Night of Champions 2013 took place at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan (10 minutes away from my house!) and featured a total of nine matches, including the highly anticipated WWE Championship bout between Randy Orton and the most over superstar in the WWE today Daniel Bryan. Along with the main event, CM Punk took on Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman in a 2-on-1 No Disqualification Elimination match and Dolph Ziggler squared off against Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship. Here are the overall highs and lows from Night of Champions, where heel superstars reigned supreme:
Best Match: Aside from Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan and Curtis Axel vs. Kofi Kingston matches, the other seven bouts on the card were very unspectacular. It seemed like a lot of the matches were rushed and could have taken place on an episode of SmackDown. Anyways, the crowd was wild during the WWE Title bout and these two professionals did not disappoint. Orton and Bryan worked really well with one another and put forth a strong performance. I wouldn’t call the match an instant classic, but it was by far the best match of the night.
*It’s important to point out that referee Scott Armstrong took a “bump” earlier in the match and was then replaced by another referee. Towards the finish, Armstrong came back into the ring and was the official once again. After Bryan kicked Orton in the head and hit his finishing move, it appeared that the referee made a fast count (probably due to the fact that he was shaken up a bit) and awarded Bryan the WWE Title. It was a good match, but expect Triple H to reverse the decision and award the WWE Title back to Orton tomorrow night on Raw due to the fast count.
Crowd Chants of the Night: The Detroit crowd was hot from start to finish and during the opening segment between Triple H and Paul Heyman, they chanted “CM Punk”. The crowd chanted “Kofi” multiple times during the opening match between Curtis Axel and Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship. During the World Heavyweight Championship match, the Michigan crowd chanted “RVD”. For some strange reason, the crowd chanted “we want tables’ during the Miz vs. Fandango match. During the CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel/Paul Heyman match, the audience in the Joe began a “walrus” chant. Also during the 2-on-1 match, the crowd chanted “this is awesome” as Punk handcuffed Heyman and then mercifully beat him down with a Kendo Stick. During the main event, the crowd chanted “Daniel Bryan”, “YES” and “NO” numerous times. This dude is so over!
Breakout Star of the Night: The breakout star(s) of the night were the Prime Time Players. They won the Tag Team Turmoil match, which gave them the opportunity to face the Shield for the WWE Tag Team Titles on the main show. Ever since Darren Young’s “announcement”, PTP have transformed into a babyface team overnight and they are really taking the opportunity that has been presented to them. PTP put forth a good performance in both of their matches and fell just inches short of beating the Shield. I’m calling that the next Tag Team champions are going to be the Prime Time Players and they will win, probably, at the Battleground PPV.
Fan Sign of the Night: This is the part of the review where readers can comment on what their favorite crowd signs were. What were some cool, funny and clever signs that you saw during Night of Champions.
Jobber of the Night: The jobber of the night has to be Fandango. He had a decent match with Miz, but it was not PPV quality. Fandango and Miz went for a good eight minutes and Miz had the upper hand throughout most of the match. Miz eventually locked in the Figure Four Leg Lock and Fandango tapped out within a matter of seconds. After scoring a huge upset victory over Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 29, Fandango has lost a lot of momentum and has been awarded the jobber of the night award.
Upset of the Night: Clearly, the upset of the night was Paul Heyman defeating CM Punk thanks to Ryback putting the Best in the World through a table. After the match, Ryback carried Heyman to the back like a boom box and it is now clear that Ryback is Heyman’s newest client. I like the idea of Ryback and Heyman together and the overall match between Punk/Axel/Heyman was fairly entertaining. This angle is going to be very interesting.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night: The holy sh** moment of the night was Daniel Bryan beating Randy Orton for the WWE TItle cleanly. Well, sorta. As I explained earlier in the review, referee Scott Armstrong made a made a fast count after Bryan hit Orton with his finishing move, but not a lot of people seemed to notice, nor care. Bryan overcoming the odds and beating the “face of the WWE” was a huge moment in his career and once the referee counted to three, the crowd at Joe Louis Arena erupted with elation and joined Bryan in his infamous “YES” chant. Unfortunately, mom came home early and the party is going to be cut short as Triple H is going to reverse the decision and award Orton the title tomorrow night on Raw. Mark my words, wrestling fans.
Worst Match: There were no really bad matches at Night of Champions, but the two bouts that were underwhelming were Fandango vs. Miz and the Fatal Four Way Divas Title match. Fandango vs. Miz was decent, but we’ve seen it so many times before and there was nothing spectacular that happened throughout. The Divas Title bout was messy and somewhat entertaining, but it was an overall lowlight.
Logic Fail of the Night: During the double Sharpshooter that Natalya gave Naomi and Brie Bella during the Fatal Four Way Divas match (which was pretty cool), Naomi was lying on top of Brie Bella for about 20 seconds while the referee was staring at them. It was obvious that Brie’s shoulders were down and he should have counted to three, but instead, he waited for Natalya to lock in the double Sharpshooter (Naomi was still pinning Brie in the process). It was a horrible mistake and the crowd was silent due to the awkwardness. Even the commentators at ringside were in disbelief that the referee didn’t begin to count.
Tweets of the Night:
— WWE Creative Humor (@WWECreative_ish) September 16, 2013
Hold your tongue and say @RealCurtisAxel's last name.
— Colt Cabana (@ColtCabana) September 16, 2013
— Marks On Commentary (@MOCommentary) September 16, 2013
— Arda Ocal (@arda_ocal) September 16, 2013
Commentary Lines of the Night: “What is the referee doing!?” – Michael Cole during the Fatal Four Way Divas match. “The last thing that a great dancer like Fandango wants to happen is for something to happen to his legs” – JBL during the Fandango vs. Miz match. “We’ve got two words for ya, well done” – JBL congratulating DX for winning the best tag team in WWE history poll.
LOL Moment of the Night: Unfortunately, there were no humorous moments throughout Night of Champions. One thing that I found both pretty funny and cool was when CM Punk came out to the ring and instead of saying “It’s clobbering time”, he yelled out to Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman “It’s time to diiieeee!!!!”.
Overall Lowlights: Divas Title bout; Fandango vs. Miz; Booker T winning the poll for the greatest World Heavyweight champion in history; too many underwhelming matches.
Overall Highlights: Tag Team Turmoil; opening segment featuring Triple H/Axel/Heyman; Curtis Axel vs. Kofi Kingston; CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel/Paul Heyman; Ryback a Paul Heyman guy; Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan.