Last night’s pay-per-view started off in a weird way. Triple H opened up with a segment about making the match fair, no interference, blah blah blah. But wait, isn’t he our “big bad” in WWE right now? His character has done nothing but demolish Daniel Bryan for weeks, and all of sudden he decides to play both sides. I completely understand the idea of making a heel a little more tweener. What I can’t figure out is, why does WWE think now is the time to pull him back? Triple H has already gone over the edge. Let him stay there.
Mediocrity was the story of the night. Curtis Axel successfully defended his title against Kofi Kingston in an unannounced match, and it was pretty good. Miz and Fandango also competed, unannounced… and it was just kinda bleh. The idea that your ‘Night of Champions’ Pay-Per-View required TWO unannounced matches, however, completely boggles my mind.
The divas fatal-four-way match was also subpar. Heck, even Ziggler vs. Ambrose just laid there like a dead fish. Nothing from the middle of the card stood out. Nothing.
Alberto Del Rio and Rob Van Dam met my expectations, and proved fun for the 15 to 20 minutes it lasted. But the DQ finish makes me a little sick. Also, Del Rio had to practically be CARRIED back to the locker room, but Damien Sandow didn’t think this was the right time to cash-in his Money in the Bank. Huh? You’re right, there has to be some better future time to cash-in, than right now when the defending champion can barely stand on his own… I know, it doesn’t make any sense to have Sandow, a heel, cash in on Del Rio, another heel. But it also doesn’t make your “uncrowned” World Champion lose every week on TV.
Tag Team Turmoil kicked off the show, a match I missed thanks to technical difficulties. But I have to praise Prime Time Players and The Shield for putting together something noteworthy for what was essentially a bathroom break. The tag-team division deserves to be spotlighted way more than it currently is.
CM Punk beat Curtis Axel, and it was fine. Afterwards, Ryback came out to save Paul Heyman. Again, just fine.
Daniel Bryan finally conquered his demons and captured the WWE Championship. His match against Randy Orton was good – not great, not even the best match he’s wrestled in the last month or two, but entertaining enough. Unfortunately, the finish seemed anticlimactic. It felt short-sighted. On top of that, the whole match reeked of over-booking. Scott Armstrong gets knocked out, another ref takes his place, but Armstrong resumes his post, just to count the fast three. See how confusing that whole thing is? Plus, the announce team just looked idiotic by not at least acknowledging the fast-count. Way to under-sell the story, guys.
Speical nod to the WWE “best champions of all time” polls. Sting as the greatest US Champion of all time? Hulk Hogan the best WWE Champion? Booker T as the greatest World Heavyweight Champion? Have fun, conspiracy theorists.
Overall Show felt more like Monday Night Raw than any Night of Champions I’ve ever seen. It felt stitched together with duct tape. Gauging by the crowd reaction, fans in attendance thought the same thing – they only popped for Bryan’s surprise win. I know every show can’t be SummerSlam. Still, WWE always needs to make fans feel like they got their 50 bucks worth, and last night, I went to be disappointed. At least Battleground is only 3 weeks away?
What did you think about last night’s Pay-Per-View? Give me your opinion in the comments below! Also, be sure to check out the latest Between the Ropes podcast to hear what Brian Fritz and Steven Muelhausen had to say.