The ref counted 1… 2… KICKOUT. Kingston remained undeterred – he called for support from the audience, and hit a boom-drop. The audience cheered. He called for trouble in paradise, but Axel dodged.
Kofi went to the top rope, but Axel scored with a drop-kick against Kofi on the way down. Kingston was still able to kick-out after two. Michael Cole noted that, the longer this match goes, the worse it is for Heyman later in the night. Kingston grabbed Axel by the legs for a unique pin attempt. Axel kicked out. Kofi went for the SOS, but Axel countered into his own finisher, which Kingston converted back into an SOS. The ref counted two before Curtis Axel barely kicked out.
After a brief exchange, Axel was still able to hit his finisher, and retain his title.
Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Curtis Axel
Rating: Good – I’m glad WWE found an excuse to make this Pay-Per-View live up to its namesake and get an IC Championship match on the show. Both men looked good here, with exciting near-falls. On the other hand, I’d love to see the company do more with both men, but beggars can’t be choosers…
A poll from earlier in the night indicated that fans thought Chris Jericho was the greatest IC Champion of all time…
AJ Lee was shown skipping backstage. She ran into some non-Total Divas, and acted excited for her match tonight. They all said that they were done with her, and walked away. Layla was left standing with AJ. When AJ played up to Layla, Layla quickly acted like she had something else to take care of, and ran away.
A poll showed that Trish Stratus was voted the greatest Divas Champion of all time.
Fatal Four-Way for the Divas Championship
Early on, all three Divas attacked AJ. They tossed her into the crowd barricade. Suddenly, Brie turned against Natalya and Naomi. JBL called either Naomi or Brie the “best athlete in the Divas division,” but remained unclear as to which one. Either way, he’s wrong.
In the corner, Natalya put Brie up on her shoulder, but Brie fought back off. Naomia missed terribly with a cross-body from the top rope, but luckily, AJ covered for her. Eventaully, Natalya and Brie wound up in the ring alone. Brie only scored a two-count from the pin attempt. When Naomi came back in, Natalya scop-slammed Brie straight onto Naomi in a pinning position. The announcers questioned why the ref didn’t count the pin. Naomi, undeterred, put both women in a double sharpshooter, but AJ broke it up.
AJ capitalized by putting Natalya into an impressive Black Widow, to which Natalya had to tap.
Winner and still Divas Champion: AJ Lee
Rating: Meh – There were a few botches, and everything just felt kind of sloppy. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. I hope this victory sets up a fun Natalya/AJ Lee feud, but I’m guess the Divas division goes back to being (or stays?) irrelevant.
Up next… World Heavyweight Championship!
Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship
Classic championship introductions, with Ricardo Rodriguez covering Rob Van Dam, and Lillian Garcia showing an impressive amount of Spanish for Alberto Del Rio.
Del Rio started off in control, but Van Dam quickly took the upper hand. Michael Cole pointed out that Del Rio is 0-for-2 in championship matches at Night of Champions. Alberto Del Rio bounced off the ropes and hit Van Dam with a vicious drop-kick.
Outside the ring, Van Dam dropped Del Rio straight on the guard rail. He hit his signature spinning-leg-drop from the ring apron. The ref counted up to five before Van Dam reset the count. Both men jockeyed for position on the ring apron, before Del Rio regained control, and took Van Dam back inside the ring.
Del Rio put Van Dam in a chin-lock. Van Dam tried to fight out, but Del Rio still maintained control. When Van Dam rolled out to the ring apron, Alberto Del Rio hit an enzeguri, which caused RVD to stay out at ringside. Ricardo Rodriguez tried to help support his friend. Both men wound up back inside the ring, where Van Dam got a quick pin attempt, which Alberto Del Rio quickly kicked out of.
Van Dam hit a thrust-kick from the top rope. When he called for rolling thunder, though, Del Rio got up and hit him with the backstabber. The audience chanted, “R-V-D! R-V-D!” Both men wound up on the top rope, with Van Dam knocking Del Rio down, and scoring with a backflip. The resulting pinfall only earned a two-count.
Both men stood and exchanged blows. Del Rio ended up with the advantage, and called for the cross arm-breaker. RVD reversed it, and scored with a split-leg moonsault off the top rop. Del Rio kicked out after two. Rob Van Dam hit Del Rio with a heel-kick, and while Del Rio was laid out, Van Dam jumped to the top rope, and called for the Five-Star Frog Splash. Del Rio anticipated this, and blocked the move with his knees. He then capitalized with a cross-armbreaker.
Van Dam fought to escape the arm-breaker, but Del Rio just kept it locked in. When RVD reached the rope, the ref gave him a five-count, but Del Rio refused to let go. The ref called for the bell.
Winner by DQ: Rob Van Dam; Still World Heavweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio
After the match, Del Rio attempted to attack Van Dam with a chair. However, Ricardo Rodriguez jumped to his aid. Both men beat down Del Rio. Then, Van Dam went to the top rope, and scored with a Van Terminator from across the ring. Del Rio hung lifelessly on the bottom rope.
Rating: Good – Alright, I’m pretty happy with this match – a fun back-and-forth. I hate the finish, and I hate the idea that this rivalry is going to continue heading forward. Really? Also, where’s the Sandow Cash in? If the Champion requires MEDICAL ATTENTION, why would Sandow not use this opportunity to capture his gold? Illogical booking.
Backstage, Paul Heyman gave Curtis Axel a pep-talk. He told Axel that he “believes in him.”
In a really bizarre turn of events, the WWE Universe voted Booker T as the greatest World Heavyweight Champion of all time… over Ric Flair, Batista, Edge, and Undertaker. Huh?
Next up, Miz and Fandango…
Fandango vs. The Miz
Fandango showed off his dance skills in the early going. Miz countered with a neck-breaker. He hit a corner clothesline against Fandango, and went to the top rope, before Fandango knocked him off. Fandango picked Miz up and bounced him off the rope, and Michael Cole thought THIS was the right chance to announce Dusty Rhodes coming to Raw on Monday Night.
Fandango wrapped Miz up in a rear choke, before Miz fought back and tossed Fandango over the top rope. He hit Fandango with a drop-kick between the ropes (hey!), but Fandango caught Miz with a kick to the mid-section. Back inside the ring, he went for a pin attempt, but Miz kicked out after two.
Miz focused on Fandango’s left-knee, and attempted a figure-four, which Fandango avoided. A “we want tables” chant broke out. Weird. Fandango hit Miz with something (I missed it?), but only earned a two on the resulting pin-attempt. Fandango pushed Miz into the corner turnbuckle. He hit a vicious-looking leg drop as Miz remained tied up in the ropes.
Fandango attempted his pattened top-rope leg-drop finisher, but Miz rolled out of the way. Miz locked in the figure-four, to which Fandango quickly tapped.
Winner: The Miz
Rating: Bad – The match wasn’t that bad. In fact, it would’ve been fine any week on an episode of RAW or Smackdown. But for a Pay-Per-View, it just failed to go anywhere, and the audience was asleep. Oh well.
Next up… CM Punk!
CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel in a Handicapped Elimination Match
(note: this match became NO DQ during the pre-show)
JBL said that Heyman is “walking to the gallows.” Funny. Cult of Personality hit, and Heyman looked utterly disgusted. CM Punk brought his own kendo stick to the ring.
Both Axel and Punk squared off with kendo sticks. Punk took the early advantage , and then leapt through the middle-rope and hit Paul Heyman on the outside. The crowd went CRAZY. Punk held Heyman by the throat and motioned “thumb down,” but Axel hit Punk with a low blow to rescue Heyman.
A walarus chant broke out in the crowd as Axel took control with his kendo stick. Punk grabbed a chair to get the upper hand, but Axel hit Punk with a drop-kick. He only earned a two-count on the resulting pin attempt. A “we want tables” chant broke out and, surprisingly, Axel gave the fans what they wanted. He pulled a table in the ring and set it up in the corner. Axel attempted to suplex CM Punk through the table, but Punk flipped it around. Axel also blocked the suplex attempt, and countered with one of his own. He went for a pin, but Punk kicked-out after two.
Punk scored with a running-knee in the corner, but when he was ready to attempt his signature elbow-drop, Axel rolled outside. WHen Punk went to leap through the middle rope and hit Axel with a flying clothesline, Axel tossed a chair at Punk’s head. He rolled a limp Punk back inside the ring and covered him for the pin. Punk kicked-out after two.
Axel beat Punk with a Kendo stick. Punk, undeterred, got up and hit Axel with a GTS. He locked in the anaconda vice, and Axel quickly tapped.
Curtis Axel is eliminated
Paul Heyman looked absolutely shocked. CM Punk chased him around the ring, through the crowd, and back into the ring. Heyman tried to hug Punk. However, Punk would have none of it, and started beating Heyman with a kendo stick. The crowd called for the table. CM Punk signaled for the GTS, but then waved his finger in a no-motion. Instead, he puled a pair of handcuffs from his boot. The walarus…er, Heyman yelled for Punk to stop as CM Punk locked up both of Heyman’s hands. Heyman said, “I’m tapping! I’m tapping!” Punk hit Heymans ankle with the kendo stick. Heyman screamed, “What are you doing?!” Funny. Punk beat the crap out of Paul Heyman with the Kendo stick.
As Heyman was begging for mercy, Ryback appeared out of nowhere, and drove CM Punk through the table. Punk’s back was bleeding afterwards. Then Ryback rolled Paul Heyman over CM Punk, and the ref counted the victory.
Winner: Paul Heyman
After the match, Ryback carried Paul Heyman out on his shoulders. Back in the ring, CM Punk refused any type of medical attention before walking out.
Rating: Good – Honestly, I struggle to give this one a “good” rating. Punk and Axel only delivered with a so-so in ring attempt. And the big payoff was kind of lackluster… I liked the IDEA of Ryback as Paul Heyman’s guy, but when I saw it actually happen, I found myself completely indifferent. If you bought Night of Champions based off this, I’m sorry.
Dean Ambrose made his way to the ring for his match against Dolph Ziggler.
Dolph Ziggler vs Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship
Ziggler took the early advantage against Dean Ambrose, but Ambrose quickly countered with a wrist-lock of his own. Ambrose mocked Ziggler’s “wet hair” taunt.
Ziggler hit Ambrose with his multiple elbow-drops move. He then tossed Ambrose outside the ring, and smacked his face off the ring apron. Inside the ring, Ambrose fought out of the corner, and controlled Ziggler with a series of punches and slaps. He slammed Ziggler down on the mat. Ambrose hit Ziggler with a quick elbow drop, and said, “just one.” Funny. He locked Ziggler in a sleeper hold.
Ziggler fought out, and both men ended up in the corner. They struggled for control on the top rope. Amrbose got the upper hand, and hit Ziggler with a super-plex. As Ziggler struggled to get back to his feet, Ambrose climbed to the top rope. Suddenly, Ziggler jumped to his feet. He hit Ambrose with a top-rope X-Factor. Ziggler covered Ambrose, and the ref counted 1, 2, kickout.
Ziggler punished Ambrose with a series of punches in the corner. He then bounced off the rope, and hit Ambrose with a flying clothesline. When he tried to lock Ambrose in a sleeper hold, Ambrose busted free, and went for a pint attempt of his own. He only earned a two-count. Both men exchanged moves, and pin attempts. Finally, Amrbose hit Ziggler with his finisher, and Dolph Ziggler was unable to recover.
Winner and still US Champion: Dean Ambrose
Rating: Good Enough – So Ambrose wins cleanly? Really? Dolph Ziggler has become COMPLETELY irrelevant. I guess WWE upper management has to keep its talent in check? This match wasn’t bad… it just never got off the ground until the last three minutes or so. And that finish was weak. Meh.
Sting was apparently voted the greatest US Champion of all time. Also, presumably, the greatest TNA Champion of all time…
No break here! Straight into the Tag Team Championship!
Prime Time Players vs. The Shield for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Titus O’Neil used his strength to gain an early advantage. He tagged in Darren Young, who kept the momentum going. After O’Neil was tagged back in, Seth Rollins got trapped in the corner, and O’Neil blew his whistle as he stomped a mud hole.
Darren Young tagged himself back in. He was cornered by The Shield, and Reigns, now the legal man, kept the abuse on Young. He tossed Young over the top rope, and attacked him outside the ring. Roman Reigns finally tagged back in Seth Rollins. Rollins kept control, kicking and beating Young. Young hit a belly-to-belly suplex, and was finally able to tag in Titus O’Neil.
O’Neil quickly cleaned house. He hit Roman Reigns with a big boot, then tolls Rollins over his head. Rollins countered with a kick to O’Neil’s head. Just as O’Neil hit his finisher, Roman Reigns broke up the resulting pin attempt. When O’Neil got back to his feet, Reigns hit O’Neil with a spear, and Rollins covered him for the victory.
Winners and STILL Champions: Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
Rating: Good – The match was solid. Yeah, not much else to say here…
HA-HA. DX was rated the GREATEST Tag Team Champions of all time… Joke.
Next up: your main event!
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship
(note: Triple H claims there will be NO interference)
A lock-up to start the match. Orton got the early advantage, then posed in his “Evolution” taunt. Daniel Bryan was having none of it, and followed up with a series of kicks.
Orton took the lead and clotheslined Bryan in the corner. He stood on Bryan’s hand, and stomped his face. Bryan fought back with a series of punches, but Orton quickly countered with a backdrop of his own. He grabbed Bryan by the beard. Orton held Daniel Bryan in a sleeper hold as the crowed willed Bryan back into it. Still, Orton kept things in his grasp by kicking Orton in the knees, hands, and face.
In the corner, Orton punched Bryan in the face. When he tried to whip Bryan into the opposite corner, Bryan ran up the turnbuckle and vaulted back over Orton. Bryan hit Orton with a flying clothesline. He then kicked Orton in the corner, as the crowd chanted “Yes!” He scored with an impressive hurricanrana from the top rope. Then, he tossed Orton outside the ring, and leapt over the top rope. Bryan pushed Orton back in the ring, then nailed a missle drop-kick from the top rop. Back outside the ring, and Bryan kept control with another flying goat. When Bryan went for flying goat #3, Orton punched Bryan square in the face.
During the next exchange, the senior referee was knocked outside the ring. Luckily, WWE sent out another (legitimate) ref. Bryan caught Orton’s arm, and locked in the “Yes!” lock. Orton struggled to the ropes. He finally grabbed the bottom, and the ref broke up the submission attempt.
As the senior doctor checked on the down ref, Bryan capitalized with his series of “Yes!” kicks. It wasn’t enough to keep Orton down. Orton carried Bryan to the top rope, but Bryan slid out, and pushed Orton down into the tree of woe. He kicked Orton in the mid section. Bryan ran to the opposite corner, then rushed Orton and scored with a dropkick. When Orton struggled to regain his bearings, Bryan maintained control, and dropped Orton with a backdrop from the top rope. He nailed an amazing diving headbutt from across the rope, and covered Orton for the pin. Orton kicked out after two.
The original referee got back int he ring and claimed that he was ready to get back in the match (doubt it!). As Bryan hit a series of kicks, Orton jumped up and hit a pretty cool t-bone suplex. Bryan got back to his feet. He went into the opposite corner from Orton, then ran across the ring and hit his flying knee. Orton dropped like a rock. Bryan covered Orton for the pin…and the ref counted a fast 1, 2,3!
Winner and NEW WWE Champion: Daniel Bryan
Bryan celebrated after the match, and the commentators seemed ignorant of the fast count. Really? Is this how the show ends?
Rating: Good AND Bad – Listen, Bryan and Orton put together something fun. It wasn’t as good as previous outings from the two, and nowhere near as good as Bryan and Cena’s matchup last month at SummerSlam, but still a solid effort from both men. But the booking here was SO weird. Why the ref bump? Why the fast count? Why didn’t the announce team acknowledge the aforementioned fast count? What was the purpose in this story line? Why did Triple H start acting nice again? Too. many. questions. I’m not a fan of the way things played out.
Final Thoughts: Well, consider me disappointed. The build for this Pay-Per-View has been all over the map, and frankly, that’s exactly where this show ended up. Most of the matches were simply good, not amazing, or even great. The story-lines played out in weird, and sometimes illogical, fashion (Sandow didn’t cash in? Even though Del Rio couldn’t walk himself back to the locker room?). And the main event, while fun, had awkward TNA-style booking written all over it. I can’t help but go to bed a little bit empty tonight.
Thanks for watching along with me! What did you think of Night of Champions (2013)? Were you disappointed, too? Give me your thoughts in the comments below!